Thursday, 28 September 2023

Burkina Security Agencies Foil Coup Attempt Against Junta Leaders

Burkina Security Agencies Foil Coup Attempt Against Junta Leaders

 A coup attempt against Burkina Faso’s military rulers has been thwarted by the country’s intelligence and security services, authorities said.

Burkina Faso’s military rulers said in a statement on Wednesday that army officers and others had planned to seize power and plunge the country into “chaos”.

“Officers and other alleged actors involved in this attempt at destabilisation have been arrested and others are actively sought,” a spokesman for the ruling military Rimtalba Jean Emmanuel Ouedraogo said in a statement without providing details.

The latest coup attempt occurred on Tuesday, according to the statement.

The military government said it would seek to shed “all possible light on this plot” and that it regretted “that officers whose oath is to defend their homeland have strayed into an undertaking of this nature”.

The country’s military prosecutor later said that four people had been arrested and two were on the run. An investigation has been opened based on “credible allegations about a plot against state security implicating officers”, the prosecutor said.

Al Jazeera

UI, Covenant, FUTA Emerge Top Universities In Nigeria

UI, Covenant, FUTA Emerge Top Universities In Nigeria


Covenant University, University of Ibadan and the Federal University of Technology, Akure have secured top ranking in Nigeria according to Times Higher Education’s 2024 rating.

Analysis of the latest ranking showed that Covenant University is among the top 1,000 universities in the world.

Though ranked first in Nigeria, Covenant University is placed within the global 801-1000 range.

Covenant University, a private-owned institution, stands at the top spot in Nigeria, while the University of Ibadan followed in second and FUTA emerged third.

The University of Lagos and the University of Bayero emerged fourth and fifth in Nigeria, respectively.

 The Ranking Web said the World University ranking includes 1,904 universities across 108 countries and regions.

“The Times Higher World University ranking includes 1,904 universities across 108 countries and regions.

“The table is based on our new WUR 3.0 methodology, which is carefully calibrated performance indicators that measure an institution’s performance across five areas; teaching, research environment, research quality, industry and international outlook.”

Others universities that achieve the top ranking is Nigeria include the University of Ilorin, University of Nigeria, Nsukka, Afe Babalola University, University of Benin, Federal Univ of Agric, Abeokuta, Ladoke Akintola University of Technology, Lagos State University, Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Obafemi Awolowo University, University of Port Harcourt.

Among the 15 top universities, nine are located in the South West, two in the South East, two in the South South, one in the North West and one in the North Central.

Hoodlùms Beat Commercial Driver To Deāth In Jos

Hoodlùms Beat Commercial Driver To Deāth In Jos

 The Plateau State Police Command on Thursday confirmed the kîlling of a commercial driver in Jos by persons suspected to be hoodlums.

It was learnt that the commercial driver, identified as Fwinbe Thomas, had grazed a motorcycle rider with his vehicle while driving home after the close of work.

However, some hoodlums who were angered by the incident were said to have chased after the driver in their motorcycles and attacked him along Tudun Wada Ring Road in Jos, leading to his dèāth.

The spokesman for the Plateau State Police Command, Alabo Alfred, condemned the action of the hoodlums in a statement on Thursday while confirming the death of the driver.

The statement read in part, “The Commissioner of Police, Plateau State Police Command, CP Okoro Julius Alawari, is miffed with and totally condemns the unlawful kîlling of one Mr Fwinbe Thomas who was found lying in a pool of his own blóód along Tudun Wada Ring Road, Hwolshe in Jos.

“Sequel to a report of the incident by a credible informant on 25/09/2023 at about 2230hrs, the Police Patrol Team attached to Anglo-Jos Division swiftly rushed to the scene of the cruel incident where they found the victim lying in a pool of his own blóód beside a damaged Suzuki Mini Bus with Reg. No.: KWK 536 XA, with multiple injûries on his head.

“The victim is suspected to have been cruelly beaten to deāth by some hoodlums, suspected to be commercial motorcyclists popularly known as “Okada Riders” whose operation in Jos Metropolis/Bukuru metropolis is illegal.

“Photographs of the victim were taken, the vehicle was towed to the station and the body of the victim was taken to the Plateau Specialist Hospital where he was confirmed deãd by a medical doctor. The cõrpse has been deposited at the hospital’s morgùe for autopsy.”

The statement assured that efforts were ongoing to apprehend the kïllers of Fwinbe Thomas.

It added, “The commissioner appeals for calm as the police is already on top of the situation.

“He assures Plateau residents that the perpetrators of the dastardly act will not evade justice as there is no hiding place for evil-doers in the State.

“The Plateau Police boss also sends a stern warning to executors of “Jungle Justice” to desist from such lawlessness as the Command under his watch will not spare any person found culpable of such inhuman act.

“He emphasised the need for citizens to allow law enforcement agencies to take charge of such cases instead of taking laws into their hands.

“Investigation into this case is still ongoing and further development will be made available to the public in due course.

“The CP further uses this medium to inform the general public that the ban on the use of motorcycle popularly known as Okada within Jos Metropolis and Bukuru is still in force”

Adebutu Vs Abiodun: Ogun Tribunal To Delivers Judgement On Saturday

Adebutu Vs Abiodun: Ogun Tribunal To Delivers Judgement On Saturday


The Ogun State Governorship Election Petition Tribunal sitting in Abeokuta, will, on Saturday, deliver judgment in the petition filed by the governorship candidate of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), Ladi Adebutu, against Governor Dapo Abiodun.

The tribunal had on September 4 reserved its judgement after parties adopted their final addresses.

The Hamidu Kunaza-led tribunal told parties that the “judgment is reserved until a date to be communicated to parties.”

Our correspondent gathered on Wednesday that the tribunal has fixed the judgment for Saturday.

The secretary of the Tribunal, Mrs. Ezenta Obioma, confirmed this in Abeokuta.

Counsel to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Dr Remi Olatubora (SAN), also confirmed the development to our correspondent.

PDP and Adebutu are challenging the victory of Abiodun at the March 18 Governorship election.

INEC had declared Abiodun winner after polling 276,298 votes, while Adebutu scored 262,38 and Biyi Otegbeye of the African Democratic Congress (ADC) came distant third with 9, 4754 votes.

Adebutu in the petition sought an order of the court to declare him as winner of the election.

The petitioners also prayed the court to order the INEC to conduct fresh elections in 99 polling units in 41 wards which cut across 16 Local government areas of the State where elections were either not held and/or cancelled due to disruption and over-voting.

Imo Gov’ship: Opposition Parties Campaigning Against Me Because I Have One Arm – LP Candidate

Imo Gov’ship: Opposition Parties Campaigning Against Me Because I Have One Arm – LP Candidate


The Imo State governorship candidate of the Labour Party (LP), Senator Athan Achonu, has said that some members of the opposition in the state are using his physical defect to campaign against him ahead of the governorship poll in November.

He stated this during a chat with ARISE TV concerning issues surrounding the Labour Party in the state ahead of the November poll.

There has recently been crisis in Imo after the National Working Committee of the party led by Julius Abure insisted that Achonu is the party’s genuine governorship candidate recognised by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

However, another faction led by Lamide Apapa rejected Achonu as the party’s candidate.

Responding to the development, Achonu said, “Let me give you a perfect example of this scam. When they went to the Appeal Court, it declined, so we proceeded to the Supreme Court to challenge that judgement. You know what happened? The Appeal Court said why were we bothering? That the judgement was even in our favour. That we shouldn’t bother because the case had been dismissed.

“So what did we do? We went and withdrew the case from the Supreme Court. Immediately we withdrew the case, they went to town that Supreme Court had ruled so and so.

“The beneficiary of all these crises and factions in the Labour Party will be the APC government in power. Because people are already saying if we vote for the one-arm General (that’s what they call me), they will take away the thing from him in the Supreme Court, so we don’t want to waste our votes.

“So that’s just the situation they want to create. They are stimulating the belief that just because I have one arm, I shouldn’t be voted for.”

Thursday, 21 September 2023

Gov Yusuf Describes Tribunal Judgement As Temporary Setback, Vows To Reclaim Mandate

Gov Yusuf Describes Tribunal Judgement As Temporary Setback, Vows To Reclaim Mandate

Kano state governor, Abba Kabir Yusuf has appealed to residents to maintain peace while vowing to use all legal means to reclaim his mandate.

Daily Trust reports that Tribunal sacked Gov Yusuf and ordered that Nasir Yusuf Gawuna of the APC be issued a certificate of returns.

Addressing the media few minutes before midnight, Gov Yusuf said the judgment was error-ridden and that he is optimistic that these errors would be corrected at the appellate court.

“My good people of Kano State! You would recall that on March 18, 2023, you came out enmasse and voted for me as your Governor with a total votes of 1,019,602 and a margin of 128,897 votes between my humble self and second place.”

“Subsequently, I was duly sworn-in as your elected Governor on May 29, 2023. You may also recall that the party that lost the election took us to court.

“However, after almost six months of proceedings at the governorship election petition tribunal, today Wednesday, September 20, 2023, the judges of the tribunal have in their own wisdom delivered their ruling.

“As human beings their judgement may not be absolutely perfect, there are errors and misapplication of the law as pointed out by our legal team. That is why our constitution provides for  other stages to go on with- such as Court of Appeal and Supreme Court.”

He added that, “we have already instructed our legal team to appeal this judgement as soon as possible to ensure that justice is done.”

Yusuf called on the people of Kano to be calm and remain law abiding while security agents had been directed to ensure the full protection of lives and properties of innocent citizens across the State.

“This government will continue to work for the development of our State in-line with the promises we made, while seeking for your votes. We want to assure you that this will neither dampen our spirit nor slow us down as this is a temporary setback for our State which we will overcome by the grace of Almighty Allah (SWT).

“While thanking the good people of Kano State for their continuous support and prayer, let me further use this opportunity to call on them to continue to go about their businesses peacefully.

FG Pays N169.4bn In August As Fuel Subsidy

FG Pays N169.4bn In August As Fuel Subsidy


Despite the numerous assurances by President Bola Ahmed Tinubu that the subsidy is gone, Daily Trust’s finding shows that the federal government paid N169.4 billion as subsidy in August to keep the pump price at N620 per litre.

There have been several reports suggesting that the current price stagnation despite the worsening exchange rate and international crude price crossing $95 a barrel suggests a return of subsidy.

A document by the Federal Account Allocation Committee (FAAC), sighted by our reporter yesterday, showed that in August 2023, the Nigerian Liquefied Natural Gas (NLNG) paid $275m as dividends to Nigeria via NNPC Limited. NNPC Limited used $220m (N169.4 billion at N770/$) out of the $275m to pay for the PMS subsidy. Then NNPC held back $55m, illegally.

The revelation by FAAC effectively indicates that the subsidy is back and NNPC is now taking NLNG dividends to pay the subsidy.

Former President Buhari left the country with the highest amount spent on subsidising petrol in Nigeria’s history.

According to oil and gas industry reports conducted by the Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI), the cost of petrol subsidy from 2015 to 2020 was N1.99 trillion.

Also reports by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) to the Federation Accounts Allocation Committee (FAAC), showed that petrol subsidy cost N1.57 trillion in 2021 alone and another N1.27 trillion from January to May 2022.

The government thereafter budgeted of N3 trillion to cover petrol subsidy costs from June 2022 to June 2023.

An aggregation of the entire costs showed that under President Buhari the government spent N7.83 trillion on petrol subsidies.

Imo Kïllings: Villagers Flee As Soldiers Destroy Buildings

Imo Kïllings: Villagers Flee As Soldiers Destroy Buildings


Residents of Oriendu in Umualumaku Umueze in Ehime Mbano Local Government Area in Imo State are currently living in fear for their lives following the alleged invasion of the community and destruction of property by security personnel suspected to be soldiers.

The community invasion by the armed men came a day after some gunmen kîlled and set some soldiers, policemen and men of the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps ablàze in two patrol vehicles in the community on Tuesday.

A video sighted by one of our correspondents showed the destruction of property in the community, even as the narrator alleged that the act was perpetrated by the armed officials.

It was gathered that residents of the area were currently living in fear of their lives and decried the burning of houses.

The resident who spoke in the video lamented that they were being punished for what they knew nothing about.

According to a video, several shops, buildings, properties, food shops and bars were allegedly razed by the rampaging soldiers seeking justice for their colleagues.

The roads of the quiet village looked deserted after the soldiers allegedly wreaked a devastating havoc on the community with only a handful of countable residents whose properties were destroyed seen.

PUNCH Metro observed from the video that uncountable crates of alcoholic drinks were destroyed, several lockup shops were set ablaze, some shop with pots, plates, chairs were also destroyed.

The narrator called on Nigerians to see the unfair treatment meted out to the community.

He said, “We have suffered in this community. What do they want us to do in this community? That a crime was committed in this community does not mean that it is Ehime Mbano people that did it. You people should come to our rescue. Shops, bars, event centres and food stalls were all burned down today by the military men of the Nigeria.

“The people they destroyed their shops; were they the ones that committed the crime? Please, we are suffering in this community; leave us alone because things are bad. People are crying and asking what did we do?”

The narrator in the video added that some indigenes of the community had fled into the bush.

A resident of Ehime Mbano, who sells building materials in the area, told PUNCH Metro that the shops and other property destrōyed by soldiers belonged to innocent people who knew nothing about Tuesday’s incident.

The resident, who pleaded anonymity for the fear of being harmed, said, “The destruction of some shops and drinking joints today in Ehime Mbano by soldiers is not necessary. Shops and tents belonging to pap sellers were destroyed.

“They should investigate, arrest those behind the kîlling of the soldiers and bring them to book and not going setting traders shops and buildings on fire.

“The entire place is boiling; I had to close my shop and leave to avoid problem. The heavy presence of soldiers along the road is worrisome.”

Meanwhile, the Nigerian Army has denied involvement in any attack or destruction of shops, including drinking joints and restaurants, in Ehime Mbano, Imo State, following the gruesome murder of some security personnel in Umualumaku community on Tuesday.

The Assistant Director, Army Public Relations Officer, 34 Artillery Brigade, Obinze, Joseph Akubo, in a telephone interview, said he was unaware of any destruction by the men of the force in the area.

“Is it that military men came to destroy? Let’s be sure of what you are asking. I am not aware of anything like that. We don’t have a report of anything related to this.

“Unfortunately, everybody is bringing on whatever they like, but for now, the military is not conducting any operations around there. I will suggest you speak with the Police PRO.

“I think you should speak with the police; they are the ones in charge of internal security. They should be the ones speaking about whatever is taking place.”

Also, The Director, Defence Information, Brig. Gen. Tukur Gusau, said he was not aware of the incident.

When one of our correspondents called him, he said, “I am not aware.”

In a related development, the acting Inspector-General of Police, Olukayode Egbetokun, has said that the Nigeria Police Force was committed to inter-agency collaboration to uncover those behind the recent kìllings of security operatives in Imo State.

Reacting to the tragic loss on Wednesday, the IG, through a statement by the Force’s Public Relations Officer, Olumuyiwa Adejobi, said the Nigeria Police would leave no stone unturned in order to ensure that those responsible for the kìllings were apprehended.

While extending condolences to the friends, families, and relatives of the deceased officers, Egbetokun further urged anyone with useful information related to the incident to report to the police in order to aid their investigation.

Meanwhile, the Governor of Imo State, Hope Uzodimma, and the governorship candidate of the Labour Party for the November 11 governorship election in the state, Athan Achonu, have condemned the Tuesday kîlling of security operatives in the state.

In separate statements, Uzodimma and Achonu described the kîlling and reprehensible.

In a statement issued by Uzodimma’s spokesperson, Oguwike Nwachuku, the governor, assured the people of the state that the suspects would be caught.

The statement read, “Governor Hope Uzodimma has assured the public that those behind the Tuesday kîlling of security operatives at Ehime Mbano area of Imo State will be fished out and made to face the law.

“When Governor Uzodimma visited the scene of the ugly incident accompanied by the Imo State Commissioner of Police and the Director Department of State Services, he expressed sadness over the lives lost.

“He assured the people that the state government in collaboration with security agencies would fish out the perpetrators with a view to bringing them to book.”

On his part, Achonu asked the state government to become more serious with security in the state.

The statement which he personally issued read, “That unconscionable murder of innocent security operatives in the line of duty is reprehensible, highly condemnable and unacceptable in a modern society like ours.

“The latest onslaught in the recurrent sparks of violence is more condemnable because it happened in my own constituency.”

Wednesday, 20 September 2023

Human Rights Group Caution Gov Sanwo-Olu Not To Impose MC Oluomo On Road Transport Workers In Lagos State

Human Rights Group Caution Gov Sanwo-Olu Not To Impose MC Oluomo On Road Transport Workers In Lagos State


Civil Society Stakeholders under the platform of the Centre for Human and Socio-Economic Rights (CHSR) has tackled the Lagos State Government under the leadership of Babajide Sanwo-Olu over the plots to impose Musiliu Akinsanya, aka MC Oluomo as the state chairman for the National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW).

In a press statement released by the group president, Comrade Alex Omotehinse, it was alleged that MC Oluomo has been using his influence in government to hijack the transport workers’ union.

The CHSR warned the Lagos State governor to caution MC Oluomo to be contended with his roles as the Chief Manager of Parks and Garages and allow other stakeholders within NURTW breathe and operate without interference in Lagos.

The statement reads: “This press briefing is in furtherance of the mandate of CHSR and the overriding quest of civil society stakeholders in the quest to defend victims of abuse of human rights and to promote the cause of justice and peaceful coexistence in the society. We are therefore compelled, as one of the strategic platforms of civil society stakeholders in Lagos State to do a follow up on our earlier clarion call through media briefing on April 28, 2022 on the potential disruptive motive of vested interests masquerading as authentic trade unionists under the banner of the now dissolved Parks and Garden.

Management with the sinister agenda of usurping the operations of the National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW) in Lagos State.

“On account of our civil obligation as patriots, we are again compelled to alert the Nigerian general public; particularly critical local and global stakeholders as well as relevant institutions of the inherent danger of imposing Musiliu Akinsanya (a.k.a MC Oluomo) led Parks and Gardens platform on the legitimate structure and leadership of Alhaji Fatai Adesina-led National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW) in Lagos State.

“It would be recalled that Mr. Musiliu Oluomo who is the arrowhead of Parks and Garages Management had issues with the Tajudeen Baruwa led leadership of NURTW. Following the sanctioning and suspension of Mr. Oluomo as stipulated in Article 42, Section 5 Subsection (i-x) of the NURTW Constitution, the Lagos State Government, notwithstanding, accorded recognition to MC. Oluomo, albeit as the leader of Lagos Parks and Garages (not recognised as an affiliate of the NURTW) and by so doing instigated a state-sponsored rebellion against the authentic national leadership of NURTW. We are not unaware of ongoing insurrection against the authentic national leadership of the NURTW which is duly recognised by the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC).

“It should be worrisome that the CIVILIAN COUP IN NURTW clearly appears to enjoy active connivance of the Nigerian State as manifested by the partisanship of the Nigerian Police. What is however of immediate concern and source of worry is the subterranean manoeuvres to impose MC Oluomo as leader of NURTW in Lagos State in spite of having publicly severed relationship with NURTW and assumed a new role as the Chief Manager of Lagos Parks and Garages.

“We are deeply worried that the undemocratic and crude imposition of outsiders on legitimately constituted authority through the back doors and dark corridors to hijack the leadership of the NURTW is manifesting in Lagos State. Our position is clearly in defence of the constitutional rights of citizens in a democratic dispensation. The right to form and belong to an association including Trade Union based on established laws and regulations is eloquently recognised and guaranteed by the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as amended.

“We hold firm that Freedom of Association is one of the cardinal rights of global concerns. This is why it is enshrined in the United Nations (UN) as well as the Charter of Human and Peoples’ Rights of the African Union (AU). Thus, Mr. MC Oluomo can only belong to any union as permitted by law and regulation guiding such union.

“As far as we know and in line with what is already a public knowledge, MC Oluomo belongs to Parks and Garages Management while Alhaji Fatai Adesina is the duly and legally recognised leader of Lagos State Council of NURTW under a extant law that is sacrosanct. It is not permitted by law for person to poach, usurp and hijack the structure, least to imagine, assuming the leadership of any organisation that he or she is not a recognised member having been suspended/expelled in line with the rules and regulations guiding such organisation.”

It should be emphasized that since our last media briefing, the NURTW structure and Alhaji Fatai leadership have not been allow to operate by Lagos State government on account of alleged proscription of the union notwithstanding that the union has remained law abiding in demonstration of commitment to the stability and advancement of the developmental agenda of Lagos.

“We therefore, unequivocally and in unmistaken terms, condemn the ‘meddlesome interloper ‘transgressor in the person of MC Oluomo for orchestrating ‘hostile takeover’ of NURTW in Lagos State. This development should be a major concern to all Lagosians considering the potential adverse effects of any escalation of hostilities in the Transportation sector and the overriding consequences for security of lives and properties in the State. We are not unaware of the unpleasant occurrence at the nation’s federal capital, where peaceful Abuja residents have witnessed fracas between the factions of NURTW.

“Considering that transportation is key to economic transformation, we call on government at the federal and state levels to ensure peaceful activities amongst stakeholders in transport union in line with rules and regulation and without interference and forceful hijack of established structures. We also demand as follows:

“We therefore call on the Lagos State Government and particularly Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu and the Inspector General of Police, Mr. Kayode Egbetokun to resist the pressure to be dragged into the selfish agenda of individuals who are determined to hijack legitimate structures and constituted authorities of NURTW.

“We call on Governor Sanwo-Olu in particular to impress it on Mr. MC Oluomo to be contended with his roles as the Chief Manager of Parks and Garages and allow other stakeholders within NURTW breathe and operate without interference in Lagos.”

Thousand Of Hunters Deployed To Force Out Bandits In Bauchi Communities

Thousand Of Hunters Deployed To Force Out Bandits In Bauchi Communities

 Over 1,000 hunters have been mobilised to join the fight against rising cases of banditry and dislodge the bandits from their hideouts inside the jungles at Lame area in Gumau, Toro Local Government in Bauchi state.

 In a chat with our correspondent, the District Head of Lame who is also the Sarkin Yakin Bauchi, Aliyu Yakubu Lame, implored the village heads in the district to pay special attention to the fight against kidnappers and bandits besieging the communities.

The monarch, who said the state government and security agencies had been supportive in fighting the banditry in the state, asked all the citizens to be part of the push out of the criminals and be vigilant of new faces in their areas.

 “Because they (bandits) are not living in the remote areas, they live on the hilltops and inside the bushes. Involving hunters in the fight against banditry has started yielding positive results,’’ he said.

In the meantime, the mobilised hunters explained their usual encounters with the kidnappers and bandits while using local weapons, with limited resources.

Leader of the hunters in Gumau, Malam Inuwa said, “We work alongside vigilante groups but we are more familiar with the terrain. We patiently search deep inside the jungles and endure all the stress because we vow not to retreat or surrender until we get them.

 “We need assistance to fuel our motorbikes to continue the onslaught against the criminals. We put a lot of effort into getting the job done. Thank God, the Sarkin Yaki is doing well for us,’’ he added.

Daily Trust reported on Sunday that residents of a number of communities have been on edge as abduction cases have surged unabated in recent months.

The seven worst-hit local governments are Toro, Ningi, Alkaleri, Jama’are, Tafawa Balewa, Dass and Bogoro.

The situation prompted Governor Bala Abdulkadir Mohammed of the state to make a request to the Air Force Base in Bauchi to begin an air patrol on the criminals’ hiding forests due to the gravity of the issue.

Dangote Refinery Ship-in Crude As NNPCL Switchs Oil For Loans

Dangote Refinery Ship-in Crude As NNPCL Switchs Oil For Loans


The Dangote Petroleum Refinery is currently importing crude oil and expects its first crude cargo in two weeks’ time, the Executive Director, Dangote Group, Devakumar Edwin, has revealed.

Although the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited trades crude oil on behalf of Nigeria, Edwin in an interview with S&P Global Commodity Insights on Monday, said the NNPCL had committed its crude to other entities.

The Dangote refinery boss did not disclose the other entities receiving the oil company’s crude but NNPC disclosed last month it had entered into a $3bn crude oil-for-loan deal with African Export-Import Bank.  The deal allowed the company to pledge future oil production to the bank  as repayments for the loan.

Also, NNPC sources told The PUNCH on Tuesday the company had entered into crude oil contracts with a number of entities, a development that made it impossible for the organisation to meet Dangote’s need earlier.

A top official of the oil company, however, said  plans were already underway to ensure Dangote’s refineries crude oil needs were met in November.

Also, Edwin pointed out that the importation of crude by Dangote refinery was temporary, as the firm would receive supply from NNPCL from November.

Edwin went ahead to state that the firm would begin the production of up to 370,000 barrels per day of crude that would give rise to Automotive Gas Oil, popularly called diesel, and jet fuel in October 2023.

For Premium Motor Spirit, popularly called petrol, the Dangote Group’s boss said the plant would produce it by November 30, 2023.

This came as oil marketers stated that the prices of diesel and jet fuel would only crash when the Dangote refinery starts receiving crude oil from Nigeria, and not by importing crude.

Meanwhile, Edwin stated in the interview that the Dangote Refinery would initiate a gradual increase in petrol production, aiming to reach an impressive 650,000 barrels per day by November 30.

He emphasised the refinery’s readiness to receive crude oil, stating, “Right now, I’m ready to receive crude. We are just waiting for the first vessel. And so, as soon as it comes in, we can start.”

Regarding the shift in the original timeline, Edwin clarified, during his conversation with S&P, that the NNPCL had already committed their crude oil to another entity on a forward basis, causing a temporary delay.

He said the setback was momentary, and the refinery would soon run exclusively on Nigerian crude oil as from November 2023.

It was also gathered on Tuesday in Abuja that the NNPCL had entered into crude oil supply commitments with other entities, but would ensure that it supplies the commodity to Dangote refinery in November.

In mid-August, the national oil firm announced that it had secured a $3bn emergency crude oil repayment loan from the African Export-Import Bank.

It had announced the acquisition of the loan in a brief statement titled, ‘Relief for the naira: NNPC Ltd secures $3bn emergency crude repayment loan from AFREXIM Bank.’

The statement read, “The NNPC Ltd and @afreximbank have jointly signed a commitment letter and term-sheet for an emergency $3bn crude oil repayment loan.

“The signing, which took place today at the bank’s headquarters in Cairo, Egypt, will provide some immediate disbursement that will enable the NNPC Ltd to support the Federal Government in its ongoing fiscal and monetary policy reforms aimed at stabilising the exchange rate market.”

Providing further explanation about the loan at the time, the Senior Special Assistant to President on Digital/New Media, O’tega Ogra, in several posts on X (formerly Twitter), explained that the $3bn was not a crude-for-refined products swap loan, but an upfront cash loan against proceeds from a limited amount of future crude oil production.

This confirmed that the national oil firm had really made commitments to other entities using the crude produced by Nigeria.

Ogra had said, “Is this loan risky for NNPCL or the Nigerian Treasury? No. The exposure for NNPCL is very limited, covering just a fraction of their entitlements. Additionally, there are no sovereign guarantees tied to this loan.”

“How will the loan be repaid? The loan will be repaid against a fraction of proceeds from future crude oil production. It’s a strategic move that ensures a balance between our current economic needs and future production capabilities.

“What is the difference between this and previous swap deals? This is not a crude for refined products agreement where the government does not earn any proceeds from the swap.”

Meanwhile, during the latest S&P interview, Edwin said the Nigerian oil would be purchased in US dollars, and not naira because the refinery is located in a free trade zone on the outskirts of Lagos.

He said the NNPCL would, however, supply some crude at knockdown prices due to its equity stake in the refinery

Edwin further stated that, aside from heavy Angolan grades, the Dangote refinery could process most African crude grades, as well as Middle Eastern Arab Light and even US light-tight oil.

He said, “We can take even some of the Russian grades… if the global system opens up to allow us to receive them. Basically, if you look at our production profile, 50 per cent of my production will meet 100 per cent of the requirements of the country.

“Excess gasoline – which will be 10 ppm sulfur Euro 5 quality — will be exported to other African markets as well as the US and South America, although the volumes will be relatively small. Meanwhile, jet fuel will be exported to Europe and diesel will be sold in sub-Saharan Africa.”

S&P also quoted Edwin as saying the refinery would be “enormously beneficial to the country” by establishing a reliable supply of “environmentally-friendly” refined products and bringing “a huge amount of foreign exchange into the country.”

Edwin also noted that the refinery would play a pivotal role in alleviating the fuel supply challenges faced by import-dependent West Africa, worsened by Nigeria’s recent removal of fuel subsidies, which had led to a thriving illicit gasoline market due to price fluctuations.

He added that the revenues generated from the refinery’s operations would be reinvested to fuel further developments, underscoring Aliko Dangote’s commitment to Nigeria.

“The money will be coming back in, and it will go for further investments. Aliko Dangote is from Nigeria and his focus is always on Nigeria,” Edwin stated.

Marketers React

The National Secretary, Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria, Chief John Kekeocha, said the Dangote refinery should start producing refined products, as the delay was becoming too long.

He, however, expressed hope that once the facility starts getting crude oil from NNPCL to produce diesel and jet fuel, the costs of the commodities would reduce in Nigeria.

“The prices of diesel and jet fuel will, of course, come down when Dangote starts refining in-country, provided it gets its crude oil from Nigeria. For the unit costs of importing the refined products will be removed, since we now produce them here,”Kekeocha stated.

Other marketers expressed satisfaction with the report that the Dangote refinery would begin production in October.

The National Controller, Operations, IPMAN, Mike Osatuyi, said the beginning of petrol refining by the refinery in November would mean a corresponding end to petrol importation.

“It is good news for oil marketers, the masses and the Nigerian government. What this means is that we will soon get away from petrol importation forever. The Federal Government has 20 per cent shares in the refinery, so it is a great development for Nigeria and the Tinubu government,” he stated.

The Spokesperson for Dangote Group, Tony Chijiena, could not be reached immediately for comments. There was no response to several calls and text message seeking comments on the development as of the time of filing this report.

However, Dangote sources told The PUNCH although the group’s CEO granted S&P the interview, the company would respond through an official press release at the appropriate time.

The PUNCH reported last week that the refinery was yet to commence production despite a promise by Aliko Dangote that petrol from the facility would start flowing into the Nigerian market latest August.

The immediate past spokesperson of the NNPCL, Garba-Deen Muhammad, was among those who were compulsorily retired by the firm on Wednesday.

Efforts to get comments from officials of the oil company on the matter were not successful, as they did not respond to enquires. 

Friday, 1 September 2023

Nollywood Actor, Bolanle Ninalowo Announces Separation From Wife

Nollywood Actor, Bolanle Ninalowo Announces Separation From Wife


Popular Nollywood actor, Ninalowo Bolanle, on Friday, disclosed that he had parted ways with his wife, Bunmi.

In a lengthy post on his verified Instagram handle, @iamnino_b, the actor said he had finally accepted the “reality of the end of a (sic) road”.

The actor explained that he and his wife had to make the inescapable decision for the sake of a “peaceful and loveable future”.

He also cited their children and his mental health among other reasons for the painful decision.

The post read, “Finally, I accept the reality of the End to a Road!

“A sad reality that gives room & hope for a brighter and more fulfilling future!

A reality that is SAD for my loving and adorable children but necessary for a peaceful and loveable future.

“A sad reality I prayed, nurtured and worked tirelessly hard never to experience for the sake of all.

“A sad reality I now have to accept as I realise that my kids are much grown with a better sense of understanding and knowledge of my pain & struggles regarding them!

“A sad reality that screams that I won’t live or be around forever and must take care of my health & mental state for the goodness of all.

“May God help me and reward me with all I truly deserve or punish me for all I have done wrong if that be the case.

“In the end, we will all live with the consequences of our actions. Sad but real and true!

“Now I have to do and be better for the sake of the same children I fought so hard never to be separated from.

“The journey thus far only makes me stronger as I come to terms with what I truly need and deserve for all my relentless hard work & efforts in life.

“Heartbroken but not shattered yet I stand tall as I break this sad but true news to the same world who adores my beautiful family & I.

“My wife & I have decided to go our separate ways and headed for an irreconcilable marriage dissolution.

“Please respect our privacy and pray for us during this process as we heal and move on with our independent lives while jointly taking care of what we love most, Our children!God bless all 🙏🏾”

The couple were together for 19 years and are blessed with two children, Aliyah and Morakinyo.

Mali, Niger, Burkina Faso Wouldn't Exist Without France - Macron

Mali, Niger, Burkina Faso Wouldn't Exist Without France - Macron

 Without France’s military operations in the Sahel, “there would probably no longer be a Mali, Burkina Faso, and I’m not sure there would still be Niger”, French President Emmanuel Macron told French publication, Le Point.

Macron is referring to the former colonial power’s interventions in the mid-2000s, Operations Serval and Barkhane.

French troops were moved from Mali to Niger after its military leaders cut ties with the former colonial power.

He said the interventions were done “at the request of African states” and were “successful” as his policy is facing scrutiny in the face of losing the allyship of the last remaining ally, Niger, and increasing negative sentiment from Africans.

He went on to explain that while these operations reflect France’s “honour” and “responsibility”, France could no longer remain involved “when there is a coup d’état, and the priority of the new regimes is not to fight terrorism” even though this is “tragic for the states concerned”.

In the interview, Macron defended his administration’s policy in the Sahel as one of partnership rather than focusing on security.

France refuses to acknowledge coup leader General Abdurahman Tchiani’s announcement that all military deals between Niger and France are terminated, and more than a thousand French troops remain stationed at a military base there.


Osun APC Suspends Former Speaker, SSG, Aregbesola Allies And Others

Osun APC Suspends Former Speaker, SSG, Aregbesola Allies And Others

 Barely 48 hours after the expulsion of 83 members of the All Progressive Congress (APC) from the party for alleged anti-party activities, the leadership of the party again, on Thursday, suspended another 26 of its members for the same offence.

Out of the suspended members were the former Speaker of the State House of Assembly, Hon. Najeem Salami; former SSG, Alhaji Moshood Adeoti; Former National House of Assembly member, Senator Mudasiru Hussain; Former party Chairman, Elder Adelowo Adebiyi; Former Commissioner for Information, Mr Adelani Baderinwa; Former Commissioner for Commerce, Mr. Sikiru Ayedun, Former Deputy Chief of Staff to the governor, Barrister Gbenga Akano, Former Commissioner for land, Mr. Kunle Ige.

Others are the party chieftains: Engr. Kazeem Salami, Alhaji Adesiji Azeez, Mr. Biodun Agboola, Barr. Gbenga Awosode, Mr. Rasheed Opatola, Hon. Gbenga Ogunkanmi, Hon. Israel Oyekunle, Hon. MBO Ibraheem, Mr. Akeem Olaoye, Hon. Francis Famurewa, Hon. Tajudeen Famuyide, Hon. (Mrs.) Adenike Abioye, Hon. Wasiu Adebayo, Hon. Rasheed Afolabi, Mr. Segun Olanibi, Mr. Tunde Ajilore, Mr Ganiyu Ismaila Opeyemi and Mr Zakariah Khalid, Olaoluwa-South LCDA.

Meanwhile, all suspended party members were the former minister of Interior, Rauf Aregbesola loyalists who served under his administration while he was the state governor.

The state party Chairman, Sooko Tajudeen Lawal who made the announcement of the suspension in a statement in Osogbo, stated, “Following complaints of anti-party activities, the State Executive Committee of the Osun State chapter of the All Progressives Congress (APC) constituted a Disciplinary Committee to investigate the allegations against some of its members.”

“This disciplinary measure came in response to the allegations of misconduct bordering on factionalisation of the party and creating parallel party organ.”

“The Disciplinary Committee undertook a thorough and impartial review of the allegations and the findings were carefully deliberated upon by the State Executive Committee.”

“After a comprehensive assessment of the evidence and consideration of the committee’s recommendations, the State Executive Committee has taken the difficult yet necessary step of suspending the members indefinitely”

“As we move forward, we enjoin our members to remain focused on our goals and continue working together to serve the interests of our constituents and our State. Our commitment to transparency, inclusivity, and adherence to our party’s core values remains unwavering”, he submitted.