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El-Rufai invites Chinese experts to revamp Kaduna economy



As part of efforts to improve the economy of Kaduna State, Governor Nasiru el-Rufai has invited Chinese experts to see the possibility of revamping the textile industry in the state.

The development, according to the governor, is aimed at ensuring productive investment that would increase the economic chances of the state.

Governor el-Rufai, who stated this when he received the team at Sir Ibrahim Kashim House, Kaduna, on Wednesday, said the need to revamp the textile industry became necessary because of the impact which the development would have along the value-chain, which would improve the living standards of the people and cotton farmers in the state.

Elsewhere, General Manager of Kaduna State Agricultural Development Agency, Sabi’u Sani Isyaku said the state government invited the company to see how it could revive cotton through value chain.

“We discovered that there are issues at different levels of production, beginning with the farmers. When they cannot produce the tonnes of cotton needed, the manufacturing industries will not have enough cotton to work with and that will lead to importation, which is quite expensive.

“So, one of the things we are doing is to get high return seedlings. The more the farmers are able to produce, the better for everyone along the value chain.

“And for the textile companies to have a viable production, it is important to have improved cotton seedlings, and that is why we enjoin our farmers to use improved seedlings and mechanisation to improve their production from about two tonnes per hectare  to about five tonnes per hectare. If we are able to produce, we will be exporting to other countries including China.”

Earlier, leader of Chinese experts, Mrs. Shuying Wang said the team was in Nigeria to assist the country in all the cotton value chain for improved and sustainable economy, adding that Nigeria has the potential to be a global destination of quality cotton.

Regardless, in spite of high security risks on the Birnin Gwari route, a governorship aspirant and former Director General of the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), Mohammed Sani Sidi, has visited Birnin Gwari Local Government Area of the state; to consult with party leaders, key stakeholders and delegates. Sidi claimed other governorship aspirants in the state are afraid to tour the area because of insecurity.

“I was advised several times against going to Birnin Gwari; due to security concerns. I was advised to invite party executives and delegates to Kaduna for the meeting, but, I declined. I choose to take whatever risk to identify with you during these trying times,” he said.

While addressing a cheering party and campaign supporters during the consultation meeting in Birnin Gwari, Sidi said he was in the local government area to commiserate with the people for many lives lost in recent times.

“We are here to share in your pains and agonies. We are here to commiserate with you over what you have been going through. I am genuinely concerned about your plight. As a person, I feel highly burdened to comfortably sit in Kaduna and invite you. No responsible person should seek the mandate of a people he cannot visit. And that is why we are here; to assure you that the insecurity in this area will form part of our key priorities. if God gives us the opportunity to lead you,” he stated.

In their seperate responses, political and community leaders pledged their support to Sidi ahead of party primaries.

Chairman of stakeholders of the party, Alhaji Abdulkadir Jibril said  “Sani Sidi’s presence was very symbolic as he is the only aspirant to Birnin Gwari…”


NIMASA DG calls for contributory pension for dockworkers



…As agency hosts maiden ‘day of the dockworker’ event

By Seun Ibiyemi

It was a milestone event for the local maritime industry as the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) hosted the maiden edition of the ‘Day of the Dockworker’ in Lagos recently.

With the theme of the event being “Healthy Dockworker, Better Productivity,” it was an opportunity for stakeholders gathered to not just appreciate the efforts of Nigerian dockworkers at the center of the nation’s import-dependent economy, but also to focus on ways of improving their health and general well-being.

Delivering his welcome address at the event, the NIMASA Director General, Dr. Bashir Jamoh OFR, charged employers of labor to ensure all dockworkers are enrolled on contributory pension schemes, while also emphasising the need for operators of Oil and Gas Terminals to allow only approved stevedores aboard their installations, to ensure compliance with relevant international guidelines and conventions.

According to Dr. Jamoh, “As we celebrate today, it is important to put in perspective the plight of dockworkers who spend the greater part of their working life at the ports, with little or nothing to show for it. As employers of labour, you must endeavour to put in place a Contributory Pension Scheme for dockworkers and ensure prompt remittances of both Employers and Employees contributions at the end of each month.”

Speaking on compliance with stevedore inspections, he stated, “This occasion presents me with an opportunity to express the need for operators in the private jetties and Oil & Gas Terminals to grant operational access to the Stevedoring Contractors appointed by the Honorable Minister of Transport, to carry out stevedoring activities in assigned operational areas.”

On his part, the President General of the Maritime Workers Union of Nigeria (MWUN), Comrade Adewale Adeyanju, in his address, thanked the NIMASA Management for organising the event to celebrate Nigerian dockworkers in recognition of the important role played by them.

In attendance at the event were representatives from the Federal Ministry of Labour and Productivity; Nigerian Ports Authority; Seaport Terminal Operators Association and the National Association of Stevedoring Operators (NASA).

Internationally, July 7th is marked as ‘The Global Day of Action’ and is organized by the International Dockworkers’ Council (IDC) and International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF). It aims to raise awareness of port working conditions and emphasize the importance of collective bargaining rights.

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LCCI tasks govt on transparent FX regime, multinationals’ engagement



The Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) has implored the government to create a more flexible and transparent foreign exchange policy to address scarcity issues.

Its Director-General, Dr Chinyere Almona, gave the advice on Thursday in Lagos, in reaction to the recent announcement of Procter & Gamble to transition its Nigerian operations to an import-only model.

Recall that the Chief Financial Officer of Procter & Gamble, Andre Schulten, had said this move would effectively dissolve its on-ground presence in the country.

Almona noted that over the last few months, there had been a consistent increase in exit plans or a reduction in involvement in the Nigerian market by multinationals, saying the trend was worrisome.

She stated that the country’s lingering foreign exchange scarcity, poor power supply, port congestion, multiple taxation, insecurity, and poor infrastructure, among others, had taken a toll on many businesses in the country.

She recommended that the government should implement measures to stabilise and ensure the availability of foreign exchange for businesses, particularly those operating in dollar-denominated environments.

“Further, the chamber urges the government to engage multinational corporations and the business community to understand their challenges and gather input and feedback on policy decisions to collaboratively develop solutions that would forestall the exodus of businesses from Nigeria.

 ”The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) should prioritise the stability of the country’s currency and adopt the right policy mix to ensure price stability,” she said.

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Tinubu appoints Omatsola Ogbe as new ES of NCDMB



President Bola Tinubu has approved the appointment of Engr. Felix Omatsola Ogbe as Executive Secretary of Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB).

The President in a statement by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Ajuri Ngelale appointed new board members for the NCDMB.

According to the Spokesperson to the President, the President in conformity with Sections 71(1), 72, and 73 of the Nigerian Oil and Gas Industry Content Development Act (2010) approved the appointment of qualified Nigerians to serve on the Governing Council and Management team of the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB).

The newly appointed board members include:Sen. Heineken Lokpobiri — Chairman / HMS, Petroleum Resources, Engr. Felix Omatsola Ogbe — Executive Secretary, Oritsemyiwa Eyesan — Member / EVP Upstream, NNPC Ltd, Gbenga Komolafe — Member / CEO, NUPRC, Bekearedebo Augusta Warrens — Member, Nicolas Odinuwe — Member, Rapheal Samuel — Member, Sadiq Abubakar — Member, Olorundare Sunday Thomas — Member.

Ajuri noted that the President expects the new appointees to discharge their duties with his patriotic resolve to significantly enhance indigenous industry participation in the energy sector as part of the Renewed Hope Agenda’s mandate to achieve the goal of 70 percent indigenous content and participation in the nation’s energy industry during the lifespan of this administration.

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