Ex-SGF Babachir Lawal arrested by EFCC; Reps pass the PIB framework; NNPC, end petrol scarcity queues in 7 days – Senate; APC Reacts To OBJ’s Statement On PMB; Obasanjo, you’re wrong on Buhari’s scorecard – Presidency . . .
EFCC says it has arrested the former Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Babachir Lawal. Lawal was arrested Wednesday, Channels Television reported. Lawal was sacked after he was indicted by a presidential panel that investigated misuse of funds meant for (IDPs) people displaced by Boko Haram.
He had earlier been indicted by the Senate. His arrest is coming a day after former President Olusegun Obasanjo accused President Muhammadu Buhari of condoning corruption where persons close to him are involved.
Many Nigerians reacted to the arrest of Babachir Lawal in the social media, saying the action is meant to divert attention from Obasanjo’s letter. Buhari has been accused of diverting Nigerians’ attention from the current challenges, particularly the recent letter by former president, Olusegun Obasanjo.
The House of Representatives on Thursday passed the Petroleum Industry Governance bill through its third and final reading. However, the passed Bill is just a fragment of the entire Bill (PIB) as this aspect is just the regulatory framework.
The final report of the bill with the long title “A Bill for an Act to Provide for the Governance and Institutional Framework for the Petroleum Industry and for Related Matters (HBs. 477, 878 and 1053)” which has 143 clauses was presented to the house a week ago by the chairman of the ad hoc committee on PIB Hon. Alhassan Ado-Doguwa.
Amongst other objectives, this PIB seeks to introduce reforms that would engender transparency, while at the same time making the oil and gas sector more business-oriented and profit-drive.
If eventually signed by the president, the bill will unbundle the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, and provide for the establishment of Federal Ministry of Petroleum Incorporated, Nigerian Petroleum Regulatory Commission, Nigerian Petroleum Assets Management Company and National Petroleum Company and Petroleum Equalisation Fund.
The Senate on Thursday urged the NNPC to within seven days end lingering scarcity of petrol and clear queues in filling stations across the country. This followed a unanimous adoption of the report of the Committee on Petroleum Resources (Downstream) on the fuel crisis in the country at plenary.
In the report presented by its Chairman, Sen. Kabiru Marafa, the committee recommended that NNPC should be given seven days ultimatum to end long queues in fuel stations in the country. The committee stressed the need for security agencies to ensure effective border patrol to check diversion of petroleum products to neighbouring countries. The committee stressed the need for security agencies to ensure effective border patrol to check diversion of petroleum products to neighbouring countries.
It also recommended that the Department for Petroleum Resources should double efforts to enforce compliance with government’s regulated pump price of petroleum products.
APC disagreed with former president Olusegun Obasanjo in what appears like a wholesale dismissal of the entire political system in the country. The party acknowledged the challenges as a new political party, even as they believe that APC remains the best option at this time for all Nigerians who are genuinely committed to the progress and development of the country.
The party was reacting to Obasanjo’s open letter to President Muhammadu Buhari. In a statement signed by Mallam Bolaji Abdullahi, the APC National Publicity Secretary, the party called “on all our supporters across the country to remain strong and steadfast. These are challenging times. But we cannot afford to react to public criticism with any form of emotionalism. We are the ruling party. We must take responsibility. Take valuable lessons on board and continue to improve. . .”
President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration defended yesterday its integrity — and achievements. It scored itself better than its predecessors.
Minister of Information, Culture and National Orientation Lai Mohammed told State House reporters after the Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting that Obasanjo is a patriot with a right to his opinion.
It was all in reaction to Tuesday’s ”public statement” by former President Olusegun Obasanjo, which criticised the administration for not doing well and advised President Buhari to exit in “a dignified and honourable dismount from the horse” and not seek reelection. The government said Obasanjo might have been too busy to appreciate how well the administration had performed.