Economy

Stakeholders task mining companies on rights of host communities

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Stakeholders in the solid minerals sector in Ebonyi have called on mining companies in the state to respect the rights of the host communities, while carrying out their activities.

The stakeholders made the call at a town hall meeting on Friday in Abakaliki, with the theme, ‘Actualising host communities rights through responsible governance of solid minerals sector in Ebonyi.’

It was organised by the Neighborhood Environmental Watch (NEW) Foundation, in collaboration with Global Rights.

The meeting decried the alleged marginalisation, lack of commitment to the implementation of Community Development Agreements (CDAs) and Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the companies and their host communities.

Speakers at the meeting therefore called for an action plan to address the issues affecting the rights of the host communities and hampering sustainable cordial relationship between the miners and their hosts.

Dr Kelechi Okezie, the Executive Director, NEW-Foundation, said that the meeting was organised to develop an action plan for the protection of the rights of miners and host communities.

Okezie said, “Whatever we are doing today is not just talkshop, we are going to come up with implementable action plan to ensure the rights of host communities are protected.”

Speaking, Mrs Abiodun Baiyewu, the Country Director of Global Rights, charged mining companies to strive to respect the rights of their host communities.

She further urged them to pay attention to human capital development in their host communities.

According to him, economic development without human capital development is false.

Baiyewu urged mining operators to accord dignity to the people of the communities, where they carried out their enterprise.

“What makes humans different from other lives, apart from our intelligence, is the way we accord dignity to one another.

“Economic development without human capital development is false and does not hold water anywhere in the world,” she said.

She said that Nigeria had  been in mining for over 200 years and that many new mining sites were opening up in different parts of the country, including Ebonyi.

“But when you think that Nigera has been mining for over 200 years and is still not one of the ultimate mining destinations in Africa, in spite of its vast mineral resources – from Abia to Zamfara – then something is wrong.

“We have not been able to get mining activities right and in few places in which we do mining, we have not been getting the rights of host communities right.

“People are more impoverished because mining is going on in their communities, instead of getting richer and this should not be.

“We know of countries that were built even with mining activities in Nigeria. Port Harcourt would not exist today, if not for the coal mine in Enugu and the need to build ports that will take coal from the country.

“Mining has become a rich part of our history but it is not making us rich as a country.

“When in 2015 the Federal Government decided what part of the economy we will prioritise, mining was clearly mentioned.

“But we are not seing the level of investment to make mining beneficial for Nigeria and to Nigerians.

Baiyewu also advocated sustainable mining policy that would address environmental challenges arising from mining activities in the host communities.

Mr Innocent Ezeigwe, Head of Administration, Ministry of Solid Minerals in Ebonyi, urged   mining companies to ensure that their activities were carried out in line with extant laws on mining and solid minerals development.

Other speakers urged solid minerals producing communities in the state to form associations, which would provide platforms to engage both government and mining investors.

They said that the move would help to address the issues of marginalisation and rights denials.

News Agency of Nigeria reports that the meeting was attended by traditional rulers and community leaders from the host communities.

Also in attendance were security personnel, representatives of civil society organisations and state government officials, among others.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Economy

TCN, states collaborate to expand transmission networks

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The Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN), says it is collaborating with state governments on Right of Way (RoW) to expand transmission networks.

Mr Usman Mohammed, the Managing Director of TCN said this at the 3rd Quarter 2019 media briefing in Abuja.

Right of Way is the right to make a way over a piece of land usually to and from another piece of land.

He said that the collaboration had become necessary, given the difficulties in securing RoW.

“TCN under the current management devised a strategy for collaborating with these states for the expansion of transmission networks of 25 meters on both sides for 330 Kilo Volt (KV)  lines  and 15 meters on both sides for 132KV lines,’’ he said.

Mohammed said that TCN was collaborating with EdoKatsina, Ogun, LagosKano, Abia, Ondo, Kebbi, Yobe, and Borno states governments.

“Under similar arrangement, TCN entered into agreement with Enugu State Government under which the 132KV substation by the Niger Delta Power Holding Company over four years was energised within two months.

“After the stringing of the five Kilo Metres (KM) Transmission line off the New Haven -Oturkpo I32 KV line,’’ he said.

Mohammed said that TCN was also collaborating with several other states on substation construction for improved electricity supply.

He, however, warned Nigerians constructing buildings on the RoW to desist from the act, adding that they were exposing themselves to danger.

Mohammed said that the TCN was currently undergoing significant transformation, making it a pragmatic and innovative company aimed at resolving major challenges in the sector.

The TCN boss said that its expansion drive started with the use of in-house capacity to install transformers and equipment across the country.

He said that TCN had also completed some slow and non-performing contracts.

“These have resulted in the installation of 67 transformers across Nigeria which had contributed to increase in its capacity.

Edited by: Chidinma Agu/Ese E. Ekama

(NAN)

 

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Economy

SMEDAM, NIPC harp on matchmaking of SMEs with MNE to boost opportunities

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The Chief Executive Officer, Nigerian Investment Promotion Commission (NIPC), Ms Yewande Sadiku, says  matchmaking and linkage programmes will enhance opportunities for Small all and Medium Enterprises (SMEs).

Sadiku made the assertion during a two-day  training/matchmaking/ of SMEs with Large Local Corporates (LLC) and Multinational Enterprises (MNEs).

The event was organised by NIPC and Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN) in Lagos on Thursday.

Sadiku, who was represented by an Assistant Director of NIPC,  Mrs Edit Udofia, said that both SMEDAM and NIPC had been engaging different categories of entrepreneurs on  linkage programmes in the last few months.

“The first phase of action plan which was the pilot programme was agreed to focus on agro-industry / agro allied machineries, metal and foundry, plastic and rubber, electrical and industry services, and to be later spread to other sectors.

“After signing Memorandum of Understanding  between NIPC and SMEDAN in January 2019, a Joint Technical Committee was inaugurated for the implementation of the work plan.

and the Lagos event is what is happening here today,” Radda said.

A former Chairman, Association of Small and Medium Enterprises, Osun branch, Mr Ali Alabi, commended the efforts of SMEDAN and NIPC in improving  the capacities of SMEs.

Alabi said that the programme would enable SMEs markets to be known, adding that  it would also improve their productions.

He urged robust networking among  SMEs, MNEs and LLCs to enable them to remain in business.

Alabi said that for small businesses to thrive,  there should be  hand holding from government and big enterprises.

Mr Olarenwaju Oyekanmi, Managing Director of Alagura Farms Ltd., manufacturers of cassava for industries.
 hailed SMEDAN and NIPC  for organising the programme.

He, however, decried low turnout of  big manufacturing companies at the event, and called for  fine-tuning to achieve better results.

Edited by: Ijeoma Popoola
(NAN)
(NAN)

 

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Economy

NDIC commends media for being part of its 30 years success story

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The Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation (NDIC) has commended the media for being part of the corporation’s 30 years success story.

 

The Managing Director of the corporation, Alhaji Umaru Ibrahim gave the commendation in a goodwill message at a workshop for business editors and members of the Finance Correspondents Association of Nigeria (FICAN) on Thursday in Yola.

 

Ibrahim, represented by Mr Ibrahim Kudu, an Asst. Director said the workshop, was fostering the needed understanding and collaboration between the media and the corporation.

 

He said that the topic for the workshop with title the  ‘Nigeria Banking System Stability-Tackling Emerging Issues’, was in recognition of what the future held for the banking industry.

 

With the recourse to technology and fintechs, the entire dynamics of banking has been altered to such an extent that it poses serious challenges for both operators and regulators.

 

‘“Let me at his point restate that the media is crucial to our success story in the past 30 years.

 

It is to this end that we will not rest on our oars towards sustaining the relevance of the workshop through the choice of robust and informed topics and highly qualified resource persons.

 

After all, the entire banking landscape has remarkably changed since the time the corporation was established,“ he said.

 

The managing director urged the media to avail themselves of opportunities provided by the workshop to gain knowledge of contemporary issues in the financial industry.

Edited by: Shuaib Sadiq/Felix Ajide
(NAN)
(NAN)

 

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Economy

Gov. Sanwo-Olu vows continuous support of MSMEs in Lagos

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Gov. Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos State on Thursday vowed continuous support for Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) in the state to boost the economic strength of Nigeria’s business hub.

The governor made the pledge in his address at the opening of the 4th Lagos State Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises fair in Lagos.

Sanwo-Olu, who was represented by Secretary to the State Government, Mrs Folasade Jaji, said the potential of MSMEs was too attractive, numerous and enormous to be ignored by any government of the 21st century.

It gives me a deep sense of satisfaction that we have committed to ensuring that the micro, small and medium enterprises sector of our state’s economy grows and flourishes beyond limits.

In recognition of the importance of this sector in achieving our economic goals, this administration is focused on making Lagos a 21st century hyper-city through supporting local businesses.

The potential of the MSME sector in creativity, entrepreneurship development, wealth creation, value addition and employment generation are too attractive to be ignored by any discerning government.

This government will continue to create opportunities for MSMEs to thrive by focusing on the development of complementary infrastructure that helps improve competitiveness and productivity locally and globally,” he said.

Dr Lola Akande, the state Commissioner for Commerce, Industry and Cooperatives, said MSMEs deserved huge support for the vital role they played in driving the economy of the state and the nation at large.

Without equivocation, MSMEs have been playing an important role in our state and the nation.

It therefore behoves the government at all levels in strengthening these agents of economic change.

As one of Nigeria’s most endowed economies, Lagos State has a lot of business opportunities and entrepreneurial potential which are being tapped by industrious and innovative citizens for the growth and development of the economy.

Under the able leadership of Gov. Sanwo-Olu, the Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Cooperatives would continue to sustain all programmes aimed at enhancing the status of MSMEs,” she said.

Also speaking, the Chairman, Lagos State House of Assembly Committee on Commerce, Industry and Cooperatives, Mr Sanni Okanlawon, encouraged Nigerians to patronize Made-in-Lagos and Nigeria products.

MSMEs in Nigeria are paid little or no attention in spite of their potential as the bedrock of social economic development.

The bane of most MSMEs is the inability to finance their operations but in recent developments we have seen MSMEs accounting for economic growth and development.

It has become expedient as a state and nation to step activities towards supporting the profitable cause of the small business enterprises.

“I want to use this opportunity to thank the governor for supporting Lagos MSMEs through this fair and other initiatives,” Okanlawon said.

Edited by: Abdullahi Mohammed/Wale Ojetimi
(NAN)
(NAN)

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Economy

NCRIB urges FG to insure railway projects

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The Nigerian Council of Registered Insurance Brokers (NCRIB) on Thursday urged the Federal Government to ensure that the huge investment in the railway system was protected through insurance.

Dr Bola Onigbogi, President of NCRIB gave the advice at the December edition of the council’s Members Evening hosted by Africa Alliance Plc.

Onigbogi said this was necessary because it was one of the prudent ways to protect the national asset and guarantee that it endures.

As a critical stakeholder in the economy, I like to also use this medium to first commend the federal government for the enhancement of public transportation in Nigeria through the strengthening of the nation’s railway system.

Aside from aiding commerce and reducing road accidents, the railway system will also create more jobs for Nigerians, ” she said.

Onigbogi also commended the government on the closure of the country’s land borders, saying it would protect local production of goods and services.

It is advisable that the government should use the opportunity of the closure to encourage the acceleration of local capabilities so that our strides towards self-sufficiency would be guaranteed.

It is a fact that no country could wholly depend on foreign countries for survival, but this must come with utmost sincerity on the part of the government, ” the NCRIB President said.

Onigbogi reaffirmed her commitment to run a progressive tenure that would be anchored on two pivots, namely: Image Management and Strategic Engagement, having assumed office on November 31.

She said the choice of image management was not far-fetched, especially when considering the remote image and reputation which insurance brokers had attracted in the scheme of things in the country.

Everywhere you go, there is gross misconception about who a broker is and what he does.

It is often sickening to at best hear many mixing our identity up with that of the stock brokers and this must stop under this administration.

We would be more strategic and aggressive in our projection of the insurance brokers brand across all geographical areas of the country by deploying indepth image making strategies, ” she said.

Onigbogi said the council would devote good time to enhancing the capacity and competences of the insurance brokers.

She said the council would also forge effective collaboration with the Nigerian Insurers Association (NIA) to remove all those “toxic traits” that could jeopardise attempts at projecting the industry and the insurance broking professionals in bad light.

Let me also say that this tenure would devote attention to professionalism, international relations, secretariat empowerment, mentoring and enhanced collaboration with the regulatory authorities.

I would like to inform our distinguished members that this administration will be open to advise and constructive engagements by members.

“It will also be all-inclusive. Myself and the Management would operate with the TEAM acronym that says ‘Together Everyone Achieves More’, ” she said.

Edited by: Oluwole Sogunle
(NAN)
(NAN)

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