The House of Representatives Adhoc Committee, investigating oil and gas revenue leakages in Nigeria – which is estimated to be about N6trillion – has threatened to arrest seven Chief Executive Officers, CEOs of indigenous oil and gas companies over their refusal or inability to appear before it.
The Chairman of the Committee, Hon Jarigbe Agom Jarigbe, who disclosed this at the end of the committee’s sitting in Lagos, thundered that the companies have not shown respect to the Committee, and, by extension, the Federal Government of Nigeria, on whose behalf the committee was acting.
Jarigbe disclosed that the companies must be compelled to appear as they collectively owe the government of Nigeria about $400 million – about N144billion at current exchange rate of $1 to N360).
The CEOs of the affected companies, some of them, members of the Oil Producers Trade Section, OPTS, of the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) could not be reached as at the time of going to press. In fact, their names are being withheld because of this challenge.
But the Chairman of OPTS, who is also the Country Chair/Managing Director of Shell Petroleum Development Company Limited, Mr. Osagie Okunbor, urged the Committee to engage with all stakeholders in order to resolve outstanding issues before writing its report.
Mrs Gladys Folashede Odunuga, Head Planning Division, DPR also said the Department was committed to ensuring that operating companies pay their debts to the government.
The committee sitting held at the DPR Office in Lagos last week. Relatedly, Hon. Ehiozuwa John Agbonayinma, a member of the Committee said, whereas the nation’s oil and gas industry was in need of local and foreign investors to explore and produce commercial crude oil and gas, it is imperative that such investors should be ready to operate under terms and conditions put in place by the government.
One of the companies, currently in a joint venture with NPDC (Nigerian Petroleum Development Company) has two Nigerians as chairman and Chief Executive Officer, produces 10,000 barrels per day, BPD; was acquired from SPDC (Shell Petroleum Development Company) in November 2011 as a result of the Local Content Act signed into law in April 2010.
Another firm has a Nigerian as Executive Chairman/CEO and it operates two OMLs. Yet, another one, which has oil and gas interests in West African nations, including Nigeria, has both its chairman and chief CEO as Nigerians.
One of the firms in question also operates as an oil exploration and production company, in collaboration with a Canadian outfit and has been operating an OML which it won in 2003
Bello’s Gunmen After My Life, Family -Kogi Dep Gov
Deputy Governor of Kogi State, Elder Simon Achuba yesterday alleged that the governor of the state has sent gunmen after his life.
Acbuba called on the inspector General of Police, the Department of State Services (DSS), the Army and other security personnel to safeguard his life, family members and his aides.
Achuba, who spoke with newsmen at his official residence in Lokoja said, “From all information at my disposal, the governor has mobilised gunmen to attack me.
“I want the police, SSS, IGP to know that if anything should happen to me, my family and aides, the governor should be held responsible.”
The deputy governor likewise called on the President to beam his searchlight on the state.
LGAs Responsible For Farmers, Herdsmen Clashes In Nigeria -UN
Zebulon Takwa, Peace and Development Adviser, Office of the UN Resident Coordinator in Nigeria, says poor Local Government administration is largely responsible for farmers-herdsmen clashes in Nigeria
Takwa, who gave the position in an interview with newsmen yesterday in Abuja, expressed concerns over “weak operational structures at the local government level’’.
He said that issues that were supposed to be addressed by local administration authority were left unattended to over a long period.
The UN official noted that most of the issues that escalated to crises ought to have been resolved at the local level by the authorities, traditional and religious leaders.
He decried the situation where structures for such prompt amicable settlement were not effective enough to prevent conflicts.
Takwa condemned the situation where most local government officials migrated to urban centres instead of concentrating on their primary responsibilities of settling crises, developing infrastructure and social amenities, among others.
Reprisal Killing: Taraba Police, Tiv, Junkun Differ On Casualities
The Police Command in Taraba State has said that only one individual was killed in what appeared to be a revenge for the alleged murder of a Junkun man yesterday.
While the Tiv claimed that no fewer than nine of their kinsmen were killed in Takum town, Takum Local Government Area of Taraba State on Tuesday, the Police said the figure was not true.
Takum is the hometown of Governor DariusIshaku who turned 65 today.
Multiple sources in Takum said trouble started yesterday morning when a Jukun man was killed on his farm along Takum-Wukari road, and irate Jukun youths in Takum went on the rampage, killing at least eight people in the town.
A resident of Takum, Mr. Nathaniel Jato, in a telephone interview with our Correspondent said the eight people killed in Takum town were all Tiv resident in the town.
“We counted at least eight dead bodies around General Hospital Junction and Zenith Bank around the Wukari roundabout.
“We were told that many people were killed around Rimi Primary school area, but there is tension, so we can’t go there.
“The Caretaker Chairman of Takum Local Government Council, ShibanTikari, has assured us that the situation will not escalate, but I am afraid the situation might degenerate if adequate security measures are not put in place,” he lamented.
Jato, who said there was threat that their houses would be attacked in the night, called on Governor Darius Ishaku and security authorities to quickly restore peace in the area to pave way for proper investigation of the matter.
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