Archives May 2023

Civil servants, military to experience delay in May salaries

…as MDAs await debit from CBN

Nigerian civil servants under the employment of the Federal Government will experience a delay in the payment of May 2023 salaries, The PUNCH learnt.

Our correspondent gathered that this was because Ministries, Departments and Agencies were yet to get debit approval from the Central Bank of Nigeria.

Earlier, some civil servants in separate interviews with our correspondent noted that their salaries for May 2023 have not been paid.

In a memo addressed to workers of the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria, the authority noted that the delay in the payment of workers was peculiar to all workers including the military and para-military.

The memo signed by its acting General Manager, Administration, Oluwasola Awe partly reads, “This is to inform all staff that Management has uploaded salaries and is awaiting debit at the Central Bank of Nigeria. However, FAAN have been advised that the payment of May 2023 salary would be delayed beyond the normal cycle due to glitches from the CBN’s portal.

“Please note that this situation is not peculiar to FAN alone as other MD’s including the Military and Paramilitary agencies are experiencing the same delay. Management appreciates your co-cooperation and understanding in this regard.”

Confirming the development, a source in the Office of the Head of Civil Service of the Federation said, “Yes, it is true. There is an order freezing accounts of MDAs from above. That’s why the CBN could not debit accounts and this delayed the payment of salaries.”

CBN’s acting director of Corporate Communications, Isa Abdulmumin could not be reached as at the time of filing this report.

(Punch)

Subsidy removal, Tinubu’s best, wisest decision – Fayose

Ayodele Fayose, a chieftain of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, on Wednesday, reacted to the removal of the fuel subsidy regime by President Bola Ahmed Tinubu.

Tinubu had, during his inaugural speech on Monday, said the subsidy is no longer sustainable in Nigeria, stressing that it is gone.

Reacting to the development, Fayose, in a series of tweets via his Twitter handle on Wednesday, said that Tinubu has taken the best and wisest decision for the collective good of Nigeria and its people.

Fayose tweeted, “On this removal of fuel subsidy, I am convinced that President Tinubu has taken the best and the wisest decision for the collective good of Nigeria and its people. He promised to remove the subsidy, he never hid it.

“Most importantly, too, the immediate past govt already removed fuel subsidy technically by not making provision for it in the 2023 budget.

“I appeal to Nigerians to bear with the government for now as the present hardship will ease out with time.

“Removing the fuel subsidy is the best thing to do and it has to be done once and for all.

“Unfortunately, the subsidy regime has only been benefiting a few people in the oil industry and Nigeria must break this chain once and for all.

“No doubt, President Tinubu is not a magician who can manufacture money. He can only strategically reposition the country, using his experience and intellect, which he has started.

“Many govts have come and paid lip service to all these issues, it is time to sustain our country by taking decisions that may be seen as harsh, but can return the country back to the path of progress.

“The NLC and all interested parties, especially ordinary Nigerians should realize that the last administration did more damage and the new government can only be finding ways and means to stabilize the country.

“Sadly, like typical Nigerians who are always desirous of taking advantage of every situation, the fuel marketers are only interested in making money for themselves and methinks the govt should come very hard on them this time. Anyone among them found to be hoarding fuel or selling at an exorbitant rate should be dealt with.”

(Daily Post)

No country can allow N400bn monthly subsidy payment – Group

A group known as The Natives has said that no country can consistently allow N400 billion monthly to a few Nigerians in the name of subsidy.

It said, rather, that the N400 billion per month could be invested in “one million jobs, the digital economy, health, infrastructure, agriculture, education, and incentives.”

NEWS FLASH reports that President Bola Tinubu declared on Monday that there was no provision for fuel in his administration.

“We commend the decision of the outgoing administration in phasing out the petrol subsidy regime, which has increasingly favoured the rich more than the poor. Subsidy can no longer justify its ever-increasing costs in the wake of drying resources. We shall instead re-channel the funds into better investment in public infrastructure, education, health care, and jobs that will materially improve the lives of millions,” the President said.

The leader of the group, Smart Edwards, while addressing a press conference on Wednesday in Abuja, said it would never allow anyone to reinstate subsidy which it described as sabotage of citizens’ livelihoods.

The group, therefore, called on the President to give no restraint to the immediate revocation of any licence of saboteurs and deal decisively with any attempt to make life unbearable for citizens by any beneficiary of a subsidy or its removal.

It stressed that it would engage the President meaningfully to ensure that this country is governed under the rule of law and for the prosperity of all Nigerians.

The group stressed that the first burden on the nation was to free the nation from those who held it hostage by fleecing the country’s resources and impoverishing the people.

He said: “We want to state clearly that as citizens of Nigeria, we asked for it, and we will not postpone any doomsday. As a matter of fact, there is no doom.

“We asked every candidate for the removal, we demanded it from the past government, we were assured it will never go beyond June, we formed a coalition for the sector; we got the assurance of Asiwaju, Peter Obi, Atiku Abubakar, the Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC), the Trade Union Congress (TUC), the political parties, and former President Muhammadu Buhari; we asked the Ministry of Finance; we demanded it from former President Muhammadu Buhari; we asked the Ministry of Finance. We demanded it from NNPC Ltd. We gathered civil society for it, and we knew it was coming; it will end in June, and we will never allow anyone to reinstate this sabotage of our livelihoods.”

(Daily Post)

Pray for Tinubu, others, Etsu Nupe urges Nigerians

The Etsu Nupe and Chairman, Niger Council of Traditional Rulers, Slh. Yahaya Abubakar, has called on Nigerians to pray for the newly-inaugurated leaders in the country at all levels to discharge their duties effectively to move the country toward a path of sustainable development.

The royal father made the appeal at his Wadata Palace in Bida, Bida Local Government Area of the state.

“There is the need for Muslims and Christians to pray fervently for the successful tenure of all those that were inaugurated recently and for God Almighty to guide and guard them to deliver to the people the much needed dividends of democracy,” the Etsu Nupe stated.

He advised Niger State Governor, Muhammad Umaru Bago to give top priority to the welfare of the citizens as well as be committed to all the infrastructural and developmental needs of the state.

He also called on him to ensure the appointment of competent and experienced people into his cabinet, so as to take Niger State to the next level of development.

He then enjoined citizens to give their maximum support to the new administration to succeed and live in peace with one another, irrespective of their affiliations.

(Daily Post)

Two serving PDP senators resign from party

Two serving senators of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Mathew Urhoghide (Edo) and Ayo Akinyelure (Ondo), have resigned their membership in the party.

Their resignations are contained in separate letters, read at plenary on Wednesday by the Deputy President of the Senate, Ovie Omo-Agege, who presided over the session.

Urhoghide, in his letter, said: “I write to formally inform you and the entire senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria that I am resigning my membership of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), effective immediately.

Two serving senators of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Mathew Urhoghide (Edo) and Ayo Akinyelure (Ondo), have resigned their membership in the party.

Their resignations are contained in separate letters, read at plenary on Wednesday by the Deputy President of the Senate, Ovie Omo-Agege, who presided over the session.

Urhoghide, in his letter, said: “I write to formally inform you and the entire senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria that I am resigning my membership of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), effective immediately.

“This difficult decision arose out of the negative political energy emanating at the moment from the irreconcilable differences and squabbles within the PDP at the national level and especially in my dear state, Edo State.

“These squabbles have spiked to levels that have made it impossible for someone like me, who is a confirmed democrat, to function and grow as I envisioned in my political journey.

“I am, however, grateful to the party which yielded me the platform to achieve the mission of serving my country as a two-term senator, which experience afforded me an opportunity to meet and work with all you wonderful colleagues.

“The opportunity helped to build and form important and lasting friendships here at the Senate. Above all else, it imbued in me knowledge and experience that I could not have gotten anywhere else.”

In his letter, Akinyelure said his resignation from the PDP takes effect on June 11.

He said: “This is to formally inform you and all my distinguished colleagues in the ninth Senate of the National Assembly that I am resigning my membership of the Peoples Democratic Party with effect from June 11, 2023.

“I, therefore, wish to express my appreciation to the party for granting me the opportunity to serve Ondo Central Senatorial District and Nigeria in the Senate of the 9th Assembly on the platform of PDP. This decision has come at this time since the ninth Senate is coming to an end soonest.”

He avowed that his resignation was to enable him to settle down and look forward to other areas of human and professional endeavours where he could be of value to Ondo State and Nigeria in general.

(Daily Post)

PDP right to suspend, expel you – Court tells Wike

A Federal High Court in Abuja told former Governor of Rivers, Nyesom Wike, on Wednesday that the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has the right to suspend or expel him if the action is done in accordance with the law.

Justice James Omotosho stated this in a judgement he delivered on a suit filed by Wike prior to the 2023 general elections to seek a court order to stop the PDP from taking action against him without a fair hearing.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the ex-governor had sued the PDP, its National Working Committee (NWC), and its National Executive Committee (NEC) as 1st to 3rd respondents.

Wike, in the suit (FHC/ABJ/CS/139/2023) dated and filed Feb. 2 by his lawyer, Joshua Musa, SAN, also joined the National Chairman of PDP, Dr Iyorchia Ayu, National Secretary of PDP, Senator Samuel Anyanwu, and the Independent National Electoral Commission as 4th to 6th respondents, respectively.

He had prayed for an order directing all parties to maintain the status quo and stay all actions in the matter relating to the threat to suspend or expel him by the 1st to 5th respondents pending the hearing and determination of the originating motion.

Wike asked the court to enforce his fundamental right to freedom of association, which was allegedly about to be breached by the respondents.

But the PDP, through its lawyer, Johnson Usman, SAN, disagreed with Wike’s submission.

Usman argued that the case was only based on speculation, as Wike had failed to provide any evidence to substantiate that the respondents intended to suspend or expel him from the party.

He said the party had not contemplated suspending or expelling members of the G5 Governors or the Integrity Group, despite engaging in anti-party activities.

Usman said Wike and four other governors engaged in anti-party activities by forming the Integrity Group and campaigning for another presidential candidate in the Feb. 25 election.

The senior lawyer argued that a member who voluntarily joined an association must abide by its rules.

Usman, who argued that the ex-governor must have exhausted the internal mechanisms of the party first, said the court lacked the jurisdiction to entertain the matter, which, he said, was only within the realm of conjuncture.

He further argued that it was not enough for Wike to institute the suit on fundamental rights enforcement grounds.

Justice Omotosho had, on Feb. 2, given an interim order against the party and others listed in the face of Wike’s ex-parte motion.

The judge, who extended the restraining order on Feb. 14, held that all parties should maintain a status quo pending the hearing and determination of the suit.

Delivering judgement on Wednesday, Justice Omotosho said the court had considered the processes filed by parties and the arguments of counsel.

He held that suspending or expelling the applicant without affording him the right to defend himself would breach his fundamental rights as enshrined in the party’s and Nigeria’s constitutions.

Omotosho said that though the party had the right to suspend or expel its members, this must be done in compliance with its own laws.

The judge said that though Section 46(1) of the law vested jurisdiction on the court if one’s rights had been breached, he said the court would not dabble into the internal affairs of any political party, except where the rights of a member had been violated by the party without recourse to its own laws.

According to him, fundamental human rights are rights enshrined in the Constitution of Nigeria and are sacrosanct.

“Where this right ought to be enforced, the court will do everything within its reach to ensure this. However, as fundamental and sacrosanct these rights are, they are not absolute,” he said.

Justice Omotosho, therefore, agreed that any member of a political party who appeared before a disciplinary committee should be given the opportunity to defend himself.

“If not, any decision taken shall be null and void,” he said.

He added: “This court is convinced that the applicant is entitled to a fair hearing and that the respondent also has the right to discipline its members in accordance with the law.”

The judge further said that Wike had the right to associate and that the threat to dismiss him without inviting him to defend himself contravened Article 57 (1) (2) of the party.

He said that the party’s national chairman, Dr Iyorchia Ayu, and his agents were bound to promote constitutional democracy.

(Daily Post)

Tinubu holds bilateral talks with Chinese Special Envoy

President Bola Tinubu is in a bilateral meeting with Chinese Special Envoy led by the Vice Chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress, Peng Qinghua, at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

The team, which arrived the Villa around 3:30pm, represented the People’s Republic of China at the Presidential inauguration ceremony on Monday.

Though the details of discussions at the meeting was not disclosed to the media, it was believed it would centre around strengthen relations between Nigeria and China under the Tinubu administration.

The delegation include the Chinese Ambassador to Nigeria, Cui Jianchun and his deputy.

The President on Monday evening, after the inauguration ceremony, held similar meetings with envoys and heads of missions of some countries, including those of the United Kingdom, United States, Saudi Arabia, Japan, Brazil, South Korea, Israel, Cape Verde, Somalia and Nicaragua.

(Nation)

EFCC chairman, Bawa, meets Tinubu at Aso Rock Villa

President Bola Tinubu is currently meeting the Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Abdulrasheed Bawa, at the Aso Rock Presidential Villa, Abuja.

The meeting comes barely 24 hours after Tinubu ordered the Department of State Services to vacate the Ikoyi office of the antigraft commission.

Bawa, who arrived at the Villa a few minutes past 2 pm, was ushered into the President’s office complex.

Although the purpose of the meeting is not yet public, it may be connected to the reported fracas between the EFCC and the DSS.

The PUNCH reported that Tinubu, on Tuesday, directed the Department of State Security Service to immediately vacate the Ikoyi office of the EFCC in Lagos.

The president gave the directive when reports that DSS officials stormed the EFCC office located on Awolowo Road, Ikoyi on Tuesday, preventing officials of the anti-graft agency from accessing their workplace, was brought to his attention.

DSS operatives had stormed the office around 7:00 am on Tuesday and refused to leave despite dialogue between operatives of both agencies.

Tuesday’s development followed a simmering rivalry between the DSS and the EFCC over the ownership of the building.

The EFCC had expressed shock at how operatives of its sister agency denied its operatives entry into its Lagos office.

However, the DSS denied the claim, describing it as “not true.”

Reacting to the development late Tuesday, The President said “If there were issues between the two important agencies of government, they would be resolved amicably.”

(Punch)

I’m relocating to Brazil over fuel scarcity- Tiwa Savage

Award-winning singer Tiwa Savage has lamented fuel scarcity occasioned in recent days across Nigeria.

The singer recently returned from Brazil after a holiday, stating she came back home to experience fuel scarcity and an epileptic power supply.

She also bemoaned the damage to one of her car tires due to a bad road.

The ‘Koroba’ crooner said she is considering going back to Brazil because of the hardship in Nigeria.

Taking to her Instastory, she wrote: “Literally less than an hour back in Naija and one of my car tires gone. Other car now in the queue for fuel. The issue with electricity in my house.

“I’m logging off and going back to where I came from because…”

(Nation)

Tinubu’s first 24-hour actions in office commendable – Omokri

eno Omokri, a former media aide to President Goodluck Jonathan has lauded President Bola Tinubu‘s first day in office.

Omokri commended the actions taken by Tinubu in barely 24 hours of being the Commander-In-Chief.

He argued unlike the immediate past, Muhammadu Buhari, Tinubu swung into action immediately after being sworn-in.

He tweeted: “Making a bold statement on subsidy removal and backing it up with action. Meeting Godwin Emefiele, then Mele Kyari. Making a string of appointments. Asserting his authority over the DSS in their face-off with the EFCC. 

“Tinubu, unlike Buhari, has hit the ground running. I sincerely pray that our petition will succeed and President Tinubu’s election will be nullified. But be that as it may, I must commend the actions of his first 24 hours in office.”

(Nation)

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