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Governors Back FG’s Plan To Replace Fuel Subsidy With N5000 Grant

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Governors Back FG's Plan To Replace Fuel Subsidy With N5000 Grant

Nigerian governors have unanimously agreed to support the Federal Government’s (FG) plan to replace the controversial fuel subsidy regime with N5000 transport palliative for poor Nigerians.

It would be recalled that during the launch of the World Bank’s report, Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed said subsidy was no longer sustainable, adding that 30-40 million poor Nigerians would get a monthly N5000 transport palliative once it’s removed.

Supporting the FG’s plan to remove the fuel subsidy, the governors of the 36 states of the federation argued that should the regime continues, their governments would be unable to pay salaries by 2022.

In a statement addressed to members of the public, Nasir El-Rufai, the Governor of Kaduna State, confirmed that the governors have met, and have all agreed to support the FG on subsidy removal.

The statement read: “This is why the Nigerian Governors’ Forum met and agreed to support the Federal Government’s social compact. Withdraw this subsidy by February, use the N250bn per month that would have been lost between February and May to do this conditional cash transfer that would put money in the pockets of Nigerians and alleviate not only the cost of transportation but the 2-3 percent job inflation that is expected when the subsidy is eliminated. We cannot sustain it. We cannot continue with it.

I don’t want to predict what will happen when 35 out of 36 states cannot pay salaries of civil servants, or even have any money to run the government. We will not have enough money to pay salaries. Already, some states are building up arrears, even oil-producing states are struggling to pay salaries.

So, we support the plan to do conditional cash transfer for six to twelve months, N5,000 a month to the most vulnerable households. This is the position of the state governments and I have been mandated to communicate this.

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Daily Headline News (Monday, 6-12-2021)

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Here are the top 5 news of the day.

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Omicron Virus: ‘No Traveller Would Be Restricted From Visiting Nigeria’

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Omicron Virus: 'No Traveller Would Be Restricted From Visiting Nigeria'

The Federal Government has ruled out the possibility of restricting foreign travellers from visiting Nigeria despite travel bans on the country by Canada, the United Kingdom, Indonesia, Singapore, and Hong Kong.

This is just as the government stated that most of the in-bound passengers that tested positive for COVID-19 were from the UK.

The Minister of Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire, said this on Channels Television’s Politics Today’ programme, which was monitored by Newsrand.

Ehanire described as unfortunate the knee-jerk reaction of some countries to the Omicron strain. He noted that even the World Health Organisation had said recently that countries should focus more on collaboration rather than shutting borders.

At the moment we have no plans restricting anybody coming from another country,” he said.

WHO had two weeks ago designated the omicron variant as a variant of concern.The NCDC had last week announced that the country had reported three cases of the variant. Before this, the Canadian government had announced that it found two individuals with the variant who had travel history to Nigeria.

The UK on Saturday, December 3, 2021, also announced that it found 21 cases of the omicron variant which were linked to Nigeria. It announced that it would, from Monday (today), restrict all flights emanating from Nigeria.

It also suspended all pending visa applications in Nigeria due to the ban on flights from Nigeria due to the Omicron variant.

In a statement on Sunday, the commission said, “To support the UK Government’s aim to protect public health from COVID-19 and associated variants of concern, UK Visas and Immigration will pause making decisions on visitor visa applications in all red list countries, including Nigeria, until travel restrictions are lifted.

If you apply for a visit visa in a red list country and you meet the UK Immigration Rules, your application will be paused. You will not receive a decision on your visit visa application whilst red list travel restrictions remain in place. You will not be able to request a refund of your visa fee once you have given your biometrics at a Visa Application Centre. If you already hold a valid visit visa and are intending to travel to England as a visitor from a red list country, you will not be allowed to enter.

The UK said there are only very limited exemptions to travel and entry requirements for critical workers and medical and compassionate cases.

But the minister said the Omicron strain could not yet be declared as a deadly strain because no deaths had so far been recorded across the world.

“We are watching what the science community is saying and of course not rushing to judgment and we are also not applauding any lockdowns or any prohibitions or banning of flights or movement of people until we know more.

We believe that the harm it will do to livelihoods and economies may be more that the perceived value that will be derived from shutting movement between countries. I believe countries should come together to take a common approach and that includes the UK and other countries contemplating a red list,” Ehanire added.

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Buhari Becomes President Of Pan African Great Green Wall

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Buhari Becomes President Of Pan African Great Green Wall

President Muhammadu Buhari has taken over the Presidency of the Pan African Great Green Wall (PAGGW) in Africa, Chief Sharon Ikeazor, the Minister of State for Environment, announced on Sunday in Abuja.

A statement issued by Mr. Sagir el Mohammed, Director, Press of the Ministry said Nigeria took over at the end of the 4th Ordinary Session of the Conference of Heads of State and Government of PAGGW held on Dec. 2 in Abuja.

According to the minister, “At the end of the 4th Ordinary Session of the CHSG, Nigeria took over the Presidency of the PAGGW.

READ ALSO: Osinbajo Task Nigerians On Unity

“So for the next two years, Nigeria and President Buhari will be the president of the Great Green Wall Initiative in Africa.

“This means that within the period, Nigeria will work assiduously towards addressing the problems of land degradation, food security, desertification, climate change, depletion of the forest ecosystems, and biodiversity in Africa, among others.

“With the unparalleled commitment of Mr. President in addressing issues of climate change and desertification, coupled with the immense respect he commands within the international community, a lot would be achieved during his tenure,” she said.

Ikeazor recalled the commitment of the president at the Climate Change Summit (COP26) held in November in Glasgow, Scotland.

She said the president expressed optimism about Africa’s ambition to restore over 100 million hectares of the degraded landscape for productive agriculture.

“It is instructive to note that in his acceptance speech, the President stated: “All things being equal, we shall strengthen our efforts in the mobilization of resources for the accelerated accomplishment of the Decennial Priority Investment Plan (DPIP) 2021-2030 and its concrete implementation action.

“The realization of financial pledges that emerged as an outcome of the “One Planet Summit” held on Jan. 11th, 2021 in Paris, France would be given utmost priority.

“I want to assure that the restoration of Africa’s degraded ecosystems and ensuring the resilience of our people against climate change effects shall be strengthened.

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