National assets and operations at the Nigerian Ports Authority, including the Onne oil and gas free zone in Eleme local government area of Rivers State, are under threat following days of protest by youths in the area over alleged marginalisation by the companies there.
The Onne youths who began their protests on Monday had blocked the entrance of the free zone for two days, expressing dismay that despite hosting over 50 companies, the people have no jobs, while the area remains underdeveloped.
Scores of them who spoke to journalists said the NPA, Onne Ports, which houses the Federal Ocean Terminal had not impacted on their lives despite operating on their land for decades.
The youths said they were part of the ongoing protest against police brutality and an end to bad governance, even as they demanded a separate local government from Eleme.
They said Onne given its landmass, population and resources was viable enough to have a separate local government and called on the government to look into it.
One of them said, “We are not only saying EndSARS, we are also saying no to marginalization; no to unemployment. The NPA is here, look at all the land occupied by the FOT, the FLT (Federal Lighter Terminal) and all the companies, but we are not feeling their impacts.
“No jobs; no development. We cannot continue like this. If they don’t employ us, they will not operate here again. We are also asking for a separate local government out of Eleme.”
When contacted, an official of the NPA who pleaded anonymity said employment was controlled from the headquarters, adding that recently online recruitment was advertised for qualified persons to apply.
The official lauded the protesting youths for being peaceful since the protest began, adding that the authority was already looking into the demands presented to it.
The official stated, “What they are requesting, the Ports management has been able to do one or two. They are looking at the issues with them too and we are try to calm their nerves so that they can allow movement in and out of the ports.
“If they say they are not employed, it is a Federal Government issue because we don’t employ in the ports. But we are appealing to them not to take laws into their hands by not blocking the company’s entrance.”
FG sues Mark Zuckerberg’s Meta over adverts, demands N30bn
The Advertising Regulatory Council of Nigeria (ARCON) has said it filed a lawsuit at the Federal High Court, Abuja against Meta Platforms Incorporated (owners of Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp) and its agent AT3 Resources Limited.
The country’s apex advertising governing agency revealed on Tuesday that the advertisements on Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp in the Nigerian markets are not vetted and approved by the federal government.
ARCON then asserted that such continued unscrutinised adverts and other publications emanating from Mark Zuckerberg’s Meta-owned social media platforms are illegal, unlawful and a violation of the extant advertising Law in Nigeria, thus seeking N30 billion for punitive damages.
It revealed this in a statement titled “ARCON sues Meta platforms incorporated, seeks N30b in sanction and penalties.”
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The statement read: “The Advertising Regulatory Council of Nigeria (ARCON) has instituted a suit against Meta Platforms Incorporated (owners of Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp platforms) and its agent AT3 Resources Limited at the Federal High Court, Abuja Judicial Division.
“ARCON is seeking declaration among others that the continued publication and exposure of various advertisements directed at the Nigerian market through Facebook and Instagram platforms by Meta Platforms Incorporated without ensuring same is vetted and approved before exposure is illegal, unlawful and a violation of the extant advertising Law in Nigeria.
“ARCON stated that Meta Platforms Incorporated’s continued exposure of unvetted adverts has also led to a loss of revenue to the Federal Government.
“ARCON is seeking N30b in sanction for the violation of the advertising laws and for loss of revenue as a result of Meta Incorporated’s continued exposure of unapproved adverts on its platforms.
“ARCON reiterate that it would not permit unethical and irresponsible advertising on the Nigeria’s advertising space.
“ARCON further stated that it’s not regulating the online media space but rather advertisement, advertising and marketing communications on the online platforms in line with its establishment Act.”
NNPC declares over 100% profit in one year, with N674bn for 2021
The Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC) Limited recorded a profit after tax (PAT) of N674 billion for the year ended 2021.
This is more than 100 per cent profit over the N287bn declared in the previous year (2020).
The Group Chief Executive Officer, NNPC Limited, Mele Kyari, disclosed this at a briefing on Tuesday.
He said, “Today, I’m happy to announce that the Board of NNPC has approved 2021 audited financial statements & NNPC has progressed to a new performance level, from N287bn profit in 2020 to N674bn profit after tax in 2021, climbing higher by 134.8% YoY profit growth.”
The 2021 financial year made it the fourth consecutive year that the NNPC will be opening its book for public scrutiny.
In 2018, when the NNPC first made account statement public, it reported a loss of N803.9bn.
GM raises production of electric vehicles, repositions Chevrolet Bolt
General Motors Company says said it is increasing its electric vehicle assembly plans, raising production of the EV Chevrolet Bolt and other vehicles.
GM reported its highest quarterly sales of the Chevrolet Bolt EV and Bolt EUV, which totalled 14,709 vehicles. Bolt sales are down by 11 per cent for the first nine months of the year compared to the same period last year.
In June, GM said it would sharply cut Bolt prices after it halted sales for six months following a battery recall.
Autoblog reported the GM as saying on Monday it would specifically boost Bolt production for global markets to more than 70,000 in 2023 from about 44,000 vehicles this year.
Bolt sales in 2021 hit a record annual high of 24,828 vehicles.
The largest US automaker said it was moving up body shop upgrades at its Detroit Factory ZERO for Silverado EV production in 2023 and taking other steps to prepare.
GM will suspend the production of the GMC HUMMER EV pickup for several weeks starting in late November to prepare for that production jump, it said.
Cadillac Lyriq production will increase in the fourth quarter and GM plans additional production shifts for GMC Hummer EVs in 2023, it said.
The automaker stated that its 2023 EV launches, including the Chevrolet Silverado EV, Chevrolet Blazer EV and Chevrolet Equinox EV, were on schedule.
GM’s EV sales are still a small fraction of US sales. Out of 1.65 million US vehicles sold in the first nine months of the year, GM sold 22,012 Bolts, 782 Hummer EV pickups and 36 Lyriq SUVs.
GM and LG Energy Solution’s joint venture Ultium Cells LLC is considering a site in Indiana for a fourth $2.4 billion US battery cell manufacturing plant, the venture said in August.
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