Nigerian press zooms in on debt relief to radio, television stations by govt. others

The decision of the Nigerian government to write off 60 percent of the N7 billion owed by radio and television…

The decision of the Nigerian government to write off 60 percent of the N7 billion owed by radio and television stations in licensing and renewal fees and the slashing of the existing licence fee by 30 percent for all open terrestrial radio and television services dominate the headlines of Nigerian newspapers on TuesdayThe Punch reports that the Nigerian Government has decided to write off 60 percent of the N7bn owed by radio and television stations in licensing and renewal fees.

The report also says that the government has also slashed the existing licence fee by 30 percent for all open terrestrial radio and television services with effect from July 10.

Nigeria’s Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, disclosed these at a press conference he addressed with the acting Director-General of the National Broadcasting Commission, Prof. Armstrong Idachaba, in Abuja on Monday. The N7bn being owed the Federal Government by the broadcast industry is the total outstanding from television and radio stations on renewal of their operating licences.

The newspaper also says that the Nigerian Government on Monday stated it had positioned enforcement teams within and outside airport terminals to enforce all safety protocols against the spread of COVID-19 at airports.

It explained that the protocols had been approved by the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority and were in accordance with the guidelines of the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control.

The Managing Director, Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria, Rabiu Yadudu, who disclosed this at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International, Abuja when members of the House of Representatives Committee on aviation visited the NAIA to examine the guidelines ahead of commercial flight resumption on Wednesday, said: “We have done a lot in the past few weeks. The protocols have already been established and approved by the NCAA and are in accordance with the guidelines of the NCDC as set out at the national level. So we are ready and we will enforce our protocols.”

The Nation newspaper says that Nigeria’s Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika, has said that following the loss made due to the closure of the airports for about three months, businesses in the aviation sector will be given opportunity to access a two-fold palliative from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and the Ministry of Finance and National Planning.

The minister said in Abuja yesterday that the ministry was working on a two-prong palliative. “There are ones that we are organising through Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and that one is not for airlines alone.

“It is for the aviation industry, which includes travel agents, ground handling, catering, and of course, the agencies. So, the palliative is total. We are organising with CBN and it has been approved. They will apply for loan and the loan will be at five percent from 2021. So, there is a template on how much they will apply for each business in aviation. So, everybody involved in the air economy is being looked out for in these palliatives,” he said.

He explained the second form of palliative would be “the one coming from the government through the Ministry of Finance and National Planning”.

The Sun newspaper reports that the National Pension Commission (PenCom) yesterday allayed fears raised over the Nigerian Government’s plan to borrow N2.0 trillion from the over N10 trillion assets, saying that the rigorous and difficult investment guidelines will not permit borrowing from the fund.

However, if the government presents a good investment instrument that guarantees security and good returns, the Pension Fund Administrators are at liberty to invest in it.

The PenCom spokesman, Peter Aghahowa, told the newspaper yesterday in Abuja that to ensure security of the fund, the regulators have developed very expansive and comprehensive investment guidelines to guide the kind of investment the PFAs will make as well as the specified limits on investments which the PFAs must abide by.

ThisDay newspaper says that the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB) has signed two separate equity investment agreements with Duport Midstream Company for the establishment of an energy park in Egbokor, Edo State and Eraskon Nigeria Limited, for a lubricating oils blending plant in Gbarain, Bayelsa State, both worth about $25 million.

The company said the board’s investments would catalyse industrialisation, with the two partnership expected to generate about 1,500 direct, indirect, and induced employment opportunities.

It noted that these benefits are in addition to several other spin-off economic activities that would be developed where the projects are located. The planned energy park comprises a 2,500bpd modular refinery, 30MMscfd gas processing facility, which will include a CNG facility and 2MW power plant, the company said. The lubricating oil blending plant, it noted, would be the first of such plants in Bayelsa state and would have the capacity to produce 45,000 liters per day as well as enhance the availability of engine oils, transmission fluids, grease and other products.

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