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Eight dead in Bauchi road accident –FRSC

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Yusuf Abdullahi, Sector Commander, Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) in Bauchi, says no fewer than eight persons lost their lives in a road accident that occurred in Bauchi on Saturday.

Abdullahi confirmed the incident in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria in Bauchi on Sunday.

According to him, the accident which involved an Opel Vectra Car with plate number AA 954 GYD and one Tipper Mercedes Benz with number plate NIN 279 SA, happened in Goltukurwa Village along Dass-Bauchi Road at 9.30pm.

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The Sector Commander, who said that it took personnel of the Corps about seven minutes to arrive at the scene to clear the site, attributed the accident to overloading, speed violation and head-on-collision.

He explained that nine people were involved in the crash, comprising two males, six females and a male child.

Abdullahi, however, revealed that all the eight passengers in the Opel Vectra Car which ran into the tipper lost their lives while only the driver of the tipper, whose name was simply identified as Abubakar Mohammed was unscathed.

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The FRSC boss said that his personnel had cleared the obstructions at the crash scene, adding that the corpses of the deceased have also been taken to the General Hospital, Dass.

“This is the December period and we have always been sensitising motorists in the state about the dangers associated with speeding and overloading.

“I want to use this opportunity to plead with motorists to always be conscious of all traffic rules and regulations as well as weather conditions before embarking on their journeys.

“They should also remember that only the living souls, not the dead, would live to celebrate the Christmas and new year festivities,” he stated. (NAN)

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Nigeria Newspapers

2022 elections: NESG warns against economic stagnation

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From Isaac Anumihe, Abuja

Nigeria Economic Summit Group (NESG), yesterday, warned that the political manipulations  of 2022, may relegate focus on the economy and lead to the stagnation of the nation’s economic recovery.

Speaking at the launch of the NESG 2022 Macroeconomic Outlook Report, Chairman of NESG, Asue Ighodalo noted that the  distractions will likely have the effect of amplifying the challenges experienced in 2021 if the government does not immediately move to stem the tide by implementing critical reforms.

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According to him,  the  policies that directly impact the welfare of citizens and the performance, sustainability and job-creating potentials of businesses, in the short term,  must be at the fore of government’s policies and actions in 2022.

The chairman also noted that  the research department of  NESG,  working with other panels of economists, produces  an Outlook Report that reviews the macroeconomic status of the country in the previous year, noting that the recent outlook provides an overview for the new year and suggests reform and policy recommendations geared at improving the nation’s macroeconomic climate;  creating an enabling environment  and catalysing inclusive growth.

“Election-related distractions will likely have the effect of amplifying the challenges experienced in 2021 if the government does not immediately move to stem the tide by implementing critical reforms.

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“We believe that policies that directly impact the welfare, gainful employment and safety of our citizens and the performance, sustainability and job-creating potentials of our businesses, in the short term,  must be at the fore of government policies and actions in 2022.

“Being a pre-election year, 2022 will likely come with its peculiarities. First, increased election spending could motivate a tighter monetary policy stance to curb inflationary pressures.

“Second, attention may shift from effective governance to outright politicking. The pace of decision-making usually slows down in a pre-election year and reform pronouncements and implementation become difficult.

“Third,  the philosophical and political battles which will ensue as each party seeks to choose its presidential candidate and then convince the citizens that they are the party that will form the best government, may relegate focus on the economy and lead to the stagnation of our recovery.

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“Each year, we tailor our recommendations to what we believe is in our country’s best interests – confident in the underlying analysis, and humbly assured that the consideration, acceptance and diligent implementation of some of these recommendations will yield a more stable and stronger macroeconomic environment” he said.

Ighodalo explained  that year 2021 marked the gradual recovery of the global economy from the negative impact of COVID-19 pandemic, notwithstanding the emergence of multiple virus variants, adding that the recovery was largely attributable to determined and focused global vaccination campaigns and rollouts, despite the significant disparities across continents.

“In Africa, only about 15 per cent of the population have been vaccinated with 10 per cent fully vaccinated compared with the rates seen in the West (with 51 per cent fully vaccinated in Europe and 62 per cent in the United States) as of January 17, 2022.

“With our government’s effective management of the pandemic, fiscal boosters and the public/private sector response to COVID-19, the economy recovered by 0.5 per cent, 5 per cent, and 4 per cent in the first three quarters of 2021, despite our low vaccination rate.

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“However, our peculiar economic commodities gravely threaten a full economic rebound.

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“We continue to grapple with multiple macroeconomic challenges, exchange rate volatility, fiscal constraints, market distortions, high inflation, an unattractive investment environment (with security concerns at the core of investor reticence) as well as infrastructure deficits.

“The abatement of these impediments must be addressed with a sense of urgency, and the implementation of immediate economic reforms must be prioritised to promote higher productivity, achieve economic efficiency, and deepen inclusive development.

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“The World Bank estimates that an additional one million people were pushed into poverty in Nigeria between June and November 2021, resulting in a total of about 8 million people being relinquished to poverty in 2021 and bringing our nation’s poverty headcount to about 91 million.

“That is 91 million Nigerians afflicted by the ‘poverty virus’, which is every bit as deadly and more infectious than SARS COVID-19, judging by the numbers.

“In parallel with the persistent uncertainty and economic volatility that COVID-19 continues to unleash as new strains emerge, infection rates ebb and flow into 2022.

“Our recommendation, therefore, is that swift action is taken, preferably in the first quarter of this year.

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“As campaigns begin to kick off for the general elections in 2023, we must pay very careful attention to the candidates that the political parties present.

“We, the people of Nigeria, must carefully consider the capacities, track record and love of the country demonstrated by each of these candidates.

“Long-standing issues such as effective deregulation of the downstream oil and gas sector, foreign exchange scarcity and pricing, export promotion, enhanced revenue generation without dampening entrepreneurial drive;  acceleration of economic diversification and patient quality investment into priority sectors such as agriculture, manufacturing, social (education and  health), trade and information technology sectors, must be given the utmost attention in 2022.

“These issues, if properly dealt with, have immense capacity to propel economic growth, enable employment, reduce poverty, and start us on a new path to sustained development.

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“This year’s NESG Macroeconomic Outlook is themed: “The Last Mile: Reforms towards Significant Improvement in National Economic Outcomes”he stated.

In his remarks, NESG’s  Chief Executive  Officer,  Laoye Jaiyeola argued that  Nigeria cannot afford subsidy payments. He urged the government to map out ways of catering for over 40 million Nigerians who consume just 3 per cent of petroleum products insisting that  government should  liberalise oil and gas sector to be very competitive.   Resources  of subsidies, he advised, must be efficiently and judiciously spent.

He called for transparency and strengthening the framework of the oil and gas sector to ensure  that host communities  work with  investors in order for the country to produce Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) benchmark.

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NLNG, NMDPRA partner do boost domestic gas supply

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From Uche Usim, Abuja

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The Chief Executive Officer, Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority (NMDPRA), Mr Farouk Ahmed on Tuesday gave assurances that the Authority was ready to partner with the Nigerian Liquified Natural Gas (NLNG) towards solving Nigeria’s poor energy nightmare; by boosting local cooking gas supply and assuring that other fuels required for  transportation and power generation were also in adequate supply.

Ahmed gave the assurance when he received the management of the NLNG on a courtesy visit to his office.

He commended the NLNG for its focus on prioritizing domestic supply which has had a significant impact on deepening gas consumption in the country.

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The NMDPRA helmsman reiterated the Federal Government’s goal of deepening LPG/CNG especially for Autogas as an alternative to Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) to cushion the effect in a situation of upward spike in oil prices.

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Meanwhile, the Managing Director, NLNG, Dr Philip Mshelbila, said the Company will continue to prioritize the growing domestic LPG market and increase utilization by supplying 100%, it’s Propane and  Butane production.

Mshelbila also revealed the ongoing plans of the NLNG to commence operation for the Nigerian domestic LNG market this year,  in line with the government’s plans to boost local consumption.

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He explained that the move was part of the NLNG’s dedication to participate in industrializing Nigeria by providing efficient energy in line with the Federal Government’s developmental initiatives and as one of the two focus areas of the company. Their other area of focus is to remain globally competitive.

He pledged the Company’s dedication and commitment to making Nigeria an energy-sufficient nation.

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