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FG to replicate arts, crafts villages in 36 states



FG to replicate arts, crafts villages in 36 states

Last Updated on September 9, 2023 by Fellow Press

The National Council for Arts and Culture (NCAC) says plans are underway to replicate the Abuja Arts and Crafts Village in 36 states of the federation to tackle unemployment and boost the nation’s economy.

The Director-General of NCAC, Otunba Olusegun Runsewe, disclosed this on Saturday when he led members of diplomatic community, state commissioners and the media on the inspection visit to the craft village in Abuja.

This was part of activities for the commemoration of the 16th International Arts and Craft Expo (INAC) ongoing in Abuja, with the theme “Networking Nigerian Crafts to the World”.

Runsewe said it was time to be practical about tackling the problem of unemployment confronting the nation.

He said with the craft village in the 36 states of the nation, the unemployed individuals will gain access to the platform to market and produce their wares.

“We are going to replicate this art and craft village in the 36 states of the federation to help the ordinary Nigerians make a living.

“This will reduce unemployment, crime rate and make the nation a better place.

“If the ordinary Nigerians can be provided with workshop to produce and a platform to market their crafts, they will have no time for frivolities.

“This is the sector that can liberate Nigeria from the shackles of unemployment and insecurity,” he said.

According to him, the craft village accommodates an amphitheatre where countries and states can stage their performances.

He said that 20 public toilets have been constructed, adding that others included events arena, business centres, photo shops, pharmacy, the diplomatic arena and a car park that can accommodate over 50 cars.

He noted that the craft village would be opened in two weeks.

“This place used to be hide-out for armed robbers before the the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) seized it and I was able to recover it after lots of threat to my life.

“The building was owning electricity bill worth N5.6 million because there was no metre, now we have gotten metres for each building to allow for seamless operations for eventual occupants.

“You do not need to spend fortune to celebrate your birthday, with N30,000 you will be given access to the party arena.

“Also the shops will go for N200,000 each when plazas around the Federal Capital Territory go for N2 million. So, the entire package has been made affordable,” Runsewe said.

According to him, NCAC, has an arena for diplomatic communities to use especially when their countries celebrate National Day.

“Every nation has a cultural market, we must make ours better,” he said.

Speaking on sustainability, Runsewe noted that he had began training three members of staff of the organisation who would be able to maintain seamless operation of the village upon his exit from the organisation.

“Every financial transaction is done through government Treasury Single Account (TSA), payment for shops and all are through the TSA,” he said.

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Food inflation soars by 61 per cent in one year– NBS



Last Updated on June 18, 2024 by Fellow Press

Nigerians are finding it more difficult to feed themselves, as food inflation rose to 40.66 per cent in May.

This was as the cost of food rose by 61 per cent from 25.25 per cent in June 2023 to 40.66 per cent in May 2024, highlighting a steady rise in the cost of living.

This is according to an analysis of the latest Consumer Price Index and Inflation report released by the National Bureau of Statistics.

The CPI measures the average change over time in the prices of goods and services consumed by people for day-to-day living.

On Saturday, the NBS disclosed that headline inflation moved by 0.26 per cent to 33.95 per cent from 33.69 per cent recorded in April.

The report noted that the inflation rate climbed to a 28-year high since March 1996 on higher food and transport prices.

It said, “In May 2024, the headline inflation rate increased to 33.95 per cent relative to the April 2024 headline inflation rate which was 33.69 per cent.”

The statistics agency also reported major contributing items to headline inflation in May 2024 including food & non-alcoholic beverages (contributing 17.59 per cent), housing, water, and electricity, gas & other fuel (contributing 5.68 per cent), and clothing & footwear (contributing 2.60 per cent).

A breakdown of the data showed that the price of food commodities increased steadily from 25.25 per cent in June, to 26.98 per cent in July, 29.34 per cent, 30.64 per cent in August, 31.52 per cent in September, 31.52 per cent October, 32.84 per cent in November and 33.93 per cent as the end of December 2023.

The rate further increased to 35.41 per cent in January, 37.92 per cent in February, crossed the 40 per cent mark in March, 40.53 per cent in April and 40.66 per cent in May.

NBS said the rate rose to 40.66 per cent in May, compared to the 24.82 per cent reported in the same month last year — indicating an increase of 15.84 per cent points.

The bureau said semovita, oatflake, yam flour prepackage, garri, bean, etc (which are under bread and cereals class), Irish potatoes, yam, water yam, etc (under potatoes, yam and other tubers class), contributed to the year-on-year increase in the food inflation rate.

Other contributors are palm oil, vegetable oil, etc (under oil and fat), stockfish, mudfish, crayfish, etc (under fish class), beef head, chicken-live, pork head, and bush meat (under meat class).

“The food inflation rate in May 2024 was 40.66 per cent on a year-on-year basis, which was 15.84 per cent points higher compared to the rate recorded in May 2023 (24.82 per cent).

“The average annual rate of Food inflation for the twelve months ending May 2024 over the previous twelve-month average was 34.06 per cent, which was 10.41 per cent points increase from the average annual rate of change recorded in May 2023 (23.65 per cent),” the report said.

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Omokri tackles Peter Obi over his criticism of ‘new’ presidential jet for Tinubu



Peter Obi

Last Updated on June 18, 2024 by Fellow Press

Former aide to ex-President Goodluck Jonathan, Reno Omokri, on Monday accused the 2023 Labour Party presidential candidate, Peter Obi, of lying over the reported purchase of a presidential jet for President Bola Tinubu.

Omokri said, contrary to Obi’s claim, the Nigerian government has no plans to buy a new private jet for Tinubu.

He clarified that the idea to change Tinubu’s presidential jet did not emanate from the presidency.

On Friday, the House of Representatives Committee on National Security and Intelligence asked the FG to purchase new aircraft for Tinubu and Shettima.

Reacting, Obi said: “It’s on record that our presidential jets have an average age of 12 years, purchased when most Nigerians could afford basic necessities. Now, as our country faces significant challenges, including a high debt profile, our citizens are in even greater need.”

However, Omokri faulted Obi’s comment, which he described as “another Gbajue lie.”

Posting on X, Omokri wrote: “The statement by Peter Obi condemning the Federal Government’s plan to buy new presidential jet for President Tinubu is another Gbajue lie from a man who has elevated lying to an art.

“The reason for this is because there is no such plan. It was the National Assembly that mooted the idea, as is their right. The Executive did not make such plans and has not budgeted any money for such a purpose.

“It is the same way he lied and blamed the Tinubu administration for spending N21 billion on the new residence of the Vice President. What he failed to tell his gullible supporters is that that project was initiated and funded by previous administrations, dating to when our party, the Peoples Democratic Party, was in office. Please note that Peter Obi was then our card-carrying member, but he did not attack the project.

“Mr. Peter Obi counts on your gullibility and refusal to research what you read before believing him. That is why he tells such fibs.”

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