A section of the secretariat of the Economic Community of West African States ECOWAS in Asokoro, Abuja was on Tuesday night gutted by fire.
Vanguard gathered that the inferno affected one of the floors housing the Finance and Accounts department in the secretariat.
Although the cause of the fire was not immediately known, it was gathered that fire fighters from the Federal Fire Service were immediately dispatched to the scene and were able to prevent it from spreading to other floors.
Spokesman of the Service, Ugo Huan did not immediately respond to media enquiries to ascertain the extent of damage.
The Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency has announced a new price band of N140.80 to N143.80 per litre for Premium Motor Spirit, also known as petrol.
Sources at the Abuja headquarters of the agency said the rise in petrol price was primarily due to the increase in global crude oil prices.
A circular released on Wednesday July 1, from the PPPRA to marketers reads;
“After a review of the prevailing market fundamentals in the month of June and considering marketers’ realistic operating costs, as much as practicable, we wish to advise a new PMS pump price band of N140.80-N143.80 per litre for the month of July 2020.
All marketers are advised to operate within the indicative prices as advised by the PPPRA.”
The federal government, in March, announced that the retail price of petrol would be adjusted monthly to reflect realities in the global crude oil market. On May 31, 2020, the PPPRA announced a price band of N121.50 to N123.50 per litre for the product.
The 100% hike in electricity tariff slated to commence Wednesday, July 1, has been put on hold.
This comes after the National Assembly leadership’s intervention at a meeting with the Electricity Distribution Companies (DisCos), the National Electricity Regulatory Agency (NERC) and others in the power chain, Monday night, June 29.
The DisCos announced over the weekend that the tariff pushed forward from April 1 would take effect from July 1.
Customers protested the planned increase but the DisCos insisted that only a “cost-reflective” tariff could guarantee their survival to keep the power sector afloat.
At Monday’s meeting, Senate President Ahmad Lawan and House of Representatives Speaker Femi Gbajabiamila promised to take the DisCos’ request to President Muhammed Buhari and urged them to push the tariff raise till Aprill 2021.
In a statement, Special Adviser (Media) to the Senate President, Ola Awoniyi, said the National Assembly leadership was emphatic at the meeting that the timing of the hike was wrong.
The statement added that the National Assembly leadership told the DisCos that they were not opposed to cost reflective tariff for the power sector to attract the much-needed investment.
The DisCos also admitted that they were not fully prepared for the planned tariff hike although they desired it.
The statement added that the National Assembly leaders promised the electricity distributors that they would meet with President Muhammadu Buhari on the issue.
The statement said: “The agreement here is that there is not going to be any increase in tariff on July 1.
“The Senate President and the Speaker are going to take appropriate action and meet with the President.
“We are in agreement here that there is no question on the justification of the increase but the time is simply not right and appropriate measures need to be put in place.
“So, between now and the first quarter of next year, our task will be to work together with you to ensure that we put those blocks in place to support the eventual increase in tariffs.”
The statement quoted Lawan as saying that the government had been doing a lot as part of its obligation to provide some forms of Intervention.
He said: “I’m quite aware that for this year, probably starting from last year, over N600 billion was earmarked for this sector to improve.
“The potential increase in the tariff is definitely something that will be of concern to us in the National Assembly.
“There is too much stress in the lives of Nigerians today and indeed across the world because of the challenges imposed by COVID-19 pandemic and even before then, we had issues that would always make it tough for our people to effectively pay the tariff.
“One way or the other, for this business to flourish, for this sector to be appropriately fixed, for it to attract investment, something has to give way, there is no doubt about that but it is also crucial that we look at the timing for any of our actions.”
According to the statement, Gbajabiamila said the National Assembly was on the same page with the DisCos on the issue of cost reflective tariff.
Gbajabiamila added: “There is time for everything. A well-intended programme or policy of government can fall flat on the face and never recover if you do it at a wrong time.
“Whatever will affect this government is something that should concern all of us. I think this will affect this government.
“The timing. I think it will affect the Muhammadu Buhari government and if it is going to affect his government, we should all rally around our people, our President and the government to make sure we do the right thing,
“The good thing is that we have agreed that we need to do something about the cost of electricity.”
The representatives of the DisCos said the government should be ready to continue to bear the difference in the present tariff and what was considered as the appropriate tariff
The Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) has concluded plans to increase Passenger Service Charge (PSC) by 100 percent.
The new charge, effective from August 1, requires passengers to pay N2,000 as PSC, instead of the former N1000 for domestic flights.
As for international passengers, they will have to pay $100 as opposed to the previous $50.
Managing Director of FAAN Capt Rabiu Yadudu made this known in a letter to all airlines dated June 22, 2020.
In the letter titled “Implementation of the approved new passenger service charge (PSC) effective August 1, 2020” with reference Ref: FAAN/HQ/MD/18E/VOL.86/72, it was stated that the decision was premised on approval by the Minister of Aviation in a letter referenced FMT/FMA/COM/T/69 dated August 3rd, 2017, which he said was sought with the intention to improve and upgrade airports infrastructure among others.
Yadudu explained that FAAN recently notified the Minister of Aviation of its intention to commence implementation, stressing on several occasions they had engaged the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) and relevant stakeholders which delayed the implementation from 2017 to date.
The FAAN boss disclosed the cap on the value of the PSC is simply outdated.
According to Yadudu, the last review of PSC on domestic route from N350 to N1000 and from $35 to $50 on the international route was on May 1, 2011, and March 21, 2011, respectively. He added that the last review of the PSC was outdated.
He stated: “This does not correlate with the prevailing economic situation and the index to meet the needs of today and future growth in passenger traffic by FAAN and airport development, most especially for the airport upgrade to post COVID-19 standards.
“You will also wish to recall that Bi-Courtney Aviation Services, operators of the MM2 has for years been charging N2,500 as its PSC. Despite the operating PSC, some airlines recently moved operations from the General Aviation Terminal (GAT) handled by FAAN to the MMA2 because of the inability of FAAN to expand GAT.
“This increase will therefore afford FAAN the needed funds to upgrade our facilities to accommodate new airlines including the anticipated national carrier.”
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has said that President Buhari did not address the nation on the May 29 Inauguration day because he must have ”assessed his administration and rightly adjudged it a failure.”
The President marked 5 years in office on May 29. The presidency had in an earlier statement, said the celebration will be quiet due to the COVID19 pandemic.
However, in a statement released today by its spokesperson, Kola Ologbondiyan, the opposition party said President Buhari must have been persuaded that he ”had nothing to tell Nigerians and saw reason to avoid making false performance claims, which are wholesomely at variance with the situation on the ground.”
Of course, President Buhari probably did not want to face Nigerians with an empty scorecard and bagful of excuses for ruining our once robust economy; for failing to secure our nation, for failing to curb endemic corruption in his administration and for mortgaging the future of our nation with huge foreign loans.
Indeed, Mr. President must have been weighed down by his failure, in this fiscal year, to harness our resources to provide even half of the 2020 budget formulated by his administration, for which the APC is ready to pawn the future of our nation to foreign creditors.
These situations accounted for the Presidency’s decision to hide behind a 62-page false performances literature instead of allowing President Buhari to face Nigerians in-person.
What soothing words could Mr. President have for over 40 million Nigerians who had lost their jobs following the failure of his administration to run a viable economy as well as the over 500,000 N-power beneficiaries, whose engagements are set to be terminated barely a year after they were used to campaign for a second tenure for the APC.
Furthermore, Mr. President is faced with providing answers for the fall in the value of our naira and the depletion of our foreign reserves; for the failure of his administration to reduce the price of fuel despite the price crash in the international market; for the comatose state of our critical sectors as well as the unbridled looting of over N14 trillion in the oil and gas sector under his watch.
President Buhari is equally confronted with the burden of not finding solutions for the killings in Sokoto, Katsina, Kaduna, Kogi, Zamfara and other states by marauders, kidnappers and insurgents despite claims by the government that the assailants have been routed out.
In the same vein, President Buhari has no success story on the APC administration’s handling of the COVID-19 pandemic, which was marred by allegations of corruption and political parochialism, which frustrated an all-inclusive multi-sectoral approach in the effort.
The PDP and indeed most Nigerians appreciate President Buhari’s decision not to address the nation and fall into the temptation of making false performance claims. Such would have further embarrassed his administration” the statement read
Lai Mohammed, the Minister of Information and Culture has told Nigerians to expect 11,000 megawatts of electricity by 2023 following the agreement the Nigerian government reached with German firm Siemens.
He said the German firm will be growing the present 3,400 megawatts to 7,000MW by the end of next year. Lai Mohammed added that they will then grow the megawatts to 1,000 megawatts by the end of 2023 (phase 2) and 25,000 megawatts in the third phase.
The minister said;
“Following an agreement with German company Siemens in July 2019 to boost power supply in Nigeria, the stage is set for the perennial power problem to become a thing of the past.
“Under the three-phase agreement, Nigerians will enjoy 7,000 megawatts of reliable power supply by the end of 2021 (phase 1), 11,000 megawatts by the end of 2023 (phase 2) and 25,000 megawatts in the third phase.
“To put things in perspective, Nigeria’s current power generation capacity is more than 13,000 megawatts, but only an average of 3,400 megawatts reliably reach consumers. In essence, the current amount of power that reaches consumers will more than double by the end of next year.
“In addition, this will create thousands of jobs and will leapfrog the country into the next level of industrial and social development.”
The social media account manager handling the official Twitter account of the Federal Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy has apologized for an error he made when he used the Ministry’s Twitter account to share a personal tweet that was considered inappropriate.
A Twitter user had shared a tweet about sports and @FMoCDENigeria’s Twitter handle gave a heated response that ended with: “Indaboski Bahose will sure visit you soon.”
It was apparent that the social media handler had forgotten to switch over to his personal account before sharing the tweet.
Unfortunately, the error was noticed by Twitter users and they called out the Ministry.
The social media handler took responsibility for the error and he switched to his personal Twitter account to reveal himself and apologize.
He tweeted: ” I want to apologise to @FMoCDENigeria and Nigerians for the oversight at my end to have reply a tweet with the official Handle. I was given privileged to review and check tweets. It was an expensive error from me. I sincerely apologise. Blame is on me.”
The official Twitter handle of the @FMoCDENigeria also apologized, writing: “We sincerely apologize to Nigerians, this was a mistake by one of the handlers of this account who thought he was tweeting with his personal account. We are a responsive handle and would not get involved with such.”
Simeon Nwakaudu, the Special Assistant on Electronic Media to Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State, has died.
A statement from Paulinus Nsirim, the state Commissioner for Information, confirmed that Simeon died today Sunday May 17 at the Rivers State University Teaching Hospital (RSUTH) where he was being treated for an undisclosed ailment.
The statement quoted the governor as describing Nwakaudu as “loyal and dedicated professional”. Read the statement below
“Rivers State governor, Nyesom Wike, has expressed shock over the sudden death of his Special Assistant on Electronic Media, Mr Simeon Nwakaudu.
He described late Nwakaudu as a loyal and dedicated professional who contributed immensely to the implementation of the Rivers vision.
The governor on behalf of his family, the government and good people of the state condoled with the bereaved family.
He prayed God to grant them the fortitude to bear the great loss.”