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Buhari Charges Nigerians On Gas Resources

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President Muhammadu Buhari has re-awakened Nigerians on the huge potential of exploiting gas resources to turn around Nigeria’s economy.
The President had earlier, on March 29, participated virtually in the 2021 Nigeria International Petroleum Summit Pre-Summit Conference and official launch of the Decade of Gas.
The president re-assured that his administration would utilise the huge gas resources in Nigeria to uplift the country’s economy and drive industrialisation in Africa’s most populous nation.
The Tide reports that oil-rich Nigeria, which is also Africa’s top economy, has one of the largest gas reserves in the world.
Buhari said that given Nigeria’s reserve of about 600 trillion cubic feet of gas, the commodity has enormous potential to diversify Nigeria’s economy.
‘‘The rising global demand for cleaner energy sources has offered Nigeria an opportunity to exploit gas resources for the good of the country.
“We intend to seize this opportunity,’’ he stated.
The president also told participants at the conference that his administration had prioritised gas development and recorded remarkable progress.
“It is well known that Nigeria is a gas nation with a little oil but the country has focused on oil over the years.’’
‘‘That is the paradox which this administration decided to confront when we declared the year 2020 as “The Year of Gas” in Nigeria.”

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Oil Producing Communities Marginalised, Ex-IGP Alleges

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Former Inspector General of Police (IGP) and former Chairman, Police Service Commission (PSC), Mike Okiro, has alleged that his ethnic nationality, Egbema, among others, was being marginalised and relegated in the scheme of things.
Okiro, who is the national leader of Ogbakor Egbema Alinso, appealed to the Federal Government to create a local government to include all the oil producing communities of Egbema in Rivers and Imo states.
He said the LGA, which could be included in Imo or Rivers State, would help to allow the oil producing people of Egbema to have a voice and representation on national issues.
Okiro said, “Egbema needs to be united. Unfortunately, Egbema is divided into two, Egbema in Rivers and Egbema in Imo State. These two sets of people are the same. The same language; the same culture. Egbema has 16 towns, 13 are in Imo State, while three are in Rivers State.
“We were all originally in Rivers under the Old Ahoada Division before they created part of it into Oguta division. Oguta was a district council, but later became a division. We are one”.
He noted that the ethnic group was minority in two different LGAs in Imo and Rivers states, calling for the creation of local government council for the 16 communities of Egbema.
Okiro said, “In Rivers State, we are under Ogba/Egbema/Ndoni LGA; and in Imo State, we are under Egbema/Ohaji LGA. In the two states, Egbema is in the minority.
“We want a local government. Egbema is big enough to be a local government. Imo State will not allow Egbema people to go because we have oil. The 13% they are enjoying comes from Egbema.
“I want Egbema to be a local government, whether in Rivers State or Imo State. It does not matter, so far as it is in Nigeria, so that they can talk and represent themselves”, he argued.
Also, former Chairman of ONELGA, Wokocha Raymond, said, “Egbema is a very important segment in Nigeria. We have contributed a lot to Nigeria’s economy. Yet, we have nothing to show for it.
“Despite the number of oil wells we have, we have not produced a representative in NDDC. We have been denied even appointment into state cabinet”.
Meanwhile, President of Ogbako Egbema, Ify Igwebuike, said Egbema people need to be united and speak with one voice.

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FG To End Electricity Fuel Subsidies Mid-2021

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The Federal Government has expressed commitment to end both electricity and fuel subsidies by mid-2021.
This was revealed by the International Monetary Fund, IMF in a report after the conclusion of its Article IV consultation with Nigeria.
According to the Washington-based Fund, the federal government had promised to see to the end of tariff shortfalls that led to their re-emergence.
“They expressed strong commitment to prevent fuel subsidies from resurfacing and to fully eliminate electricity tariff shortfalls by mid-2021.
“They believe that lifeline tariffs and other relief measures are adequate to protect poorer households from increases in electricity prices and highlighted the benefits from higher and more predictable availability.”
Although the Nigerian government had in March 2020 removed petrol subsidy, it however resurfaced following rise in price of crude oil at the international market.
The Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission, NERC had also severally attempted to increase electectricity tariffs to reduce nagging shortfalls challenges in the electricity sector, however, its efforts had met with backlashes from labour unions.
On September 8, 2020, the Federal Government said its removal of petrol subsidy and the increase in electricity tariff were in agreement with reforms requested by the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank as it seeks financial assistance of $3.4bn from IMF.
The President, World Bank Group, Mr David Malpass, had met with the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning and the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Mr Godwin Emefiele, on April 8 where the need to eradicate energy subsidies among other issues were discussed.
“The recent introduction and implementation of an automatic fuel price formula will ensure fuel subsidies, which we have eliminated, do not re-emerge,” the Federal Government told the IMF in the letter of intent dated April 21, 2020.
The World Bank in October also hinted that the Nigerian government had ‘taken important steps to reform its subsidy regime’.
“The gasoline (petrol) price is set monthly by the Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency from market-based costs. When international petroleum product prices start to recover, the PPPRA will allow price increases accordingly,” it said in its Africa’s Pulse report, adding that the Nigerian government had established a market-based pricing mechanism with no price ceilings.
However, total end of the respective subsidies are currently stalling due to ongoing discussion with labour unions across the country.
The federal government said it would announce way forward after concluding consultations.

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Suspected Oil Thieves Accuse Naval Officer Of Sponsorship

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The Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC), Rivers State Command,last Friday paraded eight men suspected to be illegal oil bunckerers, in Port Harcourt, the Rivers State capital
The suspects, however,accused a Naval personnel, one Mohammed Miike as the alleged sponsor of their activities.
One of the suspects who was paraded by NSCDC, said the Naval officer Miike, called his friend Adamu Sani who contracted them.
He said the Naval officer allegedly gave them the Navy Attire they adorned for the illegal operation and gave them work at an oil vessel when luck ran out on them and they got arrested by officials of Nigeria Navy Ship (NNS) Pathfinder Rumulomeni.
The eight suspects who were in Navy attire while being paraded have since been handed over to Nigeria Security and Civil Defense Corps (NSCDC) by the NNS pathfinder.
Attempts to get the Navy authorities to speak on the matter were not successful.

 

By: Tonye Nria-Dappa

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