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Nigeria to Save $10bn From Fuel Importation- Buhari

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President Muhammadu Buhari

Nigeria to save $10bn from fuel importation

President Muhammadu Buhari on Saturday said Nigeria would save $10 billion annually from fuel importation when the nation’s four refineries were fully repaired.

The president disclosed this in a nationwide broadcast to mark the nation’s 56th Independence Anniversary on Saturday.

The President frowned at the situation where half of the nation’s foreign exchange earnings were being spent on importation of petroleum and food items.

He attributed the current socio-economic hardship being experienced in the country to inability of the previous administrations to save for the “rainy days’’.

He said, “Historically about half our dollar export earnings go to importation of petroleum and food products, Nothing was saved for the rainy days during the periods of prosperity.

“We are now reaping the whirlwinds of corruption, recklessness and impunity.

“There are no easy solutions, but there are solutions nonetheless and government is pursuing them in earnest.

“We are to repair our four refineries so that Nigeria can produce most of our petrol requirements locally, pending the coming on stream of new refineries.

“That way we will save $10 billion yearly in importing fuel.’’

Buhari said his administration’s economic revival strategy was centred on the Ministry of Power, Works and Housing.

He explained that the ministry will lead and oversee the provision of critical infrastructure of power, road transport network and housing development.

He said power generation in the country had steadily risen since his administration came on board from three 3,344 megawatts in June 2015, to a peak of 5,074 megawatts in February.

“For the first time in our history, the country was producing five thousand megawatts.’’

He, however, lamented that renewed militancy and destruction of gas pipelines had continued to cause acute shortage of gas and constant drop in electricity output available on the grid.

The president also noted an appreciable improvement in power transmission between June 2015 to September 2016.

He said there were only two system collapses between June and December 2015, while the over-all system suffered 16 system collapses between March and July 2016 alone.

He attributed the incidents to vandalism by Niger Delta militants.

He said, “As I have said earlier, we are engaging with responsible leadership in the region to find lasting solutions to genuine grievances of the area but we will not allow a tiny minority of thugs to cripple the country’s economy.

“In the meantime, government is going ahead with projects utilising alternate technologies such as hydro, wind, and solar to contribute to our energy mix.

“In this respect, the Mambilla Hydro project, after many years of delay is taking off this year.’’

According to the president, contract negotiations for the Mambilla project are nearing completion with Chinese firms for technical and financial commitments.

He said the project would be jointly financed by Nigeria and the Chinese-Export-Import Bank.

Buhari said power purchase agreements on 14 Solar Power Projects had been concluded.

He said, “Hence, the plan to produce 1,200 megawatts of solar electricity for the country will be realised on schedule.”

 

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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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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