Aso Villa Reads for 14/09/18
Every day, we bring you the best stories the media is reporting about the Government of Nigeria
According to reports on This Day, the federal government and its Japanese counterpart have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to promote quality infrastructure investment between both countries. The MoU was signed on behalf of government by the Minister of Transportation, Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi with Japan’s State Minister of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism, Tsukasa Akimoto in Abuja. Amaechi who noted that Japan’s interest to partner Nigeria in infrastructural development is a welcome idea, explained that the American Investors and the Chinese Investors were also coming into the economy and that the country would be glad to see such investors.
Business Day (14 September 2018, page 1) reported that Air Peace, Nigeria’s largest air carrier, has signed an agreement with Boeing to acquire 10 new 737 MAX 8 aircrafts. This feat makes the airline the first in West Africa to add these to their fleet. Air Peace CEO Allen Onyema expressed excitement and explained that the new aircrafts will expand their business in the coming future and will cut their costs of operations. He also commended the federal Government, Boeing and Fidelity Bank for making it possible for them to achieve the feat.
As reported by Vanguard the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) says that the new national electronic identity (e-ID) card can be used for financial transactions. According to the Head of corporate communications, NIMC, Loveday Ogbonna, the e-ID card doubles as a proof of identity and a means of accessing financial services, adding that it enable Nigerians to receive a universally accepted identity card. In his words, “The card at the point of collection if activated could be used for financial transaction around the world and even on any master card platform, verve and others,” Ogbonna told News Agency of Nigerian (NAN). He further stated: “There is a provision in the system that enables you to load any amount of money you want into the card through Automated Teller Machine (ATM) or Point of Sale (PoS) machines.
The Nigerian mini-grid market, actively being developed by the Federal Government to provide stable power supply in the country, has the capacity to provide revenue of about $8 billion a year. The installation of several hundred of mini-grids can reduce cost by 60% in 2020 and generate annual revenue worth $5 billion. Presently, 10 commercial mini-grids with combined capacity of 364kW can serve 2000 households and 250 businesses. Hence, installing 10,000 mini grids of 100kW each will satisfy 30% of anticipated demand over the next 10 years. Hence, the federal government has set off is Off-Grid Electrification Strategy to provide clean and sustainable electricity to millions of Nigerians. Business Day (14 September 2018, page 34) reports that the strategy involves the development of 10,000 mini grids by 2023. Another aim of the federal government is to supply power to 250 Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs), provide uninterrupted power supply to Federal Universities and their teaching hospitals and 5 million solar power systems for residences and SMEs by 2023.
The federal government has assured local and international airlines as well as passengers that Nigeria’s airspace is safe and secure. According to the Managing Director the Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA), Captain Fola Akinkuotu, the Nigeria’s airspace has improved tremendously in the last three years following the modernization and improvement of safety critical navigation aids in every part of the country. Akinkuotu’s clarification followed concerns raised by aviation experts that the Total Radar Coverage of Nigeria (TRACON) did not have spare parts because of likely contractual issues with Thales of France, the manufacturers of the equipment. Responding that such concerns were unfounded, he said: “It is extremely important to reassure the nation, the travel public, our service users and the international community that TRACON is in top shape as I speak; it is safe in the medium and long terms. There is absolutely no threat from components failure. I have made this point before that our engineers are some of the best in the world.” More of this report on This Day.
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has recovered N106, 516,222,383; $1,635,925; £629,193 and 25,575 euros from looters of the national treasury. They added that they have secured 158 convictions for looting between January to August 2018. EFCC Acting Chairman, Ibrahim Magu, also added that the commission is collaborating with the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) and the Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON) to recover stolen funds and properties within the provision of the law. So reports Business Day (14 September 2018, page 3).
Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) has announced that all its retail outlets which include petrol stations will soon be powered by solar energy. This plan comes at a time around which NNPC signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) in China with a Nigerian-Chinese consortium to develop biofuel production facility in Nigeria. The NNPC Group managing director, Maikanti Baru explained that the corporation will develop grid and off-grid solar power systems as business models to contribute to the clean fuels initiative of Nigeria. NNPC has already set up several pacts to build biofuel production outlets in states such as Ondo and Benue. This is according to Business Day (14 September 2018, page 14).
The Central Bank of Nigeria and Nigerian banks have appointed UP, Nigeria’s premier financial technology company otherwise known as “Unified Payments” with a view to increasing access to finance for poorer communities in remote locations. Punch reports that the aim of UP’s appointment is to take the services of banks and other auxiliary services to those who do not have access to such services today. The apex bank had introduced the Shared Agent Network Expansion Facility initiative with a view to spurring quick growth in the level of financial inclusion through availability of financial access points, especially in the Northern part of the country; hence the move with UP. In the words of the Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director of UP, Agada Apochi, “UP is leveraging technology because as a Fintech, we are convinced that with the appropriate technology, people can have access to digital financial services even without walking out of their homes or where ever they are.”
Business Day (14 September 2018, page 31) reports that the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) is partnering with Public Health England (PHE), the United Kingdom’s public health agency, to investigate UK’s first Monkey-pox cases involving patients from Nigeria. According to NCDC, the agency has been actively responding to monkey-pox cases from September 2017 to August 2018 and has been working closely with states across Nigeria to strengthen surveillance, detection and response to Monkey-pox cases.