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U.S., Nigeria establish joint group on mining development

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The Government of Nigeria and the United States (U.S.) have established a joint working group, to chart modalities for mining development.

The group was established during a meeting between the Nigerian delegation led by its Minister of Solid Minerals Development, Dr Dele Alake, and the US delegation led by Amos Hochstein, the Senior Advisor to the U.S. President on Energy and Infrastructure.

The meeting between the duo took place on the sidelines of the on-going ‘Investing in Africa Indaba’ conference in Cape Town, South Africa.

In a statement issued by the minister’s Special Assistant on Media, Segun Tomori, on Wednesday in Abuja, Alake stated that the meeting was aimed at strengthening collaboration with the U.S.

The meeting in South Africa was a follow-up to the visit of the United States Deputy Chief of Mission, David Greene, to the minister’s office in Abuja on Feb. 1.

NAN recalls that during the meeting, the U.S. expressed commitment in partnering with Nigeria in training its security agencies to secure its mining sites.

The U.S, also expressed interest in investing in the extracting and processing of Nigeria’s minerals.

In South Africa, Hochstein had declared the interest of the U. S. to partner with Nigeria in unlocking investments in the mining ecosystem.

He said that these investments would involve infrastructural development and technical assistance in upscaling mining operations among other investment opportunities.

The senior advisor disclosed that the U.S. was working with the Federal Government to finance clean energy options.

Alake described the U.S. as a longstanding ally of Nigeria, pointing out that a new vista of collaboration for mining development would strengthen bilateral relations, benefitting both countries mutually.

“We are putting in place reforms to ensure that we have an enabling environment in the sector, different from the experiences we had in the past,” he said.

He expressed confidence that the joint group would be instrumental in fast tracking and disseminating information between the two countries aimed at producing the requisite modalities.

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Marine and Blue Economy sector recorded N242bn in Q1 2024 – Oyetola

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By Seun Ibiyemi

The Minister of Marine and Blue Economy has said that the ministry recorded a revenue of N242 billion in the first quarter (Q1) of 2024.

Oyetola spoke in Abuja on Tuesday during a sectoral briefing to mark President Bola Tinubu’s first year in office.

He said the revenue recovered represents a 92 percent increase from the N126 billion recorded in Q1 of 2023.

Oyetola said the ministry has “achieved a ramp up of revenue” to the government in the last year and is poised to do more.

“A comparison of quarter 1 2023 against quarter 1 2024 revenue performance across the agencies reveals a 92% increase,” the minister said.

“The increase in revenue performance has largely been due to a 10% increase in the number of vessels calling our ports due to strategic investments in port infrastructure in the last one-year, mooring boats, patrol vessels, and dredging of the port’s channels.

“We have also tightened revenue assurance by deploying technology. Revenue generation is critical to us.”

On improving the sector’s revenue throughout the year, Oyetola said the ministry has commenced the rollout of some initiatives such as the commissioning of revenue enhancement studies focused on the ministry, its departments, and agencies.

The minister said the objective is to identify and block leakages while identifying recommendations to expand current revenue sources.

“Automation of revenue collection processes to eliminate bottlenecks and enhance transparency and accountability,” he said, further highlighting the initiatives.

“Deploying revenue assurance technologies to ensure accurate and complete billings in line with established contracts and services rendered.

“Ensuring the efficient utilisation of existing assets through concessions to the private sector and public-private partnerships as required.”

Oyetola also said the ministry has carried out campaigns targeting both domestic and international investors for investments in the marine and blue economy sub-sectors.

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Lagos to begin demolition of Oshodi market extensions July 30

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The Lagos State Government is set to begin the demolition of Oshodi Market by July 30.

This was disclosed by the General Manager, Lagos State Building Control Agency, Gbolahan Oki, on Monday.

He said, “The Lagos State Building Control Agency, in conjunction with the Oshodi-Isolo Local Government Council Authority, has embarked on the sensitisation of property owners, residents, shop owners, and market women and men on the removal of illegal structures, extensions built on road setbacks, shops, buildings, and public school premises around the Oshodi-Isolo LCDA.”

Oki noted that the expiration period before demolition compensation is July 30.

He said, “The expiration period that we are looking at is July 30, and the action we are taking is to remove all the attachments.

“As you can see, some buildings are right on the road, and it is because of these attachments. Some believe that the attachment is part of the building.”

The general manager asserted that change was the simplest thing but very difficult to achieve.

He added, “If we want change, it is going to affect us, and we are going to have that change at all costs.

“All these extensions are on work, which should not be.

“People selling on the road is unnecessary, and that is what we are trying to put in place; it is not a tribal issue. We must all comply with the rules and regulations.”

Oki urged traders without building plan approval to leverage the 90-day amnesty period given by the Governor of Lagos State, Babatunde Sanwo-Olu.

“The reason we are here is to enforce; the directive of the governor is very clear; there is no attachment.

“Nothing should disrupt the flow of movement, which is very important, and that we stand on.”

The Executive Chairman, Oshodi-Isolo Local Government, Kehinde Oloyede, said in every market, accessibility was essential.

He said, “For market women to maximise whatever they are selling, they need access to the road.

“The state government believes that good access to roads would better help them in the performance of their duty, particularly agencies like the fire service.”

Speaking on the local government partnership with LASBCA, Oloyede asserted that the state government had given the traders grace until after the festive period.

He added, “The local government is partnering with LASBCA to the end that we have been given grace that after the festive sale ends in July, the state will intervene.

“However, before then, the local government would see to it that most of these extensions and attachments were removed.

“Those that fail to comply, then the Lagos State Government will take charge and do what they deem fit.”

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Lagos Govt returns 11,957 children to school under project zero initiative, establishes nine new schools

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By Sodiq Adelakun

Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, has announced that his administration’s Project Zero initiative has successfully helped 11,957 out-of-school children return to their studies.

This achievement was revealed on Monday during the Children’s Day celebration parade and rally held at Police College, Ikeja, where the Governor was represented by his deputy, Obafemi Hamzat.

In addition to the success of Project Zero, the Governor highlighted other efforts made to improve children’s access to education. These include the establishment of nine new schools in busy and remote areas, which now cater to 4,588 students, comprising 2,310 girls and 2,278 boys.

“We have also improved many existing schools, completing over 1,500 projects that include building, renovating, and providing new furniture,” he said.

The governor said public schools are now secured with fences, CCTV cameras, and other safety measures, noting that it was working closely with security agencies to keep students safe.

“For our older students, we have hired over 2,000 new teachers in subjects like STEM, History, Yoruba, French, and Geography since May 2023,” he said.

Mr Sanwo-Olu disclosed that the new Digital Situation Room had also been established to monitor school performance and ensure smooth operation.

The governor charged children to continue to dream big, strive for goals and surpass imagination, assuring them that his administration would continue to advocate the mantra, “No Child Is Left Behind”.

He stressed that the state government was fully committed to providing the children with the environment, skills, opportunities and security to achieve their dreams.

The governor explained that the yearly celebration rededicated the government’s responsibilities to the children by preparing them for the challenges of the future in an ever-changing and increasingly competitive world.

He stressed that the 2024 theme, “Advocate for Children: Policies & Actions that Protect and Support Children’s Well-being,” encouraged all to speak up, take action, and always stay safe, happy, and thriving.

Earlier, Jamiu Alli-Balogun, Commissioner for Basic and Secondary Education, urged students to maintain excellence in both their academic and co-curricular pursuits, emphasising that they represent the future of the state and nation.

Mr. Alli-Balogun praised the Sanwo-Olu administration for its dedication to the education sector and acknowledged the crucial role teachers play in guiding and mentoring the students.

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