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The relative peace in the oil-rich Niger Delta region, which enabled Nigeria to produce about 2 million barrels of crude oil per day in recent months is seriously being threatened, following the cancellation of three oil blocks won by indigenes of the region in the 2007 bid round by the Federal Government.

The three oil blocks had for eight years been stalled by litigation until it was resolved in 2015.

It was learnt that President Muhammadu Buhari was proded into the revocations of the oil blocks by the leadership of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) and the Nigerian Petroleum Development Company (NPDC).

A source within the NNPC management confided in Daily Sun that top NNPC officials had secretly advised the president to revoke the oil blocks, namely, Oil Prospecting Licences (OPLs) 2001, 2002 and 2003 by hoarding vital information and distorting facts presented to him.

It was also learnt that to ensure the conspiracy succeeded, officials of the two government oil companies blacked out the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Dr. Emmanuel Ibe Kachikwu, from the move. Also left out were the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami, as well as the leadership of the Directorate of Petroleum Resources (DPR), the industry regulator.

In a memo dated December 20, 2016, obtained by Daily Sun, the NNPC top brass claimed repeatedly that the oil blocks, which are covered under Oil Mining Licence 13 were recovered from the Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) and “inadvertently revoked”, saying that they were “back-converted to green field OPL and resized into OPLs 2001, 2002 and 2003 and offered under the 2007 Licensing Round.”

The memo impressed on Buhari that the oil blocks belong to the NPDC. It, however, failed to disclose to the President that the NPDC, which is an NNPC subsidiary, bidded for one of the blocks but lost because its bid was very low.

The NNPC chief “is using his high office to corner, through the back door, oil blocks won by Niger Delta investors in a competitive and transparent bidding process,” said a commercial lawyer who has been following the case closely.

The lawyer who did not want his name in print said, “he deliberately did not tell the president, who is a fair minded person, how the three OPLs came up for grabs in the 2007 bid round.”

In 2013 when the NPDC asked the then Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs. Deziani Alison-Madueke, to transfer ownership of the three oil blocks to it, she referred the request to the DPR, which promptly alerted her of the grave legal implications.

Noting that OML 13 no longer existed in the eyes of the law, the petroleum industry regulator advised her thus: “You do not give what you do not have.” Recalled a former aide of the erstwhile minister who was involved in the matter: “She dropped the request like a hot potato because of the tremendous legal costs and because the owners are from the Niger Delta who won in a competitive licensing round. She recognised immediately the hot political consequences of not allowing justice to prevail in this matter.”

Meanwhile, tension is mounting in the Niger Delta over the oil block cancellations, as the promoters of the three companies are determined to go all the way to retrieve their oil blocks.

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BREAKING: Police Council confirms Adamu Mohammed as IGP




The National Council of State and National Police Council has approved the appointment of the Acting Inspector General of Police (IGP), Adamu Mohammed as the new IG of the Nigeria Police Force.

Adamu was confirmed at the police council meeting presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari on Thursday.

Musiliu Smith, chairman of the police service commission, and governors of the 36 states were part of the meeting.

Mohammed was appointed in the acting capacity on January 15, 2019 following the retirement of former IGP, Ibrahim Idris.

More details later

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Ekiti Gov. Fayemi elected Chairman, Nigeria Governors’ Forum



Ekiti State Governor, Dr. Kayode Fayemi has been elected Chairman of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum, NGF.

Fayemi was chosen by a consensus after he was nominated by Nasir el-Rufai, with Ifeanyi Okowa, governor of Delta state, seconding his nomination.

Abdulaziz Yari, the immediate past chairman, announced this on Wednesday evening.

He said Fayemi was unanimously elected by the governors to lead the forum till 2021.

“Members also elected Governor Aminu Tambuwal of Sokoto State as the Vice-Chairman of the forum from 2019 to 2021,” Yari said.

He explained that Tambuwal was nominated by Akinwumi Ambode, governor of Lagos State and seconded by Rotimi Akeredolu, his Ondo State counterpart.

Reading a communique at the end of the meeting, Yari said that the forum was concerned with the recent guidelines of the Nigeria Financial Intelligence Unit (NFIU).

The guidelines according to him sought to impose restriction on the powers of states and local governments to operate within constitutionally approved parameters.

“The new guidelines have no legal basis under the NFIU Act and are contrary to constitutional provisions which put the State Joint Local Government Account under the legislation of the state houses of assembly,” he said.

“The guidelines will also be detrimental to the interest of States and local governments by crippling programmes such as the Universal Basic Education programme, Primary Health Care Under One Roof, as well as the payment of the salaries of teachers, medical doctor and health workers among others which are primarily funded by state governments.”

On the call by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) governors to declare state of emergency on issue of insecurity, Yari said that they had all agreed to meet President Muhammadu Buhari for one-on-one discussion.

“The issue of security is under the mandate of Mr president, we are supporting him because he is the Commander-in-Chief and we hope to come up with solutions with him, ” he said.

In his acceptance remark, Fayemi expressed his gratitude for the confidence reposed on him by colleagues.

He pledged to build on the achievements of his predecessors and success stories of the forum.

“We will build on commitment with strong partnership with the Federal Government as federating unit and trash out issues as amicably as possible, in the over all interest of the country,” he said.

He pledged that they would represent the interests of Nigeria irrespective of their political affiliations.

“Whatever we are going to do will be in overall interest of the nation in ensuring that our states are continuously strengthened,” he said.

“Our country derives the benefit of strong, dedicated states to our citizens and the partnership with all arms of government, development partners working with us in the over all interest of Nigeria.

He commended the outgoing chairman and the secretariat for their commitment to states and Nigeria at large, TheCable reports.

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UI Alumni of Statistics department in reunion frenzy



Plans are already in top gear as students of the Department of Statistics, University of Ibadan are set to mark the first homecoming/reunion event of past graduates of the department between June 7 and 8, 2019.

The two-day programme, which will audaciously take place at the department complex on the campus, is themed: “Homecoming event for Nation Builders and Celebration of Achievement.”

The Head of Department, Dr. Angela Chukwu, said the event is aimed at bringing together all alumni of the department to reunite and hopefully work together with the department in supporting research, creativity and to initiate an endowment fund to assist exceptional but less-privileged students of the department.

The event kicks off on June 7 with a breakfast and networking meet and exchange of pleasantries after a long time of leaving the department for greener pastures.

Afterwards, two alumni of the department, Prof. D.K. Shangodoyin, a Professor of Statistics, University of Botswana, and President, African Statistical Association; and Dr. Mohammed Tumala, Director of Statistics, Central Bank of Nigeria, will deliver keynote addresses.

The event will feature a panel discussion amongst distinguished alumni, which include Prof. Joy Nwabueze, Prof. Ethelbert Nduka, Olubusola Oyebadejo and Emmanuel John Udoh, who will all share expert opinions on the impact of statistics degrees in their various fields.

The second day of the programme, June 8, will be a social event where the department will be recognizing retired members of staff of the department and formally recognize and congratulate the newest professors in the department.

There will also be an official launch of the department’s Hall of Fame and an inauguration of the UI Statistics Department Ambassadors,” both of which will be moderated and conducted by the Head of Department.

The highlight of this home-coming event is the dinner/fund raiser ceremony at the International Conference Centre University of Ibadan.

The event is to celebrate many accomplishments of the department alumni, giving a chance to catch up on sweet memories with old classmates, lecturers and members of staff while enjoying a thrilling event in the ancient city of Ibadan.

Intending alumni of the department are urged to confirm their attendances at the event, through this GSM number: 08055441106, via sms.

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