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page 23 NEWS business Kwara to access N20bn bond from capital market From Romoke W. Ahmad, Ilorin The Kwara state government yesterday disclosed it would…

page 23 NEWS business

Kwara to access N20bn bond from capital market

From Romoke W. Ahmad, Ilorin

The Kwara state government yesterday disclosed it would be accessing N20 billion bond from the capital market to fund capital projects in the state.

This, according to the state Commissioner for Finance, Mr. Demola Nurudeen, ýwas necessary to embark on projects because of dwindling in the federal allocation to the state.

Mr Nurudeen disclosed this at the end of the maiden state executive council meeting shortly after the inauguration of commissioners in Ilorin, the state capital.

“The dwindling allocation from the federal government to the state is greatly affecting many states in the country and they cannot meet their obligations because more than 50 per cent of allocation coming to the state had been cut. From N3.4bn, Kwara State received only N1.4bn last month.

“And when we consider the implication of that, the state decided that it cannot sit down and watch the state suffer, hence, we agreed to look at other ways of funding our projects, which was why we decided to source N20bn bond from the capital market for our capital projects,” Nurudeen explained.

ý The Chief Economic Assistant to the state Governor, Alhaji Abdulfattah Ahmed, Mr. Abayomi Ogunshola, explained that taking the bond is subject to the approval of the state House of Assembly.

Ogunsola explained that the state has no fear on repaying the bond because ýthere are standard methodologies on repayment, which would be spread over 10 years.

The Commissioner for Information, Mr. Mahmud Ajeigbe, promised the bond would be spent on community-based projects that would be spread across the state and would impact on the lives of people.

Customs intercept three trailers loaded with foreign goods

From Ahmed Mohammed, Gombe

The Federal Operations Unit (FOU), Zone D, of the Nigerian Customs Services yesterday intercepted three trailers loaded with foreign goods allegedly smuggled into the country.

The Comptroller in charge of the nine states (Adamawa, Taraba, Gombe, Bauchi, Yobe, Borno, Benue, Plateau and Nassarawa) in the zone, Mr Multafu Waindu Jilantikru told reporters yesterday that the goods seized included rice, groundnut oil and soaps concealed in Made-in-Nigeria packets.

Mr Jilantikru explained that the seizure followed intelligence gathering by the FOU D operation which monitored and trailed the trucks from unapproved routes and intercepted them between Jos and Zaria.

He said with the new zeal and determination of the new Customs Comptroller-General, the zone is committed to intercepting goods illegally smuggled into the country.

He advised traders to desist from smuggling banned goods into the country. Rather, they should, he urged, patronise Made-in-Nigeria goods in order to boost the Nigerian economy.

NCC donates four CBT centres to JAMB

By Zakariyya Adaramola

The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has donated four computer-based test (CBT) centres to the Joint Admission and Matriculation Board (JAMB) to augment facilities for smooth conduct of the CBT.

This was disclosed by the acting Executive Vice-Chairman (EVC), Prof. Umar Danbatta, when JAMB officials paid him a courtesy visit in Abuja, NCC said in a statement yesterday.

Located in Kano, Niger, Bayelsa and Oyo states, the four centres, according to the NCC statement, are equipped with computers, printers, other accessories and Internet connectivity.

Danbatta told the JAMB officials, led by its Registrar, Prof. Dibu Ojerinde that NCC, does every of its activities and projects in line with international best practices. “We have a minimum standard that we maintain for all our projects and there is no exception,” he stressed.

“Standards are necessary for projects to be appreciated,” Danbatta said, adding that the NCC is intervening not only in the provision of CBT for JAMB, “but in the provision of equipment for tertiary institutions through the Advance Digital Appreciation Programme for Tertiary Institutions (ADAPTI).”

ADAPTI is aimed at bridging the digital divide in tertiary institutions through the provision of computers and other ICT facilities to equip

lecturers and other experts in order to improve their ICT skills.

Ojerinde expressed JAMB’s appreciation for the NCC gesture, adding JAMB is also deploying its CBT centres at the Digital Bridge Institute (DBI) facilities in Abuja, Kano and Lagos state, in addition to other over 500 CBT centres across the country.

“These centres are now being used for registration by potential candidates for the next Universal Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME), instead of cyber cafes,” Ojerinde submitted.

CITAD, Bauchi State partner to improve IGR

From Balarabe Alkassim, Bauchi

A non-governmental organization, the Center for Information Technology and Development (CITAD) has expressed its willingness to partner with the Bauchi State Board of Internal Revenue to improve the state’s internally-generated revenue (IGR) in the state.

The state coordinator of CITAD, Mallam Isa Garba, stated this during an advocacy visit to the Bauchi State Board of Internal Revenue.

Mal. Graba said CITAD has arrived to support the board and advise it on ways that can help improve the state’s IGR for effective development.

He suggested that the board should conductý survey on the fees charged for vehicle particulars in neighboring states, specifically Jigawa and Kano, to ascertain any variation in the charges and take possible measures to motivate the citizens to renew their particulars in the state.

The CITAD coordinator also urged the board to create a data base for all vehicles registered under the board for keeping track of the times that vehicle particulars are due for renewal and be sending reminders to the owners via messages and emails.

Garba pointed out that there is the need to intensify media campaigns to enlighten the public on the economic, social ýand security benefits of the exercise.

He said that the board should also look for ways of reaching out to vehicles owners and liaise with transport unions for cooperation.

The acting Chairman of the board, Alhaji Yakubu Isa, commended the efforts of CITAD for the proposal of partnership.

“This comes at the right time. We will be glad to welcome a proposal from you that will guide and complement our efforts in generating revenue for the economic development of the state.

“I expect you to come up with observations and suggestions that will effectively contribute and made impact on the revenue generation drive in the state so the citizens can benefit from its economy,” he said.

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