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Fuel Scarcity: Be Patient, Solution Underway, Minister Begs Nigerians …As 25 CSOs Seek Resignation Of Kyari, Ahmed

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The Minister of State, Petroleum Resources, Chief Timipre Sylva, yesterday, begged Nigerians to exercise patience over the tortuous challenge of petrol scarcity, assuring that efforts were on to end the problem and avoid a repeat of it.
Sylva’s apology was contained in a statement signed by his Senior Adviser, Media & Communications,Horatius Egua.
The minister reckoned that Nigerians in recent weeks have grappled with fuel scarcity, not because of the absence of supply of products but due to inspection failure and regulatory negligence, which allowed adulterated products into the country.
“This is regrettable, and the Federal Government sympathises with the citizenry over the unforeseen hardship, occasioned by the inevitable scarcity. Let me once again appeal to Nigerians to be patient with the government in finding lasting solutions to the crisis.
“We appreciate the NNPC for showing so much concern to the plight of Nigerians by coming forward with an apology. This is unprecedented and shows that we on the government side are not afraid to take responsibility. The Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority has been out on the streets, filling station by filling station to ensure that the situation normalizes quickly and we are beginning to see the fruits of their efforts”, Sylva stated.
He added that while the ugly development (scarcity) was regrettable, it is a time that calls for collective action to save a situation that was not foreseen.
“It is not a time to trade blames as is customary in Nigeria. It is therefore not a time to query anyone but a time to come together to salvage the plight of the average Nigerian.
“After the storm settles there will be time enough to investigate and get to the bottom, so that this does not repeat itself.
“Mr. President’s charge to all parties and agencies concerned is to work together to ensure that normalcy returns quickly. The Nigerian people deserve the best and President Muhammadu Buhari’s government is determined to set the country on the right path of petroleum products availability and sustainability, as demonstrated in the award of the contracts for the rehabilitation of all our refineries and the acquisition of stake in the Dangote Refinery. Let us as Nigerians stand shoulder to shoulder in our shared quest for a greater country”, the minister added.
However, it was observed, that fuel queues have substantially thinned out in various parts of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), yesterday.
The development seems to be a confirmation of government’s assurances that fuel queues would gradually disappear from the weekend when 3.2billion litres of safe petrol imported is injected into the domestic market.
A lot of filling stations that were hitherto out of stock for weeks were seen selling petrol to motorists.
From Kubwa to Maitama and the Central area, queues that hitherto snaked close to a kilometre had shrunk to just a few metres.
An NNPC source disclosed that the queues will eventually disappear within this week when more oil marketers take delivery of the right specification of petrol.
The development is a soothing relief to the two weeks of product scarcity nightmare motorists and consumers have been subjected to.
It was observed that consumers preferred patronising outlets of major oil marketers for fear of not buying remnants of contaminated petrol.
Excited motorists, who spoke with newsmen, hoped the situation was improved for good, so they can stop sleeping in filling stations to buy petrol.
But in Port Harcourt, the situation has not shown any sign of abating, as most filling stations had their gates completely shut to customers, yesterday.
Some of the major stations, TOTAL, CONOIL, LIQUID BULK, RESTOPARK, OANDO, MRS, ETERNA OIL, and many others on Port Harcourt-Aba Road, Rumuomasi-Elekahia Road, Old Aba Road, were not open to customers.
Some motorists, who spoke to The Tide, complained that they were having a hard time trying to source for fuel to keep their vehicles on the road.
Meanwhile, no fewer than 25 civil society organisations of northern extraction under Coalition of Concerned Northern Forum, yesterday, called for the resignations of the Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC) Limited, Mele Kyari; and the Chief Executive Officer of Nigeria Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority, (NMDPRA), Farouk Ahmed over lingering fuel crisis across the country.
The coalition, which drew strength from members within and outside the country, condemned the current scarcity of petroleum products across the nation which has subjected Nigerians to avoidable social-economic crises.
To this coalition, the said scarcity was aimed at embarrassing the current administration by its enemies and unpatriotic elements within the government.
In a statement, the Chairman and Spokesperson, Concerned Northern Forum,Ibrahim Bature;and Abdulsalam Mohammed Kazeem; respectively, asked the Federal Government to identify all households and motorists in the north who have been affected by the adulterated product imported into the country a few weeks ago before the recall.
According to them, “NNPC in connivance with un-recognised, un-licensed or faceless importers and relevant agencies that have to do with the importation of petroleum products are dragging us backwards due to their deliberate errors.
“NNPC’s quality inspection unit which comprises GMO, SGS, Geochem and G&G did not conduct any test before the said products were discharged.
“The above units are saddle with the responsibilities of ensuring that the products are not above our required standard, yet the same unit has up till date equipment at her disposal with adequate funding for such tasks.
“Therefore, the NNPC’s GMD, Mallam Mele Kyari, and the Chief Executive Officer of Nigeria Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority, Engr. Farouk Ahmed, should tender their resignation with immediate effect for negatively breaking the record of the current administration over persistent fuel scarcity.
“NNPC management should make public genuine and comprehensive names of those involved in this national scandal and embarrassment”.
The coalition, however, threatened to occupy all NNPC zonal offices and its subsidiaries across the northern region and the FCT if its demands were not met in the next three working days.
“This is not just a mere threat, we will follow up with full action after the expiration of our ultimatum and this will serve as a litmus test on the part of the government on its fight against corruption and indiscipline”, the coalition said.

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See Fubara’s Victory As God’s Design, Wike Tells Rivers PDP

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Rivers State Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike has described the victory of Hon Siminialayi Fubara at the gubernatorial primary of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the state as God’s design.
The PDP gubernatorial primary held, last Wednesday, at the Dr. Obi Wali International Conference Centre in Port Harcourt.
Wike, who spoke after Fubara was declared the winner of the primary, said so many people strove to clinch the slot but only one person can emerge.
The governor also declared that with the victory of Fubara, Rivers PDP now has a candidate that will fly its flag in the 2023 governorship election.
“I never knew I’ll be governor when I became governor. You have also heard what the candidate said that he never knew he will become PDP candidate.
“But to the glory of God, he is the candidate of PDP. This is because power comes from God. Whoever God says will be, will be.”
Wike pointed out that when it comes to producing the governor of the state, all tribes need to work together on it because no one particular tribe can do it alone.
He said because his administration has performed credibly well in the state, any candidate that the party presents will easily win in the 2023 general election.
“With the performance of our administration, and with what we have achieved in this state, there is no candidate that PDP will present that will not win election.
“Our campaign focus will be like this, that we made promises to the state to do roads and other projects, ask us, have we done them? Yes, we have.
“We will ask them (other parties), what have you done for Rivers State? Certainly nothing. So, who tells you that any other party can come and win this state? Let no one deceive you about that.”
Wike explained that after the presidential primary, PDP leaders in Rivers State will set up a team that will work to ensure that the party wins the 2023 gubernatorial election.
He expressed optimism that those who believe in the party will be dutiful in working for the candidate to win.
In his acceptance speech, Hon Siminialayi Fubara, the immediate past Accountant General of Rivers State, described his victory as evidence of grace.
He called on all party faithful to support his victory and the new drive to consolidate on the achievements of Wike’s administration.
“It is victory for Fubara. It is victory for the party. It is not just victory for the party, but victory for moving the state forward.
“The purpose of this special event this night is also to consolidate on the achievements, on every side, of this present administration.
“We are going to work together to sustain the work that this administration has already done for us.”
In his opening address, the Chairman of PDP in Rivers State, Amb Desmond Akawor said the party was poised to conduct a peaceful and successful gubernatorial primary.
Akawor explained that the party was delighted to have conducted peaceful congresses in the 319 wards and 23 local government areas of the state, including primaries for state and National Assembly.
Declaring the result of the gubernatorial primary, Chairman of the Electoral Committee, Prof. Walter Mboto, said Hon Siminialayi Fubara, polled a total of 721 votes to emerge PDP candidate for the 2023 governorship election.
He explained that Isaac Kamalu polled 86 votes to emerge second position, while Dax Alabo George Kelly polled 37 votes and Tammy Danagogo polled 36 votes.
Also, he said, Chief West Morgan polled 4 votes, David Briggs 4 votes and Brother Felix Obuah polled 2 votes, while eight votes were voided.
“The delegate list that we have has a total number of delegates expected to vote as 980. Total number of accredited out of this 980, 898 delegates were accredited. The total number of votes cast in this election is 898. The total number of valid votes cast is 890. 8 votes were voided.”

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FAAC: FG, States, LGCs Share N656.602bn Revenue

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The Federation Account Allocation Committee (FAAC) has shared a total sum of N656.602billion as April 2022 Federation Account Revenue to the Federal Government, states and local government councils.
This was contained in a communiqué issued at the end of a virtual meeting of the FAAC for May 2022.
The N656.602billion total revenue comprised distributable statutory revenue of N461.189billion, Value Added Tax (VAT) revenue of N166.522billion, the sum of N8.891billion being excess bank charges recovered and augmentation of N20billion.
In April 2022, the total deductions for the cost of collection were N29.609billion and the total deductions for transfers and refunds were N147.651billion.
Director (Information, Press and Public Relations), Office of the Accountant General of Federation, HenshawOgubike, said in a statement, yesterday, that the balance in the Excess Crude Account (ECA) was $35.377million.
The communiqué confirmed that from the total distributable revenue of N656.602billion; the Federal Government received N257.611billion, State Governments got N201.256billion and the Local Government Councils received N149.251billion.
The sum of N48.485billion was shared to the relevant states as 13percent derivation revenue.
Gross statutory revenue of N635.037billion was received for the month of April 2022.
This was lower than the N933.304billion received in the previous month by N298.267billion.
From the N461.189billion distributable statutory revenue, the Federal Government received N217.412billion, the State Governments got N110.275billion and the Local Government Councils received N85.017billion.
The sum of N48.485billion was shared with the relevant States as 13percent derivation revenue.
In the month of April 2022, the gross revenue available from the Value Added Tax (VAT) was N178.825billion.
This was lower than the N219.504billion available in the month of March 2022 by N40.679billion.
From the N166.522billion distributable Value Added Tax (VAT) revenue, the Federal Government received N24.978billion, the State Governments got N83.261billion and the Local Government Councils pocketed N58.283billion.
The Federal Government got N4.684billion; the State Governments received N2.376billion and the Local Government Councils pocketed N1.831billion from the N8.891billion Excess Bank Charges recovered.
The N20.00billion augmentation was shared as follows: the Federal Government received N10.536billion, the State Governments got N5.344billion and the Local Government Councils received N4.120billion.
According to the communiqué, in the month of April 2022, Petroleum Profit Tax (PPT) and Excise Duties increased marginally, while Oil and Gas Royalties, Import Duty, Companies Income Tax (CIT) and Value Added Tax (VAT) all recorded significant decreases.

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Children’s Day: FG Establishes Family Court In 16 States 

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Ahead of this year’s International Children’s Day celebration, the Federal Government has established family courts in 16 states to ensure child-friendly justice for children, either as victims or as offenders of violence.
The Minister of Women Affairs, Pauline Tallen who disclosed this at a press briefing on Tuesday noted that the establishment of family courts resulted from the effective advocacy and sensitisation for effective implementation of the Child Rights Law across the country.
According to her, the theme for this year’s celebration is ‘Strengthening Supportive Systems for the Protection of the Nigerian Child; A Wake-Up Call.’
The minister noted that despite efforts by the government and other stakeholders, children were still vulnerable and victims of abduction, ritual killings, rape, child marriage, domestic abuse, and others.
She said, “As a ministry, we are sometimes overwhelmed with these issues and it will seem as if we are not doing enough.
“More worrisome is the recent increase of violence in schools, where children are physically and sexually abused online and offline.
“In the meantime, the ministry, in collaboration with relevant stakeholders, has developed policies and carried out a series of programmes to ensure the safety of children.
“The establishment of family courts in 16 states of the federation is a direct result of the effective and sustained advocacy”.
Tallen also said that to ensure the safety and protection of children, she also reconstituted the technical working group on ending violence against children in the country.

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