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FG commissions 2 aircrafts for mineral deposits survey

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Minister of Mines and Steel Development (MMSD), Mr Olamilekan Adegbite
Minister of Mines and Steel Development (MMSD), Mr Olamilekan Adegbite
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The Minister of Mines and Steel Development (MMSD), Mr Olamilekan Adegbite, has commissioned two aircrafts for Airborne Geophysical Survey to identify mineral deposits in Nigeria.

Adegbite, who inaugurated the aircrafts at the Nnamdi Azikiwe Airport in Abuja on Thursday, said the survey became imperative as it would help determine the quantum of minerals available in the country.

He said that the survey would determine accurate mineral locations using modern day contemporary aeromagnetic mechanism.

While inspecting the aircrafts, he said they would be flying at low altitude, 50 meter above the ground level, such is about the height of a 15 storey buildings.

” We have received two special aircraft for now, hopefully two more will be delivered for the survey.

” The aircrafts have special equipment that monitor certain perimeter of the ground and record information and will be transmitted on the computer for interpretation on mineral data available that can be utilised,” he said.

Adegbite said that the survey would commence very soon, as the aircrafts could only operate and get accurate information on dry land or season.

“The consultant of the project will only work as the weather dictates, they will not like to work when rain is still falling.”

The minister said that the survey would be financed through the Mineral Sector Support for Economic Diversification (MinDiver) Project, a World Bank assisted Project under the Ministry.

He said that the ministry has visited all affected states including FCT to sensitise people on the project through jingles on radios among others.

Adegbite said the sensitization was to allay people’s fear especially as the aircrafts would be flying at low altitude.

He said that the ministry had got approvals from State Governors, National Security Adviser and the Nigeria Air force for the aircrafts operations.

Dr John Eyre, International Technical Adviser of MinDiver, said that the two small yellowish aircrafts with sensors would be managed by a pilot each.

Eyre said the aircrafts have electronic sensors that could get data of minerals on the surface of the ground.

He added that Spain, South Africa and some West Africa countries have conducted such survey.

NAN reports that the survey would be conducted in 19 states including FCT across 121 local government areas.

The states are, Kwara, Ekiti, Ondo, Osun, Oyo, Ogun, Ebonyi, Enugu, Cross River, Akwa Ibom, Kaduna, Niger, Kogi, Taraba, Benue, Plateau, Nasarawa, Bauchi and the FCT.

The survey areas were chosen based on the outcome of the previous surveys guided by geological consideration.

The survey would be measuring minor variations in the earth’s magnetic fields and gamma radiations in the soil.

It would be a passive technique that does not involve sending out any signals or sound waves into the ground and therefore remains a very safe aerial survey. (NAN)

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Business & Economy

ECOWAS Trade Promotion Organisation re-elects Dr. Ezra, as president

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Dr. Ezra Yakusak - MD/CEO NEPC
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Dr. Ezra Yakusak, the Executive Director/CEO of Nigerian Export Promotion Council (NEPC), has been reelected as the President of ECOWAS Trade Promotion Organisations (TPOs) Network in Accra Ghana.

Dr. Yakusat, will serve another One-year tenure and will lead 15 other member ECOWAS countries in driving trade within the sub-region.

His re-election is also in line with Article 11 of the ECOWAS TPO Network. The ECOWAS Trade Promotion Organization is a network of all Trade Promotion Organizations in West Africa established by the decisions of Council of Ministers at the Ordinary Session.

Nigeria became the pioneer president in April 2021. Dr. Yakusat, became the president following the expiration of the tenure of Mr. Awolowo as ED/ CEO of NEPC.

A statement by the council said the re-election of Dr. Ezra was at the end of 2nd Annual General Meeting of the Network held at Alisa hotel, Accra, Ghana from 19th – 20th May, 2022.

He was re-elected along with the vice president, Mr. Ben Guy Mbangue from Cote’ D’ivoire.

The duo constitute the Executive Bureau of the Network and the tenure expires after one year. All members present unanimously re-elected the President and Vice President respectively.

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Business & Economy

World Bank projects Nigeria’s Diaspora remittances to increase in 2022

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World Bank has projected Nigeria’s Diaspora remittance inflow to increase to $29bn in 2022 because of higher food prices and the continued adoption of official bank channels.

The bank said, migrants from the country are likely to send more money home to help with the hike in the prices of staples.

A report titled, ‘Migration and Development Brief (May 2022): A War in a Pandemic: Implications of the Ukraine crisis and COVID-19 on the global governance of migration and remittance flows,’ the bank stated that remittance flows to low and middle-income countries are expected to increase by 4.2 per cent to $630bn in 2022.

It said: “With risks weighted to the downside, there are several factors that support a view for continued—though more moderate—7.1 per cent gain inflows to Sub-Saharan Africa in 2022.

“Momentum for the use of official channels in Nigeria should sustain an uptrend in the year, within flows reaching $21bn.

“Though economic activity is likely to ease in the United States and Europe, fundamentals remain positive for continued gains in remittance flows to the remainder of Africa, as the influence of ‘altruistic’ motivations that were demonstrated in Africa and South Asia during the peak pandemic years will likely carry over to the period of sharp increases in staple food prices.”

The global bank further said remittance inflow to Sub-Saharan Africa was $49bn in 2021, with Nigerian contributing $19.2bn to the total inflow, adding that the use of informal channels to transfer money to the region caused a 28 per cent reduction in inflows in 2020.

“In 2022, remittance inflows are projected to grow by 7.1 per cent driven by continued shift to the use of official channels in Nigeria and higher food prices – migrants will likely send more money to home countries that are now suffering extraordinary increases in prices of staples,” the bank said.

The World Bank stated that the Naira-4-Dollar policy, which was an attempt to return remittance to formal channels, of the Central Bank of Nigeria helped boost inflows by 11.2 per cent in 2021, adding that the stabilisation of the naira against the dollar within a range of 410-415 per dollar over the last year also contributed to the pickup in recorded inflows.

It noted that the increased stability of the Naira and increased use of the e-Naira would help boost the nation’s chances of achieving $21bn in remittance for 2022.

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Double trouble for Ahmed Idris: arrested by EFCC, suspended by Minister

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Ahmed Idris - Account General of the Federation
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The Accountant General of the Federation, Ahmed Idris has been directed to proceed on indefinite suspension over alleged laundering of N80 billion.

Idris, was suspended on Wednesday by Zainab Ahmed, the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning.

In a letter dated May 18, 2022, the minister said the suspension “without pay” was to allow for “proper and unhindered investigation” in line with public service rules.

Ahmed Idris, was on Monday arrested by the Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC). over alleged diversion and laundering of N80 billion.

Wilson Uwajaren, Head of Media and Public Information of the EFCC, stated that verified intelligence reports showed that Idris raked off the funds through bogus consultancies and other illegal activities using proxies, family members and close associates.

Uwujaren added that the funds were laundered through real estate investments in Kano and in Abuja.

According to EFCC, Idris was arrested after he failed to honour invitations by the Commission to respond to issues connected to the fraudulent acts.

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