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Hot Breaking News In Nigeria This Evening, July 16, 2020

1. Nigeria to make $500m, create 250,000 jobs from gold export- Buhari

Nigeria is expected to generate more that $500 million annually in royalties and taxes and around 250,000 jobs from the improved gold mining operations in the country.

President Muhmmadu Buhari disclosed this on Today during the official presentation of locally mined gold bars by the Presidential Artisanal Gold Mining Development Initiative (PAGMDI) to him at the Presidential Villa in Abuja.

While hailing the initiative and reaffirming the administration’s commitment to establishing gold refineries, the President lamented the huge amount of resources that had been lost to illegal mining and and smuggling in the mining industry.

In a statement by the Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Mr Femi Adesina, Buhari said the initiative would support efforts at creation of jobs for Nigerians, diversifying the revenue base, and improving foreign exchange reserves.

Reiterating the determination of the Federal Government to combat illegal mining activities, the President expressed concern that Nigeria lost close to $3b from 2012 – 2018 due to illegal smuggling of gold.

‘‘With the implementation of the PAGDMI scheme which will result in the set-up of accredited gold buying centres across key mining areas, artisanal miners and SMEs engaged in mining will be able to capture the value of their work.

‘‘These operations will help in diversifying our revenue base. The sale of gold by artisanal miners and SMEs at accredited centers will help the government in realizing royalties and taxes from the sale of these assets.

‘‘These developments will also help in improving our foreign reserves by enabling the Central Bank of Nigeria to increase the amount of gold in its reserves.

‘‘These gold assets which will be purchased in Naira, will not only help to bolster our international reserves, it will also provide a hedge against inflation and other economic volatilities associated with foreign currencies that are held in our reserves,’’ the President said.

Buhari noted that in addition to the potential revenue gains that will occur from mining operations, efforts are being made to enable the setting up of gold refineries in Nigeria.

He expressed optimism that these measures would lead to the creation of additional job opportunities across the gold value chain and also help the nation capture the additional value created from the gold refining process.

The President recalled that the PAGMI, which was launched in 2019, was well timed, considering the impact of COVID-19 on the global economy and indeed on the Nigerian economy.

He said the impact of COVID-19 and the containment measures designed to slow the spread of the virus, had led to a slowdown in global growth, which is projected to decline into negative territory for the first time since the Great Depression.

‘‘It has also led to a 40 percent drop in crude oil prices. In Nigeria, the drop in crude oil prices has had a significant impact on government revenue, as well as on our foreign exchange earnings.

‘‘In responding to this challenge, it is therefore paramount that we strengthen our efforts at implementing policies and programs that will enable greater diversification of the Nigerian economy.

‘‘Enabling investment in the Solid Mineral sector, is a key part of the government’s economic diversification program.

‘‘Given our current estimated gold reserves of over 200m ounces, most of which have not been exploited, developing sustainable programmes that will catalyse increased investment in the extraction and refining of gold sourced from mines in Nigeria, is indeed vital,’’ he said.

2. I spoke with my daughter hours before her sudden death, says Arotile’s father

Mr Akintunde Arotile, father of the late Nigeria’ s first female combatant helicopter pilot, Tolulope Arotile, said he spoke with her few hours before her sudden death on Tuesday.

Arotile’s father told the Newmen in Lokoja on Wednesday that he was shocked to receive the news of her death few hours later.

“Just at about 1 p.m., I called her because she just came back from an operation against the bandits in Katsina.

“They gave them one week to rest and so she was sleeping and told me she was in bed resting, she said she will later go out to make some photocopies.

“I told her not to be long and to return home on time because she was staying with my first daughter in Kaduna.

“Around 5.30 p.m, somebody called me and asked if I had called her today and I said yes, then the person told me to call her which I did, but no response.

“So, I called her colleagues, and they were all crying on phone, I asked what happened, they were just crying, so I called one of her bosses who told me that she is in the mortuary.

” I said ha!, Somebody I spoke with 4 hours ago and by 5 p.m. she was in the mortuary,” he explained.

According to him, he had to drive from Abuja to Lokoja to break the sad news to her mother.

” This is to enable me inform her mother physically because I could not brake such news on phone, but when I came she had gone to the prayer mountain.

” She came back around 8.30 p.m, I told her this is what I heard but that I had not confirmed,” he said.

Arotile, who retired from the Transmission Company of Nigeria in 2019, described his daughter as a brilliant and wonderful person right from when she was young.

” Right from day one, she had been very very intelligent, sometimes, I wonder what type of IQ she had.

” She also combined intelligence with hard-work. She has not just been brilliant but wonderful,” he said.

According to him, Tolulope did all her schooling in Kaduna from kindergarten to nursery at the Airforce Base and Nigeria Defence Academy, Kaduna.

” One day when she was very small, she pointed to one small aircraft parked on the field and said, Dad, one day I am going to fly that aircraft and I said Amen.

” So from that day, she started working towards that, she got admission to the Nigerian Defence Academy, Kaduna, she had a Bachelor degree in Mathematics, she became an Airforce Cadet, from there, she was sent on several courses abroad and became a pilot.

” I just thank God that she was able to achieve her life dream as a baby before her death,’ he added.

The late Flight Officer, who died as a result of a motor accident at the age of 25, hailed from Ijumu Local Government, Kogi State.

She was standing by the roadside at Kawo area of Kaduna when a former secondary school classmate sighted her and applied the brake.

The female old school mate was reversing her vehicle to enable her properly greet her when she mistakenly knocked her down.

The late Arotile died from the head injury she sustained from the accident.

The father said he was impressed by the outpouring of sympathy messages and support from the Nigeria Airforce and other Nigerians since the incident happened.

” There have been several visits from her bosses from all over the country, including here in Lokoja, Abuja, Kaduna, Enugu and everywhere.

“The support have been overwhelming, they even gave a token and other promises.

“They have even promised to give a choice of where to bury her, but her commandant suggested that she should be buried at the National Cemetery, Abuja, due to the feat she achieved as the first female combatant helicopter pilot in Nigeria,” he said.

3. NLC, ULC settle crisis

THE Nigeria Labour Congress, NLC and the United Labour Congress, ULC, have settled their lingering crisis that weakened the labour struggle in the country.

President of NLC, Comrade Ayuba Wabba disclosed this at a joint meeting of the two Labour centres in Abuja on Today.

The briefing was attended by the President of the ULC, Comrade Joe Ajaero and the executive members of the center.

Comrade Ajaero was announced as the new Deputy President of the NLC.

4. Fear grips APC aspirants over choice of Yahaya Bello’s led Primary Committee

FEAR gripped governorship aspirants in the All Progressive Congress in Ondo state as the national leadership of the party unveiled the Primary Election Committee headed by the Kogi state governor, Alhaji Yahaya Bello.

Aside from this, the aspirants are at a loss as the National Secretariat of the party was yet to officially announce the mode of the primary to be adopted, 72 hours to the election.

The National Secretariat of the party through its deputy national publicity secretary, Yekini Nabena on Today had instead announced the committee members to conduct the next week Monday governorship primary election.

Vanguard gathered that aspirants of the party who belong to the Unity Group of the party have expressed deep concern over the choice of Yahaya Bello as the chairman of the election committee.

The eleven aspirants of the party had for the last one week expressed their displeasure over the indirect mode of primary and have even petitioned the Governor Mai Mala Buni-led Caretaker/Extra-ordinary National Convention Planning Committee kicking against the adoption of indirect primary for the next Monday election

They have also organised a protest in the state capital insisting that they will boycott the primary if indirect mode of primary was adopted.

Findings indicated that immediately the committee members were announced, the political camp of the other aspirants outside Akeredolu were thrown into confusion as a close ally of the governor was named its chairman.

Speaking with newsmen in confidence, two of the aspirants said the election had been rigged for Akeredolu even before the teal contest on Monday.

One of them said that ” the choice of Bello as head of the panel was not good for those who are opposed to the return of Governor Akeredolu.

According to him, “the development is a major set back for him and others.

He, however, said the “the leadership of the Unity Forum would meet before Sunday to harmonise their interests.

“This is a clear answer to the question of manipulation that has been perpetrated by the caretaker committee at the national level. We all know what they have planned but it is most unfortunate.

“Everyone knows how close both Akeredolu and Yahaya Bello are. Akeredolu was his lawyer during the period of the Governor’s travail and we all know what Yahaya Bello and his team came to do here in 2016.

“So it is very clear where they are heading but it is frustrating that they will take us this path after all assurances. Painfully, it does appear the national Caretaker Committee is still doing the bidding of the former chairman.

“We have credible evidence that this Committee had been put in place since the June by the former chairman and this committee didn’t change it at all. It then means that even the issue of the mode will go same way because Oshiomhole had already submitted that before he left.

“We cannot run away from this reality because it is already too late. The leadership of the Unity Forum is likely to meet before Sunday to ensure we prune down our numbers to a manageable level where one will be strong enough to face the battle,” he said.

Contacted, Rotimi Ogunleye, the media aide to one of the aspirants, Chief Olusola Oke said they have not seen the list of the election committee and would not want to comment on what was read on the social media.

Meanwhile, Governor Akeredolu yesterday met with delegates in the central senatorial district of the state.

Akeredolu was accompanied by the Minister of State for Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Donald Tayo Alasoadura , the immediate past President of the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) Dr. Dayo Faduyile and other leaders of the party in the state to the six local government areas in the central senatorial district.

He sought the support and votes of the delegates in the primary election and assured them of more dividends of democracy and of good governance.

Content created and supplied by: Ricbain (via Opera News )

Federal Government Femi Adesina Muhmmadu Buhari Nigeria PAGDMI


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