- FG Okays Independent Power Supply to Abuja Airport
The Federal Executive Council on Wednesday approved the contract for the provision of independent power supply (at N61 per kilowatt/hour) to the Nnamdi Azikwe International Airport, Abuja.
The Minister of State for Aviation, Hadi Sirika, disclosed this to State House correspondents at the end of the council’s first meeting of the year presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
Sirika said the contract was awarded following the structural challenges encountered in the construction of a new terminal at the airport being handled by a Chinese firm.
The minister stated, “The new terminal building at the Nnamdi Azikiwe Airport, which is called the Chinese Building, has challenges of power, water, sewage, apron etc., that we are putting up there. So, we have to find a way of dealing with those challenges; we are putting up an independent power system at the airport, which has been approved by FEC.
“Subsequently, we will also tend to the challenges of water, sewage, apron, connectivity between the old and new airports and all the fire stations that are blocking the usage of the airport and perhaps, also the control tower that is connecting the other side of the airport.
“All these will be attended to in phases in preparation for the full utilisation of the airport.”
The Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, said the council also approved a N5.44bn contract for the rehabilitation of the 36km Ugbokolo section of the 9th Mile/Oturkpo Road that links Enugu State to Benue State.
According to him, the contract has been awarded to the firm already handling other sections of the highway and is expected to complete it in 24 months.
On the cattle colonies being proposed by the Federal Government, Sirika assured landowners of adequate compensation for their land that would be acquired.
He said the colonies would not be too different from the old practice of reserving certain areas for cattle grazing, for which the original land owners would be compensated.
He stated, “I am not speaking as an agricultural expert but growing up in the hinterlands, I know there used to be cattle routes; we call them ‘burtali’ in the local language. These were established by the Federal Government in 1914. They are designated routes where the cattle follow, feed, graze and drink water.
“When those ones were available, there was no farmer/herdsmen clash because the routes are specific, identified and mapped, and were paid for in compensation over time. But I think due to development and increase in population, these routes are either captured or converted to farms.
“The question of colony or grazing land or whatever name they are called is about the same thing really. I don’t think the government will do anything without recourse to owners of farm lands and laws of the land.”
The Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, said the issue of killings allegedly by herdsmen was receiving attention at the highest level.
He added that deployment of troops was at the discretion of higher and appropriate authorities.
Responding to reports that Buhari’s son, Yusuf, who is recuperating from injuries sustained in a power bike accident in Abuja few days ago, might have been flown to a German hospital, Mohammed said the case was “purely a private matter.”
Federal Government Halts Cooking Gas Export to Lower Local Prices
In a bid to stabilize domestic prices and meet rising demand for cooking gas within Nigeria, the Federal Government has announced a temporary halt on the exportation of Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG), commonly known as cooking gas.
This decision follows a significant surge in the cost of cooking gas, which has placed a strain on consumers across the country.
According to reports, the halt in LPG export aims to increase the availability of the commodity within Nigeria’s borders, thereby reducing its local price.
The move is part of broader efforts to address the challenges faced by consumers grappling with the high cost of living.
In recent years, the demand for cooking gas has steadily increased in Nigeria, driven by urbanization, population growth, and a shift towards cleaner energy sources.
However, despite being a major producer of LPG, Nigeria has struggled to meet its domestic demand due to insufficient local production and distribution infrastructure.
Data from the Nigerian Midstream Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority reveals that while the total consumption of cooking gas in Nigeria has been on the rise, the country has relied heavily on imports to bridge the supply gap.
The recent decision by the government underscores its commitment to prioritizing the domestic market and ensuring that Nigerians have access to affordable cooking gas.
Consumers have been grappling with escalating prices, with reports indicating a significant increase in the cost of refilling a 12.5kg cylinder of cooking gas in major cities like Abuja, Lagos, and Kano.
The decision to halt LPG exports signals a proactive measure by the government to mitigate the adverse effects of rising prices and alleviate the financial burden on households across the nation.
Manufacturing Sector Records 7.70% Quarter-on-Quarter Growth in Q4 2023
In the fourth quarter of 2023, Nigeria’s manufacturing sector grew by 7.70% year-on-year, according to the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS).
The surge in growth reflects a significant uptick from the preceding quarter and underscores the resilience of the manufacturing industry amid economic challenges.
This growth trajectory indicates positive momentum and signals potential opportunities for economic recovery and development.
The manufacturing sector, comprising thirteen key activities ranging from oil refining to motor vehicles and assembly, demonstrated notable dynamism across various subsectors.
This growth surge is attributed to increased production, enhanced operational efficiencies, and strategic investments across the manufacturing value chain.
Despite facing headwinds such as supply chain disruptions and regulatory uncertainties, the sector’s robust performance underscores its pivotal role in driving economic diversification, job creation, and industrialization efforts in Nigeria.
Moving forward, sustaining this growth momentum will require continued policy support, investment in infrastructure, and efforts to address key bottlenecks hindering the sector’s expansion.
By fostering an enabling business environment and promoting innovation and technology adoption, Nigeria’s manufacturing sector can further catalyze inclusive economic growth and contribute significantly to the nation’s development agenda.
Nigeria’s GDP Grows by 3.46% in Q4 2023, Driven by Services
Nigeria’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) grew by 3.46% in the fourth quarter (Q4) of 2023 on the back of robust performance of the services sector, according to data released by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS).
The GDP expansion though slightly lower than the 3.52% recorded in the same period of 2022, reflects a positive trajectory for the Nigerian economy amid ongoing challenges.
The growth rate surpassed the 2.54% recorded in the preceding quarter, indicating a rebound in economic activity.
The services sector emerged as the key driver of growth expanding by 3.98% and contributing 56.55% to the overall GDP.
This sector’s resilience underscores its pivotal role in Nigeria’s economic landscape, encompassing diverse industries such as telecommunications, finance, and real estate.
Also, the agriculture sector experienced growth, expanding by 2.10% compared to the same period in 2022.
Meanwhile, the industry sector recorded a notable improvement, growing by 3.86%, a stark contrast to the -0.94% contraction observed in the fourth quarter of 2022.
On an annual basis, Nigeria’s GDP expanded by 2.74% in 2023 compared to 3.10% in the previous year, reflecting sustained but moderated growth.
The positive trajectory in GDP growth reflects resilience in the face of various economic challenges.
However, sustaining and accelerating growth will require continued efforts to address structural bottlenecks, foster investment, and promote inclusive economic policies across sectors.
Nigeria’s Oil Sector Growth
During the fourth quarter of 2023, Nigeria’s oil sector posted a real growth rate of 12.11% year-on-year, signifying a significant improvement from previous periods.
This was driven by the surge in average daily oil production to 1.55 million barrels per day (mbpd), a positive shift in the sector’s performance.
Despite challenges such as global market fluctuations and production constraints, the oil sector contributed 4.70% to the nation’s total real GDP in Q4 2023.
Nigeria’s Non-Oil Sector
Nigeria’s non-oil sector sustained growth momentum, posting a 3.07% real growth rate in Q4 2023.
This growth was primarily attributed to key industries including finance, telecommunications, agriculture, manufacturing, and construction.
Accounting for 95.30% of the nation’s GDP in the same quarter, the non-oil sector continues to drive economic diversification efforts and reduce dependence on oil revenues.
Despite facing challenges, such as infrastructure deficits and regulatory bottlenecks, the sector’s resilience underscores its pivotal role in fostering sustainable economic development and inclusive growth agendas.
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