Rivers relaxes curfew in Oyigbo, now 7pm to 6am – Newstrends
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Rivers relaxes curfew in Oyigbo, now 7pm to 6am

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The Rivers State Security Council has relaxed the 24-hour curfew imposed on the entire Oyigbo Local Government Area of the state.

The curfew came after the killing of ten security operatives allegedly by members of the proscribed Indigenous Peoples of Biafra (IPOB).

The Rivers State Commissioner of Information and Communications, Paulinus Nsirim, who spoke at the Government House, Port Harcourt on Tuesday, said the curfew had been reviewed to start from 7pm to 6am beginning from Wednesday.

He said, “You will recall that following the killing of six soldiers and four policemen, and the destruction of Court buildings by members of Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), the Rivers State Government imposed a 24-hour curfew on the entire Oyigbo Local Government Area on October 21, 2020.

“The State Security Council met today and reviewed the situation in Oyigbo and has therefore decided to review the curfew. From tomorrow, Wednesday, November 4, 2020, the curfew will now be from 7 pm to 6 am until further notice.”

Nsirim explained that during the mayhem that claimed the lives of security agents, 50 AK 47 rifles were carted away.

He said security agencies in the area would continue to embark on surveillance and search operations to recover the rifles which in the illegal possession of some persons.

He urged residents of Oyigbo and members of the public to cooperate with the security agencies.

“Let me use this opportunity to let all those living and doing business in the State know that His Excellency, Nyesom Ezenwo Wike, is always committed to implement his social contract with the people; and will protect lives and property, at all times,” Nsirim said.

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Inflation: Telecom tariff hike imminent as operators await NCC’s clearance

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Inflation: Telecom tariff hike imminent as operators await NCC’s clearance

Telecommunications operators in Nigeria are preparing to increase tariffs for voice and data services to reflect the current economic conditions in the country.  

Nairametrics learnt that a cost-based study conducted by KPMG, the consultant hired by the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), is nearing completion.  

This study aims to recommend the most appropriate pricing structure for the industry based on its findings considering the economic variables of the operating environment. 

Officials from various telecom companies, speaking to Nairametrics, indicated their anticipation for the NCC’s decision based on the study’s outcomes. They expect the study to recommend an increase, citing several industry indicators that point towards the need for higher tariffs. 

 According to these officials, adjusting prices upwards is essential for sustaining the telecom business amidst current economic challenges, such as the high cost of diesel and the significant depreciation of the naira against the dollar, which affects equipment imports. 

matter of urgency 

An official from the telecom sector, who preferred to remain anonymous, expressed to Nairametrics that the planned price increase has become critically urgent. Delaying it further, he warned, could threaten the viability of some telecom businesses.  

The official highlighted that with the majority of their costs in dollars and earnings in Naira, sustainability is impossible without a tariff revision, especially as equipment importation becomes increasingly costly. 

  • We are earning in Naira and about 80% of our costs are in dollars. There’s no way we can have a sustainable business without increasing our prices with the value of the Nigerian currency falling every day. 
  • “Already, it’s becoming very difficult to import equipment as costs continue to increase. So, increasing tariffs is no longer a matter of choice. It is a matter of urgency because a further delay will be at the detriment of the industry,” he said. 

Another industry source, who also spoke in confidence with Nairametrics said: 

  • “You know we are a heavily regulated industry. While the increment has been due since 2022 when the cost of diesel that powers our base stations jumped to N800 per litre, we had demanded for an increment, but the regulator said no.  
  • “But they have also realised that the survival of the industry is at stake and that was why the cost-based study was commissioned. What we are waiting for now is the report of the study, which will give us the idea of a new floor price.” 

ALTON’s call for price increment 

The Association of Licensed Telecommunications Operators of Nigeria (ALTON) has been advocating for a tariff hike, citing rising operational costs.  

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In a recent meeting with Dr. Bosun Tijani, the Minister of Communications, Innovation, and Digital Economy, ALTON Chairman Engr. Gbenga Adebayo argued that the tariffs set by the regulator are insufficient in light of escalating operational expenses.

He pointed out that, unlike the telecom sector, other heavily regulated industries like power and insurance have seen price increases to reflect macroeconomic changes and the increased cost burden on operators. 

While noting that the current price of services as pegged by the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) is unsustainable, the ALTON Chairman said:  

  • “Insurance prices have risen 200% with power raising prices by over 40%. Telecommunications is the only sector that has not experienced a pricing regulatory framework review raising prices notwithstanding local and global macroeconomic realities.  
  • “Not only has this impaired investor confidence and depleted available investible funds necessary to optimize infrastructure for improved service delivery, but it also threatens the very sustainability of our members’ operations.” 

Price regulation in the telecom sector 

In line with the provisions of Sections 4, 90, and 92 of the Nigerian Communications Act (NCA) 2003, which entrusts the Commission with the protection and promotion of the interests of subscribers against unfair practices including but not limited to; matters relating to tariffs and charges, regulates tariff in the telecom industry.  

The Commission said it makes sure that the price regulation is guided by regular cost-based and empirical studies to determine the appropriate cost (upper and floor price) within which service providers are allowed to charge their subscribers for services delivered. 

  • The Commission ensures that any cost determined, as an outcome of such transparent studies is fair enough to enhance healthy competition among operators, provide wider choices for the subscribers as well as ensure the sustainability of the Nigerian telecoms industry,” it added 

Rising inflation 

Double-digit inflation has hit virtually every product in Nigeria with consumers feeling the pinch from higher prices while a weaker naira currency has added to the costs. In January this year, Nigeria’s headline inflation rate surged to 29.90%, surpassing the previous month’s rate of 28.92%. 

The year-on-year comparison also reveals a significant rise, with the January 2024 inflation rate being 8.08% points higher than the rate recorded in January 2023 (which was 21.82%)1.  

On a month-on-month basis, the inflation rate for January 2024 stood at 2.64%, slightly higher than December 2023’s rate of 2.29%1. These figures highlight the ongoing inflationary pressures in Nigeria. 

Inflation: Telecom tariff hike imminent as operators await NCC’s clearance

Nairametrics

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Politicians who lost 2023 election behind hunger, rising cost of living – Shettima

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Vice-President Kashim Shettima

Politicians who lost 2023 election behind hunger, rising cost of living – Shettima

The widespread hunger, cost of living crisis and the parlous state of the nation in general are caused by politicians who were not able to gain power in the last general election, the Vice-President Kashim Shettima, has said

The number two man accused politicians who lost in the 2023 general election of plotting to plunge Nigeria into anarchy.

Shettima spoke on Tuesday at a conference on Public Wealth Management in Abuja.

He claimed 45 trucks smuggling food out of the country were intercepted, adding that desperate politicians are sabotaging the country by smuggling food out to other countries to spur food price increment.

“Just three nights ago, 45 trucks of maize were caught being transported to neighbouring countries,” Mr Shettima claimed. “Just in that Ilela axis, there are 32 illegal smuggling routes.”

He further claimed that due to the interception, the price of maize fell.

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“And the moment those foodstuffs were intercepted, the price of maize came down by N10,000. It came down from N60,000 to N50,000. So, there are forces that are hell-bent on undermining our nation, but this is the time for us to coalesce into a singular entity,” Mr Shettima explained.

The vice-president stated that some political actors are hell-bent on causing havoc and upheaval in the country over the outcome of last election.

“Forces are hell-bent on plunging this country into a state of anarchy. Those who could not get to power through the ballot box, instead for them to wait till 2027, are so desperate,” Mr Shettima stressed.

He added, “We have to make this country work. We have to move beyond politics. We are now in the face of governance. Sadly, some of our countrymen are still in the political mode.

“They are the practitioners of violence, advocating that Nigeria should go the Lebanon way. But Nigeria is greater than any one of us here. Nigeria will weather the storm.”

Shettima did not mention the names of the politicians he accused of further compounding the country economic woes and undermining President Bola Tinubu’s government.

However, Atiku Abubakar of the Peoples Democratic Party and Labour Party’s Peter Obi, top contenders in the general election, have been unrelenting in their criticism Tinubu’s handling of the economy.

Though increment in prices of food has been part and parcel of Nigeria socio-economic fabric but the rise of food prices under the current administration is unprecedented, his sudden fuel subsidy removal and floating of the naira have seen petrol price jump from N145 to N630, shooting food prices up as the naira continue its freefall against the dollar, trading for N1,825 against a dollar on Tuesday.

Politicians who lost 2023 election behind hunger, rising cost of living – Shettima

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Comply with Gunshot Act, FG directs medical facilities

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Comply with Gunshot Act, FG directs medical facilities

•Tasks police to enforce provisions of compulsory treatment & care for victims

The spate of gun violence in Nigeria is a grim reality, and seeking medical attention for gunshot wounds has become a life-or-death gamble for victims. Being turned away for lack of a police report is the harsh reality for countless gunshot victims.

It is not uncommon for medical facilities to refuse treatment to gunshot patients without a police report, leaving many to bleed to death or succumb to their injuries while waiting for the required clearance.

Despite provisions of the Compulsory Treatment and Care for Victims of Gunshot Act of 2017, hospitals and other health facilities continue to deny gunshot victims life-saving treatment and care except they produce a suitable police report is provided.

The Act mandates hospitals to treat gunshot victims regardless of police reports and represents a significant step towards addressing the nagging problem.

However the challenge of implementation and compliance remain obstacles. Lack of public awareness of the Act’s provisions, and limited availability of specialised equipment, and trained personnel to manage complex gunshot wounds, further deter their involvement.

As a result, lives that could have been saved continue to lost unnecessarily because gunshot victims do not receive timely and lifesaving medical care because  medical facilities refuse  to comply with provisions of the Act.

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Worried by the spate of non-compliance, the Federal Ministry of Health recently issued a statement decrying the development.

In the statement, entitled: Non-Compliance of Medical Facilities on the Gunshot Act 2017, the Director (Information) of the Ministry, Patricia Deworitshe,  called for immediate compliance by concerned parties.

It reads: “In recent times, the society has witnessed a rise in the loss of lives as a result of the refusal of some health facilities to attend to gunshot and victims of one-chance who do not present police reports.

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