Nigeria’s six geopolitical zones should be renamed, group urges FG

A peacebuilding think tank, the Foundation for Peace Professionals, also known as PeacePro, has called on the Federal Government to name the six geopolitical zones of Nigeria after historic memory.

In a statement by its Executive Director, Mr Abdulrazaq Hamzat, the group said the description of Nigeria’s six geopolitical zones simply as North West, South West, North East, South East, North Central, and South-South is of no political significance, hence the need to adopt a more politically conscious approach to closing the gap of regional agitation.

According to Hamzat, the Federal Government should name the six zones properly to reflect the desires and aspirations of the people.

“People in various zones of Nigeria identify themselves by certain names and descriptions, and running away from such political identities will naturally make them feel entitled to those identities.

“This is why non-state actors simply invoke those identities, for which people have affinity and connections, to mobilise them in their quest for relevance,” Hamzat said.

He, therefore, proposed that the South West region should be named Oduduwa region, the North West named Arewa region, the South East renamed Biafra region, the North East named Kanem Borno region, the South-South named Niger Delta region, and the North Central named Middle Belt region.

Hamzat maintained that the naming of these regions has political implications because non-state actors often use these names as a rallying point to create division amongst the people in their quest to mobilise support for their activities, and officially adopting these names automatically strips them of existing and historical concepts to mobilise non-suspecting members of the public for their divisive activities.

(Punch)

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Nigeria needs N21trillion to bridge housing deficit, says VP Shettima

Vice President Kashim Shettima on Sunday disclosed that Nigeria requires N21 trillion to effectively bridge housing deficit, despite efforts across the three tiers of government.

Shettima stated this in Sokoto at the groundbreaking for the construction of a 500-unit housing estate by the State government.

The VP, who commended Governor Ahmed Aliyu for his efforts to address the housing needs of people of his State, noted that the housing deficit in Nigeria remained a huge challenge.

Shettima said, ”Nigeria has a deficit of 28 million houses and we will need N21 trillion to meet our housing needs.

“This step taken by the Governor is highly commendable and worthy of emulation by other State governments.

”The governor has started well by completing the roads and flyovers he inherited.”

Earlier, the Governor explained that the housing estate would be for civil servants and would be sold to them when completed on an owner-occupier basis.

Aliyu said: “This is a project that was initiated by the former Governor of the State, Aliyu Wamakko but was later abandoned by the immediate past administration.

“But, we are determined to complete it for the benefit of our workers and the general public.”

The event, which was to mark the first 100 days in office by the administration, was attended by Senator Aliyu Wamakko, the Minister of Agriculture and Food Security, Senator Abubakar Kyari, among others.

(Daily Post)

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FG discovers illegal crude oil connection in Abia

An oil theft situation assessment delegation deployed in the Niger Delta by President Bola Tinubu discovered an illegal oil connection on Saturday.

From the illegal connection discovered at Owaza in Abia State, Nigeria loses an average of 7.2 million dollars monthly, the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Ltd. stated on Sunday.

It added that clandestine refineries, illegal bunkering operations and environmental devastation the team saw collectively translated into severe economic losses for the nation.

The delegation, led by the Minister of Defence, Malam Muhammed Badaru, has service chiefs, and the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources (Oil), Senator Heineken Lokpobiri, as members.

Other members are the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources (Gas), Mr Ekperipe Ekpo, the National Security Adviser, Malam Nuhu Ribadu, and the Group Chief Executive Officer, NNPC Ltd., Malam Mele Kyari.

Also in the team are the Commander of “Operation Delta Safe’’, Rear Admiral Olusegun Ferreira, operatives of security agencies and chief executive officers of regulatory agencies in the oil and gas sector.

The team visited the Trans-Niger Pipeline Right of Way in Owaza, Abia where an array of dismantled illegal connections were observed.

“We are ready to do whatever it takes for a peaceful Niger-Delta. Cease and desist from crude oil theft and economic sabotage,’’ Malam Badaru advised at the site.

In his remarks, Kyari said while oil theft in vessels could be tracked, oil-bearing communities must play a vital role in curbing oil theft within their communities.

“Oil theft is one of the reasons why Nigeria cannot meet her OPEC daily production quota,’’ he said.

Also speaking at the site, Chief Security Officer of Pipeline Infrastructure Nigeria Ltd., Mr Patrick Godwin, said some arrests had been made and culprits arraigned.

In his comments, Ribadu applauded security agencies, community security contractors, and NNPC Ltd. for stepping up the fight against oil theft and economic sabotage.

“The environment and livelihoods are being destroyed while the federation is deprived of revenue capable of shoring up the economy and strengthening the Naira,’’ he said.

(NAN)

Contractors to begin work on Abuja airport second runway – Keyamo

The Minister of Aviation and Aerospace Development, Festus Keyamo, has announced that the contractors for the construction of the second runway at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja are set to commence work soon.

This was as the minister met with the Minister of Federal Capital Territory, Nyesom Wike, on compensation and relocation of Abuja indigenes, who were affected by the planned construction of a second runway for NAIA.

The minister disclosed this information on his verified X page, previously known as Twitter on Saturday.

According to the minister, it was very necessary for the indigenes to be compensated and relocated before construction works began on the site.

Recall that in 2022, the Federal Government provided 12,000 hectares of land for the development of some aviation projects.

The construction site for the Abuja airport’s second runway was further handed over to the contractor the China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation Nigeria Limited.

Other projects that would be executed on the land include the maintenance repair and overhaul centre, aviation leasing company; agro-allied cargo terminals, aerotropolis or airport city, national carrier, Africa Aerospace and Aviation University, and others.

Keyamo noted that he also engaged with the Foreign Affairs Ministry to tackle the issue of Emirates Airline flights to Dubai/UAE, adding that both ministries are working together to resolve this matter as well as the related concern regarding the resumption of Dubai visa issuance to Nigerians.

It reads, “Earlier today, I met my counterparts in the FCT and Foreign Affairs Ministries to jointly resolve issues involving our Ministries.

“The first is to jointly work with the FCT Ministry to resolve the issue of the FCT indigenes who need to be compensated and relocated before the construction of the 2nd runway at the Abuja airport can commence in earnest. The contractors have been mobilised to move to the site.

“The second is to work with the Foreign Affairs Ministry to resolve the issue of the resumption of Emirates Airline flights to Dubai/UAE and the related issue of resumption of issuance of Dubai visas to Nigerians. We are presently making progress on these issues.”

(Punch)

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Kwara govt receives N2 billion from FG, sets up non-partisan committee for relief disbursement

Kwara State governor, Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq, said that the state government has received ₦2 billion out of the ₦4 billion in relief funds disbursed by the Federal Government to all the states.

These funds are designated for the acquisition of rice to be distributed widely among vulnerable segments of the population, aimed at alleviating the impacts of the fuel subsidy removal.

Abdulrazaq said in a statement on Friday that his government is still awaiting ₦2 billion of the funds, as well as ₦1 billion worth of maize (40,000 bags) that the Central Bank of Nigeria is selling to each state from the national strategic reserve.

He noted that 48% (₦1,920,000,000.00) of the ₦4bn is a non-interest loan that will be paid back over a period of 20 months at ₦120,000,000.00 monthly and added that he has ordered the immediate purchase of rice in the amount.

The governor disclosed that the distribution of the palliatives would be overseen solely by a committee under the direction of the Kwara State Police Commissioner, Ebun Oluwarotimi Adelesi, who would have the support of the Emir of Shonga, Haliru Yahya, as well as other significant stakeholders in the state.

“We also confirm receipt of the remaining three trucks of the bags of rice donated to our state by the Federal Government,” Abdulrazaq said.

“The distribution has commenced through various channels of reaching out to the public, including lawmakers who represent the 24 state constituencies and other stakeholders in the state.”

He, however, urged those who have been saddled with the responsibility of distributing these palliatives to do so in the spirit of fairness to all, particularly to the most vulnerable, because it is simply impractical for everyone to get them at the same time.

Abdulrazaq also appeals to members of the public to remain patient and calm as multi-layered steps are being taken in phases, including huge interventions to support massive food production, local production of gas-powered vehicles, support for small and medium-scale enterprises, manufacturing, and other businesses, to boost the economy and ease the difficulties arising from the removal of fuel subsidies.

“I commend His Excellency President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, GCFR, for the several initiatives of the Federal Government to bring ease to the people. I reassure all Kwarans of our commitments to their welfare at this time and always.”

(CPS, Kwara Government House)

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FG’s N5bn subsidy removal palliative to states is a loan – Report

The relief aid given to the states by the federal government to cushion the effects of the removal of the petrol subsidy is a loan, TheCable can report.

Earlier, the federal government announced a N5 billion relief package for each state of the federation, including the federal capital territory (FCT).

Babagana Zulum, governor of Borno, who spoke on Thursday at the end of the national economic council (NEC) meeting presided over by Vice President Kashim Shettima, said the palliative would enable state governments to procure 100,000 bags of rice, 40,000 bags of maize and fertilizers to cushion the effect of food shortage across the country.

However, in a memo to governors entitled “Re: Distribution of Palliatives – Terms of FG Facility”, Asishana Okauru, director-general of Nigeria Governors Forum (NGF), said states might opt out of the offer and return a sum of N2 billion already given to them.

“I have been directed by the Chairman, H.E. AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq to forward the terms of the facility as follows,” Okauru said in the memo.

“Facility size: N4,000,000,000.00
Loan (48%): N1,920,000,000.00
FGN Grant: (52%)
N2,080,000,000.00 Beneficiary each state government
Tenure: 20 months
Interest Rate: Nil
Moratorium: Three months
Repayment Mode: Monthly
Repayment Amount: N120,000,000.00
Security Irrevocable Standing Payment Order (ISPO)

“Your excellency is invited to note that this offer is optional and states that do not wish to participate may opt-out and refund the N2 billion already disbursed to them.”

(Cable)

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