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Mr Eazi, the Nigerian singer, has alleged that comedian I Go Dye failed to show up at a concert in Ghana despite getting paid to perform at the event.
Speaking on the recent episode of Afrobeats Intelligence podcast, the singer said he hosted an award show while studying at the Kwame Nkrumah University.
Mr Eazi said due to his popularity in school, he was able to invite top entertainers like I Go Dye, Sarkodie, R2Bees, and Wande Coal.
The singer claimed that the comedian did not return the money he was paid despite failing to show up at the event.
“I did not stop at parties. Now we are doing parties, we need to do an award show. I had the first social award of my university, Swagatainment Award. That was when I booked Sarkodie, R2Beees, and Wande Coal. Wande Coal did not show up at the show. He was in town but did not show up… I did not know he did not receive his full money,” he said.
“I was like begging Sarkodie. It was like $2,500 or less. Please, even though I have not paid you in full, come on stage. He came on stage. Like he saved me by coming on stage. That is why he is more than a friend. He is my brother. I had Sarkodie, R2Bees. I Go Dye ran away with my money. I Go Dye if you are hearing this now. You took money from Kwame Nkrumah University students and never showed up.
“I remember texting him that you never pay me my money. I hope the next time I see him and say ‘bro, you still need to pay me my money’… it is no beef. It is somewhere at the back of my mind.”
The claim by Sultan Al Jaber, the president of the COP28 Climate Summit that there is “no science” that says phasing out fossil fuels is necessary to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels, has alarmed climate scientists and advocates.
The future role of fossil fuels is one of the most controversial issues countries are grappling with at the COP28 climate summit. While some are pushing for a “phase-out,” others are calling for the weaker language of a “phase-down.”
Al Jaber made the remarks during the She Changes Climate panel event on November 21, which was first reported by The Guardian (UK), and the Centre for Climate Reporting, an investigative journalism organisation.
He suggested a fossil fuel phase-out would not allow sustainable development “unless you want to take the world back into caves”.
Al Jaber was asked by Mary Robinson, former president of Ireland and current chair of the Elders Group, an independent group of global leaders if he would lead on phasing out fossil fuels.
He replied: “There is no science out there, or no scenario out there, that says the phase-out of fossil fuel is what’s going to achieve 1.5C.
“A phase-out of fossil fuel, in my view, is inevitable, it is essential. But we need to be real, serious and pragmatic about it.”
Scientists and campaign groups reacted with anger to Al Jaber’s remarks.
Asked to respond to Al-Jaber’s comments, John Kerry, the United States climate envoy replied, “That’s not the argument.”
“The G7 countries voted that there should be a phasing out of unmitigated fossil fuel emissions and what there is science for is keeping 1.5 degrees as your North Star,” Kerry told CNBC’s Tania Bryer at ongoing COP28 climate summit on Sunday.
“Every decision we make should be geared to say, ‘does this advance the 1.5 degrees or is it going to be more destructive and take us in the wrong direction?’”
A spokesperson for COP28 told CNBC the story regarding Al-Jaber’s comments was “just another attempt to undermine the presidency’s agenda, which has been clear and transparent and backed by tangible achievements by the COP president and his team.”
They said Al-Jaber has been “unwavering” in saying that keeping global warming to 1.5°C involves action across a number of areas and sectors. “The COP president is clear that phasing down and out of fossil fuels is inevitable and that we must keep 1.5°C within reach. We are not sure what this story was supposedly revealing. Nothing in it is new or breaking news.”
Fossil fuel production in 2030 is expected to be more than double what would be necessary to keep global warming under 1.5 degrees, a recent report from several scientific institutions, including the UN Environment Programme, found. That report used scenarios laid out by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and the International Energy Agency (IEA) to reach its conclusion.
“If the IPCC and IEA do not count as science then I don’t know what does,” said Ploy Achakulwisut, a climate researcher at the Stockholm Environment Institute and one of the authors of the report. She told CNN it concluded “that all fossil fuels have to be phased out especially if carbon dioxide removal and carbon capture and storage measures fail to scale.”
Romain Ioualalen, global policy lead at non-profit Oil Change International, said in a statement Al Jaber’s statements during the panel discussion were “alarming,” “science-denying” and “raise deep concerns about the Presidency’s capacity to lead the UN climate talks.”
Joeri Rogelj, a climate professor at Imperial College London, said he strongly recommended Al Jaber revisit the latest report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.
“That report, approved unanimously by 195 countries including the UAE, shows a variety of ways to limit warming to 1.5°C — all of which indicate a de facto phase-out of fossil fuels in the first half of the century. Will that take the world back to the caves? Not,” he said in a statement.
Mohamed Adow, director of climate think tank Power Shift Africa, said Al Jaber’s remarks were a “wake-up call” to the world and COP28 negotiators. “They are not going to get any help from the COP Presidency in delivering a strong outcome on a fossil fuel phase-out,” he said in a statement.
Al Jaber’s presidency of the COP28 summit has been controversial. The Emirati businessman is the UAE’s climate envoy and chairs the board of directors of its renewables company, but he also heads the state-owned Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC).
Not less than 2,000 workers in different ministries, departments and agencies of the federal government have had their November 2023 salaries withheld.
It was learnt that the salaries of the affected workers were withheld over issues with their status on the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System (IPPIS).
Naija News recalls the Office of the Head of Civil Service of the Federation (OHCSF) recently conducted a verification exercise for civil servants on the IPPIS platform.
Sources familiar with the development however told Punch on Monday that some workers were not cleared due to discrepancies in their records, hence their November 2023 salaries have been withheld.
A senior civil servant at the Federal Ministry of Defence was quoted to have said under anonymity due to Public Service Rules which forbid civil servants from speaking to the press, that the majority of workers in the ministry had not received their salaries.
Another senior civil servant in a top federal government agency explained that a certain percentage of civil servants had their salaries withheld.
“About 2,000 civil servants are actually involved and it’s due to failed verification on the IPPIS,” he said,
Speaking on the development, the spokesperson for the Office of the Accountant General of the Federation, Bawa Mokwa, told the platform that, “Salaries started dropping on Thursday last week. It’s not all civil servants. When I get the position of the director of IPPIS, I will get across to you.”
Similarly, the National President of the Association of Senior Civil Servants, Tommy Etim, said that the Office of the Head of Civil Service of the Federation had already started working on the issues.
He noted that salaries for November have been concluded therefore, those affected will not be able to get their salary for the month of November but once cleared, they would get their December salaries and November arrears.
The Labour leader also appealed to the government to ensure December salaries are not delayed.
“As of today, only those who had earlier completed their verification exercise but were mistakenly delisted have had their salaries restored while 5,000 civil servants still have discrepancies on their date of first appointment and dates of birth.
“A total of 2,772 have been verified and forwarded to IPPIS for payment because there were no issues. The names of 5,000 workers who have discrepancies are to be forwarded to their DHR for confirmation.
“There are six teams working tirelessly to ensure that the exercise is completed on time. It is advisable for public servants to develop the habit of checking the HOS website for regular updates. We have confirmed that the salary for the month of November 2023 is concluded, therefore, those affected will not be able to get their salary for the month of November.
“However, effort is being made by the HOSF to ensure that those cleared will get their salaries for December 2023, including the arrears from September.
“We appeal to the Federal Government, through the Office of the Head of the Civil Service of the Federation, to expedite action to ensure that the salary of December is not delayed,” Etim said.
Fintech company, Opay, has been down for over an hour as Nigerians cannot send money through its app on Monday evening.
This is even as Nigerians have gone to various social media platforms to express their fears.
A social media user, @8jagistplug tweeted: “I no understand weytin Opay Dey do this night make I just sleep wake up first. Abeg make nothing happen to my 1.5 Billion”
Another user, @iamvinicius_snr, said: “If opay crashes the amount of small businesses that would crash with it would be crazy.”
Also, @cajal_ebuara: “Please oh I made a transfer of 80k from my Opay and I haven’t gotten the money in my other account and the most scary thing is that it’s not showing in my transactions!”
Meanwhile, Opay, via its app had explained that it was undergoing maintenance, adding that all services will be restored soon.
The statement reads: “Dear user. The system is currently under maintenance and all services will be restored soon. Please bear with us.”
More than five years after the Anti-Torture Act was enacted, security operatives have continued to subject suspects to varying shades of savagery in the name of interrogation. Even with Section 8 of the Act providing for vicarious liability for torture, both senior and junior officers dehumanise their “victims” without a care in the world. NGOZI EGENUKA reports that several factors including lack of political will, ignorance, conspiracy of silence, capacity gap, etc., were behind the gross lack of implementation of the Act.
Yambali Umaru, a carpenter, was in detention for seven years after his friend alleged that he was a member of Boko Haram insurgents, in 2011.
The “friend” who framed Umaru up was arrested when he attempted to return a stolen motorcycle from a village, which had been raided by the insurgents.
Following his detention, Umaru, alongside others, who were unable to write a statement for three months, was taken to an underground cell in the State Criminal Investigation Department (SCIID) Area 10, Abuja, where they were stripped to their panties, and allowed to feasted on by bedbugs, which resulted in skin infections.
“They asked us to claim that we are Boko Haram members or risk death. They hung me on the rafters, used live electric cables to shock my penis, whipped me with everything in sight including an iron rod, cane, and whip lashes, as well as used pliers to remove my toenail. From the barbaric experience that we were subjected to, about five people among us died.
“From there, we were transferred to Wuse Zone Three, where we were further tortured and starved routinely. They, thereafter, moved us to Sankangi Road, Niger State, where they kept more than 3,000 people in a hall. We were masked and handcuffed, while the policemen kept collecting money from our family members on the pretext that they would soon release us,” he narrated.
He explained that after three years, a police officer advised their parents to engage the services of a lawyer. It was the lawyer who was engaged that petitioned the Inspector General of Police (IGP). “The IGP then ordered the Investigative Police Officer (IPO) to take us to court.”
The victim said that he and others went through a harrowing experience, of deprivation while the matter lingered in court before they were eventually discharged and acquitted for lack of evidence on March 30, 2018.
Also, Patrick Okachi, a hotel Janitor at the Statement Hotel, on November 3, 2022, was brutalised by officials of the Department of State Services (DSS), over an alleged foreign currency and jewelry theft leveled against him by his employer.
According to him, the hotel’s representative called in the DSS operatives, who on arrival, started beating him with an electric cable, while threatening him with a handgun and knife. He was thereafter stripped, blindfolded, and taken away to a Portakabin, where the operatives, in collaboration with a vigilante group, continued beating him with pieces of wood, and belts, and also smashing bottles on his head, just as he was teargased.
After spending the night inside the container, was taken to a police container at Katamkpe, on the outskirts of Abuja. Upon hearing of his ordeal, the police officers asked the DSS officials to take him to the station.
Okachi said that immediately after the policemen left, the DSS boss sent for him, but on seeing his near-death condition – bleeding eyes, nose, and genitals- he immediately sent him back to the security post (Portakabin) to avoid dying at the DSS’ Office.
The company’s representative, Okachi stated, then invited the police to take full custody of him. But the DPO, who was equally alarmed by his condition, refused to detain him but ordered that he be taken to the Police Hospital, Garki for treatment, where he was freed upon recovery.
Like Okachi, Victor Oduka, a victim of state torture now has to live with an ear defect, after being slapped and beaten multiple times when he was detained for three days in Ogun State, after he was accused of having soft copies of some company documents, in August 2022, by his boss, an Indian.
Oduka explained that being an administrator sometimes required the exchange of documents on the phone.
He said while in detention, his phone was forcefully seized, and when they didn’t find any soft copy of the alleged documents, the mobile phone was returned to him and he was released from detention. But the case is currently ongoing.
Since 1975, Nigeria has been a signatory to the “United Nations Treaty Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment,” which prohibits torturing suspects to extract information, or to subdue them.
Section 34 of the Nigerian Constitution provides that every individual is entitled to respect for the dignity of his person, and accordingly (a) No person shall be subject to torture or inhuman or degrading treatment.
Determined to check the continuous use of torture by state agencies in the course of doing their jobs, on December 29, 2017, the Eight National Assembly passed the Anti-Torture Bill, and former President Muhammadu Buhari signed it into law.
The Anti-Torture Act was established to put an end to torture and other forms of inhuman treatment.
The Act fills the existing legislative gaps by explicitly making the right to freedom from torture, cruel, inhuman, and degrading treatment a non-derogable right, criminalising torture, and protecting victims and witnesses of torture.
Section 1 of the Act titled “Duty of Government” imposes an obligation on the government to ensure that all persons, including suspects, detainees, and prisoners are respected at all times, and that no person under investigation, or held in custody is subjected to any form of physical/mental torture.”
It admonishes the government to adhere to domestic and international standards on absolute condemnation and prohibition of torture.
More than five years later, this Act is observed more in breach, as the majority of law enforcement officers, whose duty it is to interrogate suspects brazenly abuse the law with the continuous use of force and torture against suspects.
In September 2023, the Solicitor-General of the Federation, Mrs. Beatrice Jedy-Agba, said that the Nigerian government has taken strategic measures aimed at unequivocally routing out torture in the country.
Jedy-Agba who is also the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Justice said that the nation would review anti-torture legislation and institutionalise anti-torture measures in law enforcement and detention facilities.
Speaking on the blatant failure of implementation of the anti-torture law, a legal practitioner and the Executive Director, of Sterling Law Centre, Deji Ajare, said that a combination of factors including a lack of political will, corruption within the force, the prevailing culture of violence and impunity in were to blame.
According to him, despite the promising provisions outlined in the legislation, there has been a distinct lack of urgency and commitment from political leaders to actively enforce and promote its implementation. This, he said, may be due to a lack of understanding regarding the gravity of torture as a human rights violation, or a failure to prioritise this issue amid other pressing concerns.
His words: “Corruption, which unfortunately pervades many aspects of the Nigerian society, also undermines the successful implementation of the Anti-Torture Act. This legislation requires effective enforcement mechanisms and institutions, as well as, the allocation of resources, staff, and training within the internal and external accountability mechanisms to prevent and address torture within law enforcement agencies.
“However, corruption within these institutions hampers efforts to build effective systems, as it perpetuates a cycle of incompetence, dishonesty, and lack of accountability.”
Ajare explained also that Nigeria faces a general culture of violence and impunity that further obstructs the implementation of the Act. He said that violence has long been ingrained within society, exacerbated by factors such as economic inequalities, ethnic tensions, and social unrest.
Sometimes, citizens, he pointed out, mobilize law enforcement agencies to arrest and brutalise other citizens for civil matters that ought to be resolved through the usual methods of conflict resolution.
“Similarly, you see citizens sometimes cheer law enforcement agencies on when they perpetuate violence as was the case in North-East in the counter-insurgency quest and currently in the South-East under the guise of an anti-secessionist offensive,” he stressed.
He stated that to ensure implementation of the Act, efforts must be directed towards fostering political will, promoting transparency and accountability within institutions responsible for enforcing the act and changing societal attitudes towards violence and impunity.
The Deputy Director of Prisoners’ Rehabilitation and Welfare Action (PRAWA), Mrs. Ogechi Ogu, a lawyer, said that Section 10 of the Anti-Torture Act, mandates the Attorney General of the Federation and other law enforcement and investigative agencies to ensure that mechanisms for the implementation of the Act are put in place.
“Though there are recorded efforts made concerning the implementation of the law, these efforts have not made much impact because the element of investigation, prosecution, and punishment of offenders are yet to be seen by the general public,” she said.
Explaining, she said Section 8 of the Act provides for vicarious liability for torture, which means that the person who participates in the perpetration of torture, a person present during the commission of the act, and the superior officer of the perpetrator who issues an order to lower ranking personnel to torture a victim are all liable as principal perpetrators.
“Consequently, there is in existence what can be called a conspiracy of silence, which then makes the report of cases of torture, or proper investigation of such sabotaged to save the many officers that would be affected by the outcome of such investigations,” she said.
Ogu, however, said that from experience gathered through training of officers, especially the police, most of them are unaware of the Act and its implications.
“Also, Rules and Regulations for the effective implementation of the Act as provided for in Section 12 are yet to be made by the Attorney General of the Federation, though this is in progress.
“Section 11 of the Act, which provides that the AGF and other concerned parties shall ensure education and information for law enforcement personnel, civil or military, medical personnel, public officials and other persons who may be involved in the custody, interrogation or treatment of any individual subjected to any form of arrest, detention or imprisonment, is yet to be implemented.
“Very little has been done in the area of capacity building, awareness creation, and sensitisation by the government. The most that is done currently is by NGOs,” Ogu said.
She added that the issue of the capacity gap, and unavailability of modern equipment and technology for investigation, makes officers resort to torture as a matter of practice and available means of eliciting evidence from suspects need to be addressed.
For the former National Coordinator of Network of Police Reform in Nigeria (NOPRIN Foundation), Emmanuel Ikule, the implementation of the Act is possible because it was enacted to ensure things are done rightly.
He said that torturing suspects to get confessional statements promotes laziness among officers. He noted that there is a need to ensure accountability of the powers given to security agencies and demand transparency in their investigations.
According to him, implementation can thrive if the law enforcement agents are ready for it by adhering to all the processes of investigation.
Ikule added that having a functional national committee on torture, which is the oversight agency on the law that ensures its implementation would aid execution.
He also said that the police should develop its capacity to use forensic equipment to get perpetrators of crime make use of camcorders and CCTV for documentation and collaborate with other organisations to enhance their jobs.
He emphasised, however, that all these laws work better when there is a political will to push for implementation.
In his reaction, the National Coordinator of Legal Defence and Assistance Project (LEDAP), Chino Obiagwu (SAN), said the Act is not implemented because agencies responsible for enforcement are the main culprits.
He added that a major factor fueling the continuous violation of the Act is that victims are worried that if they complain and seek redress, they might be targeted for more victimisation since the same security agencies are still empowered to handle such complaints.
“The Anti Torture Act prescribed punishment of up to 14 years for acts of torture, but no one has been effectively prosecuted despite the widespread reports of torture.
“Without the victim’s complaints, it is not possible to identify perpetrators and enforce the law,” he pointed out.
Nigeria’s 2024 budget of N27.5 trillion has continued to generate mixed reactions in the public space.
There is a blend of pessimism and optimism on whether the budget would impact the lives of ordinary people, especially the proposed N1.33 trillion on infrastructure.
The concerns were heightened as Nigeria’s Budget in recent years had hardly witnessed optimal performance.
The 5 per cent infrastructure allocation, which is N1.33 trillion despite the country’s huge infrastructure deficit, has further compounded the fears among Nigerians.
Infrastructure, including provisions for works and housing, power, transport, water resources and aviation, are major drivers of the country’s economy; some experts believed the N1.33 trillion would not address the country’s annual infrastructural gap.
Meanwhile, a single annual budget cannot address the nation’s infrastructural challenges, another expert told DAILY POST.
Christened Budget of Renewed Hope, a perusal of the Budget showed that Security and Defence took the highest allocation with N3.25 trillion, representing 12 per cent, going in the same trend as former President Muhammadu Buhari administration.
With a budget allocation of N2.18 trillion, education trailed behind security and defence.
An additional analysis of the 2024 budget indicated that the total figure is 10.8 per cent higher than N24.82 trillion in 2023.
Accordingly, the Minister of Budget and National Planning, Atiku Bagudu, said the budget targets an estimated revenue of N18.32 trillion, with a deficit of N9.18 trillion.
Also, in the proposed budget, N8.490 trillion, representing 30 per cent, is for debt servicing, N9.918 trillion is for recurrent non-debt expenditure, and N7.717 trillion is for contribution to the Development Fund for capital expenditure.
Other highlights include a Crude Oil Benchmark of 77.96 USD per barrel benchmark, a daily oil production of 1.78 million bpd and a foreign exchange rate (Naira-USD) of N750.
This has become most important as the survival of the country’s economy heavily relies on infrastructural development. The sector has been strained by fuel subsidy removal since June 2023, resulting in a ripple effect in the high cost of transportation, food, and other essential services.
Speaking with DAILY POST on Monday, the CEO of SD & D Capital Management, Mr Idakolo Gbolade, expressed pessimism about the proposed budget achieving its set goal, especially concerning its impact on ordinary Nigerians.
He said the N1.33 trillion budgeted for infrastructure failed to reflect the savings from fuel subsidy removal in June.
According to him, the saving of fuel subsidy in five months was allegedly squandered by the three tiers of Government instead of being used to impact ordinary Nigerians positively.
Gbolade opined that the budget estimate hinged on N750/$1, and a daily crude oil production of 1.78 bpd is unrealistic and may hamper its implementation.
“The Federal government budget titled ‘Budget of Renewed Hope’ might dampen the hope of Nigerians if not properly implemented.
“Although the figure earmarked for debt servicing in the 2024 budget is a little lower than 2023 debt servicing estimates, it is still very high and will affect infrastructural development.
“The savings from oil subsidy removal in the past five months have not been put to judicious use because ordinary Nigerians have not felt the impact.
“Instead, it has left more money for the Federal Government, the states, and the LGs to share and squander, especially the states.
“The budget for infrastructures like electricity, roads, transport and housing is grossly inadequate to meet the challenges on the ground, coupled with the haphazard manner in which budget implementation is done in the country.
“The N534 billion budgeted for social development is by far the highest budget estimate to target poverty alleviation, but for it to be effective, the investment must be made seriously on alternative energy like Compressed Natural Gas and electric vehicles to reduce the high cost of petrol, agriculture, education, e.t.c.
“Also, I strongly believe that the budget estimates hinged on 750/1$ and daily crude oil production of 1.78 Mbps is not realistic and may affect the implementation of the budget. The previous administration’s budget was implemented sometimes up to 70 or 80 per cent.
“Yet, it was not impactful due to continuous inflation and wrong monetary policies, so it is left to be seen if the 2024 budget will be a departure from the past,” he told DAILY POST.
On his part, a don at the Lead City University in Ibadan, Prof Godwin Oyedokun said historically, Nigeria’s budget performed below expectations.
He said the 2024 budget should be business unusual as Nigerians were under serious hardship.
He envisaged that the 2024 budget should take a percentage of Nigerians out of multidimensional poverty if properly implemented.
Oyedokun called for more fiscal responsibility on the part of the Government.
He told DAILY POST: “Historically, Nigeria’s budget has not performed the way it should. That doesn’t mean that we should continue the trend.
“The budgetary allocation should take Nigerians out of poverty so that we will have fewer people in the multidimensional poverty index.
“Every Budget should have a positive impact on every Nigerian. For instance, road infrastructure would impact all Nigerians positively despite the location.
“But, if ordinary Nigerians are looking for the cash in hand through the Government, a direct impact may not be seen but an indirect impact.”
However, a renowned economist, former President, and Chairman of the Council of Chartered Institute of Bankers, Prof Segun Ajibola is optimistic that the budget would impact Nigerians if all the provisions were implemented.
“The infrastructural deficit in Nigeria has been put at about $300 billion by analysts. This figure cannot be accommodated via the annual budget of the national and sub-national governments. Different funding arrangements are sine qua non as the budget is largely constrained.
“A more realistic funding template to fix the infrastructural deficit may include Public Private Partnerships, Joint Ventures, Build, Operate and Transfer (BOT) among other models.
“As of today, some of these alternatives are seen in transportation (railway), roads, etc. It is, therefore, not feasible to think that an annual budget will resolve the perennial infrastructural deficit in the country.
“Most times, the budgetary figures for the various infrastructures may not be adequate to maintain what is already on the ground, plus some small new ones.
“On the social development and poverty reduction programme, the extent of its impact would be the manner of its implementation.
“The responsible agency should do all that is necessary to eliminate ‘middlemen’ in the distribution process. This would help assist the targeted beneficiaries: the downtrodden in society. And by doing so, the impact would be resounding.
“Overall, the 2024 budget is expected to improve the life of an average Nigerian. But much depends on the level of implementation of its various provisions,” he told DAILY POST.
The crisis brewing within the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Benue State on Monday got messier as leadership of the party and supporters of Governor Hyacinth Alia engaged in war words.
Our correspondent reports that both factions have in the past denied reported love lost among them since ascension of the APC government in the state, but at the weekend controversy over the senate decision to withhold local government allocation finally laid bare their grievances in public spaces.
One of the aides to the governor, Youth Mobilisation and Empowerment, Mkeenem Moses on Saturday called for the resignation of the APC state chairman, Austin Agada, after the party chairmen in all the 23 LGAs held meeting during which they distanced themselves from the appointment of the caretaker chairmen recently put in place by the governor.
The development further sparked name-calling between the party leadership alleged to be doing the bidding of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Senator George Akume and Alia’s men.
Consequently, the APC on Monday alleged a plot by some officials of the Benue State government to sponsor a protest against the President Bola Ahmed Tinubu.
The State Publicity Secretary of APC, Daniel Ihomun, in a statement made available to journalists in Makurdi, said the planned protest was targeted at discouraging Tinubu from giving effect to the Senate’s resolution stopping release of funds to local government caretaker committees in Nigeria.
“This plot has been deeply hatched and their first experimental step was the call on the party chairman in the State, Comrade Austin Agada to resign without advancing any genuine reason.
“The party views this act of sabotage as portending grave danger to the unity of the state and the party, if people who claim APC membership and are working under an APC state government would undermine their President, the Senate President and the SGF in an open protest in their quest to stifle the hands of government on a matter of law,” Ihomun stated.
Meanwhile, elders of the party on Monday urged warring factions within the party to sheathe their swords for peace to prevail.
Rising from a concerned APC elders’ stakeholders meeting held at the Government House in Makurdi, a communique was issued and read to journalists by former Senate President, Ameh Ebute.
Ebute flanked by Senator Barnabas Gemade and Major General Lawrence Onoja (rtd) among others, noted that the concerned elders found it necessary to address the public and ask all concerned party members to desist from further public outings and stop any impending action that will further cause disunity in the party.
“The party chairmen and state executive committee are by this communiqué requested to desist from further actions and retreat to allow elders and major stakeholders to wade into the matter and seek appropriate answers to all issues.
“We are clearly not in support of the actions of the local government party chairmen and the party executive committee, particularly for their inability to explore all necessary avenues for proper engagements before resorting to unnecessary media outings that have further escalated what would have easily been managed internally by the party,” they said.
The elders further advised the governor to discountenance all distractions and continue his focus on developing the state with the diligence so far employed.
Former Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Governor Godwin Emefiele is planning to approach the court for the variation of the N300 million bail granted him by a High Court of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), The Nation has learnt.
The plan followed the inability of the immediate-past apex bank boss to perfect the bail conditions.
Emefiele had, on November 17 pleaded not guilty upon his arraigned on a five-count charge, marked: CR/577/2023, in which he is accused of “conferring corrupt advantage” contrary to Section 19 of the Corrupt Practices and other Related Offences Act 2000.
On November 22, Justice Hamza Muazu gave a ruling in which he granted bail to Emefiele at N300 million with two sureties in like sum.
Justice Muazu ordered him to produce two sureties, who must have landed property in the Maitama District of the FCT.
Justice Muazu said the sureties must present the property’s certificate of occupancy (C of O) in court for the purpose of verification.
The judge, who ordered that Emefiele must not leave the court’s jurisdiction, directed him to deposit all his travel documents with the court, adding that he must always obtain the court’s permission before engaging on any trip outside the country.
But, as at yesterday, it was learnt that he was still being held in Kuje correctional facility in Abuja owing to his inability to meet all the contractors attached to the bail.
A member of his legal team confirmed that efforts were on to get him out before the week runs out.
The counsel said: “Yes. We are still on it. We hope to conclude on the bail issue before the week runs out.
“But, we will be asking the court for a variation in respect of one of the bail conditions where he was restricted to the court’s jurisdiction.”
At his last appearance in court on November 28, the former CBN governor was brought by heavily armed prison officials, who also took him away after proceedings.
The prosecution opened its case its case on that day by calling three witnesses – Shamsudeem Abulili, an official of the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC), Remigious Ugwu, a Compliance Officer with Zenith Bank Plc and Oluwole Owoeye, who is a Deputy Director, Banking Services with CBN and former Secretary to Major Contract Tendering Committee (MCTC) of the apex bank – who were also cross-examined.
Further trial in the case is scheduled to resume on January 18 next year.
we need $2.3tn till 2043
Former Minister of Works, Mr Babatunde Fashola (SAN), has said that Nigeria is still depending on infrastructure built in the 70s and 80s, disclosing that going by the National Infrastructure Master Plan, 2020 to 2043, the country will need an estimated $2.3 trillion over the next 21 years to develop its infrastructure.
In a speech titled: “Outlook on the Construction Industry in Nigeria over the Next Five to 10 Years” delivered at the Julius Berger Nigeria Plc “Luminary Soiree” dinner in Lagos, he argued that it is the lack of critical infrastructure like a petroleum refinery that is causing an oil producing country like Nigeria to import petroleum products.
The importation, is estimated to account for about 30 per cent of Nigeria’s forex demand.
Fashola says if there is a reduced demand of forex by up to 30 per cent for petroleum products only, followed by fertiliser and petrochemicals aggregating about 10 per cent, it will make a marked difference.
“If petroleum products are locally made, some cost reductions such as shipping, insurance and port charges will be realised and for those who have a broader view of the economy, they will understand cost-push inflation reduction and its positive impact on cost of living.
“The same is true of gas pipelines, as it is true of sea and airports, roads and bridges, and telecommunications infrastructure to deliver broadband and related infrastructure in support of economic growth and jobs.
“Simply put, every economy that seeks expansion, efficiency, and productivity must invest in the commensurate infrastructure in order to achieve it.
“Nigeria is such a country, and as I have said before, we are living largely on infrastructure built in the 70s and 80s because we spent much of the 90s in the agitation to bring back democratic Governance.
“We have a lot of building and construction to undertake and this much is evident in the latest National Infrastructure Master Plan, 2020 – 2043 estimated about $2.3 Trillion over 21 years, that is about $110 billion per annum,” he noted.
According to him, the outlook of the construction industry in Nigeria over the next five to 10 years and beyond remains highly positive as can be deduced from the government master plan.
“Therefore, very few sectors of the economy such as shipping and petroleum drive the haulage and transport sector of the economy like construction.
“From records of economic impact we kept in the Ministry of Works and Housing, I can report 1,704,300 truck trips of haulage of bitumen, diesel, laterite, sand, cement and reinforcement.
“The average minimum cost of a 30-ton truck was N200,000 per trip. So, from one ministry alone at the federal level, excluding 36 states and FCT, this represents a N340.8 billion haulage economy over 8 years or N42.6 billion per annum.
“This is the employment of transport companies their employees and drivers, enabled by construction. Drivers were then paid averagely N5,000 – N7,500 per day.
“I can report 383,431 people directly employed in constructing and rehabilitating 9,290 kilometres of roads and bridges, installing 2,270,319 linear metres of lane marking and installing 254,690 road signs.
“I can report 1,262 building contractors employed in the housing sector to construct 6,000units of housing with fittings and accessories at 46 sites across 35 states,” he explained.
AHEAD of the expected resumption of negotiation between the Federal Government and the organised labour on the new Minimum Wage, the Nigeria Labour Congress, NLC, is meeting in Abuja to brainstorm so as to arrive at a living wage that is commensurate with the prevailing cost of living.
This came as the NLC has vowed not to be deterred by the recent assault on workers and their leaders in Imo State, which it said poses a grave threat to freedom of association and collective bargaining as enshrined in the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as amended and the ILO Conventions 87 and 98 on Freedom of Association and Collective Bargaining.
These were contained in the welcome address by the NLC President, Mr. Joe Ajaero, at the Opening Session of the NLC 2023 Harmattan School with the theme: “Building Workers’ Skills for Policy Engagement” in Abuja.
Ajaero, represented by the Congress Deputy President, Benjamin Anthony said: “In the face of adversity and brutality encountered while advocating for the rights of workers to earn their legitimate income and benefits, our resolve remains unwavering. We are motivated to continue our efforts towards achieving decent work and improving working conditions in the formal and informal sectors of the economy.
“The recent assault on workers and their leaders in Imo State poses a grave threat to freedom of association and collective bargaining as enshrined in Section 40 of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as amended and the ILO Conventions 87 and 98 on Freedom of Association and Collective Bargaining, and should unequivocally be condemned by all people of goodwill.
“The only thing that can assuage our pains is for the Imo State Government to address all labour issues and return the so called ‘ghost workers’ to their jobs, pay all outstanding salaries and pensions and call back all victimized workers to their jobs.
“It has become very necessary for governments at all levels to recognize that life and living conditions are exceedingly difficult, especially for working people in both the formal and informal sectors of the economy.”
“The removal of subsidy on petroleum products has further exacerbated the challenges faced by working people, unleashing severe pain and contributing to galloping inflation and increasing inequality and poverty.
“We must reckon that a well-motivated and well-remunerated workforce has a positive impact on productivity and national development,” he added.
He implored participants to approach the training programme with a quest and thirst for knowledge through asking of questions and sharing of experiences with the facilitators and with one another.
He thanked the representative of the Minister of Labour and Employment, the Country Director of the ILO for the English Speaking, West African Countries, the Director General of the Nigeria Employers’ Consultative Association, NECA, the Resident Representative of the Friedrich Ebert Stiftung, FES, Country Director of the Solidarity Centre, members of the NAC, CWC and NEC of the NLC for finding time to attend the Opening Session of the 2023 School.
The Managing Director of the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN), Mr Kabir Mohammed, has threatened to sanction the agency personnel, staff of government agencies and others who extort passengers.
There have been several reports of airport workers using different ways to extort travellers, especially the international travellers but Mohammed said that FAAN had stepped in by engaging the services of “mystery staff” at the four international airports of the country.
He revealed this during the one-day sensitisation programme on Airport Council International (ACI) Airport Service Quality (ASQ) initiative organised by the Directorate of Airport Operations and held at the Murtala Mohammed International Airport (MMIA) on Monday, December 4.
He explained that the responsibility of the mystery staff was to take note of the activities of staff at the airports and report same to management.
He warned that anyone caught in such act this Yuletide season would face disciplinary consequences.
The FAAN boss challenged representatives of all the government agencies that operate at the airport namely; Customs, Immigration, Quarantine, Police, and all others to be at their absolute best when carrying out their day-to-day activities.
He encouraged the spirit of collaboration among personnel of various agencies at the airport.
“We are one airport and if there’s any wrongdoing, people don’t bother to know which agency did the wrong. They only know the airport where they were wronged,” he maintained.
43-year-old Grammy award-winning singer, Ashanti, is pregnant with her first child after rekindling her romance with Rapper Nelly.
The baby will be Ashanti’s only child for now, while Nelly, who is a father of two, became a grandfather at 49 after his daughter Chanelle, 29, welcomed a baby.
The US Weekly confirmed on Monday that Nelly and Ashanti were expecting their first baby together.
Ashanti and Nelly dated on and off from 2003 to 2013 after meeting during a Grammy Awards press conference. In April, the duo sparked reconciliation rumours when they were seen holding hands at a boxing match in Las Vegas.
Ghanaian movie star, Oboy Siki, has publicly confessed to sleeping with over 3000 women.
During an interview with Rashad on GhPage’s Rash Hour Show, Oboy Siki disclosed that he’s a serial w0manizer and will never deny having such trait.
He disclosed that he has slept with more women than any male in the movie industry and the only person who comes close to his ‘record’ is media personality, Akrobeto.
Oboy Siki further revealed that Akrobeto has slept with almost all the women he has slept with.
A man once voted the most handsome in Italy has quit his modelling job, and abandoned his dreams of becoming an actor, to join the priesthood.
Edoardo Santini, 21, was voted Italy's most beautiful man in 2019, when he was 17, in a pageant organised by ABE, a fashion group.
However, after years of studying drama and dance to achieve his dream of becoming a star, he took to social media on Saturday, Dec. 2, to disclose that he would renounce his career for his faith.
He wrote: "At 21 years of age I find myself on the path towards becoming a priest, God willing."
He added that he has joined a seminary near Florence.
"I've decided to give up modelling work, acting and dance, but I won't abandon all my passions, I'll just live them differently, offering them up to God," said the Castel Fiorentino native.
He added: "At 21 years old my father took the decision to marry my mother because she was pregnant and my mum, at 21, became a mother.
"Me, at 21-years-old, I find myself taking the path to become, God willing, a priest. In these past years I've been able to meet people who have shown me what it means to be 'church'.
"They have given me the strength to investigate this question that I've taken with me from childhood but various fears stopped me from studying it at a deeper level. Last year, I took the first step," he said.
Edoardo said he went to live with two priests and called it the "best experience of my life".
"At the end of the year it was natural for me to ask the bishop to enter the preparatory course, the year that precedes life in the seminary. And here I am, studying theology and serving two parishes in the Florentine diocese."
Now, he says, he has "put aside my job as a model and a dancer", in favour of a new "world" where he has "met marvellous people with pure hearts, to whom I owe a lot, who allowed me to grow".
"Of course I won't abandon everything," he added. "Because they make me who I am but I will live them in a different context."
Edoardo said he would continue to follow his new path in spite of backlash.
He said: "Of course I have people that speak behind my back. There are those who have no problem telling me that I'm a disappointment, even in my family. But there are also those who support me, believers and non-believers."
He said that although it "terrified him" to abandon his dream and become a priest, he was sure he will not regret the decision "because now I can shout: I am Edoardo, I am 21 years old and I am happy".
In a video shared on his Instagram page last week he shared a clip of him appearing to pray in a church, with the caption: "I got back on my path".
He also updated his profile bio to "I'm a Christian, priest wannabe".