TOP STORIES: Dele Alake Presents Gold Bars To Tinubu.

…. Says first commercial transaction added $5m foreign reserves

President commends ministry’s major milestone in administration’s drive to diversify economy.

Minister of Solid Minerals Development, Dr. Dele Alake, has presented to President Bola Ahmed Tinubu the latest gold bars sourced from artisanal and small gold miners and refined by an agency of the Ministry,  Solid Minerals Development Fund, to meet the London Bullion  Market Association Good Delivery Standard.

At the presentation at the State House Abuja, Alake praised President Tinubu for supporting reforms in the solid minerals sector, assuring that the National Gold Purchase programme will increase the country’s reserve and boost the naira’s value.

Alake said the refined gold would be sold to the Central Bank of Nigeria to bolster foreign reserves.He said the presentation marked the first commercial transaction under the National Gold Purchase Program (NGPP), the centralised offtake scheme supported by a decentralized aggregation and production network of artisanal and small-scale miners and cooperatives.

“The successful completion of the first commercial transaction clearly demonstrates the National Gold Purchase Program’s effectiveness.

It has increased the nation’s foreign  reserves assets and shown that using the Nigerian Naira to purchase a liquid asset traded  in United States Dollars, such as gold, is a viable strategy. This transaction has also  underscored the potential of the National Gold Purchase Program to enhance fiscal and  monetary stability,” the minister said.

 Alake said the first commercial transaction had delivered +US$5 million increase in Nigerian’s foreign reserves assets, 70+ kilograms of gold refined to the London Bullion Market Good Delivery Standard and successful aggregation of locally mined gold thereby injecting about NGN6 billion into the rural economy.

Receiving and displaying a symbolic bar, President Tinubu commended the Ministry for achieving a major milestone in the administration’s drive to diversify the economy.
“This is another concrete step towards the diversification process under the Renewed Hope Agenda” the President said.

Executive Secretary of the Solid Minerals Development Fund, Fatimah Shinkafi, in her presentation said the London Bullion Market Good Delivery Standard was the globally recognised stringent and trusted standard that enables the global trade in gold and silver bars.

“Only gold and silver bars that meet our Good Delivery standards are acceptable in the settlement of a Loco London contract – where the bullion traded is physically held in London,” she said.

Shinkafi said through the efforts of the National Gold Purchase Program under the Ministry of Solid  Minerals Development, Nigeria had joined a select group of countries bolstering their gold  reserves by purchasing gold in local currency to foster economic confidence, enhance  currency stability, and create a more attractive environment for foreign investment.

Tinubu has done well in certain areas, but citizens are starving. — Orji Kalu.

The Senator representing Abia north, Orji Kalu, has said President Bola Tinubu has done well in certain areas of the economy, but needs to do more in other areas because citizens are hungry.

Speaking with Channels Television, Kalu said the country needs fiscal policies that would lead to the production of more food.

“I’m sure the president has done well in some areas and he also needs to improve in many other areas. I’m a very practical person, I fear nobody and I support the truth,” he said.

“President Tinubu has done so well in some areas, and in some other areas of feeding our people, people are hungry so I cannot say. “He has done well in economic policy, monetary policy. Very good. “But in fiscal policies we haven’t grown more food. I want us to grow more food.”

The former governor said the proposed N62,000 minimum wage would not address the ongoing inflation.“I’m a proponent that local government should be getting their money fully,” he added.

“I also believe that N62,000 cannot do anything. N90,000 and why I’m proposing N90,000 is very simple. We have not increased the minimum wage in five years. “I’m a practical person. The civil servants need good treatment.”

Governor calls for probe of NAHCON over N90 billion Federal Govt Hajj subsidy.

The Niger State Governor Umaru Bago., has yesterday called for a review of the National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON). He specifically urged an investigation into the N90 billion subsidy provided by the Federal government for Hajj operations.

Governor Bago pledged to lead a committee of governors to engage relevant authorities in pushing for reforms within the commission.

In a statement released by his Chief Press Secretary, Bologi Ibrahim, in Minna, Governor Bago made these remarks during discussions with reporters in Mecca, Saudi Arabia, where he evaluated this year’s Hajj operations. He expressed concerns that NAHCON had shifted its focus from regulatory duties to directly managing Hajj activities.

Tinubu Will Sink Nigeria Unless He Reduces Ongoing Jamborees In His Govt’ – Dele Momodu.

A chieftain of the Peoples Democratic Party, (PDP) Dele Momodu, has said President Bola Tinubu will fail and sink Nigeria if his administration continues to engage in ongoing insensitivity and jamborees.

The former presidential candidate made this known in a post shared on his X handle with the caption, “A Nation in Pain,” stating that only a miracle can avert the unpleasant situation that awaits the country.

Momodu said Tinubu must drastically reduce his administration’s insensitivity and ongoing jamborees so that the country does not sink. The veteran journalist pointed out that those surrounding Tinubu at the Presidential Villa do not tell him how badly the country has deteriorated.

Momodu said that anybody still expecting anything better from the current administration is only deceiving themselves, adding that the Lagos State template used by Tinubu will not work in Abuja.

He said, “It should be obvious to most reasonable Nigerians that the government of President Bola Tinubu is clearly headed in the wrong direction and that only a miracle can avert the cataclysmic conundrum ahead of us.

“It is the reason that I wish to put it on record that one of Tinubu’s brothers is about to register his opinion and proffer solutions that are not difficult to activate and actualize if a leader ever meant well.

“Inside the villa, the President is being hero-worshipped. Those around him are painting a picture of ‘things are getting better, only opposition people are complaining and grumbling…’ Truth is, nothing is working.

“Those who wish to remain in the good books of Tinubu can continue to delude him and themselves.“It is not always because of desperate needs, but due to the despicable greed of man. They were mentored by him and largely emboldened by the sheer audacity of the wealth that paved his way to maximum power.

“Let those who still care to plead with these people to have mercy on Nigeria. No matter how long Tinubu spends, he will fail spectacularly and sink Nigeria, unless he can drastically reduce the insensitivity and the ongoing jamborees in his government… Sadly, he doesn’t seem inclined that way.”

Dangote accuses IOCs of plotting for our Oil Refinery to fail.

laments as Regulator (NMDPRA) continues to grant licences to import banned dirty diesel, jet fuel Vice President, Oil and Gas
at Dangote Industries Limited (DIL), Devakumar Edwin, has accused International Oil Companies (IOCs) in Nigeria of doing everything to frustrate the survival of Dangote Oil Refinery and Petrochemicals.

Edwin said the IOCs are deliberately and wilfully frustrating the refinery’s efforts to buy local crude by jerking up high premium price above the market price, thereby forcing it to import crude from countries as far as United States, with its attendant high costs.

Speaking to a group of Energy Editors at a one-day training programme, organised by the Dangote Group, Edwin also lamented the activity of the Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority (NMDPRA), in granting licences, indiscriminately to marketers to import dirty refined products into the country.

He said, “the Federal Government issued 25 licences to build refinery and we are the only one that delivered on promise. In effect, we deserve every support from the Government.

It is good to note that from the start of production, more than 3.5 billion litres, which represents 90 per cent of our production, have been exported. We are calling on the Federal Government and regulators to give us the necessary support in order to create jobs and prosperity for the nation.”

According to him: “While the Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission (NUPRC) are trying their best to allocate the crude for us, the IOCs are deliberately and willfully frustrating our efforts to buy the local crude. It would be recalled that the NUPRC, recently met with crude oil producers as well as refineries owners in Nigeria, in a bid to ensure full adherence to Domestic Crude Oil Supply Obligations (DCSO), as enunciated under section 109(2) of the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA).

It seems that the IOCs’ objective is to ensure that our Petroleum Refinery fails. It is either they are deliberately asking for ridiculous/humongous premium or, they simply state that crude is not available. At some point, we paid $6 over and above the market price.

This has forced us to reduce our output as well as import crude from countries as far as the US, increasing our cost of production.

“It appears that the objective of the IOCs is to ensure that Nigeria remains a country which exports Crude Oil and imports refined Petroleum Products.

They (IOCs) are keen on exporting the raw materials to their home countries, creating employment and wealth for their countries, adding to their GDP, and dumping the expensive refined products into Nigeria – thus making us to be dependent on imported products.

It is the same strategy the multinationals have been adopting in every commodity, making Nigeria and Sub-Saharan Africa to be facing unemployment and poverty, while they create wealth for themselves at our expense.

This is exploitation – pure and simple. Unfortunately, the country is also playing into their hands by continuing to issue import licences, at the expense of our economy and at the cost of the health of the Nigerians who are exposed to carcinogenic products.

“In spite of the fact that we are producing and bringing out diesel into the market, complying with ECOWAS regulations and standards, licences are being issued, in large quantities, to traders who are buying the extremely high sulphur diesel from Russia and dumping it in the Nigerian Market.

Since the US, EU and UK imposed a Price Cap Scheme from 5th February, 2023 on Russian Petroleum Products, a large number of vessels are waiting near Togo with Russian ultra-high sulphur diesel and, they are being purchased and dumped into the Nigerian Market.

“In fact, some of the European countries were so alarmed about the carcinogenic effect of the extra high sulphur diesel being dumped into the Nigerian Market that countries like Belgium and the Netherlands imposed a ban on such fuel being exported from its country, into West Africa, recently. It is sad that the country is giving import licences for such dirty diesel to be imported into Nigeria, when we have more than adequate petroleum refining capacity locally.”

It would be recalled that in May, Belgium and Netherland adopted new quality standards to halt the export of cheap, low-quality fuels to West Africa, harmonising its standards with those of the European Union.

These measures synchronise fuel export standards with the European domestic market, specifically targeting diesel and petrol with high sulphur and chemical content. Historically, these fuels, with sulphur content reaching up to 10,000 ppm, were exported at reduced rates to countries like Nigeria and other West African consumers.

Belgium’s Minister of Environment, Zakia Khattabi, announced that his country followed the Netherland, which in April 2023 also prohibited the export of low-quality petrol and diesel to West Africa via the ports of Amsterdam and Rotterdam. Khattabi emphasised that the Netherlands’ decision to restrict dirty fuel exports had redirected the trade to Belgium, now used by oil producers and traders to export gasoline with excessively high levels of benzene and sulphur.

“For far too long, toxic fuels have been departing from Belgium to destinations including Africa. They cause extremely poor air quality in countries such as Ghana, Nigeria, and Cameroon and are even carcinogenic,” said Khattabi.
In September 2017, an investigation by an international organisation, Public Eye revealed that polluted and toxic fuels were being exported on a large scale from the ports of Rotterdam and Amsterdam for export to African markets.

As much as a quarter of the petrol and diesel available in West Africa originates from the ports of Amsterdam, Rotterdam, and Antwerp. These fuels contain sulphur and other pollutants, such as cancer-causing benzene, in quantities up to 400 times the limits permitted in Europe. The Netherlands and Belgium were enjoined to enforce regulations to shield millions of Africans from exposure to toxic fuels.

The decision of the Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority (NMDPRA), in granting licenses indiscriminately for the importation of dirty diesel and aviation fuel has made the Dangote refinery to expand into foreign markets. The refinery has recently exported diesel and aviation fuel to Europe and other parts of the world. The same industry players fought us for crashing the price of diesel and aviation fuel, but our aim, as I have said earlier, is to grow our economy.

He noted that because the refinery meets the international standard as well as comply with stringent guidelines and regulations to protect the local environment, it has been able to export its products to Europe and other parts of the world.

While appealing to the Federal Government and the National Assembly to urgently intervene for speedy implementation of the PIA and to ensure the interest of Nigeria and Nigerians are protected, he said: “Recently, the government of Ghana, through legislation has banned the importation of highly contaminated diesel and PMS into their county.

It is regrettable that, in Nigeria, import licences are granted despite knowing that we have the capacity to produce nearly double the amount of products needed in Nigeria and even export the surplus. Since January 2021, ECOWAS regulations have prohibited the import of highly contaminated diesel into the region.”

Lagos State Sends 14 Day Demolition Notice To Building Owners – See Affected Areas.

The Lagos State Government has issued a 14 day removal notice to owners of buildings and structures at Sangotedo area of Lekki, Okota, and Isolo which were built on drainage channels.

The Commissioner for Environment and Water Resources, Tokunbo Wahab announced the development after an inspection tour to various contravention sites and on-going drainage enforcement projects in Ago Palace Way, Isolo, Sangotedo, Lekki and Ikoyi areas of the state.

He said that the government was committed to restoring sanity in the state.

According to him, “The era of environmental indiscipline and nuisance are over in Lagos. We will not shy away from enforcing all relevant laws irrespective of whose ox is gored.

“Lagos despite its peculiarities as a coastal state with low-lying terrains and a high population density among others has remained afloat because of various measures put in place by the government.”

Wahab, who said the ministry has strengthened its Drainage Enforcement activities said, “I tell people climate change is real and there is a cholera outbreak, We must know that all these things are Interwoven.

We must all be responsible and responsive as a people, people cannot continue to brazenly abuse the environment and expect that there will be no consequences.

“At Sangotedo by Lagos Business School, a 48 hours contravention notice have been served to owners of buildings lying within the channels and 14 days abatement and when that elapses the law will take its course.“We will commence full enforcement after the expiration of all notices with an option of voluntary compliance.”






Northern Politicians’ Visit To Buhari Aimed At Unseating Tinubu In 2027 – Shehu Sani.

Former Senator representing Kaduna Central Senatorial District, Shehu Sani, has alleged that the recent visit by certain prominent Northern politicians to former President Muhammadu Buhari was an attempt to undermine President Bola Tinubu in 2027.

The Presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the 2023 election, Atiku Abubakar, on Saturday, visited former President Muhammadu Buhari in his hometown, Daura, Katsina State.

It was learnt that the two held a closed-door meeting in the company of some associates, including the immediate past governor of Sokoto State, Aminu Waziri Tambuwal, now a senator representing Sokoto South.

Similarly, former Governor of Kaduna State, Nasir El-Rufai, paid a visit to ex-President Muhammadu Buhari in Daura, Katsina State.

In response to the recent visitation, Sani described the move as an effort to regroup Northern political forces for the next general election, predicting that it would ultimately fail. Sani criticized the attempt to revive Buhari’s political influence and mobilize support, cautioning against stirring Arewa sentiment without regard for the potential chaos it could cause.

On his verified Facebook page, Sani remarked that Buhari, who led Nigeria for eight years, left the North in a worse state than he found it, and that it is too soon for people to forget this reality.

He wrote, “The recent visits by some prominent Northern politicians to Daura appear to be the usual Eid homage, but looking deeper and beyond the facade, it’s surreptitiously a new attempt to build a strong northern alliance using ex-President Buhari as a rallying point to challenge and evict President Tinubu’s government in 2027.

“It’s a regrouping of Northern political forces for the next general election. A project that will eventually kiss the dust.

“They want to resurrect Buhari’s political charm, fanaticism, and mobilize the gullible to another hollow and bewildering end. They want to stock up and light up the Arewa sentiment without considering the inferno it would eventually generate.

“By the time he left power, poverty and insecurity were at their peak more than at any time in Nigeria’s history.
“They had power and wasted it; what do they want to do with it again?”
Sani emphasized that a Southerner has been in power for just one year, and it is too early for Northern elites to start plotting.

He noted that the South did not undertake such actions against Buhari during his tenure. Sani warned that these efforts could destabilize Nigeria’s fragile unity and damage the democratic process.

He condemned the Northern politicians’ obsession with power, stating that opposition to Tinubu’s policies and administration is a democratic right, but inciting Northern sentiments for political gain is a perilous venture.

“A Southerner has been in power for just one year. It’s too early for the desperate and power-hungry northern elite to start plotting. The South never did that to Buhari. Their intended action has the capacity to ruin the democratic process and wreck the fragile unity of the country when the South is awakened to this reality.

“Their obsession with power is condemnable. Opposition to Tinubu from the point of policies, promises, and programs of his administration is a democratic right of any Nigerian. People have the right to speak and criticize the government.

“But attempts to whip up Northern sentiments to achieve their political ends is a dangerous political experiment and expedition at this material time. No serious southerner challenged Buhari for eight years; these power-drunk Northern politicians are dragging the region into a new political journey through a landmine.

“Buhari’s reign ensured nepotistic placement, installation, and dominance of Northerners at strategic positions of authority and power for eight years. Results had shown that they only enriched themselves, pillaged the economy of the country, and pauperized our country.

“The Daura homage of the disgruntled and the obsessed will fail. Our people in the North should reject these faces and their plots.

“They have nothing to offer. From the abandoned Baro Port, Ajaokuta, Lake Chad Basin refilling, and Mambilla hydropower, they failed. They came to power when the North was in the hands of terrorists and left it in the joint hands of terrorists and bandits. The Northern Talakawa should reject their antics,” he said.

Police take over Kano emir’s palace.

..Dislodge local guards protecting Sanusi

The police have reportedly stormed the emir’s palace in Kano state, displaced the local guards protecting Muhammadu Sanusi, the recently reinstated emir.

According to Premium Times, the hunters who served as local guards left the palace as soon as the police officers took over the security of the building.

This was said to be a move aimed at securing the main palace for the relocation of Aminu Bayero, the deposed 15th Emir of Kano, following a court order that faulted his dethronement.

On Thursday, a federal high court in Kano nullified all actions of the state government repealing the Emirates Council Law of 2019.

 In his ruling, Muhammad Liman, the presiding judge, said the defendants were aware of an interim order previously granted by the court but ignored it and implemented the law.

On May 23, the Kano house of assembly passed the amended bill, which Abba Yusuf, the governor, signed into law.

The law repealed the 2019 version, which divided the Kano emirate into five jurisdictions and was relied upon to dethrone Muhammadu Sanusi as emir in 2020.

On the same day the law was repealed, Sanusi was reinstated as Emir of Kano by kingmakers and the governor.
Aggrieved, Aminu Babba Dan Agundi and Sarkin Dawaki Babba of the Kano emirate approached the court to restrain the respondents from enforcing, implementing, and operationalising the law that reinstated Sanusi.

On May 23, Liman ordered the defendants to “suspend” and “not give effect to the Kano State Emirate Council (Repeal) Law, 2024, as they affect all offices and institutions of the Emirate Council created according to the provisions of the Kano State Emirate Council Law, 2019”.

The Kano police command had also said it would not comply with the directive of the state government on the eviction of Bayero from the Nassarawa palace which he moved into after he was replaced by Sanusi, the new emir, who moved into the main palace in Kano.

Since then, Bayero, who is said to have the backing of some federal government officials, has been under the protection of a retinue of soldiers and police officers at the Nassarawa palace.

Lagos cholera death toll rises, as suspected cases increase to 579.

The Lagos State government has on Monday, June 24, reported an increase in the number of fatalities in the current cholera outbreak, bringing the total deaths to 29.

These casualties were among 579 patients treated across various healthcare facilities in the state, including general hospitals, private hospitals, and primary healthcare centers.

Speaking at a press briefing held at Alausa, Ikeja, State Commissioner for Health, Prof. Akin Abayomi, highlighted that many deaths resulted from patients arriving at hospitals too late to receive effective rehydration, with some already deceased upon arrival.
Despite these challenges, Abayomi reassured the public that the state government, led by Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu as Incident Commander, and himself as Deputy Incident Commander, was effectively managing the situation, drawing on lessons learned from previous health crises like COVID-19.

He emphasised that treatment for cholera patients remained free to curb the spread of the disease.
Regarding the outbreak’s origins, Abayomi stated that investigations were ongoing to pinpoint the exact source of the outbreak.
He said, “The treatment is free in our hospital and healthcare facilities to slow down the transmission. We go out also to search for the patients and those that the patients might have been in contact with.
“As at June 22, 2024, the number has tried to come down. As at yesterday, it was only one reported case.”
Abayomi expressed satisfaction that there had been no reported cases of the disease within the state’s school premises since reopening.

He highlighted the adoption of a collaborative approach involving multiple agencies to combat the issue.
However, he urged residents to maintain practices such as safe drinking water, thorough cooking of food before consumption, and ensuring clean environments.

Abayomi emphasised the importance of regular handwashing to minimize the spread of the disease.

Strike: We don’t want another shut down of varsities – NANS, parents beg FG, unions.

As academic and non-academic workers in the university system have threatened to embark on another round of industrial action, students and parents have said they don’t want another closure of universities, calling on the workers and the government to find a way out of their face-off.

According to them, incessant closure of universities is one of the reasons the schools are not faring well in global rankings. The students spoke under the aegis of the National Association of Nigerian Students, NANS, and the parents under the auspices of the National Parent Teacher Association of Nigeria, NAPTAN.

Speaking in a chat with Vanguard newspaper, the National President of NANS, Comrade Lucky Emonefe, noted that students were always bearing the brunt in cases of industrial actions by university workers.

“Government should listen to the lecturers and university workers generally. Some of the things the lecturers are complaining about are genuine.

“Look at the issue of the composition of Governing Councils for higher institutions in the country, many people who have no job being put into such positions were included. Such sensitive positions should be for technocrats in the education sector and academicians.

“Why would the government not honour an agreement it willingly entered into. Honour an agreement you signed.

“However, I would appeal to ASUU members to also give room for mediation and negotiation because in the long run, all parties would still come to the table to talk. Let the parties give room for negotiation and mediation. Students are always at the receiving end of such fight between the sides and nobody wants to waste his or her precious time,” he said.

Also speaking, the Deputy National President of NAPTAN, Chief Adeolu Ogunbanjo, said government should honour its promise to the workers.

“Government should pay them and fulfil their obligations. When they went on strike the other time, part of what was agreed to making the workers suspend their action was that nobody would be victimized on account of the strike.
“So, if you are not paying them their dues, are you not victimizing the workers? If ASUU goes on strike, SSANU and NASU do so, the university system would collapse. The other time parents had to keep their children at home for about a session, that is not good for the system.

“Look at the recent global ranking of universities, the best ranked university in the country was in about 1,000th position. All these incessant stikes are parts of the poor ranking of our universities. Government should just be alive to its responsibilities and avert another round of industrial disharmony, ” he noted.

The Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU, is already warming up for another strike, following the inability of the government to meet some of their demands.

The union, last week, started nationwide press briefings and sensitisation on issues it said could disrupt academic activities on campuses.

Top on the list of their demands is the renegotiation of the 2009 Agreement and its implementation.The agreement is about better welfare packages, funding of the universities, better facilities among others.

Also, ASUU is demanding the payment of four months withheld salaries of members.Eight months salaries were withheld following the 2022 strike by the union, but only four months have been paid by the Bola Tinubu administration.

On the other hand, non-teaching staff under the umbrella of Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities, SSANU, National Association of Academic Technologists,NAAT and the Non-Academic Staff Union of Educational and Allied Institutions, NASU, are also demanding the payment of their withheld salaries of between three and a half months and five and a half months.

They are also calling for the implementation of an earlier agreement entered into by their unions and the government.

The academic and non-academic unions have given various timelines as when their demands must be met or they would go on strike.

Share this post

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.