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Niger Delta

Energy Expert Blames Sabotage On Host Com Exclusion

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The decision by the Federal Government to delay the implementation of the community engagement standards in Niger-Delta may have resulted in the spate of unwholesome activities in the region, an energy expert, Meka Olowola, has said.
Olowola in a chat with newsmen yesterday argued that the inability of the government to review its strategy and approach to conflict resolution in the region is having negative consequences on the country’s oil earnings.
The negative consequences of the activities according to him, include pipeline vandalism, crude oil theft and other untoward practices in the region, adding that the development has slowed down oil production in Nigeria.
Speaking on strategies to reducing vandalism and theft in the sector, Olowola said the implementation of the engagement standards is inevitable, if the country must put an end to such activities.
He emphasised the need for Federal Government to review the comprehensive standards and principles of community engagement put forward by sustainability inclined stakeholders in the sector led by the Ministry of Petroleum Resources, Facility for Oil Sector Transparency and Reform (FOSTER II) in Nigeria, CSR-in-Action.
He said standards are products of painstaking research and will help in laying solid structures to tackle community conflicts and reduce oil theft as well as illegal bunkering.
He identified commitment to acceptable engagement standards across the value chain as a panacea to incessant conflicts in communities that play host to oil and gas exploration companies and counselled that Nigeria should enforce the much-needed discipline in the oil and gas sector, which according to him is currently marred with violence and corruption.
Olowola said the challenges facing both oil companies and communities in the Niger Delta region could be prevailed over with proper stakeholder engagement and communication.
He stressed that the need for oil companies to engage in multilayered dialogue with host communities and the government could not be overestimated, saying the community engagement standards gives insights as to how this can be achieved using real-life scenarios.
He specifically said: “The rising tension between oil companies in the upstream sector and their host communities call for a multi-stakeholder engagement approach. Companies need to see their host communities as business partners and as such must do everything possible to ensure that the relationship is mutually as beneficial as possible. The change of outlook will invariably impact the attitude of members of oil-producing states towards companies”
‘’Following the establishment of clear communication lines between all stakeholders, oil companies must proceed to launch sustainable and far-reaching CSR activities.
“The practice of CSR transcends charitable donations and companies need to obtain a full understanding of this fact which will change the conduct of firms across the nation. The Community Engagement Standards codifies the best approach to optimising the gains of the oil & gas sector”

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Niger Delta

Resumption Date: Consult Us Now, Bayelsa State NUT Urges Government

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Nigeria Union of Teachers, NUT,Bayelsa state wing has advised the Bayelsa state Government not to undermine the role of their union in ensuring better and qualitative Education in the state.

The Union through its Secretary, Comrade Johnson Hector made their position known to The Tide at the weekend in Yenagoa, the state capital.

He mentioned that upon the shot down of the Educational system in the state following the novel corona virus pandemic,save for rumours the Union has heard from some undisclosed sources on  a possible resumption date,the Government has not consulted the NUT on a suitable school reopening date.

The Teachers’ union scribe urged the Government to as a matter of utmost interest for the Education of the Children and wards of Bayelsans show proof of their preparedness to resume schools amidst increasing cases of Covid-19 in the state as it has been making the rounds.

According to him the state primary and post primary Educational sub sectors have deficit of Teachers,noting that more worrisome is that the largest number of schools and students are in

the rural areas where they lack sufficient awareness on Covid-19, just as he stated that there is also the menace of inadequate health facilities to contain the spread of the disease in the event of infection amongst students and Teachers respectively.

“We’ve made our position on resumption date known to the Government through our national body”, he said.

“So if the state Government wouldn’t heed to our advise and resume schools in the state amidst worsening cases of Covid-19 then maybe we’ll ask our Teachers to sit at home”, he added.

“Can the Government provide PPEs such as sanitizers,face marks,running water and soaps for all the Government owned schools in the state?” The NUT scribe asserted.

“They must not forget that our schools are predominantly in the hinterlands where there’s still little or no awareness on the containment of Covid-19”, he restated.

“In most of these communities there’re no health facilities.So let the Government tell us how they can contain the pandemic in these localities in the event of an outbreak in any school there”, the union added.

You would recall that there have been back and forth resumption dates of schools in Nigeria amidst worsening cases of the novel corona virus disease,with the Federal Government hinting that  August,3, 2020 is the new date while the Bayelsa NUT says the state Government has kept the union in the dark on a possible date.

By Ariwera Ibibo-Howells, Yenagoa.

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Niger Delta

Bayelsa State Governor, Diri Urges Support For Sylva, NCDMB Boss

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The Governor of Bayelsa State, Douye Diri, has urged the people of the state and the Ijaw nation to support the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Timipre Sylva, and the Executive Secretary of the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB), Simbi Wabote.

Diri called for the support while reacting to a recent online publication which tended to cast aspersions on Sylva and the NCDMB headed by Wabote.

He said the duo deserved the support of all well-meaning people of the state and indeed the Ijaw nation, describing them as illustrious sons of Bayelsa.

The governor in a statement on Thursday by his spokesperson, Mr Daniel Alabrah, noted that what Bayelsa needed at this time was for everyone to seek the good and development of the state, regardless of political affiliation or persuasion.

“Chief Sylva, having served as governor of Bayelsa, contributed and is still contributing his quota to development of our state. Now he is an appointee of Mr. President, serving as the Minister of State for Petroleum. The best we can do as a state and as a people is to continue to support him. Politics should not be allowed to divide us”he said.

Diri, while also commending the NCDMB boss, said Wabote carved a niche for himself in the oil industry as a top executive with Shell before his appointment to drive the country’s local content policy.

“So far in my view, Engr. Wabote has done very well and continues to break new grounds in implementing Nigeria’s local content policy. As a state, we are very proud of him and the work he is doing. With the location of the magnificent NCDMB head office in Yenagoa, my administration has ensured and created the enabling environment for its seamless operations,”he added.

The governor said his administration’s doors were open for collaboration with the ministry and the agency that both Sylva and Wabote represent, stressing that all hands must be on deck to attract positive development to the state.

 

 

By Ariwera Ibibo-Howells,Yenagoa.

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Niger Delta

Bayelsa State NUT Disowns Splinter Group, Says ASUSS Is Illegal.

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Nigerian union of Teachers,NUT Bayelsa state wing has disssociated self from a splinter group, the Academic staff Union of Secondary Schools, ASUSS.

In a statement made available to The Tide during the week, NUT through the duo of the state chairman, comrades Kalama Tonpre and Secretary, Johnson Hector dissociated the state wing of the NUT from the new group saying it is not a registered Trade Union neither is it qualified to be registered under the Trade Union Act.

The statement reads in parts: “it needs to be made clear that the said Academic staff union of secondary schools, ASUSS, is just a splinter group of the NUT.”

“They’re not a registered Trade Union, neither are they registrable under the Trade Union Act 2004(cap T.14 section 5(2). A union can only be said to have been registered as trade union when issued certificate of registration by the Registrar of Trade union at the Federal Ministry of Labour and Employment and not the Corporate Affairs Commission, CAC.”

“ASUSS case which falls under the companies and allied natters act, CAMA only makes it a business or commercial outfit which has nothing

to do with Trade Unionism”, the statement added.

NUT alleged that what ASUSS currently parades to deceive unsuspecting teachers and Government is an internal memo of the Federal Ministry of Labour and Employment and not a certificate of registration as a Trade Union.

They warned Teachers members of the NUT to desist forthwith from paying check-off dues to ASUSS, saying that similar confussion  of this sort occurred in other states where the registrar of trade unions said that ASUSS remains an association and is neither qualified to carry out trade union activities nor entitled to collect check-off dues.

The union noted that a purported claim made by ASUSS that a recent judgement by the court of Appeal in Benue state in the case of NUT Benue state wing versus ASUSS was in their favour is incorrect and misleading, restating that no court in Nigeria has conferred on ASUSS the right to operate as a Trade Union without any registration certificate.

Following the alleged claims,NUT said, they are therefore calling on the Bayelsa state Government to proscribe ASUSS, saying it is not recognized by extant trade union laws to represent secondary school teachers in the state.

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