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President Muhammadu Buhari on Monday challenged Ministers-designate to reflect and assess the country’s position in 2015 and now so as to chart a course for the country for the foreseeable future. This Day reported that the President gave the task when he declared open the two-day Presidential Retreat for Ministers-designate and Federal Permanent Secretaries at the State House conference hall, Abuja. He explained that the purpose of the retreat was, among others, to familiarise the in-coming ministers with their colleagues at the Federal Executive Council (FEC) with whom they would work closely for the next four years. According to This Day, President Buhari reminded the ministers-designate that they were appointed to assist and advise him on running the country efficiently. “I congratulate all the new comers who the country has chosen above others to join the first term ministers whose performance has been outstanding. “All of you are appointed to assist and advise the president in running the affairs of our country. “At the end of the retreat, it is hoped that all of you will be in tune with the roles and responsibilities of positions you will occupy in government. Many national issues require unified decisions. “It is a great privilege for you to be called upon to serve in these geat offices of state and you must grasp the chance with two hands and put in your best efforts as Nigeria today needs top managers to handle our numerous challenges There will be long hours and you must be prepared to live laborious days if we are to serve our people optimally,’’ he said.

According to Vanguard, the Federal Government has expressed readiness to support hosting of the forthcoming World Assembly of Youths (WAY) General Assembly, scheduled for December, in Nigeria. The Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports Development, Mr Olusade Adesola gave the assurance on Tuesday in Abuja when members of WAY and the Belema Aid Foundation, an NGO, paid him a courtesy visit. Reports have it that Nigeria and Indonesia are bidding for the hosting rights of the general assembly, which will come on the heels of the 70th anniversary of WAY. Adesola said that the ministry would partner with relevant stakeholders to ensure that Nigeria wins the bid to host the global youth assembly. He expressed government’s commitment to supporting endeavours that could guarantee the development of Nigerian youths. “We are happy to receive you at the ministry, you are in the right place, and it is the right partnership. ” As a ministry that is focussed on youth affairs, we are always delighted to explore ways by which we can better a lot of our youths, and you can be sure that we shall give you the necessary support,” Adesola said.

The Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB) yesterday disclosed that $160 million has been accessed by indigenous oil and gas companies in Nigeria from its $200 million Nigerian Content Intervention Fund (NCIF). This Day reported that the board also stated that in line with its 10-year strategic plan, it has set a target to ramp up compliance to Nigerian content regulations in the oil and gas industry from the current 28 per cent to 70 per cent in 2027. Speaking to journalists at a media briefing, the Executive Secretary of NCDMB, Mr. Simbi Wabote, stated that the NCIF, which is administered by the Bank of Industry (BOI) on a single digit interest rate and a payment moratorium of one year to applicants, was part of effort to provide accessible credit to oil and gas service companies and community contractors in Nigeria. “A total of US$160 million out of the US$200 million NCI Fund has so far been given out. The Bank of Industry is the custodian and administrator of the NCIF and we are working closely to monitor the beneficiaries and ensure utilisation of the loans for the stated purposes and repayment when due,” Wabote said. This Day reported.

According to This Day, the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) has secured an approval from the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) to invest in and operate health management services across Nigeria, to amongst other objectives, cut down the reliance of Nigerians on foreign medical services. In a statement from NNPC’s Group General, Public Affairs, Mr. Ndu Ughamadu, the corporation stated that its ongoing efforts to provide qualitative healthcare services to Nigerians in all walks of life had through the approval received a major boost. According to the corporation, the formal accreditation of the NNPC Health Maintenance Organisation (HMO) by the NHIS meant that it would be able to help Nigerians access good healthcare services without having to travel to foreign hospitals. “The accreditation which granted the National Oil Company the authority to establish and operate a functional HMO comes as a forerunner to the enviable plan by the corporation to activate a first rate medical delivery system across the country with potential to halt the ugly trend of medical tourism by Nigerians to other jurisdictions,” said the statement.

As reported by Guardian, Armese Power Solutions has aligned with the Federal Government’s efforts to end estimated billing as it commences massive meter deployment following the recent flag-off of the Meter Asset Provider (MAP) scheme by the Port Harcourt Electricity Distribution Company (PHEDC) in Rivers. Armese Power Solutions and Armese Consulting CEO Imran Aslam Khokhar in a statement emphasized the adequacy of the company’s current stock of meters to plug 50 per cent of the metering gap at this stage of the MAP project within the PHED franchise area. Armese had earlier pledged its capacity to help all MAPs, newly engaged by the 11 distribution companies (DisCos), meet the local content requirements of the MAP regulation, leveraging its Akwa Ibom-based meter manufacturing facility with an annualized installed capacity of 3 million meters on a multi-shift pattern. At the conclusion of a competitive bid process for meter asset supply within the PHED jurisdiction, Armese emerged the preferred bidder alongside Holley Metering and has already commenced rollout across designated coverage areas in Rivers, Bayelsa, Cross River and Akwa Ibom.