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FG Launches NUCOP To Crash Crude Production Cost, Boost Competitiveness

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Efforts to achieve the $10/barrel crude production target deepened, yesterday, as the Federal Government officially launched the Nigerian Upstream Cost Optimisation Programme (NUCOP).

Speaking at the launch, the Minister of State, Petroleum Resources, Chief Timipre Sylva, said that the aim of the new initiative was to boost industry collaboration and process enhancement.

According to him, of all the nine priority areas given to the ministry as its operational mandate, reduction of crude oil extraction cost remains pivotal.

He said that the ministry has since identified some initiatives to tackle the challenges stacking against lower production cost, adding that the cost in Nigeria was exceptionally high compared to other oil-producing nations like Iran and Saudi Arabia.

Sylva added that high cost would rob the country its desire to attract investments and remain globally competitive.

He added that capital expenditure, operational cost, policy-related elements, weak collaboration, capacity and capability issues, facility reliability, single sourcing syndrome, high magnitude of crude loss, multiplicity of tariff, among others, are issues that need to be urgently tackled.

“Members of the NUCOP are officials of the Petroleum Ministry, DPR, NCDMB, PETAN, NNPC, among others”, he said.

“They’ve found short and medium-term solutions. Average total cost is now below $30/barrel for JV contract and less than $20 for PSC. We need to do more. Engagement should reach a consensus on cost reduction.

“We are making a case for shared services. Our target is 3mpd daily production and 40 billion barrels reserves”.

Sylva assured the gathering that the executive arm of government was on the same page with the legislature to pass the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) this year.

“We want to position Nigeria as the best designation for investment in the hydrocarbon sector. The benefits of NUCOP are many. It includes; reducing the contracting cycle to three months or less, prompting efficiency, profitability and competitiveness. Its success is dependent on collaboration of stakeholders”, he added.

In his remarks, the Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Mr Mele Kyari, said Nigeria must pull down production cost, describing it as a self interest pursuit.

“There’s a global energy transition. Less cost-efficient companies cannot survive today. $50/barrel production cost cannot survive. There are issues around synergy that we’ve not achieved.

“There are issues of security. Many companies are hiring their own armies and we can’t continue like that. Issues of taxes and others have to be addressed. Our practices must change so that service providers can deliver.

“So, we can achieve economic growth and our partners can derive benefits. It’s not CSR but pure business. We must have the best of fiscal environment and policies so that cost of operation can come down and our target is at least $10/barrel.

“If we do these, tax benefits will increase and profit margin will increase. This is a task that must be done. This partnership will help the country. Crude has hit the $60 and it comes with a product price increase. We are trying to keep the country wet. We are engaging with labour. No provision for subsidy in the budget”, the NNPC boss explained.

In his remarks, the Chairman, Senate Committee, Upstream, Albert Bassey Akpan, said there was a need to take a second look at production cost for Nigeria to remain competitive.

“We must pay attention to the passage of PIB and pass it before the end of 2021. We need to look at tax structure and security issues. There is need for relevant stakeholders to harmonize their logistics structure”, he said

Also commenting, the Executive Secretary of the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB), Mr Simbi Wabote, said that the discussion on cost reduction was long overdue.

He assured of the board’s support and collaboration towards achieving the target.

“Cost reduction comes with some pain and what’s important is how the business will survive to sustain jobs. Local content is a panacea for cost reduction. There is massive cost savings when Nigerians run the business unlike when expatriates flood the business”, he noted.

For the President of the Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (PENGASSAN), Comrade Festus Usifo, he urged the gathering to look at expatriates’ costs as many of them are earning fat pay doing jobs capable Nigerians should handle.

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Borno NARD President, Residents Hail Malaria Vaccine Breakthrough

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The  Borno State branch President of Nigeria Association of Resident Doctors (NARD), Dr Abubakar Kaka-Sanda, has lauded the announcement of malaria vaccine by World Health Organisation (WHO), which he described as a welcome development.
Kaka-Sanda told The Tide source in Maiduguri yesterday that “a vaccine against malaria known as a killer disease with high mortality, particularly among children in Africa is something worth celebrating.”
He, therefore, urged states and the Federal Government to start early mobilisation of the public on the vaccine to address the issue of vaccine phobia.
He said “government needs to start early public enlightenment on the vaccine so that whenever it is available, there will be no issue of phobia.”
He also reacted to the just suspended NARD strike, saying “doctors are all back and attending to patients in hospitals.
“Our members are at their respective duty posts offering the best we can.”
Maryam Audu, a woman living in Maiduguri, seen at the Borno Specialists Hospital whose two children were diagnosed of malaria, described
the development as a welcome one.
She said “if we have vaccine for malaria, I can assure you that more children will survive till adulthood.
“Most cases affecting children is malaria and that’s why some mothers in Borno have problem with polio vaccination officials .
“We use to tell immunisation officials that the problem of our children is malaria and they should not be bothering us with polio immunisation.
“We are really  looking foward to the malaria vaccine.”
Tijjani Mohammed and Asmau Isa and Janet Ezekiel, all living in Maiduguri, also said they heard the news and hope it would be a dream come true.
Ezekiel said “70 per cent of illness affecting my family members has to do with malaria.  If malaria can be contained in Nigeria, I can say
that we have solved a major problem.”
The World Health Organisation (WHO) has recommended widespread use of the RTS,S/AS01 (RTS,S) malaria vaccine among children in sub-Saharan Africa
and in other regions with moderate to high P. falciparum malaria transmission.The recommendation is based on results from an ongoing pilot programme in Ghana, Kenya and Malawi that has reached more than 800,000 children since 2019.
The WHO Director-General, Dr Tedros Ghebreyesus, said “this is a historic moment. The long-awaited malaria vaccine for children is a breakthrough for science.”
child health and malaria control.
“Using this vaccine on top of existing  tools to prevent malaria could save tens of thousands of young lives each year.”
He added that malaria remained a primary cause of childhood illness and death in sub-Saharan Africa, noting that more than 260,000 African children
under the age of five die from malaria annually.

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Court Remands Labourer For Allegedly Robbing Woman At Hotel

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Justice Oyindamola Ogala of an Ikeja High Court yesterday remanded a 22-year-old labourer, Olanrewaju Opeyemi, for allegedly robbing a woman of N2,000 at a Lagos hotel.
The Tide source reports that Ogala ordered  that Opeyemi, who has  no fixed address, should be kept at the Ikoyi Correctional Centre after he pleaded not guilty  to a three-count charge which was interpreted to him from English Language to Yoruba Language.
The defendant was charged with conspiracy to commit robbery, robbery and causing grievous harm.
According to prosecution led by Mrs A.O. Oluwasanmi, the defendant committed the alleged offences at 2.00 a.m. on April 14, 2020, at Intendo Hotel, Agboju, Lagos.
“Opeyemi alongside others who are at large, conspired to commit robbery, and while armed with a knife, he robbed one Ms Blessing Okoro of N2,000.
“He also grievously harmed Okoro by cutting her with a knife and inflicting serious injuries on her.
“The offences violate Sections 245, 297 and 299 of the Criminal Law of Lagos State, 2015,” the she  said.
The judge adjourned the case until November 25 for trial.

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Borno NARD President, Residents Hail Malaria Vaccine Breakthrough

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on

The  Borno State branch President of Nigeria Association of Resident Doctors (NARD), Dr Abubakar Kaka-Sanda, has lauded the announcement of malaria vaccine by World Health Organisation (WHO), which he described as a welcome development.
Kaka-Sanda told The Tide source in Maiduguri yesterday that “a vaccine against malaria known as a killer disease with high mortality, particularly among children in Africa is something worth celebrating.”
He, therefore, urged states and the Federal Government to start early mobilisation of the public on the vaccine to address the issue of vaccine phobia.
He said “government needs to start early public enlightenment on the vaccine so that whenever it is available, there will be no issue of phobia.”
He also reacted to the just suspended NARD strike, saying “doctors are all back and attending to patients in hospitals.
“Our members are at their respective duty posts offering the best we can.”
Maryam Audu, a woman living in Maiduguri, seen at the Borno Specialists Hospital whose two children were diagnosed of malaria, described
the development as a welcome one.
She said “if we have vaccine for malaria, I can assure you that more children will survive till adulthood.
“Most cases affecting children is malaria and that’s why some mothers in Borno have problem with polio vaccination officials .
“We use to tell immunisation officials that the problem of our children is malaria and they should not be bothering us with polio immunisation.
“We are really  looking foward to the malaria vaccine.”
Tijjani Mohammed and Asmau Isa and Janet Ezekiel, all living in Maiduguri, also said they heard the news and hope it would be a dream come true.
Ezekiel said “70 per cent of illness affecting my family members has to do with malaria.  If malaria can be contained in Nigeria, I can say
that we have solved a major problem.”
The World Health Organisation (WHO) has recommended widespread use of the RTS,S/AS01 (RTS,S) malaria vaccine among children in sub-Saharan Africa
and in other regions with moderate to high P. falciparum malaria transmission.The recommendation is based on results from an ongoing pilot programme in Ghana, Kenya and Malawi that has reached more than 800,000 children since 2019.
The WHO Director-General, Dr Tedros Ghebreyesus, said “this is a historic moment. The long-awaited malaria vaccine for children is a breakthrough for science.”
child health and malaria control.
“Using this vaccine on top of existing  tools to prevent malaria could save tens of thousands of young lives each year.”
He added that malaria remained a primary cause of childhood illness and death in sub-Saharan Africa, noting that more than 260,000 African children
under the age of five die from malaria annually.

Continue Reading

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