Reps To Probe FRC Over Corporate Governance Code

Reps To Probe FRC Over Corporate Governance CodeThe House of Representatives has ordered its Joint Committee on Delegated Legislation and Public Accounts to carry out a public hearing on the activities of the Financial Reporting Council (FRC) of Nigeria.

The F.R.C. had introduced the Corporate Governance Code which led to the stepping aside of General Overseer of the Redeemed Christians Church of God, Pastor Enoch Adeboye.

The new regulation pegged the leadership tenure for religious leaders at 20 years.

The House took the decisions after considering a motion sponsored by Minority Leader, Representative Leo Ogor, who described the Council’s action as unconstitutional.

Jim Obazee
Former FRC Executive Secretary, Jim Obazee

Representative Ogor accused the Council of usurping the powers of the National Assembly, wondering where the Council derived its powers as encapsulated in the Code of Corporate Governance for the bodies, without the approval of the Legislature.

The House at its plenary asked the Council to suspend the code while the panel investigating its activities is expected to submit a report within four weeks.

President Muhammadu Buhari, on Monday, sacked the Executive Secretary of the Financial Reporting Council of Nigeria (FRN), Mr. Jim Obazee, and ordered the reconstitution of its board.

The President consequently appointed Mr Daniel Asapokhai as the new Executive Secretary and Mr Adedotun Sulaiman as the new chairman of the council.

 

Adedotun Sulaiman
New FRC Chairman, Mr Adedotun Sulaiman

President has also instructed the Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Mr Okechukwu Enelamah, to invite the 19 Ministries, Departments and Agencies of the Federal Government and private sector organisations specified in the FRC
Act to nominate members of board of their councils.

FG Suspends Corporate Governance Code

FG Suspends Corporate Governance CodeThe Nigerian government has suspended the law that forced Pastor Enoch Adeboye to step down as the General Overseer of the Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG) in Nigeria.

According to a statement signed by the media aide to the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment, Constance Ikokwu, the law has been suspended in order to review it.

The Financial Reporting Council of Nigeria under Mr Jim Obazee, had directed not-for-profit organisations, including churches and mosques to comply with a corporate governance code stipulating a term of 20 years for heads of such entities.

It was by this provision that Pastor Adeboye, who had spent over 20 years as General Overseer of R.C.C.G, named Pastor Joshua Obayemi to head the church in Nigeria while he remained the global overseer of the church.

The statement quoted the Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Dr Okechukwu Enelamah saying that the government remains committed to restoring and enhancing market confidence and improving the ease of doing business in Nigeria.

Before the announcement by the Ministry, Presidential spokesperson, Mr Garba Shehu, announced President Buhari’s approval of the immediate removal of the Executive Secretary of the Financial Reporting Council of Nigeria (FRN), Mr. Jim Obazee, as well as the reconstitution of its board.

The President consequently approved the appointment of Mr Daniel Asapokhai as the new Executive Secretary and also appointed Mr Adedotun Sulaiman as the new chairman of the council.

Buhari Removes Jim Obazee, Reconstitutes FRC Nigeria Board

Buhari Removes Jim Obazee, Reconstitutes FRC Nigeria BoardPresident Muhammadu Buhari has approved the immediate removal of the Executive Secretary of the Financial Reporting Council of Nigeria (FRN), Mr. Jim Obazee, as well as the reconstitution of its board.

The President consequently appointed Mr Adedotun Sulaiman as the new chairman of the council.

Mr Sulaiman is a former Managing Partner/Director of Arthur Anderson and later, Accenture.

He is a chartered accountant and a product of the University of Lagos and Harvard Business School.

President Buhari has also approved the appointment of Mr Daniel Asapokhai as the Executive Secretary.

Adedotun Sulaiman
New FRC Chairman, Adedotun Sulaiman

Mr Asopokhai is a partner and a financial reporting specialist at the PricewaterhouseCoopers (PWC), Nigeria.

He is also a product of the University of Lagos and the University of Pretoria.

The President has also instructed the Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Mr Okechukwu Enelamah, to invite the 19 Ministries, Departments and Agencies of the Federal Government and private sector organisations specified in the FRC
Act to nominate members of board of their councils.

The directive was contained in a statement issued on Monday by the President’s spokesman, Mr Garba Shehu.

FG Gets Land For Automotive Industrial Park In Anambra

landThe government of Anambra State has handed over 80 hectares of land to the Federal Government for the development of an Automotive Industrial Park.

The Governor of the State, Mr Willie Obiano, gave the Certificate of Occupancy of the parcels of land within three communities in Nnewi South and Aguata – Akwaihedi, Unubi and Uga – to the Federal Government.

Handing over the document to the Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Dr. Okey Enelama, Governor Obiano demanded for a speedy development of the park within a period of 18 months.

He says failure to complete the park within the stipulated time would mean forfeiture of the land.

Governor Obiano said his decision to add a caveat was due to the ugly experience the previous administrations had with the Federal Government in allocating land to them that has remained unutilised till date.

“This is a very important ceremony. We are handing over 80 hectares of land to the Federal Government to develop the Automotive Industrial Park.

“It took us a while to arrive at this decision purely because we have not had good experience with previous Federal Governments in giving them land.

“Anambra state is the smallest state in Nigeria today because of erosion and therefore, we are very careful about giving lands.

“This land we are giving is half of what the Federal Government requested for because we said no, let us try with this, but if you do well we will give you another one. Because there is a land at Amansea, we gave that land to the Federal Government 21 years ago and nothing happened there and we don’t want to be giving lands and nothing happening.

“So my good friend, the Minister, Okey, has reassured me that I will see the difference, that they will fire like no man’s business and that this place will develop very fast. And you know, there will be an industrial park here, there will be ancillary industries that will be creeping up around here. That is what industrial parks attract, ancillary industries,” Governor Obiano stated

The minister, who was accompanied by the Minister of Labor and Employment, Senator Chris Ngige, assured the government of Anambra State that the latest partnership would not only be successful but would trigger more investment and rapid industrialisation of Anambra State.

Dr. Enelama told the Governor that the development of an Automotive Industrial Park would crystallise into provision of adequate infrastructure for entrepreneurs, industrialists, and manufacturers from far and beyond that would make Anambra State an investment destination.

“One of the goals I had and still have is to see Anambra industrialise to its fullest potentials and because I know that by doing that we will be industrialising Nigeria.

“In order to do that, there is absolutely no question that you need special economic zone and industrial parks such as the one we are bringing to life today.

And the reason is quite straightforward. That this industrial park will provide the enabling environment for the entrepreneurs, the industrialists, and the manufacturers to do their own work without having to do the work of the government or the work the communities should do for them by providing the basic infrastructure.

“The other reason such a park and such initiative are essential is the importance of partnership.

“So, I believe with all my heart, that what we are going to see is a model industrial park, from the handover ceremony we have done today, to the design, to the implementation, to the operations, I think it will do very well. And I know that this is only the beginning of what is going to be a very successful partnership,” the minister said.

The handing over ceremony took place in Unubi and the project would be handled by the Director General of Automotive Design and Development Council, Dr. Aminu Jalal.

After the Certificate of Occupancy was handed to the Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, he handed it over to the developer, Dr. Jalal, for immediate takeoff of development.

The occasion was rounded off with the unveiling of the plaque that seals the deal between Anambra State and the Federal Government with high hopes that the project impact on the people of Anambra state when completed.

 

FG Tasks Private Sector On Human Resources Development

Okechukwu-EnelamahThe Nigerian government is seeking collaboration with the private sector to address and harness the nation’s human resources for socio-economic development.

Speaking at a meeting organised by the Chartered Institute of Personnel Management in Abuja on Saturday, the Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Mr Okechukwu Enelamah, explained that the fall in the global price of crude oil had forced the government to look for ways to maximise the nation’s human potentials.

Mr Enelamah added that the government was looking at developing and encouraging vocational skills for young people to address unemployment.

He said: “This challenging times offer what is perhaps our best opportunity in a very long time to effect the kind of change in our thinking and behaviour that will help us realise our nation’s true wealth which of course lies in our people, the talent of our people, their passion and energy and resourcefulness”.

The Minister further pointed out that no serious country could afford to value what lies within its soil more than what lies in its people.

5,000 Megawatts Not Enough For 170million People – Fashola

Power generationWorks, Power and Housing Minister, Babatunde Fashola has acknowledged difficulty in handling the power situation in Nigeria and hinged the challenges on low power generation.

The Minister spoke during the first in the series of the Federal Government town hall meetings held on Monday in Lagos State, Nigeria’s commercial city.

During his presentation, Mr Fashola told the gathering that the 5,000 megawatts of electricity currently being generated was inadequate to address the nation’s power problems.

“I acknowledge that we are in a result-driven business and perhaps today results are measured by ‘in my ministry, how many roads have been finished? How much power do you have, how much housing can you get?’

“Those results are not yet delivered but I assure you they will be delivered.

“Some results are becoming evident to us in government and they may seem intangible to those outside government and I understand that. They are results of clearly understanding why we are where we are.

“Should we continue to do what was done in the past if it hasn’t solved the problem?

“ECN, the precursor to NEPA and PHCN was inaugurated by ordinance in 1950; that’s 66 years. So why hasn’t the problem been solved in 66 years? Why did we inherit it?

“So I am looking at some of the things that have been done well and some that could have been done better but I will summarise the power issue simply in one word.

“There is not enough power. 5,000 megawatts for 170million people is just not enough. The solution is delivering more power on an incremental and sustained basis,” Mr Fashola said.

The town hall meeting is expected to hold in six geo-political zones and two other cities, Abuja and Kano.

It is an interaction between the government and persons from different sectors of the economy.

The Minister of State for Petroleum, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu; Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama; Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Dr Okechukwu Enelamah and Minister for Transportation, Chibuike Amaechi were also in attendance.

First Edition Of FGs’ Town Hall Meetings Holds In Lagos

FG Town Hall MeetingThe first in the series of the Federal Government town hall meetings held On Monday in Lagos State, Nigeria’s commercial city.

The meeting is expected to hold in six geo-political zones and two other cities, Abuja and Kano.

It is an interaction between the government and persons from different sectors of the economy.

At the Lagos meeting, President Muhammadu Buhari’s ministers talked to artisans, traditional rulers, students and a cross section of the public

Those in attendance are the Information Minister, Mr Lai Mohammed, that of Power, Works and Housing, Mr Babatunde Fashola, the Minister of State for Petroleum, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama, Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Dr Okechukwu Enelamah and Minister for Transportation, Chibuike Amaechi.

During his presentation, Mr Fashola told the gathering that the 5,000 megawatts of electricity currently being generated was inadequate to address the nation’s power problems.

The Power Minister, however, believes that the problems could be surmounted.

On his part, the Minister of industry, Trade and Investment, Dr Enelamah, said that the follow up on the China trip embarked on by the President would be very intense and that the President had given his cabinet the mandate to deliver.

The Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Dr. Kachikwu, said the Buhari-led government had reduced a lot of excesses within the oil and gas sector and close to ending the era of subsidy payments while making sure the refineries would commence production shortly.

The Minister, however, appealed to Nigerians to be patient and hopeful, as he believes a lot is being done.

Buhari Attends Forum On China, Nigeria Production Capacity Cooperation

Muhammadu-Buhari-in-ChinaNigeria’s President, Muhammadu Buhari, on Tuesday attended the official opening ceremony of the Business Forum on China-Nigeria Production Capacity Cooperation holding in Beijing China.

President Buhari is in China on an official visit aimed at securing greater support from Beijing for the development of Nigeria’s infrastructure, especially in the power, roads, railways, aviation, water supply and housing sectors.

At the official opening of the forum were Chairman of National Reform and Development Commission, Mr Xu Shaoshi, Nigeria’s Minister of Industry, Trade & Investment, Okechukwu Enemalah, National Security Adviser, Babagana Monguno and Minister of Foreign Affairs Geoffrey Onyeama.

Some other Nigerian government officials present at the opening were, Minister of Industry, Trade & Investment, Okechukwu Enemalah and Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama.

Other Chinese government officials at the ceremony were Governor of National Development Bank, Mr Zheng Zhijie, Chairman of National Reform and Development Commission, Mr Xu Shaoshi and Assistant Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr Qian Hongshan.

The Nigerian government is looking to secure more funds from China, with the Minister of Finance, Mrs Kemi Adeosun, saying the oil rich nation would consider issuing Chinese panda bond to plug deficit in the 2016 budget.

Earlier, the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China Ltd (ICBC), the world’s biggest lender, and Nigeria’s central bank signed an agreement on yuan transactions.

“It means that the renminbi (yuan) is free to flow among different banks in Nigeria and the renminbi has been included in the foreign exchange reserves of Nigeria,” the Director General of the Foreign Ministry’s African Affairs Department, Lin Songtian, told reporters.

The agreement was reached following a meeting between Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari and Chinese President Xi Jinping.

Court Stops Jonathan From Signing Amended Oil & Gas Bill

Court JusticeA Federal High Court sitting in Lagos has restrained President Goodluck Jonathan, from assenting to the bill for an Act to amend the Oil and Gas Export Free Zone.

The court, presided over by Justice Saliu Saidu, also restrained the National Assembly, the Clerk of the National Assembly from forwarding the Bill to Amend the Oil and Gas Export Free Zone Authority Act. Cap. 05 to President Jonathan for his assent.

The order was sequel to a motion ex-parte, in a suit filed before the court on behalf of Nigerdock Nigeria Plc, SIMCO Free Zone Company and Nigerdock Nigeria Plc-FZE, who are plaintiffs in the suit.

Justice Saliu Saidu also restrained the National Assembly, the Clerk of the National Assembly, the Attorney-General of the Federation, Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, the Honourable Minister of Transport, and the Nigeria Ports Authority (NPA) from prohibiting the usage of the plaintiffs’ facilities at Snake Island Integrated Free Zone for Oil and Gas cargoes destined for use in the free zone.

The plaintiffs had claimed that the Snake Island Integrated Free Trade Zone was approved as a privately owned and managed Free Zone by Presidential declaration in January 2005. It was duly licensed by the Nigeria Export Processing Zones Authority (NEPZA), in April 2005.

The plaintiffs, however argue that in November 2014, they became aware of a Bill for An Act to Amend the Oil and Gas Export Free Zone Authority Act, Cap. 05, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, adding that the bill was presented to the Senate and a public hearing was conducted without the knowledge of the plaintiffs who claim that the amendment will negatively undermine and violate their constitutional rights.

Justice Saliu Saidu has adjourned till May 26, 2015, for further hearing of the suit.

 

Bayelsa Is One Of Most Secure Places To Do Business – Seriake Dickson

Seriake DicksonThe Governor of Bayelsa State, Seriake Dickson has urged both local and foreign investors to pitch their tents in the oil-producing State, noting that it is one of the most secure places to do business in Nigeria.

Dickson, who made the call at the on-going maiden edition of the Bayelsa Investment and Economic Forum, in Yenagoa, commended security agencies for doing a good job of keeping the peace in the State, thereby making it a choice destination for investors.

Investors and Government officials from both Federal and State levels, who had gathered for the ceremony, included the Vice President, Nnamadi Sambo, who represented President Goodluck Jonathan, Minister of Petroleum Resources, Diezani Alison Madueke, Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Olusegun Aganga.

While delivering his speech, Governor Dickson made a strong case for his state, urging investors to do business in the land as his administration had made plans to position Bayelsa as a major vibrant economy.

Dickson, who described Bayelsa as Nigeria’s best kept economic and leisure secret, noted that his administration was “working hard to lay the foundation for a vibrant economy,” he said, noting that the government had embarked on several projects in some sectors, including education, power, agriculture, fashion, tourism e.t.c.

“In the past 2 years, we have built schools and schools and schools,” he emphasized, noting that over 600 primary schools had been built, including teachers’ quarters.

He disclosed plans to have a school in every state House Constituency of the House of Assembly.

He further highlighted that education is free in the State and that the government also paid for external examinations, maintaining that “our goal is education for the economy”.

According to him, human capacity development is the nation’s greatest challenge, hence different schools for music, agriculture, language studies, driving, fashion, photography are being set up to develop the youths.

He also called on investors in the fashion and tourism sector to pitch their tents in the State as the government was already making preparations to train youths.

The governor also spoke about power generation, maintaining that “we are aspiring to be the number one in power generation” and since the State produced about 40% of the nation’s crude oil and mineral resources, “we are aspiring to be the nation’s power hub”.

He stressed that the government was also interested in palm oil production, as well as aqua-culture. He disclosed that the State was targeting production of 3000 tonnes of fish for local consumption and export.

Also, the governor stated that about 6000 hectares of land set aside for cassava planting as the largest cassava processing company was stationed in the State.

Governor Dickson also addressed people of the State to reduce their dependency on the government. “We have got to move away from over-dependence on government and into production,” he stressed.

“You the people of Bayelsa must also do your part… don’t live a life of dependence. Take responsibility for your livelihood,” he said.

Chalker Urges FG To Inform Nigerians On Efforts In Fighting Terror

Lynda_chalkerThe coordinator of the Honorary International Investor’s Council, Baroness Lynda Chalker has called on the federal government to ensure that the right information on efforts aimed at tackling security challenges in parts of the country is communicated to the public.

In a 14 point communique after the meeting, after the 16th edition of the Honorary International Investor’s Council in Abuja, she called on the media to be more sensitive in reporting developments in the country.

Baroness Chalker and the Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Mr. Olusegun Aganga, who briefed State House correspondents at the end of the meeting, said rumours would do the country no good while better communication and responsible reporting would do the country a lot of benefits.

Vice President Namadi Sambo had earlier pledged the commitment of the Jonathan administration to ensure the security of lives and property of Nigerians and all those who live in the country during the opening ceremony of the 16th edition of the council meeting, which took place in the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

He pledged the commitment of the Jonathan administration to ensure the security of lives and property of Nigerians and all those who live in the country, giving assurances that security forces were confronting the situation and would remain unyielding in the effort to rid Nigeria of the evil that has threatened its development.

It was their first meeting since the rebasing of the Nigerian economy, Vice President Namadi Sambo, representing President Jonathan, reviewed what has happened so far despite the challenges of insecurity in the country.

He said that the transformation agenda of the administration was on course despite the distractions, promising that Government would take all necessary steps to enhance security as well as competitiveness of Nigerian enterprises.

He also gave assurances that security forces were confronting the situation and would remain unyielding in the effort to rid Nigeria of the evil that has threatened its development.