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Senate Enforces Priority For Made-In-Nigeria Goods

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In line with the expecta
tions of the yearnings of patriotic Nigerians and  Senate has taken a step towards enforcing the patronage of made in Nigeria goods in the award and implementation of government contracts, as the upper chamber yesterday passed for third reading the Bill seeking to Amend the Public Procurement Act (2007).
Going by the  general principle of the bill, if finally  signed into law by Mr. President, the bill will provide for and adopt a local content policy and timely completion of procurement process, to enable local manufacturers have the chance to be considered in government contractual procurements.
Presenting the reporting of the committee to the Senate at plenary , the chairman of the Senate Committee on Procurement, Joshua Dariye, noted that the provisions of the Bill will boost the confidence of the local manufacturers  and  encourage as the committee upheld the section that stipulated local content priority.
The   committee also recommended the immediate constitution of the National Council on Public Procurement (NCPP) by the President, which will take away from the Federal Executive Council (FEC) the responsibility of awarding contracts and place such duty on the NCPP, to be chaired  by the President.
Senator Dariye reported  that “The Committee has equally sustained the amendment sought by the Bills for the purpose of patronising made in Nigeria goods, alongside foreign goods. This will go a long way to encourage our Nigerian manufactures and by extension provide job opportunities for our teaming unemployed youths”
He also explained that the committee rejected part of the amendment proposed by the Bill, which seeks to review upwardly the mobilization fee to be paid contractors from 15% to 25%, saying this is in view of the current downturn in the nation’s economy whereby a considerable percentage of the national budget would be financed through borrowing.
“The committee believes that it does not make any economic sense to borrow at high interest rate and give up to 25% of contract sum to the same contractors that will be paid profit afterwards; and it is in conflict with section 2930 of the Financial Regulations of the country”,  he continued .
Explaining further, senator Joshua Dariye  pointed out that  the committee enhanced the time for completion of procurement processes at various phases, while the Section (1) was amended by adding sub section (2) to give the President the powers to appoint the chairman of the council, which he said is in line with Sections 171 and 172 of the 1999 Constitution as amended.
Briefing journalists after the bill was passed, senator Dariye  also said the committee enlarged the membership of the National Council on Procurement to include the Nigerian Institute of Architects and the Nigeria Institute of Quantity Survey, pointing out that the two bodies are very vital to any capital project which he said is the major aspect of procurement.
Meanwhile, he said that by the time the Bill is assented by the President, the Federal Executive Council will no longer be in charge of awarding and approving contracts, but the National Council on Procurement will be charged with the responsibility as provided in the Constitution of the country.
He equally expressed hope that President Mohammadu Buhari, would not hesitate to sign the bi into law the moment the National As see forwards it to the Presidency .

 

Nneka Amaechi-Nnadi, Abuja

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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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