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LCCI proposes 9% interest rate for bank loan

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The Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) has urged the Federal Government to peg the maximum interest rate of commercial banks loan to a single digit of nine per cent.

Its President, Mr Babatunde Ruwase, speaking at the Lagos State University (LASU), Ojo, 2019 International Conference on

Accounting, Finance and Insurance, also called for a long term repayment schedule.

Ruwase spoke at the three days conference organised by the university’s Faculty of Management Sciences, Departments of Accounting, Banking and Finance and Insurance.

Theme of the conference is: “Financial Institutions and Sustainable Development; Perspective of Accounting, Finance and Insurance.”

Ruwase, represented by Mr Muda Yusuf, LCCI Director-General, said reduction of the interest rate would ensure an affordable credit for investors and would in turn facilitate a drive in the economy.

He said that there was a major disconnect between the banking institutions and the real economy as the focus of the banks was on profit making.

According to him, for as long as the banks continue to focus on profit making, development of other sectors of the economy in the country may not be possible.

He said that this was so because key projects such as Agriculture, Manufacturing, Real Estate, Transportation, Solid Minerals, among others that could drive development required low cost and long tenure funds.

“There is no way you can develop an economy, if you do not invest on infrastructure such as agriculture, manufacturing, real estate, education, healthcare and transportation.

“These are the sectors that drive development in a country, and the type of funding they need does not require short term fund that would be costing about 25 or 30 per cent interest rate.

“It is not ideal for banks to declare billions of naira yearly as profit, in a country where other sectors of the economy are collapsing.

“The banking system should be better aligned with real life challenges and be more supportive of the economy, as consumer credit is what drives the economy of developed countries.

“Some people have developed high blood pressure because they took bank loans and have been unable to repay due to the interest rate,” he said.

Ruwase said there was an infrastructure deficit of about N3.4 billion in the country, adding that only the private sectors, through access to affordable credit, could intervene to addressing it.

He said there was a need to develop the right model of policies in terms of fiscal and monetary to ensure the flow of resources from the financial systems to developmental projects and the real economy.

“We can have a framework of credit guarantee to minimise the risk of borrowing, because one of the reasons why banks do not lend money to the real sector and SMEs, is because of the high risk,’’ he said.

Ruwase, however, called for a better rewarding system for farmers at the agricultural sector, if the country was determined to reducing poverty as the current reward template for farmers was not commensurable to their inputs or efforts.

He said the regulatory and intervention role of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and a credit guarantee scheme could ensure that the financial institutions supports the development processes better than what it was presently.

In his remarks, Prof. Taiwo Asaolu of the Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU), Ile-Ife, called for an integration of the old or disruptive form of technology and the new technology to advance an improved course for finance and other sectors.

Asaolu, represented by Prof. Kolawole Subair of Global Research Fellow, Centre for Entrepreneurship and Sustainable Development, Indiana University, USA, said Nigeria was still backwards in several areas in terms of technology advancement.

“This is because some of the feats we have been able to achieve are still developing.

“I believe that the disruptive technology is not to destroy, but to improve and how we do this matter,” he said.

According to him, there should be an education in terms of training and research, augmentation of the digital automation and building of new business models within the disruptive technology.

Also, Prof. Olanrewaju Fagbohun, Vice-Chancellor of LASU, said theme of the conference was apt, because the seemingly overwhelming challenges of the private sector and financial institutions were taken toll on the economy.

Fagbohun said: “The threat of economic stability posed by the mass exodus of the manufacturing firms to neighbouring countries like Ghana, South Africa, among others on the account of poor or unfriendly economic, financial and social infrastructure.”

According to him, the multiplier implications of these humdrums could only be imagined.

Fagbohun said the conference would provide an opportunity to cross fertilise ideas on core issues like: Fiscal Policy and Tax Reforms, Corporate Governance, Business Risk Management, the perfection and Implication of National Financial Intelligence Reform Policy, Forensic Accounting and Auditing.

The Vice-chancellor expressed optimism that the communique from the intellectual discourse would open a road map to ensuring not only the survival and growth of both the private and public sector.

He said it would also facilitate total re-engineering cum complete overhauling of the entire financial sector.

In his remarks, Prof. Babatunde Rahman Yusuf, Dean, Faculty of Management Sciences, said the conference was aimed at assessing the impact of financial institutions sustainability regulations on Nigeria economic development.

Yusuf said it would also show the gaps in the government financial framework with regard to the various policies put in place and discuss among other issues on how pragmatic financial regulations could be formulated and implemented.

Education

Gov. AbdulRazaq regrets death of 17 Kwara indigenes going  for Post-UTME

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By

Esan

Gov. AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq of Kwara on Sunday lamented the death of 17 students in an auto crash on their way back to the state from Kano after their Post-UTME screening.

AbdulRazq in a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Rafiu Ajakaye, described the incident as a painful one that could have been prevented.

He, therefore, commiseratedp with the parents and families of the students and prayed to God to avert such calamity in future.

“We, however, believe that we can avoid this calamity in the future. We reiterate our calls on the drivers to always check their speed, respect other road users, and put their vehicles in the best condition.

“Most accidents occur because our drivers often fail these three basic tests of safe driving.

“Besides, we call on our tertiary institutions, which still require students to travel long distance for their post-UTME examination to please consider holding such test online to avert the necessity of travelling.

“This will not only reduce traveling and attendant risks, but also encourage students to embrace and excel in computer literacy, a sine qua non for success in the 21st century,” the governor was quoted as saying.

Nigeria News Agency reports that the 17 students lost their lives in an auto accident when their Toyota Haice bus with registration number AGL337 XA had head-on collision with a DAF Articulated Truck.

The accident occurred at about 12.35 a.m. on Thursday, Aug. 22 at Bacita junction in Kwara.

 

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Education

Don says infrastructural development key to promotion of excellence

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Infrastructure

 

By Chinyere Nwachukwu

Lagos, Aug. 25, 2019 Prof. Mike Adebamowo says consistent infrastructural developments and partnership are part of the  measures adopted by the  University  of Lagos (Unilag) to promote culture of excellence especially in the area of research.

 

Adebamowo  of the Department of Architecture at Unilag,  disclosed this in an interview with the Nigeria News Agency on Sunday in Lagos.

 

He was speaking against the backdrop of the  ongoing two key projects : the re-designing of the institution’s ‘main gate at Akoka and the vertical extension of the Faculty of Law.

 

The Dean of the Faculty of Environmental Sciences added that the university  was also intensifying its  efforts to attract more partnership, funding, scholarship and support, especially in research.

 

He said that would continue to give it the necessary visibility it deserved.

 

“Right now,  the work  going on at the university gate is the construction of a canopy over the existing gate, as well as the construction of some lay-bys along the road.

 

“The entire intention of the  project which, incidentally, I  happen to be the architect is to minimise the level of public activities around the university gate.

 

“If you are coming into the campus, you will agree with me that there are lots of activities other than the congruent activities to an institution of this class.

 

University of Lagos is a brand but we believe that those commercial activities like the tricycles, (keke marwa), bikes (okada) and others, passenger drop offs and the rest of that, especially in the evening,  around the gate do not befit our institution as we are to promote excellence.

 

“So, first and foremost, there is an urgent need to redesign the frontal approach of the institution in order to eliminate the current chaos that is ongoing there,” he said.

 

According to him, this is being done by applying some simple design measures that will take the lay-bys away from the junction around the entrance of the university.

 

He explained that the design would create an escape route from the campus to Akoka without necessarily getting to the intersection.

 

“We have already re-designed the whole of the place and widen the pedestrian walk ways that feeds into the campus.

 

“While doing that, we have eliminated all those bus stops that we have around the campus and we have moved them slightly away.

 

“The new extended walk ways that have been widened will now be guided by decorative fence grills.

 

” That will  prevent any one from accessing the road other than from the inlet point where you can come in from the bus stops,” the dean said.

 

He noted that having solved these problems, the university would also have a striking canopy over the existing gate.

 

According to the don, with the striking canopy, the institution will have an imposing character.

 

He explained that the university was favoured to have this as a Lagos project funded by the state government.

 

He said that the design of the project started during the tenure of the immediate past Vice- Chancellor of the institution, Prof. Rahaman  Bello and  it is now being executed  under the leadership of Prof. Oluwatoyin Ogundipe.

 

“It is a project that the immediate past governor of the state,  Mr Akinwunmi Ambode,  donated to the university and the current administration has keyed-in  into it to ensure  its  completion.

 

“I believe that with this kind of  gesture coming from the Lagos State Government, coupled with the current administration outlook and vision of the incumben V-C, the university has been able to continunually attract funding, scholarship, support and partnership.

 

“” These are both in the areas of research which is our major preoccupation  and also infrastructural and physical development,” Adebamowo said.

 

Similarly, he added that the vertical extention project of the Faculty of Law, sponsored by Mr Femi Okunu,  would further complement the university’s quest for academic excellence and global recognition.

 

“Currently, we are adding another floor on the existing building of the Faculty of Law, which will accommodate more offices, because right now, the faculty is in dire need of office spaces.

 

“It will also be accommodating more classrooms and space for a moot court.

 

“As the architect handling the project, we intend to also give it an imposing character that will enhance the quality of the building and the environment,” he said.

 

He assured  the university community  and the public that the two projects would be delivered before the end of the year.

Edited by Peter Dada

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Education

Katsina Govt procures N14m technical, vocational facilities for Secondary Schools

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Katsina State Government has spent over N14 million on the purchase of asorted equipments and materials for technical and vocational education, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Education, Hajiya Halima Othman, has said.

Othman made the disclosure in Katsina on Saturday while distributing the facilities to seven secondary schools in the state.

The permanent secretary was represented by the Director Quality Assurance in the Ministry, Alhaji Zayyana Zubairu.

Othman said that the state government would continue to accord priority to education because of its relevance to nation building.

She further said that the administration would continue to boost technical and vocational education in recognition of its importance in creating job opportunities for youths.

The permanent secretary urged the benefiting schools to make judicious use of the facilities for the development of technical education in the state.

Earlier, the Zonal Coordinator, Education Quality Assurance, Katsina, Alhaji Nasiru Kado, appreciated the effort of the state government in providing the equipment and material to the schools.

He said that it would go a long way in assisting students studying technical subjects to acquire technical know-how and learn vocational skills that would assist in making them self reliant in future.

The Nigeria News Agency reports that the benefiting schools were Dikko College, Katsina; Government Day Secondary School Kofar Yandaka, Government Unity Secondary School Malumfashi and Sir Usman Nagoggo College of Arabic and Islamic Studies, Katsina.

Others were Government Pilot Secondary School Daura, Government Pilot Secondary School Mani, and Government Pilot Secondary School Funtua.

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Education

Kaduna earmarks N1.8bn for foreign, local scholarship

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The Executive Secretary, Kaduna State Scholarship and Loans Board, Hajiya Jummai Dikko, says the board has earmarked over N1.8 billion for foreign and local scholarship to students  from the state.

She made the disclosure in an interview with Journalists shortly after the Silver Jubilee Anniversary of Muslims Refresher Course Programme (MRCP) conducted by Islamic Education Initiative, held in Zaria, Kaduna state.

Dikko said: “The State Government has earmarked over N1 billion for foreign scholarship to indigenes students of the state.

“Currently, the State Government had also appropriated the sum of N800 million for local scholarship to students in this year’s budget.

“Of the N800 million, the board had expended N774 million for local scholarship, each beneficiary enjoys the sum of N100,000.

“This is a drastic shift from the earlier amount of fifteen thousand naira received by students in the state as scholarship in the previous administrations.

“However, since the inception of His Excelency, Gov. Nasir Ahmed el-Rufa’i, the amount skyrocketed to N100,000 per student.”

According to her, the state government is currently sponsoring five MBBS students in Cuba for a six-year programme, hoping that they will graduate and become Medical Doctors.

“The sum of N300 million has already been set aside to cover the duration of their programme.

“This is done to prevent any academic interruption in the event of change of government or leadership in the state.

“The Governor has made this arrangement to enable students complete their studies without any hitch.

“I am also happy to note that one of the students sponsored for the medical training in Cuba was a product of this Muslim Refresher Course Programme.” she said.

A lecturer with the Department of Electronic and Telecommunications Engineering, ABU Zaria, Dr Kabir Ahmed noted that there was a huge gap between students of Northern extraction and their counterparts from other regions in the country.

The Nigeria News Agency reports that Ahmed presented a paper titled: Youth of Northern Nigeria: Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow.

He lamented that the sorry condition of schools in the North, lack of proper enlightenment and guidance led to the level of backwardness in performance of students from the region.

The Don urged Northern elites to support the education of younger ones to bridge existing gaps.

reports that the occasion featured unveiling of a Magazine titled “Refresher” and presentation of awards to deserving students and teachers of the programme.

KLM/MZA

Edited by Maharazu Ahmed

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Education

NGO takes ‘Back to School’ campaign to Ibadan

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As part of efforts to reduce the rate of out-of-school children and assist parents, an NGO on Saturday took its ‘Back to School’ campaign to Lalupon area of Ibadan in Oyo State.

The Nigeria News Agency reports that the NGO, Seun Akinlosotu and Friends, distributed no fewer than 500 brand new school bags and exercise books to the pupils.

recalls that the group founded by Seun Akinlosotu, a philanthropist, commenced its campaign in 2018 in Ondo State where it distributed similar materials to no fewer than 300 pupils.

Akinlosotu told on the sidelines of the exercise that the campaign was to encourage pupils to return to school.

“This initiative is devoid of any personal gain. I believe thoroughly in the quotes of Robert F Kennedy which says that the purpose of life is to contribute in some way to making things better.

“The effort is to contribute significantly to the society and take off part of the burden of parents in sending their children to school. We believe this will also encourage the pupils to return to school.

“This campaign is funded by donations from friends and family members across the world,” she said.

She said that millions of naira was expended in acquiring the 500 brand new school bags as well as exercise books  distributed to the pupils in Ibadan.

Akinlosotu expressed joy that the pupils would return to school with bags that would last them for between three and four years, promising that the campaign would keep improving.

“Our target is to keep increasing the distribution annually. Last year, we distributed 300 and now 500. May be we are going to do 1,000 in other states.

“We have been able to create a platform for everybody to come together, contribute the little they have and accomplish something big,” she said.

Akinlosotu also expressed fulfillment with the response and happiness displayed by both the parents as well as the pupils, promising more of such initiatives.

She said that the group was in Ibadan because the Oyo capital had the highest number of votes on its online platform.

Adelanke Adeola, who spoke on behalf of the parents, commended the group for extending the gesture to them, praying God would bless them the more.

“Some of the parents here told me they are widows and can’t afford to buy bags for their children.

” This is indeed a good gesture. I pray the Lord will help them to continue doing this,” she said.

reports that several other parents and pupils at the event expressed joy at the gesture from the group.

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