Mohammed Shosanya

Olanrewaju Suraju, Chairman, Human and Environmental Development Agenda (HEDA) Resource Centre) has said that about 70 percent of corruption in Nigeria is traceable to the oil sector.

He spoke on Monday in Lagos at the public presentation of his latest publication titled: ‘Spotlighting the Oil & Gas: A Review of the 2020/2021 Marginal Fields Bids Licensing Round in Nigeria’.

He said that his group worried and concerned about the corruption in the oil and gas, stating that it’s been the worst you can have anywhere in the world.

“It is not only about Nigeria and that is the point we have made over time, that this is also about many of our foreign operators that are here. It is not only about the public sector but also the private sector including the banks that you have in Nigeria and the banks you have abroad.

“The whole corruption that actually revolved around the OPL 245 that I mentioned earlier, it was not only about Nigerian banks it was even including JP Morgan Chase Bank, based in the UK which is why Nigeria actually takes JP Morgan Chase Bank to court in UK for failing to undertake some necessary due diligence about the know your customer thing.

“About 70 percent of corruption in Nigeria is traced to the oil sector and that is the area where you also have international players being part of the process. It means that these international players are also meant to be held to account for some of the things that are happening here.

“For us to see this happening we want to see how some of these things can be done differently and if we have a new government we want to see the agenda of this government going into the oil sector where you are seeing the mainstay of the economy of the country and also you are having where you have the highest concentration of corruption, so we are worried and we want to see some paradigm shift from the previous experiences,” he said.

Suraju said that Nigeria has had only two successful marginal fields bid licensing rounds (2003/2004 and the 2020/2021) in history and that the study was necessitated given that Nigeria is at a critical time in Nigeria’s oil history replete with negative indices.

According to him, these indices were low discovery and drilling activities, high cost of production, declining joint venture (JV) production and revenues earnings, and other gamut of challenges.

“The other challenges included manifest decline in gas for power supply, job creation, project funding constraints, maturing fields amidst aging facilities without corresponding development of new fields, growing insecurity compounded by oil theft, and uncertainties around stalled reforms anticipated from the implementation of the Petroleum Industry Act.

“All of these stifled investment and production outputs in a sense that terribly affected the growth and development of the oil and gas industry.

He said according to the finding of the study, the 2020/2021 marginal fields bid licensing round recorded anticipated milestones including, expansion of the space for indigenous participation in the oil and gas industry, potential for growing proven reserves, revenue generation to the tune of N200 billion and US$7 million to the federal government.

Others is the departure from past experiences of award of oil license to portfolio investors who ended up ‘trading’ the papers for a flip, reversal of a sad narrative of perennial scandals about derailment from due process, corruption and conflict of interest (COI) perpetrated by Political Exposed Persons (PEPs).

NLNG Hospital Support Programme Commissioning In Kano

(R-L) – Dr. Rabiu Suleiman, NLNG Board Member; Andy Odeh, NLNG GM, External Relations & Sustainable Development; Prof. Adbdurrahman Sheshe, Chief Medical Director, Aminu Kano Teaching Hospital (AKTH); and Dr. Philip Mshelbilia, NLNG MD/CEO, inspecting facilities in a newly commissioned Occupational Therapy and Neuromodulation Rehabilitation Centre at AKTH, constructed and equipped by NLNG as part of its Hospital Support Programme (HSP)…in Kano today.
TCN Boosts Alagbon, Ijora, Ota Substations With New Transformers,Accessories

The Alagbon 330/132/33kV transmission substation has received truckloads of 2 x 100/125 MVA power transformers and accessories.

Ndidi Mbah, Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN)’s General Manager, Public Affairs, announced receipt of the power accessories in a statement on Saturday obtained by Premium News

She said that the transformers on installation, will increase the capacity of Alagbon substation to 480MW.

The TCN’s Ijora 132/33kV transmission substation, Lagos, also took delivery of trucks containing one number 100MVA transformer and accessories at its 132/33kV Ijora transmission substation, Lagos,the statement said,adding that the transformer will add 80MW to the capacity of the substation.

Besides,TCN’s Ota 132/33kV substation received truckloads of transformer accessories only.

The 1X100/125 MVA, 132/33kV transformer will however be delivered to Ota Transmission Substation in Ogun State by next week,according to the statement

Also,TCN’s Egbin 330/132kV Transmission Substation took delivery of 330kV and 132kV switch gears and accessories.

The statement said these equipment are for the replacement of all obsolete 330kV and 132kV switchgears for efficient operation of the grid.

It added:”All these projects are a part of TCN’s ongoing World Bank funded projects and in line with TCN’s policy on the efficient execution of its grid expansion plan, the projects are being vigorously pursued to ensure their timely execution and completion”

Oil Thieves Deserve Stiffest Penalties -Gbajabiamila

Femi Gbajabiamila, Speaker of the House of Representatives, has expressed disgust over the spate of crude oil theft and other acts of economic sabotage have led to massive decline of government revenue.

He stated this on Tuesday while welcoming members back from their annual vacation

He said: ‘’Due to theft and various acts of economic sabotage, we are experiencing a massive decline in the volume of crude oil exports. Our crude oil export of 972,394 bpd for August is the lowest we have recorded in the last two decades. At a time when we are already experiencing severe financial constraints, the perpetrators of this brazen heist threaten our ability to serve the Nigerian people and meet the demands of governance and nation-building. Their actions constitute treason against our country, for which they must be held accountable.”

Assuring that though there are mechanisms in place to curb economic sabotage, the Speaker stressed that the measures in place are inadequate, noting that there was need for a review.

He again emphasized that it was also of particular importance that the perpetrators of these crimes against the state are identified, prosecuted and subjected to the stiffest penalties the law allows.

He added:”Those who seek to impoverish our country in this manner have declared war against the Nigerian people. They are no different from the insurgents and terrorists against whom we are battling in various theatres.I insist that the government’s response must be sufficient to convince them of the error of their ways and deter others who might be tempted to join in their treason. I met with the Finance Minister and the DG Budget and made it clear to them that enough of crude oil theft. Nigerians don’t want to hear that again. What do you intend to do about it? That’s the important question,” he said.

He expressed concern over Nigeria’s ability to meet her long-term debt repayment obligations.

According to him, the interactions between the parliament and Ministries, Departments and Agencies ( MDAs), on the Medium Term Expenditure Framework and Fiscal Strategy Paper( MTEF/FSP), the major concerns have been what will be the scope of deficit financing in the 2023 budget, as well as the decline in crude oil production owing to theft and sabotage.

He noted that in considering the 2023 Appropriation Bill, when it is presented, the House would be guided by the question of how the country can repay loans taken to finance the budget. He also noted that the parliament would also take into consideration provisions of extant laws, especially as it relates to financing budget deficits.

“While the House appreciates that our current fiscal conditions necessitate borrowing to finance budgetary expenditures, we are, nonetheless, concerned about the long-term impact of this burden on the country and our ability to pay what we owe in a responsible and sustainable way. These questions will be central to our consideration of the 2023 Appropriation Bill when presented’’,he said.

Gbajabiamila advised that the House needs be mindful of the provisions of their laws, especially the Fiscal Responsibility Act, as it relates to the scope of deficit financing of the budget. Ministries, departments and agencies of the government should also take note that appropriations for new projects will be influenced by the extent to which existing projects have been funded and their performance in executing these projects as intended.

Noting that electioneering campaigns for the 2023 general elections is billed to start soon, the Speaker admonished members of the House to strike a balance between their legislative work and the campaigns.

He urged that the House must strike a balance as they campaign, because they have a 4-year mandate.

He said:”This is especially true for us in the 9th House of Representatives because of the commitments we made in our legislative agenda. We must ensure that we try to live up to those pledges because we will be assessed on that basis whether we like it or not.

Danbatta Elected Into Council of Nigerian Academy of Engineering

The Executive Vice Chairman and Chief Executive Officer (EVC/CEO) of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Prof. Umar Danbatta, has been elected to the Governing Council of the Nigerian Academy of Engineering (NAE).

The Council of NAE,which is the highest decision-making body of the Academy,oversees the country’s highest professional bodies in science, technology and engineering.

Notice of the election, conveyed by Honorary Secretary of the Academy, Engr. Christy Adelowo, indicated that Danbatta, and other council members will serve for two years,a statement from Reuben Muoka
Director, Public Affairs,NCC said.

Danbatta, a professor of telecommunications engineering with several decades of experience in academia and professional practice, was inducted a Fellow of NAE on June 21, 2018, during the Annual Lecture and Investiture of 10th President of the Academy.

He expressed appreciation to the Council for considering him worthy to serve the profession in another capacity.

“The Council can count on my intellectual and moral support towards the achievement of the overall objectives of the Academy”, Danbatta said.

His contributions to the engineering profession has been eloquently attested to, with a number of public lectures, including one at the Academy on November 9, 2016, titled “The National Broadband Plan as Catalyst for Social and Economic Transformation: The NCC Mandate”. On June 23, 2021, Danbatta received a special recognition from the NAE in appreciation of his contributions through remarkable implementation of various programmes of the Commission which has seen very purposeful collaborations with the academia and other professional institutions in science and technology towards the advancement of the socio-economic development of Nigeria.

Danbatta has played similar roles in the past, including his two terms as a Member of the Council for the Regulation of Engineering in Nigeria (COREN).

He is a Fellow of the Nigerian Society of Engineers (FNSE), Fellow of the Renewable and Alternative Energy Society (FRAES), and Fellow of the Nigerian Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (NIEEE).


The Lesser Evil

By Abdullateef Ishowo

The phrase, the lesser of two evils is derived from an Islamic maxim—-….Akhafu ddararaen.(أخف الضررين). It is also from a concept put forth by Thomas à Kempis in the early 1400s in his work “Imitation of Christ: of two evils, the lesser is always to be chosen”. That is, in two poor choices, the somewhat less unpleasant is selected.

At the moment, Nigeria is presented with two evils to make the less unpleasant choice comes 2023 general election. The question now is, who’s the lesser evil between Atiku and Tinubu? And in this case, the proverbial known devil is better than unknown angel doesn’t come to play. Both are known devils, they’ve paid their dues in their different paths  to Nigeria’s political development and there’s no unknown angel between the duo. They’re known devils.

Make no mistake about it, it’s either Abubakar Atiku, the Waziri of Adamawa or Bola Ahmed Tinubu, the Lion of Bourdillon in 2023; God spares theirs’ and ours’ lives. There would be no third force. Any other force would be a product of either of the two major forces. And this isn’t peculiar to Nigeria; of all the political parties in the US, it’s either Democratic or the Republican. In Britain, it’s either Labour or the Conservative.

The difference,however,is that, political parties in the two mentioned developed nations are ideologically rooted, and the consistent exchange of baton between the Democrats and Republicans in the US has always been based on ideological stand and development of the US.

Like in the Great Britain and US, Nigerians are going to vote along party lines in 2023. Forget about the neutrality posture of many insincere Nigerians, we’re all political animals and all animals are equal, but some are more equal than others.

However, while the choice of many electorates in the US and Britain are either based on the manifestos of the party of choice or long standing ideological position of the party that has made certain electorate to stay-glued to it, in Nigeria, people vote for a political party because of ethnic, religion or monetary factor. And once again in the nation’s political life, these three factors are going to determine who emerges between Atiku and Tinubu comes 2023 general election.

For instance, PDP is hoping for a bloc votes from the northern part of the country because of the emergence of Atiku as its flag bearer while APC hopes to secure a bloc votes from the South (especially South West) because of the emergence of Tinubu as the party flag bearer. Hence, the  new ’emilokan’ slogan (courtesy of Tinubu) or it’s the turn of my region is likely to play a major role in the coming election.

The southerners feel it’s their turn by virtue of Buhari, the current president who’s completing his second term in office, is from the northwestern part of the country. Northerners on the other hand feel it’s their turn because since the return of democracy back to the country in 1999, southerners have spent more years in office than their northern counterparts (ten as against fourteen years).

Religion is equally going to play a major role in who becomes the sixteenth commander-in-chief of Nigerian Armed Forces. For instance, the search has commenced in the two major parties on which of the two major regions should the running mates of their flag bearers come from. Islam or Christianity? No one is even considering paganism; the religion of our forefathers! Are the two major religions not products of colonialism? Islam from the Arabian contact with Africa and Christianity from the British.

Between the two parties, of particular interest is APC, whose flag bearer is from the southwest.

As a Fulani Muslim, while Atiku is at no qualms in selecting the religious and/or ethnic background of his running mate, Tinubu might have little difficulty in choosing a running mate. The reason isn’t farfetched, Atiku is a Muslim Fulani man from the Northeast who’s expected to choose a Christian southerner. Most likely from the Southeast or South-South. Tinubu, a Muslim south westerner,  on the other hand may have to choose from the North.

Now, judging by the ethnic and religious consciousness of the North, would he choose a Muslim or Christian? Should he settles for a Muslim and flag a Muslim-Muslim candidacy, he should prepare for media war from the south. Should he select a Christian Northerner who are minority, he stands the risk of loosing the votes of the Northern Muslims, who are majority.

Money will equally play a major role in who becomes the next president. The reported activities in the primary elections of both PDP and APC is an eloquent testimony to this fact. The kind of money that exchanged hands between aspirants and delegates and between aspirants and aspirants, as reported, was nothing but national embarrassment.

Besides, they’ve not even started spending. Politics in Nigeria is capital intensive. You must invest well to reap huge. That’s why they laugh whenever we complain on their lack of performance. Both candidates have gotten enough to throw around during electioneering. After all, ‘owo abu l’afin s’abu l’alejo’.

Forget about Tinubu winning the APC primary on what he had previously invested in people. Those he invested on weren’t there for him during the primary. It was the new people money recruited that won the election for him. Same with Atiku. Both had made, empowered and invested in a lot of people in the past.

Hence, their formidable structures across the country. Unfortunately, while the delegates at the convention smiled home, Nigerians remain in pain as national security and economy worsen.

Ironically, these are same men Nigerians expected to introduce a change that will usher in a new Nigeria. I doubt they have anything new to offer. That’s why none of them has come up with a reasonable blue print that can tackle the numerous challenges facing the country. For instance, the nation is in dare need of a 21st Century leader to tackle the challenges facing economy, power, security, education and other sectors. How do you intend to diversify the economy and take the country out of its mono-economic status?

I didn’t support Tinubu and never wanted him to emerge at the APC primary, just as I never wanted Atiku to emerge in PDP. I preferred the latter in 2019, not 2023. How can we have brilliant and energetic younger aspirants in both parties and still be happy with these two old men? They’re not only old, they’re weak.

I would’ve preferred any of Yemi Osinbajo, Bukola Saraki, Peter Obi, Raji Fashola, Babagana Zulum or Rotimi Amaechi. Sadly, by the time either Atiku or Tinubu completes 8 years in office, these set of men would’ve become old too, and we began to clamour for one of them again. Democracy or  gerontocracy?

What moral justification would either of the two men have to embark on corruption war? They’ve for a long time been around the corridor of power with access to our collective patrimony to want to disengage now. They’ve formed ‘padi padi’ clique among themselves and it would be very difficult to brake away from the cult.

Unfortunately, one of them has to emerge comes 2023 as the sixteenth president of this nation. The question now is, who is the lesser evil between the two? Atiku or Tinubu? That’s left for the electorates to decide.

Abdullateef Ishowo,  an author and development analyst, writes from Ilorin

2023: Amaechi Rallies Support For Tinubu

Former Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi,has implored other aspirants who contested for the All Progressives Congress (APC) presidential ticket to come together and work for the victory of Asiwaju Bola Tinubu in next year’s general election.

Speaking through his Presidential Campaign Media Committee on Wednesday,

Amaechi congratulated the former Lagos State governor on his victory and his subsequent emergence as the Presidential flagbearer of the party at the just concluded presidential primaries of the APC.

In a statement signed by his Presidential Campaign Media Committee’s Chairman, Kingsley Wenenda Wali, the former governor of Rivers State, urged all the aspirants to put the outcome of the primary election behind them and come together to work for the victory of Tinubu and APC in the 2023 presidential election.

He said:“We acknowledge that his victory follows a highly charged contest, which as expected, could only produce one winner.It is, therefore, our hope that following the emergence of Senator Bola Ahmed Tinubu as our party’s presidential candidate, all aspirants will now close ranks and work hard to ensure our party’s victory at the 2023 Presidential Election.

“We thank all who in many remarkable ways supported the Presidential aspiration of Rt. Hon. Chibuike Rotimi and urge them to see the outcome of the primaries as a victory for democracy, which signposts the maturity and evolution of the political culture of Africa’s largest democracy, Nigeria.”

Meanwhile,Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu,has assured assuring Nigerians that nothing will stop the march to a just, egalitarian society

Addressing delegates and Nigerians shortly after he was pronounced winner of the APC presidential primary, the former governor of Lagos State noted that President Mohammadu Buhari has laid a firm foundation to the country’s march to greatness promising to leverage on the foundation to fight insecurity, reform and grow the economy and fight corruption.

While he acknowledged that the nation has problem, some self-inflicted,he promised that the country’s development is a task that must be achieved, adding that he has the vision and ability to make it happen.

An excited Asiwaju said he was literally intoxicated by the nomination of the party because he never thought he would win.

With the victory, the APC flagbearer will now square up against Atiku Abubakar, standard bearer of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Alhaji Rabiu Kwankwaso (NNPP),Peter Obi (Labour) among others in the 2023 presidential election

In a delegate election that lasted over 20 hours, Tinubu polled a total of 1,271 votes out of a possible 2223 delegate votes to top 13 other contestants including Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, Rotimi Amaechi,Senate President Senator Ahmed Lawan etc. for the ticket of the party.

He defeated his closest rival , Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi by a margin of 955 votes. The former Minister of Transport polled 316 delegate votes while Vice President Yemi Osinbajo scored 235 to finish a distant third. Senator Ahmed Lawan,the Senate President polled 152 votes.

Other aspirants and their scores are Dave Umahi (38), Tunde Bakare (0), Ahmed Sani Yerima (4), Sen Rochas Okorocha (0), Yahaya Bello (47), Ben Ayade (37), Ogbonnaya Onu (1), Tien Jackrich and Chief Ikeobasi Mokelu both polled zero. Thirteen votes were declared invalid.

Announcing the result, Convention Planning Committee Chairman Atiku Bagudu said Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu scored majority of the votes and consequently declared him the party’s presidential flagbearer.

Addressing the delegates, Tinubu lauded leaders of the party and urged all the aspirants to join him in the defeating the Peoples Democratic Party in the forthcoming 2023 election describing the main opposition party as a common enemy of the APC that must be beaten back..

He described the the convention as a shining moment in the evolution of the APC and the life of the nation and hailed the party for making him its standard bearer.

” And I humbly accept the nomination of this convention to be the presidential candidate of our enlightened, humanitarian and great party, the All Progressives Congress.

“I also offer my sincere gratitude to President Buhari for his calm and prudent leadership throughout this process. I thank him, also, for his steadfast determination to ensure a level playing field and a free and fair primary process for every aspirant.

“Without him, I would not be standing here today as the new flagbearer of Nigeria’s party. I thank the governors for their invaluable contribution to internal democracy and unity. commend the party leadership and organizers for the conduct of a successful convention.
“Thank you, the delegates, for the confidence you have shown in me. I will prove that your choice was a wise one. You have moved our party and country towards its best future. On your mandate I shall stand.’

COVID-19 Creates New Billionaire Every 30hrs -Oxfam

A  non-governmental organization, Oxfam International,says new billionaires are created every 30 hours during in the thick of the COVID-19 pandemic.

This development  could push nearly a million people  into extreme poverty in 2022 at nearly the same rate, a press statement by Gabriela Bucher, Executive Director of Oxfam International said.

The organisation also said as the cost of essential goods rises faster than it has in decades, billionaires in the food and energy sectors are increasing their fortunes by $1 billion every two days.

The statement said:“Profiting from Pain” is published as the World Economic Forum — the exclusive get-together of the global elite in Davos — takes place for the first time face-to-face since COVID-19, a period during which billionaires have enjoyed a huge boost to their fortunes.

“Billionaires are arriving in Davos to celebrate an incredible surge in their fortunes. The pandemic and now the steep increases in food and energy prices have, simply put, been a bonanza for them. Meanwhile, decades of progress on extreme poverty are now in reverse and millions of people are facing impossible rises in the cost of simply staying alive”

“Oxfam brief shows that 573 people became new billionaires during the pandemic, at the rate of one every 30 hours. We expect this year that 263 million more people will crash into extreme poverty, at a rate of a million people every 33 hours”

” Billionaires’ wealth has risen more in the first 24 months of COVID-19 than in 23 years combined. The total wealth of the world’s billionaires is now equivalent to 13.9 percent of global GDP. This is a three-fold increase (up from 4.4 percent) in 2000″

“Billionaires’ fortunes have not increased because they are now smarter or working harder. Workers are working harder, for less pay and in worse conditions. The super-rich have rigged the system with impunity for decades and they are now reaping the benefits.They have seized a shocking amount of the world’s wealth as a result of privatization and monopolies, gutting regulation and workers’ rights while stashing their cash in tax havens — all with the complicity of governments.

“Meanwhile, millions of others are skipping meals, turning off the heating, falling behind on bills and wondering what they can possibly do next to survive. Across East Africa, one person is likely dying every minute from hunger. This grotesque inequality is breaking the bonds that hold us together as humanity. It is divisive, corrosive and dangerous. This is inequality that literally kills.”

“Oxfam’s new research also revealed that corporations in the energy, food and pharmaceutical sectors —where monopolies are especially common— are posting record-high profits, even as wages have barely budged and workers struggle with decades-high prices amid COVID-19”

ASCSN Dismisses Corruption Allegations, Threatens Court Action Against Peddlers Of Fake Rumours

Association of Senior Civil Servants of Nigeria (ASCSN) has dispelled speculations that its property housing the National Secretariat in Lagos and the ultra-modern complex under construction at Mabushi area in Abuja has been sold by the current national leadership of the association.
The union’s scribe,Comrade Alade Bashir Lawal, who conveyed this in a statement,regretted that few disgruntled members of the union who engaged in anti-union activities and were expelled by the National Executive Council (NEC) of the Association, had elected to be spreading lies to anti-graft agencies and members of the public to impugn the reputation of the national leadership of the association.
He said: “All the documents in respect of the Union’s property in Lagos and Abuja which were allegedly taken over by individuals and sold are very much intact and being kept safely.It is really unfortunate that those who are deliberately spreading falsehood are still walking in the streets as free citizens,” he  stated.
He added that when the operatives of some of the agencies petitioned visited the site of the new National Secretariat being constructed in Abuja by the Association, they were surprised that the secretariat complex consisting of a conference centre, guest house, offices and shopping malls which is now at the 5th floor, was being built through internally generated revenue.
Speaking on the alleged N14 billion fraud in the association, the  union’s scribe asked; “What is the total check-off dues of the Union since it was registered in 1981 that such huge amount has been embezzled in the last 10 years?”“How can it be that a Trade Union such as the Association of Senior Civil Servants of Nigeria with 36 States Branches, 35 Chapters, and more than 1,000 units in the Ministries, Departments, and Agencies (MDAs) at the Federal and State Levels will not organise meetings, seminars, training for its members at home and abroad, pay entitlements to its teeming members and officers who are authorized to handle such funds meant to service these organs of the union would be accused of corruption?
“It must be emphasized that the association renders Annual Returns of its Account to the Registrar of Trade Unions under the auspices of the Federal Ministry of Labour and Employment every year as stipulated by the Trade Union Acts,” the Union emphasized.
He expressed regret that the former National President of the Association Bola-Audu Innocent who had been dragged to court by the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP) for engaging in alleged cases of human trafficking and exploitation of vulnerable persons, had decided to wage war against the union, cooking up lies against the leadership of the Association and forwarding such falsehood to the anti-graft agencies.
“In his unholy war, including propagation of falsehood against the union and its leadership, Bola-Audu has found a willing ally in Andrew Emelieze, a shady character who was once sanctioned by the authority of a Federal Government Girls College in one of the South-West states, for engaging in illegal lewd orgies with under-aged girls in the college” the union stated.
According to him, Andrew Emelieze and his cohorts, would  answer for their misdeeds in court  for the defamation he had been spreading against innocent members of the association.
Nigeria Didn’t Spend Dollar On Cement Import  In Seven Years – CBN

The Central Bank of Nigeria,says  Nigeria has not spent dollars to import cement in the last seven years.
Its Governor,Mr Godwin Emefiele, disclosed this  at the inauguration of the new BUA cement plant in Sokoto, which was performed by the President Muhammadu Buhari (retired), in Sokoto, on Thursday,according to a statement
He said:“No dollar had been spent on the importation of cement into Nigeria in the past seven years”
The CBN governor pledged the bank’s support for the manufacturing sector in Nigeria and pushed for a reduction in the prices of building materials in the country in order to make housing more affordable.
He said that the decision of the bank to restrict access to foreign exchange for the importation of 43 items, including cement, which could either be produced in Nigeria or for which raw materials could be sourced within the country, had helped to boost the production capacity of cement in the country.
According to him, the production capacity of cement companies in Nigeria has increased from 30 million metric tonnes in 2014 to 60 million metric tonnes in 2021.
Emefiele commended the BUA cement company for its effort in constructing the plant with no external finance, noting that such private sector initiatives were yielding fruits and were critical complementary ingredients to reducing unemployment and boosting production activities in Nigeria.
He said such investments helped to support the CBN’s mandate of promoting stable macro-economic growth in Nigeria.
He promised  current and prospective operators in the industrial sector that the CBN was ready to collaborate with them in enabling the development of a viable manufacturing sector in Nigeria.
He added:“For those who are willing to invest in new greenfield or existing brownfield projects, the CBN will provide all the support needed, both in naira and dollars needed to import plants and equipment to actualise these investments”