National Electoral Offences Commission Bill passes second reading; Electricity operators not delivering on targets will face penalties – FG | 5 Things That Should Matter Today

  • National Electoral Offences Commission Bill passes second reading
  • Anambra records first positive case of monkeypox
  • Electricity operators not delivering on targets will face penalties – FG
  • Sanwo-Olu sanctions increase of BRT fare
  • Soldiers Reportedly Kill 10 People In Cross River

Across Nigeria’s 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory, these are the five top Nigerian news stories you shouldn’t miss:

National Electoral Offences Commission Bill passes second reading

A bill to establish the National Electoral Offences Commission and Tribunal, yesterday, passed second reading at the House of Representatives.

The bill, which has seven parts and 48 sections, seeks to take the ‘burden’ of prosecuting electoral offenders off the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

The bill was sponsored by the Majority Leader, Alhassan Ado-Doguwa (on behalf of the Senate); Chairman, House Committee on Electoral Matters, Aishatu Dukku; John Dyeh, Francis Uduyok and Kingsley Chinda.

It was stated in the bill that it was unrealistic for INEC to conduct free, fair and credible elections and simultaneously prosecute offences arising from the same elections.

The bill is to provide the legal framework for the investigation and prosecution of electoral offences for the general improvement of the electoral process in Nigeria.

The bill passed by the upper chamber prescribes a 20-year jail term for offenders found guilty of snatching ballot boxes during elections.

Anambra records first positive case of monkeypox

One positive case of monkeypox has reportedly been recorded in Anambra State.

Afam Obidike, the state’s Commissioner for Health at a news conference in Awka , disclosed that one out of the two suspected cases of the disease reported in the state was confirmed positive.

He said that the state had been on alert mode following the report of the disease early this year across some states in the country. In response to this, the state’s emergency preparedness and response team had put relevant surveillance measures in place towards ending the spread of the outbreak.

Mr Obidike also mentioned that the state government had begun the training of health personnel and response officers on enhanced active case search, sample collections and monkeypox management as well as intensifying public awareness.

He admonished residents not to panic and to report to the hospital for proper examination whenever they notice rashes on their skin.

The WHO coordinator in Anambra State, Dr Adamu Abdulnasir said the organisation would render support to the state in terms of outbreak response and surveillance and capacity building.

He said: “Since we heard about the two suspected cases, WHO has supported in the areas of sample collection and taking the sample to the lab. When the results came out, we carried out contact tracing as well as case and risks management.

“in Nigeria so far, we have recorded 41 cases of Monkey pox with one death. The Government is taking proactive measure to bring this outbreak to a stop and sensitize people on how to prevent and protect themselves”.

Electricity operators not delivering on targets will face penalties – FG

The Federal Government has said that electricity companies that fail to deliver assigned volumes will face penalties under newly agreed contracts.

Minister of power, Abubakar Aliyu said on Wednesday that this step will be taken as part of measures to boost power supply in the country, and will explain the government’s recent assurance that electric power supply will improve from July.

“We signed reactivated contracts with the operators, GENCOs, TCN and the distributors. This means if you have a firm commitment from whoever generates what he says he is going to give, he must give otherwise there will be a penalty and he must not give otherwise, there will be a penalty,” he said.

The operations will be overseen by the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) to ensure all parties keep to the agreement.

“That was why the chairman of NERC – Nigeria electricity Regulatory Commission, mentioned something about July 1, 2022, Nigeria will start to enjoy electricity. This is a process towards that,” the minister said.

Nigeria’s broken power system has faced even more problems in recent months, generating below capacity and with the grid repeatedly collapsing.

The Power minister stated that a major cause of this was insecurity.

“Like vandalism around oil pipelines which affects gas and once you don’t get gas to power, you don’t get the megawatts, once there is no power coming from the generators, you know what that means,” he said.

He also gave reassurances that efforts were being made to ensure that issues are addressed.

Sanwo-Olu sanctions increase of BRT fare

Lagos state Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu has sanctioned a flat rate increase by N100 in bus fares for all Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) and Standard Routes in order to sustain the operations of regulated bus services in the state.

The fare increase which will take effect from July 13 was made known by Mr Kolawole Ojelabi, Assistant Director, Corporate Communication, Lagos Metropolitan Area Transport Authority (LAMATA), in a statement on Thursday.

With the fare increase, a bus ride from Ikorodu – TBS will now cost N600 from N500 while Berger to Ajah is now N700, up from N600. Oshodi to Abule Egba will cost N450 from N350 and Abule-Egba-CMS-Obalende will attract a fare of N600.

He went on to explain that the operations of the transport scheme has recently been constrained due to rising cost of inputs required for sustainable service offering and the attendant high number of buses out of operation as a result of lack of spare parts.

He also stated that the exponential increase in the pump price of diesel from N187 to N830/litre between August 2020 and June, 2022, has greatly affected optimal performance of the bus operating companies leading to the withdrawal of some buses from operation and longer waiting time at bus stations.

The Governor in consenting to the fare increase also approved a proposal for a bailout for the bus operating companies (route franchise operators/concessionaires), in order to cushion the effect of the harsh operating environment, safeguard private partnership investment, and forestall the demise of formalised bus operations in the state.

Soldiers Reportedly Kill 10 People In Cross River

Nigerian soldiers have reportedly killed 10 people and displaced several others in a community in Cross River State, Nigeria’s South-south.

The soldiers were said to be on a reprisal on June 26 in Nko community, Yakurr Local Government Area of the state, after one of their commanders was killed in the community, according to a report published by HumAngle.

The slain soldier was a part of the troops on a peacekeeping mission in the central part of Cross River where Nko and another community – Onyadama – have been engaged for about a decade in a violent dispute over farmland.

The police spokesperson in Cross River, Irene Ugbo, confirmed the death of the soldier.

Meanwhile, the Cross River State government has announced the sacking of some traditional rulers in the warring communities.

Linus Obogo, the media aide to Governor Ben Ayade, who disclosed this in a statement on Tuesday, said the government has taken over the ownership of the disputed land.

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