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Reps to investigate $21bn revenue loss to oil companies

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The House of Representatives has resolved to investigate the loss of over $21billion revenues to International Oil Companies (IOC) operating in the country.

The decision followed a motion moved by Sunday Kaltung (PDP, Kaduna) during plenary on Thursday.

While leading the debate on the motion, Mr. Kaltung explained that, “the Deep Offshore and Inland Basin Production Sharing Contracts Act of 1993 (PSC) was enacted in response to the problems posed by the joint venture arrangement as well as the desire of the federal Government to open up the sector to more foreign participation and further benefit the Nigerian economy.

He said that “the said PSC governs the understanding between the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) and all new participants in the new inland deep and ultra-deep water acreages by which the contractor bears all costs of exploration and production without much cost being reimbursable if no find is made.”

He noted that “the PSC also provided for the recovery of the cost of exploration of crude oil in the event of commercial find, with provisions made for tax oil, cost oil, and profit oil following which the balance, after these (3) deductions are made, is shared between the NNPC and the contractor in an agreed proportion,” adding that the “PSC was amended by deep Offshore and Inland Basin Production Sharing Contracts (Amendment) act of 1999.”

The lawmaker however said that a revelation by the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Dr. Ibe Kachiku, on the 13th December, 2017, while briefing State House correspondents after the Federal Executive Council meeting that “Nigeria lost about $21 billion (N7.6trillion) to International Oil Company  (IOCs) operating in the country due to non-implementation of the PSC” is disheartening.

He also said that during the same briefing, Kachiku also stated that from 1993 up till date cumulatively, Nigeria had lost the colossal sum of $21Billion because of the Federal Government’s failure to act in the national interest.

According to him, in 2013, there was a notice to oil companies that government would take steps to correct the anomaly but eventually nothing was done, adding that “these act of negligence, omission, incompetency, if not outright collusion and conspiracy with a view, possibly to corruption have been perpetrated over such a long period of time when Nigeria has had well paid legal and technical experts in place.

“Anguished that this is a sad reminder of how the wealth of Nigeria, Africa’s largest oil producer, derived from her God given natural resources ends up in foreign lands while her economy and lot of her citizens continue to dwindle as evidence by, amongst other things, her economic recession and pervasive and acute poverty in the country.

“These reckless incidents that have resulted in massive depletion of both our nation’s resources and the revenue accruing from them have gone on for far too long and that there is a need for this National Assembly to come to Nigeria’s rescue in interest of the common man and take adequate measures to bring them to a halt.”

The House therefore resolved to investigate the operation of the PSC as between the NNPC and the IOCs towards determining the reasons for the loss of the aforesaid $21billion; and determine why the appropriate steps were not taken in the first place or promptly taken over such an inordinately long period to remedy losses and the possibility of recovering the revenue lost.

The House also resolved to require the Minister of Petroleum Resources to provide details of financial transactions between the NNPC and the IOCs during the period when the losses were incurred; and called for a review the PSC of the joint operating agreement and other relevant agreements with a view to regularizing all the anomalies that led to the aforesaid loss of revenue.

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NEWS

Kano Assembly sets up panel to probe bribery allegations against Gov. Ganduje

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The Kano house of assembly has set up a panel to investigate the bribery allegation against Abdullahi Ganduje, governor of the state, according to DAILY NIGERIAN.

In a video trending online, Ganduje was seen collecting bundles of dollars and putting them into his white dress known as ‘babanriga’ in the northern part of Nigeria.

The video has generated a lot of reactions from Nigerians, with some saying it is a dent on President Muhammadu Buhari’s corruption agenda since the governor is a member of the ruling party.

Raising a motion on Monday, Labaran Madari, a member representing Warawa constituency, said the assembly should investigate the authenticity of the video and take necessary actions.

Madari said the videos had brought the institution of governance in the state to disrepute.

The matter was seconded by Baffa Dan’Agundi, a member representing Kano municipal.

Alhassan Rurum, speaker of the house, therefore, constituted a seven-man committee to investigate the matter and report back to the assembly.

Members of the committee include Baffa Dan’Agundi, Labaran Madari, Garba Gafasa, Zubairu Masu, Ayuba Labaran, Abubakar Galadima, Garba Yau Gwarmai and Mujtafa Amin.

Sources were quoted as saying the assembly is planning to serve the governor impeachment notice as soon as the committee submits its report.

“This is a serious matter that should not be swept under the carpet. We did preliminary investigation and found out the videos are genuine. The committee is just mere formality,” said a member who was said to have preferred anonymity.

“The governor confessed to some of us that it was real but he is now trying to stop us from exercising our constitutional duty.”

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INVESTIGATION

Rivers APC Guber candidate, Tonye Cole reportedly skipped NYSC, omits degrees in nomination forms

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The gubernatorial candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Rivers State, Tonye Cole, is in trouble for skipping the mandatory National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) scheme, the NEXT EDITION has found out.

Sources close to the stylish businessman-turned-politician said he is struggling to get the NYSC to help him out with the problem.

The Lagos-based billionaire emerged APC’s gubernatorial candidate for 2019 during the party’s primary in Port Harcourt on October 1.

Lawal Isa, Chairman, Rivers State APC Governorship Primary Election Committee, had said Mr. Cole got 3,329 votes to beat other aspirants.

According to him, Dawari George, a former aide to Rotimi Amaechi, scored 491 votes to come a distant second.

Dumo Lulu-Briggs, another business mogul who stood the election, secured 38 votes while a serving Senator, Magnus Abe, got a single vote.

Mr. Abe was the only person who voted for himself in the primary that was attended by no fewer than 4000 delegates.

But weeks after the primary was conducted and won, Mr. Cole is yet to name his running mate, situation observers blamed on the fear he might be disqualified after all.

This newspaper found out Mr. Cole deliberately omitted his tertiary education qualifications in the nomination forms he submitted to his party and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

Under academic records, Mr. Cole indicated he attended Corona School, Victoria Island, Lagos from 1973-1978 and King’s College, Lagos, between 1978 -1983.

This shows in spite of his rich educational background, he only filed his primary school leaving certificate and the ordinary level West African Examination Council General Certificate of Education he obtained in June 1983 from the King’s College.

Apart from the WASCE, Mr. Cole also attached a testimonial from King’s College which showed he was born on January 11, 1967, and had attended the institution from Form One to Five.

With registration number 4107, he was a member of Mckee Wright House as well as the Literary and Debating Club.

The principal of the school at the time, Olapeju Oladele, indicated he held no leadership position but indicated he had a promising career.

“He has very strong personality traits and was well-behaved,” under behavioural traits.

However, under general remarks, Mr. Oladele wrote, “Patrick was a very promising student who has high potential to succeed in his chosen career.”

Based on his WASC attached to his nomination forms, Mr. Cole had credit (4) in English Language, good (3) in Geography, credit (4) in Economic and credit (6) in Mathematics.

Others include Physics – pass (7), Biology – credit (5), Art –credit (5) and Technical Drawing –pass (7).

With only WASC and a testimonial from King’s College attached to his forms, it seemed Mr. Cole, for some undisclosed reasons, deliberately omitted his degrees as contained in his public profiles.

While he failed to indicate his tertiary education qualifications, the APC candidate sumptuously showcased the training he has attended across the globe and the many papers he has presented and positions he has occupied.

But findings by this newspaper showed Mr. Cole went straight to King’s School, Ely, Cambridgeshire, the United Kingdom after he left King’s College, Lagos at age 16.

He is also said to be an alumnus of the University of Lagos and Universidade de Brasilia, Brazil, where he was graduated with merit honours in Architecture.

Curiously, information regarding his tertiary education and the record of his compulsory NYSC participation are all absent in the document he filed with his party and INEC.

 

Given his family background and the age he completed his primary and secondary education, it is very clear Mr. Cole got his first degree before he was 23.

The one-year service, organised by NYSC is compulsory for all Nigerians who graduate from universities or equivalent institutions at less than 30 years of age.

Apart from being a prerequisite for obtaining government and private sector jobs in Nigeria, the NYSC Act prescribes punishment for anyone who absconds from the scheme or forges its certificates.

For instance, eligible persons, who skipped the scheme, are liable to be sentenced to 12 months imprisonment and/or N2, 000 fine, based on Section 13 of the NYSC law.

In Section 13 (3) of the Act, a three-year jail term or option of N5,000 fine is prescribed for anyone who contravenes the provisions of the law.

Subsection 4 of the same section also criminalises giving false information or illegally obtaining the agency’s certificate.

It provides for up to a three-year jail term for such offenders.

NEXT EDITION made several attempts within the last two weeks to speak with Mr. Cole on the issue but failed.

The APC chieftain would not pick calls or respond to text messages from this newspaper.

However, when contacted, on one of his allies, Tonye Princewill, said Mr. Cole could not speak on the issue because the party was yet to set up a campaign structure for the 2019 polls.

All of Mr. Cole’s public profiles show he had tertiary education in Nigeria and in Brazil but none indicates the dates of his graduation.

NEXT EDITION could not also extract any record of where he served in any of such profiles, some of which have been edited recently.

Attempts to speak with the NYSC spokesperson, Adenike Adeyemi, failed as her line was unreachable and text message to her phone was not replied.

But a senior staff of the scheme, who could not be named because he is not authorised to speak on the matter said the NYSC has no record Mr. Cole served or was offered an exemption.

 

*Culled from THE NEXT EDITION

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NEWS

2019: Atiku picks Peter Obi as running mate

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The Peoples Democratic Party’s presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar, on Friday picked former governor of Anambra State, Peter Obi, as his running mate in the 2019 general elections.

This newspaper gathered that Mr Atiku made the choice after narrowing his search for running mate to a politician from the South East.

On Wednesday, ThisDay reported that at least three technocrats and two politicians have been penciled down for the position.

The technocrats include: former governor of Central Bank of Nigeria, Charles Soludo; former Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Akinwunmi Adesina; and former Managing Director of Asset Management Company of Nigeria, AMCON, Chike Obi.

The politicians are: former governor of Anambra State, Peter Obi, and the Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu.

The PDP hierarchy are still undecided between the South-West and South-East, on the zone the position should be allotted.

Both zones were believed to have helped Atiku neutralise the Northern zones’ delegates’ votes that went to Sokoto State Governor, Aminu Tambuwal, during the presidential primary on Saturday.

More details soon..

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