Aso Villa Reads for 22/10/2019
Every day, we bring you the best stories that the Media is reporting about the Government of Nigeria
President Muhammadu Buhari has departed Abuja for Sochi, Russia where he is billed to attend a three-day Russia-Africa Summit. Buhari’s presidential jet took off some minutes after 2pm at the presidential wing of the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport on Monday. He is billed to take part in the summit billed to hold on October 23–25, which will focus on exploration and expansion of opportunities in security, trade and investment, science and technology, and gas production between Russia and Africa. During the summit, Buhari will meet with Russian President, Vladimir Putin, to further strengthen relations between Russia and Nigeria on issues bordering on security, tradeand investment. His meeting with Putin is aimed at building partnership meant to enhance Nigeria’s huge gas potential, following Russia’s remarkable success in gas exportation. The summit which will be attended by African heads of states, is expected to bring fresh perspectives on some global issues and challenges such as nuclear technology, energy development, digital transformation, environment, technical security, mining and steel, education, agriculture, infrastructure and development strategies. During the event, an African Business Forum, conceived to bring together African and Russian business leaders, will be held during the event to enhance Russian investments in Africa, and also promote African business interest in the host country. This Day reports.
According to This Day, the Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE) has disclosed that the federal government generated N135 billion from its privatisation of four power assets in the country to support the 2019 budget. In a statement, the agency stated that the privatisation of Afam power generation company (Genco), Afam Three Fast Power Genco, re-sale of government shares in the Yola electricity distribution company (Disco) as well as the sale of 29 per cent of the federal government’s shares in the Geregu Genco provided the funds.According to the statement, the government had mandated the BPE to fund the budget by N220 billion. It explained that the N135 billion was part of its expected contribution to the budget. It stated that its Director General, Mr. Alex Okoh, disclosed this at a meeting in the National Assembly. The National Council on Privatisation (NCP) had recently approved Transcorp Power Consortium as the preferred bidder for the Afam Genco which included the Afam fast power in a renewed privatisation of the power assets with a bid price of N105.3 billion or $343.6 million as well as Diamond Stripes Consortium as the reserve bidder with a price of N102.3 billion.
The World Bank and the Federal government have donated 6,300 books for pupils in Daura Local Education Authority (LEA) in Katsina state to promote education in the area. Malam Nuruddeen Lawal, the council education secretary, made this known in an interview with News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Daura on Tuesday. He said the textbooks would be distributed across the 49 existing primary schools in the area and judiciously used to impart knowledge. “We will train our teachers on effective and efficient ways to use the books as instructional materials,“ he said. He said that the books were donated under the newly introduced educational intervention tagged “Better Education Service Delivery for All (BESDA). According to him, the books will be used to teach only primary 1, 2 and 3 pupils, adding that they focus mainly on the teaching subjects in those classes. In a related development, the secretary has lauded the 1,026 teachers in the area for their doggedness, commitment, dedication in the conduct of their official duties. The secretary, however, stressed that we “will reward merit and sanctioned the opposite. “ He also said that pupils’ enrollment had dramatically jerked up from the initial 75 to 91 per cent within one year, adding that the feat was achieved through mass mobilisation of parents. The secretary also attributed the dramatic change in pupils’ enrollment to the role of the school-based management committees, traditional rulers, school feeding programme and the commitment of all stakeholders in education. Lawal commended the management of the state Universal Education Board (SUBEB) for its regular efforts in the provision of school furniture, promotion of teachers and the general welfare of the workforce. News Agency of Nigeria reports that SUBEB in the state has built no fewer than 12 additional primary schools and renovated many others in Daura Local government Area. Vanguard reports.
Despite spending N1.5trillion on the nation’s power sector, the Federal Government has secured a fresh $3billion (N915billion) World Bank loan for the expansion of the transmission and distribution networks in the sector. The approval was given yesterday after a series of meetings held between the officials of the Federal Government led by the Minister of Finance Zainab Ahmed and officials of the World Bank.
This is just as the Federal Government has directed the telecom firm, MTN, to suspend its plan to impose a new charge on customers who use its short codes to access banking services. This came after a viral text message allegedly sent by the Mobile Network Operator MTN Nigeria and other Mobile Operators notifying subscribers of a four naira (N4:00) charge per 20 seconds on USSD access to banking services from the 21st of October 2019. “Yello, as requested by your bank, from Oct. 21, we will start charging you directly for USSD access to banking services. Please contact your bank for more info(rmation),’’ the message said. Ahmed who confirmed the World Bank loan while addressing journalists at the annual meetings of the World Bank/International Monetary Fund in Washington DC, said, the loan would be disbursed in four tranches of $750m each beginning from next year. The loan, according to her would cover the funding gap as well as the current tariff which investors in the sector had described as very low compared to what is obtainable in other countries. People’s Daily reports.