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THE STATES

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Bauchi

The Bauchi State Government says it will assist the National Commission for Museums and Monuments (NCMM) in the preservation of national artifacts within the state.

The Deputy Governor of the state, Mr Sagir Sale, made the offer in Bauchi on Tuesday when he received a delegation from the NCMM, led by its Director-General, Malam Yusuf Usman.

Sale said, “The preservations of these monuments are key factors in the fight towards restoring national culture and values of the different peoples of the country.”

He reiterated the state government’s commitment to the upholding of the various sites within Bauchi, adding that the NCMM should include more of such locations into its heritage sites.

Earlier, Usman told the deputy governor about plans by the commission to highlight the life and times of the late Prime Minister, Alhaji Tafawa Balewa, through an exhibition.

He said the exhibition would serve as a tribute to “this giant of a man, who chose to express himself quietly through outstanding leadership’’.

He said that the commission would promote the edifice, where Balewa buried, which is located in the heart of Bauchi town as a centre for dissemination of social values.

 

Ekiti

Alumni Association of the Ekiti State University, Ado-Ekiti has criticised the federal frequent change of the name of the institution.

Chairman, Board of Trustee of the Association, Mr Olawale Jegede said this in Ado-Ekiti at a dinner in honour of the new Vice Chancellor, Prof Oladipo Aina.

Jegede said the university, which will be 30 years old by 30th of this month had changed its name four times.

The university opened on March 30, 1982 as Obafemi Awolowo University, and was later named Ondo State University, Ado-Ekiti. The institution was renamed University of Ado-Ekiti before it was name Ekiti State University, Ado-Ekiti late last year.

Jegede said, the name change is too rampant. Some of us have lost count of how many times the name has been changed.

He added “the Alumni were not consulted before the name was changed. As stakeholders, we would have been consulted. But we are ready to work with you. We are welcoming you now but we are going to celebrate you by the time we look back and se infrastructure development, the number of course accredited and other development”.

 

FCT

FCT Minister of State, Ms Olajumoke Akinjide, has charged stakeholders in the health sector to ensure that transmission of Tuberculosis (TB) would no longer be a health problem in Abuja.

She gave the charge at the launch of the FCT TB and Leprosy Control Programme, TB Reach Project in Gwagwalada Area Council.

According to the minister, the launch is aimed to kick-start the activities of TB control with the help of a new technology in the council.

She said the new technology, GeneXpert, was the latest technological instrument approved by the World Health Organisation for the diagnosis of TB.

Akinjide said that the TB Reach Project was a special grant, adding that it was secured through joint team spirit of Public-Private-Partnership efforts of the FCT Health and Human Services Secretariat.

 

Kaduna

Some religious clerics from two major religions in Nigeria have advised government to seek God’s intervention through organised prayers to address the security menace in the country.

The clerics called for God’s intervention in Security challenges being experienced in Zaria and other parts of the country in an interview with newsmen on Sunday.

Sheik Surajo Bomo, a Zaria based Islamic scholar and Pastor Ishaku Halilu, the Chairman, Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) in Zaria said that prayers still remained the only solution to any trouble.

They stressed the need for all Nigerians to join hands toward the actualisation of peace, unity and harmonious relationship among the citizenry.

 

 

Kwara

The Kwara Government says promotion of workers will henceforth be based on performance.

The Chairman of the State Civil Service Commission, Alhaji Adelodun Ibrahim, told newsmen that the decision was aimed at ensuring a viable civil service.

“There is need for us to have a viable civil service and as such, evaluation and promotion of workers will be based on performance,’’ he said.

He said the results of the 2012 promotion examination held in January had been compiled, adding that the commission would soon fix a date for oral interview.

 

Lagos

An NGO, Project Alert, on Saturday in Lagos, attributed the increase in reported cases of rape to the advocacy work of activists and the government.

Executive Director, Project Alert, Mrs Josephine Effah-Chukwuma, however, told newsmen, that the increase in the reported cases of rape did not mean an increase in the incidence.

“We are having more reported cases of rape in Nigeria but this does not necessarily mean that there is an increase in the incidence.

 

Niger

A two-year-old girl was on Saturday beheaded by unknown ritualists in an uncompleted building in Tunga ward of Minna, Niger.

The victim, identified as Ummul-khairu Mohammad, was believed to have been beheaded in an uncompleted building adjacent to her house while playing with other children in the neighborhood at about 10 a.m.

“Before the unfortunate incident, I prepared the child for the day’s trip to an Adult Islamic School which both of us are attending.

“Subsequently, I realised that the little girl had poured water on her blouse and I was forced  to arrange  a new dress for her but she sneaked out to her usual playing ground, only for one of her play mates to come back home with her pant.”

 

Ogun

The Ogun State Governor, Ibikunle Amosun has congratulated former President Olusegun Obasanjo on his 75th birthday.

Amosun, in a statement by his senior Special Assistant on Media and Communication, Mrs Funmi Wakama, described the former president as “an epitome of selfless service to fatherland”.

The governor said “it is indisputable that Chief Olusegun Obasanjo has devoted virtually his entire adult life to the service of the nation, first as a fine officer in the army, Head of State and later president of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

 

Osun

Two students of the Federal Polytechnic, Ede, Azeez Owolabi, 25 and Olusegun Omoniyi, 27, on Tuesday appeared before an Osogbo Chief Magistrates’ Court for allegedly being members of secret cults.

The police prosecutor, Sgt. Elisha Olusegun, alleged that the accused persons and others at large on or before February 20 at Ede conspired to commit felony by joining an unlawful society.

Olusegun, who alleged that the accused were members of the Buccaneer and Pirate Confraternities, said the offence was contrary to and punishable under section 516, 63 and 64 of the Criminal Code Cap C38 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria.

The accused, however, pleaded not guilty to the charge and their counsel, Mr Okobie Ajite, pleaded for bail on liberal terms.

 

Oyo

The Head of Special Operations, Independent and Corrupt Practices Commission, Mr Gad Nathan Bako, has said the war against graft and other related offences is weak in the country because of limited finances and logistics problems.

Bako said this while presenting two different papers titled “Corruption in Nigeria: The anti-corruption corrupt practices and other Related Offences Act 2000” at a sensitisation/enlightenment seminal  for management and staff of the Nigerian Institute of Science Laboratory Technology, Ibadan.

He stated that the war against corruption had improved the rating of the country by various international watchdogs.

He, however, said “the Agency’s activities were principally curtail by insufficient funding. He said the commission would have gone far if it had enough money to prosecute most of the cases before it.

 

Plateau

The 3 Armoured Division Garrison of the Nigerian Army and its affiliate units would conduct live firing at its shooting range in Miango, near Jos, between March 5 and March 14, a statement has said.

The statement, signed by Lt. Saleh Buba for the Assistant Director, Army Public Relations, in Jos, said that there would be a large movement of troops and sounds of gun shots during the period.

“During this period, there will be large movement of military personnel and other military wares. There will be sounds of gun shots of different calibres of weapons.

“The general public and Fulani cattle rearers and farmers are requested to stay away from the general area within this period to avoid being hit by bullets.”

The statement, however, advised members of the public not to panic or entertain any fear over the development as it was purely a normal military training exercise.

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Release Kanu, Igboho To Southern Govs, Group Tells Buhari

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The National Coordinator, Concerned Advocates for Good Governance (CAGG), Olusegun Bamgbose, has told President Muhammadu Buhari to release self-determination campaigners, Nnamdi Kanu and Sunday Igboho, to the southern governors.

Nnamdi Kanu is currently in the custody of the Department of State Services (DSS), after he was a few weeks ago rearrested in Kenya and bundled back to Nigeria while Sunday Igboho was arrested in neighbouring Benin Republic on Monday night and is currently in detention in Cotonou.

Kanu is the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), while Sunday Igboho is a leading advocate for Oduduwa Republic.

Speaking, yesterday, Bamgbose noted that the nation was undoubtedly passing through a very critical moment in its political history and that the future seems to be unpredictable, warning that stakeholders must take extreme caution to avoid disintegration as the unity of Nigeria has never been this weak.

“The truth remains that in any part of the world, where there is unfair treatment, injustice, and inequality, agitation becomes inevitable and legitimate. You can’t push someone and tell him or her where to fall,” the senior lawyer and 2023 presidential hopeful noted.

“We can’t claim to be one nation when there is obvious discrimination in terms of clan or tribe. Agitation is a natural reflection of what goes on in society.

“The Igbos have always complained that they are heavily marginalized in the scheme of things, while the Yorubas are aggrieved that Fulani herders are kidnapping their people, raping their women, destroying their farms, killing them, the one million naira question begging for answers is, how has President Buhari addressed these critical issues?

“President Buhari can’t claim to be the father of the nation when he will treat some as sacred cows and others as sacrificial lambs.

“Clamping down on agitators may not yield a positive result in the long run. The issues must be addressed. Even though I will never be in support of any form of armed struggle, one expects President Buhari to proactively address issues raised by the agitators.

“Jailing the agitators will never put an end to agitation, but escalate it. I will, however, expect the southern governors to rise to the occasion and secure the release of Nnamdi Kanu and Sunday Adeyemo as soon as possible.

“This matter can be resolved in eight weeks. President Buhari should equally be prepared to release them to the southern governors. Our nation needs healing not victimization.

“Buhari’s government will be worse off and will be in the black book of the international community if he so decides to mishandle this matter.

“President Buhari should dialogue with the southern governors and release the two agitators to them. I believe this will prove to all Nigerians and the international community that he is indeed a leader to reckon with.

“He should also look into their grievances and address them dispassionately. It won’t be a bad idea if President Buhari will meet with Kanu, Igboho, and the southern governors at the Presidential Villa to resolve this matter once and for all. I wish our President the best.”

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Catholic Bishops Accuse Buhari Of Nepotism; NASS Of Sabotage

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Catholic Bishops of Ibadan Ecclesiastical Province, have accused the President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration of nepotistic tendencies.

The bishops, after their meeting held at the Domus Pacis Pastoral Institute, Igoba in Akure, also accused members of the National Assembly (NASS), of sabotaging their constituents.

They argued that the spike in insecurity across the country is occasioned by government’s inability to serve on the principles of equity and fairness.

According to the communique signed by the Province’s Chairman and Secretary, Rev. Gabriel Abegunrin, and Rev. Akin Oyejola, respectively, the country is plagued by “inept, uncaring leadership which functions by selective allocation of posts, privileges, and resources and by selective application of justice”.

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‘Without Alternative Energy, Petrol Price’ll Rise on Subsidy Removal’

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The Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) has warned that the pump price of petrol in the country may rise up to as much as N1,000 per litre when petrol subsidy regime comes to an end without an alternative energy source.

The DPR stated this just as some oil and gas experts have advocated for a measure from the government that will ensure that Nigeria gets commensurate value from its abundant oil and gas resources like its fellow oil producing nations.

The Director of DPR, Mr. Sarki Auwalu, said this while responding to questions and comments generated by a paper he delivered in Lagos, recently, at the Second Quarter, 2021 Business Dinner of Petroleum Club, Lagos.

The topic of the paper was, “A Discussion on the Future of the Nigerian Petroleum Industry.”

The questions and comments came from a former Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Mr. Funsho Kupolokun; political economist and Founder of Centre for Values in Leadership, Prof. Pat Utomi; Production Geologist at Shell Nigeria, Mr. Adedoyin Orekoya; and Chairman of AA Holdings, Mr. Austin Avuru; amongst others.

Responding to the subsidy concerns and the disparity in the petrol consumption figures given by NNPC and the DPR, as raised by Orekoya, Auwalu, acknowledged that Nigeria was spending so much on petrol subsidy.

He said eliminating it would require making alternative fuel available to Nigerians and that failure to do that will plunge Nigerians into paying higher petrol prices when subsidy is removed.

He stated that Nigerians may be paying as high as N1, 000 to buy one litre of petrol in the country when subsidy on petrol is removed and when the alternative energy or autogas gas policy becomes fully operational.

He, however, said the alternative fuel regime comes with initial cost as it will lead to spending $400 to convert one vehicle from running on petrol or diesel to running on either Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) or Compressed Natural Gas (CNG).

Auwalu maintained that converting eight million public vehicles currently present in Nigeria to gas-powered will cumulatively cost $3.2billion to achieve.

He said, “So, to eliminate subsidy, they don’t call it subsidy anymore now, it’s under-recovery of purchase. So, to eliminate under-recovery, what you need is alternative fuel. Without alternative, you will subject people to higher prices and that is why we go for price freedom.

“As at today, there are 22 million cars in Nigeria. Eight million are for public use. Imagine if you want to convert every car into gas, the average cost of conversion is $400. Converting eight million cars requires $3.2billion. To do that, there are a lot of environmental investors which can invest and recover from the sale of gas and we are encouraging that.

“Once that is achieved, you will see that PMS can be sold at N1,000. After all, the average distance covered by one gallon equivalent when you compare it with LNG or CNG with respect to energy for mobility, is 2.7 against one; one for PMS, 2.7 for LNG or CNG.

”So, with that advantage, you will see that it creates opportunity for this industry again. The issue of subsidy, volume will all vanish and that is what we are working towards.”

He, however, warned that the rise in Nigeria’s local refining capacity as seen in the coming on stream of a number of refineries in the country without a corresponding increase in the country’s oil production volume may threaten the country’s membership of the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC).

The director lamented that out of Nigeria’s over 7,100 reservoirs and its mature basins, the country was recovering just as low as about 1,000, a situation he said, needed the collaboration of all industry players to find a solution to before Nigeria gets evicted from OPEC due to low contribution.

“How do we now get the national production capacity so that we export more, we consume more? Today, we have huge additional capacity in domestic refining. If we don’t increase the production, we have to get out of OPEC, because you can’t be a net consumer to stay in exporting countries.

“So, the challenge is for all of us. As the refining capacity is increasing, we have to now get production capacity to increase so that we remain the net exporter. We believe this will guarantee and fortify the future,” he said.

Responding to Kupolokun’s question on the need to address the low contribution of the oil and gas sector to the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP), which is less than 10 per cent, Auwalu attributed the abysmal contribution to lack of deep investment into the value chain of the sector as well as the export mentality of the players.

According to him, only few players, mostly indigenous companies, have the mentality of ensuring that more output, especially with respect to gas, was given to the domestic market to power the country’s economic growth.

He said there was need to focus on domestic market in order to grow the sector’s contribution to GDP.

He explained what the department and the Federal Government were doing to address the two-pronged challenge of energy transition and the transition from the international oil companies (IOCs) operating in Nigeria, who are divesting out of the country, leaving the indigenous oil companies to take over from them.

Auwalu said the department had foreseen such situation and had planned ahead by setting up the Oil and Gas Excellence Centre to equip local companies to be able to fill the gap created by such transition.

“Now, we are saddled with two transitions: energy transition and transition from IOCs to NOCs. Why did we establish Nigerian Oil and Gas Excellence Centre? It’s because of this. We’ve seen this coming; we thought it twice before now.

“It is our duty to make those companies functional, and to do that, we need to establish a centre of excellence that will help in the migration from IOCs,” he explained.

Also reacting to the need for scenario planning and the possibility of galvanising the private and public sector to work together to increase the value of oil and gas to the economy, as proposed by Utomi, the DPR henchman noted that the agency had transformed from mere regulator to business enabler and opportunity provider and was working to maximise the value of the sector to the economy.

Auwalu maintained that as a business enabler, DPR was after creating an enabling environment for operators to work, produce, make returns on their investments and pay taxes and royalties to the government as while providing employment to Nigerians.

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