Nigeria To Purchase 38 Locally Manufactured Surveillance SUVs

The Federal Executive Council, FEC, on Wednesday approved the direct procurement of 38 patrol SUVs manufactured locally, to enhance the operations of the inspectorate division of the Ministry of Mines and Steel Development.

This was the high point of the FEC meeting presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari during which the council also ratified the Lake Chad Water Charter.

The Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Kayode Fayemi, and his Water Resources Counterpart, Suleiman Adamu, spoke to journalists on the outcome of the meeting.

According to Mr. Fayemi, the session marked one year in office of the ministers, who used the occasion to review progress made by the administration as well as its challenges.

“We are one year in office in two days’ time; so this is the anniversary cabinet meeting.

“And it gave us the opportunity to reflect on the progress we have made as a government, the challenges that we still have to tackle.”

“We also used the occasion to reiterate our commitment to Mr President for giving all of us the opportunity to serve the nation and to do so in a manner that advances our democracy and the development of our country.

“Aside from that, we took on two other memoranda, one from the Ministry of Mines and Steel Development and another from the Ministry of Water Resources.

“On the Mines and steel Development it was the approval of the direct procurement of Nissan Patrol vehicles for the Mines Inspectorate (division) in our 36 states.”

According to the minister, for a decade, the division which oversees artisanal mining has not purchased any vehicle.

He said that the vehicles would be used for surveillance of illegal mining activities and to tackle various field challenges faced by the ministry’s workers.

The minister recalled the recent killing of some miners by bandits in Zamfara and the death of two miners in Paiko, Niger State, adding that through proper surveillance, such incidents could be avoided.

Mr. Fayemi said that as part of the ministry’s road map, a surveillance task force had been established with the ministries of interior and defence as well as the police and civil defence.

He said that the approval for the purchase of the vehicles was a demonstration of the government’s commitment to supporting Made in Nigeria products.

“Over the last three months, all the approvals we had for the purchase of vehicles for Mines and Steel, Interior, Immigration and EFCC were procurements authorised to buy vehicles from local assembly plants.

“This is so that we can begin to strengthen our automotive industry and the government remains committed to that and this approval is further confirmation of the government’s commitment in that direction.

“It speaks directly also to our determination to really begin to focus a lot more seriously on the activities of informal or illegal miners,” he said.

The minister added that the ministry was eager to define the role it could play in supporting artisanal and small-scale miners in fulfilment of the administration’s job creation and revenue generation agenda.

He said the vehicles worth N326.78 million would be bought from local automobile companies and given to each of the states and Abuja with Lagos State being allocated two.

Also speaking, Mr. Adamu added that the second memo considered by FEC was the ratification of the Lake Chad Water Charter.

He said that a treaty was signed by all the Lake Chad Basin Commission countries in 2012 which required the ratification of 95 per cent of the countries before it could come into effect.

“It was ratified today and the next stage is for it to go to the National Assembly for an enactment of the law to back it.

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Oil Benchmark To Stabilise By April – NNPC

The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), said 38 dollars per barrel oil benchmark is feasible by April as projections suggest that prices will go above the benchmark then.

 
The Group Executive Director, Finance, NNPC, Isiaka Abdulrazak, stated this while briefing the Senate Committee on Finance in Abuja on Tuesday.

 
He said based on projections derived from economic activities across the globe, oil prices would not go below 40 dollars per barrel before the end of 2016.

 

“The winter in the Northern Hemisphere has been very aggressive this year which is good news for us because it is also helping with the oil price. By our projection and the analysis done by international analysts, the oil price should go back to well above 38 dollars per barrel.

 

Toward the end of the year, the most conservative projection for the end of the year is that the price will not go below 40 dollars per barrel.

 

So, we are confident that the current price of 38 dollars per barrel is attainable and sustainable from the budget”, he said.

 
Abdulrazak explained that the economic growth of India and the growth expectations of other economies also suggested that the demand for oil would also increase.

 
He expressed optimism that the tempo in oil and gas production would be maintained if security situation in the region was maintained.

 

 

 

(NAN)

Police Arrests 38 Suspected Cultists During Initiation Ceremony

The Rapid Response Squad (RRS) of the Lagos police has arrested 38 suspected cultists who were in the middle of an initiation ceremony at the Somolu area of the state.

The suspects, made up of 29 males and nine females, were in the process of feting themselves when they were arrested based on a tip off.

The arrest was said to be in line with the Safest Lagos campaign, initiated by the state governor, Akinwunmi Ambode, which was kicked off to ensure  maximum security of lives and properties within the metropolis.

Reports gathered that the RRS team had been deployed to the area following some distress calls from the residents of the area.

The suspects, who were said to have been engaged in  criminal activities and other unlawful engagements were arrested by the RRS team led by one Supol Olabode Aroge.

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Death Of 38 Illicit Gin Drinkers, Read What Really Happened

Hair raising particulars of how at least 38 residents of Woji and other communities in Obio/Akpo, Bonny and Gokhana Local Government Areas, Rivers State, breathe their last breath, 24-72 hours after drinking suspected toxic locally brewed gin, popularly known as Kai Kai at a dog meat joint have emerged.

Proprietor of dog meat joint, Mr. Friday Dickson, purported to have laced the delicacy with killer- seasoning, hotly denied the allegation. He spoke to Niger Delta Voice at the Woji Police Divisional Headquarters, where he is under custody. Irate youths razed his restaurant, but Dickson, who has been in the business for over a decade, recalled that a man called Chikobi and Chiefo brought the local gin to his restaurant that Sunday allegedly to celebrate his new chieftaincy title.

Curiously, the celebrant did not drink the gin he brought.  The wife of one of the victims corroborated Dickson’s story. The mysterious Chikobi, said to be a Yoruba man from Ogun state, is on the run after the episode but Dickson said he could recognize him if he sees him. There is also a puzzle on how the killer-gin got to Bonny and Gokhana local governments. Chikobi came to Woji but there is no information on who took the gin to aforementioned two local governments.

Except he left Woji for the Bonny and Gokhana after the “celebration of death” or they were other merchants of death. Investigation by Niger Delta Voice revealed that many of the victims expired wrestling with death, vomiting and complaining of abdominal pain. Some lost their vision, cried of chest and waist pains.

Read More: vanguardngr