Aso Villa Reads for 04/11/2019

Every day, we bring you the best stories that the Media is reporting about the Government of Nigeria

The Federal Government has reiterated its support for the $12bn Dangote Refinery and Petrochemical through feedstocks and offtakers of products to add value to the nation’s economy. Mr Timipre Sylva, the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, made this known during the tour of the refinery project in Lagos on Sunday. Dangote Refinery is situated at Lekki Free Trade Zone in Ibeju Lekki, Lagos. The minister was accompanied by Mr Mele Kyari, the Group Managing Director, Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC); Mr Shakur Rufai, Acting Director, Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) and all Heads of NNPC subsidiaries. Sylva said that Dangote Refinery and Petrochemical was a testament that the country possesses an enabling environment for businesses to thrive. He said that Federal Government would support Dangote in the areas of feedstocks and offtakers in terms of gas and crude oil. The minister said that it was subject to the government’s discussion with Dangote on areas of support. “This is one of the most impressive project l have ever seen in Nigeria done by Nigerians. It is a very encouraging development. “For us as government, we have resolved to support this project. Vanguard reports.

According to Business Day, President Muhammadu Buhari has called for increased patronage of locally-made products, saying that this is the only way the new Nigeria can be realised. Speaking at the opening ceremony of the Lagos International Trade Fair, which is ongoing in Lagos, Buhari said Nigeria must be a nation that produces what it consumes and consumes what it produces. Represented by Maryam Katagum, Minister of state for industry, trade and investment, Buhari said the vast majority of developed countries rely mainly on small and medium enterprises that are ready to take risks and engender growth. “The increasing number of unemployed youths has made entrepreneurship a viable platform,” he said. He said his government is committed to supporting MSMEs to ensure that their products reach the rest of the world. He further said the government has expanded the Export Expansion Grant (EEG) scheme to boost exports and earn more foreign exchange for the economy. He saluted the resilience of SMEs participating in the fair, saying the Lagos trade fair would enhance business confidence and could lead to more foreign direct investments (FDIs) into the country.

Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Mr Godwin Emefiele, has said that the unconventional monetary policies adopted by the apex bank in steering the country’s economy are yielding good results. Emefiele said this during the 1st Convocation Lecture of the Edo University, Iyamho, entitled ‘Role of Monetary Policy: Towards Economic Growth in Nigeria, delivered at the institution’s premises in Iyamho, Etsako West Local Government Area of Edo State The Edo State Governor, Mr Godwin Obaseki, who led other members of the State Executive Council to the event, is pursuing a reform agenda for the state’s tertiary institutions that would put them at the forefront of teaching and research, nationally and globally. As reported by Vanguard, the convocation lecture was chaired by the Executive Secretary of the National Universities Commission (NUC), Prof. Abubakar Adamu Rasheed. Other dignitaries at the event include former Edo State Governor and National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Comrade Adams Oshiomhole; the Oba of Lagos, Oba Rilwan Akiolu; Commissioner for Education, Hon. Jimoh Ijegbai, Special Adviser to the Edo State Governor on Media and Communication Strategy, Mr. Crusoe Osagie, among others.

Investors in the ongoing recapitalization exercise in the insurance industry have been assured that their investment would be protected to ensure that companies use them for what it was meant. Industry regulator, the National Insurance Commission (NAICOM) gave the assurance during an interactive session with shareholder groups on the ongoing recapitalization in the insurance industry. Sunday Thomas, acting commissioner for Insurance/CEO NAICOM who dropped the hint during question and answer section noted that beyond directing the insurers to deposit any capital injected in the course of this recapitalisation into an Escrow Account with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) until when it will be approved for use, it will also ring-fence the funds thereafter to monitor what it will be used for. Pius Agbola, director, Policy and Regulation Directorate in NAICOM who represented Thomas said this is in view of it experience with the past recapitalisation exercises, where funds where directed to wrong uses. We are prepared to protect investors who put their money in insurance business, Thomas said. According to him NAICOM had given options on how insurance companies can raise the money, saying “Insurance companies can raise the money through Initial Public Offering (IPO), right issues, capitalisation of retained earnings and other means such as private placement, merger or acquisition.” He however condemned borrowing adding that, “If any company wants to go for merger and acquisition or IPO, it must give date because all options have time frame. According to him, NAICOM has approved the recapitalization plans of 44 companies, rejected that of six insurance companies of which they have been directed to make amendments, two companies are under review, while two companies have not submitted any plans at all to the Commission. With an estimated N200 billion expected into the Nigerian insurance industry after the ongoing recapitalisation by underwriters, the sector is hopeful to emerge stronger, contribute reasonably to the economy and also able to offer good returns to investors. Business Day reports.

The FCT Minister, Malam Muhammad Bello, has expressed FCT’s readiness to partner with the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP) to tackle human trafficking in the territory. Chief Press Secretary to the Minister Mr Anthony Ogunleye, in a statement on Friday, said Bello made the pledge when the Director-General of NAPTIP, Julie Okah-Donli, paid him a courtesy visit in Abuja. According to Guardian, the minister said the partnership became necessary in view of the security challenge trafficking in humans posed for the FCT.He stressed that human trafficking involved criminal gangs “which go hand in hand with drug pushers and other such crimes.“Once you see human traffickers, you see drug pushers and then you see commercial sex workers.“You find out that it is a clique that is intertwined and eventually transcends into criminality in the form of pick pocket and one chance and so on. “All these are interrelated and that is why I feel that your organisation can be co-opted to serve in the FCT Security Committee,” Bello said. He commended NAPTIP for the fight against human trafficking and assured its officials of possible areas of cooperation between FCTA and NAPTIP to ensure the success of the fight. The minister, however, urged the agency to work very closely with the Social Development Secretariat of the FCT under the supervision of the Minister of State. Contributing, the FCT Minister of State, Dr Ramatu Aliyu, said that FCTA collaborating with NAPTIP would be fundamental in bringing about the needed sanity to the city and ridding the FCT of traffickers and their cohorts. Earlier, Okah-Donlil had stressed the need for a stronger partnership with the FCT administration to take the campaign against human trafficking to all nooks and crannies of the territory.

The minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development (MHADMSD), Hajia Sadiya Umar Farouq, has restated governments’ commitment to lifting 100 million Nigerians from poverty in 10 years. The minister who led a delegation of government officials to Barwa village, Airport Road, Abuja in commemoration of International Day for the Eradication of Poverty on Thursday said under her watch, the ministry will attempt to empower every child and adult living in poverty by putting in place strategic programmes and interventions that will aid economic growth, address social needs like health, social protection and education; in line with the Sustainable Development Goal to end poverty in all its forms by 2030. We are in Barwa community not as experts who have all the answers or more privileged people, but as fellow travelers and learners willing to engage both children and adults. We will provide a different approach to poverty elimination by placing poor children and families at the center of decision making, formulation of sustainable programmes and interventions that will lift them out of poverty. The minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, who was also part of the roadwalk to mark the day said government is committed to eradicating poverty through its programmes such as the Home Grown School Feeding programme, Conditional Cash Transfer, N-Power, Government Enterprise and Empowerment Programme (GEEP) and more. Daily Trust reports.

The federal government has given conditions for the reopening of borders It insisted ECOWAS countries must respect rules of origin, vowing it Nigeria will no longer tolerate repackaging of imported goods. It declared any good coming into the country from ECOWAS states must have 30% local inputs. The Nation reported that the federal government maintained that goods imported for Nigeria market must be escorted directly from the port of member states directly to the borders. The Minister of Foreign Affairs Godfrey Onyema stated these on Monday at the end of a committee meeting.

Nigerians are in to see a future where the majority have been sustainably lifted out of poverty, and have access to fundamental services, including education, health care, water supply and sanitation, according to Zainab Shamsuna Ahmed, the Honourable Minister of Finance, Budget and national Planning. Speaking recently at the Business Day Investment and Capital Market Conference: ‘Market Recovery, Innovation and Regulation in Nigeria’, held in Abuja, she said the country looks to a future where all are financially included, with affordable access to financial products and services. A future where we have left no one behind.Considering the Nigerian capital market as the spring board, Ahmed stated that it is crucial to actualizing this future, and to achieving the sustained, inclusive and equitable socio-economic growth that the Government aims to achieve.In her words: “It allows for the mobilisation of long-term savings for investment as well as efficient pricing of financial instruments. Further it has provided a necessary platform through which the business sector and Government have been able to source for capital to expand their operations and provide public goods and services for the citizens.Therefore, we recognise the importance of maintaining a competitive, resilient and innovative capital market through, in part, the development of appropriate policies, and a strong regulatory and enabling environment, and continued implementation of the 10-year Capital Market Master Plan (2015 to 2025), aimed at positioning the Nigerian capital market for accelerated development of the national economy. Having recognised that Nigeria’s past failure to plan and execute for sustainable, diversified, inclusive growth and development led to the inevitable recession precipitated by external shocks (oil price collapse) and other factors, she disclosed that Government remains committed to executing the Economic recovery growth plan’s (ERGP) priority programmes such as: developing the investment-driven non-oil sector that is not dependent on oil earnings; and using oil and non-oil revenues to transition away from past dependencies on the oil sector. Ultimately, it is, as she posited, about building a more resilient foundation, moving forward. It is also about a strong, innovative and thriving capital market which is integral to such a future.