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Buhari Orders Release Of Mass Transit Buses

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President Muhammadu Buhari, yesterday, directed the release of mass transit buses to ease the transportation challenges Nigerians are facing.

The president also thanked Nigerians for what he called their patience as the nation continues to witness economic and other challenges.

He also thanked members of the organised labour for their “maturity and patriotism.”

According to a statement by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, the President spoke at the virtual unveiling of the National Gas Expansion Programme and National Auto-gas Roll-out Initiative at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

The statement was titled, “Economy: President Buhari appreciates Nigerians for patience, urges more use of gas as alternative to petrol.”

Adesina quoted the President as saying “Let me now express my deep appreciation to Nigerians for their patience, and organised labour for its maturity and patriotism as we collectively navigate these global economic and other challenges.’’

Buhari urged Nigerians to embrace the use of gas as an alternative to fuel.

He noted that the natural gas resources, which Nigeria is endowed with, have hitherto been used sub-optimally as a result of a dearth of gas processing facilities and infrastructural connectivity for effective and optimal domestic utilisation.

The President said with a proven reserve of about 203 Trillion Cubic Feet and the additional upside of 600 TCF ranking Nigeria as the 9th in the world currently, there was the need for domestic gas expansion and utilisation.

He also said the deregulation of the downstream sector had exposed many to price volatilities in the global market.

Buhari then said attention should be shifted to more affordable alternative for energy, especially with Nigeria’s heavy reserve.

He added, “Therefore, the roll-out of the National Gas Expansion Programme, Auto-gas initiative is coming at the right time, especially in light of global crude oil market fluctuations coupled with the full deregulation of the local PMS market.

“These developments have made it imperative to focus on gas as an alternative fuel to move Nigeria from the conventional dependence on white products for autos and prime-movers of industrial applications, to cleaner, more available, accessible and affordable energy source.

“The outcome will not only cushion the effect of the downstream deregulation that this government has to painfully implement, but also create new markets and enormous job opportunities for our people.’’

The President said the auto-gas initiative would lead to increased domestic gas utilisation and enrich the trajectory of national economic growth and development.

“I, therefore, encourage everyone to embrace gas in form of LPG, CNG and LNG as an alternative fuel for autos and other prime-movers.’

“The Minister of State Petroleum Resources is hereby directed to commence the process of hand over of mass transit buses to organised labour as part of our government’s pledge to continue providing support that will ease the transportation challenges Nigerians are facing at this time,” the President added.

 

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Senate Gives NIMASA 48-Hr Ultimatum To Provide $5m Fees Evidence 

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The Senate Public Account Committee has given a 48-hour ultimatum to the Nigerian Maritime and Safety Agency (NIMASA) to show a document involving payment of $5 million in legal fees for service not rendered.
The panel had invited the management of NIMASA to explain why the $5 million was paid for services not rendered.
At the resumption of the committee meeting on the issue on Tuesday, the representative of NIMASA, OlamideOlusanya,  told panel that the matter was in court.
But the committee rejected the submission and asked the agency to present information at its disposal on the payment of legal fees to the law firm.
The official of the NIMASA told the lawmakers that the agency was directed by the then Attorney General of the Federation to pay $5 million for the legal fees.
The Chairman of the Committee, however, asked the representative of NIMASA to present any letter mandating it to pay $5 million for legal fees.
Responding to whether the Presidency directed the agency to pay the legal fees, the representative of the NIMASA’s Managing Director said there was no such letter, adding that they only had a letter from the Senior Special Assistant to President on Administration authorising the payment.
The Chairman, therefore, ordered the agency to present documents relating to the payment by Thursday this week before the committee would take a final decision on the matter.
He said, “We need the details of the payment, you go back to your archives and bring it out. Also, let us know the transaction between you AGF before you paid the money.”
Another member of the Committee, Senator AbdullahiDanbaba, said there was no basis for making that payment, adding that the money should be recovered from the law firm.
The committee had invited NIMASA up to three times for an explanation for the payment of $5 million as a professional fee and details of the $9.3 billion loss by the Federal government, but the agency had declined the invitation.  The chairman had then ordered that an arrest warrant be issued on the NIMASA boss at the last panel sitting.

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Desertification: Bauchi Rotary Club Plants 100 Trees

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In its effort to fight increasing cases of desertification and promote a friendly environment, the Rotary Club of Bauchi Central has planted 100 species of trees at the new Dungal Housing Estate, a suburb of the Bauchi metropolis on the Bauchi-Jos highway.
Speaking to journalists at the venue of the exercise, Assistant Governor, Rotary International, District 9125, Rotarian Gabriel Omachi,  said that the Club was keen on environmental protection considering the adverse effects of climate change.
Omachi stated that the exercise was part of the contributions of the Rotary Club as a humanitarian organization with the well-being of the people as a major activity.
He said: “We are particularly glad that these trees are being planted in this estate, apart from protecting the encouragement, it is also medicinal. You can see that we have achieved double points”
Omachi noted that the trees when they are grown would give the residents of these areas pure and natural oxygen needed for healthy living and other benefits.”
The Assistant Governor then explained that the Rotary International District 9125 covers 23 states which are the 19 Northern states, four states in the South West excluding Lagos and Ogun as well as the FCT.
Speaking earlier, the President of the Rotary Club of Bauchi Central, NonsoNwobi, said that environmental protection was one of the cardinal agenda of the Club being a humanitarian service organization.
He said: “Today, we have planted 100 trees. Tree planting is one of the humanitarian services that Rotary offers to save the environment.”
Nwobi explained that “one of the purposes of these trees is to beautify the new estate, provide shade and serve as the windbreaker.”

He added that there is no cause for fear over the survival of the trees noting that they said have outgrown nurturing, hence won’t require continued watering more so it is rainy season.

He also assured that NPK fertilizer and other chemicals for protection from pets have been applied to the trees while baskets for protection from stray animals would be provided.

The President urged other well-meaning citizens to join the Club in giving back to society and humanity, adding that the Club has other lined up humanitarian services for the year.

These, he said, included cleaning of drainages, building soak-away and other environmental services assuring that a more positive impact of Rotary Club would be felt by residents of the state.
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Fashola Tasks COREN Board On Professionalism

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Minister for Works and Housing,  Babatunde  Fashola,  has inaugurated  a nine- member Council for the Regulation of Engineering in Nigeria (COREN), with a charge to maintain professionalism.
Fashola, while inaugurating the COREN members in Abuja, Tuesday, stressed the need for the members to imbibe professionalism as well as ensuring that the ethics guiding the engineering profession were upheld.
While reiterating the commitment of the Federal Government to the development of infrastructure in the country, Fashiola said it would also demand Professionalism on the part of the engineers to achieve the stride.
Fashiola said “Our government has committed to infrastructure and you all know infrastructure brings development to the country,  it boosts our economy,  creates employment and enables the nation to compete for continental and global space.”
The minister said  members of the   profession had been and would continue to play a significant role in this regard and stressed the need for COREN to ensure that professionalism was at  its peak.
He charged them to uphold the moral and ethical standards of the profession,  adding that true professionals always did the right thing no matter the situation and would not compromise standards in the face of pressure.
Responding, one of the council members and immediate past President of the Nigerian Society Of Engineers (NSE),  MrBabagana Mohammed, said the new council members were coming with a lot of experience and dedication to protect the ethics and standards of the profession.
“We are going to emphasise on the do’s and don’ts because so many things are happening. Some  people do not understand the regulations, so we need to make people understand and obey the regulations.
“That will form the focus of the ongoing conference of COREN,” Mohammed said
Also speaking, another member, Prof. ZekeniYelebe,  praised the infrastructural drive of the Buhari administration and  pledged that they would ensure that standards were upheld in the profession.
”We can see that this government is serious in terms of infrastructural development and as a council, we will make sure that  engineering activities especially  infrastructural development is done with all  engineering ethics.
“The council will also look at the curriculum of  institutions offering Engineering courses to see if there is need for changes or improvements to be made.

“Accreditation issues will also be appraised to ensure that the products of the Engineering Institutions can compete with their counterparts in any part of the world,” Helene said.

The newly inaugurated council members include DrMuhammed  Jibrin, representing North West; DrIdiatArogundade,  representing the North Central; and Prof. Baba Waziri, representing the North East.

There’s also, Prof. Zekeni  Yelebe, representing the South South, Prof. Gabriel Shonaike, representing the South West. andMrBabajideOjedele representing the Federal Ministry of Works and Housing.

Others are Mr  Ademola  Olurunfemi also representing the Federal Ministry of Works and Housing; as well as MrTasiuWudil and MrBabagana Mohammed both representing the Nigeria Society of Engineers.
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