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Governor Muhammed Abubakar of Bauchi State (left), presenting relief materials  to Chairman, Bauchi Local Government Area, Alhaji Ado Aska, during the commencement of distribution of Federal Government’s relief materials to Idps in Bauchi State on Monday

Governor Muhammed Abubakar of Bauchi State (left), presenting relief materials to Chairman, Bauchi Local Government Area, Alhaji Ado Aska, during the commencement of distribution of Federal Government’s relief materials to Idps in Bauchi State on Monday

Bauchi

Some women in the Internally Displaced Persons
(IPDs) camp in Gudun Fulani community in Bauchi State, have pleaded with the state government to provide them with farmlands as the rainy reason sets in.
They made the appeal in an interview with newsmen in Bauchi.
Hajiya Fatima Alhaji alleged that the state government had not been assisting them with food and shelter hence they need land to cultivate to feed themselves.
According to her, food and shelter are major challenges confronting the IDPs.
“We are pleading with the Bauchi State Government to please provide us with farmlands to enable us reduce the economic burden we are facing us in trades”.

Borno

The Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) said
it would auction 44 jerrycans containing1320 litres of petrol seized from black market operators in Bornu State.
The Zonal Controller of DPR, Malam Ali Zoaka, who disclosed this, said that the seized items were handed over by officials of Nigerian Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) in Maiduguri.
Zoaka said that the items were seized at various filling stations in the state capital by men of the NSCDC.
“We have decided to auction the commodities to members of the public, while the money would be remitted to the Federal Government account.

FCT

The Advocacy for Economic Integrity, an NGO, has
called on the Federal Government to create markets for farmers by giving them contract for the supply of farm produce to schools and other public institutions.
The Director-General of the NGO, Mr Abdullahi Aremu, gave the advice in an interview with newsmen in Abuja recently.
Aremu said the creation of such markets for farm produce would help farmers, particularly the young entrepreneurs, to invest more and grow their agric businesses.
According to him, it will also help in increasing demand and supply chain for the nation’s farm products.
The director-general said government should ensure that farmers transported their goods from the hinterlands to city markets without much hussles.

Kaduna

The United States Agency for International Develop
ment (USAID), has reiterated its commitment to the reduction of maternal and child mortality in Nigeria.
Dr Blair King, Director, Peace and Democratic Governance Office, made this known in Kaduna at the opening of a two-day Consensus Workshop on the Sokoto State Strategic Health Development Plan, 2016-2020.
He said, “USAID is highly concerned with the high rates of maternal and child mortality and it would offer the necessary interventions to reduce the disturbing figures.
“The agency is also fully committed to improving other health indices, as well as taming HIV/AIDS, Malaria and other diseases.”
Kano

The Federal Government said it would partner with
Kano State Government to empower women in agribusiness in the state.
The Minister of Women Affairs and Social Development, Hajiya Aisha Alhassan, disclosed this during a visit to the Speaker, Kano State House of Assembly.
The minister, represented by her Special Assistant, Alhaji Abubakar Umar, said the federal government would also provide the institutional framework to promote the well-being of women, children, and persons living with disabilities, the elderly and other vulnerable groups.
.Kwara

Governor  Abdulfatah Ahmed of Kwara State says
his administration’s strategies in reducing the cost of governance and renewed revenue generation mechanism will ensure prompt payment of salaries and pensions.
Ahmed, represented by the state’s Head of Service, Hajia Zara Umar, said this at this year’s Workers’ Day celebration held at the Metropolitan Square, Ilorin.
The governor noted that the state’s Internal Revenue Service, KWIRS, had been empowered to shore up the state’s internally generated revenue.
He added that this would enable the state government to meet up with its statutory commitments and promote infrastructural development.

Lagos

The Lagos State University (LASU) has suspended four
students for cult-related activities and improper conducts.
This is contained in the university’s official bulletin obtained by our correspondent in Lagos.
The bulletin quoted the institution as saying that conducts of the suspended students could cause breach peace on the campus.
The bulletin said the University’s Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Olanrewaju Fagbohun, took the decision on behalf of the university authority.
It said the decision to suspend the students was taken by Vice-chancellor, who invoked section 28 of the law establishing LASU.

Nasarawa

The Rural Finance Institution Building Programme
(RUFIN) has urged women in Nasarawa State to form cooperative societies, in order to access loans to boost their businesses.
The state Desk Officer, Hajiya Rifkatu Jatau, gave the advice in a message to a one-day workshop for rural women held at Igbado in Doma local government area of the state.
Jatau said the workshop was to sensitise the rural poor on the need to pool their resources through cooperative societies in order to benefit from government and other institutional support.
Niger

A 50-year-old man, Adebayo Attahiru, has been ar
rested by the Police in Niger for allegedly raping a three-year-old baby.
The Police Public Relations Officer in the state, ASP Bala Elkana, Police made this known to newsmen in Minna, recently.
Elkana said that the incident occurred on Friday.
The spokesman said the accused resides around Mobil area of Minna, the state capital.
Ogun

A 35-year-old driver, Yinka Durojaye, has been ar
raigned for alleged manslaughter and reckless driving.
Durojaye, who lives at No. 17 Odeyemi St., Iyana-Ilogbo, Ota, is facing a two-count charge of manslaughter and reckless driving before an Ota Magistrates’ Court.
The prosecutor, Abdulkareem Mustapha, told the court that the accused committed the offence on March 2 at 4:00 p.m. at Fowobi Area, Ota.
Mustapha alleged that the accused, dangerously drove a Volvo Tipper Lorry with registration number AAB 641 X, which resulted in the death of one 22-year old Izuchukwu Chinedu.
He said that the offence contravened Sections 6 (1) and 18 of the Federal Highway Act. Cap 135 of the Revised Laws of the Federation, 2006.
The accused, however, pleaded not guilty to the charge.

Plateau

Governor Simon Lalong of Plateau State says the
bilateral agreement signed between President Muhammadu Buhari and the Chinese Government is beginning to yield positive results in the state.
Lalong made the observation in Jos when he received some Chinese investors who were in the state to explore the investment opportunities that abound.
“When the President opened the door, North Central Nigeria and China held a business summit in Guangzhou from April 18 to April 22.
“It is as a result of the agreement that a business delegation from Yuzhou Group and the Hunan Xianghui Development Group are in Jos today,” he said.

Sokoto

The Cement Company of Northern Nigeria
(CCNN), has donated assorted drugs worth over N5 million to five clinics in Wamakko local government in Sokoto State.
Our correspondent reports that the drugs include: antibiotics and antigenes for pregnant women, nursing mothers and children.
The Managing Director of the firm, Mr Aminu Ibrahim, represented by the Director, Human Resources, Alhaji Yawalle Isa said, “the gesture is part of the company’s social responsibility to enable our neighboring communities benefit from its industrial development.

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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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