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Buhari Orders Termination of e-Passport Printing by Foreign Companies



By Mathew Dadiya, Abuja

President Muhammadu Buhari has ordered a stop to printing of Nigerian international passports outside the country and directed that the production and personalisation of all Nigerian e-passports and related documentation shall be the sole responsibility of the Nigerian Security Printing & Minting Company (NSPMC).

Popularly known as The Mint, the company was established in 1963 with the objective of producing the nation’s currency notes and coins for the Central Bank of Nigeria as well as security documents for Ministries, Departments and Agencies of government, banks and other blue chip companies.

Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina conveyed the president’s directive via a statement.

He stated that with the new directive from the President, all existing memoranda of understanding and contracts on printing by other institutions or companies will not be renewed.

The Mint is the largest banknote and security documents specialist printing company in West Africa.

However, its performance was rapidly dwindling in terms of both currency production and security documents prior to 2014.

Under the chairmanship of the Central Bank Governor, Mr Godwin Emefiele, new targets were set, and Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of The Mint, Mr Abbas Umar Masanawa recounts some of the achievements to include: zero importation of currency from 2014 to date, with attendant benefits of conservation of foreign reserve, revenue and employment generation, as well as safeguarding the nation’s sovereignty.

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Mr Masanawa counts the blessings further: “The Mint has returned to profitability. From a moribund organization with heavy losses, the company grew from a loss position of N14. 6 million in 2014 to a profit of N14. 3 billion in 2018. Turnover also grew from N17.8 billion in 2014 to N61. 4 billion in 2018.

“Other achievements include enhanced production capacity, revenue diversification, reduced cost of production, institutionalization of corporate governance, improved staff welfare and industrial harmony, among others.”

The Managing Direction pledged that The Mint would justify the renewed confidence reposed in it by the President, “as we are moving to the Next Level, and poised to boost national security and integrity, we will conserve scarce foreign exchange, improve revenue generation, create job opportunities, and boost acquisition/transfer of technology.”

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Jaiz Bank Appoints Acting Chairman




Jaiz Bank said it has appointed a new chairman in an acting capacity following the resignation of Umaru Abdul Mutallab from its board of directors.

The non-interest bank has endorsed the appointment of Musbahu Bashir as its acting chair subject to the approval of the Central Bank of Nigeria.

Prior to his appointment to the new role, Mr Bashir chaired the bank’s Board Investment Committee, and has been a member of Jaiz Bank’s board of directors since 2012.

He is currently the chairman of Althani Group of Companies, and Cobalt International Services, which he has chaired for nearly two decades.

Mr Bashir is a director of Mafab Communications Limited, Resource Capital Group and Offshore Technologies International Limited.

“He obtained a BBA in Business Management in 1998 from Tafawa Balewa University, Abuja campus and a National Diploma in Irrigation Engineering from Kaduna State Polytechnic 1987,” the document said.

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Okadigbo Seeks Gender Equality Promotion in Energy Sector




The Board Chairman, Nigeria National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPCL), Sen. Margery Okadigbo, has emphasised the need to promote gender equality in the energy sector in view of its huge benefits.

Okadigbo made this known on Wednesday in Abuja at the commemoration of the International Women Day by the Women in Energy, Oil and Gas (WEOG) in Nigeria with the theme “The Limitless Woman: Leveraging Innovation and Technology”.

The event, organised in collaboration with the Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (PENGASSAN) and Women Commission, Kaduna Zone was hosted by the Petroleum Technology Development Fund (PTDF).

She said aggressive capacity building for women who specialised on technical skill especially in view of energy transition should be a priority to change the narrative.

Okadigbo, while stating that globally, women in the energy sector faced barriers of employment, leadership and others, said breaking the barrier of inequality would be ineffective without government active participation in promoting policy initiative.

The Executive Secretary, PTDF, Dr Bello Gusau, expressed commitment to continue to support the association’s activities.

The PTDF boss said apart from its scholarship scheme, it was also into institutional development, adding that there were many PTDF activities that the association could key into.

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Speaking, Dr Oladunni Owo, National President, WEOG, said March had been designated as the month to celebrate womanhood so its celebration was in line with the tenets of the United Nations women.

Owo said it organised the event to advance women’s empowerment and recognise their contribution to the oil and gas industry in commemoration of Women’s Day globally.

“We are having this event as a channel to celebrate our women in the energy industry across the energy value chain.

“According to statistics, currently women own 20 per cent in the industry and at leadership level we are just about seven per cent which is one of the reasons why we had to form the association five years ago.

“It aims at mainstreaming women into the industry both as employees and as business owners to cut across the value chain of the energy oil and gas space.

She said based on its urge to have the voice of women in the Nigeria local content space, it was collaborating with the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board on advocacy document which entailed the formulation of a sectorial working group.

According to her,  the group which is under the Nigerian content and consultative forum focused on gender diversity and in response to the clarion call the board approved for the sectorial working group to be created.

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She also commended the PTDF on its reach out for scholarship for qualified Nigerians in masters and doctorate degrees. (NAN)

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NCC Threatens Arrest, Prosecution of Sim Card Registration Defaulters




The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) said it will arrest and prosecute any individual or group involved in the sales and use of pre-registered Subscriber Identification Module (SIM) cards in Nigeria.

Reuben Muoka, the director of public affairs, NCC, in a statement on Wednesday said the resolution is in line with the Nigerian Communications Act (NCA) 2003 and the Nigerian Communications Commission (Registration of Telephone Subscribers Regulations) 2011.

“In line with the Nigerian Communications Act (NCA) 2003 and the Nigerian Communications Commission (Registration of Telephone Subscribers Regulations) 2011, any individual or group involved in the sales and use of pre-registered Subscriber Identification Module (SIM) cards, will be arrested, and prosecuted, and if found culpable, will be made to face the full weight of the law,” Mr Muoka said.

He said in keeping with its powers under the act, the commission regularly undertakes monitoring and enforcement activities to ensure that all stakeholders comply with extant laws, regulations and directives as they apply to telecom governance in Nigeria.

“In a recent monitoring and enforcement exercise by the commission, some suspects were arrested, handed over to law enforcement agencies, prosecuted and have been convicted.

“The Nigerian Communications Commission wishes to reiterate that both the sale and use of fraudulently registered SIM cards are illegal,” he said.

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He added that the commission has also taken note of reports indicating that illegal acts are perpetrated to commit or aid the commission of other criminal acts such as armed robbery, kidnapping, financial fraud, terrorism, and sundry offences.

“It is, therefore, important that members of the public take note that the laws, subsidiary legislations, and guidelines guiding SIM card registration in Nigeria are still in force and forbid anyone from indulging in any activity relating to the sale and use of pre-registered SIM cards in Nigeria,” he said.

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