- Muhammadu Buhari, yesterday in Calabar, said the superhighway being constructed by the Cross River State governor, Senator Ben Ayade, was a project that would expand the economic frontiers of not just the state, but the entire country. “That I am personally here to perform the ground breaking shows the importance my government attaches to this project which is a significant milestone in the economic development of not just Cross River State but the entire country. The road will open up a new vista of economic opportunities for Nigeria as it will bring multiplier effect to the economy and more importantly this is happening under my Presidency. I assure my brother and governor of Cross River State, Professor Ben Ayade, of my commitment and that of the Federal Government, to ensure its completion and that of the Deep Sea Port,” the President said. The road, which is expected to be completed within Governor Ayade’s four year term, would give access to markets in Chad, Niger and other parts of the region.
- The Nigerian Interbank Settlement System (NIBBS) has disclosed plans by the FG to link bank customers’ bank verification numbers (BVN) with their national identity card data from 2016. The move is expected to strengthen efficiency in Nigeria’s payment system. According to the NIBSS boss, Ade Shonubi, the objective of the BVN is to use biometric information as a means of first identifying and verifying all individuals that have accounts in any Nigerian bank and consequently, as a means of authenticating the customer’s identity at the point of transactions.
- The Senate has commenced an investigation into the Abuja Airport runway contract, which, it claimed, was awarded at the cost of
N63 billion. Senator Dino Melaye, representing Kogi West, raised the issue, claiming that the project should not have cost more than N10 billion. “A similar project was executed in Gombe State for N8 billion; and another done in Akwa Ibom State for about the same amount ( N8 billion). So, to now bring it up for execution for this ( N63 billion), is worrisome.”
- The Nigerian Communications Commission will soon announce new sanctions for telecommunications operators who allow preregistered Subscriber Identification Module cards on their networks. Some mobile operators had allowed preregistered SIM cards on their networks contrary to the regulation governing the activation of new SIM cards, which forbids the operators or their agents from selling cards that have been preregistered and ready for use by buyers. Warnings handed to the mobile operators had not deterred them from allowing preregistered SIM cards on their networks; thus, the decision to sanction the defaulting operators.
- The Senate ad-hoc Committee on Import Duty Waivers has accused two companies, Stallion Group and Olam International, which were involved in rice importation into the country, of owing Nigeria
N44bn as import duties on 457,000 metric tonnes they imported since May 2014. Chairman of the committee, Senator Adamu Aliero, demanded that full payment of the dues owed by the foreign firms be paid, insisting that “Nigeria would not fold its hands and watch the huge debt swept under the carpet.”