11 Nov

Daily Watch – Buhari cuts ministries, Wike bans Biafra protests

  • President Muhammadu Buhari has ordered the mass retirement of permanent secretaries. The decision came a day before cabinet ministers are inaugurated by the President. Buhari made the decision known to the permanent secretaries during a meeting in his office at the presidential villa. Eighteen new permanent secretaries were named immediately to replace the departed officials, and the deployments announced thereafter indicates that the number of federal ministries may have been brought down to 23.
  • A total of 32 petroleum product storage tanks have been put up for sale by the Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria. AMCON invited interested members of the public to submit bids for the purchase of the tank farms located in Ibafon, Apapa area of Lagos State.
    The decision follows the failure of the oil companies to pay up their debts four years after AMCON took over their non-performing loans from commercial banks. Although AMCON did not mention the names of the oil companies, which originally owned the tank farms which it had taken over, investigations showed that the tank farms belonged to Zenon Petroleum and Gas, Acorn Petroleum, Aquitaine Oil and Gas.
  • The Rivers State governor, Nyesom Wike, on Tuesday banned protests by “some unauthorised group” calling for the release of the director of a pirate radio station, Radio Biafra, Nnamdi Kanu. In a state broadcast, Mr. Wike banned all forms of street protests, demonstrations, rallies or unlawful gatherings associated with the agitations for the secession of any group from the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
  • Phuthuma Nhleko, the new CEO of the MTN Group, believes that the telecommunications company may not pay the entirety of the N1.04 trillion fine slapped on it by the Nigerian Communications Commission. Nhleko was named CEO of MTN after Sifiso Dabengwa stepped down as the chief executive officer on Monday. He has been brought on the scene to settle the crisis rocking the Nigerian subsidiary of the company, which also happens to be the organisation’s largest revenue generating firm.
  • The Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) has exempted electricity consumers who have made payment for meters under the Cash Advance Payment for Metering Initiative (CAPMI) but were not metered two weeks in excess of the required 45 days from further payment of electricity bills. This was the highlight of the last regulatory meeting of the Commission where it frowned at the rising incidence of electricity distribution companies’ failure to abide by the guidelines for CAPMI scheme as many customers who subscribed to CAPMI scheme are not metered within 45 days.