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Those saying NDDC should be scrapped have no stake in Niger Delta affairs — Delta monarch



…asks govt to involve oil host communities for peace sake
…wants 13% derivation paid directly to communities, not Governors
By Levinus Nwabughiogu-Abuja
A Delta State monarch from the Ijere Kingdom, His Royal Majesty, King Monday Obukowho Whiskey has lambasted those asking for the scrapping of the Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC, saying they don’t exist in the coastal region.

The monarch who spoke on the sideline of the two days public hearing on the Petroleum Industry Bill, PIB at the House of Representatives Complex in Abuja on Thursday also asked the government to stop paying the 13 per cent oil derivation to the Governors but directly to the oil-producing communities.

Citing his Ijere Kingdom as one that produces over 40,000 barrels of oil per day without any significant benefits, King Whiskey urged the government to include the oil host communities in the management of petroleum resources in their place to enjoy greater peace.

“I came to make a presentation to this Honourable House specifically to expose the challenges my kingdom is facing. Ijere is the second-largest kingdom in Uhrubo with a production capacity of over 40,000 barrels per day. That’s one of the home bases of SEPLAT petroleum limited. Ironically, for over 10 years, SEPLAT has worked in that kingdom, we do not have a single staff in that company. We lost over 1500 souls in 1998 in an induced petroleum fire disaster. Until now, there is nothing to show that we are producing oil.

“We have an abandoned PPMC cottage hospital in the kingdom. Nothing is happening and each time we talk about peace in the Niger Delta. I also come here to advocate for the inclusion of our people in the management of resources. Some persons are talking about 13 per cent and that. If the law says 13 per cent belongs to the producing Communities and you ironically give the money to the Governors, have you given the money to the host Communities. The answer is no.

“People have come here to say, scrap NDDC, do this and that. Each time you make a statement, you should be able to know the implication of what you are saying or what you stand to get. I was the first media consultant to the Senate committee on NDDC in 2000. We know the efforts we put in place to create the present NDDC. So, why come to advocate for the scrapping of NDDC? We are talking about the government giving our people adequate attention.

“We mobilized fully to say whatever we are saying here now because if you are not a critical stakeholder, we don’t want you to say anything about oil. Those who said NDDC should be scrapped, what is their stake in oil production? What is their community, Kingdom do they come from? I mentioned Ijere. Go and see what Ijere produces.

“When you come and arrogate a position to yourself to make very wild allegations, the question is where do you come from? Can you be located? So, we are saying involve the producing community in the management of petroleum resources in their place and you will have greater peace”, he said. (Vanguard)

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Nigeria Air: Civil Society Group Tackles NASS



Says Committee Chairman’s declaration amounts to ‘giving the dog a bad name in order to hang it’

A civil society group, The Concerned Civil Society Advocacy Group has taken up the outgoing Chairman of the House of Representatives Committee on Aviation, Nnolim Nnaji on his recent declaration that the national carrier project was a fraud.

According to the group, the declaration, coming in the wake of the recent exhibition of one of aircrafts of Nigeria Air in Abuja, amounted to “giving the dog a bad name so that it can be hanged”

In a statement to the media in Abuja on Wednesday,and signed by the Group’s National Coordinator, Bako Barkindo and National Secretary, Julius Adaji, it described the sustained plot to ensure the failure of the national carrier project as a disservice to the Nigerian people who stand to benefit from its establishment.

Former Aviation Minister, Senator Hadi Sirika

The Statement read:

“The media has been awash with reports that the House of Representatives Committee on Aviation has declared the national carrier project a fraud after a hastily organised ‘public hearing’ whose outcome was obviously predetermined.
As usual, many gullible Nigerians have been deceived through deliberate misinformation by opponents of the Nigerian Air project who have been masquerading their real intentions as national interest.
Everyone knows what the benefits of a national carrier are, and they include; competitive ticket prices, direct flights to international destinations, national pride etc. We therefore wonder why the concerted efforts by some people to ensure that the project fails.

“As a group that believes that Nigeria deserves a very robust national carrier that is private sector-driven (bearing in mind the issues that led to the death of defunct Nigeria Airways), we have followed the process through which the project had passed, from the appointment of transaction advisers up to the announcement of Ethiopian Airlines as the Strategic partners and other private sector investors before the court injunction obtained by some domestic airline operators. It is therefore surprising that the Chairman, House Committee on Aviation had to come up with such a declaration shortly before the Committee’s tenure ends.

“We are therefore constrained to raise the following questions:
1.Has the Committee chaired by Nnolim Nnaji not been part of the whole process of establishing the airline, or they have been watching from the sidelines, unconcerned with such a flagship project in the sector?
2.Why wait till the wee hours of their departure from the national assembly to hold a make-believe public hearing where the Chairman acted as a sole administrator and did not allow those in charge to make contributions but went ahead to declare the national carrier project a fraud, a position that at variance with that of Senate?
3.Is the Committee not aware of the fact that government equity in the airline is only 5% and the remaining 95% belongs to the strategic partners (Ethiopian Airlines) and other private investors; and that even if government withdraws from the venture, the owners of the 95% will carry on?
4.On the use of the Ethiopian Airlines plane, why didn’t the Committee highlight the 49% ownership of Nigeria Air part of which includes the provision of aeroplanes for take-off?
5.Can the Committee invalidate an Executive Council-approved project that was midwifed by the Infrastructure Concession Regulatory Commission (ICRC) and approved by the President?
6.Why are some members of the Airline Operators of Nigeria (AON) so vehemently opposed to the national carrier project, if not for the sole purpose of continuous exploitation of air travellers? Should Nigerians be subjected to whims and caprices of these airline operators who have made air transportation in the country unaffordable to the average Nigerian?
7.Why would the Association also claim that they were not carried along in the process when every stage was advertised in most national dailies and some international publications as well as the electronic and social media? Moreover, all the information regarding the airline has been available on websites of the Infrastructure Concession Regulatory Commission (ICRC) and the Ministry of Aviation. Wherein lies the the much-vaunted secrecy?

“As concerned citizens we believe that the establishment of the cational carrier will be of immense benefit to Nigerians with the provision of competitive rates for both domestic and international routes.
It is our belief also that there’s more to this seeming gangup to truncate the project than meets the eye, especially with the close relationship with the major actors in the plot to deprive Nigerians of the inherent benefits.

“We conclude that all the negatives being spread about the Nigeria Air project is only to ‘give a dog a bad name so they can hang it’.

The group appealed to President Bola Ahmed Tinubu to ensure the take-off of the airline which,according to them was at that stage before the change of government.

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Jibrin Condemns Destruction of Political Activist’s Hotel in Kogi



Accord Party Candidate in forthcoming gubernatorial election in Kogi State, Admiral Usman Jibrin (rtd) has condemned the attack and wanton destruction of a hotel belonging to a political activist Hon. Kabir Bala aka Okwo’ located at Ejule in Ofu Local Government Area of the state.

Reports have it that the hotel, said to be one of the best in the area, was attacked and completely razed down Wednesday night by people yet to be identified.

Admiral Jibrin in a statement to the media in Abuja, said the attack on the hotel was not only condemnable, but dastardly and unwarranted.

According to the retired Chief of Naval Staff, people should imbibe the spirit of politics without bitterness and eschew the recourse to needless violence in aspiring for positions of power.

He called on the state security apparatus to ensure an urgent and independent investigation and communicate their findings to the public to douse the tension that is building up in Kogi East.

Admiral Usman Jibrin (rtd)
Accord Party Governorship Candidate, Kogi State

The Governorship hopeful, while also calling on the State Governor, Inspector-General of Police and the Department of State Services to quickly take steps to ensure that the electioneering period leading to governorship election is devoid of all forms of criminality.

Admiral Jibrin, popularly called ‘Akpabana’ promised to bring his experience, extensive knowledge of security and universal contacts to bear on ensuring that the people of the state are safe and secure when he takes over the mantra of leadership of the state.

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President Bola Ahmed Tinubu has announced the appointment of Speaker of House of Representatives, Rt. Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila as Chief of Staff, and Sen. Ibrahim Hassan Hadejia, a former Deputy Governor of Jigawa State, as Deputy Chief of Staff.

Sen. George Akume

A statement by the State House Director of Information, Biodun Olajundoye said President Bola Ahmed Tinubu confirmed the appointment on Friday during a meeting with the Progressives Governors Forum (PGF),

Oladunjoye further stated that the President also named former Governor of Benue State and immediate past Minister of Special Duties, George Akume as the new Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF).


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