Reps raise alarm over new cabal in oil & gas sector
By Emman Ovuakporie & Johnbosco Agbakwuru
ABUJA—THE House of Representatives, yesterday, raised alarm over emergence of new cabals, whose sole aim is to steal and divert Nigeria’s crude oil and liquefied gas to global destinations.
The House also, yesterday, started the process of amending the nation’s Electoral Act to the effect that a running mate of a gubernatorial or presidential candidate in an election could automatically step into his/her shoes in the event of death or incapacitation during an election.
On the alarm, the House in its resolution, directed the Ministry of Defence to stop all further actions on commercialisation of the Nigeria Navy by foreign groups, led by Shorefac Consortium Limited.
The resolution was sequel to a motion on matter of urgent public importance sponsored by Ehiozuwa Johnson Agbonayinma, who represents Egor/Ikoba-Okha Federal Constituency of Edo State.
In the motion, Agbonayinma noted: “On February 21, 2017, Shorefac Consortium Limited made a proposal of a business model to the Ministry of Defence that would deliver 100 fast boats to the Nigerian Navy, together with an offer of maintenance support, all at no cost to the government.
“Shorefac Consortium, in order to recoup its investments, would become a commercial partner to the Nigerian Navy in commercializing the Maritime Services Department of the Navy which would then be expected to provide security services at a cost to International Oil Companies and other owners and operators of offshore assets.
“Shorefac Consortium Limited has strong international affiliations, therefore, engaging such a company to collaborate with a key arm of the nation’s Armed Forces will amount to commercializing its core constitutional role and cause undue exposure of the country to foreign interference.
“Funding of the Armed Forces is the priority of the Federal Government, which must shield them from all manners of commercial ventures that could put the country’s security at risk.
“Commercialization of any sector of the Armed Forces would bring about profiteering that is devoid of allegiance to national causes, and ultimately erode the core military values of order and discipline as personnel would begin to compete to be part of the lucrative commercial business.”
Meanwhile, the House of Representatives has started the process of amending the nation’s Electoral Act to the effect that a running mate of a gubernatorial or presidential candidate in an election can automatically step into his/her shoes in the event of death or incapacitation during an election.
The House is also pushing for the empowerment of the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, to facilitate voting platforms for Nigerians in the Diaspora during future presidential/general elections.
This development is based on “a Bill for an Act to further amend the Electoral Act of 2010 as amended in 2015 and for other matters related thereof’, co-promoted by Sunday Karimi Steve (PDP, Kogi), and Eucharia Azodo (PDP, Anambra), which passed for second reading on the floor of the House.
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