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23-Jul-2024 Extra N6.2trn Budget to pay Minimum Wage, fund Infrastructure, says Minister

Extra N6.2trn Budget to pay Minimum Wage, fund Infrastructure, says Minister

The Federal Government says the proposed N6.2trn Supplementary Budgetary will be used to pay the Minimum Wage.

Atiku Bagudu, the Minister of Budget and National Planning, gave the assurance while addressing the House of Representatives’ Committee on Appropriation in Abuja.

He said that the Funds would be spent on stimulating the Economy through the implementation of various Infrastructural Projects.

These Projects include Road, Rail, Water, Irrigation, and Dam Projects in the 2024 Fiscal Year with prudent utilisation of the Funds.

He said that the N3trn would cater for the newly proposed National Minimum Wage, for which President Bola Tinubu said the Bill would soon be sent to the National Assembly.

He said that the Proposed Budget was also aimed at providing Counterpart Funding for Rail Projects that had literally stopped for a while, including the longest among them.

These, according to him, are the Port Harcourt Main Bridge, which would traverse the Rivers Imo, Enugu, Ebonyi, Anambra, Benue, Nasarawa, Plateau, Katsina, Bauchi, Gombe, Yobe, and other parts of the Country.

The Minister said the second Project is Badagry-Tin Can Port, Lekki Port, while the third one is Lagos-IIbadan Standard Gauge, adding that the fourth one is Kano-Marada Standard Gauge.

He said that there would be Funding for Rolling Stock that is required, adding that this would gulp the sum of N530bn as requested for the five Rail Projects.

Bagudu said that the sum of N522bn was also provided for Water, Irrigation, and Dam Projects, adding that the proposed N3.2trn Renewed Hope Infrastructural Fund was “intended to provide Equity Contributions.

Bagudu assured that the Projects encapsulated in the Amendment to the 2024 Appropriation Bill would not limit the Revenue available for the implementation of the 2024 Appropriation Act.

Abubakar Bichi, the Chairman of the House Committee on Appropriation, had earlier urged the Minister to give details on the Appropriation Bill, including the N3.2trn Capital Expenditure increase.

This also includes the N3trn Recurrent Expenditure for the newly proposed National Minimum Wage transmitted by Mr. President for accelerated consideration.

Bichi observed that there was a need for Nigerians to be adequately informed of the details of the proposed N6.2trn Budget.

This, he says, was in addition to the N28.7trn Appropriation Act approved for the 2024 Fiscal Year.

The Committee urged the Federal Government to address the Infrastructural Deficit and also address Issues of Security.

Responding, Bagudu said that various efforts were being made to address Issues concerning the Security of Lives across the Country.

Some of the Projects proposed in the Supplementary Budget include Lagos-Calabar, a 1,000-Kilometer Road Project for which a sum of N150bn is required

Sokoto-Badagry Road Projects, as well as the Rail Project, for which the Chinese Government has provided 85 percent Funding while the Federal Government is yet to provide the 15 percent Counterpart Finance.

According to Bagudu, the Lagos-Calabar, which is expected to start in three different Sections, has commenced in Lagos, the Calabar End, and one additional Section, Sokoto-Calabar.

He added that the Lagos-Calabar also covered the five South-East States as well as Port Harcourt and Maiduguri Rail Lines.

 

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23-Jul-2024 Dangote Refinery: FG reconciles Aliko, Regulator, NNPCL over 'differences'

Dangote Refinery: FG reconciles Aliko, Regulator, NNPCL over 'differences'

Minister of State Petroleum Resources (Oil), Heineken Lokpobiri, has convened a high-level Meeting with Key Stakeholders in the Oil and Gas Sector to resolve Issues surrounding the Dangote Refinery.

This is contained in a Statement by Nneamaka Okafor, the Special Adviser to the Minister on Media and Communications.

The Meeting which held on Monday in Abuja had in attendance Aliko Dangote, Chairman/ CEO, Dangote Group and Farouk Ahmed, Authority Chief Executive, Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority (NMDPRA).

Others are Gbenga Komolafe, Commission Chief Executive, Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission (NUPRC) and Mele Kyari, Group Chief Executive Officer of the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPC Limited).

It will be recalled that recent face-off in the industry saw the Leadership of the Dangote Group, NMDPRA and NNPC Limited in a disagreement over some pertinent issues.

Dangote had declared that the NNPC Limited no longer own a 20 per cent stake in its Refinery, stressing that the Nigerian Oil Company now owns only 7.2 per cent of the Refinery due to its failure to pay the balance of their Shares, which was due in June.

The NNPC Limited however, said the decision to Cap its Equity Participation at the Paid-Up Sum was made and communicated to Dangote Refinery several months ago.

The NMDPRA was also at loggerheads with Dangote over Issues bordering on Licenses, which the Authority said the Dangote Refinery was at its Pre-Commissioning Stage while its Diesel below International Standard.

Dangote, however, refuted the NMDPRA stand on the Issue.

Dangote also accused the International Oil Companies (IOCs) of frustrating its Refinery Operations by selling Crude Oil to it through their Foreign Trading Arms offering Cargoes at $2 to $4 per Barrel, above NUPRC Official Price.

On this background, the Minister convened the Meeting to find a lasting solution to the current impasse affecting the Dangote Refinery, with all Parties demonstrating commitment to collaborative and proactive problem-solving.

Lokpobiri emphasised the importance of Cooperation and Synergy among all Stakeholders.

This, he said would ensure the success and optimal performance of the Oil and Gas Sector, which he described as pivotal for Nigeria’s Economic Growth and Energy Security.

The Stakeholders expressed their gratitude to the Minister for his Exemplary Leadership and timely Intervention in facilitating the Dialogue.

The Meeting marked a significant step towards resolving the challenges and underscores the Minister’s dedication to foster a Conducive Environment for Nigeria’s Oil and Gas Sector.

The coming on stream of the $20bn Dangote Refinery with a Refining Capacity of 650,000 Barrels per day (bpd) in 2023, gave impetus to the Country’s Oil Sector as it would ensure that Nigeria was not reliant on Fuel from Overseas. 

 

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22-Jul-2024 Without Tinubu, Nigeria would have been a failed Country, says Minister

Without Tinubu, Nigeria would have been a failed Country, says Minister

The Federal Government has tasked Nigerian Workers and Citizens on improve Productivity, saying such push would improve Living Standards of the People across the Country.

The Minister of Works, David Umahi, gave the charge while speaking with Journalists on Sunday in Uburu, Ohaozara Local Government Area of Ebonyi.

Umahi noted that hunger could go, “if we improve Production by engaging in Agriculture and step up Daily Working Hours”.

According to him, there is no way we can improve our Standard of Living, if we do not improve on our Productivity and Hours we put in.

“We should be able to tell ourselves the basic truth,” Umahi said.

On the proposed Nationwide Protest, Umahi said that such move was not good for the Country.

“President Bola Tinubu Administration has done good for the People. Let me tell you, Nigerians planning to protest against this Administration are not patriotic.

“There is need to change the Level and Hour of Productivity to improve the Standard of Living.

“By the way, what are the People protesting about? Without the coming of President Tinubu, we would have had a failed Country.

“The Job is easy  when you are not the one doing it. When People say there is hunger, tell us the solution to the hunger. It is not just to be talking.

“So we must engage ourselves into something extra, especially into Farming.

“Even when I was in the Private Sector, I pushed for more Hours of Productivity.

“Everybody must have work to do. We should not as a People, be buying Pepper. We should not be buying Tomatoes. We should be able to get Bags and fill them with Manure and Plant these things at the front of our Houses.

“Improving Standard of Living is the responsibility of everybody. No matter how much the Federal Government injects into the System and Palliatives, we must change our Working Hours.

“We must change our Level of Productivity, because if we have all the Working Tools and you do not deploy it, there will be no result.

“I support what the President is doing. The CNG Buses, a lot of Palliatives, Trader Monies, Monies to the Vulnerable Families, Agricultural Inputs, giving out Rice and Fertilisers to our Farmers, to Indigent Women and Men.

“These are very important. But we must be committed and faithful to it. We must change the Narratives. Government cannot do everything for us.

“We have to support Mr President to change the course of things. This is my Position. When People say they want to protest, they are just being mischievous,” Umahi added. 

 

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22-Jul-2024 Tinubu details ECOWAS Scorecard before AU Leaders in Ghana

Tinubu details ECOWAS Scorecard before AU Leaders in Ghana

President Bola Tinubu on Sunday in Accra, Ghana, highlighted the Progress made so far by the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and the prevailing challenges of the Region.

A Statement by Ajuri Ngelale, the President’s Spokesman, said he highlighted the Achievements of the Bloc in the past one year at the Sixth Mid-Year Coordination Meeting of the African Union while addressing African Leaders on the Status of ECOWAS.

Tinubu, who is the Chairman of ECOWAS Authority of Heads of State and Government, said the Community had activated a Standby Force to counter Terrorism and would continue to explore Funding options.

The President said ECOWAS had been supporting Member States to enhance Electoral and Governance Processes, and recently deployed Election Observation Missions to Senegal and Togo – both of which Elections were adjudged to be peaceful, transparent, and fair.

He also highlighted the Facilitation of the Signing of an Agreement for National Unity in Sierra Leone, noting that the Sub-Regional Body would continue to work with Stakeholders in the Country to implement the Provisions of the Agreement.

The President stated that Consultations were ongoing to revise the ECOWAS 2001 Supplementary Protocol on Democracy and Good Governance.

On Economic Integration, Tinubu said ECOWAS had implemented Activities to consolidate the Free Trade Area, Customs Union, and Common Market.

“We supported six Member States in ratifying the WTO Fisheries Subsidies Agreement, and thirteen Member States have ratified the AFCFTA Agreement.

“The ECOWAS interconnected System for the Management of Goods in Transit (SIGMAT) is also operational in twelve Member States,” the President stated.

Detailing the efforts on the Humanitarian and Social Development Front, President Tinubu said ECOWAS had allocated $9m to assist Persons of Concern, including Refugees, Internally Displaced Persons, and Asylum Seekers.

“The frontline Member States in the fight against Terrorism have also been supported with $4m under the ECOWAS Counter Terrorism Humanitarian Response.

“On Education, the West African Network of National Academies of Sciences, and the African Forum for Research and Innovation have been established.

“Our Regional Academic Mobility Scheme has continued to equip the Youth with Practical Skills and is harmonising Education Systems.

“While in the Area of Health, ECOWAS continues to provide support to Women with Obstetric Fistula, empowered Women Entrepreneurs in Agribusiness, and focused on gender equality in Education and the Green Economy,” the ECOWAS Chairman stated.

Foregrounding the Progress on Energy, Mines, and Agriculture, Tinubu said ECOWAS was advancing Electrification efforts in The Gambia, Guinea Bissau, and Mali through the ECOWAS-Regional Electricity Access Project (ECOREAP).

“It is also implementing the Regional Off Grid Electricity Access Project (ROGEAP). 32 Solar Off Grid SMEs have been approved, including nine SMEs led by Women.

“A total of $3m will be disbursed to finance the SMEs. More than 400 SMEs in 13 Countries were trained in 2023 and 2024.

“To achieve Sustainable Electricity Access within the ECOWAS and Sahel Countries, we will provide a total Grant of $38m to SMEs in Member States,” he said.

According to him, ECOWAS will extend this to Mauritania, Central African Republic, Chad and Cameroon through Commercial and Financial Institutions.

“An additional Loan of $140m will also be made available to the solar SMEs.

“Within the Period under Review, ECOWAS has supported Experts from Member States in International Meetings and Negotiations on Environmental Issues, including Environmental Governance.

“We provided support to our Members in the implementation of the Paris Agreement and the establishment of a Regional Carbon Market,” said Tinubu.

He explained that with respect to Food Security, the ECOWAS Bank for Investment and Development (EBID) had approved the Instruments to operationalise the Regional Fund for Agriculture and Food (RFAF).

“A Regional Food Security was developed to achieve Self-Sufficiency in Rice Production.

“Furthermore, our support for Pastoralism in the Sahel has targeted the improvement of Animal Health, with a record vaccination of over 490 million Livestock.

“We have established Common Rules for controlling Veterinary Medicine Products at Borders. In addition, ECOWAS inaugurated a Project for Member States to access the Green Climate Fund.

“This will promote Climate-Smart Agriculture through the use of Technologies,” the President said.

On other ECOWAS Institutions, Tinubu stated that the Sixth Legislature of the ECOWAS Parliament elected its first Female President, Maimunatu Ibrahim from Togo, and that The ECOWAS Community Court of Justice reviewed 15 new Cases, held 33 Court Sessions, and delivered 11 Judgments.

However, he noted that the Bloc faced multiple threats, including Member States withdrawing, Geopolitical Rivalries, Terrorism, Food Insecurity, Climate Change, and the spread of Misinformation and Disinformation.

He said ECOWAS would continue to Dialogue with Burkina Faso, Mali, and Niger to maintain unity and would convene a Special Extra-ordinary Summit on the future of the Community.

“Finally, Your Excellencies, I am happy to report that the ECOWAS Commission has assumed the Rotating Chairmanship of the Inter-REC Platform since February this year.

“Earlier this year, the ECOWAS Commission hosted the East African Community (EAC) and the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), to exchange Views on various Issues and review Best Practices.

“We will continue to collaborate with all AU Regional Communities and Mechanisms in order to strengthen our Continental Integration,” the President concluded.

 

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22-Jul-2024 Court refuses to stop Fubara from spending Rivers' money

Court refuses to stop Fubara from spending Rivers' money

A Federal High Court (FHC), Abuja has refused to shut down all Expenditures of Governor Siminalay Fubara of Rivers pending the hearing and determination of the Substantive Suit filed by the Martin Amaewhule-led Rivers Assembly.
Justice Emeka Nwite, in a Ruling on the motion ex-parte marked: FHC/ABJ/CS/984/24 and moved by Sebastien Hon, rather ordered the Plaintiffs to put all the Defendants in the Suit on Notice.
Justice Nwite, however, granted another Motion Ex-Parte by the Plaintiffs to serve the 5th to 10th Defendants with the Originating Process and other Applications in the Matter by Substituted Means.
The Judge said: “the Leave is hereby granted to the Plaintiffs/Applicants to serve the 5th to 10th Defendants/Respondents with the Plaintiffs/Applicants’ Originating and any other Process(es) filed or issued in this Suit by Substituted Means to wit:
“By publishing same in the Nation Newspapers.”
Justice Nwite adjourned the Matter until August 7 for Hearing of the Motion on Notice.
The 5th to 10th Defendants are  Fubara; Accountant-General (A-G) of Rivers; Rivers Independent Electoral Commission (RSIEC); Chief Judge (CJ) of Rivers, Justice S.C. Amadi; Chairman of RSIEC, Justice Adolphus Enebeli  and Government of Rivers State respectively.
The Rivers State House of Assembly and Martin Amaewhule (1st and 2nd Plaintiffs) had, through their Lead Counsel, Joseph Daudu, filed the Suit dated July 14 but filed July 15.
They had sued the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Zenith Bank Plc, Access Bank Plc and the Accountant-General of the Federation (AGF) as 1st to 4th Defendants respectively.
Also joined in the Suit are Fubara, Rivers A-G, RSIEC, Rivers CJ, Chairman of RSIEC and Rivers Government as 5th to 10 Defendants.
In the Motion on Notice brought pursuant to Order 28 Rules 1 and 2; Order 27 Rules 5; Order 28 Rule 1(2) of FHC Civil Procedure Rules 2009 and under the inherent Jurisdiction of the Court, the Plaintiffs sought two Orders.
They sought an Order of Interlocutory Injunction restraining the 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th Defendants from honouring any Request, Command, Order or Mandate or any Banking or other Instrument, Financial Instruction or other Instructions issued by the 5th Defendant.
on his Instruction or at his Instance or deriving from the 5th Defendant’s Authority or in any manner, Fund or Revenue of Rivers State or Rivers State Government in the Custody of the said Defendants, or held by the said Defendants for the benefit of Rivers State or Rivers State Government or in any.

The two Rulings, which were delivered on July 17 in the Judge’s Chamber, were obtained on Sunday in Abuja.

The Martin Amaewhule-led Rivers Assembly had, on July 15, suspended all Expenditures of Rivers Governor Siminalayi Fubara until he re-presents his Budget before the House.

The Lawmakers gave the Governor a Seven-Day Ultimatum to re-present his Budget, which they said had expired.

Rivers House Leader, Major Jack, moved the Motion to bring up a Resolution alerting the House of the Governor’s Seven-Day Deadline for presenting the 2024 Budget to the House.

Following consideration, the Assembly decided to shut down the Rivers State Consolidated Revenue Account, prohibiting any Expenditure by Governor Fubara Administration.
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22-Jul-2024 It's disheartening, you don't know our Refinery, we produce the best, Dangote tells Regulator

It's disheartening, you don't know our Refinery, we produce the best, Dangote tells Regulator

Aliko Dangote, President of Dangote Group, has asserted that Products refined at Dangote Petroleum Refinery and Petrochemicals are of superior quality compared to Imported equivalents and meet International Standards.

Anthony Chiejina, Chief Corporate Communications Officer, Dangote Group, quoted Dangote in a Statement on Sunday in Lagos.

He said Dangote disclosed this during a Tour of Dangote Petroleum Refinery and Dangote Fertiliser Limited Complex by Members of the House of Representatives.

He said the Tour includes the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Tajudeen Abbas, and other Members who observed the Testing of Automotive Gas Oil (Diesel) from two Petrol Stations alongside Dangote Petroleum Refinery.

Chiejina said that Dangote expressed his confidence, after the House Leadership insisted on testing other Diesel Products, alongside Dangote’s Diesel at its State-of-the-Art Laboratory.

He said that the Diesel Samples were procured from two well-known Filling Stations near Eleko Junction along the Lekki Epe Expressway, by the Members.

According to him, Chairman of the House Committee on Downstream, Ikeagwunon Ugochinyere, and Chairman of the House Committee on Midstream, Okojie Odianosen, monitored the collection of Samples from the Mild Hydro Cracking (MHC) Unit of Dangote Refinery for Testing of all the Samples.

 

“Lab Tests revealed that Dangote’s Diesel had a Sulphur Content of 87.6 ppm (parts per million), whereas the other two Samples showed Sulphur levels exceeding 1800 ppm and 2000 ppm respectively,” he said.

Dangote emphasised that these Findings debunked claims made by Farouk Ahmed, Chief Executive Officer of the Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Authority, who recently said that Imported Diesel surpasses Domestically Refined Products.

Ahmed had alleged that Dangote Refinery and other Modular Refineries like Waltersmith and Aradel produced Diesel with Sulphur Content ranging from 650 to 1200 ppm—a Statement criticised by many Nigerians as a tactic to favour Imported Products over Local Ones.

Dangote openly challenged the Regulator to compare the quality of Refined Products from his Refinery with those imported, advocating an Impartial Assessment to determine what best serves the Interests of Nigerians.

“We produce the best Diesel in Nigeria. It’s disheartening that instead of safeguarding the Market, the Regulator is undermining it.

“Our Doors are open for the Regulator to conduct Tests on our Products anytime; transparency is paramount to us.

“It would be beneficial for the Regulator to showcase its Laboratory to the World so Nigerians can compare. Our interest is Nigeria first because if Nigeria doesn’t grow, we have limited Capacity for growth.

“Right Honourable Speaker and esteemed Members, you’ve witnessed the Results of the Credibility Test.

“I appreciate your wise Counsel in procuring samples from the Filling Stations alongside our Refinery’s Product.

“Ours show a Sulphur Content of 87.6 ppm, approximately 88, whereas the others exceeded 1,800 ppm.

“Although the NMDPRA permits Local Refiners to produce Diesel with Sulphur Content up to 650 ppm until January 2025, as approved by ECOWAS, ours is significantly lower.

“We aim to achieve 10 ppm, aligning with the Euro V Standard. Imported Diesel is capped at 50 ppm, but as you’ve seen, those from the Stations, imported by Major Marketers, fall well outside this Standard.”

Dangote pointed out that High-Sulphur Content Diesel regularly imported into the Country often comes with dubious Certifications.

He emphasised that the most effective Method to verify the quality was to purchase the Product directly from Filling Stations and conduct Credibility Tests.

According to him, this Issue has resulted in both Health Risks and Financial Losses for Nigerians.

 

“Dubious Certifications often accompany the Importation of High-Sulphur Diesel into Nigeria, causing both Health Risks and Financial Losses for Nigerians.

“The best Method to verify this is to purchase the Product directly from Filling Stations where End-Users obtain it.

“I believe Farouk Ahmed speaks without sufficient knowledge of our Refinery. We have successfully exported Diesel and Jet Fuel to Europe and Asia without any complaints; in fact, we have received repeated Orders, indicating satisfaction with our Products,” Dangote noted.

Supporting Dangote’s assertion, Vice President of Gas and Oil at Dangote Industries Limited, Devakumar Edwin, highlighted recent actions by European Countries like Belgium and the Netherlands.

“These Countries have expressed concerns about the Carcinogenic effects of High-Sulphur Diesel being dumped into the Nigerian Market, prompting them to impose bans on such Fuel Exports to West Africa.”

Edwin informed the Federal Lawmakers that the Dangote Petroleum Refinery, designed to process a wide range of Crudes including various African and Middle Eastern Crudes, as well as US Light Tight Oil, conforms to Euro V Specifications.

In addition, he said, it is designed to comply with US EPA, European Emission Norms, Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) Emission/Effluent Norms, and African Refiners and Distribution Association (ARDA) Standards.

Noting that Products from the $20bn Facility were of high quality and meet International Standards, Edwin said it had the Capacity to meet 100 per cent of Nigeria’s demand for Petrol, Diesel, Kerosene, and Aviation Jet, with surpluses available for Export.

Expressing concern over the controversy surrounding the quality of Imported Refined Products into Nigeria, Abass stated that the Green Chamber would establish a Committee to investigate the Matter thoroughly.

He emphasised that Sampled Products from various Sources would undergo Testing as part of this Initiative.

The Speaker also expressed admiration for the Infrastructure at the Dangote Oil Refinery, describing it as a significant Asset in Nigeria’s quest for Self-Sufficiency in Petroleum Products.

He noted that the Refinery had positioned itself as a Pivotal Player, especially at a time when Global concerns over Energy Security and Sustainability are paramount.

 

“Today’s visit to the magnificent Facilities of Dangote Industries Oil Refinery Section has been nothing short of enlightening.

“It has afforded us a rare opportunity to witness first-hand the monumental strides that your Organisation has made in transforming the Landscape of Petroleum Production in Nigeria.

“The sheer scale and sophistication of this Facility are awe-inspiring; it stands as a beacon of hope for our Country as we navigate through the turbulent waters of Energy Supply challenges,” he said.

Commending the State-of-the-Art Technology implemented at the Petroleum Refinery, Abbas praised it as revolutionary and a shining example of Engineering and Innovation excellence.

“Each corner of this Facility resonates with the echoes of hard work, dedication, and an unyielding pursuit of quality.

“It is evident that every drop produced here carries not just Oil but also the hopes and dreams of millions who yearn for a brighter future.

“We are deeply impressed by what we have seen during this Visit which confirms the rating of this Industry as the Single Largest Oil Refinery in Africa.

“This remarkable achievement does not merely reflect Corporate success; it symbolises National Pride, a tribute to what can be accomplished when Visionary Leadership meets relentless determination,” he said.

Acknowledging the numerous challenges likely encountered during the Construction of the Refinery, the Speaker lauded Dangote for his steadfast commitment to achieving excellence.

“I would like to take this opportunity to acknowledge the myriad challenges that have beset this remarkable Facility.

“The Regulatory hurdles that often loom like dark clouds over progress, the complexities surrounding Crude Oil Supplies that can stifle even the most ambitious endeavours.

“And the daunting Economic Landscape we navigate especially in these times when our Economy grapples with Foreign Exchange constraints are all formidable adversaries.

“Yet, despite these tribulations, your unwavering commitment to excellence shines through,” he attested.

 

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21-Jul-2024 Midoil: A Dream turned Reality

Midoil: A Dream turned Reality

Friday the 12th of July, 2024 would for long be remembered in the Annals of the Board, Management and Staff of Midoil Refining and Petrochemicals Company Limited.
 It was a day Family, Friends, Well Wishers and the Host Communities of Midoil Refinery gathered at the Project Site in Shekungba to commemorate the much expected Turning of the Sod.
 Board, Management, Staff and Invited Guests including prominent Members and Traditional Rulers of the Host Communities kept right to time for the Event to kick off as specified.
The day began with a commune with God as the Programme Activities were committed to prayers under the guide of the Anglican Bishop of Lagos, Rt Revd Ifedola Senasu Okupezi who sought God’s presence for the Refinery Project. 
He asked for divine blessings for the Project and its activities therein and particularly committed Midoil Refinery into God’s hands. He also asked God to touch the hearts of Members of the Host Communities to provide a Conducive Environment for the Refinery to thrive and be a blessing to the Communities.
The Man of God commended the Executive Chairman of the Company, Elizabeth Omolara Akintonde for her steadfastness in the pursuit of her dream Project and prayed for her continuous success. In his words “she is a Woman who cares for her Family and others, including mine. We are grateful to God for your life and your achievements. May you continue to blossom and prosper in your Businesses and all that you lay your hands upon,” he prayed. 
 The highly revered Anglican Priest also commended and prayed for Midoil Director, Amina Abdullahi for her commitment to the Project and Chairman of the Company asking God to “continue to protect you and bless you with good health.” 
The journey that culminated in the Turning of the Sod at the Site of the Refinery was bedeviled with series of challenges especially regarding the massive Land on which the Refinery and its Subsidiaries are to be sited. It was not an easy battle securing a 365 Hectares of Land in the Host Communities all in Ikosi/Ejinrin Local Council Development Area of Lagos State.
Chairman of Midoil Refining and Petrochemicals Company Limited, Akintonde, had from the beginning believed that the Project would come to fruition and gave it her all. “I trudged on even when many, including Family Members, were not convinced about the reality of the Project. They labelled a White Elephant Project that may not see the light of the day,” she declared.
“I ran to God in prayers and remained resolute that He would hearken to my cry. At a point, I didn’t even know what prayer point to make but I was just asking God for intervention,” Akintonde  added.
No wonder she took time to appreciate God and everyone present at the Ceremony for their great support in the course of the journey becoming a reality. Of particular mention were the well respected Retired Justice S.O Hunponu-Wusu, her In-Law who she praised to high heavens for being there, Amina Abdullahi, a Director of Midoil for her love and commitment to the Project from the time she came on board, Retired Deputy Inspector of Police, Babatunde Kokumo, the Lagos State Government, her Children and Son-In-Law, Oviavo, as well as the Traditional Rulers and Members of the Host Communities.
The Turning of the Sod which was the high point of the day was soon to follow as Retired Justice Hunponu-Wusu, Amina Abdullahi, Babatunde Kokumo and the Chairman, all led in prayer by Rt Revd Ifedola Okupevi, took turn to perform the Ceremony.
Also around to add colour to the Event were Midoil Founding Member, Thomas Nwakalo-Imu, Kunle Sonariwo, Venerable Siji Kolawole, Ambassador Oloko and his wife, Baale Sekungba, Solomon Omotayo, Ayodele Odediran, Oviavo Hunponu-Wusu and Wife, Mojisola, who is the first daughter of Midoil Executive Chairman amongst other Dignitaries.
Attention soon shifted to the popular Sheraton Hotels and Towers, Ikeja for an elaborate Reception being the second leg of the Sod Turning, also coinciding with the 74th Birthday Anniversary of Midoil Chairman, Akintonde.  
The Occasion which attracted same quality attendance as witnessed at the Turning of the Sod earlier in the day, was dominated by Thanksgiving and Praises to God for the achievements, honour and good health bestowed on the energetic and amiable Celebrant.
The Thanksgiving Service kicked off with series of Prayers, Hymns and relevant Bible Passages in appreciation of God’s benevolence and the impactful life so far led by the Midoil Chairman.
The Birthday Ceremony also offered an opportunity for various Groups and Individuals to extol the Virtues of the Celebrant in their outpouring of Goodwill Messages. 
She was described by many present and her family as God’s gift to Humanity.
First on the Roll Call was her Daughter, Mojisola Hunponu-Wusu who praised the resilience and never say die attitude of her Mother. She revealed how on a number of occasions she had prevailed on Midoil Director, Abdullahi to beg her mother  to slow down, only to discover that both are neck-deep in the Project. 
She eventually gave up the pressure and pledged her full support for a Project she confessed she initially did not believe in. 
Other Speakers also took turn to eulogise the Midoil Chairman, fondly called the Amazon by Admirers.
A major highlight of the Birthday Ceremony was the Presentation of Certificates of Appreciation to Individuals who have contributed in no small measures to the realisation of the Midoil dream.   
The Recipients include Amina Abdullahi, Babatunde Kokumo, Oluwole Harris-Isa and Larry Ogochukwu Egwuenu.
In her closing Remarks and show of appreciation, Midoil Executive Chairman, Akintonde thanked everyone present at the two in one Event “I really appreciate the fact that you are here on my Birthday, the day Midoil decided to do the Turning of the Sod at the Project Site of the Refinery. We thought it was impossible, but we are able to do it on my Birthday. Thank you for coming and God bless you.”  
“Last year December, the Army drove all of us away from the Land I had bought since 2014. You won’t believe the things I sold. I sold all my Shares just to keep the dream alive and then the Army came and said everybody out. But God turned everything around for our good and the Army gave us back what belong to us”
It would be recalled that Midoil received its Land Allocation Letter on the 24th of April, 2014 and the Approved Licence to establish (LTE) by the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) now known as Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission.
21-Jul-2024 CBN goes tough on Dormant Accounts, Unclaimed Financial Assets

CBN goes tough on Dormant Accounts, Unclaimed Financial Assets

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has implemented stricter Regulations for managing Dormant Accounts and Unclaimed Financial Assets in Banks and other Financial Institutions.

These new Guidelines, effective immediately, supersede previous Policies issued in 2015.

This is made known in a circular signed by John Onojah, Acting Director, Financial Policy and Regulations Department, CBN.

The Guidelines, which align with Section 72 of the Banks and Other Financial Institutions Act (BOFIA) 2020, followed Engagement and Consultations with relevant Stakeholders, whose Comments and Recommendations were considered in the Review Process.

The Guidelines, therefore, reduced Dormancy Period of Account from six years of inactivity accounts to 10 years with no Customer activity.

After 10 years of dormancy, the Guidelines  allows  Eligible Account Balances and Unclaimed Financial Assets to be transferred to a Special Account managed by the CBN.

“It, amongst others, standardises the management of Dormant Accounts, Unclaimed Balances and Financial Assets, and outlines the Procedure for the Administration of these Balances, Funds, and Assets by Banks and other Financial Institutions in Nigeria.

“The Modalities for the transfer of the relevant Balances/Funds/Assets to the CBN, together with the revised Templates for the rendition of Quarterly Returns to the Banking Supervision Department or Other Financial Institutions Supervision Department (as the case may be) will be communicated subsequently,”  it said.

The new guidelines spelt out the Roles and Responsibilities of Stakeholders.

The Guidelines mandated CBN to open and maintain Accounts earmarked to warehouse Unclaimed Balances in Eligible Accounts under a Trust Fund.

It also mandated the Apex Bank to establish a Management Committee that will oversee the Operation of the Unclaimed Balances Trust Fund (UBTF Pool Account).

CBN will also manage the Funds in line with the Provisions of BOFIA 2020, and publish Procedures for reclaiming Warehoused Funds and other Financial Assets, among other Roles.

It added that Eligible Dormant Accounts, Unclaimed Balances and other Financial Assets shall include: Current, Savings and Term Deposits in Local Currency, Domiciliary Accounts; Deposits towards the purchase of Shares and Mutual Investments; Prepaid Card Accounts and Wallets.

Also listed were Government-Owned Accounts; Proceeds of Uncleared and Unpresented Financial Instruments; Unclaimed Salaries and Wages, Commissions, and Bonuses; among others.

The Guidelines, however, exempted Accounts subject to Litigation, Judgment Debts, Accounts under Investigation, and Encumbered Accounts including, but not limited to, Collaterals and Liens.

 

Credit NAN: Texts excluding Headline

20-Jul-2024 Nigeria leads Africa's Technological Transformation, says FG, unveils Roadmap

Nigeria leads Africa's Technological Transformation, says FG, unveils Roadmap

The Federal Government has unveiled a comprehensive strategy to lead Africa’s Digital Trade Revolution within the Framework of the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA).

Vice-President Kashim Shettima, said this while delivering a Keynote Address during a Stakeholders Summit held at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

He said the Roadmap was part of the Renewed Hope Agenda of President Bola Tinubu Administration.

This, according to him, will harness Trade as a catalyst for Economic Growth and Continental Cohesion in line with AfCFTA Objectives.

Shettima said Nigeria was in a unique position to spearhead the Continent’s Technological Transformation.

“We are in a vintage position because we are the Continent’s largest ICT Hub, and as such, we must lead the way to the future of this peculiar wave of the Industrial Revolution.

“Our Collaboration must prioritise comparisons of our Policy Initiatives to those of Developed Economies and fine-tune them to sustain our place and fast-track our growth,” he said.

Shettima outlined Key Components of the Roadmap to include implementation of AfCFTA’s Digital Trade Protocol and the development of expansive Technical Talent Hubs.

“The Plan also focuses on enhancing Digital Infrastructure Investments, promoting Disruptive Innovation and Entrepreneurship.”

Shettima stressed the need for strong synergy between the Public and Private Sectors in implementing the AfCFTA’s Digital Trade Protocol.

He assured the Federal Government’s commitment to Investment in Digital Infrastructure and Human Capital Development to drive the Process.

“For a Sector upon which all others rely to survive, Digital Technologies hold the Nation together, and we cannot afford to slow down.

“Our Programmes, from the Investment in Digital and Creative Enterprises (iDICE) to the ongoing Intervention to train three million Technical Talents by the Ministry of Communications, Innovation and Digital Economy, to the Outsource to Nigeria Initiative (OTNI), are Lifelines in our Digital Economy.

“They offer us an avenue to not only maximise our potential but also commit to the adoption of the Digital Trade Protocol within AfCFTA.”

Earlier the Minister of Communications, Innovation and Digital Economy, Bosun Tijjani said the Tinubu Administration was investing significantly in every aspect of the Digital Trade Protocol towards harnessing Opportunities in the Country and Continent at large.

According to Tijjani, Opportunities that exist within the Single Market area are unprecedented and could best be harnessed through effective Collaboration and Networking facilitated by Digital Technology.

The Special Assistant to the President on ICT Policy, Salihu Nakande, thanked Tinubu and  Shettima for their commitment to the Renewed Hope Agenda.

This, he said laid a solid Foundation for the Digital Transformation Journey in the Country.

He said their continuous support has led to the discourse on Digital Transformation which would lead to a prosperous Nigeria.

For his part, Kris Kamponi, the Head of Prosperity, British Deputy High Commission, said the United Kingdom is a proud champion of Open, Free and Fair Trade, noting that it has positively impacted the UK Economy.

He described the Digital Trade in Africa Initiative as vital and critical in addressing all of the Issues relating to growing prosperity for Africa. 

 

Credit NAN: Texts excluding Headline

20-Jul-2024 Tinubu: Our Reforms for mutual benefit of Investors, Nigerians

Tinubu: Our Reforms for mutual benefit of Investors, Nigerians

President Bola Tinubu says Reforms embarked upon by his Administration would make Nigeria competitive.

He said this when he received a Delegation of the International Energy Company, ENI, led by its Chief Executive Officer, Claudio Descalzi, at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

He commended the Company for its proposed new Investment in Nigeria and reiterated his Vision of making the Nation more Globally competitive and an Investment Destination.

The President said his Administration’s Reforms would reposition the Nation’s Economy by exploring the possibilities of Innovative Thinking, Strategic Planning, new Technology and Research into Best Practices.

“ENI, we welcome your Team again. Claudio, it is an honour for me to welcome you back to your second Home, Nigeria.

“Welcome back after many years. Nigeria has improved and I am glad that you noted that we are making changes, not because of anything else but because of a very Long-Term Vision on our Investment Strategy.

“We are determined to champion changes or take ourselves ahead of those changes and make Reform a priority,” he said.

He said his Government had to continuously be Intellectually inquisitive and Reform its way of doing things.

“We count on your efforts and we see the effects of your belief in our Partnership; not for exploitation but for Investable Development.

“Africa is not in a begging mode but in an accelerated mode to compete and take its place with the rest of the World,’’ he stated.

Tinubu also said the Reforms embarked upon by his Administration would be sustained for the mutual benefit of Investors and Nigerians.

“I have seen the need for us to continue to be Leaders in this Reform and create Opportunities for attracting Investments because the Basket is getting bigger and the Participants are getting larger and more resilient.

“The Fossil Fuel problem is there; Science and Technology are taking over.

“We will still continue to assure you that we are going to be the Global Investment Destination, and I will encourage you as one of the progressive Leaders in the Industry on what our Reforms have achieved.

“Please, put a timeline on that Investment Strategy. It will be a stimulant for the rest of the World when you put a timeline on it,” said the President.

Tinubu commended ENI’s confidence in the Country over the years and for diversifying into other Areas such as Agriculture.

“We are open; we are ready. We are working hard on Infrastructural Development and to make Arable Land available for Planting.

“And we are ready to partner with you in every aspect of that and Innovative Research,” he stated.

In his Remarks, Descalzi said the Energy Company would invest more in the Country, particularly in the Agricultural Sector.

“First of all, there are lots of reasons to thank you.

“The first is that after nine years, you allowed me to come back to my Country. It is quite emotional.

“Secondly, not only because you found time to stay with us, but especially because you promoted a New Era for Nigeria.

“You want us to attract Investment, and I think you are following the right track with your Leadership,” he said.

He promised his Company would return to Nigeria to disabuse the saying of someone in Europe that everybody was leaving Nigeria.

“We want to be the champion of this New Era.

“We want to stay close to you to learn and to help you in your endeavour and renew our efforts to create again a new Nigeria for everybody.

“We trust you and want everybody in Europe, in different Countries and everywhere to trust you and your Leadership.

“You know that we work everywhere, and we can be a good Ambassador of Nigeria; not just in Europe but other Countries,” Descalzi said. 

 

Credit NAN: Texts excluding Headline

20-Jul-2024 Crude Oil Production Target: Tinubu gives Security Chiefs order on Criminals

Crude Oil Production Target: Tinubu gives Security Chiefs order on Criminals

President Bola Tinubu has directed Security Agencies to improve the Security Architecture to ensure the Production of 2.1 million Barrels of Crude Oil per day.

Christopher Musa, Chief of Defence Staff (CDS), said this while briefing State House Correspondents, after a Meeting with President Tinubu on Friday.

“It is a Mandate for us to restore full Production, we are targeting 2.1 million Barrels per day, which is achievable. So, we are taking steps to ensure that all that is required to be done is done,” he said.

He said the President was aware of the cries of the Oil Producing Communities and would not let them down.

He said the Communities should be rest assured that steps were being taken to address their grievances so that full Production of Crude Oil would be restored.

“For the Criminals, those that are hell bent on destroying our Infrastructure and stealing our Crude Oil for whatever reasons, their days are numbered.

“We are coming after them, and we want to assure Nigerians that all we need is to work together to achieve success.

“Nobody can do it alone, no single Service, no single Individual can do this alone; we all need to work together, including the States. We understand that the Communities have so much needs, the President will address those Issues to ensure that we have full Production,” said Musa.

The Inspector-General of Police (IGP), Kayode Egbetokun, said Security Chiefs were at the State House to brief President Tinubu on the current Security Situation in the Country.

“This we have been doing regularly. Mr President is satisfied with our Report and he has challenged us to continue to work together and improve our synergy.

“We have records of all Reported Crimes across the Country and can tell you that Crime Rate is declining in Nigeria. 

“Records don’t lie, the Records are there. So, I can assure you that we will continue to do what we are doing to maintain the decline in the Crime Rate,” said Egbetokun.

Nigeria’s Crude Oil Production currently stands at 1.472m pbd, down from 1.502m last month and up from 1.450m one year ago.

This is a change of -2.04 per cent from last month and 1.50 per cent from last year.

The decline in Daily Crude Oil Production Figure is attributed to Pipeline Vandalism and sundry Criminal Activities that have made it impossible for the Country to meet its OPEC Production Quota.

 

Credit NAN: Texts excluding Headline

19-Jul-2024 Access Bank joins NGX to Launch Impact Board

Access Bank joins NGX to Launch Impact Board

Access Bank Plc, Nigeria’s leading Institution in Sustainable Finance, was one of the Participants in the Launch of the Nigerian Exchange Limited (NGX) Impact Board, a dedicated Platform for listing Sustainability Instruments to integrate Sustainability into the core of Nigeria’s Capital Market.

The Event, marked by the attendance of High-Profile Stakeholders, including the Minister of Environment, Balarabe Lawal, and the Director-General of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Emomotimi Agama, underscored the critical need for Sustainable Financing in Nigeria.

Lawal emphasised the urgency of addressing Environmental challenges, stating, “With Issues like Flooding, Pollution, and Deforestation, we urgently need Funds to tackle them. This is why we are approaching the Market.”

Commenting on the Launch of the Impact Board, Gregory Jobome, Executive Director, Risk Management at Access Bank Plc, highlighted the Bank’s pioneering role in Sustainable Finance, noting, “As a Leader in the Issuance of Corporate Green Bonds in Africa, Access Bank is committed to driving Environmental Sustainability and Supporting Projects that align with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

“The NGX Impact Board is a significant step towards fostering a greener and more responsible Investment Landscape.”

The Director-General of the SEC, Emomotimi Agama, reaffirmed the Commission’s support for Sustainable Finance, saying, “We are ready to bolster the Sustainable Finance Market, aiming to deepen it with diverse Instruments that contribute to Nigeria’s Sustainable Development.”

Umaru Kwairanga, Group Chairman of the Nigerian Exchange Group, expressed confidence in the NGX’s Capabilities, stating, “We possess the Capacity, Resources, and Technology to raise the Funds required by the Federal Ministry of Environment and the Nigerian Economy to achieve the goals outlined in the Paris Agreement and the Sustainable Development Goals.”

Access Bank has consistently demonstrated Leadership in Climate Finance across Africa, exemplifying a strong commitment to Sustainable Environmental Practices and Financial Solutions.

In June 2018, the Bank supported the Green Bond Market Development Programme organised by FSD Africa, the Climate Bonds Initiative (CBI), and FMDQ Group PLC, aiming to develop a Non-Sovereign Green Bond Market in Nigeria. This initiative sought to entrench Sustainability Principles into the Nigerian Capital Markets and support Broader Debt Capital Market Reforms to facilitate the transition to a Climate-Resilient Economy.

In April 2019, Access Bank issued its Inaugural Green Bond, valued at NGN15bn ($41m), becoming the first African Corporate Entity to receive CBI Certification.

The Bond, listed on Multiple Exchanges including the FMDQ OTC Securities Exchange, Nigerian Stock Exchange, and Luxembourg Green Exchange, set the tone for the Continent’s appetite for Green Capital.

Building on this success, the Bank issued $50m Reg S Step-Up Green Notes in 2022 under its US$1.5bn Global Medium-Term Note Programme, further solidifying its commitment to Sustainable Financing.

 

Credit Access Bank PR

19-Jul-2024 Airline Operators deny blacklist allegation, say it's maligning, threaten Legal Action

Airline Operators deny blacklist allegation, say it's maligning, threaten Legal Action

The Airline Operators of Nigeria (AON) has said that a Report alleging blacklisting of some Nigerian Carriers by International Aircraft Lessors for breach  Contract, was inaccurate and maligning.

This is disclosed in a Statement by AON  and signed by its Spokesperson, Obiora Okonkwo in Lagos.

According to Okonkwo, Nigerian Airlines have consistently worked very hard to meet their Contractual Obligations with Lessors in spite of a challenging Business Environment.

Okonkwo said that two of the Airlines  – Air Peace and Azman – mentioned in the Report, by a National Daily, had incurred losses exceeding $3m from Lessors.

“Despite these setbacks, Domestic Airlines have remained committed to serving the Nigerian Public and contributing to National Economic Development.

“The first Report claimed that 13 Airlines, including Aero Contractors, Air Peace, Arik, Azman, Dana, Green Africa, Ibom Air, Max Air, United Nigeria Airline and Valuejet, were blacklisted for refusing to pay Lessor Fees.

“The second Report claimed that Airline Operators denied owing Lessors even when the Newspaper did not Officially speak with the Managements of the Airlines it listed in its earlier Report.

“For the avoidance of doubt, we categorically state that the first Report is entirely false, malicious and defamatory,” he noted.

According to Okonkwo, the National Daily, in its second Report, concocted information to justify the first Report instead of retracting it.

“We find the Publication of such inaccuracies very disheartening. We see it as a calculated attempt to erode confidence and to destroy the Aviation Industry.

“We demand  immediate retraction of the Report and an Apology by the Newspaper with the same prominence given to the inaccurate Cover Stories.

“In the absence of a satisfactory response, we may be forced to file a Complaint with relevant Media Oversight Bodies, take a Legal Action or both, to protect our reputation,” he said.

Okonkwo noted that the Minister of Aviation and Aerospace Development, Festus Keyamo had acknowledged the challenges Domestic Operators faced and had made concerted efforts to create an Enabling Environment for the Operators.

Air Peace, in a Letter dated July 17 and signed by Oroma Azeez on behalf of the Airline’s Legal Representative, Alegeh and Company Legal Practitioners and Notaries Public, described the Publication as defamatory.

The Airline had asked for the Publication be retracted within 24 hours.

The Airline  stated in the Letter  that it had no existing Dry Lease Contract and had never entered into one with any Lessor since the commencement of its Operations in 2013.

 

Credit NAN: Texts excluding Headline

19-Jul-2024 New Minimum Wage: How Tinubu nailed Labour...

New Minimum Wage: How Tinubu nailed Labour...

President Bola Tinubu on Thursday increased the Federal Government’s offer on the National Minimum Wage from N62,000 to N70,000, with an assurance that it will be reviewed after three years, instead of five years.

Tinubu said he had to intervene in the Negotiations, knowing the Economic challenges faced by many Nigerians, and the need to provide urgent succour.

He said this at a meeting with the Leadership of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and the Trade Union Congress (TUC), at the Presidential Villa, in Abuja.

“I have heard all your Presentations. You came here with the intention to get something on behalf of your Members. It has been tough Globally. And if you review my track record, I have never been found wanting in ameliorating the problem of Workers.

“I belong to the People and to all of you in Leadership. Without you, this Job is not interesting,” the President said, in statement by Ajuri Ngelale, his Spokesman.

He said the Labour Leaders challenged the Thinking Faculty of Leadership, “and we have reviewed the Position. I have consulted widely, and when the Tripartite Committee submitted their Reports, I reviewed them again and started to think and rethink.

“Last week, I brought the Workload to you because we have a timeline. We have a problem, and we recognise that you have a problem too.

“We are in the same Economy. We are in the same Country. We may have different Rooms, different Addresses, and different Houses; we are just Members of one Family that must care for each other.

“We must look at the Parameters of things. Here, I have a Speed Limit, and I must pay attention to Traffic Warnings; slippery when wet, curved Roads, and be careful not to have an accident. That is why I went as far as having this Meeting today.”

He said the Government and Labour Leaders were driving the Economy together.

“Let us look at the Tenure of Review. Let us agree on that, and affirm three years. Two years is too short. We affirm three years. We will review.

“I am going to move from the Tripartite Committee. I am going to edge a little bit forward, looking at the Review that we have done.

“Yes, no one in the Federal Establishment should earn less than N70,000. So, we are going to benchmark at N70,000,” he said.

Tinubu explained that renewing the hope of Nigerians extended to providing Infrastructure that would improve their Livelihoods and create an Inclusive Economy that all could participate and benefit.

The President said the government was committed to reducing the Cost of Transportation with the Introduction of Compressed Natural Gas-Powered Buses, which would be cheaper and efficient.

He also assured the Labour Unions of providing Buses that would be deployed across the Country.

President Tinubu also said the Entitlements of Members of the Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities and the Non-Academic Staff Union of Universities and Allied Institutions would be considered.

He  urged the Ministries of Finance, and Budget & Economic Planning to look at the possibilities of clearing the backlog.

At the Meeting, George Akume, the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, thanked the President for his consideration of Issues as the “Father of the Nation” and scheduling two Meetings to resolve the initial impasse.

“Mr President, at the Tripartite Meeting, and the Resolutions of the Government, Organised Private Sector and Labour Unions; we were all united as one Family to promote and grow our Economy, and deepen our Democracy, by implication to the benefit of all.

“Basically, that is what we are saying today. We have a listening President here,” said Akume.

Joe Ajaero, the NLC President, and Festus Osifo, his TUC Counterpart, thanked the President for creating time to host two Meetings on the Review of the National Minimum Wage.

The two Labour Leaders acknowledged that at the last Meeting, the President directed the rescheduling of an Official Trip in order to attend the second Meeting.

The Labour Leaders also expressed their appreciation to the President, applauding him for his clear show of commitment to the Welfare of Nigerian Workers. 

 

Credit NAN: Texts excluding Headlines

18-Jul-2024 New Minimum Wage: FG, Labour finally settle for N70,000

New Minimum Wage: FG, Labour finally settle for N70,000

The Federal Government and Organised labour have reached an Agreement on N70,000 as Nigeria’s new Minimum Wage.

This was announced by Mohammed Idris, Minister of Information and National Orientation, at the end of the Meeting with Labour at the State House on Thursday.

The new N70,000 Minimum wage adopted by the Federal Government after consultation with the Organised Labour on Thursday will be reviewed after three years.

Idris while addressing State House Correspondents, disclosed this after the Meeting between Representatives of the Federal Government led by President Bola Tinubu and the Organised Labour.

The Minister also said President Tinubu agreed that the National Minimum Wage review would no longer be done every five years.

Idris also said President Tinubu would perfect the Proposal on the new Minimum Wage in a Bill to be forwarded to the National Assembly next week.

“We’re happy to announce today that both the Federal Government and Organised Labour have agreed on an increase on the N62,000.

“The new National Minimum Wage that we expect to be submitted to the National Assembly for Legislation is N70,000.

“But that is not all. Mr President has assured of massive Investment in Infrastructure. There is also a deepening of the Investment of the Federal Government in Renewable Energy,” he said.

Idris said to complement the new Minimum Wage, the Federal Government would ramp up the Rollout of Compressed Natural Gas-Powered Buses in order to check the high Cost of Transportation.

He said that efforts were also being made to improve the Economy and reduce Inflation, including the recent directive on the suspension of Duty on certain Food Imports to bring down the Prices of Food Items.

Nkeiruka Onyejeocha, Minister of State for Labour, said that the Issue of Minimum Wage was not that of the Law and not who was right, or who would blink first.

“He said that he is our Father, like he has always said. That, first and foremost, the Review of this Minimum Wage Policy has to be reduced to three years, that five years is too long a time to get any Minimum Wage Review.

“And of course, that Labour should look at the Indices of the Economy and accept N70,000 Minimum Wage,” she said.

Joe Ajaero, President of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), said that the Labour Unions agreed to the new Minimum Wage, shifting ground from their original N250, 000 Proposal.

“The amount of N70,000 happens to be where we are now. But the good thing about it is that will not wait for another five years to come for Review.

“Rather than settling on a figure that we wait for five years, is like we’ll have to now negotiate even two times within five years, with a view to going up.

“That is one of the reasons we decided to reach where we are today. Because of the Proviso that we can review in the next three years,” he said.

He also spoke on Strike embarked upon on Thursday by the Joint Action Committee of the Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities and the Non-Academic Staff Union of Educational and Associated Institutions.

Ajaero said the President had asked the Agencies concerned to work out the Modalities for the payment of those Workers in the Universities.

Festus Osifo, President of the Trade Union Congress (TUC), said the catch on the Approved Wage was the Issue of five years review, which Labour had been pushing for.

“The next review will be in three years. And after that, Pronouncement, we from Labour we have received what the President has promised from both ends,” he said.

The N70,000 Minimum Wage is about 133 per cent increase over the old Minimum Wage of N30,000, which came into effect in 2019.

President Tinubu had met with Organised Labour over the new Minimum Wage last week where he declared that Nigerian Workers deserved improved Welfare, better Wages, as well as Safe and enhanced Working Conditions.

The President also said he was concerned about the Welfare of Nigerian Workers and that his Administration was working on a Wage that will be acceptable to all. 

 

Credit NAN: Texts excluding Headline

18-Jul-2024 Nigeria hits $2bn Investment in Renewable Energy, says Tinubu

Nigeria hits $2bn Investment in Renewable Energy, says Tinubu

President Bola Tinubu on Wednesday disclosed that Nigeria has attracted over $2bn in Investment in the Renewable Energy Sector, making it a fast-growing Sector in the Economy.

Tinubu stated this on Wednesday during the Opening Session of the African Natural Resources & Energy Investment Summit, 2024, held at the State House Conference Centre, Abuja.

Represented by Vice-President Kashim Shettima, Tinubu reiterated the commitment of his Administration to continue to attract more Private Sector involvement in the Renewable Energy Space.

He said, “In leveraging Opportunities in the Renewable Energy space, Nigeria has attracted over $2bn in Investment in the Renewable Energy Sector, making it a fast-growing Sector in the Economy.

”Our commitment is to continue this trajectory and attract more Private Sector involvement in the Renewable Energy Space, including manufacturing Locally Produced Solar Panels and Batteries.”

He, however, emphasised that Discussions on the Energy Transition must also include the significance of the Petroleum Industry as a cornerstone of the Nation’s Economy.

“While we strive to embrace Renewable and Cleaner Energy Sources, we acknowledge that Oil and Gas continue to play a vital role in our Energy and Economic Landscape,” he stated.

He highlighted Strategic Priorities in the Sector to include the goal to attract more Investment in the Oil and Gas Industry; grow Oil Production to 2.1 million Barrels a day by December 2024.

”This is with a view to improving Investment in Midstream and Downstream Infrastructure; tackle Theft; and hold Developers accountable for the highest Environmental Standards,” the President said.

Tinubu further restated the Administration’s commitment to manage Resources responsibly, minimising their Ecological Footprint and maximising their benefits for the Nation.

 

Credit NAN: Texts excluding Headline

17-Jul-2024 National Assembly mulls tougher Laws against Crude Oil Theft, Vandalism

National Assembly mulls tougher Laws against Crude Oil Theft, Vandalism

The National Assembly has thrown its weight behind NNPC Limited's ongoing efforts to boost Nigeria’s Crude Oil Production and grow its Reserves, saying it will consider stiffer consequences for Crude Oil Thieves and Vandals of the Nation's Critical Hydrocarbon Infrastructure.

This was made known when the National Assembly's Joint Committee on Petroleum Resources (Upstream) paid an Oversight Visit on the NNPC Upstream Investment Management Services (NUIMS), an Upstream Arm of the NNPC Limited, at its headquarters in Lagos, on Tuesday.

Jointly led by the Committee Chairmen from both chambers, Eteng Jonah Williams and Alhassan Ado Doguwa, the Legislators described the menace of Crude Oil Theft and Vandalism of Critical Oil and Gas Infrastructure as major challenges to Nigeria’s Revenue Generation and Budget Targets, which must be curtailed.

In his remarks, Williams said it was imperative for the National Assembly to come up with Legislative Action that will help stop Crude Oil Theft and increase Nigeria’s Crude Oil Production.

He said from what they found at NUIMS, it is duty-bound on the Legislature to come up with decisive Measures that will help the Government to achieve its set Targets in the Oil and Gas Sector.

For his part, Doguwa said by virtue of their Duties as a Legislature, the Lawmakers will fast-track the strengthening of a Legislative Framework to be able to check the excesses bedeviling the Nation’s Oil and Gas Sector.

Doguwa, who commended NNPC Limited’s efforts for its Industry-Wide Security Collaboration against the Nation’s Hydrocarbon Infrastructure said more needs to be done to ensure the Company increase Nigeria’s Crude Oil Production and grow its Reserves.

He said the Legislature will consider deploying the stick and carrot approach towards addressing the Issue, but where it becomes necessary, the stick approach must be emphasised to rise vehemently against any encumbrance standing in the way of Nigeria’s Economic Growth and Development.

Earlier in his detailed Presentation to the Lawmakers, the Chief Upstream Investment Officer (CUIO) of NNPC Limited Bala Wunti described NUIMS as a Trustee of Nigeria’s Upstream Investments which ensures the Country maximises Returns through effective supervision of its Joint Venture (JV), Production Sharing Contracts (PSC) and Service Contracts (SC) Operating Partners.

Wunti, who commended the Lawmakers for their consistent support to the NNPC Limited, said Engagements with the National Assembly are crucial as they will help the NNPC Limited in the attainment of its Mandate.

“We are here to see how the NASS will help us produce more Barrels and deliver Value to our Shareholders. Increasing Production is the new Narrative and your support is needed to enable us achieve our set targets based on our key Principles of Safety, speed, compliance and efficiency,” Wunti informed the Legislators.

He said so far, the Industry-Wide Security Collaboration against Crude Oil Theft and Vandalism of Nigeria’s Critical Hydrocarbon Infrastructure through the Four-Way Strategy of “Detect, Deter, Respond and Recover” have been instrumental in the recent restoration of some of the Nation’s lost Barrels.

 

Credit NNPCL PR

17-Jul-2024 Access Bank raises N442bn Capital through Syndicated Tier II Facility

Access Bank raises N442bn Capital through Syndicated Tier II Facility

In a significant stride towards fostering Economic Growth, Access Bank PLC, Sub-Saharan Africa’s largest Bank by Customer Base, has celebrated a landmark moment in its Partnership with the Dutch Entrepreneurial Development Bank (FMO).

The occasion marked the signing of a monumental Syndicate Tier II Facility Agreement of $295m (equivalent of about N442,500,000,000), underscoring a Relationship that has flourished for over two Decades.

Access Bank’s Collaboration with FMO began in 2003, reflecting a shared commitment to Economic Development in Nigeria. This latest Agreement, the third of its kind arranged by FMO for Access Bank, goes beyond a mere Financial Transaction, and serves as proof to the deep-rooted trust and synergy between the two Institutions.

This historic Agreement is the largest Syndication in FMO’s history. This substantial Investment is the result of a collective effort involving a Syndicate of Global DFI Partners, each playing a crucial role in strengthening Nigeria’s Private Sector.

The Syndicate includes esteemed names such as British International Investment (BII), Belgian Investment Company for Developing Countries (BIO), BlueOrchard, FinDev Canada, Finnfund of Finland, Norfund of Norway, Oikocredit, and Swedfund of Sweden.

This Financial Infusion is earmarked to empower Local Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises (SMEs), with a particular focus on Underserved Segments such as Youth and Women-owned Businesses, Agricultural Enterprises, and very Small Enterprises.

The Ceremony, attended by Dignitaries including H.E. Amb. Oluremi Oliyide, Nigerian Ambassador to the Netherlands, and Representatives from the Dutch Government, saw Roosevelt Ogbonna, MD/CEO of Access Bank PLC, express profound gratitude to FMO for their unwavering support and emphasise the Bank’s commitment to becoming the World’s most respected African Bank by adhering to Global Best Practices and maintaining High Standards of Accountability.

“Today marks a significant milestone in our longstanding Partnerships with FMO. This monumental Syndicate Tier II Facility Agreement underscores the deep-rooted trust and synergy among our Institutions.

“This Facility not only enhances our Capital Reserves, but also strengthens Africa’s Trade Capabilities and Export potential.

“Putting these Funds to use, we aim to catalyse Growth across various Sectors, stimulate Business Development, create Jobs, and deepen Financial Inclusion, aligning with Access Bank’s Mission to drive Progress and Development throughout the Continent and beyond.”

In his remarks, Michael Jongeneel, CEO of FMO, stated: “We extend our gratitude to our longstanding Partner, Access Bank, and our Syndication Partners for their outstanding cooperation and collective effort in making this Loan Facility a reality.

“The Syndicated Loan provides significant support to SMEs in Nigeria, particularly Underserved Segments such as Women and Young Entrepreneurs, aligning perfectly with our shared Strategy to enhance Financial Inclusion and empower Local Entrepreneurs in the Agribusiness and SME Sectors.”

Marchel Gerrmann, representing the Dutch Government, and Members of the Syndication Partners - BII, Finnfund, and BlueOrchard—were among the Distinguished Guests who witnessed this Agreement.

 

Credit Access Bank PR

16-Jul-2024 FG to boost Investment in Power Sector for Economic Development

FG to boost Investment in Power Sector for Economic Development

The Federal Government has expressed its commitment to engage with relevant Stakeholders to boost Power Sector Investment for Economic Development.

A Statement by Mohammed Manga, Director, Information and Public Relations of Ministry of Finance said the Minister, Wale Edun, disclosed this at a Meeting with World Bank Delegates.

The Delegate was led by Ndiamé Diop, Country Director for Nigeria and Olu Verheijen, Special Adviser to the President on Energy.

The Meeting was in a view to reaffirmed President Bola Tinubu Administration’s commitment to repositioning the Economy for the future of Nigeria.

The Minister said that the aim of the Meeting was to discuss Innovative ways to drive Nigeria’s Power Sector forward.

He said that the Meeting also focused on World Bank-supported Initiatives, which involved the Power Sector Recovery Operation (PSRO) and the Distribution Sector Recovery Programme (DISREP).

He said that the Initiatives’ Objective was to improve Power Distribution and Management Systems to ensure Economic Growth of the Country.

Edun said that Key Issues highlighted involved Plans to roll out 3.5 million Meters to enhance Power Distribution, $50m Funding for State Solar Plant Pilots and Infrastructure upgrades.

“Also, Measures to support Tariff Frameworks, Market Reforms and co-financing the Transmission Company of Nigeria’s Performance Improvement Plan.

“This Collaboration aims at strengthening Nigeria’s Power Sector, enhancing Energy Access, promoting Economic Growth and Development.

“The Collaboration also aimed at improving Job Creation as well as Poverty Alleviation in line with the Renewed Hope Agenda of the present Administration,’’ he said.

Diop, however, expressed its commitment to work with the Federal Government toward achieving the goals for the benefit of all Nigerians. 

 

Credit NAN: Texts excluding Headline

15-Jul-2024 NBS Report: Nigeria's Headline Inflation rises to 34.19%

NBS Report: Nigeria's Headline Inflation rises to 34.19%

The National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), says Nigeria’s Headline Inflation Rate increased to 34.19 per cent in June 2024.

The NBS said this in its Consumer Price Index (CPI) and Inflation Report for June, which was released in Abuja on Monday.

According to the Report, the figure is 0.24 per cent points higher compared to the 33.95 per cent recorded in May 2024.

It showed that on a Year-on-Year Basis, the Headline Inflation Rate in June 2024 was 11.40 per cent higher than the rate recorded in June 2023 at 22.79 per cent.

In addition, the report showed, on a Month-on-Month Basis, the Headline Inflation Rate in June 2024 was 2.31 per cent, which was 0.17 per cent higher than the Rate recorded in May 2024 at 2.14 per cent.

“This means that in June 2024, the Rate of Increase in the Average Price Level is higher than the rate of Increase in the Average Price Level in May 2024.”

The Report also showed the Increase in the Headline Index for June 2024 on a Year-on-Year Basis and Month-on-Month Basis was attributed to the increase in some Items in the Basket of Goods and Services at the Divisional Level.

It further showed that the Increases were observed in Food and Non-Alcoholic Beverages, Housing, Water, Electricity, Gas, and other Fuel, Clothing and Footwear, and Transport.

Others were Furnishings, Household Equipment and Maintenance, Education, Health, Miscellaneous Goods and Services, Restaurants and Hotels, Alcoholic Beverages, Tobacco and Kola, Recreation and Culture, and Communication.

It said the percentage change in the Average CPI for the 12 months ending June 2024 over the Average of the CPI for the previous corresponding 12-month period was 30 per cent.

“This indicates an 8.45 per cent increase compared to 21.54 per cent recorded in June 2023.”

The Report said the Food Inflation Rate in June 2024 increased to 40.87 per cent on a Year-on-Year Basis, which was 15.62 per cent higher compared to the Rate recorded in June 2023 at 25.25 per cent.

“The rise in Food Inflation on a Year-on-Year Basis is caused by increases in Prices of Millet Whole Grain, Garri, Guinea Corn, Yam, Water Yam, Coco Yam Groundnut Oil, Palm Oil, etc.

“Others are Catfish Dried, Dried Fish-Sadine, Mudfish, etc.”

It said on a Month-on-Month Basis, the Food Inflation Rate in June was 2.55 per cent, which was a 0.26 per cent increase compared to the Rate recorded in May 2024 at 2.28 per cent.

“The rise in Food Inflation on a Month-on-Month Basis was caused by an increase in the Average Prices of
Groundnut Oil, Palm Oil, Water Yam, Coco Yam, Cassava, etc.

“Others are Tobacco, Catfish Fresh, Croaker, Mudfish Fresh, Snail, etc,”

The Report showed that “all Items less Farm Produce and Energy’’ or Core Inflation, which excludes the Prices of Volatile Agricultural Produce and Energy, stood at 27.40 per cent in June on a Year-on-Year Basis.

“This increased by 7.34 per cent compared to 20.60 per cent recorded in June 2023.’’

“The exclusion of the PMS is due to the Deregulation of the Commodity by removal of Subsidy.”

It said the highest Increases were recorded in Prices of
Actual and Imputed Rentals for Housing Class, Journey by Motorcycle, Bus Journey Intercity, etc.

“Others are Accommodation Service, X-Ray Photography, Consultation Fee of a Medical Doctor, Laboratory Service, and Pharmaceutical Products, among others.”

The NBS said on a Month-on-Month Basis, the Core Inflation Rate was 2.06 per cent in June 2024.

“This indicates a 0.05 per cent increase compared to what was recorded in May 2024 at 2.01 per cent.”

“The Average 12-Month Annual Inflation Rate was 24.06 per cent for the 12 months ending June 2024, this was 5.59 per cent points higher than the 18.47 per cent recorded in June 2023.”

The Report said on a year-on-year basis in June 2024, the urban inflation rate was 36.55 per cent, which was 12.23 per cent higher compared to the 24.33 per cent recorded in June 2023.

“On a month-on-month basis, the urban inflation rate was 2.46 per cent, which increased by 0.11 per cent compared to May 2024 at 2.35 per cent.’’

The Report said on a Year-on-Year Basis in June 2024, the Rural Inflation Rate was 32.09 per cent, which was 10.71 per cent higher compared to the 21.37 per cent recorded in June 2023.

“On a Month-on-Month Basis, the Rural Inflation Rate was 2.17 per cent, which increased by 0.23 per cent compared to May 2024 at 1.94 per cent.’’

On States’ Profile Analysis, the Report showed that in June, all Items’ Inflation Rate on a Year-on-Year Basis was highest in Bauchi at 43.95 per cent, followed by Kogi at 39.91 per cent, and Oyo at 39.19 per cent.

It, however, said the slowest rise in Headline Inflation on a Year-on-Year Basis was recorded in Borno at 25.90 per cent, followed by Benue at 27.52 per cent, and Katsina at 29.21 per cent.

The Report, however, said in June 2024, all Items Inflation Rate on a Month-on-Month Basis was highest in Yobe at 3.79 per cent, followed by Abuja at 3.45 per cent, and Ondo at 3.38 per cent.

“Nasarawa at 0.71 per cent, followed by Osun at 1.19 per cent and Kano at 1.27 per cent recorded the slowest rise in Month-on-Month Inflation.”

The Report said on a Year-on-Year Basis, Food Inflation was highest in Edo at 47.34 per cent, followed by Kogi at 46.37 per cent, and Cross River at 45.28 per cent.

“Nasarawa at 34.31 per cent, followed by Bauchi at 34.78 per cent and Adamawa at 35.96 per cent recorded the slowest rise in Food Inflation on a Year-on-Year Basis.’’

The Report, however, said on a Month-on-Month Basis, Food Inflation was highest in Yobe at 4.75 per cent, followed by Adamawa at 4.74 per cent, and Taraba at 4.12 per cent.

“While Nasarawa at 0.14 per cent, followed by Kano at 0.96 per cent and Lagos at 1.25 per cent, recorded the slowest rise in Inflation on a Month-on-Month Basis.”

 

Credit NAN: Texts excluding Headline

15-Jul-2024 PMG-MAN: How Nigeria chased Multinational Pharmaceutical Companies away

PMG-MAN: How Nigeria chased Multinational Pharmaceutical Companies away

The Pharmaceutical Manufacturers Group of the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (PMG-MAN), has bemoaned the paucity of Foreign Exchange in the Country, saying it had negatively affected the Local Pharmaceutical Industry.

They attributed fluctuations in Forex as major reason for the exit of some Pharmaceutical Multinationals from Nigeria.

The Group raised the concerns at a News Conference in Lagos on the forthcoming 7th Edition of the Nigeria Pharma Manufacturers Expo (NPME) billed to hold on September 4 and September 5.

Some Multinational Pharmaceutical Companies including GlaxoSmithKline and Sanofi Nigeria Limited, exited the Country within the past year.

GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) discontinued Operations in Nigeria in August 2023, ending its 51-year existence in the country, while French Pharmaceutical Manufacturing Company, Sanofi, exited Nigeria in November.

The Chairman, Local Organising Committee (LOC), NPME 2024, Patrick Ajah, said that for the Domestic Pharmaceutical Industry to Progress, a stable Exchange Rate was essential.

Ajah, a Pharmacist and the Managing Director of May & Baker, said that many Companies are also on standby for the implementation and take off of the recently announced Executive Order.

On June 29, President Bola Tinubu signed an Executive Order removing Tariffs and Value-Added Tax (VAT) on Pharma Imports.

The Order introduces Zero Tariffs, Excise Duties, and VAT on Specialised Machinery, Equipment and Pharmaceutical Raw Materials to bolster Local Production of Essential Healthcare Products.

The Order has yet to take effect.

Ajah said: “Unless the Value of Naira is fixed, achieving the Country’s target of 70 per cent in Local Drug Manufacturing will remain a mirage.

“The Government will need to do certain things to achieve 70 per cent Local Drug Production.

“The recent fluctuations in the Value of the Naira have made it difficult for Companies to plan and invest.

“This is one major reason why Multinational Companies are leaving. It’s not the fear of Subsidy removal.

“If we didn’t tamper with the Currency, all the Multinational Companies would be here and they would still be making more Investment.

“But, if somebody brought his money, when they were bringing the money, and all the money from outside by Multinational Companies will have to go through the Banking System.

“I’m telling you because I was involved in it.

“And when it gets through the Banking System, it will be at Official Rate.

“So, you brought in money to come and build a Facility at the Exchange Rate of N316, and now you’re going to be remitting the money at N1,500 and something, and you can’t even find the Dollar.

“Many Companies will not be able to cope. So fixing our Exchange Rate is going to be the one single thing that will immediately reset where we are.”

Ajah called for increased Government support for the local Pharmaceutical Industry.

According to him, with the right support, Nigeria can produce 70 per cent of the Medicines it consumes.

Citing India as an example, he said that the Country supported its Domestic Pharmaceutical Industry, and today, India was notable for Drug Manufacturing.

“The Indian Government has provided Financial and Technical Assistance to Local Manufacturers, and has even intervened to secure Technology from other Countries,” he said.

Ajah asserted that Nigeria had the Capacity for Local Production of Diverse Drugs but that many Companies lacked the Financial Resources to invest in new Facilities or upgrade existing ones.

According to him, the recent Devaluation of the Naira worsened the challenge.

He called for a reduction in Interest Rates, saying that the current Rates, which are as high as 30 percent, present a major barrier to Investment in the Industry.

Also, Frank Muonemeh, the Executive Secretary of PMG-MAN, asserted that Local Pharma Manufacturers were currently producing 40 per cent of the Medicines used in the Country.

He, however, urged for Partnerships between Governments and Local Companies, similar to what was being given to other Industries such as the Cement Manufacturing and Petroleum Industries.

Muonemeh stressed that a strong Domestic Pharmaceutical Industry would strengthen National Security.

Also, citing the example of India’s Drug Production Scenario, he said the Country Prioritised its Domestic Industry during the COVID-19 Pandemic and advised the Federal Government to take related approach.

“Nigeria can achieve the goal of producing 70 per cent of its own Medicines with the right Government support.

“Increased Exports from the Domestic Pharmaceutical Industry will also help to alleviate the Country’s Foreign Exchange Challenges’’.

On the 2024 Edition of NPME, the PMG-MAN Scribe said the Theme was: “40 Years of Advocacy: Fostering Partnership and Innovation to Unlock the Pharma Manufacturing Value Chain in Nigeria, Central & West Africa”.

He said the ambitious goal of the Expo was to drive Nigeria toward Self-Sufficiency and Medicine Security, aiming to reverse the Country’s dependency on Imported Medicine.

According to him, beyond overcoming barriers to Medicine access, the PMG-MAN Members significantly contribute to National Development by providing Jobs, paying Taxes and more.

He said the 7th NPME 2024 was the Flagship Expo, and the largest Pharmaceutical Manufacturing Exhibition in Central and West Africa, organised by PMG-MAN and Partners, GPE India.

“Experts predict that the Nigerian Pharma Space would be the next frontier for Smart Investment and Trade, with great but largely untapped potential to contribute to National and Regional Development.

“To unlock this potential, the Group is organising a Biennial Pharma Expo and Exhibition, focusing on the latest Pharma Technology, Machinery, Equipment, Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients (APIs), and showcasing Locally Manufactured Medicines, Diagnostics, and Consumables,’’ he said.

Muonemeh said the Theme of the Expo was chosen to enable robust and comprehensive Stakeholder Engagement in the Industry.

He said the Event was a must-attend for all Actors in the Pharmaceutical Manufacturing Ecosystem and potential Investors in the Pharmaceutical Space.

According to him, it offers a rare opportunity for Productive Networking and B2B Engagement among all Stakeholders, including Regulators, Policymakers, Professionals and Ancillary Companies.

The Scribe added that Stakeholders such as the Academia, Students, Development Partners, Bilateral Organisations, Researchers, and NGOs are also not going to be left out.

Participants are expected to visit the PMG-MAN’s Website for Registration.

 

Credit NAN: Texts excluding Headline

15-Jul-2024 FG no longer has 20% ownership in my Refinery, says Dangote

FG no longer has 20% ownership in my Refinery, says Dangote

The President/Chief Executive, Dangote Industries Limited, Aliko Dangote, said that the Dangote Petroleum Refinery and the Fertiliser Plant would be listed in the Capital Market by the First Quarter of 2025.

Dangote made this known on Sunday in Lagos at a Media Parley and Guided Tour of the Refinery and Fertiliser Plant by Media Executives.

He said that the Conglomerate had so far invested $20bn in the Refinery and $2.5bn in the Fertiliser Plant.

He described the completion of the Refinery as another milestone for Dangote Industries Limited.

“It is the largest Single Train Refinery in the World with 650,000 Barrels Per Day Refining Capacity.

“It marks the attainment of self-sufficiency in Domestic Refining of Petroleum Products and provides excess Capacity in Refined Products which will go for the Export Market,’’ the Industrialist said.

He noted that Dangote Industries Limited wanted to make sure that apart from Domestic Sales of its Products, it would export the excess.

On Funding, he said that the Federal Government had contributed 7.2 per cent of the Total Shares of the Refinery.

He mentioned that for three consecutive times, the Refinery had been able to bring the Price of Diesel below N1,100 Per Litre.

The Industrialist noted that it was projected that the Exportation of Cement alone would fetch the Conglomerate $325m Annually.

He said that Plans were also underway to add nine million Tonnes of Capacity to the Cement Industry by Dangote Cement Plc.

He pointed out that the Conglomerate had the only Cement Company in Africa using Robots.

Dangote advised Nigerians not just to acquire and store Wealth but to Invest in the Country to encourage Foreign Investors to do the same.

He, however, advised that to get the Economy on a more sound footing, Nigerian Businessmen should not be Import-Dependent.

According to him, Import Dependency will impoverish the Nation and turn the Nation into a Dumping Ground.

“It is better to manufacture and grow the Economy. If we allow Imports so much, we may not be able to compete with other Nations,’’ Dangote said. 

 

Credit NAN: Texts excluding Headline

14-Jul-2024 NIMASA gets Safety Standards in Nigerian Maritime Sector

NIMASA gets Safety Standards in Nigerian Maritime Sector

The Chairman, House of Representatives Committee on Safety Standards and Regulations, Abubakar Sulaiman, and Members of the Committee have commended the Management of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) for upholding Safety Standards in the Nigerian Maritime Sector
This commendation was made during the Committee's Oversight Visit to the Headquarters of the Agency in Lagos, where the Committee's Chairman expressed satisfaction with the Infrastructure at the Agency’s Headquarters, located in Victoria Island, Lagos.
He assured that the Committee is ready to collaborate with NIMASA in ensuring the Agency's Mandates, which include Safety, are realised.
The Committee, established to oversee Health and Safety, had visited NIMASA, a Safety Agency, as its first point of call, marking the beginning of its Oversight Activities. Its Assignment includes ensuring that Organisational Health and Safety are upheld, while also putting in place Mechanisms that will guarantee an Environmentally Friendly and Conducive Working Environment. 

Executive Director of Finance and Administration at the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Chudi Offodile (left), presenting a Souvenir to Chairman of the House of Representatives Committee on Safety Standards and Regulations, Abubakar Sulaiman, during the Oversight Visit to the Agency's Headquarters in Lagos.
 
R-L: Executive Director Operations, Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, NIMASA, Fatai Adeyemi; Chairman, House of Representatives Committee on Safety Standards and Regulations, Abubakar Sulaiman; Executive Director, Finance and Administration, NIMASA, Chudi Offodile; and a Member of the Committee during the Oversight Visit by the Committee to the Agency's Headquarters in Lagos.
 
Credit NIMASA PR
14-Jul-2024 I am committed to Food Security, Tinubu insists

I am committed to Food Security, Tinubu insists

President Bola Tinubu on Saturday reaffirmed his Administration’s commitment to addressing Food Security concerns and reducing the Cost of Living in the Country.

The President gave the reassurance at the Public Presentation of Olusegun Osoba’s Book “My Life in the Public Eye” held in Lagos

A Statement on the President Speech at the Event was made available to State House Correspondents by Stanley Nkwocha, the Spokesperson of Vice-President Kashim Shettima.

Nkwocha said the President represented by Shettima, noted that the recent decision to temporarily suspend Tariffs on Imported Grains and other Essential Food Items were Short-Term Measures to address the rising Food Prices across the Country.

“We are taking steps to address Food Shortages by temporarily removing Tariffs on Imported Grains and other Food Items,” the President stated.

He noted that the Measures were specifically aimed at tackling Food Shortages and improving affordability for Consumers.

Tinubu also stressed that the action was part of a comprehensive Strategy to enhance Living Conditions for all Nigerians.

While addressing Short-Term challenges, the President also reiterated the importance of Long-Term Food Self-Sufficiency.

”We will continue to drive Local Production and ensure that we produce what we eat and use locally,” he added.

The President also emphasised the importance of Nigeria’s Diversity and Unity, calling it a vital Lesson for the Nation, particularly during challenging times.

“As we work to overcome our current challenges, we must remember that Unity and Cooperation are essential,” Tinubu stated.

He urged Nigerians to support the Administration’s efforts to improve Living Conditions.

The President commended Osoba, whom he  referred to as “Aremo 1,” for his significant contributions to Nigerian Journalism and Politics.

Specifically, the President extolled his contribution to Nation Building as a Two-Time Governor of Ogun as well as his important involvement in the National Democratic Coalition” Activities in restoring Democracy to the Country. 

 

Credit NAN: Texts excluding Headline

13-Jul-2024 Stakeholders at PIAFo lament obstacles to FG’s 90,000km Fibre Project

Stakeholders at PIAFo lament obstacles to FG’s 90,000km Fibre Project

Stakeholders in the Telecommunications Industry have said the Federal Government’s plan to deploy 90,000 kilometers of Fibre Optic Cables across the Country will face several obstacles, especially from State Governments, that might truncate the Project.  

According to them, without addressing the current issue of Right of Way Charges, Multiple Taxation, and Levies, which are under the control of State Governments, the Project which is to be implemented through a Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) would be an exercise in futility.  

The Stakeholders, who spoke during the Sixth Edition of the Policy Implementation Assisted Forum (PIAFO) in Lagos which was a focus on Nigeria’s Renewed Strategic Agenda for Digital Economy.

They stressed the need to ensure the successful implementation of the Project which was announced recently by the Federal Government to complement existing Connectivity for universal access to the Internet across Nigeria and provide the Nigerian Digital Economy with the backbone Infrastructure it needed.

Presenting a Paper on the Topic, ‘Harmonising Nigeria’s Fibre Deployment Strategies for Effective Implementation’, Executive Director of Broadbased Communications, Chidi Ibisi,  said while the Government’s SPV Initiative is a good plan that could help the Country bridge its current Digital Infrastructure gap, the Government would need to address current challenges.  

“The Issues of high Cost of Right of Way (RoW), destruction of Fiber by Road Construction Companies and Vandals all need to be addressed for this new SPV Initiative to be successful,” he said.  

Highlighting some of the challenges Telecom Operators face when deploying Infrastructure, the Group Chief Operating Officer of WTES Projects Limited, Chidi Ajuzie, said the biggest challenge to Fibre Cable laying in Nigeria is the informal RoW by Hoodlums in States.  

“For States, a formal Right of Way is set and some States are adopting it but the informal side of the Right of Way is where the complexity has come today.  

“If I’m trying to lay Fibre in some Communities here in Lagos, the first thing that happens is the so-called Land Owners (omo onile) come out and a different Set of People will keep coming from one Street to another and they charge you. How do we achieve adequate Broadband Infrastructure in this kind of situation?” he said.  

According to the Chairman of the Association of Licensed Telecommunications Operators of Nigeria (ALTON) Gbenga Adebayo, for the 90,000 kilometres Fibre Project to succeed, the State Governments have to take ownership. 

“For the Project to succeed, I think the Governments at Sub-Nationals should take ownership. This issue of State Governments seeing Right of Way as IGR should be a thing of the past. We can’t talk about the Digital Economy on one side and the Government is seeing those who provide the Services as Sources of Revenue.  

“The Government has always come up with good Policies, but the implantation, particularly when they are tested far afield, is the biggest problem. Governors will go to Abuja and say ‘in my State, I will give the Right of Way free of charge.’  

“When you go to such a State, they may give you the Right of Way for zero or one Naira, but they will give you Developmental Levy, Education Levy, State Impact Levy, Ecosystem Levy. When you add all of these together, it is more than the Right of Way Charges. So, who is playing who?” he said.

Making vital contributions at the Forum, Ayotunde Coker, the Chief Executive Officer of Open Access Data Centre (OADC) stressed the need for the Fibre Project to be executed by the Private Sector even as the World Bank is expected to fund it with up to $3bn.

He said: “the World Bank can put money into the Government but it needs Private Sector Partnerships as the Execution Engine and that's what we've been pushing in Africa.

“The key thing is that when the World Bank puts the money in, it should engage the Private sector, figure out the policies that it needs to do and enable the private Sector to execute them effectively and make it as open as possible. With that, they can achieve what they are trying to achieve.”

He further stressed that for the success of the Project, Nigeria should learn lessons of what didn't work in the past, to achieve the new Broadband Penetration Targets with the Fibre Range that is required.

“Meaningful Broadband is what we need, rather than just a huge Set of Megabits per second implementation. We need Superhighway Fibres. We need the distribution of these backbone that allows us then to fan out.”

He further urged State Governors to be part of the Project by providing an Enabling Environment for Infrastructure Roll-Out, adding: “if you are a State Governor and didn’t participate in it, the State won't grow and it's going to impact your State.”

Earlier in his Opening Address, the convener of PIAFo, Omobayo Azeez, said the Conference was to create a Midpoint Dialogue Platform for Digital Economy Stakeholders across both the Public and Private Divides to brainstorm, exchange perspectives, clear grey areas, harmonise thoughts and create a sense of collective responsibility towards accelerating our collective prosperity through Technical Efficiency. 

The Event focused on Nigeria’s Renewed Strategic Agenda for Digital Economy. According to him, the new Digital Economy Blueprint of the Federal Government does not only sustain existing Policy Directions and Targets, “it also challenges us on the possibilities of attaining new frontiers with a view to “Accelerating Our Collective Prosperity through Technical Efficiency” which is the Theme of the Summit.

 

Credit NCC

13-Jul-2024 Access Bank aims Top 20 Position in UK, $1bn Profit by 2027

Access Bank aims Top 20 Position in UK, $1bn Profit by 2027

Access Bank, Sub-Saharan Africa’s largest Bank by Customer Base, has shared insights about Ambitious Plans to position its UK Subsidiary, Access Bank UK, among the top 20 Banks in the United Kingdom, targeting an Annual Profit of $1bn by 2027.

This was disclosed by Roosevelt Ogbonna, the Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of Access Bank, during the “Facts Behind the Rights Issue” presentation held at the Nigerian Exchange (NGX) Office in Lagos.

Ogbonna emphasised that this Projection underscores Access Bank’s commitment to becoming a Global Banking Leader, focusing on Expansive Growth and robust Financial Performance.

“We are positioning ourselves to be one of the most respected Banks Globally. Our focus is on superior Service across all the Continents and Countries we are operational in, and by 2027, we aim to be one of the top five African Banks, powering Trade across the Continent and providing Superior Services to our Customers,” Ogbonna stated.

The CEO further highlighted that Access Bank’s Customer base is expected to grow to 125 million by 2027, further cementing its Market Leadership.

This ambitious Growth Plan is part of the broader Strategy to drive Organic Growth through Strategic acquisitions, Partnerships with International Banks, and substantial Investments in Infrastructure and Technology.

The Insights were shared as part of discussions around Access Holdings’ ongoing Rights Issue, which aims to raise up to US$1.5bn to strengthen its Financial Position and support its Growth Ambitions.

The Rights Issue offers 17,772,612,811 Ordinary Shares at N19.75 Per Share and will close on August 14, 2024.

The Fact Behind the Rights Issue was attended by the Stockbrokers, Shareholders, NGX Management, Access Holdings’ Executive and Management, the Media, amongst others.

The Shareholders gave their vote of confidence to Access Holdings and Access Bank, and particularly, the Rights Issue.

Bisi Bakare, National Coordinator, Pragmatic Shareholders Association of Nigeria, noted, “Since Access Bank first started Trading on the Stock Exchange at N0.65, we Shareholders have witnessed its incredible growth and accrued immense Value, with the Stock now trading at N19.35 as of June 9.”

“Access Holdings can be confident that as the Consolidation Phase of the Group’s Expansion fully takes shape and the Brand’s Profitability continues to increase, those of us who have been on this journey from the beginning are not about to jump off now.

We fully back the Capitalisation Plans, starting with the Rights Issue, and are excited for the future that lies ahead for Access Holdings,” Bakare added.

 

Credit Access Bank PR

11-Jul-2024 NCC targets reduction in Rural Connectivity from 61% to 20%  by 2027

NCC targets reduction in Rural Connectivity from 61% to 20% by 2027

The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) says it will reduce the gap of Unconnected Nigerians in Rural Areas from 61 per cent to 20 per cent by 2027.

The Executive Vice Chairman of  NCC, Aminu Maida, said this during the Sixth Edition of  the Policy Implementation Assisted Forum (PIAFO) in Lagos, on Wednesday.

The Event had the Theme:  “Accelerating Collective Prosperity through Technical Efficiency”.

Maida was represented by Head of Policy Competition and Economic Analysis Department,  Freda Bruce-Bennett.

He said the Commission planned to achieve the Objective through Smart Infrastructure Sharing and Optimisation, Innovative Licences and Rural Intervention.

The Executive Vice Chairman said that NCC would also implement Smart Policies to reduce the Infrastructure gap in the Rural Areas.

On building a more prosperous and Inclusive Economy, Maida said : “NCC will implement more Policies to increase Nigeria’s Tech Talent Pool.

“We will create a supportive Environment for Innovation, ensure robust Infrastructure, unlock Investment in Critical Sectors and stimulate Economic Growth.”

In his Presentation, Tola Yusuf, Founding Partner, INFRATEL Africa said weak Digital Application Ecosystem, lack of Funding, Low Smartphones Penetration and difficult Fiber Deployment were some of the challenges plaguing Rural Connectivity.

Yusuf said others were Digital Infrastructure gap, Development obstacles, need for more Digital Skills, mismatch between Tech and slow Digital Transformation.

He also noted that 70 per cent of Rural Connectivity was  dominated by Foreign Exchange.

Yusuf said that to solve these challenges, there must be a balance between accessibility and affordability.

”We need to go to the Grassroots, understand the challenges and know how to tackle them.

”The Government needs to implement the right Policies, Funding, Grants, Taxes and Subsidy to solve the Issues on ground.

”Also, Telcos need to partner more, instead of seeing each other as Competitors.

”Local Community Engagement, Grassroot Initiative and Collaboration are also very necessary,” he said.

Yusuf added that as Stakeholders, it was time to start exploring workable solutions.

He stressed the need for Telcos to initiate cheap Packages for those at the Grassroot.

The Convener of the Event, Omobayo Azeez, said the aim was to create a midpoint Dialogue Platform for Digital Economy Stakeholders across both the Public and Private Divides.

He noted that it was also aimed at brainstorming, exchanging  perspectives, clearing grey areas and harmonising thoughts regarding the Industry.

Credit NAN: Texts excluding Headline

11-Jul-2024 NAMA: Enhanced Workers’ Capacity leads to smoother Operations

NAMA: Enhanced Workers’ Capacity leads to smoother Operations

Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA) says efficient Airspace and Airport Management is vital to Economic Development in Africa.

Farouk Umar, NAMA  Managing Director made the assertion on Wednesday in Abuja at the opening of a Five-Day International Workshop on Capacity Building for Airport Workers and Air Traffic Controllers (ATC).

Speaking at the Event organised by NAMA, Umar said, enhanced Capacity of Workers would lead to smoother and more predictable Operations, better Scheduling, reduce Delays, and improved Passengers Experiences.

“This efficiency is not only beneficial to Passengers but also to Airlines and Airport Operators, leading to a more robust and resilient Aviation Sector.

"It will ensure that our Airspace is managed efficiently, minimise congestion and reduce the risk of accidents.

“It will also enable us to handle increased Air Traffic without compromising Safety Standards,” he said

Umar expressed optimism that the Workshop would be an opportunity to learn and implement Best Practices that would drive Economic benefits for African Countries

Thabani Myeza, the Regional Director, Civil Air Navigation Services Organisation (CANSO) stressed the need for efficiency in the Aviation System in Africa.

He noted that CANSO was deepening efforts to bridge the  gap of Capacity Deficit in the Airports and ATC in the Region.

`’We need to provide an Enable Environment for our Experts where they can actually do the Work,” he said.

Myeza expressed the optimism that the Workshop and similar ones coming up in East Africa and Southern Region would address the challenges

The Event, facilitated by ICAO in cooperation with the International Air Transport Association was attended by Participants from across Africa.

Credit NAN: Texts excluding Headline

10-Jul-2024 Pact with our Shareholders can never be broken, says Access Holdings, opens Rights Issue

Pact with our Shareholders can never be broken, says Access Holdings, opens Rights Issue

Access Holdings Monday opened its Rights Issue with 17.77 billion Ordinary Shares of N0.50 each for N19.75 per share, to close on August 14.

This translates to a Capital raise of N351bn, following approval from the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

The Offer is issued based on one new Ordinary Share for every two existing Ordinary Shares held as of June 7.

Aig-Imoukhuede said: “We did a Rights Issue and a Rights Issue alone to signal to the World that our pact with our Shareholders can never be broken.

“Since 2002, our Shareholders have stood with us through thick and thin.

“We could have had all types of Offerings to benefit the Investing Public, but we said no.

“The first step will be the step that we took in 2002 with People like you, and I know that you will stand with us again. Please take up your Rights.”

He noted that the Rights Issue, though a Financial Exercise, was a continuation of the Access Bank Story.

The Chairman tagged the Theme of the Holdings’ Capital Market Raise as “Promises Kept,” noting that the Group had kept its Promises to the Investing Public over the years.

Aig-Imoukhuede lauded the NGX for providing a Platform that enables Entrepreneurs, Dreamers, Visionaries and Institutions to connect with Shareholders or Investors based on their understanding of the Strategy.

He stated that the Facts behind the Figures were to ensure that Issuers do not just tell a Story of Numbers, but also explain what is behind them, which is more important than the Numbers.

In his presentation, Roosevelt Ogbonna, Managing Director of Access Bank Plc, said that the Group’s Target was for its Bank Subsidiary to become “the World’s first truly African Global Bank in the Financial Services Sector.”

Ogbonna stated that the Bank intends to power Trade and Payment across the Continent and become a Platform that connects the African Continent, catalysing Capital and Business.

He noted that the Group was focusing on Continents that were profitable for the Bank from an Economic point of view, led by Southern Africa, followed by East Africa, West Africa, and Central Africa.

According to him, Access Holdings was built on very strong Governance, with a Board that has guided the Narrative and Engagement between the Financial Institution and its Stakeholders.

Looking ahead, the Managing Director stated that the Group would build several Ecosystems that would operate on its Platform, such as the Mobility and Housing Ecosystems.

“We are very excited about what the future holds.

“The Bank will be the core of the Financial Services Holdings that we are building, and we will also create significant Value for our larger Stakeholders,” he said.

In his Address, the Chairman of NGX Group Plc, Umaru Kwairanga, recognised the efforts of Aig-Imoukhuede and the late Herbert Wigwe in transforming a struggling Bank into the biggest Financial Institution in Nigeria and one of the biggest in Africa in just two Decades.

Kwairanga stated that Access Holdings had focused on First-Class Human Resources, Processes, and Services while ensuring consistency for such a large Conglomerate from top to bottom.

“Ordinarily, I would say Access Holdings does not have to broadcast why its Offer is a good buy given the heavy Rewards that average Investors have enjoyed over the years in the form of Regular Dividends and Capital Appreciation.

"On our part at the Exchange, we are committed to doing all that is necessary to ensure that all Issuances like Access Holdings’, both Wholesale and Retail, have a seamless and efficient interface during this Recapitalisation Period,” he said.

The Chairman expressed optimism about a bright future for the Group while charging Shareholders to partake in the Rights Issue.

In his remark, the Chairman of NGX, Ahonsi Unuigbe, said, “Despite prevailing Economic headwinds, the NGX recognises the concerted efforts of the Board and Management of Access Holdings in enhancing the Capital Adequacy Ratio of its Flagship Subsidiary, Access Bank.”

Unuigbe noted that ensuring an adequate Capital buffer that complies with Basel III, sufficient to withstand Economic Shocks and ensure Business Continuity, was crucial.

He said, “Most importantly, these efforts play a significant role in restoring Investors’ confidence.

“The Story of Access Bank is one of the most acclaimed in the Industry and is frequently cited in Case Studies at reputable Institutions Worldwide.”

The Lead Issuing House for Access Holdings’ Rights Issue is Chapel Hill Denham Advisory Limited while Atlas Registrars Limited will serve as the Registrars to the Offer. 

Credit NAN: Texts excluding Headline

10-Jul-2024 ACT Foundation opens Applications for Changemakers Innovation Challenge 2024

ACT Foundation opens Applications for Changemakers Innovation Challenge 2024

Aspire Coronation Trust (ACT) Foundation has announced the opening of Applications for the 2024 Changemakers Innovation Challenge.

The Theme for this year’s Changemakers Innovation Challenge is “Driving Change With Digital Innovation”

This Initiative seeks to empower Community Non-Profit Organisations and Social Enterprises that utilise Technological Advancements to create Grassroots impact and enhance the Lives of Individuals and Communities.

As Technology continues to transform the Global Landscape, it offers unprecedented opportunities for Real-Time Services and improved quality of Life.

In Africa, the Social Sector is increasingly adopting Digital Innovations to address developmental challenges and improve Community well-being.

Osayi Alile, Chief Executive Officer of ACT Foundation, emphasised the importance of Technological adaptation in Africa’s Evolution, saying, “Africa is fast evolving and embracing Technology.

“As Changemakers, we must be able to move with the times and adopt innovative Digital and Technological Solutions that address Africa’s challenges in-depth, be it in Agriculture, Education, Health, or Empowerment.

“Technology has proven to aid greater impact, and this Challenge seeks to identify and support Non-Profits and Social Enterprises who are driving Social Impact through Innovative Solutions.”

The 2024 Changemakers Innovation Challenge will award Grant Funding and Technical Support to the top 3 Winners and 10 Finalists, enabling them to scale their Innovative Solutions across targeted Communities.

Interested Organisations can apply at http://changemakers.actrustfoundation.org/.

Applications close on July 12, 2024.

Winners will be announced at ACT Foundation’s 8th Breakfast Dialogue on October 10, 2024.

ACT Foundation is an Award-winning Pan-African Non-Profit Organisation dedicated to addressing challenges and vulnerabilities across the African Continent through Grant Making and Capacity Building in Health, Entrepreneurship, Environment, and Leadership.

 

Credit Access Holdings

09-Jul-2024 Nigerian Customs hits N1.02trn in First Half 2024

Nigerian Customs hits N1.02trn in First Half 2024

The Nigerian Customs Service (NCS) has generated N1.02trn at its Apapa Area Command in the First Half of the year.

The Customs Area Controller, Apapa Command, Babatunde Olomu, disclosed this at a News Conference in Lagos on Monday.

He said that the figure represented a 143 per cent increase over the N421.38bn generated during the same period in 2023.

Olomu highlighted that the Agency’s efforts at promoting and facilitating Trade were yielding significant results.

“Our efforts have been mainly targeted at preventing Revenue Losses, improving Ease of Doing Business, and engaging Stakeholders,” Olomu said.

He noted that the Command generated the amount in spite of a sharp reduction in Trade Volume.

“We have implemented Measures to prevent Government Revenue Loss by using a blend of Intelligence and Community Relations,” he added.

Olomu said that during the Review Period, the Command intercepted 11 Containers of Regulated Items, such as Expired Drugs, Contraband Goods, and Frozen Birds worth N424m, compared to 42 Seizures with a Duty Paid Value (DPV) of N1.4bn in the corresponding period of 2023.

“These seizures were made from dishonest Importers attempting to smuggle Goods into Nigeria,” he stated.

The Command uncovered a large quantity of Expired and Unregistered Pharmaceuticals in three 40ft Containers.

It also uncovered  another three 40ft Containers loaded with 7,580 Cartons of Frozen Poultry Products unfit for Human consumption.

Olomu explained that these Smuggled Items violated Schedule Three of the Revised Import Prohibition List of the Common External Tariff (CET) and Section 233 of the Nigeria Customs Service Act 2023.

He praised the Motivation and Leadership of the Comptroller General of Customs, Adewale Adeniyi, and thanked his Men and Officers for their Hard Work.

The CAC attributed the Command’s successes to support from Sister Agencies in the Port, such as the Nigeria Police, Department of State Services, National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control, National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, Standards Organisation of Nigeria, and the Nigerian Army.

Olomu said that in line with the CGC’s zero tolerance for Smuggling, the Command has reformed the Management of Cargoes moving from the Mother Port to Bonded Terminals by ensuring more meticulous oversight.

“No cargo is allowed to exit our control without thorough Inspection using the Scanner,” he noted.

He assured that proper Cargo Inspection would not be compromised, and the Command would continue to make seizures, detentions and arrests where necessary.

This, he added, would help to protect the National Economy and prevent Nigerians from exposure to dangerous or unwholesome Products like Illicit Drugs.

 

Credit NAN: Texts excluding Headline

09-Jul-2024 Adverse weather responsible for 'tightness' in Petrol Supply, says NNPCL

Adverse weather responsible for 'tightness' in Petrol Supply, says NNPCL

The Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPCL), says Fuel Stations are to operate longer hours for supply and distribution  of Petrol, calling on Fuel Stations to aid availability in view of the current tight situation.

The NNPC Limited says the Turnaround Period of PMS Trucking is also elongated to ease the situation being witnessed.

The Executive Vice President, Downstream, NNPC Limited, Dapo Segun, said this on Monday in Abuja during a Joint Inspection of Stations by the Firm and the Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority (NMDPRA) Officials.

The NNPC Limited and the NMDPRA embarked on a Joint Monitoring of the Supply and Distribution of Fuel Stations in the FCT and across the Country to ensure that queues disappear.

The NNPC Limited had said that Fuel queues in the FCT and parts of the Country were as a result of disruption of Ship-to-Ship (STS) transfer of Fuel between Mother Vessels and Daughter Vessels resulting from recent thunderstorms.

It said adverse weather conditions; including rainstorm and lightning, had also affected berthing at Jetties, Truck load-outs and transportation of Products to Filling Stations, causing a disruption in Station Supply Logistics.

Speaking during the Inspection, Segun said there was a gap in Ship-to-Shore discharge of PMS which he described as a Volatile Liquid, adding that during thunderstorms it could not be discharged rather it had to suspend Ship-to-Shore Movement.

“This also affected the loading of Trucks at the Depot too because of safety reasons, so we have to suspend all that during thunderstorms and that’s why you see this tightness.

“Though we have a challenge over the bad portions of Motorways which deteriorated due to rains and flood across the Country, we will ensure that we are loading out all through the weekend and that we are mobilising Trucks.

“We are getting Fuel Stations to run for longer hours and we are getting Marketers to collaborate and share Stocks, rather than have a Station with more Trucks, they can release those Trucks to other Stations for Circulation,’’ he said.

Ogbugo  Ukoha, Executive Director, Distribution Systems, Storage and Retailing Infrastructure, NMDPRA, said the tightness in Abuja and parts of Lagos arose from the inclement weather which affected Operations Offshore and  routes Trucks ply.

When asked of its effort to stop hoarding and the nefarious activities of Black-Marketers, Ukoha said its Officials were on the ground going through the Stations and Depots to make sure that there was no hoarding.

“Due to the tightness in Supply, there may be Elements who will try to take advantage of that. We assure Nigerians to go about their businesses and purchase the Volume they need without panic,’’ he said.

On any plan to increase Fuel Pump Price, Ukoha said there was no intention or any anticipated plan to increase Pump Price, adding that the two Organisations would continue to collaborate to ensure Energy Security.

On this background, he said, the Authority had done its Regulation on National Strategic Stock and Framework, adding that it was at the threshold of operationalising the Framework.

“Again the sensitivity on the Pump Price is another matter, once those National Strategic Stocks are in place, the Logistic Issues we have will be mitigated to a large extent and stabilise both Supply and Prices,” Ukoha added.

The Team inspected Fuel Stations in the FCT, including the NNPC Limited Retail Outlet at Katampe and the AP Fuel Station located at Ibrahim Way, Garki 2, which have long queues.

The Stations’ Managers also confirmed availability of enough Stock, adding that the Stations’ Pumps dispensed accurately and relied on constant Energy to dispense Fuel to Motorists.

Motorists on ground also appealed to the Government to find lasting solutions and expressed mixed feelings as some have spent longer time queuing for Fuel while some did not waste time before their turns.

 

Credit NAN: Texts excluding Headline

08-Jul-2024 Access Holdings’ N351bn Rights Issue opens for Subscription

Access Holdings’ N351bn Rights Issue opens for Subscription

Access Holdings Plc (‘the Group’), one of Africa’s leading Financial Services Groups, has announced the commencement of its N351bn Rights Issue (‘the Offer’).

A Subset of the Group’s Capital Raising Programme aiming to generate up to US$1.5bn (One Billion, Five Hundred Million United States Dollars), the Rights Issue is designed to strengthen the Group’s Financial footing and support ongoing Working Capital Needs, including Organic Growth Funding for its Banking and Non-Banking Subsidiaries.

 

Bolaji Agbede, Acting Group Chief Executive Officer of Access Holdings Plc, stated:

“The commencement of the Rights Issue Subscription is an important step in our Growth Strategy and Capital Raising Plans, reinforcing our Financial strength and accelerating our strategic ambitions.

“However, this execution is more than a Capital raise; it is a pivotal Process that will propel us towards our goal of becoming one of the top 5 Financial Institutions in Africa by 2027.

“We are confident that this Exercise will solidify our Position as a Market Leader and drive Sustainable Growth for years to come.”

Access Holdings’ Rights Issue offers 17,772,612,811 Ordinary Shares of N0.50 each at N19.75 Per Share. The Offer will be issued on the basis of one (1) new Ordinary Share for every two (2) existing Ordinary Shares held as of Friday, 7 June 2024.

The Lead Issuing House for the Rights Issue is Chapel Hill Denham Advisory Limited. Atlas Registrars Limited will serve as Registrars to the Offer.

The Rights Circular will be distributed to Shareholders by the Registrars to the Offer, while the Application Forms will also be available on the following Websites:

  1. www.theaccesscorporation.com
  2. www.chapelhilldenham.com
  3. www.coronationmb.com
  4. www.atlasregistrars.com

Now operational in 22 Countries across the Globe, with 15 in Africa, Access Holdings has established itself as one of the Continent’s most trusted Performers over the last 20 years.

The Group reported robust Financial Results for the year ending December 31, 2023, with a 335 per cent increase in Pre-Tax Profit to N729bn and an 87 per cent surge in Gross Earnings to N2.59trn.

A Final Dividend of N1.80 Kobo per every N0.50 Kobo Ordinary Share for the 2023 Financial Year was paid to Shareholders, representing a 28 per cent increase from the previous year.

 

Credit Access Holdings PR

08-Jul-2024 Access Holdings secures SEC Approval for N351bn Rights Issue

Access Holdings secures SEC Approval for N351bn Rights Issue

Access Holdings Plc, one of Africa’s leading Financial Services Groups, announced that it has received approval from the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) for the commencement of its N351bn Rights Issue (‘the Offer’).

This marks a significant milestone in the Group’s previously announced Capital Raising Programme, which aims to generate up to US$1.5bn (One billion, five hundred million United States Dollars).

The Rights Issue is strategically structured to bolster Access Holdings’ Financial Position and support ongoing Working Capital Needs. It will also provide Funding for Organic Growth across its Banking and Non-Banking Subsidiaries.

The Approved Rights Issue offers 17,772,612,811 Ordinary Shares of N0.50 each at a Price of N19.75 Per Share. The Offer will be issued on the basis of one (1) new Ordinary Share for every two (2) existing Ordinary Shares held as of Friday, 7 June 2024.

The Lead Issuing House for Access Holdings’ Right Issue is Chapel Hill Denham Advisory Limited, while Atlas Registrars Limited will serve as the Registrars to the Offer.

The Offer will open on Monday, July 8, 2024, and close on Wednesday, August 14, 2024.

The Rights Circular will be distributed to Shareholders by the Registrars to the Offer, Atlas Registrars Limited, while the Application Forms will also be available on the following Websites:

  1. www.theaccesscorporation.com
  2. www.chapelhilldenham.com
  3. www.coronationmb.com
  4. www.atlasregistrars.com

Shareholders are advised to contact their Stockbrokers for more details about the Offer.

Access Holdings remains committed to its Strategic Vision of expanding its footprint and delivering exceptional Value to all its Stakeholders.

The successful execution of this Rights Issue will further solidify the Group’s Position as a leading Financial Services Provider in Africa and beyond.

 

Credit Access Holdings PR

07-Jul-2024 NNPCL, Customs reinforce synergy against Fuel Smuggling

NNPCL, Customs reinforce synergy against Fuel Smuggling

The Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) and the Nigeria National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPCL), have reinforced their existing synergy against the smuggling of Petroleum Products from Nigeria to Neighbouring Countries.

This is disclosed in a Statement issued by the Customs Spokesman, Abdullahi Maiwada, in Lagos.

Adeniyi was quoted to have said this when he met with the Group CEO of NNPCL, Mele Kyari, at the Customs Headquarters in Abuja.

Adeniyi reaffirmed his commitment to revitalising the Collaboration between the two Organisations, to effectively combat the smuggling of Petroleum Products out of Nigeria.

During the Meeting, both Leaders expressed serious concerns about the persistent problem of Fuel Smuggling, which poses a significant burden on the Nigerian Economy.

 

According to Adeniyi, the disparity in Fuel Prices between Nigeria and Neighbouring Countries created a strong Incentive for Smuggling.

He explained that the Nigeria Customs Service, through ‘Operation Whirlwind,’ was working with other Stakeholders to intensify efforts to halt the smuggling of Premium Motor Spirits (PMS), commonly known as Fuel.

“The Operations we have conducted have highlighted several Issues, but I am pleased that we have made substantial seizures from different parts of the Country.

“We have uncovered Ingenious Methods Smugglers use to divert Supplies from Depots to their Stations.

“These Stations may appear empty from the front, but behind the scenes, they have Hoses connected through Artificial Holes in their Walls to waiting Jerrycans and Vehicles, which are then transported across Borders.

“This Act of Economic Sabotage has led to arrests and confiscations of the Smuggled Products.

“We have sealed the Filling Stations involved and handed them over to Regulatory Authorities.

“Some Filling Station Operators have devised subtle Methods to smuggle Fuel unnoticed.”

Adeniyi disclosed that combating this serious Crime remained a significant Operation that placed a considerable burden on NCS Resources but had been rewarding.

“We believe a strong Partnership with NNPCL will help sustain this Operation over time.

“We are also looking to establish a Situation Room to enhance our Capacity with Real-Time Data and ensure our Personnel are well-motivated and not compromised,” he added.

The Coordinator of ‘Operation Whirlwind, Hussein Ejibunu, said that the Operation started five weeks ago and had achieved significant successes.

“Every Operation faces challenges, but we have overcome them with the CGC’s support.

“We have tackled Fuel Smuggling across the Nation, including a recent seizure of about 79,000 Litres of Fuel in Kebbi State.

“We need the full support of Border Communities and other Agencies,” Ejibunu said.

Mele Kyari, Group CEO of NNPCL, acknowledged that PMS Smuggling was a major National Challenge.

He requested the CGC’s continued support to reduce Smuggling further.

Kyari noted that the Volume of Smuggled Fuel had decreased due to the efforts of ‘Operation Whirlwind.’

“We are committed to providing necessary support to combat this Crime at our Borders.

“We appreciate the substantial impact of your Collaboration thus far,” Kyari said.

 

Credit NAN: Texts excluding Headline

07-Jul-2024 FG denies LGBTQ Endorsement, $150bn Deal in Samoa Partnership Agreement

FG denies LGBTQ Endorsement, $150bn Deal in Samoa Partnership Agreement

The Federal Government has dismissed a Newspaper Report claiming that the Samoa Partnership Agreement signed June 28 has endorsed the Rights of Lesbians, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer(LGBTQ) People in Nigeria.

It also rejected the claims that Nigeria would receive $150bn for entering into the Deal.

Atiku Bagudu, Minister of Budget and planning, made the clarification at a Press Conference in Abuja on Saturday.

The Minister, along with his Information and National Orientation Counterpart, Mohammed Idris, had called the Conference to react to a Report by the Daily Trust

In the Report, the Newspaper claimed that the Federal Government signed an Agreement with clauses requiring Nigeria to endorse the rights of LGBTQI People.

It further said that Nigeria would pocket $150bn for endorsing the Deal.

The Report has sparked off Social, Religious and Cultural tension with the allegations becoming the Topics for most Sermons in Mosques and Churches.

The Minister said that the Agreement, generally referred to as the Samoa Agreement, was signed at the Organisation of Africa, Caribbean and Pacific States(OACPS), Secretariat in Brussels, Belgium, on June 28.

Details of the Agreement indicated that the Partnership is between the European Union and its Member States on one hand, and Members of OACPCS on the other.

Negotiations on the Agreement began in 2018 and it was signed on Nov. 15, 2018 by all 27 EU Member-States and 47 of the 79 OACPS States.

The African Regional Protocol on the Matter consists of two Parts – Framework for Cooperation and Areas of Cooperation that include Sustainable Economic Growth, Environment and Human Rights Protection, among others.

Reacting to the Newspaper's Report on the Matter, Bagudu said that there was no iota of truth in it.

He said that there was nowhere in the Document where $150bn was mentioned.

He also said that the Agreement made no reference to LGBTQ or the Rights of People involved in such activities.

He declared that President Bola Tinubu was a proud Nigerian and would never sign any Document that could hurt its Laws and Constitution.

He said that the Agreement was seeking to foster Cooperation between EU’s 27 Members and OACPC with 79 Nations.

“The Partnership is about Trade Agreements, Human Rights and Environmental Promotion.”

He said Nigeria signed after extensive Reviews and Consultations by the Inter-Ministerial Committee convened by the Ministry of Budget and Economic Planning, in collaboration with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and that of
Justice.

He said Nigeria had made it clear that any Provision that is inconsistent with the Laws of Nigeria shall be null and void.

“This is what the Government has to say on the issue of Same-Sex Marriage.

“There is an existing Law against that since 2014.

“It is necessary to assure Nigerians that the Tinubu Administration, being a Rule-Based Government, will not enter into any International Agreement that will be detrimental to the Interest of the Country and its Citizens,” he said.

He pointed out that Nigera had entered into many other Agreements most of which had benefited the Country in the Areas of Water, Sanitation, Education, Agriculture, among others.

According to him, the Samoa Agreement is focused on Economic Development, Security, Environment, Migration, Mobility and Climate Change.

Other Areas include Investment Opportunities, Sustainable Development and Mutually Beneficial Co-operations, among others.

He said that no Article supported Rights of LGBTQ, declaring that everything signed was in tandem with Nigeria’s Laws.

“President Tinubu is non-apologetic about his respects for our Diversities and wouldn’t want to do anything that will hurt anyone.

“President Tinubu did not authorise any Agreement that can undermine our Constitution or Laws.

“We did not sign anything that has a clause that challenges our Laws.

“We are always conscious of our Sovereignty; we respect our two Religions,” he declared.

He urged the Media to be truthful and patriotic in the handling of Reports so as to protect National Interest.

Bagudu reminded the Media that Development Partners are also sensitive to Media Reports.

“Let us not ridicule ourselves and scare International Investors. Nigerians should be allowed to know the truth,” he said.

He said that there were hardworking Nigerians helping the Nation to secure Foreign Investments, Support and Co-operation.

“We should not undermine their efforts and discourage them from putting in their best for the Nation,” he said. 

 

Credit NAN: Texts excluding Headline

06-Jul-2024 We are waiting for Budget Allocation to start big Projects, says NDDC

We are waiting for Budget Allocation to start big Projects, says NDDC

Samuel Ogbuku, the Managing Director, Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), says the Commission is waiting for the Allocation of its 2024 Budget to initiate big ticket Projects across nine States.

He said that the NDDC States are Abia, Akwa Ibom, Bayelsa, Cross River, Delta, Edo, Imo, Ondo and Rivers.

Speaking at a News Conference in Port Harcourt, Ogbuku said that the Commission also aimed at reviving and completing Legacy Projects abandoned over the years.

He said that President Bola Tinubu had directed NDDC to accelerate the Region’s Development in alignment with his Administration’s Renewed Hope Agenda.

“The 2024 NDDC Budget will see to the revival and completion of most Abandoned Projects within two years, as directed by President Tinubu.

“We are committed to actualising this charge and eagerly await the Passage of the Budget.

“Once the Budget is handed over to us, we assure everybody that the Niger Delta is going to be a busy place for everyone,” he said.

Ogbuku lauded the National Assembly and its Leadership for expediting the Approval of the NDDC Budget.

He said that the Commission was organising a Regional Summit on July 10 to engage all Stakeholders to chart a new way forward for the Region.

“Our Engagements started with meetings with Youths and Women Organisations, Leaders of Ethnic Nationalities, and we will soon meet with the Governors of the Niger Delta Region.

“These Consultations aim to build consensus before the Stakeholder’s Summit, where key Issues, Regional challenges, and the way forward will be discussed.

“The Summit will educate our People on the benefits of the Renewed Hope Agenda for the Niger Delta People,” he added.

Emphasising NDDC’s commitment to its Regional Mandate, the Managing Director mentioned the Adoption of a ‘Transaction to Transformation’ Strategy by the Board.

He highlighted the progress of the Commission’s “Operation Light Up Niger Delta,” which had lit several Communities in the Creeks and Hinterlands over recent months.

According to him, the Second Phase of the Initiative has commenced, with many Communities awaiting lighting through Solar-Powered Streetlights.

“We urge all Indigenes of the Niger Delta to return their Investments in their Region to foster Wealth Creation and Employment,” Ogbuku appealed. 

 

Credit NAN: Texts excluding Headline

06-Jul-2024 Fidelity ahead other Banks on Sustainability, Climate Report

Fidelity ahead other Banks on Sustainability, Climate Report

Fidelity Bank Plc has emerged the first Bank to publish its 2023 ISSB-Compliant Sustainability and Climate Report in the Nigerian Banking Industry.

Hosted on the Bank’s Website on June 30, the Report provides insights into the Bank’s Governance, Strategy, Risk Management and Metrics.

It also provides Targets around Sustainability and Climate-related Risks and Opportunities, Human Capital, Community Efforts, amongst others in the 2023 Financial Year.

Mustapha Chike-Obi, Chairman, Board of Directors, Fidelity Bank, in the Report, said that 2023 marked a pivotal point in the Bank’s Sustainability Journey.

Chike-Obi stated that the Bank, in the year under review, became a Signatory of the UN Environment Programme Finance Initiative (UNEP FI), Principles for Responsible Banking (PRB) and the UN Women’s Empowerment Principles (WEP).

He explained that these Associations go beyond mere Statements of Membership, adding that they actively integrated Sustainability and Climate-Related Goals into the Bank’s Core Business Strategy and Daily Operations.

According to him, the Document, which is prepared in accordance with the Requirements of IFRS S1 and S2, highlights the Bank’s Achievements and Aspirations as Pacesetters within the Financial Services Sector.

“We believe Innovation and Transparency are essential for building Trust in our Strategies and Achievements.

“As we progress towards Sustainability, we remain committed to our diverse Stakeholders including our dedicated Workforce, esteemed Shareholders and Valued Customers,” Chike-Obi said.

Speaking on the Bank’s Strategy on Sustainability and Climate Change, Kevin Ugwuoke, Executive Director/Chief Risk Officer, Fidelity Bank Plc, said that the Report detailed the Bank’s commitment to continually situate ESG.

Ugwuoke mentioned that the Bank was also committed to Climate-Related Risks and Opportunities’ Considerations at the core of its Business Operations and Activities.

He said: “This is as we constantly explore means of meeting our Corporate Objectives in a manner that significantly reduces the negative Environmental and Social Effects.

“We are glad to be the first Bank to publish its Report as this emphasises our Market Leadership in the Sustainability Space and we commit to do more to increase our positive impacts in all aspects of Sustainability.”

Fidelity Bank is a full-fledged Commercial Bank with over 8.3 million Customers serviced across its 251 Business Offices in Nigeria and the United Kingdom as well as on Digital Banking Channels.

The Bank was recently listed amongst the top Nigerian Banks in ESG Performance, according to a Survey commissioned by the Independent Project Monitoring Company (IPMC) Limited.

 

Credit NAN: Texts excluding Headline

06-Jul-2024 Shettima to Investors: Unlock potentials in Non-Oil Sector

Shettima to Investors: Unlock potentials in Non-Oil Sector

Vice-President Kashim Shettima has called for a significant shift from dependence on Oil to other Critical Sectors with attractive Investment Returns in Nigeria.

Shettima made the call on Friday during the Existing Foreign Direct Investors Roundtable at the Banquet Hall of the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

He identified Agriculture, Manufacturing, Renewable Energy and Digital Innovation, among other Sectors as potential Investment ground to explore.

According to him, those Sectors align with the Nation’s Development Priorities outlined in the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP).

He said that the Eight-Point Agenda of the Renewed Hope Administration of President Bola Tinubu signals diverse Avenues for Investment, from Agriculture to Renewable Energy.

The Vice-President said, “Through targeted Incentives and Public-Private Partnerships, we aim to unlock the full potential of these Sectors, catalysing Job Creation and Socio-Economic Empowerment across the Country.”

Shettima assured the Investors and other Development Partners of a Business Environment that was characterised by Transparency, Accountability, and Regulatory Certainty.

He implored them to recognise the indispensable role of Public-Private Partnerships in mobilising Resources, sharing Expertise, and mitigating Investment Risks.

Shettima observed that with the Non-Oil Sector contributing 93.62 per cent to Nigeria’s GDP in the First Quarter of 2024, it was imperative to explore other Critical Sectors of the Nation’s Economy.

He said, ” It is not by chance that the Non-Oil Sector contributed 93.62% to the Nation’s GDP in the First Quarter of 2024.

”This significant shift from our Oil dependency invites us to explore diverse Sectors such as Agriculture, Manufacturing, Renewable Energy, and Digital Innovation.

”These Sectors not only promise attractive Returns but also align with our National Development Priorities outlined in the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP) and subsequent Blueprints.”

Shettima further said the Tinubu Administration adopted some Mechanisms for the Ease of Doing Business.

According to him, the move is to stimulate Investment across Critical Sectors and strengthen the Capacity of Public Institutions, ensuring that Industry Stakeholders are never undermined.

While emphasising the importance of Investment in the Life of a Country’s Economy, Shettima said that it was not just about Financial Returns but also building lasting Legacies and making enduring contributions to Society.

He told the Investors at the Event that their Investments are capable of uplifting “Communities, create Sustainable Livelihoods, and drive Inclusive Growth.”

Shettima said, ” The Life of every Economy is defined by the Volume of Investments it accommodates and attracts. Investments are the Lifeblood that fuel Innovation, drive Growth, and create Opportunities for prosperity.

“Today, as we gather for this Roundtable with our esteemed Foreign Direct Investors, we celebrate not just the Capital that flows into our Nation but the confidence, trust, and Partnerships that these Investments represent.”

He stressed that Tinubu’s Visionary Leadership and Pro-Business Background were added Incentives to investing in Nigeria under the present dispensation.

Earlier, the Deputy Chief of Staff to the President (Office of the Vice President), Ibrahim Hadejia, commended the Development Partners, Foreign Investors and other Stakeholders for participating in the Meeting.

Hadejia outlined some of the efforts made by the Administration of President Tinubu to boost the Investment Climate in Nigeria.

He said that most of the Measures already adopted by the Administration were at different Phases of Implementation, and would yield fruits in the coming years for existing and aspiring Investors to see.

Also, the Technical Adviser to the President on Foreign Direct Investment (FDI), Zahrah Mustapha-Audu presented the Summary Report of a Survey conducted to aggregate Views about Foreign Investments in Nigeria.

She said that the outcome of the Exercise would be critical to the efforts by the Tinubu Administration to boost the Investment Environment in the Country.

The Technical Adviser explained that the Programme – ‘Existing Foreign Direct Investors Roundtable’, centered around seeking ways of retaining and scaling up Investments in Nigeria.

Mustapha-Audu said that the outcome of deliberations at the Forum would be harnessed to boost existing Frameworks and Policies aimed at encouraging Foreign Direct Investment in Nigeria.

 

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05-Jul-2024 NCAA bans 10 Private Jet Operators over Recertification

NCAA bans 10 Private Jet Operators over Recertification

The Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) has suspended ten Private Jet Operations over failure to begin Recertification Process.
This is contained in a Statement signed by Michael Achimugu, Director, Public Affairs and Consumer Protection on Friday in Abuja.
The Agency said the Nigeria Civil Aviation Regulations 2023 Part 18.3.4 forbids Holders of Permit for Non Commercial  Flights (PNCF) from using their Aircraft for Carriage of Passengers, Cargo or Mail for Hire or Rewards  (Commercial Operation or Charter Services)
“As a result of flagrant disregard of this Rule, the NCAA had earlier directed all Holders of PNCF to undergo Re-Evaluation which should have been concluded by the April 19,  2024.
“To this end, the  NCAA has suspended the PNCF of Azikel Dredging Nigeria Limited, Bli-Aviation Safety Services, Ferry Aviation Developments Limited and Matrix Energy Limited.
”Also Marrietta Management Services Limited, Worldwide Skypaths Services, Mattini Airline Services Limited, Aero Lead Limited, Sky Bird Air Limited and Ezuma Jets Limited.
“The Public is hereby notified that it is illegal to engage PNCF Holders for Commercial Purposes. The NCAA will not hesitate to initiate Enforcement Actions against any PNCF Holder found guilty of Illegal Operations,” the Agency said.
The Agency said that its Officials had been deployed to General Aviation Terminals (GAT) and Private Wings of the Airports to monitor Activities of the PNCF Holders. 
 
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05-Jul-2024 Minister: Mining Operators making huge money, refused to remit to FG

Minister: Mining Operators making huge money, refused to remit to FG

The Federal Government has increased the Rates and Charges for all Activities in the Mining Sector.

Dele Alake, the Minister of Solid Minerals Development, who disclosed this while briefing Journalists on the new Charges on Thursday in Abuja, expressed concerns over Non-Remittance by some Operators.

Alake said that Mining Operators in the Industry were making huge amounts of money but refused to remit to the Federal Government.

“Today, we are taking a major step in the efforts to implement the Seven Point Agenda.

“This is to position the Sector for Economic Consolidation by announcing a new Regime of Rates and Charges for various Services of the Department and Agencies of the Ministry.’’

The Minister said the development was in view of the introduction of Qualitative Measures being implemented in recent times.

He added that it would raise the level of the Services; improve Traffic of the Transaction and develop Infrastructure.

“For instance, we supervised the successful implementation and conclusion of the Mineral Sector support for Economic Diversification Minddiver Project.’’

He said the Mining Sector involved Mining Cadastral Office(MCO)–the Agency responsible for licencing which acquired the new Mining Information System, Electronic Mining Cadastre System, EMC+ Portal.

“This enables 24 hours Application and Administration System that accelerated the Rate of Application and Access of Applicants to MCO, adding that the System had improved Transparency.

Alake said the System would also encourage more interest and boost participation in the Sector; thereby giving the Stakeholder confidence to invest the Sector.

He said that the Nigerian Geological Survey Agency (NGSA) had acquired an integrated Base Data accessible by the Public.

“The Stakeholders have been enjoying the Mining Sector; it is therefore equitable that those who invest in the Mining Sector and make Profits from it should be on the Front Lines of Government’s efforts to recoup rather than pass it to poor Nigerians.’’

Alake said that there were about 268 Items in the Rates Regime, adding that it would be difficult to mention all the Items.

“The major highlights are as follows: under the new Regime, Investors applying for a Mining Lease License will pay N3m, while Small Scale Mining Lease (SSML) Applicants will pay N300, 000 for the first two Cadastral Units.

“The Cost to obtain an Exploration Licence (EL) is N600,000 for the first 100 Cadastral Units.’’

He listed others as a Quarry Lease and Reconnaissance Permit which attract N300,000.

“The aim is to discourage speculation and address the paucity of Funds, limiting the Federal Government’s Capacity to improve Ease of Doing Business in the Sector.

“The new Rate, which affects 268 Items in the Industry, includes an Annual Service Fee of N31, 500 for the first time.

“Also, N260,000 for a Small Scale Mining License (SSML), N500,000 for a Quarry Lease, and N1,250,000 for Firms Operating with a Mining Lease.

“Following the renewal of Licenses, the Rates for the respective Categories will be N42, 000,” he said.

Alake said also listed an Exploration Licence, N420, 000, for a SSML N1.5m for a Mining Lease and N1m for a Quarry Lease.

“Other Services affected by the new Regulations include Mineral Title Applications of the MCO, alongside the transfer, enlargement, surrender, and consolidation of Mineral Titles.’’

According to Alake, the new Regulations seek to maximise Royalties from Critical Minerals like Lithium and Gold to boost the Nation’s Revenue base and contribute significantly to Economic Development.

“In the new Rates Regime, Lithium Ore Lepidolite at the current Market Value of N600,000 per tonne attracts an N18,000 Royalty per tonne.

“Kunzite with a current Market Value of N3m per tonne, attracts a N90, 000 Royalty per tonne, while Lithium Ore Spodumene with a current Market Value of N316,667 per tonne, attracts a N9,500 Royalty per tonne,’’ he said.

He said that the Rates review also affected Services rendered by the MCO and the NGSA.

According to the Minister, the new Rates Regime takes immediate effect.

 

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05-Jul-2024 Unjustifiable, malevolent, killing the People, NLC blasts FG over Electricity Tariff hike

Unjustifiable, malevolent, killing the People, NLC blasts FG over Electricity Tariff hike

The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) has condemned another hike in Electricity Tariff instead of a reversal as promised by the Federal Government.

Joe Ajaero, NLC President said this on Thursday in Abuja in a Statement Titled, “Stop killing the People and the Economy,”.

According to Ajaero, the hike in Tariff by DISCOs from N206.80 to N209.5 with effect from July 1, 2024 for the so-called Band ‘A’ Customers represents the height of impunity and arrogance.

“This will certainly put more Companies out of Business as well as create more difficulties for Consumers.

“This increment has come in the heels of unresolved contestations around the insane 250 per cent hike in Tariff leading to National Paralysis including the shutting down of 300 Businesses as per MAN,” he said.

He noted that the 250 per cent hike drew the ire of the Citizenry and rage of Organised Labour whose Members went on a one-day Protest for its unreasonableness and violation of Extant Rules of Tariff hike.

“We demand a reversal. The only reason that action was paused was a firm assurance from relevant quarters including the National Assembly that the Matter would be dealt with quietly.

“That there is another hike instead of a reversal as promised is further proof of the insincerity of Government just as it is equally a measure of Government’s insensitivity.

“We have no doubt that this frequent crass display of insincerity and insensitivity will pitch the the People against Government or vice versa,” he said.

Ajaero noted that the three excuses given by DISCOs include Exchange Rate, Interest Rate and Cost of Gas as justification for the increase.

He added that this underscored the argument that Government and Entities in the Energy Sector were not serious about finding an enduring solution to the Energy Crisis.

“For, clearly, they are treating the symptoms.

“Given the further damage this latest wave of increase will do to our Economy, we demand an immediate reversal of the hike.

“It is unjustifiable, unreasonable and malevolent. Government and DISCOs should stop killing the People and the Economy,” he said.

 

Credit NAN: Texts excluding Headline

05-Jul-2024 So shameful Nigeria is still generating 4.5GW of Electricity - Tinubu

So shameful Nigeria is still generating 4.5GW of Electricity - Tinubu

President Bola Tinubu has inaugurated the Presidential Economic Coordination Council (PECC), mandating it to strengthen the Economy.

He also inaugurated the Economic Stabilisation Programme aimed at ensuring Food Security, improved Power Supply, enhanced Social Welfare and Healthcare, increased Energy Production, and overall Economic Transformation.

Speaking during the Inauguration of the 31-Member Council at the Council Chambers in Abuja, Tinubu, who Chairs the Council, underscored the need for Innovative Solutions to the Country’s Economic challenges.

He noted the importance of Public-Private Partnerships in driving Economic Reforms.    

“We have the challenge of Energy Security in Nigeria. We need to work together to improve our Oil and Gas Sector, and we must also increase Electricity Generation and Distribution throughout the Country.

“We are determined to do that with your Cooperation, Collaboration, and Recommendations.

“As a Nation, it is so shameful that we are still generating 4.5GW of Electricity. 

“We must increase our Oil Production to 2 million Barrels per day within the next few months and we are determined to remove all Entry Barriers to Investments in the Energy Sector while enhancing competitiveness,” the President stated.

He announced Measures, which would run concurrently with the National Construction and Household Support Programme, to stabilise the Economy, enhance Job Creation, and foster Economic Security.

The Measures under the Economic Stabilisation Programme include Energy Security, which includes Power, Oil and Gas, aims to increase On-Grid Electricity to be delivered to Homes and Businesses from about 4.5 Gigawatts to 6 Gigawatts in six months.

It also aims at increasing Oil Production to 2 million Barrels per day within the next 12 months; and remove Barriers to Entry for Investments into the Sector to enhance competitiveness.

The Programme includes Agriculture and Food Security, which aims at increase Staple Crops grown by Small-Holder Farmers from 127 million metric tonnes in 2023 to 135 million metric tonnes this year.

It will bolster Production by partnering Large-Scale Commercial Farmers and support Qualified Farmers with Satellite Imagery for Land use Planning, Crop Rotation, and monitoring of Agricultural Expansion.

Another aspect of the Plan is Health and Social Welfare under which the Federal Government hopes to make Essential Medicines available at Lower Cost for 80-90 million Nigerians and expand Healthcare Insurance coverage for 1 million Vulnerable People via a Vulnerable Group Fund in collaboration with State Governments.

It will redeploy 20,000 Healthcare Workers to provide Services to 10-12 million Patients in Areas where they are most urgently needed and Power up 4,800 Primary Healthcare Centres (PHCs), Second Tier, and Third Tier Hospitals using Renewable Energy Sources.

Under the Economic Stabilisation Programme, Tinubu said some Fiscal Measures had been introduced to improve Access to Finance for the Housing Sector, MSMEs, and the Manufacturing Sector.

The Measures include support for new and existing Youth-Owned Enterprises across all 36 States of the Federation, creating 7,400 MSMEs within the next 6-12 months.

There is also MSME Support, a N650bn Facility that will provide Lower-Cost Short-Term Facilities to Youth-Owned Businesses, Manufacturers and MSMEs across various Industries; Food Processing, Pharmaceutical, Agriculture, and Wholesale and Retail Trade.

“This Financing will be based on their current and future Receivables, Company Rating, and Market Demand for Products.

“A Manufacturing Stabilisation Fund will rejuvenate up to two hundred and fifty Companies and deliver Lower Cost (9.0 per cent -11.0 per cent) Long-Term Facilities to Large, Medium-Scale, and Light Manufacturers that produce Finished Goods for Domestic and Export Markets.

“Sub-National Matching Fund: A Grow Nigeria Development Fund consisting of a Single-Digit Interest Rate Loan Portfolio with the Bank of Industry and a matching fund Agreement with Sub-National Governments to grow MSMEs,” said the President.

He stated that the Bank of Industry’s Rural Development Programme would be expanded to support Rural Economies by developing 300 new MSMEs for each State, including the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, resulting in 11,100 new Rural-Based MSMEs across the Federation.

“Mortgage Finance Acceleration Facility: A facility that delivers Affordable Housing for all Segments impacted by the Cost-of-Living Challenge.

“This will support the construction of an additional 25,000 Housing Units.

“These Fiscal Measures will improve Access to Finance for MSMEs and, in the process, create 4.7 million Direct and Indirect Jobs over a six to 12-month period,” said Tinubu.

Emphasising the significance of the task ahead, Vice-President Kashim Shettima, who is the Vice-Chairman of the Council, stated that President Tinubu was committed to proffering solutions to the Nation’s Economic Challenges and not apportioning blame.

“I want to emphasise that when there is a will, there is always a way, and the President does not believe in apportioning blame. He believes in preparing solutions,” Shettima said.

Wale Edun, the Coordinating Minister of the Economy and Minister of Finance, made a Presentation on the Highlights of the Accelerated Stabilisation and Advancement Plan earlier submitted to the President.  

The Plan details Economic Issues to be resolved in 2024 by Sub-Committees in the Key Sectors of Agriculture and Food Security, Energy (Oil, Gas, Power), Health and Social Welfare, and Business Support.

Other Members of the Council include the Senate President, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Chairman of the Nigeria Governors Forum, twelve Ministers, and the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria.

Members from the Organised Private sector include Aliko Dangote, Tony Elumelu, Abdul Samad Rabiu, Amina Maina, Segun Ajayi-Kadir, Funke Opeke, Doyin Salami  among others. 

 

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04-Jul-2024 Nigeria’s CNG Journey has commenced, is irreversible, says Kyari

Nigeria’s CNG Journey has commenced, is irreversible, says Kyari

The Group Chief Executive Officer of NNPC Limited, Mele Kyari has declared that the drive to bring Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) closer to Nigerians has since commenced and is irreversible.
Kyari, who disclosed this on Thursday during the Simultaneous Commissioning of 12 CNG Stations in Abuja and Lagos, said in addition to the massive deployment of CNG Stations Nationwide, the NNPC Limited and its Partners would also build three Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) Stations in Ajaokuta.
“There is simply no way to turn back on delivering CNG for all Nigerians. It is the right thing to do. Is it late? Yes, but we will make progress, we will cover the gap in order to ensure that the volatility we see with Premium Motor Spirit (Petrol) does not apply to Gas,” Kyari stated.
The GCEO commended President Bola Tinubu for providing the needed support to drive Domestic Gas utilisation aimed at delivering Cleaner and Cheaper Source of Energy to Nigerians.
While assuring that the NNPC Limited will continue to deliver more Strategic Gas Projects for the benefit of Nigerians in line with the Presidential CNG Initiative of bringing prosperity to all Nigerians, Kyari reaffirmed the determination of the NNPCL to guarantee the Nation’s Energy Security.
Also speaking at the occasion, the Managing Director, NNPC Retail Limited, Huub Stokman revealed that in the next one year, NNPC Retail would have launched over 100 CNG Sites, including 16 NNPC Gas Marketing and NIPCO Gas JV Sites.
“CNG provides Nigeria with affordable alternatives to existing available Fuel Products. It will be about 40% cheaper than Petrol in Nigeria and with continued Investments, it will become a significant part of our Energy Mix,” Stokman added.
In his Remarks, Minister of State for Petroleum Resources (Gas), Ekperikpe Ekpo said the Commissioning of the Stations will not only provide Economic benefits by creating Jobs and stimulating Local Economies, it will also contribute significantly to Nigeria’s National Goals of reducing Emissions and combating Climate Change.
For his part, the Chairman of the NNPC Board of Directors, Pius Akinyelure said increased CNG adoption will foster Economic benefits by reducing Fuel Costs for Consumers and Businesses alike.
Following the removal of Fuel Subsidy and the declaration of the Presidential Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) Initiatives, NNPC Limited has taken the lead in the deployment of Auto-CNG Stations across Nigeria.
Already, NNPC Gas Marketing Limited, a subsidiary of NNPC Limited, in partnership with NIPCO Gas Limited has developed an Auto-CNG Rollout Plan for construction of thirty-five (35) CNG Stations across the various Geographical Zones of Nigeria.
Credit NNPCL PR
04-Jul-2024 Divestments: Indigenous Energy Companies capable of growing Nigeria’s Oil Production, says Seplat

Divestments: Indigenous Energy Companies capable of growing Nigeria’s Oil Production, says Seplat

Seplat Energy Plc, leading Nigerian Independent Energy Company listed on both the Nigerian Exchange and the London Stock Exchange, says Nigeria’s Sub-Surface potentials could be largely optimised and Oil/Gas Production Levels increased if Divestment and other related deals are expedited.

 

 

The CEO Seplat Energy, Roger Brown, said this at the 2024 NOG Energy Week Conference and Exhibition which ended on Thursday in Abuja.

Brown, who spoke during a Panel Session dubbed ‘Defining the Regulatory Frameworks Required to Support the Capabilities of Independents and Incentivise Growth’ said success of Nigerian Independent Energy Companies will benefit Nigeria through Oil Revenues and the development of a Domestic Gas-to-Power Industry, thus helping to fund Expansion into Renewable Energy to help Nigeria increase Energy Access and unlock its Entrepreneurial Population by providing reliable and affordable Energy in accordance with the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

 

The Seplat Energy CEO said: “International Oil Companies (IOCs) will look to Divest to credible Local Players, those with high levels of Governance and Accountability in their ESG efforts.

“Indigenous Players also need strong Balance Sheets and Credibility in International Financial Markets, because the Assets they’re acquiring will doubtless need future development.

“Also, Indigenous Companies must commit to working with Communities to maintain or increase Nigerian Content, as Seplat Energy has been doing for many years.”

Speaking to the Country’s Energy Aspirations, he said the “Independents will play a key role in realising the Aspirations of the Decade of Gas,” adding that strong Governance Framework is needed to support Bankability of Private Sector direct Participation/Investment in this space.  

Nigeria’s biggest Decarbonisation priority is to end Small-Scale Generation and get Households and Businesses onto a reliable National Grid that uses our Gas Resources, lowers the Cost of Electricity and allows Renewable Energy to be developed and connected into a Nationwide Grid.

Seplat Energy is committed to ending routine Flaring by the middle of next year and we urge all other Producers to make this a priority.

Seplat Energy’s new ANOH gas plant can supply enough Gas to support more than 1GW Electricity on the Grid and this can displace hundreds of thousands of Home Generators; so, it will reduce the Cost of Electricity and hopefully get rid of these expensive and highly polluting Generators, which are just a huge drag on Nigeria’s Economy and which create massive problems with Carbon Emissions.

 

Credit Seplat Energy Plc PR

04-Jul-2024 Tier-1 Banks Report 2024: Access Holdings leads in PBSI Ranking

Tier-1 Banks Report 2024: Access Holdings leads in PBSI Ranking

In recognition of its outstanding performance, Access Holdings PLC has been named the leading Tier-1 Bank in the 2024 Proshare Bank Strength Index (PBSI) Report.

The PBSI, which evaluates Banks based on a comprehensive set of Financial Metrics derived from Audited Financial Statements for the Financial Year 2023, underscores Access Holdings’ significant strides in the Banking Sector.

Proshare’s latest Report places Access Holdings at the forefront, alongside other prominent Institutions such as Zenith Bank, FBNH, Ecobank, UBA, and GTCO.

As the Nigerian Banking Sector evolves, Access Holdings stands out for its proactive approach to addressing Macro and Microeconomic Risks.

The Report draws parallels to the challenges faced by United States Banks, such as Silicon Valley, First Republic, and Signature Banks, in 2023 due to poor Asset and Liability Management (ALM).

With the Central Bank of Nigeria’s ongoing Banking Sector Recapitalisation Programme, the Report highlights the importance of Investment in Financial Technology, Customer Service Scalability, and Digital Asset Engineering between 2024 and 2026.

The Analysts emphasise that, “With higher Capital Levels, Banks must use the larger Amounts of Cash available to improve Shareholder Returns and Customer Service Experiences.

Many Banks will get cut at the knees by lacking a deliberate Strategy to transition from Cash Flow to Value Creation.”

The Report further highlighted Nigeria’s Economic Trajectory, noting, “Nigeria’s GDP in 2005 was N38.78trn and rose to N77.94trn, roughly two times in 2023, suggesting an Average Annual Growth Rate of 3.55 per cent in the last two Decades.

"However, between 2000 and 2005, Bank Equity sizes grew over ten times or by 1,150 per cent from N2bn to N25bn. In other words, for a Decade and a half, Banks have used ten times more equity in their Businesses than before 2005, yet the Country’s GDP Growth has been modest.”

The Report, however, clarifies that simply raising Nigerian Banks’ Equity Base is not a guarantee for Economic Growth and Development.

“Transforming Bank Equity into drivers of Economic Growth requires more than money; it requires a coordinated Public and Private Sector Plan, with what Proshare Analysts have repeatedly called a Whole-of-Government Approach to Policies, Programmes, and Processes.”

Reviewing Bank Performances in 2023, Proshare Analysts observed that Banks were pursuing increasingly aggressive approaches to acquiring Digital Market Share while supporting lower Operating Costs (Lower Cost-to-Income Ratios (CIRs)).

 

Credit Access Holdings PR

04-Jul-2024 Nigeria to hit $1trn Economy by 2030, says Shettima

Nigeria to hit $1trn Economy by 2030, says Shettima

The Federal Government has unveiled a new Financial Inclusion Policy aimed at transforming Nigeria into a one trillion Dollar Economy by 2030.

According to the Presidency, the Project is designed to combat Poverty and catalyse Sustainable Economic Growth from the ground up.

Vice-President, Kashim Shettima, who unveiled the Policy in Abuja, said the Initiative symbolised the commitment of the President Bola Tinubu Administration to enhance Financial and Economic Inclusion across Nigeria.

The Federal Government had, on April 25, unveiled the Aso Accord on Economic and Financial Inclusion, a multi-pronged Blueprint designed to achieve Universal Access to Financial Services.

The Accord represents a Core Pillar of the Administration’s Renewed Hope Agenda to transform the Nation into a $1trillion Economy by 2030, while combating Poverty and Insecurity through broad-based prosperity.

The Vice-President noted that the Idea was to provide Access to Capital and eradicate Poverty through Legislative Interventions and Critical Policies.

According to Shettima, at the heart of every Strategy championed by President Tinubu, there has been the need to prioritise Inclusive Economic Growth and Development.

He listed some positive results the efforts have yielded to include the recent upgrade of Nigeria’s Credit Outlook to positive by Fitch Ratings, noting that it is in recognition of the Reform Progress under President Tinubu.

”While such upgrade by a distinguished Institution reflects growing confidence in our Economic Trajectory, particularly in light of Policy changes aimed at easing our Debt Service burden, we remain mindful of the Short-Term impacts of these Reforms.

”Hence, we are prioritising Measures to mitigate immediate effects, from the Student Loan Act, which democratises Access to Education, to the relentless efforts of the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security in combating Food Insecurity”, he said.

Shettima pointed out that due to the Administration’s belief that its approach to Inclusive Growth must be strategic and sustainable, Economic and Financial Inclusion was elevated to the Agenda of the National Economic Council (NEC).

He implored Members of the implementation Team and all Stakeholders involved in the Initiative to recognise the weight of their Responsibility, saying what they have at hand is a vital National Assignment.

”You have been entrusted with a vital National Assignment, and I have full confidence that you will bring your best efforts to ensure its success.

”As we embark on this essential Initiative, I call upon each of you to contribute your Insights, Expertise, and Dedication.

”Only through such Resolve and Discipline can we forge a robust Operating Model that will drive Economic and Financial Inclusion across our Nation, ensuring every Nigerian has the Opportunity to thrive.

”I also implore the Implementation Team to engage all Stakeholders fully.

”There is no greater calling than developing Solutions to alleviate the impact of ongoing Economic Reforms on over 30 million Financially excluded Nigerians, propelling Nigeria towards Sustainable and Inclusive Growth”, he said.

Also, the Technical Advisor to the President on Financial Inclusion, Nurudeen Zauro, reported substantial progress in implementing the Aso Accord on Financial Inclusion and a series of Initiatives aimed at broadening Financial Access across the Nation.

Zauro, while acknowledging the role of Shettima in supporting the Signing of the Accord and ongoing implementation, said that Discussions on Financial Inclusion had reached the Highest Levels of Government, including NEC.

“Since its Signing, the Operationalisation of the Accord has received Funding from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation through the Lagos Business School (LBS).

”We have been setting up the Operating Model and Legal Framework to ensure that the Project takes off smoothly and is aligned with the Renewed Hope Agenda”, he said.

He said the Team was planning Capacity-Building Initiatives and “High-Profile Training for Permanent Secretaries and Commissioners of Finance.

”This will ensure that Practical Knowledge on Financial Inclusion would be injected where they are needed”, he said.

The Project Manager at the Lagos Business School, Olayinka David-West, commended the Tinubu Administration for putting Economic and Financial Inclusion on the front burner by signing of the Aso Accord earlier in April.

She said the Team at the Lagos Business School was working with its Counterpart in the VP’s Office and other Stakeholders for a Legal Framework to boost Financial Inclusion in the Country.

 

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04-Jul-2024 Oil Block Licensing Registration: NUPRC sets 48 hours deadline for Investors

Oil Block Licensing Registration: NUPRC sets 48 hours deadline for Investors

The Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission (NUPRC) has given 48 hours deadline to new Investors for Registration of the 2024 Oil Block Licensing Bid Round.

Gbenga Komolafe made this known on Wednesday at the 23rd 2024 Nigerian Oil and Gas Energy Conference (NOG) in Abuja Themed “Showcasing Opportunities, Driving Investment, Meeting Energy Demand’’.

Komolafe, in a Presentation tagged “Defining the Outlook for Deep Water Exploration and Production in Nigeria’’ said the Registration and submission of Pre-Qualification Documents would close on July 5.

“Registration closes at 12 midnight Friday, July 5, 2024,’’ he said.

According to the CCE, Announcement of Licencing Round, launch of Bid Portal and Advertisement, which started on May 29, 2024, ended on May 10, 2024.

He said that Technical and Commercial Bid submission including Data Access/Data Purchase/Evaluation/Bid, Preparation and Submission, Technical Bid, Evaluation/Publications of Pre-Qualified Companies and Commercial Bid Conference would begin August 7 and end December 13.

He said that Ministerial Consent, Contracting and Negotiation would start in December 16 and end in January 29, 2025.

He said that the total number of Blocks were 31 while five Blocks were under Litigation.

Speaking on high impact achievements to optimise Production, he said it conducted wide Integrated Study on the reactivation of Shut-in Strings in Nigeria to unlock 700 Million Barrel Per Day (MBOPD).

The CCE explained that approvals were granted for well interventions and re-entry operations with potential to develop greater than six MMB of oil and five Trillion Cubic Feet (TCF) of Gas.

He further said that the Field Development Plans for additional production was approved from four fields with peak potential of circa 125 Million Barrel Oil Per Day MBOPD.

He said it accelerated the approval and commissioning of four Alternative Crude Oil Evacuation Routes (ACOER) with a total combined capacity of about 250 MBOPD.

According to him, it has commenced the implementation of the Drill or Drop Philosophy to optimise Sustainable Field Development in line with Petroleum Industry Act (PIA) Provisions.

“The Commission has engaged the E&P Companies on unlocking about 57 Trillion Cubic Feet (TCF) of Uncommitted or Unmonetised Gas Reserves.

“We developed and unveiled a Template guiding the Activities for Domestic Crude Oil Supply Obligation (DCSO) to ensure adequate and uninterrupted feedstock to all Domestic Refineries in Nigeria.

“We have issued the Annual Domestic Gas Delivery Obligation (DGDO) to all Lessees to drive Gas Production Growth,’’ he said.

 

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03-Jul-2024 Import dependent Economy equivalent to importing Poverty, exporting jobs - Dangote

Import dependent Economy equivalent to importing Poverty, exporting jobs - Dangote

Aliko Dangote, the President, Dangote Industries Limited has identified solutions to sustaining existing Local and Foreign Investments as well as attracting new Investors into the Country.

Dangote gave the solutions in a Keynote Speech delivered at the opening of a three-Day Nigeria Manufacturers Summit with the Theme,” Rethinking Manufacturing in Nigeria”.

The Summit, held at the Banquet Hall, State House, Abuja, was declared opened by  Vice President Kashim Shettima.

The Africa Richest Man said, to arrest Investors from leaving the Country in droves and attract new ones, the Federal Government must initiate deliberate Industrial Policies that assure Investors of support and protection

According to him, such Policies are the greatest Incentives for all existing Investors, manufacturers, both Local and Foreign.

The Industrialist also noted that Foreign Investors, Manufacturers would be attracted only when they see that Local Investors are also doing well.

According to him, what attracts Foreign Investment is not when the President or any other Government Agencies go outside the Country to seek for Foreign Investment.

”I am recommending that Government Policies should support, protect existing Industries so that others will know that their Investments will also be protected.

”Is there any better Incentives than that ? I don’t think so.

“So, I humbly summit that an Industrial Policy that assures Investors of support and protection is the greatest Incentives for all Investors both Local and Foreign,” he said.

Dangote also underscored the importance of stable and affordable Power, as well Accessible Financing to sustaining and attracting Investors and Manufacturers.

He said stable, affordable Power and Access to Finance by Manufacturers and Investors would guarantee growth, Industrialisation  and prosperity.

According to him, Import Dependent Economy is equivalent to importing Poverty and Exporting jobs.

He further said that when Government Policies become more supportive and protective, Investors would be more willing to collaborate and partner with Government.

”This will help in resolving other challenges such as Infrastructure Deficit, Market Instability and Market Economic Issues such as Inflation and Foreign Exchange Volatility.

“However, ignoring all these facts is what give rise to Insecurity, Banditry, Kidnappings and abject Poverty in the Land,” he said

On Bank Loans to Investors, Dangote said that  the current 30 per cent Interest Rates is stifling growth and there is no way anybody can create Jobs.

The Business Magnate, however, expressed the optimism that Nigeria has all it takes to develop and sustain a Globally Competitive Manufacturing Sector.

“To do so, we must rethink our Industrialisation Policy. We must look to leading Countries in the West and the East who are actually protecting their Domestic Industries.

“We must similarly, introduce Policies to protect our Domestic Industries and nurture them into Home Champions that will create the Jobs and prosperity we desperately need.

”The time to rethink our Industrial Policy is now,” Dangote said.

He reiterated that Manufacturing remains the key driver in the Nation’s quest to Economic Development and Self Sufficiency.

Dangote added that the strengths of a Country’s Manufacturing Sector determines its Capacity to compete in Global Trade.

 

Credit NAN: Texts excluding Headline

03-Jul-2024 Pending IOCs Divestment: Petroleum Producers seek quick conclusion

Pending IOCs Divestment: Petroleum Producers seek quick conclusion

The Independent Petroleum Producers Group (IPPG) has called for a quick conclusion of all the pending International Oil Companies (IOCs) Divestment Transactions in the Country.

IPPG Chairman, Abdulrazaq Isa made the call at the ongoing 2024 Nigerian Oil and Gas (NOG) Energy Week on Tuesday in Abuja.

The 2004 NOG Conference, scheduled to hold from June 30 to July 4, has the Theme: “Showcasing Opportunities, Driving Investment, Meeting Energy Demand.”

Isa said the IPPG believed the timely approval of these IOCs Divestment Transactions would be a clear signal capable of restoring Global Investor confidence in Nigeria.

“IPPG strongly advocates that our Member Companies – Seplat, the Renaissance Consortium and Oando – have the proven track record to successfully take over and manage these Onshore and Shallow Water Assets.

“The Assets will realise incremental Production in the region of 100,000-200,000 Barrels of Oil and over 1.5 billion cubic feet (bcf) of Gas per day within 24 months and well over 500,000 Barrels of Oil per day in the Long Term.

“IPPG believes the timely approval of these IOCs Divestment Transactions will restoring Global Investor Confidence in Nigeria in an Era of competing Global Investment Destinations in Africa and very limited access to Capital,” he said.

He also  underscored the need to address Deepwater Development and Production.

According to him, untangling Issues around Deepwater Development, particularly in terms of Competitive Fiscal Regime being negotiated with Shell, Total Energies, ExxonMobil and Chevron, will unlock incremental Production of 700,000bpd in the Short to Medium Term.

He said that enabling Deepwater Development would attract significant Economic benefits as Nigeria has one of the World’s largest untapped Deepwater Resource Base.

The IPPG boss also called for the adoption of a National Value-Retention Strategy, adding that Nigeria’s Domestic Crude Oil Refining and Petrochemical Capacity must be sustained primarily from our Domestic Crude Production.

 

Credit NAN: Texts excluding Headline

03-Jul-2024 Nigeria's Daily Oil, Gas Production drops to 1.3mbp, 8.5 bcf, says FG

Nigeria's Daily Oil, Gas Production drops to 1.3mbp, 8.5 bcf, says FG

Minister of State, Petroleum Resources (Oil), Heineken Lokpobiri, has called for more investments in the Oil and Gas Industry to ramp up Production and boost Foreign Exchange Earnings.

Lokpobiri made the call on Tuesday at the Nigerian Oil and Gas (NOG) Energy Week currently holding in Abuja.

The Country has over 37.5 billion Barrels of Proven Crude Oil Reserves and 209 trillion cubic feet (tcf) and 600 tcf of Proven and Contingent Gas Reserves respectively.

The Independent Petroleum Producers Group (IPPG) says Nigeria finds itself in a situation where its Daily Production has significantly dropped to about 1.3 million Barrels of Oil and 8.5 bcf of Gas.

Lokpobiri, in an Opening Address blamed the development on lack of Drilling Investments in the Sector, disclosed that efforts were ongoing to change the Narrative by attracting more Investments into the Sector.

“We have been working hard to ramp up Production. The overall Objective is to increase Production.

“It is when we ramp up Production that we will be able to get the required Forex Inflow into the Country, get money to fund Budget, and satisfy Energy Demand.

“But you can only increase Production by way of increasing Investments,” Lokpobiri said.

Ekperikpe Ekpo, Minister of State, Petroleum Resources (Gas), in an Address, said the Ministry had been instrumental in implementing Reforms that made Nigeria an attractive Destination for Investors.

He said the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA) 2021 and the recent Presidential Directive for Oil and Gas Companies on Tax Incentives, Exemption, Remission, among others by President Bola Tinubu, created a Conducive Environment for Investment.

“The Regulatory Frameworks now in place incentivise Investment, streamline Bureaucratic Processes, and provide clarity on Fiscal Terms”, he noted.

 

Credit NAN: Texts excluding Headline

03-Jul-2024 We have declared war on challenges in Crude Oil Production, says NNPCL

We have declared war on challenges in Crude Oil Production, says NNPCL

The Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPCL) has declared a State of Emergency on Production in Nigeria’s Oil and Gas Industry.

The NNPC Limited has also called on all Players in the Industry to collaborate towards reducing the Cost of Oil Production and boosting Production to target levels.

Group Chief Executive Officer, NNPC Limited, Mele Kyari made this known in Abuja, on Tuesday at the ongoing 23rd Edition of the Nigeria Oil & Gas (NOG) Conference and Exhibition holding from June 30 to July 4.

“We have decided to stop the debate. We cannot afford to negotiate further, we have declared war on the challenges affecting our Crude Oil Production.

“Our biggest interest is to produce more Oil and Gas in spite of Oil Theft and other challenges.

“We have the right Tools. We know what to fight. We know what we have to do at the level of Assets. We have engaged our Partners and we will work together to improve the situation,” he said.

Kyari said a detailed Analysis of Assets revealed that Nigeria could conveniently produce two million Barrels of Crude Oil daily without deploying new Rigs, but decried the inability of Players to act in a timely manner as major impediment.

He said obstacles to effective and efficient Production such as delays in Procurement Processes and Old Pipeline Network were affecting the Industry.

He said NNPC Limited would replace all the Old Crude Oil Pipelines built over four Decades ago and introduce a Rig Sharing Programme with its Partners to ensure that Production Rigs stayed in the Country.

This, he said, would be a Medium to Long-Term Measures aimed at boosting and sustaining Production.

He expressed commitment to investing in Critical Midstream Gas Infrastructure such as the Obiafu-Obrikom-Oben (OB3) and the Ajaokuta-Kaduna-Kano Gas Pipelines to boost Domestic Gas Production and Supply for Power Generation.

On Compressed Natural Gas (CNG), Kyari said that NNPC Limited had keyed into the Presidential CNG Initiative drive.

He said in conjunction with Partners such as NIPCO Gas, NNPC Limited had built a number of CNG stations, 12 of which would be commissioned on Thursday in Lagos and Abuja.

 

Credit NNPC Limited PR

03-Jul-2024 Access Holdings Plc to raise ₦351bn Rights Issue

Access Holdings Plc to raise ₦351bn Rights Issue

Access Holdings Plc (“Access Holdings” or “the Group”) on Tuesday, June 2, 2024, held a Formal Signing Ceremony as part of the arrangements to raise a total of ₦351,009,103,017.25 (Three hundred and fifty-one billion, nine million, one hundred and three thousand, seventeen Naira and twenty Kobo) by way of a Rights Issue (“the Offer”) to existing Shareholders.

The Offer is part of the Group’s Strategy to enhance its Working Capital Requirements, which includes Organic Growth Funding for its Banking and Non-Banking Subsidiaries.

 

The Signing Ceremony with respect to the Offer was held at Access Tower, the Corporate Office of Access Holdings in Lagos.

Access Holdings’ Shareholders had at its 2nd Annual General Meeting (AGM), which held on Friday, April 19, 2024, unanimously backed its Plan to execute a Capital Raising Programme of about US$1.5bn as well as the Subset Initiative to raise Capital through a Rights Issue of Ordinary Shares to its Shareholders.

Under the Rights Issue, 17,772,612,811 (Seventeen billion, seven hundred and seventy-two million, six hundred and twelve thousand, eight hundred and eleven) Ordinary Shares of N0.50 each at N19.75 per Share on the basis of 1 (one) new Ordinary Share for every 2 (two) existing Ordinary Shares held as of Friday, June 7, 2024.

At the Signing Ceremony, Acting Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of Access Holdings Plc, Bolaji Agbede, disclosed that “The Rights Issue is a significant step in delivering our 2023-2027 Strategic Plan.

 

“The additional Capital will enable us to maximise emerging Opportunities and deliver long-term Value to our Shareholders.”

Chapel Hill Denham is the Lead Issuing House to the Offer, while Atlas Registrars Limited will serve as Registrars through the Exercise.

The Joint Issuing Houses are Coronation Merchant Bank, Stanbic IBTC Capital, Vetiva Advisory Services, Greenwich Merchant Bank, FCSL, First Ally Capital, FCMB Capital, Renaissance Capital Africa and Meristem Capital.

Other Parties to the Offer are Coronation Merchant Bank, Coronation Securities, Chapel Hill Denham Securities Limited, FSDH Capital, Cordros Capital, Cowry Securities, First Integrated Capital Management Limited, Network Capital Limited, CSL Stockbrokers Limited, Compass Investment & Securities Limited, PAC Securities Limited, Dynamic Portfolio, Chartwell Securities Limited, Tiddo Securities Limited, and Futureview Securities Limited.

Subject to Approval of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), the Acceptance and Application Lists for the Rights Issue are expected to open on Monday, July 8, 2024, and close on Thursday, August 8, 2024.

The Rights Circular for the Issue, which contains a Provisional Allotment Letter and the Participation Form, will be mailed directly to Shareholders of the Group.

Printed Copies of the Participation Form can also be obtained at any Access Bank Branch and the Offices of the Issuing Houses during the Offer Application Period.

All existing Shareholders and prospective Investors are encouraged to read the Rights Circular and Prospectus and, where in doubt, consult their Stockbroker, Fund/Portfolio Manager, Accountant, Banker, Solicitor, or any other Professional Adviser for guidance before subscribing.

 

Credit Access Holdings PR

02-Jul-2024 African Petroleum Regulators’ Forum births in Abuja

African Petroleum Regulators’ Forum births in Abuja

The Nigeria Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission (NUPRC) has unveiled the African Petroleum Regulators’ Forum (AFRIPERF) to drive Continental aspirations in the development and utilisation of Hydrocarbon Resources.

The NUPRC unveiled the AFRIPERF at its maiden Roundtable on the sidelines of the Nigeria Oil and Gas (NOG) Energy Week 2024 holding from June 30 to July 4, 2024 in Abuja.

The AFRIPERF Roundtable has its Theme as: “Fostering Collaboration and Sustainability in Africa’s  Petroleum industry.”

The primary goal of the AFRIPERF is to promote collaboration, knowledge sharing, and the adoption of Best Practices across our Continent for a secured Energy future.

Gbenga Komolafe, Commission Chief Executive, NUPRC, in his Keynote Speech described the Forum as a significant milestone in the collective journey toward fostering a more Collaborative, Innovative, and Sustainable
Petroleum Industry in Africa.

Komolafe said the AFRIPERF signified African’s commitment to overcome common challenges to achieve National Aspirations in the development and utilisation of Hydrocarbon Resources.

“Currently, Africa holds substantial Oil and Gas Reserves. The continent’s proven Oil Reserves are  estimated to be 125 billion Barrels, representing approximately seven to nine per cent of the World’s Total Oil Reserves, while the proven Natural Gas Reserves are estimated at around 620 trillion cubic feet (Tcf).

“Aside from Hydrocarbon Resources, Africa is blessed  with potential for Green and Blue Hydrogen, Solar, Wind, Biomass and Critical Minerals for development of Clean Energy Technologies and growing Population pre-dominated by Young People,” he said.

He said with a Population of 1.49 billion compared to a combined Population of Europe and U.S. estimated at 1.1 billion, Africa had the second largest Population among the Continents of the World.

This  Population, he said was expected to continue growing rapidly in the coming Decades.

“Unfortunately, Africa’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) which currently stands at $3trn is very low compared to that of Europe at $22trn and U.S. at $26.9trn according to the World Bank, International Monetary Fund,” he added.

He explained that these Statistics underscored Africa’s significant Role in the Global Youth Demographic and highlighted the need  for collaboration for targeted Policies and Investments that would support this growing Segment of the Population.

He noted that the need for a Unified Platform that would bring together the Regulators of the African Petroleum Industry was conceived during the African Energy Leadership Forum and Awards at the Offshore Technology Conference in Houston, USA, In May 2023.

“As we are all aware, we are faced with rapidly evolving Global Energy Landscape, it is, therefore, imperative that we leverage our collective strengths to secure the appropriate Energy Source for the development of our Nations and benefit of our People.

“The recent surge in Hydrocarbon Discoveries across Africa, coupled with the pressing need for a sustainable Energy Transition, demands a concerted effort from all of us.

“AFRIPERF will enable us to address these challenges head-on, ensuring that our Regulatory Frameworks are robust, our Policies forward-thinking, and our actions aligned with Global Best Practices,” he said.

Speaking on the objectives of AFRIPERF, he said it would promote Investment and Cooperation
among Regulators of African Petroleum Producing Countries, facilitate Knowledge Sharing, Technology Transfer, and the dissemination of Best Practices.

Joseph Ogunshola, Deputy Director Reservoir Management and Unitisation/Energy Transition and Carbon Monetisation, NUPRC said the Forum required concerted efforts to drive Initiatives and Objectives proposed for AFRIPERF.

Ogunshola, in a presentation entitled: “Fostering Collaborative and Sustainability of Africa’s Petroleum Industry: Establishment of the Africa Petroleum Regulatory Forum,” said 60 per cent of Africa’s Export Earnings were from Hydrocarbons.

He underscored the need for access to Clean Cooking Fuel, Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) Utilisation and Balanced Relationship between Energy situation and Economic growth and  fair balance equitable Energy Transition.

Ergbert Faibille, the Chief Executive Officer,  Petroleum Commission, Ghana, lauded the NUPRC for conceiving and putting together the Forum, adding that Ghana would be supportive to ensure its success.

“The Forum will enable the Regulators in the Continent to think through what our prospects are, what our challenges are and ensure that Africa is not left behind in the Global Energy Industry,” he said.

Fabille, while expressing enthusiasm on the Resolution of producing the Abuja Declaration on the Forum for future references called for an Investment in a Firm and harmonised Regulatory Environment across African Continent

Also speaking, Kanni Touray, the Deputy Director-General, Petroleum Commission, The Gambia, expressed delight to be part of the Forum.

Touray said that the Forum would enable The Gambia to learn from Nigeria’s Exploration and Petroleum Value Chain.

 

Credit NAN: Texts excluding Headline

02-Jul-2024  NCDMB targets 70% Local Content by 2027

NCDMB targets 70% Local Content by 2027

The Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB) has reaffirmed its commitment to achieve 70 per cent Local Content by the year 2027.

Executive Secretary, NCDMB, Felix Ogbe said this at the Nigerian Content Seminar, a Flagship Programme of the 2024 Nigerian Oil and Gas Energy Conference (NOG), in Abuja.

Mele Kyari, Group Chief Executive Officer, Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPCL) declared the Conference and Exhibition opened.

 Kyari, represented by Oritsemeyiwa Eyesan, Executive Vice President, Upstream, NNPC Limited toured the Exhibition Pavilion comprising Oil and Gas Products and Services.

The 2024 NOG Conference, scheduled to hold from June 30 to July 4, is Themed: “Showcasing Opportunities, Driving Investment, Meeting Energy Demand”.

“The Presidential Directive and our Modalities are in accordance with the Objectives of our 10-Year Strategic Roadmap, as they will significantly contribute to the deepening of Nigerian Content.

“This will ultimately help us achieve our overarching aim of increasing the level of Nigerian Content to 70 per cent by 2027,” he said.

Ogbe said the Presidential Directive sought to deepen Local Content in the Nigerian Oil and Gas Industry, while enhancing competitiveness, mitigating risks of approving unqualified Contractors, improving timeline approval and creating an Enabling Business Environment.

He expressed commitment to implementing the Presidential Policy Directive on Local Content Compliance, assuring that when fully implemented; it would significantly impact Nigeria’s Oil and Gas Industry, ensure Cost Competitiveness and attract further Investments.

The NCDMB Boss said that the NCDMB had designated five focal Areas for implementing the Presidential Directive.

 He listed the Areas as Promoting the Utilisation/Growth of In-Country Capacities, Enhancing the Cost Competitiveness of Oil and Gas Projects and the Non-Inclusion of Intermediary Entities lacking the Essential Capacity to perform from the Nigerian Content Plan (NCP).

He included the Approval of Nigerian Content Plan (NCP), consisting of Contractors to meet Legal Definition of Nigerian Companies and demonstrate Capacity to execute Projects within Nigeria, and Entities acting solely as Intermediaries.

Ogbe listed some of the accomplishments that the Board had made under his Leadership to include, the Amal Technologies Gas Leak Detection Device and Printed Circuit Board Manufacturing Facility in December 2023 in Idu, Abuja.

He said the Facility represented a new Era in the Nigerian Oil and Gas Industry, and a significant advancement in Research and Technology Innovation.

“It is a testament to Nigeria’s ability to create Indigenous Innovation that will be implemented to address the obstacles that the Nigerian Oil and Gas Industry is currently encountering,” he said.

 Ogbe said, in June 2024, the NEDOGAS Kwale Gas Gathering and Injection Facility, one of its Partnership Initiatives with significant advancement in attaining the Federal Government’s Flare-Out Policy was commissioned in Kwale, Delta state.

“The Final Investment Decision (FID) made on the Ubeta Field Development Project by TotalEnergies Exploration and Production Nigeria Limited and its JV Partner, Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPCL) is another significant accomplishment.

“This Project will add over 350 million Standard Cubic Feet of Gas per day to our Country’s Gas Production Capacity.

“The Board is determined to establish an Enabling Business Environment that will attract more Investors to the Country’s Oil and Gas Sector,” he said.

The Flagship Programme featured Panel Sessions on “Nigerian Content as a Business Enabler “, “Exploring Nigerian Content Solutions to Meet Energy Demands’’ and Exportation of Local Capacity: Maximising Regional Opportunities’’.

 

Credit NAN: Texts excluding Headline

 

01-Jul-2024 NDIC explains delay in payment of Heritage Bank Customers

NDIC explains delay in payment of Heritage Bank Customers

The Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation (NDIC) says Account Names discrepancies in Bank Verification Number (BVN) Linked Alternate Account of some defunct Heritage Bank Customers is delaying the payment of their Insured Deposits.

Bello Hassan, the Managing Director of NDIC said the Corporation had paid substantial amount to Depositors of the defunct Bank without BVN Account linked Issues.

He called on Depositors of the Bank who were yet to receive their Insured Deposit Credit Alert to visit the NDIC’s Website and complete their Verification Forms for their payment.

The NDIC Managing Director said the Verification would also include Depositors without BVN Alternate Account.

”We have already commenced the payment of Customers since June 6.

”We have paid substantial amount to the Customers.

”What we leverage in making the payment is BVN of Customers. We trace Alternate Accounts in other Banks and pay them their Insured Amounts.

”There are some that we have challenges linking up because of some discrepancies between the Names and others.

”We are calling on Customers that have not received their Alerts in their Alternate Accounts to come forward and complete their Verification Forms so that we can pay them,” he said.

On payment of Depositors with more than five million Naira with the Bank, Hassan said they would be paid Liquidation Dividend.

According to him, NDIC have already commenced the Process of disposing the Physical Buildings and also set the Process in motion to make sure that we recover the Loans and Advances that were granted the Bank.

”That is what we use in paying those Liquidation Dividends.

”We are not going to wait until we recover everything, no.

”As we recover, we will also Advertise to say that we will pay Liquidation Dividends so that concerned Depositors will be on the look out for Alerts in their Accounts,” Hassan said.

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) on June 3 revoked the Banking Licence of Heritage Bank Plc.

CBN said the decision was made due to the Bank’s failure to improve its Financial Performance, posing a threat to Financial Stability.

 

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30-Jun-2024 NIMASA, Blue Economy Ministry, receive Presidential recognition for Quality Service Delivery

NIMASA, Blue Economy Ministry, receive Presidential recognition for Quality Service Delivery

Special Adviser to Nigerian President on the Presidential Enabling Business Environment Council, PEBEC, Jumoke Oduwole this weekend announced the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, NIMASA, as the Best Agency of Government in Exemplary Teamwork, Quality Service Delivery and Consistency.

President Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s Special Adviser on PEBEC, also announced the Federal Ministry of Marine and Blue Economy as the overall Best Performing Ministry in the Country. 

Oduwole announced that 33 Operational Activities of NIMASA were subjected to thorough scrutiny alongside those of 36 other Agencies of the Federal Government.

 

In her words, “We want to commend NIMASA for emerging as the Best Nigeria’s Agency of Government in Exemplary Teamwork, Quality Service Delivery and Consistency.

“PEBEC also wishes to commend the Minister of Marine and Blue Economy, Adegboyega Oyetola for his commitment to ensuring that all the Agencies under the Ministry improve their Service Delivery in a consistent manner,” she said.

Reacting to the Award, Director General of NIMASA, Dayo Mobereola in a Post on his Official X Handle @MobereolaD, dedicated the Award to all Members of Staff of NIMASA and acknowledged the support of the Minister of Marine and Blue Economy in providing the right Framework for the Agency to create an Enabling Environment for Local and Foreign Investors in the Nigerian Maritime Space.

 

His words “This Award from PEBEC and by extension the Presidency is a call to serve more. I appreciate our Honorable Minister, Adegboyega Oyetola, CON, who not only convened a Meeting between NIMASA and the PEBE Secretariat, but constantly kept us on our toes to ensure better Service Delivery to Stakeholders.

“I also wish to commend Members of Team NIMASA and we know that this is simply a call to more Service to our Stakeholders,” Mobereola stated.

The Presidential Enabling Business Environment Council (PEBEC) which is Chaired by the Vice President, Kashim Shettima GCON, was established to remove bureaucratic constraints to doing Business in Nigeria, and make the Country a progressively easier place to start and grow a Business.

This is also in line with Business Facilitation Act 2023, a Legislative Intervention by the Presidential Enabling Business Environment Council, PEBEC, to codify an Executive Order on the promotion of Transparency and Efficiency in the Business Environment.

 

Credit NIMASA PR

30-Jun-2024 MTN begins construction of '1,500-Rack and Tier 4' Data Centre in Nigeria

MTN begins construction of '1,500-Rack and Tier 4' Data Centre in Nigeria

MTN Nigeria has announced the construction of its West African largest Data Centre, a Facility with a 1,500-rack and Tier 4 Data Centre within the Country.

The Tier 4 Data Centre is built to be completely fault-tolerant, has redundancy for every component and an expected uptime of 99.995 per cent.

This means it can withstand a wide range of potential disruptions and offers the most reliable Infrastructure. 

The Chief Technical Officer, MTN, Mohammed Rufai, told Journalists in Lagos that construction of the Data Centre was a move to enhance Nigeria’s Digital Infrastructure.

Rufai said that the Data Centre was set to play a pivotal role in meeting the growing Data demands and Digital needs of Businesses and Consumers across the Country.

He said that the new Data Centre would support MTN’s Infrastructure and serve as a vital Resource for Businesses across Nigeria.

“Businesses that require Data Centre Capacity can now forgo maintaining their Server Rooms.

‘’Our Facility will provide the Space and Services needed, enabling Companies to digitalise their Operations and improve efficiency.

‘’The Data Centre will also enhance the delivery of Content from major Tech Companies like Meta and Google, bringing Content closer to Nigerian Users and improving Access Speeds,’’ he said.

According to him, this Local Hosting of Content will significantly boost User Experience and Network Efficiency.

Rufai highlighted the critical need for Expanded Data Processing Capabilities, driven by significant growth in Data Usage and the emergence of new Services.

“We see a high demand in the Market, with Data Usage growing significantly.

“And in order to cater to demand and prepare for future growth, MTN is expanding and modernising its Data Centre Capacity,” the MTN Official said.

According to him, the Project is not just a Technological Investment but also a Catalyst for Economic Growth.

Rufai said by providing Scalable and Adaptable Infrastructure, it would enable Businesses, particularly Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs), to leverage Cloud Services and other Digital Solutions.

He stressed that this would, in turn, drive Innovation, Efficiency, and Competitiveness across various Sectors of the Economy.

He emphasised MTN’s readiness to partner with Startups and MSMEs, offering numerous Opportunities for Collaboration, particularly in Cloud Services.

According to him, aligned with MTN’s Ambition 2025 Strategy, the Data Centre signals the Company’s commitment to Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) goals.

He said that the Facility would eventually utilise efficient Cooling Systems and a combination of Traditional Energy Sources, Gas and Renewable Energy.

Rufai stressed the importance of these Energy Measures, saying it would significantly reduce its Carbon Footprint.

According to him, up to 60 per cent of the Power Consumption of a typical Data Centre in our Clime is for cooling, MTN’s highly efficient Systems will ensure it meets the sustainability targets.

The MTN Official added that as Nigeria’s Digital Landscape advanced, the new Data Centre marked a significant milestone.

He said that it captured a continued drive for innovation, quality,  growth and fostered a connected, Modern Life aiming to provide improved Services, Economic Benefits and a strong Digital Infrastructure for the future. 

 

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29-Jun-2024 Shettima: Innovative, Creative, Productive Business Environment must rest on Tinubu’s Agenda

Shettima: Innovative, Creative, Productive Business Environment must rest on Tinubu’s Agenda

The Vice-President, Kashim Shettima, says a Business Environment that fostered Innovation, Creativity, and Productivity must be built on the Pillars of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s Eight-Point Agenda.

Shettima implored Members of the Presidential Enabling Business Environment Council (PEBEC) and Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) to be driven by the dreams of all Nigerians aspiring to grow their Businesses and looking up to the Government for direction toward a future of prosperity.

Shettima gave the charge during the PEBEC Town Hall Meeting held at the Banquet Hall of the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

The Meeting followed the successful completion of the 90-day Regulatory Reform Accelerator Action Plan.

He noted that no matter the depth of the Reforms introduced, Government would fail to achieve its Goals unless MDAs functioned at their best and aligned seamlessly with the Agenda of the Tinubu Administration.

He described the PEBEC Town Hall Meeting as a rescue mission for a Country that had saddled its Citizens with “the critical role of creating an Environment where every Idea can germinate into an Enduring Business.

“Our success is not merely a Matter of Policy but is measured by its impact, from the Small-Time Trader in Kafanchan to the large Corporation on Lagos Island.

“Today, I feel the pulse of our collective desire to make this Objective a reality.”

He urged all Stakeholders, especially the MDAs, to build on the gains of the past 120 days with a sense of urgency and purpose, as they reflected on the measurable outcomes of the Regulatory Reform Accelerator.

He urged them to improve Nigeria’s Business Environment through timely feedback, rigorous monitoring, and shared responsibility.

“We are the Vehicles of the Promises made by His Excellency, President Tinubu. The Regulatory Reform Accelerator is an avenue to inject life into our Economy and renew the hope of our Nation.

“The quality of your Ideas and the intensity of your energy today are the very sparks we need to stay on track and to always remind ourselves of the burden of expectations upon us.

“We must align with the Vision of President Tinubu, and ensure that our pursuit of a Business Environment that fosters Innovation, Creativity, and Productivity is built upon the Pillars of the Eight-Point Agenda.

“Today, we stand on a robust Foundation, recognising that achieving PEBEC’s Mandate directly contributes to our shared Economic prosperity as a Nation.”

Shettima disclosed that the PEBEC’s Public Sector Reforms had achieved a collective score of over 80 per cent at the beginning of the 90-day Regulatory Reform Accelerator.

He added that, “despite a slow start, the collective commitment and actions of every Minister, Head of Agency, Reform Champion, and BFA Committee Member have significantly increased Reform implementation during the 30-Day Extension.”

He described PEBEC as an Enabler for the MDAs in Government whose role required a unified and collaborative effort across the Council and MDAs.

“Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen, the long-term success of PEBEC hinges on our ability to institutionalise Reform Capabilities, foster deep Collaboration across Government, and maintain a commitment to continuous improvements.

“These Reforms must become ingrained in the fabric of our Public Institutions. By doing so, we pave the way for sustained progress and lasting impact that will outlive us all, creating a better Nigeria for our Children and their Children afterward,” he noted.

Earlier in his welcome address, Ibrahim Hadejia, the Deputy Chief of Staff to the President (Office of the Vice President), said key aspects of the PEBEC Initiatives such as the New PEBEC Business Champions, 90-day Regulatory Reform Accelerator, and Legislative and Judicial Reforms were being deployed and implemented across MDAs.

He expressed confidence that the Outcome of the Town Hall would contribute significantly to the overall efforts aimed at improving the Business Environment in the Country.

For her part, the Special Adviser to the President PEBEC and Investment, Jumoke Oduwole, while responding to questions posed by some Participants, assured that the Tinubu Administration had demonstrated a strong commitment to ensuring steady improvements in the country’s Business Environment.

Oduwole attributed the progress made so far in the Reform Process largely to the personal commitment, unwavering support and overall Leadership of Shettima.

She described his approval for a 30-day Extension of Regulatory Reform Accelerator as a milestone in the Reform efforts.

Oduwole underscored the significance of the Town Hall in the overall Reform Process, noting that the feedback would be key to strengthening and making the different Initiatives and Programmes undertaken by PEBEC more effective.

Present at the Event were Governor of Gombe State, Muhammad Inuwa Yahaya; Attorney- General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Lateef Fagbemi and Minister of Finance and Coordinating Minister of the Economy, Wale Edun.
Also present were: Minister of Marine and Blue Economy, Adegboyega Oyetola; Minister of Budget and Economic Planning, Abubakar Bagudu; Minister of Communications, Innovation and Digital Economy, Bosun Tijanni, and Minister of Agriculture and Food Security, Abubakar Kyari.

Others are: Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Doris Uzoka-Anite; Chairman, National Drug and Law Enforcement Agency, Buba Marwa; representative of the SGF, Permanent Secretary, Cabinet Affairs, Richard Pheelangwah; other Permanent Secretaries and Heads of Government Agencies.

 

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29-Jun-2024 Some Companies involved in anti-competitive behaviour - FCCPC

Some Companies involved in anti-competitive behaviour - FCCPC

The Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (FCCPC) has reiterated its commitment to protecting Consumers, promoting fair competition, and ensuring the safety of Products in the Market.

Its Acting Executive Chairman, Adamu Abdullahi, gave the assurance in an interview with Journalists after a Surveillance Exercise by the Commission at some Steel Companies in Lagos and Ogun States.

The Companies include African Foundries, Monarch Steel Mill Limited and Kam Steel Integrated Company, all on Ikorodu-Sagamu Expressway.

The FCCPC Boss said that Intelligence and Surveillance Reports obtained by the Commission indicated that certain Companies were involved in anti-competitive behaviour.

“This is why we decided to visit three of these Companies to examine their Operations and review their Records, as well as analyse ten of their Products.

“We aim to identify any false, misleading, and deceptive Practices that could harm Consumers,” he stated.

He said that one major concern noted was the discrepancy in Product Specifications.

“For instance, Consumers purchasing 12mm Rods often receive 10mm Rods instead, which contributes to the building collapses we frequently witness.

“Ensuring the safety of our People is a core responsibility, and these deceptive Practices are unacceptable,” said Abdullahi.

He stressed the need for thorough inspections and transparency.

“We are looking at their Processes to determine if corners are being cut. If we find evidence of such Practices, we will apply the full extent of the Law,” he added.

Abdullahi, also said that the Companies visited cooperated with the Commission’s Officials by providing Information needed during the Surveillance Exercises.

He said, “So far, they have been very cooperative. They consulted their Lawyers, who advised them to comply with our Investigation, and they have provided us with the required Information.”

On collaboration with relevant Industry Bodies, he said that FCCPC had been working with the Steel Manufacturing Association, the Manufacturing Association of Nigeria, and the Standards Organisation of Nigeria, among others.

He also said that the Council for the Regulation of Engineering in Nigeria (COREN) had provided Technical Advice, ensuring the Commission was guided by Industry Standards.

Addressing the Timeline for the Investigation, he explained, “The duration depends on the Volume of Information gathered.

“Some Investigations have taken longer due to the sheer amount of Data involved.

“We assure you that we will work diligently to conclude as quickly as possible and publish our findings.”

Regarding Market Impact and potential Punitive Measures, he noted that sanctions depend on the nature of the offence and would be on strictly adhering to the Guidelines set out in the FCCPC Act.

 

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29-Jun-2024 Big Players in Abuja, Lagos are Nigeria's Oil Thieves, says former Governor

Big Players in Abuja, Lagos are Nigeria's Oil Thieves, says former Governor

Seriake Dickson, PDP Senator representing Bayelsa West, has described those behind Oil Theft in the Niger Delta as “Big Players” who reside outside the Region.

The Senator made the allegation at Oporoza, Headquarters of Gbaramatu Kingdom, Warri South-West Local Government Area of Delta while visiting the Pere of Gbaramatu Kingdom, Oboro-Gbaraun II, Aketepe, Agadagba.

Dickson said although Ijaw Youths were tagged to be behind Oil Theft, they lacked the Capacity and Technical Know-How to understand how Pipelines operate.

“Those Big Players behind the Crude Oil Theft are not from the Region but are based in Lagos, Abuja and other parts of the World,” he said.

He explained that the Ijaw People were living in the Creeks, earning their daily Livelihood on the Waterways and Farmlands when the alleged Thieves polluted the Land with their nefarious activities.

“We have no means and no capacity to engage in the high-level Operations that result in the daily loss of Nigerian Crude Oil produced from our place.

“Those who have the Capacity to compromise and infiltrate the National Security System and infiltrate the National Petroleum System; those who have the Capacity to hire the Tankers and Shuttle Vessels, they are not Ijaws.

“We do not have the capacity to do that! We do not even have the experience to be involved in that kind of Operation,” he said.

The Legislator, who is also the Ex-Governor of Bayelsa State, said such high-level Operations needed a lot of Resources, Coordination, Funding and International Networking.

He, however, urged Nigeria to step up her game in the International Arena by pushing for the designation of her stolen Crude Oil.

“Those who, on a daily basis under declare what is produced; those who have refused to properly monitor and record what is produced for over 50 or 60 years should take the blame.

“It is not the Ijaw Youth – harmless People without the Capacity and without the Technical Know-How,” he said.

He, however, commended the Traditional Ruler for ensuring Peace in his Kingdom and the entire Niger Delta.

Dickson also visited Government Ekpemupolo, alias Tompolo, Founder of Tantita Security Services Nigeria Limited (TSSNL).

He commended Ekpemupolo for the wonderful Job he had been doing with his Private Security Outfit, TSSNL, to boost the Nation’s Oil Revenue and ensure the regeneration of the Region’s Ecosystem.

 

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29-Jun-2024 'Sorrow, tears and blood' as Traders cry over huge losses to fire in Abuja Market

'Sorrow, tears and blood' as Traders cry over huge losses to fire in Abuja Market

Traders in Karu Market, Federal Capital Territory (FCT), said they lost Goods worth millions of Naira in the fire outbreak that occurred at one of Nigeria's popular Markets on Thursday night.
Some of the Traders said they don’t know how to manage the fire incident.
One of the affected Traders, Abdulhadi Abubakar, who is the Chairman of the Karu Traders Association, said he was still trying to recover from the shock.
According to him, the fire was believed to have resulted from a spark of wire from a Shop when Power was restored.
Abubakar expressed disappointment over the inability of the Fire Service to put off the fire before it escalated to several Shops.
“I have seven Shops and everything was razed by the fire. Not even a pin came out of my Shops.
“The Fire Service could not do much due to lack of Access Road.,” Abubakar said.
Another victim, Sunny Mba popularly called ‘Sunnytex’ who deals in Drinks and Provisions, said he could not believe that his Business which he had been building for years could just vanished.
Mba who sustained serious injury as a result of the inferno, said he was trying to recover Goods from his Shop.
He faulted the Fire Service for their inability to respond quickly.
“I sustained severe burn in my right hand, from the fire while trying to recover some Goods from my Shops.
“The Fire Service and security Guards refused People to go inside the Market during the fire.
”I think if they had allowed People to go in, probably, there won't have been so much damage.
“I have two Shops with Goods worth over N10m,” Mba lamented.
However, Gladys James, a Trader, expressed gratitude to God for preserving some of her Goods.
James said that she was able to remove some of her Goods when People were finally allowed to go inside the Market.
”I sympathise with Traders who lost everything to the fire incident, while praying that God Almighty replenish every loss,” she said.
James also said she could not even account for all her recovered Goods, as there was high rate of theft going on in the Market at the time of the incident.
Juliet Thomas, a Resident of Karu, called on the FCT Administration to assist Traders that lost all their Earnings to the fire incident.
Thomas said her friend offloaded two Trailers of Rice a day before the fire incident.
According to Thomas, her  friend cannot talk at the moment because Goods worth over N100m were destroyed.
However, an Official of the Federal Fire Service, Gregory Eze and Head of Workshop, said in spite of the fact that there was no Access Road to the Market, his Men tried their best.
“Our Officials had to jump into the Market through the Fence, when they discovered there was no Access Road.
“I am conversant with this Area, because I was once an Area Commander here. We have complained several times even before now, about Access Road incase of any incident.
“Water was never a problem. Our Tankers had over 10,000ltrs and help came from both Military and Julius Berger. Infact there was over 200,000ltrs, but Access Road was a problem.
“Yes Pipe was used, but the force of water from a distant Pipe cannot be compared to the full presence of the Truck itself,” Eze said.
Eze, who is also an Assistant Controller in the Service, advised those managing the Market to look into the Market Plan and see how Access Roads could be created to ensure safety.
Facility Managers of the Market were not available for comment as their Offices were under lock.
 
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28-Jun-2024 You must produce enough Food for People to eat, Tinubu tasks Governors

You must produce enough Food for People to eat, Tinubu tasks Governors

President Bola Tinubu has urged State Governors to work together to meet the Needs of Citizens, stating that he is willing to provide the needed support to ensure that Nigerians are relieved of hardship.

The President, who spoke during the National Economic Council (NEC) meeting on Thursday in Abuja, emphasised the urgency of boosting Food Production in the Country.

He said the Nation must boost Agricultural Productivity, strengthen the Economy by creating Opportunities in the Real Sectors of Agriculture, Manufacturing, and Construction, as well as provide urgent Economic Relief for Nigerians.

Tinubu said that the Sokoto-Badagry Highway was a pivotal Project as the States within the Axis formed the Food Belt of the Nation, and with Badagry being an important Artery for Food Export.

“Our States must work together to deliver on the Critical Reforms required of us to meet the Needs of our People. Time is Humanity’s most precious Asset. You can never have enough of it. It is getting late.

“We are ready and able to support you in the form of the Mechanisation of your Agricultural Processes and the provision of high-quality Seedlings.

“We are prepared to provide Solar Powered Irrigation Facilities to support our Farmers across Seasons, but we must now produce,” he said.

The President added that States must produce enough Food for People to eat, and that this would require coordination and intentionality among Members of the NEC.

“There is nothing we are doing that is more important than producing high-quality Food for our People to consume, buy and sell.

“We create Jobs in the Production of it. And that is before we generate Wealth by exporting the excess. It is not beyond us to achieve this for Nigerians.

“How much support do you need from me and in what form? I am prepared to provide it. But we must achieve the result. We must deliver on our targets at all levels.

“Please report back following your consultations and submit to my Office within seven days,”  Tinubu said.

The President approved the immediate rollout of the National Construction and Household Support Programme to cover all Geo-Political Zones in the Country.

He said under the Programme, the Sokoto-Badagry Highway, which would traverse Sokoto, Kebbi, Niger, Kwara, Oyo, Ogun and Lagos, was prioritised.

Tinubu said other Road Infrastructure Projects such as the Lagos-Calabar Coastal Highway, which is underway, and the Trans-Saharan Highway, which links Enugu, Abakaliki, Ogoja, Benue, Kogi, Nasarawa, and Abuja, would also be prioritised.

The President also approved full Counterpart Financing for Port Harcourt-Maiduguri Railway; to traverse Rivers, Abia, Enugu, Benue, Nasarawa, Plateau, Bauchi, Gombe, Yobe and Borno.

He also approved  the Ibadan-Abuja Segment of the Lagos-Kano Standard-Gauge Railway; which would traverse Lagos, Ogun, Oyo, Osun, Kwara, Niger, Abuja, Kaduna, and Kano.

Tinubu said, “The Sokoto-Badagry Road Project is specially prioritised for its importance as some of the States it will traverse are strategic to the Agricultural Sustainability of the Nation.

“Within the Sokoto-Badagry Highway Corridor, there are 216 Agricultural Communities, 58 Large and Medium Dams spread across six States, seven Special Agro-Industrial Processing Zones (SAPZs), 156 Local Government Areas, 39 Commercial Cities and Towns, and over 1 million Hectares of Arable Land.

“In addition, other Items under the National Construction and Household Support Programme include one-off Allocation to States and the Federal Capital Territory of N10bn for the procurement of Buses and CNG Uplift Programme.

”Others are: delivery of N50,000 Uplift Grant each to 100,000 Families per State for three months, provision for Labour Unions and Civil Society Organisations and deployment of N155bn for the purchase and sale of assorted Foodstuffs to be distributed across the Nation.” 

 

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28-Jun-2024 Private Aircraft are being used for Drug-Trafficking, other Illegal Activities, says Minister

Private Aircraft are being used for Drug-Trafficking, other Illegal Activities, says Minister

The Federal Government has inaugurated a `Ministerial Task Force` on Illegal Private Charter Operations and Related Matters in the Aviation Industry.

Festus Keyamo, Minister of Aviation and Aerospace Development, said at the Event that the Task-Force would be engaged in taking Inventory of all Private Non-Commercial Flight (PNCF) Holders and Air Operator Certificate (AOC) Holders.

According to him, the Committee will among others, help to determine why the Practice of Illegal Charters by PNCF Holders persists in the Country in spite of Regulatory Controls.

”To call in all Professional Licenses of Pilots and Crew in the Country and determine their authenticity and validity.

“To recommend to the Minister, any additional Measures to be taken by Regulatory Agencies to stem the ugly tide. To recommend appropriate sanctions to be imposed by the Regulatory Agencies on Defaulters.

“To recommend additional Measures to further monitor Operations and Activities of Private Aircraft in Nigeria and any other Terms of Reference that may be determined by the Minister as the Task Force continues its work,“ he said.

He added that Members of the Task Force had been carefully selected from within the Aviation Industry and were People of high Repute and Integrity.

According to the Minister, Members of the Task Force include Ado Sanusi as Chairman; Roland lyayi  as Vice Chairman; Director of Air Transport, Federal Ministry of Aviation and Aerospace Development as Secretary.

“Other Members are -Theresa Babaoye (DATR-NCAA); One Nominee from the National Security Adviser – Daniel Quansah ; Patrick Ogunlowo ; Obafemi Bajomo (SA-HMA).

“This Task-Force is not only a response to the current challenges but also a proactive step toward ensuring the long-term sustainability and integrity of our Aviation Sector.

“We expect the Task-Force to work for three  months, except circumstances require some extension, “ he said.

Keyamo canvassed collective working diligently to restore confidence in the Aviation Industry, eliminate Illegal Operations, and ensure that every Flight in the Nation`s Skies adhered to highest Standards of Safety and Legality.

He expressed optimism that such collective efforts would lead to a stronger, more secure, and prosperous Aviation Industry.

“It has come to my attention, through a series of disturbing Reports, that Practice of Illegal Charter Operations is thriving within the Aviation Industry, thereby undermining efforts of the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) and other Regulatory Bodies.

“These Illicit Activities have resulted in significant Financial Losses to the Federal Government and also have raised Security and Safety Concerns as Operations of Private Aircraft Owners have remained largely unchecked and unregulated.

“This has also resulted in using these Private Aircrafts for other Illegal Activities.”

He said the National Security Adviser wrote to alert the Ministry last week of the spike in Money Laundering, Drug-Trafficking and other Illegal Activities through the use of Private Aircrafts in the Country.

“It appears that Private Non-Commercial Flight (PNCF) Operators have become increasingly emboldened, continuing their Illegal Operations with the assistance of Air Operator Certificate (AOC) Holders who collect Tolls and list these Illegal Charters under their AOCs.

“Furthermore, we have received alarming Reports that some Crew Members have not attended Mandatory Simulator Trainings for nearly three years and are flying with fraudulently-obtained Renewed Licenses.

“Many of these Individuals are operating Planes registered under PNCF but are conducting Illegal Charter Operations with impunity, “ he said.

“In light of these grave concerns and in alignment with two key objectives of our Five-Point Agenda, I am compelled to take this decisive action, “ he said.

Keyamo reiterated his Five -Point Agenda encapsulated as Safety, Infrastructure, Support for Local Operators, Human Capacity Development and Revenue Generation,“

Sanusi, Chairman of the Ministerial Task Force, said the newly established Task Force would effectively and efficiently achieve all Statement Objectives by its predetermined judicious performance. 

 

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28-Jun-2024 Nigeria records 'boost' as Excess Crude Account stands at $473.75m

Nigeria records 'boost' as Excess Crude Account stands at $473.75m

The Federal Government has reported significant boosts in the Nation’s Economy with the Excess Crude Account standing at $473.75m and Stabilisation Account at over N28.7bn.

The Government also said that the Nation’s Natural Resources Fund stood at over N53.89bn.

The Minister of Finance and Coordinating Minister of the Economy, Wale Edun, disclosed this at 142nd National Economic Council (NEC) meeting, presided over by its Chairman, Vice President Kashim Shettima in Abuja.

A Statement on the NEC Meeting was made available to Journalists by Stanley Nkwocha, the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media.

Nkwocha said the Vice President linked the boost in Nigeria’s Economic Outlook to the Financial Prudence and Transparency Framework adopted by President Bola Tinubu.

In the Statement, the Vice President said: “At the helm of the Nation’s Affairs is a Leader who always reminds us of the necessity of making the right calls to deliver on our Promises to the Nation.”

Shettima also explained why Tinubu earned and deserves the Title, Jagaban, conferred on him by the Emir of Borgu.

”The President is Jagaban (the Front-Row Commander), he has a rare Political Virtue that has made him the unifying nub of the zeal to serve the Country.

”We highlighted Nigeria’s improved credit outlook by Fitch Ratings, owing to Mr. President’s transparency and effective financial management to further the nation’s economic progress.

“Today, as we prepare for the agenda of the day, I am excited by the presence of His Excellency, President Tinubu, a reservoir of ideas, a visionary extraordinaire, as he guides us towards finding a common ground.

“Nobody can do so better than he does, and it is this rare Political Virtue that has made him the unifying nucleus of our aspirations to serve the Nation. He is the Jagaban, the Front-Row Commander, for a reason.”

Also in the Statement, Nkwocha said that NEC ratified the nomination of six State Governors as Members of the Board of Niger Delta Power Holding Company (NDPHC).

He said the Governors, representing the six Geopolitical Zones, were from Borno, Katsina, Imo, Ekiti, Kwara, and Akwa Ibom States.

Nkwocha said NEC noted the importance of NDPHC to the Country’s Economic Development in approving the Nominations.

He said the Meeting saw the Presentation of key Updates and Recommendations from various Ad Hoc Committees.

Notable among them was the Ad Hoc Committee on Flood, Erosion, Drought and Desertification (Mitigation, Adaptation, Preparedness and Response), presented by the Governor Ahmed Ododo of Kogi.

He said the Flood Committee called for the revitalisation of State Emergency Management Agencies (SEMAs) and improved coordination between different Levels of Government.

Nkwocha said the Council also resolved that the Vice-President, Ministers of Finance, Agriculture and Food Security, Water Resources and Sanitation, and Budget and Economic Planning would meet on Monday to strategise on Funding Sources to mitigate the Climate challenges facing the States.

He said the Outcome of the Meeting would be presented to the President on Tuesday.

Nkwocha said the Council, equally, Similarly, adopted the Recommendations of the Committee’s Report on implementation and provision of Funds to States and relevant MDAs to address the problems.

He added that Update from NEC Ad-Hoc Committee on Economic Affairs was presented by Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq of Kwara.

The Spokesperson said the Council resolved that the Committee should align its Mandate with the National Economic Management Team to come up with robust solutions to the Nation’s Economic challenges.

According to him, the Committee is working closely with States to address challenges related to Foreign Exchange Loan Facilities and Fuel Pricing.

He said the Ad-Hoc Committee on Crude Oil Theft Prevention and Control, chaired by Governor Hope Uzodinma of Imo presented key Recommendations as part of Interim Measures to improve Security at Oil and Gas Terminals and enhance Regulatory Oversight in the Sector.

Nkwocha said Governor Seyi Makinde of Oyo was co-opted into the Committee as a Subject Matter Expert and the Committee was mandated to submit its Final Report to Council within one month.

In a related development, Nkwocha said the Council received an Update on the on-going discussions regarding the establishment of State Police, urging States to expedite their Submissions on the matter.

In a move to bolster Food Security, he said the Vice-President announced the Presidential Approval for operationalising the Presidential Food System Coordinating Unit.

He said the Unit is charged with the responsibility of developing robust Economic solutions for the Country’s Food System.

 

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27-Jun-2024 NPA commends Tinubu's Economic Policies for Maritime Development

NPA commends Tinubu's Economic Policies for Maritime Development

The Managing Director of Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), Mohammed Bello-Koko has commended the Economic Policies of President Bola Tinubu which attracted Global Applause and Transformation of the Maritime Industry.

Bello-Koko made the remark during an Unscheduled Visit to the Lagos Ports Access Roads on Wednesday.

“The Decade-Long Traffic Gridlock was recently cleared by the NPA,’’ the Managing Director said in a Statement made available to Journalists.

He also applauded the Leadership Style of the Minister of Marine and Blue Economy, Adegboyega Oyetola.

“As part of President Tinubu’s Renewed Hope Agenda, the sanity that has since returned to the Ports Access Roads will be sustained to promote Ease of Doing Business and drive Exports to enhance Nigeria’s Balance of Trade,” Bello-Koko said.

He said that in spite of the Global Economic Headwinds that characterised the year 2023, the Nigerian Ports Authority, succeeded in maintaining the momentum to surpass its  performance of the year 2022.

According to him, the implementation of continuous Performance Improvement Measures resulted in unprecedented Revenue Generation and Remittances to the Consolidated Revenue Fund (CRF) of the Federation.

“This Revenue is steadily growing from N361bn in 2022 to N501bn as at December 2023; and Remittances increasing from N93.4bn in 2022 to N131.2bn by year end 2023,” Bello-Koko said.

He noted that Taxes paid to the Federal Government also grew at various times in the period under review up to $77.7m and N17.6bn respectively.

He said that the Strategic Forecast was to be actualised in 2024.

“The Forecast such as the $1bn worth reconstruction of Tin Can Island Port Complex and the comprehensive rehabilitation of Apapa, Rivers, Onne Ports, amongst others.

“It is evident that the Nigerian Ports Authority has been positioned to not only create but sustain superior performance necessary to maximise the comparative advantages that Nigeria’s Maritime Endowments confer, ” he said. 

 

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26-Jun-2024 Nigeria's Debt Figure is positive, says Minister

Nigeria's Debt Figure is positive, says Minister

The Minister of Finance and Coordinating Minister for the Economy, Wale Edun, has been speaking on Government Finances and Debts, including Ways and Means. The Minister briefed State House Correspondents shortly after the Federal Executive Council Meeting on Tuesday in Abuja.

“When we interrogate the figures over the First Quarter of this year, starting from middle of December 2023 and the end of March this year; if we want to be positive, what we will say is that the glass is half full.

“We are halfway there. If not, we can be negative and try and say the glass is half empty. Why do I say this? The total debt stock of Nigeria in Dollars terms fell by 15 per cent, that is very positive.

“Any Rating Agency, any Creditor, any Investor looking at that will see it as a positive move.

“We are a Country that has Petrodollar, we have ability to earn in Dollars. So it’s highly relevant that we look at what is our exposure in Dollars Terms,” Edun said.

According to him, on the other hand, the Exchange Rates increased by 8trn in actual Debt Issuance, and the Total External Debt and Domestic Debt in Naira Terms had increased by 25 per cent.

“That brings me to the Foreign Exchange Movement which can change tomorrow, as we know. Linked to that is the all important question of the Government’s Capacity to pay its way.

“Debt is all about the Revenue to Service it, and of course to use those Funds properly, judiciously,  accountably and in a way that gives positive Returns.

“At no time have we gone to Mr President to seek permission to go the the Central Bank to pay anybody, be it External Debt Service, be it Share Capital Cash Calls for any of the Liabilities that the Government has,” he said.

Edun explained that as with all Agencies, the Government was focused on ensuring that the Revenue due to it was collected robustly using Technology, avoiding blockages associated with Manual Processing, which he said had led to a very robust Revenue effort.

“Likewise, we are implementing Debts or Expenditure Controls, also very ably empowered by Technology.

“Mr President inherited a legacy of N3.4trn in Outstanding Ways and Means which have been Securitised on the eve of the entry of President Tinubu Administration.

“We are doing a Forensic Audit, we are interrogating that figure because its a Liability which we have to pay Interest on. So, any Deficit that you might see to the Consolidated Revenue Account, may be automatic debit on a figure that is still being interrogated,” said Edun.

 

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25-Jun-2024 NEPZA: Free Trade Zones remit N11.1bn in 3years, says N11.11trn earlier captured erroneous

NEPZA: Free Trade Zones remit N11.1bn in 3years, says N11.11trn earlier captured erroneous

The Nigeria Export Processing Zones Authority (NEPZA) said the Country’s Free Trade Zones generated N11.1bn between 2020 and 2023.

Olufemi Ogunyemi, Managing Director of NEPZA, said this in a Statement by his Head of Corporate Communication, Martins Odeh in Abuja.

Ogunyemi said the sum contradicted the earlier N11.11trn erroneously captured in the Authority’s submission to the Senate Committee on Trade and Investments.

He described the initial quoted figure as a regrettable typographical mishap.

According to the Managing Director, the sum of N377.33m was generated in 2020, while N3.11bn accrued to the Federation Account in 2021 from the Scheme.

Ogunyemi said the total Remittances from the Scheme in 2022 stood at N3.44bn, while an impressive N4.17bn came through in 2023.

“The Management’s attention has been drawn to the news that it remitted a whopping N11.11trn to the Federation Account as of October 2023.

”This information was a classical typography error, and it is regrettable.

“Let me emphatically state that the Remittances from the Free Trade Zones from 2020 to 2023 stand at N11.1bn only.

“We are, however, making good progress to take the Scheme to that point where it can generate such huge Revenue for the Government,” he said.

Ogunyemi said in 2023, the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) generated N59.38bn, Immigration Services N828.7m and the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) garnered N8.738bn from the Free Trade Zones.

Ogunyemi said NEPZA was gradually transforming the Scheme into the Country’s Sustainable Economic Gateway while calling for more support to position it  for greater exploitation.

“NEPZA is the major driver of the Government’s Initiative to diversify the Nigerian Economy.

”With attractive Investment Packages and a focus on Economy-Driven Sectors, NEPZA provides Investment Opportunities in different Sectors across the Country.

“At the moment, the Scheme focuses on three critical Investment Areas, namely, Manufacturing 45 per cent, Services 30 per cent, and Oil and Gas with 11 per cent active Investment Exploitation,’’ Ogunyemi said.

The Scheme currently has 53 Free Trade Zones, harbouring 580 Enterprises with a cumulative $30bn.

The Authority collects 20 types of Revenues, ranging from $500,000 Declaration Fees, $60,000 Annually as Operation License (OPL) and 300 to $500 Registration Fees in line with Extant Regulations on Internally Generated Revenue (IGR).

There are also 100 to 300  in Examination and Documentation Fees per Transaction, which occur on a daily basis.

 

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25-Jun-2024 Tinubu: Nigeria needs substantial Investments in 'Oil and Gas Sector'

Tinubu: Nigeria needs substantial Investments in 'Oil and Gas Sector'

President Bola Tinubu says Nigeria remains committed to a balanced approach to Energy Transition.

According to him, the Country still requires substantial Investments in the Oil and Gas Sector to meet its Energy Demands and Economic Needs. 

Tinubu made the Remarks at a Meeting with the Group Chief Executive of Standard Chartered Bank, Bill Winters, on Monday in Abuja.

He called for a just Energy Transition that supported Vulnerable Communities across the Nation. 

The President highlighted the importance of balancing the mutually beneficial shift to Green Industrial Growth and Energy with the immediate Energy Needs of Nigerians.

“We value your Cooperation, Friendship, and Partnership. Substantially, we have Oil and Gas as our Primary Source of Revenue today.

“As Friends, we do not expect you to run away from Investments in this Sector. We face the future prospect while prudently maximising the present.

“Green Industry and Energy, yes. We will surely catch up with that. To run a marathon, you need Energy today. Nigeria holds the largest Reserves of Gas in Africa.

“We know we can make best use of great opportunities that exist in the Sector. We do not want you to back away from Fossil Fuels,” the President said.

He said he had seen retractions and retreat positions by some Players in the Industry, but explained that for any Energy Transition to succeed, People must live and live well. 

“We must be able to meet our obligations to the Vulnerable Communities. We are committed to being prudent with our Natural Resources to bring prosperity to our deserving People. 

“As we hold the largest Reserves in Gas on the Continent, we do not want to go backward, we want to move forward, and we welcome deepened Partnership with your Institution,” said Tinubu.

He also highlighted Strategic Projects across different Sectors embarked upon by his Administration to stimulate Economic Growth. 

He reiterated his commitment to sustaining ongoing Economic Reforms and Measures to stabilise the Economy.   

The Coordinating Minister of the Economy and Minister of Finance, Wale Edun, described Standard Chartered Bank as a Valued Partner to Nigeria, providing Finance for Infrastructure, Advice on Ratings, and the prudent management of Nigeria’s Eurobond. 

He said the Bank had indicated interest to finance key Infrastructure Projects in Nigeria, including the Lagos-Calabar Coastal Highway, Port Harcourt-Maiduguri Rail Line Rehabilitation, as well as the provision of $3bn in Innovative Financing for the NLNG Dividend Initiative.

“They are also one of our Lead Managers for Eurobond Issuance, and they advise us on our Ratings.

“I am pleased to note that Moody’s has just completed our Rating Review and maintained Nigeria’s Rating as a positive outlook, which is very encouraging,” the Minister said. 

He also said Moody’s positive outlook rating followed the recent announcement of the World Bank’s $2.25bn Financing Package for Nigeria, reflecting the positive trajectory of the current Administration’s Economic Reforms. 

In his Remarks, Winters lauds President Tinubu’s bold Economic Reforms, noting the International Investment Community’s recognition and support.

“We see ourselves as Ambassadors to Nigeria in the International Investment Community, and we take our Advisory Role very seriously.

“We will continue to offer objective Advice to the Country because we have commitments in the Country backed by our strong belief in what this Administration is doing,” he said. 

The Delegation from Standard Chartered Bank includes Foluso Phillips, Chairman of Standard Chartered Bank Nigeria, and Dalu Ajene, the Chief Executive Officer of the Nigeria Branch of the Bank.

 

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24-Jun-2024 Nigerian, EU Business Leaders to explore Investment Opportunities

Nigerian, EU Business Leaders to explore Investment Opportunities

Nigerian and European Business Leaders, Policy Makers and Institutional Stakeholders will converge on Abuja on July 2, to identify and explore Investment Opportunities along specific Value Chains during the ninth European Union-Nigeria Business Forum.

The EU Ambassador to Nigeria and ECOWAS, Samuela Isopi, made this known to Journalists in Abuja.

Isopi said the Business Forum will also facilitate Trade, Investment, and Partnerships through Networking, Discussions, and Policy Shaping, to promote Economic Cooperation between the EU and Nigeria and stimulate sustainable growth for both Parties.

“It is important to note that for the first time since its inception, the 2024 Edition of the EU-Nigeria Business Forum will be held in Abuja.

‘This will provide an opportunity for the EU, its Member States and the Private Sector from Europe and Nigeria to engage the new Administration on their Investment Agendas in a transparent and inclusive manner, with a view to fostering confidence and commitment to a stronger and sustainable Partnership.”

As part of the EU Global Gateway Strategy, she explained, EU-Funded Projects will complement Private Sector Investment in Areas, which bring about critical Social, Economic, and Environmental Sustainability.

In the case of Nigeria, she said, particular attention is paid to the harnessing of Local Talent, particularly among Youth and Women, as well as Economic, Social, and Environmental resilience.

Against this backdrop, she also said that the Forum will focus on current and prospective Investment in the Digital, Health, and Agricultural Sectors.

According to Isopi, the Forum will discuss options and respective benefits towards establishing a Bilateral Legal Framework between the EU and Nigeria, bringing certainty, stability, and sustainability to Bilateral Trade and Investment Relations.

Latest Statistics have shown that Nigeria and European Union Trade Volume has grown to €45bn.

The Statistics showed that this was the case as at September 2023, even as the United Nations COMTRADE Database indicated that Nigeria remains EU largest Trade Partner, accounting for 20.9 per cent of Nigeria’s Global Trade.

The EU is made up of 28 European Countries, though there are 50 Countries considered European.

 

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24-Jun-2024 International Oil Companies 'killing' our Business, Dangote cries out

International Oil Companies 'killing' our Business, Dangote cries out

Devakumar Edwin, the Vice President of Dangote Oil and Gas Industries, has accused International Oil Companies (IOCs) in Nigeria of trying to frustrate the survival of Dangote Oil Refinery and Petrochemicals.

Edwin told Journalists in Lagos on Sunday.

Edwin alleged that the IOCs were deliberately and wilfully frustrating the Refinery’s efforts to buy Local Crude by jerking up high Premium Price above the Market Price.

He claimed that this forced Dangote to import Crude from Countries as far as the United States, with its attendant high Costs.

Edwin lamented the activity of the Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority (NMDPRA) in granting Licences, indiscriminately, to Marketers to import dirty Refined Products into the Country.

He said, “The Federal Government issued 25 Licences to build Refinery, and we are the only one that delivered on promise.

“In effect, we deserve every support from the Government. It is good to note that from the start of Production, more than 3.5 billion Litres, which represents 90 per cent of our Production, have been exported.

“We are calling on the Federal Government and Regulators to give us the necessary support in order to create Jobs and prosperity for the Nation,” he said.

He claimed that while the Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission (NUPRC) was trying its best to allocate the Crude for the Company, the IOCs were deliberately and willfully frustrating all efforts to buy the Local Crude.

“It would be recalled that the NUPRC, recently met with Crude Oil Producers as well as Refineries Owners in Nigeria, in a bid to ensure full adherence to Domestic Crude Oil Supply Obligations (DCSO), as enunciated under Section 109(2) of the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA).

“It seems that the IOCs’ Objective is to ensure that our Petroleum Refinery fails. It is either they are deliberately asking for ridiculous/humongous Premium or, they simply state that Crude is not available.

“At some point, we paid six dollars over and above the Market Price. This has forced us to reduce our Output as well as import Crude from Countries as far as the US, increasing our Cost of Production.

“It appears that the objective of the IOCs is to ensure that Nigeria remains a Country which exports Crude Oil and imports Refined Petroleum Products.

“They (IOCs) are keen on exporting the Raw Materials to their Home Countries, creating Employment and Wealth for their Countries, adding to their GDP, and dumping the expensive Refined Products into Nigeria – thus making us to be dependent on Imported Products,” he added.

Edwin said: “It is the same Strategy the Multinationals have been adopting in every Commodity, making Nigeria and Sub-Saharan Africa to be facing Unemployment and Poverty, while they create Wealth for themselves at our expense.

“This is exploitation – pure and simple. Unfortunately, the Country is also playing into their hands by continuing to issue Import Licences, at the expense of our Economy, and at the Cost of the Health of Nigerians who are exposed to Carcinogenic Products.

“In spite of the fact that we are producing and bringing out Diesel into the Market, complying with ECOWAS Regulations and Standards, Licences are being issued, in large quantities, to Traders who are buying the extremely high Sulphur Diesel from Russia and dumping it in the Nigerian Market.

“Since the US, EU and UK imposed a Price Cap Scheme from 5th February, 2023 on Russian Petroleum Products, a large number of Vessels are waiting near Togo with Russian ultra-high Sulphur Diesel and, they are being purchased and dumped into the Nigerian Market.

“In fact, some of the European Countries were so alarmed about the Carcinogenic effect of the extra high Sulphur Diesel being dumped into the Nigerian Market that Countries like Belgium and the Netherlands imposed a ban on such Fuel being exported from its Country, into West Africa, recently.

“It is sad that the Country is giving Import Licences for such Dirty Diesel to be imported into Nigeria when we have more than adequate Petroleum Refining Capacity Locally,” he said.

 

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24-Jun-2024 SIM cards used in Nigeria are all produced locally, says NCC

SIM cards used in Nigeria are all produced locally, says NCC

The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) says 100 per cent of the SIM Cards used in the Country are manufactured locally.

Babagana Digima, the Head, New Media and Information Security, NCC, said this at a Training for Media Executives in Lagos.

The two-day Training had the Title: “Upskilling Media Stakeholders on Trends in Telecommunications.”

Digima attributed the feat to the Commission’s commitment in encouraging Local Content and Indigenous Participation in the Industry through the Nigeria Office for Development in Indigenous Telecommunications Sector (NORDIT).

“The NCC by Section 1D to F of our Act has spelt out our Function to encourage Indigenous participation of Telecom Companies as well as the National Policy for Promotion of Indigenous Content in the Telecommuncations Sector which established NORDIT.

“Indigenous participation is one of the key Areas NORDIT has played a major role.

“Previously, in the last two years, almost 99 per cent  to 100 per cent of SIM Cards in Nigeria were imported.

“And when NORDIT came, we made it one of our key low-hanging fruits that in five months to six months manufacture of SIM Cards will be Indigenous.

“We directed all the Mobile Network Operators (MNOs) to source their SIM Cards locally, and in fact, as at now 100 per cent of all the SIM Cards used in Nigeria are manufactured locally, no importation,” Digima said.

Digima, the former Head of NORDIT, noted that the Commission through NORDIT engage in Advocacy Work to encourage Indigenous participation of Companies and People in all aspects of Telecoms.

He said that NORDIT had also provided Grants and Incentives to some Companies to ensure the development of the Industry.

“For now, we are currently sponsoring the manufacture of Corrugated Ordinal Duct, and the Company that will be established will be the first in the whole of Africa to manufacture such kind of Product.

“We also encourage Tower manufacture, Fibre manufacture and have been in touch with Coleman Cables, which are currently manufacturing Fibre Cables.

“They have even overtaken the only Company in Egypt in Manufacturing Capacity and they are expanding.

“I am sure a lot of Companies are very happy with what we have done,” he said.

Also speaking, the Executive Vice-Chairman, NCC, Aminu Maida, said the initiative to upskill Senior Media Executives was borne out of the need to bridge the gap between the Commission and how it was understood by its Publics.

Maida, who was represented by Abraham Oshadami, the Executive Commissioner, Technical Services, NCC, said the Commission needed to develop a Mechanism that would enable the Consumers and Stakeholders understand how things work in the Industry.

“These have led to the birth of this beautiful Initiative. If our Industry must succeed, there must be proper Enlightenment and Education.

“So, your physical role cannot be overemphasised and that is why these are carefully selected Executives from across all Platforms including Print, Broadcast, and the Online Media.

“It is to enable you understand the Commission and to see the Operational Interventions that the Commission has engaged in over the time, as well as challenges we are having.

“This will enable us to work together to shape the Landscape and also to help Consumers understand what is really happening,” he said.

He added that the aim of the Training was to develop a reliable Database of Core Partners within the Geography of Media Systems and to cultivate a Strategic Relationship with Media Stakeholders. 

 

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24-Jun-2024 Gold Transaction nets $5m into Nigeria’s Foreign Reserves, injects N6bn into Rural Economy

Gold Transaction nets $5m into Nigeria’s Foreign Reserves, injects N6bn into Rural Economy

President Bola Tinubu has commended the Ministry of Solid Minerals Development over the first Commercial Transaction under the National Gold Purchase Programme (NGPP).

The President said this when he received Gold Bars sourced from Artisanal and Small Gold Miners from Dele Alake, Minister of Solid Minerals Development, on Sunday in Abuja.

The Gold was refined by the Solid Minerals Development Fund, an Agency of the Ministry.

The Programme has delivered $5m into Nigeria’s Foreign Reserves and injected about N6bn into the Rural Economy.

Tinubu said that the Ministry had achieved a major milestone in the Administration’s drive to diversify the Economy.

“This is another concrete step towards the Diversification Process under the Renewed Hope Agenda,” the President said.

Alake, who presented a Symbolic Gold Bar to Tinubu, said the NGPP would increase the Country’s Foreign Reserves and boost the Value of the Naira.

The Minister also commended the President for supporting Reforms in the Solid Minerals Sector.

“The successful completion of the first Commercial Transaction clearly demonstrates the National Gold Purchase Programme’s effectiveness.

“It has increased the Nation’s Foreign Reserves Assets and shown that using the Nigerian Naira to purchase a Liquid Asset traded in Dollars, such as Gold, is a viable Strategy.

“This Transaction has also underscored the potential of the National Gold Purchase Programme to enhance Fiscal and Monetary Stability.”

Alake said that the over 70 kilograms of Gold sold to the London Bullion Market Good Delivery Standard marked a successful aggregation of Locally Mined Gold.

In her presentation, the Executive Secretary of the Solid Minerals Development Fund, Fatimah Shinkafi, said that the Gold has met the Global Trade Standard.

She said it met the London Bullion Market Good Delivery Standard that is the Globally recognised and trusted Standard in the Global Trade in Gold and Silver Bars.

“Only Gold and Silver Bars that meet our Good Delivery Standards are acceptable in the settlement of a Loco London Contract – where the Bullion Trade is physically held in London,” she said.

Shinkafi said, through the NGPP, Nigeria had joined Countries bolstering their Gold Reserves by purchasing Gold in Local Currency.

She said this would foster Economic confidence, enhance Currency Stability, and create a more attractive Environment for Foreign Investment. 

 

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23-Jun-2024 We're set to deliver 'Gas Revolution' with OB3 Gas Pipeline Project - NNPCL

We're set to deliver 'Gas Revolution' with OB3 Gas Pipeline Project - NNPCL

In yet another major step towards boosting Nationwide Gas Supply to drive Industrialisation and Economic growth, the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPCL) is set to deliver the Obiafu-Obrikom-Oben (OB3) Gas Pipeline Project.
Group Chief Executive Officer of NNPC Limited, Mele Kyari, confirmed this during an Inspection Tour of the OB3 Pipeline River Niger Crossing operation at Aboh, Delta State, on Saturday.
By Design, the OB3 Gas Pipeline is the Inter-Connector which links the Eastern Gas Pipeline Network to the Escravos-Lagos Pipeline System (ELPS) in the West and the Ajaokuta-Kaduna-Kano (AKK) Pipeline in the North.
The River Niger Crossing Operation has been the major impediment to the completion of the Strategic OB3 Gas Pipeline for over three years due to failure of the various Technologies deployed to achieve the Construction of the 48-inch Pipe under the River Bed between Ndoni in Rivers State and Aboh in Delta State.
But with the adoption of the Micro-Tunnelling/Direct Pipe Installation Technology, the new Contractors, Messrs HDD Thailand/Enikkom and Tunnelling Services Group (TSG), are making a headway with about 860meters out of the 1,800meters achieved so far.
Speaking after the Inspection Tour, Kyari expressed delight at the breakthrough, which signals the imminent completion of the Project.
 “This is a major Project of monumental Value to our Country. What this means is that this is the only way we can deliver the Gas Revolution. I am very happy and convinced that, latest by the middle of August, we will complete this Project. I have been assured of that by the Project Team”, Kyari stated.
 On the significance of the Project, he said: “Once completed, we will see about 2.2billion Standard Cubic Feet of Gas coming into our Network. We believe that this will give our Country a breathing space of demand, I am sure we can catch up with that kind of demand in the next one and half years. We are happy that this will give us the platform to unleash the Gas Revolution in our Country”.
Also speaking on the Project, the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources (Gas),  Ekperikpe Ekpo, expressed satisfaction with the pace of work at the OB3 River Niger Crossing Operation, describing it as “Renewed Hope at work”.
 “I was here last year and I saw the work that was going on. There was a promise that it would be completed by December last year. I took it with a doubt. But today, from what I can see, I am confident that by July or August it will be completed and it will be commissioned by the President”, the Minister stated.
For her part, the Special Adviser to the President on Energy, Olu Verheijen, said she was looking forward to the completion of the Project having been assured by the Technical Team that the right Technology has been found to resolve the complex challenges of the River Niger Crossing.
 “As the Minister and other Speakers have said, we are looking forward to having this Project deliver prosperity to Nigerians in the form of Electricity and other Areas”, Verheijen said.
The Managing Director of Tunnel Service Group (TSG), one of the Contractors to the Project, Ingo Justen, who is personally on ground to supervise the Project on the request of the GCEO, expressed confidence that the current Technology being applied in the execution of the Project would lead to its speedy conclusion.
In a presentation earlier, the Managing Director of NNPC Gas Infrastructure Company (NGIC), Seyi Omotowa, disclosed that at the rate of progress with the new Technology deployed, the River Niger Crossing Operation, which is the only aspect of the OB3 Gas Pipeline Project left, will be achieved on schedule.  
 
 Credit NNPCL PR
23-Jun-2024 Operations back in Nembe Oil Fields aftermath loading mishap

Operations back in Nembe Oil Fields aftermath loading mishap

Aiteo Eastern Exploration and Production Company (AEEPCO), Operator of the Nembe Oilfields has resumed the Production and Export Facility off Bayelsa Coastline Operation, shut due to Oil Spill from a loading mishap.

Aiteo announced the resumption in a Statement by its Spokesman, Mathew Ndianabasi.

The incident discharged large Volumes of Crude into the Atlantic Ocean on June 17.  

Nembe Fields within Oil Mining Lease (OML) 29 has Capacity to produce 180,000 Barrels of Crude per day at peak levels. 

Frequent vandalism by Oil Thieves had significantly hammered peak Production from the Facility. 

Ndianabasi noted that following the completion of the Joint Investigative visit to the Spill Site by all Stakeholders as required by Regulations, AEEPCO will reopen its Facilities for Production while continuing other Statutory Spill Management Procedures. 

He quoted AEEPCO’s Group Managing Director, Victor Okoronkwo, as saying: ”After a comprehensive evaluation of our Operations and Infrastructure at the Nembe Swamp Field, we are delighted to confirm the resumption of Production Activities.  

“Our dedicated Team has worked diligently to address the Issues caused by the recent incident and implemented enhanced Safety Protocols to prevent future occurrences.  

“We have engaged with Regulatory Bodies, Local Communities, and Stakeholders to ensure transparency and accountability throughout this Process.” 

 

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22-Jun-2024 Access Bank Ghana posts impressive Income, Assets growth

Access Bank Ghana posts impressive Income, Assets growth

Access Bank Ghana Plc held its 16th Annual General Meeting (AGM) at its Head Office, marking a year of exceptional performance and growth.

The Board Chairperson of Access Bank (Ghana) Plc, Ama Bawuah, presented the Financial Statements, highlighting the Bank’s impressive performance despite the challenging Macroeconomic Environment.

Access Bank Ghana’s Total Assets grew to 22.3 per cent, from GHS10.057bn to GHS12.30bn, while Operating Income increased by 40 per cent from GHS1.150bn to GHS1.613bn. The Bank’s Loans and Advances rose by 42.81 per cent.

Bawuah said, “In 2023, Ghana’s Economy was characterised by Macroeconomic Instability, escalating Inflation, and dwindling Investor confidence stemming from both Domestic Imbalances and External Pressures.

“Against the backdrop of Global and National Economic Uncertainties, I am pleased to share that your Bank successfully applied valuable insights and Industry Best Practices to achieve substantial growth across key areas in the past year.”

“These achievements underscore our steadfast dedication to navigating challenges and fostering Sustainable Growth, reaffirming our pledge to serve you with excellence and integrity,” Bawuah added.

Access Bank’s commitment to Expansion, Innovation, and Customer convenience was also showcased, with the implementation of several Digital Products and Services such as the Virtual Relationship Management (VRM) Tool to augment Customer Service support.

The Bank also established Priority Desks to cater to a specific Demographic and facilitate the smooth running of Business in those Areas. These include the Chinese, German, Lebanese, French, and Turkish Desks.

Olumide Olatunji, Managing Director, Access Bank Ghana Plc, reiterated the Bank’s resilience and stability.

“Despite the prevailing Uncertainties, Access Bank maintained a robust performance across Key Financial Metrics, a testament to our prudent Financial Management and unwavering dedication to our Mission.

“We observed substantial growth in Deposits, surging from GHS7.399bn to GHS9.130bn, marking a notable 23 per cent increase.”

He added that the Bank achieved a remarkable turnaround by resuming Tax Remittances to the Government.

“This reversal from a negative contribution of GHS102m to an impressive 509 per cent increase to GHS419m underscores our commitment to Fiscal Responsibility and sustained growth.

“Concurrently, shareholders’ Funds experienced substantial growth, from GHS1.014bn to GHS1.403bn, attributed to the Transformative Strategies implemented in the Bank’s Business Management Practice.”

Olatunji thanked Shareholders for their support and emphasised the Bank’s commitment to excellence and Customer satisfaction.

“We are proud of our achievements and recognise the trust our Customers and Shareholders have placed in us. “We will continue to innovate, expand our reach, and support Ghana’s Economic growth,” he noted.

Sampson Ashong, the General Secretary of the Shareholders praised the Bank’s performance and Initiatives citing its resilience and growth potential.

“I am thoroughly impressed with the Bank’s commitment to Sustainability Initiatives and Employee Capacity Building.

“The dedication to creating a positive impact on the Environment and Society, while investing in the Growth and Development of their Staff is truly commendable.

“This is evidence that Access Bank is not just focused on Financial Returns, but also on making a positive difference in the World,” he said.

Shareholders approved all Resolutions on the Agenda, which include among other things, also saw the Re-Election of the Members of the Board of Directors and one Retirement.

The Event was a celebration of the Bank’s dedication to its Stakeholders and its contribution to Ghana’s Financial Landscape.

As Access Bank Ghana continues to grow and expand its Operations, it remains committed to promoting Financial Inclusion and supporting the country’s Economic Development.

Since 2009, Access Bank Ghana has demonstrated a strong commitment to sustainable Business Practices driving profitable, sustainable growth that is Environmentally responsible and Socially relevant.

These have contributed to the Bank being recognised with various Awards in 2023. These include the 2023 Best Bank by Euromoney Awards, Best Retail Bank by Global Brands Awards, Best Digital Bank in Ghana by Digital Banker Africa Awards; and Best SME Banking and Best Bank for CSR by Euromoney Awards.

 

Credit Access Bank PR

22-Jun-2024 FG: Ajaokuta-Kaduna-Kano Gas Pipeline Project critical to Nigeria's Industrialisation, Economy

FG: Ajaokuta-Kaduna-Kano Gas Pipeline Project critical to Nigeria's Industrialisation, Economy

The Minister of Finance and Coordinating Minister of the Economy, Wale Edun has described the Ajaokuta-Kaduna-Kano (AKK) Gas Pipeline Project as critical to the Industrialisation and Economic Growth of Nigeria.

Edun stated this during a Working Visit of three Cabinet Ministers to the AKK Gas Pipeline Project Site where they inspected the River Kaduna Crossing Milestone of the Project in Kaduna.

This is coming just as the Group Chief Executive Officer of NNPC Limited, Mele Kyari assured Nigerians that the Project would be delivered by the end of the First Quarter, 2025.

This is contained in a Statement by Olufemi Soneye, the Chief Corporate Communications Officer, NNPC Limited.

Edun was accompanied on the Visit by the Minister of Information and National Orientation, Mohammed Malagi and Minister of State for Petroleum Resources (Gas), Ekperikpe Ekpo.

Speaking at the Project Site, Edun described the AKK Gas Pipeline as the Pipeline of prosperity, which is very dear to the President, because it will deliver the Critical Infrastructure needed to trigger the Nation’s Economic Growth and Industrialisation.

“The AKK Gas Pipeline is crucial for this Administration and its delivery is in line with Mr President’s Strategy of bringing prosperity to the People,” Edun added.

In his remarks, Malagi said the AKK Gas Pipeline Project was a testimony to the fact that the Federal Government’s “Decade of Gas” has commenced in earnest.

“Nigerians should be proud of the AKK Gas Pipeline Project. With the delivery of this Project, the prosperity that Mr President is always talking about is unravelling right here before our eyes,” he said.

Ekpo described the Gas Pipeline as part of the Federal Government’s many efforts to harness the Nation’s abundant Gas Resources towards improving Power Generation, revamping Ailing Industries and creating Employment Opportunities.

Ekpo urged all Stakeholders to support the NNPC Limited towards delivering the Project and several other Gas Projects as the Country depends on it to bring prosperity to the People.

The three Ministers, who lauded the NNPC Limited and its Project Partner, Brentex/CPP Limited (BCL) on the progress made so far, also expressed optimism that the NNPCL will deliver as promised.

The GCEO NNPC Limited, Mele Kyari assured the Project will be delivered by First Quarter of 2025, as major segments of the Job have been completed.

“Without promising too much, we assure you that this Project will be delivered on schedule.

“Our mission is to work towards delivering it by December 2024. But we are confident this Project will be delivered by First Quarter of 2025,” Kyari informed the three visiting Ministers.

The GCEO, who said the NNPC Limited recognises the strategic importance and enormous value of the Project to Nigeria’s Economy, said the Company was bankrolling the Project on the back of its own Balance Sheet.

Governor Uba Sani of Kaduna State, represented by his Deputy, Hadiza Balarabe, said the completion of the AKK Gas Pipeline would herald the much-needed Economic and Industrial revival in the State.

The Ajaokuta-Kaduna-Kano (AKK) Gas Pipeline is a 40 inch by 614km Linear Pipeline System running from Ajaokuta in Kogi State to Kano.

It has Associated Intermediate, Terminal Gas Facilities and other related Equipment to transport Natural Gas to Off-Takers at Abuja, Kaduna and Kano. 

 

Credit NNPCL PR

22-Jun-2024 Ajaokuta-Kaduna-Kano Gas Pipeline 90% complete, says FG

Ajaokuta-Kaduna-Kano Gas Pipeline 90% complete, says FG

The Minister of Finance and Coordinating Minister for Economy, Wale Edun, has stated that the Ajaokuta-Kaduna-Kano(AKK) Gas Pipeline Project has reached 90 per cent completion.
 
The Minister made the disclosure during an Inter- Ministerial Visit to the Gas Project at River Kaduna HDD Crossing Site, Kaduna State.
 
He stated that the 614 kilometers Project has reached a commendable stage in spite of the effect of COVID 19 and the prevailing Security Challenges in some of the Host Communities .
 
“We have witnessed the tremendous Natural Gas Pipeline Project and we have seen the Skill and Capacity of both the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation Limited (NNPCL) and the Chinese Nigeria Partnership.
 
“I’m sure and I’m convinced that this Project in line with the Presidential Mandate will be completed on time by the First Quarter of next year.
 
“It should give all Nigerians confidence in our own ability to do our own Project, bring Partners in to help and grow the Economy,” he said.
 
For his part, the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources (Gas), Ekperikpe Ekpo, said the Project was critical for the Country as it would help boost the Economy.
 
He added that the Ministry would ensure the timely completion of the Project as directed by President Bola Tinubu in order to create Job Opportunities,revive Industries, improve Power and generate Revenue .
 
Ekpo explained that the Ministry, in collaboration with NNPCL, was working towards expanding the Project to other parts of the Nation so that every State would have Gas and Energy Security. He expressed optimism that the Project would succeed and Nigeria would  be the Hub of Gas Distribution within the Sub Region and export Gas to other Countries.
 
Earlier, the Minister of Information and National Orientation, Mohammad Idris, stated that it was part of Tinubu’s Mandate to complete Projects that have positive impacts on the People. He said that the Project would be delivered in good time and Nigerians would see the benefits shortly.
 
Similarly, Governor Uba Sani, who was represented by his Deputy, Hadiza Balarabe, said the Gas Project would solve the State ‘s Power Challenge and improve Citizens’ Standard of Living.
 
Meanwhile, Howard Wang, Chairman, Brentex CPP Limited,  the Contractors, said that they directly employed more than 1,925 Skilled and Semi-Skilled Nigerian Workers for the Project.
He added that they had worked in harmony with more than 240 Local Communities living along the Right of Way for the Project.
 
“BCL has enjoyed tremendous support from the Federal Government of Nigeria through the able Leadership of NNPC Limited, without this support we may have had no magic to perform.
 
“We also celebrate ourselves, BCL, a Consortium of Chinese Government owned Companies and a Nigerian Local Private Company that successfully worked together to bring the Project to the success it is today”, he said.
 
The Group Chief Executive Officer, NNPC Limited, Mele Kyari, said that the Company was committed to delivering the Gas Pipeline Project on time.
 
 
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21-Jun-2024 Global Gas Flaring hits highest level since 2019, says World Bank

Global Gas Flaring hits highest level since 2019, says World Bank

The amount of Gas flared Worldwide in 2023 rose by nine billion cubic meters (bcm) to 148 bcm, its highest level since 2019, a World Bank Report has said.

This is contained in a Statement by the World Bank, on its new Satellite Data on Global Flaring and Methane Reduction (GFMR) Partnership on Friday.

The Report said the increase resulted in an additional 23 million tonnes of Carbon Dioxide equivalent Emissions, an amount similar to adding about five million Cars to the Roads,

The Statement quoted Demetrios Papathanasiou, World Bank’s Global Director, Energy and Extractives Global Practice, as saying:

“Millions of People still lack access to basic Energy and Greenhouse Gas emissions continue to grow, while huge Volumes of Gas continue to be wastefully flared every year.

“Capturing and using this Wasted Gas could displace dirtier Energy Sources, reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions, and generate enough Power to double the amount of Electricity provided in Sub-Saharan Africa.”

The Statement also quoted Zubin Bamji, World Bank GFMR Manager, as saying, “the increase in Gas Flaring is particularly disheartening as it comes after a long-overdue reduction in 2022.

“This sets Global Gas Flaring levels back to what we experienced in 2019. We’re hopeful that this is somewhat of an anomaly and the longer-term trend will be dramatic reductions.”

The Report shows that Gas Flaring released harmful Pollutants, including Black Carbon and unburned Methane, which contribute to Climate Change and pose risks to both People and the Planet.

It also showed that eliminating Gas Flaring would avert at least 381 million tonnes of Carbon Dioxide equivalent Emissions being released into the Atmosphere each year.

“When productively used, Wasted Flared Gas can help displace dirtier Energy Sources, increase Energy Access in some of the World’s Poorest Countries, and provide many Countries with much-needed Energy Security.”

It added that the World Bank’s Annual Global Gas Flaring Tracker Report is a tool for monitoring and understanding the State of Flaring Worldwide and the progress made towards achieving Zero Routine Flaring by 2030.

It said the World Bank’s GFMR Partnership, together with the Payne Institute at the Colorado School of Mines, had developed Global Gas Flaring Estimates based on observations from a Satellite.

The Satellite, the Bank said was launched in 2012 and operated by the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

“The Advanced Sensors of this Satellite detect the heat emitted by Gas Flares as infrared Emissions.

“GFMR is a Multi-Donor Trust Fund composed of Governments, Oil Companies, and Multilateral Organisations committed to ending routine Gas Flaring at Oil Production Sites across the World.

“GFMR is also committed to reducing Methane Emissions from the Oil and Gas Sector to near zero by 2030.”

 

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21-Jun-2024 NNPCL-TotalEnergies JV inks Agreement,  announces US$550m FID on Ubeta Field Project

NNPCL-TotalEnergies JV inks Agreement, announces US$550m FID on Ubeta Field Project

In a major step towards boosting Nigeria’s Oil and Gas Production, the NNPC-TotalEnergies JV has Officially announced a $550m Final Investment Decision (FID) on the Ubeta Field Development Project.
The milestone is in line with President Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s Presidential Executive Order on Oil and Gas Reforms aimed largely at improving the Investment Climate and positioning Nigeria as the preferred Investment Destination for the Oil and Gas Sector in Africa.
The Ubeta field discovered in 1964, North-West of Port Harcourt in the Eastern Part of the Niger Delta will, once on stream, produce about 350MMScf/day of Gas and 10,000 BBLS/day of Associated Liquids, tapping into the vast Gas Reserves and contributing towards securing Gas Supply to the Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas (NLNG) Limited.
At the well-attended Signing Ceremony held at the NNPC Towers, the Group Chief Executive Officer, NNPC Limited, Mele Kyari, while appreciating the support from Stakeholders, highlighted the continuous support of President Bola Tinubu Administration in facilitating a Conducive Operational Environment as a major Enabler in achieving this success.
“We appreciate Mr. President for supporting us with the appropriate Fiscal Environment. The Presidential Executive Order is instrumental to us getting to this significant milestone and we are now seeing the impact of the Policy,” Kyari added.
In his Remarks, the Senior Vice President Africa, Exploration and Production, TotalEnergies, Mike Sangster, said "Ubeta is the latest in a Series of Projects developed by TotalEnergies in Nigeria, most recently Ikike and Akpo West.
"I am pleased that we can launch this new Gas Project which has been made possible by the Government's recent Incentives for Non-Associated Gas Developments.
"Ubeta fits perfectly with our strategy of developing Low-Cost and Low-Emission Projects, and will contribute to the Nigerian economy through higher NLNG exports".
Earlier in his Remarks, the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources (Oil), Heineken Lokpobiri said President Bola Tinubu has significantly rekindled Investor confidence in the Oil and Gas Industry, assuring Nigerians that more Investments are on the way.
Also speaking, the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources (Gas), Ekperikpe Ekpo said the Project is a testament to the effectiveness of Government’s Policies aimed at creating a Conducive Environment for Investment in the Gas Sector.
Located in OML58, the Ubeta Gas Condensate Field will be developed with a new 6-Well Cluster connected to the existing Obite Facilities through an 11km buried Pipeline. Production start-up is expected in 2027, with a plateau of 300 million cubic feet per day (about 70,000barrels of Oil equivalent per day including Condensates).
Gas from Ubeta will be supplied to NLNG, a Liquefaction Plant located in Bonny Island with an on-going Capacity Expansion from 22 to 30 Mtpa, in which NNPC Limited holds a 49% Interest.
Ubeta is a Low-Emission and Low-Cost Development, leveraging on OML58 existing Gas Processing Facilities. The Carbon intensity of the Project will be further reduced through a 5 MW Solar Plant currently under construction at the Obite Site and the electrification of the Drilling Rig.
TotalEnergies is working closely with NNPC Limited to enhance Local Content, with more than 90% of Manhours which will be worked Locally.
The Ubeta FID justifies the effort invested by NNPC Limited, with unyielding Executive support, into tackling the underlying reasons that have plagued the attractiveness of the Nigerian Oil and Gas Industry to Foreign Investors in recent years.
The Ubeta Project has a robust Nigerian Content Plan and is poised to stimulate Economic Activities, create Job Opportunities, and create significant Value for Stakeholders.
 
 
Credit NNPCL PR
21-Jun-2024 Nigeria’s Total Debt Stock rises to N121trn, says DMO
20-Jun-2024 Food Inflation: Customs vows to smoke out Hoarders

Food Inflation: Customs vows to smoke out Hoarders

The Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), is determined to smoke out Food Hoarders as part of its contribution to checking Inflation, its Comptroller-General (C-G), Adewale Adeniyi, has stated.   

“The Service will continue to work tirelessly to ensure that the Business of Food Hoarders is unprofitable,” Adeniyi declared in Abuja on Wednesday at a Media Briefing on Achievements in the past one year.

He said that the NCS recorded 1,744 Cases of Rice and Grains Seizures valued at N4.4bn, in the efforts to curb Smuggling. 

“These concerted efforts underscore the NCS’ commitment to protecting Society and ensuring National Security,’’ he said.

 He said that in the past one year, one of the leading Policy Measures it implemented was the transition from the repealed Customs and Excise Act of 2004 to the newly signed Nigeria Customs Service Act of 2023.

He explained that the new Act strengthened the modernisation of NCS Operations and promotes Innovation within the Service.

The C-G emphasised that the new Act also formed the basis for several Trade Facilitation Measures currently being pursued by NCS, including the recent transition from Fast Track 2.0 to the Authorised Economic Operators (AEO) Concept.

 He highlighted that the Advanced Ruling System, which also originated from the act, represented a significant advancement in aligning NCS Operations with Global Best Practices.

“This Initiative is now at an advanced stage of implementation,’’ he said.

He added that Time Release Study was also inaugurated in February to identify and address bottlenecks in the Clearance Process aimed at easing Trade Facilitation.

The C-G further noted that it decongested Ports and reopened previously inaccessible Access Roads. 

“In response to the need for dedicated Terminals to process Export Goods, the NCS Command at the Port of Lilypond was designated to handle Export Transactions.  

 “Other targeted Measures to jointly facilitate Trade and enhance Revenue Collection by the Service include implementation of the Presidential Approval to decongest the Ports Area and improve Logistics around the Port in line with the Nigeria Customs Service Act 2023.

“NCS also commenced 24-hour Clearance at the Port of Tincan Island, Lagos, in line with the Presidential Directive to enforce 48- hour Clearance of Goods,’’ he said.

According to the Customs Boss, NCS also implemented Measures to address National Security concerns which include strengthening and reinforcing the Federal Operating Units to pursue, intercept, arrest and dismantle Smuggling Networks.

He said that new frontiers of Interagency Cooperation were established with the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC), finalising arrangements to integrate both Systems to minimise the Registration of Smuggled Vehicles.

“The Service also commenced engagement with Critical Stakeholders like the Health Federation of Nigeria (HFN), with the support of the Federal Ministry of Finance, to facilitate the clearance of Medical Goods.

“This Collaboration aims to ultimately reduce challenges and Costs, making these Services more affordable for Nigerians and specifically targeting the Presidential Priority Areas on Healthcare,’’ he said.

He said that NCS was recently ranked by the Presidential Enabling Business Environment Council (PEBEC) among the top five Ministries, Departments, and Agencies (MDAs).

The Assessment was conducted among 36 MDAs, with NCS achieving a perfect score of 100 per cent, marking 81.5 per cent increase from its previous average scores of 18.45 per cent between 2020 and 2022, and 18.53 per cent in 2023.

 

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20-Jun-2024 Alebiosu confirmed as Substantive MD of First Bank

Alebiosu confirmed as Substantive MD of First Bank

FBN Holdings Plc has confirmed the Appointment of Olusegun Alebiosu as Substantive Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of First Bank of Nigeria Limited (FirstBank), one of its Flagship Subsidiary.
 Adewale Arogundade, Acting Company Secretary of the Holdings, announced this in a Disclosure sent to the Nigerian Exchange Limited (NGX) in Lagos.
 Arogundade said that the Approval of  the Substantive Appointment of Alebiosu by the Bank’s Board of Directors was subject to the Approval of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).
The Board of FBN Holdings on April 21 appointed Alebiosu as the Acting Managing Director/CEO of First Bank.
 His Appointment followed a sudden resignation of Adesola Adeduntan, the former Managing Director/CEO of the Bank, effective  April 20, ahead of his Official Retirement.
Additionally, Arogundade said that the Bank’s Board also approved the Appointment of Ini Ebong as the Deputy Managing Director of FirstBank, subject to the Approval of the CBN.
The Company Secretary stated that First Bank further approved the Appointment of Alao Olatunde-Olaifa as Non-Executive Director of FirstBank, subject to the Approval of the CBN.
Before his Appointment, Alebiosu was Executive Director, Chief Risk Officer and Executive Compliance Officer of the Bank, from January 2022 until April 20.
 He was, before then, the Group Executive/ Chief Risk Officer of the Bank since 2016.
 Alebiosu brings to the Executive Management of First Bank over 28 years’ experience in the Banking and Financial Services Industry with cross-functional exposure to Credit Risk Management, Financial Planning and Control.
He also has experience in Credit and Marketing, Trade, Corporate and Commercial Banking, Agriculture Financing, Oil and Gas, Transportation, including Aviation and Shipping and Project Financing.
Prior to joining First Bank in 2016, Alebiosu served as Chief Risk Officer at Coronation Merchant Bank Limited, Chief Credit Risk Officer at African Development Bank Group and Group Head, Credit Policy, and Deputy Chief Credit Risk Officer at United Bank For Africa Plc.
Alebiosu is an Alumnus of Harvard Business School and Harvard School of Government.
He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Industrial Relations and Personnel Management, and also a Master’s Degree in International Law and Diplomacy from the University of Lagos.
Alebiosu obtained a Master’s Degree in Development Studies from the London School of Economics and Political Science, and completed Advanced Management Program (AMP) at Harvard Business School.
He is a Member of various Professional Bodies namely: Fellow, Institute of Chartered Accountants (FCA), Associate, Nigeria Institute of Management (ANIM), Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria (CIBN) and Member, Nigeria Institute of International Affairs.
For his part, Ebong, prior to his Appointment, was the Executive Director, Treasury and International Banking of First Bank, since January 2022.
He was previously the Group Executive, Treasury and International Banking, a Position he held since 2016 after serving as the Bank’s Treasurer from year 2011 to 2016.
Ebong brings to FirstBank over 20 years’ extensive Banking Experience, working through a wide variety of Trading Roles across most Treasury Products, Asset and Liability Management, Treasury Sales and Marketing, as well as Treasury Risk Management.
Before joining FirstBank, he was the Head of African Fixed Income and Local Markets Trading, Renaissance Securities Nigeria Limited., the Nigerian Registered Subsidiary of Renaissance Capital.
He also worked with Citigroup for 14 years as Country Treasurer and Sales and Business Head, and has passion for Market Development.
 
 
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19-Jun-2024 Future Global Workforce rests on Africa’s one billion Youths, says Microsoft

Future Global Workforce rests on Africa’s one billion Youths, says Microsoft

Microsoft says Africa’s Youths will comprise a significant portion of the potential Global Workforce by the turn of the Century.

Ravi Bhat, Chief Technology and Solutions Officer at Microsoft Africa, said this in a Webinar on Tuesday.

The Webinar was on “AI and the Future of Work in Africa Whitepaper”, produced by Microsoft and Industry Experts from across the Continent.

According to Bhat, one billion People in Africa are currently under the age of 35, with the Continent projected to host almost half of the World’s Youth Population.

He highlighted Africa’s unique opportunity to shape the future of Work in these formative years, saying large Language Models (LLMs) evolved and the Application Environment continued to develop.

The Expert said that up to 12 million Young Africans enter the Job Market Annually.

He, however, said that more than 20 per cent were neither employed, in Education, nor trained according to the International Labour Organisation.

“We envision Generative AI playing a pivotal Role in transforming Work Environments and creating Opportunities for Youth to innovate, drive Economic growth, and foster Job Creation,” Bhat stated.

He emphasised the potential of Generative AI (GenAI) to reshape Knowledge Worker Jobs, alter Job Types, required Skills, and Output.

“McKinsey Research suggests that GenAI could boost Annual Labour Productivity growth by up to 0.6 per cent through 2040, contingent upon Technology Adoption Rates and the reallocation of Worker Time to other Tasks,” he added.

The Technology and Solutions Officer, therefore, cautioned that Technology alone would not address the challenges facing Africa’s Youthful Population.

He underscored the importance of Developing Policies and Practices to ensure responsible deployment of GenAI and AI in general, with a focus on valuing AI-related Labour and ensuring dignified Employment.

Jacki O’Neill, Director of Microsoft Research Africa, spoke on the Transformative Potential of Generative AI in enhancing Human Capabilities across various Sectors.

“As access to GenAI Tools expands across Africa through Internet-Enabled Devices and more affordable Data, barriers to access are diminishing, presenting increased Opportunities for Skills Development,” O’Neill said

The Director stressed the need to equip Youth with the necessary Skills to thrive in an AI-disrupted Labour Market.

This, he noted, included deployment of GenAI Tools, development of Innovative Applications, and Proficiency in Areas like Machine Learning, Natural Language Processing and Cybersecurity.

“Investing in these Skills equips Africans to create dignified Jobs, integrate AI sensitively with Indigenous Knowledge, forge new Value Chains, and develop AI Systems that reflect Human-Centered and Community Values.

“The Whitepaper underscores the importance of proactive Governance, Inclusive Design, Education Investment, and commitment to Regulatory and ethical standards for ensuring positive outcomes with GenAI.

“This is a collective responsibility involving Policymakers, Technologists, and Citizens alike,” O’Neill emphasised.

He highlighted that the AI Revolution in Africa was not merely a possibility but already underway, with Microsoft committed to collaborating with Individuals, Governments, Partners, and Stakeholders across the Continent.

Microsoft, as a Technology Company, creates AI-powered Platforms and Tools to deliver Innovative Solutions meeting the evolving Needs of Customers. 

 

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18-Jun-2024 NPPAN: Allowing Foreign Investors in our Primary Oil Palm Production will enslave Nigerians

NPPAN: Allowing Foreign Investors in our Primary Oil Palm Production will enslave Nigerians

The National Palm Produce Association of Nigeria (NPPAN) has cautioned States and Local Governments against involvement of Foreign Investors in Primary Production of Oil Palm in the Country.

Alphonsus Inyang, National President of NPPAN, gave the advice in Abuja.

Inyang frowned at promotion of such Practices in some States in the Country, describing the menace as inimical to National Development.

He said that allowing Foreigners to engage in Primary Production of the Product like Planting Seedlings, Nursery and Harvest and Mill would turn Nigerian citizens into Labourers in their Country.

“Foreign Investors will pay peanuts to our People as Plantation Attendants while they declare billions as Profit every year and our People will be struggling to feed.

“We do not want Foreign Investors to come and plant Palm Trees and any State promoting such should stop; they should not be involved in Primary Production.

“We do not want them in the Upstream rather they should be at the Downstream that is Processing and Value Addition.

“Nigerian Populace should do the Planting while Investors provide us with Inputs such as Planting Materials, Fertilisers, Herbicides and Land Development for Planting and they can as well Offtake the Harvest.’’

The President explained that discouraging Foreigners from Primary Production would ensure the Distribution of Wealth of Oil Palm Sector from Rural Communities being the Primary Producers to the Millers and Makers who would be the Investors.

‘‘We want a robust Outgrower System such as the Indonesian Model of the “Core and the Plasma.’’

He said that the Investors should build Mills and provide Inputs for NPPAN Members to plant for them.

“Such Model will create Millionaires out of our People instead of taking Lands from our People and allocating to Big Men.

“Government should talk to our Association on how to make this Model work,” he said.

 

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17-Jun-2024 It's unfortunate that Companies are relocating from Nigeria, says NEPZA

It's unfortunate that Companies are relocating from Nigeria, says NEPZA

The Nigeria Export Processing Zones Authority (NEPZA), is intensifying efforts to retain Businesses in Nigeria amid Foreign Exchange constraints and unreliable Power Supply.

The Managing Director of NEPZA, Olufemi Ogunyemi says it was supporting Businesses within its Free Trade Zones and Enclaves.

“We are witnessing an unfortunate trend where Companies are relocating due to issues like Foreign Exchange Access and Power Supply.

“To mitigate these challenges, NEPZA is actively involved in providing Power Generation Solutions tailored to the Needs of Businesses operating within its Zones.

“This Initiative aims to reduce Production Costs and Incentivise Companies to maintain Operations in Nigeria. We offer a range of Incentives designed to attract and retain Foreign Direct Investment.

“These Incentives include Customs Duty Waivers, Tax Breaks, and Deferred Payments to the Government at the Start-Up Phase of Businesses,’’ he said.

According to the Managing Director, the Investors, upon getting the Incentives, are also expected to give back to Society in the form of a Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR).

“Now, on the flip side, like I said, its a Handshake, so we give, and then we take. Therefore, NEPZA requests from these Foreign Direct Investors that they employ Nigerians.

“They train Nigerians on Skilled, Semi-Skilled, even sometimes up to Professional Level. These are Statutory Requirements that are part of this Handshake.

“And on top of that, there is something People call CSR but I call it Community Social Regeneration. I think that is a more accurate description.

“And it is part of the Requirements we have on all these Investors,’’ he said.

According to Ogunyemi, the Authority operates as a One-Stop Shop for Investors, streamlining Interactions with Government Agencies to enhance the Ease of Doing Business within NEPZA Zones.

He said over the years, this Directive had not been followed but he would during his tenure ensure its implementation for the interest of the Investors and the Country at large.

The Managing Director expressed optimism about Nigeria’s potential to attract and sustain Foreign Investments in spite of Global Economic fluctuations.

He also expressed NEPZA’s commitment to leveraging Incentives and streamlined Processes to foster Business Retention and Economic Growth in the Country.

 

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17-Jun-2024 Tinubu inherited a dead Economy, your Report predetermined, denigrating, Presidency blasts New York Times

Tinubu inherited a dead Economy, your Report predetermined, denigrating, Presidency blasts New York Times

Special Adviser to President Bola Tinubu on Information and Strategy, Bayo Onanuga, has reacted to a Report published in New York Times on Nigeria’s Economy.

He said Ruth Maclean and Ismail Auwal’s Feature Story Titled, ‘Nigeria Confronts Its Worst Economic Crisis in a Generation,’ published on June 11, appeared typically predetermined and followed the usually denigrating way Foreign Media Establishments reported African Countries for several Decades. 

He said that because of the misleading slant of the Report, there was need to clear up some misconceptions conveyed by the Reporters as regards the Economic Policies of the Tinubu Administration that came into Power at the end of May 2023.

“Most significant about the Report was that it painted the dire experiences of some Nigerians amid the Inflationary spiral of last year, and blamed it all on the Policies of the new Administration.

“The Report, based on several Interviews, was all gloom and doom, as it never mentioned the positive aspects in the same Economy as well as the Ameliorative Policies being implemented by the Central and State Governments,” said Onanuga.

According to him, President Tinubu did not create the Economic problems Nigeria faces today.

“He inherited them. As a respected Economist in our Country once put it, Tinubu inherited a dead Economy.

“The Economy was bleeding and needed quick surgery to avoid being plunged into the abyss, as happened in Zimbabwe and Venezuela.

“This was the background to the Policy Direction taken by the Government in May/June 2023, with the abrogation of the Fuel Subsidy Regime and the Unification of the Multiple Exchange Rates standing out.”

The Special Adviser said that for Decades, Nigeria had maintained a Fuel Subsidy Regime that gulped $84.39bn between 2005 and 2022 from the Public Treasury in a Country with huge Infrastructural Deficits and in high need of better Social Services.

He said the State Oil Firm, NNPC Limited, the Sole Importer, had amassed trillions of Naira in Debts for absorbing the unsustainable Subsidy Payments in its Books.

“By the time Tinubu took over the Leadership of the Country, there was no provision made for Fuel Subsidy Payments in the National Budget beyond June 2023.

“The Budget itself had a striking feature: it planned to spend 97 per cent of Revenue servicing Debt, with little left for Recurrent or Capital Expenditure. The previous Government had resorted to massive Borrowing to cover such Costs.

“Like Oil, the Exchange Rate was also being subsidised by the Government, with an estimated $1.5bn spent monthly by the CBN to ‘defend’ the Currency against the unquenchable demand for the Dollar by the Country’s Import-Dependent Economy,” explained Onanuga.

He stated that by keeping the Rate low, Arbitrage grew as a gulf existed between the Official Rate and the Rate used by over 5,000 Bureau de Change (BDCs) that were previously licensed by the Central Bank.

“What was more, the Country was failing to fulfil its Remittance Obligations to Airlines and other Foreign Businesses, such that FDIs and Investment in the Oil Sector dried up, and notably Emirate Airlines cut off the Nigerian Route.

“President Tinubu had to deal with the Cancer of Public Finance on the first day by rolling back the Subsidy Regime and the generosity that spread to Neighbouring Countries. Then, his administration floated the Naira,” said Onanuga.

He said that after some months of the storm, with the Naira sliding as low as N1,900 to the US Dollar, some stability was restored, though there remained some challenges.

“The Exchange Rate is now below N1,500 to the Dollar, and there are prospects that the Naira could regain its muscle and appreciate to between N1,000 and N1,200 before the end of the year.

“The Economy recorded a Trade Surplus of N6.52trn in Q1, as against a Deficit of N1.4trn in Q4 of 2023. Portfolio Investors have streamed in as Long-Term Investors.

“When Diageo wanted to sell its stake in Guinness Nigeria, it had the Singaporean Conglomerate, Tolaram, ready for the Uptake,” he said.

He was emphatic that with the World Bank extending a $2.25bn Loan and other Loans by the AfDB and Afreximbank coming in, Nigeria had become bankable again.

He explained that such was all because the Reforms being implemented had restored some confidence.

“The Inflationary Rate is slowing down as shown in the figures released by the National Bureau of Statistics for April. Food Inflation remains the biggest challenge, and the Government is working very hard to rein it in with increased Agricultural Production.

“The Tinubu Administration and the 36 States are working assiduously to produce Food in abundance to reduce the Cost. Some State Governments, such as Lagos and Akwa Ibom, have set up Retail Shops to sell Raw Food Items to Residents at a lower Price than the Market Price.

“The Tinubu Government, in November last year, in consonance with its Food Emergency Declaration, invested heavily in Dry-Season Farming, giving Farmers Incentives to produce Wheat, Maize, and Rice,” he said.

According to Onanuga, the CBN has donated N100bn worth of Fertiliser to Farmers, and numerous Incentives are being implemented, adding that in the Western part of Nigeria, six Governors had announced Plans to invest massively in Agriculture.

“With all the Plans being executed, Inflation, especially Food Inflation, will soon be tamed.

“Nigeria is not the only Country in the World facing a rising Cost of Living Crisis. The USA, too, is contending with a similar Crisis, with Families finding it hard to make ends meet. US Treasury Secretary, Janet Yellen raised this concern recently.

“Europe is similarly in the throes of a Cost-of-Living Crisis. As those Countries are trying to confront the problem, the Tinubu Administration is also working hard to overturn the Economic problems in Nigeria.

“Our Country faced Economic difficulties in the past, an experience that has been captured in Folk Songs. Just like we overcame then, we shall overcome our present difficulties very soon,” said Onanuga.

 

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16-Jun-2024 Upgrade BPE, knock out its challenges, Tinubu tells Gbeleyi, new DG

Upgrade BPE, knock out its challenges, Tinubu tells Gbeleyi, new DG

President Bola Tinubu has approved the Appointment of Ayodeji Gbeleyi as the Director-General of the Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE).

According to a Statement by Ajuri Ngelale, Special Adviser to the President, Media and Publicity, the President expects the new Director-General to bring his vast experience and competence to bear on the Role.

“The President expects him to strengthen the Agency as the National Resource Centre for Capacity Building and Sustenance of Reforms.

“This would be through the promotion of a Competitive Private Sector-Driven Economy, ensuring Social Accountability and efficient deployment of Public Resources.

“The President also expects him to advance effective Corporate Governance and Fiduciary Discipline in the Public and Private Sectors,” the Statement added.

Gbeleyi is a Financial Expert and Chartered Accountant.

He is a Fellow of both the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria (ICAN) and the Chartered Institute of Taxation of Nigeria (CITN).

He is also an Alumnus of Executive Programmes of the prestigious London Business School, Harvard Kennedy School of Government, and Lagos Business School.

He has over 30 years of Post-Qualification Experience in Diverse Sectors including Manufacturing, Fast-Moving Consumer Goods, Investment and Commercial Banking, Project Finance, Telecommunications, Infrastructure and Public Administration.

He was the Chairman of the Governing Board of the Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria (FMBN) and Commissioner of Finance in Lagos State from 2013 to 2015. 

 

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15-Jun-2024 Nigeria’s inflation rate records 33.95% in May, says NBS Report

Nigeria’s inflation rate records 33.95% in May, says NBS Report

The National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), says Nigeria’s Headline Inflation Rate increased to 33.95 per cent in May 2024.

The NBS said this in its Consumer Price Index (CPI) and Inflation Report for May, which was released on Saturday in Abuja.

According to the Report, the figure is 0.26 per cent points higher compared to the 33.69 per cent recorded in April 2024.

It said on a Year-on-Year Basis, the Headline Inflation Rate in May 2024 was 11.54 per cent higher than the Rate recorded in May 2023 at 22.41 per cent.

In addition, the Report said, on a Month-on-Month Basis, the Headline Inflation Rate in May 2024 was 2.14 per cent, which was 0.15 per cent lower than the Rate recorded in April 2024 at 2.29 per cent.

“This means that in May 2024, the Rate of Increase in the Average Price Level is less than the Rate of Increase in the Average Price Level in April 2024.”

The Report said the Increase in the Headline Index for May 2024 on a Year-on-Year Basis and Month-on-Month Basis was attributed to the Increase in some Items in the Basket of Goods and Services at the Divisional Level.

It said these increases were observed in Food and Non-Alcoholic Beverages, Housing, Water, Electricity, Gas, and other Fuel, Clothing and Footwear, and Transport.

Others were Furnishings, Household Equipment and Maintenance, Education, Health, Miscellaneous Goods and Services, Restaurants and Hotels, Alcoholic Beverage, Tobacco and Kola, Recreation and Culture, and Communication.

It said the percentage change in the Average CPI for the 12 months ending May 2024 over the Average of the CPI for the previous corresponding 12-month period was 29.06 per cent.

“This indicates a 7.86 per cent increase compared to 21.20 per cent recorded in May 2023.”

The Report said the Food Inflation Rate in May 2024 increased to 40.66 per cent on a Year-on-Year Basis, which was 15.84 per cent higher compared to the Rate recorded in May 2023 at 24.82 per cent.

“The rise in Food Inflation on a Year-on-Year Basis is caused by Increases in Prices of Semovita, Oatflake, Yam Flour Prepackage, Garri, and Bean,

“Others are Irish Potatoes, Yam, Water Yam, Palm Oil, Vegetable Oil, Stockfish, Mudfish, Crayfish, Beef Head, Chicken-Live, Pork Head, and Bush Meat.”

It said on a Month-on-month basis, the Food Inflation Rate in May was 2.28 per cent, which was a 0.22 per cent decrease compared to the Rate recorded in April 2024 at 2.50 per cent.

“The fall in Food Inflation on a Month-on-Month Basis was caused by a decrease in the Average Prices of Palm Oil, Groundnut Oil, Yam, Irish Potato, and Cassava Tuber.

“Others are Wine, Bournvita, Milo, and Nescafe.”

The Report said that “all Items less Farm Produce and Energy’’ or Core Inflation, which excludes the Prices of Volatile Agricultural Produce and Energy, stood at 27.04 per cent in May on a Year-on-Year Basis.

“This increased by 7.21 per cent compared to 19.83 per cent recorded in May 2023.’’

“The exclusion of the PMS is due to the Deregulation of the Commodity by removal of Subsidy.”

It said the highest Increases were recorded in Prices of Actual and Imputed Rentals for Housing Class, Bus Journey Intercity, and Taxi Journey per Drop.

“Others are Accommodation Service, X-Ray Photography, Consultation Fee of a Medical Doctor, Laboratory Service, among others.”

The NBS said on a Month-on-Month Basis, the Core Inflation Rate was 2.01 per cent in May 2024.

“This indicates a 0.18 per cent decrease compared to what was recorded in April 2024 at 2.20 per cent.”

“The average 12-month Annual Inflation Rate was 23.45 per cent for the 12 months ending May 2024, this was 5.34 per cent points higher than the 18.11 per cent recorded in May 2023.”

The Report said on a Year-on-Year Basis in May 2024, the Urban Inflation Rate was 36.34 per cent, which was 12.61 per cent higher compared to the 23.74 per cent recorded in May 2023.

“On a Month-on-Month Basis, the Urban Inflation Rate was 2.35 per cent, which decreased by 0.32 per cent compared to April 2024 at 2.67 per cent.’’

The Report said on a Year-on-Year Basis in May 2024, the Rural Inflation Rate was 31.82 per cent, which was 10.63 per cent higher compared to the 21.19 per cent recorded in May 2023.

“On a Month-on-Month Basis, the Rural Inflation Rate was 1.94 per cent, which increased by 0.024 per cent compared to April 2024 at 1.92 per cent.’’

On States’ Profile Analysis, the Report showed that in May, all Items’ Inflation Rate on a Year-on-Year Basis was highest in Bauchi at 42.30 per cent, followed by Kogi at 39.38 per cent, and Oyo at 37.73 per cent.

It however, said the slowest rise in Headline Inflation on a Year-on-Year Basis was recorded in Borno at 25.97 per cent, followed by Benue at 27.74 per cent, and Delta at 28.67 per cent.

The Report, however, said in May 2024, all Items Inflation Rate on a Month-on-Month Basis was highest in Kano at 4.24 per cent, followed by Gombe at 4.06 per cent, and Bauchi at 3.75 per cent.

“Ondo at 0.57 per cent, followed by Kwara at 1.19 per cent and Yobe at 1.24 per cent recorded the slowest rise in Month-on-Month Inflation.”

The Report said on a Year-on-Year Basis, Food Inflation was highest in Kogi at 46.32 per cent, followed by Ekiti at 44.94 per cent, and Kwara at 44.66 per cent.

“Adamawa at 31.72 per cent, followed by Bauchi at 34.35 per cent and Borno at 34.74 per cent recorded the slowest rise in Food Inflation on a Year-on-Year Basis.’’

The Report, however, said on a Month-on-Month Basis, Food Inflation was highest in Gombe at 4.88 per cent, followed by Kano at 4.68 per cent, and Bayelsa at 3.62 per cent.

“While Ondo at 0.02 per cent, followed by Yobe at 0.95 per cent and Adamawa at 1.02 per cent, recorded the slowest rise in Inflation on a Month-on-Month Basis.”

 

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15-Jun-2024 Beware of Meme Coins, SEC warns Nigerians against investing in $Davido

Beware of Meme Coins, SEC warns Nigerians against investing in $Davido

The Securities and Exchange Commission, Nigeria (SEC), has warned Nigerians against investing in Meme Coins, known as “$Davido”, allegedly linked to popular Nigerian Singer, David Adeleke, known as Davido.

In a Statement on its Website, SEC said that it does not recognise $Davido as an Investment Product or Investable Asset class under its Regulatory purview.

The Regulator noted that, consequently, Individuals who invest in it do so at their own risk.

“Generally, Meme Coins are Cryptocurrencies inspired by Memes and Internet jokes.

“They are often envisaged as a fun, light-hearted Cryptocurrencies promoted through a Social Media Community and sometimes through Celebrity Endorsements,” it said.

According to SEC, Meme Coins are not intended to serve as a Medium of Exchange accepted by the Public as payment for Goods and Services or as Digital Representation of Capital Market Products.

The Commission listed such Capital Market Products as Shares, Debentures, Units of Collective Investment Schemes, Derivatives Contracts, Commodities or other kinds of Financial Instruments or Investments.

The Regulator said: “The General Public is hereby advised that Meme Coins lack Fundamental Value and are purely speculative.

“The General Public is further warned that investing in Meme Coins, including $Davido, is highly risky and should be done with a full understanding of the associated risk.

“Capital Market Operators are by this Notice warned not to associate with Instruments that fall outside the SEC’s Regulatory Purview.

“Such Instruments should not in any manner be distributed or monitored through any Capital Market Mechanism.

SEC stated it would continue to monitor Developments within the Ecosystem and would not hesitate to deploy its Regulatory Powers as needed. 

 

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14-Jun-2024 Gains of PIA severely undermined by Crude Oil Theft, Pipeline Vandalism, says Kyari

Gains of PIA severely undermined by Crude Oil Theft, Pipeline Vandalism, says Kyari

In order for the Oil and Gas Industry to achieve its full potential as an Enabler of National Economic and Industrial Growth, the Group Chief Executive Officer of the NNPC Limited, Mele Kyari, has called for the support of the Judiciary in tackling the twin challenges of Crude Oil Theft and Pipeline Vandalism.

Kyari made the call at the National Judges Capacity Building Workshop on the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA) 2021 organised by the National Judicial Institute (NJI) and INVESTIN 234, on Thursday in Abuja.

 

In a Goodwill Message he delivered at the Workshop, the GCEO stated that the gains of the PIA have been severely undermined by Crude Oil Theft and Pipeline Vandalism and urged the Judiciary to consider the creation of a Special Court to try Offences related to Crude Oil Theft and Pipeline Vandalism or granting accelerated Hearings to such Cases.

According to him, the Role of the Judiciary was critical to the success of the efforts of the various Security Arrangements put in place by NNPCL, the Law Enforcement Agencies and other Stakeholders in the Industry.

“In particular, is the recommendation that a Special Court be created to try those Offences as they hinge on our survival as a Country, and/or for such Trials to be conducted under an accelerated Hearing Process by the issuance of Practice Directions to that effect, with concomitant sanctions to deter Would-be Offenders,” Kyari stated.

The GCEO also called on the Judiciary to accelerate Hearing to Criminal Cases in their Courts, through timely determination of the Criminal Charges and imposing adequate punishments and sanctions on Culprits to serve as deterrence to others.

He said NNPCL remains committed to collaborating with all relevant Stakeholders to ensure the successful implementation of the PIA, adding that “together, we can ensure that the benefits of our Natural Resources are maximised for the Economic and Social Development of our Country”.

Kyari also commended the Chief Justice of the Federation, Olukayode Ariwoola and the Organisers of the Workshop for extending Invitation to him and the opportunity to deliver a Goodwill Message at the Workshop.

 

Credit NNPCL PR

14-Jun-2024 Report forecasts African Economies will grow on average by 3.8% in 2024

Report forecasts African Economies will grow on average by 3.8% in 2024

The African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) has unveiled the 2024 Edition of its African Trade Report and African Trade and Economic Outlook at its Annual Meetings (AAM) 2024 in Nassau, The Bahamas.

The African Trade and Economic Outlook Report forecasts that African Economies will grow on average by 3.8 per cent in 2024.

The Report, Titled ‘A Resilient Africa: Delivering Growth in a Turbulent World,’ provides an Analysis of the Economic Environment, Trade Patterns, Debt Scenarios, and future Projections for African Economies.”

A look at the Report which was unveiled on Wednesday showed it is slightly ahead of the predicted Global Growth of 3.2 per cent prior to an increase of 4 per cent in 2025.

Presenting the Reports, Yemi Kale, Afreximbank’s Group Chief Economist and Managing Director of Research and International Cooperation, said: “ Ongoing Global challenges undermined the performance of Africa’s Trade, which contracted by 6.3 per cent in 2023 after expanding by 15.9 per cent in 2022, while Intra-African Trade expanded by 3.2 per cent over the same period.

“This performance is reflective of the resilience of the African Economy and the potential impact of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) Single Market for the Continent as a Tool to protect them from Global Shocks.

“Our Analysis in the Report also revealed large untapped potential in Intra-African Trade, especially concerning Machinery, Electricity, Motor Vehicles, and Food Products.”

The Documents reveal that African Economies faced several Downside Risks, including increasing levels of Sovereign Debt and Associated Sustainability Risks

Others were excessive exposure to adverse Terms-of-Trade Shocks, escalating Geopolitical tensions in some cases, and volatile Domestic Political Environments in certain African Countries and high Commodity Prices and Inflationary pressures, and potential Food Insecurity”

Also, in a Statement, Vincent Musumba, Manager, Communications and Events (Media Relations), Afreximbank , said most Macroeconomic Indicators were expected to improve in 2024 and 2025.

“Growth in the Continent is projected to be higher than the Global Average, and although Inflation is currently high, it is expected to decrease, with this downward trend continuing into 2025.”

Musumba, on the African Trade Report 2024 titled “Climate Implications of the AfCFTA Implementation”, he quoted Kale as saying, “ the Report concludes that the AfCFTA offers a path to achieving the developmental goals of African Nations while also addressing Climate Change concerns.”

Kale said that while the benefits of the AfCFTA could be seen, the Debate on its impact on Climate Change was still ongoing.

“One Group believes that increased Urbanisation and Industrialisation associated with the AfCFTA will worsen Carbon Emissions.

“The second Group believes that by emphasising Intra-African Trade and reducing Extra-African Trade, Carbon Emissions will be eliminated through shorter Shipping Distances.”

Overall, the Report stated that optimising the AfCFTA could result in potential gains through increased Intra-African Trade and Investment.

“This will create Economic prosperity and fulfil the Vision of the Founding Fathers.”

 

Credit NAN: Texts excluding Headline

14-Jun-2024 Nigeria gets thumbs-up for War against Money Laundering, Terrorism Financing

Nigeria gets thumbs-up for War against Money Laundering, Terrorism Financing

GIABA, an Inter-Governmental Action Group against Money Laundering in West Africa, says Nigeria recorded significant achievements in its War Against Money Laundering and Terrorism Financing in 2023.

GIABA said this in its 2023 Annual Report unveiled for Ambassadors of Member States, Technical and Financial Partners on Thursday in Dakar, Senegal.

According to the Report, Nigeria made progress in addressing the Technical Compliance identified in GIABA’s Mutual Evaluation Report (MER) in relation to various Recommendations made to the Country.

The Report further said Nigeria had taken several Measures to promote Transparency and Accountability in the Administration and Management of Non Profit Organisations (NPOs).

It added that the Country also raised awareness in the Financial Sector about the Vulnerabilities to Terrorist Financing (TF), developed and refined Best Practices in collaboration with the NPOs Sector to address the deficiencies and challenge Information on NPOs suspected to be at risk in Terrorism Abuse.

“Nigeria demonstrated that it has Mechanisms for International Cooperation and Procedures to respond to International Requests for Information on NPOs suspected of Terrorist Financing or involved in other forms of support for Terrorists.

“Nigeria demonstrated that it has a System for maintaining Statistics on its Anti-money Laundering and Combating the Financing of Terrorism (AML/CFT) System,” the Report said.

Despite the progress made in the Country, the Report, however, said the Requirements for Application of Simplified Due Diligence Measures were not consistent with the Country’s assessment of Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing Risks.

It added that the Country did not demonstrate Compliance with its Internal Procedures to designate target pursuit to United Nations Security Council Resolution (UNSCR).

The Report noted that GIABA had discussed and adopted the MERs of Cote d’Ivoire, Liberia, and Guinea, which indicated that 88 per cent of the Member States had been assessed.

It said the performance of Cote d’Ivoire showed that the Country required major improvements in its AML/CFT Regime in relation to its understanding of the Risks, among others.

Similarly, the Report said Liberia had demonstrated low effectiveness on 10 of the 11 Parameters, noting that its shortcomings had impacted effectiveness such as lack of comprehensiveness of National Risk Assessment (NRA) in some Areas.

It also said Guinea demonstrated low effectiveness on all the 11 Parameters, indicating that the Country required fundamental improvements of AML/CFT Regimes.

Earlier, GIABA’s Director General, Edwin Harris Jr, said this year marked the 24th Anniversary of the Fight Against Money Laundering, “a Mandate that has evolved to adapt to changes, and which now includes the Fight Against the Financing of Terrorism and the proliferation of Weapons of Mass Destruction.

“GIABA is the response to the call of the International Community for an Alliance against Transnational Organised Crime and its harmful effects on Peace, Security, Stability and Economic Development of our Member States.

“In June 2006, through relentless efforts and Stakeholders’ mobilisation, GIABA was granted the Status of a Financial Action Task Force (FATF)-Style Regional Body (FSRB) and in June 2010 became an Associate Member of FATF.

“There is no doubt that our West African space is highly vulnerable to carry with it many consequences of Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing, and without a strong political commitment to combat it, the negative impacts on our Economies will be enormous,” he said.

The Director General said it was important for all the Stakeholders to fully understand the need to take Ownership of the fight and appreciate their contribution to building Economies and by extension, the Communities to achieve GIABA’s desired common prosperity.

“This is also in line with the Core Objective of the GIABA’s Strategic Plan 2023-2027 that focuses on sensitisation for the benefit of the various targeted Audiences,” he said.

Despite challenges posed by the changing Global Trends and emerging threats, Harris said GIABA had focused its Interventions on protecting National Economies and their Financial and Banking Systems from laundering the Proceeds of Crime and combating the Financing of Terrorism.

He said the Organisation had also improved Measures, intensified efforts to combat the Laundering of Proceeds of Crime and strengthened National and International Cooperation.

“Beyond Information, these Sessions aim to encourage the Governments of Member States to act in the relevant Areas of the Fight Against Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing for the Integrity of their Economic and Financial Systems.

“By so doing, we are calling on you all to add your voices to the Authorities back Home, to strengthen the AML/CFT Regimes in your Countries,” Harris said.

GIABA is a Specialised Institution of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) responsible for strengthening the Capacity of Member States toward the prevention and control of Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing in the Region.

In addition to that, GIABA also grants Observer Status to African, Non-African States and Inter-Governmental Organisations that support its Objectives and Actions that apply for Observer Status.

 

Credit NAN: Texts excluding Headline

11-Jun-2024 Access Bank PLC completes Acquisition of BancABC Tanzania, consolidates Operations in East Africa

Access Bank PLC completes Acquisition of BancABC Tanzania, consolidates Operations in East Africa

Access Bank PLC (“the Bank”) has announced the successful completion of its Acquisition of African Banking Corporation (Tanzania) Limited (“BancABC Tanzania” or “BancABC”), in line with its Strategic Expansion Goals.

This milestone follows the Bank’s initial announcement in July 2023 and marks yet another step in its journey to become the World’s most respected African Bank.

With the successful Acquisition of BancABC Tanzania by the Bank, BancABC Operations will now be merged with the Consumer, Private, and Business Banking Operations of Standard Chartered Bank Tanzania at completion to form a new, entity to be known as Access Bank Tanzania.

"This furthers our aspiration to be a strong player within the East Africa region, while adding greater depth and breadth to our pan African Operations, creating more significant Opportunities for Financial Inclusion, Diversified Product Range and Enhanced Customer Experience.

"Access Bank’s presence in over 22 Countries presents a robust Platform that can be leveraged to boost Intra and Inter Africa Trade and Payments," said the Announcement.

 

Roosevelt Ogbonna, Access Bank’s Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, commented on the Transaction, saying:

“This strategic move represents a notable step towards setting a Railroad in Tanzania for Intra-African Trade within the East African Region, Africa and the rest of the World.

"It underscores our commitment to creating a robust East African Banking Network, driving positive change and innovation.

“We are excited about the Opportunities this Acquisition presents for our Operations in Tanzania and are eager to leverage our combined strengths to deliver exceptional Financial Solutions and Experiences to our Customers.”

Also Commenting on the Transaction, John Imani, Managing Director, African Banking Corporation (Tanzania) Limited, said: 

“The completion of our Transaction with Access Bank, not only underscores Access Bank’s strong confidence in our Operations and the Tanzanian Market but brings new and exciting Opportunities for our Customers, Employees, and Stakeholders.

"The new Entity is poised to enhance our Service Offerings, leveraging Access Bank’s extensive Resources and Expertise to deliver even greater Value to our Clients.

We look forward to an exciting and prosperous future as part of the Access Bank Family, driving Economic Growth and Financial Inclusion across Tanzania.”

Access Bank is committed to enhancing Customer Satisfaction and brings with it a robust Suite of Offerings to foster the aspirations of its Customers.

 

Credit Access Bank PR

11-Jun-2024 We're not revoking Licences of Fidelity, Polaris, Wema, Unity Banks, says CBN

We're not revoking Licences of Fidelity, Polaris, Wema, Unity Banks, says CBN

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has again reassured the Banking Public of the safety of their Deposits and the Banking System’s resilience.

The Apex Bank’s Acting Director of  Corporate Communications Department, Hakama Sidi-Ali, gave the assurance in a Statement in Abuja.

Sidi-Ali’s Statement was a response to concern in some quarters about the stability of some Nigerian Banks in the wake of Heritage Bank Plc’s License revocation.

She faulted claims that the CBN was considering revoking the Operating Licences of Fidelity, Polaris, Wema, and Unity Banks.

She also clarified that a Circular issued by the Bank on January 10, 2024, notifying the Public about the dissolution of the Boards of Union, Keystone, and Polaris Banks, was currently being circulated as though it was freshly issued.

According to the Director, Heritage Bank’s case was isolated.

“Allegations of further revocation of Licences prior to the completion of CBN’s Recapitalisation Exercise are mere fabrications aimed at creating panic within the System,” she said.

She said that Bank Customers, particularly those of Heritage Bank, needed not worry about the safety of their Deposits, adding that the Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation (NDIC) had commenced payment to the Bank’s Insured Depositors.

She urged Members of the Public to continue their regular Banking Activities without fear, dismissing any false Reports regarding the health of specific Deposit Money Banks.

“The CBN, with its robust Regulatory Framework, is proactively ensuring the stability of Nigeria’s Financial System, thereby guaranteeing the safety of Depositors’ Funds in all Nigerian Financial Institutions,” she said.

Sidi-Ali reiterated the assurances of the CBN Governor, Olayemi Cardoso, that the Recapitalisation of Banks in Nigeria was intended to bolster the Banking System and safeguard the Sector against Risks.

She urged all Stakeholders to cooperate in ensuring the success of the Process, which she said would be for the overall growth of the Nigerian Economy.

“Without prejudice to the ongoing Recapitalisation Process, I want to restate that the Nigerian Banking Industry remains resilient. Key Financial Soundness Indicators remain within current Regulatory Thresholds.

“Customers are, therefore, encouraged to proceed with their Transactions as usual, as the CBN is committed to ensuring the safety of the Banking System,” she said.

 

Credit NAN: Texts excluding Headline

10-Jun-2024 Delta is rich, peaceful, progressive, we've not borrowed a dime, says Governor

Delta is rich, peaceful, progressive, we've not borrowed a dime, says Governor

Governor Sheriff Oborevwori of Delta says the State has enjoyed peace and progress in hard times within the first year of his Administration without borrowing money.

Oborevwori stated this on Sunday at the 1st Anniversary Thanksgiving Service of the 8th Delta House of Assembly.

The service was held at The Redeemed Christian Church of God, Region 34 Headquarters, Unity Model Parish, Asaba.

The Governor proudly said that the State had recorded impressive progress in Infrastructural and Human Capital Development despite the Economic Downturn bedevilling the Country.

“God has been faithful in the Affairs of the State as People who live outside this State don’t know what we are enjoying; we are enjoying peace and progress.

“There is also abundance for us in this hard time in Nigeria; Delta has not borrowed in the last one year.

“You can see that Members of the State House of Assembly are shining,” he said.

Oborevwori, however, urged the Lawmakers to continue to serve their Constituents with the fear of God.

According to him, God will continue to bless the State to become one of the best States in the Country.

The Speaker of the Assembly, Dennis Guwor, said the House needed to thank God for His mercy upon the Lawmakers and for keeping them through their first year in Office.

The Assembly was inaugurated on June 13, 2023.

Guwor said the Assembly was unique in having one of its own and a former Presiding Officer of the House as Governor.

“Governor Oborevwori understands perfectly the Workings of the State House of Assembly, hence we have enjoyed a robust Partnership with the Executive.

“My colleagues respect the Leadership of the House and there has been lots of cooperation among Members; I thank them for their support and Partnership,” he said.

Guwor, commending Residents for selecting the best out of the State to represent them in the Assembly, promised the House would not fail them.

According to him, the House received 18 Bills from the Executive and Private-Member, of which nine had been Passed and three already Assented.

Meanwhile, the Governor has unveiled the 8th Assembly “Legislative Agenda”.

The Legislative Agenda is the Policy Thrust of the Eighth Assembly that is expected to guide it in the next three years.

 

Credit NAN: Texts excluding Headline

10-Jun-2024 Lagos-Abidjan is the Most Viable Trade Corridor in Africa, says Customs Chief

Lagos-Abidjan is the Most Viable Trade Corridor in Africa, says Customs Chief

The Customs Area Controller, Seme Command, Timi Bomodi, says devalued Naira had positively impacted on Exportation of Nigeria’s Local Products to Neighbouring Countries in West Africa.

Bomodi who made this known in Seme, near Badagry, said Imports and Exports are usually affected by Market Forces and by this we mean both the Demand and Supply.

“The Exchange Rate plays a big role in determining the Demand or the Purchasing Power of the People.

“We are talking about the Exchange Rate of Naira vis a vis its impact on Exports. Now as the Value of Naira begins to decline, you find out that Nigerian-Made Goods are considered cheap within the Region.

“This encourages People from Neighbouring Countries to want to purchase Goods from Nigeria but while we complain that the Exchange Rate has a negative impact on Imports, it has a positive impact on Exports.

“Yes, we couldn’t buy Goods because the Dollar was high but People saw a cheap Naira as an opportunity to get Goods from Nigeria.

“For the first time, you have a Net Export Gain for Nigeria vis a vis her Neighbouring Countries, because you find out that what makes Nigerians go to their Neighbours is now making them come to Nigeria,” he said.

Bomodi said that Devaluation of Naira had increased the growing Local Economy.

“Even, a Devalued Naira is an advantage for Export, So it’s not such a negative thing but in Trade, you have to balance both ends.

“Here at Seme-Krake Border Post, we have our Primary Responsibility as Customs which is facilitation of Legitimate Trade.

“We deal with  a lot of Imports and Exports and enforce Fiscal Policies of the Government, particularly in Area of Prohibition.

“In Seme-Krake, the Lagos-Abidjan Corridor is considered as the Most Viable Trade Corridor in West Africa and indeed the whole of Africa.

“So viable, so strategic to the Economic Development of Africa that the European Union and other International Agencies are ready to cough out a humongous amount of money to develop Infrastructure around this Axis,” the Controller said. 

 

Credit NAN: Texts excluding Headline

09-Jun-2024 Tinubu: My commitment to Infrastructure Development not for personal enrichment

Tinubu: My commitment to Infrastructure Development not for personal enrichment

President Bola Tinubu says his Administration is prioritising People-Focused Development by providing Essential Infrastructure and Amenities that will improve the Quality of Life of Citizens.

Ajuri Ngelale, Special Adviser to the President, Media and Publicity, said in a Statement on Saturday that Tinubu made the Remarks at the Inauguration of Engineering Infrastructure in Guzape District Lot II.

“Minister Nyesom Wike has provided exceptional Leadership at a trying time for the Country. It has been a very challenging time for us in the Country.

“We are still retooling and rejigging our Financial System to bring prosperity and relief to the People of this Country.

“You have demonstrated the Capacity to build a Team, lead a Team, and deliver on promises. I commend you, well done.

 

“To all of you here, to the District Head of Guzape, and the Representatives, Litigation is not the answer, Compensation is the answer.

“Development that is focused on the People for Economic prosperity and benefits is what we should pursue.

“Of what value is a swathe of Land that is blocked by Hills and Rocks, and that is inaccessible. Let us talk to our People and come together to help build Nigeria,” said Tinubu.

The President, who commended the Contractor handling the Project, Gilmor Engineering Limited, emphasised that his commitment to providing Infrastructure across the Country was not for personal enrichment or aggrandisement.

“I stand here as President; I do not have a plot of Land here (Guzape District). But I have the People’s support and the Mandate to deliver good Quality of Life and a Living Environment.

“That should be enough for all of us to share in the joy of commitment, dedication, perseverance, and the little gifts God has endowed us,” the President said.

The Minister of FCT, Nyesom Wike, said the Contract, initially awarded in 2003 at the cost of N14bn, was divided into Lots 1 and 2 to Messrs Dantata & Sawoe Construction Company Nigeria Limited and Messrs Gilmor Engineering Limited.

“Dantata had left the Site for long. We had to bring them back after the President approved a Memorandum to that effect,” Wike said.

The Minister said the Development of the District, which covered 32km of Road, had been fraught with Litigations, which, however, did not deter the progress of the Project.

He said shortly before the present Administration assumed Office, the Cost of the Project was revised to N18.17bn.
Wike commended the President for not abandoning the Project owing to his belief in Government as a continuum.

“Since I assumed Office as the FCT Minister in August 2023, you have never interfered with our work. We are sincerely happy that you gave us the free hand to work,” he said.

Wike, who appealed to the President to name major Roads in Guzape District after Literary Giants, Chinua Achebe and JP Clark, hinted that the ‘Diplomatic Area’ in the District would be completed within one year.

In a Project Overview, the Executive Secretary, FCDA, Shehu Hadi Ahmad said the Area being developed, Guzape District Lot II, was an Urban Fringe Area covering 620 Hectares, with 129 Hectares encumbered by Village Settlements.

Ahmad said the entire District, Lot 1 and Lot 2, was designed to provide Residential, Commercial, and Recreational Facilities covering an entire area of 1,070 Hectares of Land.

“The Lot 1 Area covers an Area of 450 Hectares, whereas the Lot 2 covers 620 Hectares,” he said. 

 

Credit NAN: Texts excluding Headline

07-Jun-2024 Access Holdings: The remarkable journey...

Access Holdings: The remarkable journey...

This year marks 22 years since two young Nigerian Bankers – Aigboje Aig-Imoukhuede and Herbert Wigwe – bought a small, nondescript Bank and turned it into one of the biggest Financial Institutions on the Continent with footprint also established in Europe and Asia.

It was on March 22, 2002, that the two walked into Plot 1669 Oyin Jolayemi Street, Victoria Island, Lagos, which was then the Corporate Headquarters of the Bank to assume Duty and full control as the Managing Director and Deputy Managing Director.

The Acquisition Process had taken about two years and entailed rigorous Negotiations, and countless hours of working through Documentation.

It was one of the most Audacious Takeovers in the History of the Nation’s Financial Industry.

Indeed, the phenomenal growth of the Access Group has become an inspiring success story.

Shortly after the Takeover, Access Bank embarked on a five-year Transformation Agenda, and two years into the Plan, the CBN announced the N25 billion Capitalisation deadline set for end of December 2005.

The Institution’s Management went to work, raising the required Capital and developing the impetus to seek Opportunities for possible Mergers and Acquisitions.

Recognising the opportunity that existed to build scale, the Institution mobilised its Workforce and quickly raised N15bn via a Public Offer, acquired two other Small Banks, Capital Bank Limited and Marina International Bank Limited and convinced FMO, the Netherland Development Finance Company, to become an Institutional Investor through the conversion of a $15m Term Loan it had earlier given to the Bank.

With the N25bn Capitalisation met and surpassed, the race to the top became a fixed goal to the new Owners. They then embarked on aggressive drive to raise money both from Local and Foreign Capital Markets.

Between 2006 and 2007, Access Bank raised a Local Bond Issue of N11.9bn and in 2007 it raised N136bn in Public Offerings, including a highly successful and oversubscribed GDR (Global Depository Receipt) and established Access Bank UK.

In June 2008, the beginning of the second five-year Transformation Plan, every action was geared at taking the Institution to the top.

Between 2009 and 2011, the Bank passed CBN’s Special Audit on Governance, Liquidity and Capital adequacy conducted under the tough-talking Sanusi Lamido Sanusi. Three major achievements were also recorded.

The Bank was awarded IFC Sustainable Bank of the Year; it acquired Intercontinental Bank and was ranked the fourth largest Bank in Nigeria as a result of the Acquisition.

With these successes, a huge surge of confidence and can-do spirit have by now swept through the entire Workforce.

Staffers went through a rigorous Process of Re-orientation and change of the Bank’s Vision and Mission; and with Business combination with Intercontinental completed in 2012, Management Staff assumed bigger Roles and Responsibilities.

Access Bank became one of the favourite Places to work for Bankers from other Institutions. The Bank was enjoying the pulsating work pace and dynamic Work Environment, enthralled in seeing the dream of being in the top five becoming a reality year after year.

That same 2012 and spanning 2013, the Bank raised $350m Eurobond in the International Market and divested from Non-Banking Subsidiaries.

It was also designated as a significant important Financial Institution by the CBN, one of the very few in the Industry. This means a recognition of its huge footprint in the Economy, the integrity and respect of its Leaders and the fact that the Bank could not be allowed to fail under any circumstance.

It is for this reason that the CBN recently intervened in the Board and Management Composition of one Bank.

Another huge milestone came in 2014 when Access Bank issued $400m Subordinated Note (Tier 2 Bond) and transited into a large, diversified Banking Institution.

In January 2014, Herbert Wigwe assumed Duty as the Group Managing Director and  Chief Executive Officer, after the Retirement of Aigboje Aig-Imoukhuede.

With enormous Goodwill and Attractive Brand Equity, the Bank continued to outpace its Contemporaries. In 2017, it further shored up its Capital by raising N42bn through Rights Issue and issued another $300m Subordinated Note.

But it was its merger with Diamond Bank in 2018 that catapulted Access Bank to the number one slot in at least some Parameters: Assets and Retail Business with 646 Branches.

It also recorded the biggest Channel Touchpoints: 38 million Cards; 3,000 ATMs and 34,000 POS Terminals.

In 2019, Access Bank issued the first Green Bond in Nigeria. In 2020, it expanded its African Business into Kenya and Mozambique and became the first Nigerian Bank to set up Shop in South Africa.

A few weeks ago, the South African Ambassador to Nigeria was on TV commending the Bank for establishing a Branch in his Country.

In 2022, Access Bank marked the final year of its previous five-year Strategy, which focused on building Africa’s Gateway to the World, through the deployment of robust Risk Management Practices, and a flawless execution of its Strategic Priorities.

By all key Metrics, the strategy was successfully executed as the Bank grew its Scale to span over 6,000 dedicated Professional Staff serving over 52 million Customers across 17 Markets Worldwide.

In the Second Half of 2022, Access Bank was restructured into a Holding Company – birthing Access Holdings – to realise the potential of the Synergies from the various Businesses, while expanding Product Offering to Customers in Payments, Insurance, Consumer Finance and Pensions.

True to plan, Access Holdings, in 2023, launched its Operations in Paris, setting the tone for a robust Long-Term Goal across the Northern Hemisphere.

The Group has also strategically ventured into new Territories, bringing its Expertise, Resources, and Innovative Solutions to Areas with immense growth potential.

These Strategic moves exemplify the Company’s Vision to be a Pan-African Force, contributing to Economic Development across Borders.

Through its Subsidiaries, the Institution has played a pivotal Role in Sectors ranging from Finance and Banking to Agriculture, Technology, and Healthcare, bringing diverse Opportunities to the Communities it serves.

In countries where Access Holdings has established a presence, the Institution has become a driving force for Job Creation and Entrepreneurship.

Access Holdings has sown the seeds of Sustainable Economic Development by supporting Small and Medium Scale Enterprises (SMEs), investing in Local Businesses, and providing Financial Solutions tailored to the Needs of each Market.

The Company’s ability to adapt its Business Model to the unique dynamics of each African Market sets it apart, as it recognises that Africa is not a Monolithic Entity, but a collection of diverse Economies with distinct challenges and Opportunities.

Through its Expansion Strategy, the Institution tailors its Approach to address the specific Needs of each Region, contributing to a more Inclusive and Holistic Development across the Continent.

Commencing in the Second Half of 2024, the Group’s Africa and International Expansion Strategy will enter the Consolidation and Efficiency Phase, aligning with the Institution’s five-year Plan to accelerate the attainment of its 2027 Strategic Objectives.

 

Credit Access Bank PR

07-Jun-2024 Fuel Subsidy: Nigerians should stop shouting, they need to know the actual truth, says SFG

Fuel Subsidy: Nigerians should stop shouting, they need to know the actual truth, says SFG

The Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), George Akume, has urged Nigerians to remain calm in spite of the current Economic challenges.

“Nigerians must remain calm. President Bola Tinubu is working to improve the Economy,” Akume said in Abuja on Thursday, while addressing the National Executive Council of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN).

He said that the current Administration took over power when the Economy was in a turbulent state, noting, however, that massive Reforms were being undertaken.

“One of them, which appears to be a little bit tough for people to understand, is the removal of Subsidy on Fuel. People should stop shouting; they need to know the actual truth,” Akume stated.

He said that Government had taken several Measures to address current hardships, including swift actions in implementing Palliatives to cushion the effects of the Reforms.

“We are all aware of the N35,000 Wage Award for Workers, which means a N30,000 Minimum Wage with 35,000 on top of that.

“Additionally, N100bn for CNG Fuel Buses will help reduce Transportation Costs and Food Prices,” he added.

He said that Government also took some Measures to support various Sectors.

“These include the allocation of N125bn in Conditional Grants and Financial Inclusion for Medium and Small Enterprises, and N150bn in Palliative Loans to States to mitigate the impact of Fuel Subsidy removal.

“We are providing N200bn to support the cultivation of Hectares of Land, which is even more now,” Akume said.

He added that there were Buses ready to be distributed soon, while Rice and other Essentials would also be made available.

On the recent Industrial Strike by Labour Union Leaders, Akume condemned the shutdown of the National Grid, describing it as a “treasonable offense”.

He said that there was nowhere in the World where Labour ever interrupted the National Grid, and advised Labour against actions that could jeopardise Government efforts.

“It is Treason! Treasonable Felony is Economic Sabotage, you don’t do that.

“We are trying to rebuild the Economy. The Nation is picking up, and they want to destroy it. Of what use is that to all of us? That is not the way,” he said.

Akume said that the Federal Government was not only committed to paying new Minimum Wage, stressing that it was also focusing on Productivity and Economic Stability.

“Our People must rise up and have something in their Pockets. It is not about demanding N100,000 without Productivity.

“We are looking at controlling Inflation and ensuring a balanced Economy,” he asserted.

Akume urged Religious Institutions to provide Essential Services.

“The Church must collaborate with the Government in providing Facilities for People whether it is on Education, Health or Agriculture.

“We don’t separate; we combine. There is a Symbiotic Relationship that can never be destroyed,” he said.

 

Credit NAN: Texts excluding Headline

07-Jun-2024 Tinubu to IFC: The World must see us as helper not backwards, unstable with Leadership problems

Tinubu to IFC: The World must see us as helper not backwards, unstable with Leadership problems

President Bola Tinubu on Thursday in Abuja called on International Development Financiers to see Africa as a Destination for growth and prosperity.

The President made the call at a Meeting with a Delegation of the International Finance Corporation (IFC), led by its Managing Director, Makhtar Diop.

The IFC is a Member of the world Bank Group and the largest Global Development Institution that focuses, exclusively, on the Private Sector.

Tinubu urged the Corporation to consider more Strategic Investments in Agriculture, Infrastructure, Research, and Development on the Continent.

“The IFC and the World Bank need to see Africa differently. I am glad an African is at the Helm of Affairs at IFC, and as an African, understands that the potential for growth, peace, stability and prosperity is here.

“The World has to see us as a Continent that can help the rest of the World, and not perceive us as backwards, unstable and with Leadership problems.

“The expectations of the rest of the World on Africa have to change.

“They must see Africa as a potential Opportunity and not a danger to the rest of the Free World, so that we can stimulate growth and propel Inclusiveness,” he said.

The President added: “You are at the Helm now and in a position to change the perception. We are ready to change the Narrative and work with you. Africa is open for Business, regardless of whatever the perception may be.

“I am an African and proud to be and will maintain the strong position to collaborate with the rest of the World to see Africa as a Destination for growth and prosperity.”

Tinubu acknowledged that Nigeria held the second-largest IFC Portfolio in Africa with an Active Investment Portfolio of $2.1bn as of April 2024.

He also highlighted the importance of some Critical Infrastructure Projects embarked upon by his Administration, such as the 700km Lagos-Calabar Coastal Highway and the Sokoto-Badagry Expressway.

“We have made various attempts in the past to create Dams, but issues with Reticulation and Irrigation remain.

“When we consider the Living Conditions in Rural Areas where Crops are produced, how much Funding is allocated for Rural Roads to expedite Transportation to Consumer Centres?

“The goal of the Coastal Road and the Sokoto-Badagry Highway is to address this,” the President said.

In his Remarks, Diop informed the President that during his Working Visit to Nigeria, the IFC had engaged in productive Discussions with Nigerian Partners to enhance Agriculture, increase Food Production through Irrigation Farming, upgrade Transport Networks, and bolster Regional Integration.

He announced that IFC had signed a $23.3m Loan Agreement with Johnvents Industries Limited, a leading Agribusiness for Economic Development and Agricultural Transformation Company, to develop the Cocoa Sector.

“We are supporting Small and Medium Enterprises in the Agricultural Sector, and they are doing very interesting things. 

“We need to bring in more big players into Food Production in the Country,” Diop said.

He added that the Corporation was ready to partner the Nigerian Government on new Investments in Irrigation, Road Infrastructure, and Logistics around the Airport under a Public Private Partnership.

Diop congratulated President Tinubu on his one year in Office and commended his bold decisions to revamp Africa’s largest Economy.

He pledged IFC’s commitment to Long-Term Investment in Nigeria, adding that its single largest Investment in Africa was in Nigeria, where it had invested $1.2bn in the Fertiliser Industry.

“We are here to support you. The World has been facing a lot of shocks and difficult situations which have affected many African Economies,” Diop said. 

 

Credit NAN: Texts excluding Headline

06-Jun-2024 Fuel Subsidy Regime has ended, Presidency insists, says Policy Documents in circulation are fake

Fuel Subsidy Regime has ended, Presidency insists, says Policy Documents in circulation are fake

The Presidency said that two Fiscal Policy Documents in circulation being given wide coverage by the Mainstream Media and Social Media Platforms were not Official.

Bayo Onanuga, Special Adviser to the President on Information and Strategy, said this in a Statement in Abuja on Thursday.

He said one of the Documents Titled: “Inflation Reduction and Price Stability (Fiscal Policy Measure etc) Order 2024” was being shared as if it was an Executive Order signed by President Bola Ahmed Tinubu.

According to him, the second one is a 65-Page Draft Document with the Title, “Accelerated Stabilisation and Advancement Plan (ASAP), which contains suggestions on how to improve the Nigerian Economy.”

He explained that a Copy of the Draft was received by President Tinubu on Tuesday.

“We urge the Public and the Media to disregard the two Documents and cease further Discussions on them. None is an Approved Official Document of the Federal Government of Nigeria.

“They are all Policy Proposals that are still subject to Reviews at the Highest Level of Government. Indeed, one has ‘Draft’ clearly written on it,” said Onanuga.

Quoting the Coordinating Minister of the Economy, Wale Edun, he said, “It is important to understand that Policymaking is an Interactive Process involving multiple Drafts and Discussions before any Document is finalised.

“We assure the Public that the Official Position on the Documents will be made available after comprehensive Reviews and Approvals are completed.”

According to Edun, emanating from the two Documents have been Reports second-guessing Government’s Policy on Customs Tariffs, Fuel Subsidy and other Economic Matters.

“The Government wants to restate that its Position on Fuel Subsidy has not changed from what President Bola Ahmed Tinubu declared on 29 May 2023.

“The Fuel Subsidy Regime has ended. There is no N5.4trn being provisioned for it in 2024, as being widely speculated and discussed,” Edun stated.

The Coordinating Minister of the Economy further clarified: “As previously stated by Government Officials, including myself, President Tinubu announced the end of the Fuel Subsidy Programme last year, and this Policy remains firmly in place.

“The Federal Government is committed to mitigating the effects of this removal and easing the Cost of Living pressures on Nigerians.

“Our strategy focuses on addressing key factors such as Food Inflation, which is significantly impacted by Transport Costs.

“With the implementation of our CNG Initiative, which aims to displace high PMS and AGO costs, we expect to further reduce these Costs.

“Our commitment to ending unproductive Subsidies is steadfast, as is our dedication to supporting our most Vulnerable Populations.”

He urged the Media to always exercise necessary checks and restraints in the use of Documents that did not emanate from Official Channels so that the Members of the Public would be properly informed, guided and educated on Government Policies and Programmes.

 

Credit NAN: Texts excluding Headline

06-Jun-2024 NETCO nets 137% Increase in Operating Profit for 2023, to increase Market Share through EPC Projects

NETCO nets 137% Increase in Operating Profit for 2023, to increase Market Share through EPC Projects

The NNPC Engineering and Technical Company (NETCO), a Subsidiary of the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPCL), has announced a 137 per cent increase in Operating Profits for the year 2023.

This was disclosed by the Chairman of the Company’s Board of Directors and Executive Vice President, Downstream, NNPC Limited, Adedapo Segun, at the Company's 34th Annual General Meeting held in Lagos.

The Board Chairman explained that NETCO recorded a 101 per cent Revenue increase in the year 2023, reflecting a turnaround in Operating Results, which rose by 137 per cent reversing the previous year's deficit. 

He also noted that there was a 145 per cent surge in the Company’s Gross Profit compared to the previous year.

Also speaking at the AGM, the Managing Director of NETCO, Tonye Alagba, said the Company is focused on growing its Business Portfolio in 2024 and beyond.

"To achieve this, the Company is working strategically to expand its Service Offerings within the Oil and Gas Industry in 2024, invest in the Development of Human and other Resources, reduce Direct and Overhead Resources and minimise risks", Alagba stated.

The NETCO Helmsman further stated that the Company aims to increase its Market Share by at least five per cent through participation in mainstream EPC Projects, stressing that the Company will bid for a minimum of 32 Tenders with a target of securing at least 15 Contracts.

He listed other targets to include: a 21-day Invoicing Cycle; a minimum of 85 per cent Debt Collection Efficiency; a minimum Customer Satisfaction rate of 71 per cent; acquisition of Critical Assets such as Fabrication Yards and Offshore Logistics Support Base; and development of exclusive Collaborations with key Technical Partners like KBR and Petrofac, amongst others.

NETCO as a Subsidiary of NNPC Limited, has a Mandate of delivering qualitative, integrated and Cost-effective Engineering, Procurement and Construction Management (EPCM) Services for Nigeria’s Oil and Gas Industry and beyond.

 

Credit NNPCL PR

06-Jun-2024 Tinubu: To heal our World, we must begin by healing the 'Land and its People'

Tinubu: To heal our World, we must begin by healing the 'Land and its People'

President Bola Tinubu has called for earnest effort and action by Citizens, Stakeholders, Institutions, and Development Partners to safeguard the Environment and ensure a Win-Win Transition to a Prosperous and Clean Economy for all.

Ajuri Ngelale, Special Adviser to the President, Media and Publicity, said in a Statement in Abuja that the President made the call on World Environment Day marked every June 5.

Tinubu restated his commitment to ensuring the planting of 25 million Trees by 2030, not only to protect the Environment but also to provide Opportunities for Nigeria’s Youths within the Green-Economy Value Chain.

While calling for a more proactive approach to protect the Land and Ecosystem through Afforestation, Water Conservation and the cessation of indiscriminate felling of Trees, the President emphasised that to “heal our world, we must begin by healing the Land and its People.”

The World Environment Day, established by the United Nations during the Stockholm Conference on the Human Environment in 1972, is used Globally to raise awareness on Environmental Matters.

“The Theme of this year’s Occasion, ‘Land Restoration, Desertification and Drought Resilience,’ is very significant, particularly for Nigeria, where the scourge of Drought threatens parts of the Country.

“According to the Projections of the UN Convention to Combat Desertification, about 40 per cent of the Planet’s Land is degraded, which directly impacts half of the World’s Population.

“The UN Convention to Combat Desertification also says the number and duration of Droughts have increased by 29 per cent since 2000 and that without urgent action, Droughts may affect over three-quarters of the World’s Population by 2050,” the President said.

To ensure Nigeria achieves Carbon Neutrality by 2060, Tinubu established the Presidential Committee on Climate Action and Green Economic Solutions in May, which he Chairs.

The Committee oversees the Nation’s Climate mitigation and adaptation efforts, as well as Green Economy Initiatives.

The President also approved the establishment of Nigeria’s first Green Industrial Zone, Evergreen City, which is poised to be the leading Manufacturing Hub in Africa for Renewable Energy Technologies, Green Solutions, and Climate-Adaptation Technologies.

 

Credit NAN: Texts excluding Headline

05-Jun-2024 Allegations of CBN's plan to revoke more Banking Licences false, says Apex Bank

Allegations of CBN's plan to revoke more Banking Licences false, says Apex Bank

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) says it has no plan to revoke the Licences of more Deposit Money Banks (DMBs).

The Acting Director, Corporate Communications of the Apex Bank, Hakama Sidi-Ali, said this in a Statement in Abuja.

Sidi-Ali’s Statement was a response to allegations in some quarters of plans to revoke the Licences of Unity, Keystone and Polaris Banks, following the withdrawal of the Operating Licence of Heritage Bank on Monday.

“The attention of the CBN has been drawn to some Information circulating in the Public Domain, suggesting that the CBN is set to revoke the Licenses of three additional Banks following its Regulatory Action against Heritage Bank Plc on Monday.

“The CBN unequivocally states that these allegations are false and intended to trigger panic in the Financial System.

“The Nigerian Financial System remains safe, sound, and resilient.

“Our Banks have begun submitting implementation plans for the Banking Sector Recapitalisation Programme in compliance with the Circular reviewing the Minimum Capital Requirements for Commercial, Merchant, and Non-Interest Banks (CMNIBs),” she said.

She said that the plans were currently being reviewed by the Apex Bank.

According to her, in addition to enhancing buffers to withstand Economic Shocks, this proactive measure by the CBN to require CMNIBs to Recapitalise, will result in increased Capital for Nigerian Banks.

She said that it would enable them to provide much-needed Credit to Critical Sectors of the Economy.

“This will increase the Financial System’s contribution to the growth and development of a one trillion Dollars Nigerian Economy.

“The CBN will like to reassure all Stakeholders of its unwavering commitment to ensuring the Financial System’s Stability.

“Our Financial System remains on a solid footing, and the CBN will continue to take all necessary steps to maintain its safety and soundness,” the Director said.

The CBN had, on Monday, announced revocation of the Licence of Heritage Bank Plc with immediate effect.

It said that the action was in accordance with the Apex Bank’s Mandate to promote a sound Financial System in Nigeria and in exercise of its Powers under Section 12 of the Banks and Other Financial Act (BOFIA).

It said that the Board and Management of the Bank had not been able to improve the Bank’s Financial performance, a situation which constituted a threat to Financial Stability.

 

Credit NAN: Texts excluding Headline

04-Jun-2024 IFC endorses Access Bank as Best Trade Partner Bank West Africa

IFC endorses Access Bank as Best Trade Partner Bank West Africa

Access Bank has been recognised as the ‘Best Trade Partner Bank West Africa 2024’ by the International Finance Corporation (IFC).

Presented at the Global Trade Partners Meeting (GTPM), held recently, in Barcelona, Spain, this prestigious Award highlights Access Bank’s outstanding performance and commitment to fostering Trade Finance across the Continent.

The GTPM, organised by the IFC, is one of the most significant events in the Global Trade Finance Industry, and is known for its unique footprint due to IFC’s extensive reach and Client Base in Emerging Markets.

The 2024 Event marked the 20th Anniversary of IFC’s Global Trade Finance Program and attracted a record number of Delegates, featuring prominent Speakers and Panellists, who provided valuable insights into the Global Trade Landscape.

Seyi Kumapayi, Executive Director, African Subsidiaries at Access Bank, said, “We are honoured to receive this Award from IFC, which is a testament to our relentless efforts in leveraging our extensive Network across Africa to scale Trade Opportunities between the Continent and the rest of the World.

Access Bank remains committed to facilitating Trade that drives Economic growth and prosperity for our Stakeholders and the Regions we serve.”

Representing Access Bank at the GTPM were Sunmbo Olatunji, Group Head, Treasury; Tosin Olatunji, Group Head, Corporate Operations; Seun Olufeko, Group Head Project and Structured Finance, Corporate and Investment Banking Division (CIBD); Oluchukwu Kalu, Team Member PSF, CIBD; and Rowly Isioro, Head, Trade and Global Transaction Banking (Africa).

Isioro also participated in a Panel Discussion Titled ‘IFC: 20 Years in Trade, Partnerships and Perspectives.’

Speaking on the Panel, he addressed the importance of building resilient Trade Finance Systems in Emerging Markets and how the IFC Global Trade Finance Programme has evolved over the years, from IFC providing Guarantees for Letters of Credit to accommodate other Trade Instruments like Promissory Notes and Green Trade or Climate-friendly Transactions.

“Africa is ripe for Partnerships that can drive substantial Economic growth,” Isioro said.

“At Access Bank, we are dedicated to developing Innovative Solutions that tackle the unique challenges faced by African Businesses, such as Currency volatility and Regulatory complexities.

“By strengthening our Trade Finance Infrastructure, and by leaning on the Interconnectivity of our Subsidiaries – strategically spread across Africa’s key Trade Blocs – we aim to facilitate smoother Trade flows and empower our Clients to seize Global Opportunities effectively,” he added.

The GTPM Barcelona 2024 featured a three-day Programme that saw contributions from Internationally Renowned Speakers such as Marc Auboin, Counsellor at the World Trade Organisation; Alexia Boutin-Somnolet, Lenders; Solution Leader at Marsh; Gonzalo Gortázar, Chief Executive Officer of CaixaBank, Spain; Nathalie Louat, Global Director, Trade and Supply Chain Finance at IFC; and Paolo Mauro, Director of the Economic and Market Research Department at IFC, amongst others.

The event, which was sponsored by Access Bank, CaixaBank, amongst others, concluded with a Gala Awards Dinner celebrating the 20th anniversary of IFC’s Global Trade Finance Programme and honouring its high-performing Trade Finance Partners.

 

Credit Access Bank PR

03-Jun-2024 ISPS Certification: NNPCL commits to Process, Regulatory, Performance excellence

ISPS Certification: NNPCL commits to Process, Regulatory, Performance excellence

The Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPCL), has reiterated its commitment to sustain its move towards Process improvement, Regulatory compliance and Performance excellence.

This is coming as the NNPC Limited bagged the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency’s (NIMASA) Compliance Certification on Ship, Port Security.

Inuwa Danladi, the Executive Vice President, Business Services, NNPC Limited said this while speaking on the recent Certification of the International Ship and Port Facility Security (ISPS) Code Compliance obtained by the Company, from NIMASA.

The ISPS Certification, issued in April 2024 and covering all NNPC Limited's Jetties Nationwide, is crucial for the Company’s Business continuity as it prevents potential Operational disruptions and Financial losses.

Danladi on Sunday in a Statement issued by Olufemi Soneye, the Chief Corporate Communications Officer, NNPC Limited said the Certification also granted the Company entry into the Global Integrated Shipping Information System (GISIS).

This, he said would enhance its reputation as a safe and reliable Business destination and potentially reducing the Company’s Insurance Premiums.

He listed some of the rigorous Processes followed in obtaining the Certification to include the upgrading of relevant Security Facilities at the Nation’s Ports and Jetties and the establishment of the ISPS Code Command Centre.

He also included the engagement of NIMASA Recognised Security Officer (RSO), who played a crucial role in managing key Regulatory Processes.

“The development of Port Facility Security Assessment (PFSA); Port Facility Security Plan (PFSP), coupled with the meticulous Verification Inspection Exercise (VIE) from NIMASA.

“It also underscores NNPC’s commitment to ensuring adherence to the highest Standards of Maritime Security in the Company’s Operations.

“This achievement is a testament to our consistent dedication, and we pledge to continue striving towards attaining Regulatory excellence in all our Operations,’’ Danladi said. 

 

Credit NNPCL PR: Texts excluding Headline

03-Jun-2024 Solid Minerals: I will recover trillions to FG's Coffers, Minister boasts

Solid Minerals: I will recover trillions to FG's Coffers, Minister boasts

The Minister of Solid Minerals Development, Dele Alake says his Ministry is determined to ensure that the Solid Minerals Sector’s contribution to Nigeria’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) surpasses that of Oil.”

Alake said this in an Interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Sunday in Abuja.

He said that the Administration of President Bola Tinubu was putting in place Policies and Initiatives aimed at diversifying the Economy and ensuring that it generates more Revenue than Oil in the near future.

He said that the move was necessary, especially with the Global upsurge of Energy Transition, which would reduce the demand for Oil.

“We have been totally dependent on Oil for decades, everyone has been dependent on the free flow of Petrol Dollars on the Economy.

“And the Critical Sector of the Economy such as Agriculture and Solid Minerals was neglected.

“Our objective is to make the Solid Minerals contribution to the GDP to surpass Oil.

“By the time all our Policy Initiatives goes through the gestation period and begins to manifest results, the Revenue that will be accruing to Nigeria from this Sector would be enormous.

“We are going to recover trillions to the Coffers of the Nigerian Government and for the benefit of Nigerians at large” he said.

He said that Nigeria possesses the Critical Minerals in Commercial Quantities across its States needed for Energy Transition, which the Ministry was aggressively marketing to attract big Players to invest in the Sector.

“We embarked on an aggressive marketing to unlocking the richness of the potential, making sure we push out Information on the number of Minerals that we have, the type and their demand Nationally and Internationally, ” he said.

According to him, Negotiations are on going with an Auditing Firm to audit the Sector aimed at sanitising it to ensure the appropriate accruals to boost the Country’s GDP.

“As we speak, we are far in our Negotiations with an Auditing Firm to come and audit the entire Sector, because we have lost a lot of money in the past.

“We know that Operators will under declare what they are carting away, even the payment of Royalties, they under pay, Taxes they evade.

“So we are in the process of engaging Internationally recognised Auditing Firm that has done the same thing in other parts of the World, in more than 20 Countries.

“So that they come and help us recover lost Revenue and put some Measures in place going forward so that we will no longer loose Revenue.

“We are going to recover trillions to the Coffers of the Nigerian Government and for the benefit of Nigerians at large, “ he said.

The Minister had said that a German Company, Geo Scan, conducted a Preliminary Survey that indicates that Nigeria has $750bn worth of Solid Minerals underground, which had not been harnessed. 

 

Credit NAN: Texts excluding Headline

02-Jun-2024 Labour's call for Strike could damage Economy, kill Businesses, says NECA

Labour's call for Strike could damage Economy, kill Businesses, says NECA

The Nigeria Employers’ Consultative Association (NECA), has urged Organised Labour to shelve its planned Indefinite Strike as it could reverse the recent marginal gains on the Economy.

NECA’s Director-General, Adewale-Smatt Oyerinde, who made the call in a Statement on Saturday, said the Strike could incapacitate the Private Sector.

Oyerinde said that the call for Strike was ill-timed and ill-advised, and would not only impoverish Nigerians, “but also escalate the already worrisome Unemployment situation”.

“The call for an Indefinite Strike even when the Tripartite Committee has not completed its Proceedings, is ill-advised.

“The Committee, being a Tripartite Committee, with equal right and privileges, was to consult extensively and make recommendations to the President and Commander-in-Chief.

“The President’s final Approval will, thereafter, be passed to the National Assembly for Legislative Action before the President will give Assent.

“Aggrieved Parties are at liberty to make Representations and freely express their views at the National Assembly before a new National Minimum Wage Bill will be passed into Law.

“While it is normal for Parties to have divergent opinion, the President and Commander-in-Chief has the final Authority.

“It is, therefore, worrisome that Organised Labour would call for an Indefinite Strike when these Processes are yet to be concluded,“ he said.

The NECA Director-General, however, said that the Organised Private Sector of Nigeria(OPSN), would do all that was necessary, within Extant Legislation, to protect its interest and survival, should the Strike commence.

He said that OPSN remains committed to a new National Minimum Wage.

He observed, however, that in the current Macro-Economic circumstances, the odds were greatly stacked against Organised Businesses with consequential effects on Job Security.

“It is our strong view that any amount beyond what the OPSN offered, could further escalate the already worsened Health of many Businesses, especially the Small and Medium Enterprises, and drive others to the precipice.

“That situation could potentially compound the bad Unemployment Rate and worsen the Insecurity situation in the Country,” he said.

Oyerinde also called on the Federal Government to fast-track the implementation of Reliefs for Nigerians, while reversing, without delay, the recent hike in Electricity Tariff. 

 

Credit NAN: Texts excluding Headline

01-Jun-2024 FG explains suspension of Helicopter Landing Levy

FG explains suspension of Helicopter Landing Levy

The Ministry of Aviation and Aerospace Development says the $300 Helicopter Landing Levy Collection by its Concessionaire has been suspended.

Odutayo Oluseyi, Head, Press and Public Affairs  Unit of the Ministry, disclosed this in a Statement issued to Journalists in Lagos.

Oluseyi said that the collection of the Levy was temporarily halted to allow the Ministry to address pressing concerns raised by Industry Players.

“We want to set the record straight here by stating that the Minister, Festus Keyamo, temporarily suspended the Project to take a deeper look into Issues raised by Stakeholders.

“Contrary to Reports, this suspension does not cancel the Concession and Mandate granted the Consultants responsible for collecting the Levy.

“Instead, a comprehensive Review is underway to address Issues and develop a forward-thinking approach.

“A specially-constituted Committee, comprising Representatives of the Ministry, its relevant Agencies, Airline Operators of Nigeria and the International Oil Companies (IOCs), is working to achieve this goal,” the Official said.

According to him, the Committee’s  primary objective is to develop a workable Framework for implementing compliance with Landing Levy payments, ensuring a win-win situation for all Stakeholders.

“By doing so, the Industry can move forward in a spirit of collaboration and mutual understanding,” he said.

He said that the Committee’s  recommendations would be crucial in shaping the future of Helicopter Landing Levy Collection and ensure a sustainable and thriving Aviation Industry.

“Accurate Reporting is central to the progress of the Project.

“By doing so, we can foster a more informed and supportive Environment for the Aviation Industry to thrive.

“Let’s embrace this opportunity for constructive Dialogue and collective growth. We urge all Stakeholders to remain calm and supportive,  as we work together toward a resolution.

“The Aviation Industry is a vital Sector that deserves our collective effort to ensure its continued growth and success,” Oluseyi stated.

The Ministry had, in April, announced the Helicopter Landing Levy, giving NAEBI Dynamic Concept Limited the sole right to collect the Levy.

 

Credit NAN: Texts excluding Headline

31-May-2024 Increase in GDP useless without Jobs for African Youths, AfDB warns

Increase in GDP useless without Jobs for African Youths, AfDB warns

Akinwumi Adesina, the President, African Development Bank (AfDB), says an increase in the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) must translate to Job Creation for Youths to ensure growth on the Continent.

Adesina said this at a Presentation on the African Economic Outlook held on the Sidelines of the ongoing 2024 Annual Meetings in Nairobi.

The AfDB President dismissed the pursuit of GDP Growth, adding that the quality and impact of Growth on Job Creation are paramount.

“We have to ensure that our Growth also gives Value to the Youth and Women. We do not need GDP.

“It does not matter how that GDP is. We have to make sure that it is creating quality Jobs for our People.’’ he said.

Adesina identified Youth Unemployment as a critical Issue, pointing out that Africa could not afford to have 477 million Young People under the age of 35 without Opportunities.

“I have said it: Migration to Europe is not Europe’s problem. It is our problem. We cannot have 477 million Young People under the age of 35 and have nothing for them.

”We must invest in our Young People, in their Skills, Talents, Entrepreneurship, and give them Tools.”

He expressed enthusiasm for Initiatives like the Youth Entrepreneurship Investment Banks and the Special Agricultural Processing Zones, designed to transform Agriculture structurally.

Adesina also emphasised the potential of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) to boost Industrial Manufacturing and Trade within Africa, reducing dependency on Exports outside the Continent.

“Trading among ourselves in a Free Trade Zone must be backed by Industrial Manufacturing to avoid being competitively poor.

“We need Consolidated Infrastructure for Export-oriented Industrial Manufacturing to increase our Manufacturing Share of GDP,” Adesina said.

Addressing Financial Strategies, Adesina called for increased Domestic Resource Mobilisation, a stronger Private Sector, and a shift from reliance on Commercial Creditors to Concessional Finance.

He urged more blended Funds to accelerate the Continent’s Development and expressed gratitude for Governments’ robust support for the AfDB’s Capital Increase.

According to him, this is crucial for maintaining the Bank’s Triple-A Rating and securing Long-Term, Low-Interest Financing for Africa.

Adesina highlighted Governance, transparency, and accountability as essential for Africa’s progress.

He said that Africa had $6.8bn in National Capital Assets as of 2018, which, if managed transparently and effectively, could significantly accelerate the Continent’s transformation.

“Africa’s future is bright, but we must tackle Governance Issues and ensure our Resources are fully utilised for the benefit of our People,” Adesina said.

 

Credit NAN: Texts excluding Headline

30-May-2024 Access Holdings’ Aig-Imoukhuede bags African Banker Lifetime Achievement Award, visits Kenyan President

Access Holdings’ Aig-Imoukhuede bags African Banker Lifetime Achievement Award, visits Kenyan President

Aigboje Aig-Imoukhuede, CON, Chairman of Access Holdings PLC and Coronation Group, has been honoured with the prestigious African Banker Lifetime Achievement Award.

This distinguished accolade was presented at the African Banker Awards Gala Dinner and Awards Ceremony held in Nairobi, Kenya, on the Sidelines of the 2024 Annual Meetings of the African Development Bank.

Aig-Imoukhuede’s journey epitomises his dedication to transforming the African Banking and Financial Landscape.

His illustrious career, spanning over three decades, has been marked by exceptional Leadership and transformative accomplishments.

As the Group Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Access Bank from 2002 to 2013, he led the Lender’s transformation from a minor player into one of Nigeria’s top five Banks, extending its presence to nine other African Countries and the United Kingdom.

With a Vision to democratise Wealth Creation Opportunities for millions in Africa, Aigboje established Coronation Group – a Conglomerate encompassing most aspects of Investing, Lending, and Insurance with a presence in Nigeria and other African Countries.

Speaking on the Award, Aig-Imoukhuede said: “This Award honours the collective efforts of over ten thousand talented Individuals, mostly Africans whom I have had the privilege to work with throughout my journey.

“As Professionals, recognition spurs us to strive for greater levels of excellence. I am deeply humbled and motivated to continue contributing to Africa’s growth and development.”

“We would like to honour your remarkable career achievements as a Leader in Africa. Today, Access Bank stands as a behemoth in African Banking. As brilliantly described in your book, “Leaving the Tarmac” Access Bank started its life as a third-tier Bank, but your Visionary Leadership, as well as that of the late Herbert Wigwe, transformed it into an Institution that commands immense respect and admiration,” said Omar Ben Yedder, Group Publisher and Managing Director, African Banker.

As part of the celebration of his lifelong contributions to the African Financial Markets, Aig-Imoukhuede had the distinct privilege of a visit to His Excellency, President William Ruto, at the State House in Nairobi. Their discussions centred on strengthening Financial Markets, enhancing Public Sector effectiveness, and fostering Sustainable Economic Growth across Africa.

 

This visit exemplifies Aigboje’s belief in the power of Collaborative Leadership and the pivotal role that strong Financial Institutions play in driving National Development.

Reflecting on the courtesy visit to President William Ruto, Aig-Imoukhuede stated that, “In meeting with President Ruto, I was inspired by our shared commitment to driving Economic Growth and fostering Sustainable Development across Africa.

“Our discussions reinforced the critical role that Collaborative Leadership and robust Financial Institutions play in Nation-Building. I look forward to continuing our collective efforts to create a prosperous future for our Continent.”

Aig-Imoukhuede’s impact extends beyond Banking. Through the Aig-Imoukhuede Foundation and its Subsidiaries – the Africa Initiative for Governance, and the Aig-Imoukhuede Institute – Aigboje and his Wife, Ofovwe, manage a $100 million Family commitment aimed at building Nigeria’s next generation of Government Leaders, transforming Public Sector effectiveness, and improving access to quality Primary Healthcare.

His Vision for the Adopt-A-Healthcare-Facility Programme (ADHFP), announced in Davos in 2020, aims to establish 774 World-Class Primary Healthcare Facilities in Nigeria, showcasing his dedication to addressing critical Societal Needs.

Aig-Imoukhuede’s advocacy for sustainable Banking Practices has left an indelible mark on the Financial Sector. As a Member of Nigeria’s Bankers’ Committee, he led the Adoption of the Nigerian Sustainable Banking Principles in 2012, an Initiative that has been emulated by several Countries Globally.

His Leadership in promoting responsible and sustainable Business Practices underscores the critical role of Financial Institutions in fostering Economic Development while protecting the Environment.

Aig-Imoukhuede’s Leadership was previously recognised in 2013 when he received the ‘African Banker of the Year’ Award.

Following a decade of accomplishments in Banking and beyond, the African Banker Lifetime Achievement Award highlights his enduring commitment to Nation-Building and Sustainable Development.

His legacy of transformative Leadership, sustainable Banking Practices, and Philanthropic dedication continues to inspire and drive positive change across Africa.

 

Credit Access Holdings PR

29-May-2024 Tinubu to ExxonMobil: I will settle Divestment issues 'between you and Seplat Energy'

Tinubu to ExxonMobil: I will settle Divestment issues 'between you and Seplat Energy'

President Bola Tinubu says the three Executive Orders on Oil and Gas Reforms will make Nigeria’s Petroleum Sector Globally competitive.

The President said this during a Meeting with a Delegation from ExxonMobil Upstream Company, led by its President, Liam Mallon on Tuesday in Abuja.

He emphasised that these Reforms would ensure that no Oil Company faces undue challenges in the Country.

The three Executive Orders, which became effective from February 28 are: Oil and Gas Companies (Tax Incentives, Exemption, Remission, etc.) Order, 2024.

The others are the Presidential Directive on Local Content Compliance Requirements, 2024; and the Presidential Directive on Reduction of Petroleum Sector Contracting Costs and Timelines.

Tinubu assured the Delegation of the Federal Government commitment to resolving the Divestment issues between the Company and Seplat Energy, which are currently under Litigation.

“We have been pushing for closure on Divestment Issues, and I believe the other Party, Seplat, is open to this,” the President said.

Tinubu commended the Company for its show of commitment to Environmental Protection in Nigeria, noting its efforts in reducing Gas Flaring in the Country.

“Nigeria is going through a lot of Reforms, and we have been navigating the Leadership Quarters carefully to ensure that we achieve a win-win situation for all Parties and attract more Investments,” he said.

The President described ExxonMobil as a worthy Partner in Nigeria’s Development over the decades and urged it to remain committed to contributing to the success of his Administration.

“We are close enough to be fair and blunt with you, and we are not afraid to hear from you on better options and recommendations for the growth of the Industry in Nigeria,” the President said.

The Meeting, attended by Heineken Lokpobiri, Minister of State for Petroleum Resources (Oil), and Ekperikpe Ekpo, Minister of State for Petroleum Resources (Gas), discussed Issues such as Divestment, decommissioning, and abandonment as regards the Company.

“Mr. President has given a clear Directive to the NNPCL GCEO and I to resolve the Issue of Divestment, and we are doing whatever we can to achieve that,” Lokpobiri stated.

On Decommissioning and Abandonment in the Oil Industry, Lokpobiri noted that the Ministry is addressing the matter in line with the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA) and Global Best Practices.

“The Reforms driven by the three Executive Orders will ensure that Companies operating in Nigeria have the best Environment to continue making their Investments and that no Company will seek to leave Nigeria,” the Minister said.

Liam Mallon, the President of ExxonMobil Upstream Company, appreciated the support and reassurances provided by the Nigerian Government and pledged the Company’s long-term commitment to the Country’s Energy Sector.

He also commended the President for his courage and conviction to undertake bold Reforms within his first year in Office.

 

Credit NAN: Texts excluding Headline

29-May-2024 Business in Nigeria: We’re here to stay, Reckitt Benckiser assures Tinubu

Business in Nigeria: We’re here to stay, Reckitt Benckiser assures Tinubu

President Bola Tinubu has received assurances from the Global fast-moving Consumer Goods Company that they would continue to grow their Investments in Nigeria.

Tinubu received the assurance from a Delegation from Reckitt Benckiser led by the Chief Executive Officer, Kris Licht, and Chief Olu Falomo, Chairman of Reckitt Benckiser Nigeria Limited.

The President lauded the Company for its over 60 years of investment in Nigeria and commitment to the Country’s Development.

Tinubu said, ‘’We are creating an Environment for the Private Sector to thrive in. I am glad that you are here to stay for the long term. I am happy that you have been in the Country for many years, and you have decided to invest more.

“We have embarked on challenging Reforms to improve the Economy. Our Reforms will improve the Ease of Doing Business for Partners like you moving forward,’’ the President told the Delegation.”

Tinubu assured Investors of good Returns on their Investments, supported by a buoyant Market and a large Population.

In his remarks, Licht described Nigeria as a very important Country to the Company, saying: ‘‘We have had very good Business here for many years, and we congratulate you on your First Year in Office.

“We see Nigeria as an important Business Destination for today and the future,’’ he said.

Falomo reiterated the Company’s long standing commitment to Nigeria, stating: ‘‘We have asked our Global Team to come and assure you that we back your efforts.

“They have said they are not going anywhere. We are here to support this Government.’’

 

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29-May-2024 MOFI, BPE partner to boost FG’s Asset Management, Investment prospects

MOFI, BPE partner to boost FG’s Asset Management, Investment prospects

The Ministry of Finance Incorporated (MOFI) and the Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE), have entered into Partnership to bolster the Federal Government’s asset management and Investment prospects.

The signing of the Agreement was witnessed by the Deputy Chief of Staff to the President (Office of the Vice President), Ibrahim Hadejia, at the Presidential Villa in Abuja.

The Initiative is part of the Presidential Enabling Business Environment Reforms, which have streamlined Government Operations.

Hadejia, said the Partnership followed the recent reform of MOFI, which redefined some of its Roles and created new Mandates, leading to overlaps with the BPE’s existing Responsibilities.

”We are here today for the Joint signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between MOFI and the BPE.

”This is a result of the Federal Government’s reform of MOFI, which redefined some of its Roles and created new Mandates.

”We identified some overlaps between the new MOFI Mandate and what the BPE is doing,” Hadejia said.

Earlier, Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of MOFI, Amstrong Takang, had emphasised the need for a clear delineation of Responsibilities between the two Entities.

“The reform of MOFI had led to the need to clearly define the Relationship between both Government’s Entities for more effective delivery.

“This will ensure a more effective delivery of our respective Mandates, especially at a time like this when the Government needs all the Resources to deliver on Good Governance and optimise its Assets.

”We are very excited about the new Phase in our Relationship,” he added.

For his part, the Acting Director-General of the BPE, Ignatius Ayewoh, said the Partnership was aimed at fostering an Investment-Friendly Environment in Nigeria.

He said, ” This Event signifies that Nigeria has an Investment-Friendly Climate. The BPE recognises deeply that Investors want where there is a Legal and Regulatory Relationship between the Agencies of Government.

”We are excited to move ahead, and together we will make sure that is not undermined in International Business Relationships.”

 

Credit NAN: Texts excluding Headline

29-May-2024 Access Holdings, NBDN to champion ‘Sustainable Diversity and Inclusion’ at 2024 Conference

Access Holdings, NBDN to champion ‘Sustainable Diversity and Inclusion’ at 2024 Conference

The Nigeria Business and Disability Network (NBDN) is set to hold the Second Edition of The Nigeria Diversity and Inclusion Conference on Wednesday, May 29, 2024.

To be hosted by Access Holdings, the Conference will serve as a Platform for Employers to enhance Disability confidence, foster Inclusion Practices, and promote Job readiness for People with Disabilities in the Workplace.

Under the theme ‘Disability Inclusion in Corporate Sustainability,’ the Event aims to highlight the Economic Value of Disability Inclusion and its significance in achieving Sustainable Business Practices.

NBDN, an Employer-led Initiative, recognises that Disability Inclusion is not only a matter of Social Responsibility, but also makes Good Business Sense.

By creating a Disability-Smart Business Environment, Employers can tap into the potential and capabilities of over 30 million Nigerians with Disabilities, thereby increasing Business Revenue, Growth, and enhancing Brand Reputation.

The International Labour Organisation (ILO) established the Global Business and Disability Network (GBDN) to champion Disability mainstreaming within the Framework of Workplace Diversity and Inclusion.

NBDN, as the National Body of Employers in Nigeria championing Disability Inclusion, is an offshoot of this Global Network.

Incubated by Sightsavers Nigeria and the Chartered Institute of Personnel Management in 2020, NBDN is currently chaired by Access Holdings.

The Conference will feature a lineup of esteemed Speakers, including Omobolanle Victor-Laniyan, Head, Group Sustainability, Access Holdings Plc; Joy Shuaibu, Country Director, Sightsavers; Toyin Aderemi, Senior Global Advisor, Save the Children International; Rotimi Odusola, Corporate Affairs Director, Guinness Nigeria; Godfrey Adejumo, Head of Corporate Affairs and Sustainable Business, Unilever; Tonye Osifo, CSR Manager, Total Energies Nigeria; James David Lalu, Executive Secretary/CEO, National Disability Commission; Olaitan Olatunde, Sustainability Manager, Standard Chartered, and more.

It will also feature Keynote Addresses, Plenary and Panel Discussions, Networking Sessions, and Interactive Workshops, providing Attendees with an opportunity to share Success Stories and foster Partnerships for Accessible Workplaces and Inclusive Employment.

 

Credit Access Holdings PR

28-May-2024 FG: We've Master Plan for Nigeria's major Airports to become Hubs, Aerotropolis

FG: We've Master Plan for Nigeria's major Airports to become Hubs, Aerotropolis

The Federal Government has pledged to offer more assistance to Local Airline Operators to create Enabling Environment and Ease of Operations.

Festus  Keyamo, Minister of Aviation and  Aerospace Development made this known when he presented his Score Card  at the Ministerial News Briefing on the Administration of President Bola Tinubu Sectorial update.

According to him, the Government will support and empower all  Local Airline Operators as it did with Air Peace to enable them compete with other International Airlines.

The Minister said the Government would also facilitate the acquisition of Aircraft under Dry Lease Agreement which he said, was cheaper compared with the Wet Lease.

Keyamo affirmed that the Government had planned to review the Nation`s Bilateral Air Service Agreements (BASA) to favour Local Operators.

He said  Government was making conscious and gradual efforts toward embracing Eco-Friendly Practices and Green Technologies in line with International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO)’s Long-Term Global Aspirational Goal of Net-Zero Carbon Emission in the Aviation Sector.

“We are rehabilitating some Airports/Airstrips, enhancing Collaboration with States Government to improve State Airports Infrastructure, Training and Re-Training of Aviation Professionals (Accident Investigators, Pilots and Air Traffic Controllers),“ he added.

On the establishment of Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul (MRO) Centre, Keyamo said the Federal Government was in advanced stage in discussions with Investors across the World who would collaborate through Public Private Partnership (PPP).

He disclosed that the Minister of Federal Capital Territory, Nyesom Wike, had successfully resolved a longstanding Land dispute that had hindered construction of the Abuja Second Runway within two weeks of assuming Office.

The Minister added, with the development, Contractors had commenced work on the Project which had been stalled for over a year.

The Minister said he had relocated all International Airlines to the new International Terminal in Lagos to address Design flaws that had previously rendered the Facility unusable for many International Flights.

Keyamo said the relocation and remodeling of Arrival Hall at Lagos Airport, done with active collaboration and support of the Ministry of Interior through a Public-Private Partnership Arrangement, had enhanced smooth Operation of the Terminal.

The Minister said he facilitated the swift repair and reactivation of Lagos’ Second Runway (18R), which had been out of Service for nearly a year.

He said the Operation of the two Lagos Airport’s Runways had increased efficiency and reduced congestion.

Keyamo said he worked closely with the Central Bank of Nigeria to ensure clearance of the longstanding backlog of trapped Funds for Foreign Airlines.

“By actively engaging the UK Authorities on the Reciprocal Rights under our BASA, I successfully broke the long-standing monopoly of Foreign Airlines on the UK-Nigeria Route.

“This led to the granting of Reciprocal Operating Rights to Air Peace, a Local Airline, resulting in increased competition and reduced International Airfares for Nigerian Travellers.

“This allows liberalised Air Transport Commercial Activities without any restrictions as to Routes and Capacity among others, “ he said.

The Minister said the “United States-Nigeria Open Skies Air Transport Agreement“ came into force under his watch.

He added that the significant milestone opened doors for Local Airlines to operate the Route, promoting Increased Connectivity and Trade between the two Countries.

Keyamo said he successfully facilitated the resumption of Emirates Flights through Diplomatic efforts coordinated with United Arab Emirate’ Authorities to strengthen Air Travel Connectivity between Nigeria and the UAE.

The Minister added that there was plan in place for the development of a Master Plan for the Nation’s major Airports to transform them into proper Hubs and Aerotropolis.

 

Credit NAN: Texts excluding Headline

28-May-2024 FG commissions NEITI’s Task Force on Oil, Gas, Mining Sectors

FG commissions NEITI’s Task Force on Oil, Gas, Mining Sectors

The Federal Government has inaugurated the Inter-Ministerial Task Team (IMTT) of Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI).

The IMTT is an important aspect of the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) process in Nigeria, being a decision made by the Federal Executive Council, after the release of the first NEITI Oil and Gas Report that covered 1999 to 2004.

The essence of the Task Force is to study each NEITI Industry Report on Oil, Gas and Solid Minerals Sectors and the Fiscal Allocation and Statutory Disbursement (FASD) Report, and report the key findings.

The Team will make Recommendations in its Report and identify the Agencies that are responsible, to carry out the remedial actions as recommended by the Independent Administrators.

Performing the Inauguration, Orji Ogbonnaya Orji, Executive Secretary, NEITI, explained that the Objective of the Task Team was to ensure that NEITI did not just publish Reports that gathered dust on the shelves of the Agency.

Orji said such findings by the Team would help to deepen Government’s oversight and reform of the Oil, Gas and Mining Sectors for productivity and transparency.

“In addition, it will enhance accountability in a manner that provides the greatest good for the greatest number of Nigerians who are the ultimate Beneficiaries of the Country’s Natural Resources.

“The IMTT is also expected to map out Strategies that will track and report on the progress made towards the implementation of the Findings and Recommendations in the NEITI Reports.

“NEITI has envisaged that the Reforms in Nigeria’s Extractive Sector especially, the implementation of the Solid Minerals Roadmap and the enactment of the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA) would have taken over the work of the IMTT.

“But recent developments have clearly shown that the IMTT has come to stay and remains relevant due to its unique composition and responsibility,” he said.

He said the last EITI validation and the recent International Mission conducted by the EITI in Nigeria, equally identified the need for the IMTT, reinforced NEITI’s position that the Task Team should be invigorated.

The Executive Secretary added that the Mission had also strengthened to help oversee the implementation of the Recommendations of NEITI’s Reports.

“NEITI is, therefore, convinced that the IMTT Framework is better positioned to meet the challenges identified in the Governance Framework that has been put in place for the Extractive Sector.

“NEITI is also of the view that the achievements and impacts it has recorded in the Sector will be tracked and documented under the Framework of the IMTT.

“This is against the background that the IMTT Structure will support in tracking and measurement of where we are, where we should be and how we could get there,” he explained.

Orji listed the Partner Agencies to achieve IMTT to include the Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission (NUPRC), Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPCL) and Office of the Accountant General of the Federation.

They also include the Federal Inland Revenue Services (FIRS), Revenue Mobilisation and Fiscal Commission (RAMFAC) and Ministry of Petroleum Resources.

Others are: Representative of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Office of the Auditor General of the Federation, Ministry of Solid Minerals Development, Office of the SGF, Corporate Affairs Commission, Niger Delta Development Commission and the Mining Cadastre Office, among others.

Meanwhile, Simon Tyungu, a Director and Representative of the Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), congratulated the Team Members on their selections to serve the Country in such Capacity.

Tyungu assured that the Team would not disappoint the Government on the task given to them.

“As Representatives of various Agencies, we would always do our best to ensure that we achieve our goals.

“As a matter of fact, we all know that NEITI is an Agency of transparency.

“And I want to urge all of us that in the conduct of our Assessment, we have to be mindful of whatever we are going to do because NEITI activities are in the full glare of the Press and International Body, EITI,” he said.

 

Credit NAN: Texts excluding Headline

27-May-2024 Access Holdings seeks responsible use of AI at Smart Banking Summit

Access Holdings seeks responsible use of AI at Smart Banking Summit

Access Holdings PLC, a leading Financial Services Group, has echoed the need for Ethical considerations in using Artificial Intelligence (AI), calling Stakeholders in the Financial Industry to factor its sustainability implications.

This call to action was driven by a compelling Keynote Address delivered by Lanre Bamisebi, Executive Director of IT and Digitalisation at Access Holdings, at the Smart Banking Summit 2024 held in Kenya recently.

Speaking on the topic, “AI Guardians: Securing Compliance and Mitigating Risks,” Bamisebi’s keynote sheds light on the imperative to strike a balance between Innovation and Responsibility as the Banking Sector and broader Society embrace AI’s transformative potential.

“Artificial Intelligence has the power to revolutionise our Societies. Over the years, this has become increasingly evident, offering unprecedented Opportunities for growth, efficiency, and innovation.

From enhancing Customer Service to optimising risk management, AI’s potential benefits in Finance are vast.

However, as we embrace AI, we must also ensure that its deployment is ethical, secure, and compliant with Regulatory Standards to mitigate risks effectively,” he said.

As the transformative power of AI continues to fuel innovation, concerns remain about its negative impact on the Environment.

According to OpenAI Researchers, since 2012, the amount of computing power required to train cutting edge AI Models has doubled every three to four months.

They also posit that by 2040, the Emissions from the Information and Communications Technology (ICT) Industry will reach 14 per cent of the Global Emissions, with the bulk of those Emissions coming from ICT Infrastructure, particularly Data Centres and Communication Networks.

Speaking to these concerns, Bamisebi said, “The exponential growth of AI adoption must be met with thoughtful consideration for its Environmental footprint.

As we harness the power of AI, we must prioritise sustainable practices to mitigate its energy consumption and Carbon Emissions, ensuring a harmonious coexistence between Technological Advancement and Environmental preservation.

“We must embrace our Roles as Guardians, and place comprehensive Regulatory Frameworks, Ethical Standards, and continuous learning at the fore of our considerations so that we create a future that is safe, inclusive, and prosperous for all,” Bamisebi charged.

Themed ‘Navigating the Next: Africa’s Leap into Smart, Secure, and Inclusive Banking’, the Summit was a pivotal gathering of Leaders spearheading the Digital evolution in the African Banking and Finance Space.

Other Contributors at the Summit include Winnie Kaaka, Head of Product and Digital Banking, Access Bank Plc; Harry Hare, Co-Founder and Chairman, dx5; Moses Okundi, CIO/CTO, Absa; Tim Theuri, CISO, Safaricom/M-Pesa Africa; Daniel Adaramola, CISO, SunTrust Bank Nigeria Limited; Steve Njenga, Founder and CEO, Metis Technology Solutions Limited, amongst others.

 

Credit Access Holdings Plc PR: Texts excluding Headline

27-May-2024 Brand Finance ranks Access Bank as Nigeria’s ‘Most Valuable Brand’

Brand Finance ranks Access Bank as Nigeria’s ‘Most Valuable Brand’

Access Bank has once again been recognised as Nigeria’s most Valuable Brand, according to the latest Data from Brand Finance.

The 2024 Report reveals a remarkable 73 per cent increase in Access Bank’s Brand Value, solidifying its position as the most Valuable Banking Brand in Nigeria.

This marks the third consecutive year that Access Bank has held the top spot in Brand Finance’s Annual Ranking of the World’s Top 500 Banking Brands.

Brand Finance, the World’s leading Brand Valuation Consultancy, reported that Banking Brands contributed a substantial 50 per cent of the overall Brand Value among Nigeria’s top 25 Brands.

Within the Nigeria 25 2024 Ranking, Banking Brands not only emerged as the most valuable but also the strongest and fastest growing.

 

Access Bank’s Brand Value soared to NGN355.3bn, making it the 31st Most Valuable Brand in Africa according to the Brand Finance Africa 200 2024.

This impressive growth is primarily driven by significant increases in interest-based Income, reflecting improved Revenues and robust Financial Performance.

Roosevelt Ogbonna, Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of Access Bank, stated:

“We are proud to once again be recognised as Nigeria’s Most Valuable Brand.

“This accolade is a testament to our commitment to excellence, innovation, and sustainable growth.

“We will continue to focus on delivering exceptional Value to our Customers and Stakeholders, driving positive impact across the Communities we serve.”

Toyin Henry-Ajayi, Group Head, Group Marketing & Retail Analytics at Access Bank, who spoke on the brand’s journey at the Announcement Event, added: “Access Bank’s consistent performance and Brand Value Growth reflects our ability to stay true to our DNA of excellence through every strategic five-year cycle. Our journey has been one of continuous improvement and adaptation, and we remain dedicated to setting new standards in the Banking Industry and contributing to the Economic Development of Africa.”

Access Bank also distinguished itself as the top Brand in terms of Sustainability Perceptions Value, surpassing Flour Mills of Nigeria which ranked second.

 

This underscores the Bank’s dedication to Sustainable Practices and its Leadership in Corporate Responsibility.

Babatunde Odumeru, Managing Director of Brand Finance Nigeria, commented on the resilience of Nigeria’s leading Brands:

“Despite a tumultuous Financial Year marked by the Naira plummeting over 30% against the US Dollar and soaring Inflation, Nigeria’s leading Brands have displayed remarkable resilience.

“These top-tier Brands have not only withstood Economic pressures, but many have continued to flourish, with 23 of Nigeria’s top 25 Most Valuable Brands achieving Brand Value Growth.

“We are also increasingly seeing top Brands continuing to expand beyond their Domestic Borders and grow their influence across the Continent.”

The Values of Brands in the Rankings are calculated using the Royalty Relief Approach, a Method compliant with ISO 10668 Standards.

This Approach estimates future Revenues attributable to a Brand by calculating a Royalty Rate that would be charged for its use, arriving at a ‘Brand Value’ that reflects the Net Economic Benefit achievable by licensing the Brand in the Open Market.

 

Credit Access Bank PR: Texts excluding Headline

24-May-2024 NNPCL, Schlumberger seal Agreement to expand Upstream Operations

NNPCL, Schlumberger seal Agreement to expand Upstream Operations

The Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC), Energy Services Limited (EnServ) and Schlumberger (SLB), a renowned Global Technology Company, have signed a Technical Partnership Agreement toward bolstering Upstream Operations.
The Agreement was signed at the NNPC Limited’s Corporate Headquarters in Abuja on Thursday, with Senior Management Teams from both Companies in attendance.
Speaking shortly after the Signing, the Group Chief Executive Officer of NNPC Limited, Mele Kyari described the ongoing Reforms within the Industry as a trigger for potential release of Investments in the short term.
Kyari, in a Statement issued by Olufemi Soneye, the Chief Corporate Communications Officer, NNPC Limited, described the Agreement as part of Strategic Reforms aimed at unlocking Opportunities in the Nation’s Oil and Gas Industry.
“Quite a number of reforms are unfolding, and at the back of it is a potential release of Investment that we are seeing in a very short term.
“Our Physical Environment is excellent today; contracting Processes have been reviewed, by virtue of the clear Reforms the President has put in place; and ultimately, we are already seeing substantial energy going into unlocking Opportunities,” Kyari said.
Highlighting the numerous benefits of the Partnership, Kyari said it would lead to increased activity and more Drilling Campaigns that would add Value to the two Organisations.
He said that NNPC was working on a Rig Share Platform with a definite plan around Well Drilling Activities and Associated Operations in the coming years.
This, he said would increase Crude Oil Production and support the ongoing plan to deepen Gas Utilisation within the Country.
Kyari, who expressed confidence in the long-standing Relationship between NNPC Limited and Schlumberger, said the NNPC would leverage on the Assets within its control to accelerate the Values that will come from this Partnership.
“We are counting on Schlumberger as our Partner of 70 years. We are in Business; we see the Opportunities and strategic need to work with you and ultimately, we will create Value for our Country, “ the GCEO noted.
Earlier in his remarks, Olivier Le Peuch, the Chief Executive Officer, Schlumberger, said the Agreement would accelerate the achievement of Nigeria’s Exploration and Production Targets, which would foster Nigeria’s Economic Growth and prosperity.
“We are here to celebrate the Strategic Partnership that we signed with EnServ as a Technical Partner.
“This Agreement is geared towards unlocking the Capacities of EnServ for Nigeria, which potentially will help NNPC Limited to achieve its Exploration and Production Targets.
“We look forward to using this Technical Partnership as a springboard to accelerate the Vision that the Industry needs,” Le Peuch said.
According to him, as a Company that has been on the Shores of Nigeria for 70 years, it remains committed to investing in Local Talents and building Capacity through Technology and Performance.
“We are pleased to be at the centre of this transition and are in a position where we can bring our Technical Capability, Technology, and Capacity to the Country so as to support the Operations of NNPC Limited,” he said. 
 
Credit NNPC Limited PR: Texts excluding Headline
24-May-2024 Tinubu secures over $20bn Economic Investment for Nigeria, says Shettima

Tinubu secures over $20bn Economic Investment for Nigeria, says Shettima

Vice President Kashim Shettima on Thursday said that President Bola Tinubu had successfully secured over $20bn in Investment for Nigeria.

Shettima said that these Investment include $14bn from India and $250m from the Netherlands, with commitments of $500m each for Lithium development in Nasarawa State from Germany.

Shettima said this at the Vanguard Economic Discourse in Lagos with the Theme, “Reforms In An Era Of Global Economic Uncertainties”.

Represented by his Special Adviser on Economic Affairs, Tope Fasua, he explained that the efforts were part of the Government’s Strategies to tackle Economic challenges amidst Global uncertainties.

He stressed the significance of Technological Advancements and Strategic Reforms to navigate these changes effectively, explaining that Initiatives like the Siemens Power Sector Projects aimed at boosting Energy sufficiency.

Fasua emphasised the Administration’s commitment to implementing Policies for the benefit of Nigerians, particularly post-COVID-19.

“The Siemens Power Sector Projects are picking up speed presently and will be able to show a salutary effect on our Energy sufficiency in good time.

“President Bola Ahmed Tinubu has always maintained that we don’t know it all. We are a humble but determined Government open to Ideas and refinements from well-meaning Members of the Country.

“We are not afraid to backtrack and review if a Policy would impose undue hardship on Nigerians as has been seen over time.

“This Administration is not out to make the Lives of Nigerians tougher but to make Nigerian Economy sustainable and the Lives of our People more enjoyable,” he said.

According to Shettima, the next few years will be full of positive achievements, improvements in Standards of Living, higher Productivity, Food Security, bumper harvests, and remarkable achievements, with the guidance and grace of Almighty God.

He assured that the Government would continue to pursue ambitious Policies, leveraging on the Global Value Chain to ensure Nigerian Companies get involved in manufacturing complex Products.

He pledged to continue the push for Exporters to take advantage of the African Continental Free Trade Agreement by investing more in Human Capital Development to diversify the Nation’s Economy.

He explained Measures the Government was adopting in boosting Manufacturing, Agriculture, Technology, Industry, and the Creative Sectors, assuring that the Tinubu Administration would deliver on promises through Multi-Sectoral Development.

“We shall not shirk our Projection to achieve a $1trn GDP by 2031, which strongly suggests that our Economy must start growing in double digits. We will capture every growth from every Sector in the Economy,” he said.

Shettima commended the resilience of Nigerians and appealed for more understanding as the Nation pulled through the period of Economic uncertainties which he said is a Global phenomenon.

“It must be said that uncertainty, volatility, complexity and ambiguity could turn out as an advantage for some, and a disadvantage for others. Therefore, positioning is key in today’s World.

“The clarion call is therefore continuous for Nigeria and Nigerians to continue to understand Global trends and to position appropriately to be on the right side of History.

“As we like to say; ‘Naija no dey carry last’. Our astuteness, resilience, creativity, and ingenuity, remain our most important Assets which we must continue to leverage for the greatness of our Land.

“There are many factors that may precipitate uncertainty. One of them is the rapidity with which Technology is evolving on a per-second basis,” he said.

He explained how advancements in Technology in an Era of Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning and the Internet of Things increasing Unemployment and hardship and Measures adopted so far to secure the future of Youths and all Nigerians.

He said creating considerable volatility in a Developing Country like Nigeria required the inclusion of factors such as Insecurity, Global Economic downturn, external instability Natural Disasters, and Global Geopolitics among others.

“If there is a single word I can search for, to describe the Administration of President Bola Tinubu, it has to be ‘decisiveness’. One of the greatest attributes of Leadership is visioning. Another is decisiveness in doing what may not be popular but is necessary.

“And as we all line up behind a great Leader who embeds a great Vision for our Nation, we committed to the success of key Reforms, chiefly around the removal of Petroleum Subsidies and finding a workable Value for the Naira.

“May 29, 2023 was a decisive moment and we believe that the promises of our Government will be attained, under the leadership of our President,” he said.

He listed efforts of the Tinubu Administration at improving the situation it met and appealed for continuous support of Nigerians.

Reeling out statistics, Shettima gave a Scorecard of the Tinubu Administration in the Financial, Housing and Energy Sectors as well as Infrastructure Development.

 

Credit NAN: Texts excluding Headline

23-May-2024 Tinubu seeks stronger Regional Economic Blocs to boost Integration, Trade

Tinubu seeks stronger Regional Economic Blocs to boost Integration, Trade

President Bola Tinubu has called for the strengthening of Regional Economic Communities to drive Integration and Trade Ties among African Nations.

Represented by Vice-President Kashim Shettima, Tinubu made the call during the Summit on the State of Democracy in Africa on Wednesday in Abuja.

The President said that strengthening of Regional Economies would deepen Democracy and accelerate Development across the Continent.

He called for revitalisation of Sub-Regional Blocs like the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), East African Community (EAC) and Southern African Development Community (SADC).

Tinubu said these two Communities would usher in an Era of robust Intra-African Commerce, Economic Growth and Job Creation.

The President said through bitter experience, Nigeria has learned that the solution to poor Democratic Governance was to have more Democracies.

Tinubu noted that the potential of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) could only be maximally realised when there was concrete Economic Integration and Collaboration at the different Sub-Regions.

He urged the Regional Bodies to prioritise minimising Trade barriers, promoting Sustainable and Inclusive Economic Growth, Human Capital Development as well as Value Addition in Agriculture and Agro-Allied Sectors.

”We must deliberate on ways through which African Sub-Regional Organisations can help foster better Intra-African Trade, achieve better Food and Energy Security, promote higher Rates of Youth Employment, alleviate Poverty and realise greater prosperity for our People.”

Tinubu noted that a reinvigorated Sub-Regional Cooperation was critical for the successful implementation of the path-breaking AfCFTA by harmonising Rules and Regulations to facilitate free movement of Goods, Services and People.

He expressed optimism about Polls held successfully in Nations like Liberia, Kenya, Ghana and Nigeria.

”The tragedies of our Nations and Histories inspire our concern about the reversals of Democratic Governments, particularly in West Africa.

“That is why we are alarmed by the Military Coups in Mali, Guinea Conakry, Burkina Faso, Niger Republic, and Gabon.”

Tinubu, however, advocated Discussions on empowering Regional Blocs to establish well-funded standby Military Forces “to help contain Military Adventurers and the rampaging waves of Terrorism and Religious extremism”.

He urged African Leaders to respect Constitutional Tenets like Term Limits, and ensure credible Elections and Autonomous Institutions through the African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM) to achieve Democratic consolidation.

“This Summit must discuss ways of making the APRM contribute to achieving good Governance and Democratic consolidation on the Continent.”

Tinubu called for concrete Measures through reinvented Regional Bodies to boost Trade, enhance Security and entrench Constitutional Democracy for Development and prosperity.

Earlier, former President Olusegun Obasanjo, said the answer to the myriad of challenges confronting Democracy in Africa was in re-examining the Model of Democracy passed on to Countries in the Continent by their Colonial Masters.

He said Leaders across the Continent must come together to devise a form of contextual Democracy that takes into account past experiences, addresses contemporary challenges and emphasises Good Leadership.

Obasanjo expressed concern about the growing discontent against Democracy in the Continent.

He said that the model that would work for Africa was one that takes into account the typical and predominant Political System that was suitably and appropriately placed to serve the Objectives of the African People.

Also, the UN Deputy Secretary-General and Chair of the SDGs, Amina Mohammed, said the active participation of Women and Young People in Politics, and other decision-making Processes would strengthen Democracy in the Continent.

She drew the attention of Authorities in the Continent to the effective implementation of Laws, adherence to the Tenets of accountability, and improved Investment in Democratic Institutions.

“These are critical to the sustenance of Democracy in Africa and beyond.” 

 

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22-May-2024 CBN jerks up Interest Rate from 24.75% to 26.25%, retains other parameters

CBN jerks up Interest Rate from 24.75% to 26.25%, retains other parameters

The Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), has raised the Country’s Baseline Interest Rate by 150 Basis Points to 26.25 per cent from 24.75 per cent.

Yemi Cardoso, the Governor of CBN, said this on Tuesday in Abuja, while reading the Communique from the 295th Meeting of the MPC.

Cardoso, however, said that the Committee decided to hold all other parameters constant.

The Cash Reserve Ratio (CRR) was thus, retained at 45 per cent, the Liquidity Ratio of 30 per cent was retained and Asymmetric Corridor of +100/-300 Basis Points around the MPR was also retained.

Cardoso said that all 12 Members of the Committee were present at the Meeting.

According to him, the key focus of the Committee at the Meeting remained to achieve Price stability by effectively using tools available to the Monetary Authority to reign in Inflation.

He said that Members observed that while Year-on-Year Headline Inflation in April rose moderately, the Month-on-Month Measures of Headline, Food, and Core Inflation all declined significantly.

“This follows a decline Month-on-Month of Headline and Food Measures in March, suggesting that the recent tight Monetary Policy stance of the CBN is beginning to yield the desired outcome,” he said.

He said that the MPC, however, noted that Inflationary pressure continues to be driven largely by Food Inflation.

“The Committee, thus, reiterated several challenges confronting the effective moderation of Food Inflation.

“They include rising Cost of Transportation of Farm Produce, Infrastructure related constraints along the line of Distribution Network, and security challenges in some Food Producing Areas,” he said.

Cardoso said that “Exchange Rate Pass-Through” to Domestic Prices for Imported Food Items was also an impediment to taming Food Inflation.

According to him, the MPC urged that more be done to improve the security of Farming Communities to guarantee improved Food Production in these Areas,” he said.

This is the third consecutive tightening of the Baseline Interest Rate, known as the Monetary Policy Rate (MPR) by the MPC under Cardoso.

At its Meeting in February, the Committee increased the MPR by 400 Basis Points from 18.75 per cent to 22.85 per cent, and also increased it by 200 Basis Points, to 24.75 per cent from 22.75 per cent in March.

Meanwhile, an Economist, Chijioke Ekechukwu, reacting to the decision of the MPC, urged Stakeholders to give the Committee the benefit of the doubt.

”Although, a continuous increase of MPR in my opinion, is not going to control Inflation. It is rather going to continue to increase it, as the Cost of Funds will rise.

“This will ultimately be borne by Consumers through higher Prices of Goods and Services.

“There are other drivers of Inflation, which are not within the control of the Monetary Policy.

”If a sickness needs a combined doses of two drugs to heal, and you use only one drug, that sickness will remain with the Patient,” Ekechukwu said.

Uche Uwaleke, a Professor of Capital Market and the President of the Association of Capital Markets Academics of Nigeria, said that the hike in the MPR by a further 150 Basis Points would most likely have an adverse consequence on the Equities Market.

According to Uwaleke, this is given the inverse relationship between Interest Rates and Equities Market Returns.

“It has the potential of triggering Portfolio Rebalancing in favour of Fixed Income Securities.

“If I were a Member of the MPC, I would have voted for a hold position as the aggressive Policy Rate hike is taking a toll on Output.

”Production is stiffled because of very high Cost of Funds.

“Moreover, the seeming over reliance on the MPR as a tool to tame Inflation does not appear to be making any meaningful impact due to the significant non-monetary factors driving Inflation in Nigeria,” he said.

He listed such factors to include high Cost of Energy, Transport as well as Insecurity in the Food-Belt Regions of the Country.

 

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21-May-2024 Nigeria seeks UAE's Investment in Oil Pipelines

Nigeria seeks UAE's Investment in Oil Pipelines

Heineken Lokpobiri, Minister for State Petroleum Resources (Oil), says the Federal Government is committed to deepening Bilateral Ties and Investment Opportunities with the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

Lokpobiri said this on Monday when he received Salem Al Shamsi, the UAE Ambassador to Nigeria, and his Delegation in his Office.

The Minister said the Visit was expected to further strengthen the Ties between Nigeria and the UAE, fostering greater cooperation and mutual benefits in the Energy Sector.

He described the Visit as a demonstration of the enduring Diplomatic Relationship between Nigeria and the UAE, adding that he has been interfacing with his Counterpart in the UAE to boost the Relationship.

He commended the recent Bilateral Agreement to restore Visa Issuance for Nigerians, which had been on hold.

He attributed this achievement to the dedication of President Bola Tinubu, whose efforts were pivotal in reinstating this important Service.

He acknowledged that the restoration of Visa Services was significant given the high Volume of Travel between Nigeria and the UAE.

He emphasised Nigeria’s commitment to increasing Oil Production, stating that while Nigeria was not in a rush to transition from Oil, the Country was actively seeking to enhance its Production Capabilities.

“We are focused on ramping up our Oil Production; at the same time, we are inviting UAE Investors to look at Nigeria as a Prime Destination. Our Business Environment is friendly, and our Crude Deposits are vast.

“We need to create more Opportunities for Investments to come in so that we can create the requisite Funding for us to be able to finance our Transition,” he said.

The Minister highlighted the benefits of the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA), which provides a robust Legal Framework that guarantees Returns on Investments and has significantly reshaped the Oil and Gas Sector.

Lokpobiri said the PIA ensured a secure and profitable Investment Climate, making Nigeria an attractive location for Investors.

“Nigeria has enormous Investment Opportunities. Our Pipelines need renewal. The Pipelines have been there for over 50 years. Nigeria found Oil in Commercial quantity in 1956/58.

“From then till now, it’s almost 70 years and most of those Pipelines were built around that time, so they have already outlived their Lifespan.

“Even if you have the Capacity to produce, you need to evacuate to the Terminals where you could do Export.

“So, it’s an opportunity we are actually looking up to for potential Investors from the UAE to come and invest and recover their money through those Investments,” he said.

He said Nigeria should be doing more than 37 billion Barrels of Crude Oil, stating that the current Administration had emphasised the need to resume Drilling Campaigns to ensure more discoveries.

Responding, Al Shamsi said he could see great potential in Nigeria’s Energy Sector and appreciated the steps being taken to create a conducive Investment Environment.

He said the Technical Teams from the Ministry and the UAE Embassy would need to interface and explore Areas of Collaboration and Partnership between the two Countries.

“Our Countries have much to gain from continued Collaboration,” he said.

 

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21-May-2024 Air Peace: We've been subjected to rigorous scrutiny by Authorities since our Inaugural Flight to UK

Air Peace: We've been subjected to rigorous scrutiny by Authorities since our Inaugural Flight to UK

Air Peace has dismissed Reports of alleged safety breach in the United Kingdom, stating that Ramp Inspection Issues were resolved with UK Civil Aviation Authority (CAA).

The Lead, Corporate Communications of the Airline, Stanley Olisa, dismissed the allegation in a Statement made available to Journalists in Lagos.

In response to a Publication alleging safety concerns, Olisa confirmed the UK CAA’s Letter to the NCAA, but said the Issues raised had since been resolved.

He said the Publication was false and was meant to create fears and doubts in the minds of the Flying Public.

According to him, since Air Peace’s Inaugural Flight to the UK, the Airline has been subjected to rigorous scrutiny by relevant Authorities.

He said the UK CAA had on April 7 requested clarification on the Airline’s use of the Electronic Flight Bag (EFB) and some other concerns, which were immediately addressed and settled.

“It is, therefore, wrong to say that the Airline did not have Approval for EFB. Air Peace received Approval from the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), and all our Boeing 777 Aircraft are certified to operate with EFBs.

“Regarding the claim that our B777 Aircraft lack iPad Mounts and Charging Ports in the Flight Deck, this is incorrect.

“All B777 Aircraft are equipped with Charging Ports in the Cockpit, and we ensure that all our B777 Aircraft have iPad Mounts,” Olisa said.

He also said an Issue raised by the UK CAA was the location of the Airline’s Cockpit Library on the B777, adding that the B777 designated two locations for storing Manuals and Books – one behind the Captain and one under the Jumpseat.

Olisa said during the Inspection, the Books were stored under the Jumpseat, as it was commonly practised.

“We understand the Inspector’s preference for the Books to be placed behind the Captain and have ensured this preference is accommodated for all Operations going forward.

“There was also a concern about the Captain’s choice of Runway Exit after landing. Instead of exiting at the Middle Runway Exit, the Captain, out of his Professional discretion, opted to exit at the End of the Runway.

“This may have delayed the arrival of another Aircraft. We acknowledge this deviation and have addressed the matter with the Captain, to ensure adherence to preferred Exit Procedures in the future.

“Ramp Inspection is a normal Procedure carried out by Aviation Authorities Globally, and the UK CAA did the right thing by notifying the NCAA of the outcome of their Inspection,” he said.

Olisa, however, said the Airline’s Management was shocked to see several Media Publications with exaggerated and sensationalised accounts of this matter that were closed with the Authorities over a month ago.

He restated Air Peace’s commitment to Safety, employing robust Operational Mechanisms, to guarantee full compliance always, as it continued pursuit of Operational excellence and unwavering commitment to the safety and security of Passengers.

 

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20-May-2024 Seplat Energy bags 'Best in Sustainability Reporting' at ICAN/NGX RegCo Awards

Seplat Energy bags 'Best in Sustainability Reporting' at ICAN/NGX RegCo Awards

Seplat Energy Plc has emerged Winner of the Best in Sustainability Reporting Award at the maiden Corporate Reporting Award, organised by the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria (ICAN) and NGX Regulation Limited (NGX RegCo).

The recognition was announced at the ICAN/NGX RegCo Awards Ceremony held in Lagos. It was a Platform to recognise the top 30 most Capitalised Companies listed on the Nigerian Exchange Limited (NGX) for the 2022 Financial Reporting Year.

The Awards underscored ICAN and NGX RegCo’s shared commitment to fostering transparency, accountability, and International Best Practices within the Private Sector. The evaluation criteria includes Financial Reporting, Corporate Governance, and Sustainability Reporting

Speaking at the Ceremony, the President of ICAN, Innocent Okwuosa, lauded NGX RegCo for ensuring better Disclosures and Reporting among Listed Companies.

 

Okwuosa noted that Corporate Reporting over time had evolved, as there was a shift from a primary focus on Financial Reporting to the increasing request to incorporate Social and Environmental Disclosures. He stated that the latter had evolved and had been differently propagated, including but not limited to Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) Disclosures and late Sustainability Disclosures.

The ICAN Boss explained that good Corporate Reporting must reflect the best elements of Corporate Governance, Financial Reporting, and Sustainability Reporting, adding that the Maiden Edition of the Award is limited to 30 Companies listed on the NGX for Ease of Administration but will be extended to all the Listed Companies in the future.

The CEO of NGX RegCo, Olufemi Shobanjo, in his address said that transparency is one of the key drivers of any Economy. Shobanjo stated that transparency ensures full disclosure of Information by Entities and that such Information is easily accessible to Members of the Public to make informed decisions.

The Award was received by the CFO-Designate, Seplat Energy Plc, Eleanor Adaralegbe, and the Director, External Affairs and Social Performance, Chioma Afe.

In 2021, Seplat Energy unveiled a new Corporate Strategy based upon two ambitions, to Build a Sustainable Business and Deliver Energy Transition. Clearly each of these has Sustainability at its heart, and each is made up of three pillars in which Seplat Energy defines its Business Strategy in terms of specific Initiatives that promote Sustainability across our Business Activities. “Now, for Seplat Energy, Sustainability is embedded at all levels and across all Operations”, Adaralegbe said whilst commending ICAN and NGX RegCo for the recognition and sustained display of Professionalism.

 

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20-May-2024 APPO names Nigeria’s Adekeye Chairperson, Oil and Gas Training Institute

APPO names Nigeria’s Adekeye Chairperson, Oil and Gas Training Institute

Nigeria’s Folashade Adekeye has emerged Chairperson, Forum of the Directors of Oil and Gas Training and Vocational Education Institutes of the African Petroleum Producers Organisation (APPO).

Adekeye, who is the Director, NNPC Academy, took over from the former Chairperson, Abdelkader Guenone, the Managing Director of the Algerian Petroleum Institute (API), during the second Meeting of the Forum in Abuja.

This was made known in a Statement issued by Olufemi Soneye, the Chief Corporate Communications Officer, NNPC Limited.

Adekeye, who heads the NNPC’s Oil and Gas Training Arm, brings to bear more than 30 years of experience and is expected to work with her Colleagues from APPO Member Countries.

According to Soneye, this is in order to foster more Collaboration towards addressing the challenges of Competences, Skills Gaps, Infrastructure, and poor Funding in the Organisation’s Training Institutions.

In his Keynote Address at the Opening of the Meeting, the Group Chief Executive Officer of NNPC Limited, Mele Kyari emphasised the importance of a Standardised Educational and Training Approach.

Kyari, represented by Inuwa Danladi, the Executive Vice President (Business Services), said Standardised Education would help to meet the changing demands of the Oil and Gas Industry.

Also in his Keynote Address, APPO’s Secretary-General, Omar Farouk Ibrahim, charged the Member Countries to work towards further enhancing collaborative efforts to establish Oil and Gas Centres of Excellence across the African Continent.

Ibrahim, also from Nigeria, said having good knowledge of the Forum’s challenges would enable APPO Member Countries to make Recommendations.

He said it would also enable them to provide solutions in Areas such as Oil and Gas Project Funding, Technology adoption, and the formation of Africa Energy Bank.

He said that such Collaboration by all Member Countries would guarantee Africa’s Energy accessibility, affordability and sustainability, which overall, would strengthen her Economies and bring prosperity to its Citizens. 

 

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20-May-2024 Ngelale is Special Envoy as Tinubu approves Committee on Green Economic Initiatives

Ngelale is Special Envoy as Tinubu approves Committee on Green Economic Initiatives

President Bola Tinubu has approved the establishment of a Committee to oversee the Green Economic Initiative, known as the Presidential Committee on Climate Action and Green Economic Solutions.

Tinubu also approved the Appointment of Ajuri Ngelale as Special Envoy on Climate Action and will retain his Role as the Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity.

This is contained in a Statement by Segun Imohiosen, Director, Information and Public Relations, Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, on Sunday in Abuja.

This is part of a strategic move of the President to ensure the advancement of his Administration’s Climate and Green Economic Initiatives.

The Committee will coordinate and oversee all the Policies and Programmes on Climate Action and Green Economic Development.

This is to remove the constraints to coordination, foster a whole-of-Government approach to Climate-Action Programmes and provide an efficient Governance Architecture.

It will ensure that all the relevant Institutions in the Sector are plugged into the President’s Vision and are collectively implementing the Renewed Hope Agenda on Climate Action.

The Committee consists of President Bola Tinubu – Chairman; Balarabe Abbas Lawal (Minister of Environment) – Vice-Chairman; and Ajuri-Obari Ngelale (Special Adviser) – Secretary/Special Presidential Envoy.

The Members are Lazarus Angbazo (CEO, InfraCorp); Salisu Dahiru (CEO, NCCC); Michael Ohiani (CEO, ICRC); Aisha Rimi (CEO, NIPC); and Aminu Umar-Sadiq (CEO, NSIA).

Others are Yusuf Maina-Bukar (CEO, NAGGW); Abdullahi Mustapha (CEO, ECN); Abba Abubakar Aliyu (CEO, REA); Uzoma Nwagba (CEO, CrediCorp) and Khalil Halilu (CEO, NASENI).

Fatima Shinkafi (CEO, SMDF); Bala Bello (Deputy Governor, CBN); Lolade Abiola (UN SE4ALL); Teni Majekodunmi (NCCC Adviser) and Representative, (Federal Ministry of FCT) also named as Members.

Other Representative Members are Federal Ministries of Finance; Power; Industry, Trade & Investment; Water Resources; and Agriculture and Food Security.

The Committee Members also include Representatives of the Federal Inland Revenue Service and the Nigeria Customs Service. The Committee shall, among other Functions, identify, develop, and implement innovative Non-Oil and Non-Gas Climate Action Initiatives.

It will coordinate all the Activities of relevant Federal Institutions towards the attainment of all agreed Climate Action and Green Economic Objectives and Non-Oil/Non-Gas ambitions of the Federal Government.

It will also collaborate with all the relevant Government, Sub-National Governments, Non-Government, and Civil Society Entities towards the attainment of the Climate Action Objectives and ambitions of the Federal Government.

In the same vein, it will collaborate with National Governments and Multilateral Institutions towards the attainment of the Climate Action Objectives and Carbon Market ambitions of the Federal Government.

The Committee will also monitor, evaluate and guide the progress of all Climate Action and Renewable Energy Projects and Activities of the Federal Government.

Other Functions include: ”Track and guide the implementation of Initiatives and Developments conducted by the Energy Transition Working Group.

”Supervise the work of the Presidential Steering Committee on Project Evergreen.

”Prepare a half-yearly Green ambitions update, covering all associated Climate Action achievements of the Federal Government.”

Imohiosen said that Tinubu remained committed to achieving Nigeria’s Green Economy objectives on the path of a just Energy Transition while unlocking new Investments in this critical Sector.

 

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18-May-2024 Your Businesses are safe in Nigeria, Tinubu tells Chinese Business Executives

Your Businesses are safe in Nigeria, Tinubu tells Chinese Business Executives

President Bola Tinubu says Nigeria is a safe hub for Investments and that his Administration will provide the needed support to ensure that Businesses thrive in the Country.

Tinubu gave the assurance when he received a Delegation led by the Chairman of the China Railway Construction Corporation (CRCC), Dai Hegen, at the State House on Friday.

He assured the Chinese Business Executives that their Investments in Nigeria are safe and that his Government would further strengthen the Business Environment.

The President stated that his Administration welcomes the opportunity to expand Business Collaboration with the Company, as well as upgrade critical Infrastructure and Facilities.

“I have listened to you carefully. Your Operation is consistent with our Objectives. We are reforming the Economy and taking crucial actions to ensure accelerated growth.

“The CRCC, with its Subsidiary, CCECC, is a leading Company and one of the best Partners to work with. I am happy that you are partnering Nigeria in so many Areas, particularly in Rail Construction.

“We will do everything required to ensure that the Rail Link between the Ibadan End of the Lagos-Ibadan Railway and the Federal Capital Territory is completed. We must connect the Hinterland with our Coastal Seaports.

“I am proud of what I started as Governor of Lagos State with the Lekki Free Trade Zone.

”It is now a flourishing Environment. It is important to give you the assurance that we will do well to strengthen our Partnership and Relations,” Tinubu said.

The President commended the Corporation, particularly its Subsidiary, China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation (CCECC), for its efforts in delivering Value on Infrastructural Projects in the Country.

Tinubu encouraged the Corporation to also explore other Avenues of Cooperation, especially in Solid Minerals.

“The Door is open for Partnership, and Partnership that will add Value to both sides. Solid Minerals Development is the next frontier for mutually-beneficial Growth and Collaboration.

“We need each other. The sustainable path to success is a two-way street.

”We assure you that your Investment is safe in our Country. Once you succeed here, I know your reputation in other Countries will be further strengthened,” the President said.

In his Remarks, the Chairman of the CRCC, highlighted some of the Projects in the works and those completed by the Corporation.

“In the Railway Construction Sector, the Kano-Kaduna Railway is 39 percent completed and is on course for completion in the Second Quarter of 2026.

”The Abuja-Kaduna Railway and Lagos-Ibadan Railway have carried approximately 9 million Passengers since they were completed and commissioned.

“Freight Services have officially commenced along the Lagos-Ibadan Axis since September 2023, and a total 180,000 tons of Cargo have been transported,” he said.

Hegen also said the Corporation has signed Investment Cooperation Agreements with 119 Companies, stimulating Investments of $3bn and creating 4,000 direct Jobs for Nigerians, as well as paying $125m in Taxes.

He extended the invitation of the Chinese Government to Tinubu to attend the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) to further deepen Cooperation along mutual Areas of Interest.

“With the support of Your Excellency, we plan to increase our Investments in key Areas, such as Agriculture, Power, Solid Minerals, Natural Gas, and Renewable Energy Technologies to promote the Economic Development of the Country,” the CRCC Chairman added.

 

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17-May-2024 FG to settle N130bn as part of Gas Supply Debt

FG to settle N130bn as part of Gas Supply Debt

The Federal Government says it will soon begin the payment of N130bn as part of Gas Supply Debts in the Nigerian Electricity Supply Industry (NESI).

The Minister of Power, Adebayo Adelabu, said this at the 2024 Eight Africa Energy Marketplace in Abuja.

The Forum was organised by African Development Bank (AfDB), Ministry of Power and the United Kingdom Nigeria Infrastructure Advisory Facility (UKNIAF)

The Theme of the forum titled “Towards Nigeria’s Sustainable Energy Future: Policy, Regulation, and Investment – A Policy Dialogue for the National Integrated Electricity Policy and Strategic Implementation Plan (NIEP-SIP)”.

Adelabu said that President Bola Tinubu has approved submission of the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, (Gas) to defray  outstanding Debt owed to the Gas Supply Companies to the Power Sector Operators.

The Minister said the payments would be in two parts as there is the Legacy Debt and the Current Debt.

“For the Current Debt, Approval has been given for a Cash Payment of about N130bn from the Gas Stabilisation Fund which the Federal Ministry of Finance will pay.

“The Payment for the Legacy Debt is actually going to be made but from future Royalties and Exchange of Incomes in the Gas Sub-Sector which is quite satisfactory to the Gas Supply Companies.

`The last figure was about $1.3bn  and this Payment, we believe, will go a long way to encourage these Gas Companies to enter into firm Supply Contracts with the Power Generating Companies, ‘’ he said.

Adelabu said the Federal Government planned to adopt a Model that would ensure firm Contracts between Gas Companies and majority of the Power Generating Companies.

“The day they cannot supply Gas, there is no penalty but once there is a firm Contract, they will be under Contractual Obligation to supply Gas to these Power Generating Companies so that we have a consistent Power Generation.

Adelabu said that for the Power Generating Companies, the Debt is put at N1.3trn.

The Minister said the Ministry of Power has the consent of the President to pay on a condition of settling the reconciliation of the Debts between the Government and the Power Generating Companies.

“And this, we have successfully done, and are being signed off by both Parties. Majority has signed off and we are actually engaging others, so we have 100 per cent sign off from the Power Generating Companies.

‘The Modalities for paying this will be two ways; there will be immediate Cash injection as Government is not buoyant enough to pay the N1.3trn at once.

“A fraction will be paid in Cash, while the remaining fraction will be settled through a Guarantee Debt Instrument, preferably a Promissory Note, ‘’ he said.

For his part, Sanusi Garba, Chairman, Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission, (NERC), said the poor financial state of the  Electricity Distribution Company (DisCos ) made it difficult for them to raise the needed Capital to invest.

Garba said  the challenges facing the Sector were a culmination of all past inactions and missteps by those saddled with the Responsibilities of managing the Sector both at Policy and Operational Levels.

He said, “today when you look at Distribution Companies, they are clearly and technically insolvent, and you also want them to raise Capital in terms of Debt or Equity.

“It’s a herculean task. I also want to mention that implementing the Power Sector Reform requires very strong Political Will to implement decisions that impact on the wider Public, ‘’ he said.

 

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17-May-2024 Minister: Tinubu's Reform painful, yielding fruits for Nigeria's Economy

Minister: Tinubu's Reform painful, yielding fruits for Nigeria's Economy

President Bola Tinubu’s Economic Reforms have started bearing fruits, the Minister of Budget and Economic Planning, Abubakar Bagudu, has said.

Bagudu told Journalists in Abuja, that the measures had restored faith in the Country’s Economy.

A Statement by Bola Adebiyi, his Special Assistant on Media, quoted the Minister as saying that Foreign Investors had renewed interest in Nigeria.

“Although the removal of Petrol Subsidy caused some pain, the Policy has increased the quantum of Funds available to the three Tiers of Government to invest in critical Infrastructure.

“This Critical Infrastructure will regenerate the Economy; before 29 May 2023, the Finances of the Government were fragile.

“The payment of Subsidies affected the quantum of Revenue available to all the Layers of Government so much that the Economy was at a standstill.

“The Reform Measures were in tandem with the Renewed Hope Agenda and the Eight Priority Areas of the Tinubu Administration to regenerate confidence in the Economy and provide Resources to invest in the Productive Sector,” he said.

According to Bagudu, both objectives of the Reforms have been achieved as the Federal, State and Local Governments have acquired more capacity to support the Economy.

According to him, the Federal Government has expanded Social Investment support to ensure that those at the lower end of the Society affected by the Reforms are helped to cope.

“All the Sectors that will enable the gains to be achieved, including Agriculture, Infrastructure and Security have seen more Funding.

“Sectors that secure our future like Education, Health and Social Investment have received increased Budgetary Allocation.

“Programmes were also introduced to support the Sectors so that Manufacturing Activities could resume and Agricultural Activity could be better supported on a more sustainable basis,” he said.

Bagudu said that part of the steps taken to boost Employment include the provision of Mortgage Funds to regenerate the Mortgage Sector so that activities there could increase.

He commended the Collaboration between the Central Bank of Nigeria and the Office of the National Security Adviser to rein in Currency Speculators and Manipulators, and observed that it had shored up the Value of the Naira.

The Minister pleaded with Nigerians to persevere, saying that the President had persistently empathised with them.

“We must take note that President Tinubu has empathised with the People and assured them that the Reforms were not intended to inflict pain on them, but were necessary measures to reposition the Economy,” he said. 

 

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16-May-2024 Businesses can make more money from Gas in Nigeria, says Kyari

Businesses can make more money from Gas in Nigeria, says Kyari

The Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPCL), says the Country’s Gas Sector is now well positioned to help Businesses in the Country generate more Revenue.

The Group Chief Executive Officer, NNPCL, Mele Kyari said this when he spoke with Journalists on Wednesday in Owerri.

He spoke on the Sidelines of the Presidential Inauguration of three critical Gas Infrastructure in Delta and Owerri.

President Bola Tinubu inaugurated the ANOH-OB3 CTMS Gas Pipeline and ANOH Gas Processing Plant in Assa, Ohaji/Egbema in Imo.

Tinubu also inaugurated the Expansion of the AHL Gas Processing Plant 2 Gas Project in Kwale in Delta.

The Projects are being undertaken by NNPC Limited and Partners in line with Tinubu’s commitment to significantly leverage Gas to grow the Economy.

According to Kyari, the Tinubu-led Administration is ensuring a Conducive Environment for Businesses to thrive in the Country.

“There’s ample Fiscal Environment today. The Laws are good. It encourages Gas Development, and Taxation is lower. Businesses can make more money from Gas in this Country.

“And that is why we are seeing renewed interest in taking Investments in the Floating Liquefied Natural Gas (LNGs) that is already happening.

“We are already progressing massively on one other LNG Product, and there are a number of other Floating LNG Projects that are now ongoing,” he said.

According to Kyari. the Inauguration of the various Infrastructure is evidence of a Gas Revolution in play.

“what this means to our Country is that enormous Resources are being put into Domestic Market.

“It will provide Gas for Power, Gas for Industries, Gas to Chemicals, and that Value Chain.

“It will create Jobs, Employment, Taxes, and everything that you can imagine typical Gas Countries should benefit from.

“And this is becoming very apparent because you do need the backbone Infrastructure to deliver on all this. And this is what Mr President has pushed, and we are delivering on them.”

Kyari said the speedy realisation of the Gas Projects was proof that Nigeria could transform its Gas Resources into Value.

“And we are already seeing this Value. And I believe that in the very near future, the prosperity from Gas will become very much.

“As the President has said, from Gas to prosperity, and this is very important,” he said.

Earlier, the Managing Director of AHL, Mohit Barot, commended the President in his effort towards revitalising the Gas Sector and boosting the Business Environment in the Country.

“We from the Private Sector look forward to contributing more significantly to the Nation’s Economy by providing more Jobs, advancing Technology in our Sector, and ensuring Exemplary Citizenship.

“We will continue to ensure Environmental Sustainability and Economic resilience. And I thank you for your Leadership and support,” Barot said.

Also, Udo Udoma, the Chairman of Seplat, reiterated the Company’s commitment toward supporting the Government’s drive for Industrialisation and Economic Growth.

“The Plant being inaugurated is a clear example of what can be achieved through an effective Collaboration.

“This Project aligns with Seplats’ Mission of leading Nigeria’s Energy Transition with accessible, affordable, and reliable Energy for Social and Economic prosperity,” he said.

The Event was attended by Senior Government Officials, Partners, and Stakeholders in the Sector.

 

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16-May-2024 Tinubu commissions Gas Plant in Imo, commends NNPCL, Seplat for advancing Nigeria’s Energy Agenda

Tinubu commissions Gas Plant in Imo, commends NNPCL, Seplat for advancing Nigeria’s Energy Agenda

President Bola Tinubu, on Wednesday, inaugurated the Seplat Energy ANOH Gas Processing Plant situated at Assa Community in Ohaji Egbema Local Government Area of Imo.

The President performed the Inauguration virtually.

The Plant, built by the ANOH Gas Processing Plant Company, is a Joint Venture owned equally by Seplat Energy and the Nigerian Gas Infrastructure Company, a subsidiary of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation Limited (NNPCL).

The Facility reportedly “attained mechanical completion in December 2023 without recordable Lost Time Incident across 12 million man-hours”.

Tinubu commended Seplat Energy and its Partners for their dedication to advancing Nigeria’s Energy Agenda.

He described the Inauguration as a great mark of achievement, demonstrating Teamwork, commitment and dedication to duty.

He congratulated all the Players in the Nation’s Oil and Gas Sector on their effort in fulfilling his Administration’s Dream in 11 months of his assumption of Office.

“This event is highly significant and demonstrates the Administration’s determination to accelerate the development of critical Gas Infrastructure geared at demonstrably enhancing the Supply of Energy to boost Industrial Growth and create Employment Opportunities and future prosperity for the Nation.

“The Project also fully aligns with the decade of Gas Initiative and our quest to create Value from the Nation’s abundant Gas Asset while eliminating Gas Flaring and celebrating Industrialisation.

“I wish to assure the Nigerian People that indeed this Project represents only the beginning as the Federal Government is stepping up its coordination of other landmark Projects and Initiatives that will ensure the earliest possible realisation of Gas Fuel for prosperity in abundance,” he said.

The Board Chairman of Seplat Energy, Udoma Udo Udoma, spoke on the strategic importance of the ANOH Project.

According to him, the ANOH Gas Project strongly aligns with Seplat Energy’s Mission of leading Nigeria’s Energy Transition with accessible, affordable and reliable Energy that drives Social and Economic prosperity.

“As a testament of our Pledge to Nigeria, in partnership with the NNPC Limited, we have delivered this Project that will support the current Administration’s drive for Industrialisation and Growth of the Economy through Low-Cost reliable Power.

“To put this into context, if all of the Gas from this Plant went into the Power Sector, it would produce enough Electricity to transform the Lives of over five million People.

“Given that Nigeria’s Population is growing at a rate of over five million per annum, we need one of these Plants a year, every year, just to meet the demand of our new arrivals.

“We all have work to do. We appreciate the unwavering support of our Partner, NNPCL, the cordial relationship with our Host Communities, Imo Government and the support of all the Stakeholders that are too many to mention,“ he said.

Also, Roger Brown, the Chief Executive Officer of the company, said they were pleased with the Progressive Reforms of the Federal Government, citing the Executive Orders signed by the President on March 24 to enhance Investments in Greenfield Gas Development and Midstream Capital Projects.

“The Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority recently improved Gas Prices under the DSO to trigger off further Investments to the Domestic Gas Sector – our ANOH Gas Plant will benefit from these Reforms and Incentives.

“No doubt, the ANOH’s Gas will further reduce Nigeria’s Carbon Intensity and increase Energy supplied to the Nigerian Domestic Market,” he said.

Also, the Group CEO of NNPCL, Mele Kyari, said that the collaborative effort between Seplat Energy and the Nigerian Gas Infrastructure Company in bringing the ANOH Plant to fruition were remarkable.

“The ANOH Gas Processing Plant, being commissioned by NNPCL and our Partner is in line with Nigeria’s decade of Gas Agenda and particularly consistent with the Administration’s efforts to boost Gas Supply in the Domestic Market,” he said.

The Imo Governor, Hope Uzodinma, represented by Deputy Governor, Chinyere Ekomaru, congratulated Seplat Energy on the completion of the project and expressed delight at the Opportunities that lie ahead of the State on account of the successful completion of the ANOH Plant.

The Minister of State, Petroleum Resources (Gas), Ekperikpe Ekpo, said that “with a Capacity of 600 million Standard Cubic Feet per day, the ANOH Gas Processing Plant is a shining example of Advancement.

“This Plant will greatly advance the availability of Domestic Gas which will boost Power Generation and hasten industrialisation,“ Ekpo said.

With a Phase One Processing Capacity of 300 million Standard Cubic Feet per day, the Plant is expected to deliver Dry Gas, Condensate and Liquified Petroleum Gas to Domestic and International Markets.

 

Credit NAN: Texts excluding Headline

15-May-2024 FG opens bid for 2024 Oil Block Licensing Round

FG opens bid for 2024 Oil Block Licensing Round

The Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission (NUPRC), on Tuesday, announced the commencement of the 2024 Oil Block Licensing Round.

Gbenga Komolafe, Commission Chief Executive, NUPRC, announced this at the Miami, Florida International Roadshow for the 2024 Licensing Round, hosted by the NUPRC, in collaboration with Petroleum Technology Association of Nigeria (PETAN).

The Commission said the 2024 Block Licensing Round would last for approximately nine months.

Komolafe, while unveiling the Bidding Round, said the exercise which was initially announced in April 29, 2024, was a significant leap in the strategic Hydrocarbons Development Initiative.

He said the Round would introduce 12 meticulously selected Blocks across diverse Geological Spectra from the fertile Onshore Basins to the promising Continental Shelves and the untapped depths of Nigeria’s Deep Offshore Territories.

“Each Block has been chosen for its potential to bolster our National Reserves and stimulate Economic vitality.

“The NUPRC on behalf of the Federal Republic of Nigeria is committed to conducting the Licensing Round in a fair, competitive and transparent manner, ensuring a level playing field for both Indigenous and International Investors.

“Our approach is underpinned by the robust Legal Framework of the Petroleum Industry Act 2021 (PIA), which ensures compliance with Best Practices to boost Investors’ confidence.

“In keeping with the Provisions of the PIA and Regulations made under the Act, the Commission has issued a Licensing Round Guideline and published a Licensing Round Plan for the twelve Blocks.

“The blocks are PPL 300-CS; PPL 301-CS, PPL 3008, PPL 3009, PPL 2001, PPL 2002, PML 51, PPL 267, PPL 268, PPL 269, PPL 270, and PPL 271,” he said.

He said the seven Deep Offshore Blocks from the 2022 Mini-Bid Round Exercise which covered an Area of approximately 6,700 km2 in water depths of 1,150m to 3,100m would be concluded along with this Licensing Round.

He said the Blocks on offer had extensive 2D and 3D Seismic Data Coverage, including Multi-Beam and Analogue Data.

“Additionally, a 3D reprocessed Pre-stack Time Migration of remarkable quality is also available to prospective Bidders.

“The availability of Advanced Seismic Datasets and Analytical Tools via our dedicated Portals exemplifies our commitment to excellence and Technological Advancement,” he said.

According to Komolafe, the Licencing Round is indeed expected to be a huge success for Nigeria and is a big step towards growing the Nation’s Oil and Gas Reserves.

This, he said would be through aggressive Exploration and development efforts, boosting Production, expanding Opportunities for Gas utilisation and end-to-end Development across the Value Chain.

“In addition, the Licencing Round presents us with the opportunity to reinforce Nigeria’s commitment to openness and transparency in line with the Principles of the Extractive Industry Transparency Initiative (EITI),” he said.

On the Global scale, Komolafe said the Licensing Round would no doubt be beneficial to all Stakeholders, adding that in the long run, it would contribute to long-term Global Energy Sufficiency.

“The Implementation Process will, in addition to Technical and Commercial considerations, pay requisite attention to Strategies, Processes and Implementable Plans consistent with net zero Carbon Emission targets, eliminating Gas Flares”.

He said competitive Entry Fees that were responsive to prevailing realities would be adopted in the 2024 Block Licensing Round.

Komolafe said that considerations for the commerciality of Projects would be made on a Case-by-Case Basis for the determination of appropriate Entry Fees.

The 2024 Block Licensing Round is scheduled to last for approximately nine months and interested Parties should visit the dedicated NUPRC Portal for details on how to participate.

 

Credit NAN: Texts excluding Headline

15-May-2024 Tinubu, Shettima, other VIPs to pay Airport Charges as FEC okays Memos

Tinubu, Shettima, other VIPs to pay Airport Charges as FEC okays Memos

The Federal Executive Council, presided by President Bola Tinubu, on Tuesday approved Memos from the Ministries of Aviation, Communications, Power, FCT and Works.

The Minister of Information and National Orientation, Mohammed Idris, disclosed this at the end of the Meeting in Abuja, adding that the Ministry of Interior’s Memo on the Review of the new Visa Regime was also approved.

Idris said that the new Visa Regime was to address the lacuna and challenges faced by Citizens and Foreign Investors coming or going out of the Country.

He said the new Visa Process would now be completely Online, with Background Security Checks of Applicants done within 48 hours, adding that this would commence in the next four weeks.

Minister of Aviation, Festus Keyamo disclosed the Ministry’s approval to involve the withdrawal of exemption of payment of tickets by some highly placed Nigerians at the Nation’s Airports.

He said the former System, which had cost loss of Revenue, had been bought into by the President and the Vice-President, respectively.

‘’The Ministry has been losing huge Revenue that ordinarily should not be. With the new System, everybody coming into the Nation’s Airports must pay the Toll Gate Fees. Already the President and the Vice-President has agreed to be part of those that would pay.’’ he said.

On the recurrent Runway Incidents, Keyamo said that the Ministry would continue on the path of ensuring adherence to proper Regulation while Supervision under him would be sustained.

‘’There is no way I will allow the safety of Air Passengers to be jeopardised under my watch. Any Airline that is consistently found wanting in this Issue will be sanctioned appropriately; as in the case of the Dana Airline.’’

The Minister of Communication, Bosun Tijani, said that a Special Purpose Vehicle would be set up for the construction of 90,000 Fiber Cable across the Country in the next three years to improve Internet Service and its Cost.

According to Tijani, this Cable forms a part of the Government’s Strategy aimed at connecting Local, Sub-National and Federal Government into a System for accountability and transparency in governance and to improve Service Delivery in the Areas of Health, Education, Revenue Generation among others.

Also, Minister of Power, Adelabu Adebayo said the Council approved the provision of Earthing, Reactor and Emergency Equipment for the Sector in order to increase Power Generation, Transmission and Distribution in the Country.

Adebayo said that these Contracts are expected to strengthen the Power Sector Reforms, reduce down time and increase access of Electricity to Nigerians.

He said the Contract would also address the decay in Infrastructure in the Power Sector, which had been the bane of low Power Distribution and Transmission over time.

The Council, he said, also approved the Initiative of the Ministry to use complementary Energy Sources like Solar and Wind to add to the efficiency of the National Grid.

He said that Solar would continue to be used in the sunny parts of the Country while Wind Energy would be integrated at the Southern Coastal parts.

The FCT Minister of State, Mariya Mahmoud, disclosed that the Council approved three Memos on development of Bus Terminals, building of Appeal Court and the operation and maintenance of Street Light Generators in the Territory.

Minister of Works, Dave Umahi also disclosed Council approval of 12 Memos bordering on redesign and continuation of Rroad Projects across the Country, adding that the Projects underwent adequate Bidding and followed Due Process.

Umahi said the Contract for the Lagos-Calabar was done through Due Process contrary to some Reports claiming otherwise, adding that the Government was concerned about having value for all Funds allocated for any Project.

The Minister of Finance, Wale Edun, said that the Government would continue to prioritise the Infrastructural Needs of the Nation for a better future Development of the Country as well as to improve the Living Standard of the Citizens.

In this way, he said, the Federal Government was working out Special Funding to develop the Housing and Infrastructural Sub-Sector of the Economy, adding that this would involve the Private Sector and Development Partners’ Financing.

Edun said the Government would leverage on the huge Funds under the Pension Scheme, Sovereign Wealth Fund, Ministry of Finance Incorporated, insurance and other Financial options to resuscitate the Sector and make Housing more accessible and affordable to Ordinary Citizens at a low Interest Rate.

 

Credit NAN: Texts excluding Headline

14-May-2024 Disregard Helicopter Landing Levies, pay dearly, FG warns

Disregard Helicopter Landing Levies, pay dearly, FG warns

The Ministry of Aviation and Aerospace Development, said the introduction of Helicopter Landing Levies was in line with Global Best Practices and a Cost Recovery Measures.

This is contained in a Statement by Odutayo Oluseyi, Head, Press and Public Affairs of the Ministry in Lagos.

According to Oluseyi, the Ministry recognises the importance of Helicopter Operations in Nigeria’s Aviation Industry and is committed to implementing International Best Practices in Helicopter Operations.

He said that the Helicopter Landing Levies were commonplace in Countries such as the U.S., the United Kingdom, India and various other Regions Worldwide.

He maintained that Tallahassee International Airport in Florida began implementing Helicopter Landing Levies under Vector Airport Systems, since October 1, 2022.

Oluseyi said Helicopter landing levies were common across Airfields in the United Kingdom, ranging from Major Commercial Ones, to Small General Aviation Fields.

He added that, typically, Helicopter Levies, match or exceeded those for Fixed-Wing Aircraft, varying based on factors like Location and Services provided.

“The Federal Government has granted NAEBI Dynamic Concepts Limited exclusive rights to collect Helicopter Landing Levies in line with the MoU between NAEBI Concept and NAMA (focal Agency), Federal Airport Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) and the Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA).

“It is instructive to note that NAMA, under the Act as amended in 2022, is empowered to collect Aeronautical Revenues in both the Upper and Lower Airspace to support her self-sustainability.

“However, over the years, NAMA has predominantly relied on the Upper Airspace for her Revenue Generation.

“Government in her wisdom having discovered a lacuna on the Lower Airspace where Helicopter Operations is dominant, directed NAMA to live up to its Responsibilities, to enable them generate enough Resources.

“To sustain their Aeronautical Architecture, enhance Security and Surveillance and improve the overall quality of Helicopter Operations in Nigeria,” he said.

According to Oluseyi, the minimum is confident that the  move will improve Capacity, Efficiency, Safety, Security and attract more Investment in the Aviation Industry.

“We encourage all Stakeholders to be committed to this laudable Initiative, that has followed Due Processes and Procedures and should embrace the new normal,” he said.

The Minister, Festus Keyamo, had recently given a Directive to helicopter Operators to grant total access to Messrs NAEBI Dynamic Concepts Limited for the collection of $300 Levy.

The Company was to collect the Levies on behalf of the Federal Government, immediately.

Keyamo had said: “Non-compliance with this Directive would  constitute a breach of this Mandate and would be met with appropriate sanctions.”

 

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13-May-2024 Shell responsible for Environmental degradation of Bayelsa, says Governor

Shell responsible for Environmental degradation of Bayelsa, says Governor

Governor Douye Diri of Bayelsa says International Oil Companies (lOCs), particularly Shell Petroleum Development Company, have been responsible for the Environmental degradation in the State.

Diri disclosed this at the Annual Convention and Fund Raising of the Ijaw National Congress (INC) of the Americas, held in Houston, Texas, U.S, on Sunday.

 

The Congress has the Theme: “Ijaw-Nation: Nurturing Partnership through Symbiotic Relationships Towards Homeland, Social, and Economic Development’’.

The Governor specifically fingered Shell as a major Culprit in the degradation of the Bayelsa Environment.

“After waiting for several years for Dialogue without Shell or any other IOC coming forward, we will be compelled to institute Legal Action against the Dutch Super Oil Major and other IOCs.

‘‘Today, Shell is divesting and I call on the Minister of Petroleum (Oil) that we have a duty to ensure that Shell’s Divestment must take care of ameliorating our Environment.

“Today, our Flora and Fauna are gone. Our beautiful Environment is also gone.

“We will need the support of our brothers and sisters in the Diaspora because there is so much we will achieve if we work together,’’ Diri said.

In his Remarks, Heineken Lokpobiri, the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources (Oil), sought the support of ljaw People in joining hands with President Bola Tinubu on the Advocacy against Oil Theft and Environmental Pollution.

Lokpobiri said: “If you go to our Area in Bayelsa State, it is likely to be the most polluted State but People may not know.

“What is responsible for this Pollution, it could be mainly the People or Companies. The People in that State are involved in getting illegal Crude Oil for illegal refining.

“After the refining they throw the rest into the river.

“You will agree with me that by Law, Federal Government owns the Water and Land Resources. So, it behoves everyone to join hands together to fight this menace,” he said.

The Minister urged Nigerians in Diaspora to support the efforts of the Government, so that the Environment can be preserved.

He appealed to ljaw People in Diaspora to tell Nigerians in Niger Delta Region to stop Pipeline Vandalism.

“It will cause more harm to the Communities than the little money they will make.

“No matter the proceed gotten from the illegal refining, it can not feed the People of the Communities, so , we appeal to those perpetuating such acts to desist.

“President Tinubu will continue to support all Nigerians in Diaspora, including the ljaw People because we occupy strategic position in the Country and Oil still remains the main strength of our Economy.

“It accounts for at least 90 per cent of Forex. We occupy the entire Areas of Coastline.

“For us to benefit from this resource, we need to work with government at all levels,” he added.

Earlier, the President General of INC, Benjamin Okaba, said the choice of the Theme of this year’s Event  is very apt and captivating.

According to Okaba, the Theme seeks to identify and address the divergent means, Methodologies and Strategies of rejigging, mobilisng, galvanising, repositioning credible and symbiotic linkages as well as Partnership among the Ijaws in the Americas and others in Diaspora.

“Despite the God-given enormous Human and Natural Resources of the Ijaws, who are equally ranked among the four largest Ethnic Groups in Nigeria, the Ijaw Nation, the focus of this Conversation, is badly impoverished, brutally balkanised, neglected, and undermined by successive Administrations in Nigeria, even before Independence.

“The Ijaw Local Economy is badly articulated. This is worsened by the lack of meaningful Wealth Creation/Empowerment and Employment Opportunities.

“The Ijaw Ecosystem, to say the least, the worst ever anywhere in the World, has continuously faced unmitigated catastrophes arising largely from Oil and Gas Exploitation-related Pollution without any reasonable form of remediation and compensation.

“The Ijaws suffer a slave and stranger status in a Nation where they are Aboriginal and the Producers of its Economic Mainstay,’’ he said.

 

Credit NAN: Texts excluding Headline

13-May-2024 Oil Production: NNPC E&P Limited, NOSL bag first Oil in Akwa Ibom's OML 13

Oil Production: NNPC E&P Limited, NOSL bag first Oil in Akwa Ibom's OML 13

The Nigerian National Petroleum Company Exploration and Production Limited (NNPC E&P Limited) and Natural Oilfield Services Limited (NOSL,  have announced the successful commencement of Oil Production at Oil Mining Lease (OML) 13 in Akwa Ibom State.

The NNPC E&P Limited is an NNPC Limited’s Flagship Upstream Subsidiary, while NOSL is a Subsidiary of Sterling Oil Exploration & Energy Production Company Limited (SEEPCO).

Olufemi Soneye, Chief Corporate Communications Officer, NNPC Limited made this known in a Statement on Sunday.

Soneye said the Production, which commenced on May 6 with 6,000 Barrels of Oil would ramp up to 40,000 Barrels per day by May 27, 2024.

“The first Oil flow from OML 13 is a historic milestone in the Partnership between NNPC E&P Limited and NOSL.

“It highlights their dedication to driving Growth and Development in Nigeria’s Oil and Gas Sector, which remains a vital component of the Nation’s Economy,” he said.

Soneye said the achievement did not only signify the culmination of rigorous planning and execution by the Teams involved, but also represented a new Era of Economic Empowerment and Development Opportunities for the Host Communities.

Furthermore, for Nigeria, the first Oil from OML 13 holds some significance as it contributes to the Country’s efforts to increase its Oil Production Capacity, which is crucial for meeting Domestic Energy Needs and driving Economic Growth.

The NNPC E&P Limited and NOSL Partnership is also committed to operating in a manner that is safe, Environmentally responsible, and beneficial to the Local Communities.

 

Credit NNPCL PR: Texts excluding Headline

12-May-2024 Taxation: Tinubu not out to punish Nigerians, says Shettima

Taxation: Tinubu not out to punish Nigerians, says Shettima

Vice-President Kashim Shettima on Saturday restated President Bola Tinubu’s commitment to revitalise Revenue Generation in the Country.

Shettima stated this at the Close-Out Retreat of the Presidential Fiscal Policy and Tax Reforms Committee at the Transcorp Hilton, Abuja.

Shettima was represented by the Special Adviser to the President on General Duties (Office of The Vice President), Aliyu Moddibo.

”Our aim remains the revitalisation of Revenue Generation in Nigeria while sustaining an Investment-friendly and Globally Competitive Business Environment,” he said.

Shettima said that Nigeria’s Tax Reforms under Tinubu was targeted at improving the System for the overall benefit of all Nigerians.

”Contrary to speculations in some quarters, we are not here to frustrate any Sector of our Economy but to create an Administrative System that ensures the benefits of a thriving Tax System for all our Citizens.”

He said that the dynamics of the Nation’s Fiscal Landscape prompted the Tinubu Administration to pause and reconsider the direction it was going.

Shettima who expressed confidence in the ability of the Committee to deliver on the Mandate, emphasised the significance of the task ahead.

“We are gathered here today because we are transitioning from the Phase of Proposal in the Operations of this Committee’s work to the Phase of Implementation.

“I am confident that both the Federal and State Governments stand ready to ensure the effective implementation of your Reform Proposals.

”We shall provide the Institutional Framework to guarantee the adoption of the consensuses of this Committee, aligning them with our Economic Agenda.”

 

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09-May-2024 Cybersecurity Levy: Tinubu has brought pain, anguish, sorrow on Nigerians, says TUC

Cybersecurity Levy: Tinubu has brought pain, anguish, sorrow on Nigerians, says TUC

The Trade Union Congress of Nigeria (TUC) has threatened a shutdown of the Economy over the plan to begin implementation of the 0.5 per cent Cybersecurity Levy on Electronic Transactions.

The Body urged the Federal Government to direct the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to withdraw its Directive to Financial Institutions on the Issue, to avert the shutdown.

The Union’s President, Festus Osifo, gave the warning in a Statement on Wednesday.

CBN had recently, directed Banks to implement the 0.5 per cent Cybersecurity Levy on Electronic Transactions from May 20.

The Apex Bank said the Directive followed the enactment of the Cybercrime (Prohibition, Prevention, etc) (Amendment) Act 2024.

It said that the Proceeds were to be remitted to the National Cybersecurity Fund which would be administered by the Office of the National Security Adviser.

Osifo described such Plan as illogical, coming at a time that Nigerians were grappling with high Cost of Living.

He said that such high Cost of Living was imposed by Devaluation of Naira, hyper hike in the Cost of Petrol, supersonic increment in the Cost of Electricity Tariff, among others.

“We are quite disturbed that since the inception of this Administration, its Policies have brought pain, anguish and sorrow on Nigerians.

“Whereas, a Bank Account Holder in Nigeria today is currently charged Stamp Duty, Transfer Fee, VAT on Transfer Fee, and all forms of Account Maintenance Levies by both Government and the Banks, this burden seems not to be enough, as Government is poised to inflict further pain on the already battered Nigerians.

“So, many Policies of this Government are not only imposing hardship on the Downtrodden Nigerians but also on Businesses, as some of them are shutting down because of the unfriendly Business Environment, “ he said.

The Union Leader expressed fears that the development would further encourage People to hoard Cash at Home, reduce Financial Inclusion, increase Poverty and exacerbate Misery Index.

According to him, all Nigerians are interested in right now is the urgent conclusion of Discussions around the Minimum Wage.

“Not a vexatious Policy that is further reducing the already depleted Disposable Income of the Masses and indirectly ridiculing the gain which the Minimum Wage would have brought to the People when concluded,” he added.

 

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09-May-2024 Energy Transition: Africa's biggest challenge is Capital, says Nigeria

Energy Transition: Africa's biggest challenge is Capital, says Nigeria

The Federal Government has urged African Countries to come up with consistent and similar Policies in other to end Energy Poverty.

Heineken Lokpobiri, the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources(Oil), said this became necessary as the Debate on the shift from Fossil Fuel Production to Renewables gather momentum.

Lokpobiri, gave the charge in his remarks at the Africa Energy Forum with the Theme: “The future of Energy Transformation in Africa: Clean Energy and Business Sustainability” held on the sidelines of Oil Technology Conference (OTC) in Houston, Texas on Wednesday.

The Minister said Africa must come up with consistent and similar Polices, addng the biggest challenge towards achieving the Energy Transition is Capital.

‘‘The bigger challenge we have is access to Capital to explore our Oil and Gas Resources and that is what the West is using to keep Africa down.

“What we are now do is to think of establishing our own Energy Bank and that is why the African Petroleum Producers Organisation (APPO) has come up with the Idea of establishing an African Energy to help Africa Oil Producing Countries have access to cheap Capital,’’ he said.

He hinted that some Countries in the Middle East which include; Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Qatar and others do not need support from the West because they have the Financial Capability to fund their Oil and Gas Exploration and wouldn’t bend to the dictates of the West.

He worried that Saudi Arabia which produces 11 million Barrels a day is self sufficient in funding its Exploration while the entire African continent that produces about six million Barrels per day cannot expand its Production Capacity because it doesn’t have the huge Capital outlay to do that.

‘‘We are always looking up to the West and the West will say, we are not going to give you money unless you stop production of Fossil Fuels and if we follow them we will continue to be poor in terms of access to Energy.

“The easiest way for Africa Oil and Gas Producing Countries to raise money to cater for its need is from Oil and Gas that we have in abundance.

The Minister maintained that no form of Energy is superior than the other, depending on which part of the World it is opportune to be.

He said that Nigeria would continue to explore for Hydrocarbon Resources because that is quickest and easiest way for it to get Revenue.

‘‘If we decide to abandon Fuel Production today, what now happens to the rich Natural Resources beneath the ground. As we speak Coal, today is still very relevant in some part of the World.

“We are not saying we are not transiting because it is a pact that we committed to at COP26 in Glasgow.

“But we must be made to transit at our pace. We should not be rushed into Energy Transition because if we do, the consequences may be grave,’’ Lokpobiri added.

 

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09-May-2024 Gas Production: Seplat Energy to increase capacity by additional 390 mmscf

Gas Production: Seplat Energy to increase capacity by additional 390 mmscf

Samson Ezugworie,  Chief Operating Officer, Seplat Energy, says the Company is set to increase its Gas Production Capacity by an additional 390 million Standard Cubic Feets (MMSCF) of Gas by year end.

Ezugworie disclosed this to Journalists shortly after his participation in a Panel Session at the Africa Energy Forum held on the sidelines of the Oil Technology Conference (OTC) in Houston, Texas on Wednesday.

The Theme of the Forum is: “The future of Energy Transformation in Africa: Clean Energy and Business Sustainability”.

He said that the 390 MMSCF of Gas would be added to the 460MMSCF of Gas per day to make 850 MMSCF of Gas per day by year end.

According to the COO, currently the Company is producing 460MMSCF of Gas per day but would ramp up Production to 850 mmscf per day by year end when Assa North Ohaji South (ANOH) and Sapele Gas Plants come on stream.

He maintained that the entire 850MMSCF of Gas would be dedicated to the Domestic Gas Market to support Economic Growth.

He explained that the injection of the 850MMCF of Gas would go a long way in solving problems around Gas-to-Power because the Gas produced from its Oben Gas Plant goes into the National Grid, thereby boosting Power Generation Capacity.

On Gas Pricing and Debt, the Seplat Boss said this remained a major Issue in the Industry, which had discouraged most International Oil Companies (IOCs) from investing in Gas.

This, he noted, was because the Pricing needed to be gotten right while, on the other hand

He said the piling Debt for Gas produced was a major disincentive, making it a less profitable Business.

‘‘But for us at Seplat, what has played out is in the Areas of Strategy and Foresight because we clearly know that even if you owe today, there is a chance that you will pay tomorrow because the issue about Debt is clearing.

“Now, we are working ourselves into the interruptible Gas Supply and Willing Buyer Willing Seller Contracts.

“In addition to that, what we are also doing is that we have a payment structure for those who are off taking our Gas that ensures that going forward; we are not going to be having Debts piling up. But then, have a structured way of paying outstanding Debts.

“Though, it is a delicate balance because this is something we have to do to contribute to the growth of the Country.

“At the end of the day, you will see that the Profit Margin is not that significant,’’.

To lay credence to the claim of Low Margins, the COO disclosed that Gas was 40 per cent of the Company’s Production at the end of 2023 and Liquids 60 per cent.

However, he said Revenue from the 40 per cent Gas Production was 11 per cent at $123m.

‘‘So, what does that tell you? The Revenue Margin is very little but not a waste.

“We see that as a good vehicle that we also need to leverage on in running the Oil Business.

“Why is it so? If you want to run the Oil Business in a very responsible manner, then it has to go back to the Environment Social Governance (ESG) considerations,” he said.

Ezugworie says the Company had concluded Plans to end Gas Flaring in 2025.

He said that Seplat is a Nigerian Independent Oil and Gas Company listed on both the London and Nigerian Stock Exchanges.

He said the 2025 target would be reached when the Assa North Ohaji South (ANOH) and Sapele Gas Plants come on stream, thereby increasing its Supply Capacity to 850MMSCF of Gas daily.

He said: “In the past, Gas was perceived to be a bad Business because all the Oil and Gas Installations did not have a way of harnessing the Associated Gas from Oil Production.

“The Associated Gas was flared, thereby impacting negatively on the Environment.

“Now, that has changed in Seplat. We have made conscious efforts to harness the Associated Gas by putting in place Gas Solutions. By the second half of 2025, we will bring routine Gas Flaring to an end.

“With those two Projects coming, and 850 million scf of Gas per day capacity, the Gas will be used by all and 100 per cent within Nigeria for Domestic Use.”

 

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09-May-2024 Senior Executives bag Access Holdings' Shares valued at N427.13m

Senior Executives bag Access Holdings' Shares valued at N427.13m

Access Holdings Plc has awarded 23.8 million Ordinary Shares worth N427.13m to its Senior Executives and those of its Subsidiary, Access Bank.

This was disclosed in a Notice sent to the Nigerian Exchange Limited (NGX) in Lagos.

The Notification was sent in line with the Disclosure Requirements of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the NGX.

It is also in pursuant of the Terms of its Shareholders’ approved Employees Performance Share Plan.

The Group said that Bolaji Agbede, Acting Group Chief Executive Officer, Access Holdings, Roosevelt Ogbonna, Managing Director/CEO, Access Bank, and six others were vested with 23,883,790 shares worth N427.13 million in total.

According to the Filings, Ogbonna got the highest amount of Shares, totalling 12,345,679 and valued at N220.37 million, having been traded at N17.85 per Share.

Agbede was vested with 2,216,992 Shares, valued at N39.795m.

Other Directors who had Shares vested on them include: Seyi Kumapayi, Executive Director, African Subsidiaries, Access Bank, with 1,234,568 Shares worth N22.16m.

Iyabo Soji-Okusanya, Executive Director, Commercial and Investment Banking Division, Access Bank, got 1,691,308 Shares at N17.95 per Share, valued at N30.36m.

Chizoma Okoli, Access Bank’s Deputy Managing Director, Retail South, also got 1,728,395 Shares valued at N30.85m.

Gregory Jobome, Executive Director, Risk Management, and Hadiza Ambursa, Executive Director, Commercial Banking, were vested with 1,728,395 Shares each, valued at N30.85m and N31.02m respectively.

Also, Access Holdings’ Company Secretary, Sunday Ekwochi, was vested with 1,210,058 Shares worth N21.72m.

The Group stated that the Shares were vested on May 3 and May 6.

It noted that the vesting of the Shares was not a Purchase or Sale Transaction in the context of the Exchange’s Rules.

 

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08-May-2024 NLC: CBN's Cybersecurity levy gang up by Ruling Elite to extort, exploit Masses

NLC: CBN's Cybersecurity levy gang up by Ruling Elite to extort, exploit Masses

The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) has rejected the Directive by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) of 0.5 (0.005) per cent Cybersecurity Levy on Electronic Transfers.

Joe Ajaero, NLC President stated the NLC position in a Statement made available to Journalists in Abuja.

Ajaero was reacting to a recent Circular issued by the CBN, mandating Banks and Payment Service Operators to effect the deductions, effective in two weeks.

The CBN has said that the move, ‘ostensibly aimed at bolstering Cybersecurity Measures, threatens to exacerbate the Financial strain already faced by the Populace’.

Ajaero said the NLC vehemently condemned the Directive and therefore called for immediate stoppage and reversal of the Policy.

According to him, this Levy, to be implemented by deduction at the Transaction Origination, is yet another burden on the shoulders of hardworking Nigerians.

“The Nigeria Labour Congress recognises the importance of Cybersecurity in today’s Digital Age.

“However, imposing such a Levy on Electronic Transactions, without due consideration for its implications on Workers and the Vulnerable Segments of Society, is unjustifiable.

“This Levy stands as another Tax too much for Nigerians, burdening them with additional Financial Responsibilities.

“We see in this Levy as another gang up by the Ruling Elite to continue its extortion and exploitation of hapless and helpless Workers and the Masses,” he said.

He noted that while the CBN had exempted Interbank Transfers and Loans Transactions from the Levy, the broader impact on everyday Transactions would not be overlooked.

He added that such deductions directly affect the Disposable Income of Workers and further diminish the Purchasing Power of the Common Citizen.

The NLC President also noted that Domestic Manufacturers and other Businesses were already shutting down as a result of the stifling Socio-economic Environment.

He added that, yet, instead of creating a Business-Friendly Environment to encourage greater Investments in the Economy, the opposite seems to be what is being practised.

Ajaero therefore, called on the Federal Government to reconsider the Directive and prioritise Policies that alleviate the Financial burdens of Nigerians.

“We urge a Collaborative Approach between the Government, Regulatory Bodies, and Stakeholders to develop Sustainable Cybersecurity Measures that do not unduly burden the Populace.

“We reiterate our commitment to championing the Rights and Welfare of Nigerian workers and Masses,” he said. 

 

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08-May-2024 Shell: We're not leaving Nigeria, we paid $1.09bn on Taxes, Royalties in 2023

Shell: We're not leaving Nigeria, we paid $1.09bn on Taxes, Royalties in 2023

Shell says it exclusively paid $1.09bn in Corporate Taxes and Royalties to the Federal Government in 2023.

Abimbola Essien-Nelson, the Media Relations Manager of Shell, said in a Statement on Tuesday in Lagos.

Essien- Nelson said that the Royalties were paid through the Operations of the Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria Limited (SPDC) and Shell Nigeria Exploration and Production Company of Nigeria Limited (SNEPCo).

Essien-Nelson said that the figures, announced in the just published 2023 Shell Briefing Notes, showed that SPDC paid $442m, while SNEPCo remitted $649m.

She said that similar payments made by the two Companies in 2022 amounted to $1.36bn.

“These payments are Shell exclusive and do not include those made by our Partners.

“Shell Companies in Nigeria will continue to contribute to the Country’s Economic growth through the Revenue we generate and the Employment Opportunities we create by supporting the development of Local Businesses,” she quoted Managing Director of Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria Limited, Osagie Okunbor as saying.

She said that Shell has invested in Nigeria for more than 60 years.

Essien-Nelson said that the Briefing Notes Report on the progress of the Businesses of Shell Companies in Nigeria – SPDC, SNEPCo, Shell Nigeria Gas and Daystar Power for 2023.

“The Reports show that the Companies continued to power progress, working closely with Stakeholders and Communities to promote Socio-Economic Development and providing Cost-effective and Cleaner Energy Solutions.

Okunbor added: “It is important to emphasise that Shell is not leaving Nigeria and will remain a major Partner of the Country’s Energy Sector through its Deep-Water and Integrated Gas Businesses.

“Our collective focus remains on delivery of Safe Operations and care for our People.

 

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07-May-2024 FG abolishes Signature Bonus Payment by new Investors in 'Oil and Gas Sector'

FG abolishes Signature Bonus Payment by new Investors in 'Oil and Gas Sector'

Heineken Lokpobiri, Minister of State for Petroleum Resources (Oil), says the quickest way toward Economic Recovery for Nigeria is through Oil and Gas Investment.

Lokpobiri disclosed this in an interview with Journalists on the sideline of the ongoing 2024 Offshore Technology Conference (OTC) in Houston, Texas, on Monday.

The Minister said the Country’s huge Oil and Gas Deposit would mean nothing if they remained on the ground and were not explored.

He assured Investors that Oil would remain relevant for a long time and that the Federal Government was creating an Enabling Environment that will attract the best of Investment in the Country.

He reiterated that when the Government of President Bola Tinubu came on board, he took some Strategic Initiative in the Sector, which is today changing the Narrative, and disagreed that Oil could remain irrelevant.

He urged Investors to take the opportunity of the Oil Bid Round to make Investment.

“Historically, no Source of Energy goes away. So, do not be deceived that Fossil Fuel will go away.

“Talks at the recent Global Conferences have further proved that Fossil Fuel will continue to remain, the quicker we extract our Oil, the better for us as a Country,” Lokpobiri said.

‘’We are here at OTC to show the rest of the World that Nigeria is different and our Government is different, in creating the best Regulatory Framework, allowing competitiveness, and removing all the Investment barriers.

‘’Today, we are restoring Investment Confidence in the Sector.

“Investors can bring in their Funds without worries. We are showing the World that Nigeria is ready for Business,” he added.

Lokpobiri, however, announced the abolition of Signature Bonus Payment to the Government by new Investors in the Oil and Gas Sector.

Signature Bonus is a single, non-recoverable lump sum Payment by the License Holder to the Government upon the granting of a Petroleum Exploration Licence.

According to the Minister, over the years, the payment of Signature Bonuses remains a huge bottleneck for Investors.

“Stakeholders had explained that Globally, payable Signature Bonus by Awardees of an Oil Bloc or Marginal Field rank highest in Nigeria.”

He added that on many occasions, the huge amount involved in payment of Signature Bonus was a setback for Investors.

He said that to ensure Investors had a soft landing, such payments would now be tied to immediate Exploration and Production Activities by the new Entrants.

‘’Rather than pay such monies into the Coffers of the Federal Government, the Investor must now be able to prove to us that they have the Funds required to move into Exploration.

“What we have resolved going forward and with 2024 Oil Bid Round is to see that Fields won in a Bid Round must be put into immediate use as against what obtained in past where Fields are left idle after Assets are won.”

He said the new Strategy would ensure the creation of Jobs and boost activities in the Upstream Oil Sector.

Gbenga Komolafe, Commission Chief Executive, Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission ( NUPRC); Uchechukwu Ogah, former Minister of State for Solid Mineral and Gabriel Ogbechie, Group Managing Director, Rainoil Limited are among Attendees at the Conference. 

 

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07-May-2024 FG okays N130bn for Nigeria's Energy Transition Plans

FG okays N130bn for Nigeria's Energy Transition Plans

The Federal Government says it has earmarked N130bn for the execution of Energy Transition Plans in the Country.

The Minister of Budget and Economic Planning, Abubakar Bagudu said this in Abuja on Monday at a Dialogue on Mainstreaming Climate Action into Nigeria’s Development Plans with the Theme: “Unlocking Climate Finance, Actionable Partways for Nigeria’s Low Net Emissions Growth.

Represented by his Special Adviser, Bolaji Onalaja, Bagudu, said that the President Bola Tinubu Administration had been consistent on Climate Actions since  inception .

This, he said, resulted in the allocation of the Fund in the  2024 Budget for implementation of the Energy Transition Plan.

“In spite of the seemingly challenges on issues relating to Environment, the Administration is committed and ensuring implementation of the Presidential CNG Initiative and other Energy Transition Programmes,” he said.

He said the Climate Change Act 2021 had been passed, while the National Council on Climate Change had been established.

Bagudu thanked the Organisers of the Programme for the Initiative, which he said,  was designed to further evolve sustainable ways of financing Climate Change Actions to ensure low Carbon Emissions.

The Minister also urged all Stakeholders, including Governments across board, Civil Society Organisations, (CSO), Local and International Donor Organisations to support the process of unlocking Climate Change Actions Financing in Nigeria.

The Executive Director, APRI, Olumide Abimbola, said the Programme was designed to discuss Nigeria’s Climate Transition and explore actionable pathways for mainstreaming Climate Action into Nigeria’s Development Plans.

Abimbola said APRI was looking at providing evidence-based insights to inform Nigeria’s Climate Action and ensure a just Transition that would be driven by credible Data and Local Realities.

“Our aim through our work on Climate Action in Africa is to serve as a Resource Hub that provides real, factual, evidence-based, and sometimes hard truths regarding the Policies and Actions of Government and other Stakeholders working on Climate Transition in Africa,” he said.

“Climate Change is already inflicting immense damage on Lives and Livelihoods, especially on People who have the least Capacity to adapt to its effects in Africa,” he said.

He said there was an increasing need for Africans to shape and chart the Continent’s Climate Transition Pathways in line with Local Climate and Socio-Economic Realities and Development Priorities.

“And we need to begin to implement Reform Initiatives directed at clearly demonstrating that our Plans are fact-based and rooted in the realities of our Political Economy.

“For us to do this, we need to reflect internally and evaluate actionable Pathways for Nigeria’s Low Net Emissions Growth.

”Pathways that do not compromise on our Development Priorities, and that also incorporate resilience in the realities of foreseeable Climate impacts.

“Collaboratively, we want to learn and identify the Measures that are required in designing Actionable Pathways for Nigeria’s low net Emissions Growth,” he said.

He expressed hope that the knowledge and insights generated from the Event would be useful in informing key actors involved in shaping and implementing Nigeria’s Climate Transition.

High point of the Event was Deliberation by two Panelists on “Rethinking Nigeria’s Climate Strategy and Mainstreaming Climate Action toward ensuring a just Transition.

 

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06-May-2024 Seplat bags Awards from Daily Independent, The Industry Newspapers

Seplat bags Awards from Daily Independent, The Industry Newspapers

Seplat Energy PLC, leading Nigerian Independent Energy Company listed on both the Nigerian Exchange and the London Stock Exchange, has clinched the Daily Independent Newspaper’s Indigenous Oil and Gas Company of the Year Award.

 The Company was recognised for recording remarkable exploits in the Nigerian Oil and Gas Sector while partnering Local Communities who are seen and treated as key Stakeholders to its Operations and overall Corporate well-being through Inclusive Engagement Models.

Speaking at the Independent Newspaper Award Ceremony held in Lagos at the weekend, the Managing Director/Editor-In-Chief of the Publication, Steve Omanufeme, said Seplat Energy was also recognised for its invaluable contributions to the Nigerian Economy in many other ways since it was founded, including the supply of Natural Gas to the Domestic Market while helping to displace expensive and Carbon-intensive Oil based Power, which dominates Nigeria’s Electricity Sector.

Omanufeme added: “In all of these, the Company creates Direct and Indirect Employment, while enhancing Expertise and Technology across the Nation’s Energy Value-Chain.

“This Award is to celebrate this Company that has stayed committed to its Mission of leading Nigeria’s Energy Transition with accessible, affordable, and reliable Energy that drives Social and Economic prosperity.”

The Award Ceremony was attended by Leaders across Industries in Nigeria, Regulators, Politicians, and other Government Leaders. Seplat Energy was represented at the Event by General Manager, Finance, Adetaiwo Osindero; Associate General Counsel Corporate and Compliance, Adebowale Eboda; and Manager Corporate Communications, Stanley Opara.

 

In a related development, The Industry Newspaper at its 2024 Summit and Awards, also announced Seplat Energy as the Sustainable Energy Company of the Year whilst its Director, External Affairs and Social Performance, Chioma Afe, was honoured as the 2023 Industry Pathfinder in Sustainability (Corporate).

The Publication noted that Seplat Energy has demonstrated the Capacity to be responsible and adhering to the Ethics of the Business during the period under review.

Responding to the Awards by Daily Independent and The Industry Newspapers, Seplat Energy thanked the Publications for the recognition and commended them for their display of Professionalism, tact and commitment to Developmental Reportage over the years.

The Company thus reemphasised its resolve to leading Energy Transition in Nigeria with strong focus on the Environment, Communities and Governance Frameworks.  

 

Credit Seplat Energy PR

06-May-2024 Aviation: We've not abandoned our Regional Operations, says Bi-Courtney

Aviation: We've not abandoned our Regional Operations, says Bi-Courtney

Bi-Courtney Aviation Services Limited Operator of the Murtala Muhammed Airport Terminal Two (MMA2), Ikeja, has said that its proposed Regional Operations has not been abandoned.

Bi-Courtney’s Acting Chief Operating Officer, Remi Jibodu said this at a Media Parley to mark the 17th Anniversary of the Facility on Monday in Lagos.

According to Jibodu, the Launch of the Regional Operations was still in the Pipeline, as there was Approval for it, and the Operator had consistently maintained Facilities acquired for the Operations.

“The Launch of Regional Operations, considering our track record of continuous growth and excellence, will provide a single Hub for Domestic Airlines.

“This will boost Revenue through Transit Flights, drive Economic Growth by creating more Jobs, and enhance Connectivity.

“This expansion will open new Revenue Opportunities, benefiting all Stakeholders involved.

“The Economic ripple effects will be felt far and wide, from increased Foot Traffic in our Terminal to enhanced Commercial Opportunities”.

Jibodu also said that one key achievement of the Operator in the past 17 years was the resounding success of its Public-Private Partnership (PPP) Model.

He said this had helped foster Collaborations with Private Entities that had enabled Bi-Courtney to deliver World-Class Services to Passengers and Stakeholders.

He recalled Chanchangi Airline Flight NCH 334; with registration number 5N BEU, with 70 passengers as the first Airline to use the Terminal on May 7, 2007.

The Chief Operating Officer revealed that 10 Domestic Airlines including Ibom Air, Valuejet, Air Peace, Arik Air, Aero Contractors, Dana Air, United Nigeria Airlines, Azman Air, Max Air, and Rano Air currently use the Terminal daily.

According to him, more than 10,000 Guests visit the Terminal daily, including Passengers, Stakeholders, Concessionaires, and many others who visit to shop, eat, and fly.

Speaking on the successes of the Operator, Jibodu said that Infrastructural Development, establishment of E-Gate had helped to streamline Passengers’ facilitation and seamless journey.

He added that the provisions of uninterrupted Power Supply System and the recent development of Flight Distribution Guidelines after the trend of Passengers’ unrest at the slightest provocation had given a face-lift to the Operations.

He said that the MMA2 Training Centre was another milestone which had earned the Operator several accolades Nationally and Internationally.

”Our Training Center is not just a Place of Learning; it is a symbol of Empowerment, providing Individuals with the Tools they need to soar to new heights.

”Whether it’s an aspiring Ground Staff learning the intricacies of Customer Service or Advanced Aviation Security Courses, our Training Centre is a place where dreams take flight.

”Looking ahead, we are poised to embark on an exciting journey toward continued growth and innovation.

”Our Plans include further expansion of our Terminal Facilities, implementation of improved Technology to enhance Security, sustainable Initiatives to expand our Cargo Ecosystem, and the commencement of Regional Operations from our Terminal”, Jibodu said.

Meanwhile, Temitope Yusuf, Value Jet MMA2 Station Manager, said that the Airline had enjoyed consistent support, professionalism and commitment to safety of the MMA2 Operator.

Similarly, Monica Aguta, Head, Aviation Security, MMA2, said that the Terminal prides itself on the milestone achievements it had recorded over the years.

She said that Security and Safety played a pivotal role in the success recorded so far. 

 

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05-May-2024 Shettima to represent Tinubu at US-Africa Business Summit

Shettima to represent Tinubu at US-Africa Business Summit

Vice President Kashim Shettima is expected to depart Abuja for Dallas, United States of America, to represent President Bola Tinubu at the 2024 US-Africa Business Summit.

The Summit is organised by the Corporate Council on Africa.

Stanley Nkwocha, the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Communications, Office of The Vice-President, said this in a Statement on Sunday in Abuja.

Nkwocha said Shettima would join other Political and Business Leaders across Africa, the USA and beyond for the Summit.

According to him, the Summit will feature high-level Dialogues, Networking Business Sessions and the Plenary, all scheduled for the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center in Dallas, Texas.

He said that the African Leaders expected at the Summit include, the President, Republic of Liberia; Joseph Boakai, President, Republic of Malawi; Lazarus Chakwera and the President, Republic of Angola, Joao Lourenço.

Nkwocha said other African Leaders that would grace the Summit are the President, Republic of Botswana, Mokgweetsi Masisi, President, Republic of Cabo Verde, José Maria Neves, and the Deputy Prime Minister, Kingdom of Lesotho, Nthomeng Majara.

He said besides the Summit’s Plenary, Shettima would speak at the Roundtable on African Infrastructure Investment with a focus on impact and returns.

”He (Shettima) is also scheduled to speak on a high-level Panel on Agribusiness, focusing on transiting “from Food Insecurity to thriving Agribusinesses.

”Additionally, the Vice President will speak at a Plenary Session on Navigating Africa’s Energy Future as well as Chair a Session dedicated to promoting the ‘invest in Nigeria’ Initiative.

”He is also expected to attend other Meetings and Engagements on the sideline of the Summit.”

Nkwocha said that Vice President Shettima is expected back in the Country at the end of his Engagements in the US. 

 

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05-May-2024 Nigeria, UK’s Trade Relations valued at £7bn

Nigeria, UK’s Trade Relations valued at £7bn

The British High Commissioner in Nigeria, Richard Montgomery on Sunday said Trade Relations between Nigeria and the United Kingdom (UK) currently stands at about £7bn.

Montgomery told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja that Nigeria and the UK signed a new Agreement on enhanced Trade and Investment Partnership and agreed to work on a range of Sectors.

He identified the Sectors as Agriculture, the Creative Industry, Legal, Financial Services, and Education.

Montgomery stated that Trade between the UK and Nigeria is balanced.

“Trading by both Countries is relatively balanced because the UK exports about £4bn worth of Goods and Services to Nigeria while Nigeria exports to the UK about £3bn worth of Goods .

“We need to do more because if you look at last year’s figure compared to the penultimate, there was not much of an increase in Trade Volume.

“It was an increase of about two per cent. So Trade in the last few years has changed.

“And the aim of our enhanced Trade and Investment Partnership is to boost Trade and investment between both Countries and also to raise these numbers.

“Nigeria can benefit and take advantage of a new post-Brexit Trading Agreement that the UK has put in place that is called the Developing Countries Trading Scheme (DCTS).

“This Scheme called the DCTS is one of the most generous Schemes in the World in the sense that it removes Tariffs on thousands of Products from across the World to make Free Trade easier,” he said.

The Envoy said that having visited many parts of Nigeria, the UK realised that Nigeria had at least 3,000 Tariff-Free Products that it could export to the UK.

According to him, the enhanced Trade Investment Partnership signed between the two Countries in February is aimed at attracting more Investment to the Agric Sector.

He said Nigeria could boost Trade with UK by exporting more of its Agric Products.

“In Agricultural Exports, Nigeria can export Cashew, Cotton, or Cocoa from the Middle Belt.

“There are lots of Commercial Farmers involved in Vegetables, which can be processed, and there is also Timber.

“And we think that there’s a big potential for Commercial Agriculture in the future in Nigeria. You have the Land, you have the People.

“The new Trading Scheme should be an opportunity for Nigeria. We can do more in Financial and Legal Services,” he said.

He said that there were new Technologies coming into the Financial Services Sector which will greatly enhance the Sector.

He added that Nigeria has a huge Creative Industry which the UK recognises and is interested in.

“London is a good place for Partnerships in the Creative Industry. So we are hoping to promote those Areas through Partnership,” he said.

He said that two challenges of doing Business in the UK that Foreigners needed to take cognizance of  were lack of knowledge on how to do Business and also the standards (Non Tariff barriers to Trade).

He stated that a Facility called the Growth Gateway run by the Department of Business and Trade was provided as a Source of Advice for anyone that intends to export to the UK.

“When you go onto the Internet and search for UK Department for Business and Trade, you will access the Growth Gateway Page  where you will get Information on Trade, depending on what Sector you are in. There’s even a Page for Nigeria.

“In the Area of Standards, if you want to sell some Products in the UK, there are Safety Standards you have to meet, and you will have a Certification.  Nigeria has its own Certification.

“And  Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON) is working with UK Standards Organisation to reconcile Standards or enable them to certify for the UK Market to help ease Trade,” he said .

Montgomery added that he was optimistic that the UK would do more Trade in Nigeria because of the bold Reforms by the Nigerian Government.

He applauded the removal of the “crippling Fuel Subsidy”, tackling Oil theft, getting Oil Revenues that manage the Budget better, and also the Foreign Exchange Reforms.

He said that those were critical in encouraging UK Investors and Banks to come back into the Nigerian Market and do more Trade, noting that the Foreign Exchange Reforms were absolutely critical in this sense.

“You all know that the Foreign Exchange System in the past chased away Investors because it is difficult to get your Exchange done and you do not know whether you will be able to move money across Borders.

”But the new Exchange Rates Policy under this Government and the very impressive Central Bank of Nigeria Leadership Team is making Investors to say they can come back and invest in the Country,” he said.

 

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05-May-2024 Nigerian, Ugandan Journalists compare notes on Oil Exploration, Exploitation

Nigerian, Ugandan Journalists compare notes on Oil Exploration, Exploitation

Nigerian and Ugandan Journalists has concluded a Knowledge and Experience Exchange Programme on the Environmental Impact of Oil Extraction facilitated by the Africa Institute for Energy Governance (AFIEGO).

The Virtual Interaction had Reporters from both Countries compare notes on reporting the impacts of Oil Exploration and Exploitation.

AFIEGO is a Public Policy Research and Advocacy Organisation.

It works with various Stakeholders to promote Human Rights, Environmental Conservation and Climate Action amidst Oil and Gas activities in Uganda and the African Great Lakes Region.

A Senior Communications Officer in AFIEGO, Diana Nabiruma, said the Forum aimed at strengthening Journalists to report the Human Rights and Environmental Risks of Oil Exploitation in Uganda amid Corporate capture.

She noted it was both imperative and essential for Journalists from Nigeria to share their knowledge and experiences since the Country had been ahead in Oil and Gas Production.

“We believe that you, Journalists from Nigeria, can offer insights on the Environmental, Social and Health impacts of Oil Activities in the Niger Delta,” Nabiruma said.

According to Nabiruma, Uganda, like Nigeria, has had its fair share of impacts from Oil Exploration Activities.

She observed that recently, TotalEnergies embarked on an Oil Pipeline Laying Project in the East African State, a Project said to have devastated thousands of People’s Livelihoods.

She quoted a Report by Human Rights Watch, which said that if completed, the East African Crude Oil Pipeline (EACOP) Project would ultimately displace over 100,000 People.

Nabiruma regretted that more than a dozen Ugandan Journalists had been assaulted and had their Equipment destroyed in trying to cover Oil and Gas Exploratory Issues in the Country.

During the Session, Participants shared their experiences and tips on handling obstacles and safety risks associated with Reporting Oil Pollution and the antics of Oil Firms.

They also spoke on the impact of Oil Companies’ Activities in the Niger Delta Region and Uganda.

In his Presentation, Nathan Nwakanma, a Journalist with NAN, traced the Historical Journey of the Nigerian Oil Industry from the 1950s till date.

He noted that out of their hospitality, Host Communities of the Niger Delta embraced the coming of Expatriates for Oil Exploration without formalised Legal Procedures.

“Decades after the First Oil Well in the Otuabagi Community, Oloibiri District, where Oil was first struck in Commercial Quantities, dried up, the Environment and the People are still feeling the impact,” he said.

According to Nwakamma, regrettably Oil Fields are grossly underreported as most Media Houses lack the Resources to train and deploy Reporters near the Oil Fields for effective coverage.

He observed that Oil Companies employ ‘Divide and Rule’ Tactics, leading to Inter/Intra Communal Crises as Communities struggle for marginal handouts from Oil Firms and lose sight of their Environment.

Obiabin Onukwugha, a Journalist with NatureNews Africa, pointed out the devastating effects of Gas Flaring on Communities.

According to her, Communities of the Niger Delta, especially Women and Children, have suffered devastating effects of Gas Flaring.

She listed the effects as ranging from eye defects, respiratory ailments, skin diseases, excess heat waves, low crop yield, biodiversity loss, and loss of adequate sleep, amongst others.

She said that more than ten years after the creation of the Hydrocarbon Pollution Remediation Project (HYPREP), under the Federal Ministry of Environment, nothing much had been achieved.

According to her, HYPREP, which was set up to clean up and restore the Environment in Ogoni, as a Pilot for the remediation of the entire Niger Delta Region, is yet to achieve the desired result.

Rachel Mugarura-Mutana of the African Centre for Media Excellence (ACME) spoke on “Tips for Navigation Media Capture when reporting on Extractives”.

Mugarura-Mutana noted the need for Journalists to recognise Players, Contractual Restrictions, Opaque Deals and Financial Influences of the State and the Oil Companies.

She explained that Corporate Capture involved a situation where Government Entities and large Corporations exert undue influence or control over Media Outlets, thereby shaping narratives, priorities and coverage of News and Information.

“The movement of Personnel between Government Regulatory Bodies and the Oil and Gas Industry can create a culture of cosiness.

“This weakens oversight and allows Industry Talking Points to dominate Media coverage,” she said.

She explained that the Media could continue the Campaign by educating the Public about Media Capture, developing a Support System, fact-checking and protecting their Sources. 

 

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04-May-2024 Have no fear, re-open your Plants in Nigeria, FG assures Vehicle Manufacturers

Have no fear, re-open your Plants in Nigeria, FG assures Vehicle Manufacturers

The Federal Government has restated its support for the African Association of Automotive Manufacturers (AAAM), South Africa , and other Automobile Investors.

It said that it would continue to provide an Enabling Environment for doing Business in Nigeria.

The Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Nkiruka Anite, said this at a Meeting with AAAM and Nigerian Automotive Manufaturers Association (NAMA) on Friday in Abuja.

Anite urged AAAM to reopen its Business in the Country, saying Nigeria was ready.

According to the Minister, President Bola Tinubu-led Administration is keen at driving Industrialisation in the Country.

“We want to see your presence here, we know you shut down your Plants because some things were not happening, but we want you to reopen your Plants.

“We want to assure you that those things are happening now, so have no fear whatsoever. If you have Foreign Exchange challenge to import your Raw Materials, we have Raw Materials here.

“Tell us what you need, and I am sure our Components Parts here will give it to you. If you have Standard Specifications, I am sure our SON will give you the support.

“If you have issues with certain Policy Implementation on Trade Policy, we are here. This is a working Government. We do not just issue Policies. We work,’’ she said.

On Finance, the Minister said there were Funds available for the Manufacturers, and the President also pledged to ensure more Funds were available for Manufacturers to access.

Anite said: “for every Manufacturer, this is a good time to produce in Nigeria. There are difficulties, but that is why we are here to solve them.

“The Policy is no longer in-consistent in Nigeria. Whatever issue we have in Nigeria, we have a Local solution to it, and we are proud of that.

“So do not be afraid, sit with the Industry and see what we have, in areas you need more clarification we will be happy to provide that.

“What we are saying to you is that you have to produce here because we do not want to continue to import.’’

Anite reiterated the desire of the Government to support every Manufacturer in the Country, both Local and Foreign with Policies, Incentives, and every support necessary to thrive.

She said: “yes the Economy is challenging, but it is through the challenges that you will have the Opportunities.

“So, I encourage you to invest. We will make sure we continue to create the Enabling Environment to support Industrialisation and the growth of our Economy.”

According to the Minister, there is a huge demand for Vehicles, which has led to increased importation of Already Used Vehicles in the Country.

Anite, therefore, restated the need for us to increase Production of Nigerian made Vehicles and at an affordable Cost to reduce the importation of Used Vehicles into the Country.

“If the cars we produce are not cheap enough and do not meet our demand, then there is no way we can stop the importation of Vehicles, and that is why we have started this journey.

“One of the ways to reduce Cost effectively is to make sure that we source our Materials Locally and we (Government) will give you all the support that is necessary,’’ she said,

Martina Biene, the President of AAAM, commended the efforts of the Government geared towards the implementation of the Nigerian Automotive Industrial Development Plan (NAIDP).

“The Federal Government of Nigeria has made huge effort and huge steps to have an Automotive Policy.

“We have been working closely with the Director-General of National Automotive Design and Development Council (NADDC), Joseph Osanipin, to assist what we know is obtainable in other African Countries.

“This Policy is not ready as it needs to go and be passed into Law before its implementation. And we have been very pleased with what we saw.

“If this Policy is implemented, it will see huge Opportunities for the new Car Market in Nigeria, and that of course, we want to be a part of,’’ Biene said.

Earlier, the NADDC Director-General said the Automotive Industry could contribute a lot more to the Economy of the Country.

“We can do that by developing the Local Content and ensuring that we produce more, we can employ more

“Since we started this journey, we have seen the commitment of all the Stakeholders, we have seen People coming together, and you can see the manifestation by our Partners, the AAAM.

“They are here because they have seen what we are doing differently, and they have seen the commitment of the present Administration, and this gives us joy and assurance and encourage us to do more

“We are going to do more in the Area of Training, pushing for the implementation of the NAIDP, ensuring that we increase the percentage of Local Content in our Vehicles,’ Osanipin said.

Innocent Chukwuma of Innoson Group reiterated the importance of synergy in driving the Automotive Industry for the benefit of the Country.

“Synergy between the various Stakeholders is key. It is a way forward in driving the Sector for the benefit of our Nation.” he said.

Also, Anslem Ilekunba, the Coordinator /Liason Association of Local Components Manufacturers of Nigeria (ALCMAN), said Component Parts were the building block of the Auto Sector.

Ilekuba decried the huge importation of Spare Parts in the Country, which in many cases were discovered to be substandard.

He also urged the use of Local Content in Car Manufacturing, saying it would encourage the Local Producers and boost our Economy.

The Comptroller-General of Nigeria Customs Service, Bashir Adeniyi, represented by the Comptroller in charge of Tariff, Mohammed Yusuf, said the Event was timely and had a multiplier effect for the Country.

While reiterating the commitment of the Service to the Industry, he said that when the NAIDP was implemented, it would address several bottlenecks in the Sector.

 

Credit NAN: Texts excluding Headline

04-May-2024 Produce quality, affordable Vehicles, Tinubu tells Manufacturers

Produce quality, affordable Vehicles, Tinubu tells Manufacturers

President Bola Tinubu has given  the assurance that his Administration would continue to put in place Policies for the Industrialisation of the Country.

A Statement by Presidential Spokesman, Ajuri Ngelale, said Tinubu disclosed this when he received a Delegation of the African Association of Automotive Manufacturers and the Nigerian Automotive Manufacturers Association.

The President, represented by his Chief of Staff, Femi Gbajabiamila, met the Members led by the Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Doris Uzoka-Anite in Abuja.

He urged the Delegation to ensure that Locally Manufactured Vehicles are of the highest Standard that would stand the test of time, and complement Government’s efforts in revitalising the Automotive Industry.

Tinubu  urged the Association to look into producing Vehicles that would be affordable for all Categories of Nigerians, as Government roll out Consumer Credit for millions of Nigerians to purchase Vehicles and other important Goods and Services.

The Delegation had earlier notified the President of their efforts to start manufacturing Vehicle and Spare Parts in Nigeria.

He said that a Legislative Bill to drive the Automotive Industry was being drafted and reviewed by the Federal Ministry of Justice.

They emphasised the need to develop the Industry, which would create massive Employment for Youths and ease the burden on the much-needed Foreign Exchange.

The Delegation consisted of the Director-General of the National Automotive Design and Development Council (NADDC), Oluwemimo Osanipin.

Others are the Representatives of the Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA), as well as Executive Directors of Stallion Group, Toyota/CEAO and NISSAN.

 

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04-May-2024 NERC unbundles TCN into new Operator for Market, Operation functions

NERC unbundles TCN into new Operator for Market, Operation functions

The Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC),  has unbundled the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) with the establishment of the Nigerian Independent System Operator of Nigeria Limited (NISO).

The Company disclosed this in an Order signed by its Chairman, Sanusi Garba and Muslim Oseni, Vice Chairman in Abuja on Saturday.
According to the Order, TCN will transfer all Market and System Operation Functions to the newly formed NISO.

The Company said that this is in line with the Provisions of the Electricity Act 2023, which provides clearer Guidelines for the Incorporation and Licensing of the Independent System Operator (ISO).

It said that previously, TCN held Transmission Service Provider (TSP) and System Operations (SO) Licences issued by NERC.

”With the establishment of NISO, TCN will now transfer its Assets and Liabilities related to Market and System Operations to the new Entity.

According to the Order, the Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE) has been directed to incorporate a Private Company Limited by Shares under the Companies and Allied Matters Act (CAMA) by May 31.

”This new Company, to be named the Nigerian Independent System Operator of Nigeria Limited (NISO), will assume the Market and System Operation Functions as specified in the Electricity Act and the Terms of TCN’s System Operation Licence,” It said.

The Company outlined NISO’s Responsibilities to include managing Assets and Liabilities related to Market, and System Operation on behalf of Market Participants and Consumer Groups.

”The new ISO will also negotiate Contracts for Ancillary Services with Independent Power Producers and Generation Licensees.

”In addition to performing Market and System Operation Functions for the benefit of Market Participants and System Users” It said.

 

Credit NAN: Texts excluding Headline

03-May-2024 Nigeria literally subsidising the Fuel of entire West Africa, says Shettima

Nigeria literally subsidising the Fuel of entire West Africa, says Shettima

Vice-President Kashim Shettima on a second occasion in one day, says President Bola Tinubu Administration inherited a dire situation when it took over in 2023.

Shettima stated this on Thursday in Abuja when he hosted a Delegation from the United Nations System in Nigeria on a Courtesy Visit.

According to him, Fuel Subsidy had been an albatross around the neck of Successive Governments in Nigeria.

“We had two options – either we get rid of Subsidy or Subsidy will get rid of the Nigerian Nation.

“We have to be our Brother’s Keeper, but we were literally subsidising the Fuel of the entire West African Region,” he said.

He said that President Tinubu’s decision to abolish the Subsidy and unify the Exchange Rates to allow the Naira to float freely “created a lot of challenges from the Humanitarian end”.

Shettima added that removing Fuel Subsidy and Unifying Exchange Rates were tough but necessary decisions to rescue Nigeria from Economic disaster.

The Vice-President, however, assured all that Nigeria would work closely with the UN to address the Country’s challenges.

He also promised the UN Delegation that Nigeria would close ranks with the Global Body.

Earlier, Mohammed Fall, the UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator in Nigeria, had said that the Global Body would collaborate with President Tinubu Administration to attain the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in Nigeria.

He said that the UN was of the conviction that the success or failure of Africa depended on Nigeria.

According to him, the progress of Nigeria translates to the development of Africa.

“If Nigeria doesn’t make it, there is no chance for any Country to make it.

“If Nigeria lifts it here, not only our Sub-Region, but the entire Continent and the World at large will be on track for the SDGs.

“If we succeed in Nigeria today, the whole of the Continent succeeds, but if we have challenges or difficulties to succeed in Nigeria, I am sure it is all of our Continent that will be pulled down,” he maintained.

On the proposed Humanitarian Response Plan for Nigeria, Fall said that the Plan was beyond helping those in need.

“We want to set the ground for a transition towards Medium and Long Term Development.

“We need to act now. It is the only way to sustain the successes recorded by the Government and other Partners to reduce Vulnerability in Society.”

He commended the measures so far taken by the Tinubu Administration to reposition the Economy, and emphasised that Nigeria was critical to the progress of Africa and must be supported to succeed.

Fall pledged the UN System’s support for the Reforms undertaken by the Tinubu Administration.

He sought the Partnership of the Federal Government to initiate a Social Safety Programme that would mitigate the impact of the Reforms on the Most Vulnerable in the Society.

“Your decision is commended everywhere, but we (at the UN), felt that before we get the results, there is a high risk that it could impact harshly on the Most Vulnerable Segments of our Community.

“And, at the UN, we stand next to you to try to look for solutions on how we can mitigate those impacts on the Most Vulnerable People.

“This is what we want and that is our first Initiative – how we can work together to step up our work on the Social Protection Front.

“We want to make sure that a Safety Net is in place; we want to bring coherence, bring consistency in a way that helps us address Vulnerability that is still prevailing in the Country.

“The Humanitarian Situation in the North has improved and this is thanks to your Leadership.

“But, as we speak, there is still a Humanitarian Need; there is still a need to save Lives, there is still Vulnerability,” Fall said. 

 

Credit NAN: Texts excluding Headline

02-May-2024 Minister states reason why Ajaokuta must work, regrets yearly $8bn importation of Steel

Minister states reason why Ajaokuta must work, regrets yearly $8bn importation of Steel

The Minister of Steel Development, Shuaib Abubakar, says Nigeria spends $8bn to import Steel into the Country Annually, saying it has become necessary for the Ajaokuta Steel Company to work.

The Minister disclosed this during an Interactive Session with the House of Representatives Committee on Steel Development in Abuja on Thursday.

According to him, the revival of Ajaokuta steel will cost money, and we have written a 10-year Document for the revival. We will present the Document to Mr President.

Abubakar said that it was in his own interest for Ajaokuta Steel to work, adding that he was from Kogi State and must push for such interest.

He said that the Federal Government paid $500m to terminate the Concessional Agreement with Ajaokuta, adding that the Ministry was working very hard to find a solution for Ajaokuta Steel.

“It is a problem that has persisted for 45 years. We have gone to China to come and invest in the Steel Company, including setting up a new Plant, and we have gone to seek Financing.

He said that the challenges had changed as new Technology had come up, and with innovation and discussion around it, but it had not been finalised.

“Funding is a big challenge to the Ministry of Steel Development. The Steel Industry will be the bedrock of Industrialisation if we have proper Funding.

“I am still at a stage where I need to find a solution for the Ajaokuta Steel Company.

On the $2bn being requested to revive the Moribund Steel Company, the Minister said it was just a preliminary calculation, adding that the figure might not be up to that.

According to him, this is an estimate that may not be accurate at the last decimal point. It is just a process that will allow us to arrive at the right destination.

“The President has asked me to find a solution to Ajaokuta, so the figure will change pending the outcome of the Technical Audit.

“It’s clear to Nigeria that for this to happen, we need Funding and all the help we can get from the two Chambers; this is why we need it. I need all your support to make this a reality.”

Zainab Gimba, the Chairman of the House Committee on Steel Development, urged the Ministry to provide it with all the procurement processes and other responses demanded by the Committee.

The Committee said that Ajaokuta had remained a nightmare to many, adding that now that the Minister had accepted to supervise it, Nigeria expected more from him.

 

Credit NAN: Texts excluding Headline

02-May-2024 Shettima: After Buhari, we had a choice to steer Nigeria through storm or let it implode

Shettima: After Buhari, we had a choice to steer Nigeria through storm or let it implode

Vice President Kashim Shettima has expressed the optimism that the Nigerian Economy would experience significant growth soon.

Shettima stated this on Thursday in Abuja at the 2nd Chronicle Roundtable, organised by 21st Century Media Services, Publishers of 21st Century Chronicle.

The Event was as part of Group’s Public Service Enlightenment Series.

The Vice President implored Nigerians to be patient with the Administration of President Bola Tinubu as he steers the Ship of State through the Economic turbulence and storm he met on ground on assumption of Office.

”Soon, Nigeria’s economy will experience significant growth once we’ve overcome these sacrifices.

”Positive changes will soon be evident across all Economic Indicators – Inflation, per Capital Income, Gross Domestic Product (GDP), Poverty reduction, Food security -, and all aspects close to the Hearts of our People,” he said.

Shettima, who was the Guest Speaker at the Roundtable explained some key Policy Decisions taken by the Tinubu Administration as well as its Economic and Social Agenda, including the removal of Subsidy on Petroleum Products.

He described the removal of Fuel Subsidy as the ‘biggest Elephant in the Room’ before Tinubu took charge.

“We met on ground, especially the Nation’s Ailing Economy which was already tottering towards an eclipse.

“We look forward to the positive impact on the Economy that will be brought by some of our new Initiatives in some Sectors including, Oil and Gas, Creative Arts, Steel and Solid Minerals, Housing, Blue Economy, and Digital.

”There is no doubt that there’s a time to plant and a time to reap.

“In between those times, we appeal for patience and seek collective sacrifice from all, especially from us.

“We wish there were a way to treat this Ailment without surgery,” he said

The Vice President noted that the decision to remove Fuel Subsidy was quite tough considering its negative impacts on the lives of the Citizens.

He said the removal, however, became an inevitable option when it was discovered that the immediate past Administration of former President Muhammadu Buhari did not make provision for it in the 2023 Budget.

Shettima said that Tinubu chose the option that would save the Life of the Nation, instead of one that would merely prolong its imminent and predicted Economic death.

“We understood why our Predecessor made the decision not to budget for Fuel Subsidy in their Final Fiscal Year, because Nigeria’s Debt Service-to-Revenue Ratio had grown to 111.8 per cent.

”The anticipated Debt crisis may sound like fancy Economic Jargon to the Man on the Street.

“However, you and I are in a better position to understand how such miscalculations have played out in other Countries. It’s an Economic death sentence,” he said.

Shettima added: “In plain terms, our Debt Servicing was such that if you earned, say, N100,000, the entirety of the money wasn’t only paid to your Debtor; you were forced to borrow an additional N11,800 to pay the Debtor.

“How do you intend to survive this, and how many more Loans before you become a Pariah?

“We are not even discussing the Nation’s Budget Deficits, diversions of Resources from critical Sectors of the Economy, and corruption masterminded in the Subsidy Regime”.

The Vice President noted that, whoever had succeeded the previous Government, would have either chosen to steer the Ship through the storm as Tinubu is doing or jumped Ship and let the Country implode.

He said those who contested the Presidency with Tinubu were not morally justified to question the decision to remove Fuel Subsidy because it was part of the solutions they also tabled before Nigerians.

“This was because, whether in handling the Subsidy matter or the Forex crisis, they had also promised the solutions we had adopted.

“Those who attempted to eat their words were instantly proven wrong by Data, History, and their antecedents—those emotionless reality checkers,” he said.

Shettima said, for long, Nigeria had endured Economic Sabotage, leading to the resolve by the CBN Governor, Yemi Cardoso, and the National Security Adviser, Nuhu Ribadu, to neutralise the overpowering influence of Currency Manipulators.

The Manipulators, according to the Vice President, had conspired to frustrate Government Reforms.

”Today, I stand proud to say that their interventions have translated into desired results, and Naira’s pushback against all odds is an inspiring journey that doesn’t have to be learned in Buenos Aires, as some would want us to do,” he said

Earlier, the Chairman, Ministry of Finance Incorporated and former Finance Minister, Shamsudeen Usman, praised the content of the Renewed Hope Agenda of the Tinubu administration.

He described it as one of the most detailed and carefully crafted Policy Document in the History of the Country.

He stressed the need for the Renewed Hope Agenda Document to be reviewed and integrated into the medium and long-term Development Framework of the Country.

Usman noted that Policy consistency with a long-term Vision to transform critical Sectors of the Economy, was the way to go.

He commended the Administration’s establishment of a Central Coordination Delivery Unit to track the performance of Programmes, Policies and key Interventions of the Federal Government.

He insisted that the monitoring of Key Performance Indicators in the Policy Document was critical to the success of the Government.

Mahmud Jega, the Chief Executive Officer of 21st Century Chronicle Media Services,  said the Media has the responsibility to critically analyse Government Policies and Programmes.

Doing so, according to him, would translate to contributing in shaping the Nation’s Development Trajectory.

 

Credit NAN: Texts excluding Headline

02-May-2024 NDIC raises maximum Deposit Insurance Coverage for Banks

NDIC raises maximum Deposit Insurance Coverage for Banks

The Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation (NDIC), has reviewed upward the maximum Deposit Insurance Coverage for Depositors of all Licenced Deposit Taking Financial Institutions in event of Bank Failure.

Deposit insurance is the Government’s guarantee that an Account Holder’s money at an Insured Bank is safe up to a certain amount.

The Managing Director of NDIC, Bello Hassan, told Journalists in Abuja that the Deposit Insurance Coverage Level for Deposit Money Banks (DMBs) were reviewed from N500,000 to N5m.

Bello said on Thursday, that the Insurance Coverage for Micro-Finance Banks (MFBs) had been increased from N200,000 to N2m, which would provide 99.27 per cent coverage of Total Depositors.

He said that Primary Mortgage Banks (PMBs) were increased from N500,000 to N2m with Full Coverage of 99.34 et cent compared with the current 97.98 per cent.

For Subscribers of Mobile Money Operators (MMOs), he said that the Deposit Insurance Coverage had increased from N500,000 to N5m per Subscriber, per MMO.

Bello said the Payment Service Banks (PSBs) Insurance Coverage had also increased from N500,000 to N2m.

He said the adoption of the Revised Maximum Deposit Insurance Coverage would be supported by the Corporation’s Funding, represented by the balances in the various Deposit Insurance Funds (DIFs) and expected Annual Premium Collection.

Other support would be enhanced supervision to reduce the likelihood of Bank Failures, effective Bank Resolution Frameworks and other Funding arrangements provided by the NDIC Act.

Bello said that factors considered in the upward Review of the Coverage level were Deposit Distribution, Impact of Inflation, Per Capital Gross Domestic Product (GDP), Exchange Rate and other Statistical Models.

”NDIC’s Mandate of Deposit Guarantee is a critical component of Depositors’ protection, as it guarantees the payment of Deposits up to a maximum set limit in the event of Bank Failure.

”The Deposit Guarantee, covers Depositors of all Deposit Taking Financial Institutions licenced by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) , which include DMBs, MFBs, PMBs, Non-Interest Banks (NIBS), Payment Service Banks (PSBs) and subscribers of MMOs.

”We need to stress that the high level of Uninsured Deposits posed a risk of Bank runs.

”This is in line with our commitment to enhancing Depositors’ protection, Public confidence, Financial Inclusion, and stability of the Financial System.

“I am pleased to announce that the NDIC’s Interim Management Committee (IMC), approved an increase in the maximum Deposit Insurance Coverage Levels for all Licenced Deposit Taking Financial Institutions.

”The Revised Deposit Insurance Coverage has balanced the NDIC’s Goals of Deposit Protection and Financial System Stability with Incentives for Depositors to practice Market Discipline and prevent Banks from unnecessary risk-taking and moral hazard.

”Consideration was given to ensure that the Coverage was limited but adequate enough to protect a large number of Depositors,” he said.

The Managing Director reaffirmed the Corporation’s commitment to protecting Depositors and contributing to the stability of the Financial System.

 

Credit NAN: Texts excluding Headline

02-May-2024 Midoil launches Communities’ Forum, promises massive employment

Midoil launches Communities’ Forum, promises massive employment

The Inaugural Meeting of Midoil Refinery/Communities Forum held recently at Ererufu Community Townhall in Ikosi/Ejinrin Local Council Development Area, Lagos State.

In a Statement issued by Midoil Spokesman, Gbenga Onayiga, the Forum was set up to promote cordial relationship between Management of Midoil Refining and Petrochemicals Company Limited and its Host Communities of Ejinrin, Sekungba, Arogbo, Ererufu, Mogo-Olowu, Lumodan, Ododugba, Agiden, and Jagirin.

Addressing the Communities and Guests in attendance, the Executive Chairman of the Company, Elizabeth Omolara Akintonde, said the Forum would provide a veritable Platform for unfettered interaction with Representatives of the Communities and the Company henceforth. 

 

The Forum will enable all concerned to deliberate on matters that will bring further developmental ideas and Job creation to the Host Communities, Ikosi/Ejirin LCDA and Lagos State at large. 

She reiterated the need for inclusivity in the planning and execution of the multi-billion Dollar Project which would change the landscape of the Area.  

The Midoil Chairman appeals for the cooperation of all concerned. According to Akintonde, “the Midoil 3 in 1 Investments pursuant of its Human Capital Development, would provide massive Employment and reduce poverty in Ikosi/Ejirin LCDA and Lagos State.”

“In this light, we have directed contractors handling the Refinery and the Serenecity Construction Projects to patronize indigenes (in particular the women folks of the host communities) in the supply of basic building materials,” she declared.

The Midoil Chairman also promises to secure slots for Youths from the Host Communities to pursue relevant Technical Courses at Higher Institutions of Learning in Lagos, to prepare them for absorption by the Company when the Refinery commences Production.

 

Introducing the Contractors for the Projects, Akintonde urges the Community Leaders to be good Hosts to ensure a seamless and speedy execution of the landmark Project.

The event also featured the Inspection of the Refinery Location at Sekungba/Ejirin, with UNILAG Consult, the Security Agencies as well as the Contractors that will be handling the fencing of the 364 Hectares of Land.

Representatives of the Major Host Communities were led by their Traditional Rulers. They are the Baale of Sekungba, Solomon Omotayo; Baale of Arogbo, Adesanya Oyenubi and Baale of Ererufu, Gabriel Lawal.

The CEO of Gidi Real Estate Investment Limited, Tobi Akerele, whose Company is amongst the new Investors in the Midoil 3 in 1 Investment Opportunities in attendance.

The Company’s newly appointed Architect, CORNELIAN MELIRATE LIMITED led by its Senior Partner, Jane Udoukpo, Midoil Legal Adviser, Harris-Isa, Omoloju & Co as well as the Legal Adviser of Ererufu, Arogbo and Sekungba Communities, T.A. Ogunlana were also present. 

Others include friends of the Company, Kofoworola Olowolagba and Bennet Ogbeiwi.

Responding to the Chairman’s Address, the Communities’ Youth Leaders  expressed confidence in the Midoil Projects and the Board of Directors. 

They pledged to give their utmost support to all Consultants, Contractors as well as keep the Company in prayers at all times.

The Second Phase of Midoil 3 in 1 Investment, the Modular Refinery Ground Breaking and Foundation Laying Ceremony for the fencing and Entrance Access of the Refinery Land has been scheduled to take place on July 12, 2024 at Ejinrin/Sekungba, Lagos State. This is to stop the incessant sale and encroachment of the Land by unscrupulous Land Grabbers.

Incorporated in April, 2012, Midoil Refining and Petrochemicals Company Limited is poised to distinguish itself as a leading and reputable Refining and Petrochemicals Company with the Capacity of refining 100,000 Barrels per day.

 

Credit Midoil PR: Texts excluding Headline

01-May-2024 Seplat lauds FG's Executive Orders, achieves 2.3 million hours without LTI

Seplat lauds FG's Executive Orders, achieves 2.3 million hours without LTI

Seplat Energy PLC, a leading Nigerian independent Energy Company listed on both the Nigerian Exchange and the London Stock Exchange, has announced its Unaudited Results for the three months ended 31 March 2024, declaring US 3 Cents dividend per share for the period.

For the period under review, Production averaged 49,258 Barrels of Oil equivalent per day (boepd), down 4.8% on prior period (3M 2023: 51,720 boepd), but 5.7% above Q4 2023 Production, and towards the upper end of 2024 guidance (44,000 boepd – 52,000 boepd).

Seplat Energy also achieved more than 2.3 million Hours without Lost Time Injury (LTI) at Seplat-Operated Assets in Q1 2024.

The Company also applauded the progressive moves taken by President Bola Tinubu and the Industry Regulators, following the signing of the Executive Orders that will provide Fiscal Incentives in Nigeria’s Gas and Midstream Businesses.

In addition, an Executive Order was signed and gazetted into Law, which has potential to materially improve our Contracting Process and bring the right level of efficiency that will support Costs reductions. This can drive the much-needed efficiency gains across our Industry.

The Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority (NMDPRA) recently lifted the Domestic Gas Price to $2.42/Mscf supporting Revenue Generation and re-emphasising the Government’s commitment to develop Nigeria’s Gas Resources, a factor aligned with Pillar 2 in our Strategy.

According to Seplat Energy, the message to Investors on the acquisition of ExxonMobil’s Share Capital in Mobil Producing Nigeria Unlimited (MPNU) is unchanged. Dialogue between key Parties is active and constructive, and the Company remains confident that a conclusion will be reached on the transformational acquisition.

Operational Highlights

  • Production averaged 49,258 boepd, down 4.8% on prior period (3M 2023: 51,720 boepd), but 5.7% above Q4 2023 Production, and towards the upper end of 2024 Guidance (44,000 boepd – 52,000 boepd).
  • ANOH Gas Plant Pre-Commissioning Works ongoing. Seplat maintains its first Gas target in 3Q 2024.
  • Sibiri-1 on stream a few weeks after FDP approval, work ongoing to commence production from Sibiri2.
  • Discovery of Hydrocarbons in previously untested Deep Reservoirs at Sapele-37 and Okporhuru-9.
  • Carbon Emissions intensity: 29.4 kg CO2/boe (3M 2023: 26.4 kg CO2/boe). End of Routine Flaring (“EORF”) Projects are on track, with EORF expected in H2 2025, these will deliver a material reduction in Emissions intensity.
  • Achieved more than 2.3 million Hours without Lost Time Injury (“LTI”) at Seplat-Operated assets in Q1 2024.

 

Financial Highlights

  • Revenue $179.8m, down from $331.0m in 3M 2023 (after adjusting for underlift and overlift Oil Volumes, 3M 2024 Adjusted Revenues of $236.3m, against $255.6m in 3M 2023).
  • Average realised Oil Price $86.17/bbl (3M 2023: $82.32/bbl); average realised Gas Price $3.11/Mscf (3M 2023: $2.88/Mscf).
  • Unit Production Opex of $9.6/boe, (3M 2023: $9.0/boe).
  • Cash generated from Operations of $16.8m, primarily due to timing of liftings, $95m received in April for Volumes lifted in March, down from $145.0m in Q1 2023. Capex invested of $47.1m (3M 2023: $44.7m)
  • Balance sheet cash down to $335.8m (YE 2023: $450.1 million), $128 million MPNU Cash Deposit not included.
  • Net Debt at end March increased to $385m (Dec 2023: $305m), a further $19.3m of RBL Borrowings were repaid in the quarter. Net Debt to EBITDA was 0.9x.
  • Q1 2024 dividend declared of US3.0 cents per share.

Corporate Updates

  • On 1st April 2024 Udoma Udo Udoma became Independent Non-Executive Chairman and Bello Rabiu became Senior Independent Non-Executive Director of the Seplat Energy Board.
  • On 1st May 2024 Eleanor Adaralegbe will join the Board of Seplat as an Executive Director and will succeed Emeka Onwuka as Chief Financial Officer on 21st May 2024.
  • Full year Guidance unchanged. Production 44,000-52,000 boepd, capex $170m - $200m.
  • Working with NNPC and Government to conclude the acquisition of ExxonMobil’s Share Capital in Mobil Producing Nigeria Unlimited (“MPNU”). We remain confident that President Tinubu Administration will approve the Transaction.

 

Post-Reporting Period Events

  • NMDPRA increased the Domestic Market Gas Price to $2.42/Mscf from $2.18/Mscf, effective 1 April 2024. New pricing will be applied to approximately 30% of Gas Volumes.
  • On April 14th, 2024, after approximately 2 years of Outage, Zone-6 of SPDC Operated Trans Niger Pipeline (“TNP”) resumed Operations, four months ahead of Management’s expectations.

Commenting on the Results, Roger Brown, Chief Executive Officer, Seplat Energy Plc, said: “Seplat Energy continued its trend of strong Operational Performance in the First Quarter. Oil Production on OMLs 4, 38, 40 and 41 outperformed expectations, benefitting from low Pipeline losses and deferments, which were ahead of plan. Cash Flow was down in the First Quarter, but this is largely due to timing difference of lifting Oil from the Terminals.

The Business remains strong, Production is firmly on track this year and Price Realisations remain supportive of Cash Generation.

“In our FY 2023 Results, we outlined several Growth Opportunities for 2024. The first of these to start generating Revenue for Seplat is Sibiri, which came on stream just a few weeks after the FDP approval was received from NUPRC.

At Abiala (a Marginal Field within OML 40), the Drilling Programme is on track to start during 2Q. We were delighted to see resumption of Operations on the Trans Niger Pipeline in April, approximately four months ahead of plan.

Access to the Pipeline will enable us to increase Production from OML53, as well as providing the Primary Export Route for Condensate from AGPC, which remains on track for first Gas in 3Q 2024.

“Looking further forward, we are pleased to share that we discovered Hydrocarbons in Deeper Reservoirs than had previously been tested at Sapele-37 and Okhorpuru-9. The initial Results are promising, again highlighting the World class quality of the Geology in Nigeria.

“In Nigeria, we were pleased to see more progressive actions taken by President Tinubu and the industry Regulators. In March, the President signed Executive Orders that will provide Fiscal Incentives in our Gas and Midstream Businesses.

“In addition, an Executive Order was signed and gazetted into Law, which has potential to materially improve our Contracting Process and bring the right level of efficiency that will support Costs reductions.

“We applaud the change, which can drive much needed efficiency gains across our Industry. More recently NMDPRA lifted the Domestic Gas Price to $2.42/Mscf supporting Revenue Generation and re-emphasising the Government’s commitment to develop Nigeria’s Gas Resources, a factor aligned with Pillar 2 in our Strategy.

“Our message to Investors on MPNU is unchanged. Dialogue between key Parties is active and constructive, and we remain confident that we can reach a conclusion on this transformational acquisition.”

 

Credit: Seplat Energy PR

01-May-2024 NBS: It's N982 for Cost of Healthy Diet in March

NBS: It's N982 for Cost of Healthy Diet in March

The National Average Cost of a Healthy Diet (CoHD) per Adult a day stood at N982 in March 2024, the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) has said.

The NBS said this in its CoHD Report for March 2024 released on Tuesday in Abuja.

The Bureau said the CoHD in March increased by 4.7 per cent compared to the N938 recorded in February.

The NBS said the CoHD was the least expensive combination of Locally Available Items that met Globally consistent Food-Based Dietary Guidelines.

It said it was used as a measure of Physical and Economic access to Healthy Diets.

“This is a lower bound (or floor) of the Cost per Adult per day excluding the Cost of Transportation and Meal preparation.”

The Bureau said that to compute the CoHD Indicator, the following Data on Retail Food Prices, Food Composition Data, and Healthy Diet Standard were required.

The NBS also said that in March, the Average CoHD was highest in the South-West at N1,198 per Adult per day, followed by the South- East at N1,140 per day.

It said the lowest Average CoHD was recorded in the North-West at N787 per Adult per day.

The NBS further said that at the State Level, Ekiti, Lagos, and Abia recorded the highest CoHD at N1330, N1249, and N1215.

The Bureau said Katsina recorded the lowest CoHD at N739, followed by Sokoto and Zamfara at N758 and N766.

The NBS said CoHD had steadily increased since the first CoHD Report by the Bureau in October 2023.

“The CoHD in March 2024 is 40 per cent higher than what was recorded in October 2023 at N703 and five per cent higher than CoHD in February 2024, which was N938.

“The Food Groups that have driven the increases in CoHD the most are Vegetables, Starchy Staples, and Fruits. The Cost of meeting the recommendations for Oil and Fats have changed the least.”

According to the Report, Animal-Source Foods are the most expensive Food Group recommendation to meet in March, accounting to 37 per cent of the total CoHD to provide 13 per cent of the Total Calories.

It noted that Fruits and Vegetables were the most expensive Food Groups in terms of Price per Calorie.

“They accounted for 12 per cent and 14 per cent, respectively of the total CoHD while providing only seven per cent and five per cent of Total Calories in the Healthy Diet Basket.

“Legumes, Nuts and Seeds were the least-expensive Food Group on average at six per cent of the Total Cost.’’

The Report also said that in recent months, the CoHD had risen faster than General Inflation and Food Inflation.

“However, the CoHD and the Food Consumer Price Index (CPI) are not directly comparable.

“The CoHD includes fewer Items and is measured in Naira per day, while the Food CPI is a weighted Index.

“The Food CPI increased approximately by four per cent between January and February, while CoHD increased by nine per cent.’’

The NBS said the Policy implications of these results would foster Collaboration among a wide range of Stakeholders, such as Policymakers, Researchers and Civil Society Actors that focus on Food Security.

“These Stakeholders will devise Strategies that tackle access, availability, and affordability of Healthy Diet effectively.

“Also, future research incorporating Income can also be used to determine the proportion and number of the Population that are unable to afford a Healthy Diet,” the Report said.

 

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29-Apr-2024 Tinubu: I removed Fuel Subsidy for Nigeria not to go bankrupt

Tinubu: I removed Fuel Subsidy for Nigeria not to go bankrupt

President Bola Tinubu has called for Collaboration and Inclusiveness towards addressing Global challenges and ensuring sustainable solutions.

Tinubu said that this would drive Innovation across a chain of interests for a more stable and prosperous World.

He said this during a high-level Panel Session at the World Economic Forum Special Meeting on Global Collaboration, Growth and Energy for Development in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, on Sunday.

The President said that “Collaboration and Inclusiveness”, especially with regard to Africa, are elemental to building a future of hope, peace, and progress for all.

He said that Capital mobilisation, which is needed to spur Economic Growth and associated advancements in Africa, cannot be overlooked any longer.

The President said that the Continent is richly endowed but that the diversity of its Resources must reflect in its wherewithal and Economic realities.

“The Capital formation that is necessary to drive the Economy, Agriculture, ensure Food Security, Innovation, and Technological Advancement must be an Inclusive Programme of the entire World. No one should be left behind.

“I am glad the World is recognising the need for cooperation, and that with the type of Population Growth that Africa is experiencing; the diversity of its Resources must be married with Economic Opportunity. We must collaborate to achieve that,” Tinubu said.

The President called on Global Leaders to pay attention to the developments in the Sahel, emphasising the need for a studied understanding of the vectors of the current situation.

“We are encouraging the entire World to pay attention to the Sahel and the other Countries around us. As the Chairman of ECOWAS Authority of Heads of State and Government, I have wielded the big influence of Nigeria to discourage all Unconstitutional Change of Government.

”Equally, we have eased the sanctions. We need to trade with one another; not fight each other. It is very necessary and compulsory for us to engender growth, stability, and Economic prosperity for our People in West Africa.

“The rest of the World needs to look at the fundamentals of the problem; not just geo-politically, but at the root. Has the World paid attention to the poverty level in the Sahel and the rest of ECOWAS?

”Have they facilitated the infusion of Capital and paid adequate attention to ensuring the exploitation of Resources and the creation of Opportunities presented by the Mineral Resources available?

“Are we going to play a Big-Brother role in a Talk Shop without taking necessary action? We just have to be involved in the promotion and prosperity of that Region in order to see peace, stability, and Economic Growth,” Tinubu said.

Detailing the steps taken to set Nigeria’s Economy on the path of recovery, the President said he had taken tough but essential decisions like removing Fuel Subsidy – with its attendant perils – and managing the Nation’s Currency, effectively removing corruption-laden arbitrage.

“Concerning the question of Subsidy removal, there is no doubt that it was a necessary action for my Country not to go bankrupt and to reset the Economy and the pathway to growth. It was going to be difficult, but the hallmark of Leadership is making difficult decisions when they need to be made.

“That was necessary for the country. Yes, there have been drawbacks. Yes, there was the expectation that the difficulty would be felt by a greater number of People. But, of course, it was the interest of our People that was the primary focus of the Government.

”Along the line, there was an arrangement to cushion the effect of the Subsidy removal on the Vulnerable Population of the Country. We shared the pain across the board. We cannot, but include those who are very vulnerable.

“Luckily, we have a very vibrant Youth Population interested in Innovation and highly ready to leverage Technology, good Education, and who remain committed to growth.

“We were able to manage that and partition the Economic drawback and the fallout of the Subsidy removal equally; engendering transparency, accountability, and Fiscal discipline for the Country” he said.

The President added: “The Currency management was necessary, equally to remove the artificial element of Value in our Currency.

“Hence, our Local Currency finds its level and competes with the rest of the World’s Currencies as we remove corrupt arbitrage and opaqueness.

”That, we did. At the same time, that is a two-engine problem in a very turbulent situation for the Government.

“But we are able to manage that turbulence because we prepared for this with Inclusivity in Governance and rapid communication with the Public.”

In her remarks, Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), Kristalina Georgieva, commended Tinubu for offering insights on how to execute Strategic Economic Reforms.

“President Tinubu has emphasised the right things about what World Leaders must consider primary in the execution of Strategic Economic Reform. He said there is a need to ensure that Reforms are accompanied by a human touch.

”The needs of People must be identified and catered to as Governments implement tough but necessary Reforms,” the IMF Managing Director said.

During the Session, the President of Rwanda, Paul Kagame, who was also on the high-level Panel, said: “I am happy that the Nigerian President spoke on the need for Inclusive Economic Growth. Africa is the stage for an expanding Middle Class.

”As the growth of the Middle Class in Developed Economies stagnate, Africa’s Middle Class is growing.

“It is our Human Resources and not Natural Resources that make our Continent strategic and central to the Global Community moving forward.”

 

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28-Apr-2024 Tinubu seals $600m Danish Shipping Investment, says Nigeria a winning bet

Tinubu seals $600m Danish Shipping Investment, says Nigeria a winning bet

President Bola Tinubu has secured a $600m Danish Shipping and Logistics Company, A.P Moller-Maersk, Investment for Nigeria’s Seaport Infrastructure.

This Investment is to expand existing Port Infrastructure to accommodate more Container Shipping Services in Nigerian Ports.

Chairman of A.P Moller-Maersk, Robert Uggla, disclosed this during a Meeting with Tinubu on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum Special Meeting in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, on Sunday.

Tinubu noted that this Investment would complement the Administration’s ongoing $1bn Investment in Seaport Reconstruction across the Eastern and Western Seaports of Nigeria.

The President added that it would further support the Country’s Port modernisation efforts and Port Process Automation through his Administration’s implementation of the National Single Window Project.

The Window is aimed at enhancing Trade Facilitation, easing Import/Export Flow, reducing corruption at the Ports, while improving the efficiency and transparency of Port Processes in Nigeria.

“We appreciate your Business and the contribution you have made and continue to make to our Country’s Economy over time. We do not take our Partners for granted.

”A bet on Nigeria is a winning bet. It is also a bet that rewards beyond what is obtainable elsewhere.

“More Investment Opportunities are available, and my Government has worked on various Reforms to encourage Investments. We need to encourage more Opportunities for Revenue expansion and minimise Trans-Shipments from larger Ships to smaller Ships,” he said.

The President assured Maersk of his Administration’s commitment to collaborating and creating an Enabling Environment for Businesses to thrive in the Country.

He cited Maersk’s previous Partnership in the development of the Ogun State Container Terminal as a testament to fruitful Partnerships with the reputable Logistics Company.

Highlighting Maersk’s longstanding engagement in Africa’s most populous Nation and his belief in the future of Nigeria, Uggla said his Company had made significant Investments of over $2bn in Nigerian Ports and other activities.

He emphasised the potential for Nigerian Ports to accommodate larger Container Ships and stressed the need for expanding Port Infrastructure to meet this demand, while reducing the Cost of Logistics.

‘’We have seen a significant opportunity for Nigeria to cater for larger Container Ships. Historically, most of the West African Coasts are already served by smaller Ships. Currently, we see an opportunity to deploy larger Ships to Nigeria.

“To achieve this, we need to expand the Port Infrastructure, especially in Lagos, where we need a bigger Hub for Logistics Services. The growth potential is hard to quantify.

‘’We believe in Nigeria, and we will invest $600m in existing Facilities and make the Ports accommodating for bigger Ships.

‘’In my humble view, given that Nigeria is the most populous Country in Africa, Nigeria should have the best and biggest Port and we are very eager to invest.

“We will continue that Dialogue with the relevant Nigerian Authorities to explore further Investment Opportunities,’’ Uggla said.

 

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28-Apr-2024 Seize the Opportunity, invest in Nigeria, Tinubu woos Samsung

Seize the Opportunity, invest in Nigeria, Tinubu woos Samsung

President Bola Tinubu has assured Samsung Group and other genuine Investors of a conducive Business Environment in Nigeria’s Economic Sector.

The President said this on Sunday in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, during a Meeting with the President and Chief Executive Officer of Samsung, Hong Namkoong, and the Chairman of Samsung Investment Global, Jungwook Kim.

Tinubu said that Nigeria’s Investment Environment operate on the Principle of ‘a Willing-Buyer and Willing-Seller’, which ensured seamless access to Capital for Investors both within and outside the Country.

The Meeting took place on the margins of the World Economic Forum Special Meeting on Global Collaboration, Growth and Energy for Development.

‘’Nigeria is a very huge Country with a huge and able Population. We have vibrant Youths ready to learn and progress. In fact, our Young do not wait for us. They go ahead of us in their determination to succeed. We must keep up and provide Opportunities for them to excel with.

“We have an Infrastructure deficit and you can take advantage of that and invest early and deeply in an Environment that is absorptive and ready for it. It is modelled after a Willing-Buyer and Willing-Seller arrangement. Easy Capital in and Easy Capital out,” he said.

The President gave detail of Opportunities across Sectors for Investment within the Renewed Hope Infrastructure Development Fund, which involves the potential utilisation of Co-Finance Instruments on critical Infrastructure and Technology which Samsung is well known to produce.

Tinubu also harped on the importance of deepening Collaboration in the Crude Oil, Natural Gas, Renewable Energy, Engineering, Technology and Agriculture Sectors.

He emphasised the potential for vast Private Sector participation in the establishment of fully-embedded, Off-Grid, Cold-Chain Integration across Sub-Industries in the Agriculture Sector to forestall post-harvest losses with mass refrigeration capacity.

‘’We are ready to discuss and discover one another more. We can benefit so much from collaborative effort. You have the know-how, and we have the willingness. Seize this opportunity,’’ the President told the Samsung Executives.

Kim expressed Samsung’s interest in expanding its presence in Nigeria, citing the successes of sister Companies already operating in the Country while laying out potential new Opportunities.

‘’We have built many Power Stations around the World. We are top of the class in Gas-Fired Power Plant Construction. We have an ever-increasing Portfolio in the production of Renewable Energy Solutions around the World.

“We can make a lot of progress in Nigeria’s Energy Sector as well as bringing our Technology to other key Productive Sectors. Transmission Lines and Smart Grids are Areas where we see increasing demand Globally.

“You need Infrastructure anywhere you go. We are good at Metropolitan Rail Lines; we are good at Bridge Construction and any of these types of Infrastructure Projects, in addition to Oil and Gas Engineering Projects.

“We are looking forward to knowing Nigeria better under your Leadership and to see how we can penetrate the Nigerian Market deeper. This is a great opportunity for us,” Kim said.

 

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28-Apr-2024 We're not out to reap Nigerians, Manufacturer of Indomie Noodles explains Price fluctuation

We're not out to reap Nigerians, Manufacturer of Indomie Noodles explains Price fluctuation

The recent drop in the Cost of Indomie Noodles is due to noticeable improvement in the Country’s Economy in recent times and not linked to reduced patronage, the Producer of Indomie Instant Noodles, Dufil Prima Foods Limited has said.

Temitope Ashiwaju, the Company’s Group Corporate Communications and Event Manager, made the clarification in Lagos.

Ashiwaju said that the clarification became imperative to correct the wrong narrative about the reason for Price adjustment for the Product recently.

He said that the Company was also affected by the Economic realities, hence the reason for increase in Prices of Indomie Noodles in the past.

“For a listening Company such as ours, we felt at some point in time, against our Operational Cost to adjust when things started to improve.

“We had a Price reduction, which is not one of those characters that is usually found with some other Companies.

“Nigerians are quick to adjust Prices when it is going up and favour them, but when Prices go down, they are slow to do that. This is not our character at Indomie,” he said

According to him, many Firms do not have such habits of changing Prices in record time when it goes down.

He added: “We are not here to rip People out. Of course, if you starve People and make the Products out of reach, it will also affect us.

“Our goal is to make the Products affordable for Nigerians and at the best quality you can find around. Reduction in Prices came when the Operational Cost started to go down.

“We don’t have a choice than to adjust to realities of times and other indices as they improve because serving People are at the centre of our Core Value.

“The moment we realised that things started to stabilise, we all hope and pray the Economy gets better, as a responsible Company, we felt it was time to do a further Price reduction.”

According to him, some other Companies would rather just either reduce qualities and start cutting corners when Operational Cost was up.

He said that instead of doing that Indomie opted for Price jump to be in tune with what the reality is and that was what necessitated Price increment in the first place.

He reiterated: “It was not about patronage at all. People must eat and this is uppermost in our heart as responsible Company. It has nothing to do with low patronage at all

“We have been in the Country for over two decades and have Factories and Installations all scattered around the Country.

“Over the years, we are all aware of the Exchange Rate of Dollars to the Naira and most of these are components determining Prices. Machines and Mechanical Operators are things that are not produced locally.

“All Businesses are set up to make Profits, however, for us, it is trying to make best quality Products at affordable Prices for Nigeria.

“We have kept that perspective in the last 20 years which made us to have a Brand that is known to People and competing with almost all Food Brands to Rice.

“Apart from maybe Rice, the only thing People talk about is Indomie and Noodles,” he said.

Price of Indomie Noodles skyrocketed within a short period and the demand reportedly reduced following Price increase.

In a Market Survey conducted recently, a Carton of Indomie Standard Pack which is the smallest size, was being sold for between N10,500 and N11,500.

However, a Carton of that same size is presently sold for between N7,400 and N8,000.

Also, a Carton of the Super Pack was sold for between N17,800 and N18,700, and a Cartoon of Hungry Man size was sold for between N16,800 and N17,500.

Presently, a Carton of the Super