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Ajaokuta Steel: Process of Re-directing the Activities of the Steel Plant Kick-starts as FG Inaugurate APPIT

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The Federal Government has kick-start process of redirecting the activities of the Ajaokuta Steel Plant Limited.

This is revealed in a statement by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha during the inauguration of the Ajaokuta Presidential Project Implementation Team (APPIT).

Boss Mustapha said, “I am delighted to address you all at this unique and historical event that is expected to culminate in pushing forward the economic diversification agenda of this government. As you are all aware, Mr. President’s quest to create opportunities for the development of our national local capacity, especially in the area of industrialization within a diversified economy remains a major cardinal point in his administration.

  1. The Ajaokuta Steel plant have languished in economic unproductivity for about four decades and previous efforts at reviving it had proved abortive. This has resulted in avoidable massive foreign exchange losses at intolerable opportunity cost to the country. The pressing need to redress these avoidable challenges has necessitated this Presidential intervention at this time. This is further underscored by difficulties being witnessed with present challenges in the global oil industry.
  2. Revamping the Ajaokuta Steel Plant, therefore clearly presents a unique opportunity to make us West Africa’s largest fully integrated steel producer and most importantly accelerate our industrialization especially in steel related industries.
  3. Honourable Minister and distinguished Members of the Committee, this government places a lot of value on the diversification of the economy, hence, Mr. President’s participation at the Russia-Africa Summit last year in Sochi, to discuss the resuscitation of the Ajaokuta Steel Plant with his Russian counterpart, President Vladimir Putin.
  4. Following the bilateral discussions in Sochi, Russia, the Ajaokuta Steel Project is to be resuscitated on the basis of a Government-to-Government agreement with funding from the Afreximbank and the Russian Export Centre. However, one of the key issues discussed by the parties was the Technical Audit, Upgrade, Completion and Operation of the Ajaokuta Steel Company.
  5. Today’s inauguration of the “Ajaokuta Presidential Project and Implementation Team” (APPIT) is therefore meant to kick start the process of re-directing the activities of the Steel Plant with the aim of bringing the Steel Project back to life for the growth and economic development of our dear nation.
  6. I am happy to note that preliminary works have commenced to determine parameters for effective and coordinated take-off of rehabilitation works on the Steel plant. It is on this note that Mr. President graciously approved the composition of this Implementation Team that is being inaugurated today, with the under listed terms of reference (TOR):

i. Engage in all bilateral negotiations as shall be necessary on behalf of the Federal Government of Nigeria leading to the execution of the Government-to-Government Agreement with the Russian Federation and the Afreximbank;
ii. Provide all relevant technical and other inputs necessary to close the Government-to-Government negotiations;
iii. Ensure that the best extreme possible, all relevant raw materials are sourced locally, bearing in mind the local content provisions and the Presidential Executive Order 005;
iv. Scrutinize and assemble Nigerian Content Engineering, Procurement and Construction (EPC), Special Purpose Vehicle Contractors which will embody the Co-Concessionaire representing Nigeria’s interest in the Build-Operate-Transfer (BOT) Concession;
v. Ensure the resuscitation of Ajaokuta Steel Plant (ASP) based on the original design; and
vi. Ensure timely commissioning of the Ajaokuta Steel Plant (ASP) within a reasonable period to be agreed upon by the parties to the agreement and recommend primary tenure of a Build-Operate-Transfer (BOT) Concession.

  1. The membership of the Ajaokuta Presidential Project Implementation Team (APPIT) include:

i. Secretary to the Government of the Federation: Chairman
ii. Hon. Minister of Mines and Steel Development: Alt Chairman
iii. Permanent Secretary, Mines and Steel Development Member
iv. Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Finance Member
v. Solicitor-General of the Federation/
Permanent Secretary Ministry of Justice Member
vi. Mr. Gabriel Aduda Member
vii. Sole Administrator, Ajaokuta Steel Company Ltd Member
viii. Sole Administrator, National Iron Ore Mining Co. Member
ix. Engr. Vincent Dogo (Industry Expert) Member
x. Prof. Elegba S.B. (Industry Expert) Member
xi. Dr. Godwin Adeogba (Industry Expert) Member
xii. Director-General, ICRC Member
xiii. Director, Steel; MMSD Member.

  1. The Committee is expected to prepare and submit a periodic work plan along with quarterly progress reports on assignment activities, end-of-assignment report and develop concession contract terms.
  2. I am happy to note that the Honourable Minister of Mines and Steel Development has prepared a detailed Scope of Work which takes cognizance of technical due diligence, costing of investment required, forecast and financial analysis amongst others. It would, therefore be necessary that you focus your minds on the following deliverables, as a minimum:
    • periodic work plan and quarterly progress reports and an end-of-assignment report.

• Briefing Materials for participating in road infrastructure development and Roundtables and Road-Show events;

• Technical reports on key aspects of the project preparation work and concession contract terms.

• Stakeholder engagement

  1. It is my utmost believe that the APPIT will carry out this assignment with the highest degree of professionalism and integrity. It is equally expected of members to conduct assigned duties in an open and transparent manner at all times.
  2. I am confident that with the calibre of members of this team and their associated high degree of professionalism and integrity, Nigeria would witness a revamped steel industry that will propel further industrialisation.
  3. Hon. Minister, distinguished guests, it is therefore my singular honour and privilege to formally inaugurate the ‘’Ajaokuta Presidential Project and Implementation Team’’ (APPIT) to the good of our dear country, Nigeria.
  4. I thank you all for listening and may God bless the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

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Abdulrahman Obaje
Abdulrahman Obaje
Prince Abdulrahman Obaje is a Media and ICT Consultant, Journalist, online marketer, social media strategist, Mathematician and Computer Scientist based in Abuja, Nigeria. He is the Founder and the Publisher of The Informavores!. You can reach me on +234 805 939 5252 or send i-witness report directly to me on news@informavores.com.ng.

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Business and Economy

Nigeria Central Bank To Inaugurate N15 Trillion Infrastructure Fund In October 2021

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The CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele has disclosed that   the N15 trillion infrastructure fund would be inaugurated in Oct. 2021.

Emeifele who made this known at the 14th Annual Banking and Finance Conference of Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria in Abuja, stated that the innovations like the Nigeria/International Financial will provide a gateway for capital and investments, and digital currency, e-naira, will enhance inclusion.

He said the regulatory body had been working with the Bankers Committee to scale the challenges posed by Covid-19, which include reduction of interest rates on loans, increasing the moratorium for payments, and injecting N3 trillion loans in the private sector.

“We do expect that the pace of inflation will moderate as we approach the harvest season,’’ he added.

President Muhammadu Buhari says N300 billion has been disbursed to farmers while 1.6 million poor and vulnerable households are currently benefiting from the Conditional Cash Transfer programme.

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The president who  revealed this while virtually declaring the conference open, said that  some of the various initiatives embarked upon to boost agricultural trade in Nigeria include the Anchor Borrowers Programme.

He stated that the Central Bank of Nigeria had made more than N300 billion available to over  3.1 million smallholder farmers of 21 different commodities.

He said the commodities included Rice, Wheat, Maize, Cotton, Cassava, Poultry, Soybeans, Groundnut, Fish, cultivating over 3.8 million hectares of farmland.

“It is on record that 80% of rice consumed in Nigeria is now produced locally,’’ he said.

He added that the National Social Register of poor and vulnerable Nigerians had 32.6 million persons from seven million poor and vulnerable households identified, imploring bankers to play a stronger role in improving livelihoods.

President Buhari said the National Social Investment Programme was biggest in Sub-Sahara Africa and one of the largest in the world.

To further strengthen recovery and enable more Nigerians, President Buhari said, last year, he approved the establishment of InfraCo Plc, a world-class infrastructure development vehicle, wholly focused on Nigeria, with combined debt and equity take-off capital of N15 trillion.

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“In May 2021, the Rural Electrification Agency announced the planned deployment of solar-powered grids to 200 Primary Health Centres and 104 Unity Schools nationwide.

“Under the Family Homes Fund Limited, Social Housing programme incorporated by the Federal Government of Nigeria, more than two thousand hectares of land with title documents have been issued by 24 states with the capacity to accommodate about 65,000 new homes.

“The Central Bank of Nigeria is providing a N200 Billion financing facility, with a guarantee by the Federal Government,’’ he said.

The president affirmed that the theme of the conference, “Economic Recovery, Inclusion, and Transformation: The Role of Banking and Finance’’ was most appropriate, following the global shocks from COVID-19.

“I salute the Institute and the entire banking and finance industry for the commitment towards charting a practical path for economic recovery and transformation of our country, Nigeria, and by extension Africa as epitomized by the theme of your conference.

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The President commended CBN, working in collaboration with the Bankers’ Committee, for providing single-digit financing to young Nigerians in the fields of fashion, film, music and Information Technology through establishment of the Creative Industry Financing Initiative.

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Made In Nigeria Phone To Hit Market Soon – ITF

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The Director General and Chief Executive of the Industrial Training Fund (ITF), Sir Joseph Ari has disclosed that the Fund is set to acquire machinery for mass production of ITF Mobile in Nigeria.

He said the Industrial Fund will soon hit the nation’s market when it commences the mass production and it launching into market the ITF mobile phones.

The DG in a press statement signed by the Director, Public Affairs Department, Suleyol Fred Chagu and made available to Journalists yesterday in Jos the Plateau State maintained that the Industrial Training Fund (ITF) has initiated processes for the procurement and installation of a production line specially dedicated for that purpose at the ITF Model Skills Training Centre (MSTC), Abuja, Nigeria’s capital.

Ari, disclosed this when he received the leadership of the two in-house Unions of the Fund in his office at the Headquarters where he also revealed that since the symbolic presentation of the ITF Mobile phone to President Muhammadu Buhari, the Agency has been inundated with requests for partnership from corporate entities within the country.

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In his words, “I have given directive to the Director of Technical and Vocational Skills Training Department, who is also the zonal Director of the ITF MSTC to get all the immediate machines so that we will be able to set up the production line.

“Since the good news, we have also received a lot of requests for partnership, including one from AfriOne, who want to
partner with us. This is good as we cannot do it alone because we are not an island unto ourselves. The main thing is that this product is a home grown product and this lends credence to the fact that we too can do it in Nigeria” he boastfully stated.

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The DG expressed gratitude to the leadership of the two union bodies, “the Senior Staff Association of Statutory Corporations and Government Owned Companies (SSACGOC) and Amalgamated Union Public Corporations, Civil Service Technical and Recreational Employees (AUPCTRE)” for identifying and supporting the Management, saying.
For him, “every leader should have a strategic vision. But you also need followers that will key into the leaders’
vision and happily, that’s what has happened in the ITF. The Unions have been great partners in progress. You
have at all times remodeled, looked at the vision, reviewed it along with us and the areas where you find us going
wrong, you took us back on track”.

He stressed the need for continuous dialogue as recipe for industrial harmony. “The relationship between the ITF, Management and the two Unions gives credence to the fact that it pays to dialogue.

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President of Senior Staff (SSACGOC), Comrade Kayode Alakija and the Acting Chairman of AUPCTRE, Comrade Lawal Mohammed Ado earlier on in a separate remarks showered praises on the DG for the milestone achievement and urged the need to speed up the mass production of the android phone which, according to them, would be another source of revenue for the Agency.

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BECCIMA Lauds FG For Initiating To Establish Cottage Industries In 774 LGAs

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The Benue State Chamber of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (BECCIMA) has lauded the Federal Government for establishing cottage industries across all the Local Governments Areas (LGAs) in Nigeria

President of BECCIMA, Dr Paul Ubwa, made the commendation at a news conference on Friday in Makurdi.

“It is a well thought out initiative by the Federal Government to set aside the sum of one trillion naira to establish cottage industries in each of the 774 LGAs in the country.

“This all important news was disclosed by the Hon. Minister for Special Duties and Inter-Governmental Affairs, George Akume.

“We the organised private sector in Benue express our sincere appreciation to the government of President Muhammadu Buhari for coming up with this unique initiative.

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“The initiative is aimed at creating wealth for the common man,’’ he said.

According to him, the initiative when implemented will go a long way in eradicating poverty in Benue State and indeed Nigeria and the president’s name will be written in gold for posterity.

“In Benue state, we are hoping that in order to ensure stability, sustainability and longevity of the proposed cottage industries, each should be incorporated as a company with a Board of Directors.

“This should be made up of indigenes of the catchment area or host community.

“The plan will involve the local government council itself, traditional institutions, cooperative societies and associations, youth/women groups, existing entrepreneurs, traditional land owners and other interest groups.

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“We are assured of and envisage the support of the Benue State government’’

Ubwa also appealed to the Federal Government and most especially, the Minister of Special Duties and Inter-Governmental Affairs to make Benue one of the pilot states for the take-off of the programme.

“On our part, we stand ready to co-operate with the ministry and other support agencies to ensure success and sustainability of the initiative,’’ he said. 

Author Profile

Abdulrahman Obaje
Abdulrahman Obaje
Prince Abdulrahman Obaje is a Media and ICT Consultant, Journalist, online marketer, social media strategist, Mathematician and Computer Scientist based in Abuja, Nigeria. He is the Founder and the Publisher of The Informavores!. You can reach me on +234 805 939 5252 or send i-witness report directly to me on news@informavores.com.ng.

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