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Press focuses on claim that Turkish coup plotters are still active in Nigeria, others

The claim by President of Turkey, Recep Erdogan that the terrorists who tried to remove him through a coup in 2016 are still active in Nigeria dominates the headlines of Nigerian newspapers on Thursday.The Punch reports that President of Turkey, Recep Erdogan, says the terrorists who tried to remove him through a coup in 2016 are still active in Nigeria.

Erdogan said this on Wednesday at a joint press conference with President Muhammadu Buhari, on the occasion of his two-day official visit to the country.

Recall that Erdogan had in 2016 accused allies of renowned cleric, Fethullah Gulen, who own Turkish schools and hospitals across Nigeria, of sponsoring the coup.

Turkish envoy in Nigeria, Mr. Hakan Cakil, had at the time called on Buhari to close the Turkish schools and hospitals in Nigeria belonging to a group of private Turkish investors, who are inspired by the philosophy of the Hizmet movement.

The Nigerian government had, however, rejected the proposal, causing tension between both countries.

In what appears to be a reconciliatory move, Erdogan on Wednesday told Buhari that his administration would share intelligence with Nigerian authorities.

The newspaper says that the Central Bank of Nigeria has said it will support youths in tertiary institutions with grants to promote entrepreneurship and reduce unemployment.

The CBN disclosed this on Wednesday in a report, titled ‘Guidelines for the implementation of tertiary institutions entrepreneurship scheme’. “Five top Nigerian polytechnics and universities with the best entrepreneurial pitches/ideas shall be awarded as follows: first place – N150m; second place – N120m; third place – N100m; fourth place – N80m; and fifth place – N50m,” it said.

It added that activities to be covered under the scheme would include innovative start-ups and existing businesses owned by graduates of Nigerian polytechnics and universities in areas such as agribusiness, information technology, creative industry, as well as science and technology.

The CBN said agribusiness would include production, processing, storage and logistics, while information technology would include application/software development, business process outsourcing, robotics and data management.

It said the creative industry would include entertainment, artwork, publishing, culinary/event management, fashion, photography, beauty/cosmetics; while science and technology would include medical innovation, robotics, ticketing systems, traffic systems, renewable energy, and waste management.

The beneficiary must apply on the dedicated online portal and provide all requisite documentation to support the application, the CBN said.

The Guardian reports that Tax Appeal Tribunal (TAT) has ruled in favour of MultiChoice Nigeria, stating that the pay television company has fulfilled the conditions required for the hearing of its appeal against the N1.8 trillion tax liability slammed on it by the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS).

At the last sitting of the administrative court on September 23, the FIRS had asked the tribunal to discontinue the hearing of MultiChoice’s appeal and enter judgment against the appellant for failure to comply with its August 23, directive to pay N900 billion, 50 percent of the disputed assessment.

But ruling in Lagos yesterday, the TAT, said it was satisfied that MultiChoice had complied with the directive by depositing, in two tranches, the sum of N8 billion as required by the FIRS Act. Reading the ruling, tribunal Chairman, Professor AB Ahmed, dismissed the contention of the FIRS that the deposit made by MultiChoice amounted to non-compliance with Paragraph 15(7) of the FIRS Act, saying the appellant has shown respect to and complied with the tribunal’s directive.

The tribunal also dismissed the argument of the FIRS that the security deposit MultiChoice was required to make should cover 10 consecutive financial years, not just that of the preceding financial year, which is 2019.

The Sun says that the Minister of State, Petroleum Resources, Mr Timipre Sylva, on Wednesday assured anxious staff of scrapped agencies to calm down as there were no plans to sack them.

The defunct agencies are; Department of Petroleum Resources, Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency and Petroleum Equalisation Fund; and have now been absorbed by the Nigerian Upstream Regulatory Commission and the Nigerian Downstream and Midstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority, which were created by the PIA to regulate the oil and gas industry.

Sylva’s assurance, which came during various meetings with employees of the affected agencies, restored peace to the hitherto worried workers.

He said, “We assure you that this is a very normal transition. The PIA has been passed and the law stipulates that certain actions must be taken.

That the DPR, as it was then, must be wound down and two successor agencies are to be inaugurated. And, of course, I had to step down as Chairman of NNPC. It is all because this is what the law states. “But I want to assure you that the staff have nothing to worry about because the law is very clear also on the position of the staff of DPR, PEF and PPPRA.”

The newspaper reports that the Minister of State for Industry, Trade and Investment, Mariam Yalwaji Katagum has said the Federal Government is committed to improving access to finance for the Micro,Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) in the country.

The Minister stated this at this year’s Commerce and Industry Correspondents Association of Nigeria (CICAN) annual conference with the theme

“The Role of Nigeria’s MSMEs, Export, Commodities, Trade & Investment in stabilising the Post COVID-19 Economy: Issues & Challenges,” which took place in Abuja. The Minister, who was the special guest of honour at the event stated that

“The Federal Government has, overtime, created platforms to improve access to finance for MSMEs to boost production, increase the value of trade, enhance the investment climate, foster innovation and entrepreneurship.

This is in addition to the deliberate and pragmatic policies geared towards supporting and sustaining small businesses in the country, thereby equipping entrepreneurs to compete globally, especially under the Africa Continental Free Trade Area Agreement (AfCFTA).”

Amb.Katagum further explained that in a bid to guarantee continuity in support of MSMEs in the country, the Federal Government harnessed the prime policies of the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP) and the National Enterprise Development Programme (NEDEP) into the Nigeria Economic Sustainability Plan (NESP), to sustainably create an enabling environment for businesses to thrive.

The Nation says that the Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation (NDIC) is reviewing premiums paid by Deposit Money Banks (DMBs) to protect depositors’ funds. The implication is that a bank will have to pay a premium based on its size.

The corporation explained that it intends to go about it by reviewing the Target Funding Ratio (TFR) for banks. TFR is the ratio of fund that determines the optimal fund level that enables a deposit insurer to effectively meet its obligation to depositors.

It also reiterated that it is focused on the protection of depositors, especially small depositors’ funds because asides being more vulnerable, they also make-up over 90 per cent of funds in deposit money banks across the country.

He spoke at the 18th workshop for business editors and Finance Correspondents Association of Nigeria (FICAN) in Ibadan. NDIC Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Bello Hassan, said:

“We are developing an effective methodology for determining a realistic Target Funding Ratio for the Corporation. Additionally, we have commenced the review of our approach for the determination of premium by banks to make it more risk-based, such that, the probability of the risk crystallising, becomes a major factor in the pricing methodology of our premium going forward.”

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Sanaga Beach -Nkoteng

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