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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

A’Ibom Seeks Int’l Support Against Insecurity

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Governor Udom Emmanuel of Akwa Ibom State has called for more collaboration between countries in tackling insecurity in the world.
Emmanuel, who made the call while interacting with Foreign Defence Attaches and staff of the Defence Intelligence Agency at the Government House, Uyo said that stronger ties between countries would assist in combating insecurity.
The governor, who also called for stronger ties between countries, said that more collaboration was urgently needed in stemming the tide of terrorism in different countries.
”We believe that defence and security should be number one. We believe that once we get our nation secured, we can fight other vices that might actually derail what we do as a country.
”These days, people talk about cyber terrorism, fake news, rogue organisations, terrorist network and others that have occupied the global space.
“I just want to believe that if all nations collaborate, we can actually fight terrorism and other security challenges to a minimal level,” he said.
The governor, who decried the spate of security challenges in different countries, said that his administration was committed to the development of the state’s air, road and water sectors.
The governor said that the proposed Safe City project would be directed at checkmating criminality and makes the state attractive to more investors.
“We are building a network that would promote the Ease Doing Business and make this state actually attractive to our foreign partners.
”We have also installed a whole lot of systems and technologies needed for effective security monitoring.
“We are just one state in this country that is in the process of implementing a safe city system that will actually enable proper monitoring and effective control of criminal activities,’’ he said.
Emmanuel commended the Defence Intelligence team for the visit, adding that there were huge investment opportunities that foreigners could exploit in the state.

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Niger Delta

SPDC Reassures On Host Communities’ Development

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Shell Development Company of Nigeria (SPDC) says it is prioritising development of its host communities which provide operational environment for oil and gas exploration in Niger Delta using the Global Memorandum of Understanding (GMoU) template.
The General Manager, External Relations at SPDC, Mr Igo Weli stated this in Yenagoa during the inauguration of completed projects at Tarakiri Cluster Development Cluster in Ekeremor and Sagbama Local Government Areas of Bayelsa State.
Weli said SPDC had completed 24 projects for N496.9 million in six communities within the Tarakiri cluster.
Weli, represented by Mr Evans Krukrubo, External Relations Manager, West Asset, listed Ayamasa, Agbere, Isampou, Ofoni, Agbialama and Egbema in Ekeremo and Sagbama Local Government Areas as the benefiting communities.
“Where the environment supports our business and we run our operations without disruptions, SPDC is committed to increasing the Social Investment that we make to host communities and to Nigeria.
“A peaceful and enabling environment allows SPDC Joint Venture to put more funding to social investment that benefits all our people.
“SPDC has disbursed about N41.1 billion to the 37 active clusters from 2006 till date for community development under the GMoU template,’’ he said.
Speaking on behalf of the benefiting communities, Dr Jude Ebibokefie, Chairman of Tarakiri Cluster Development Board, commended SPDC for promptly meeting its funding obligations which facilitated the completion of the projects.
He explained that the projects cut across infrastructure, skills acquisition and human capacity empowerment as well as scholarships executed and implemented by the established organs in the GMoU agreement which runs for a five year period.
The Tide’s source reports that some 25 women who successfully completed skills acquisition trainings received a startup grant of N41.1 million at the occasion.

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Niger Delta

Serial Killings: Police Lament Delay In Prosecuting Prime Suspect

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The Police in Rivers State has lamented that murder charges against suspected serial killer, Gracious David-West is pending in the High Court one week after it was filed.
The State Commissioner of Police, Mustapha Dandaura stated this when he led the police management team on a courtesy visit to the Chief Judge of Rivers State, Justice Adama Iyayi Lamikanra, at her office in Port Harcourt.
Dandaura further said the delay in the dispensation of justice and granting of cheap bail conditions to high profile criminals were some of the challenges facing the police in criminal cases.
According to the State Police boss. “First of all I want to talk on the issue of speedy assigning of cases. Sometimes we will file cases in the High Court and for a long time we will not be given date to come and prosecute these cases.
“Like this David-West (the suspected serial killer) that was arrested. We have already filed this case over a week ago. We are still waiting. We do not want to charge him to the magistrate court because the offences here are for the High Court. It is a murder case.
“When we waited and we could not get any date and we are still waiting; I was asked why not charge him to magistrate Court?
Responding, the Chief Judge of Rivers State, Justice Lamikanra, promised that the trial of David West will receive speedy attention following the nature of the crime, adding that other demands of the police would be looked into.
Meanwhile the police said its operatives killed a suspected cultist and kidnap kingpin who had been terrorizing passengers along the Omerelu-Owerri Road, spokesperson of the State Police Command, Nnamdi Omoni, who disclosed this to newsmen in Port Harcourt.
Omoni said the suspect was killed during a gun battle with policemen, noting that the deceased along with his fleeing gang members had attempted to hijack a commercial vehicle returning to Port Harcourt from Owerri before meeting his waterloo.
The State Police image maker said, “There was an attempt to hijack a bus at the Omerelu-Owerri Road. But the timely intervention of our men foiled that attack and a notorious kidnapper by the name Promise Nduka whose gang members have been terrorizing that axis was killed in the crossfire.

 

Dennis Naku

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