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AfDB Develops Mechanism for Revenue Generation in Extractive Industry

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Extractive Industry

By Adedapo Adesanya

The African Development Bank (AfDB) has developed a three-year project in response to demands by member countries for technical assistance to monitor revenues generated from their extractive industries.

The AfDB made this known during a virtual inception workshop for the Financial Modelling Project in the Extractive Sector (FIMES) organised by the African Natural Resources Centre (ENRC) of the bank in Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire.

According to the project report, FIMES will be implemented in eight transitional countries – Guinea, Liberia, Mali, Madagascar, Niger, Sierra Leone, South Sudan and Zimbabwe from 2020 to 2022.

The project, which is the first of its kind for the bank, is aimed at enhancing the abilities of the focal countries to improve domestic resource mobilisation from the extractive sectors.

Presenting the background information on the FIMES project, Mrs Vanessa Ushie, Division Manager, Policy Analysis, (ENRC, AfDB) said the project was aimed at the overall economic resilience of the continent.

Mrs Ushie also said that the scheme would build the capacity of government institutions to elaborate and use financial modelling of extractive projects to inform strategy setting and negotiate contracts and concessions.

She said: “20 government officials in each beneficiary member country will participate in the training, learning and knowledge activities as national beneficiaries, that is, 180 officials in the eight countries.

“Set criteria for selection of beneficiaries in the national cohort to include relevance to primary job function on extractive revenue management, knowledge of extractive sector fiscal issues’ potential multiplier effects (trainer-of-trainers approach) and IT proficiency.

“The project commits to at least 40 per cent of beneficiaries in the eight countries to be women.

“National Focal Point (NFP) main coordinating actor in each beneficiary country must be nominated by the national government to play this role.’’

She said the NFPs coordinate the national government’s engagement on the project, interface with the AfDB and other stakeholders and manage the selection of project beneficiaries.

Mrs Ushie added that the project components would focus on capacity building, peer learning and knowledge exchange, and FIMES’ Virtual Knowledge Hub.

In his contribution, Mr Yero Baldeh, Director, Transitional States Coordination Office, AfDB said the project was “competitively selected from the 2019 proposals’’.

He said the selection was done with a view to building capacity for the financing model and in turn, strengthen domestic resource mobilisation, institutional capacity and resilience in the selected transition member countries.

“The goal is to improve efficiency, sustainability and employer management practices in the artisanal and small scale mining sector in the selected transition countries.

“Through this project, the bank is strengthening the human capacity of government regulatory agencies among others to facilitate the formalisation of artisanal and small scale mining to generate employment and improve economic scales of several stakeholders, especially those along the artisanal and small scale mining value chain.’’ He added.

He reaffirmed the bank’s commitment to collaborate with member countries and its centre to proactively set up joint efforts to increase inclusiveness and accelerate development and support for policy reforms in the extractive sector.

In another contribution, Mrs Marie-Laure Akin-Olugbade, Director-General, West Africa Region, AfDB said the project would help the capacity of member governments to use financial modelling for optimising revenues from the extractives sector.

“This is a priority of the bank and is part of the strategy of the bank in putting together policies to strengthen resource mobilisation, industrialisation and the development of infrastructure,’’ she said.

Mr Akin-Olugbade noted that the Covid-19 pandemic had affected economies of member countries severely, and added that governments needed to strengthen economic resilience in order to recover.

Also, Mrs Josephine Ngure, Acting Director-General, Southern Africa Region, AfDB, said it was important for countries to have a robust and evidence-based framework to process the impact of policy decisions on extractives projects.

Mrs Ngure, who was represented by Mr Pietro Toigo, Country Manager, AfDB Office in Mozambique, added that countries should estimate the amount to which they secure fair shares of resources over the course of the project.

“This is particularly important because robust modelling gives you a sense of the impact over the whole lifespan of a project and helps policymakers not to concentrate on short term gains that may impair the ability of the state to generate revenue in the future,’’ he said.

She called for coordination and leadership across the departments in ministries that were charged with the various aspects of extractive projects.

However, Mrs Nnenna Nwabufo, Acting Director-General, East Africa Region, AfDB, lamented that most African countries exported extractive resources as raw materials with little value-added.

She noted that exportation of raw mineral resources was not beneficial to the sustainable economic development of the continent.

“We look forward to FIMES leading to increased transparency and accountability in the management of financial gains for the benefits of the countries rather than personal agenda of individuals or political interest groups,’’ she said.

She added that there was also the need to create an enabling environment that fostered linkages between projects in the extractives industry and the broader economy thereby contributing to inclusive and sustainable development.

The Director then called on the bank and it’s development partners to support member countries to build strong democratic institutions.

Adedapo Adesanya is a journalist, polymath, and connoisseur of everything art. When he is not writing, he has his nose buried in one of the many books or articles he has bookmarked or simply listening to good music with a bottle of beer or wine. He supports the greatest club in the world, Manchester United F.C.

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Heifer Gathers Stakeholders to Discuss Youth Empowerment

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Youth Empowerment Agric

By Ashemiriogwa Emmanuel

Agribusiness firm, Heifer Nigeria, in partnership with the Nigerian Economic Summit Group (NESG), will hold a youth empowerment programme on Tuesday, October 26, 2021.

The event is mainly to gather stakeholders in the agriculture sector to discuss how youth could be given the necessary support to succeed in the industry.

The program, which is themed Youth and Technology: The Future of Africa’s Agriculture, will also serve as an avenue for key players to examine the various roles of youth and technology in the transformation and future of Nigeria’s agriculture.

It will be held for two days at Transcorp Hilton, Abuja, and is in line with the 27th edition of the Nigerian Economic Summit (NES#27) tagged Securing Our Future: The Fierce Urgency of Now.

Speaking on the scheduled event, the Country Director, Heifer Nigeria, Mr Rufus Idris, noted that agriculture in Africa greatly relies on the shoulder of the youths which is in need of enhanced innovation to allow for a sustainable farming system among Africans.

“Heifer International is committed to supporting a business ecosystem that enables youths to drive innovation in the sector, growing their incomes through sustainable and scalable food, and farming practices.

“Leveraging technology and modern practices will create a pathway for Nigeria to increase productivity and competitiveness of the agricultural sector to curb food insecurity and poverty,” he averred.

According to the company, agriculture already accounts for about 35 per cent of employment in Nigeria, making the sector mature enough for innovation to become a major domestic employer.

Hence, the program will be an interactive session where youth innovators, incubators, farmers and agribusinesses, government agencies, and investors will converge to come up with innovative solutions with the potential of scaling Nigeria’s agricultural sector and strengthening food security across the nation.

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Fashola Tasks States to Prioritize Housing Challenges

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housing challenges

By Adedapo Adesanya

The Minister of Works and Housing, Mr Babatunde Fashola, has called on state governments to renew their commitment to housing development in order to increase access to affordable housing to the citizenry.

Mr Fashola made the call in his keynote address at the meeting of the States’ Commissioners responsible for housing matters during the 10th Meeting of the National Council on Lands, Housing and Urban Development held in Lagos State.

Speaking at the event themed Housing Development as a Catalyst for Job Creation, Social Inclusion and Economic Development, he explained that the inequality among the nations and people can be reduced drastically if the housing need of the poor is considerably addressed in the states.

“These are some of the reasons why I seek to persuade all of you to go back to your states to persuade your Governors to re-commit to housing development.

“I said re-commit because I am aware that many states are doing something, but you will agree that there is a scope to improve and scale-up.

“One reason why this will require an All of Government Action is the fact that land is a critical component of capital formation and it is controlled by the states.

“I am persuaded that appropriate, targeted and purposeful use of lands, such as for the development of housing by the states and private sector, will unleash prosperity in all states that aggregate to national prosperity,” Mr Fashola explained.

The Minister gave an example of Lagos State days of Lateef Jakande and added that the present Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu remained an example of what state governments could do to deepen housing supply and reap the benefits that come with it.

Mr Fashola stated that land and housing was a sub-national matter of jurisdictions, pointing out that what the states do to facilitate the processing of land titles, documentation, Certificate of Occupancy and other Geographic Information Services (GIS) details would go a long way in facilitating easy housing delivery.

He informed the meeting that the federal government was undertaking a National Housing Programme in 34 states aggregating to about 5,000 housing units, and trying to complete an inherited ministerial pilot housing scheme across the states which had a little over 6,000 units.

Mr Fashola said the decisions to recommit to housing development by state governments would facilitate the creation of a variety of jobs because the services of various professionals in the built industry such as town planners, architects would be required.

”Artisans like masons, plumbers, carpenters and food vendors will not be left out of the value chain of prosperity resulting from economic development.

“When construction actively starts, the economic explosion happens, supplies of sand, cement, reinforcements, roofing, plumbing, painting, and other components get to work.

“This drives a critical business in all our states, the micro small and medium enterprises who make or supply these building components,“ he said.

In the same vein, he explained that the Federal Housing Authority and Federal Mortgage Bank are also intervening as federal agencies in respective housing development directly through cooperative societies and the provision of development loans and mortgage loans.

In his remarks, Governor Sanwo-Olu, while assuring participants at the council of implementing the recommendations of the meeting, disclosed that the state had begun to implement the commendations agreed on at the 9th National Council on Lands, Housing and Urban Development.

On making land available for building by providing lands to build a mini-city at Imota in Ikorodu Division of Lagos State.

He said the state would develop about 3,500 housing units of 2 and 3 bedrooms in phases for civil servants and those in the informal sector, who fall within the category of low-income earners and to be acquired at a single-digit interest rate mortgage plan that could span a period of 15 years.

He added that his administration was determined to develop decent homes within the states as well as meet the housing needs of the citizens irrespective of their location.

Mr Sanwo-Olu, who said that homeownership was a vital tool for taking people out of poverty, assured the council that Lagos State would collaborate with the private sector to adopt the monthly rent payment as proposed by the Minister of Works and Housing.

In his vote of thanks, the Permanent Secretary, FMWH, Mr Babangida Hussaini, commended the excellent leadership of the works and housing sectors.

He also noted the commitment of council members to the 10th Meeting of the National Council on Lands, Housing and Urban Development and urged them to go back and implement the council resolutions.

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Group Reports Lagos Government to Buhari

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Shangisha Magodo group

By Mohammed Kerimu

The Shangisha/Magodo Landlords Association of Nigeria has petitioned President Muhammadu Buhari over the refusal of the Lagos State Government to execute the ruling of the Supreme Court on the return of 549 plots of land to its original owners by the state.

In a document submitted to the Presidency and sighted by this reporter, the association expressed optimism that Mr Buhari would do justice to the matter he has demonstrated that a strong judiciary is a sine qua non for the operation and sustenance of democracy which he had vowed to defend.

The group further noted that since their story is similar to that of Mr President, who faced several denials in his electoral victories before God intervened in his fourth outing, he will finally lay their matter to rest since he was the Head of States about 37 years ago when they were forcefully evicted from their land.

It will be recalled that after its first judgement, the Supreme Court on March 1, 2016, again voiced out its displeasure with Lagos State Government and the state Chief Judge over their refusal to execute its earlier judgement; warning of the dangers it portends for the state to deliberately refuse to carry out its order concerning the Shangisha/Magodo land.

However, analysts are of the view that the refusal by the Lagos State Government to execute the judgement of the Supreme Court, which is the highest court in the land, is sending wrong signals to foreign investors who needed assurance of a strong judicial system before committing their resources for investment in the country.

They warned that if nothing was done to compel the state to toe the line of law and order, the country may be up for doom as no serious investor will consider a country with a weak legal system in their investment decisions.

Following the refusal of Lagos State to execute the ruling of the Supreme Court on the return of Shangisha/Magodo land which it forcefully acquired from its owners without building any public interest institution on it, the question many are asking is when did Lagos State secede from Nigeria that the ruling of the country’s apex court could no longer be binding on it?

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