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HOSTCOM talks tough over 10% equity, says it can resurrect militancy

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HOSTCOM talks tough over 10% equity, says it can resurrect militancy

***List grey areas that must be expunged or ammended in the PIB

Host Communities Producing Oil and Gas (HOSTCOM) have advised the Federal Government against truncating the passage of Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) stating that anything short of their demand for 10% equity, may prompt Niger Delta militants to return to the creeks.
The National President of HOSTCOM, High Chief (Dr) Benjamin Style Tamanarebi said every indication points to the fact that the Government is not interested in the passage of the bill because of lack of sincerity.
Tamarabi issued the statement as an executive summary after the joint committee on PIB town hall meetings between tha national Assembly with the Governments of the States, stakeholders and and Host Communities Producing Oil and Gas that took place from 1st to 5th of March, 2021.
He said the Niger Delta militants have been calm because of the high expectation that the HOSTCOM will secure the 10% equity in the PIB to at least atone for the monumental degradation on their environment.He therefore warned that it is in the best interest of all stakeholders that the federal Government stop treating the Niger Delta interest with kids gloves as it may boomerang. 
In the executive summary that was jointly signed by the National President and chairmen of the nine State chapters of the HOSTCOM, they listed the grey areas in the bill that must be expunged or amended.
They therefore reiterated their position to stand by the On-shore Host Communities so defined as Host and directly impacted Communities 50km radius of the Project site which includes pipelines.
They also reiterated in strong terms their unwavering position as submitted at both chambers of the National Assembly, especially the crucial areas as indicated in the various sections of the PIB.
They want a mechanism to be set-up for the obtaining of approvals by the Minister in matters that affect Federation account to include the Producing States and Host Communities as in chapter 1, part 1 which deals with Vesting of Petroleum, ownership as major stakeholders.
They want Part 111. Sections 3,4,5, which said, the Commission shall not undertake both Commercial and regulatory activities at the same time and should not temper with federation account funds such as the proposed 10% of rents on petroleum licences and petroleum mining leases which are usually in dollars to be expunged.
They demanded that the Governing Board be expanded to accommodate each of the Producing States and HostCom representatives.”The Governing Board of the Authority should also be expanded to accommodate each of the Producing States and HostCom representatives.
“On Section 47, which deals with Funding of the Authority: they want the proposed 1% to be expunged since the National Assembly appropriates funds to the Authority on a first line charge in addition to four other sources of funds.
They also want the Midstream Gas Infrastructure Fund contained in Section 52 to beexpunged and the Location of the Headquarters (HQ) of theAuthority to be in the major Petroleum Producing States.Part V, section 53, subsection (1) which says the Minister shall within 3months at the commencement of the Act incorporate the limited liability Company, they want ownership of all NNPC Limited share to be vested in the Government of the federation at incorporation and held by the Ministry of Finance Incorporated, HOSTCOM and the Governments of the petroleum Producing States of Oil and Gas for and on behalf of the people as in Section 53, subsection 3.

Subsection 6 & 7, which states that NNPC Limited and any of its subsidiaries shall conduct their affairs on a commercial basis without recourse to government funds and their memorandum and articles of association shall state these restrictions in the Bill.

On section 54, that deals with Transfer of Assets and Liabilities: “Let it be madeclear that NNPC must remain a Government National Company and any sale of shares must be with the approval of the Federal Government, the Petroleum Producing States/HostCom and the National Assembly.
 “The assets NNPC controls belongs to the Federation not the Federal Government alone. Assets, interests and liabilities of NNPC not transferable to NNPC Limited or its subsidiary under sub section (1) of this section, shall remain the assets, interests and liabilities of NNPC until they become extinguished or transferred to the Government.
“The Petroleum Producing States must be given rights to first refusal to acquire the shares since most of the assets NNPC Ltd manages are derived from Petroleum which is produced from the Petroleum producing State.

On section Section 55, that deals with the Appointment of NNPC limited they said, theMinister shall upon incorporation of NNPC Limited, consult withthe Minister of Finance, and the Governments of the Petroleum Producing Oil and Gas States and HOSTCOM to appoint NNPC Limited.

On Section 59 that deals with the Board of NNPC Limited Composition, they want NNPCLimited to be determined by the shareholders of NNPCLimited in accordance with the provisions of the Companies and Allied Matters Act and the articles of association of NNPCLimited since NNPC Limited is not solely owned by Government.

Continuing they also wantChapter two, Part 11, section 68, Up-streams operationsrelating to Titles and interpretation to be vested in the Federal Government and Governments of the Petroleum Producing States/HostCom.

They want section 68 subsection 3, sections 77(3); 78(2) etc, which provides for 1,500sq kilometres for anyfrontier acreage and limitless period for exploration to be expunged.

They demanded that Section 86, that deals with the Duration and Renewal of leases and licences to be for 5years minimum and 10years maximum.

On environmental Management Plan contained in Section 102 they demanded that the submissionmust include the compliance and implementation to all extant local and global regulations precedent to the commencement to anactivity and so stated in the bill.

Section 103: As a condition for the grant of a licence orlease and prior to the approval of the environmental management plan a licensee or lessee shall pay a prescribed financial contribution to an environmental remediation fund to the Host Communities (HostCom).
Section 104 that deals with Gas Flaring Penalties to be paid to Host Communities they said, now that the date is shifted all flaring fields should be captured, daily flares recorded accordingly by appropriate measuring and gauging instruments and data base provided, including a specific process on how to end the flare on or before 2025.
They want Section 115, that deals with Compensation for acquisition of land relating to the issuance of certificate of occupancy to be be expunged.
Chapter 3, section 234 Host Communities Sustainable Development: in pursuant to this Act there shall be established Host Communities Oil Producing Areas Development Commission (HC-OPADEC) which shall be replicated at the State and localGovernment levels.

Section 235: subsection(1) deals with the word settlor which the demanded should be replaced with the word Operating Company.

Section 4 deals with the appointment of Board of Trustees which they want be by the Communities and for the Communities as recommended.

“Section 240: Deals with the sustainable development trustfund, which shall be 10% equity share holding which is sacrosanct and shall include 25% of the royalty accruing from the oil and gas produced be payable into the account and before production commences an amount equivalent to 10% of the OPEX and CAPEX be also paid into the account.
 
This is the Position of HostCom and also supported by the Governors of the Producing Oil and Gas States. 
Section 242, deals with the Board of trustees, composition, management shall be by the Communities.

They also want Section 257 which deals with penalty against the HostCom for anact of vandalism, sabotage etc to be expunged as HostCom is neither the Chief executive Officer of their locality or the State nor Government security agency.

“We would also like to know about the position of Petroleum Technology Development Fund (PTDF) and Petroleum EqualizationFund since they were very conspicuous on the previous bills.

“All the amended interpretations should also be so stated in the bill.”They demanded that the Headquarters of NNPC Limited, the Commission and Authority be located in the major Producing Oil and Gas States to demonstrate Government’s transparency and evidence to sustainable development.

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Gov Matawalle visits IDP camp, urges FG to deploy more troops

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Gov Matawalle visits IDP camp, urges FG to deploy more troops

Zamfara state Governor, Bello Mohammed Matawalle has expressed sadness over the resurgence of banditry activities in the state.

The governor who visited the Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) camp at Unguwar Danbaba in Tsunami area of Gusau local government as he urged the federal government to deploy more troops to the affected areas.

Sympathising with the IDPs who are mostly from Rijiya community, he assured them of his administration’s commitment to the continued protection of lives and properties of the citizens in the state.

The governor, in a statement by his Director General, Media, Public Enlightenment and Communications, Yusuf Idris Gusau said although his administration inherited the security problem in the state, with the support and cooperation of the people, the situation has reduced to a minimal level.

He appealed to the people of the state to support the government by providing necessary intelligence to security agencies in order to bring an end to the security challenges facing the state.

He commended the Ministry for Humanitarian and Disaster Management for the prompt action taken in the provision of food items, medicaments and bedding materials to the IDP camp.

Earlier, one of the IDPs” leaders, Mallam Muhammadu Shehu expressed gratitude over the governor’s visit as herequested for redeployment of more security personnel to the affected communities to enable them return to their respective communities.

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Arrest insecurity in Ebonyi not our President, indigenes tackle Umahi

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Arrest insecurity in Ebonyi not our President, indigenes tackle Umahi

**Raises the alarm over plot to declare Oluchchukwu wanted

Association of Ebonyi State Indigenes in Diaspora (AESID) has asked Governor Dave Umahi, to tackle the insecurity situation in the state instead of the plot to arrest for trial the association’s President, Ambassador Paschal Oluchukwu.

The Ebonyi indigenous group said it is in possession of a audio clip where the state government had asked the security operative to declare Mr. Oluchchukwu wanted and effect his arrest for trial over a published open letter in a national daily regarding the killings in Effium, Ohaukwu Local Government Area of Ebonyi state.

In a statement released to newsmen Thursday in Abuja, AESID said sane minds had expected the state government to rejoind the said open letter with its own facts or counter proves rather than descend so low to harass security agencies to declare the leader of the group wanted.

“As a governance and accountability platform, we in AESID believe that the interest of truth and justice would be best served by truths and nothing but sincerity of purpose especially in managing the lingering Effium war and other communal unrests troubling the very soul of our dear state, not the resort to open or clandestine threats to the lives of Ebonyi citizens like our President willfull elected to not only ask questions and engage leaders in a democracy but even shoulder lots of the burden the government has elected to ignore.

We urge the security agencies in Ebonyi state to please jettison the rather hasty and irrational reactions cum conclusions of the government but rather focus their strengths and energy in bringing all those causing these delibitating unrests in Effium and indeed, our dear state in general to book.

We take this stand because we have known our President, Paschal Oluchukwu well enough and his track records are there for all to see.

“Ambassador Paschal is only deeply concerned just like the rest of ordinary Ebonyians that our once very peaceful Ebonyi has turned into a killing field while the government gallivants and prevaricates without seeking open-minded and credible solutions to these myriads of violence and insecurity in our land.”

While demanding for explanation within 24 hours on the allegation of bias in the lingering Effium carnages raised in the open letter, the group said such was necessary for the governor to clear his name and help in restoring peace in Effium and other parts of the state.

“Meantime, it is pertinent at this closing juncture to draw the attention of the Nigerian security apparatchik who were all duly copied the said Open letter to this latest threats and gimmicks of Governor Umahi to silence those calling for accountability in democratic setting.

“The Nigerian government and the whole world should hold Umahi and his agents responsible, should any harm befall our dear capacity President, his family and or relatives including his businesses home and abroad, for we believe at all times that the primary purpose of government is the protection of lives and property of citizens.”

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Tazan brings succour to Stagi orphanage home

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Tazan brings succour to Stagi orphanage home

***lauds Gov. Bello’s strides on security

The Director of Foreign Affairs and integration, United Arab emirate, of National Youths Council of Nigeria (NYCN), Tazan Saahibfatatiu has brought succor to the inhabitants of Stagi Cornerstone orphanage home to confirm with the doctrine of feeding the needy during the period of the Holy Ramadan.

Tazan made this known in a chat with newsmen after the presentation of food items and provisions to the orphanage noting that alms giving during Ramadan fast is considered one of the most admonished good deeds in Islam.

He added that the message of communal responsibility is reinforced through fasting and this, he maintained, encourages empathy and compassion for those that are less privileged in the society.

According to him, the world would have been a better place for all if only everyone takes from the little he or she has to help those in dire need in the society.

While commenting on the prevailing state of economy of the state, Tazan lauded Governor Bello for the giant strides recorded on security, stressing that the peace in the state has encouraged people like him to come home and do business, see family and friends very often.

Earlier, a friend who accompanied him, Hon. Chukwuma Trust lauded the effort of Saahibfatatiu adding that he feels motivated to go back home and replicate same.

While he promised to keep helping the orphanage home on regular bases, he donated an instant cash gift to support the orphanage home.  

Speaking on behalf of the owner of the home, the matron of orphanage, Mrs. Clara Owosagba expressed delight over the items, adding that the items will go a long way in providing regular food for the children.

She further called on the government through the state Ministry of Health to help provide care for one of their children who is a sickle cell patient and in dire need of medical attention.

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