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Business News

FG begins process to allow CBN buy all golds from local miners 

The FG has begun the process which will make the Central Bank of Nigeria buy all the gold from local miners at an international price.

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Border closure: A boost to our clientele base - Palm Oil producer, FG begins process to allow CBN buy all golds from local miners 

The Federal Government has begun the process that will make the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) buy all the gold from local miners at an international price.

This comes some months after the CBN joined forces with Thor Explorations Limited, a Canadian company that sees Nigeria as a new frontier for a gold rush at a period gold miners face the dearth of new discoveries across the globe.

In a new report, it was disclosed that the Nigerian government was registering artisan miners as the Presidential Artisanal Gold Mining Development Initiative Biometric Exercise commences.

This initiative, which has the backing of the CBN, is expected to integrate artisanal and small-scale gold mining activities in the country and formalize the market.

Mining, FG sets up committee to boost revenue in mining sector, FG begins process to allow CBN buy all golds from local miners 

The initiative was designed to create support for Nigerian gold miners with Kebbi and Osun states serving as pilot states. The registration for the Presidential Artisanal Gold Mining Development started in Yauri Local Government Area of Kebbi State on February 22.

Why is CBN/FG buying these golds? This exercise will enable the CBN to buy gold produced by Nigerian miners at an international price. The purchase of the gold will prevent the local miners from foreign merchants who exploit them during the transaction.

(READ MORE: U-turn: CBN clarifies order on domiciliary account transfers)

Also, it was disclosed that the acquisition of all the golds would curb smuggling activities which is a threat to the growth of the sector. Mining made up between 4% and 5% of Nigeria’s gross domestic product in the 1960s and 1970s before foreign operators left the country and oil dominated the government’s agenda for obvious reasons.

Now, metal ores account for less than 0.1% while crude exploration makes up 8% to 10% of GDP and brings in 90% of export earnings. FG has promised to increase mining’s contribution to GDP to 3% by 2025. In order to boost its contribution, Nairametrics had reported that experts urged the government to reform its laws to encourage investors to carry out exploration throughout the country as witnessed in the Democratic Republic of Congo and Zambia in the early 2000s.

In October 2019, Nigeria’s mining sector received a boost after Thor Explorations Limited renewed interest in boosting Nigeria’s efforts to persuade investors that it could become a mining destination for metals in West Africa. Also, Africa Finance Corporation, which is backed by the Central Bank of Nigeria and a group of local banks, is investing in the Thor project through a $78 million debt-equity financing package.

This means Nigeria could be on the cusp of getting its first industrial-scale gold mine from Thor that is developing a project capable of producing 80,000 ounces per year in Osun State, Nigeria targeting to start operations early 2021.

Olalekan is a certified media practitioner from the Nigerian Institute of Journalism (NIJ). In the era of media convergence, Olalekan is a valuable asset, with ability to curate and broadcast news. His zeal to write was developed out of passion to shape people’s thought and opinion; serving as a guideline for their daily lives. Contact for tips: [email protected]

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FG discusses nation’s carrier, Nigeria Air with US Ambassador

The FG has held a discussion with the US government over the establishment of a national carrier for Nigeria.

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Just in: FG bars Air France, KLM and other foreign airlines, FG to spend N13 billion for automation projects in 4 airports, domestic flights, international passengers, Coronavirus: FG enforces immediate screening of travellers at airports with new directive

The federal government has held a discussion with the government of the United States of America over the establishment of a national carrier for Nigeria.

This was disclosed by the Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika via his Twitter handle after he held a discussion with the Ambassador at the United States Embassy in Abuja.

He tweeted, “We took the opportunity to discuss investments and opportunities in the aviation sector, including national carrier. The partnership looks promising. USA is the only country we have open skies with. Thanks, Ambassador Mary and the team.”

What you should know

In July 2018, the Federal Government unveiled the branding and livery for the new airline, Nigeria Air, and stated that the carrier would be inaugurated at the end of that year.

Sirika unveiled the carrier at a press conference during the Farnborough Air Show in London that year.

“I am very pleased to tell you that we are finally on track to launching a new national flag carrier for our country, Nigeria Air. We are all fully committed to fulfilling the campaign promise made by our President, Muhammadu Buhari, in 2015. We are aiming to launch Nigeria Air by the end of this year,” the minister had said.

He also stated that the government had obtained the Certificate of Compliance from the Nigerian Infrastructure Concession Regulatory Commission and would go into investor search.

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Economy & Politics

SERAP asks Buhari to probe N39.5 billion duplicated, mysterious projects

SERAP has asked President Muhammadu Buhari to probe the reported N39.5 billion duplicated and mysterious projects inserted in the 2021 budget.

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See what FSDH is saying about the 2020 budget and FG’s revenue drive , 2020 budget

Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) has asked President Muhammadu Buhari to probe the reported N39.5 billion duplicated and mysterious projects inserted in the 2021 budget.

This is to know if public funds have been diverted in the guise of implementing the projects and prosecute those allegedly involved including those from the executive and the National Assembly.

The request from SERAP follows a report from BudgiT last week, where they alleged that there are 316 duplicated capital projects worth N139.5 billion in the 2021 budget.

This disclosure is contained in a public statement issued by SERAP on Sunday, May 9, 2021, and can be seen on its website.

SERAP said that the investigation of the alleged duplicated and mysterious projects, which are part of the 2021 appropriation bill of N13.588 trillion, should establish whether public funds have been mismanaged, diverted or stolen in the guise of implementing these projects.

What SERAP is saying in its letter

In the letter dated 8th May 2021 and signed by SERAP, Deputy Director, Kolawole Oluwadare said: “The misallocation of public funds for duplicated and mysterious projects has seriously undermined the ability of the indicted MDAs, and the government to ensure respect for Nigerians’ human rights through developing and implementing well-thought-out policies, plans, and budgets.”

The letter from SERAP partly reads, “BudgIT had in a report last week stated that there are 316 duplicated capital projects worth N39.5 billion in the 2021 budget. The duplicated and mysterious projects are contained in the 2021 appropriation bill of N13.588 trillion signed into law in December 2020.”

These damning revelations suggest a grave violation of the public trust, and Nigerians’ rights to education, health, water, sanitation, and clean and satisfactory environment because the indicted MDAs have misallocated public funds at the expense of the people’s access to basic public services, and enjoyment of rights.”

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SERAP urges you to ask the heads of the MDAs involved to explain why they allegedly failed to ensure strict compliance with constitutional and international standards of transparency and accountability in the preparation, processes and decisions on their budgets, and to return any misallocated public funds to the public treasury.”

Investigating and prosecuting any allegations of mismanagement, diversion and stealing of public funds budgeted for the 316 duplicated and mysterious projects would allow your government to use the budget to effectively promote Nigerians’ access to essential public goods and services.

Publishing the ‘implementation status’ of the duplicated and mysterious projects would allow Nigerians to hold their government to account in the spending of public funds. This is particularly true for marginalized and excluded groups, such as people living in poverty, women, children, and persons with disabilities, as the budget has a disproportionate impact on their welfare.”

We would be grateful if the recommended measures are taken within 14 days of the receipt and/or publication of this letter. If we have not heard from you by then, the Incorporated Trustees of SERAP shall take all appropriate legal actions to compel your government to comply with our request in the public interest.” 

SERAP also urges you to direct Mrs Zainab Ahmed, Minister of Finance Budget and National Planning to publish full details of current ‘implementation status’ of the duplicated and mysterious projects, and any spending on the projects to date, including the 115 projects inserted in the budget of the Ministry of Health; the 23 projects inserted in the budget of the Ministry of Education, and 10 projects inserted in the budget of the Ministry of Water Resources.

The following ministries are reportedly involved in the duplicated and mysterious projects: Ministry of Health with 115 projects; Ministry of Information and Culture with 40 projects; Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development with 25 projects; Ministry of Education with 23 projects; Ministry of Transportation with 17 projects; and Ministry of Science and Technology with 17 projects.”

Others are the Ministry of Environment with 13 projects; Ministry of Power with 11 projects; Ministry of Labour and Employment with 11 projects, and Ministry of Water Resources with 10 projects.”

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The letter was copied to Mr Malami; Professor Bolaji Owasanoye, Chairman Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC); Mr Abdulrasheed Bawa, Chairman, Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC); and Mrs Ahmed, the Finance Minister.

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