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NNPC Restores 400,000bpd To Crude Output …As Stakeholders Indict HYPREP Over Ogoni Clean-Up

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The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) yesterday said a daily production of 400,000 barrels per day had been restored to the crude oil output available for export in the country.
The corporation’s Acting General Manager (Public Affairs), Miss Tumini Green, stated this in a statement she issued in Abuja yesterday.
“The restoration of the 400,000 barrels to the daily production output was made possible by the re-opening of the three major trunk lines, which were shut down due to the activities of pipeline vandals.
“The affected trunk lines are the Trans Niger Pipeline, the Nembe Creek Pipeline and the Tebidaba-Brass Pipeline,’’ the statement said.
It said efforts by the Federal Government resulted in the restoration of the three lines.
“One of such is the setting up of a Security Strategy Committee headed by Gov. Emmanuel Uduaghan of Delta,’’ the statement said.
It said further that the restoration of the pipelines will enhance increased production and shore up the revenue accruing to the country.
The statement commended what it described as the renewed proactive measures by the federal government to curb pipeline vandalism and crude oil theft in the country.
It said efforts by the Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs Diezani Alison-Madueke, have also started yielding positive results in the fight against vandals.
The statement recalled that pipeline vandalism and crude oil theft had resulted in the shutdown of three major trunk lines, accounting for the shut-in of 400,000 barrels per day.
It said the rise in crude oil production in the country to 2.4 million barrels per day was as a result of the recent intervention by the federal government.
It assured that the recent approval of N15 billion by the National Economic Council (NEC) would go a long way in curbing the menace.
Our correspondent reports that the fund had been approved for an adequate policing of oil and gas installations in the Niger Delta.
The statement said the major achievements of the petroleum resources minister in recent times include the sustained petroleum products’ supply and distribution across the country.
Meanwhile, Stakeholders in the environment sector have questioned contracts being awarded by the Hydrocarbon Pollution Restoration Project (HYPREP), for the clean-up of oil-ruined Ogoniland in the Niger Delta, saying that many of such contracts were spurious and unverifiable.
Leading renowned experts in interrogating the Federal Government’s agency is the Environmental Rights Action (ERA), a foremost environmental rights advocacy group based in the Niger Delta.
Executive Director of the group, Godwin Ojo, who made this known in Port Harcourt, the Rivers State capital, pointed out that on the eve of the one-year anniversary of the release of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) assessment on Ogoniland, the Federal Government hurriedly announced the formation of HYPREP.
According to him, “HYPREP has been awarding so-called clean up contracts that cannot be verified. HYPREP seems to usurp the responsibility of NOSDRA, causing inter-agency wrangling and conflict that undermines environmental protection.”
ERA’s position corroborates that of many Ogonis, including the Movement for the Survival of Ogoni People (MOSOP), leading politicians, traditional rulers, and other leaders, who have repeatedly called on the Federal Government to kick-start the genuine, transparent and verifiable implementation of the United Nations Environment Programme recommendations on the massive pollution and devastation of Ogoniland following over 50 years of unmitigated oil and gas exploitation in the area.
The ERA boss was speaking during the second training on investigative journalism organised for Nigerian journalists by his group, and partner, VIKES, the Finnish Foundation for Media Communication and Development.
The training, first held in Port Harcourt last October, however, ran between September 17 and 18, and was designed to share knowledge about local, national and global environmental issues, examine challenges facing investigative environmental reporting while exploring strategies for improving the practice.
Participants were drawn from print and electronic media organizations from Rivers and Bayelsa states, while the facilitators included three journalists (two from Nigeria and one from Finland).
ERA’s Head of Media, Philip Jakpor, in his opening remarks, said the idea of the media training on investigative environmental reporting conceived in 2011 was to coach Nigerian journalists on basic steps in investigation, while buoying efforts to bring to the front burner of national discourse, the environmental issues that confront Nigeria as a nation and the globe.
In his presentation titled: “Overcoming Nigeria’s Environmental Reportage Gaps,” Ojo, focused on identifying existing gaps in environmental reporting among Nigerian journalists.
He explained that the objective of the training was to build the capacity of Nigerian journalists to go beyond merely reporting the state of the environment; to actually improving the knowledge base of journalists to have a better grasp of the various components of the environment and possible threats, and techniques in investigation.
He added that in relation to investigation on the state of the environment, the journalist has to be aware that there are various environmental problems which directly threaten livelihood sources and quality of life.
The ERA media chief noted that most of the investigative reports were of low quality in terms of knowledge about core environmental issues and their political, economic and socio-cultural contests, adding that it was this observed gap that triggered the need for the training to improve journalists’ research skills and information gathering techniques.
Some of the issues ERA identified that are under-investigated or unreported are: the impending water stress and scarcity, lowering farm yields, hunger and poverty, weak resilience due to inadequate infrastructure, coping mechanisms and adaptation measures associated with climate change.

Participants on parade at the 2013 Port Harcourt International Fashion Week at Aztech Acrum in Port Harcourt, last Friday

Participants on parade at the 2013 Port Harcourt International Fashion Week at Aztech Acrum in Port Harcourt, last Friday

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IPPIS: FG, ASUU Meet, Today, As Fresh Strike Looms

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Delegations from the Federal Government and Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) are expected to meet, today, in a bid to avert a fresh strike.
The chairmen of ASUU branches had expressed readiness to commence a fresh strike over the non-implementation of their agreement with FG on IPPIS.
One of them, Chairman, ASUU, Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University, Bauchi, Dr Ibrahim Inuwa, said the protracted strike, which was to press home the union members’ demands for the continued survival of the public university system in Nigeria, was suspended in December after the two parties signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on the various issues and providing timelines for the implementation of each of the eight items in the agreement.
Inuwa said over seven months after the MoU was signed only two out of the eight issues had been addressed.
He listed some of the outstanding issues to include payment of the earned academic allowance, funding for revitalisation of public universities, salary shortfall, proliferation of state universities and setting up of visitation panels.
Others are renegotiation, replacement of the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System (IPPIS) with the University Transparency and Accountability Solution (UTAS) and withheld salaries and non-remittance of check-off dues.
A statement by the Deputy Director, Press and Public Relations at the Ministry of Labour and Employment, Mr. Charles Akpan, said the Minister of Labour, Senator Chris Ngige, will be hosting the leadership of the ASUU to a meeting at the ministry’s Conference Room, Federal Secretariat in Abuja.
“The Minister for Labour and Employment, Dr. Chris Ngige, will be hosting a meeting with ASUU. The meeting is scheduled for Monday, August 2, 2021 at Minister’s Conference Room,” the letter read.
The National President, ASUU, Prof Emmanuel Osodeke, had said that the union was invited by the Ministry of Labour to discuss issues surrounding the Memorandum of Action, which was signed with the Federal Government in December, 2020.
However, Osodeke, explained the last time the union met with the government was around March/April.
He said, “The Ministry of Education, which is our ministry, has not called us to any meeting since we signed the Memorandum of Action. But the Ministry of Labour, which is just an intervention ministry, around March/April called us to a meeting in which we discussed and they promised to implement all those things.”

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30 Of 65 Private Jets In Nigeria Owe Duties, Customs Insists

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The Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) says 30 out of 65 private airplanes verified owe duties to the Federal Government of Nigeria.
The Public Relations Officer, Joseph Attah, made the disclosure to newsmen, yesterday.
He said some of the airplanes came into the country by Temporary Importation Agreement which allows them in without payment because it was secured by bond.
The spokesman noted that many later fail to turn up to pay on the expiration of the agreement.
The customs explained that the verification was not meant to embarrass anyone but to collect payments due to the government.
The service has given another two-week extension which commenced from Monday, July 26, to Friday, August 6.
Attah said with the increasing economic challenge, every revenue is important.
“With this, you can now tie proper ownership to every aircraft or private jet that flies in and out of the country.
“The owners of private jets are highly placed Nigerians who should be respected and approached in a manner that provides convenience. That is what these extensions stand for,” he added.

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FBI Indictment: PSC, IGP Suspend Kyari, Name Inquiry Panel

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The Police Service Commission (PSC) has suspended embattled Deputy Commissioner of Police and Head, Intelligence Response Team (IRT) of the Nigeria Police Force, Abba Kyari, from the exercise of the powers and functions of his office.
Kyari’s suspension was contained in a press statement by the commission’s Head, Press and Public Relations, Ikechukwu Ani, made available to newsmen, yesterday.
The commission said Abba Kyari’s suspension took effect from Saturday, July 31, 2021, and would subsist pending the outcome of the investigation in respect of his indictment by the Federal Bureau of Investigation of the United States.
The commission has also directed the Inspector General of Police to furnish it with information on further development on the matter for necessary further action.
The commission’s decision which was conveyed in a letter with reference, PSC/POL/D/153/vol/V/138 to the Inspector General of Police today, Sunday, August 1st, 2021, was signed by Hon. Justice Clara Bata Ogunbiyi, a retired Justice of the Supreme Court and Honourable Commissioner 1 in the commission for the commission’s Chairman, Alhaji Musiliu Smith, a retired Inspector General of Police who is currently on leave.
Earlier, the Inspector-General of Police, Usman Baba, had recommended the immediate suspension of DCP Abba Kyari from the service of the Nigeria Police Force, pending the report of the four-man investigative panel constituted to probe him.
A statement by the spokesperson of the Force, CP Frank MBA, last Saturday, the IGP, in his letter to the Police Service Commission (PSC), dated July 31, 2021, noted that the recommendation is in line with the internal disciplinary processes of the force.
According to the IGP, the suspension would also create an enabling environment for the NPF Special Investigation Panel, to carry out its investigations into the allegations against Kyari without interference.
He explained that the suspension is without prejudice to the constitutional presumption of innocence in favour of the officer, the statement said.
The four-man Special Investigation Panel (SIP), is headed by the Deputy Inspector General of Police in-charge of the Force Criminal Investigations Department (FCID), DIG Joseph Egbunike.
“The SIP is to undertake a detailed review of all the allegations against DCP Abba Kyari by the US Government as contained in relevant documents that have been availed the NPF by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).
“The SIP is also to obtain detailed representation of DCP Abba Kyari to all the allegations levelled against him, conduct further investigations as it deems fit, and submit recommendations to guide further actions by the Force leadership on the matter,” Mba said.
Meanwhile, the IGP has reaffirmed the commitment of the force to the rule of law, and assured the public of the sanctity of the probe as well as the absolute respect for the rights and privileges of the officer throughout the period of the investigations.

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