Naval Officers Complicit In Crude Oil Theft Must Face Music,HURIWA Tells Tinubu

Mohammed Shosanya

Human Rights Writer Association of Nigeria,has urged President Bola Ahmed Tinubu to take decisive action again naval and other military officers alleged to have found complicit in the massive looting of the nation’s resources through oil theft.

The association’s helmsman,Emmanuel Onwubiko,in a statement said it was alarmed at the glaring lack of commitment or political will of the President Tinubu’s government to expose, arrest, prosecute and jail military officers implicated in the widespread thefts of Nigeria’s crude oil resources daily.

The association wondered why President Bola Ahmed Tinubu failed to take any concrete, realistic, transparent and open actions against the indicted but serving military officers who are lining their pockets with filthy lucre made from the diversion of Nigeria’s crude oil to the black market globally even after a huge body of evidence was made available personally to the President by both Chief Government Ekpemupolo otherwise known as Tompolo and even the former Niger Delta militant warlord and now loyalist of President Tinubu- Mr. Asari Dokubo.

The National Security Adviser, Malam Nuhu Ribadu, had said the country is still losing 400,000 barrels of crude oil daily to local and international thieves despite efforts to end the menace.

He confirmed this when he led a presidential delegation to inspect oil and gas facilities at Owaza in Abia and Odogwa in Etche Local Government Area of Rivers on Saturday. He said the activities of oil thieves and pipeline vandals had impacted negatively on the nation’s economy and were partly responsible for the rising cost of living in the country.

Ribadu said: “It’s unfortunate that few individuals would steal our common resources, and in the process cause unbelievable loss to both the nation, communities and the people.

“Nigeria has the capacity to produce 2 million barrels of crude daily, but we are currently producing less than 1.6 million barrels due to theft and vandalism of pipelines. So, we are talking about 400,000 barrels of crude oil going to waste with few criminals and economic saboteurs not even getting much out of it. The value of 400,000 barrels of oil today is about 4 million dollars, and every day, we lose this amount because of this irresponsible behaviour. If you multiply 4 million dollars by 365 days (one year), you will see that it is a lot of money running into billions of dollars.”

HURIWA, in a media statement by the National Coordinator Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko, regretted that the current administration was more interested in media dramatisation about the critical issue of massive diversions of crude oil resources especially by a powerful cartel which allegedly included serving Naval and Army Generals as disclosed by two key figures involved with matters associated with the Niger Delta including Tompolo whose company hired by the Federal Government to catch crude oil thieves, had severally indicted the Nigerian Navy of involvement but without any actions been taken by the government to stem the tide.

According to him, “There is high probability that certain powerful forces within the Nigerian Navy knows one or two things about these massive crude oil thefts so much so that it is now getting involved in shameful public spat with Tompolo-led effort to rid the nation’s waterways of crude oil thefts. The Rights group said in the first place, the widely acclaimed contract handed over to Mr. Government Ekpemupolo otherwise known as Tompolo is clearly a vote of no confidence in the Navy which should have led to a clean sweep of all the officers implicated in the crime” he said.

The group condemned the public show of shame by the Navy which has allegedly resorted to blackmailing the staff of Tompolo’s Security firm who initially exposed their indicted officers of involvement in the massive economic sabotage of Nigeria through active collaboration with the mafia implicated in the continuous thefts of Nigeria’s crude oil resources.

The group called on President Bola Ahmed Tinubu to set up an independent judicial inquiry on the allegations of involvement of military officers in crude oil thefts and for the panel to uncover, lists out, name, shame, prosecute and jail these economic saboteurs for their crimes against Nigerian people or ‘is President Tinubu mortally afraid of wielding the big stick against military officers diverting massive crude oil resources that belong to the Nigerian masses?”

HURIWA also called on federal government to take steps to investigate the allegations made by Tantita Security Services Nigeria Limited (TSL) against Nigerian Navy when it cleared the air over the incident at the Lekki area of Lagos involving its operatives and some Nigerian Navy personnel on August 29.

It recalled that the firm explained that its personnel who were on the trail of the suspected oil thieves were instead arrested and detained for carrying out their lawful duty.

The group urged the president to address issues and salvage the nations economy now being bled by saboteurs.

FG Gives Illegal Miners 30 -Day Ultimatum

Mohammed Shosanya

The federal government has issued a 30-grace period for illegal miners in the country to join artisanal cooperatives as it rolls out robust reforms in the solid mineral sector with aim to improve a revenue that accrues from the industry.

Minister Solid Mineral Dele Alake gave the ultimatum at a press conference, on Sunday in Abuja where he unveiled far reaching and targeted transformation plans that aligns with the renewed hope agenda of the administration.

Top on the transformation strategy of government he said is the birth of a Solid Mineral Corporation, as government moves to create six Mineral Processing Centers geared at value-addition to minerals extracted across the country.

The corporation when on stream is expected to enter into joint venture mining agreements with multinationals to scale up production and processing of priority minerals, namely gold, limestone,coal, bitumen, Lead, Iron-ore and baryte.

The minister,who commended his predecessors for creating the solid mineral roadmap which currently drives development in the sector however stressed that more geoscientific data on the quantity and location of the identified priority minerals is needed to drive investment in the sector.

On the security concerns and activities of bandits in the mining environment, the minister said that government has approved the creation of Mines Surveillance TaskForce and Mines Police to secure investment in the sector.

While the men and materials for the operation of the outfit would be drawn from the security agencies, Alake said the Mines Police will be domiciled in the ministry.

He decried the steady decline in the contribution of solid mineral sector to the economy, falling below 2% compare to what prevails during the colonial era when solid mineral export earned 4.5%.

“A significant and interesting fact is that the solid minerals sector that was exploited by the colonial government for export contributed 4.5 percent to Nigeria’s Gross Domestic Product in the ’60s, and 5.6 percent by 1980 accounted for less than 2 percent of Nigeria’s GDP last year.

“To demonstrate the gravity, compare this performance to the records of less-endowed countries such as Senegal (20%), Mauritania (24%), and Namibia (50%)”

He wondered how the country sunk that low even with more mineral discoveries and vast reserves, including gold, manganese, bitumen, lithium, iron ore, lead, zinc, limestone, uranium, columbite, barite, kaolin, gemstones, coal, topaz, copper in massive proportions…

“At the last count, our estimated reserves include Gold (1 million ounces); Limestone (568 metric tonnes), Lead/Zinc, (Baryte (15 million metric tonnes), Bitumen (N1.1 billion barrels), Iron Ore (3 billion Metric Tonnes) and Coal, (N396 million). How did a sector with over 2 million operators, including over 633 small-scale companies and 251 500 registered miners, struggle to give the economy capital and human development?

He traced the challenges to among other things to ” inefficient geo-data, weak implementation and enforcement, poor environmental, safety, and health policies, fragility and conflict, unregulated artisanal mining, low technical capacity, lack of access to financing, weak inter-governmental and inter-agency co-ordination and weak federal/state relations over mining land as the severe barriers to the development of the sector.”

He said the presidential mandate given him revamp the sector will borrow much from both success and failures seen in the petroleum industry.

“We have been mandated to improve on the formulation and regulation guiding prospecting, quarrying, and mining; improve data gathering; monitor and organize more efficiently the sale and consumption of minerals and increase revenue accruable to the Federal Government from the issuance of permits, licenses, leases and the collection of rents, fees, and royalties.”

“Much as minerals deposit is the exclusive control federal government has however assured that the ministry will collaborate with State government and host communities to ensure peace and harmony.

“Whereas the Mining Act recognizes minerals under the ground as the exclusive property of the Federal Government, it also elaborates the need to engage communities whose hitherto peaceful and orderly environment may be disrupted by the investor about to activate a mining license. It is in the interest of peace and order not to arrogate reckless appropriation of communal resources in the guise of executing a license.

“Therefore, while the Ministry will continue to review the standard operating procedures for engaging communities within mining licences, communities are hereby encouraged to form committees which can address the concerns of their members on compensation before exploration, employment during exploration, quarrying, and mining and sustainable community socially responsible programmes during and after rehabilitation of mined sites. Officials of the Ministry have been mandated to prioritize this and facilitate the appropriate appropriation to maintain peace and harmony in the communities” he said

Falana Seeks Release Of Detained Ogun Council Boss

Mohammed Shosanya

Human rights activist, Femi Falana, has demanded the immediate release of Wale Adedayo, the Chairman of Ijebu East Local government, from the custody of the Department of State Services.

Adedayo has been kept in custody since Friday for accessing Governor Dapo Abiodun of diverting the local government funds including allocations.

Falana demanded the release in a statement personally signed and made available to newsmen on Sunday.

The Chairman had exposed Governor Abiodun in a letter written to a former governor and leader of the All Progressives Congress, APC, Chuef Olusegun Osoba.

The same petition was filed to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, and the Independent Corrupt Practices and other Relates Offences Commission, ICPC.

Although the state government had debunked claims by Adedayo, about 7 local government lawmakers suspended Adedayo bearly 48 hours after the allegation was made public.

On Friday, ipon invitation by the DSS, Adedayo was detained on the same day.

Reacting to the development, Mr Falana asked the state governor to rather go to court if he feels the suspended Council Chairman had committed libel against him.

Mr Falana cited instances of Mr Abiodun’s predecessors who had at different times filed libel suits against media organisations.

According to Falana, Adedayo was acusses of instigating widespread hatred against the Governor in his local government, and that Adedayo was being detained because he refused to withdraw the allegation against Abiodun.

Mr Falana’s statement reads:“Last week, the Chairman of the Ijebu East Local Government, Ogun State, Mr. Wale Adedayo accused the State Governor, Mr. Dapo Abiodun of diverting the statutory allocations of the 20 local governments in the State.

“Shortly thereafter, the Council boss was invited by the Ogun State Command of the State Security Service (SSS). However, when he turned up for the invitation on 1st September 2023, he was asked to respond to the petition submitted to the Command by the state government.

“In the said petition, it was alleged that Mr. Adedayo had instigated widespread acts of public disturbance and chaos in Ijebu East Local Government. Even though the embattled Council boss denied the allegation of instigating acts of public disturbance, the State Security Service has decided to detain him due to his refusal to withdraw the allegation levelled against Governor Abiodun

“Even though the Ogun State Government has denied the allegation of funds diversion, Governor Abiodun is advised to sue Mr. Wale Adedayo for libel in the Ogun State High Court. In similar circumstances, two of his predecessors, the late Governor Olabisi Onabanjo had sued the National Concord newspaper for libel in the Ogun State High Court in 1981 while Governor Segun Osoba sued the Punch Newspaper for defamation of character in the Ogun State High Court in 2001. Both Governors won the libel suits.

“Having regards to the facts and circumstances of this particular case, I am compelled to request the Ogun State Command of the SSS to release Mr. Adedayo from custody forthwith.”

Ghandi Olaoye Emerges As New Soun Of Ogbomoso

Mohammed Shosanya

Oyo State Governor, Seyi Makinde has approved the appointment of Prince Afolabi Ghandi Olaoye as the new Soun-elect of Ogbomosoland.

Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Matters, Hon. Olusegun Olayiwola said in a statement on Saturday that the announcement followed the long-drawn processes specified under the law.

“His Excellency congratulates the new Soun-elect on his ascension to the throne of his forebears,” the statement said.

He said the position has placed the monarch-elect in the position to facilitate harmony, understanding and tolerance amongst his people.

He urged all sons and daughters of the ancient city of Ogbomoso to work with the monarch to consolidate the successes of his forefathers.

Enugu: Four Siblings Die In Building Collapse

Mohammed Shosanya

Four children of the same family died in a building collapse in the Agric Quarters in the Mgbemena axis of Coal Camp in Enugu.

The four siblings died when the building collapsed on them as a result of heavy rain fall in Enugu on Friday evening

A resident of the area, Mrs Nkechi Anayo described the incident as painful .

She said :”The mother of the children went to the market when the incident occurred and 6 of her children were affected but only 2 survived and they are receiving treatment in the hospital.

The Chairman of Capital Territory Development Agency (ECTDA), Mr Uche Anya, who spoke to journalists after inspecting the site of the collapsed building on Saturday, said bungalow building located at the Agric Quarters in Coal Camp area collapsed on Friday night around 8pm after a downpour.

He said the structure was approved for animal husbandry but was converted for residential.

Lamenting that the collapsed building was not healthy for human residence, the ECTDA chairman disclosed that the structure had 44 rooms with about 200 residents.

“As soon as we got the intelligence, we rushed to the place. Four children died in the episode.It was danger waiting to happen. The construction was irresponsible.

“The place should never have been occupied by human beings. In fact, go there and see.Apparently, they claim that they are doing animal husbandry and poultry there but it turned out that there are 44 rooms that human beings are occupying and there must have a population of over 200 people there.

“The fence line was totally unacceptable, nobody does that, and unfortunately, the people we lost in that tragedy are innocent children and it is very painful,” Anya added.

He said that the agency would continue to sensitise the public on the need to live a more conducive environment to avoid future occurrence of the unfortunate incident.

According to him, the compliance unit of the agency under his leadership would ensure that structures erected by landlords and contractors adhere strictly to the approval plan.

The ECTDA also gave immediate quit notice to residents of the building and four other buildings close to the scene of the incident.

Separation: I’ve Moved On-Actor Ninalowo

Nollywood actor, Bolanle Ninalowo, has finally broken his silence hours after the announcement of his separation from his wife of 17 years, Bunmi Ninalowo.

He announced the separation through his Instagram page (@iamnino_b) that his marriage had finally crashed.

Ninalowo,in a post on Saurdayaupdated fans on his well-being, noting that he is onto the next phase.

The actor,who captioned the post, “#NextPhase,said:”Every storm runs out of rain, just as every night turns into day.After a storm comes a calm. After every storm, the sun will smile”.

Huub Stokman Becomes New Chairman Of MOMAN

Mohammed Shosanya

The Managing Director of Nigerian National Petroleum Company Retail Limited,NRL,Huub Stokman,has been appointed as the new chairman of Major Oil Marketers Association of Nigeria (MOMAN).

His appointment follows the expiration of the term of the former chair of the association,
Olumide Adeosun,on August 31st,2023.

Huub Stokman, brings a wealth of experience to the role,the association said.

According to a statement,as the Managing Director of NNPC Retail Limited, he has demonstrated exceptional leadership in managing complex operations, optimizing business strategies, and fostering strategic partnerships.

The statement quoted that Stokman’s deep understanding of the petroleum retail landscape uniquely positions him to lead MOMAN into the next phase of its journey.

The Executive Secretary/Chief Executive Officer of MOMAN, Mr. Clement Isong, was reappointed ES/CEO for a second term of five years.

The statement said under the guidance of Olumide Adeosun,MOMAN has thrived as a cornerstone of the Nigerian energy
landscape, fostering growth, innovation, and collaboration within the petroleum marketing sector.

MOMAN achieved remarkable milestones during his tenure, advocating for industry excellence, sustainability, and regulatory advancements,it said

It also said Olumide Adeosun’s visionary leadership has been instrumental in steering MOMAN through a dynamic period marked by transformative changes in the energy sector.

His commitment to driving operational excellence, regulatory adherence, and community engagement has set a solid foundation for the association’s future endeavors.

MOMAN expresses its profound gratitude to Olumide Adeosun for his dedicated service and outstanding contributions during his tenure as Chairman.

His legacy will continue to inspire and guide us as the association navigates the evolving energy landscape and pursue new horizons.

It added:”Huub Stokman’s appointment as Chairman ushers in an exciting chapter for MOMAN. His expertise, vision, and commitment to industry excellence align seamlessly with the association’s mission to drive sustainable growth, advocate for regulatory advancements, and champion the interests of its members.

“MOMAN looks forward to a seamless transition and a new era of innovation and growth under Huub Stokman’s leadership.

“The association remains dedicated to promoting the highest standards of business
practices, fostering collaboration, and contributing positively to Nigeria’s energy sector and economy”