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Subsidy removal: FG announces N5bn palliative for each state



The federal government has announced a N5 billion palliative for each state of the federation, including the federal capital territory (FCT), to cushion the impact of the removal of the petrol subsidy.

Babagana Zulum, governor of Borno state, made the announcement in Abuja on Thursday, when he spoke to State House correspondents at the end of a national economic council (NEC) meeting.

Vice President Kashim Shettima presided over the meeting.

The council is made up of governors of the 36 states, the governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and other co-opted government officials.

On May 29, in his inaugural speech, President Bola Tinubu said the petrol subsidy regime was over.

“On fuel subsidy, unfortunately, the budget before I assumed office is that no provision is there for fuel subsidy. So, fuel subsidy is gone,” the president had said.

Giving the outcome of the meeting, Zulum said the N5 billion is to enable state governments procure 100,000 bags of rice, 40,000 bags of maize and fertilizers to cushion the effect of food shortage across the country.

“This funding has to be shared with a formula as follows: 52 percent of this money is given to states as grants, while 48 percent of the N5billon is to be paid back on an instalment basis within a period of 20 months to the CBN by the states and the local government areas in Nigeria,” he said.

“The council has taken bold decisions in order to ensure the speedy release of grains and other items to cushion the effects of subsidy removal on the less privileged in society.

“The council has also taken note of the $800 million loan and insists that it be strictly used for the intended purpose and based on an accurate and acceptable register. The $800 million announced by the president will go to Nigerians in accordance with an accurate social register.

“Furthermore, the council has also noted the package that was announced by the president in order to cushion the effect of subsidy removal, amounting to about N500 billion.

“This fund has to be distributed to the following sectors MSMEs: industrial sector, about N125 billion, will go to cash transfers, agricultural sector as well as gas expansion for buses.

“And because of the increasing cost of fossil fuel, the federal government intends to establish more gas stations in Nigeria and procure more gas-powered buses, CNG buses, as well as electric buses.”

He said the council commended the efforts of the federal government and the CBN in addressing the current situation in the country.


Dangote offers to sell refinery to NNPC over monopoly allegation




Aliko Dangote, Africa’s richest man, says he is willing to sell his oil refinery to the Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC) Limited.

Aliko spoke in an interview with Premium Times on Sunday.

The billionaire’s statement comes amid a dispute between the refinery and Nigeria’s regulatory authorities in Nigeria.

“Let them (NNPCL) buy me out and run the refinery the best way they can. They have labelled me a monopolist,” Dangote said.

“That’s an incorrect and unfair allegation, but it’s okay. If they buy me out, at least, their so-called monopolist would be out of the way.

“We have been facing fuel crisis since the 70s. This refinery can help in resolving the problem but it does appear some people are uncomfortable that I am in the picture.

“As you probably know, I am 67 years old, in less than three years, I will be 70. I need very little to live the rest of my life.

“I can’t take the refinery or any other property or asset to my grave. Everything I do is in the interest of my country.

“So, I am ready to let go, let the NNPC buy me out, run the refinery. At least the country will have high-quality products and create jobs.”

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NCAA to launch portal to track airline performance in August




The Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) says there are plans to launch a consumer protection portal to address complaints within the aviation sector.

Michael Achimugu, director of public affairs and consumer protection at the NCAA, told TheCable on Friday.

According to Achimugu, the portal is expected to be launched in August.

He also said the aim of the project will allow passengers to log complaints, track the on-time performance of airlines, and access self-reported data on the resolution of cases, making airline performance data publicly accessible and transparent.

“Our consumer protection portal is ready for deployment. We are currently training our officers. It will go live in August,” Achimugu said.

“The portal will enable the collection of flight operations data real-time-on-time and complaints filling and resolution.

“Invariably, the public will be able to see in real-time, each airline’s performance as regards flight operations (timeliness) and complaints handling and resolution (customer experience).”

In January, Festus Keyamo, minister of aviation and aerospace development, said the ministry would start publishing delayed or cancelled flights by domestic airlines.

The minister said airlines cannot be sanctioned by suspending their operations.

Shedding light on the minister’s promise, Achimugu said the consumer portal will encourage transparency and accountability of airlines.

“As for naming and shaming, it was always going to be better to have a transparent and incontestable system where customer experience and real-time data would be the reporting system,” he said.

“Our consumer protection portal ensures that the performance of each airline reports itself for such scrutiny.”

Achimugu also said there would be fairness in the evaluation of consumers’ complaints.

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INTERPOL blocks 720 bank accounts linked with online frauds in West Africa




The International Criminal Police Organization(INTERPOL) said it has blocked over 720 bank accounts linked with online financial frauds across West African countries.

The organization said this was the outcome of its sting operation tagged ‘Operation Jackal III’, which ran from 10 April to 3 July across 21 countries on five continents.

It added that the operation targeted online financial fraud and the West African syndicates behind it.

According to a statement from INTERPOL, the operation led to hundreds of arrests, the seizure of assets worth USD 3 million, and the dismantling of multiple criminal networks around the world.

INTERPOL further disclosed that Portuguese criminal police, which it worked with, dismantled a Nigerian network involved in money mule recruitment, laundering funds from online financial fraud victims across Europe. More than 25 syndicate members were identified in the process.

“Data from seized computers and phones revealed large transfers to Nigerian bank accounts, cryptocurrency transactions, and sophisticated money laundering operations,” it stated.

Commenting on the operations, Director of INTERPOL’s Financial Crime and Anti-Corruption Centre (IFCACC), Isaac Oginni, said:

“The volume of financial fraud stemming from West Africa is alarming and increasing. This operation’s results underscore the critical need for international law enforcement collaboration to combat these extensive criminal networks.

“By identifying suspects, recovering illicit funds and putting some of West Africa’s most dangerous organized crime leaders behind bars, we are able to weaken their influence and reduce their capacity to harm communities around the world.”

In Argentina, INTERPOL said Operation Jackal III saw the dismantling of a Nigerian-led transnational criminal network following a five-year investigation. It added that the country’s Federal Police seized USD 1.2 million in ‘supernotes’ – high-quality counterfeit banknotes – arrested 72 suspects and froze approximately 100 bank accounts.

“The network used money mules to open bank accounts worldwide and is now under investigation in over 40 countries for related money laundering activities. The suspects include citizens from Argentina, Colombia, Nigeria and Venezuela,” it said.

INTERPOL added that more than 160 fraud victims suffered significant financial losses, with some forced to sell their homes or take out large loans as a result.

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Bodex F. Hungbo, SPMIIM is a multiple award-winning Nigerian Digital Media Practitioner, Digital Strategist, PR consultant, Brand and Event Expert, Tv Presenter, Tier-A Blogger/Influencer, and a top cobbler in Nigeria.

She has widespread experiences across different professions and skills, which includes experiences in; Marketing, Media, Broadcasting, Brand and Event Management, Administration and Management with prior stints at MTN, NAPIMS-NNPC, GLOBAL FLEET OIL AND GAS, LTV, Silverbird and a host of others

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