ECONOMY’LL MEET 6.1% TARGET GROWTH IN 2010 – BABALOLA

The Minister of State for Finance, Mr. Remi Babalola, has said that the country’s economy was on track to meet targets of 6.1 per cent growth and 11.2 per cent inflation rate this year. Speaking in Lagos on Monday 1st March 2010 at the Stanbic IBTC 2010 Investors’ Conference, he said that the expected Gross Domestic Product growth rate of 6.1 per cent and target inflation of 11.2 per cent were still realistic for 2010 as government sustained macroeconomic stability and continued its economic reforms. According to him, “As part of efforts to transform the economy on “sustained basis, the Federal Government is currently undertaking far-reaching economic reforms that are anchored on the Seven-Point Agenda and the Vision 2020 strategic development initiative. “As we know, the Seven-Point Agenda encompasses the key issues of infrastructure development (power and energy), land reform, security, food security and agriculture, wealth creation and employment, mass transportation, and human capital development (education and health).” “The long-term economic development strategy of government is anchored on the Vision 2020. The key element of the vision is to triple the present size of the GDP of below $300bn to not less than $900bn, and a per capita income of not less than $4,000 per annum, with a view to placing Nigeria among the top 20 economies by the year 2020. ”As part of efforts to achieve this, massive investments are currently being undertaken to revamp infrastructure, agriculture, transport and railway rehabilitation, as well as sustain initiatives for peace and security of lives and properties in the country, in spite of some obvious global and national challenges.”Also speaking at the event, the Deputy Governor, Operations, Central Bank of Nigeria, Mr. Tunde Lemo, said the apex bank was taking further steps to ensure that banks resumed lending to the private sector. He said the apex bank would facilitate funding to the banks through Development Financial Institutions. He said the funds would be deployed by the banks to refinance deposits that were mainly short-term, to enable them to reach out to more prospective borrowers.

FG okays Anambra cargo airport

The Federal Government has approved the construction of a cargo/passenger airport in Anambra State.
The authority for the construction of the project was conveyed to the state government by the Federal Ministry of Aviation.
The Anambra state Commissioner for Information, Chief Maja Umeh, who disclosed this to journalists in Awka on tuesday 3rd November, 2009, said the state government had acquired a piece of land for the project.
The planned airport, according to Umeh, would be cited at Ifite-Umuleri in Anambra East Local Council. It will
be jointly executed by the state government and Orient Petroleum Resources Ltd.

FG Charges Manufacturers on Full Local Production

The Federal Government has tasked manufacturers of consumer products in the country to ensure full backward integration in their production process to guarantee maximum local value addition and boost sustainable economic development.
Minister of Commerce and Industry, Chief Achike Udenwa , gave the charge 0n 2nd November, 2009 at the commissioning of Friesland Campina WAMCO’s new state of the art Evaporated Sachet Milk Factory and independent power project both in Ogba, Lagos.
Udenwa said for the seven-Point Agenda and Vision 2020, which are the main development goals of the Federal Government to be attained, actual local production by the companies must be increased.
“The next step should be your full backward integration and a situation where the milk produced from local dairy farms in Nigeria is used for the production of your milk brands in the country,” the minister said.
“We hope that in the future Peak milk will be completely made in Nigeria. This is part of the seven-Point Agenda and Vision 202020, which emphasise self sufficiency and enhanced local industrial production,” he added.
Udenwa, however, commended the company for their faith in Nigeria, which has led to increased investment in the country even in the face of the on-going global economic crisis.
He said the new investment move by Friesland Campina WAMCO is a testimony that the country is still a Foreign Direct Investment destination of preference and that investment migration out of Nigeria is still not as high as the volume of investment coming in.
He called on the company and other Nigerians to support and ensure success of the ongoing campaign by the Federal Government for the patronage of Made-in-Nigeria products.
He pointed out that one of the greatest areas of waste of the economy is in the area of massive foreign exchange spent on the purchase of goods of foreign origin.
Also speaking at the event, the Managing Director and Chief Executive of Friesland Campina WAMCO, Mr Bob Steetskamp, said the investment was targeted at the ordinary Nigerian.
According to him, the new investment will not only benefit the ordinary Nigerian through direct and indirect employment generation; it will also ensure that every one can afford the same high quality peak milk in smaller sachets.

New Tenure Policy to Affect Parastatals, Agencies

It has emerged that the new tenure policy in the federal civil service, which prescribes two terms of four-year each for permanent secretaries and eight-year tenure for directors is also to affect top level officers in federal agencies and parastatals.
Head of the Civil Service of the Federation (HOS), Mr. Steve Oronsaye, made further clarifications on Thursday 22nd October in Abuja in respect of the policy, which is seen as a reform in the civil service.
Oronsaye said in a statement that he had directed governing boards of all government parastatals, agencies and statutory corporations to realign their respective conditions of service with the recently-approved tenure policy.
He also directed that the amended conditions of service be forwarded to his office for ratification in view of the January 1, 2010 effective date of the policy.
The clarification, according to the HOS, became necessary following enquiries on the applicability of the new policy to other agencies of government.
He noted that although these institutions are established by law with varied mandates, specialisation, remuneration and other conditions of service that are regularly updated, they all fall under the larger public service.
He referred the agencies to Chapter 16, section 4, sub-section 160401 of the public service rules, which prescribes similar provisions on leaving the service for public officers in the core civil service and other government agencies.
The same sub-section, he said, also states that “such conditions of service for parastatals shall be approved by their respective boards and ratified by the Head of the Civil Service of the Federation”.
The HOS had issued a circular in August this year on the tenure of permanent secretaries and directors in the federal civil service.
The new policy prescribes eight-year tenure for directors, while permanent secretaries are to have four-year tenure renewable for another four years subject to satisfactory performance.
According to the policy, “under the new dispensation, permanent secretaries shall hold office for a term of four years, renewable for a further term of four years, subject to satisfactory performance, and no more. In the case of directors, they shall compulsorily retire upon serving eight years on post. This is in consonance with normal career progression in service and without prejudice to the extant circular, which prescribes 60 years of age and 35 years of service for mandatory retirement.”
The policy, however, drew flaks from some sections of the country who gave it ethnic interpretations.
Presidential Spokesman Olusegun Adeniyi
said the primary purpose for introducing the tenure system was to institute due process in the appointment of directors and permanent secretaries, arrest the succession crisis in the service, create vacancies, reinvigorate the system and boost the morale of qualified and deserving officers.

Reps okay local content bill

THE House of Representatives on Thursday, 22nd October passed the local content bill aimed at increasing the participation of indigenous oil firms in the oil and gas sector.
Meanwhile, the African Union’s (AU) Commissioner for Social Affairs, Mrs. Bience Gawanas, has called on African leaders to step up efforts at mobilising local resources for social development given the prevailing global economic downturn limiting the quantum of money invested in development projects in the continent by foreign donors.
Highlights of the bill passed at the Committee of Whole showed that Nigerian independent operators in the industry “shall be given first consideration in the award of oil blocks, oil field licences, oil lifting licences and shipping services, and all projects for which contracts to be awarded in the Nigerian oil and gas industry; subject to the fulfillment of such conditions as may be specified by the minister, and there shall be exclusive consideration for Nigerian indigenous service.”

  1. This to inform that the federal Government has concluded all necessary arrangements for the issuance of the Nigerian Diaspora Bond In the International Capital Market. For more details Click Here
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