FEC Approves Committee For Infrastructure Spending

 

The Federal Executive Council (FEC), on Wednesday, approved the establishment of a committee made up of cabinet ministers and selected private sector investors, to source for alternative means of financing infrastructure.

The Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Okechukwu Enelamah, briefed journalists after a six-hour closed-door meeting that the target is to boost infrastructure spending to a N10-20 billion range annually over the next five years.

Enelamah stressed that the Federal Government plans to achieve the plan by partnering with other key sectors and meetings would begin by April 2019.

READ ALSO: PHOTOS: Fire Guts National Productivity Centre Office In Abuja

The council also approved N1.4 billion for the design of a proposed 12-floor building for the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) in Abuja.

According to Minister of State for Petroleum, Ibe Kachikwu, the proposed building will serve as the head office of DPR, and the contract has been awarded to a Nigerian firm.

The regulatory and supervisory arm of the ministry of petroleum is currently based in Lagos and the minister stressed that the move to Abuja would be instrumental for income generation.

FG Reiterates Commitment To Tackling Infrastructure Deficit With China Loan

Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Okechukwu Enelamah

 

The Federal Government has reiterated its plans to address the infrastructural deficit in the country with the Chinese loan.

Minister of Trade and Investment, Mr Okechukwu Enelamah, during an appearance on Channels Television’s breakfast show, Sunrise Daily on Wednesday, said the Federal Government is currently implementing various projects across the country.

“The projects have been there. They have been conceptualized in the past. But honestly, as far as I can tell, I haven’t seen the degree of commitment to implementation,” he said.

“If you look at the railways, the Kaduna-Abuja has been finished, the Lagos-Ibadan is going on.

“And that is why this relationship with China on those infrastructural projects that are demonstrably useful must be done. If you look at Mambilla (power project), it has been there for well over 10 years almost abandoned.

“But now, there has been a re-commitment by both China and Nigeria to develop it that will generate a lot of power that will add to our national grid and that will make a huge difference because we still have a power deficit,” he added.

Read Also: FG Will Sign More Agreements With China For Infrastructure Development – Presidency

 

Enelamah’s comments come two weeks after President Muhammadu Buhari traveled to participate in the 7th Summit of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) in Beijing.

During the summit, the Chinese President Xi Jinping pledged to provide $60 billion to finance Africa’s development over the next three years.

The financing will include $15 billion in “free assistance and interest-free loans”, he said, in remarks meant to ease growing concerns that China’s assistance to developing nations is putting them in debt.

Speaking about the Memorandum of Understanding between the Federal Government and German auto giant, Volkswagen, the minister explained that the car manufacturer believes Nigeria is a hub for the production of over two million vehicles.

According to him, the government needs to create an enabling environment for the deal to be effective by initiating certain policies.

It Takes More Than One Administration To Build A Country – Enelamah

It Takes More Than One Administration To Build A Country – Enelamah
Dr Okechukwu Enelamah

 

The Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Dr Okechukwu Enelamah, believes there is no government that can build a country in four years.

He said this on Thursday in his remarks at the 2018 World Congress of the International Press Institute (IPI) in Abuja, the nation’s capital.

Dr Enelamah, who noted that President Muhammadu Buhari’s government has recorded a number of successes since 2015 in the economy and other sectors, said, “It takes more than one administration to build a country.”

“Nigeria is doing quite well in terms of democracy and building democratic institutions. An important dimension of that democracy and building democratic institutions is to ensure that we are having the right conversation,” he added.

The minister further stressed the need for the Federal Government to continue on its course by having more of such discussions.

He said the government cannot afford to slide backwards but ensure that more democratic institutions were built and sustained so as to keep up the tempo.

According to Enelamah, the nation was sliding backwards for 10 years before the All Progressives Congress (APC) took over power at the centre.

He argued that it was only those who have either been inattentive or in denial that would say Nigeria has not improved in terms of security since the inception of President Buhari’s administration.

He added that only the same set of people would hold the view that the economy and corruption were getting the same attention as it case had always been.

“I think the world accepts that we are now serious about creating the right enabling environment for prosperity because the singular responsibility of government (in my view) is to create that environment.

“That includes peace and security, soft and hard infrastructure, and all the other institutions that people need to make it easier to operate in the country,” the minister explained.

He was, however, worried that people were taking for granted, the efforts of the government towards making the country have the right conversations.

The Investment minister maintained that while the opposition is having the same conversation, the APC government remains committed to securing the lives and property of the people, as well as fighting corruption and improving the economy.

The IPI conference, which has the theme ‘Why Good Journalism Matter,’ is being attended by President Buhari and top government officials among other stakeholders.

Other ministers at the gathering are Mrs Kemi Adeosun (Finance), Mr Lai Mohammed (Information and Culture), as well as Dr Abdulrahman Dambazzau (Interior), and other dignitaries.

LIVE: Buhari, Top Govt Officials Attend IPI World Congress In Abuja

Live: IPI Annual Conference Holds In Abuja

 

The 2018 World Congress of the International Press Institute (IPI), which has the theme ‘Why Good Journalism Matter’ commenced today in Abuja, the Nigerian capital.

This year, the IPI World Congress aims to affirm the indispensable role of quality media in building strong societies, as well as showcasing investigative stories and projects that bring positive change to individuals and communities in Africa and around the world.

A session entitled ‘Conversation With The Government Of Nigeria’ and moderated by the Chairman/Chief Executive Officer of Channels Media Group, Mr John Momoh (OON), is currently ongoing.

President Muhammadu Buhari, who visited Bauchi State earlier on Thursday, is attending the event.

Meanwhile, top government officials including the Minister of Finance, Kemi Adeosun; Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed; Minister of Trade, Industry and Investment, Okechukwu Enelemah; and Minister of Interior, Abdulrahman Dambazzau, are all on the panel discussing key issues in the country.

This year’s edition of the congress will end on Saturday, June 23, 2018.

The IPI is a Vienna-based global network of editors, media executives and leading journalists.

It is dedicated to furthering and safeguarding press freedom, protecting freedom of opinion and expression, promoting the free flow of news and information, and improving the practices of journalism.

Watch below:

FG Launches Project To Boost MSMEs In Nigeria

Yemi Osinbajo, Nigeria, MSME, Micro, Small and Medium EnterprisesThe Federal Government has launched a nationwide project code-named “MSME Clinics” to address the challenges faced by Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) in Nigeria.

The Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, launched the project on Tuesday in Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory.

Professor Osinbajo said that the project would serve as a one stop shop to address challenges faced by small business owners.

The Governor of Kwara State, Abdulfatah Ahmed, who was among the state governors at the event, identified lack of access to finance as one major problem facing the sector.

The Minister of Trade, Industry and Investment, Okechukwu Enelamah, however, assured operators that the results from the project would improve the sector.

A study by the National Bureau of Statistics revealed that over 37 million MSMEs operated in Nigeria between 2010 and 2013.

Many of the businesses were said to have operated in the face of several challenges including administrative bottlenecks faced in getting government’s approval to register their businesses.

The project, which is expected to run till February 19, comes as part of the government’s efforts to address some of the challenges.

The facilitators of the project have been asked to interact with small business owners in 21 cities of the federation, with a view to identifying their challenges and providing immediate solutions.

The cities highlighted are Aba, Lagos and Ilorin among others.

Nigerian Ministers Meet Broadcasters, Blame Economic Challenges On Corruption

BON, CorruptionThe Federal Government has blamed the poor state of the economy on corruption and the falling price of crude oil.

The Minister of Information, Lai Mohammed, expressed the view while speaking at a meeting with members of the Broadcasting Organisation of Nigeria (BON).

As the administration marks its first year in office, five federal ministers held a meeting with members of the Broadcasting Organisation of Nigeria.

The Minister of Works, Power and Housing, Babatunde Fashola; Minister of Labour and Employment, Dr. Chris Ngige; Minister of Trade and Investment, Okechukwu Enelamah were part of the ministerial delegation.

Media executives listened to the ministers as they took time to explain their achievements and challenges over the past one year. The most challenging for the new administration has been the economy.

The Information Minister said that Nigeria was passing through a very a difficult time and that the road to economic prosperity would be rough. He said that if the present administration had not been elected, the country’s economy would have collapsed.

“Our economy, or whatever is left of it after years of serial mismanagement and massive corruption is in a very bad state. Throw into the mix, the huge fall in oil price and you have nothing but a disaster of an economy.

“But this government is aware that it was not elected to make excuses but to put the nation back to work,” he said.

The ministers promised that the administration would focus on tackling insecurity and fighting corruption as these are the major ways of revamping the economy.

They, however, noted that there was a backlog of issues to be sorted out, like the huge debt owed contractors, which the Power Minister explained.

“We must not allow yesterday’s misfortunes to recur again. It starts from the gradual process of failing to do simple maintenance; failing to paint or failing to clean.

“The impact of what we see today clearly didn’t start today. So if we have paid contractors, we clearly won’t have the kinds of roads that we have today.

“My meeting with contractors in Power and in Works over the last 10 days, the common thread is that they haven’t received payment for an average of three years.”

Nevertheless, the minsters reaffirmed the administration’s commitment to embarking on infrastructural development across the country.

The ministers also gave the assurance that the government would fulfil its election campaign promises to Nigerians.

President Buhari Arrives In China

Muhammadu-Buhari-Arrives-ChinaNigeria’s President, Muhammadu Buhari, has arrived in the People’s Republic of China for a state visit.

According to the President’s spokesman, Mr Femi Adesina, President Buhari was welcomed at the Beijing Capital International Airport by China’s Assistant Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr Cheng Guoping, alongside other senior Chinese government officials.

Also at the airport were the Governor of Oyo State, Abiola Ajimobi, Governor of Ogun State, Ibikunle Amosun, and the Governor of Yobe State, Ibrahim Geidam.

Other Nigerian government’s functionaries at the airport were the Minister of Trade and Investment, Okechukwu Enelamah, Minister of Transport, Chibuike Amaechi, Minister of Water Resources, Suleiman Adamu, and Minister of Defence, Dan Monsur Ali.

The President left Abuja on Sunday for a working visit to China 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.

Considering Chinese Panda Bond

It is expected that in the course of the visit, several new agreements and memorandums of understanding to boost trade and economic relations between Nigeria and China would be concluded and signed.

The agreements include a Framework Agreement between the Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment and the National Development and Reform Commission of the Peoples’ Republic of China to boost industrial activities and infrastructural development in Nigeria.

Others are a Framework Agreement between the Federal Ministry of Communications and the China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation, and a Memorandum of Understanding between Nigeria and China on Scientific and Technological Cooperation.

Kemi-Adeosun-Minister-of-finance
Minister of finance, Mrs Kemi Adeosun, said Nigeria was also considering Japanese bond

Nigeria’s Minister of Finance, Mrs Kemi Adeosun, had told reporters after a meeting with the business and investment community early on Saturday in Lagos, that the government was considering the possibility of issuing Chinese panda bond to make up for the deficit in the 2016 budget.

She said that the government’s objective was to borrow the cheapest possible money.

The breakfast meeting focused on the imperatives for fiscal discipline, investment and diversification of the domestic economy in the face of strong local and international headwinds such as the steady decline in oil prices and weak global economic growth.

Buhari Arrives South Africa For Forum on China Africa Cooperation

buhariNigeria’s President, Muhammadu Buhari, has arrived in South Africa for the Forum on China Africa Cooperation (FOCAC).

He touched down at the Waterkloof Air Force Base on Thursday evening proceeding to Johannesburg where the forum will be taking place.

President Buhari will join other leaders on Friday morning for the FOCAC opening.

He will also meet with business leaders from China and Africa.

In the evening, he would hold bilateral talks with President Xi Jinping of China – a follow up to his meeting with the Chinese leader which took place in New York on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly meeting in November.

President Buhari is also expected to discuss ways of removing all obstacles in the way of the 3,050 megawatts Mambila Power Station, considered a strategic project which was conceived in 1982 but has not taken off.

The Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media  and Publicity, Garba Shehu, had said in a statement that the Chinese President had informed President Buhari of the willingness of his country to finance the whole project through a special loan agreement.

“Of particular interest is the coastal railway project stretching for 1402 kilometers linking Lagos in the West with Calabar in the East; a project that is expected to be financed with 12 billion U.S Dollars Chinese loan and which will create about 200,000 jobs.

“Another rail project that will be up for renegotiation is the 8.3 billion Dollars Lagos-Kano standard gauge modernisation project, of which only a segment, Kaduna-Abuja has reached completion stage”, the statement read.

On the Nigerian delegation are the Ministers of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyema; Minister of Transport, Chubuike Amaechi; and the Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Okechukwu Enelamah.

Buhari, Chinese Leader To Discuss Railway, Power Projects

Buhari, Chinese Leader To Discuss Railway, Power ProjectsPresident Muhammadu Buhari will be in South Africa on Thursday to participate in the Forum on China/Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) which would hold in Johannesburg on December 4 and 5.

In a statement, the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media  and Publicity, Garba Shehu, said that Mr Buhari, at the forum would follow up his meeting with the Chinese Leader Xi Jinping which took place in New York on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly meeting in November.

“President Buhari had indicated to Xi Jinping, the Chinese leader at the bilateral meeting in New York, that he wanted China to re-commence stalled rail projects under new terms that would see China providing nearly all the financing required.

“Of particular interest is the coastal railway project stretching for 1402 kilometers linking Lagos in the West with Calabar in the East; a project that is expected to be financed with 12 billion U.S Dollars Chinese loan and which will create about 200,000 jobs.

“Another rail project that will be up for renegotiation is the 8.3 billion Dollars Lagos-Kano standard gauge modernisation project, of which only a segment, Kaduna-Abuja has reached completion stage”, the statement read.

President Buhari is also expected to discuss ways of removing all obstacles in the way of the 3,050 megawatts Mambila Power Station, considered a strategic project which was conceived in 1982 but has not taken off.

“The Chinese President had informed President Buhari of the willingness of his country to finance the whole project through a special loan agreement.

“The President, who will be accompanied by the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyema; Minister of Transportation, Chubuike Amaechi; and the Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Okechukwu Enelamah, will return to Abuja on Saturday, December 5”, the statement added.