Osinbajo orders Apapa Port to run 24/7, bans touting at all ports of entry; NPA moves against Atiku’s INTELS; FG moves against Atiku’s INTELS; Consumers now free to buy electricity from Gencos — Fashola; Pro-Biafra: Nnamdi Kanu meets MASSOB leaders; South Africa Deports 90 Nigerians again!; Governors, ministers, service chiefs, lawmakers attend DG SSS daughter’s wedding . . .
Acting President Yemi Osinbajohas directed the resumption of 24-hour operations at the Apapa Port and banned touting by officials or unofficial persons at any port, air, land and sea ports in Nigeria. Osinbajo ordered that: “the Apapa Port shall resume 24-hour operations within 30 days of the issuance of this Order and there shall be no touting whatsoever by official or unofficial persons at any port in Nigeria.’’
The FAAN Aviation Security (AVSEC) and Nigeria Ports Authority (NPA) Security shall enforce this order.’’ To vigorously address the menace of touting at the ports, the Order expressly stipulates that “all non-official staff shall be removed from the secured areas of airports. No official of FAAN, Immigration, security agency or Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA) or any other agency is to meet any non-designated dignitary at any secure areas of the airport.’’
“All relevant MDAs at the airports shall within 30 days of the issuance of this Order merge their respective departure and arrival interfaces into a single customer interface, without prejudice to necessary backend procedures,’’
The Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) has apparently moved against the Integrated Logistics Services Nigeria Limited (INTELS). INTELS is one of the concessionaires in Nigeria’s seaports. INTELS was co-founded by former Vice-president and chieftain of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Alhaji Atiku Abubakar and an Italian businessman, Gabriel Volpi, in the 1980s.
Revenue Sharing: TSA face-off
On March 15, the Managing Director of the NPA, Hadiza Bala-Usman, wrote to INTELS asking it to comply with government’s Treasury Single Account (TSA) policy, which demands that service boat revenues collected through commercial banks must immediately be swept into the relevant account in the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).
INTEL’s alleged non-compliance with the federal government’s Treasury Single Account policy is mainly behind the face-off between the NPA and INTELS. lThe presidency had, through a letter dated May 5, 2017, issued to the Managing Director of Josepdam Port Services Limited (JPSL) broken the seeming dominance of Intels over logistics handling at Onne.
The problems of the Integrated Logistics Services Nigeria Limited (INTELS) may have started with the issue of monopoly of all NPA ports’ major logistic operations in late July, 2016. INTELS had started defending its position in seaport logistics. The logistic company had stated that it was not monopolizing (in the concessionaires business in Nigeria’s seaports) in the Onne Oil and Gas Free Zone.
INTELS participated in the privatization exercise done by the Obasanjo administration when the company won the concession to operate the terminal at the Onne Oil and Gas Free Zone and through it, took dominion over the sector it single-handedly turned lucrative. INTELS had won the bid for the concession following the conclusion of the port reforms initiated by the Federal Government during Obasanjo Presidency. The exercise which was supervised by the Bureau for Public Enterprises (BPE) divested the management of Nigerian Port Authority (NPA) from the day-to-day running of the terminals as well as cargo handling.
Political pundits and observers are of the opinion that times have changed and NPA has to rein in INTELS. Many politicians believe that the Federal Government’s decision to break the hold of INTELS over logistics handling in Nigeria’s oil and gas port terminals may be another move by power brokers in the Buhari administration to break the financial muscle of former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar, in the run up to the 2019 presidential election, high-level sources in the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) have anonymously disclosed.
Neither INTELS or Atiku has made any comment on the political angle to the federal government’s seeming attempt to cripple Atiku’s cash cow.
The Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Mr. Babatunde Fashola (SAN), has declared that eligible power consumers are now free to purchase electricity directly from power generation companies, GENCOs. Fashola, by this major policy directive, has empowered consumers to buy electricity directly from a licensee other than power distribution companies, DISCOs. Explaining the development in Abuja, Head, Public Affairs Department at the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission, NERC, Dr. Usman Arabi said the declaration was in line with provisions of Section 27 of the Electric Power Sector Reform Act, 2005.
Dr. Arabi said, inter alia: “In exercising the power conferred on him by the said Act, the Honourable Minister of Power Works and Housing, directed the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission to permit four categories of customers to buy power directly from a licensee other than electricity distribution companies:
1. End-users registered with the Commission whose consumption is no less than 2MWhr and connected to a metered 11kV or 33kV delivery point on the distribution network. 2. End-users connected to a metered 132kV or 330kV delivery point on the transmission network under a transmission use of system agreement for connection and delivery of energy. 3. End-users with consumption in excess of 2MWhr on monthly basis and connected directly to a metered 33kV delivery point on the transmission network under a transmission use of system agreement. 4. End-users whose minimum consumption is more than 2MWhr over a period of one month and directly connected to the metering facility of a generation company, and has entered into a bilateral agreement for the construction and operation of a distribution line with the distribution licensee licensed to operate in the location.
The leader of the controversial pro-Biafra separatist group, the Indigenous People of Biafra, (IPOB), Nnamdi Kanu, has met with the new leader of the Movement for the Actualization of Sovereign State of Biafra, (MASSOB) or (New MASSOB), Uchenna Madu.
Speaking at his Afara Ukwa in Umuahia North LGA country home, when the MASSOB leadership visited to rejoice with him over his freedom, Kanu said that the struggle requires sincerity, consistency and selflessness.
Kanu commended MASSOB for working in tandem with the principles and course which IOPB is pursuing: fighting for the good of the people of Biafra without being violent, saving lives of Biafrans. Kanu said, “You can recall that we were all in MASSOB together with the aim of emancipation our people until the former leader Ralph Uwazurike derailed . . .”
He said that he was not in the struggle to be seen as the number one but believed in the collective effort and struggle for the emancipation of the people of Biafra, adding that he supports all platforms that genuinely pursue the course of Biafra. Madu lauded Kanu, on the way he pilots the affairs of IPOB and assured him that the synergy between IPOB and MASSOB would continue in the struggle for the emancipation of the people of Biafra.
It will be recalled that Chief Ralph Uwazurike, founder of the Movement for the Actualisation of Sovereign State of Biafra (MASSOB) gave reasons he renaming the organisation, Biafra Independent Movement (BIM). According to him, charlatans had hijacked MASSOB and deviated from the non-violent approach to the struggle. He accused Nnamdi Kanu of IPOB and director of Radio Biafra London of defrauding him in the radio project. Uchenna Madu, who claimed to be the new MASSOB leader, had sometime in December 2015 expelled Uwazurike from the organisation.
The South African government on Friday deported 90 Nigerians for committing immigration-related offences in the xenophobia-ridden country. The spokesman of the Lagos Airport Police Command DSP, Mr. Joseph Alabi, confirmed the deportation in Lagos. Mr. Alabi said the deportees, who are all men, landed at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos at about 3.30pm on Friday.
The deportees were brought back to Nigeria aboard a South African Airways aircraft with registration number BBB712 from Johannesburg. Mr. Alabi said, inter alia: “This afternoon, about 3.30pm, 90 Nigerians were deported from South Africa for committing immigration-related offences. Some of them were alleged to have been living in the country without valid documents. They were received by the appropriate agencies including the police and profiled before being allowed to depart to their respective destinations, ” Alabi said.
The South African government had also on February 28 sent 97 Nigerians back home for committing various offences. That deportation included deportees made up of 95 males and two females.
The governors of Imo, Gombe, Kebbi, Zamfara, Katsina, Kano, Edo, Kogi states and ministers, members of the national assembly and service chiefs on Friday attended the wedding fatiha of the daughter of the Director General, State Security Service (SSS), Lawal Daura.
According to Daily Trust, Marliya Lawal Daura was married to Zaharadden after the payment of N50,000 bride price at the Low Cost Housing Estate Jumaat mosque in Daura, Katsina State. The chief imam of the mosque Abdulkadir Ibrahim, prayed for marital harmony of the couple and the nation. The ministers include that of Interior, Abdulrahman Dambazau; Transport, Rotimi Amaechi and Solid Minerals, Kayode Fayemi.
Several chartered flights landed at the Umaru Musa Yar’adua International Airport in Katsina with guests.