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PIGB Rejection; President Buhari Acted Rightly – SOCIAL ACTION

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The recent refusal of the President, Muhammadu Buhari to assent to the Petroleum Industry Governance Bill, PIGB, has been described as a right step in the right direction.

The Head of the National Advocacy Centre of Social Action and Director of Programmes, Ms Vivian Bellonwu-Okafor, made this assertion while reacting to the rejection of the bill by President Buhari. According to Bellonwu-Okafor, teeming Civil Society Organizations and Community Groups including Social Action, had earlier raised alarm on the gaping holes and major shortcomings in the bill and the potential danger these held for the environment, the lives and livelihoods of Oil – bearing (host) communities’ residents as well as the Industry itself.

She stated that “…as we speak, presently, the entire atmosphere of a State in the Niger Delta, Rivers State, is enveloped in a black deadly soot, masking every object or item in that place and stealthily decimating the lives of the millions of people living there and inhaling the pollution of which experts have attributed to combustion of fossil fuel, Petroleum. It is therefore appalling that the National Assembly, against all well-meaning pleas to bring back the comprehensive Petroleum Industry Bill, the PIB, and jettison the piece-meal PIGB, which did not even make any pretense to care about or recognize the lives cum rights of host communities or the the environment and at best simply authored confusion and double-standards in establishing petroleum regulatory institutions for the Industry; went ahead and passed it.

Bellonwu-Okafor pointed out that Social Action has therefore lauded the President for his foresightedness in taking step to forestall what would have been a major setback to both the people and the environment of the oil-bearing region adding that any bill for the industry must recognize the environment and lives/rights of the host area(s) as fundamental and therefore legislate on it firstly before commercial entities and interests.

The Advocacy chief therefore called on the National Assembly to do what she said was “the needful and rightful”, by bringing back and passing the comprehensive PIB in the interest of equity, justice and the environment.

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Group calls on govt to quell Nigeria’s Crisis

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Human rights Non-Governmental Organisation, NGO, known as Association of Youths for Justice and Equal Rights, AYJER, has called on government at all levels to quell the current looming crisis in the country.

In a press statement, Chairman of AYJER from USA, Mr. Julius Gbolahan Motajo, who reiterated that the current state of Nigeria’s polity, condemned the gross ineptitude and misconduct shown by the Independent Electoral Commission, INEC, during the recent Osun guber elections, which he described as threat to democracy as it was characterized by violence perpetrated and malpractices of vote buying by politicians under the supervision of an electoral umpire that is expected to conduct free and fair elections.

He charged for an enabling voting atmosphere for eligible Nigerians who have attained the universal suffrage age of 18, also urging the youths to be resilient in their mandates of selecting credible candidates of their choices.

Mr. Motajo also called on for government’s intervention on security, through the enforcement of patriotic security agencies that would ensure the safety of Nigerians, mostly those in the north east/north central zones, urging them to beef up the security apparatuses to quell the onslaught of insurgency meted on innocent citizens, as he made reference to a recent case of massacre that took place in Jos, plateau state, where a family of nine were gruesomely murdered.

“During the just concluded osun state Governorship election, having denounced the activities of the INEC, and the intimidation meted on the electorate does not portray the electorate umpires in conducting a free and fair election.

“This organization reiterated that the recent political landscape is blowing an ill wind that is capable of disturbing the tents of Democracy.

“In Nigeria it is time to provide conducive atmosphere for those that had attained the age of 18, and above to confidently cast their vote for candidates of their choice. We call on all eligible voters especially the youths to be steadfast and ensure that they vote for the party that will deliver the dividends of Democracy to its citizens.

“It is no doubt that we vehemently condemned any party leader that is involved in the selling of the highest bidder of vote, this singular act does not encourage growth and development in the community.

“The media had been awash with snatching of ballot boxes, and shooting of gun at the polling stations by scaring the electorate is not healthy for our democracy.

“We urge the Government of the day to mobilize the law enforcement agencies to arrest culprits and bandits that go to polling stations to disorganised the polling state that sometimes culminate to stampede and stress.

“Government needs to send a large number of our law enforcement agencies to the crisis torn states to forestall and quell the insurgencies. Security apparatuses should be impartial in the discharge of their duties, rather than taking side on the part of the ruling party.

“The carnage for the herdsmen and farmers dual had caused untold hardship to the people of the Northeast, northwest and the north central. Only recently a family of about nine members were murdered in cold blood in plateau.” Motajo said.

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Alleged corruption allegations: Oracle Magazine withdraws suits against Aiteo Group

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…Commends Benedict Peter’s patriotism

The management of National Oracle Magazine said it has withdrawn suits filled against a foremost indigenous crude oil exploration company, the Aiteo group, compelling some government agencies to disclose all information and documents pertaining the business activities of organization.

The media house had sought an Order of Mandamus from the Federal High Court, Abuja to compel the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC), Federal Inland Revenue Services (FIRS) and Petroleum Product Pricing Regulatory Agency (PPPRA) to release some vital information and documents pertaining the business activities of Aiteo Group.

But in a statement signed Saturday in Abuja, the Editor-in-Chief, National Oracle Magazine, Dr. Blessing Agbomhere, said his media organisation has discovered that “the corruption allegationsallegations leveled against Aiteo is an alarmist hoax being peddled by a pocket of individuals with vested interest to wear Aiteo Group and its promoters a black garment before the Nigerian and British governments.”

Dr. Blessing Agbomhere, who is also the Executive Secretary, Gatekeepers Foundation, while commending the promoter of Aiteo group, Benedict Peters, said investigations revealed that Aito group and it promoters have been in the petroleum business since year 2000, and about same time have invested billions of Naira, though borrowed, into the Nigerian oil sector.

While calling on Nigerian government to give the indigenous oil company all the necessary support, the statement said that “In furtherance of its investigation, National Oracle Magazine has discovered conspiracy by highly placed individuals against Aiteo Group and its promoters. All corrupt allegations against Aiteo is an alarmist hoax being peddled by a pocket of individuals with vested interest to wear Aiteo Group and its promoters a black garment before the Nigerian and British governments.

“National Oracle Magazine investigation reveals that the Aiteo Group and its promoters have been in the petroleum business about the year 2000, and about same time have invested billions of naira, though borrowed, into the Nigerian oil sector. What Aiteo Group has achieved today is a result of hard work, business intelligence and commitment to growing the Nigerian economy.

“Aiteo Group, an indigenous company, has contributed immensely to the development of the Nigerian oil and gas sector; empowering Nigerians in so many aspects of life. Rather than allowing individuals no matter how highly place to orchestrate clandestine plots to bring down Aiteo Group and its promoters, the Nigerian government must give Aiteo Group the needed support to continue to grow as Nigerians and the Nigerian government are the biggest beneficiaries of Aiteo’s growth.”

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International Road Transport Organisation (IRU) Media Prize awarded to journalist Mike King from Breakbulk, USA

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Mike King is a multi-award-winning journalist, as well as a shipping and logistics consultant

International Road Transport Organisation (IRU), the world road transport organisation today announces the winner of the 2018 IRU Media Prize on the future of transport and trade.

The IRU Media Prize celebrates the significant contribution of journalists to current debate within the transport sector, and coincides with the upcoming IRU World Congress in Oman, 6-8 November 2018, the new global event for road transport, mobility and logistics.

Mike King (@Break_Bulk) is a multi-award-winning journalist, as well as a shipping and logistics consultant. His piece, entitled “Trouble with Truckers” , addresses issues such as driver shortage and new opportunities for transport through e-commerce.

IRU received entries from across the world, signifying a strong interest in the industry among journalists. Mike King’s entry was one of three shortlisted. The other two finalists were Ilker Altun from Kargo Haber and Jonathan Andrews from Cities Today.

“I am looking forward to personally congratulating Mike in Oman at the IRU World Congress, where we will recognise his and the media’s important work to push debate around the critical issues for the road transport industry – and beyond,” said IRU Secretary General, Umberto de Pretto.

The competition was open to journalists from international and regional media who published or broadcast original reports. Articles or broadcasts were submitted in English or Arabic, with eligible works published between 19 June and 10 October 2018. Stories were judged on content, writing, analysis, creativity, human interest and clear reporting.

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