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Bayelsa Pays N6bn On Contracts …As NYSC Loses 8 Members

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Bayelsa State Government, has released the sum of N6 billion to three construction companies for the completion of the three senatorial road projects in the state.

At the presentation of the cheques in Yenagoa, Governor Seriake Dickson, urged the contractors to give the people quality jobs.

The governor also signed two bills passed by the state House of Assembly into law.

The presentation of the N6 billion to the contractors marked the commencement of infrastructural development under the new administration in Bayelsa State.

The breakdown of the funds shows that N2billion was released to Julius Berger for the construction of Yenagoa-Oporoma road, representing the Central Senatorial road project, N2.5billion for the construction of the Sagbama/Ekeremor road in the West Senatorial road to Setraco and N1.5billion to China Construction and Company, for the Etegwe–Tombia road.

The Commissioner of Works and Infrastructure,Mr.Lawrence Erudkapo,said the three multinational construction companies were carefully selected based on their proven integrity and that the Etegwe-Tombia road would be built with eight bridges.

In his remarks, Governor Seriake Dickson,said the construction of the roads would open up the riverine communities for development.

He said the government was committed to transforming Bayelsa State.

The Governor also signed two bills recently passed by the State House of Assembly into law.

The new laws are the Bayelsa State College of Arts and Science Re-Establishment Law 2012 and Bayelsa State Thanksgiving Day 2012.

Governor Dickson said the College of Arts and Science would now take-off from the Science Secondary School along Okaka Road after an upgrade of facilities.

He renewed the commitment of the present administration to develop the education sector.

Earlier, while presenting the bills in company of other lawmakers,the Speaker of the State House of Assembly, Mr.Kombowei Benson,said the legislature would work hard to support the executive arm to succeed in its task to transform the state.

Meanwhile, the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) in Delta State has said that five of its corps members who served in the 2011 Batch ‘B,’ lost their lives during the service year.

The state Coordinator of the scheme, Mrs Vivian Omeruo,  disclosed this yesterday in Asaba at the passing out parade of 2011 Batch B corps members.

She, however, said that their deaths, which occurred “through various unfortunate circumstances, were heroic as they died in active service”.

Omeruo also said that 25 corps members were pencilled down for various sanctions ranging from repeat of service to extension of service for various  disciplinary conducts.

She said that out of the 25 corps members, nine who absconded would repeat the service year.

The coordinator said the names of the nine corps members had already been forwarded to the National Directorate of the NYSC for ratification.

She said the remaining 16 would have extension of service for periods ranging from two weeks to four months.

In Jigawa, NYSC Coordinator, Mr Ishaya Dede, expressed satisfaction that corps members posted to the state were safe.

He said that recently, 200 corps members voluntarily re-deployed from neighbouring states to Jigawa because of the peace enjoyed in the state.

“Jigawa is a small state, yet we have more corps members now than Kano and some other states in the North.

“This is because some of them were re-deployed here for safety, good welfare and better facilities in our orientation camp,” he said.

Dede said that out of 1,500 corps members, who passed out, 12 of them received the state Governor’s award, while names of 30 others, who contravened the NYSC Act had been forwarded to the headquarters for further action.

In his remarks, Governor Sule Lamido of Jigawa lauded the contributions of the NYSC in the state to the campaign against HIV and AIDS, polio virus and mass illiteracy among others.

In Bayelsa, the state NYSC Coordinator, Mr Abdulrasheed Abiodun, said three corps members died during the service year, while the services of 12 others were extended for truancy.

Meanwhile, 30 out of the 906 corps members, who served in Gombe State were honoured with awards, according to Mr Teryima Igyuse, the state Coordinator of the scheme.

He listed the award to include 20 certificates of merit and 10 certificates of commendation for participation in community development service.

He said the best female among the award winners received the First Lady Hajiya Adama Dankwambo’s award.

Igyuse said four corps members, who absconded from service would repeat the service year, while the service of two others would be extended.

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FG To Eradicate Multiple Taxation In Mining Sector – Adegbite

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The Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Mr Olamilekan Adegbite, says the Federal Government is setting in place various measures to eradicate multiple taxation for miners.
At the flagship Forum last Tuesday in Abuja, Adegbite said the ministry was engaging with the three tiers of government to resolve this issue.
He said that this informed the recent webinars and advocacy engagements by the ministry with all stakeholders in the country involved in the mining industry.
He said that though the constitution vested control of mineral resources in Nigeria in the Federal Government, the fund goes into the Federation Account, of which everybody participates.
He added that all the 774 local governments got money from that account but if they cut corners by disturbing the miners with unnecessary local taxes they get discouraged.
“So, it is double jeopardy when you go and do all these illegal taxes, or you go and disturb the miners, when you will benefit from what is derived in your place, you get a 13 per cent derivation.
“You also get your share of the federal accounts as of course laid down statutorily. So, it is a continuous process, we educate everybody and I think we are getting good results.”
The minister said there was a Mineral Resource Committee (MIRENCO) in every state and the chairman was nominated by the governor of that state, so that he would be in the know about everything going on about mining in that state.
He said that the chairman of that committee was to oversee all the activities between the miners, the community, the state government and the Federal Government.
“So, on that committee, the Federal Government has representatives, the local government has representatives, the governor chooses the chairman and then Ministry of Environment and other stakeholders bring in representatives as well.
“So, through this committee, everybody can participate, and make sure that we work in harmony, bake a bigger pie so everybody can share.
“So, it is continuous advocacy, we let them know what we are doing and of course they can also participate, where they do not understand or where the governor has any problem he can always ask the chairman.”
On the issue of rock blasting, he said cities had expanded to meet quarries.
According to him, quarrying is a necessity, because stones are needed to make concrete when building roads and houses.

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Nigeria Lost N53.26bn To Gas Flaring In Two Months – NNPC

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Nigeria lost an estimated N53.26billion in the first two months of this year as international oil companies and local players flared a total of 33.04 billion standard cubic feet of natural gas.
The oil companies wasted 17.53 billion scf of gas in February, compared to 15.51 billion scf in January, according to data obtained from the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation.
With the price of natural gas put at $3.93 per 1,000scf as of Wednesday, the 33.04 billion scf flared translates to an estimated loss of $129.85million or N53.26billion (using the official exchange rate of N410.13/dollar).
The NNPC, in its latest monthly report, said out of the 206.05 billion scf produced in February, a total of 133.06 billion scf was commercialised, consisting of 40.15 billion scf and 92.91 billion scf for the domestic and export market respectively.
It said this implied that 64.48 per cent of the average daily gas produced was commercialised while the balance of 35.52 per cent was re-injected, used as upstream fuel gas or flared.
Gas flare rate was 7.67 per cent in February (i.e. 565.52 million standard cubic feet per day), compared to 7.73 per cent in January (i.e. 554.01 million scfd).
In January, a total of 223.55 billion scf of natural gas was produced, translating to an average daily production of 7,220.22 million scfd.
Out of the total gas output in January, a total of 149.24 billion scf was commercialised, consisting of 44.29 billion scf and 104.95 billion scf for the domestic and export markets respectively.
Firms producing less than 10,000 barrels of oil per day will pay a gas flare penalty of $0.5 per 1,000 scf.
The penalties paid by oil and gas companies for flaring gas in the country will be invested to build midstream gas infrastructure in host communities, according to a new provision introduced into the Petroleum Industry Bill by the National Assembly.
“Moneys received from gas flaring penalties by the commission (Nigerian Upstream Regulatory Commission) pursuant to this subsection, shall be transferred to the Midstream Gas Infrastructure Fund for investment in midstream gas infrastructure within the host communities of the settlor on which the penalties are levied,” the Senate and House of Representatives said in subsection (4) of section 104 of the bill.

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Nigeria To Boost Trade Volume Through ECOWAS TPOs

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Nigeria is poised to boost its non-oil exports following the official launch of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Trade Promotion Organisations (PTOs).
With Executive Director /CEO of the Nigerian Export Promotion Council (NEPC) Segun Awolowo, as the inaugural president of the ECOWAS TPOs, the NEPC is repositioning the nation’s export through the implementation of its N50 billion Export Expansion Facility Programme (EEFP), a part of the Economic Sustainability Plan whose development and implementation is being led by the Vice President.
EEFP is expected to significantly raise the volume of non-oil exports in Nigeria, and it’s a spin-off of the Zero Oil Plan developed by Awolowo and approved by the President.
Besides providing financial support for the average Nigerian exporter, EEFP is also going to see the establishment of top-notch warehouses close to airports where Nigerian goods meant for export would be packaged to globally competitive standards ahead of their exportation.
The EEFP, in line with the FG’sEconomic Sustainability Plan (ESP), is focused on cushioning the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic on non-oil export businesses,thereby safeguarding jobs and creating new ones.
In March, Minister of Industry,Tradeand Investment (MITI), Niyi Adebayo, officially flagged off the EEFP and launched the first online Grant Management Portal (GMP) for non-oil exports.
While the EEFP is being implemented by the NEPC, the Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment is the supervisory body over the agency and its operations.
It was learnt although the programme anticipated 500 beneficiaries, since the launch, it has received over 3,500 applications for the grant, out of which over 2,000 were verified after meeting the eligibility criteria.
Federal Government officials said further details and plans on disbursement to final successful beneficiaries are being awaited.

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