Aso Villa Reads for Wed. 04/11/2020

Government of Nigeria
7 min readNov 4, 2020


Every day, we bring you the best stories that the Media is reporting about the Government of Nigeria

Artisans who have benefited from the Federal Government’s Survival Fund have begun giving testimonials to other citizens, encouraging them to also register. The beneficiaries also stressed that they did not know anyone in government before they benefited from the grant designed to cushion the effect of COVID-19 on artisans across the country. The beneficiaries told journalists that the transparency of the Guaranteed Takeoff will build the trust between the citizens and the government. Uchechukwu Ipogu who is a trader in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital, noted that although the money was not enough to solve all his problems, he was grateful to have benefitted. “I am a furniture maker; my shop is located at kobo furniture market, along Nyanya-Keffi expressway. “I benefitted from the survival fund and artisans track. I benefitted and received 30,000 from the federal government, actually the money was not enough but it helped me to a certain level,” Ipogu said. Another artisan who benefited was Abdulraji Olanrewaju. “I am a panel beater in Abuja and I am excited about receiving the N30,000 one-time grant for artisans. I thank the Federal Government and pray God will continue to help them to make Nigeria better so that they can keep helping us. For Latesha Ugwuaku, she believes this is a new avenue for the government to continue to support small businesses. “I make beddings, duvets in Kubo market Abuja. I received the N30,000, and the money helped my business a lot and immediately I got the alert I shouted for joy and put the money in my business. I will also be expecting payment for November.” Esther Ugu who sells pillows said she initially did not believe the Guarantee Takeoff when she was first told. “I make pillow cases and initially we thought it was a rumor but when I received the money I was indeed happy and shouted for joy. The money helped my business as I was able to buy materials for my pillow cases.” A mechanic who works in Apo, Abuja also confirmed receipt of the N30,000 one-off grant. Habib Ibrahim said, “I am a mechanic in Apo, Abuja. I received the one time grant of N30,000 and appreciate the Federal Government”. Desmond Zacchor was not happy to have received just N30,000. “I am a furniture maker in Kubo market Abuja. I received N30,000 from the Survival Fund and the money was too poor for my kind of business and I will be needing more of it,” he said. It would be recalled that the Federal Government through Vice President Yemi Osinbajo initiated the Economic Sustainability Plan to provide stimulus packages for Nigerians across all sectors including artisans. [Vanguard]

The National Coordinator of Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19, Dr Sani Aliyu, has disclosed that N50 billion had been released to states to enable them push for increased testing and improved surveillance. Aliyu, who spoke on Tuesday in Abuja at the PTF media briefing, urged governors to use the resources for the purpose the federal government made them available. He emphasised the need for continuous investment to push down the pandemic, pointing out that the curves of the pandemic had not flattened. The National Coordinator also said that massive testing for COVID-19 began this week. “So, we thank all states governors for opening up sample collection centres across the country. We have given resources to state governments. Every state has received at least a billion naira. The state governments have received the largest single bulk of the PTF intervention. As of today, a total of N50 billion has gone to them. So, we have enough resources at the state level to be able to push for increased testing and improved surveillance. We will continue to work with states government and urge them to use these resources for the purpose that the federal government has given”, he said. [Vanguard]

The Federal Government has announced plans to set up a modern vaccine production company in Nigeria to encourage licensed indigenous production of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccines. The Minister of Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire disclosed this at the PTF briefing on Tuesday in Abuja. Ehanire said that the ministry was preparing to sign a Memorandum of Understanding with a first line pharmaceutical company in Nigeria, on a Public/Private partnership to set up the company. He also said government was working with the World Health Organization (WHO) to ensure Nigeria’s access to the COVID-19 vaccine as soon as it became available. Following the resurgence of COVID-19 cases in other countries especially Europe, the Minister urged Nigerians to avoid non essential travels especially to high burden countries. He however, disclosed that 18 travellers out of over 78,000 arrivals, were found to be covid positive at the second testing in Nigeria. The minister further informed that an appraisal of Nigeria’s position in the global COVID-19 space have been prepared by the Ministerial Expert Advisory Committee on COVID-19 and would be discussed at PTF, before release to the public. [Vanguard]

The Extractive Industries Transparency Initiatives (EITI), a multi-stakeholder coalition that promotes transparency and accountability in over 50 countries, has commended the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) and the corporation’s group managing director, Mele Kyari, for promoting transparency and accountability in the corporation. In a letter addressed to Kyari, the EITI’S executive director, Mark Robinson, commented: “The NNPC has set a good example and could lead in championing transparency for other NOCS in Africa.” Recognising NNPC’S commitment to the EITI principles, the global body has invited Kyari to speak at its virtual workshop on the topic “Learning from mainstreaming disclosure efforts” next month. This workshop will explore further opportunities for making the systematic disclosure of extractive data the norm. The EITI has welcomed NNPC’S recent transparency efforts, such as the monthly publication of its financial and operations reports since 2016 as well as recent publication of the corporation’s 2018 and 2019 Audited Financial Statements (AFS). These efforts demonstrate the corporation’s continued commitment to openness in its business dealings. According to Robinson, “a review of the group’s audited financial statement shows that NNPC has reduced its losses by 99.7 percent from N803 billion in 2018 to N1.7 billion in 2019 which is attributable to a huge increase in profit from the operations of the subsidiaries. This is an indication of good practice and commitment to principles of transparency and accountability.” In its letter, the EITI further affirmed its support for the NNPC in tailoring monthly financial and operations reports and financial statements in line with the EITI standard and expectations for EITI supporting companies. It highlighted the opportunity for the NNPC to champion discussions on upstream contract disclosure in Nigeria. [Business Day].

The Eko Electricity Distribution Company (EKEDC) said it has commenced
the distribution of smart electricity meters to its customers. The scheme was simultaneously launched in Kano, Kaduna, Ikeja and the EKEDC franchise areas. In a statement signed by the General Manager, Corporate
Communications, EKEDC, Godwin Idemudia, the Disco kick-started the
distribution of its electricity meters at the Surulere axis, one of
the areas within its distribution network in Lagos. Speaking further, Idemudia said the National Mass Metering Programme (NMMP) was in fulfilment of the federal government’s and the Discos commitments to close the metering gap in the country and enhance the revenue collection of the distribution companies. He said under the new arrangement distribution companies are expected to go from location to location with their respective Meter Asset
Providers to provide and install meters for their customers. Eko Electricity was expected to roll-out over 100,000 meters in the first phase of the programme from the locally manufactured companies such as Mojec International Limited and Momas Meter manufacturing company. Idemudia disclosed that the National Mass Metering Program (NMMP) would increase Nigeria’s metering rate, eliminate estimated billing and strengthen the local meter value chain by increasing local meter manufacturing, assembly and deployment capacity. [This Day]

Abuja Electricity Distribution Company (AEDC) has rolled out distribution of prepaid meters for consumers in its franchise areas of FCT, Kogi, Nasarawa and Niger states. Mr Ernest Mupwaya, Managing Director of AEDC, said at the inauguration in Abuja that the project was under the National Mass Metering Programme (NMMP). Mupwaya said the NMMP was part of the Federal Government and DISCOs commitment to closing the metering gap that existed in Nigeria’s electricity supply industry. He said that 900,000 meters would be installed for consumers in the next 18 months in its franchise areas. He said AEDC would roll-out 101,000 meters before the end of the year as part of the first phase of the programme. According to him, the NMMP would increase Nigeria’s metering rate, eliminate estimated billing and strengthen the local meter value chain. The AEDC chief said this would also increase local meter manufacturing, assembly and deployment capacity. He added that the initiative would also reduce collection losses and increase financial flows to achieve maximum market remittance obligations of the DISCOs. Mupwaya explained that the meters would be produced locally to further boost Nigeria’s economic recovery by creating jobs in the local meter value chain. The NMMP is the Federal Government’s initiative to put an end to the problems of estimated billing in the electricity sector. [Hallmark News]