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Govs Okay Full Deregulation of Petrol, N385 Pump Price

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Ahead of today’s Federation Accounts Allocations Committee (FAAC) meeting, the Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF) yesterday at its virtual meeting considered the report of a committee headed by Kaduna State Governor, Mallam Nasir el-Rufai, and accepted its recommendation that backs full deregulation of petrol, and suggests that the pump price of the product should hover around N385 per liter.

According to THISDAY, the committee also recommended that the federal government should buy 113 buses to cushion the effects of the price increase.

el-Rufai’s six-man committee was set up early this year by the National Economic Council (NEC) headed by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo to look into the dwindling revenues of states and make recommendations to the council.

Apart from el-Rufai, Governors Godwin Obaseki of Edo State, Kayode Fayemi of Ekiti State; and David Umahi of Ebonyi State are also members of the committee.

The other members of the committee are the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Mr. Godwin Emefiele, and the Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Mallam Mele Kyari.

The four governors, who are members of the committee, presented its report to their colleagues, who endorsed it.

The report is subject to final approval by NEC, which will also meet today.

However, in a communiqué released after the meeting last night, the governors disclosed that el-Rufai gave a briefing on the appropriate pricing of petrol in Nigeria, where he called for full deregulation.

According to the communiqué, the Kaduna State governor further revealed that between N70 billion and N210 Billion is spent monthly to subsidize the petrol price at N162 per liter.

The committee identified Lagos, Oyo, Ogun, Rivers, and Abuja as the top consumers of petrol.

Presenting the report to his colleagues, el-Rufai reportedly said the increase in the price of petrol to N385 per liter would help stem the increasing smuggling of the product to neighbouring countries.

According to him, if petrol sells at N385 per liter, FAAC would gain between N1.3 trillion and N2. 2.3 trillion per annum.

The committee also recommended that the federal government should sell the three refineries after rehabilitation.

The report revealed that Nigeria lost billions of dollars due to the COVID-19 pandemic, adding that there is already a cash crunch in the states.

NNPC had said that it would remit zero allocation to FAAC due to the huge cost of subsidizing petrol.

Some of the governors at the meeting opposed the recommendations, insisting that they will create more hardship for Nigerians.

Contributing to the report, a South-west governor said that it would be very difficult to convince Nigerians and labour to accept the report.

But other governors insisted that the earlier there is full deregulation, the better for the country as it remains an evil day postponed.

The committee recommended that the federal government should buy and distribute over 113 buses to states and major cities as a palliative to the proposed increase in the price of petrol.

BIG STORY

‘Two COVID Tests In 72 Hours’, New Protocol For Nigeria As UAE Lifts Flight Ban

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The Dubai Supreme Committee of Crisis and Disaster Management has released a new protocol directing travellers from Nigeria to undergo COVID-19 tests upon arrival at the airport in the United Arab Emirates.

Flights between both countries have been suspended since March over issues relating to the COVID-19 protocol.

In a press release on Saturday, the middle east country said the new measure is part of its efforts to ease inbound travel restrictions.

Passengers are also expected to have taken a COVID test 48 hours before departure, and have negative results to show for it.

According to the Dubai media office, the protocol will become effective from June 23, 2021.

“Passengers must have received a negative test result for a PCR test taken within 48 hours before departure; UAE citizens exempted,” the new guideline reads.

“Passengers should present a negative PCR test certificate with a 0R Code from labs approved by the Nigerian Government.

“All passengers must undergo a PCR test on arrival at Dubai Airport.

“Transit passengers should comply with entry protocols of final destinations.”

Headed by @sheikhmansoor, the Supreme Committee of Crisis and Disaster Management in #Dubai announces updates to Dubai’s travel protocols for inbound passengers from South Africa, Nigeria and India, effective from Wednesday 23 June 2021.https://t.co/Zfma4YWugQ pic.twitter.com/NkhIzaQwzI

— Dubai Media Office (@DXBMediaOffice) June 19, 2021

The federal government had been in talks with the authorities of the UAE over the travel protocol put in place against Nigeria in the wake of the resurgence of the COVID-19 pandemic.

In February, Emirates Airline had directed that travellers taking off from Nigeria must conduct rapid COVID-19 tests before departure, but the federal government had banned outbound Emirates flights for violating the directive of the presidential task force (PTF) on rapid antigen tests.

The ban was lifted after the airline agreed to stop the rapid antigen tests. It was later reintroduced on March 15, with the federal government explaining that the airline had continued to conduct rapid antigen tests for passengers before departure from Nigeria.

Thereafter, in March, the UAE embassy in Abuja announced a new COVID-19 travel protocol for Nigeria as part of measures to curtail the spread of the virus in the country.

Passengers who had been in or transited through South Africa or Nigeria in the last 14 days before travelling to Dubai were barred from entering the middle east country.

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BIG STORY

Arewa vs IPOB: Northern Youths Reports Irokotv App On Play Store After Google Removed Adamu Garba’s Crowwe App

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After several Northern youths targeted Jason Njoku’s Irokotv app on Playstore in retribution for the removal of Adamu Garba’s Crowwe app, a Nigerian man contacted the company’s owner, Jason Njoku.

This happened just days after Google banned Adamu Garba’s Crowwe App due to a copyright infringement by the social media company.

Remember that Adamu Garba, the CEO of Crowwe App, backed the suspension of Twitter’s operations in Nigeria following the federation’s ban on the social media platform.

He also made fun of Twitter, advising Nigerians to use his own social media app instead. However, numerous Nigerians complained and gave his app negative reviews, prompting its removal.

In revenge for Crowwe’s expulsion, Northern youths have mobilized to begin reporting Igbo-owned mobile apps. Jason Njoku’s iRokoTV and Softtalk messaging are among the apps listed.

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Obasanjo Contributed To Nigeria’s Crisis, He Should Mind His Utterances —– Femi Adesina

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Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, says former President Olusegun Obasanjo contributed to the current chaos in the country, adding that the ex-military general should mind his utterances.

He stated this on Friday in a piece titled, ‘Nigeria’s Unity And All The Iberiberism’.

Adesina wrote, “The saber-rattling about Nigeria’s unity and the possibility of disintegration has got to the point of Iberiberism (an Igbo word which could mean stupidity). Some people have no other business than doomsday predictions of a crumbled, collapsed Nigeria, as if they actually fast and pray for that eventuality.

“When Chief Olusegun Obasanjo was President between 1999 and 2007, they predicted that he was going to be the last President of a united Nigeria. It didn’t happen. When Umaru Yar’Adua came, they said he was too sick to hold Nigeria together. The country stood.

“Under Goodluck Jonathan, they said the man was too weak, and different components of the country would soon say, ‘to your tents oh Israel.’ Nigeria survived. And for six years under Muhammadu Buhari, they have not changed their songs. The Somaliasation of Nigeria was on the way. The Fulanisation of the country would be the final death knell. But Nigeria lives. It trudges on from day to day, month to month, and will surely survive.”

Adesina said though some people dwell on negativity, “some fathers of the land will not fold their hands and see Nigeria go down”.

“Fortunately, we have one of them as President now. The young Muhammadu Buhari spent 30 months in the frontlines as a young army officer, fighting the war of unity. And he has said it: we will not be around and watch Nigeria go down. Never. We will rather speak to insurrectionists in the language they understand.

“And what of Olusegun Obasanjo, a civil war hero. Despite all that he has contributed to the current upheavals by his actions and inactions, words, and bile, he says it is idiotic to wish Nigeria disintegration now. Good. But let us put our money where our mouth is. Let Baba mind his thoughts, and his language,” the presidential spokesman added.

“Nigeria will survive. The polity will endure. And the component parts will live together in amity and brotherhood. Any other option is Iberiberism,” he concluded.

Obasanjo, a military head of state from February 1976 to September 1979, was Nigeria’s democratically elected president between May 1999 and May 2007.

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