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Oyo targets solid minerals for IGR boost, says Makinde’s adviser Seyi Makinde 6 e1560636284963 300x200

The Government of Oyo State is setting its eyes on the solid mineral sector as a major boost for its Internally Generated Revenue, the Special Adviser on Solid Minerals Development, Abiodun Ini, has said.
Oni, in a presentatiion at the just concluded Fourth Edition of the Nigeria Mining Week, said the State Government would heavily rely of solid minerals to finance the social interventions and welfare programmes of Governor Seyi Makinde.
Oni, in his presentation, themed: “Oyo State to the World: Bridging the gap between potentials and investments,” held at the NAF Conference Centre, Abuja, stated that Oyo State had billions in its grounds which were yet to be explored and exploited.
He maintained that the Governor Makinde administration was striving hard to put solid mineral development on the map because the government needed funds to drive the many social intervention projects being embarked upon by the state governor.
According to Oni, the Oyo State Government was targeting solid mineral development because it remained one of the quick wins for it to boost its internal revenue, adding that Governor Makinde was set to put money into the sector towards data gathering, digitization, availability and accessibility, which he said would make it easy to attract investors to the state.
He said: “We are striving a whole lot to make sure that mineral development is put on the map and where we can generate revenues. You would have noticed that the governor of Oyo State is into lots of social intervention projects and programmes, so we need money. So, we are thinking IGR, IGR, IGR. There is nowhere else to go to.
“One of the quick wins for us is mineral development and what I will like to focus on, which I have been advising our government on is to focus on the ASMs. It is a quick win and a low-hanging fruit if we are able to develop and partner with this arm of the sector. In Oyo State, the ASMs actually have actually about 80 per cent of the mining community.
“A major part of our budget is all about data, we all know and we have all spoken about data. We are committed to that in Oyo State. I told my governor that first things first, we can’t move forward if we don’t have data. We cannot brag about anything; we can’t tell anybody what we have in the ground is bankable. So, the first thing is that we are targeting in this administration is to gather the appropriate data.”
Speaking with journalists after the presentation, Oni added that the sooner Oyo State began to explore the resources in its grounds the better for the state, saying: “I think it is essential for people to know that, like I said, Oyo State has billions in the grounds that are not explored and exploited. So, the sooner the better for us. I met quite a number of guys who are from Oyo State but they are mining in Jos, Zamfara and other places and they are excited.
“So, we will see what we can get back home in a short while. I think it brings value to what we have in Oyo State and it will bring people to come and invest and that is ultimately what we are looking for. We have the drive and we have motivation and I know that the governor we have is going to put money where his mouth is. Like you have heard from the discussions, if you don’t put money in data gathering, it is a non-starter but that, first, is what I know we are going to do and the moment we start putting money in data gathering, data digitization, data availability and accessibility, it makes it easier to sell what we have in the grounds to investors.”
At the event, the Oyo State had an exhibition stand to showcase some of the mineral resources scattered across the state, including tin and tantalite, gemstones.
Earlier, while declaring the event open, the Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Olamilekan Adegbite, said: “The documented stock of minerals that could be found in Nigeria is sufficient to kick-start a boom in the mining industry in Nigeria, with the right investments and the right atmosphere.
“To address this, we intend to partner with a broad spectrum of stakeholders in the industry to deepen the reforms to foster a conducive ecosystem for private sector investment.”
The event brought together key players, policy makers and investors in the mining industry as well as finance experts from about 20 countries and the governors of Kebbi and Nasarawa States.

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War: US, China sign first deal

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War: US, China sign first deal 20200117 020314

The U.S. and China signed a so-called ‘Phase One’ deal on Wednesday, thus putting on hold a trade war between the two economic giants but leaves in place massive tariffs on Beijing’s goods, while also sidestepping some of the thorniest issues.

The trade war has roiled world markets and slowed global growth over the past two years.

The approximately 90-page deal includes Chinese promises to buy some 200 billion dollars’ worth of U.S. products over two years and implement stronger rules on intellectual property, NAN reports

It also established a dispute resolution mechanism, which is meant to ensure the deal is enforceable, and provides further access to the Chinese market for U.S. financial service providers.

The U.S. said that if the sides could reach a more expansive Phase Two deal, Washington would roll back tariffs on hundreds of billions of dollars of Chinese imports.

The first phase leaves in place Washington’s tariffs on 370 billion dollars’ worth of Chinese imports, while reducing the tariff rate on some of those goods from 15 to 7.5 per cent.

Still, President Donald Trump hailed the “historic” agreement at a lengthy White House signing ceremony.

“Keeping these two giant and powerful nations together in harmony is so important for the world.

“The world is watching today.

“Together, we are righting the wrongs of the past,” Trump said, while stressing that he viewed the remaining tariffs as a negotiating tool.

China will buy 40 billion dollars in U.S. agriculture products “in line with market terms,” Chinese Vice Premier Liu He said at the ceremony, while noting that demand would also be a factor.

Trump has made closing the large trade deficit between the U.S. and China one of the goals of his administration.

He also has sought an end to abuses of U.S. intellectual property rights by Chinese companies along with forced technology transfers.

“We are not likely to see in this agreement any provisions addressing the key structural problems with China,” Jennifer Hillman, a trade expert at the New York-based Council on Foreign Relations, warned ahead of the ceremony.

Hillman cited Beijing’s use of subsidies to “prop up” companies that flood markets with goods and drive down prices among the practices.

Chinese President Xi Jinping, who did not attend the event in Washington, praised the deal, in a letter read out by Liu.

“In the next step the two sides need to implement the agreement in real earnest and optimize its positive impact,” Xi said.

“In that spirit, I hope the U.S. side will treat fairly Chinese companies and their regular trade and investment activities,” the letter added.

Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer said on Wednesday, “(The deal) is an extreme disappointment to me and to millions and millions of Americans who want to see us make China play fair.”

Chinese observers also feel like the deal, while halting a trade conflict that was spiralling out of control, may fail to serve China’s national interests.

Beijing might also find it hard to purchase the set amounts of U.S. agricultural, energy, and manufactured goods outlined in the agreement without alienating other countries, said Shi Yinhong, a professor of international relations at Renmin University.

“I think China has made a lot of concessions, and the implementation of the first phase of the agreement poses a considerable challenge,” he said.

Other countries have raised objections to the deal, saying it would force China to adopt a system of “managed trade” to the detriment of other nations, according to Joerg Wuttke, president of the European Chamber of Commerce in China.

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What Nigeria must do to stop extreme poverty – World Bank

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What Nigeria must do to stop extreme poverty – World Bank worldbank

The World Bank latest economic analysis for Nigeria says increasing productivity will be vital to support robust growth and job creation and to keep millions from falling into extreme poverty.

In its latest publication on Africa’s largest nation titled “The Nigeria Economic Update, Jumpstarting Inclusive Growth: Unlocking the Productive Potential of Nigeria’s People and Resource Endowments”, the institution listed priority to include increased policy transparency and improved access to finance.

The report recommended areas where reforms can contribute to economic growth and expand the job market, such as in trade, education and the digital economy.

“Without robust productivity growth, the report warns that living standards will continue to deteriorate, and the number of people living in poverty will continue to rise, increasing by more than 30 million by 2030”, it said.

Marco Hernandez, World Bank Lead Economist for Nigeria, and co-author of the report said: “Nigeria’s population is expected to grow by as much as 35 million in the next decade.

“Unless the pace of growth and job creation accelerates, the country will account for a quarter of all people living in extreme poverty worldwide.

“Creating new opportunities for this rapidly increasing labor force will require a new economic model based on productivity growth.”

The update analyzes the evolution of productivity in Nigeria and identifies the policies and institutions which can help accelerate Nigeria’s economic expansion and create new job opportunities.

It further outlined four priority areas that would lay the foundation for Nigeria’s transition to a new economic model.

World Bank urged the Nigerian government to: “Ensure policy transparency and predictability, which will be critical to reduce investment risk and promote growth outside the extractive industry;

“Enhance factor quality by investing in infrastructure, strengthening land tenure security, improving educational outcomes, liberalizing the trade regime and enhancing trade and transport facilitation to help develop value chains and facilitate the efficient reallocation of factors of production, making Nigeria more cost-competitive;

“Reduce regulatory discretion to help attract foreign and domestic investment to the non-oil sector, encourage competition, and promote formalization;

“Improve access to finance, which could enable new firms to compete with incumbents and allow more productive firms to scale up their operations.

Additionally, the report recommends building momentum for reforms, which are essential to mitigate risks and promote faster, more inclusive and sustainable growth that improves living standards and reduces poverty.

Select reform areas include: “Leverage trade integration to harness the benefits of the Africa Continental Free Trade Area;

“Improve basic education financing to improve human capital outcomes;

“Monitor the impact of conflict on the welfare of households to protect poor and vulnerable people;

“Leverage digital technologies to diversify the economy and create jobs for young workers.”

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