- Govt Completes 22MW Ajaokuta Power Plant
Towards the rehabilitation of the Ajaokuta Steel Complex, the Federal Government has completed the first phase of the ACSL thermal power plant.
The immediate past Director of Mines at the Ministry of Mines and Steel Development, Mr. Dauda Awojobi, who disclosed this at a training session for journalists in Lokoja, Kogi State on Wednesday, said following the rehabilitation of the plant, it had now added 22MW to the national grid.
He also disclosed that the government had created 119,532 direct employments from mid-tier operators and established 63 private minerals buying centres across the country.
The Federal Government retrieved the steel complex from the concessionaire after a legal tussle.
Awojobi also stated that the Federal Government had taken several measures to ensure security of lives and property through the controlled use of explosives by companies operating in mines and construction sectors, including the classification of ammonia nitrate as an explosive.
The ministry, according to him, has also deepened and strengthened collaboration with security agencies in order to curtail the wrong use of explosives.
Following the new architecture, user certificate to import explosives is now issued by the Office of the National Security Adviser and endorsed by the Ministry of Mines and Steel and Development, Awojobi added.
The government has also introduced the use of Close Circuit Television cameras and floodlights at night to monitor activities around where magazines are stored.
There have been concerns about the wrong use of explosives in the country. The Federal Government recently ordered the sealing off of Messrs Nigerian Development and Construction Company, an importer and seller of explosives in Koko, Delta State, over illegal diversion of the materials.
The Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, also ordered the blacklisting of the company and the withdrawal of its explosive licences.
Prepaid Meter is Free, Buhari Warns DisCos, Agents
President Muhammadu Buhari once again warned Power Distributing Companies (DisCos) and their agents selling prepaid meters to electricity customers against the Federal Government directive that meter is free.
Ahmed Rufai Zakar, the Special Adviser to the President on Infrastructure, who represented Buhari at the FGN/NLC-TUC ad-hoc committee on electricity tariff stakeholders held in Ibadan, Oyo State on Wednesday, said President Buhari understood people’s concerns on issues surrounding electricity and was determined to curb and deal with unscrupulous individuals in the power sector.
He said, “We have made it very clear through the regulators direct order as well as intervention from the Ministry of Power that the meters are to be provided to Nigerians at no cost.
“Even for meters that were paid for, there is the directive from the regulator to the discos that they would need to find a way to reimburse those citizens over time.
“In cases where we find any disco or disco representative selling the meters or exploiting Nigerians to be able to get meters by paying, we would take the full measures of the law.
“The President has mandated that these meters must be free. We have also said that they must come from local manufacturers.
“This would create jobs and revive our industry.”
Nigeria’s Real Estate Sector Shrinks by 8.06% in the Third Quarter -NBS
Economic uncertainty plunged Nigeria’s real estate sector by 8.06 percent in the third quarter of the year, according to the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS).
Nigeria’s statistics office said “In nominal terms, real estate services recorded a growth rate of –8.06 per cent in the third quarter of 2020, indicating a decline of –11.78 per cent points compared to the growth rate at the same period in 2019, and by 9.12 per cent points when compared to the preceding quarter.
“Quarter-on-quarter, the sector growth rate was 18.92 per cent.
“Real GDP growth recorded in the sector in Q3 2020 stood at -13.40 per cent, lower than the growth recorded in third quarter of 2019 by –11.09 per cent points, but higher relative to Q2 2020 by 8.59 per cent points.
“Quarter-on-quarter, the sector grew by 17.15 per cent in the third quarter of 2020.
“It contributed 5.58 per cent to real GDP in Q3, 2020, lower than the 6.21 per cent it recorded in the corresponding quarter of 2019.”
Nigeria’s economy contracted by 2.48 percent in the first nine months following a 6.10 percent and 3.62 percent contraction in the second and third quarters respectively.
Nigeria Requires N400 Billion Annually to Maintain Federal Roads -Senator Bassey
The Chairman of the Senate Committee on road maintenance, Senator Gersome Bassey, on Friday said Nigeria requires about N400 billion annually to maintain federal roads across the country.
The Senator, therefore, described the N38 billion budgeted for road repairs in the 2021 proposed Budget as grossly inadequate. According to him, nothing meaningful could be achieved by the Federal Roads Maintenance Agency (FERMA) with such an amount.
He said, “For the 35 kilometres federal roads in the country to be motorable at all times, the sum of N400bn is required on yearly basis for maintenance.”
Bassey “What the committee submitted to the Appropriation Committee in the 2021 fiscal year is the N38bn proposed for it by the executive which cannot cover up to one quarter of the entire length of deplorable roads in the country.
“Unfortunately, despite having the power of appropriation, we cannot as a committee jerk up the sum since we are not in a position to carry out the estimation of work to be done on each of the specific portion of the road.
“Doing that without proposals to that effect from the executive, may lead to project insertion or padding as often alleged in the media.”
Nigeria’s Annual Remittance Inflow Estimated at $24 Billion -CBN
Nigerians to Start Receiving Remittance Inflows in Foreign Currency Today
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