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Breaking News In Nigeria This Morning, Monday 29th June 2020

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1.Fraudster impersonating our director, says The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN)

The Central Bank of Nigeria on Sunday described as fraudulent the operations of a fraudulent twitter handle, @YusufPhilipYila, purported to belong to the bank’s Director, Development Finance Department, Mr Philip Yusuf.

According to CBN’s Director of Corporate Communications, Isaac Okorafor, the impostor handle had been posting messages related to the bank’s N50bn Targeted Credit Facility.

Okoroafor said the fraudster was doing so with the intent of wooing unsuspecting loan seekers and owners of small scale businesses to enter into correspondence with the owner of the fake handle.

The CBN official warned unsuspecting members of the public not to have anything to do with the said Twitter handle.

He said, “Although the CBN, through the NIRSAL Microfinance Bank, has indeed disbursed loans to successful beneficiaries under its COVID-19 Targeted Credit Facility, none of the bank’s official engages in direct interactions with prospective or successful applicants.”

2. No going back on petrol price control, The Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency (PPPRA) insists

The Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency on Sunday insisted that it would continue fixing price bands for petrol despite opposition by oil marketers to the move.

It also declared that a regulation for Premium Motor Spirit, popularly called petrol, had been established in collaboration with the Federal Ministry of Petroleum Resources and the Office of the Attorney-General of the Federation.

The Executive Secretary, PPPRA, Abdulkadir Saidu, disclosed this while addressing questions on the PMS pricing regime, which commenced on March 19, 2020.

Since the introduction of the regime, marketers had expressed concerns over the issuing of monthly guiding prices for petrol.

Responding to this, Saidu argued that different sectors of the economy operate under the guidance of national regulators.

He said, “The Central Bank of Nigeria regulates the banks and other financial sector operators; the Nigerian Communications Commission regulates telecommunications and the same exists for operators in Nigeria’s downstream petroleum sector.

“To this end, it is not out of place for the agency (PPPRA) to provide a guiding price band with the aim of protecting consumers against price gouging.

“It is important to also state that there is nowhere in the world that deregulation means total lack of control, supervision or oversight.”

Saidu noted that while the market-based pricing regime was a policy introduced to free the market of all encumbrances to investment and growth, it should not be misconstrued to mean a total abdication of government’s responsibility to the sector and citizenry.

On the need for a regulatory/legal framework for PMS pricing, he said extant laws gave the agency the legislative backing to formulate policy initiatives on pricing regime.

“In accordance with the above, the development of Guidelines for Petroleum Products Commercial Framework has been concluded and Code of Conducts for Operators is currently being firmed up to reflect the present price regime,” Saidu said.

The PPPRA boss observed that transitioning to a fully deregulated market would come with growing pains.

He said the major challenges witnessed during the transition period which impacted PMS pricing included holding stock of products bought at higher prices.

3. 13% derivation :Itsekiri group urges President M. Buhari to pay oil communities

WARRI: An Itsekiri group, Association for the Promotion of Peace and Development in Itsekiri Oil and Gas communities, APPDIOGCOM, have called on the federal.government to pay the 13 derivation fund accruing to the Niger Delta region directly to oil and gas bearing communities.

A statement by the group signed by its Leader, Princess Grace Fregene said payment of the fund to communities will bring development to the neglected communities, adding that the funds would be judiciously used.

“Only him that wears the shoes knows where pinches hence governor Douye Diri of Bayelsa state did not mince words as his call was for the 13% derivation to be paid to the host /oil-producing communities directly, not to the governor of the oil state.

Clearly, the 1999 constitution, section 162, subsection 2 states the 13% derivation should be given to the host communities directly not to any organ of government.”, the group said.

“Besides the law does not permit state government to legislate on the 13% derivation fund since it is the Exclusive list. So far the President Muhammadu Buhari has been operating within the radar of the constitution. Hence we the Association of the Promotion of Peace and Development in Itsekiri Oil and Gas communities, APPDIOGCOM, have no iota of doubt that he will correct this age-long anomaly by paying 13% derivation fund to the host communities directly”, it added.

4. Again, Bishop David Oyedepo faults Lagos, Ogun State for not reopening churches

The Presiding Bishop of the Living Faith Church International, aka Winners’ Chapel, Bishop David Oyedepo, has said Lagos and Ogun states have been infected with anti-church virus hence the decision to open markets and keep churches shut.

The cleric stated this while delivering a sermon on Sunday.

Oyedepo said it was ironic that while marketplaces remained open and people no longer observed social distancing or hygiene, the church was being suppressed because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The cleric added, “No hand-washing, nothing, everyone is in the market running over one another every day of the week and there is no outbreak from the market, but there is now outbreak, perceived outbreak from the church. Prophets are God’s voices to the nations. Caution!

“Now, freedom of worship is no longer a constitutional right, it’s now determined by some individuals. It is a hard thing to kick against the pricks. This is no longer coronavirus, at least in two states – Lagos and Ogun. It is now anti-church virus, clean and clear.”

Oyedepo said in the last one week, 10 people testified to have been healed of the disease.

He argued that the church, which had the power to heal people, remained closed.

According to him, what was happening to the church could be likened to the experience of the children of Israel when they were in Egyptian bondage.

“Can anybody silence the church? No! I have never heard of anybody that God healed in the market, but people get healed in every church day and night, real, tangible healing. We have recorded 114 coronavirus healing testimonies. We got 10 this week. And that is the place that is vulnerable, not the market,” Oyedepo added.

Lagos, which is the epicentre of the pandemic, has yet to reopen places of worship.

Ogun State, which shares boundaries with Lagos, is home to the largest auditoriums of many big churches, including the Redeemed Christian Church of God, the Mountain of Fire’s Prayer City and the Living Faith Church.

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