Government Moves To End Niger Delta Crisis, Merge Agencies

The Federal Government yesterday moved to end militancy in the Niger Delta region.

Addressing State House Correspondents on the outcome of the National Economic Council (NEC) meeting, Kaduna State Governor Nasir El-Rufai joined by the Deputy Governor of Anambra State Mkem Okeke, said governors under the aegis of the Nigerian Governors Forum (NGF) have agreed to form a committee that would collaborate with the Federal Government to combat the menace of vandalism and destruction of oil and power installation among others.

Minister of Budget and National Planning, Udoma Udo Udoma, who also spoke after the NEC meeting, with Vice President Yemi Osinbajo presiding, said the current administration was only on a rescue mission of an economy that was already battered.

El-Rufai also disclosed that the NEC agreed to step up cost saving measures including a reduction of aides, vehicles in the convoy of government officials and merger of agencies as recommended by the Steve Oronsaye Committee on Public Service Reforms and in view of the recession.

“At the federal level, we are suggesting looking at the Orosanye report. We have discussed very important steps to be taken. We have suggested looking at Orosanye report that suggested merger and reduce publications of agencies,” El Rufai said.

According to him: “FG has 580 agencies. They are too many and they cost too much. There is a need to look at those that are duplicated and merge them. That is a report published since 2012. Even within MDAs, we need to consider merging departments. We may not need as many departments as we have. We have discussed implementing a public service renewal programme to get younger people, more IT-saving people into the public service.”


FG Unveils N7.02trn Package To End Recession

As part of moves to get the country out of recession, the Federal Government has outlined new revenue sources to fund the 2017 budget.
This is even as the House of Representatives also yesterday passed for the Second Reading the 2017-2019 Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF) and Fiscal Strategy Paper (FSP).
The Minister of Budget and National Planning, Udoma Udo Udoma, who unfolded the new revenue measures, stated this when he appeared before a joint committee of the Senate on Appropriation and Finance, to defend the MTEF/FSP. He said the Federal Government will issue new oil licences, review the current joint venture arrangements with oil companies, review marginal oil fields and mount pressure on revenue generating agencies to surpass expected targets.
Also, the government has stated that the 2017 budget oil benchmark will be pegged at $42.50. This is a departure from $38 per barrel which was used for 2016 budget.
Daily oil production volume for next year was retained at 2.2 million barrels. The exchange rate was put at N305 to the dollar. The new exchange rate is significantly higher than that of 2016. The 2016 budget exchange rate was pegged at $197.
Udoma said N10 trillion is being targeted by the government as revenue during the 2017 fiscal year. Out of this amount, about N5 trillion is expected to be generated from sales of crude oil.
Non-oil revenues will rake in about N5.06 trillion. These revenues are expected to come from corporate and company taxes, Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas, Stamp Duties, capital gains tax, Value Added Tax (VAT), Customs, Excise, fees, surcharges on luxury items, special levies and Federal Government independent revenue.
The 2017 budget which was initially pegged at N6.6866 trillion, has also been raised to N7.298 trillion. In 2016, the government submitted an ambitious N6.059 proposal to the National Assembly.
Out of this, the government is expected to expend N1.488 trillion in servicing domestic debts. In 2016 budget, the Federal Government earmarked N1.307 trillion.
On foreign debt, the Federal Government will spend N175.882 billion. It spent N54.480 on foreign debt servicing in the 2016 budget.
On capital expenditures, the Federal Government budgeted N2.058 trillion. In the 2016 budget, N1.587 was earmarked by the Federal Government for capital projects.
Recurrent expenditures will gulp N1.866 trillion. About N1.748 was budgeted for the same purpose in the 2016 Appropriation. The new figure is coming, despite claims by the Federal Government that thousands of ghost workers have been yanked off from government’s payroll.
The Federal Government also intends to borrow N2.321 trillion. Out of this, N1.253 will be sourced locally, while N1.067 will be gotten from foreign sources. In the 2016 budget, N1.182 was reportedly borrowed locally, while N635.8 billion was gotten through foreign borrowing.
On budget projections, Udoma said: “I know N7 trillion seems larger than N6 trillion. In actual dollar term, the 2017 budget is smaller. We have had challenges in revenue generation in funding the 2016 budget. We are trying to get to the bottom of revenue generating agencies in order to raise more money.
“We want to issue a presidential order to ensure that revenue generating agencies are unable to spend money unless payment of salaries until their budgets are passed.
President Muhammadu Buhari is expected to present the 2017 budget proposal today before a joint session of the National Assembly.
Unlike in the past, the budget submission will go ahead,  despite the non-passage of MTEF and FSP by the Senate.
Meanwhile, the House  of Representatives yesterday passed for Second Reading, the 2017-2019 MTEF/FSP submitted by Mr. President.
The document was referred to the joint Committees on Appropriations, Finance and Loans, Aids and Debt Management. It contains plans for capital expenditure for 2016 increased to N635.77 billion.
It also has a revenue target of N4.169 trillion (against N3.856 trillion in 2016) and total expenditure of N6.687 trillion.
A further breakdown of the MTEF showed the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is expected to grow at 3.02% in 2017, with crude oil benchmark pegged a $42.5 per barrel and 2.2mbpd oil production; foreign exchange pegged at N350/$ while fiscal deficit was pegged at 3 percent.

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Saudi Prince Seeks To End Ban On Women Driving

An outspoken billionaire Saudi prince has called for an “urgent” end to his country’s ban on women driving, saying it is a matter not just of rights but of economic necessity.

“Stop the debate: Time for women to drive,” Prince Alwaleed bin Talal said on his official Twitter account.

Alwaleed is an unusually forthright member of Saudi Arabia’s extensive royal family. He holds no political posts but chairs Kingdom Holding Co., which has interests including in US banking giant Citigroup and the Euro Disney theme park.

He is a longtime advocate of women’s rights in the conservative Islamic kingdom, which has some of the world’s tightest restrictions on women and is the only country where they are not allowed to drive.

In conjunction with his short tweet, Alwaleed’s office issued an uncharacteristically long statement late Tuesday outlining his reasons for supporting an end to the ban. “Preventing a woman from driving a car is today an issue of rights similar to the one that forbade her from receiving an education or having an independent identity,” Alwaleed said.

“They are all unjust acts by a traditional society, far more restrictive than what is lawfully allowed by the precepts of religion.” He also detailed the “economic costs” of women having to rely on foreign private drivers or taxis, since public transit is not a viable alternative in the kingdom.

Using foreign drivers drains billions of dollars from the Saudi economy, Alwaleed said. He calculated that families spend an average of 3,800 riyals ($1,000/940 euros) a month on a driver, money which otherwise could help household incomes at a time when many are making do with less. Even if their husbands can take time out to transport the women, that requires temporarily leaving the office and “undermines the productivity of the workforce,” Alwaleed said.

“Having women drive has become an urgent social demand predicated upon current economic circumstances.” The prince said he is making his call on behalf of those with “limited means”.

Activists say women’s driving is not technically illegal but that the ban is linked to tradition and custom. Some women have challenged the prohibition by getting behind the wheel and posting images of themselves online.

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Suicide Bombings Will End Soon– Army

The Nigerian Army on Wednesday assured that the recent spate of suicide bombings in Maiduguri would soon be a thing of the past.

Maj.-Gen. Lucky Irabor, the Theater Commander of the Operation Lafiya Dole stated this while briefing newsmen in Maiduguri.

Irabor stated that the army had put in place mechanism to end the bombings.

“I am delighted to be with you again this afternoon to acquaint you with developments within the theater of operation. The troops of Operation Lafiya Dole have continued with the ongoing operations to clear the remnants of Boko Haram Terrorists.

“Since our last interaction, our troops have conducted many operations with immense successes,’’ he said.

Irabor said that the army had been able to minimise  impact of the bombings on the public.

“The impact of recent bombings in Maiduguri, though sad and unfortunate, was minimal due to the alertness of troops and other security agencies.

“Apart from the one wherein two Civilian JTF personnel were killed and some others wounded, only the terrorists died, while one was captured alive.

“The captured suicide bomber is assisting in the investigation into cases of suicide bombings.’’

He said that the continued bombings by the terrorists were a sign of weakness.

According to him, the incidents are only indicative of a weakened and defeated Boko Haram terrorists, their ignoble adventure is destined to fail totally,’’ Irabor said.

He advised members of the public to be more conscious and alert to their environment.

“I wish to remind the general public to be more alert and security conscious with their environment, especially when a strange face comes around.

“I also commiserate with all the victims of the recent suicide bombings by terrorists within the theatre. We shall continue to work to ensure the safety of lives of every citizen, ” Irabor said.

He urged Boko Haram remnants to take advantage of a window of opportunity by surrendering their arms.

“Let me once again use this medium to remind the remnants of Boko Haram that their miserable days are numbered because their future is going to be disastrous if they fail to surrender and lay down their arms.

“Let me therefore, encourage them to take advantage of this window of opportunity now to surrender as failure to do so would be hugely regretted,” Irabor said.


Suicide bombings will end soon – Army

Nigeria To End $800m A Year Wheat Import From Russia

The federal government has resolved to end the importation of wheat from Russia to preserve foreign reserves.

Foreign Affairs Minister of State Hajiya Khadija Abba-Ibrahim, stated this at the weekend after the fourth Joint Commission meeting between Russia and Nigeria in Abuja.

Nigeria spent $880 million on wheat imports last year and has already spent $660 million this year.

The minister said Nigeria would henceforth invite Russians to help improve the country’s agricultural productivity.

“We import a lot of wheat from Russia and we are telling Russia that this has to stop.

“We want the Russian companies and farmers to come to Nigeria to show us how we can grow our agriculture sector with modern technology,” the minister said.

The Russian delegation led by Mr Dianov Alexandar Yurievich attended the meeting.

The value of wheat imported into Nigeria between January and September 2016 is $660m, according to data obtained from the National Bureau of Statistics.

Nigeria, in the first week of November, imported approximately 53 million metric tons valued at $7.8 billion.

Nigeria has stepped up wheat production and has hit 60,000MT, ranking it 61st out of 79 countries in global production.

According to data from the Central Bank of Nigeria, the country spends $11 billion (N3.1tn) annually to import wheat, rice, sugar and fish.

Nigeria’s food import was growing at an unsustainable rate of 11 per cent per annum.

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Nigeria to end $800m a year wheat import from Russia

Blackberry To End Making Smartphones As Revenue Slumps

BlackBerry Ltd posted a 31.8 percent fall in second-quarter revenue and it said it would end all internal hardware development, including its well known smartphones.

The Waterloo, Ontario-based company reported a net loss of $372 million, or 71 cents a share, on revenue of $334 million. A year ago, it reported a profit of $51 million, or 24 cents a share, on revenue of $490 million. Excluding one-time items, the company said it broke even.

Credit: reuters

Sheriff, Makarfi Meet, Vow To End PDP Crises

Factional leaders of the Peoples Democratic Party, Senators Ali Modu Sheriff and Ahmed Makarfi, met in Abuja on Tuesday and declared their intention to end the perennial crises in the party.

The meeting, which was held at an undisclosed venue in Abuja, was said to have been attended by some members from the two factions.

At the end of the meeting, representatives of each faction jointly addressed a press conference where they said their leaders were working together to reposition the party.

While the Secretary of the National Caretaker Committee, Senator Ben Obi represented Makarfi, Dr. Cairo Ojougboh, represented Sheriff at the briefing.

The short briefing was held at a neutral venue away from each faction’s offices.

In the joint statement, which was read by Ojougboh and corroborated by Obi, the two leaders said that their meeting was without prejudice to all outstanding matters in court.

The statement said, “This is without prejudice to all outstanding matters in court. At a meeting held this morning between the two of us, a holistic review of the state of affairs of our great party, PDP, was deliberated upon.

“In reviewing the crisis that has engulfed our party since the loss of the 2015 general elections after 15 years of uninterrupted leadership at the centre, it became obvious to both of us as principal actors that it is time to heal the wounds and bring about a united, focused and constructive opposition party that can bring sanity to our democratic process.”

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End Of Fuel Scarcity In Sight, As Cargo Vessels Arrive Lagos

The Products Petroleum and Marketing Company (PPMC) has re-assured Nigerians that the fuel scarcity will strategically come to an end soon in Lagos, Abuja, Kaduna and other cities in the country.

Speaking at a meeting with major oil marketers in Lagos, the Executive Director, Supply and Distribution, PPMC, Mr Justin Ezeale, said the development became necessary in order to solve the problems in badly affected areas in the country.

He said the government was aware of the  problems arising from distribution of fuel in the country, hence its decision to employ proactive measures on the issue.

He disclosed that seven cargoes of Petroleum Motor Spirit (PMS) arrived the country for onward distribution to various parts of the country.

He said 294 trucks of fuel was distributed in Lagos on Tuesday, while another 336 trucks of fuel would be supply Wednesday, adding that Abuja has gotten its own supplies as well.

According to him, The Federal Government has embarked on massive importation of fuel in order to end the lingering fuel scarcity. As at today, seven cargoes of fuel has arrived the country for distribution to major cities like Lagos, Abuja, and others. We have taking into cognizance that the country consumes 40milliion litres of fuel daily, and we would ensure that fuel supply goes round the country.

‘’ PPMC meets with major marketers and representatives of the Federal Government every day since the fuel crisis started few weeks ago. The government is feeling the pains going through by Nigerians, hence the decision to meet regularly with stakeholders in the value chain in order to strategies on the issue of ending the fuel problems,’’ he said.

Speaking further, he said the government is engaging the services of members of  Nigerian and Security and Civil Defence Corps(NSCDC) to monitor the supply of fuel from depots to the filing stations, stressing that the decision was borne out of the need to stop diversion of petroleum products in Nigeria.

Ezeale said the police has been helpful in this regard, stressing that members of civil defence corps were drafted into the issue to compliment the efforts of the police.

Credit: Leadership

Kaduna Refinery To End Petrol Scarcity In North In 2 Weeks

Officials of the Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC)? on Saturday stated that the crippling fuel scarcity in the northern part of the country will be over in the next two weeks following the completion of repairs on the vandalized pipelines supplying crude oil to Kaduna Refining and Petro-chemical Company (KRPC).

The officials also said the KRPC is ready to commence production.

The Group Executive Director (GED) and Chief Operating Officer (COO), Off-Stream sector, NNPC, Alhaji Bello Rabiu Barbuda, gave the assurance when he embarked on a facility tour of the KRPC Plant.

He disclosed that the Warri and Port Harcourt refineries were also set for adequate fuel supply in the country, saying the era of shortage of the petroleum product? supply will soon be over.

?”As you can see, the whole country is under siege because of fuel supply. We are looking at the entire value chain to solve the problem.

“I come here to see the readiness of this refinery to be back on stream. We were actually having problem with the supply of crude oil to this place from Warri. It is about 640 kilometres line. That line is almost ready so that we would start pushing the crude here.

“At least in ten days, we would bring the crude to Kaduna, and about two or four days we would make everything ready.

“We want to make sure that in the next two weeks this refinery will be ready to start producing fuel. If that is done, the entire (northern) part of this country will be serviced with fuel.”

Babura told journalists in an interview shortly after touring the KRPC plant.

He noted that the plant is in good condition, adding that production will begin and nothing will stop it again.

Credit: thisdaylive

When Fuel Scarcity Will End, Kachikwu Gives Date

Minister of State for Petroleum, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu, appeared before the Senate Committee on Petroleum Resources ( Downstream ) on Tuesday,  to explain reasons for the acute fuel scarcity across the country and the efforts being made by his ministry to resolve the embarrassing phenomenon.

He lamented the situation and apologised to Nigerians who are really going through difficult situation and promised that the scarcity will end on or before the 7th of April.

He said,  “I share the pains of Nigerians. I feel that pain everyday. Those who are following my trajectories since I resumed office would see that even on the Christmas day,  I was at the refineries. On the Easter day,  I was in Lagos,  monitoring fuel distribution at the depots.

“I have given 24/7 attention to the problem in this industry which were unbelievable. I have continued to work with one sole purpose in mind, which is that every problem will have a solution.

“I do apologise if a comment I made jocularly with my friends in the press about being a magician offends some Nigerians, it wasn’t meant to be. I did go ahead to explain what needed to be done. I didn’t intend to create this kind of hyperbole that it did.

“Let me admit that I am not a typically experienced politician. I am a technocrat,  Some of the phraseologies that I may use while being acceptable in the arena in which I play,  obviously will not be acceptable in the public political arena. If anybody’s sensitivities were offended by that,  I totally apologise, I am a very humble person even imagining the thought that I dictate to Nigerians. I am not somebody like that.”

Kachikwu attributed the current fuel scarcity to lack of importation by the major oil marketers; diversion of the products by marketers; pipeline vandalism; panic buying and non computerisation of distribution network to monitor trucks.

He lamented that since the payment of N600bn arrears of unpaid subsidy which the current administration inherited from the Former President Goodluck Jonathan administration, which ended the subsidy regime, oil marketers had stopped fuel importation.

The development, he said,  had forced the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, to overstretched its capacity, human resources and facilities to bridge the gap but it is obvious that it lacked the immediate capacity to handle.

Credit: Punch

How We Are Going To End Fuel Scarcity- NNPC

The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation(NNPC) has reassured Nigerians of its commitment to end the persistent fuel scarcity in the country.

This is contained in a statement signed by Mr Garba Deen Muhammed , Group General Manager, Group Public Affairs Division, on Monday in Abuja.

“We wish to re-assure Nigerians that we are on top of the petroleum products supply and distribution situation and we remain committed to eliminating this endemic issue once and for all within the next few days.

“We genuinely empathize with the attendant sufferings and wish to reassure that we are focused and committed to bring an end to this situation within the next few days.

“We kindly call on all Nigerians to partner with us on this journey to allowing the whole process of change come into fruition,” it said.

It said the current administration inherited a huge catalog of issues and problems in the downstream sector not limited to arrears of subsidy payments to Oil Marketers.

Other issues, it said, included corruption and inefficiencies in the supply and distribution chain, incessant vandalism of pipelines and poor performance of refineries, among others.

It noted that a combination of these issues resulted in most oil majors completely pulling out from the importation business .

This, it said, led to NNPC assuming a near 100 per cent importation obligation without the necessary logistics put in place.

It said the NNPC Management had initiated and made progress on various key solutions to providing a lasting end to these issues.

It added that with the firm support of President Muhammadu Buhari and the National Assembly, the debt burden had been reduced since Jan. 1.

“We have been able to eliminate subsidy payments by managing prices at current levels through price modulation.

This has resulted to savings of over N100 billion monthly for the nation.

“Nationwide Petroleum supply and distribution have been ramped up to all states to ensure product availability in the country,” it said .
According to the statement, the current supply to states is in excess of the normal consumption especially in the five major consuming cities.

It added that monitoring had been intensified to ensure full compliance with approved prices adding that violations of approved prices and hoarding of petroleum products attracted penalties.

The penalties include giving out of petroleum products free to the public and sealing off fuel stations found to be hoarding petroleum products and payment of a fine.

Others were withdrawal of Marketer’s Licence and penalising any NNPC, DPR, PPPRA or government agent found conniving and wanting in line with public service guidelines and procedures.

It encouraged the general public to report product hoarders and saboteurs of the change efforts .

“We encourage everyone to shun panic buying and undue return trips as this attitude emboldens marketers to hoard products.

“Supply constraints due to foreign exchange challenges are being resolved through collaboration with the Central Bank of Nigeria on innovative ways of closing the gaps in accessing foreign exchange,” it said.

The statement noted that the major international upstream oil companies had indicated their willingness to support major oil marketing companies with some of the required foreign exchange.

It added that corporation was pursuing an improved model for ‘crude oil for refined product’ exchange (the Direct Sale – Direct Purchase arrangement).

This, it said had eliminated inefficiencies with an attendant cost saving for the nation of about one billion dollars.

It said that the corporation in the medium term was working on sustainable strategies to permanently address the issues and challenges facing the midstream and downstream sectors.

“The overarching objective is to make Nigeria a net exporter of petroleum products as was the case in the 1970’s.

“Our commitment to ramp up our local refining capacity and availability remains unwavered with the ongoing rehabilitation works targeted at running all refineries at a minimum 70 per cent capacity utilisation within the next six to eight months.

“This is in addition to our initiative of increasing the combined capacity of the domestic refineries through co-locating smaller but cost efficient modular refineries within the existing refineries premises within a time frame of 12 to 24 months,” it stated .

It added that NNPC had secured presidential approval to take additional crude oil volume to guarantee national supply of petrol.

To curb storage and logistics challenges, it said, the corporation was working on a joint partnership with technically and financially capable investors.

It said this would help to ensure that petroleum products transportation and storage facilities were efficiently operated on an open-access common-carrier user-tariff basis.

It added that some of these depots would be nominated as strategic reserves while the NNPC would take possession of a strategic reserve vessel in the next three months.

It expressed the hope that tangible results would be delivered within the next three to six months.

Credit: Guardian

Imo State Recalls Suspended Workers To End Protests

The Imo State government has recalled workers it suspended in 19 parastatals in the state, ending the disagreement between the government and labour unions on the issue.

The decision was reached on Wednesday after a meeting between the State government officials and some leaders of the labour unions.

In an agreement signed after talks by the ‘Committee on Joint Government-Labour Negotiation in Imo State’, an immediate recall of all suspended workers of Imo State was recommended, “notwithstanding that the parastatals in the opinion of Government should have been more productive”.

One of the other clauses in the agreement is that the gross revenue of the Government from all sources would be verified every month by the joint committee  of Government and Labour.

The agreement read: “That the Government will retain and run all its  affairs with not more than 30% of the verified revenue for the month, while the committee will apply the balance of 70% in the settlement of salaries of public servants and pensioners.

“Negotiations will continue with a view to fully accessing the wage bill of every Ministry, Department and Agency (MDA) and to determine the funding modalities of parastatals within the agreed percentage sharing framework.

“That a comprehensive agreement will be reached by both parties”.

Both parties were also of the opinion that at a quarterly interval, the position in Imo State on the critical areas would be reviewed and compliance ensured and that all revenue subheads for the month would be fully disclosed by the office of the Accountant General to select Committee of Labour.

Credit: ChannelsTv

How I Intend To End Fulani Herdsmen, Farmers Clashes– Buhari

President Muhammadu Buhari said Monday in Abuja that poverty, injustice and the lack of job opportunities were mainly responsible for inter-communal and intra-communal conflicts in Nigeria.

Speaking while receiving a delegation from the Centre for Humanitarian Dialogue, an organization active in the promotion of peace in Nigeria, President Buhari said to achieve enduring peace in the country, greater effort must be made to eradicate poverty and injustice.

The president described ethnic and religious conflicts in parts of the country as outward manifestations of underlying problems of joblessness, injustice and poverty.

On conflicts between farmers and herdsmen, President Buhari said that a plan to map out grazing areas will soon be presented to the Nigerian Governors Forum as a temporary solution to the frequent conflicts until cattle owners are persuaded to adopt other means of rearing their cattle.

Credit: PremiumTimes

Minister of Agric & Rural Development Moves To End Farmers, Herdsmen Clashes

The Minister of Agriculture and Rural Devlopment, Audu Ogbeh, has said that the incessant clashes between farmers and cattle herdsmen in the country would be brought to an end in the next two years.

Mr. Ogbeh said on Tuesday that the federal government would create grazing areas in the country where the herdsmen would take care of their cattle.

“We will grow grass in the South to feed the cattle in the North, just as Saudi Arabia did,” he said.

According to the minister, if Saudi Arabia with the largest cattle ranch in the world can grow its grass for the cows in the United States of America, Nigeria should be able to do same.

Mr. Ogbeh said the government would lobby banks to peg interest rate at five per cent instead of the current nine per cent.

He made this known in Ilorin at the launching of the 2nd phase of Agricultural Equipment Hiring Enterprise (AEHE) programme at the National Centre for Agricultural Mechanism, (NCAM).

The minister said nine per cent was too high as interest rate for farmers, adding that for people of Nigeria to feed well, agriculture must grow.

Credit: PremiumTimes

Two Nigeria’s Refineries To Restart Production Before End Of Dec. 2015– Kachikwu

Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Ibe Kachikwu on Wednesday assures that two out of Nigeria’s four refineries will restart production in the next two weeks.

This is contained in a statement signed by Ohi Alegbe, Group General Manager, Group Public Affairs Division, NNPC, on Wednesday in Abuja.

He said the Nigerian Petroleum Development Company (NPDC) equity production was 99,000 barrels per day.

He added that the declining Joint Venture reserves were due to inadequate and low investment in the oil assets.

The minister noted that issue of funding which had been identified as a major challenge to the sector would be addressed with adequate collaboration with the private and international investors.

Kacikwu said the average gas to power generation was about 3,000 megawatts and domestic gas supply of one billion standard cubic feet (scf) with the contribution of 600 million standard cubic feet from NPDC.

On the current state of the refineries, he said that two of the refineries might be re-streamed before the end of December.

“Efforts are on to engage private investors to build new refineries within the old ones to enable the refineries share power, pipelines and other resources,” he said.

He added that the new agenda for the Oil and Gas Industry would be centered on having the right people, doing the right things, at the right time.

This, he said, would be for the right purpose to yield the right results.

Kachikwu said the petroleum sector, under his watch, would ensure that the Nigeria Content policy would transform the Oil and Gas industry into the economic engine for job creation and national growth.

He said he was obliged to cancel the Offshore Processing Agreements (OPAs), crude-for-products-exchange arrangement (popularly known swap) and other unprofitable product and crude arrangements, all in a bid to avoid rent seekers.

He said the cancellation would help to add value to the Nigerian hydrocarbon resources.

On the downstream sector, the minister advocated for the introduction of a private sector model that would reinvigorate the efficient supply and distribution of petroleum products, especially in the area of pipeline assets.

“The menace of pipeline vandalism has led to huge losses of crude and petroleum products; 27,967 incidents of pipeline vandalism were recorded in the last few years.” he said .

Credit: Vanguard

Boko Haram Can’t End Overnight – Lai Mohammed

The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, said the military has sufficiently degraded the capacity of Boko Haram to launch spectacular attacks while also retaking most of the territories seized by the terrorists.

”Winning the war against insurgency is about sufficiently degrading the insurgents’ capacity for action. This the military has substantially done. The rest is mop-up actions,” the Minister said at a press conference in Abuja on Tuesday, following his recent trip to Borno State to visit the areas liberated by the military.

”The military has largely met the deadline issued by the President, and would have done so totally by December. The question, therefore, is no longer whether the military will be able to meet the December deadline, it is about how to give the military all the support it requires to continue to keep our country safe from the activities of the terrorists,” he said.

Alhaji Mohammed however explained that, decimated and put on the run, the rump of the insurgents has now resorted to attacking soft targets: motor parks, entertainment centres, houses of worship, etc.

”Make no mistake about it, this will not stop overnight. It will gradually taper off. That is the way it happens anywhere such a war has been fought.

”It is also important to situate the deadline by the President in its necessary context. Insurgency is an asymmetrical warfare, not a ‘shooting war’ between two Armies. No truce or armistice is ever signed to end such war. The implication is that while Boko Haram can no longer execute spectacular attacks, hold territories, declare a Caliphate and even collect taxes, lone wolf attacks – which are like the death pangs of a dying horse – will continue for some time and then fizzle out. This is the absolute truth,” he said.

Credit: Sun

Senate Committee Gives Petroleum Minister Two Weeks To End Fuel Scarcity

The Senate Committee on Petroleum Downstream has given the Minister of State for Petroleum and the NNPC two weeks to end petrol scarcity in the country.

The committee handed down this directive at a meeting with officials of the Ministry of Petroleum, NNPC and agencies in the petroleum sector.

For nearly three weeks, there have been long queues at different petrol stations across the country; a situation that has defied solutions by previous administrations and has again reared its head a few months into the present government.

The heads of the agencies explained the reason for the problem in the petroleum downstream sector which they say have made petrol scarcity a recurring problem in the country.

Credit: ChannelsTV

House Of Reps Demands End To Customs’ Roadblocks

The House of Representatives has asked the Nigerian Customs Service to stop the practice of mounting road blocks in search of goods that have already been brought into the country.

After considering a motion of public importance raised by Temitope Olatoye, the House urged the Comptroller General of Customs to deploy more personnel to the borders to curtail the activities of smugglers.

The Nigerian Customs Service has also been encouraged to engage in continuous training and development programmes for its officers for optimal performance.

According to the lawmaker, there has been low generation of revenue by the Customs due to corruption and other factors, which he listed.

“Allowing contraband goods to be smuggled into Nigeria, failure to enforce the payment of requisite duties, poor accountability of the revenue generated and preferential treatment of high net-worth individuals are responsible for the low revenue generation of the service,” Honourable Olatoye said.

Credit: ChannelsTv

How To End AIDS By 2030- UNAIDS

Ahead of World AIDS Day 2015, the Joint United Agency for AIDS (UNAIDS), yesterday, released a new report showing that countries including Nigeria are getting on the fast track to end AIDS by 2030 as part of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) even as over 15.8 million people are now accessing antiretroviral therapy, compared to 7.5 million people in 2010 and 2.2 million people in 2005.

According to the UNAIDS report, by adapting to a changing global environment and maximising innovations, countries are seeing greater efficiencies and better results.

It noted: “Progress in responding to HIV over the past 15 years has been extraordinary. By June 2015, UNAIDS estimates that 15.8 million people were accessing antiretroviral therapy, compared to 7.5 million people in 2010 and 2.2 million people in 2005.”

At the end of 2014, UNAIDS estimates that new HIV infections had fallen by 35 per cent since the peak in 2000 and AIDS-related deaths have fallen by 42 per cent since the 2004 peak.

Executive Director of UNAIDS, Michel Sidibé said: “Every five years we have more than doubled the number of people on life-saving treatment. We need to do it just one more time to break the AIDS epidemic and keep it from rebounding.”

In Nigeria, the National Agency for the Control of AIDS (NACA), on Tuesday, kicked off events to commemorate World AIDS Day 2015 with a call on all Nigerians and the country’s partners to renew their commitment to ending AIDS by 2030.

UNAIDS Country Director for Nigeria and UNAIDS Focal Point for Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), Dr. Bilali Camara said: “At the end of 2015, I can say with clarity that Nigeria is among the countries which have halted the spread and reversed the trend of the HIV epidemic. There is no doubt that, with the fast-tracking approach being promoted, Nigeria will end AIDS by 2030.”

Director General of NACA, Prof. John Idoko, at a press conference yesterday said: “Nigeria’s AIDS response has gained a steady momentum in the past four years. We have managed to turn the tide. New infections have reduced by 35 per cent and we now need new commitment and support in order to end AIDS by 2030.”

Credit: Guardian

Kwankwaso Advocates Education For Fulani To End Herdsmen, Farmer Clashes

Former governor of Kano State, Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso, has advocated a quick return of boarding facilities to public schools in the country as well as compulsory education for the Fulani.

He said this will go a long way in putting a stop to the frequent clashes between Fulani herdsmen and farmers.

He also said the time has come to tell those making succession threats to shut up.

Kwankwaso made the call in Ibadan, the Oyo State capital, at the weekend as a special guest of honour at the Silver Jubilee Celebration of the set of 1965-71 of Government College, Ibadan, where Vitafoam Nigeria Plc. formally donated two sets of pre-fabricated staff quarters to the institution.

Credit: NationalMirror

Boko Haram Will End In 8 Weeks- Army

Chief of Army Staff, COAS, Lt. Gen. Tukur Buratai, yesterday declared that the military would end Boko Haram insurgency in the next eight weeks to meet the three months presidential deadline.

One month has passed since President Muhammadu Buhari gave the military three months to put an end to the Boko Haram carnage in the North East.

Buratai, answering questions from journalists shortly after declaring open the 10th Nigerian Army Finance Corps Biennial Training Conference, 2015, held in Kaduna, noted that with the military winning the war on daily basis, it was possible to meet the deadline.

Burutai said: “We will end Boko Haram very soon; it is possible to meet the three months deadline. We are very close to the insurgents. We are defeating them on daily basis.”

He told officers and men that the Army has keyed into the change mantra of the present administration, especially in financial management, through the introduction of The Single Account, TSA.

Speaking on the theme: “Impact of evolving Federal Government financial policies on operational roles of the Nigerian Army amidst dwindling budgetary allocation,” Burutai said TSA has given the military new ideas on how to make judicious use of its funds.

Read More: nationalmirroronline

Aregbesola Promises To Pay Outstanding Wages Before September End

Osun State Governor, Rauf Aregbesola, on Tuesday assured civil servants that they will be paid their outstanding salary arrears before the end of the month.

?Aregbesola made the disclosure while speaking at the National flag off ceremony for the distribution of FGN/UBEC plastic chairs and tables to all the states in the country, in Osogbo, the Osun state capital.

He explained that his administration is committed to the welfare of its workers, and reassured that the eight months salaries owed them will be settled before the end of September.

Read More: channelstv

Israel, Brazil To Assist Nigeria End Boko Haram

Chief of Army Staff(COAS), Lt-General Tukur Buratai, yesterday appealed to the Brazilian government to help train Nigerian soldiers in jungle warfare.

This is even as the Israeli government promise to assist Nigeria end Boko Haram insurgency.

Buratai, who made the appeal when  he hosted the Deputy Chief of Army Staff for International and Special Affairs, Brazilian Army, Major-General Pereira Junior, in his Abuja  office, said the training was necessary to assist Nigeria wipe out insurgency and other security challenges in the country.

The COAS, while commending Brazil for its continuous support to the Nigerian Army, also declared the Army’s readiness to end terrorism soonest.

Read More: sunnewsonline

NERC Has Potential to End Plight of Electricity Consumers- Senate

The Senate commended the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) for its prompt decision to address the extortion of Nigerians by electricity distribution companies (Discos).

The Senate in a statement by  the chairman of its ad-hoc Committee on Media and Publicity, Senator Dino Melaye, said NERC’s directive to Discos to restructure fixed charges, discontinue estimated billing and bulk metering of consumers, had shown that the commission had the potential to save electricity consumers from the excesses of service providers.

While describing the steps taken so far by NERC as pro-people, Melaye added that the commission had shown that it is a responsible regulatory body.

The Senate had on August 11, asked NERC to immediately ensure that Discos discontinue  the fixed monthly charges on electricity consumption following a motion by Senators Sam Egwu (Ebonyi North) and David Umaru (Niger East) entitled: “Unfair trade practices of electricity distribution companies in Nigeria.”

Read More: thisdaylive

How Goats & Chickens Can Help End Child Marriage

In Ethiopia and Tanzania, young girls are married to adult men in exchange for livestock. But if the girls already own the animals, that monetary trade becomes less vital for poor families.

That’s the thinking behind an incentive and education program to reduce child marriage from international organization, Population Council. After spending three years in Tanzania andEthiopia—where almost 40 percent of girls are married before they reach 18—researchers found that donations of school supplies, providing girls and their families with chickens and goats, and community education were effective in decreasing rates of child marriage in both countries.

Child marriage is deeply rooted in tradition, but often perpetuated by poverty. Poor girls are twice as likely to be married before 18 than those with wealthy families, according to the International Research Center on Women. Struggling parents often marry off their daughters because they can’t afford to care for them or pay for schooling, and because they desperately need the dowry that accompanies marriage.

“When families and communities recognize the harms of child marriage, and have economic alternatives, they will delay the age at which their daughters get married,” said Annabel Erulkar, the study’s lead researcher.

The results were especially promising for young girls in Ethiopia, where child marriage is illegal. Those aged 12 to 14 who received school supplies were 94 percent less likely to be married, and those whose communities underwent an educational program on the harms of child marriage were 67 percent less likely to be married. Girls 15 to 17 that were promised two chickens every year they did not get married were half as likely to get married than those who did not.

In Tanzania, where the legal marriage age is 15 for girls, the interventions for 12 to 14-year-old girls were not successful, but giving 15 to 17-year-olds goats in exchange for delaying marriage decreased the odds by more than 60 percent.

Erulkar and her team also compiled the cost of incorporating all three models per girl in both countries: $44 in Ethiopia and $117 in Tanzania.

That’s a small price to pay when compared to the economic consequences of child marriage. Early marriage curtails a girl’s education, impairing their ability to get a job and contribute to their families and communities. As child marriage propagates global poverty, it often leads to other human rights violations including domestic violence and sexual abuse, according to Girls Not Brides.

More than 14 million girls around the world get married before the age of 18 each year. There are more than 700 million women alive today married as children. Without intervention, that figure will rise to 1.2 billion girls by 2050.

Read More: Takepart

Tambuwal Urges Nigerian Govt To End Rice Import Waiver

The current waiver regime enjoyed by rice importers is hampering local production of the commodity and should be phased out by the Nigerian government, Sokoto State Governor, Aminu Tambuwal, has stated.

Mr. Tambuwal gave the advice when he received the new Customs Area Controller for Sokoto, Zamfara, and Kebbi states, Muhammad Kabir.
The governor said preliminary studies undertaken showed that despite efforts to boost local rice production, unfavourable government policies such as rice import waivers were the impediments to objectives of achieving local self-sufficiency.

The position taken by the Sokoto governor is similar to the one taken by the Nigerian Senate recently on the same matter.

Mr. Tambuwal also said that the quality of rice produced locally is of international standard and far better than many imported into the country. He said his administration would continue to support farmers in rice production to enable them acquire standard facilities that will process their produce.
“We have the potential to meet Africa’s rice needs,” he added.

Read More: premiumtimesng

This Video Claims The World Will End October 7th 2015

A campaign found on the internet, with the website address, ct7th.comclaims the world would end on the 7th of October 2015. Read excerpts and watch video below: 

We have now entered into the darkest time in Earths’ history, as we are living in the day of judgment, and heading for the final end of all things, the destruction of the universe, and the beginning of the new heavens and new earth, very likely to be on October 7th 2015.


NLC Hails Saraki, Dogara, Others; Demands End To Fuel Crisis

The Nigeria Labour Congress on Wednesday hailed the new leadership of the National Assembly, extolling their emergence as victory for democracy.

Bukola Saraki was on Tuesday elected the President of the Senate, while Yakubu Dogara was elected Speaker of the House of Representatives in a keen contest marking the formal inauguration of the 8th session of the National Assembly.

The acting President of the NLC, Kiri Mohammed, congratulated the new leadership of the two chambers of the Assembly, saying the “free, fair and transparent” way their elections were conducted was victory for democracy.

Mr. Mohammed said he was hopeful that the successful emergence of the new Assembly leadership would establish its independence and ensure that members were allowed to focus on efforts to deepen the country’s democracy and development.

The NLC leader applauded President Muhammadu Buhari especially for resisting overtures for him to interfere in the elections, saying this should serve as a lesson to all politicians, political parties and all organisations to allow democracy to run its full course without undue imposition of candidates.

“All arms of government must be allowed to function in accordance with the constitution without interference,” Mr. Mohammed said. “The National Assembly should at all times be independent.”


Buhari’s Govt., Fuel Marketers Meet Finally; Agree To End Petrol Scarcity

The Muhammadu Buhari administration finally met fuel marketers Friday to resolve a lingering fuel crisis that continued a week after the new president was sworn into office.

At the end of the meeting with the marketers and other operators in the oil and gas sector, all sides agreed to work speedily to end the shortage that has hit the hardest in Abuja and Lagos.
Oil marketers said they have dispatched 700 trucks of petrol to Abuja as part of efforts to end the scarcity.

According to a communiqué issued at the end of the meeting, signed by Taiye Haruna, permanent secretary, Ministry of Petroleum Resources, the marketers agreed to begin to deliver fuel products to all parts of the country immediately.

The statement said the meeting was tagged “Queue must go stakeholders’ platform”.
It said that the Petroleum Products Marketing Company in conjunction with marketers, major and independent, have agreed to increase the level of supply to all retail outlets nationwide with immediate effect.

It also stated that the meeting also directed marketers to move 700 trucks of petrol to Abuja with immediate effect.

It noted that one of the major constraints to distribution was the logjam at Apapa –Oshodi expressway in Lagos. “We have agreed to work with the Lagos State Government, Petrol Tanker Drivers (PTD) and NARTO to clear the logjam at Apapa,” the communique stated.

“Currently we have over 2,000 trucks on that road waiting to take fuel at the depot. Trucks are at Apapa to load products but could not get product but we fashioned out modality to clear the logjam in conjunction with other stakeholders,” it stated.

The communiqué said the measure would enable the marketers start loading and moving products out of the depot to the hinterland. “We have enough stocks that can last for 23 days; also we agreed to set up the committee of stakeholders to monitor the loading and delivering of products nationwide. We have also agreed that efforts will be made to clear this long before the end of June,” the communiqué declared.

It further stated that the Petroleum Equalization Fund would track all the trucks from Apapa using the Aquila project to avoid diversion of the products. “DPR is to ensure that products are delivered and selling of proceeds should not be more than N87 per litre. Government will not relent in their efforts to ensure that the challenge becomes a thing of the past.

“All stakeholders have agreed to clear the queue before the end of next week,” it stated.
According to the communiqué, it was also agreed that a task force comprising all operators be set up to look into the distribution of petrol nationwide.

The meeting was attended by the Executive Secretary, Major Marketers Association of Nigeria, Femi Olawore, and Lawson Obasi, leader of the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN).

The Executive Secretary Depot & Petroleum Products Marketers Association (DAPPMA), Femi Adewole; the Director, Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR), George Osahon, also attended the meeting.

The others were Executive Secretary, PEF, Asabe Ahmed; the Executive Secretary Petroleum Products Pricing and Regulatory Agency (PPRA) Farouk Hamed, and a representative of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), David Ige, who is the Group Executive Director, Gas and Power.
Credit NAN

APC Will End The Poverty PDP Failed To Manage- Tinubu

Co-founder of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Bola Tinubu, has assured Nigerians of a better living condition under the party’s administration. He stated this on Thursday at the Ladoke Akintola University, LAUTECH, during his lecture to mark the institution’s 12th convocation ceremony.

Tinubu said an APC government would ensure economic growth, while also providing jobs for the nation’s teeming youths.

Below is full text of his speech



I am delighted to address this assembly for the first time since my investiture as the 4th chancellor of our university. When we assembled here for that memorable event exactly one year ago, many national and international personalities were among our guests.

Read More: dailypost

Insurgency Will End in Nigeria, Says Expert

A Nigerian Researcher, Sani Umar, has assured that the six-year long insurgency in Nigeria will come to an end. Speaking to journalists at a workshop on Research on Radicalization, Counter-Radicalization and De-radicalization in Nigeria, Mr. Umar said the crisis as complex as it may seem would end, although he added that the average length of time it might take to end is unpredictable.

“There’s a scientific literature on that,” Mr. Umar, a professor of history said. “It takes an average of 20 something years for most insurgencies to come to an end. The scientific evidence suggests that the impact of the ideology and religious ideas in particular is ambiguous at its best.”

Read More: premiumtimesng

NNPC Vows to End to Fuel Scarcity Before Weekend

The Group Executive Director at the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Aisha Abdulrahman, on Tuesday assured Nigerians that long queues in petrol stations will end before the weekend.

She gave the assurance when the Supervising Minister of Information, Chief Edem Duke, visited the NNPC Mega Station on Olusegun Obasanjo Way in Wuse Zone 1, Abuja. “We are assuring you before the end of the week queues will be a thing of the past and if it still persist, I will personally be on the stations to see that you get fuel,” she said.

She also said the queue was as a result of speculations about impending increase in pump price of petrol. “There is this speculation that price of fuel and other products will be increased and people tend to panic”. She, however, said that leakage and pipeline vandalism were part of the challenges facing distribution.

According to her, the corporation is doing its best to address the problem. “I think this is a wrong time for Nigerians to begin to queue up to buy fuel and engage in panic buying.

“It is easing out, and by tomorrow and by the end of the week, the long queue will disappear all over the country,” she said.

She added that the corporation had adopted a standard practice by ensuring 24 hours service delivery to ease out the queues. The Managing Director of NNPC Retail, Chris Osarumwense, said the corporation had enough and had distributed products around the country. “We had a small challenge in our supply systems but that has been ratified. It will take some time for us to clear the queue,” he said.

He, however, said that Petroleum Products and Marketing Company (PPMC), had capacity to ensure distribution of products from March 3 to April 2.”We are to service the NNPC network, all over the country; we get about 225 trucks daily.

“In NNPC branded retail, we have about 550 retails as well as our affiliated retails,” he said. The Supervising Minister of Information encouraged other petrol stations to ensure 24 hours service delivery so as to ease out the queues.

Credit- NAN