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FCT Workers Protest Posting of Perm Sec by Head of Service




By Laide Akinboade, Abuja

The workers of Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA), under the Joint Unions Action Committee (JUAC), have rejected the deployment of a Permanent Secretary (PS) for the FCTA by the Head of Service of the Federation.

The protesting workers also called for the full implementation of the FCT Civil Service Commission (CSC) Law, 2018 which provided for the appointment of PS from the FCTA.

JUAC President, Mr Matilukuro Korede, who spoke on behalf of the workers in Abuja on Monday, challenged the deployment, which he described as an aberration of the FCT CSC Law.

The Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), had announced President Bola Tinubu’s approval for posting of 24 permanent secretaries in Federal Ministries, Departments and Agencies.

Among the affected PSs is Dr Magdalene Ajani, who was redeployed from the Transportation Ministry to the FCTA to replace the current PS, Mr Olusade Adesola, who would retire on January 29, 2024.

Korede recalls that the Federal Executive Council had in October 2023, approved the implementation of the law establishing a CSC for FCT.

The President said that by this development, the Head of Service of the Federation, Dr Folasade Yemi-Esan, did not have power to appoint a Permanent Secretary for the FCT.

It would be recalled that the FCT Minister, Mr Nyesom Wike had in October 2023, announced President Tinubu’s approval for the establishment of CSC for the FCT.

Wike had explained that the development would allow career progression for civil servants in the FCT Administration to become permanent secretaries, who before now could only get to the position of a director.

He explained that the directors could not get to the peak of their careers because there was no CSC for FCT.

JUAC president, therefore, described the action of the Head of Service as faulty, and called for the full implementation of the FCT CSC Law.

“On Thursday, we heard that the head of service has announced that she has gotten approval from President Tinubu to deploy another Permanent Secretary to FCT.

“We felt aggrieved because it is an aberration. As we speak now, the FCT CSC Law has been gazetted since 2018,” he said.

He said that since 2004, the staff of FCTA had been deprived of becoming permanent secretaries, adding that the law to make it possible was signed in 2018 but implementation became a problem.

He said that Wike took the issue and within a month, secured President Tinubu’s approval for the implementation of the law.

“But to our surprise, the Head of Service decided to include a name for appointment as permanent secretary for the FCT.

“As far as FCT is concerned, the permanent secretary should be appointed among the qualified directors in the FCTA and not from outside.

“This will provide an opportunity for the staff of FCTA to get to the peak of their career by becoming a permanent secretary.

“Our demand, therefore, is that the appointment of a permanent secretary outside the FCTA is an aberration and an anomaly that should be corrected.

“We are waiting for the implementation of the FCT Civil Service Commission,” he said.

He added that if the Head of Service insists on appointing a permanent secretary from outside the FCTA, then she has to wait for the law to be amended and be given the power to do so.

“But between now and then, the law must be obeyed and what we know is that FCT CSC has come to stay,” he added.

Korede equally announced to the protesting workers that Wike had reached out to the leadership of JUAC and asked them to be calm.

He said that the minister promised to meet with President Tinubu over the issue and would get back to them.

He, therefore, asked the workers to shield their sword and return to work, while awaiting feedback from the minister, which would determine the next line of action.


Tinubu Mourns Ex-Minister, Ogbonnaya Onu




President Bola Tinubu has extended his deepest condolences to the Onu family over the passing of Chief Ogbonnaya Onu, a former Minister of Science and Technology in the Buhari administration.

Chief Onu passed away on Thursday at the age of 72.

“The President mourns a luminous star in Nigeria’s political firmament.

The first civilian governor of Abia State; former minister of Science, Technology and Innovation, a principal draughtsman in the founding of the All Progressives Congress (APC), and a valiant partner in the victory of the party in the 2015 elections.

“Most importantly, the President celebrates the life of an accomplished scholar, first-class engineer; a man of proven integrity; defiant to indiscipline, but ever yielding to the highest standards of rectitude,” a statement by Chief Ajuri Ngelale, Presidential spokesman quoted the President to have said.

The statement said Tinubu affirmed that the late Onu epitomized Nigeria in concord; in wholeness, as the late statesman believed in and defended Nigeria’s unity, advocated peace, and promoted fellowship across the Niger.

The President also condoled with the friends and associates of Chief Onu, Ebonyi and Abia State Governments, and all Nigerians grieving this gaping loss.

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Business News

Geregu Power Earns N50.4bn From Electricity Sales, Capacity Charges 




By Tony Obiechina, Abuja 

Geregu Power Plc has generated N50.4bn on electricity sales and capacity charges to Nigerians in the first quarter of 2024.

The power company which is the first listed power company of the Nigerian Exchange Ltd disclosed the performance in its Q1, 2024 financial statement.

The company grew its Q1 revenue by 225 per cent from N14.

2bn in 2023 to N50.
4bn in 2023.

A breakdown reveals that Geregu Power sold energy worth N31bn and received N19bn as revenue from capacity charge.

Recall that the power company posted an annual revenue of N82.9bn in the full year of 2023 but it has covered half of the amount in Q1.

The revenue was above the company’s forecast for Q1 2024 when it projected its revenue to rise to N31.24bn.

Geregu Power recorded a profit before tax of N21.9bn up from the N5.3bn recorded in Q1 of last year, reflecting 307.8 per cent growth.

During the period underreview, the company saw its profit after tax rose by 307.3 per cent to N14.46bn from N3.54bn recorded in Q1 of last year. In the full year 2023, the company made N16.1bn net profit.

The net profit was above the company projection of N5.5bn. 

Geregu Power took an income tax charge of N7.43bn, up from the N1.8bn in Q1 2023. The tax charges were higher than the N2.7bn projected for Q1 2024.

The company also spent N21.5bn on the cost of sales involving gas supply and transportation, up from the N6.6bn spent on gas supply and transportation in Q1 2023.

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Foreign News

U.S. not Expecting to be Drawn into War but Predicts Attack by Iran Against Israel




The United States expects an attack by Iran against Israel but one that would not be big enough to draw Washington into war, a U.S. official said late on Thursday.

The White House said earlier that Washington did not want conflict to spread in the Middle East and the U.S. had told Iran it was not involved in an air strike against a top Iranian military commander in Damascus.

The White House added it warned Iran to not use that attack as a pretext to escalate further in the region.

Suspected Israeli warplanes bombed Iran’s embassy in Damascus on Monday in a strike for which Iran has vowed revenge and in which a top Iranian general and six other Iranian military officers were killed, ratcheting up tension in a region already strained by the Gaza war.

Iranian sources told Reuters that Tehran has signalled to Washington that it will respond to Israel’s attack on its Syrian embassy in a way that aims to avoid major escalation and it will not act hastily, as Tehran presses demands including a Gaza truce.

The United States has been on high alert about possible retaliatory strikes from Iran and U.S. envoys have been working to lower tensions.

Palestinian Islamist group Hamas attacked Israel on Oct. 7, killing 1,200, according to Israeli tallies.

Israel’s military assault on Hamas-governed Gaza has since killed more than 33,000 people according to the local health ministry, displaced nearly all of Gaza’s 2.3 million population, caused a humanitarian crisis, and led to genocide allegations that Israel denies.

Iran-backed groups have declared support for Palestinians, waging attacks from Lebanon, Yemen, and Iraq.

Tehran has avoided direct confrontation with Israel or the United States, while declaring support for its allies. (Reuters/NAN)

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