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Total Supports Agric Development In Egi

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The Rivers State Government has commended a multinational oil company in the state, Total Exploration and Producing Nigeria Limited (TEPNG), the operating partner of the NNPC/TEPNG Joint Venture, for its huge investment in agriculture in Egi Kingdom, Ogba/Egbema/Ndoni Local Government Area (ONELGA)of the state.
The  state Commissioner for Agriculture, Dr Fred Kpakol, gave the commendation during a farm produce distribution event at Obite in ONELGA, last week.
He expressed appreciation to Total and the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) for supporting agricultural development in the area.
Kpakol said, “I really appreciate the CBN for the rice farm and Total. A journey of a thousand miles begins with a first step and the first step is what we are doing now. This is very good. We have come with CBN and we are joining Total to make sure that we do mechanised farming in this place and attention is geared towards rice, maize, cassava, and others. From what I saw today, I will say I’m very impressed and I will communicate to the governor.”
He urged the community to take to agriculture, saying, “you know that agriculture is the in-thing now; the whole world is gravitating towards agriculture, they should therefore make their lands available and work in synergy with government, Total and CBN, so as to access funds and grow agriculture”
Also speaking at the event, General Manager, Community Affairs and Development, TEPNG, Mr Obinna Ofoezie said the purpose of the event was to distribute agricultural produce from TEPNG demonstration farms to OML-58 host communities.
According to him, “today’s event is another facet of the several well intentioned programmes by the company to demonstrate that jointly we can return the Egi Kingdom to a food production hub by encouraging agricultural development within our communities”.
Ofoezie, who was represented by the Deputy Manager, Community Affairs and Development, TEPNG, Mr Okechwuku Obara, assured that through the Enterprise Development Unit, the company would continue to identify, evaluate and support agricultural development projects with the potential of creating wealth for individuals and groups within the host communities.
He said that the Egi Kingdom had witnessed various microcredit agricultural entrepreneurship skills, training and assistance provided by the company.
Ofoezie charged the youths in the area to “key into this programme since we have been able to demonstrate that it is doable so that we can make Egi Kingdom the food basket of Rivers State”.
In her goodwill message, the CBN representative and Assistant Director, Agriculture, Mrs Agustina Osuya, commended Total for its huge support.
towards its host communities and enjoined the community to avail themselves the opportunity of agricultural loan facilities in single digits available at the apex bank.
Meanwhile, a fish farmer/fish feed producer, and Chief Executive Officer of Egi Mega Farms, Mr. Ogu Kingsley, thanked TEPNG for its support, noting “they singlehandedly set up the feed production plant for us”.
Also, a rice farmer in the area, Mr Mbonu Chibuike, described the support from TEPNG as “fantastic”, saying the company had already procured 300 hectares of land for rice farming in the area.
Egi stakeholders in their responses, thanked Total and promised a continuous peaceful coexistence

 

By: Tonye Nria Dappa

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Oil & Energy

BUA Group, A’Ibom Sign MoU For Refinery’s Access Road

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Bua Group has signed a memorandum of understanding, (MoU), with Akwa Ibom State Government, and the host communities in Ibeno Local Government Area, for the construction of access road to the proposed Bua Refinery and Petrochemical plant site in Ibeno, last week.
Akwa Ibom State Commissioner for Power and Petroleum Development, Dr. John Etim, who presided over the signing of the MoU, applauded BUA for their commitment to the project, prompt documentation and the preparation of the site towards the construction of the refinery.
Etim said that the refinery project will bridge the gap between host communities and Akwa Ibom State, thereby bringing about more developments in the oil and gas sector of the State.
The Commissioner called on all parties concerned to be committed to the terms of agreement and to ensure that peace dominates their relationship, while appealing to the host communities to protect the facilities which is now in their custody
“The refinery and petrochemical project is in line with the Governor’s vision to industrialise the State, develop local capacity in key industries where value can be added and raw materials sourced locally.”
Speaking shortly after the MoU signing, the Chairman of Ibeno local government, Williams Mkpa, expressed delight over the development, describing it as a giant stride in the industrialisation vision of the Akwa Ibom State Government.
The paramount ruler of the area, Owong Effiong Archianga, assured the company of his people’s unalloyed support and cooperation to see to the actualisation of the project.

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Oil & Energy

CSO Urges Oil Communities To Challenge PIA In Court

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A Civil Society Organisation, Policy Alert, has faulted President Muhammadu Buhari’s signing of the Petroleum Industry Act 2021, urging communities to test the provisions of the Act before the courts.
President Buhari had signed the erstwhile Petroleum Industry Bill, PIB, into law last Monday amidst protests from community groups and many other stakeholders that the Bill do not adequately cover the rights and interests of the host communities.
In a statement signed by its Communications and Stakeholders Engagement Officer, Mrs. Nneka Luke-Ndumere, Policy Alert, which is working for economic and ecological justice, described the presidential assent to the PIB as “grossly insensitive and problematic.
“It is sad that the bill has been assented to in the most controversial manner despite its many obvious flaws and its rejection by many stakeholders,” the statement read.
It added: “For example, the controversial provision for a direct payment of 30 percent profit oil and profit gas to the Frontier Exploration Fund potentially shortchanges the oil producing states and local governments of some of its thirteen percent derivation as it bypasses the requirement in section 162 (2) of the 1999 Constitution (as amended) which provides that all revenues be channeled through the federation account.
“This is most unfair, viewed against the ceding of only three percent of previous years’ operating expenses to the Host Communities Development Trust Fund and the punitive provision to charge costs of any damage to facilities against the community’s Fund, among other obnoxious provisions.
“That Mr. President has gone ahead to give assent to these vexing provisions only reinforces the politics of exclusion and expropriation that has for long characterised the relationship between the Nigerian state and the oil producing communities.
“We are also concerned that the host communities’ component of the legislation flies in the face of one of its stated objectives to address tensions between host communities and companies as it has all the ingredients for escalating rather than abating such conflicts.
“At a time when fossil fuel investments are being deprioritised elsewhere as a result of the global energy transition, it is unfortunate that this Act failed to provide a bridge between the current era of fossil fuel dependency and the low-carbon energy future that Nigeria aspires to within the framework of government’s much vaunted commitments under the Paris Agreement.”
The statement also said: “Granted, the new legal framework introduces some predictability and clarity to the governance and fiscal arrangements in the oil and gas industry. We are also not oblivious to certain clauses that respond to some of our earlier demands, such as those providing that the Board of Trustees of the Host Communities Development Trust will now be determined in consultation with the host communities, with  membership drawn from community members. But that is just as far as it goes.
“As a tool for improved benefit sharing to host communities, the Act falls flat on its face. It actually ridicules the exertions of the host communities and advocacy groups that have clamoured over the years for a law that yields some space for participation, direct socio-economic benefits and environmental remediation for oil-rich communities.
“The theatre of action will now have to move to the communities and the courts of law. As implementation of the Act gets underway over the next 12 months, we urge host communities and civil society groups to begin to seek interpretation of some of its more controversial provisions before the courts.”

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Oil & Energy

Kyari Tasks Greenfield Refinery On Fuel Importation

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The Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Mallam Mele Kyari, has charged members of the Board of the NNPC Greenfield Refinery Limited (NGRL), to explore all available options to bring an end to the current challenge of petroleum products importation.
Mallam Kyari gave the charge Thursday while inaugurating the Board of the newly incorporated subsidiary of the Corporation, NNPC Greenfield Refinery Limited (NGRL), at the NNPC Towers, Abuja.
The NNPC Greenfield Refinery Limited is a subsidiary of the Corporation set up in December 2020 with a mandate to oversee the establishment and operation of new refineries.
The GMD, who is also the Chairman of the NGRL Board, challenged members of the Board to focus on profitability in order to remain afloat and avoid liquidation.
“As a business, this is a big opportunity for us and this company’s balance sheet must change positively. Going forward, with the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA), I can tell you that if you continue to post negative for three years, you are out. So, there is really no excuse”, Mallam Kyari stated.
He urged the Board and Management Team of the new company to set up a proper structure with the required skills, technology and financing to drive the company’s operations, adding that he was optimistic that the company would be able to achieve its mandate.
“Our company must grow and we can’t do well except we are able to process our production whether it is the liquid or gas. If we don’t monetise it then we have done nothing. This is really a new chapter and we are committed to making it work,” he said.
The NNPC helmsman stated that all the Corporation’s initiatives in the areas of new refineries, condensate refineries and equity acquisition in credible private refineries were geared towards ensuring energy security for the country.
In his remarks, the Alternate Chairman of the Board and Group Executive Director, Refinery and Petrochemicals, Engr. Mustapha Yakubu, declared that the operations of the company would be guided by the principles of cost effectiveness in line with the new Petroleum Industry Act (PIA), noting that profitability would be the key focus.
Speaking in similar vein, the Group General Manager, Greenfield Refineries and Project Division (GRPD) and Managing Director of the NGRL, Engr. Bege Talson, disclosed that the Division was working with third party investors to establish greenfield, modular and condensate refineries with a combined capacity of 250,000barrels per stream day (bpsd).

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