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Atiku Meets Dangote, Ovia, Elumelu, Others Promises to Name, Shame, Prosecute Oil Thieves

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There will no longer be a hiding place for oil thieves and their accomplices, no matter how highly placed in the country if the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) takes power next year.

This was the pledge of the PDP presidential candidate, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar today in Lagos when he interacted with a broad spectrum of corporate Nigeria under the aegis of Business Dialogue Stakeholders Forum at Eko hotel in Lagos.

Doyens of industry at the session include: Alhaji Aliko Dangote, Jim Ovia, Femi Otedola, Tony Elumelu, Herbert Wigwe and Muhammad Hayatudeen among others.

Atiku also said he would, in the interest of national development, confiscate all oil bloc allocated to some Nigerians who have failed to make them operational.

The former Vice President, who promised to sustain frequent interactive sessions between government and the country’s’ business class when voted to power, equally outlined the ways he would tackle what he described as an ailing economy.

“If you are not going to develop oil blocs given to you, we will take it away and give it to those who will develop it. We will also assemble the names of those involved in oil theft, publish same and prosecute them,” Atiku told the stakeholders.

On his plans to boost the oil and gas sector, Atiku recalled that under the administration of ex-President Olusegun Obasanjo the quota of oil production was earmarked for increase to four million barrels per day.

That plan, he explained, would be resuscitated and sustained beyond the projected figure, when he is voted into office next year, pointing out that in order to do this successfully, the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA) and any other enabling law would be invoked.

“When we were in government, we started this process. However, there were hiccups. We were unable to pass the legislation to encourage IOCs to partake in the sector. We will go back to where we started,” he said.

He added that the Brass and Olokola LNG projects, atarted under the Obasanjo administration will be given more attention under him. “We will continue if we have the opportunity. As you know, joint ventures are good because they are investor-driven,” he said.

He reiterated his commitment to privatizing the refineries in Kaduna, Port Harcourt and Warri, saying: “I swear to God, I’ll privatize them,” he told the entrepreneurs.

Turning to fiscal challenges of FOREX, monetary policy and the N20 trillion way and means balance facing the country, Atiku said “I believe that we should have a FOREX policy that allows a convergence. I don’t believe in a multiple FOREX policy that currently applies.”

He said in order to stabilize the FOREX regime loopholes in oil production would be blocked, emphasizing that he would encourage local production and “not control of public expenditure.”

“Dollarization or otherwise of the Nigerian economy depends on the strength or weakness of our economy. If we strengthen our economy, you don’t need the dollar. The naira can be strengthened by the number of jobs created and exports,” he said.

According to him, the monetary policy would be such that the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) would be independent. “Monetary policy and other related items would be liberalized. Without prize stability, the economy does not work for anyone; and job creation and poverty eradication cannot be attained.”

“CBN will take responsibility to deliver price stability despite the fact that inflation is a global phenomenon and a product of strong demand and limited supply.

“But none of these stops the CBN from carrying out its duty of price stability and single window fiscal regime,” the PDP presidential candidate said, pointing out that “some of these economic and financial challenges existed in 1999.”

“We were responsible for enacting the Fiscal Responsibility Act (FRA). We tried to schedule repayment of debts and we succeeded. If we did that, you can trust us again to address the cure problems.

“With this experience, you should trust that we can bring the monetary policy back on track,” he further added, indicating that it is disturbing that “the country is moving backwards.”

“This have grave consequences for job creation and long term growth. The key sectors are not growing or growing slowly. There are acute fiscal challenges. The manufacturing sector is declining. 133 million Nigerians are multi-dimensionally poor, meaning they have restricted access w education, healthcare, housing and rural facilities. These are the reasons we are engaging you today,” he stated.

In his remarks, the PDP Vice Presidential candidate, Governor Ifeanyi Okowa, who listed some problems facing the Niger Delta region as community agitations, high powered illegal bunkering and breaching of oil pipelines by vandals, said the Atiku administration would embark on technology-driven surveillance and other solutions to tackle the problems.

The national chairman of the PDP, Iyorchia Ayu, expressed appreciation to corporate Nigeria for gracing the occasion, assuring them that they are engaging with the right party. “There is going to be continuing dialogue. When we take over power next year, not if, we will continue to engage you,” he said.

Both Governors Udom Emmanuel and Aminu Waziri Tambuwal of Akwa Ibom and Sokoto states; who are the Chairman and Director General of the Atiku/Okowa presidential campaign team, urged the stakeholders to support Atiku for a better Nigeria.

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Atiku Sympathises with Tinubu over ‘Unfortunate’ Fall on Democracy Day Parade Ground

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By Eric Elezuo

A former Vice President and Presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the 2023 elections, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, has sympathized with President Bola Tinubu over his fall while trying to board a parade truck to inspect parade at the Eagle Square on Wednesday.

The former Vice President expressed his sympathies via his verified X account, describing the fall as ‘unfortunate incident’, and hoping that all is well with the President.

He wrote:

“I sincerely sympathize with President Bola Tinubu over this unfortunate incident as he was set to review the parade on Democracy Day. I hope that all is well with him -AA”

Recall that while Tinubu attempted to mount the open truck for inspection of parade, he slipped and fell. But he was quick to pick himself up again with the help of his aides, who came to his rescue.

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Democracy Day Parade: Tinubu Slips, Falls, Recovers

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President Bola Tinubu on Wednesday slipped and fell while boarding the parade vehicle at the venue of the 2024 Democracy Day.

The President had approached the vehicle shortly after he arrived at the Eagles Square, Abuja venue of the programme.

Our correspondent observed that the President lost his footing momentarily as he was about to step into the vehicle.

However, despite the slip, the President quickly regained his balance and continued with the proceedings.

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Glo Maintains 18 Years Tradition, Sponsors Ojude Oba Festival Again

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Digital solutions provider, Globacom, has announced that it will again be partnering with the organizers of the popular Ojude Oba festival this year in continuation of a tradition it started 18 years ago.

Speaking at the pre-event press conference held at Awujale’s Palace in Ijebu Ode, Ogun State, Globacom’s representative, Mr. Kazeem Kaka, restated the company’s commitment to uplifting Nigeria’s rich cultural heritage.

“Our sponsorship of festivals is aimed at identifying with the cultures and traditions of the Nigerian people, as an indigenous brand. Our involvement in the celebration of Ojude Oba festival is therefore geared towards promoting the unique tradition and custom of the Ijebu people”, Kaka said.

Globacom’s collaboration with the custodians of this festival, Mr. Kaka explained, underscores the company’s commitment to the rich heritage of the nation which is externalised through these festivals.

“It is our belief that our continued support for Ojude Oba will further strengthen the festival and entrench it as a world class carnival which will attract even more tourists from across the world. We are convinced that this partnership will further foster a symbiotic relationship with immense benefits for both Globacom and Ijebuland”, he added.

In his speech, the Chairman, Ojude Oba Planning Committee, Chief Olu Okuboyejo, paid tribute to Globacom for its massive support for the celebration which he noted serves as a reminder of the historical antecedents of the Ijebu people.

Themed: “Unity and Harmony in Ijebuland…The gift of Ojude Oba”, the 2024 edition of the festival is the 18th time that Globacom will be partnering with the Ojude Oba Planning Committee as the main sponsor of the festival.

Ojude Oba is celebrated annually two days after the Islamic  Eid El-Kabr festival and it’s a social gathering where all divergent issues affecting the lives of the Ijebu people are addressed. It is also a cornerstone for the development of the community socially, politically and economically.

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