TOP 10 NEWS MAKING THE ROUNDS IN NIGERIA TODAY, SATURDAY
ASUU Strike: The No-Work, No-Pay Stand-off
As acrimonious as the latest soundbites from them have been, it is relieving to hear both sides of the protracted industrial dispute in the nation’s universities talking again on what should happen after the strike is called off. Before now, mum had been the word from the Minister of Education, as students of public universities vegetate at home with their future being blatantly taken from them.
The government of President Muhammadu Buhari has hitherto shown a “provocative indifference” to the industrial dispute, which started on February 14, 2022, even as the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) is bent on having its way. If the history of previous strikes and their resolution is anything to go by, the current exchanges or spat between both parties is a telltale sign that the debilitating action is in its twilight, although this optimism is attenuated by the current grandstanding and subtle blackmail over the casus belli usually associated with an action that has run its course.
Reports from Tuesday’s meeting between both parties have it that members of the Professor Nimi Briggs re-negotiation Committee did not table any new offer other than pleading with the lecturers to suspend the ongoing strike, with promises that their concerns will be included in the 2023 budget. The leadership of ASUU, who would have none of that, staged a walkout from the negotiation, which lasted about three hours.
The ASUU President, Prof Emmanuel Osodeke, would later follow with a statement where he disclosed that the union told the federal government through the ministry of education to return to the New Draft Agreement of the 2009 FGN/ASUU Renegotiation Committee, whose work spanned a total of five and half years as a demonstration of good faith. He added that “the Munzali Jibril-led renegotiation committee submitted the first Draft Agreement in May 2021, but the government’s official response did not come until about one year later! Again, awards presented by the Nimi Briggs-led Team came across in a manner of take-it-or-leave-it on a sheet of paper. No serious country in the world treats their scholars this way.”
Big, Fat Liars – Presidency Knocks Those Claiming Buhari Has Destroyed Nigeria’s Economy
The presidency has declared there is no truth in the widely acclaimed position that President Muhammadu Buhari has caused more damage to Nigeria’s economy since assuming power in 2015.
The special adviser to the President on media and publicity, Femi Adesina made the denial in an article posted on his Facebook page on Thursday.
He claimed that inflation, stagflation, recession and depression and other economic challenges are not in any way peculiar to Nigeria nor was any economic challenge brought about by the incapabilities of the Buhari administration.
Adesina argued that many other countries of the world are battling with the same issues, adding that it is a global phenomenon.
The presidential aide submitted that those playing politics with the economic situation are not sincere but only focused on amplifying negative events while ignoring the positive ones.
Buhari Govt Revokes Silverbird, AIT, Raypower, Rhythm FM, Others’ Licences
The National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) has revoked the broadcast licences of Silverbird TV, AIT, Raypower FM, and Rhythm FM amongst others over their failure to renew broadcast licences.
This was made known by the Director General of the NBC, Mallam Balarabe Shehu.
He also directed NBC state offices to liaise with security agencies to ensure the shut down of the operation of these stations within the next 24 hours.
Shehu stated that the licenses of about 52 television and radio stations was suspended over failure to pay federal licensing charges to the tune of N2.6 billion.
According to the NBC DG, the suspended stations were warned for several months to pay licensing costs for their operations but failed to comply.
EFCC Under Magu Comprised Cases Worth N333bn, $2bn – Salami Panel
The presidential panel that probed the former acting chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Ibrahim Magu, has accused him of compromising cases worth N333 billion, $2 billion and £13 million.
The presidential panel set up to investigate Magu revealed this in the final report submitted to President Muhammadu Buhari in November 2020.
It is understood that the final report has now been forwarded to the office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation and a panel to produce the white paper will soon be set up.
The panel, headed by the former president of the Court of Appeal, Ayo Salami, was set up to probe the EFCC from May 2015 to May 2020.
In the final report, the judicial panel said the running and management of the anti-graft commission during Magu’s tenure was characterised by impunity and arbitrariness.
Petrol Subsidy Will End In June 2023, Says FG
The Federal Government on Thursday said it will end payments on petrol subsidy in June 2023.
The Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed, said this on Thursday during an inquiry by the House of Representatives Committee over payments of petrol subsidy by the Federal Government.
It is understood that the House of Representatives Committee is investigating petroleum products for subsidy regime from 2013 to 2022.
In her presentation, Ahmed disclosed that the subsidy regime was not sustainable and the government will end the payment of subsidy by half of next year, as contained in the 2023-2025 Medium Term Expenditure Framework and Fiscal Strategy Paper.
The minister stated that the payment of petrol subsidy might force the government to borrow more in 2023.
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‘I Have Joined The Obidient Movement’ – Ozigbo Dumps PDP As He Backs Labour Party’s Peter Obi For Presidency
The candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the 2021 Anambra governorship election, Valentine Ozigbo, has announced his decision to dump the party and back the presidential candidate of the Labour Party (LP) Peter Obi.
Giving reasons for his decision to quit the PDP, Ozigbo told Arise TV on Thursday that at this precarious time in Nigeria’s history, a competent and visionary leader must be elected to lead Nigeria into the future.
He said Nigerians had been split into two categories: “those working to sustain the status quo and those uncomfortable with the status quo and want to bring positive change.
“I belong to the group that is uncomfortable with the status quo, and we must do what we have to do save this country and set us back on the path of progress.”
In a statement earlier released to journalists, Ozigbo endorsed Peter Obi for the 2023 general election.
He described Peter Obi as a leader with the right vision for this country, the temperance, and the capacity and experience to take Nigeria out of troubled waters.
Full List Of Television, Radio Stations Affected By NBC Hammer
The National Broadcasting Commission (NBC), has announced the revocation of the broadcast licences of some television and radio stations in the country.
In a statement on Friday, the Director General of NBC, Balarabe Shehu, said the broadcast licences of the media outlets were revoked over their failure to renew their licences.
Shehu said that the media stations were owing about N2.6 billion in debt, stating that even if they pay their fee, they would have to pay a recommencement to go back on air.
He listed some of the affected media platforms to include Silverbird TV, African Independent Television (AIT), Raypower FM, and Rhythm FM, amongst others.
Shehu directed the Commission’s state offices to liaise with security agencies to ensure the shutdown of the operations of the stations within the next 24 hours.
He, however, called on all stations who have not renewed their licences for the current duration to do so within 30 days to avoid sanctions.
Buhari Govt Awards Oil Contract To Former Militant Leader, Tompolo
The Muhammadu Buhari-led government has awarded a pipeline surveillance contract to a former militant leader, Government Ekpemupolo, popularly known as Tompolo.
The contract signed between the government, the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) Limited and Tompolo is reportedly worth over a N4billion monthly.
A source told The Nation that following the contract, the former militant leader would help monitor and oversee other surveillance contracts, contractors and their activities in the entire Niger Delta.
The Commander of the defunct Movement for Emancipation of Niger Delta (MEND) would also help the government end illegal bunkering, illegal refining and other forms of oil theft in the Niger Delta.
He said it was a similar role Tompolo played during the former administration of President Goodluck Jonathan when Diezani Alison-Madueke was the Minister of Petroleum.
PDP Crisis: Atiku Cuts Down Delegation To Meet Wike’s Team
The presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Atiku Abubakar, has reportedly cut down to three his delegation to meet with Governor Nyesom Wike and his allies over the crisis rocking the opposition party.
Recall that the PDP plunged into crisis after Atiku overlooked Wike and picked Governor Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta State as his running mate for the presidential election.
The Rivers governor, who came second in the party’s presidential primary, has refused to openly back the presidential ambition of Atiku.
Some top members of the party who are unhappy with the PDP leadership have also joined Wike in calling for the resignation of the party’s National Chairman, Senator Iyorchia Ayu.
Atiku and Wike had agreed to set up a 14-member committee to meet and iron out differences for peace to return to the opposition party.
But the committee to explore grounds for reconciliation between the two men failed to meet as scheduled on Monday.
2023: ‘Buhari Appointed As APC Presidential Campaign Council Chairman (Full List)’
The All Progressives Congress (APC) has appointed President Muhammadu Buhari as the Chairman of the party’s Presidential Campaign Council.
The decision was reached during the meeting between the presidential candidate of the party, Bola Tinubu and APC Governors.
Political campaigns are expected to kick-off in September ahead of the 2023 elections.
The organogram of the campaign structure sighted by ThisDay showed that the Governor of Plateau State Governor, Simon Lalong remains the Director-General of the Presidential Campaign.
Lalong, however, would be reporting to President Buhari who has been given the power to take the final decision on operations and funding of the campaign.
Tinubu would deputize President Buhari in the council, while the National Chairman of the party, Abdullahi Adamu would be the Deputy Chairman (2).