Aso Villa Reads for 18/12/2018

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

Punch reported that in a statement made available to their correspondent in Abuja on Monday, NCC “said it had become necessary to review the Service Level Agreement that telecoms operators’ dealing with subscribers in order to ensure faster and more effective resolution of consumer complaints. According to the regulatory agency, the review of the SLA will be carried out by a joint NCC-Industry Working Committee, which the commission has set up so as to ensure robust stakeholder participation in the exercise. The measure was designed to ensure faster and more effective resolution of consumer complaints in the telecoms industry and improve the overall consumer experience on all telecoms networks, NCC said in the statement.”

“The Managing Director of Bank of Industry (BoI), Olukayode Pitan, has disclosed that the partnerships between the Bank and some state governments have enhanced lending to small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) across the country to the tune of over N20 billion in 2018. Speaking with THISDAY “in an interview in Cairo, Egypt, Pitan stated that, “BoI on its own has partnership arrangements with states and we call it matching funds whereby whatever amount of money the state gives to us, we match it with the same amount of money, and this funds are disbursed in the same state. “Our matching funds are over N20 billion in terms of people that we have reached. We have reached over one million Nigerians in one-way or the other this year. “Matching funds is a product that we put together to encourage the states to be able to lend to small enterprises, for instance, we have in Kaduna, we have in Kano, and we have in different states. “What we did is that we went to Kaduna State and tell them, if you give us (BOI) one billion naira, we will put one billion naira down, so, your one billion naira becomes two billion.” He added: “So we are putting our money where our mouth is, so we are also spending the bank’s money to ensure that SMES are encouraged by getting the financing that they require.”

According to Sun News, “the Chinese government has said that Chinese companies invested a whopping $100 million in the first 10 months of 2018. It also expressed its willingness to give priority to supporting Nigeria in breaking the bottlenecks that hinder Nigeria’s industrialisation and agricultural modernisation, including backward infrastructure, shortage of professionals and lack of funds. The Chinese Economic and Commercial Counselor, Embassy of the People’s Republic of China, Abuja, Mr. Zhao Linxiang, made the disclosure during a reception party for participants of the training courses in China. He said after President Muhammadu Buhari’s visit to China in 2016, the two countries have been working together to promote win-win cooperation, as well as seeking common development. Linxiang added that the two sides also maintained the sound momentum of high-level exchanges and strengthened friendly exchanges in all fields.”

“The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has facilitated a N24 billion refund to customers of various commercial banks in the 11 months of this year, records have shown. The figures obtained by Daily Trust from the Consumer Protection Department of CBN indicated that was part of the interventions of the apex bank. CBN had directed banks to resolve complaints of customers within a two-week time frame and where the banks failed to do so, the customer can engage the Consumer Protection Department. The breakdown indicates that N23.1bn was refunded in naira, 47,000 British pound sterling, 2.3 million United States dollars, and 11,000 euros. The data further revealed a growing confidence in the CBN resolution mechanism as the apex bank has so far received 2.75 million complains since January and resolved 2.7 million within the time frame. About 649,000 complaints were made in the first quarter of 2018 and 585,000 were resolved; 737,000 in the second quarter, and 652,000 resolved.” Daily Trust reported this.

According to Daily Independent “Ibe Kachikwu, the Minister of State, Petroleum Resources, has said that the Egina FPSO project, once commissioned this month, will increase Nigeria’s daily crude oil production by 200, 000 barrels. He said that already, the project has been completed since August, and had been waiting commissioning. Kachikwu, who spoke during a programmes tagged “Three years of key achievements and staff award 2016–2018” at the weekend, added that the national crude oil reserves had increased to 37.2 billion barrels at the of 2017. He said: “In terms of new projects, the Egina FPSO has been completed and sailed away in August 2018. Once commissioned in December 2018, the giant development will add about 200,000 barrels per day of oil to national production.” Egina FPSO (Floating Production Storage and Offloading) is a massive vessel, an ultra-deep offshore project, built by oil and gas giant, Total, located some 130 kilometres off the coast of Nigeria at water depths of more than 1,500 meters.”

“The Federal Government has slashed the National Housing Funds (NHF) Individual Housing Construction loan to 7 per cent. It said the loans are payable over a period of 15 years. The Managing Director(MD), Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria (FMBN), Ahmed Dangiwa, made the disclosure when the Senate Committee on Housing led by its Chairman, Sen Barnabas Gemade, paid an oversight visit to the bank’s headquarters in Abuja. He said in a bid to tackle the housing affordability challenge for contributors to the NHF, the government also introduced the rent-to-own scheme, where contributors can own a home and pay by monthly or yearly rents over a 30-year period. “Another notable one is the reduction of equity contribution requirements for accessing NHF loans from ten to zero percent for sums of up to N5m and twenty, 30 per cent to 10 per cent for loans of up to N15m,” he added. Tribune reported this.

“The Nigeria Customs Service says it has obtained a presidential approval to extend distribution of seized perishable items to Internally Displaced People (IDP) camps and registered orphanages across the country. Joseph Attah, the customs spokesperson, said during a breakfast meeting in Lagos on Monday that prior to the approval of the extension, perishable items like rice, second-hand clothes and groundnut oil had been distributed to IDP camps in the North-east only. Almost half a million bags of 50 kilograms rice have so far been distributed in the region, the agency said. Mr Attah said between January and November this year, the customs paid N1.1 trillion into the Federation account. “Recall that last year while announcing the unprecedented revenue record of 2017 which was N1.037 trillion, we had expressed hope of breaking the record. Today, I am happy to announce that the Service has already broken 2017 record with N1.1trillion revenue,” he said. “This is no doubt a clear testimony of the fact that the ongoing reforms of the service are impacting positively on productivity. “Rice and other perishable items are being given to the victims of the unfortunate insurgency in the North-East. So far, a total of 424,391 (50kg) bags of rice worth N4, 047,615,000.00 and other seized perishables have been distributed to IDPs in Borno, Yobe, Adamawa and Edo states.” Premium Times reports that “the CGC (controller-general of customs) has therefore sought and obtained presidential not to extend distribution of these relief items to other IDP camps and registered orphanages across the country.” Mr Attah said a list of IDPs and orphanages across the country are already being compiled in order to start the distribution “as soon as possible.”

Business Day (Monday 17 2018, page 7) reports that “the African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) today in Cairo signed an agreement with the Nigerian Export Promotion Council and the Nigerian Export-Import Bank (NEXIM), launching a $1-billion Nigeria-Africa Trade and Investment Promotion Programme (NATIPP) aimed at promoting and expanding trade and investments between Nigeria and the rest of Africa. In a second signing ceremony, Afreximbank entered into a memorandum of understanding with the Nigerian Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment to jointly develop industrial parks and special economic zones worth $1.235 billion in Nigeria. The signing ceremonies, which took place during the Nigeria Day at the ongoing inaugural Intra-African Trade Fair (IATF), was witnessed by the Nigerian Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, who led the Nigerian delegation to the trade fair. Prof. Benedict Oramah, President of Afreximbank, signed the NATIPP agreement on behalf of the Bank while Segun Awolowo, Chief Executive Officer of NEPC and Abubakar Bello, Managing Director of NEXIM, signed on behalf of their two organisations.”