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Fed Govt Shops for $500m Exploration Fund

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Kayode Fayemi
  • Fed Govt Shops for $500m Exploration Fund

The Federal Government is in talks with the Sovereign Wealth Fund (SWF) and Nigeria Stock Exchange (NSE) to create a $500 million exploration fund and corporate mining bonds to attract investment, Solid Minerals Development Minister, Dr Kayode Fayemi has said.

He also said the country had made a “promising” nickel discovery and was looking for investors for a moribund steel plant, part of efforts to reduce reliance on oil exports.

The country has made boosting the mining sector a priority as a slump in crude sales, which provide 70 per cent of government revenues, has pushed economy into recession.

“We are looking at a $500 million fund from their side which would primarily focus on exploration,” Fayemi told Reuters yesterday.

The ministry was also discussing with the stock market selling “corporate mining bonds” in partnership with mining and other investors, he added.

Nigeria has been trying to attract foreign mining firms. Currently, the only significant foreign investor in the sector, where 80 per cent of mining is carried out on an artisanal basis, is Australia’s Kogi Iron.

The country has largely untapped deposits of 44 minerals, which include gold, iron ore, coal, tin and zinc, in more than 500 locations spread across the nation.

Fayemi wants to increase mining’s contribution to gross domestic product (GDP) to 10 per cent, from just 0.3 per cent now, within a decade.

He said a geologically “strange” discovery of nickel in the northern state of Kaduna seemed promising.

The discovery of some 40 million tonnes of nickel with a depth of five meters over a 13 kilometer area, around the town of Dangoma, was announced in August by an Australian team registered as Comet Nigeria Limited.

“It could also be that what they are telling us is an under-estimation of what it ought to be by the time we do core drilling,” he said.

Fayemi also said there was need to get a grip on the informal gold rush which he said is dominated by smugglers.

“Clearly a lot is being taken out illegally,” he said, adding that gold was being smuggled to neighboring Cameroon and Niger, as well as Togo and registered in those countries.

Fayemi said his ministry did not have figures for gold production but the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) had provided figures the minsitry was trying to validate.

“They have given figures in the region of about 100kg of gold leaving the country on a daily basis.

“None of this gets accredited as gold from Nigeria,” added Fayemi.

CEO/Founder Investors King Ltd, a foreign exchange research analyst, contributing author on New York-based Talk Markets and Investing.com, with over a decade experience in the global financial markets.

Government

Mali Sworn In Bah Ndaw as Transition President

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Malian Mutinying Soldiers

Mali’s interim president, Bah Ndaw, chosen to head a transitional government following a coup last month, was sworn in during ceremonies in the capital Bamako on Friday, AFP journalists witnessed.

A committee appointed by the junta which seized power on August 18, toppling President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita, selected Ndaw, a 70-year-old retired colonel, as interim president.

Ndaw is due to lead a transition government for a maximum of 18 months before organising national elections.

Colonel Assimi Goita, who led the military junta, was also sworn in as interim vice president.

The ceremony on Friday took place in a theatre filled with officials dressed in military fatigues, senior judges, and foreign diplomats.

During the ceremony, Supreme Court Chief Prosecutor Boya Dembele said the challenges facing both men were “enormous”.

“It will truly require a reformulation of the state,” said the judge, dressed in red fur-lined robes.

The swearing-in comes as the fragile Sahel state’s neighbours have leaned on the military junta to appoint civilians as interim president and prime minister.

The 15-nation Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) slapped sanctions on the poor country on August 20 to push for a swift return to civilian rule.

A decision by the bloc on whether to ease the measure is possible on Friday, according to former Nigerian president and ECOWAS mediator Goodluck Jonathan.

“We are optimistic that this event will signal the beginning of the return to normalcy in Mali,” he said on Twitter on Thursday night, referring to the swearing in of interim-government leaders.

Last month’s coup followed weeks of mass protests against Keita, spurred by frustrations over a brutal jihadist conflict, perceived corruption and the country’s slumping economy.

Mali has struggled to quell an eight-year-old Islamist insurgency which has claimed thousands of military and civilian lives.

AFP

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Imo State Bans Traffic Agents, Task Forces Over Bribery

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Uzodinma Bans Traffic Agents, Task Forces Over Bribery

The Executive Governor of Imo State, Hope Uzodinma, has restricted all traffic agents and task forces from operating in the state over bribery and extortions.

Declan Emelumba, the state commissioner for Information and Strategy, disclosed this at the Government House in Owerri on Thursday.

Checks revealed that the task force team that operates from Heroes’ Square still demands as much as N27,000 fines from people arrested. A shocking situation that has plunged the limited resources of hardworking Imo people.

However, the information commissioner, who described the task force as “illegal”, said the state government has sanctioned its personnel.

Emelumba said, “The governor has since banned all traffic agents and task forces in line with the desire of the people.”

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FG Puts Nine-year Presidential Jet Up For Sale

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president buhari

The Federal Government has put up for sale a jet in the presidential fleet, Hawker 4000 aircraft with registration number, 5N-FGX/: RC 066.

The business-size jet which entered into service in December 2011, has capacity for nine passengers and three crew members.

Findings indicate that only 73 Hawker 4000 aircraft were manufactured by Hawker Beechcraft between 2001 and 2013 and they were sold for $22.91m each as of 2012.

The FG in a published advert on Wednesday disclosed that the aircraft with a range of 3,190-nautical mile had flown for 1,768 hours.

It said the aircraft could be inspected at the Presidential Air Fleet’s hangar located at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja.

Interested buyers were requested to submit their closed bid to the Chairman, Committee for Sale of Aircraft, Office of the National Security Adviser, care of Special Services Office, Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation.

In an advertisement published in some national dailies on Wednesday, prospective buyers were directed to submit a refundable bank draft for $50,000 to the committee with the bid.

It also said that all the bids should be quoted in dollars.

The notice read, “Please note that all bids must be submitted within one week of this publication.

“Background check is required as a pre-qualification for the bid. Prospective bidders who want to inspect the aircraft will be granted access within one week from this advertisement.”

The Presidency had similarly in 2016 put up for sale two presidential aircraft, a Falcon 7X executive jet and Hawker 4000, in line with the directive of the president, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), that aircraft in the Presidential Air Fleet should be reduced to cut down on waste.

The government also said some aircraft in the fleet would be handed over to the Nigeria Air Force for its operations. It could not be confirmed if this had been done.

According to the Presidency, the PAF has 10 aircraft and they include Boeing Business Jet (Boeing 737-800 or Air Force One), one Gulfstream 550, one Gulfstream V (Gulfstream 500), two Falcons 7X, one Hawker Sidley 4000, two AgustaWestland AW 139 helicopters and two AgustaWestland AW 101 helicopters.

Reports said each of the two Falcon 7X jets were purchased in 2010 for $51.1m, while the Gulfstream 550 costs $53.3m.

The Senior Special Assistant, (Media and Publicity) to the President, Garba Shehu, had yet to respond to inquiries on the number of presidential aircraft sold so far, as of the time of filing this report.

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