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Oil Firm Reassures On Youth Dev

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An international Oil Firm in Nigeria,  Total E and P Limited, has reinstated its commitment towards embarking on the socio-economic development of her host communities and the United Nations Sustainable Development goal.
The Deputy Managing Director of the French oil company, Mr Francois Le-cocq, who gave the assurance during the graduation ceremony of the 13th Batch trainees under the NNPC/TEPNG joint venture Skills Acquisition training program in Port Harcourt last week, said the programme was aimed at preparing the youth and women to enable them commence their respective businesses on a sound footing.
Le-cocq further assured the graduands that Total E and P Limited will further organise an enterprise development workshop for them where they would be taught the rudiments of starting and sustaining viable enterprises.
The Deputy Managing Director further reassured the graduands that Total would show commitment in growing their skills and businesses that the Business Development and Enterprises Department in the oil firm  is willing and able to offer them access to low interest finance in partnership with micro-finance  institutions and also to provide linkages to market their products and services.
According to him,’’ We expect that with this array of support and enablement the graduands would exhibit the zeal for continuous learning and improvement in taking their businesses to the next level.
“I commend all the Resource persons who have contributed in bringing about this successful outcome and appreciate the presence of the state government, NAPIMS and the community leaders for attending the ceremony. Your continuous support has been very invaluable in enabling TOTAL E AND P Limited fulfil her commitments in this and other MoU related programnes’’, he said.
He noted that the Skills Acquisition programme is  part of the Corporate Social Responsibility(CSR) embarked by the French oil firm, explaining that the program is a human development initiative designed to impact practical training in several trades, with the objective of producing self employed entrepreneurs within the local economy.
About 500 youths and women graduated from the 13th Batch Trainees program drawn from various communities that host the company. The communities include Andoni, Rumuekpe, Egi, Ekpeye, Opobo/Nkoro, Idu Obosiukwu, Amah, Mgbuesilaru and Olo.
Earlier, the representative of the state government, Mrs Ruhuoma Chinedu Kejeh commended the oil firm for the program stating that the Rivers State Government is ready to partner with Total E and P Limited for the development of youths in the state.
Kejeh, who is the Director Youth Affairs in the  Ministry of Youth and Development noted that the state government, through the Ministry of Youth and Development has concluded plans to launch a program that will change the attitude of the youths for improvement and development.
Some of the graduands who spoke with The Tide after   receiving their Starter Packs, commended the oil  giant for the training and stated  that they have hope and reason to contribute toward the development of the state and country.
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Group Lauds FG Over Planned Repositioning Of NDDC

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A group known as Patriotic Forum of Niger Delta (PAFOND) has commended President Muhammadu Buhari over his plans to reposition the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) to live up to its statutory mandate of developing the Niger Delta region.
The commendation was part of a communiqué issued at the End of Year general meetings of the forum in Port Harcourt, and made available to The Tide.
The communiqué which was signed by the National chairman of the forum, comrade Owo Udoh, and the National Secretary, Comrade Daniel Wilson, stated that the Niger Delta had continued to suffer development neglect despite its huge to the Nigeria economy.
The forum urged the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Godswill Akpabio, to commence the construction of roads in the Niger Delta and embark on other projects that will create meaningful impact on the lives of the people.
The group also called on other Niger Delta indigenes serving in the Buhari government,, particularly the Minister of Transportation, Chibuike Amaechi, to attract development projects to the Niger Delta.
The forum called on the governors of the Niger Delta states to channel the resources of the states for proper economic development of the region.
The group which expressed regrets over the, “infrastructural decay” in the Niger Delta, said development potentials in the oil rich region can be properly harnessed if the budgetary allocations for the development of the region are not diverted into personal coffers.

 

Taneh Beemene

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Expert Tasks Oil Firms On MoUs Implementation

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The brewing conflicts between oil companies and their host communities in the Niger Delta over a breach of agreements signed by the corporate partners have generated concerns among stakeholders.
Worried by the increasing spate of disagreement between oil firms and their host communities, an expert in the oil and gas sector, Dr Eddie Wikina, has called on all multinationals and corporate organisations operating in the Niger Delta to implement the Memorandum of Understanding (MoUs) signed with their host communities.
Wikina who spoke with The Tide in an exclusive interview recently, said the flouting of MoUs and the absence of sustainable  community development policies among various oil firms and corporate organisations were the root causes of underdevelopment and conflicts in the Niger Delta.
He pointed out that; “modern industry practices require that both the oil firms and the host communities operate in mutual agreement and synergy through a well community engagement model that would be subject to upward reviews to suit evolving developments to avert crisis.”
He noted that oil related conflict has been a predominant feature of the Niger Delta over the years and urged prospecting oil firms and other corporate organisations in the region to learn from the experiences of the past and improve their host community relations by contributing meaningfully to the  development of their host communities.
The expert in Petroleum Engineering said  host communities were major stakeholders in the oil and gas business, noting that their active participation in the sector was an elixir to smooth business operation According to him, “it’s certain that that business activities can’t strive in an environment where there is mutual disagreement and incessant conflicts; global standards in oil and gas business require that host communities be given their due sense of belonging to promote peace and development.
The business concern must be accommodative of the development interest of the host communities, any company that glosses over the interest of its host communities is bound to face challenges.”
Wikina cautioned against the influx of substandard oil firms in the Niger Delta and called on the Federal Government to enact laws that will compel multinationals to implement all agreements signed with their host communities.
“Not all companies that prospect for oil in the Niger Delta has the capacity for effective business operation, some of them don’t have the industry experience and lack the potency to make the right impact”, he said.
He said the implantation of the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) would address the inherent challenges in the oil and gas sector, especially in the development of oil and gas producing communities.

 

Taneh Beemene

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DisCos Studying Modalities Of NERC’s Directive On Cashless Payment –ANED

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The Association of Nigeria Energy Distributors (ANED) says distribution companies are studying the modalities of the directive issued by the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) on cashless payment by customers.
Chairman, ANED, Mr Sunday Oduntan stated this on Friday in Lagos.
NERC had on December 31, 2019 directed the 11 DisCos to transit to cashless settlement platforms for the billing/collection of industrial and commercial customers by Jan. 31, 2020.
It also directed the Discos to transit to cashless settlement platforms for the billing/collection of the R3 class of residential customers by March 31.
The NERC said that Discos should leverage available banking channels approved by the Central Bank of Nigeria in complying with the directive.
It said that failure by DisCos to comply with the order would be treated as a breach of the terms and conditions of the distribution licence.
The commission said the move was expected to reduce the collection leakages being experienced in the sector.
Oduntan said that ANED was in support of any idea that would improve services between the layers in the power sector, noting that there was, however, need to examine the modalities concerning its implementation.
“We are studying the modalities of the directive. In principle, we support any idea that will reduce cash transactions; so, to us it is a good idea, especially for security purposes.
“But we also have to look at our customers across the country, especially those in the rural areas. Some of them don’t have bank accounts, don’t do internet banking and some even have cooperatives who collect these cash from them to help them make payments.
“So, we have to look at how we can factor them in and that is why we are yet to come out with our position.”
Oduntan said ANED had channels of communication with NERC and would not hesitate to sit down with the regulatory agency to sort out the grey areas.

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