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NATIONAL NEWS

3 ministries back national fleet project

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3 ministries back national fleet project

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Uche Usim, Abuja

Hopes of a quick realisation of the Nigeria’s national fleet project brightened, at the weekend, as three ministries are believed to be working collaboratively to move the programme from vision to fruition.

Speaking while receiving members of the National Fleet Implementation Committee (NFIC), led by the chairman, Hassan Bello, in his office, in Abuja, Minister of Budget and National Planning, Sen. Udoma Udo Udoma, said he was excited about the project because the focus of committee in realizing their mandate was totally consistent with thrust of nation’s economic blueprint -the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP).

The minister urged the committee to work with the Ministry’s technical team, which is managing the ERGP Focus Labs, to see the type of specific support the committee needs, even beyond known incentives.

READ ALSO: Osun guber: PDP accuses APC of using husband of president of Appeal Court to influence election tribunals

He said the collaboration would help the Ministry decipher all the committee would require to succeed and capture same in the budget.

“Let your technical people can come and meet with ours so that we kick off. Implementation is key. You have our support,” he said.

Udoma assured the committee that he would also get the buy-in of the Ministries of Finance and Industries Trade and Investment for the project to be realized and made sustainable.

He said, “We will work together to get transportation incentives right.

“We will work with the Ministries of Trade and Finance so that it would succeed. The project is consistent with the ERGP. We need to generate more revenue.

“The project when operational will generate Forex, create massive jobs and expand our transport infrastructure.

“ERGP on its own also seeks economic growth. The current 0.05 per cent contribution of transportation to the GDP is low and will work with you to grow it.

We need GDP growth rate of 6-7 per cent for people to feel the impact in our economy, especially as our population grows.

“Supporting you will help Nigeria grow. It’s good to invest in our people and ultimately, this project will help realize global opportunities.

“Your work is implementation and we’ll support you to ensure it’s done.  We need to focus on implementation”, Udoma stated.

READ ALSO: Nigeria must go?

In his remarks, the NFIC Chairman, Hassan Bello, said the visit was to intimate the Minister on work done so far in realizing the project.

He lamented that Nigeria loses billions of naira annually to absence of a national fleet.

He said a total of $9,087,585,115 was paid as freight for dry and wet cargo to foreign ship owners by Nigeria in 2015 alone as there was no Nigerian owned fleet plying international trade.

He listed the benefits of a national fleet to include: supporting Federal Government’s economic diversification drive by stimulating the rise of various ancillary services, creating wealth and providing employment for Nigerians.

“Guarantee that Nigerian vessels obtain a fair share of Nigeria’s seaborne traffic; assist in the economic integration of West and Central Africa sub-region and enhancing the development of the nation’s Maritime sector with significant contribution to GDP”, Bello explained.

Also speaking, a member of the committee and Starz Marine Services, Greg Ogeifun, said the national fleet would help Nigeria compete better since local operators lack capacity to compete internationally as they are starved of various incentives enjoyed by their offshore counterparts.

The post 3 ministries back national fleet project appeared first on The Sun Nigeria.

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CATHOLIC WORLD

Killing of Christians: Buhari lied to Trump – CAN fumes

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Killing of Christians: Buhari lied to Trump - CAN fumes

The Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) has reacted to President Muhammadu Buhari’s revelation of his conversation with United States President, Donald Trump, on the massacre of Christians in Nigeria, saying President Buhari was economical with the truth.

President Buhari had on Tuesday, revealed that at the heat of the bloody clashes between herdsmen and farmers in Nigeria, the United States President, Donald Trump, unequivocally accused him of killing Christians.

Buhari said these in his closing remarks at the two-day ministerial performance review retreat held at the Presidential Villa, Abuja on Tuesday.

At a point, the President digressed from his prepared speech and narrated his encounter with Trump on the bloody clashes.

He said he managed to explain to the American leader that the clashes were not about ethnicity or religion.

He said, “I believe I was about the only African among the less developed countries the President of United States invited.

“When I was in his office, only myself and himself, only God is my witness, he looked at me in the face, and asked, ‘Why are you killing Christians?’

“I wonder, if you were the person, how you will react. I hope what I was feeling inside did not betray my emotion, so I told him that the problem between the cattle rearers and farmers, I know is older than me not to talk of him. I think I am a couple of years older than him.

“With climate change and population growth and the culture of the cattle rearers, if you have 50 cows and they eat grass, any root, to your water point, then they will follow it. It doesn’t matter whose farm it is.

“The First Republic set of leadership was the most responsible leadership we ever had. I asked the Minister of Agriculture to get a gazette of the early 60s which delineated the cattle route where they used meager resources then to put earth dams, wind mills even sanitary department.

“So, any cattle rearers that allowed his cattle to go to somebody’s farm would be arrested, taken before the court. The farmer would be called to submit his bill and if he couldn’t pay, the cattle would be sold, but subsequent leaders, the VVIPs (very important persons) encroached on the cattle routes. They took over the cattle rearing areas.

“So, I tried and explained to him (Trump) that this has got nothing to do with ethnicity or religion. It is a cultural thing.”

However, CAN’s Vice President and Chairman of the association in Kaduna State, John Hayab, was not impressed with Buhari’s submission, saying “Buhari and his government will never stop from amusing us with their tales by moonlight because what is happening in Zamfara, Sokoto, Katsina, Birnin Gwari, Southern Kaduna, Taraba, Plateau and others cannot be described as a cultural thing.

He told Punch correspondent in an interview: “President Buhari’s weak story about his conversation with President Donald Trump further confirms why his government does not care about the killings in our country by calling them cultural things.

“Just this (Tuesday) evening, I received a report from the Kaduna Baptist Conference President about the number of their members that have been killed by bandits in Kaduna State from January 2020 to date to be 105 and our President will call it a cultural thing? All we can say is may God save our Nigeria.”

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NATIONAL NEWS

CAMA: Bishop blasts Christian lawmakers

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CAMA: Bishop blasts Christian lawmakers

The Catholic Bishop of Nsukka, Most Rev. Godfrey Onah, has blamed Christians in the National Assembly (NASS), for the passage of the 2020 Companies and Allied Matters Bill (CAMA), signed into law by President Muhammadu Buhari recently.

Bishop Onah, said in a remark during the Sunday Mass that if Christians in NASS had opposed the bill, it would not have been passed into law.

President Muhammadu Buhari had on Aug. 7, signed the CAMA bill into law, giving provision for religious bodies and charity organizations to be regulated by the registrar of the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC), and a supervising minister.

“The question many Christians have been asking is, where were Christian legislators during the debate of this bill and its passage in the National Assembly?

“Because, if they had opposed this bill on the floor of the house, it would not have been passed and sent to the president for assent.

“I blame Christian legislators for doing nothing and allowing the passage of the 2020 CAMA Act,” he said.

“When I say that Christians are too divided and too selfish, don’t forget that the second in command in this country is a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, a professor of Law and a pastor.”

Onah, however, wondered what the Federal Government wanted to achieve in monitoring how the finances of churches in the country are managed when it contributed no dime to the church, NAN reports.

“Government should focus and monitor its ministries, agencies and other government institutions where it budgets billions of Naira annually and not church offerings.

“Had it been that the government gave allocations to churches and decided to monitor its usage, nobody will question the government,” he said.

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NATIONAL NEWS

Nigerians spit fire over fuel, electricity prices hike

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Increasing Fuel and Electricity Prices

Anger and condemnations, across the country, have continued to trail last week’s take off, of new increases in pump price of petroleum products and electricity tariffs, as directed by Federal Government.

Recall that the Petroleum Products Marketing Company (PPMC) official, D.O. Abalaka announced on Wednesday September 3, on behalf of Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) that the new price of petroleum is now N151.56k per litre instead of N149 – N150 per litre which it was previously.

The new electricity tariff which the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) tagged “Service Reflective Tariff” has also come into effect. It requires consumers to pay N53.87 – N66.422 per kwh of electricity.

Outraged consumers of fuel and electricity have therefore warned government to get ready for collision with the masses if it fails to rescind these new prices.

Those who have expressed outrage over the new prices regimes include, the Organized Labour, Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC), Nigerian main opposition political party, Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Nigeria Employers Consultative Association (NECA) and the Major Marketers Association of Nigeria (MOMAN).

Others are: Petroleum Products Retail Outlets Owners Association of Nigeria, the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN) and the Nigerian Association of Chambers of Commerce (NACCIMA).

The NLC said, “The frequent fuel price increase will no longer be accepted. We will not allow Nigerians fall victim of government ineptitude and negligence to make the country self-sufficient in terms of refining petroleum products at home.”

On its part, the PDP has described the price hike as “callous, cruel and punishing” and demanded an immediate reversal to avert a national crisis.

The All Industrial Global sees the incessant increase as a confirmation that deregulation means just price increase.

“This is unacceptable! Under a pandemic, we should put money in the pockets of citizens to revive collapsed livelihoods and preserve lives.” In its reaction, NECA said it has always urged Federal Government to adopt deregulation policy in the oil and gas downstream sector.

The MOMAN in its statement insists that monthly price variation of fuel was no longer sustainable. It urged PPRA to adopt quarterly price mechanism which would save the market the hassles of price volatility. The statements by IPMAN and NACCIMA also followed along the same line that the hike “…serves only to increase the severity and duration of the looming economic recession.”

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