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States To Access World Bank’s $750m Facility By December —Presidency



Special Adviser to the President, Ease of Doing Business/PEBEC Secretary, Dr Jumoke Oduwole, at the weekend, disclosed that state governments will start accessing the World Bank’s $750 million facility by December 2022.

This was even as the Presidential Enabling Business Environment Council (PEBEC) staged an independence day play; “The Future Is Here” to promote the effective use of the various business reforms.

Speaking with journalists on the sideline of the stage play in Abuja, said although, access to the fund will begin in December, the programme will fully kick off in January 2023.

“Access will begin in December with some prior results, we are trying to galvanise like a sneak peek. But in January the programme kicks off in full. You know that we also have our ease of business national report we have a number of baseline survey last year, the new survey the second edition will be out next month.

“So that’s what we used to make the action plan at state because all businesses are domiciled in the states. That’s where the state governments really partnering very collaboratively with NEC governor’s forum and that will help them.”

While speaking on the criteria to accessing the fund, she said: “we’ve been working with them very closely for about two years now. We’ve been jointly building the programme we’re working on land administration because you know when private sector have their land properly mapped out, they can use it to access credits.”

Oduwole who further spoke on the significance of the stage play said this was aimed at educating the public on the various business reforms.
She said the various reforms have impacted businesses judging from testimonials from the from Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) across the country.
“And slowly but surely, we want people to know and to use the reforms and you saw from the play, that private sector also needs to support the reforms and do the right thing,” says Oduwole

On the sustainability of these reforms, she said this was being achieved with institutionalisation stressing that:” In our team, we have civil servants that are members of this team. We also have consultants from the private sector. So it is a Private Public Partnership(PPP) project and its government.

“So for instance, you would have known that the World Bank just approved $750 million facility for state governments for business climate reforms, that’s part of our work. And that’s a legally binding contract. The legislation we do are legally binding, so it’s not personalised for one government. For the team that does the work, there’s training.”

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Scores Of Workers May Lose Jobs As Amazon Shuts Wholesale Distribution Unit



E-commerce giant, Amazon is shutting down its wholesale e-commerce website for neighbourhood stores – Amazon Distribution.

This is its third business closure in the country. Last week, the company announced that it will shut down the online learning platform, ‘Amazon Academy’ and that it will also discontinue its pilot food delivery business, ‘Amazon Food’ in Bengaluru.

“As part of our annual operating planning review process, we have made the decision to discontinue Amazon Distribution, our wholesale e-commerce website for small neighbourhood stores around Bengaluru, Mysore & Hubli.

“We don’t take these decisions lightly. We are discontinuing this programme in a phased manner to take care of current customers and partners and we are supporting our affected employees during this transition.

“We remain committed to India and will continue to invest across those areas where we can bring value to our customers including Grocery, Smartphones and Consumer Electronics, Fashion & Beauty, as well as our B2B offerings such as Amazon Business”, Amazon said in a statement.

Amazon Business is a B2B marketplace where third-party sellers sell only to business customers.

Amazon Distribution, which is now being discontinued, operated in three cities in Karnataka.

The exit will result in the layoffs of hundreds of workers

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FG Approves 14-Day Paternity Leave For Civil Servants



The Federal Government has approved 14-day paternity leave for serving male officers whose spouse delivers a baby.

Head of Civil Service of the Federation, Folasade Yemi-Esan, in a circular said the leave will take effect from November 25, 2022.

She said the leave is in line with the provisions of the Public Service Rules, 2021 Edition.

“Government has also approved Paternity Leave for serving male officers whose spouse delivers a baby. The period of the leave shall be fourteen working days. The leave shall not be more than once in two years, and a for maximum of four children.

“Where the family of a male officer adopts a child under four months old, the officer will similarly enjoy Paternity Leave for a period of fourteen working days,” the circular read.

Yemi-Esan also said request for such leave must be accompanied by the Expected Date of Delivery’s (EDD) report of the officer’s wife or evidence of approval of the adoption of the child by the relevant government bodies.

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Buhari Promises Legacy Of Credible Elections In Nigeria And West Africa



President Muhammadu Buhari has promised to leave a legacy of free and fair elections in Nigeria and the West African sub-region at large.

The Nigerian leader will finish his second term next year and has reiterated his desire to conduct a hitch-free election, adding that the country is committed to a stable West Africa.

He said this on Monday at the 2022 second ordinary session of the ECOWAS parliament in Abuja, according to a statement from presidential aide Femi Adesina.

“We are convinced that the sustenance of democracy and the rule of law should remain the norm in this promising region,” he said.

“There will be multiple political activities in some ECOWAS member states, including Nigeria, where general elections are due to be held in February and March 2023. Let me seize this opportunity to reiterate my commitment to free, fair, and transparent elections and smooth transitions. This is one legacy that I want my administration to bequeath, not only to Nigeria but to the region as a whole.”

Buhari said threats to peace and security, political instability, and the adverse impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and the Russia-Ukraine war are the biggest challenges facing West Africa.

‘‘It is on record that the region has not rested on its oars as we have always striven to evolve effective regional mechanisms to address these challenges.
‘‘For example, at the height of the pandemic, Heads of State of ECOWAS appointed me as the ECOWAS champion on COVID-19,” he said.

‘‘Working with three Ministerial Committees comprising Member States’ Ministers of Health, Finance, and Transportation, we developed an effective response by mitigating the effect of COVID-19 on our citizens. Our efforts yielded positive results as the ECOWAS region became one of the sub-regions least affected by the pandemic, in terms of mortality rate.”

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