NUPENG, PENGASSAN Threaten To Shut Down Oil And Gas Industry

fuel-scarcityThe joint forum of the National Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas (NUPENG) and the Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (PENGASSAN) have threatened to shut down the oil and gas industry in Nigeria if the constant victimisation of its leaders was not stopped.

After its national executive committee meeting in Abuja on Friday, the association gave the Federal Government a 14-day ultimatum to address lingering issues of pipeline vandalism, terrorism, transfers of its national leaders, bad state of major roads and 2015 elections amongst others or face an indefinite strike.

The PENGASSAN President, Comrade Francis Johnson, told reporters that failure of the members of the House of Representatives  to speedily pass the Petroleum Industry Bill after recess would be greeted with a nationwide protest.

Comrade Johnson underscored that the intention of the unions was not to agitate Nigerians with the strike, explaining that it is aimed at protecting its national leaders from indiscriminate transfers and sack by the government.

All efforts to dialogue successfully with the government for several months had been aborted, the unions claimed.

Immigration Heightens Border Check To Improve Security

Officers of the Nigerian Immigration Service on parade
Officers of the Nigerian Immigration Service on parade

The Nigerian Immigration Service says it has set up a border patrol unit and it is set to run a well structured strategy that will ensure heightened security in borders across the country.

Speaking on the internal security and needed efforts to curb the attacks in Nigeria’s north-east that have continued even after a ceasefire agreement, the Comptroller General of the Nigeria Immigration Service, Mr David Parradang, told reporters on Friday that adequate border security would result in less challenges internally especially now that schools have resumed.

Despite a ceasefire agreement with the Boko Haram sect announced  by the Federal Government on October 17, the members of the terrorist group have continued to attack towns in Borno State.

The porous nature of Nigeria’s border has contributed to the influx of insurgents terrorising the north-east. There have been calls for the government to increase border security in order to check their activities.

The immigration service strategy is expected to reduce the free entrance of illegal immigrants into Nigeria.

Meanwhile, the President of the Immigration Officers Wives Association, Mrs Anne Parradang, said a lot more still needed to be done to ensure that children are safe at schools and not at risk of kidnapping or other such crimes.

Some 200 girls were on April 14 abducted by members of the Boko Haram sect from their school’s dormitory in Chibok in Borno State. Since their abduction just a few of them were released while some escaped from the terrorists.

The insecurity had discouraged some parents in the north-east from allowing their kids to go to school, a situation that Mrs Parradang emphasised would reverse when adequate security is in place.

Tambuwal’s Security Details Withdrawn

TambuwalAll the security details attached to the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Aminu Tambuwal, have been withdrawn by the Federal Government of Nigeria.

The Chairman of the House Committee on Media, Zachary Mohamed, confirmed this on Thursday.

A press release issued by the Police Force Public Relations Officer, Mr Emmanuel Ojukwu, cited the recent defection by Aminu Tambuwal from the PDP to the APC as reason.

Part of the statement read, “…having regard to the clear provision of section 68(1)(g) of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as amended, the Nigeria Police Force (NPF) has redeployed its personnel attached to his office.”

Sources said that at about midnight on Thursday, top level security report informed the Speaker that “orders have been given for the withdrawal of his security details”.

As the number four citizen of the Country in the hierarchy of protocol, the Speaker is entitled to a round-the-clock security made up of men from the Police, Civil Defence Corps and the Department of State Security (DSS).

The withdrawal of the Speaker, Aminu Tambuwal’s security details comes less than 24 hours after he was formally presented as a member of the All Progressives Congress, APC, during the party’s extraordinary national convention held in Abuja, the Nation’s capital on Wednesday, October 29.

This was following the Speaker’s announcement of his decision to leave the ruling People’s Democratic Party, PDP, for the opposition on the floor of the House on Tuesday.

Tambuwal told the party members that he embraced the APC platform because he saw it as a veritable instrument for genuine change and enduring national development, adding that “APC represents the hope for the change” which Nigerians have been clamouring for.

APC Represents The Kind Of Change Nigeria Truly Needs – Tambuwal

TambuwalThe Speaker of the House of Representatives, Aminu Tambuwal, has been formally presented to the members of the All Progressives Congress, APC at the national level, with a promise to dedicate himself to the party’s promise of change.

This was during the party’s extraordinary national convention held in Abuja, the nation’s capital on Wednesday, October 29.

This is following the Speaker’s announcement of his decision to leave the ruling People’s Democratic Party, PDP, for the opposition on the floor of the House on Tuesday.

The APC National Chairman, John Oyegun, while eulogizing Tambuwal, referred to him as the man who became the country’s number four citizen owing to the leadership qualities he displayed in the House of Representatives.

“He was new to the National Assembly and within a few hours, he was able to build a bridge between the PDP and the opposition parties and that was how he became the number four citizen of our nation,” Oyegun said.

While presenting the broom, which is the APC’s symbol to Tambuwal, Oyegun said that the party expects him to use the broom to “sweep away all the cobwebs that have tied the nation down to poverty and misery.”

Starting out with a passionate chant of his new party’s slogan, Tambuwal expressed joy at the opportunity to be part of the “APC family”.

He said, “To the glory of God, come May 29th 2015 we shall sweep away…” as the APC was the party he believes “shall deliver the country from the evil it has been plunged into by a certain cabal”.

“I’ve been overwhelmed by the massive outpouring of goodwill and welcome that I have received from the members of our great party and other well-meaning Nigerians since the formal notification of my membership of APC.

“In appreciation of your warm hand of fellowship, I hereby rededicate myself to the task of building and growing our party and helping our party achieve its mission of lifting Nigeria to glorious heights and restoring hope to the citizens of our great country,” he said.

Highlighting the party’s promise to deliver “a new Nigeria”, he stated, “The APC is the party where the progressive ideals of good governance, to which I subscribe, are wholeheartedly embraced and applied for the betterment of Nigeria.

“I have embraced the APC platform as a veritable instrument for genuine change and enduring national development,” he said, adding that “APC represents the hope for the change” which Nigerians have been clamouring for.

“The programmes of the APC are very attractive and will bring about radical changes in the way we do business in Nigeria, the kind of change Nigeria truly needs.”

He also asked for the support of all Nigerians for the All Progressives Congress to achieve its vision for Nigeria.

The event was attended by top APC members from across the country, including former Head of State and APC presidential aspirant, General Muhammadu Buhari.

Tambuwal Was Made Speaker By House Members Not PDP – Gbajabiamila

Femi GbajabiamilaThe Nigerian House of Representatives Minority Leader, Femi Gbajabiamila, has dismissed the Peoples Democratic Party’s demand that the Speaker of the House, Aminu Tambuwal, who defected to the All Progressives Congress (APC) on Tuesday should do the needful, saying it is a threat that bears no consequence on the speaker.

Mr Gbajabiamila stressed that the Speaker was elected by the members of the House across all the political parties and not just the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) members.

In a telephone interview on Wednesday that was centred on the chances of impeaching the Speaker when the House reconvenes on December 3, Mr Gbajabiamila said that the Nigerian Constitution clearly stated that the speaker could only be impeached with 240 votes from the 360 members of the House of Representatives, a number he said the PDP does not have in the House.

An Empty Threat

On Tuesday, Mr Tambuwal at the end of plenary announced his decision to join the APC dumping the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and ending rumours of his impeachment that had been making the rounds for some months now.

After Tambuwal announced his defection, the PDP asked the Speaker to be honourable and do the needful.

But for Mr Gbajabiamila, the demand by PDP is an empty threat that the speaker is not expected to obey, since he, Tambuwal, had not enjoyed the support of the PDP right from the day he was picked as the speaker in deviance to PDP’s choice of candidate.

“The members decided to chose him based on the stipulations of the constitution.

“He did not come to the speakership of the House through the PDP. The PDP does not want him any longer. They have tried to remove him several times, so he has to leave the party.

Division In PDP

“I can’t understand the pain of PDP, he came in as speaker not basically as a result of PDP support but as a result of support of the entire house. He had over 250 votes while the PDP nominee had only 90 votes. It was because of the support of the members of the the House that he became the speaker. It tells you how much support he has in the House.

“He has done what he wanted to do. He spoke as a smart politician,” the Minority Leader said.

On whether the manner with which Tambuwal announced his defection was ideal, Gbajabiamila said that there was no laid down procedure of announcing defection and that the decision to go on recess was not the speaker’s but that of PDP members in the House.

He also insisted that the speaker’s decision to defect was as a result of the division in the PDP, stressing that there are no chances that anything would change when the House reconvenes in December.

“It is only Tambuwal that can reconvene the House the Deputy cannot do it. He only has the power that are delegated to him by the speaker.

“For the Speaker to be impeached it requires 240 votes to impeach him. And the PDP does not have they number.

“I don’t see anything changing that much and the sooner that the PDP understand that if the members of the House says they want a person as a speaker, that is who the House wants,” he added.

2015 Elections: Kwankwaso Declares Interest In Nigeria’s Presidency

Rabiu_Musa_kwankwaso

The Governor of Kano State, Rabiu Kwankwaso, has declared his intention to contest in Nigeria’s 2015 presidential election, saying that his crave to serve and save Nigeria motivated his declaration.

At a declaration rally held in Abuja on Tuesday, Governor Kwankwaso declared his interest to be elected as the flag bearer of the APC in the 2015 general elections.

His declaration rally had in attendance, leaders of the party and some governors of the states ruled by the APC.

Declaring his interest to run, Governor Kwankwaso said that the crowd at the declaration ground from different part of the nation was a sign that Nigeria would remain united.

‘We Must Walk The Journey’

He said that the clarion call of people in Nigeria and the diaspora motivated him to seek the opportunity to bear the flag of the APC in the 2015 general elections.

“Today, I take this call and formally declare my interest to seek for election as the APC Presidential candidate in the 2015 presidential election.

“It is only the APC that has what it takes to stop the misrule of the Peoples Democratic Party  and also has the power to reverse the decay that is suffocating our country.

“Our party is built with Nigerians in focus. We are the only party that practice internal democracy that believes that free and fair election is the only guideline to sustaining democracy.

“My crave to serve and save our country drove me to join in the race for the House of Representative, representing Kano State years ago,” he said.

Governor Kwankwaso said that he understood the enormous task of being a president of a nation like Nigeria and that he was willing to take the journey no matter how difficult.

“The call to save our country has never been louder, clearer and more unambiguous than now. Governance has been reduced to incompetence and mediocrity.

“To save our country we must walk the journey however difficult,” he said.

Restore Peace And Security

Governor kwankwaso said that his first priority would be to restore peace and security in every corner of the land, stressing that lives and property of Nigerians must be protected and secured from all forms of terrorism.

“Defeating insurgency is only possible if the forces are adequately equipped with needed intelligence and arms and cross-border intelligence is veritable ingredient necessary to defeat the insurgency.

“Stopping the menaces of the terrorists does not require rocket science. It requires well motivated security agencies and citizens that are cooperative.

Killing the cancer of corruption is the second priority of Nigeria. The impunity in which corruption is being perpetrated by the PDP administration is a sign that the government is out to impoverish Nigerians.

“It requires political will of the leadership and we are determined to do so. We have the capacity to do so. The transparency with which we are ruling Kano State and the work that is visible, is a sign that we have the power to end corruption,” he said, making reference to another issue that his government will focus on.

The Kano Governor stressed the need for all Nigerians to stand up to fight corruption, impunity and division.

Cost Of Running Government

The economy of Nigeria is another priority area that the Governor said his government, if elected, would focus on, insisting that nations do not build economy on foundation of scandalous corruption and impunity.

“We cannot be different from other nations. All sorts of colourful yet deceitful statistics are being turned out by the PDP to give Nigeria a clean bill of health.

“Its macro and micro economic policies are deceptive.

“How can we attain development when only a small part of our budget is given to capital project and even that is not well administered. Where do we have a nation so endowed and yet so impoverished.

“We will cut cost of running government and eliminate all forms of wastages like we have done in Kano. It is possible. We must reach there with the support of all. Yes we must,” Governor Kwankwaso said in optimism.

He further said that he would provide a conducive environment for both local and foreign investors and also re-examine import and export policies to promote the sector to ensure that businesses are carried out in a less expensive process.

The presidential aspirant also mentioned the inputs he intended making in the agriculture and manufacturing sector.

“Agriculture and manufacturing sectors would be improved and we will make more investments in power sector. The amount of money that has been into the power sector in the country and corresponding output is embarrassing.

“By 2015 an independent power plant built by my administration in Kano will become operational and the same feat we will replicate in different parts of the nation,” kwankwaso said.

Other sectors he said would be reformed, were the education and healthcare sectors, with promises also made as regards giving women a more prominent place in the nation.

“Our universities are sick and a strong economy is only possible where a strong university system exist. We must rebuild our universities and make them world class institutions.

“Capital flight because of health tourism is alarming because of lack of good health infrastructure,” he said, promising to end the trend.

Governor Kwankwaso is the third person to declare interest in the position.

A former military Head of State, General Muhammadu Buhari and a former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar, had made their declarations few weeks ago.

 

 

Tambuwal Leaves PDP, Joins APC

Tambuwal defects to APC.The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Aminu Tambuwal, has defected to the All Progressives Congress (APC) from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

He said his defection was because of his political future and the political consideration of his state, Sokoto.

Mr Tambuwal defected to the APC on Tuesday days after a rumour of his defection was denied by his spokesman, Mr Imam Imam.

After rumours of his defection was published on different media, Mr Imam denied the claims in a statement.

The statement read: “Monday, 20/10/2014, the Chairman of the Board of Trustees (BoT) of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), Chief Tony Anenih, led other members of the party to a reconciliation meeting in Sokoto but the Speaker of the House of Representatives and a member of the NEC of the PDP, Rt. Hon Aminu Waziri Tambuwal CFR, was not invited to the meeting.

“Rt. Hon Speaker Aminu Waziri Tambuwal was later invited by His Excellency, the Executive Governor of Sokoto State, Alhaji Aliyu Magatakarda Wamakko, to attend the meeting of their political family to discuss the political future of Sokoto State.

“The Speaker, Rt. Hon Aminu Waziri Tambuwal, duly obliged and attended the meeting. The meeting had in attendance prominent Sokoto citizens, many of who have no known political affiliation. The most notable being the Sardauna of Sokoto and former Minister of Finance, Alhaji Abubakar Alhaji.”

He added that consultations on the Speaker’s political future had continued and that the outcome would be made public at the appropriate time.

Online media had been agog with reports about his defection to the APC, quoting him to have asked the party members present in the meeting to accept him “as one of you, starting from today”.

Police, Others Caught Trying To Steal Arms In Kaduna

Recovered Arms.A police chief armourer and two gun runners have been arrested by the Kaduna State Police Command during an alleged attempt to steal firearms from the command’s armoury.

Parading the arrested persons at the command’s headquarters in Kaduna on Monday, the State Commissioner of Police, Umar Shehu, said that at about 11:30pm local time on October 20, the Command’s chief armourer, Nanbol Audu, a deputy superintendent of police, came to the armoury with two unknown persons in a private vehicle to steal arms and ammunition.

The car was discreetly parked behind the armoury as the officer and the two other suspects loaded arms into it.

The commissioner said police officers on guard suspected foul play and immediately stopped the vehicle from leaving the premises while both chief armourer and his two accomplices were arrested.

Mr Shehu further explained that the two suspects came from Jos, Plateau State, on arrangement to purchase the said firearms from the armament officer.

“Further investigation revealed that one of the two civilian suspects is a blacksmith who specialises in manufacturing locally made firearms.

“Eleven G3 Rifles already concealed under the seat of the Mercedes Benz car and a cash sum of 400,000 Naira were recovered from the suspects,” he said.

For Self Protection

The police officials serving at the Kaduna Police Command and residents were left in shock after discovering that the man saddled with the responsibility of protecting lives and property of the police, eventually turned out to be a traitor, by supplying police firearms to criminals.

This arrest is coming on the heels of a recent order of a nationwide audit of police armouries by the Inspector General of Police, Mr Suleiman Abba.

Mr Shehu further said that the two civilian suspects from Jos were on sent by a traditional ruler who gave them the money to purchase the said firearms from the chief armourer.

“Our men are on the trail of the unnamed traditional ruler who is now on the run,” Shehu said.

About his involvement in the crime, DSP Audu, who has served the Police force for 30 years and is due for retirement in the next five years, accepted committing the illegal act.

He said that his intention of supplying the firearms to the gunrunners was due to the incessant attacks on his kinsmen in Jos by Fulani men. And that the gun was meant to be used for self protection against the Fulani gunmen.

Other arrests made by the command include arrests of six notorious armed robbery suspects who have carried out series of robbery operations in Kaduna and Niger States. Nine stolen vehicles, one Ak47 rifle, five locally made pistols and 1,015 rounds of Ak47 live ammunition were recovered from the suspects.

The commissioner said that all the suspects would be charged to court. He, however, reassured the citizens of the state that the command was fully determined to flush criminals out of the state.

Nigeria To Procure Flight Simulator For College Of Aviation

Flight-SimulatorThe Federal Executive Council in Nigeria has approved a contract for the supply and installation of a full jet-flight simulator (5000 series b737) with complete accessories for the Nigerian College of Aviation Technology (NCAT) Zaria to be located at the Murtala Mohammed Airport, Lagos.

Briefing reporters at the end of the council meeting held in Abuja on Wednesday and presided over by President Goodluck Jonathan, the minister overseeing the Ministry of Information, Dr Nurudeen Mohammed, said that the project would be used for training for the college and as a source of revenue generation.

The flight simulator will cost $21 million dollars.

It was the first meeting of the council members after the exit of seven of their colleagues to further pursue other political ambitions. The seven cabinet members resigned on October 20.

The first issue that was addressed was the replacement of the seven minister, with the former Minister of State for Foreign Affairs II, Dr Nurudeen performing his first function as the Minister overseeing the Information Ministry.

Other Contract Approved

While briefing the reporters, he gave a rundown of the six contract awards for the week, one of which was the contract for the flight simulator for the School of Aviation in Zaria to be procured with $21 million dollars.

The Minister of Aviation, Osita Chidoka, said it would be located at the Murtala Mohammed Airport in Lagos.

Also approved was a contract for the construction of the east-west road, Section V ( Oron-Calabar) Phase 1 in Akwa Ibom in Cross River states.

The minister of Niger Delta, Dr Steve Oru, said the benefit of the road construction would reduce travel time from Oron to Calabar from three hours to 30 minutes.

Also approved was a contract for the construction of the road and drainage at the Mbaise Ring Road intersecting Owerri-Umuahia road in Imo State in eastern Nigeria.

The three contracts that were approved will cost 165 billion Naira.

The Calabar-Ajasor road will cost 106 million Naira, the Mbaise Ring Road will cost 106 million Naira.

Other approvals were in the power sector, where the Ministry of Power is to purchase a building at Owerri for the zonal office for the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission in the sum of 131 million Naira while the ministry of Trade and Investment got approval for the appointment of transaction adviser for the rehabilitation of independent building for National Trade and International Business Center projects in Lagos in the sum of 150 million Naira.

Jonathan Reshuffles Cabinet After Seven Ministers’ Exit

Federal Executive Council MeetingPresident Goodluck Jonathan of Nigeria has partially reshuffled his cabinet to fill the space created by the exit of seven ministers, who resigned to seek elective offices in different state.

The ministers left the cabinet on October 20 in line with the mandate of the leadership of the Peoples Democratic Party.

The cabinet reshuffle was announced on Wednesday after the Federal Executive Council Meeting held in Abuja and presided over by President Jonathan.

Briefing reporters at the end of the meeting, the Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Dr Nurudeen Mohammed, who is now to oversee the Ministry of Information, said that the Minister of State I, Foreign Affairs, Professor Viola Onwuliri, had been moved to Education while the Minister of State, Dr. Khaliru Alhassan would oversee the Minister of Health.

The Minister of Special Duties, Mr Kabiru Turaki, is to oversee the Ministry of Labour and Productivity  while the Minister of Defence, Mr Aliyu Guasu, will combine his duties with those of the Minister of State, Defence.

Also, Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Dr. Stephen Oru, will combine his responsibilities with those of the Minister of State, Defence vacated by Dr. Darius Ishaku; the Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Olusegun Aganga, will combine his duties with those of the Minister of State previously held by Samuel Ortom.

Dr Mohammed said that the ministers appointed to supervise other ministries were to act in the capacity pending when substantive ministers would be named.

It is not yet clear if President Jonathan will forward new names to the National Assembly for appointment as new ministers, as the administration has few months in office before the 2015 general elections.

Pray For Nigeria’s Peace, Governor Orji Tells Muslims

Theodore  OrjiThe Abia State Governor Theodore Orji has urged Muslim faithful to use the occasion of the Eid-el-Fitri celebration to elicit love and unity for the overall progress of Nigeria and continue to pray for the peaceful coexistence.

Governor Orji’s call for ‘prayer for peace’ on Monday is seen as appropriate giving the challenges of insecurity in some parts of Nigeria. The crisis is more prevalent in the northeast.

While distributing gift items and rice to a Muslim community in Abia State, he pointed out that it was necessary at all times to resolve and live peacefully with one another irrespective of ethnic and religious inclinations.

The governor also made donations of cash gift to the Muslims in a celebration generally seen as peaceful in Abia State.

Calling for peace in Nigeria is seen as the best message to preach at a time a terrorist group, Boko Haram, is unleashing attacks on villages in the northeast.

Several persons have been killed since the Boko Haram sect started attacking people in the region in 2009.

Several military troops have been deployed to tackle the insurgency but they have not been able to bring the attacks to an end.

Ideology Of Boko Haram Is Not Islamic – Gov Aliyu

The Governor of Niger State, Babangida Aliyu, has said in a conference that the Boko Haram ideology is not associated with that of the Muslim and that the sect is not fighting the cause of a true Muslim.

Briefing newsmen on Tuesday, at the opening of a two day security conference being organised by office of the National Security Adviser, Dr Aliyu described the activities of the sect which has claimed thousands of lives in the North-East­ as un-Islamic and does not in any way reflect the ideology and believe of a true Muslims.

The Chairman of the Northern Governors Forum described the activities of the sect as “senseless”, calling on all well-meaning Nigerians, irrespective of their religion to join with the government to win the war against insurgency in the country.

“Boko Haram is un-Islamic. Islam is about moderation and not extremism. Jihad is about how to make peace and life better, not how to kill people.’’

The Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Akinwumi Adesina, also lamented how much pastoralism had become a security threat in the country.

“Pastoralism has become a worrisome practice characterised by incessant clashes of unimaginable proportions usually resulting in huge losses of lives and property”, he said.

He noted that this was not the usual pastoralists that Nigeria used to know, who for decades have lived in harmony with their communities, as criminality has increased, especially with the menace of cattle rustling.

He said, “The issue is no longer an agriculture problem. It is a national security problem and we need an integrated set of solutions that includes agriculture and security.”

The Minister also provided recommendations on how to curb the menace; “One fundamental change that must be made, which is structural is that we must end the practice of moving animals. Rather, we should be moving beef, not animals. This requires that urgent priority be placed on West and Central Africa developing its Halal-meat industry,’’ Adesina said.

However, the Speaker of House of Representative, Aminu Tambuwal, suggested the creation of a platform for pastoralists and farmers to constantly meet to discuss areas of conflicts before they degenerate into uncontrollable crisis.

While calling on the media to support the Government in achieving this by not portraying the herdsmen as the perpetrators of the conflicts, he noted that both parties have been victims, adding that sometimes the violent clashes are caused by cattle rustlers and mercenaries.