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FG to Create 490,000 Jobs through Smart Farmer Scheme

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  • FG to Create 490,000 Jobs through Smart Farmer Scheme

In an effort to effect its strategic plan on job creation, the federal government wednesday launched the Smart Farmer Scheme (SFS), an ICT based scheme geared to create over 490, 000 jobs as well as boast agriculture

The scheme is in fulfillment of President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration to boast agriculture and as well as scale up creation of jobs under the auspices of the National Directorate of Employment (NDE)

Speaking during the launch of the scheme, Minister of Labour and Employment, Senator Chris Ngige explained that the current administration is committed to tackling the menace of youth unemployment in the country.

The minister who was represented by the Permanent Secretary in the ministry, Dr Clement Iloh, said agriculture holds the key to fight youth unemployment as well as food security.

Ngige added: “A combination of productive activities in the agricultural sector and ICT will surely make our journey towards repositioning agriculture as one of the corner stones for sustainable national development a reality

“I am informed that through the smart farmer application, the NDE will be injecting about four hundred and ninety thousand new jobs into the economy in the next three years. I am very proud to announce that the NDE in its consistent strides towards mass employment creation has concluded plans to commission two new small scale businesses that will.”

Speaking earlier, the acting Director General of the NDE, Kunle Obayan, observed: “Over the years, efforts had been made to reposition agriculture as the major foreign exchange earner for Nigeria.

He said: “The economic recession we are currently experiencing is indicative of the fact that e have not succeeded in our quest to give agriculture its pride of place it has become glaring in the face of dwindling revenue from oil, that Nigeria has no option than to maximise the massive agricultural potentials across the length and breadth of this naturally endowed nation.”

Obayan held: “ICT driven concept will encourage young Nigerians to get involved in agricultural activities. He maintained that ineffective application of science and technology has robbed Nigeria of the boundless benefits agriculture holds.

“One of the factors that militated against previous attempts at putting agriculture in the driving seat of our national economy had been the inability of policy implementers to get young Nigerians sufficiently involved in agriculture as a viable business,” Obayan stated.

Is the CEO/Founder of Investors King Limited. A proven foreign exchange research analyst and a published author on Yahoo Finance, Businessinsider, Nasdaq, Entrepreneur.com, Investorplace, and many more. He has over two decades of experience in global financial markets.

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Nigeria Calls on UAE to Modernize 50-Year-Old Oil Pipeline Infrastructure

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Nigeria has extended a call to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) for strategic investment.

The Federal Government of Nigeria said there is a need for the renewal and reconstruction of its more than 50-year-old oil pipelines.

Minister of State for Petroleum (Oil), Heineken Lokpobiri, reiterated Nigeria’s vast investment opportunities during discussions held in Abuja with a visiting delegation from the UAE, led by Ambassador Salem Al Shamsi.

The discussions centered on the mutual interests of both nations in the energy sector, particularly in oil exploration and infrastructure development.

Lokpobiri emphasized the critical role of pipelines in transporting crude oil to export terminals, underlining their indispensable significance despite the advancements in alternative transportation methods.

He highlighted the outdated nature of Nigeria’s current pipeline network, most of which was established around the time of Nigeria’s initial oil discoveries in the late 1950s.

Acknowledging the enormity of the investment required, Lokpobiri assured potential UAE investors of attractive investment models.

He outlined a proposal where investors could recover their investments proportionately as crude oil is transported through the pipelines, thereby incentivizing their involvement in the modernization efforts.

Nigeria boasts abundant natural gas reserves, estimated at over 208 trillion cubic feet, positioning the nation as a significant player in the global energy landscape.

Lokpobiri emphasized the potential for further exploration and development in both gas and crude oil sectors, signaling Nigeria’s commitment to maximizing its energy resources.

The recent meeting also delved into the broader context of oil exploration and climate concerns. Lokpobiri reiterated Nigeria’s commitment to the Paris Agreement while emphasizing the importance of a balanced approach to energy production and transition.

He emphasized the need for strategic partnerships to facilitate the financing of Nigeria’s energy transition, highlighting the UAE’s potential role in this endeavor.

Responding to Nigeria’s call, Ambassador Al Shamsi expressed the UAE’s willingness to collaborate with Nigeria in addressing the challenges facing the oil and gas sector.

He affirmed the longstanding relationship between the two nations, spanning over 50 years, and reiterated the UAE’s commitment to supporting Nigeria’s developmental aspirations.

As Nigeria embarks on its journey to modernize its oil infrastructure, partnerships with countries like the UAE are poised to play a pivotal role in realizing its energy ambitions.

The call for investment signals Nigeria’s proactive stance in addressing its infrastructural challenges while leveraging its rich energy resources for sustainable development.

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Nigeria Offers 12 Oil Blocks and 5 Deep Offshore Assets to Global Investors

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Nigeria has unveiled plans to offer 12 oil blocks and 5 deep offshore assets to global investors.

The announcement was made during the ongoing 2024 Offshore Technology Conference (OTC) in Houston, United States, where Nigerian officials presented the country’s vast hydrocarbon potential to an international audience of industry stakeholders.

Addressing participants at the African Oil Industry Opportunities Session, a side event at the OTC, Gbenga Komolafe, Chief Executive of the Nigerian Upstream Regulatory Commission, outlined Nigeria’s significant reserves and emphasized the strategic importance of leveraging these resources for economic development.

With over 37.5 billion barrels of crude oil and condensate reserves, as well as 209.26 trillion cubic feet of natural gas reserves, Nigeria stands as a major player in Africa’s energy landscape.

Komolafe highlighted the government’s commitment to conducting a transparent and competitive bidding process, in accordance with the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA) and applicable regulations.

The 2024 Licensing Round, he noted, marks a significant milestone in Nigeria’s hydrocarbon development initiative, introducing 12 carefully selected blocks spanning diverse geological formations, from onshore basins to deep offshore territories.

Each block has been identified for its potential to enhance Nigeria’s reserves and stimulate economic growth, offering opportunities for investors to participate in the country’s oil and gas industry.

The bidding process, which commenced on April 29, 2024, is structured to ensure fairness, competitiveness, and transparency, with guidelines issued to guide prospective bidders.

In addition to the 12 blocks, Nigeria will also conclude the sale of seven deep offshore blocks from the 2022 Mini-Bid Round Exercise, covering approximately 6,700 km2 in water depths ranging from 1,150m to 3,100m.

This comprehensive offering underscores Nigeria’s commitment to maximizing the potential of its petroleum resources and attracting strategic investments to drive sectoral growth.

The bidding round, scheduled to conclude by January 2025, presents a significant opportunity for investors and companies to participate in Nigeria’s oil and gas sector.

The inclusion of both new greenfield blocks and assets from previous bid rounds reflects the government’s dedication to fostering innovation, technological exchange, and capacity building within the industry.

With criteria emphasizing technical competence, financial capacity, and viability, the 2024 licensing round aims to be conducted in a fair, competitive, and non-discriminatory manner, in line with the provisions of the Petroleum Industry Act.

As Nigeria positions itself as a prime destination for oil and gas investment, stakeholders are optimistic about the potential for sustainable growth and development in the sector.

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Microsoft to Invest $2.2 Billion in Malaysia’s Digital Infrastructure

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Microsoft Corporation has announced plans to inject $2.2 billion into Malaysia’s digital infrastructure over the next four years.

This investment shows the company’s determination to harness the potential of Southeast Asia’s burgeoning technology market.

During his visit to Kuala Lumpur, Microsoft’s Chief Executive Officer, Satya Nadella, revealed the company’s ambitious agenda, which encompasses the construction of essential infrastructure to support its cloud computing and artificial intelligence (AI) services.

Nadella also outlined plans to provide AI training to 200,000 individuals in Malaysia and collaborate with the government to enhance the nation’s cybersecurity capabilities.

The move comes amidst intensified competition among tech giants, including Alphabet Inc., Amazon.com Inc., and Alibaba Group Holding Ltd., to gain a foothold in Southeast Asia’s rapidly digitizing landscape.

With a population exceeding 650 million people, the region presents a lucrative market for tech companies seeking to expand their operations beyond traditional strongholds like China.

“We are committed to supporting Malaysia’s AI transformation and ensure it benefits all Malaysians,” stated Nadella.

During his visit, Nadella met Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim and discussed the importance of collaboration between the public and private sectors in driving digital innovation.

Microsoft’s investment not only serves to fortify Malaysia’s technological infrastructure but also aligns with the company’s broader strategy to assert its presence in the Asian market.

Nadella has previously pledged a substantial sum of $7 billion to bolster Microsoft’s services across the region, emphasizing the pivotal role of AI as a catalyst for growth and urging countries to ramp up investment in the technology.

In Malaysia, the southern region of Johor Bahru, linked to Singapore by a causeway, is emerging as a key hub for AI data centers.

The partnership between Nvidia Corp. and local utility YTL Power International Bhd. to establish a $4.3 billion AI data center park in the area underscores the region’s growing significance in the realm of digital infrastructure.

While AI adoption in Southeast Asia is still in its nascent stages, experts predict significant economic benefits with the potential to add approximately $1 trillion to the region’s economy by 2030.

Malaysia is poised to capture a substantial portion of this growth with estimates suggesting a potential windfall of around $115 billion for the country.

Microsoft’s commitment extends beyond Malaysia, as the company announced similar investments during Nadella’s regional tour.

In Indonesia, Microsoft unveiled a $1.7 billion investment plan, while an undisclosed amount was pledged for initiatives in Thailand. Notably, Microsoft intends to invest approximately $1 billion in a new data center in Thailand, as reported by the Bangkok Post.

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