Nigeria Appoints Transaction Parties To Execute Eurobond Programme

fecThe Nigerian government on Wednesday approved the appointment of five transaction advisers to run handle issuance of the proposed one-billion-dollar Eurobond in the International Capital Market which will commence in January 2017.

Nigeria Citigroup, Standard Chartered Bank, Stanbic IBTC Holdings PLC, White & Case LLP, Banwo & Ighodalo and AfricaPractice are the five parties approved by the Federal Executive Council during its weekly meeting in the nation’s capital, Abuja.

Before the approval, the Minister of Finance, Mrs Kemi Adeosun, told the Council members that the companies were expected to run all issuance programmes for the country for the next three years.

$1-Billion-Dollar Euro Bond

The minister said that the one-billion-dollar Euro Bond was part of the funding for capital projects in the 2016 budget which runs till March 2017.

The selection of the advisers was an open and transparent one, Mr Kemi Adesina told Council members

Mrs Adeosun told the Council that the team of five advisers, would run all Euro Bond issuance programmes until 2019, to cut out the cumbersome process of re-tendering and selection for the programme which is already generating significant investor interest.

She stated that the selection was based on an open and competitive bid process in line with the Public Procurement Act, 2007 and a certificate of “No Objection” was received from the Bureau of Public Procurement (BPP) to award contracts to the recommended Parties.

“We have so far, received strong commitment from the international community. Investors believe in the long-term economic outlook for Nigeria, as we continue with our structural reforms and increased focus on infrastructure development to diversify the economy and grow the non-oil sector.

“Stable oil prices and steadying foreign reserves will support our plans and we expect high demand for this issue to further push down yields. We are confident that this will be a successful outing in January, 2017,” she stated.

The approval was part of two memos that were discussed and approved at the Federal Executive Council meeting presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari.

The other memo was for the amendment to the gazette for the establishment of the Hydrocarbon Pollution Restoration Project (HYPREP).

Amina Mohammed, Renewable Energy, Jatropha
Amina Mohammed Minister of Environment

On the hydrocarbon pollution project gazette amendment, the Minister of Environment, Amina Mohammed, pointed out that it was necessary to establish crucial government structures to manage the clean-up of the Niger Delta region is reason for council’s approval.

According to him, the government’s intention is to rollout a training plan for women on livelihood in the contaminated areas in Ogoni, recruit young people in the area for the clean-up process.

The government had few months ago launched a clean-up programme in Ogoniland, to save the land from adverse effect of oil exploration activities.

Lawmakers Oppose Constituency Projects Cancellation

Constituency Projects, Lawmakers, Budget PaddingA group of serving and former members of the House of Representatives have spoken against calls by some people for the cancellation of constituency projects in the future budgets.

The Dean of the group known as The Initiatives, Eseme Eyiboh, said instead of the projects been cancelled, the Public Procurement Act should be properly implemented.

This position in coming in reaction to vies that are trailing the ongoing budget padding controversy rocking the House of Representatives.

According to the group, if the Public Procurement Act is well implemented, it will reduce issues of corruption within the budgetary process.

Senate Confident Amended Public Procurement Act Will Stimulate Economy

Bukola-Saraki-Nigeria-Senate-PresidentThe Nigerian Senate President is confident that the amendments made by the Senate to the Public Procurement Act will help to stimulate Nigeria’s domestic economy.

He said it would also go a long way in ensuring that in the process of awarding contracts, funds would be available as quickly as possible and that jobs would be actually completed.

The Senate President made the statement on Wednesday after signing the Senate’s version of the Public Procurement Act (Amendment) Bill, 2016 (SB.232), which would be forwarded to the House of Representatives for Concurrence.

He said: “Many countries have used legislative mechanisms like these that focus inwards to diversify their local economies.

“This amendment helps to position our local producers, manufacturers and service providers to benefit from the government procurement process of ministries, departments and agencies”.

The bill passed its third reading on the floor of the Senate on Thursday, June 16.

In a report presented by Senator Joshua Dariye, the Senate advocates the use of local content in public procurement process as well as a 25 per cent mobilisation fund for contractors, up from the current 15 per cent given to them.

Senator Dariye said that the Bill, when assented to, would amend certain relevant sections of the 2007 Procurement Act to favour local manufacturers and ensure speedy completion of projects.

House To Investigate Amnesty Programme

imo-state-house-of-asemblyA joint committee of the House of Representatives is to investigate allegations of violation of the Public Procurement Act in the management of the Presidential Amnesty Programme.

Coming as a motion of urgent national importance, the motion outlined the frustration of the beneficiaries, with some of them being deported from foreign countries.

The House committees are to investigate the alleged abuses in the programme and report back to the House within four weeks.

The programme coordinator, in February, announced plans to exit 3,232 beneficiaries from the programme.

Those billed to leave the programme are those who have been trained as entrepreneurs and have received business and setup/ starter packs.

Also affected are all beneficiaries of the Oil and Gas International Foundation (OGIF) programme and the 400 whom the office had secured employment for.

The spokesman of the amnesty programme, Owei Lakemfa, said in a statement that by exiting the 3,232 beneficiaries, the Federal Government would save 2.52 billion Naira from stipend payments.

The statement also disclosed that the Special Adviser to President Muhammadu Buhari on Niger Delta and Coordinator of the Presidential Amnesty Programme, Brigadier General Paul Boroh (Rtd), had set up a task force to work out and implement the exit strategy of the amnesty programme with timelines that would not compromise national security.

Fashola Sees Need For Public Procurement Act Review

FasholaThe Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Mr Babatunde Fashola, has expressed disappointment with the state of government projects in Nigeria and called for a review of the Public Procurement Act.

Mr Fashola made the observation on Wednesday when he visited the site of the ongoing construction at the Ilorin-Jebba-Mokwa road in Kwara State.

He noted that the slow pace of work was because the contractor handling the reconstruction of the road was given only 15 per cent mobilisation fee.

Fashola stressed the need to review the Public Procurement Act to enable government pay contractors handling big projects more than 15 per cent mobilisation fee.

A contract for the rehabilitation of the Ilorin-Jebba-Mokwa road, which connects the northern part of Nigeria to the southern region, was awarded in 2013 but there is nothing to show for it.

Similarly, on his tour of projects in north central Nigeria, the Minister visited the Zungeru power project in Niger State.

The people of the community had stalled work at the plant for the past two years over compensation claim.

Mr Fashola assured them that the issue would be resolved as soon as the contractor is allowed to resume work at the plant.

In a meeting with the Niger State Governor, Abubakar Bello, the Minister made a case for the compensation and also urged the Governor to consider taking advantage of the water from the Zungeru Dam for irrigation purposes.

Conceived in 1982, proper construction work started on the site in 2012 and the Zungeru power plant is expected to deliver 700 megawatts of electricity when completed.

Public Procurement: Lawmakers Advocate Reform To Check Corruption

Public ProcurementLawmakers in Nigeria’s House of Representatives say corruption will continue unless there is a complete reform of the public procurement process.

The lawmakers at the Lower House of the National Assembly made the observation at a meeting with officials of the Bureau for Public Procurement on the impact of procurement reforms in Nigeria.

They maintained that Nigeria could not continue to be defrauded of billions of dollars by a few people encouraged by the failure of the enforcement agencies and the laws of the land.

The House Committee Chairman on Public Procurement, Wole Oke, and the House Minority Whip, Yakubu Barade, gave their thoughts on the reform process.

They said that frequent breaches of the act had put Nigeria in an era of corruption, with failure of enforcement by agencies.

To change this trend, a Public Procurement Scholar and Consultant, Dr. Sope Williams-Elegbe, stressed the importance for legislative, institutional and organisational changes in public procurement reforms.

The Public Procurement Act of 2007 was enacted to sanitise the public contracting system in Nigeria and eliminate corruption in public procurement.

Court Grants Raymond Dokpesi Bail

dokpesiAfter about two weeks of legal fireworks, the Federal High Court in Abuja on Monday granted bail to the former chairman of the Africa Independent Television (AIT), Chief Raymond Dokpesi.

Raymond Dokpesi was granted bail with two sureties each of whom must have properties worth 200 million Naira which must be verified by an established estate surveyor.

The sureties must swear to an affidavit of means that in the event that the accused is not available for trial, the properties will be forfeited to the government.

Chief Dokpesi is also to deposit his international passport with the court.

Chief Dokpesi pleaded not guilty to a 6-count charge of fraudulent and corrupt act preferred against him by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, (EFCC).

Justice Gabriel Kolawole however held that Chief Dokpesi must not be re-arrested and if there is any need to investigate him, the anti-graft agency should contact his lawyer who will provide him within the hours of 10am and 6.30 pm.

He ordered that the accused be remanded in Kuje prison if his bail conditions were not met.

The trial has been adjourned till February 2, 2016 .

Chief Dokpesi was first arraigned on Wednesday before a Federal High Court presided over by Justice Gabriel Kolawole in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital.

In count one of the charge, Chief Dokpesi and DAAR Investment and Holding Company Limited were accused of receiving public funds to the tune of 2.1 billion Naira from the office of the National Security Adviser with the Central Bank of Nigeria for the funding of media activities for the 2015 presidential campaign of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) contrary to Section 58 Sub-section Four B of the Public Procurement Act, 2007.

Public Procurement Act:Lawmaker seeks rejection of amendment on bill

Minority Leader of the House of Representatives, Mr. Femi Gbajabiamila has appealed to the house to reject a bill presented by President Goodluck Jonathan, which seeks an amendment to the public procurement act.

However, Speaker Aminu Tambuwal, deferred ruling on the motion and directed some committee chairmen to consider the matter and guide the house on the next legislative day.