Senate President, Dr Bukola Saraki on Wednesday argued that the continued delay passage of the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) is impeding for the success of the oil sector and denying Nigeria the unique opportunity asanoil and gas leader in Sub Sahara Africa.
Saraki stated this on Wednesday while declaring open the Public hearing on the PIB at the National Assembly, which was attended by stakeholders.
While, the PIBwasstalling andits passage delayedat the National Assembly, investment decisions in the industry continued to suffer, keeping the countrys future in limbo and denying Nigeria the unique opportunity asanoil and gas leader in Sub Sahara Africa, Saraki said.
Saraki expressed regret thatsince 2008 whenthe PIBwas first introducedthroughto the 7th National Assembly, the bill has not been unsuccessfully passed by the National Assembly.
While promising its passage by the 8th Senate, he said The 8thSenate recognizesthatthe reasonfor thedearth of reformin the industry is notdue tolack of trying.
Read His Full Address Below:
REMARKS BYTHE PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE, FEDERAL REPUBLIC OF NIGERIA,HIS EXCELLENCY,(DR.) ABUBAKAR BUKOLA SARAKI, AT THE ONE DAY PUBLIC HEARING ON THE PETROLEUM INDUSTRY GOVERNANCE BILL (PIGB) 2016 ORGANISED BY THESENATE JOINT COMMITTEE ON THE PETROLEUM INDUSTRY GOVERNANCE BILL,ON WEDNESDAY 7THDECEMBER 2016.
The petroleum industry remains the mainstay of the Nigerian economy.Oil and gas have been, and will likely remain for the foreseeable future, Nigerias most important non-renewable energy source. Theindustry contributesover 90% ofthecountrys foreign exchange earnings.The industry is therefore critical to the economic and social development of Nigeria.This all-important sector of the economy has for too long performed below efficiency indexes, with government and investorsalikelosing significantedge in the oil and gas investment trends. The case for change cannot be more compelling considering that existing petroleumlegal, regulatory and institutional structuresareout-dated.It is unacceptable that till date, we still import over 90% of needed petroleum products (petrol and chemicals),weflare substantial gas produced,wehave damaged our eco-systems and polluted our communities and cannot supply adequate electricity toourhomes and industries. This situation has undermined our citizens standard of living, life expectancy, our national energy security and has resulted to other unforeseen fall-outs like: labour unrest; fuel queues; high cost of delivery of products; high cost of delivery of overall services in theoveralleconomy; and unquantifiablewastage of nationalproductivityas a result.The state of the industry globallytoday,hasheightened and made itimperative that either wecomprehensivelyreformour local industry to have a chance to keep italive or become extinct.Theoil and gas industry is yearning for good governance, competitiveness, transparency,indigenous participation andaccountability.The 8thSenate recognizesthatthe reasonfor thedearth of reformin the industry is notdue tolack of trying.Since 2008 whenthe PIBwas first introducedthroughto the 7th National Assembly, several versionsof the billhave unsuccessfully made their waythrough the National Assembly.
While, the PIBwasstalling andits passage delayedat the National Assembly, investment decisions in the industry continued to suffer, keeping the countrys future in limbo and denying Nigeria the unique opportunity asanoil and gas leader in Sub Sahara Africa.
Thishistory of thepetroleum industry reform effort necessitated a rethink by the Senate on theirapproach andmethodology. Thisgave rise to thechoice of thecurrent reform projectby the 8thSenate.In our view, the petroleum sector is a politically sensitive industry with diverse and divergent interests.It was therefore important to recognize that for thereformtosucceed, there was the needto unbundleitinto manageable compartmentsthat could be passed and implemented intranches.We were able to achieve this through extensive discussions, collaboration and the participation of all stakeholders; a process that we at the 8thSenate commenced as early as mid-August 2015 with a series of informal contributions that have culminated here today.At this point, let me thank all those who contributedinformally in moulding the bill, helping to unbundle itscontentsso that it is for this reason and others that we are today looking at the first of a series of bills arising from the intended reforms of the industry startingwiththe Petroleum IndustryGovernance and InstitutionalBill.It is widely acknowledged that major reforms in the governance and institutional structure for the sector are necessary and urgent. A major drawback of the existing framework is the lack of clarity of roles, self- regulation, conflicts and unnecessary overlaps.The key objectives of the Petroleum Industry (Governance & Institutional Reforms) Bill therefore is to reform this segment of the industry by introducing international best practices that have led other countries to success in the development of their various oil and gas sectors. In doing this the bill will enable us;a)Createefficient and effective governing institutions with clear and separate roles for the petroleum industry;b)establish a framework for the creation of commercially oriented and profit driven petroleum entities that ensures value addition and internationalization of the petroleum industry;c)promote transparency in the administration of the petroleum resources of Nigeria;d)createa conducive business environment for petroleum industry operations.This public hearing therefore is another avenue for us to further hear from you the operators, regulators, experts and other stakeholders in the industry as how best to achieve these objectives and move the industry forward in a manner that is efficient, effective and corrective.It is our hope that by the end of your deliberationstoday,wewould have been able tofine-tunethis bill ready for theSenate to consider and pass this first tranche of the bills without any further delay.At the passage of the second reading of this bill, we made a commitment to the Senate, that along with thisGovernancebill, we will begin to tacklethe Fiscal Framework and Host Community issues.I want to use thisopportunity to inform you all that we will be starting informaldiscussions and just as we did on the governance issues, we will be engaging with a lot of you for your contributions, advice and opinions. We believe the two areas,Fiscal Framework and Host Community Issues,truly depend on your engagement with us.The bills on Fiscal Framework and Host Communities will be a shift from the previous approach where the government will force its opinion on all parties.
Here at the 8thSenate,weintend to move away from the way things were done in the past during the consideration of such bills,especially Fiscal Framework and Host communities,we will push for a greater partnership relationship resulting in a bill that is a product of all the views and comments of the stakeholders so that the bill is a win-win for everyone; one that works for government, is attractive to oil companies to come and invest and takes into consideration the concerns of the host communities.
Finally let me reassure all stakeholders that this is just the beginning. We will also tackle the issues of downstream, gas and the environment. We are poised and resolved that we will deal with all issues related to the industry, albeit in tranches. This will ensure thoroughness and effectiveness. As a nation we cannot afford any further delay in our effort to reform our oil and gas industry.The journey begins now and I assure you that we will guarantee that all of these bills are passed in record time. I wish you all very fruitful deliberations.I now declareopen the Public Hearing on the Petroleum Industry Governance Bill (PIGB) 2016.Thank you and May God bless Nigeria.
PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE
Mr. Trump, in short, has described a policy of keeping potential terrorists out of the country altogether, even if that means suspending or violating Americas longstanding principles of taking in refugees and not discriminating against immigrants on the basis of their religion. Mrs. Clinton, in contrast, has argued for the vetting of immigrants about their history or sympathy for radical ideology but working to counter extremists messages or behavior.
A core element of Mrs. Clintons counterterrorism strategy has been to build on pilot programs in four communities that, among other features, offer residents ways to report individuals who could become radicalized or otherwise exhibit troubling behavior. The four communities are Minneapolis-St. Paul, Los Angeles, Boston and Montgomery County, Md.
In the Elizabeth, N.J., neighborhood where Mr. Rahami lived and worked, such a program might or might not have made a difference. In recent years, for instance, some friends of Mr. Rahamis noticed a significant change in his personality and religious devotion after a trip to Afghanistan, where he and his relatives are from. But there is no evidence that they alerted anyone, or expressed any concern.
Mrs. Clinton aims to set up an early-warning system, community by community. That builds on a growing number of programs that the Obama administration terms countering violent extremism. The aim is not just to rely on religious leaders such as imams to help detect the early signs of radicalization, but also to enlist teachers, coaches, physicians and others who might notice subtle changes in an individuals behavior and, perhaps with family and friends, intervene.
Mrs. Clinton also suggested, in December, that she would accelerate work with technology companies to take radical speech off Facebook, YouTube, Snapchat and encrypted apps used by terrorists.
You are going to hear all the familiar complaints: Freedom of speech, she told the Brookings Institution. She suggested those complaints should be dismissed.
Continue reading the main storyHer advisers acknowledge this would not constitute a complete solution but neither would immigration bans, which they view as counter to American values.
Look, were never going to be able to identify every potential bad actor solely through a police record or their involvement with other bad actors, said Daniel Benjamin, a former State Department terrorism coordinator and now a scholar at Dartmouth College. So having more eyes on this, and more awareness within communities, is absolutely essential, and will have to be a key part of the solution.
Mr. Benjamin, who is an adviser to the Clinton campaign, acknowledged Tuesday that theres no guarantee that such programs would have identified Rahami ahead of time. But he said Mr. Rahamis case, and that of a Somali-American man who stabbed 10 people at a mall in St. Cloud, Minn., before he was shot and killed by an off-duty police officer, appear to be examples of fairly dramatic changes in behavior that might have set off alarms.
Mrs. Clinton spoke by phone for 45 minutes on Tuesday morning with a group of top national security and counterterrorism advisers about lessons learned from the most recent terrorist attacks and what additional steps a Clinton administration would need to take to prevent strikes on American soil, according to a summary of the call that the campaign released.
They also discussed how to ensure that the police and other law enforcement agencies followed up on individuals who had been previously identified as possible threats. Mrs. Clinton has called for an intelligence surge to improve information sharing among federal agencies and with foreign partners.
Mrs. Clinton and her advisers mulled over ways to combat so-called lone-wolf attacks and online radicalization without specific direction or enabling from groups like the Islamic State or Al Qaeda and how we can best balance the right to privacy with this modern national security imperative, according to the summary.
Finally, the group examined the dangers of inflammatory rhetoric, generalizations and expressions of prejudice, all of which Mrs. Clinton and her supporters have accused Mr. Trump of using in his social media comments and campaign speeches.
Mr. Trump has one word for those solutions: Weak.
He argued during the primaries that he would temporarily ban all Muslim immigration, a position that received withering criticism from his own party. (He also said he would take out the families of terrorists, a violation of international conventions.)
He combined that with what he maintains would be a far more relentless attack on the Islamic State, including seizing oil in areas where it operates, presumably in Iraq (although most of the oil belongs to Iraq, and the Bush administration always went to some lengths to say it would be preserved for the benefit of the Iraqi people, not sold by the United States).
Continue reading the main storyUnder pressure, Mr. Trump amended his approach to saying he would temporarily ban immigration from countries that have been breeding grounds for terrorism; he seemed to have Afghanistan and Pakistan in mind. But that definition could easily embrace Germany, France, Belgium and Britain as well.
Had that program been in effect in 1995, it might have stopped Mr. Rahamis entry into the country as a 7-year-old, or his readmission in 2000, when he and his family were admitted as refugees.
Mr. Trump said in a rally on Tuesday that the lesson of the New York and New Jersey bombing attacks was the need for an immigration crackdown.
These attacks were made possible because of our extremely open immigration system, which fails to properly vet and screen the individuals or families coming into our country, he said. Attack after attack from 9/11 to San Bernardino to Orlando we have seen how failure to screen who is entering the United States puts all of our citizens in great danger.
He said Mrs. Clinton was for people pouring in from Syria, though the 10,000 refugees who have come from there this year is a tiny fraction of what European nations have taken in. Mr. Trump called for stopping the massive inflow of refugees, which Hillary Clinton is trying to drastically increase.
Continue reading the main story
LOS ANGELES, CA - In a major victory for teachers' unions, a state appeals court panel today overturned a Los Angeles judge's ruling that struck down California's laws granting tenure to educators.
The panel ruled that while there appear to be "drawbacks" to the state's statutes governing tenure and the firing of teachers, the plaintiffs in the case failed to prove the laws are unconstitutional.
The ruling by a three-judge panel of 2nd District Court of Appeal struck down a decision made in June 2014 by Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Rolf M. Treu, who found students and teachers alike were "disadvantaged" by the statutes.
The judge noted that teachers have a right to due process when they are being targeted for dismissal, but the current system is "so complex, time consuming and expensive as to make an effective, efficient yet fair dismissal of a grossly ineffective teacher illusory."
The lawsuit, known as Vergara v. California, was filed in May 2012 by a privately funded advocacy group called Students Matter on behalf of nine young plaintiffs, alleging the laws violate students' constitutional rights to an equal education.
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The suit named the state and two teacher unions that later intervened as defendants, the California Teachers Association and the California Federation of Teachers. The unions argued that the laws governing tenure ensure that quality teachers are in classrooms.
In a hearing before the appeals court panel in February, plaintiffs attorney Ted Boutrous argued that teacher job protections result in a "dance of the lemons," in which "grossly ineffective teachers" are simply transferred from school to school.
"It's impossible to dismiss these teachers," the attorney said, adding that poor teachers invariably end up in low-income and minority outposts.
"The students' fundamental right to a quality education is being violated," Boutrous said, urging the panel to affirm Treu's ruling.
But Deputy Attorney General Nimrod Elias argued that there is no evidence that students at some poor and minority schools are being harmed by the protections.
"These laws help reduce teacher attrition," he said. "There are benefits."
Elias also argued that school districts statewide attract educators who might otherwise be dissuaded by what they may consider low pay and difficult working conditions. In California, administrators must in effect decide whether to grant teachers tenure -- permanent employment -- after just 18 months.
In its 36-page ruling, the appeals court panel noted that the case pointed out "deplorable staffing decisions being made by some local administrators that have a deleterious impact on poor and minority students in California's public schools."
"The evidence did not show that the challenged statutes inevitable cause this impact," the court ruled. "Plaintiffs elected not to target local administrative decisions and instead opted to challenge the statutes themselves. This was a heavy burden and one plaintiffs did not carry. The trial court's judgment declaring the statutes unconstitutional, therefore, cannot be affirmed."
Officials with Students Matter said they plan to appeal the ruling.
City News Service; Photo: Shutterstock
HVAC Contractors In NJ can help you obtain your property functioning again. They don't know where to get some advice, though hVAC is a subject that a lot of people want to know about. Thankfully for you, this article is full of great guidelines to help you out. You should continue reading to learn more if this sounds like something you're interested in.
If you must hire someone to help you out with your HVAC system, be sure to learn about all of the requirements your state has legislated regarding licencing and insurance. You need to be able to ask anyone you plan to hire if they meet these requirements before you hire them.
Be sure to learn about all of the requirements your state has legislated regarding licencing and insurance if you must hire someone to help you out with your HVAC system. If they meet these requirements before you hire them, you need to be able to ask anyone you plan to hire.
Be sure to pick ENERGY STAR rated products to use if you want to save money once a new HVAC system is put in place. They are very energy efficient so your new system won't cost you a ton when it comes to your utility bills every month, recouping some of your installation costs.
If you do have a good experience with a HVAC product or contractor, let others know. Go online and post a review so that people can easily find out what and who brands to trust. At the same time, you can check reviews online to learn more yourself about what's available.
By the end of spring, the fan blades and coils of your condenser should be thoroughly cleaned, so operation can proceed with greater efficiency. Shut off power before working or cleaning your system. Clean the outside of your condenser unit regularly.
By replacing it with a new energy efficient one or moving your old one to a shady outside location, you can boost the efficiency of your HVAC unit. The unit will have to do less work cooling this air.
When the weather cools down, turn your outdoor condenser off. This means that you should turn it off to prevent damage if the weather falls under 60 degrees Farenheit. This can keep your system working for years and save you a lot on repairs.
Do you hear a clicking sound when your fan is turning? This may mean that there is something in the way of the blades of the fan. You must replace it, just unbending it will leave the fan unbalanced and can cause further issues, if it gets so bad that the blade bends.
Preferably twice, per year, though you should have your HVAC system inspected at least once. This visit will include a motor inspection and checking the freon. This will keep you energy comfortable and efficient.
Consider an annual service agreement for technicians to regularly inspect your AC unit. Schedule brief inspections for the winter to make sure nothing is obviously wrong. The most important time for an inspection and service is just before it starts getting warm. You don't want to discover an AC breakdown when you need it working most.
There hvac contractors nj are sizing calculators available to determine the proper sized system for your home. If you purchase something too large, you will be throwing away money. Look in the manual or on the manufacturer website for this information.
Looking for an efficient way to cool your home? Consider installing a whole-house evaporative cooler. They use water to cool air instead of traditional chemical coolants, using a ton less energy to cool your home than those other units. That said, they do work best in dry climates and not at all in humid ones.
Every year hire someone to give your HVAC unit routine maintenance. This will ensure that it works properly throughout the entire year. It will also allow you to have lower cooling and heating bills. When your HVAC is running properly, it will use the least amount of energy and save you money.
It's important to have windows and doors that are efficient for the most efficiency for your HVAC unit. Make sure they are tightly sealed so air can't seep in. You can hire a professional to test them all for you and often this testing is free.
If you hear clicking noises from your condenser fan, make sure that it is not striking something inside the unit. It may be bent if it is not hitting something. Do not try to straighten the blades. This could cause it to become unbalanced. Simply replace the blade to ensure proper rotation.
When you are looking to buy a new air conditioner, consider your climate. Dry area, then an evaporative cooler will be your best bet, if you live in a hot. If you live in a humid area, opt for a compressor-style unit as it's the only one which will work.
If you are hunting for an HVAC company, try to find a company that has plenty of equipment experience. The right company should know how to operate the HVAC brands that you want installed or repaired. They should also be able to answer questions that you have about them.
It is important that any contractor you hire is familiar with your make and model of HVAC unit. Ask them what brands they work with most frequently and compare it to what you have. Instead consider who has the best reputation if you can't find a contractor that knows your brand well.
Never hire anyone to work on your HVAC system unless they are licensed and bonded. This industry is one where mistakes happen often and you want to make sure that you are protected. You do not want to be stuck paying for medical bills that are more expensive than the work you were having done.
Determining the right HVAC service professional to provide repair or replacement work can be tough when a certain amount of know-how is lacking. To really ensure that the best approach is being taken, some advance research is essential. Hopefully the material presented above has fulfilled readers' needs for useful insights in this realm.
After touring Syrian refugee camps in Jordan, Republican presidential candidate Ben Carson on Saturday suggested that camps should serve as a long-term solution for millions, while other refugees could be absorbed by Middle Eastern countries.
"I did not detect any great desire for them to come to the United States," Carson told The Associated Press in a phone interview from Jordan. "You've got these refugee camps that aren't completely full. And all you need is the resources to be able to run them. Why do you need to create something else?"
The retired neurosurgeon toured the Azraq camp in northern Jordan under heavy Jordanian security, with journalists barred. Carson's campaign also limited access, not providing his itinerary.
After the Azraq visit, Carson said he didn't learn anything that gives him confidence in authorities' ability to screen potential terrorists. "What I learned is that you're going to get a different answer from everybody depending on what their slant is," he said, reiterating his opposition to allowing any Syrian refugees to come to the United States.
"I always oppose doing unnecessary things, particularly dangerous and costly unnecessary things," he said.
Related: Carson Slams 'Hypocrisy of His Doubters on Foreign Policy
Carson called on the American people not the U.S. government to launch a "humanitarian drive" to raise billions of dollars that officials say is needed to improve conditions for refugees settled across several countries in the Middle East.
"All they need is adequate funding. It's really quite impressive when you go over there and see it," Carson told the AP, adding that some areas had recreational facilities, schools, electricity and indoor plumbing. "They were a lot happier. They were quite willing to stay there as long as it takes before they can get back home."
Carson's visit comes as he tries to strengthen his fluency on international affairs as foreign policy becomes a greater focus in the 2016 presidential contest. Advisers have conceded that his knowledge of global affairs isn't where it needs to be and have expressed hope that missions like his two-day trip to Jordan will help.
Carson and other Republicans have adopted a harsh tone when discussing President Barack Obama's plan to welcome 10,000 Syrian refugees to the U.S. in this budget year. Debate over Syrians fleeing their war-torn country erupted after a series of attacks in Paris earlier this month that raised security concerns across the West.
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