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The Federal Government has launched a price checker portal to monitor price variation in procurement activities of its Ministries, Departments and Agencies, MDAs across the country, which is also promote transparency and accountability in government spending.

This was made known at a stakeholders forum for procurement officers in the Southwest region of the country held in Abeokuta, Ogun State Capital with number of stakeholders across the country in attendance.

Speaking at the workshop, Mr Mike Abiam, representative of the federal ministry of Finance said the programme was designed to educate procurement personnel across the states of the federation on the price checker and e-procurement initiative of the federal government with a view to blocking leakages and reducing cost of governance in the country.

He added further that, it was facilitated by the efficiency unit of the Federal Ministry of Finance in collaboration with the Bureau of Public Procurement, BPP for procurement officers in the southwest region of the country.

Segun Showunmi in Ibadan

Oyo State Government has pledged on Monday that it will not derail from supporting the National Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs), owing to its significant contribution to the national economy.

The Governor,Abiola Ajimobi made the pledge while declaring open the two-day Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) summit which took place at the International Conference Center of the University of Ibadan, Ibadan, Oyo State Capital.

Ajimobi who was represented by his Deputy, Otunba Moses Adeyemo stated, "As individual Units, MSMEs may be small, but together they account for up to 50 percent of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and over 80 percent of the labour force. It therefore follows that they are of decisive importance in the national economy."

"MSMEs have tended to be neglected in this country over the years. This is partly as a result of competing priorities and a tendency to discount their contribution to the national economy," the Governor said.

In his remarks, the Special Assistant to the Vice President on SMEs, Mr. Tola Johnson hinted that the MSME clinics were conceived and designed to bring the regulatory agencies whose work affects the business experience of MSMEs nearer to them.

According to him, this would enable MSMEs to bring their business related problems to regulatory agencies for solution outside the formal and sometimes intimidating offices of these agencies.

"Of course, having all the agencies in one location at the same time saves MSMEs the travel time and cost of going to different agencies. MSME Clinics have also enabled regulatory agencies to gain a better understanding of the difficulties that MSMEs face and caused them to take steps to remedy the situation where required", he said

Nigerian Senate President Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki, has assured the Russian Government that Nigeria is conducive for investors especially in the oil, gas, agriculture, mining and power sectors of the economy.

Saraki stated this during a meeting with the leadership of the Upper Chamber of the Russian Parliament Federation Council of the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation in Moscow, led by its Chairperson, Ms. Valentina Matviyenko.

"Russia could take a more active part in economic and business projects in Nigeria. Your State must necessarily play its role on the African continent. Together we could consider new opportunities for mutually beneficial economic cooperation", Saraki said

He called for increased access for Nigerians willing to visit and do business in Russia, improved trade relations and military support to aid Nigeria in the fight against terrorism, human trafficking and irregular migration.

The Federal Government has disclosed on Monday its plan to shut down the land border between Nigeria and an unnamed border and neighboring country in a few days’ time to avoid smuggling of foreign rice into the country.

Penpushing reports that, Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Audu Ogbeh made this known while speaking with youth in a leadership clinic under the auspices of Guardians of the Nation International (GOTNI), in Abuja

Ogbeh emphasized that the shutting the borders had become necessary to encourage local production and sustain the economy of the country, stressing that the unnamed neighbouring country was bent on destroying the economy of the country and discouraging local production of rice, hence the need to shut down the border.

“Our other problem is smuggling. As we speak, a neighbour of ours is importing more rice than China is importing. They do not eat parboiled rice, they eat white rice, they use their ports to try and damage our economy’, he said.

“I am telling you now because in a few days, you will hear the border has been shut, we are going to shut it to protect you, us and protect our economy. You will start seeing all sorts of negative things on the internet’,Ogbeh added.

“Let me tell you why we need to shut the border, I grow rice, I was the first Nigerian to mill rice free of stones, if you plant rice in certain parcels of land, some poisonous materials gets into the rice. There are three kinds of water in their natural state; there is fresh water from the river, salt water from the sea, blackish water’.

“If you go to the Delta in many countries, in South East Asia where they grow the rice, if you plant rice in the same place like four to six years continuously, the quantum of arsenic begins to increase and arsenic causes cancer and that is what they are dumping for us. Some people say they prefer Thai rice because they are very sophisticated, welcome to poison,’’ Mr Ogbeh said.

The Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), Ogun State Area Command has generated total revenue of N437, 860, 681 within a period of one month, which covers May 2 to June 4 2018, this year

The Command Public Relations Officer, A.A.Maiwada made this known in a press statement made available to Penpushing, adding that in the area of smuggling, the command made seizures of 51 vehicles (19 Tokunbos and 32 means of conveyance), 5, 103 bags of foreign rice (50 kg each),

‘It is pertinent to inform you that within the period of 2nd May to 4th June, 2018, we have generated total revenue of N437, 860, 681. While in the area of anti-smuggling, the Command made seizures of 51 vehicles (19 Tokunbos and 32 means of conveyance), 5, 103 bags of foreign rice (50 kg each)’,

He said other seizures include 135 kegs of vegetable oil (25liters each), 33 bags of sugar (50 kg each), 7 bales of secondhand, 3 bales 36 sacks and 300 pairs of foot wears, 129 pieces of used tyres, 102 Kegs of Petrol (PMS) of 25 litres each and 1 sack of ladies handbags with a total Duty Paid Value (DPV) of N370, 892, 666.00.

The mantle of leadership at the Ogun State Chambers of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (OGUNCCIMA) changed on Monday following the expiration of the term of Adesola Adebutu led administration.

Penpushing reports that, the change of leadership was held at the 34th Annual General Meeting (AGM) held at the Chambers Conference located within the Moshood Abiola International Tradefair Complex,Abeokuta.

The meeting elected Kolawole Lawal as the new President of the Chambers, who is expected to lead the organization for another two years. The official inauguration of the new leadership is to hold on July 12 at Ilaro. Until his election, he was 1st Vice Chairman of the Chambers

Penpushing further reports that, in attendance at the meeting include, National President of Naccima, Iyalode Alaba Lawson, members from the five zones, Abeokuta, Ota/Agbara, Yewa, Remo and Ijebu Chambers, as well as notable leaders of the Chambers which include’ 2nd Vice-President, Alhaji Wasiu Olaleye, Deaconess Cyntia Saka and ,Jumoke Sokoya(Financial Secretary)

Other are; Chief Bidemi Opomulero(Executive Secretary of the Chambers), Chief Jare Oyesola, Zeacheus Olaniyan, Abiodun Ogunlesi,, Abdulfatai Adeyanju, Abiola Ogundeko(Naccima Youth Leader) and Alhaji Rahman Maku(Executive Secretary of Abeokuta Chambers of Commerce) among others

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