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El-Rufai Accuses Tinubu’s Govt of Paying Trillions of Naira in Fuel Subsidy

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The immediate past Governor of Kaduna State, Nasir El-Rufai, has ignited debate on fuel subsidies, alleging that President Bola Tinubu’s government has spent trillions of Naira subsidizing petrol (PMS) since taking office in May 2023.

This revelation comes amidst ongoing discussions about fuel subsidies in Nigeria.

The government previously announced a removal of fuel subsidies, leading to a rise in pump prices. However, El-Rufai suggests the effort was unsuccessful, forcing a return to subsidies at a reportedly higher cost.

The former governor spoke on Monday in Maiduguri, the Borno State capital while delivering a Lead Paper at the occasion of Capacity Building Workshop on Enhancing Skills of Government Officials in Policy Implementation.

“The present administration,” El-Rufai said, “has so far spent trillions of naira for subsidy, even exceeding pre-removal levels,” he stated.

He claimed the current price of petrol, between N600 and N750 per litre, is artificially low due to the subsidy. Without it, prices could be closer to those of diesel, which currently exceed N1,000 per litre in some areas.

“But as I also said earlier during my presentation, the removal of fuel subsidy by the present administration is another good policy by President Tinubu. I have always supported withdrawal of fuel subsidy.

“But as you can see, in the course of implementation, the government has now realized that the subsidy has to be back, because right now, we are paying a lot of money amounting to trillions of naira for subsidy even more than before, because the impact has been seen and the packages of support that will reduce the impact have not been effective in reducing the impact, and so, the federal government has to backpedal by subsidizing petrol.

“Many people don’t know this. If they want to know whether there is fuel subsidy or not, they should compare the prices of petrol and diesel per litre. This is because, under normal circumstances, petrol suppose to be more expensive than diesel. As it is, diesel is above N1000, while petrol stood at about N600 per litre. So we are still subsidizing for fuel in Nigeria,” he stated.

El-Rufai’s comments raise questions about the effectiveness and sustainability of fuel subsidies in Nigeria. The high cost highlighted by El-Rufai suggests the program may be straining government resources. It remains to be seen how the Tinubu administration will address this issue and whether they plan to revisit subsidy removal attempts.

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Why We’re Charging Helicopter Landing Fee – Aviation Ministry

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The Ministry of Aviation and Aerospace Development on Monday said the introduction of helicopter landing levies was in line with global best practices and cost recovery measures.

This is contained in a statement by Odutayo Oluseyi, Head, Press and Public Affairs of the ministry in Lagos.

According to Mr Oluseyi, the ministry recognises the importance of helicopter operations in Nigeria’s aviation industry and is committed to implementing international best practices in helicopter operations.

He said that helicopter landing levies were commonplace in countries such as the US, the United Kingdom, India and various other regions worldwide.

He maintained that Tallahassee International Airport in Florida began implementing helicopter landing levies under Vector Airport Systems, since 1 October 2022.

Mr Oluseyi said helicopter landing levies were common across airfields in the United Kingdom, ranging from major commercial ones, to small general aviation fields.

He added that, typically, helicopter levies matched or exceeded those for fixed-wing aircraft, and varied based on factors like location and services provided.

“The federal government has granted NAEBI Dynamic Concepts Ltd exclusive rights to collect helicopter landing levies in line with the MoU between NAEBI Concept and NAMA (focal Agency), Federal Airport Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) and the Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA).

“It is instructive to note that NAMA, under the Act as amended in 2022, is empowered to collect aeronautical revenues in both the upper and lower airspace to support her self-sustainability.

“However, over the years, NAMA has predominantly relied on the upper airspace for her revenue generation.

“Government in her wisdom, having discovered a lacuna on the lower airspace where helicopter operations is dominant, directed NAMA to live up to its responsibilities, to enable them generate enough resources, to sustain their aeronautical architecture, enhance security and surveillance and improve the overall quality of helicopter operations in Nigeria,” he said.

According to Mr Oluseyi, the government is confident that the move will improve capacity, efficiency, safety, security and attract more investments in the aviation industry.

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Fubara Vows to Probe Previous Rivers Administrations

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Rivers State Governor, Siminalayi Fubara, has said he will set up a panel of inquiry to look into the affairs of governance in the state.

Fubara disclosed this during the swearing-in and administration of the oath of office on Dagogo Iboroma, SAN, as the Attorney General of the state and Commissioner for Justice.

The governor criticised recent comments by the former Attorney-General of the State and Justice Commissioner, Prof. Zacchaeus Adangor, SAN, who resigned from his cabinet over a fortnight ago and urged the new Attorney-General to defend the state.

Fubara stated, “It is not the one that while you were here… the only thing you do is to sabotage the government.

“Instead of you to close your mouth, you publicly claim that you’re a learned person to tell people that you’re the Chief Law Officer. Chief Law Officer, you were here and went to stand before a Magistrate Court.

“At that time you didn’t remember that you’re a Chief Law Officer going against the ethics of your job.”

Addressing the new AG, the governor said, “You have a big task. As it is today in the local parlance, they say the jungle has matured. We will be setting a panel of inquiry to investigate the affair of governance.”

The governor further said there was a deliberate attempt to sabotage his administration, saying, “If we disagree, no matter how bad it is, it should be resolved.

“But it has become very clear that this disagreement there is no headway to it, and for many reasons, there is very visible evidence that there is sabotage, a deliberate attempt to sabotage this administration.

“Maybe where they are, they are telling them nothing will happen, it is happening here live, we have our own legislators that are performing their duties according to the Constitution. So that record is threatened.”

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Tobi Amusan Again! Sets New World-Leading Record

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The world record-holder in the women’s 100m hurdles, Tobi Amusan, was the fastest over the barriers, setting a world-leading time of 12.40 (0.9m/s).

Danielle Williams, a two-time world champion, was ahead for most of the race but lost her rhythm over the final two hurdles and finished second with 12.46.

“This is the healthiest I’ve been. It’s a pain-free season compared to other years,” World Athletics website quoted Amusan to have said.

“I told myself: ‘I’m not getting a DQ today’. I’m not the best of starters, but looking at how I executed today, it could have been better, but I am thankful for the win.”

Nigeria’s Minister of Sports, John Enoh, took to his X handle to congratulate the Nigerian athletics queen for her latest feat.

“Take your flowers Tobi Amusan, you stormed to an emphatic win in the women’s 100m hurdles at the Jamaica Athletics Invitational, clocking a time of 12.40s (0.9), a World Lead time!

“You defeated World Champion Danielle Williams, who came 2nd in 12.46s, while Christina Clemons was 3rd in 12.54s.

“Tobi, you keep making our country proud. Paris Olympics is around the corner, your performance gives us hope just like others that Nigeria is set to break a jinx. Keep soaring, we are proud of you,” Enoh wrote.

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