BELIEVING that the actualisation of the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) would guarantee them more resources, governors from the oil-producing states may have begun moves to persuade lawmakers from their areas to ensure its speedy passage.
The Guardian gathered in Abuja Sunday that those who are opposed to the Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs. Diezani Alison-Madueke, on the bill are now in two folds.
They are those who are looking for ways to ease her out of office in a possible cabinet reshuffle, and those disenchanted with certain provisions in the PIB seeking to delink the fiscal terms of crude oil from gas.
Meanwhile, the International Oil Companies’ (IOCs) dream of frustrating the bill in the National Assembly is fast receding because governors are said to have continued to mount pressure on their legislators to sustain the fiscal regime envisaged by the Bill.
A source said: “Governors want more money from the Federation Account. They see the PIB’s fiscal regime as a way of boosting their monthly allocation and are not buying any of the scaremongering by the IOCs.”
Presidency sources say that “since stories of a suspected reshuffle surfaced, some interests have consistently included the petroleum minister’s name in sponsored stories in some publication in an attempt to hoodwink the public. Their tactics has been to focus on the crime of oil theft without acknowledging the gains recorded against the vandals in the past one year. It is a fact that a lot of the infrastructure is ageing and was built above ground thereby making it easier for criminal elements to breach pipelines and carry out illegal activities. And the report ignores the gains made in recent times against these criminals.”
It was also learnt that government is spearheading the fight against crude oil theft in imaginative ways. They include reaching out to governments across the world to treat stolen oil much the same way as are blood diamonds.
The source further wondered why a minister who is not in control of any of the security organisations would be held responsible for security breaches.
Also, an industry source stated that the fiscal regime envisaged by the bill makes oil less of the cash cow.
The country’s gas reserves are about three times those of its crude oil. And apart from the Nigerian Liquefied Natural Gas Company (NLNG) and the Escravos gas project, much of the gas is either flared or locked in.
Linking this move to a recent publication damning the industry regulators, the source maintained that “it’s all part of a scheme to rubbish the leadership and thereby whittle down appetite for the PIB.”
Speaking recently at an industry event, the Managing Director of ExxonMobil, Mike Ward, argued that the IOCs opposition was not about profits but about viability of investments.
He said: “It is not about profit. At the end of the day, it is about viable economic returns that any investor can make, whether it is a big investor or a small investor.”
Reminded of Shell’s increasing divestment in the shallow waters of the Niger Delta, the source said there was no cause for concern, stressing: “Once again, an attempt is made here to distort the facts. Yes there has been some divestment by some of the companies operating in Nigeria but again, this ignores the obvious fact that others are stepping in to pick up these assets and run them profitably.
“In addition, a lot of these assets are being picked up by indigenous firms thereby creating huge employment opportunities for Nigerians while giving them a stake in the industry. Some of these indigenous companies are indeed beginning to compete on equal terms with the international companies.”
The source defended the NNPC’s own foray into crude oil production, stressing that it has paid real and verifiable dividends.
He added: “Again, this shows the bias of our accusers as they specifically appear to be targeting an agency of government that is seen by all objective observers as a success story.”
Source: Guardian Newspaper
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NIgeria Records 87 New Cases Of COVID-19, Total Infections Now 1,182
By Abujah Racheal
Nigeria has recorded 87 new cases of the COVID-19, bringing the total infections to 1,182 , according to the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC).
The NCDC, in a tweet via its official handle, said 33 of the new infections were recorded in Lagos, 18 in Borno, 12 in Osun, nine in Katsina, four each in Kano and Ekiti, three each in Edo and Bauchi and one in Imo.
“As at 11:55 pm April 25, there are 1,182 confirmed cases of COVID-19 reported in Nigeria. The country’s total deaths from the virus now stand at 35, while 222 have been treated and discharged,” it said.
The centre said as at 11:55 pm, April 25, Lagos has 689, FCT-138, Kano-77, Ogun-35, Osun-32, Gombe-30, Katsina-30, Borno-30, Edo-22, Oyo-18, Kwara-11, Akwa Ibom-11, Bauchi-11, Kaduna-10, Ekiti-8 and Ondo-4.
Others are Delta-six, Rivers-three, Jigawa-two, Enugu-two, Niger-two, Abia-two, Zamfara-two, Sokoto-two, Benue-one, Anambra-one, Adamawa-one, Plateau-one and Imo-one.
87 new cases of #COVID19 have been reported;
33 in Lagos
18 in Borno
12 in Osun
9 in Katsina
4 in Kano
4 in Ekiti
3 in Edo
3 in Bauchi
1 in Imo
As at 11:55 pm 25th April there are 1182 confirmed cases of #COVID19 reported in Nigeria.
Deaths: 35 pic.twitter.com/La5xzZZe2z
— NCDC (@NCDCgov) April 25, 2020
Sourced From: News Agency of Nigeria
2 Women Crushed To Death On Lagos – Ibadan Expressway
Two women were crushed to death in a road crash involving a Mack truck and a motorcycle around Lotto, beside NNPC filling station on the Lagos – Ibadan expressway.
The accident occurred around 8:02am on Saturday when the truck marked FST 984 XX lost its brakes and hit the moving motorcycle, killing the women.
The spokesperson of Traffic Compliance and Enforcement Corps, Babatunde Akinbiyi, confirmed the incident to newsmen in Abeokuta.
”The truck and the motorcycle were both on the outbound lane from Lagos when the crash happened due to break failure on the part of the truck driver.
“The vehicle and the motorcycle are with the police at the Redeemed Police Station, along with the driver of the truck,” he said. Akinbiyi explained that the rider of the motorcycle was nowhere to be found after the accident.
He disclosed that the remains of the deceased had been deposited at the morgue of Olabisi Onabanjo University Teaching Hospital, Sagamu.
Sourced From: Daily Trust
Mentally-Challenged Man Axes 70-Year-Old Father To Death
A 37-year-old man said to be mentally-challenged has used an axe to kill his father, aged 70 in Unuchiana Village, Aguata Local Government Area of Anambra State.
Tribune Online learnt that the suspect allegedly axed his father to death in their compound.
Confirming the incident in a statement, the Anambra State police command’s public relations officer, SP Haruna Mohammed, said one Timothy Ezeofor reported that his elder brother, 70-year-old Godwin Ezeofor, was allegedly murdered by his son, Chigorom Ezeofor using an axe.
According to Mohammed, at about 9:45am on Friday, one Mr Timothy Ezeofor of Umuezegoro Kindred, Unuchiana Village, reported at Aguata Police Station that at about 8:00am of same day, his elder brother, Godwin Ezeofor of the same address was murdered by his son, one Chigorom Ezeofor, of the same address using an axe.
He said the complainant alleged that the suspect had been mentally ill for the past eight years.
The police spokesman said following the report, police operatives attached to Aguata Division led by the DPO, CSP Ayeni Oluwadare, mobilised to scene and rushed the victim to the hospital where he was pronounced dead by a medical doctor and the corpse has been deposited at a hospital mortuary for autopsy.
He also said the suspect who “looks insane” had been arrested and taken to the station for investigation to ascertain circumstances surrounding the incident.
Sourced From: Tribune Online
COVID-19: Police Arrest Bishop For Defying Lockdown To Protest At Chinese Embassy In Lagos
By Chiemelie Ezeobi.
The Lagos State Police Command has arrested the General Overseer of Resurrection Praise Ministries for Africa alias Jehovah Sharp Sharp, Archbishop Samson Benjamin, for defying the lockdown order to protest at the Chinese Embassy in Lagos.
Benjamin, the police alleged, led about 100 persons to the Chinese Embassy in Victoria Island to protest the maltreatment of Nigerians in China.
According to the cleric, the Chinese were operating freely in Nigeria despite that COVID-19 started in their country but have chosen to maltreat Nigerians and other blacks in China.
It was gathered that officials of the embassy sent a video clip of the alleged invasion to the police which prompted operatives from Victoria Island Division to move to the scene to effect the arrest.
A police source who spoke on anonymity said the cleric was being detained at the State Criminal Investigation and Intelligence Department, (SCIID), Yaba and may be arraigned in court on Wednesday.
In the video, the bishop denied going to the embassy with 100 persons, insisting that he was there by himself to register his displeasure over the ill-treatment of Nigerians in China.
Efforts to reach the spokesman for the state police command, DSP Bala Elkana, proved abortive as he didn’t return the message sent to him as at press time.
Sourced From: THISDAYLIVE
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