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NAQS Moves To End EU’s Ban On Agriculture Produce

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The Nigeria Agricultural Quarantine Service (NAQS) is working hard to end  the European Union’s three-year ban on some Nigeria’s produce before the end of 2018.
The Coordinating Director, NAQS, Dr Vincent Isegbe dropped the hint in Abuja yesterday in an interview with the newsmen
Isegbe said the service and other relevant government agencies were seriously working to prevail on EU to lift the ban as soon as possible.
It would be recalled that the EU in June 2015 suspended some of Nigeria’s food items like beans, sesame seeds, melon seeds, fried fish, meat, and peanut chips amongst others, from entering European countries till June 2016.
The EU, however, extended the ban to three years in 2016.
The development took place when two containers of Nigerian goods not yet cleared were intercepted during the suspension.
According to the European Food Safety Authority, the rejected beans were found to contain between 0.03mg per kilogramme to 4.6mg/kg of dichlorvos pesticide.
The acceptable maximum residue limit is 0.01mg/kg and the excess chemical in the products was said to be harmful to health.
Isegbe said NAQS has engaged various stakeholders, suppliers, producers and exporters on how to unban the country’s agricultural produce in the international markets.
‘‘We had a meeting with forwarding and clearing agents in Lagos last month during which we involved critical stakeholders along the value chain to make them see reason that we have to collaborate.
‘‘If the quarantine does its certification and other value chains have to collaborate to give good result; we believe that any mistake is a collective failure.
‘‘These are the linkages we are trying to strengthen to ensure everything is put in perfect place.
‘‘We are working hard and our desire and hope is that at the shortest possible time we will be able to have sufficient things in place.
‘‘The EU is monitoring and watching what we are doing and we will approach them to lift the ban,’’ he said.
He added that NAQS would soon conclude with the Nigerian Shippers’ Council on the inspection of containers.
He explained that no matter the number of times the commodities were inspected, if the container was infected it will definitely contaminate the produce.
According to him, these are the small things we need to sort out and we will plug in any critical hole we identify and then strengthen the system to ensure that we do exactly what we are supposed to do.
‘‘To avoid any occurrence in the future, we have formed associations like exporters, suppliers and growers’ associations which have registered members and each association has self regulatory powers.
‘‘Even before their produce gets to us, they regulate themselves to avoid spoiling their business and it reduces our activities and enables us to reach out to other critical areas.
‘‘Only registered sub-suppliers can supply to suppliers.
‘‘If you are not a registered exporter, quarantine will not approve your commodity for export and each of those steps has rules and regulations that must be obeyed.
‘‘So that before the commodity comes to us, it must be perfect and all we need to do is final inspection and certification and do backward investigation by checking periodically all the value chain.
‘‘If there is any commodity with challenges, we know how to handle it,’’ he said.
The three-year ban will expire in 2019 but quarantine is working hard to ensure the ban is lifted soonest, report say.

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Oil & Energy

Partners Execute Shareholder Agreement For Brass Products Terminal

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The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, (NNPC), along with their partner, the Nigerian Content Development & Monitoring Board, NCDMB, and Zed Energy have executed a shareholders’ agreement for the establishment of a 50 million litre Petroleum Products Terminal in Brass, Bayelsa State.
The N10.5 billion Brass Petroleum Products Terminal project is expected to deliver an automated 50 million litre depot with two-way product jetty, automated loading bay, and 6 automated tanks for storage of 30 million litres of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS)and 20 million litres of Automotive Gas Oil (AGO) and Dual Purpose Kerosene (DPK).
While speaking at the signing ceremony, the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Chief Timipre Sylva commended President Muhammadu Buhari for his giant strides in the Niger Delta which is making a huge impact on the people of the area.
“I make bold to say today without any fear of contradiction that no President has impacted the people of the Niger Delta like President Muhammadu Buhari. Aside from what we are witnessing today, remember there is also the Brass Fertilizer & Petrochemical Company, the Oloibiri Oil and Gas Museum and the Oil & Gas Park in Ogbia, all under Mr. President,” the Minister stated.
Sylva added that the establishment of the Terminal further demonstrates Mr. President’s commitment to the enhancement of the livelihood of the Niger Delta people particularly, the riverine communities in Bayelsa State where people purchase products at exorbitant prices due to logistics challenges associated with transporting products to that area.
Speaking shortly after signing the agreement, the Group Managing Director of the NNPC, Mallam Mele Kyari said the Corporation was proud to be part of the project which aside ensuring products availability in all nooks and crannies of the Niger Delta, will also guarantee the nation’s energy security and generate employment.
“This Terminal will create 1,000 direct jobs during the construction phase, and over 5,000 indirect jobs during its operation. Considering the potential for employment when completed, this will definitely reduce youth restiveness in the Niger Delta area and will also address the problem of illegal refining in the area,” Kyari stated.
In his remarks, the Executive Secretary of NCDMB, Simbi Wabote stated that this milestone was as a result of strong interagency collaboration and public-private sector partnership.
“The NCDMB will continue to drive such partnerships across the industry to bring development in Nigeria,” he noted.
Earlier, the Coordinator of the Project and Group General Manager, National Petroleum Investment Management Services (NAPIMS), Mr. Bala Wunti stated that the project would enhance the economics of marine petroleum products distribution.

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Oil & Energy

Senate Hails NNPC’s Drive Towards Profitability

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The senate has commended the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) for its efforts towards attaining profitability and stamping out corruption from its system.
Chairman, Senate Committee on Anti-corruption and Financial Crimes, Suleiman Abdu Kwari, gave the commendation at a hearing which was held at the national assembly complex, Abuja.
Kwari said it was heart-warming to learn that the NNPC was making great strides towards profitability and urged the corporation to sustain the gains recorded so far for the good of the country.
In his presentation at the hearing, Mele Kyari, the group managing director of NNPC, said the corporation was championing the fight against corruption in the oil and gas industry by placing measures to curb incidences of corruption across its various business portfolios and by enlisting as a partner company of the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI).
He also said that the corporation has reported several incidences of infractions such as products diversion and crude oil theft to the police, EFCC and other investigating agencies of the federal government to stem corruption within the oil and gas industry.
In an effort to clampdown on fuel smuggling, the ministry of petroleum resources launched the operation white project in October 2019 to monitor and track the movement of petroleum products in the country.
Also in February 2021, the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) launched the downstream remote monitoring system (DRMS) to track the movement of petroleum products from depots to retail outlets.
“We have created an anti-corruption desk in NNPC that engages the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and other anti-corruption agencies on a regular basis,” NNPC GMD said.
“The desk ensures that in all our operations, every staff complies to the code of conduct procedures with consequence management.
“We have established a regulatory compliant governance charter and transparency policy; this is a mark of our compliance to the anti-corruption strategy.
“For the first time in 43 years, NNPC, as a part of the evolving culture of transparency and accountability, published its Audited Financial Statements (AFS) for 2018 and 2019. We are going to publish that of 2020.
“The AFS is the only document that tells how a company does its transaction. We are happy that by the time the 2020 AFS will be published, Nigerians will see the dividends of our accountability.”

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Oil & Energy

Chevron Spends $10bn On Nigerian Suppliers, Service Providers

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Chairman/Managing Director, Chevron Nigeria Limited (CNL), Rick Kennedy, said the company has in the last 10 years spent an estimated annual average of $1 billion on Nigerian suppliers and service providers in line with its commitment to Nigerian Content Development.
Highlighting the opportunities and new approaches to the future of hydrocarbons at the ongoing 2021 NIPS in Abuja, Kennedy stressed the need for robust policies and regulations to address and remedy existing challenges in the oil and gas industry; digital technology/innovations; cost efficiency initiatives; sustained social investments as well as continued support for Nigerian Content Development.
Kennedy, who was represented by Monday Ovuede, director, NNPC/CNL Joint Venture, identified opportunities in lowering carbon emissions and harnessing Nigeria’s gas resources as key enablers in complementing the new approaches to future of hydrocarbons in the Nigerian oil and gas industry in the post COVID-19 era.
According to him, the global community has continued to scale up the collaboration towards lower carbon emissions, adding that Chevron supports global efforts to reduce carbon emissions and is actively investing in operations to improve environmental performance while also working with industry to develop new innovative technology and best practices to achieve these objectives.
He emphasised that CNL’s gas strategy is to end routine gas flaring and build a profitable gas business through a portfolio of projects, and stated that in Nigeria, CNL, with its joint venture (JV) partners, the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), has progressively reduced routine gas flaring by over 95% in the past 10 years and remained ahead in terms of maximising supply of on-spec gas into the Nigerian domestic market.
He also highlighted the NNPC/CNL’s Gas Sales and Aggregation Agreements with Egbin Power Plc, Dangote Fertilizer Limited, and Olorunsogo Generation Company Limited, while mentioning the positive impact of the West African Gas Pipeline (WAGP) through which Nigeria supplies gas to countries in the West African sub-region – specifically, Ghana, Togo, and Benin – thus, helping to boost economic development in West Africa.
Kennedy also noted that Chevron has joined other energy companies supporting the Methane Guiding Principles to reduce methane emissions from natural gas exploration and production operations through digital innovation and deployment of best practices, which include designing, constructing, and operating its facilities in a manner to reduce emissions from its operations.

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