Jibrin Fails To Appear At House Committee Probe

Budget Padding, Abdulmumin JibrinThe former chairman of House of Representatives Committee on Appropriation, Abdulmumin Jibrin, has failed to appear before the House Ethics and Privileges Committee, which is investigating his allegations of budget padding.

This is in line with earlier threats from the embattled lawmaker.

In an interview with Channels Television, Jibrin had vowed not to honour the committee’s invitation if the House Speaker, Yakubu Dogara, failed to step down to allow for a credible probe.

The chairman of the committee, Nicholas Ossai, however, said that Jibrin’s absence is a defense in itself and the committee would complete its work with the evidence it has gathered so far.

Moral Grounds

The lawmaker said that the House has lost the moral ground to discharge its legislative functions as it has failed to address the allegations decisively.

“I have given sufficient reason, I am not going before any ethics committee. I have explained to you, the chairman of the ethics committee himself has made a lot of public statements…that there is nothing like padding and padding is not an offence.

“And he is the person who is going to pass a judgment on me,” he said.

The lawmaker displayed documents which he says backs up the allegations he has made against the Speaker and some members of the House.

He also asked the Senate to pass a resolution empowering it to take over the functions of the House until the allegations are addressed.

 

Dogara Proposes Time Frame For Budgetary Process

budgetary process, Yakubu Dogara, Speaker, Petroleum SectorThe Speaker of the House of Representatives, Honourable Yakubu Dogara, has proposed a review of the Appropriation Act to set a time frame for the nation’s budgetary process.

The Speaker made the call at a gathering where other lawmakers suggested the inputs of the public before passing the nation’s budget.

The 2016 budget is one issue that has continue to generate public debate in the country.

Issues ranging from budgetary processes to passage and implementation continue to attract public interests.

According to the Speaker, there is an urgent need to reform the budgetary process.

Such reforms, according to him, will not only reduce the delay for the passage of the national budget but it will enable lawmakers work on the budget thoroughly before it is passed.

The Governor of Sokoto state, Aminu Tambuwa, who was once Speaker of the House of Reps, was also present at the event, and he emphasized the need for planning.

He proposed a time frame for the President to submit the budget to the National Assembly.

On his part, the Deputy Senate President, Senator Ike Ekweremadu, advocated a public debate of appropriation bills before they are passed by the National Assembly.

Nigeria currently runs a budgetary system that allows the government to carry over the implementation of a previous budget six months into a new fiscal year.

Eid-el-Kabir: We Must Never Forget Our Country In Prayers – Dogara

Yakubu Dogara, Speaker, Petroleum SectorSpeaker of Nigeria’s House of Representatives, Honourable Yakubu Dogara, has felicitated with the Muslim Ummah on the occasion of the Eid el-Kabir Sallah celebration.

In his Sallah message to Muslims, issued by his Special Adviser on Media and Public Affairs, Turaki Hassan, Mr Dogara called on the faithful to use the period for sober reflection and to imbibe the spirit of sacrifice for peace, unity and progress of Nigeria.

The Speaker noted that peaceful co-existence and understanding as well as sustained prayers among citizens were essential in the face of the current economic and security challenges in the country which he said were not insurmountable.

“As we celebrate Eid-el-Kabir with our friends and families, we must never forget our country and its leadership in our prayers.

Eid-el-Kabir celebration is a period of sacrifice and reflection. I urge us all to emulate the virtues of total obedience, sacrifice in faith and selfless service as demonstrated and exemplified by Prophet Ibrahim”, the Speaker admonished.

He lamented the pains the citizens were undergoing which he said were occasioned by decades of maladministration and the near collapse of a mono product economy.

He expressed confidence that the diversification drive of President Buhari’s administration, coupled with its fiscal discipline and transparency would surely return the nation to the path of true development and prosperity.

Honourable Dogara also assure Nigerians that the House of Representatives is determined to continue to work selflessly and tirelessly for the common good and the overall interest of the country and her citizens through effective, efficient and robust law making, oversight and representation.

Dogara Recommends Restructuring of Nigeria’s Petroleum Sector

Speaker, Petroleum SectorSpeaker of the House of Representatives, Honourable Yakubu Dogara, has called for the restructuring of Nigeria’s Petroleum sector.

Speaking at a two-day stakeholders’ technical roundtable on the petroleum industry in Abuja, Dogara decried the poor management of the sector and called for a reform of the industry.

The Speaker explained that the law governing the sector is outdated and archaic.

He asked the Federal Government to urgently send an executive bill on the intended reform in the sector.

Obasanjo Tasks Petroleum University On Technology Innovation

Obasanjo Tasks Petroleum University On Technology InnovationA former President of Nigeria, Olusegun Obasanjo, has asked the management of the Federal University of Petroleum Resources, Effurun in Delta State to innovate necessary technological expertise in the development of the petroleum sector.

Obasanjo urged the management of the institution to think out of the box and evolve the best international practices to develop the sector, especially in the face of the current dwindling fortunes of crude price in the international market.

He made the call in a meeting with members of management and staff of the institution at his Presidential Hilltop residence in Abeokuta, the capital of Ogun State in south-west Nigeria.

The former President noted that the major reasons for establishing the academia was to bridge the necessary gap in local content and capacity building deficit in the petroleum sector.

In his remark, the Vice Chancellor of the university, Professor Akii Ibhadode, said the management had come to appreciate the foresight of the former President and also enlist his further assistance.

He disclosed that since inception, the university had continue to produce high level manpower in the oil and gas sector.

Professor Ibhadode then presented the elder statesman with an award of appreciation for establishing and contributing to the development of the first petroleum university in Africa.

The Federal University of Petroleum Resources established in 2007 is the first petroleum university in Nigeria and sixth in the world to provide the required local content and capacity building in the sector.

Governor Ayade To Establish Garment Factory, Others

AyadeCross River State Governor, Ben Ayade, has said that plans are already in place by his administration for the establishment of a garment industry, cocoa processing plant, rice mill and modular refinery in the state.

Governor Ayade made this disclosure during a meeting with Heads of Commercial Banks and financial institutions operating in the state, at the Exco Chambers of the Governor’s Office in Calabar, the Cross River State capital.

The Governor also noted that other investments to be established will be in the petroleum sector, pharmaceutical sector, marine transport, poultry and afforestation; all geared towards creating numerous job opportunities for unemployed youths in the state.

Ayade also enjoined the banks’ representatives to have a shift from solely managing the state’s Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) and payment of workers’ salaries to identifying with any of the programmes of his administration and seeing to its actualization.

According to him, he expects banks to send in proposals on how they would key into the vision to ensure that the new town, which the state intends to build, no matter its size, beats other existing towns in the country.

Governor Ayade had earlier promised to create about a thousand jobs for unemployed youths in the state during his first 100 days in office.

Governor Yero Mourns Late Rilwanu Lukman

kaduna 1The Governor of Kaduna State, Mukhtar Ramalan Yero, has expressed grief over the death of former Petroleum Minister and one time Secretary-General of the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), Dr. Rilwanu Lukman. 

The late Lukman, an engineer, served at various times, as a Special Adviser on Petroleum and Energy Matters to the President, Minister of Mines, Power and Steel, and also as Secretary-General of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) from January 1 1995 to December 31 2000.

In a statement issued by his Director-General, Media and Publicity, Ahmed Maiyaki, Governor Yero described the passing of Lukman as a great loss not only to Kaduna State and Nigeria but to the entire world, who would miss his wealth of experience in the energy sector.

According to the Governor, the passing of Dr. Lukman at this critical point of nation’s history would create a huge vacuum difficult to fill, adding that his death came at a time the country needed his wealth of experience in its quest to modernise the petroleum sector towards attracting more foreign direct investments.

Governor Yero recalled the persistent effort by Dr. Lukman  at reforming the petroleum sector especially during his second stint as Petroleum Minister during the administration of the late President Umaru Yar’adua.

He described Lukman as a nationalist who dedicated most part of his lifetime working for the advancement and economic development of Nigeria.

While condoling with the immediate family of the deceased, Governor Yero urged them to take solace in the fact that the late Lukman has left enduring legacies as an excellent technocrat, administrator per excellence and an elder statesman.

Maku Urges Nigerians to Support Privatisation of Refineries

Information Minister, Labaran Maku, on Sunday called on Nigerians and other major players in the oil and gas sector to support the planned privatisation of the nation’s refineries in order to enthrone transparency and efficiency in the sector at the end of the exercise.   

Maku made the submission when he led the good governance team to the Kaduna Refining and Petrochemicals Limited.

He explained that the lingering crisis in the petroleum sector especially the frequent non availability of kerosene  in the country necessitated the  proposed privatisation by the Federal Government.

The  minister also expressed worry that despite  government’s subsidy on kerosene,  some marketers  had continued to sabotage the effort by selling it  over the 50 Naira approved pump price.

He disclosed that in spite of the various policies introduced by government to sanitise the sector over the years, such policies were always frustrated by some group of individuals gaining from the crises in the oil and gas sector.

“Nigeria can overcome the perennial kerosene scarcity and other challenges in the oil sector if Nigerians support the deregulation of the petroleum downstream sector and privatisation of the refineries. This will encourage the establishment of more private refineries and also give way for transparency and efficiency,” Mr Maku said.

The Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, (NNPC), Mr Andrew Yakubu, who conducted the minister and his team round the company, said the Kaduna refinery currently functioned at about 60 per cent capacity but would operate at about 90 per cent capacity after a full turn around maintenance.

The GMD supported the proposed privatisation of the nation’s refineries and emphasised that the policy had become necessary to ensure efficiency and better result in the production capacity of the refineries.

On its part, the management of Kaduna refinery told the minister that the refinery could generate one trillion Naira (about 6.4 billion dollars)  revenue annually to the Federal Government if the facilities were properly maintained.

He also attributed the decline in the refinery’s production capacity to non-maintenance of the equipment every three years.

Jonathan receives Ribadu’s report amidst controversy as committee members flaw the report

President Goodluck Jonathan has declared that anyone accused of corruption in the report submitted by the Special Task Force on the petroleum sector will be handed over to the Economic and Financial crimes Commission (EFCC) for prosecution.

President Jonathan, Minister of Petroleum Deziani Allison-Maduake, Mr. Dotun Suleiman, Chairman, Special Task Forces on Governance and Control; Mallam Nuhu Ribadu, Chairman Petroleum Revenue Special Tsks Force and Alternate Chairman, Refineries Special Task Force, Alhaji Yusuf Alli during the presentation of reports of the Petroleum Special Tasks Forces at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

But the presentation of the report was marred by controversy as some members of the committee urged the President to reject the report, claiming it is flawed.

The Petroleum Revenue Special Task Force, headed by former EFCC chairman, Mr Nuhu Ribadu submitted its report to the president condemning the use of what he called “traders in the sale of oil, oil theft and corruption” and he was yet to conclude his presentation when a member of his committee interrupted his presentation and asked the president to reject the report .

A member of the committee and former Head of Service, Mr Steve Oransanye described the report, which was earlier in the week leaked to the media, as flawed and he urged the president to reject the report.

Other members of the Ribadu led Petroleum Revenue Task Force that joined the controversy were Mr Benard Oti and Ismaila Zubeiru.

The claim was however immediately opposed by Mr Ribadu, affirming that the report he submitted cannot be faulted by anyone and that he stands by the truth at all times.

The president nonetheless received the report with a promise to take a critical look at the document and maintained that the disagreement amongst members of the committee would not deter him from doing the right thing.

The President told them not to quarrel about it, adding that “no one found guilty will be spared.”

The Ribadu committee was among three other committees set up following the week long nationwide strike and protest against the removal of fuel subsidy in January.

Other committees that presented their reports, during the presentation that lasted two hours, were the committees on Governance and Control Task Force and National Refineries Task Force.

The chairman of National Refineries Task Force, Yusuf Ali in his presentation decried the current state of the nation’s refineries and urged the federal government to build three new refineries as soon as possible.

The president however promised that he will do all in his powers to ensure that the submitted reports are fully implemented.

Petroleum Industry Reforms:FEC approves bill,forwards it to NASS

The Federal Executive Council has approved the petroleum industry bill to be forwarded to the National Assembly.

At the end of the council’s weekly meeting, the minister of petroleum resources Mrs Dieziani Allison-Madueke said that the new bill will ensure the independence of regulators in the oil and gas sector and see to the unbundling of the NNPC.