A Pan-Niger Delta Group, known as PANDEF has raised alarm over alleged plot by Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) in collaboration with the chairman of Akuku-Toru Local Government Authority, Hon Roland Sekibo to forcefully re-open the shut down OML 25, Belema flow station.
Spokesman of PANDEF, Chief Anabs Sara-Igbe, who disclosed this during a chat with newsmen at the weekend, said the alleged forceful re-opening of the Belema flow station was uncovered by the body through its intelligence gathering and vigilance and vowed that PANDEF would resist any such attempt.
He pointed out that the over 40 years of Shell operation of the flow station meant backwardness and under development in the host communities of Kula, Offaniama and Belema.
He urged the chairman of Akuku-Toru Local Government not to allow himself to be used as a willing ally to ferment trouble in the area through the planned forceful re-opening of the shut flow station.
On his part, a member of the Kula Council of Chiefs and Elders, Chief Ajagidi Asawari, said it would be unthinkable for SPDC to return to the flow station after it was shut down.
He said the people of Kula Kingdom have nothing to show for over four decades of Shell’s operation of OML 25 flow station except the creating of disunity and neglect of the area in terms of development.
While exonerating Belema Oil Producing Company, an indigenous oil firm from the shutting down of OML 25, the community leader said the people of Kula Kingdom would resist any attempt of Shell’s re-entry in the area.
He commended President Mohammadu Buhari for allocating an oil block, OML 55 to an indigene of Kula Kingdom, noting that, Belema Oil Producing Company had within the short period of its operation, impacted tremendously on the development of the area.
He called on the Federal Government to divest the facilities of OML 25 to Belema Oil to emancipate the host communities from the “shackles of SPDC” and to forestall further loss of oil revenue to the federation.
It would be recalled that the continued shut down of OML 25 has led to the loss of billions of dollars to the country as the OML 25 produces 45,000 barrels of crude oil per day and 135 metric tonnes of gas per day.
However, when contacted the chairman of Akuku-Toru Local Government Area, Hon Roland Sekibo said he would respond to the allegations at the appropriate time.
Stories by Taneh Beemene
RSG’s Intervention Averts Fuel Scarcity In Rivers
The timely intervention of the Rivers State Government, yesterday saved the state from fuel scarcity in the state.
The organised petroleum sector in the state comprising the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN), the Petroleum Tanker Drivers Association, the Licence Petroleum Station owners and the National Union of Petroleum and Natural Energy Workers(NUPENG) had planned to begin a strike action, yesterday.
The petroleum service providers in the state had threatened to shut down their operations following alleged impoundment of their product laden trucks by the Army and incessant arrest of their members by task force operators.
The strike action which would have thrown the entire state into a round of fuel scarcity was however, averted by the state government in the wee hours of yesterday.
Th state government represented by the state Commissioner for Energy and Natural Resources, Dr Peter Medee quickly entered into a peace negotiation meeting with the leadership of NUPENG, IPMAN and other stakeholders to broker peace.
The meeting which commenced on Sunday evening lasted till the early hours of yesterday.
Dr Medee who led the Rivers State Government team said the government waded into the looming crisis to avert the consequences of the strike.
According to him, “the Rivers State Government engaged all the affected parties and stakeholders in series of consultations to arrest the situation and avert the impending industrial action”, adding that “the Rivers State Governor, Chief Barr Nyesom Ezenwo Wike is committed towards creating the enabling environment for business activities to strive in the state”.
Chairman of the Port Harcourt branch of IPMAN, Comrade Obele also confirmed the suspension of the strike, saying members of the association have been directed to resume full operations while the security agencies have agreed to release the impounded trucks.
Former Chairman of IPMAN, Port Harcourt branch, Comrade Emmanuel Inimgba, who commented on the matter decried a situation where petroleum marketers were targets of arrests and victims of insecurity and called for lasting solution to the challenges.
A directive of the national leadership of NUPENG has aso urged its members in the state to resume full operations.
Power Sector Loses N19.15bn In 10 Days
The nation’s power sector lost an estimated N19.15bn in 10 days due to constraints from insufficient gas supply, distribution and transmission infrastructure.
The losses were recorded in the 10 days to February 14, 2020, according to data from the Advisory Power Team in the Office of the Vice President.
The sector lost an estimated N1.96bn on February 14; N2.01bn on February 13; N2bn on February 12; N1.95bn on February 11; N2.15bn on February 10, and N1.95bn on February 9.
About N1.89bn was lost on February 8; N1.92bn on February 7; N1.77bn on February 6, and N1.55bn on February 5.
The average energy sent out on Friday, February 14, was 4,108 megawatts-hour/hour, up by 111.51 MW from the previous day.
The APT said 3,314 MW was not generated due to unavailability of gas; 188.6MW was not generated due to unavailability of transmission infrastructure, while 579.2MW was not generated due to high frequency resulting from unavailability of distribution infrastructure.
The average energy sent out last Thursday was 3,997 MWh/h, while 4,181.4MW was not generated due to gas shortage, unavailability of transmission and distribution infrastructure as well as water management.
The average energy sent out last Wednesday was 4,033 MWh/h while 4,171.4MW could not be generated by the power stations.
Last Tuesday, the average energy sent out was 3,994 MWh/h while available power generation capacity of 4,064,2M was idle.
Last Monday, the average energy sent out was 3,908 MWh/h while 4,476.4MW could not be generated by the power stations.
The average energy sent out was 3,929 MWh/h on February 9; 3,872 MWh/h on February 8; 4,040 MWh/h on February 7; 4,092 MWh/h on February 6; and 4,145 MWh/h on February 5.
The system operator put the nation’s installed generation capacity at 12,910.40MW; available capacity at 7,652.60MW; transmission wheeling capacity at 8,100MW; and the peak generation ever attained at 5,375MW.
The nation generates the bulk of its electricity from gas-fired power plants, while output from hydropower plants makes up about 30 per cent of the total.
The distribution and generation companies carved out of the defunct Power Holding Company of Nigeria were handed over to private investors on November 1, 2013, following the privatisation of the power sector.
More than six years after the privatisation, the investors who took over the power firms that emerged after the unbundling of the PHCN are still grappling with the old problems in the sector.
The sector is plagued with problems of gas supply shortages, limited distribution networks, limited transmission line capacity, huge metering gap, electricity theft, and high technical and commercial losses, among others.
Industrialist Plans Solar Plant In Rivers
A United States-based industrialist and expert in the power sector, Richard Akpaloo, says he is working out plans to set up a solar plant in Rivers State to boost power supply in the state.
Akpaloo, who spoke with The Tide in an interview recently said the project which will commence soon would be his contribution towards tackling the challenges of effective power supply in Nigeria
The Ogoni born industrialist said he chose to site the project in Rivers State because of the strategic location of the state as the hub of energy sector in the country and also a centre of industrial activities.
He hinted that feasibilities for the project had been carried out and discussions were ongoing with some technical partners in Nigeria to consolidate the project.
He said Nigeria professionals in various fields in the diaspora were ready to contribute their quota to the development of the Nigerian economy and urged governments at all levels to partner with them to move the nation forward.
The expert identified the need to embrace alternative source as a means of generating energy for effective power sector delivery, saying renewable energy has been adopted globally as a dependable source of energy.
He called for a review of Nigeria power sector policies to address the peculiar power needs in the country, adding that the operational policy in the power sector was obsolete and inefficient.
According to him, the best way to tackle the protracted power sector challenges is to allow states to generate their own power rather than relying on Federal Government to generate power alone.
He also cautioned against the politicisation of the power sector by allowing people without any technical capacity to be involved in policy formulation and implementation.
“The Federal Government alone can’t generate enough power to serve the power needs of Nigeria, there is need for public private sector partnership to provide efficient service delivery; there is also need for diversification through investment into renewable energy.
“Nigeria is blessed with potentials in hydro and solar energy which can be fully harnessed to provide sustainable power, no country in the world can survive on a generator economy. The potentials of Nigeria to be a fully industrialised society is dwindling because of the absence of effective power supply to drive the system,” he said.
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