By Adedapo Adesanya
The Lagos State Government has warned the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) from overstepping its boundaries following the agency’s re-opening of tank farms that violated seeking its physical planning approvals.
It also advised the agency to refrain from aiding unlawful acts in the state.
In a statement, the Commissioner for Physical Planning and Urban Development, Mr Idris Salako, described as worrisome the situation in which the DPR, a federal government agency, jumped the requirement for a planning permit and went ahead to issue licences to facilities whose constructions were not approved by the Lagos State Physical Planning Permit Authority (LASPPPA) and which consequently did not have stage certification or certificate of completion.
“It is even more worrisome that the state government in the bid to ensure orderly, organised and sustainable development, would seal off illegal and unapproved tank farms and filling stations while the DPR would go behind to unseal such facilities,” Mr Salako said.
The Commissioner said the Ministry of Physical Planning and Urban Development was statutorily mandated to regulate all forms of physical developments in all parts of the state.
He added that the law, being clear on the mandate, did not leave room for any conflict of interest, noting that this was buttressed by the supreme court judgment which specifically placed responsibility for physical development within the confines of a state in the state entity.
“We urge the federal government agency to desist from this untoward act and join us in encouraging promoters of these facilities to respect the law by ensuring that their structures have all necessary physical planning approvals,” he said.
On the continued existence of petroleum tank farms in Ijegun-Egba, the Commissioner said that no new approvals were being granted in the area, while the existing ones were being encouraged to cohabit with the host communities, where they were expected to exercise corporate social responsibility measures for the development of the communities.
He urged fresh applications for approval for tank farms to consider moving to the approved locations in Ibeju Lekki Local Government Area.
The DPR had last week reopened eight petroleum tank farms shut down by the Lagos State Physical Planning Permit Authority in Lagos, saying the state-owned agency lacked the constitutional backing to close the depots.
During the activity, the Zonal Operations Controller, DPR, Lagos Zone, Mr Ayorinde Cardoso, who directed the reopening of the depots in Ijegun-Egba, Satellite Town, said in a statement that the oil and gas business was a regulated environment and under the exclusive legislative list as provided by the 1999 Constitution, which exempts it from the purview of LASPPA.
Mr Cardoso also noted that sealing of the tank farms could lead to disruption in the supply of petroleum products which would eventually lead to scarcity across the country.
He listed the depots reopened by DPR as Wosbab Energy Solutions, Emadeb Energy Services Ltd., Mao Petroleum Ltd., Menj Oil Ltd., Oceanpride Energy Services Ltd., A.A. Rano Nigeria Ltd., AIPEC Oil and Gas Ltd. and First Royal Oil Ltd.
According to him, Ijegun-Egba has 13 tank farm operators which receive between 35 per cent to 40 per cent of petroleum products coming to Lagos before being transported to other areas.
Mr Cardoso said, “We were told that LASPPPA sealed the depots today (Monday) for not having their planning permits.
“We don’t believe that is the right approach because these people are providing service to the nation and if you disrupt that service, there will be fuel scarcity everywhere.
“This is why we are taking proactive action to immediately reopen the tank farms and if LASPPPA has any issues with the operators, they should come to us to see how it can be resolved.”
CNPP Accuses APC, PDP of Undermining Democratic Growth
By Modupe Gbadeyanka
The ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) and the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) have been accused of gradually undermining democratic growth by failing to live up to their democratic responsibility to the nation.
This allegation was made by the Conference of Nigeria Political Parties (CNPP) in a statement issued in Abuja by its Secretary-General, Mr Willy Ezugwu.
The group, which is the umbrella association of all registered political parties and political associations in the country, noted that the two political parties have continued on the part of impunity as a result of lack of internal party democracy and other cornerstones of democracy.
According to the CNPP, this has resulted in the emergence of factions and cliques in the parties after every election or party primary.
“Due to the continued indulgence in anti-democratic tendencies, internal democracy in Nigeria’s political parties has continued to nose-dive in the last 22 years of our democratic experiments.
“The two self-acclaimed biggest political parties in Nigeria, the APC and the PDP have continued to clench on practices that negate the core tenets of democracy globally, leading to stagnated growth of Nigeria’s democracy and the sustenance of bad governance at all levels of government.
“As a result of lack of interest in such cornerstones of democracy like freedom of speech and rights to hold a divergent opinion, inclusiveness and equality, citizenship, consent of the governed in decision making, and trampling on their rights to choose their leaders, among others, Nigerians have continued to wallow in wants and penury in the midst of plenty.
“This is why the two parties have continued to manipulate the country’s political space, exchanging members and elected officials who decamp at will and maintaining a high level of disregard to their own party’s constitution such that the courts have become the last resort for most aggrieved members who can afford the cost of litigation.
“The internal conflict resolution mechanisms in both political parties are either hijacked by competing godfathers or such mechanisms are comatose, merely existing in their party constitutions.
“As impunity has continued to thrive in the two political parties, the consequence is the unending emergence of factions and cliques of aggrieved members at the end of every internal election, including congresses and primary elections.
“Nigeria’s democracy cannot advance beyond where we are as the country will continue to recycle corrupt politicians and their cronies that end up impoverishing the populace. This will remain our experience if the bar of internal democracy and adherence to the cornerstones of democracy is not raised and given priority by the two dominant parties.
“We, therefore, challenge the APC and the PDP, as leading political parties, to live by the example of standards of democratic parties as we approach the 2023 general elections. This will not only deepen democracy in the country but also ensure that the people’s rights to choose their leaders within the parties and at general elections are upheld without manipulations, rigging or impositions,” the CNPP stated.
Osinbajo Lauds US Advocacy on Climate Change
By Sodeinde Temidayo David
Nigeria’s Vice President, Mr Yemi Osinbajo, has expressed gladness as the United States of America (USA) is fully back on board the climate change global agenda, in a commendable restoration of the US government’s support for the Paris Agreement.
Mr Osinbajo expressed this excitement when he received a delegation from the United States and discussed issues of interest to both countries on climate change action.
“We are happy that the US is fully on board with climate change and back to the table on this issue.
“I think one has to commend the drive that this U.S. administration has put behind climate change,” the Vice President noted.
It could be recalled that four years ago, the immediate past President of the US, Mr Donald Trump, withdrew his country from the Paris Agreement.
But the administration of Mr Joe Biden, on the assumption of office, announced the restoration of America’s commitment to the deal.
During the visit yesterday, Mr Osinbajo restated Nigeria’s position on a just transition from fossil fuels to clean energy, ahead of the net-zero emissions 2050 target.
“We are concerned, amongst other things, first about some of what has been going on, especially around gas as an effective transition fuel, and how many of the Development Finance Institutions (DFIs) and some countries are insisting that gas projects should be defunded.
“This is a principal concern to us; it is one that we have made central to our advocacy and it is one of the issues that we intend to promote at the COP26,” the VP noted.
He informed the US delegation of Nigeria’s Energy Transition Plan, which is the first in Africa.
“We have done the costing for it and all of what is required to be able to hit net-zero by 2050. Also, what the implications would be, given the constraints there, and how realistic it would be to get to net-zero by 2050 or not,” he added.
According to Mr Osinbajo, Nigeria is looking forward to participating in the democracy summit to be hosted by US President Joe Biden later this year.
He noted that one of the things that have always been the topic in the country is how to ensure that illicit financial flows are discouraged.
He further stressed that the international monetary and financial systems have a role in stopping it.
“Looking at what happened in the last few years, we have received quite a bit of support from the U.S. government, especially in terms of the repatriation of several of the looted funds, and we hope to continue to get the cooperation of the US,” the respected lawyer said.
On behalf of the federal government, the VP also commended the US government for donating over 3.5 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines to Nigeria.
Eid-el-Maulud: Akande-Sadipe Sues for Peace in Nigeria
By Modupe Gbadeyanka
Chairman of the House of Representatives Committee on Diaspora, Ms Tolulope Akande-Sadipe, has tasked Nigerians to pray for the peace and prosperity of the nation.
The lawmaker gave this charge in a statement issued by her Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Mr Olamilekan Olusada, to celebrate this year’s Eid-el-Maulud.
She urged the citizens of the Oluyole Federal Constituency, who she represents at the House of Representatives, and Nigerians home and in the diaspora to show love to one another regardless of political differences, ethnic, tribe, religious and cultural diversity and to promote peaceful coexistence as a nation.
“I rejoice with all Muslim brethren on the celebration of this year’s Eid Maulud and urge Nigerians to pray for peace and prosperity in the nation,” Ms Akande-Sadipe was quoted as saying in the statement.
“This is a celebration of the birth of our dear Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) who demonstrated over his life, that we can co-exist and prosper through peace.
“To be a greater nation we need to follow the exemplary lifestyle of Prophet Muhammad (SAW) and emulate the teachings and leadership qualities of the Holy Prophet, by a life of non-violence, love and harmony,” she further said.
“Nigeria needs to drive peace, stability and prosperity in sub-Saharan Africa. Without a peaceful, democratic and economically thriving Nigeria, it would be hard to get governance right in the region,” she added.
The lawmaker also revealed that Nigeria’s population is projected to surpass that of the United States by 2050, stressing that it will be impossible to co-exist as a nation of stability and prosperity without a peaceful, democratic and economically thriving Nigeria.
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