Aso Villa Reads for 26/6/18

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

Vanguard reports that the “Federal Government has recommended tuberculosis, TB, screening as a pre-medical test for newly employed public servants in federal and state governments as well as newly admitted students into secondary and tertiary institutions.” Minister of Health, Professor Isaac Adewole, said “TB screening should be provided to persons seeking health care whether or not they had symptoms and signs compatible with TB infection. Those affected by the directive include newly employed staff in all Ministries, Departments and Agencies, MDAs, and newly admitted students into secondary and tertiary institutions. The motive, he noted, was to facilitate prompt detection and treatment of TB infection in the country”.

“The Federal Government will help to facilitate the exportation of products from the Cross-River Garments Factory to international markets. The Executive Director of the Nigerian Export Promotion Council (NEPC), Mr Segun Awolowo, who spoke during a workshop for staff of the Cross-River State Garment Factory in Calabar, said NEPC and the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) will collaborate in that direction.” According to Daily Trust “Awolowo reaffirmed government’s commitment to support Cross River State Governor Prof. Ben Ayade’s developmental vision in promoting the factory among others”.

“The federal government’s policy initiatives in the power sector have continued to attract Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) as United States power firm, Bussbar Energy, has pledged to invest in the country’s power sector in order to be a significant producer of sustainable and environmentally friendly power.” This Day reports that “the Managing Director of the company, which was established by a team of American investors, Bernie Conyers, said in a statement at the weekend, that the company was committed to providing bespoke solutions on site, adding that Bussbar is not the regular power generating or distribution company. “We can make power generation and conservation more effective; we can generate, conserve and distribute up to one megawatt per site. So, there is no limit in theory”, Conyers said”.

“Six years after it signed an agreement to begin its proposed first commercial cable car transportation system in Lagos, Nigeria, Ropeways Transport Limited, says it is closing in on its financials and looking to commence construction work from the third quarter of 2019. The company’s position comes to renew fading hope on the multi-million project conceived to partly address the trauma that Nigerians go through in crawling gridlocks in the commercial city of Lagos. It is estimated that traffic congestion in Lagos costs the state’s economy a whopping $42 million monthly.” Dapo Olumide, Managing Director of Ropeways Transport Limited told Business Day that “the cable car project is still very much alive. At the moment, the project is in due diligence stage working towards financial close. Barring any unforeseen events, construction should commence in the third quarter of 2019.”

Business Day reported that “US-based investors are buying Nigeria’s domestic debt amid a rout in emerging markets that has snowballed into five straight weeks of outflows, according to data obtained from the Bloomberg terminal. As investors pulled the most money in more than a year from US-listed exchange-traded funds that buy emerging market stocks and bonds in the week ended June 22, net inflows of $7.9 million flocked to Africa’s largest economy. All of those flows went into Nigerian bonds, nil to stocks, the data showed. Total assets held by investors in the US-listed Nigeria ETFs stood at $437 million in the week under review, rising 508 percent from the week before. South Africa, on the other hand had net outflows of $211 million which were largely from bond funds. That cut total assets held in Africa’s most industrialised economy by 10.3 percent to $12 billion in the week under review”.

According to Leadership, “the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) yesterday reaffirmed the sanctity of the recently released statistical data on the aviation industry stating that they are verifiable and no amount of blackmail can derail the agency. Controversies have continued to trail NCAA, since the regulatory agency announced that both domestic and international airlines operating in Nigeria sold tickets were worth N502.2 billion in 2017. The first salvo came from a renowned member of the Aviation Round Table (ART) and chief executive officer of Centurion Securities, Capt. John Ojikutu who alleged that the federal government lost over N100 billion in Ticket Sales Charges (TSC) and Cargo Sales Charges (CSC) in the aviation sector between 2013 and 2017”.

Micheal Famoroti, a Chief Economist at Vetiva Capital Management Limited in his article for Business Day (Tuesday, 26th June 2018, Page 36) titled “In praise of PEBEC and the Ease of Doing Business”, that praise should be given “to the strides made by the Presidential Enabling Business Environment Council (PEBEC) set up in July 2016. PEBEC’s approach to improving the ease of doing business has been three-pronged: legislative, executive, and administrative. It has lobbied the National Assembly to pass critical legislature on credit access for SMEs, and recently, to amend the Companies & Allied Matters Act. Also, in his capacity as Acting President, PEBEC’s Head, Yemi Osinbajo signed an Executive Order to promote efficiency in the civil service. However, PEBEC’s activities have been dominated by its three National Action Plans (NAP) aimed at implementing specific reforms across key doing business criteria, most of which are defined by the World Bank.” According to Famoroti, “the action plans have been reasonably successful, achieving 82%, 52%, and 68% completion rates, respectively. Furthermore, the first NAP hit the headlines in late 2017 for shooting Nigeria 24 places higher to 145th on the World Bank Doing Business Rankings, surpassing the Council’s target of 20 places, moving Nigeria to its highest rank in five years, and earning praise from the World Bank”.

“President Muhammadu Buhari says the Federal Government will continue to boost the economy through Agricultural revolution and success in the sector is being recorded. The President stated this on Tuesday at the inauguration of the automated rice seed and seedling factory in Calabar, the capital of Cross Rivers State”. According to the report, “this administration launched a zero oil economic roadmap and boosting investment in other sectors of the economy”. The President said: “Indeed this factory speaks loudly about the giant strides we are making in agriculture as a country. This monumental project for which we are gathered here today is a marvel to behold.” Radio Nigeria reported this.



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