The Federal Government has designated Anambra as an
oil-bearing state in the country.
President Goodluck Jonathan made the pronouncement yesterday
while inaugurating Orient Petroleum Resources Plc at Aguleri-Otu in the Anambra
East Local Government Area of the state.
Jonathan said the Federal Government was committed to oil
exploration in all the country’s sedimentary basins, commending Orient
Petroleum for pioneering inland crude oil production in the country.
“The good news is not for Orient Oil and Anambra Basin
alone, the good news is for all the sedimentary basins all over the country,”
the president said.
He said that the pioneering efforts of Orient Petroleum in
Anambra would give confidence to other investors to invest in other inland
sedimentary basins in the country.
Jonathan charged workers in the oil industry, especially
those at the upstream sector, to add value to the crude oil they produce and
export refined products.
“We have a lot of gas resources in Anambra Basin from
meteorological records. Orient Petroleum has helped us not just in producing
the crude oil, but adding value to it.
“As a nation, we should not be exporting crude oil alone.
The vision of Orient to diversify into refining and power generation, among
others, is the way to go.
“People who refine crude oil make more money than those who
export the crude commodity,” he said.
The president commended the management of the company and
other private investors for the innovation they had brought into the oil
He said that the transformation agenda of his administration
would not be pioneered by government alone, adding that the private sector also
had a role to play to transform the nation.
Jonathan pledged that the Federal Government would continue
to work with the private sector to maximise the nation’s resources.
Governor Peter Obi of Anambra, who thanked the president for
inaugurating Orient Petroleum, promised that his administration would partner
with the company to develop the oil sector in the state.
Chairman of Orient Petroleum Resources, Chief Emeka Anyaoku,
said the company would commence refining crude next year.
Anyaoku, former Commonwealth Secretary-General, said that
when the company’s refining facility is completed, about 20,000 litres of crude
would be refined daily.
He disclosed that three state governments, Anambra, Kogi and
Rivers were shareholders in the company, adding that the 21 Local Government
Areas in Anambra were also shareholders in the company.
Anyaoku said the company was making efforts to utilise its
gas to avoid flaring, expressing hope that utilisation of the company’s gas
resources would impact positively on electricity supply in the country.
The Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of the
company, Mr Nnaemeka Nwawka, appealed to the Federal Government and Nigerian
banks to provide incentives and intervention funds for private refineries.
Meanwhile, President Goodluck Jonathan yesterday inaugurated
the Onitsha Inland Water Port in Anambra State. Jonathan said at the event that
the port would further boost economic activities in the country. According to
him, there is the need to open up the country’s waterways to make trade and
commerce easier as well as reduce the workload on the road network.
He reiterated his administration’s plan to give some fillip
to rail and water transport, and urged the private sector to collaborate with
to create jobs.
Jonathan lauded the government and people of Anambra for completing the port.
The president pledged that his administration would not
relent in its effort to deliver on its campaign promises. He praised the
prevailing peace in the South East, describing it as second to none in the
The Minister of Transport, Sen. Idris Umar, said that the
port, which cost N4.6 billion, was one of the numerous ports the Federal
Government was building. Umar said that three inland water ports in Baro,
Niger, Oguta, Imo, and Yamata, Kogi, would soon be completed and inaugurated.
He thanked the President and the Anambra Governor, Peter
Obi, for supporting his ministry in developing water transport. The Senate
President, David Mark, promised to work harmoniously with the executive arm of
government to develop the nation’s economy.
Mark, who was represented by Sen. Zainab Kure, urged synergy
among the ministries to ensure quality budgeting, adding that the government
would soon set up a board on deep sea water. Mark hoped that the Baro Port
would be inaugurated in the next 12 months.
Governor Peter Obi of Anambra State, who described Onitsha
as the biggest commercial city in Africa, said that the inauguration of the
port would make the movement of goods more efficient.
90% Of Money Laundered Via Real Estate, EFCC Reveals
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) says about 90 per cent of money laundering is done through the real estate sector.
The commission’s Chairman, Abdulrasheed Bawa, stated this while featuring on Channels TV’s Sunrise Daily, yesterday,
According to him, although the sector is monitored via the special control unit, more needed to be done.
According to Bawa, “One of the problems we have now is the real estate. 90 to 100 per cent of the resources are being laundered through the real estate.”
He said there are so many issues involved, but that they were working with the National Assembly to stop what he called “the gate keepers” as there would be reduction in looting if there is no one to launder the money.
Bawa, the EFCC boss, gave an example of a minister who expressed interest in a $37.5million property a bank manager put up for sale.
He said, “The bank sent a vehicle to her house and in the first instance $20million was evacuated from her house.
“They paid a developer and a lawyer set up a special purpose vehicle, where the title documents were transferred into.
“And he (the lawyer) is posing as the owner of the property. You see the problem. This is just one of many; it is happening daily.”
The EFCC chairman also revealed that he receives death threats often.
Asked to respond to President Muhammadu Buhari’s frequent “Corruption is fighting back” expression, Bawa said he was in New York, USA, last week, when someone called to threaten him.
“Last week, I was in New York when a senior citizen received a phone call from somebody that is not even under investigation.
“The young man said, ‘I am going to kill him (Bawa), I am going to kill him’.
“I get death threats. So, it is real. Corruption can fight back,” he said.
On corruption in the civil service, he said there were a lot of gaps, especially in contracts processing, naming “emergency contracts” as one.
Bawa said, “A particular agency is notorious for that. They have turned all their contracts to emergency contracts.”
However, he said, EFCC has strategies in place to check corruptions, one of which is “corruption risk assessments of MDAs”.
According to him, “I have written to the minister and would soon commence the process of corruption risk assessments of all the parastatals and agencies under the Ministry of Petroleum Resources to look at their vulnerability to fraud and advise them accordingly.”
Asked if the scope of corruption in the country overwhelms him, Bawa, the EFCC boss said, “Yes, and no.”
We’ve Spent N9bn To Upgrade RSUTH, Wike Confirms
The Rivers State Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike, says his administration has spent N9billion in upgrading structures and installation of new equipment at the Rivers State University Teaching Hospital (RSUTH).
He said the fact that 40 per cent of the 2021 budget of the state is dedicated to provision of quality healthcare delivery was a further demonstration of the priority placed on the sector.
Wike made the explanation at the foundation laying ceremony for the construction of a Renal Centre at RSUTH, last Friday.
The governor said he made promise to Rivers people that the best would be provided to them in all sectors of the society within his capability because of the mandate they gave to him.
“As we came on here, I just looked around and I see the changes in this teaching hospital. I can say that we have put not less than N9billion in this teaching hospital.
“If you look at the budget, the health sector alone, what it’s taking from the Rivers State Government is not less than 40 percent of the 2021 budget.”
Speaking further, Wike said the state government cannot afford to implement free medical service programme in the present economic circumstance.
While dismissing the request for a subvention for RSUTH, Wike, however, commended the chief medical director and his team for their commitment to turnaround the fortunes of RSUTH.
“I have never seen anywhere that health services can be totally free. They’re telling me that people who come here can’t pay. I have never declared that this state is going to take over the health fees of anybody.”
Also speaking, the former Minister of Transport, Dr. Abiye Sekibo, who performed the flag-off, noted that Wike’s achievements in the health sector in particular, surpass what former governors of the state had done.
Sekibo said that the governor has given equal attention to every section of the health sector by providing complete health infrastructure that was positioning the state as a medical tourism destination in Nigeria.
Earlier, the Rivers State Commissioner for Health, Prof Princewill Chike, lauded Governor Nyesom Wike for his interest in the health of Rivers people.
He noted that the renal centre, when completed, would become another landmark development project in the health sector that would handle and manage all kidney-related ailments.
In his remarks, the Chief Medical Director of the Rivers State University Teaching Hospital, Dr. Friday Aaron, commended Wike for approving the renal centre.
Aaron explained that chronic kidney disease was a major burden globally with estimated 14 million cases in Nigeria.
According to him, over 240,000 of these cases require renal replacement therapy in the form of dialysis and renal transplant.
The CMD said the building that would house the centre was expected to be completed in six months and consists of two floors.
The ground floor, according to him, would house the haemodialysis unit with eight haemodialysis machines.
He further explained that the first floor of the centre would house the surgical component where most of the sophisticated equipment for kidney transplant would be installed.
Aaron said Wike has released the funds required to build, equip the centre as well as for the training of personnel locally and internationally.
Power Generation Falls 23% To 3,172MW
Power supply in Nigeria has failed to improve on last week’s performance, as it fell by 22.9 per cent from peak generation of 4,115Megawatts on Saturday to 3,172.20MW as at 5pm, yesterday, latest data from the System Operator has shown.
According to the data, most power plants were operating far below capacity due to gas shortage with Olorunsogo Power Plant 335MW capacity; and Sapele Power Plant, 450MW capacity; completely out.
Egbin was generating at 746MW; Omoku 37.20; Omotosho (NIPP) at 105MW; while Afam was generating at 80MW.
The data showed that on the average power generation in the past seven days were 4,120.9MW on Sunday, June 6; 4,249.4 on Monday, June 7; 4,000.9MW on Tuesday, June 8; 3,720.7 on Wednesday, June 9; 3,517 on Thursday, June 10; 3,765MW on Friday, June 11; and 4,115MW on Saturday, June 12.
The International Oil Companies (IOCs), had last warned that despite Nigeria’s huge gas reserves a lot needs to be done to attract investment to the sector to develop gas reserves to boost power generation in the country.
Speaking at the just concluded Nigeria International Petroleum Summit, the Chair, Shell Companies in Nigeria/MD SPDC, Osagie Okunbor, said with 203trillion Cubic Feet of gas reserves, what was needed in the country is to deliver projects that would produce the gas.
“The challenge is not just growing the reserves but in producing these reserves for the benefits of our country. Essentially growing the reserves and delivering on the production is a function of two or three elements.
“I like to see infrastructure that is required for the development of these resources at two levels. Soft infrastructure is often the one that is more important than and that is the one that is actually drives most of what you see at site.”
“Soft infrastructure refers to the enabling environment and nothing pleases me as much seeing both the Senate President and the speaker of the house give very firm commitments about trying to pass the PIB this month.
“That is probably the big one of the enabling environment to provide the kind of stability we also need all sorts of other issues we need to that we have discussed severally in terms of sanctity of contract, stable policies and collaboration and I think we are well on our way there”, he added.
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