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Ortom Appoints 25 Special Advisers

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From Chris Gaga, Makurdi

Governor Samuel Ortom of Benue State has approved the appointment of 25 new Special Advisers.

Their appointment is coming barely 100 days since the governor was sworn in for his second term in May.

Six out of the 25 Advisers were reappointed.

According to the letter signed by the Secretary to the State Government, Prof.

Tonyi Ijohor, the Special Adviser will be sworn in on Thursday.

Those appointed include: Adanu Sule, Jacob Ogwuche, James Uloko, Enyi Ode, Emmanuel Onah, Augustine Awodi, Janet Ede Eric Adokwu,  Ageh Ode, and Tarkaa Vandefan.

The list also has Ndiisaa Terhemen, Emmanuel Manger, Abraham Abam, Ortese Edward, Nyityo Tivkaa, Godwin Donko, Matthew Mnyam, Tyochir Stephen, Bem Dzoho, Isaac Mtu, and Tsenongo Abancha.

Others are: Mzenda Iho, Saawuan Tarnongu, Shima Ayati, and Ngunan Agera.


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NEWS

Breaking: Reps Raise Crack Team to Probe Oil Subsidy Regime Under Buhari

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By Ubong Ukpong, Abuja

The House of Representatives yesterday, raised a crack adhoc committee, to Probe the petroleum Products subsidy Regime in the last five years, from 2017 to 2021

The committee was given eight weeks to carryout this investigation and report back to the House for further legislative action.

The decision was sequel to a motion on the “Need to Investigate the Petroleum Products Subsidy Regime in Nigeria from 2017 to 2021”, brought before the Honda by Hon.

Sergius Ose Ogun.

The lawmaker had said that his motion was informed by section 88 (1) and (2) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (As Amended) , which empowered the National Assembly to conduct investigations into the activities of any authority executing 

or administering laws made by the National Assembly;.

He also noted that Section 32 of the Petroleum Industry Act, 2021 saddled the Petroleum Midstream and 

Downstream Regulatory Authority with the task of regulating and monitoring technical and commercial 

midstream and downstream petroleum operations in Nigeria.

Ogun informed the House that as of 2002, the NNPC’s purchase of crude oil at international market prices stood at 445,000 barrels per day in order to enable it to provide petroleum products for local consumption.

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He was concerned that as at 2002, the installed capacity of Nigeria’s local refineries stood at 445,000 barrels per 

day, however, their capacity utilization began to nosedive and eventually fell completely to zero due to the 

ineffectiveness and alleged corruption of critical stakeholders in the value chain.

The lawmaker said he was aware that due to the decline in the production capacity of the refineries, NNPC found it more convenient to export domestic crude in exchange for petroleum products on trade by barter basis described as Direct Sales Direct Purchase (DSDP) arrangement.

He said he was further aware that component costs in the petroleum products subsidy value chain claimed by the NNPC was highly over-bloated while the transfer pump price per litre used by the NNPC in relation to PPMC was 

underquoted as N123-N128 instead of N162-N165 and this fraudulent under-reporting of N37-N39 per 

litre translates into over 70 billion naira a month or 840 billion naira a year.

The legislator worried that the consumption rate of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) was 40million to 45million litres per day, however, the NNPC used 65 million to 100 million litres per day to determine subsidy as discoverable 

from NNPC’s monthly reports to the Federal Allocation Committee (FAAC).

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He also worried that the subsidy regime has been unscrupulously used by the NNPC and other critical 

stakeholders to subvert the nation’s crude oil revenue to the tune of over 10 billion US dollars, with records 

showing that as at 2021, over 7 billion US dollars in over 120 million barrels have been so diverted.

The lawmaker was disturbed that “there exists evidence that subsidy amounts are being duplicated, thus subsidy is charged against petroleum products sales in the books of NNPC as well as against crude oil revenue in the books 

of NAPIMS to the tune of over N2 trillion.”

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Foreign News

Senate Wades into Ewkeremadu Saga, Sends Delegation to London

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President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan, has disclosed that a delegation from its Committee on Foreign Affairs would depart Nigeria for London on July 1, 2022, to pay a visit to Senator Ike Ekweremadu and his wife, who are both presently in detention over an allegation of organ harvesting. 


Lawan made this known on Wednesday, while giving details into the outcome of a closed session held by the upper chamber before the start of plenary proceedings.

  


The closed door session which started about 10:57 a.m ended at 11:49 a.m.
According to Lawan, the decision to wade into Ekweremadu’s arrest and detention was against the backdrop of a briefing received by the Nigerian High Commissioner to London.


He further disclosed that the Senate would engage the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Nigerian High Commission in London on the recent arrest of Senator Ike Ekweremadu by the London Metropolitan Police in the United Kingdom.


He said, “I had a personal engagement with our Nigerian High Commissioner to Britain, Alhaji Isola Sarafa, who has done so well to establish contact with our colleague, who has been able to get his team to be in the court at Uxbridge  where Ekweremadu was taken to.

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“The high Commission has also been able to provide some consular services that include the engagement of some lawyers who will defend our colleague.
“We commend them for giving attention to the issue at stake. Equally, the Nigeria Foreign Affairs Minister has been engaged here, so that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs takes steps to provide diplomatic support for our colleague. 


“Because this issue is already in court, we have limited opportunity to discuss beyond what we have done so far.


“But I want to ensure the family of our colleague, Senator Ike Ekweremadu and Nigerians, that the Senate will continue to engage with our ministry of foreign affairs as well as our high commission in London. 


“The High Commission has done so much but we still expect that it will continue to provide any other further consular services.


“We have also mandated our committee on foreign affairs to engage with the British high commission here in Nigeria, to find more details on this case, as  as far as the high commission is involved.


“There will be a delegation to London to see Senator Ike Ekweremadu and his wife. A delegation from the Senate Committee on Foreign Affairs of the Senate will leave in the next two days to London for that purpose.

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“I want to urge all all federal government institutions that can do anything to ensure that Justice prevails in this case, that they do so.”

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POLITICS

Tinubu Doesn’t Need to Resubmit Certificates – Uzodinma

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Governor Hope Uzodinma of Imo state has taken a swipe at Nigerians for raising what he termed unnecessary controversy over the basic school certificates of the presidential flag bearer of the All Progressive Congress (APC), Asiwaju Bola Tinubu.

Uzodimma who was reacting to the controversy, said if the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has a functional server, that information should be domiciled in the server which could be reproduced for all to verify.

The former governor while reinforcing his claims, said for a person who served as governor of Lagos State for two terms and ran as a Senator and won, the  issue of his primary or secondary school certificates shouldn’t even arise.

However, the former senator said given the timeline available for their candidate, INEC would be presented with the necessary documents before the time elapses.

Uzodinma spoke with newsmen after a meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari at the Presidential Villa Abuja on Tuesday, shortly before the President left for Portugal for a state visit.

Recall that the APC Presidential flagbearer, Bola Tinubu has been facing backlash from the public over his failure to submit details of his basic school education.

Uzodinma said; “Well, all the things so mentioned are entire party challenges that will be resolved. But for my presidential candidate, the issue of certificates shouldn’t even arise.

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“In 1999 he contested elections and became the governor of Lagos, in 2003 he contested election second-term governor of Lagos. He ran and won as a senator in the country, where record keeping is efficient, and the INEC server is functional, he doesn’t need to do a fresh submission. However, if whatever he is supposed to submit is not handy, it is not late yet. I’m sure before the time he will submit whatever is required of him”.

When asked why it appears to be difficult for Tinubu to produce a running mate, even with INEC’s deadline running out, he said; “What do you mean by difficulty? Who told you? The deadline is not yet here until the period of submission is over and we are not able to put a running mate, that is the only way you can ask this kind of question.

“However, I know because of the strength of character in our party, being the ruling party and how important the party is to us including you here, I appreciate your concern but be rest assured that we will fill a complete ticket for the presidential contest”.

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