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Peace-Keeping: UN Applauds Nigeria

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The United Nations Department of Peacekeeping Operations (DPKO) has commended Nigeria’s continued commitment to its peacekeeping operations in countries affected by conflicts.
Mr Herve Ladsous, the Head of the global body peacekeeping operations, said this when he received the Inspector- General of Police, Mr Mohammed Abubakar, who was on working visit at the UN Headquarters in York.
Nigeria occupies the fifth position as the largest Troop Contributing Country after Ethiopia.
Ladsous also appreciated the position of Nigeria for providing personnel and equipment for its peacekeepers to boost their operations.
The duo later went into a closed-door meeting where the challenges facing peacekeepers globally were discussed.
Abubakar also met the Assistant Secretary-General, Office of Rule of Law and Security Institution (ORLSI), the UN under- Secretary, Department of Field Support and Amb. Daffa-Alla Elhag Ali Osman, Permanent Representative of the Republic of Sudan to the UN.
Speaking with newsmen, after their meeting, Abubakar described the deliberations as “very fruitful”, noting that presently the Nigerian Police was contributing about 4, 000 officers to most peacekeeping operations all over the world.
“We are in Liberia, Sudan, Haiti, Mali and in several other places. They are are some challenges that we have both locally and we are looking at the possibility of taking care of these challenges.
“In Nigeria under this present administration of President Goodluck Jonathan, we have done very well in ensuring that we created a Regional Training Centre for the West African Police Forces.”
He said that the centre would make it possible for police officers within the African region to learn about international peacekeeping operations, stressing that Nigeria had the experience and expertise and the technical know-how.
The IGP also disclosed that irregular payment or delay in payment of allowances and salaries of peacekeepers was a thing of the past, adding that he met a messy situation when he assumed office.
”It is my believe that except you give the best to your troops, they can’t be able to protect themselves and they can’t be able to protect those who they are there to protect,” Abubakar said.
He said that the security challenges bedevilling the country were surmountable, including the issues of insurgence of Boko Haram.
“The issues have been taken care of as much as humanly possible and major arrests have been made. Major causalities of these intruders had been made and we are making much progress in terms of terror attacks.

Rivers State Commissioner for Agriculture, Hon. Emmanuel Chindah (middle), in a handshake with a guest during the 2013 World Food Day celebration in Port Harcourt last Wednesday. With them are Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Agriculture, Mr. Emmanuel Alex and other dignitaries. Photo: Prince Obinna Dele

Rivers State Commissioner for Agriculture, Hon. Emmanuel Chindah (middle), in a handshake with a guest during the 2013 World Food Day celebration in Port Harcourt last Wednesday. With them are Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Agriculture, Mr. Emmanuel Alex and other dignitaries. Photo: Prince Obinna Dele

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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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