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Osinbajo Flags Off N120bn Bonny-Bodo Road …Denies NNPC Contract Approval Report

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The Federal Government says it is a firm believer of the potentials of the private sector to deliver the infrastructure Nigeria requires.
Vice President Yemi Osibanjo stated this during the flag-off ceremony of the Bonny-Bodo Road project in Grand Bonny.
According to him, Government alone cannot plug the infrastructural deficit of the country, that is why the Federal Government welcomes the private sector to take the lead.
“We give them the assurance that we will be with them every step of the way as enablers,” he said.
According to him, the Bonny- Bodo Road project is a Public Private Partnership between the Federal Government of Nigeria and the Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas Company (NLNG) where the Federal Government is to bear 50% of the cost and the NLNG bears the rest.
He said the road will provide direct jobs for engineers, artisans, and labourers and indirect jobs for food vendors, suppliers, transporters, quarry operators and others in the construction value chain.
In his remarks, the state Chief Executive, Chief Nyesom Wike who spoke through his Deputy, Dr. (Mrs.) Ipalibo Harry Banigo said over the years, the people of Rivers State, other Nigerians and foreign nationals have continued to yearn for a road to lead to Bonny, a coastal city that hosts the NLNG which he described as a critical national asset.
While expressing the state government’s readiness to partner with the Federal Government, the NLNG and other developmental partners to carry out programmes, policies and projects that positively impact on the lives of the citizenry, Governor Wike said “We would like to use this opportunity to urge the NLNG to set up the necessary machinery in motion to kick off the NLNG Train 7 and also ensure that the dry dock that was taken to Badagry is brought back to Bonny to provide employment for our people and help curb youth restiveness”.
Governor Wike also expressed the need for the Federal Government to urgently complete the East-West Road which connects several states of the federation and also serves the Port Harcourt Refinery, the Petro Chemical Industry as well as the Onne Oil and Gas Free Zone.
Also speaking, the Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola said the road will be beneficial not only to the Bonny people but also the Bodo people in Gokana Local Government Area. According to him, the construction of the road will also reduce the cost of basic commodities in the area.
In his remarks, the Amanyanabo of Grand Bonny, King Edward Asimini William Dappa Pepple, Perekule XI said access to Bonny Kingdom has been a challenge over the years because of the terrain, stressing that with the flag-off of the road project, the NLNG has demonstrated its commitment to the development of the Kingdom and thanked the Federal Government and the company for this initiative.
Meanwhile, there is confusion in the Presidency over the alleged approval of $25 billion contract by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, as the Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo has denied the report that he approved the contract.
The Senior Special Assistant to the President, Office of the Vice President, Laolu Akande, had earlier in his tweets yesterday claimed that Prof. Osinbajo confirmed approving the contracts. But the Vice President has denied confirming or approving any such NNPC contacts, rather he clarified that what he approved was loans.
His aide, Akande had in a series of tweets on his twitter handle @akandeoj, yesterday claimed that Prof. Osinbajo confirmed approving the contracts after due diligence when he acted as President recently.
He said Osinbajo approved the recommendations for the contracts as part of necessary actions to deal with backlog of unpaid cash calls and incentivize investments.
The presidential aide had said that the clarification became necessary in view of media enquiries that followed NNPC’s claim that the contracts were indeed approved by Osinbajo.
The tweets stated: “In response to media inquiries on NNPC joint venture financing, VP Osinbajo, as Acting President approved recommendations after due diligence and adherence to established procedure.
Action necessary to deal with huge backlog of unpaid cash calls which the  Buhari administration inherited and also to incentivise the much-needed fresh investments in the oil and gas sector.” However, the Vice President has denied approving any contract, rather he said what he approved was two loans for NNPC.
In what appeared to be a u-turn, Akande in a statement said Prof. Osinbajo made the clarification in view of media enquiries that followed NNPC’s claim that the contracts were indeed approved by him (Osinbajo).
The Vice President who was in Bonny Island where he flagged off the Bonny-Bodo Road project in Rivers State yesterday said he only granted loans and not contracts. In a statement with the title, “NNPC: Acting Presidential Approvals Were for Financing Arrangements not Contracts”, Akande said the clarification was to correct his earlier tweet.
He said, “Approached by reporters after the ground-breaking multi-billion Naira historic Bonny-Bodo road project, in Bonny, Rivers State, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, SAN, explained specifically that the approvals he granted to the NNPC while he was Acting President were for financing arrangements for the Joint Ventures between the corporation and IOCs, and not approvals for contracts.
“These were financing loans. Of course, you know what the Joint Ventures are, with the lOCs, like Chevron, that had to procure. In some cases, NNPC and their Joint Venture partners have to secure loans and they need authorisation to secure those loans while the President was away.
“The law actually provides for those authorisations. So I did grant two of them and those were presidential approvals, but they are specifically for financing joint ventures and they are loans not contracts.
“Earlier today, I had tweeted on the same matter thus: In response to media inquiries on the NNPC Joint Venture financing arrangements, VP Osinbajo, as Acting President, approved the recommendations after due diligence and adherence to established procedures. This was, of course, necessary to deal with huge backlog of unpaid cash calls which the Buhari administration inherited, and to incentivize much needed fresh investments in the oil and gas sector.”
Recall that the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu had recently in a leaked letter he addressed to President Muhammadu Buhari, accused the Group Managing Director, GMD of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, Maikanti Baru of gross insubordination and taking unilateral decisions on award of contracts without recourse to the NNPC board.
The Minister accused the GMD of approving a contract of $25 billion without following due process. But Baru in his response denied allegation of not following due process in awarding contracts and even stated that he had not contravened any known law, describing the minister’s allegations as baseless.
On the allegations by the minister that major contracts were never reviewed or discussed by the NNPC Board, Baru said that the law and the rules do not require a review or discussion with the Minister of State or the NNPC Board on contractual matters.
He said, “What is required is the processing and approval of contracts by the NNPC Tenders Board, the President in his executive capacity or as Minister of Petroleum, or the Federal Executive Council (FEC), as the case may be.
“There are therefore situations where all that is required is the approval of the NNPC Tenders Board while, in other cases, based on the threshold, the award must be submitted for presidential approval. Likewise, in some instances, it is FEC approval that is required.”
The GMD’s reaction to the allegations which was signed by the NNPC’s spokesperson, Ndu Ughamadu stated further: “It should be noted that for both the Crude Term Contract and the Direct Sale and Direct Purchase (DSDP) agreements, there are no specific values attached to each transaction to warrant the values of $10 billion and $5 billion respectively placed on them in the claim of Dr. Kachikwu. “It is therefore inappropriate to attach arbitrary values to the shortlists with the aim of classifying the transactions as contracts above NNPC Tenders Board limit.
They are merely the short-listing of prospective off-takers of crude oil and suppliers of petroleum products under agreed terms. “These transactions were not required to be presented as contracts to the Board of NNPC and, of course, the monetary value of any crude oil eventually lifted by any of the companies goes straight into the federation account and not to the company.”
The statement said that Dr. Kachikwu was expressly consulted by the GMD and his recommendations were taken contrary to the assertion that he was never involved in the 2017/2018 contracting process for the crude oil.

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NAFDAC Alerts Nigerians To EU Ban On Dex Soap

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The National Agency for Food and Drugs Administration and Control, NAFDAC, has alerted Nigerians on the ban on Dex Luxury Bar Soap (No 6 Mystic Flower), by the European Union (EU).
The notification is contained in a public alert with No. 012/2024, signed by NAFDAC Director-General, Prof Mojisola Adeyeye, and issued to newsmen in Abuja yesterday.
“The product does not comply with the cosmetic products regulation; it also contains Butyphenyl Methylpropional (BMHCA), which is prohibited in cosmetic products due to its risk of harming the reproductive system.
“It also causes harm to the health of unborn children and may cause skin sensitisation.
“It is as a result of the defective nature of the product that the EU banned it.
“The products is not in NAFDAC database; importers, distributors, retailers and consumers are to exercise caution and vigilance within the supply chain,” she said.
NAFDAC boss urged marketers and consumers to avoid the importation, distribution, sale and use of the product, stressing that product’s authenticity and physical condition must be carefully checked.
She enjoined members of the public in possession of the product to discontinue sale or use, and submit stock to the nearest NAFDAC office.

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Communities, Volunteers Ready To Face Upcoming Floods – Red Cross

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The Country Manager of the British Red Cross in Nigeria, Karsten Voigt, says communities and volunteers are ready to face the challenges expected with the upcoming floods.
Voigt said this at the sidelines of the 56th Annual General Meeting of the Nigerian Red Cross Society (NRCS), Lagos Branch.
The Tide’s source recalls that the British Red Cross donated resilience items to some communities in December 2023, to help mitigate the effects of flooding.
The items included cash, rain boots, rain coats, mosquito nets, handheld flashlights, solar powered lights with radio, USB chargers and a bridge to link the communities.
The communities that benefited included Agboyi 1, Agboyi 2, Agboyi 3 and Odo Ogun in Kosofe Local Government Area of the state.
Voigt said the Red Cross had measured the impact of the project in the communities and noticed that a lot of progress had been made.
According to him, apart from the cash and items given to the communities, simulation exercises have also been carried out to prepare the volunteers ahead of the floods.
“We have seen that people used the cash to address immediate needs they have after floods.
“Many households have used part of the cash to build up businesses.
“The solutions we have given to them are not only addressing their immediate needs after the disaster but actually building family income for their future,” he said.

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Nimet Forecasts Three-Day Sunshine, Thunderstorms

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The Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NiMet) has predicted sunshine and thunderstorm from Monday to Wednesday across the country.
NiMet’s weather outlook released yesterday in Abuja, forecasts sunny skies on Monday with a few patches of cloud over the northern cities and prospects of thunderstorms over parts of Taraba later in the day.
According to the forecast, sunny skies with patches of clouds are expected over the North Central region with prospects of morning thunderstorm over parts of the Federal Capital Territory, Nasarawa, Kogi and Kwara States.
“Later in the day, isolated thunderstorms are anticipated over parts of the Federal Capital Territory, Kogi and Benue States.
“The southern region is expected to be cloudy with spells of sunshine with prospects of morning thunderstorms over parts of Oyo, Ekiti, Ogun, Ondo and Lagos States.
“ In the afternoon/evening periods, isolated thunderstorms are expected over parts of Enugu, Ebonyi, Abia, Ekiti, Ogun, Imo, Oyo, Ondo, Edo, Cross River, Akwa Ibom, Delta, Rivers, Lagos and Bayelsa States,” it said.
NiMet also anticipated sunny skies on Tuesday with few patches of cloud over the northern states with prospects of isolated thunderstorms envisaged over parts of Bauchi, Gombe, Adamawa, Taraba and Kaduna States during the afternoon and evening hours.
It envisaged the North Central region to be sunny with patches of cloud during the morning hours.
The agency also envisaged isolated thunderstorms over parts of the Federal Capital Territory, Plateau, Nasarawa, Kogi, Benue, Kwara and Niger States, later in the day.
“Cloudy atmosphere with intervals of sunshine is expected over the inland and coastal areas of the South, with chances of morning thunderstorm over parts of Cross River, Bayelsa, Akwa Ibom and Rivers States.
“In the afternoon/evening periods, isolated thunderstorms are anticipated over parts of Osun, Ekiti, Ondo, Imo, Anambra, Enugu, Abia, Oyo, Edo, Delta, Cross River, Akwa Ibom, Lagos, Rivers and Bayelsa States ,” it said.
It predicted a sunny atmosphere on Wednesday, with patches of cloud over the northern region, during the forecast period.
“Sunny skies with patches of clouds are expected over the North Central region with chances of isolated thunderstorms over parts of Plateau, Kogi, Nasarawa, the Federal Capital Territory and Benue States, during the afternoon/evening periods.
“ Cloudy atmosphere with intervals of sunshine is expected over the inland and coastal areas of the South with prospects of thunderstorms over parts of Anambra, Imo, Enugu, Ebonyi and Abia.”
Other states to experience cloudy atmosphere, are “Edo, Ondo, Ekiti, Ogun, Oyo, Cross River, Lagos, Akwa Ibom, Rivers, Delta and Bayelsa States, later in the day.”
NiMet urged the public to take adequate precaution as strong winds might precede rains in areas where thunderstorms were likely to occur.
The agency also urged airline operators to get updated weather reports and forecasts from its office for effective planning in their operations.

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