Aso Villa Reads for 10/12/2018

Every day we bring you the best news the media is reporting about the Government of Nigeria.

Guardian reports that “the Commissioner for the Accident Investigation Bureau (AIB), Mr Akin Olateru, says the aviation sector has recorded no major air crash for over three years because of the synergy and effective collaboration among the agencies. Olateru made the assertion at the 47th Annual General Meeting of the Nigerian Air Traffic Controllers Association (NATCA) in Lagos on Saturday. The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that other agencies in the sector are the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria, the Nigerian Airspace Management Agency, the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority and the Nigerian Meteorological Agency.” According to the report, “Olateru emphasised that agencies in the sector must continuously work together to sustain this feat. The AIB commissioner noted that the air traffic control service plays a crucial role in ensuring safety, aiding smooth and better communication between the pilots and the ground staff in order to avoid air accidents and incidents.”

“The Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) has explained why it stayed action on the planned withdrawal of security and fire-fighting services to some debtor-airports in the country. The affected airports are Kebbi, Gombe, Osubi airport in Warri Delta State owned by the state government and private operator. It was learnt that the suspension, which would have disrupted flight operations in the affected airports, was to give room for more negotiation with the authority. Spokesperson of FAAN, Mrs. Henrietta Yakubu in a chat with our correspondent confirmed that the airports are ready to negotiate with the authority to reconcile their debts.” According to Daily Trust “she said the agency is also conscious of the inconvenience the passengers would go through during the yuletide period if the airports were shut down. FAAN had earlier decided to withdraw services to the Airports after almost a month after the expiration of a 30- day notice issued to the affected airports. “Following a final notice of payment issued to the above airports over a month ago, the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) hereby notifies airlines, passengers and the general public that effective midnight of Sunday December 9, 2018, we are constrained to withdraw the services of our Security officers and Airport Fire and Rescue Services from Gombe, as well as Kebbi and Bebi airports,” said FAAN through an earlier statement.”

“Five months after it was closed and barricaded for repair works, the Federal Government on Friday finally reopened the Ijora end of Apapa-Ijora bridge to traffic. The reopening of the 326 metres section of the bridge has brought an immediate relief to motorists exiting Apapa, who, for the past five months, have had to drive all the way to Ijora Olopa to connect Eko Bridge in their bid to access the Costain Roundabout and Surulere. Business Day had exclusively reported that the bridge would be opened this Friday.” Business Day reports that “Adedamola Kuti, Federal Controller of Works, Lagos, who led other officials of the federal ministry of works, and engineers from the contractor, to open the bridge, said the completion brings to three the number of such interventions by the Federal Government around the Apapa axis. Others, according to Kuti, are Marine and Coconut bridges. He disclosed that with the work done, the federal ministry of works was moving ahead to begin the rehabilitation of the Alaka bridge, which, he said will take three months to deliver, as works will mostly be done at night hours. On scope of works on the Ijora-Apapa bridge, Kuti said the reinforcement of pillars, replacement of damaged expansion joints, repair of drainage pipes as well as re-asphalting and painting, were carried out.”

“The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), at the weekend, said Nigeria’s external reserves have recovered significantly from $23 billion in October 2016 to over $43 billion as of December 3, 2018. Besides, the apex bank unveiled plans to float a national microfinance bank in January 2019, with a N5billion take off capital, as part of efforts to deepen financial inclusion and enabling access to finance for Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) in rural communities. Governor of CBN, Godwin Emefiele, made the disclosure at the opening ceremony of the 10th yearly Bankers’ Committee Retreat organised in collaboration with the apex bank in Lagos. According to him, with the discovery of shale oil, along with policy measures being put in place by advanced countries such as the United States and China, towards reducing car emissions and supporting alternative sources of energy like battery powered cars, it has become imperative to build up buffers that will insulate Nigeria’s economy from volatility in the crude oil market.” Guardian reported this.

Daily Trust reports that “the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, (NNPC has assured petroleum products consumers not to engage in panic buying as it holds 2.6billion litres of petrol and 90,000 metric tonnes of Kerosene. It said the holding is expected to last 52 days, assuming no single drop of products is imported from now. This comes as the Depot and Petroleum Products Marketers Association of Nigeria (DAPPMAN) suspended its earlier directive to commence shutdown of depots across the country from loading petroleum products effective from 12-midnight today (Monday). NNPC spokesman Mr. Ndu Ughamadu, in a release on Monday morning in Abuja said the purported shut down of operations by DAPPMAN would not affect products distribution as NNPC had ordered all its depots across the country and those of bulk purchase marketers it recently entered agreements with to undertake a 24 hour operations to avert any shortages in products distribution in the country.” According to the story, “Ughamadu said: “All NNPC depots, Petroleum Products Marketing Company (PPMC) throughput partner depots, the Major Marketers depots and depots of DAPMAN members who signed the Bulk Purchase Agreement (BPA) with PPMC as well as NNPC Retail stations, Major Marketers Association of Nigeria (MOMAN) and Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN) filling stations, will continue to operate at maximum levels to ensure uninterrupted distribution of petroleum products nationwide.””

“President Muhammadu Buhari has lauded Nigerians for curbing excessive taste for foreign products, which he said has positioned the country for food self-sufficiency and resulted into savings of over $21 billion. The president said the savings will be deployed to other critical areas like infrastructure, education, health care, and many others. Mr Buhari was reacting to recent disclosures by the Central Bank of Nigeria governor, Godwin Emefiele, who spoke at the 2018 Annual Bankers’ Dinner, where he said: “Noticeable declines were steadily recorded in our monthly food import bill from US$665.4 million in January 2015 to US$160.4 million as at October 2018, a cumulative fall of 75.9% and an implied savings of over US$21 billion on food imports alone over that period. Most evident were the 97.3% cumulative reduction in monthly rice import bills, 99.6% in fish, 81.3% in milk, 63.7% in sugar, and 60.5% in wheat. We are glad with the accomplishments recorded so far.” Premium Times reports that “Mr Buhari said with the commitment of Nigerian farmers, and the support given by the government, “in no distant future, food importation will be completely alien to us, and we will even export actively, thus reversing our position as a mono- product economy.”

“Police Service Commission (PSC) has announced the commencement of recruiting new officers into the Nigeria Police Force (NPF) for Police Constable (PC). The recruitment which began Thursday, November 29 2018, would close on Friday, January 11 2019. “Selection is strictly on merit and the application process is free,” Police spokesman Abayomi Sogunle said in a tweet. According to the PSC, applicants must be Nigerians between the ages of 18 and 25 to apply. A minimum of O’level results or its equivalents with at least five credit pass with English and Mathematics in not more than two sittings is eligible to apply.” Guardian reports that “applicants must also be of good character and must be without any criminal record and conviction. Interested persons are advised to ensure they have a functional email address and phone number and keep a unique ID that will be sent to confirm their application. Multiple entries by a phone number would amount to disqualification from the recruitment. Interested persons are to apply at www.nigeriapolicecareers.net .”

“Nigeria’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) grew by 1.81 Per cent (year-on-year) in real terms in the third quarter of 2018. The GDP report released on Monday by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) showed that when compared to the third quarter of 2017 which recorded a growth of 1.17 per cent, there was an increase of 0.64 per cent points. Analysis showed that the second quarter of 2018 had a growth rate of 1.50 per cent showing a rise of 0.31 per cent points”. Daily Trust “further observed that quarter on quarter, real GDP growth was 9.05 per cent. In the third quarter of this year, aggregate GDP stood at N33.37 trillion in nominal terms, a performance that is higher when compared to the third quarter of 2017 which recorded a GDP aggregate of N29.38 trillion, thus, presenting a positive year on year nominal growth rate of 13.58 per cent. This growth rate is higher relative to growth recorded in the third quarter of 2017 by 2.88 per cent points and higher than the preceding quarter by 0.01 per cent points with growth rates of 10.70 per cent and 13.57 per cent respectively.

“Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Godwin Emefiele has said the proposed National Micro Finance Bank will address concerns around the several intervention funds that are lying idle in its vaults. Emefiele had said, at the opening of the 10th annual Bankers’ Committee retreat, that a national MFB slated for launch in January would leverage on the existing NIPOST presence in 774 local government areas of the country and aid the CBN and the bankers’ committee’s effort in accessing the Anchor borrowers’ fund, SME fund and other initiatives tailored towards SMEs, farmers and the CBN’s financial inclusion drive. The CBN governor said the issues bordering on access to credit are bottlenecks that must be addressed in order to create the much needed jobs that the country needs”. Daily Trust reports Governor Emefiele said that the bank has “the N210 billion SMEs fund and the N60 billion Agric SMEs fund which will be N90 billion by year end. But even we the bankers have complained that not all of those funds have been disbursed and sometimes, I feel embarrassed when people say, how come we have not heard about it, or we have not accessed it.” He said the CBN, under the auspices of the Bankers Committee, and the National Postal Service, decided to create its own independent channel where these funds can be accessed very quickly.