From Uche Usim, Abuja
The West African Gas Ltd (WAGL), a joint venture company of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) and Sahara Energy, has begun moves to address the challenges inhibiting the supply of liquefied petroleum gas (LPG), otherwise known as cooking gas.
The two firms yesterday unveiled two LPG vessels in Ulsan, South Korea, to address the supply hiccups in the sub-sector.
NNPC Group Managing Director, Dr. Maikanti Baru, who spoke at a pre-naming ceremony dinner in South Korea, said he was delighted that the venture, established in 2014, had begun yielding fruits.
Baru said the milestone was a boost to the LPG business in Nigeria, even as he named the ships after the spouses of the sponsors, often referred to as “godmother of the vessels.” In this case, the spouses of the GMD and COO, Gas and Power, will perform the naming.
WAGL JV, which was incorporated in March 2013, will serve as a vehicle for off-take, marketing and trading of Natural Gas liquids (NGLs) across Africa and beyond.
The JV is run by two companies, NNPC LNG Ltd, a wholly-owned subsidiary of NNPC and Sahara Energy’s oil and gas trading arm, Ocean Bed Trading Ltd (BVI).
The company took delivery of the two vessels, Halls 8182 and 8183, from the Korean ship-building company, Hyundai Mipo Dockyard Limited, on Tuesday.
BoI: BoI partners 21 states on agric development
From Magnus Eze, Abuja
The Bank of Industry (BoI) has said that it is collaborating with about 21 states to add value to the agricultural chain, through processing.
The bank said, as part of its linkages, a product called Cottage Agro Processing (CAP) Fund was specially designed to ensure that one agricultural produce was identified and developed in each state or local government area of the federation.
While contributing to a panel discussion at the recent Mike Omotosho Annual Lecture in Abuja, delivered by the Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi, on the theme “Increased Agricultural Productivity for Sustainable Economic Growth,” Mr. Cyril Anyanwu of BoI Food Processing Group, stated that the idea was that “every local government or state has an agricultural produce that can be developed, but the problem has been that because of the lack of processing, most of these things are wasted.”
He named the popular cocoa gari as one of the success stories of the BoI CAP Fund.
However, Dr. Olasupo Musa, of the Development Finance Department, Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), stated that the issue of linkages in the process had been the greatest challenge to the bank.
According to development finance specialist, without all other processes in place, no amount of financing will make the agricultural chain work.
“Yes, we have problems in production, marketing, logistics, processing; but we’ve not been able to effectively link the few we were doing,” he said.
“Agriculture is a value chain, so if you produce and don’t effectively link your production to processing, you’ve done nothing. There should be synergy in everything we do. There should be inter-ministerial collaboration; if possible let there be a presidential committee that will drive the entire agricultural value-chain,” he stated.
ITF: 277 companies get N2.2bn refund
From Walter Ukaegbu, Abuja
The Industrial Training Fund (ITF) has paid N2,206,305,343.34 billion to 277 companies as reimbursement claims, promising to ensure speedy payment of reimbursement claims regularly.
Director-General/Chief Executive of the ITF, Mr. Joseph Ari, made this remark yesterday in Abuja when he was evaluating the activities of the organisation since his appointment by September last year.
On Students’ Industrial Working Experience Scheme (SIWES), Ari said the ITF paid the sum of N965,222,982 million to 79,852 students from 136 tertiary institutions across the country, stating that, in order to fashion out a new operational guideline for SIWES, a forum of regulatory agencies was convened last year that would dovetail to an enlarged SIWES stakeholders’ engagement.
Others are the payment of N2,206,305,343.34 billion to ensure speedy settlement of reimbursement claims. On the model skills training centres, the DG disclosed that ITF has secured the ministerial tender board’s approval for the procurement of all outstanding equipment in some of the trade areas.
The milestones of fund, according to him, include awarding the contract for the supply of the equipment with a timeline of supply, and securing approval for training programmes from the Federal Ministry of Education on the issue of National Diploma Certification.
He explained that also the organization has secured approval from the NBTE in respect of the National Innovative Diploma which would enhance the status of the trainees upon graduation, aside the National Institute of Technical Education Certificate (NITEC) which graduals of the centre were also entitled to inline with the partnership of ITEES of Singapore.
Ari disclosed that his management has set up a committee made up of staff and trainees to address other challenges associated with the operations of the MSTC.
The DG explained that empirical evidence from several skills gaps surveys has revealed that despite soaring unemployment especially among the youth, vacancies still exist that are currently filled by persons other than Nigerians.
To redress this trend he said it has become imperative to align functions of the fund with the Federal Government Policy Thrust of Economic Diversification and Industrialization.
He said the International Collaborators of ITF were Gimi Isreal, Senai Brazil, Itees Singapore, German DVT, GIZ and the organized private sector.
According to him the fund has on continuous basis carried out needs assessment taking into cognizance the identified sectors for industrialization as captured in the Nigeria Industrial Revolution Plan (NIRP) document and strategies frame work for job creation.
The Director General said he is ready to provide dynamic and proactive services aimed at achieving his mandate in line with the current federal governments agenda which has made it review its vision and came up with policy and implementation strategies to enable her take a leading role in Human Capital Development, aimed at strengthening the federal government policy on diversification, industrialization and subsequently reposition the economy.
BPP: Abandoned projects hit N5trn
From Juliana Taiwo-Obalonye, Abuja
Following a recent discovery that that 19,000 abandoned Federal Government projects at different stages of execution, valued at N5 trillion, litter various cities across the country, the Bureau of Public Procurement (BPP) has resolved to be deeply involved in the monitoring and evaluation of projects to ensure they are completed within stipulated time.
Director-General of the BPP, Mamman Ahmadu, stated this recently through his spokesman, Thomas Odemingwe, while interfacing with journalists to mark his fourth month in the saddle.
Odemingwe said, “Beyond ensuring that MDAs follow the procedures in the Act and operational guidelines, the bureau needs to give increased attention to the monitoring of contracts awarded by procuring entities.
“The plan is to use professional bodies and civil society organisations who are custodians of standards in engineering, construction, and others, to minimise non-completion of projects.
“The BPP will now be raising issues around why government establishments award contracts that are not appropriated for or award contracts when there is no money to back it up.”
According to the BPP spokesman, the DG wants to use a life-cycle approach to project management, like engineering drawings; moreover, the bureau no longer wants anything done shabbily.
He also noted that there were provision for emergencies as enshrined in the Act.
There is now a bill for the amendment of the Public Procurement Act, to address procurement processes and issues of abandoned projects, among others, before the National Assembly.
On why the BPP was yet to launch the e-procurement process announced by the Federal Government five months ago, the spokesman said the project was on course, adding that the bureau was in the process of appointing technical advisors to handle the pilot scheme in six ministries.
He further disclosed that a committee had been set up to evaluate the submission of expression of interests from institutions that want to be advisors.
The Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Babachir Lawal, had said at the launch of an e-procurement initiative last year, it was a deliberate effort to save N48.4 billion from the N6 trillion 2016 budget.
He added that the initiative was part of government’s efforts to reform the procurement processes in the country.