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FG Spends N700m On ‘Ease of Doing Business’ Portal



The Ministry of Mines and Steel Development (MMSD) has spent N700 million to develop an Integrated Automation and Interactive GIS Web Portal to improve `Ease-of-Doing-Business in the mining sector.

Dr Kayode Fayemi, the Minister, disclosed this at the launching of the portal on Thursday in Abuja.

Fayemi said the portal was a cutting edge initiative that leveraged technology for the innovation, efficiency and effectiveness in the mineral sector governance.

He said the overall objective of the project was to increase provision of reliable information and knowledge, to enhance promotion of investments in the sector, using the technology-driven innovation and to increase the sector’s GDP.

The portal was designed for mining investors to perform business processes such as online mining licences and mineral titles applications, online payment of royalties and fees, database for revenue drive and to block revenue leakages.

The portal is credible and timely information about the mining sector, performs and responds to online queries, business intelligence/analytics, reports and statistical data generation.

Mining investors could view all existing mining titles and track them anywhere in the world through the portal, access all agencies information, global mining news, live chat and document library, among others.

Lists of mining operators with valid licences and related minerals trade on private mineral buying centre and renewal of private mineral buying centres could also be accessed through the portal.

According to the minister, the portal is designed to serve as an input and decision support system to other entities of government (MDAs).

“This event is coming at a very auspicious time, on a broad scale; dividends of this administration’s commitment to turning around our economic fortunes,’’ he said.

He said Nigeria had moved up in the global market by 24 points in the ease of doing business index for 2018 in a recent report released by World Bank.

He said Nigeria was also ranked as one of the 10 most improved economies in the world.

Fayemi said 75 staff had been trained on GIS across the mining sector.

He said that operation of online application of mining title and licences issued by Nigerian Mining Centre Office, online application of licences and permit issued by Mines Inspectorate Department and GIS laboratory, among others, would commence in the first quarter of 2018.

Alhaji Abubakar Bwari, Minister for State, Mines and Steel Development, said the integrated web portal was conceived as a means of making information more accessible to players and the public alike.

Bwari said the initiative was to revamp the sector, as the ministry was moribund before himself and the senior minister assumed the sector.

According to him, government is a continuum and as long as subsequent administrations keep to track, mining will become the crown jewel of Nigeria’s economy.

Alhaji Mohammed Abbas, Permanent Secretary of the ministry, sought the support of the Ministry of Communication to assist with experts that would manage the portal effectively.

The ministers of communication, science and technology were represented at the event The Women in Mining and Miners Association of Nigeria also witnessed the event .

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Rights Group to Picket Telcos, Pay TV Operators over Poor Services



Centre for Human Rights and Social Justice (CHRSJ), a civil rights organisation, has expressed its readiness to picket and disrupt business activities in telecoms and pay television service providing companies in the country.


The group has already sent a petition to the National Assembly in this regard, asking it to act in the interest of the Nigerian masses.


The petition dated Monday 18th of December, 2017 was addressed to Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki, Senate President, and Yakubu Dogara, speaker of the House of Representatives.


It was copied to President Muhammadu Buhari and Mr. Adebayo Shittu, minister of Communications.


Also copied include the Chairmen of both the Senate and House Committees on Ethics, Privileges and Public Petition, the Minister for Justice and Attorney-General of the Federation, the Inspector-General of Police, the Director-General of the Department of State Security (DSS).


CHRSJ specifically listed companies to be affected to include MTN, Airtel, 9Mobile and Glo while the affected pay television to include Strong TV, DSTv, Startimes and GOTV.

It accused the companies of extorting Nigerians via provision of poor services and high fees, saying the trend would come to an end after the expiration of an ultimatum it gave for the companies to change their operational mode.

Comrade Adeniyi A. Sulaiman, executive chairman of CHRSJ, said that the organisation had in December 2017 written the affected companies, telling them that they risk having their operations disrupted should they continue to milk the Nigerian people via poor and exorbitant fees.


CHRSJ also flayed telecoms operators for habitually failing to redeem promo offers to their customers who are usually ripped off as some of the claims are bogus and never enjoyed by the people.


In the statement, the group stated that apart from the petition, its members are expected to stage series of rallies and protest marches across the country with a view to sensitizing the public on the need to preserve and secure their rights for quality service.


Sulaiman added: “We have written and fine tuned our petitions to the National Assembly, the Presidency the ministers responsible for supervising the activities of these companies and organisations.


“After that, we have mobilised our members to be on standby as we will also stage peaceful rallies in the premises of the affected ministries, which would last for a year terminating on October 1st, 2019 based on our engagement diary and timetable.


“We are also engaging the National Assembly with a view to ensure that they do the needful by siding with the masses of Nigeria in this struggle and that they must respect and act on the petitions that we have written to them.”


Sulaiman listed some of the grouse of his group to include unsolicited messaging, over billing for terminated calls from telecom services as some of the ways they have been fleecing Nigerians, saying the situation would no longer be condoned.


For Ikeja Electric, Sulaiman accused the company of unduly fleecing the people through bogus and phony estimated billing system, which he said has left many people poor, saying the company should commence aggressive metering drive of its customers otherwise it would incur its wrath.


He listed participating group that would participate at the planned protest marches and rallies to include the following; Apata Ayeraye Socio-political Volunteer Group, De Mainstream Independent Campaign Group and we, the facilitator, the Centre for Human Rights and Social Justice.


Others include Centre for Constitutional Rights and Counter-Corruption Crusade, the Conscience Mainstream, African Masses Voices for Survival, The Christian Youth for the Peoples Rights and Development.


Sulaiman also listed the Coalition Against Illegal Arrest and Unlawful Detention, Islamic Movement for Muslim Rights, Veteran Group for Operation Clean Crusade, Divine Nigerians Liberators for Peoples Fundamental Rights.


Others are Passengers Fundamental Rights Group in Africa, The Christian Volunteer Group for Good Governance in Nigeria, The Islamic Political Awareness Group, the Christian Awareness Mission Group and Centre for Socio Justice and Equity.


“We are urging these companies to desist from their illegal and unlawful activities of milking the people of this country. We will not relent in our efforts at ensuring that we make them do the right thing by utilising all legal and lawful means to send them out of the country should they continue in their evil ways of subjecting the people to poverty and misery.” Sulaiman concluded in the statement.





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Law Firm Asks NiRA to Shut Down Daily Times Website



Ikechukwu Obiorah Chambers, a law firm, has accused Folio Communications Limited of illegally publishing the Daily Times newspaper (DTN).


Cable reported that, the firm has asked The Nigeria Internet Registration Association (NIRA) and SmartWeb Nigeria Limited – providing and hosting the online domain and platform – to take down the newspaper’s website “immediately”.


In February, a federal high court sitting in the FCT granted an interim injunction stopping the further publication of the newspaper either by Folio Communications or any of its associates.


The law firm said being the managers of the domain and the platform carrying the website ‘’, the court injunction also affects NIRA and SmartWeb Nigeria Limited.


In a letter written to the two bodies and dated March 15, the firm said continuing to manage the newspaper’s online edition will amount to disobedience of the court order.


It alleged that the Anosike brothers have “for a long time seized [sic] being members, officers and/or authorised associates of DTN in any capacity whatsoever and have no consent of the DTN to engage in the publication of DailyTimes.”


The letter, signed on behalf of the law firm by Ifunanya Oranuba, read: “Take notice that unless you take down the website immediately, you would be in contempt of court thereby exposing yourselves to sanctions of court including imprisonment.


“Please be aware that sanctions shall apply to the executive members being the principal officers and NIRA as well as SmartWeb Nigeria Limited jointly and severally.


“Take further notice that your participation in the illegal publications of ‘Daily Times’ by providing the platform and website with which the publication is made and sold to the public through subscriptions and adverts, also exposes you to the criminal charges of cheating by impersonation and of criminal conspiracy as provided by section 321 and 96 of the penal code respectively.


“Note also that civil damages and restitution to DTN will in due course be claimed from you in a separate lawsuit.”


The federal government owned 96.05 percent shares of Daily Times before it was sold to Folio Communications Limited in 2004 during the Olusegun Obasanjo-led administration.


Since the privatisation exercise, however, Folio Communications has been embattled with court cases with Ikechukwu Obiorah, one of the managers of the law firm.


This led to a subsequent take-over of the assets of DTN by the Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON).


When contacted by TheCable for reaction, Bonaventure Melah, spokesman of Folio Communications, accused Obiorah of flouting court orders, and “going through the backdoor” to obtain the said court ruling.




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FIIRO seeks Partnership with Research Institutes, Universities



Federal Institute of Industrial Research, Oshodi (FIIRO) says Nigeria needs a paradigm shift from a consuming nation to a producing nation through collaborative efforts between research institutes and universities.

Prof. Gloria Elemo, the Director-General of FIIRO made the call on Thursday while delivering a lecture titled: “Fostering collaboration between research institutes and universities towards commercialising research products’’.

The event was organised by the Faculty of Science, Adeyinka Adebayo Federal University in Oye-Ekiti, Ekiti State.

“Nigeria is currently an importing nation rather than being an exporting nation; efforts must be geared toward reversing this situation.

“In achieving this, no nation has it all; there must be harmonisation of our diverse cultures, professions and personalities through collaboration to improve our economy.

“A conscious efforts at creating an enabling environment for investing in research at all levels must be encouraged to develop our economy.

“The development of our small, medium and large-scale businesses is achievable through commercialising our research products,’’ the Director-General said.

Earlier, Prof. Kayode Soremekun, Vice-Chancellor of Adeyinka Adebayo University, said for a nation to develop effectively technologically, research would have to play a vital role.

Soremekun said he believed that between now and the future, the two institutions – FIIRO and AAU Oye-Ekiti would have a productive relationship aimed at developing the economy.

The Dean, Faculty of Science of the university, Prof. Olayide Lawal said entrepreneurship was important to transforming the nation from a consumer nation to a producer nation.

He assured that the energy that the institution intended to create with its collaboration with FIIRO would assist in propelling members of staff and students toward realising its  goals.

FIIRO director-general signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Adeyinka Adebayo Federal University on research to foster the nation’s economic development.

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