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Terrorists ambush Guards Brigade in Abuja, forces closure of schools

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Barely 24 hours after terrorists, who hijacked the Kaduna-bound train released a video, where they threatened to kidnap President Muhammadu Buhari and Kaduna State governor, Nasir el-Rufai, insecurity fears heightened at the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), leading to the immediate closure of all unity schools in Abuja.

This was after three soldiers sustained injuries in an ambush by Boko Haram terrorists in Bwari Area Council of the FCT. The soldiers from the elite Guards Brigade guarding the FCT as well as the presidential seat of government were ambushed along Bwari Kubwa road, while on patrol of Bwari Area where the Nigerian Law School and the Joint Admission Matriculation Board (JAMB) is located.

The Guards Brigade is in charge of the security of the President, his entire family, the Vice President, Very Important Personalities (VIP), the Federal Capital Territory and its surrounding states. This would be the first direct encounter between terrorists and the Brigade of Guards in Abuja.

The soldiers from 7 Guards Battalion, who have been carrying out patrol in the town following intelligence report of an impending attack on the Nigerian Law School, came under heavy fire around the Kubwa-Bwari road.

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The wounded soldiers have been moved to the 7 Guards Medical centre, where they are currently receiving treatment and are in stable condition.

The signal message on the attack reads: “Troops on routine patrol along Kubwa-Bwari were ambushed by suspected terrorists. Three soldiers were injured during the attack. The soldiers have been evacuated for medical attention. Details on the extent of their injuries are still under confirmation. The ambush attack happening within the general area of Bwari shows that the terrorists are actually within the location and possibly preparing to carry out their plans to attack the law school in Bwari as earlier reported.”

When contacted, the spokesperson of the Guards, Captain Godfrey Anebi Abakpa, confirmed the attack but declined further comments.

It was earlier reported that while responding to potential terror attacks in the nation’s capital following a security alert by the FCT command of the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) that the insurgents were planning to attack schools, churches and public infrastructure, the Brigade of Guards had deployed troops at the entry and exit points in Abuja, for a more effective security of the seat of power, with soldiers intensifying stop and search operations at increased checkpoints.

YESTERDAY, the Federal Ministry of Education, taking a cue from intelligence reports, directed the immediate closure of all unity schools domiciled in the FCT, while ordering immediate evacuation of students.

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While some schools had directed students to vacate latest on Wednesday, July 27, other schools disseminated messages to parents asking them to come pick their children, yesterday, without a fail, due to rising fear and anxiety emanating from reported threats.

On Sunday night, unconfirmed reports trended on social media indicating that there was heavy shootings around Federal Government College (FGC) Kwali, Abuja, and parents had rushed to the school to ascertain the safety of their children and possibly return home with them until calm is restored.

Confirming the report, the Director Press and Public Relations, Ministry of Education, Ben. Bem Goong, noted that the Education Minister, Adamu Adamu, gave the directive in the early hours of Monday.

According to him, “the closure became necessary following a security breach on Sheda and Lambata villages, suburbs of Kwali Area Council, which also threatened FGC Kwali. According to the Minister, the timely intervention of security agencies saved the situation.”

Adamu Adamu also directed that arrangements should be made for final year students to conclude their NECO examinations.

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ABDUCTORS of Kaduna-Abuja train victims have released four from the remaining 43 victims in their custody. The terrorists had, on Sunday, flogged the 43 victims. The victims, who consist of two males and two females, secured their freedom around 11:00a.m. yesterday with their relatives picking them up at a location inside the forest along the Kaduna-Abuja highway.

Terrorists had taken hostage 62 passengers of the ill-fated Abuja-Kaduna train on March 28.

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Security operatives and the Kaduna State government are yet to issue any statement regarding the development.

The publisher of Desert Herald, Tukur Mamu, gave the names of the released victims as Gladys Brumen, Oluwa Toyin Ojo, Hassan Usman Lawal and Pastor Ayodeji Oyewumi.

Lawal was the lead speaker in Sunday’s viral video, pleading with the international community to secure their freedom. It was gathered that his release was effected yesterday after N100 million was paid by his family members. He has since joined his family at Unguwar Rimi area of Kaduna metropolis.

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According to a family member, “my elder brother paid N50 million, while friends and sympathisers paid the remaining balance. We are happy to see him back after four months. On behalf of our family, we thank Nigerians for their prayers and support during this most difficult times.

“We never envisaged we will see him alive, especially when we saw him on the video yesterday. We couldn’t sleep. We were all awake praying fervently for their release. We will pray for the release of the remaining ones who are still in their captivity.

“Right now, we are on our way to hospital so that he will be properly be examined,” he added.

EARLIER, families of the train attack victims, yesterday, laid siege at the entrance of the Federal Ministry of Transportation, blocking staff from accessing the office complex.

The protesters, who arrived the ministry as early as 7:00a.m. lamented the prolonged silence of the government despite their outcry.

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The renewed protest was sparked by the viral video where the victims were been flogged, while the women and children were watching and crying.

One of the family members said they got a voice note from the bandits demanding N100 million to be paid for the release of their loved ones, but unfortunately, the negotiator said he had hands off from the matter due to insincerity on the part of the government.

They demanded to know why wife of the President, Aisha Buhari, who is considered to be the mother of the nation, has not commented on the unfortunate incident since it happened.

They condemned her prolonged silence, saying when Chibok girls were kidnapped in Borno State, the then first lady came out and cried for the release of the girls.

Hajiya Hadiza, said: “What is the first lady doing? Is she not a mother or even grandmother and she has not for once come out to speak on this matter, rather she is canvassing for women to come out to contest.”

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The Permanent Secretary, Magdalene Ajani, initially said she felt their pain, because her sister was also kidnapped in the ill-fated train, but she was, however, countered by the victims’ families that her sister had since been released

She, however, pointed out that the ministry is in constant talks with the security agents and the negotiators have been busy for the past three weeks.

She urged families of the victims to channel their demand to the security agencies who are in the right position to give them the information they need.

The Minister, Sambo Mua’zu, in his response, said he is just resuming and was yet to get briefing on the matter. He said before he resumed, he had asked the Permanent Secretary to dialogue with the families.

“But I want to beg you one thing. I have just resumed and I’m going to receive the necessary briefings this morning. I want you to give me some time. In the meantime, I want contact names and addresses with telephone numbers that I can reach. I assure you that we’re going to be in constant engagement until this matter is sorted out and until every single person in captivity goes back home.”

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BANDIT kingpin, Abu Sanni, in a documentary released, yesterday, by the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) Africa Eye, said insecurity in Nigeria has become a business everyone, including the government benefits from.

Yusuf Anka, a journalist, who crisscrossed remote bandit enclaves in the state, undertook the 50 minutes documentary titled The Bandit Warlords of Zamfara.

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The BBC documentary sheds light on the mindset of bandit leaders, the booming nature of the kidnap-for-ransom business and how insecurity in Zamfara State may have been triggered by ethnic conflict between Hausa and Fulani groups.

The bandits who spoke with the BBC team accused the government of neglecting them and giving priority to the Hausa community.

Sanni said the 279 schoolgirls who were kidnapped on February 27, 2021 in Jangebe, Talata-Mafara Local Council area of Zamfara State by his gang was done to disgrace the government as revenge for sending the military after them.

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He said his gang demanded N300 million from government for the release of the schoolgirls but N60 million was paid.

“When the rainy season ended, they sent the military after us. We decided to show the government they should not interfere in our problems. We went to Jangebe and took the students. We wanted to get the government angry,” he said.

“We demanded N300 million but after negotiations, N60 million was paid for their release.”

When asked what the money for the ransom was used for, he said the proceed was spent on buying riffles.
“Everyone is benefiting from terrorism in Nigeria, including the government, from top to bottom. The government get money, though, for our money, blood spill.”

BENUE State governor, Samuel Ortom, on Monday, said the insecurity situation in the country has reached its peak with the threat by bandits to kidnap the President, adding that there was no government in the country.

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The governor, who briefed journalists at the new banquet hall of the Government House, Makurdi, further decried the insecurity in the country, saying that the President Buhari regime had left Nigerians digging their graves.

He said: “Things are getting worse. You know I said this before I travelled out, that very soon, with the manner bandits are operating without proactive steps from the Federal Government, they will soon enter Aso Rock.

“You have seen happenings in the country; the Kuje prison break and the threat to kidnap the President. God forbid, but this is what I saw long time ago.

“I feel pains that this is happening in my generation. There is no government in Nigeria today. Those who are surrounding the President are criminals.

“Mr President, you are not doing well, you have violated the oath of office you took, Nigerians are in pains,  they are suffering, the socio economic lives of the people have gone down the abyss. You have left us digging our graves, we need a true change, not the change from top to bottom you promised us in 2015.”

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The governor, who explained the reasons he visited United Kingdom and the United States of America during his two weeks vacation, said it was to correct the wrong narratives of the Federal Government that the herders attacks on Benue was beyond climate change but as an occupation force.

THE Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has condemned the seeming helplessness of the All Progressives Congress (APC)-led Federal Government in rescuing the victims of Kaduna-Abuja train terrorist attack.

The opposition party said it is sad that even when the figure of people killed by terrorists between 2020 and 2022 had risen to 18,000, no serious effort was being made by government to address the tragic issue of kidnapping, and terrorism.

Addressing a press conference yesterday in Abuja, PDP’s national publicity secretary, Debo Ologunagba, said: “The party is deeply saddened, alarmed and distressed by the video of terrorists mercilessly flogging, inflicting grievous bodily harm and threatening to sell into slavery and kill traumatised victims of the bloody Abuja-Kaduna train attack, who have been held in captivity since March 28, exactly 120 days today.”

“It is indeed heartbreaking to watch fathers, mothers, husbands, wives, brothers, sisters, helpless children; compatriots and citizens of Nigeria in captivity and being tortured, brutalized, humiliated and crying in pain, agony and anguish just because we have the misfortune of being under the APC government that has proven to be derelict, irresponsible, unconcerned and completely numb to the pains and sufferings of our citizens,” the party lamented.

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According to the opposition party, “between 2020 and 2022, about 18,000 Nigerians have been killed by terrorists who continue to be emboldened by the failures and obvious complicity of the APC and to which the PDP had always drawn attention.”

ALSO, the New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP) in Katsina State has called on the Federal Government to declare a state of emergency in five Northern states to enable security operatives tackle the situation facing them.

At a press conference on Monday, chairman of the party, Sani Liti, identified the states where state of emergency should be declared to include Katsina, Kaduna, Niger, Sokoto and Zamfara.

Liti lamented that more than 50,000 people that include women and children, have lost their lives to terrorists from 2015 till date, while several trillions of naira have been paid in ransom to terrorists.

He lamented that the ransom monies collected by the terrorists was being used to further purchase weapons, and they use same to perpetuate heinous acts against Nigerians.

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He, therefore, called on the Federal Government to hire mercenaries for six months, that would help tackle the rising security situation in the country.

In addition, he called for the recruitment of at least one million young Nigerians to be trained as special forces to protect and secure the country when the mercenaries leave.

NORTHERN youths, under the umbrella of Arewa Youth Assembly (AYA) have threatened to disrupt the conduct of the 2023 general elections if the victims of the Kaduna-Abuja train attack are not released, and the Federal Government also fails to an end to the protracted killings and kidnapping by terrorists in the country.

Besides, the Arewa group urged President Buhari to sack the National Security Adviser (NSA), Babagana Monguno, for incompetence in handling the current situation of insecurity in Nigeria.

The members of AYA said that “as the victims of the ill-fated train marked 120 days in captivity, which was celebrated by the terrorists through a released video depicting how they are being molested, we share in the pain and agony of the immediate families and friends of those in captivity, and pray God to intervene through His supernatural power and set them free.”

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In the statement signed by Muhammed Salihu Danlami, yesterday, the group noted that “the growing audacity of non-state actors, which led to the invasion of Kuje Maximum Prison, Abuja shows that even Mr President in the Presidential Villa is not safe.

THE youth wing of apex Igbo socio-cultural organisation, Ohanaeze Ndigbo, on Monday, expressed worry over the latest threat from one of the terrorists’ groups operating in the Northern part of the country. The National President of Ohanaeze Ndigbo Youth Council Worldwide, Mazi Okwu Nnabuike, said the audacity of the terrorists in the viral video was worrisome.

He said: “How else can we explain the fact that mass abductions go on under this government daily, yet none of such victims have ever been rescued, except when ransom is paid. Not long ago, these daring terrorists attacked the President’s convoy. As if that was not enough, Kuje Prison was breached.

“When we thought we had heard the last, they have now threatened to abduct a sitting President. As usual, this threat will be treated with levity by the government in power. This situation intensifies the fear that there could be a grand plan to Islamise this country by simply handing it over to terrorists.

“The time had come for Mr. President to prove otherwise to Nigerians. Security agencies should not be busy pursuing Biafra agitators when the real threats to individual and national security are walking the streets free, receiving chieftaincy titles.”

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42,000MT of grains ready for distribution, FG declares

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The Presidency on Friday revealed that the 42,000 metric tonnes of grains it promised for nationwide release two weeks ago are being bagged for distribution.

It added that the remaining 60,000 metric tonnes of grains would be purchased from the Rice Millers Association of Nigeria.

Special Adviser to the President on Information and Strategy, Bayo Onanuga, revealed this in a statement he signed Friday night titled, ‘Update on Tinubu administration’s efforts to ramp up food supply in the country’.

As a temporary response to the nation’s growing food crisis and the rising price of commodities, President Bola Tinubu, on February 8, ordered the immediate release of 102,000 metric tons of various grain types from the Strategic Reserve and the Rice Millers Association of Nigeria.

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Deliberations began in earnest after angry youths and women took to the streets of Minna, the Niger State capital and Kano to protest what they described as the rising cost of living in the country. Similar protests also erupted in Ondo State, Nigeria’s southwest.

Giving updates on the strategy, the Presidency said, “The Tinubu administration through the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security is in the final stages of releasing 42,000 metric tonnes of assorted food commodities to support the vulnerable population across the country.”

“The grains in seven locations of strategic reserve are now being bagged for onward delivery to the National Emergency Management Agency.”

Explaining reasons for the delayed distribution, Onanuga stated, “The need to bag the grains, caused the delay as the bags were freshly ordered by government,” adding that, “Nigerians will not need to pay for the grain bags, as they are free.”

This will be complemented by the 60,000 metric tonnes of milled rice to be purchased by the Federal Government from the Mega Rice Millers, explained the Presidency.

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Citing remarks by the Minister of Agriculture and Food Security, Abubakar Kyari, it said with the announcement of the impending releases of food commodities from the Strategic Reserve, there is a noticeable reduction in commodity prices across major grains markets in the country.

At the emergency meeting on February 8, the FG had revealed plans to inject a yet-to-be-disclosed amount of capital into dry-season farming to ensure a year-round food supply.

Idris explained, “There is a directive to the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security to invest massively in conjunction with Nigerian farmers and other producers so that we can have a better season coming up shortly.”

Giving updates on this, Onanuga said the first phase of the Dry Season Farming under the National Agricultural Growth Scheme Agro-Pocket (NAGS-AP) Project kicked off in November 2023.

“It focuses on the cultivation of wheat across 15 wheat-producing states, covering 118,657 hectares and involving 107,429 farmers. The fields are green now and harvest will commence in a matter of weeks”, Kyari said.

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“There are fantastic reports of the growth of wheat from Jigawa State, which is now targeting harvest from about 50,000 hectares, 10,000 hectares more than initially allotted under the programme,” noted Onanuga.

The Presidency also said Phase 2 of the Dry Season Farming will commence soon, across all 36 states and the FCT.

“It will cover rice, maize, and cassava. For rice, the target is 250,000 hectares involving 500,000 farmers with the expected output of 1 million metric tons of paddy rice.

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“For maize, we are cultivating 55,000 hectares with 110,000 farmers thereby adding 165,000 metric tons to national maize production while for cassava, we are doing 35,000 hectares with 70,000 farmers to produce 525,000 metric tons of cassava.

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N10bn fraud: Court grants ex-Kwara gov N50m bail

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A Federal High Court sitting in Ilorin, Kwara State, has given a N50m bail condition for the embattled former governor of the state, Abdulfatah Ahmed, after he pleaded not guilty to 12 counts bordering on alleged mismanagement of public funds to the tune of N10bn.

The Ilorin Zonal Command of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission arraigned Ahmed before Justice Evelyn Anyadike of the Federal High Court in Ilorin on Friday.

The immediate past governor of Kwara State has been in the custody of the EFCC after being initially invited for questioning on Monday.

Among the charges against the former governor is the use of N1,610,730,500.00 meant for the security and running cost of the Government of Kwara State, in chartering private jets for local travels, on different occasions through Travel Messengers Limited, while he was governor between 2015-2019.

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Another charge against the governor was the conversion of the sum of N411m meant for the provision of security in the state between January and December 2018.

Also named as second defendant, was former Kwara state Commissioner of Finance, Ademola Banu, who, in a statement by EFCC Director of Media and Publicity, Dele Oyewale, is facing a 10-count charge “also bordering on mismanagement of public funds while he served under Ahmed’s administration as commissioner for finance”.

According to the statement, when the matter was called, EFCC’s lead counsel, Rotimi Jacobs, SAN, informed the court that Banu jumped an administrative bail granted him by the EFCC and efforts to arrest him had proved abortive.

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He urged the court to rely on Section 83 of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act, to issue a summons against his surety, Salami Bashiru Ola and/or a warrant of arrest against the second defendant (Banu).

The defence led by Kehinde Eleja, SAN, did not put any defence in favour of the second defendant, as he said that his appearance was for the first defendant. In a short ruling, Justice Anyadike issued a bench warrant against Banu.

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“After listening to the arguments and counter-arguments of both counsels, Justice Anyadike admitted the first defendant to bail in the sum of N50m, with two sureties in like sum.

“According to the judge, the sureties must deposit their passports with the court’s registrar. One of the sureties must have a landed property in Ilorin with the title documents of the property deposited with the Registrar of the Federal High Court,” the EFCC state read in part.

Justice Anyadike thereafter ordered the defendant to be remanded in EFCC custody pending the perfection of his bail terms, while the case was adjourned to April 29th and 30th, 2024 for the commencement of trial.

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FG plans cooking gas export ban to crash price

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The Federal Government is to stop the exportation of Liquefied Petroleum Gas, popularly called cooking gas, in a bid to increase its volume domestically so as to warrant a crash in price.

It stated on Thursday that LPG producers in Nigeria and key stakeholders in the industry had been told to stop exporting the commodity out of Nigeria, following the recent jump in the cost of cooking gas.

Although the volume of LPG consumption in Nigeria depends on the specific timeframe, figures obtained from the Nigerian Midstream Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority indicated that in 2022, the total cooking gas consumption across the country was 1.4 million metric tonnes.

Data from the agency put total domestic production during the review period as 600,000MT, while imports accounted for 800,000MT.

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In 2021, total consumption was estimated at around 800,000MT, as domestic production was about 300,000MT, while the volume that was imported in that year was put at 500,000MT.

Cooking gas consumption has been increasing significantly, with ambitious targets to reach five million metric tonnes by 2029, as LPG dealers stated that though Nigeria exports the commodity, the country relies heavily on imports to meet domestic demand.

This implies that the Federal Government could stop the export of over 600,000MT of cooking gas based on its drive to crash the price of the commodity locally.

Findings showed that the cost of refilling a 12.5kg cylinder of cooking gas in Abuja, Lagos, Kano and some other states had climbed to about N18,000. It was specifically N17,500 in Abuja on Thursday, a product that sold for less than N9,000 in November last year.

LPG dealers under the aegis of Nigerian Association of Liquefied Petroleum Gas Marketers had predicted mid last year that a 12.5kg cylinder would cost N18,000 going by the incessant hikes in its cost.

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To tackle this, the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources (Gas), Ekperikpe Ekpo, constituted a committee in November 2023, headed by the Chief Executive of the Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority, Farouk Ahmed.

But up till today (Thursday), the cost of the commodity has maintained a northward movement, as many LPG users are gradually shifting to the use of charcoal.

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But while speaking on the sidelines of the internal stakeholders’ workshop in Abuja on Thursday, Ekpo stated that the Federal Government had asked LPG producers to stop exporting the commodity.

He named some international oil companies including Mobil, Shell and Chevron as producers, stressing that the government was interfacing with them to crash cooking gas prices.

In November 2023, a kilogram of cooking gas was about N700, but the product is now sold at about N1,400/kg. Some operators stated that the cost would increase further if the government fails to intervene.

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Ekpo said, “With the issue of gas, you have seen the demonstration of the Federal Government by withdrawing all taxes and levies from the importation of gas related equipment. It is a big incentive.

“On the issue of LPG (cooking gas), we are interacting with the critical sectors to ensure that there is no exportation of LPG. All LPG produced within the country will have to be domesticated. And when this is done, the volume will increase and, of course, the price will automatically crash.

“I’m in contact with the regulator, NMDPRA, we have meetings almost on a daily basis and with the producers of the gas like Mobil, Chevron and Shell. So there is that hope that things will turn around.

“And that is also why we are having this engagement to know exactly what the problems are, so that we can address them once and for all.”

When told that the removal of Value Added Tax on LPG seems not to be reflecting on the cost of the commodity, the minister stated that cooking gas investors were trying to maximise their profit from the sale of the product.

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“Excuse me, it is not going to reflect that way. We are dealing with human beings. A policy has been put in place and these people, the investors, want to maximise the profit that they are going to get from it all.

“So at the end of the day we had to come in, which is why you have the regulator. We are interfacing with them to make sure they crash the price. We are meeting with them on a daily basis,” Ekpo stated.

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It was reported in December 2023 that the Federal Government had exempted the importation of LPG and its equipment from the payment of customs duty and Value Added Tax, as the move was expected to result in a drop in the cost of cooking gas across the country.

This was disclosed by the Federal Ministry of Finance in a letter (dated November 28, 2023) to the Special Adviser to the President on Energy; Comptroller-General of the Nigeria Customs Service; and the Chairman of the Federal Inland Revenue Service.

The Minister of Finance and Coordinating Minister of the Economy, Wale Edun, signed the letter.

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Meanwhile, when asked on Thursday to state when government vehicles would start running on Compressed Natural Gas as always championed by the government, the gas minister stated that he would speak on this later.

“The Presidential Initiative on CNG was set up before the inauguration of the ministers, but I’m interfacing with them. The Federal Government committee is working towards realising the goals. So the moment I get a clearer picture about it I will address you accordingly,” Ekpo stated.

Nigeria has over 208 trillion standard cubic feet of gas reserves and is now viewed as a gas-rich nation.

But most of the country’s gas resources remained untapped due to several reasons such as lack of investments in the sector, the shift from fossil fuels, policy issues, among others.
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Ekpo was also asked whether the government would allow operators in the sector to run most of their transactions in naira, as against the popular practice of dollar transactions, and he said the matter would be discussed at the meeting by stakeholders.

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“If you were there when the director on gas was presenting what we discussed during the stakeholders meeting on February 6, 2024, it (the concern) was presented, and I will have the views of the implementers and regulators today. Then from there we can take a decisive decision on how to address it,” the minister stated.

Earlier during his speech at the workshop, he said the aim of the event was to reposition the Nigerian gas sector for optimal performance, in line with President Bola Tinubu’s agenda to unlock Nigeria’s abundant gas resources for economic development and poverty eradication.

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“This is the second in a series of engagements with stakeholders in the gas sector, the first being the consultative meeting I held with external stakeholders in the gas sector on February 6, 2024 which provided a platform for me to hear from the various associations and groups operating across the gas value chain with a view to understanding the pain points of the industry operators.

“It is my expectation that having heard from the operators in our industry, we as policymakers, regulators and policy implementers will internalise the feedback from our stakeholders and customers to proffer workable solutions to tackle the issues bedevilling our nation’s gas sector.

“With over 208 trillion standard cubic feet in proven gas reserves, Nigeria has no business with energy poverty, and it is imperative for us to rise up as a people to tackle these challenges head-on,” Ekpo stated.

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He stated that as part of efforts to ensure a high level of performance and accountability within the Federal Government, the President, through the office of the Special Adviser on Policy and Coordination, had released the Presidential Priorities and Ministerial Deliverables for 2023 – 2027 to create a performance tracking mechanism for the Minister of Petroleum Resources and relevant agencies.

“The theme for this workshop – ‘Harnessing Nigeria’s Proven Gas Reserves for Economic Growth and Development,’ is very apt and provides a platform for us to galvanise action and take the necessary steps to release this nation’s abundant gas reserves to accelerate our industrialisation and develop the economy for the good of our teeming population,” Ekpo stated.

The Chief Executives of the Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority, Ahmed Farouk, and the Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Petroleum Regulatory Commission, Gbenga Komolafe, were in attendance at the internal stakeholders’ workshop on Thursday.

Representatives from other agencies under the petroleum ministry such as the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited, Petroleum Technology Development Fund, directors from the Federal Ministry of Petroleum Resources, among others, were also in attendance.

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