The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) said it spent about 5.8 billion dollars to import Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) popularly known as petrol to combat fuel crisis that resurfaced since late last year.
In a statement signed by Mr Ndu Ughamadu, the Group General Manager, Group Public Affairs unit in Abuja, yesterday, it said the PMS was equivalent of 9.8 million metric tons.
According to the statement, the Group Managing Director of the corporation, Dr. Maikant iBaru, disclosed this during a public hearing by the Senate Committee on Public Accounts at the National Assembly in Abuja.
Represented by the Chief Operating Officer, Finance and Accounts, Mr. AbdulrazaqIsiaka, he said that the corporation carried out the massive importation in fulfilment of its statutory role of supplier of last resort.
This, he said was to ensure that Nigerians do not suffer as a result of product unavailability. The GMD in the statement noted the corporation’s provision of 9.8 million metric tons of petrol so far had helped a great deal in ameliorating the suffering of Nigerians.
He said the corporation’s intervention became necessary following the inability of the major and independent marketers to import the product.
He pointed out that cross-border smuggling due to price disparity between Nigeria and neighbouring countries as well as logistic issues in trucking products to different locations across the country remained serious challenges in the quest for fuel queue-free situation in the country.
The Chairman, Senate Committee on Public Accounts, Senator Matthew Uroghide noted that the public hearing was a part of the Committee’s duty to find lasting solutions to the problem of fuel scarcity in order to make life easy for all Nigerians.
Meanwhile, the Senate, yesterday, mandated its Committee on Public Accounts to investigate the rationale behind a security account allegedly operated by the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) and Nigerian Agip Oil Company (NAOC).
This followed the adoption of a motion moved by Sen. Dino Melaye (Kogi-APC).
Moving the motion, Melaye said there was the need for the Senate to unravel the objective of the account and source of its funding.
He alleged that the account opened with the name NNPC/AGIP Oil Company IPP Security Account with address NNPC Garki, Harbert Macauley way, is domiciled in First Bank Nigeria Plc with account number 2006367288.
Melaye alleged that the account had an opening balance of N31.7billion and a closing balance of N34.5billion as at April 25, 2017, adding that there were lodgements and withdrawals since January, 2017.
“A lot of questions are begging for answers as regards this account.
“While we need to know the objectives of this account, we also need to know the signatories to the account; is the account known to the Federal Government and what are the sources of the account’s funding?
“About N2trillion is kept in various accounts of government, we are operating a Treasury Single Account yet money is kept in various personal accounts.
“If these monies are properly remitted to government purse, we will have no business borrowing.
“This Senate will continue to expose any corrupt practice in the country because it is time to protect the future of Nigerians unborn,” Melaye said.
The committee has four weeks within which to carry out its investigation.
Meanwhile, the ad-hoc committee set up by the House of Representatives, yesterday, commenced investigations into the incessant killings in Nigeria.
Addressing journalists on their approach, Chairman of the committee, Rep Pally Iriase (PDP, Edo) said the committee of seven lawmakers was going to be bi-partisan in their approach.
He said “We formally commenced our investigations today and we will use a three prong approach via interaction with security chiefs, interface with foreign partners and conduct public hearing.”
Fubara Set To Create New Cities In Rivers
Rivers State Governor, Sir Siminalayi Fubara, has disclosed that arrangements are at advanced stages to achieve the development of new cities in the state that would help to decongest Port Harcourt and Obio/Akpor Local Government Areas.
Fubara said that the new cities would end the one city status of Rivers State and attract more investors into the state.
The governor stated this when he inspected the Greater Port Harcourt City Development Authority’s (GPHCDA) office and project sites in Ikwerre Local Government Area of the state.
Fubara said: “I can assure you that in our time, we might not achieve the dream of that big city in four years, but we will add a few things that would also help us in getting at that target.
“This is because, we are thinking of decongesting the present one city state that we have, which is Port Harcourt and Obio/Akpor. We are thinking of developing other parts of the state and our coming here is to see what the agency has been doing, what you have done already and what we can also do to make us achieve more new cities in our state.”
Fubara noted that despite the challenges the agency has been facing, there would be remarkable difference in what it would achieve within his tenure if the agency’s development ideals are aligned with those of the state government.
He, however, charged the agency to be self-sustaining by attracting investors as outlined by its establishment law.
Also speaking, the Sole Administrator of GPHCDA, Amb Desmond Akawor, said that since its establishment in 2009 by the Greater Port Harcourt Law, the agency has been slowed down in creating more cities because of its operational structure and the nature of the Public-Private Partnership it adopted.
Akawor, who is the Rivers State chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), explained that a new legal framework has been fine-tuned by the last GPHDA board, which the current management would present to the governor.
He said: “I am sure that with your directives, we will be able to reschedule some of the projects so that we can move forward with all of our partners, especially in the area of reforming or strengthening the public private partnership arrangements.”
Majority Leader Seeks Immortalisation Of Slain DPO
The Majority Leader of the Rivers State House of Assembly, Hon Edison Ehie, has appealed to the Police High Command to consider the immortalisation of the murdered Divisional Police Officer(DPO) in charge of Ahoada East Divisional Headquarters, SP Bako Angbashim, and commiserated with the State Commissioner of Police, CP Emeka Nwonyi; officers and men of the Police Force; and the family of the deceased over the brutal murder of the DPO.
Ehie, who made the appeal in a statement said the slain DPO deserves to be immortalised as he was a gallant, fearless and courageous police officer who distinguished himself in the fight against criminals and bandits in the State, adding that the calamitous killing and decapitation of the DPO by Mr Gift David Okpara Okpolowu, alias 2 Baba and his criminal gang is “an unprecedented low which shocked me beyond words and threw my constituents into an endless mourning circle”.
As the Honourable member representing Constituency 2 at the Rivers State House of Assembly and the incumbent Leader of the House, Ehie said he is using this medium to unreservedly condemn the senseless killing and decapitation of the DPO, and also to reiterate the call for the immediate apprehension and prosecution of his killers and everyone associated with the condemnable act.
Describing SP Angbashim as a gallant, fearless and courageous police officer who distinguished himself in the fight against criminals and bandits in the State, the lawmaker said the slain DPO was the one who single-handedly restored peace and order in Ogoniland.
“Even within the few months he spent in Ahoada East Local Government Area, the results of his gallantry were visible for all to see and appreciate.This is why his killing is not only calamitous and lamentable, but an affront to the government of the day in the State”, he said, adding that no government worths its salt will fold it’s arms and allow criminals and bandits to freely prey on its citizenry in order to make the State ungovernable.
On this score, therefore, Ehie thanked the Governor of the State, Sir SiminalayiFubara for prompt response to the situation which he said has already started yielding wonderful fruits, with some of the criminals associated with the killing of the DPO now under police detention and interrogation.
He also thanked and commend the officers and men of the Police Force as well as operatives of other sister security agencies in the State for their uniquely stellar efforts in fishing out the killers of the DPO.
The Majority Leader, however, called on all Ekpeye people, traditional rulers, chiefs, political elites and the general public to gratuitously assist and work with the police and other security agencies in ensuring that the killers of SP Angbashim are fished out, apprehended and made to face the full weight of the law, saying, “May our State never again witness this type of murderous orgy and life wastage”.
Ehie also appealed to the Police High Command in the State to consider the immortalisation of the slain DPO, while also appealing for meaningful and deserving support to his family and dependants.
While conveying his heart-felt condolences to the Nigerian Police, especially the officers and men of the Rivers State Police Command, the lawmaker prayed the Almighty God to grant them the fortitude to bear the monumental loss. He equally extended his deepest condolences to the family of the DPO, and prayed God to console them and heal their wounds.
Ehie further noted that “the biggest debt we collectively owe SP Bako Angbashim is to redress his killing by arresting his killers and subjecting them to justice.”
Appeal Court Upholds Banigo’s Senatorial Election Victory
The Court of Appeal sitting in Abuja, yesterday, upheld the judgment of the Rivers State National Assembly Election Petition Tribunal that declared Dr. Ipalibo Harry Banigo of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) winner of the Rivers West Senatorial District Election held on February 25, 2023.
The Appellant Court, in her judgment, dismissed the appeal filed by the All Progressives Congress (APC) Senatorial Candidate, Hon. Asita O. Asita as “lacking in merit”.
In her reaction shortly after the verdict at the court premises, the Banigo hailed the judgment, describing it as an “incontrovertible victory of irreversible Senate seat”.
She expressed gratitude to the Almighty God, the leaders/stakeholders of the PDP and the entire members of the Rivers West Senatorial District for their unflinching support.
Banigo assured them of her loyalty and total commitment towards realising the tenets of her Kingdom Mandate.
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