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Rep Commends Jonathan Over New Pump Price

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As Nigerians continue to weigh the pros and cons of deregulation in the aftermath of the six-day strike by organised labour and civil society groups, President Goodluck Jonathan has been commended over the reduction of the pump price of fuel from N141 to N97 while marketers that are yet to comply with the new price regime are enjoined to do so immediately to alleviate the pains of motorists and the suffering masses.

The commendation and appeal  were made in Abuja recently  by a member of the House of Representatives, representing Khana/Gokana Federal Constituency, Hon Maurice Pronen.

Reacting to the development in an interview with The Tide Hon. Pronen said, “The understanding between the President and Labour that brought about the N97 per litre price regime is commended. As  far as I’m concerned, it’s a good concession by the federal government. Because as far as this subsidy issue is concerned, my heart goes with the populace that has to bear the pains but my mind goes along with the government for the subsidy removal”.

Pronen believed that the federal government is not out to inflict pains on the populace, saying that it is in the best interest of the nation to subsidise consumption.

According to him, “Looking at the situation now, it’s imperative to go the way we’re going – N97. Government is magnanimous to bring it down to N97.”

He noted that subsidy removal is a hard decision to make and preceding administrations were afraid to make it. So, President Jonathan should be commended for his courage in making such a decision, because “if we don’t take decision, we’ll be compelled someday to suffer the effect of not taking this decision”.

He appealed to the masses not to do any things untoward to sabotage the efforts of the government at putting lasting smiles on the faces of Nigerians as even the rich are also feeling the pains of deregulation.”Big men suffer it most economically…The measure of your pocket is equivalent to the measure of your expenses; the more that comes into your pocket , the more exit it has”, he said.

The House of Reps’  member, however, sympathised with  those who have no source of income as to cope with the pains of deregulation, and urged labour to ‘start thinking ‘ about them in their struggle for a better society while urging all and sundry to be patient with the Belgore Committee in the course of their assignment on fuel subsidy, at the end of which , “we can fine-tune their outcome”.

Hon. Pronen  further enjoined his constituents to continue to be law-abiding ,”as we’re here in government to give them the best in government, they should be rest assured that it’s only their interest that we’re here to protect, believing that we’ll bring in dividends of democracy”.

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Stakeholders Meet To Assess Nigeria’s Preparedness For AFCFTA

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Stakeholders are expected to converge in Lagos today to take a look at the Nigeria’s preparedness to maximize the gains of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA). 
The Tide learnt that stakeholders will be converging at the instance of a popular online newspaper, Primetime Reporters, to assess the progress made so far by the Federal Government through the National Action Committee on AfCFTA agreement.
The event which is the Third Annual Lecture and Awards of the online medium has as its theme: “Assessing Nigeria’s Preparedness to Maximize the Gains of AfCFTA.” 
The event will also witness conferment of awards on eight eminent Nigerians who have distinguished themselves in various fields of human endeavours.
The Managing Director/Editor-In-Chief of Primetime Reporters, Mr. Saint Augustine Nwadinamuo, made this known in a statement made available to The Tide in Lagos on Monday.
According to him, the event will hold at the National Institute of International Affairs (NIIA), Kofo Abayomi Street, Victoria Island, Lagos beginning from 10.00am.
Nwadinamuo said that the event would be chaired by a renowned legal practitioner, Barr. Osuala Emmanuel Nwagbara of the Maritime and Commercial Law Partners, Lagos, while the Director General, Lagos Chambers of Commerce and Industry (LCCI), Dr. Muda Yusuf, would be the lead paper presenter.

By: Nkpemenyie Mcdominic, Lagos

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EFCC Nabs 419 Kingpin Over N250m Fraud

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The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), has arrested a leader of a deadly 419 syndicate, Abayomi Kamaldeen Alaka (a.k.a Awise) over an alleged attempt to swindle an innocent Nigerian of N250 million. 
The Tide learnt that the syndicate operates from a shrine at Ashipa Town, near Abeokuta, Ogun State.
According to a statement made available to The Tide in Lagos on Sunday, by the EFCC, Awise’s arrest followed a petition by his victim, Juliet Bright who lost N250m to the fraudster after she was tricked to provide money for sacrifices and invocations to heal her of an ailment.
The statement said Bright was introduced to Alaka by one Akinola Bukola Augustina (a.ka. Iya Osun) whom she met on Facebook in the course of her search for solutions to her health challenge. 
What drew her to Augustina was the latter’s post under the name, Osunbukola Olamitutu Spriritual Healing Centre.
 Once Bright contacted Augustina, the latter promised to heal her if she could pay N16 million. 
The victim paid the money through an Access Bank account belonging to one Mohammed Sani, who later turned out to be a Bureau De Change Operator.
After paying the money without receiving healing, Augustina transferred the victim to other members of the syndicate, notably Awise. 
Bright revealed that she met Awise at his shrine in Ashipa Town and was hypnotized and subsequently transferred various sum through bank accounts and in cash to the suspect and his syndicate members, until she lost N250 million to them.
Despite all the monies collected from her, her health conditions has never improved.

By: Nkpemenyie Mcdominic, Lagos

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Expert Wants Farmers To Grow Plant Produce For Export

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An expert in Quarantine Agriculture, Dr Vincent Ozuru, has advised Nigerian farmers to give more attention to growing plants produce that could be exported.
He said that plant like the hibiscus, popularly known as Zobo is on high demand in some countries around the world, today.
Ozuru who gave the advice while speaking to aviation correspondents at Port Harcourt International Airport, Omagwa, noted that some plants produce, particularly hibiscus, had yielded huge revenue to the Federal Government through export.
According to him, Nigeria exported about 1,983 containers of hibiscus to Mexico alone in 2017 and earned $35 million within nine months of that year.
The agricultural quarantine expert explained that the export of the plant had a setback as a result of storage pest discovered by the Nigeria Agricultural Quarantine Service in some consignments.
“The issue has now been taken care of and the export is resuming again, and all matters have been resolved with the stakeholders across the value chain.
“Mexico is the largest importer of Nigerian hibiscus, and our farmers should brace up to the challenge.
“The good news is that Nigeria has a vast growing belt in hibiscus, and the harvest is available all year round.
“We need to take advantage of this opportunity to earn foreign exchange for ourselves and for the country at large, even with the commitment of the present administration to diversify the economy”, he said.
Ozuru called on Nigerian farmers to show more commitment to the growing of export produce and also endeavor to get ready information on it in order to increase their income.

By: Corlins Walter

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