Nigeria suffered losses amounting to 21,291.673 barrels of oil, an equivalent of 3,364,084.375 litres, due to spill in 2020, according to the latest data obtained from the National Oil Spill Detection and Response Agency (NOSDRA).
This showed a 50 per cent decline, compared to 2019, when 42,076.492 barrels of oil (6,648,085.706 litres) were spilled.
NOSDRA, while noting that the spill could be attributed to several factors, explained that the bulk of the spill was caused by sabotage and theft.
According to the agency, much of the spill in 2020 was recorded in February, when 6,327 barrels were lost, followed by 4,676 barrels recorded in January, while July took the third position by recording 2,174 barrels.
In August, 1,815 barrels of spill were recorded, followed by 1,596 barrels in April, while 1,262 barrels were spilled in June.
The agency stressed that December, November, October, September, May and March had 846, 572, 401, 321, 235 and 229 barrels of spill, respectively.
Interestingly, in 2019, February also recorded the highest spill with 9,148 barrels, followed by June with 6,404 barrels, while January made the third position with 5,559 barrels.
Also, November, August, July, October and April had 4,113, 2,620, 1,978, 1,338 and 1,230, barrels, respectively, while September, March, May and December recorded 1,113, 1,015, 993 and 879 barrels, respectively.
For barrels of oil that occurred due to operational issues, March had the highest with 323 barrels, followed by May with 235 barrels, while November had 116 barrels.
Similarly, July, February, had 92 and 45 barrels, respectively, while January and October had 40 barrels each.
In the same vein, April, September, June, December and August had 37, 10, 8, 2 and 0 barrels, respectively.
Coincidentally, in 2019, March also had the highest number of barrels spilled with 2,179, followed by September, which recorded 1,452, while May came third with 610 barrels.
February, May, August, July and November recorded 417, 237, 265, 145 and 123, barrels, respectively, while October, December, June and January recorded 51, 33, 30 and 1 barrels, respectively.
According to NOSDRA, there were around 370 publicly available oil spill records in 2020, which were attributed to about 24 companies.
Prominent among the companies was Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC), which had 186 spills and 13,280 barrels attributed to it.
This was followed by Nigeria Agip Oil Company (NAOC), which had 35 spills with 695 barrels.
Eroton Exploration and Production recorded 21 spills with 4,412 barrels, while Seplat Petroleum Development Company had 21 spills with 95 barrels reported volume.
Heritage Oil Limited had 19 spills worth 378 barrels, while First Exploration and Development Company, ND West and Chevron recorded 12 spills (62 barrels), 10 spills (1,490 barrels) and 9 spills (2 barrels), respectively.
Enageed Resources Limited, Nigerian Petroleum Development Company (NPDC), Platform Petroleum Limited, Mid Western Oil & Gas Company had six spills each worth 47, 83, 11 and 143 barrels, respectively.
Aiteo Exploration and Production, as well as Total Exploration and Production recorded five and seven spills each worth 430 and 83 barrels, respectively.
Though Mobil Producing Nigeria and Nigerian Pipelines and Storage Company had zero barrel recorded in their names, they had four and seven spills, respectively.
Pan Ocean Oil Corporation, Guaranteed Petroleum Limited and Addax Petroleum recorded two spills each worth 20, eight and zero barrels, respectively.
Esso Exploration and Production Company, Neconde Energy Limited, Kamlik Nigeria Limited and Infravision Limited had one spill each worth zero, 13, 3 and 38 barrels, respectively.
NOSDRA also explained that oil spills could be caused by breaks in ageing or poorly maintained infrastructure, accidents, vandalism and other incidents.
It noted that in the past 10 years, a number of spills have also been caused by oil theft, also known as bunkering.
This is where oil is stolen from pipelines and then shipped to local or international markets.
There has also been an increase in artisanal refining when camps in the mangrove refine crude for local or other needs.
These are unregulated and so can cause serious pollution.
According to NOSDRA, there are no legally binding regulatory penalties or fines for oil spills in Nigeria.
Currently oil companies are required to fund the clean-up of each spill and usually pay compensations to local communities affected if the spill was the company’s fault.
A recent court case related to repeated oil spills in the Bodo area of Ogoniland argues that a failure by companies to adequately protect pipelines from vandalism or theft, or continuing to operate when vandalism or theft is rife, constitutes culpability on behalf of the pipeline operator.
NOSDRA also noted that there are many issues relating to reporting and cleaning up oil spills in Nigeria, including corruption, and insecurity.
NUT Tasks NASS On Teachers’ 65 Years Retirement Age Bill Passage
The Nigeria Union of Teachers (NUT), has urged the national assembly to expedite action on passage of the Harmonised Retirement Age for Teachers in Nigeria Bill 2021.
The Secretary-General of NUT, Dr Mike Ike-Ene, made the appeal in an interview with The Tide yesterday in Abuja.
He said the passage of the bill and its eventual signing into law by the President would go a long way in giving teachers the hope that their profession was being given the needed attention.
Ike-Ene said the hope of passage of the bill on June 30, having been mentioned on the Order Paper, was dashed because of the controversy that followed the debate on the Petroleum Industry Bill, now an Act.
“We are expecting that as the national assembly has resumed, the bill will be one of the first few bills to be passed.
“We expected the bill to be passed on June 30 concurrently by the two houses having been mentioned on the Order Paper but the debate of the Petroleum Industry Act and debate of the Electoral Reform Bill took the day.’’
The Secretary-General commended the National Assembly for its commitment to ensuring conclusion of work on the bill.
He expressed optimism that when passed, President Buhari would not hesitate in signing it into law.
He thanked the President for the effort to reposition the teaching profession, saying the union had been in the forefront in the struggle for elongation of tenure for teachers, among other things.
According to him, we have actually been fighting for some of the things the President promised to do for teachers, for instance, the elongation of years.
“We have been agitating for 65 years retirement age or 40 years by service and one of the reasons for the agitation is that we discovered that about 26 states did not recruit a single teacher for over 20 years.
“Yet teachers were retiring in their dozens, in hundreds and more deaths were being recorded as a result of the growing insecurity, particularly in schools.
“Some died naturally, others were resigning, yet teachers were not being employed.”
He further said, “We have also been agitating for Teachers Special Salary Structure (TSS) but hazard allowance was granted instead.
“The hazard allowance accumulated to 27.5 per cent of the basic of teachers’ salaries which were not what we were agitating for.
“We thank God that the Buhari’s administration has promised to implement the TSS and since that pronouncement, NUT, government and other stakeholders have been working to ensure implementation.’’
Ike-Ene disclosed that the promise made to teachers by the president would be implemented at different levels, stressing that while some would be passed into law, others would be implemented as policies.
President Muhammadu Buhari had in June, transmitted a letter on a Bill to increase the retirement age for teachers from 60 years to 65 years.
The Bill also seeks to extend the years of service for teachers from 35years to 40 years.
Meanwhile, the president at the commemoration of the World Teachers Day on October 5, 2020, approved a special salary scale for teachers and special pension scheme.
He also said the Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFUND) will begin to fund teaching practice in universities and colleges of education.
He further promised to ensure provisions for rural posting allowance, science teachers allowance and peculiar allowance.
The president also promised sponsorship of at least one refresher training, construction of low-cost housing for teachers in rural areas and reintroduction of bursary award.
Other promises are, expansion of the annual Presidential Teachers and Schools Awards and payment of stipends to Bachelor of Education students and automatic employment after graduation.
Traffic Congestion: FG Builds Three Flyovers, Interchange
The Federal Government is collaborating with Ogun State Government to secure the Right of Way (RoW) for the construction of three bridges and an interchange on the Lagos-Ibadan expressway.
The Minister of Works and Housing, Mr Babatunde Fashola, said this during an inspection of the highway last Wednesday.
Fashola, who was joined by Gov. Dapo Abiodun at the Lotto Bridge under construction, said the highway accommodated over 40,000 vehicles daily, hence the urgent need for additional flyovers and interchanges for decongestion.
The bridges are under construction at Makun, MFM and Lotto (Mowe) areas on the Lagos-Ibadan expressway.
“We are trying to execute an interchange that will separate the main carriageway and give commuters choice, especially those going to religious places to worship, those going to universities and so on and so forth.
“So that what used to cause the congestion is limited to the barest minimum if not totally eradicated when the road is finished.
“So, we now require additional land to build the interchange, that is why I called the governor (Dapo Abiodun),” he said.
He said that the Buhari administration inherited several stalled projects which he was committed to completing by adequately funding the projects
Fashola expressed satisfaction with progress of work on the ongoing reconstruction/rehabilitation of the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway.
On his part, Gov. Abiodun assured that the state government would give all the land and support needed.
Earlier, the Federal Controller of Works in Lagos, Mr Olukayode Popoola, gave the measurements and dimensions needed for the bridges and interchange.
Popoola also gave details on the number of buildings and services on the Right of Way of the bridges which, without paying compensations, would stall the project.
He said that section one of the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway project, which spans from Ojota in Lagos to Sagamu Interchange, “has achieved 56 per cent completion”.
Also, during inspection of section two of the project, which spans from the Sagamu Interchange to Ojoo in Ibadan, the Federal Controller of Works in Ogun, Mr Umar Bakare, said that the section was 63 per cent completed.
NEDC Flags Off Construction Of 500 Housing Units In Bauchi
North-East Development Commission (NEDC) in collaboration with the Bauchi State Government has commenced the construction of 500 mass housing units in Bauchi, to address housing deficit in the state.
NEDC’s Managing Director, Alhaji Mohammed Goni-Alkali, stated this at the ground breaking ceremony of the project yesterday in Bauchi.
Goni-Alkali said that 300 houses would be built in Bauchi metropolis while 200 others would be spread across the 20 local government areas of the state.
According to him, the project is to ease the accommodation problems as well as fast track the rapid social and economic development of the state, to mitigate the devastation caused by the insurgency.
Goni-Alkali said that the commission had so far constructed 1,000 housing units in Marte LGA of Borno, adding that the houses had been handed over to the state government.
He said that the commission would also construct one primary school in each of the senatorial districts across the six states in the region, to promote educational development.
The managing director said that the commission had presented food and non-food items to the Bauchi State Government for distribution to the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs).
He listed the items to include 10,000 bags of rice; 2,000 bags of sugar; 10,000 gallons of palm oil; 3,000 cartons of pasta; 2,000 blankets; 2,000 plastic mats and 1,000 mosquito nets.
In his remarks, Gov. Bala Mohammed, lauded the impact of the commission in the North-East with regard to the construction of schools and roads.
Mohammed also commended NEDC for the provision of other essential services since inception in 2019.
He said that the commission had constructed one block of six classrooms each across the 20 local government areas of the state.
“We have recieved the intervention of the commission in health and agriculture,” he said.
Mohammed promised to distribute the donated items judiciously to the deserving families.
The Goni-Alkali and other officials of the commission would inspect road projects in Alkaleri and Kirfi, and Visco Vaginal Fistula (VVF) Centre in Ningi
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