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Nigeria, Boeing, Airbus to collaborate over national carrier

By Abolaji Adebayo

The Minister of State for Aviation, Senator Hadi Sirika has said that the Federal Government would sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Boeing on the establishment of a national carrier for Nigeria.

Sirika, in his tweet on his handle,@hadisirika on Thursday, said the MoU would be signed during the forthcoming Third ICAO World Aviation Forum (IWAF) in Abuja.

The minister also disclosed that Airbus of France had indicated interest in partnering with the government on the proposed carrier and establishment of Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul facility in the country.

He said that the government and Airbus would also discuss further during the IWAF 3 that would hold from November 20 to November 22.

“Airbus signified interest in our National Carrier and our MRO, we will discuss further during the upcoming ICAO forum,’’ he said.

Consumers pay 0.1% more for petroleum product in October – NBS

By Abolaji Adebayo

The average price paid by consumers on Premium Motor Spirit (Petro) increased by 0.1 per cent year-on-year and 1.0 per cent month-on-month in October.

The National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) disclosed on Thursday that the price of petro increased to N146 in October from N144.5 in September 2017.

According to a report by NBS, the states with the highest average price of premium motor spirit (petrol) within in October included Yobe (N 152.50), Benue (N 150.83) and Ebonyi (N148.57).

It named states with the lowest average price of petro to be Ekiti and Katsina (N143.73), Jigawa (N143.80) and Abuja (N144).

The report stated further that the average price for the refilling of a 5kg cylinder for Liquefied Petroleum Gas (Cooking Gas) increased by 24.20 per cent month-on-month and 14.86 per cent year-on-year.

It explained that the price of cooking gas increased to N2,374.07 in October from N1,911.44 recorded in September.

It noted that the states with the highest average price for the refilling of a 5kg cylinder for cooking gas were Bauchi and Osun (N2,500.00), Yobe (N2,433.33) and Katsina (N2,412.50).

It listed the states with the lowest average price for the refilling of a 5kg cylinder for cooking gas to include Taraba and Oyo (N2,200.00), Sokoto and Ebonyi (N2,300.00) and Benue (N2,328.57).

Similarly, the report analyzed that average price for refilling of a 12.5kg cylinder for cooking gas decreased by -2.60 per cent month-on-month and -3.40 per cent year-on-year to N4, 561.14 in October 2017 from N3, 937.71 in September 2017.

In the report, states with the highest average price for the refilling of a 12.5kg cylinder for cooking gas were Sokoto (N4,766.67), Abia (N4,712.50) and Anambra (N4,692.31).

It clarified that the states with the lowest average price for the refilling of a 12.5kg cylinder for cooking gas included Nasarawa (N4,359.38), Kano and Bayelsa (N4,400) and Kebbi (N4,420.00).

On National Household kerosene, the report noted that the average price per litre paid by consumers for kerosene also increased in the month under review.

According to the report, national household kerosene increased by 3.39 per cent month-on-month and decreased by -6.59% year-on-year to N273.44 in October 2017 from N264.48 in September 2017.

States with the highest average price per litre of kerosene as listed in the report were Oyo (N324.76), Borno (N323.61) and Rivers (N320.37), Osun (N233.33), Ondo (N237.50) and Enugu (N237.78) recorded lowest average price per litre of kerosene.

Again, it was reported that average price per gallon paid by consumers for National Household Kerosene increased by 6.31per cent month-on-month and by 8.34 per cent year-on-year to N1,035.12 in October 2017 from N973.72 in September 2017.

The report noted that Adamawa, Benue and Ondo States recorded the highest average price per gallon of kerosene of N1,185.83, N1,175.00 and N1,160.00 respectively.

It stated that the states with the lowest average price per litre of kerosene to include Lagos (N912.11), Sokoto (N918.33) and Anambra (N927.00).

The report further noted that the average price paid by consumers for automotive gas oil (diesel) increased by 9.28 per cent month-on-month and 7.85per cent year-on-year this month.

It stated that the average price for diesel increased to N201.96 in October 2017 from N184.80 in the month of September 2017.

“States with the highest average price of diesel were Jigawa (N222.08), Zamfara (N218.75) and Adamawa (N217.50)

“States with the lowest average price of diesel were Cross River (N190.29), Delta (N190.06) and Borno (N189.69),’’ the report stated.

Industrialists focus on mutual inter-trade

By Abolaji Adebayo
An organized labour, Industrial Global Union (IGU) has claimed that the 2017 Industrialization Day (AID) to be hosted by Nigeria, would serve as a roadmap to strategize on mutual inter-trade activities among the African countries would be discussed.
The event with the theme, ‘‘African Industrial Development: A Pre-Condition for Effective and Sustainable Continental Free Trade Area.’’ scheduled to hold on November 20 is expected to declare the Day open in Abuja by the Nigerian Vice-President, Yemi Osinbajo.In a statement issued on Thursday by the Union, the Africa’s Vice-President of IGU, Isa Aremu, who signed the statement, said that the 2017 event in Nigeria would culminate in the articulation of “Industrial Manifesto for Africa.’’
According to him, the manifesto would have bias for value addition to African raw materials, mass decent job creation and good working and living conditions for African workers.The labour leader declared that UNIDO acknowledged and supported the activities, executive orders and measures of President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration targeted at industrializing and diversifying the Nigerian economy.Aremu disclosed that a Special Policy Dialogue would be held as part of the buildup activities to mark the Day.He maintained that the dialogue session which would also hold in Abuja would center on ‘‘Fourth Industrial Revolution and its Implications for Africa.’’

According to him, the policy dialogue would critically examine the opportunities for Africa to diversify its economy, create mass decent jobs and promote diversification.

He informed that the global union with 50 million manufacturing workers world-wide, and over a million members in Africa, had planned all stakeholders’ mass rally for industrialization of African economies.

He explained that AID was declared by the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) as an annual platform for governments, businesses and organized labour to examine ways to stimulate Africa’s industrialization process.

Expert tasks FG to support made-in-Nigeria goods

By Abolaji Adebayo

The National President, Polymer Institute of Nigeria (PIN), Prof. Paul Mamza, has urged the Federal Government to provide financial support and equipment to manufacturers of made-in-Nigeria goods to boost Growth Domestic Production (GDP).

Addressing journalists in Abuja on Wednesday, Mamza said such backing would also strengthen indigenous manufacturers to produce locally made goods that could compete favourably with the imported ones.

The PIN president explained that investment in Public-Private-Partnership (PPP) determined the end results of successes to be achieved in such joint venture.

According to him, PPP is a collaboration of the public and private sectors in the financing and development of public goods and services.

“The success of PPP toward adding value to made-in-Nigeria goods and services is a mixture of hard work, zeal, patriotism, diligence, favourable policy formulation, collective patronage and national commitment.

He noted that what Nigeria needed was political will, improved sensitisation about the essence of PPP as well as favourable environmental atmosphere for such partnership to thrive.

He added that Nigerians also needed to take risk in venturing into business enterprise, adding that one of the key elements of PPP was risk management.

He urged the key operators of government to patronise made-in-Nigeria goods in order to encourage others to key in.

Mamza also called on government to involve professionals, especially in the area of Polymer Science and Technology for the country to move forward in the scientific technological world.

The PIN president, who said Nigeria had abundant local raw materials yet to be exploited, expressed optimism that their exploitation would bring about the diversification of nation’s economy and its economic prosperity.

Lawmaker urges private sector inclusion in FG economic recovery

By Abolaji Adebayo

The Senator representing Osun state, Segun Bamigbetan-Baju, has urged the Federal Government to formulate policies that would aid effective contributions of the private sector to the nation’s economic recovery.

Bamigbetan-Baju said that economic recovery required full participation of the private sector, saying there was need for economic recovery policy that would ensure private sector inclusiveness.

He maintained that government alone could not achieve success in the exercise without full participation of all stakeholders and the organized private sector (OPS).

Delivering a key note address during a one-day empowerment training programme tagged “Towards A Promising Future for Ife Youths Through Entrepreneurship”, held at Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU), Ile-Ife on Friday,  Bamigbetan-Baju stressed that there was critical need for the government to create enabling environment and policies that would further enhance active involvement of the private sector in serving as catalyst for economic rejuvenation.

He maintained that “though the private sector is contributing its quota to economic growth, but they could do more if the government formulaate and effectively implement right economic policies that would complement the involvement of this sector.” 

According to him, the federal government has the responsibility to create right policies.

He believed that the private sector was still not contributing enough to the national economy due to non-implementation of right policies, adding that right environment has not been provided by the government.

Nigerians need attitudinal change towards locally made products – Rep

By Abolaji Adebayo

A member of House of Representatives, Alhaji Muntari Dandutse has enjoined Nigerians to change their attitude towards consumption of locally made products.

Dandutse urged that it was high time Nigerians checked their high taste for imported products and patronise locally produced goods for economic growth of the country.

Dandutse gave the advice on Friday at the ongoing 9th National Council on Industry, Trade and Investment Conference in Sokoto.

He stressed that there was the need for more efforts on attitudinal change by Nigerians on patronage of locally made goods for the economy to develop.

Dandutse explained that the country could not develop with massive reliance on foreign goods, noting that Nigeria had the potential to grow industrially.

According to him, Vision 2020 would be achieved only when people complement government’s efforts on industrial growth by patronising locally produced items.

The lawmaker said that National Assembly members supported executive policies on agriculture and investment as well as others and urged all stakeholders at large to support all government’s initiatives on agriculture.

He noted that economic diversification was necessary now that crude oil revenue was no longer dependable, stressing that industrialization was the panacea that would provide employment and more revenue to government.

The member, who represents Funtua/Dandume Federal Constituency in Katsina State, stated that agricultural development as well as others in the value chain constituted the gateway to industrialization, especially in northern part of Nigeria.

He appealed to Nigerians to embrace government’s policies faithfully and engage in agricultural production in their respective areas.

The politician commended the Sokoto State Government, Federal Ministry of Trade and other stakeholders that displayed indigenous items at the event, which he said, was encouraging and an indication of productive minds of Nigerians.

Tambuwal urges FG to prioritize products standardization, price control

By Abolaji Adebayo

The Governor of Sokoto State, Aminu Tambuwal, has beckoned on stakeholders in the real sector to prioritize product standardization through quality and price control in other to make Nigerian products competitive in the global markets.

He noted that most of the Nigerian products were rejected at the international markets due to inability to attain the international standard benchmark.

Tambuwa made this call while addressing the delegates and officials of the 9th National Council on Industry, Trade and Investment in his office in Sokoto on Friday.

The governor stressed the need to urgently address the current market deficiencies and ensure effective price management in the country especially to hasten economic recovery.

He urged the federal government to facilitate mechanism to ensure sustainable product quality control and standardization, while urging the government to extend the ease of doing business to small businesses by way of ease of access to financing and access to other support services.

On the its part, the governor highlighted some of the efforts of his government to diversify the economy of the state to include provision of supports in terms of incentives and business guidance to investors in the state.

He pointed out that Sokoto Investment House was established to initiate agreement, partner, engage and participate in all aspects of market activities as a conglomerate Company, adding that it was also to seek support, give incentive and guide business owners.

The Governor disclosed that one of the strategic plans of the State in line with the federal government’s Economic Policy thrusts was the establishment of Organic Fertilizer Production Plant in partnership with IML Company, with capacity of 30 Metric Tons of daily production, which had started production since June, 2017.

He noted that the raw material to feed the Company was readily available in Sokoto and product price was affordable to buyers.

The Sokoto Textile Factory, in partnership with Hijrah Textile Company, sited at Kalambaina Area was also showcased by Tambuwal, declaring that the stage of completion was 70 per cent with the equipment currently being test-run.

To energize the industrial development efforts of the state, Tambuwal revealed further that the Independent Power Project of the State had reached 80 per cent completion with a capacity of 35MW, informing that the project would be soon commissioned.

However, the governor admitted that the State had a lot of unexploited natural resources. He therefore sought the support of the National Sugar Development Council as well as Bank of Industry on completion of the Sugar Processing Factory of the State sited at Goronyo which was said to be a 500 TCP Plant with production capacity of 45 metric tons per day.

Meanwhile, the governor said that tax break/waiver; support to access financing; ease processes; entry permit assistance to foreign investors; transfer/repatriation of quotas and guaranteed security in the state would be given to serious prospective investors.

FG must adhere to earlier agreement on lecturers-NLC

By Newsdesk

The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), has urged Federal Government to embrace collective bargaining agreement to avoid constant crises in the nation’s educational system.

NLC stressed that policy makers must respect the contents of any agreement they signed, to permanently address the challenges in the educational system.

NLC President, Ayuba Wabba, made the appeal on Wednesday in Abuja when he led a delegation to the National Secretariat of the Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities (SSANU).

He lamented that agreements between parties were meant to be sacrosanct and respected bet when one of the parties decide not to respect collective agreements made earlier was a recipe for chaos, saying, that is the issue that has affected our educational system.

Wabba also decried the lack of respect for judicial pronouncements by parties, especially in cases referred to court for judicial interpretation.

“We must continue to respect our courts because that is the foundation of the rule of law. Rule of law entails that you respect court pronouncements whether they are palatable or not,’’ he said.

The NLC president urged Federal Government to implement the pronouncement of the National Industrial Court with respect to dispute concerning University Staff Schools, saying, we will take up this matter with the Attorney-General of the Federation as well as the Minister of Education.

He however condemned alleged exploitation in the private universities whereby workers were  subjected to all manner of indecency concerning industrial relations.

Wabba said that the private universities were integral part of the university system and their workers should be allowed to be members of trade unions.

“It is a fundamental right which our constitution recognises. The Constitution says that a worker has a right to form and belong to a trade union for the purpose of protecting his rights and interest.

“We are seeing private universities coming up almost on a daily basis and I think it will make a lot of good for all of us if we are able to unionise their workers,’’ ‘he added.

FG debt profile hits N7trn in 5yrs

By Jide Ajia

The Debt Management Office (DMO) has disclosed that the Federal Government spent N7.88 trillion ($25.82 billion) in servicing its debts between 2012 and 2016.

FG expenses was contained in DMO 2016 annual report and accounts which also revealed amount used to service the Federal Government’s debt declined from $5.49bn in 2015 to $4.38bn in 2016.

The decline was, however, in nominal terms when converted to dollar following adjustment in the nation’s foreign exchange variation, the official exchange rate was higher in 2015, however, much of the Federal Government’s debts were denominated in naira and interest rates were paid in naira.

Further statistics provided by DMO showed that $4.92 billion was spent on debt servicing by Federal Government in 2012; $5.52 billion in 2013; and $5.5 billion in 2014.

The DMO analysis of the country’s debt portfolio showed that for the first time since the country’s exit from Paris Club debt overhang in 2005, Nigeria’s debt had slipped from low risk to medium risk distress.

It lamented that the debt portfolio had become vulnerable to shocks associated with revenue, exports and substantial currency devaluation.

The report stated that result of the DSA showed that for the first time since its exit from Paris and London clubs of creditors in 2005 and 2006, respectively, Nigeria’s debt position experienced some deterioration and slipped from low-risk of debt distress to a medium-risk of debt distress.

“Although the level of debt stock is still appreciably low relative to the country’s aggregate output, the debt portfolio remains mostly vulnerable to the various shocks associated with revenue, exports and substantial currency devaluation. While the Gross Domestic Product-related indicators appeared normal, as they remained below their respective thresholds, the revenue-based indicators were mostly sensitive to the revenue shocks; thus, underscoring the urgent need for concerted efforts to diversify the revenue base of the country away from oil”, said the report.

FG offsets health workers 2yrs promotion arrears 

By Newsdesk

In order to avoid employee-employer face-off and boost healthcare delivery, the Federal Government has offset two years promotion arrears of federal medical workers.

TheGuild gathered that the promotion arrears offset by apex government was 2015 and 2016, which the workers had demanded for since beginning of this year.

Announcing receipt of the arrears, Chairman, Medical and Health Workers Union of Nigeria (MHWUN), Federal Medical Centre (FMC), Keffi chapter, Monday Otso, said commended the Federal Government for paying its members’ promotion arrears.

Otso, gave the commendation in an interview with newsmen in Keffi on Friday, while recognizing efforts intensified by the Medical Director, Dr Joshua Giyan, for ensuring the payment of promotion arrears and other infrastructure developments taking place with direct bearing on patients and staff members’ lives.

Otso further urged members of the union to reciprocate the Federal Government’s gesture by improving on the health status of Nigerians.

He said with all fairness, Giyan has been doing his best in transforming the centre, when compared with serial cases of stagnation and improper placement during promotion in FMC, Keffi.

“Also before now, we have been having strikes because of lack of payment of promotion arrears among other things but as I am speaking to you, 2015 and 2016 promotion arrears have been paid to our members and we don’t have any single promotion arrears. The management is not owing the union members anything that has to do with financial benefits, sincerely there is none,” he said.

He stressed that the union would always adopt dialogue as its best option in labour matters, stressing the imperative of reliability, dedication and punctuality among his members, urging them to shun all negative behaviours in the interest of national development.

“In more recent times, a good number of our members who are not conversant with the provisions of the public service rules and scheme of service have gotten themselves entangled with  practices that do not conform with the provisions of the law.’’

Otso noted that the tendency earned his colleagues queries, stoppage of salaries and in some instances dismissal from the service, assuring that  the union is poised “to create a more enabling environment for our teeming members”.

“So, I am calling on my members to respect the ethics of their work in order to improve on the health of Nigerians, and for the overall development of the health sector,” he added.

The union chairman assured the members of the union of his  readiness to continue to give their welfare topmost priority while urging them to continue giving their maximum support for mutual success.