The Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC, has re-stated its resolve to complete all on-going projects across the Niger Delta region within the limits of funds available to it.
The NDDC Executive Director, Projects, Engr. Samuel Adjogbe, re-echoed the commitment when he led a team of directors and engineers to inspect the emergency repair of Umuelemai-Agbaja Road in Isiala Mbano Local Government Area of Imo State.
Adjogbe underlined the economic benefits of community roads and reaffirmed the commitment of the NDDC management to construct quality roads that would enable rural dwellers evacuate their farm produce to the urban centres.
He expressed satisfaction with the performance of the contractor, adding that NDDC would continue to encourage indigenous firms to progressively improve on their capacity to deliver quality projects for the benefit of the people.
The Executive Director urged the community leaders in the area to support and cooperate with the contractor to ensure that there were no hindrances to meeting NDDC’s target date for completing the project.
Adjogbe expressed satisfaction with the quality of work at the Umuelemai-Agbaja Road.
He, however, queried the absence of signposts to indicate that the project was being executed by the NDDC.
He also inspected the completed multi-purpose civic centre at Umueze 1, where he was briefed on the outstanding external works and the requirements for furnishing.
The Project Manager of the Umuelemai-Agbaja Road, Engr Emmet Dooley, assured that the project would be completed soon, stating that asphalting would be finished within two weeks.
It would be recalled that forthnightly, the NDDC Managing Director, Mr Nsima Ekere, accompanied by other directors of the Commission, also inspected the construction of internal roads in Umueze 1, Ehime Mbano, including the road connecting Obolo in Isiala Mbano to Ehime Mbano LGA
He said, “We have been going round inspecting various projects in Imo and other states in the Niger Delta. We inspected the on-going project linking Imo State to Rivers through the oil-bearing communities of Imo State.
“We are committed to building sustainable infrastructure in the Niger Delta. We don’t want to build roads that will fail after six months. We want to build infrastructure that will last. If we are able to complete one kilometer, let it be solid and one that will last for a long time.”
Ekere commended the contractor working on the Obolo-Umueze Road for taking measures to guarantee quality delivery, considering the challenging terrain of the Niger Delta region. He observed that at some portions of the road, the contractor was excavating unsuitable materials for as deep as four metres.
The paramount ruler of Umueze 1, Eze Igu, expressed appreciation to the NDDC for building good roads for his communities. “By fixing our roads, you have shown us love and it has given us hope and confidence on the administration of President Buhari.
Similarly, the traditional ruler of Ihim, Eze Oliver Obi, thanked the Federal Government for spreading development to the rural areas through interventionist agencies such as NDDC.
“What the NDDC is doing for us is something we have not seen in the past and we commend the Federal Government for this positive change.”
BUA Group, A’Ibom Sign MoU For Refinery’s Access Road
Bua Group has signed a memorandum of understanding, (MoU), with Akwa Ibom State Government, and the host communities in Ibeno Local Government Area, for the construction of access road to the proposed Bua Refinery and Petrochemical plant site in Ibeno, last week.
Akwa Ibom State Commissioner for Power and Petroleum Development, Dr. John Etim, who presided over the signing of the MoU, applauded BUA for their commitment to the project, prompt documentation and the preparation of the site towards the construction of the refinery.
Etim said that the refinery project will bridge the gap between host communities and Akwa Ibom State, thereby bringing about more developments in the oil and gas sector of the State.
The Commissioner called on all parties concerned to be committed to the terms of agreement and to ensure that peace dominates their relationship, while appealing to the host communities to protect the facilities which is now in their custody
“The refinery and petrochemical project is in line with the Governor’s vision to industrialise the State, develop local capacity in key industries where value can be added and raw materials sourced locally.”
Speaking shortly after the MoU signing, the Chairman of Ibeno local government, Williams Mkpa, expressed delight over the development, describing it as a giant stride in the industrialisation vision of the Akwa Ibom State Government.
The paramount ruler of the area, Owong Effiong Archianga, assured the company of his people’s unalloyed support and cooperation to see to the actualisation of the project.
CSO Urges Oil Communities To Challenge PIA In Court
A Civil Society Organisation, Policy Alert, has faulted President Muhammadu Buhari’s signing of the Petroleum Industry Act 2021, urging communities to test the provisions of the Act before the courts.
President Buhari had signed the erstwhile Petroleum Industry Bill, PIB, into law last Monday amidst protests from community groups and many other stakeholders that the Bill do not adequately cover the rights and interests of the host communities.
In a statement signed by its Communications and Stakeholders Engagement Officer, Mrs. Nneka Luke-Ndumere, Policy Alert, which is working for economic and ecological justice, described the presidential assent to the PIB as “grossly insensitive and problematic.
“It is sad that the bill has been assented to in the most controversial manner despite its many obvious flaws and its rejection by many stakeholders,” the statement read.
It added: “For example, the controversial provision for a direct payment of 30 percent profit oil and profit gas to the Frontier Exploration Fund potentially shortchanges the oil producing states and local governments of some of its thirteen percent derivation as it bypasses the requirement in section 162 (2) of the 1999 Constitution (as amended) which provides that all revenues be channeled through the federation account.
“This is most unfair, viewed against the ceding of only three percent of previous years’ operating expenses to the Host Communities Development Trust Fund and the punitive provision to charge costs of any damage to facilities against the community’s Fund, among other obnoxious provisions.
“That Mr. President has gone ahead to give assent to these vexing provisions only reinforces the politics of exclusion and expropriation that has for long characterised the relationship between the Nigerian state and the oil producing communities.
“We are also concerned that the host communities’ component of the legislation flies in the face of one of its stated objectives to address tensions between host communities and companies as it has all the ingredients for escalating rather than abating such conflicts.
“At a time when fossil fuel investments are being deprioritised elsewhere as a result of the global energy transition, it is unfortunate that this Act failed to provide a bridge between the current era of fossil fuel dependency and the low-carbon energy future that Nigeria aspires to within the framework of government’s much vaunted commitments under the Paris Agreement.”
The statement also said: “Granted, the new legal framework introduces some predictability and clarity to the governance and fiscal arrangements in the oil and gas industry. We are also not oblivious to certain clauses that respond to some of our earlier demands, such as those providing that the Board of Trustees of the Host Communities Development Trust will now be determined in consultation with the host communities, with membership drawn from community members. But that is just as far as it goes.
“As a tool for improved benefit sharing to host communities, the Act falls flat on its face. It actually ridicules the exertions of the host communities and advocacy groups that have clamoured over the years for a law that yields some space for participation, direct socio-economic benefits and environmental remediation for oil-rich communities.
“The theatre of action will now have to move to the communities and the courts of law. As implementation of the Act gets underway over the next 12 months, we urge host communities and civil society groups to begin to seek interpretation of some of its more controversial provisions before the courts.”
Kyari Tasks Greenfield Refinery On Fuel Importation
The Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Mallam Mele Kyari, has charged members of the Board of the NNPC Greenfield Refinery Limited (NGRL), to explore all available options to bring an end to the current challenge of petroleum products importation.
Mallam Kyari gave the charge Thursday while inaugurating the Board of the newly incorporated subsidiary of the Corporation, NNPC Greenfield Refinery Limited (NGRL), at the NNPC Towers, Abuja.
The NNPC Greenfield Refinery Limited is a subsidiary of the Corporation set up in December 2020 with a mandate to oversee the establishment and operation of new refineries.
The GMD, who is also the Chairman of the NGRL Board, challenged members of the Board to focus on profitability in order to remain afloat and avoid liquidation.
“As a business, this is a big opportunity for us and this company’s balance sheet must change positively. Going forward, with the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA), I can tell you that if you continue to post negative for three years, you are out. So, there is really no excuse”, Mallam Kyari stated.
He urged the Board and Management Team of the new company to set up a proper structure with the required skills, technology and financing to drive the company’s operations, adding that he was optimistic that the company would be able to achieve its mandate.
“Our company must grow and we can’t do well except we are able to process our production whether it is the liquid or gas. If we don’t monetise it then we have done nothing. This is really a new chapter and we are committed to making it work,” he said.
The NNPC helmsman stated that all the Corporation’s initiatives in the areas of new refineries, condensate refineries and equity acquisition in credible private refineries were geared towards ensuring energy security for the country.
In his remarks, the Alternate Chairman of the Board and Group Executive Director, Refinery and Petrochemicals, Engr. Mustapha Yakubu, declared that the operations of the company would be guided by the principles of cost effectiveness in line with the new Petroleum Industry Act (PIA), noting that profitability would be the key focus.
Speaking in similar vein, the Group General Manager, Greenfield Refineries and Project Division (GRPD) and Managing Director of the NGRL, Engr. Bege Talson, disclosed that the Division was working with third party investors to establish greenfield, modular and condensate refineries with a combined capacity of 250,000barrels per stream day (bpsd).
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