Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara and his Deputy, Suleiman Lasun were conspicuously absent from yesterday’s National Executive Committee meeting of the All Progressives Congress (APC).
The two are currently the highest ranking members of the party in the legislature, following the decision of the Senate President, Dr Bukola Saraki to dump the party to join the opposition.
Saraki’s Deputy, Ike Ekweremadu is a member of the PDP.
Although the APC National Chairman, Adams Oshiomhole related their apologies to the meeting, party watchers note that Dogara and Lasun were among top party leaders who have at one point or another, voiced their displeasure with the happenings within the party.
Lasun was particularly unhappy with the direct method adopted for the Osun governorship primary, which he participated in and lost.
Meanwhile, the All Progressives Congress, APC’s National Executive Committee (NEC), yesterday adopted direct primary election to select its presidential candidate for the 2019 elections.
The party also adopted an indirect primary for other elective positions like the governorship position.
The party adopted processes during its National Executive Committee (NEC) meeting held at its national secretariat in Abuja.
Disclosing the development to newsmen, the Governor of Plateau State, Simon Lalong said states must inform the National Working Committee NWC of the party if they wish to hold indirect primaries.
Those present at the meeting included the Vice President, Prof Yemi Osinbajo and the national leader of the party, Bola Tinubu.
Others were governors and other party chieftains.
In a related development, an All Progressives Congress (APC) chieftain and immediate former Adviser to Governor Abubakar of Bauchi State on Special Duties, Alhaji Sani Mallam has stated that the party is heading for a crash ahead of the 2019 elections.
He stated that this would happen if the ruling party failed to conduct its primary election through the congress system.
Mallam told newsmen in Bauchi, yesterday that aggrieved APC supporters were waiting for the final outcome on the debate from yesterday’s NEC meeting after which they would decide whether to dump the party or stay.
He said, “We are patiently waiting to hear the final decision of APC’s NEC on the possibility of congress primary election which is being agitated for as the best way to producing credible candidates for the party come 2019, which most APC governors seem to kick against because of their personal interest.”
Mallam maintained that the APC as a party has placed itself under a litmus test on the possibility of surviving its internal challenges ahead of the 2019 election.
The party chieftain blamed APC’s woes on party leaders’ impunity and lack of internal democracy by the leaders whose personal interest is supreme
“The situation in APC currently is the same as that of a pregnant woman especially if the party refuses to agree on a congress primary. Should that be the case, APC supporters may definitely dump the party for the opposition,” he warned.
The APC chieftain, therefore, advised the party’s NWC and NEC to reconsider the demands of its members on congress primary or risk losing supporters at the 2019 elections.
DPR Plans Maximum Economic Recovery Strategy For Oil, Gas Industry
The Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) says it is formulating a Maximum Economic Recovery (MER) strategy for Nigeria to attain maximum value delivery from its oil and gas resources.
The Director, DPR, Mr Sarki Auwalu, made the announcement during a keynote address at the 2021 Society of Petroleum Engineers (SPE) Nigeria Annual International Conference and Exhibition (NAICE), yesterday, in Lagos.
The conference has as its theme, “The Future of Energy –A Trilogy of Determinants: Climate Change, Public Health, and the Global Oil Market.”
Auwalu said the industry initiative was one of the outcomes of the work of the National Oil and Gas Excellence Centre (NOGEC), Lagos inaugurated in January by President Muhammadu Buhari.
He said, “Following an in-depth assessment of the status of the industry, the department identified the need to formulate the ‘Maximum Economic Recovery Strategy for Nigeria’.
“This is to guarantee the actualisation of sustainable resource optimisation and the economic benefits arising therefrom.
“The framework for this industry action plan outlines six pillars or building blocks.”
Auwalu said the pillars were: Reserves Maturation and Production Optimisation, Exploration and Resources Maturation, Improved Oil Recovery and Enhanced Oil Recovery, Implementation Asset Stewardship, Performance Evaluation and Rewards Risk Management.
According to him, the draft framework has been shared with the industry, including professional associations like the SPE and the National Association of Petroleum Explorationists.
He said this was in preparation for an industry collaborative workshop to co-develop and enunciate this strategy for immediate execution.
“We count on the contributions and buy-in of all stakeholders on this crucial national assignment for our overall benefit and industry sustainability,“he said.
Auwalu said Nigeria was rising to the occasion as the ‘trigger’ for continental growth and economic transformation using its oil and gas resources to drive value for national development.
He said the DPR would continue to foster innovative ideas and create opportunities for investments and sustainability in the industry.
Auwalu said, “As always, we are enthusiastic to collaborate with all relevant stakeholders, including the SPE, toward the realisation of government’s aspirations for the oil and gas sector.
“In our role as business enablers and opportunity providers, DPR will continue to promote efficiency to meet the needs of the industry, creating value, enhancing transparency, reducing barriers and transaction costs.”
Pensioners Urge PenCom To Implement Unpaid 15% Increment
Pensioners under the Contributory Pension Scheme (CPS) have appealed to the National Pension Commission (PenCom) to implement their 15 and 33 per cent pension increment and other benefits.
The Contributory Pensioners Union of Nigeria (CPUN), South-West Zone, made the appeal,yesterday, during a peaceful protest held in Ibadan.
The CPUN President, Mr Joseph Idowu, while addressing newsmen said that PenCom has yet to implement the increment since 2007 and 2010 in spite of various promises.
Idowu said that their counterparts, under the Defined Benefit Scheme (DBS), had been enjoying the increment through the proactive stand of Pension Transitional Arrangement Directorate (PTAD).
“The new consequential adjustment in pension due to the latest increase in workers’ salaries and wages are also being enjoyed by pensioners under DBS, neglecting the CPS pensioners.
“No CPS pensioner has received any interest on their accrued benefits since 2007 till date.
“We require your urgent attention to ensure that arrears on this are calculated and paid at the Federal Government official rate, as at the time of retirement,” Idowu said.
The president said that his members were suffering as some of them collect as low as N3, 000 as their monthly pension which was not accepted.
Idowu also said that his members were not happy with the delay in the payment of their retirement benefits, which the commission now paid after one year of retirement, contrary to PRA Act 2004 (Amended).
He said that Section 16 (5) of PRA Act 2004 says pensioners should be paid not more than three months after retirement.
Idowu, however, commended the commission for prompt payment of their monthly pension, urging them to prioritise welfare of pensioners under the CPS.
Also, a member of the union, Mrs Clara Fumilayo, called on the Federal Government to assist the pensioners,
Fumilayo said that their monthly pension could no more buy any tangible things based on the situation in the country.
‘Only 29% Of Babies Breastfed Due To Reliance On Breast Milk Substitute’
A professor of Paediatric and Child Health, Alice Romoke-Nte, says the aggressive marketing of breast milk substitute by manufacturers was responsible for the gap in breastfeeding of children by mothers in Nigeria.
Nte, who is also the coordinator, Baby Friendly Initiative at the University of Port Harcourt Teaching Hospital (UPTH) said the advertising of these baby food weakens the confidence of the mothers and makes them feel that these breast milk substitutes are better off.
She said this has left only 29 percent of Nigerian babies breastfed as a result.
Nte said the UPTH, Rotary Clubs in Port Harcourt and other stakeholders were using this year’s World Breastfeeding Week to carry out aggressive campaigns to raise awareness for the need of exclusive breastfeeding.
She said the international code of marketing of breast milk substitutes would be included in steps to ensure full compliance of marketing these artificial body foods.
Rotary Clubs in Port Harcourt that joined in the rally yesterday morning for exclusive breastfeeding to mark the World Breastfeeding Week includes, Rotary Club of Port Harcourt Garden City, Top Health, Seaport, Eco, Atlantic City, and Golf Estate.
Others include, Rotary Club of Port Harcourt Gateway, City Valley, Passport, Creek View, Sky Waves, and Rotary Club of Port Harcourt.
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