Aso Villa Reads for 10/10/2019

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

The United Arab Emirates has established a 300 megawatts renewable energy power plant in Lagos. UAE’s Ambassador to Nigeria, Fahad Obaid Al Taffaq, disclosed this in Abuja when he paid a courtesy visit on the Minister of Power, Sale Mamman. Al Taffaq informed the minister that the 300MW plant was ready for operation in Lagos and would support power being supplied by the national grid. He said the plant, which was built by a member of the emirate royal family, Ahmed Al-maktum, has the capacity for expansion within a few months to about 1,000MW. According to him, the power project was part of the United Arab Emirates investments in Nigeria. The ambassador, however, requested for the assistance of the minister in securing a generation licence and tariff from the Lagos state government. Al Taffaq explained that the company had concluded all agreements with Shell for the supply of gas to the plant. He also informed the minister of the interest of the UAE to invest in electricity transmission and distribution network across Nigeria. Punch reports.

The goal by President Muhammadu Buhari to take 100 Million Nigerians out of extreme poverty in the next ten years was reaffirmed and assured by his Senior Special Assistant on Social Investment Programmes, Barrister Ismaeel Ahmed at the last United Nations General Assembly after a side event focused on the Multi-Dimensional Approach to poverty alleviation hosted by the Government of Costa Rica and Oxford University. As reported by Vanguard, the SSA to the President stated that the President had laid the foundation for making this possible in the last four years of his administration and thus Nigerians would see a leapfrog in government efforts at alleviating poverty. “The first four years of the President Buhari administration has been a tedious project of setting up a foundation for the journey ahead. That journey on our part is to see that we empower the less privileged, the poorest Nigerians, the unemployed, and provide them with a hand up, giving them the opportunity to lift themselves out of their predicaments and empowering them for self-development and fulfilment.” “The President is committed to this project, and thus has set a mandate of lifting 100 million Nigerians out of extreme poverty within the next 10 years. It may sound too ambitious to some or perhaps even outlandish, but with the renewed focus and commitment I have seen from the President, this is a feat that can be achieved and we must ensure that we roll up our sleeves to do just that” Ismaeel stated.

According to This Day, the Federal Government has approved recommendations to review the National Broadcasting Code and extant broadcasting laws. Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, said on Thursday that the measure was to insulate the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) from undue political interference and exercise its regulatory powers, particularly with respect to the issuance and withdrawal of broadcasting license. The review of the National Broadcasting Code and extant broadcasting laws will now reflect the review of fines to be paid by erring broadcasting stations from N500,000 to N5 million for breaches relating to hate speeches, inciting comments and indecency. In the same light, government also warned that wilful repeat of infractions on three occasions after imposing the fine on a station will lead to the suspension of the licence.

The Nigerian Air Force (NAF) has commenced the training of another batch of Special Forces (SF) personnel to boost internal security operations in the country. NAF Director of Public Relations and Information, Air Commodore Ibikunle Daramola, made this known in a statement on Wednesday in Abuja. Daramola said the SF Course 5/2019 was inaugurated on Wednesday at the Regiment Training Centre (RTC) Annex in Bauchi. He said the course, which is the seventh by the current NAF administration, is the first to be conducted at the newly established RTC Annex in Bauchi. Daramola said the choice of Bauchi was to enable the trainees to acclimatise to the arid conditions prevalent in the North East, as well as decongest the RTC’s main training facility in Kaduna. Guardian reports.

Minister of Education Adamu Adamu has said public schools teachers would be given 1GB (Gigabyte) data free to enable them to access and browse the internet on a regular basis. Adamu, who was represented by the Minister of State for Education, Chukwuemeka Nwajiuba, at the 2019 World Teachers Day celebration on Saturday in Abuja, said the ministry was working with the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) and other stakeholders to provide at least 1GB of data free to each public school teacher to surf the web and obtain educational materials. As reported by Daily Trust, he said government was also working to obtain life insurance policy for all public school teachers and that families of all insured teachers would be given benefits upon the death of the holder.

Nigeria’s technology ecosystem raised a total of $178 million in 166 investment deals in 2018, and the figures are rising in 2019, the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), has said. The Director General (DG) of NITDA, Mr. Kashifu Abdullahi Inuwa, who disclosed this on Wednesday at the ongoing 39th Gulf Information Technology Exhibition (GITEX) in Dubai, United Arab Emirates (UAE), said, “The technology ecosystem raised $178m in 166 deals in 2018, and the figures are rising in 2019…The Nigerian tech ecosystem has produced three companies valued for more than $100m, including the only African “unicorn” (Jumia), valued at over $1bn. “The country had the highest investment in Africa. We therefore invite you, our potential investors, to take advantage of this massive talent pool as you invest in Nigeria.” Daily Trust reports.

According to Punch, the Federal Government has signed a $3.9bn contract with the China Railway Construction Corporation Limited for the construction of a new Abuja-Baru-Itakpe-Lokoja rail line. Both parties signed the contract on Thursday in Abuja at the headquarters of the Federal Ministry of Transportation. The Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, who received senior officials from CRCC at the ministry, noted that with the latest $3.9bn contract, the Chinese firm now handles 100 per cent of rail projects in Nigeria. The over 10-member CRCC officials were led to the ministry by the corporation’s Vice President, Wang Wenzhong. Amaechi said, “The signing ceremony that we had today is the first PPP (Public Private Partnership) railway agreement for Abuja-Itakpe or Abuja-Baru-Itakpe and Lokoja and it is between Nigeria and CRCC. “The agreement is supposed to be 15 per cent Nigeria equity and 10 per cent CRCC equity and then we borrow 75 per cent as SPV (Special Purpose Vehicle) from the Chinese bank.”