The Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu, yesterday, blamed the continued fall in the value of the naira against other major currencies on the huge demand for foreign exchange (FOREX) necessitated by the importation of petroleum product into the country.
According to the Minister, the sector accounts for between 30 and 40 per cent of foreign exchange demand, adding that the failure of the nation’s refineries to work optimally has led to shortfall in the availability of FOREX in the open market.
Speaking in Lagos yesterday, the minister painted a gloomy picture of the industry stating that proactive steps are required to bring Nigeria’s economy back on positive track. He said, “We need to get our refineries to work optimally, in order to inject funds back to the economy. It is taking us four to six months to go through processes and bureaucracy even to get investors coming into the country and inject money to take the refinery to the point where it is needed. “And the reality is that unless we do that, the dream and hope I had was that in 2018 we should begin to reduce drastically petroleum product import into the country and in 2019, we should be able to exceed total local demand, and so, if we can take care of that alone, the pressure on foreign exchange will reduce. The foreign exchange conversion rate, the exchange rate will improve in favour of the Naira.
Many countries want Nigeria to break up because of envy – NLC
President of the Nigerian Labour Congress, NLC, Ayuba Wabba, says “most countries” are unhappy that Nigeria is the giant of Africa, and will therefore be happy to see the country disintegrate.
He therefore urged Nigerians not to succumb to external forces working very hard to break up the country.
Wabba, who made the appeal on Sunday while fielding questions at a NAN forum, said that the country’s size, population and natural endowments are assets that many other nations are envious of.
He expressed optimism that the current security challenges and agitations “being fuelled and funded by forces determined to undermine Nigeria” would be surmounted.
“Our position is that we will not canvass the issue of cannibalizing Nigeria into segments for any reason or any consideration,” he said.
“It is in unity that our strength lies as a country. We are today the giant of Africa; most countries are not happy with that. They will do anything possible to undermine our national interest and also work towards the disintegration of Nigeria.
“That is a fact, and we see that as we travel around the world. Even within the committee of unions, people are envious of Nigeria. We must not forget how people said Nigeria was going to break by 2015 and you must not forget that they are still working on that.
“They are still funding all manner of things and trying to see that Nigeria does not actually have peace; it is deliberate. There is no resource today in the world that we do not have; they see us as a country that is blessed without measure.”
Wabba added that some African countries are concerned that if anything happens to Nigeria, their own fate becomes uncertain.
“Most of these conflicts are instigated,” he said, citing the situation in Syria and other parts of the Middle East.
“Therefore, it is in our own collective interest as Nigerians, because we do not have any other country. To continue to show the light and perspective for others to see.”
Atiku denies involvement in PDP crisis
Former Vice-President, Atiku Abubakar, on Sunday dismissed reports that he is responsible for the leadership crisis currently rocking the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP.
Speculations in some quarters linked Atiku to the lingering crisis within the fold of the PDP.
Atiku had served as the country’s vice president under the platform of the PDP for eight years.
In 2013, he decamped to the All Progressives Congress, APC, and in 2015 contested for the APC presidential ticket which he lost to President Muhammadu Buhari.
But reacting to the unconfirmed report that he is behind the disquiet in the PDP, Atiku denied any involvement.
A terse statement on his official Twitter handle, @Atiku, read: “Former VP @Atiku has no hand in PDP crisis.”
Nigerian studying in Malaysia killed in Kaduna
Unknown gunmen suspected to be armed robbers have killed a 27-year-old man, identified as Mohammed Rabiu.
DAILY POST gathered that Rabiu, a student, who just returned from studies in Malaysia, was shot and killed in Kaduna.
Jafar Ibrahim Ali, a close friend that witnessed the incident, narrated that Rabiu was shot in his car after driving from Abuja to Kaduna.
According to him, they drove straight to see one of Rabiu’s friends in his house along Lugard Hall, but were told he had gone out.
Ali, who survived the incident said, they requested for his number, ”We were waiting to be given the number before a tricycle parked near us and three men alighted from it and made straight to where we parked and demanded we hand over our phones.
“Initially, we thought they were policemen because, they were pointing guns at us, but the next thing I heard was a gun shot,”he narrated.
He further narrated that the gunman that stood by Rabiu’s window and was pointing the gun at him shot.
“The men kept firing as they opened the doors of the car pushing us out as they entered the car and drove away with it.
“All these happened in less than 2 minutes, as I struggled with them, they kept firing but somehow the bullets from the locally made guns missed me, but they shot my friend.“It was when they left that we got a car from the house, which took him to the hospital, but he was confirmed dead in less than an hour after the incident,” he explained.
Though he said the matter was reported to the police, who came and conducted preliminary investigation, it was yet to be established whether it was a case of robbery or assassination.
Family sources disclosed that Rabiu came back to Nigeria on the completion of his studies in Malaysia. He was buried according to Islamic rite.
APC sent Sheriff to destroy PDP ahead of 2019 – Fani – Kayode
Former Aviation Minister, Femi Fani-Kayode, has alleged that the recent activities of the embattled factional Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, has shown that he is out to destroy the party ahead of 2019 elections.
The PDP’s 2015 Presidential campaign spokesman, had last week accused the former Borno State Governor of been a”spy” President Muhammadu Buhari is using to destroy the opposition party.
Speaking with the Punch on Saturday, Fani-Kayode said he was the first to say publicly that Sheriff was being used against the opposition party, adding that Sheriff’s recent activities had proved him right.
According to Fani- Kayode, “His (Sheriff) brief is to destroy the party because the APC knows that it cannot win in 2019 if the PDP is strong and united. He is a destroyer and he has come to destroy.
“He fooled everyone at the beginning but he didn’t fool me. The PDP Ministers Forum was the first to blow the whistle and we stood against the Governors Forum who brought him.”
Man kills wife, three others in Sokoto
The Sokoto State Police Command on Sunday confirmed the alleged murder of a 43-year-old woman, Yemisi Adio, by her husband, Taiwo Adio.
This is contained in a statement signed by the Spokesman of the command, El-mustapha Sani, and made available to the News Agency of Nigeria in Sokoto on Sunday.
Sani said that the incident took place on Saturday at the old Airport Area.
He said that the suspect had used the same pestle with which he killed his wife, to kill three other persons.
The victims, according to him, were: Rachael Adewole, 42, Dennis Adewole,10, and Esther Badelu, 14, all of the same address.
The police spokesman further said that the pestle had been recovered as an exhibit, while the case was being investigated by the command’s Criminal Investigation Department.
”All the corpses had been deposited at the morgue of the Usman Danfodiyo University Teaching Hospital, Sokoto, for post mortem,” he added.
Aggrieved 2000 prospective Immigration officers whose training were suspended last year hold vigil in front of Aso Rock
The protesters were almost done with their training and were about to start off work as Immigration officers when President Buhari on August 20th last year ordered that their recruitment exercise be suspended. The protesters were in the state house to demand that their suspension be called off and they be absorbed fully into the Ministry of Interior.
The process for their recruitment was started by the last administration in 2014 but after the failure of the exercise which saw over 20 applicants dying, another recruitment exercise was started on February 9th 2015.
Over one million Nigerians applied but 48,747 were shortlisted from which 2,000 including 1,457 males and 543 females were offered provisional appointments by May 22nd 2015. When the President Buhari led administration came into power, the training of those shortlisted was suspended in August.
Despite interventions from the House of Representatives on Interior calling for the presidency to absorb the affected applicants, their case has remained unanswered.