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NNPC: Probe $2.5bn Oil Sale to China, suspend GMD, activist tell NASS 

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Following the recent disclosure by the PointBlank news of the sale of 48 million barrels of Nigeria’s Bonny Crude Light oil to China, valued at $2.5bn but allegedly shared by some persons around the government, the National Assembly has been urged to beem searchlight on the allegation.

A political activist and former Deputy National Publicity Secretary of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Comrade Timi Frank on Friday, called for the immediate arrest, investigation and prosecution of all those involved in the sale and diversion of the proceeds of the oil to China.

Frank, in the statement, wondered how General Muhammadu Buhari, perceived as the “anti-corruption fighter of Africa”, by ECOWAS would allow such brazen acts of corruption to be perpetuated under his watch.

“Corruption under Buhari has assumed a very disturbing height and, except he is complicit, one wonders why he has stubbornly refused to prosecute persons indicted for the corruption perpetuated under his watch as Petroleum Minister?”

It would be recalled, that Frank had earlier raised an alarm concerning the sale of crude oil to China in 2015 under questionable circumstances for which the accrued funds were diverted by cronies of General Muhammadu Buhari.

Following the transaction in 2015, Buhari had thereafter, instituted a team to travel to China to investigate the report concerning the oil sale.

“We need Buhari to tell Nigerians the outcome of that investigative team to China”, Frank stated.

“Except he (Buhari) is also complicit and in full knowledge of the $2.5bn oil sale to China, we expect the immediate arrest and prosecution of all those mentioned in the wicked, demonic and outright stealing of resources that could have been utilized in the provision of sustainable amenities for Nigerians.

“This is one crime against the citizenry too many that should not be allowed to be swept under the carpet in any form,” he said.

Frank also called on the Government of the United States of America to investigate this act of criminality as Nigerians no longer have the confidence in the Buhari-led administration.

He added: “I hereby call on the US Government to help Nigerians investigate this crime as we no longer have confidence in the Buhari-led government especially as the transaction was conducted, using the US currency and with the amount involved, the entire proceeds can be easily traced with the persons and organizations involved, traced.”

The Bayelsa-born political activist implored General Muhammadu Buhari to immediately set-up an investigative panel just like the Justice Ayo Salami-panel that was set-up to look into the allegations against the acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Ibrahim Magu, that will look into “this weighty allegation which has further, brought ridicule and embarrassment, not only to his APC administration but to Nigeria and Nigerians.

“The President must immediately adopt a similar approach in sacking the board of the NNPC for this crude oil sale of $2.5bn which the GMD of the NNPC, Engr. Mele Kyari and every other persons involved in, has been indicted.”

He also advised both Chambers of the National Assembly, particularly, the Senate to investigate this criminality and possibly, push for their immediate arrest, prosecution and conviction.

Frank enjoined the opposition members in the National Assembly, especially the Minority Leaders, Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe and Honourable Ndudi Elumelu of the Senate and House of Representatives respectively, not to allow this manifest fraud to be swept under the carpet like others in the past “as all eyes are on them to ensure that our commonwealth and resources are not pilfered under any guise.”

He called on both men to look critically, into these very weighty and embarrassing allegations as published by PointBlank News

The political activist also called for the suspension of the Group Managing Director of the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation, Engr. Mele Kyari to allow for thorough investigation of the sale of over 48 million barrels of Bonny Crude Light oil.

“The NNPC GMD must step aside so as not to allow for a proper investigation of this humongous stealing and criminality,” Frank stated.

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Port Harcourt Refinery to Resume Operations in December, Tinubu Assures Labour Leaders

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*We”Ll Take Decision On Suspension Of Strike At NEC Meeting Today-Ajaero

President Bola Tinubu, on Wednesday night, assured the leaders of the organised labour that the Port Harcourt refinery will commence operations by December 2023.

The organised labour revealed this in a statement on Wednesday night.

The labour centers also noted that the president made a series of promises following which they agreed to return to the negotiations table.

The national presidents of the Nigeria Labour Congress, Joe Ajaero and Trade Union Congress, Festus Osifo in the statement also hailed Nigerians for supporting the nationwide protest.

Tinubu with labour leaders


“It is pertinent to inform Nigerians that the extent of the success of the protest is underlined by the request of the President of the federal republic of Nigeria; Senator Ahmed Bola Tinubu to meet with the leadership of the NLC and TUC in a closed-door session.

“The engagement was fruitful that immense mileage was obtained with regards to the issues that bogged down the work of the Presidential Committee on Subsidy removal and necessitated the protest viz; He committed to an immediate restructuring of the framework for engagement in line with the input of the Labour leaders.

“He let out a certainty that the Port Harcourt Refinery will commence production by December this year. He pledged to ensure that Agreement is reached on the Wage Award for Nigerian workers immediately.

“He promised to unveil a workable roadmap to the CNG alternative next week. On the strength of the president’s pledge and commitment, we have decided to return to a new and reinvigorated dialogue process to allow for full implementation.

“Once again, we thank Nigerians while we wait for the Government to fulfill its own part of the understanding as agreed with His Excellency; the President.”

Briefing State House correspondents at the end of the brief meeting with the President, the President of the NLC, Comrade Joe Ajaero, said they deepened their discussions with the President on palliatives for workers.

He disclosed that the President explained certain things hitherto not in his nationwide broadcast to them at the meeting.

On whether the President urged them to call off the strike, Ajaero said no one person could do that disclosing however that the National Executive Council (NEC) of the NLC would meet today (Thursday) to decide on the next line.of action.

He said, “We met with him (President Tinubu). The issues we discussed are the same issues that led to the protest today.

“He has expressed his position, made some commitments, which were taken side-by-side with what the Senate said, and we’re taking it back to the office with our colleagues to review it and release a document on our next line of action.”

Asked whether the commitments were different from the one he did during the broadcast, Ajaero, flanked by the TUC President, Comrade Festus Osifo said, “We have gone deeper into them. The broadcast has broader issues, but there are one or two things that need immediate attention.”

Further asked whether the organised labour will call off the peaceful protest, he said, “No one person can call it off. That’s why I said we’ll have to go back to the office. So that they will look at it, the Exco looks at it before they come up. And by tomorrow, the NLC will equally have their NEC meeting, to look at the bigger picture.”

Asked whether the President told them to suspend the protest, he simply said, “The President is a pro-democracy activist. So he understands protests.”

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Aviation

Aviation Ministry, MOFI Agree on Collaboration for National Asset Register

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Minister of Aviation Senator Hadi Sirika has said a collaboration between the Aviation Ministry and the Ministry of Finance Incorporated (MOFI) was paramount in the Civil Aviation part of the Nigerian economy.

Sirika made this statement during a courtesy call to the Ministry by the MOFI management for collaboration between the Federal Ministry of Aviation and the organisation on Tuesday in Abuja.

The Minister expressed his excitement that there was a structure for MOFI, and it has fallen into the right hand to get the mandate of the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria delivered and effected appropriately.

A statement by Nawani Abdullahad, an
Assistant Director (Press) in the Ministry, said the Minister recalled that during the Nation’s Transition Committee period, there was an extensive discussion as to what contribution the aviation sector could make, and it was considered to add up to 5% to the GDP of Nigeria.

The Minister added that a road map was created for the Civil Aviation industry to create a robust sector that would be financially healthy and which would also make aviation the most preferred means of transportation.

Speaking earlier at the meeting, the CEO of the Ministry of Finance Incorporated (MOFI), Dr. Armstrong Takang congratulated the Minister on his recent appointment as a member of the MOFI Governing Council.

He said the appointment demonstrated Mr President’s trust in him given his vast experience in driving governance to achieve desirous outcomes, which would be valuable for MOFI in delivering significant value to its key stakeholders and its portfolio companies.
Dr Armstrong recalled that MOFI was used as a Special Purpose Vehicle across the economic sector, focused on holdingfederall government investments, which it had been using to invest in commercial entities for over 60 years.

However, he added that MOFI was not structured to deliver on the mandate that was expected of it, noting that its peers established at the same time and restructured to reflect current realities, had gone on to make major social and economic impacts in their respective countries. Many of them, he said, had become global brands for investing beyond their home countries’ borders.

He said, in line with the approval of Mr.President to create a comprehensive National Asset Register (NAR) by aggregating, profiling and managing all national assets and investments, the NAR would be harnessed to strengthen the nation’s fiscal and economic realities and the optimization of our investments and assets, noting that the development and modernization of the country’s airports was crucial for socio economic development.

The MOFI Chief Executive further expressed their strong interest in supporting the growth and expansion of Nigerian airlines, adding that MOFI would like to explore ways in which it can provide financing and investment for airlines to expand their fleets, enhance their devices and compete on the global stage.

He noted that the investment and collaboration would bring about mutual benefits for both MOFI and the Ministry of Aviation.

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Aviation

Concession: Preferred, Reserved Bidders Emerge for Abuja, Lagos and Kano Airports

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… as No Bid Received for Port Harcourt Airport

The Nigerian government on Wednesday announced the preferred bidders for the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport Abuja, the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos, and the Mallam Aminu Kano International Airport (MAKIA), Kano, as the Concession programme enters its final phase.

The minister of Aviation, Sen. Hadi Sirika unveiled the successful bidders at a press briefing in Abuja on Wednesday.

He said the Request for Proposals (RFP) phase of the Nigeria Airports Concession Programme (NACP), which came to a close on the 19 of September 2022 has seen the emergence of preferred and reserve bidders for three (3) out of four (4) Airports and Cargo Terminals as approved for concession under the programme under the supervision of the Infrastructure Concession Regulatory Commission (ICRC).

He announced that “the preferred bidder for the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport (NAIA), Abuja, is Corporacion America Airports Consortium. ENL Consortium has also been selected as the reserve bidder for NAIA. ”

“The preferred bidder for Murtala Mohammed International Airport (MMIA), Lagos, is TAV/NAHCO/PROJECT PLANET LIMITED(PPL) Consortium. Sifax/Changi Consortium has also been selected as the reserve bidder for MMIA” he said.

“The preferred bidder for Mallam Aminu Kano International Airport (MAKIA), Kano, is Corporacion America Airports Consortium. There are no reserve bidders for MAKIA as at the time of this announcement,” he said.

For the Port Harcourt International Airport (PHIA), Port Harcourt, Sirika said the ministry “did not receive any proposals as of the RFP deadline close and as such has not had preferred and reserve bidders attached to it.”

He said the next stage now it’s the negotiation stage adding that the organised labour has been a part of all the negotiations that has happened and will still be part of future negotiations.

He also said no Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) official will lose their jobs.

“The next stage of the programme is the negotiations and due diligence stage, during which the Federal Government will invite preferred bidders to enter detailed negotiations with its representatives, with a view to developing a Full Business Case (FBC) before onward transmission to ICRC for review and approval. Only after successful conclusion of the negotiation and due diligence stage will the FBC and all other approvals be presented before the Federal Executive Council for final approval by the Federal Government of Nigeria” he explained.

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