Pump Price: FG, Labour Meeting Ends Without Compromise, Adjourns To Dec 7
The meeting between the Federal Government and organised labour ended in the early hours of today without a compromise.
The meeting which took place in Abuja, was fixed for 7pm on Thursday 26th and started at about half past eight.
Labour insisted the recent fuel price increase be reversed for any meaningful discussion to hold, necessitating an adjournment to Monday, December the 7th.
The new date was arrived at following government’s inability to immediately meet the demand of labour, even after some sessions of consultations.
The government and labour are engaged in talks to avert a nationwide strike over increase in the price of petrol and electricity tariff.
The new date into afford the government the opportunity to consult widely over the demand of labour.
Maina’s Case: Ndume Gets Bail From Court
The Federal High Court Abuja, has granted Senator representing Borno South, Ali Ndume, bail.
Senator Ndume has been in detention since Monday over his standing in for Former Pension Reforms Task Team Chairman, Abdulrasheed Maina, who had jumped bail.
But Justice Okon Abang who granted the bail on Friday said the decision was based on the Senator’s record of good behavior in court.
The bail was granted to the Senator pending the hearing and determination of his appeal filed at the Court of Appeal challenging his remand.
He ordered the Senator to produce one surety who must be a resident of Abuja and present evidence of ownership of property anywhere in Abuja.
According to the judge, the surety must also depose to an Affidavit of Means to indicate his readiness to forfeit the bail guaranty should the Senator also jump bail.
Ndume had been remanded at the Kuje Correctional Centre for failing to produce the former Pension Task Team boss.
He had stood as surety for Maina, who is standing trial on alleged money laundering charges.
However, Maina has repeatedly failed to appear in court for the continuation of his trial.
Consequently, in a bench ruling delivered by Justice Abang on November 3, the court ordered his remand pending the fulfillment of his bail bond, which is a forfeiture of N500 million to the Federal Government.
The court had also empowered the Federal Government to sell Senator Ndume’s property at Asokoro in order to recover the N500 million bond.
Justice Abang added that Ndume will be released from Kuje once he is able to pay the N500 million or if the prosecutor is able to dispose of the property and payment is made to the Federal Government.
I Want Tech Jobs For Young Nigerians, Osinbajo Tells Huawei & CO
Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo, has described the idea of a partnership between the Federal Government and technology companies to develop an eco-system of competent Nigerians working in the service sector and even outsourcing their expertise abroad as a welcome development and a step in the right direction in job creation.
The vice president stated this during a virtual courtesy call from Huawei Nigeria, led by its new CEO, Trevor Liu on Thursday.
According to the Vice President: “I think that Huawei and the Federal Government should work as partners, not just a business relationship, but a relationship that also takes employment into account, especially with our young population.”
Continuing, Prof. Osinbajo said, “we need to develop an ecosystem of competent Nigerians who can work locally and get international jobs as well, a business-outsourcing-type arrangement.”
He acknowledged the work Huawei had done in the past with training of Nigerians but reiterated the need for employment opportunities that go beyond capacity building.
Prof. Osinbajo explained that, “every other technology company does training programmes, but that is not what I am looking for. I am looking at something that shows Huawei wants to be a partner with Nigeria, working together as a corporate organization that sees itself as a part of Nigeria’s future. There are loads of people who have done training but have no work”
He further went on to say “I want us to do something groundbreaking and different.”
“Let’s see something that gives young people more than training, gives them some opportunity as well because this ecosystem will require a lot of people who see Huawei not just as a business but a brand that’s interested in them going forward”
Responding, the CEO of Huawei Nigeria, Trevor Liu, said that the strategy of the company is indeed to focus on investing in young people in every country in which they operate, adding that the company has invested in a lot of young people in Nigeria but would also like to do more.
He assured the Federal Government that Huawei would invest more resources in young people and give a progress update, adding that it’s the plan of the company to position Nigeria as a technology center for the continent.
Also present at the meeting were Otunba Lanre Odekunle, Deputy Managing Director of Huawei and Michael Zhuang, the General Manager of Huawei in Nigeria.
Senate Passes Bill To Make Health Insurance Mandatory For All Nigerians
The Chairman, Senate Committee on Health, Dr Ibrahim Oloriegbe, says the senate has passed a bill that will make health insurance mandatory for all Nigerians.
Oloriegbe disclosed this at the inauguration of Group Individual and Family Social Health Insurance Programme (GIFSHIP) on Thursday in Abuja.
“We have passed it in the Senate. Two Committees on health from Senate and the House of Representatives worked on the bill, so the bill is before the House of Representatives just for concurrence.
“Also, the National Assembly has passed the National Health Insurance Authority Act. It will not be National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) again, it will be National Health Insurance Authority (NHIA). A scheme in NHI(S) means only one scheme. That is what has been happening.
“The NHIA will be authority that will cover all schemes and everything will be brought together. The most important aspect of it is to make health insurance mandatory for all Nigerians,’’ he said.
The chairman said the e-NHIS framework had been approved by the Federal Executive Council (FEC) and would soon be deployed.
He explained that the National Assembly had been supporting NHIS by appropriating the needed funds for its implementation.
“Without funds for it, it cannot work, when we considered the NHIS 2020 budget, we fully made provision for achievement of the e-NHIS; N1.5 billion was provided for that,’’ he said.
In addition, Oloriegbe said the senate had been working with the Federal Ministry of Health to improve health coverage by giving the Basic Health Care Provision Fund (BHCPF) effective implementation.
“We have reviewed the manual for BHCPF in collaboration with stakeholders to make the fund more beneficial to Nigerians.
“Also, the inauguration of GIFSHIP is important to us. What we are doing today is very critical to the attainment of the objectives of GIFSHIP because we represent people.
“What we will be doing as representatives of health sector in the national assembly is to advocate and ensure that all our colleagues register their constituencies, support and pay for their constituencies.
“We will start, all of us in leadership of five health committees in the national assembly will register our constituencies,” he said.
In his remarks, Dr Niyi Oginni, the Chairman, Forum of CEOs, State Health Insurance Agencies in Nigeria, said the states had been restructured to achieve the Universal Health Coverage (UHC).
“For many years, Nigeria has struggled to achieve UHC and this necessitated the establishment of state health insurance agencies.
“The agencies have a comprehensive health insurance package including GIFSHIP,’’ he said.
Oginni said one of the challenges of the scheme was the electronic aspect of it, seeking for collaboration with NHIS to upgrade its operations electronically.
He, however, expressed worry over the news of a state that had announced to cut the salary of its workers by 50 per cent, saying “it will affect contributions to the health scheme.’’
Also speaking, Dr Adeyeye Arigbabuwo, President, Healthcare Providers Association of Nigeria (HCPAN) expressed readiness to partner with NHIS to achieve the objectives of the GIFSHIP.
Arigbabuwo, commended the NHIS for introducing landmark programmes, especially health insurance under one roof.
“We will continue to do our best to provide services for Nigerians to access health facilities,’’ he said.
Similarly, Dr Leke Osunniyi, Chairman of Health and Managed Care Association of Nigeria (HMCAN) commended NHIS on the inauguration of GIFSHIP, saying “we are happy that our suggestions were captured in the programme.
“We are optimistic that the programme will contribute to the growth of health insurance in the country,” he said.
Newsmen report that highlight of the event was the formal inauguration of GIFSHIP and symbolic registration by the Minister of Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire.
Ogoni N17bn Judgment: Supreme Court Dismisses Shell’s Appeal
The Supreme Court has dismissed an application by Shell Petroleum Development Company, requesting a review of a January 11, 2019 judgment ordering it to pay N17bn as compensation to some Ogoni communities affected by an oil spill from the company in 1970.
The apex court dismissed Shell’s application for a review of the judgment after upholding the preliminary objection filed by the communities’ legal team.
The case has been in court for about 32 years when the High Court earlier issued the N17bn order in favour of Ejama-Ebubu in Tai Eleme Local Government Area of Rivers State.
The apex court, in a unanimous judgement written by Justice Centus Nweze and delivered by Justice Samuel Osuji, held that the appeal filed by Shell is unmeritorious.
The court also held that it cannot revisiting its earlier decision on the matter and ordered both parties to bear the cost of their litigation.
It would be recalled that the Supreme Court had on January 11, 2019, upheld the judgment of the Court of Appeal, which had awarded a N17 billion damages against the oil giant for oil spillage in Ejama-Ebubu in Tai Eleme Local Government Area of Rivers State.
However, Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria Limited, Shell International Petroleum Company Limited and Shell International Exploration and Production BV in an application dated July 24, 2019, urged the apex court to set aside its judgment of January 11, 2019.
Objecting to the request, the respondents, urged the court to dismiss Shell’s request for, ”being frivolous and an attempt to ridicule the integrity of the apex court.”
The respondents are Isaac Agbara, Chief Victor Obari, Chief Humphrey Ogiri, Chief F. N. Ogosu, Chief Joseph Ogosu, Chief John Ogosu, Chief G. O. Nnah, Chief George Osaro, Chief Adanta Obele and Mrs. Laleoka Ejii.
The lead counsel to the respondents, Chief Lucius Nwosu (SAN), described Shell’s request as scandalous and an affront to the finality of the Supreme Court of Nigeria.
In urging the court to dismiss Shell’s application for being incompetent, Nwosu submitted that the Supreme Court cannot sit on appeal in its own judgment.
He said by Order 2, Rule (29)(1) of the apex court rules, the court can only entertain an application for it to set aside its own decision when such a request is made within a reasonable time, adding that the applicant’s request came in July 2019 (seven months) after the Supreme Court delivered judgment in the appeal marked: SC.731/2017.
Nwosu further contended that the Supreme Court, by its unanimous judgment of January 11, 2019 put an end to the 30 years old legal tussle on the oil spillage suffered by the respondents and their people in the oil-producing region.
While insisting that Shell’s application is incompetent and that the court lacked jurisdiction to hear it, the respondents’ lawyer drew the court’s attention to a letter of the Supreme Court dated February 14, 2019, in which the current Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Ibrahim Muhammad, made it clear that the appeal by Shell Petroleum had become spent.
He further informed the court that the judgment is sought to be set aside by the oil company had already been partly executed with over N1 billion recovered by the respondents, adding that section 235 of the 1999 Constitution makes the Supreme Court a final court in the land and that no appeal can be entertained from the Supreme Court decision.
Nwosu, therefore, pleaded with the apex court to reject the invitation by Shell company to sit as an appellate court in its own judgment so as not to make the court eat its words.
But Shell, through its team of lawyers led by Chief Wole Olanipekun (SAN), described the opposition of the respondents as frivolous because it has no bearing with jurisdictional issue.
Olanipekun contended that what the respondents tagged a judgment was a ruling and not a final judgment and submitted that Shell’s request has a judicial precedence, adding that the oil giant would not have come back to the Supreme Court to seek review of its judgment if there was no precedent.
He faulted the claim that the Supreme Court dismissed the appeal in its January 11, 2019, decision, arguing that there cannot be a dismissal when a matter had not been heard on merit.
The senior lawyer therefore, pleaded with the apex court to dismiss the preliminary objection to its client’s application for judgment review.
House of Reps Demand Details Of N66.6bn Budget For Refineries Rehabilitation
Due to incessant increase in prices of petroleum products by the Federal Government, the House of Representatives has demanded details of the 66.6 billion Naira proposed for rehabilitation of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC’s refineries in the 2021 budget estimates.
The House joint Committees on Petroleum Resources made the request during a review of the 2020 budget and the defence of the 2021 budget estimates of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC.
At the budget defence session, the Group Managing Director of NNPC, Mele Kyari told the lawmakers that the corporation had undergone a lot of transformation in its operations.
He said the agency publishes it’s audited accounts on yearly basis and also publishes it’s transactions at the federation account in a website.
According to him, in April 2021,the corporation hit a 2.49 million barrel of crude oil production per day, a feat he added could not be achieved in the past ten years.
Speaking on the budget of the agency, Kyari said the 50 billion Naira that was budgeted for in the 2020 Budget had been significantly reduced due to the coronavirus pandemic.
And on rehabilitation of refineries, the GMD explained that the agency deliberately shut down the facilities because it was practically impossible to run them at full installed capacities.
He added that the pipelines must have up to 230 to 240 barrels of oil per day for the refineries to operate otherwise its operations runs at a loss.
Not satisfied with the GMD’s explanations, a member of the Committee, Osai Nicholas said there is no proper account of what the agency had spent on fixing the refineries.
He further questioned why the agency had not allowed its facilities to be oversighted by the House over the years as provided for in Section 88 and 89 of the 1999 Constitution.
Other lawmakers also queried why the agency’s helmsman glossed over the commissioning of a modular refinery in Imo State where the nation is jolted by this development in the oil sector.
The NNPC boss however assured the committee members that they are working assiduously to fix the refineries starting with the Port Harcourt refinery, then Warri and subsequently Kaduna refineries.
Ikeja Electric Bags Most Philanthropic Disco Award
Ikeja Electric Plc (IE), Nigeria’s biggest Electricity Distribution Company, has been adjudged the 2020 Philanthropic Electricity Distribution Company of the Year, at an Award Ceremony organized by CSR Reporters, a specialized news publication with concentration on how organizations and well-meaning individuals are giving back to the society.
According to the organizers, the award was given in recognition of IE efforts to give back to the society in which it operates. The citation read that Ikeja Electric was selected because it demonstrated integrity and transparence while engaging in several corporate social responsibility interventions in 2020.
“As you may know, many other companies were also nominated and because of the high calibre of the nominees, the Selection Committee deliberated long hours and gave careful consideration to all of them. Ikeja Electric stood out as a leader who exemplifies dedication to CSR” the organizers said.
While thanking the organizers for the recognition, IE’s Head of Corporate Communications Felix Ofulue reiterated the company’s commitment to continue giving back to host communities through its Personal-Corporate Social Responsibility (P-CSR) interventions.
According to him: “We will continue to intensify efforts to make meaningful in the lives of the people and the society. Our P-CSR platform enables the company and employees to carry out charitable activities aimed at making considerable impact on the different levels of the society.
Under the P-CSR programme, we also have a Volunteer Scheme (EVS) which enables our employees to voluntarily contribute their time and resources towards the wellbeing of the communities in which we operate. These goodwill activities further corroborate our commitment to touching lives in the environment where the company operates. No doubt, this will further strengthen the trust and mutual relationship between the company and communities.
He also urged the CSR Reporters to increase awareness in CSR activities as it will encourage other companies to recognize and contribute immensely to the development of communities where they operate.
In the recent past, Ikeja Electric has carried out sustainable CSR initiatives, aimed at enhancing the quality of lives, in the key areas of Youth Empowerment, Health and Primary Education.
No Pardon For Gender Violence Offenders, Rapists Says Sanwo-Olu
Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, has read the riot act to gender violence offenders and rapists, insisting that there is no pardon for such people in Nigeria’s commercial nerve centre.
According to him, “we will bring people who have been perpetrating this crimes, knowingly or unknowingly, to book,” the governor said on Thursday when he received a 54-page compendium on Sexual and Gender-Based Violence compiled by the Stakeholders’ Committee.
“We will ensure they never walk freely without the full wrath of the law brought upon them. It is part of our responsibility to ensure that the vulnerable members of our society have a voice and have access to where they can get justice when their rights are violated.”
The Governor equally assured of his government’s commitment to getting justice for victims violated, adding that his administration would be prioritising budgetary allocations to the Ministry of Justice for the acceleration of offenders’ prosecution.
“I am delighted by the work done by the Stakeholders’ Committee to bring attention to the problems facing voiceless adults and children in our society,” he added. “Through your efforts, vulnerable people are building the courage to speak out on offences of sexual violence and heal their wounds.”
He assured government agencies working in the areas of rehabilitation and integration of victims that his administration will back them to deliver on their mandates.
Also speaking at the event is the First Lady of Lagos State, Ibijoke Sanwo-Olu, she said: “the stakeholders have been having meetings for months and their discussions have focused on the key development pillars of the current administration as they relate to the rights of vulnerable citizens, especially those women and children.
“She added that the Office of the First Lady has been working with the vision to reduce sexual and gender-based violence to the barest minimum if it is impossible to eradicate the crime. We have activated our response, bringing all stakeholders and communities on board to forge a common front in addressing the issue.”
Akeredolu Instructs Security Agencies To Fish Out Killers Of Olufon Of Ifon
The Ondo State Government has confirmed the killing of the Oluifon, Oba Adegoke Israel Adeusi by unknown gunmen.
The monarch was killed on Thursday evening around Elegbeka, Owo-Ifon Road in Ondo State.
The government in a statement issued by the State Commissioner for Information and Orientation, Donald Ojogo, described the incident as unfortunate
The government noted that the incident has, again, confirmed that the country is indeed, in a serious security crisis beyond the ordinary.
Meanwhile, the Governor of Ondo State, Rotimi Akeredolu has directed security agencies, especially the Nigeria Police, to fish out the killers of the Oluifon of Ifon.
According to him, the government will do whatever it takes to unravel these criminals.
Already, Governor Akeredolu has visited Ifon community in company of the chief of staff, Olugbenga Ale; Head of Service, Dare Aragbaiye; Commissioner for Youths and Sports, Dotun Owanikin and his Information counterpart, Donald Ojogo.
EKITI STATE GOVERNMENT INJECTS OVER 600 PEOPLE INTO ITS WORKFORCE
138 candidates that were successful in the recent recruitment exercise into the Ekiti State Civil Service have been given their letters of appointment and have assumed duty while 21 others are yet to collect their letters.
The State Commissioner for Information and Values orientation, Hon. Akin Omole who made this known in Ado Ekiti, said that 53 candidates
were also appointed into the State Board for Technical and Vocational Education and have been duly assigned to offices, except four of them that were yet to also collect their letters of appointment.
According to him, 400 new teachers were, in addition, recruited by the State Government into public secondary schools in the State in the
recent recruitment exercise.
Reacting to the insinuation by an online medium that the recruitment exercise in the State was a charade, Omole said that 200 others were converted from the non-teaching as well as inter-service transfer from
the State Universal Education Board (SUBEB) and Local Government to the Teaching Service Commission (TESCOM).
He added that in spite of the initial hiccups in the recruitment process caused by the outbreak of the Covid-19 and the attendant lockdown as well as the effects of the ‘ENDSARS’ protest which disrupted virtually all aspect of daily life for the greater part of the year, the State Universal Education Board (SUBEB) has commenced verification of results of successful candidates which is prelude to
distribution of their letters of appointment while the Office of Establishment are also set to release the results of junior applicants
into the Civil Service.
Omole described the report of the online medium as rash, unethical and capable of causing disaffection, stressing that it was grossly inaccurate and should be totally disregarded.
He wondered how the well publicized 3-day induction/orientation programme for the new teachers that was declared opened by Governor
Kayode Fayemi escaped the attention of the medium’s reporter.
The Commissioner said that the State Government should actually be
commended for its efforts in spite of the global pandemic that practically shut down the entire system and the effects of the ‘ENDSARS’ protests that followed.
He stressed that the recruitment exercise was almost concluded before the outbreak of the Corona virus, adding that very little could
however be done until after the lockdown.
Omole also said that the appointments were strictly based on merit in accordance with world best practice irrespective of background, gender and religion.
Nigerian Treasury Bills Yield Falls To Minus 0.09%
The Nigerian Interbank Treasury Bills True Yield went negative on Tuesday with a 90-day treasury bill trading for -0.0109%. The 6 months, 3 months, and 9 months treasury bills true yield traded at -0.0369%, 0.0689%, and -0.0920% respectively. This suggests investors are now willing to pay the government to keep their money for them.
Nairametrics confirmed this from a reliable investment house that trades in fixed income and equity securities. The information is also available via premium subscription with the FMDQ
According to the FMDQ, The Nigerian Inter-Bank Treasury Bills True Yield (NITTY) is a reference rate for tenured money market instruments. It is calculated from the discount rates of treasury Bills and represents the prevailing yield at which treasury bills trade among Nigerian Dealing Member (Banks)(“DMBs”).
Interest rates on treasury bills sold on the primary market sold for as low as 0.5% for a 9 months tenor as investors scampered or yields in the low yield market. Despite the low yields, investors still oversubscribed treasury bills suggesting that fund managers are willing to keep their money with the government at yields next to zero. Thus, it is not surprising to see yields fall below zero and into negative territory.
Why this matters
Interest rates on fixed income securities such as treasury bills have fallen significantly throughout the year as the central bank abandoned a multi-year monetary policy that had focussed on cutting down the inflation rate and defending the naira.
However, since it kicked out local investors from purchasing the previously lucrative OMO bills, interest rates have nosedived drastically leaving investors will limited investment choices.
The low-interest-rate environment has also driven investors into the stock market where yields were previously as high as 17% for dividend-paying stocks with solid fundamentals. Nigerians stocks are now up 30% YTD and one of the best performing stock market in the country.
Meanwhile, while interest rates on risk-free securities like treasury bills remain depressed and now in negative territory, Nigeria’s inflation rate continues to gallop.
Negative interest rates are not new around the world. Since the 2008 financial crisis that ushered in an unprecedented injection of cash into the global economy by central banks, interest rates have remained depressed.