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CS60: CSOs, Experts’ Authoritative Peep into Nigeria’s Future



Nunc Dimittis: Buhari Advocates Regular Gulf of Guinea Summit To Ensure Peace, Security

Leading Nigerian Civil Societies and some international experts have created ‘Which Way Nigeria- Citizen Scenario to 2060- CS60.

CS60 was unveiled officially to the press via a virtual news conference monitored and attended by newsmen in Lagos.

Speaking at the unveiling of CS60, Prof. Chukwumerije  Okereke, Director,  Center for Climate Change and Development, Alex Ekwueme Federal University, Ndufu-Alike, Ikwo, Ebonyi State, noted that Nigeria was facing a number of existential challenges.

Okereke said that the challenges included unprecedented security threats, declining oil revenue, separatist agitations, large-scale youth unemployment, growing crime rates, a wave of migration and brain drain, and severely underfunded health and education systems.

The don said that at over 200 million people presently,  the country’s population is also expected to reach 400 million by 2050.

The scholar, who is also a co-initiator of CS60, said that to help address these issues, leading Nigerian civil society and international experts have created ‘Which Way Nigeria – Citizen Scenarios to 2060 – CS60.

According to him, these scenarios provide a map of possible future events in Nigeria from now up to 2060 covering key sectors: – security, energy transition, agriculture, industrialization, urban and regional development, education, health, migration, and political participation.

“The initiative Which Way Nigeria – Citizen Scenarios to 2060 (CS60) explored the critical

uncertainties, key drivers and potential outcomes, relating to the country’s future.

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Vice President Yemi Osinbajo

“Through a combination of advanced scenario creation software and the analyses of local and international experts, provided a glimpse into some disturbing but very real probabilities for Nigeria’s future.  

“CS60 created four possible scenarios for Nigeria in 2060:

 Land of Hustle,

 Green Land,

 Land of Lost Hope, and

 Bloodland.

”CS60 is the first citizens’ scenario in Africa and arguably the clearest picture yet of the ways in which our future may unfold when it reaches 100 years of independence in 2060.

“These scenarios serve as a blueprint for concerned Nigerians to join the conversation and work towards a better future,” Okereke said.

The expert in climate change and development said that ‘Which Way Nigeria – Citizen Scenarios to 2060’ provides citizens the very rare opportunity to create the future that they want, not what officials dictate.

He explained that the initiative is also geared to spark the entire country to be the change and live the change to create the Nigeria that is a global player, not the hobbling giant of Africa.

Okereke said that the scenarios were the first chapter in this initiative, adding that the next task would be loose roadmaps, which CSOs will create, that will serve as the basis for what MUST be done on the way to 2060 to achieve a just, resilient and sustainable Nigeria.

“With every citizen’s engagement, a more accountable government is in place, which makes a better future more achievable.

 “What can citizens very practically do to engage their government?” Okereke asked.

Speaking at the conference, Victoria Ibezim-Ohaeri, Executive Director, Spaces for Change, presented a summary of the characteristics of the Land of Hustle.

Ibezim-Ohaeri said that Nigeria under the Land of Hustle is characterized by a Knowledge economy, gradually less dependent on fossil fuels, high but unequal growth and free primary and secondary education.

 She said that the country would also witness slow change in the energy sector, good leadership, accountable and transparent governance, equality before the law and a Nigerian identity with strong cohesion.

Richard Dion, Governance, Communications and Regional Development expert said that Nigeria under the Green Land scenario would experience inclusive growth driven by enterprise, community and industrialization.

Dion said there would be a successful transition to green energy, equal access to education,  reliable energy supply and resistance when powerful groups and individuals worry of losing their privileges.

According to him, citizens engagement is strong with rapid urbanization and high stress on services.

Mr Friday Odey, Country Director, Accountability Lab, Nigeria, said that Nigeria would remain democratic but tainted with corrupt governance under the scenario of the Land of lost hope.

Odey said that there would be a fast-growing population with the citizens experiencing great disillusion.

He said that the scenario creates a picture of enormous brain drain, marked by a weak economy and an undermined middle class.

Other characteristics of the scenario include high poverty, dependence on hydrocarbons, and nonfunctional services with high numbers of Out- of- school children.

He added that electrification would cover 60 per cent of the country’s population under this scenario.

In his presentation,  Mr Olusegun Onigbinde, Executive Director, BudgIT Foundation, described the Blood land scenario as one characterized by authoritarian rule, factionalism and separatist agitation. 

Onigbinde explained that under this scenario, the judiciary would be far from being independent and is also characterized by high unequal growth in the economy.

He said that under this scenario, there would be weak action on climate change, continued use of oil and rapid urbanization.


NEPZA Boss Says Nation’s Free Trade Zones Not Really `Free’



The Nigeria Export Processing Zones Authority (NEPZA) says the country’s Free Trade Zones are business anchorages that have for decades been used to generate revenues for the Federal Government.

Dr Olufemi Ogunyemi, the Managing Director of NEPZA, said this in a statement by the authority’s
Head of Corporate Communications, Martins Odeh, on Monday in Abuja, stressing that the the widely held notion that the scheme is a `free meal ticket’ for investors and not a means for the government to generate revenue is incorrect.

Ogunyemi said this public statement was essential to clarify the misunderstanding by various individuals and entities, in and out of government, on the nature of the scheme.

He reiterated the authority’s commitment to enhancing public knowledge of the principal reason for the country’s adoption of the scheme by the NEPZA Act 63 of 1992.

“The Free Trade Zones are not hot spots for revenue generation. Instead, they exist to support socioeconomic development.

“These include but are not limited to industrialisation, infrastructure development, employment generation, skills acquisition, foreign exchange earnings, and Foreign Direct Investments(FDI) inflows,” Ogunyemi said.

The managing director said the NEPZA Act provided exemption from all federal, state, and local government taxes, rates, levies, and charges for FZE, of which duty and VAT were part.

“However, goods and services exported into Nigeria attract duty, which includes VAT and other charges.

“In addition, NEPZA collects over 20 types of revenues, ranging from 500,000 dollars-Declaration fees, 60,000 dollars for Operation License (OPL) Renewal Fees between three and five years.

“There is also the 100-300 dollar Examination and Documentation fees per transaction, which occurs daily.

“There are other periodic revenues derived from vehicle registration and visas, among others.

“The operations within the free trade zones are not free in the context of the word,” he said.

Ogunyemi said the global business space had contracted significantly, adding that to win a sizable space would require the ingenuity of the government to either expand or maintain the promised incentives.

“These incentives will encourage more multinational corporations and local investors to leverage on the scheme, which has a cumulative investment valued at 30 billion dollars.

“The scheme has caused an influx of FDIs; it has also brought advanced technologies, managerial expertise, and access to global markets.

“For instance, the 52 FTZs with 612 enterprises have and will continue to facilitate the creation of numerous direct and indirect jobs, currently estimated to be within the region of 170,000,” he said.

Ogunyemi said an adjustment in title and introduction of current global business practices would significantly advance the scheme, increasing forward and backward linkages.

“This is with a more significant market offered by the Africa Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCTA).

“We have commenced negotiations across the board to ensure that the NEPZA Act is amended to give room for adjusting the scheme’s title from `Free Trade Zones to Special Economic Zones respectively.

“This will open up the system for the benefit of all citizens,” he said.

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2023 CLPA: Policy Cohesion Imperative For Implementation Of AfCFTA Agreements, Others



Some policy experts and stakeholders have called for policy cohesion across Africa for the successful implementation of multilateral policy decisions.

They spoke on Wednesday during one of the plenaries at the 2023 Conference on Land Policy in Africa (CLPA), held in Addis Ababa.

The CLPA, the fifth in the series, is organised by the tripartite consortium consisting of the African Union Commission (AUC), the African Development Bank (AfDB), and the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (ECA).

The 2023 edition has the theme, ‘Year of AfCFTA: Acceleration of the African Continental Free Trade Area Implementation’.

Dr Medhat El-Helepi (ECA), chaired the plenary with the sub-theme: ‘Land Governance, Regional Integration, and Intra-Africa Trade: Opportunities and Challenges’.

Panelists at the plenary included Dr Stephen Karingi, Director, Regional Integration and Trade, ECA; Mr Tsotetsi Makong, Head of Capacity Building and Technical Assistance, AfCFTA Secretariat.

Others were Mr Kebur Ghenna, CEO, of the Pan African Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PACCI) and Ms Eileen Wakesho, Director of Community Land Protection at Namati, Kenya.

The event also attracted various stakeholders, including traditional leaders, Civil Society Organisations, and policy decision-makers.

Makong expressed worries over the reluctance of some participants to openly discuss some matters, pleading ‘no go areas of domestic affairs’.

He, however, noted that the issues of land were within the limit of domestic regulations, adding that tenure land security was the solution that would allow intra-African investment that is still low in Africa.

Makong pointed out that the success of the investment protocol under the AfCFTA would depend on countries’ domestic laws that should be in line with the AfCFTA.

“There are guidelines on land reforms that need to be turned into regulations within the domestic systems.

“Policy coherence has to be at the heart of what we do. This can be achieved by engaging everyone including women and youth at the grassroots level.

“Also, you cannot be talking of AfCFTA as of it is just about Ministers of Trade, Economy or Investment. The idea is a totality of the entire governance structure. This is very important,” he said.

Speakers also noted that inclusive land governance was one of the key pillars to enhance Africa’s drive to improve intra-African trade, food security, and sustainable food systems.

They said an inclusive governance system would allow stakeholders to create transparency, subsidiarity, inclusiveness, prior informed participation, and social acceptance by affected communities in land-based initiatives beyond their borders.

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SOLID MINERALS: Alake Revokes 1,633 Mining Titles, Warns Illegal Miners



The Minister of Solid Minerals Development, Dr Dele Alake, on Tuesday, announced the revocation of 1,633 mining titles for defaulting on payment of annual service fees.

Alake made this known at a news conference in Abuja on Tuesday, saying his decision was in compliance with the law, the Mining Cadastral Office (MCO) on Oct.  4, began the process of revoking 2,213 titles.

“These included 795 exploration titles, 956 small-scale mining licences, 364 quarry licences and 98 mining leases.

“These were published in the Federal Government Gazette Number 178, Volume 110 of Oct. 10 with the notice of revocation for defaulting in the payment of annual service fee.

“The mandatory 30 days expired on Nov. 10. Only 580 title holders responded by settling their indebtedness.

“With this development, the MCO recommended the revocation of 1, 633 mineral titles as follows: Exploration Licence, 536; Quarry Licence, 279; Small Scale Mining Licence, 787 and Mining Lease, 31.

“In line with the powers conferred on me by the NMMA 2007, Section 5 (a), I have approved the revocation of the 1,633 titles,” the minister said.

*Dele Alake, Minister of Solid Minerals

He said that the titles would be reallocated to more serious investors.

He warned the previous holders of the titles to leave the relevant cadaster with immediate effect.

He said that security agencies would work with the mines inspectorate of the ministry to apprehend any defaulter found in any of the areas where titles had been revoked.

“We have no doubt in our mind that the noble goals of President Bola Tinubu to sanitise the solid minerals sector and position the industry for international competitiveness are alive and active.

“We appeal to all stakeholders for their co-operation in achieving these patriotic objectives and encourage those who have done business in this sector the wrong way to turn a new leaf.

“Ultimately, the Nigerian people shall be the winners,” he said.

According to Alake, It is indeed very unconscionable for corporate bodies making huge profits from mining to refuse to give the government its due by failing to pay their annual service fee.

“It is indeed a reasonable conjecture that such a company will even be more unwilling to pay royalties and honour its tax obligations to the government.

“The amount the companies are being asked to pay is peanut compared to their own revenue projections.

” For example, the holder of an exploration title pays only N1,500 per cadastral unit not exceeding 200 units. Those holding titles covering more than 200 units pay N2,000 per unit, In short, the larger the area your title covers, the more you pay.

“This principle was applied to ensure that applicants do not hold more than they require to explore.

“With a cadastral unit captured as a square of 500 metres by 500 metres, any law-abiding title holder should not hesitate to perform its obligations,” he said.

The minister said that every sector required a governance system that regulated the conduct of its participants, the procedures for entry and exit, the obligations of the government to participants and the penalties for non-compliance.

He said that the philosophy of the Nigerian Minerals and Mining Act 2007 was to establish a rational system of administering titles transparently and comprehensively to ensure a seamless transition from reconnaissance to exploration and from exploration to mineral extraction.

“The principal agency for the administration of titles is the MCO, which receives applications, evaluates them, and issues titles with the approval of the office of the minister of solid minerals development.

“Although the MCO has tried to improve its efficiency by adopting new application administration technology, it continues to face challenges in monitoring the compliance of title holders,” he said.“Although the MCO has tried to improve its efficiency by adopting new application administration technology, it continues to face challenges in monitoring the compliance of title holders,” he said.

He warned illegal miners to desist from their illegal activities as their “days were numbered”. 

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