The ICRC has expressed willingness to assist the states of the federation including the FCT to take on viable infrastructure projects using Public Private Partnerships (PPP).
Mr Michael Ohiani, Director-GeneraI of the Infrastructure Concession Regulatory Commission (ICRC) said this in a statement signed by Ms Manji Yarling, the Acting Head, Media and Publicity, ICRC, in Abuja on Wednesday.
Ohiani who received a delegation of Media Trust Group, owners of Daily Trust Newspapers, told the delegation that some states were already taking on PPP projects through the assistance of the ICRC.
He also listed the laudable projects of the commission as well as its mandate to the delegation led by its Group Chief Executive Officer, Mounir Gwarzo.
The director-general said that the Act of the commission only confers on it regulatory functions for Federal Government projects.
He, however, said the ICRC had set up a peer review mechanism to assist states in ensuring that their PPP projects were in line with best practices.
Ohiani said this was done through the establishment of the Nigerian Public Private Partnership Network (NPPPN) in collaboration with the Nigerian Governors Forum.
The ICRC boss said that some projects were on the exclusive legislative list such as Deep Seaports, Rails, and Airports, among others.
He said that if a state government wanted to go into such investment opportunities, they would have to follow ICRC’s guidelines and regulations.
“Also going by the Fiscal Responsibility Act and the Act of the Debt Management Office, if a state government wants guarantee or a foreign loan to support such project, they will have to recourse to the Federal Executive Council (FEC).
“FEC will give a ‘No Objection’ before such loans or guarantee can be given.
” Ohiani said that between 2010 and 2021 through ICRC’s regulatory oversight, the Federal Government had approved PPP projects worth about nine billion dollars.
He said that the commission had midwifed many laudable projects which would go a long way to bridge the infrastructure gap in Nigeria.
The director-general listed the projects to include the Lekki Deep Sea Port which was currently at 98.07 per cent completion, and the Nigerian Air project which would fly before the end of the current administration.
” Also the upgrade of four major international airports in Nigeria, among others.
” Gwarzo said that ICRC’s role in infrastructure development was a major achievement of the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari and deserved commendation.
He said that there was the need for the commission to partner with Media Trust Group to ensure that the laudable contributions to infrastructure development reached more Nigerians.
Gwarzo, a former Chief Executive at the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), said that the visit was also to congratulate Ohiani on his well-deserved appointment.
“Your appointment justifies the excellent work you have done in your career.
You are indeed a round peg in a round hole.
“We are ready to partner with you and support you so that you will be able to achieve your goals,” he said.
He informed the director-general that Media Trust was being restructured into a new holding company with various subsidiaries including the Daily Trust Newspapers, Trust TV, Trust Radio, and other digital platforms.
The management of Ekiti State University says full academic activities begins on Thursday, Sept. 22. The varsity’s spokesman, Mr Bode Olofinmuagun, stated on Wednesday, in Ado-Ekiti that round-off lectures for second semester of 20202021 academic session holds between Thursday, Sept. 22 and Friday, Oct. 21. “The second semester examination for the 20202021 academic session holds between Monday, Oct. 24 and Saturday, Nov. 5,’’ he added.
He stated also that lectures for 100-Level students admitted for 20212022 academic session would begin on Monday, Oct. 3. “Students should note that only duly registered students of the university will have access to all the academic activities.
“Management appeals to academic and non-teaching staff to give their maximum support so that both the 20202021 and 20212022 academic sessions would be completed without further delay.
“This is with a view to ensuring the survival of our common heritage – Ekiti State University, Ado-Ekiti.
“Management wishes all students safe trips back to Ado-Ekiti,’’ Olofinmuagun stated.
The United States, through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), is providing more than $151 million in new and urgently needed assistance to the people of Somalia.
$146.5 million is for food assistance as catastrophic drought cripples the country and pushes more than 7 million people to the brink of starvation.
The remaining nearly $5 million in humanitarian assistance will support disaster resilience and economic recovery and market systems activities.
Today's new funding builds on another recent funding increase of $476 million in humanitarian aid in July, bringing the US government's contribution to more than $870 million for the people of Somalia, representing more half of all humanitarian funding for Somalia by 2022.
USAID's critical assistance comes in response to an expert Famine Review Committee's projection that a famine is likely to occur in Buur Hakaba and Baidoa districts in the southern Somalia this year, unless an urgent increase in humanitarian assistance reaches those most in need.
The United States is gravely concerned about this dire forecast and the rising level of humanitarian needs across the country, primarily as a result of a historically unprecedented drought marked by four consecutive failed rainy seasons.
Early projections of a failed fifth rainy season further threaten to condemn people in Somalia, already in dire conditions, to unbearable levels of suffering.
Today's announcement will allow USAID's partner, the World Food Program (WFP), to provide emergency food assistance for an additional two and a half months for 3.6 million people.
USAID will provide cash and vouchers for Somalis to purchase food at local markets, supporting the local economy and ensuring families facing hunger get what they need.
The new assistance will support the most vulnerable families who are at immediate risk of famine, with a special focus on people who have been forced to flee their homes due to drought.
Prior to the Famine Review Committee screening, USAID had already rapidly ramped up relief efforts to provide emergency assistance.
This includes providing emergency food assistance to at least 3.5 million people per month, providing life-saving treatment for malnutrition, responding to disease outbreaks and other health needs, providing protection and shelter services, and supplying communities with clean water.
drinking water, sanitation and better hygiene.
The US government urges the international donor community to act immediately to increase humanitarian funding for the Somali people to prevent this famine projection from becoming a reality.
The Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) on Wednesday said 24 ships conveying assorted goods were expected at Lagos ports from Sept. 21 to Oct. 10. It listed the items expected at the port as bulk sugar, bulk urea, frozen fish, general cargo, bulk gypsum, bulk wheat, container, bulk salt, automobile gasoline and fuel.
The NPA also stated that 18 ships were already discharging bulk wheat, general cargo, petrol, frozen fish, container, bulk urea, ethanol and butane gas at the ports.
It also said that two other ships had arrived the ports and were waiting to berth with petrol and base oil.
The National Lottery Regulation Commission on Wednesday lauded Dangote Cement Plc for its commitment to giving back to customers through the ‘Bag of Goodies Promo Season 3.’ Principal Administrative Officer of the commission, Mr Afam Ojeh, praised the company in Sagamu, Ogun, in a statement by Mr Anthony Chiejina, Group Head, Corporate Communications, Dangote Group.
The statement said two people won N5 million each in Sagamu, five persons won N1 million each, while hundreds of other customers won different prizes.
According to the statement, Ojeh lauded the efforts of the company during an award winning ceremony where customers of Dangote Cement were presented cash and other prizes.
“The management of Dangote Cement should honestly be appreciated by its customers as the company paid handsomely to the Federal Government to be given permission to conduct the yearly promo,” he said.
In the same vein, Representative, Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission, Susie Onwuka, noted that the Season 3 promo was bigger than the previous two promos.
She charged the cement company to continue to add value to the lives of its customers.
“By so doing, the company is also helping to boost economic activities in Nigeria,” she said.
National Sales Director, Dangote Cement Plc, Mrs Funmi Sanni, said the company had set aside a total of N1 billion in cash and gifts for the ongoing promo running from July 5 to Oct. 31. Sanni, represented by the Dangote Cement Regional Sales Director, , Dolapo Alli, said over 32.3 million mouth-watering prizes were currently being won.
Some of prizes, she said, included television sets, refrigerators, rechargeable fans, 2KVA generators, and millions in airtime of major networks in Nigeria.
She assured customers yet to win that there were enough gifts and money for all that patronised the brand because every bag of dangote cement contained both winning and non-winning scratch cards.
She added that the promo was designed to continuously reward loyal consumers who had stayed faithful and remained the backbone of the cement business.
“We are offering life-changing prizes, which have immense economic values as they can be used to kick-start small scale businesses.
“These prizes are targeted to help many families recover from the nation’s economic situation,” she said.
Speaking on behalf of the winners, Mr Abolarin Sunday, Teacher and cement retailer, thanked the company for initiating a promo of this calibre that had changed the lives of so many cement users.
“I won N5 million and this will change my life for good.
“I have never doubted the promo because I have friends that have also won from the Promo as some people won cars last year and I am happy to be winning my own huge sum today.
“On behalf of all of us that won in Sagamu, I thank the management and staff of Dangote Cement and pray that the company will continue to grow from strength to strength,” he said.
The Federal Co-operative College, Oji River in Enugu State, Wednesday, began the disbursement of funds to 500 persons to start fish production and marketing in Abia. The beneficiaries received the stipend at the end of their three-day entrepreneurship development training in fishery in Umuahia.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the programme was facilitated by Rep. Sam Onuigbo, representing South Federal Constituency, for his constituents.
Onuigbo described the programme as a continuation of his commitment towards empowering the unemployed youths and unskilled women in the constituency.
He said that the first batch of 250 beneficiaries received N50,000 to set up their farms.
He also said that the remaining beneficiaries would receive the same amount between Thursday and Friday.
Onuigbo, represented by his Chief Liaison Officer, Mr Abraham Osundu, said the beneficiaries were trained in different aspects of fish production and marketing.
“The objective is to help them set up a means of livelihood and make income for themselves,” he said.
He advised them to utilise the money judiciously to grow their businesses and contribute meaningfully to society.
“This is neither party time nor bonanza.
“The journey of 1,000 miles starts with a step, so you should use the money wisely,” he said.
The beneficiaries thanked the Federal Government and lawmaker for the gesture and promised to make the most of the opportunity.
One them, Mrs Glory Oruh, gave assurance that she would invest the money in the fish business.
“The money is not too much but I will start the fish production in a basin, after which I hope to expand it.
“Hon. Onuigbo has been doing this empowerment for so many people.
“This is my first time and I pray that God will bless him,” the visibly elated lady said.
The Lagos State Government on Wednesday said the upgrade and reconstruction of the Old Ojo Road would decongest the Lagos-Badagry Expressway.
This, according to the government, will help to reduce hardship of residents on the axis.
The Commissioner for Physical Planning and Urban Development, Mr Omotayo Bamgbose-Martins, said these in Alausa, Ikeja.
He spoke at a stakeholders’ meeting on the reconstruction of Old Ojo Road (Phase 1), in Amuwo Odofin Local Government.
Bamgbose-Martins said the project would be done in two phases.
He said that the first phase, which is four kilometres, would decongest the Lagos-Badagry Expressway and enhance social and economic well-being of people on the axis.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the first phase of the project, awarded in July 2022 to Messrs CCECC Nigeria Ltd with 18 months completion period, spans from Irede Road to Oluti Bus Stop.The Old Ojo Road, located in Oriade area of the council, is a 7,650m single carriageway dilapidated surfaced road to be reconstructed into a dual carriageway.
It will serve as a strategic by-pass for motorists from Kirikiri Ifelodun to Ojo Local Government Area via Irede (Abule Oshun) Road.It is also parallel to Lagos-Badagry Expressway from Mazamaza to Trade Fair.The commissioner said the project was in line with the THEMES agenda of the Gov. Babajide Sanwo-Olu-led administration to make Lagos a 21st century economy.
He said that the project would complement the ongoing Lagos-Badagry Expressway project to ease connectivity among communities in Ajeromi-Ifelodun, Amuwo-Odofin and Ojo sections of the Badagry division of Lagos State.
He urged residents to take ownership of the project, cooperate and support the contractors.
The commissioner appealed to them to be patient, promising that government would pay compensation to owners of buildings affected by the project.
Bamgbose-Martins advised Lagos residents to always respect physical planning laws and stop building on the Right of Ways (RoWs) and public spaces, to avoid loss of lives and property.
“May I also take this opportunity to urge citizens to respect Physical Planning laws so that together we can avoid incessant building collapse and loss of lives.
“I am inclined to urge you all to maintain vigilance in your environment and ensure that people act correctly by building right,” he said.
Special Adviser to the Governor on Works and Infrastructure, Mrs Aramide Adeyoye, also said the upgrade of the 7,650 metres Old Ojo Road to dual carriageway would be done in two phases.
Adeyoye said rigid pavement construction, which is more durable, would be adopted to accommodate heavy duty vehicles on the axis.
She said that 65 per cent of petroleum products that serve the nation pass through the corridor.
The special adviser, however, lamented vandalism of drain cover slabs, removal of iron roads used in construction, permanent blockade by trucks, cows trampling to damage fresh construction and other infractions on the axis.
“To break slabs, to remove iron rods used for the construction is not good,” she said.
Adeyoye responded to concerns of residents of Satellite Town and other communities on the menace of tank farms, containers and trucks in the area.
She promised to continually engage with federal agencies towards resolving the issues.
Adeyoye said the state government was not in charge of allocation of tank farms.
She also spoke on efforts to increase fire stations on the axis.
Stakeholders at the meeting thanked the state government for the project.
The Special Adviser to the Governor on eGIS and Planning Matters, Mr Olajide Babatunde and Permanent Secretary, Mrs Abiola Kosegbe, were among those present at the meeting.
Dr Ahmed Audi, Commandant General, Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC), has pledged to work closely with the News Agency of Nigeria on the reportage of security activities in the country.
Audi made the pledge when he paid a courtesy visit to NAN Managing Director (MD), Mr Buki Ponle on Wednesday in Abuja.
The CG said that the visit was timely and imperative bearing in mind the need for synergy between the Corps and media organisations.
“I have come here to tap into your knowledge of experience, synergise and work with NAN.
“The visit is to smoothen existing relationship between us, and signify our policy to have a robust relationship with the press.
“We all know that the press can make or mar, so I have made it one of my policies to make the Fourth Estate of the Realm my brothers,” he said.
According to him, the visit was also to seek for guidance, support and cooperation of the agency.
Audi praised the agency for its wide coverage and reportage of events around the globe.
The NSCDC boss said that he looked forward to continuous collaboration between both organisations for the benefit of the country.
Responding, the NAN MD expressed the hope that the synergy between both organisations would flourish, to enhance better protection of citizens.
“We are going to be the vanguard, assisting you in assisting the nation and ourselves for the survival of our country.
“Here is a home for solution journalism, so we are ready to give you all the assistance required to make your mandate come to life,” he said.
Ponle said that although the country was going through a hard time, it beholds on all citizens to contribute their quota to the survival of Nigeria.
“Nations go through this stage, but the difference is how one goes through it to succeed.
“With people like you who have made astronomical changes that has reflected in the corps, positive change can be achieved in the country.
“This is the time for every organisation to give it’s best for the survival of this country,” he added.
He assured that NAN would not compromise the credibility of its reports, adding that whenever there’s doubt on any report, the agency investigates deeply before releasing to the public.
“We don’t disseminated false news, when you talk to NAN, you are talking to all, both in and outside the country.
“We always get to the root of matters and ensure all parties are treated fairly and all issues treated objectively,” Ponle said.
He sympathised with the Corps on the death of some of its personnel in active service to the nation.
Ponle assured the NSCDC that the partnership between them would be sustained for the benefit of both organisations and the country.
Trading on the nation’s bourse again ended negative on Wednesday as market capitalisation lost N13 billion or 0.05 per cent to close at N26.657 trillion against N26.670 trillion on Tuesday.
Also, the All-Share Index lost 23.40 points or 0.05 per cent to close at 49,421.91 from 49,445.31 recorded on Tuesday.
Accordingly, month-to-date gain moderated to 15.7 per cent, while year-to-date loss increased to 19.56 per cent.
The loss was driven by price depreciation in FBN Holdings, Access Holdings and WAPCO.
Market sentiment closed positive with 10 gainers relative to 12 losers.
Unity Bank led the losers’ chart in percentage terms by 10 per cent to close at 44k per share.
Murtiverse followed with 9.82 per cent to close at N3.13, while Fidelity Bank shed 5.46 per cent to close at N3.67 per share.
Honeywell Flour Mills lost 3.98 per cent to close at N2.35 while Chams shed 3.45 per cent to close at 30k per share.
Conversely, Academy Press dominated the gainers’ chart in percentage terms with 9.78 per cent to close at N1.66 per share.
NEM Insurance followed with 6.08 per cent to close at N5.25, while Cadbury rose by 5.45 per cent to close at N13 per share.
Jaiz Bank garnered 4.76 per cent to close at 80k, while NGX Group appreciated by 4.38 per cent to close at N18.55 per share.
However, the total volume of trades decreased by 75.35 per cent to 51.88 million units valued at N590.01 million exchanged in 2,981 deals.
This was in contrast with a total of 147.59 million shares worth N2.39 billion traded in 3,386 deals on Tuesday.
Transactions in the shares of Zenith Bank topped the activity chart with 6.3 million shares valued at N125.54 million.
GTCO followed with 4.99 million shares worth N94.92 million, while Sterling Bank traded 4.86 million shares valued at N7.29 million.
Fidelity Bank traded 3.85;million shares valued at N13.62 million, while Transcorp transacted 2.95 million shares worth N3.1 million.
The Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulations Commission (NUPRC) says it is at the final stage of gazetting and setting up fund under the Upstream Petroleum Decommissioning and Abandonment Regulations.
The NUPRC said the regulation would be gazetted in October, adding that it was working towards meeting the timelines provided by the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA) 2022. Dr Joseph Tolorunse, Commission Head of Compliance and Enforcement made this known on Wednesday in Abuja at the closing of its stakeholders’ engagement on regulations development as mandated by Section 216 of the PIA.
“The fund under the Upstream Petroleum Decommissioning and Abandonment Regulations is to be set up within 18 months of the effective date of the PIA which will be expired by Feb. 2023. “In the next one month the regulation will be gazetted, we are almost at the final stage of the regulation,’’ Tolorunse said.
The seven draft regulations being considered by the stakeholders’ engagement include Acreage Management (Drilling and Production) Regulations and Upstream Petroleum Environmental Regulations.
Others are Upstream Petroleum Environmental Remediation Fund Regulations; Upstream Petroleum Safety Regulations; Unitisation Regulations; Upstream Petroleum Decommissioning and Abandonment Regulations and Frontier Exploration Fund Regulations.
According to him, these regulations are broke out into three syndicate sections which witnessed robust inputs and constructive criticism.
He said the NUPRC said before finalising these regulations, stakeholders’ engagement as provided by the PIA was needed to be done and that had been fulfilled.
“We are not taking it lightly, all the comments and inputs received, as well as resolution reached will be incorporated into the regulations.
“We are still going to look into those regulations we were unable to have convergence and when necessary we will call the stakeholders to discuss reasons why they should be taken on board or not.
“In some instance the regulations provided for penalty and how contributions would be made in the development of the industry generally, example:- the remediation fund regulations which enables contributions by companies to be channeled towards remediating the environment.
“Definitely it will enhance the image of the company and the country at large in the area where they operate,’’ he said.
He commended the active participation of the Host Communities, adding that their useful contributions would be considered seriously and also be reflected in the regulations.
The three-day forum has in attendance officials from the oil and gas operators, Chevron, IPPG, Indigenous and International Oil Companies and other stakeholders in the industry.