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Senate Begins Moves to Ensure Immediate Relocation Of Oil & Gas Companies To Operational Bases In N’Delta

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The Senate has begun moves to ensure that all Oil and Gas Companies in Nigeria as a matter of urgency, relocate to the operational bases especially in the Niger Delta geo-political zone of the country.

To fast track the movement of the companies, the Senate on Tuesday, mandated its Committees on Petroleum Resources Upstream; Downstream Petroleum Sector and Gas to liaise with the Ministry of Petroleum Resources and the Presidential Implementation Committee on the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA) to facilitate the relocation of the oil and gas companies in Nigeria to their various operational bases to ensure their smooth operations.

The Committees on Upstream; Downstream and Gas are chaired by Senators Muhammed Sabo, All Progressives Congress, APC, Jigawa South West; Albert Bassey Akpan, Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Akwa Ibom North East and James Manager, PDP, Delta South respectively.

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Resolutions of the Senate were sequel to a motion titled, ‘urgent need to encourage all multinational and Nigerian Oil and Gas Companies to relocate to their Operational Bases.’

The motion was sponsored by Senator Albert Bassey Akpan, PDP, Akwa Ibom North East and co- sponsored by 23 others.

Presenting the motion, Senator Akpan said that “The Senate notes with concern that multinational and Nigerian oil and gas companies have over the years been operating from their respective operational bases until militancy and insecurity in the host communities in the Niger Delta became the order of the day.

“Also notes that the reason proffered by the oil and gas companies for not relocating to their host communities has always been due to insecurity and hostilities in the host communities.”

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According to him, the Senate is “Aware that operating outside the host communities and the operational base is the reason for the high cost of production which has been the bane of the country’s oil and gas industry, militating against maximum revenue from crude oil and gas sales to the Federation Account;

“Recalls that this high cost of production has been one of the most contentious elements of our petroleum industry value chain.”

Senator Akpan said that the Senate is “Convinced that the recent passage and signing into law of the Petroleum Industry Act, 2021 (PIA) by the National Assembly and the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria respectively, is a major milestone towards the restoration of lasting peace in the host communities;

“Further convinced that the Petroleum Industry Act, 2021 now places certain responsibilities on the security, peace and safety of oil and gas infrastructure on the host communities to safeguard and ensure peaceful co-existence between oil and gas companies and their host communities.

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READ ALSO: Urhobo, Isoko Ex-agitators Team Up, Inaugurate Exco

According to him, the Upper Chamber is, “Further convinced that is an opportunity to restore, recover and rehabilitate the massive and huge infrastructural facilities abandoned by the various oil and gas companies in their various operational bases to ensure their full utilization; and

“Assured that the relocation of these companies to their host communities will further boost development in those areas and enhance the corporate social relationship and strengthen our collective resolve to considerably reduce the contentious cost of production and ensure adequate returns to the federation account.”

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Exonerate Ken Saro-Wiwa, Not Pardons, Foundation Replies Buhari

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The Ken Saro-Wiwa Foundation has said it wants exoneration and not pardonn to be granted to the late environmental activist, Ken Saro-Wiwa and eight others executed by the Nigerian military dictator, Sani Abacha.

The Foundation was reacting to a statement attributed to President Muhammadu Buhari saying he was considering granting a state pardon to Saro-Wiwa and others executed at the height of the Ogoni crisis in the 1990s.

A statement signed by Dr Owens Wiwa, brother of Ken Saro-Wiwa, on behalf of the Board of Directors of the Foundation and obtained by SaharaReporters on Sunday, however, said the late activist and the eight others who were murdered by the Abacha regime were not criminals.

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The group, which became known as Ogoni 9, were activists from the Ogoni region who opposed the operating practices of oil companies destroying their area.

They were author and playwright Ken Saro-Wiwa, Saturday Dobee, Nordu Eawo, Daniel Gbooko, Paul Levera, Felix Nuate, Baribor Bera, Barinem Kiobel, and John Kpuine.

They were tried by a special military tribunal for allegedly masterminding the murder of Ogoni chiefs at a pro-government meeting, and hanged in 1995 by the military dictatorship of General Abacha.

The statement titled, ‘Exoneration Not Pardon For Ken Saro-Wiwa,’ reads: “The Board of Directors of the Ken Saro-Wiwa Foundation (KSWF) have received and read the statement from Mr (Femi) Adesina, the Special Adviser on Communications to the President of Nigeria, General Muhammadu Buhari (Rtd), in which the President conveyed his willingness to grant clemency or pardons to Ken Saro-Wiwa and eight Ogoni activists illegally executed by the Nigerian Military Dictatorship of Sani Abacha on November 10, 1995, after a sham trial.

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“Ken Saro-Wiwa and the other Eight Ogonis were not criminals. They were innocent activists unjustly murdered for fighting for a just cause on behalf of their oppressed community. The path to true peace in the region begins with justice. The cleaning up of the environment for which they campaigned and died for is a first good step.

“The exoneration of Ken Saro-Wiwa and 8 other Ogoni activists, judicially murdered on November 10 1995 is another step towards peace.

READ ALSO: Ogoni 9: Buhari Considers State Pardon For Ken Saro-Wiwa, Others

“The family of Ken Saro-Wiwa have made a request for the exoneration of Ken Saro-Wiwa to the President in the past and are still waiting for a response. We urge the President to again consider this request as a path to justice and peace.”

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The statement added that the “family and the Foundation have not asked any individual to ask for pardon or clemency for Ken Saro-Wiwa on our behalf, nor are we aware of any group of Ogonis making such a request”.

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Drama As Ortom Busts Illegal Revenue Checkpoint In Benue, Arrests Operators [PHOTOS]

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Luck ran out on a gang of illegal checkpoint operators at Abinsi, Guma Local Government Area of Benue State on Sunday, October 24, 2021, when Governor Samuel Ortom busted their operations.

Governor Ortom’s attention was drawn to the activities of the illegal revenue operators when he noticed the harassment of heavy-duty vehicles that were detained at the checkpoint on his way from Kwande Local Government.

He then ordered his convoy to stop to find out why many vehicles were parked at the checkpoint.

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As soon as he alighted from his car, some of the youths at the checkpoint took to their heels.

He discovered, during an interaction with drivers of the vehicles, that the checkpoint operators were collecting money from motorists without issuing them receipts, a development that prompted the Governor to order the arrest of four of the operators who could not run.

The Governor directed that those who fled should also be apprehended and thoroughly investigated alongside the four suspects to unravel benefactors of the proceeds from their illegal collections.

He explained that within a very short time, the checkpoint operators collected more than N20,000 from the commuters without issuing them receipts.

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Governor Ortom lamented that despite the collections, nothing goes to the government as such monies are diverted into private pockets for individual use.

READ ALSO: Ortom Vows To Drag Akume To Court Over Allegations

DAILY POST reports that he vowed to sanction the management of the Board of Internal Revenue Service, BIRS, for failure to supervise and ensure the right thing was done.

Governor Ortom said he will henceforth, personally carry out surprise checks on the activities of checkpoint operators in the state.

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The four suspects were then handed over to the Police for further investigation.

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EFCC Grills Ex-Senate President

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A former Senate President, Senator Anyim Pius Anyim, is currently being grilled by operatives of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, in a case of corruption and diversion of public funds.

Anyim who arrived the headquarters of the anti-graft agency in Jabi, Abuja at about 3pm, is currently being grilled by a team of operatives.

Though details of the specific allegations against the former Secretary to the Government of the Federation, SGF, were sketchy as of press time, a source familiar with the case informed that, it is tied to the corruption and money laundering case involving former Aviation Minister and serving senator, Senator Stella Oduah.

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Part of the rehabilitation funds to the tune of N780 million were allegedly traced to a company in which Senator Anyim has interest.

READ ALSO: Varsity Graduate Awaiting NYSC Mobilization, Allegedly Raped To Death

When contacted, Wilson Uwujaren, EFCC spokesman said he has not been briefed.

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