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Business

BPE calls on maritime stakeholders to suggest projects for PPP

BPE has called for more Maritime PPP-related projects as the FG had given it the mandate to work with private stakeholders.

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BPE to convert redundant assets to cash to fund N477 billion fiscal budget  
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The Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE) has announced that stakeholders in Nigeria’s Maritime sector should suggest and identify projects in the sector for Public-Private Partnership as it has been entrusted with PPP responsibilities by the Federal Government.

This was disclosed by Mr Alex Okoh, the Director-General of BPE, in a webinar hosted by Nigeria-South Africa Chamber of Commerce on “Public-Private Partnership as alternative financing model in the maritime sector” on Friday.

The BPE boss cited Nigeria’s port concessions, disclosing that revenue from the sector had doubled in ten years since the implementation of the concessions.

READ: FG inks $3.9 billion deal with Chinese firm for construction projects 

He called for more Maritime PPP related projects as the FG had given the BPE the mandate to work with private stakeholders on projects through the PPP model.

“The Bureau of Public Enterprises has been entrusted with a significant part of the PPP responsibilities in Nigeria through the Federal Government’s circular of September 2020.

“What this means in effect is that players in the country’s maritime and other key sectors of the economy can identify and suggest projects to the government through the BPE or relevant MDAs,” he said.

“Once these projects are examined, approval will be given to the relevant parties to undertake an appraisal, feasibility study or outline of business case, which will be scrutinised by the government. Thereafter, a tender will be published.

READ: No license renewal for DisCos -BPE debunks rumour

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“The benefit of this is that the originator of the project will be allowed to provide a matching offer with that of the highest bidder and if the party is able to match this offer, they will be declared the preferred bidder,” he added

In case you missed it: President Muhammadu Buhari approved the reappointment of Mr Alexander Ayoola Okoh as the Director-General of the Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE), for a second 4-year tenure with effect from April 10, 2021.

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Business

Unemployment: Tech can be used to reduce youth unemployment – BOI

The FG disclosed that technology can be used as a catalyst to solve the youth unemployment crisis in Nigeria.

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Managing-Director-BoI-Mr.-Olukayode-Pitan, Bank of Industry supports SMEs with N3.9 billion loan 
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The FG disclosed that Technology can be used as a catalyst to solve the youth unemployment crisis in Nigeria, citing that embracing tech and infusing it into business processes will make organisations and the country more competitive.

This was disclosed by Mr Olukayode Pitan, Managing Director,  Bank of Industry (BOI), at the inauguration of BOI-UNILAG Incubation and Co-Working Hub, on Thursday in Lagos.

What Mr Pitan said

Tech can help solve some of Nigeria’s social problems particularly youth unemployment which has been further exacerbated by the pandemic.

At the Bank of Industry, we believe that corporate organisations that are privileged to be in business at these difficult times need to bring groups of like-minded young individuals together to help create wealth and prosperity for future generations.

Embracing tech and infusing it into business processes will make organisations and the country more competitive.

It can create exciting jobs that encourage our young people to stay in Nigeria even as they work and compete globally,” he said.

The BOI boss also revealed that 2 additional hubs have been completed in Kaduna and Kebbi, citing that the bank will also provide funding to support credible and bankable ideas that emerge from the tech hubs to enable them start operations and scale into viable businesses.

“At the Bank of Industry, we believe that with the collective will of our young people’s positive passion, the right government policies, mentorship, and private capital, this can become a reality in a short period,” he said.

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What you should know

Nigeria’s unemployment rate as of the end of 2020 rose to 33.3% from 27.1% recorded as of Q2 2020, indicating that about 23,187,389 (23.2 million) Nigerians remain unemployed.

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According to the last Gross Domestic Product Report, released by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), the information and communication sector grew by 13.8%% in full-year 2020 compared to 11.08% recorded in 2019 and 9.65% in 2018.

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Business

FG deploys undercover agents to check touting, extortion, others by passport officers

This is part of measures to make the passport application process easier, seamless and transparent.

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The Federal Government, on Thursday, announced plans to deploy undercover security operatives in a bid to check touting, extortion and other sharp practices by passport officers across the country and at Nigerian missions abroad. This is part of measures to make the passport application process easier, seamless and transparent.

This disclosure was made by the Minister of Interior, Mr Rauf Aregbesola, in Abuja on Thursday, April 22, 2021.

The Minister stated that the country had in the past witnessed several challenges, which included shortage of booklets, touting, racketeering, inflating the cost of passports being issued to ineligible persons, and so on.

What the Minister of Interior is saying

Aregbesola, in his statement, said, “We are turning round the entire passport application process in a way that is going to be easy, seamless and transparent. We will also accord human dignity to applicants and fulfil citizenship integrity.

Therefore, I am declaring a zero-tolerance stance to all forms of touting. No applicant will be made to pay any illegitimate fees. We are going to embed security operatives, seen and unseen, in all our passport offices. They will wear body cameras.

They will also detect and report any form of solicitations, inflation, improper communications, extortion, diversion, hoarding and other corrupt practices. Applicants will have no basis for further communication officers, other than to complete their application process and leave the venue.

The date for the collection of their passports or any challenge to the application will be communicated to them. The technology for the efficient running of this system has been acquired and will be deployed. Those caught will be dealt with according to the law.”

The Minister said that an ombudsman would also be created for members of the public to receive complaints and reports on officers trying to deviate from prescribed guidelines and subvert the process.

He explained that 2 special centres for expedited services had been created, adding that the special centres would run on a public-private partnership basis.

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He said, “We are publishing on our website the list of the backlog of passports that are ready which are yet to be collected by the owners. They will be required to go to the state commands to collect them.”

In case you missed it

  • It can be recalled that in March 2021, the Federal Government in partnership with the private sector, launched the Nigeria Immigration Service Passport Express Centre.
  • This is to enable the government offer passport services to Nigerians and make passports available within a maximum period of 72 hours after a successful application.

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