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No Hike In Fuel Price -PPPRA, NNPC

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The Nigerian Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency (PPPRA) has on Thursday cleared air on the the speculations alleging increase in pump price of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS), also known as petrol after a publication on it’s website about pump price.

In a statement titled “Press Release on PMS Guiding Price” signed by its Executive Secretary, Abdulkadir Saidu denied that the agency has increased pump price of Petrol and noted that the posted guiding prices indicate market trends, not increase in pump price.

The statement reads:

“The attention of the Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency (PPPRA) has been drawn to speculations about the increased pump price of PMS.

The PPPRA by this release wishes to state clearly that the Guiding Prices posted on our website was only indicative of current market trends and do not translate to any increase in pump price of PMS.

However, publications by the media to this effect have been misconstrued and thus misleading.

The Agency wishes to remind the general public of the introduction of the Market Based Pricing Regime for PMS Regulation 2020 as gazetted by the Federal Government.

Based on this regulation, prices are expected to be determined by market realities in line with the dictates of market forces.

One of the conditions for the implementation of the Market-Based Pricing Regime for PMS Regulation 2020 is the monthly release of Guiding Price to reflect current market fundamentals.

The PPPRA in line with its mandate to maintain constant surveillance over all key indices relevant to pricing policy, monitors market trends on a daily basis to determine Guiding Prices.

The Agency is not unaware of the challenges with the supply of PMS due to some concerns leading NNPC to be the sole importer of PMS.

PPPRA is also mindful of the current discussion going on between the government and the Organised Labour on the deregulation policy.

While consultation with relevant stakeholders is ongoing, PPPRA does not fix or announce prices and therefore there is no price increase.

The current PMS price is being maintained while consultations are being concluded.

Even though market fundamentals for PMS in the past few months indicated upward price trends, the pump price has remained the same and we are currently monitoring the situation across retail outlets nationwide.

While assuring the public of adequate products supply as the average PMS DaySufficiency as of March 11, 2021 is over 35 days, the PPPRA pledges to continue to perform its statutory function in ensuring that the downstream sector remains vibrant as well as support both government and members of the public.”

In the same development, Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation NNPC has tweeted that there is no increase in the fuel price.

Oche Onu writes

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The Worst Military Govt Better Than Buhari’s -Ortom

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The Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom, on Monday described the present administration of President Muhammadu Buhari as worse than any military government that had ever led Nigeria.

Ortom made the remarks while answering questions from journalists in Makurdi, Benue State capital, shortly after his return from the Abuja convention of the Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP).

He said that the outcome of the convention of his party is a clear sign that the PDP has positioned itself to take over leadership of the country in 2023, alleging that the current APC administration has failed in all ramifications.

“We (PDP) are determined to take over leadership of this country, come 2023 because of the failure of APC led government.“They are being deceitful and not being able to secure our land. They have rather succeeded in destroying our economy, our security, our social life, and everything you can think of in this country.“I have been privileged to read the history of Nigeria and those that have been destroying us ncluding the military. Usually, we say that the worst democratic government is better than the military government.

“That is what we use to say but for the purpose of APC led government, I want to say that the worst military government we have had in Nigeria is better than this particular government led by APC.

“I have never seen anything like this; people who don’t want you to tell them the truth or advise them, try to twist things and tell the world that you are against them.Is it not democracy we are practicing?”

The governor, however, commended his colleagues for their resilience to forge ahead in what he described as, “despite all intimidation and blackmail by the APC government” to achieve more than 90 percent consensus in electing new leaders for the PDP.

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How Colin Powell, America’s First Black Secretary of State, Died

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Colin Powell, the first Black secretary of state in United States of America died on Monday. According to reports, the former statesman and military commander died of COVID-19-related complications at the age of 84.

The report says he was diagnosed with multiple myeloma, a form of blood cancer that makes it difficult to fight infections.

Born April 5, 1937 to Jamaican immigrants in Harlem, Powell’s “American Journey” started in New York, where he grew up and earned a degree in geology. Powell served four U.S. presidents and rose to become the first African American and the youngest chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the highest-ranking military officer in the US. He died Monday at Walter Reed National Medical Center. His family said he was fully vaccinated against COVID-19.

General Powell

“We have lost a remarkable and loving husband, father, grandfather and a great American,” the family said in a statement on Facebook

Powell became very popular after engineering military victory in the 1991 Gulf War. He was so respected that he was considered a strong candidate to become the first ever Black US president. But he turned down such ambition of running for the White House and endorsed Barack Obama for the office.

Powell was also America’s first Black national security advisor under president Ronald Reagan.

Powell and George Bush

George W. Bush described Powell “an American hero, an American example, and a great American story” as he nominated the military man as his secretary of state in 2000.

“He was such a favorite of presidents that he earned the Presidential Medal of Freedom — twice,” Bush said on Monday.

“He was highly respected at home and abroad. And, most important, Colin was a family man and a friend. Laura and I send Alma and their children our sincere condolences as they remember the life of a great man.”

Powell had a reputation for bipartisanship, straight-talking and integrity, and was praised for his officer’s instincts of duty and honor.

US Defense Secretary Austin Powell told reporters Powell was among the “greatest leaders that we have ever witnessed,” lamenting the loss of “a tremendous personal friend and mentor.”

Powell and family

“It’s a blot… and will always be a part of my record. It was painful. It’s painful now,” Powell said in a 2005 interview with ABC News.

Tributes nevertheless poured in from Congress, where Democratic Senator Mark Warner praised Powell as “a patriot and a public servant,” while House Republican Peter Meijer described him as a rarity in the modern age: “a true soldier statesman.”

“Today, the nation lost a man of undaunted courage and a champion of character,” added centrist Republican Senator Mitt Romney.

Former British prime minister Tony Blair, who stood firmly behind US actions in Iraq and gave military backing to the war effort, described Powell as a “towering figure in American military and political leadership.”

“He was wonderful to work with, he inspired loyalty and respect and was one of those leaders who always treated those under them with kindness and concern,” Blair said.

Powell and wife Alma in 1962

Powell earned a number of civilian honors, including the Presidential Medal of Freedom — twice from Bush Senior and Clinton.

He married his wife Alma in 1962. They had three children: Michael, Linda and Annemarie

Oche Onu writes with agency report

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Deontay Wilder Suspended from Boxing for Six-Months (see why)

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Following his recent fight with Tyson Fury and brutal defeat by same, Deontay Wilder will not be allowed to return to the ring until next April.

Wilder was stopped in the penultimate round of the trilogy fight having hit the canvas on three occasions as he lost to the Brit for the second successive time.

He was taken to hospital to be checked over before being discharged later on Saturday night with a broken finger and the Nevada State Athletic Commission will not permit him to fight until April 8 unless his finger is cleared by a doctor.

Fury has been given a standard 45-day ‘suspension’ following his efforts in retaining his heavyweight world title.

Fury’s victory brought a concussive end to a rivalry that had raged for almost three years but the Brit had to earn victory the hard way by twice climbing off the canvas in a pulsating fourth round.

He had dropped Wilder in the previous session before doing the same in the 10th and 11th rounds.

Fury returned to the UK on Tuesday to spend time with his extended family which includes his six children.

He will likely face British rival Dillian Whyte early next year assuming the Londoner beats Otto Wallin later this month.

Should he come through that, he will surely target the winner of Anthony Joshua’s rematch with Oleksandr Usyk which is set to take place in March.

Wilder faces a more uncertain future after suffering his second professional defeat as he prepares to have surgery on his hand.

His trainer Malik Scott wants his charge to take some time off – but insisted the former champion won’t retire.

“I really don’t want Deontay talking about boxing or doing anything to do with boxing for quite some time, I want him to get some rest after this.

“Even after the last fight he was so worked up he never really got to rest. He deserves a good rest and we’ll make sure he gets it. I’m going to head down to Tuscaloosa in a few days to spend some time with him.

“Deontay has set his family financially secure so he doesn’t have to fight to make a living.

“But retiring is not in his plans at all and not something we’ve discussed. He will be back in any form he wants to be; he’s a big-time fighter and he doesn’t belong down there with the other guys, he needs to be in high-level fights and main events.

“Deontay Wilder was great on Saturday, but Tyson Fury was even greater – it was a great night of boxing for the heavyweight division.

“You have to give Fury credit for having a good chin and getting up. Fury is a legend and one of the best in the heavyweight division in any era, and it’s the same about Deontay.”

One potential fight for Wilder is a mouthwatering, blink-and-you-miss-it clash with Anthony Joshua.

The Brit faces a revenge mission in his rematch with Oleksandr Usyk next year but if he loses will be in need of a dance partner.

Oche Onu writes with agency report.

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