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Consider gradual removal of fuel subsidy-LP chieftain advises FG



Consider gradual removal of fuel subsidy-LP chieftain advises FG

Consider gradual removal of fuel subsidy-LP chieftain advises FG

A Chieftain of the Labour Party (LP), Chinedu Onyeizu, has advised the Federal Government to consider gradual removal of fuel subsidy rather than a one off or total removal.

Onyeizu gave the advice in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Wednesday in Abuja.

He urged the government to first, work out actionable programmes that would enable it eliminate subsidy without the masses suffering from the decision.

“I am not of the view that subsidy should be removed entirely at once. I am of the view that it should be gradually wound down.

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“My recommendation is that we have a plan first, as a country. We should have a plan to say in the next three years we will no longer be paying for subsidy and then we start working on the plan.

“If you immediately start implementing the plan the amount of money you pay for subsidy will start reducing.

“That is why I say wind subsidy payment and in another three years you should have completely eliminated subsidy.

“While you do that you are able to put in place programmes that will alleviate the suffering of the people, if subsidy is removed.’’

Onyeizu described subsidy payments as the most sustained “scam” any government could put on its people.

He said that with the quantity and quality of crude oil God blessed the country with, fuel importation or subsidy payment should not be an option to be discussing if the right things were done.

“My background is petroleum engineering; I worked in the oil industry for about 18 years and I understand that Nigeria has more than 38 billion barrels of crude oil in reserves or backyards.

“I also know that Nigeria’s crude oil is the best form of crude oil in the world which is the reason why it is called sweet crude.

“So, it does not make logical sense that with that volume of crude in our reserves and our backyards, we should continue to import fuel and pay subsidies for our people to access by-products of crude oil,’’ he said.

Onyeizu recalled that in 2017, he carried out a research on subsidy removal at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Boston, where he looked at all the factors that contribute to subsidy payment or fuel scarcity in Nigeria.

He said that in the research report, he made actionable recommendations that government could consider for the purpose of eliminating subsidy payments in Nigeria.

He said it was however, unfortunate that the recommendations were not considered by those who were to look into it.

“I am happy to share the details with the government because the objective of the study was to reposition Nigeria to become a global hub for petroleum related businesses in the world, and not just Africa.

“Because lot of people make fortune out of the subsidy payment regime, it could continue to be a problem for the country and our leaders to handle.

“What we need is someone who has the will, political will, to look at those recommendations and implement them.’’

The chieftain also advised Nigerian youths to believe in themselves and their dreams, saying there was nothing they would not be able to achieve if they set their mind at it

“I don’t believe in young people traveling out of the country. It will lead to brain drain at some points.

“I believe no matter how bad Nigeria has become we can all put our hands together, task our brains to find solutions to our various problems by ourselves. We need to make Nigeria work for every Nigerian.’’

Consider gradual removal of fuel subsidy-LP chieftain advises FG

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CCNE Applauds Supreme Court for Releasing Local Government Funds




CCNE Applauds Supreme Court for Releasing Local Government Funds

CCNE Applauds Supreme Court for Releasing Local Government Funds

The Concerned Citizens of North East (CCNE), a non-governmental organization dedicated to promoting good governance, transparency, and accountability, has welcomed a recent Supreme Court ruling mandating the immediate release of funds earmarked for local government areas (LGAs).

The was contained in a press statement signed by CCNE’s Secretary General Babangida Inuwa Muhammad, marks a significant victory for grassroots development and governance in the region.

The Supreme Court’s decision addresses longstanding issues of fund misallocation and diversion that have impeded local development efforts.

By upholding constitutional provisions ensuring direct allocation of funds to LGAs, the court has bolstered principles of transparency, accountability, and effective governance.

CCNE views this ruling as pivotal, asserting that it empowers local authorities and strengthens the foundation for sustainable development across communities.

“This landmark decision ensures that LGAs receive the financial resources necessary for development and governance, reinforcing transparency, accountability, and good governance principles,” stated CCNE in their press release.

The organization emphasized the ruling’s potential to revitalize local governance, enabling communities to better tackle their unique challenges through empowered local authorities. CCNE called upon relevant authorities to promptly implement the court’s decision, ensuring funds are utilized judiciously to benefit residents.

“We believe this judgment will enhance LGAs’ capacity to deliver essential services, improve infrastructure, and drive socio-economic development,” CCNE affirmed.

CCNE also urged local officials to transparently and efficiently allocate funds, prioritizing projects that directly benefit residents.

They pledged to monitor the judgment’s implementation closely, collaborating with stakeholders to promote accountability and good governance at all levels within the region.

“This ruling signifies a renewed commitment to decentralization and local governance, crucial for addressing community-specific challenges,” CCNE added.

Looking ahead, CCNE reiterated its commitment to advocating for the rights and welfare of Northeastern communities, ensuring local authorities are equipped to drive sustainable development.

They affirmed their ongoing role in safeguarding community interests and fostering an environment conducive to transparent and effective governance.

However, CCNE’s support for the Supreme Court’s decision reflects a broader commitment to advancing accountable governance and empowering local communities.

By championing the efficient use of allocated funds and advocating for sustained development efforts, CCNE aims to foster a region where grassroots needs are met and local governance thrives.

CCNE Applauds Supreme Court for Releasing Local Government Funds

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Minimum Wage: Private sector committed to N57,000 – NECA



Minimum Wage: Private sector committed to N57,000 - NECA

Minimum Wage: Private sector committed to N57,000 – NECA

The Nigeria Employers’ Consultative Association (NECA), says the private sector remains committed to the N57,000 earlier proposed at the Tripartite Committee meeting on National Minimum Wage.

NECA’s Director-General, Mr Adewale-Smatt Oyerinde, in a statement on Sunday, said the amount represented 90 per cent increase in the national minimum wage.

Oyerinde said that this was notwithstanding ongoing challenges, made worst by rising interest rates, astronomical logistics cost, increasing energy tariff and multiple taxes, levies and fees.

“With organised businesses declaring over one trillion naira in combined losses and many shutting down their businesses for different reasons, while others are relocating to other climes, the ability to pay the prevailing N30,000 was already compromised.

“It will be practically impossible to guarantee enterprise sustainability and job security with the current demands of organised labour,’’ he said.

The director-general, however, said that NECA would continue to support the welfare of workers and the protection of their jobs, which could only be guaranteed by the survival of the enterprise.

Following negotiations on the national minimum wage, he urged the tripartite committee to prioritise job creation and job security.

Oyerinde said that the call was in view of the worrisome and increasing rate of unemployment in the country.

According to him, the committee should refocus its effort on protecting jobs, boost the capacity of the private sector to create more jobs and ensure sustainability and ability to pay.

He said that productivity should be a key driver of higher wages.

“According to the National Bureau of Statistics, the combined rate of unemployment and time-related underemployment as a share of the labour force population (LU2) increased to 17.3 per cent in Q3 2023 from 15.5 per cent in Q2 2023.

“In specific terms, the unemployment rate increased significantly in Q3 2023 at 5.0 per cent.

“With these figures, more efforts should be concentrated on keeping more people in employment, while government continues to implement its planned interventions in transportation, food security and general macro-economic stability,” Oyerinde said.

Minimum Wage: Private sector committed to N57,000 – NECA

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Reps seek free medicare for pregnant women



Reps seek free medicare for pregnant women

Reps seek free medicare for pregnant women

The House of Representatives has urged the Federal Ministry of Health and Social Welfare to mandate public healthcare institutions to provide free medical treatment for pregnant women during and after delivery.

The call was sequel to the adoption of a motion by Rep. Mohammed Shehu (PDP-Bauchi) at plenary on Wednesday.

They also urged the ministry to implement routine checks to ensure continuity, compliance by medical personnel, and sustainability of childbirth processes.

Moving the motion, Shehu said that the government established public healthcare institutions to provide medical services to humanity.

He added that drugs were supplied to the institutions and equipped with modern medical facilities and charged with the responsibility of handling healthcare-related matters.

Shehu said though healthcare services were not restricted to pregnant women, efforts to encourage free treatment for expectant mothers have not been fully realised.

He said that giving the fertility statistics in the country, there was need for free medical treatment for pregnant women to boost the country’s fertility rate.

“Nigeria is grappling with high disease rates, resulting in an annual maternal mortality rate of expectant mothers and children due to pregnancy complications and the polio virus.

“Further aware that government requires public healthcare institutions to have medical professionals, give adequate attention to patients, including pregnant women, during childbirth to address complications and find permanent solutions.

“There is a need for the government to prioritise policy actions aimed at improving healthcare delivery systems, particularly for pregnant women, to alleviate their hardships and boost their confidence,” he said.

In his ruling, the Deputy Speaker, Rep. Benjamin Kalu mandated the Committee on Healthcare Services and Healthcare Institutions to liaise with the Minister of Health and Social Welfare to ensure compliance.

The committee is to report back within four weeks for further legislative action.

Reps seek free medicare for pregnant women

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