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Business News

FG decries drop in applications for mining licenses

The FG has expressed worries over the recent drop witnessed in the number of applications for mining licences in the country.

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FG decries drop in applications for mining licenses, Minister identifies what is draining Nigerian economy 

The Federal Government (FG) has expressed worries over the recent drop witnessed in the number of applications for mining licences in the country.

Minister, Mines and Steel Development, Olamilekan Adegbite, disclosed during a working visit to the Nigerian Mining Cadastre Office, an agency under the ministry, that the applications for mining licence had declined in 2019.

He said, “The application has dropped this year, you need to ask yourself why. I looked at the graph you gave me of applications over the years and the application for this year by July seems to have dropped from what you had in the past.

“By July ending this year you had 1,025 applications, and in 2016 the total application received was 2,800.

“Are we having lower interest in mining now that government is placing a lot of emphasis in the sector? This administration wants to use mining to diversify the economy and generate employment for our people.

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“So why is application dropping? This is something we need to check. We need to look at that.

“At the end of this year, you may not even be able to have what you had last year, from what you have here now.”

[READ MORE: $9.6 billion judgement: FG pays P&ID £250,000 as running cost]

Mining

The minister wondered why the applications dropped at a time the government was banking on the mining sector to actualise its economic diversification agenda.

The minister urged the agency, which has the mandate to administer and manage mineral titles, to create more awareness about mining in order to improve the number of applications.

Adegbite, in the same vein, urged the state governments to play an active role in the mining sector by floating companies or joint ventures.

On the dispute between the Federal Government and the states over mining rights, he said, “The Federal Government is best positioned to realise revenue from mining and if the states are patient, they will get their due from derivation.

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“And even going beyond that, states are now encouraged to form special purpose vehicles so that they can participate in mining.

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“So states can form a company, whether fully owned or a joint venture with an existing company, to participate as active participants and not just waiting for derivation.

“Most states take it for granted when it comes to sharing oil money but when you want to mine gold in their domain they say no.”

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Director-General of the Nigerian Mining Cadastre Office, Engr. Simon Nkom said the agency was determined to ensure transparency in all its activities.

[READ ALSO: FG says $25 billion FDI helped boost nation’s economy after recession]

Nkom added that the agency had revoked about 1,566 inactive mining licences in line with its ‘use it or lose it’ approach.

He said, “Use it or lose it helps to eliminate speculators. When we give you the licence you either use it or lose it. It is on that basis that we have been able to make the system attractive enough for investors so as to generate more revenue.”

 

Abiola has spent about 14 years in journalism. His career has covered some top local print media like TELL Magazine, Broad Street Journal, The Point Newspaper.The Bloomberg MEI alumni has interviewed some of the most influential figures of the IMF, G-20 Summit, Pre-G20 Central Bank Governors and Finance Ministers, Critical Communication World Conference.The multiple award winner is variously trained in business and markets journalism at Lagos Business School, and Pan-Atlantic University. You may contact him via email - [email protected]

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Economy & Politics

Senate President lists benefits of PIB as public hearing on the bill opens

Ahmad Lawan has listed the benefits of the PIB presently before the National Assembly for consideration.

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Senate president warns about dangers of youth unemployment, National Assembly to ensure youth empowerment schemes are realized - Lawan

The President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan, has said that the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) which is presently before the National Assembly for consideration and passage will ensure that Nigerians benefit optimally from crude oil production and sale of fossil fuel reserves.

According to a statement that was issued by the Special Assistant, Press to the Senate President, Tabiowo Ezrel, this disclosure was made by Lawan, while declaring open a 2-day public hearing on the bill by the National Assembly on Monday, January 25, 2021.

The Senate President pointed out that the National Assembly in its consideration of the piece of legislation would ensure that the bill when passed into law, guarantees improved revenue earnings for the country.

READ: Investors gain big on Airbnb, now worth over $100 billion

What the Senate President is saying

Lawan in his statement said, ‘’Let me say this, we (National Assembly) will pass this bill not without ensuring that it is a bill that satisfies certain conditions. Nigeria is blessed with these resources, we want Nigeria to benefit optimally from them. In fact, we are in a hurry because we have lost so many years of benefits that we could have had.’’

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He, however, noted that the non-passage of the PIB had been a major drag on the industry over the years, significantly limiting its ability to attract both local and foreign capital at a time when many other countries are scrambling to exploit their oil and gas resources.

READ: FG to begin online registration, monitoring of petrol stations, depots

Going further, Lawan said, ‘’The mere knowledge that the nation’s oil industry is still being governed by laws enacted more than 50 years ago is ludicrous and extremely disappointing.

‘’As legislators, we will strive to deliver a Bill that will enhance the growth of our oil and gas industry, modernize our fiscal system and enhance competitiveness, while creating harmony for all stakeholders. This is a promise we have made and that we shall achieve.’’

READ: FG assures oil companies of lower taxes in new PIB

‘’Nigeria must have an oil and gas industry that benefits its people. Equally, our oil and gas industry must be competitive. We must create a sustainable investment climate, where business in the sector will flourish,’’ he said.

He also added that the determination by the legislature to pass the Bill is driven by the need to overhaul a system that has refused to operate optimally in line with global standards, resulting in loss of continental competitiveness, transparency, accountability, good governance and economic loss for the petroleum industry and the country.

The Different chapters of the PIB

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The Senate President revealed that the PIB comprises of 4 chapters that outline;

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  • How to create efficient and effective governing institutions with clear and separate roles for the petroleum industry,
  • Establish a framework for the creation of a commercially oriented and profit-driven National Petroleum Company,
  • Promote transparency, good governance and accountability in the administration of the petroleum resources of Nigeria among others.

READ: Buhari directs FIRS, others to ensure strict compliance of tax payment by foreign firms

Other benefits of the PIB

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He also noted that the PIB upon passage and assent into law by the President;

  • Would foster sustainable prosperity within host communities, provide direct social and economic benefits from petroleum operations to host communities,
  • Create a framework to support the development of host communities among others
  • Establish a progressive fiscal framework that encourages investment in the Nigerian Petroleum Industry,
  • Balancing rewards with risk and enhancing revenues to the Federal Government of Nigeria,
  • Provide a forward-looking fiscal framework that is based on core principles of clarity, dynamism and fiscal rules of general applications,
  • Establish a fiscal framework that expands the revenue base of the Federal Government while ensuring a fair return to investors.

READ: FG invalidates SIM integration using BVN generated NIN, applicants must visit NIMC offices

Lawan assured that the National Assembly during the public hearing would deal with all issues relating to the oil and gas industry with thoroughness and effectiveness so as to avert colossal losses to the nation’s economy.

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Spotlight Stories

Nigeria’s Sparkle partners with Network International for virtual and physical payment cards

Nigeria’s Sparkle signs with payment experts Network International for virtual and physical payment cards.

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Nigerian fintech startup Sparkle, a digital ecosystem providing financial, lifestyle, and business support services, has partnered with Network International, to power its recently launched payment card offering.

This is coming months after collaborating with Visa to enable them to issue Visa cards to its users.

Founded by former Diamond Bank chief executive officer (CEO) and tech entrepreneur, Uzoma Dozie with the aim of providing seamless solutions to Nigerian individuals, SMEs, and retailers. Sparkle’s new virtual and plastic debit cards are targeted at SMEs and upwardly mobile, unbanked consumers across Nigeria, bringing them the convenience, flexibility, safety, and security of cashless payments across various channels.

What they are saying

  • According to Uzoma Dozie, “Digital adoption and customer experience are going to be dependent on the people, platform, and partnership. In the area of payment processing and data insights, Network International brings that to our platform, and we are truly excited about the future of the partnership and what it means for the enablement and transformational impact for Nigerians anywhere in the world who are connected to the Sparkle platform.”
  • Also speaking on this new partnership, Andrew Key, Managing Director – Africa, Network International, said, “We are delighted to strengthen our strategic alliance with Sparkle as it seeks to further disrupt the payments offering to consumers and retailers in Nigeria. Building on our two decades of experience within payments and deep insight of the African market, we look forward to deploying our trusted platform and best-in-class technology towards supporting digital and financial inclusion of Nigerian consumers and businesses.”

Sparkles’ collaboration with Network International is based on their shared commitment to further the adoption of digital payments among emerging markets across Africa and the Middle East. Its users can make in-app payments with the new virtual card, and also make e-commerce transactions with the cards attached to their Sparkle profile.

This collaboration will offer Sparkle access to the Network’s years of experience and expertise in creating card solutions for emerging markets. The company can also benefit from Network’s advanced digital infrastructure and robust security protocols, avoiding the need to invest in expensive card management infrastructure.

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Appointments

AFEX appoints Kamaldeen Raji as MD of AFEX Fair Trade Limited

Mr Kamaldeen Raji has been appointed as the Managing Director of AFEX Fair Trade Limited.

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AFEX appoints Kamaldeen Raji as Managing Director of AFEX Fair Trade Limited

Leading commodities market player, AFEX has announced the appointment of Kamaldeen Raji as the Managing Director of AFEX Fair Trade Limited (AFEX Fair Trade).

This information was contained in an exclusive disclosure sent to Nairametrics today the 25th of January 2021.

According to the information contained in the press statement, the appointment is in line with AFEX’s mandate of strengthening trade infrastructure for Nigeria’s commodities market, while providing support for smallholder farmers, who are key players in the agricultural value chain.

What they are saying

The CEO of AFEX, Ayodeji Balogun, who commented on the appointment of the New Managing Director, said:

  • “I am delighted to have Kamaldeen stepping into the leadership at AFEX as the Managing Director of AFEX Fair Trade. This is in alignment with AFEX’s five-year strategy that consolidates the best aspects of our business into business units that will deliver impressive wins in trading, financing and market system development for Africa’s commodities market.”

Kamaldeen Raji, Managing Director, AFEX Fair Trade limited said:

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  • “AFEX has delivered on its promise for a working commodities exchange model for West Africa after six years of operations in Nigeria. I am excited to join the executive leadership to contribute to our next five years as a business.”
  • “As I drive our strategy to reach one million farmers and expand our national storage capacity to 500,000 MT over the next five years, AFEX Fair Trade will build on the success of previous years.”
  • “Through AFEX Fair Trade, AFEX will continue to contribute to impact metrics that align with the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) 1, 2, 5, and 8; no poverty, zero hunger, gender equality, and decent work and economic growth.”

Kamaldeen prior to his appointment as the Managing Director of AFEX Fair Trade Limited had previously served in Commercial Manager’s capacity for AFEX. This position monitored all commercial partnerships with a focus to drive revenue activities and growth opportunities.

It is important to note that, AFEX Fair Trade is one of AFEX’s business units, responsible for commodities trading and storage, the company is charged with the task of providing extension services to farmers in a bid to boost their productivity and incomes across all segments of the agricultural value chain.

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