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FG to Commission Nigerian Content Development Tower this week

The NCDMB was launched to enable the implementation of the oil gas industry’s content development.

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President Muhammadu Buhari will virtually commission the 17-story Nigerian Content Tower of the Nigerian Content Development Development and Monitoring Board (NCDB) in Yenagoa on Thursday.

The building would come with its own 10 Megawatt gas-fired power plant and a 1000 seater conference hall also in the Swali area of the Bayelsa State capital.

President Buhari will also commission the NCDMB Independent Power Plant constructed in partnership with the Nigerian Agip Oil Company (NAOC).

“This power plant will provide uninterrupted electricity to the NCDMB structures, the Nigerian Oil and Gas Park being developed by the Board at Emeyal 1 Bayelsa State and select structures in the state,” the agency said.

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The agency also announced that the Power Plant of the tower was constructed by the Nigerian Agip Oil Company (NAOC) and will ensure 24/7 electricity to the tower and also to “ the Nigerian Oil and Gas Park being developed by the Board at Emeyal 1 Bayelsa State and select structures in the state”.

Executive Secretary of NCDMB, Engr. Simbi Kesiye Wabote said that some parts of the virtual launch would be held in Yenagoa, which would be attended by the Minister of State for Petroleum resources, Timipre Sylva, the Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Malam Mele Kyari and the Governor of Bayelsa State, Senator Douye Diri.

Construction of the tower began in 2015 and was constructed by Megastar Technical & Construction an indigenous engineering company, the agency announced that construction of the tower provided over 250 direct and indirect jobs.

Founded in 2010 by the Nigerian Oil and Gas Industry Content Development (NOGICD) Act, the NCDMB, was launched to enable the implementation of the oil gas industry’s content development which includes, approving Nigerian content plans for operators, growing the Nigerian Content Development Fund, maintain and operate the Joint Qualification System (NOGICJQS) in conjunction with industry stakeholders, ensure compliance by operators through sourcing of local goods and employment and many others.

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Coronavirus

Covid-19: Buhari approves N6.45 billion to set up 38 oxygen production plants

President Buhari has approved the sum of N6.45 billion for the set-up of 38 oxygen production plants across the country.

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President Muhammadu Buhari has announced his approval of N6.45 billion for the set-up of 38 oxygen production plants across the country, in a bid to contain the second wave of Covid-19.

The President disclosed this in a statement on Thursday evening after the first National Economic Council meeting of the year presided over by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, SAN, with State Governors, Federal Capital Territory Minister, Central Bank Governor, and other senior government officials in attendance.

“As part of efforts to contain the second wave of Covid-19, we’re setting up new oxygen production plants in 38 locations across Nigeria—to enhance the management of patients in need of oxygen.

“I have equally approved funding for the rehabilitation of oxygen plants in 5 hospitals,” Buhari said.

The Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed said the President said the fund’s release was necessitated by the rising cases of Covid-19 in the country with patients needing oxygen.

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What you should know 

  • Recall Nairametrics reported that the Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, warned that the rising second wave of the pandemic in Lagos had seen the demand for oxygen rise 5 times from 70 six-liter cylinders per day to 350 six-liter cylinders at Yaba Mainland Hospital alone.
  • He added that the state government had the decentralized provision of oxygen and other services needed for Covid-19 patients, citing the provision of oxygen kiosks.

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Economy & Politics

FG says Excess Crude Account balance now stands at $72.4 million

The Federal Ministry of Finance has told the NEC that the Excess Crude Account (ECA) now stands at $72.4 million as at January 20, 2021.

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The Federal Government has announced that Nigeria’s Excess Crude Account (ECA) balance as at 20th January 2021 is $72,411,197.80.

This was disclosed by the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed at the first National Economic Council meeting of the year presided over by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, SAN, with State Governors, Federal Capital Territory Minister, Central Bank Governor and other senior government officials in attendance.

The FG said, “the ECA balance as at 20th January, 2021, $72,411,197.80; Stabilization Account, balance as at 19th January, 2021, N28, 800, 711,295.37; Natural Resources Development Fund Account, balance as at 19th January 2021, N95, 830,729,470.82.”

What you should know

  • In August 2015, during the early days of the Buhari administration, the ECA stood at $2.2 billion. It was $3.6 billion in February 2014, one of the highest balances on record.
  • According to the Central Bank of Nigeria’s annual report for 2018, Nigeria’s excess crude account fell from $2.45 billion in 2017 to $480 million as of December 2018.
  • In 2019, Nairametrics reported Nigeria’s Excess Crude Account had dropped to $480 million. This is as controversy continued to trail the $1 billion military spendings which was withdrawn from Nigeria’s Excess Crude Account.
  • Nairametrics reported in July 2020 that the  ECA had fallen by about 98% within the last 5 years to $72 million.
  • Nigeria has two Sovereign Wealth Funds: the Excess Crude Account and the Nigeria Sovereign Investment Authority (NSIA). Note that these two are funded by the savings earned when oil prices are at their peak.

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Around the World

President Biden directs international air travelers must quarantine upon arrival

President Joe Biden has directed international air travellers to quarantine upon arrival in the United States.

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The United States President Joe Biden has issued an executive order on Thursday that makes it mandatory for international air travellers to quarantine upon arrival in the US.

Similarly, the executive order also includes a directive that all interstate travellers in the US will be expected to wear a face mask. This travel order applies to airports and planes, trains, ferries, intercity buses and public transportation, but grants them the ability to issue exemptions.

What the US President is saying in the executive order

According to a report from Reuters, President Biden’s order says, ‘‘To the extent, feasible air travellers must comply with applicable U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines concerning international travel ‘including recommended periods of self-quarantine.

However, the executive order does not explain how it will be enforced as the implementation still remains quite hazy.

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The order also directs US agencies to engage with Canada and Mexico on public health protocols for land ports of entry including implementing CDC guidelines. Almost all non-essential travel at US land borders with Canada and Mexico has been suspended till February 21.

The CDC recommends a 7-day quarantine for people arriving in the United States from nearly all countries.

Biden is directing agencies to reconsider international contact tracing requirements for U.S.-bound passengers, which was abandoned by the Trump White House, as well as the possibility of follow-up Covid-19 testing for travellers after they arrive in the United States.

In addition, the US President has also directed that all travellers including US citizens, will be required to show proof of a negative Covid-19 test before entering the country from abroad in an order that underscores the CDC policy announced last week.

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What you should know

  • It can be recalled that the Trump administration had resisted calls for the enforcement of a mask-wearing requirement.
  • The Biden administration has also announced that it would reimpose coronavirus-related ban on most non-U.S. citizens arriving from European Union, Brazil, the United Kingdom.
  • This follows the lifting of the restrictions by former US President, Donald Trump through an executive order on Monday.

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