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Press spotlights sack of management of power firm over workers strike, others

  • Dec 8, 2021
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Source: 
Agence de Presse Africaine

APA – Lagos (Nigeria) The sack of the management of the Abuja Electricity Distribution Company (AEDC) following industrial action by President Muhammadu Buhari is one of the trending stories in Nigerian newspapers on Wednesday.

The Guardian reports that in a rare and bold move, President Muhammadu Buhari, yesterday, approved the immediate sacking of the management of the Abuja Electricity Distribution Company (AEDC) following industrial action.

The announcement made through the Ministry of Power with the purported backing of the Bureau of Public Enterprise (BPE) was commended in some quarters, while a number of others opposed it, smelling political move and underpinning interest.

Although the government has about 40 per cent share in the utility company the President, according to some stakeholders, may be interfering in the sector and playing the roles of the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC).

A statement from the Minister of State for Power, Goddy Jedy Agba, said Buhari approved AEDC’s board disengagement, adding that a new interim governing board was appointed to oversee the day-to-day operations of the firm.

Agba linked the decision to the recent strike embarked upon by AEDC staff over backlogs of pensions, allowances, salaries and promotion.

The Federal Capital Territory of Abuja, Nasarawa, Kogi, parts of Edo, Niger and Kaduna state had been in darkness following the industrial action.

The newspaper says that plans are underway by the Federal Government to develop a web app to assist Nigerians to monitor development projects across the country.

The Minister of State for Budget and National Planning, Clem Agba, disclosed this in Abuja, adding that citizens’ participation in governance and tracking service delivery of projects in their communities is now a major concern for the government.

To ensure transparency and accountability in the delivery of government’s capital projects countrywide, he said: “The Budget and National Planning arm of the ministry is working on a Web App – the Eye Mark – that will assist citizens to ‘eye mark’ and report on government’s projects and programmes ‘earmarked’ for their communities.”

To do this, Nigerian citizens will use their mobile phones, in “real-time” to monitor the level of progress on capital projects sited in their communities. Providing more insight into how the web app will work, the Minister said:

“The app is about 90 per cent developed and the government requires the active participation in the process of tying budget provisions to projects and getting time value of money earmarked for capital projects as governance is a collective responsibility by all citizens.”

ThisDay reports that the Minister of State for Industry, Trade and Investment, Mrs. Maryam Katagum, has insisted that the Nigerian economy had now been fully diversified from oil and gas with remarkable advances into sectors including ICT, creative industry, services and agriculture under the leadership of President Muhammadu Buhari.

The minister also commended the “highly successful Arise Fashion Show 2021,” as part of Dubai Expo’s Nigeria National Day events, which took place in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.

She said the “show captivated the audience with the dynamic creativity and innovative styles of Nigerian fashion icons and pacesetters” and demonstrated the potentials of the sector to contribute substantially to economic growth and job creation.

Speaking at the opening of the maiden Enjoy Nigeria Expo (ENEX) themed: “A Future Assured through Cultural Creativity” in Abuja, Katagum said the current administration is purposely committed to repositioning and building a more robust and resilient economy that is less dependent on the oil sector. The Sun says that the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) on Tuesday released guidelines for its “Production and Productivity” initiative, through “100 projects for every 100 days” project. Information in the apex bank’s website revealed that the initiative was designed to support the Federal Government ‘s drive towards boosting productivity and economic diversification.

It stated that a maximum loan of N5 billion per obligor would be approved under the initiative, adding that any amount above N5 billion would require special approval of its management.

According to the apex bank, the facility is a long-term loan for acquisition of plant and machinery, as well as working capital.

“The initiative will create the flow of finance and investments to enterprises with potential to kickstart sustainable economic growth trajectory, accelerate structural transformation, promote diversification, and improve productivity.

“It is a support to private sector companies with the aim of reducing certain imports, increasing non-oil exports and to improve the FX-generating capacity of the economy,” it stated.

The CBN said the broad objective of the initiative is to reverse the nation’s over-reliance on imports by creating an ecosystem that targets and supports projects with potentials to transform and catalyse the productive base of the economy. The newspaper reports that the Federal Government has begun the implementation of the National livestock transformation Plan (NLTP) expected to halt dairy importation of milk and yoghurt, and address other challenges besetting the country’s livestock development.

Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Mohammed Mahmoud Abubakar, in a statement yesterday by a Principal Officer in the ministry, Juliet Okeh, disclosed this in a virtual meeting with Commissioners of Agriculture across the 36 states of the federation and the FCT and other stakeholders on the State Level Project Socialisation on Livestock Productivity and Resilience Support Project (L-PRES).

Represented by the Director, Animal Husbandry Services Department in the Ministry, Winnie Lai-Solarin, he stated that the L-PRES programme, “is a project to support the actualisation of the NLTP is targeted at addressing the age-long low investment profile in the sub-sector to improve livestock productivity, resilience, and commercialisation of selected value chains, as well as strengthen the country’s capacity to respond to crisis or emergency.” The Punch says that the Nigerian Communications Commission has said Nigeria’s 5G plan will allow efficient allocation of spectrum for 5G deployment, and ensure its effective deployment in major urban cities by 2025.

The commission also disclosed that the much-anticipated mock auction of the 5G spectrum for qualified telecommunication companies would hold on Friday, in preparation for the main auction scheduled for Monday December 13, 2021.

These were disclosed by the Executive Vice Chairman/Chief Executive Officer, NCC, Prof. Umar Danbatta, at a capacity building workshop themed, ‘5G Deployment and the Next Level of Nigeria’s Development’, organised by the commission in Kano on Tuesday.

He said, “It is expected that the roll-out of the 5G will be carried out in phases beginning with major cities in the country where there is a need for high-quality broadband.”

According to him, the commission will carry out its mock auction of the 5G in on Friday, December 10, 2021, adding that this will be preparation for the main auction, scheduled to hold on Monday December 13, 2021, in Abuja.

GIK/APA

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