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Why we can’t generate 5,000mw of power – Minister

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The federal government on Wednesday blamed its inability to reach the target of 5,000 megawatts of electricity generation as promised on a shortage of gas supply.

The government also indicated that the inauguration of the governing board of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) will only take place when the outcome of the forensic audit report it instituted is concluded.

Minister of Power Abubakar Aliyu, while briefing State House Correspondents at the end of the Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari at the Presidential Villa, Abuja on Wednesday, regretted that power generation had remained at around 4,000 megawatts because of the problem of gas, despite government‘s firm contract with the Nigerian Bulk Electricity Trading (NBET) Plc.

However, he assured that every necessary ingredient has now been obtained to resolve the problem as his ministry is working round the clock to improve the situation.

“Regarding the drop of electricity, yes, you know, the supply has so many players, gas, the cost that drops, issues of gas to some power plants, they cannot switch on their plant if they do you will experience some drop once they switch on, the electricity will increase,” he stated.

“There may be a drop due to the fault of the generator. It’s mostly generation. I’ve been watching since like yesterday (Tuesday) evening, we had a generation of around 4600 megawatts. And you know, we told you since 1st July, that we’ll be able to raise it up to 5000 when we activated the contract.

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“And we have not been able to do so, due to some issues around gas contracts, gas to power, which we are trying to take care of. And we have gone very far with that, and I believe, is for that reason that we’re able to reach up to 4600 as of yesterday.

“This morning, it dropped to 4100. So, this is what is happening, you will be experiencing this fluctuation due to all these issues around gas to power, because gas is not something that we control directly, they will not give you gas until you pay. So, we are looking at ways to solve that issue.

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“It is the reason we are unable to reach that 5000 we promised you by July 1 of this year. But as you will see from that date, July 1st, we have been around 4000 megawatts since then. Even if you experience a drop, it may not be throughout the day, you will see by evening it will rise up again, just like I saw 4600 megawatts as at yesterday evening. So this is the situation. So we’re working around the clock to ensure that we raised the capacity to the required level.”

The Minister also revealed that FEC approved N2.740 billion, as the revised estimates for the updated rates of building structures of compensation and resettlement of the communities affected by the construction of the 700 megawatts Zungaro Hydro electric power project.
The amount revised the subsisting amount from N19.640 billion to N22.380 billion.

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The Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Umana Umana, assured that the government was also anxious to see the board of the NDDC in place because it would aid the smooth working of the ministry.

He said that will only happen if the forensic report is out, assuring however that the government was at the stage of concluding on that.

According to him, “I can very conveniently say that the constitution of the board will follow immediately thereafter. Nobody is trying to stall the constitution of the board. Nobody. I want the board in place because it would make my work run smoothly. But we must also follow the due process, conclude on this report and the white paper is issued. So that is the position.”

Umana also said the council approved the additional costs of carrying out the forensic audit in the size that was considered and approved by counsel.

He said: “You’ll recall that for this exercise, a lead consultant was appointed who had to work with 16 other field auditors and the initial contract zone which covered the lead consultants and the field forensic auditors were N1.786 billion.

“These auditors have since concluded their work but in the cost of carrying out this work, it was discovered that they had to deal with many more projects than were initially envisaged. And the exercise also took an additional seven months.

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“The total number of additional projects considered by the auditors was 3,773. So for reasons of the additional number of projects and the additional time taken, Council today approved a revised additional sum of N765,974,975.50 to cover the additional works done by the forensic auditors.“

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The Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, while responding to what the government was doing to stem rising inflation, said:

“I wish my colleague the Honourable Minister of Budget, Finance and National Planning, was here and she will probably tell you both the fiscal and monetary measures government is taking, especially in the area of the medium-term fiscal measures.

“But what I can tell you is that inflation is a global issue. And I think it reflects, you know, a lot of things going on, globally. But what government does to stem inflation varies from government to government.

“Sometimes it is the way you adjust your interest rate or the way you introduce certain fiscal measures that would allow you to bring down the inflation. But like I said, I wish the Minister of Finance was here she will be in a better position to tell me exactly what measures we’ve been taking to ensure that inflation does not continue to soar.”

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Education

Abuja British School shuts down over bullying, assault of female student

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Abuja British School shuts down over bullying, assault of female student
• Lead British International School
The management of Lead British International School, Abuja, has shut down the institution over the bullying incident that went viral on social media.

An X user, @mooyeeeeeee, posted two videos where the victim she identified as Maryam Hassan was repeatedly slapped by another female student. Brithe

The video generated thousands of comments by netizens who called on the school authorities to investigate the matter.

At a meeting on Tuesday, the school authorities announced a 3-day closure to enable them probe deeply into the matter.

A top member of staff said the decision to shut down the school temporarily was in the interest of all parties involved.

Earlier reports said tempers flared at the meeting when a parent walked up to the student who bullied her colleague and gave her a slap.

The student, who has been severely criticised,  was seen walking into the premises accompanied by elderly males.

A lady identified as one of the parents walked up to the student, asking her, “She is proud of what she did. You are proud of what you did! You are proud right? Someone’s child; innocent child, you beat her, did you give birth to her? I am asking you, did you give birth to her?”

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The student was trying to walk away so as to avoid confrontation, but the angry parent shoved her, saying, “I’m asking you: did you give birth to her?” The student muttered some incoherent words and the angry parent responded with a slap, before other elderly person around moved in to douse tension.

The Lead British International School had earlier said it has launched investigation into the matter.

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In a statement issued earlier on Monday, it said the counselling unit of the school is helping the victimised student overcome the emotional and psychological impact.

The statement read, “We are committed to providing a safe and supportive learning environment for all our students. Hence, upon learning of the incident, we initiated the process of reaching out to the victim and family with a view to providing support, including access to counselling services to help them cope with the emotional and psychological impact of the incident.

“Additionally, we will be working with the perpetrators and their families, offering counselling and disciplinary measures to address their behaviour which has no place in society.

“We have also immediately initiated an investigation, appointing a dedicated team to conduct a thorough inquiry into the matter. The team has been gathering information, including reviewing video footage and interviewing witnesses, to understand the full scope of the incident and identify the immediate and remote causes.”

The federal government has also confirmed shutting down of the Lead British International School, Abuja for three days over the case of a student of the school, Namtira Bwala who was physically bullied and assaulted by her classmate, Maryam Hassan.

The Minister of Women Affairs and Social Development, Uju Kennedy-Ohanenye, who visited the school on Tuesday,  announced the shutting down of the school following the outrage that trailed the viral video of how and where the female, Maryam brutally slapped and bullied Namtira.

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Yahaya Bello: NBA disowns protest by lawyers

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Yahaya Bello: NBA disowns protest by 'fake' lawyers
• The protesting 'lawyers'
• Says protesters not lawyers

The Nigerian Bar Associaiton (NBA) on Tuesday, disclaimed a protest by lawyers over what they called the illegal approach of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) in handling its allegations against former Governor of Kogi, Yahaya Bello

The no fewer than 500 persons who claimed to be legal practitioners from across the country on Monday, stormed the Supreme Court complex.

The lawyers, under the umbrella of judicial watchdogs, faulted the siege on the ex-Gov’s residence, in a bid to arrest him, in spite of  a valid court order to the contrary, which had not been vacated.

Meanwhile, in a short notice to newsmen on Tuesday, the NBA through its National Publicity Secretary, Mr Habeeb Lawal, says the group of protesters are not lawyers.

The notice reads: “The above report refers.

“The Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) is aware that some news outlets have reported this news.

“Please be informed that while the NBA respects the rights of citizens to assemble and protest, we insist that this particular group of persons are not lawyers.

“For completeness, their supposed leader or convener Sylvanus K. Alewu is not a name known to us,” he said. (NAN)

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7 repentant bandits surrender weapons in Plateau

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7 repentant bandits surrender weapons in Plateau
• Surrendered weapons

Special Adviser to the Plateau Governor on Security and Coordinator of Operation Rainbow, Brigadier General Gakji Shipi (rtd), has announced that the non-kinetic approach to addressing security challenges in the state is showing positive results.

General Shipi (rtd) revealed that seven notorious bandits have surrendered and given up their weapons, including AK-47 rifles, to security agencies.

During a briefing with journalists on Monday, General Shipi (rtd) praised the joint efforts of security agencies, vigilantes, and hunters in Wase local government area for their recent actions in combatting banditry and other security threats.

He highlighted that the collaboration among these groups had led to the surrender of the weapons by the bandits. General Shipi (rtd) explained that although the bandits were initially hesitant to surrender out of fear of reprisal, they eventually decided to abandon violence and willingly return their weapons.

He stressed that the increasing incidents of armed banditry had prompted security agencies to broaden their focus beyond known hotspots to other regions.

The special adviser credited this achievement to the united efforts of Wase local government authorities, local vigilante groups, the Association of Local Governments of Nigeria (ALGON), the Department of State Services (DSS), and the police.

General Shipi (rtd) stated, ““For quite some time now, we have been taking a look at the security situation bedevilling the state and apart from the kinetic approach, we have decided to adopt the non-kinetic means to solve the problem.

“We have also decided to shift attention to other areas, especially Wase local government area, which had had fair share of armed banditry and the endeavours have started recording success.

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“Some of the criminals and bandits have returned their weapons to us and you know we are still negotiating, but for fear of being prosecuted, some of them have surrendered their weapons to us without coming out, but with the confidence measures we are building more will return their weapons as well as surrender to the authorities”.

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While General Shipi (rtd) did not disclose the exact number of bandits who had surrendered, he confirmed the return of seven AK-47 rifles, suggesting that seven individuals have turned away from banditry.

“We are still in the negotiation phase, and we are hopeful that more bandits will follow suit in renouncing violence and returning their weapons”, he noted.

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