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LG Chairmen Promise To Protect PHED Personnel

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The Chairman of Ikwere Local Government Area Rivers State, Hon. Samuel Nwanosike, and his counterpart from Emohua, Chief Tom Aliezi, have assured Port Harcourt Electricity Distribution Company (PHED) personnel of protection against harassment in the discharge of their duties
The local government chairmen, who made the promises when they visited the management of Port Harcourt Electricity Distribution Company, PHED, in Port Harcourt with their community leaders, assured that they will beef-up security around all PHED installations in the various Local Government Areas.
The chairmen, who were received on arrival by the Chief Executive Officer, CEO, PHED, Mr. Naveen Kapoor, represented by the General Manager, Commercial, Engr. Joseph Aikowe and other top officials of the company, commended the chairmen for visiting and promised to partner with them to ensure stable power in the Local Government Areas.
Hon. Nwanosike stated that the purpose of the visit was to meet with management of PHED with a view to finding lasting solution to a lingering power outage in the entire Ikwerre and Emuoha LGA which was due to vandalised lines along Ahoada-Elele- Emuoha and Isiokpo way.
According to him, his people were no longer happy and comfortable with the prolonged outage, adding that as an elected chairman, he has been vested with the responsibility of bringing development to the people, which could only be achieved through adequate power supply.
He noted that with supply in the locality, many artisans would improve their standard of living.
The local government boss appealed to PHED to rehabilitate the lines in order to make life bearable for the affected communities.
On his part, the Chairman of Emuoha Local Government Area, Chief Tom Aliezi, emphasised the need for the rehabilitation of the network in addition to metering of the transformers which would eliminate contentious estimated billings and customers would be happy to pay for the actual consumption.
Highlighting the issues that have hampered the network, he said they include high spate of vandalism, non-payment of bills, staff harassment and unyielding investments by PHED. The chairmen assured the management of adequate security on PHED installations and protection of her workers while on duty, in addition to facilitating payment of bills by their kingsmen.
“We have taken measures to ensure that no one can destroy or vandalise any PHED facility. It is now a community battle, you can send the team to investigate and currently we are taking list of suspected vandals from the two caught only two days ago.
“Young men and women have been counseled to monitor these facilities. Each CDC is to set up an electricity committee to monitor the smooth running of business between PHED and the community.
“It has become a taboo to harass PHED workers; it is like attacking the community authority. The place is so far secured. “Vandals in our areas are being treated and regarded as kidnappers”, they said.
In his response, the CEO, PHED, Naveen Kapoor, thanked the chairmen for taking the initiative to address the issues in what they call a amature and logical manner depicting quality and responsible leadership”.
A meeting has however been scheduled with the Commissioner of Power, Rivers State, Hon. Shadrach Chukwu to finalise on the issues raised.
The Ahoada-Isiokpo- Emuoha 33kv lines, it would be recalled was vandalised on 28th October 2017 where 34 high tension poles with associated materials were carted away. It was rehabilitated and thereafter, it was again vandalised until it was left to its present situation.
Also, in July 2014, it took millions of naira for PHED to reconstruct the lines it met on ground in 2013. Series of meetings have been held concerning the affected lines with a view to putting an end to the act of vandalism in the area.

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Oil & Energy

Micro-Grids, Solution To Africa’s Power Problems – Expert

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The incorporation of micro-grids into a hybrid system of electrification is the best solution for Africa’s power supply problems, an international energy consultant based in Johannesburg, Anastasia Walsh, has said.
Walsh, who described electrification as an ongoing and foundational investment necessary to realise all modern-day development objectives, urged governments in Africa to explore the use of mini and micro-grids as they strive to provide power.
She said, “Despite bullish policies, the fact remains that over 640 million Africans lack access to electricity. The effect of this is apparent.
“It impedes economic growth, it inhibits the advancements of self-reliant local communities and it threatens national security. African governments are beginning to rethink their electrification plans.
“Grid modernisation, specifically the deployment of micro-grids in rural areas, provides a promising strategy.”
She noted that attempting to replicate the centralised utility models implemented in the United States and Europe had not succeeded in improving energy access across the continent.
Walsh said despite this, it was as if many governments and utilities wrongly maintain the position that the expansion of the traditional grid infrastructure was the solution.
She said, “In areas where communities have access to the central grid, they still have to supplement the intermittency of the power with diesel generators.
“On the flip side, the utilities are financially strained because they are unable to collect revenues from their customers.
“The low rate of revenue collection is due to the unsustainable tariffs the providers impose on customers as a result of the political pressure exerted on them. This results in the utilities being unable to finance upgrades in infrastructure, further exacerbating the issues.”

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Oil & Energy

Cautious Optimism Greets Oil Discovery In Gongola Basin

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Exciting as the news of the discovery of hydrocarbon deposits in the Kolmani River II Well on the Upper Benue Trough, Gongola Basin may be, stakeholders, yesterday, insisted that the development would only be meaningful after the volumetric of the hydrocarbon is determined.
They equally noted that festering insecurity, environmental issues, dearth of infrastructure and cost of production were major factors that must also be taken into account, just as economically viable farmlands, as well as communities may be affected and relocated.
Exploring the many implications of the development, some industry players noted that the development is also capable of dousing agitations of the Niger Delta region, hoping that it would balance resource locations in the country.
Exciting as the news of the discovery of hydrocarbon deposits in the Kolmani River II Well on the Upper Benue Trough, Gongola Basin may be, stakeholders, yesterday, insisted that the development would only be meaningful after the volumetric of the hydrocarbon is determined.
They equally noted that festering insecurity, environmental issues, dearth of infrastructure and cost of production were major factors that must also be taken into account, just as economically viable farmlands, as well as communities may be affected and relocated.
Exploring the many implications of the development, some industry players noted that the development is also capable of dousing agitations of the Niger Delta region, hoping that it would balance resource locations in the country.
The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), which announced, on Friday, the discovery of crude oil and gas in the Gongola Basin, northern Nigeria, noted that the commercial viability of the discovery coming from the drilling of a total depth of 13, 701ft before hitting oil and gas in several levels is yet to be ascertained.

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Oil & Energy

PANDEF Applauds OML 25’s Peaceful Resolution

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The Pan Niger Delta Forum(PANDEF) has applauded the peaceful resolution of conflict arising from the Oil Mining Licence (OML) 25 between the multinationals and host communities in Rivers State.
Leader of PANDEF, Chief Edwin Clark, gave the commendation at the official reopening of the flow station by host communities, including, Koko Ama, Offoin Ama, Belema Ama, and Ngeje in Kula Kingdom in Degema Local Government Area of Rivers State, at the weekend.
Clark, who spoke through a former Nigerian Ambassador, Godknows Igali, stated that the approach could be used to address similar issues in other oil bearing communities within and outside Rivers State.
He pledged his commitment towards working with the Federal Government in ensuring that the OML community engagement model is replicated in other oil bearing communities in the Niger Delta region.
Clerk commended Belema oil, Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) and Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) for their spirit of negotiation and peaceful resolution of conflicts.
“He (Clark) asked me to let you know that he would continue to work with you, work with the Federal Government and work with all stakeholders and ensure that this type of synergy is replicated not only in and around Kula OML area, but around the oil producing communities so that there can be peace”, Igali said.
In his address, the spokesman of PANDEF, Mr Anabs Sara-Igbe, thanked the Federal Government for moving the construction of the 85 km Degema-Kula Express Way away from the Ministry of Niger Delta to the Niger Delta Development Commission.
He said, “I thank the Federal Government particularly for moving the 85 km Kula road to Degema from the Ministry Niger Delta Affairs to NDDC, who will work with Belema Oil and SPDC”.

 

Tonye Nria-Dappa

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