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Borrowing To Subsidise Electricity Is Grossly Irresponsible – FG

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images 96 Borrowing To Subsidise Electricity Is Grossly Irresponsible - FG

The President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), says it will be “grossly irresponsible” to borrow to subsidise electricity tariff amid the economic crunch caused by the lockdown occasioned by the COVID-19 pandemic.
He also said no provision was made for fuel subsidy in the Revised 2020 Budget, noting that about N1.7trn has been spent on tariff shortfalls to support the electricity sector since its privatisation.
The President, who spoke on Monday during his second-term First Year Ministerial Performance Review Retreat in Abuja, noted that under the new arrangement, only customers who get electricity for 12 hours and above per day would have their tariff increased.
Buhari had won his re-election in 2019 after defeating the opposition Peoples Democratic Party’s candidate, Atiku Abubakar, with about four million votes in the February 23 poll.
He had on August 21, 2019, inaugurated his second-term cabinet and had last month listed 35 policies, programmes and projects as his second-term achievements.
The First Year Ministerial Performance Review Retreat focuses on examining the performance of the ministers and other officials in the President’s cabinet.
Buhari, who is attending the 57th Ordinary Session of the Economic Community of West African States Authority of Heads of State and Government in Niger, was represented at the retreat on Monday by Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo.
He said, “The COVID-19 has led to a severe downturn in the funds available to finance our budget and has severely hampered our capacity. One of the steps we took at the beginning of the crisis in March when oil prices collapsed at the height of the global lockdown was the deregulation of the price of premium motor spirit such that the benefit of the lower prices at the time was passed on to consumers.
“The effect of the deregulation is that pump prices of petrol will change with the changes in global oil prices. This means quite regrettably that as oil prices go higher, we could see some increases in pump price. This is what has happened now when global prices rose, it meant that the prices of petrol locally will also go up.
There are several negative consequences if the government should go back to the business of fixing or subsidising petroleum or PMS prices.
First of all, it will mean a return to the costly subsidy regime. Today, as we’ve heard, we have 60 per cent less revenue. We simply cannot afford the cost.
“The second danger is the potential return of fuel queues which has thankfully become a thing of the past. Nigerians no longer have to endure long queues just to but petrol often at highly inflated prices.
“Also, there is no provision for fuel subsidy in the revised 2020 budget simply because we are not able to afford such a cost.
“If reasonable provision must be made for health, education, and other social services, we simply cannot sustain petroleum subsidies.”
Continuing the President said, “The recent service-based tariff adjustment by the discos has also been a source of concern to many of us. Let me say frankly like many Nigerians, I have been very unhappy with the service by many of the discos. But there are many constraints including poor transmission and distribution capacities. I’ve already signed off the first phase of the Siemens Project to address many of these issues.
Because of the problems of the privatisation exercise, the government has had to keep supporting the largely privatised electricity industry. So far, to keep the industry going, we have spent close to N1.7trn especially by way of supplementing tariff shortfalls. We simply do not have the resources at this time to continue in this way. And it will be grossly irresponsible to borrow to subsidise generation and distribution which are both privatised.”
He also stressed that “the timing of these two necessary adjustments” was coincidental, assuring Nigerians that the government was not insensitive to their plights and would continue to do all it can to make life better for the masses.

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Aisha Buhari Sends Relief Materials To Flood Victims In Kebbi State

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images 21 3 Aisha Buhari Sends Relief Materials To Flood Victims In Kebbi State

In continuation of the distribution of palliatives to communities affected by the recent flood disaster across the country, First Lady, Federal Republic of Nigeria, Dr. Mrs. Aisha Muhammadu Buhari dispatched a team consisting of her Aides and officials of ‘Future Assured’ to Kebbi State to deliver the relief materials and commiserate with the victims.
Kebbi state is known to have many flood prone communities because of the presence of three major rivers; the recent flooding, however, affected communities in all the 21 Local Government Areas. Some of the communities visited by the team included Kalgo, Bagudo, Zagga, Jega, Makera (Birnin Kudu), and Argungu.
Speaking on behalf of the First Lady at Jega town in Jega local government area, Aliyu Abdullahi, Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity (Office of the First lady) conveyed Mrs. Buhari’s message of sympathy over the losses they incurred during the disaster which deprived the affected communities their shelters, farmlands and properties. The First Lady prayed to God to compensate for the losses they incurred. “As a mother, I am particularly concerned with the plight of women and children during such disasters”, said Mrs. Buhari.
Mr. Abdullahi assured all the affected communities that they are on the mind of the First Lady at this trying time.
Mrs. Buhari under her Future Assured Program sent large quantities of relief materials that were distributed amongst the affected communities in order to assuage the impact of the losses the communities incurred. This includes food items such as Rice, Vegetable Oil and other edibles, clothing materials, toiletries and blankets.
Chairman of Jega Local Government, who witnessed the distribution along with traditional rulers, Alhaji Adamu Isyaku Kimba spoke at the occasion, expressing the appreciation of the people of Jega over the kind gesture of the First Lady, saying she has lived up to her title as the mother of the nation. He said the people of Jega would remain grateful for her kind gesture.
In the same vein, His Excellency, Senator Abubakar Atiku Bagudu, the Executive Governor of Kebbi State also extended his gratitude and appreciation to Mrs. Buhari and her Future Assured Program for always being there for the people of Kebbi State.

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78 Firms Bid To Rehabilitate Pipelines , Depots – NNPC

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images 20 3 78 Firms Bid To Rehabilitate Pipelines , Depots – NNPC

The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation on Sunday announced that 78 companies submitted virtual bids to rehabilitate its downstream pipelines, associated depots and terminal infrastructure through the finance, build, operate and transfer model.
NNPC’s Group Managing Director, Mele Kyari, said the exercise was in fulfilment of the corporation’s commitment to transparency and accountability as an Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative partner company.
Kyari disclosed this in a statement issued in Abuja by the spokesperson of the oil firm, Kennie Obateru.
He said the finance, build, operate and transfer model became imperative in the corporation’s journey to rehabilitate its downstream infrastructure which over time had become vulnerable, lost value and integrity due to age and incessant vandalism.
He said some of the assets were as old as 40 years and were due for replacement, adding that to carry out such a replacement of this magnitude, there would be need for resources.
Kyari was quoted as saying, “And we know that we require these assets so we decided that we bring in private partners who will fund these pipelines; they will construct operate them with us.
“And ultimately they will fully recover their investment from the tariff which we will pay for using these pipelines and as soon as they recover their cost and their margin, they will hand over these assets back to us.”
Kyari stated that by the end of the first quarter of 2021, the final partners of the bid opening would be selected.
He assured the bidders that the NIPEX portal which was deployed for the pre-qualification exercise was a time tested technology that would not give room for any human indiscretion.
The corporation’s Chief Operating Officer, Downstream, Lawrencia Ndupu, who was represented by the Managing Director, Petroleum Products Marketing Company, Musa Lawan, said the Nigerian Pipelines and Storage Company operates 5,120 length of pipelines.
She said the pipelines traverses the entire country with two coastal depots in Lagos and Calabar, adding that the public bid opening processes was being done transparently.

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Lagos State Governor Hosts Barcelona Star , Asisat Oshoala

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IMG 20200920 051522 Lagos State Governor Hosts Barcelona Star , Asisat Oshoala

Today, @AsisatOshoala paid me a courtesy visit. She is a worthy ambassador of Lagos from Ikorodu & we are proud of her. She spoke about her plans for the Asisat Oshoala Foundation and I promised to support her.
We kicked the ball for a bit and I think I still have my skills.

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