Civil Groups Question Status of PIB, Oil Swap Deal, Others

Kaduna-Refinery PIBSome civil society groups in Nigeria’s Federal Capital Territory are questioning the status of the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) which they said had been pending for 12 years before two assemblies.

They said the modification of the bill into five sections appeared different from the original bill presented to the National Assembly.

The groups are building a common alliance to engage the Federal Government and the National Assembly on the reforms in the oil and gas sector.

Members are also questioning the oil swap status of the country and the level of implementation of the findings and recommendations of the Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative.

Led by the Executive Director of the African Network for Environment and Economic Justice, Mr David Ugolor, the civil groups called for more public disclosure by the executive and the legislative arms of government for enhanced public involvement in these issues which affect the livelihood of the masses.

Police Charge Suspected Pension Fraudster

Court-dockThe Commissioner of Police in Nigeria’s Federal Capital Territory (FCT) command has charged Mr Chukwuemeka Timothy, a staff of a pension company, for alleged criminal conspiracy, cheating and forgery contrary to sections 97,322 and 364 of the Penal Code law.

In the first information report obtained by Channels Television, Mr Timothy is alleged to have in March, 2016 procured a forged ‘certificate of compliance’ of the pension deduction and remittance requirement for Utsola Energy Limited in Abuja after collecting the sum of 300,000 Naira.

But following the absence of the defendant and the police prosecutor, the counsel to PENCOM, Elendu Ezeala, informed the court that the prosecutor had sent a letter seeking an adjournment.

Mr Ezeala, however, asked the court to issue a bench warrant against the defendant.

Hearing of the case has been fixed for October 13.

In a related development, the Head of Communications for PENCOM, Mr Emeka Onuora, said the commission in collaboration with the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission was compiling the list of employers who had not been remitting deducted pension contributions.

He added that over 9.38 billion Naira has been recovered from firms who deducted pension from salaries of staff under the compulsory pension scheme but failed to remit same, describing it as criminal.

Buhari Is The Kind Of Leader Nigeria Needs, Osinbajo Says

Yemi-OsinbajoNigeria’s Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, has expressed confidence in the leadership of President Muhammadu Buhari, saying ‘he is the kind of leader the nation needs at this time’.

“He is honest, straightforward and operating from a genuine heart,” the Vice President told a delegation from the Deeper Christian Life Church, led by Pastor W. F. Kumuyi.

“Moving Nigeria Forward”

At a meeting held at the Presidential Villa in Abuja on Friday with the church delegation, Professor Osinbajo, said: “Though some people say President Muhammadu Buhari is strict because of his forthrightness, he is the kind of leader we need now. A president who will not cut deals and who is only interested in moving Nigeria forward.

“We are very happy that we have a President who is honest, a President who is straight forward, a President who is operating from the genuineness of his heart, this is the kind of leader that we need now”.

While acknowledging the economic situation in Nigeria, the Vice President noted that the current administration did not create the conditions, “but we are here at this time”.

He pointed out that “the reason (we are here at this time,) is known to the Lord Himself. Everyday I wake up knowing there is a cause for being here and it is to move the country forward”.

Ogoni Clean-Up

Interacting with Pastor Kumuyi on the Ogoni clean-up and Niger Delta, the Vice President said “the clean-up of Ogoni is very important.

“The situation is very bad, I have been in the area a few times, but we need peace in the area to be able to carry on with the clean-up exercise.

“The clean-up exercise will take decades but with the phased implementation people can gradually return to fishing and farming,” he stated.

On the power sector, Professor Osinbajo said that by February this year, the country was doing 5000 megawatts of electricity for the first time in history, highlighting that the militants’ attacks on the pipelines had made things bad not only regarding electricity, but also cutting the oil revenues of the nation.

He, however, assured the delegation and Nigerians that the government was working diligently on effective solutions to those challenges.

He was clear that God had a purpose for choosing the President and himself to serve at this time, saying “this is the doing of the Lord.”

The Vice President also thanked Pastor Kumuyi for coming, noting that his visit was a wonderful gift.

Earlier, Pastor Kumuyi said he was in the Federal Capital Territory for a crusade and thought to pay a visit to the Vice President.

He thanked God for the progress made so far by the Administration, adding that “God will fulfil the purpose for which He brought you at a time like this”.

While inviting the Vice President to the crusade, Pastor Kumuyi pledged his contributions and prayers for the Buhari administration, and also for the progress of Nigeria.

DPR Seals Fuel Service Stations In Abuja Amidst Biting Petrol Scarcity

DPR seals fuel service station petrol scarcity The Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) has sealed off three petrol stations in Nigeria’s Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja, for selling petrol to customers above the approved pump price of 86 Naira 50 Kobo.

The zonal coordinator of the regulatory body, Mr Mohammed Musa, who led an inspection tour round the area councils of the FCT to check compliance, said the excuse by the petrol station managers that they bought the product above the selling price and not directly from the depots was not an admissible reason for defaulting.

He said the reason for not giving the products away to the customers free of charge, as done previously, was to avoid the risk of any casualties that might be recorded, as customers struggle to get the free product.

According to him, the inspection will continue until the resolution of the fuel crisis already causing Nigerians serious hardships.

Queues of motorcycles, tricycles known as Keke Napep, and other vehicles on roadsides around fuel stations have become a common sight in the FCT for nearly three months now.

But what is not a common sight is pump prices above the approved price, a development that had triggered the tour of some fuel service stations in major area councils of the FCT by the DPR to check compliance by petrol stations.

A fuel service station along the airport road in Abuja was selling petrol to customers at 150 Naira per litre and the DPR wasted no time in sealing it off.

Also in Gwagwalada, on the outskirts of Abuja, the fuel meter of a service station was adjusted to sell less petrol for more money. When measured by the DPR, a litre of fuel showed 1.49 litres on the metre of the dispensing pump. The station was also sealed off.

The zonal coordinator of the DPR said no excuse was admissible for short-changing customers or taking advantage of their suffering.

Also unacceptable to the regulatory body was sales of the product to persons who market them on roadsides with jerry cans.

They destroyed jerry cans found lined up for petrol and said plans must be made to arrest persons found selling the product illegally.

They said the compliance enforcement, which was also taking place across other states, would continue until the fuel crises was over, insisting that independent marketers must comply.

Court Says Saraki Must Face Corruption Trial, Dismisses Application

Bukola SarakiA Federal High Court sitting in Abuja, Nigeria’s Federal Capital Territory, has dismissed an application by Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki, seeking nullification of his ongoing trial at the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT).

The trial judge, Justice Abdul Kafarati, held that the CCT was a constitutional body, in the discharge of its legal obligation which should not be interfered with by a court of law.

Justice Kafarati said that he found that none of the claims fell within Chapter Four of the Nigerian Constitution and that the court could not interfere with the proceedings before the Tribunal.

The judge added that the court could not also interfere with the duties of the respondents which have been imposed on them by law

Senator Saraki is standing trial at the CCT for alleged false asset declaration and fraud. The trial began in September last year.

The Senate President had approached the court, asking it to put an end to his trial at the Tribunal, describing the trial as a breach of his fundamental human rights enshrined in Section Four of the Constitution and an obstruction to his duties at the National Assembly.

Agatu Indigenes Seek Government’s Intervention To Rebuild Town

Agatu-IDPs

Indigenes of the devastated Agatu community residing in Abuja, Nigeria’s Federal Capital Territory, are asking for the government’s intervention to rebuild and restore peace in the community.



The indigenes on Saturday, said that “the longer the situation is left unattended to, the more further reprisal attacks are likely to take place in the community”.

Although, they accused the Fulani herdsmen of invading and destroying communities in the area, the Fulani Cattle Breeders Association blamed cattle rustlers for the invasion.

The invaded Agatu community and other surrounding villages affected by the recent attacks lie along the coast of River Benue, bordering Nasarawa and Benue States.

Since the attacks, the communities have remained deserted with houses still in ruins.

Meanwhile, Benue State lawmakers in the House of Representatives had condemned the “lukewarm attitude” of the Federal Government towards the killings in the state.

Addressing reporters on behalf of the lawmakers in Abuja, Honourable Orker Jev, said that over 1,000 people had been killed and over 100 villages razed in Agatu area by armed herdsmen, who are yet to be apprehended by security forces.

It is hoped that both the Federal Government and the two State Governors will take urgent steps to address the issues raised with a view to preventing further crisis in Agatu community.

President Buhari Pledges Polio Eradication In Nigeria

PolioPresident Muhammadu Buhari says his administration will do all within its powers to ensure that no Nigerian child is ever infected with polio again.

The President made the statement on Saturday, in Abuja, Nigeria’s Federal Capital Territory.

Speaking at a brief event in the Presidential Villa to mark Nigeria’s successful completion of one year without any reported case of the wild polio virus, President Buhari pledged that the Federal Government would mobilize and deploy all necessary resources to efficiently complete the task of eradicating polio from the country.

“Today, 25th of July, 2015, Nigeria has successfully completed one year without any case reported of the wild polio virus.

“Achieving this feat has placed us firmly on the path to eradicating this paralyzing disease from our land.

“I seize this opportunity to call on governors, our traditional and religious leaders, the private sector and our mothers and fathers to redouble their efforts to ensure that every child and every new born baby is vaccinated with the polio vaccine and other lifesaving routine vaccines,” President Buhari said.

The President personally vaccinated one of his grandchildren against polio at the occasion to demonstrate his commitment to eradicating the virus from Nigeria as well as the safety and efficacy of the polio vaccine.

President Buhari thanked all Nigerians and foreign partners who have supported the country’s polio eradication programme in several ways.

He said that he looked forward to the formal declaration of Nigeria as a polio-free country in 2017.

Nigeria Urged To Explore ECOWAS Trading Opportunities

ECOWAS
A former Nigeria’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Professor Bolaji Akinyemi

The Nigerian government has been advised to tap into the gains of the establishment of the Economic Community Of West African States (ECOWAS) as a single large trading bloc.

At an event to commemorate 40 years anniversary of the ECOWAS in Abuja, Nigeria’s Federal Capital Territory, a former Nigeria’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Professor Bolaji Akinyemi, expressed worries that in spite of the commission’s achievements, Nigeria still grapples with industrial and trade growth among other West African countries.

One of the co-founders of ECOWAS and a former Nigerian Head of State, General Yakubu Gowon, also joined Professor Akinyemi to implore future leaders to retain the credible flag of an economically viable Africa.

General Gowon also retained an analysis that Nigeria had attained some level of maturity that could only be fostered by an economically strong Africa.

In May 1975, the Leaders of 15 West African countries established the ECOWAS, to advance regional co-operation and self-sufficiency.

Forty years after, a common currency and dismantling of trade barriers remain elusive.

Celebrating the anniversary in Nigeria are diplomatic corps led by the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Aminu Wali.

Nyanya Bombing: Ekweremadu Calls for Multi-Level Policing

EkweremaduThe Deputy President of the Nigerian Senate, Senator Ike Ekweremadu, says the immediate review of the nation’s policing system has become imperative to tame the menace of insecurity in the country.

He made the call at the weekend in a chat with newsmen when he visited the National Hospital, Abuja to condole with hospitalized victims of the Nyanya, Abuja bomb incident.

Senator Ekweremadu, who was accompanied by his wife, Nwanneka Ekwereamdu, rued the rising disregard for human life and insisted that only a multilevel policing could secure the country adequately.

He said: “I was out of the country for an official visit at the time of the incident and I feel completely dehumanized that a country that values human life more than anything else is going through this kind of bestiality; so, it is completely unacceptable and we must come together as a nation and borrow from our past and relevant examples in the world to fight this evil and put it behind us.

“We are the only country that runs a federal system and run the type of police we have now. The type of police system we are running is not suited for a federal system of government. We are about 170 million people; we cannot have 320 thousand policemen to deal with it and I don’t believe that the Federal Government can ever produce the number of police that will be enough for this country.

“So, it is important that we review our policies and our laws in respect of this and see how we can incorporate other levels of government in security matters in this country so that at least in every vicinity, in every local area, we have sufficient of policemen around there who would not only police the place but also report to higher authorities on what is happening there.”

“If you have malaria, so long as you keep taking Panadol, you will never be well; it’s not going to work, because you need malaria drugs in order to deal with malaria; that is the problem we have here”, he stressed.

Senator Ekweremadu gave assurance that the National Assembly would continue to live up to its responsibilities in repositioning the security sector, emphasising that the nation’s security sector needed all the encouragement and support to give the nation their best.

“Our responsibility in this regard as lawmakers is essentially budgetary and we have appropriated nearly one trillion (Naira) in the budget to deal with security challenges; this year we made a specific provision for Police to hire more hands”, he explained.

The Deputy President of the Senate commended the National Hospital for the professionalism and patriotism with which they handled the victims. He gave personal financial support to the hospitalized and thanked God for their survival, while also wishing them quick recovery.

FCT Minister Orders Reconstruction Of Nyanya Park

Bala MohammedLess than a week after the bomb explosion at the Nyanya mass transit bus park that killed several people, Minister of the Federal Capital Territory, Bala Mohammed, has ordered a reconstruction of the destroyed facility.

To this end the Minister has constituted a special committee to reconstruct, upgrade, or relocate the park to enhance security and free flow of traffic in the area.

The committee which was constituted during an emergency security meeting to review security situation in the FCT has been directed to commence work immediately despite the public holidays.

Mr Mohammed has also directed the Abuja Urban Mass Transit Company to deploy more mass transit luxury buses to the routes to fill the gap created by the buses damaged by the bomb blast.

Those present at the emergency meeting were the FCT Minister of State, Ms. Olajumoke Akinjide; Permanent Secretary of FCT, Mr. John Chukwu; Chief of Staff to the FCT Minister, Mohammed Yau Gital; FCT Commissioner of Police, Mr. Joseph Mbu; the Director of State Security Services in FCT, Mr. John Okojie and chairmen of the six area councils in the FCT.

Others were the Coordinator of Abuja Metropolitan Management Council (AMMC), Mr. Reuben Okoya, the Commandant of Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC), Aminu Kofarsoro; and the FCT Sector Commander of the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC), Mrs. Susan Ada Ajenge.

The Minister called for support for government from all quarters to ensure the return of normalcy to Nyanya.

President Jonathan Cancels Trip To Ibadan; Visits Scene Of Blast

Goodluck-Jonathan-Nyanya-BlastThe explosion that rocked the Nyanya Park in Abuja, Nigeria’s Federal Capital Territory, has forced the Nigerian President, Goodluck Jonathan to cancel a trip to the South West city of Ibadan.

President Jonathan was at the scene of the blast with the Senate President, David Mark and Chairman of PDP, Adamu Muazu.

“We have lost quite a number. We condole with our country men and women. The issue of Boko Haram is quite an ugly history within this period of our own development. Government is doing everything to make sure that we move our country forward. But these are the unnecessary distractions that are pushing us backward. But we will get over it”, he said.

He also stated, “The issue of Boko Haram is temporary. Surely, we will get over it.”

At least 71 people have been killed, and 124 injured in the blast that rocked the highly populated motor park in Nyanya, about 16km drive from the Abuja city centre.

The incident is said to have occurred at about 6.45 am during the rush hour.

NSCDC officials, Fire Service, NEMA, the DSS and Police have been on ground battling to contain the situation.

The dead victims as well as the injured have been taken to various hospitals by ambulances and vans belonging to the National Emergency Management Agency, NEMA, the Federal Road Safety Commission, FRSC, the Police and the Vehicle Inspection Office, VIO.

More details here…

 

Police Confirm 71 People Dead, 124 Injured

Abuja bombThe Police have confirmed that at least 71 people have been killed, and 124 injured in the blast that rocked the highly populated motor park in Nyanya, about 16km drive from the Abuja city centre.

The explosion, according to the Police spokesman, Frank Mba, destroyed 16 luxury buses and 24 minibuses.

Eye witnesses said that the explosive device was planted in a Volkswagen Sharan car marked XQ 229 LSD and exploded 20 minutes after the car was parked by an unidentified person

The incident is said to have occurred at about 6.45 am during the rush hour.

NSCDC officials, fire service, NEMA, the DSS and Police were on ground battling to contain the situation.

At the Nyanya General Hospital, family members and residents gathered to sympathize with the injured and identify the bodies of their relations.

The Chief Medical Director of the hospital, Dr Frank Idiegwu, said that over 75 people were brought to the hospital for treatment.

Many Nigerians have described the bomb attack as a dastardly act. They called on security agencies to step up their intelligence gathering to prevent further attacks of this nature across the country