Today in Nigeria and around the world: A roundup of the big news on Saturday, July 30, 2022

Today in Nigeria and around the world: A roundup of the big news on Saturday

These are the big news across Nigeria and around the world that might interest you today, Saturday, July 30, 2022.

1. 2023: Okowa meets Ortom behind closed doors, begs Wike

The vice presidential candidate of the People’s Democratic Party, Governor Ifeanyi Okowa has appealed to Governor Nyesom Wike on the need for genuine reconciliation with Atiku Abubakar.

Okowa made the appeal while speaking to journalists after a closed-door meeting with Governor Samuel Ortom of Benue state at the Benue state government lodge in Asokoro, Abuja.

2. Wike breaks silence, says Atiku told ‘many lies’ on Arise News

Barr. Nyesom Wike, governor of Rivers state, says Atiku Abubakar, presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), lied in a recent interview he granted Arise Television.

On Friday, speaking at the international airport in Port Harcourt, Rivers capital, Wike said the PDP presidential candidate lied about how he picked Ifeanyi Okowa, Delta governor, as his running mate.

3. Northern groups reject UN’s demand for Kanu’s release

The Coalition of Northern Groups (CNGs) on Friday condemned the United Nations’ demand for the release of the detained leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra IPOB), Nnamdi Kanu.

4. Airlines increase fares over rising fuel cost from N80,000 to N100,000

Nigeria airlines have increased fares for domestic flights to at least N80,000 depending on the trip over the rising cost of aviation fuel and foreign exchange (FX) crisis.

Checks by GbaramatuVoice on Friday showed that Azman Air flight from Lagos to Kano/Kaduna increased from about N80,000 to N100,000.

5. Insecurity: Shehu Sani knocks ‘weak Buhari’ for sticking with underperforming political appointees, others

A former lawmaker representing Kaduna Central Senatorial District, Shehu Sani, on Friday berated President Muhammadu Buhari for perchance to retain underperforming political appointees despite the numerous problems in the country.

6. Senstor Magnus Abe joins SDP to pursue governorship ambition after APC exit 

After weeks of speculations, Magnus Abe, former Senator representing Rivers South East has finally confirmed that he has dumped the All Progressives Congress, APC for the Social Democratic Party, SDP.

ALSO READ: Dark clouds hang over Niger Delta as Gbaramatu youths issue ultimatum to FG, Chevron over oil spills

Abe made the confirmation on Friday morning in a post on his Facebook page. He said in the post that he has been a member of SDP for sometimes now.

7. 2023: Moghalu unsure of peaceful elections amid insecurity, worsening economy

Kingsley Moghalu, who was a member of African Democratic Congress (ADC), on Friday decried the existential crises of insecurity and economic meltdown ravaging the country.

8. Insecurity: National Assembly’s action against Buhari overdue – Gov Ortom

The Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom, on Friday, commended the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) caucus in the National Assembly for giving President Muhammadu Buhari a six-week ultimatum to fix the country’s security challenges or face impeachment.

9. Buhari approves Lekki Deep Sea port for commercial operations

President Muhammadu Buhari has approved the designation of Lekki Deep Sea port as a Customs Port and Approved Wharf.

10. C’wealth Games: Aruna leads Nigeria men’s team to victory, women’s team beaten in game 2

The Nigeria men’s team defeated the South Africa men’s team in the table tennis event at the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games on Friday.

11. Bayelsa man kills lady, buries corpse in room

The Bayelsa State Police Command has arrested one Joseph Fekala for allegedly killing a 26-year-old lady identified as Kate Ogwoh.

It said that the suspect reportedly strangled Kate to death on Thursday, July 28, 2022 and buried her in a shallow grave in his bedroom at Okaka community in the Yenagoa Local Government Area of the state.

According to the command, 27-year-old Fekala was apprehended on Friday, July 29, 2022 and detained at the State Criminal Investigation and Intelligence Department.

12. CBN sues 10 firms over ‘prepaid meter funds diversion’

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has asked a Federal High Court in Lokoja, Kogi state for an order to freeze 157 accounts of Meter Asset Providers for allegedly diverting intervention funds under the National Mass Metering Programme (NMMP) between January 1, 2020 to March 15, 2022. According to a court document seen by newsmen, the apex bank requested 15 commercial banks and the Bank of Industry (BOI) to freeze the accounts of the 157 companies for 180 days pending the outcome of its investigation.

13. Airlines lose N4.3bn annually over restrictions on 24 hours flight operations

Domestic airlines lose over N4.3 billion annually as a result of restriction to carry out 24 hours flight daily to the airports of their choice. This is also as the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) has been requested to help in the growth trajectory of the nation’s airlines without relegating safety, rather than slamming them with suspension. Speaking at the 26th annual conference of the League of Airport and Aviation Correspondents (LAAC) on Thursday with the theme: Sunset Airports: Economic and Safety Implications,’ held in Lagos, George Uriesi, the Chief Operating Officer of Ibom Air said that the lack of 24 hours flight operations to major routes in Nigeria was impeding the growth of the airlines.

14. Nigeria’s debt service-to revenue ratio now world’s worst – EIU

As the amount spent by the federal government on servicing debts exceeded what it earned in the first four months of this year, the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) has said Nigeria’s debt service-to-revenue ratio has become the highest in the world. “The staggeringly high 118.9 percent debt service/revenue ratio in January-April is the world’s worst and underlines unsustainable fiscal policy,” analysts at the EIU said in a global note to investors on Wednesday. According to the report, Nigeria’s federal government debt service payments in the first four months of 2022 totalled N1.9 trillion, which was greater than its total revenue of N1.6 trillion, according to the 2023‑2025 Medium-Term Expenditure Framework and Fiscal Strategy Paper (MTEF/FSP) draft presented by Zainab Ahmed, the finance, budget and national planning minister, on July 21.

15. Shell posts record earnings with $11.5bn profit in Q2

Shell Energy has reported a profit of $11.5 billion in the second quarter of 2022, smashing the mark it set only three months ago as oil and gas prices surged and refining margins spiked. Findings by BusinessDay showed the Q2 earnings are up from $5.5bn in April-June 2021- marking a $6bn increase in profits- and up from $9.1 billion in the first quarter of 2022. The oil giant recorded a fourteen-fold increase in quarterly profits earlier this year which reignited calls for a windfall tax to relieve the burden on struggling families during the worsening cost of living crisis. The higher earnings mainly reflected higher realized prices, higher refining margins, and higher gas and power trading and optimisation results, Shell said.

16. How rising cost of cooking gas hurts Nigerians

Retailers of Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LNG), popularly known as cooking gas, have decried another round of price hike as the price for refilling 12.5kg cylinder has more than doubled in one year. Data obtained from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) showed that the average retail price for refilling a 12.5kg cylinder of cooking gas increased by 121.2 percent to N9,486 in June 2022 from in the same period in 2021. On a month-on-month basis, it also rose by 8.7 percent from N8, 726 in May. Also, the price for refilling a 5kg cylinder of cooking gas increased year-on-year by 103.9 percent to N4, 218 in June 2022. On a month-on-month basis, it also rose by 7.6 percent. Cash-strapped consumers dealing with the high cost of food and other necessities now have to grapple with the rising cost of cooking gas.

17. Niger Delta Minister kicks against stoppage of NDDC overseas scholarship programme

The Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Umana Obong Umana, yesterday, kicked against the stoppage of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) overseas scholarship scheme for the indigenes and assured the beneficiaries that the programme would be sustained.

Interim Administrator of the NDDC, Effiong Akwa, had hinted that the overseas scholarship scheme would be scrapped over the paucity of funds.

But Umana, in his closing remarks, at the two-day retreat for senior staff of the NDDC and the Niger Delta Ministry, said the programme would not only be sustained but also expanded to include Nigerian universities.

He said, “I don’t agree with the NDDC Interim Administrator to suspend the overseas scholarships. We’ll review the way it was done previously, and we’ll be more transparent with the way it is done so that people can understand what the features are and the criteria for selection.

“I believe that we need to sustain the programme and also expand the scheme to Nigerian universities.”

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