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Finance Minister Wants Nigeria To Sell Of Assets, Says It Will Benefit Nigerians

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The Minister of Finance, Zainab Ahmed, on Friday, said the Federal Government’s planned sale of public assets will benefit Nigerians and help to boost the economy.

In an appearance on Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily, Mrs Ahmed, who is also the Minister of Budget and National Planning, said some government assets are currently moribund and provide little or no value to Nigerians in their current state.

“There are some government assets that are dead that can be sold to the private sector to be reactivated and put to use for the benefit of Nigerians,” the Minister said.

“So we are looking at different – and I am a member of the National Council on Privatisation – we are looking at different categories of government assets that government has not been able to manage, that are lying down and in some cases even completely rundown, to cede them off to the private sector.

On January 12, Mrs Ahmed had revealed the government’s plan to sell public assets to partly finance the N13.58 trillion 2021 budget.

On Friday, Ms Ahmed stressed that the “intention is not just funding the budget, it is to reactivate these assets and hand it over and have them bring contributions to the growth in the economy.”

She added that the Bureau of Public Enterprises will begin to coordinate with other arms of government on the asset sales in the first quarter of the year.

” . . . in the last week of December, we had a meeting of the National Council on Privatisation where we approved the annual work plan, the 2021 work plan, for that Bureau of Public Enterprises,” she said.

“And I guess it is in this first quarter that the BPE will now be engaging the Senate committee and other committees they work with to say this is our work plan for the year.”

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CBN Confirms Adjustment Of Naira To N410/$1 At Official Market

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The Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Godwin Emefiele, has confirmed that the naira has depreciated at the official market to N410 against the dollar.

This disclosure was made by Emefiele, while speaking at a special summit on the economy organized in collaboration with the CBN and Chief Executive Officers of banks on Friday, February 26, 2021, in Lagos.

Emefiele said the drop in crude oil earnings and the associated reduction in foreign portfolio inflows significantly affected the supply of foreign exchange into Nigeria.

He said, “In order to adjust for the decrease in the supply of foreign exchange, the naira depreciated at the official window from N305/$ to N360/$ and now hovers around N410/$.’’

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N100bn Bond: Lagos State To Use Proceeds On Capital Projects

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The Lagos State Government said the funds accessed by the State Ministries, Departments and Agencies from the proceeds of the N100bn Bond issued in January 2020, were used for developmental and capital projects across the State.

Commenting on the Bond issued early last year by the State government,Permanent Secretary, Lagos State Debt Management Office (DMO), Mr. Olujimi Ige added that some of the projects embarked upon by the MDAs across the State are nearing completion, noting the capital projects cut across different sectors including Health, Education, Works, Housing, Drainage and Agriculture amongst others.

Ige also revealed that significant progress has been made on many of the projects and are, therefore, expected to be commissioned this year to ameliorate the social and economic conditions of Lagosians.

According to the Permanent Secretary, part of the mandate of the Debt Management Office is to monitor the utilisation of the Bond proceeds and ensure that the funds are optimally used for the designated projects, while also preparing and submitting reports of the monitoring exercise to relevant agencies.

He listed some of the projects for which the proceeds from N100bn Bond were utilised to include the Pen Cinema Flyover, Agege; Lekki Regional Road Construction, Lekki; Reconstruction of Lagos-Badagry Dual Carriage Expressway, Badagry; Rehabilitation of Oba Sekumade Road, Ikorodu and Rehabilitation of Olusosun, Solous and Abule Egba Landfills.

Others are the construction of Watch Towers at Lagos State Civil Service Model College, Igbogbo and Lagos State Girls Model College, Agunfoye, Ikorodu; Construction of Ojo General Hospital and Spinal Neurology Centre, Ojo; Development/Renovation of Healthcare Facilities; Equipping and Furnishing of MCC, Epe; Building of the New Massey Children’s Hospital, Lagos Island; Channelisation/Dredging of two waterways from Ikorodu to Falomo and Ojo-Badagry-Apa routes to mention a few.

While emphasising the importance of the projects to the wellbeing and benefit of Lagosians, the Permanent Secretary urged the MDAs to ensure timely completion of the projects.

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CBN Defends Cryptocurrency Ban Before Lawmakers

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The Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria on Tuesday said the decision to ban cryptocurrency was in the best interest of the country.

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