Nigeria’s Infrastructure: Obasanjo Advocates Strong Public-Private Partnership

Olusegun Obasanjo, Nigeria, Public-Private Partnership, infrastructureFormer President Olusegun Obasanjo has identified the public and private sector as the two legs for Nigeria’s socio-economic development, hence one cannot work effectively without the other.

He lamented that both the present and past governments in the country have not paid sufficient attention to work together with the private sector to develop the sector.

The former president made the remark at a seminar organised by the Kaduna Chamber of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture at the International Trade Fair Complex in Kaduna State.

The audience at the one-day seminar cuts across the business community, students, academia and political class.

Obasanjo, who was the chairman of the occasion, decried that Nigeria has not been able to harness her natural potentials in order to be at the same pace with other nations.

He faulted the reversal of the sale of refineries by the Umaru Yar’adua administration, which he said was largely responsible for the instability in the oil and gas sector.

The former president further stressed the need for government at all levels to collaborate with the private sector, in order to get Nigeria out of its present economic recession.

Need To Concession Critical Assets

A former Minister of Finance and National Planning, Dr. Shamsudeen Usman, also presented a paper with the theme: ‘Promoting Public-Private Partnership (PPP) as Panacea for Accelerated Growth and Development’.

Dr. Usman emphasised the need for government to concession some of its critical assets like the sea port terminals, airports and roads to enable them work effectively and also reduce financial burden on government.

He explained that a smooth public-private collaboration must have the highest political support, credible reward sharing formula and transparency.

The former minister added that most of the successful PPP projects were done during the Obasanjo-led administration, due to strong political will.

The host governor, Mr Nasir El-Rufai, on his part, highlighted some of the collaborative efforts of his administration with the private sector to be able to finance its multi-year plan in the major sectors of the economy.

Participants at the event noted that infrastructure in Nigeria is poor, due to old age, overburden or poor management, to meet the needs of over 170 million population.

They added that the competing needs of the economy have placed a huge burden on the government which they said cannot solely provide all the services required.

House Seeks KWACCIMA’s Support On Moribund Industries

Kwara LG Pensioners Begin Seven-Day Prayer, Fasting SessionThe Speaker of the Kwara State House of Assembly, Ali Ahmad, has advocated for stronger ties between Kwara State Chamber of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (KWACCIMA) and the three tiers of government to “resuscitate moribund industries.

He said the collaboration will facilitate the needed capital through the Bank of Industry (BOI) for the organization to embark on the resuscitation of the industries that had been laying fallow.

Ahmad stated this at the investiture of Dr Ahmed Raji as the new president of KWACCIMA held at the banquet hall in the Government House, Ilorin.

At the ceremony, which also featured conferment of award on some personalities; Raji was officially installed as the new helmsman of KWACCIMA, thereby succeeding Hezekiah Adediji.

The Speaker, however, observed that the revival of the industries will lead to employment generation through Public Private Partnership (PPP), maintaining that the synergy was required to reconstruct what he called “battered economy”.

He expressed the readiness of the State Assembly to receive a bill sponsored by KWACCIMA with the intention of adding value to the economy of the state.

Ahmad, who chaired the occasion, applauded the state government for providing the organisation some plots of land for its proposed trade fair ground.

 

“It is essential that when your chamber forms a synergy with these three tiers of government, solutions will be found to resuscitate some of these moribund industries with guaranteeing of loans through the Bank of Industry.

‘There is no doubt that when these moribund industries are resuscitated, more employment will be provided under the Public, Private Partnership (PPP). I hope your organisation will take it as a point of duty to form the appropriate synergy with these three tiers of government, so as to foster unity and cooperation.

“For people to know what your chamber stands for, you need to sensitize them through workshops, seminar and advocacy on radio and television, to enable the populace know what activities you embark upon and what people should gain from your chamber at the long run.

“I am convinced that if you work assiduously with your agenda, KWACCIMA will go to places as it will change the face of the state economically.

I appeal to the state and local governments to stretch their hands of fellowship to KWACCIMA through donations, to build a befitting trade fair complex this year.

“Let me assure you that the House of Assembly remains a genuine partner in the drive to move Kwara state forward, especially in the promotion of economic development and in raising the standard of living across the spectra of our human capital assets.

“Consequently, the House, will be receptive to the contribution of the chamber through the sponsoring of a bill that will add value to the economic and social well-being of the people of Kwara state including the business community”, the Speaker said.

In his acceptance speech, the KWACCIMA president, Ahmed Raji, expressed gratitude to members, for their trust in him and pledged to act within his powers to revolutionise the state business environment.

He also promised to work with other executive members, to ensure that the organisation punches its weight on the national stage with the ability to shape its future, through facilitating local business environment that would encourage growth and enterprise.

We Will Do All To Support Local Producers, Manufacturers – Osinbajo

We Will Do All To Support Local Producers, Manufacturers – Osinbajo The Vice President of Nigeria, Professor Yemi Osibanjo, has again said that the quest for development of local capacity is a panacea for rapid economic growth.

He made this assertion during the Southeast maiden edition of Nationwide Micro Small and Medium Enterprise Clinic held at Aba, after the media launch in Abuja on Tuesday.

Using as an analogy, the story President Muhammadu Buhari once told him about the importance of taking care of people “who do the things that make us comfortable”, the Vice President observed “it is important to pay attention to MSMES”.

“We will spend time to ensure that we give those who produce locally all the support that we can give, and that is why we are doing this clinics,” he said.

The Vice President went round the stands of all the agencies at the Aba MSMES Clinic and also those of several businesses and local manufacturers, all of whom were obviously elated at the Federal Government’s gesture to re-orient the relationship between them and the agencies.

He said that “you can’t do much for manufacturing without coming to Aba,” and adding that Aba traders, artisans, tailors, shoemakers and others “are the bedrock of our economy.”

According to him, the Nigerian government agenda is to create sustainable platform through its relevant agencies that would ensure that businesses in the country that produce locally made goods are given adequate support and wider spectrum to grow.

yemi-osinbajo
Vice President Yemi Osinbajo examining some footwears made in Aba

He urged the relevant government agencies to see themselves as facilitators of the businesses and remove bottlenecks that are often reported when enterprises have something to do with the agencies.

Commenting at the Clinic, the Abia State Governor, Dr. Okpezie Ikpeazu, who accompanied the Vice President said “with the visit of the Acting President to Abia today, the story of Aba traders will change. The visit of the Acting President is a testimony that something new is happening here.”

Professor Osinbajo who has since returned to Abuja, was also accompanied by the Industry, Trade and Investment Minister, Dr. Okey Enelamah, among several other senior government officials.

The Office of the Special Adviser on Economic Matters in the Presidency devised the idea of a Clinic to bridge the gap between medium and small scale businesses and government agencies such as Corporate Affairs Commission, CAC; Standards Organisation of Nigeria, SON; National Agency for Food & Drug Administration and Control, NAFDAC; Bank of Industry, BOI; Federal Inland Revenue Services, FIRS; Nigerian Export Promotion Council, NEPC; and others.

The Clinic is meant to bring together all those agencies in one spot and at appointed times across the country to attend to the needs, questions and requests of people doing business.

Diversification: Experts Urge FG To Strengthen Private Sector

Private sectorThe immediate past chairman of Nigeria Economic Summit Group and the Nigeria South Chamber Of Commerce, Folusho Philips, wants government to create an enabling environment for the private sector to thrive in the diversification process.

This comes as Nigerians continue to intensify calls for the diversification of Nigeria’s economy in the face of weakening oil price.

Mr Phillips was speaking at a business meeting in the Rivers State capital put together by the Port Harcourt Chamber of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture on business opportunities in Nigeria beyond oil.

Meanwhile, the President of the chamber, Emi Membere-Otaji, said that it was time for the government to remove all forms of bottle necks for ease of doing business in the country.

Yobe Chamber Of Commerce To Reposition Economic Activities

Yobe-Chambers of CommerceThe Yobe State Chamber of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture has reconstituted its executive members after 18 years.

They were saddled with the responsibility of stimulating economic activities in the war ravage state.

The Yobe State Commissioner of Commerce, Senator Adamu Talba, inaugurated the new executive members on Friday in Damaturu, the state’s capital.

He regretted the stagnation over the past 18 years and tasked the new executive members on effecting of changes in the state chapter of the Union.

The Commissioner assured them that the state government would accord them the desired cooperation in moving the chapter forward.

The newly elected President of the state’s Chamber, Jinjiri Abubakar, who spoke shortly after his inauguration, appreciated the opportunity given him to serve the chapter while he promised to transform the chapter.

Other members of the Yobe State Chamber of Commerce, Bello Arabi and Koso Lawan, expressed confidence that the new executive members would bring the desired change to the chapter.

They also stressed the need to create an acceptable atmosphere for economic growth and development.

Ogun Government Creates Jobs Through SMEs

Ogun-SMEs-JobsThe Ogun State government says it has created at least 13,000 direct jobs and 91,000 indirect jobs.

The government said that it was able to make the feat through the one billion Naira joint Ogun State and Bank of Industry (BOI) revolving loans awarded to beneficiaries at 7% interest.

The Ogun State Commissioner for Commerce and Industry, Mr Bimbo Ashiru, made the disclosure on Wednesday at the maiden Small and Medium Enterprises event, held at the Valley View Auditorium of the Government House in southwest Nigeria.

In her remark at the one day event, the Ogun State Deputy Governor, Mrs Yetunde Onanuga, urged participants to make use of the various initiatives being put in place by the state government to develop their businesses in conformity with the present economic realities.

She implored them to always discharge their civic responsibilities of paying their taxes and levies.

The event, tagged “Making SMEs a Valuable Addition to the Nigerian Commonwealth”, was organised by the Ogun State Ministry of Commerce and Industry.

Nigeria Woos Turkey For Investments In Agriculture And Solid Minerals

Buhari-ErdoganNigeria’s Minister of Industry Trade and Investment and some Turkish investors on Wednesday held talks that centred on increasing investments in the solid mineral and agriculture sectors of the Nigerian economy.

At the business meeting in Abuja, the Minister, Mr Okechukwu Enelemah, told Turkish businessmen that the Nigerian government would work towards eliminating obstacles preventing foreign investors from coming to Nigeria.

Organisers of the meeting said that it was meant to strengthen an existing business relationship between Nigeria and Turkey.

In their separate remarks, both the Minister of Industry Trade and Investment and the President of the Nigerian Association of Chambers of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (NACCIMA) urged the Turkish investors to invest in agriculture and the solid minerals sector of the economy.

The President of NACCIMA, Bassey Edem, requested that the existing trade relations between the two countries be balanced, as Turkey currently had comparative advantage over Nigeria.

The Turkish Government, however, promised to build on a record from NACCIMA which revealed that the trade volume between Nigeria and Turkey stood at $2.3 billion in 2014.

President Jonathan Swears-In Eight New Ministers

president-jonathanPresident Goodluck Jonathan has sworn in the eight  Ministers recently confirmed by the Senate before the commencement of the weekly Federal Executive Council meeting.

The President assigned portfolios to them as follows: Senator Patricia Akwashiki (Minister of Information), Prof. Nicholas Ada (Minister of State, Foreign Affairs I), Senator Musiliu Obanikoro (Minister of State, Foreign Affairs II), Col. Augustine Akobundu, (Rtd.) (Minister of State for Defence), Mr. Fidelis Nwankwo (Minister of State for Health), Mrs. Hauwa Bappa (Minister of State, Niger Delta Affairs), Mr. Kenneth Kobani (Minister of State for Industry, Trade and Investment), and Senator Joel Ikeya (Minister of Labour and Productivity).

President Jonathan also named the Minister of State, Health, Khaliru Alhassan, as the Minister of Health.

Mr Alhassan has been acting as Supervising Minister of Health since Prof. Onyebuchi Ckukwu resigned in 2014.

In his address, after the swearing in ceremony, the President told the new Ministers to brace up for the challenges that comes with being sworn in at an injury time such as now.

El-Rufai Promises Revival of Kaduna Textile, Industrial Sector

el rufaiThe governorship candidate of All Progressive Congress (APC) in Kaduna state, Mallam Nasir El-Rufai has assured that if elected in February’s election, his administration will revive the moribund Kaduna Textile Limited and other collapsed factories in the state.

At an interactive forum with members of the business community in Kaduna, El-rufai disclosed that one of the cardinal points of his manifesto will be job creation and industrial renewal, hence the need to actively involve the organised private sector in the running of his government if elected.

The forum, organised by the Kaduna state Chamber of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (KACCIMA) had in attendance captains of industry and professionals who are doing business in the state.

He further accused the incumbent administration of gross mismanagement of the economy, depleting the state’s resources and abandoning ongoing projects across the state, adding that the PDP led government in the state squandered over N700 billion accrued from federal allocation within a period of seven years; without much to show for it.

El-Rufai assured them that if elected governor, his government will make judicious use of the state resources to offer qualitative free education for primary and secondary school students, empower teachers with further training and incentives and also stop illegal multiple taxation being imposed on private investors by the present administration.

Meanwhile, the incumbent Governor Muktar Yero, who is also seeking for re-election has expressed his displeasure with El-Rufai’s torrents of criticism and allegations about his government, accusing the former minister of exaggerating the situation of things in the state for political gain.

He noted that the APC candidate was unfair in his assessment of the performance of his administration.

The governor through his spokesman, Mr Ahmed Maiyaki, described El-Rufai as one who deliberately ignored the facts on the ground by peddling lies to the people he aspires to govern. He also said there was no mismanagement of resources and corruption by the state government, while giving his administration a pass mark on security, infrastructural development, job creation and education.

The Kaduna state governorship poll has only three political parties, APC, Labour Party and PDP fielding candidates.

They are Nasir El-rufai, James Magaji and the incumbent governor, Mukhtar Yero.

West Africa Is Not Ready For Single Currency – Isemede

vlcsnap-2014-07-22-17h12m47s210As West African countries plan monetary union that will see all countries under the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) maintain a single currency, the Director of the Nigerian Association of Chambers of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture,(NACCIMA) says the region is not ready for such development. 

Speaking on Channels Television’s Program, Business Morning, on Tuesday, Mr John Isemede said that West Africa was not ready for the single currency because most Francophone countries had no control over their interest rate or exchange rate, a situation that would create chances of over devaluation of other countries’ currencies.

“We have been on the project for over 10 years. Ghana and Nigeria was not devaluated the same day but the Francophone countries were devaluated the same day.

“We  don’t have ECOWAS central bank and should get a central bank by oraganising the sub-region, before planning to unify the currency in African countries. We have to put our house in order and put the sub-region as one body,” he emphasised.

The Director General of NACCIMA insisted that “before ECOWAS begins to promote the single currency and businesses, West Africa needs to make the region a conducive place for business”.  He suggested that the monetary agency should use their own local currency through their Central Bank to import goods from Ghana to Sierra- Leone and other parts of African countries.

Another guest on the programme, a columnist, Mr Gabriel Idahosa, also pointed out that ECOWAS was not ready for the change, citing the inflation level of most African countries as a big challenge.

He also stressed that most of the criteria set for African countries as development goals had not been met because of high rate of inflation.

“Most African countries are still struggling to meet the criteria. You will first have to meet the criteria and run it for three to four years by keeping the deposit by four per cent and then a common currency emerges,” he said.

Idahosa called on West African governments to open up the physical structure by making business move freely across the border of most African countries.

Mr Isemede and Mr Idahosa’s comments are coming few days after the Central Bank Governor, Mr Godwin Emefiele, said that the lunching of a Single Currency for the West African Monetary Zone (WAMZ) by January 2015 might not be feasible.

At a meeting of the West African Central Bank Governors held in Abuja on July, Mr Emefiele called on leaders in the region to redouble efforts in maintaining fiscal and monetary supervision in their countries.

“It is unlikely at this time. Despite this disappointing update, we need to use the new period created by this to redouble our efforts toward the final realisation of this objectives.

“In this regard, there is need for the intensification of effort towards meeting the laid down convergence material, in sensitisation of all stakeholders in the ratification of various West African monetary zone protocols and in their consequent implementation,” Mr Emefiele said.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Solution Media and Infotech Limited :One year of fruitful service

Solution Media and InfoTech Limited; a company founded in Nigeria with focus on the showbiz industry, assured Nigerians during the celebration of their one year anniversary as a company that it has all it takes to organise a successful show.

Nigerian Artistes Tuface and MI were present for the celebration as Nigerians trooped out to grace the occasion.

Cash gifts were also given to winners of dance competition as a reward.