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News headlines for the 26th of March 2021.

News headlines for the 26th of March 2021.

Petrol price hike imminent as NNPC declares N120bn subsidy unsustainable

  • The Group General Manager, Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, Mele Kyari, on Thursday said the Federal Government subsidizes Premium Motor Spirit with about N120bn ($263.25m) monthly.
  • He said while the actual cost of importation and handling charges amounts to N234 per liter the government had been selling at N162 per liter therefore bearing the difference.
  • Kyari spoke at the weekly ministerial briefing at the Presidential Villa, Abuja
  • He said the NNPC could no longer afford to bear the cost, saying Nigerians would have to pay the actual cost sooner or later.
  • He argued that market forces must be allowed to determine the pump price of petrol in the country.
  • Although he claimed the nation was not in a subsidy regime, he said the government was trying to exit what he described as ‘under-price sale of PMS’.
  • The NNPC boss explained that upon full implementation of deregulation, he expected that all oil marketing companies would commence import, thereby lifting the import burden off the corporation.
  • He said once that was done, the Direct Sale-Direct Purchase program would end automatically because market forces would then determine import and export.

$1.3m recovered from ex-NAF chief tendered during trial

  • THE Federal Government on Thursday tendered a cash sum of $1.3m recovered from the Abuja mansion of retired Air Commodore Umar Mohammed.
  • The huge foreign currency which was tendered by government at a Federal High Court in Abuja was admitted as exhibit after it was counted in the open courtroom with the aid of electronic counting machine.
  • The exhibit was tendered during the continuation of trial of Mohammed for alleged fraud and money laundering charges brought against him by government.
  • During the resumed trial, the prosecution counsel, Labaran Magaji, tendered the cash as exhibit along with various other currencies, with an explanation that they were recovered from the defendant’s possession.
  • However, the defense counsel, Dr Hassan Liman (SAN), thereafter cross-examined the prosecution witness, Stephen Olatubosun, through whom the exhibit was tendered.
  • He informed the court of his client’s intention to file a no-case submission on the grounds that prima facie case had not been established against him.
  • Justice Inyang Ekwo after listening to parties in the case ordered the Chief Registrar of the Federal High Court to deposit the foreign currency with the Central Bank of Nigeria, pending conclusion of the trial.
  • He subsequently adjourned the case till May 27.
  • Mohammed was accused of receiving $1.3m cash from one Worldwide Consortium PTY Limited in 2016, through his company Easyjet Airlines in violation of the Money Laundering Act 2011.

Lagos denies compromising FG’s COVID-19 vaccination protocols

How much will a Covid-19 vaccine cost? | Financial Times
  • The Lagos Government Thursday night denied compromising the vaccination protocols rolled out by the Federal Government even as it said the allegations of malpractices at Falomo centre and sale of vaccines were untrue and unfounded.
  • Reacting to these and more in a press statement, the state Commissioner for Health, Prof. Akin Abayomi after he paid an unscheduled visit to some vaccination centers across the state also disclosed that the State had vaccinated over 100,000 persons.
  • The Commissioner and the state Information and Strategy counterpart, Mr Gbenga Omotoso visited the vaccination centres located inside the Police Hospital, Falomo and the Mainland Infectious Disease Hospital, Yaba to inspect activities at the vaccination sites.
  • Abayomi said the visit was geared towards getting firsthand information of the process at the sites, ascertaining the allegations and determining whether activities at the sites are in line with the government’s protocol and best practices.
  • The commissioner also debunked the allegation of vaccine sales at any of the 88 vaccination sites, stating that the allegation at the Ikate vaccination site is “untrue and baseless”.

Bandits kill nine in Birnin Gwari, Giwa LGAs in Kaduna

Nine shot dead as 'bandits' attack Kaduna communities | TheCable
  • Bandits in Kaduna state have killed nine farmers in separate attacks spanning Birnin Gwari and Giwa local government areas of the state.
  • Samuel Aruwan, Commissioner, Ministry of Internal Security and Home Affairs, said on Thursday, that, the armed bandits barricaded the Dogon Dawa-Kuyello road, after Ungwan Gajere village of Birnin Gwari LGA, and shot six people dead. 
  • Similarly, at Ungwan Maje, also of Birnin Gwari LGA, armed bandits shot and killed two persons 
  • Armed bandits also attacked Kwama village in Giwa LGA and killed one Nasiru Rufai, after he resisted their attempts to kidnap him.
  • Governor Nasiru El-Rufai noted the report with sadness and prayed for the repose of the souls of that slain while sending condolences to their families.
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