- Review Osogbo Steel Firm’s Privatisation, Lawmaker Urges Govt
The Chief Whip of Osun State House of Assembly, Mr Tunde Olatunji, has called for a review of privatisation of the Osogbo Steel Rolling Mill as well as the Osogbo Machine Tools.
Olatunji said the sales of the two companies in Osun State should be reviewed in order to revamp them, boost steel production in the country and provide job opportunities to Nigerians.
He said thousands of people, who the companies provided job opportunities for, had been rendered jobless since the companies were sold to private investors.
The lawmaker, who represents Ife North State Constituency said this in an interview with our correspondent in Lagos.
The two companies and other national assets were sold to private investors by the administration of former President Olusegun Obasanjo but the lawmakers said the companies, especially the ones in Osogbo, had remained moribund despite their sales.
He stated that without functional steel company, the dream of manufacturing vehicles in the country and other things might be a mirage.
He said, when revamped, the two companies would create employment opportunities to thousands of youths.
Olatunji said, “The privatisation of some national assets, most especially the Osogbo Steel Rolling Mill which has remained moribund since it was privatised, as well as the Nigeria Machine Tools which is performing below its optimal capacity should be reviewed.
“The neglect of these two companies which provided jobs for over 20,000 people is having a serious negative effect on the people and the economy of the state. The sales of these companies should be reviewed.
“Many jobless youths will find something to do if these sales of these national assets are reviewed. When people are productively engaged, there will be no time for them to think of kidnapping, robbery or any of these criminal activities.”
He called on the federal lawmakers from the state to unite in advocating a reviewed of the sale of these assets and other ones.
Oil Prices Decline on Rising COVID-19 Cases
Global Oil Prices Dipped on Friday as New COVID-19 Cases Jump Globally
Global oil prices decline on Friday as the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases surged across the world.
Brent crude oil, against which Nigerian oil is priced, declined from $43.47 per barrel it traded on Thursday during the Asian trading session to $41.60 per barrel on Friday at around 11:39 am Nigerian time.
Oil traders and investors are worried that the rising number of COVID-19 new cases would disrupt demand for the commodity and force refineries to shut down once again.
“I do not suspect many oil traders will be looking to place significant bids in the market today, suggesting prices may continue to wallow into the weekend,” said Stephen Innes, chief global markets strategist at AxiCorp.
Despite efforts by both OPEC plus and other top oil producers to halt falling oil prices and reduce global oil glut, the lack of a cure for COVID-19 remained global concerns.
As previously stated on this platform, until a cure is found the world would have to find a way to either work through COVID-19 or shut down activities completely.
This is coming a day after the Federal Government of Nigeria announced that it was putting school resumption plan on hold following the latest COVID-19 report that shows Nigeria’s confirmed cases crossed 30,000 on Wednesday.
In the United States, more than 60,000 new COVID-19 cases were reported on Thursday, forcing lawmakers to start contemplating the second phase of COVID-19 lockdown.
We Are Losing N13.9bn Monthly Because FG Caps Tariff – Discos
Discos Says it is Losing N14bn Monthly Because of NERC Capped Tariff
The Nigerian power Distribution Companies (Discos) have said they a losing N13.9 billion in revenue every month because the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission, limited how much they can charge for consumption.
Ernest Mupwaya, the Managing Director, Abuja Electricity Distribution Company, made the statement during a presentation on behalf of the Discos to the House of Representatives Committee on Power.
The statement was after the Discos demanded realistic indices before the implementation of the proposed service reflective tariff, which was supposed to be implemented on July 1.
Mupwaya said there were some outstanding requirements before the service reflective tariff could be implemented.
“One of them is the removal of estimated billing caps. The financial impact of the Capping Order is an average loss of N13.9bn monthly, thereby, undermining or jeopardising the minimum remittance requirement,” Mupwaya stated.
The July 1 service tariff implementation was halted by members of the National Assembly, who prevailed on the Discos to shelve the date to the first quarter of 2021 due to the current economic challenges in Nigeria.
Gbajabiamila Says Nigeria Can’t Compete in AfCFTA With Weak Industries
Nigeria Must Ramp up Industrialisation to Prevent Dumping by Other Nations
The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, has said the nation can not compete effectively in the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) with weak industrialisation and manufacturing activities.
Gbajabiamila disclosed this while receiving Adesoji Adesugba, the newly appointed Managing Director of the Nigeria Export Processing Zones Authority.
The details of the visit were made public on Thursday in a statement titled, “AFCFTA: House Speaker tasks Nigeria on industrialisation through free trade zones.”
Gbajabiamila was quoted as saying “We must act proactively so that we don’t become a dumping ground for other African nations.
“Our best option in this circumstance is to immediately set machinery in motion to ensure the effective functioning and flourishing of our export processing zones.
“We must remove all bottlenecks and perfect all stumbling blocks. We will then be fully prepared for AfCFTA and also generate massive jobs for our unemployed youths and enhance our foreign earnings.”
He added that the nation must as a matter of national emergency ramp up industrialisation through free trade zones and other effective means to compete with South Africa, Africa’s most industrialised economy and other African nations.
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