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Niger Delta

NGO Tasks FG On Oil Licence Renewal

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A Benin-based Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO), Africa Network for Environment and Economic Justice (ANEEJ) has called on the Federal Government to be transparent in the renewal of expired lease licence for International Oil Companies.

The Federal Government had last week announced the renewal of expired Oil Mining Licences (OMLs) 67, 68 and 70 held by Mobile Producing Nigeria (MPN) in joint venture with the NNPC for another 20 years.

In her speech at the occasion, Mrs Diezani Allison-Madueke, the Minister of Petroleum Resources, said efforts were ongoing to expedite action on outstanding oil licences due for renewal.

According to Allison-Madueke, some of the licences were held by Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) and Chevron Nigeria Limited.

In a statement issued in Benin, the ANNEJ Executive Director, Mr David Ugolor, stressed the need for the Federal Government to be transparent in the renewal process.

“It is not in the best interest of Nigerians, especially as the Joint Venture agreement terms are shrouded in secrecy.

“The secrecy that has shrouded the oil and gas sector is still being perpetrated even in the light of all the efforts and promises of transforming the sector,” Ugolor said in the statement made available to our correspondent on Tuesday.

He recalled that in February last year, President Goodluck Jonathan had halted the renewal of leases for International Oil Companies operating in Nigeria, pending the passage of the Petroleum Industry Bill.

“What are the reforms that have been put in place now that these leases for are being signed for 20 years?,” Ugolor asked rhetorically.

He noted that recent developments in the country which culminated in the probe of the oil subsidy management at the National Assembly, had exposed the irregularities and corruption that characterised the operations of the oil industry.

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Niger Delta

Monarch Tasks NDDC  On Due Process

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The Mingi of Nembe Kindom and former Minister for Petroleum Resources, His Royal Majesty, King Edmund Dakoru, has called on the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) to follow due process in all its activities for the development of the region.
He said he was not interested in who was right or wrong, but only cared about the development of the region through due process. 
The Nembe monarch in Bayelsa State disclosed this while speaking to aviation correspondents last Friday, shortly on arrival from Abuja.
He noted that the Niger Delta people had become enemies to themselves even when the creation of the NDDC itself had not yielded the desired development in the region.
He said that the setting up of the board of the commission was long overdue since two years ago.
“The question is, are we getting enough from both NDDC and the Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs? The answer is No, we are not getting enough.
“It is ourselves that is our own enemies, and we later turn to blame other people. They have given us NDDC and the Ministry of Niger Delta, and what have we actually done with it.
“We are not getting enough from the establishment of the commission and the ministry because we are not following the enabling law, and in years to come, they will say: “We gave you NDDC and Ministry of Niger Delta, and what have you done with them”, Dakoru said.
On the regulation of the social media, especially the Twitter, the former minister frowned at the way it is being currently used by the citizenry, and said there was nothing wrong if government in its wisdom decides to regulate it.
According to him, government in every nation has the right to decide what is good for its own citizens.
“Government is doing what it is supposed to do to protect the social reputation of the people by regulating the social media and the unnecessary spread of lies.
“It is not about the social media itself, but the way people use it is the issue, and if government in its own wisdom decides to regulate it, I do not think that there is anything to question”, he said.

By: Corlins Walter

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Niger Delta

Diri Promises Bayelsans Better Deal

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Bayelsa State Governor, Senator Douye Diri, Saturday re-echoed his administration’s readiness towards bettering the lots of the state through developmental projects and policies.
Governor Diri stated this in Yenagoa, during a live broadcast on radio stations across the state to commemorate this year’s June 12 Democracy Day celebration which was monitored by The Tide.
In a statement made available to newsmen by the governor’s Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Daniel Alabrah, shortly after the broadcast, the governor was quoted saying:
“Democracy was about the people, Nigeria had come a long way with 22 years of uninterrupted civilian rule. We’ve also observed that the nation’s Democratic journey had not been very smooth but it’s worth celebrating. The urban renewal programme and other projects as well as policies of the prosperity administration were part of the efforts to accord the state a facelift, making it better and more attractive to tourists and investors”.
Speaking against the backdrop of the ongoing demolition of illegal structures in the state capital, the governor stated that it was in line with his administration’s urban renewal policy, noting however, that since the demolition commenced, sanity had been restored in some of the major markets in the state, regretting that the shanties in such areas were hide-outs for criminals.
In the same vein, governor Diri has made clarifications on the Federal Government’s infrastructure development refund to the state.
He said the actual amount the state received was N27.5 billion and not N38.4 billion as was earlier speculated, just as he explained that the total refund due the state was N38.4 billion.
Diri however maintained that the Federal Government has said the release would not be possible in the next four years and therefore offered the state a second option of a discounted amount of N27.5 billion through the Debt Management Office, DMO which he said the state has since received last December, 2020.
“The Federal Government infrastructural refund had been committed to constructing critical capital projects; the Yenagoa- Oporoma road in the state’s Central Senatorial district, the Sagbama-Ekeremor road in the Western district,and the AIT-Igbogene ring road project were being constructed, with the refund”, he said.
“We’re also constructing the dualised Glory Drive-Onopa road, the Nembe unity bridge and we’ve done and will continue to do the installation of street lights in the state capital and other projects”, he added.
On open grazing, Diri maintained that he was not counteracting the Federal Government’s stance on resuscitating grazing routes, saying that his administration has, however, put in place a legal framework to ban open grazing.
Diri mentioned that the southern governors had adopted same instrument as part of measures to forestall, farmers/herders fracases.

By: Ariwera Ibibo-Howells, Yenagoa

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Niger Delta

Police Nab 126 Suspected Criminals In C’River

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The Cross River State Police Command has arrested 126 suspected criminals in the Northern and Central Senatorial districts of the state.
Sixty-eight suspects were arrested in the Northern senatorial district while 58 were arrested in the central senatorial district of the state.
Speaking to journalists in Calabar, the State Commissioner of Police, CP Sikiru Akande, said “My officers who are in the central senatorial district have carried out similar operations and they have 58 different suspects while those in the North have about 68 different suspects
“In the Southern senatorial district, we have 109 criminals arrested from different areas. We want to restore peace which is the mandates of the current police administration and we are to use all tactics to ensure that peace is restored in our region”
CP Akande said in every armed robbery, there is cultism, in every kidnap, there is cultism, cultism emboldens the heart to do and undo and in most cases, these people use cultism for nefarious activity because cultism is an impressive instrument in the society
Following the arrests of many suspects, The Police boss said efforts are on top gear to curb cell congestion, especially as the courts are still on strike.
He said, “We are going to use the opportunity to screen them to the last person so that if it is possible for us, we put of the fire that is likely to come from that area
“We will profile them and send them back to their different communities to police the place Now that we have their pictures, now that we have their fingerprints, anything that happens in that area, they will be held responsible
“We have a template, criminals before now don’t have identities, now they do, we are going to profile them we are going to send them back to their community with a digital monitoring capacity. What we want to do is that we want to use them as forces against future criminality because what we have now is a large number of people from different parts of the city.
‘If anything happens in their areas, they are going to be the first suspect to be pick up. If they don’t want to suffer, they will maintain peace. The numbers of creeks created by these individuals are too much. Those who stay around these areas, when they see strange face say something” he stated.

By: Friday Nwagbara, Calabar

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