THE BIG STORIES IN NIGERIA

The Progressive Impact Organization for Community Development, (PRIMORG) is a non-governmental, not for profit civil society organization, established with the mission to promote good governance, accountability and transparency.
We look at some of the big stories that shaped the week in Nigeria and beyond.

   ICPC SET TO BEGIN SECOND PHASE OF CONSTITUENCY PROJECTS TRACKING

The Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) has disclosed that it will commence the second phase of Constituency Projects Tracking Group Initiatives (CPTG).
Chairman of the Commission, Professor Bolaji Owasanoye, who was represented by Commissioner for Cross River/Akwa Ibom states, Shola Shodipo, stated this Thursday at a Town Hall Meeting titled, “My Constituency, My Project” in partnership with the National Orientation Agency (NOA), ActionAid and Up Right for Nigeria.He said the campaign began in Abuja in November last year and that the community-level crusade was happening in all the 36 states of the federation this week.

 

Abule Ado: NLPGA denies cooking gas caused explosion.

Contrary to widespread claims, the Nigeria LPG Association on Friday denied that the Abule Ado Lagos explosion, which caused the death of no fewer than 20 persons and destruction of about 50 buildings was caused by cooking gas.
The Executive secretary of the association, Olakunle Oyebanjo, stated that the accident was not precipitated by LPG (cooking gas), adding that the explosion was atmospheric, suggesting massive petroleum products vapour cloud that ignited.
The NLPGA said: “The energy in the explosion, which in fact was more likely a detonation (an explosion with a shock wave traveling at supersonic speed), was massive, requiring fuel in the magnitude of several hundreds of metric tonnes. This is consistent with fuel being supplied from a pipeline.
“The fire was brought under control after several hours, which meant that it had a continuous supply of fuel for some time (it was later reported that pumping was ordered to stop from the petroleum products terminal to the inland depot sometime around the same time).
“The Nigerian Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) who also visited the site gave their own account of the cause and made no mention of natural gas, LPG nor gas plant: “The explosion in Abule-Ado, a suburb of Lagos, was caused by too much pressure on [the] pipeline.”
The association stated: “We would urge the authorities to continue with an impartial, independent and transparent enquiry of this unfortunate accident and a swift release of the independent inspectors’ report.”
According to the association, “In the early hours of Sunday 15 March 2020, a catastrophic explosion occurred, which was powerful enough to be heard several tens of kilometers away from the epicentre. There were immediate pictures circulating depicting the devastation to houses, and unverified video showing what we estimate at several hundred tonnes of petroleum products spewing out of a ruptured pipeline and a rapidly expanding petroleum products vapor cloud.

                                                                                                                                                        COVID-19: FG orders closure of all schools in Nigeria

The Federal Ministry of Education ordered immediate closure of tertiary institutions, secondary and primary schools nationwide following the outbreak of Corona virus in the country and as part of measures to contain the spread.
This was confirmed by the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Education, Sonny Echono.
According to a communique on Thursday, Echono who gave the order on behalf of the Education Minister, Adamu Adamu, also noted that all 104 Unity Schools in the country should close on or before the 26th of March, 2020 as a proactive step aimed at preventing the spread of the dreaded Corona virus.

 

“We have directed all higher institutions to close this weekend. Unity Schools that have completed their exams are to close immediately.
“Others are to hurry and close the latest on 26th March,” the statement partly read.

 

 

*WHY FAAC MEETING ENDED IN DEADLOCK

The monthly meeting where the three tiers of government in Nigeria meet to share revenue ended in stalemate Wednesday after officials for the first time rejected the usual dollar conversion rate of N306.
The bulk of the revenue shared at the so-called Federal Accounts Allocation Committee (FAAC) meeting by the federal, state and local governments are dollar earnings from oil exports and taxes and are converted to Naira before being shared.

The N306 per dollar CBN rate has been the preferred conversion rate for the allocations even though the Naira traded much weaker at below N360/$ in the parallel market.Sources, however, told BusinessDay that the FAAC members, who were now aware of President Muhammadu Buhari’s latest approval of a weaker exchange rate as part of reforms to soothe the blow of plunging oil prices on the economy, demanded that allocations be made at a rate weaker than the usual N306 rate.
This created a stalemate and led to the meeting being declared inconclusive by Hassan Dodo, the Director of Information, Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning, who did not give a reason for the abrupt end of the meeting.
The committee “could not agree on the amount presented for sharing by the revenue-generating agencies,” Dodo said.
Nigeria adds Austria, Sweden to countries on travel restriction.

 

 

FG REDUCES ARRIVALS TO TWO INTERNATIONAL AIRPORTS AS COVID-19 CASES SURGE

The Nigerian government on Friday added Austria and Sweden to the list of countries on its travel restriction to prevent the spread of coronavirus.
“The List of countries from which Nigeria is restricting entry for travellers has therefore now grown from 13 to 15: China, Italy, Iran, South Korea, Spain, Japan, France, Germany, Norway, United States of America, United Kingdom, Netherlands, Switzerland, Austria and Sweden,” the Nigerian government tweeted.

“Nigerians arriving from Austria and Sweden will be subjected to supervised isolation for 14 days.”
Nigeria’s cases of coronavirus rose to 12 on Thursday, March 19, 2020, after four new cases were confirmed by Lagos State health commissioner Akin Abayomi.Nigeria had on Wednesday, placed a travel restriction on 13 countries with more than 1,000 cases of coronavirus.

 

The Secretary to the Government of the Federation Boss Mustapha made the announcement at a media briefing on Wednesday.
Mustapha also announced that Nigeria has suspended its visa on arrival policy.
The government said its citizens are advised to avoid travel to the restricted countries.
“These travel and visa restrictions take effect from Friday 20 March 2020, for 4 weeks subject to review,” the government said.

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