Prime Minister and Leader of Government Affairs Robinah Nabbanja has said the government has the fuel reserves to run the country in the event of a crisis.
Nabbanja made the guarantee in response to a matter of national importance raised by Hoima City Member of Parliament, H.E. Asinansi Nyakato during the House session on August 4, 2022.
Nyakato raised concerns about the government's preparedness in the event of a fuel crisis stemming from the upcoming elections in Kenya.
Ella Nyakato said that next week Kenya will have its presidential elections, and that it is necessary to know if Uganda is prepared in case of a fuel crisis and post-election violence by looking at past experiences.
AUDIO Nyakato “I would like the Minister to update this House and Ugandans on the steps taken to prepare for any emergency in the event of fuel shortages and post-election violence affecting cargo movement,” she said.
The Spokesperson, Anita Entre also reiterated the need to know how much fuel is in the reserves and if there are alternative routes to transport the fuel.
Prime Minister Robinah Nabbanja said the government has the reserves to run the country.
"What I can assure the country in front of this chamber is that the government has the reserves to make this country work," she said.
AUDIO Premier Nabbanja The Third Deputy Prime Minister, H.E. Rukia Nakadama said Uganda is prepared with fuel available in reserves, adding that the Tanzania route will also be used to import fuel in case of a crisis.
East Busiro County Deputy, Hon. Medard Ssegona tried in vain to know the amount of oil in the reserves.
“Civilized governments will tell you in terms of quantity.
We had our reservations at Jinja but we know that they are in ruins; the issue of how much fuel we have is a quantity issue,” Ssegona said.
Stakeholders in the automobile industry have appealed for the speedy passage of the Automobile Policy to engender growth in the industry.
At the Maiden Auto CEOs Forum held in Abuja on Thursday, they also decried lack of an Auto Purchase Credit Scheme for Nigerians purchase vehicles on a staggered payment scheme.
They argued that if such scheme was made available, people would be able to buy new vehicles and the business of local assemblers in the country would thrive.
Mr Remi Olaife, Executive Director, Nigeria Automobile Manufacturers Association (NAMA) said that lack of political will was the main constraint of the industry.
”We are not ready as a country to move.
How long are we going to wait.
”The Auto policy was approved during President Goodluck Jonathan administration and till date they are still trying to make it a law.
”All what is said today has already been said.
If we do not have the political will, nothing gets done.
The funds are there, it is for us to decide what we want to do.
Representing the Director-General of BPP, the Director of Procurement, Mr Eze Obasi, urged the automobile companies to upgrade their status to enable them benefit from the bureau’s policy.
”Federal Government have a policy aimed at enabling indeginious firms to grow.
”We recommend agencies to patronise upgraded companies who have met all the requirements of tax clearance, CAC registration, PENCOM certifications, ITF and NSITF.
”However, there is need for a deliberate collaboration among you.
You also need to collaborate with smaller firms that can provide the necessary components you need to thrive.
”If you are not registered with the bureau, you cannot do business with the government,”Obasi said.
Earlier, the former Acting Director-General, National Automotive Design and Development Council(NADDC), Lukman Mamood, urged the NAMA to come together in one voice.
He said they should form a formidable force that would engage the government and relevant stakeholders on the way forward for the industry.
He said the objective of the policy was to establish a dynamic fiscal policy to attract and sustain investments.
”It is aimed to one million automobiles for transport, mining and agriculture, attract FDI and renew Nigerian vehicle stock and reverse pressure on balance of payment and strengthen the naira.
”It is also aimed at establishing automotive manufacturing infrastructure and increase industry employment among other things,” Mamood said.
He said the requirements for the industry’s development, however, entailed incentives and supportive measures, legislation, market and skills development among other things.
The Controller of Customs, Musa Baba, said that the industry had to be private driven for effective and efficient growth.
On purchase of vehicles, he said: ”We have to look into financing of the industry, that is the purchase of vehicles.
”Also, let us identify people who have true passion to push through the objectives of the forum.
”Meanwhile, the Chief Executive Officer, Nord Automobiles Ltd., Oluwatobi Atayi, decried the non financing of automobile business in Nigeria due to high interest rate.
He urged that the National Automotive Council (NAC) levy on importation of vehicles to the country should be channeled as supposed to the automobile industry.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the forum was attended by stakeholders and players in the industry.
Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition (GAIN) a Swiss-based foundation, has promised to partner organisations to support Small and Medium-scale Enterprises (SMEs), to promote quality nutrition of processed foods in Nigeria.
The foundation made the promise in an inception meeting organised for selected Enterprise Support Organisations (ESO) in Abuja.
This is contained in a statement signed by Mrs Yetunde Olarewaju, Planning and Communications Officer of GAIN Nigeria, on Thursday.
She said that the foundation had commenced discussion with some identified ESOs to identify targeted areas which would eventually impact positively on food items sold to low-income households.
According to her, the intervention which is under the foundation’s Nutrition Impact at Scale (NIS) programme willing also be providing the SMEs with technical expertise and access to funding opportunities.
“This will help to scale up their nutrition-filled food business through the ESOs,’’ she said.
She said that all these efforts were geared towards ensuring that Nigeria was on course to prevent high rate of malnutrition in the country.
“The rate of malnutrition in Nigeria still remains a growing concern for its citizens.
“The Global Nutrition Report released in 2021 reveals that though Nigeria has made some progress towards achieving its target for stunting, 31.5 per cent of children less than five years are still affected.
“This figure is higher than the average for the Africa region which stands at 30.7 per cent.
“It also states that Nigeria has made some progress towards achieving the target for wasting but 6.5 per cent of children less than five years are still affected.
“The figure is also higher than the average for the Africa region of 6.0 per cent,’’ she said.
She said that the prevalence of overweight children less than five years stands at 1.6 per cent and Nigeria was ‘on course’ to prevent the figure from increasing.
Olarewaju said that other interventions were developed with various stakeholders to address the issues of malnutrition, especially among low-income households.
“Some of the identified ESOs include: Fate Foundation, National Association of Small-Scale Industrialists (NASSI), Tomatoes and Orchard Producers Farmers Association of Nigeria and Potatoes Farmers Association of Nigeria.
“The NIS programme is one of the three components of GAIN’s Nutrition Enterprise Cluster.
“The programme aims at training identified ESOs on different ways will increase capacity of SMEs in food and agriculture sector to focus on improving the nutritional quality of food process,” she added.
Mr Clement Musyoka, Programme Manager for the project, said that working with willing organisations, with requisite capacity would attach nutrition lens to their work, and the impacts would be felt by the masses.
“We will leverage the work already started by GAIN to continue to bring attention to the nutrition-related issues and bring actionable knowledge and practical tools to the table.
“This will help relevant stakeholders and actors to better support and incubate SMEs to improve nutrition impacts,” he said.
Also, Mr Manasseh Miruka, Head of the Nutrition Enterprise Cluster, said that the programme would work with existing structures within the ESOs to strengthen the structures.
Representatives of the ESOs at the meeting expressed their willingness to work with the foundation to ensure that there was a decline in the statistics of malnutrition in country.
Parliament's Finance, Planning and Economic Development Committee met with officials from the Uganda Manufacturers Association (UMA) and the Uganda Plastic Recyclers Association to negotiate a deal on the controversial US$70 tax on plastic imports.
plastic in the country.
The Excise Duties (Amendment) Act 2022 imposed an excise duty of 2.5% or US$70 on plastic imports, whichever is higher, but manufacturers shouted at President Museveni that his business was going bankrupt.
as a result of the tax.
President Museveni sent the bill back to Parliament for reconsideration, calling for some clauses to be removed.
One of the areas the president is uncomfortable with relates to levies on plastics that he said should be reconsidered.
“…simplify the provisions for the taxation of plastic products as provided in the Excise Duties (Amendment) Act 2021, in particular, with a view to ensuring that the targeting of the excise duty is redirected away from sensitive sectors that use items of plastic,” Museveni said in a letter to President Anita Entre recommending the removal of clauses he is not comfortable with.
In a letter to the committee, UMA president Deo Kayemba criticized the clause.
"UMA proposes that the law be repealed due to its far-reaching consequences and instead establish measures that provide clarity on the management of polluting plastic products that are known and well documented," said Kayemba.
Muhammad Muzammil, a UMA staff member who appeared before the committee, said the nature of the tax is unprecedented.
"Uganda is the only country in the world that has taxed raw materials," he said.
The move to impose the import tax on plastics was intended to encourage recycling and save the environment, but Muzammil said finding plastics to recycle is difficult and factories are idle.
“Most plastics are rigid plastics; take longer [in usage] the cycle to recycle them is therefore longer compared to single-use plastics,” he said.
Committee Vice Chairman, Hon. Jane Pacutho was not too happy to say that it is everyone's duty to pay their fair share of taxes after witness complaints of double taxation.
“Who does not pay twice?; This will leave other people with the burden of paying, but one of the principles of taxation is that it should be fair,” she said.
Committee Chairman Bro. Keefa Kiwanuka said the levy was intended to generate Shs60 billion in revenue for the government and wondered how that revenue gap would be addressed if the levy were removed.
The committee has 45 days to report back to Parliament on its findings and recommendations regarding the president's proposal.
The Director-General (D-G), Department of State Service (DSS), Mr Yusuf Bichi, says increasing political instability in some African countries cause of alienation of citizens from governments and authorities.
Bichi said this on Thursday in Abuja at the 2022 Distinguished Personality Lecture organised by the National Institute for Security Studies (NISS) for participants of the Executive Intelligence Management Course (EIMC 15).
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the lecture titled, Building the Democratic Culture in Africa: The Pains and Gains was delivered by the Vice Chancellor, Enugu State University of Science, Prof. Aloysius Okolie.
The DSS boss represented by Mr Brown Nkoaba, the Director of Training in the DSS said deliberate efforts to ensure inclusion would guarantee political stability in the continent.
He said the political culture needed to sustain liberal democracy could best be described as weak in most of the post-colonial African nations.
Bichi said a lot had been achieved by some African leaders through focused leadership.
According to him, historically, there have been significant transformation in the political systems in many African countries and has enhanced regional security and development.
The DSS boss said significant institutional changes had taken root in many African countries, but added that, a lot was still required to leapfrog the continent to its pride of place in global affairs.
“These are institutional changes that have transitioned from the racially-based apartheid regime in South Africa to non-racial democracy.
“Many civilian and military dictatorships have fallen for the establishment of rule of law-based governance systems, characterised by constitutionalism, including reforms such as observation of pandemics in office.
“Many African countries are still struggling to deepen and institutionalise democratic niceties and culture as against governmental impunity, human rights violation and abuse of executive powers,” he said.
According to him, it is gratifying to note that most African regional organisations are involved in promoting democracy.
He said the foundations and institutions of political culture necessary to sustain liberal democracy could best be described as weak for most of the post colonial era.
Bichi said some governments across African continent were becoming more alienated from the people that claim to be representing.
The DSS boss said this had led to a rise in political instability within the region, as already being seen in some countries in Central Africa and West Africa in recent times.
Okolie in the lecture, called on African leaders to harness the advantages that accompany diversity.
Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Sa’adu Abubakar III, on Thursday urged National Youth Service Corp (NYSC) members to always promote cultural and religious harmony among Nigerians.
Speaking at the interactive session with the 2022 Batch B stream 2 , posted to Sokoto state on Thursday, Abubakar also urged government and wealthy individuals to assist graduates with capital to set up businesses.
According to him, the assistance will reduce poverty by providing employment opportunities as well as discourage youths from involving in criminal activities.
He enjoined corps members to work towards activities that would be meaningful to national development.
He,however, emphasised the need for Nigerians to utilise the advantages of the NYSC scheme to promote cultural and religious understanding ,as well as harmonious relationship at all levels.
“The scheme is a catalyst for promoting national unity, mutual respect, religious tolerance as well as harmonious co-existence among Nigerians,” he said.
He said the palace was pleased to welcome every corp member deployed to state and offer them words of advice for better service delivery .
” I am assuring you that your safety will be guaranteed throughout your service period, we have already implored district heads to take care of you.
, ” Abubakar said.
He also urged them to perform their duties with diligence and be guided by the provisions of the NYSC law as well as the laws of the areas they are posted to serve .
Earlier, the NYSC Coordinator in the state, Alhaji Muhammad Nakamba, said no fewer than 406 corps members, comprising of 278 males and 128 females corps members were posted to Sokoto state He commended Sultan for his support to corps members.
Mr Adams Oshiomhole, the former national chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC) has faulted criticism against the party’s Muslim-Muslim ticket, saying that Nigeria’s challenges are beyond religion.
Oshiomhole said this when he spoke with newsmen in Abuja on Thursday, adding that rather than talk about religion, Nigerians should discuss what each presidential candidate has for the country.
He also said that the criticism against the party’s ticket by the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) was a blackmail.
“Those who are speaking and leading the campaign in the APC family, if they were such believers in Christianity they had the opportunity to vote and canvass for votes for one of the Christian candidates and there were quite a few.
“But they were on record as having led the campaign on the side of Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, knowing very well that he is a Muslim.
I think the Nigerian challenges are beyond religion.
“I think the issues before us which we have to spend time discussing is what will any of the presidential candidates do differently to expect a different outcome, not what will a Christian or Muslim do,’’ Oshiomhole said.
The former two-term governor of Edo said that even with a Christian-Muslim president ticket, Nigerians were still not satisfied.
He also faulted claims by some Christians that they were being persecuted, saying there was no evidence on that.
“I don’t think they bothered to show the evidence and yet we have not just a Christian Vice-President, we have a pastor, a senior advocate.
“So if religion is the issue, I guess Nigeria will be Eldorado,’’ Oshiomhole said adding that CAN could not had been speaking for Northern Christians.
Speaking on the country`s security and economic challenges, he said that President Muhammadu Buhari inherited a nearly collapsed economy , while the 2015 general elections was postponed because of security challenges in parts of the country then.
Oshiomhole said that some progress have been made in many areas, while new problems have also came up.
“In looking at the security situation for example, we observed that the size of the Nigerian Army after the Civil War was about 250,000. “Today, it’s about the same size, then the population of Nigeria was about 50 million, today we are about 200 million,’’ he said.
Oshiomhole said there was need to review the security architecture and double the size of the country`s armed forces.
This, he said, was not just because the population had quadrupled, but because of current challenges around the world and around Nigeria’s neighbors and within the country
Lawmakers have applauded President Yoweri Museveni for emphasizing value addition to agricultural products, saying it will transform the agricultural sector.
This was during the debate on the President's State of the Nation Address which he delivered to Parliament on Tuesday, June 7, 2022.
Namayingo District Representative, H.E. Margaret Makhoha said that the Parish Development Model (PDM) is a timely intervention but she called for a larger budget for irrigation.
“It is not good for us to have a drought and yet we have lakes.
Like in Namayingo, we have lakes around us but we don't see water,” she said.
Hon. Peter Okeyoh (NRM, Bukooli Island County) advised the President to put an emphasis on fish farming and said the sector has the potential to become one of the biggest income generators.
“The fishing community must be enabled and supported.
The Ministry of Agriculture must provide adequate funding to boost the fisheries sector,” he said.
Hon. Jane Pacuto Avur (NRM, Pakwach District) said that while value addition is a welcome intervention, attention must be paid to ensure sufficient electricity supply throughout the country.
“Unless electricity is supplied to all rural areas, it will be very difficult for our people to achieve added value.
West Nile is in a blackout and for us to participate in that then the electricity supply to all areas needs to be ramped up,” she said.
National Deputy for the Elderly, Hon. Peggy Joy Wako said that the Parish Development Model will go a long way in improving the quality of life for seniors.
“As you know, most of our seniors are in rural areas.
I also agree with the opposition leader's response on the protection of older people,” she said.
On Wednesday, August 3, 2022, the East Buyanja County Deputy, H.E. Emely Kugonza introduced the motion, in which she acknowledged that the socio-economic transformation advocated by President Yoweri Museveni has awakened Ugandans to meaningfully participate in the wealth and job creation initiative.
“More Ugandans are accepting the urgent need to integrate into the cash economy.
They have made a positive transition from poor and subsistence living to modernity,” Kugonza said.
Kugonza added that the president's focus on value addition as a link between agriculture and industry is a strategy to ensure that everything agricultural that is not consumed fresh is processed industrially so that it is preserved to reach distant markets.
Leader of the Opposition, Bro. However, Mathias Mpuuga said that the country faces an imminent risk to national stability caused by massive institutional collapse and the proliferation of presidential directives that are illegally executed by timid public servants and civilians.
The Federal High Court in Abuja has fixed Aug. 30 to hear the suit filed by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and it’s governorship candidate in Benue, seeking the disqualification of the governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC).
The PDP and its governirship candidate, Mr Titus Uba, are challenging the APC primary election that produced Rev. Fr. Hyacinth Alia as its governorhip candidate.
The plaintiffs are specifically asking the court to stop the Independent National Electoral Commission(INEC) from accepting and publishing the names of the governorship and senatorial candidates of the APC as persons sponsored by the party for the 2023 general election in the state.
Listed as defendants in the suits are INEC, APC, Alia, Terlumun Ikya, Benard Yisa, Mathias Byuan, Godwin Tyoachimin, Michael Aondokaa, SAN, and Sen. Barnabas Gemade.
Others are Rep. Herman Hembe, Anyom Mlanga, Terwase Orbunde, Stephen Lawani, Sam Ode and Prof. Terhemba Shija.
When the matter was called on Thursday before Justice Ahmed Mohammed, who is sitting as a vacation judge, counsel to Hembe, Mr T.
O Penda attempted to move an application for extension of time.
Mr Sunday Ameh, SAN, counsel to Alia, however, argued that the matter was coming up for the first time and so it was for mention.
According to him, bringing an application will mean the matter is being heard meanwhile it is for mention.
“So I think the proper procedure is for counsel, begining with plaintiff’s counsel to identify the processes filed so far.
” Counsel to the PDP, Mr Sebastian Hon, (SAN) said he was in agreement with the submission of Ameh. “In view of the general perception of the law that a matter for mention is simply for mention to avoid unnecessary appeals and technical victories on appeal.
“I will apply that as the court adjourns because some of the defendants are absent, on the next adjourned date the applications for regularisation should be taken along with the substantive matter.
” Counsel said they were not opposed to the application, however, Ameh said that from experience, such applications were often not feasible.
He, however, said that on the next adjourned date, if the environment was conducive to taking the applications and the substantive matter, he would be ready to proceed.
In a ruling, the Justice Mohammed said the court appreciated the fact that time was of the essence since it was a pre-election matter.
The judge said that, on the next adjourned date, if the circumstances permitted, the court would proceed with hearing the substantive matter after taking all applications.
He adjourned the matter until Aug. 30 and ordered that hearing notices be served on all the defendants who were absent in court.
wwwedited by Sadiya Hamza
The Joint Action for Good Governance (JAGG) has urged Nigerians to ensure only candidates with integrity and good governance records are supported and voted for in the 2023 general elections.
The group made the appeal on Thursday in a statement signed by its Lagos East Coordinator, Mr Adewale Aderibigbe and the Secretary, Musiliu Isiaka.
According to the group, Nigerians should avoid voter apathy, vote selling and other anomalies in the 2023 general elections.
“We cannot continue to do things the same way and expect different results.
“When electorate do things rightly, good governance will be established,” the group said.
It declared support for three candidates of the New Nigeria People’s Party (NNPP) in the zone for possessing remarkable good governance records.
The group said that the NNPP candidates were Mr Abdulwaheed Odunuga contesting for Kosofe Federal Constituency seat in the Federal of Representatives, and Messrs Jide Bakare and Adekunle Aderibigbe vying for Kosofe Constituency I and II seats in the Lagos State House of Assembly.
“We have always promoted and made recommendation towards good governance in the interest of the people.
“For these reasons, we have support for these three candidates who had in the past engaged in struggle for good governance and anti-corruption crusade.
“They have also provided and secured empowerments and projects for the communities,” the group said.
The group said that the NNPP candidates in the Lagos East District, had sponsored and facilitated so many dividends of democracy to constituents.
It said that the candidates had made constituents to access various government programmes, provided free health plans, and facilitated rehabilitation of infrastructure asides various forms of empowerments.
“We are sure these candidates will offer youthful, quality representation and interest of the people,” the group said.