Good morning and a happy weekend to you. There are a lot of public and private projects being initiated, planned, executed and managed in Nigeria. Every weekend, I will share with you those projects that made the headlines for that week in Nigeria.
So, here are some of the project news that made the headlines from 23/11 – 28/11:
1. The Federal Ministry of Finance said on Wednesday that N194 billion had been spent on capital projects between January and September this year. It also put the amount spent on overheads in the same nine-month period at N272 billion. (We need more up-to-date information on capital projects in Nigeria.)
2. The Federal Government has set up a $25 billion infrastructure investment fund with a view to closing the nation’s huge infrastructure gap. Speaking at the inauguration of the Capital Market Master Plan Implementation Council (CAMMIC), National Investor Protection Fund (NIPF) and the launch of the Corporate Governance Scorecard for quoted companies by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in Lagos, Thursday, the Minister of Finance, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun, said that in the current environment of significant revenue squeeze and other budgetary constraints, these investments will clearly not come from government coffers alone. (I hope the “investment funds” would not be corrupted as the SURE-P.)
3. Niger State is to benefit from a $100 million (N200 billion) rice project as market leader and the third biggest importer of rice in the country. Pearl Universal Impex Ltd, following a successful pilot phase of its rice project in June this year to determine the variety of rice most suitable to the region at a 500 hectares of land in Saminaka, a community situated around Swashi Dam in Borgu local government area of the state is set to move into the next phase of the project. (Agriculture can overtake oil and gas in the future in terms of revenue generated if the government and private organisations invest a lot in the agriculture sector.)
4. Industry regulator, the Department of Petroleum Resources, DPR, has issued a four-week deadline for oil and gas operators to furnish it with the cost components of projects currently under execution in the country. This follows DPR’s establishment of “a mechanism to monitor and benchmark Nigerian oil and gas industry costs of projects and operations across the terrains and business arrangements.” This comes as Nigeria’s daily crude oil production is down to 2.1 million barrels, as DPR initiates a National Production Monitoring System, NPMS, to monitor the country’s actual production volumes. (I think some sectors of the economy are listening to us on the need of having more independent and professional project management monitoring mechanisms.)
5. The Nigerian government has commissioned a Hydrocarbon plant in Ikenne, Ogun State, to produce high grade Hydrocarbon refrigerants which are to be used in the Refrigerants Services sectors. The plant was built in a renewed effort to ensure the phasing out of Hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs) by the year 2040 in line with Montreal Protocol agreement on Substances that Deplete the Ozone layer to which Nigeria is a party. (Good initiative, let the government properly execute and manage the project.)
6. The Senate have asked its Committee on Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) to investigate the abandoned N2.4 billion Agbarho township road projects in Ughelli North Local Government Area of Delta State. Senator Ighoyota Amori (Delta Central) submitted a petition dated November 17, 2015, claiming the contract was awarded in 2009 to Messrs Serena Rocks Limited for N2.4 billion. Amori said the contractor received N720 million as mobilisation fees in 2011 and 2012 from the Federal Government to execute the project. (The Senate should really follow through with this investigation and feed the media with the full results.)
7. The Australian High Commissioner to Nigeria, Jonathan Richardson, on Friday disclosed that his country had provided over N110m for projects across the country to assist those in need. Richardson made the disclosure when he visited the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) camp in new Kuchingoro, Abuja, at the launch of some projects funded through the High Commission’s Direct Aid Programme (DAP). (The country really needs more investments from the international communities.)
8. Nigeria has been the largest importer of fish and fisheries products in sub-Saharan Africa, with an annual import bill of N125 billion (US$630 million) to meet its domestic shortage estimated at 1.3 million metric tons (mmt). Nutreco, a global leader in fish feed and animal nutrition, in partnership with Durante (an indigenous aquaculture company), has launched a one-year pilot project in Nigeria to boost domestic production and support small-scale fish farmers. This project is similar to Nutreco’s recent investment in Egypt, which is geared towards boosting tilapia fish production. (Fish farming is a profitable business in Nigeria. It’s one of the industries that need a lot of local investment. Why there’s high importation of fish is because our local fish farming industry is not producing enough for millions of local persons who love consume fish. Nigerians love the point-and-kill corner.)
Watch out for the project news that would make the headlines next week!
(The words in brackets at the end of each project news are mine.)