Suspected Niger Delta militants blow up Agip pipelines

By The Rainbow
Suspected Niger Delta militants on Thursday night  used dynamites to blow up pipelines belonging to oil giant, Nigerian Agip Oil Company, sparking fears among indigenes of the coastal communities of Brass Local Government Area of Bayelsa State of possible invasion of government forces  on their community.
The Federal Government has made it clear it would not tolerate  acts capable of worsening the bleeding economy.
This attack is coming just a few days after an attack on oil and gas pipelines in the Gbaramatu kingdom Delta state, dealt a deadly blow on the economy.

The attack, which occurred in Orukari, Golubokiri and Kpongbokiri communities, had many residents of the area scampering for safety. It also led to massive spillage of crude into the waters and fishing camps.
‎Confirming the development in a statement yesterday in Yenagoa, A member of the Bayelsa State House of Assembly (Brass Constituency I), Israel Sunny-Goli, in a statement in Yenegoa on Saturday  condemned the attack.
‎ “Preliminary investigations show that the bombing of the pipeline was an act of sabotage carried out to hurt the economic interests of Bayelsa State and Nigeria,” he said.
According to him,  the latest explosion, coming after the bombing of pipelines in the same area, recently, is worrisome and capable of forcing oil companies out of operation, with grave consequences for the nation's economy.
Sunny-Goli called on the government to beef up security around oil facilities.
He said, “I condemn this latest attack on Agip pipeline at Kpongbokiri in its entirety. It is sabotage against Nigeria in a bid to cripple the economy at a time the Nation is struggling with decline in revenue due to the fall in oil prices.
“It is common knowledge that because of the low price of oil which is our main source of revenue, many states can hardly pay workers salaries. This sabotage is capable of crippling the economy if not urgently curbed.
“If these attacks are not checked and the perpetrators brought to book and Agip decides to pull out of Bayelsa state it would be disastrous for us as a people.
“Bayelsa state is an oil producing state and our revenue from the federal government is based on our quota of production but this would be reduced if Agip decides to pull out because incessant attacks on its facilities are not stopped.
“I want to urge security agencies to probe the attack on Agip pipeline and ensure that the perpetrators are arrested and brought to book. Bayelsans especially those that have oil facilities around them should also be vigilant and report any suspicious movement to security agencies to prevent further attacks.”

African Leaders Malaria Alliance (ALMA) to celebrate historic progress in fight against malaria in Africa with 2016 ALMA Awards for Excellence

By African Union Commission (AUC)

The African Leaders Malaria Alliance (ALMA) 2016 Awards for Excellence will be presented on 30 January at 13:00-14:00 (EAT) in the African Union Conference Centre Multipurpose Hall in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
The ALMA Awards, which recognize 13 countries in three categories, will be presented at the African Union as part of the programme for the Heads of State Summit.
The ceremony will be attended by representatives of the winning countries, including African heads of state.
Africa has experienced unprecedented progress in the malaria fight in the past 15 years. For the first time in history, a malaria-free Africa is in sight. Since 2000, malaria mortality rates on the continent have fallen by 66% among all age groups and by 71% among children under 5. An estimated 663 million cases of malaria have been averted in sub-Saharan Africa since 2001 due to scale up of malaria interventions.
Opportunities for media:
Media are hereby advised of the following opportunities to interact with 2016 winners and experts from ALMA.
For media in Addis Ababa
Spokespeople availability in Addis Ababa — 30th January 2016, 14:00 to 16:00 (EAT): Joy Phumaphi, Executive Secretary of the ALMA and Sherwin Charles, Chair of the ALMA Awards for Excellence Selection Committee will be available to speak to media and answer questions. Please contact us directly for opportunities to interview heads of state of countries recognized in the 2016 ALMA Awards for Excellence.


Open to all media
Tele-Conference — 29th January 2016, 10.30am (EAT): 

ALMA will be organizing a tele-conference for all interested media. The conference will be led by the Executive Secretary of the African Leaders Malaria Alliance, Joy Phumaphi. Please contact us directly to receive dial in details for your location.
Twitter Q&A — 29th January 2016, 11.30am (EAT): ALMA will host a 30 minute Twitter Q&A session with Joy Phumaphi, Executive Secretary of the ALMA and Sherwin Charles, Chair of the ALMA Awards for Excellence Selection Committee. To join the conversation please follow @ALMA_2030 and use the hashtag #AskAlma2030.

To register interest in any of the above, please contact:
ALMA@portland-communications.com.
About ALMA
Founded in 2009, the African Leaders Malaria Alliance is a ground-breaking coalition of 49 African Heads of State and government working across country and regional borders to achieve a malaria free Africa by 2030. For more information visit: www.alma2030.org

About ALMA Awards for Excellence
The ALMA Awards for Excellence celebrates exemplary leadership in policy, impact and implementation in the fight against malaria. The ALMA Awards for Excellence are chosen by an independent awards selection committee, comprised of the following individuals:
Sherwin Charles, CEO of Sonhos Social Capital, and Chairman of the Selection Committee Dr Akudo Anyanwu Ikemba, Director of Partnerships at the Task Force for Global Health at Emory University Dr Esther Tallah, Director of Malaria Consortium - Cameroon Coalition Against Malaria (MC-CCAM) Professor Fred Binka, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Health and Allied Sciences, Ho in Ghana Dr Hassan Mshinda, Director General of Tanzania's Commission for Science and Technology (COSTEC) Dr Maru Aregawi, Scientist within the Strategy Economics and Elimination Unit in the Global Malaria Program, World Health Organization

Electricity: Nigerians to pay more from February 1

By The Rainbow
Nigerian electricity consumers will from Monday February 1 begin to pay more per unit of power used as new tariff structure already approved by the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission kicks off.
The acting Chairman of the commission , Dr. Anthony Akah, affirmed the date on Thursday  when he led top executives of the regulatory agency on a courtesy call on the National Orientation Agency in Abuja. He said  the visit was part of the establishment of a coordinated approach to creating public awareness ahead of the February 1 implementation date of the new Multi-Year Tariff Order.
Akah, who said  there was no going back on the new tariffs, explained that that the new tariff approved for electricity consumers across will enable the power distribution, generation and transmission companies to acquire needed infrastructure.
According to him,   lack of cost-reflective tariffs had hobbled electricity companies from acquiring the necessary infrastructure.
The NERC boss said that with the new tariffs, they would not have any excuse for not delivering on agreements they entered into with the government.
He said that the  the Nigerian power sector reform conceived an appropriate pricing template, which had been lacking, leading to deficiency in revenues from power.

In the new tariff regime, residential customer classification (R2) in Abuja Electricity Distribution Company will no longer pay N702.00 fixed charge every month. Their energy charge will increase by N9.60. Also, residential customers (R2 customers) in Eko and Ikeja electricity distribution areas will no longer pay N750. 00 fixed charges.
They will be getting N10 and N8 increase respectively in their energy charges. Similarly, the burden of N800.00 and N750.00 fixed charges would be lifted off the shoulders of Kaduna and Benin electricity consumers. These consumers will see an increase of N11.05 and N9.26 respectively in their energy charges.
The new tariff is also good news for commercial consumers For example, commercial customers' classification C2 in Ibadan and Enugu will no longer pay fixed charges of N17, 010. 00 and N22, 141. 00. Their energy charge will increase by N12.08 and N13.35 respectively.”
Akah said  new tariff  will ensure that  the generating, transmission and distribution companies would provide the needed infrastructure for higher generation and supply of electricity to meet the needs of consumers.
He also  said under the new MYTO, all premises must be metered and consumers who subscribe to specific metering models must be supplied meters within 60 days after which they would not be disconnected or charged on estimation if a meter was not supplied.

According to the NERC boss, a Power Consumer Assistance Fund has been put in place to cater for the electricity needs of the less-privileged in the country.
Meanwhile, the Organised Labour on Friday cautioned the federal government against implementing the new electricity tariff, to avoid industrial crisis in the country.
The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Trade Union Congress of Nigeria (TUC) and the Electricity Consumer Protection Forum gave the warning at a stakeholders' meeting in Lagos.
Ayuba Wabba, NLC president, said that labour would mobilse workers and civil society groups to protest and picket all the electricity distribution companies should the federal government implement the tariff as scheduled on February 1.
According to Wabba,  the 40 to 45 per cent increase is  exploitative and illegal.
“We reject the tariff increase, based on the fact that due process was not followed according to the law. Organised labour and civil society groups were not consulted,” he said.
“There has also not been a significant improvement in the power supply situation since it was privatised.”
He also said DISCOs had promised to provide pre-paid meters for its consumers within 18 months, but had not met the expectations of the people.
“The DISCOs promised to give Nigerians meters in 18 months, but they failed. This is corruption and it is ripping Nigerians off their money,” he said.
Wabba said the increase in electricity tariff was not right because there was already a court injunction before Muhammed Idris, a justice of the federal high court, Lagos.
According to him, the case is between Toluwani Yemi-Adebiyi, a lawyer, versus the Nigeria Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) and others, that there will be no increment until the determination of the substantive suit.
“The increment negates the present biting and prevailing economic situation and will further impoverish the people,” Wabba said.
He urged the government to halt the implementation of the new tariff, as well as audit the DISCOs since they have fully paid the privatisation money.
Also speaking, Bobboi Kaigama, TUC President, urged NERC not to implement the new tariff until there was a substantive improvement in the electricity supply situation.
“If by February 1, the federal government implements the policy, we will shut down all DISCOs.
There should be an increase indicated in service delivery, before the proposed new tariff,” he said.

Kero blast victim dies at UBTH …he is a victim of poverty – sympathizers.

Victim of the killer kerosene, Moses Mighty Mathew

BENIN CITY-A 13 year-old victim of kerosene explosion, which occurred at Urhonigbe town in Orhionmwon local government area of Edo State, has died after three weeks of excruciating pains at the University of Benin Teaching Hospital (UBTH), in Benin City.
The victim, Moses Mighty Mathew, a primary five pupil, died at the Female Orthopaedic ward in UBTH about 1:00 a.m, Wednesday.
When our reporter visited the hospital, doctors, nurses and patients at the Female Orthopaedic ward expressed shock at his death.
His aunt stated that the family is devastated by the unfortunate incident as they had hoped, he would survive the burns.
She disclosed further that the victim’s mother, who was beside the victim’s sick bed when he died, had been taken to the village, dejected.
The deceased was however described as a victim of poverty as he would have made it if he had received adequate medical attention at the wake of the explosion.
It will be recalled that a doctor at the Burns and Plastic Clinic at the hospital has stated a forthnight ago that the victim would need to undergo skin surgery after his condition had been stabilized.

The surgery was yet to be performed before he gave up the ghost.
It could not be ascertained at press time why the victim died.
Mother of the victim Mrs Eki John, a peasant farmer had appealed to Edo State Government, groups and kind-hearted individuals to assist her as without evidence of payment the victim may be denied the operation.
It was learnt that the second victim, a toddler has been taken home possibly due to lack of finance.
Mrs Eki John had disclosed that Moses was trying to refuel the family lantern when it exploded on them in their residence at Urhonigbe town.
She revealed that on hearing an explosion followed with a scream, she ran towards their direction only to meet her children burning like Hammatan fire.
She explained that the kerosene suspected to have been adulterated was bought from a lady who brings the product from Agbor town in Delta State to hawk at Urhonigbe in Edo.
She lamented that her present husband has given up on the medical bills of her son Moses whose father, Mr Mighty from Calabar, Cross River State, she stated, disappeared after his birth.

Video: El-Rufai Goes On His Knees, Begs Kogi To Forgive Governor Yahaya Bello

Governor of Kaduna State, Nasir El-Rufai, has gone on his knees begging voters in Kogi State vote for Governor Yahaya Bello. Governor B...