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Southern governors meet in Lagos over state of nation

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Southern governors to meet in Lagos

The 17 Southern governors will converge in Lagos State on Monday for a follow-up meeting to the one held in Asaba, Delta State on May 11.

They will be in one accord as they review the state of the nation as it affects the three geo-political zones.

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The meeting to be hosted by Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu is not meant to fuel division in the country. The main objective is to further articulate collective interest and reiterate commitment to a united Nigeria capable of guaranteeing equity, fairness and justice in an atmosphere of true federalism.

Political difference will be momentarily downplayed. Reminiscent of the Asaba meeting hosted by Delta State Governor Ifeanyi Okowa, the welfare of the people of Southern Nigeria will take the central stage, displacing the partisan acrimony between the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the three geo-political regions.

Since the historic Asaba meeting, no concrete step has been taken to actualise some of the critical resolutions. The17 paper-weight chief security officers of dispirited Southern states have their joint constraints. They are toothless bulldogs who could only bark and not bite. Since their return from Asaba, their activities have been restricted to media comments in support of their resolutions. Instead of asking the Attorneys-General of the Southern states to forward bills to the respective Houses of Assembly to support their ban on open grazing, there is shortage of courage.

Nevertheless, tomorrow’s meeting is still important, even if it is to reiterate their position on the contentious national question.

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Former Ogun First Lady celebrates 96th birthday

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Mama Lucy Onabanjo, wife of the first civilian Governor of Ogun State, the late Chief Victor Olabisi Onabanjo (Aiyekooto) celebrated her 96th birthday on Tuesday.

Lucy Onabanjo is the oldest surviving former first lady.

Born in Ijebu Ode on October 26, 1925, Mama Onabanjo was trained as a teacher.

It was after her training as a teacher that Lucy started dating the Late Bisi, who was working with a local newspaper called Gaskiya Tarfi Kobo (Truth is more than a Kobo).

Few months after meeting Bisi , she walked down the aisle and said “I do.”

The humble ceremony would blossom into a life of civil service from teaching to the Government House, Abeokuta and beyond.

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It’s illegal to pay petrol subsidy from federation account, Sanusi tells FG

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Former Emir of Kano, Alhaji Muhammad Sanusi II, has said the federal government is indulging in illegality by paying petroleum subsidy from the federation account.

The former Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) governor spoke virtually as a panelist on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) at the just concluded Nigerian Economic Summit held in Abuja.

He also said the Nigerian daily oil consumption data is suspect thus there is endemic corruption in fuel subsidy payments.

“This money coming from petrol belongs to the federation account, and the federal government doesn’t have the constitutional right to pay subsidy on behalf of the federation.

“So it is a fundamental constitutional issue because this is money that should go to the federal, states and local governments. Yet money that belongs to the federation is carried out as federal government expenditure. So, there are so many complex issues, legal and economic issues. We need to stop these issues” he said.

He also advocated for the end of fuel subsidy and electricity subsidy, saying the money saved should be invested in critical sectors like education and health adding that the long-term gains far outweigh the short-term pains.

“I have said this before even as a CBN Governor under the previous government. What I say is not of a particular government. Take petroleum subsidy.

“In 2015 or 2016, Minister Ibe Kachukwu said Nigerian was importing 30 million litres of PMS per day after eliminating corruption. In 2019, the NNPC said we are importing 59 million litres per day after oil prices have gone up. And I have been asking the question, what happened between 2015 and 2019 that our oil consumption has almost double?” he asked.

He noted that “this is what also happened under the previous government. When oil prices go up, NNPC said they are importing more because of the arbitrage. Thus, when the oil prices go high, there is an incentive to inflate the number” he noted.

On electricity tariff, he said it should also be stopped as even poorer countries are paying cost reflective tariffs and enjoying uninterrupted electricity.

The Chairman, the Nigerian Governors Forum and the Governor of Ekiti State, Mr. Kayode Fayemi, also agreed that subsidy payments had to end for resources to be free up for critical investments.

He also said that the government must focus on education and healthcare provision.

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PHOTOS: South-west govs visit Tinubu

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