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Airline Operators To Get Aviation Fuel At N480 Per Litre For Three Months

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The Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) Limited, Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), and airline operators have agreed to provide six million liters of aviation fuel at N480 a liter for three months.

It was part of the agreements reached at the end of the meeting summoned by the house of representatives on Monday to avert airline operators’ planned shutdown.

On Friday, the Airline Operators of Nigeria (AON) announced plans to shut down operations from Monday over the high cost of aviation fuel.

The group complained that aviation fuel, also known as Jet A1, has reached an all-time high of N700 per liter.

Femi Gbajabiamila, the speaker of the house, announced the resolutions after about four hours of the meeting.

Gbajabiamila said the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has agreed to provide the aviation fuel at N480 — in what seems like a forex subsidy, pending when the carriers would be granted a license to import the commodity.

“In the long term, you commence the process of applying for your license to be able to import your jet fuel. So that it will be removed, whether it is middlemen or frontmen or whatever. You will know the landing cost to assist you in your business,” he said.

“There is the benevolence of the CBN governor that has six million liters available now at N480. You will get an allocation in the next three months through the companies (marketers) that you have nominated so that you would not come back and say jet fuel is now a certain amount and it is the fault of the NNPC. You have nominated those people that are selling to you.”

As a long-term solution, the speaker said the airline operators must commence the process of securing a license for the importation of aviation fuel to avoid suspicion over the landing cost of the product and other associated logistic issues.

While appreciating all the stakeholders for the efforts put in at resolving the issue at stake, he thanked the airline operators for being nationalistic in calling off the strike.

“I hope that the outcome of this meeting will usher in a lasting solution to these challenges of Jet A1 bearing in mind that there is a laissez-faire economy of demand and supply,” he added.

Speaking at the meeting, Allen Onyema, vice-president of AON, said the scarcity can be addressed if airliners are allowed to purchase aviation fuel directly.

“We were told here at that last meeting that fuel would be sold to us at N500 which we protested that it was still on the high side because even when fuel was selling at N200 or N250, the operating cost was about 40 percent,” he said.

“It rose to N400 and N450, and that was when we were alarmed, and you noticed that everybody tweaked his inventory when we now raised our base fare to about N50,000, which did not address the matter.

“We were invited to the house, and when we came here, it was reached that they would give us fuel at N500 within three days. That never happened. We continued writing, and nothing happened.

“Much later, we were invited by the midstream and downstream authority and we were told that the president approved 25,000 metric tonnes for us as a palliative to help us. We were very grateful to the president. We were happy. We were told to nominate marketers that would market this product for us.

“We were told to have a meeting with these marketers. We called all the marketers and held a meeting with them. We decided the logistics, so they would take their logistical costs and everything, and at the end of the day that fuel was getting to them, they told us at N335, so we put everything together, and it would be getting to less than N400 for the cost, and we said even if they sell to us at N450 it would be okay.

“We were told that a week later that is when the consignment would be arriving in Nigeria and when this happened, the next we got to hear from the marketers was that they had already been given the consignment that we were all jostling for. So we waited thinking that they would sell as agreed. They never.”

Onyema said the matter was reported to Mele Kyari, group managing director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC) Limited, but no action was taken.

“I called the MD of NNPC in the presence of our members. He replied, saying there was no way there would leave us to get direct products that were dangerous,” he said.

“With due respect, Mr. Speaker, we were not striking. We did not intend to go on a strike. It was not a strike. What AON was saying on Friday when we released our communique was that we do not have the money anymore to pay.”

Speaking at the meeting, Kyari said aviation fuel cannot have a fixed price because it is a deregulated product.

“So you cannot hold unto any price and indeed what you have seen in the media is N700 reference point. It cannot be a reference point. It depends on the market condition. It can be higher than N700 depending on the market. This market shifts. As we speak, it is closely related to the price of crude oil,” he said.

“It is our role to ensure we intervene. We did. We brought in products so that we can dampen the price. In March and April, we brought in cargo and made it available to the entire industry at N460. There is a build-up to that price. When the customer takes marine at N435, he has to transport, he has to the charter vessel, bring it to his depot, to his fuel station, and transport it. So there cannot be two same prices in Lagos and Maiduguri.

We cannot fix the price. We cannot ask for N500. We cannot say it must be below N600 or N700.

On his part, Godwin Emefiele, governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), said the apex bank has no control over the flow of the dollar.

“We do not have FX to sell. It would be difficult for us to grant any concession. It means we would be taking a hit or we would be providing some sort of subsidy for the industry,” he said.

BIG STORY

‘Obidients’ Threatening To Burn Down Afrika Shrine – Femi Kuti

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Afrobeat singer Femi Kuti has alleged that some people threatened to burn down the New Afrika Shrine in Ikeja over reports that he called supporters of Labour Party presidential candidate Peter Obi ‘zombies’.

The 60-year-old said this in a video posted on Instagram on Friday night, where he insisted he never called Mr Obi’s supporters ‘zombies’.

On Friday, reports that he described the LP candidate’s supporters as zombies emerged.

The singer immediately debunked the report, describing it as misleading.

In a performance at the Afrika Shrine on Thursday night, Mr Kuti said that at 60, he could not be obedient.

Supporters of the LP candidate refer to themselves as ‘Obidients’.

The threat
Despite clearing the air, the singer said he woke up to a barrage of insults and abuses by people whom he described as Mr Obi’s supporters.

He said, “I woke up today to insults abusing me, my family and my children, threatening that they will burn the shrine because they said I said Peter Obi’s supporters are zombies.”

Clearing the air, Mr Kuti said that he was too angry, too sad, and depressed to be obedient.

“How can anybody come up with that term? I cannot be ‘Obedient’ in this country with END SARS killings, my grandmother was killed, my father’s house burnt, and I’m supposed to be obedient.

“Did I call Peter Obi supporters zombies? Did I say that? No. What does ‘obedient’ mean? I wouldn’t say I like that terminology for myself and will never use it.

“Nothing can make me obedient. I’m too angry, too sad, too depressed to be. Stop threatening to burn the shrine, stop threatening my children, stop that rubbish,” he said.

He went on to express his reservations about Mr Obi’s candidacy.

He said, “Obi went to greet Obasanjo. That makes me sceptical. Obi went to meet Babangida. Who? Me? My family believes these people are a part of the problem in this country.

“Well, some people will say no. That is your business; you have the right to think like that if that is what you believe is good for you. But you, too, cannot tell me how to think.

“I have my reservations. I do. You cannot tell me not to have reservations.”

What transpired
An online publication reported his speech at the Afrika Shrine with the headline, ‘Femi Kuti says Obidients are zombies’.

In its report, the publication likened the Grammy nominee’s speech to his Father’s 1976 acclaimed song, ‘Zombie’.

The publication quoted the ‘Sorry Sorry’ crooner said, “You know what obedience means? Stand up, sit down, sit there — zombie.”

In his response, Mr Kuti said that the publication took his words out of context.

“You are such liars. What benefit is it to the people when you take my words out of context like this?”

He further added that he also gave his reasons for not trusting anyone else too in the present Nigerian political arena.

What actually happened
From the clip posted by People’s Gazette on YouTube, it appeared that Mr Kuti had paused a performance to talk about the 2023 presidential election.

He said, “At 60, why am I obedient? All my life, I don’t even remember a good time.

“I fear for my children; you say I should be obedient. Sit down. Be peaceful. That’s the meaning of obedience. ‘Obedient’, that was the Vice President of Atiku?

“Are you all ok in this country? Be obedient to who? Dem don suffer my life, make I come still dey stand up, obedient.”

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Akwa Ibom Monarch To Die By Hanging For Murder

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Akwa Ibom State High Court presided by Justice Edem Akpan, has sentenced 82-year-old Village Head of Efen Ibom in Ika Local Government Area of the State, Chief Essien Matthew Odiong, to death by hanging for murder.

The monarch, married to 12 wives and has 60 children, was standing trial on four counts of conspiracy, directing unlawful trial by ordeal, stealing of the motorcycle, and murder of the owner, one Udoma Udo Ubom.

Delivering judgment on Friday, Justice Akpan said the court found the accused guilty of the murder of the deceased by injecting some chemical substance on him, leading to his death on 26th April 2017.

According to the judgment, the late Ubom was accused by his brothers of being a wizard and was reported to the Village Head, who brought him before the Council, where the deceased was administered an oath to swear and prove his innocence.

The court held, “Having sensed the consequences of his criminal activity, the monarch escaped from the Village since 2017 and returned in 2019 when he was arrested by the Police.”

Justice Akpan stated, “The accused had voluntarily admitted that he sat at Efen Clan Council with five other village heads and members of the Clan Council to try the deceased on the allegation of witchcraft, and the law has relieved the prosecution of the burden to prove the offense of conspiracy.”

The court further held, “The admission of the process of trial and the decision of Efen Clan Council to administer oath on the deceased, has logically brought to the conclusion that a plastic bath on the head of the late Udoma Akpan Udo Ubom and injecting some chemical substance through a syringe into his buttocks by the village head, caused the death of the deceased.”

Justice Edem Akpan sentenced the Village Head to death by hanging for murder, seven years imprisonment with hard labor for directing unlawful trial by ordeal, and three years imprisonment for conspiracy with others now at large.

However, before the sentence was announced, the convicted Village Head, popularly known as ‘Kill and Bury’ pleaded for leniency, asking the Court to temper justice with mercy.

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”It’s Totally False And Malicious”, 2Face Debunks Rumour He Got A Banker Pregnant

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Nigerian singer, 2face Idibia has debunked reports he got a banker pregnant.

His manager, Efe Omorogbe released a statement debunking the rumor this afternoon, August 13.

Recall that few days ago, 2face came on social media to apologize to his wife, Annie Idibia, for being a “Shitty husband”.

Shortly after he shared his apology post, some social media users claimed he apologized publicly because he got a banker pregnant.

The singer has now debunked the report.

Read the statement below…

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