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PDP Condemns Flogging Of Anti-Buhari Campaigners In Kogi

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The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) says it is insensitive for two young people who protested against President Muhammadu Buhari in Kogi state to have been subjected to whipping.

The protesters had paraded graffiti and posters reading “Buhari must go” when the thugs accosted them.

The Kogi government, however, had hailed the flogging of the protesters, saying the people of the state remain fanatic followers of the president.

But reacting, the PDP, in a statement on Friday signed by Kola Ologbondiyan, its spokesperson, said the protest by the youths was against the incompetence of the Buhari administration.

“These graffiti by Nigerian youths are a loud demonstration against the impunity, divineness, high level incompetence, massive corruption as well as the insensitivity of the APC and its administration to the sorry situation they have plunged our dear nation,” the statement reads.

“The Nigerian youths, by the graffiti, are demonstrating against the failure of President Buhari and the APC to take decisive steps to address the incessant mass killings, high level unemployment, poverty and economic hardship that their administration has foisted on our country.

“The graffiti is also an open aversion to the looting of over N15 trillion by APC leaders at the time our nation is battling with 33% unemployment rate; at a time over 40 million Nigerian have lost their means of livelihood due to APC misrule and where most families cannot afford the basic necessities of life.

“Moreover, the use of political graffiti by citizens is a global practice to express themselves particularly in democratic setting.

“It is therefore a mark of intolerance, disdain and insensitivity to the plight of the people that instead of accepting and taking steps to address their anxieties, the APC chose to unleash their thugs to flog and dehumanise Nigerian citizens exercising their right to freedom of expression, as witnessed in Kogi state.”

The PDP said it rejected the allegations of trespass as basis for the attack on the protesters, noting that such claims should have been taken up in court.

The party said it recalled how Buhari, as the presidential candidate of the APC in 2014, led other leaders of his party who took to the streets and “disrupted public activities in exercise of such freedom and nobody hired thugs to attack or flog them in public”.

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Business

Banks’ CEOs Hold Emergency Meeting Over BDCs’ Forex Ban 

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Bank Chief Executive Officers on Thursday, held an emergency meeting on how to ensure compliance with the new forex directive of the Central Bank of Nigeria.

After the meeting, they spoke during a webinar organised to give an update on the banks’ preparedness to be the main channel of forex distribution, following the recent discontinuity of forex supply to the BDC operators by the CBN.

The executives assured the public that banks would make forex available to customers in accordance with the CBN’s directives.

After the last Monetary Policy Committee meeting, the Central Bank Governor, Godwin Emefiele, had ordered all Deposit Money Banks to set up teller points at designated branches across the country to fulfil legitimate FX request for personal travel allowance, business travel allowance, tuition fees, medical payments and SMEs transactions, among others.

Speaking at the webinar, the Group Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, Access Bank Plc, Herbert Wigwe, said, “The banking industry as a whole was willing and ready to carry out this function. The banks have very strict compliance measures, in terms of verification and making sure that people who do apply are eligible.

“All Nigerian banks will be able to meet these requirements. If you look at all the branches nationwide, you will know that the banks have more than enough capacity to do this.”

He said if the banks saw any compliance issues, or people attempting to do things cunning, they would be reported to the CBN because the banks would ensure full compliance with the order.

The Group Chief Executive Officer, Guaranty Trust Holding Company Plc, Mr Segun Agbaje, while speaking on the capacity of the banks to meet the customers demand, said, “It is not only the CBN that has the ability to fund the market; the banks also have the resources to meet the demand, and we have agreed collectively that it will start immediately.”

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Nigeria Needs $2.3tn To Address Infrastructure Deficit, Says FG

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Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha, said that the country need $2.3tn to address its national integrated infrastructure masterplan.

He said this in Abuja on Thursday at a town hall meeting themed: ‘Nigeria’s infrastructure revolution: Road to a new future’, organised by Business Hallmark.

According to him, the 23-year masterplan (2020-2043) is for the development of infrastructure including roads, railway network and maritime sector.

The event was chaired by a former national chairman of the All Progressives Congress and former governor of Edo State, Chief John Odigie-Oyegun.

Mustapha said, “Conscious of the economic disruption caused by 2016 recession and COVID-19 as well as challenges of previous reforms, the Federal Government revised the 23 year (2020-2043) national integrated infrastructure masterplan that identified critical enablers.

“For the 23-year period, $2.3tn will be required, translating to about $150bn annually and the private sector and other partners have to provide 56 per cent, while Federal Government and state governments will provide 44 per cent of the share of the investment.

“The Federal Government has made important strides towards providing much of our infrastructure and has, in recent years, conducted several infrastructural reforms.

“Specifically, we are extending and upgrading the nation’s railway network and introducing more locomotive couches. The port sector has been converted to landlocked model and terminal.

“Similarly, Public Private Partnership style infrastructure company with an initial seed capital of N1tn envisaging to grow over time to N6tn in assets and capital has been established and will soon commence operation.

“It will be one of the premier finance entities in Africa and will be wholly dedicated to Nigeria’s infrastructure development.

“The reduction in Nigeria’s infrastructural gap will also give the country a competitive advantage under the newly signed Africa Free Continental Area Trade Agreement.”

The Minister of Water Resources, Suleiman Adamu, deplored the water crises in Nigeria saying no community in the country enjoyed water supply always.

He said, “In 1992, 30 per cent of the Nigerian population was enjoying pipe-borne water and as of 2015, it had dropped to seven per cent.

“In 2015, we were at 68 per cent national coverage for access to water and as of today, we are at 70 per cent and maybe by the time the result for 2021 comes out, we might be at 71 per cent to 72 per cent.

“As for water quality, 90 per cent of water consumed, including water from the boreholes, are contaminated and water is the basic necessity of life.”

Oyegun, in his contribution at the event, said six years going, the performance of the regime of the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), had been mixed.

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NERC: Over 1m Electricity Consumers Have Received Prepaid Meters

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