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Petrol subsidy removal: government is restructuring petroleum sector —- ex-senator

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Last Updated on August 18, 2023 by Fellow Press

(Photo: A cross section of participants at the media chat, Middle left Dr Ita Enang, a former Senator of the Republic and Middle right Dr Rufus Ebegba the founder of Rufus Ebegba Centre for Leadership and Environmental Sustainability)

Dr Ita Enang a former Senator says the Federal Government is restructuring petroleum sector to ensure crude oil is refined locally and to cushion the effect of removal of petrol subsidy.

Enang spoke on Monday in Abuja at a stakeholders meeting titled “Nigeria Dialogue Media Chat” with the theme: “Our democratic Stability”.

The event was organised by Rufus Ebegba Centre for Leadership and Environmental Sustainability, an Environmental NGO.

He advised Nigerians not to rely on palliatives alone as a cushion to the effects of the subsidy removal.

Enang said removal of petrol subsidy has brought pains and the youths have expressed concern as it affects them.

“The alternative to petroleum is gas. That is why the President has created the office of the Minister of State on gas so that more engagement will be on gas,” he said.

Enang said gas would become popular because it is cheaper to run cars.

He said that the meeting was an effort by the centre to find out the concerns of the youths in the country and the way forward.

Dr Rufus Ebegba, the founder of the centre appealed to the Federal Government to look at some of the country’s policies and make Nigeria a better nation.

“Nigerians are complaining seriously and this borders on the sustainability of our democracy.

“We want to sustain our democracy so there is the need to dialogue with the youths who are more or less the key to this administration to ensure that the stability of this nation is attained,” Ebegba said.

He said that the essence of the dialogue is to advise the present administration on how to touch the lives of Nigerians in the area of security, infrastructure and health.

“Also the electioneering processes, the judiciary, the legislative and security are key issues in the country.

“The outcome of this meeting would be passed onto the government to see whether they can consider some of these proposals.

“We just want to see how we can touch humanity and then come out with ideas that can facilitate good and ideal leadership,” Ebegba explained.

The dialogue features 20 youth organisations and NGOs in Abuja.

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Nigeria marks 25 years of democracy with special parade

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Last Updated on June 12, 2024 by Fellow Press

As part of activities to mark the 2024 Democracy Day, the Guards Brigade Nigerian Army on Wednesday led the Nigerian Armed Forces and Nigeria Police in a special parade.

Nigeria is also celebrating 25 years of unbroken democracy.

The theme for the Democracy Day Celebration is “25 Years of Enduring Democracy: Prospects for the Future”.

The parade was mounted by the personnel of the Armed Forces of Nigeria and the Police who displayed a colourful parade.

President Bola Tinubu, who is the reviewing officer for the parade mounted the special military parade vehicle with his Aide de Camp to inspect the parade at about 10.15 am.

Afterward, the troops began the match past, first to salute the dignitaries and seek permission to commence the quick match past.

This was followed by the silent drill display by the Guards Brigade, mass bang and cultural troupes display and other important activities

President Tinubu and his wife, Sen. Oluremi Tinubu arrived the venue at exactly at 10.00 am heralding the commencement of the programme.

The President of the Senate and Speaker, House of Representatives, Godswill Akpabio and Tajudeen Abbas as well as the Chief Justice of Nigerian and Secretary to the Government of the Federation arrived earlier.

Also present were Ministers, state governors, lawmakers and security chiefs.

Earlier in a nationwide broadcast, President Tinubu praised the winner of the annulled June 12, 1993, presidential election, Chief Moshood Abiola and other heroes of democracy, including General Shehu Musa Yar’Adua and Pa Alfred Rewane, among others.

In his Democracy Day broadcast on Wednesday, the President also celebrated other heroes including Chief Anthony Enahoro, Chief Abraham Adesanya, Commodore Dan Suleiman, Chief Arthur Nwankwo, Chief Chukwuemeka Ezeife, Admiral Ndubuisi Kanu, Chief Frank Kokori, and Chief Bola Ige, and other eminent Nigerians who made great sacrifices for the restoration of democracy in the country.

The President urged Nigerians to beware of elements who might want to undermine the current democratic dispensation.

He acknowledged the economic hardships in the country and expressed his commitment to supporting the citizens.

He said, “On this day, 31 years ago, we entered our rites of passage to becoming a true and enduring democratic society.

“Going through this passage was hard and dangerous. During the fateful six years that followed, we fought and struggled for our natural rights as human beings put on this earth by the divine hand of our Creator.

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Minumum Wage: Govs should resign if they can’t pay, says Labour

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Last Updated on June 9, 2024 by Fellow Press

Organised Labour on Saturday tackled the state governors, accusing them of acting in bad faith towards the new minimum wage negotiations ongoing in the country.

Recall that the governors under the aegis of the Nigeria Governors Forum rejected the proposed N60,000 minimum wage for Nigerian workers.

In a statement issued on Friday by the Director of Media and Public Affairs for NGF, Halimah Ahmed, the governors said the proposed minimum wage was too high and not sustainable.

The governors said if the N60,000 minimum wage is adopted, many states would allocate their entire Federal Account Allocation Committee funds to salaries, leaving no resources for development projects.

However reacting on Saturday, the Organised Labour faulted the NGF’s position, saying every part of the new minimum wage agreement should be implemented and any of the state governors who can’t pay it should resign.

According to Punch, the Deputy National President of the Trade Union Congress, Tommy Etim, said, “There is no minimum wage. Every segment of it should be implemented. For the governors, we have said it very clearly. If you cannot pay minimum wage, please resign because you were voted for governance not for only infrastructure.”

“If you build the entire infrastructure and the people are not living to use it, who will use it? When they were campaigning did they tell us that? They didn’t tell us that. They make use of the poor to get to the top and when they get there, they start thinking outside the box. All the money they spent in electioneering campaigns, if they applied that to build infrastructure, to develop the revenue generation that would have solved some socio-economic challenges in their domain,” Etim said.

Describing the NGF statement as a recipe for industrial unrest, he said, “In this same country, the governors said that N30,000 was too much for governors to pay but it is in the same country that a governor emerged with over N80bn. What an irony! We cannot jump processes. We will also look at it together. Labour will be meeting. We are giving Mr President the benefit of the doubt to work the talk. The end will justify the means.”

Also reacting in a statement signed by its Head of Public Affairs, Benson Upah, the Nigerian Labour Congress said, “We do believe the Governors have acted in bad faith. It is unheard of for such a statement to be issued to the world in the middle of an on-going negotiation. It is certainly in bad taste.

“As for the veracity of their claim, nothing can be further from the truth as FAAC allocations have since moved from N700bn to N1.2tn, making the governments extremely rich at the expense of the people.

“All that the governors need to do to be able to pay a reasonable national minimum wage (not even the N60,000) is cut on the high cost of governance, minimise corruption as well as prioritise the welfare of workers.”

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