Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Ezenwo Wike has inaugurated the Rivers State Ease of Doing Business Council (EODBC), with a charge to the council to improve the investment environment of the state.
Inaugurating the Council at the Government House Port Harcourt on Monday, Governor Wike said that the council is critical to the economic development of the State.
He said: “It is important that we have this council to improve the investment climate of the state. To create the environment for investors to come to the State.
“The council will draw up programmes and policies to create the platform for the ease of doing business in Rivers State.”
Wike said that the membership of the Committee is drawn from the public and private sectors, to ensure that all sectors are accommodated in the drive to enhance business opportunities in the state.
He said that the State Deputy Governor is chairing the Council because of the importance his administration attaches to the ease of doing business.
He said: “I believe that those appointed will live up to the expectations of Rivers people. That the Deputy Governor is the Chairman of this council shows how important it is to the State Government.
“These are people with the right experience and expertise and I believe that they will deliver the very best to the state.”
Responding, Deputy Governor and Chairman Ease of Doing Business Council, Dr Ipalibo Harry Banigo assured the Rivers State Governor that the council will develop policies that will attract investors to the State.
She said: “The Council is saddled with the responsibility to evolve implementable strategies for businesses to thrive in the state. Your Excellency’s policies in the harmonization of taxes, infrastructural development, social sectors of health, education, security and the issuance of Certificates of Occupancy, are pointers towards advancing an enabling environment for businesses to thrive in the State.”
She regretted that the enemies of Rivers State have tried to de-market the state through negative propaganda.
The Deputy Governor noted that the council will spedily handle the assignment to make Rivers State, a Champion State in terms of the ease of doing business.
“The Focus will be on deepening the reforms already started across the MDAs to drive productivity, create jobs and restore investor confidence and increase foreign direct investment in the state”, she said.
She informed that the council will engage with public and private stakeholders to ensure that the right policies and programmes are created for the good of Rivers people.
The Following were inaugurated as members of the Council: Deputy Governor Ipalibo Harry Banigo (Chairman), Commissioner of Finance, Hon Isaac Kamalu, Attorney General of Rivers State, Prof Zaccheus Adangor, Commissioner of Commerce and Industry, Mrs Ifeyinwa Nwamkpa, House Committee on Commerce and Industry, Hon Ezu Chibudhom, President, Nigeria Entrepreneurs and Investment Forum, Chief Nabil Saleh, Chairman Rivers Internal Revenue Service, Chief ThankGod Adaoge Norteh and Branch Controller, Central Bank , R.A Randle as members.
COVID-19: FG Seeks National Assembly Approval For N500 BILLION Intervention Fund
In a bid to conquer the Coronavirus pandemic in the country, the Federal government has approached the leadership of the National Assembly for approval for the establishment of a N500 billion COVID-19 Crisis Intervention Fund.
The Minister of Finance, Ahmed Zainab, met with the lawmakers today April 4th at the National Assembly complex. At the meeting, Ahmed said the proposed fund would be dedicated to upgrading of existing health facilities in states across the federation. She added that the fund if approved by the lawmakers, would also be deployed to take care of special Public Work Programmes currently being implemented by the National Directorate of Employment (NDE).
“What we are proposing is an establishment of a N500 billion COVID-19 Crisis Intervention Fund. This fund that we are proposing, that should be created, will involve mopping up resources from various special accounts that the government, as well as the Federation, have, to be able to pull this N500 billion. Our general view is that this crisis intervention fund is to be utilised to upgrade healthcare facilities as earlier identified” she said.
On how the fund would be pooled, the Minister said the fund would be drawn from various special accounts, grants being expected and loans from multilateral institutions.
President of the Senate, Ahmed Lawan, appreciated the Federal government for the palliatives being handed to Nigerians following the Coronavirus outbreak but called for more interventions asides doling of cash.
“I think the time has come for us to redefine the implementation of the Social Intervention Programme, probably going out to communities to give them N20,000 per person might not be the best way to go. It is still an effort, but I think we need a better approach that will be more efficient. The Federal Government also needs to be in a position to improve health care facilities not only in the states but to provide intervention to the states.
We know that there will be a need for the parliament to agree and approve the taking of loans from these special accounts and we will be coming back with a proposed bill in that regard that will define what the fund will be used for” he said
Earlier in his opening remarks, the President of the Senate said the meeting, the second time since President Buhari made the pronouncement on lockdown to combat the deadly scourge, was necessary to fast track the process of legislative approval for the Executive request.
“Just like we told Nigerians when there is need for us to meet or to take legislative action in support of ensuring that the government responds appropriately to developments issues and challenges in the country, we will do so. This meeting, the second in the series after we shut down the National Assembly for two weeks, is a clear testimony of what we have said. Governance requires that we work together, so we want to listen to those things that you have on your side and how we can also play our constitutional role in ensuring that Nigerians continue to benefit from governance and how we are able to weather the storm created by COVID-19. Going forward, we need to interact more because very fundamental decisions will need to be taken, and these decisions can only be said to be constitutionally legal if the legislature gives its stamp of authority for the executive to implement and execute.
“I think coming to us for those loans is critical because we are in an emergency and time is of the essence. So, we must work as expeditiously as possible to ensure that we place the request before the National Assembly.” Lawan said
In attendance at the meeting were Speaker of the House of Representatives, Honourable Femi Gbajabiamila, the Deputy Senate President, Senator Ovie Omo-Agege, Deputy Speaker, Honourable Idris Wase and some other principal officers from both Chambers.
French Doctor Apologizes After Asking For New COVID-19 Drug To Be Tested In Africa
Jean Paul Mira, the French doctor who alongside his colleague Camille Locht asked for a new Coronavirus drug to be tested in Africa, has apologized after their statement triggered a worldwide outrage.
It was reported earlier that Jean Paul Mira and Camille Locht who spoke on a live TV interview, insisted that Africa is the best place to conduct such test as they recalled how an experimental treatment for AIDS was carried out in Africa.
The dcotors were discussing about a “repurposed” tuberculosis vaccine as a COVID-19 beater during an expert chat on television, when the suggestion was made. The drug is currently being trialled in several European countries and Australia.
Mira, who is the intensive care unit (ICU) head at the Cochin hospital in Paris has now apologized over his comment which incited an outcry.
In a statement released on Friday April 3, Mira’s employer, the Paris network of hospitals quoted him saying:
“I want to present all my apologies to those who were hurt, shocked and felt insulted by the remarks that I clumsily expressed on LCI this week.”
No License Has Been Issued For 5G In Nigeria, Its Study Is Still Ongoing — Minister Of Communication, Isa Pantami
The Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Isa Pantami has disclosed that no licence has been issued for 5G in Nigeria.
In a statement released on Saturday April 4 to counter rumors circulating on social media that 5G technology causes Coronavirus, Pantami stated that the Buhari-led administration will never seek technological advancement at the expense of the health and welfare of its citizens
He revealed that a three-month study trial had commenced on November 25 “in order to critically review and study the health and security implications of deploying 5G in Nigeria”. Pantami who disclosed that the trial has been concluded, added that the reporting process is currently ongoing.
The statement reads in parts;
“The National Frequency Management Council (NFMC) of which I am the Chairman, has not deliberated on or released any bulk frequency spectrum for the deployment of 5G.
“As part of the study trial process, I directed the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) to ensure that a team of experts, security agencies and other stakeholders fully participate in the trial process and my office also invited these agencies to participate in the trial.
“Government will not act on the speculations only, but rather we will take an informed decision on 5G after due consultation with experts and the public. I have also directed the NCC to engage citizens on any questions or concerns they may have regarding 5G.
“I wish to thank the general public for reaching out to us on this issue. We advise you all to remain rest assured that government will always take the welfare, health and security of the public into account while considering the deployment of any technology.”
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