The drive by the Management of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) to boost in-country refining capacity was bolstered on Tuesday with the signing of the Engineering, Procurement, Construction, Installation and Commissioning (EPCIC) contract for the rehabilitation of the 210,000 barrels per day capacity Port Harcourt Refinery in Alesa-Eleme, Rivers State.
The rehabilitation project which has a completion timeline of between 18 and 44 months under a three-phase arrangement was awarded to Milan based Tecnimont SpA at a lump sum contract price of US$1.5 billion, inclusive of VAT and other statutory payments.
An elated Group Managing Director of the NNPC, Mallam Mele Kyari, described the PHRC rehabilitation project as a dream come true, noting that the project was in line with President Muhammadu Buhari’s promise to the Nigerian people to make the refineries work.
Mallam Kyari reiterated that in arriving at the choice of Tecnimont SpA, the Corporation embarked on a transparent tender process which can withstand any forensic audit, noting that NNPC was ready and open to answer any question pertaining to the project.
He assured that the same transparent process has been emplaced for the rehabilitation of the Warri and Kaduna Refineries whose EPCIC contracts would be awarded in June 2021.
The GMD explained that the rehabilitation exercise was very different from a routine Turn-Around Maintenance as it would entail a total retrofitting of the plant with major part and equipment replaced with new ones.
Providing further insight into the project, Managing Director of Port Harcourt Refining Company Limited, Engr. Ahmed Dikko, explained that Phases 1 and 2 of the project would get the refinery ready to receive hydrocarbon, while Phase 3 will focus on the start-up the refinery for operation, stressing that the entire work shall be delivered in 44 months from today.
In his remarks, Vice President, Sub-Saharan Africa Region of Tecnimont SpA, Davide Pelizzola, pledged the readiness of his company to work assiduously with the NNPC to comply with the terms and obligations of the contract.
The signing ceremony of the PHRC rehabilitation project was witnessed by the Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI), Infrastructure Concession Regulatory Commission (ICRC), Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (PENGASSAN) and the Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers NUPENG amongst others.
The Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON) is collaborating with stakeholders in support of health care delivery sector in Nigeria, in order to enhance the quality of equipment, machinery and services offered in the sector.
SON Director General, Mallam Farouk Salim disclosed this recently in a goodwill message to the 45th National Convention of the Pharmaceutical Association of Nigerian Students (PANS), held at the University of Port Harcourt, Rivers State recently.
Represented by Engr. Ugochukwu Nwachukwu, the SON Chief Executive stated that the offshore conformity assessment programme for SON regulated imports (SONCAP) provides a window of import permit for raw materials equipment and machinery and urged stakeholders to take optimum advantage of it to improve the quality of products being offered to Nigerians.
He said further that local manufacturing of medical equipment and machinery stand to gain a lot in accuracy of measurements from the calibration services being offered by the SON promoted National Metrology Institute (NMI) located in Enugu with outreaches across the country.
Mallam Salim invited all public and private sector organisations in Nigeria to take advantage of the SON internationally accredited Management Systems Certification services to guarantee improvements in their processes and systems in line with international best practices.
According to him, the internationally accredited Laboratory Services being offered by SON provides seamless international acceptance for all commodities and products tested at very competitive prices, especially for members of the organised private sector to promote National self-sufficiency, increased export and foreign exchange earnings.
He commended the theme for the Convention “INDIGENOUS DRUG PRODUCTION: BOTTLENECKS/CHALLENGES” as apt, particularly in view of the economic diversification agenda of the Federal Government aimed at ensuring steady and sustainable growth of the Nation’s wealth.
The SON DG expressed hope that the insights to be gained from the knowledge and wealth of experience in indigenous drug manufacturing and success of the Keynote Speaker, Dr. (Mrs.) Stella Okoli, the Group Managing Director/Chief Executive of Emzor Pharmaceutical Industry Ltd., in spite of the daunting challenges, would propel many of the Pharmacy students into local manufacturing and entrepreneurship to create more job opportunities and greater wealth for Nigeria.
In his words “I wish to challenge you all as Students of Pharmacy to begin to focus your minds beyond the production and administration of drugs to the business models required to sustain pharmaceutical studies, practices and research to underscore your key role in the health care delivery sector”.
Mallam Salim enjoined members of PANS to fully internalize adherence to standards and quality, embodied in the ethics of the Pharmacy profession, as according to him, they will have the responsibility of continuously meeting international best practices in the global village.
“We at the Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON) are available to provide you support in the area of standards development and placing at your disposal our network of relationships locally and internationally to enhance your knowledge in the course of your study”, he said.
He disclosed that SON was working with the Nigeria Universities Commission and some Universities on adding standardisation to the curriculum, while Standards Clubs are already being established in Primary and Secondary Schools across the Nation to deepen the knowledge of Nigerians on Standards and Quality Assurance.
Chairman, Governing Council of Pharmacist in Nigeria, Professor Ahmed Tijanni Mora stated that the appointment of Mallam Salim as the second Pharmacist to head SON, points to the vast scope of Pharmaceutical practice.
The PANS President, Daniel Ataije Nkaroijo expressed appreciation to all collaborators towards the success of the convention and specially thanked SON for the support’s and goodwill message from the Director General.
Despite a challenging economic and regulatory landscape, Access Bank PLC has announced gross earnings of ₦764.7bn for the financial year ended December 31, 2020.
The Bank’s audited gross earnings shows a 15% improvement from the ₦666.75bn posted for the comparative period of 2019. While the Bank’s Profit Before Tax stood at ₦125.9bn, it also posted a non-interest income of ₦275.5bn, a significant 112% y/y growth from 2019. This is despite the cost of operating its enlarged franchise.
According to Herbert Wigwe, the Group Managing Director and CEO of Access Bank PLC, the institution’s resilient performance “is testament to the effectiveness of our strategy and capacity to generate sustainable revenue.”
“The strategic actions that the Bank has taken over the past 12 months evidence a strong focus on retail banking and financial inclusion, an African expansion strategy and a drive for scale for sustainable value creation. In 2020, Access Bank proudly opened its doors for business in Kenya and Mozambique, further increasing our footprints across the African Continent. Access Bank Zambia also concluded the acquisition of Cavmont Bank Limited in January 2021 and the Group recently announced the approval by relevant regulatory authorities for the acquisition of Grobank Limited, creating an inroad into the South African market in realization of the Group’s strategic ambitions.
In view of the opportunities that exist in the market, we will be transitioning to a HoldCo structure. The Bank has received the Approval-In-Principle from the Central Bank of Nigeria for the restructuring and the HoldCo will consist of 4 subsidiaries in order to tap into the market opportunities that are available in the consumer lending market, electronic payments industry and retail insurance market. Going into the fourth year of our 5-year cyclical strategy, our focus remains on consolidating our retail momentum and expanding our African footprint in a sustainable manner,” Wigwe said.
Access Bank PLC recorded a consistent growth in its retail banking business, reporting a 5.8mn growth in customer sign-on during the year through our financial inclusion efforts. This increase in customer base led to a retail revenue of ₦177.2bn, a 64.4% increase from its FY 2019 figures of ₦107.8bn. The Bank’s customer deposits also grew by 31% to ₦5.59trn in Dec 2020 with savings account deposits standing at ₦1.31trn. Similarly, net loans and advances grew by 18% to ₦3.61trn in comparison to its FY 2019 figures of ₦3.06trn.
As the Bank intensified recovery efforts, undertook significant write off and leveraged its robust risk management practices, its asset quality improved to 4.3% compared to its 2019 report of 5.8% and this is expected to continue to trend downwards as it strives to surpass the standard it had built in the industry prior to the merger with Diamond Bank.
Professional auditors who are members of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria (ICAN) have been charged to strive to uphold the core values of “Accuracy and Integrity” which is also the motto of the Institute.
The Managing Director/Chief Executive of the Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation (NDIC), Bello Hassan said this during a courtesy visit by the ICAN National President represented by one of the Council Members, Mrs Sofura Seghosime and Chairman of Abuja District, Mrs Bosede Ikhanoba and other ICAN Executive Members to the NDIC head office in Abuja.
Hassan, while maitaining that it wad the only way to earn public confidence and respect within the financial services industry, explained that both the NDIC and Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) relied on the works of third parties which include external auditors and reporting accountants in the Risk-Based Supervision (RBS) of deposit taking institutions. He therefore stressed the need for ICAN members to ensure strict compliance to the high standards expected by the institutions in the discharge of their responsibilities.
He said: “We place a lot of reliance on the work of external auditors that audit our banks or rather all deposit taking financial institutions. We want to see consistency in the way accountants express opinions over audited financial statements.
Hassan pointed out that among the Nation’s MDAs, the Corporation has one of the largest number of chartered accountants amongst its workforce. He therefore reiterated the Corporation’s commitment towards continued collaboration with the Institute in enhancing the skill and capacity of members in its employment.
Earlier, the Council Member in company of the Abuja District Chairman had said they embarked on the visit on behalf of the Institute’s National President, Dame Onome Joy Adewuyi to solicit the collaboration of the NDIC in the Golden Jubilee Annual Confeence of ICAN which was already scheduled to hold between 5th and 9th April, 2021.
She congratulated Hassan on his recent appointment as NDIC’s MD/CE, noting that this was a testimony to his vibrancy, hard work and invaluable contributions to the growth of the banking sector for over 3 decades.
Over $400m worth of stolen funds from Nigeria have been traced to the United Arab Emirate, (UAE), according to a leading anti-corruption group on Tuesday.
The Human and Environmental Development Agenda, (HEDA Resource Centre) corroborated by foreign anti-corruption experts revealed during an international conference held in Abuja that more than half of the $400m stolen funds and assets are linked to only thirteen Nigeria N top security officials.
‘Of the 800 Nigerian stolen illicit assets lodged in UAE, 13 law enforcement officials own 216 of them while 584 of the remaining assets are owned by Nigerian public officials’ HEDA said. The event held at the Sheraton Hotel in Abuja was on Fixing Financial Flows: A critical Review of UK and UAE policies, laws and Practices in Financial and Non Financial Institutions.
The conference attended by representatives of MacArthur Foundation, United Nations Office of Drug and Crime, (UNODC), Centre for Democracy and Development, (CDD) members of the diplomatic corps, representatives of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, (EFCC), Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Offenses Commission, (ICPC), Nigerian Financial Intelligence Unit, (NFIU), Code of Conduct Bureau, (CCB), Corporate Affairs Commission, (CAC), the Nigerian Police Force, (NPF), Civil Society organisations and the media.
The local and international panelists who came from UK, Botswana and Nigeria including Pusetso Moradepi, Kemi Okenyodo and Nick Hildyard. Dr Gbenga Oduntan of Kent University, United Kingdom said public officials are milking Nigerians to their bone marrow adding that illicit financial flow continues to fuel unrest, violence and terrorism in Nigeria. They said most of the stolen funds are linked to commercial activities.
In a communique issued at the end of the summit, participants said the UAE and United Kingdom, (UK) represent some of the hosts of illicit financial flow from Nigeria estimated at some $17billion every year between 2004 and 2013.
The communiqué states that ‘an estimated 17billion dollars is lost every year to financial flows which hurts vulnerable poor, fuels violence and threat to moral authority of the state.’ The participants said ‘fighting the transfer of stolen funds abroad cannot be handled by the government alone, it has to be a joint effort in collaboration with civil society, labour and all people-driven institutions.’
Speaking at the summit, the Deputy Country Director, MacArthur foundations, Mr. Dayo Olaide, said while see-through election remain a momentous step towards transparency and good governance, it is disturbing that public enthusiasm towards election is fading.
‘The number of voters has continued to decline which raises the prospect of Nigerians becoming strangers in their own country and projecting a gradual decline in public trust in the process that produce elected leaders.’
Olaide recalled that the total number of Nigerians that voted in the bye election held recently in South Eastern Nigeria is less than 3 percent of the eligible voters who took part in the election while in the last national elections, voting in the gubernatorial race recorded barely 17 percent of registered voters.’
The Executive Secretary, Presidential Advisory Council Against Corruption, (PACAC) Prof Sadiq Raddah said the Nigerian authority is concerned about illicit financial flow adding that PACAC has recently set up a committee part of which responsibility is to help anti-corruption institutions recover stolen assets.
The communiqué signed by HEDA Chairman Olanrewaju Suraju noted that the United Kingdom and UAE are culprits in the illicit financial flow from Nigeria and have been facing attacks for failing to live up to international obligations in curbing illicit financial flow.
‘Politically exposed persons are not politicians but also their families while enablers of illicit financial flow include dealers in precious minerals, professionals who enhance and sustain illicit financial flows. Nigeria should progressively review her international obligations like the UN Conventions on Corruption which has five focal points which included International cooperation, technical assistance, asset recovery and the Mutual Legal Assistance’the communiqué said.
FBN Holdings Plc has announced a profit of N89.7 billion for the financial year ended December 31, 2020.
This figure which represents an increase of 21.8 per cent over the figure achieved in the corresponding period of 2019l, the Holding company explained on Thursday, was higher when compared with N73.7 billion achieved in 2019.
According to FBN Holdings, operating income closed the year at N426.3 billion as against N417.5 billion in 2019.
Although there was a marginal drop in gross earnings by 1.9 per cent from N590.4 billion in the previous year to N579.4 billion as the end of the 2020 financial year, the company’s total assets rose by 23.9 per cent to N7.7 trillion when compared with N6.2 trillion achieved in the corresponding period of 2019.
Also, customers deposits grew to N4.89 trillion, up from N4.02 trillion posted in the previous year.
According to FBN Holdings the 1.9 per cent drop in gross earnings was the result of a 10.9 per cent year-on-year decline in interest income to N384.8 billion as against N431.9 billion recorded in 2019. It notes that this was occasioned by the drop in government securities which declined on the short and long end of the yield curve.
Commenting on the result, Group Managing Director, Urum Eke said the company was pleased to close the year in a healthy note despite the difficult operating environment.
“FBNHoldings is pleased to close the year in a healthy financial position despite the difficult operating environment that has been characterized by unprecedented events as a result of the pandemic and challenging economic environment.
“As part of our strategic planning cycle, which is in the second year, we exited the insurance underwriting business through the sale of our interest in FBNInsurance to our long-term partner, the Sanlam Group. This decision is consistent with our portfolio optimisation strategy, underscored by the renewed focus on deepening our foothold in the banking sector through increased investment in digitalisation, innovation, and expansion in financial services for the benefit of our existing and new customers. The proceeds from the sale have been injected in First Bank of Nigeria to strengthen the core business of the Group and drive further market growth.
“Five years ago, we outlined our strategy to diversify our income stream by boosting non-interest income through a transaction-led banking model. We believe this decision reduced the burden on our customers during the lockdown by providing seamless access to banking service, as well as, support the effort of the Government and other donor agencies to reach Nigerians with the COVID-19 support programs.
“During the year 2020, Profit before tax grew 11.2% y-o-y to ₦ 83.7 billion and our non-interest income recorded a growth of 26.7% y-o-y to ₦ 174.7 billion. These results were despite the challenging environment evidenced by the decline in fixed income rates and higher cash reserve requirements leading to a 10.9% y-o-y decline in interest income to ₦ 384.8 billion. However, we mitigated the impact on net interest income by containing interest expense through reducing the cost of deposit and driving low-cost deposits.
“We remain focused on driving operating expenses down and improving cost to income ratio. In 2020, operating expense was up marginally by 0.5% y-o-y growing significantly slower than inflation. Notwithstanding, our strategy is to continue to deploy the two-pronged approach of driving revenue through the transaction-led banking model, whilst implementing initiatives geared towards containing operating cost, to help reduce the cost to income ratio.
“ I am also delighted with the improved risk management processes and architecture which continues to yield positive results. Consistent with our commitment to a single-digit NPL to the market, we further reduced the ratio to 7.7% (Dec 2019: 9.9%).
“ Overall, whilst these developments represent significant progress in our journey to reposition the Group, over the planning cycle, we will be increasing the pace of implementation of our mid-range initiatives including the optimisation of our portfolio to extract increased value from existing assets, and evaluating options to support our vision of remaining dominant in the financial services industry in Africa.”
The Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR), has called on the federal government to subject the prices of Liquefied Petroleum Gas(LPG), otherwise known as cooking gas, to the market forces.
Sarki Auwalu, the Chief Executive Officer, (DPR), expressed the view that to achieve uninterrupted supply of gas, government should allow the forces of demand and supply to guide the pricing of the product.
The position of DPR aligns with a similar call by the Group Managing Director of Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Mele Kyari who said the corporation could no longer bear the burden of sustaining the expensive subsidy regime on Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) and that its prices should be market- driven .
The positions of these two regulatory bodies in the Oil and Gas industry will no doubt put further pressure on Nigerians as this is sure to push up the prices of these essential products.
In his keynote address at the pre-summit conference on “Decade of Gas’, in Abuja, on Monday, Auwalu said the right and market-based pricing of gas was critical, as it would assure producers of returns on their investments.
He listed five critical levers for gas development, especially as Nigeria moves to leverage its abundant gas resources for national growth, diversification of the economy and utilization las the fuel for economic tansformation.
According to him, the levers include availability, accessibility, affordability, and acceptability, as well as deliverability.
He insisted that these were critical to utilising Nigeria’s proven gas reserves of 203 trillion cubic feet, TCF, for national development.
“Whereas references have been made to the other elements in this discussion, right pricing of gas is requiring particular attention to ensure security of gas supply and security of credible gas demand.
“This is because upstream gas producers must be assured that they will receive fair and equitable returns for their investments whereas, the price must be such that the end-users are able to pay for gas offtake in a reliable and consistent manner.
“Accordingly, the most robust and sustainable pricing mechanism is that which ‘let the market speak’ in a way that all costs are reflective of prevailing market conditions and for which the economic dynamics of demand and supply are allowed to interplay in an open, transparent, and free market environment.
“Thus, our drive as a nation should be early attainment to the ‘willing buyer; willing seller’ market status.
“Any transitional pricing arrangements, today, must be structured to quickly give way for market-led pricing regime and conditions,” he said.
Auwalu commended President Muhammadu Buhari and the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Chief Timipre Sylva, for their outstanding leadership in deepening gas utilisation in Nigeria.
He muted that these efforts had culminated in the establishment of the National Gas Expansion Programme, National Gas Transportation Network Code and the National Gas Flare Commercialisation Programme.
Others are the ongoing construction of the ELPS-II, OB3 and AKK pipelines as critical backbone gas infrastructure required to improve gas deliverability and availability.
He also stated that government was working towards the expeditious passage of the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) which would enhance clarity in legislative, regulatory, fiscal, and administrative frameworks in the industry.
“This bill, when passed into law, will eliminate the uncertainties and bottlenecks associated with gas development in Nigeria and accelerate the growth of the Nigerian gas market to a fully developed and matured status.
“Specifically, on gas matters, the PIB provides for the following: promotion of dedicated gas exploration and development, gas terms, fiscal separation of gas as a commodity.
“It will also enhance the domestic gas delivery obligation, tariffing structure & methodology, open access regimes and revised gas pricing framework, to mention but a few,” Auwalu said.
The DPR he assured would continue to be an enabler and an opportunity provider in the oil and gas industry.
“Our focus remains the effective implementation of all policies and strategic programmes of government in an efficient manner that optimises the value of our petroleum resources for all stakeholders, all in overriding national interest,” he declared.
The Federal Executive Council (FEC) has set aside over N19billion to finance various projects in the Ministries of Transportation, Aviation and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).
Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed; Aviation Minister, Hadi Sirika and the FCT minister, Muhammed Bello revealed these at the end of the Council meeting chaired by Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo in Abuja on Wednesday.
The Minister of Information said five memos presented by the Minister of transportation, Rotimi Ameachi, were approved by the Council.
According to him, the approvals included N639million for modular tamping machine for Nigerian Railway Corporation (NRC), N247million for procurement of a rig-stacker for National Inland Waterway Authority and N166billion for two power cars to be used on the narrow gauge by the NRC.
The Council also approved N3.5billion for the removal of wrecks along the Badagry Creek from Tincan Island to Navy Town in Lagos State as well as N902million for the construction of 1000 sitting capacity international conference centre for the Nigerian Institute of Transport Technology, Zaria, Kaduna state.
“The first memo is actually a memo in which the minister sought the approval of Council for the award of contract for the design, manufacture, supply testing and commissioning of one modular tamping machine at the sum of N639,150,932 for the use of the Nigerian Railway Corporation. The machine is for immediate use in Agbor, Delta state.
“The second memo was a memo asking for Council’s approval for the award of contract for the procurement of one rig-stacker, in the sum of N247,062,708. This is for the benefit of the National Inland Waterway Authority.
“The third memo is one seeking Council’s approval for the award of contract for the design, manufacture, testing and commissioning of two power cars to be used on the narrow gauge by the Nigerian Railway Corporation, at a sum of N1.662 billion.
“There’s another memo by the Minister of Transportation, which sought Council’s approval for the award of contract for the removal of wrecks along the Badagry Creek from Tincan Island to Navy Town Lagos State, in the sum of N3,587,955,266.40 and it’s supposed to be completed within 25 months.
“This contract will benefit the National Maritime Administration and Safety Agency.
“Finally, the Minister of Transportation sought Council’s approval for the award of contract for the construction of a 1000 sitting capacity international conference centre for the Nigerian Institute of Transport Technology (NITT), Zaria, in the sum of N902,329,463.33,’’ he said.
Lai Mohammed explained that the project is to be completed within 24 weeks, adding that the NITT, being the apex transport and logistics management development institute in Nigeria and the West African sub-region, is desirous of constructing a 1000 sitting capacity international conference centre to meet its growing population.
Sirika also said that the Council approved N10.5billion for the provision of Airport Management Solution for the international airports of Abuja, and that of Lagos, Kano, Port Harcourt and Enugu
He said the approved amount included 7.5per cent Value Added Tax (VAT) while the project would be completed in 12 months.
The minister said: “Today in Council, the Ministry of Aviation had a memorandum that was approved and this is a contract for the provision of Airport Management Solution for the international airports of Abuja, and that of Lagos and Kano, Port Harcourt and Enugu. It is awarded in the sum of N10,594,057,618.20.
“This Airport Management Solution was earlier being provided only in Lagos and Abuja. This is now extended to all the five airports and what it will be doing; one is common use terminal equipment, which is cute systems that are required for sharing airport resources in accordance with requirement of IATA recommendation 1797.
`This allows flexible shared resources for check-in and boarding, such as servers, workstations, associated peripherals between all airlines and handling agents present at the airport. This will be for all the five airports and baggage drop.
“This service, as explained, will also be in all of the airports, which makes it faster and quicker for passenger processing.
“Another service to be provided is Local Departure Control Systems. This is aimed at airlines that are still using manual procedures like locals, charters, domestic,etc. The system secures and accelerates these operations while ensuring better service for passengers.’’
According to Sirika, the system also accepts mobile phone boarding pass or home printed boarding pass.
“Then Baggage Reconciliation System also, where baggage can be tracked from when you arrive and drop your baggage automatically it goes into the system and onto the aircraft itself.
“So, this will eliminate the issue of missing baggage or mix up of baggage to arrive at another location not intended.
“Then another thing is Electronic e-gates. These are access controlled gates to restrict only passengers and staff access to designated areas. The e-gates provide a platform to monitor and control access into the boarding area. This is new and not part of the systems that were being provided for Lagos and Abuja.
On his part, the FCT Minister disclosed that the Council approved N686million for the provision of engineering infrastructure to a section of Asokoro District known as Abubakar Koko Street.
He added that the Council approved N1.3billion for the construction of a 14.7 kilometres dedicated power line from the existing newly completed Kukwaba 132/33kv transmission station in Kukwaba District of Abuja.
“During today’s Council meeting, two memos presented by the FCT Ministry were approved. The first memo is the approval for the contract for the provision of engineering infrastructure to a section of Asokoro District known as Abubakar Koko Street.
“This contract was approved for Datum Construction Nigeria Limited at a contract amount of N686,796,482.14 and it has a completion period of six months.
“The second contract approved is the contract for the construction of a 14.7 kilometre dedicated power line from the existing newly completed Kukwaba 132/33kv transmission station in Kukwaba District of Abuja.
“This is at the sum of N1,398,901,681.27 and awarded to Messrs Olivec Ventures Nigeria Limited and for a completion period of 12 months.
The Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Mrs Zainab Ahmed, revealed that the Council approved N316.5million for the second phase of Project Lighthouse.
According to her, the Project Lighthouse is a data engine that collects, integrates and analyses data from revenue generating agencies in order to create insightful information for improved decision making.
“One major area that we have witnessed remarkable progress is in terms of recovery of debts owed to government. Generally, revenue loopholes have been aided by poor information sharing enforcement.
“So this Protect Lighthouse shows us that many Businesses and individuals who owe government agencies have refused to honour their obligations yet are still being engaged and transacted with, and even being paid on government payment platforms like Treasury Single Account.
“In 2019, the ministry issued a directive to all ministries, departments and agencies to aggregate and send to the ministry a list of all debtors and their outstanding amounts that are owed to government agencies. This we have put together in one central fund that we call Project Lighthouse.
“Since that time we have been able to aggregate N5.2 trillion worth of debts that are being owed to government by third parties and as at today we have been able to recover N49.7 billion of this amount through the efforts of works we’ve been carrying out through Project Lighthouse and we’re still compiling.
“Project Lighthouse has brought together data from the FIRS, the Nigerian Customs Service, the Corporate Affairs Commission, as well as data from BVN in one central poolnan.’’
As the world transits to cleaner energy, the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) has affirmed Nigeria’s preparedness to play a strategic role in the new global energy order.
The Group Managing Director of NNPC, Mallam Mele Kyari, made this submission at the Decade of Gas Pre-summit Conference which held Monday in Abuja, with the theme: Towards Gas-Powered Economy by 2030.
In an address of welcome at the event, Mallam Kyari stated that technology and innovation were facilitating a new global energy order aimed at decarbonizing the world and safeguarding the climate, stressing that renewable energy sources such as solar and wind which would be key components of the new energy mix were largely influenced by seasons and were non-transportable to demand centres where they are in short supply.
He contended that under the circumstances, natural gas, and by extension blue hydrogen, would be heavily depended upon as transition fuels to play a key role in the clean energy drive and would provide significant proportion of the global energy mix as well as guarantee feedstock to gas-based industries.
“Nigeria, under the visionary leadership of President Muhammadu Buhari, has committed huge resources to ensure that domestic gas infrastructure reach every corner of our country to deepen natural gas utilization, spur investment in power and gas-based industries, grow the economy and generate employment for millions of our young people,” Mallam Kyari informed.
According to him, Nigeria as a gas nation with over 203trillion standard cubic feet (tscf) of proven gas reserves is monetizing the huge gas resources spurred by numerous policy and industry interventions since 2016, culminating in the declaration of 2020 as the year of gas and progressing into the decade of gas from 2021.
Mallam Kyari stated that NNPC and its partners have embarked on a number of strategic projects to deepen delivery of gas to the domestic market and elevate the build-up of greater potentials for export.
“The completion of the Escravos-Lagos Pipeline System Phase 2 (ELPS II), commissioning of the Obiafu-Obrikom-Oben (OB3) Lot 2, the NPDC Oredo Gas Handling Facility, and the SEEPCO Gas Processing Plant can be easily cited, even without mentioning ongoing strategic backbone gas infrastructure projects such as the Ajaokuta-Kaduna-Kano (AKK) pipeline, the OB3 final hook-up, the Nigeria-Morroco pipeline and several other gas-based industries initiatives. All these will herald the sunrise of gas revolution in our country within the decade,” the GMD stated.
He noted that as part of the journey to make the Decade of Gas a reality, the Federal Government has also rolled out the Autogas initiative to provide alternative cleaner and cheaper transportation fuel to petrol, adding that the initiative has received huge support from the entire energy industry and gained tremendous traction.
He lauded President Muhammadu Buhari for his strategic foresight, leadership and support for the oil and gas industry, saying that the various strategic initiatives were geared towards transforming the Nigeria’s energy landscape.
The National President of NACCIMA, Hajiya Saratu Iya Aliyu has described the launch of the N50bn Export Expansion Facility Program (EEFP) and Grant Management Portal designed for accessing the Export Development Fund (EDF) as welcome development. While also commending government for the initiative, she called for efficient functioning of the Digital Portal to enable prompt and efficient access of Funds under the Facilities.
Hajiya Saratu a member of the Ministerial Steering committee was commenting on the launch of the EEFP, held on Monday 29th March under the supervision of Otunba Niyi Adebayo, the Minister of Industry Trade and Investment and the Executive Director/CEO of the Nigeria Export Promotion Council (NEPC) Mr Olusegun Awolowo, described the launch of the Digital Management Portal as a practical positive step to ensure that MSMEs across the country which are the back bone of the economy can access stimulus Packages designed to save and create jobs, as concerted efforts continue to help those of them impacted by COVID-19 Pandemic get back on their feet as envisioned under the Economic Sustainability Plan of 2020.
Hajia Saratu noted that it was truly significant that this was the first time that the EDF was being funded since the creation of the NEPC Act; and described the development as worthy and commendable; because this is a case of walking the talk by Government, in the quest to work with other stakeholders particularly the private sector operators to significantly expand non-oil Export and the pursuit of the Zero Oil Plan. She was of the firm view that effectively and efficiently pursued, the EDF facility will certainly increase inflow of foreign Exchange and expand the diversification of the economy.
The NACCIMA National President advised MSMEs to take advantage of the Facilities which will be processed through the System that was launched. She assured that NACCIMA members would be encouraged to tap into the opportunities under the Facility and called on other stakeholders to be part of the initiative which are some of the strategic options to pilot Nigeria out of recession and improve on recent gain.