Former Head, Interim National Government, Chief Ernest
Shonekan, has stressed the need for the Federal Government to, as a matter of
urgency accelerate the implementation of the seventh train of the multibillion
naira Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas (NLNG) project, in Bonny, Rivers State.
Speaking to newsmen during a one-day visit to the NLNG plant
in Bonny, last Tuesday, Shonekan, who lauded the company for substantially
achieving the dreams for its establishment, said though the $10billion revenue
generated from gas sales from the plant last year was heart-warming, the
poverty level in the country has necessitated the need for more money to solve
the development challenges of the nation.
He argued that the take-off of train seven gas project would
reduce gas flaring in the Niger Delta, adding “the fact that the country still
flares gas is unacceptable in today’s world as it is not only injurious to the
health and environment but for the fact that the nation’s money is literally
poured into flames.”
According to him, “Nigeria is still a poor country; our
government and compatriots will be very grateful if you bring in more money.
Revenue of $10billion is heart-warming, but our poverty is such that we thirst
for even more revenue to solve our developmental problems, especially to
replace our decaying infrastructure and to make investments that will create
“That Nigeria is still flaring gas is an unacceptable fact
in today’s world, not only from a health and environmental perspective but
perpetrators are burning cash. Again, as a former captain of this nation, it is
painful that our country still leaves value on the table and walks away to
literally pour money into flames by flaring gas,” he said.
The Tide reports that Shonekan had expressed lack of
political will on the part of government to take decisions that could fast
track the commencement of work on the new train, saying that this has placed
many disadvantages on the NLNG as it has lost its prime position as a leading
LNG facility to Qatar and Australia.
According to him, these countries have moved their output
from 20 million metric tonnes range to 80 and 81 million metric tonnes,
respectively, while NLNG is stuck at 22 million metric tonnes, even as the
nation’s gas reserves are more than twice theirs.
He also pointed out that the nation’s LNG market share has
dropped from 10 per cent to seven per cent, with a serious threat for further
erosion to its market share if something is not done fast to remedy the
Also speaking, NLNG Board Chairman, Dr Osobonye LongJohn,
expressed worry over the drop in the company’s market share, saying that it was
as a result of increasing competition.
“We appeal to the government to give approval for the
take-off of the seventh train to enable NLNG recapture more market, and enhance
the revenue capacity of the company,” The Tide quotes LongJohn as saying.
DPR Plans Maximum Economic Recovery Strategy For Oil, Gas Industry
The Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) says it is formulating a Maximum Economic Recovery (MER) strategy for Nigeria to attain maximum value delivery from its oil and gas resources.
The Director, DPR, Mr Sarki Auwalu, made the announcement during a keynote address at the 2021 Society of Petroleum Engineers (SPE) Nigeria Annual International Conference and Exhibition (NAICE), yesterday, in Lagos.
The conference has as its theme, “The Future of Energy –A Trilogy of Determinants: Climate Change, Public Health, and the Global Oil Market.”
Auwalu said the industry initiative was one of the outcomes of the work of the National Oil and Gas Excellence Centre (NOGEC), Lagos inaugurated in January by President Muhammadu Buhari.
He said, “Following an in-depth assessment of the status of the industry, the department identified the need to formulate the ‘Maximum Economic Recovery Strategy for Nigeria’.
“This is to guarantee the actualisation of sustainable resource optimisation and the economic benefits arising therefrom.
“The framework for this industry action plan outlines six pillars or building blocks.”
Auwalu said the pillars were: Reserves Maturation and Production Optimisation, Exploration and Resources Maturation, Improved Oil Recovery and Enhanced Oil Recovery, Implementation Asset Stewardship, Performance Evaluation and Rewards Risk Management.
According to him, the draft framework has been shared with the industry, including professional associations like the SPE and the National Association of Petroleum Explorationists.
He said this was in preparation for an industry collaborative workshop to co-develop and enunciate this strategy for immediate execution.
“We count on the contributions and buy-in of all stakeholders on this crucial national assignment for our overall benefit and industry sustainability,“he said.
Auwalu said Nigeria was rising to the occasion as the ‘trigger’ for continental growth and economic transformation using its oil and gas resources to drive value for national development.
He said the DPR would continue to foster innovative ideas and create opportunities for investments and sustainability in the industry.
Auwalu said, “As always, we are enthusiastic to collaborate with all relevant stakeholders, including the SPE, toward the realisation of government’s aspirations for the oil and gas sector.
“In our role as business enablers and opportunity providers, DPR will continue to promote efficiency to meet the needs of the industry, creating value, enhancing transparency, reducing barriers and transaction costs.”
Pensioners Urge PenCom To Implement Unpaid 15% Increment
Pensioners under the Contributory Pension Scheme (CPS) have appealed to the National Pension Commission (PenCom) to implement their 15 and 33 per cent pension increment and other benefits.
The Contributory Pensioners Union of Nigeria (CPUN), South-West Zone, made the appeal,yesterday, during a peaceful protest held in Ibadan.
The CPUN President, Mr Joseph Idowu, while addressing newsmen said that PenCom has yet to implement the increment since 2007 and 2010 in spite of various promises.
Idowu said that their counterparts, under the Defined Benefit Scheme (DBS), had been enjoying the increment through the proactive stand of Pension Transitional Arrangement Directorate (PTAD).
“The new consequential adjustment in pension due to the latest increase in workers’ salaries and wages are also being enjoyed by pensioners under DBS, neglecting the CPS pensioners.
“No CPS pensioner has received any interest on their accrued benefits since 2007 till date.
“We require your urgent attention to ensure that arrears on this are calculated and paid at the Federal Government official rate, as at the time of retirement,” Idowu said.
The president said that his members were suffering as some of them collect as low as N3, 000 as their monthly pension which was not accepted.
Idowu also said that his members were not happy with the delay in the payment of their retirement benefits, which the commission now paid after one year of retirement, contrary to PRA Act 2004 (Amended).
He said that Section 16 (5) of PRA Act 2004 says pensioners should be paid not more than three months after retirement.
Idowu, however, commended the commission for prompt payment of their monthly pension, urging them to prioritise welfare of pensioners under the CPS.
Also, a member of the union, Mrs Clara Fumilayo, called on the Federal Government to assist the pensioners,
Fumilayo said that their monthly pension could no more buy any tangible things based on the situation in the country.
‘Only 29% Of Babies Breastfed Due To Reliance On Breast Milk Substitute’
A professor of Paediatric and Child Health, Alice Romoke-Nte, says the aggressive marketing of breast milk substitute by manufacturers was responsible for the gap in breastfeeding of children by mothers in Nigeria.
Nte, who is also the coordinator, Baby Friendly Initiative at the University of Port Harcourt Teaching Hospital (UPTH) said the advertising of these baby food weakens the confidence of the mothers and makes them feel that these breast milk substitutes are better off.
She said this has left only 29 percent of Nigerian babies breastfed as a result.
Nte said the UPTH, Rotary Clubs in Port Harcourt and other stakeholders were using this year’s World Breastfeeding Week to carry out aggressive campaigns to raise awareness for the need of exclusive breastfeeding.
She said the international code of marketing of breast milk substitutes would be included in steps to ensure full compliance of marketing these artificial body foods.
Rotary Clubs in Port Harcourt that joined in the rally yesterday morning for exclusive breastfeeding to mark the World Breastfeeding Week includes, Rotary Club of Port Harcourt Garden City, Top Health, Seaport, Eco, Atlantic City, and Golf Estate.
Others include, Rotary Club of Port Harcourt Gateway, City Valley, Passport, Creek View, Sky Waves, and Rotary Club of Port Harcourt.
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