President of the Senate , David Mark has made it clear to Multi national oil companies operating in Nigeria that the federal government would never be swayed by intimidation and blackmail from them over the Petroleum Industrial Bill.
As if resounding. the Federal Government’ s determination to see to the actuallisation of the provisions of the PIB, the Minister of Petroleum Diezani Allison also urged stakeholders in the Oil and Gas Sectors not to politicize the Petroleum Industrial Bill (PIB), adding that the full implementation of the bill when it is passed into law would most likely take a number of years.
Senator Mark and the Petroleum Minister made these known in their remarks at the public hearing. on Petroleum Industrial Bill organized by Senate Joint Committees.
Mark in his key note address, noted that the PIB failed to scale through the 6th National Assemblies owing to spanners thrown here and there from those who never wanted the bill to see the light of the day. The Senate President explained that the PIB failed on the feet of allegations from some quarters that there are different versions of the bill in circulation.
His words: “The 6th National Assembly tried to pass the Petroleum Industry Bill, it failed to do so. For some inexplicable reason the bill moved up and down and at the end of the day we had several versions of the bill. “Sixth
National Assembly tried but failed to pass the bill due to proliferation of various versions of the bill. We are conscious of the fact that this bill must be a win-win situation for IOCs and FG.”
The Minister of Petroleum , pointed out that if such bill like PIB is personalized or politicized, it would amount to cheapening the effects and efficacy of such bill.
According to Mrs Allison Madueke, “This same law is for all Nigerians and of all parts of the country and that is the intent of the letter of the law which we hoped it will provide. It should be very clear that when we personalize or politicise bills of this magnitude and tremendous economic importance to the nation, then we have cheapened those bills and we have cheapened the effects and efficacy of such bills for the entire nation and the entire economy.
Her words: “We took as best practice the laws of those places like the United Kingdom, Malaysia and Norway and yet, we did not confer upon the Minister of Petroleum Resources in Nigeria the extent of powers that those countries have conferred on their ministers. So we actually mitigated about the powers of the Petroleum Minister.
“Full and efficient implementation of any law as robust as the PIB takes a number of years. You cannot pass or promulgate a bill into law overnight and that is quite obvious. But a complex one like the one in question with many facets takes a number of years for full implementation in all its ramifications.
“ By the time your National Oil Company is fully up and running, working seamlessly, we are talking about four, five or, six years down the road. By the time the other institutions and entities we look forward to, as delineated in this bill, are in full implementation and running as efficiently as we expect them to run, we are talking of six, seven years time down the road.
“By that time, President Goodluck Jonathan and the Petroleum Minister, Allison-Madueke, will not be in office. That is obviously clear. So this is not a bill that should be personalized or politicised. It was not put forward for that reason whatsoever; it was put forward for the benefit of the nation, the economy and all Nigerian people in whole, bearing in mind that we expect, in the next few years, to find oil or hydro-carbon in other parts of the country. In fact, that is what we are desperately trying to do, which means we diversify our hydro-carbon base completely.”
The Niger state government, represented by the Attorney General of the state , Abdulahi Bawa making a presentation on the Bill. expressed dissatisfaction with provision of 10 percent host communities fund in the bill and enormous power and authority granted a sitting Minister of Petroleum Resource .
The representative of state Governor of Niger State, said the most controversial provision of PIB 2012 is introduction of the Host Communities fund which is creating a fourth tier of Government to sharing of the revenue of the Federation.
Bawa said,” it is not justifiable to grant disproportionate powers over policy, regulatory and operational issues of the Petroleum Sector on sitting Minister as envisioned by the bill.”
Nigeria Extractive Industry Transparency Initiative, (NEITI) called for reduction of sitting Minister power as provided for in the bill saying that will create strong autonomous institutions that will promote effective governances and controls in the management of Nigeria Petroleum Resources.
NEITI added that appointments and removal of heads of institutions created by the bill should be with concurrence of the National Assembly.
On host communities Fund, the Transparency outfit argued that there should be complete conformity in the treatment of all communities located in minerals producing areas, including petroleum, it therefore recommend that the fund should function according to the same or similar mode that is provided for under the minerals and Mining Act.
‘Nigeria, Others Lose $110bn Annually To Inefficient Power Supply’
The Executive Director, Sahara Group, Kola Adesina, has called on various stakeholders to promote energy access in Africa, as lack of energy costs Nigeria and other African countries over $110billion annually.
He also urged the World Trade Organisation (WTO) on the need to galvanise the interest and support of various stakeholders to promote equitable global trade relations and energy access in Africa where almost 600 million live without electricity.
Adesina, who spoke on ‘Redirecting the World Trade Organisation’ at the virtual 2021 Horasis Global Meeting, said deploying multilateral engagements would help circumvent the status quo that has made global trade relations “somewhat lopsided.”
Horasis is one of the foremost annual meetings of the world’s leading decision-makers from business, government, and civil society.
Speaking on access to power in Africa, Adesina said the WTO should explore collaborating with the various stakeholders to accelerate the pace of technology needed to make alternative power cheaper and more accessible to the consumers.
Africa is home to 17 per cent of the world’s population, but accounts for just 4 per cent of global power supply investment.
On a per capita basis, power supply investment in Africa ranks among the lowest in the world and lack of energy costs the continent over $110billion annually.
“The Environmental Impact Analysis of conventional power sources should be the focal point of conversations with African presidents as well as key political and business leaders to ensure their support and agree to a collective and sustainable solution template.
“The WTO must ensure that multilateralism guides its decision-making. The countries of the world are not all on the same pedestal, there should be consideration for the poor countries.
“The WTO should create a system where countries come together to create a united front to handle the issues the world is facing,” he said.
Adesina explained that multilateral strategies would create “elastic solutions” that can be adapted with respect to the unique challenges and opportunities across global trade blocs.
He argued that while sustainability should be the ultimate driver of development, concessions need to be in place to effectively manage the current challenges of less developed continents.
He stated, “Africa still suffers from the twin challenge of access versus affordability of electricity. We all need each other to solve the global challenges we face as individual countries and the world.
“A strong commitment is needed to maintain open and free trade; to keep open borders and to help the poorest countries, particularly least developed countries, survive the economic shock created by the Covid-19 pandemic.”
The Horasis session noted that with protectionism gaining steam globally, the WTO would need to reinforce its influence on stabilizing global trade negotiations.
Experts expect that the WTO, under the leadership of Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala would spearhead effective reforms that would make the organization play a strategic role in promoting equity and transparency in the quest for global sustainable development.
UNILORIN Engages Landlords Association On Students’ Safety
The Management of the University of Ilorin says the institution is interacting with the Association of Landlords within its communities to ensure the protection of students.
Dean, Student Affairs, Unilorin, Prof. Lanre Ajibade, at a news conference in Ilorin yesterday assured that no stone would be left unturned toward ensuring safety of students.
According to Ajibade, the University has been engaging in consistent interactions with the landlord association of the communities to ensure students who live in the area enjoy the best treatment possible.
He said that although no fresh and returning student of the University was set to resume the 2021/2022 academic session, many live off campus, particularly within Tanke and the neighbouring communities,
He recalled the recent murder of a female student of the University and said management had been working vigorously with security agencies to ensure perpetrators of the heinous act were prosecuted.
The dean noted that the University was working assiduously with all the security agencies and other stakeholders within and outside the institution to ensure the safety of the community.
The University’s Chief Security Officer, Mr Abdulwasiu Oyewo, also said that his personnel were working day and night to provide maximum security in the area.
Oyewo said that the security officers were in constant patrol of the environment, adding that vehicles with tinted glasses and without registration number would not be allowed on campus.
Also, Officer-in-Charge of the Intelligence Unit in the University’s Security Division, Mr Ali Na’Allah, said that the unit would continue to engage in discreet information gathering on campus.
Unemployed Man, 22, Docked For Stealing Two iPhones, Laptop
A 22-year-old unemployed man, Akinwunmi Rotimi, yesterday appeared in a Magistrates’ Court in Ota, Ogun for allegedly stealing two iPhones, an Hp Laptop and other valuables.
The police charged Rotimi, whose address was not provided, with two counts of burglary and stealing.
The Prosecution Counsel, Cynthia Ejezie, told the court that the defendant also stole N240,000.
Ejezie said that the defendant committed the offence on April 3 at about 4 a.m.at No.6 Ayoola Adeyinka, off Tetiku road, Owode-Ijako, Ota.
He said that the defendant broke into the house of the complainant, Mrs Adeleye Anike.
She said that the police from the Sango-Ota Police Station, tracked one of the phones to the defendant.
The offence, the prosecutor said, contravened the provisions of sections 383 (1) and 412 of the Criminal Code Vol.11, Laws of Ogun, 2006.
The defendant, however, pleaded not guilty to the charge.
The counsel to the defendant, Mr Ambrose Aisedion, prayed the court to grant the defendant bail in the most liberal terms.
Magistrate Shotunde Shotayo admitted the defendant to bail in the sum of N250, 000 with two sureties in like sum.
Shotayo ordered that the sureties reside within the court’s jurisdiction and be gainfully employed with two-year tax payment to Ogun Government.
The case was adjourned until June 17 for a definite hearing.
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