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Subsidy: Endure now to enjoy later, APC tells Nigerians

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The ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) has appealed to organised labour not to allow opposition narratives on the deregulation exercise and electricity tariffs to hoodwink them.

The party admitted that it was not unmindful of the financial strains brought by the increase in fuel pump price and electricity rates, but assured that with little endurance, Nigerians stand to enjoy gains soon.

Deputy National Publicity Secretary of the ruling party, Yekini Nabena made the appeal in statement shortly after the government-organised labour meeting was deadlocked Tuesday in Abuja.

According to the APC, “We urge 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 subsidizing fuel and the degrading of the electricity sector under their watch despite huge allocations and subsequent theft of the resources meant go improve the sector.

“The All Progressives Congress (APC) is not oblivious of the financial strains brought by the increase in fuel pump price and electricity rates. We urge Nigerians to endure now and enjoy gains soon.

“The reviews are crucial and hard thought decisions by government. 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.”

The party noted with shock the estimates by the Nigerian Institute for Social and Economic Research (NISER) which reported that the budget for fuel subsidies in 2019 was sufficient to enroll the entire population of Nigeria in the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS), adding that fuel subsidies took over N10 trillion of our national resources since 2006.

“At least, the generality of Nigerians and stakeholders agree on a thousand and one reasons why fuel subsidy has become unsustainable. 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.

“In line with the current administration’s deregulation drive and move to increase private-sector participation in the petroleum sector, the task before us now is to improve our local refining capacities which we are already on course to achieving and maintain a competitive, market-driven, transparent and accountable petroleum pricing template which meets global best practices, particularly in a developing country such as ours.

“While government works assiduously to solve the country’s electricity challenges permanently, it realizes that many Nigerians and businesses still rely on alternative sources for power supply to meet electricity needs, hence its current focus on improving electricity and service delivery while also protecting poor and vulnerable Nigerians from arbitrary and estimated electricity billing.

“As with government’s decision to increase Nigerian worker’s minimum wage and other social investments, the President Muhammadu Buhari-led APC administration takes the welfare of the citizenry seriously.”

The party then appealed for the understanding of the organised labour and civil socities by supporting government move at fixing the economy. “We call on all stakeholders — government at all levels, private sector organizations, labour unions, civil societies, students and youth groups to support governments decision on the ongoing deregulation exercise as the citizens will be the ultimate beneficiaries.

“We urge 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 subsidizing fuel and the degrading of the electricity sector under their watch despite huge allocations and subsequent theft of the resources meant go improve the sector.

“We urge all to support the current administration’s economic policies to uplift Nigerians,” the party concluded.

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2023 Elections: 10 Ministers Resign from Buhari’s Cabinet

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Ten Nigerian cabinet members resigned to run for political office in compliance with an order from President Muhammadu Buhari.

According to Lai Mohammed, minister of information, the ministers will be replaced immediately. Buhari had directed all cabinet ministers that intended to run in national elections next February to resign from their posts by May 16 to ensure they didn’t unfairly benefit from their government positions.

Mohammed said he didn’t have any information on the status of central bank Governor Godwin Emefiele, who has also declared his intention to run.

Buhari holds Valedictory service for Ministers

President Buhari on Friday held a valedictory session with the ten ministers that tendered their resignation letters to pursue their political ambition in the 2023 elections.

President Buhari also promised to fill as soon as possible the vacuum created by the departure of the ministers.

Minister of information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed disclosed this while briefing State House correspondents at the end of the validatory session at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

According to him, the outgoing Ministers that attended the session were; Rotimi Amaechi (Transportation), Chris Ngige (Labour and Employment), Godswill Akpabio (Niger Delta Affairs), Dr. Ogbonnaya Onu (Science and Technological Innovation), Timipre Sylva State for Petroleum Resources), Tayo Alasoadura (State for Niger Delta Affairs), Dame Tallen Paulen (Women Affairs), Uche Ogar (State for Mines and Steel Development), Abubakar Malami (Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice) and Emeka Nwajiuba (State for Education), who was absent but with a permission.

(Politics Nigeria)

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Resign Now, Buhari Orders Ngige, Amaechi, Akpabio, Nwajiuba, Other Aspirants

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President Muhammadu Buhari has directed that all members of the Federal Executive Council (FEC) running for elective offices to submit their letters of resignation on or before Monday the 16th of May, 2022.

The Minister of information and Culture, Lai Mohamed, disclosed this on Wednesday during the Federal Executive Council meeting.

He said that the directive excludes the Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo.

The Information Minister affirmed that if there are any amendments or additions to this directive they would be made shortly.

According to the Minister, the directive might involve political appointees, if the need arises.

The affected appointees include, Ministers of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi; Niger Delta, Godswill Akpabio; Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige; Science, Technology and Innovation, Ogbonnaya Onu, Minister of State for Education, Emeka Nwajiuba; Justice and Attorney General, Abubakar Malami, who have joined the presidential race on the platform of the All Progressive Congress (APC).

Others are the Minister of State  Mines and Steel, Uche Ogar, who is running for governorship position in Abia State, the Minister of Women Affairs, Paulline Tallen, who recently declared her ambition to contest for the senatorial seat in Plateau State.

He added that the directive excludes the Vice President because he is an elected member of the cabinet.

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Enugu Politicians Are Not Bandits – PDP Guber Aspirants Reply Ekweremadu

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Senator Ike Ekweremadu
Senator Ike Ekweremadu

Gubernatorial aspirants of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, in Enugu East Senatorial district have responded to the alarm raised by Senator Ike Ekweremadu over alleged political violence in Enugu State.

The former Deputy President of the Senate Ekweremadu, who spoke through his campaign organization, at a press briefing in Enugu on Friday, called on the police to arrest the situation.

However, guber aspirants from Enugu East zone have told the Senator that there were no bandits in the party’s politics.

The aspirants from Enugu East Senatorial district, represented by Denge Josef-Ken Onoh, in a statement, Friday evening, described all the allegations by the Ekweremadu campaign group as falsehood.

Onoh in the statement said: “This conference is a unification and a show of solidarity among ourselves to drive home the acceptability and agreement of the people of Enugu state on power rotation and zoning of the common political position of Governorship of the state. Our coming together is to stress our commitment for a peaceful transition process in the state and its dividends of good governance, security and welfare of the people of Enugu state, who are the ultimate beneficiaries of every good administration.

“We wish to acknowledge the pragmatic leadership of the Governor of Enugu State, Rt. Hon. Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi, who has been doing all his best to position Enugu state as the most peaceful and secured state in the country, despite attempts by a few uncooperative ones to dress the state in a bad stead. We are behind Governor Ugwuanyi in these trying times and wish him divine intervention in the process of the people of Enugu state to choose who becomes their next administrator after him. We pledge that we will support whoever will emerge as the candidate of the PDP in the process that has already started well on April 30 2022 with the successful conduct of three-man Ad hoc delegates held in all the 260 political wards of our dear state.

“As you were all witnesses, the ward congress was conducted freely and fairly in all the wards of Enugu East senatorial district and to a larger extent in all the 260 wards of the state as was certified by the ward Congress committee sent to the State, except for one or two of complaints, as we learnt, and which is normal and sometimes unavoidable in political contests. We are happy that there was no causality, despite attempts by some disgruntled persons who have chosen not to abide by the popular decision for governorship zoning and rotation among the three senatorial components of the state.

“We have been inundated by inquiries from outside the State, where a press conference was held, in clear neglect of you reputable and hardworking journalists in the State, whom we know had severed them with all you might, up to this time that they chose to make a volt face. However, in response to the inquiries and for posterity sake, we wish to make the following clarifications.

“Enugu State is a peaceful State that had not been associated with banditry or cultism as the Ikeoha Campaign organization inferred. We are amazed that the Ikeoha campaign organization would describe all the local government council and PDP leaders in Aninri local government, where their principal comes from, as thugs, bandits and cultists. These are leaders whose principal was part of the election process and never described them as bandits until they chose to hold a parallel congress which they conducted in their private residences.

“Security agents are saddled with the responsibility of tracking bandits and hoodlums as alleged by the campaign organization, and so we are miffed that instead of following the right path of reporting such cases to the appropriate authorities for investigation and action, they chose the media to ridicule the well conducted exercise and paint Enugu State black.

“We are in good stead with the principal of Ikeoha Campaign Organization, Distinguished Senator Ike Ekweremadu, who is one of us and who we revere so much in high esteem that we are not quite sure that the campaign organization had his authority to disseminate the falsehood it has circulated.

“We and Ekweremadu share a very close affinity bond of friendship and commitment to the greater good of Enugu state and we urge him to unite with us to promote peace so as to ensure a peaceful democratic transition in Enugu State. In the spirit of brotherhood we urge him to play politics without bitterness but toe the line of amicable settlement of any issue that may arise in the course of this transition.

“The Governor of Enugu State is not a thug, nor does he support violence and has never demonstrated any form of violence against anybody. Under Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi’s watch as the leader of Enugu State, nobody has been met with violence; rather freedom of speech has been enhanced in the State with level playing grounds.

“In a nutshell, we urged the general public to disregard the false narrative of brigandage in Enugu State. It’s not true and not in the character of the Governor and good people of Enugu State who are working hard to ensure that there would be the most peaceful electoral transition process in the State.”

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