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Nigeria: FG to Complete Mambilla, Zungeru Power Projects With $1.5bn

This Day (Lagos)

17 June 2008
Posted to the web 17 June 2008

Ayodele Aminu
Lagos

The Federal Government has resolved to independently finance the completion of the Mambilla and Zungeru power projects with $1.5 billion (N178.5 billion).

The projects, which have been in the pipeline for years, will add over 3000 megawatts to the national grid through the use of hydro plants.

Funding for the two projects, according to information at THISDAY's disposal, will however not be sourced from the Excess Crude Account.

The development is coming just a few days after the three tiers of government (federal, state and local) unanimously agreed to pump $5.375 billion (N639.625 billion) into the power sector for rehabilitation and expansion of Nigeria's power generation, transmission and distribution through the Independent Power Project (IPP).

Minister of State for Finance, Mr. Remi Babalola, had told newsmen in Abuja last Friday at the end of the monthly meeting of the Federal Account Allocation Committee (FAAC), that $5.375 billion would be deducted from the Excess Crude Account (jointly owned by the three tiers of government), which stood at $18 billion as at May.

The FAAC is presided over by the Minister of State for Finance and has as members, the Accountant-General of the Federation, state commissioners for finance, and state accountants-general.

Other members include representatives of Federal Ministry of Finance, Revenue Mobili-sation Allocation and Fiscal Commission (RMAFC), Cen-tral Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), Debt Management Office (DMO) and Nigerian National Petro-leum Corporation (NNPC).

About $8.442 billion had already been taken from the Excess Crude Account by the administration headed by former president Olusegun Obasanjo, to finance Nigeria's power project, which the Yar'Adua administration is struggling to complete.

If this is added to the proposed funding of $5.375 billion, it will bring the total amount deducted from the Excess Crude Account for the power projects to $13.817 billion (N1.644 trillion).

Given this scenario, according to the Presidency source, the stakes of the three tiers of government in the power project would be 48.83 per cent, 36.25 per cent and 17.92 per cent respectively.

But as soon as the Federal Government releases $1.5 billion for the Mambilla and Zungeru power projects, the stakes of both the states and local government will be reduced.

The Federal Government's stake, according to the source, would increase to 53.9 per cent, while that of the states and local governments would be 30.7 per cent and 15.3 per cent respectively.

Membership of the board of the power projects, according to the source, would be shared along these proportions of holdings.

The Federal Government has also directed the Finance Ministry to officially write banks to stop debiting the Federation Account for their charges in respect of the revenue they collect on behalf of the Federal Government through the FIRS and the NCS.

The Finance Ministry wrote formally to banks yesterday to henceforth deduct their charges from the accounts of the FIRS and Customs and not from the Federation Account, THISDAY has learnt.

In a bid to make the FIRS and the Customs autonomous, the Federal Government had a few years ago given them the go-ahead to deduct 4 per cent and 7 per cent respectively for their operations out of the total revenue they generate.

But instead of charging the FIRS and Customs, banks had since been charging the Federation Account - a development the FAAC unanimously agreed last Friday should be borne by the FIRS and Customs.

The source also confirmed that the Federal Government, Abia, Enugu and Osun States did not benefit from the FAAC largesse of N436.651 billion comprising statutory revenue, Value Added Tax and funds from the Excess Crude Account, which was shared by the three tiers of government, because the former were owing.

He said the debtor states and the Federal Government would not collect any money from the Federation Account until they had finished servicing their debts.

Meanwhile, President Yar'Adua is expected to officially inform the governors Thursday at the National Economic Council (NEC) about the deductions from the Excess Crude Account.

The source said that it is after these approvals that the money would be deducted from the Excess Crude Account to fund the various power projects in the country.
 

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Nigeria: Zamfara, Malaysia Sign Mou for Airport

Daily Trust (Abuja)

17 June 2008
Posted to the web 17 June 2008

The Zamfara state government has signed two foreign loans with a Malaysian bank and another company for the construction of an international cargo airport in Gusau, the state capital totaling N12 billion.

The Director stated that while the state government would provide 15 percent of the total cost of the airport, the Exim bank of Malaysia would provide the state with a loan of 35 percent of the total cost.

The statement added that MPK group, a Malaysian company otherwise known as EPC contractors, will provide the remaining 50 percent of the loan to the state government amounting to N6 billion.

The loan is expected to be paid in 20 equal semi-annual repayments with that of MPK being paid within 10 years exclusive of the moratorium period. The loan has a moratorium period of three and a half years.

"Shortly after signing the MoU, the MPK Director-General, Mr. Edwin Hons. and the Vice President of the Exim bank, Mr. Chon Lock Chon, in separate remarks, commended the Zamfara state government for their initiative.
 

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Unity Bank Buys Into Kapital Insurance

Unity Bank Plc, has acquired 51 per cent equity participation in Kapital Insurance Company Limited. The bank is the latest to enter into the insurance business.

Kapital Insurance Company Limited is the survivor of the merger of three insurance companies - Kapital Insurance Company Limited, Inter-Continental Assurance Company Limited and Global Commerce and General Assurance Limited.

These were companies known for their operational spread, technical expertise and core service delivery both at the level of underwriting and claims settlement. This attributes have been strengthened in the consolidated Kapital Insurance Company Limited.

Top officials who spoke to newsmen on the impact of Unity Bank entry through bancassurance synergy into Kapital Insurance said that the enhanced distribution channels via the multiplicity of the bank's branch networks, will greatly engender the confidence of its consumers in the company's products and services as insurance desks will be opened in all branches of the bank to render insurance services to the customers nationwide.

The Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Kapital Insurance, Mr. Mohammed Kari told newsmen that "with the Unity Bank's participation in Kapital Insurance, there would be easy access for funds when the need arises as Kapital is a subsidiary of Unity Bank.

"Besides, members of the insuring public would have much confidence to entrust their risks to Kapital Insurance". With the Unity Bank participation in the company there are a lot of opportunities for us to leverage on the bank's foreign connections for business diversification".

Kari said: "In realization of these objectives, our vision is to build an influential insurance brand with strong national presence and deep local roots, where the latest technology meets the highest professional standards, to create a world class insurance company in Nigeria and beyond".

He further said that "this is anchored on our mission statement to be a multi dimensional insurance company that makes positive contributions to the greater good of the insuring public, while ensuring adequate value of customers, well being of staff, and impressive returns to shareholders, at the same time maintain the highest ethical values in the industry".

Kapital Insurance Company Limited was incorporated in 1973 and commenced business in 1974 with authorized share capital of N7 billion, with N3.311 billion fully paid-up, shareholders' fund in excess of N6 billion total assets of about N5 billion, it has 16 branch network spread across the country.

The range of insurance services provided by Kapital Insurance include: energy, oil and gas, fire and allied perils, consequential loss, public liability, money, plant all risks, group/personal accident, employers liability/workmen's compensation, fidelity guarantee, goods-in-transit, marine hull/cargo/aviation, burglary and house breaking, motor and life portfolio.

The company has adequate reinsurance treaties from reputable local and international reinsurance companies.
 

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'Blue Chips' Gains Boost NSE Index, Capitalization By 7.04 Percent

Vanguard (Lagos)

17 June 2008
Posted to the web 17 June 2008

Michael Eboh
Lagos

Driven by gains on the share prices of listed equities and absence of share price loss on the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) last week, the performance indices, the All-share index and market capitalization appreciated by 7.04 per cent each.

Particularly, the index which opened the week at 56,234.02 points rose by 3,957.81 basis points to close at 60,191.83 points while the capitalization closed at N11.72 trillion from N10.95 trillion at which it opened the week. Nestle Nigeria Plc recorded the highest share price gain, rising by N11.25 to close at N236.25 per share, followed by Ashaka Cement Plc with a gain of N8.48 to close at N45.79 per share and Ecobank Transnational Incorporated garnered N5.94 to close at N50.40 per share.Other share price gainers include:

Conoil Plc N5.22, Flour Mills Nigeria Plc N4.80, Costain (West Africa) Plc N4.59, Union Bank Nigeria Plc N4.58, Lafarge West African Portland Cement Company Plc N4.50, First Bank Nigeria Plc N4.01 and Nigerian Aviation Handling Company Plc N3.95 among others. No losses were recorded in the share prices of any of the listed equities due to the measures introduced by the NSE to stem the seemingly incessant price depreciation that has bedeviled the market for some couple of months.

The new measure, according to the NSE requires that before stockbrokers move down the price of a particular stock, the stockbroker should give the NSE proper explanations on why the price of the stock should be traded below its former price. This measure, according to the NSE, was introduced in the current dispensation of trading because of a number of reasons, such as technical hitch that was developed in the system that enforces the five per cent ceiling of price movement. It said that the device controlling the downward part of the price ceiling developed fault and was breached, thereby allowing brokers to move the price beyond the required limit. Another reason, according to the NSE, was the wrong information passed across to brokers that the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) directed banks to stop financing their joint accounts with stockbrokers.

It stated that CBN governor told the NSE that it never gave such directive. Also, the high number of private placement was also fingered as been among the reasons why prices of stocks were declining, in addition to investors" decision to buy or sell there stocks at lower prices.Meanwhile, a turnover of 3.7 billion shares valued at N53.21 billion was recorded in the week under review in 75,133 deals, representing a drop of 26.88 per cent from penultimate week"s turnover of 5.06 billion shares valued at N72.21 billion in 83,515 deals.
 

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Namibia: Country to Get Nigerian Teachers

New Era (Windhoek)

17 June 2008
Posted to the web 17 June 2008

Windhoek

Namibia will get 60 Science, Mathematics and Information Technology volunteer teachers from Nigeria, who will be posted to rural areas at the end of this month.

Deputy Minister of Education, Dr Becky Ndjoze-Ojo, said the 60 teachers were going to be posted to remote areas, which are shunned by Namibian teachers.

Responding to questions from opposition members of Parliament in the National Assembly on Thursday, Ndjoze-Ojo said contrary to reports that Namibia would get 300 teachers from the west African nation, only 60 teachers had volunteered to work in Namibia for two years.

This follows a bilateral agreement between the two countries. Ndjoze-Ojo said the teachers are fully paid for by the Nigerian government, adding that Namibia was only expected to cater for accommodation and medical expenses to agreed specifications.

"The Ministry of Education has already forwarded a request to the Nigerian High Commissioner for about 60 volunteer teachers to come and assist in the areas of Science, Mathematics and Information and Communication Technology at senior secondary level in rural areas where Namibian Science and Maths teachers are reluctant to go," Ndjoze-Ojo said.

She added that the Nigerian teachers, who are expected end of this month, "will not replace nor will they take the place of Namibian teachers, but will rather be working alongside the Namibian teachers to assist them in strengthening the teaching of these subjects".

Namibia is battling an acute shortage of teachers especially in Science and Mathematics subjects.

The country has had to rely on teachers from neighbouring countries such as South Africa and Zimbabwe. Namibia currently has an agreement with Zimbabwe whereby school leavers are trained in Zimbabwe for three years.

Ndjoze-Ojo also said there are a lot of Namibian teachers who are unemployed as they are reluctant to apply for teaching posts available at schools in remote and rural areas.

"The ministry is thus forced to employ Grade 12 graduates to teach the learners," Ndjoze-Ojo said.

She urged unemployed teachers to approach regional education offices, where they can be deployed to any school once there was a vacancy. - The Southern Times
 

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N50 billion Abuja Boulevard - FG Revokes 300 Plots


Leadership (Abuja)

19 June 2008
Posted to the web 19 June 2008

Golu Timothy
Abuja

The proposed boulevard to be established in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) will consume about 300 plots in the choice Garki district of the Federal City Centre (FCC).

This is because the plots are to be revoked to give way for the contruction of the multi-billion naira 6.5km commercial edifice.

The breakdown of the affected plots shows that 132 are yet to be developed, 72 partially developed and 71 fully developed.

The N50 billion project will commence from Eagle Square down to the National Hospital.

The project is expected to pay back its cost through payment of development levies by allottees of plots within the boulevard area.

To this, the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) Headquarters, and other buildings standing on the way of passage of the project faces revocation.

Already, N250 million for the planning, engineering design and preliminary works/services for the project was included in the FCT budget, which is still before the National Assembly.

The Federal Executive Council yesterday also approved for the Federal Capital Development Authority to develop and maintain recreational facilities in Abuja .

According to the FCT minister, Dr. Aliyu Modibbo Umar, who briefed newsmen after the council meeting, the idea of the boulevard was not knew as it was in the FCT masterplan. "It must be done either we like it or not since it is already in the master plan."

He noted that the plots on the way of passage were allocated wrongly.

Hence, owners of the plots, including the NNPC, would in the new dispensation be asked to pay a new developmental levy or face revocation.

According to the minister, plot owners would be asked to pay between N50, 000 and N75, 000 per square metre, which would bring the levy on a plot to about N500 million.

He however assured that they will be given the right of first refusal.

Umar also stated that the administration would discuss with those affected and also introduce the new rate to them.

According to him, "The FCT administration has resolved to embark on the development of the Axial Roads, B08 and B10, into world standard boulevards similar to other popular boulevards in the big cities of the world substantially through public-private partnership.

"The boulevard area or Abuja downtown, when fully developed, is expected to attract and facilitate 24/7 commercial activities complemented by 24/7 vehicular and pedestrian movement.

"Therefore, to facilitate the timely realization of the proposed scheme the FCT administration will undertake a detailed analysis by the AGIS of existing plot subdivisions and allocations in the proposed boulevard area and resolve the inherent conflict of allocation.

"Under the Land Use Act we have the rights, we have the right to change that plan but the tenant has the right to seek redress and the Land Use Act is also clear about the rights of the sitting tenants.

"In the next one or two weeks we are going to publish in the papers. We are going to discuss with the owners. The key word there is the right of first refusal because we are not going to say move, if you are going to retain your plot. This is the new development levy. We are going to exercise that right."

Speaking on the cost of the project, he said, "The terrain right now is not even, so there will be a lot of filling to get it to a certain level. We are not sure of the estimate, though we are working towards getting the correct estimate, but the original estimate just for that 6 kilometers will cost N50 billion to build it.

"That is why we believe the time is over where government will build infrastructure and develop it and give to somebody who paid N2,000 per square meter only for him to resell that plot for N300 million and put into his pocket. At the moment a plot of 5,000 square metres is selling for between N100 million and 150 million and it is not fair for government and people of Nigeria, where some people by virtue of their privilege will take this land and wait for government to take this precious money that could be channeled to other use to develop the area for you only for you to resell, when there are even institutions like MTN and Globacom waiting for us at the Boulevard even with the new rate."

Umar also stated that there is no time-frame for the commencement of the project, adding, "We have to raise the money. We have to reach a consensus. We don't want to bulldoze people based on our new mantra of the rule of law. We want to respect the rights of our citizens for fair hearing.

"If a tenant decides he does not want, he will first go to the FCT Land Use Act Tribunal and if he is not satisfied, he will go to the Abuja High Court, then the Appeal Court . And we are willing to go all the way because one way or the other the boulevard will have to be built. This is very clear. It's either the government does it long time or government gets money to do it because it's already in the master plan."
 

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Nigeria: FCTA, Churchgate Plan 50-Storey Shopping Mall

FCT administration has concluded plans to partner with Churchgate Group of companies to construct one of Africa's biggest shopping malls in Abuja.

Modibbo said this in his office while receiving the management staff of the Churchgate Group of companies led by its chairman, Mr. Bhagwan Mahtani.


The minister said that the multi-billion-naira 50-storey shopping mall, with twin towers, would be located at the Constitution Avenue, beside the proposed Abuja Transportation Centre in the Central Business District of the Federal Capital Territory.

His words, "Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory has comparative advantage for having prime location as the capital of the most populous country in Africa, therefore any investment in this regard will surely get investment recouped immediately".

Umar reiterated that this was part of the innovation of the FCT administration, in addition to the planned multi-billion naira Abuja Boulevard project, to make Abuja the world's tourist and conference delight.

While calling on the Organised Private Sector, especially foreign investors, to take advantage of the conducive business climate in the Territory to invest in Abuja, the minister remarked that Nigeria can not be undermined as the greatest economy in Africa.

He noted that the enormous investment opportunities available in the Federal Capital Territory to genuine foreign investors who are interested in doing business in Nigeria.

The minister assured the company of his administration's continued support and cooperation.

According to him, "project like this would go a long way in providing employment opportunities for the ever increasing number of people that come in the Federal Capital Territory on daily basis".

He directed the managing director of the Abuja Investment and Property Company, Dr. Abdul Muktar, to in conjunction with the FCT Counsel-General and Secretary of Legal Services Secretariat, Barrister Muhammad Ma'aji Alkali, draft relevant laws that would give teeth to all the decisions reached at the meeting.

Speaking earlier, Mr. Bhagwan Mahtani assured the FCT administration of the readiness of his company to construct the planned gigantic building that would capture contemporary culture similar to that of Beirut, the Lebanese capital, where such bazaar was constructed by the company.

He disclosed that the proposed shopping mall would have shopping, entertainment, recreation, auditorium and cultural centres that would give Abuja an edge over other capital cities around the world.

The chairman said that the shopping mall would have cultural and structural foci that would make it the tallest building in Africa, along with its economic and social attributes.

http://allafrica.com/stories/200804100603.html
 

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Zimbabwean farmers will revolutionise farming in Nigeria

Thursday, June 19, 2008 Printer Friendly Version

Zimbabwean farmers will revolutionise farming in Nigeria – Kwara State Commissioner for Finance

By MUDUAGA AFFE

The Commissioner for Finance in Kwara State, Alhaji Abdulfatah Ahmed, in this interview with journalists in Lagos, speaks on why the Zimbabwean farmers in the state have come to occupy a crucial place in the scheme of things. MUDUAGA AFFE was there. Excerpts:


Photo file
Alhaji Abdulfatah Ahmed

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The Zimbabwean farmers seem to have become a selling point of the Bukola Saraki administration; how has this impacted on the ordinary people in the state?

The impact is overwhelming and as a matter of fact, it is already held by many as a revolutionary intervention to save Nigerian agriculture from an impending doldrums.

At the inception of this administration in 2003, a major part of what was put forward immediately as basis for economic development in the state was agriculture, taking cognizance of two facets – commercial farming and subsistence farming.

You would agree with me that based on agro-developmental standards worldwide, subsistence farming had become derisory hence adequate consideration was focused on large scale commercial and integrated farming, which led to the invitation of the Zimbabwean farmers.

This is not to say that farmers at the subsistence level were ignored, as the direct intention was to uplift them from their poor conditions.

To say the least, the presence of the Zimbabwe farmers has produced excellent results. A broad-based integrated farming system including large scale dairy production and processing, mixed farming, cattle rearing and poultry is already in place at their destination in Songha, Kwara State.

How easy was it to integrate the Zimbabwe farmers into Nigeria’s farming culture?

It was initially very difficult. But we must acknowledge the genuine determination of the farmers to achieve good results. Thirteen of the farmers were invited who initially lived in tents. The state government provided land, access roads and water through irrigation and boreholes as most of the land fell at the bank of the River Niger. They were given 1,000 hectares each but most of them initially cultivated about 100 – 200 hectares. The first two years was a test – run on the major crops for cultivation.

How was the initial dilemma of the farmers, that is, the issue of funding resolved?

Based on the premise – public/private partnership framework -and with the setting up of a ‘Special Purpose Vehicle’ named Songha Farm Holdings Nigeria Limited, commercial banks were approached for private placements to the tune of N3bn. This was the first time in Nigerian history that a consortium of banks would come out to support agriculture on such a large scale through debt – equity mix. The total for equity and the loans was put together at N3bn.

The participating banks are shareholders as they are part – owners of the 13 farms. The levels of input into the farms are monitored by all stakeholders through land cultivation, planting, harvesting and sales of produce. By and large, it was initially uneasy as only short term funds were available from banks prior to the convention of the consortium.

Apart from the 13 farms owned by the Zimbabweans, there is a 14th. Is this a pilot farm?

You may assume it is a training farm. It is owned by government and managed by another Zimbabwean farmer hired by government to teach student farmers new and modern techniques of farming. The first batch of students just graduated with support, from government, of N800,000 each for initial cultivation, free cleared land and other inputs. The participants were drawn from the different local government councils to act as ‘change agents’ to disseminate to their communities improved practices they learnt from the Zimbabwean farmers. With this level of activity, Kwara would, in the very near future, become the nation’s largest food basket thereby contributing immensely to gross national agricultural economy.

Through well organised commercial farming, and within a few years, Kwara will transform into a major agricultural hub.


:cheers::cheers::cheers:
 

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Western Goldfields hits N165bn worth of coal in Enugu

Western Goldfields hits N165bn worth of coal in Enugu
Written by Luka Binniyat
Wednesday, June 18, 2008

The Western Goldfields Consortium has confirmed discovering a proven coal reserve of 62,400,000 metric tonnes of coal deposit on Exploration License (EL) 829 at Ezimo, in Enugu State.



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The coal is estimated at about N165 billion (1.2 billion). Chairman of the consortium, Mr. Philip Pereira told newsmen in Abuja yesterday.

The EL, is 26 square kilometres area, rich in coal deposit with the first drilling taking place in Ogbolafor, in Udenu Local Government Council of Enugu state.

Pereira also said the consortium has 12 Els in five other states of the fedration.

According to Pereira, Western Goldfields have Exploration Licenses in Anambra, Benue, Kogi, Delta and Imo and from each of the states 25Mw of electricity will be produced.

He said that with the coal and lignite deposit on these licences, the company will from 24 months of ascertaining their proven reserve, produce a total of 1,500Mw of electricity for the next 25 years into the national grid.

Upon these discovery, the United Bank for Africa, (UBA) through its Head Corporate Bank –– North, Rotimi Balogun, said at venue, that it was going into a financial agreement with the consortium once certain issues were worked out, so the coal be used for the generation of 1,500 Mw of electricity into the National grid.

Pereira said that Western Goldfield’s consortium is in partnership with China Huadian Corporation - the second largest power producers of China - with over 70 power stations.

According to Pereira, the pilot schemes of for the projects started simultaneously in the 12 Exploration Licenses with not less that a total of 900 expatriate and local staff at the various sites.

“In September 2008, we shall be able to present accurate timelines to the President and the people of Nigeria for the solution we plan for the country’s power problem as once our coal reserves are proven, it will take about 24 months for one power stations of 250Mw to become operational in each of the six states, generating a total of 1,500Mw”, he said.

“Exploration to prove coal reserve will be a continues process and will be followed by the development of mines and power stations until the nation requirement for power are met and exceeded”, he said.

On his part, the UBA representative, Mr. Rotimi Balogun said that the Coal-to-power project embarked by the company is of both business interest to the Bank as well a patriotic responsibility in view of what improved electricity will do to the socio-economic development of the country.

“In the UBA”, he said, “we have 700 branches”, he said, “and each branch has nothing less than two generators. If you look at the amount of money spent on buying generators, fuel and the environmental impact it bears on the country, you will understand that improved power supply should be of serous concern to us”, he said.

According to him, the UBA is monitoring every step taken by Western Goldfields until their study of the projects shows that there would be return on investment.

He however said that the UBA may even stand as a Guarantor for the Company for offshore funds.

:banana::banana::banana:
 

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Nigeria: Glo in Benin - Sells Over 600,000 Sims in 10 Days

Nigeria: Glo in Benin - Sells Over 600,000 Sims in 10 Days

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Vanguard (Lagos)

20 June 2008
Posted to the web 20 June 2008

Lagos

GloMobile Benin, has recorded an instant hit among the people of that country who have picked about 600,000 SIMs in the first 10 days while over 200,000 lines have already been activated.

The growth of Glo Benin, which many describe as unprecedented, gives an indication that the network is positioned to contribute to the firm's vision to build the biggest and best network in Africa. Glo entered the Beninese market on June 5, with a promise by the Chairman of the company, Dr. Mike Adenuga Jr. to change the telecommunication landscape in that country.

Reports say the Gloworld Shops and designated dealer outlets were practically taken over by expectant Beninoise who wanted to share in the unique experience of being among the first set of people to make the first calls on the Glo network.

Earlier in a pre-launch presentation to newsmen, the Glo management said it was introducing unencumbered per second billing which gives the subscriber the power to pay only for the time that was used on phon

:banana::banana::banana:
 

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AfDB Approves US $ 85 Million for Lekki Toll Road Project

The Board of Directors of the African Development Bank (AfDB) Group on Wednesday in Tunis approved a senior loan of up to US$ 85 million to help finance the upgrade/rehabilitation of the Lekki to Epe expressway, linking Victoria Island with the Lekki peninsula in Lagos, Nigeria's economic capital.

The project consists of upgrading, widening and tolling of the existing 49.5km long Lekki-Epe Expressway, which is the principal road artery linking Victoria Island in Lagos with the Lekki peninsula. The objective is to alleviate traffic congestion and improve road safety along the Lekki corridor. It is based on Public-Private Partnership (PPP) under the Design, Build, Operate (DBOT), and Transfer and Rehabilitate, Operate (ROT) framework/business model.

The first phase of the project will involve the upgrade/rehabilitation of the existing 49.5km long expressway, the construction of a new ramp to carry traffic onto the Falomo bridge, construction of new interchanges, footbridges, walkways and bus stops along the expressway, construction of 6 kilometers of the new 20-km long coastal road (which will serve as an alternative road up to toll plaza 1), and build 10 interconnecting link roads between the Expressway and the coastal road respectively. The company will also construct three toll plazas along the Expressway and will be responsible for the operation and maintenance of the toll road during the concession period.

Phase two consists of building the remaining 14 km of the coastal road, and is contingent on the Lagos State Government's completion of the civil works on the new coastal defenses (to check erosion) that will require additional financial resources.

The project sponsors, Asset and Resource Management Ltd, a reputable local firm, is partnering with Larue Projects Ltd. (Larue) as joint sponsors and, together, they play the role of "key investor" to the project.

As part of its due diligence, the Bank developed a detailed in-house financial model to quantify the economic benefits to the various stakeholders. The model results showed that the main beneficiaries of the project are the Nigerian road users who will enjoy a net consumer surplus of NGN 41.7 billion* in present value terms. Furthermore the Lekki toll road project will considerably alleviate the highly congested traffic situation in Lagos especially during rush hours. On completion, the toll road is expected to reduce travel times while improving road safety and security, lower vehicle operating costs for road users, create jobs, and provide much needed and well-maintained transportation infrastructure which will lead to an increase in business activities along the corridor.

The project is expected to create 635 short-term and 1,146 long-term jobs with a good proportion of the employees being women. Labor benefits have an estimated present value of NGN 1.1 billion, which represents the difference between the current earnings of labor and wages paid by the project.

The project is in line with Pillar II (the development of the non-oil sector) of the Bank's country strategy paper (CSP) for Nigeria covering the period 2005-2009, which aims to sharpen support to private sector-led growth in infrastructure, agriculture and rural development. It is also in line with the Bank's 2003 private sector development strategy, which emphasized building competitive infrastructure as one of its five key pillars, as well as the updated 2007 private sector operations strategy, for supporting public-private partnerships. As a local currency financing operation, it also adheres to the Bank's strategy to support the development of local financial markets.

The project is considered as a landmark PPP and is in line with the master plan for Lagos State and also in line with the national development strategy of the Federal Republic of Nigeria with emphasis on strengthening the transportation infrastructure in order to meet the needs of its growing population by encouraging private sector-led investments in the transport sector.

The total project cost is approximately US$ 382 million, about NGN 44.91 billion The AfDB loan (total exposure) represents some 35% of the total senior debt. The Bank's presence as part of the lending syndicate has provided significant value in the due diligence process. Other international lenders to the project include Standard Bank London. The Bank also played a key role in ensuring international best practice environmental impact assessment and ensuring adequate mitigation measures to be put in place during construction
 

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Nigeria: Power Emergency - Governors Approve $5.3bn Finance Plan

The governors of the thirty six states of the Federation yesterday endorsed President Umaru Musa Yar'Adua's proposal to fund the much-expected power sector emergency plan from the excess crude account, prompting the National Economic Council (NEC) to approve the immediate release of $5.3 billion from the account for the project.

The council also approved the immediate release of $ 4.87 billion from the same account for sharing this month by states and local governments. States will share $2.3 billion while local governments will share $2.54 billion. The Federal Government will not partake in the sharing, having earlier used its share of the funds to exit the Paris Club debt.

Briefing reporters after the NEC meeting in Abuja, Kwara State Governor Bukola Saraki said a twenty-man committee has been constituted by the council to implement the emergency measures expected to be declared in the

power sector next month. The power sector emergency implementation committee chaired by Vice President Goodluck Jonathan consists of nine governors, five ministers, one representative each from organised labour, the mass media and the oil sector, and two representatives of the banking sector.

He said, "The implementation committee is headed by the vice president, there are six governors one coming from each of the six geo-political zones, and the three governors who were former ministers of power, then the current minister of State for gas, minister of finance, minister of state for power, Attorney General of the Federation and the Minister of National Planning, two representatives from banks, one from the labour, one from the media, one from the OPTS (oil operators)."

Saraki said the committee would ensure the generation of 6,000 megawatts of electricity by 2009 and 10,000 megawatts by 2011. He said state governors endorsed President Yar'adua's proposal to fund the power sector emergency from the excess crude account because they believed that the nation's epileptic power situation should be treated as a national emergency.

He said a separate body would eventually be set up to run the emergency power projects to ensure judicious use of the funds to be injected into the sector.

"After along deliberation, the states supported the proposal that funds from our excess crude will go towards this project as part of our national efforts to address this problem that we see as key to the development of our great country. In the process of that, certain decisions were also taken. We took cognizance of the fact that to avoid the mistakes of the past and the concern of implementation, that there was need for the implementation to take different approach and we took a decision on the composition of the implementation committee," Governor Saraki said.

He added: "Secondly also, apart of this, there was also the need for us to review the tariff regime. It is not only about expenditure, that if we do not review the tariff regime that will make it interesting for private sector to invest in our power sector, we will be back to square one. That also is a decision that requires a national effort because in doing that there are decisions that will be taken that will need the cooperation of everybody concerned and that also a presentation will be made to make it viable for the private sector to invest."

Also speaking at the briefing, Governor Rotimi Amaechi of Rivers State said the funds injected into the power sector emergency would be treated as equity, saying states would take 45% of the total equity.

"Also the investment of the states is more of investment equity and by the time some of these generation plants are sold, the states should be able to get back some of their funds", he said.

In his own speech at the briefing, Finance Minister Dr. Shamsudeen Usman said "there was cooperation by all parties.

The governors supported the president that the power situation needed to be treated as an emergency and needs to be treated by all tiers of governments as an emergency. And there was an agreement about what is involved and that the money required initially, totaling about $5.37 billion, should come from the excess crude account."

The minister said the $5.3 billion would be an additional fund for the project, saying "you will recall that earlier, about $3.068 billion had been drawn from the excess crude account to fund the NIPPs. Additionally, the FG will be funding the Zungeru and the Mambila hydro plants, but those are not part of the medium term."

He said the presentation on the multi-year tariff system for electricity made by the Federal government would be discussed at the next NEC meeting.

On the likely implications of the impending release of about $10 billion into the economy, the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Professor Chukwuma Soludo, who also spoke at the briefing, said the inflationary impact would be minimal since the expenditure has already been factored into the nation's monetary policy for this fiscal year.

Dr. Saraki had also briefed newsmen on Wednesday night after they met under the auspices of the Governors' Forum. He said the governors took note of some of the difficulties that had faced the power sector in the past and have seen the need to address the issue of tariff in order to attract private sector investors to the power sector. Saraki further said the participation of state governments would enable them to get adequate information about the project and monitor its implementation to achieve the desired results.

He said, "We also focused our time to deliberate on the issue of power situation in the country. As governors of the states, we see it as a national problem. We believe that State Governors should work with Federal Government and with Mr. President to assist in coming up with solution to power problems. And along these lines, we have made a decision to contribute our own quota as well towards addressing the problem with the power situation. And in doing that, we have also taken note of some of the difficulties of the past. And we need to also consider our proposed contributions which are to be invested in forms of equity. Particularly, majority of these power plants will be privatized with the hope that the money we have invested will come back to us."

On the food crisis, Governor Saraki said as a follow-up measure, governors agreed that efforts should be geared towards medium and long-term strategies that will help address the problem.

He emphasized the need to devise strategies that would help farmers to increase production, particularly in rice so that many states in the country can be producing it. According to him, a lot of attention has been focused on short-term solutions with little emphasis on medium and long-term solutions to address food crisis.

He said the governors resolved that Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) should be the same model with University Basic Education (UBE) so that its implementation can be transparent and equitable. The governors, he said, believe that important areas in the MDGs should be identified to enable them participate with their counterpart funding.
 

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Daily Trust (Abuja)

17 June 2008
Posted to the web 17 June 2008

The Zamfara state government has signed two foreign loans with a Malaysian bank and another company for the construction of an international cargo airport in Gusau, the state capital totaling N12 billion.

The Director stated that while the state government would provide 15 percent of the total cost of the airport, the Exim bank of Malaysia would provide the state with a loan of 35 percent of the total cost.

The statement added that MPK group, a Malaysian company otherwise known as EPC contractors, will provide the remaining 50 percent of the loan to the state government amounting to N6 billion.

The loan is expected to be paid in 20 equal semi-annual repayments with that of MPK being paid within 10 years exclusive of the moratorium period. The loan has a moratorium period of three and a half years.

"Shortly after signing the MoU, the MPK Director-General, Mr. Edwin Hons. and the Vice President of the Exim bank, Mr. Chon Lock Chon, in separate remarks, commended the Zamfara state government for their initiative.


A case of misplaced priorities.
 

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Nigeria launches $10bn oil spree
By Andrew Walker
BBC News website, Abuja

The Nigerian government has decided to go on a spending spree with $10bn from its windfall from the rising oil price, despite warnings of inflation.

It will spend just over $5bn fixing the country's woeful power supply which has become the administration's priority.

The rest will be shared among the 36 state governments.

Critics say state governments are not trustworthy enough to spend the money wisely, but Nigerians also want the money spent on vital infrastructure.

It is believed the total reserve is about $18bn, up from $5.1bn in 2004.

The announcement came after weeks of negotiation between the federal government and state governors, finance ministry sources said.

Inflation risk

There have been fierce arguments over how the money should be spent, or if it should be saved.

Economists warn that a government spending spree could stoke inflation, currently at 8.2%.


But the Nigerian constitution says the windfall must be shared out between the federal, state and local governments.

Non-governmental organisations have also warned of rampant corruption in state and local governments.

Accounting is not transparent, and the money risks being wasted or stolen, they say.

Among Nigerians there is a great demand for the money to be spent.

"I know this country is very wealthy," said Sarkin Maikafi, a traditional leader in Massaka, Nasarawa state.

"Every day, we see government people drive past in flashy cars, but I cannot get good medical treatment for my son."

He was waiting in a private clinic for Babangida, his three year old son by his youngest wife, to be treated for malaria.

To get treatment at the government-run hospital down the road, you have to bribe nurses and doctors, he says, and it can be cheaper to go to a private clinic where he can get credit.

"The government doesn't run the hospitals properly. They're not well funded," he said.

But the real push to spend such a large chunk of money from the nation's oil coffers came not from the public, but from state governors.

Haggling

Nigeria's power grid has all but totally collapsed.

Investment and job creation are almost impossible without a reliable electricity supply. The government promised to repair it, and said it needs to spend some of the nation's savings to do so.

But state governors refused to allow funds to be withdrawn without getting a share.

"It was necessary to carry the state governments along," a Ministry of Finance spokesman said.

"They have to plug holes in their budgets or deliver programmes they have promised their people."

But civil society activists say there might be a more sinister outcome - the money might be frittered away or stolen.

Jimoh Ibrahim of the Centre for Democracy and Development said state governors' record on public spending was "scandalous".

"Their accounting procedures are totally opaque. State governors usually have total control of any institution that might check if the money is being stolen."
Story from BBC NEWS:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/go/pr/fr/-/2/hi/africa/7465430.stm

Published: 2008/06/20 17:11:14 GMT

© BBC MMVIII
 

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Daily Trust (Abuja)

17 June 2008
Posted to the web 17 June 2008

The Zamfara state government has signed two foreign loans with a Malaysian bank and another company for the construction of an international cargo airport in Gusau, the state capital totaling N12 billion.

The Director stated that while the state government would provide 15 percent of the total cost of the airport, the Exim bank of Malaysia would provide the state with a loan of 35 percent of the total cost.

The statement added that MPK group, a Malaysian company otherwise known as EPC contractors, will provide the remaining 50 percent of the loan to the state government amounting to N6 billion.

The loan is expected to be paid in 20 equal semi-annual repayments with that of MPK being paid within 10 years exclusive of the moratorium period. The loan has a moratorium period of three and a half years.

"Shortly after signing the MoU, the MPK Director-General, Mr. Edwin Hons. and the Vice President of the Exim bank, Mr. Chon Lock Chon, in separate remarks, commended the Zamfara state government for their initiative.

A case of misplaced priorities.
I couldn't agree with you more. Who is going to ship cargo to the
international airport in zamfara ? Is Zamfara economically viable
to sustain an international cargo airport ? :bash:
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Health Insurance to Generate N3 Trillion-Dogo-Mohammed

NIGERIA'S health insurance sector would generate N3 trillion annually from 2020, Chief Executive National Health Insurance Scheme Dr. Mohammed Dogo-Mohammad has said.

Currently, the NHIS has disbursed over N23 billion to healthcare service providers registered under it as at 2007. Dogo-Mohammad disclosed at an NHIS/HMO forum in Port Harcourt, yesterday.

Represented by the National Health Insurance Coordinator, South-South, Mr. Nasiru Ilaru, he explained that about 2.5 million Nigerians were currently benefiting from the scheme.

No fewer than 7,850 service providers and 39 Health Maintenance Organisations have registered with the scheme operating in every part of the country. But he regretted that the Federal Government's contribution to the health care delivery system in the country was "grossly inadequate".

"In comparative terms and with other African nations Nigeria has made the least contribution to the health sector.

Consequently, individuals bear the heaviest burden in health sector financing" and made a case for immediate reversal of the situation in a bid to strengthen healthcare services in the country.

"The Federal Government has allocated two percent of funds in the Consolidated Revenue Account to primary healthcare sector.

Accordingly, one percent of the funds has been approved for use by the National Health Insurance Scheme."
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Ruling On $40bn Suit Against Mobil Now July 22

Ruling in the lingering $40 billion suit between inventor of the anti-corrosive special paint and founder of Comandclem Nigeria Ltd, King Clement J. Uwenedimo and Mobil Producing Nigeria (MPN) Unlimited, earlier fixed for yesterday has been adjourned till July 22, 2008.

Uwenedimmo had in Year 2000, dragged MPN to court demanding $40 billion as compensation for defaulting in an agreement entered upon for the use of the special paint for its operations at Qua Ibom Terminus (QIT).

When the case came up yesterday in Federal High Court, Uyo, Akwa Ibom State, the Presiding Judge, Justice I.I. Ejiofor, told the court that the ruling was not ready, hence it has to be shifted to July 22.

Lawyers to the plaintiff, Ene Uwagy and Chris Mustapha Nwaokobia, told THISDAY that they were not surprised about the adjournment, because the Judge and other stakeholders are taking their time to ensure whatever is done does not become irregular at the end, but in accordance with the law.

At a solidarity rally after the court sitting yesterday, Uwenedimo urged his supporters to be patient, coherent and exhibit the attitude of love towards one another, so that no outsider will attempt to divide them in the struggle.

He expressed gratitude to Emirs and Obas and other traditional rulers across the country for their support.

As early as 7.30 a.m., the court premises along Ikot Ekpene Road in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State, was jampacked.

Supporters of Comandclem arrived the court with over 35 buses full of people drawn from the six geo-political zones, in anticipation that judgment will be in their favour.

Meanwhile, Mobil team has met with Pro-NACO chieftains, led by Chief Anthony Enahoro, to brief them on the facts of the case and its desire to follow judicial process diligently.

Mobil recalled that the Supreme Court did not give judgment in relation to remedies but on the need to hear the substantive matter, which is currently in the Federal High Court, Uyo.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Glo in Benin - Sells Over 600,000 Sims in 10 Days

GloMobile Benin, has recorded an instant hit among the people of that country who have picked about 600,000 SIMs in the first 10 days while over 200,000 lines have already been activated.

The growth of Glo Benin, which many describe as unprecedented, gives an indication that the network is positioned to contribute to the firm's vision to build the biggest and best network in Africa. Glo entered the Beninese market on June 5, with a promise by the Chairman of the company, Dr. Mike Adenuga Jr. to change the telecommunication landscape in that country.

Reports say the Gloworld Shops and designated dealer outlets were practically taken over by expectant Beninoise who wanted to share in the unique experience of being among the first set of people to make the first calls on the Glo network.

Earlier in a pre-launch presentation to newsmen, the Glo management said it was introducing unencumbered per second billing which gives the subscriber the power to pay only for the time that was used on phone.
 
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