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Okorocha, Ambode, Others to earn N2.06bn as Severance Allowance

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Fourteen governors, their deputies and 434 state lawmakers who will not be returning to government will be going home with N2.06bn, investigation has shown.

Prominent among the governors are Imo State Governor, Rochas Okorocha, and Kwara State Governor, Abdulfatah Ahmed, who are concluding their second terms in office.

Akinwunmi Ambode who lost the nomination of his party prior to the governorship election on March 8; and Adamawa State Governor, Bindo Jibrila, and his counterpart in Bauchi, Mohammed Abubakar, who did not win their re-election bids are also among the governors to collect severance allowance.

Going by a template obtained from the Revenue Mobilisation Allocation and Fiscal Commission, each of the governors will get a total of N6.67m as severance allowance. Each of their deputies will receive a total of N6.34m as severance allowance at the end of their tenures on May 29.

This means that the 14 governors and their deputies will be going home with a total of N182.11m at the expiration of their tenures on May 29.

The severance allowance is, however, separate from other packages which many states have put in place as retirement benefits or pension packages for their governors and deputy governors.

Some of such packages include unlimited health care benefits as well as houses in any place of their choice in the state. Some also offer another house in the Federal Capital Territory. Some former governors have been known to implement some of the packages for themselves towards the end of their tenures.

Investigation also showed that 434 state lawmakers spread across 27 states will be going home with a total of N1.88bn. Each state lawmaker is entitled to 300 per cent of their annual basic salary as severance allowance. This comes to N4.34m.

In Oyo State where 30 lawmakers will not be returning to the state House of Assembly, the lawmakers are to receive a total of N130.14m.

In Niger State, 27 non-returning lawmakers will receive a total of N117.12m; while in Benue, 24 non-returning lawmakers will get a severance package of N104.16m. Ekiti State also has 24 non-returning lawmakers that will go home with N104.16m.

Twenty three non-returning lawmakers in Kwara State will be receiving a total of N99.82m. The same amount will be going to 23 non-returning lawmakers in Osun State.

Ogun State has 22 non-returning lawmakers who will receive a total of N95.48m. The same amount will also be paid to 22 lawmakers who will not be returning to the Bauchi State House of Assembly.

In Imo State, 21 non-returning state lawmakers will go home with a total of N91.14m while 19 lawmakers in Gombe State will be going home with N82.46m. Ondo State has 18 non-returning lawmakers that will return home with N78.12m.

Anambra State has 17 non-returning lawmakers that will go home with N73.78m. The same applies to Plateau State while Kogi and Zamfara states have 16 non-returning lawmakers respectively that will go home with N69.44m.

Edo State has 15 non-returning lawmakers that will go home with N65.1m. Adamawa and Akwa Ibom states have 14 non-returning lawmakers (each), who will go home with N60.76m.

Katsina State’s 13 non-returning lawmakers will go home with N56.42m; Bayelsa State’s 12 lawmakers will go home with N52.08m while Abia State’s 11 non-returning lawmakers will get a total of N47.74m. Taraba State’s 10 non-returning lawmakers will receive a total of N43.4m.

Ebonyi and Borno states tied at nine lawmakers that will go home with a total of N39.06m per state. Cross River State has only four non-returning lawmakers who will go home with N17.36m while Rivers State produced only three non-returning state lawmakers who will get N13.02m.

Incidentally, Lagos State whose governor could not get the party’s ticket produced the least number of only one non-returning lawmaker that will get N4.34m.

Severance allowance is paid to political office holders at the end of their tenure. There are other allowances which they receive while in service. These include motor fuelling allowance, furniture allowance, newspaper allowance, hardship allowance and a host of others.

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FG Dismisses Dangote Petroleum As Inferior, Says Refinery Not Yet Licenced, Not Completed

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By Eric Elezuo

A Federal Government of Nigeria petroleum regulatory agency, the Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority, (NMDPRA), has dismissed petroleum products from the Dangote Refinery as inferior, in the guise of those f4om Watersmith and Aradel, making a case for superiority of imported ones.

The revelation was made by the Chief Executive Officer of NMDPRA, Mr. Farouk Ahmed, while responding to questions from a section of the press, a video of which is trending online, adding that the refinery is only 45% completed, and yet to be licenced for operation by the Nigerian government.

Earlier, the Vice President of Dangote Industries Limited, Devakumar Edwin, had alleged that most fuel products imported into Nigeria are substandard, blaming International Oil Companies (IOCs) of frustrating Dangote’s quest for production.

In the short video, which lasted a little over a minute, Mr. Ahmed debunked theories attached to the functionality of the Dangote Refinery, saying it does not have the capacity to ‘feed’ the nation of its petroleum needs, as it stands. He however, refuted arguments that some elements within the oil and gas sector were trying to scuttle the Dangote Refinery.

A transcript of the NMDPRA’s boss short response is as follows:

“It about concerns of supply of petroleum products acros the nationwide, and the claim that we are trying to scuttle Dangote. That is not so. Dangote Refinery is still in the pre-commissioning stage. It has not been licenced yet. We haven’t licenced them yet. I think they are about 45 per cent completed, or completion rather.

“We cannot rely on one refinery to feed the nation, because Dangote is requesting that we suspend or stop imports, especially of AGO and DPK, and direct all marketers to his refinery. That is not good for the nation in terms of energy security, and it is not good for the market because of the monopoly.

“Dangote Refinery, as well as some modular refineries like Watersmith Refinery and Aradel Refinery, are producing between 650 and 1,200 PPM. Therefore, in terms of quality, their products are inferior to imported ones,” he stated.

It will be recalled that only last Sunday, the President, Dangote Industries Limited, Aliko Dangote, while hosting senior journalists from across various media concerns, revealed that the Nigeria National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPCL) owns only 7.2% of stakes in the refinery, and not 20 percent as widely circulated. He also revealed that the refinery is set to begin fuel supply in August 2024.

Many stakeholders and respondents have alleged that there’s no love lost between the government of the day and the Dangote Group, and that explains the hiccup situation surrounding the takeoff the $19 billion refinery.

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JAMB Denies Setting Admission Cut-off Mark, Says No Such Thing

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The Joint Admission and Matriculation Board (JAMB), has denied setting cut-off marks for admissions into higher institutions across the country.

In a statement posted on its official X account on Thursday, the Board dismissed reports that it had set 140 as cut-off marks for universities, and 100 for polytechnics respectively.

“There’s no such thing as ‘cut-off mark’ in admission process to tertiary institutions in Nigeria, what’s obtainable is minimum tolerable score determinable by individual institutions,” it said.

The denial comes just one day after it was widely reported, that the Board had pegged 140 as a cut-off mark for admission into universities, and 100 as the minimum cut-off point mark for admission into polytechnics and colleges of education.

The statement attributed to JAMB Registrar, Professor Ishaq Oloyede, quoted him as announcing the development in Abuja at the 2024 Policy meeting of the Board.

The meeting had in attendance the Minister of Education, Tahir Mamman, vice-chancellors, rectors and registrars of higher institutions and other stakeholders.

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We Communicated Our Stand to Dangote, NNPC Reacts to Owning Only 7.2% Stake in Refinery

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The Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC) Limited has explained why it holds only a 7.2% equity in the $19 billion Dangote Refinery, instead of the widely speculated 20%. 

A statement released on Sunday by Femi Soneye, the Chief Corporate Communications Officer of NNPCL, addressed the company’s recent decision regarding its investment in the Dangote Refinery.  

Soneye said that the decision to reduce their investment was carefully considered and communicated several months ago to Aliko Dangote. 

Dangote mentioned to newsmen on Sunday that NNPC no longer holds a 20% stake in the refinery.  

He explained that this change occurred because NNPCL failed to pay the balance of their share, which was due in June. 

Reacting, NNPC said:  

“NNPC Limited periodically assesses its investment portfolio to ensure alignment with the company’s strategic goals.

“The decision to cap its equity participation at the paid-up sum was made and communicated to Dangote Refinery several months ago,” NNPC said.

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