Wale Tinubu, alongside prominent figures such as Aliko Dangote, Mele Kyari, and Wale Edun, participated in the inaugural Nigeria-Saudi Arabia Forum, organized as part of President Bola Tinubu’s initiative to strengthen economic ties between the two countries. President Tinubu, speaking at the forum, assured investors of the safety of their investments in Nigeria, emphasizing the country’s readiness for business and commitment to providing some of the world’s highest returns on investment.
During his address, President Tinubu highlighted Nigeria’s interest in collaborating with Saudi Arabia to address security challenges, particularly in combating terrorist organizations such as Boko Haram and ISWAP operating in the Lake Chad and Sahel regions. He underscored the longstanding bilateral relationship between Nigeria and Saudi Arabia, extending beyond hajj-centric cooperation to encompass various areas of common interest.
President Tinubu acknowledged the presence of Nigerian professionals in Saudi Arabia and expressed confidence in continued positive collaboration within international organizations. He outlined Nigeria’s economic diversification efforts, including bold reforms aimed at reducing dependence on oil and improving the business environment. President Tinubu also assured Saudi investors of the safety of their investments in Nigeria, citing the rule of law and promising good returns.
Additionally, President Tinubu expressed gratitude to Saudi Arabia for its humanitarian interventions in Nigeria through the King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Centre.
FG Allocates N3.2bn for State-of-the-Art Screening Machines in Major Airports
Nigeria has approved N3.2 billion for the acquisition of advanced screening machines at five major international airports in a move to enhance aviation security. The Minister of Aviation, Festus Keyamo, disclosed this development after the Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting, chaired by President Bola Tinubu in Abuja.
The airports set to benefit from this initiative include Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Murtala Muhammad International Airport, Port Harcourt International Airport, Aminu Kano International Airport, and Enugu International Airport. The plan involves implementing sophisticated explosive and narcotic detection screening systems to replace manual bag searches.
Festus Keyamo highlighted the inefficiencies and challenges faced by passengers during manual bag searches, emphasizing the need for an improved system. The new detection machines are expected to swiftly identify explosives or illicit substances as bags pass through the screening process, streamlining the security procedures at airports.
“This is what Nigerians would be interested in because since I came to office, we have been inundated with complaints of the harrowing experiences that passengers go through at the airports where they have to physically search their bags,” said Keyamo. He outlined the plan to implement a system similar to the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) in America, ensuring a more efficient and secure screening process.
The awarded contracts, totaling N3.2 billion, will cover the supply and installation of customized explosives and narcotics detection screening systems with remote and dual view capabilities. This investment is anticipated to significantly enhance security measures within Nigeria’s aviation sector.
In addition to this development, Minister Keyamo announced that the Federal Executive Council (FEC) ratified Nigeria’s bilateral air service agreement with the Republic of Guyana, further strengthening diplomatic ties in the aviation sector.
Stakeholders Commend Kyari’s Reappointment, Urge Swift Implementation of Gas Policy
Stakeholders in the oil and gas sector have expressed approval for the reappointment of Malam Mele Kyari as the Group Chief Executive Officer (GCEO) of the National Petroleum Company Ltd. (NNPCL). President Bola Tinubu’s decision to extend Kyari’s tenure has garnered positive reactions from industry insiders, who see it as a strategic move to ensure stability and further the ongoing reform initiatives in the sector.
Former President of the Nigerian Association of Petroleum Explorationists (NAPE), Mr. Ajibola Oyebamiji, highlighted the crucial need to operationalize the refineries. He called on Kyari to use his renewed term to boost production, implement the gas policy, incentivize gas exploration, and support local gas utilization.
Oyebamiji stated, “The GCEO’s reappointment is a welcome development and cheering news for the oil and gas industry. He is a round peg in a round hole. For the stability of the industry and implementation of the ongoing reform policies, it is well-deserved.”
Dr. Emeka Akabogu, Executive Vice Chairman of OTL Africa Downstream, noted the pragmatic nature of Kyari’s reappointment in light of NNPCL’s transition into full private sector operations. Akabogu acknowledged Kyari’s efforts in this transitional phase and stressed the importance of organizational stability.
On his expectations, Akabogu stated, “I anticipate that he strengthens the establishment of a robust and competitive national oil company capable of competing both locally and internationally. It’s crucial for NNPCL to adhere strictly to competition regulations, especially when engaging with local operators in the downstream value chain.”
The newly appointed board of NNPCL features Chief Pius Akinyelure as the Non-Executive Board Chairman, Alhaji Umar Ajiya as the Chief Financial Officer, and Mr. Ledum Mitee as a Non-Executive Director, among others. The stakeholders’ emphasis on the swift implementation of the gas policy underscores the industry’s eagerness for strategic measures aligned with both national and international standards.
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