The Presidential Election Petition Tribunal has upheld argument by President Muhammadu Buhari that it lacked the jurisdiction to entertain allegation of corrupt practices and voters’ inducement raised against Vice President Yemi Osinbajo in the petition by Atiku Abubakar and the PDP.

The National Economic Council (NEC) presided over by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo on Thursday resolved to pump N100 billion into the National Livestock Transformation Plan.

The initiative was recently launched by the Federal Government at the Gongoshi Grazing Reserve in Mayo-Belwa Local Government Area of Adamawa State.

The concept is designed to run from 2019-2028 as part of Federal Government’s initiative in collaboration with states under the auspices of the National Economic Council.

Dave Umahi, Ebonyi State governor, who serves as chairman sub-committee on herders-farmers’ crisis, explained to State House correspondents that it was targeted at supporting the development of Nigeria’s livestock sector.

He mentioned that it will be implemented in seven pilot states of Adamawa, Benue, Kaduna, Plateau, Nasarawa, Taraba and Zamfara states.

While the Federal Government would provide 80 percent of the funding, 20 percent would come from the organised private sector.

Umahi explained that the plan was not targeted only at cows but a holistic strategy to address animal husbandry.

He said it has six pillars through which it aims to transform the livestock production system in Nigeria along market oriented value chain while ensuring an atmosphere of peace and justice.

He mentioned the six pillars to include: economic develop (investment), conflict resolution, justice and peace, humanitarian relief and early recovery (that is to IDPs), human capital development and cross-cutting issues such as gender, youth, research and information and strategic communication.

“The committee proposed N100 billion budget to support the project. The Federal Government is to contribute 80 percent in grant to support the project while states will contribute land, project implementation structure, personnel and 20 percent cost of the project.

“Council resolved today that there is need to look at the trans-human West African protocol. You cannot allow such movement of cattle without registration and monitoring. Council emphasised the need to continue to establish that the National Livestock Transformation Plan (NLTP) is a creation of NEC and state governors and of course Ministers of Agriculture and that of Interior are members of the committee, and it is entirely distinct from RUGA.

“NEC adopted the National Livestock Transformation Plan (NLTP) January 18, 2019 and it is a creation of National Economic Council of course in liaison with the Federal Government.

“States will determine whether or not to participate. The Federal Government did not impose this plan, participation remains voluntary. What we are talking about is National Livestock Transformation Plan (NLTP) which is a product of NEC in liaison with Federal Government”.

Meanwhile, Godwin Obaseki, Edo State governor, who chairs a 13-man ad hoc-committee also gave an impact assessment of vandalism on oil installations, especially in the Niger Delta region.

He said vandals were ripping Nigerians off, causing huge revenue losses, stressing that the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) reported to the committee the loss of 22.6 million barrels of crude oil valued at approximately $1.35 billion in the first half of this year.

According to Obaseki, if this situation is not contained in two years we would have lost in excess of $2.7 billion.

He broke down the losses as follows, the Nembe creek trunk-line lost 9.2 million barrels, the Trans-Niger pipeline lost 8.6 million barrels, the Trans-Focadoes Pipeline lost 3.9 million barrels, and Trans-Escravos pipe lost 877,000 barrels.

The ad hoc-committee also reported that the governance structure of the pipeline is such today that no one is held accountable whenever there are bridges and when these losses occur.

The Edo State governor also explained that the slow and inadequate prosecution of vandals, despite numerous arrest and seizures continue to encourage this menace.

He said the absence of petroleum products filling stations in most of the oil producing communities around the Niger Delta make them resort to illegal bunkering and illegal refineries.

He equally noted that huge internal and external market of stolen products exist across the West Coast of Africa and also the sub-region.

The committee which was constituted to address the impact of vandalism, oil theft, illegal bunkering on oil production, was saddled with the task of restoring and sustaining the four major trunk pipelines which move crude oil to the terminals, to access the challenges and draw up a road map to guide further actions towards finding a lasting solution towards the problem.

Among recommendations the committee came up with was a need to restructure the maintenance and ownership of oil pipelines as a way of tackling the perpetrators of crude and other products.

“There should be a legal framework that will ensure that criminals are duly prosecuted, imprisoned and their assets confiscated. There should be special courts to try offenders and have a special legal task force to coordinate the prosecution of arrested offenders as well as trained special judges to handle cases of oil theft.

“The NNPC is expected to encourage and engage with the National Intelligence Agency (NIA) to identify the markets for stolen petroleum products across the continent.”

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