The Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria (SPDC) has begun discussions with 12 host communities in Bayelsa which demanded upward review of development obligations.
SPDC has since 2006 been administering community development initiatives driven by community development boards under a Global Memorandum of Understanding (GMoU) funding template.
Communities hosting Shell’s Estuaries Area (EA) oilfields in Bayelsa had at a press conference on Wednesday urged the oil company to review its annual development fund from $1 million to $10 million.
They also asked SPDC to review its other social obligations to them.
The communities made up of four Cluster Development Boards (CDBs) – Iduwini, Mein, Kou and Bassan – funded by Shell, also demanded payment of outstanding $14 million for sea anchorage for vessels deployed by Shell.
According to them, the amount, which accrues from 2006 till date, must be offset within the next 21 days or they will be compelled to stage a peaceful protest at Shell’s EA oilfield in Bayelsa.
They claimed that 80 members of the host communities engaged by Shell in the ongoing oil drilling campaign to acquire experience had been rendered redundant and paid ‘stay-at-home allowance’ for the past one year.
The communities, which are in Ekeremor and Southern Ijaw local government areas of Bayelsa, claimed that SPDC was marginalising them in spite of their hospitality.
“We are engaging the leadership of the communities for a peaceful resolution of the issues,” Odugbesan said.
Mr Wuka Brisibe, Chairman of Community Development Community (CDC) in Ekeni, had said that coastline settlements lacked development in spite of having a Global Memorandum of Understanding (GMoU) with SPDC.
“The sum of One million dollars irregularly paid to the four CDBs covering the 12 host communities of the EA fields as the GMOU funds is inadequate.
“Each of the host community receives approximately 83,333 dollars which upon conversion at the present rate of N450.00 per dollar amounts to N37,499,850 only per annum.
“Our people cannot bear the brunt of years of oil and gas exploration and exploitation and not benefit from contracts, supplies and services provided for the operations of the said facilities.
“This is done in flagrant disregard for the capacity and capability of natives of host communities to provide the said services or execute such contracts.
“We totally condemn the attitude of the SPDC in its non-compliance with the Local Community Content Policy against its hosts at the EA oil fields in Bayelsa,” Brisibe said.
The company said under the GMoU, the model placed the choice of community projects on the people while the company provided the funding and necessary mentoring.
SPDC General Manager External Relations, Mr Igo Weli, said the amount represented about half of the company’s GMoU spent in its host communities in Niger Delta since the introduction of the community development model in 2006.
Edited By: Chioma Ugboma/Ijeoma Popoola (NAN)
APC working towards having data bank for members – Sen. Ali
Sen. Abba Ali, a member of the APC National Caretaker Committee, says the party is working towards having a data bank for all its members.
Ali, wno is the committee member representing North West, stated this when he received the Kangiwa Ward APC Chairman who paid him a congratulatory visit in Katsina on Tuesday.
According to him, when the names of members are captured, it will make access to details of members easy through the punch of a button.
He said that the data bank would carry along all members including the stakeholders and also make it easy for administrative purposes.
The member reiterated the committee’s commitment in bringing together and uniting all members, adding that reconciliatory process was on and achieving the desired goals.
“Among the programmes introduced by the APC led government include introduction of Digital economy, new N-power programme, Special Public Work consisting of 774,000 Jobs.
Ali assured that as economic development had been part of the top priority of the government, “we will continue to pray and support the rare economic initiatives designed to change the future of incoming generations.
“I am appealing to all Nigerians to support economic transformation of President Muhammadu Buhari by judicious utilization of the financial packages received from Federal Government.
“Recently, we witnessed reduction of attacks on innocent Nigerians from armed bandits, this is achieved through the tireless efforts and sacrifices of our security agencies who are out to protect lives and properties.
“By the special Grace of God, soon the insecurity will be over and all IDPs across the country will return to their respective destinations to continue with their normal day to day activities,” he said.
He said Nigerians should be expecting a new reformed APC, eagerly waiting to meet the yearning and aspirations of the electorate.
“APC in the North West and the National Caretaker Committee are working so hard for the spirit of oneness and a greater Nigeria.
“I urged all Nigerians to continue supporting this noble course of APC which is working for the overall interest of the citizens,” he said.
Edited By: Ismail Abdulaziz (NAN)
Intervene in 37-year-old kingship tussle in Ikire, Residents urge Osun govt.
Residents of Ikire community in Irewole Local Government area of Osun have appealed to the state government to intervene in the 37-year-old kingship tussle in the town.
Some of the residents, who spoke with the News Agency of Nigeria in Ikire on Tuesday, said that the tension, which the tussle was creating in the town, was becoming unbearable.
NAN reports that the battle for the throne had started in 1987 after the demise of the former monarch, Oba Oseni Oyegunle.
NAN also reports that when the process of appointing a new monarch started, one of the five ruling houses, Aketula, presented a candidate, Mr Tajudeen Olanrewaju, in line with the Akire of Ikire Chieftaincy Declaration of 1958.
Before the process of Olanrewaju’s installation could be completed, two ruling houses, Ladekan and Lanbeloye, went to court to challenge the inclusion of Aketula in the ruling houses.
An Ile-Ife High Court, Ile-Ife, where the matter was instituted, consequently stopped Olanrewaju’s installation as the monarch, while the incumbent, Oba Olutunde Falabi, was installed in May 1993.
Even though he lost at the Appeal Court, Ibadan, Olanrewaju proceeded to the Supreme Court.
The Supreme Court, in its judgment on April 11, 2014, affirmed that Aketula was one of the ruling houses, as provided in the 1958 Akire of Ikire Chieftaincy Declaration.
The Supreme Court also held that in view of the evidence on record, “it shows that the 1958 Declaration, in respect of the Akire of Ikire Chieftaincy stool, has not been amended or repealed.’’
Following the judgment, the incumbent monarch approached the High Court in Ikire, praying it to restrain the state government from deposing him because he had not committed any offence warranting his removal.
He also pleaded with the court to restrain the state governor, the commissioner for justice and the commissioner for local government and chieftaincy affairs from deposing him, while his incumbency subsisted.
Justice Abdulkareem of Ikire High Court, in his judgment of June 29, however, said that Falabi could no longer occupy the stool, based on the 1958 Akire Declaration and the rotational procedure contained therein.
He said that by order of rotation, the process of appointing Olarenwaju, who is from Aketula ruling house, was almost completed before it was stopped by the court.
“Another compelling reason why the plaintiff, Oba Falabi, has to vacate the stool is because his appointment is a nullity. This is because he was not validly nominated by the ruling house or validated by the state government.
“I equally find and hold that based on the overwhelming evidence adduced before me, that the plaintiff, who has already spent three decades on the throne, must not continue to occupy the throne of Akire of Ikire.
“To hold otherwise, will amount to a great travesty of justice.
“The Supreme Court is the highest court in Nigeria and its judgment is binding on all lower courts, and failure to do so amounts to gross insubordination,” the judge ruled.
Alhaji Bamidele Kadir, a resident of the town, said that a situation whereby two people were laying claim to the Akire stool was not good for the development of the town.
Kadir appealed to the state government to intervene by implementing the Supreme Court judgment on the kingship tussle for peace to reign in the town.
He said that the recent High Court pronouncement on the kingship matter had been causing tension in the town.
Also speaking, Mrs Iyabo Olayiwola, another resident, said it was only government’s intervention that could bring peace to the town.
Olayiwola, who said that the kingship matter had been generating tension in the town, appealed to government to do the needful.
Another resident, Mr Bode Olayiwola, also said that the development of the town should be paramount to both the indigenes and the government.
He urged the state government give proper interpretation to the two court judgments on the matter and take the right step in order to nip the tension in the bud.
Edited by ‘Wale Sadeeq
Sokoto: BESDA pledges to enrol 300,000 out-of-school children in 4 years
The Committee on Better Education Service Delivery for All (BESDA) in Sokoto State says it will enrol no fewer than 300,000 out-of-school children in the state in the next four years.
Alhaji Shu’aibu Gwanda-Gobir, Executive Chairman, Sokoto State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB), gave the assurance while briefing newsmen on Tuesday after the committee’s meeting with the State House of Assembly Committee on Education.
Gwanda-Gobir said that the committee had achieved a lot in training the children, using the Tsangaya learning centres and the employment of qualified facilitators as teachers.
“We have been able to enrol no fewer than 71,000 out-of- school children back in school in our various centres.
“However, our target is to ensure that before the end of the four-year programme of the committee, no fewer than 300,000 out-of-school children are fully enrolled back in school,” he said.
The BESDA Chairman, Alhaji Bello Guiwa, noted that the committee was committed to ensuring the success of the programme in the state.
“In Sokoto State, we have over one million children that are out-of-school.
“However, with the initiative of the BESDA programme, we have been able to enrol no fewer than 71,000 children in our various centres.
“Moreover, we have already planned under the BESDA programme to establish over 100,000 centres across the 23 Local Government Areas of the state, to enhance our training programme,” he said.
The Chairman House Committee on Education, Alhaji Buhari Haliru (PDP– Sokoto North I) said that the meeting was part of the assembly’s commitment to ensure proper protection of the people’s mandate.
He said that the assembly would continue to support the programme generously, to enable the state government excel in its commitment to education.
The Bank approved a credit of $611 million for BESDA Programme aimed at bringing out-of-school children into classrooms, improve literacy, and strengthen accountability for results in basic education in Nigeria.
Edited By: Chioma Ugboma/Maharazu Ahmed (NAN)
Security Challenges: You must rejig security strategy, Buhari tells Security Chiefs
President Muhammadu Buhari has again challenged the nation security agencies to rejig their strategies in the ongoing battle against insurgency, banditry and other violent crimes in some parts of the country.
The National Security Adviser (NSA) to the President, retired Maj-Gen. Babagana Mongonu, revealed this when he briefed State House correspondents on the outcome of the National Security Council meeting, presided over by President Buhari at the State House, Abuja, on Wednesday.
He said: “Mr President has also directed that we must rejig our strategy that is both in terms of operation and intelligence we must rejig our strategy to prevent further catastrophe.
“We must bear in mind that we owe a duty to the people that elected his government, our government and at the end of the day without securing the nation all other things cannot be addressed such as revamping the economy and also fighting corruption.’’
According to the NSA, his office presented a memo to the Security Council on the danger of drug abuse in the society as well as the need to urgently address the problem
He revealed that between 2011 and 2019, approximately 17 manufacturing laboratories of dangerous substances were located by the various security agencies and destroyed while an increasing activities of illegal cultivators of `Canabis’ were also recorded.
He said criminals had resulted to the use of illegal substances and dangerous drugs like Tramadol to unleash violence on innocent citizens in the society.
“I presented two memos. The first had to do with drug trafficking as well as drug addiction in Nigeria, and the widespread use of these substances and the dangerous impact on our social, economic situation.
“Basically, what I told council was that this has taken on a worrisome dimension. Nigeria’s perception on the drug trafficking index has changed from the status from a transit hub to a production centre.
“Between 2011 and 2019, approximately 17 manufacturing laboratories of dangerous substances were located by the various security agencies and destroyed. That is a large number.
“At the same we have had increasing activities of illegal cultivators of Canabis in Nigeria.
“These people basically use extremely large space of arable land to cultivate this illegal substance, employing militia men to protect their farms and also their storage facilities.
“When you look at drugs, our main concern as security operatives is the ultimate destruction to the social fabric and economy of the nation.
“There is hardly any violence crime today in Nigeria that is not propelled by the use of these hard substances. And these hard substances have been coming in from all nooks and crannies,’’ he said.
Monguno believed that the reckless use of these dangerous substances had direct link to the insecurity being experienced across the country.
He, therefore, stressed the need for a collective, concerted effort to deal with the menace of dangerous drugs in circulation to safeguard the country from the bottomless pit of self-destruction.
The NSA boss disclosed that he later updated the Council on the security situation in the northwest and the north central, “in terms of looking at the issue of kidnapping, banditry and killing of innocent people.’’
“The Chief of Defence Staff, army chief, inspector general of Police, heads of the various intelligence agencies also gave synopsis each of the current security situation and what their various organizations and agencies are doing about these situations,’’ he added.
Edited By: Sadiya Hamza (NAN)