$2.7bn saga: US court rules in favour of NNPC

By Gom Mirian, Abuja
The United States Southern District Court of New York has delivered a significant judgment in favour of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) against ESSO Exploration and Production Nigeria Limited and Shell Nigerian Exploration and Production Company Limited .
The court hearing was held on February 1, 2019 in the protracted litigation arising from the disputes between NNPC and ESSO regarding the implementation of the Production Sharing Contract dated May 21, 1993 covering OPL 209/OML 133. ESSO referred its claims to arbitration in Nigeria and obtained an Arbitral Award of US$1.799 Billion on October 24, 2011, with annual interest running at LIBOR plus 4%.
NNPC promptly challenged the Award at the Federal High Court, Abuja, which in May 2012, ordered the set aside of the Arbitral Award. Notwithstanding the decision of the Nigerian Court, ESSO applied to the United States District Court, Southern District of New York for the recognition and enforcement of the Arbitral Award.
NNPC challenged ESSO’s Application on ground that there was no Award, which the US Court could enforce as a competent Court in Nigeria had since set aside the Award.
NNPC also contended that there was no legal basis for the US Court to exercise jurisdiction over it as it had no presence in the United States, owned no property and does not conduct its businesses therein.
ESSO contended that NNPC is the alter ego of the Federal Government of Nigeria, owned assets in the USA including bank accounts and also conducts businesses in the USA.
Esso obtained the leave of Court to conduct Jurisdictional Discovery to ascertain if the US Court can assert personal jurisdiction over NNPC.
At the close of the Discovery Procedure, the Court ordered NNPC and ESSO to appear for oral hearing, which was held before Honourable Judge W. H. Pauley on February 1, 2019, for parties to canvass their respective positions.
On September 4, 2019, the US Court delivered its Judgment by which it upheld the Corporation’s Application to Dismiss ESSO’s Enforcement Application on ground that a competent Nigerian Court had set aside the underlying Award and directed the Clerk of the Court to terminate and discontinue all motions and processes filed by ESSO in this matter.
By this development, NNPC has successfully secured the dismissal of ESSO’s application to secure recognition and enforcement of its Arbitral Award valued in excess of US$2,699,405,616 plus interest.
The effect is that ESSO, who had sought the Order of the US Court to enforce the said Award, has lost the right. While ESSO is at liberty to appeal this decision, NNPC is optimistic that its case on appeal is very strong.
Ndu Ughamadu, Group General Manager, Group Public Affairs Division, NNPC, Abuja who disclosed the verdict in a press release he signed added that, “This is a significant decision in the history of this case as the US Court has not only discharged NNPC from any indebtedness to ESSO but also set the stage for NNPC’s pursuit of the challenge of three other outstanding Enforcement Applications filed in the US Court by other PSC Contractors”.
“Additionally, this decision of the US Court would lend weight to the effort of NNPC and the PSC Contractors to explore amicable resolution of the underlying PSC disputes. “
NNPC was represented by the US law firm of Messrs. Chaffetz Lindsey LLP, and Nigerian law firm of Messrs. Streamsowers & Kohn.

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Gen Buratai cautions NA on the need to be mentally and physically Fit

By Gom Mirian, Abuja

Lt. General Tukur Yusufu Buratai, Chief of Army Staff has again cautioned officers and men of the Nigerian Army on the need to be mentally and physically fit and alert for them to be able to discharge their numerous responsibilities diligently and professionally.
The Chief of Army Staff said this on Friday at the climax of The Nigerian Army 10 kilometers Monthly Route March for September 2019 at the Guards Brigade Headquarters, Aguiyi Ironsi Cantonment, Abuja.
Represented by the Chief of Policy and Plans Army, Lt Gen Lamidi Adeosun, Buratai urged troops to maintain the spirit or momentum throughout the month of September and beyond in their offices and respective places of duty.
According to him, “We should not forget our calling as officers and soldiers. Discipline is the watchword. Anything we do without discipline will not only rubbish whatever we are as individuals, body or as an institution, so we keep up our discipline, dedication, regimentation and physical well being to face our duties seriously as expected of us.”
He further called on soldiers not to be found wanting on the wrong side of the law on no account while doing everything possible to maintain the integrity, image and reputation of the Nigerian Army.
The 10 kilometre walk featuring all the units of the Nigerian Army, Directors, Principal Staff Officers, Staff Officers and Commanders of the Nigerian Army serving in Abuja was as usual massively attended.

Community efforts in rescuing out of school children: case study of warure special school

In this report , Gom Mirian who was in kano the kano state capital, north- western Nigeria reports on how community participation has enhanced effective learning, rescue out of school children and other developmental projects to enhance quality learning of the pupils.

Warure special primary school is a secular government primary school established 60 years ago.

Located along Sani Buhari Road, Kabuga / Aisami in Gwale Local Government Area of Kano state. Warure special primary school has a population of two thousand seven hundred and twenty-eight (2728) pupils, 1459 boys and 1269 girls with 30 teachers and operates in 32 classrooms.

In a bid to realize the government plan of action on ‘Education For All’ before the end of 2020, the kano state government through the support of ESSPIN,GPE/NIPEP and other developmental donors like UNICEF/ DFID in 2011 established a School Based Management Committee( SBMCs) in warure special school to ensure retention and completion of basic education for all children at school -age.

Recalled that the SBMC was approved in 2006 by the National Council on Education as mechanisms to provide platforms for communities and schools to work together to enrich school governance and promote improved management by education authorities towards the achievement of better learning outcome for children in basic education schools as well as to bring schools closer to their communities.

The SBMC therefore becomes a grassroot level body empowered to play a pivotal role in enlisting community participation for education and bring the community and school closer to establish an interactive and effective school management system.

This body is expected to assume leadership to inspire and influence community thinking and guide their decision in favour of their children.

It is also envisaged to motivate the spirit of community ownership of schools and the education system to the extent of mobilizing community resource for school improvement.

Though the SBMCs have been established in many schools in northern Nigeria, only few are reported to have been operated effectively.

However warure special primary school Kano is one among the schools where SBMCs is seen to be functional with several achievements recorded.

With SBMCs projects, there has been significant positive changes in the areas of security and inclusion of religion leaders, creating of cordial relationship between the school, immediate communities, SBMC, PTA, old pupil’s association and mothers association in the state with the aim to bring development and developmental projects.

There is also a rapid increase in enrolment of pupils. On the other hand, contractors who were assigned some projects in the schools have been made to be accountable through an increased monitoring, evaluation and maintenance of infrastructures.

While on a field trip with UNICEF on SBMCs and integrated Quranic Tsanya Education, The Head Teacher, warure special primary, Sanusi Awalu Dandago, while enumerating on the achievements of Warure’s SBMC from the inception states that the SBMC has so far returned dropped out pupils into school,also providing them with uniforms and writing materials.

Explaining further Sanusi said “Before SBMC the school had only one borehole which sometimes is not functional leaving the school with no other source of water, then SBMC organized an advocacy to meet some community members and made known the problems.

A businessman in the community who reside in Abuja came to our aid and dug a borehole for the school which that cost five hundred thousand naira (500,000)

“Also with the help of SBMCs the school have been able to acquire; a computer room that contains eighty desk top computers, 2 boreholes, erection of ten (10) seaters toilets and additional fence, Renovation of classes and some corner shops that the school operates to raise funds to support the school development and children for everything to be in good condition.

“Before SBMC the school had 10 blocks but now we have 33 blocks and the school enrolment before was 300 pupils but Currently the school has an enrolment of 2728 pupils, 1459 Boys and 1269 Girls with 30 teachers and operate in 32 classroom”. He said.

Despite the success being recorded by SBMCs in the school, there are still numerous challenges militating against the effective learning of the pupils in warure special primary school, kano.

Surayya Inwa, 14, a primary 6 pupil of the school told our correspondent that they lack toilets and chairs to seat on the school.
“we are seventy (70) in the class and is not everyone that have chair to seat during classes and the toilets in the school are not enough as some had collapse we don’t use them again”.

Our correspondent gathered that out of the thirty – three (33) toilets stated earlier by the school head, only three seems to be functioning as at the time of the visit.

A member SBMC, warure special primary, Aisha, disclosed that the SBMC could not meets all the needs of the school due to its financial, constraints.

Mrs. Aisha said ” we still need chairs, we need to renovate the classes and build more toilets as well as provide writing material for the pupils.

She however lamented over the nonchalant attitude of some parents toward their children’s western education as another challenge faced by the SBMCs to ensure the GEP3 target of getting at least one million children into school by 2020.
“some parents don’t allow their children to go to school, we are still creating awareness on the importance of education, now some are willing to even allow them to study up to university level.
” my own children including girls would go to school. I tell you I have two graduates already although are males, still I have two girls they would go to university by the grace of God” she said.

Herdsmen to live in 3-bedroom flats as N8bn RUGA project kicks off

Governor Bello Muhammad Matawalle of Zamfara State yesterday laid the foundation for the N8.631 billion RUGA project at Rinji Sakkida forest in Maradun Local Government Area of the state.
Matawalle said three pilot RUGA settlements would be constructed in each of the three senatorial zones and that each of the settlements would be stocked with state-of-the-art facilities covering 100 hectares of land which would make the environment lively for the community and enhance cattle production.
The facilities include veterinary clinics, cattle ranches, 210 housing units of three and two-bedroom flats, primary school of 12-classroom capacity, secondary school, Islamiyya school, primary healthcare centre of 30-bed capacity, earth dam, cattle cottage, grazing yard, and modern abattoir.

IGP Orders tight security around South African Businesses in Nigeria

By Gom Mirian, Abuja

The Inspector-General of Police, IGP Mohammed Adamu, on Wednesday ordered watertight security around embassies, foreign missions, foreigners and their businesses in and around the country.

This order is against the backdrop of the unfortunate attack on Shoprite outlets in Lekki Area of Lagos Sate on yesterday by some miscreants who attacked and looted the Malls ostensibly under the pretext of protesting against the incessant “xenophobic” attacks in South Africa.

To this end, all Zonal Assistant Inspectors General of Police and Commissioners of Police across the Federation have been placed on red alert to ensure no similar violence is replicated within the country.

IGP Adam condemns the violent attacks and notes that three police officers were seriously injured and a Police operational vehicle set ablaze.

He also notes that a total number of One Hundred and Twenty-Five (125) suspects have been arrested in connection with the incident while a good number of looted valuables have been recovered by the Police.

While recognizing the rights of citizens to air their views on salient national issues as enshrined in our statutes, the Force reiterates that these must be done within the confines of the law.

“Miscreants and criminal-minded people who masquerade as genuine protesters are therefore warned to stay off the streets of Nigeria as the Force will not hesitate to bring to bear the full weight of the law on any such law breaker.

” Parents and Guardians are therefore enjoined to prevail on their children and wards to desist from acts capable of causing breakdown of law and order in the country”.

In a statement by the Force Public Relations Officer, Force Headquarters, DCP Frank Mba , the Force has commenced investigations and profiling of the arrested suspects with a view to establishing their connection with the stealing, malicious damage, arson and disturbance of public peace on the day of the incident.

NIS maintains National ID Card As New E – Passport

By Gom Mirian, Abuja
The Comptroller General of the Nigerian Immigration Service, Muhammad Babandede, has reassured Nigerians that the new enhanced e-Passpport is acceptable nationwide .

The Controller general disclosed this on Wednesday in a statement signed and issued by the NIS public Relations officer, DCI. Sunday James in Abuja.

According to him “The recent problem on the e-Passport with the authority of the United Arab Emirate has been resolved, therefore commended both the Ambassadors of UAE and Nigeria for resolving the issue.

Babandede however, urged Nigerians to get their National Identity Number and ensure that the information tallies with the one on their Passports.

” The uniformity of the NIN information and that of the 10 year validity Passport is to ensure one identity which is a major feature of the new enhanced e-Passport and is available in the Service Headquarters, Abuja and Ikoyi, pending the roll-out in other centres”.

Adding that the issuance of the former and the new enhanced E-Passpport would run concurrently.

CBN Jos branch support FRSC’s School Health outreach to deworm 1,566 pupils in Jos

By Jude Dangwam, Jos

The Branch Controller of the Jos Central Bank of Nigeria Mr. Duniya Yusuf has extended a helping hand of his Management Staff to the Federal Road Safety Corps Zone 4 in deworming about 1,566 primary schools pupils in Jos.

Yusuf said the gesture is coming as part of their promises made to the Corps to support their initiative through the individual contributions of Management and staff of the Branch towards saving the future of the younger ones in the State.

He stated this yesterday while making a presentation of N150,000 to the Zonal Commanding Officer Assistant Corp Marshall (ACM) Ayobami Omiyale at the Command’s Zonal headquarters along Zaria Road in Jos the Plateau State capital.

The FRSC Boss, AMC Ayobami Omiyale while responding to the CBN Branch Controller and his team said, the School Health Outreach of the Command is part of their efforts in bringing up sound road users in the future targeting primary and junior secondary schools in the zone.

He said the first Health Outreach upon his assumption in office was at LGEA Primary school Sabon Pege in Jos-South local government area of the state where with the support of Chan Pharmaceutical limited where only pupils from primary 5 and 6 that got dewormed while primary 1-4 could not due to shortage. Adding that the pharmacy has pledged to dewormed the remaining pupils.

AMC Omiyale maintained that, “Our next School Health Outreach is at the LGEA Primary School Yelwa Zangam and LGEA Primary School Naraguta in Jos North with a population of about 1,566,” respectively.