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AfDB Expresses Optimism Nigeria will Sign CFTA Soon

The African Development Bank (AfDB) has depressed optimism  that Nigeria, the largest country on the continent will soon ratify the Continental Free Trade Area (CFTA) agreement.

The Director, Industrial and Trade Development of AfDB, Dr Abdu Mukhtar, said this in an interview with newsmen on Sunday. The CFTA was adopted on March 21, 2018 and has presently been ratified by 22 countries.

AfDB It seeks to create a single market for goods and services and movement of persons to deepen economic integration of the continent among others.

Nigeria, a lie to maximise British returns(Opens in a new browser tab)   According to Mukhtar, Nigeria is an important country for the CFTA and for the agreement to be effective useful and really worthwhile, Nigeria has to be part of it.

He said:“From what we are hearing, I think Nigeria is finalising their discussions with key stakeholders. “I understand the Nigeria government has been making consultations with the private sector, manufacturers association and so on.

“I have been talking to some of these people in Nigeria and I think the reason why they have been skeptical is that they don’t understand what is in it for them.

“So, what we could also do as a bank to provide that support to the Nigerian private sector is to organise a session for them. “We did that two weeks ago in Abidjan as a test case, brought all the business people in Cote d’Ivoire and neighbouring countries and basically explained to them what the CFTA is.

“The private sector is the engine of growth in any country, so it is natural that they are apprehensive about what it means for them. “They are apprehensive of whether it will benefit them  or whether their market  will be swollen by companies from other countries.

“So, I think that is the issue, but we are very confident that the Nigerian government will conclude on this consultation very soon and officially join.’’ Mukhtar, however said that the AfDB  was working at ensuring the success of the CFTA and had gotten approval from its Board of Directors to support submission of the CFTA secretariat.

He said the location for the secretariat was still being deliberated upon by the African Union adding that the AfDB had already secured the finances to support the secretariat where ever it was situated. The director said the African Union was aware that establishing the secretariat as soon as possible was very important while expressing optimism that it would be concluded by this year.

On integrating the continent through trade, Mukhtar said it was important to ensure the right policies were put in place. He said the bank was working on that and also providing a lot of advisory services to countries in their trade policy agenda.

He said integration also required adequate infrastructure, building the right roads and so on and also custom reforms. Mukhtar said AfDB had signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Korean Customs Service to work with a number of countries to help them orgarnise their customs services.

He said the bank was looking at selecting six countries in the first phase, adding that he would be in South Korea soon to finalise the discussion on the countries that would benefit from this. On the bank’s project in the aviation sector, Mukhtar said it was still ongoing as the bank would not relent in its effort to support the expansion of airlines.

He said “The project is still ongoing, we have supported air links , we are doing it in two ways , one is to establish the basic infrastructure, supporting airport that will act as house in various regions. “And secondly, working with airlines that will connect effectively across the continent and one good example is the Ethiopian airlines.

“The bank has actually supported the expansion of Ethiopian airlines, we have recently supported air Cote d’ Ivoire which is also expanding its routes, the linkages  to various places across the continent. “We are playing and will continue to play a great role in this because for the bank, integration is really important.’’

He urged business owners and entrepreneurs on the continent to ensure they trade within the continent to increase our rate of trade to meet up with the Europeans and Latin Americans. On AfDB’s involvement with Nigeria, Mukhtar said the bank was doing a lot of projects in Nigeria, adding that Nigeria was an important member of the bank.

He said the bank was positive about Nigeria and its entrepreneurs and urged it to take advantage of the bank when necessary. “Nigeria should see it as their own bank, come to us whenever they have good projects that they want financing, especially on the private sector side.

“People think the AFDB only work with government but the key message I will like you to pass on is that we do a lot of private sector business as well . “And we will like to work more with the private sector business and support their expansion.’’

Source: vanguardngr

How to get millions of Nigerians out of poverty – Elumelu

The Chairman, United Bank for Africa, who is also the founder of Elumelu Foundation, Mr. Tony Elumelu, has urged the federal government to create conducive and enabling environment for small scale businesses to thrive, so as to pave way for the realization of President Muhammadu Buhari’s second term dream of lifting millions of Nigerians out of poverty in the next four years. He made the call in Kano during the 35th convocation ceremony of the Bayero University in which he was conferred a honourary doctorate degree in business administration over his laudable efforts in human capital development across the African continent.

Elumelu expressed optimism that Buhari could achieve the feat if the government could create more opportunities for young entrepreneurs to transform their ideas into businesses that employ labour. He said: “There are variety of ways to lift hundred of citizens out of poverty but two clearly stand out and two are very dear to me.

One is increasing the number of jobs in the economy and two is creating more opportunities for our young entrepreneurs to transform their ideas into more businesses that employ labour.

“The federal government must play its leadership role by creating the enabling environment and conducive infrastructure that enables the creation of jobs and economic opportunities for our youth fold. He urged the government to abolish multiple taxations for small businesses and make business to become easier by prioritising SMEs trainings and capacity development. He said the exigencies of the moment had underscored the need for quick action, saying: “Our population growth rate is faster than our economic growth rate, so we know what will happen if we do not bridge that gap.”

Source: Dailytrust

You’ll spend 7 years in jail if you buy stolen phone – Police

In an effort to combat stealing and other forms of criminality in Lagos, the police command in the state has announced a serious punishment for whoever is caught with a stolen handset The spokesperson of the command in Lagos, DSP Bala Elkana on Saturday, June 15, warned the public to avoid buying stolen handsets.

Elkana said: “Under our laws, it is quite a serious offence for one to buy stolen phones.

The law even regards the buyer to be more culpable than even the thief. The punishment is more for the buyer than the thief. “The wisdom behind that is to discourage people from stealing because if there is no market where they would sell those stolen things, they would not steal them but because they have a ready market, they easily steal. “This is why the law makes the punishment stiffer for the buyer.

The person who steals may get three years punishment, while the buyer could get seven years imprisonment and at the end, he will lose the property once we trace it to him.

“For a person to avoid buying stolen property, it is advisable that he buys things in the open market and not on the street or people who are just passing and not dealing in such wares.” “The most important thing when we charge a buyer to court is to look at whether he has knowledge that that thing he bought was a stolen property.

How do we test the knowledge? What is the market value and how much did he buy it? “If the market value is N100 and you buy it N10, automatically, you will know that you are buying a stolen property.

Secondly, we would check where he bought it. Was it in a regular market where such items are sold or he just bought it on the road from somebody? “That is enough for him to know that he is not buying something that is genuine. Thirdly, we would check the time of the day that he bought the phone.

These are important things we look at when we are investigating to check whether the person has knowledge that the phone was stolen or not.“If you look at the security arrangements in banks, it is such that apart from internal bank security officers who are well trained, we also have our personnel working closely with them in even in the banking halls.

We also hold regular meetings of bank security chiefs on a regular basis to review the security of banks.” With respect to hacking and other cybercrimes, Elkana said: “Hacking is a cybercrime and the law will definitely catch up with them. We are also building intelligence and monitoring their activities. We have sent quite a number of them to jail.”

Source: legit

Warri Collapsed Building: Owner was Using Substandard Materials- Neighbours

The building which was few metres away from the Secretariat of the Nigeria Union of Journalists, Warri Correspondents Chapel, crumbled around 1:10 p.m., according to an eyewitness.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that no life was lost in the incident.

Mr Olusegun Awodiyi, Chairman, Marine Quarters, who spoke on behalf of the residents, said they had warned the owner of the building that the foundation was not strong enough to carry a two-storey building.

According to Awoniyi who claimed that the building materials used were substandard, the owner of the building whose name was not given, rebuffed them and said he was a certified engineer.

He said,“The workers have not been around for some days, so we thank God that no life was lost.

“The Delta Government should come and take a critical look at another house belonging to the same owner of the collapsed building to avoid another one collapsing and possibly leading to death.”

Mr Samuel Owoputi, who owns a building besides the collapsed structure, said two of his children who were sleeping in his room narrowly escaped death as the incident also affected the room.

According to him, the collapsed building had been giving signs since Wednesday.

Mrs Divine Iniovosa, the Vice Chairman of the Local Government Area who visited the scene, said the owner of the building would be invited to the council secretariat for questioning.

Iniovosa claimed that from all indications, the materials used for the building were substandard, adding that it was built without the service of a qualified engineer.

“We thank God that no life was lost. From what I am seeing, it shows that the materials used were poor and the owner did not engage a qualified engineer to do the job.

“As a council, we are going to invite the owner to come and tell us what happened; but for now, I will report to the council chairman what I have seen.

“My people from the Town Planning Departments have drawn our attention to this building and they told the man to stop the building. I am not surprised that this has happened.

“The owner of this house probably did not want to live in it, otherwise, he would not use these poor materials to build this house,” she said.

Iniovosa advised prospective builders to engage the services of qualified engineers and also use standard materials for their buildings.

“People should engage the services of engineers before starting their building. They should also use quality building materials so that their house will stand the test of time,” she said.


Three Children, Two Others Rescued from Collapsed Building in Kano

Kano State Fire Service on Friday rescued three children and two adults trapped in a building, which collapsed at Dandago Babban Baki in Gwale Local Government Area of the state.

Alhaji Saidu Mohammed, spokesman of the service, who said this in an interview with News Agency of Nigeria in Kano said that the house was one storey building.

Mohammed disclosed that a three-year-old boy was among those rescued.

“We received a distress call on Friday from one Malam Hamza Idris at about 3:19 p.m. that a building has collapsed.

“Upon receiving the information, we quickly dispatched firemen to the scene at about 3:27 p.m.,’’ he said.

Mohammed gave the names of the victims as Abduljabbar Murtala, 7, Walid Inusa, 10, Hanif Murtala, 3, Akailu Alkassim, 22 and Nasir Ibrahim, 35.

He said that the victims who sustained injuries were taken to the Murtala Muhammed Specialist Hospital, Kano, for treatment.


JUS IN: Two Storey Building Collapses in Warri

An uncompleted two storey building, still under construction, in the Marine Quarters axis of Warri, collapsed to the ground on Friday, leaving a huge heap of rubbles.

Although there was no casualty, as there was nobody within the walls of the building as at the time of the incident, at about 1:00pm, the collapsing structure left impacts on two nearby living quarters.

According to sources who were seen at the scene of the incident, labourers working on the building had suspended works in the meantime as a result of the rains, which had been more constant in the last few days.

While those living around the area were seen thanking God that no life was lost, a welder working on the site was also captured evacuating his welding machine and other equipment.

Although it was gathered that the owner of the collapsed building was out of town, a neighbour in the area informed that he (the owner of the building) had refused to engage other professional hands for the construction, saying “he’s both the engineer and the labourer”

In a chat with Nation, the Chairman of Marine Quarters, Mr. Olusegun Awodeyi, stated that residents in the area had warned the owner of the building that the foundation and other parts of the building are not firm enough due to “substandard materials” used for the construction.

Awodeyi said rather than make use of good and standard materials, the owner of the building once said “we should go away that he knows what he is doing as an engineer”.

He, however, charged the Delta state government to come and take a critical look at another house reportedly belonging to the said owner of the collapsed building to avoid another “building collapse” and possible deaths.

“We don’t want a situation where someone will have to die in this area, government needs to come quickly to take a look at another building belonging to the same man. It was just God who prevented death from this one that has already collapsed”, Awodeyi said.

Source: thenationonlineng

NEDC Moves to Resettle Displaced Residents

Buhari pledges to tackle climate change, insecurity, others 
Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of the North East Development Commission (NEDC), Mohammed Alkali, has pledged to prioritise provision of infrastructure to facilitate the return of displaced residents in the troubled region.

He made the pledge while fielding questions from reporters after the Vice Chairman of the Presidential Committee on Northeast Initiative (PCNI), Tijjani Tunsah, presented his handover note to the commission in Abuja.

Amid the challenges associated with provision of infrastructure, the NEDC boss explained that his organisation would not shy away from meeting the immediate needs of the people.

His words: “Infrastructure could be in the form of roads, housing and whatever that will make them come back to their communities. There are people that may want their markets rebuilt, want their mosques reconstructed or even their houses erected again.

“That will give them the assurance that life is coming back. So, we will try to build back that confidence.”

Alkali reiterated the commission’s zeal to resettle the refugees, including those that fled the border towns into Cameroon, in time.

Promising to study the handover notes, the DG however pointed out that his agency would work on own template to achieve its mandate.

Earlier, chairman of NEDC, Paul Tarfa, stated that for the commission to achieve its goals, it must engage the communities in terms of infrastructure provision among others.

On the issue of repentant Boko Haram members, Tunsah revealed that some of them were being trained in various skills for their onward integration into the larger society.

Source: GuardianNg

3 escape death as another building collapses in Lagos

A one storey building has collapsed at Shangisha area of Magodo, Lagos, Southwest Nigeria.

PM News gathered that the building was under construction when it caved in on Thursday with three people trapped in the debris.

The building collapsed at Kayode Aluko Olokun Close, Shangisha, Magodo.

The building was said to have collapsed around 3.00pm as the workers were working on the structure.

Officials of the Rapid Response Squad, RRS, and others were on ground to rescue trapped victims.

A police source told PM News that the three people trapped in the collapsed building had been rescued and taken to the hospital.

In March, a three-storey building collapsed at Itafaji area of Lagos Island, with 20 people, majorly pupils killed with over 40 others injured.

Source: pmnewsnigeria

Smart Havens Africa Is Using Eco-Friendly and Cost-Effective Technologies to Provide Affordable Housing

The Ugandan social enterprise Smart Havens Africa is helping vulnerable communities acquire homes affordably and sustainably. In this way, founder Anne Rweyora, one of the engineers short-listed for the fifth Africa Prize for Engineering Innovation, hopes to bring down housing poverty.

Anne Rweyora is the managing director of Smart Havens Africa. She has set up the company to build low-cost, sustainable houses for vulnerable and low-income households in areas where homes are predominantly owned by wealthy landowners. The idea is to make home ownership more accessible to African women in particular.

Her motivation to create accessible housing got her shortlisted for the Royal Academy of Engineering Africa Prize, along with 15 of her counterparts.

In an interview with BBC, Rweyora explained her motivation: “I lost my father and started experiencing how housing poverty affects all spheres of life when our relatives and my late father’s friends came to grab our property.”

“Over 69% of Ugandans are living in substandard housing. This is not only a Ugandan issue but an African issue. In South Sudan, where I worked, the issue was even worse. That’s where my energy and desire come from.”

Speaking on land accessibility, she said, “In Uganda the land tenure system is favourable. Smart Havens Africa gets this land, which is later sub-divided according to the home units. So, we are building these homes in communities where there are readily available facilities, health centres, accessible roads and water.”

The homes are equipped to use renewable energy and feature rainwater harvesting systems and bio-digestors. They build the houses using locally produced, green material, interlocking stabilising blocks.

“The design of the brick helps to cut the cost since our brick does not require plastering. This cuts the cost by almost 50%. The bricks do not require burning and firing, so it helps us to avoid air pollution and the deforestation of Africa’s forests,” Rweyora said.

The organisation seeks to lift up the communities it works in by providing skills and economic opportunities. They provide training and apprenticeship for women and youth who want to pursue a career in construction or real estate. They also support a local market where women, masons, apprentices, businesses and clients can operate.

Source: allafrica

Construction of Tallest Building in Cape Town South Africa to Commence

South Africa is set to commence construction of soon to be the tallest skyscraper in Cape Town once it receives approval from the Reserve Bank.

The building dubbed Zero-2-One Tower has been in the spotlight since as far back as 2016 when the plans for the skyscraper were first unveiled by developers FWJK. The Tower initially faced delays in approvals which included stipulations that new developments include ‘affordable housing’ – an incredibly difficult task in a city with some of the highest house and apartment prices in the country and funding hurdles.

Zero-2-One Tower

FWJK CEO, David Williams-Jones has however announced that the development has secured funding through a foreign direct investment and therefore construction is set to commence in the next few months. He acknowledged that procuring funds locally proved a hill of a task.

“The procurement of project funding has faced challenges and has had to be secured through foreign direct investment. Raising the funds from the local South African convention banks proved impossible because of the current state of the economy and cautious bank appetite at the present time to lend on projects of this scale,” said David Williams.

“Once the South African Reserve Bank approves the foreign funding, we are going to start construction in about three to four months which will create 3,000 onsite and offsite jobs for the locals,” he added.

Zero 2 One Tower, at 44 storeys, will comprise 570 apartments and 7,000 sqm of retail shops on ground level and station concourse level built on the corners of Adderley and Strand street in Cape Town CBD. The project is estimated to cost US $67m.

Source: constructionreviewonline

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