Nigeria broke under APC – Atiku; Electricity workers demand a reversal of power sector privatization

  • Nigeria broke under APC – Atiku
  • Nigeria, Morocco to sign 7,000km gas pact today
  • Supreme Court affirms Chukwuma Ifeanyi as Ebonyi PDP governorship candidate
  • Niger Delta militants at war over pipelines surveillance contract
  • Electricity workers demand a reversal of power sector privatization

Across Nigeria’s 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory, these are the five top Nigerian news stories you shouldnt miss:

Nigeria broke under APC – Atiku

According to Atiku Abubakar, the Peoples Democratic Party’s presidential nominee, Nigeria is bankrupt under the APC.

According to Atiku, Nigeria has been experiencing fiscal deficits ever since the APC took office in 2015.

Atiku made these remarks on Tuesday at the Lagos Chamber of Commerce & Industry as he unveiled his economic plans for the nation if he were to win the 2023 elections.

He said, “Nigeria is broke. Nigeria under the APC-led government has consistently run on budget deficits since it came to power in 2015. These budget deficits are often above the 3% threshold permissible under the Fiscal Responsibility Law.”

“For the first time in Nigeria’s history, the FGN paid more in debt service than it earned! By spending more than 100% of its revenue for debt service, Nigeria is breaching one of the applicable debt-sustainability thresholds.

Every Nigerian can see the APC-led government’s lack of leadership as the nation’s economic, social, political, and security issues continue and take on ominous proportions.

By 2030, according to Atiku, Nigeria may double its gross domestic product and reach a per capita income of about $5,000 USD.

“Our economic growth and development agenda seeks primarily to stimulate the growth of the economy. It envisions an economy that is modern, dynamic, and competitive, capable of taking its rightful place among the top 20 economies of the world,” he added.

Nigeria, Morocco to sign 7,000km gas pact today

Under the supervision of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited will today sign a memorandum of agreement with Morocco for a 7,000-kilometer gas pipeline project from Nigeria.

This was said by NNPC in a statement, citing Mele Kyari, its Group Chief Executive Officer.

He claimed to have mentioned this when he met with Dr. Omar Touray, the President of the ECOWAS Commission, in Abuja.

According to NNPCL, the visit was in keeping with the Federal Government’s mission to oversee the Nigeria Morocco Gas Pipeline (NMGP) project.

The visit was made in advance of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) being signed on September 15, 2022, in Rabat, Morocco, between ECOWAS and the Office National des Hydrocarbures et des Mines (ONHYM) of Morocco.

Supreme Court affirms Chukwuma Ifeanyi as Ebonyi PDP governorship candidate

On Wednesday, the Supreme Court ruled that Chukwuma Ifeanyi is the legitimate Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) candidate for governor of Ebonyi State in the next election.

The Supreme Court’s five-member panel presided over by Justice Amina Augie, unanimously upheld Mr. Ifeanyi’s appeal in its ruling.

The Court of Appeal’s ruling on July 19 was overturned by the supreme court.

The Court of Appeal has mandated a new trial in the legal battle between Mr. Ifeanyi and Joseph Ogba regarding who was the PDP candidate who had been legitimately nominated.

In its decision, the Supreme Court upheld the Federal High Court’s decision in Abakiliki, Ebonyi State.

The court ruled that the Court of Case lacked jurisdiction to hear Mr. Ogba’s appeal.

The top court determined that Mr. Ogba’s notice of appeal, which was submitted on June 17, 2022, was incompetent for the following reasons: he did not initially secure permission from the court to appeal as an interested person.

The Supreme Court further ruled that the ineffectiveness of Mr. Ogba’s notice of appeal deprive the Court of Appeal of the necessary jurisdiction, and as a result, all proceedings conducted, including the order made in the 19 July judgment overturning the Federal High Court’s decision of 7 June that had upheld Mr. Ifeanyi’s nomination, amounted to a nullity.

The cross-appeal that Mr. Ogba filed was also dismissed by the supreme court.

Niger Delta militants at war over pipelines surveillance contract

Former leaders of the Movement for the Emancipation of Niger-Delta, or MEND, Government Ekpemupolo, also known as Tompolo, and the Federal Government are currently at odds over a N4.5 billion monthly pipeline surveillance contract. Alhaji Asari Dokubo claims that Tompolo flatly refused to include him and other ex-militant leaders in a $144 million coastal protection contract that ex-President Goodluck Jonathan had negotiated with Tompolo.

Since the Federal Government, through the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation Limited, NNPCL, awarded the pipeline surveillance contract to Tompolo and other contractors in the Niger-Delta, Dokubo, the leader of the Niger-Delta People’s Volunteer Force, NDPVF, has verbally attacked Tompolo repeatedly.

You may recall that on Monday, Dokubo received criticism for his recent outburst at Tompolo on the pipeline surveillance contract from Commander of the defunct MEND, Victor-Ben Ebikabowei, alias Boyloaf, as well as other ex-military leaders and stakeholders from the Niger Delta.

The simmering conflict had also been addressed by the Pan Niger Delta Forum, PANDEF, the South-South regional organization, and the Ijaw National Congress, INC, the governing socio-cultural organization for the Ijaw ethnic nationality in the Niger Delta.

Chief Rita-Lori Ogbebor, an Itsekiri chieftain and activist from the Niger Delta, advised the Federal Government Monday to urgently revoke the pipeline contract given to Tompolo, calling it as an invitation to anarchy.

Ijaw Peoples Development Initiative, IPDI, a rights organization in the Niger Delta, in response, urged FG to disregard Lori-plea Ogbebor’s to withdraw the pipeline surveillance contract given to Tompolo yesterday.

“I deplore the attack on Tompolo by Dokubo-Asari”, said ex-MEND commander Boyloaf on Tuesday, speaking for other ex-militant commanders. “For a leader of his caliber, this is inappropriate and unexpected.”

“He is qualified for the job, and Dokubo-Asari did not object when the late Capt. Hosa Okunbo, a different Edo State resident, performed a comparable contract in Rivers. His business is still active in Rivers,” Boyloaf said.

Electricity workers demand a reversal of power sector privatization

Yesterday, the National Union of Electricity Employees, or NUEE, requested the Federal Government to stop the privatization of the country’s power industry. They referred to the new owners of the privatized firms as “hustlers” and “hawks” who had made insufficient contributions to the power sector.

The union asserted that the new owners had continued to deprive Nigerians of their basic needs while plundering the nation, even as it accused them of tricking the Federal Government into providing a N2 trillion subsidy.

Despite discernible improvements in the Transmission Company of Nigeria’s (TCN) wheeling capacity of 7,000 megawatts, it was said that the generation output had now dropped below 5,000 megawatts.

The union cited the new owners’ actions as one of the main causes of the power sector’s near-coma and the destitution of the typical worker.

Kolade Ayodele, the Zonal Organising Secretary (Liaison), talked to journalists on behalf of his colleagues and stated that Nigerians should be concerned as well, despite the fact that energy prices have continued to climb without corresponding improvements in service.

“Electricity workers under the age of the National Union of Electricity Employees have been at the forefront of speaking up on behalf of the Nigerian people since the privatization of Nigeria’s power sector in October 2013,” he remarked.

“It is an undeniable truth that the power sector privatization has not added value to the lives of the ordinary Nigerians. The entire exercise, which could be described as a charade, has not brought any meaningful impact/improvement to the sector.

“Rather, it has led the nation to a huge setback. The infrastructural development by the new business owners in the power sector has almost gone comatose while the socio-economic status of the average worker in the sector has continued to decline amid prevailing harsh economic conditions.

‘’The same equipment inherited from pre-privatization has remained what drives the sector as there are no visible attempts by the Generation Companies (GenCos) and Distribution Companies (DisCos) to upgrade and expand their capacities/networks.

“Nigerians were deceived into believing that the ‘harvesters’ had the financial/technical muscles to improve power generation and distribution to Nigerians. Can Nigerians be told today that this purpose has been achieved?

‘’The answer was echoed in the print/electronic media by members of the National Assembly who even called for the total reversal of the entire process.

“Despite improvement in the wheeling capacity of the Transmission Company of Nigeria, TCN, which is still Federal Government-owned to over 7,000MW, the generation output has been dwindling below 5,000MW.

“Alas! the ‘hustlers’ who deceived the Federal Government into paying almost N2 trillion subvention to the owners of the new companies since privatization, are being used to call the union banks, in order to exploit Nigerians and sustain the current comatose situation. Their mission is simply to call a dog a bad name in order to hang it, while they keep smiling to the banks.”

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