Many high-level policymakers and business executives were gathered at the Transcorp Hilton Hotel, Abuja for the 24th annual Nigerian Economic Summit which was earlier today declared open by the Vice President of Nigeria, Professor Yemi Osinbajo.
While addressing the hundreds of gathered participants, the newly-appointed Chairman of the Nigerian Economic Summit Group (NESG), Mr Asue Ighodalo, described the summit as a platform dedicated to stirring up conversations that will position Nigeria on the right path to economic development whilst helping to uplift millions out of extreme poverty.
The Chairman also highlighted some of the problems hindering Nigeria’s economic development, noting that this year’s theme – Poverty to Prosperity: Making Governance and Institutions Work – is apt, especially as Nigerians are getting ready to go to the polls in early 2019.
The Vice President represented President Buhari
The Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, who was representing President Muhammadu Buhari, highlighted some of the efforts being made by the Federal Government towards actualising the much-desired economic development in Nigeria. These include the Government’s Anchor Borrower’s Scheme which gives loans to smallholder farmers in order to enable them to increase their output.
Also, 56% of the Government Enterprise and Empowerment Programme (GEEP) has gone to women, he said.
The Vice President further talked about how the Administration has invested as much as N250 billion in its various social investment programmes such as the N-Power.
“A major premise of our economic model was empowering the jobless youth and millions in abject poverty.” – VP Osinbajo
He, however, acknowledged that there is plenty of room for more to be done, even as he blamed corruption and Nigeria’s explosive population growth as some of the major factors responsible for the extreme poverty prevalent in the country.
He acknowledged that Nigeria’s poverty does persist even when the country earn its highest revenues. This, he blamed on the high level of corruption in the Nigerian system.
According to him, the biggest surprise to him since becoming VP is the sheer impact of corruption. Unfortunately, fighting corruption is difficult as it has become deeply-entrenched in the system due to many years of military impunity.
Minister of Budget talked about the Government’s Economic Recovery Growth Plan
Also speaking during the summit was the Minister of Budget and National Planning, Sen. Udoma Udo Udoma. He said he was glad to be a part of the summit, as it is the uttermost priority of the President Buhari-led Government to regularly interact with the private sector as a way of driving the economy.
He enumerated some of the measures the Government has taken towards actualising economic development, including the Economic Recovery Growth Plan (ERGP) which he said the Federal Government is working closely with the state governments to implement.
He also made mention of the Government’s four-year strategic plan to reform the Nigerian Civil Service towards ensuring optimal productivity.
Professor Lewis hammered the need for Government to do more
While most of the speakers spoke in favour of the Government, Professor Peter Lewis of the John Hopkins University took a different dimension.
Although he agreed that a lot has improved since 1993 when the first NESG held, he, however, argued that the country still has a long way to go in terms of economic development; even as there is no reasonable excuse for the slow growth.
He pointed out the Nigerian system of poor governance and corruption as the key factors responsible for lack of development. This is because the likes of Brazil, Indonesia, Mexico and China have overtaken Nigeria in terms of development despite having similar challenges and prospects.
Many high-profile individuals were represented at the event, including Governors of Lagos, Edo and Ekiti states- Akinwunmi Ambode, Godwin Obaseki, and Kayode Fayemi.
Others include Nigeria’s Head of Service, Winifred Oyo Ita, Ministers, Chief Executive Officers and Chairmen of companies. There were also many expatriates in attendance, as well as the general audience.
The two-day event is organised by the Nigerian Economic Summit Group, will continue tomorrow Tuesday, October 23rd.
NNPC signs gas development and commercialization deal with SEEPCO
NNPC and SEEPCO have signed a gas development and commercialization deal.
The state oil giant, Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) has signed a gas development deal with Sterling Exploration and Energy Production Company (SEEPCO).
The agreement between the 2 oil firm is for the development and commercialization of gas from Oil Mining Lease (OML) 143 that could help reduce gas flaring in the country.
The disclosure was contained in a press statement that was issued by the Group General Manager, Group Public Affairs Division of NNPC, Dr Kennie Obateru, on Saturday, September 26, 2020, in Abuja.
According to the statement, the Group Managing Director of NNPC, Malam Mele Kyari, while speaking at the agreement-signing ceremony which held at the NNPC Towers, described the execution of the deal as a great milestone as well as a testament to NNPC’s commitment to facilitating the nation’s transformation into a gas-powered economy.
Kyari disclosed that the deal would not only help reduce gas flaring and its environmental hazards but would also promote gas production and utilization in the domestic market.
The NNPC boss also commended SEEPCO for its unwavering commitment to gas development and commercialization in the country which has led to the establishment of a Special Purpose Vehicle that will help expand gas utilization in the country as a cleaner, cheaper and more reliable alternative form of energy.
On his part, the Chairman of SEEPCO, Mr Tony Chukwueke, described the deal as an essential partnership that would help the company fulfil the pledge it made to support the efforts of the Nigerian government to eliminate gas flaring by monetizing it.
He commended NNPC and the Group Managing Director for ensuring the execution of the agreement which he described central to the achievement of the company’s cardinal objective of boosting the production of Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG), condensate and dry gas for the Nigerian market, adding that the company has invested about $600 million for that purpose.
This is coming at a time when the Federal Government is shifting focus to gas utilization as an alternative source of energy especially with the increase in the retail pump price of petrol. This is one of the various initiatives by the government as represented by the NNPC towards providing alternative sources of energy.
Buhari reappoints 3 Chief Executives of agencies under Federal Ministry of Petroleum
3 Chief Executive Officers of agencies under the Federal Ministry of Petroleum Resources have been reappointed.
President Muhammadu Buhari has renewed the appointment of 3 Chief Executive Officers of parastatals under the Federal Ministry of Petroleum Resources with immediate effect.
The appointments that were renewed by the president include that of Dr Bello Aliyu Gusau as the Executive Secretary of Petroleum Technology Development Fund (PTDF), Ahmed Bobboi as the Executive Secretary/Chief Executive Officer of Petroleum Equalization Fund (PEF) and Simbi Wabote as Executive Secretary, Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB).
The disclosure was made through a series of tweet posts by the presidency on its official Twitter handle on Friday, September 25, 2020.
The statement disclosed that the renewal of the appointments followed recommendations to the President by the Minister of State Petroleum Resources, Timipre Syla.
It stated that Dr Aliyu Gusau was credited to have run the PTDF successfully in the past four years, keeping faith with the Seven Strategic Priorities he had introduced in January 2017.
These are Domestication, Cost cutting, Sustainable funding, Efficient internal processes, Linkages with the industry, Utilization of centres of excellence, and Pursuit of home-grown research.
It also stated that Bobboi got his reappointment for having run PEF in a way that made it a key and strategic player in the administration’s oil and gas reforms, especially in stabilizing the supply and distribution of petroleum products across the country, among others.
Going further, it stated that the NCDMB boss, Wabote, won his pips for managing the NCDMB and completing its headquarters building. Wabote was also credited to have initiated many landmark projects that were widely commended by industry players.
STATE HOUSE PRESS RELEASE
PRESIDENT BUHARI RENEWS APPOINTMENTS OF PTDF, PEF, NCDMB BOSSES
President @MBuhari has renewed the appointments of Chief Executive Officers of agencies under the Ministry of Petroleum Resources.
— Presidency Nigeria (@NGRPresident) September 25, 2020
UBA launches new online entertainment platform, ‘RED Radio’ with Wizkid interview
UBA’s RED Radio launches with an exclusive interview with its brand ambassador, Wizkid.
Pan- African financial institution, United Bank for Africa, (UBA Plc), continues to lead in innovation with the launch of its dynamic and creative Online Radio channel – RED Radio.
RED Radio, powered by UBA is a lifestyle web platform that has been set up to inform, educate, entertain and to bring to the fore, the best of Africa. Much like its sister platform, REDTV, RED Radio is expected to showcase the best in lifestyle, entertainment, music, news, comedy and fashion.
Speaking on the launch of RED Radio, Group Chairman of UBA, Tony O. Elumelu applauded the creative initiative, emphasising that UBA is a financial institution always ready to support creativity and entrepreneurship. The 2020 Time 100 most influential person in the world who has committed USD100 million to empowering young entrepreneurs across Africa said about RED Radio, “Creativity and innovation are a powerful combination and every detail in an art piece is important and meaningful. This applies to growing businesses and budding entrepreneurs. You will encounter challenges, like I did, but each experience is a lesson that brings you closer to your goal. That is the beauty of creativity.”
Continuing, Elumelu remarked, “There are many ways to make something beautiful, to make a sound interesting or to bring a story to life. You can define your expression, and today, as UBA’s RED Radio launches, I wish Bola Atta and her enterprising team many successes through this beautiful medium of expression.”
In appreciation of the support of UBA Group Chairman for the exciting creative initiative, UBA’s Group Head, Corporate Communications, Bola Atta, said ‘just like, REDTV which is Africa’s leading online entertainment network, RED Radio is positioned to fast become the foremost online radio platform in Africa’.
Also expressing his delight, UBA’s Brand Ambassador and star boy, Wizkid, said, “I am never too busy for my UBA family,” as he granted an exclusive interview on one of the station’s flagship shows ‘On the Street’ where he spoke extensively about his upcoming album and what his fans should expect from him in the coming weeks.
RED Radio promises to bring rich and engaging content that will keep its audience coming back constantly for vibrant and robust entertainment. Listeners can tune in to www.itsredio.com 24/7.