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Reps Committee says it will not hesitate to summon Buhari as Minister of Petroleum over alleged irregularities in NNPC

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By Aminci Audu

The House of Representatives Committee on Petroleum has said it will not hesitate to invite President Muhammadu Buhari to appear before it it as the Minister of Petroleum, should the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation,
(NNPC) fail to turn up to explain on some alleged irregularities

The committee gave the  NNPC two weeks ultimatum to appear and explain alleged on the alleged irregularities in the corporation

The ultimatum was issued by the chairman of the committee, Rep. Sarki Ada (APC-Sokoto) at a public hearing on Thursday, following the refusal of NNPC to honour invitations or reply to letters.
The committee chairman indicated that they have invited some oil companies; namely the NNPC, Addax Petroleum Company Ltd and Santex Nig Ltd, to appear before them and they have failed to show up

“We are giving them two weeks from today. We will reschedule this meeting for two weeks calendar days, to appear before the committee so we continue our business.
He said the committee will not hesitate to invite President Buhari to appear before it as the Minister of Petroleum, if they fail to turn up.
“Buhari is the minister, he appointed himself as approved by the parliament and he is doing his job; we will invite him, and I know as a law-abiding president, he will come.
“When he comes, Nigeria should know that it is because of the failure of the NNPC to appear that made him to appear before us,”he said.
Ada said that the committee had asked for relevant documents to investigate the activities of the NNPC, and the corporation had refused to oblige the committee.

“We have written three letters to them at an interval of three months each requesting for their budget performance and list of assets they are holding and managing on behalf of Nigerians.
“We asked for a list of their liabilities, what are the contracts they are executing, who are the contractors, the companies and what is the progress made.
“We have asked for details of how much they generate from the sales of crude oil produce, how much they are managing on behalf of Nigeria through other joint ventures, until today, there is no response.
“Time has come that we must speak, this country belongs to all of us, we are here as statutory Nigerians,” he said.
The Minister of State for Petroleum, Mr Timipre Sylva, promised to deliver the message of the committee to the NNPC.

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Appointment

CSDP winds down after completion of 16,166 micro projects in 29 States

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The Community and Social Development Project CSDP has officially been concluded with over 11 million direct beneficiaries across the 29 states and an estimated 25 million indirect beneficiaries.

The eleven year old programme was launched in 2009 for the implementation of the Social Protection Programmes of the Federal Government through the National Social Safety Nets Coordinating Office (NASSCO).
The special adviser on Media to the minister of Humanitarian Affairs Social Development and Disaster Management Nnaka Ikem Anibeze said it is now being supervised by the Ministry.

She quoted the Minister, Sadiya Umar Farouq who officially closed the program at the Nicon Luxury Hotel in Abuja on Tuesday, saying that the CSDP operated with the core principle of Community Driven Development (CDD) Approach.

“This is a development paradigm that focuses on the needs of the poor and vulnerable and empowering them with development resources to address their peculiar needs.

“Using this unique approach, the CSDP has implemented micro projects in poor communities across the 543 Local Government Areas of 29 states and the Federal Capital Territory.
“The poor communities are identified specifically through the use of Poverty Maps agreed to by each participating State and FCT.

“The Project has made substantial impact on improving access for the poor and vulnerable to social and natural resources infrastructure
across the benefitting communities”.

“During its over 11-year span, CSDP successfully completed 16,166 micro-projects in 5,664 communities and 934 vulnerable groups.These micro-projects cut across eight sectors of intervention namely education, health, water, transportation, electrification, socio-economic, environment and community housing. In addition, 5,764 classrooms, 1,323 health centres and 4,442 water micro projects were constructed and/or rehabilitated.

Minister Umar Farouq also thanked the World Bank and the state governments who contributed and participated in the project.

“What we are therefore celebrating today is the closure of the CSDP with clear records of impacting the poor and vulnerable communities and groups across the country”.

In his goodwill message, the Governor of Ekiti state Dr Kayode Fayemi spoke on the topic ‘Repositioning Nigeria for Greatness and Development: The Imperatives of Community Driven Development.
He described CSDP as one of the most impactful development projects of the World Bank and a great legacy.

Awards were given to Minister Sadiya Umar Farouq and Minister of State, Federal Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning Prince Clem Agba as Chief Promoters and Champions of Community Driven Development in Nigeria while the World Bank Country Director, Mr Shubham Chaudhuri and Professor Foluso Okunmadewa, World Bank Team Task Leader of CSDP received Lifetime Awards of Excellence in the Fight to End Poverty among the Rural Poor.

Bauchi emerged winner of the State Agency with the Highest Number of Completed Micro Projects of 916, while Cross River state won the State Government with the Highest Amount of Government Contribution award with a total of N1, 646, 835, 451.71.
Best State Government on Replication of CDD using Government Resources went to Plateau state.

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Appointment

Senate okays Maj. Gen Yahaya as substantive COAS

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The Senate has confirmed the appointment of Major General Farouk Yahaya as substantive Chief of Army Staff.
The confirmation came after consideration of the report of the joint Committee on Defence and Army which was laid by the joint chairman, Senator Aliyu Wamakko (Sokoto North) during plenary.

Wamakko had indicated that the joint committees found Maj. Gen Yahaya worthy of the appointment considering his pedigree in the Nigerian Army and experience in tackling insurgency in the country. 

The chairman, Committee on Army, Ali Ndume (Borno North) also said during the screening exercise, almost all members of the committee were present though the exercise was done behind close doors due the sensitivity of the screening.

Senator Gabriel Suswam (Benue West) said Maj. Gen Yahaya”s appointment is justified because he knows a lot about how to handle terrorism and  insurgency.

“I believed that once he is confirmed ,he would be able to tackle the problems of terrorism and insurgency “, said Suswam.

Senate President, Ahmad Lawan commended members of the two committee’s to the screening exercise. He said this shows how dedicated and committed they are to national security.

Lawan called for the support by everu citizenr and other sectors in the country against insecurity as the military alone cannot solve the security challenges

President Muhammadu Buhari had on June 3 forwarded to the Senate, a request for the confirmation of Maj. Gen.. Yahaya as Chief ofArmy Staff.

Buhari in the letter said Yahaya’s appointment was in compliance with the provisions of Section 18 subsection 1 of the Armed Forces Act 2004.

The letter reads in part: “In compliance with the provisions of section 18(1) of the Armed Forces Act Cap A20 laws of the Federation of Nigeria 2004, I hereby forward for confirmation by the Senate, the appointment of Major General Farouk Yahaya as the Chief of Army Staff of the Armed Forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. 

“His CV is herewith attached. It is my hope that the Senate will consider and confirm the nominee in the usual expeditious manner.”

The new nominee took over from former Chief of Army Staff, Major General Attahiru Ibrahim, who died in a plane crash near the Kaduna International Airport about two weeks ago. 

The new Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Major General Faruk Yahaya was born on January 5,1966 in Sifawa, Bodinga Local Government Area of Sokoto state. Maj Gen Yahaya who is a member of the 37 Regular Course of the prestigious Nigerian Defence Academy (NDA), started his cadet training on September 27, 1985 and was commissioned into the Nigerian Army Infantry Corps on  September 22, 1990.
Maj Gen Yahaya has held several appointments including Staff, Instructional and Command.
Notable among the appointments held by the new COAS are Garrison Commander Headquarters Guards Brigade, Directing Staff at the Armed Forces Command and Staff College (AFCSC), Deputy Director Army Headquarters Department of Military Secretary, Deputy Director Army Research and Development and the Chief of Staff, Headquarters Joint Task Force Operation Pulo Shield.

He also served as the Principal General Staff Officer (PGSO) to the Honourable Minister of Defence, the Commander, Headquarters 4 Brigade and 29 Task Force Brigade (Operation Zaman Lafiya). He was also Director Manpower at the Army Headquarters, Military Secretary, Army Headquarters and General Officer Commanding (GOC) 1 Division of the Nigerian Army.

Until his appointment as the COAS, Maj Gen Faruk Yahaya was the Theatre Commander Operation HADIN KAI, responsible for Counter Terrorism and Counter Insurgency operations in North East Nigeria.

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Appointment

Disability commission moves to ensure 5% employment for PLWDs at Federal, State levels

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The executive secretary, National Commission for Persons With Disabilities (NCPWD) Mr. James David Lalu has convened a Multi Sectoral Stakeholders Meeting on vacancies for replacement/employment of at least 5% for Persons With Disabilities.
The meeting also worked out a modalities for the constitution of a National Technical Working Group on access to employment for Persons Wth Disabilities across the six geopolitical zones.
They brainstormed on the development of an action plan for engaging State Governments on the implementation of signing the disability act into law to facilitate employment of Persons with Disabilities into the mainstream Civil and Public Service.
The stakeholders meeting brought together Members of the National Assembly, Federal Civil Service Commission, Office of the Head of the Civil Service of the Federation, Office of the Secretary to the Government of Federation, Sight Savers, and JONAPWD.

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