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Buhari to remove oil subsidy, prune ministries to 19; more stories

President Muhammadu Buhari plans to totally remove fuel subsidy and use the proceeds for the provision of free and compulsory primary/secondary education across the country. Meanwhile tension has gripped civil servants over news of Buhari’s plan to prune down federal ministries from 28 to 19 as a way of reducing the cost of governance. They are worried about possible job cuts. The administration is also said to be working on unbundling the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, to make it more efficient in the production and delivery of products to Nigerians. These proposals form part of the strong recommendations made by the transition committee raised by Buhari to work out a blueprint for his administration. Asked if the proposal for total subsidy removal had been discussed with labour, the source said that members of organized labour in the country were consulted by the committee and they made presentations on what should be done over the matter.

INNOSON MOTORS SLAMS N30BN SUIT ON GTBANK
Nigeria’s first indigenous automobile manufacturer, Innoson Motors Nigeria Limited, has slammed a N30 billion suit against Guaranty Trust Bank, GTB, as a result of damages the company suffered following an ex parte order of Mareva Injunction, which GTB applied and obtained, freezing Innoson’s accounts in all the banks in Nigeria. However, on June 10, Justice Saliu Saidu of the Federal High Court, Lagos, in a considered ruling set aside the ex parte order of September 1, 2014 and the writ of summons as well. The running legal battle between Innoson and GTB started when Innoson challenged the action of Nigerian Customs Service for auctioning its goods. In a Garnishee Order Absolute, the court had ordered GTB to pay Innoson N2,048,737,443.67 from Customs account. Rather than comply with the Garnishee Order Absolute of the court, GTB on February 6, 2015 appealed the judgment, but the Court of Appeal in Appeal no. CA/1/258/2011 affirmed the judgment of the Federal High Court and ordered GTB to pay the judgment debt.

NAIRA FALLS FURTHER AGAINST MAJOR CURRENCIES
The Naira on Friday at the parallel market depreciated against three international currencies at the close of trading for the week. A on Friday in Lagos showed that the Naira depreciated by N1 or 0.45 per cent against the dollar due to high demand. It sold for N221 against the dollar from the N220 it sold on Monday, June 15. The Naira also lost N27 to sell at N352 to the pound, representing 8.31 per cent depreciation from the N325 it traded on June 15.Besides, the Naira against the euro went for N245 compared with the N238 it sold on June 15, representing N7 or 2.97 per cent drop. The Naira against the dollar at Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) official rate remained at N196.90, the rate since June 11. But it fell by N7.96 or 2.61 per cent to the pound, selling for N313.31 from the N305.31 it sold on June 15. The currency also depreciated against the euro to sell for N224.58 compared with the N220.74 it traded on Monday.

BUHARI MOVES INTO ASO ROCK PRESIDENTIAL VILLA
President Muhammadu Buhari, yesterday evening, moved into the Presidential Villa preparatory to resuming at the State House this morning, almost three weeks after he was sworn into office. Sources at the Villa told Vanguard that security details and other staff of the Presidential Villa were on hand to receive the President, whose wife, Aisha Buhari, moved into the Villa last Thursday. Truck loads of equipment moved into the Villa on Sunday evening ostensibly bearing the personal effects of the President, who returned to Abuja from Katsina State, weekend. President Buhari and his Vice, Yemi Osinbajo, have been operating from the Defence House since they were sworn in on May 29.

PRESIDENT TO MEET GOVERNORS OVER UNPAID SALARIES
Following an appeal by the 36 state governors seeking President Muhammadu Buhari’s intervention over the inability of some states to pay workers’ salaries, the President has agreed to meet with governors tomorrow. This is just as the Nigerian Guild of Editors, NGE, has advised affected states to explore available avenues to alleviate the plights of the workers. The meeting between President Buhari and the governors is expected to focus on the modality of sourcing funds to enable them defray the debts owed their workers. A top government official of the affected states said: “The President has graciously accepted our overtures to him to help us. “Some of us owe workers over nine months salary arrears and this has brought activities in the public service to a standstill. We hope the President helps this time.” A Presidency source said the Federal Government may be forced to draw from the depleting external reserves.

YOU NEED NATIONAL IDENTITY BY SEPTEMBER ONE
From September 1, the National Identity Number (NIN) shall become mandatory for all transactions involving the identification of individuals in the country. To that end, the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC), which is in charge of NIN issuance, has urged Nigerians to avail themselves the opportunity of enrolling in the national identity database to get their NIN. In a statement yesterday, NIMC General Manager, Corporate Communications, Abdulhamid Umar, said the agency has been advertising in some national dailies that the use of NIN shall become mandatory all transactions offered by applicable government institutions from September 1.

DAN MARAYA JOS DIES AT 69
One of the frontline Hausa musical icons, Dan Maraya Jos is dead. He died yesterday in Jos at the age of 69. His close friend and associate, Mallam Ladan Salihu, a zonal director at the Federal Radio Corporation of Nigeria, announced his death in Jos yesterday. Speaker of the House of Reps, Yakubu Dogara, has expressed shock over the sudden demise of the late musician. In a statement issued by his Special Adviser on Media and Public Affairs Turaki Hassan, Dogara said the North and indeed Nigeria has lost one of its most talented sons.

I DIDN’T APPLY FOR IVORY COAST COACH JOB – KESHI
Super Eagles Coach, Stephen Keshi, has denied applying to replace Herve Renard as Cote d’Ivoire manager, saying he is happy with managing the Nigerian team. Keshi was reportedly listed by the Ivoirians as one of the coaches that have applied to replace the 2015 AFCON winning Renard, who resigned recently to take a job in his country, France. Speaking through his manager, Emmanuel Addo, Keshi advised Nigerians to look for positives that would redefine the way forward for the national team, saying that after recently signing a two-year contract, he was determined to make the Super Eagles the best team in Africa.

Sources: THISDAY|PUNCH|VANGUARD|GUARDIAN

Welcome to Monday June 22, 2015 and enjoy our other news and views of today – HAMILTONSTYLE.

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