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Finally, Buhari stops OPC, Tompolo; says we will secure pipelines + more news and views

President Mohammadu Buhari has assured that his government would ensure adequate protection of oil and gas installations across the country to prevent vandalism, oil theft and piracy.
He said that the country has lost so much to the vices, stressing that the situation has tremendously affected the economic fortunes of the county.
Without specifically mentioning the ridiculous protection racket-contracts that ex-President Goodluck Jonathan had signed with the Oodua Peoples Congress and Tompolo (Government Ekpemupolo) and Co., Buhari’s pledge effectively puts paid to such illegal and unconstitutional dealings between the federal government and spurious groups and individuals.
He stated that his administration will undertake appropriate reforms and implement fresh policies to boost national income from oil and gas production.
Buhari gave the assurance at separate meetings he held with delegations from Exxon- Mobil and the Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas Company (NLNG) at the Presidential Villa, Abuja. According to him, the removal of bureaucratic bottlenecks created by multiple government agencies that currently impede the operations of companies in the oil and gas sector would be one of the reforms to be undertaken by his administration.
We noticed with cheer that as soon as Buhari was sworn in, OPC with Gani Adams and Frederick Faseun as well as Niger Delta warlords Tompolo and Asari Dokubo withdrew their public noise. Boko Haram is yet to do the same. But Nigerians are hopeful that Buhari will restore our national dignity plus maximum safety of lives and property. So help him God. Amen. KH

AMINA ZAKARI NOW ACTING INEC CHAIRMAN
President Muhammadu Buhari yesterday appointed Amina Bala Zakari the acting chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), following Professor Attahiru Jega’s completion of four-year term.
Zakari’s appointment, which took immediate effect pending the appointment of a substantive chairman, was disclosed in a statement signed by Haruna Imrana, the director of communications for the Head of Civil Service of the Federation.
Zakari, who hails from Jigawa State (North West), had served as Federal Capital Territory (FCT) as Health Secretary (the equivalent of a state commissioner) under Nasir El-Rufai, the current governor of Kaduna State, when he was FCT minister. Until her appointment as acting chairman yesterday, Zakari was one of the commissioners working under the supervision of Prof. Jega.
However, if appointed in substantive capacity and approved by the Senate, she may serve as chairman for, at least, five more years.
Jega had handed over to Amb. Ahmed Wali who had only eight hours to act as chairman until Zakari’s presidential appointment. But INEC Secretary, Augusta Ogakwu explained that Zakari is senior to Wali and her tenure expires July 21 while Wali’s expires August 11. Another Buhari example on how to do it right without recourse to gender. KH

GOVTS SHARE APRIL’S N307 BILLION DERIVATION FUND
The Federal, state and local governments received N307.45 billion (excluding deductions and transfers) from the federation account’s 13 per cent derivation fund. According to the monthly economic report of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) for April, the Federal Government received N146.49 billion, while the state and local governments received N74.30 billion and N57.28 billion, respectively.
The balance of N29.38 billion was distributed to the oil-producing states as 13 per cent Derivation Fund. Federally collected revenue (gross) in April 2015 was estimated at N735.07 billion, showing an increase of 35.8 per cent above the receipts in the preceding month, but was lower than the receipts in the corresponding period of 2014 by 8.4 per cent.
This obviously explains why Governor Aregbesola has paid two months’ salaries to Osun State civil servants – that of November and December 2014. But that is grossly inadequate. Let’s wait to see what other debtor governors will pay their state servants. Nigerians need to know how public funds are made and spent at all tiers of government. KH

TINUBU VS. AIT: COURT ADJOURNS N150 BILLION SUIT TO SEPT. 30
Justice Iyabo Akinkugbe of an Ikeja High Court yesterday fixed September 30 for further direction on the court processes served by counsel in a N150 billion libel suit filed by former Lagos State Governor, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, against African Independent Television (AIT).
Tinubu had instituted the suit against Daar Communications Plc, owners of AIT, for airing a documentary titled “Lion of Bourdilion”. According to him, the documentary which aired on the television station was libellous and aimed at tarnishing his image. During yesterday’s proceeding, counsel to AIT, Mr Jeffrey Kadiri, told the court that he had filed all the necessary pleadings in the matter.
Responding, Tinubu’s counsel, Mr Ademola Adesiyun, asked the court in a motion dated June 26 for extension of time in which to file a reply to AIT’s statement of defence and counterclaim. In the counter-claim, AIT listed its Chairman emeritus, Chief Raymond Dokpesi and seven others as witnesses to testify against Tinubu.
When TV moguls fight, do viewers suffer or just watch? I think we just watch because both Dokpesi’s AIT and Tinubu’s TVC keep beaming their signals. KH

EBOLA RETURNS TO LIBERIA FOUR MONTHS AFTER CLEARANCE
The corpse of a 17-year-old boy has tested positive for Ebola in Liberia, the country’s deputy Health Minister said late Monday. He added that no other case had been reported. Tolbert Nyenswah, who is also head of the country’s Ebola response, told newsmen that the teenager died June 24 in Nedowein, a town situated close to the country’s international airport, about 48 kilometres south of the capital, and was given a safe burial the next day. Liberia had been the country hardest hit by last year’s Ebola outbreak in West Africa. The World Health Organisation, WHO, declared Liberia Ebola-free on May 9 after the country went 42 days without reporting a case. Nyenswah said: “We have said over and over again that there was the possibility of a resurgence of the virus in Liberia. But our capacity is very strong.” The deadly virus, which has killed over 11,100 people mostly in West Africa in its worst outbreak ever, is hanging on stubbornly in Guinea, where the Ebola outbreak was first reported in March 2014, and in Sierra Leone.

AMBODE SEEKS NAVY’S HELP TO COMBAT WATERWAY ROBBERS
Governor Akinwunmi Ambode of Lagos State says the Nigerian Navy, like other stakeholders, should be part of the efforts to rid the state of crime.
The governor, according to a statement on Tuesday, spoke during a courtesy visit to the Chief of Naval Staff, Admiral Usman Jibrin, at the Defence Headquarters, Abuja. Ambode stated that the call became imperative due to the spate of robbery attacks in Lagos State, which started a week into his administration. The governor added that the need for the full involvement of the navy in the fight against crime informed his audience with the Chief of Naval Staff. He said, “Lagos State is the commercial hub of the country. The state is therefore strategic and cannot be allowed to become a breeding ground for criminals.” The governor recalled that some robbers struck at two different banks in the Ikorodu area of the state last Wednesday and carted away undisclosed amount of money before fleeing via the waterways. Jibrin explained that only combined security forces in the air, on land and water will effectively safeguard Lagos against incessant crime, but promised: “I will support you with manpower, which is already on ground.”

Sources: THISDAY|PUNCH|VANGUARD|GUARDIAN

Happy new month and welcome to Wednesday July 1, 2015. Enjoy our news and views of today and do make some comments. Thank you – HAMILTONSTYLE.

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