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Osibanjo to flag off micro credit scheme of the FG in Kogi

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Osibanjo to flag off micro credit scheme of the FG in Kogi

Kogi State is expected to host the
Vice President Yemi Osinbajo who is billed to flag off the micro credit scheme component of the federal government’s Social Investment Programmes in Lokoja, the State capital on February 13.

Focal Person on the Social Investment Programmes in Kogi, Mr Adoga Ibrahim, who disclosed this yesterday at a press conference explained that the Vice President would also use the visit for an on the spot assessment of the progress made so far in the implementation of the various social intervention programmes in the state. 
In his words, the vice President is visiting Kogi State on the 13th of February, 2018, the federal Government is into partnership with Bank of Industry and 25 Government parastatals fr series of micro and small business clinics all around the country.”
“This is to give a boost to the micro credit program under GEEP where loans have been given to several artisans, market women and people with special needs.”
Adoga, who is also the Special Adviser to the governor on Multilateral, Donor Agencies and Special Projects, said the event which will hold at the Confluence Stadium, Lokoja would also showcase small scale businesses, goods and products that beneficiaries of the Government’s Enterprise and Empowerment Programme (GEEP)/Marketmoni have been able to establish/produce in the state.

He said that additional 7,000 beneficiaries of the GEEP/Marketmoni programme will receive loan disbursements of N50,000 each on February 13 to enable them boost their existing businesses or start new ones. 

Adoga said that beneficiaries of the various federal government’s social investment programmes in the state, namely N-Power, GEEP/Marketmoni and Conditional Cash Transfer (CCT), have so far received close to N3 billion as at the end of 2017.

According to him, there will be training and sensitisation clinics for owners of small businesses in the state on February 12 where they would have opportunity to be linked with business-enabling-institutions such as Bank of Agriculture (BOA), Bank of Industry (BOI), Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Standard Organization of Nigeria (SON) and NAFDAC, amongst others

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Economy

Lawmaker worries 42.74b metric tonnes of Bitumen reserve wastes away

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The Senator representing Ondo South in the Senate, Nicholas Tofowomo, on Wednesday, drew attention of every stakeholder in the Nigerian project to the untapped 42.74 billion metric tonnes of Bitumen reserve wasting away in the midst of unemployment.

The lawmaker gave the indication in his lead debate on the establishment of Bitumen Training institute, Ode Aye, Ondo State (Establishment Bill 2021 (SB 663)

The lawmaker said in his Ondo South Senatorial district, the amount of bitumen available for extraction is about 16 billion barrels.

“Our bitumen is wasting. There is environmental degradation caused by spiling of bitumen and people are crying that there is no job,” Senator Tofowomo told newsmen at a briefing after his bill seeking to establish Bitumen Training Institute in Ondo State passed second reading on the floor of the Senate.

He said despite the fact that Nigeria has the second largest deposit of bitumen in the world, the country is spending its scarce foreign exchange earnings to import bitumen.

“Nigeria has the second largest deposit of bitumen in the world, coming after Venezuela. The Latin American is doing well with the bitumen. Nigeria also needs to explore the resources. We should look at how much we spend in importing bitumen.

“Let us have an institute so that whatever we are doing on the bitumen will not just be talk show, but exploration and all the forex we spend on importation will be saved,” he said.

The lawmaker said many past administrations of Federal government have played different roles in exploring Bitumen, but it is not a continuous process because of different difficulties in its exploration.

Senator Tofowomo said the establishment of Bitumen Institute would harmonise all the past stride and research made on Bitumen exploration since 1905 and come up with a Solid foundation for economic exploration of Bitumen in Nigeria.

“The enactment of this Bill will help transforming the Bitumen potentials as well as fortunes in Nigeria in producing the desired Manpower and expertise to drive the Bitumen Industry just like the Petroleum Training Institute is doing with the petroleum Industry,” he added.
The bill eventually scaled second reading 

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Malami assures, £4.2m seized from Ibori, associates will soon be returned

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Malami assures, £4.2m seized from Ibori, associates will soon be returned

Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami has indicated that the Federal Government of Nigeria is working tirelessly to ensure the return of looted Nigerian assets kept outside the country’s territorial boundaries.

In that vein, Malami said any moment from now, Nigeria should expect the return of £4.2m seized from the associates of convicted fomer Governor of Delta State, James Ibori.

This was according to a statement issued by , Special Assistant on Media and Public Relations, Office of the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice Dr. Umar Jibrilu Gwandu which was made available to news men in Abuja on Monday.

The statement noted that the delay in repatriating the fund is due to some documentations.

He said the Office of the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice and other relevant government agencies will keep the general public informed once the Ibori loot is received  and confirmed.

He said the Federal Government of Nigeria is in  touch with the government of the United Kingdom on the matter.

“Documentations with the banks in different countries often take longer than anticipated. We anticipated two weeks but we are not in control  of the banks,” the statement said.

He maintained that the Federal Government is working assiduously to ensure that the transfer goes through successfully.

“There is neither complacency nor any delay as  efforts are being made to ensure successful transfer of the looted funds,” he said.

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Economy

There must be peace for oil companies to move headquarters to Niger Delta, says Sylva

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There must be peace for oil companies to move headquarters to Niger Delta, says Sylva

The minister of State for Petroleum, chief Timipre Sylva has admonished the Niger Delta youths to work for peace in the region to make it possible for investors to come in, as well as for multinational oil companies to relocate their head offices to the region.
Sylva Spoke at the conferment of patronhood award on him by the Niger Delta non-violence Agitators Forum in Abuja recently.
“What I must say here is that the essence in the core of your organization is non violence and that is actually the essence of what we want in Nigeria. We must bring peace to the Niger Delta. It’s our duty to bring peace to the Niger Delta. “Sometimes we are worried that investment opportunities are not coming to the Niger Delta. But we must realize that it’s our activities that will determine whether these opportunities will come or not. 
“Right now, we are saying that oil companies must move their headquarters to the Niger Delta. But it’s our duty to ensure that the place is peaceful enough for the oil companies to move back there.”
He said, if the place is insecure, no oil company will agree to go there. “That is why this organization is really really very important in the Niger Delta.

“In the height of the militancy in the Niger Delta, I consulted my people and came up with a solution to restore peace in the region.”

Since then, he said he had been working and didn’t realize that his activities were being noticed and people even remember some of the occurrences at that time of the amnesty program.
He said the award will spur him on to do better, “You know sometimes as you work, you actually believe that what you are doing is a thankless job. But it’s good to know that actually it’s not that thankless but there are people who actually noticed. 
“Even If it is not everybody that thanks you, and  one person comes to thank you, it is enough.”And I really appreciate this award and I want to assure you, as a Niger Deltan, I will be going to work for you, going to work for the interest of Nigeria and in the interest of Niger Delta. 
“That’s why We must begin to also encourage those of you who are committed to making peace and only trying to assuage those who are making trouble. 
So I am really happy to be associated with this organization. 
“I will like to recommend that other organizations also emulate what you are doing and actually propagate the message of peace; because what we need in the Niger Delta more than anything else right now is peace and I believe that if there is peace in the Niger Delta there will be prosperity.

“No investor would want to operate from far if there is peace because it actually cost him more, operating from a distance. So for us, I believe that if we can bring peace to the Niger Delta, these investors will not talk much, the numbers will speak for themselves. 
“When they put the numbers together, they will realize that it is better for them to go and operate there. 
“But if you have not made  the place peaceful, they will put the numbers  together, and you know, the cost of insecurity is very high.
“So when they put the numbers together, they will prefer to stay far away and take your resources than to come to the area where they know they can not guarantee their security.
“So, it’s very important that we take this message of peace to our people, just as you have brought that message to me, and I want to assure you that from today, I will also be an advocate of the Niger Delta Non-violence Agitators Forum.”
Earlier, the President of the Niger Delta Non violence Agitators Forum (NDNAF) Comrade Wisdom Oniekpar Ikuli said the minister has done so much in terms of restoration of peace and stability in the hitherto volatile Niger Delta region and to the growth and development of the Nigerian State.

“Over a decade ago, some aggrieved Niger Deltans picked up arms against the Nigerian State. 
“While armed militancy actually started at the inception of our contemporary democracy in 1999, it climaxed during the late President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua administration.
“At a point, the militancy activities almost crippled the Nigerian economy. During the period under review, Nigeria’s OPEC crude oil production quota reduced from 2.4 million barrels per day to 1.2 million barrels and it was on a steady decline.
“While it was a great source of concern to all critical stakeholders coupled with the then worsening security situation, many could not proffer solutions to the then prevalent situation because of the dreaded and deadly dispositions of most of the militants.
“It was in the midst of this terrible situation that Your Excellency as the then Executive Governor of Bayelsa State took the greatest risk and boldest step to confront the hydra-headed monster that was threatening to consume everybody including the key actors.
“Your Excellency was ready to pay the supreme price when you left the comfort of the Creek Haven Government House to meet with angry and very dreaded militants in their camps. “Your Excellency moved from one camp to the other, begging and pleading with the Agitators to lay down their arms and embrace peace in the interest of national security and to save the dwindling Nigerian economy.
“You were aware of internal and external aggressors who were working round the clock to sabotage your genuine efforts, yet you decided to put your life on the line in your avowed quest to restore peace and stability to the Niger Delta. 
So, while you were hoping for the best, you were also prepared for the worst.

“It is on good record that through your unquantifiable sacrifices, over Thirty Thousand ex-combatants were disarmed and inducted into the Disarmament, Demobilization, Deradicalization and Reintegration (DDR) of the Presidential Amnesty Programme (PAP).
“Through the Presidential Amnesty Programme (PAP), thousands of youths who never had hope of access to education which is the bedrock of every human society, can now boast of university education. 
“Hundreds of youths have gotten Master degrees, a reasonable number have even gotten Doctorate degrees. Through this program which is your brain child, many youths have been trained as Commercial Pilots, Seafarers, Welders and other skills and trades that have made them self-reliant in the absence of white-collar jobs. 
“The Presidential Amnesty Programme (PAP) has changed the fortune of many Niger Deltans and this to a large extent has led to drastic reduction of crime and criminality in the region.”

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