Nigerians will appreciate my government soon – Buhari; Nigeria threatens to shut down domestic airlines over debt, gives 30-day deadline | 5 Things That Should Matter Today

  • Nigerians will appreciate my government soon – Buhari
  • FG to reopen varsities, despite ASUU strike
  • FG engaging foreign countries to deal decisively with insecurity – Lai Mohammed
  • Nigeria threatens to shut down domestic airlines over debt, gives 30-day deadline
  • Katsina confirms four monkeypox, 53 cholera cases

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

Nigerians will appreciate my government soon – Buhari

On Tuesday, President Major General Muhammadu Buhari (ret.) declared that his administration would not permit any candidate to use their “own riches or influence to scare other Nigerians” in the run-up to the 2023 general elections.

He continued by saying that Nigerians would recognize his government’s respect for them in six months.

The President said this when he met with members of the Progressive Governors’ Forum at the State House in Abuja, led by its chairman, Governor Abubakar Bagudu of Kebbi State, according to a statement from his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina.

The statement was entitled “Why I Believe in Non-Interference in the Political Process, Buhari.”

The President said, “I want Nigerians to know that we respect them, and for us to show that, we will allow them to vote who they want. We all witnessed what happened in Anambra, Ekiti and Osun states. What happened in those states gives me a lot of hope that we are succeeding.

“We will not allow anyone to use personal resources or their influence to intimidate other Nigerians. We will not allow intimidations materially, morally or physically. This is the kind of leadership that can emerge and consolidate our nation.

“In six months, Nigerians will appreciate the government of the All Progressives Congress that we are sincere and we respect them.’’

FG to reopen varsities, despite ASUU strike

There are signs that the Federal Government will reopen campuses despite the Academic Staff Union of Universities’ (ASUU) insistence that its protracted strike continue.

According to sources in the Federal Ministry of Education, there are other employees in the university system than academic staff, and since those employees are prepared to resume their jobs, the institutions shouldn’t stay closed any longer.

The National Universities Commission, NUC, Complex in Abuja will host a conference of the chancellors and vice-chancellors of federal universities on Tuesday.

They will meet with Malam Adamu Adamu, the minister of education.

The Deputy Executive Secretary, Administration, Chris Maiyaki, signed the letter extending an invitation to them with the designation NUC/ES/138/VOL. 64/125.

The letter was titled “Industrial actions by university-based unions: Invitation to a special interactive meeting with the Honourable Minister of Education.”

It read in part: “As the pro-chancellors and the chairmen of councils and the vice-chancellors are quite aware, the industrial action by university-based unions has led to the closure of the institutions since February 14, 2022.

“You are also aware that the non-teaching unions have suspended their industrial actions with effect from 24th August, 2022, while a final decision is being awaited from the Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU.

“It has become necessary for the governing councils and the managements of the universities to be briefed on the decisions and actions taken by the federal government so far, to allow for a well-coordinated review of the situation, including building consensus around succeeding actions.”

Recall that after convening a National Executive Council meeting in Abuja on Monday, ASUU insisted on carrying out its strike.

On the stage of the Congress of University Academics, or CONUA, a group of lecturers under the leadership of Dr. Niyi Sunmonu separated themselves from the strike and declared their willingness to return to work.

This is happening at the same time as certain state university administrations are also making preparations to ensure the institutions’ reopening.

FG engaging foreign countries to deal decisively with insecurity – Lai Mohammed

Lai Mohammed, the minister of information and culture, stated Wednesday that the federal government was collaborating meaningfully and constructively with friendly nations, ECOWAS members, and other regional groups to tackle the country’s security issues.

The struggle against insecurity, he added, shouldn’t be left to the government alone, and all hands must be on deck if it is to be won.

In Kano, the National Institute for Cultural Orientation, or NICO, hosted a two-day national conference on “Culture, Peace, and National Security and the Role of the Media,” at which the minister made these remarks during the opening ceremony.

Mohammed, who was represented by the Director, International Cultural Relations in his ministry, Mrs. Memunat Idu-Lah, however, reiterated the commitment of President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration to tackle security challenges confronting the nation.

He said: “Because this administration appreciates the fact that security challenges, such as we are confronted with currently, go beyond the capacity of individual countries to effectively handle. It is having constructive and meaningful engagement with friendly countries and collaborating with member states of ECOWAS and other regional blocks in order to effectively and decisively deal with insecurity in Nigeria.

“At this juncture, it is important to empathize that the war against insecurity should not be left for the government alone. All hands must be on deck if we want to win the war and overcome the security challenges which have become impediments to our national development aspiration.”

He urged media professionals to prioritize the national interest when doing their constitutionally mandated jobs and to avoid spreading false information that could worsen the security situation.

Nigeria threatens to shut down domestic airlines over debt, gives 30-day deadline

In response to the local airlines’ alleged multi billion-naira debt, the Nigerian government has vowed to shut them down.

Airlines owe the government N19 billion and $7.6 million, according to the civil aviation regulator, but they have refused to pay even though they have received the money from customers. According to the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority, airlines have instead started a “campaign of smear and misinformation” against them.

“The airlines must enter an MoU on how they will pay their debts in the next 30 days from August 30th, 2022, or their license will be suspended at the expiration of the deadline,” NCAA Director General Musa Nuhu said Tuesday in Abuja at a meeting with representatives of the local carriers.

He said, “This situation is crippling finances and pitching the authority against the federal government as a government-owned revenue-generating agency, following the dire financial position of the federal government.”

The NCAA was charged with imposing several fees on its members, according to Airline Operators of Nigeria (AON), the umbrella organization for all airlines operating in Nigeria.

The AON said that the levies, together with a lack of foreign currency and aviation fuel, are strangling the airlines in a letter to Zainab Ahmed, the minister of finance.

Mr. Nuhu, who was offended by the complaint’s tone, claimed that the airlines’ charges were “unfair, unjustified, and smelt of extortion.”

He said that the Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMMA), the NCAA, and FAAN are all owed money by all airlines.

Mr. Nuhu said that the NCAA charges the airlines’ cost recovery charges as the bulk of its revenue comes from statutory charges on air tickets. He said while customers pay the money, airlines continue to fail to remit it.

Also, he said the AON accusations were untrue as a comparison of charges between Nigeria and Ghana shows that Ghana charges over 100 percent higher in most of the charges.

“The NCAA will also review its charges higher as the authority hasn’t reviewed charges in about 13 years in spite of rising cost of service provision,” Mr. Nuhu added.

Katsina confirms four monkeypox, 53 cholera cases

On Tuesday, the state of Katsina confirmed 53 cases of cholera and four cases of monkeypox.

However, no deaths from the confirmed cases were reported because the patients in question had already received treatment and been released.

Yakubu Danja, the state’s commissioner for health, revealed this during a seminar for healthcare professionals in Katsina.

The confirmed instances, according to Danja, who was represented by Mustapha Kabir, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Health, were found in samples from 27 suspected cases that had just been sent to a lab for testing.

He claimed that the nine undisclosed local government areas in the state were where the 27 suspected cases originated.

The commissioner urged residents to always observe simple hygiene rules, and should not hesitate to visit any nearby health centres or hospitals if they notice any unusual development in their body system.

He said, “In Katsina State, we have been familiar with episodes of outbreaks of diseases like cholera, cerebro-spinal meningitis, Lassa fever, measles and the COVID-19 pandemic in 2019. Monkeypox is recently gaining momentum.

“Our attention will focus more today on monkeypox. It is important to mention that the state has so far identified 27 persons from nine local government areas suspected to have symptoms of monkeypox as of last week of this month.

“Though no life was lost in the state due to this disease since the beginning of the outbreak, samples were collected and tested in the laboratory from all the 27 suspected persons out of whom four tested positive for monkeypox. The affected individuals have been treated and have fully recovered with no life lost.

“We still have 14 samples pending in the laboratory awaiting final results.”

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