Aso Villa Reads for 6/5/2019
Every day, we bring you the best stories that the Media is reporting about the Government of Nigeria
Business Day reports that “the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) will soon put into force new rules that will allow third party investors to provide electricity within a franchise area earlier ceded to an electricity distribution company (DisCo) which exercises a natural monopoly over the area. Industry analysts say the new rules hold much promise for investors, thanks to discos’ poor service. NERC, which regulates the electricity sector in Nigeria, has since the past two weeks called for comments from general public on consultation paper to elicit comments from stakeholders in the Nigerian Electricity Supply Industry. The call expires Monday and stakeholders say there is strong indication that the commission will enforce the regulation as the sector is excited about it. According to NERC, proposals for the franchising arrangement can either be initiated by DisCos or consumer groups (community) within a specific geographical boundary and franchisee selected through a competitive procurement process.”
“Over 37 million Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) in the country are on target for business support services as the Federal Government on Friday signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Procter & Gamble to build a SME Academy.” According to Business Day, “the MoU was signed in Abuja between the Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment, representing the Federal Government & Procter and Gamble. Aisha Abubakar, Minister of State for Industry, Trade and Investment and the Supervising Minister of Women Affairs, signed on behalf of the Federal Government, while Temitope Iluyemi, director of government relations, Africa, signed on behalf of Procter & Gamble.”
“To avoid devastating effect on Nigerians, the federal government has launched the 2019 Annual Flood Outlook (AFO) in order to avert the challenges associated with flood disaster. Delivering a keynote address at the Presentation of the 2019 Annual Outlook by the Nigeria Hydrological Services Agency (NIHSA), with Theme “ The Role of Efficient Hydrological Services in National Development in Abuja, the Minister of Water Resources, Engr. Suleiman Adamu, said the launch of the flood Outlook is key to saving the lives of Nigerians. Authority NGR reports that “the 2019 AFO is an added impetus to the Government’s Change Agenda to better the lives of Nigerians by serving as an early warning to people and communities located in and near flood plains and other vulnerable areas to put in place the necessary actions that will ameliorate the adverse effects of flood to lives and property. “Therefore , the information contained in it , is for all Nigerians and must be communicated in good time in order to save lives and property from the probable floods that may occur,” he said. According to the Minister, AFO commenced in 2013 in Nigeria, a year after the very devastating and unprecedented flood of 2012 in Nigeria.”
“Fidet Okhiria, Managing Director of the Nigerian Railway Corporation (NRC) has ordered the resumption of operations on abandoned Eastern Railways. Okhiria, an engineer, gave the order on Friday while speaking during the commissioning of the Railway Hospital, Enugu, renovated and equipped by GIBC Digital from United States of America (USA). The NRC boss blamed vandals who were removing railway tracks and other equipment for the inactivity in the Eastern Railway line. Okhiria also said he was ashamed that railway workers in the East were not doing any work, yet, they were being paid. “I do not know why you (staff) will be here and our tracks and other equipment are being removed. The other time, our locomotives were coming from Port Harcourt to Enugu and fell into a place where there was no track. We have spent time and money, up till now, we have not recovered them. “If it is Enugu money, they will come to Abuja and collect it. Yet, train is not running. A challenge has been thrown to us. I am throwing it to the staff. If the coaches are here, it is your duty to make them work. It is faster to go to Port Harcourt from Enugu by rail. Those days we used to call it Adamma,” Ikhiria said.” Authority Ngr reported this.
“Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) would soon commence the distribution of vaccines, medical and waste management equipment to states in the Niger Delta region. This was disclosed by the NDDC Acting Director, Finance and Administration, Dr. Chris Amadi, when he led some directors on an inspection visit to the commission’s warehouses in Port Harcourt. Amadi, who decried the depreciating state of some of the items in the warehouses, said the equipment would be put in order for distribution to appropriate end users. He said: “I have directed that the waste trucks and medical boats be maintained as soon as possible for subsequent distribution to the various states.” He explained that the locations for distribution had already been compiled and that sharing would commence within soon. In one of the warehous es in Trans Amadi area of Port Harcourt, the Acting Executive Director, Finance and Administration, inspected solar-powered refrigerators for vaccines, which he assured would be distributed to communities in the region as soon as possible. He said the Director of Education, Health and Social Services, had been mandated to kick start the process for the distribution.”
“In furtherance of its renewed commitment and vigour towards ending the present gridlock that had persisted at Apapa and its environs leading to the Ports, the management of the Nigerian Ports Authority [NPA] is on the verge of commissioning two transit parks. Located at Lillypond and Tin can Island Second Gate, the NPA believes this would enhance effective port operations and improved service delivery across board just as it rightly informed stakeholders in the maritime sector that priority would be given to truckers with empties and exports.” Blueprint reports “that these remarks were made by the Managing Director of the organisation Hadiza Bala Usman, represented by the Executive Director, Marine and Operations, Dr. Sokonte Davies at an interactive stakeholders meeting between management and critical stakeholders held at the Rock View Hotels Apapa. Dr.Sokonte while rolling out the management’s plan reinstated that the NPA as a landlord would not fold its arms and allow for total breakdown of the system. Instead, ‘’It would take the bull by the horn and proffer permanent solution to the menace in view of the role the sector plays in the life of the nation’s economy.’’
“The federal government has concluded plans to flag-off the commencement of cargo delivery by rail to the Kaduna Inland Dry Port. In a statement by Special Adviser to the Executive Secretary of the Nigerian Shippers Council (NSC), Tahir Idris on Sunday yesterday in Abuja said the promoters of the dry ports across the country, said the Council will also hold an interactive session with all relevant stakeholders immediately after the event.” According to Blueprint, “the interactive session with the stakeholders has the theme “optimizing the Kaduna dry port as key to Nigeria economic diversification.” The stakeholders’ interactive programme/clinic will witness presentations on the following topics: “Inland Dry Port development and management — key to diversification of Nigeria’s economy; The role of Nigerian Custom Service in facilitating the operations of inland dry ports; promotion of exports and Kaduna Dry Port as key to Nigeria’s economic diversification and prospects and operational challenges of Kaduna inland dry port.” Commenting, the Executive Secretary and CEO, Nigerian Shippers Council, Bar. Hassan Bello said the commenting the railway to the dry port is a watershed to the facility. He said the rail facility will lead to the full optimization of the Kaduna inland dry port adding that it will also drive down significantly the cost of transporting containers from Lagos to Kaduna.”
Daily Times reports that “the Federal Executive Council has approved the award of N169.74 billion contracts for the construction and rehabilitation of 10 roads across the country. Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola in a statement by his Special Adviser, Communications, Mr. Hakeem Bello, on Sunday, stated that the approval was sequel to a memorandum presented to the council on May 2”. The Daily Times correspondent reports “that Fashola ought to have briefed State House correspondents alongside the Minister of Information, Lai Mohammed after the FEC meeting, but he left the Villa with his other colleagues because the meeting stretched late into the night. While the Information minister was waiting for the other ministers so they could jointly brief State House correspondents as is usually the case, none of the ministers stayed behind for the briefing and as such he had to brief in part. But, the minister in the statement on Sunday, stated that the approval covers the rehabilitation of the Umuahia (Ikwuano)-Ikot Ekpene Road, Umuahia, Umudike in Abia State, rehabilitation of Calabar-Oban-Ekang Road (Section 1) in Cross River State, construction of Yola-Fufore-Gurin Road in Adamawa State, rehabilitation of Ado-Ekiti –Igede-Aramoko-Itawure Road in Ekiti State and the rehabilitation of Funtua-Dandume-Kaduna State border road in Katsina State.”
“The European Union (EU) and German government are to boost activities in Nigeria’s non-oil sector by empowering medium scale enterprises (SMEs) and aiding their access to regional and international markets. The move, being consummated through the Nigeria Competitiveness Project (NICOP), a four-year project commissioned by the German Federal Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and co- funded by the EU, is to gulp €11 million. During its launch at the weekend in Abuja, the EU Ambassador to Nigeria, Karlsen Ketil, said the project was to strengthen investment in the country. According to him, Nigeria must look beyond oil revenue for it to achieve sustainable development. “If we combine the factor of increased population and increasing rate of unemployment, we must therefore invest in sectors that will create employment. If we are to see increase in employment in Nigeria, there is need to allow diversification take place beyond oil revenue,” he stated. The minister, Okechukwu Enelama, noted that the move would compliment other initiatives of government in ensuring a steady growth of the economy, especially in the area of diversification. Represented by the permanent secretary in the ministry, Edet Akpan, he observed that for the programme to be successful, the private sector was crucial to the stronger integration of the nation into the regional market.” Guardian reported this.