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FG Moves To Revive Brass, Olokola LNG Projects

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Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu, last weekend, disclosed that the Federal Government would be engaging with management of the Nigerian Liquefied Natural Gas Company, NLNG, on the feasibility of the company acquiring stakes and driving the revival of Brass LNG and Olokola LNG.
This was even as the NLNG disclosed that as part of its 30-year initiative, it is targeting an investment of N3 billion annually in Bonny Kingdom to drive development in the community and transform it into a notable tourist and relaxation destination.
Speaking during a visit to the NLNG plant complex in Bonny Island, Kachikwu allayed concerns that the forthcoming elections would derail the Train 7 project of the NLNG, explaining that the Federal Government would provide the much-needed support to ensure the company, which had always remained insulated from politics, achieve its goal.
He advised the NLNG to avoid complacency, get out of its comfort zone and make investments, or mobilize resources and investors for the successful take-off of the Brass LNG and OKLNG projects.
Brass LNG was initiated in 2003, but had remained in planning stages several years, while the foreign investors in the proposed investment had all pulled out. OKLNG on the other hand, was initiated in 2005, but is on the verge of death, as all the investors had pulled out and the government is considering scrapping the project.
He noted that revival of the two LNG projects would help create about 5,000 jobs in peak periods and almost 3,000 jobs in normal periods.
He said: “The NLNG have been fantastic in terms of its comfort zone. You probably can give them a 100 per cent in terms of their own performance. But I am saying that the world is bigger than this island. We have opportunities that are stranded everywhere, Brass LNG, in terms of shareholding, financing; OKLNG, in terms of getting off the ground.
“I would like to see NLNG get out of its comfort zone over the next 30 years. Different from Train 8 and nimble investments in smaller fields, how about Brass LNG and OK LNG? Why must you not be the parents of those types of investments? Even if it is just to harness the potential investors because of the clout and respect you have in the international financial community.
“I like to see you hand-hold some of those projects, even if it is little investments you have as a collective. You need to go from the whole, to a smaller collective and to drive the process,” he said.
Kachikwu further stated that the Federal Government would be reaching out to the NLNG, not seeking to compel it, but enter into a collaboration with it to see what could be done and how government can learn from what they have done well to drive the process of revival and completion of the two LNG projects.
He said: “I am saying as the grandfather of this business, the NLNG have built six trains, looking at seven; hopefully, potentially more, let us begin to look at where through minimal investments, through structures and designs, reconfigurations and expert advice, you can actually hand-hold some of those trains that are beginning to lag behind, so that the whole founding fathers’ concept of taking this all over the place happens.”
The minister added that the Federal Government is going to set up an inter-ministerial task team to engage with the NLNG on ways to increase consumption and drag down the price of Liquefied Petroleum Gas, LPG, also known as cooking gas, ensuring that locally-produced LPG is cheaper than its imported counterpart.
Also speaking, Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of the NLNG, Mr. Tony Attah, expressed optimism that with the support and full backing of the Federal Government, the company is poised to ensuring that Train 7 becomes a reality. In his presentation to the Minister’s team, comprising the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Petroleum Resources, Mr. Folashade Yemi-Esan; Executive Secretary of the Nigerian Content Development Management Board, NCDMB, Mr. Simbi Wabote, among others, General Manager, Production of the NLNG, Mr. Tayo Ogini said the planned Train 7 holds immense potentials for Nigeria. According to him, Train 7 would bring about a 35 per cent growth in Nigeria’s LNG output, create 8,000 jobs, build capacity for small scale LNGs and increase domestic LPG supply to about 0.5 million tonnes per annum.

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Stakeholders Meet To Assess Nigeria’s Preparedness For AFCFTA

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Stakeholders are expected to converge in Lagos today to take a look at the Nigeria’s preparedness to maximize the gains of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA). 
The Tide learnt that stakeholders will be converging at the instance of a popular online newspaper, Primetime Reporters, to assess the progress made so far by the Federal Government through the National Action Committee on AfCFTA agreement.
The event which is the Third Annual Lecture and Awards of the online medium has as its theme: “Assessing Nigeria’s Preparedness to Maximize the Gains of AfCFTA.” 
The event will also witness conferment of awards on eight eminent Nigerians who have distinguished themselves in various fields of human endeavours.
The Managing Director/Editor-In-Chief of Primetime Reporters, Mr. Saint Augustine Nwadinamuo, made this known in a statement made available to The Tide in Lagos on Monday.
According to him, the event will hold at the National Institute of International Affairs (NIIA), Kofo Abayomi Street, Victoria Island, Lagos beginning from 10.00am.
Nwadinamuo said that the event would be chaired by a renowned legal practitioner, Barr. Osuala Emmanuel Nwagbara of the Maritime and Commercial Law Partners, Lagos, while the Director General, Lagos Chambers of Commerce and Industry (LCCI), Dr. Muda Yusuf, would be the lead paper presenter.

By: Nkpemenyie Mcdominic, Lagos

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EFCC Nabs 419 Kingpin Over N250m Fraud

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The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), has arrested a leader of a deadly 419 syndicate, Abayomi Kamaldeen Alaka (a.k.a Awise) over an alleged attempt to swindle an innocent Nigerian of N250 million. 
The Tide learnt that the syndicate operates from a shrine at Ashipa Town, near Abeokuta, Ogun State.
According to a statement made available to The Tide in Lagos on Sunday, by the EFCC, Awise’s arrest followed a petition by his victim, Juliet Bright who lost N250m to the fraudster after she was tricked to provide money for sacrifices and invocations to heal her of an ailment.
The statement said Bright was introduced to Alaka by one Akinola Bukola Augustina (a.ka. Iya Osun) whom she met on Facebook in the course of her search for solutions to her health challenge. 
What drew her to Augustina was the latter’s post under the name, Osunbukola Olamitutu Spriritual Healing Centre.
 Once Bright contacted Augustina, the latter promised to heal her if she could pay N16 million. 
The victim paid the money through an Access Bank account belonging to one Mohammed Sani, who later turned out to be a Bureau De Change Operator.
After paying the money without receiving healing, Augustina transferred the victim to other members of the syndicate, notably Awise. 
Bright revealed that she met Awise at his shrine in Ashipa Town and was hypnotized and subsequently transferred various sum through bank accounts and in cash to the suspect and his syndicate members, until she lost N250 million to them.
Despite all the monies collected from her, her health conditions has never improved.

By: Nkpemenyie Mcdominic, Lagos

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Expert Wants Farmers To Grow Plant Produce For Export

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An expert in Quarantine Agriculture, Dr Vincent Ozuru, has advised Nigerian farmers to give more attention to growing plants produce that could be exported.
He said that plant like the hibiscus, popularly known as Zobo is on high demand in some countries around the world, today.
Ozuru who gave the advice while speaking to aviation correspondents at Port Harcourt International Airport, Omagwa, noted that some plants produce, particularly hibiscus, had yielded huge revenue to the Federal Government through export.
According to him, Nigeria exported about 1,983 containers of hibiscus to Mexico alone in 2017 and earned $35 million within nine months of that year.
The agricultural quarantine expert explained that the export of the plant had a setback as a result of storage pest discovered by the Nigeria Agricultural Quarantine Service in some consignments.
“The issue has now been taken care of and the export is resuming again, and all matters have been resolved with the stakeholders across the value chain.
“Mexico is the largest importer of Nigerian hibiscus, and our farmers should brace up to the challenge.
“The good news is that Nigeria has a vast growing belt in hibiscus, and the harvest is available all year round.
“We need to take advantage of this opportunity to earn foreign exchange for ourselves and for the country at large, even with the commitment of the present administration to diversify the economy”, he said.
Ozuru called on Nigerian farmers to show more commitment to the growing of export produce and also endeavor to get ready information on it in order to increase their income.

By: Corlins Walter

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