The Senate yesterday, urged the Federal Government to direct the Petroleum Technology Development Fund (PTDF) and concerned contractors to begin immediate construction of the oil, gas and research centre at Oloibiri in Bayelsa.
The call is sequel to a motion by Sen. Degi Biobarakuma (PDP Bayelsa) and co -sponsored by 28 other Senators.
The motion centres on the need to ensure immediate commencement of the Oil and Gas Research Centre and Museum in Oloibiri in Bayelsa.
Presenting his lead debate at plenary, Biobarakuma said that 63 years after discovery, exploitation and production of crude oil, the Oloibiri oil field and its surrounding communities had suffered neglect and environmental degradation.
He also said the inhabitants of the area had suffered and some deaths recorded from epidemics and terminal diseases due to oil spills and flaring of natural gas.
The Senator said the national oil gas and research centre was conceptualised given the need to develop great foreign exchange earnings and improve on the living standard of host communities.
Biobarakuma recalled that the designed and foundation stone was laid by ex President Shehu Shegari in 1983, noting that the project was however halted, no sooner than it commenced.
He said the Federal government had removed the project from the National Commission for Museum and Monuments and domiciled it with the PTDF in 2011.
According to him, the project remains moribund, despite the transfer.
He said it was worrisome that the contract, valued at about N35 billion, was yet to be completed, leaving inhabitants of the host communities with negative memories of oil exploration and production.
Senators, who supported the motion include George Sekibo, (PDP Rivers), Ibrahim Oloriebe ( APC Kwara ) among others.
Following affirmative voice vote,the Senate accordingly resolved to commend the Federal government for the conceptualisation,design and award of contract for the establishment of oil, gas research centre and Museum in Oloibiri.
It also urged the government to give priority attention to the development of the heritage institutions such as Oloibiri oil and gas research centre and museum.
The Senate, therefore, directed its relevant committees to carry out intensive oversight on the implementation of the project.
The Senate also at plenary received the report of bipartisan Ad-hoc Committee on the alleged assault by Sen. Elisha Isaku.(PDP Adamawa).
It also considered the first reading of 10 bills.
The bills are:Nuclear Safety and Radiation Protection Act, sponsored by Sen. Boroffice Ajayi,(APC Ondo),Federal University of Gusau Bill, sponsored by Sen Ya’u Sahabi(APC Zamfara).
Federal University of Medicine and Medical Sciences, Abeokuta Bill, sponsored by Sen.
Amosun Ibikunle (APC Ogun) and Nigeria Metallurgical Industry Bill,2019 by Sen Theodore Orji (PDP Abia).
Others are: Federal Polytechnic, Orogu, Delta, sponsored by Sen. Ovie Omo-Agege (APC Delta), Dormant Accounts Fund Management Bill, 2019 also by Sen. Ovie Omo- Agege (APC Delta), Social Assistance Bill,2019, sponsored by Sen. Chimaroke Nnamani (PDP Enugu).
Others are: the Federal Polytechnic, Silame,Sokoto state sponsored by Sen .Aliyu Wamakko (APC Sokoto), NDDC Act Amendment Bill 2019, sponsored by Sen .Mpigi Barinada (PDP Rivers) and Terrorism Prevention and Prohibition Bill,2019, by Sen. Gyang Istifanus(APC Plateau).
In the same vein, a Bill for an act to amend the Deep Offshore and Inland Basin Production Sharing Contract, sponsored by Sen.Akpan Bassey (PDP Akwa-Ibom while Sen. Ubah Ifeanyi (YPP Anambra) was considered for second reading.
Contributing on the bill, Sen .Theodore Orji, urged the Senate to ensure the bill is passed into law for the president’s assent, given its importance.
According to him, the bill has earlier been presented in the 8th Senate but was not passed when it was sent for further legislative input at the committee stage.
SAN Wants Buhari To Unlock Lagos, Abuja, Today
Prominent legal practitioner, Ebun-Olu Adegboruwa, SAN, has appealed to President Muhammadu Buhari to unlock Lagos and Abuja on Friday, April 3.
This was contained in a statement he issued yesterday.
Noting that the president did the right thing to safeguard the people over Coronavirus outbreak, the lawyer argued that the effect has been very catastrophic, especially for daily wage earners.
“No doubt the President meant and acted well, though a bit late, but it is not in doubt that the action of the President was the best in the circumstances of our present realities, even though it had no legal backing”, he said.
Adegboruwa stated that since the President announced the lockdown, there have been different interpretations and implementations, leading to abuses by security agents.
He said the economic hardship being faced by the people is horrendous and the so-called cash distribution has no real value to the people.
“As Lagos State has now declared 100 percent recovery rate, and it is the most affected State, there is need to review the lockdown, to ease the burden of the people,” the lawyer said.
Adegboruwa observed that measures already put in place before the lockdown were effective and should be retained without restriction of movement.
He called for reopening of banks and markets and free movement of people to allow them make a living for themselves and dependents.
The SAN stressed that Abuja being the capital of Nigeria and Lagos, the commercial hub of the country, cannot remain under lockdown beyond one week.
“I commend the President for the love demonstrated for the well-being of the people and urge him to end the lockdown from Friday, April 3, 2020”, he added.
Adegboruwa, however, hailed Lagos State Government for saving Nigeria through its proactive measures adopted by most other States.
He commended Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu, Health Commissioner and medical officials, for their efforts towards curtailing the spread of COVID-19 pandemic.
Ortom, Deputy, Commissioner Submit To COVID-19 Test
Governor Samuel Ortom of Benue State, his Deputy, Mr Benson Abounu and the Commissioner for Finance and Economic Development, Mr David Olofu, yesterday, voluntarily submitted themselves for the Coronavirus (COVID-19) test.
In a statement issued by the Chief Press Secretary to the governor, Mr Terver Akase in Makurdi, they submitted their samples to the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC).
The statement quotes Ortom as saying “the decision to submit samples for the test was the right thing to do”.
The governor, therefore, appealed to all Benue citizens to submit to the test and not wait for symptoms to manifest before going for it.
According to Ortom, doing so will help to contain the spread of the deadly virus in the state.
Ortom said:”There is no shame in seeking to know your COVID-19 status”.
He urged the people to cooperate with the COVID-19 Action Committee at the state and local government levels, while observing the preventive measures against the pandemic.
Ganduje, Wife Test Negative To COVID-19
Governor Abdullahi Ganduje of Kano State and his wife, Hafsat Ganduje have tested negative to Coronavirus.
Chief Press Secretary to the governor, Abba Anwar, made the disclosure in a statement yesterday in Kano.
We thank Almighty Allah for this result which shows negative. That is how He (Allah) wishes. All those whose results are positive, we will continue praying for their quick recovery from the illness, irrespective of race, nationality, ethnicity, social status, political or religious affiliationsý
“We also pray for Allah’s continued protection against COVID-19 in the state, the country and the world as a whole.
”While we pray for Divine intervention we must make sure that, we always listen to health professionals and work with professional advice,” the statement added.
He urged members of the public to wash their hands under running water with soap or hand sanitisers, keep clean environment and practise social distancing.
“Staying at home is safer, healthier and most appropriate. I also urge Nigerians to strictly abide by directives given by the Federal Government as another mechanism in containing the spread of the disease,” the statement explained.
The governor reiterated government commitment to sustain proactive measures and collaboration with relevant organisations, agencies and stakeholders to prevent spread of COVID-19.
“It is our responsibility to fight COVID-19 from all angle so as to have safer and healthier society”.
“We thank Almighty Allah that up to this time there is no reported case in Kano. May Allah save those from other states in the country and other affected nations of the world,” he prayed.
Ganduje added that state government had adopted effective measures to monitor and enforce compliance with boundary closure, warning that defaulters would be prosecuted.
The governor thanked the state Task Force Committee on COVID-19 and health workers for their unrelenting efforts against Coronavirus.
“Our thanks also goes to the Fund Raising Committee, under the Chairmanship of Prof. Muhammad Yahuza Bello, and Co-chaired by Alhaji Tajuddeedn Dantata and all those who assisted the government.
“Others are Alhaji Aminu Dantata, Alhaji Aliko Dangote, Alhaji Abdussamad Rabi’u, Lee Group of Companies, United Bank for Africa (UBA), among other respectful individuals and organisations,” it added.
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