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Retreat:  Fubara Commits To Making Greater Port Harcourt City A Model

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The Greater Port Harcourt City 2024 Management Retreat, with the theme, “Transiting to New Smart Cities; The Beginning” which held from April 26 – 27, 2024 at the Swiss International Hotel, Mabisel, Port Harcourt brought together a diverse group of government officials, stakeholders, industry experts, and leaders of thought to deliberate on key issues related to the sustainable development and growth of Greater Port Harcourt City.

 

The retreat was flagged-off by the Governor of Rivers State,  Sir Siminilayi Fubara, ably represented by the Deputy Governor, Prof (Mrs) Ngozi Nma Odu who assured the Greater Port Harcourt City Development Authority (GPHCDA) management that the Governor has a keen interest in seeing that the vision of creating the Greater Port Harcourt City is fully realized during his tenure.

He emphasized his commitment to support the authority  towards the achievement of the vision for the good of the people of Rivers State and truly make Greater Port Harcourt City a model for other states to emulate, calling on the management to seize the moment and lay the ground work for a city that is prosperous, liveable and futuristic. 

In his address, the acting Sole Administrator TPL (Dr) Tonte Davies highlighted the road map and action plan, which the GPHCDA is undertaking towards achieving the vision of creating new smart cities and in the context of the outlined drive, the recent ground-breaking for the  ongoing 20,000  low income housing units is a recognised  cardinal move that points to the start of a major implementation activity which will enhance this focus.

He also listed achievements like the completed phase 1 storm water canal retention, the 500,000liters capacity water project, the installed 11kva switch-gear panel, and 3kva electricity power substation amongst other ongoing infrastructural projects. Dr Davies happily informed the meeting of the introduction of a digital solution to streamline physical planning regulations and documentation to facilitate business transactions and enhance express approvals, which promotes the ease of doing business in that regard.

The Executive Secretary, Nigerian Content Development Management Board, Engr. Omatsola Felix Ogbe, represented by Mr Olubisi Okunola, Manager Strategy, presented a paper on “Transformation and Reorganisation of a 21st Century Organisation; The NCDMB Experience.” He took the participants through the transformative journey of the board, which  placed them as one of the most productive public sector organisations in the country. He stated that the board has transformed the oil and gas sector with strategic partnerships, which has enhanced local participation in the industry to about 70% in the past few years.

Also an international investor from Gambia and CEO of RIV/TAF, Mustapha Njie, presented a paper on affordable housing Initiative and promised the timely completion of the ongoing TAF City 20,000 housing units project, a pet project of Gov Sim Fubara. He gave participants strategic insight on the keys to successful project implementation and project delivery and stated that the RIV-TAF project has recorded remarkable progress with *about* 400 housing units *at various stages of completion within three  months of its flagoff.* 

The lead paper presenter, renowned Town Planner Kazeem Sanusi tasked the management of the Greater Port Harcourt City Development Authority to stand out in their responsibilities emphasizing that the most beautiful aspect of planning is inclusiveness, utilizing the power of crucial discussions and team work. He stated that the GPHCDA stands on the threshold of history to transform the new city into a model smart city just like Dubai was transformed in the past few decades. 

He urged the participants to be committed to fostering partnerships and *collaborations* to drive sustainable development in Greater Port Harcourt City, including engaging with private sector stakeholders, civil society organizations, and international partners to implement the sustainable development practices and initiatives in the new city.

In his closing remarks the Administrator, Greater Port Harcourt City, TPL (Dr) Tonte Davies promised a commitment to the comprehensive action plan outlining key priorities, initiatives and timelines for implementing the ideas and recommendations generated during the retreat. He further declared that the just concluded Greater Port Harcourt City Management retreat has set the stage for a new chapter in the city’s development journey, noting that the vision, passion and commitment of Governor Sim Fubara and the enthusiasm and shared vision of all participants has laid a strong foundation for  the sustainable growth and prosperity of Greater Port Harcourt City and the state at large.

The Lead Consultant Mr Ono K. Akpe of Red Sapphire Ltd , Abuja, who led a team of seasoned facilitators engaged the participants for the two days at the retreat with cutting edge intellectual discourse to broaden knowledge in various aspects of management covering work ethics, organizational culture, entrepreneurship, team building, infrastructural development, innovation and mind-set change, re-branding and marketing smart cities.

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NAICOM, RMAFC Collaborate on Economic Diversification 

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By Tony Obiechina, Abuja 

The Commissioner for Insurance and CEO, Mr. Olusegun Ayo Omosehin, and his management team have met with the members of the Constitutional Committee on “Mobilisation and Diversification” of the Revenue Mobilisation Allocation and Fiscal Commission ( RMAFC) led by Engr.

Sani Mohammed Baba, to explore ways of diversifying the Nigerian economy.
 

During their working visit to NAICOM Headquarters, Mr.

Olusegun Ayo Omosehin, in his opening remarks, reaffirmed the critical role of the insurance sector regulator in supervising, regulating, and safeguarding the interests of insurance policyholders. 

He highlighted insurance’s pivotal role in mobilising savings for long-term developmental projects and enabling businesses to thrive while managing risks effectively.

 

He also stressed the Commission’s commitment to ensuring insurance companies meet their obligations, thus contributing to the sustainability of the economy.

Speaking, Mohammed Baba emphasised the importance of revenue generation, institutional expansion, and employment creation for Nigerians through collaborative efforts.

The Commissioner for Insurance also acknowledged President Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s ambitious goal of growing the Nigerian economy to One Trillion United States Dollars ($1 trillion) by 2026. 

He expressed the insurance sector’s intent to significantly contribute to this objective. Additionally, he mentioned ongoing efforts to embed insurance within the National Credit Scheme to ensure its sustainability.

Omosehin stressed the need for continuous advocacy and sensitization of government institutions about the vital role of insurance in national economic development.

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CBN Unveils Strategy to Boost Remittances, Grants AIP To 14 New IMTOs

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By Tony Obiechina, Abuja 

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has activated plans to double foreign-currency remittance flows through formal channels by granting 14 new International Money Transfer Operators (IMTOs) Approval-in-Principle (AIP).

This was disclosed in Abuja on Wednesday, by the Bank’s Acting Director of Corporate Communications, Mrs.

Hakama Sidi Ali, who stated that the initiative will help increase the sustained supply of foreign exchange in the official market by promoting greater competition and innovation amongst IMTOs to lower the cost of remittance transactions and boost financial inclusion.
 

She said, “This will spur liquidity in Nigeria’s Autonomous Foreign Exchange Market (NAFEX), augmenting price discovery to enable a market-driven fair value for the naira.

“It will be recalled that the CBN Governor, Mr. Olayemi Cardoso, had recently declared: “We’ve set ourselves a target to double remittance flows into Nigeria within a year, a goal I firmly believe is within reach. 

“We are wasting no time driving progress to remove any bottlenecks hindering flows through formal channels permanently. We have a determined pathway and a sequenced approach to tackling all challenges ahead, working hand in hand with key stakeholders in the remittance industry,” she stated.

Continuing, Sidi Ali, said that the CBN viewed increasing formal remittance flows—one of the major sources of foreign exchange, accounting for over 6% of GDP—as a means of reducing the historical volatility in Nigeria’s exchange rate caused by external factors, such as fluctuations in foreign investment and oil export proceeds.

The increase in the number of IMTOs is one of the primary actions initiated by the CBN’s remittance task force, overseen by Governor Cardoso as a collaborative unit pulling together specialists to work closely with the private sector and market operators to facilitate the ease of doing business in the remittance ecosystem in Nigeria. 

The task force was established as a direct result of an executive learning session with IMTOs during the World Bank/IMF Spring Meetings held in Washington DC, United States of America, in April 2024. The task force will meet regularly to implement strategy and monitor the impact of its measures on remittance inflows.

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Tinubu Inaugurates Critical Gas Projects, Reassures Energy Sector Investors

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By Matthew Dadiya, Abuja

President Bola Tinubu has reassured investors in the energy sector of his administration’s resolve to further enhance the business environment and ensure investment convenience.

The President spoke Wednesday at the inauguration of three milestone projects, including the expanded AHL Gas Processing Plant; the ANOH Gas Processing Plant, and the 23.

3km ANOH – Obiafu-Obrikom-Oben (OB3) Custody Transfer Metering Station Gas Pipeline.

In a speech during the virtual inauguration of the projects at the State House, Tinubu also assured citizens that his administration is stepping up its coordination of other landmark projects and initiatives that will ensure the earliest realization of gas-fueled prosperity in the country.

 

The President, according to a statement by Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Ajuri Ngelale, noted that the projects were fully in line with the Decade of Gas Initiative and his administration’s vision to grow value from the nation’s abundant gas assets, while concurrently eliminating gas flaring and accelerating industrialization. 

“This event is highly significant to our country as it demonstrates the administration’s concerted efforts to accelerate the development of critical gas infrastructure geared at significantly enhancing the supply of energy to boost industrial growth and create employment opportunities.

“It is pleasing that when these projects become fully operational, approximately 500MMscf of gas in aggregate will be supplied to the domestic market from these two gas processing plants, which represents over 25% incremental growth in gas supply. 

“In practical terms, this is more gas to the power sector, gas-based industries, and other critical segments of the economy. I, therefore, commend the strategic vision of the NNPC Limited and its partners, Sterling Oil Exploration & Energy Production Company Limited (SEEPCO) and Seplat Energy Plc, for this laudable and value-adding projects,” President Tinubu said.

The President said his government remains determined in its bid to leverage the nation’s vast gas capacity to drive economic growth. 

“Aside from the presidential CNG initiative which is aimed at moving the good people of Nigeria away from petrol and diesel as vehicular combustion fuel, significant progress has also been recorded in incentivizing gas development through Presidential Directives.

“The theme of this inauguration – ‘From Gas to Prosperity; Renewed Hope’, must be adopted by all gas-sector participants and would-be investors as a clarion call to ramp up efforts to accelerate investment and developments of projects in the gas sector on a win-win basis.

“I would once again commend the efforts of NNPC Ltd, alongside SEEPCO and Seplat Energy, on this business partnership initiative, and congratulate you all on the successful implementation of the three projects,” the President said.

President Tinubu also reiterated his government’s resolve to continue to provide support in deepening domestic gas utilization, increase national power generation capacity, revitalize industries, and create multiple job opportunities for economic growth.

“Today, I have the singular honour to inaugurate the expansion of the AHL Gas Processing Plant, the ANOH Gas Processing Plant, and the 23.3Km ANOH to Obiafu-Obrikom-Oben (OB3) Custody Transfer Metering Station Gas Pipeline Projects in line with my administration’s resolve to provide energy for Nigerians, and to use our vast natural gas resources to transform Nigeria,” the President stated.

May 15, 2024

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