09 Dec ALL THE RELEVANT NEWS: THURSDAY
Thursday BIG STORIES 🌍.
President Buhari is in Lagos: He arrived early this morning on a one-day visit, during which he is expected to commission naval boats and helicopters and also attend the book launch of a former Chairman of the All Progressives Congress, Bisi Akande.
(2) Highlights of FEC Meeting:
The virtual meeting of the Federal Executive Council presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari yesterday made the following approvals:
* The 2021 Finance Bill 2021. Finance Minister Zainab Ahmed, said the bill, which is currently before the national assembly, focuses on tax as well as reviewing and amending some 11 fiscal laws. But she said, “Again, to emphasise also that we shied away from addressing any changes to the VAT regime or the current Stamp Duty regime because of the current ongoing litigations by some states in those two areas.”
* A new regulatory system to support the fight against insecurity through telecommunication equipment to detect and block fraudsters using different SIM cards. It is to be implemented at the cost of N804,122,897.50 by the Nigerian Communications Commission, NCC.
* Also approval of Advanced Digital Awareness Programme for Tertiary Institutions at the federal and state level. Also to be implemented by the NCC, 6000 e-pact mobile devices are to be distributed to higher institutions all over the country to ease the use of online facilities.
(3) Oil Monitor: Prices rose on Thursday, extending gains into a fourth session on positive comments from vaccine makers about their efficacy against the Omicron variant. Brent crude futures rose 39 cents, or 0.5%, to $76.22 a barrel at 0751 GMT, adding to a similar gain on Wednesday.
* Aiteo, operator of oil mining lease (OML) 29, on Wednesday, announced yesterday that it has succeeded in containing the spill on its Santa Barbara field in Nembe, Bayelsa State, one month after it started.
(4) The Presidency says Buhari did not order the sack of the management of Abuja Electricity Distribution Company (AEDC).
* The Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) says the United Bank for Africa (UBA) has taken over the 60 percent equity of private investors in Abuja Electricity Distribution Company (AEDC) to recover its acquisition loans.
(5) President Buhari, 109 world leaders to discuss ways to make democracy more responsive in meeting with President Biden at 2-day democracy summit
(6) COVID-19 Update: Nigeria on Wednesday reported a new high of 268 infections, 25 recoveries and zero deaths. So, there are now 215164 confirmed cases, 207520 recoveries and 2980 deaths.
* The Federal Government says it has started rejecting COVID-19 vaccines with short shelf life or those that cannot be delivered on time after a report that one million COVID vaccines in the country have expired..
* Saudi Arabia has suspended flights from Nigeria into the Kingdom over concerns of the new Omicron variant of COVID-19.
* The World Health Organisation (WHO) says the Omicron COVID variant has now been detected in 57 countries.
(7) The Chairman of BUA Group, Alhaji Abdul Samad Rabiu has announced the consolidation of the company’s food businesses – the sugar, flour, pasta, rice and edible oil- under a single entity to be known as BUA Foods. (8) Umar Dabatta, EVC of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), says efforts are ongoing to deploy telecoms infrastructure across 774 local government areas in Nigeria. (9) UTM Offshore signs $5bn MoU with Afreximbank for Nigeria’s first floating LNG (FLNG) Project. (10) Access Bank Plc and the International Finance Corporation (IFC) have empowered 100 female entrepreneurs across Africa. (11) Sokoto government says 23 persons died of injuries sustained from burns after bandits shot at a bus conveying travellers from Sokoto to Kaduna.