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Adulterated Petrol: No Sanctions For NNPC, Importers, Reps Rule

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The House of Representatives, yesterday, has said nobody would be sanctioned for the supply of adulterated Premium Motor Spirit (PMS), otherwise known as petrol, which caused a major crisis in Nigeria’s fuel chain and untold hardships on Nigerians.
At the plenary, yesterday, the House considered and adopted the reviewed report on the investigation by its Committee on Petroleum Resources (Downstream), which exonerated both the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited, former Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, and the suppliers in the Direct Sale-Direct Purchase deal between the Federal Government and the importers.
Tempers had frayed in the House on February 10, 2022, over the importation of methanol-contaminated petrol.
Several members who spoke on the development, called for sanctions against Federal Government agencies and officials who failed to carry out due diligence before passing the product for onward distribution to marketers.
The House had consequently resolved to investigate the matter, insisting that those in the import and distribution chain, whose action or inaction led to the spread of the commodity, must be held accountable.
The Majority Whip, Hon Mohammed Monguno, had moved a motion of urgent public importance, titled ‘Need to Investigate the Release and Sale of Adulterated Premium Motor Spirit in Petrol Stations Across Nigeria.’
Adopting the motion, the House mandated the Committee on Petroleum Resources (Downstream) to “investigate the release of adulterated PMS across the country, with a view to ensuring that culprits are brought to book as well as make recommendations towards curbing a reoccurrence of such incident.”
The House also asked the committee to “ascertain whether the Nigerian specification concerning importation, distribution and dispensing of the alleged toxic petrol in Nigeria, from January till date, complies with international standards.”
Also, the lawmakers further asked the committee to “investigate the roles played by the NNPC Limited, Standard Organisation of Nigeria, Nigeria Customs Service, Nigerian Navy, any other government regulatory agencies, limited liabilities companies and individuals in the unfortunate episode.”
Furthermore, the House asked the NNPC Limited to suspend the four companies involved in the importation of the adulterated PMS.
However, the committee had presented a report which failed to address the main issues for which it ordered the probe, causing the House to reject it.
Several members of the House had, on March 23, 2022, criticised the earlier report by the committee as failing to hold any persons, group or company responsible for the development or recommend sanctions.
The recommendations in the second report were similar to those in the first version.
In the report adopted, yesterday, the committee recommended “that the Hon. Minister of Petroleum Resources should expedite action for completion of the rehabilitation work and ensure upgrading of the major refineries at Warri, Port Harcourt and Kaduna to meet AFRI5 Specification, to boost local refining and reduce over-dependence on imported PMS into Nigeria to avert reoccurrence.”
President Muhammadu Buhari is the minister of petroleum resources, while Timipre Sylva is the minister of state.
The committee also recommended “that the Hon. Minister of State, Petroleum Resources, should initiate the adoption of the 2017 PMS Standard (NIS 116:2017) as approved by the Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON), which include testing for methanol for future importation of the product into the country to mitigate reoccurrence.
“That the Federal Government should position the SON to implement its mandate to the latter by subjecting all imported white petroleum and other products to the offshore conformity assessment, and resume routine quality control of them and other products imported into the country at our various seaports, airports and borders throughout Nigeria as enshrined in the Standards Organisation of Nigeria enabling Act of 2015.”
According to the panel, this will finally address the reoccurrence of the importation of off-specification PMS and other substandard goods into Nigeria.
The committee further recommended “that based on the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited exoneration, the four oil marketers/importers (Duke Oil; MRS Oil and Gas; Oando Oil; and Emadeb, Energy/Hyde/AY Maikifi/Britannia-U Consortium) did not commit any offence, therefore, not recommended for suspension.
“That the Federal Government is to note that the SON’s mandate is also specifically enshrined in item 62 (d) of Part I of the Second Schedule (Exclusive Legislative List), to the 1999 Constitution.
“That the regulatory authority, in this case Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority, should ensure proper housekeeping by working with Depot and Petroleum Products Marketers Association of Nigeria, Major Oil Marketers Association of Nigeria, and the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria in ensuring water is drained regularly out of the tanks in the tank farms, tankers (trucks) and underground tanks at the service stations.
“That the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation Limited shall maintain local supply and distribution of 90million litres daily across the country until normalcy is restored.”

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Publish Details Of Parties’ Financial Transactions, SERAP Tasks INEC

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Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) has asked the Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Prof Mahmood Yakubu, to publish the reports of parties’ accounts and balance sheets.
The body also wants details of the guidelines and steps being taken to prevent vote buying in the forthcoming elections and to prosecute vote buyers and other electoral offenders.
In a letter, yesterday, SERAP Deputy Director, Kolawole Oluwadare, noted that citizens have the right to know about the accounts and financial transactions of parties.
He said transparency and accountability would curb the influence of money in politics, promote a level playing field, and remove the risks to the independence of political actors and would-be public office holders.
The organisation insisted it is both immoral and illegal to pay citizens to vote for a particular political party or standard-bearer.
“Unpunished cases of vote buying would continue to undermine good governance, the rule of law, moral values, as well as hinder citizens’ participation in elections”, it said.
SERAP told INEC that when candidates buy votes, there are possibilities that they will disregard for democratic rules.
“Vote buying and related electoral offences encourage poor governance and weaken citizens’ capacity to hold their elected officials accountable for their actions.”
SERAP charged the electoral umpire to collaborate with anti-corruption agencies to ensure the effective prosecution of any outstanding cases of vote buying and related electoral offences.
The letter urged INEC to act within 14 days or face legal actions that would compel it to comply with the request.

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RSG Recommits To Engaging Youth Positively

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The Rivers State Government has said it was committed to engaging youths positively and empowering them.
The State Chief Executive, Chief Nyesom Wike, stated this during the opening ceremony of the Uplifting African Youth Through Basketball Programme in Port Harcourt, last Friday.
Represented by his Deputy, Dr. Ipalibo Harry Banigo, Wike said the issues of youths and young adults were very important to his administration, while expressing delight that youths were being built up with critical life skills in sports, communication, and entrepreneurial leadership skills needed for Rivers State, Nigeria, and Africa.
“This administration is very interested in youth engagements, we want to make sure that our youths are very inclusive, participate, play their roles, and be well mentored and well-motivated to be able to fulfill all of their potentials in life, educationally, in sports, morally and so we are here to support”, the governor stressed.
The governor expressed gratitude to the leader of the Organised Basketball Network (OBN) and his team, for their efforts and the support of the US Consulate, while urging them to visit the Real Madrid Football Academy in Port Harcourt, to appreciate the efforts of the state government in the area of youth engagement.
The youth friendly governor, said “I want to encourage our youths that as you walk together in the next two days, you would learn how to be tolerant with one another and to know that gender based violence is totally not acceptable and that it is inhumane, I know it is just two days, but a lot can be achieved that can be life time impactful”.
In her remarks, the United States Consulate’s Deputy Public Affairs Officer, Jennifer Foltz said the United States and Nigeria have very special and close relationship, adding that the Consulate feels this was the right time to do a sports programme.
“Sports diplomacy is part of what we do, it is part of some ways we build stronger relationships between our two countries, sports brings people together, and even if you do not speak the same language you can still play sports together”, Foltz stressed.
Earlier, the leader of the Organised Basketball Network, Obinna Ekezie said OBN was a platform founded for the development of grassroots basketball in Nigeria and Africa with a mission to develop the next generation of world-class African student athletes and consistently create opportunities to help them advance their careers overseas, through basketball scholarship.
He said the project uplifting African youths was a project to provide inclusion and opportunities for under privileged talented African youths to learn important life skills through basketball.

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PDP Assembly, Reps Candidates Emerge In Rivers

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Candidates for the House of Representatives and House of Assembly have emerged following the conduct of primaries by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Rivers State, yesterday.
According to the official results, Solomon Bob emerged the party’s candidate for Abua/Odual/Ahoada East Federal Constituency while Victor Obuzor emerged the candidate for Ahoada West/Ogba/Egbema Federal Constituency.
Also, Awaji Inombek Abiante won the ticket for Andoni/Opobo Federal Constituency, just as Boma Goodhead returned elected for the Asari-Toru/Akuku-Toru Federal Constituency while Cyril Godwin Hart won Degema/Bonny Federal Constituency ticket.
The results further show that Felix Nwaeke emerged the candidate of the PDP for Eleme/Tai/Oyigbo Federal Constituency, with Boniface Emerengwa emerging winner for Ikwerre/Emohua Federal Constituency.
In the same vein, Kelechi Nwogu cruised to victory as the candidate for Etche/Omuma Federal Constituency while Dumnamene Dekor won Khana/Gokana Federal Constituency ticket.
Similarly, Kingsley Ogundu Chinda emerged the House of Representatives candidate for Obio/Akpor Federal Constituency, while Alabo Victor Tamunomiekaye won Okrika/Ogu/Bolo Federal Constituency ticket.
Chima Boms won Port Harcourt Federal Constituency 2 while Barrister Blessing Amadi is the winner of the primary election for Port HarcourtFederal Constituency 1.
For the Rivers State House of Assembly primary, Hon Dominic Iderima picked the ticket for Abua/Odual, Mrs Queen Williams picked the ticket for Ahoada East 1,Rt Hon Ehe Edison emerged the candidate for Ahoada East 2, while Hon Sokari Goodboy Sokari cruised to victory for Ahoada West.
Hon Major Jack won the ticket for Akuku-Toru 1, Hon Opuende Lolo Isaiah is the candidate for Akuku-Toru 2, Hon Ofiks Kabangs Christopher grabbed the ticket to represent Andoni, whileHon Tekena Wellington Granville got the ticket for Asari-Toru 1.
Also, a serving member, Enemi Alabo George easily won the ticket for Asari-Toru 2, just as Hon Victor Oko Jumbo got the nod to represent Bonny, while Hon Abbey Peter emerged the candidate for Degema.
Hon Igwe Obey Aforji emerged the PDP candidate for Eleme, Emohua will be represented by Mrs Justina Emeji, Hon Onwuka Ignatiuswon the ticket to represent Etche 1, while Hon Chimezie Nwankwor is the candidate for Etche 2.
The present member representing Gokana, Hon Dumle Maol, will retain his ticket for the seat, Prince Lemchi Nyeche emerged the candidate for Ikwerre 1, Mrs Barile Nwakoh won the ticket for Khana1, while Barrister Dinebari Loolo got the ticket for Khana 2.
In Obio/Akpor1, Hon Amaewhule Martin Chike was returned, just as Mrs Emilia Lucky Amadi emerged the candidate for Obio/Akpor 2, and Frankline Nwabochi will fly PDP flag for Ogba/Egbema/Ndoni1.
In the same token, Mrs Nkemuika Ezekwe will fight for Ogba/Egbema/Ndoni2 seat on the platform of the PDP, Davids Arnold Okobiriari won the ticket for Ogu/Bolo, a serving member, Somiari Steward Linda will return in Okrika, while Nwankwo Sylvanus emerged for Omuma seat.
Orubienimigha Adolphus grabbed the ticket for Opobo/Nkoro,Hon Gerald Oforji emerged for Oyigbo, Solomon Wami won the ticket for Port Harcourt1,Hon Tonye Smart Adoki will return for Port Harcourt2, Hon Azeru Opara emerged for Port Harcourt3, and Ngbar Bernard Baridamue won the ticket for Tai.

By: Nelson Chukwudi & Reward Akwu

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