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We’re ready to pass PIB, say Lawan, Gbajabiamila

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Gbajabiamila, Lawan

The leadership of the National Assembly said on Monday, 28 September, 2020 that the ninth Assembly would break the jinx of not being able to pass the Petroleum Industry Bill after several attempts.
The President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan and the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Rt. Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila assured Nigerians that the time had come for the passage of the bill.
They spoke at a meeting of the leadership of the National Assembly with the Minister of State for Petroleum, Timipre Silva, Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Mele Kyari and some other top officials in the Petroleum sector.

The meeting was to brief the National Assembly leaders on the focus of the PIB which the Senate President confirmed was forwarded to the Assembly about two weeks ago.
The bill has not been read at the floor of either of the two chambers of the National Assembly because the federal lawmakers are currently on recess but will resume session on Tuesday.
“The PIB is said to be jinx actually for a long time. Probably from 2007 to 2019,” Lawan said in his opening remarks.
“It’s either the bill or bills were sponsored by the executive and not passed by the legislature as was the case in 2007, 2011 in the 6th and 7th Assembly.
“In the 8th Assembly, the legislature sponsored the bill, breaking it down to about three; it passed but there was no assent.
“Now the bill is an executive bill coming to the National Assembly. The two chambers promise that we will break that jinx.

“We want to see an oil industry in Nigeria that is properly regulated, an oil industry that not only sustains the investment that we have but attract even more investment, an oil industry that is very competitive.
“So the Ninth Assembly wants to work with you, have a very clear understanding of every provision so that, at the end of the day, we will break that jinx together with you and provide the oil industry a legislation that will make more effective and efficient at the end of the day,” Lawan said.
The Senate President said it was the first meeting between the Petroleum Ministry and other agencies with the leadership of the National Assembly to discuss the essence and focus of the bill.
“We are glad that the bill is now in the National Assembly even though not before the National Assembly.
“I imagine that by tomorrow(Tuesday) when the communication to the House, communication to the Senate will be read, then it will be before the two chambers of the National Assembly,” Lawan said. Gbajabiamila was also confident that the ninth National Assembly would break the jinx and pass the bill speedily.
“The bill has been long in the making for several years but I believe this is the session in which it will pass.
“We will pass this Bill speedily, however its passage will not sacrifice thoroughness. We will not sacrifice thoroughness on the alter of speed. Speed because it will be in the nation’s best interest.
“In the House of Representatives, we have assembled a crack team of legislators who are versed in the workings of the industry. It is an ad-hoc committee drawn from the House Commitees on Oil, Upstream, Downstream, Local Content and Gas.
“So there is a crack team that will be working with you as we are all trying to go to the same destination.
“Talking about passing it speedily, unfortunately it is coming at the time when it will be competing with the passage of the budget,” Gbajabiamila said.
The Speaker described the bill as “perhaps the most important piece of legislation that will come out from National Assembly in the lifetime of this government.
“It is a most important piece of legislation because we all know what oil represents in terms of our economy. Everyone has been waiting for the arrival of the PIB.
“That is the legislations that is on the lips of every Nigerian whether he knows anything about petroleum or not. It is the most popular and most common Bill. Everybody talks about PIB because oil represents the life wire of our state. That underscores the importance of this bill,” Gbajabiamila said.

Education

Ghana university lecturers begin strike over poor service conditions

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Public university teachers in Ghana on Monday commenced an indefinite strike over poor conditions of service.

 

Professor Charles Marfo, national president of the University Teachers Association of Ghana (UTAG), said the strike was borne out of the government’s refusal to heed calls by the association to improve the worsening conditions of service of the university teachers across the country.×

 

He said the association was not happy with the way the authorities had been dragging their feet on negotiations concerning the welfare of the teachers, which started two years ago.

 

“We write on behalf of the National Executive Committee of UTAG to inform and/or remind you of the intended strike action of UTAG,” read a statement issued earlier by UTAG.

“By this notice, all campuses are to withdraw all teaching and related activities namely teaching, examinations, invigilation, marking of examination scripts, processing of examination results, etc. from Aug. 2 until further notice.”

There are 15 public universities in Ghana.

 

Among them are University of Ghana, Legon, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi, University of Cape Coast,

CK Tadem University for Technology and Applied Sciences.

 

Others are University of Education, Winneba and Simon Diedong Dombo University for Business and Integrated Development Studies.

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Olympiacos sign Henry Onyekuru on permanent deal

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Olympiacos FC have announced the signing of forward Henry Onyekuru from Ligue 1 club Monaco.

 

The 24-year-old Nigerian forward arrived in Greece to seal a permanent move on Saturday after spending last season on loan at Galatasaray.

 

Olympiacos have confirmed the signing of the 24-year-old star on their official website by stating: “Olympiacos have announced the acquisition of international ace, Henry Onyekuru.

 

“The Nigerian, born on June 5, 1997, in Lagos, has been acquired from Monaco after signing a four-year contract.

 

“Having spent five years at Aspire Academy, Onyekuru took the first big step in his career in 2015 by signing a contract with Eupen.

“His 30 goals in 60 games with the Belgian club attracted several clubs with Everton acquiring his services in 2017. The Nigerian spent the next two seasons on loan at Anderlecht (28 assists, 10 goals) and Galatasaray (31 assists and 14 goals) respectively.”

 

Speaking after signing for the team, Onyekuru said: “I know it is a big club in Greece, one of the biggest and they have good ambition and target every season and they are always in the Champions League.

 

“I also know of two Nigerians who played here before and I am just here to contribute and keep on pushing and also to be champions countless times, achieve more goals and aims with the club.

On June 30, 2017, Onyekuru joined Premier League side, Everton, for £7 million and was immediately loaned out to Anderlecht where he was handed the number 9 jersey.

Onyekuru, who made his debut for the Super Eagles in a 3-0 friendly win over Togo on June 1, 2017, is part of the key players for head coach Gernot Rohr ahead of the upcoming World Cup qualifying matches in September.

 

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COVID-19 kills 6 persons daily in Lagos – Sanwo-Olu raises alarm

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Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu on Monday raised the alarm over rising COVID-19 death in Lagos, saying the virus has killed an average of six persons daily in the last one week.

 

He also admitted that the third wave of the virus is right now in Lagos, saying that proactive measures must be put in place to nip the crisis in the bud.

Speaking at a news conference at the State House, Alausa, the governor said from the beginning of July the state started to experience an increase in the number of daily confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Lagos State, with the positivity rate going from 1.1% at the end of June 2021 to 7% at the end of July 2021.

“As at the 1st of August 2021, the positivity rate in Lagos is 8.9%. This is an 8-fold increase over the recorded figure a month ago, and it should rightly alarm all of us. This has resulted in 4,300 confirmed cases in July alone and 352 admissions into our isolation facilities.

 

“But let me make it clear that this necessary sense of alarm should not be responded to with panic, but instead with a firm 2 resolve and determination to reverse the trend. We have done it before and we can do it again. We dealt with the first and second waves and did our best to prevent a third wave,” Sanwo-Olu stated.

 

The governor said now that the third wave of the virus has come, the state must dig deep into what “we have learnt from the previous waves, as well as summon the will to do everything necessary to bring down the numbers, on the way to eventually defeating the virus once and for all. Epidemiology Update From the beginning of the outbreak in February 2020 to date, Lagos State has recorded a total of 64,032 confirmed cases of COVID-19.”

“Of this number, 56,336 have recovered in community, 2,755 are currently being managed actively in community. Over the course of managing the COVID-19 pandemic, about 5,029 patients have been admitted into our various COVID-19 care centres in Lagos. We have, sadly, recorded 390 fatalities in Lagos State, 30 of which have taken place in this current 3rd wave of the pandemic.

 

“Essentially, we have recorded on average 6 deaths per day since last week. 3 Home-Based Care Given the huge population of our State and the rising numbers of confirmed cases during the first and second waves of the pandemic, it became necessary for us to deploy tele-medicine in managing positive patients. In this vein, we launched a home-based program, driven by our EKOTELEMED call center service,” Sanwo-Olu added.

 

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