UNIPORT Tasks Shell On Geosciences Centre Of Excellence
The University of Port Harcourt, has tasked the Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria (SPDC) to establish a world-class Geosciences Centre of Excellence in the institution to train a pool of reservoir engineers to replenish the depleting stock of professionals in the oil and gas industry in Nigeria.
The Vice Chancellor, Prof Don Baridam, who threw the challenge during the inauguration of the 2009 Shell Summer School at the University of Port Harcourt, recently, said the establishment of the centre at this time will address the problem of dearth of competent and well trained reservoir engineers to drive Nigeria’s quest for more oil fields and sustain the nation’s position in the exploration and production industry.
Prof Baridam noted that “with globalisation, internationally trained graduates are in high demand to work in multidisciplinary oil and gas field development and studies”, adding that “as the frontier of oil and gas exploration expands into deeper depths in the Gulf of Guinea and the need to manage mature fields increases, so will the need for competent reservoir geoscientists expand”.
According to him, a survey has shown that, “the training of world-class petroleum geoscientists is dying in Africa and this prompted the University of Port Harcourt to include the establishment of a centre for petroleum geosciences in its 2003-2013 Strategic Plan”.
The UNIPORT Vice Chancellor said the field of geosciences was increasingly becoming sophisticated in technology and software applications, and lamented that Nigerian universities were ill-equipped and under-funded to cope with these challenges.
He, therefore, solicited “the support of Shell in the establishment of a Centre for Petroleum Geosciences at the University of Port Harcourt to produce high quality graduates in this very important field and effectively contribute to ameliorate the dearth of world-class petroleum geoscientists in Africa.”
“This centre will be a centre of excellence in geosciences”, he said, adding that both “Shell and the University of Port Harcourt will develop a modular course scheme that will draw from the pools of staff from the university and Shell to strengthen the academic and industry interface”.
Prof Baridam noted the establishment of the Institute of Petroleum Studies at the university in 2003 in partnership with IFP School, France, and the solid support of TOTAL E&P Nigeria Limited which helped ensure international recognition for the degree programmes of the institute, and promised Shell that a similar feat awaits the proposed Centre for Petroleum Geosciences, if the partnership works out.
Responding, General Manager, Geosciences, Shell, Mr Nedo Osayande, said the company has had substantial footprints in the university, which include support of the establishment of the ICT Centre, and the Shell–Aret Adams Professorial Chair, equipment and library support, sponsorship of UNIPORT students to Society of Petroleum Engineers annual conference in Abuja as well as the Gourami competition in Portugal, the provision of opportunities for 25 lecturers to undergo their sabbaticals and 24 research internships between 2001 and 2009.
Osayande, who represented SPDC Managing Director, Mutiu Sunmonu, said Shell firmly believes that the long-term relationship between it and the University of Port Harcourt will continue to be mutually beneficial, and promised to forward the institution’s request to Shell management for consideration.
Fubara Promises To Sustain Projects Delivery, Enhance Rivers Dignity
Governor Siminalayi Fubara of Rivers State has assured the people of the state of his commitment to sustain the quality of infrastructure delivery laid by his predecessor and also enhance the dignity of the State.
Speaking at an inaugural dinner on Monday, Fubara noted that the immediate past government of Chief Nyesom Wike impacted tremendously on the state such that he brought fame and dignity to the state especially through the quality transformational projects he initiated across the state.
Fubara, in a statement by his Deputy Media Assistant, Bon Onyedi, vowed that he would continue to sustain and build upon that path of development.
He commended the efforts of leaders and elders in the state who stood behind Wike’s government and promised to also seek their support in moving the state forward.
Fubara glorified God for the privilege to serve the state as governor, assuring that he will not betray the trust and confidence reposed in him and his deputy by the leaders of the state.
He pledged to continue to do things that will bring pride to the state.
According to him, “We will continue with the development of Rivers State, not just development, but to maintain the standard quality that we are getting all round. We will also not leave any sector or leave those who were neither here nor there in their support, but we are Rivers, and I am the governor of Rivers State.”
He further eulogised Wike for his mentorship and for believing in him, assuring that he will continue to see him as his boss.
Stop Panic Buying, Subsidy Removal Not Immediate – Tinubu
The Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Media Centre has urged Nigerians to stop panic buying of petroleum product over the statement of President Bola Tinubu on fuel subsidy.
The Tinubu media centre made this appeal in a statement issued via its verified Twitter handle, yesterday.
It noted that the President’s statement that petrol subsidy had stopped was not a new development but a restatement of the Federal Government’s intention to end subsidy by June.
Recall that, in his inaugural speech on Monday, Tinubu said the petrol subsidy regime was over.
The President said, “On fuel subsidy, unfortunately, the budget, before I assumed office, is that no provision is there for fuel subsidy.
So, fuel subsidy is gone.”
Following Tinubu’s comments, huge queues resurfaced at filling stations in some parts of Nigeria, a situation the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN) blamed on panic buying.
But, the Tinubu media centre said the rush to purchase petrol “is needless” as the President only spoke based on already existing plans.
The centre added that the removal of the subsidy will not happen soon.
It said, “The public is advised to note that President Bola Tinubu’s declaration that “subsidy is gone” is neither a new development nor an action of his new administration,” the statement reads.
“He was merely communicating the status quo, considering that the previous administration’s budget for fuel subsidy was planned and approved to last for only the first half of the year.
“Effectively, this means that by the end of June, the Federal govyernment will be without funds to continue the subsidy regime, translating to its termination. The panic-buying that has ensued as a result of the communication is needless; it will not take immediate effect.
“Furthermore, President Tinubu was clear about his plans to re-channel the funds previously devoted to the payment of subsidies into better investments that will cushion the effects of the removal on the general public, especially the poor.
“This includes, but is not limited to investments in public infrastructure, education, healthcare, and jobs that will materially improve the lives of millions of Nigerians and increase their earning potentials.”
Subsidy: FG Owes NNPCL N2.8trn-Kyari
The Group Chief Executive Officer of the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPCL), Mele Kyari, yesterday in Abuja said the Federal Government still owes the company N2.8tn that it had spent on petrol subsidy.
“Today, we are waiting for them to settle up to N2.8tn of NNPC’s cash flow from the subsidy regime and we can’t continue to build this,” Kyari told State House Correspondents after meeting with President Bola Tinubu at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
During his inaugural speech on Monday, the President said he was aware that the 2023 appropriation act does not provide for petrol subsidy beyond June; the end of the 18-month extension period approved by the Buhari administration for the discontinuance of petrol subsidy.
Therefore, he confirmed that the subsidy will not be continued.
Affirming the President’s stance, Kyari argued that the subsidy payment is no longer tenable as it makes it difficult for the company to fund its core businesses.
He said, “Since the provision of the N6tn in 2022, and N3.7tn in 2023, we have not received any payment whatsoever from the Federation.
“That means they (Federal Government) are unable to pay and we’ve continued to support this subsidy from the cash flow of the NNPC. That is, when we net off our fiscal obligations of taxes and royalty, there’s still a balance that we’re funding from our cash flow. And that has become very, very difficult and affecting our other operations.
“We’re not able to keep some of these cash for invest on our core businesses. And the end result is that it can be a huge challenge for the company and we have highlighted this severally to government that they must compensate and NNPC they must pay back an NNPC for the money that we have spent on the subsidy”.
Kyari who said the NNPCL has footed petrol subsidy from its cash flow said the government is unable to pay back the N2.8tn spent so far.
“So today, the country don’t (doesn’t) have the money to pay for subsidy. There’s incremental value that will come from it. But it is not an issue of whether you can do it or not because today we can’t afford it and they are not able to pay our bill. That comes to how much is the federation owing NNPC now.
“Today, we are waiting for them to settle up to N2.8tn of NNPC’s cashflow from the subsidy regime and we can’t continue to build this,” he explained.
Kyari said the reemerging petrol queues nationwide are understandable as marketers will like to understand the meaning of the President’s pronouncement that “subsidy is gone.”
He said that the uncertainty on the remark also caused consumers to rush for the product, causing queues.
The NNPCL boss assured Nigerians that the government would initiate measures to cushion the effects of the subsidy discontinuance.
Kyari was also joined by the Chief Executive Officer of Nigerian Mainstream and Downstream Regulatory Authority, Faruk Ahmed, who said the government will not place any price cap on the sale of petroleum products in the country.
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