The Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Timipre Sylva, has said updating some of nation’s petroleum laws will help reduce or completely eliminate the spate of disagreements and lawsuits currently witnessed in the oil sector.
Sylva disclosed this in Abuja at a workshop organised by the Petroleum Technology Development Fund (PTDF) for counsels of the Federal Ministry of Justice and operators in the oil sector.
He said: “The Nigerian oil and gas industry is a dynamic one. The exploration, production and contracting processes are complex and rapidly changing. The need for state counsels to be up to date with current happenings of the industry cannot be over-emphasised.
“For many years, the Nigerian oil and gas industry has been operating in an agglomeration of legislations and guidelines, which sometimes are not in harmony with the industry trends practiced globally. The oil and gas industry had developed focusing on increasing indigenous participation.”
Sylva, who was represented by his Chief of Staff, Mr Moses Olamide, added: “Our best bet for the industry; it is better we write our laws very clearly. It is better we do all the negotiations possible. It is better we do all the reconciliation and conciliation that are possible before we sign off on our laws.
“It is going to reduce a lot of acrimony. It is going to reduce a lot of fighting in the industry. Hence, we appeal to the lawyers in this regard. It is better we write our legal matters very clearly so as to eliminate all the acrimony that might arise in the legal system.”
COVID-19: IBEDC Assures Customers Of Uninterrupted Services
The Ibadan Electricity Distribution Company (IBEDC), has said that it is committed to ensuring regular power supply to its customers in the event of a national shutdown due to COVID-19 pandemic.
Head, Branding and Corporate Communication of IBEDC, Mrs Angela Olarenwaju, said this in a statement yesterday.
Olarenwaju said the company’s statutory duty would not be crippled by the pandemic.
According to her, the management is prepared to service its esteemed customers through various online platforms for payment, vending of power and resolving customers’ complaints.
She said that the company in its bid to help prevent the spread of COVID-19, was scaling down people’s presence in business locations.
She said this would help to limit physical interactions between employees and customers until the situation improves.
“The management particularly instructed all Customer Relationship Officers, Commercial Line Workers and any other employees that interface with customers to stop their activities immediately until they are well equipped to handle the situation.
”Similarly, gloves, hand sanitisers and medical masks have been distributed across our franchise to ensure the safety of all the staff on essential duties who cannot work remotely.
”IBEDC management is, therefore, strongly recommending that customers should call the customer care number 07001239999 to report faults and make enquiries.
”They should make use of our hassle-free payment platform such as www.festwallet.com, www.quickteller.com,USSD,M cash, transact or visit www.ibedc.com for more options,” she said.
Olarenwaju said this was to reduce physical contact in order to comply with the social distancing prevention protocol.
NUPENG Issues Stay At Home Order To Members
Against the backdrop of the growing cases of the deadly coronavirus disease and the stay at home order given by the federal government and states governments, the Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG) has directed its members who are petroleum tanker drivers and petrol station workers to stay at home.
Others it ordered to stay at home were the petroleum depot workers, independent marketers employees, oil and gas suppliers, surface tankers, kerosene peddlers, and liquefied petroleum gas retailers.
This is following concerns over the health and safety of the people in the informal sector that NUPENG described as its ‘vulnerable members.’
The union said it was concerned that in the course of serving the nation, this set of its members might become exposed to the virus.
NUPENG in a statement on Tuesday, cautioned members in the affected sectors and other stakeholders in the downstream sector of the Nigeria oil and gas industry to diligently follow international protocols, including the recommended health and safety measures given by the World Health Organisation and the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control.
It urged them to maintain social distancing, excellent personal hygiene and keep the work environment safe, while discharging their essential services in the downstream sector of the economy and to the general public.
The union added that it was monitoring the unfolding situation while also putting into account the safety and welfare of the vulnerable and integral segments of its membership.
The statement signed by the union’s National President, Williams Akporeha and the General Secretary, Afolabi Olawale, read in part, “In the light of the above, the union may be forced to direct these workers to stay at home with effect from 00.00hrs on Friday 27th March 2020, this is a very difficult decision but necessary and important with respect to the safety of these set of workers who are our members in the informal sector.
“Meanwhile, NUPENG is also using this opportunity to encourage all our members across the country to continue to adhere strictly to social distancing and high level of hygienic behaviour at work, at home, on the streets and with everyone they interface with in their daily activities.
“This is to reduce the spread of the contagious Covid-19 and keep the socio-economic activities of the country alive industrially, domestically and commercially.”
… As NNPC Directs Workers To Work From Home
The management of Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), has directed all office-based workers below management cadre across all its formations to work from home with effect from today.
It said the order was in compliance with the Federal Government’s directive on the COVID -19.
In a statement, its Group General Manager, Group Public Affairs Division, Dr Kennie Obateru, said the directive was conveyed to the NNPC workforce via a message signed by the state-run oil firm’s Group Managing Director, Mallam Mele Kyari.
He directed all NNPC Strategic Business Units (SBUs) to activate their business continuity plans immediately to ensure minimal disruption to operations while protecting staff from exposure to the COVID-19.
The NNPC leadership, since the outbreak of the Coronavirus disease, has been providing daily enlightenment to workers on how to keep themselves and their families safe from infection.
Among others, it has ensured a compulsory temperature check on all staff and visitors, frequent handwash and the use of hand-sanitiser at points of entry into the Towers and all other locations of the corporation and the maintenance of social distancing at all times.
Meanwhile, the NNPC has condoled with the family of Suleiman Achimugu, who passed on in the early hours of Monday after a bout with COVID-19.
It said the deceased who was Managing Director of the then Pipelines and Products Marketing Company (PPMC), a downstream subsidiary of NNPC, went into self-isolation upon return from the United Kingdom on March 10, 2020.
Consequent upon reporting palpable symptoms of Coronavirus disease, the NNPC Medical Services team collaborated with the National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) and the Public Health Department to ensure that all laid down protocol were followed in handling the case of the late engineer who retired on July 24, 2009 as Group General Manager, Renewable Energy Division (RED) of NNPC.
The corporation, in the release stated that its thought and prayers were with the entire members of the Achimugu family at this time.
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