REA Boss To Speak On Energy Transition Initiative At Oriental News Confab

Mohammed Shosanya

The Acting Chief Executive Officer, CEO of the Rural Electrification Agency, REA, Abba Abubakar Aliyu, will be addressing key energy professionals and other government officials on the agency’s current drive towards delivering clean and reliable electricity in Nigeria.

Aliyu,who has confirmed his participation at the conference will tell attendees about World Bank approved Nigeria Distributed Access through Renewable Energy Scale-up (DARES) project, a statement said on Saturday.

Its Publisher,Yemisi Izuora,who signed the statement, also said
the Director General, D-G of the Securities and Exchange Commission, SEC, Dr. Emomotimi Agama, would be x-raying key policies and options available in the country’s drive to strengthen her national economy while aligning with global push towards promoting green economy.

All of these will be the high point at the 3rd National Conference being put together by Oriental News Nigeria, billed to hold on July 25th , 2024, at Radisson Blue GRA Ikeja, Lagos .

The theme of the 2024 Conference: ” Green Economy, Sustainable Growth and Infrastructure Transformation” considers various options available for Nigeria to sustain economic development and growth.

Its sub-themes include, Green Finance, marketing, and supply chain, Strategies and Policies for a green economy, Renewable energy and Ecosystem for a green economy and Digital economy Entrepreneurship.

Agama,who has confirmed his attendance, according to the statement expressed the belief that opportunities in terms of green economy are linked to the enormous possibilities for sustainable agriculture, renewable energy, ecotourism, and coastal development.

Other stakeholders have highlighted that Nigeria’s commitment to harnessing its natural resource potential could make the country a pioneer in promoting green economy development, hence the choice of the theme of the conference.

The conference is segmented into two main broad areas, with the opening programme to address the key thematic topic through the guest speakers intervention and chairmans remarks with comments from participants which centers around the conference theme.

The second segment is round-table discussion through wider engagement by select professionals to discuss the main theme and sub-themes of the conference.

In recent years, economies all around the world have been experiencing a protracted slowdown driven by structural, global, and cyclical factors. Economic strategies that have been implemented to tackle recession and achieve rapid economic development have endangered sustainable growth by contributing to environmental degradation, global warming, and other negative repercussions.

Changing the paradigm to a green economy will boost natural capital stocks, safeguard the environment, and ensure social justice by providing practical tools and approaches to achieve sustainable growth while reducing environmental risks and ecological scarcities. A transition to a green economy, however, faces challenges such as a lack of an appropriate policy framework, inadequate capital expenditure, varying levels of development, and resource endowments.

Therefore, for green sustainable development, newer business models, strategic changes and innovation in the use of resources, responsible and cleaner business practices, and green technologies are needed.

The conference will draw together and engage researchers, eminent practitioners, and policymakers from across the country who will form part of the plenary (Round-Table) session that will deliberate on the latest findings on practices and policies for a green economy and sustainable growth through strategic change and identify priorities for action by stakeholders to pursue the most promising policies and practices.

The conference will also serve as a venue where academic peers may exchange information, share experiences, collaborate, and develop management answers to pressing business issues.

NEMA Receives 103 Nigerian Deportees From Turkey

Mohammed Shosanya

One hundred and three Nigerians deported from the Republic of Turkiye to Nigeria were received by the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) and other stakeholders when they arrived at the Nnamdi Arzikiwe International Airport, Abuja.

A Southwind Airlines flight TCGRB that conveyed the deportees from Turkey to Nigeria, touched down in Abuja at about 7pm on Friday and taxied to the pilgrims wing of the airport where they were received by the Federal Government officials led by NEMA.

The Director General NEMA,Mrs Zubaida Umar advised them to accept their experience in good faithnand be law abiding.

Umar,who was represented by the Director North Central Zone Alhaji Bashir Idris Garga said the returnees were received with dignity to assuage their experience and assure the concerns of Federal Government over their plights.

A statement by NEMA on Saturday said the DG informed them that a token of financial support had been provided to assist in their transportation to their various locations.

Other stakeholders who joined to receive the deportees were officials of the Nigerian Immigration Service, National Commission for Refugees Migrant and Internally Displaced Persons, National Agency for Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons, Federal Airport Authority of Nigerian, Nigerian Police, Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps, and NDLEA. Others were officials of Port Health Authority and National Intelligence Agency.

After being screened by officials of Port Health authority on arrival the deportees were fed and profiled by NEMA and NCFRMI. They were also cleared by the Nigerian Immigration Service before being handed the transportation support provided by NEMA to go home.

Stop Denigrating Traditional Religion,Ifa Devotees Warn Oluwo

Mohammed Shosanya

The International Council for Ifa Religion (ICIR),told Oluwo of Iwo, Oba Abdulrashed Akanbi, to desist from denigrating the traditional religion and Yoruba tradition and culture.

The group also implored the Osun state government,Yoruba Elders and all Yoruba Socio-Cultural organizations to also call the monarch to order.

President of ICIR, Dr. Fayemi Fatunde Fakayode made the call on Saturday,during the inauguration of the new executive committee of The Council at the World Ifa Temple, Oke-Itase, Ile-Ife, Osun State.

He noted that the monarch’s utterances have always caused religious discord and embarrassment for other traditional leaders who are custodians of Yoruba tradition and culture within the Yoruba kingdom and abroad.

“We implore the people who are fanning the ember of religious discord in our land to desist. We advise the Oluwo of Iwo, Oba Abdulrashed Akanbi to refrain from using unprintable statements against the Yoruba tradition, culture and religion.

“We also call on the government, especially the government of Osun State,Yoruba socio-cultural organizations and Yoruba elders to call Oba Abdulrashed to order before his utterances cause problems.”

Fatunde also appeal for calm in the crisis that started in Iseyin between the Muslim and Christian community where a Pastor was alleged to have assaulted an Alfa over attempt to slaughter ram on Eid-Ile-Fitri (Ileya) day.

“For the sake of peace, we implore practitioners of all religions and traditions to live in harmony and focus on what unites us rather than what separates us
In view of this, we appeal to both parties, Muslims and Christians fighting in Iseyin to allow peace to reign,” he said.

Dr. Fakayode charged the new executive committee to see the opportunity to serve as a way to contribute their quota to world peace and human progress as the committee was formed at a time when the Yoruba land and its tradition, as well as religion are facing challenges.

He emphasized the need for the Ifa adherents to be true custodians of the Yoruba tradition, culture and religion.

Fuel Price Hike Could Hit 300%-Group

Mohammed Shosanya

The Society of Energy Editors,says price hike in fuel could hit 300 percent in some states in 2024 compared to the same time last year.

The Society,in its third quarter outlook for Nigeria Energy Sector,attributed the development to the removal of subsidy which encouraged fuel to be sold at different prices across the country.

Fuel imports will remain high, putting pressure on foreign exchange reserves,while petroleum subsidy to remain a significant burden on government finances during the period,the group disclosed in a statement made available to Premium News on Saturday.

According to the group,refineries will operate at limited capacity due to unending maintenance and upgrades during the period.

The group expects increased oil production as new fields come online,will ongoing efforts to revamp existing fields will boost output in the country.

It said the management of the 2024 marginal fields bid round by the Nigeria Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission, NUPRC, to impact investor confidence.

It quoted the challenges as security issues in the Niger Delta, ongoing divestments by oil majors, lack of investments, decaying infrastructure, poor governance structure, and poor implementation of the Petroleum Industry Act, PIA.

Besides,gas production will increase as new projects come online in the coming quarter,while liquefied natural gas exports will remain strong, with Nigeria maintaining its position as a key global supplier.

The challenges are;gas infrastructure constraints, lack of investments and domestic supply shortfalls to persist.

According to the group,power generation will increase as new plants come online,adding that transmission and distribution infrastructure upgrades wok continue.

Funding shortfalls due to lack of investment coupled with grid stability issues are the challenges here.

The group said potential labour unrest in the downstream and upstream petroleum sectors in solidarity with organized labour regarding cost-of-living crises.

Electricity sector workers,the group quoted,may protest over unpaid wages and benefits,adding that workers are also poised to show solidarity with organized labour over cost-of-living crises.

Efforts to grow revenue generation from solid minerals to continue,and the newly launched mining marshals to curb the impact of artisanal mining,it quoted.

Th group noted that lack of clarity on government’s engagement strategy with potential investors will continue to impact investors’ appetite for mining portfolios.

It said,the challenges include;Insecurity, artisanal mining, regulatory framework gaps, poor state of road and rail network for evacuation of mined minerals.

It added,efforts to institutionalize the Host Community Development Fund for oil and gas producing communities will continue in line with implementation of the PIA.

It expects increased community engagement and development projects.

The Nigerian Content Development Monitoring Board to continue domiciliation efforts,the group said,adding that it expects increased local participation in the oil and gas industry.

According to the group,the management of the Nigerian Content Intervention Fund by the Bank of Industry could suffer constraints owing to political interference

It added that theNiger Delta Development Commission to continue development projects in the region.It expects increased focus on infrastructure development and job creation.

It said,efforts to restore oil spill impacted communities in Ogoniland to continue.It anticipates progress in cleanup and remediation activities.

It also said:”This outlook highlights the key trends and challenges expected in Nigeria’s energy sector during the third quarter of 2024. The sector is expected to experience growth and development, but also faces significant challenges that need to be addressed to ensure sustainable progress”.

Journey Well, Mama Saraki

By Abdulganiyu Abdulqadir

It came with mixed feelings; the death of Chief Mrs Florence Morenike Saraki. We were all basking in the euphoria of Eid-el-Kabir with vim and vigour when news filtered in that Mama Saraki had breathed her last. It was so spectacular, coming at a time when Ilorin stood still for her eminent son, Dr Abubakar Bukola Saraki.

On that chosen day, Saraki’s Ilorin GRA residence was beaming with visitors from all walks of Kwara in particular. The visit at the time was not to commiserate with the family.

The mammoth crowd gathered to celebrate the Sallah festivity and identify with an illustrious Kwara son, who obviously was also overwhelmed by the show of love and appreciation from his people.

We were all drenched in that exciting mood. The atmosphere was electrifying with polyphonic rhythms emanating from songs and drums renting the atmosphere. People wined, dined, and danced.

But the irony of life was at play; Mama Saraki, about 300 kilometres away, was already embarked on a journey of no return to her Creator – one that everyone will embark on at our chosen time.

Since Mama bade the world au-revoir, the Saraki’s abode in Lagos has turned into a Makkah of sorts, as kinsmen, associates, loyalists, and prominent individuals from all walks of life have been visiting to commiserate with the famous family.

Mama Saraki’s demise is a glorious exit. She said a final goodbye at the ripe age of 89. That is coming 12 years after the family patriarch, Baba Oloye Olusola Saraki died.There’s no way we can tell the late Oloye’s story without making reference to the matriarch.

She was with him through thick and thin, loving and supporting him till the end. I have before this day, listened to the story of the family associates, who at different times shared fond memories of how loving, accommodating, and motherly Mama was.

Those who were lucky to spend time with the duo narrated how they used to swamp the Saraki’s home morning, afternoon, and evening without seeing Mama develop cold feet. She was always affectionate and welcoming. Many even said she was a ‘sure route’ to reach Baba if you had anything bordering you and did not know how to handle it personally.

Just as they say, behind a successful man is a woman pushing him along. Mama was that woman. Her support for Baba Oloye was quintessential and second to none. It’s rare to be as popular and busy as Baba was and still have such a successful and integrated family. Many even assert that it’s almost impossible; you either choose one, citing several instances.

However, the Saraki scions were an exemption. Mama supported Baba Oloye without allowing any of the factors to clog their union. For a big and influential family such as the Sarakis, mama was instrumental in keeping the family together.

She indeed lived a fulfilled life. Not many in the history of the nation have been as fortunate as a woman to marry a man who became a senator and leader of the Senate, and then two offspring who also served in the hallowed chamber.

Her son, Abubakar Bukola Saraki was not just a two-term Senator; he served as President of the 8th Senate. Mama’s eldest son was a Special Assistant on Budgetary Matters to Chief Olusegun Obasanjo when he served as President of the nation and also a two-term Governor in Kwara.

Her daughter, Gbemisola Saraki was a member of the House of Representatives, before serving in the upper chamber for two terms.The gorgeous woman later became a Minister of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. What else can one live for? What else has Mama not achieved?

Mama Florence Morenike Saraki is worth celebrating for being an exemplary mother who raised armies that impacted the lives of millions. All her life, she extolled family values, showing love, giving hope, touching lives, and building bridges. The Sarakis have a legacy of philanthropy and Mama has been able to inculcate this in her wards, who today make sterling differences in the lives of the common man.

The death of the Saraki matriarch, therefore, came as a void but not a loss because she came, she saw and she conquered. It pains to see Mama depart this sinful world but we rejoice for a life well spent. Yes, she’ll be greatly missed, but we’ll live with a good memory of the glorious time she spent on earth.

I, thus, commiserate with our Leader and scion of the family, who I know will sorely miss Mama. I sympathize with the former Honourable Minister and other siblings over the loss of heroin.

We must thank God that both parents lived to ripe ages and most especially lived impact-filled lives, engraving their names in gold and leaving behind a new family generation that has already inherited and is sustaining their good deeds.

Their lives are also a renewed reminder to us all, that we all shall journey to the great beyond. What shall we be remembered for? Journey well mama; to your Lord.

Abdulganiyu Abdulqadir writes from Ilorin, Kwara State. He is the Press Officer on Local Matters to Dr Abubakar Bukola Saraki

New Olubadan To Get Staff Of Office July 12

Mohammed Shosanya

The governor of oyo state,Engr. Seyi Makinde has approved the coronation and presentation of staff of office to the new olubadan of Ibadanland Oba Owolabi Olakunlehin. The ceremony is scheduled to hold on Friday July 12, 2024.

This is contained in a statement by the commissioner for information Prince dotun oyelade.

The Commissioner said that ‘our people must learn to be patient and believe an Administration that has not let the down on 5 years.

Oyelade said that insinuations and mischievous innuendos have not derailed gov seyi makinde from the path of justice and fairness.

He advised the people of oyo state and Ibadan in particular to await the spectacle of the Coronation and presentation of the staff of office on July 12

Controversial Statement:Stakeholders Kick,Seek Sanction Of NCAA Boss

Stakeholders in the nation’s aviation sector have expressed concern over the recent action of the Acting Director-General of the Nigeria Civil Aviation Agency (NCAA), Chris Ona Najomo,who was caught on video making a controversial statement.

Premium News gathered that Najomo was recorded on June 21st,2024 at the retirement party of one of most senior pilots of Arik Air, where he said that while one of his legs is in the NCAA, his other leg is in Arik, a privately owned airline company.

Experts in the aviation industry described Najomo’s action as a gross violation of ethical standards and a clear conflict of interest.

They maintained that,it’s inappropriate for the DG of the NCAA, a regulatory body in the aviation sector, to have any form of public allegiance to a private entity within the same industry.

They said:”This situation is even more concerning given Capt. Najomo’s history with Arik Air. Before joining the NCAA, Capt. Najomo served as the Chief Pilot at Arik Air from 2021 to 2022. Prior to that, he was a line captain at Arik Air from 2008 to 2017.

“These roles indicate a long-standing relationship with the airline, raising questions about his impartiality as a regulator.Capt. Najomo’s statement about his divided loyalties blatantly violates Section 5 of the Code of Conduct for Public Officers (CCPO).

“This section explicitly states: “A public officer shall not put himself in a position where his personal interests conflict with his duties and responsibilities.” By openly acknowledging his dual loyalties, Capt. Najomo has positioned himself in direct conflict with this mandate, undermining the integrity of the NCAA”.

They implored the Minister of Aviation and Aerospace Development, Festus Keyamo to consider replacing Capt. Najomo on account of this public display of bias.

According to them,such a step is crucial to restoring confidence among industry players, the general public, and the government in the regulatory body’s ability to operate impartially and effectively.

They maintained that the integrity of regulatory bodies like the NCAA is essential for maintaining fair and safe practices within the aviation industry.

Any perception of bias or conflict of interest,they said,can have far-reaching implications, not just for the credibility of the agency but also for the safety and reliability of the aviation sector as a whole.

The agency’s Public Affairs Director,Mike Achimugu,could not be reached for comment as his phone was switched off. He didn’t reply our text message too,as at press time.

2,659 Corps Members Jostle For NNPC Foundation Business Pitching Exercise

Mohammed Shosanya

A total of 2,659 members of the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) across Nigeria have been pre-qualified for the final phase of the NNPC Foundation Business Pitching Exercise.

The exercise,which is billed to hold between July 2nd and 10th, 2024,is an integral part of the NNPC Foundation’s Financial Literacy Program for Nigerian youths that witnessed the engagement of over 284,000 corps members, who underwent rigorous training and assessments.

Speaking on the exercise,the Managing Director of NNPC Foundation, Mrs. Emmanuella Arukwe said the selection criteria will focus on the feasibility and sustainability of the business idea, market relevance, competitive edge and innovation, scalability, potential impact on the community and the entrepreneurial spirit of the corps members.

“We have identified these 2,659 individuals who are ready to present their business ideas to a distinguished panel of assessors,” Arukwe stated.

Arukwe was quoted in a statement by the company’s spokesman,Femi Soneye,to have informed that the Financial Literacy Program is aligned with the NNPC Foundation’s mission of equipping young Nigerian graduates with necessary skills for personal and professional development.

“By educating corps members on financial management and entrepreneurship, the program aims to empower them to become economically self-sufficient and to contribute positively to society,” she added.

During the pitching exercise, projects that standout will receive startup packs, business advisory services, and opportunities to scale their ventures.

In a related development,the management of NNPC Foundation has facilitated a significant 50% reduction in the registration fee for corps members’ businesses with the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC).

The NNPC Foundation is the Corporate Social Responsibility arm of NNPC Limited. Its initiatives focus on enhancing Nigeria’s socio-economic development through targeted interventions in education, health, the environment, access to energy and youth empowerment to foster economic empowerment, promote entrepreneurship, and support sustainable development across the nation.

Oyo Opens Job Portal For 7,500 Secondary School Teachers

Mohammed Shosanya

The Oyo State Government has approved the recruitment of 7,500 teachers, and 3,000 non-teaching staff into the state teaching service, as part of its efforts to improve the Post-Primary education sector.

The Chairman, Oyo State Post-Primary Teaching Service Commission, TESCOM, Pastor Akinade Alamu made this known on Friday in Ibadan.

In 2021,the Oyo State government through the Commission employed about 5,000 teachers in the State.

He said the recruitment exercise then, was commended by stakeholders in Oyo state, including the World Bank Global Partnership on education.

Pastor Akinade Alamu said the present administration in Oyo State, would continue to prioritise education, and job opportunities for the public.

He said candidates with requisite credentials,can apply through the link,,for about two weeks.

He Alamu also advised applicants to ensure they have a National Identification Number, functioning email; phone numbers among other requirements.

He said the recruitment of new teachers will be based on merit to raise the standard of education, advising all qualified candidates, including Physically challenged, to jump on the offer.

According to him,merit-based employment is key to qualitative education, hence the need to adhere strictly to the stated guidelines on the portal.

He warned applicants from applying simultaneously for both categories, saying that each applicant is entitled to either teaching or non-teaching category.

The Chairman said steps for the employment exercise include, online application, CBT examination, and Oral interview.

Pastor Alamu applauded Governor Seyi Makinde, for approving mass recruitment exercise in Oyo State.

“Oyo State government’s huge investment in the education sector is yielding positive results as our students are doing well on all fronts. Therefore, the government is set to recruit more teachers, in addition to those on ground”, he said.

The Chairman said the recruitment exercise is being supervised by an inter-ministerial committee, that would ensure a seamless exercise.

He stressed that the exercise is free of charge, assuring the public of another transparent and credible, as mandated by the World Bank Global Partnership on Education (GPE).

Vandalism: Suspect Electrocuted While Stealing EEDC Cables

Mohammed Shosanya

A lifeless body of an unidentified vandal suspect was on Friday found within the space of a distribution transformer belonging to the Enugu Electricity Distribution Company PLC (EEDC) located around Missionary Avenue, Coal Camp, Enugu.

The power company presumed that power supply must have been restored while the deceased was cutting the armoured cables, which resulted in him being electrocuted.

The Head of Corporate Communications, EEDC, Mr. Emeka Ezeh, who made this known in a release made available to Premium News on Friday.

Describing the incident as tragic and unfortunate,Ezeh lamented the increasing rate at which vandals attack electricity installations within EEDC’s network daily.

This is a development that has adversely impacted not just the quality of service to its customers but also its revenue,he added.

He further said that vandalism has been a big challenge to the company, and there is no way this can be addressed without the support of critical stakeholders.

“It is a battle we all have to fight collectively because once these transformers are vandalised, customers who are served by the installation will be greatly affected,” Ezeh said.

He implored customers to join hands with the company to ensure that these facilities within their neighbourhoods are protected.