By David Abakpa, Abuja Chairman of Oriental Energy Resources, Mohammed Indimi, President of Dangote Group, Aliko Dangote, Chairman of Heir Holdings, Tony Elumelu, Stanel Group Chief Executive Officer, Stanley Uzochukwu, and other top Nigerian business leaders on Wednesday received an eight-member Congressional delegation from the United States at the U.S. Consulate General’s resident in Lagos. The top business executives met with the delegation from the United States congress at the residence of the U.S. Consulate General in Lagos. The delegation led by Senator Christopher Coons is in Nigeria to meet with top officials in government and senior Nigerian business executives, where trade and investment relations and other issues will feature prominently in their discussions. The delegation had met with the Vice President of Nigeria, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo at the Presidential Villa on Monday where talks focused on defence cooperation, trade relations and other issues of mutual benefit to both countries. They are also expected...
....Targets 100% local fabrication of modular refineries The federal government has revealed that only two out of 50 licensees granted authorisation to operate private refineries across the country in recent time are making what it described as meaningful progress. Minister of petroleum resources, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu, who expressed disappointment at the situation, stated that his ministry in collaboration with the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) consequently invited the licensees for a discussion to ascertain the challenges they were facing but failed to disclose their findings. Kachickwu revealed this while speaking at this year’s Association of Energy Correspondents of Nigeria (NAEC) in Lagos recently stated that the federal government was exploring every available opportunity to optimise local refining capacity. According to him, the government in pursuing this goal first initiated steps towards revamping the nation’s refineries in Port Harcourt, Warri and Kaduna. He explained that the government was not considering concessioning of the refineries...
Africa’s leading airline, Ethiopian Airlines has submitted a formal offer to take charge of troubled carrier Arik Air, which accounts for more than half of Nigerian air passenger traffic, the CNN has reported. “We have outlined our terms and conditions to the Nigerian government and we are waiting to see if they agree,” Esayas WoldeMariam, Ethiopian’s managing director of international services, told CNN. “We are capable and desirous of handling the airline.” WoldeMariam did not specify details of the offer, but added that he expects to face competition for Arik from international airlines. There are no indications yet that foreign airlines have submitted bids to take over the airline which is now under the management of AMCON following the debt of over N400billion, owed local and foreign creditors. Arik’s Managing Director Captain Roy Ilegbodu reported in August that the company had stabilised under AMCON’s leadership, with services running smoothly and salaries paid. It now...
BY JOSHUA DADA, OSOGBO Communities in the Atakumosa West local government area of Osun State have raised the alarm over the devastating activities of illegal miners on their land. The communities that include, Epe, Igbadae, Igun, Itagunmodi among others expressed dismay at the levels of incursion and vandalism of their farmland by illegal miners. The communities through their traditional rulers appealed to the Special Adviser to Governor Rauf Aregbesola on Forestry, Natural and Mineral Resources, Tunde Ajilore, who led a raid of illegal miners to the area to help curb the nefarious activities of the miners. Meanwhile, no fewer than fifteen illegal miners were arrested while hundreds flee during the raid just as Government warned perpetrators to desist or be ready to face the full wrath of the law. Ajilore who issued the warning said the practice constitute a huge menace to the farm lands, forest reserves as well as cocoa plantations and vegetations of...
...Say FG Committed Encourage Private Initiatives  By: Patrick Ochoga, Benin City It was celebration yesterday in Auchi, and Okpella both in  Etsako West and Etsako East local government areas of Edo State as Vice President Yemi Osibanjo commissioned the rehabilitated Fertilizer blending plant and  inaugurated the Bua's Obu green field three million metric tonnes cement Company. Osibanjo who noted at Auchi that the President Muhammadu Buhari's administration is determine in  taking private initiative Enterprise seriously added that government also committed in ensuring business is done with ease in Nigeria. He said the commissioning of the fertilizer plant by the Obaseki's led government in Edo state is in line with the federal government fertilizer initiative noting that it is capable of reviving moribund fertilizer plants Governor Godwin Obaseki, in his remarks told the Vice President that the Auchi fertilizer plant was abandoned 14 years ago under the PDP led government noting that the plant will...
By Chinelo Chikelu Since 2014, the World Bank in collaboration with the DFID and USAID is embarked on a $100m literacy project in five states in north-east Nigeria to support the Nigerian government in returning out-of-school children to the classrooms. This is part of its efforts to changing education narrative in the country from simply getting children back to school to providing resources and materials required to keep them in school, to ensure they learn and add value to the society. Selected states include are Kano, Kaduna, Katsina, Jigawa and Sokoto. World Bank Representative in Nigeria, Adetunde Adekola, said, “It is not enough to just bring children to school or for them to stay-in-school, but it is also Important that they learn. Literacy begins early in life. Before a child enrolls into a school, he/she already speaks, what they cannot do upon starting school is read and write what they are saying. That...
Former Vice-Chairman of Arik Air, Senator Anietie Okon has alleged that some interests in government had planned to take over Arik Air and sell it cheaply to themselves but this was forestalled by Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON), which is currently managing the airline. Senator Okon said the interest group took advantage of the financial distress of the airline occasioned by the crash of Nigeria’s economy that forced it into recession and the plunge of the value of the Naira. This he said made it extremely difficult to obtain foreign exchange and run the airline, which has the largest fleet in the country, adding that the bad economy also affected some other companies in the country, which rely on forex to sustain their operations. Okon observed that currently no Nigerian airline is benefitting properly from the bilateral agreement Nigeria signed with other countries; rather government has given away all the routes...
By ANTHONY AWUNOR, Lagos - Except the Federal Government constitutes a Board of Directors for aviation parastatals , the ministry will continue to get it wrong in terms of employment, policies and resource management. This is the position of aviation professionals in the sector who have equally called on the Presidency to urgently constitute the Board of Directors for the aviation parastatals so that things can work smoothly. The aviation body-Association of Nigerian Aviation Professionals (ANAP) therefore, implored President Muhammadu Buhari to hearken to their voice and speedily save the industry from undue pressure from the aviation ministry. Speaking through its Secretary General, Comrade Abdulrazaq Saidu, the body made up of aviation professionals pointed out that, due to the fact that there is no Board of Directors on ground, the aviation ministry has been interfering on the day to day running of the parastatals which is not supposed to be so. According to Comrade...
By BAYO AMODU, Abuja And OLUSHOLA BELLO, Lagos - The federal government has demonstrated its determination to improve the way businesses are being done in Nigeria. Stakeholders have described this step as one in the right direction considering the fact that the country is viewed by many as that with enormous opportunities and business potentials. The sheer size of the country’s population, human and natural resources as well as its diverse culture place the country in a class of potentially great nations. It is therefore a sad narrative when the challenges faced by businesses and entrepreneurs are considered. According to the World Bank Doing Business Report 2017, Nigeria is ranked 169 among 190 economies in the ease of doing business. However, in the wake of the recession, which the country slipped into in the second quarter of 2016, the federal government has adopted a number of measures to try to curb economic...
By CHIZARAM UMEOFOR,  Abuja with agency report - The Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) has banned cash payments for passport processing as part of efforts to eliminate corruption at all passport offices nationwide.‎ Sunday James, NIS spokesperson, disclosed this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Monday in Abuja. Muhammad Babandede, the Comptroller General of the NIS, had directed that henceforth all passport processing payments must be done online and through designated banks‎.‎ He said the NIS boss had, in a circular, directed‎ all passport control officers not to allow cash payments in any of the passport premises. “All payments in respect to passport processing are to be done by applicants through banks to generate application ID and reference number on the NIS portal and not through an individual or touts,” Mr. James said. According to him, the NIS CG, with a view to sanitizing the system has also ordered...