Senate warns Kachikwu over claims on PIB

The Senate yesterday warned the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu, to stop making false claims on the on-going process of passing into law the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB).

In a statement by its spokesman, Senator Aliyu Sabi Abdullahi, the Senate said the PIB which has got to the final stage and is scheduled to be passed before the second anniversary of the eighth Senate is a private member bill and did not emanate from the executive.Abdullahi said:

“As part of our own legislative agenda, we had decided long time ago that after the passage of 2017 budget, our next major assignment is to pass the Petroleum Industry Governance Bill and immediately fast-track the process of passage of the Host Community Bill and the Fiscal Regime Bills which are also related to the reforms of the petroleum sector,” Abdullahi stated.

NNPC to resume oil prospecting in Lake Chad, says Baru

Agency Report

The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) says it will resume oil prospecting in the Lake Chad Basin of Borno. The Group Managing Director of NNPC, Dr Maikanti Baru, disclosed this when he visited Gov. Kashim Shettima at the Government House in Maiduguri on Monday.

Baru was represented at the occasion by the NNPC Chief Operations Officer, who is also the Executive Director, Gas and Power, Mr Saidu Mohammed. He said that the corporation had concluded arrangement to mobilise heavy and sophisticated equipment to resume oil prospecting in the Lake Chad Basin.

He said the resumption, which would be done in the next six weeks, was based on the military’s assurance to provide adequate security. Baru explained that the move was due to the present relative peace in the state and the degrading of Boko Haram insurgents in the North East region.

“ We are here in Borno to express our full alignment to the ongoing Reconstruction, Rehabilitation and Resettlement process by government in all the liberated communities.

“Therefore, NNPC wants to appeal and seek where it can come in and assist because the rate of devastation is worrisome.

“We are also in the state to inform you that in the next six weeks, we are going to redeploy our team of experts back to Maiduguri to resume oil exploration with better technology in the Lake Chad Basin.

“This is necessary with our renewed efforts in harnessing Oil, Gas and Power to increase the economy of the nation in line with the agenda of President Muhammadu Buhari on job creation and economic diversification,” Baru said.

Responding, Shettima commended the team for the visit and the NNPC’s resolve to resume oil exploration in the region. The governor said his administration would partner with NNPC to actualise the mission.

According to him, the oil and gas, if found, will not only generate revenue but create employment opportunities to the people across the country, particularly the North East region.

Shettima therefore appealed to NNPC to assist the state government in reconstructing and rebuilding thousands of schools, and other facilities and infrastructure destroyed by insurgents.

He stressed that the education sector remained the only means of fighting poverty associated with emergence of Boko Haram. The team also paid courtesy call on the Shehu of Borno, Alhaji Abubakar Garbai El-Kanemi, in his palace.

The monarch equally solicited the support of NNPC in the ongoing reconstruction and resettlement of millions of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) back to their liberated communities.

N4.9bn fraud: EFCC re-arraigns Fani-Kayode, others before new judge

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission on Monday re-arraigned a former Minister of Aviation, Chief Femi Fani-Kayode, for an alleged fraud of N4.9bn.

He was re-arraigned before a new judge, Justice Rilwan Aikawa, after he objected to being tried before Justice Muslim Hassan of the same court before whom he was earlier arraigned on June 28, 2016.

Fani-Kayode, who was the Director of Publicity of ex-President Goodluck Jonathan’s presidential campaign organisation for the 2015 election, was accused of conspiring with the others to, directly and indirectly, retain various sums, which the EFCC claimed they ought to have reasonably known were proceeds of crime.

In one of the counts, the defendants were accused of conspiring among themselves to “indirectly retain the sum of N1,500, 000,000.00 which sum you reasonably ought to have known forms part of the proceeds of an unlawful act to wit: stealing.”

The four were also accused of indirectly retaining N300m, N400m and N800m, all proceeds of corruption, according to EFCC.

EFCC said they allegedly committed the offence between January 8 and March 25, 2015, ahead of the 2015 general election.

But as they earlier pleaded not guilty before Justice Hassan, the defendants equally pleaded not guilty on Monday.

Following a plea by Usman’s lawyer, Mr. Abiodun Owonikoko (SAN), Justice Aikawa allowed them to continue on the bail earlier granted them by Justice Hassan.

The matter was adjourned till June 6 and 9 for the commencement of trial and for the judge to rule on the defence’s request for the matter to be taken to Abuja.

Why Nigeria is not winning corruption war – Saraki

The Senate President, Bukola Saraki has said the reason why Nigeria has not been able to win the fight against corruption is because the grounds for the fight has been sensationalism.

He said this at the book launch of Senator Dino Melaye’s book, ‘Antidotes for Corruption: The Nigerian Story’.

Senator Saraki advised that the fight should be driven at prevention rather than penalties.

“I am convinced that why our fight against corruption has not yielded much success is that we have favoured punishment over deterence‎,

“We must review our approaches by building our institutions to make it difficult for people to carry out corrupt practices.

“It is my view that the key area of prevention, we must work on, is to make it difficult for stolen money to find a home.”

He added, “We must fight corruption with sincerity, and not fight symptoms… unlike the five-minute sensationalism, we have now. It must not be based on individuals but on institutions.

Zamfara: UNICEF Applauds Emir of Maradun For His Commitment on Child Survival 

By Alex Uangbaoje, Zamfara  

As part of efforts to continue to mobilise communities to respond and participate in various interventions being provided by the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), to ensure quality services for children in Nigeria, Mohamed Malick Fall, Country Representative, UNICEF Nigeria on Monday paid a courtesy call to the Palace of the Emir of Maradun.

Addressing the Emir ‎and his Emirates Council, Malick Fall, commended the Emir, His Royal Highness, Alhaji Garba Muhammad Tambari for his commitment and ability to mobilise his community for UNICEF for Child Survival. 

The UNICEF Boss, said he and his team were in Maradun, Zamfara State to ‎thank the Emir for his support and mobilisation which according to him, has helped UNICEF to deliver more quality results for children in Zamfara State.

“If by today Nigeria is so close of being declared polio free, it is because of vaccination, it is because of some medical doctors, it is because of Ministries of Health, it is because of UNICEF, but most especially, it is because of your mobilisation.

‎”I truly believe that if we want children to survive all these diseases that could kill them, if we want children to grow up in the most proper manner, with adequate nutrition, adequate development, with all access to good education, we need to get them mobilised in their early age and help them to go through it.

“It is only by doing this, that we can have ‎a society which will have a better and brighter future. This is why having a leader in your position, your highness, supporting children’s survival, protection and development is something that we should be looking forward to, is something we should be nurturing and harnessing. 

“This is why I am thanking members of my team who facilitated this meeting, because there is nothing more important to me in my duty and task here in Nigeria more than this visit.”‎ he said. 

The Country Representative, pledged ‎UNICEF’s continued partnership with the Emir, saying, “UNICEF Nigeria is open and is standing to partner with you, and this partnership we want to push it to its extreme level of making success of achieving results for children so that beyond here we can see you shining beyond the continent of Africa.”

On his part, the Emir who could not hold his joy, told his visitors that he feels honoured and very much encouraged by the remarks and coming of the UNICEF Country Representative and his team to his palace.

According to him, “UNICEF work is global and has made a mark over seventy years of its existence as a United Nations agency. Therefore, the name rings bell, always with track record.

“My relationship with UNICEF has come a long way and I sincerely appreciate all areas of UNICEF work towards promoting the lives of children and women in Zamfara state.

“In my capacity as a parent and a leader of my people, I have a duty to support UNICEF to achieve the interventions that helps in improving quality of lives of children and increased human development.

“We remain committed to continue working with UNICEF and all other development partners in the best interest of our people and especially children.” 

“UNICEF team in Zamfara have continued to show high sense of professionalism and respect to the traditional institution which has made it necessary for us to support them to deliver results with our people as the beneficiaries. 

“As a member and focal person of NTLC, I will continue to do my best along with my council members to ensure UNICEF work succeeds in Maradun and Zamfara state as a whole.

“We are ready for this support and do count on us, always.

“Thank you very much for this visit and wishing you safe journey.” he added.