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Senate Resumes on Tuesday




The Senate is to resume sitting on Tuesday after the Eid-el Kabir holiday.

The upper chamber resumes, majority and minority leaders are expected to emerge.

The All Progressives Congress (APC), with the largest number of members, is expected to produce the majority leader, while the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) will produce the minority leader.

While APC has 59 senators; PDP has 36; Labour Party (LP) eight; Social Democratic Party (SDP) two; New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP) two; Young Peoples Party (YPP) one and All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) one.

This shows that seven political parties make up the membership of the 10th Senate, with 50 as opposition members.

The ruling APC and the minority caucus are also expected to fill the vacant eight principal positions.

While APC is expected to produce the majority leader, deputy majority leader, chief whip and deputy chief whip, the four principal positions reserved for the minority caucus are minority leader, deputy minority leader, minority whip and deputy minority whip.

PDP, being the major opposition party, is expected to produce the minority leader, deputy leader, minority whip and deputy minority whip.

Nominations for the positions are purely the affairs of political parties with the majority of seats in the senate.

Findings shows that the major contenders for the senate majority leader’s seat include: Sen. Opeyemi Bamidele (APC-Ekiti) and Sen. Mohammed Ndume (APC-Borno).

The duo were among the arrowheads of Senate President Godswill Akpabio’s campaign for the senate presidency.

Ndume served as the director-general of Akpabio’s campaign committee, while Bamidele was the deputy.

Also, Sen. Adamu Aliero (PDP-Kebbi) and Sen. Aminu Tambuwal (PDP-Sokoto) are contenders for the minority leader seat. (NAN)


NEWS FLASH!!! Shaibu, PDP Legacy Group Dump Party for APC




The Deputy Governor of Edo, Philips Shaibu on Saturday officially defected from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to the All Progressives Congress (APC).

Shaibu alongside other members of the PDP legacy coalition group announced his defection in Benin at the inauguration of the National Campaign Council of the party for the Sept.

21 Governorship election in the state.

Dr Umar Ganduje, the National Chairman of the APC and other members of the National Working Committee (NWC), who received the deputy governor, said they have come to add value to the party.

According to him, the opposition party will certainly take over the state after the governorship poll.

Shaibu was also warmly embraced by Sen.

Adams Oshiomhole, whom the deputy governor referred to as his father.

Report says that trouble started for Shaibu in the PDP when he showed interest in the governorship seat.

The ambition pitched the deputy governor against his principal, Gov. Godwin Obaseki, which eventually led to the impeachment of the deputy on March 18 by the State House of Assembly.

A Federal High Court in Abuja, however, voided the impeachment on Wednesday, noting that the offence upon which he was removed did not amount to misconduct. (NAN)

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Reps Joint Committee Probes Dangote, Lafarge over Rising Price of Cement




The Joint Committee of the House of Representatives investigating arbitrary rise of cement price in the country has asked major producers in the industry to tender documents on cost production to justify the price of cement in the market.

The committee resolved to visit production plants of the companies after going though their books to ascertain the cost of production with a view to determine a fair price of cement for all Nigerians.

The Chairman of the joint committee, Rep.

Jonathan Gaza (APC-Nasarawa) made the demand on Friday at a public hearing while quizzing Dangote Cement Company and Lafarge Africa PLC in Abuja.

He said that the committee is interested in the cost of production from 2020 to date that justified the current price of cement which is over N10,000 in most parts of the country.

He said that the companies should give its average daily consumption of coal, gas, gypsum, limestone, clay, laterite and the average daily production of cement from 2020 to date.

Gaza said that the companies should provide details of all imported components for the production of cement and their prices from

2020 to date.

The lawmaker said that the companies should also provide details of local components for the production of cement and their prices in naira and dollars, if any, in the period under review.

He said that the companies should provide a summary of the monthly prices and quantity of cement produced from 2019 to date as well as their audited accounts of the company, bills of laden and duties paid to customs within the period under review.

Gaza also said that the companies should provide details of tax waivers and other incentives enjoyed plus gas and explosives contract details.

Rep. Dabo Ismail (APC-Bauchi state), a member of the committee, said that Dangote Cement Company had continued to make increasing profits in the country despite being able to source most of its raw materials locally.

He said that in 2022, the company declared a profit of N524 billion, N553 billion in 2023 and had so far made N166.4 billion in 2024.

The lawmaker said that there is no reason why the price of cement would keep rising in the market to the detriment of Nigerians while producers are smiling to he banks.

Earlier, the Group Managing Director (GMD) of Dangote Cement Company, Mr Arvind Pathack, had said that 95 per cent of production cost are either imported or linked to forex.

He explained that there had been,between 100 to 333 per cent increase in the price of major cement input materials like gas, AGO, gypsum, imported coal, spare parts, new trucks, tyres, petrol among others.

Pathack said that the company is made to pay in dollars, some of its contracts to access gas and explosives, saying that the provision made by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) was not enough to meet demand, so they engage in international sales also source from the parallel market.

According to him, logistics issues such as deplorable state of key roads, create several issues including longer time to deliver, increase in truck maintenance and delivery cost.

The GMD explained that lack of sufficient forex to settle trade obligations had resulted to huge forex losses to a tune of N150 billion per annum, while paying 30 per cent interest rate on loans.

He said between May 2023 and June 2024, there has been over 220 per cent devaluation of the Naira among many other challenges like insecurity and public power supply.

Pathack said that the cost of building materials like reinforcement, granite and aluminum window had increased by 177 per cent to 283 per cent while cement had increase by 166 per cent between 2023 and 2024.

He said that cement was being sold at an average cost of 7,200, saying that any price over N10,000 was the handwork of retailers which the company had no control over.

According to him, when converted to dollars a bag of cement is sold at $7.8 dollars in Benin, $6.6 in Togo, $7.8 in Ghana, $4.4 in India while that of Nigeria is $4.43, making it one of the cheapest in Africa.

The committee admonished the companies to look into their policies and operations with a view to reduce the price of cement in the country.

In an interview with newsmen, the chairman of the committee expressed hope that the engagement would lead to a reduction in the price of cement.

He blamed the high price of the commodity on the inaction of Federal Competition Consumer Protection Commission (FCCPC).

Gaza said that as an agency responsible for the protection of consumers, they failed to protect Nigerians against middlemen who sold the commodity for as high as N14,000 after purchasing it for N6,000 at the factory.

“We are extremely hopeful that this engagement will lead to a reduction in the price of cement.

“FCCPC has slept on their functions so far, their inactivity and non-responsiveness to price is what has put Nigeria where we are today,” he said. (NAN)

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I don’t Belong to APC , but Appreciate Tinubu’s Bold Reforms-Okupe




A former Director-General of the Labour Party (LP) Presidential Campaign Council, Dr Doyin Okupe, says he is not a member of the ruling APC but appreciates  the bold reforms being implemented  by President Bola Tinubu.

Okupe, a former Presidential Spokesperson, disclosed this in X handle (formerly Twitter) while reacting to criticisms over his appreciation of Tinubu’s initiatives .

Report says  that Okupe has been criticised for always  supporting, advising and praising every government in power since 1999,.

Okupe  had served as aide to former President Olusegun Obasanjo and then  Goodluck Jonathan as  a PDP member.

He later joined Labour Party to support the presidential  bid of Peter Obi for the 2023 elections.

Okupe said: “I am neither a member of the APC nor an adviser of the administration.

“I appreciate the bold initiatives President Bola Tinubu took to remove fuel subsidy, which was assented to by all candidates during the campaign.

“I also fully support the sectoral equalisation of our forex market.

“Both reforms are responsible for the hardship our people are currently experiencing, but which I believe will be temporary judging by the strenuous efforts the government is making towards ameliorating them.

“This is not praise singing. I do not count myself as a member of the opposition, hence I am able to be objective and understandingly supportive.

“I may not have had a hand in installing this govt ,but it is my country and I am a stakeholder in it. I do not pray for it to crash or go down. This cannot be an offence.”

He urged his critics, especially a PDP chieftain, Mr Dele Momodu, to stop being  personal in their criticisms.

“We all are practitioners, players and known actors in this amphitheater, no need to go personal. Let’s keep criticisms rational, mature and professional,” he added.

Okupe said that it was not true that he had been sing praising every government since 1999.

He said that he only acted as adviser in the Obasanjo’s administration, which he described as one of the most successful since the advent of the fourth republic.

Okupe said that he did not play any significant role in the succeeding administration of late President Umaru Yar Adua.

The former presidential spokesman said that he ,however, became an adviser for the second time in the Jonathan administration ,which was defeated by the former President Muhammadu Buhari -led APC.

According to Okupe, his association with former Senate President Bukola Saraki and Peter Obi is in no way different from Momodu’s current association with former Vice President Atiku Abubakar. (NAN)

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