Dangote Group To Collaborate With Kano Govt. On Skills Acquisition

The President of Dangote Group, Alh. Aliko Dangote has announced that his conglomerate will work with the government of Kano state towards actualizing the objectives of establishing the Multi billion Naira Aliko Dangote Ultra Modern Skills Acquisition Center, constructed by the Ganduje administration, the state capital.

The Kano state Director – General, Media and Public Relations, Ameen K. Yassar, on Monday said this was announced during an unscheduled visit to the center on Sunday morning.

Alh. Aliko Dangote, who was overwhelmed by the size and the assorted equipment installed noted that Governor Ganduje’s vision regarding skills acquisition was in line with his determination to help Nigerian youths develop skills that would help them to succeed in life.

Dangote said: “I must congratulate the governor for having this vision. This center is by far much better than the one we set up at Obajana. I will not only serve the people of Kano state but other states in the federation.”

“We have the Cement Institute which we want to train about 100,000 Nigerians every year and the work is in progress. But we are really going to partner with this new center to train as many youth as possible”, he added.

Alh Dangote promised that his organization would hire an experienced expatriate to head the Naira Aliko Dangote Ultra Modern Skills Acquisition Center and to set the pace for sustainability. 

According to him, “We will take the cost of hiring the head so that we can set a standard. We want the standard to be very high. We want it to be the best in Sub–Saharan Africa so that we can catch up with places like Egypt, who have got similar enters”.

Describing the investment made by Kano state government in the center as historical and worthy, Alh. Dangote advised him to increase the number of potential trainees from 500 to 1,000 at a time, considering the needs of the society.

In a reaction, Gov. Abdullahi Umar Ganduje explained that the project, in which billions of Naira was invested in term of infrastructure and equipment, was envisioned to close the existing gap between education and employability in the state.

“This was conceived in an attempt to make our huge population an asset rather than a liability. We need to create jobs, to provide our young men with skills so that they can actively contribute to the economic prosperity of the country”, he maintained. 

Dr. Ganduje stated that “a study was commissioned before we embarked upon the project and 24 manpower gaps were identified. We have made provision for 20 gasp to be addressed here while the remaining for areas, which are agriculture-based would be accommodated somewhere within the state”.

To ensure sustainability, the governor announced that indigenes of the state would be offered scholarships to study at the center, while trainees from other states and the private sector would be charged some fees. He further revealed that plans are in the offing to construct hostels to accommodate prospective artisans at the center. 

The state Commissioner for Works and Infrastructure, Engr. Mu’azu Magaji, explained that the center has the potential to create major skills that can earn revenue for the state adding that, “the Dangote organization will be an end user of a lot of specialized training we will offer here”.

Minister Reaffirms Commitment to Success of NSIP Programmes, Explains Payment Delay of N-Power Beneficiaries

The Minister of Humanitarian Affairs Disaster Management and Social Development, Hajiya Sadiya Farouq, has reaffirmed the commitment of the Federal Government to the success of the National Social Investment Programmes (NSIP).

The minister also explained why beneficiaries of N-Power programme across the country have not been paid their stipends in the last two months.Addressing a press briefing in her office in Abuja on Monday, Farouq said the delay is because the handing and taking over process is yet to be concluded.

She said: “With regards to recent agitations and outcry against the non – approval of payments of October and November, 2019 stipends to N-Power beneficiaries, the Ministry wishes to reaffirm its commitment to ensuring that beneficiaries of all the Social Investment Programmes access interventions designed for them within the stipulated guidelines.

“There are information gaps with regards the monitoring and evaluation mechanism and framework of the N – Power and the GEEP programmes. Some officials of NSIP are of the view that the programmes should be completely restructured.

“The Ministry is currently engaging the NSIP Cluster heads for clarifications; in essence, the handover and taking process is still ongoing.”

She continued: “The N-Power beneficiaries enrolled in 2016 are yet to be exited 16 months after the elapse of their contract; they are supposed to have been graduated to a more productive venture and the Ministry is currently making efforts to develop an exit strategy, which is non-existent.

“I wish to seize this opportunity to assure all N- Power beneficiaries and indeed all Nigerians of the Ministry’s commitment to Mr. President’s promise to stem poverty in the country as well as lift 100 million Nigerians out of poverty in 10 years.

“The Ministry also wishes to assure all beneficiaries that all arrears will be paid as soon as the handing and taking processes are concluded and the grey areas are addressed.”

Dangote Refinery Receives World’s Largest Crude Distillation Equipment

The world’s largest crude distillation column equipment designed for crude oil processing for Dangote Refinery yesterday arrived in Lagos, THISDAY reports.

The equipment is the largest in terms of distilling capacity which is 650,000 barrels per stream day. 

It  weighs 2250 metric tonnes; length, 112.5metres; width, 14.036m; and height, 13.752m; 

The above mentioned weight does not include the weight of the internal trays, which is approximately 536 metric tonnes.

Head, Maritime and Ports Infrastructure of Dangote, Capt. Rajen Sachar,  told journalists during the arrival of the facility in Lagos that the equipment  is the biggest single-train facility used for refining crude oil.

The refinery equipment, which was manufactured by Sinopec in China, is the primary unit processor of crude oil into fuels.

Sachar  said the crude oil consists of various chemical components that have different molecular sizes, molecular weights and boiling temperatures. 

He added that the crude distillation column works on the principle of fractional distillation leading to separation of various components in the mixture on the basis of their different boiling points.

According to him, “Crude oil enters the top of the column, where the inlet temperature is 165 degrees Centigrade gradually increasing to 357 degree Centigrade at the bottom of the column. 

“During this passage the crude and its vapours pass through a complex web of internal trays to increase the contact time and surface area within the column with the hot vapours travelling upwards through bubble caps, which allow the vapour to pass through the tray with the cooler liquid flowing downward the column. 

“When the vapour reaches the height within the column where its boiling point is equal to the temperature of the column at that height it condenses to form a liquid. 

“The liquid then collects on various trays in the column at differing heights from where it is extracted out of the column.

“It is therefore critical to control the heat load of the column to optimise the crude crack.

“These separated fractions are mainly middle distillates namely, naphtha, jet fuel, kerosene, gasoline and gas oil.”

The refinery, when completed, would produce Euro-V quality gasoline and diesel, as well as jet fuel and polypropylene. 

According to him, the crude column will enhance the economy of Nigeria and all neighbouring countries by making available refined petroleum products meeting world standards emission norms of Euro 5 and Euro 6. 

He said the strategic location of Nigeria in West Africa continent would help in reducing the transportation costs of these fuels to other countries in Africa.

He said that the equipment was capable of refining 650,000 barrel per day (bpd) while the refinery was designed to be Africa’s largest, with potential to transform Nigeria from an importer of fuel to a net exporter.

He added that the technology is significant to Nigeria and Dangote refinery because ” this is the largest crude oil processor in the world.”

He stated that the crude oil processor took the Chinese manufacturers 14 months to build and eight weeks to bring it down to Nigeria.

“We decided to ship it through vessel from China to avoid being damaged and also to avoid traffic congestion by using roads from Apapa. Dangote refinery also invested heavily in dredging the sea from the refinery to Apapa for the easy passage of the vessel,” he added.

He said the President of the company, Alhaji Aliko Dangote, was passionate about technology transfer to Nigerians, adding that he has given standing instruction to train seven Nigerians to be a ship captain. 

Sachar said Dangote Oil Refinery Company is currently training about 150 young Nigerian engineers in refinery operations in preparation for the take-off of its Lagos refinery and petrochemical plant in India.

Engineers are also currently undergoing training in Mumbai, India while the training programme is a continuum as more engineers would be trained to work effectively in the fertiliser plant and refinery being built by the company.

In his remarks, Pilot Grade 1 of the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), Mr. Lawal Fagbo Saheed, commended the vessel crew who brought the equipment from China, adding that it took seven hours to drive the vessel from Apapa to Dangote refinery due to the heavy equipment.

Nigeria Has Met 100% OPEC Target Agreement, Says Sylva

The Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Chief Timipre Sylva says Nigeria has met the 100 per cent target agreement entered into by Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and 10 Non-OPEC member states.

Sylva said this in a statement issued by his Spokesman, Alhaji Garba Muhammad in Abuja on Sunday.

OPEC and 10 Non-OPEC Member States are also known as the OPEC plus or the Declaration of Cooperation (DoC) Countries.

The minister spoke in a teleconference with the Chairman of the OPEC-Non-OPEC Joint Ministerial Monitoring Committee (JMMC) and Minister of Energy of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Prince Abdulaziz Bin Salman Bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud and some other DoC Ministers over.

He recalled that at the last meeting of the JMMC held in September, in Abu Dhabi, he assured that Nigeria would within three months be 100 per cent compliant with the Agreement that it had voluntarily entered into.

Sylva said that in fulfilment of that pledge, Nigeria’s compliance level had witnessed tremendous progress month by month since  August resulting in 100 per cent compliance in November.

The minister commended member countries of the DoC that had consistently met and even exceeded their targets of production cuts.

He attributed the successes achieved in bringing stability to the oil market to the whole group but especially due to the extra efforts of these countries.

Sylva commended the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia for the extra burden it had taken on its own volition to help stabilise the global oil market.

He thanked Prince Abdulaziz and the Government of the Kingdom for the exemplary leadership role they had been playing in the DoC.

On his part, Prince Abdulaziz commended Nigeria for the efforts it had made since August to ensure compliance, noting that the Agreement came into effect at the same time when Nigeria’s Egina was coming on-stream.

OPEC Ministers are expected to meet in Vienna next week to review developments in the global oil market for the first half of 2020 and take some critical decisions affecting the oil industry and by implication the global economy.

The first decision is on the fate of the current Agreement which expires on March 31, 2020.

The Organisation will decide whether to renew it or not, if it is to be retained, a decision has to be taken on the need for modification or allow it to stand as it is.

The second decision is expert to look at the outlook for the oil market in the first and second quarters of 2020, where demand is forecast to dampen while production from non-DoC members is forecast to rise.

Experts believe that the DoC Countries need to make deeper cuts to sustain the stability that they have been able to bring to the market.

The JMMC is expected to meet in Vienna on Dec. 5 and the OPEC Ministerial Conference same day, while the OPEC and NON-OPEC Ministerial Meeting is expected to take place on December 6 in Vienna.

55 Political Parties Kick Against PDP’s Call for INEC Boss’ Resignation

A forum of chairmen of 55 political parties have kicked against call by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) on the Chairman of Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, to resign over statement on the efficacy of the smart Card Readers by two INEC Commissioners, Daily Trust reports.

The Chairman of the National Unity Party (NUP) who doubles as Chairman of the Forum, Chief Perry Opara, in a statement on Sunday said the PDP cannot be crying wolf when it earlier celebrated the judgements which described the Card Readers as victory for democracy. 

Opara said the PDP should enjoin its members in the National Assembly to lead the agitation for legislative electoral reform and stop playing to the gallery.

He said the Smart Card Reader’s efficacy had been politically and judicially neutralized, arguing this was largely done by members of the PDP who argued before the Supreme Court against its relevance in relation to the Voter Register.

The chairmen argued that the PDP failed to reform the electoral system during its 16 years in power and should therefore cover its face in shame.

“The position of the Supreme Court which for now is the law makes the Voter Register the final proof of the accreditation of voters. Hence, making the record of the Card Reader inadmissible in Court as proof of accreditation.

“The meaning of this is that even when only a few people turn out at 3 Polling Unit on election day, thugs can hijack the materials, record humongous figures and are only required to tick the Voter Register and they are home and dry. PDP celebrated this position of the Supreme Court and should just keep quiet for now.

“We call on all Nigerians to lend their voice and put pressure on their representatives in both Chambers of the National Assembly to urgently pass the Electoral Act Amendment Bill so that we can have Electronic transmission of votes, electronic transmission of accreditation figures from the Card Reader and possibly electronic voting so that thugs will not have a role in our electoral system since our security agencies have failed woefully to stop them from their unpatriotic trade,” they said.

EFCC Arrests Operators, Trainees of Yahoo Academy in Akwa Ibom

Operatives of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) Uyo Zonal Office in a joint operation with some of the Commission’s operatives from Abuja, in the early hours of Thursday, November 28, 2019, stormed a building described as ‘YAHOO ACADEMY’ allegedly used solely for the training of youngsters in various aspects of cyber criminality.

During the raid on Essien Essien Street, Ikot Ibiok village in Eket Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom State, 23 suspects including oprrators and trainees were arrested.

The suspects were between the ages of 19 and 35. They have confessed that they were undergoing training in various aspects of cyber criminality such as Love Scam, Online Trading Scam, Theft Identity.

National Association of Kwara Students Lauds Gov Abdulrazaq on Bursary Disbursement

📷Kwara State Governor Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq

The National Association of Kwara State Students (NAKSS), National Headquarters, has lauded the Executive Governor of Kwara State, Mallam Abdulrasaq Abdulrahman, “for ensuring a timely fulfilment of his campaign promises particularly on bursary disbursement of N5,000 to 8,304 indigenes of the state who are schooling in various tertiary institutions across the federation without any parochial consideration.”

In a statement jointly signed by the Association National President Comrade Adisa-Azeez Jaji and Director of Public Relations, Abdulmumeen Abubakar on Saturday, NAKSS praised the Kwara State Governor for his generosity towards the people of the state, especially to students.

They described governor Abdulrazaq as “a caring father with listening ears and loving heart; an avid lover of peaceful and progressive movements; a reformist; a humble benefactor; a distinguished leader; a leading light and an emblematic paradigm, stating that the state wouldn’t have experienced such wasteful decades of retrogressive strides if a compassionate personality like him had been privileged to be at the helm of affairs.”

It would be recalled that during the electioneering campaigns, Mallam Abdulrahman Abdulrasaq had promised to reinstate lots of beneficial schemes if giving the mandate to serve, in a bid to make life better for all regardless of party affiliations, economic, religious or tribal differences, with particular emphasis on making educational development and students’ welfarism top priorities.

Reacting to the bursary disbursement, the NAKSS National President, Comrade Jaji appreciated the Kwara State Governor for not reneging on his campaign promises to the teeming students, stressing that “the electronic process mode at which the N5,000 bursary was paid to our members across cities and towns throughout the federation today further showed how committed and transparent the Governor is, and consequently the Association is pleased with his policies thus far especially on sustainable and human capital development.”

“We shall continue to partner with the state government on matters that have to do with Kwara State students in a bid to ensure that every single person is giving what such is meritoriously entitled to and that learning facilities are adequately provided especially in state owned institutions as the Governor keep reassuring and renewing his keen interests on sound and affordable education for all,” NAKSS said.

The Association also acknowledged the state government for disbursing N100,000 each to 89 Law school students, stressing that the gestures, examples and legacies that the present administration is laying would be forever exalted, urging the beneficiaries to use the incentives judiciously and make the best out of the school.

Ajaokuta-Kaduna-Kano Gas Pipeline Construction Begins

President Muhammadu Buhari Friday said that the Federal Government would soon commence the construction of the 600-kilometre Ajaokuta-Kaduna-Kano gas pipeline which would move gas from the Southern part of the country to the North.

The Nigerian leader, who disclosed this while addressing the 5th Gas Exporting Countries Forum (GECF) Summit at the Sipopo International Conference Hall, Malabo, Equatorial Guinea, added that the viability of extending the gas pipeline to North Africa was also under consideration.

Describing the theme of the Summit, Natural Gas – Energy for Sustainable Development as most appropriate, President Buhari noted that the one-day meeting was “taking place at a critical juncture as global energy supply is transitioning from hydrocarbons to renewables.”

According to him, “The Paris Accord of 2015 signalled the first major global commitment to a deliberate effort on this inevitable transition,” stressing that “Nigeria is proud to be one of the first signatories” to the historic Agreement.

Explaining why Nigeria and GECF members are focusing on gas development, the Nigerian leader said:

“We are mindful of the energy deficit in the developing world especially, here in Africa where we have nearly 600 million people without access to modern energy. As responsible leaders, it is our duty to preserve the environment not only for the present but for future generations.

“We can achieve this balance between our energy deficit and environmental preservation needs by developing and deploying new technologies. Although classified as fossil fuel, natural gas is a viable solution to both our energy and environmental challenges.”

President Buhari noted further that “natural gas has the added advantage of availability and affordability,” stressing that, “to fully leverage this potential, nations need to pool resources to put up trans-border and trans-regional energy infrastructure.”

According to him, “we in Nigeria have led the way by the construction of the West Africa Gas Pipeline which runs through four West African countries.”

President Buhari also commended the foresight of the founding fathers of the GECF “in promoting natural gas in the global energy mix.”

Declaring the Summit open, the host, President Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo, called on members of the GECF to continue to work in harmony towards the realisation of the objectives of the multinational organisation.

Garba Shehu
Senior Special Assistant to the President
(Media & Publicity)
November 29, 2019

Wike’s SA Resigns Over Non-payment of Salary

📷Rivers State Governor Nyesom Wike

Senior Special Adviser to the Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike on Physically Challenge Matters, Tekena Zephanian-Altraide has resigned his appointment.

In a fifteen-page resignation letter to the Governor, Zephanian-Altraide noted that it appears that he has been disengaged of his appointment even before his resignation following the action of the Governor on his office.

He complained that since his appointment in 2016, his office had never had a running cost.

He added that he struggles to pay his staffers their allowances from his personal salary of about three hundred and twenty-eight thousand Naira.

The former SA commended the governor for appointing him, adding that, it proved to the world that people living with disabilities could also handle government positions.

Tekena Zephanian-Altraide therefore, regretted that even as an SA to a Governor, he could not pay his father’s medical bill which led to his death in September since he was owed from July till date.

It is unknown if the Governor has accepted or rejected the resignation.

8,304 Kwara Students Get Bursary After E-process

A total of 8,304 final year students of Kwara State origin have each been paid N5000 as bursary straight into their accounts following weeks of electronic processes and verification of their applications by the government.

The AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq administration had recently launched a strictly e-bursary in a step meant to ensure that the process is transparent, with all eligible students directed to apply through a dedicated portal.

The Governor had approved N50m for the second tranche of 2019 bursary but insisted that applicants must apply online and have their money paid straight into their accounts without any middlemen.

“A total of 10,491 successful applications were received within a period of four weeks but only 8,304 of them were verified to be genuine and therefore recommended for payments. Consequently, payment is now being effected from today Friday, November 29, 2019,” according to a statement by Permanent Secretary Ministry of Tertiary Education Dr Musa Dasuki.

The statement said the exercise, in which Kwara students from across the country benefited, gulped N41,520,000 out of the N50m approved for the bursary at N5000 each per beneficiary.

AbdulRazaq, meanwhile, has approved the payment of N100,000 each to 89 students of Kwara State origin who are currently at the Law School nationwide.

The governor also directed that the money be paid directly into the accounts of the law students.

“The Ministry of Tertiary Education has invited the leadership of the Law School students to a meeting to finalise payment procedures,” the statement added.

“We thank His Excellency the Governor for this new dawn in Kwara State, especially regarding the new regime of bursary payment, which is not only transparent but is also revolutionary, full-proof, and exemplary.”

Dr Musa Dasuki

Permanent Secretary

Ministry of Tertiary Education, Science and Technology