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Economic Hardship: Protest Paralyses Commercial Activities In Edo

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Protest by members of Edo Civil Society Organisations (EDOCSO), paralysed commercial activities in Benin, the Edo State capital, and its environs on Monday.
The protesters called on President Bola Tinubu to address the economic hardship currently been experienced in Nigeria.
Members of EDOCSO, who were armed with placards, bearing various inscriptions, took the protest march from the popular Ring Road and moved to Akpakpava Road, and other busy roads in Benin.
Inscriptions on their placards included: “Nigerians are starving to death”, “Tinubu, end hunger and suffering in Nigeria” and “FG, end hunger in Nigeria now” among others.
EDOCSO’s interim chairman, Austine Enabulele, while addressing reporters at the venue of the protest, stated that the 14-day ultimatum given to President Tinubu to fix the Nigerian economy had since elapsed, with nothing done to address hunger in the country.
Enabulele said: “On February 10, 2024, we held a news briefing and gave the Federal Government two weeks to fix the problems of Nigeria and end hunger in the country. Two weeks have long expired, and nothing has been done.
“So, we have come out today to tell President Tinubu to fix the hunger and suffering in Nigeria. Enough is enough. We cannot take the pains anymore. Enough of the hunger, enough of the hardship, enough of bad governance in Nigeria.
“Nigerians are dying every day. Children are now becoming orphans, because their fathers are dying, because of the hardship in Nigeria.
“The President should give value to our naira, because Nigerians do not use Dollars. We cannot be living our lives in Dollars.”
A cleric with Omega Fire Ministries (OFM), Benin, Pastor Azemhe Azena, who is the governorship candidate of the New Nigeria People’s Party (NNPP) for the September 21 election in Edo, during the protest, declared that the situation was getting out of hand while admonishing the government at all levels to urgently take steps to checkmate it.
Azena said: “Hunger is biting harder in our country. The people are suffering. We are here to draw the attention of the government to the state of the economy in the entire country. The leaders should do something fast because a hungry man is an angry man.
“To prevent anger, crime, and violence in society, you have to attend to hunger. The prices of things are going up in Nigeria per hour. So, we should control, and regulate the prices of goods. So, that the poor can breathe, and afford the items.
“I am a pastor, I can feel it in the faces of members of my congregation. The load is becoming too much on the clerics because they need to pay people’s school fees, feed them, transport them, and pay hospital bills. We meet them daily, but government officials do not meet them on a daily basis. Government officials only meet them during elections.”
The NNPP’s governorship candidate also urged the government officials to quickly do something about the difficult situation in Nigeria.
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Power Sector: FG To Establish 3 Gigawatts Of Solar Energy in 25 States – Minister

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Power Sector: FG To Establish 3 Gigawatts Of Solar Energy in 25 States – Minister
…say poor funding, insufficient gas supply responsible for power deficit
By Gloria Ikibah
Nigeria’s Minister of Power, Adebayo Adelabu, had said that the federal government is working towards the establishment of three gigawatts of solar energy sources across the 25 states in Northern and South Western parts of the country.
According to him, this is a novel approach that will go a long way to solve the power problems, even as he called on state governments to invest in power generation in their states.
The minister stated this at a two-day Power Sector Stakeholders Interactive Dialogue/Workshop organized by the House of Representatives Committee on Power with the theme “Confronting Nigeria’s Power Challenge as the Nation Migrates to a Multi-tier Electricity Market: A Legislative Intervention” on Tuesday in Abuja.
Adelabu who said that hydro energy would be deployed for the coastal cities, also lamented that the country has witnessed incessant collapse of transmission which is caused by lack of adequate infrastructure.
He admitted that most of the infrastructure in the power dates back to the 1960s, with no single backup for the national grid, and called for alternative sources in the situation where there is a collapse of the grid.
The Minister also disclosed that the major factors responsible for the power deficit currently faced by the country is as a result of inadequate financing and insufficient gas supply.
Adelabu who lamented the current state of power supply across the country, however, assured Nigerians of the determination of the President Bola Tinubu-led administration to address the challenges and make Nigeria a suitable place for business.
He said “No sector can function optimally without the power sector. Over the years, poor financing, and inadequate gas supply have been responsible for the energy deficit we have in the country. But a lot of work is going on to address these challenges.”
Earlier in his welcome address, the
Chairman, House Committee on Power, Rep. Victor Nwokolo explained that the purpose of the interactive dialogue/workshop was to provide a dynamic platform for stakeholders to evaluate the progress so far in the Nigerian Electricity Supply Industry (NESI) development.
He revealed that discussions will centre around the seamless transition to a Multi-Tier Electricity Market, as outlined in the Electricity Act of 2023.
According to him, “his transition, holds immense potential to enhance competition, efficiency, and reliability within the electricity market, ultimately benefitting consumers and driving economic growth”.
He said: “Through collaborative brainstorming and analysis, we aim to chart a clear roadmap for this transition, ensuring that it is smooth, inclusive, and conducive to sustainable development.
“Furthermore, this workshop will serve as a platform for stakeholders to explore innovative solutions to the persistent challenges plaguing the power sector. From infrastructure development and financing to regulatory frameworks and consumer engagement, we will examine a wide array of issues and propose actionable strategies for improvement.
“In addition to these objectives, we aspire for this workshop to foster enhanced collaboration and partnership among stakeholders. By bringing together legislators, representatives from government agencies, regulatory bodies, industry players, academia, and civil society, we aim to cultivate a culture of cooperation and collective action towards our shared goal of a vibrant and resilient power sector”.
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How Yahaya Bello withdrew $720,000 from Kogi account to pay child’s school fees -EFCC Chairman

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By Francesca Hangeior

The Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Ola Olukoyede, has revealed that a former governor of Kogi State, Yahaya Bello, transferred $720,000 from the government’s coffers to a bureau de change before leaving office to pay in advance for his child’s school fee.

Olukoyede revealed this during an interview with journalists on Tuesday in Abuja.

He said, “A sitting governor, because he knows he is going, moved money directly from government to bureau de change, used it to pay the child’s school fee in advance, $720,000 in advance, in anticipation that he was going to leave the Government House.

“In a poor state like Kogi, and you want me to close my eyes to that under the guise of ‘I’m being used.’ Being used by who at this stage of my life?”

Olukoyede further stated that he personally reached out to Bello, offering him a chance to clarify the situation in a respectful setting within the EFCC office but the ex-governor reportedly declined to cooperate, citing fears of harassment from an unnamed woman.

The EFCC boss added, “I didn’t initiate the case; I inherited the case file. I called for the file, and I said there are issues here.

“On my own, I called him, which I am not supposed to do, just to honour him as an immediate past governor. ‘Sir, there are issues. I’ve seen this case file. Can you just come let us clarify these issues?’

“He said, ‘Ha! Thank you, my brother. I know, but I can’t come. There’s one lady that has surrounded EFCC with over 100 people to come and embarrass me and intimitade me.’

Bello was said to have suggested that the EFCC come to his village rather than conduct an investigation at the agency’s quarters.

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Yahaya Bello Withdrew $720,000 From Kogi Account To Pay Child’s School Fees -EFCC Chairman

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By Kayode Sanni-Arewa

The Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Ola Olukoyede, has revealed that a former governor of Kogi State, Yahaya Bello, transferred $720,000 from the government’s coffers to a bureau de change before leaving office to pay in advance for his child’s school fee.

Olukoyede revealed this during an interview with journalists on Tuesday in Abuja.

He said, “A sitting governor, because he knows he is going, moved money directly from government to bureau de change, used it to pay the child’s school fee in advance, $720,000 in advance, in anticipation that he was going to leave the Government House.

“In a poor state like Kogi, and you want me to close my eyes to that under the guise of ‘I’m being used.’ Being used by who at this stage of my life?”

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