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Reps begin probe of $22b NNPC’s Brass Liquefied Natural Gas project

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The House of Representatives, on Thursday, resolved to set an ad hoc committee to investigate the expenditure and implementation of the $22 billion Brass Liquefied Natural Gas project.

This followed a motion by Hon. Chinda Ogundu at the plenary on the urgent need to investigate the implementation of the project.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that Brass LNG Project was originally set up in 2003 with the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation owning 49%, while other affiliates namely, Conoco Phillips, ENI, and Chevron hold 17% each.

Moving the motion, Ogundu said the House noted that there had been several allegations of abuse and mismanagement of funds totaling about $22 billion meant for take-off and running of the project.

He said: “We are also aware that the project has been stuck in the planning stage for more than a decade, with some Western partners having pulled out because of tough operating conditions and unfavourable investment environment.

“We are cognisant that the Federal Government’s investment in the Brass LNG project is too enormous to be treated with kid gloves, swept under the carpet or simply put aside with a wave of the hand.

“With the provisions of Section 88(l)(a), (b)(i)&(ii) and (2)(b) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended) which confers each chamber of the National Assembly power to conduct or carry out investigations into matter(s) such as this.

“The Senate in January 2018, raised an alarm over massive fraud in the NNPC as it relates to the Brass LNG project and voted to investigate same, but nothing happened thereafter.”
He said if the matter is not investigated, the essence of the fight against corruption would be defeated and the Nigerian economy and indeed teeming Nigerian masses would be worse for it.
Ogundu, therefore urged the House to set up an ad hoc committee to investigate the matter for posterity sake.

When the Speaker, Yakubu Dogara, put the motion on voice vote, majority of the lawmakers, across party lines, voted in favour.

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THE NATION

Yakubu lamai tour media organizations in Nasarawa State

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The newly appointed Director General (strategic communication and press affairs) to Governor Umaru Tanko Al-Makura, Yakubu Lamai will be conducting a working tour of media organizations in Nasarawa State beginning from 15 August 2018.

Mr. Lamai said that the purpose of this familiarization tour is to strengthen the relationship between Nasarawa State government under the stewardship of Governor Al-Makura and the media in the state and to specifically solicit the professional support of media organizations towards balanced media coverage prior to the 2019 Elections and constructive analysis of government actions and programs in Nasarawa State.

Lamai,who is an alum of the Ford foundation fellowship emphasized that he intends to adopt an approach of substance and constructive reasoning to the media management of the image of Governor Tanko Al-Makura given the fact that we live in a world of “information chatter” where citizens are bombarded by countless competing message where the lines between factual reportage, fake news, hate speech, political grandstanding and political campaign of sentiments is beclouding cogent development issues and constructive debate about how to improve the lives of ordinary citizens.

Yakubu lamai will be visiting media optimizations like NTA lafia , BBS lafia, FRCN Precious FM, options FM Akwanga, Eggon News, Equity TV, platinum TV keffi and Maloney FM and also hold extensive discussions with NUJ; Nigeria Union of journalists and The correspondents chapel in the course of his Two Day Media Tour.

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THE NATION

Why DSS must obey court order, release Dasuki – APC chieftain, Orji Kalu

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A former Governor of Abia State, Orji Kalu, has said if court has ordered the release of former National Security Adviser, NSA, Sambo Dasuki, then security agencies should comply with the order.

Kalu, a chieftain of the All Progressives Congress, APC, made the call while speaking with the News Agency of Nigeria, NAN, on Sunday.

He noted that the various tiers of government, individuals and corporate entities should have respect for the decisions of the courts.

According to Kalu, “We are making many unlawful things possible.

“If a court issues an order that Sambo Dasuki be released, it should be obeyed.

“If we Nigerians genuinely want democracy to endure, we should learn how to respect the laws of the land.

“The law of the land is our constitution and any pronouncement made by the court based on the constitution should be obeyed.’’

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THE NATION

Ortom: No amount of persecution will make me return to APC

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Samuel Ortom, governor of Benue state, says no amount of “torment or persecution” will make him reconsider his defection from the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC).

In a statement issued on his behalf by Terver Akase, his chief press secretary, the governor accused the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) of being a strike squad of the ruling party.

He also alleged that the federal government had been using the anti-graft agency to “cripple governance in the state.”

“After succumbing to nationwide condemnation of its illegal freezing of Benue State Government accounts, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC has resorted to yet another shameful act in its desperation to cripple governance in the state,” the statement read.

“The anti-graft agency’s latest move is the bandying of figures in national dailies claiming that such figures are those of transactions in the accounts owned by the Benue State Government.

“It released figures allegedly withdrawn from the Benue State Government accounts without disclosing the dates of the withdrawals and the period during which they were made.

“The commission has also not been able to state accounts into which such monies withdrawn were paid to prove that the funds had been diverted.

“EFCC is contented with publishing the figures without stating how impropriety has been established.

“Are government monies supposed to be kept in the accounts indefinitely without expenditure? Their objective is apparently to give Governor Samuel Ortom and his administration a bad name.

“On this score, it is clear that the EFCC has now become both a strike squad of the APC for torment, and their law court for the trial and conviction of political opponents.

“The commission may torment and persecute Governor Ortom and his subordinates on the directives of the powers that be as much as it serves their purposes, but he will neither be distracted nor reconsider his defection from APC.”

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