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NLNG account: Senate compels NNPC, CBN to provide documents for $3.12bn withdrawal

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By Olugbenga Salami

Senate Committee on Gas has directed the management of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC and the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN to submit to it unfailingly, approving documents authorising withdrawal of $3.12billion from the Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas, NLNG, within the last three years in 22 withdrawals.

But the management of the NNPC represented by the Chief Financial Officer, Alhaji Isiaka Abdulrasaq called for widening of scope of the investigation to cover the entire 45 withdrawals made from the account from 1999 till date.

Abdulrasaq, who wanted to shed more light on the total cost of the withdrawals was however cut short by the Committee Chairman, Senator Bassey Akpan (PDP Akwa Ibom North East) who said that was not the information required from him by the committee.

This led to one of the committee members, Senator Osinachukwu Ideozu (APC Rivers West) expressing concern about the competence of Abdulrasaq to occupy the CFO position in NNPC going by the way he had been confrontational with the committee in his answer to the questions posed to him.

Akpan then told Abdulrasaq that he cannot dictate to the Committee on how to go about its findings “so you must abide by our rules of engagement and not teach us our work”.

He said from the brief the NNPC submitted to the committee there were a lot of missing links which the Committee will require to do its job.

Akpan therefore directed the NNPC to furnish the Committee all dividends accruing from the NLNG and all withdrawals from the account since 2015 totalling 22 and amounting to $3.12billion.

According to him, the Corporation has up till November 30 to supply the Committee secretariat with comprehensive list of the 22 withdrawals totalling $3.2 billion made from the NLNG Dividend Account with the CBN since 2015.

The Committee Chairman also told the Acting Director of Banking Services of CBN, Mr. Christopher Olumukore, who stood in for CBN Governor Godwin Emefiele to also submit within one week “all the withdrawal authorisation you had including all the originating mandates and all the approvals”.

Akpan added that the CBN should also submit to the Committee by November 30 statement of account of the NLNG Dividend account domiciled with the the apex bank and that the committee will reconvene on December 1 “to look at all the submissions by both NNPC and CBN”.

Olumukore had earlier told the committee that the Dividend account domiciled with the apex bank was being operated by both NNPC and Ministry of Finance.

According to him, mandates for withdrawal from the account were usually from the NNPC and on occasions from the Finance Minister.

The Senate had last month mandated its Committee on Gas to investigate the alleged withdrawal of $1.05 billion by NNPC from the NLNG dividend account with CBN without due diligence.

The committee was also directed to look into other withdrawals that had been made by NNPC from the account since 2015 and report back to the Senate.

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Metro

FG urged to declare state of emergency on federal roads, Senate tasks

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Disturbed by the deplorable conditions of road networks across the country, the Senate on Tuesday, charged the federal government to declare a state of emergency on all federal roads.
This was as the upper legislative chamber mandated  its Committees on Petroleum (Downstream), Federal Roads Maintenance Agency, FERMA and National Planning to investigate the Petroleum Products Price Regulatory Agency, PPPRA on the non-remittance of five percent user charge pump price of petrol.
Besides, the joint committees were also asked to investigate the non remittance of international vehicle transit charge accruing to FERMA and other established state roads maintenance agency.
These resolutions followed deliberations on a motion sponsored under Orders 42 and 52 of the Senate rule by Senator Geshom Bassey (PDP Cross River South)  who lamented the deplorable state of federal roads in the country.
Presenting the motion, Senator Basset expressed concern that several thousands of lives have been lost to road accidents due to bad and un-motorable roads, while bad portion of roads are safe haven for kidnappers and armed robbers on Nigerian highways.
Supporting the motion, Senator Chukwuka Utazi (PDP Enugu North) said the state of the federal highways are highly deplorable and that urgent attention is needed especially within this budget cycle to do something drastic to address the situation.
Utazi said “and like you prayed that the PPPRA should release the fund for totally provided for FERMA to do  it’s job.
“Mr President, the raining season is just gradually coming to an end and this is the opportunity for FERMA to go and start rehabilitating our roads so that Nigerians can move freely.
“This period is also the time for harvest and in order to ensure that farmers that are in the hinterland get to the appropriate market to get adequate prices for their goods, we  have to make sure the roads are properly done.
“You also know that because we don’t have the rail lines that should be in place, most of the goods and services that we move from one place to the other are done through trucking and if you continue to do trucking, you know that the life span of any  major federal highway may not last long.
“This is a very important motion moved at the most appropriate time to get the desired attention and I’m standing here lending my support and full weigh to get that being done knowing fully well that those of us from the south east are the major complainants of the bad roads in this country and we hope that we get the desired attention from FERMA if  this motion scales through.”
In his remark, President of the Senate, Dr. Ahmad Lawan said he believe that every part of the country suffers from this problem of deplorable  roads.
He expressed optimism that the  committees mandated to look into the matter will  swing into action and attend to the issue associated with this motion.
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Metro

SAD… Taraba INEC REC is dead

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The INEC Resident Electoral Commissioner, (REC) in Taraba State, Alhaji Baba Abba Yusuf, is dead.
INEC Secretary, Rose Oriarian-Anthony, said the REC died on Saturday night at the University of Maiduguri Teaching Hospital, Borno State, where he had been on admission.
She said: “The Independent National Electoral Commission regrets to announce the death of the Resident Electoral Commissioner for Taraba State, Alhaji Baba Abba Yusuf.
“He died last (Saturday) night at the University of Maiduguri Teaching Hospital, Borno State, where he was on admission for sometime.
He was buried today (Sunday) September 29 2019 at 4pm in Maiduguri.
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Transgender: Sade Adu’s daughter finally becomes a man (PHOTOS)

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Izaak and Mum

Sade’s transgender son has shared a heartfelt message of thanks to the soul singer, as he completes his transition from female to male.

Izaak Theo Adu, born Mickailia ‘Ila’ Adu, has spent the past six months in recovery after undergoing phalloplasty surgery, the reconstructive procedure typically undergone by transgender and non-binary people.

After returning home to his family, Izaak shared a sweet photo of himself hugging Sade, 60, along with a message praising the iconic singer for her unwavering support. In the Instagram post, Izaak wrote: ‘It’s been a long hard road but We did it!! We are coming home!!!! ‘Thank you for staying by my side these past 6 months Mumma. Thank you for fighting with me to complete the man I am. ‘Thank you for your encouragement when things are hard, for the love you give me. The purest heart. I love you so much. Queen of queens ♥️ #mumma #lioness #queen#iloveyou.’

Izaak is Sade’s only child from her former relationship with reggae music producer Bob Morgan.

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