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Bauchi

The Bauchi State House of Assembly last Wednesday began amendment of the law establishing the Abubakar Tatari Ali Polytechnic to facilitate the establishment of an autonomous college of agriculture.

The amendment followed the adoption of a report by the House Special Committee on the de-merger of the School of Agriculture Bauchi from the polytechnic.

Presenting the report, the Chairman of the committee, Baba Abubakar, said the School of Agriculture could not work effectively due to inadequate funding, neglect and bureaucratic bottlenecks.

He added that it was imperative to amend the existing laws of the polytechnic to fast-track successful take-off of the proposed college.

Abubakar decried the “serious neglect” of the school by the polytechnic management, adding that upgrading the institution to a college would encourage agricultural activity and reduce poverty.

 

Borno

The Borno government said last Wednesday that it had secured a N1 billion credit facility for farmers in the state under the agriculture loan guarantee scheme.

Alhaji Usman Zanna, the Commissioner for Agriculture and Natural Resources, said this in Maiduguri at a ministerial briefing.

Zanna said that the loan was sourced through the Fidelity Bank Plc after a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the two parties.

“Government has signed a MoU with the Fidelity Bank Plc to access N1 billion loan for distribution to farmers this cropping season,’’ he said.

Zanna said that the loan was sourced at 7.5 per cent interest rate, adding: “this is the first time farmers in the state will be benefiting from this kind of loan facility. “The loan is going to be interest-free to the farmers as government has decided to take care of the interest,” he said.

 

Ekiti

Governor  Kayode Fayemi of Ekiti State has donated a jeep to the outgoing Anglican Archbishop of Ondo and Bishop of Ekiti Diocese, Rev. Samuel Abe.

The gesture, according to Fayemi, is one of the ways the government and the people could show their appreciation to the cleric.

Abe, who is retiring from office on the attainment of 70 years of age, was at the governor’s office on a farewell visit.

He was accompanied by his wife and scores of other clerics.

The Bishop urged governors in the South West Zone to lay good examples through good governance and positive impact on the lives of their people.

He commended Fayemi for initiating a social security scheme for the aged people.

Abe said the scheme was an example of how governors in the south west could lead the way for their counterparts in other parts of the country.

 

 

FCT

The Executive Director, National Council for Arts and Culture, Mr Mwajim Maidugu, last Thursday in Abuja described President Goodluck Jonathan’s proposed museum for past leaders as an inspiration to Nigerians.

Maidugu said  that building a museum for past leaders was a great innovation in the history of the country.

According to him, this pronouncement will go a long way to give our past and present heroes a proper place for reference purposes and to project into the future.

“These leaders need to be celebrated in a hall of fame for students at all levels to emulate these good leadership qualities of tolerance, patience and patriotism. “Thinking more of what to do for the country and not what to get out of the country. Reading about great leaders will inculcate good leadership qualities in the youth,’’ he said.

Maidugu said that in developed countries, museum for past leaders was a good tourist site to behold, adding that reading through the lifestyle of past leaders would give a mental picture of a good leader.

 

Jigawa

A National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) member, serving in Birnin-kudu Local Government Area of Jigawa, Malam Aminu Muhammad, has donated 150 poultry birds to 10 Almajirai in Birnin-kudu.

Muhammad, who made the donation last Thursday in Birnin-kudu in Jigawa, said the gesture was aimed at teaching the Almajirai poultry farming to make them self-reliant.

“As a graduate of agriculture from the Bayero University Kano with specialisation in animal production, I will train the Qur’anic scholars in order to empower them to learn and be on their own.”

He explained that the gesture would go along way to discourage the Almajiri from parading the motor parks and streets, begging

 

Kaduna

Governor  Patrick Yakowa of Kaduna State has urged the people to promote peace at all times to pave the way for more democratic dividends in their respective areas.

Yakowa made the appeal in Kaduna last Wednesday during the commissioning and inspection tour of projects in Sabon-Gari, Kudan and Makarfi Local Government Areas of the state.

He observed that peace was the cardinal pillar for development, adding that the projects executed in the state would not have been possible without peace.

The governor assured the people of the readiness of his administration to work tirelessly for the good of the state.

 

Lagos

A pastor and a tailor, who allegedly snatched a Honda City Saloon car at gunpoint, were on Wednesday docked at an Igbosere Magistrates’ Court in Lagos, for armed robbery.

Sekou Kareem (38), a pastor, and Adekanbi Mathew (45), a tailor, were charged with armed robbery and unlawful possession of dangerous weapons. The court, however, did not take their plea as Magistrate F.O Aigbokhaevbo said the court had no jurisdiction to try armed robbery cases.  Aigbokhaevbo ordered them to be remanded in prison custody pending the advice of the state’s Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP).

 

Ondo

The Baale of Oke-Odo in Owo Local Government Area of Ondo State, Chief Samuel Falade, has pleaded with residents of the state to shun violence in the gubernatorial election billed for October.

Falade said last Wednesday at Oke-Odo, Ondo State, that the people of the state should learn to live together peacefully irrespective of their political differences. “ We cannot afford to have a repeat of political violence in this state like it happened during the time of Papa Ajasin and Omoboriowo; it was a bad experience for us all,’’ Falade said.

 

Osun

The Nigeria Medical Association (NMA) in Osun has threatened to embark on a sympathy strike should the Lagos State Government fail to recall its sacked colleagues.

The state government had sacked 788 striking doctors after negotiation on their demands collapsed.

Dr Olukayode Ajewole, the state Chairman, said at a press conference in Osogbo last Wednesday that the decision was in consonance with the position of the NMA National Executive Council (NEC).

Ajewole said the NMA NEC had called an emergency meeting to address the matter on Saturday. “ Doctors in Osun, who are about 800, may be forced to join forces with our colleagues in Lagos State if the Lagos State Government fails to reinstate them,” he said.

 

Sokoto

The Sokoto State Commissioner for Water Resources, Alhaji Arzika Tureta, has called on Nigerians to support the government at all levels to ensure political growth of the country.

Tureta made the call in an interview last Wednesday in Sokoto.

He said that meaningful development could only be achieved if Nigerians irrespective of political party differences join hands with government to ensure smooth implementation of its programmes.

The commissioner explained that the success of any government policy depended largely on the mutual support and cooperation between the government and the governed.

 

Taraba

The chairman of Jalingo Local Government Area, LGA, Taraba State, Hon Hassan Bappa says his blue print for the development of the LGA  will be people-oriented.

Speaking to Journalists in Jalingo, the state capital early in the week he said he will concerntrate on projects as a way of impacting on the lives of his people.

Such projects he said would include regular salaries for workers of the LGA, empowerment of the populace, enhanced agricultural methods to fed the people and maximum security to enhance peace in the area.

 

Zamfara

The Zamfara State Command of Nigeria Immigration Service has repatriated more than 80 illegal Aliens to their home countries between January and May, an official said.

The Comptroller of Immigration in the state, Mr Muhammad Argungu,  said in Gusau last Wednesday.

He said many of the aliens were arrested following tip-offs from the areas where they stayed, adding that  most of them were from the neighboring countries of Niger, Chad and Cameroon, adding that they usually entered the country on market days and refused to return home.

Argungu said the command usually deployed its personnel in plain clothes to markets, motor parks and other public places to monitor, arrest and deport illegal aliens to their countries after investigations.

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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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