Five things to know to start your Tuesday

Navy denies blaming NNPCL over oil theft

The Nigerian Navy has denied blaming the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation Limited for oil theft in the country.

Adedotun Ayo-Vaughan, the director of information for the Nigerian Navy, said this on Monday during a news conference organised to provide certain facts about the operations of the Navy to the world.

Ayo-Vaughan was reacting to a media report over the Navy’s alleged involvement in the theft of crude oil in the country.

Apparently, he accused the NNPCL of reeling out exaggerated figures to save its face instead of saying the truth of the situation.

The report had emanated from an interactive hearing before the Senate Committee on Economic and Financial Crimes, during which the relevant agencies implementing the Proceeds of Crime (Recovery and Management) Act, 2022, testified.

“The report indicated that the chairman of the committee demanded explanations on why the country continued to experience cases of oil theft if the waterways were secured,” Ayo-Vaughan said.

“The distinguished senator had queried that, “The oil theft issue has been a very worrisome one to every Nigerian, and more importantly, it has negatively impacted our economy.”

“How come the Navy hasn’t been able to solve the issue of oil theft, and if the Navy is claiming that the waterways are secured, why are there still cases of oil theft?” he asked.

“Equally, it was mentioned that another senator noted that at an oversight function, the NNPCL said crude pipelines were being tapped from the pressure pipe under the sea and crude oil was usually transferred from there into vessels, and this had been happening for nine years,” he explained further.

Read also: Vandalism, crude oil theft undermined NNPC’s performance in 2021- Kyari

Dogara defects to PDP after declaring support for Atiku

Yakubu Dogara, former Speaker of the House of Representatives, has defected from the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) to the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

Dogara was welcomed into the party during the presidential campaign by the party’s presidential candidate and former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar, in Lagos State.

This comes 48 hours after a group led by Dogara, the Northern Leaders Consultative Forum, adopted Atiku as the preferred presidential candidate for the 2023 election.

On December 2, a group consisting of Christian and Muslim religious and political leaders in the north said after evaluating all the presidential candidates that Atiku is “the best.”

“It is evident that the All Progressives Congress (APC) is headed for implosion and extinction; hence, it cannot be the party for now and in the future because of its rejection to embrace inclusiveness in a diverse country like Nigeria. After the 2023 elections, APC may be dead and buried as a political party,” the group said.

Youth unemployment major cause of insecurity in North-East – Peter Obi

Peter Obi, the presidential candidate of the Labour Party (LP), has linked the cause of insecurity in the North-East region to the large number of unemployed youths from that region.

In a stakeholder meeting with some eminent people from that region on Monday in Abuja, Obi claimed that most of the youths from that place wake up every morning without food or shelter, a dangerous recipe to add to insecurity.

According to him, with the enormous amount of arable land in the North-East, the region has the potential to not only feed the country but also produce enough cash crops for export. He pledged that his administration will make that reality if he wins the presidential elections next year.

He said insecurity will be a thing of the past when idle youths become engaged in legal activities ranging from agriculture to commerce, which will ensure the country moves from consumption to production.

South Africa’s President Ramaphosa ‘is not resigning’ — Spokesman

Cyril Ramaphosa, president of South Africa, has no intention of resigning and has promised to defend his mandate, his spokesman has said.

The energetic politician has been embroiled in a series of scandals that threaten his position as president of the country.

Ramaphosa’s position came into question after an independent parliamentary panel said in a report that he might have violated the oath of office with regards to millions of dollars in cash found at his private game farm.

“President Ramaphosa is not resigning based on a flawed report, nor  is he stepping aside,” Ramaphosa’s spokesperson, Vincent Magwenya, told journalists by text message.

“The President has taken to heart the unequivocal message coming from the branches of the governing party who have nominated him to avail himself of a second term of leadership of the ANC.”

Ramaphosa has denied any wrongdoing and has not been charged with any crimes.

Oil prices rise after price cap on Russian crude, OPEC+ meeting

Oil prices drifted upward on Tuesday morning, responding to a recent price cap decision on Russian seaborne oil by the G7 group.

Reuters reported that Brent crude futures gained 66 cents to trade at $83.34 a barrel by 0108 GMT, while West Texas Intermediate crude (WTI) rose 70 cents to $77.63 a barrel.

Futures fell more than 3 percent in the previous session after U.S. service sector data raised worries that the Federal Reserve could continue its aggressive policy tightening path.

The Group of Seven price cap comes as the West tries to limit Moscow’s ability to finance its war in Ukraine, but Russia has said it will not abide by the measure even if it has to cut production.