President Tinubu Aims to Curb Judicial Corruption Through Salary Review; Port Harcourt Refinery Set to Commence Operations by December | 5 Things That Should Matter Today

  • President Tinubu Aims to Curb Judicial Corruption Through Salary Review
  • ECOWAS Urges Niger’s Coup Leaders to Reconsider as Military Force Remains an Option
  • Port Harcourt Refinery Set to Commence Operations by December
  • Nigeria Never Applied to Join BRICS, Says Shettima
  • Nigerian Military Buries 22 Officers Killed in Niger

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

President Tinubu Aims to Curb Judicial Corruption Through Salary Review

In a bid to tackle corruption within the judiciary, President Bola Tinubu has revealed his administration’s intention to reevaluate the compensation of judicial officers. The President made this announcement during a meeting with the leadership of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), led by President Yakubu Maikyau.

Highlighting the importance of comprehensive action, President Tinubu emphasized the need for a thorough assessment of judicial officers’ salaries and allowances. He also expressed commitment to addressing the current vacancies in the supreme court in alignment with recommendations from the National Judicial Council (NJC).

“We must deal with the review of remuneration if we truly want to fight corruption in the judiciary. We will look at the cost as well as the consequences,” President Tinubu stated, as reported by Ajuri Ngelale, the presidential spokesperson.

Appreciating the invitation to inaugurate the association’s 63rd annual general conference in Abuja, President Tinubu conveyed his gratitude to Maikyau, the NBA president. The President also acknowledged the privilege of having lawyers in key positions within his administration.

In response, Maikyau praised President Tinubu for appointing legal professionals, including Lateef Fagbemi, as the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, thereby reinforcing the strong bond between the legal fraternity and the government.

ECOWAS Urges Niger’s Coup Leaders to Reconsider as Military Force Remains an Option

The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) has delivered a message to the leaders of Niger’s recent coup, emphasizing that there is still room for them to reconsider their position. The coup leaders, who ousted President Mohamed Bazoum on July 26, are entangled in discussions over a return to civilian rule. Military force remains a viable option should negotiations falter.

While the coup leaders advocate for a three-year transition period, ECOWAS demands an immediate restoration of constitutional order. As envoys engage in talks in Niamey, ECOWAS underscores its dedication to negotiations. Meanwhile, defense chiefs prepare a standby mission, keeping the possibility of “legitimate use of force” in mind, to restore democracy if necessary.

The turmoil caused by the Niger coup has heightened tensions in the Sahel region, marked by military uprisings and jihadist control. ECOWAS leaders are resolute in preventing further coups in the region, having already imposed sanctions on Niger. ECOWAS Commission President Omar Alieu Touray emphasizes the importance of halting the cycle of coups in the region.

While diplomatic solutions are pursued, ECOWAS has a history of military intervention in crises. The standby mission’s specifics remain undisclosed. However, potential military action faces resistance within the region and is met with warnings of dire consequences. The push for peaceful resolutions persists amidst the complex situation.

Port Harcourt Refinery Set to Commence Operations by December

Heineken Lokpobiri, Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, has reiterated that the Port Harcourt Refinery is poised to recommence operations by December 2023. During an inspection of the rehabilitation progress at the Port Harcourt Refining Company (PHRC) Limited plant, Lokpobiri expressed confidence in the strides made towards rejuvenating the facility.

Garba Deen Muhammad, spokesperson for the Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC) Limited, relayed Lokpobiri’s statement, noting the tangible progress in the PHRC rehabilitation project. The Minister’s tour aimed at curbing fuel importation within the next few years.

“Port Harcourt Refinery will come on board by the end of the year, Warri will come on stream by the end of the first quarter of next year, and Kaduna will also come on board towards the end of next year,” Lokpobiri was quoted as saying.

Ekperikpe Ekpo, Minister of State for Petroleum (Gas), underlined the economic significance of fuel for Nigeria and called for collective efforts to ensure refinery functionality. Mele Kyari, Group Chief Executive Officer (GCEO) of NNPC, echoed the national aspiration of optimal refinery operation, emphasizing the commitment to revamp the nation’s refining capacity.

The revival of refineries aligns with the Nigerian government’s goal of achieving fuel self-sufficiency and boosting the economy. The timeline for the refinery’s revival has undergone revisions, and this latest projection aims to expedite the return to full operational capacity.

Nigeria Never Applied to Join BRICS, Says Shettima

Vice-President Kashim Shettima has shed light on Nigeria’s absence from the BRICS economic bloc. Representing President Bola Tinubu at the 15th BRICS summit held in Johannesburg, South Africa, Shettima clarified that Nigeria had not applied to join BRICS, an alliance of Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa. The summit also announced forthcoming membership expansion, including countries like Argentina, Egypt, Ethiopia, Iran, Saudi Arabia, and the UAE.

Shettima emphasized Nigeria’s cautious approach, highlighting the commitment to consensus-building and comprehensive evaluation of diverse variables. He revealed that President Tinubu, being a firm advocate of democratic processes, recognized the importance of engaging the economic advisory council, federal executive council, and the national assembly before considering any involvement with BRICS.

Responding to inquiries about Nigeria’s non-participation, Shettima remarked, “So far, we have not applied for the membership of BRICS.” He added that President Tinubu’s administration, in its early stages, is meticulously assessing regional and global cooperation prospects, aiming to establish Nigeria as a strategic ally and partner on the global stage.

The BRICS bloc, celebrating 15 years of existence, sees its expansion as part of a larger strategy to reshape global governance and empower voices from the southern hemisphere. With numerous countries expressing interest, Shettima’s clarification reflects Nigeria’s commitment to making informed decisions that align with its economic and diplomatic priorities.

Nigerian Military Buries 22 Officers Killed in Niger

In a poignant ceremony, 22 brave military personnel who lost their lives in combat in Niger State were laid to rest at the National Military Cemetery in the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja.

The Defence Headquarters had earlier, on August 14, announced the tragic demise of 36 officers who perished in battle. The officers were aboard a helicopter that was shot down by insurgents in the Zungeru region of Niger State. Their mission was to provide support and security in the aftermath of bandit attacks in Kundu village, Wushishi Local Government Area.

The ceremony was graced by dignitaries, including the Minister of State for Defence, Bello Matawalle, and the Chief of Defence Staff, Major General Christopher Gwabin Musa, along with other service chiefs.

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