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Nigerians will get used to deregulation, says minister



Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Timipre Sylva, has justified the recent increase in the price of fuel in the country even as he notes that with time, Nigerians will get used to the deregulation of the downstream oil sector.

He said people should wake up to the reality that subsidy was gone for good.

The minister absolved the presidency of any blame in the latest price increase, insisting that the Federal Government was badly incapacitated financially to even contemplate any form of subsidy for Nigerians in the downstream oil sector.

While confirming that Nigeria’s production capacity had dropped to 1.4 million barrels per day from the initial two million barrels as stipulated by the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), he said this accounted for lean resources through taxes from the sector.

Sylvia spoke on Monday, shortly after he met with President Muhammadu Buhari, who doubles as Minister of Petroleum Resources, at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

According to the minister, petrol is mostly used by the elite while diesel and kerosene are more important to the ordinary citizens.

He explained that trucks moving food products from one part of the country to another use diesel and most of the Nigerian masses used kerosene, which had since been deregulated.

“Look at it, a situation where diesel has been deregulated long ago; a situation where kerosene has been deregulated long ago; and these are the fuels the poorest people in Nigeria interact with more. Why do I say that?

“If you want to transport food from the North to the South, it will be by trucks that are run by diesel, not with petrol. Those trucks that transport food from the North to the South are usually run by diesel.

“Kerosene is the preferred fuel at the lowest level of our society. These have been deregulated long ago. So, what is the problem with deregulating petrol, which is mostly used by the elite?

“Let us be fair to this country, let us be fair to the poor people in this country. If we have deregulated what they were using, then there is actually no reason why we should continue to subsidise petrol. I feel so. That’s my personal feeling.”

In March, the Federal Executive Council approved a monthly review of petroleum products prices in line with the international market prices following the impact the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Petroleum Products Marketing Company, a subsidiary of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, last week increased the depot price of petrol to N155.17.


Lagos working on salary increase for civil servants, says Sanwo-Olu



Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, on Tuesday said the state government was working to increase the salaries of public workers in the state civil service.

He made this known while addressing the workers at the state secretariat, Alausa, Ikeja.

“I have looked around and I know that as a country, there is pressure. I know that, as a country, there is a high level of inflation. At our cabinet meeting, I instructed the head of service office and the ministry of staff, training, and pensions to start work on how we are going to increase the entire salary of our public servants,” the governor said.

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Trump sues CNN for defamation, demands $475m damages



Former US president Donald Trump has sued the CNN for defamation, seeking $475 million in punitive damages for labelling him as ‘racist,’ ‘Russian lackey,’ ‘insurrectionist,’ and ‘Hitler’.

Trump claims the news network had carried out a “campaign of libel and slander” against him.

In the lawsuit filed in US District Court in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, Trump says that the network had used its influence as a leading news organisation to defeat him politically.

Trump, a Republican, claims in the 29-page lawsuit that CNN had a long track record of criticising him but had ramped up its attacks in recent months because the network feared that he would run again for president in 2024.

“As a part of its concerted effort to tilt the political balance to the left, CNN has tried to taint the Plaintiff with a series of ever-more scandalous, false, and defamatory labels, the lawsuit claims.

The lawsuit lists several instances in which CNN appeared to compare Trump to Hitler, including a January 2022 special report by host Fareed Zakaria that included footage of the German dictator.

Trump, who in 2020 lost a re-election bid to Democrat Joe Biden, has not said whether he would seek re-election.

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2022 National Honours list in circulation doctored, says FG



The Federal Government has disowned the list of nominees for the 2022 National Honours that has been trending on some social and traditional media platforms.

Spokesperson for the Federal Ministry of Special Duties and Intergovernmental Affairs, Julie Osagie-Jacobs, on Monday, said the list had been doctored by mischievous persons to cause national disharmony.

She said that the authentic list had been compiled by the ministry for the National Honours but yet to be made public.

Controversy and wide condemnation by opinion leaders and public analysts had greeted the inclusion of certain names and omission of some found to have excelled in their callings over the years.

Osagie-Jacobs said, “The attention of the Federal Ministry of Special Duties and Inter-Governmental Affairs has been drawn to a purported list of nominees for National Honours being circulated by some online media organisations.

“While it is true that President Muhammadu Buhari will be conferring National Honours on deserving Nigerians and friends of Nigeria on October 11, 2022, the authentic list of nominees is yet to be released to the public. The Federal Ministry of Special Duties and Inter-Governmental Affairs will publish the list at the appropriate time and medium.

“Members of the public are hereby enjoined to discountenance the list in circulation as it is an attempt by overzealous reporters whose aim is to break news even when such news is fake.”

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