Gov. Mai Mala Buni of Yobe has commended the Federal Government for approving the rehabilitation of the 90km Buni Gari-Gulani road.
The News Agency og Nigeria reports that the Federal Executive Council (FEC) on Wednesday approved the rehabilitation of the 90km Buni Gari-Gulani road also in Yobe in the sum of N4 billion with a completion period of 36 months.
Buni in a statement by his Director-General Press and Media Affairs Alhaji Mamman Mohammed, in Damaturu on Thursday, noted that the road was destroyed by the recent flood.
He described the gesture as a huge relief to the government saddled with enormous responsibility of providing critical infrastructure.
The governor said the road would further boost trade and commerce among the business communities in the area.
“ This approval gives the people of the state a sense of belonging.
“We are proud of this commitment and would support the execution of the project in the interest of our people and the business community visiting the state from within and outside the state,” Buni said.
The National Space Research and Development Agency (NASRDA) said the approval of the establishment of a Planetarium and space Museum in the agency by the Federal Executive Council (FEC) would strengthen the industry’s growth.
Dr Felix Alle, Head, Media and Corporate Communications, while confirming the approval on Wednesday with the News Agency of Nigeria , said it would be a new dimension of development.
The Planetarium and museum projects when implemented is expected to boost tourism in the space agency with 2,160 tourists, sky divers on a weekly basis.
The tourism activities will further generate N30 billion in 15 years.
Alle said: “space is a veritable tool for development and that is what these projects are going to achieve for the country.
“They will create employment, drive tourism in our space industry according to global standards, as well as open up opportunities for Public Private Partnerships.
t “It is a great day for NASRDA and we do hope that the projects will be successfully executed.
NAN recalls that in August, the Infrastructure Concession Regulatory Commission (ICRC) placed the space agency’s Planetarium, Museum and Satellite Broadband projects on concession.
The ICRC, however, announced that Atlantic Factorial Limited, a Lagos-based space to cloud analytics company was the preferred bidder of the projects.
The commission also said the Special Purpose Vehicle would be Milky-Way Visuals Limited.
A Planetarium is a dome-shaped building in which images of stars, planets and constellations are projected for public entertainment and education.
The Federal Executive Council (FEC), on Wednesday approved the establishment of a Planetarium and Museum at the National Space Research and Development Agency (NASRDA).
This is contained in a statement signed by Ms Manji Yarling, Acting Head, Media and Publicity, Infrastructure Concession Regulatory Commission (ICRC) in Abuja on Wednesday.
Yarling said the projects which would adopt and equip, operate and maintain Public Private Partnership Model, followed the regulatory guidance of the ICRC.
According to her, the project is designed to run for a concession period of 15 years and will generate a total of N30 billion for both the Federal Government and the Private Sector Investor.
“A Planetarium is a domed building in which images of stars, planets, and constellations are projected for public entertainment or education.
” Yarling said the projects would be executed through NARSDA with Messrs Atlantic Factorial Limited as the concessionaire.
Mr Michael Ohiani, the Director-General, ICRC, was quoted as saying ” the projects will boost the nation’s tourism sector and stem capital flight.
“A total of 2,160 visitors are expected every week, out of which 360 will engage in the sky diving section and 1,800 visitors for other tourist activities,” he said.
Yarling said that following the approval by FEC, the next stage of the project would be the signing of an agreement between NASRDA (Grantor) and Milky-Way Visuals Ltd. According to her, Milky-Way Visuals Ltd. is the Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) set up by the concessionaire to specifically handle the project.
The Federal Executive Council (FEC) presided over Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo has approved the setting up of a space museum and planetarium in Abuja.
Minister of Science and Technology and Innovation, Mr Adeleke Mamora, said this while briefing newsmen at the end of Wednesday’s cabinet meeting.
Planetarium is a theatre built for the presentation of education and entertainment on space science.
He said the project would cost N3.5 billion, but at no cost to the Nigerian government.
Mamora said that the project being handled under Public-Private Partnership would be sited at the premises of National Space Research and Development Agency (NASRDA) in Abuja.
“Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation presented a memo to the council in respect of Public-Private Partnership brought by one of our of our agencies and that is NASRDA.
“The memo is essentially to secure partnership on the upgrade, equipping and marketing of the space museum and planetarium.
“And the buildings meant for this project has been in place since 2018; but because of non-availability of funds to put the necessary equipment in place, the project has been stalled,’’ he said.
The minister said Wednesday’s decision rode on the directive of President Muhammadu Buhari at the National Space Council meeting earlier in the year.
He said the president directed at the meeting that the director-general of NASRDA should explore and exploit collaboration with the private sector.
He added that a proposal was received from a private company in Nigeria.
This to the processes in terms of outlining of a business case ensuring compliance with all the requirements needed to present the memo before the cabinet.
“Fortunately, the memo was approved and the cost of the project is about N3.5 billion and it is at no cost to government; the project will last for about 15 years when, thereafter, it reverts to the Federal Government.
“The buildings I am referring to are located at the NASDRA premises here in Abuja,’’ he said.
Mamora said that the project would provide jobs for more than 200 people and provide an opportunity for learning experience in science, technology, engineering and mathematics.
The Federal Government will soon harmonise taxes paid by jetty operators to address double taxation and promote Ease of Doing Business in the country.
The Minister of Transportation, Mr Mu’azu Sambo, said this while meeting with the Technical Sub-Committee of the Presidential Standing Committee on Private Jetties (PSCPJ), led by its Chairman, Mr Joseph Ororo in Abuja.
Sambo said operators are often made to pay multiple registration fees by different regulatory agencies such as the National Inland Waterways (NIWA)and the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency(NIMASA).
The minister however appreciated the committee’s efforts towards licensing jetties and closure of illegal platforms and advised them not to restrict their inspections on timeliness alone.
He urged them to also include unscheduled visits to jetties to ensure compliance with exant laws and regulations.
Earlier, the Chairman of the Committee, informed that the Committee was created in 2004, to checkmate security breaches, economic sabotage, gun-running and other criminal activities which were traced to private jetties.
According to Ororo, the Technical Sub-Committee is the expert arm of the Presidential Standing Committee on Private Jetties (PSCPJ).
He said that prior to the constitution of the Standing Committee, there was a directive shutting down all private jetties across the country due to the intractable illegalities associated with them.
He listed the Committee’s terms of reference to include, ” Re-openining all jetties deemed vital to the economy of the country and examine all remaining closed jetties while recommending those to be retained and those to remain permanently closed”.
“The Standing Committee will meet from time to time to consider applications for operating licence for jetties and recommend those to be issued new licences by the Minister of Transportation.
”The minister of transportation to continue to issue licenses for the operation of jetties on the recommendation of the Standing Committee.
”The minister to prepare and present a note to Federal Executive Council (FEC) on the activities of the Standing Committee for its information and also keep the President fully informed on the work of the Standing Committee”.
The chairman explained that the work of the sub-committee had contributed immensely to increased revenue generation for the various regulatory agencies and the Federal Government.
Ororo said the committee’s work had brought about a high level of safety at the respective private jetties adding that multi-national companies no longer engaged jetty facility if such does not possess valid license duty.
”There is improved relationship between the companies and their host communities due to Cooperate Social Responsibility Projects and job creation made available to them and Nigerians by extension,”Ororo said.
Vice President Yemi Osinbajo on Wednesday presided over a hybrid meeting of the Federal Executive Council (FEC) at the State House Council Chambers, Abuja.
President Muhammadu Buhari is away in the UK for routine medical check-up.
The Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha and Chief of Staff to the President, Prof. Ibrahim Gambari, are attending the meeting.
Before the commencement of the meeting, Mustapha notified the cabinet of the death of Nigeria’s first Minister of Aviation, Chief Mbazulike Amaechi.
The council then observed a minute silence in honour of the late Amaechi, who died on Nov. 1, at the age of 92. Ministers physically present at the meeting are those of Industry, Trade and Investments, Niyi Adebayo, Interior, Rauf Aregbesola, Sports and Youth Development, Sunday Dare and Science and Technology, Adeleke Mamora.
Others are those of Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola and Agriculture and Rural Development, Mahmood Abubakar.
Minister of State for Industry, Trade and Investments, Mariam Katagum; and Minister of State for Health, Ekumankama Joseph Nkama, are also at the meeting.
At the last meeting on Oct. 27, FEC ratified the UN Water Convention on the Protection and use of Trans-Border Water Course and International Lakes.
Hajiya Sadiya Farouq, Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, said medical support had been provided to 199 Local Government Areas affected by flooding across the country.
Farouq briefed State House correspondents after the Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting presided over by Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo on Wednesday at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
She said that as at Friday, records indicated that no fewer than 3.2 million persons were affected by flooding in Nigeria.
She said: “Today, with my colleague Minister of Water Resources, we made a presentation on the flood situation from the emergency and humanitarian aspect; we also have had series of consultations after the predictions by NIMET.
“ My ministry took proactive early action steps through series of activities; we had technical analysis that produced a 2022 Early Warning Document.
“ We also sent out letters to state governments; conducted a national consultative workshop on the 2022 flood preparedness, mitigation and response at the national and zonal levels.
“Unfortunately, in spite of all these efforts, the statistics of persons affected as Friday showed that 3, 219, 780 persons were affected by the flood across the country.
“ We have 1, 427, 370 persons that were internally displaced; we have 2776 persons that were injured; we also have 612 persons that lost their lives.
” Farouq also said that 181, 600 houses that were partially damaged while 123, 807 houses were completely damaged and 392,399 hectares of farmlands that were totally destroyed.
’ According to Farouq, the flood this year has been very devastating and very unprecedented.
She said that there was need for a coordinated response so as to rescue victims of the flood across many states of the federation.
The minister said that the coordinated response presented an opportunity to operationalise the recently approved National Flood Emergency Preparedness and Response Plan. “We have also sent out our search and rescue team that is being guided by a Search and Rescue and Epidemic Evacuation Plan. “ Their personnel and teams require specialised and technical training; personnel protection gears and access to the right equipment.
“ Most of these specialised officers are skilled in first aid, defensive swimming and also how to handle boats in the riverine areas.
“The efforts so far in these communities are still ongoing with the search and rescue,’’Farouq added.
She said that the ministry had received report that in 144 Local Government Areas, local communities also worked with the ministry’s teams to provide the first aid response to their families and neighbours.
Farouq said that the collaboration showed the resilience of Nigerians in trying times.
“Our search and rescue team, which is also responsible for evacuating people and providing life-saving first aid and medical support and referrals to hospitals has also been able to reach 199 Local Government Areas within 25 states of the federation.
“`We also provided portable water through fire vehicles in the northern and central states like Jigawa, Kano, Benue and Kogi that first experienced the flood.
”The equipment are now on their way to the southern states as we are stabilising in the north and experiencing flooding in the south.
“The disaster rescue units of the military are also providing support with equipment.
“ In the southern states the military is still carrying out surveillance; and aerial assessment of in doubted communities to guide the ground rescue efforts and evacuation of victims of the flood,”Farouq said.
She said that the distribution of relief materials to the affected states had commenced.
According to her, the Federal Ministry of Health has been requested to interface with the affected state ministries to intervene in medical related issues to post flood epidemics.
Farouq said: “We have 22 states that we have been able to deliver these relief items; it is worthy to note that transportation of relief has been affected by some inaccessible areas.
“For instance, in the case of Bayelsa and Kogi, our trucks carrying relief materials were almost submerged on the road, hence the delay in the delivery of relief materials.
“ But, to address this in Bayelsa, the Nigerian Air Force (NAF) is assisting us by airlifting these materials to the targeted communities.
“We are also distributing non food items in terms of shelter and other items; NEMA and the NAF officers are organising these materials to be airlifted to Bayelsa and Rivers.
’’ She appealed to state governments, ministries and departments to also collaborate at the sub-national level.
The minister said that some of the casualties were caused by the inability to respond to early warnings being issued by different agencies of government since February.
“Government is doing everything possible to see that we bring support and succour to our affected citizens.
“ We want them to know that we hear them, we see them and we are with them at this trying moment,’’ she said.
Alhaji Lai Mohammed, Minister of Information and Culture, says the relevant authorities are in firm control of the security situation in the country.
According to him, there is no cause for alarm or panic.
Mohammed fielded questions from State House correspondents after the Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting presided over by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo on Wednesday at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
He was reacting to a question on the security situation in Nigeria following an alert issued by the U.
S and Uk to their citizens, warning against the spread of information that could destabilise the polity.
The minister had on Monday at Global Media and Information Literacy Week holding in Abuja, said that unregulated use of social media and other digital platforms was posing enormous challenges globally.
He had warned that there was an urgent need for every person to be equipped with the ability to critically evaluate and wisely use information at their disposal.
Mohammed told State House correspondents that U.
S advisory to its citizens should not be taken out of context.
“On Sunday, there was travel advisory by both the U.
S. and UK governments, but those advisories were issued to their citizens.
“The context in which I made my statement, I was very clear; currently hosting UNESCO Conference on Media and Information Literacy which is meant to equip people on how to differentiate between fake news and genuine news.
“And one of the things that we found out during the course is that people these days don’t even analyse a story before they either consume it or they share it.
“Of course, this so called travel advisory, as far as we are concerned as a government, we have in the last few months taken a firm handle of security.
“What I said the click bating which is you find a story which is not verified and you immediately share it, it will always cause panic; but I want to reassure both citizens, non-Nigerians living in this country that the security agencies are on top of this matter.
’’ He acknowledged that terrorists would not stop trying to embarrass or intimidate government.
Mohammed said, however, that Nigeria was safe and there was no cause for alarm or panic as the security alert had already caused disruptions.
“Unfortunately, that travel advisory on Sunday, many schools were closed; shops were closed; travel plans were disrupted; we don’t need it.
“The security agencies, our soldiers, our policemen are working round the clock to curtail any terrorists attack.
“And this is where we stand,’’ he said.
The Debt Management Office (DMO), says it will add the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN)’s N20 trillion “Ways and Means’’ loans to the Federal Government’s total debt stock.
The Director-General of the DMO, Patience Oniha, however told the News Agency of Nigeria that it could only be done after necessary approvals by relevant authorities.
Oniha was responding to enquiries following statement by the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Mrs Zainab Ahmed, that the “Ways and Means’’ advances would be securitised.
“Broad terms have been agreed with the CBN.
Consequently, the Federal Executive Council (FEC) approval, and subsequently that of the National Assembly is being processed.
“After these approvals, the amount will be included in the published public debt data,’’ she said.
NAN reports that the Federal Government had been borrowing from the CBN through “Ways and Means’’, a loan facility through which the CBN finances government’s budget shortfalls.
Meanwhile, Ahmed announced that government would repay the N20 trillion indebtedness to the CBN with securities such as treasury bills and bonds issuance.
She said this while giving a breakdown of the 2023 Appropriation Bill, adding that President Muhammadu Buhari had approved the securitisation of the N20 trillion debt.
“The total Ways and Means are N20 trillion, and Buhari has approved its securitisation.
The securitisation will be over 40 years with an interest rate of nine per cent.
“Over the years, we have been paying the interest component at the current rate that is charged on the Ways and Means,” she said.
Some stakeholders complained that the Federal Government’s borrowing from the CBN had exceeded five per cent threshold of the prior year’s revenue, as stipulated by the CBN Act, 2007. They, however, agreed that plans to repay Ways and Means loans through treasury bills do not contravene the CBN Act. NAN recalls that the country’s total public debt stock, which the DMO recently announced as N42.84 trillion will witness a sharp increase to N62.84 trillion when the Ways and Means advances are included.
The Federal Government, in partnership with Ondo State government, has trained managers of public finance across the state on International Public Sector Accounting System (IPSAS).
This is contained in a statement issued by the Media Manager of the state Ministry of Finance, Mr Banjo Egunjobi, in Akure on Thursday.
Egunjobi quoted the state Commissioner for Finance, Mr Wale Akinterinwa, as stating while declaring open the three-day training, that implementation of IPSAS would greatly improve the quality of government financial reporting, transparency and accountability.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the workshop had, as its theme: “Continuous Capacity Building on IPSAS.
” Akinterinwa noted that the IPSAS had provided a reliable decision making platform in governance and management of scarce resources.
According to him, the adoption and implementation of Accrual Basis of IPSAS has added value and made government more accountable to the citizens.
He also said that the training was apt for the joint ‘open government partnership’ which demanded high-level responsibility, accountability and fiscal transparency, driven by implementation of IPSAS accrual basis.
The commissioner expressed gratitude Gov. Oluwarotimi Akeredolu for creating a conducive environment for capacity development for accounting managers to standardise the state’s finance and accounting process, to meet the best global practices.
He encouraged all the participants to pay rapt attention to the lectures and participate fully in order to maximise the resources deployed to acquire modern day accounting system, in line with global best practices.
The statement also quoted the Accountant-General of the Federation, Mr Sylva Okolieaboh, as stating in his remarks that the Federal Executive Council (FEC) had, on July 28, 2010, taken a decision on adoption and implementation of IPSAS by public sector entities.
NAN reports that Okolieaboh was represented by the Deputy Programme Manager, System Development, Accountant-General’s Office in Abuja, Mr Olasunkanmi Adeoti.
He explained that since the implementation of IPSAS in the country, all stakeholders at all levels of government had constantly been encouraged and provided with necessary support in form of capacity building for seamless operations.
In her remarks, the state Accountant-General, Mrs Toyin Oni, expressed optimism that the workshop would provide an overview of important requirements for preparation of financial statements as well as advance the knowledge of the participants.
Oni also noted that the programme would go a long way in enhancing the efficiency of the participants in the preparation of financial statements in their various offices, in line with global best practices.
She encouraged the participants to fully participate in the training in order to justify the accountant-general of the federation’s gesture of extending the workshop to the state.
NAN reports that goodwill messages were also delivered by the state Auditor-General, Mr Sunday Adegoke, the Local Government Auditor-General, Mr Francis Aderomola and the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Finance, Mr Jide Ekpobomini, among others.