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PIB: 3% Too Small For Those Who Suffer Burden Of Producing Oil, Says Prof Oyebode

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Prof Akin Oyebode
Prof Akin Oyebode
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**Recommended further amendments of the act as one of the ways to address the concerns of the affected communities.

Following the Presidential assent to the Petroleum Industrial Bill a Professor of International Law and Diplomacy, Akin Oyebode, has faulted the allocation of three per cent operating expenditure of oil firms to host communities.

Oyebode, who featured as a guest on Channels Television’s Politics Today monitored in Abuja, believes such a percentage amounts to nothing compared with the sufferings of the people of the affected areas.

“I think we have to recognise that what we really have are oil-bearing areas, they are not oil-producing (but) areas which bear oil, and the relationship between the international oil companies and the oil-bearing communities needs to be straightened out,” he said on Monday.

“Three per cent is a pittance for those who suffer the incumbrances of producing oil. The concomitant effect of ravage of the environment, and then the fact of the unpleasantness of heat coming from fires, cancer and other things ravaging people inhabiting the area, need to be compensated for.”

The professor was analysing how the recent signing of the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) into law by President Muhammadu Buhari would affect the nation, especially the people in the oil-bearing communities.

He stressed the need for authorities to put into critical consideration the health condition of the people and the hardship they face – as a result of oil spills and other factors.

While Oyebode described the presidential assent to the Act as a step in the right direction, he recommended further amendments of the act as one of the ways to address the concerns of the affected communities.

“We all agree that the oil-bearing areas are the geese that lay the golden eggs, so they have to survive, and they have to be cushioned and defended from the vagaries of oil production,” he said. “Trying to smuggle in people over host territory, oil pipelines pass, I think it is being clever by half.”

“We must be able to separate issues. It is taking such a long time to have the PIB, so we should not throw away the baby (as people say) with the bathwater. So, it is a fine place to start to see whether we need further amendments of the PIB going forward in order to make progress,” the legal expert added.

The Petroleum Industry Act provides a legal, governance, regulatory and fiscal framework for the nation’s petroleum sector, the development of host communities, and related matters.

It was initially passed by lawmakers in the Senate and House of Representatives chambers of the National Assembly on July 15 and 16 respectively.

President Buhari assented to the act a month after the lawmakers gave the approval.

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SON insist on international best practices, set-up committee to audit, certify education sector

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In ensuring that educational management system in the country deliver on their mandate of impacting knowledge and skills, the Standards Organization of Nigeria (SON) has inaugurated national technical committee for adoption and certification of education management standards.

At the inauguration in Abuja, Farouk Salim, Director General of SON, said one of the challenges facing Nigeria has been international standards both in products and services delivery, which is why the organisation is aligning to best international practice.

“One of SON mandate is to support all businesses in determining quality of products/services using ; standardization, certifications and quality assurance. As such our decision to adopt this international standard on educational organizations management system ISO 21001:2018 is apt at this time when we have opened our borders to all forms of trade with other African countries.

“It is important that we promote and sustain our learning institutions by ensuring that the services that are provided in our schools meet the needs of learners, promote equal opportunities for all students and earn the confidence and approval of learners’ sponsors in order to contribute their quota to national growth and development,” he said.

Salim, represented by Engr. Timothy Abner, Director Training services at the SON added that although government is doing a lot to upgrade the standard of products and the education sector, he however also noted there should be additional effort of adopting and establishing this international best practice will assist Nigeria to always deliver globally recognized services and products in different sectors of the economy.

The Committee is to draw up requirements for bodies providing audit and certification of educational organizations management systems.

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Business & Economy

Senate summons CBN Governor over naira fall

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Senate in Session
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…proceeds on annual recess till Sept. 20 
The Senate, on Wednesday, resolved to summon the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Mr. Godwin Emefiele, to educate and inform senators in a closed session on the reasons for the rapid depreciation of the value of the naira.
It also mandated the Senate Committee on Banking, Insurance and Other Financial Institutions to assess the impact of CBN intervention funds meant to support critical sectors of the economy.
The resolutions were reached by lawmakers after the upper chamber considered a motion sponsored by Senator Olubunmi Adetunmbi (APC – Ekiti North).
The motion was entitled, “State of CBN Intervention Funds and Free Fall Of Naira.”
Coming under Order 41 and 51 of the Senate Standing Order, as amended, Adetunmbi bemoaned Nigeria’s economic reality amid an urgent call for “extraordinary measures”.
He noted that the CBN through its numerous multi-sectoral intervention funds, provided special funds to support critical sectors of the economy.
He explained that in view of such interventions, it had become necessary to assess the state of implementation and effectiveness of the funds deployed for the purpose.
The lawmaker, recalled that the CBN in 2021, placed an indefinite halt on forex bidding by Bureau de Change operators (BDCS) and importers over allegations of abuse and mismanagement.
He observed that the halt by the CBN resulted in a spike of the exchange rate.
According to Adetunmbi, “the two instruments of Personal Travel Allowance (PTA) and Business Travel Allowance (BTA) could only serve less than 20% of the total forex demand by travelers and businesses.”
He expressed worry that the import and export window meant to serve the forex needs of business giants, “has become a rare opportunity that only a privileged few can access.”
“These and a number of others have contributed to the excessive scarcity of forex in Nigeria today”, he added.
He noted that as at the 26th of July 2022 (yesterday), the exchange rate in the autonomous segment (BDCS) of the foreign exchange market is N670 to 1 United States Dollar and projected to end at N1000 by end of the year based on the current rate of depreciation.
He, therefore, advised the Central Bank to take new measures to curb forex scarcity and address the sliding rate of Naira exchange.
In his contribution, Senator Sani Musa (APC – Niger East), faulted the Central Bank’s decision to halt foreign exchange biddings, thereby cutting off the parallel market – Bureau de change operators.
According to him, the attempt by the CBN to control the value of the naira with the continuous exclusion of BDCs would only lead to its further depreciation.
He, therefore, advised the apex bank to rather ensure the regulation and monitoring of the parallel market.
“What CBN used to do was to give out $10,000 (USD) to each of these BDCs with a clear directive for it not to be sold above N470 as against the $419 exchange rate. It worked.
“But today, nobody is determining where the rate is going and I can assure you we can’t have that solution because we are only importing”, he said.
On his part, Senator representing Katsina North District, Senator Ahmad Babba-Kaita, said one way to improve the value of the naira was to encourage foreign investments to attract inflow of other currencies into Nigeria.
“The only way we can access the dollar will be determined by other economies and not ours”, he noted.
He, however, attributed the lack of foreign investments into Nigeria on the poor security situation caused by banditry, terrorism and other criminal activities.
The Senate, in its resolutions, called on the CBN to urgently intervene to stop the rapid decline in the value of the Naira vis-à-vis the Dollar and other international currencies.
It also mandated the Senate Committee on Banking, Insurance and Other Financial Institutions to conduct an assessment of CBN intervention funds and the declining value of Naira to come up with sustainable solutions.
The Senate, at the end of Wednesday’s proceedings, adjourned plenary till September 20th, 2022, for its annual recess.
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Business & Economy

Buhari seeks Senate’s nod on four re-appointed nominees as Directors of CBN board

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CBN Headquarters Abuja
CBN Headquarters Abuja
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The Senate, on Tuesday, received a request from President Muhammadu Buhari, to confirm the re-appointment of four nominees as Non-Executive Directors of the Board of the Central Bank of Nigeria.

The request was contained in a latter dated 21st July, 2022, and read at the start of plenary by the Senate President, Ahmad Lawan.

The President, in the letter, explained that the request to confirm the nominees was made in accordance with Section 10(3)(a) of the Central Bank of Nigeria (Establishment) Act 2007.

The nominees for confirmation include: Prof. Mike Idiahi Obadan (South South), Prof. Justitia Odinakachukwu Nnabuko (South East), Prof. Ummu Ahmed Jalingo (North East), and Mr. Adeola Adetunji (South West).

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