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Groups Insist Buhari Must Sack Mele Kyari for ‘Gross Incompetence’

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Mele Kyari gross incompetence

By Modupe Gbadeyanka

President Muhammadu Buhari has again been asked to immediately sack the Group Chief Executive Officer (GCEO) of the Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC) Limited, Mr Mele Kyari, “for gross incompetence.”

This call was made by the Conference of Nigeria Political Parties (CNPP) and allied civil society groups under the aegis of the Coalition of the National Civil Society Organisations (CNCSOs).

In a statement made available to Business Post, the group said the comments made by Mr Kyari have continued to justify that he should be removed from his position because he is leading the organisation in the old way despite the change of identity.

In the statement jointly signed by the Secretary General of CNPP, Mr Willy Ezugwu, and the National Secretary of CNCSOs, Mr Ali Abacha, it was stated that “the only option left for the NNPC GCEO Mallam Mele Kyari is to resign forthwith.”

The groups were reacting to media reports credited to Mr Kyari that the NNPC should not be blamed for the persistent smuggling of petroleum products across the borders and his claims that his life was being threatened for working to reform Nigeria’s oil sector.

They said by “blaming continued smuggling of petroleum products on sustained corrupt subsidy regime, with no individual or company undergoing diligent prosecution, the NNPC has proved beyond reasonable doubts that the management team of the company needs immediate replacement as they have run out of profitable ideas.”

“Today, the perennial petroleum products scarcity occasioned by corruption and incompetence on the part of the NNPC management team led by Mallam Kyari remains an ugly part of the daily lives of poor masses in Nigeria who cannot afford a single meal per day due to high cost of food and other basic needs.

“Out of experience, Nigerians are aware that any marginal increase in the pump price of petroleum products results in an obvious increase in food prices as the movement of goods from one location to another depends largely on road transportation.

“This is why the secret in the pump price of petrol, and non-availability of fuel at most fillings stations, including those operated by the NNPC, remain the indelible footprints of incompetent managers of Nigeria’s petroleum resources.

“We were shocked that while speaking at a summit organised by the House of Representatives Committee on Anti-Corruption, Mallam Kyari insinuated that `as long as arbitrage is there, you will continue to have these issues and you cannot hold NNPC accountable for it because it is a value chain that involves everything and everybody.`

“This obvious expression of helplessness by the GCEO of NNPC Limited is the highest level of the display of incompetence by the managers of Nigeria’s oil industry, as leadership is all about taking responsibility and providing solutions to challenges.

“The trademark of the NNPC has been the manufacturing of excuses. Is NNPC saying that they cannot set up a monitoring team and systems that will ensure that fuel lifted from their depots is delivered at the assigned destination in this computer age?

“Recently, the same NNPC blamed fuel scarcity in the country on the flooding of Lokoja, the Kogi State capital. Today, the company has returned to the age-long tale of blaming smuggling for fuel scarcity, even when the Federal Government has all the security apparatuses to arrest such trends should there be such sabotage.

“The question is; why has NNPC not initiated any new refinery project if it thinks that fuel subsidy is a major problem?” the statement said.

On the alleged threats to his life by those who are opposed to changes caused by the implementation of the Petroleum Industry Act, the coalition said, “the GCEO of NNPC gave himself out when he said that “There is a threat to life, I can say this, I have several death threats, but we are not bothered about this”.

“We, therefore, challenge the GCEO of the NNPC to make public any evidence of such threats to his life or present the same to security agencies if indeed the threat to his life narrative is not another round of fabrication to seek public sympathy by shading crocodile tears.

“Why would those behind such a criminal act as a threat to the life of an occupier of such an important position in Nigeria’s economy not be apprehended and brought to book so that the country can reap the benefits of the Petroleum Industry Act?

“We recall that the NNPC has been severally accused of failing to meet Nigeria’s OPEC quota in the international oil market, which the company conveniently blamed on oil thieves.

“When accused of not refining Petroleum products locally, the NNPC management resorted to the known wasteful venture referred to as a Turn-Around-Maintenance of existing Nigeria’s refineries.

“Since the life of the President Muhammadu Buhari administration, Nigeria’s refineries remained comatose with no plans to build any new one because the huge budgets for subsidy and maintenance of irredeemable refineries end up in private pockets.

“Needless to mention the numerous uninvestigated allegations of non-remittances of oil revenues to the Treasury Single Account (TSA), subsidy payments without appropriation, illegal oil swap deals and sales, among economic sabotage from within.

“These are among the cases the incoming administration must confront to uncover the hands behind these dirty deals and sanitise the oil sector after May 29, 2023,” the groups stated.

Modupe Gbadeyanka is a fast-rising journalist with Business Post Nigeria. Her passion for journalism is amazing. She is willing to learn more with a view to becoming one of the best pen-pushers in Nigeria. Her role models are the duo of CNN's Richard Quest and Christiane Amanpour.

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Greater Lagos Vanguard Endorses Sanwo-Olu for 2nd Term

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Greater Lagos Vanguard

By Adedapo Adesanya

A grassroots political organisation, Greater Lagos Vanguard (GLV), has commended all adherents of democracy and good governance for trooping out in their thousands in solidarity with Governor Babajide Olusola Sanwo-Olu of Lagos State, who flagged off his re-election bid for a second term in office in Lagos on Saturday, December 3.

The group has also lauded the Governor for “a successful first term tenure which has witnessed monumental development strides in various facet of governance and has endeared Mr Governor to the hearts of appreciative Lagosians who trooped out today in solidarity with him, which is an endorsement for his second term in office.”

In a statement jointly signed by its convener, Mr Nelson Ekujumi and its General Secretary, Mr Uche Nnadozie, the organisation stated that, “We feel proud and excited to proclaim that Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu has performed excellently well in his first time in office which is still ongoing, in line with the tradition of the excellent performance of good governance like his predecessors and the Lagos master plan of economic growth and development.”

According to GLV, Mr Sanwo-Olu has distinguished himself excellently well in the areas of governance, such as his outstanding role as the incident commander in the fight against the coronavirus pandemic, which earned him local and international accolades.

“The way and manner Governor Sanwo-Olu mobilised men and resources to confront the pandemic was a turning point and testament of his quality as a servant leader, who leads from the front, and it contributed in no small measure to the success recorded by Lagos State in particular and Nigeria in general and became a global reference point,” the statement read.

The group also mentioned the infrastructural development projects of the Governor like construction, reconstruction and renovation of health institutions, roads, 21st-century model schools, ICT, agricultural tools and implements for farmers, first and last-mile buses, empowerment of transportation and traffic agencies, emergency responders fire fighting trucks and equipment, vehicles, motorbikes, APC, walkie talkie, etc for the security agencies among several others.

While commending Mr Sanwo-Olu for a job well done in his first time, it promised to mobilise Lagosians to support, canvass and vote for him on election day based on the testimonials of what he has done.

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SERAP Sues FG over Missing Ecological Funds

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missing ecological funds

By Adedapo Adesanya

Following the expiry of an ultimatum given to President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration to probe the missing ecological funds at all levels, the Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) has filed a lawsuit against the federal government.

Joined in the suit as respondents are the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mr Abubakar Malami, and the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Mr Boss Mustapha.

In a statement on Sunday, SERAP Deputy Director, Mr Kolawole Oluwadare, specifically said the decision to file a lawsuit followed “the failure to probe the spending of trillions of ecological funds by governments at all levels—federal, state and local governments from 2001 to date, and to ensure the prosecution of suspected perpetrators of corruption and mismanagement of public funds.”

According to him, the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) recently said that no fewer than 600 persons died, and 1.3 million were rendered homeless as a result of the floods that ravaged most states across the country, with the destruction of properties worth billions.

In the suit number FHC/L/CS/2283/2022 filed last Friday at the Federal High Court, Lagos, SERAP is asking the court to “direct and compel President Buhari to promptly and thoroughly investigate the spending of Ecological Fund by governments at the Federal, state and local government levels from 2001 to date.”

The rights group also wants the court to “direct and compel President Buhari to ensure that suspected perpetrators of corruption and mismanagement of trillions of ecological funds are promptly brought to justice, and any missing public funds fully recovered.”

“The failure to probe the alleged missing trillions, prosecute suspected perpetrators and recover any missing public funds is a fundamental breach of constitutional and international legal obligations,” the statement partly read.

“Impunity for corruption in the management of Ecological Fund will continue as long as high-ranking public officials go largely unpunished for their alleged crimes.

“It is in the public interest to direct and compel President Buhari to probe these allegations so that evidence can be taken before the court and the truth about the spending of ecological funds revealed, and justice served,” it added.

The group alleged further that the federal government had violated the obligations to protect and uphold the human rights of those affected and to provide them with access to justice and effective remedies.

It argued that the government has the legal obligation to address the calamitous consequences of flooding for the human rights of millions of people and to prevent and address the consequences that climate change may reap on human rights.

No date has been fixed for the hearing of the suit.

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Firm Rewards Ibadan Traders for Sorting Waste to Ease Recycling

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Bodija market traders recycling

By Aduragbemi Omiyale

Some traders in Bodija market, Ibadan, Oyo State, have been rewarded for segregating their waste to make it easier for recycling.

The beneficiaries were given gift items like Bluetooth headsets, customised simple chest bags, and customised face caps by the waste management consultant to the Oyo State government, Mottainai Recycling, on Friday through an initiative known as Recyclables for Rewards.

At the campaign, in its third year, two tonnes of recyclables were recovered by the company, which is managing waste collection in the state.

The Managing Director of Mottainai Recycling, Mr Adey Adewuyi, sensitised traders, buyers and passers-by in Bodija market and its environs on how the waste they generate could be a source of wealth.

Mr Adewuyi, represented by the firm’s Chief Sustainability Officer, Ms Deborah Fadeyi, urged the traders to embrace proper waste disposal and management habits like segregating their waste at source.

He further encouraged them to avoid dumping waste on the median, warning that those caught erring would be fined and punished according to law.

Also, the Special Adviser to Governor Seyi Makinde on Environmental Matters, Mr Ademola Aderinto, explained that the initiative was aimed at creating awareness among traders and residents to segregate their waste at source and recover as much plastics before it enters into the water bodies and landfills.

He said that the event showcases the economic and social benefits of recycling, adding that “the event is aimed at making the good people of Oyo State see value in what they consider as waste.”

“These wastes would have otherwise ended up in landfills and water bodies which will contribute to the pollution of the environment,” he added.

Mr Aderinto discouraged the act of dumping waste on the median by the market men and women and also encouraged them to sort out their waste to ease the act of recycling, noting that the government will do more to eradicate the issue of improper waste disposal and management in the state.

“There was also an adequate and effective sensitisation and awareness campaign in the market on the need for proper waste management. They were also enlightened on the economic benefits of recycling instead of allowing their recyclables to end up on the median, water bodies or the landfills,” he said.

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