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Oil Theft: NEITI Calls For Review Of Legislation

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The Nigerian Extractive Industry Transparent Initiative, NEITI, yesterday, called for a review of legislation and use of sophisticated technology in the oil and gas sector to reduce vandalism of pipelines, crude oil theft and illegal refining of crude.
This was part of the recommendations presented by the Executive Secretary, NEITI, Wazir Adio, in a document called, ‘The Inaugural NEITI Policy Dialogue with the theme, ‘Stemming Oil Theft in Nigeria’.
According to Adio crude oil theft happens in three ways. First, through vandalism and sabotage- when that happens crude oil is pilled and lost. Once that happens you have to short in production, and on the account of that it leads to secondly, Differed Production and this is different from loss when you are thinking of the first instance. The third part is outright theft.
He further disclosed that between 2014 and 2016, NNPC lone spent N363 billion for repairs and maintenance and that was on the average per year and that is about $400 million, and that also impacts the environment including livelihoods.
He also said an estimated range 150,000 bpd to 400, 000 being daily production is lost every day, which according to him between January and June of 2019, 22 million barrels of oil were lost and that in monetary value is $1.35 billion and that is five per cent of the 2019 budget, which put together is higher than the total allocation for health, education, defense, and Agric.
He added that the issue has been lingering for some time and goes beyond 2019 and that the total losses for 10 years (2009-2018) are $41.94 billion, and this is just the least and there is the possibility of much than this.
He said: “The current legislation to punish culprits is outdated, which if convicted the fine ranges between N100 to N5000, even the ones with jail terms have option of fine, but there is one that carries death penalty on refined products and not on crude. Stakeholders should do more on legislations, security, surveillance, community engagements, and diplomatic outreach.
“Yes a lot has been done but the problem still remains and that means look at the approach taken so far and see whether this is enough.
“The scale of infrastructure is amazing makes it difficult for police. An active market for stolen crude oil and we have to think about how to tackle it. We have to look at the legislation. The cost of those who perpetrate the act is low and they are bent on carrying out the crime.
“We must leverage on technology and deploy it including fingerprinting, molecular markers, revamp security architecture, specialized force, and communities need to be served, and allow incentives to communities by equity, and also involve the global community and make them understand it is not a Nigerian problem, which we need to have a global coalition.
Meanwhile, the Governor of Edo State, Godwin Obaseki, who was Guest of Honour at the occasion, urged the federal government to consider leasing of pipelines and also transparent surveillance contracts.
“The federal government should reconsider leasing these lines for a short while because we understand what is going on from the current owners and working with them, put in place security arrangements and infrastructural development plan for these lines because these lines are quite old and need to be replaced. Haven take over these lines we should now have proper transparent surveillance contracts”, Obaseki said.
However, he said the issue of crude oil theft is not a problem that can be eliminated in a hurry but must be tackled, hence the task is a collective responsibility.
He also urged governors in the Niger Delta region to properly utilize the 13 per cent derivation from the federal government to develop their states and give the people a sense of belonging.
The Minister of State, Petroleum, Timipre Sylva, represented by his Special Adviser, Felix Nabena, said in a goodwill message, said that “It is in the light of the above we welcome and identify with NEITI policy dialogue on combating crude oil theft in Nigeria.
The recent NEITI study and report on crude oil theft between 2009 and 2018 reveal a whooping sum of $41.9 billion worth of crude may have been stolen in the past 10 years.
“This calls for serious concern. Consequently, we must continue to review current efforts, law, solutions and some of them contained in the NIETI report. I, therefore, charge all stakeholders to reflect over this challenge persistently before us, the NEITI report and its recommendations.
Also in a goodwill message, the Group Managing Director, Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, Mele Kolo Kyari, represented by the Chief Operating Officer, Upstream, Roland Ewubare, disclosed that the Corporation has bear the brunt of crude oil theft, recording between 2001 and 2019 half-year a total of 45, 347 pipeline breaks on its downstream pipeline network.
“Sadly, today crude oil theft has become a major threat and that threat actually affects our economy in terms of our ability to meet our revenue projections and scale.
“NNPC as a player on the downstream side has felt the direct brunt of many attacks on our facilities and assets. Between 2001 and 2019 half year we recorded a total of 45, 347 pipeline breaks on our downstream pipeline network. It comes with an average of seven incidents on a daily basis.
“There is also environmental degradation caused by theft and pipeline vandalism and the environmental impact witnessed in communities is directly linked with this”, Ewubare said.

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UBEC, RSUBEB Begin Digital School Construction In Rivers

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As part of government’s efforts to realize its dream of making the nation’s educational system a global digital community, the Federal Government, through the Universal Basic Education Commission (UBEC) and the Rivers State Universal Basic Education Board (RSUBEB), have commenced the construction of a modern digital Smart Basic School in the state, with 14-month completion schedule.
The school, which is a pilot modern basic education facility, is designed by UBEC in collaboration with RSUBEB to entrench digitization of ICT-driven basic education system across the 36 states and FCT, Abuja.
Speaking with journalists at a brief handover ceremony of the proposed smart school site to UBEC by RSUBEB at the Community Primary School, Uzuoba in Obio/Akpor Local Government Area of the state, over the weekend, the National Consultant, UBEC Smart School Project, Prof Masud Abdulkarim, said the school was designed to incorporate digital technology into the basic education system in the country, which he said, has been in practice in advanced countries for years.
Abdulkarim stated that the desire of the Federal Government was to ensure that Nigerian children were not left out in the digital space, saying that the school would have great impact on the youth and give them equal opportunity to compete globally in the technology world.
He described the school as the first of its kind in the history of the country, adding that the school would have four categories that would take care of the nursery, handicapped, primary as well as junior secondary students with a maximum of 35 persons per class of two streams.
Abdulkarim noted that with the strategy, no fewer than 700 children would be enrolled into the school.
According to him, the school would afford the children the opportunity to become robotic engineers, artificial intelligence (AI) engineers and ICT engineers, and added that as future leaders, they need to be equipped and encouraged.
The UBEC consultant commended the state government for the provision of the school for the construction of the smart school, and described the site as the most suitable across the 23 states so far visited.
“Let me thank the RSUBEB for the site, in fact, it is the best and most suitable site among the 23 states we have so far visited. Because it has an existing school structure with a fence to protect our equipment and infrastructure. Moreso, the project will impact on the schools around because they will benefit from our Wi-Fi”, he stated.
Abdulkarim called on the host community to jealously guard the project as a growing child, till its maturity to adult stage, saying that they were important stakeholders in the project.
Also speaking on behalf of the Chairman of Rivers State Universal Basic Education Board (RSUBEB), Ven Fyneface Akah, a commissioner in the board, Chief Faith Amaso, called for synergy between the contractors and host community in other to remove every impediment that may affect the delivery of the project on schedule.
Akah opined that the project, when completed, would improve basic education in the state, and expressed happiness over the commencement of the project in the state.

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Rivers United Beat Young Africans Of Tanzania 1-0

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Rivers United Football Club of Port Harcourt, yesterday, at the Adokiye Amasiemaka Football Stadium, trounced the Young Africans Football Club of Tanzania 1-0 in a return leg match of the ongoing Confederation of African Football Club Champions League competition.
The stadium, which was filled to capacity, witnessed a trilling encounter, which saw the crowd craving for more.
It would be recalled that Rivers United had defeated the Young Africans of Tanzania 1-0 in the first leg of the championship at the Benjamin Mkapa Stadium, Dar-es-Salaam, Tanzania, last Sunday.
Reacting to the feat, the Chairman of Degema Local Government Area, Hon. Michael John Williams, expressed joy over the victory of the Rivers United FC of Port Harcourt against the Young Africans of Tanzania in the ongoing Confederation of African Football (CAF) Champions League.
The match, which ended 1-0 in favour of the Rivers United FC, took place at the Adokiye Amiesimaka International Stadium in Rivers State, yesterday.
Top government officials in the state, including Rivers Deputy Governor, Dr. Ipalibo Harry Banigo; LG council chairmen and commissioners, amongst other sports enthusiasts, graced the event.
Speaking on the outcome of the match, Williams stated that the Rivers United players exhibited the Rivers team spirit, which culminated in their victory.
The political heavyweight in Degema LGA, noted that nothing would be impossible for Rivers people to achieve when they work together in unison and firm determination.
He added that the massive support and huge investment in the sports sector by the Governor Nyesom Wike administration, also motivated the Rivers team, who worked hard to secure a back-to-back victory.

By: Nelson Chukwudi

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NJC Okays Six Chief Judges, 30 Others For Appointment

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The National Judicial Council (NJC), has recommended the appointment of chief judges and 30 others as judicial officers to beef up judicial functions in some states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).
At its 95th meeting held on September 15 and 16, 2021, the council considered the list of candidates presented by its Interview Committee, and recommended the 36 successful candidates to their respective state governors for appointment as heads of courts and other judicial officers in Nigeria.
They are Hon. Justice Richard O. Olorunfemi as chief judge, Kogi State, Hon. Justice Joe Itsebaga Acha for Edo, Hon. Justice Akintoroye Williams Akin for Ondo, Hon. Justice Husseini Baba Yusuf for FCT, Hon. Justice Ekaette Francesca Fabian-Obot for Akwa Ibom, and Hon. Justice J. O. Adeyeye for Ekiti State.
Others are Hon. Kadi Baba Gana Mahdi as Grand Kadi, Yobe; Umaru Ahmad Liman as Grand Kadi, Bauchi; Hon. Justice Osagede Osado Emmanuel as President, Customary Court of Appeal, Nasarawa; Hon. Justice Mashud Akintunde Akinfemi Abass as President, Customary Court of Appeal, Oyo State; and Siyaka Momoh Jimoh Usman as President, Customary Court of Appeal, Kogi State.
Three judges are recommended for High Court of Gombe, and they are Zainab Abdulkadir Rasheed, Abdussalam Muhammad, and Daurabo Suleiman Sikka.
Akwa Ibom has Effiong Asukwo Effiong; Bauchi has Nana Fatima Jibril; while Kaduna High Court has Abdulkarim Mahmud.
The three candidates recommended for Katsina State are Kabir Shuaibu, Ibrahim Ishaku Mashi, and Ibrahim Abubakar Mande, while Prof Alero Akeredolu was recommended for Ondo State.
Four successful candidates for Oyo State are Olusola Adebisi Adetujoye, Folabimpe Beatrice Segun Olakojo, Prof Taiwo Elijah Adewale, and Kareem Adeyimika Adedokun.
Kogi State has three candidates, and they are Abubakar Sule Ibrahim, Abdullah Sulyman, as well as Aminu Ali Eri.
Two Kadis for Sharia Court of Appeal are Adamu Kuna Jibril and Ahmed Baba Bala, while the four for Bauchi are Musa Sani Abubakar, Mahdi Manga, Khamis Al-Hamidallah Muhammad and Sani Musa with Ondo State having one in the person of Orimisan James Okorisa and Oyo Customary Court of Appeal having Ajadi Olubukola Omolayo.
A statement by the NJC Director of Information, Mr Soji Oye, and released in Abuja, yesterday, said that all the recommended candidates are expected to be sworn-in after approval by President Muhammadu Buhari, and their respective state governors, and confirmation by the respective state Houses of Assembly.

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