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Tragedy As Agip Pole Electrocutes Girl In Rivers

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Tragedy struck at Mgbede community in Ogba/Egbeme/Ndoni Local Government Area of Rivers State, last week as a 20-year old girl, Esther Ugochi Okwuakonwa, was electrocuted by a high tension line belonging to Nigerian Agip Oil Company (NGOC).

The incident, according to eye witness account, occurred as the victim attempted to pass through a farm route blocked by the bent electric pole, which had forced members of the community to detour through a difficult terrain to access their farms.

The source further revealed that the victim, who suffered severe injuries on the head, was rescued by community members, before the intervention of some staff of Agip, who took the victim to the company’s hospital within the area.

The victim was later said to have been taken to an undisclosed hospital in Port Harcourt, where she is said to be receiving medical attention.

However, the victim’s state of health is said to be uncertain as her family members have not been allowed to see her for days running.

President of Mgbede Youths Association, Mason Ejekine, told The Tide that the incident was caused by the negligence of the Italian oil giant, Nigerian Agip Oil Company.

According to him, Mgbede youths leadership made several moves to draw the attention of the oil company to the deplorable condition of the electric pole, with a view to triggering repair work on the bent pole, but could not get any positive response until the incident occurred.

The youth leader also decried the non-challant attitude of Agip’s management towards the development aspirations of host communities, especially Mgbede, stating that the company was only interested in its business without considering the impact of such operations on the livelihoods of the local people.

He described the company as about the least in the hierarchy of major oil and gas companies in the region with effective community development policies, saying that Agip’s records in community relations and development strategy has been abysmally poor.

Ejekine called on the management of the company to open direct negotiation with the community with a view to prioritise the development needs of the community as part of its corporate social responsibility.

When contacted on phone, the company’s public relations officer, one Mr Opuyo refused to pick his calls, after several efforts, just as several text messages sent to him for comments on the incident, were ignored.

 

Beemene Taneh

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Oil & Energy

Ex-Lawmaker Volunteers For Petroleum Sector Deregulation 

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An ex-lawmaker, Sen. Ben Murray Bruce, has announced that he is willing to serve as a volunteer in deregulating the country’s petroleum sector.
This follows the ex-lawmaker’s faulting of Nigeria losing over N5trilion annually as a result of fuel subsidy.
Bruce, who represented Bayelsa East Senatorial District in the 8th Senate, on his verified Twitter handle, decried what he described as ignorance and ineptitude of government agencies responsible for fuel subsidy.
“We cannot keep losing five trillion naira annually. I am able and willing, and I volunteer myself to lead the team to deregulate our petroleum sector.
“I will execute this flawlessly such that no Nigerian will be on the street protesting.
“The ineptitude and ignorance of the government agencies responsible for this are mind-boggling,” Bruce tweeted.

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Oil & Energy

Stakeholders Urge FG To Shift From Fossil Fuel

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Stakeholders in the extractive industry have said that as a fossil fuel dependent country, Nigeria must develop its own strategy to engage in shifting global focus away from oil.
This was the conversation at a recent one day capacity building workshop for media and Civil Society Organisations in Nigeria, organised by the Centre for Journalism Innovation and Development, through its Natural Resource and Extractive Programme, in partnership with Natural Resource Governance Institute.
The hybrid workshop, themed, “Oil Dependency in Nigeria: Imagining a Future Beyond Oil”, had over 50 participants, including journalists from the extractive sector, CSOs, and social media influencers in attendance.
The workshop, according to the organisers, was geared towards improving the understanding of oil dependency and the nexus with energy transition to better communicate the impact on Nigeria and the Nigerian economy.
Senior Officer, NRGI, Ms. Tengi George-Ikoli, explained that Nigeria was at a critical point in its development, hence as a fossil fuel-dependent country, it is important that Nigeria develops its own strategy to engage the shifting global focus away from oil.
“Nigeria must develop its own medium to long term strategy to mitigate the likely export and government revenue losses from a shrinking market base as these countries look to reducing oil reliance beyond 2030.
“Nigeria must make strategic decisions in the way it spends its limited revenues, take economic diversification more seriously, leveraging regional and global opportunities beyond oil, and including new frontier possibilities available in the green economy”, she said.
Also, Deputy Director, Development Practice, CJID, Mr. Akintunde Babatunde, said as energy transition persists globally, Nigeria as a monolithic fossil fuel dependent economy has to prepare for what the shift to cleaner energy sources means for its economy.
“Data is pointing us to the fact that Nigeria will likely lose a majority of its foreign exchange earnings and revenues for both the federal and subnational government.
“In fact, it is already happening, because Nigeria is at a critical point in its development process, it is important for professionals to discuss the way forward on how the decisions we make as a country are more important now than ever”, he said.
Earlier, the Acting Executive Director at CJID, Tobi Oluwatola, harped on the need for capacity building for the media and CSOs, noting that they are in the best position to enlighten the public from an informed perspective.
“It is time for Civil Society Organisations, journalists, and policy experts to have this discussion, most especially as Nigeria plans to achieve net zero by 2060. There is a need for CSOs to be empowered with the right skills to be able to do the right advocacy and accountability work in Nigeria”, he stated.

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Nigeria To Construct Gas Pipeline To Europe Through Morocco

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Nigeria has given the state-run Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation Limited (NNPC) the greenlight to implement a deal on construction of a gas pipeline to Europe through Morocco.
This follows reports of surging demand for African energy supplies from the EU that is seeking to wean itself of dependence on Russian oil and gas.
“This gas pipeline is to take gas to 15 West African countries and to Europe and through Morocco to Spain and others,” said the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Timipre Sylva.
“It is only after the engineering design of the pipeline has been made that we will know exactly (what) the cost of the pipeline will be. When that time comes, we will be talking about funding,” he added.
Nigeria is a member of the Opec group of major oil producers and has huge gas reserves – the largest proven reserves in Africa and the seventh largest globally.
On May 30, Tanzania transported 60,000 tonnes of coal to the Netherlands.
Last month, Botswana’s President, Mokgweetsi Masisi, said European nations had “flooded” his country with requests to supply coal.

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