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30 CSOs Applaud Alake, Nkom on Achievements in Mining Sector 

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By Laide Akinboade, Abuja 

30 civil society organisations, CSO, recently commended the Minister of Solid Minerals Development, Dr. Dele Alake and the Director General of Nigeria Mining Cadastre Office, Engr. Obadiah Simon Nkom, on their achievements in the mining industry.

The groups said the various sterling leadership qualities of the duo in driving President Bola Tinubu’s Renewed Hope Agenda in the mining sector have given Nigerians hope of a new beginning in the country.

The 30 incorporated non-governmental,nonpartisan organizations headed by Global Peace and Life Rescue Initiative (GOPRI), a leading peace and good governance advocacy organization in Africa, insisted that the diversification of the nation’s revenue from the oil sector to non oil by the Tinubu’s government was what Nigeria was long waiting for,thanking both Alake and Nkom for achieving the feat.

The groups’s position was conveyed in a joint statement, signed by Amb. Melvin Ejeh, Executive Director,GOPRI; Dr Ibrahim Khalifa, National Co-ordinator,Center For Justice and Good Governance in Africa;Engr. Bashir Dan Zaria, Executive Director,Conference of North West Professionals Network (CONOWP);Dr Mrs Remi Edun, National Co-ordinator, Community Action for Development (CAD) and Dr Mrs Ngozi Amechi, National Women Empowerment Network.(NAWOEN), respectively.

The coalition while noting that Nigeria, blessed with abundant mineral resources, has no reason to be dependent on dwindling oil revenue,commended the Minister for turning the tide with ongoing reforms of the mining sector, in line with his 7-point agenda.

The organisations said they were particularly elated that the Nigerian Mining Cadastre Office has been fully digitalized and reformed under the Current Director General, noting that with the development,it can favourably compete anywhere in the world. 

To this effect, they passed a vote of confidence on the minister and the Director General of NCO even as they alerted of a clandestine plan by some group of persons displaced by the administration for engaging in illicit activities in the sector.

They therefore,advised the government and Nigerians to be on the lookout for any campaign of calumny against the agency and its leadership.

According to the groups,the Nigerian Mining Cadastre Office recorded a cumulative 86 percent increase in revenue generation, raking in N9.3 billion between 2019 and 202l under Nkom,as compared to N4.8 billion generated in the corresponding period of between 2016 and 2018.

This,they noted,was attested by former President Mohammadu Buhari when he reappointed him to pilot the Cadastre Office for a renewed term of four years.

“Under the leadership of Engr. Nkom in the past four years, the Nigeria Mining Cadastre Office recorded 86 per cent increase in revenue generation, raking in over N8.9 billion between 2019 and 2021 compared to N4.8 billion generated in the corresponding period of 2016 – 2018. This also accounts for about 50 per cent of the contribution of the Ministry of Mines and Steel Development to the economy,”the statement quoted Buhari as saying.

“Given our independent assessment of developments in the mining sector of the our dear country,we have passed a vote of confidence on the Hon. Minister of Solid Minerals Development,Dr. Dele Alake and the Director General of Nigeria Cadastre Office, Engr Obadiah Nkom for their sterling leadership qualities in driving Mr president’s Renewed Hope agenda on the mining sector and diversification of the nation’s revenue from the oil sector to non oil. 

“Our position is premised on the elaborate and independent assessment carried out in the Ministry and the Mining Cadastre Office in Abuja in line with our civil society engagement and accountability programmes for public office holders and agencies,”the statement said

Continuing,the coalition said:” We make bold to say that we were shocked with the kind of transformation and massive reforms going in the Ministry of Solid Minerals, particularly the Nigeria Mining Cadastral Office.

 “From our finding, the Nigeria Mining Cadastre has been fully digitalized and reformed under the Current DG and can compete with anywhere in the world. 

“Out findings show that the revenue profile of the agency since his assumption in 2019 has skyrocketed to an extent where it is now one of the major contributors to the nation’s non oil revenue With this feat,we must commend him.”

“We are, however, alerting the government and Nigerians to be on the lookout for any campaign of calumny against the agency and its leadership.

 From the kind of reforms going on in the Nigeria Cadastre Office, some big players who specialize in illegal and fraudulent mining activities that have been displaced may want to fight back the agency and the DG . 

“We have however vow to legally defend the agency, the DG and all it staffs until Mr Presidents vision of non oil revenue sufficiency is achieved under the Renewed Hope Agenda,”it vowed.

NEWS

Tinubu Mourns Ex-Minister, Ogbonnaya Onu

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President Bola Tinubu has extended his deepest condolences to the Onu family over the passing of Chief Ogbonnaya Onu, a former Minister of Science and Technology in the Buhari administration.

Chief Onu passed away on Thursday at the age of 72.

“The President mourns a luminous star in Nigeria’s political firmament.

The first civilian governor of Abia State; former minister of Science, Technology and Innovation, a principal draughtsman in the founding of the All Progressives Congress (APC), and a valiant partner in the victory of the party in the 2015 elections.
 

“Most importantly, the President celebrates the life of an accomplished scholar, first-class engineer; a man of proven integrity; defiant to indiscipline, but ever yielding to the highest standards of rectitude,” a statement by Chief Ajuri Ngelale, Presidential spokesman quoted the President to have said.

The statement said Tinubu affirmed that the late Onu epitomized Nigeria in concord; in wholeness, as the late statesman believed in and defended Nigeria’s unity, advocated peace, and promoted fellowship across the Niger.

The President also condoled with the friends and associates of Chief Onu, Ebonyi and Abia State Governments, and all Nigerians grieving this gaping loss.

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Business News

Geregu Power Earns N50.4bn From Electricity Sales, Capacity Charges 

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By Tony Obiechina, Abuja 

Geregu Power Plc has generated N50.4bn on electricity sales and capacity charges to Nigerians in the first quarter of 2024.

The power company which is the first listed power company of the Nigerian Exchange Ltd disclosed the performance in its Q1, 2024 financial statement.

The company grew its Q1 revenue by 225 per cent from N14.

2bn in 2023 to N50.
4bn in 2023.

A breakdown reveals that Geregu Power sold energy worth N31bn and received N19bn as revenue from capacity charge.

Recall that the power company posted an annual revenue of N82.9bn in the full year of 2023 but it has covered half of the amount in Q1.

The revenue was above the company’s forecast for Q1 2024 when it projected its revenue to rise to N31.24bn.

Geregu Power recorded a profit before tax of N21.9bn up from the N5.3bn recorded in Q1 of last year, reflecting 307.8 per cent growth.

During the period underreview, the company saw its profit after tax rose by 307.3 per cent to N14.46bn from N3.54bn recorded in Q1 of last year. In the full year 2023, the company made N16.1bn net profit.

The net profit was above the company projection of N5.5bn. 

Geregu Power took an income tax charge of N7.43bn, up from the N1.8bn in Q1 2023. The tax charges were higher than the N2.7bn projected for Q1 2024.

The company also spent N21.5bn on the cost of sales involving gas supply and transportation, up from the N6.6bn spent on gas supply and transportation in Q1 2023.

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Foreign News

U.S. not Expecting to be Drawn into War but Predicts Attack by Iran Against Israel

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The United States expects an attack by Iran against Israel but one that would not be big enough to draw Washington into war, a U.S. official said late on Thursday.

The White House said earlier that Washington did not want conflict to spread in the Middle East and the U.S. had told Iran it was not involved in an air strike against a top Iranian military commander in Damascus.

The White House added it warned Iran to not use that attack as a pretext to escalate further in the region.

Suspected Israeli warplanes bombed Iran’s embassy in Damascus on Monday in a strike for which Iran has vowed revenge and in which a top Iranian general and six other Iranian military officers were killed, ratcheting up tension in a region already strained by the Gaza war.

Iranian sources told Reuters that Tehran has signalled to Washington that it will respond to Israel’s attack on its Syrian embassy in a way that aims to avoid major escalation and it will not act hastily, as Tehran presses demands including a Gaza truce.

The United States has been on high alert about possible retaliatory strikes from Iran and U.S. envoys have been working to lower tensions.

Palestinian Islamist group Hamas attacked Israel on Oct. 7, killing 1,200, according to Israeli tallies.

Israel’s military assault on Hamas-governed Gaza has since killed more than 33,000 people according to the local health ministry, displaced nearly all of Gaza’s 2.3 million population, caused a humanitarian crisis, and led to genocide allegations that Israel denies.

Iran-backed groups have declared support for Palestinians, waging attacks from Lebanon, Yemen, and Iraq.

Tehran has avoided direct confrontation with Israel or the United States, while declaring support for its allies. (Reuters/NAN)

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