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Bracing-up for the challenges of dwindling oil revenue

By Obike Ukoh 

Economists have, on many occasions, warned that there are dangers for a country such as Nigeria with more than 170 million people to rely on oil as the mainstay of its economy.

They insist that no nation has ever become great by exporting raw materials and importing finished goods.

According to them, the dependence of states on statutory allocations for the running of the states, while there are numerous unexploited revenue sources, is even discouraging.

They, therefore, advise the relevant stakeholders to exploit the country’s agricultural potential and invest in Information Communication Technology (ICT).

Considering the advice, government agencies saddled with the responsibilities of increasing the nation’s revenue have been making efforts to exploit viable revenue sources.

For instance, the Revenue Mobililisation, Allocation and Fiscal Commission (RMAFC) in 2013, organised workshops in the six geo-political zones in the country for the purpose of sensitising the public to that effect.

At the inauguration of the workshop entitled: ``Economic Diversification for Sustainable Development’’ in Asaba, Chief Elias Mbam, the Chairman of the commission, said there was danger in running mono economy.

He urged the states and local governments in the country to improve their revenue generation and ensure fiscal efficiency with a view to reducing over-dependence on monthly allocation.

Read more: Bracing-up for the challenges of dwindling oil revenue

FG to expand scope of National Water Resources Institute

By Mohammed Usman 

Federal Government of Nigeria has indicated interest to expand the scope of the National Water Resources Institute, Kaduna. The Institute is a research and capacity building institution under the Federal Ministry of Water Resources, responsible for the training of water resources engineers in the country. 

In a statement signed by Musa Mato unbehalf of the head of federal ministry of water resources, the Executive Director, National Water Resources Institute, kaduna , Dr. Emmanuel Adanu made this known in an interview with journalists when he paid advocacy visit to the  Vice Chancellor, Ahmadu Bello University (A.B.U) Zaria, Prof. Ibrahim Garba.

ABU Zaria is one of the six Nigerian Universities the Institute is collaborating with as National Water Resources Capacity Building Network (NWRCBNet) to provide capacity building training to interested water resources officers. 

While in the VC’s office, Dr. Adanu said that the rationale behind the visit was to follow up the MoU Signed between the Federal Ministry of Water Resources, National Water Resources Institute and six Nigerian Universities in May 2015, which A.B.U was among.

Read more: FG to expand scope of National Water Resources Institute

Nigerien importers resume transit trade via Nigerian ports

By Mohammed Usman.

Nigerien importers that had hitherto avoided Nigerian Ports in preference of other West African ports have rescinded their decision following intervention of Transport authorities from both countries.

The decision came at the end of a workshop organized by the Nigeria-Niger Joint Commission for Cooperation held in Abuja with the theme; Promoting Transit Trade for Greater Economic Integration of Landlocked Countries: The Case of Nigeria/Niger.

 Speaking to Newsmen at the event, Yusufu Umoru, the Managing Director Constil des Utilisateures des Transports Publics (CNUT) said in the past the Nigeriens avoided Nigerian territory for security reasons because their businessmen had in the past been robbed and even some of them got killed. According to him, in the past it was safer for Nigerien importers to travel through Cotonou and other routes.

Umoru said with the present improved security situation in Nigeria, they have rescinded their decision and would now patronize Nigerian ports.

 “When importers are bringing in their goods instead of passing through Lome or Cotonou or Accra, we prefer that they pass through Nigerian ports because Maradi, Zinder and Diffa are closer to Nigeria. If they go through other ports it is more expensive,” he said.

Read more: Nigerien importers resume transit trade via Nigerian ports

IFAD, DFID partner to provide Niger rice farmers 3-wheel tractors

The International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) in Niger says it is collaborating with the United Kingdom Department for International Development (UK-DFID) to introduce a three-wheel tractor to rice farmers in the state.

Dr Mathew Ahmed, the State Programme Coordinator of IFAD, made this known on Friday on the sidelines of a demonstration exercise of the low-priced tractor to 175 rice farmers in Wushishi and Katcha areas.

``The aim of introducing this tractor to the rice farmers is to make them key into mechanised method of cultivating rice,’’ he said.

Ahmed said that the project would increase the small holder farmers’ access to mechanised services through the provision of the low capacity tractor known as power tiller or smart tractor.

Also speaking, Mrs Mercy Mayaki, the Intervention Manager of UK-DFID, said that the tractor and its implements cost N800, 000.

Mayaki also said that after sales service for the made- in-China tractor was available to ensure adequate maintenance.

``The parts of the tractors are available and affordable,’’ she said.

Read more: IFAD, DFID partner to provide Niger rice farmers 3-wheel tractors

Expedite effort on patents law to improve Nigeria’s economy

By Mohammed usman

As federal government sets to improve the atmosphere for economic improvement, one aspect that stands to be relatively given consideration is patents law. Patents, according to Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia online, is a set of exclusive rights granted by a sovereign state to an inventor or assignee for a limited period of time in exchange for detailed public disclosure of an invention. It also said that an invention is a solution to a specific technological problem and is a product or a process, adding that Patents are a form of intellectual property. The Wikipedia also added that the exclusive right granted to a patentee in most countries is the right to prevent others, or at least to try to prevent others, from commercially making, using, selling, importing, or distributing a patented invention without permission.

According to Abraham Lincoln, as quoted in a write up by Olusegun Oyedepo, “The Patent System Added the Fuel of Interest to the Fire of Genius” 

And to this end, a serious take on Patents law in Nigeria could be seen as providing good atmosphere for intended innovators or inventors which could directly or indirectly encourage for more innovation and creativity from individuals, and hence improve economic development. Supporting this, in a write up by Albert G.Z. Hu and I.P.L. Png, titled  Patent Rights and Economic Growth: Evidence from Cross-Country Panels of Manufacturing Industries, stated that the objective of patent rights is to foster innovation and economic growth. According to their difference-in-differences strategy to study the impact of changes in patent rights within panels of up to 54 manufacturing industries in up to 72 countries, they found that stronger patent rights were associated with faster growth among more patent-intensive industries.

Read more: Expedite effort on patents law to improve Nigeria’s economy