Aso Villa Reads for 5/2/19
Everyday, we bring you the best stories that the media is reporting about the Government of Nigeria.
“This Day that the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) on Monday signed a grant Retrocession Agreement with the African Development Bank on the Lagos-Abidjan Highway Development Programme. The project put at a cost of $22.7m with a two year life span is meant to provide Feasibility, Environmental Impact Assessment and detailed Engineering Design Studies for the Abidjan-Lagos Corridor Highway Development Project. The signing of the agreement which held at the Headquarters of the ECOWAS Commission in Abuja was to activate the grant contribution from the European Union for the project, which was described by the ECOWAS President, Jean-Claude Brou, as a huge milestone in the pursuit of development in the region.”
“The Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), has assured its contractors and consultants that henceforth, their payments would be paid promptly without unnecessary bureaucratic bottlenecks. The NDDC acting Executive Director Finance and Administration (EDFA), Mr. Chris Amadi, gave the assurance when he paid a courtesy visit to the palace of Eze Apara Rebisi of Port Harcourt, Eze Victor Woluchem XII. Mr. Amadi affirmed that the NDDC Director of Finance had been charged to ensure that a more efficient process was applied in paying for projects and meeting contractor obligations. He said: “In a couple of days, we are going to start paying to contractors owed between N20 million and below. There will be no need for contractors and consultants to come to the NDDC before they can get their payments. They can simply stay in their homes or offices and give us the necessary information.” The executive director said that the new management had resolved to fully discharge the NDDC mandate and intervene in specific projects that would impact on the lives of the majority of the people. “We want to right some wrongs and ensure that never again will our people suffer in the midst of plenty,” he said.” Sun Newspaper reported this.
“Audu Ogbeh, Minister of Agriculture and Natural Resources, says the federal government will place a final ban on the importation of tomato paste before the end of 2019. Speaking in Kano during a tour of the Dangote Tomato Processing Plant in Kadawa, Kano state, Ogbeh said the ban will encourage massive tomato production. According to Ogbeh, the federal government has set aside N250 billion through the Central Bank of Nigeria and Bank Agriculture to disburse as soft loans to tomato farmers as part of the Anchor Borrower scheme. According to the Cable, “Federal government will continue to encourage Dangote agro-farms and the farmers to grow massive tomatoes in Nigeria and with this kind of outfit, farmers will earn more with better seedlings from the Dangote greenhouse and get better results,” the minister said, explaining that $22 billion is spent on tomato paste importation annually.”
“Dangote Group, the Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas Limited (NLNG), and four other companies have joined in on the federal government drive to build infrastructure across Nigeria. The companies, which also includes Lafarge Africa Plc, Unilever Nigeria Plc, Flour Mills of Nigeria Plc, and China Road and Bridge Corporation Nigeria Limited, will build 19 roads, totaling 794.4km in 11 states across each of the six geopolitical zones of the country. The Cable reports that this is made possible with the signing of executive order 007 2019, which was signed by President Muhammadu Buhari to allow private companies construct and refurbish roads across the country.”
“According to Tribune the Federal Government on Tuesday granted provisional licences to four newly approved private universities to commence academic programmes. Minister of Education, Malam Adamu Adamu, who presented the licences to the promoters of the institutions, on Tuesday in Abuja, warned that government would not hesitate to withdraw the provisional licences if the institutions derailed from their Academic Master Plan and extant laws establishing them with the three years probationary period. The Universities are; Dominion University, Ibadan, Oyo State, Greenfield University, Kaduna, Kaduna State, Trinity University, Laloko, Ogun State and Westland University, Iwo, Osun State. This brings the number of universities in Nigeria to 169, that is 43 Federal, 47 State-owned and 79 Federal universities”.
“The Nigerian Shippers Council (NSC) has given an insight into why it introduced registration fee at the ports. The ports economic regulator said the registration of port service providers will help the government in policy formulation and rid the sector of quackery. The Director of Legal Services, NSC, Samuel Vongtau, said through the registration process, the Council would be able to know the number of service providers operating within the sector, adding that it will also help bring sanity to the port environment. NSC last week introduced registration fee for stakeholders and service providers operating at the nation’s seaports. The registration fee, which is to be paid by clearing agents, shipping companies, Indigenous Shippers, Inland container operators, terminal operators, offdock terminal operators is to help the council weed out touts and quacks from the industry. A breakdown of the registration fee released by the Council showed that shipping line agencies are expected to pay a registration fee of N100, 000 per annum, cargo consolidators — N20,000; dry port operators — N50, 000; freight forwarders and clearing agents — N10, 000; hauliers — N10,000; Inland Container Depot operators — N50,000; off dock terminal operators — N20,000; Seaport terminal operators — N100, 000; shippers — N1,000; shippers association — N5,000; Stevedoring companies — N20,000, and warehouse operators — N20,000, with an annual registration of same fee. However, port service providers, including shipping lines, freight forwarders have kicked against the introduction of a new registration fee by the Nigerian Shippers’ Council to enable them operate at the port, saying it would further increase the cost of doing business at the port.” Guardian reported this.
“According to This Day the Rural Electrification Agency (REA) has disclosed that out of the 37,000 shops located within the busy Ariaria International Market in Aba, Abia State, 4,000 have been connected to clean, affordable and stable electricity generated from a 9.5 megawatts (MW) gas-based power plant built under its Energising Economies Initiative (EEI) by a private investor. It said other shops would be connected to the power system built by Ariaria Market Energy Solutions Limited (AMES), and recently commissioned by President Muhammadu Buhari. Over a one year period, the REA said the federal government supported EEI which it implements to ensure rapid deployment of off-grid electricity solutions to provide clean, safe, affordable and reliable electricity to economic clusters such as market places; shopping centres and industrial facilities, would assist over 80,000 shops, empower over 340,000 micro, small and medium enterprises, as well as create over 2,500 jobs with the initial 16 economic clusters while serving over 18 million Nigerians. It explained that Ariaria has 11 sections and over 37,000 shops with several trading activities including tailoring, textile trading, leather works and footwear production, printing, fabrication of tools and mechanical parts, pharmaceuticals, adding that AMES was the Special Project Vehicle (SPV) set up to fully fund, construct and managing the plant. According to the agency, the Ariaria power system consists of a gas-fired power plant; an extensive distribution network and robust metering systems for each shop.”