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Rivers crisis: Tinubu meeting with Fubara, Odili others in Aso Rock

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Nigerians are expected to face increased challenges following the recent recommendation from the World Bank, urging the Federal Government to raise the pump price of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS). The World Bank, on December 13, asserted that the government might still be footing the bill for fuel subsidies, which President Bola Tinubu removed on May 29, 2023.

According to the World Bank’s Lead Economist for Nigeria, Alex Sienaert, the current fuel price in Nigeria is not cost-reflective and should be elevated to approximately N750 per litre, surpassing the current N650 paid by Nigerians. Sienaert disclosed this during the presentation of the Nigeria Development Update in Abuja on December 13.

The advice comes amid the severe hardships experienced in the country following the removal of the fuel subsidy in May. Since then, the pump price has risen significantly, contributing to higher prices of essential goods and services nationwide.

In response, various stakeholders, including the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), and other critics, have condemned the World Bank’s recommendation. They argue that such an increase would further impoverish the masses, given the already challenging economic situation in the country.

NLC spokesman Beson Upah criticized the World Bank for being insensitive to the plight of Nigerians, describing the institution as a “predatory” force that lacks consideration for the Global South. He warned that raising the pump price would invite anarchy.

Hon. Debo Ologunagba, the National Publicity Secretary of the PDP, blamed the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank for Nigeria’s economic troubles. He expressed dissatisfaction with the lack of tangible palliatives for Nigerians since the removal of the fuel subsidy.

Dr Yunusa Salisu Tanko, Chief Spokesperson for the Labour Party Presidential Campaign Council, viewed the World Bank’s move as an attempt to continue colonizing African countries. He emphasized the need for creative leadership and the construction of refineries to address the economic challenges.

However, a chieftain of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), Mr. Mathew Adah, expressed confidence in President Tinubu’s ability to handle the situation intelligently, urging Nigerians to be patient.

The World Bank’s recommendation has sparked a debate on the potential consequences of a fuel price increase, with critics warning of detrimental effects on the already struggling population.

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PHOTO: Gov Makinde Host Nigeria Police Games

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1: Oyo State Governor, Seyi Makinde (left) and Inspector General of Police, Olukayode Egbetokun, during the opening ceremony of the 14th Biennial Nigeria Police Games, host by Oyo State Government, held at Adamasigba Stadium, Ibadan. PHOTO: Oyo Gov’s Media Unit.

2: From left, Deputy Governor of Oyo State, Barr Bayo Lawal; Governor Seyi Makinde; Inspector General of Police, Olukayode Egbetokun and his wife Elizabeth, during the opening ceremony of the 14th Biennial Nigeria Police Games, host by Oyo State Government, held at Adamasigba Stadium, Ibadan. PHOTO: Oyo Gov’s Media Unit.

3: Oyo State Governor, Seyi Makinde (left) take a salute from the Police Mascots, during the opening ceremony of the 14th Biennial Nigeria Police Games, host by Oyo State Government, held at Adamasigba Stadium, Ibadan. PHOTO: Oyo Gov’s Media Unit.

CREDIT: Oyo Gov Media 

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Economic crisis: Find more ways to improve your IGR – President Tinubu to universities

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The Nigerian government has called upon universities in the country to broaden their sources of funding amidst economic challenges. President Bola Ahmad Tinubu made this assertion during the 6th & 7th combined convocation ceremony of Federal University, Dutse, which took place on Saturday.

Speaking through Professor Kabir Bala, the Vice-Chancellor of Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, who represented him at the event, President Tinubu stressed the government’s dedication to facilitating a conducive environment for universities despite resource limitations.

He urged universities to actively explore alternative funding channels, underlining the significance of self-reliance in the prevailing economic circumstances. The President also encouraged universities to seek international funding opportunities for research, advocating for collaborations and the attraction of funds from global sources.

President Tinubu emphasized that government alone cannot shoulder the financial burden of universities, particularly amid economic challenges and competing demands from various sectors. Nonetheless, he reiterated the administration’s commitment to providing the necessary support within the available resources to ensure universities function as pillars of educational advancement and national development.

He further urged universities to pursue innovative strategies for generating revenue and to tap into international research funding opportunities. He assured that his administration remains dedicated to supporting universities in achieving their objectives as outlined in the Renewed Hope Agenda.

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Contempt threat against NLC, TUC leaders over public protest uncalled for – Femi Falana replies FG

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Human rights advocate and constitutional lawyer, Femi Falana, has clarified that the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and Trade Union Congress (TUC) have every right to organize the nationwide public protest scheduled for February 27 and 28, asserting that it does not constitute contempt of court.

As a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), Falana emphasized that Nigerian workers are entitled to freedom of assembly and expression as enshrined in the country’s Constitution. He urged the federal government, in a strongly worded letter to the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) and Minister of Justice, to ensure maximum security for the workers and to participate in the protest.

In response to the AGF’s threat of contempt charges against the NLC and TUC leaders, Falana’s letter dated February 24 countered the threat, arguing that it lacked legal basis.

Falana pointed out the history of negotiations between the government and the labor unions following the removal of fuel subsidy in 2023, which resulted in court orders restraining the unions from striking. Despite compliance with these orders, the unions challenged them, and the contempt proceedings initiated by the government were subsequently withdrawn.

He highlighted subsequent legal actions initiated by the government against the unions, noting that these actions were contested by the unions on grounds of abuse of court process and lack of jurisdiction. Falana emphasized that since the contempt proceedings were withdrawn, there is no basis for the government’s threat of contempt charges regarding the planned protest.

He cited legal precedents affirming citizens’ rights to protest on matters of public interest without the need for police permits, emphasizing the democratic importance of freedom of speech and assembly.

Falana urged the government to respect these fundamental rights and directed the Inspector-General of Police to provide adequate security for the protesters in accordance with the Police Establishment Act.

In conclusion, he called on the government to reconsider its stance and assured that the protests would be conducted peacefully.

The federal government had previously warned of invoking relevant laws to charge the NLC leadership with contempt if the protest proceeds, citing it as a breach of agreement and a challenge to the court’s authority. The AGF, Prince Lateef Fagbemi, conveyed this warning in a letter to Falana, urging the NLC to abandon the protest to avoid violating the court’s order.

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