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Egi Gas Leakage: Total Plans Containment Well

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Total Exploration and Production Nigeria, says it plans to drill a relief well to end gas leakage into the environment near its Obite plant in Rivers State.

The oil firm shut down the Obite Gas Plant following a technical fault during a drilling campaign at the oil firm’s oil block OML 58.

The incident was reportedly noticed on March 20 in Ogba/Ndoni/Egbema Local Government Area, Rivers State.

According to a statement in Eket last Friday, efforts are underway to stop the gas flow.

The statement signed by Total’s External Communication Manager, Charles Ebereonwu, said”Operations are being actively prepared on the affected well to stop the gas flow quickly and permanently.

“Equipment is also being installed to recover the gas above ground and thereby limit its subsurface flow.

“A drilling rig is being brought in to drill a relief well and a second rig has been ordered.”

The oil firm said that members of the affected communities were actively involved in the surveillance of the affected area.

Meanwhile, Rivers State Governor, Rt Hon Chibuke Amaechi has charged Total Exploration and Production Nigeria Limited (Total E&P) to stop the gas leakage at Obite in Ogba/Egbema/Ndoni Local Government Area of the state within the shortest possible time.

Governor Amaechi gave this charge last Friday during a courtesy visit on the paramount ruler of Egi Kingdom, His Royal Highness, Eze Kingdom Elenwa at his palace at Obite.

Represented by his Deputy Governor, Engr Tele Ikuru, Governor Amaechi, assured the people of Egi kingdom that government would ensure that the incident is properly contained, noting that though Total E&P was making frantic efforts at resolving the situation, it still needs to do more. He regretted that the environment has been polluted and the people’s means of livelihood adversely affected.

“I have listened to the explanations of the company; I have gone round the affected sites and seen what they are doing to contain the incident but I have told them to do more,” he said, adding that “I have also told them to provide relief materials and compensation to the affected communities as they won’t be able to farm on their land henceforth,” According to him, “so far the company has taken full responsibility for the incident”.

He noted that his priority now was for Total E&P to stop the leakage first before embarking on the issues of remediation and compensations, disclosing “ we are working with the state House of Assembly and the Ministry of Environment to ensure that the situation is speedily resolved, he said, and expressed delight over ‘the robust relationship and cordiality between the company and the affected community.

In his response, the paramount ruler of Egi Kingdom, Eze Kingdom Elenwa, expressed happiness on the visit of the governor, saying that the move has assured him that government was doing something to take care of the situation. He  thank Governor Amaechi for the intervention, regretting, however that the incident took place

In a related development, the management of Total Exploration and Production (Total E&P) has said that it had set up a safety perimeter at the Ibewa gas production site in Ogba/Egbema/Ndoni Local Government Area of Rivers.

Mr Charles Ebereonwu, the Manager, External Communication of the company, said in a statement in Port Harcourt, that tests on water wells and air quality in the area had been done.

He said that a technical incident occurred at the site, which was in an uninhabited area near the onshore Obite gas production facilities on the oil mining lease 58 in the state.

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Ogoni Youths Give FG 14 Days To Fix East-West Road

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No fewer than 400 youths under the aegis of Ogoni Youth Federation (OYF), yesterday, staged a peaceful protest at the Eleme axis of the East-West Road, giving the Federal Government 14 days ultimatum to mobilize to site and fix the road or have economic activities in the area grounded.
The protesters, who carried various placards with inscriptions to press home their demands, trekked from Akpajo Junction to Refinery Junction in Eleme LGA, chanting solidarity songs to register their discontent over the neglect of the road.
Addressing newsmen during the protest, President General of the Ogoni Youth Federation, Comrade Legborsi Yaamabana, said it was regrettable that the road, which was a major route to the economic hub of the nation, has remained in a deplorable state, only becoming a death trap that has terminated the lives of innocent Ogonis.
Yaamabana, who described the mass action of the youths as a ‘warning protest’, said if the contractors handling the road were not immediately mobilized to site, then, the youths will have no option than to shut down all economic activities in the area.
He said, “we cannot continue to watch our people being killed on daily basis by tankers because of the poor state of Eleme axis of the east west road, we are calling on the Federal Government to as a matter of urgency fix the road and save our people from untimely deaths as a result of the sorry state of the road, the only bridge on the road at Aleto has collapse but nothing is being done to avert the disasters faced by our people daily”.
Yaamabana also called on the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Godswill Akpabio to constitute a substantive board for the Niger Delta Development Commission to address the development needs of the Niger Delta region, noting that the use of interim management for NDDC was “diversionary, self serving and not in the interest of the development of the Niger Delta region”.
The OYF president general also called on the Federal Government to exonerate Ken Saro-Wiwa and his compatriots who were extra-judicially murdered by the late Gen Sani Abacha military junta, and given post-humours honour as martyrs of democracy in Nigeria, while the ideals of justice they stood for should be upheld.
Also speaking, the immediate past secretary of the Ijaw Youth Council, Eastern Zone, Comrade James Tobin, who joined the protest in solidarity, decried the neglect of the East—West Road by the Federal Government, and called the immediate fixing of the road to save the teeming road users from untold pains and death.

By: Taneh Beemene

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Rising Prices Push 7m Nigerians Below Poverty Line -World Bank

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The World Bank has said that rising prices pushed about seven million Nigerians below the poverty line in 2020.
This was contained in a press statement titled, ‘Critical reforms needed to reduce inflation and accelerate the recovery, says new World Bank report,’ released by the World Bank’s Senior External Affairs Officer of Nigeria, Mansir Nasir.
The press statement was released, yesterday, in line with the latest World Bank Nigeria Development Update.
It was acknowledged that the Federal Government “took measures to protect the economy against a much deeper recession” but it was recommended that certain policies should be set for a strong recovery.”
The statement read, “The NDU, titled ‘Resilience through Reforms,’ notes that in 2020, the Nigerian economy experienced a shallower contraction of -1.8 per cent than had been projected at the beginning of the pandemic (-3.2 per cent). Although the economy started to grow again, prices are increasing rapidly, severely impacting Nigerian households.
“As of April, 2021, the inflation rate was the highest in four years. Food prices accounted for over 60% of the total increase in inflation. Rising prices have pushed an estimated seven million Nigerians below the poverty line in 2020 alone.”
Quoted in the statement, the World Bank Country Director for Nigeria, Shubham Chaudhuri, identified some of the challenges faced by the country and recommended a way forward.
“Nigeria faces interlinked challenges in relation to inflation, limited job opportunities, and insecurity.
“While the government has made efforts to reduce the effect of these by advancing long-delayed policy reforms, it is clear that these reforms will have to be sustained and deepened for Nigeria to realise its development potential,” Chaudhuri said.
Also quoted is the World Bank Lead Economist for Nigeria and co-author of the NDU, Marco Hernandez, who also gave a recommendation.
“Given the urgency to reduce inflation amidst the pandemic, a policy consensus and expedite reform implementation on exchange-rate management, monetary policy, trade policy, fiscal policy, and social protection would help save lives, protect livelihoods, and ensure a faster and sustained recovery,” Hernandez said.

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Inflation Dips To 17.93% In May, NBS Confirms

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Nigeria’s inflation rate dropped to 17.93 per cent in May, 2021, from 18.12 per cent recorded in April, 2021.
The National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) revealed this in its monthly Consumer Price Index report released, yesterday.
The drop in the headline inflation in May was the second consecutive month this year.
The report indicates that the consumer price index (CPI), which measures the inflation rate increased by 17.93 per cent (year-on-year) in May, 2021, which is 0.19 per cent points lower than the rate recorded in the preceding month.
According to NBS, food inflation dropped in the same month from 22.78 per cent recorded in April, 2021 to 22.28 per cent in May, 2021.
The report reads, ‘‘All items less farm produce which excludes the prices of volatile agricultural produce stood at 13.15 per cent in May, 2021, up by 0.41 per cent when compared with 12.74 per cent recorded in April, 2021.
‘‘The highest increases were recorded in prices of pharmaceutical products, garments, shoes and other footwear, hairdressing salons and personal grooming establishments, furniture and furnishing, carpet and other floor covering.
‘‘Others include, motor cars, Hospital services, fuels and lubricants for personal transport equipment, cleaning, repair and hire of clothing.
“Other services include personal transport equipment, gas, household textile, and non-durable household goods,” the NBS added.

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