The Nigerian Guild of Editors (NGE) has urged stakeholders in the Niger Delta to support the Federal Government’s post-amnesty programme to maintain stability in the region.
Such support, the guild said, was necessary to frustrate any resurgence of militancy in the oil-rich Niger Delta.
The call was contained in a communiqué issued at the end of the Guild’s sixth All Nigerian conference in Port Harcourt.
Signed by the President and Secretary of the Guild, Messrs Gbenga Adefaye and John Ndukauba, the editors pledged to treat all persons pursuing legitimate demands for justice and equity in the region through legal means with understanding.
They commended President Goodluck Jonathan for signing the Local Content Bill into law and for setting up the Local Content Monitoring Board.
They urged the media to publicise the provisions of the law and the activities of the board, adding that the law provided opportunities for empowerment of Nigerians in the oil and gas sector.
They stressed the need for transparency, accountability and probity in the allocation and use of oil and gas resources.
This, they believed, would engender growth and development and eliminate restiveness in the oil-rich Niger Delta region.
The conference noted the contributions of the Nigerian Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI) in ensuring transparency in extractive industries and urged the government to give the agency more powers to sanction defaulters.
It criticised the over-dependence on oil and advised the government to develop other sources of revenue such as solid minerals and agriculture.
It requested the government to take measures to ensure that international oil companies operated within acceptable standards and acquired appropriate technology in enforcing payment of appropriate taxes and royalties.
On the Freedom of Information (FOI) Bill before the National Assembly, the editors re-echoed their earlier demand for the passage of the bill to allow people to hold the government accountable.
They called on relevant authorities to take concrete steps to alleviate poverty in the society, noting that “poverty is pervasive across the country”.
Meanwhile, following the revival of the post-amnesty programme, ex-militants, are set to go for rehabilitation next month.
The hint was dropped by Mr Ndutimi Alaibe, Special Adviser to the President on Niger-Delta Affairs, shortly after speaking at the 6th All Nigerian Editors Conference over the weekend.
Mr Alaibe, who had earlier spoken on the theme: “Militancy, Avoiding a Resurgence,” said President Goodluck Jonathan had directed that the scheme be given priority attention following delays in the past months.
He stated that by July, the ex-militants would be taken to a rehabilitation camp, where they would be engaged in non-violence training.
Mr Alaibe, who described the process as ‘transformative’, said the essence of the scheme was to get the ex-militants employable and re-integrated into the society.
Though he did not give full details of how the programme would run, he said they had commenced proper classification and documentation of those to participate in the scheme.
The former Managing Director of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), ruled out the possibility of non-ex-militants participating in the scheme.
“We went to the camp and we talked to them so they know themselves, and we also know those who are militants and those who are not,” he said.
He disclosed that already the ex-militants had started showing enthusiasm to be engaged in the programme. He added that those who are not ex-militants would be trained as well.
His words: “For those who are not militants, they would be involved in a different programme that would be run by other service providers, oil companies and private sector.”
Alaibe had earlier in his paper recommended the need for more equitable sharing of oil proceeds, in order to avert the recurrence of violence in the future.
For him, the present measures were not sufficient enough to prevent the youths from resorting to violent agitation in the future.
Particularly, “if the economic oppression persists, then militancy would not be eradicated,” he said.
We Get Petrol At N200 Per Litre From Depots, IPMAN Cries Out
The Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN) has decried the ‘unsustainable’ price that the private depot owners sell the premium motor spirit, otherwise known as petrol in the country.
Speaking, yesterday, on Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily, the Deputy National President of IPMAN, Zarama Mustapha, revealed that the private depots get petrol at the approved price of N148/litre from the sole importer of the commodity, the Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC) Limited, however, sell it for as high as N195 to N210 to independent marketers, which is not sustainable.
“Though marketers get petrol at the approved price of N148/litre from NNPC depots, the company does not have enough storage facilities to cater to the needs of marketers, hence, the latter resorts to private depot owners. It is more of the issue of private depots collecting the products at the approved price and not selling to the independent marketers at a price approved by the mainstream, downstream regulatory authority.
“You cannot get a product at N195 to N200 and expect to sell it at N175,” he noted.
The IPMAN official said depot owners give excuses such as the cost of transporting the product from the mother vessel to their depots and escalation of the dollar as reasons for the price hike.
Mustapha lamented that most Lagos depots are in a chaotic situation and marketers spend three days to load refined petrol that they are not supposed to spend more than three hours to lift.
He urged the NNPC to engage depot owners to sell the product to marketers at the recommended price, saying the common man is at the receiving end.
For weeks, vehicle owners have had a tough time getting petrol from filling stations, especially in Lagos and Abuja.
Whilst many outlets are closed, the few open ones sell the indispensable commodity for as high as N250 per litre from the uniform price of N169/litre.
The supply shortage has led to long, gruelling snake-like queues at the few open filling stations as motorists and business owners jostle to buy fuel while others resort to the black market.
The situation has also worsened traffic on major roads as vehicle owners block at least one lane to join queues to filling stations.
Make Nigerian Youths Innovative, Buhari Tells Corporate Leaders
President Muhammadu Buhari has tasked leaders of corporate organisations to build the capacity of Nigerian youths to be innovative and embrace technology to make positive contributions to their organisations and the nation.
The president, represented by the Attorney General of the Federation, Mr Abubakar Malami, said this at the Institute of Directors (IoD) 2022 Annual Director’s Conference (ADC), yesterday, in Lagos.
The ADC had as its theme: “Corporate Governance and Digital Transformation: Leading Purposefully for Growth and Sustainability.”
Buhari, noting that the challenges associated with corporate governance were multifaceted, stressed the need for heads of organisations to harness technology to achieve effective governance.
He reiterated the commitment of his administration to providing the necessary legal support and framework to support the entrenchment of good corporate governance practices across various sectors of the economy.
Buhari also pledged his commitment to supporting the IoD by giving the institute’s chartered bill the necessary consideration to enable it to achieve its mandate.
Deputy Secretary General, United Nations, Ms Amina Mohammed, said the world was hit by a series of global crises which have affected the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG).
Mohammed said technology and digitalisation would set the era of digital transformation in areas of health, education, agriculture and finance.
Nigeria Does Not Belong To North, Arewa Youths Tell Northern Elders
The Arewa Youth Consultative Forum (AYCF) has said that Nigeria does not belong to the North ahead of the 2023 general election.
Apparently reacting to the recent interview granted by a member of the Northern Elders Forum, Alh Sani Zango Daura, in which he called on the North to support a Northern candidate.
The AYCF, in a statement issued by its National President, Yerima Shettima, noted that supporting a southerner was clearly a demonstration of justice.
He noted that this was because Nigeria does not belong to the North alone, or Muslims and Christians of the North, insisting that “even on moral grounds, the most responsible political action by the North was the decision on powershift in 2023, because the Presidency cannot be hereditary and Nigeria is not a Banana Republic”.
Shettima further said, however, that the elder was expressing his personal opinion and not the stand of the North in general, saying that a “ little balancing was needed in position of our father Zangon Daura, more so when he admitted that the elders are mere escorts for the younger generation today”.
The AYCF noted that when 13 Northern governors led by Kaduna State Governor, Mal Nasirel-Rufai endorsed a Southern candidate for the 2023 presidency, they repeatedly cited political justice.
“Though we are not card-carrying members of the APC, we shared the view that the decision was in line with being fair to the South in 2023.
“We are aware, as well as our father ZangonDaura, that the North is respected for honouring its promises to the South and this one absolutely undeniable character of all Northerners.
“We are not known to break promises and that explains why our son, President MuhammaduBuhari never objected to the idea of a Southern presidential candidate in the ruling party. In the North, like our father ZangonDaura knows, promises are sacred and in fact a culture”.
It would be recalled that in a viral audio of AlhajiZangonDaura while addressing a group of youths, suggested that they should throw their weight behind a fellow Northerner for the presidency in 2023, citing historic and religious instances, something the AYCF said it believed was “overtaken by events, current realities, and the spirit of justice and fairness in the Nigerian project”.
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