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Gowon blames, Nigeria’s underdevelopment on failure to adhere to National Development Plan

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Former Military Head of State, General Yakubu Gowon (Retd) has expressed regret over the failure of successive Nigerian leaders to continue with the National Development Plan of 1975 – 1980.

Gowon spoke  at the public presentation of a book entitled: “General Domkat Yah Bali (GCON) As Ponzhi Tarok Designate, a Contextual Analysis of The Imbroglio.”

The book was presented by Prince Adewole Adebayo, Presidential aspirant on the platform of the Coalition of Nigerian political parties.

The former Head of State said the failure of successive governments to adhere to the beautiful work of the dedicated Nigerian military officers led by General Damkat Bali denied Nigeria the benefit of coordinated development for a great nation.

He maintained that Nigeria would have been a great nation, far better than it has attained if successful government in Nigeria had maintained the prescription of the development plan and stuck to it. 

His words: “If only the development plan that we had at that time, 1975 – 1980. If it had continued, if they had carried it through, it would have made all the difference.” 

Gowon said the level of loyalty to the state by officers at the time and commitment to service was one he owed greatly to his subordinates, Bali inclusive.

“All this achievement, we can say, I really owe it to General Bali and all those young officers in those days though, young as they were, they shouldered those responsibilities far, far above their age and experience.”

The guest speaker at the book presentation and former Minister of Sports, Solomon Dalung, said the General Bali allowed the public interest to override his personal interest on the matter Ponzhi Tarok, as he relinquished the title for public peace.

He noted that the 1975 Gazette had been followed by the state government at the time had began the process of selecting a Ponzhi Tarok but was reversed by another government in 2010 leading to the emergence of Leut. Gen. Domkat Yah Bali as the Ponzhi Designate breeding litigations that made him resign.

Presenter of the Book and Presidential aspirant, Prince Adewole Adebayo, said the book dwelt on the principles of truth and justice. 

His words: “My job, which is to present this book to the public, but just note that the book we are presenting is not just the print and the paper, it is the principle behind the book that we are presenting. It is not rock story. 

“It’s the human story, about the need for society to have honor and integrity. Sacrifice of personal interest for the good of the wider society, he said.

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Obi sounds the alarm over deplorable Power Situation

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***Says Nigeria cannot grow its economy in Darkness
***Expresses sadness that Nigeria is the lowest per capita wattage in the World.
***wants a Technical Task Force in Place.

The incessant power situation in the country with record of national grid collapse 141 times in 11 years is a case for urgent pragmatic solutions, the Presidential Candidate of the Labour Party (LP) in the 2023 general election, Peter Obi has indicated

He expressed deep concerns that Nigeria has only 13,000mw while the demands are about 200,000mw.

Obi pointed out that even with the 13,000mw, only about 3,500mw are available for homes and businesses noting that the situation puts Nigeria as the lowest per capita wattage in the World.

In an article, titled “The Collapsing Electricity Sector”, the LP standard’s bearer said “The Nigeria electricity supply industry faces real and present danger of collapse despite the efforts made in more than two decades to initiate a reform of the NESI.
“It is sad today that we suffer periodic and routinized system collapses that are attributed to such avoidable situations as fire outbreaks at critical transmission lines across our major cities.
“It is absolutely distressing and a story of a low level of managerial capability that the entire nation can be plunged into total darkness for a reasonable period because networks go out because of a lack of diligent attention.

“It should worry any Nigerian patriot that the total installed capacity for a country of more than 200 million people with an aspiration to become a global medium economy power is a mere 13,000.
“Worse still, only about 3,500mws are available for homes and businesses from the grid. Sometimes, it grinds to less than 2,500mws. This is unacceptable.
“We can contrast the available supply of electricity with competitor countries in Africa like Egypt and South Africa with respective populations of approximately 112m and 59.6m people supplying about 60,000mw and 58,000 respectively.
“This difference in energy wattage has massive implications for human development and economic growth.
“Nigeria today has the world’s lowest per capita wattage in the world, interesting lower than those of most of our West African neighbours.
“It is really sad that whereas our energy demand is above 200,000mws, we have only 13,000mw installed capacity and can only deliver regularly less than 4,000mw.
“After speaking with experts in the sector I have realized that the crisis of power supply in Nigeria relates to two major sectors: (1) generation, and (2) transmission and distribution.
“The major challenges of the generation sector are the lack of a regular supply of gas arising from the failure of the government in the last 8 years to provide adequate gas infrastructure facilities, weak commerciality of gas to power and failure to control the restiveness of angry youths leading to vandalism.
“It is shameful that for more than 8 years we cannot resolve the infrastructural bottlenecks that constrain the supply of gas to power plants despite billions from CBN for legacy gas debts.
“On the transmission and distribution side, the last 8 years have witnessed terrible failure to overcome the deterioration of networks and transmission and distribution networks and invest in modern technologies like SCADA leading to poor coverage, lack of effective coordination between TCN and discos leading to load rejection and inability to generate public trust for policy reform on tariff and leading to low private sector investments.
“If we had a good project manager, we would have massively increased generation, transmission and distribution capacity and enhanced policy coherence that would have crowded private sector investment in the degree to sustained rapid growth of the grid. The problem is that the government have exercised the required political will to appoint the right kind of leadership that understands the problems of the sector and has the singular dedication and competence to create quick wins in the short term and transformation in the medium to long term.
“I suggest that the Federal Government immediately constitute a technical task force of real professionals without political consideration to present a diagnosis of the crisis of the sector and to get to work to correct such simple slippage like incessant fire outbreaks that lead to perennial system collapse, drastically improve coordination and coherence between TCN and discos so there will be no load rejection, and breath down on all operators to deliver on their technical responsibilities. This will rapidly improve power availability in the short term while the government develop clarity to articulate an integrated national electricity policy and a practical implementation roadmap that harmonizes national and sub-national electricity reform efforts to ensure rapid and expansive delivery of reliable, adequate, and affordable electricity.
“We are too endowed to be a nation of generators and to be trapped in darkness. We cannot grow our economy in darkness.

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Tinubu applauds Dangote Group over diesel price reduction

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From Ahmed Rufai, Dutse
Nigeria’s President, Bola Tinubu has commended the examplary achievement of Dangote Oil and Gas Limited, in reducing the gantry price of Automotive Gas Oil (AGO), also known as diesel.

The Group recently reviewed the gantry price of AGO, downwards from ₦1,650 to ₦1,000 per litre for a minimum of one million litres of the product, as well as providing a discount of ₦30 per litre for an offtake of five million litres and above.
The price review represented a 60% drop, which will, in no small measure, impact the prices of sundry goods and services.
A statement signed by Special Adviser to the President (Media & Publicity), Ajuri Ngelale, on Wednesday, said the president affirmed that Nigerians, domestic businesses, and the transportation sector, will benefit enormously from the price reduction.
Tinubu noted that partnerships between public and private entities were essential to advancing the overall well-being of the country
The federal government currently has a 20% stake in Dangote Refinery.
The president then called on Nigerians and businesses, to, at this time, put the nation in priority gear while assuring them of a conducive, safe, and secure environment to thrive.

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Budget 2024: Again Obi uncovers more insensitive, undeserving allocations

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The Presidential Candidate of the Labour Party in the 2023 general elections, Peter Obi has again uncorvered lopsided allocations in the 2024 federal budget

Obi in his previous remarks on the budget called for a total review of the budget

He insisted that there were various misplacement of priorities tilted against poor and vulnerable Nigerians

Obi expressed dismay that the National Assembly Hospital was receiving whooping N15b for one year, the amount which he said is five times more than that allocated to the National Hospital and six other premier Teaching Hospitals in the country.
The former Anambra Goverrnor made his observation his verified X handle on Tuesday

In his words ‘I will remain persistent in my expressions of deep concern about the 2024 budget because of its critical importance to the lives of the citizens especially the poor in our midst.
“I will continue to do so until the end of the year as a matter of patriotic engagement. This is because the many negatives of the budget have far-reaching implications for the development of our dear nation and the well-being of our citizens.

“It is evident that there are items in the budget that do not align with our current circumstances, and it is imperative to call for a review and appropriate virement. Allocating our scarce resources to high-priority areas of need is essential for the well-being of the nation.

“For instance, allocating N15 billion solely for the National Assembly hospital is unacceptable, especially when it exceeds five times the budgetary allocation to the National Hospital or the combined capital vote of our six major teaching hospitals across the nation, namely; University College Hospital, Ibadan; University of Nigeria Teaching Hospital, Enugu; Ahmadu Bello University Teaching Hospital, Zaria; Obafemi Awolowo University Teaching Hospital, Ile-Ife; Jos University Teaching Hospital and University of Ilorin Teaching Hospital.
He said the disparity reflects a low level of care for the rest of society.

“Similarly, justifying a budgetary allocation of N15.3 billion for the National Assembly library project and procurement of books, including the e-Library, in a country without a National Library is very disappointing.
“The National Library has been under construction for the past 20 years, and its budgetary allocation for 2024 is less than 1B Naira, which makes the National Assembly Library budget 15 times more.

“Again the National Assembly Library budget is more than the combined budget of the top national universities’ libraries that desperately need the Libraries for research, teaching and learning purposes.

“Furthermore, allocating N10 billion for the Senate’s and House of Representatives car parks and the National Assembly Recreation Centre, while allocating less to the Ministry of Science, Technology, and Innovation, is concerning. In an era where science, technology and innovation are crucial for the nation’s future, such allocations demonstrate a lack of foresight and basic awareness of global trends and urgent national priorities.

“This level of insensitivity to the present situation and challenges faced by the people should not be tolerated by any development-minded nation.

“Every scarce resource must be directed towards productive sectors of the economy. It is time for our nation to reassess its priorities, revisit the budget, eliminate frivolous expenditures and channel our resources properly for the benefit of the people.

“No great nation is built on a foundation of waste and frivolity.”

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