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The Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Maikanti Baru, has stated that the days of fuel scarcity are over. Baru said this in Abuja at the 2018/2019 crude oil term contract bid opening.

According to him, the opening of bids is an indication of President Muhammadu Buhari’s drive for transparency and accountability in the conduct of government business.

Although the fuel scarcity has ended in major Nigerian cities, filling stations in many towns outside Abuja now sell petrol at about N200 per litre against the N145 official price. The NNPC chief did not, however, speak on this.

“I am happy that this problem has been dealt with and the few pockets of non-compliance have been tackled.

“It was unfortunate that due to the behaviour of a few bad eggs, the Christmas was a pain. We hope you will never be part of this incident and we also hope this type of thing never happens in the future.“NNPC is determined that this year there will be no fuel shortage. Definitely, we have seen the last of it” he said.

Baru warned those who would be selected after the bid against indulging in sharp practices. He said NNPC’s focus was to enhance production volume, while ensuring that the “best value is realised through competitive marketing of our crude grades to international refineries and graders”

He urged the bidders not to patronise fraudsters who promise off takers selection assistance.

Speaking with journalists shortly after the bid ceremony, Baru said the evaluation would take three to four weeks, adding that 16 percent of the crude was going to North America.

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ASUU Gives Conditions To Suspend Strike

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The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) Thursday gave conditions upon which the prolonged industrial action will be suspended.

“The Academic Staff Union of Universities @ASUUNGR have asked @AsoRock to release N50 billion to demonstrate its commitment to the revitalisation of public universities, in line with previous agreements with the union,” ASUU tweeted.

The union said the N50 billion will form the first share of the N220 billion federal government agreed for the project this year and add to the N20 billion earlier released for the year.

It also disclosed that the union has “submitted its suggestions and awaits a meeting with the government next week.”

The lecturers are demanding improved funding of universities and implementation of previous agreements with the government, which led to the strike that started November 4, 2018.

Although the minister of labour, Chris Ngige, last Thursday said the government has approved N20 billion to be used to offset the outstanding arrears, ASUU said they are still awaiting its payment.

“Government promised to release the shortfall in salaries by January 18th, that’s a day away. Let’s wait and confirm that they’ve released it.”

“The union has submitted its suggestions and awaits a meeting with the government next week,” he added.

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Atiku’s US Trip: So Much Ado About Nothing —– Tunde Ajose

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For good watchers of the Nigerian politics, one thing has come to stay in our political experiment at getting it right in this country and that is the ability for smart politicians to easily sway the electorates with mundane issues.

The campaigns are no longer issue based but media sensationalism.

Latest of such was the sudden appearance of the former Vice President, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar in the United States of America! Then one begins to wonder why the opposition would think such is the needed magic wand to win the election.

And the euphoria may not be unconnected with the report that Atiku was barred from entering the States because of his fraudulent nature but the question is, why would any serious opposition believes such action would immediately translate into winning the Aso Rock.

One would have wondered why Atiku has chosen to travel with the current senate president, Dr. Bukola Saraki? Could it be that he actually traveled under the diplomatic immunity of Saraki’s official delegation?

Diplomatic immunity is a form of legal immunity that ensures diplomats are given safe passage and are considered not susceptible to lawsuit or prosecution under the host country’s laws, but they can still be expelled.

We need to be circumspect as we move forward as a nation and be more discerning. The current government of Nigeria is focused more than before in ensuring that Nigerians, regardless of the class or status has a befitting country they could fall back to and call a home.

It is quite obvious that while the opposition are playing to the gallery, the presidential campaign organisation of president Mohammad Buhari is busy rolling up its sleeves and getting down to fields where the real electorates are and connecting with them.

This past week especially has been full of activities for the president despite his age. Within a spate of two weeks, Buhari had sat down to two interviews in-between journeying from the length and breadth of the country in getting the message of hope down to the people.

The president does not rely on his privilege as an incumbent, but insisted on talking to his people and ensuring that Nigerians are united as they go to polls come February.

No one is in doubt that his message also resonates well with the citizens as they troop out en masse to welcome and listen to what he has to say. With the multitude of crowd recorded today as he presented the gubernatorial flagbearer of the party to the good people of Delta State and the ovation that greeted it, there is no doubt that Buhari is truly loved.

As we count down to the elections, Nigerians need to bear it in mind that the 2019 election is about building on a new foundation which the present government has been able to achieve in the first four years and giving the solid foundation out to the marauders to destroy along with the better forgotten 16years in power.

If Atiku is in the United States today, there is no way the intelligence agencies of the federal government of Nigeria would not know about it.

Tunde Ajose, a political commentator, writes from Lagos.

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Two Church Guards Steal Pastor’s Daughter’s Pants In Ondo

Gbemileke Ajayi

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Two security guards, Samuel Linus and Adekunle Ogundana, who allegedly stole two underwears belonging to the daughter of a clergyman within a church’s premises in Akure metropolis, were yesterday paraded alongside suspected kidnappers by Ondo State Police Command.

Briefing newsmen in Akure, the state Police spokesperson, Femi Joseph, said the daughter of the clergyman washed two of her pants and spread them on the line at about 8p.m. in the presence of the guards and by 6a.m., next day, the panties disappeared.

Joseph said the suspects, who are attached to the orthodox church, were posted to the apartment, which was highly fortified by a private security outfit in the state.

The suspects, however, denied complicity in the offence for which they were paraded.

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