In a bid to improve the standard of living of the host communities, Eroton Oil Exploration and Production has executed some life-impacting projects in Bille and Krakrama communities of Rivers State.
Eroton E & P is a joint venture partner with the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) in the operation of Oil Mining License (OML) 18 which until 2014 belonged to Shell in the Cawthine channels and areas around Asari-Toru Local Government Area of Rivers State.
Some of the projects executed in Bille include furnishing of the palace of Amanyanabo of Bille Kingdom and administrative block, renovation and equipping of a 6-bed health centre, installation of 10,000 litres borehole water scheme at Jike-Ama, installation of 10 solar panel street lights at Touma, donation of 50 plastic tables and 5000 plastic chairs for Bille women forum and construction of one-line drainage channel of 245 metres at Opu-Osia community, among others.
The Tide reports that the projects were executed under the GMoU platform managed by the Degema Local Government Area (DELGA) 1 Cluster Development Board (CDB).
Speaking at the event last Monday in Bille, Eroton E&P Community Affairs representative, Emmanuel Toby, appreciated the efforts of Bille community to keep peace in the Kingdom.
He said: “Its one area we see you utilise the funds we are giving and I will tell you the truth, any time you come forward with project, we look at it very well and we seem to bend, compared to other clusters”.
“This women empowerment thing we did, in other communities, we did not accept it because we are scared that the money will just go off. But for the trust we have in Bille, we have bent because we know you will manage it well. We are very grateful to your people, for the station has been peaceful”.
The chairman of DELGA 1 Cluster Development Board, Firimabo Bob Ogunga, thanked Eroton E&P for commissioning the sustainable community developments projects in the area, saying that some of the projects initiated through the GMoU platform have been completed while others were ongoing.
According to him, the ongoing projects include provision of laboratory equipment at community secondary school Bille, construction of 6-room concrete public toilet at Iwo Ama, Bille; training of three Bille indigenes in oil well compression and reservoiur engineering and provision of borehole water at Opu Billeboko Ama.
In his remarks, the chairman, Bille Kingdom Chiefs’ Council, Alabo Benneth Okpokiye Dokubo OPu commended Eroton for its efforts to lift the Bille community out of poverty of development.
Similarly, in Krakrama community, Eroton commissioned projects which include installation of 10,000 litres of water scheme split at three strategic locations, renovation and equipping of six class-room block for Community Secondary School, Krakrama, provision of 200 classroom desks and inscription of Joint Venture Logo for Krakrama Community Secondary School and women support scheme through provision of sewing machine and hair dressing items.
The Amayanabo of Krakrama, King Iwari Gibson Bala, who was represented by Chief Albert Light Dabobiongbo, lauded Eroton for improving the living standard of the community through people-oriented projects, assuring that the community would always keep faith with the company.
The Eroton Community Affairs representative, Emmanuel Toby, said that the company would continue to ensure that projects executed in the host communities were viable and sustainable on a long term basis, adding that the company would also continue to award scholarships to indigenes of Krakrama and Bille at secondary and tertiary levels of education, as well as in the area of medical outreach.
Group Moves Against Oil Theft
A group known as the Association of Surface Tank Oil and Gas Retailers (ASTOGRN) says it will work with other stakeholders to fight the menace of oil theft in the Niger Delta.
Chairperson of the group in Rivers State, Comrade Patience Uche, who spoke with The Tide in an interview in Port Harcourt at the weekend, said the body has inaugurated a special committee to work with other stakeholders to address issues of oil theft and pipeline vandalism.
She said statistics has revealed that oil bunkering activities and pipeline vandalisation in the Niger Delta cost the Federal Government about N5.9bn annually.
Apart from the huge losts in revenue, she said oil bunkering and pipeline vandalisation had also resulted in the lost of lives as most of the vandals are always consumed in pipeline explosions during the bunkering exercises.
Comrade Uche who decried the increasing involvement of youths in illegal bunkering activities advocated for a more proactive and corrective measure to bring lasting solution to the vice.
According to her, part of the solution is the building of modular refineries in the Niger Delta and developing the capacities of youths in the region to be actively involved in the oil and gas industry.
“Most of the youths who got involved in illegal oil bunkering and lost their lives in the process could have played a more creative and productive role in the oil and gas industry if they were functionally trained.
The Federal Government should be serious about the establishment of modular refineries and the training of youths to participate in the process, this will go a long way to tackle the challenges of illegal bunkering in the Niger Delta,” she said.
She said the major drive of the association was to make oil and gas bussines rural based, “to improve the socio economic and general living conditions of its members”
According to her, the association will achieve the targets by encouraging its members to have their licences from the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) to be actively involved in the oil and gas business.
She pointed out that the initiative will also reduce petroleum supplies from foreign marketers through importation of products, and kill the spirit of bunkering from vandals as well as increase the Federal Government revenue on Surface Tank Retails bussines in Nigeria.
‘Consumers Paid More For Diesel, Other Items In Dec’
The prices of a litre of diesel and kerosene as well as a kilogram of cooking gas rose last month, according to latest reports released by the National Bureau of Statistics.
The NBS said the average price paid by consumers for automotive gas oil (diesel) increased by 2.10 per cent month-on-month and by 3.72 per cent year-on-year to N229.81 in December 2019 from N225.08 in November.
It said the states with the highest average price of diesel were Benue (N266.25), Borno (N257.36) and Taraba (N246.67) while those with the lowest average price were Rivers (N203.81), Bayelsa (N209.17) and Ekiti (N215.00).
The average price per litre paid by consumers for national household kerosene increased by 0.96 per cent month-on-month and by 10.27 per cent year-on-year to N320.59 in December from N317.54 in November.
States with the highest average price per litre of kerosene were Imo (N386.01), Gombe (N380.95), and Adamawa (N360.21), while those with the lowest average price were Delta (N260.48), Borno (N269.81) and Abuja (N273.33).
The average price for the refilling of a 5kg cylinder for liquefied petroleum gas (cooking gas) increased by 0.92 per cent month-on-month to N2,018.68 in December from N2,000.29 in November.
According to the NBS, states with the highest average price for the refilling of a 5kg cylinder for LPG were Bauchi (N2,491.57), Borno (N2,383.33) and Adamawa (N2,379.36).
Many businesses and households in the country rely heavily on petrol- and diesel-powered generators for electricity as power supply from the national grid remains poor.
Unlike petrol, diesel and kerosene have been deregulated and their pump prices are adjusted to reflect the reality in the global crude oil markets.
The NBS said the average price paid by consumers for premium motor spirit (petrol) decreased by 0.29 per cent year-on-year and by 0.41 per cent month-on-month to N145.35 in December from N145.94 in November.
It said states with the highest average price of petrol were Benue (N148.50), Kebbi (N147.69) and Abia (N147.33), while those with the lowest average price were Taraba (N143.13), Abuja (N143.67) and Jigawa (N144.14).
Group Lauds FG Over Planned Repositioning Of NDDC
A group known as Patriotic Forum of Niger Delta (PAFOND) has commended President Muhammadu Buhari over his plans to reposition the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) to live up to its statutory mandate of developing the Niger Delta region.
The commendation was part of a communiqué issued at the End of Year general meetings of the forum in Port Harcourt, and made available to The Tide.
The communiqué which was signed by the National chairman of the forum, comrade Owo Udoh, and the National Secretary, Comrade Daniel Wilson, stated that the Niger Delta had continued to suffer development neglect despite its huge to the Nigeria economy.
The forum urged the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Godswill Akpabio, to commence the construction of roads in the Niger Delta and embark on other projects that will create meaningful impact on the lives of the people.
The group also called on other Niger Delta indigenes serving in the Buhari government,, particularly the Minister of Transportation, Chibuike Amaechi, to attract development projects to the Niger Delta.
The forum called on the governors of the Niger Delta states to channel the resources of the states for proper economic development of the region.
The group which expressed regrets over the, “infrastructural decay” in the Niger Delta, said development potentials in the oil rich region can be properly harnessed if the budgetary allocations for the development of the region are not diverted into personal coffers.
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