Aso Villa Reads for 13/3/18

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

Punch reports that the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) has set up a new regulation which allows a specialised class of operators known as Meter Asset Providers to also provide meters to consumers. This means the NERC is no longer the sole provide of meters to electricity consumers in the country. This willl thus solve the issues of customers complaints due insufficient access to meters for electricity. Also, according to the Commissioner, Legal, Licensing and Compliance, NERC, Dafe Akpeneye, The Meter Asset Providers (MAPs) will be able to provide various options to electricity customers and bridge the metering gap. He added, “Electricity consumers will now have the option of self-financing. Those who don’t want this will be able to obtain meters from MAPs and there will be a metering service charge spread over a period of 10 years.”

According to Business Day (13th March 2018, page 35), President Buhari has reassured indigenes of Benue State on his commitment to improve the security of lives and properties in the state. He stated his commitment at the Benue stakeholders’ meeting in Makurdi where he condemned the Inspector-Genreal of Police Idris Ibrahim for disobeying Presidential order to relocate to Benue state in the face of the farmers-herdsmen crisis. In his address, he also promised to enhance rice cultivation and production in the state to reduce rice imporation by 90% next farming season.

The Federal Government, through the Ministry of Health, is making efforts to reduce medical tourism by improving state of health facilities in the country. Vanguard reported that the Minister of State for Health, Dr Ehanire Osagie revealed this at the inauguration of projects carried out by the Federal Medical Centre (FMC) in Keffi, Nasarawa State.

The Bank of Industry in partnership with the Development Agenda for Western Nigeria Commission and Nustream Conference and Culture Centre are setting up the first South-West e-commerce summit and expo, in Ibadan between March 26–28, 2018 at the headquarters of DAWN Commission in Cocoa House, Ibadan. The aim of the expo according to the BoI representative, Pacquedis Irabor, is to create awareness to young e-entrepreneurs and business owners on the opportunities and support which the BOI is offering Small and Medium-scale Enterprises (SMEs) in the country, particularly in the South-West region. Punch reported this.

Good news on Business Day as the Federal Government, through the Ministry of Transportation, has urged the Chinese Civil Engineering and Construction Company (CCECC) in charge of the Lagos-Ibadan rail project to work 24/7 to speediliy completes the project at set deadline. The Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, who stated this during the project’s progress report expressed satisfaction at the work and progress so far.

According to Vanguard, the Federal Government is set to reduce mini-grid electricity costs across the country by over 60%. This is being achieved through a partnership between the Rural Electrification Agency (REA) and the Rocky Mountain Institute (RMI) who have created an off-grid electrification strategy aimed to support mini grids and brign down electricity costs for rural communities.

Punch reports that with aim to promote seaborne commerce and boost our national shipping line, the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency is willing to partner with the Bureau of Public Enterprises to achieve these objectives. The Director-General, NIMASA, Dr. Dakuku Peterside, further stated that the efficiency in shipping operations in the country can be aided mostly by active involvement of the private sector. In that regard, he added that the Ministry of Transportation has set up the National Fleet Implementation Committee headed by the Executive Secretary of the Nigerian Shippers’ Council, Hassan Bello, who is working closely with NIMASA to initiate and implement a process whereby private sector investors could pool their resources together to float a national fleet whoch will be facilitated by the ministry and NIMASA.

According to Business Day, the Federal Government has debunked fale statements alleging that the cost of lassa fever treatments is high and is increasing the mortality rate in the country. The Federal Government stated that the drug Ribavirin, which is used for the treatment of Lassa fever, has been provided free-of-charge to patients, ‘for every single case of Lassa fever reported in Nigeria.’ The CEO of The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), Chikwe Ihekweazu, also mentioned in a statement issued by the agency that treatment centres have been provided with the necessary equipment and utlities essential for the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of Lassa fever cases.

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) injected the sum of $210 million into the inter-bank forex market to ensure the availability of forex for Nigerians in various segments of the market. According to CBN figures, $100million was offered to authorized wholesale dealers, while $55 million was offered to the Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) segment. Another $55 million was offered to those requiring forex for invisibles such as tuition fees, medical payments and Basic Travel Allowance (BTA), etc. This was reported by This Day.



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