Fuel Scarcity: Senate To Undertake Nationwide Inspection Of Filling Stations, Summons NNPC GMD

 

The Senate Committee on Petroleum Downstream says plans have been concluded for it to conduct nationwide inspection of filling stations over recent fears of fuel scarcity in the country.

Committee Chairman, Senator Kabiru Marafa stated this at a news briefing shortly after an investigative hearing on the matter on Tuesday in Abuja.

Marafa said the Senate would not watch some unpatriotic persons put Nigerians through any form of hardship, particularly during the Yuletide.

He noted that although the Senate had adjourned to commence budget defence, members of the committee would take time out to embark on the oversight.

According to him, the committee members would be regrouped into sub-committees to make it possible to visit all the states.

“First things first, this season a lot of Nigerians will be travelling to reunite with their love ones.

“We will take time out to embark on a serious oversight. We will break into sub-committees to be able to cover the entire country.

“We have already mandated the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) to furnish us with the daily distribution list.

“This is to enable the sub-committees to be armed with detailed evidence of which filling station was given what quantity of fuel.

“We will also get these details from the filling stations to ascertain when last they got supplies and the quantity sold.

“We will not stop at that. We will also inspect tanks in filling stations to ensure that Nigerians are not taken advantage of,’’ he said.

Meanwhile, the committee has summoned NNPC Group Managing Director, Maikanti Baru to appear before it on Thursday, having failed to appear on Tuesday.

“Immediately the issue came up, we contacted NNPC to know the situation of things and we were told that the rumours were unfounded and that they have written rejoinders to that effect.

“However, given the seriousness of the matter, we decided to invite the GMD to come and brief us on the development and to enable Nigerians know the situation of things.

“Unfortunately, he wrote informing us of his inability to honour the invitation.

“We hope he will be back by Thursday to tell Nigerians the true situation. Even if he cannot make it, he can send people that are in good authority to speak on his behalf.

“There is an Executive Director in charge of Downstream who oversees the downstream generally. There is also the Managing Director of Petroleum and Product Marketing Company.

“So, whatever it is by next tomorrow (Thursday) we will be able to tell Nigerians what the situation is like and what the Senate is going to do in the event of any eventuality,’’ he said.

He warned filling stations in the habit of hoarding fuel to inflict untold pains on Nigerians to desist as it would not be business as usual.

He assured that the Senate would work with relevant agencies of government to punish any filling station found wanting.

Senate Passes 2018 Budget For 2nd Reading, Suspends Plenary For 2 Weeks

The Senate has raised the oil benchmark for the 2018 budget from the $45 per barrel as proposed by the Federal Government to $47.

The Senate took the decision at the plenary on Tuesday, after the consideration and adoption of the report by its Joint Committee on Finance, Appropriations, and National Planning and Economic Affairs on the 2018-2020 Medium Term Expenditure Framework and Fiscal Strategy Paper.

The Senate also passed the 2018 Appropriation Bill for second reading.

The bill was referred to the Committee on Appropriations for further legislative action.

The upper chamber of the National Assembly however adjourned plenary to December 19, 2017, to allow the standing committees to hold budget defence sessions for federal ministries, departments and agencies.

Again, Senate Fails To Approve Bello Mahmud As INEC Commissioner

The Nigerian Senate has again failed to confirm a Resident Electoral Commissioner, REC, nominee, Bello Mahmud, from Zamfara State.

The Senate first rejected Mr. Mahmud’s nomination last Thursday for allegedly not being an indigene of the state.

On Tuesday, the lawmakers agreed to revisit the rejection after Kabir Marafa, Zamfara-APC, raised a point of order and sought the leave of the Senate to revisit the controversial rejection.

Presenting the motion on Wednesday, Mr. Marafa asked the Senate to “rescind its earlier decision and approve the confirmation of the nomination of Ahmad Bello Mahmud, to represent Zamfara State as Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) in Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).”

Mr. Marafa said that even though the committee had claimed that its recommendation was based on ‘careful deliberations and consultations,’ at no time was he consulted on the confirmation of the nominee despite being a Senator from the state.

He said that the report of the committee had in itself confirmed that the nominee is from Zamfara state.

“The Senate is aware that item 4.1.2 on page 6 of the Screening Committee’s Report has confirmed that the nominee was born in Gusau, Gusau Local Government Area of Zamfara State;

“The Senate is aware that the report has confirmed that the nominee had both his primary and secondary education in Gusau and Anka Local Government Areas of Zamfara State respectively;

“The Senate is aware that the nominee was a one-time Attorney General and Commissioner of Justice of Zamfara State and the Chairman, Zamfara State Anti-Corruption Commission, amongst others;

“The Senate is aware also that the methodology adopted by the Committee as contained in item 3.0 on page 3 of the report made no reference whatsoever to indigeneship as a basis for consideration and for clearing any nominee;

“The Senate is further aware that the assertion by the senator representing Zamfara North Senatorial District that the nominee is from Kebbi State and not from Zamfara State is therefore false.”

He prayed that the Senate rescind its earlier decision of rejection and approve the confirmation of the nomination of Ahmad Bello Mahmud.

The Senate rejected the two prayers.

The Senate President, Bukola Saraki, said the Senate can only refer the matter back to the committee to reconsider.

“The issue really at hand is the work of the committee and I believe that any decision we take here, we must allow the committee to be able to defend itself,” he said “I think in going forward, what should be the prayer based on what you said. I’m sure a lot of people have listened to you and have some points raised for us to refer it back to the committee to take care of the points that you raised because any decision we raised here will be indicting the committee and that will not be fair on the committee.”

The Senate agreed to refer the issue back to its committee on INEC and report back in one week.

Maina: Senate Indicts EFCC, Says 222 Properties “Shared”

 

The Senate ad hoc committee set up to investigate the controversial reinstatement of former Chairman of the Presidential Task Force on Pension Reforms, Abdul-Rasheed Maina, has indicted the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission.

The Senate, at the plenary on Thursday, further asked the ad hoc committee to probe into the whereabouts of the 222 properties seized from alleged pension fund thieves and kept in the custody of the EFCC.

Chairman of the committee, Senator Emmanuel Paulker, moved a motion to extend the probe to the seized properties in the EFCC’s custody, as they had been allegedly “shared.” He also asked for more time to carry out the assignment.

 

Paulker said, “The Senate notes that the Presidential Task Force on Pension Reforms headed by Maina, in the course of discharging its mandate, recovered about 222 houses, hotels, investment portfolios and properties from pension fund suspects in Abuja and other major cities across the country.

“The Senate equally notes that before Maina left, the pension reform task team recovered assets from alleged pension looters, working with the EFCC, ICPC, DSS, police and paramilitary agencies who executed the recoveries and thereafter, the EFCC took over custody of the recovered assets.

“The Senate further observed that the EFCC, as a member of the Maina-led pension tax force team, had the statutory powers to impound and take custody of assets.

“The Senate is alarmed that the total recovered assets from alleged pension thieves are reported to be allegedly shared by some interest groups.

“The Senate further notes that this revelation emerged during the current investigation by the ad hoc committee on the reinstatement of Maina and the committee equally received a petition on the recovered properties by the task force.”

Chairman of the probe committee therefore urged the lawmakers to expand the scope of the investigation and give the panel more time to carry out the exercise.

 

Senate Rejects Buhari’s Nominee For REC Over Citizenship

The Senate on Thursday rejected one of President Muhammadu Buhari’s nominees for Resident Electoral Commissioners, RECs, Ahmad Bello Mahmud based on the recommendation by the Senate Committee on INEC in its report which was adopted.

The Senate, however, approved the nomination of Ambassador Rufus Akeju (Lagos) and Dr. Mahmuda Isah (Kebbi) as Resident Electoral Commissioners of the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC.

The rejected nominee, Mahmud was alleged not to be an indigene of Zamfara State but Sokoto State.

Senate Suspends Debate On 2018 Budget

The Senate on Tuesday announced the deferment of debate on the 2018 budget submitted to the joint session of the National Assembly by President Muhammadu Buhari about 2 weeks ago.

This is contrary to its earlier plan to commence debate on the general principles of the budget.

Senate President and leader of the National Assembly, Bukola Saraki, made the announcement at the commencement of Tuesday’s legislative business.

He told the lawmakers that the deferment was done so as to enable the Upper Legislative Chamber pass the Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF) and the Fiscal Strategy Paper (FSP), this week.

He also said that the deferment will allow the National Assembly’s bureaucracy distribute copies of the budget proposal to members of the House.

JUST IN: Buhari’s $5.5B Foreign Loan Request Approved By Senate

The Red chamber of the National Assembly has approved President Muhammadu Buhari $5.5 billion external loan request.

The loan which was requested through a letter sent to the Senate on October 10 has $3 billion external loan and $2.5 billion Eurobond or Diaspora bond in the international market.

It is believed that the bonds would be channelled towards funding the 2017 budget while the loan would be used in refinancing maturing domestic debts.

Based on the Senate’s resolution, the Committee on Local and Foreign Debts on October 19 invited the Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, and some other members of the executive to explain the benefits of the loan.

Presenting report of the committee, Shehu Sani, Kaduna-APC, said the projects listed for the loan would stimulate economic development and create direct and indirect jobs for Nigerians.

He added that the $2.5 billion will create more borrowing space for the private sector.

 

Senate Demands Removal of Speed Bumps on Federal Highways

The Nigerian Senate on Tuesday demanded immediate removal of speed bumps indiscriminately erected on federal highways nationwide.

The order was given to Ministry of Power, Works and Housing headed by Babatunde Fashola, a former Lagos State governor.

In a motion moved by Barnabas Gemade, PDP-Benue and Stella Oduah, PDP-Anambra, the Senate noted that speed bumps are erected on almost all federal highways by whoever wanted, thereby causing agony for road users.

Details later…..…

Watch New Video Stunt of Dancing Senator, Ademola Adeleke

A new video of senator representing Osun West district, Ademola Adeleke, has emerged where he was seeing as usual dancing and singing at a church.

 

News reveals that the video footage which just emerged on social media shows lawmaker leading the congregation in Yoruba and Igbo choruses as he moved from one end of the church to the other. This elicited reactions from the worshippers.

 

The pastors on the podium were obviously entertained as they were seen whispering to one another. Not even members of the choir could match his pace. It is not clear when the video was released.

 

Recall that in 2014 governorship election of Governor Rauf Aregbesola of Osun, he was with his late brother, Sen Isiaka Adeleke who decamped from PDP to APC. His present at the campaign then was noticed because of flare for dance and was nickname then ‘Skelewu’

 

Watch the video below:

Proscription, Declaration of IPOB As Terrorist Organisation Unconstitutional – Saraki

Senate President, Bukola Saraki has described as “unconstitutional”, the recent proscription of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) by South East governors in the region.

Saraki similarly flayed the Nigerian Military over its declaration of IPOB as a terrorist organisation.

In a statement he personally signed on Monday, the Senate President said due process was ignored in proscribing IPOB, as well as in the declaration of the separatist group as terrorists.

Saraki said, “I wish to state that the announcement of the proscription of the group known as Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) by governors of the south-east states and the categorisation of the group as a terrorist organisation by the Nigerian military is unconstitutional and did not follow due process.

“Our laws make clear provisions for taking such actions and without the due process being followed, such declaration cannot have effect.”

“Our brothers and sisters in the south-east, in particular, should continue to maintain peace and tranquillity and go about their lawful business. This crisis will not benefit anybody but would only expose innocent people to unwarranted danger,” it read.

“At this point, Nigerians outside the south-east who have worked to ensure that the crisis does not spread to other parts of the country deserve our commendation. I, therefore, call for continued efforts to sustain peace, unity and stability in all our communities so as to ensure that all residents, no matter their religion, tribe and creed remain protected and safe under the law.

“We must commend the military for their efforts in restoring peace to different parts of the country and sustaining the unity of the country.

“However, in the face of provocation, the military should allow themselves to be guided by their training which emphasises respect for human rights, even in war. Also, giving the nature of this particular situation, the military has every reason to be hesitant in the use of force.

“I want to also make it clear that the national assembly intends to embark on a fact-finding investigation aimed at determining what actually happened during the period of the military exercise in the south-east. We want to be able to sift the facts from the fiction and determine who did what. It is quite clear that all the facts are not yet known. We assure Nigerians that there will be no cover up. We intend to lay the facts bare.

“We want to remind Nigerians that the reason for embarking on constitution review by the national assembly was to enable us look into issues that are agitating the minds of Nigerians and creating tension among us. We have promised that the exercise would be continuous.

“We intend to keep that promise by further taking decisions that would strengthen and improve on our structures. The eighth national assembly, on resumption, will play its constitutional role by addressing all those issues that are agitating the minds of our people and over which they feel so strong,” the statement read.

Why We Won’t Disclose Our Allowances – Nigerian Senate

The Chairman, Senate Committee on Media and Public Affairs, Senator Aliyu Abdullahi has insisted that the senate would not disclosed salaries of its members.

Abdullahi said this during a program monitored on popular TV station during the weekend.

Recall that the Chairman, Presidential Advisory Committee Against Corruption, Prof. Itse Sagay (SAN), has claimed that a Nigerian senator earns N29m per month.

When the presenter asked him how much he earned, Abdullahi angrily said it was rude of the presenter to ask him how much each senator earned.

Abdulahi said, “You don’t expect me to come out on national television to say this is what I earn. It is not done. I cannot ask you as a journalist how much you earn. It is not done.

“If anybody is interested in how much we are getting paid, you know where to get the information. The documents are available. If Nigerians won’t believe that, is it what I will say that they will believe?”

The Senate spokesman said the figures released by Sagay were false, adding that the Senate’s budget was not even as high as what Sagay released.

He said Sagay was only trying to cause unnecessary tension between the National Assembly and the Presidency.

He added, “This issue has become a recurring decimal. In the last two years people have been discussing this matter and I always ask myself, what do people really want to believe? I think if this subject matter has been discussed for two years and we are still looking at issues wrongly, then I think there is something wrong with us.

“The institutions that are responsible for providing this information are there. A law was promulgated on Top Salary Scale also known as TOPSA and it is based on this scale that everyone who holds one political office or the other gets paid.

“I want to also submit that I presume Prof. Sagay would have been paid based on the provision of this scale. For us in the National Assembly, the question needs to be asked ‘what is the cost of having democracy and what is the cost of not having democracy?’

Source: Ddaily Post