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THE STATES

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Adamawa

The presidential candidate of the All Progressives Con
gress (APC ), Maj.-Gen. Muhammadu Buhari (rtd),  has promised enabling environment for Nigerian youths to excel, if elected president on  February 14
Buhari gave the assurance at the APC Presidential campaign rally held in Yola last Monday.
He said a World Bank statistic indicated that 60 per cent of Nigerian citizens were under thirty three years and were jobless.
“Sixty per cent of Nigerian citizens are youths who have no job opportunity,” Buhari said.
According to him, the  top priority of his government, if elected, was to ensure security of lives and property and to create  job opportunities for the youth through agriculture and mineral resources potentials.
Buhari said that  APC  government would bring positive development to the people of Nigeria.
He sympathised with the internally displaced persons in the state and assured them that they would go back to their respective places of abode if the APC formed the government in February.

FCT

The police yesterday arraigned a driver, Ameobi Ndukwe
before a Wuse Zone 2 Senior Magistrates’ Court, Abuja for allegedly receiving a stolen property.
Ndukwe, 25, who resides at Sabon Lugbe Abuja, was alleged to have bought some clothing materials alleged to have been stolen.
He was arraigned on a one-count charge of receiving stolen property.
The prosecutor, Inspector Usman Owuna told the court that on November 8, 2014 at about 6.25 a.m, one Ms Juremi Shekwoyemi of Sabon Lugbe, Abuja, reported the matter at the Iddo Police Station.
Owuna said that on July 19, 2014 some unknown persons broke into the complainant’s shop and made away with some items which he listed as wrappers, earrings, necklaces among others.
He informed the court that during police investigation, some of the stolen materials were discovered in a tailoring shop owned by one Mohammed Kekere.

Kano

The Kano State Government last Monday said it had
approved N62 million for full take-off of the State Informatics Institute in Kura.
The Commissioner for Justice, Mr Maliki Umar, disclosed this while briefing newsmen on the outcome of the state’s Executive Council meeting in Kano.
“The council approved N10 million for the continuation of enforcement of law on the streets, as well as decongestion and illegal motor parks in the metropolis.
“The Council also approved N14.9 million for replenishment of operational funds for task force on drugs abuse and illicit trafficking committee.”
The commissioner reiterated the state government’s determination to develop infrastructure in the state as part of initiatives to improve the welfare of the people.

Kebbi

Some traditional leaders of border communities in Kebbi
State, last Monday pledged to promote peaceful coexistence with their neighbours in Benin Republic.
The district heads of Illo, Alhaji Muhammadu Wankoi and that of Kasati, Alhaji Muhammadu Dobvi gave the assurance when Gov. Saidu Dakingari visited Bagudo Local Government area.
The governor was in the area to inspect some projects being undertaken by the state government.
The district heads in their separate remarks said they would encourage their subjects to always portray Nigeria in positive manner and shun anything that would create conflict.
They commended Dakingari for the projects sited in their areas and further urged him to construct new official residence for them and allocate official vehicles to them to enhance their status.
Earlier, the governor said the state government had constructed a new road to link the community with their neighbours in Benin Republic to promote social and economic relations.
Kwara
The Hausa community in Kwara State has accused the
state government of marginalisation in the implementation of policies and programmes.
The head of the community, Alhaji Mukhtar Tawakalitu, told newsmen last Monday in Ilorin that majority of the members of the community were born in the state and deserved to be recognised as indigenes.
“We see Kwara as our state because majority of us were born here, grew up here, do our businesses here and married here,” Tawakalitu said.
He said members of the community had not benefitted from the administration of Gov. Abdulfatah Ahmed.

Lagos

National Leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC),
Chief Bola Tinubu, on Monday described the party’s governorship candidate in Lagos State, Mr Akinwunmi Ambode, as one of the most brilliant minds in financial accountancy.
Tinubu spoke at the APC governorship campaign rally in Ojo area of the state, urging the people to give Ambode their votes in the Feb. 28 governorship election.
He said that Ambode was a credible candidate who should be given the chance to continue with the excellence for which Lagos was noted.
“Today we present one of the most brilliant minds in financial accountancy; one of the most intelligent in financial management.
“He is tested, trusted, capable, visionary and an achiever,” he said.
Tinubu said that Ambode performed well when he was the state’s Accountant-General.
“Lagos State progressed when Ambode was the state’s Accountant-General.
“You need creative, great, visionary leaders and an intelligent government to manage the economy.
“That is why a disciplined Buhari and a visionary Ambode will want to create a better economy for Nigeria,” Tinubu said.
Nasarawa

Most Rev. Mathew Audu, the Catholic Bishop of Lafia
Diocese in Nasarawa State, has condemned the alarming rate of divorce in Nigeria.
The clergyman voiced his displeasure in an interview with newsmen last Monday in Lafia.
He said that he was shocked to learn that the rate of divorce in Nigeria had risen to above 30 per cent yearly.
He expressed concern why couples quickly resorted to divorce.
He said that instead of preaching against divorce, some clerics were preoccupied with counselling new and old couples on ways of sustaining their love.
He said that the high rate of divorce was not a good development as the church does not permit divorce since it is forbidden by God.

Ogun
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC)
yesterday said it had distributed over 672,000 Permanent Voter Cards (PVCs) in Ogun State.
The Resident Electoral Commissioner in the state, Mr Timothy Ibitoye, said this in Ijebu-Ode, Ogun State, during a visit to Oba Sikiru Adetona, the Awujale of Ijebuland.
Ibitoye said the figure represented 50 per cent of the 1.22 million cards received for the registered voters in the state.
He said eligible voters yet to obtain their cards should be patient as the commission would distribute the outstanding cards before February 14.
Ibitoye, however, warned that the commission would insist on its policy of “no PVC, no voting.”
He said smartcard readers would be used at the general elections for accreditation of voters, adding that no one should be seen with more than one card.

Ondo

The Ondo State Board of Internal Revenue said it gen
erated N13.2 billion from various internal sources in 2014.
Its Chairman, Mr Akinlolu Akinsehinwa. said this yesterday in Akure in an interview with newsmen.
Akinsehinwa said the board recorded success in 2014 because of its repositioning, dynamism and sensitisation.
“We made people see reason on tax payments and the infrastructure provided through tax.”
The chairman re-iterated the board’s commitment to generate more money through tax this year.
“We are looking into all remote areas for coverage and we will come up with some strategies and widen our scope to get more tax.
“At the end, we will get a lot of money and make the collection easy and convenient because tax payment is not meant to make life more difficult but better,” Akinsehinwa said.

Sokoto

The APC gubernatorial candidate in Sokoto State, Aminu
Tambuwal last Monday received 2400 supporters of the Peoples Democratic Party ( PDP) who defected to APC in Kebbi Local Government Area of the state.
Tambuwal received the defectors at the party’s gubernatorial campaign rally held in Kebbi town, headquaters of Kebbi Local Government Area of the state.
He called on the defectors to work towards promoting the lofty ideals of the party in the rural areas.
Tambuwal also called on the youths in the area to shun all kinds of violence by ensuring peaceful conduct of the forthcoming elections.
He said that the youths were a global catalyst for political development of any society, adding that they should be properly groomed to enable them contribute towards the socio economic and political growth of the country.

L-R:  Former Lagos Deputy Governor, Mrs Adebisi Sosan, wife of Lagos State Governor, Mrs Abimbola Fashola and  Governor Babatunde Fashola of Lagos State at the International Women's Day in Lagos, recently.

L-R: Former Lagos Deputy Governor, Mrs Adebisi Sosan, wife of Lagos State Governor, Mrs Abimbola Fashola and Governor Babatunde Fashola of Lagos State at the International Women’s Day in Lagos, recently.

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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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