NUPENG Gives F.G 21 Day Ultimatum To Halt Mass Sack Of Its Members

NUPENG, Rivers StateThe Nigerian Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas (NUPENG), has given a 21-day ultimatum to the Federal Government, to stop the incessant mass sack of its members by oil companies in the country

This was stated by the President of the Union, Igwe Achese when reading out a communique issued by the Central Working Committee after a meeting held in Warri.

The meeting was aimed at discussing issues currently affecting the union and its members especially the mass sack/retrenchment, by the major oil servicing companies on account of the current recession.

After the meeting, the Union addressed journalists on some of the resolutions reached requesting the intervention of the Federal Government in resolving them.

Part of the resolutions in the communique reads that, “The anti-union
postures of the International Oil Companies must end.

“There should be a speedy passage of the Petroleum Industry Bill.

“Agencies saddled with the responsibility of regulating the Oil and Gas Industry must be up and doing”.

The Union also frowned at the frequent vandalisation of pipelines in the Niger Delta.

It also rejected the proposed sale of the National Assets amongst other issues.

Sacked workers

About 3000 workers have been sacked by major oil companies and servicing companies who are closing shops on account of the current recession.

The Union has also given the Federal Government a 21 day ultimatum to halt the mass sack or face mass action from the Union.

F.G Withdraws Forgery Charges Against Saraki, Others

Saraki-EkweremaduAn FCT High Court has struck out a two-count charge of criminal conspiracy and forgery filed against the Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki, his Deputy, Ike Ekweremadu, former Clerk of the National Assembly Abubakar Maikasuwa and the current Deputy Clerk of the Federal Government of Nigeria.

The trial judge, Justice Yusufu Halilu struck out the charges following an application by the prosecuting counsel, Mr. Aliyu Umar withdrawing the case.

Mr. Umar told the court that the charges against all four accused persons are withdrawn because the subject matter is before a court of coordinate jurisdiction.

With no objection from the defence counsel, Justice Yusuf struck out the charge and discharged all the accused persons.

Saraki, Ekweremadu Plead Not Guilty

On June 27, 2016, Nigeria’s Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki and his deputy, Senator Ike Ekweremadu pleaded not guilty to charges of alleged criminal conspiracy and forgery of the Senate Standing Rules, 2015.

The two Senate leaders were being arraigned before the Federal High Court along with a former Clerk of the National Assembly, Mr Salisu Maikasuwa and his deputy, Mr Benedict Efeturi.

All four accused persons pleaded not guilty to the two-count charge.

In the affidavit filed on June 10, the Investigative Police Officer (IPO), swore that the investigation into the case had been concluded.

It read: “The charges filed through the Office of the Attorney General of the Federation, by the Federal Government, against the senators reads that you, Salisu Abubakar Maikasuwa, Benedict Efeturi, Dr. Olubukola Saraki and Ike Ekweremadu, on or about, the 9th of June, 2015, at the National Assembly complex, Three Arms Zone, Abuja, within the jurisdiction of this court, conspired amongst yourselves to forge the Senate Standing Order, 2011 (as amended) and you thereby committed the offence of conspiracy, punishable under Section 97 (1) of the Penal Code Law”.

It also accused them of allegedly forging the Order, causing it to be believed as the genuine Standing Order, 2015 and circulated same for use during the inauguration of the 8th Senate of the National Assembly of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

Senator Saraki has maintained that he knows nothing about how the rules adopted in the inauguration of the Eighth Senate on June 9, 2015 were formulated.

He said the on-going efforts to drag him into a case of forgery before the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) High Court, was just another phase in the orchestrated persecution he has faced since he emerged as Senate President a little over a year ago.

Saraki, in a statement by his spokesman, Mr Yusuph Olaniyonu, stated that he was not a part of the leadership of the 7th Senate that made the rules in question.

He also stated that prior to his unanimous election as Senate President on June 9, 2015, he was merely a Senator-elect like all his colleagues and therefore was not in a position to influence the rules that were to be used in the conduct of the election.

FG Raises 121 billion Naira Bonds At Higher Yields

Nigeria-NairaThe Federal Government raised 121 billion Naira worth of bonds at an auction on Wednesday with yields higher across the board.

According to the Debt Management Office, 15 billion Naira of 2021 paper was sold at 15.14 percent, 30 billion Naira of 2026 debt at 15.53 percent and 60 billion Naira of 2036 debt at 15.59 percent.

The debt office also allotted an additional 16 billion Naira worth of the 2021 debt on a non-competitive basis to mandate clients.

Jega Seeks Broadcast Media Independence

JegaThe former Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission, (INEC) Professor Attahiru Jega has called on the  federal government to allow broadcast companies discharge their duties without interference.

Professor Jega who was speaking at a lecture organized by the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) with the theme “Broadcasting, democracy and the challenge of the new Nigeria” said the broadcast media has been characterized by lack of fairness, balance and hate campaigns in recent times.

To change this situation however, Professor Jega recommended structural and behavioral change to deepen the nations nascent democracy.

Plateau, Cross River Residents Condemn Fuel Price Increase

petrol, Pump price, Plateau, Cross RiverResidents of Calabar, the Cross River State capital have condemned in strong terms the new petrol pump price rate by the Federal Government.

According to them, it is injustice meted on Nigerians in the light of the tough economic crises in the country.

Most government approved filling stations in the metropolis claimed not to have PMS to sell as according to them, supplies of the product is yet to be made available while the few ones selling sold at 145 Naira per litre although the meter still reads N86:50.

The independent marketers who have petrol sold between 170 to 200 Naira.

The state’s Commissioner for Petroleum Resources, Nyong Asuquo, however commended government for the new policy but faulted the suddenness in the implementation of the rate without putting into place alternative measures to cushion the effect on consumers.

Residents of Plateau State have also condemned the pump price increment announced by the federal government.

Some of the motorists described the increase as coming at a wrong time, considering the hardship that the citizens are going through while government seems to be insensitive to the plight of the people.

They urged government to revisit the issue with a view to reduce the current price to a more bearable price.

Similar to the situation in Calabar, Channels TV also found some petrol stations in Jos selling the product at the newly announced price of 145 Naira while the signboard read the old price of N86:50k.

At the NNPC mega station, the price has been adjusted to 145 Naira, contrary to a statement by the Minister of State for Petroleum, Mr Ibe Kachikwu, on Thursday that NNPC retail outlets would sell for 135 Naira.

Residents have also wondered why the filling stations would be dispensing old stock at the newly approved pump price.

Imo Residents Say New Petrol Pump Price Is Unacceptable

petrol, Pump priceReactions have continued to trail the recent increase in the pump price of petrol to 145 Naira per litre by the Federal Government.

Residents of Owerri, the Imo state capital, say the recent decision by the government to peg petrol at 145 Naira per litre is unacceptable and shows insensitivity of the Federal Government to the plight of the masses.

Some of the residents say this action will totally compound the present economic challenges facing the country, coupled with the unemployment rate in the country.

Meanwhile, a trip round the Owerri metropolis showed that most of the fuel stations have immediately complied with the directive and have started selling at 145 Naira per litre even though most of them sold at lower prices on Wednesday night.