The number of refugees from North-West Nigeria seeking safety in the neighbouring Niger Republic has doubled to over 40,000 persons over the last ten months, the UNHCR has said. The refugees are separate from the tens of thousands displaced by the Boko Haram insurgency in the North-east. In a report published on its website on Friday, the UNHCR spokesperson, Babar Baloch, said on 11 September alone, more than 2,500 people fled when civilians were targeted by armed groups in Sokoto, Zamfara, and Katsina. The UNHCR also said it was working with authorities in the Niger Republic to provide basic assistance and register the new arrivals of Nigerian refugees. According to the UN, the violence by armed groups in North-western Nigeria has led to a new humanitarian emergency in Niger’s border regions ”with Nigeria, many of them women and children moving to more than 50 villages in Guidan Roumji, Guidan Sori and Tibiri of the Niger Republic.
The Fisheries Cooperative Federation of Nigeria says Nigeria needs no fish importation because they have all it takes to meet the demand for fish in the country. The national president of the FCFN, Anthony Asgagye, spoke to The Vanguard in reaction to a recent statement by the Governor of the CBN. Godwin Emefiele recently said about $1.2 billion worth of fish is being imported annually into the country, while current fish production stands at 0.8 million metric tonnes with a deficit of 1.9 million metric tonnes. Nigeria’s demand for the commodity is 2.7 million metric tonnes annually. According to Ashagye the fisheries industry in the country is robust and has the potential to feed the country, and at the same time enough to export. He explained production has been plagued and stunted by lack of political interest to tap and unlock the massive prospects and potential that has remained fallow over the years.
Data from the National Pension Commission has shown that the total pension assets under the Contributory Pension Scheme stood at ₦9.36 trillion as of July ending. This announcement comes as the FG is in talks with PenCom to allow operators of the CPS to provide more funds for infrastructural development in the country. Speaking during the second annual conference of the Nigerian Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria, the VP, Yemi Osinbajo said that the FG was discussing with the banks on how to reduce the risks associated with the loan. Figures from the PenCom showed that the Pension Fund Administrators had so far invested ₦30.14 billion of the rising funds in infrastructure bonds while ₦6.62 trillion or 70.77 percent of the funds had been invested in the FG’s bonds. The President, Pension Fund Operators Association of Nigeria, Aderonke Adedeji, who said that successful mobilisation of pension funds and their contributions to the economic growth of any nation were essential policy objectives, asserted that Nigeria can now boast of a long-term funding base, which the impact to date has included the funding of the government and its projects, development of the capital market and increased foreign development inflows. The acting Director-General, PenCom, Aisha Dahir-Umar, also agreed that the CPS has been very impactful in the country since its commencement of its implementation in 2004 as the long-term domestic capital was slowly changing Nigeria’s financial landscape.
President Buhari’s spokesman, Femi Adesina, has claimed that the President did not give a specific figure when the report of the National Minimum Wage Tripartite Committee was presented last Tuesday. Writing on his Facebook page, Adesina said that the Presidency was concerned about the reports that Buhari had backtracked on his promise to pay the new ₦30,000 demanded by the unions. Adesina quoted the President as saying that “our plan is to transmit an Executive Bill to the National Assembly for passage within the shortest possible time. I am fully committed to having a new National Minimum Wage Act in the very near future. As the Executive Arm commences its review of your submission, we will continue to engage you all in closing any open areas presented in this report. I, therefore, would like to ask for your patience and understanding in the coming weeks.” He said the President did not at any point, and throughout the report-submission ceremony, mention any figure. What he committed himself to was a new minimum wage, and only after the Report of the committee has been reviewed by the executive and legislative processes of government and an appropriate bill presented to him for assent.