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‘Nigeria On A Self-Rediscovery, Redemption Mission’

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The Director-General Nigeria Mining Cadastre Office (MCO), Mr Obadiah Nkom says the country is in historic times as it is on a mission of self-rediscovery and redemption.
He said this during his investiture as president of the Nigeria Mining and Geosciences Society (NMGS) weekend in Abuja.
The Tide news reports that he was elected as the society’s 30th president in March, at its 55th Annal International Conference in Enugu.
Nkom recalled that the country prior to the discovery of oil and gas in commercial quantity was known for its tin, columbite, and coal.
“Mining was one of main-stay of the country’s economy, leading to the establishment and development of cities such as Jos and Enugu where generations were raised.
“Mines and mining camps were homes to people from diverse corners of this country, guarantying the earning of decent living wages,” he said.
This, the NMGS President said promoted cohesive family lives and above all cemented the bond among the people.
Nkom said such days were only now remembered with nostalgia, especially so, because many of the mining entities had long been consigned to the dustbin of history.
He, however, said that efforts were being made by some Nigerians to get the country back to those “winning ways again”, a reason he said the country was on a mission of self-rediscovery and redemption.
The director-general assured Nigerians that as the President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration enters the next level of development, the NMGS would continue to work closely and harmoniously with government and its agencies to achieve its objectives.
He noted that jobs in the oil and gas sector was becoming endangered as the world was aggressively looking for alternatives to fossil fuels.
Nkom advised that the Nigerian oil and gas sector should therefore, as a matter of fact begin to also pursue the maximisation of the potential inherent in the sector.
“Nigeria should shift from exporting unrefined crude to becoming a nation of petrol chemicals, we should pursue the conversion of this black gold into finished products and raw material feedstocks for industries.
According to him, this will hasten the country’s industrialisation process and create more jobs for teaming unemployed Nigerians.
He said it was regrettable that we export jobs that were badly needed by the teeming youth in the country.
Nkom explained that when we export crude oil, the country is denied the full benefits of our God given potential.
He, however, said that political will and a determined populace desirous of forgoing current short-time pleasure and comfort for a secured and sustainable future was required to achieve the full potential of the country’s solid mineral deposits.
According to him, in order to achieve this, there is the need for the Federal Government to formulate a licensing policy to encourage oil companies to becoming petrol-chemical producers rather than extractors and exporters of crude.
The ceremony was also attended by some traditional rulers from across the country, among whom was Malam Tagwai Sambo, the Chief of Marwa, in Kauro Local Government Area of Kaduna State.

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MSMEs In Nigeria Rise To 41m

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A recent survey by the National Survey on Micro Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) in conjunction with the Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN) and the National Bureau for Statistics (NBS), has revealed that the number of MSMEs in Nigeria has risen to 41,543,028.
The Minister of State, Industry, Trade and Investment, Mariam Katagum who stated this in Abuja yesterday at the presentation of a report and the formal launch of the National MSME Database online portal, said there are limiting factors like the dearth of veritable and useable data on MSMEs.
He said this has also created employment for 59,647,954 people across the country, saying the purpose of the National MSME database is to give a face and identity to a number of players especially within the small and growing businesses.
Katagun said: “The National MSME database is an initiative of SMEDAN. It will also give visibility to all the enablers. I have been informed that the first phase of the database capture of MSMEs in 2018 covered four commercial activities of Kano, Abia, Lagos and Ogun.
“The harvested database of MSMEs from other states and will gradually be uploaded into the national database portal over time as funds are made available.
The Director General, SMEDAN, Dikko Umaru stated that the agency has been burdened with tons of request regarding key information bordering on MSMEs over the years.
The Tide reports that the purpose of the database is to complement on sectoral basis the huge details contained in the national survey on MSMEs jointly conducted by SMEDAN and NBS.

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3,051 Depositors Petition Banks Over Charges,

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About 3,051 depositors have petitioned their banks and other financial institutions over various complaints such as excess/unauthorised charges, fraudulent activities, guarantees, dispense errors and funds transfers in 2018, a report by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has indicated.
While 1,439 complaints were lodged to the CBN in the first half of 2018, 1,612 complaints were reported in the second half of 2018.
This was disclosed in a report by the CBN in its financial stability report on complaints management and resolution for 2018.
The report said, “A total of 1,612 complaints from consumers of financial services were received in the period under review, indicating an increase of 173 complaints or 12.02 per cent over the 1,439 received in the first half of 2018.
“Of this number, 1,602 complaints or 99.38 per cent were against banks, while 10 complaints or 0.62 per cent were against OFIs.
“The complaints were in various categories, such as excess/unauthorised charges, fraud, guarantees, dispense errors, funds transfers.”
It added, “A total of 1,496 complaints were successfully resolved or closed in the period under review, compared with 4,723 in the first half of 2018, indicating a decrease of 3,227 or 215.71 per cent.
“Total claims made by complainants during the period amounted to N7.99bn and $1.77m, while the sums of N3.09bn and $1.724m were refunded to customers.”
The Director, Corporate Communications, CBN, Mr Isaac Okorafor, had earlier said customers should not always be too much in a hurry to let some grievances go away, but should take a further step by reporting to the regulator.
“We have actually helped a lot of displeased depositors to get monies from their banks after they complained,” he said.
According to him, any depositor who felt extorted by his bank, if after complaining and the bank denied should send an email to the CBN.
He said if customers failed to lodge their complaints, it would be impossible for the CBN to go into the banking hall and defend their rights.
“The depositors should lodge their complaints with us. So, please find time to report any wrongdoings by the banks,” he said.
Okorafor noted that there were all manner of complaints, but said that convenient banking services required various levels of investments, which customers must pay for, but only at appropriate rates.
“Banking services are not free anywhere in the world,” he added.
He explained that if a person could sit in his comfort zone to make transactions, it was only made possible because some people invested in the banks.
“It is not government subsidy; some people are paying for it but what the CBN would not do is to allow your banks to rip you off,” he said.
He added that the apex bank had published on its website the appropriate ways to address bank problems.

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NDDC’s Debtors: NASS Lists FG, 17 Oil Firms Says They Owe Agency N1.27trn, $73m

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The Federal Government and 17 local and international oil companies have questions to answer over alleged indebtedness to the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) to the tune of N1.27trillion and $73million, respectively.
The National Assembly on Monday said it would invite some Federal Government officials and 17 oil firms over the alleged indebtedness to the NDDC.
The officials to appear before the joint Senate and House of Representatives Committee on the NDDC next week Wednesday include the Minister of Finance, Zainab Ahmed, Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Godwin Emefiele; Accountant-General of the Federation, Ahmed Idris; and Auditor-General of the Federation, Anthony Ayine.
Some of the oil companies invited are Shebah Express Petroleum, Atlas Petroleum, Allied Energy, Frontier Oil, Seven Energy Limited, Belma Oil Producing Limited, Aiteo Exploration and Production, Dubri Oil, Conoil Producing, and Continental Oil and Gas.
Others are Nigeria LNG Limited, Enageed Resources Limited, New Cross Exploration and Production, Pan Ocean Oil Corporation Nigeria Limited, Nigerian Petroleum Development Company, Munipulo Petroleum Development Company, and Prime Exploration and Production Company.
The Chairman, House Committee on NDDC and Co-chairman of the joint committee, Olubunmi Tunji-Ojo, confirmed the development to journalists in Abuja on Monday.
He said, “We are expecting the IOCs and other oil companies to come by Wednesday next week to tell Nigerians why they have blatantly refused to abide by the laws of the nation. I can assure, we will recover every dime due to the NDDC.”
The lawmaker stated that records had shown that the affected oil companies jointly owed the NDDC N72billion and $73million, while the Federal Government alone owed N1.2trillion.
Tunji-Ojo said, “These companies we are investigating owe the NDDC huge sums of money, which when remitted, would improve the fortune of the people of the Niger Delta area. By the records we have, a company like Shell Petroleum Development Company owes more than N54.9bn.
”We also have it on good authority that Pan Ocean owes as much as $46.6million, while Allied Energy is indebted to the tune of $43m; and Shebah Express Petroleum owes as much as $23.8million and then, Atlas Petroleum owes $22million.
“The 9th National Assembly cannot afford to sit and watch oil companies deny the NDDC of its statutory revenue from firms operating in the country.”
He added that a technical audit of the NDDC conducted by the 8th National Assembly was very revealing.

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