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Illegal Mining: Makinde shuts facility, arrests 4 operators

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By Bushrah Adeshina, Ibadan

Oyo State Governor, Engr.Seyi Makinde was on an impromptu inspection of a mining factory at Idi Ayunre, Oluyole Local Government Area, Ibadan when he closed down a factory said to be run by suspected illegal miners.

According to the governor, the facility, initially intended for recycling batteries and tires, was now being used for processing and packaging lithium.

The governor’s Chief Press Secretary, Sulaimon Olarewaju in a statement revealed that four individuals operating at the site were arrested for operating without the required license from the state government.

Makinde disclosed that preliminary investigations revealed the involvement of Chinese nationals in running the facility.

He added that despite the issuance of an operational license by the Federal Government to the miners in accordance with constitutional provisions, there are concerns about security threats emerging when states are not involved in the licensing process.

Governor Makinde cited violations of Executive Order 001 of 2024 on the safe handling of harmful substances by the factory and its operators.

He stressed that the arrested individuals would face prosecution as per the law.

Also, the governor announced the state’s intention to acquire the illegal factory through legal proceedings in a bid to thoroughly investigate the situation.

He said: “You can see what is going on here; it is still the same problem- the illegal mining activities.”

“Sadly, the folks are even getting bolder. This place, according to records available to us, was meant to be a yard for recycled tyres and batteries.”

“But coming in here, you can see there is no single battery or tyre here. They are crushing lithium here and they had support from all over.”

“The preliminary investigation indicated that some Chinese are the ones leading this. They also have a lawyer from Katsina.”

“The state government will take over the facility, via a court process, as this is a clear violation of the Executive Order that I signed and it is a problem that we have to address.”

“Some four persons have been arrested and they are with the security agencies.”

“The Chinese people have been taken to Immigration and, once we are able to find something to prosecute them, then, we will prosecute them.”

“We need to get to the bottom of this but, in the main time, this facility will be taken over by the government of Oyo State.”

He added that, though Oyo State remained open to investors and will always do everything to make businesses thrive, those business must obey local laws and regulations.

“I think it is the same thing about the constitutional provision where they issue licences to miners in Abuja without the state governments having an input. And when you have the fallout, the state will still have to bear the brunt.”

“We will still try to foster cooperation among stakeholders, because we want businesses to thrive in Oyo State but local laws and regulations must be obeyed.”

“We are not asking you not to come to Oyo State but when you come here, you should be able to obey the local laws. That is where we are,” the governor said.

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    February 25, 2024 at 8:44 pm

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CIBN backs bank recapitalisation for enhanced economic growth

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The Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria (CIBN) has expressed support for the planned recapitalisation exercise for banks in the country.

Ken Opara, President/Chairman of Council, CIBN, expressed this during the 2024 annual lecture of the institute on Tuesday in Lagos.

Opara said adequate liquidity within the banking system was fundamental to fostering sustainable economic growth and development.

He said that the recapitalisation would further help banks to deepen liquidity and guarantee access to credit needed for economic growth and prosperity.

He said that CIBN and the Nigeria Exchange Group (NGX) had formed collaborations toward building capacity for the recapitalisation of banks.

Opara added that the institute was also collaborating with Africa Guarantee Fund (AGF) for capacity building for SMEs, preparing them and building their capacity to access finance.

He called for more allocation of credit to the real sector, which was the foundation of the nation’s economic activities for increased liquidity.

Opara stressed the need for addressing challenges faced by the sector to enhance its competitiveness against foreign counterparts.

To resolve the challenges, he urged the government to improve further the ease of doing business and infrastructural development, such as power, roads, and rail networks.

The CIBN president also called for industrial centres where companies could co-habit and share common infrastructure,
harmonise and reduce the various taxes and levies, including locating them in a single hub.

He said the theme, “Improving Availability of Credit in the Nigerian Real Economy: The Critical Importance of Liquidity”, was timely to address current challenges in the nation.

“As we navigate the complexities of our current economic landscape, it has become increasingly evident that ensuring adequate liquidity within the banking system is fundamental to fostering sustainable economic growth and development.

“The real economy comprises the agriculture, manufacturing, construction, and services sectors and serves as the tangible foundation of the nation’s economic activity.

“These sectors collectively represent the intricate web of goods and services that drive economic growth, create employment opportunities, and enhance the overall standard of living.

“Despite the significant relevance of the real sector, access to credit for such key sectors compared to other climes is relatively low,” he said.

He said a survey conducted in more than 40 economies and released by Statista in 2024 revealed that nearly 141 trillion dollars worth of credit was lent to the real sector in advanced economies in the second quarter of 2022.

He added that the figures were twice as high as the volume of credit to the same sector in emerging markets.

He commended improvements in liquidity within Nigeria’s real sector but called for increased credit to sector, particularly agriculture.

“According to data from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), the Net Domestic Credit stood at 66.4 trillion Naira as of December 2022, showcasing the substantial credit extended by financial institutions to the real sector of the economy.

“This figure experienced a significant surge to 96.1 trillion Naira by December 2023, highlighting the tremendous potential for growth and development in the real sector,” he said.

He listed credit volume allocated to the key sectors, saying the Agricultural sector had N5.8 trillion representing about six per cent of the total credit.

He said the manufacturing sector had N19.7 trillion, representing approximately 21 per cent of the total credit, while the services sector had N36 trillion, representing 37.4 per cent of the total credit.

“I humbly propose that we consider offering more credit to these key sectors and particularly the agriculture sector.

“It is for this reason, ladies and gentlemen, that the recapitalisation exercise is a welcome development.

“The recently announced upward review of the Minimum Capital Requirements of Nigeria by the Central Bank of Nigeria would further empower banks to extend more credit to the economy’s productive sectors,” he said.

The Guest Speaker, Prof. Graham Penn, speaking on the theme, explained how other developed countries were leveraging on credit and the need for Nigeria to increase liquidity for economic prosperity.

Penn, a professor of International Finance Law at University College London, listed challenges and measures Nigerian banks, regulators and businesses could adopt to implement laws and regulations to facilitate true sale securitisation.

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NERC transfers regulatory oversight of electricity market in Ekiti to state govt

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The Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC), says it has transfered regulatory oversight of electricity market in Ekiti State to the state Electricity Regulatory Bureau (EERB).
The commission said this in a statement posted on its website in Abuja on Tuesday.
The commission said the transfer was in compliance with the amended Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (CFRN) and the Electricity Act 2023 (Amended).
The statement recalled that with the  Electricity Act (EA) 2023, the commission retains the role as central regulator with regulatory oversight on the inter-state and international generation, transmission, supply, trading and system operations.
According to the statement, the Act also mandates any state that intends to establish and regulate intrastate electricity markets to deliver a formal notification of its processes.
The statement also said that the state had to request NERC to transfer regulatory authority over electricity operations in the state to the state regulator.
”Based on this, the government of Ekiti complied with the conditions precedent in the laws, duly notified NERC and requested for the transfer of regulatory oversight of the intrastate electricity market in Ekiti.
”The commission in the Order made the following provisions: direct Benin Electricity Distribution Company (BEDC) and Ibadan Electricity Distribution (IBEDC) Company to incorporate a subsidiary (BEDC SubCo and IBEDC SubCo).
”The two distribution companies are to assume responsibilities for intrastate supply and distribution of electricity in Ekiti State from BEDC and IBEDC.
”BEDC and IBEDC shall complete the incorporation of BEDC SubCo and IBEDC SubCo within 60 days from April 22.
”The sub companies shall apply for and obtain licences for the intrastate supply and distribution of electricity from EERB, among other directives,”it said
The commission said that all transfers envisaged by the Order shall be completed by October 22.
 NERC had also transfered regulatory oversight of the Enugu electricity market to the State Electricity Regulatory Commission.
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Minister summons Lead British Int. School over bullying allegation

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The Federal Ministry of Education on Tuesday summoned Lead British International School, Abuja over an alarming viral online video regarding alleged bullying incidents at the school.
At the meeting held in Abuja, the Minister of State for Education, Dr Yusuf Sununu, emphasised government’s steadfast stance against any form of harassment or intimidation within educational institutions.
The delegation from the school to the meeting was led by Mr Abraham Ogunkanmbi, Head of School.
Sununu expressed deep concern over the circulated video.and assured that government would take decisive actions to forestall reoccurrence in any institution of learning.
The minister appointed a seven-member committee to thoroughly investigate the circumstances surrounding the documented incidents.
The committee’s mandate, he said, was to investigate the events as depicted in the videos and come up with expanded investigation to other schools, using Lead British International School as a case study, to address broader social vices.
Sununu underscored the importance of establishing stronger bonds between school authorities and students.
He said such bond would facilitate immediate responses to similar incidents in the future., emphasising the critical role of communication in resolving such issues.
The minister assured Nigerian of the government’s commitment to ensuring safety and protecting the rights of all students.
He, also reiterated the seriousness of the  ministry in addressing and eradicating vices within the education sector.
Contribution, the Permanent Secretary, Mrs Didi Walson-Jack, inquired about the existence of an anonymous suggestion box at the school, where students could lodge their complaints discreetly.
Speaking on behalf of the delegation, Ogunkanmbi said the school had launched investigations into the unfortunate incidence.
He assured the ministry that appropriate measures would be taken in response to the incidents, including disciplinary actions in accordance with the school’d policies.
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