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Subsidy removal fill further pauperize Nigerians

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Our attention has been drawn to a call by the National Leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and former governor of Lagos State, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu on the Federal Government to remove fuel subsidy.

This call, coming at this time when Nigerians are suffering untold hardship as a result of the downturn in global economy is both shocking and disappointing.

It is particularly disturbing that such call was made by a leader of the APC, a party whose leaders were in the forefront of a protest that shook the nation when former President Goodluck Jonathan increased fuel price to N97 per liter a few years ago.

As we speak, more than 15 states are unable to pay their workers as a result of the shortfall in the nation’s earnings.

Without doubt, the removal of the fuel subsidy, which in truth is about the only thing that Nigerians enjoy from the government, will inflict more hardship on hapless Nigerians.

Therefore, any increase in the price of fuel via the removal of subsidy will definitely lead to increase in the prices of food stuff, while transport fares will shoot up, leaving civil servants who are already suffering from the shortfall in government’s allocations to suffer more.

Rather than attempt to remove subsidy, the government should focus its attention on efforts to put our refineries in good shape.

It is a shame that at this age of our national life, Nigeria takes her crude oil to smaller countries like Equatorial Guinea to refine and later bring back same into the country as imported fuel.

Nigerians cannot continue to take the same old story by government that it cannot continue to subsidize the price of fuel, when we all know that that is only little benefit that Nigerians enjoy.

But the truth is that the call for subsidy removal should not surprise any Nigerian with discerning mind.

The government had for some time now drummed it into our ear to prepare for tougher times.

Government has also promised us change, but whatever change Nigerians expect and deserve from President Muhhamadu Buhari should not be to further push them into poverty.
Let President Buhari and all organs of government responsible for production and distribution of oil in the country stop the blame game and go after the disease instead of continuing to treat the symptom, which at all times, have only given us temporary reprieve.

More importantly, it is imperative that the government should know that any attempt to remove subsidy will only benefit the oil marketers, the cartel and all those who have combined to make living hell for Nigerians.

It is also important to remind government that any talk of subsidy in Nigeria is a government magic designed to deceive the people.

If truth be told, it is Nigerians that subsidize the little the government is doing.

Nigerians provide their own power, borehole, security, fill potholes and send their kids to private schools.

These are the problems President Buhari and the government should focus its attention on and not a planned subsidy removal as punishment for Nigerians for voting for him.

Signed

Otunba (Dr) Gani Adams

National Coordiantor, Oodua People’s Congress.

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Union Bank, WACOT Rice Kick Off Financial Inclusion Drive for Smallholder Farmers in Kebbi

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As part of Union Bank’s commitment to driving financial inclusion in Nigeria, the Bank has partnered with WACOT Rice Limited – a rice processing company, to financially include 6,000 local farmers including youth and women in Kebbi State.
The Kebbi Financial Inclusion Drive (KFID) which will cover four Local Government Areas – Argungu, Augie, Suru, and Dandi – is a critical part of WACOT’s Argungu Outgrower Expansion Project funded by United States Agency for International Development (USAID) West Africa Trade Hub. This program is set to resolve the overwhelming financial inclusion deficit within rural communities in Kebbi.
The financial inclusion initiative is being implemented with technical support from National Identity Management Commission (NIMC), to help the farmers acquire the relevant documentation and identification required to open bank accounts.
Union Bank will facilitate account opening and expand its agency banking network to cover the areas while supporting its agents on ground with digital banking solutions to enable seamless transacting and account management.
Farouk Gumel, Chairman WACOT and Board Chair, Union Bank was on ground in Kebbi State to kick-off the drive and paid a visit to the Kebbi state Governor, Senator Abubakar Atiku Bagudu to discuss expanding the programme state-wide.
In his recent keynote address at the recently concluded and  Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria (CIBN) Conference, Mr. Gumel said:
 “As we work towards achieving financial inclusion to reach the unbanked, we must commit the same resources and investments to rural-local customers as we have done to urban-global clients to help create the growth that will lift us all to collective prosperity.”
WACOT Rice is a subsidiary of TGI Group. TGI Group, through another of its subsidiary Titan Trust Bank, recently acquired Union Bank in a landmark transaction which was announced in 2021.

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FIRSTBANK PARTNERS VERVE INTERNATIONAL, MAKES CUSTOMERS MILLIONAIRES IN THE FIRSTBANK VERVE CARD PROMO

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In partnership with FirstBank – Nigeria’s premier and leading financial inclusion services provider – Verve International, Africa’s leading payment technology and card business, has launched its third National Consumer promo designed to reward users of FirstBank verve card with exciting gifts and cash prizes to appreciate their patronage and use of the card to carry-out their electronic banking transactions.

The ongoing 2-month promo will end on 30 October 2022 as 20 customers (10 customers per month) with the highest transaction count during the promo will be made millionaires, winning the sum of N1 million each. Also, N20,000 will be won by 25 customers monthly.

On the other hand, 2620 FirstBank verve cardholders that double their transactions every week, stand a chance to enjoy 10% cashback capped at N2,000 per customer.

Speaking on the promo Chuma Ezirim, Group Executive, e-Business & Retail Products, FirstBank said “we appreciate our partnership with Verve Card through the years; a partnership of empowerment and opportunities which include growing the economy, supporting new businesses and preventing unemployment. FirstBank verve card holders are encouraged to keep using their cards as it is a card offering that promotes safe, convenient and rewarding digital banking experience with 20 customers standing a chance to be millionaires at the end of the promo.”

Verve card is a secure debit card that allows cardholders to conveniently meet their daily financial needs such as payment for goods and services, airtime recharge, bill payments, funds transfer, etc. Verve card is accepted across all ATMs, POS, Web and Mobile Platforms in Nigeria.

The promo is also opened to new verve cardholders as non-verve cardholders are encouraged to visit the nearest FirstBank branch today to pick up a Verve card and start getting rewarded!

Only recently, FirstBank – in partnership with Verve – rewarded over 2601 FirstBank verve cardholders with various prizes; including N20,000 cash prize, N10,000 cash prize, N10,000 worth of airtime; power generating sets, refrigerator, cooking gas, smart TV and the grand prize of a brand-new car to a lucky winner.

 

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Federal Government Orders University Vice-Chancellors To Reopen Schools, Begin Lectures Amid 7 Months Lecturers’ Strike

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The government issued the directive through the National Universities Commission (NUC), and a letter signed by its Director, Finance and Accounts, Sam Onazi, on behalf of the Executive Secretary of the commission, Professor Abubakar Rasheed.

The Nigerian government has directed vice-chancellors to re-open universities and allow students to resume lectures immediately.

The government issued the directive through the National Universities Commission (NUC), and a letter signed by its Director, Finance and Accounts, Sam Onazi, on behalf of the Executive Secretary of the commission, Professor Abubakar Rasheed.

 

The letter which The PUNCH obtained on Monday, was reportedly addressed to all vice-chancellors; Pro-Chancellors and chairmen of governing councils of federal universities.

 

“Ensure that ASUU members immediately resume/commence lectures; Restore the daily activities and routines of the various University campuses,” the letter partly reads.

We had reported that the National Industrial Court of Nigeria (NICN), on Wednesday, September 21, 2022, ordered the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) to call off its ongoing nationwide strike.

 

It reported that the umbrella body of the lecturers in public universities had declared a warning strike on February 14, to force the Nigerian Government to implement agreements it earlier signed with the union.

 

The agreement stipulated how university education would be funded for better improvement.

 

The strike has since rolled over and is now in its seventh month following the government’s failure to implement all the agreements.

 

Several meetings between ASUU and the Federal Government have ended in a deadlock.

 

Consequently, the Federal Government went to court to challenge the strike.

 

The government through its counsel, James Igwe, prayed the court for an interlocutory injunction restraining ASUU from taking further steps as regards the strike, pending the determination of the substantive suit.

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