Aso Villa Reads for 21/09/2020

Government of Nigeria
8 min readSep 21, 2020


Every day, we bring you the best stories that the Media is reporting about the Government of Nigeria

An amendment on a new bill in the oil and gas sector that will ensure that Nigeria joins the league of industrialised nations and further help the government save $10 billion yearly via local content is in the works at the National Assembly. The proposed law, called Nigerian Oil and Gas Industry Content Development bill ( NOGICD bill), came out of decades of agitation for local value and has the capability to facilitate growth of local content in the oil and gas sector by 70 percent. Simbi Wabote, executive secretary, Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB), said as much as $380 billion was going out of the country as capital flight when the content law was not in place. “With the new bill about 300,000 jobs would be generated yearly,” Wabote said at a Nigerian content summit with the theme “Nigerian Content Development: Facing the Future.” According to Wabote, the recent disruptions caused by Covid-19 pandemic should force Nigeria to prioritise local content development. Business Day reported.

The Minister of Women Affairs, Dame Pauline Tallen, has said that tree planting would stimulate green environment and help to check the impact of climate change and deforestation in communities across the federation. Tallen said this on Friday during the Federal Government’s launch of the National Cooking Gas Distribution and Tree Planting programme at Onueke in Ezza South Local Government Area of Ebonyi (LGAs). She urged the local government chairmen to embark on tree planting in their areas and ensure that it became part of people’s national life. According to Punch, She said that 1,000 cylinders would be distributed to each of the 774 LGAs in the country. The minister said that the programme was targeted at indigent women and girls in rural areas. She said that WHO’s report indicates that emission from cooking stoves kills about 4.3 million people annually through air pollution and indoor-smoke inhalation, leading to respiratory disease and death. “This event is to create public awareness, particularly women and other stakeholders, on the dangers of using firewood for cooking their health and environmental implications,” she said.

A 50,000 barrels per day modular refinery located in a part of Imo State, South-East Nigeria, is set to begin pumping out refined petroleum from October 2020 to become one of the fastest modular refinery projects in Nigeria, now at 98 percent completion. The first phase, however, is to begin with 5,000 BPD. When operations begin, the plant located in Ohaji/Egbema area of Imo State would discharge 23 truckloads of petrol every day, hoping to increase to 30,000 BPD the following, year and later to 50,000 BPD. The CEO is Chikezie Nwosu who said all hands were on deck to deliver the takeoff date. Now, the Federal Government has led a team to inspect the site and ended up applauding Waltersmith Petroman Oil Limited and the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB) for speedy completion feat and for their effective partnership that made it possible under mere two years. The Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, who conveyed the commendation in the week after touring the project located at Ibigwe in company of the governor of Imo State, Hope Uzodinma, the Minister of State for Education, Chukwuemeka Nwajiuba, and the Executive Secretary of NCDMB, Simbi Kesiye Wabote, praised the synergy. It would be recalled that the modular refinery started in October 2018 and would commence operations on October 14, 2020, having concluded off-take arrangements with select firms. Business Day reported.

The Federal Government on Thursday launched two tools — the Central Database on Recovered Asset and the Central Criminal Justice Information System (CCJIS) — to enhance transparency in its fight against corruption in the country, Proshare reported. The tools, offshoot of the Asset Tracing, Recovery and Management Regulations, 2019 and the National Anti-Corruption Strategy, is to give bite to the President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration’s war against corruption by preventing re-looting of recovered assets and win international collaboration towards checkmating illicit financial flow and other crimes. The scheme, which was unveiled by the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) and Minister of Justice, Mr Abubakar Malami (SAN), in the presence of critical stakeholders, is aimed at specifically bringing into one central platform recovered loots by the various anti-graft agencies in the country. “What we are witnessing today is a product of our commitments, as a government towards the fight against corruption with particular reference to our membership of international organisations inclusive of financial action taskforce, open government partnership targeted at deepening transparency within this context of United Nations Convention Against Corruption. The database that will be put in place will ensure uniformity of process and real time access and information feeding,” he said.

The Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Arc Olamilekan Adegbite,on Monday, maintained that the mining sector will galvanise Nigeria’s industrialization, Vanguard reported. Adegbite stated this in his keynote address at the Nigerian Economic Summit Group webinar on with the theme, ‘New Normal — Opportunities for the Nigerian Mining Industry’. The Minister who focused on two cardinal areas including ‘Preparing for the Opportunities Through Mining Sector Reforms; and Integration of States in Nigeria’s Mining Sector Development said, “Minerals constitute a large portion of the inputs used in the production of mobile phones, laptops, ICT gadgets, batteries, solar panels. Although Covid-19 has had an impact on the battery and electronics market in the short term, the recovery projections are most likely positive in the medium term. Within Nigeria, our huge infrastructure deficit can be addressed by sourcing and utilizing our domestic raw material inputs from the mining industry. “This is why there is a strong political will by the government to diversify the economy through mining so that Nigeria is adequately prepared to harness the opportunities. Ongoing reforms underpinned by the roadmap for the growth and development of the Nigerian mining industry approved in 2017 are geared towards rebuilding the sector and unlocking its full potentials. The vision is to build a globally competitive minerals and mining ecosystem and elated processing industries capable of contributing to wealth creation, providing jobs, and advancing social and human security.”

The Federal Government’s focus on railway and seaport development is a necessity to drive the nation’s economy, the Minister of Transportation, Mr Rotimi Amaechi, has said. Amaechi stated this at the virtual 15th Annual Kaleidoscope Global Business Conference hosted by the Consulate General of Nigeria in New York yesterday. “Many Nigerians have asked why the construction of railway. Eighty percent of the cargoes we have in Nigeria are mostly imported because the Nigerian economy is yet to generate enough production. However, the President is of the view that if we must produce, we must have infrastructure that enables that production, hence the focus on transportation, power and works,” he said. The minister said although the railway project had started before President Muhammadu Buhari’s government, the nation’s seaports were not included in the design. He stated that one of the first things the administration did was to rework the plan to link the rail network to seaports across the country. “We started with the Apapa Seaport. We are working there now and I believe by December, we should conclude the Lagos-Ibadan rail line extension into the port. “We then added the Warri Seaport, the Calabar Seaport and Tin Can Island. We are making sure that all of them include seaports,” Amaechi said. According to him, contract for the 386km rail line from Kano to Maradi in the Republic of Niger will be awarded on Wednesday. Vanguard reported.

Just as global Social Media and technology giant, Facebook was informing the Federal Government about its decision to open a Nigerian office in Lagos, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, SAN has restated the determination of the Buhari administration to keep boosting the nation’s technology sector and digital economy. Prof. Osinbajo stated this on Friday during a fireside chat with Facebook’s Vice President on Global Affairs and Communications, former UK Deputy Prime Minister, Sir Nick Clegg. The chat focused on the digital economic pillar of the Nigerian Economic Sustainability Plan, NESP. According to the Vice President during the fireside chat on Friday, the focus of the Nigerian government on the digital sector is crucial in various socio-economic aspect of national life, from education, e-commerce, social investments programmes to the activities of Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) of government. He said, “The NESP is our response to the economic crisis caused by the (COVID-19) pandemic. Our focus on the digital sector is really because practically everything we are doing centres around expanding our reach in the digital sector. For example, financial inclusion is critical for us because we are spreading and extending our social services, payment of cash transfers to the poorest and most vulnerable and other manners of such payment; and sometimes to the farthest flung places in Nigeria. So, we certainly need to expand our reach in order to do so. Of course, technology is critical to that.” As reported by Vanguard, the VP also noted that the Federal Government is collaborating with the private sector to fund, establish and expand e-learning and education platforms, and other areas of digital technology growth.

The Federal Government, in collaboration with the Lagos State Government, has paid some indigent residents in the Apapa area of Lagos N10,000 each, Punch reports. A statement on Sunday said the payment was part of the Household Uplifting Programme (HUP), also known as Conditional Cash Transfer. According to the statement, the HUP is an initiative of the Federal Government geared towards the distribution of resources to the vulnerable, including the aged and the physically-challenged. The statement was titled, ‘FG, LASG pay conditional cash transfer to beneficiaries in Apapa for July, August’ The Lagos State Commissioner for Wealth Creation and Employment, Mrs Yetunde Arobieke, commended the Federal Government for extending the gesture to the state. She noted that 6,810 households were captured by the State Cash Transfer Office. The commissioner disclosed that the payment process would be conducted in the 30 wards of the six targeted Local Government Areas, namely Apapa, Amuwo Odofin, Epe, Ibeju-Lekki, Badagry and Lagos Island.

The country’s foreign reserves rose by $140.9m from $35.67bn as of September 1 to $35.81bn as of September 17, the latest figures from the Central Bank of Nigeria have shown. The reserves rose by $65m from $35.59bn as of August 20 to $35.66bn as of August 27. It had earlier lost $278.91m from $35.87bn on July 29 to $35.59bn on August 19 after which it returned to a growth path. The CBN disclosed in its economic monthly report for May that the performance of the external sector continued to be undermined by the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent partial lockdown of economies globally. It stated, “Thus, aggregate foreign exchange inflow, capital importation and external reserves of the Nigerian economy declined by 43.2 per cent, 21 per cent and 0.7 per cent to $5.52bn, $0.25bn and 36.19bn in May 2020, below their respective levels in the preceding month. “However, the trade sector recorded a surplus of $0.10bn due to the significant contraction in imports. The average exchange rate at the inter-bank, the Bureau de Change segment, and the Investors and Exporters window were N361.00/$, N443.33/$ and N386.25/$, respectively, in the review month.” Punch reported.

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