From Uche Usim, Abuja
The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) is working out modalities that would enable it exit Joint Venture cash call arrears by ensuring that outstanding and future payments are liquidated from oil and gas royalties and taxes under a first line charge model.
The Group Managing Director of the NNPC, Dr. Maikanti Kacalla Baru, made this disclosure during a one-day working visit to the National Petroleum Investment Management Services (NAPIMS), a Corporate Service Unit of the Corporation in charge of Federal Government portfolios in the upstream sector.
Baru noted that the current JV payment structure requires urgent review, adding that the new model being proposed by the NNPC would enable the Corporation to plough back the profit and grow the oil and gas business in the upstream for the benefit of all stakeholders.
He urged management and staff of NAPIMS to carry out their assignments with professional integrity by benchmarking their operations with global best practices.
The GMD disclosed that the 12 key business focus areas of the NNPC under his watch were targeted at rejuvenating the entire business operations in order to enable the corporation deliver on its core mandate to all its stakeholders.
He described NAPIMS as a strategic CSU and sued for maximum support from members of staff to enable the Corporation meet its set goals in the short, medium and long term.
Earlier, the Group General Manager, NAPIMS, Mr. Dafe Sajebor, who was represented by the General Manager Production Sharing Contract, Mr. James Jock, assured the GMD that NAPIMS would ensure efficient management of all Joint Venture and Production Sharing Contract arrangements even in the face of dwindling crude oil prices and incessant pipeline vandalism.
In a related development, the GMD has also promised to reposition the National Engineering and Technical Company (NETCO) into an African hub of excellent engineering, procurement and Construction Company of choice.
Baru made this commitment during the maiden town hall meeting with management and staff of NETCO at its headquarters in Lagos.
He said NETCO as a strategic business unit, has, over the years, delivered profit to NNPC, while giving assurance that the outfit would continue to play the pivotal role of providing in-house professional engineering services to all the Autonomous Business Units of the Corporation and other clients.
On his part, the Managing Director of NETCO, Engr. Siky Aliyu, noted that NETCO was challenged by low patronage by some ABUs of NNPC and International Oil Companies (IOCs).
According to him, the company is determined to harness all opportunities in the oil and gas project portfolios in order to keep producing a positive bottom-line.
AGRIC: Why Nigerians are hungry, angry – Ogbeh
From Magnus Eze, Abuja
The Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Chief Audu Ogbeh, yesterday admitted that Nigerians were hungry and angry at the moment.
He, however, blamed the situation on long years of abandoning farming, leading to high cost of food items and total dependence on importation.
The minister, who lamented the abandonment of farming for about 30 years, said Nigeria must do everything to feed itself, noting that the expected population explosion to almost 500 million in the next 34 years called for concern.
Ogbeh spoke at the official launch of the Feed the Future Nigeria Agricultural Policy Project, sponsored by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) in Abuja.
Ogbeh, contrary to the widely held opinion that politics and religion caused most of the conflicts in the country, instead attributed 90 per cent of them to hunger and anger.
The minister enjoined young people to take to farming, assuring them that government would create the enabling environment for it to become enjoyable by providing machineries; tractors, planters, improved weed killers, harvesters, improved varieties, soft-loans and other incentives.
He said: “Spread the good news, for all of you, the time to grow food is here and the ministry will do everything it can to give you support.
EDUCATION: National Council on Education begins confab in Abuja
From Fred Ezeh, Chiamaka Nzenweaku and Christian Okwor
The National Council on Education, which is the highest decision making body on education began its annual conference in Abuja yesterday with hundreds of education stakeholders from across Ministry of Education (federal and state) and other relevant stakeholders in attendance.
Though journalists were barred from covering the opening ceremony, Daily Sun learnt that ratification or otherwise of the draft copy of the three years educational policy recently presented to the public for assessment by the Ministers of Education, Malam Adamu Adamu and Prof Anthony Anwukah was top on the agenda.
Other critical issues that concern the educational development in Nigeria are also expected to take centre stage in the discourse.
Mallam Adamu had on August 29, 2016 unveiled a draft strategic education development plan entitled: “Education for Change: A Ministerial Strategic Plan (2016-2019).
The document was predicated on 10 pillars, which include addressing out-of-school crisis, strengthening basic and secondary education, teachers’ education, adult literacy and special needs’ education as well as education data and planning, others were curriculum and benchmark minimum academic standard, technical and vocational education and training, etc.
National Planning: Recession: NISER recommends timely release of funds to boost MSMEs
From Oluseye Ojo, Ibadan
The Nigerian Institute of Social and Economic Research (NISER), Ibadan, in Oyo State has urged the Federal Government to release funds to boost the operations of the Micro, Small and Medium Scale Enterprises in Nigeria (MSMEs).
The advice was given as one of the ways to tackle the current economic recession in the country at the monthly lecture series of the institute on held in Ibadan, yesterday.
The lecture delivered by Dr. Babatunde Ekundayo of the Surveillance and Forecasting Department of NISER was entitled: “Impact of Micro Finance Banks on Micro, Small and Medium Scale Enterprises in Nigeria.”
According to the research institute, the appropriate agencies of the government should ensure the collapse of all barriers and obstacles to loan information through advocacy and sensitisation.
Ekundayo said: “The role of MSMEs, in economic and social development, was not in dispute. Therefore, the government should always ensure that all funds released to boost the operations of the MSMEs gets to them timely and as designed through effective monitoring of all implementation processes.
“However, the proportion of the MSMEs reach by Micro Finance Banks (MFBs) is smaller, relative to the total number of MSMEs operators in Nigeria, aside, access to credit, a number of problems are facing the operation of MSMEs in Nigeria.”