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Monarch Chellenges Shell, HYPREP On Ogoni Clean-Up

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As the plans for Ogoni clean-up gets underway, all stakeholders including the Hydrocarbon Pollution Remediation Project (HYPREP) and Shell Development Petroleum Company (SPDC), have been told to obey local content in order to encourage development in the affected communities.
The Mene Bua Numuu II of Gokana Kingdom, HRH Mene Panedom Badon, made the call in a chat with newsmen at the weekend in Port Harcourt.
He said that it would be unfair to execute a project of such magnitude in Ogoniland without involving the immediate victims of the oil spill.
Badon reasoned that the framers of Local Content Act did so in a bid to encouraging rural development.
The Gokana monarch argued that the presence of local contractors in the spill site would mean a lot to the people whom he said would feel a sense of belonging.
According to him, using foreigners alone in the project would be against the interest of the people, in that, they do not know much about the plight of the people and how best to help out.
He also pointed out that projects of that nature ought to be done in line with the peoples request, adding that only the locals have the potentials to identify such areas.
According to him, it would require the engagement of a local contractor to commence operations on the areas that would benefit the people immediately while the programme lasts.
Other reasons he advanced for the involvement of local content development was job creation for the local people, and safety of contractors deployed to the area.
The monarch who further warned against any form of politicking in the project, said that the best international practice associated with oil spill clean-up, must be strictly followed to avoid counter-production.
“All forms of political games must not be played around the Ogoni clean-up exercise. I said this because the people would be tempted to revolt, if anything outside the agreement was imported into it by anyone” he warned.
Earlier, the traditional ruler had called on the Federal Government to prevail on the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), SPDC and others, not to renege on the payment formular, stressing that the principle of polluter pays must be followed to the later.
It would be recalled that about $177 million has been recently approved for the much awaited Ogoni Clean-up.

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Stakeholders Want NNPC To Resuscitate PH, Kaduna Refineries

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Some stakeholders in the oil and gas sector have urged the federal government to give priority attention to the planned resuscitation of the nation’s ailing  refineries for full production in 2022.
The stakeholders expressed their news in separate interviews with The Tide  recently, wile reacting to the announcement by the Group Managing Director of the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Mallam Mele Kyari, that the Port Harcourt and Kaduna refineries would be fully operational in 2022.
Former chairman of the National union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG), Port Harcourt  Refinery branch, Comrade Alex Agworwor said the government should fulfil the promise and not politcise the state of the refineries.
Comrade Agworwor said the poor operational standards of the existing refineries in the country had made Nigeria to depend on the importation of refined products.
“Nigeria is estimated to hold approximately 37 billion barrels of proven oil reserve which is the second biggest in Africa. The country, however, imports majority of its domestic refined products due to lack of domestic refining capacity, this doesn’t create a good and promising picture of the country as a major oil producing nation.
The federal government through its relevant agencies should ensure that our refineries are functional, while the building of new ones should be considered, “ he said.
In his own views, the Chairman of the Port Harcourt branch of the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria, (IPMAN), Comrade Emmanuel Inimgba, also called on the federal government to speed up the revamping of the existing refineries in the country and build new ones to  enhance the capacity utilisation and also address the deficits recorded  as a result of the poor state of the refineries.
“Despite Nigeria’s huge potentials in the oil and gas sector, the country still depends heavily on the importation of refined products for domestic consumption. The federal government must make concrete efforts to boost the capacity of our refineries to meet up the needs of Nigerians and cut fuel importation. This will also help us the independent marketers to have a liverage to perform effectively,” he said.

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Electricity Consumers Flay PHED Over High Bills

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Electricity consumers in Port Harcourt have expressed dissatisfaction over the escalated electricity bill issued by the Port Harcourt Electricity Distribution Company (PHED)for the month of September, 2019.
Some electricity users who spoke with our correspondent at the weekend, said they received an additional bill from PHED for the month of September contrary to regular bills. Some of the electricity consumers who stormed the various PHED offices for explanation, described the increase in the bills as arbitrary.
A visibly angered customer, Mr Pedro Itah told The Tide at  the Rumuola office of PHED, that he was not satisfied with the increase.
“In the bills as there was no commensurate services to warrant such increase; “ I am totally disappointed by PHED for increasing  electricity bills without rendering a quality services, we are daily facing the challenges of epileptic power supply, yet PHED is increasing bills, this is unacceptable”
Another customer who spoke with our correspondent at the Elekahia office of PHED also decried the increase in the electricity bills.
“We normally pay N15,000,00 as our monthly bill but it was increased to N20,000,00 in the month of September. I don’t know what prompted the increase, what we look up to is improved services not increase in bills when power supply is still very poor,” he said.
Meanwhile, a staff of PHED who spoke on the condition of anonymity said the increase was a policy to deduct outstanding debts from customers, explaining that the increase was only for the month of September.
Efforts to reach the Corporate Affairs Manager of PHED, John Onyi for explanation proved abortive as he did not respond to calls.

 

Taneh Beemene

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NDPR Doles Out N11.1m To Host Community

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As part of its corporate social responsibilities, the Niger Delta Petroleum Resources (NDPR) has released N11,120,000 to its host community as health grant for the elderly and re-electrification of the community.
The Head, Community Relations and Security, NDPR, Alhaji Buba Umaru, while handing over the cheques, numbering 249 to the head of Ogbele community in Ahoada West Local Government Area, last Thursday, at the company’s premises.
He said that of the amount, N9.92 million was for medicals of the elderly while N1.2 million was for re-electrification of the community, explaining that the health grant was annual fund given to the elderly in the community.
Umaru thanked members of the community for their peaceful disposition, stressing that in all the years NDPR has operated in Ogbele community, there has been peaceful co-existence.
According to him, “we have a good working relationship with our host community, we can’t remember if we ever had a blockade in our facility”.
He noted that the cordial relationship has helped “us to operate freely within the community, which gives the community members to freely notify us of any need they might have.”
Receiving the cheques, the Chairman, Ogbele Community Council, Mr Chinedum Ake, thanked NDPR for the kind gesture and promised that the cheques which had already been written in recipients’ names, would be distributed accordingly.

 

Tonye Nria-Dappa

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