The All Progressives Congress (APC), has urged Nigerians to endure the pains they might be going through following the increase in petroleum pump price and the hike in electricity tariff.
Mr Yekini Nabena, the party’s Deputy National Publicity Secretary, said this in a statement on Tuesday in Abuja.
He said that the party was not oblivious of the financial constraints brought by the increase.
The News Agency of Nigeria , recalls that the Federal Government had recently increased the petroleum pump price from N143 to N151 and electricity tariff to N66 per kwh.
The APC spokesman, however, assured that Nigerians would soon begin to enjoy the gains of the decisions which he said, was in the best interest of all.
According to him, the reviews were crucial and hard-thought decisions by the President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration.
“On the positive side, the short and long-term benefits on the citizenry and our national life will become obvious and directly felt in critical sectors such as health, education, infrastructure and social services targeted at the poor.
“We point to shocking estimates by the Nigerian Institute for Social and Economic Research (NISER), which reports that the budget for fuel subsidies in 2019 was sufficient to enrol the entire population of Nigeria in the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS),” he said.
The APC spokesman recalled that fuel subsidies took over N10 trillion of our national resources since 2006.
He added that it was, however, gladdening that the generality of Nigerians and stakeholders agreed on several reasons fuel subsidy had become unsustainable.
According to him, the perceived benefits of fuel subsidies have long been overtaken by the previous corruption and drain on scarce resources that should be directed to other critical sectors.
Nabena added that in line with the current administration’s deregulation drive and move to increase private sector participation in the petroleum sector, the task before government now was to improve the country’s local refining capacities.
He said that the federal government was already on course to achieving and maintaining a competitive, market-driven, transparent and accountable petroleum pricing template which met global best practices.
He noted that while government was working assiduously to solve the country’s electricity challenges permanently, it realised that many Nigerians and businesses still depended on alternative sources for power supply to meet electricity needs.
This, he explained, was the reason the federal government was focusing on improving electricity and service delivery.
He added that government was also protecting poor and vulnerable Nigerians from arbitrary and estimated electricity billing by its decision to hike tariff.
“As with government’s decision to increase Nigerian worker’s minimum wage and other social investments, the President Buhari-led APC administration takes the welfare of the citizenry seriously,” he said.
He, therefore, called on all stakeholders, government at all levels, private sector organisations, labour unions, civil societies, students and youth groups to support government’s decision on the ongoing deregulation exercise.
The APC spokesman maintained that the citizens would be the ultimate beneficiaries of the decisions at the end of the day.
He urged stakeholders, particularly the organised labour such as the Trade Union Congress (TUC), and the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), not to be hoodwinked by skewed opposition party narratives on the deregulation exercise and electricity tariffs.
“The same partisans have failed to account for and return trillions of naira stolen from national coffers in the guise of subsidising fuel and the degrading of the electricity sector under their watch,” he said.
Nabena added that this was in spite of huge allocations and subsequent diversion of resources meant to improve the sector.
He said that there was the need for all to support the current administration’s economic policies to uplift the citizenry.
Edited By: Chioma Ugboma/Donald Ugwu
Bye-elections: 12 candidates jostle for Lagos East, 8 for Kosofe Constituency II
Twelve candidates will be contesting for the Lagos East Senatorial bye-election slated for Oct. 31.
Mr Femi Akinbiyi, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) spokesman in Lagos State, gave the figure in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria on Saturday.
He also said that eight candidates would be contesting for Kosofe Constituency II, Lagos State House of Assembly bye-election.
“In accordance with Section 31 Subsection 3 of the Electoral Act, 2010 (as amended), the commission in Lagos State has published the list of nominated candidates for Lagos East Senatorial bye-election in the five local government areas that constitute the senatorial district.
“We have also published the list of nominated candidates for the Lagos House of Assembly Kosofe Constituency II bye-election in the six registration areas (wards) that constitute the state constituency.
“Twelve candidates of 12 political parties are vying for the Lagos East Senatorial seat, while eight parties are fielding candidates for the Kosofe Constituency II, Lagos Assembly bye-election.
” The local government areas in the senatorial district are Somolu, Ikorodu, Ibeju-Lekki, Epe and Kosofe,” Akinbiyi said.
According to him, the list has been published in all the affected local governments and registration areas (wards) since Sept. 17, being the last day for the publication of nominated candidates for the two bye-elections.
NAN reports that in the final list signed by Mrs Bose Oriaran-Anthony, the Lagos East Senatorial District contestants include, Mr Muyiwa Adebanjo of Action Alliance (AA), Ms Mercy Adeoye of African Action Congress (AAC) and Mr John Kome of African Democratic Congress (ADC).
The others are Mr Adebowale Ogunlaru of Action Democratic Party (ADP), Mr Adetokunbo Abiru, All Progressive Congress (APC); Mr Olusola Babatope, Allied Peoples Movement (APM); Mrs Florence Trautman, Labour Party (LP) and Ms Adijat Lawal, New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP).
The rest are Mr Babatunde Gbadamosi, Peoples Democratic Party (PDP); Mr Olakunle Adisa, National Rescue Movement (NRM); Mr Saheed Aluko, Social Democratic Party (SDP) and Mr Taiwo Temitope, Young Progressive Party (YPP).
For the Kosofe Constituency II bye-election, the eight contestants are Messrs John Akerele of AA, Sadiq Olawale of AAC, Wasiu Saheed of APC, Adekunle Oladapo of LP, Muyideen Agoro of NNPP, Ademorin Adelaja of NRM, Sikiru Alebiosu of PDP and Mrs Mary Abojeh of ADC.
NAN reports that out of the 12 candidates contesting Lagos East Senatorial bye-election, three are females, and among the eight contestants for Kosofe constituency II bye-elections only one is a female.
The two bye-elections, slated for Oct. 31, became necessary following the demise of the two occupants of the seats at both the senate and Lagos Assembly.
Edited By: Edith Bolokor/Chinyere Joel-Nwokeoma
Vulture Day: NCF advocates Vulture Conservation
As the world marks the International Vulture Awareness Day, the Nigerian Conservation Foundation (NCF) on Saturday underscored the importance of Vultures in the maintenance of balance in the ecosystem.
The NCF in a communique released after its five days webinar forum on Vultures and made available to the News Agency of Nigeria in Lagos, noted that vultures were sanitary officers with a clean-up service on the environment.
Dr Joseph Onoja, Director of Technical Programmes, NCF, in his presentation, revealed that nature had bestowed on humanity vultures with the role of environmental sanitary officers with a clean-up service worth $11,000 a year.
Onoja said: “Without vultures, humans are vulnerable to the spread of infectious diseases, because in the absence of vultures, dogs and rats become the clean-up crew.
“’The danger in this is that these animals are not equipped for such and are close to human population, exposing us to diseases.”
In his presentation, Mr Aniekan-Abasi Emmah Uwatt, a conservation biologist and ornithologist, observed that human activities were the major drivers to the vultures’ threatened status.
He added that the world could suffer from negligence if something drastic was not done to preserve the remaining vulture species in Nigeria.
“Imagine a world without vultures, it will lead to disease outbreaks such as anthrax; rabies and botulism.
‘“We would also have dirty environment with dead carcasses and foul smells,” he said.
Another facilitator, Mr Apeverga Paul Tersoo, Lecturer, Federal University, Dutse, Jigawa State , said that Vultures might not be very appealing by their looks, but these birds, also known as scavengers do the dirty jobs of cleaning our environment.
Tersoo said they do this by taking care of carcasses and preventing the spread of diseases, which in turn keeps the ecosystem healthy.
“’The importance of these natural environmental cleaners cannot be over emphasised because the benefits we derive from them for free will cost us so much that it can only be imagined.
“A case study is seen in India where a crash in the vulture population was observed after the birds fed on carcasses of livestock that were treated with Diclofenac.
“The Indian white-rumped vulture was the most hit, with a decline rate of 99.9 per cent.
“What followed was a surge in population of feral dogs that were infected with rabies from litters of carcasses as a result of the absence of our natural cleaners (the vultures).
“Consequently, an increase in human deaths from rabies nearly caused a public health catastrophe that saw the government of India spending about $34 billion to fight the spread of the disease,” he said.
Malam Samaila Mohammed Alkali, Airport Wildlife Hazard Management Coordinator, Kano Airport, said that aviation was a major threat to the survival of vultures.
“This is due to bird strike. Bird strikes occur when bird physically collide with aircraft,” Alkali said
According to him, approximately 10,692 vultures were killed by aircraft between 2008 and 2015, these may represent 1,500 Vultures killed every year for the period of seven years.
Meanwhile, in his presentation, Mr Adewale Awoyemi, Head of Forest Centre, Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA), Ibadan observed that the vanishing vultures had critical implications on human health and existence.
Awoyemi said that the destruction of their habitats by deforestation was a threat to vulture conservation.
International Vulture Awareness Day (IVAD) is celebrated on the first Saturday of September every year to reflect on the importance of vultures and the essential role they play in a healthy ecosystem.
It also aims at spreading awareness about range of threat facing vultures and urge the people to take action and prevent extinction of the ecological bird specie.
Edited By: Peter Ejiofor)
Crawford University appoints new V-C, other principal officers
The Management of Crawford University, Igbesa, Ogun, on Saturday announced the appointment of a new Vice-Chancellor, Prof Reuben Kolo and other principal Officers.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that Prof. Kolo becomes the 4th substantive Vice-Chancellor of the 15-year old faith-based University owned by the Apostolic Faith Mission, West and Central Africa (WECA).
A statement by the Public Relations Officer of the University, Layi Olajumoke, has it that two other principal officers were ratified by the institution’s Senate.
Mr Moses Itauma becomes the Registrar and Ms. Olukemi Ojo was appointed the institution’s Bursar.
“The outgoing Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Isaac Rotimi Ajayi, announced that the University’s Board of Trustees and the Governing Council have approved the appointment of Prof Reuben Kolo as the next Vice-Chancellor.
“Also, Mr Moses Itauma as the Registrar and Ms. Olukemi Ojo as the institution’s Bursar,” he said.
Olajumoke added: “Prof Kolo is from the Department of Water Resources, Aquaculture and Fisheries Technology, which is from the larger School of Agriculture and Agriculture Technology, SAAT, Federal University of Technology, Minna, Niger State.
“Prof Kolo was born in Doko, Lavun Local Government, Niger State in 1962. He obtained his first degree from the prestigious Ahmadu Bello University( ABU), Zaria in Zoology in 1987.
“He bagged his second degree, M.Sc, Hydrobiology and Fisheries from the University of Ibadan. He completed his doctoral studies in FUT, Minna in the same discipline in 1996.
“He became a Professor of Water Resources, Aquaculture and Fisheries Technology in October, 2010.
Olajumoke said that Kolo had held many positions of responsibilities in the span of engagement in FUT, Minna.
“He was designated the Dean of his Faculty, the SAAT from 2015 to 2019. He was also the Deputy Dean of the institution’s Postgraduate School between 2012 and 2013.
“He also headed specialised departments, centres, committees and special projects. He is a revered member of the Agricultural Society of Nigeria, National Association of Fish Farmers and Aquaculturists and the Fisheries Society of Nigeria among others.
“He is widely published and listened to in specialised journals and conferences.
`|The appointment is for a non-renewable duration of five years and will commence from Monday, Oct. 5, 2020,” he said.
Olajumoke also said that the university had recorded another milestone with the addition of another college to the other two existing colleges; College of Arts and Communication Studies.
“The Crawford University’s management got the approval of the Governing Council for a College of Arts and Communication Studies.
“Dr. Jonathan Amuno, the erstwhile Director of Academic Planning has been approved to serve as the new college’s Acting Dean,” he said.
Edited By: Peter Ejiofor)
Edo 2020: Gov. Tambuwal lauds Buhari on statesmanly call, directive
Gov. Aminu Tambuwal of Sokoto State, has commended President Muhammadu Buhari, on his statemanly call and immediate directive to agencies of government to ensure and guarantee free and fair election in Edo state.
Tambuwal, in a statement in Sokoto on Saturday, said that the President deserved commendation for his appeal to all stakeholders, including politicians involved in the election to ensure violence free election.
He said, “let me begin by commending the President and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Muhammadu Buhari for his statesmanly call and appeal.
“This, given an immediate directive to agencies of government including the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), security agencies and all other stakeholders involved in the Edo election.
“That to ensure and guarantee free and fair; and, violence free election in Edo state; that is very commendable of Mr President.
“On that premise I, therefore, want to lend my voice to that of Mr President and other well meaning Nigerians; and members of the international community.
“This is to further appeal and call on the electoral body and the security agencies; and the good people of Edo and all stakeholders involved in this very important election to continue to observe rules and regulations,” he said.
Tambuwal added that Nigerians were closely monitoring the ongoing exercise in Edo State.
“As such, I want to appeal that nobody, individual or agency of government should tamper with the outcome and results of the election being conducted.
“This is very important so that we can have a very convincing outcome that the people of Edo have exercised their franchise without any hindrance and in a very peaceful manner,” Tambuwal added.
Edited By: Abiemwense Moru/Felix Ajide