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Buhari inaugurates 700 made-in-Nigeria troops-carrying trucks



Nunc Dimittis: Buhari Advocates Regular Gulf of Guinea Summit To Ensure Peace, Security

 President Muhammadu Buhari inaugurated 700 Ashok Leyland troops-carrying vehicles for the Armed Forces of Nigeria on Friday.

The inauguration was done virtually.

Buhari said the procurement of the vehicles was in response to the prevailing security challenges bedeviling the nation.

He said the vehicles were assembled locally by Stallion Motors for the armed forces, saying it marked a milestone in the annals of the Nigerian military, especially as troops were engaged in operations in various theatres.

He said the procurement was a demonstration of his commitment and the importance the government attached to the fight against insecurity in the overall safety and security of the country.

According to him, insecurity is not peculiar to Nigeria as it had impacted negatively on global, regional and sub-regional peace and security.

It has given rise to massive continental immigration, internally displaced persons and great humanitarian crises across the world, he noted.

“Consequently governments had employed varying degrees of hard and soft power elements to tackle the evolving insecurity.

Buhari inaugurates 700 made-in-Nigeria troops-carrying trucks
*Some of the 700 Ashok Layland Troops -Carrying trucks inaugurated by President Muhammadu Buhari in Abuja on Friday (3/3/23)

“As a country, we are very proud that in the first 10 years, we have been able to revitalise our armed forces for the full restoration of Nigeria’s territorial integrity that was once violated by Boko Haram insurgents and other forms of criminality.

“Some of you may recall that in my inaugural speech as president, I promised to put an end to the Boko Haram insurgency, which hitherto had posed a grave threat to Nigeria’s territorial integrity.

“In fulfilling this promise, I made professionalism and capacity building of the armed forces, a major security thrust of this administration.

“Training and acquisition of brand new platforms and other supporting equipment for the armed forces of Nigeria and other security agencies were intensified.

“The procurement process of military hardware was simplified, thereby reducing inefficiency and corruption and adequately improving our military so that they could effectively discharge their constitutional responsibilities,’’ he said.

The president expressed confidence that the newly-acquired vehicles would increase the capacity of the armed forces, thereby adding to the conduct of security operations.

He charged the armed forces to consolidate the gains they had achieved towards sustained peace and stability in the country.

The president also commended the armed forces for the resolve to defeat the insurgency and the supportive roles in maintaining law and order as was demonstrated in the just-concluded presidential and National Assembly elections.

“I want to assure you all that this administration will continue to support you in every respect, including improving troops’ welfare and those of their families.

“The Federal Government remains, steadfast and committed to winning the war against insurgency and other criminalities,’’ Buhari stressed.

In his remarks, Minister of Defence, retired Maj.-Gen. Bashir Magashi said the procurement was another significant milestone amongst many initiatives of the Buhari administration in repositioning the nation’s military to tackle contemporary security challenges.

Magashi said Nigeria had been facing myriad of daunting security challenges, such as insurgency, militancy, kidnapping as well as cattle rustling and banditry in several parts.

He said the security challenges had been confronted with a lot of zeal and professionalism through the transformational reforms of the current administration.

According to him, the transformation process has been anchored on three pillars of capacity building, restructuring/reorganisation and troops’ welfare.

“It is worthy of note that the process of transforming the armed forces over the years has not been easy given the numerous multi-dimensional security and economic challenges facing the country.

“Notwithstanding this, the current administration has security as a priority in its agenda, hence the need to equip the armed forces with all necessary platforms to ensure peace and security.

“Very importantly, this administration is cognisant of the significance of troops and logistics mobility for effective operational efficiency.

“It is worthy to state that this project was initiated by the Office of the National Security Adviser in 2014 for Messrs Stallion Motors Ltd to supply 50 buses and 700 troops-carrying vehicles to the armed forces.

“Notably, the company delivered the 50 buses in February 2015 while the 700 troops-carrying vehicles were retained due to some administrative errors in the contract.

“Consequently, the ministry constituted a team led by the Permanent Secretary, Dr Ibrahim Kana, to interphase with the company to resolve all pending issues as well as facilitate the delivery of the vehicles,’’ he said.

The Permanent Secretary in his remarks said it became imperative to think inward and to provide local preventive and protective mechanisms to fortify the nation’s critical assets, formations and borders.

Kana said the engagement of an indigenous company hinged on the Federal Government’s conviction to uphold President Buhari’s desire to promote the utilisation of indigenous technology as enshrined in Executive Order 5 of 2018.

He said the thrust of the E05 was the recognition of the vital role of science, technology and innovation in national economic development, particularly in the area of promoting Made-in-Nigeria Goods and Services.

According to him, the procurement of the made-in-Nigeria Ashok Leyland Troops Carrying Vehicles is one of such efforts made by the government to encourage local companies in their efforts to manufacture equipment needed to fight insurgency.

Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Mr. Boss Mustapha, the Chief of Staff to the President, Prof. Ibrahim Gambari and the Chief Defence Staff, Gen. lucky Irabor were physically present at the inauguration.

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Subsidy Removal: Ibadan Deserts Stations, Lagos Shocked, P-Harcourt Watches, NLC-FG Talk Deadlocked



…Nigerians Express Concerns Over Immediate Implementation***

The fuel queue which had created motley crowds of rowdy buyers on Tuesday and the early part of Wednesday in the few dispensing petrol stations, suddenly disappeared in Ibadan, as filling stations changed prices and hiked it to N500 per litre.

A petrol station on the old Ife Road, near the Loyola College, had dispensed fuel earlier at slightly above N200 per litre to grudging customers, until the Station managers received new directives, mandating them to hike their price.

They complied, and momentarily, the queue disappeared, as buyers fled the petrol station. Even those who had claimed that they came into the station with their vehicles on red light, suddenly had enough to drive home.

A correspondent who drove through the city, from Alakia, through Total Garden to the University of Ibadan, observed that more stations hitherto closed for business opened stations, immediately. Only the Bovas had little patronage because buyers could vouchsafe their integrity.

In the meantime, Nigerians have expressed concern over the sudden implementation of subsidy removal in spite of President Bola Tinubu’s assurance that it would not take effect immediately.

In Lagos, it was a matter of shock for buyers as the new price came up. 

On the Ogudu – Toll Gate- Berger axis, Commuters, particularly those on the Inter-State trips, expressed bewilderment, and started slashing whatever litres they had planned to buy.

Some drivers threatened to go back to their Parks, even as several passengers cough out additional fares.

The story from Port Harcourt, was however that shocked buyers simply watched, helplessly. (See video).

A cross section of residents of Ibadan, Oyo State, however expressed their feelings on Wednesday in separate interviews in Ibadan. 

An Entredepreneur, Mr Tobi Adeyemi, said the development was not a good one.

According to Adeyemi, the new administration should have provided some sort of respite for Nigerians considering the enormous hardship being faced by Nigerians.

“This will definitely affect prices of goods and services; from tomatoes sellers to foodstuffs; transportation, increase in fuel price and so on.

“We will all bear the brunt of it together. I only pity salary earners who are on a fixed income. Besides, I don’t believe this is the right timing,” Adeyemi said.

Also, a sales representative, Dr Adeyinka Adekunle, said the previous administration had budgeted for subsidy till the end of June.

“So, to me it was shocking to learn that the removal had taken effect from May 31 based on what the previous administration had done.

“Everything is sort of confusing now because of the budgetary provision for subsidy till June end,” Adekunle said.

He however, said a nation that was going to be great has to go through some teething periods.

In his remarks, an artisan, Mr Akinola Akinkunmi, said he has yet to comprehend the situation, because things were hard already and buying fuel at N500 per litre now would worsen the situation.

Akinkunmi said: “I cannot yet wrap my mind around how my business will survive; we are already struggling to make ends meet.

“With this development and absence of power supply from the distributing company, we are definitely going further down the poverty line.

“We need support from the government; we need help to survive this time,” Akinkunmi said.

Another entrepreneur, Mr Demola Adedeji, said the timing was not right as the economy had been in bad shape for some time now.

“At least, some things should have been put in place before the total removal of subsidy,” Adedeji said.

In his contributions, Mr Yinka Ajadi, a businessman, said that many people would go into depression as blood pressure of many Nigerians struggling to survive the situation would rise.

Ajadi said, “We can only hope for critical intervention at this time such as solving the problem of power and production inputs.”

Meanwhile, the orchestrated meeting between the Federal Government and the Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC) over subsidy removal has reportedly ended in a stalemate.

The Maritime First learnt that the meeting which was held at the Presidential Villa on Wednesday failed to attract any reasonable conclusion, as parties across the divide stuck to their guns.

It was further gathered that while the Organised Labour was represented by NLC National President, Joe Ajaero, and the President of the Trade Union Congress of Nigeria (TUC), Festus Osifo, and other top labour party notchers.

The Federal Government was however represented by people who included the former labour leader and former Edo State Governor, Adams Oshiomhole, President Bola Tinubu’s spokesman, Dele Alake, the Group Managing Director, Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC) Limited Mele Kyari, and the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Godwin Emefiele.

Specifically, the National President of the Nigeria Labour Congress, Joe Ajaero reportedly criticised the Federal Government, stressing the need to revert to the status quo ante,  because the government failed to either negotiate or protect the Nigerian workers’ interest, before yanking off the subsidy.

The Federal Government on the other hand had argued that the labour had all the time in the world to negotiate with the Buhari government and therefore lacked the moral rights to talk of negotiations now.

The Organised labour therefore said it was going to throw the inconclusive results of their meeting to the Congress whose decision would be final, a euphemism for a nationwide strike.

Consequently, Government representatives called for a rescheduled meeting in a bid to enable further discussions or negotiations.

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Fuel Subsidy Removal: Don Predicts Reduction In Fuel Price



Prof. AbdulGafar Ijaiya of the Department of Economics, University of Ilorin, has expressed optimism at President Bola Tinubu’s inaugural remarks on the removal of fuel subsidies, saying this may reduce prices at the long run.

Ijaiya, who spoke on Monday in Ilorin, observed that with commitment from the Federal Government in revamping existing refineries alongside Dangote refineries, will increase the availability of petroleum products.

The expert who however explained that though such effect may not be felt immediately, noted that the present pump price is about N200, depending on filling stations across the country.

He questioned if the present fuel price at about N200 was as a result of the subsidy removal, adding that if it is not, then fuel may likely increase with about 50 per cent rate after the removal.

“But the thing is that very soon, what has gone wrong with the refineries will be corrected and Dangote refineries will commence by July/August,” he said.

Ijaiya, who teaches in the Faculty of Social Sciences of the university, pointed out that in the beginning there might be an increase in the prices of foods and services.

He however asserted that in a society like Nigeria where people are used to hike in prices, it would not mean much to the citizens.

“By Economics principle, we have adjusted our expenditure profile consumption to particular items. We have moved from consuming luxury and unnecessary items to necessary items.

“This means people go for what is necessary and do away with those that are not,” he said.

Ijaiya affirmed that in the long run, the fuel pump price will adjust downward and there would be more supply of the products.

He further added that when there are more supply of a particular product in the market, it will automatically reduce the price.

“If we have enough supply, with time and there are no other man-made distortion that has to do with our behaviour, I see us buying it between N80 and N100 per litre,” he predicted.

The economist also foresee filling station advertising and competing for sales, saying it will be good for the nation.

He, however, cautioned that “we are in an uncertain world”, but maintained that fuel subsidy removal would be good for the country eventually as only a minority are benefiting from it.

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NNPC Ltd, OML 130 Partners Conclude Lease Renewal Process  



The Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPC Ltd) and the Oil Mining Lease (OML) 130 Partners have closed out the lease renewal process for OML 130 to unlock additional value from the Asset for stakeholders.

The NNPC Limited announced the renewal of the OML 130 Production Sharing Contract (PSC) and conversion of the acreage to a Petroleum Mining Lease (PML), in accordance with the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA) 2021 provisions on Thursday.

During the ceremony which was presided over by the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Petroleum Resources, Amb. Gabriel Aduda, five agreements were executed.

The NNPC Ltd management, in a statement, listed the agreements to include the PSC between NNPC Ltd and its Contractors, China National Offshore Oil Corporation (CNOOC) and South Atlantic Petroleum (SAPETRO) with Total Upstream Nigeria (TUPNI) as the operator.

The agreements include a Heads of Agreement (HoA) Amendment involving NNPC Ltd, TUPNI, SAPETRO, PRIME 130, and CNOOC and a Settlement Repayment Agreement (SRA) Addendum between NNPC and its Contractors (CNOOC and SAPETRO).

Others are Concession Contracts for one Petroleum Prospecting Licence (PPL) and three PMLs and Lease and License Instruments between NNPC, TUPNI, SAPETRO, PRIME 130, and Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission (NUPRC).

The NNPC Ltd said the milestone would pave the way to firm up Final Investment Decision (FID) on the Preowei, amounting to US$2.1 billion.

This will subsequently be followed by Egina South projects lined up by TUPNI and the OML 130 partners to introduce additional volumes to the best-in-class Egina Floating, Production, Storage and Offloading (FPSO) Vessel,’’ the company said.

Stakeholders in attendance at the signing ceremony were the NNPC Ltd Group Chief Executive Officer (GCEO), Malam Mele Kyari, the Chief Upstream Investment Officer (CUIO), and Mr Bala Wunti, Chief Strategy and Sustainability Officer, Oritsemeyiwa Eyesan.

The event also had in attendance the NUPRC Chief Executive, Mr Gbenga Komolafe, Managing Directors of TotalEnergies in Nigeria and CNOOC, Mr. Mike Sangstar, and Mr. Li Chunsheng, among others.

OML 130 is in the deep water Niger Delta, 130 kilometres offshore. The block contains the producing Akpo and Egina fields and the Preowei discovery.

To date, the Akpo field, via the Akpo FPSO, has produced over 646 million barrels of Condensate, while the Egina field, via the Egina FPSO, has produced over 233 million barrels of Crude Oil.

So far, about 1.6 Trillion cubic feet (TcF) of gas has been commercialised from both fields with an outstanding record of non-zero gas flare.

OML 130, currently producing 170,000 barrels per day, is the largest producer in TotalEnergies’ Nigeria portfolio and amongst the most prolific assets in Nigeria.

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