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NNPC Limited: FG Taking Oil Communities For Granted —PANDEF

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The apex body of leaders of coastal states of the Niger Delta, Pan-Niger Delta Forum (PANDEF), yesterday, accused the Federal Government of taking the hosts of oil and gas-bearing communities of Niger Delta and Nigerians for granted with its newly unveiled Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited(NNPC).

National Publicity Secretary of the regional group, Ken Robinson, told newsmen: “It will not be reckless to conclude that they are taking Nigerians, particularly the people of the oil and gas producing host communities for granted.

“The new NNPC Limited may be something to celebrate by the Federal Government and its proxies, but for the people of Niger Delta, and the South-South geopolitical zone, in particular, it is the same old NNPC and a continuation of the callous injustice against the people.

“It is merely an old wine in a decorated old bottle. And the event of July 19, 2022, the unveiling of NNPC Ltd, putting it mildly, was an unveiling of hypocrisy.

“Look at the composition of the board and management of the so-called new NNPC Limited, it is the same aged anecdote, lacking in equity and fairness.

“The South-South geopolitical zone, which accounts for over 80per cent of the nation’s crude oil production and which should be bonafide shareholders has only one member.

“The North-West, which accounts for zero per cent of the nation’s oil production has three members: Umar Ajiya, Chief Financial Officer; Mallam Mohammed Lawal and Hadiza Coomasie, Secretary to the board; North East has two members, Mele Kyari, Group Chief Executive Officer and Dr. Tajudeen Umar; South-East has the Chairman of the Board, Senator Margret Okadigbo and Henry Obih.

“North-Central and South-West also have one member each. The question is: what were the criteria used by the president in arriving at this composition?

“How can the new NNPC Limited become a ‘dynamic global energy company of choice to deliver energy for today, for tomorrow, for the day and days after tomorrow’, as stated by the President at the unveiling, when appointments are not made based on conventional standards?

“People are appointed either because they are friends or friends of friends of Mr. President.

“Worse still, the new NNPC Limited has reportedly made expansion of its retail outlets from 547 to over 1,500, within the next six months, one of its key priorities, and is to retail imported petrol, instead of prioritising how to increase local refining of the product to meet domestic needs.

“What a shame. Nigeria is reportedly the only OPEC member country that imports over 90 per cent of refined petroleum products to meet its domestic consumption.

“The new NNPC Limited is supposedly owned by Nigerians but it seems they will continue with the arrogant disposition of doing whatever they like, against the interest and well-being of citizens.”

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Fubara Promises To Maximise Youth Potentials In Rivers

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Rivers State Governor, Sir Siminalayi Fubara, has affirmed his administration’s focus in prioritising policies that will maximise the potentials of the youths in the State.
Fubara made this declaration yesterday at the State NYSC permanent orientation camp, Nonwa-Gbam Tai, in Tai Local Government Area during the swearing-in ceremony of 2024 Batch A Stream 1 corps members deployed to Rivers State.
This was contained in a statement by the Head of Press Unit, Office of the Secretary to the State Government, Juliana Masi, yesterday.
Represented by the Permanent Secretary, Special Services Bureau, Office of the Secretary to the State Government, Sir Samson Friday Dede, the governor commended the NYSC Scheme for the positive impacts it is making in the nation’s quest for sustained development.
“My administration will be unwavering and fully focused in supporting the youths in maximizing their potentials”, he said.
He assured the corps members of his administration’s commitment in supporting them to achieve the mandate of uniting and integrating to the nation.
The governor further admonished corps members to take full advantage of the camp programmes and activities to equip themselves to contribute to nation building.
Earlier, Coordinator, NYSC, Rivers State, Mr. George Mfongang, had urged the corps members to be in the forefront of the nation’s development by being hard working, disciplined and morally sound.
He commended them for being passionate and enthusiastic in imbibing the lessons of the orientation exercise.
The Coordinator thanked Governor Fubara for his unflinching commitment in ensuring the security and welfare of corps members in the State especially, the payment of State allowance to them.
A total of 1,585 Corps members made up of 819 males and 766 females took the oath of allegiance at the ceremony that was administered by Justice Ibiwengi Roseline Minakiri.

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FG, Cement Manufacturers Agree On N7,000, N8,000 For 50kg Per Bag

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The Federal Government and cement manufacturers have agreed on a N7,000 to N8,000 per 50 kg bag price of cement to halt the astronomical rise in the price of the product.
This agreement was part of a deal struck after several hours of meeting held behind closed doors at the headquarters of the Ministry of Works, between the Federal Government and cement manufacturers , in Abuja, yesterday.
The manufacturers agreed to sell a 50kg bag of cement at a retail price between N7,000 and N8,000, depending on location nationwide.
They, however put a caveat that the price drop from the current market price would largely depend on government fulfilling its promised interventions in certain areas of concern to ameliorate critical challenges faced in the industry.
Retail price for cement jumped from N5,000 to N10,000 within one week in the open market, after wholesalers, citing increasing cost of transportation and other variables, made adjustments to the price they sell to retailers.
Retailers in turn transferred the additional cost burden to consumers to stay afloat.
This prompted President Bola Tinubu to order the Ministers of Works, David Umahi and his Trade and Investment counterpart, Dr. Doris Uzoka-Anite. to meet with cement manufacturers to find a solution to the crisis.
Umahi had, while calling for the meeting, expressed the Federal Government’s concern over the development, adding that if the situation wasn’t brought under control, it had the potential of hurting the prosperity agenda of the current administration.
After the meeting, Umahi read out a communique in which he mentioned concerns raised by the manufacturers.
These concerns include: bad roads, smuggling, high cost of energy, and the Forex crisis. This according to the manufacturers were the primary reasons behind the price hike.
He also said the manufacturers which include Dangote Cement PLC, BUA Cement PLC, Larfarge Africa PLC and Cement Producers Association, expressed willingness to reduce the prices going forward.
Representatives of the Federal Government include the Minister of Works and his counterpart in the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment.
While reading the communique, Umahi said: “The meeting noted the challenges of the manufacturers like: cost of gas; high import duty on spare parts; bad road network; high foreign exchange; and smuggling of cement to neighbouring nations.
“The government noted the challenges and reacted as follows: Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment to seek some remedies from Mr. President on cost of gas and import duties.”

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We Are Hungry, Dying, Ibadan Protesters Tell Tinubu

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Thousands of people, on Monday, thronged the major streets of Ibadan in Oyo State, to protest the hardship in the country.
The protesters, who are mainly youths, kept saying they were not out to cause trouble, but to call the attention of all the tiers of governments to the unbearable hardship in the country.
Though they did not use any objects to block the roads, they converged on accesses leading to the University College Hospital, UCH, Ibadan, Sango, Dugbe and Eleyele, thereby blocking vehicular traffic.
They displayed several placards with inscriptions such as ‘Give us good health, End bad governance, End food hike, Open border, End hardship, ‘Is this the renewed hope you promised?’
At intervals, organisers of the protest kept updating the security agents who kept vigilance to arrest anyone who caused problem or hijacked the protest for selfish ends.
During the protest, some schools and banks shut their gates.
The Tide learnt that the protest was convened through the social media.
One of the messages sent by the conveners read, “People should not pass through Mokola roundabout because there will be protest on Monday”.
The message advised that motorists should take alternative routes to their destinations.
A lady who refused to disclose her name, caught the attention of many people with a placard that read: ‘Sanitary pad now costs N4,000; we can’t be using cloth, Please, help us’. Nothing should happen to me. All I’m asking for is my legitimate earning and ease of life.’
Another woman, who identified herself as Mobolaji Inaolaji, one of the coordinators, said: “We want to tell our leaders that things are not right, they should make things easier for us. We are not here to cause violence, things are too costly and people are dying.
“It is our right to protest whether we got permit or not. We have told the security agents that they should arrest whoever causes problem. We are peaceful and law abiding. All we want is to make government know our pains. We will go through most parts of the city.”
Other protesters who were speaking with anger, said: “This problem is too much. Whoever wants to arrest me should come and do so. If we don’t die outside, we’ll die at home.”
After about an hour at Mokola, the protesters headed towards Sango and other parts of the city.

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