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MEND Threatens To Shut Shell Operations Over Alleged LC Act Violation

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The Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND) has threatened to shut down operations of oil major, Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC), over its alleged contravention of Local Content Act pertaining to the appointment of expatriates.
The threat is contained in an electronic mail by MEND’s spokesperson, ‘General’ Gbomo Jommo, yesterday.
The statement said MEND’s attention had been drawn to the alleged nefarious activities of the SPDC which is intended to instigate fresh crises in the Niger Delta and the nation at large.
It said their bitterness bordered on the alleged violation of the Nigerian Content Development Act 2010 and the politics of selective implementation as demonstrated by the SPDC.
MEND said contrary to the provisions of the Act, the SPDC had allegedly continued to disrespectfully engage and retain the services of expatriates in strategic positions that should be held by qualified local content personnel.
The militant group said: “For the avoidance of doubt, we like to point out a clear example of such disrespect for the Act – the appointment and retention of a certain Mr. De Meyer Thierry as manager of Well Engineering.
“It is imperative to note that the office of general manager of Well Engineering in the SPDC before the advent of the Local Content Act in Nigeria was occupied by expatriates (foreigners, ‘the whites’).
“As a matter of fact, the office was occupied by Mr Hans Flikeman (an expatriate). Upon the advent of the Act, however, critical stakeholders including the Ijaw Youth Council, Ijaw National Congress and others took it up with the oil giant, which led to the appointment of Mr Oluruntoba Akinmoladun as the first indigenous general manager of Well Engineering. Thankfully, Mr. Oluruntoba was able to complete his tenure in the company.
“In keeping with the tenure and provisions of the Act, the SPDC upon the expiration of Akinmoladun’s tenure appointed Mr Isaac Iyamu, as general manager. He, thus, took over from Mr. Oluruntoba Akinmoladun.
“Owing to the trademark character of racism and divide and rule, the SPDC framed up Mr Isaac Iyamu and removed him subsequently as manager of Well Engineering in its operations.
“To our utter surprise, they replaced him with an expatriate, a ‘white man’ in utter violation of the Local Content Act. The expatriate who they used in replacing Isaac Iyamu is a certain Mr. De Meyer Thierry. We watched in anger as De Meyer Thierry served out the remainder of the tenure of Isaac Iyamu.
“Again, it is important to point out that the tenure of De Meyer Thierry has now elapsed but the SPDC has continued to retain him as general manager, Well Engineering contrary to the provisions of law. Here lies our bitterness and anger.”
MEND noted that SPDC could not dare to infringe the laws in its home country but felt absolute that it could take the nation and its laws for a ride.
The group said by the oil firm’s action, it was inviting crises in the Niger Delta and as well setting the stage to endanger its operations in the region.
The MEND added: “At a time like this when all hands are on deck to ensure peace in the energy vault and economic hub of the nation, Shell is conversely setting the stage to turn the hands of the clock to the dark old days of total unrest.
“May we here state that we will not beg the SPDC to do the right thing. We will never, never do that! We are by this letter giving Shell a marching ultimatum to immediately replace De Meyer Thierry with a Niger Deltan in line with the Local Content Act, or face a total dismantling of its operations, including the generality of oil and gas operations in the Niger Delta.
“The SPDC is hereby advised to look within its rank and file, of which we are sure there are eminently qualified Niger Deltan people to occupy that office as provided by law. We urge them to forthwith put an end to their white supremacist tendency in the interest of peace.
The group, therefore, urged the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Chief Timipre Sylva, the group managing director of NNPC and all other concerned agencies to use their good offices to save the economy and the nation from this imminent crisis that the SPDC intended to bring upon the people.”

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Trans-Kalabari Road: Banigo, Stakeholders Condemn Abduction Of Expatriate

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Kalabari traditional rulers and stakeholders have condemned the recent abduction of an expatriate staff of Lubric Construction Company working on the Trans-Kalabari Road.
Speaking at a meeting at the Government House in Port Harcourt, last Friday, Rivers State Deputy Governor, Dr. Ipalibo Harry Banigo said she was deeply pained by the unfortunate incident carried out by unknown miscreants.
According to the deputy governor, who said that the State Chief Executive Officer, Nyesom Wike, was desirous to bring more development projects to Kalabari Kingdom, regretted that this act was capable of discouraging him.
“I want to reiterate that our governor is very desirous to do more developmental projects in our communities, there are many more things he has in the card to do for us, and if we allow this ugly thing to surface, that attitude will discourage him”, the deputy governor noted.
Banigo, who said that perpetrators of the heinous crime did not drop from the sky, insisted that they were community people, and must be fished out and dealt with decisively, while calling for the immediate and unconditional release of the abductee.
Also speaking, the Chairman of the Greater Port Harcourt City Development Authority, Chief Ferdinand Alabraba, expressed regrets that a project as important as the Trans-Kalabari Road would be tampered with by persons who do not mean well for the Kalabari people.
“If their intention is to run down the good works of our dear governor, over a project which the Kalabari people have been yearning for over the years, then, I am sure God Almighty will not allow them to get away with this dastardly act of kidnapping one expatriate”, Alabraba stressed.
Alabraba further said, “It is important that we talk to ourselves and ensure that everything possible is done to ensure immediate release of the victim, and ensure that measures are put in place to forestall this type of thing in the future”.
Presenting a seven-point communique, Amanyanabo of Minama, King Iboroma Talbot Pokubo, who represented the Amanyanabo of Abonnema, King Disreal Gbobo Bobmanuel, demanded for the immediate and unconditional release of the expatriate, and reassured Governor Wike of their unwavering support for the governor.

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Buhari Approves Incorporation Of NNPC, Appoints Board Members

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President Muhammadu Buhari, has directed that the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited be incorporated.
He also approved the appointment of the Board and Management of the NNPC Limited with Senator Ifeanyi Ararume as chairman.
The Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Mr Mele Kyari, was appointed chief executive officer.
This was contained in a statement by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Mr Femi Adesina, saying that the president acted in accordance with the Petroleum Industry Act 2021.
The statement read, “President Muhammadu Buhari, in his capacity as Minister of Petroleum Resources, has directed the incorporation of the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited.
“This is in consonance with Section 53(1) of the Petroleum Industry Act 2021, which requires the Minister of Petroleum Resources to cause for the incorporation of the NNPC Limited within six months of commencement of the Act in consultation with the Minister of Finance on the nominal shares of the company.
“The Group Managing Director of the NNPC, Mr Mele Kolo Kyari, has, therefore, been directed to take necessary steps to ensure that the incorporation of the NNPC Limited is consistent with the provisions of the PIA 2021.
“Also, by the power vested in him under Section 59(2) of the PIA 2021, President Buhari has approved the appointment of the Board and Management of the NNPC Limited, with effect from the date of incorporation of the company.
“Chairman of the board is Senator Ifeanyi Ararume, while Mele Kolo Kyari and Umar I. Ajiya are chief executive officer, and chief financial officer, respectively.
“Other board members are; Dr Tajudeen Umar (North-East); Mrs Lami O. Ahmed (North-Central); Mallam Mohammed Lawal (North-West); Senator Margaret Chuba Okadigbo (South-East), Barrister Constance Harry Marshal (South-South); and Chief Pius Akinyelure (South-West).”

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Reject Buhari’s Fresh Loan Request, SERAP Tells NASS

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The Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) has urged the Senate President, Dr Ahmad Lawan; and Speaker of House of Representatives, Hon Femi Gbajabiamila; to reject the fresh request by President Muhammadu Buhari, to borrow $4billion and €710million.
SERAP said if such request must be granted, the Federal Government should publish details of spending of all loans obtained since May 29, 2015.
The group also expressed fear that if the fresh request is granted, it may take Nigeria’s to over N35trillion.
Buhari recently sought the approval of the National Assembly to borrow $4,054,476,863 and €710million, on the grounds of “emerging needs.”
The request was contained in a letter dated August 24, 2021.
In an open letter dated September 18, 2021, and signed by SERAP Deputy Director, Kolawole Oluwadare, the organisation expressed “concerns about the growing debt crisis, the lack of transparency and accountability in the spending of loans that have been obtained, and the perceived unwillingness or inability of the National Assembly to vigorously exercise its constitutional duties to check the apparently indiscriminate borrowing by the government.”
SERAP said, “The National Assembly should not allow the government to accumulate unsustainable levels of debt, and use the country’s scarce resources for staggering and crippling debt service payments rather than for improved access of poor and vulnerable Nigerians to basic public services and human rights.
“The country’s public debt has mushroomed with no end in sight. The growing national debt is clearly not sustainable. There has been no serious attempt by the government to cut the cost of governance. The leadership of the National Assembly ought to stand up for Nigerians by asserting the body’s constitutional powers to ensure limits on national debt and deficits.
“Should the National Assembly and its leadership fail to rein in government borrowing, and to ensure transparency and accountability in the spending of public loans, SERAP would consider appropriate legal action to compel the National Assembly to discharge its constitutional duties.
“SERAP notes that if approved, the country’s debts will exceed N35trillion. The government is also reportedly pushing the maturity of currently-secured loans to between 10 and 30 years. N11.679trillion is reportedly committed into debt servicing, while only N8.31trillion was expended on capital/development expenditure between 2015 and 2020.
“Ensuring transparency and accountability in the spending of loans by the government and cutting the cost of governance would address the onerous debt servicing, and improve the ability of the government to meet the country’s international obligations to use maximum available resources to ensure the enjoyment of basic economic and social rights, such as quality healthcare and education”, SERAP added.

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