By Bukola Olanrewaju
The Vice President of Nigeria, Prof. Yemi Osinbanjo has disclosed that the present administration is fighting grand corruption in the country.
This statement was made on Sunday at an event themed “The Grill (A no-hold barred dialogue between federal government, FRN and Christian Leaders and Youth).
According to Osinbanjo, importance has being laid on fighting “Grand Corruption” for the past three years of being in office with the current President, Mohammadu Buhari.
He emphasized that, grand corruption is the major obstacle militating against the faster growth of Nigeria economy for many years.
Osinbanjo said Grand Corruption isn’t the absence of good working ideas but a situation where people can simply take money from Government Treasury for embezzlement.
“We can’t talk about Nigerian economy without talking about the impact of corruption on the economy.
“This country have an economy that has been subjected to the worst form of corruption for many years.
“As of 2012, Nigeria Poverty Population was 102 million extreme poverty, despite the fact we earn the highest amount of money in oil.
“If we are earning the highest of money; your debt and extreme poverty level doubles in a place with so much money. Why is that possible?
“The Simple explanation for this is Grand Corruption”, Osinbajo explained.
He noted that as a way to curb and fight this; Muhammadu Buhari, upon coming to the office three years ago, insisted on executing and completing projects that has been long abandoned despite awarding budgets for it on a yearly basis.
“There are lots of projects on the table that was meant to be completed for over 20 and 16 years ago but remained unexecuted or abandoned mid way even though series of yearly budgets were made for them each time.
“This was the order of day before Buhari came into office”, he said.
Osinbanjo cited examples of these money squandering projects.
“The Lagos – Ibadan Expressway has been a project that has been on forever.
“Why couldn’t the project be completed in a space of 16years, after all the entire road network was built in a 2year period during the Military Era.
“Lagos – Kano Railway has been on the table forever and the project just started 2 years ago. We will commissioning the first phase at the end of this montg
“Alaja Warri Railway has been on the table for 35 years and we just completed it now.
“Agro Project has been on for 40 years.
“Abuja light Road project has started since 2005 and we just completed it now.
“Why should start a project and not finish? Corruption”, Osinbajo questioned.
Speaking further, Osinbanjo noted Abuja to be at the receiving end of these ills.
“There are presently lots of empty houses, restaurants, malls and hotels built from stolen public funds in Abuja.
“Houses remained unoccupied or hotels and restaurants running at loss because the funds are not made available to them since Buhari has blocked them”, he stated.
Police on trail of man over homosexual practice
Men of the Nigerian Police Force are reportedly on a manhunt for one Mr. Okechukwu Andrew Ogbonna, of 2, Owoseni Street, Oshodi, Lagos State who has allegedly contravened the Same-sex Marriage Prohibition Act of 2013 by allegedly publicly contracting a same-sex marriage with one Mr. Joshua his alleged partner.
A source noted that the said Mr Ogbonna is now at large, and the police have turned to his aged mother and legal wife to ensure his re-arrest and prosecution.
The suspect was arrested on the 25th day of May 2022 after the duo were seen in a compromised position publicly and he was subsequently granted bail on the 27th of 2022.
Divestments by foreign companies presents opportunities for strategic partnerships, capacity building of indigenous players – FG
The Federal Government through the Minister of Petroleum Resources (Oil), Heineken Lokpobiri has argued that divestments by foreign companies in the oil and gas industry presents opportunities for strategic partnerships and capacity building of indigenous players.
The country has recorded International oil companies divesting i from Nigerian crude oil and gas, selling off their assets and seeking other revenue streams. Nigeria currently has five international oil companies still operating in the country: Shell Producing Development Company, Chevron, TotalEnergies, ExxonMobil and Eni.
Represented by the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry, Amb.Gabriel Aduda at the 12th Practical Nigerian Content Forum hosted by the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB) in Yenogoa, he urged stakeholders to remain calm and not be alarmed by divestments hitting the oil and gas industry.
According to him, divestments come along with opportunities and this opportunities must be given attention.
“We recognize that divestment presents various challenges but also presents opportunities for local capacity building and technology transfer.” He said.
The Minister urged the industry to embrace challenges posed by divestments to promote diversification.
He identified that the stakeholders must forge ahead with a vision where the oil and gas industry serves as a catalyst for socio economic development.
The Minister also reiterated the commitment of the Government to foster local content development.
He reiterated the commitment of the FG to promoting decarbonization, cleaner and sustainable energy practices.
The Minister revealed that the government is investing heavily in technology and fostering innovation to reducing emissions.
“To achieve this goals, collaboration amongst local players and communities is paramount to promote clearer energy initiatives and investments.” The Minister stated.
IPPG seeks review of NOGICD act to promote competition, investments
The Independent Petroleum Producers Group (IPPG) has called for a review of some sections of the Nigeria Oil and Gas Industry Content Development Act (NOGICD) 2010 to promote competition and increase investments.
Speaking at the 12th Practical Nigerian Content Forum hosted by the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB) in Yenogoa, Abdulrazaq Isa, Chairman of the IPPG and CEO of the Waltersmith Petroman Oil Limited said: “Our industry is witnessing a transformational shift and this continues to underscore the repositioning of our industry.”
“As an industry, we must remain focused and rapidly exploit our vast hydrocarbon assets for the economic development of our nation. It is therefore important that we look inward to develop the socio-economic landscape of our country.”
“The NOGICD act 2010 is capable of unlocking the economic potential of Nigeria and being an enabler for rapid industrialization.”
Abdulrazaq urged the NCDMB to ensure that local content policies are evaluated and fit for purpose and not counterproductive to the industry’s growth and cost targets.
The IPPG Chairman identified the human capital development requirement of the act as a case point noting that it amounts to multiplication of levies and invariably leads to higher project costs as the companies themselves don’t benefits from the funding dedicated to developing human capital.
He also explained that the multiplicity of levies though unintended to promote local content participation is contributing to low compliance with the act and divestment of investments by foreign operators.
Abdulrazaq noted that the oil and gas industry is a global market and thus as much as the government wants to priotize local content, it must also make the industry globally competitive.
He highlighted that the government must contijue to recognize foreign oil and gas companies as important as they have a part to play in technology transfer pending when local players improve their capacity to support offshore exploration.
The IPPG Chairman also praised the NCDMB ES for raising the bar in local content development.
He noted that the Practical Nigerian Content has always provided a platform for fostering key colloborations in developing the NOGICD for local content development.
The 12th Practical Nigerian Content Feoum holding in Yenagoa, Bayelsa State is themed “Deepening Nigerian Content amidst divestments, domestification and decarbonisation.”
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