NTA.ng – Breaking News, Nigeria, Africa, Worldwide http://www.nta.ng Nigerian Television Authority | Africa's Largest Network Thu, 30 Mar 2017 12:37:57 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.4.8 President Buhari Hails Nigeria-Saudi Relationship as he receives outgoing ambassador http://www.nta.ng/news/buhari/20170330-president-buhari-hails-nigeria-saudi-relationship/ http://www.nta.ng/news/buhari/20170330-president-buhari-hails-nigeria-saudi-relationship/#respond Thu, 30 Mar 2017 12:37:57 +0000 http://www.nta.ng/?p=43046 Femi Adesina, Abuja: The relationship between Nigeria and Saudi Arabia is a mutually beneficial one, which should grow stronger in the years to come, President Muhammadu Buhari has said.   Receiving the outgoing Ambassador of the Royal Embassy of Saudi Arabia, Fahad Bin Abdullah Sefyan, in a farewell audience at State House, Abuja, Thursday, the

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Femi Adesina, Abuja: The relationship between Nigeria and Saudi Arabia is a mutually beneficial one, which should grow stronger in the years to come, President Muhammadu Buhari has said.
 
Receiving the outgoing Ambassador of the Royal Embassy of Saudi Arabia, Fahad Bin Abdullah Sefyan, in a farewell audience at State House, Abuja, Thursday, the President observed that the relationship between the countries was strong, adding that apart from visiting Mecca and Medina for religious reasons, a lot of Nigerians are in Saudi Arabian universities.
 
Noting that the last farming season was quite good, and the Nigerian economy was gradually reviving, President Buhari said the two countries would have more areas to collaborate in future.
 
“I quite appreciate the relationship between the two countries,”  the President stressed.
 
Ambassador Sefyan, who spent 20 months on tour of duty, said he loved it in Nigeria, and would have wanted to stay for longer, if not that he was now due for retirement.
 
He commended President Buhari’s visit to Saudi Arabia in February, last year, urging that there should be reciprocal visits between the leaders of both countries.
 
On the security situation in Nigeria, the outgoing Ambassador told the President:
 
“I think you are doing very well, Your Excellency. We know what you have done with Boko Haram, and we applaud you.”
 

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Senate To Receive Final Report on Petroleum Industry Governance Bill, PIGB on April 24 http://www.nta.ng/news/20170330-senate-receive-final-report-petroleum-industry-governance-bill-pigb-april-24/ http://www.nta.ng/news/20170330-senate-receive-final-report-petroleum-industry-governance-bill-pigb-april-24/#respond Thu, 30 Mar 2017 12:09:41 +0000 http://www.nta.ng/?p=43042 Sanni Onogu, Abuja:Barring any last minute changes, the Senate Joint Committee on Petroleum (Upstream, Downstream and Gas), will on 24th April lay the final report of the Petroleum Industry Governance Bill ,PIGB before the Senate for consideration and approval. According to a schedule on the final stages of the committee’s work, members of the committee will on Tuesday

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News Summary 30-03-2017: Nigeria Applauded for Degrading Boko Haram http://www.nta.ng/news/media/20170330-news-summary-30-03-2017-nigeria-applauded-for-degrading-boko-haram/ http://www.nta.ng/news/media/20170330-news-summary-30-03-2017-nigeria-applauded-for-degrading-boko-haram/#respond Thu, 30 Mar 2017 10:49:22 +0000 http://www.nta.ng/?p=43033 Nigeria Applauded for Degrading Boko Haram Nigeria has been commended for degrading Boko Haram through the multi-national joint task force of the Lake Chad Basin. United States Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson gave the commendation at the just concluded summit on global coalition working to defeat ISIS, held in Washington DC. Nigerian Students Attacked In

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Nigeria Applauded for Degrading Boko Haram

Nigeria has been commended for degrading Boko Haram through the multi-national joint task force of the Lake Chad Basin.

United States Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson gave the commendation at the just concluded summit on global coalition working to defeat ISIS, held in Washington DC.

Nigerian Students Attacked In India

The Permanent Secretary, Ministry Of Foreign Affairs Ambassador Sola Enikanolaiye, has condemned the attacks on Nigerian students in India by Indian Nationals.

The permanent maintains that the perpetrators must be punished as a deterrent to others.

9th Bola Tinubu Colloquium

The Nigerian Air force says it is currently placing much emphasis on the research and development as a way of building indigenous technology capacity. The Chief-Of-Air Marshal Sadiq Abubakar stated this at the 9th Bola Tinubu Colloquium in Lagos. It was reported that the theme of the colloquium is “make it in Nigeria, use what we make, and make what we use.”

 

 

Dabiri-Erewa on India Attacks

Senior Special Assistant to the president on Foreign Affairs and Diaspora Abike Dabiri-Erewa has condemned renewed attacks on Nigerian students in India and urged them to remain calm while being vigilant.

Dabiri-erewa said in a statement in Abuja that the renewed attacks on Nigerian students in India was uncalled for.

While condemning the mob action as unwarranted and deplorable, the SSA commended India for immediate and prompt action and the arrest of five suspects.

Dabiri-Erewa noted that though the situation was calm at the moment, Nigeria will continue to demand that the Indian government protects Nigerian students.

FCTA to Revoke Undeveloped Plots

Owners of undeveloped plots of land in parts of Karshi Satellite Town of Abuja with primary infrastructure, stand the risk of having their land allocation revoked by the FCT administration.

FCT minister, Muhammad Musa Bello gave this warning when he visited Karshi on inspection tour.

FEC meeting 29th march 2017

Far reaching measures have been taken by the federal executive council towards ensuring that the relationship between the executive and legislature rremainns cordial for sustainable growth and development of the country.

Minister of Information and Culture Lai Mohammed while briefing newsmen after the council’s meeting said a high powered committee has been constituted towards addressing areas of concern.

FG/IFAD on rice production

The federal government in partnership with IFAD has developed a strategy towards improving the quality of rice produced in Nigeria. To this end, farmers and extension services providers from six rice producing states are undergoing training on rice cultivation using irrigation system of farming.

Fire Service Meets NAICOM on Risk Management

The Federal Fire Service is seeking the assistance of the National Insurance Commission NAICOM in mitigating losses occasioned by fire outbreaks across the country. Heads of both agencies who informed journalists of this development after a closed door meeting further expressed their readiness to enforce the provisions of the law that requires all public buildings to be insured.

House Committee on Aviation Inspects Kaduna Airport

The House Committee on Aviation says,it is impressed with instrument landing system and other safety standards at Kaduna International Airport after an inspection tour of facilities at the airport.

The inspection is premised on questionable aerodrome standard which the House of Representatives mandated its members to investigate.

NNPC Cautions on Phantom Recruitment Exercise

The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC says it is not conducting any recruitment, noting that the corporation would advertise vacant positions whenever the need arises.

In a statement by its Group General Manager, Group Public Affairs Division, Ndu Ughamadu, the corporation cautioned the public to be wearing of syndicates who specialize in extorting money from unsuspecting members of the public under the pretext of job placement.

The corporation urged anyone contacted for such placements other than through advertisement duly placed in national dailies to promptly report to the relevant law enforcement agencies.

The statement further emphasized the determination of the management to sustain prevailing gale of transparency and accountability as witnessed in the conduct of open public bidding in sourcing for contractors and suppliers of general goods and services for its operational requirements.

Kabusa waste to wealth

Residents of Kabusa, a community under the

Abuja Municipal Area Council have taken up the

Task of ensuring their environment is clean, this they did by embarking on sanitation exercise, being facilitated by a non-governmental organization, Halima Factor Community

Initiative which was tagged “Waste to Wealth 2017”

Killing of a Courier Marketing Personnel

Operatives of Anti Robbery Squad/SARS in Rivers State have arrested three suspects who allegedly robbed and murdered a yet to be identified courier of an on-line marketing company in Port Harcourt who was to deliver two iPhones and a super bike they ordered. It was reported that the new Rivers

State Commissioner of Police Zaki Ahmed led other senior officers to the scene of the incident.

Mrs Buhari Condoles Pauline Tallen

The wife of the President Aisha Muhammadu Buhari has condoled with the former deputy governor of Plateau State  over the death of her husband John Katkwamp Tallen who died Tuesday Morning at his residence in Abuja after a protected illness.
Mrs Buhari was also at the residence of Alhaji Buba Galadima to condole with the family over the death of his son Aliyu Buba Galadima.

Senate on Ndume

The senate has suspended Senator Mohammed Ali Ndume for six months for bringing the upper legislative chamber to disrepute.

The suspension follows the presentation of an investigative report of the senate committee on ethics set up to look into allegations against the Senate President Bukola Saraki on importation of an SUV vehicle and that of Senator Dino Melaye on certificate forgery.

While presenting the report Chairman Senate Committee on Ethics Samuel Anyanwu exonerated both legislators of all allegations.

Ngige to Reposition MINILS

Minister of Labour and Employment Chris Ngige has affirmed his commitment to reposition the Michael Imoudu National Institute for Labour Studies (MINILS) as a hub of industrial relations training in Africa.

This was at a courtesy visit by the management staff of the institute led by the new Acting Director General, Fatai Onaeko

The minister described the institute as strategic to both labour studies and industrial relations adding that it should be restructured to deliver on its mandate.

Chris Ngige expressed satisfaction at the institute’s efforts at going beyond awarding ordinary national diploma to higher national diploma urging the management to take a step further to collaborate with relevant university for degree programmes.

Pakistani Govt. Assists NAHCON on ICT

Towards a smooth and result oriented hajj operations, the National Hajj Commission of Nigeria is partnering with Islamic Republic of Pakistan in the development of a software to make hajj operations in the country ICT based.

It was reported that Pakistani’s assistance is at no cost to Nigeria, rather to strengthen diplomatic relations.

 

 

 

 

 

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Preventing Malnutrition: UNICEF trains 24 health workers in Borno IDPs camp http://www.nta.ng/news/diplomacy/20170330-unicef-trains-24-health-workers-borno-idps-camp/ http://www.nta.ng/news/diplomacy/20170330-unicef-trains-24-health-workers-borno-idps-camp/#respond Thu, 30 Mar 2017 10:45:48 +0000 http://www.nta.ng/?p=43036 The United Nations Children Fund (UNICEF), said it has trained 24 health workers in Borno, on measures to prevent malnutrition among Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in the state. UNICEF Nutrition Specialist, Mr Walton Beckley, said this on Thursday at the closing of a workshop on malnutrition for health workers in Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) camps

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The United Nations Children Fund (UNICEF), said it has trained 24 health workers in Borno, on measures to prevent malnutrition among Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in the state.

UNICEF Nutrition Specialist, Mr Walton Beckley, said this on Thursday at the closing of a workshop on malnutrition for health workers in Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) camps in Maiduguri.

Beckley explained that the training was to teach mothers and caregivers ways to utilise their meagre resources to provide adequate nutrition for the children.

He said also that the objective was to sensitise health workers in IDPs camps so they in turn could use the information to educate mothers on how to prevent malnutrition in their children or wards.

“The workshop is training on infant and young children feeding for health workers in IDP camps in Maiduguri.

“The purpose is to ensure that our health workers are in the position to counsel mothers and caregivers on methodologies they can adopt to be able to feed their children properly to prevent severe malnutrition,” Beckley said.

He added:” We are all aware that the crisis in the North East is a crisis of malnutrition.

“We have several thousands of children at the risk of malnutrition and dying except our intervention is robust”.

Beckley said that with the training, mothers were expected to make use of little resources at their disposal to provide food that would be adequately sufficient for the children, to prevent malnourishment.

“We have 24 health workers drawn from Muna, Dalori and Bakasi IDP camps currently at the workshop.

“Our focus is to train health workers from all IDP camps on the subject,” he said.

According to Beckley, getting access to resources is a big challenge in the North East at the moment.

“That is why one of the purposes of the workshop is to ensure that mothers are taught on how they can make the best use of food materials at their disposal.

“This starts from breast feeding to ensure that children are adequately fed,” Beckley said.(NAN)

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Economic Recovery Plan: FG to grant incentives to investors http://www.nta.ng/news/20170330-economic-recovery-plan-fg-grant-incentives-investors/ http://www.nta.ng/news/20170330-economic-recovery-plan-fg-grant-incentives-investors/#respond Thu, 30 Mar 2017 10:20:26 +0000 http://www.nta.ng/?p=43032 The Federal Government will grant incentives to encourage investment in the priority sectors listed in the recently released Economic Recovery and Growth Plan. The Minister of Budget and National Planning, Sen. Udoma Udo Udoma, said in a statement signed by his Media Adviser, James Akpandem. Udoma gave the assurance in Abuja when he received the

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The Federal Government will grant incentives to encourage investment in the priority sectors listed in the recently released Economic Recovery and Growth Plan.

The Minister of Budget and National Planning, Sen. Udoma Udo Udoma, said in a statement signed by his Media Adviser, James Akpandem.

Udoma gave the assurance in Abuja when he received the Japanese Ambassador to Nigeria, Mr Sadanobu Kusaoke in his office.

He said the plan focused on achieving macroeconomic stability, transforming agriculture, driving sufficiency in energy, improving transportation infrastructure and growing industrialisation with attention on small and medium scale enterprises.

According to him, implementation is paramount in the realisation of the plan’s objectives, therefore attention will be on prioritising the identified strategies and establishing a clear system of accountability.

He said attention would also be given to allocate resources to prioritised interventions, creating an enabling policy and regulatory environment and developing an effective monitoring and evaluation system to track progress.

The Plan, he explained, would be driven by some fundamental principles, including a focus on tackling constraints to growth.

He said it would also be driven by leveraging the power of the private sector and promoting national cohesion and social inclusion as well as allowing markets to function.

“We believe in using the markets to drive the engine of the economy and allowing markets to work.”

The minister, however, invited Japanese companies to take advantage of the various business opportunities that would be presented by the Special Economic Zones established in various parts of the country.

He said that the zones which would serve as manufacturing hubs would have the necessary infrastructural facilities to support the country’s industrialisation drive.

Udoma pointed at the gradual reduction in the rate of inflation, the economy which had stopped contracting and the narrowing in the gap between the official and parallel market exchange rates.

He said he was delighted at the information that a delegation of Japanese businessmen would be in Abuja on May 4, to explore more areas of investments and partnerships.

The minister acknowledged the Ambassadors efforts in promoting Japanese interest in the country as well as his country’s support in humanitarian assistance and other areas.

Earlier, Kusaoke observed that Nigeria’s economic trajectory had been trending upwards recently and disclosed that Japanese companies was interested in investing in new areas.

He said that the country would expand the existing businesses in Nigeria, listing a number of companies that were already investing in Nigeria. (NAN)

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Road Safety Awareness: FRSC enlightens 1,023 students in Kaduna state http://www.nta.ng/news/20170330-road-safety-awareness-frsc-enlightens-1023-students-kaduna-state/ http://www.nta.ng/news/20170330-road-safety-awareness-frsc-enlightens-1023-students-kaduna-state/#respond Thu, 30 Mar 2017 09:47:49 +0000 http://www.nta.ng/?p=43028 The Kaduna Sector Command of the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) said on Thursdays that it has enlightened 1,023 primary and secondary school students on road safety awareness in Kaduna. The Sector Commander, Mr Francis Udoma, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Kaduna that the training was conducted in collaboration with Total Nigeria

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The Kaduna Sector Command of the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) said on Thursdays that it has enlightened 1,023 primary and secondary school students on road safety awareness in Kaduna.

The Sector Commander, Mr Francis Udoma, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Kaduna that the training was conducted in collaboration with Total Nigeria Plc.

Udoma said that the goals was to raise the level of safety awareness through entrenchment of safety skills among primary and secondary school students.

He said that six schools in Kaduna metropolis benefited in the first phase of the programme.

The official added that 80 students benefited in Junior International School, Ungwan Rimi; 256 in Command Secondary School Kaduna; and 264 in LEA Primary School Abakpa.

Others are Lapan International School Sabon Tasha, 180 students; Jupavi International School, Kachia Road, 118 students and 125 students in Milton College of Art and Science, Mahuta.

“The students were taught on the dangers and the risk associated with vehicles and pedestrians and the basic road signs.

“They were also taught how to move around freely, by understanding the direction of traffic, how to use side walk and banks of the roads; when to stop and look each side of the road before crossing and obeying road signs.

“The students were also educated on safety at all times, the increasing dangers during rain, storm, fog, at night and how to be vigilant in changing weather conditions.

“We equally enlightened the students on how to work in a single file and keep off the edge of the road, “the sector commander said.

He explained that the training lasted for five weeks, from January 23 to March 1, 2017. (NAN)

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NSCDC arrests Ahmed Alibe, 21-year-old fake soldier in Borno http://www.nta.ng/news/security-news/20170330-nscdc-arrests-ahmed-alibe-21-year-old-fake-soldier-in-borno/ http://www.nta.ng/news/security-news/20170330-nscdc-arrests-ahmed-alibe-21-year-old-fake-soldier-in-borno/#respond Thu, 30 Mar 2017 09:34:58 +0000 http://www.nta.ng/?p=43025 The Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC), Borno Command, on Thursday, said it arrested a man, Ahmed Alibe, 21, posing as a soldier and molesting members of the public. The Corps Commandant, Ibrahim Abdullahi, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Maiduguri that Alibe was arrested on March 29 at the Nasara Computer

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The Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC), Borno Command, on Thursday, said it arrested a man, Ahmed Alibe, 21, posing as a soldier and molesting members of the public.

The Corps Commandant, Ibrahim Abdullahi, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Maiduguri that Alibe was arrested on March 29 at the Nasara Computer centre at the computer village.

Abdullahi said that the suspect, who was in military uniform, was seen harassing and intimidating candidates on the queue for the forthcoming JAMB organised Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME) registration.

“We were told that a soldier in uniform was molesting and beating young boys and girls who were registering for their JAMB.

“We noticed that his action was questionable so we sent our men to go and monitor him. On arrival they discovered he was not a soldier but just wearing the uniform to molest innocent people.

“When we interrogated him here at the command, he said the uniform belonged to his brother’s friend.

“We are waiting to see his brother’s friend; if not we will assume that he killed an army officer and took his uniform.

“The culprit could have perpetrated any crime and many might think he was an army officer. This is a crime on its own and he must be punished.

“He will be handed over to the military for proper interrogation and prosecution,” said Abdullahi. (NAN)

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Borno government to build 8,000 capacity orphanage for abandoned children http://www.nta.ng/news/infrastructure/20170330-borno-govt-build-8000-capacity-orphanage-abandoned-children/ http://www.nta.ng/news/infrastructure/20170330-borno-govt-build-8000-capacity-orphanage-abandoned-children/#respond Thu, 30 Mar 2017 09:10:40 +0000 http://www.nta.ng/?p=43022 The Borno Government says it will build a comprehensive orphanage for at least 8,000 children that have been separated from their parents by the Boko Haram crisis. The state’s Commissioner for Women Affairs, Hajiya Fanta Baba-Shehu, made this known in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in New York. Baba-Shehu said the

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The Borno Government says it will build a comprehensive orphanage for at least 8,000 children that have been separated from their parents by the Boko Haram crisis.

The state’s Commissioner for Women Affairs, Hajiya Fanta Baba-Shehu, made this known in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in New York.

Baba-Shehu said the state government would deploy social workers both within and outside the country to cater for the abandoned children.

“We have about 7,000 to 8,000 unaccompanied children and Borno State Government is trying to build an orphanage home – a big one, a huge one – in Borno State.

“The Ministry of Women Affairs will coordinate the affairs of the orphanage home.

“All our social workers, within and outside the country will help.

“Within the provision of the 2017 budget, by God’s grace, the structure will be completed and all the special needs of the unaccompanied children and girls will be taken into consideration.

“We have to get a dormitory for them, we have to get social workers, which we have in the Ministry – specialized people – who can help them.

“Those that trauma has affected are going to be taken care of.

“I addressed the donor agencies, especially the UN Women, the UNFPA, the Global Compact – this is a new agency for us – they are going to support us.”

Baba-Shehu said she participated at the recently-concluded UN Commission on Status of Women, where she met with donor agencies and partners working to promote humanitarian aid and respond to the huge humanitarian crisis in the state.

“We have more than 160,000 Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in Borno that are in the camps.

“Those in the host community are more than the ones in the camps; they are more than two million.

“Their situation is calm now and the Governor of Borno State, Alhaji Kashim Shettima, is now trying to ensure that they return home.

“We expect most of the IDPs to be going home by May because we have a special ministry of RRR – that is Reconstruction, Rehabilitation and Resettlement of the victims.

“We are taking them back and we have taken the women and children into consideration.

“In Kaga Local Government Area there are special programmes for women empowerment.

“At least 250 women have benefitted from that programme – in fishing, knitting, and tailoring, among others.”

She said the leader of the All Progressives Congress, Tinubu visited the area where he inaugurated 432 resettlement houses for Boko Haram victims, 13 primary and junior secondary schools, a general hospital, five primary healthcare centres, irrigation items, mobile fish ponds and livestock for returning female IDPs.

She stated that former first lady, Maryam Abacha, is expected to inaugurate a 250-bed ultra-modern hospital dedicated for women and children.

According to Baba-Shehu, the state government and the security agencies are working closely to ensure the safety of the returnee IDPs. (NAN)

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Federal Government to Improve Engagement with States and Stakeholders in the Mining Sector http://www.nta.ng/news/domestic/20170330-fg-improve-engagement-states-stakeholders-mining-sector/ http://www.nta.ng/news/domestic/20170330-fg-improve-engagement-states-stakeholders-mining-sector/#respond Thu, 30 Mar 2017 07:03:58 +0000 http://www.nta.ng/?p=43020 The Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Dr. Kayode Fayemi has reiterated government’s determination to improve its engagement with State governments and stakeholders in the minerals and mining sector to achieve full potentials of the industry for wealth creation and employment. The Minister stated this at the opening ceremony of the 53rd Annual International Conference

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L-R: Minister of State for Mines and Steel Development, Hon Abubakar Bawa Bwari;  Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Dr Kayode Fayemi; and President, Nigerian Mining and Geosciences Society, Prof Gbenga Okunlola; at the opening session of the 53rd annual international conference of the society in Abuja.

The Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Dr. Kayode Fayemi has reiterated government’s determination to improve its engagement with State governments and stakeholders in the minerals and mining sector to achieve full potentials of the industry for wealth creation and employment.

The Minister stated this at the opening ceremony of the 53rd Annual International Conference and Exhibition of the Nigerian Mining and GeosciencesSociety (NMGS) in Abuja, on Tuesday.

Dr Fayemi said there was need to partner with states particularly around financial participation, revenue sharing and recognising the oversight on the part of Federal Government.

“The new roadmap for the sector already dwells on this and States are being taken into consideration- ranging from the establishment of the Council on Mining and Mineral Resources Development to the extension of derivation principle of 13% to mineral resources extraction at the state level” he added.

The Minister noted that in line with the initiative, the Ministry commenced a nationwide tour of mining sites and meeting with stakeholders starting with Kaduna, Lagos and Ogun States. He said that the essence of the tour was to ensure that all parties recognise their social responsibilities. “The Ministry is working to attract a diverse portfolio of participants from artisanal miners to junior explorers to mining majors into the industry.”, he added.Lead Ore

Earlier, the President of the Nigerian Mining and Geosciences Society, Prof. Olugbenga Okunlola, noted that the society in its 56th year of existence has assisted the government and the private sector in policy formulation and execution, intellectual contribution in the sphere of mining, oil and gas, water and mineral processing, training and skills acquisition engagement.

He said the society has also organised programs, lectures, workshops, short trainings, direct and indirect engagement in the extractive industry, adding that the extractive industry produce the wealth of the nation.

Prof. Okunlola commended the efforts of the present government in truly emphasising the importance of the extractive sector in the economic revival of Nigeria and the inclusion of members of the society in policy formulation and implementation. He said a lot of responsibilities rest on the professionals as the expectation is high and it is time for them to prove that they are capable.slide_s_3

The Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Dr Kayode Fayemi, the Minister of State for Mines and Steel Development Hon. Abubakar Bawa Bwari, alongside some prominent Nigerians were conferred with Honorary Fellows of the Society.

source: minesandsteel.gov.ng

 

 

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Minister’s Speech at 53rd Annual International Conference and Exhibition of the Nigerian Society for Mining and Geosciences http://www.nta.ng/news/economy1/20170330-ministers-speech-53rd-annual-international-conference-exhibition-nigerian-society-mining-geosciences/ http://www.nta.ng/news/economy1/20170330-ministers-speech-53rd-annual-international-conference-exhibition-nigerian-society-mining-geosciences/#respond Thu, 30 Mar 2017 06:52:05 +0000 http://www.nta.ng/?p=43018   Protocols and Introduction I wish to express my profound gratitude for the honour and privilege of being asked to deliver this keynote address at this important occasion. Nigerian Mining and Geosciences Society (NMGS) is one of the highly respected professional bodies in Nigeria. I also wish to thank members of this society for the

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Protocols and Introduction

I wish to express my profound gratitude for the honour and privilege of being asked to deliver this keynote address at this important occasion. Nigerian Mining and Geosciences Society (NMGS) is one of the highly respected professional bodies in Nigeria. I also wish to thank members of this society for the awards given to me and the Minister of State, Hon. Abubakar Bawa BWARI as Honorary Fellows of this Society. My fifteen months at the helm of affairs has shown that the NMGS has come of age, contributing immensely to the development and sustenance of progress attained in the sector. Your efforts have yielded support for the Mining sector providing a solid platform for meaningful industries activities.

The theme for this conference “The Extractive Industry: Imperatives for Wealth Creation & Employment Generation” should be regarded as a wakeup call to all Nigerians. This re–awakening means a renewed zeal to pursue the onerous task of developing the nation’s minerals and metals sector. Since I became the minister of mines & steel development, I have come to understand the stiff challenges facing the sector in Nigeria. The prognosis of this situation is that the mineral and metal sector holds the key for economic diversification in Nigeria which is a condition for job and wealth creation.

To create wealth and build an economy something needs to be created – whether it be commodity products, agriculture, mining or mass production – wealth only comes from creation. Services do not build an economy, they assist in distributing the wealth of the creators.

Hence the mining and mining services industry is a vital source of economic activity and jobs in Nigeria and a major contributor to national income and wealth creation. Technical and business innovation is continually needed to maintain the industry’s international competitiveness and to ensure that mining is conducted in an environmentally sustainable manner that is aligned with society’s expectations. The value of all aspects of mining to Nigeria is encapsulated in the Mining Value Chain, extending from exploration and discovery through mining and processing to waste disposal. Along the chain, there are critical areas of industrial activity wherein improved efficiencies can markedly increase the value of Nigeria’s mineral resources, and aid in the discovery of new resources, thus creating enormous opportunities for wealth creation culminating in economic growth.

It is heartwarming that Mr. President had continuously reiterated the commitment of his administration to the diversification of the revenue base of our country. Expectedly, attention has shifted towards non-oil export such as solid minerals and agriculture as remediating strategy for bringing back our ailing economy. It is worthy to note that a sustainable and well – governed mining sector has the capacity to:

  • Garner resources for national development;
  • Create capacity for downstream value addition via establishment of resource based processing industries;
  • Create capacity up – stream value addition through development of resource supply/inputs for the sector goods, consumables, technology, and general services;
  • Create potential for job creation and entrepreneurship through the development of artisanal and small-scale mining.

The Proposed Growth Strategy to Unlock Our Full Potential to achieve wealth creation and employment generation

To rebuild the sector and unlock its full potential, the Ministry is pursuing a focused strategic agenda. Last year, when I attended your conference in Ilorin, I gave an assessment of what I found and our plans for rebuild the sector. That plan was recently articulated in a roadmap that will guide how we grow the industry over the next 2 decades. The road map which was approved by the Federal Executive Council August last year has the following highlights:

  • Aspiration: Our aspiration is to build a world-class minerals and mining ecosystem designed to serve a targeted domestic and export market for minerals and ores.
  • Where to Play: We will achieve this by focusing on Nigeria’s minerals, mining and related processing industry over a 3 phase period:
    • Phase 1: Nigeria will seek to rebuild market confidence in its minerals and mining sector and win over domestic users of industrial minerals that are currently imported. During this Phase, Nigeria will also seek to expand use of its energy minerals. This phase will likely last about 2 – 3 years.
    • Phase 2: Nigeria will focus on expanding our domestic ore and mineral asset processing industry. This phase will last about 5 to 10 years.
    • Phase 3: Nigeria should seek to return to global ore and mineral markets at a market competitive price point. We expect this to coincide with the next commodity upswing.
  • Key Enablers: Finally, strategy without the appropriate set of enablers will remain just a plan. Working alongside the private sector, other MDAs and in partnership with the legislative branch, we will facilitate investment in a range of enablers including bulk handling terminals, railroad and rolling stock capacity, technical and engineering capacity, regulatory reform, reorganization of the Ministry itself, and expansion of access to financing to drive sector transformation.

L-R: Minister of State for Mines and Steel Development, Hon Abubakar Bawa Bwari;  Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Dr Kayode Fayemi; and President, Nigerian Mining and Geosciences Society, Prof Gbenga Okunlola; at the opening session of the 53rd annual international conference of the society in Abuja.

Key Success Factors and Implementation Plan

Rebuilding Nigeria’s mining sectors is a function of success on 6 key dimensions. These are:

  1. Clear Minerals & Steel Focus: We need to ensure that our industrial and energy minerals strategy prioritizes domestic utilization of our assets, including getting our steel sector to provide a solid backbone for the manufacturing and industrial economy. We are working assiduously to resolve once and for all the Ajaokuta situation. Just last year we signed a modified concession agreement with Global infrastructure Limited of India.
  1. Institutions and Governance: We are rebuilding the organizational and functional capabilities of the supervising Ministry, and ensure the regulatory framework is enforced. The capacity of our officers is being enhanced through a variety of incentives. Oversees training, local capacity building, intensive engagements with industry, improved mobility, and enhanced security for field officers – cooperation with ONSA, DSS, police and Civil Defence Corps. Moreover, my ministry has entered into cooperation with National Civil Defence Corps to promote Mines Field security. Also the inspector General of Police has approved the revival of the Mines Police to protect mine sites and our reserves.
  1. Stakeholder Engagement: We need to improve the engagement of states with the minerals and mining sector, particularly around financial participation, revenue sharing, and recognizing the oversight of the federal government. The roadmap already dwells on this and States are being taken into consideration – ranging from the establishment of the Council on Mining and Mineral Resources Development to the extension of derivation principle of 13% to mineral resources extraction at the State level. In line with this initiative, few weeks ago I commenced a nationwide tour of mining sites and meeting with stakeholders in Kaduna, Lagos and Ogun States. The essence is to ensure that all parties recognize their social responsibilities so we avoid issues similar to the oil sector.
  1. Industry participants: We are working to attract a diverse portfolio of participants from artisanal miners to junior explorers to mining majors into the industry. Our goal is to build a sector that is competitive and supportive of our overall job creation aspirations for Nigerians. To this end we have concretize our effort towards organization of artisanal miners into cooperatives nationwide. Also the Prototype Mineral Buying Centres in Zamfara, Benue, Ebonyi and Sokoto had been handed over to state as Mineral Support Centres. While at the same time, encouraging the establishment of privately owned Mineral Buying Centres. Last year, my Ministry also organized a Special Purpose Vehicle Workshop to sensitize the states on how to effectively partake in the management of their resource wealth.
  1. Geosciences data and information: Improving our collection and dissemination of geosciences data is also a critical enabler of success. Nigeria needs to know what it has and in what grades and quantities in order to plan more effectively. The Nigerian Geological Survey Agency is presently being repositioned to unearth the mineral endowment of the country. Additionally, a significant chunk of our N30bn intervention fund is going to exploration activities and I am sure that many of you have seen the advertisement.
  1. Access to Finance: We have commenced a systematic effort to build knowledge and confidence among Nigerian financial institutions to support mining projects.  In addition, we intend to establish the Nigerian Solid Minerals Investment Fund, structured as a private sector oriented investment outfit to provide financing to private sector-led projects in the mining sector. The Federal Government recently approved about N30bn from the Natural Resources Fund to promote exploration for new minerals and improve the regulatory frameworks in the Ministry. The Ministry through the Federal Government is also negotiating a US$150mn loan From the World bank to commence the Mindiver Project aimed at further resuscitating the ailing sector. Today, the Bank’s Board is meeting in Washington to consider the concessional loan.
  1. Enabling environment: Finally, we must also create the appropriate environment to support enterprise. That will require building technical and managerial skills, and capabilities locally to ensure the supply of steady talent required by the sector in the future, as well as investing in infrastructure, gender equity, and improved access to finance.

In order to ensure that the above initiatives are properly executed, late last year I inaugurated the Mining Implementation Strategy Team (MIST) in the Ministry to oversee the work required to deliver success. The team which is led by the President of this great Society Professor Gbenga Okunola is drawn from a mix of the Ministry and outside talent to ensure we stay focused on execution and results without distracting from the core regulatory role of government.  We will be providing quarterly updates on our successes and challenges, with an initial focus on getting domestic industrial demand on track again.

Should Nigeria successfully implement the proposed recommendations, growth is expected to return to the sector in the form of new exploration activity, operations and production from active mining, functional (and expanded) processing and refining capacity, and higher value-addition in exports. Already, we are seeing the green shoots of growth if we go by the evidence coming out of the NBS The net outcome will be the creation of thousands of direct jobs and potentially hundreds of thousands of indirect jobs. We anticipate contribution to mining GDP to exceed $25 billion by 2026 as industries are better able to use the output of the sector, substituting for imports. Analysis conducted by major stakeholders in the solid minerals sector, the Association of Metal Exporters of Nigeria, also indicates that we can generate at least N5 trillion annually from mining and exporting of its vast solid mineral deposits.

Opportunities in the Nigerian Mining Sector

Ladies and gentlemen, permit me to quickly give a run down of possible areas of opportunities in our mining sector in the course of this session – it is vast indeed. I, however, hope to start a conversation that will hopefully lead to more robust engagements between serious prospects and officials of our ministry, as well as other industry stakeholders – in order to provide the necessary guidance for those interested in participating in the industry. We must, however, remember that Government remains committed to its role of stimulating the deepening of the industry as facilitators, not necessarily as active players. Prospective investors are therefore encouraged to similarly engage current investors and other stakeholders that are better positioned to speak to the business opportunities. Private sector players are better positioned to leverage the ‘truly Nigerian’ creative spirit, in spotting emerging opportunities while we as government do as much as possible to help them succeed, knowing that the outcome of their success will help in addressing key government priorities such as creating jobs and increasing revenue.

Opportunities in Core Mining

Nigeria is well endowed with diverse mineral types – in fact – every single local government in Nigeria is blessed with one mineral resource or the other. Most of these minerals are at different levels of exploration and some are yet to be discovered. There are unprecedented opportunities for professionals with relevant skills to engage in mineral prospecting and exploration. I already referred to this earlier under our initiative on exploration.

Opportunities in Beneficiation

Most minerals are exported as raw materials without adding value through beneficiation or processing. This has resulted into loss of great revenue for the country. There exist abundant opportunities for mineral beneficiation especially to provide feed stock for intra-sector industrialization. The Minerals such as coal, tin, lead, iron ore, clays, kaolin could serve as entry point for many beneficiation processes. A case in point as mentioned earlier is limestone which through adequate processing has led to self-sufficiency in cement production thus adding value to the sector and creating jobs.

Opportunities in Supporting Industries

Mining is the foundation for modern industrialization. Industrial minerals most times are used in their natural state or after beneficiation either as raw materials or as additives in a wide range of applications. Most industries such as steel use limestone, manganese, coal as basic raw materials. Bauxite is the main raw material for aluminum industry while the fertilizer industry relies on phosphate, gypsum. Ceramics industry is supported by clay minerals. Kaolin as an industrial mineral is used in manufacture of paint, paper coating, and filling.

Moreover, a lot of industry and employment are expected along the mining sector value chain. The exploitation for coal resources in time past led to the establishment of rail infrastructure from Enugu to Port-Harcourt. Moreover, tin ore mining in Jos led to establishment of Makeri Smelter and a Power Plant in Jos (NESCO plant).

Opportunities in Support Services

For those interested, but who are not technically grounded in the geosciences, vast opportunities still abound in the Mining industry for you. There are opportunities for practitioners from other sectors to participate on the sides of every node in the mining value chain. Lawyers, Risk Analysts, and Business Service Consultants are required to support new companies entering into the market with business plans, feasibility studies, market research, etc.; Community Relations and Strategic Communications experts are needed to professionally engage stakeholders in the communities on behalf of companies when they begin prospecting and exploration in the fields. Also, just like in other mining jurisdictions, our industry will welcome Mining Specialist Blogs and Publications.

Governments renewed commitment to environmental justice requires Safety Experts for necessary Environment Impact Assessment; Considering Mining is a very risky endeavor, Doctors and Paramedics are needed on mines to respond to emergencies; even the welfare of different cadres of mining workers require such services as Catering and Hospitality, especially on very large mines.

Another area of opportunities is in equipment sales and leasing. Equipment used for mining is generally expensive, so not everyone in the mining industry can afford to buy all of the equipment they need. You could purchase these equipment to re-sell rent them out for a fee.

Conclusion

It is my honest opinion that numerous opportunities abound in this sector along the mining value chain to stimulate wealth creation and provision of employment for our teeming Youths. Nevertheless, I want to submit that for this nation to come out of economic doldrums we have to be humble, we must realize that no country has witnessed economic growth on a sustained basis in recent times without successfully integrating itself into global markets. For a country to grow, it has to be part of the global goods and services market and it must also be able to access global capital.  And it is the private sector that holds the key to that integration.

If the private sector is going to deliver its full development potential in this regard, then we need to get the climate right for both domestic and foreign investment. If the private sector is to be the real engine of growth in a developing country like ours, the business leaders of tomorrow are going to emerge and lead the way; we must work together as partners to get some critical prerequisites in place. If academia is going to remain relevant, it must build links with industry and government in a mutually beneficial manner.

Ladies and Gentlemen, my vision for a New Nigeria is where development is embedded through inclusive economic growth, where wealth creation is the route out of poverty and where the private sector is the catalyst.

I want to say to you publicly, as vital players in this sector, I believe you have an incredibly important role to play in combating global poverty.  We’re all in this together.  I look forward to working with you but also realising that natural resource exploration is a wasting asset.

I am sure you all will agree with me that we cannot seriously talk about wealth creation through mining without addressing the issue of leakages in the mining sector in particular and the extractives industries in general. It is imperative that we take issues of accountability and transparency seriously, which will lead to increased confidence in the sector, and enable robust investments. As you may be aware, Nigeria is one of the signatories to the global Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) (2003), and we established its local subset, NEITI, in 2004. The global watchdog of the extractive industry requires member countries, including Nigeria, to publish on a regular basis audit reports to apprise the citizens with current information and data on what extractive companies paid to governments in terms of royalties, taxes, levies, bonuses, rents etc. reconciled with what governments received from the companies for their business within the extractive industries.

 

Lead Ore

So far, in the Mining sector, NEITI has conducted 5 audit cycles covering the sector in the periods 2007 to 2014.  The reports revealed a progressive increase in royalties collection over the years.

Let me reiterate that the philosophical base and purpose of the global EITI which NEITI is implementing for our country, is that when information and data are provided on who paid what and who received what, the citizens including the civil society and media will be in a position to ask informed questions on the management of these resources. This public disclosure is crucial to this administration and Mr. President’s commitment to the anti-corruption is unshaken.

On this note, I wish you fruitful deliberations during this conference and look forward to your usual stimulating suggestions necessary to achieve inclusive economic growth for our nation.

Thank you for listening.

 

Dr. Kayode Fayemi

Minister of Mines and Steel Development

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