The Government of Rivers State and communities in the Niger Delta region have criticised the proposal by the Federal Government to unbundle the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation and privatise a part of it as well as oil assets without the approval of other tiers of government.
The state and the communities, in their separate written presentations to the House of Representatives on the Petroleum Industry Bill, stated that the proposal to eventually sell off a National Petroleum Company to be created from the NNPC requires a collective approval of all stakeholders.
According to them, the NNPC and petroleum assets belong to the federation and not the Federal Government alone.
The Host Communities of Nigeria Producing Oil and Gas, in its presentation to the House Committee on PIB at its public hearing held between Wednesday and Thursday, particularly faulted the proposed plan to empower the petroleum minister to solely determine the fate of national assets in the oil and gas sector.
The position was stated in the document signed by the National President, HOSTCOM, Chief Benjamin Tamaranebi, on behalf of host communities of Nigeria.
It read in part, “It may be necessary to have a mechanism whereby the minister may have to obtain the approval of the federation in matters that affect the Federation Account especially the petroleum producing states and the host communities.
“This is especially important because all the assets the minister is to supervise belong to the federation and not the Federal Government.
“It would therefore be wrong to seek the approval of the Federal Government alone if the minister wishes to divest any asset that is under his purview.”
The host communities also warned against privatisation in the petroleum sector, saying it posed a major economic threat to Nigeria.
The document read, “Our host communities would want a careful handling by the government of all petroleum privatisation issues and to use our petroleum resources for the development of the entire nation.
“Consequently, we demand that Nigeria continues to maintain a robust national petroleum company whose interests should not be privatised or divested as proposed in the bill, where it intends to divest not less than 10 per cent in five years and not less than 30 per cent thereafter. Each of those provisions mathematically/legally implies 100 per cent divestment.
“If we divest our oil and gas resources, we would have stripped our nation bare. No nation can survive and be economically healthy after stripping itself of its natural resources.
“The divestment programme will create wide margin between the rich and the poor. It will enslave Niger Delta, impoverish Nigeria and turn Nigeria into a worthless nation. We would have surrendered ourselves to servitude forever. The buyer of our oil and gas assets will be the only one to determine whether we breathe as a nation or not.”
HOSTCOM added, “We have, therefore, resolved and demand that no one should sell off our oil and gas reserves.
“Consequently, we invite Mr President not to sign the bill until everything about divestment or privatisation and selling off our petroleum reserves are expunged from the bill.
“It will be very absurd and economically very illogical to sell performing equity. No equity/asset is performing more than our oil and gas reserves. This quest to take over complete control of all our national assets by a very greedy few has been on for too long.
“If Nigeria must divest or privatise our oil and gas assets, then the host communities must have the first right of refusal before you open up the sale or bid to other Nigerians because the oil and gas in Nigeria, indeed, belongs to the host communities in the first place.
“It was the military decree of 27 November, 1969, that took it away from us and vested it on the nation. Rather than keep and use it as a nation, the nation now plans to give away our national resources to a few greedy foreigners and their local collaborators.”
ICPC arraigns two FRSC officers for extorting motorists
The Independent Corrupt Practices and other Related Offences Commission has arraigned two officials of the Federal Road Safety Corps over alleged extortion of motorists.
The two officials, John Asegu and Otom Asueni, were brought before Honourable Justice H. Aprioku of the Rivers State High Court 11 sitting in Port Harcourt on two-count of extortion and gratification.
ICPC, according to a statement on Monday, told the court how the duo forcibly collected various sums of money totaling N3,500 from motorists as a “fee“ to allow the motorists pass their checkpoint along Port Harcourt-Ahoada expressway, even without being charged for any traffic offence.
The Commission also accused the defendants of using their position as public officers to confer undue advantage upon themselves by soliciting for, and accepting gratification. The defendants were arrested on the act after ICPC mounted a sting operation on them following intelligence
ICPC in a Charge No: PHC/3905ICPC/19 averred that the duo’s actions were contrary to and punishable under sections 8, 19, and 26 of the Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Act, 2000, and if they are found guilty they shall on conviction, be liable to imprisonment for seven years without option of fine.
The accused persons pleaded not guilty to the charges and were granted them bail.
They were, however, remanded in prison because of their inability to meet up with the bail conditions.
The case was adjourned to the 26th of March, 2021 for commencement of trial.
NECO RESULT RELEASE
RIVERS STATE MINISTRY OF EDUCATION
The Rivers State Ministry of Education informs School Owners, Administrators, Parents and Guardians that the results of the 2020 Basic Education Certificate Examination (BECE) have been released.
The Ministry enjoins all candidates who sat for the examination to visit their schools for collection.
The Ministry states that:
HENCEFORTH, Candidates seeking to register for SSCE must present original copy of their BECE certificate as a prerequisite for registration.
Candidates who have registered for the 2021 SSCE must present their BECE certificate before the completion of their registration.
Candidates seeking to benefit from the state government’s bankrolled UTME registration must also present original copy of their BECE certificates.
Public and Private Schools by this announcement must ensure students seeking to be admitted into SS1 to SS3 present original copy of their BECE certificates at the point of registration
The Ministry solicits the cooperation of all heads of schools to drive this course.
Schools can apply for the BECE certificates at rivemis.riversstate.gov.ng
Sir. Chidi Adiele
Rivers State Ministry of Education
Sunday Igboho storms Ogun, vows to flush out killer herdsmen
A Yoruba rights activist, Sunday Adeyemo, popularly known as Sunday Igboho on Monday, stormed some parts of Ogun State and vowed to flush out killer herdsmen in the troubled areas in the state
Igboho, who stopped briefly in Abeokuta around 4pm and had a brief interaction with his supporters, later proceeded to Ketuland where some soldiers allegedly connived with herdsmen to flog some farmers for not allowing them grazing their cattle on their farms in Yewa-North Local Government Area of the state.
While addressing his followers in Abeokuta, the activist said, “I observe there is an injustice from the herdsmen because they know the power that they have in the Federal Government. So, they behave as if Yoruba people are nobody. They kill our people, they kidnap our people, and they rape our women.”
“Any Fulani herdsman who engages in kidnapping would be flushed out,” Igboho vowed.
When asked whether he would limit his activism to Igangan, his hometown in Oyo State, Igboho said, “Not only Igangan, we are going to visit all Yorubaland and ensure there is peace everywhere.”
The activist lauded the state governor, Dapo Abiodun, for allowing him in the state.
Appreciating the gesture, the activist said, “We have not visited the governor, we will do that after we have flushed the Fulani herdsmen out of the state.
“I am going to Yewa because that is where the Fulani are wreaking havoc.”
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