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FG rolls out plans to check crude oil theft and encourage investment in oil production

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The Federal Government has laid out new security architecture with the aim to reduce security menace associated with the production of oil and gas and also encourage investors to invest the Niger Delta region.

The Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Timipre Slyva, revealed this at a ceremony marking the 60th anniversary of the existence of the Oil Producing Trade Section (OPTS) of the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI)

According to the minister, A review of the security architecture has been adopted which include the deployment of local security arrangement to take care of on-the-Right-of Way and off-the-Right of Way activities, funding of the Nigerian Army and Navy facilities and the engagement of a security supervision contractor to provide line-of sight on the operations of the Army and Navy.

He said Nigeria’s upstream sector never witnessed has never witnessed this scale of destruction of our facilities with over 265 illegal refineries within the SPDC corridor alone with concertized efforts to bring them down only resulting to creating new ones.

He said in managing this ugly menace and restore confidence of our partners in this hall, the Federal Government is taking the lead on the issue of security of our oil and gas infrastructures with a wider and forceful approach on the matter with the host communities participation identified as the critical stabilizing factor for a secured environment

“We will be deploying the use of technology with the provision of armoured drone for third level oversight. It is our hope that this plans we have instituted will help restore the confidence of all our partners and production to the 2016 highs in no distant time.”

“The passage of the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA) 2021, corrects the anomaly of the past by entrenching the host communities as part owners of Oil and Gas infrastructures. It introduces a mandatory percentage of Oil and gas companies’ (OPTS/Operators) total expenditure devoted to execute sustainable development projects for the host communities. With this, communal relations between oil and gas operators and host communities are reaffirmed by both the government and oil and gas operators to the welfare of the host communities, whilst recognizing the role played by such host communities to seamless oil and gas operations in Nigeria,” he said.

On the technical side, he said the regulator, the Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission (NUPRC) have identified 3,453 shut-in strings that needs to be reactivated. This will be done after the integrated industry-wide study to reactivate these shut-in wells for short, medium and long term gains to boost production and guide investment planning.

“Through the Commission (NUPRC), we will be optimizing recovery factor via the EOR/IOR for candidate wells, revisiting and evaluating lease renewals obligations to facilitate production enhancement.

We will refocus on our shallow waters production which are embedded with huge potentials for condensate production as we encourage investors to set-up condensate refineries as our stop-gap to meet Nigeria’s Premium Motor Spirit (PMS/Petrol) demand.

With the PIA 2021, realistic optimization of deep water assets have been introduced which no doubt will encourage huge investments in our deep water.”

The new law the minister stated also guarantees economic growth and attraction of investments in the sector because it addresses age-long issues around transparency, accountability, price inefficiencies, regulatory framework, ownership and control of resources, host community benefits, environmental concerns, appropriate fiscal regime, etc.

“Nigeria has committed to net zero targets by year 2060, there is therefore an urgent need to monetise our crude oil by increasing our reserves, daily production to over 3 million barrels while adding value to this resource by making our nation self-sufficient in white products as a refining hub for Africa.”

 

 

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Impeachment: Court to hear Shaibu’s suit against assembly, others April 19

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A Federal High Court in Abuj la  has fixed April 19 for hearing of a suit filed by the impeached Deputy Governor of Edo, Philip Shaibu, against the state house of assembly and others.

The matter, which was before Justice Inyang Ekwo, was on Friday fixed for hearing after a team of lawyers, including Alex Ejesieme, SAN, showed up to seek a date for the case.

The suit, marked: FHC/ABJ/CS/405/24, was not listed on the cause list, the lawyers, who said they were for the defence, came to the court.

Shortly before the judge rose, one of the lawyers told Justice Ekwo that the matter was scheduled to hold on Thursday but due to the public holiday, the court did not sit.

“So in obedience to court, we came today,” he said.

But Justice Ekwo, who held that he could not preside over a matter that was not in the file, directed them to liaise with the court registrar for the next adjourned date.

The matter was consequently fixed for April 19 for hearing.

The suit dated March 26 but filed March 27, Shaibu sued the Inspector-General (I-G) of Police; State Security Service (SSS) as 1st and 2nd respondents.

He also joined Hon. Justice S.A. Omonua (rtd.), the Chairman representing himself and members of the Panel of Seven Appointed by the 4th Defendant; the Chief Judge of Edo; and Prof. Theresa Akpoghome as 3rd to 5th respondents.

Shaibu, in the suit filed by O.A. Gbadamosi, SAN, also listed Mr President Aigbokhian; Mr Oghogho Ayodele Oviasu and the Edo State House of Assembly as 6th to 8th respondents respectively

In the originating motion on notice, a declaration that the threat and failure of the 3rd to 8th respondents to give him a fair hearing in the impeachment proceedings commenced by the 8th respondent is illegal, unconstitutional, and a gross violation of his fundamental right to fair hearing, pursuant to Section 36 of the 1999 Constitution, as amended.

He sought a declaration that the failure of the 8th respondent (assembly) to serve the purported impeachment notice on him personally and on each member of the House of Assembly, in line with Section 188(2) of the 1999 Constitution is a violation of his right to fair hearing.

He also sought a declaration that the inclusion of the 3rd, 5th, 6th and 7th respondents as chairman and members of the seven-member Investigation panel to investigate allegations contained in a purported impeachment notice to the applicant is tainted by a reasonable likelihood of bias and will result in a violation of the applicant’s fundamental right to fair hearing, guaranteed by virtue of Section 36 of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, as amended.”

He sought an order directing the respondents not to take any further steps in violating his fundamental right to fair hearing, guaranteed by virtue of Section 36 of the 1999 Constitution.

He also sought an order directing the 3rd, 5th, 6th and 7th respondents to recuse themselves from sitting as Chairman and members of the 7-Man Investigating Panel appointed by the 3rd respondent, on account of the likelihood of bias on their part against him, among other reliefs.

Giving seven grounds of argument, Shaibu averred that before now, he had never been confronted with any of such notice or allegations of misconduct or abuse of office or any allegations at all, whether as deputy governor or acting governor.

He said he had not been served with any letter/notice as required by Section 188(2) of the 1999 Constitution, as amended and no privilege had been accorded him by the assembly to provide answers to any purported allegations to warrant a process targeted at his removal from office as deputy governor.

“The 3rd respondent via a letter dated 25th March, 2024 was appointed by the 4th respondent as the chairman of a panel of seven persons to investigate the allegations contained in a purported impeachment notice, which is yet to be personally served on the applicant.

“The 3rd respondent is a retired judicial officer and community leader from Esan North East Local Government Area of Edo Central Senatorial District, where there is strong clamour against the gubernatorial ambition of the applicant.

“The 3rd respondent appears to have been given the hatchet job of recommending the removal from office of the applicant, in order to weaken his political ambition of becoming governor of Edo State.

“The 4th respondent being a protégé of the 3rd respondent, appointed him as chairman of the Investigating Panel, when other persons he offered the same appointment rejected it, because it was a politically motivated job,” he said, among other grounds.

Shaibu was, on Monday, impeached by the state’s house of assembly after the seven-man panel found him guilty of perjury and leaking of the government’s secrets.

The retired Justice Omonuwa-led panel, which had its inaugural sitting on April 3 in Benin, ended its sitting on April 5 with Shaibu or his counsel failing to show up.

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AfDB strengthens partnership with CSOs

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The African Development Bank (AfDB) says it is solidifying its partnership with Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) in West Africa.

The AfDB, in a statement issued on its website, said this was deliberated during the bank’s fruitful mission to Ghana.

The statement said the mission focused on advancing an agreement signed between the bank and the West Africa Civil Society Institute in December 2023 on an action plan for 2024.

The statement said the mission outlined collaboration in CSOs capacity building, resource mobilisation, knowledge management, and advocacy.

“Immediate initiatives highlighted in the plan include CSOs involvement in finalising the Bank’s Civil Society Engagement (CSE) capacity building programme and integrating it into bank operations.

“Recognising the imperative of early and comprehensive CSOs engagement, the mission emphasised improved integration of diverse perspectives into the bank’s country strategy papers and country dialogue.

“Collaboration with Afrobarometer shall include a joint initiative with the International Budget Partnership to strengthen CSOs capacity in the budget space.

“Discussions also covered data and analysis on the bank’s High 5s, focusing on citizens experiences, poverty alleviation, access to food, and migration,’’ it said.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Afrobarometer is a pan-African, independent, non-partisan research network that measures public attitudes on economic, political, and social matters in Africa

According to the bank, Afrobarometer will lead conversations on governance within the CSE Community of Practice (CoP), thereby, generating knowledge to inform the bank’s programming on economic and financial governance.

The statement said collaboration on major events like the AfDB’s Annual Meetings and the 2024 United Nations Climate Change Conference was envisioned.

It said this would be possible by leveraging Afrobarometer’s expertise to enrich discussions and align them with Africa’s priorities.

It said: “a meeting with the West African Network for Peace building (WANEP) during the mission culminated in finalising a joint Transition Support Facility III proposal.

“The proposal is titled ‘Sahel Peace building, Reconciliation, Inclusive Development and Empowerment.

“Exploratory talks also covered potential joint initiatives on conflict prevention, mitigation, and resilience building in the West African Region, particularly in the Sahel.

“A feasibility study on civil society engagement in peace building is also under consideration,’’ it said.

According to the statement, WANEP will lead discussions on fragility and resilience within the CoP.

The statement said it would offer insights that could inform the implementation of the bank’s 2022-2026 Strategy for Addressing Fragility and Building Resilience through such interactions.

It reiterated AfDB’s continued commitment towards collaborating with civil society to advance inclusive and sustainable development across Africa.

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Ibadan kingmakers certifies Olakulehin fit to become Olubadan

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The Olubadan-in-Council has certified the Olubadan designate, High Chief Owolabi Olakulehin, fit to ascend the throne as Olubadan of Ibadanland.

The Olubadan-in-Council made the declaration at the end of a special meeting with the Olubadan-designate at Oja-Oba palace of Olubadan on Friday in Ibadan.

The meeting had in attendance 10 Olubadan-in-Council members while the Otun Balogun Olubadan of Ibadanland, Oba Abimbola Ajibola, who allegedly said that Olakulehin was not fit, was not at the meeting.

Addressing the newsmen after the meeting, the Otun Olubadan of Ibadanland, High Chief Rashidi Ladoja, said that members of Olubadan-in-Council had done their part as Ibadan kingmakers.

According to him, a letter will be sent to Gov. Seyi Makinde for the government consent before coronation of Olakulehin as the 43rd Olubadan of Ibadanland.

“After the governor’s consent, a day for the coronation will be announced. We thank everyone for the support as we pray that all of us will be alive to witness the coronation,” he said.

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