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No deviation from path to prosperity, report any officials who demand bribe- Tinubu to Qatari investors

President Bola Tinubu has assured the international business community that Nigeria is ready for serious business as his administration will deal decisively with any and all entrenched interests in the country who undermine investor confidence in the Nigerian economy, pledging to remove all bottlenecks standing in the way of profitable and legitimate enterprise.

The president who said Nigeria’economy and it’s systems are being reformed and upgraded asked Qatar’s captains of industry to report any government official who demands a bribe or any form of inducement at any point in their business endeavour moving forward with full assurance of their direct access to the President’s Office.

The president spoke at the Nigeria-Qatar Business and Investment Forum in Doha, on Sunday.

“I am here to give you the assurance that reforms are going on; forget about whatever you heard in the past. Whatever is the obstacle or problem that some of you might have experienced; it is in the past, because there is no obstacle in the future.

“Do not offer a bribe to any of our people, and if it is requested or taken from you, report to us. You will have access to me. Nigeria will no longer be defined by the past, but by what we do now and moving forward. Do not let perceptions become a hindrance to your will to invest. Nigeria is serious about revolutionizing investment promotion. We are removing obstacles today and we are going to continue to remove all obstacles. We have done so much within nine months. And I am assuring you, it is free entry, and free exit. Your funds will flow smoothly into and out of our country. Bring your investments,” the President stated.

Moreover, the President noted that the war against corruption and insecurity in Nigeria had been significantly strengthened with the appointment of the former Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Mallam Nuhu Ribadu, as National Security Adviser (NSA).

“We have a man who has won many global awards for anti-corruption as an anti-corruption czar.

“My responsibility is to tell you that Nigeria is open for business, and to assure you that your investments are safe in our hands. We have men and women of great reputation here. And we believe we can forge a good committee that will advance our discussions to fruitful conclusions.

“A nation is an artificial entity unless there are good people to drive it. People build great nations and we have great people. We are ready,” the President affirmed.

The President also noted that Nigeria possesses vast opportunities in various fields, telling his host: “We have oil and gas; we have solid minerals. I do not see why we cannot become prolific partners in exploring iron ore, as well as steel production, and energy across the board.

“I am here to give you assurances in all spheres: tourism, hospitality, healthcare, and in many other opportunities that abound around us. Do not be the investors who miss out on the golden opportunity we present,” the President added.

Welcoming the Nigerian delegation in the presence of Qatari captains of industry, Sheikh Mohammed bin Hamad bin Qassim Al Abdullah Al Thani, Qatar’s Minister of Commerce and Industry, said his country looks forward to exploring opportunities in Nigeria, owing to its population demography and market, as it seeks to prioritize new investments in low carbon initiatives, mineral products, petroleum chemicals, industry, and consumables.

“We look forward to working with our Nigerian counterparts to achieve our joint objectives in these sectors,” the Minister said.

Accompanying the President to the Nigeria-Qatar Business and Investment Forum were: Borno State Governor, Professor Babagana Umara Zulum; Kaduna State Governor, Senator Uba Sani; Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu; Coordinating Minister of the Economy and Minister of Finance, Mr. Wale Edun; Minister of Solid Minerals Development, Dr. Dele Alake; Coordinating Minister of Health and Social Welfare, Professor Muhammad Ali Pate; Minister of Marine and Blue Economy, Mr. Adegboyega Oyetola; Minister of Trade, Industry and Investment, Dr. Doris Uzoka-Anite; Minister of Youth, Dr. Jamila Bio Ibrahim; and the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources (Gas), Mr. Ekperipe Ekpo.

Also at the meeting were the National Security Adviser, Mallam Nuhu Ribadu; Special Adviser on Energy, Mrs. Olu Verheijen; and the President of the Nigerian Association of Chambers of Commerce and Industry, Mines, and Agriculture (NACCIMA), Mr. Dele Kelvin Oye.

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Federal, State, Local Govts share N1.123tr as March allocation

The Federation Account Allocation Committee (FAAC) has disbursed N1.123trillion to the federal, state, and local governments for March 2024.

The allocation, derived from a gross total of N1.867 trillion, marks a critical distribution of funds aimed at supporting various government tiers.

This was revealed in a statement signed by the Director of Information and Public Relations, Ministry of Finance, Mohammed Manga, on Friday.

FAAC has the duty of examining and approving the distribution of financial resources to the states and the Federal Government.

The committee is tasked with the disbursement of funds across Nigeria’s 36 states and its 774 local government areas monthly. The allocation is anticipated to drive progress and support governmental bodies across various tiers in executing their duties.

FAAC shared N1.152.trillion to the three tiers of government for February 2024 from a gross total of N2.326.14trillion

Manga stated that the Accountant General of the Federation, Dr, Oluwatoyin Madein chaired the meeting and highlighted the importance of the allocation.

“This distribution is pivotal in ensuring that all government levels have the necessary funds to continue their development projects and provide essential services to the citizens”, the statement read.

The statement noted that the Federal Government received N345.890 billion, states, and local governments received N398.689 billion and N288.688 billion, respectively, while oil-producing states received N90.224 billion as 13 per cent mineral revenue derivation.

The FAAC statement also noted an increase in the gross revenue from Value Added Tax for March 2024, amounting to N549.698 billion — an N89.210 billion rise from the previous month.

This increase reflects the country’s economic growth and improved tax compliance.

Despite the positive trend in VAT, the Gross Statutory Revenue of N1.017 trillion for March was lower than February’s N1.192 trillion by N175.212 billion.

The decrease has been attributed to reductions in excise duty, oil royalty, petroleum profit tax, customs external tariff levies, and electronic money transfer levy.

The balance in the Excess Crude Account as of April 2024 stands at $473,754.57, indicating a reserve for future financial stability.

The statement noted that the FAAC’s decision to allocate these funds is expected to bolster economic activities across the nation and support the government’s efforts in improving infrastructure, healthcare, education, and other vital sectors.

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Nigeria commences 20, 000 bpd crude production at Madu Field – NNPCL

The Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited, NNPCL and its joint venture partner in OML 85, First Exploration and Petroleum Development Company Limited, First E&P, have commenced oil production from Madu Field.

A statement by NNPCL Chief Corporate Communications Officer Olufemi Soneye, said production from the field, located in shallow waters offshore Bayelsa State and operated by First E&P, is expected to be at an average of 20,000 barrels per day.

“Production from the Madu Field will be processed at the JV’s Abigail-Joseph Floating Production Storage and Offloading (FPSO) Unit, which has a crude oil storage capacity of up to 800,000 bbls,” Soneye said.

He said the achievement is a testament to the commitment of the President Bola Tinubu administration to optimise production from the nation’s oil and gas assets through the provision of an enabling environment for existing and prospective investors.

According to the statement, NNPCL Group Chief Executive Officer, Mele Kyari, described the commencement of oil production at the Madu Field as a significant milestone that will contribute to the larger goal of meeting the output required to drive revenue growth and boost the nation’s economy.

Kyari, who commended stakeholders for their support, also explained that the addition of 20,000 barrels per day by an indigenous oil player signals the commitment of stakeholders to achieving economic development for Nigeria.

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Abiodun Boosts Security: Donates Drones, 25 Patrol Vehicles to Combat Banditry, Terrorism

L:R: Deputy Chief of Staff, Dr. Toyin Taiwo; Assistant Inspector General of Police (AIG) Zone 2, Durosinmi Olatoye; Secretary to the Ogun State Government (SSG), Mr. Tokunbo Talabi; Ogun State Deputy Governor, Engr. (Mrs) Noimot Salako-Oyedele; Inspector General of Police (IGP), Kayode Egbetokun and the Ogun State Governor, Prince Dapo Abiodun, during the demonstration of drones purchased by the Ogun State Government to tackle insecurity at the Arcade Ground, Oke-Mosan, Abeokuta, on Thursday.

Ogun State Government on Thursday, donated 25 patrol vehicles to the state police command just as it acquired surveillance drones to monitor criminal activities in all parts of the state.
Governor Dapo Abiodun donated the vehicles in the presence of the Inspector General of Police (IGP), Mr. Kayode Egbetokun, at the Arcade Ground, Governor’s Office, Oke-Mosan, Abeokuta, even as he called on the force to include technology in it’s crime fighting efforts.
He said acquiring the drones was one of the proactive steps his administration has taken in collaboration with Lagos and Oyo states to effectively monitor activities on the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway to ensure prompt response in emergency situations.
The drones, the governor noted, would be operated by trained personnel from the Nigeria Police Force, Department of Stata Service (DSS) and the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corp (NSCDC).
Governor Abiodun who had earlier received the Inspector General in his office said: “As a gesture of appreciation of you and all what your are doing to law enforcement and effective policing in our state and by extension Nigeria, we have decided to complement you and your efforts by donating today, 25 patrol vans to the police and our law enforcement architecture. This, we believe, will commemorate your first official visit to Ogun State.
“Towards ensuring peace in our state, we will continue to strengthen and support our already established Security Trust Fund (STF) by procuring relevant gadgets, including drones. We will continue to argument the allowances and living condition of our security personnel to motivate them to enhance security and safety in our state.”
The governor, who was impressed with the efforts of the police boss at repositioning the force for optimal performance in line with the tenet of the President Bola Tinubu’s Renewed Hope Agenda, however called for the integration of modern technology in tackling the various security challenges facing the nation.
“As we acknowledged your alignment with the tenet of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s Renewed Hope Agenda, we urged the integration of cutting edge surveillance technology to combat the challenges of banditry and terrorism in the nation,” the governor advised.
He said Ogun State remains steadfast in fulfilling its constitutional role by prioritizing the welfare and security of the people through fostering effective inter-agencies cooperation among security agencies in the state.
Prince Abiodun said his administration in the past four and a half years, has procured more than 100 patrol vehicles and motorcycles, as well as over 300 communication gadgets for security agencies in a bid to keep the peace, assuring that his administration would spare nothing at ensuring that residents live in a stable environment and engage in business activities without fear of molestation.
The governor described the Inspector General of Police as a dutiful officer and a fine gentleman who through his educational background and professional dedication was poised at ensuring that Nigerians have a police force they could be proud of.
“You have been deliberate and intentional in the systematic redesigning of the operational strategies and administrative policies of the police force which is driven by purposeful leadership and capacity enhancement.
“The impactful motivation you continually instill in your personnel through timely promotion and incentives, have boosted their performance and dedication. As an expert in peace and conflict studies, you have exemplified the essence of positive police/civil relations, elevating the trust of Nigerians in the police by addressing misconducts with decisive action.
“Your commitment to community policing has strengthened the bond between the law enforcement and the community members significantly improving the intelligence capacity of the officers. Realizing that modern policing necessitate cooperation with all and is underpinned by technological advancement, you put your efforts and encouraged continued innovations in these areas,” the governor added.
Prince Abiodun lauded the police authority for its infrastructural development efforts in that state command, particularly the new police headquarters building, the Technical Intelligence Unit, the Complaints Response Unit, and the Olukayode Adeolu Egbetokun Multi-purpose Cooperative Hall.
Also speaking, Egbetokun said his vision was to put in place a professionally competent police force that is service oriented, rule of law compliant, people friendly and positioned to respond appropriately and adequately to the dynamics of crimes in the society.
He acknowledged the massive infrastructural development across the state, disclosing that more police stations and more Area Commands would be created as well as the deployment of more mobile policemen squadrons to provide adequate security in the state.
The IGP praised Governor Abiodun’s innovative idea in the purchase of the drones, noting that the gesture would further enhance the security of the state, even as he called on other states to take the same step to ensure the security of their people.

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