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Group Asks Buhari to Sack Fashola, Others for Non-Performance



Babatunde Fashola, Minister of Power Works and Housing

Centre for Anti-Corruption and Open Leadership (CACOL), a community-based and civil society organisation has called on President Muhammadu Buhari to urgently rejig his cabinet and as a matter of urgency sack Babatunde Raji Fashola, minister of Power, Works and Housing for making more noise than he worked since he came on board.

It also recommended the immediate removal of Kemi Adeosun, minister of Finance; Ibe Kachikwu, petroleum; and Abubakar Malami, AGF.

CACOL in a statement issued by Debo Adeniran, executive chairman,  noted that it was glaring that “after about two and a half years since the inauguration of this government, certain patterns have unfolded that have exposed mediocrity and incompetence within the ranks of the cabinet members with regards to their performances in lines of the duties assigned to them.”

He said, “The Federal Ministry of Power, Works and Housing: The Ministry superintended over by Mr. Raji Fashola, (SAN), have over the past years made more noise than any practical achievement on the ground to justify the funds that has been ploughed into the three sectors under it. All the actions and policies of the Ministry have compounded the sufferings of Nigerians in multi-folds; from lack of power supply to the illogical hike in electricity tariffs, from continually decaying infrastructure to death traps as roads with a Housing sector that is ‘non-existent’ or in absolute comatose.

“The Minister is constantly at loggerheads with institutions, contractors and even the citizenry he is supposed to serve. The Minister keeps standing logic on its heads by asking the already impoverished Nigerians to bear the brunt of his failure by asking them to pay for services not rendered even up to the effrontery of hiking the tariff of electricity against a background of a country in perpetual darkness. He made history by achieving the lowest, ZERO, mega watts for more than 18 hours in history of power generation in Nigeria last year; with nothing to offer than damage, we call on Mr. President to ask him to honourably resign or he should be sacked!

“We recommend the immediate replacement of Mr. Malami Abubakar as the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice of this country to save this government and the country from further embarrassment and criticisms within the comity of nations. The mantra of this government and one of the campaign cardinal points of its party is ‘fight against corruption’. For any government to succeed in its policies, programmes and agenda, the commitment, professionalism, soundness and integrity of the Chief Law Officer of that government must be impeccable and consistent. We are afraid, based on recent happenings, the current Attorney-General and Minister of Justice has fallen short of these critical requirements and incapable of delivering any fundamental departure from the corruption ridden past of governance in the country.

“We noted the AGF’s unnecessary interventions particularly in cases high profile publicly exposed persons and the needless ‘rivalry’ with the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, an agency under his Ministry and which ordinarily reports to him officially. The Attorney-General was publicly accused of meeting, negotiating, agreeing terms and collecting N50 billion on behalf of the government without recourse to both the regulatory agency and supervisory ministry last year. Local and international criticisms greeted the unprofessional conduct of the Minister and secrecy associated with his negotiation with MTN. These reasons, amongst others necessitate our call for the removal of the AGF and Minister of Justice.

“The Minister in charge of the Federal Ministry of Finance and Economic Development, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun has been everything but impressive and constantly appears to be confused on policies and in-depth economic management. The economic terrain under her watch is riddled by contradictions, policy somersaults and uncertainties. It is our conviction that it is the concerted efforts of the Central Bank and other MDAs trying to diversify, particularly the Agriculture Ministry and with the increase in the price of oil that helped pulled Nigeria out of recession recently and not via the acumen of the Finance Minister. We recommended that she should be replaced with better competence and prowess.

“The Federal Ministry of Petroleum Resources under the superintending Minister of State, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu has no concrete achievement to showcase 2 years after the inauguration of this government. All the lofty promises of performance including making the refineries functional within 6 months and building of new ones given by the Minister at the assumption of duty has fallen flat on their faces, just as Nigeria sadly still import refined petroleum products. At this rate, this situation will persist till this tenure lapses, which will be totally unfortunate and unacceptable, thus it is time to replace the Minister for someone with greater acumen, necessary will and skills.

“Quintessentially, we call on you, Your Excellency to relieve yourself of the position of the Minister of Petroleum Resources immediately. This is allow you to concentrate fully on the wholesome administration of the government which clearly can only be done conscientiously by your esteemed self and against the background of a National Assembly that apparently lacks diligence in its oversight functions preferring the mundane for the significant, it becomes expedient. We urge that you concentrate your energy on supervisory roles over all Ministries and the Presidential leadership of the country while a substantive Minister is appointed for the Petroleum Resources Ministry.

“Your Excellency, as a matter of fact we recommend changes in almost all other Ministries; they are either prostrate or in comatose, some are even approaching non-existence in status. Nigerians can hardly tell what the Ministries of Education, Health, Aviation, Commerce and Industry, Solid Minerals Development etc. are doing in these very challenging times for the country. They all appear to have gone to slumber following the lack of clue on what to do.”

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Senate Accuses Samsung of Abusing of FG’s Fiscal Policy



Senate Committee on Customs, Excise and Tariff has begun investigation into allegations of abuse of Federal Government’s Fiscal Policy by Samsung Electronics.


Senator Hope Uzodinma, chairman of the committee, told newsmen in Abuja that some foreign companies, including Samsung, were importing finished goods into the country in the guise that they were Complete Knocked Down (CKD)


Uzodinma said: “Foreigners are here, pretending to be manufacturing different products in Nigeria, pretending to be importing raw materials or Complete Knocked Down but in the real sense, they have no assembly plant.


“You can see how a globally acclaimed company like Samsung is importing into the country and pretending to be manufacturing or assembling their products in Nigeria.


“Meanwhile, it has been confirmed now that they have no assembly plant in Nigeria.”


Uzodinma said the committee also found out during its oversight visit to Somotex Companies in Lagos that the claim that they were assembling Samsung fridges and television in Ikeja was not true.

He said: “We visited the site, we saw no assembly plant.


“Samsung has confirmed that Somotex is one of their distributors whom they supply finished products.


“The question is: if they supply finished products to Somotex and Somotex is their distributor, how come Somotex is importing CKD and claim to be assembling it in Nigeria?”


The lawmaker lamented that Nigeria’s economy “is bleeding” and called for the recovery of the country’s non-oil revenue.


He said: “The non-oil sector must be protected because this investigation has revealed a lot of things and we will continue without fear or favour until all these things are properly stamped out.”


Uzodinma said the committee’s investigation entailed looking into the entire import and export value chain with a view to identifying areas of abuses and leakages.


He said: “Apart from the lousy nature of customs duty collections by the authorised banks and their non-remittances and partial remittances, where revenues have been recovered, we have gone into the abuse of fiscal policies.


“Government incentives are being abused by non-manufacturers, and fiscal policies that supposed to assist people to import raw materials are being abused, free trade zones have become points of smuggling.


“These are the areas we have identified and we have raised alarm so that it can be corrected.”


According to Uzodinma, the fiscal policies are borne out of good intentions but the abuses and manipulation by some of these people must be stopped so that the expected impact could be seen.


He said: “We have adopted a segmented approach of all discoveries sector-by-sector, under several subheads, different types of infractions ranging from falsification of Form M and tripping of foreign exchange, were noted.


“Abuse of fiscal policy, abandonment of Customs duly accessed fees and levies, these are different sub-heads that are being addressed.”


Uzodinma said a comprehensive report would be sent to the Senate at the end of the investigation.

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Shell Debunks Amnesty Allegations on Spills Management in Niger Delta



Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria Ltd (SPDC) has denied allegations of environmental mismanagement in the Niger Delta levelled against it at the weekend by Amnesty International, reiterating its commitment to swift response to oil spill incidents as much as access and security conditions permit teams to mobilise and deploy to spill sites to investigate, clean up and remediate such areas.


This is in addition to deploying technology and best practice to make it more difficult for unauthorised persons to break pipelines and steal crude oil from its facilities.


“SPDC, in collaboration with government regulators, responds swiftly to spill incidents as quickly as it can and cleans up spills from its facilities regardless of the cause,” said Igo Weli, General Manager, External Relations.


“We regularly test our emergency spill response procedures and capability to ensure staff and contractors can respond rapidly to an incident. However, response to spills, clean-up and remediation depend on access to the spill site and ultimately on the security of personnel and equipment while work is ongoing.”


He said Amnesty International’s allegations are false, without merit and fail to recognise the complex environment in which the company operates where security, a sole prerogative of Government, remains a major concern with persisting incidents of criminality, kidnapping, vandalism, threats from self-described militant groups, etc.


Mr. Weli said the transparency in the online reporting of spill incidents by SPDC in its areas of since 2011, which Amnesty International itself acknowledged, demonstrates its commitment to creating awareness and enhancing collaboration with key stakeholders on oil spill response and clean-up processes and deepening understanding of the complex and challenging operating environment. “SPDC reiterates its commitment to carrying out operations in line with best practice in a responsible and environment-friendly manner,” he added.


Over the years, SPDC, the operator of a joint venture between the government-owned Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation – NNPC, SPDC, Total E&P Nigeria Ltd and the ENI subsidiary Nigerian Agip Oil Company Limited, sustained air and ground surveillance as well as anti-theft mechanisms on equipment and pipelines to mitigate third-party interference and ensure that spills are detected and responded to as quickly as possible.


The company conducts daily over-flights of its pipeline network to identify any new spill incidents or illegal activities, and installed state-of-the-art high definition camera to a specialised helicopter that greatly improves the surveillance of our assets.


SPDC also works diligently to develop new hardware barriers and technologies to detect and prevent oil theft, sabotage, criminality and other types of third party interference that cause environmental damage, participating in industrial organisations in Nigeria as well as internationally to share best practices.


Regrettably, despite these and other efforts, criminals still target oil and gas infrastructure, causing spills, and the company is continuing to focus attention on the detrimental impact of these activities on people, the economy and environment in engagements with the media, government officials, diplomats and community people.



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Rights Group to Picket Telcos, Pay TV Operators over Poor Services



Centre for Human Rights and Social Justice (CHRSJ), a civil rights organisation, has expressed its readiness to picket and disrupt business activities in telecoms and pay television service providing companies in the country.


The group has already sent a petition to the National Assembly in this regard, asking it to act in the interest of the Nigerian masses.


The petition dated Monday 18th of December, 2017 was addressed to Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki, Senate President, and Yakubu Dogara, speaker of the House of Representatives.


It was copied to President Muhammadu Buhari and Mr. Adebayo Shittu, minister of Communications.


Also copied include the Chairmen of both the Senate and House Committees on Ethics, Privileges and Public Petition, the Minister for Justice and Attorney-General of the Federation, the Inspector-General of Police, the Director-General of the Department of State Security (DSS).


CHRSJ specifically listed companies to be affected to include MTN, Airtel, 9Mobile and Glo while the affected pay television to include Strong TV, DSTv, Startimes and GOTV.

It accused the companies of extorting Nigerians via provision of poor services and high fees, saying the trend would come to an end after the expiration of an ultimatum it gave for the companies to change their operational mode.

Comrade Adeniyi A. Sulaiman, executive chairman of CHRSJ, said that the organisation had in December 2017 written the affected companies, telling them that they risk having their operations disrupted should they continue to milk the Nigerian people via poor and exorbitant fees.


CHRSJ also flayed telecoms operators for habitually failing to redeem promo offers to their customers who are usually ripped off as some of the claims are bogus and never enjoyed by the people.


In the statement, the group stated that apart from the petition, its members are expected to stage series of rallies and protest marches across the country with a view to sensitizing the public on the need to preserve and secure their rights for quality service.


Sulaiman added: “We have written and fine tuned our petitions to the National Assembly, the Presidency the ministers responsible for supervising the activities of these companies and organisations.


“After that, we have mobilised our members to be on standby as we will also stage peaceful rallies in the premises of the affected ministries, which would last for a year terminating on October 1st, 2019 based on our engagement diary and timetable.


“We are also engaging the National Assembly with a view to ensure that they do the needful by siding with the masses of Nigeria in this struggle and that they must respect and act on the petitions that we have written to them.”


Sulaiman listed some of the grouse of his group to include unsolicited messaging, over billing for terminated calls from telecom services as some of the ways they have been fleecing Nigerians, saying the situation would no longer be condoned.


For Ikeja Electric, Sulaiman accused the company of unduly fleecing the people through bogus and phony estimated billing system, which he said has left many people poor, saying the company should commence aggressive metering drive of its customers otherwise it would incur its wrath.


He listed participating group that would participate at the planned protest marches and rallies to include the following; Apata Ayeraye Socio-political Volunteer Group, De Mainstream Independent Campaign Group and we, the facilitator, the Centre for Human Rights and Social Justice.


Others include Centre for Constitutional Rights and Counter-Corruption Crusade, the Conscience Mainstream, African Masses Voices for Survival, The Christian Youth for the Peoples Rights and Development.


Sulaiman also listed the Coalition Against Illegal Arrest and Unlawful Detention, Islamic Movement for Muslim Rights, Veteran Group for Operation Clean Crusade, Divine Nigerians Liberators for Peoples Fundamental Rights.


Others are Passengers Fundamental Rights Group in Africa, The Christian Volunteer Group for Good Governance in Nigeria, The Islamic Political Awareness Group, the Christian Awareness Mission Group and Centre for Socio Justice and Equity.


“We are urging these companies to desist from their illegal and unlawful activities of milking the people of this country. We will not relent in our efforts at ensuring that we make them do the right thing by utilising all legal and lawful means to send them out of the country should they continue in their evil ways of subjecting the people to poverty and misery.” Sulaiman concluded in the statement.





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