The Chairman, Senate Committee on Petroleum Resources (Upstream), Omotayo Alasoadura, has blamed the delayed passage of PIB, Petroleum Industry Bill, on the corruption of former senators as they received bribes from powerful Nigerians and some oil companies. According to the Senator, he was also offered millions of dollars bribe in order to kill the bill but he refused.
“They offered me money, but I said no, that the little money that God had provided for me is enough to cater for my wellbeing and that of my family…So the politics, lobby and so on from those who do not want the bill to see the light of the day was terrible.” he said.
However, unlike his honest self, Alasoadura claimed other senators of the 6th and 7th National Assembly took the dollar bribe as one of those giving the bribes said a former Chairman of the Committee got $10 million to scuttle the bill.
This gives more light into why the bill took so long before it was eventually passed by the National Assembly. The controversial bill seeks to split the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) into Nigerian Petroleum Assets Management (NPAM) and National Oil Company (NOC), thereby restructuring the framework of the country’s petroleum industry.
The bill has however faced severe delays as different parties sought to either restructure or kill the bill off as it posed a thereat to their personal interests as both the 6th and 7th National Assemblies delayed passage of PIB. The bill has, however been unbundled into several parts, with the Petroleum Industry Governance Bill (PIGB) which Alasoadura calls ‘ father of all of them all’ successfully passing through the National Assembly already. The other 3 parts will undergo further reading and it is hoped that this Senate will be able to pass them all.
Facebook to open Lagos office in 2021
When the social media giant comes to Nigeria, it will be its second office on the African continent.
Social Media giant, Facebook announced it would open an office in Lagos in 2021, its second office in the continent and the first in Africa to house software engineers.
This was announced by Facebook Program Manager, Chimdindu Aneke on social media. “We are opening a Facebook office in Lagos, Nigeria later in 2021,” he said.
We are opening a Facebook office in Lagos, Nigeria later in 2021. 😍😍😍
— Chimdi Aneke (@chimdinduaneke) September 18, 2020
He added that the office would be the first in Africa by Facebook for the purpose of engineering and “building for the future of Africa and beyond”.
Media aide to the Presidency, Tolu Ogunlesi quoted Facebook saying, “As part of its continued commitment and ongoing investment in Africa, Facebook today announced it will be opening an office in Lagos, Nigeria – its second office on the African continent.”
“Lagos, Nigeria, September 18, 2020/ — As part of its continued commitment and ongoing investment in Africa, @Facebook today announced it will be opening an office in Lagos, Nigeria – its second office on the African continent.”#InvestNigeria 🇳🇬🇳🇬🇳🇬
— tolu ogunlesi (@toluogunlesi) September 18, 2020
In 2019, Facebook’s biggest market in Africa was Nigeria with 33 million monthly active users.
AIICO partners NGO to feed underprivileged community
AIICO Insurance in collaboration with an NGO brought food items to residents of a Lagos community.
AIICO Insurance PLC, in partnership with We Stand Foundation, recently organized a Feeding Relief Programme to cater to the needs of underprivileged people in Lagos. Three hundred (300) families within the Iwaya community, Yaba, were beneficiaries of the relief packages which include a variety of food items and reusable nose masks.
According to Abimbola Shobanjo, AIICO’s Corporate Responsibility and Sustainability Manager, “It was indeed a great delight to bring smiles to the faces of these people. Besides solving hunger, we also considered their wellbeing a high priority in view of the need to continue to keep safe. We leverage on key partners to spot opportunities and drive these initiatives.”
The MD/CEO, Mr. Babatunde Fajemirokun, stated, “This endeavour is reflective of our corporate culture of touching lives and impacting communities. These are challenging times and we are mindful of the impact. We have a long-term plan in place to ensure the sustainability of these efforts.”
It will be recalled that AIICO organized a similar programme during the lockdown period where food and other health and safety packages were distributed to people in different communities to mitigate the impact.
AIICO Insurance is a leading composite insurer in Nigeria with a record of accomplishment of serving its clients that dates back over 50 years. Founded in 1963, AIICO provides life and health insurance, general insurance, investment management and pension management services as a means to create and protect wealth for individuals, families and corporate customers.
Nigeria among countries to be worst hit by food crisis globally
Nigeria, others were listed as countries with the worst deteriorations in acute hunger in recent months.
Nigeria has emerged as one of the countries to be most hit by food crisis across the globe in the face of the coronavirus pandemic which had worsened the already bad situation.
This disclosure is contained in a report by the United Nation’s Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).
The report from the FAO also shows that the Democratic Republic of Congo is emerging as the country with the world’s largest food crisis in terms of absolute numbers, with Burkina Faso listed as the country with the worst deteriorations in acute hunger in recent months.
The food crisis is made worse in Nigeria by the longstanding religious and ethnic conflicts and even organized crimes by some bandits, which has greatly affected farmers working on their farmlands.
In addition to these, the farmers were already contending with the issue of flooding or drought, which has negatively been impacting on the agricultural sector in a period the country is desperate and very desirous of economic diversification. The coronavirus pandemic has triggered a surge in food prices as can be seen in the reports released by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), in a country that imports over 10% of its food supply.
With a population of over 200 million people, Nigeria is the most populous country in Africa, which is regarded as the world’s most food-insecure continent. This is made worse as importers of food items struggle to gain access to dollars for their imports due to scarcity of foreign exchange which is triggered by the crash of oil prices and low foreign inflow.
This is expected to be exacerbated by the recent order by President Muhammadu Buhari to the Central Bank of Nigeria, to stop the allocation of foreign exchange to importers of food items.
The Governor of Niger State, Abubakar Sani Bello, warned in April, “We are heading toward famine and starvation.”
The FAO report which states that Congo has about 21.8 million people that are acutely food insecure, also points out that Burkina Faso has witnessed an almost 300% uptick in the overall number of people experiencing acute hunger since the start of 2020.