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Labour tackles FG over fuel price increase, demands immediate reversal

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The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) has condemned the latest hike in the pump price of fuel by the Federal Government and demanded an immediate reversal.

This is coming about three days after the announcement by the Petroleum Products Marketing Company Limited of an increase in the ex-depot price of petrol from N147.67 per litre to N155.17 per litre and directed filling stations to sell the product between N168 and N170 per litre.

But the Nigeria Labour Congress said the action was a breach of the agreement it recently reached with the Federal Government.

President of NLC, Ayuba Wabba, said it also cast in a bad light “our utmost good faith with regard to government’s explanations that it lacks funds to continue bankrolling the so-called subsidy payments” as such would sooner than later cripple the entire economy, throw the country into severe economic crisis, and cause loss of jobs in millions.

He expressed this position in a statement on Monday in Abuja to condemn the increase, alleging that there was no doubt that there was great disquiet in the land over the extraordinary level of inflation.

It said the Federal Government did this despite an agreement that it would take immediate steps to revamp the nation’s ailing refineries.

It said, “The recent increase in the pump price of premium motor spirit (PMS) has only exacerbated the current lev­el of pain and anguish in the country.

“The recent increase in the pump price of the PMS is clearly against the spirit and content of what organised labour agreed with the government at the last negotiations over the last fuel price increase.

“While we await the full recovery of our refineries as contained in our agreement with the government, Nigerians cannot be made to bleed endlessly for the failures of successive governments to properly manage our refiner­ies, ensure value for money for the numerous turn around maintenance (TAM) which were poorly and barely exe­cuted and the horrifying lack of interest in prosecuting pub­lic officials and private busi­ness people who have profited from the rot in our petroleum sector and the collective misery they have imposed on the general population.”

The NLC also said there was a limit to what the citizens could bear if the increases in the price of refined petroleum products and other essential goods and services continued.

It stated, “While we fix our refineries, there are a number of options open to the government to stem the tide of high prices of refined petroleum products. One is for the government to declare a state of emergency in our downstream petroleum sector.

“As a follow up to this, the government should enter into contract refining with refineries closer home to Nigeria.

“This will ensure that the cost of supplying crude oil is negotiated away from prevailing international market rate so that the landing cost of refined petroleum products is significantly reduced.

“Government should also demonstrate the will to stamp out the smuggling of petroleum products out of Nigeria.

“We need to see big time petroleum smugglers arraigned in the court of law and made to pay for their crimes against the Nigerian people. Government has the resources available to it to en­sure this economic justice to Nigerians.

“The question on the minds of many Nigerians is if the government is willing to go headlong against major financiers of the major political parties known to the public as the architects of the current national woe,” he stated.

Labour insisted that information on the distribution of petroleum products to petrol stations be advertised as a way to carry everyone along on with the distribution of refined petroleum products.

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Presidency replies Nnamdi Kanu on Buhari being ‘Jubril of Sudan’

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The Presidency has rubbished claims by Nnamdi Kanu, leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), that President Muhammadu Buhari is Jubril of Sudan.

Buhari’s Special Adviser on Media and Publicity said it is “idiocy” to claim that the president is dead and was replaced with Jubril from Sudan.

Adesina disclosed this in his latest article titled, ‘The Essential Buhari: VP Osinbajo got it!.’

He recalls how Buhari, upon return from his medical trip abroad in 2017, recognised him.

The article reads partly: “I remember that day in August 2017, when the President returned to the country finally from his medical vacation. From January of that year, he had been in and out a couple of times, but spending weeks and months outside, attending to his health. And finally, on August 19, he returned home, triumphantly.

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“We were at the airport to receive him. I have told the story a number of times, to dispel the idiocy that it was a certain Jibril of Sudan that came back and not Buhari. The daughter of the immediate past Chief of Defence Staff, Gen Gabriel Olonisakin, was getting married. And I had attended both the church service and reception, decked in full Yoruba traditional attire of Agbada and a cap to match. Straight from the ceremony, I went to the airport to join the welcome party for the President.

“We the principal aides were on a line to receive the President as he descended from the aircraft. And he shook hands with each person, having one wisecrack or the other to say, as is typical of him. When he got to me, he said, “Adesina, this is the best I’ve seen you dressed.” And we both laughed.

“Jibril of Sudan? How did he know I was Adesina? How would he know how I normally dressed? Idiocy, I say again. But that is just a digression, not the story I really want to tell to support the topic at hand.”

Kanu had rumoured Buhari’s death in 2017, following the president’s medical trip to London.

He had claimed that Buhari was cloned and replaced with Jubril Al-Sudan after his death.

Daily Post

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Former US President Bill Clinton hospitalised for infection

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Former US President Bill Clinton was in hospital with an infection on Thursday, a spokesman for the 75-year-old said.

Doctors said Clinton was responding well at the center in Irvine, California. The infection was not connected to the coronavirus.

“On Tuesday evening, President Clinton was admitted to UCI Medical Center to receive treatment for a non-Covid-related infection,” the former president’s spokesman Angel Urena wrote on Twitter.

“He is on the mend, in good spirits, and is incredibly thankful to the doctors, nurses and staff providing him with excellent care.”

Doctors at the University of California Irvine Medical Center confirmed Clinton had been admitted.

Urena tweeted a statement from Clinton’s doctors at the hospital, Dr Alpesh Amin and Dr Lisa Bardack.

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“President Clinton was taken to UC Irvine Medical Center and diagnosed with an infection,” the statement said.

“He was admitted to the hospital for close monitoring and administered IV (intravenous) antibiotics and fluids.

“He remains at the hospital for continuous monitoring. After two days of treatment, his white blood cell count is trending down and he is responding to antibiotics well.”

“We hope to have him go home soon,” the statement added.

An AFP correspondent at the hospital said the scene was subdued, with no sign of the VIP patient, other than a sizable media pack that had gathered in a car park.

CNN reported that a urinary tract infection had spread to Clinton’s bloodstream.

The news channel’s medical correspondent, Sanjay Gupta, said Clinton had reported feeling fatigued during a visit to California on Tuesday and went to the hospital for testing that ruled out Covid-19 and heart-related problems.

Clinton served as America’s 42nd president, from 1993 to 2001. Elected at age 46, he was the third-youngest president in US history and the first Baby Boomer to hold the office.

In 1998, Clinton was impeached by the House of Representatives — only the second president in American history to earn the ignominious distinction — for lying about his affair with White House intern Monica Lewinsky. He was ultimately acquitted by the Senate in February 1999.

In 2004, at age 58, he underwent a quadruple bypass operation after doctors found signs of extensive heart disease.

After his health scare, Clinton — who had a reputation for loving fatty foods — adopted a vegan diet.

In 2010 he underwent stent surgery after complaining of heart pains.

That same year, he said his decision to go vegan was not a difficult one.

“Not when you have [had a] quadruple heart bypass and you want to live to be a grandfather,” Clinton said at an event organized in Dallas by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals.

AFP

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Osinbajo: Ekiti has higher GDP than Gambia, Cape Verde, Seychelles

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Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo says Ekiti state has a higher gross domestic product (GDP) than Gambia and several other African nations.

Osinbajo advised that states in Nigeria “must think like sovereign nations” to improve the livelihood of their residents.

The vice-president spoke at the Fountain Summit held in Ekiti on Thursday.

He said revenues from federal allocations can “provide infrastructure and services to the communities” but added that “the size of the sum and the quantum of opportunities available for the populace” depends on how well states can attract investment.

“The economy of the subnational is a peculiar animal. A state within the federation is not a nation, but it must behave like a nation. It derives some resources from the federal pool and generates some income,” the vice-president said.

“The sum of those will provide infrastructure and services to the communities. But the size of the sum and the quantum of opportunities available for the populace will depend on how the state enables local and external investors — small and large — to put their resources into businesses in the state.

“Two Saturdays ago, I represented Mr President at the swearing-in ceremony of the new president of the Sao Tome and the Principe Republic. As I sat in that well-appointed hall and took in the solemn grandeur of the oath-taking of the new democratically elected president, I reflected. Here was a country whose GDP is $472 million and it’s a nation.

“It has one vote in the United Nations just as we have. Ekiti state has a GDP of $2.8 billion – five times the GDP of the nation of Sao Tome and Principe but it’s not just Sao Tome and Principe.

“Ekiti’s GDP is higher than that of the nation of Gambia. Gambia has a GDP of $1.9 billion and also a higher GDP than that of Cape Verde with a GDP of $1.7 billion or Seychelles, the lovely tourist destination which has just $1.1 billion.

“Ekiti’s GDP is the same as the GDP of Liberia which just has $2.95 billion and we’re talking about Ekiti state now, we’re not even talking about Lagos.

“The attractiveness of the state to commerce is a radical issue. The very lives and livelihood of the people within the borders of the state depend on it. Nigeria’s subnational is indeed a peculiar animal. There has to be a collective change of mindset. There’s a need for a subnational to think like a sovereign state. You have bigger GDP and even more revenues than many nations.”

“I think the surest way forward is to deepen investments in the niche areas. We have already noted the enormous potential in agriculture and dairy. But clearly, the way of the future, especially for the huge population of young men and women seeking good-paying jobs, is technology. Clearly, the future of the fast-growing economy is in the knowledge economy. Every day we are beginning to see the transition.”

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