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Tinubu’s big bets on gas-Abdulaziz Abdulaziz

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By Abdulaziz Abdulaziz

 

Three distinct events in the course of last week all point to the unmistakable direction of the Tinubu administration in putting Nigeria on a firm and sustainable energy path.

 

First was the order that government ministries and agencies must prioritise vehicles powered by Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) in their procurement. The second was the commissioning by the President of three important gas projects through a virtual ceremony on Wednesday. The third in chronology was the announcement of the mass deployment of 530 CNG-powered buses nationwide followed by a heartwarming inspection tour by a Federal Government team to a company taking the lead in provision of CNG vehicles in Nigeria. We take them one at time.

 

At the Federal Executive Council meeting on Monday a bold decision of the government to cease purchase of petrol-powered vehicles was announced. It was a move championed by no other person than President Bola Ahmed Tinubu himself. In considering a council memo for the proposed purchase of 200 Toyota Land Cruiser vehicles for use by the Nigerian Customs Service, the President made a deft move by drafting in his vision for Nigeria’s energy future into the prey. At the end the council agreed that it should be a policy that henceforth government money should not be used to purchase petrol-only vehicles.

 

The policy has far-reaching implications. With 209.5 trillion cubic feet of proven gas reserve, Nigeria ranks 9th in the world among gas-rich countries. Yet, the country is still far away from full utilization of this abundant natural resource for both domestic use and export. Since his coming, President Tinubu has shown his eagerness to change the Nigeria’s energy story using the potentials of our gas deposits.

 

In driving the point to members of his cabinet, the President noted that Nigeria “will not progress if we continue to dance on the same spot. We have the will to drive the implementation of CNG adoption across the country, and we must set the example as public officials leading the way to that prosperous future that we are working to achieve for our people. It starts with us, and seeing that we are serious Nigerians will follow our lead.”

 

As if it were a planned sequel to that powerful statement, two days later, the President launched three salient gas projects with collective capacity to generate $500 million for Nigeria in the next 10 years.

 

The three milestone projects were the expanded AHL Gas Processing Plant; the ANOH Gas Processing Plant, and the 23.3km ANOH to Obiafu-Obrikom-Oben (OB3) Custody Transfer Metering Station Gas Pipeline.

 

Speaking during the virtual inauguration of the projects at the State House, President Tinubu assured citizens that his administration is stepping up its coordination of other landmark projects and initiatives that will ensure the earliest realization of gas-fueled prosperity for Nigeria.

 

The President noted that the projects are fully in line with the Decade of Gas Initiative and his government’s vision to grow value from the nation’s abundant gas assets while concurrently eliminating gas flaring and accelerating industrialization.

 

“This event is highly significant to our country as it demonstrates the administration’s concerted efforts to accelerate the development of critical gas infrastructure geared at significantly enhancing the supply of energy to boost industrial growth and create employment opportunities.

 

“It is pleasing that when these projects become fully operational, approximately 500MMscf of gas in aggregate

will be supplied to the domestic market from these two gas processing plants, which represents over 25% incremental growth in gas supply,” the President said in his remarks.

 

The new projects are purposed to bolster more gas to the power-generating sector, gas-based industries, and other critical segments of the economy which would build into the government’s bid to leverage the nation’s vast gas capacity to drive economic growth.

 

The president was, expectedly full of praises for the NNPC Ltd under the workaholic GCEO, Malam Mele Kyari, and its partners for heeding to the clarion call to ramp up efforts to accelerate investment and developments of projects in the gas sector on a win-win basis.

 

For President Tinubu the goals are clear: The government is ready to partner private sector in deepening domestic gas utilization, increase national power generation capacity, revitalize industries, and create multiple job opportunities for economic growth.

 

At another part of the country on the same day, excited transport sector stakeholders were taken through the governments agenda for CNG vehicles and the torrents of incentives targeted at investors in the new energy vista.

 

The event was a stakeholders engagement for the South West region organized by the Presidential Compressed Natural Gas Initiative (P-CNGi). It was a follow up to the major event held with stakeholders in Abuja to secure their buy in for the government’s vision for the cheaper and cleaner transport sector.

 

Launched last year, the P-NGi aims to midwife transition into gas-powered transportation in Nigeria. Aside working with private sector players to widen gas infrastructure nationwide, the programme has facilitated opening conversion centres and placed order for hundreds of buses for mass transport on campuses and cities to pilot this new energy source. Michael Oluwagbemi, P-CNGi project director said 530 of those buses would soon be rolled out on our roads.

 

Encouraged by the government’s desire to develop the CNG ecosystem a number of businesses such as NIPCO, Matrix, BOVAS, Mikano, JET and Innoson are making huge investments in making available the CNG infrastructure and flooding the market with CNG-powered vehicles. On the trip to Lagos, the Federal Government delegation had tour of Mikano plant along the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway where the company is assembling assortment of vehicles with a new focus on CNG compatibility. From what we saw at the Mikano plant and the explanation by its chairman, Mr Mofid Karameh, as well as comments from stakeholders at the Wednesday gathering in Lagos, the bright future for the CNG in Nigeria is clear.

 

As a bon mort, it is important to stress that President Tinubu’s vision of utilisation of Nigerian immense gas resources is not new. As someone familiar with the energy market, the President has been a front line advocate for exploring our gas resources for cheaper and cleaner energy. His goal is to hasten domestic utilisation and quicken its export to fertile Europe gas market. He had said it as a candidate and has reiterated it again and again since coming to office. Thankfully, the President is not one given to lip service to issues he feels strongly about. These latest steps, among others, have given unambiguous expression of his political will to save Nigeria and Nigerians from perpetual energy crisis and boost prosperity.

 

Abdulaziz is a senior special assistant to President Tinubu.

Opinion

Rivers Boils, Kano Simmer: Political Chaos and Federal Indifference

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Harun Muhammad

For those that have been following with a keen interest, Rivers politics has been intensely boiling for almost a year now. First, a state Governor losing a control of his entire cabinet members, and the State Assembly intended to serve him an impeachment notice. Instead to allow that unfortunate event to happen, he instructed demolition of the House Assembly chamber. This single act could’ve been termed as an absolute abuse of power and treasonable offence against the democratic settings of our land. However, nothing happened.

Secondly, while on that mission of emancipation, we have watched with dismay how the police, under instructions from those close to the corridors of powers, discharge out hot water on the Executive Governor of Rivers, all in the attempt to stop him from having access to the Assembly chamber. However, that didn’t stop him. The Governor, used executive power to present his budget to minority assembly members, which was considered as illegitimate way of democratic processes. Again, nothing happened.

Thirdly, since last few months, there has been tension in the state because the tenure of the existing local government chairmen is expiring tomorrow. As a result, the Wike and Fubara’s camp started throwing heavy threats. The former’s camp is claiming that only the court of law can sack them while the later are saying, based on the orders from the Governor, they must vacate their seats before tomorrow. As I am writing this, it is getting spontaneously tense in Rivers, and only God knows when this melting pot will stop boiling.

Why am I saying this?

Ever since this series of events started to emerge in Rivers, the State Governor and the security forces in the state, despite multiple court orders and proceedings, have been working closely with Gov Fubara. There has never a time when a Commissioner of Police publicly disagreed with the Governor. In fact, the first CP was removed and new one was issued into the state at the peak of the turmoil just to make things easier for the Governor.

Rivers, being one of the oil-producing states, is a critical factor to Nigeria’s evaporating economy. With political instability on ground, a clear threat to the national security is conspicuously aiming to emerge. However, there was never a time the security forces takeover some portion of the state against the State Governor’s order. There was never a time security forces usurped the Executive Governor. There was never a single time.

On the other hand, in Kano, the state government passed a law to revert the Emirate to its status quo, which has been in existing over 100 years ago. The Governor, by the power given to him constitutionally, signed the bill into law. By that single Act, the Governor generously refused to send the dethroned out of the state against the tradition of the Emirate in the past.

Despite this, some political actors find themselves in a position to destabilise the peaceful coexistence of the state, which has given them everything. Consequently, with the help from the above, they have been fanning the embers of resentment which continues to smolder, threatening to reignite from time to time.

It should be noted that, the Rivers and Kano issues are mutually exclusive and collectively exhaustive events. However, the later seems to have drawn more attention to the security forces and federal government, despite posing significantly less threat to the national security than the one in Rivers. The question is: why always Kano?

Again, it should be noted that the political actors, having been democratically defeated at the polls twice, including the courts, are hellbent to continuously cause unending chaos in Kano State, and therefore prepare them for 2027 election.

We shall remind the Federal Government that the people who are encouraging them to challenge a democratically elected Governor are not doing the entire process a favour. More specifically, what we want the state actors to note that they are setting a dangerous precedence because tomorrow someone with access to power could play a worse syntax against the laws in the land.

The world is watching, and seven years—even if those in power secure re-election—will quickly pass.

Haroun Muhammed writes from Lagos, Nigeria

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Opinion

The Wike ,I never Expect-Abba Hamisu

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Governor Wike making the address

 

Abba Hamisu

Glad to be a resident of Abuja the Federal Capital Territory FCT,glad to have Nyesom Wike as FCT Minister .

Yes in past nine years particularly from 2014 to 2022 I frequently visit Abuja from Kano mostly by air as one of my clients that I provide TV content for them paid the bill on weekly basis together with one or two of my workers at Time Base TvAfrica ,but from the Airport to my hotel all I see then was dust plus harders walking freely around some of the strategic areas of the city .

But with coming of the former Rivers State Governor Wike who mostly perceived to be a stubborn politician ,things have suddenly change overnight.

What I mean by overnight is that the man have change the face of Abuja within one year. I am proud with this development and appreciate the support of Dr. Bunkure ,the State Minister of FCT who was the former Commissioner for Higher Education in Kano State from 2019 to 2023.

With out bothering you much ,what really passionate me about this man is the completion of the Abuja Metro rail which was initiated during the second tenure of Chief Olusegun Obasanjo.

Serial FCT Ministers couldn’t complete this project but Wike did. From Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport to the National Stadium down to Edu rail station up to the Central area ,the main Metro stations,was a lovely journey,free of charge for all passengers including me on 7th June 2024 .And according to the plan ,the train will be free up to December 2024.

So Abuja residents like me and Visitors have every right to enjoy this giant project of Wike.

Congratulations Abuja residents and Nigerians by Extension.

My hope is to see Kano light rail soon ,forget about politics ,Governor Yusuf should learn from Wike ,as Prophet of Islam (S A.W ) said “Wisdom is the property of a pious man ,he should pick it where ever he see’s it”.

Kano need modern transportation system fly overs and under passes alone can not provide the needed solutions.

Abba Hamisu Sani ,is the CEO Time Base TvAfrica/Nigerian Bureau Chief Africa Press and the National Coordinator Society For Patriotic Journalism.

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Opinion

Federal Government Agents Must Uphold the Law, Not Cause Havoc in Kano

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Emir Of Kano Muhammadu Sunusi II

 

By Turaki Abubakar

The recent turmoil surrounding the emirship throne in Kano is distressing and alarming. I am compelled to speak out against the blatant disregard for the law and moral integrity by federal government agents and certain political factions.

Governor Kabir Abba Yusuf has signed into law a decision that deposed the five emirs, effectively reinstating Muhammadu Sanusi II as the Emir of Kano. However, federal security institutions, including the Nigerian Army, Police, and the Department of State Services (DSS), are allegedly working against the implementation of this law, undermining the state’s legal authority.

The complicity of former Governor Ganduje and his camp in this legal defiance is evident. They are abusing the judicial process by rushing to federal courts in Abuja for matters that should be under the exclusive jurisdiction of state high courts. This is a dangerous precedent for federal overreach into state matters.

It is shameful and degrading for institutions like the Nigerian military, police force, and DSS to be allegedly compromised in this manner. Their involvement in this unconstitutional stand-off is a direct affront to the resolutions passed by the Kano State House of Assembly and signed into law by Governor Abba.

The jurisdictional issues are clear. State high courts have exclusive jurisdiction over chieftaincy matters, not federal courts. The Federal High Court has overstepped its bounds by entertaining cases related to the emirship that are the purview of state courts.

I urge senior lawyers, citizens, and all those with a conscience to speak out against this encroachment on Kano’s autonomy and legal integrity. The law must take its rightful place. Aminu Ado Bayero is no longer the Emir of Kano, and unless the law is repealed and his appointment reversed, Muhammadu Sanusi II remains the duly appointed Emir.

In conclusion, the federal government must refrain from encouraging impunity and ensure that its agents respect the rule of law. The institutions responsible for maintaining law and order should not be used as tools for political maneuvering and unconstitutional actions. It is high time that the federal government upholds the principles of justice and legality, allowing Kano State to govern its affairs without undue interference.

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