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Hope Rises for AJASTEEL, As FG Inaugurates Presidential Project Implementation Team

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The Federal Government has inaugurated the Ajaokuta Presidential Project Inauguration Team (APPIT) to help revamp the company in line with the recent agreement reached with Russia to resuscitate the steel company.

Inaugurating the team, on Monday, in Abuja, Secretary to the Government of the Federation SGF, Boss Mustapha, who chairs the team noted that “the Ajaokuta Steel plant has languished in economic unproductivity for about four decades and previous efforts at reviving it had proved abortive.”

He said this has resulted in avoidable massive foreign exchange losses at an intolerable opportunity cost to the country, adding that the pressing need to redress these avoidable challenges has necessitated the current Presidential intervention.

“This is further underscored by difficulties being witnessed with present challenges in the global oil industry,” he added.

According to Mustapha, revamping the Ajaokuta Steel Plant, therefore clearly presents a unique opportunity to make the country West Africa’s largest fully integrated steel producer and most importantly accelerate her industrialization especially in steel-related industries.

Ajaokuta Steel Plant

Speaking further, he said; “this government places a lot of value on the diversification of the economy, hence, Mr President’s participation at the Russia-Africa Summit last year in Sochi, to discuss the resuscitation of the Ajaokuta Steel Plant with his Russian counterpart, President Vladimir Putin.

“Following the bilateral discussions in Sochi, Russia, the Ajaokuta Steel Project is to be resuscitated on the basis of a Government-to-Government agreement with funding from the Afreximbank and the Russian Export Centre. However, one of the key issues discussed by the parties was the Technical Audit, Upgrade, Completion and Operation of the Ajaokuta Steel Company.

“Today’s inauguration of the “Ajaokuta Presidential Project and Implementation Team” (APPIT) is therefore meant to kick start the process of re-directing the activities of the Steel Plant with the aim of bringing the Steel Project back to life for the growth and economic development of our dear nation.

“I am happy to note that preliminary works have commenced determining parameters for the effective and coordinated take-off of rehabilitation works on the Steel plant. It is on this note that Mr President graciously approved the composition of this Implementation Team that is being inaugurated today.”

Boss Mustapha
SGF and Team Leader


The team is to engage in all bilateral negotiations as shall be necessary on behalf of the Federal Government of Nigeria leading to the execution of the Government-to-Government Agreement with the Russian Federation and the Afreximbank.

While it will also provide all relevant technical and other inputs necessary to close the Government-to-Government negotiations, the team is to ensure that the best extreme possible, all relevant raw materials are sourced locally, bearing in mind the local content provisions and the Presidential Executive Order 005.

Other tasks set before the team are to scrutinise and assemble Nigerian Content Engineering, Procurement and Construction (EPC), Special Purpose Vehicle Contractors which will embody the Co-Concessionaire representing Nigeria’s interest in the Build-Operate-Transfer (BOT) Concession;

“Ensure the resuscitation of Ajaokuta Steel Plant (ASP) based on the original design, and ensure timely commissioning of the Ajaokuta Steel Plant (ASP) within a reasonable period to be agreed upon by the parties to the agreement and recommend primary tenure of a Build-Operate-Transfer (BOT) Concession.”

The membership of the Ajaokuta Presidential Project Implementation Team (APPIT) include the Minister of Mines and Steel Development who would serve as alternate Chairman, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Finance, Solicitor General of the Federation and Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Justice, as well as Mr Gabriel Aduda, a Permanent Secretary in the Office of the SGF.

Others are the Sole Administrator, Ajaokuta Steel Company Ltd, Engr. Ismaila Aka’aba, Sole Administrator, National Iron Ore Mining Company, Engr. Vincent Dogo, Prof. Elegba S.B., Dr Godwin Adeogba (the trio being Industry Experts), Director-General, ICRC and Director Steel, Ministry of Mines and Steel Development

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Ebonyi Head of Service Position: Umahi Throws Application Open

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Against the usual practice of picking from the top echelon of the Civil Service,  Ebonyi State Governor, Chief David Umahi on Tuesday threw the position of Head of Service (HoS) of the state open, asking civil servants on Grade Level 14 and above to apply within two weeks.

Umahi, in a statement by the Commissioner of Information and State Orientation, Mr Uchenna Orji, said civil servants across the 13 LGAs of the state are qualified to apply within two weeks.

“The Governor of Ebonyi State, Chief David Umahi requests applications from Civil Servants from Grade Level 14 and above to fill the vacancy of the Head Of Service (HOS), who shall be bowing out of Civil Service on 30th June 2021 after a meritorious and selfless service to the government and people of Ebonyi State,” the statement read in part.

The Governor further directed the civil servants to forward their applications to the Secretary to the State Government (SSG): “All applications are to be addressed to the Secretary to the State Government and Coordinating Commissioner, and submitted with all relevant credentials no later than 30th June, 2021.

Umahi added that “In replacing the outgoing Head of Service, the Government will be looking for the best for the State to continue the good work that the outgoing Head of Service began.

He applauded the loyalty, committed efforts and selfless service rendered by the out-going Head Of Service, Dr. Chamberlain Nwele, in the state and wished him well in his future endeavours.

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Federal High Court Issues New Practice Direction For Filing Of Processes As Workers Resume

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The Chief Judge of the Federal High Court (FHC), Justice John Tsoho, has issued a new practice direction on exemption of payment of default fees for filing of processes.

The development, according to a statement by Catherine Oby-Nwandu, Chief Information Officer of FHC, on Friday night, followed the resumption of work after the two-month strike by the Judiciary Staff Union of Nigeria (JUSUN) was called off on on Wednesday.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that JUSUN had, on April 6, shut down all courts nationwide to demand for financial autonomy for the judiciary at the state level.

Although the industrial action was called off on Wednesday, June 9, the workers union directed all its members to resume work on Monday, June 14.

Justice Tsoho, in the statement, therefore ordered that notwithstanding the provisions of Order 48 Rule 4 of the court rules, 2019, on computation of time for filling of court proceedings as provided by the Rules and payment of default fees for extension of time, the period covering the JUSUN strike action would be exempted.

The statement reads: “Following the resumption of work after the strike action by the Judicial Staff Union of Nigeria (JUSUN) from 6th day of April, 2021 to 14th day of June 2021 which affected court proceedings and filling of processes, the Chief Judge of the Federal High Court of Nigeria, Honorable Justice John Terhemba Tsoho, announces to Hon. Judges, stakeholders and the general public, the essential need for a new Practice Direction on EXEMPTION OF PAYMENT OF DEFAULT FEES FOR FILING OF PROCESSES computation of time for the payment of default fees for extension of time for filing processes in the Federal High Court of Nigeria for the above period.

“Pursuant to the powers conferred on him, he thereby issues the following Practice Directions:
“COMPUTATION of Time for filing of court processes and payment of default fees for extension of time;
“Notwithstanding the provisions of Order 48 Rule 4 of the Federal High Court (Civil Procedure) Rules, 2019 on computation of time for filling of court proceedings or doing an act as provided by the Rules and payment of default fees for extension of time thereof, the period covering the JUSUN strike action, being from 6th day of April, 2021 to 14th day of June, 2021, is hereby exempted.

“APPLICABILITY; These practice Directions shall, save to the extent or as may be otherwise directed by the Chief Judge, apply to both criminal and civil causes and matters in the Federal High Court of Nigeria.

“CITATION; These Practice Directions shall be cited as the Federal High Court (Exemption of Payment of Default Fees for Filing of Processes) Practice Directions (No. 2) 2021.

“The Practice Directions take effect from Tuesday, June 15, 2021.”(NAN)

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BUHARI REMOVES ARMSTRONG IDACHABA, REPLACES HIM WITH SHEHU ILELAH AS NBC DG.

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President Muhammadu Buhari has approved the appointment of Mr Balarabe Shehu Ilelah, as the new director-general of the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC).

The minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, announced the appointment in a statement made available to NAN in Abuja on Friday.

The statement said Ilelah’s appointment is for a tenure of five years in the first instance.

Ilelah

It added that Ilelah is a veteran broadcaster.

Ilelah takes over from the acting director-general of the agency, Armstrong Idachaba, who had been acting since the removal of Ishaq Modibbo Kawu, the esthwhile director-general who was removed over alleged corruption last year.

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