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PIA: Oil Companies Owing Host Communities N1tn, Says HOSTCOM



The Host Communities Producing Oil and Gas has expressed concern that two years after the Petroleum Industry Act 2021 took effect, host communities in the Niger Delta had not started receiving benefits from the three per cent of oil companies’ operational cost prescribed by the law.

The National President, HOSTCOM, Benjamin Tamaramiebi, said this during a press briefing in Yenagoa, Bayelsa State capital, while reacting to some media reports suggesting that host communities were against the Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission getting involved in the day-to-day management of the trust fund.

Former President Muhammadu Buhari signed the Petroleum Industry Bill into law in August 2021.

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The PIA provides legal, governance, regulatory and fiscal framework for the Nigerian petroleum industry, the development of host communities, and related matters.

The host community trust fund created by the PIA was meant to be administered by the oil and gas companies in collaboration with the host communities.

Tamaramiebi lamented that oil firms operating in the Niger Delta had not remitted three per cent of their annual production costs to the trust fund as prescribed by the law.

He claimed that the accumulated unremitted three per cent had amounted to N1 trillion.

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He said, “It is sad to say that after two years of the enactment of the PIA in 2021, the operating companies failed to provide the meagre three per cent of their annual production cost to the host communities.

“What is the fate of the communities at the moment? From my assessment, from 2021 till date, over N1 trillion, if converted from $500 per year, which is about $1 billion, is owed to the host community development trust fund.

“This is what is supposed to come into the host community development. But that has been denied the communities.”

Tamaramiebi complained that all global Memorandum of Understanding and the MoU that the oil firms used to sign with host communities through cluster development boards had been suspended and attention shifted to the PIA.

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“But because of the PIA, the GMoUs and MoUs were suspended. The companies were using these documents for the development of host communities by grouping communities into clusters of development boards.

“With these, they were given the communities peanuts for cluster projects. With the signing of the PIB into law, all such were suspended and they were asked to implement the provisions of the law,” he said.

The HOSTCOM leader, however, explained that the NUPRC was not involved in the management of the host community development trust fund, stressing that the commission’s involvement was in regulatory.



World Anti-Corruption Day: Group Decries DSS Impunity, Govt’s Borrowing Habit




The Foundation for Environmental Rights, Advocacy, and Development, FENRAD, has raised concerns about the impunity of the Department of State Security, DSS, and its disregard for the rule of law in the last eight years.

FENRAD’s executive director, Nelson Nnanna Nwafor, made the observation in Umuahia on Monday on the occasion of the 2023 World Anti-Corruption Day.

According to him, how DSS personnel go about re-arresting people freed by the court has been worrisome.

“Most lamentable is that in the last eight years, the state security service has become an agent of lawlessness. We have witnessed attempts to rearrest someone the court had freed right there inside the courtroom or also instances of inter-agency rivalry,” he said.

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The group also condemned the purchase of N160 million worth of vehicles for 469 lawmakers and the purchase of a yacht by the Federal Government. It also decried the nation’s habit of borrowing money to fund its budget and turning around to mismanage such funds on frivolities, to the detriment of poor Nigerians.

The group further cited contradictory judgements from courts in post-election cases as another worrying trend in the country.

FENRAD noted that for corruption to be defeated in Nigeria, the federal and state governments must be genuinely resolved to fight the monster.

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NECO Awards Scholarships To Best Performing Candidates In 2022, 2023 Exams




The National Examinations Council, NECO, has awarded scholarships to a total of 14 best performing candidates in the 2022 and 2023 examinations at all levels across the country.

The Registrar/ CEO of NECO, Prof Dantani Ibrahim Wushishi made the disclosure during the Council’s Productivity Award ceremony held in Minna, Niger State.

According to him, the best performing male and female candidates in SSCE 2022 are Asiru Ahmed Opeyemi from Crescent International High School, Sango-Ota, Ogun State, and Obidibo Chioma Blessing.

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Okafor Chima Christian from Saint Paul Academy, Jos, and Benson Ifebube Chelsea, from Renaissance Garden Secondary School, Ago-Okota, Lagos, are the best performing students for the 2023.

In the Basic Education Certificate Examination category, for 2022, Akintola Samuel Oluwadaresimi of Apostolic Church College, Sango, Ibadan, and Onochie Chiamada Francis of Igbenedion Educational Centre, Benin, topped the chart as the best performing students while Ekwueme Ikechukwu Excellent from Kimota Science College, Gboko, and Owuye Faheeza Oluwakemi of Maryland Comprehensive School (Junior), Lagos, emerged the best in 2023.

Similarly, the best performing candidates for the National Common Entrance Examination are Bokare Lemuel Ogheneyobre of Kingskidies Nursery and Primary School, Warri, and Chika Ugu Anastasia from Nana Primary School, Warri.

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Winners in the gifted children category include Njoku Obinna Adrian of Rosai Kid Montessori School, New Owerri, and Anikwu Princess Kamsiyochukwu from Springfield Academy, Awka.

Also, some staff of the Council, who distinguished themselves in their various areas of duty, were also honoured and given awards by the organization.

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144, 910 Cases Pending Before Federal High Court In New Legal Year




The Chief Judge of the Federal High Court of Nigeria, Justice John Tsoho has revealed that a total of 144, 910 cases are pending before the court in new legal year.

The Court in the last legal year had 15, 025 cases filed before it by litigants out of which 12, 870 were effectively disposed off leaving a balance of 2, 155 suits.

At the opening of the legal year of the Court in Abuja on Monday, the Chief Judge explained that the court carried over 142, 755 cases from 2021 to the 2022 legal year, adding that in the 2023 legal year, 15, 025 fresh cases were filed by various categories of litigants.

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He noted that the Court would be going into the new legal year with the 144, 910 suits but expressed optimism that judges would rise up to the challenge of disposing the cases as quickly as possible.

The breakdown of the carried over cases showed that 42, 784 are civil cases, 36, 061 criminal matters, 41, 447 are motions while 24, 618 are fundamental rights enforcement suits.

Justice Tsoho who put the current number of judges on the bench of the Court at 95, thanked them for the speedy manner pre-election cases of the 2023 general elections were handled within the time allowed by law.

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We must dispense justice with integrity and without bias, we must display utmost competence and courage as well as dispose cases speedily.

“The Federal High Court will surely rise to the challenges of the future with the same tenacity and commitment that have defined its path thus far,” he said.

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