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Today's Headlines: INEC Will Speedily Prosecute Electoral Offenders-YaKubu, Ghana Stops Fuel Subsidy

Ghana removes fuel subsidy

Photo credit: Punch

The Ghana National Petroleum Authority has announced removal of fuel subsidy in the country.

The removal of the subsidy is part of the country’s implemented regulatory measures to ensure stability across its downstream sector.

The Chief Executive Officer of NPA, Abdul Hamid, said this during a presentation at the ongoing Africa Refiners and Distributers week 2023, in Cape Town, South Africa.

Hamid said the Ghanaian government, through the NPA, has also removed energy subsidies.

“We have removed subsidies and deregulated our markets. Industries were shutting down because the government was finding it hard to find the money to provide subsidies and to this day industry is being powered by investments in the private sector and there are no complaints of supply.

“We are ensuring affordability and security for the vulnerable consumers through the removal of energy subsidies,” he said while speaking on more reforms implemented in the NPA.

He disclosed the plans were implemented in response to the global oil and gas market volatility caused by the Russian-Ukraine war and energy transition-related policies.

“For the first time in 30 years, we have installed fuel caps as a measure to intervene and to control market instability,” he disclosed.

Hamid added that the NPA has also created a special fund to assist refineries in boosting their capacity to 50 barrels of oil in order to meet the country’s growing demand.

INEC will prosecute electoral offenders with speed – Yakubu

Photo credit: Punch

The Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, said on Tuesday that the commission is setting up a legal team to deal with cases of electoral offenders during the February 25 presidential and National Assembly polls.

This was as he said the forthcoming governorship and state Houses of Assembly elections will be expectedly more demanding than the presidential poll and urged the security agencies to be on guard.

The INEC boss spoke at the meeting of the Inter-Agency Consultative Committee on Election Security in Abuja on Tuesday.

Yakubu advised political parties to caution their supporters, stressing that the March 18 governorship and state Assembly elections are a contest and not war.

He said INEC was looking forward to receiving electoral offenders’ case files as promised by the Inspector-General of Police.

Yakubu said, “The governorship and state Assembly elections this weekend involve more constituencies than the national elections held about three weeks ago. Unlike the last elections involving 470 constituencies (one presidential, 109 senatorial districts and 360 House of Representatives seats), the state elections will involve 1,021 constituencies (28 governorship and 993 state Assembly seats). There will also be more candidates involved and more collation centres to protect. There are also local elections involving keen contests".

“It is, therefore, important for parties and candidates to speak to their agents and supporters to see the elections as a contest and not war. They should refrain from acts of violence that may mar the elections or compromise the security of our personnel, observers, the media and service providers".

Imo Police Summon Ihedioha, Irona, Ugochinyere Over Alleged Murder 

Photo credit: Leadership

The Imo State Police Command has summoned the immediate-past Governor of the State, Chief Emeka Ihedioha, his former deputy, Engr. Gerald Irona, and spokesperson of the Coalition of United Political Parties (CUPP) and House of Representatives Member-elect, Barr. Ikenga Ugochinyere, for alleged murder, kidnapping and arson.

A letter of invitation addressed to the chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the State, Engr. Charles Ugwu, which was signed by the Deputy Commissioner of Police in charge of Administration, Ukachi Opara, requested the PDP chairman to produce the trio on Thursday at the State Criminal Investigation Bureau (SCIB) of the Police Command.

The letter, which was sighted by our Correspondent on Wednesday, was titled, “Re: Case of Murder, Kidnapping and Arson”, and it read: “The office of State Intelligence Bureau, Imo State Police Command, State Headquarters Owerri, is investigating the above-underlined case involving some prominent members of the Peoples Democratic Party, Imo State chapter".

“The Commissioner of Police, Imo State Command, requests you come along with the following persons, Emeka Ihedioha, Ugochinyere Ikenga Imo, Gerald Irona, to interview the commissioner of police, through the officer in charge of State Intelligence Bureau, Owerri, date: Thursday, March 16, 2023, Time 10:00 prompt.”

When contacted, the spokesperson for the PDP in the state, Hon Collins Opuruzor, confirmed the authenticity of the police invitation.

1,800 Nigerian communities benefit from HYPPADEC — Director

Photo credit: Tribune

The Managing Director of Hydroelectric Power Producing Areas Development Commission (HYPPADEC), Alhaji Abubakar Sadiq Yelwa has hinted that so far 1,800 communities have benefited from their intervention programme across Nigeria.

The Managing Director disclosed this while on an inspection tour of Ibaji Local Government Area to identify problems associated with its environmental crisis and possible areas of assistance.

He also disclosed that seventy communities in Ibaji Riverine Areas of Kogi state will henceforth be granted special intervention privileges in view of their deplorable environmental location.

The Managing Director during the inspection visit met with the Ata’Igala, Alhaji Matthew Opaluwa Oguche-Akpa at his Palace in Idah and the Chairman of Ibaji Local Government Area Traditional Council, Chief John Egwemi at Onyedega, headquarters of Ibaji to dialogue on the way forward for the success of HYPPDEC intervention scheme in their domains.

According to Alhaji Yelwa who was in company of his entire management team, “The findings of HYPPADEC had revealed that communities in Ibaji Local Government Area for decades have suffered untold hardship ranging from lack of access roads to inability to carry out development in the zone as a result of the impact of natural disaster such as heavy flooding and erosion menace being experienced on yearly basis. This terrible situation has placed Ibaji LGA in a disadvantage position as the worst heat in terms of natural calamities above other HYPPADEC member communities in Kogi state, hence our consideration is to focus more on giving special attention and assistance to the zone".

“In course of our inspection visit, we have seen the deplorable condition of the access roads to Ibaji which is very pathetic. We will make our impact towards road rehabilitation as well as the provision of boreholes, mitigation of devastating flooding among others to boost socio-economic activities in Ibaji and improve the living condition of the people".

The Ata’Igala, Alhaji Matthew Opaluwa Oguche-Akpa in his speech, commended HYPPADEC for its quick intervention to the plight of victims of last year’s flooding in Kogi state of which four local government areas in his domain were beneficiaries.

His Royal Majesty told the Managing Director of HYPPADEC that he will not relent in giving useful advice on the way forward for the success of its scheme in his domain.

In his own remarks, the Eje Ibaji and Chairman of Ibaji LGA Traditional Council, Chief John Egwemi identified dredging of River Niger and construction of more dams as the only way to effectively tackle the problem of flooding in Nigeria.

He said the establishment of HYPPADEC is a blessing to riverine communities and lauded the agency for its numerous assistance to the people of Ibaji during difficult times.

Highpoint of the visit was the conferment of honorary Chieftaincy Title on the HYPPADEC Managing Director, Alhaji Abubakar Sadiq Yelwa As “Abeneche Ata’Igala, meaning Ata’s Confidant with Salutation “WALI” in recognition of his contributions towards the upliftment of mankind and socioeconomic activities in Igala Kingdom.

Photo credit: Google

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