Aso Villa Reads for 06/10/2020

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

President Muhammadu Buhari will on Thursday present the 2021 Appropriations Bill to a Joint session of the National Assembly. Buhari’s letter of request was read during plenary by Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, in Abuja. The letter reads: “May I crave the kind indulgence of the Distinguished Senate to grant me the slot of 11:00hrs on Thursday, 8th October, 2020, to formally present the 2021 Appropriation bill to the Joint Session of the National Assembly. While I look forward to addressing the Joint session, please, accept Mr. Senate President, the assurances of my highest regard.”[The Nation]

The National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) will on Monday dispatch Train the Trainer (TOT) to the 36 states of the federation as well as the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) ahead of its National Business Sample Census (NBSC), which commences from October 12. The NBSC is expected to last for two months, starting from October 12 to December 12, 2020. The Head, Public Affairs & International Relations Unit of NBS, Sunday Ichedi, disclosed this to Business Day over the weekend. It would be recalled that last week, NBS commenced the process of implementing the 2020 National Business Sample Census (NBSC) in Nigeria with the support of the World Bank. The last business census was last conducted in the country in 1997/98 — some 22 years ago. The bureau had argued that the census was necessary to enable the current government re-structure the economy for a rapid growth via support to small, medium and large-scale enterprises, in order to increase their productivity. The main objectives of NBSC is to compile, frame, and develop instruments and concepts, establish standards and methodology for industrial and business surveys in Nigeria. The census will also serve as a benchmark for updates of subsequent commercial and industrial sector statistics and provide the country with comprehensive and detailed information about the structure of the Nigerian economy.

The Minister of Works and Housing Mr. Babatunde Raji Fashola, SAN has said that the Federal Government would support infrastructure development of Niger State as articulated by the State Government because of the state’s economic activities and its strategic North-South connectivity. The Minister stated this when the Chairman of the Niger State Council of Traditional Rulers led by His Royal Highness, Dr. Yahaya Abubakar, CFR, the Etsu Nupe paid him a courtesy visit in his office. Speaking on the importance of Niger State to the nation, the Minister stated that amongst the nine areas of commitment of the Buhari led administration as announced during the recent Presidential Retreat in Abuja, fuel supply and power supply were strategic areas related to Niger State. Continuing, he said that apart from the fact that the state is well known for its commerce, it also hosted one of the nation’s hydro power plants. “We cannot therefore achieve anything if we do not support the development of Niger State as articulated by the governor,” he stated. Fashola stated that there are fifteen projects in Niger State inclusive of construction and rehabilitation of road and bridge projects pointing out that most of the roads that pass through the states are A1 roads.[FMIC]

The President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), has signed bilateral air service agreements with United States of America, India, Morocco, Rwanda. This was announced by the Minister for Aviation, Hadi Sirika, on Tuesday. Copies of the agreements uploaded by the minister showed that Buhari signed the instruments of ratification on September 30. “I am glad to announce that Mr President, on behalf of Nigeria, has signed the instruments of ratification of the bilateral air service agreement between Nigeria and USA, India, Morocco as well as Rwanda,” the minister tweeted. The Punch reports that as of October 19, 2019, the Bilateral Air Service Agreements between Nigeria and other countries around the world had risen to 92. A BASA is an air transport agreement between two countries and it liberalises commercial civil aviation services between the concerned nations by allowing designated airlines to operate commercial flights, covering transportation of passengers and cargoes.

Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB) said at least five innovative teams emerged over the weekend as winners of the Nigerian Oil and Gas Technology (NOGTECH) Hackathon. Each of the five winning teams was given a cheque of $10,000 equity-free grant and they will proceed to participate in a 3-month incubation programme during which they will get workspace, expert mentors, global partners and market access to the nation’s oil and gas industry, ensuring they become commercial and investor-ready. The Executive Secretary of NCDMB, Mr Simbi Wabote, announced at the closing of the programme in Lagos that the Board will support the five firms in their product development phase, drawing from the $50million Nigerian Content Research and Development Intervention Fund. The Board’s support he said, will go into helping the companies get patents for their innovations and produce prototypes, supporting them to conduct field trials, business start-up as well as provide industry linkages. He, however, confirmed that the Board’s funding would depend on the success of the product incubation phase, stressing that “the goal is to fund bankable businesses, not charities.”[Vanguard]

The Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) says the Federal Government spent N540 billion subsidizing electricity in 2019. The commission further stressed on the need to put an end to subsidy in the sector. NERC Vice-Chairman, Sanusi Garba, who spoke during an interview with TVC, stated that the amount spent on electricity subsidy should be channelled to the health sector. Mr Garba also said that power users should pay for what they consume, instead of relying on government paying subsidy on electricity every year which is not in the best interest of Nigeria to continue shifting tariff review. He further urged Nigerians to understand the need to end subsidy on electricity as well as review tariffs as the implication will result in service plummeting significantly.[Vanguard]

President Muhammadu Buhari has approved a special salary scale for Nigerian teachers as well as increased years of service from 35 to 40. The President made the announcement, yesterday, as the world marked World Teachers’ Day. Buhari, who was represented by the Minister of Education, Mallam Adamu Adamu, announced the changes in teachers’ salary scale and retirement age in Abuja at an event to mark the day. The theme for the celebration, ‘Teachers: Leading in Crisis, Reimagining the Future,” reflects the resilience of teachers and school administrators globally amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. Buhari instructed the ministry to facilitate the implementation of the new salary scheme, saying it would encourage teachers to deliver better service. According to him, teachers have the power to shape and reshape the lives of young people and enhance their potential. He said his administration had resolved to ensure quality education of teachers by giving priority to continued professional development. He emphasized that the future of the country would depend on quality education for children and that the quality of teachers would depend on motivation. He added that his administration had also approved the building of low-cost housing for teachers in rural areas, sponsorship of teachers, prompt payment of salary, and timely promotion to eliminate stagnation, to motivate and restore lost glory to teachers and teaching in the country.[Guardian]

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