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Senate Demands Immediate Reversal of Power Privatisation

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The Senate on Tuesday asked the Federal Government to consider a comprehensive review of the power privatisation policy with a view to reversing the current arrangement.

The red chamber said Nigerians would not enjoy stable power supply in the next 10 years if the activities of the distribution companies were not reviewed and restructured.

The Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, stated this on Tuesday after the Senate had considered and approved a motion by Senator Gabriel Suswan on the power sector recovery plan.

He said, “We gave power to them (power generation and distribution companies) and they still come to the public to ask for funds.

“I think it’s time for Nigeria to consider reversing the privatisation of the power sector or they should just cancel the entire privatisation process completely.

“If we leave it, we may not have power for another 10 years.”

Lawan said, “The privatisation of the power sector has, so far, not been successful. We expected efficiency and effectiveness in the power supply.

“The Discos have no capacity to supply us power. The Gencos have challenges too.

“It is not a good commentary that we should continue to give them money. They’re private businesses. We need to review this privatisation.

“Our committee needs to investigate trillions spent. That’s a lot of money.

“Try to find out what has happened so far. Government needs to look at this whole thing.

“Maybe, government is not doing its own part. We need to find out.

“There is lack of capital, lack of investment. We feel very bad because we have no electricity and the country is suffering.”

The Senate also urged the Federal Government to suspend the planned electricity tariff increase due to take effect from July given the increased hardship occasioned by the coronavirus pandemic.

The upper chamber also commended the Federal Government for the proactive initiative to establish the N1.7tn Covid-19 crisis intervention fund to cater for critical issues on effective management of the pandemic.

Suswam, had while leading debate on the general principles of the bill, said stable and uninterrupted power supply was also a critical factor in management of COVID-19 pandemic patients at the designated isolation and treatment centres across the country.

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Finally, Buhari Fires Service Chiefs, Names Replacements

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After years of complaints by Nigerians about the worsening security situation amidst the overstay of Nigeria’s military chiefs in office, President Muhammadu Buhari on Tuesday relieved the officials of their positions.

Presidential spokesperson, Femi Adesina, said in a statement, Tuesday, that Mr Buhari “accepted the immediate resignation of the Service Chiefs, and their retirement from service.”

The four men – Gabriel Olonisakin, a general and Chief of Defence Staff; Tukur Buratai; a lieutenant general and chief of army staff; Abubakar Sadique, an air marshal and chief of air staff, and Ibok Ibas, a vice admiral and chief of naval staff – were supposed to have retired over two years ago based on their years of service.

But President Buhari kept them in office even as the security situation across the country worsened with bandits wreaking havoc in the North-west and North-central states, the Boko Haram carrying out attacks in the North-east and kidnapping becoming the norm in several states across Nigeria.

As the security situation got worse and more Nigerians called for the replacement of the service chiefs, Mr Buhari stuck to his guns, insisting they were doing their best and did not deserve to be replaced.

Even when he finally relieved them of their positions on Tuesday, the president praised the officials for their “overwhelming achievements in our efforts at bringing enduring peace to our dear country.”

President Buhari’s claim of “overwhelming achievements’ by the outgone military chiefs not only contradicts the perception of many Nigerians but also contradicts the position of the National Assembly dominated by members of the president’s party, APC.

At least on three different occasions, the National Assembly called for the sack of the service chiefs based on the worsening security situation. On each occasion, the president ignored the lawmakers and retained the Olonisakin-led service chiefs who were appointed on July 13, 2015, after President Buhari assumed office.

In his statement, Mr Adesina announced that the president appointed Leo Irabor, a major general, as the Chief of Defence Staff.

Mr Irabor formerly led Nigeria’s war against Boko Haram as the Theatre Commander of the Operation Lafiya Dole.

Ibrahim Attahiru, also a major general, was named the new Chief of Army Staff. Like Mr Irabor, Mr Attahiru had also led the war against Boko Haram.

The president also appointed A.Z. Gambo, a rear admiral, as Chief of Naval Staff and Isiaka Amao, an air vice marshal, as Chief of Air Staff.

“The President congratulates the new Service Chiefs, and urges them to be loyal and dedicated in the discharge of their responsibilities,” Mr Adesina said.

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Just In: Chelsea Fire Manager Frank Lampard

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Chelsea announced on Monday they had sacked manager Frank Lampard after a poor run in the Premier League.

“This was a very difficult decision for the club, not least because I have an excellent personal relationship with Frank and I have the utmost respect for him,” said owner Roman Abramovich.

Chelsea are struggling in ninth place in the Premier League table, 11 points behind leaders Manchester United.

They have lost five of their past eight Premier League matches after a good start to the season.

Former Paris Saint-Germain boss Thomas Tuchel in line to take over, reports said.

(AFP)

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Eagles Captain, Ahmed Musa Set to Join West Brom

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Super Eagles captain Ahmed Musa is set to join Premier League club West Bromwich Albion on a short term deal.

The 28-year-old has been unattached since quitting Al Nassr in October 2020.

According to Daily Mail, the Baggies have requested a visa for the winger and have also scheduled him for a medical on Wednesday.

Capped 95 times by Nigeria, Musa’s career has stalled since he left CSKA Moscow in 2016. Having scored 55 goals in 167 appearances for the Russians, he joined Leicester City in the summer of that year.

Things did not work out at the King Power Stadium, as the African made just seven league starts in 21 outings.

He joined after the Foxes had claimed the Premier League title and hoped to be part of something special with the club.

But he was loaned back to CSKA for the second half of the 2017/18 campaign.

He was then sold to Al Nassr in January 2019 and played 62 times in all competitions before being released.

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