Aso Villa Reads for 22/10/2018
Every day, we bring you the best stories that the media is reporting about the Government of Nigeria
Daily Trust reports that “after 12 years of post-privatisation uncertainty, the Pension Transitional Arrangement Directorate (PTAD) has added 9,215 ex-workers of NITEL/Mtel to the monthly pension payroll. A statement released by the directorate indicates that the development is in fulfillment of President Muhammadu Buhari’s commitment to ensure all pensioners get their entitlements. The directorate said payments to 1,385 Next of Kins (NoKs) would follow shortly as it concludesd the computation of deceased pensioners’ benefits.”
“Polish oil refiner, PKN Orlen, expects to receive a first ever shipment of Nigerian crude oil next month, its CEO said, as Poland seeks to reduce its reliance on Russian supplies. The New Telegraph writes that State-run PKN Orlen, Poland’s biggest refiner and smaller rival Lotos, which it is taking over, rely mostly on Russian oil delivered via pipelines built in the 1960s but both have increased purchases from other sources. “Nigeria is our new source of supplies we are exploring. Currently, a batch of 130,000 tonnes of Nigerian oil is on its way to Poland. It is expected to arrive at Naftoport (in Gdansk) in mid-October,” PKN’s Chief Executive, Daniel Obajtek, told Reuters in an interview last week. “If tests confirm the assumed yields structure and margins, further oil supplies from Nigeria will be a viable option,” he said. PKN Orlen signed a long-term agreement on regular oil supplies with Saudi Aramco in 2016 and since then both PKN and Lotos have also purchased oil from Iran and the United States. Oil supplies from Russia account for around 70 per cent of all oil deliveries to PKN, down from around 90 per cent in 2015.”
According to People’s Daily, “the federal government has approved a White Paper to checkmate the excesses in Labour unionists with a view to addressing certain challenges and conflicts brought about by industrial disputes. This is as the organised Labour says it will meet today to take a final decision on the new National Minimum Wage for workers, following the delay by the Federal Government to announce its figure. Briefing newsmen after the weekly Federal Executive Council ( FEC) meeting chaired by President Muhammadu Buhari yesterday, Minister of Labour and Employment, Senator Chris Ngige, said the Council had approved recommendations of the Technical Committee on Industrial Relations Matters which was inaugurated in April, 2016. The minister said, “As you might all been aware, the Federal Public Service in Nigeria has been bedeviled with all sorts of problems and conflict areas. So, over time, government has set up various Committees, brought out establishment circulars, brought out circulars from the various government agencies all in a bid to stem the tide of industrial disputes.”
“The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) through the Nigerian Electronic Fraud Forum (NeFF) is partnering the telecommunication companies to ensure that cloned SIM do not have access to customers’ accounts”. According to Daily trust, “the CBN Director of Banking and Payment System, Mr. Dipo Fatokun who also doubles as the Chairman of the forum disclosed this while speaking at the second general meeting of the forum in Lagos at the weekend. Fatokun said: “Another measure we are taking is that we are working with the NCC (Nigeria communications Commission) and the telcos, so that when fraudsters steal other people’s identity by taking their SIM either swapping or cloning the SIM they would not have access to the bank accounts of such customers.” He said the NeFF has consistently provided a unique platform that enables the proactive sharing of resources to combat a common enemy, e-fraud which in turn has helped in the decline of e-fraud loss value in the Nigerian Banking System.”
Business Day (October 22, 2018, page 7) reports that the “Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Dr. Okechukwu Enelamah yesterday unveiled plans by the Federal Government to deploy under-utilised power assets to deliver incremental power to industrial centres and needy communities in the country. According to him, the move is currently being coordinated through the Nigeria Industrial Policy and Competitiveness Advisory Council (NIPCAC), chaired by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, towards generating additional 4.2 Gigawatts (4200 MW) of power to the national grid within the next 12–18 months. A total of eight power projects-including Aba Integrated Power Project; Kainji rehabilitation and expansion; power transmission; captive power projects for industry; Afam IV rehabilitation; Afam V rehabilitation; Seplat gas facility and Alaoji power plant have been selected for the critical intervention. Briefing journalists on the development, Enelamah, who is a Vice Chairman of the Council, said work is already ongoing on the Alaoji power plant to supply about 360Megawatts of unutilised power to industrial centres and people in the South-East Axis of Onitsha, Aba, Nnewi and Ihiala.”
“The federal government has allayed the concerns and fears raised on omitted and missing names in the ongoing verification exercise of the ex-staff of the liquidated Nigeria Airways Limited (NAL) saying their concerns will be addressed. Consequently, the federal government has created help desks across the three centres where verifications are being done to attend to those concerns”. Daily Trust reports that “a statement from Mr Paul Ella Abechi, the Special Adviser, (Media & Communications), to the Minister of Finance, Mrs Zainab Shamsuna Ahmed said the minister gave the directive after inspecting the verification exercise in Kano, Enugu and Lagos. The minister appealed to the pensioners to be patient and remain orderly adding that after the verification exercise, 50 percent payment of entitlements will be made in this first tranche by this week. The Minister of Finance also promised that the account of those verified will be credited with their entitlements this week, adding that the exercise, which was meant today, has been extended by one week to attend to all qualified beneficiaries. She said the verification exercise and payment of all entitlements of the pensioners was based on the recent directives and approval of President Muhammadu Buhari.
“Abubakar Bawa Bwari, Minister of State for Mines and Steel Development has announced of private investors’ plans to commit about $3.32bn to fund some projects in the mining sector. According to Bwari, the fund will be used to fund gold mining and refining, foundry works, lead/zinc exploration and production, tin, tantalite and columbite mining and processing. He also assures that the government was making effort to tackle challenges hindering the formal exploitation of gold, tin and lead-zinc as well as stop indiscriminate exports of these minerals commodities to foreign smelters. Bwari said the ministry had also developed a new Export Guidelines for the Export of Mineral Commodities to ease challenges surrounding the granting of export permits and other licencing issues. “We have strengthened our policy and institutional frameworks for investors in the mineral sector to ease their businesses. Government has released funds from Natural Resources Development Fund for the generation and provision of necessary geosciences data to attract investors,” he stated.” Business Day (October 22, 2018, page 22) reported.