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Govs okay full deregulation of petrol, N385 pump price

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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 litre.

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 subsidise the petrol price at N162 per litre.

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 litre would help stem the increasing smuggling of the product to neighbouring countries.

According to him, if petrol sells at N385 per litre, 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 subsidising 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.

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Another Lagos LGA chairman dies

Hon. Olufunmi Rafiu Olatunji, Chairman of Eti-Osa East Local Council Development Area in Lagos is dead

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Chairman of Eti-Osa East Local Council Development Area in Lagos Hon. Olufunmi Rafiu Olatunji is dead.

Olatunji died on Monday night.
It was gathered Olatunji had been battling with illness before his death.

He will be buried in accordance with Islamic rites today at his residence in Sangotedo, Ajah, Lagos.

Before his demise, he was seeking re-election on the platform of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC).

He emerged winner in the APC local government primary election with 1977 votes to become the party’s candidate in the forthcoming July 24th election.

Confirming his death, his Media Team on Tuesday morning in a Facebook post said: “With sorrow in our heart but in total submission to the will of Almighty Allah (S. W. T), we announce the passing, after a long battle with illness, our dear father, brother, friend, confidant, role model, Nation-builder, Hon. Olufunmi Rafiu Olatunji.

“He was until late night of Monday 21st June, 2021 the Executive Chairman of Eti-Osa East Local Council Development Area, Eti-Osa Local Government.

“He will be buried in accordance to Islamic rite by 9 am prompt at his residence in Sangotedo, Ajah, Lagos. We invite you to join us in paying the last respect to our beloved father, brother, friend and Boss.

“We are confident that Almighty Allah will grant him Al Jannah Firdaus.”

In a terse statement, chairman of Lagos Mainland Local Government, Hon. Mrs Omolola Essien expressed sadness over his sudden demise.

She said: “We commiserate with his family, friends, colleagues and staff of Eti-Osa Local Council development Area and pray against such unfortunate deaths in our fold.

“And On behalf of the good people of Lagos Mainland Local Government Areas, I want to express my heartfelt condolences to the Conference 57 Chairmen, his family and pray that The Good Lord grants the people he left behind the fortitude to bear the loss and make paradise his final abode.”

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Lagos Assembly passes LASIEC Amendment Bill

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The Lagos State House of Assembly has passed the State Independent Electoral Commission, LASIEC (Amendment) Bill, 2021 for passage into Law.

Speaker of the State House of Assembly, Mudashiru Obasa on Monday, passed the bill Having gone through its first, second and third reading at the plenary.

Obasa stated that: “The Election process of the Local Government and LASIEC which has started with the Parties contesting for the position is possibly affecting the tenure of the existing LASIEC Officials and the State needs to be on the safe side, hence, the need to look at the laws and amend where necessary to protect the effort of the Lagos State Independent Electoral Commission.

“The Intended Bill will empower the Governor to elongate the tenure of the officials of LASIEC and I think the six month proposed is too wide in this consideration because we need to be ahead in order to protect the State, so I proposed three month.”

The Chairman of the Committee on Judiciary, Human Rights, Public Petitions and LASIEC, Victor Akande, stressed that the amendment being proposed was needed to ensure the Bill gets the necessary backing in order to stand the test of time.

Akande stated: “Only a singular fraction of the Bill is amended; the Bill also seeks to give the Governor the leverage to be able to use his power in case the tenure lapses. It is a good amendment in the right direction.”

Other members who made contributions, noted that the proposed amendment is a worthy one because the House and its democratic dispensation must ensure that it abides by the rule of Law.

The only addition is subsection 2 of the extant Law which provides for legislation that will necessitate the extension of the tenure of the Electoral Commission to perform it duties is however proposed to be amended since the Constitution states that no part of the people from the Commission shall administer themselves as democratically elected among the selection in the electoral process.

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DSS releases Kano singer detained for Blasphemy

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The Department of State Services (DSS) has released an Islamic singer, Ahmad Abdul, taking into custody after releasing a blasphemous song.

DailyTrust reports that Abdul was picked by the security agents for releasing the uncensored song titled ‘Barhama Gwaska’, perceived as blasphemous and capable of creating chaos in the state. The DSS had said it took the singer into protective custody to avert likely violent reactions against him from Kano residents.

While in detention, Abdul tendered an apology to the entire Muslim community, Kano state government, and Islamic scholars.

Confirming his release from custody today June 21, the Executive Secretary of Kano State Films and Video Censorship Board, Ismaila Na’abba Afakallah, said he had received hundreds of petitions against the song from concerned citizens. Afakallah said he reported the singer to the DSS which later arrested him at a hotel where he had been hiding for days to save him from the mob.

“He has been released as he regretted and apologised over his offence, promising not to repeat it” Afakallah said

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