The Late 5: FG unveils ‘Nigeria Air’ as new national carrier,’ Police arrests 8 suspects over kidnap of #Chibokgirls and other stories

These are the stories that drove the conversation today:

The Federal Government of Nigeria on Wednesday unveiled a new National Carrier known as ‘Nigeria Air’.

At the unveiling of the brand name and logo to investors at the ongoing Farnborough International Air Show in London, the Minister of State for Aviation, Sen. Hadi Sirika, said the national Carrier (which will be private sector-led and driven), is expected to ply 81 routes, both local and international, after considering about a thousand destinations.

The Police Command in Borno on Wednesday paraded eight men allegedly involved in the abduction of the 276 Chibok schoolgirls in 2014.

Commissioner of Police in the state, Damian Chukwu,who paraded the suspects before journalists, said the men were among 22 dreaded members of the Boko Haram Terrorist group who were involved in various crimes including the kidnap of the Chibok schoolgirls, over 50 suicide bombings within Maiduguri, Borno State and Adamawa.

He added that the men were arrested in both Borno and Yobe States, as a result of the gallantry of the Inspector General of Police (IGP)’s Intelligence Response Team (IRT) led by DCP Abba Kyari.

The People’s Democratic Party (PDP) has accused President Muhammadu Buhari of plotting to frustrate the smooth conduct of the 2019 general elections.

According to a statement issued by its spokesman, Kola Ologbondiyan, the party said Buhari’s request to the National Assembly to vire N242 billion already approved for other projects in the 2018 budget to finance the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and other agencies ahead of the elections “is a deliberate plot to inject disagreements in the polity, cause confusion in the electoral system and set the stage for a political crisis capable of frustrating the conduct of the elections.”

The Senate has mandated its Committee on Petroleum Resources (Upstream) to investigate all issues relating to ongoing lease renewals in the oil and gas sector of the economy.

The resolution followed the consideration of a motion entitled “Irregularities in Ongoing Oil and Gas Lease Renewal and Massive Loss of Government Revenue.” by Sen. Omotayo Alasoadura (APC Ondo) and three other senators at Wednesday’s plenary.

The lawmakers noted that the oil and gas lease renewal being undertaken by the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Dr. Emmanuel Ibe Kachikwu and the Department of Petroleum Resources, has led to massive loss of government revenue.

President of the Trade Union Congress of Nigeria (TUC), Bobboi Kaigama, has on Wednesday announced that a new amount agreed on by the Federal Government and labour to serve as Nigeria’s new minimum wage would be announced by the end of August.

Kagama, who made the disclosure in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos, said that the committee working on the minimum wage had almost concluded negotiations on the matter.

And stories from around the world:

US President Donald Trump has lashed out at “haters” who condemned his meeting with Russia’s president.

On Twitter, Mr Trump said his critics were suffering from “Trump Derangement Syndrome”. (BBC)

Prime Minister Theresa May refused to budge from her position on Brexit on Wednesday, brushing aside criticism from all corners of parliament and saying her strategy was already being negotiated with the European Union. (Reuters)

The European Union hit Google with its biggest ever fine Wednesday, imposing a 4.34 billion euro ($5 billion) penalty on the US tech giant for illegally abusing the dominance of its operating system for mobile devices. (AFP)

President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi told Italy’s visiting interior minister on Wednesday that Egypt was determined to conclude an investigation into the 2016 murder of an Italian student and bring his killers to justice, the presidential palace said. (Reuters)

Iran has built a factory that can produce rotors for up to 60 centrifuges a day, the head of its atomic agency said on Wednesday, upping the stakes in a confrontation with Washington over the Islamic Republic’s nuclear work. (Reuters)

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