Latest News – Tribune Online https://tribuneonlineng.com Breaking News in Nigeria Today Wed, 23 Oct 2019 20:46:51 +0000 en-GB hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.2.4 https://tribuneonlineng.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/08/logo.jpg Latest News – Tribune Online https://tribuneonlineng.com 32 32 118125416 OCP joins World Business Council for sustainable development https://tribuneonlineng.com/ocp-joins-world-business-council-for-sustainable-development/ Wed, 23 Oct 2019 20:34:32 +0000 https://tribuneonlineng.com/?p=257449 Tribune Online
OCP joins World Business Council for sustainable development

OCP

WORLD leading phosphate-based fertiliser company, OCP Group has just joined the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD), an international organisation of over 200 forward-thinking companies engaged for sustainable development. According to a statement which emanated from the company’s headquarters in Casablanca, Morocco, a copy of which was made available to the Nigerian Tribune on […]

OCP joins World Business Council for sustainable development
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Tribune Online
OCP joins World Business Council for sustainable development

OCP

WORLD leading phosphate-based fertiliser company, OCP Group has just joined the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD), an international organisation of over 200 forward-thinking companies engaged for sustainable development.

According to a statement which emanated from the company’s headquarters in Casablanca, Morocco, a copy of which was made available to the Nigerian Tribune on Wednesday, connecting with WBCSD’s network will enable OCP Group to continue to enhance and implement its sustainability ambitions in collaboration with like-mind partners, sharing the same goals and values.

OCP Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Mostafa Terrab, said: “We are delighted to join WBCSD and the other member companies who are part of this vital commitment to accelerate the transition to a sustainable world.

“Our sustainable development vision is deeply rooted in our DNA, as we serve as stewards of the world’s largest reserves of phosphate, a vital plant nutrient which is critical to the mission of feeding a growing global population in a sustainable fashion.”

WBCSD President and CEO Peter Bakker, while reacting to the latest development, said: “WBCSD is pleased to welcome OCP as our newest member.

Ensuring 10 billion people can live well and within the boundaries of the planet by 2050 is central to our vision of a sustainable world.

This makes OCP a very valuable addition to our membership and many of our projects, especially as we forge ahead with the transformation of our global food system.”

As a world leader in the phosphate and related products industry, OCP Group is implementing a strategy that strengthens its status as one of the most sustainable fertiliser producers in the world, and thus meets the goals of sustainable development (SDGs) set by the UN.

OCP has set itself ambitious goals by launching the “Circular Economy” programme within its “Sustainability Platform” with an approach aiming to create a green dynamic, as well as to foster symbiosis with the industrial ecosystem and communities.

ALSO READ: Buhari approves appointment of Musa Nuhu as NCAA DG

This new approach, which consists of moving from a linear pattern of resource consumption to a circular approach, is concretised through four axes: the preservation of resources, sustainable production, the rationalisation of consumption and the valorisation of waste in resources.

The “Circular Economy” programme contributes to better value creation for the Group’s customers and partners, it also benefits its employees and the people living on its sites.

Several objectives are targeted: zero conventional water consumption, 100 per cent clean energy, mine reclamation with structuring agricultural projects for communities, control of emissions and effluent management, maximisation of low-grade phosphate recovery, implementation intelligent farming, etc. WBCSD’s mission is to accelerate the transition to a sustainable world by making more sustainable businesses work together for more impactful action.

It argues that collaboration between private businesses is the only way to achieve the impact and scale necessary to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals.

In this sense, the WBCSD promote business solutions development and best practices sharing between its members. WBCSD participates also in policy-development to create the right framework for business to make an effective contribution to sustainable development.

OCP joins World Business Council for sustainable development
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Buhari, Putin to strengthen Nigeria-Russia relations https://tribuneonlineng.com/buhari-putin-to-strengthen-nigeria-russia-relations/ Wed, 23 Oct 2019 20:26:57 +0000 https://tribuneonlineng.com/?p=257456 Tribune Online
Buhari, Putin to strengthen Nigeria-Russia relations

President Muhammadu Buhari and Russian President, Vladimir Putin on Wednesday agreed to put Nigeria-Russia relations on a fast track, and pursue the completion of partially completed and abandoned projects initiated by both countries. At a bilateral meeting held on sidelines of ongoing Russia-Africa Summit in Sochi, Russia, the two leaders agreed to start new infrastructure […]

Buhari, Putin to strengthen Nigeria-Russia relations
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Buhari, Putin to strengthen Nigeria-Russia relations

President Muhammadu Buhari and Russian President, Vladimir Putin on Wednesday agreed to put Nigeria-Russia relations on a fast track, and pursue the completion of partially completed and abandoned projects initiated by both countries.

At a bilateral meeting held on sidelines of ongoing Russia-Africa Summit in Sochi, Russia, the two leaders agreed to start new infrastructure projects and expand trade and investment, security and military cooperation.

In statements made by both leaders, Nigeria and Russia will work together to improve efficiency of Nigeria’s oil sector, which is the backbone of the economy, in a way that will see to rehabilitation of epileptic oil refineries through establishment of framework for a joint venture between Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) and Russia-based leading oil company, Lukoil.

According to a statement issued by Garba Shehu, Senior Special Assistant to the President (Media & Publicity), both NNPC and Lukoil will work towards the prospection of oil deep offshore.

It said Nigeria and Russia also agreed to revive and solidify the venture between the NNPC and Russia’s gas giant, Gazprom for the development of Nigeria’s enormous gas potential and infrastructure.

The statement revealed that the issue of uncompleted and abandoned Ajaokuta Steel Rolling Mill was presented by President Buhari.

ALSO READ: Nigeria ranks highest among countries with burden of sickle cell disorder in Africa

The statement noted that Buhari’s request for the return of Russia, on a government-to-government relationship for completion and commissioning of the plant was accepted by President Putin.

Earlier in the day, the Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Arch Olamilekan Adegbite had a very fruitful discussion with his counterpart in Russia on Ajaokuta.

The Russia government agreed to support the development of Nigeria’s rail infrastructure by constructing 1,400 kilometers track from Lagos to the South-South city of Calabar.

There was also a discussion on the advancement of an ongoing project for the establishment of a nuclear power plant in Nigeria.

According to President Putin, the next step in the implementation of the project should be the commencement of the construction of a power plant.

On security and military cooperation, one that existed for fifty-nine years of Nigeria’s independence, President Buhari agreed to renew Nigeria-Russia Military Technical Agreement that had lapsed within a short time, saying: “I have directed the Minister of Defence to work with the Ministry of Justice to conclude this matter within the shortest possible time.”

This military cooperation agreement is expected to give impetus to further cooperation indirect procurement of military hardware on a government-to-government basis at a lower cost as well as training of military personnel and modernization of armed forces and renewal of infrastructure and equipment which President Putin promised to undertake.

On the protracted issue of the Aluminum Smelter Company of Nigeria, ALSCON, Ikot-Abasi, Akwa-Ibom State, President Buhari said that he had asked the Ministry of Justice, “to submit a comprehensive report on the UC Russel (the Russian owners of the plant) matter…I want to assure you that the aim of our reforms is to ensure such investments are concluded and actualized in a professional and painless manner.”

The two Presidents also addressed partnerships in education and agriculture. The Russia leader said they would give additional scholarships to Nigerians.

“We seek your Government’s support especially in the areas of wheat production. Today, Nigeria produces less than one hundred thousand metric tons of wheat locally while our imports are projected to exceed five million tons in 2020.

“We, therefore, need your support to bridge the deficit which will create jobs and save our foreign exchange for other important areas like security, defense, and infrastructure,” President Buhari said.

On this, President Putin promised to promote joint efforts, given his country’s ranking as the current number one wheat producer in the world.

“We can do a lot together,” Putin added.

The Russian President said Nigeria should take advantage of Russia’s potassium resources to advance President Buhari’s local fertiliser production program. Putin promised his country’s support for the geological prospection of Nigeria’s solid minerals and gave assurances of working with Nigeria and other African countries to secure and stop the incidents of piracy in the Gulf of Guinea as they did in securing the Somali coastal areas.

President Putin expressed further determination to secure Nigeria and the rest of Africa from terrorists. He told President Buhari that 2,000 ex-ISIS terrorists joined Boko Haram last year.

In conclusion, President Buhari said: “to move forward, may I suggest that our countries organize the fifth Joint Commission meeting to review and ratify all the agreements (about 40) contained in the Intergovernmental Nigeria-Russia Joint Commission on Economic, Scientific and Technical Cooperation Protocol of November 11, 2016.”

President Putin agreed to the proposal.

Both leaders emphasized the need for reform of the United Nations Security Council. President Buhari asked Russia to support Nigeria’s aspiration for permanent membership of the council.

Buhari, Putin to strengthen Nigeria-Russia relations
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Nigeria ranks highest among countries with burden of sickle cell disorder in Africa https://tribuneonlineng.com/nigeria-ranks-highest-among-countries-with-burden-of-sickle-cell-disorder-in-africa/ Wed, 23 Oct 2019 20:14:07 +0000 https://tribuneonlineng.com/?p=257452 Tribune Online
Nigeria ranks highest among countries with burden of sickle cell disorder in Africa

Nigeria has emerged as a country with the highest population of people with sickle cell disorder in Africa, and there is an urgent need for the government to address the disturbing trend because of the large population affected. Co-chairperson of African Congress on Sickle Cell Disease, Dr. David Ajaere, dropped the hint, even as experts […]

Nigeria ranks highest among countries with burden of sickle cell disorder in Africa
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Tribune Online
Nigeria ranks highest among countries with burden of sickle cell disorder in Africa

Nigeria has emerged as a country with the highest population of people with sickle cell disorder in Africa, and there is an urgent need for the government to address the disturbing trend because of the large population affected.

Co-chairperson of African Congress on Sickle Cell Disease, Dr. David Ajaere, dropped the hint, even as experts stressed the need to increase health funding and pay more attention to non-communicable diseases like sickle cell disorder.

According to Dr. Ajaere, one of the ways to address the problem is through improved and adequate funding of the health sector, adding that improved budgetary allocation would go a long way to enhance the health status of Nigerians and reduce the burden of not only sickle cell but other diseases.

ALSO READ: Zenith Bank reaffirms market dominance, leadership with Q3 2019 results

To this end, he called on the Minister of Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire and the Minister of State for Health, Dr. Adeleke Mamora to work towards better funding of health and implement the Primary Health Care (PHC) policy that would pave the way for Universal Health Coverage (UHC) in the country.

Dr. Ajaere was speaking in Abuja during a media chat on the hosting of the first African Congress on Sickle Cell Disease in Lagos between Thursday and Saturday next week. He said a well-funded health sector in Nigeria will put an end to the brain drain of medical personnel in the country.

He said: “An increased budgetary allocation to the health sector is mandatory for the nation to put an end to the brain drain of qualified medical personnel. A 2017 poll by the Nigerian Polling Organization found that 90 percent of medical doctors in the country intends to seek employment opportunities abroad because of low job satisfaction, poor remuneration, and other factors.”

Dr Ajaere added, “more attention should be paid to non-communicable diseases like sickle cell disorder because Nigeria has been described as a country with the highest population of people with sickle cell in Africa.

“It is understandable why communicable diseases would naturally get urgent attention; it is also important for health management authorities to do more for non-communicable diseases because of the large population affected. One of the ways is for the government to support the organisation of the people who are doing their best to respond to the health needs of the citizens.”

In this regard, he called on the government at all levels, federal, state and local, to partner with DR Sickle Cell Center for Sickle Cell Disease, which is hosting the African Congress on Sickle Cell Disease in Lagos, Nigeria.

Dr Ajaere disclosed that the goal of the conference is to facilitate the exchange of information among public health experts, medical professionals, researchers, policymakers and educate stakeholders on strategies for effective management and control of Sickle Cell Disease in Africa.

Nigeria ranks highest among countries with burden of sickle cell disorder in Africa
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UPDATE: FEC okays April 18 as take-off date for new minimum wage https://tribuneonlineng.com/update-fec-okays-april-18-as-take-off-date-for-new-minimum-wage/ Wed, 23 Oct 2019 20:12:18 +0000 https://tribuneonlineng.com/?p=257448 Tribune Online
UPDATE: FEC okays April 18 as take-off date for new minimum wage

FEC

The Federal Executive Council (FEC) on Wednesday approved April 18, 2019, as the effective date of the new national minimum wage of N30,000. The council meeting presided over by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo at the presidential villa, Abuja also directed the National Wages and Salaries Commission to communicate the template of the approved consequential increases […]

UPDATE: FEC okays April 18 as take-off date for new minimum wage
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UPDATE: FEC okays April 18 as take-off date for new minimum wage

FEC

The Federal Executive Council (FEC) on Wednesday approved April 18, 2019, as the effective date of the new national minimum wage of N30,000.

The council meeting presided over by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo at the presidential villa, Abuja also directed the National Wages and Salaries Commission to communicate the template of the approved consequential increases in salaries to state and local governments as advice.

Minister of Labour and Employment, Dr Chris Ngige, told State House correspondents that April 18, 2019, effective date conforms with the date of the signing into law of the Act.

He also revealed that FEC has directed that the payments should be made by the end of December 2019.

He explained: “Today, we sent to the Federal Executive Council our report and the reconciliation that was done last week between the organised labour and one federal government of Nigeria on the issue of the new national minimum wage which has been fixed at N30,000 a month and the consequential adjustment that were made to salaries and wage structures of the public service thereto.

“You will remember that last week when I briefed the press, I told you that the salaries and wage structure are compartmentalized into four class – health, armed forces service, research institutes and the paramilitary.

“So, they have percentage increase in their wage structure, and for emphasis the 07 compartment received 23.2 percent rise; grade level 08, 20 percent; grade level 9, 19 percent; grade level 10-14, 16 percent, and grade level 15 and 17, 14 percent in the CONPPS which is the pure civil service structure and agencies earning the same wages as those in the public service.

You have the CONRESS and CONTISS which is compartmental 2. They have 23.2 percent equivalent and 14-16, 10.5 percent; Police and other security agencies because they have had a pay rise, last year, they were consequentially adjusted to between 4 and 7 percent.

“Same goes for the paramilitary. They also have their consequential pay rise.

“So, FEC today approved for us that the financial implications worked out by the National Incomes and Wages Commission that the salaries adjustment should take effect as from April 18, 2019, the day the new national minimum wage Act came into being.

“Council also approved for us that the financial implication be worked out and the payment should be completed in or before December 2019.

“Council further directed that the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning through the office of the Accountant General of the Federation should effect all these payments before 31 December 2019.

“Council further directed also that the National Income and Wages Commission and the Ministry of Labour and Employment should send the consequential adjustment table down to the states and local government as an advisory document for their information and guidance for their national joint public service status in their respective states because the national minimum wage is a national law.”

FEC also approved the renaming of the Ministry of Communication to the Ministry of Communication and Digital Economy.

ALSO READ: Two more witnesses testify against Fayose at resumed hearing

The Minister in charge, Dr Isa Pantami said while briefing journalists that the renaming was to give priority to the digital sector due to its immense contributions to the nation’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

Also speaking, Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika, said FEC approved the contract for the procurement and installation of communications equipment with N1.7 billion for the ministry.

He said: We presented a memorandum for the award of contract for the procurement and installation of communications equipment and absolute control contour for control towers in Zaria and Katsina.

“The total contract sum is N1,71460,196.10 including Value Added Tax (VAT).

“The completion period is for eight months. This is to address critical safety issues in such a way that there will be better communication and efficiency in the control towers in Zaria and Katsina and this is ongoing similar to what we have done in other airports. This is to make air transposition more efficient to make sure we save time and money.”

On his part, Minister of Science and Technology Ogbonnaya Onuh said his ministry presented a memo to the FEC that requires the utilization of methanol in the economy.

He explained that the flaring of gas and accompanying environmental problems in the Niger Delta could be resolved through this initiative.

According to him, “one way to help us to completely solve this problem of gas flaring is to convert the natural gas into methane. Methanol is a liquid that is found virtually in all sector of the economy.”

He assured that methanol could be used for vehicles as it can replace diesel.

Onu explained: “Then also, methanol can be used to replace diesel in these trucks that we find in our highways because methanol is cheaper and it is environmentally friendly, so that all the problems that are associated with the use of diesel, that can be solved by the use of methanol.

“Also, our people in rural areas can use methanol for cooking so that it can replace kerosene because when you use kerosene you have soothes and it creates health problem for you. But methanol does not have that, it’s very clean, safe and cheap.

“It’s one way that we can utilize our gas in our rural areas and it’s going to help us in addressing the issues of deforestation, and today we are losing many of our forest trees because we are using them for domestic energy.

“So methanol will do this and methanol is also used for generating electricity which we can use to power our plants and many other plants that currently use diesel, methanol will be a replacement.

“This is what the Federal Executive Council has approved and once this is implemented, it will help us to create new businesses particularly micro and small businesses that have the potential to grow into bigger ones.

“It will help in the creation of jobs, and it will also help in the creation of wealth. It will be one of the things that will help us in the fight against poverty. “

UPDATE: FEC okays April 18 as take-off date for new minimum wage
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FEC approves name change for Ministry of Communications https://tribuneonlineng.com/fec-approves-name-change-for-ministry-of-communications/ Wed, 23 Oct 2019 19:40:50 +0000 https://tribuneonlineng.com/?p=257279 Tribune Online
FEC approves name change for Ministry of Communications

MTEF

The Federal Executive Council(FEC) on Wednesday approved the renaming of the Federal Ministry of Communications as Federal Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy. Isa Pantami, Minister of Communications, disclosed this while briefing State House correspondents after the Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting presided over by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo at the Presidential Villa, Abuja. He […]

FEC approves name change for Ministry of Communications
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Tribune Online
FEC approves name change for Ministry of Communications

MTEF

The Federal Executive Council(FEC) on Wednesday approved the renaming of the Federal Ministry of Communications as Federal Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy.

Isa Pantami, Minister of Communications, disclosed this while briefing State House correspondents after the Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting presided over by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

He said the digital economy had become a global trend and was making a meaningful contribution to Nigeria’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

“I am here to convey the message to Nigerians that the Federal Ministry of Communications which I supervise has been renamed and re-designated as the Federal Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy; so that the amendment is that digital economy should be added to the name.

“We came up with the proposal knowing that digital economy today is about to dominate the world and even in Nigeria if you look at it critically, the contribution of ICT to Gross Domestic Product(GDP) is increasing by the day.

ALSO READ: CT application saved Nigeria N26.3 billion through TSA ― Buhari

“ If you look at the second quarter of 2019, you will find out that oil and gas contributed 8.82 per cent to our GDP while non-oil sector collectively contributed 91.18 per cent while ICT contributed 13.85 per cent to our GDP.

“So, even the contribution of oil and gas as only 8.82 while ICT 13.85 per cent.

“Now, the global practice is that nations are moving into a digital economy and we felt leaving digital economy as just a peripheral in our country will not be for our economy particularly in order to give more priority to the priorities of the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari and Vice President Yemi Osinbajo.

“There is a need for us to have a ministry that will supervise the development and implementation of the digital economy in Nigeria; most importantly, with regard to our economic recovery and growth plan,.’

Pantami said that in order to be in alignment with the global best practice, many nations in the world were coming up with new ministries as ministries of the digital economy.

He said that in the European Union, a commissioner had been assigned with the mandate of the digital economy while  Scotland has also appointed a minister of the digital economy.

The minister said more so, that Thailand had a minister of the digital economy while in Africa,  Burkina Faso had also appointed a minister of the digital economy.

He said that the move was to make sure that the digital economy was not a peripheral aspect of the Nigerian economy but a central one.

“In Nigeria, looking at the contributions of ICT and secondly, looking at how our population, most importantly, youths are addicted to ICT; they are naturally inclined to ICT; so, I feel it is very important.

“No one will argue with me that if you look at the richest people today in the world, they come from that aspect of the digital economy.

“For example, Jeff Bezos, the founder of Amazon.com; he came up with that idea of Amazon in 1994; up to 2003, he couldn’t get any profit; by 2004, he got his first profit and by 2017, 2018, 2019 constantly, he became the richest person in the world.

“What he did only significantly was to come up with that platform of Amazon.com; he doesn’t own any shop where you go and buy property but one that will provide that digital platform so that you will be able to connect potential buyers and potential buyers and potential sellers and that platform alone catapulted him to be the richest person in the world.’’

He said that Nigeria had advantages in terms of population and resources; therefore, should harness the digital economy as a global trend to improve its economy.

FEC approves name change for Ministry of Communications
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Two more witnesses testify against Fayose at resumed hearing https://tribuneonlineng.com/two-more-witnesses-testify-against-fayose-at-resumed-hearing/ Wed, 23 Oct 2019 19:40:50 +0000 https://tribuneonlineng.com/?p=257429 Tribune Online
Two more witnesses testify against Fayose at resumed hearing

Trial of former governor of Ekiti state, Ayodele Fayose, continued on Wednesday with two new witnesses a former head of Zenith Bank branch in Akure, Ondo State, Sunday Alade, and a senior official of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Aliu Mohammed, testifying against him (Fayose). Fayose is being prosecuted by the Economic and Financial Crimes […]

Two more witnesses testify against Fayose at resumed hearing
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Two more witnesses testify against Fayose at resumed hearing

Trial of former governor of Ekiti state, Ayodele Fayose, continued on Wednesday with two new witnesses a former head of Zenith Bank branch in Akure, Ondo State, Sunday Alade, and a senior official of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Aliu Mohammed, testifying against him (Fayose).

Fayose is being prosecuted by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) for an alleged fraud and money laundering of N2.2billion.

Fielding questions from the  EFCC lawyer, Mr Rotimi Jacobs (SAN), Alade, told the Federal High Court on Wednesday that N1.2bn was delivered to the bank on June 2014 by Abiodun Agbele, an ally of former Governor Ayodele Fayose of Ekiti State.

He narrated to Justice C.J. Aneke, how the N1.2bn was evacuated from two aircraft and taken in two trips in a bullion van to the bank for lodgment as instructed by Agbele.

“When the aircraft arrived, three individuals disembarked from it, two of them walked away while the third person walked to Abiodun Agbele. After a short interaction, we were left to offload the cash from the aircraft,” the former branch manager of Zenith Bank, Akure Ondo state, narrated.

ALSO READ: Dapo Abiodun: Silent restorer of education lost glory in Ogun

He said that a certain Adewale O who introduced himself as the orderly to Senator Obanikoro led them to offload the cash and that when they got to the branch, they counted the cash in bundles and it was about N744m.

“We were told there was a balance and we went back to the airport to pick the second batch from the aircraft into our bullion van. The second tranche was about N494m, making a total of N1.2bn. The money was detail-counted by the Cash and Teller Unit for 10 days before it was credited into three different accounts,” Alade concluded.

Also testifying against Fayose, a senior official of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Aliu Mohammed, told the court how N2.2bn was transferred from the operational account of former National Security Adviser, Sambo Dasuki, to the Diamond Bank’s account of a firm, Sylva Mcmanara, suspected to be linked to the former governor.

Justice Aneke adjourned proceedings till Friday.

On Tuesday, a top official of Zenith Bank, Dr Abiodun Oshode, had also told the court how the bank took a bullion van to the airport to evacuate a cash sum of N1.2bn from an aircraft for lodgment in the bank claiming the operation was at the instance of Abiodun Agbele – an aide to Fayose.

Oshode who said the bank reported the lodgment was also led in evidence by the EFCC prosecuting counsel, Mr Rotimi Jacobs (SAN). He also claimed that Fayose would not fill tellers for bank transactions.

Two more witnesses testify against Fayose at resumed hearing
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Buhari approves appointment of Musa Nuhu as NCAA DG https://tribuneonlineng.com/buhari-approves-appointment-of-musa-nuhu-as-ncaa-dg/ Wed, 23 Oct 2019 19:39:11 +0000 https://tribuneonlineng.com/?p=257367 Tribune Online
Buhari approves appointment of Musa Nuhu as NCAA DG

President Muhammadu Buhari has approved the appointment of Captain Musa Nuhu as the new Director-General of the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA). He is replacing Captain Muthar Usman, the erstwhile Director-General of the organisation. Capt. Nuhu, who, until his appointment, was Nigeria’s Permanent Representative to the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO), is an airline pilot, […]

Buhari approves appointment of Musa Nuhu as NCAA DG
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Buhari approves appointment of Musa Nuhu as NCAA DG

President Muhammadu Buhari has approved the appointment of Captain Musa Nuhu as the new Director-General of the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA).

He is replacing Captain Muthar Usman, the erstwhile Director-General of the organisation.

Capt. Nuhu, who, until his appointment, was Nigeria’s Permanent Representative to the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO), is an airline pilot, a safety expert, a quality assurance lead auditor, as well as an artificial intelligence expert.

He holds a Masters of Science degree in Aviation Business and was at the Presidential Air Fleet as a Captain and a safety officer.

ALSO READ: Dapo Abiodun: Silent restorer of education lost glory in Ogun

He also worked at various times at the defunct Nigeria Airways, Aero Contractors and Petrowest among other organisations.

The new Director-General was also the Chairman Comprehensive Regional Aviation Safety Plan for Africa and Indian Ocean (AFI Plan) at the ICAO headquarters in Montreal, responsible for safety, air navigation, airports and Aviation Infrastructure development, an experience that is expected to be of great value to his new role as a regulator of the nation’s aviation industry.

In a related development, President Buhari has also approved the appointment of Engr.Mahmoud Sani Ben-Tukur as Nigeria’s new Permanent Representative to the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO).

With over 24 years of work in the Aviation industry, Engr Ben-Tukur possesses extensive knowledge and experience in Aviation Safety and Quality Management Systems, as well as knowledge of ICAO Standard and Recommended Practices and Nigerian Civil Aviation Regulations.

He was until his appointment a Technical Adviser to the Minister of Aviation.

 

Buhari approves appointment of Musa Nuhu as NCAA DG
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FG to spend N4.88trn on new minimum wage, personnel costs in 2020 https://tribuneonlineng.com/fg-to-spend-n4-88trn-on-new-minimum-wage-personnel-costs-in-2020/ Wed, 23 Oct 2019 19:34:46 +0000 https://tribuneonlineng.com/?p=257365 Tribune Online
FG to spend N4.88trn on new minimum wage, personnel costs in 2020

minimum wage, Zainab Ahmed, soft drinks, loan

The Federal Government, on Wednesday, disclosed plans to expend the sum of N4.88 trillion for payment of the new national minimum wage and other personnel costs in the 2020 fiscal year. Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Mrs Zainab Ahmed, who disclosed this during the National budget public hearing on the 2020 budget estimates […]

FG to spend N4.88trn on new minimum wage, personnel costs in 2020
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FG to spend N4.88trn on new minimum wage, personnel costs in 2020

minimum wage, Zainab Ahmed, soft drinks, loan

The Federal Government, on Wednesday, disclosed plans to expend the sum of N4.88 trillion for payment of the new national minimum wage and other personnel costs in the 2020 fiscal year.

Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Mrs Zainab Ahmed, who disclosed this during the National budget public hearing on the 2020 budget estimates at the joint session held at the instance of the Senate and House of Representatives, informed the lawmakers of the present administration’s projected investment of N10.33 trillion into Government Owned Enterprises (GOEs/Bilateral/Multilateral project tied loans/expenditures).

President Muhammadu Buhari had on October 8 unveiled the 2020 Budget proposal before a joint session of the National Assembly.

For the proposed budget deficit for 2020 was pegged at N2.175 trillion (1.52% of the GDP), is expected to be funded mainly by borrowing of N1.594 trillion, comprising of N744.99 billion domestic sources and N850 billion foreign sources (more concessionary financing against commercial financing arrangement).

On debt servicing, Federal Government proposed the sum of N2.5 trillion representing 23.74% of target expenditure for the incoming fiscal year and N296 billion for the retirement of maturing bond to local contractors, representing an increase of 169.09% from N110 billion for 2019.

Mrs Ahmed who affirmed that the country achieved 58% of its revenue target as at second quarter of 2019 fiscal year, explained that the success was largely because some one-off items such as the N10 billion from Oil Joint Venture Asset restructuring and N320 billion from revision of the Oil Production Sharing Contract legislation/terms are yet to be actualised.

ALSO READ: Atiku’s son, 22 others make Adamawa Commissioner nominees’ list

Breakdown of the actual revenue accrued to government’s coffer between January and June 2019 showed that total sum of N900 billion (49%) was from Oil revenue; N349.11 billion (86%) from Company income tax; N81.36 billion (71%) from Value Added Tax while N184.10 billion (100.47%) was from Customs Collections.

“Fiscal deductions by NNPC for federally funded projects also exceeded target.”

Of the total appropriation of N8.92 trillion, the sum of N3.39 trillion had been spent as at June 2019 against the prorated expenditure of N4.58 trillion, representing 76% performance while N294.63 billion had been released for capital projects as at 30th September, 2019, despite late signing of the budget on the 27th May, 2019.

According to her, the 2019 actual GDP stands at 2.02% against the proposed 3.01% in the budget; 1.86mbpd of oil production against 2.3mbpd; $67.2 per barrel against the proposed $60 per barrel while the actual inflation rate stands at 11.4% against proposed 9.98% and exchange rate stands at N305.9/$ against the proposed N305/$ at half-year.

While speaking on the 2020 budget estimates reflects the adjustments to the MTEF/FSP with respect to the oil benchmark price of $57 per barrel from $55 per barrel and Customs revenue target raised to N1.5 trillion, an increase of N557.4 billion of which N235.5 billion is available to fund Federal Government’s budget.

She also assured that debt service and the implementation of non-debt recurrent expenditure, notable payment of workers’ salaries and pensions are on track, while spending on 4 critical sectors namely power, roads, rail and agricultural sectors are of top priority.

Mrs. Ahmed who expressed concern over the rising personnel cost including pension costs above N3 trillion, however, noted that steps are being taken to “contain the rising personnel costs, including an October 2019 deadline by Mr. President for all MDAs to implement IPPIS.”

As contained in the 2020 budget estimates, the Minister explained that MDAs are to roll over 60% of the 2019 projects due to paucity of fund in the current year.

In his opening remarks at the two-day event, President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan said the successful implementation of the nation’s annual budget depends on increased awareness of its citizens.

“The importance of the Budget proposal in national development cannot, therefore, be overemphasized. This is the reason why inputs have to be all-inclusive as we are now set to do.

“We understand that the Budget proposal is about the fiscal target, resource allocation, public expenditure policy, productivity and efficiency. We also understand that the process is one of passage, mobilisation and execution.

“For them to work well however, we have to have increased participation which also amounts to empowerment in the realm of information, awareness and education.

“An improved understanding most times comes through the exchange of ideas. It comes in a process of agreement and disagreement. Better awareness or expansion of thoughts could also come through purposeful interactions.

“Other than this is the fact that public hearing is a legislative tool of participation. Through it, we engage with critical stakeholders and the public, either separately or collectively.”

In his short remarks, Chairman, House Committee on Appropriation, Hon. Muktar Betara, explained that the public hearing was aimed at making it an all-inclusive process in the task of national development.

“As always, the enormity of demands translated to projects and huge capital can hardly match available resources. This is the more reason why we in the National Assembly and particularly in the House of Representatives will always do our utmost best in thoroughly processing the national budget.

“The 2020 Budget of ‘sustaining growth and job creation’ is no doubt built within robust and sound objectives, which if well programmed, will translate to effective implementation and dividends that will spiral growth across all sections and spheres of the country.

“We are also committed to working in line with this vision and inspiration.”

FG to spend N4.88trn on new minimum wage, personnel costs in 2020
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2020 Budget: Lawan raises alarm over borrowing https://tribuneonlineng.com/2020-budget-lawan-raises-alarm-over-borrowing/ Wed, 23 Oct 2019 19:12:51 +0000 https://tribuneonlineng.com/?p=257420 Tribune Online
2020 Budget: Lawan raises alarm over borrowing

⦁ Advocates PPP

2020 Budget: Lawan raises alarm over borrowing
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2020 Budget: Lawan raises alarm over borrowing

President of the Senate and Chairman of the National Assembly, Ahmad Lawan, has expressed concern over consistent borrowing to execute capital projects.

Lawan spoke on Wednesday at the National Budget Hearing on the 2020 Federal Government Budget at the National Assembly.

He suggested a Public-Private Partnership (PPP) option to finance infrastructural development.

He said: “If we have to borrow, we should borrow. Where we can avoid borrowing because there is another opportunity, we should take that opportunity that has a lesser burden.”

The Senate President also backed suggestion for the resuscitation of the long term national planning programme.

“I agree that the long term national economic programme is useful. We had it before, it worked for us better. We stopped it and we have seen the consequences.

“So now that we have a minister that thinks that we should go back to that process and we have a National Assembly that is prepared to ensure that this country does better. We should hit the ground running.

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“I am not aware of any request for legislation but if it is the desire or necessity that we legislate, this National Assembly will work with the government to ensure that we legislate on the national economic development plans.”

He also said the ninth Assembly was not only concerned about the timely passage of the budget but also deeply concerned about its implementation.

“We have mandated our Committees to engage with the MDAs. We want the MDAs to give us roadmaps on how they intend to achieve their targets.

“If you are taken 10 million Nigerians out of poverty in 2020, in ten years it will be one hundred million. We want to see the plans by the relevant or responsible Ministries, Departments and Agencies of government on how the 2020 budget will be able to take 10 million Nigerians out of poverty.

“We want these to be measurable targets. We are not going to be asking for stories. We are going to be asking for facts.

“So, we are going to task the MDAs that in this year budget we will not wait until 2021, give us targets that are measurable which we can evaluate after every quarter.”

2020 Budget: Lawan raises alarm over borrowing
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World Bank’s bailout to Nigeria’s power sector hits N1.3bn in four years https://tribuneonlineng.com/world-banks-bailout-to-nigerias-power-sector-hits-n1-3bn-in-four-years/ Wed, 23 Oct 2019 19:12:00 +0000 https://tribuneonlineng.com/?p=257421 Tribune Online
World Bank’s bailout to Nigeria’s power sector hits N1.3bn in four years

Power, electricity, world bank

THE World Bank’s bailout to Nigeria’s power sector in four years is over N1.3billion excluding the newly approved $3bn for the expansion of the transmission and distribution networks in the sector Data obtained from the institution’s website revealed that between 2014 and 2018, the said sum was invested for transmission, distribution expansion as well as […]

World Bank’s bailout to Nigeria’s power sector hits N1.3bn in four years
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Tribune Online
World Bank’s bailout to Nigeria’s power sector hits N1.3bn in four years

Power, electricity, world bank

THE World Bank’s bailout to Nigeria’s power sector in four years is over N1.3billion excluding the newly approved $3bn for the expansion of the transmission and distribution networks in the sector

Data obtained from the institution’s website revealed that between 2014 and 2018, the said sum was invested for transmission, distribution expansion as well as renewable energy.

For instance, in June 2018, the financial institution committed a sum of $350million for the country’s electrification project to ensure increased access to electricity services for households, public educational institutions, and underserved micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs).

The project which is ongoing, comprised of four components and is expected to end by 2023.

Prior to this, the bank in February 2018, also committed $486million for Nigeria Electricity Transmission Access Project.

According to the Managing Director (MD)Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN), Mr Usman Muhammad, the sum will support the rehabilitation and reinforcement of existing (brownfield) substations and lines.

“The project will be implemented throughout the country. It will also support the supply and installation of SCADA/EMS and consultancies that will support PPP projects in TCN in future among others,” he said.

In addition, another $29 million was granted to Nigeria for the WAPP North Core Transmission Project (World Bank) intended to build 330kV DC 62KM line between Birnin Kebbi and Kamba, the Border between Nigeria and Niger Republic.

The project is the Nigerian component of the North Core Transmission project which is expected to connect Nigeria, Niger, Benin and Burkina Faso on 330kV DC line.

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According to the World Bank, a total amount of $465.5 million was in October 2018, approved-credit ($275.6) and grant ($189.9)to help the governments of Benin, Burkina Faso, Niger and Nigeria pursue their efforts to expand the supply of reliable and cost-effective electricity by promoting efficient regional energy trade among West African countries.

It explained that the new North Core Regional Power Interconnector project will connect the four participating countries through a regional high voltage transmission line, to strengthen their institutional capacities to participate effectively in the regional electricity market.

“Promoting regional interconnections not only allows for an increase in the total of electricity supplied at a cheaper average cost, but it also increases the system reliability and grid stability, which in turn allows for more renewable energy capacity to be added to the system”, Charles Joseph Cormier, Practice Manager for the Energy Global Practice at the World Bank, said.

Also, in May 2014, the bank also approved $395million for the sector’s guarantee project to increase the supply of electricity received to electricity consumers.

Meanwhile, the Minister of Finance Budget and National Planning, Hajiya Zainab Ahmed, had announced the approval of Nigeria’s request for a $3billion loan for the expansion of the transmission and distribution networks in the power sector.

This is over two times what the sector has received from the bank in four years.

However, public analysts have argued that the borrowing will further increase the debt profile of the country.

The National President of Association of Public Policy Analyst (APPA) Comrade Princewill Okorie stated that the move was not well thought out by the (FG) as the loan may increase Nigeria’s debt profile and consume a large chunk of the federal budget.

“The 2020 budget proposal has appropriated N2.45 trillion for debt serving. Rather, effort should be made to encourage the independent electricity distribution networks to function optimally,” he said.

World Bank’s bailout to Nigeria’s power sector hits N1.3bn in four years
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