- FG Backs Single Petroleum Sector Regulator, Wants Minister as Chair
The federal government has said it was in support of the idea of a single regulator for Nigeria’s entire petroleum sector as proposed in the Petroleum Industry Governance Bill (PIGB) currently before the Senate for consideration.
It however stated that it would want the commission to be created by the PIGB in this regard to be chaired by the minister of petroleum resources.
The Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu stated this in his address at the National Assembly during the public hearing in the bill, which is sponsored by Senator Tayo Alasoadura from Ondo Central.
“We are aligned on the concept of a single regulator for the petroleum industry. What Nigeria needs going forward is a regulator that covers the field, as opposed to dissipated regulatory power amongst agencies.
“The regulator should cover upstream, midstream and downstream oil, gas and products regulation, as well as technical, economic and Health, Safety and Environment (HSE) regulation,” said Kachikwu.
Speaking on the composition of the proposed commission, the minister explained: “There needs to be careful calibration of the relationship between the role of the minister as the institution charged with overall supervision of the industry vis-à-vis that of the super regulator as the institution responsible for regulation.
“The calibration must ensure checks and balances on regulatory power through tools such as administrative law; however, it seems essential that the power to issue regulations should at all times reside with the minister.”
He stated: “Section13 does not envisage a position for the minister on the board of the commission. We propose that the minister chair the board of the commission to ensure effective interface between the regulatory and policy making institutions.”
The PIGB, he stated proposes four year terms for commissioners but that in accord with best practice, the government would suggest that staggered terms for commissioners be considered in order to ensure continuity in the governance of the commission such that there would not be vacancy of executive commissioners in office at any time.
Kachikwu also said the government would propose that the PIGB consider setting up a technical directorate for the industry, as well as an open registry regime to advance transparency in the affairs of the commission.
“A core aspect of the reforms that we propose to the effectiveness of the minister’s powers to issue policies, supervise the industry and manage Nigeria’s petroleum resources, is the need for a well-resourced and solid technical back office.
“Hence, the National Oil Policy and the National Gas Policy contains proposals for institutional reforms at the ministry of petroleum resources in this regard. It is our position that the PIGB should address this long standing issue legislatively by creating a Petroleum Technical Directorate,” he stated.
He added: “An essential issue, going forward, is the need to establish a registry of records for all the titles to be issued and managed by the commission. This will aid public access to information, and the due diligence reviews by third parties into assets.”
University Of Ibadan (UI) Goes Digital, Releases Timetable for Virtual Academic Session
University of Ibadan (UI) on Friday announced it is going ahead with resumption on February 20 despite the second wave of COVID-19.
In a statement released by the school, the First Semester of the 2020/2021 academic session will commence virtually on February 20, 2021.
The virtual academic session will last for 13 straight weeks and end on Friday May 12, 2021, while the matriculation ceremony will hold on Tuesday March 16, 2021.
The University of Ibadan also scheduled one week for the Finalization of Continuous Assessment, to begin from Mon. 17 May and ends Friday 21 May.
The rising number of COVID-19 cases has compelled the Senate to approve the virtual academic session in an effort to ensure the tertiary institution abides by the protocols established by the Federal Government to curb the spread of the pandemic.
“It, therefore, agreed that the 2020/2021 First Semester lectures will be delivered online. In this regard, students will not be accommodated on campus,” a statement from the school said.
“Senate also approved the cancellation of the 2019/2020 session. The next session is, therefore, renamed 2020/2021 Academic Session. Consequently, students who have been admitted for the 2019/2020 session will now be regarded as the 2020/2021 intakes.
“Kindly note that online opening of Registration Portal and Orientation Programme for the 2020/2021 intakes may commence ahead of the Sat 20/02/21 date indicated above,” the statement said.
House of Representatives Impeached Trump Over Capitol Invasion
The United States House of Representatives on Wednesday impeached President Trump for the second time after instigating the US Capitol invasion.
Led by Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi, 232 representatives, including 10 Republicans, voted to impeach the outgoing president against 197 that voted for him to remain in the office for the next six days when he would handover to the president-elect, Joe Biden.
The ten Republicans were Representatives Liz Cheney of Wyoming, the party’s No. 3 leader in the House; Jaime Herrera Beutler of Washington; John Katko of New York; Adam Kinzinger of Illinois; Fred Upton of Michigan; Dan Newhouse of Washington; Peter Meijer of Michigan; Anthony Gonzalez of Ohio; David Valadao of California; and Tom Rice of South Carolina.
Speaking before the vote, Pelosi said “a constitutional remedy that will ensure that the Republic will be safe from this man who is so resolutely determined to tear down the things that we hold dear and that hold us together.”
“He must go. He is a clear and present danger to the nation that we all love,” she said, adding later, “It gives me no pleasure to say this — it breaks my heart.”
Republicans, who unanimously stood behind president Trump in 2019 during his first impeachment, were divided this time over the attack on Capitol.
A Republican representative from California, Kevin McCarthy, said “The president bears responsibility for Wednesday’s attack on Congress by mob rioters,” Mr. McCarthy said. “He should have immediately denounced the mob when he saw what was unfolding.”
US Congress Declares Joe Biden as The 46th President of The United States After Trump Mob Left
The joint congress of the United States on Thursday, January 7, 2021 certified Joe Biden as the 46th President of the United States following President Trump’s mob action that disrupted the congress joint proceeding on Wednesday.
After ordering his followers to disrupt proceedings on Wednesday, President Trump later announced that there will be an orderly transition on January 20.
“Even though I totally disagree with the outcome of the election, and the facts bear me out, nevertheless there will be an orderly transition on January 20th,” Trump said in a statement issued by White House Deputy Chief of Staff Dan Scavino.
“I have always said we would continue our fight to ensure that only legal votes were counted. While this represents the end of the greatest first term in presidential history, it’s only the beginning of our fight to Make America Great Again!” Trump added.
While the certification was just a mere formality as Biden had secured enough electoral college votes (270) required to clinch the world’s most powerful seat, the refusal of Donald Trump to accept the results of the November 2020 election made the session a keenly watched, especially after Trump mob disrupted a joint session of the Senate.
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