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Alleged breach of local content act: Senate decries non appearance of NLNG, NCDMB, Saipem, Daewoo

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The Senate Committee on Local Content has expressed concern that organisations handling the Train 7 gas project failed to honor its invitation over issues relating to alleged breach of local content act on implementation of the project.

The organisations invited by the committee, that failed to appear are the Nigerian Liquified Natural Gas (NLNG),Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB),Saipem and Daewoo.
Chairman of the Committee, Sen.Teslim Folarin, (APC -Oyo), while addressing journalists said there were petitions against the running and the promoters of Train 7, Gas Project.

According to him, there are a lot of pressure to escalate the matter to an investigative hearing.

Folarin, however, said the committee thought, it would be nice to hear from the four organisations involved, hence their invitation.

“We invited the four of them today, but as you can see, non of them honoured our invitation,” he said.

Senator Sabi Abdullahi(APC- Niger) and Vice Chairman of the committee, speaking further on the position of the committee said, the matter boarded on implementation of Nigeria’s local content policy.

Abdullahi said Train 7 gas project, which centred on increasig the nation’s output on liquified natural gas was an issue that was critical, given the increasing price of cooking gas.

He said given the huge deposite of gas, the National Assembly was interested on how the companies could make life meaningful to Nigerians in their participation on the train 7 project and on increasing the local capacity.

Abdullahi said the Senate had invited the companies to know what was happening on implementation of the project, but they had all surreptitiously failed to honour the senate invitation.

He said the committee resolved that given non appearance of the four organisations on the next invitation slated for Dec 2, the committee would excalate the matter to a full public investigation.

He said the attitude of the four organisations was an insult on the parliament as a whole, as they found it convienient on themselves not to appear before the senate committee.

Abdullahi said the parliament would not abdicate its responsibility of ensuring compliance to set local content rules and regulations,noting that it was committed to ensuring success of the Train 7 gas project.

He said it was the duty of the parliament to ensure that Nigerians were not short changed and taken for granted, while expressing hope that the concearned organisations would honour the next invitation slated for Dec 2.

He said with all the challenges of the economy, the matter was not what the senate would fold its arms and allow Nigerians to be short changed on the project.

He, however, said the Train 7 gas project was an attempt by the NLNG to increase Nigeria’s output from the current level to tap from the abundant natural gas resources in the country.

Abdullahi, who did not disclose further details, on the pertitions against the companies given its sensitive nature, said the committee would want to hear from the organisations.

He said it was too early to give further details until after engaging the companies.

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Legislature

Kogi Lawmaker applauds Bello for giving automatic employment to constituent

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Governor Yahaya Bello has been commended for giving automatic employment to Miss Egamana Elizabeth Yakpesoko of the department of Science Laboratory Technician who scored 5.0 CGPA from College of Health Sciences and Technology, Idah.

Governor Yahaya Bello had offered Miss Miss Egamana Elizabeth Yakpesoko automatic employment with the Kogi State Specialist Hospital, Lokoja during the convocation of the college after it’s establishment forty five years ago.

A statement by the Member representing Bassa constituency in the state House of Assembly, Mr Rayi Daniyan described the gesture to his constituent as the demonstration of the love he has for the people of Bassa Local Government.

Daniyan who described the gesture of the Governor as second to none in the history of his constituency urged the people of the area to continue in their support for Governor Yahaya Bello.

The Lawmaker said Governor Bello was God sent to Bassa Local Government in view of his proactive step in stopping the insecurity in the Local Government.

He said the automatic employment given Miss Egamana Elizabeth Yakpesoko was a clear demonstration of the fact that Bassa Local Government has a special place in the heart of the Governor.

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Legislature

Senate panel makes case for N10b increase in 2022 judiciary budget

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**Insists terrorism taking its toll on the arm of Government

The Senate Committee on Judiciary, Human Rights and Legal Matters has made a case for an addition of N10b to the judiciary in next year’s budget.
Senator representing Ekiti Central and Chairman of the Committee, Michael Opeyemi Bamidele presented the request before the Senate Committee on Appropriation on Thursday at the National Assembly complex.
The Executive had made provision of N120 billion for the judiciary in the 2022 Budget.
Speaking with newsmen after his presentation before the Senator Jibrin Barau led Appropriation Committee, Senator Bamidele who disclosed that his Committee made a request for additional N10billion for the judiciary maintained that the budget estimate was inadequate, considering the enormous responsibilities before the judiciary.
“To begin with the Federal Government on its own in the 2022 budget proposal on its own had proposed and increased the budget by N10b for the judiciary. “Recall that the amount budgeted for the judiciary in the year 2021 budget was a sum of N110b. So on their own Government had proposed additional N10b subject to the approval of the national assembly, that is why we are talking about N120b with the N10b increase by the Federal Government.
Senator Bamidele indicated apart from the challenge thrown up by terrorism, there is the need to deploy technology in the dispensation of Justice.
“As we speak there are people awaiting trial as a result of the various insecurity problems that we have in the country, whether you call them bandits whether you call them terrorists, whether you call them gunmen or women the truth about the matter is there is insecurity in the country.
“This has brought additional burden on the judiciary to the extent that our constitution still guarantee right to freedom of fair hearing for everyone who is alleged, once he is arrested apprehended and bought to court.”
He said all that underscored the need for more money to be made available for the judiciary.

“So we are convinced as a committee that there is a need to give more money to the judiciary. Second reason why we are convinced that judiciary deserve to have more money is the fact that COVID-19 opened the eyes of everybody to the need for every court to be placed in a position where there can be virtual heating.
“You must be ready to deploy technology, all manners of technology that will make it possible for lawyers to electronically file their cases, that will make it possible for lawyers to be able to engage in virtual hearing.
“To make it possible for court to be able to sit virtually. All of these require deployment of technology and they don’t come cheap.
“We are talking of all levels of courts, from the magistrate court to the State high court to the Federal High court, to the court of Appeal to the supreme Court.
“There are other specialised courts like industrial court and the Code of Conduct tribunal and others. So definitely there is need to give money to the judiciary to respond to the global best practice standard needs that are confronting them today.
“It is for all of these things that as a committee both chambers we are asking that the senate committee on appropriation should take it beyond the N120b by the Federal Government for the year 2022 to a sum of N130b.
“We have also added the list of the courts and other judicial bodies like the Judicial service commission, judicial justice committee of FCT and all the other relevant ones.”

Asked about the secrecy surrounding the budget of the judiciary, the Chairman,
Senate Committee on Judiciary, Human Rights and Legal Matters dismissed it as a non issue as he noted that it was not peculiar to the judiciary.
“It isn’t our responsibility to monitor their expenditure but it is important that whatever is allocated under the National Judicial Commission is judiciously used.
“The secrecy you talked about isn’t peculiar to the judiciary. No one is asking about the budget of the Department of State Serviced or National Intelligence Agency.
Their budget (judiciary) isn’t up to one percent of the entire budget. We may choose to sensationalise it, but public interest is better served if the budget of the judiciary is at least one percent of the entire budget. We need a well funded judiciary so that it’s independence isn’t compromised.”

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Legislature

Impeachment fever: Jigawa Speaker goes into hiding

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By Ahmed Rufa’i, Dutse

The speaker Jigawa state house of Assembly, Honourable Idris Garba Kareka may have gone in to hiding after closing the house over alleged fear of impeachement.

Reports from the state indicated that the speaker has suspended house proceedings for some months now.

Speaking to news men on the issue the chairman house committee on information, youth, sports and culture, honourable, Muhammed Adamu said he does not know the speaker’s whereabouts.

“I don’t know, I can not say, to be frank and sincere”.

“It is not my business to be monitoring someone’s movements the speaker inclusive, so that is not something serious to pay attention or waste time on.”
NationalUpdate checks indicated that a plot to unseat the speaker is being hatched.
The nationalUpdate findings said member representing Jahun constituency is being sponsored by a serving Senator from the state.

The move to remove the speaker it was further gathered is not unconnected with his ambition for the Governorship tussle between him and the senator behind the impeachment plot.
The senator is nurturing ambition to become next Governor of the state in 2023.

Hence he is making frantic effort to unseat the Speaker by coercing some members of the state house of Assembly to commence the impeachment process on the Speaker

The speaker is also said to be at odds with the state governor Muhammad Badaru over the 2023 governorship seat also.
The speaker has been conspicuously absent in a series of political events hosted by the Governor.

In his response on the impeachment move Adamu denied there is a plot to impeach the speaker as he described the impeachment rumor as fake news being peddled by trouble seekers whose motive is to riddicle the image of the house.

“It is fake news from those who don’t wish the state well, the assembly members and the speaker as well as the executive arm are in good working relationship.
“Any reports alleging plot to impeach the speaker is fake,” the lawmaker said.

“Such issue was never discussed by members, the house must have a reason if it must impeach the speaker; what is the reason? No senator is meddling in the affairs of the house, we are independent, can those peddling such false rumours come out and prove their allegation? Mr Adamu queried

Mr Adamu said such statement is coming from the imagination of it’s authors.
“It is fiction by some groups outside the party trying to create confusion in the state.”

According to him the Assembly is concerned about the well being of the state, that made the lawmakers not to be attending seatings for some times while attending seminars and workshops outside the state.

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