A group known as Concerned Members of the Niger Delta (CMND) has criticized Chevron Nigeria oil exploration for not working for the improvement and development of its host communities in the Niger Delta region.
The group in a statement last Friday and signed by its state coordinator, Marshall Benibo and Publicity Secretary, Diepreye Briggs alleged that the oil firm has failed to carry the youth of the Niger Delta region along in their activities.
The statement which was reacting to a recent news that 198 Kaduna indigenes benefitted from scholarship program initiated by the Chevron company, noted that the group cannot point out a project executed by the oil firm in all communities operated by the firm.
The statement made available to The Tide said, its awarding of scholarship to some indigenes in the Northern states was an indication that the firm was out to steal from the Niger Delta region.
According to the statement,’’ we have written several letters to the firm, but they have refused to act on them, it is time for action to protest against the company’’
The Group alleged that the firm had relocated its offices from Port Harcourt and Warri to Lagos long ago, and failed to communicate with various communities from where they are drilling oil.
CMND said that it has also made all contacts of the firm’s facilities in the region especially those in Warri, Escravos and high sea to stop operations of the firm if they are not ready to carry out their corporate social responsibility.
They listed some of their grudges as, non implementation of corporate social responsibility, no projects, no employment, no contracts to indigenous contractors and no scholarships.
The group also alleged that it is not working alone, but with various community youth leaders where major oil explorations are being carried out in the region.
The Tide was informed that last week, the firm announced that about 198 Kaduna State indigenes benefited from scholarship programs initiated by the Texaco Nigeria Outer Shelf, a Chevron Company, between 2013 and 2017.
The programme, which is part of the oil company’s corporate social responsibilities to Nigerian communities is under its Agbami Medical and Engineering Professional Scholarship instituted for Nigerian higher institutions.
The Director, Texaco Nigeria Outer Shelf, (a Chevron Company), Mr. Richard Kennedy, was reported to have disclosed this in Kaduna at the handing over of a Hybrid e-Library donated to Rimi College, Kaduna last Tuesday.
Kennedy, who was represented by Mr. Michael Kabi, Manager, Policy, Government/Public Affairs of Chevron Nigeria Limited, said the project was aimed at improving the availability and affordability of qualitative education to Nigerians.
“Today’s event represents the resolve of the OML132 partners in improving the availability and affordability of qualitative education to Nigerians. The Hybrid Library, which we are about to hand over, is expected to have a huge impact on teachers and students because it will provide them up-to-date equipment for teaching and learning in the school.
“We have several projects across the country that are ongoing. The projects, mainly libraries, constitute an aspect of the strategic interventional plan of the OML 132 partners in promoting a better life for Nigerians
“Since 2012, we have built, furnished, equipped and handed over 10 hybrid libraries to different states of the federation.
“It is noteworthy to note that Chevron has also, through its Agbami asset, implemented Agbami Medical and Engineering Professional Scholarships (AMEPS). This is merit-based scheme which commenced in 2009, and is administered by Texaco Nigeria Outer Self on behalf of its parties in Agbami field-Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, Famfa Oil Limited, Statoil Nigeria Limited, Petroleo Brasileiro Nigeria Limited.
“Ninety-six Kaduna State indigenes have benefitted from the Agbami scholarship programme since 2013. Also, 102 indigenes of the state have been enjoying the NNPC/Chevron Joint Venture scholarships from 2014 to 2017” he said.
RSG Lauds Refining Firm’s Friendly Policies
The Rivers State government has commended Niger Delta Refineries Limited, an indigenous petroleum refining company, based in the state, for its friendly policies on environment and community relations.
The State Deputy Governor, Dr Ipalibo Banigo, made the commendation, when she led members of the House of Assembly Committee on Environment and officials of the State Ministry of Environment on a facility visit to the company.
She said the state government, was aware of the company’s positive impact within and outside its area of operation, appreciated its impact on environment and in community relations.
According to her, the state government is interested in modular refineries in order to discourage illegal refineries as well as safeguard the lives of the people of Rivers.
“We want to discourage illegal refineries to save lives and ensure a safe environment.
“ We are also interested in knowledge transfer and job creation for our teeming youths,” she said.
Earlier, the company’s General Manager (Refineries/Projects), Mr Femi Olaniyan, who conducted Banigo’s team around the facility, said the company established about 25 years ago was operating on Ogbele Field Oil Mining Lease (OML) 54 in Rivers.
He said the company’s vision was to be completely indigenous, adding that it was 95 per cent owned by Nigerians.
According to Olaniyan, the refinery is managed by Nigerians with proven expertise and track record.
“As early as 2006, our company decided to eliminate gas flaring and a gas processing plant was built and commissioned.
“Now, we are the only indigenous company to supply gas to the Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) facility in Bonny Island here in Rivers state.
“We have so far supplied over 50 billion tons of gas to LNG in Bonny. In 2011, we built 1,000 barrels per day production facility.
“We now produce three trucks of diesel per day from our plant here.
“We also produce diesel in commercial quantity with customers drawn from the North East, North West, Abuja, Lagos and so on,” he said.
He also told the team that in 2016, the company commenced the expansion of its refinery to an integrated facility to produce up to 11,000 barrels of jet fuel, diesel, marine diesel and heavy fuel oil per day, adding that the expanded facility would commence full operations by May 2020.
Olaniyan further said that the company, which also produced gas for domestic consumption, “has since Jan. 26, 2019 clocked one million man hours with zero lost time injuries.”
“Our facility, a subsidiary of Niger Delta Exploration & Production Plc, is privately owned and can convert Naphtha to petrol with 60 per cent of its labour force from the community and has no negative safety issues.
“A considerable number of Nigerians have gained from our deliberate efforts to ensure knowledge transfer,’’ Olaniyan said.
Power Supply: AfDB Set To Invest $200m In Nigeria
The African Development Bank (AfDB) is to invest 200 million dollars through the Rural Electrification Agency (REA) to boost power supply in Nigeria.
The Acting Vice President, Power, Energy, Climate and Green Growth Complex (AFDB) Mr Wale Shonibare, said this when he led some management staff of the bank on a visit to the Minister of State for Power, Mr Goddy Jedy-Agba in Abuja on Monday.
Shonibare, also the Director, Energy and Installation in the bank, said that the AfDB board had approved 200 million dollars for the sector through REA to support the roll out of mini grids.
“The AFDB is very active in the power sector of Nigeria and we are ready to do more, the board has approved 200 million dollars to the sector through the REA.
“We are supporting the programme to roll out mini grids across the country and also to encourage productive use of the grids to upgrade communities
“We are also involved in energising education, a programme under which we are dedicating power systems to eight federal universities,’’ he said.
Shonobare said that the bank was also very involved in the transmission sector of the country as it had a 410 million dollars project to support transmission.
According to him, 200 million dollars has already been approved by AfDB board for phase one to improve transmission lines and provision of sub-stations.
“I understand that the agreement was signed last week and we expect the project to progress.
“We are involved in the Jigawa power project, we have approved a grant of one million dollars to support the feasibility study for phase one and the studies are almost completed.
“We are aware of the issues in the sector and we are working with all the players in the sector, the regulators, NBET all along the value chain looking at how we can make the sector efficient,’’ he said.
Responding, the Minister of State, Jedy-Agba said that the federal government was willing to do more in partnership with AfDB to provide electricity for Nigerians.
Jedy-Agba said that power was the bedrock of development, adding that if the country could get it right with technology, they could also do same with power.
He said that Nigeria was in the process of increasing its power generation capacity and the sector as it was keying into funds available by the AfDB to enhance further growth in the sector.
“AfDB had been investing in the sector and they planned to invest more by increasing their funding in development of the power sector,’’ he said.
He assured the AfDB team that any money given to the power sector would be judiciously utilised and accounted for.
PHED Links Power Outage To TCN’s Technical Fault
The Port Harcourt , Electricity Distribution Company, PHED, has disclosed that the power outage being experienced by the residents of Elelenwo, Old Oyigbo, Rivers State Television station and its environs, Onne, Bori since Friday, March 6, 2020 was due to a faulty auxiliary transformer belonging to Transmission Company of Nigeria, TCN.
The power distribution company, in a press statement however, stated that the technical crew from the TCN had already been mobilised to the station to ensure that the fault was rectified as soon as possible.
The statement added that power supply will be restored at the affected areas as soon as the fixing of the technical fault was completed.
The statement, solicited for the patience of its esteemed customers that were affected by the forced outage, while waiting for the restoration.
The company also restated its commitment to quality service delivery to its members.
Meanwhile, some residents of the affected areas have lamented the effects of the outage on their businesses.
A cross section of the residents who spoke with our correspondent, called on PHED and other relevant authorities to fix the problem and restore power supply in the area.
The residents also called on PHED to live up to its new policies on enhanced service delivery to enhance its business profile and earn the confidence of its teeming customers.
One resident, Comrade Michael Budum, who spoke with The Tide, said power supply had been one of the major challenges in the area.
He said , “I want to use this opportunity to urge PHED to improve on its services to earn the confidence of its customers, let people get results form their power bills through power delivery services”.
By: Taneh Beemene
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