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SON To Establish Laboratories In Six Geo-Political Zones

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The Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON) says it has concluded plans to establish laboratories in the six geo-opolitical zones for testing products and ensuring standardisation in the country.
The Special Assistant to the Director-General of SON, Mr Bola Fashina, disclosed this in an interview with newsmen, yesterday in Abuja.
According to Fashina, the organisation already has in its 2020 budget, plans to establish laboratories in the six zones to ensure that products met required standards for certification.
He said SON would ensure that products within each region could easily be tested at the regionally laboratories, instead of sending them to its laboratories in Lagos, Kaduna or Enugu.
“In the last four to five years, we have had a new laboratory complex consisting of about 36 laboratories in Ogba Industrial Estate in Lagos.
“A lot of laboratories there have already attained international accreditation.
“This is to ensure that the result of whatever test that is carried out there is acceptable globally,’’ he said.
Fashina noted that the establishment of the laboratories was aimed at supporting government’s Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP) to ensure that Nigerian products and produce were easily exported without rejection.
“Apart from these ones, we have other laboratories, namely textile and leather laboratory located in Kaduna, engineering laboratory in Enugu, and another laboratory in our operational headquarters in Lekki, Lagos.
The Head, Public Relations, SON, further said that a national centre was being constructed to take care of Nigeria and West African Metrology Institute to support industrialisation.
He explained that the centre would ensure accuracy of measurement in length, volume or mass, among others to ensure that manufacturing and trading were done with accuracy.
Fashina said that the centre would also ensure that machines used in manufacturing in the country were calibrated from time to time to ensure accuracy.
“It is an ongoing thing because laboratories evolve with technology as taste of people change all over the world and in view of the fact that standards now are not static.
“Standards all over the world are being harmonised at regional, international and continental levels, often times standards in food are usually coded standards.
“It is only in cases where such standards do not exist that you find new standards being developed for products that are just emerging.
“Once they are developed, it makes trading across borders very easy,’’ he said.
Fashina expressed SON’s commitment to continue to invest in developing laboratories in view of the implementation of African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) agreement.

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CIBN Holds Virtual AGM, Elects Olugbemi 21st President

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The Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria (CIBN) has elected Prof. Bayo Olugbemi as the 21st President of the institute, alongside other officers whose tenure would run from 2020 to 2022.
The announcement of Olugbemi’s emergence, along with other elected officers, was one of the highlights of the institute’s virtual Annual General Meeting on Saturday, where it reviewed the 2019 financial and operational reports.
The meeting which was coordinated and chaired by the outgoing president of the institute, Dr Uche Olowu, had members participating from across the world.
Speaking on the 2019 operations, Olowu informed members that the Institute had made noteworthy improvement as a reference point in the country and across the globe.
He said that all the CIBN subsidiaries from the Centre for Financial Studies to the Press were maintaining winning ways and would continue to experience improved performance.
In the area of capacity building, he said the Institute had reviewed the syllabus of flagship Associate of Chartered Institute of Bankers (ACIB) qualification in conjunction with a top consulting firm (PwC).
According to him, this is in a bid to keep the ACIB qualification relevant and ensure that the contents meet with global standard.
He said that the electronic library which consisted electronic books, journals and other resources provided round-the-clock information and had been acquired by the CIBN Library for easy access to its users.
Olowu said that a former president of the Institute, Dr Olusegun Aina, had been re-elected as Chairman of the Global Education Standard Board.
He also said the Institute had expanded its examination centres to Liberia, bringing the number of foreign examination outposts to five, with one in Katsina State, Nigeria.
In the area of collaboration, Olowu said that the Bankers’ Committee had approved Ethics Certification for staff of banks.
He said that 87,000 bank staff had registered on the e-learning platform, while a sizeable number had completed the certification programme.
At the event, the National Treasurer of the Institute, Prof. Deji Olanrewaju, gave the financial highlights of the Institute in 2019.
Also, Mr Mark Ariemuduigho of Baker Tilly International Nigeria, external auditors of the institute, gave reports for 2019 financials and stated that the financial position of the CIBN was in agreement with the book of accounts.
The Chairman of the CIBN Audit Committee, Mr Babatunde Oduwaye, affirmed that the accounting and reporting policies of the institute were in accordance with legal requirements and ethical practices.

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Oil Price Rises Above $34, As OPEC Meets, Today

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The international oil benchmark, Brent crude, extended its gains last Friday, climbing to as high as $34.91 a barrel on rising hopes of a new global deal to cut crude supply.
Brent soared as much as 47 per cent last Thursday for its highest intraday percentage gain on record.
The upturn in crude oil prices came after the United States President, Donald Trump, said he expected that Saudi Arabia and Russia would agree to new oil production cuts.
Brent had fallen to an 18-year low of $22 per barrel as at last Monday as a coronavirus-driven lockdown severely reduced oil demand amid an escalating price war between Saudi Arabia and Russia.
The Federal Government, which was looking to generate 32.34 per cent (N2.64tn) of expected total revenue from oil, was forced to propose the reduction of the benchmark to $30 from $57 on the back of the sharp drop in oil prices.
The Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and its allies, led by Russia, are working on a deal for an unprecedented production cut equivalent to about 10 per cent of global supply, an OPEC source said, according to Reuters.
Oil prices slumped 65 per cent in the first quarter of this year on a demand slump caused by the global coronavirus outbreak and moves by Russia and Saudi Arabia to flood the market after their failure last month to extend much smaller OPEC+ supply cuts.
A meeting of OPEC and its allies, a grouping known as OPEC+, has been scheduled for Monday, (today) the Azerbaijan energy ministry said, but details on the distribution of production cuts were thin on the ground.
Trump said last Thursday that he had spoken with both Russian President, Vladimir Putin and Saudi Crown, Prince Mohammed bin Salman, and they had agreed to reduce supplies by 10 million to 15 million barrels per day out of total global supply of about 100 million bpd.
Trump said he did not make any concessions, such as agreeing to a US production cut – a move forbidden by US anti-trust legislation.
The Head of the International Energy Agency, Fatih Birol, said that even if OPEC+ cut supply by 10 million bpd, global oil stocks would build by 15 million bpd in the second quarter.
“With a now discussed cut of 10 million bpd … the oil industry would get at least three weeks more room to prepare for hitting the wall when there are no more places to put the excess production,” said Rystad Energy’s Per Magnus Nysveen.

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Four Firms Bid For Purchase Of Stock Exchange Building In PH

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Four companies have bidded for the purchase of the abandoned 17-storey Nigerian Stock Exchange building along Aba Road, Port Harcourt.
The four companies which include,Center Escencia, Techno Construction Limited, Techno Metal Plastic Nigeria Limited and Estate 2000 Construction Limited, made their intentions known during the competitive bidding ceremony organised by the Rivers State Ministry of Housing for the purchase of the building.
The Rivers State Commissioner for Housing, Elder Tasie Nwobueze told newsmen at the ceremony that the process was fair and transparent.
Elder Nwobueze said tenders for the purchase of the building was published in some national newspapers, adding that so far, four companies which met the criteria were participating in the bidding process.
He said the ministry’s Tenders Board would assess the various applications with a view to selecting the best among them.
According to him, the committee may not necessarily look at the highest bidders but competence will be brought to bear in who gets the building.
Also speaking, the Permanent Secretary, Rivers State Ministry of Housing and Chairman of the Interministerial Tenders Board, Mr Felix Odungweru, described the bidding process as very transparent. \
Odungweru said that the state government was out to ensure that the building is restored to its original concept of 17 floor.
He said the committee would analyse all the submissions of the bidders to determine their eligibility and make recommendations to the state government.

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