Aso Villa Reads for Wed. 09/12/2020

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

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For the second time in about six months, the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) has lauded Nigeria’s leadership role in the quest for security in the Gulf of Guinea (GoG). In a letter addressed to the Director-General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Dr. Bashir Jamoh, IMO specifically highlighted the agency’s contribution to the war against piracy and maritime crimes in the region, “including facilitation of the Suppression of Piracy and other Maritime Offences (SPOMO) Act, 2019, and initiation of the deep blue project.” [Vanguard]

Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB) has scheduled December 10 for the showcasing of innovations by five startups who won $10,000 each from NOGTECH Hackathon. The Nigerian Oil and Gas Technology (NOGTECH) Hackathon opened in July, when NCDMB called on startups, capable of solving crucial challenges facing Nigeria’s Oil & Gas Industry to apply for its $50,000 grant. According to a statement by NCDMB, “630 promising startups applied, and at the end of the screening phase, only 15 finalists were selected to proceed to NOGTECH Hackathon which held in September 2020 and spanned across three days. At the event crowning, five startups won and got $10,000 grant each”. The winners were AirSynQ, Homefort Energy, Gricd Mote, Kiakia Gas and Fuel Intellisense. [Vanguard]

The Federal Government has agreed to slash the pump price of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS), known as petrol, by N5 from Monday next week. Sen. Chris Ngige, Minister of Labour and Employment, disclosed this while addressing newsmen at the end of a closed-door meeting with the organised labour on Tuesday in Abuja. The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the meeting was necessitated by the increase of PMS from N160 per litre to N170 and the increase of electricity tariff. [Vanguard]

The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), in partnership with the Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA), has launched an Unconditional Cash Transfer project targeting the poor and vulnerable in the FCT, with a specific focus on women and youth. With a total contribution of N 264,499,200 million (equivalent to US $694,679.43), the project seeks to alleviate the socio-economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on beneficiaries and strengthen the resilience of communities in council areas across the FCT. 15,253 individual households in key hotspot areas across the FCT will benefit from the UNDP cash transfers, while 2,972 MSMEs and start-ups will receive funding for business continuity to help benefit their communities. [Vanguard]

The Nigerian Communications Commission has directed Mobile Network Operators to immediately suspend the sale and activation of new SIM cards to allow an audit of the Subscriber Registration Database. The Director, Public Affairs at NCC, Dr. Ikechukwu Adinde, in a statement on Wednesday, said it was absolutely necessary for operators to comply until the audit exercise had been concluded. According to him, Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr Isa Pantami, directed the commission to embark on an audit of the Subscriber Registration Database. [Punch]

The President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), on Tuesday, met behind closed doors with the nation’s 36 state governors on the security challenges across the country. He explained that the closure of the nation’s land borders was partly an attempt to control the smuggling of weapons and drugs. Although state governors did not speak with State House correspondents at the end of the meeting held at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, the Presidency issued a statement quoting Buhari as asking the state governors to work more with traditional rulers and community members to improve local intelligence gathering that will aid the work of security agencies. [Punch]

The Federal Government on Tuesday said it would deploy science and technology in the exploitation of solid minerals in order to accelerate the country’s economic diversification. Minister of Science and Technology, Ogbonnaya Onu, disclosed this when he received the House of Representatives Committee on Solid Minerals Development in Abuja. Onu said the deployment of relevant technology to the solid minerals sector would help Nigeria achieve economic diversification in an inclusive and sustainable way. [Punch]

Five million smallholder farmers are to get fertiliser subsidy from the Federal Government, the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Sabo Nanono, and the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed, announced on Monday. Both ministers spoke in Abuja at the consultative meeting with stakeholders on the development of template for the administering of subsidy to smallholder farmers on sustainable basis. Nanono stated that to support the teeming smallholder farmers across the country, the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), approved that an implementation template be developed through consultative engagement. [Punch]

The Federal Government is working to resuscitate the Ajaokuta Steel Company Limited and National Iron Ore Mining Company Limited at the same time, the Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Mines and Steel Development, Oluwatoyin Akinlade, has said. Akinlade disclosed this when she paid a working visit to the two companies to ascertain their levels of preparedness ahead of the arrival of a team from Russia scheduled to technically audit the firms. The permanent secretary said the ministry wants the two companies to begin full operations soon. [Punch]

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