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Business News

NEC okays $250 million investment in NSIA 

NEC has approved an additional investment of $250 million into the NSIA, the nation’s sovereign wealth fund. 

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FG to buy only locally assembled vehicles for its use, NEC sets up committee to address unemployment and improve national security, PEBEC, Twitter deactivate Yemi Osinbajo's Twitter account, How Nigeria's LPG sector can create 2 million jobs -Osinbajo, budget support, NEC okays $250 million investment in NSIA , MSMEClinic gets 200,000 capacity yam storage facility in Benue, Accusations of Yemi Osinbajo receiving N4 Billion from recovered loots are baseless- Presidency, FG rolls out N2.3 trillion survival funds for MSMEs; see criteria , Presidential Enabling Business Environment Council (PEBEC) reforms to boost investments – Osinbajo

The National Economic Council (NEC) has approved an additional investment of $250 million into the Nigeria Sovereign Investment Authority (NSIA), the nation’s sovereign wealth fund.

This was announced on Thursday by the Managing Director, NSIA, Uche Orji after NSIA presented its 2018 annual report and 2019 finance update before NEC meeting, chaired by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo.

Orji also said NSIA had declared a profit of N24 billion in the first six months of the year and declared a total profit of N44.3 billion in 2018.

NEC okays $250 million investment in NSIA 

Uche Orji, MD, NSIA

He said the Governor of Kaduna State, Nasir El-Rufai, would chair a committee of NEC to consider how a portion of the Pension Fund could be leveraged in an investment in the NSIA, with possible implementation with PenCom.

The committee will include the Minister of Finance, the Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and the MD NSIA.

[READ MORE: FG earmarks $1.6 billion for sea-port construction]

He stressed that this year’s profit was achieved in spite of the volatility of the international market environment, driven by the trade tariffs dispute between the United States and China and the uncertainty caused by Brexit.

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Why NSIA matters: NSIA is focused on its infrastructure fund on agriculture, road, power, healthcare projects and industrialization. Within the road sector, the NSIA as the manager of the Presidential Infrastructure Development Fund (PIDF) is focused on deploying capital to ensure the completion of the second Niger Bridge, Abuja-Kano Highway and Lagos-Ibadan Expressway. Other projects under the PIDF include the Mambila Hydro Power project and East-West Road.

“The NSIA also intends to deploy capital in expanding its health projects, following a successful implementation of its cancer treatment project Public-Private Partnership (PPP) with University of Lagos Teaching Hospital (LUTH) as well as a diagnostic and Radiology centre in Aminu Kano Specialist Hospital to be commissioned next month and the Federal Medical Centre, (FMC) Umuahia, which is a PPP project that will be finished in the first quarter of 2020,” Orji said.

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He gave assurance that in order to fast track the completion of these strategic projects, NSIA intends to create co-investment fund to bring other investors on board into these projects.

This collaboration, Orji said, would ensure that they are completed, adding that the revenue model would include tolling the roads as well as other opportunities to ensure that these roads are viable.

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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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Business News

FG to distribute 10 million LPG gas cylinders in 1 year

The FG is set to inject up to 10 million gas cylinders into the market to help improve safety and deepen cooking gas utilization.

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The Federal Government has announced plans to inject 5 to 10 million Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) cylinders into the market in the next one year.

This is to help improve safety and deepen LPG (otherwise known as cooking gas) utilization across the country.

This disclosure was made by the Programme Manager, National LPG Expansion Implementation Plan, Mr Dayo Adeshina, at a sensitisation workshop on LPG Adoption and Implementation for Industry Stakeholders, on Wednesday in Lagos.

According to a report from the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), Adeshina said the National LPG Expansion Implementation Plan, domiciled in the Office of the Vice President, was committed to achieving Nigeria’s target of 5 million Metric Tonnes of LPG consumption annually by 2027.

What the Programme Manager for LPG Expansion Implementation Plan is saying

Adeshina said, “The Federal Government is working towards injecting five to 10 million cooking gas cylinders into the market within the next one year. We are starting the cylinder injection under the first phase in 11 pilot states and FCT, with two states from each of the geopolitical zones.

The states are Lagos, Ogun, Bauchi, Gombe, Katsina, Sokoto, Delta, Bayelsa, Ebonyi, Enugu, Niger and the Federal Capital Territory. The cylinders will be injected through the marketers. The marketers will be responsible for the cylinders and the exchange will take place in homes and not in filling stations.

What this means is that going forward, cylinders will not be owned by individuals but by the marketers who will ensure that they are safe for usage.’

Adeshina pointed out that apart from household consumption, the government was trying to increase LPG usage in agriculture, transportation and manufacturing adding that this will enable the country to reduce CO2 emission by about 20% and create millions of jobs for Nigerians.

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He said that the government had also granted waivers on importation of LPG equipment and removed Value Added Tax (VAT) on LPG in addition to investment in infrastructure.

The President of the Nigerian Liquefied Petroleum Gas Association, Mr Nuhu Yakubu, said efforts should be made to ensure the availability, accessibility and affordability of cooking gas in the country adding that this would encourage more Nigerians to embrace gas usage in their homes with the attendant benefits to the country.

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Mr Olalere Odusote, Lagos State Commissioner for Energy and Mineral Resources, said the population of Lagos makes it imperative for residents to adopt cleaner energy sources for cooking, transportation and power generation adding that the government was targeting the conversion of 45% of about 4 million vehicles in the state to autogas over a four-year period in partnership with marketers.

What you should know

  • It can be recalled that the Federal Government had in November 2020, announced plans for the conversion of cars to autogas in a bid to have cheaper and cleaner energy especially with the high cost of petrol.
  • The government at different levels are pursuing cleaner energy sources for cooking, transportation and power generation.

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Business

JAMB bans use of email by candidates for UTME, DE registration

JAMB has announced that candidates for the UTME and Direct Entry will no longer be required to provide their email addresses at the point of registration.

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The Joint Admission and Matriculation Board (JAMB) has announced that candidates for the Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME) and Direct Entry will no longer be required to provide their email addresses at the point of registration.

The new adjustment is to protect candidates from various forms of manipulation and distortion of their personal details by some fraudulent cyber café operators.

The Registrar of JAMB, Prof. Is-haq Oloyede, who made the disclosure while addressing newsmen at the board’s headquarters on Wednesday in Bwari, Abuja, said the change, would take effect from Thursday, April 15, 2021.

What the JAMB Registrar is saying

Oloyede said, “They gain access to profiles of these candidates under the pretense of creating an email address for them. Then they change and block the candidates from receiving messages from the board. They also extort them after they change their passwords.

In view of this, the board has come up with adjustments to our operations. The first decision is that beginning from Thursday, April 15, candidates would no longer be required to provide any email address during registration from this year onwards.

It is by going to these cyber cafes to open emails that these candidates are open to abuse and stealing of their personal data,’’ he said.

He said that the board now had a mobile app that would allow candidates to deal directly with the board with their smartphones or via SMS to ‘55019’ code option.

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The code option, he explained, would allow candidates to check admission status as well as all other verifications via SMS.

He said, “Printing of examination slips, results notification or raising tickets can be done anywhere by using candidates’ registration number only. However, at the close of registration every year, we would need the email addresses of the candidates so we can have access to as many of them as possible.

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At the conclusion of registration, candidates are expected to send their email addresses through the mobile app or text message to the 55019 code twice, for validation. This is to update their profile with JAMB as the email will no longer be used as access to their profile, but rather as a communication tool with candidates.’

While advising candidates to guard their phones with utmost care as it was the weapon for all transactions, Oloyede said that henceforth, all JAMB owned Computer-Based Tests (CBT) centres across the country, would only allow candidates with ATM cards into its centres.

He said that in order to cut down on the activities of fraudsters who hijack candidates to extort money from them, the centres would no longer allow candidates go outside the centres to pay for their e-pins and other cash transactions.

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The JAMB Registrar said, “Only candidates with ATM cards will be allowed into all JAMB owned CBT centres, it can be that of their parents as long as they have the pin for the transaction.

“Those without ATM cards can go to other privately owned CBT centres where they can pay cash to register but we will not take cash or transact outside our centres.’’

What you should know

Meanwhile, in a related development, JAMB had said that the board lost over N10 million in 2020 to activities of fraudsters who penetrated their payment portal for ad-hoc staff.

The JAMB Registrar said that the money, which was meant to pay JAMB ad-hoc staff from the 2020 Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME), was hijacked by the suspected fraudsters.

JAMB had a few days ago confirmed the commencement of registration for the 2021 UTME/DE examinations after the initial hiccup.

It stated that applicants must provide NIN at the point of registration with the registration by Direct Entry candidates to run concurrently with that of UTME candidates.

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