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page 13 Opening Why Nigeria needs $3trn to fund infrastructure – Fayemi Ademola Adebayo Minister of Solid Minerals Development, Dr Kayode Fayemi, has said Nigeria…

page 13 Opening

Why Nigeria needs $3trn to fund infrastructure – Fayemi

Ademola Adebayo

Minister of Solid Minerals Development, Dr Kayode Fayemi, has said Nigeria needs more than $3trillion to close its current infrastructure gap and sustain an ideal infrastructure stock level of 70 per cent of Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

Dr. Fayemi, disclosed this yesterday in London, United Kingdom, at a business forum organised by the Royal African Society, where he presented a keynote address titled: “Mining for Prosperity: fuelling Nigeria’s industrialisation in the 21st Century.”

But he said this wouldn’t happen overnight as it would take the country 30 years to properly build infrastructure assets across the seven critical sectors- roads, rail, ports, airports, power, water and ICT.

He maintained that iron ore and steel would account for the bulk of material inputs needed to industrialise Nigeria, just as he urged investors to take advantage of the country’s huge steel market.

“We project a steady increase in domestic demand for steel in Nigeria in the coming decade, driven by increased industrialisation that will ignite a surge in building construction, power, automotive construction, agriculture, road and bridge building, military technology and infrastructure development, refinery investments and other heavy duty machinery”, he said.

He added that local producers are currently meeting just about 25 per cent of demand in the sub-sector, a development he said provides the required optimism for foreign investors.

Fayemi hailed the success recorded in limestone, where Nigeria moved from being a net-importer of cement to a net-exporter in less than a decade of putting in place the right policy and necessary incentives for local manufacturers.

“We are working with all stakeholders in the industry to encourage replication of the limestone success story in the beneficiation of other industrial minerals, towards powering the industrialisation of the country. Our aspiration is to build a world class minerals and mining ecosystem designed to serve a targeted domestic and export market for minerals and ores.”, he added.

The Minister said the country would focus on minerals, mining and related processing industry over a three -phased period to achieve this.

Unsolicited SMS: Implementation of ‘Do-Not-Disturb’ code starts today

By Zakariyya Adaramola

The mandatory implementation of ‘Do-Not- Disturb’ code by the telecoms operators takes effect from today.

The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) had few months ago given all the telecoms operators in the country up to June 30 to switch on the 2442 code to allow any subscriber who does want to receive unwanted messages from the operators bar such messages.

NCC’s Executive Vice Chairman Prof Umar Garuba Danbatta had told the operators in Abuja that effective date for compliance remained today.

He said huge sanctions await any operator that failed to comply with the directive after today.

He said NCC would work tirelessly to put in place various strategies and policies that would enable it make the operators answerable to all their misdeeds.

Daily Trust reports that MTN Nigeria is the only operator that has so far complied with the new directive.

Yesterday, the telco sent SMS to most of its customers to join the Do-Not-Disturb list if they do not want to receive unwanted campaign or marketing messages.

Efforts to get spokesmen of other operators yesterday proved abortive, but the Chairman of Association of Licensed Telecommunications Operators of Nigeria (ALTON) had told journalists in Abuja recently that all their members would abide by the NCC directive on the 2442 code.

Nigeria’s forex reserves fall to $26.34bn

Nigeria’s forex reserves fell marginally to $26.34 billion by June 28, down 0.30 percent from a month ago, central bank data showed yesterday.

Dollar reserves of Africa’s biggest economy stood at $26.42 billion last month, down 9.2 percent from a year ago.

The central bank lifted 16-month-old currency controls last week and auctioned $4 billion in the spot and futures market to clear a backlog of dollar demand, to help boost interbank market trading. (Reuters)

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