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Gulf Of Mexico Disaster, Lesson For Nigeria – NNPC

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The Group General Manager of the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation, Engr. Austen Oniwon, has stated the preparedness of the corporation, along with its partners, to deal with oil spillage emergencies and reduce their impacts towards ensuring a balanced ecological condition in its areas of operation.

Oniwon made the remark on Friday at the World Environment Day celebration event organised by the Environment and Safety Department in the Engineering and Technology Division of the NNPC, which took place in Abuja.

He also said the current BP oil spillage brouhaha in the Gulf of Mexico putting a lot of pressure on off-shore oil exploration, adding that it was also an opportunity for the industry to learn to forestall such incidents in the future.

He stated that, “The incident that is happening in the Gulf of Mexico is a disaster, and it can happen anywhere in the world, including Nigeria. However, it is putting a lot of pressure on off-shore oil drilling.

“It is also a challenge mankind to find a solution to such failures in future; this is the first time a failure is occurring between the downward emission and the atmosphere. It also presents an opportunity for mankind to learn and improve in its handling of such matters.

“I am sure that lessons that will be learned from the mishap will go a long way to ensure that oil exploration is made much safer and ecologically friendly in the future. Every disaster gives another opportunity for humanity to learn and I can assure you that Nigeria, and more specifically the NNPC, would be learning a lot from this case in order to ensure that

Speaking further on the theme of the event, Biodiversity – Ecosystems Management and the Green Economy, Oniwon noted that the Corporation’s Ethanol development project, which would ensure cleaner energy options for consumers in the country, was still on course.

According to him, “NNPC is taking full advantages of all the opportunities to entrench green fuel and green energy delivery in the country. Primarily, we are a hydro-carbon company, but we believe that if coal can be made clean, then oil can even be made cleaner.

“This is because coal is the worst producer of carbon-dioxide that is ever seen, while hydrocarbon contains both hydrogen and carbon and the amount of carbon-dioxide that can be seen in hydrocarbon is not as harmful as in coal technology.”

The NNPC GMD further stressed that the corporation “is doing everything to ensure that the blending comes up in such a way to ensure that the ethanol mix to oil hydrocarbon becomes a better mix for us to have cleaner oil.

“Our ethanol development project is ongoing because our people in Exploration and Technology division are working extremely hard to make sure that we achieve our objective for cleaner energy in the nearest future.

He explained that the Ethanol initiative would involve further reduction of the amount of carbon-dioxide in the hydrocarbon oil by blending it with ethanol.

The GMD noted, however, that the initiative is not undertaken 100 percent by the Corporation but with the support and partnership of some private companies.

“The reason is because we do not believe in being the sole participants, and we think private companies should be a part of this project. Also, there are a lot of logistic issues that have to be resolved. For instance, ethanol that you mix with hydrocarbon is very hydroscopic; it absorbs a lot of water from the air, so we have to be put in place infrastructure that will convince most private companies to come in invest in the project; most of the blending outfits in the country do not have the infrastructure at all.

“When this is completed, we are going to bring in ethanol and make sure that we are able to use it in such a manner that will maximize the benefit for Nigerians. We are doing a lot in that aspect.”

Also speaking at the event, the General Executive Director, Engineering and Technology of the NNPC, Mr. Billy Agha reaffirmed the commitment of corporation to responsible environmental practices.

“As a recognized leader in the oil and gas industry, we also want to set the pace in promoting environmental awareness and protection. Over the years, we have demonstrated this commitment through our corporate social responsibility practices and day to day business operations.

“The NNPC as a national oil and gas company has embarked on global warming control measures such as striving with its joint venture (JV) partners to achieve gas flare-down in all the operations,” he added.

Agha noted that the corporation is targeting the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) projects by establishing CDM Working Groups that will project the NNPC into international Carbon Trading to reduce carbon emission.

“NNPC has also eliminated the application of Chlorofluorocarbon (CFC) based materials in its operations in compliance with the requirements of the Montreal Protocol. Furthermore, many gas utilization projects are under construction or planned to recover and utilize associated gas from oil wells that was otherwise flared or vented,” he added.

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Stakeholders Meet To Assess Nigeria’s Preparedness For AFCFTA

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Stakeholders are expected to converge in Lagos today to take a look at the Nigeria’s preparedness to maximize the gains of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA). 
The Tide learnt that stakeholders will be converging at the instance of a popular online newspaper, Primetime Reporters, to assess the progress made so far by the Federal Government through the National Action Committee on AfCFTA agreement.
The event which is the Third Annual Lecture and Awards of the online medium has as its theme: “Assessing Nigeria’s Preparedness to Maximize the Gains of AfCFTA.” 
The event will also witness conferment of awards on eight eminent Nigerians who have distinguished themselves in various fields of human endeavours.
The Managing Director/Editor-In-Chief of Primetime Reporters, Mr. Saint Augustine Nwadinamuo, made this known in a statement made available to The Tide in Lagos on Monday.
According to him, the event will hold at the National Institute of International Affairs (NIIA), Kofo Abayomi Street, Victoria Island, Lagos beginning from 10.00am.
Nwadinamuo said that the event would be chaired by a renowned legal practitioner, Barr. Osuala Emmanuel Nwagbara of the Maritime and Commercial Law Partners, Lagos, while the Director General, Lagos Chambers of Commerce and Industry (LCCI), Dr. Muda Yusuf, would be the lead paper presenter.

By: Nkpemenyie Mcdominic, Lagos

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EFCC Nabs 419 Kingpin Over N250m Fraud

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The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), has arrested a leader of a deadly 419 syndicate, Abayomi Kamaldeen Alaka (a.k.a Awise) over an alleged attempt to swindle an innocent Nigerian of N250 million. 
The Tide learnt that the syndicate operates from a shrine at Ashipa Town, near Abeokuta, Ogun State.
According to a statement made available to The Tide in Lagos on Sunday, by the EFCC, Awise’s arrest followed a petition by his victim, Juliet Bright who lost N250m to the fraudster after she was tricked to provide money for sacrifices and invocations to heal her of an ailment.
The statement said Bright was introduced to Alaka by one Akinola Bukola Augustina (a.ka. Iya Osun) whom she met on Facebook in the course of her search for solutions to her health challenge. 
What drew her to Augustina was the latter’s post under the name, Osunbukola Olamitutu Spriritual Healing Centre.
 Once Bright contacted Augustina, the latter promised to heal her if she could pay N16 million. 
The victim paid the money through an Access Bank account belonging to one Mohammed Sani, who later turned out to be a Bureau De Change Operator.
After paying the money without receiving healing, Augustina transferred the victim to other members of the syndicate, notably Awise. 
Bright revealed that she met Awise at his shrine in Ashipa Town and was hypnotized and subsequently transferred various sum through bank accounts and in cash to the suspect and his syndicate members, until she lost N250 million to them.
Despite all the monies collected from her, her health conditions has never improved.

By: Nkpemenyie Mcdominic, Lagos

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Expert Wants Farmers To Grow Plant Produce For Export

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An expert in Quarantine Agriculture, Dr Vincent Ozuru, has advised Nigerian farmers to give more attention to growing plants produce that could be exported.
He said that plant like the hibiscus, popularly known as Zobo is on high demand in some countries around the world, today.
Ozuru who gave the advice while speaking to aviation correspondents at Port Harcourt International Airport, Omagwa, noted that some plants produce, particularly hibiscus, had yielded huge revenue to the Federal Government through export.
According to him, Nigeria exported about 1,983 containers of hibiscus to Mexico alone in 2017 and earned $35 million within nine months of that year.
The agricultural quarantine expert explained that the export of the plant had a setback as a result of storage pest discovered by the Nigeria Agricultural Quarantine Service in some consignments.
“The issue has now been taken care of and the export is resuming again, and all matters have been resolved with the stakeholders across the value chain.
“Mexico is the largest importer of Nigerian hibiscus, and our farmers should brace up to the challenge.
“The good news is that Nigeria has a vast growing belt in hibiscus, and the harvest is available all year round.
“We need to take advantage of this opportunity to earn foreign exchange for ourselves and for the country at large, even with the commitment of the present administration to diversify the economy”, he said.
Ozuru called on Nigerian farmers to show more commitment to the growing of export produce and also endeavor to get ready information on it in order to increase their income.

By: Corlins Walter

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