Nigerian press focuses on IATA’s call for harmonised safety protocols for better connectivity, others

The call by the International Air Transport Association (IATA) on Nigeria and other African countries to embrace harmonised safety protocols…

The call by the International Air Transport Association (IATA) on Nigeria and other African countries to embrace harmonised safety protocols for better connectivity and the picketing of the headquarters of the Federal Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning by local contractors on Monday over debts.The Guardian reports that the International Air Transport Association (IATA) has urged Nigeria and other African countries to embrace harmonised safety protocols for better connectivity.

The clearing house for 290 airlines globally said the International Civil Aviation Organisation’s (ICAO) Take-Off guidance would aid safe operations across the continent, amid the COVID-19 crisis.

IATA said safely re-establishing the continent’s air connectivity was essential to re-building battered economies. IATA also urged African governments to take giant steps in connecting Africa by accelerating the implementation of the Single Africa Air Transport Market (SAATM), to further boost the post-COVID economic recovery.

IATA’s Regional Vice President for Africa and the Middle East, Muhammad Albakri, said the top and immediate priority for aviation in Africa was implementing ICAO’s Take-off guidance.

The Punch says that indigenous contractors on Monday staged a protest at the headquarters of the Federal Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning to kick against the non-payment of their N18bn contract sum by the ministry.

Speaking on behalf of the aggrieved contractors, the Publicity Secretary, Local Contractors of Nigeria, Dandy Rowland, told journalists that the affected firms executed contracts for various ministries, departments and agencies, but their pay had been delayed by the finance ministry.

The protesters displayed placards at the ministry demanding the finance minister to settle their claims. They alleged that the ministry had kept promising to clear the debts but had repeatedly failed to do so. “They once told us that N18bn has been released to pay us and announced to the world on July 8 that the finance ministry would pay local contractors within seven to 14 days from the date of the announcement but nothing has been done,” Rowland said.

The newspaper reports that the Nigerian Government has raised the share capital of the Agricultural Credit Guarantee Scheme to N50bn from N3bn. The Central Bank of Nigeria disclosed this in a document on Monday entitled ‘Agricultural Credit Guarantee Scheme Fund (Amendment) Act 2019.’

It stated that the ACGSF Amendment Act was assented to by the Federal Government on June 24, 2019. According to the document, complete agricultural value chain financing is now allowed under the ACGSF Amendment Act 2019.

The CBN said, “Under the Agricultural Credit Guarantee Scheme Amendment Act 2019, the sharing ratio is Federal Ministry of Finance (60): Central Bank of Nigeria (40).

“The maximum for non-collaterised loan under the ACGSF Amendment Act 2019 is now N100,000. Under the amended Act, the maximum amount for collaterised loan granted to individuals, cooperative societies and corporate entities is now N50m, up from N10m.

The Sun says that the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has said it would grant more licences for Payment Service Banks (PSB) but set a minimum capital base of N5billion, which could deter telecoms firms and some other potential new entrants to the digital financial services sector.

The central bank in a circular yesterday said that telecom firms, banking agents, retail chains and postal services could apply for licences to become payment banks.

To do so they must set up a separate company for it with a minimum capital of N5 billion and run it as an independent entity from their existing operations. The bank has granted three licences so far to 9PSB, a unit of local telecom firm, 9mobile, and two others.

The apex bank said in its circular that it could ask payment banks to recapitalise for specific risks. Payment banks should operate mostly in rural areas and unbanked locations, accepting deposits from individuals and small businesses, the central bank said.

The newspaper also reports that the Director General of Nigeria Employers’ Consultative Association (NECA), Dr. Timothy Olawale, has chided the Federal Government for resorting to borrowing spree rather than widening the tax net to ensure adequate receipts just as the President of the Chartered Institute of Taxation of Nigeria (CITN), Dame Gladys Olajumoke Simplice, called on tax practitioners to be abreast of issues in their field so as to remain relevant.

According to Olawale, who stated this at the weekend in his key note address at the virtual 42nd Induction ceremony of the Chartered Institute of Taxation of Nigeria (CITN) in Lagos, the country should not have been highly indebted if the country’s tax potential was effectively tapped.

He lamented that the economy has continued to lose huge amount of revenue through tax avoidance and tax evasion, saying that “taxation is an important strategy by government in promoting economic growth and development of a nation.”

His word: “We submit that taxation is a significant determinant of economic growth in Nigeria. We, therefore, recommend that government should enact policies to ensure adequate collections of taxation, after widening the tax-net.

ThisDay reports that due to post-harvest challenges faced by farmers, the federal government has finalised arrangement to construct eight solar dryers with four in each of the federal constituencies in the country.

This, the government believes would go a long way to assist the farmers to dry their farm produce, thereby enhancing hygienic food production and security in the country.

The Chairman, House of Reps Committee on National Planning and Economic Development, Hon. Abdulganiyu Olododo, dropped the hint to journalists in Ilorin, Kwara State, on the sidelines of the flag-off of the training on pilot post-seasonal intervention programme in his constituency held at the Nigerian Stored Products Research Institute (NSPRI),
Ilorin. Olododo who also represent Ilorin east/Ilorin south federal constituency of the state said,”already, two of the solar dryers are ready for use in the federal constituency of the state.”