SNEPCo Hosts FAAN, Immigration

L-R: Regional General Manager, South West, Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria, Sunday Ayodele; Comptroller, Nigeria Immigration Service, Muritala Muhammed International Airport Command, Adeola Adesokan; Managing Director, Shell Nigeria Exploration and Production Company Limited (SNEPCo), Elohor Aiboni; and Shell’s Vice President Human Resources, Olukayode Ogunleye, during a courtesy call on SNEPCo leadership at the company’s headquarters in Lagos …on Wednesday
More Filling Stations Close Shop-Marketers

Mohammed Shosanya

The Natural Oil and Gas Suppliers Association of Nigeria (NOGASA),has raised alarm over
mass shut down of filling stations and packing up of petroleum tankers, all due to unattainable high cost of importation, lifting, transportation and distribution of petroleum products.

Its National President, Mr. Bennet Korie,disclosed this in a communique read
at the National Executive Council (NEC) Meeting of NOGASA Thursday in Abuja.

He also lamented that there were increasing losses of lives, businesses and jobs in the sector.

“Similarly, Depot Owners are so terribly affected by the increasing cost of the crude and exchange rate to the extent that many Depots are practically deserted as their owners are unable to secure Bank loans to fund their business due to high interest rates. Banks are not willing to guarantee funds release to stakeholders as a result of the difficulty, instability and galloping rates of foreign exchange and high cost of the Dollar. Many Depots are presently dried up or out of stock, and this is no gainsaying as it is evidently verifiable”

He added that owners of filling stations find it extremely difficult to secure funds to procure products for their retail outlets as both the Independent and Major Marketers were terribly affected adding that filling stations were shutting down because of their inability to secure funds to facilitate orders for their stations.

He urged the federal government on the maintenance of roads across the country in order to make distribution of petroleum products seamless.

He said, road networks and maintenance need to be positively impactful as it will also create thousands of jobs for jobless youths and other restive people in our communities.

He said the dollarization of the economy was severely harming the country as businesses are dying and the system is not helping us at all.

He insisted that urgent action is required to save the industry from total collapse.

NAFDAC To Partner South-East Governors On Industrial Hub

Mohammed Shosanya

The National Agency for Food, Drug Administration and Control, (NAFDAC) has expressed its willingness to partner with South East Governors to creat industrial hub for the Igbos.

The new South East Zonal Director of NAFDAC, Pharm Martins Iluyomade,who stated this on Thursday during a media parley with Journalists in Enugu,described south east as the economic heartbeat of Nigeria.

He said:”My mission is to help harness all those potentials, to make sure that we are able to produce what cannot only be use locally by getting NAFDAC approval but also things we can export and this will lead to economy growth for our country.

“As South East Governor are forming a block with their several meetings to create lasting peace and generate economic activities. We will partner with the south East governors on some programmes to create industrial hub for the people in the region.

“I want to assure you that if that initiative is properly done, China will come and learn from us in the south East.

“We will send them our proposal as we are ready to assist them when they are setting factories that will produce original products in order create employment opportunity for the people,” he said

He advised companies to always produce standard and safety products

He said: “We are ready to partner with production companies in South East to produce standard products that everybody can use. For those people with the brain to manufacture imitation products, the same brain can be use to produce original products.

“My job is to assist them transit from imitation to original because they have brain to do it” he added

Tinubu Will Revive Ajaokuta Steel-Minister

Mohammed Shosanya

The Administration of President Ahmed Bola Tinubu has promised Nigerians that his priority is to ensure that Ajaokuta steel company is revamped and revitalized to meet the demand of Nigerians,Minister of Steel Development, Prince Shuaibu Abubakar-Audu,has said.

Audu,who disclosed this at his two day official visit to the Ajaokuta Steel Company Limited (ASCL) and Iron Ore company, Itakpe on Tuesday,said with the determination of the present administration, a road map of short , medium and long term would be fashioned to ensure that the steel complex and other steel industry are brought back on Steam for the Industrial take off the country.

According to him,the completion of the project will generate over 500,000 direct and indirect jobs,which will uplift the teeming unemployed Nigerians out of poverty.

“We want to thank President Bola Tinubu for having the vision to create a Steel Development Ministry

”Over the past 40 years, we had the largest Steel Plant in Nigeria and one of the largest West Africa which has not functioned.

”But the President knows that in order to industrialise Nigeria, we have to get the steel industry working,” he said.

He pledged his commitment to ensure the production of steel from the multi-billion dollar Ajaokuta steel company, in three-year plan.

Abubakar-Audu said that the visit was aimed at getting a first-hand knowledge of the problems stopping production in the company in a bid to proffering solutions.

He said that President Bola Tinubu had also taken interest in the resuscitation of Ajaokuta Steel Complex by appointing him as the pioneer Minister to show the world the importance of Steel Development to Industrialization.

According to him, in line with the key point agenda of ‘Renewed Hope’ of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, some of the key elements are job creation, diversification of the economy and to attract Foreign Direct Investment.

”If we are able to revitalise Ajaokuta, it will help us achieve this. This key point agenda will also help us eradicate poverty.

“To achieve this, we have put together two documents. A three-year plan for the revival of Ajaokuta Steel Company which will have a Small and Medium Term Plan.

“Part of the things is the roadmap to designate the 24,000 hectares land of Ajaokuta an Industrial Park, to create a Free Trade Zone that will further attract Foreign Direct Investment,” he said.

He said that his job was to ensure that all those typical issues that held the plant from producing be resolved.

”And by the first term of this administration, if we are able to produce some sheet of steel, it will be a significant achievement.

“I have taken an extensive tour of the complex and plants, and there are lots of opportunities that if we are able to unlock we will be able to create over 500,000 jobs, which ill benefit kogites a bit more importantly, Nigerians.

”This will also guarantee that everyone benefits from the renewed hope agenda of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, “ Audu said.

Audu said that he was on the tour with potential foreign investors and experts who have shown. Interest in bringing FDI to unlock these potentials.

Different investors given different components also worked in resuscitating moribund steel plants in other countries.

The Minister said that the investors will carry out an advanced technical audit of the steel complex and its facilities so see what more is to be done.

He said:”We have the Russians, Americans, Arabs and Chinese who are showing interest. They have come to show their desire to carry out an advanced technical audit to see what needs to be completed.

“After my findings from here, we will forward everything to Mr President for his approval”

Audu said that in addition to the three-year plan, there was a five-year plan which would also see to ensuring the production of steel in other parts of the country.

Earlier, the sole administrator and Chief Executive Officer of Ajaokuta Steel, Engr. Sumaila Abdul-Akaba, thanked Mr President for reviving the hope of Nigerians by making Ajaokuta a priority again.

He also commended Audu for his great vision and plans in reviving the company, noting that Ajaokuta is a land of vast opportunities.

“Unlike the thinking of so many people, Ajaokuta is not obsolete but only requires the right attention to get the multi-billion dollar running again.

“All we have to do as staff is to join hands with the visions of the President and also key into the plans of the Minister,” Abdul-Alkaba said.

Mr Jalil Hkoodshoev, a Foreign Investor from Novostal-M Company in Russia, lauded the initiatives of Mr. President in reviving the company.

Hkoodshoev noted that with what they had seen on ground, they were e very interested in investing in the company.

He added that the resuscitation of the company would be a big impact not only to Nigeria but the entire West Africa, and the African region in general.

“I assisted His Excellency with this trip to Ajaokuta, I am mesmerized about the size of the plant.

”It is amazing and I think that the initiatives that have been taken by His Excellency, the President of Nigeria will have a big impact not only for Nigeria but all the sub-region and all of Africa.

“I hope that in the next couple of years, we can participate also as partners of the government for this project, and for the steel business,” Hkoodshoev said.

Depositors Of Distressed Banks Get N1.084bn

Mohammed Shosanya

The Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation NDIC,has paid a cumulative insured sum of N1.084 billion naira to 29,573 depositors of the closed MFBs/MPBs.

The Managing Director of the Corporation,Mr Hassan Bello,stated this during the NDIC Special Day at the ongoing 18th Abuja International Trade Fair 2023.

Bello,who reiterated the key mandate of the Corporation which is to provide deposit guarantee to depositors of insured financial institutions, bank supervision, distress resolution, and bank liquidation explained that over the years, the NDIC has grown stronger in fulfilling these responsibilities and have significantly enhanced public policy objectives of establishing a robust deposit insurance scheme in Nigeria.

He said:”This year’s theme, “Sustainable Financing and Taxation as Drivers for the New Economy,” is especially relevant given the determination of government’s efforts towards achieving sustainable growth by strengthening the financial environment to boost economic growth.”

“This falls in line with the Corporation’s contributions of ensuring the stability of the financial system by effectively complimenting the CBN in supervising the banking sector and safeguarding depositors’ funds from the adverse effects of bank failures when it occurs.

“Indeed, Nigerian depositors are our priority and our foundation is built on ensuring the safety and security of their deposits. This ideal is encapsulated in our strap line; “Protecting your bank deposits!.

“This is crucial for financial inclusion because it gives Nigerians the assurance that their money is safe and accessible when needed. Furthermore, the Corporation’s activities through the supervision of banks, continuous monitoring and oversight serves as consumer protection for depositors which enhances confidence in the financial system.

This acts as an incentive for the unbanked to access financial services of licensed banks.

“Recently, following the revocation of licenses for 179 Microfinance Banks and 4 Primary Mortgage Banks by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), the NDIC immediately commenced liquidation of the banks and began disbursing insured sums to depositors within just 7 days of the closure of these banks.

“It is however instructive to let you know that payments are still ongoing and depositors with funds exceeding the insured limit will receive liquidation dividends after recovery of debts and sale of physical assets of the closed banks.

“Currently, the Corporation is in the process of verifying and paying liquidation dividends to depositors and stakeholders of 20 closed banks: They are Allied Bank, Peak Merchant Bank, Commerce Bank, Continental Merchant Bank, Financial Merchant Bank, Fortune Bank, Gulf Bank, Hallmark Bank, Icon Merchant Bank, Liberty Bank, Nigeria Merchant Bank, North South Bank, Premier Commercial Bank, Prime Merchant Bank, Progress Bank and Merchant Bank.

“We at the NDIC hold the strong view that “Knowledge is Power”, and we believe that an informed depositor can make better financial decisions. I urge the public to be cautious of illegal fund managers, often referred to as “Wonder Banks” or “Ponzi Schemes.”

“These entities offer high-interest rates and profits that are too good to be true, leading to devastating losses for many. It’s important to note that these “wonder banks” are neither licensed by the Central Bank of Nigeria nor covered by the NDIC deposit insurance scheme. Members of the public are therefore advised to patronize only banking institutions with a display of the NDIC Stickers carrying the words: “Insured by NDIC” in their banking halls or entrances and various branches across the country.

Solid Minerals Sector Will Rescue Nigeria’s Economy,Says FIRS boss

Mohammed Shosanya

Mr. Zachaeus Adedeji, the newly appointed Acting Chairman of the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS),says the administration is banking on the growth of the solid minerals industry to help the economy.

Adedeji,who disclosed this in Abuja during a courtesy visit to the Honourable Minister of Solid Minerals, Dr. Oladele Alake, said the highest taxable limit is 18% of GDP, with the country’s decreasing oil and gas sector contributing 78%.

This makes solid minerals the sector that can rescue the economy,he said.

He stated that the country’s solid minerals resource is now the toast of this administration.

”This is our next oil and that is why we are here.we are getting it right here.If we got it rightly , it means the future of Nigeria is secured. We are confident having Dr Oladele Alake as the Minister of Solid Minerals, half of our job is secured”, Dr Adedeji added.

The Solid Minerals Minister Dr. Alake assured that Nigeria will achieve economic growth and prosperity again under the implementation of initiatives, policies and programmes that will revamp the economy for rapid socio- economic development as encapsulated in the renewed hope agenda of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu led administration.

According to him, the vision and agenda of the present administration is strongly rooted on the avowed determination of Mr President to uplift the country, and improve the living standards of the citizenry.

72.6% Of Foreign-Trained Doctors Didn’t Pass Assessment Test-MDCN

Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria (MDCN), has inducted new 205 foreign-trained medical doctors and dentists who were successful in the assessment test conducted by the Council .

MDCN Registrar, Dr. Tajudeeen Sanusi, told journalists after the induction ceremony that over 700 foreign-trained doctors mostly from Ukraine schools participated in the assessment test, out of which 495 (72.6%) failed the assessment examination.

According to him,the assessment examination was designed by MDCN to test the capacity of the doctors vis-a-vis the knowledge and skills they claimed to had acquired from their individual institutions abroad.

He said: “This time, we had over 700 applications from the foreign-trained doctors. Unfortunately, 205 passed the examinations indicating 27.4 per cent success rate. Ukraine trained doctors were more than candidates from other places. Unfortunately, the assessment test exposed that they never had enough clinical trainings that could have earned them MDCN certification.

“For the locally trained doctors, we have our own monitoring tools unlike the doctors that were trained abroad. Local institutions are always under our watch and we don’t hesitate to take actions whenever we suspect any foul play.”

He said that the newly inducted foreign-trained doctors would embark on compulsory one year housemanship, and would be expected to complete the exercise uninterrupted.

He added: “They are expected to spend 12 uninterrupted weeks in any of the postings. There’s 52 weeks in a year. They are expected to spend 48 weeks in active service and use the remaining four weeks as leave.”

Minister of state for health, Tunji Alausa, in his remarks, congratulated the inductees and urged them to be dedicated to the service of God and humanity, in line with the calling of the medical profession.

FCT Chairman of Nigeria Medical Association (NMA), Dr. Charles Ugwuanyi, in his remarks, advised the new doctors to work closely with their senior colleagues so they can be properly tutored and guided for a crisis-free career.

He advised them to love their patients and know their limit, suggesting that they refer patients when necessary and not allow cases to deteriorate before doing the needful.