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Igbo monarch receives Lagos lawmaker, promises to declare for APC

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Igbo monarch receives Lagos lawmaker, promises to declare for APC

An Igbo monarch, Eze Nwabueze Ohazulike, Eze Igbo Lagos State and national president of Ndi Eze Ndigbo in diaspora, has received Honourable Jude Idimogu, the lawmaker representing Oshodi/Isolo Constituency 2 at the Lagos State House of Assembly, promising that he would soon declare his membership for All Progressives Congress (APC).

The traditional ruler, who received Idimogu, when the lawmaker paid a royal visit to his palace on Friday, said it was high time he joined the ruling party in the state.

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Ohazulike, who is well known for his strong support for Peoples Democratic Party, maintained that the time was ripe for him to join APC, having seen the exceptional leadership quality of the lawmaker.

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Idimogu, who was recently made the apex leader of Ndigbo in Lagos, following the exit of Joe Igbokwe, Special Adviser to Governor Sanwo-Olu on Drainage and Environment, stressed that the time had come for Ndigbo to come on board the party with vision, maintaining that the people would no longer be in opposition, to avoid losing their due rights as stakeholders in the state.

“I have come to pay a royal visit, request the blessing of the royal father, and market our great party because our people cannot continue to be in opposition. I am happy that the Eze said he would soon declare for the party.

We have always lost being in opposition. My leadership would be transparent and anchored on due consultations” he said.

 

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EAL editing..Senate raises concern over high cost of crude oil production in Nigeria

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The Senate on Monday expressed concern over the high cost of crude oil production by the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC).

It said despite the high cost of producing crude oil, Nigeria was not getting much in return on its investment in crude oil production.

Solomon Adeola, Chairman, Senate Committee on Finance, made the observation at an interactive session on Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF) and Fiscal Strategy Papers (FSP) with officers of Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning.

Other agencies of government in attendance at the meeting included revenue-generating agencies such as NNPC, Nigeria Customs Service, and Federal Inland Revenue Services (FIRS) among others.

Adeola said: “I want you to take us through why Nigeria’s cost of production per barrel of crude oil is the most expensive in the world.

“Give us the breakdown of what constitutes those costs into variables and the technical cost.

“We want to know what you are doing as an agency of government to bring down this cost,” he said.

He said the committee was interested in ascertaining other costs of crude production in terms of administrative cost.

“Who determines this cost, with a benchmark of 25 dollars as proposed, Nigeria is just going to have just three dollars as its own return on investment.

“The oil revenue and the mineral revenue as proposed in the MTEF have dropped from almost N8.86 trillion to N3.33 trillion, are you saying that it is a worthwhile investment for us as a nation.

“How do you ensure that Nigeria is being charged the right cost on each barrel of oil.

“In Saudi Arabia, it is four dollars per barrel cost of production, in Russia it is about three dollars per barrel, Nigeria is 21 dollars.

“We are beginning to be afraid as to why we are channeling all our efforts to this oil and gas if the return on investment is nothing to write home about,” he said.

Sen. James Manager (PDP Delta) said the reason adduced by NNPC for the cost of production was not tenable.

“Because wherever oil is produced, they have their own security challenge even Saudi Arabia, Iran Russia, they have their own unique security issues.

“How is our own so peculiar that our cost of production is up to 21dollars per barrel.

“You also mentioned administrative issues, which are those administrative issues, why are we different from the rest of the world.

“These are issues that the national assembly is supposed to take up,” he said.

Sen. Jibril Isah (APC Kogi) said:” I am disturbed because, I expected the NNPC to dwell more on fixed costs but surprisingly, you are talking about administrative cost, security, these are variables.

“Even the fixed cost, in the long run, are also variables which you can also work on,” he said.

The Group Managing Director of NNPC, Mr. Mele Kyari said the NNPC was working hard to bring down the fixed cost of crude oil production.

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Kyari, represented by the Chief Operating Officer of NNPC, Upstream, Mr. Yemi Adetunji said further:

“We know that these costs are high that is why we have decided to go from even the initial approved 25 dollars to 21 dollars per barrel.

“We believe that once we have the new framework in place going forward, we shall even see a lower cost of production from T1 and T2.

“There are things we are targeting; security challenges are peculiar to Nigeria.

“In other climes, pipelines are on the surface you hardly see them being tampered with, but in Nigeria even when they are buried two meters to three meters deep they are still being vandalized.

” In some cases, we are trying to take them to deeper levels but those ones will add to the cost of production like going 10 meters to 15 meters deep.

“This adds to the cost about three or four times the cost of production as against putting the pipelines on the surface,” he said.

He said NNPC was working with security agencies to ensure that security hitches responsible for high costs were brought down to the minimum.

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APC governors meet to save Obaseki

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Ahead of the expected meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari over the upcoming Edo, Ondo gubernatorial, governors under the All Progressive Congress (APC ) have arrived the national secretariat of the party.

The meeting which is expected among other things to discuss the frosty relationship between the Edo state governor, Godwin Obaseki and the APC National Chairman, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole.

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It would be recalled that governors of the party had on Sunday met with the national leader of the party, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu over the same matter.

It was reported that another meeting will hold with President Muhammadu Buhari at the Villa later today.

Among the governors on ground are Atiku Bagudu of Kebbi, Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos, Simon Lalong of Plateau, Rotimi Akeredolu of Ondo, Muhammad Inuwa of Gombe state.

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According to a party source, the meeting is in continuation of the one held in Lagos State Sunday night on the Edo State Governorship primaries.

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Schools renovation contract scam: Nasarawa SSG ordered to refund N248.5m

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The Secretary to the State Government (SSG) in Nasarawa, Alhaji Aliyu Tijani,  has been ordered to refund the government N248.5m of the unaccounted funds released in 2018.

The Nasarawa State House of Assembly’s ad-hoc committee, investigating alleged projects scam of N1bn for the renovation/fencing of secondary schools, gave the directive after it indicted the Secretary to the State Government (SSG), Alhaji Aliyu Tijani.

The Chairman of the ad-hoc committee, Mr Daniel Ogazi, made this known on Monday in Lafia, the state capital when he presented the committee’s report during the House proceedings. He noted that the SSG was the state’s Commissioner for Education when the alleged fraud occurred.

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Ogazi said that the former commissioner displayed blatant inefficiency, incompetence and ineffectiveness in the performance of his official duties.

He said based on the committee’s recommendations, N873,233,942.60 was expended as discovered from the Payment Vouchers (PVs), excluding five per cent deductions for Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E), as payments for the completed and uncompleted projects.

“During our investigation, we summoned the Commissioner for Education, her principal officers and management staff, the former Permanent Secretary of the ministry, the former Commissioner for Education, now SSG, Commissioner for Works, his principal officers, as well as the contractors that handled various projects.

“And during our investigation, the SSG agreed that he will take responsibility for his action.

“The total released contract sum was N1.084 billion and if N873,233,942.60 is deducted from the total contract sum, this will amount to N210,766, 057.40.

“Then add five per cent Monitoring and Evaluation which is N37,718,499.19. The total sum of unaccounted funds will amount to N248,484,556.60,” he said.

Ogazi urged the government to declare a state of emergency on all abandoned projects to ensure its completion.

“All contractors who completed their work should be paid immediately by the ministry and all payments made to the unknown contractors should be refunded to government coffers immediately.

“Funds should be released to contractors who have the capacity and ability to carry out the work,” he said.

He also called on contractors who collected money and refused to carry out the renovation/fencing to do so within one month or face the consequences.

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The committee’s chairman urged the ministry of education to take on the spot assessment of all uncompleted projects to see the level of work done and to make funds available for the completion of the same in the interest of development.

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