Bauchi State Government says it has earmarked N300 million to support businesses to accelerate growth of Small and Medium Scale Entreprises (SMEs).
The Commissioner for Cooperatives, Small and Medium Enterprises, Hajiya Sa’adatu Kirfi, said this at the inauguration of the Kaura Economic Empowerment Programme (KEEP), weekend, in Azare, headquarters of Katagum Local Government Area.
The gesture, she said, would boost trade and enhance wealth creation for sustainable social and economic development of the State.
“The money will be disbursed to business community any moment from now,” she said.
According to her, the KEEP scheme is in fulfillment of the promise of the present administration, adding that economic strengthening items worth N75 million would be distributed to youth and women in the area.
She said 9,500 persons had so far benefited from the programme in 19 LGAs since inception of the scheme.
“The KEEP programme is initiated by this administration to address issues of unemployment through increased access to entrepreneurship and improved employability of youth and women,” she said.
The Commissioner urged the beneficiaries to ensure effective utilisation of the items and engage in productive activities to enable them to become self-reliant.
Meanwhile, the State Governor, Bala Mohammed, has performed the ground breaking ceremony of the Azare Ultra Modern market project.
He said the project would be executed through Public Private Partnership (PPP), adding that the move was a deliberate policy to improve the economic fortune of the State.
He said under the PPP arrangement, the State Government allocated land, while a private firm, Modern Shelter System and Service Ltd would execute the project.
“In line with the decision to execute the project through PPP, the State Government has engaged Modern Shelter System and Service Limited to carry out the construction and upgrade of Azare market to an Ultra Modern service,” he said.
Earlier, the General Manager of the company, Mr Abdulmalik Mhadi, said the market was designed with modern facilities, adding that the project would create about 1,000 direct and indirect jobs.
He also assured readiness to complete the project as scheduled.
NUPRC Gets New Gazette On Host Community Dev Trust
The Nigeria Upstream Pe
troleum Regulatory Commission (NUPRC), Monday, said another set of draft regulation on Nigeria Upstream Petroleum Host Community Development Trust regulations had been gazetted.
The Nigeria Upstream Petroleum Host Community Development Trust regulations was among the six draft regulations presented for discussion during the first phase of the commission’s consultations with stakeholders earlier in April.
Making this known at the second phase of consultation with stakeholders on draft regulations, Monday, the Chief Executive Officer, NUPRC, Gbenga Komolafe, said it was part of the Commission’s efforts towards ensuring an enabling environment for growth and investments in the upstream oil and gas industry.
Seven regulations were gazetted at the session: Acreage Management (Drilling & Production) Regulations; Upstream Petroleum Environmental Regulations; Upstream Petroleum Environmental Remediation Fund Regulations; Upstream Petroleum Safety Regulations; Unitisation Regulations; Upstream Petroleum Decommissioning & Abandonment Regulations; and Frontier Exploration Fund Regulations.
Komolafe said the outstanding five regulations, Royalty Regulations; Domestic Gas Delivery Obligation Regulations; Nigeria Conversion & Renewal (Licence and Lease) Regulations; Petroleum Licensing Round Regulations; Upstream Petroleum Fees and Rents Regulations have been finalised and ready for gazetting.
He stated that the Commission would continue to ensure that key policies and regulations necessitated by the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA) are developed and gazetted timely so that the industry operators can align their operations with the PIA provisions as quickly as possible.
A statement by the Commission reads: “The inputs of the stakeholders from the engagement were incorporated, where necessary, in the draft regulations.
“Thereafter, the regulations were forwarded to the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice for vetting, legislative standardisation, and approval. I am happy to inform you that One of the regulations.”
Kolade, who welcoming the stakeholders to the consultation session, said it was in compliance with Section 216 of the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA).
“Please permit me to reiterate that the process of formulating the regulations has been a rigorous and strenuous exercise. They are products of critical thinking and evaluation, and hard work by the Commission’s Regulation development Team and the Presidential Implementation Committee on PIA.
“Despite this, however, the process is not complete until the Stakeholders’ critical inputs are obtained, discussed, and incorporated, where necessary, in the Regulations,” Komolafe said.
He promised that “the Commission will continue to embark on programmes and policies that will create enabling environment for growth and more investments in the Nigerian upstream oil and gas sector.”
Nigeria’s Debt Hits N42.84trn
The Debt Management Office (DMO) says domestic debt has pushed Nigeria’s total public debt stock from N41.60tn as at March 2022 to N42.84tn in June of the same year, showing an increase of N1.24tn in three months.
A press statement published on the DMO’s website, Monday, said Domestic and External debt stock of the Federal and State Governments went up from N41.60tn in March to N42.84tn in June, 2022.
“The Total Public Debt Stock, representing the Domestic and External Debt Stocks of the Federal Government of Nigeria, the 36 State Governments and the Federal Capital Territory, was N42.84tn ($103.31bn) as at June 30, 2022. The comparative figures for March 30, 2022, was N41.60tn ($100.07bn)”, according to the statement.
The DMO said the Federal Government was unable to secure any foreign loans in the second quarter of 2022, noting that external debt remained the same at N16.61tn ($40.06bn) from Q1 to Q2 2022.
It further stated that 58 per cent of external debt was concessional and semi-concessional loans from multilateral lenders such as the World Bank, International Monetary Fund, Afrexim, African Development Bank and bilateral lenders, including Germany, China, Japan, India and France.
It added that domestic debt rose to N26.23tn ($63.24bn) due to new borrowings by the government to part-finance the deficit in 2022 Appropriation (Repeal and Enactment) Act, as well as new borrowings by state governments and the FCT.
Total Public Debt to GDP as at June 30, 2022, the DMO continued, was 23.06 per cent compared to the ratio of 23.27 per cent as at March 36 2022, adding that the debt service-to-revenue ratio remained high.
No Petrol Scarcity In December – NNPCL
The Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPCL) says the country will not experience petrol scarcity in December and beyond, as it has made adequate arrangements for supply.
NNPCL’s Chief Financial Officer, Mr Umar Ajia, said this in Abuja, Monday, when he appeared before the Ad hoc Committee of the House of Representatives on fuel subsidy regime in Nigeria.
He said the company had put in place adequate measures to prevent petrol scarcity in the country, even after the 2023 general election.
“We have extended our Direct Sales Direct Purchase (DSDP) contract by six months, to sustain supply of PMS through the country.
“The DSDP contract in reality ended in August and it is very dangerous period to begin to retender for that because we are facing the winter, these are the difficult ‘ember months’ that we normally avoid fuel scarcity.
“You know the scarcity in Nigeria is really associated with the Christmas period so if you now tender, the tendering process will take one or two months.
“So, what the Board approved is to extend the contract for six month such that we have passed the winter and we have passed the election, otherwise we could have problems during the election,” he said.
The Chairman, Committee, Rep. Ibrahim Al-Mustapha (APC-Sokoto) said there was the need for an upward review of petrol price, in-line with the global price.
Al-Mustapha said petrol was being sold for N536 per litre in Niger Republic, N577 per litre in Mali and N389 per liter in Benin Republic.
Ajia, however, said petrol subsidised for Nigerians was being smuggled to neighbouring countries saying that figures of petrol consumed in the country does not necessarily represent the true picture.
He said as a result of the porous borders, subsidised petrol meant to be consumed by Nigerians go as far as Mali and other neighbourimg countries.
“If you have N5 million, you can cross the borders with trucks laden with petrol and that is the bitter truth, we have porous borders; yes we have customs but I do not know,” he said.
The committee went into a closed door session to further deliberate on the matter.
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