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24-Hour News Nigeria – Nigerian News Desk

Nigeria officially stops petrol subsidy; Buhari will not dictate to courts – Presidency; Shiite Sect Alleges Killing Of Member In Detention; Bayelsa Polls: Patience Jonathan Dumps Dickson; Ex-militants ask FG to probe past NDDC board; Dickson went to Aso Rock begging to defect – APC; Market Forces Crash Domestic Gas Price . . .

Nigeria officially stops petrol subsidy

The Federal Government has officially ended the subsidy on premium motor spirit, popularly known as petrol. The latest Petroleum Products Pricing template, issued by the Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency does not contain the usual subsidy component.

The PPPRA is the government agency that regulates the prices of petroleum products in the country and its template has always offered insights into how the pricing of these products are determined by the regulators.

As of December 28 last year, the official pricing template for petrol by the PPPRA showed that the Federal Government subsidised the product by N6.45 per litre. The Expected Open Market Price at that time was N93.45, which was N6.45 higher than the then retail price of N87 per litre.

Buhari will not dictate to courts – Presidency

President Muhamadu Buhari will not influence the decisions of courts in the ongoing high profile corruption cases in the country, Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity Mallam Garba Shehu has said.

The president had, in response to questions on alleged violation of court orders by security agents in the trials of Dasuki and Kanu, said: “If you see the atrocities those committed against this country, we can’t allow them to jump bail.”

The response has drawn criticisms, especially from the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), which accused Buhari of being tyrannical.

But Shehu, in an article, titled “Media chat, a win-win move,” said the president was only freely expressing his personal opinion on the matter, as every other Nigerian was doing freely.

He said Buhari would have been wrong if he had tried to impose such views on the courts or anyone.

“It is  harsh of anyone to deny the President an opinion on these matters when all of us are freely commenting upon them. Muhammadu Buhari is first a citizen before becoming a President. He is entitled to hold views as you and I are under the constitution.

“What will be wrong is when he tries to impose those views on the courts or on anyone, and this not anything he has done, and will not do as the elected president of Nigeria,” he said.

Shiite Sect Alleges Killing Of Member In Detention

Members of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN) yesterday alleged that another of their members in military detention has been shot and killed.

The Ibraheem Elzakzaky-led IMN, alleged that a member of the sect, Abbas Isiyaku, was allegedly shot and denied medical attention yesterday by his captors.

Head of the sect’s media forum, Ibrahim Musa, said in a statement that 13 ‘critically wounded’ members of the movement were still being held in Kaduna prison as at yesterday.

“Many more others, number unknown, are still being held incommunicado at various military barracks and other detention centres without access to medical care. This is inclusive of our leader Sheikh Ibraheem Zakzaky and his wife.

Bayelsa Polls: Patience Jonathan Dumps Seriake Dickson

Barely one week to the rescheduled governorship election in seven of the eight local government councils in Bayelsa state, the former First Lady and the wife of former President, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan, Dame Patience Jonathan, may have dumped Governor Seriake Dickson for the former governor of the state and All Progressives Congress (APC) candidate, Chief Timipre Sylva.

Mrs. Jonathan is said to be mobilising support and resources for Sylva seriously in the January 9 rescheduled polls in Southern Ijaw and 101 polling units in parts of the state. As part of this move, Sylva and Mrs. Jonathan were said to have had a secret meeting in Port Harcourt, the Rivers state capital on New Year’s Day along with ex-militant leader, Chief Ateke Tom.

Confirming that Sylva was indeed in Port Harcourt, the Director of Publicity in his campaign organisation, Chief Nathan Egba denied Sylva ever held any meeting with Tom, who he insisted is not relevant to the election in Bayelsa state.

But a source in the camp of Dickson however confirmed the rapprochement between Dame Jonathan and Sylva, saying that despite her attending Dickson’s rally at the beginning of campaigns, Mrs. Jonathan had never been with the governor.

Ex-militants ask FG to probe past NDDC board

A group of former Niger Delta militants have threatened to go back to the creeks if the Federal Government failed to probe the past Board of the Niger Delta Development Commission.

The former fighters, who are currently students of King Amachree African University in Benin Republic, said they were ready to arm themselves with guns if funds approved by ex-President Goodluck Jonathan for Niger Delta youths’ empowerment were not released for the purposes they were meant for.

One of the ex-militants, Ani Igiofori, who spoke with newsmen in Port Harcourt on Saturday, stated that they were promised N500,000 each as empowerment allowance after being enrolled at a university in Benin Republic.

The ex-militant lamented that the 129 beneficiaries of the scheme, which began in April 2015, had yet to get the empowerment funds from the NDDC.

Igiofori urged President Buhari to intervene before they (ex-militants) get frustrated and go back to the creeks.

Dickson went to Aso Rock begging to defect – APC

The recent visit of Bayelsa State Governor, Mr. Seriake Dickson, to the Presidential Villa, was to beg the presidency to allow him join the All Progressives Congress (APC) to complete his second term, the ruling party has alleged.

The APC, through the Sylva-Igiri Campaign Organisation (SICO), in a statement signed by its Director, Media and Publicity, Chief Nathan Egba, said despite reports that Dickson visited the Presidential Villa last Tuesday without invitation to beg President Muhammadu Buhari to be allowed to go for a second tenure, the state government has continued engage in denial.

He said: “Our sources confirmed to us that Governor Dickson went to beg the presidency to forgive him over his derogatory and inflammatory statements during the election and to prevail on the APC candidate, Chief Timipre Sylva, to soft pedal in Southern Ijaw LGA to enable him win the forthcoming rerun election in the area.

“In return for that favour, the governor proposed to forment an artificial crisis in the PDP at the national level and use that as a basis to decamp from his party to the ruling APC. His argument was that he recognised the fact that Bayelsa State cannot afford to remain in opposition to the ruling party.

Market Forces Crash Domestic Gas Price

As the Federal Government’s quest for gas monetisation inches further, the Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) sub-sector is consistently facing series of hurdles that remain the clog in the wheel of the laudable agenda.

The gas sub-sector is handicapped in the area of delivery and storage infrastructure, coupled with low usage of gas in the country, especially the rural areas.

According to reports, only one vessel, GAS DE PROVINCE, is available to shuttle between Bonny Island and Lagos to deliver LPG from NLNG to domestic markets. Even when the gas is delivered, inadequate jetty facilities have led to the situation whereby the vessel could not berth for several weeks, thus accumulating demurrage and creating tight supply situation in the market.

Experts believe that if issues of affordability, awareness, availability and safety are addressed, 69 percent of the non-users could turn to gas for cooking.

“Government could enhance the gas sector by drafting favourable regulation that would address the pricing challenges. It can draw up an LPG utilisation policy, and implement a phased removal of subsidy on kerosene.”

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