Punch Newspaper Review

Punch Newspaper Headlines (Friday, 12 March, 2021 Edition)

Peoples Democratic Party (PDP)

Good Morning Nigeria! Hope you all are doing your part to help stop the spread of COVID-19!

Here’s our picks on today’s top buzzy stories on Punch Newspaper. We prepare it as a quick-read for our visitors who also enjoys Punch News.

PDP govs back FG’s fight against insurgency

Governors elected on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party, on Thursday, resolved to continue to collaborate with the Federal Government to fight the scourge of insecurity.

They however appealed to the All Progressives Congress-led Federal Government to support states more to secure the country because states still bore the brunt of most of the security challenges.

Chairman of the PDP Governors’ Forum, who is also the Governor of Sokoto State, Aminu Tambuwal, who read out the communique of the meeting held at the Sokoto Governors Lodge, Asokoro, Abuja, urged the Federal Government to carry all stakeholders along in the fight.

Reps canvass higher allocation, say National Assembly is broke

The House of Representatives has said the paucity of funds was hampering legislative functions of members of the National Assembly.

The Chairman, House Committee on Media and Public Affairs, Benjamin Kalu, raised the alarm during a news conference in Abuja on Thursday. “Yes, the House is broke. I have said it before and I am saying it again, and I am not afraid to say it. The House is ‘broke’ and it is afraid to appropriate the sufficient amount for them to do their job. The House is broke and is afraid of your complaints as Nigerians to make provision for what will make them run the activities of the House effectively.

The National Assembly had a budget of N139.5bn in 2018, N125bn in 2019 and N128bn (N125bn proposed, N3bn added) in 2020. While the sum of N125bn was proposed for the National Assembly in 2021, the sum of N134bn was approved for it and all other affiliates such as the National Assembly Service Commission, National Legislative Institute among others.

Banks owe telcos N42bn for USSD services, says NCC

Deposit Money Banks owe telecommunications companies N42bn for services provided by the mobile network operators through the Unstructured Supplementary Service Data, the Nigerian Communications Commission announced on Thursday.

Executive Vice Chairman, NCC, Prof. Umar Danbatta, announced this during his lecture at the virtual 2021 edition of the Bullion Lecture.

He explained that the indebtedness of the banks to mobile network operators had been an issue over time, but stressed that the NCC was working hard to address the concern.

Reps question Kyari, allege $5bn not remitted in 14 years

The House of Representatives’ ad hoc committee set up to investigate stolen crude oil valued at N5tn on Wednesday grilled the Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, Melee Kyari.

At the investigative hearing, which our correspondent obtained its video footage on Thursday, the management of NNPC and the lawmakers, however, disagreed over the alleged non-remittance of $5bn accrued from crude sales between 2005 and 2019.

Chairman of the committee, Peter Akpatason, noted the irregularities in the various documents submitted by NNPC and other agencies. He stated that the panel was set up to identify and proffer lasting solutions to oil theft and revenue loss.

Vaccine side effect fear: Vaccination continues, says FG, eight countries suspend rollout

The Federal Government on Thursday said Nigeria would continue to administer AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine despite its suspension by eight European countries over fear of its possible deadly side effects.

The Minister of State for Health, Dr Olorunnimbe Mamora, in an interview with one of our correspondents in Abuja, said suspending the vaccine would amount to a fire brigade approach. Also a prominent virologist, Prof. Oyewale Tomori, in an interview with The PUNCH, stated that there was nothing to worry about.

But as Nigeria continued to deploy doses of the vaccine on Thursday, an international news channel, France24, reported that seven European countries – Denmark, Norway, Austria, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Luxembourg – suspended all or part of its rollout as a precaution while they investigated concerns relating to blood clots and other side effects caused by the vaccine.

Malami, Bawa summoned over forfeited assets’ transfer to AGF office

The House of Representatives has summoned the new Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Abdulrasheed Bawa, to come forward and explain the circumstances surrounding the transfer of some forfeited assets to the Office of the Attorney General of the Federation.

Also to appear before an ad hoc committee of the House set up to compile and review projects and fixed assets belonging to the Federal Government across Nigeria, are the Minister of Justice and Attorney-General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami (SAN); and Minister of the Federal Capital Territory, Mohammed Bello.

The Chairman of the committee, Ademorin Kuye, noted that the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Justice and Solicitor-General of the Federation was supposed to appear before the lawmakers in company with some directors on Thursday but did not show up.

Petrol price now N212.61 per litre – PPPRA

The Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency has revealed in a new monthly template that the price of Premium Motor Spirit, also known as petrol, has reached N212.6 per litre.

According to the template which the PPPRA released midnight, petrol is expected to sell at a lower retail price of N209.61 and at an upper retail price of N212.61. Nigerian marketers usually use the upper band for pump price.

The expected ex-depot price, as seen in the template, is N206.42, while the landing cost is N189.61.

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