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Credible journalism can influence credible elections – Danbatta

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Nasiru Yusuf

 

 

As the campaigns and build-up to the 2023 general elections thicken, the Executive Vice Chairman (EVC) of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Prof. Umar Danbatta, has said that the media holds the ace in making a difference in promoting credible elections in Nigeria.

 

KANO FOCUS reports Danbatta told the gathering of the cream of Nigerian editors at the 18th All-Nigeria Editors Conference, organised by the Nigerian Guild of Editors (NGE) at the Concord Hotels in Owerri, Imo State, with the Governor of Imo State, Senator Hope Uzodinma in attendance, where he reiterated the importance of the roles of the journalists, before, during and after the 2023 elections.

In Danbatta’s goodwill to the conference, delivered by the Director, Public Affairs of the Commission, Reuben Muoka, he expressed the confidence that the vibrant Nigerian media, credited with its sterling performance from the history of struggle for the country’s political independence, where Nigerian nationalists, who were good journalists made “brilliant and courageous outing”, will work in the interest of the nation.

Speaking to the theme of the conference, “2023: Political Landscape, Credible Elections and the Role of the Editors”, Danbatta declared that good journalism is critical to sustainable democratic culture as political stability is enhanced by conduct of successful elections.

He said he “believes the editors will leave the conference with resolutions setting clear, unambiguous and very robust parameters to guide the role of the media in the forthcoming elections in a fair, objective and balanced manner.”

“Beyond and above the traditional routine role of the media in information-sharing, education and entertainment, the media is a social agency constitutionally charged to watch those of us in public office from derailing from the pursuit of the social contract and the social good. No other agency of the civil society is so positioned to influence social progress,” he declared.

He also informed the gathering that the Commission is dedicated to the implementation of the Nigerian National Broadband Plan (2020-2025), and the National Digital Economy Policy and Strategy (2020-2030), among other regulatory instruments, with a view to enhancing connectivity and social cohesion in the land. Hence, he said befitting infrastructure, including the upcoming 5G spectrum auction, are all aimed at improving availability and accessibility and affordability. He said there is no doubt that the availability of telecommunications infrastructure will enhance credibility of elections.

Danbatta specifically expressed gratitude to the Nigeria media for trusting the NCC and supporting its efforts to fulfil its mandate right from the beginning of the transition from “state-dominated telecommunication operations to a deregulated, more liberalised market.”

The EVC recalled that NCC’s friendship and partnership with the media have been very mutually-fruitful, as the Commission has leveraged on the media for increased awareness by the public of NCC’s activities, programmes and achievements.

Danbatta also commended the journalists covering the telecom sector as well as other communication professionals for supporting the Commission all the way by giving adequate and prominent coverage to its successes in consumer protection, improvement in infrastructure, adoption of new technologies, most recently, the launch of the Fifth Generation (5G) networks, and reportage of challenges facing the telecom industry.

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Dangote refinery insists international oil companies are frustrating its crude supply demands

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Nasiru Yusuf Ibrahim

 

The Management of Dangote Industries Limited (DIL) has commended the Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission (NUPRC) for its various interventions in the oil company’s crude supply requests from International Oil Companies (IOCs), and for publishing the Domestic Crude Supply Obligation (DCSO) guidelines to enshrine transparency in the oil industry.

KANO FOCUS reports that the Vice President, of Oil & Gas, Dangote Industries Limited, Mr. DVG Edwin however said: “If the Domestic Crude Supply Obligation (DCSO) guidelines are diligently implemented, this will ensure that we deal directly with the companies producing the crude oil in Nigeria as stipulated by the PIA.”

Edwin insisted that IOCs operating in Nigeria have consistently frustrated the company’s requests for locally produced crude as feedstock for its refining process.

He highlighted that when cargoes are offered to the oil company by the trading arms, it is sometimes at a $2-$4 (per barrel) premium above the official price set by NUPRC. “As an example, we paid $96.23 per barrel for a cargo of Bonga crude grade in April (excluding transport). The price consisted of $90.15 dated Brent price + $5.08 NNPC premium (NSP) + $1 trader premium. In the same month, we were able to buy WTI at a dated Brent price of $90.15 + $0.93 trader premium including transport. When NNPC subsequently lowered its premium based on market feedback that it was too high, some traders then started asking us for a premium of up to $4m over and above the NSP for a cargo of Bonny Light”

“Data on platforms like Platts and Argus shows that the price offered to us is way higher than the market prices tracked by these platforms. We recently had to escalate this to NUPRC”, Edwin said and urged the regulatory commission to take a second look at the issue of pricing.

Edwin’s response came against the background of a statement by the Chief Executive Officer of NUPRC, Engr. Gbenga Komolafe, in an interview on ARISE News TV said that “it is ‘erroneous’ for one to say that the International Oil Companies (IOCs) are refusing to make crude oil available to domestic refiners, as the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA) has a stipulation that calls for a willing buyer-willing seller relationship.”

Edwin noted that “The NUPRC has been very supportive to the Dangote Refinery as they have intervened several times to help us secure crude supply. However, the NUPRC Chief Executive was probably misquoted by some people hence his statement that IOCs did not refuse to sell to us. To set the records straight, we would like to recap the facts below.

“Aside from Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation Limited (NNPCL), to date, we have only purchased crude directly from one other local producer (Sapetro). All other producers refer us to their international trading arms.

“These international trading arms are non-value adding middlemen who sit abroad and earn margin from crude being produced and consumed in Nigeria. They are not bound by Nigerian laws and do not pay tax in Nigeria on the unjustifiable margin they earn.

“The trading arm of one of the IOCs refused to sell to us directly and asked us to find a middleman who would buy from them and then sell to us at a margin. We dialogued with them for 9 months and in the end, we had to escalate to NUPRC who helped resolve the situation,” Edwin stated.

According to him, “When we entered the market to purchase our crude requirement for August, the international trading arms told us that they had entered their Nigerian cargoes into a Pertamina (the Indonesia National Oil Company) tender, and we had to wait for the tender to conclude to see what is still available.

“This is not the first time. In many cases, particular crude grades we wish to buy are sold to Indian or other Asian refiners even before the cargoes are formally allocated in the curtailment meeting chaired by NUPRC.

“However, we would like to urge NUPRC to take a second look at the issue of pricing. NUPRC has severally asserted that transactions should be on a willing seller / willing buyer basis. The challenge however is that market liquidity (many sellers / many buyers in the market at the same time) is a precondition for this. Where a refinery needs a particular crude grade loading at a particular time then there is typically only one participant on either side of the market.

“It is to avoid the problem of price gouging in an illiquid market that the domestic gas supply obligation specifies volume obligation per producer and a formula for transparently determining pricing. The fact that the domestic crude supply obligation as defined in the PIA has gaps is no reason for wisdom not to prevail”, Edwin stated.

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Gov. Yusuf reinstates Emir of Gaya, appoints two others for Rano, Karaye emirates

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Nasiru Yusuf Ibrahim

 

Gov. Abba Kabir Yusuf of Kano State has approved the appointment of three second class Emirs of Rano, Gaya and Karaye Emirates.

 

KANO FOCUS reports that the new emirs are to serve as second class answerable to Kano emirate.

 

According to a statement issued by Sanusi Bature Dawakin Tofa, the Spokesperson to the Governor and made available to journalists in Kano the newly appointed Emirs are: Alhaji Muhammad Mahraz Karaye, as Emir of Karaye (who until his appointment was the District Head of Rogo); Alhaji Muhammad Isa Umar, as Emir of Rano (who until his appointment, was the District Head of Bunkure) and Alhaji Aliyu Ibrahim Abdulkadir Gaya, as Emir of Gaya (who was the emir of the defunct Gaya emirate).

 

While congratulating the newly appointed Emirs, Governor Abba K. Yusuf enjoined them to be custodians of culture, peace and unity of the people in thier respective emirates.

 

You may recall that the Governor had on Tuesday the 16th of July, 2024 signed into law three second class emirates in the state with Rano covering only Rano, Kibiya and Bunkure Local Government areas. Gaya covering only Gaya, Ajingi and Albasu Local Government areas. Karaye covers only Karaye and Rogo Local Government areas.

 

The appointments are with immediate effect.

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Publishing company trains 40 teachers on basic literacy

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Nasiru Yusuf Ibrahim

 

Non-Formal Development for Education and Health Initiatives (NDEHI) in collaboration with Ibzaar Publishing trained forty teachers and facilitators on basic and post basic literacy.

KANO FOCUS reports that the two day workshop held at Bayero University Kano, attracted teachers and facilitators from across the State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB), Kano State Agency for Mass Literacy (SAME) among others.

The convener of the programme Dr. Auwal Halilu who doubles as the State Coordinator Civil Society Action Coalition on Education for All (CSACEFA), explained that the workshop was organized to complement the declaration of state of emergency on education by the present administration.

Dr. Auwal Halilu

Dr Halilu, a lecturer with the Department of Adult Education and Community Development stressed that the teachers selected to undergo the training, were expected to cascade the training to forty teachers each.

“It is the first time we are seeing a corporate organization not a development partner or government entity organizing to set aside funds to train teacher for the development of our children’s education,” he said.

In his address the Chairman Kano State Universal Basic Education Board SUBEB Alhaji Yusif Kabir, pointed out that the state government has set out certain criteria for appointing head supervisors known as school support officers.

Alhaji Yusif Kabir

According to him “teachers that have a minimum of first degree must undergo aptitude test.”

He described the workshop as apt, saying that the intervention would go a long way in improving effective service delivery in the education sector as the government alone cannot do it.

The Acting Executive Secretary of Kano State Agency for Mass Education SAME, Alhaji Surajo Mahe Alkali pointed out that this is the first time they were carried along as a non-formal sector.

“I hope to see the non-formal sector living up to expectations as it is a sector that is key and critical but neglected,” he observed.

The Kano state chairman of the school-Based Management Committee SBMC, Alhaji Tijjani Baraya observed that this intervention is unique as most Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) initiatives in the state were focused on school renovation and providing teaching and learning materials.

Alhaji Tijjani Baraya

“State Basic Education Boards (SBEB) also need similar support as they are responsible for visiting and monitoring schools,” he noted.

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