A group, Youths Arise for Undiluted Leadership and Development Initiatives has asked President Muhammadu Buhari to replace the heads of Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Agency (NNDPRA) and Nigerian National Petroleum Limited (NNPL) over the recent sabotage leading to the importation of contaminated petroleum products.
The action they observed has since triggered artificial and endless scarcity of supply in Nigeria.
They also asked the President to set up an Independent Panel of Inquiry into the circumstances that surrounded the importation of the contaminated petroleum products into the country by the NNPC and its contractors.
Speaking at a press conference held at the NUJ press center in Abuja on Thursday, the National coordinator of the group Akharame Lucky said “The conflicts of interests and the connivance of the two organizations are apparent.
“A regulator should be firm, proactive, assiduous, and protective of public interest. It is not the case with the NMDPRA.
“The NMDPRA CEO presents the organization as subservient to players in its industry, novice and completely incompetent.
According to him, the GMD of the NNPC has offered no reasonable explanation, proffered no working or workable solution to the protracted scarcity, which appeared totally in a quandary.
“These generally leave room for loss of faith in government. moving forward as the international price of crude gallops to new heights, amid the ongoing Russia-Ukraine War, can we honestly count on the Ministry of Petroleum, led by the President Muhammadu Buhari, to protect the best interests of the Nigerian public and shield us from the unexpected?
“Can we bet on a shoddy and seemingly shady operator to put Nigeria first?
“Can we rely on the proven and publicly self-affirmed incompetence of a wobbling and fumbling regulator to do right and affirm itself and not be in retreat and subservience to economic saboteurs?
The coordinator also asked several questions like whose responsibility it is to ensure that Nigeria does not get the short end of the stick in these transactions?
“Who has the legal role as guarantor of Nigeria’s energy security? Who identified the source of the supply? who approved the trade? “Which organization conducted the trade on behalf of the NNPC? What volume of products were involved and at what cost?
“Which agencies of Government are statutorily obligated to ensure that the best standards of products come into Nigeria?
“What role did the Standard Organization of Nigeria (SON) played in the process?
“Which organization is responsible for testing for the acceptable level of the different
components of petroleum supplies”
“What role did the Midstream and Downstream regulator, the (NMDPRA) play in the procurement. supply, and distribution of the contaminated products?
“At what point did the Regulator led by Mr Farouk Ahmed became aware of the contaminated supply?
He also asked why punitive measures were not adopted against the saboteurs that imported the contaminated petroleum that has triggered artificial and endless scarcity of supply in Nigeria.
According to the coordinator,
“One thing is obvious, using NNPC Pensioners as Regulators in a sector where NNPC itself operates as a behemoth, cannot possibly bode well for Nigeria.
“It is not in the best interest of the Nigerian public. It negates the spirit of the of PIS
“Under the Petroleum Industry Act, the NNPC, led by Mr. Mele Kyari, is the sole importer of Petroleum Products into Nigeria, whether it chooses to do it directly or subcontract multiple organizations to do so. That fact must be laid bare.
“If NNPC chooses the latter, its direct or indirect culpability for the violation of any laws under the Nigeria state or infringement of the rights of Nigerians, in the process of fulfilling that statutory function, remain unquestionable.
According to the group, It is not enough for the NNPC to offer apologies but they demanded to know whether the apologies will automatically restore the several automobiles of fellow citizens that have been damaged by the substandard petroleum product imported into the country?
“It is now a matter of national security and overriding public interest for the Minister of State Petroleum, Timipre Syiva; the GMD of NNPC and CEO of NMDPRA (Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Agency) to present to the public the finding of their investigations into the importation of adulterated petroleum products.
“The four organizations earlier fingered; Brittania-U, AY Mai Kifi, Emmadeb and Hide-Energy, have all denied any wrongdoings.
“So, who imported the adulterated petroleum into Nigeria? Who certified its quality? Why is the downstream Regulator so reckless and incompetent?
“It is unacceptable for the head of a public regulator, managing a sensitive part of the economy to be junketing the globe while our citizens are subjected to so much misery caused by the abdication of its statutory responsibilities?
Youth coalition cebrates 8th anniverssary of UNSCR 2250
**Says, the youth can play positive role in sustainable peace
The Nigeria Coalition on Youth Peace and Security has marked the 8th Anniversary of the United Nations Security Council Resolution (UNSCR 2250) on Youth Peace and Security on the 9th December, 2023
In a statement that was jointly signed by the Co-Chairs of the Coalition namely Amina Dauran, Theophilus Ekpon and Maryam Ibrahim Sani indicated it comemorated the 8th anniverssary with the support from the Federal Ministry of Youth Development also the United Nations Population Fund.
According to the statement, the UN Security Council Resolution 2250 (UNSCR2250) was passed after more than 10,000 young people called for it in the Amman Youth Declaration, adopted during the Global Forum on Youth, Peace and Security in August 2015.
“The Resolution marked the birth of a Youth, Peace and Security agenda and was very much inspired by the UN Security Council Resolution 1325 on Women, Peace and Security.
“The UNSCR 2250 on Youth Peace and Security (YPS) was unanimously adopted by the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) on 9th December, 2015 under the leadership of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, and hence the anniversary of the UNSCR 2250 is commemorated on this day globally.”
According to the statement, the adoption of the UNSCR2250 marked the culmination of years of advocacy by civil society for the recognition by the Security Council that young men and young women have a critical and positive role to play for building sustainable peace.
“Its passage would not have been achieved without the leadership of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, who sponsored the resolution, hosted the Global Forum in Amman and led an Open Debate in the Security Council in April 2015.
“This resolution is the first to be fully dedicated to recognizing the important and positive role young women and men play in the maintenance and promotion of international peace and security.
“It recognizes that the energy and creativity of young people should be harnessed and actively engaged in shaping lasting peace and contributing to justice and reconciliation, and that a large youth population presents a demographic dividend that can contribute to lasting peace and economic prosperity if inclusive policies are in place.
“UNSCR 2250 acknowledges that the growth of violent extremism, especially amongst young women and men, threatens stability and development, and can often derail peacebuilding efforts, and foment conflict.
The remaining part of the statement reads,
“The Resolution stresses the importance of addressing the conditions and factors leading to the rise of violent radicalization and extremism amongst youth. It also notes the important role young women and men can play as positive role models in preventing and countering violent extremism.
“A reference to the Secretary General’s Plan of Action to Prevent Violent Extremism to integrate youth’s participation, leadership and empowerment as core to the United Nation’s strategy and responses, is included.
Security Council Resolution 2250 specifically identifies five main pillars for action:
Participation: calling on Member States to involve young people in conflict prevention and resolution, in violence prevention and in the promotion of social cohesion. “Member States are urged to consider ways to increase representation of youth in decision making at all levels.
Protection: recalling the obligations to protect civilians, including young people, during armed conflict and in post conflict times, and in particular from all forms of sexual and gender based violence.
“Prevention: urging the facilitation of enabling environments, investments in socio-economic development and quality education for young women and young men, and the creation of mechanisms to promote a culture of peace, tolerance, intercultural and interreligious dialogue that involve youth.
“Partnership: highlighting the need to increase political, financial, technical and logistical support for the work with young peacebuilders by relevant UN entities as well as regional and international organizations.
“It also highlights the importance of partnering with youth, local communities and non-governmental actors in countering violence extremism.
“Disengagement and reintegration: for young women and men directly involved in armed conflict, including through youth employment opportunities, inclusive labour policies, national youth employment action plans in partnership with the private sector, relevant education opportunities, and support for youth-led and peacebuilding organizations as partners in youth employment and entrepreneurship programs.
“In response to the unanimous adoption of the UNSCR 2250 on Youth Peace and Security, Nigeria developed and launched a National Action Plan (NAP) on Youth, Peace and Security (YPS) that is anchored on the five pillars of the UNSCR 2250 on YPS on November 1, 2021. Working with Civil Society and Youth groups, we have also established the Nigeria Coalition on Youth, Peace and Security (NCYPS) that is co-Chaired by the Federal Ministry of Youth Development, the Centre for Sustainable Development and Education in Africa, and the Youth Wing of the Police Community Relations Committee. “The NCYPS through its co-Chairs and Steering Committee is leading the implementation of the NAPYPS in Nigeria.
In a bid to localize UNSCR 2250 in Nigeria, the Federal Ministry for Youth and Sports Development (FMYSD) in partnership with the Centre for Sustainable Development and Education in Africa (CSDEA), and the Institute for Peace and Conflict Resolution (IPCR) – Federal Ministry of Foreign Affairs launched the UNSCR 2250 in Abuja in October, 2016 to bring attention to the issues of Youth, Peace and Security (YPS) – marking a renewed focus on the YPS agenda in Nigeria. An outcome of the launch was the establishment of a National Working Group on Youth and Peacebuilding which later became the Nigeria Coalition on Youth, Peace and Security, when the Interagency Working Group on Youth and Peacebuilding metamorphosed into the Global Coalition on Youth, Peace and Security.
Another outcome of the launch of the UNSCR 2250 in Nigeria and the subsequent 2017 National Consultative Conference on Youth, Peace and Security was the call by stakeholders to develop a NAPYPS. The process to develop a NAPYPS in Nigeria was robust including over a dozen of in-person consultations with young people and other stakeholders in the form of national conferences, zonal workshops, national validation meetings, and community level focus group discussions to bring together youth groups, civil society, government, security agencies, the media, traditional and religious institutions from communities across the 36 states of the federation and the Federal Capital Territory. Inputs were also received through over one dozen online consultations and meetings. Several youth and civil society organizations as well as the AU through its Youth for Peace (Africa) Program sent in written inputs. Notably, these consultations were preceded by a desk review, development of structured instruments, pre-test and validation of the instruments before use. Thereafter, the NAPYPS was subjected to an affirmation meeting on the 27th of August, 2021 before its official launch on November 1st, 2021 by the Honorable Ministers of Youth and Sports Development, and Women Affairs.
“The Youth, Peace and Security agenda in Nigeria has the Nigeria Coalition on Youth, Peace and Security, its co-Chairs, the Steering Committee with the support of the Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports Development leading its implementation.
“There are also State Coalitions on Youth Peace and Security across Nigeria and especially in pilot states that are also led by three co-Chairs and a Steering Committee.
“The NAPYPS (2021 – 2024) which was developed to reflect and build upon the five pillars of the UNSCR 2250 is now in its pilot phase of implementation in Adamawa, Anambra, Delta, Kaduna, Oyo and Plateau states, and the Federal Capital Territory. “These states have been chosen as pilots to measure impact and collect data that will guide scaling full implementation to other states. It is also noteworthy to mention that NAPYPS implementation is also on-going in non-pilot states that were able to mobilize additional resources. These states include Katsina, Kano, Nasarawa and Kogi. Both Kogi and Nasarawa states have recently launched their State Action Plans on YPS.
“Earlier this year, the Nigeria Coalition on YPS and the Federal Ministry of Youth Development released its one year impact report of the implementation of the NAPYPS and the Youth Peace and Security Agenda as part of the commitment of stakeholders to periodic reviews.
“The report highlighted progress in ensuring effective communication among stakeholders, building on existing structures at both national and state levels, peer exchange, knowledge sharing, advocacy, capacity development, state frameworks on YPS, and the onset of specific government budgets for YPS.
“The impact report also pointed out that inadequate funding, bureaucracy, limited capacity on YPS among stakeholders, lack of safe spaces for civil society and youth groups are some of the challenges militating against the implementation of the NAPYPS and the YPS Agenda in Nigeria.
“We are hopeful that the implementation of the NAPYPS and the YPS Agenda will open positive and sustainable opportunities for young people, including the spaces to express their talents and contribute to lasting peace and development of our great nation, Nigeria.
“We call on all Nigerian citizens and our international partners to support us in this bold step to giving opportunities to the youth to express their talents and creativities leading to lasting peace and development for our great nation, Nigeria.
FCTA deploys $4.5m World Bank Grants to FADAMA Programme
The Federal Capital Territory Administration has deployed the sum of $4.5 million for the FCT Fadama CARES programme to implement three disbursement linked Indicators (DLIs) out of a total allocation of $15 million made available to the FCTA by the World Bank for implementation of the FCT CARES programme.
The FCT Minister of State, Dr. Mariya Mahmoud, made the disclosure at the official flag off of disbursement of grant to third batch of FCT FADAMA CARES beneficiaries for year 2023/2024 Dry Season production held at FADAMA office, Gwagwalada, Abuja.
Special Adviser on media to the Minister of State Austine Elemue in a statement explained thT
the FCT Administration and World Bank have set a target for the FCT Fadama CARES programme to provide grants support to 12,283 individual farmers as well as upgrade 17 Wet Markets across the Federal Capital Territory.
The statement quoted the minister to have disclosed that the event was another significant indicator of the unflinching determination of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s commitment towards the actualization of his Administration’s “Renewed Hope Agenda” which was designed with the specific purpose of revitalizing and deepening the nation’s economy through deliberate far reaching interventions in key sectors.
According to her, “it is heartwarming to note that the agricultural sector has been chosen as one of the critical intervention areas under the “Renewed Hope Agenda” to facilitate the attainment of food and nutritional security, provision of raw materials to our local industries, generation of gainful employment for our teeming unemployed youths, as well as contributing significantly towards increasing the inflow of foreign exchange through export.
“The specific objective of the FCT Fadama CARES programme is to increase food security and safe functioning of food supply chain in the FCT.
“The programme is deliberately designed to support the recovery of livelihood activities of poor and vulnerable households engaged in Agricultural value chains in the FCT with special consideration to women and unemployed youths.
“Its implementation is being anchored on the World Bank Community Driven Development approach for deployment of programme investments at the community level”.
While congratulating the 3,707 successful beneficiaries selected from thirty nine farmers community associations for disbursement of grants under this third batch by the FCT Fadama CARES programme, Mahmoud, however, assured that the FCT Fadama CARES Programme will increase to 7940 having earlier disbursed grants to 4233 beneficiaries under the first and second batches.
On his part, the FCTA Permanent Secretary, Mr. Olusade Adesola, revealed that other delivery platforms implementing result areas 1 and 3 of the FCT CARES programme namely; FCT Cash Transfer Unit, FCT Community and Social Development Project and Abuja Enterprise Agency have since commenced implementation of their respective Disbursement Linked Indicators (DLIs).
He, therefore, call on the FCT Agriculture and Rural Development Secretariat and indeed the FCT Fadama CARES office to re-double their efforts towards ensuring the successful implementation of the FCT CARES Result Area 2.
In his remarks, the Mandate Secretary Agriculture and Rural Development Secretariat, Hon. Lawal Kolo Geidam, said the FCT Agriculture and Rural Development Secretariat (ARDS) is always ready to provide FCT Fadama CARES programme the necessary support in delivering this vital project.
“We will work with you closely during the course of the project implementation and will not hesitate to make available to you our technical and financial resources to ensure its successful delivery,” he stressed.
The items distributed include fertilizers, seeds and agro-chemicals, sprayers and personal protective equipment for crop farmers, day old chicks and feeds for poultry farmers.
Others include juvenile and feeds for fish farmers. goats for livestock farmers and grinding machines for women processors
Kogi Assembly Speaker advocates collaboration with CSOs for effective, responsive governance
By Friday Idachaba, Lokoja.
Speaker of Kogi State House of Assembly, Rt Hon. Aliyu Umar Yusuf has called for sustained synergy between the Assembly and Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) to foster transparency, accountability and inclusivity for effective and responsive governance.
Yusuf made the call in his goodwill message at opening of a 2-day Retreat For State Legislators and Civil Society on “Participatory and Inclusive Governance Through Effective Constituency Offices” on Thursday in Lokoja.
The retreat was organized by Initiative For Grassroot Advancement In Nigeria (INGRA) in collaboration with Nigeria Civil Society Situation Room and Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO).
The Speaker said such synergy could engender a symbiotic collaboration that would guarantee access to a broad range of perspectives and data, enabling them to make more informed decisions when crafting policies and legislation.
“We understand that our responsibility firstly concerns formulation of policies, oversight and the use of our legislative powers to bargain for and lobby what would improve the lives of our people, but we also know we cannot do this effectively without collaboration”, he said.
Yusuf noted that development of such synergy could culminate in a potent force for the promotion of meaningful development adding that while the Legislative Arm plays a crucial role in creating and amending laws, the Civil Society represents the diverse voices and interests of the public.
“When these two entities work together, we can foster transparency, accountability and inclusivity, leading to more effective and responsive governance.
“Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) often possess valuable expertise and knowledge on various social, economic and environmental issues”, the Speaker said.
“We also understand that the civil society acts as a watchdog, monitoring the implementation of laws and policies. Collaboration with the legislative branch allows the CSOs to provide independent assessments and evaluations of government programs”, he said.
Yusuf pledged that the CSOs in Kogi State were going to enjoy a more robust and symbiotically rewarding relationship with the 8th Assembly in Kogi State.
Also speaking in his goodwill message, Amb. Idris Ozovehe Muraina Chairperson, Kogi NGOs Network (KONGONET) said the network is working hand-in-hand with the Legislature to ensure that citizens of Kogi State receive the best of representation and benefits.
“As representatives of the people, we believe that collaboration between the government and CSOs is vital in achieving our shared goal of good governance, sustainable development and a prosperous future for all Kogi residents.
“By combining our expertise, resources and experiences, we can collectively address the multifaceted challenges faced by our state and find innovative solutions for a brighter future”, Muraina assured.
Also speaking, Barr Lilian Okolo, Chairperson of Kogi State chapter of Federation of Women Lawyers (FIDA) commended the organizers of the retreat saying the Federation was out to protect, promote and preserve the rights of women and children and would want their cause mainstreamed and captured in the state’s annual budgets.
Ikechukwu Mpama, Programmes Officer with the Initiative for Grassroot Advancement (INGRA), in his overview of the State Level Advocacy And Legislative Engagement Forum, leading to the 2-day Legislators/Civil Society Retreat, said it was a six-month project spanning from October, this year to March, 2024.
The Programme Officer said that the objectives of the project include, among others, to engender more robust gender sensitive and citizenry inclined budgeting, development of a functional citizenry, enhancement of capacities of the state legislators and supporting citizens’ participation in budgetary processes.
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