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N135bn intervention fund: CBN, Petroleum Ministry trade words

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The Senate Committee on Gas Resources is currently investigating the allocation of a sum of N135 billion by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to various companies in the oil and gas sector. This inquiry took an unexpected turn as the CBN and the Ministry of Petroleum engaged in a public dispute before the committee members during the hearing held on Thursday.

Senator Jarigbe Agom Jarigbe, the Committee Chairman, had earlier summoned 15 companies to appear and clarify their use of the disbursed funds, as they were reportedly unwilling to repay the amount. At the hearing, Mrs. Oluremi Komolafe, representing the Ministry of Petroleum, disclosed that while the intervention initiative was indeed initiated by the Ministry, they were not aware of the CBN’s disbursement.

Komolafe explained that the Ministry received 150 applications, recommended 69 companies, and was still processing 16 applications. She clarified that the list was not processed by the Ministry but was forwarded to the CBN for action.

The CBN, represented by Alhaji Sahaad, the acting Director of Project Finance, absolved the bank of any responsibility for the disbursement, stating that they merely provided guidelines for the intervention loan, and the actual disbursement was carried out by commercial banks.

Sahaad stated, “Our role is to facilitate the loan,” emphasizing that commercial banks were responsible for due diligence. Senator Jimoh Ibrahim, however, insisted that the CBN should have been aware of and involved in the disbursement process, arguing that commercial banks could not have disbursed the intervention fund without CBN guidance.

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The Committee Chairman threatened to involve anti-graft agencies to recover the funds from defaulting beneficiaries, citing discrepancies in the disbursement, particularly with companies like Dangote Refinery and Pinnacle Oil and Gas using the funds for projects beyond the specified threshold. The senators accused the CBN and the Ministry of Petroleum of conflicting actions, allowing beneficiary companies to evade repayment.

The 15 summoned companies include Nigeria Independent Petroleum Company, Plc, NIPCO, Hyde Engineering and Construction Company, Pinnacle Oil and Gas, Dangote Oil Refinery, Lee Engineering and Construction Company, Nova Gas, and nine others.

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Gov Yusuf reappoints Sanusi as Emir of Kano, orders ex-monarchs 48 hours to vacate seats

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Governor Abba Kabir Yusuf has approved the reappointment of Emir Muhammadu Sanusi II as Emir of Kano under the new laws.

The governor has given former emirs 48 hours to vacate their palaces and hand over Emirate Council properties to the Commissioner of Local Government, who also serves as State Deputy Governor.

Governor Abba Kabir Yusuf of Kano State has signed the Kano Emirates Bill 2024 into law, repealing the 2019 Emirate Councils Law that altered the state’s over 1000-year history.

By signing the bill, the governor declared that the 2019 law has been repealed and is now history.

The signing was attended by the Speaker of the State Assembly, Ismaila Falgore, Deputy Governor Aminu Abdussalam, Secretary to the State Government Abdullahi Baffa Bichi and others.

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The State Assembly has fulfilled one of its constitutional roles by signing the bill into law.

CREDIT: DAILY POST

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Europa League: Lookman nominated for Player of the Week

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Ademola Lookman has been nominated for the UEFA Europa League Player of the Week. The Nigerian international delivered an outstanding performance, scoring a hat-trick in Atalanta’s 3-0 win over Bayer Leverkusen on Wednesday night.

His teammates, Davide Zappacosta and Ederson, have also been nominated for the award.

Additionally, Bayer Leverkusen defender Piero Hincapie is in the running for the accolade.

Lookman previously won the Player of the Week award during Atalanta’s semi-final victory against Olympic Marseille, where he recorded a goal and an assist in the second leg of the match.

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National Council on Sports: Tinubu lauds Mbah over safe environment, support

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Nigeria’s President, Bola Tinubu, praised Enugu State Governor, Dr. Peter Mbah, for creating a safe and conducive environment for the country’s sports stakeholders to gather for a national sports council meeting. Tinubu commended Mbah’s commitment to promoting sports, highlighting his administration’s satisfaction with these efforts.

Governor Mbah announced that his administration has partnered with the private sector to develop a state-of-the-art sports park aimed at enhancing sports development and talent discovery in the state.

During the inaugural National Council on Sports (NCS) meeting held in Enugu on Wednesday, President Tinubu, represented by the Minister of Special Duties, Hon. Zaphaniah Jisalo, emphasized the significant role sports play in a nation’s development. He noted that sports are not only a form of entertainment and recreation but also a business that warrants substantial investment.

Speaking on the theme “Sports for National Unity and Socio-Economic Growth,” President Tinubu urged Nigerians to view sports as a means to foster unity, promote health, and drive economic growth. He highlighted the opportunities sports provide for young people to develop character, discipline, and leadership skills, and called for innovative approaches to enhance sporting potential, inclusivity, and equal opportunities for all Nigerians, regardless of gender, age, or physical ability.

Governor Peter Mbah emphasized that sports serve as a powerful unifying tool, transcending tribe, language, and creed. He highlighted Enugu’s rich sporting heritage, including the achievements of Rangers International Football Club, and urged stakeholders to invest in the sports industry through effective partnerships.

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Mbah stressed the significant economic impact of sports globally and encouraged both public and private sector investment in the industry. He noted that his administration’s partnership with private investors to build a state-of-the-art sports park would provide a platform for youth talent discovery and sports enthusiasm. The facilities at the sports park will include training areas, athlete housing, and a physical therapy and sports medicine center.

Minister of Sports Development, Senator John Owan Enoh, remarked that Enugu was chosen to host the inaugural National Council on Sports due to its strategic importance in the nation’s sporting landscape. He emphasized the need for investment in sports infrastructure, talent development, and grassroots programs to nurture athletic talent, stimulate local economies, create jobs, and promote healthier lifestyles among Nigerians.

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