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Outburst Over Fuel Price Increase Understandable But Misplaced, Says NNPC GMD, Kyari

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The Group Marketing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Mele Kyari, has dismissed the criticism that followed the recent fuel price increase.

“The outburst is very understandable but I also believe very strongly that it is misplaced because Nigerians are not aware of the opportunities lost,” he said during an interview on Channels Television’s Politics Today on Wednesday.

According to Kyari, the issue of subsidy has been a big issue in the country for many years but the government can no longer afford it because of the economic issues facing the country.

“And not only that, every corruption that you are aware of in the downstream industry is one way or the other connected to fuel subsidy,” the NNPC boss added.

Kyari is the latest government official to defend the decision to fully halt subsidy, a decision that saw the price of fuel surge from N48/litre to N60-61/litre drawing criticism from organised labour, the opposition and many Nigerians.

But the NNPC boss insists it is the right decision.

“It requires courage to make this decision, I can share this with you. Only a Buhari regime can make this decision,” he said, insisting the move would pay off in the long run.

According to the NNPC boss, contrary to what most people believe, subsidy is something that is beneficial only to the rich, not the average man.

“The subsidy in itself, is by every means an elitist thing and I can share this with you. It is only the elite that will have three, four, five cars in their houses, fill their tanks and also feel comfortable doing this.

“The ordinary man is not the beneficiary. First, he loses in infrastructure, hospitals are not built, schools are not built and ultimately, the brunt of the corruption in the downstream sector will be transferred to the ordinary man. So, overall, you lose everything.

“It is very understandable for people to get angry that prices have gone up. Just like the prices of every commodity, when it goes up, there can be difficulties and challenges that people will naturally face but once prices go up, the other natural thing that must happen is that your income needs to increase so that you are able to procure the things that are now delivered at higher prices.

“You can’t do this anywhere in the world if there is no productivity.

“And there will be no productivity except there is growth in infrastructural development, industries are able to work, therefore, there is a connection between production and consumption. What subsidy does is to remove that connection.

“When people get angry, this is coming from people who, practically are not aware of this situation and they are not aware of the loss that they have and most importantly they are being engineered into making those statements, and we understand this perfectly.

“We are the national oil company, it’s our role to ensure energy security. But you can’t do this until you are able to deliver cost. And that cost is lost daily as prices of crude oil goes up and you are unable to do many things”.

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FG Launches Virtual Court Sitting At Correctional Centres

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The Federal Government on Monday launched the use of virtual court proceedings in Nigeria’s correctional centres.

The launch ceremony took place at the Kuje Correctional Centre in Abuja, the nation’s capital and had in attendance the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami; Interior Minister, Rauf Aregbesola, and the Comptroller-General of the Nigerian Correctional Service (NCS), Haliru Nababa among other top government officials.

In his remarks, the Justice Minister said the programme would reduce backlogs of court cases and the time spent on pre-trial of suspects.

Malami believes the virtual court proceedings would effectively aid in the administration of criminal justice in the country.

“This project, therefore, initiated to ensure the hearing and determination of urgent and time-bound cases using the digital platforms,” he said.

“This system will effectively ensure the speedy dispensation of trials in line with Section 36 (4) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 as amended which provides that every person shall be entitled to fair hearing within a reasonable time.”
The Kuje Correctional Centre in Abuja.

On her part, the Secretary of the Presidential Committee on Correctional Reforms and Decongestion, Leticia Ayoola-Daniels said the virtual court proceedings would augment the already existing virtual court facilities that are inherent in the nation’s judiciary.

The move, she noted, will fast-track the dispensation of court cases that would help save the Federal Government cost on the security and mobilisation of accused persons to court.

While giving a breakdown of the number of inmates awaiting trial, the Interior Minister, also spoke on the attacks of correctional centres in recent times.

According to Aregbesola, most of the attacks on the custodial centres are linked to suspects that are awaiting trial because they make up 74 per cent of the total population of inmates in the nation’s correctional facilities.

He said, “50,992 inmates representing 74 per cent of the total population of inmates in our custodial centres are awaiting trial suspects while only 17,755 inmates which is a mere 26 per cent area actual convicts.

“The challenges of safety and external attacks at the custodial centres for most parts come therefore from the awaiting trial inmates given their numerical strengths.”

The launch of the project followed the Federal Government’s collaboration with the United Nations Development Programme and the Japanese Government.

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COVID-19: Lagos Announces Beginning Of 4th Wave

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Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos State has alerted Nigerians of an impending fourth wave of the coronavirus pandemic, saying the positivity rate has indicated that Nigeria may soon be faced with surge in infections.

The governor, who stated this in a statement he personally signed on Tuesday, blamed the development on the non-adherence to preventive measures by Nigerians.

According to the governor, as of December 5, the state had recorded a total of 78,564 confirmed cases of COVID-19 with a total of, 71,977 certified to have recovered in community while 612 are still being managed actively in community.

He said: “…most of the continents of the world – including Africa – are now experiencing a fourth wave of the COVID-19 pandemic. Unfortunately, Lagos State is not left out as we are also experiencing the beginnings of a fourth wave with the current positivity rate at 6 per cent.”

The governor said the new positivity rate is against the rates of 0.1 per cent as of the middle of November 2021.

Details later

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Former PMAN President, Bolaji Rosiji Dies At 56

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Bolaji Rosiji, a former president of the Performing Musicians Association of Nigeria (PMAN), is dead.

Rosiji’s death was announced by one of his friends and colleague, renowned flutist Tee Mac Omatsola Iseli.

Until his death, he was the founder and brain behind Guarapad Charities.

In a statement by Olayemi Esan, the Public Relations Officer, Gaurapad Charities, Rosiji died in Lagos on Sunday after a brief illness.

He said burial arrangements will be announced in coming days.

The late Rosiji founded Gaurapad Charities in 2004, and was the former Secretary-General of the Nigeria Network of NGOs (NNNGO).

He is survived by wife and children.

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