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US Assures Edo Of Benefiting From Trade With Nigeria

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Miami Trade Missionaries from District 2, Miami Florida, at the weekend, said Edo State would benefit from the $3.2bn worth of investment annually from the United States of America and Nigeria’s bilateral trade relations.

The Miami Commissioner, Jean Monestime, led a 40-man delegation to Edo State on bilateral trade relations.

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He said the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, as well as Lagos and Edo states would benefit from aviation, tourism, and cultural investments to build on the US and Nigeria’s existing trade relationships.

He said, “The United States and Nigeria currently trade more than $3.2 billion. I do not think that this pie is big enough for Edo State to receive its fair share of trade and Commerce with Miami Dade County.

“I have learnt a little about the rich culture that you have here. So, we look forward to you bringing your delegation to Miami.

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“So, you can basically share with us your thoughts about how you desire to promote this great state – Edo, and how the exchanges may continue between Miami Dade and Edo State.

“We have amongst us, different business owners. We are not here to transact ourselves, but to transact business and tell you about the values that we have that you can take advantage of which will be beneficial to your state, Nigeria, and the United States.”

Continuing, the commissioner said, “Honourable guests, we are here (Edo) on a business development mission. We have a diverse workforce and more than 52 per cent of our workforce residents are foreign.

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Responding, the Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, expressed gratitude to the delegation for the trade mission and gave a brief history of how the talk between the state and Miami Dade County began towards diversifying the economy of the state.

READ ALSO: Gender-based Violence: Edo First Lady Talks Tough, Warns Perpetrators

He highlighted the huge potential of the state and the steps that the government had taken toward the reduction of unemployment.

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The governor noted that his administration had built infrastructure and raised youths in line with his campaign promises to the electorate.

“We are looking inward to galvanise opportunities, exchange, and look out to our brothers in America. For us, culture is powerful. Our dream is to make Edo State the Culture Capital of Africa. Rabat in Morocco is the beginning of the journey, Ghana is the gateway and Nigeria is the destination.”

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Why We Introduced Digitalized Cash Transfer Payments – FG

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The Federal Government said the introduction of digitalized cash transfer payment will help in addressing some lapses while operating the analog payment system.

Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management, and Social Development, Sadiya Umar Farouq, disclosed this at the official flag-off of the grant for vulnerable groups as well as the digitized payment for conditional cash transfer held in Dutse, Jigawa State.

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She explained that part of the program lapses is the use of an analog system of the payment which caused delays in the payment process.

The Minister said the exercise is to create room for a reliable, transparent, and accessible database for seamless disbursement to beneficiaries of the Conditional Cash Transfer.

“It is a POS process of transferring cash grants to beneficiaries to ensure accountability and transparency in the process,” the minister said.

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The minister, however, explained that the Federal Government had also introduced the Grant for Vulnerable Groups program (GVG) to sustain the social inclusion agenda of President Buhari’s Administration.

“It is designed to provide a one-off N20,000 grant to some of the poorest and most vulnerable Nigerians in rural and peri-urban areas in all the 36 States of the Federation to improve their productivity and their commercial activity, all of which will help in easing them out of poverty.

READ ALSO: Nigeria Loses N101bn Worth Of Oil, OPEC Says

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“In Jigawa State is to disburse the grant to 4,537 beneficiaries across the 27 Local Government Areas out of which 70% of the total number of beneficiaries is for women while the remaining 30% is for the youths”

“It is consistent with the national target of lifting 100 million Nigerians out of poverty in 10 years.”

The minister also urged all the beneficiaries to utilize the grant judiciously to address poverty which today is the core developmental challenge.

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Controversy As Seplat Denies ExxonMobil Deal Cancellation

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Seplat Energy, on Thursday, said it had not received any official notification from the Federal Government reversing its proposed acquisition of the entire share capital of Mobil Producing Nigeria Unlimited.

The company also said it was seeking clarification from relevant authorities regarding the claims that the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), who doubles as Minister of Petroleum Resources, had withdrawn his ministerial approval for the deal.

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READ ALSO: Why We Adopted Global MOU Model – NLNG

Seplat Energy has become aware of a news report claiming that ministerial approval of the company’s proposed acquisition of the entire share capital of Mobil Producing Nigeria Unlimited has been withdrawn,” the oil firm stated in a statement issued by its Chief Financial Officer, Emeka Onwuka.

It added, “Seplat Energy has received no official notification of such a decision and is seeking clarification from the relevant authorities.”

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On Thursday, it was reported that Buhari had, on Wednesday, reversed his authorisation of the acquisition of the entire share capital of MPNU by Seplat Energy Offshore Limited.

The move puts the Presidency on the side of the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited which had earlier declined the $1.3bn transaction.

A statement by the Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, had announced on Monday that Buhari consented to the acquisition of Exxon Mobil shares by Seplat Energy.

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Why We Adopted Global MOU Model – NLNG

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The Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas has explained that it adopted the Global Memorandum of Understanding model for easy empowerment of its host communities.

The company said the model was also adopted to allow host communities to take ownership of and drive their own development.

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The General Manager, External Relations and Sustainable Development, Andy Odeh disclosed this during the NLNG launch of G-MoU phase two, involving six new clusters (Abua, Egi, Ekpeye, Kalabari, Ogba and Okrika communities).

Odeh said the G-MoU was a model for sustainable community development in which communities were grouped into clusters.

READ ALSO: Nigeria Loses N101bn Worth Of Oil, OPEC Says

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He said the company’s previous G-MOU with three communities, (Ubeta, Rumuji and Ogbumnuabali), who were hosts to the company’s Gas Transmission System (GTS) facilities and the Corporate Head Office respectively, had been yielding excellent results in those communities.

He said, “The decision to take up this model of relationship is based on the yearnings and observed developmental deficits in our GTS communities.

“The need to bridge the infrastructural gaps, to alleviate poverty and unemployment whilst building community capacity to drive their affairs necessitated this novel approach for CSR activities.

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“The G-MOU framework has already been adopted by IOCs such as SPDC, Chevron and Total E&P, for managing relations with their respective host communities and it has proven fruitful over the years.

“While it may seem NLNG is late to the game, we believe our G-MOU model will benefit from learning from the experiences of these IOCs, and therefore, it is assured of successful outcomes.

“This GMOU will enable us to achieve the twin objectives of human and infrastructural capacity development in our host communities.

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“This is because each community cluster will take a leadership role to drive its own development, by selecting, reviewing and executing its projects based on its identified needs.

READ ALSO: Nigeria’s Crude Oil Production Drops To 1.417mbpd In February – OPEC

“Of course, this will be in line with identified CSR pillars of NLNG which are Education, Health, Empowerment and Infrastructures.

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“Communities will not be left to navigate this new terrain alone. Support will be provided by NLNG and other key stakeholders, including the Government and technical partners like our mentoring NGOs and the GMOU’s Technical Adviser who are all present with us today.”

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