Nigeria’s Minister of Finance, Mrs. Zainab Ahmed, has agreed to a cautious fuel subsidy removal amidst International Monetary Fund (IMF) recommendation that Nigeria should remove oil subsidies, saying it cannot be removed overnight.
The IMF had recommended that Nigeria cut out fuel subsidies to free resources to build infrastructure and support human capital development.
Speaking to newsmen on the sidelines of the IMF/World Bank Group Spring meetings in Washington DC, USA late Thursday, the finance minister said while the IMF recommendation was good, it had to be implemented in a successful and sustainable manner.
“We are not in a situation to remove subsidy overnight. We have to educate the people, we have to show Nigerian citizens what the replacement for the subsidies would be. So we have a lot of work to do,” she said.
She said there was also the need to understand that you don’t remove subsidies in one fell swoop.
“It has to be graduated and the public has to be well aware of what you want to do. The minister also placed some demands on the World Bank. She asked for some review of some of its policies, especially policies on infrastructure funding.
“We are asking the World Bank in particular to review some of the new initiatives they have put in place. An initiative that involves them looking at implementation systems when they are providing funding for infrastructure. What we have found in Nigeria is that the Environmental and Social Standards (ESS) that they have put in place is causing significant delays in the roll out of infrastructure” Mrs. Ahmed noted.
“We understand that it is well intended but they have to review how it is implemented so that we are not overtly slowed down because of the new procedures,” she added.
“To the IMF, we just came out of the article IV review. The review was both of positive one as well as we expected very good advise coming from the IMF to Nigeria. They have indicated that they are available to provide technical support, to improve our liquidity management, debt management and other fiscal measures,” she noted.
Despite AGF’s Directive, DSS Interrogated Sowore For 4 Hours – Falana Raises Alarm
Legal luminary and lawyer to convener of RevolutionNow movement and publisher of Saharareporters, Femi Falana (SAN), has alleged that Department of State Services (DSS) is looking for evidence to ‘nail’ Sowore despite AGF’s directive.
DAMMYLINK recalls that Abubakar Malami, attorney-general of the federation (AGF), Mr Abubakar Malami had in a letter sent to Yusuf Bichi, Director-General of the Department of State Service(DSS), directed the security agency to promptly forward the case file to his office.
Reacting to the directive, Falana said the development was not a take over because it was the AGF that initially filed a case against Sowore before it was transferred to Hassan Liman, the prosecuting counsel,
The human rights lawyer disclosed that the DSS was aware that it has no solid case against Sowore. Having been advised that Sowore cannot be convicted on the basis of the proof of evidence filed in court, the sss has refused to make the statements of the prosecution witnesess available to the defendants as ordered by the trial court.
“Hence, hearing in the case has been adjourned to February 20, 2020 at the instance of the Prosecution. “Convinced that the pending case would collapse like a pack of cards, the SSS (also called DSS) is currently fishing for evidence to nail Sowore.
In spite of the directive of the AGF to take over the case the SSS subjected Sowore to a 4-hour interrogation yesterday (12/12/19). “The entire interrogation pertained to Sowore’s alleged links with the proscribed Boko Haram sect, IPOB, and IMN which he vehemently denied.
At Sowore’s instance a member of the legal defence team, Abubakar Marshal witnessed the marathon interrogation. “In view of the foregoing we urge the AGF to file a nolle prosequi motion without any further delay to end the macabre dance which has exposed the country to avoidable embarrassment,” Falana said.
APC Rally: Steer Clear Of Edo, Group Warns Oshiomhole
Edo Youth Vanguard, An APC factional group, has warned the national leadership of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Adams Oshiomhole to steer clear of Edo State on the illegally planned rally scheduled for Friday, December 13, 2019 in the state capital, Benin
It urged President Muhammadu Buhari to call the party’s National Chairman, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole to order over his support for a rally that has the potential of creating crises and breaching the fragile peace in the state.
A faction of the party in the state which has the backing of Oshiomhole has fixed Friday for a rally to receive defectors into the party without the knowledge of the state governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki and the party’s state chairman, Mr Anselm Ojezua.
Governor Obaseki travelled on Tuesday with President Buhari to Egypt on national assignment and they are expected to return on today.
In a statement issued in Benin by its president, Nosakhare Oseghale and Secreatry General, Edward Ikhide, the EYV questioned the rationale behind the proposed rally, stating that the timing and approach are not only wide off the mark but has sinister motives of eventually fomenting trouble to create an impression of anarchy in the state.
According to Oseghale and Ikhide, issues of public safety are hanging in the balance if the purported rally is allowed to take place, adding that available security reports clearly give credence to the apprehension that the political rally has sinister motives.
He said: “We are amused that some politicians are planning an ill-conceived political rally for Friday and it’s being done without the knowledge of the state’s Chief Security Officer, Governor Godwin Obaseki, who is on a national assignment with President Muhammadu Buhari.
“More curious in the ill-timed proposed rally was the complete and deliberate neglect of the party’s state executive led by its chairman, Mr Anslem Ojezua. So, the question begging for answer is who is the Abuja team organizing the rally for?
“This is the yuletide season and there are already movements within and outside the state, why the desperation to pull down the fragile peace in our state just to prove that a deteriorating influence is still potent?
“For all intents and purposes, this planned rally is provocative and highly susceptible to violence. How can you guarantee the safety of Edo people in a rally where neither the state governor, who is the leader of the APC in Edo State, nor other leaders of the party is aware of the purported declaration rally?”
He urged President Buhari to put a check on the activities of Comrade Oshiomhole, adding that, ‘Edo State is greater than any man or interest.
N362m Trial: Court Jails 2 Men, Orders IGP To Produce Diezani Allison-Madueke
A High Court sitting in Yola, Adamawa State, has sentenced two men to prison over N362m allegedly disbursed by former Petroleum Minister, Diezani Allison-Madueke.
Justice Nathan Musa of High Court 1 on Thursday, December 12th in Yola also ordered the Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, to produce the 3rd defendant, Allison-Madueke before his court.
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission had charged Ibrahim Mohammed Umar (1st defendant), Sahabo Iya Hamman (2nd defendant) and Allison-Madueke (3rd defendant) to court for allegedly laundering the said N362m.
He said, “The 3rd defendant in her desire to influence election in favour of then President, Goodluck Jonathan, authorised the release of N362m public money through Fidelity bank to the 1st and 2nd defendants to corrupt election officials.”
Considering the evidences as provided by both the prosecuting and defence counsels, Justice Nathan convicted Umar and Hamman on three-count charges. He therefore, sentenced them to seven years on each of the charges.
The judge however, considered a plea of allocotus from the defence counsel and ordered that the sentences will run concurrently
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