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ENUGU 2023: GROUP BACKS ENUGU EAST, CHIJIOKE EDOGA TO SUCCEED UGWUANYI

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A pressure group under the aegis of Justice and Equity Club, has urged the Governor of Enugu State Rt. Hon. Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi, to ensure that true democracy is enthroned in the state by ensuring that the candidate who flies the party flag represents the interests of every progressive minded citizen of Enugu state.

The Convener of Justice and Equity Club, Dr. Hippolytus Onah, made this known during a world press conference with the theme: “Inclusive Democracy and Good Governance”, held at the Secretariat of the National Union of Journalists, in Abuja, yesterday.

Onah said the group’s choice is Hon. Chijioke Edeoga from Isi- Uzo Local government, who is a quintessence of integrity, character and competence, and noted that following Ugwuanyi’s track records, the people of Enugu state are certain that he would not choose a gubernatorial candidate lagging in the needed virtues to lead the state.

He noted that although there may be presentation of other diverse candidates but Ugwuanyi would present a candidate in line with the zoning tradition of the People’s Democratic Party, which currently presents Enugu East Senatorial zone, with Isi-Uzo being the most favoured.

His words: “As Ndi Enugu awaits governor Ugwuanyi’s choice of his successor, the question of who takes over from him has been flying in the sky and fanning some persons with unbridled ambition to become governor cold.

“Some of these folks who clearly are driving against the traffic had begun to heat up the polity too early that they might warm their frozen political selves before the forge with the same heat they had generated. Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi, a political warlord himself, has remained calm, cool and collected, knowing full well he is fully in charge and no man no matter how he is driven by his ambition can scoop the political water off his head.

“Ugwuanyi surely holds the yam and the knife. He holds the yam and the knife with a compassionate heart. He deals to everyone their due portion. He is kind-hearted and naturally disposed to peaceful coexistence. The fact that governor Ugwuanyi loves peace does not offer any rebellious politician the crevice of weakness by means of which they could pile pressure on him with a view to smuggle their anti-people ambition through to the throne.

“The same teeth with which the grasscutter laughs is the same with which it bites.”

The group insisted that the governor cannot be stampeded into endorsing any candidate but, maintained that Edoga is the right candidate to continue Ugwuanyi’s good governance in Enugu.

“Whoever Ugwuanyi chooses will definitely emerge the governor of Enugu state. No doubt about that and it can be justified within the precinct of democratic governance…

“Democracy is rule by the majority. In its practice, the majority fuses into the minority by way of the election of representatives of the people in government by the people. Individuals are conferred with the right to exercise power on behalf of the people, the majority.

“Justice and Equity Group, insist that as 2023 general election draws closer, some aspirants to the governorship seat have begun campaigns especially on social media. Some had begun by impugning the Ugwuanyi administration, using media warlords and cheerleaders who are rather driven by their pecuniary interests.

“The more they did attack the Ugwuanyi administration the more it ironically gained the commendation and approval of the people of Enugu State who themselves are the beneficiaries of his good governance. The attackers had no more choice than turn a new leaf and began to praise that they have previously condemned.”

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GDP SOFTENS AT 3.11%, NON-OIL SECTOR REMAINS GROWTH DRIVER

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GDP Statistics

THE National Bureau of Statistics, NBS, has said that the nation’s economy as measured by the   Gross Domestic Product, GDP, grew   by 3.11%, year on year, YoY, in the first quarter of the year (Q1’22), from 0.51% recorded in the corresponding period in 2021 (Q1’21).

The Q1’22 growth rate was, however, 0.87 percentage points lower than the 3.98 per cent recorded in the previous Q4’21. 

The growth in Q1’22 was driven by the Non Oil sector which expanded by 6.08 per cent YoY in Q1’22, as against the 26.04 per cent YoY contraction recorded by the Oil Sector in the same quarter. 

In its   Nigerian Gross Domestic Product Report (Q1 2022) report released yesterday, NBS stated: “The Q1 2022 growth rate was higher than the 0.51% growth rate recorded in Q1 2021 by 2.60% points and lower than 3.98% recorded in Q4 2021 by 0.88% points.

“In the quarter under review, aggregate GDP stood at N45,317,823.33 million in nominal terms. This performance is higher when compared to the first quarter of 2021 which recorded aggregate GDP of N40,014,482.74 million, indicating a year-on-year nominal growth rate of 13.25%”. 

Oil sector contraction persists

NBS further stated: “Real growth of the oil sector was –26.04% (year-on-year) in Q1 2022 indicating a decrease of 23.83% points relative to the rate recorded in the corresponding quarter of 2021. Growth decreased by 17.99% points when compared to Q4 2021 which was –8.06%.

“Quarter-on-Quarter, the oil sector recorded a growth rate of 9.11% in Q1 2022. The Oil sector contributed 6.63% to the total real GDP in Q1 2022, down from the figures recorded in the corresponding period of 2021 and up compared to the preceding quarter, where it contributed 9.25% and 5.19% respectively.”

Non-Oil strengthens further

On non-oil sector, NBS said, “The non-oil sector grew by 6.08% in real terms during the reference quarter (Q1 2022). This rate was higher by 5.28% points compared to the rate recorded in the same quarter of 2021 and 1.34% points higher than the fourth quarter of 2021. “This sector was driven in the first quarter 2022 mainly by Information and Communication (Telecommunication); Trade; Financial and Insurance (Financial Institutions); Agriculture (Crop Production); and Manufacturing (Food, Beverage & Tobacco), accounting for positive GDP growth.”

VANGUARD

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FG TO COMPLETE GAS, REFINERY INFRASTRUCTURE PROJECTS BEFORE 2023

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The Federal Government, through the Ministry of State for Petroleum Resources, says it is working hard to complete various gas refinery projects on the back of the decade of gas initiative before the end of this year.

This was even as the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB) revealed that it will sign another agreement this month to build another LPG vessel that will transport products within Nigeria given the expansion that is currently going on in the NLNG.

Speaking to Daily Sun on the sidelines of the Nigerian Content Midstream-Downstream Oil and Gas 2022 summit which held in Lagos on Monday, the Honourable Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Timipre Sylva, said the theme of the summit tagged “Maximizing potentials in the Mid and Downstream Oil and Gas sector – a local content perspective” is timely and apt and comes at a time the Nigerian Oil and Gas industry is exploring the opportunities and potentials associated with the mid and downstream sectors. While commending the NCDMB for taking the driving seat in articulating an agenda for actualizing the full potential and prospects of the massive investments in the industry, Sylva noted that the under the decade of gas initiative, gas has been declared a transition fuel towards our actualization of a net zero carbon emission target and the country must find way to unlock the natural gas and domestic production potential of Nigeria and drag millions of its people out of energy poverty.

He also revealed that the implementation of the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA) is progressing very nicely, adding that this has brought a lot more appetite for investment in Nigeria.

When quizzed on the timeline of the projects the government is working on, Sylva said, “We are working on the Trans-Saharan gas pipeline, the AKK Gas pipeline project is also advanced and there are a lot of projects that are actually scheduled to be completed by the end of this year. 

Walter Smith refinery has already been completed while the DuPont refinery and Atlantic refineries are billed to be completed this year.The brass petroleum product depot also should be completed this year as well as a lot of other projects that are designed to be completed this year”.

Corroborating Sylva, the Executive Secretary, NCDMB, Engr Simbi Wabote, said that with the World gas conference holding this week in South Korea, one of the key highlights of the event will be a signing of an agreement to construct second LPG vessels.

SUN

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N23.3BN FRAUD: DASUKI’S CASE BEGINS AFRESH AFTER SEVEN YEARS

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Sambo Dasuki

The N23.3bn fraud case involving a former National Security Adviser, Sambo Dasuki, on Monday started afresh nearly seven years after he was first arraigned.

Dasuki was first arraigned on December 14, 2015 before Justice Peter Affen of the Federal Capital Territory High Court but he was later elevated to the Court of Appeal, forcing the trial to begin afresh.

The case was subsequently re-assigned to Justice Baba Yusuf.

However, it was learnt that after Justice Yusuf was appointed as the Chief Judge of the FCT, he again assigned the case to Justice Yusuf Halilu.

On Monday, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission arraigned Dasuki along with a former Sokoto State Governor, Attahiru Bafarawa; his son Sagir Bafarawa; their company, Dalhatu Investment Limited; and a former Minister of State for Finance, Bashir Yuguda, on corruption charges.

They were re-arraigned on allegations of breach of trust and criminal misappropriation of public funds amounting to N23.3bn

The EFCC, which slammed 25 counts against Dasuki, Bafarawa and Yuguda, accused them of diverting various sums in various currencies to different bank accounts under the false pretence of using the funds for the procurement of security equipment.

When the charges were read to them, all the accused persons pleaded not guilty.

The trial of Dasuki follows an investigation by the EFCC into allegations that he diverted $2.1bn meant from the purchase of arms.

The former NSA, however, applied for permission from the court to travel overseas for medical reasons, a move which was opposed by the Prosecution lawyer, Leke Atolagbe.

Justice Halilu subsequently adjourned the matter till June 7.

PUNCH

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