The Presidential Candidate of the Labour Party, (LP) Peter Obi in the 2023 general election on Monday diferentiated his planned subsidy removal from the present forceful approach using a toothache analogy.
In the inauguration speech of President Ahmed Bola Tinubu, he had stated that ‘subsidy is gone’ which has triggered hike in the price of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) to almost 75percent by marketers a month to the end of the subsidy regime by the former administration.
The situation has created chaos in the polity leading to threats of industrial action by the organised labour in the country.
Obi who admitted his support for the removal of subsidy paid on petroleum products said it is with a condition that should be empirical to the people.
A statement by the Obi/Datti media team said he spoke when he was ambushed by judicial correspondents at the ongoing election petition case at the Court of Appeal headquarters in Abuja on Tuesday.
The statement quoted him to have indicated that his support for subsidy removal dates back to the Goodluck Jonathan era when he was a member of the Presidential economic management team.
“If you have followed me very well right from the time I was a member of Jonathan’s economic management team, I consistently maintained that subsidy should be removed because I see it as organized crime. People were just stealing the resources of the country and I showed empirically in my statistical analysis that we are not consuming the amount of fuel they claim we consume.
The former Anambra state Governor differentiated his idea of Subsidy removal from what is happening in the country now that they are linking him to the two options available to a person having a tooth arche.
He said that if you approach a dentist to remove a painful tooth, he will apply a local anesthetic to numb the area around the tooth so you do not feel pain.
It’s not the same thing as pulling the tooth forcefully, the pain you feel will be different.
For me, I will go with the approach of the dentist while supporting the removal of the tooth because I wouldn’t want to go through the pain of forceful removal.
Recall that even when Jonathan wanted to remove it they came up with various relieving policies like SureP and others.
“If you read my manifesto you will see clearly how I planned to remove subsidy, I will govern with the people and show them statistically and empirically what we are getting and how we are deploying it.
“The problem In Nigeria is that when people say let’s go and suffer, let’s go and sacrifice, they don’t see the results of their suffering and their sacrifice.
NNPC lays-off top Management Staff
The Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPC) has layed-off some top management staff who have less than 15 months to retire.
This is coming few days after the oil company announced the removal and replacement of three of the its Executive Vice Presidents (EVPs).
Those affected by the previous shakeup included Abdulkabir Ahmed, who was hitherto in charge of gas, power and new energies; Adokiye Tombomieye, who headed the upstream segment as well as Adeyemi Adetunji, who was in charge of the downstream.
They were replaced by Olalekan Ogunleye as EVP gas, power and new energies; Oritsemeyiwa Eyesan for the company’s upstream operations, while Adedapo Segun took charge of the downstream.
The NNPC, in a terse statement, indicated that the new change in the line up was in line with its aspiration to rejuvenate its workforce.
“In our bid to pursue effective organisational renewal to support the delivery of our strategic business objectives, it has become imperative to rejuvenate our workforce.
“Consequently, in addition to the recent exit of three executive vice presidents, other members of management staff with less than 15 months to statutory retirement will be exiting the company effective 19th September 2023,” the statement said.
Subsidy: LP asks APC to apologise to Jonathan for thwarting his patriotic zeal
***Says 66 days of APC further plunged Nigeria into a more dreadful darkness
The Labour Party (LP) on Sunday asked the ruling All Progressive Congress (APC) to be carageaus enough to apologize to Nigerians particularly President Jonathan and members of his 2012 economic team for disrupting the patriotic zeal to remove Subsidy 11 years ago.
It would be recalled that in 2012 when the former President Jonathan attempted to deal with the subsidy monster, the incumbent Nigerian President, Bola Tinubu and his predecessor were at the forefront of protests that stalled the plan.
This was contained in a statement by the Director General of the Obi-Datti Campaign Organization Balogun Akin Osuntokun issued in Abuja on Sunday on the appraisal of the 66days of the Bola Tinubu’ administration.
Osuntokun said with the continued failures of the APC to provide the required leadership, the appropriate thing to do is the appology
“After apologizing, they should (in their temporary stay in power), at least seek to provide good leadership and governance by engaging the people, especially the workers, and fashioning out a clear strategy to manage their inconsistent, confusing, and annihilating policies.
“In addition, they should launch an investigation into NNPC management of the subsidy regime, the huge oil theft, and corruption that have caused Nigeria a serious financial crisis with a determination to effectively prosecute all those involved in the subsidy perfidy and fraud.
He alerted Nigerians over the consequences of the experimental leadership approach and governance by stealth without imagination, deep thinking or concrete ameliorative policies which the All Progressives Congress (APC) has foisted on them.
According to him, the first blunders that have visited collateral damage on Nigerians were the unplanned and ill-thought removal of fuel subsidy and unification of exchange rates; uncoordinated and confusing policy announcements which has led to exponential increase in the prices of all goods and services especially food and other basic consumables.
To further make the situation worse he said is the decline in National Savings Rate and erosion of disposable incomes of Nigerians, increasing poverty and insecurity.
Of recent, he observed is the unimaginable extravagance and exponential increase in the cost and waste of governance exemplified with interminable appointments of litany of ministers and aides, and then a most unexamined desire to go to a clearly avoidable war with our very close neighbor and brother, Republic of Niger.
“The list is unending, confusing, most unfortunate, and lamentable! There is a clear lack of grasp of the undergirding ethos of good governance predicated on short, medium, and long-term stimulus strategies and policies.
“In their own words, the APC-led government admitted their error of declaring subsidy removal and currency unification without adequate plans to mitigate the potentially huge consequences, as Nigerians are now witnessing in anguish.
“For APC and their leaders, who claim to have long been prepared for the job of presiding over Nigeria’s administrative affairs, to commit such a blunder, at this critical troubling period of our nation’s history, is inexcusable.
“The magnitude of such mistake which has debased and threatens to wipe out businesses with unprecedented worsening of the living conditions of Nigerians cannot be wished away with mere promises without adequate plans.
“Given their unrelenting lies and blame games, some clarifications are imperative. Do Nigerians deserve to have subsidies? Yes, they do as governments all over the world including in advanced countries offer subsidies to their citizens in various ways.
“Should the subsidy be removed in Nigeria? Yes, it should because it has been grossly mismanaged in an organized crime cartel manner with unparalleled corruption, official malfeasance, and embezzlement of taxpayers’ money.
“In line with our belief and promise to create and lead a New Nigeria, That is Possible, the Labour Party campaigned for the removal of petrol subsidies principally to end the criminal appropriation of our national resources by a privileged few and their connected cronies.
“This was to be achieved through a gradual process including the effective repairs and functioning of our refineries and activation of compressed natural gas (CNG) opportunities to avoid dramatic increases in fuel prices, inflation, and pains for Nigerians.”
He reminded Nigerians of the genuine efforts to remove the subsidy and end the associated embezzlement of their common resources in 2012 by the then government of President Goodluck Jonathan which were strategically thwarted and stopped by the current APC Chieftains in their characteristic deceit to endear themselves to Nigerians and attain power. “Lamentably even after deceptively and most unfortunately taking power from PDP in 2015, the then APC government refused to remove the subsidy and even used it to sabotage the 2023 elections thus affirming their unwillingness to stop the looting of Nigeria as they are part of the looting cartel themselves.
“Not only did they fail to stop the looting through the removal of the subsidy, but they also expanded it through all kinds of expenditures leading to our current debt crisis of over N77 trillion naira up from about N15 trillion when Buhari took over.
“As they were looting Nigeria dry in the guise of subsidy and other frauds, our dear Nation, Nigeria, acquired the dubious distinction of becoming the poverty capital of the world with over 135 million Nigerians now classified as multidimensionally poor.
He said unemployment skyrocketed to over 35%, insecurity escalated to a frightening level never seen before in Nigeria and all other socio-economic development variables all negative and heading south!
“Most unfortunately again, even after being rejected by the majority of Nigerians in the 2023 elections, they egregiously colluded with INEC and rigged themselves back to power being naturally unfit and unprepared for effective and good governance.”
According to him, the worse happened when they most recklessly and suddenly announced the removal of subsidy and unified the exchange rates, consequently causing Nigerians a most avoidable traumatic pain and misery with unprecedented resultant fuel price hike of over 300%, a dollar exchanging for almost a N1000 and exponential increase in the price all goods and services especially food.
“If the APC gang had not been inordinate for power and had allowed the petrol subsidy to be removed in 2012, Nigeria would have saved over N50 trillion that would have been used as a safety net.
He said it would have been used to cushion the effect and also used to eradicate poverty, improve education, health and security, create jobs, build an efficient transport system and make Nigeria truly the giant of Africa through a shift from consumption to production.
“These are the real subsidies Nigerians truly and urgently need.”
“While we agree that ‘After Darkness Comes the Glorious Dawn’, what the APC government clearly reminded Nigerians is that the darkness was caused by the same APC in the last 8 years with the gang still the same and bigger now.
“Unfortunately, as APC cannot give what it does not have, the darkness is clearly getting darker and expanding with the largely cosmetic, uncoordinated, and confusing announcement of policies without proper thinking, planning, and execution strategies.
“The shallow announcements hardly address the shock and excruciating trauma and pains Nigerians are presently experiencing.
“No nation allows its currency to float freely without solid backing; nor set a floating forex regime determined solely by market forces and not backed by ample reserve.
“Moreover, the policies of this regime are collectively ad-hoc measures not directly linked to the government’s much-touted campaign manifesto, but in the main, various policy options plagiarised from the political opposition’s governance and economic planks, without the benefit of the underpinning implementation modalities.
“This approach is fraught with gross missteps and expected failures which Nigerians are sadly, currently experiencing.
“Is it not insensitive to the highest level, that when Nigerians are passing through excruciating hardships, those who claim that they are leading us are living in uncontrollable opulence and extravagance with no interest to cut the waste and cost of governance?
“How do you explain the litany of aides currently being announced by the Speaker, Senate President, and the Presidency?
“While Nigerians are demanding a drastic reduction in the size and cost of governance, what will APC be doing with 48 ministers and other numerous aides?
“With some of them under criminal investigations and indictments, others with proven cases of forgery, and no adequate qualifications or experience, all clearly affirm the unpreparedness and unseriousness of the current APC gang.
“The only justifiable reason for the unending list of ministers and other senior aides is the expansion and continued looting of the resources of our dear country, Nigeria.
“With three tiers of government (federal, state, and local government), any committed and patriotic leader can effectively govern and lead Nigeria with 36 ministers as stated in the constitution. If possible, it should be reduced further.
“As if our internal problems are not enough, they (the APC government) are eager to take Nigeria to an unnecessary war with our neighbor and brother, the Republic of Niger.
“While we condemn the overthrow of democracy by the military in Niger, we urge and implore all parties to explore dialogue to resolve the governance crisis in Niger. “Nigeria is too interconnected socially, culturally, and religiously with Niger to contemplate a military attack or war irrespective of the current situation.
“While democracy remains a better governance system, it is also important that governance and leadership are based on the rule of law and other conditions of good and accountable governance.
“With many more flaws in the policy announcements that are not by any means germane to true development, economic growth, and the revamping of our badly ailing economy, the speech and policy announcements can be aptly described as a gallivant into the dark deeper recesses of economic quagmire, debt peonage, and intractable multidimensional poverty.
“While the continuing inability of APC-led governments to think patriotically and strategically to offer transformative leadership is deeply troubling and affirms their unpreparedness to lead robustly and with entrenched vision, we implore Nigerians and the international community to keep faith in Nigeria as we remain focused on our belief that a New Nigeria is Possible.
“We will transform Nigeria from consumption to production, and entrench inclusive, sustainable, and beneficial growth to all Nigerians irrespective of tribe, religion, location, status, or gender. A New Nigeria is Indeed Possible and Forthcoming!
Long live the Federal Republic of Nigeria!
El-Rufai speaks as power minister designate at screening
***Proffers stringent measures to save the sector
The former Governor of Kaduna State Nasiru El-Rufai on Tuesday dazzled the senate with depth of his knowledge of the power sector as he spoke with precision on the portfolio as if he had been confirmed as power minister.
Former Governor of Zamfara State, Senator Abubakar Yari who started with three questions that were centered on power, asked him if confirmed and the President assigned him with power sector portfolio how he would handle the myriads of problems bedevilling the sector?
While responding, El-rufai indicated that the electricity supply situation in Nigeria had defied every government for 60 years.
“President Asiwaju Ahmad Tinubu is committed to ensure Nigeria has stable and reliable electricity supply, vecause without electricity, industrialisation is a pipe dream.
“Without electricity, even Agriculture today is not a viable proposition. So he is committed to that and he has asked me to work with him to address these problems so I will do my best to address them.
“Right now Nigeria has about 13000mw of installed generation capacity but we hardly utilize more than 4000mw or 5000mws. So to improve generation, our business is to look at what is constraining the full production of electricity from this 13000mw.
“We have 13000mw installed and only 4000mw/5000mw being produced. Many of the generation stations cannot produce because of poor supply of gas.
“80% of our generation is from gas and the balave is hydro. The gas fired stations often don’t have supply of gas. Power stations that have been completed two or three years ago and have produced nothing because there is no gas supply
“So that is another issue that we need to look into, we must ensure that gas and power are together under one roof for this issue of gas supply which has persisted for over 20years to be resolved.
“Even if we are able to generate 13mw as at today, our transmission infrastructure can only do 5000mw maybe 6000mw at best. The second major constraint to electricity supply in Nigeria is Transmission infrastructure. “We need to close the loop in our transmission system so that the 13 system collapses we had in 2022 are not repeated again in our history and this can be done. There is money to expand the transmission infrastructure, we just need to organize ourselves, remove politics from transmission Procurement and focus on improving our transmission infrastructure
“The third problem is distribution. In 2013 we privatized our distribution companies, 11 of them, 60% to the private sector, 40% to be owned by government, the idea is that the 40% is supposed to be listed on the foreign exchange so that every Nigerian will be a sharehkolder in it.
“But that has not happened, 10 years after privatization the government is still subsidizing electricity in one way or the other. As I said the last time we checked it was about N1.6tr in the privatized environment. “This is unsustainable and unacceptable. But what do we do with the distribution companies, they are being privatized about 5 to 6 of them are under receivership, those that bought the companies borrowed from banks and have not been paying the banks. “They have taken over 5 or 6 of them. The last time we did a stress test for the distribution companies only 3 of them out of 11 are doing well.
“So there is a lot of work to be done regarding distribution, because distribution to the last end of electricity does not work, if they don’t collect money, then they will not be able to pay for the power supplied by the generation companies and when they are unable to pay for the gas, it is what the government pays the risk guarantee entered by the federal government of Nigeria.
It has to be addressed but in a short term the liquidity in the electricity supply company have to be looked at.
“Tariffs must be cost effective and even the ownership of these distribution companies will have to change because right now the banks own about 6 of them, they control 60% of the shares.
“Banks are not good as business owners but they are good at taking whatever they need to recover their loans. So we intend if given the opportunity to work out a system in which perhaps we are able attract fresh capital, new investors with technical and financial capacity into the Distribution chains.
According to him, The opportunity to do so exist as 6 out of the 11 are in receivership and 3 are doing well, the others are 50/50 but a holistic approach is needed.
“This is a problem that requires the support of everyone it is not the President who will lead from the front alone but also the National Assembly. Certain amendments in the electricity act 2023 may be needed. “Certain amendment to the PIB 2021 may be needed to bring this sector to align so that we provide Nigeria stable and reliable Electricity.
He said the President’s vision is that within the next 7 years, “we will not have the problem of power failure in this country.” “The President is saddened by the fact that countries like Benin Republic, Niger and Cameroun our neighbors have reliable Electricity, you don’t see power failing in the less countries, yet with all our resources and the quality of people we have in this nation we are unable to provide Electricity for household and our businesses
“I urge the National Assembly to be a partner to make this happen. There are many parts of Nigeria that are not covered by the grid, the new Electricity act provides the states with greater involvement now in the Electricity supply industry and what is happening in the world provides opportunity for Nigeria to attract a lot of resources into the renewable energy sector utilizing solar, wind and even nuclear and we are not ruling out using our own reserves to establish power station that will form the base for stability of the power sector. So all options would be look into.
“Metering is a big issue, a lot of progress has been made by some of the Distribution Companies in the last 3 or 4 years with the support of the CBN and the world Bank, every household should be metered, every business should be metered, estimated billings is not acceptable, but in addition, Nigeria must take a hard stance against those that steal Electricity.
“Those that get Electricity by diverting cables not paying, we must take a hardline stance against it if this sector is to work. A lot of Advocacy is necessary.
“People believe that water and electricity should be free, they social services but they are not. They cost money to produce. The least you can do is pay back for the cost of production and handing it to the private sector, they need some return in its investment over and above the cost of production.
“This was the intervention of the Electric power sector reform act of 2005 which this National Assembly enacted.
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Date: Tue, 1 Aug 2023 18:39:34 +0100
Subject: El-Rufai speaks as power minister designate at screening ***says Tinubu invited him to fix sector ***Proffers stringent measures to save the sector ***Says Nigeria still subsidizes electricity by N1.6tr
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