Oil & Energy
3,000 Get Health Insurance In Shell IA Cluster
No fewer than 3,000 indigenes of Rumuobiokani, Rumuezeolu, Oginigba and Rumuomasi in Obio/Akpor Local Government Area of Rivers State are now proud beneficiaries of the first ever community health insurance scheme in Nigeria.
In addition, more than 3,000 registered indigenes of the four communities for the insurance scheme have also received insecticide-treated bed nets to protect them from the scourge of mosquitoes.
Another 1,000 indigenes and over 10,000 non-indigenes are expected to further benefit from the novel scheme, which is expected to cover more than 15,000 persons.
Launched last Thursday at the Obio Cottage Hospital in Rumuobiokani by the Rivers State Commissioner for Health, Dr Sampson Parker, the scheme is the pilot initiative of the Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria (SPDC) Industrial Area Cluster Development Board (IACDB) as part of the implementation of the Global Memorandum of Understanding (GMoU) template in the area.
Speaking at the scheme launch, Parker lauded Shell and the IACDB for bringing the dream of a community health insurance scheme to concrete reality, adding that the Chibuike Amaechi administration’s policy of building 150 primary healthcare centres across the 23 LGAs was to entrench community ownership, participation, utilization and management in the provision of quality, accessible and affordable healthcare delivery to the people.
The commissioner noted that for the people to benefit maximally from the services available at the health centres, they must be incorporated as proud owners and managers of the facilities, stressing that if the ordinary people were allowed to key into their programmes, a more healthy people will populate the society.
He commended SPDC for providing the seed funds, technical equipment, medical consumables and guidance, as well as the IACDB for setting aside 13.15 per cent of its annual GMoU receipts to fund the scheme, adding that the writing off of 50 per cent on the premium payable by indigenes shows a worthy commitment of the IACDB to improve the healthcare needs of the citizenry.
Parker restated the preparedness of the government to partner SPDC and the IACDB to sustain the momentum, widen the scope of beneficiaries, and maintain quality healthcare service delivery for the people of the cluster.
In his address, Managing Director, SPDC, Mr. Mutiu Sunmonu, noted that as the first community-based health insurance programme in Nigeria involving the private sector, government and impacted communities, Shell was proud to be part of the effort to deliver guaranteed healthcare services that would improve and save lives in host communities.
Sunmonu expressed delight that the GMoU as a tool for empowering the people, has brought about good and accessible healthcare, which would fast track development of the area, saying that with the CHIS, thousands will now have access to comprehensive healthcare insurance coverage for curative and preventive medical treatment.
Also speaking, Regional Community Health Manager, SPDC, Dr Babatunde Fakunle, said the linkage between health, poverty, prosperity and development could not be underestimated, stressing that “users of the Obio Health Insurance Scheme now have the option of purchasing care through this model instead of the ‘fee for service’ strategy”.
Emphasising that SPDC directly supports 27 health facilities in six states in the Niger Delta, Fakunle said that the scheme would eliminate out of pocket expenses for healthcare, ensure equitable access to quality-assured healthcare systems and infrastructures, check poverty as a barrier to receiving healthcare and create an environment populated by healthy and prosperous people, among others.
In his goodwill message, Chairman, Obio/Akpor LGA, Prince Timothy Nsirim, who was represented by his Vice, Hon Solomon Eke, said as an offshoot of the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS), he was elated that the scheme has been first launched in his LGA, and assured that the council will leverage on the CHIS at Obio Cottage Hospital in the efforts to deliver quality healthcare services to the people in the nine other health centres.
Earlier, Chairman, IACDB, Chief Joseph Amadi, had said the scheme has a kick-off funding of N24.2million, which offsets 50 per cent premium payable by beneficiaries, adding that while indigenes will pay N3,600 each per annum or N300 per month, a family of six would pay N20,880 per annum or N1,740 per month.
Amadi further stated that non-indigenes were expected to pay full premium of N7,200 each per annum or N600 per month while a family of six would pay N41,760 per annum or N3,480 per month.
While lauding SPDC for ensuring the realization of the scheme, the CDB chairman also commended the company for providing overseas scholarships, skill acquisition in various trades, land transport for women cooperatives, water, electricity, micro-credit to boost businesses for the people of impacted communities, and challenged other corporate bodies to emulate the god examples of SPDC.
Oil & Energy
Agency Conducts Mega Mineral Clinic In FCT
The Nigerian Geological Survey Agency (NGSA) has concluded its mega mineral clinic to ensure that goals scored in area of geosciences data generation are digested by investors.
Director-General of the agency, Dr Abdulrazaq Garba, said this on Saturday in Abuja, at an occasion of its Mineral Promotion, Sensitisation and Dissemination (Mineral clinic), organised by the agency.
Garba said the aim of the clinic was to encourage Nigerians to take advantage of the investment opportunities offered by the geosciences data generation.
He said the programme was a milestone of the agency’s commitment to mineral promotion, sensitisation, and dissemination, which are in line with the present administration’s agenda.
He said the NGSA would go the extra mile to ensure that geoscience information on Nigeria’s mineral resources is disseminated to the public for investment purposes.
He stated further that more wealth and jobs can be created if investors take advantage of the data.
According to him, the aim of the mineral clinics is to expose investors, academia, students and stakeholders, through sensitisation and dissemination of geoscientific information on various solid mineral deposits in the country as well as respond to inquiries from the public.
“The mineral clinic is like an Open Day. In our effort to make available geosciences on a continuous basis, we will present three recent publications to the public.
“These publications are Phosphate Resources of Nigeria, Evaluation of Brine along the Benue Trough and Assessment of graphite occurrences in Saulawa Village, Birnin Gwari, Kaduna State, Northwest,” he said.
The Director-General said the agency would be more fulfilled, when people deployed the generated geosciences data available for economic transformation of the country.
He said one of the agency’s mandate was to generate geoscience data for wealth creation and national development.
“To achieve this, the over 100-year-old exploration agency stepped up exploration and assessment of projects in greenfield and brownfield, using a unified sampling and data capturing system in line with international best practices.
“The data generated by the NGSA prompted the agency to re-organise the Mineral Clinic in six geopolitical zones, which was a huge success.
“In the zones, over 400 potential investors attended the mineral clinic and over 100 samples of rocks and minerals were tested with Hand-Held XRF free of charge.
Oil & Energy
Presidential Panel Wants Stiffer Penalties For Crude Oil Thieves
The Federal Government’s Special Investigative Panel on Oil Theft/Losses has called for deliberate conversations to drive legal reforms that would provide stiffer penalties to culpable entities involved in oil theft.
Chairman of the Panel, retired Maj.-Gen. Barry Ndiomu, made the call in his address of welcome recently at a One-Day Stakeholders Conference on Oil Theft/Losses in Abuja.
Under the theme, “Protecting Petroleum Industry Assets for Improved Economy”, Ndiomu said frank discussions must be held to enable the country “crack the code” and put an end to the criminal enterprise of oil theft.
Ndiomu, who is also the Interim Administrator of the Presidential Amnesty Programme (PAP), expressed regret that the menace of oil theft has had enormous negative impact on Nigeria’s crude oil production, plunging output to a 13-year low of 800,000bpd.
He reiterated that strategic consultations have been held with state governments of the Niger Delta Region and other critical stakeholders to that effect.
“On the side of the law enforcement and security agencies, visits were made to the Chief of Army and Navel Staff, to the DG-DSS, the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, the EFCC, among others.
“These engagements availed us information on the challenges their respective organisations faced in securing our nation’s oil assets and combating oil theft.
“These efforts provided us new knowledge and elicited honest discussion amongst Panel Members that led to some obvious conclusion signifying that theft and lose of crude oil stemmed from the twin issues of complicity and negligence,’’ Ndiomu said.
He further explained that the emergent picture suggests the existence of a sophisticated network of complicity between elements from the host communities, security agencies and industry players.
He added that they include both government and private institutions alike, as well as international collaborators.
“The conception of this conference is part of the panel’s strategy to obtain additional inputs, information and data on the subject matter. Today’s event therefore aims at consolidating on what has been achieved so far”, Ndiomu said.
The Chairman, however, advocated for application of modern technologies to protect oil assets and a review of security architecture in the region.
“This should be done with a view to stem the sophisticated network of complicity between elements from the host communities, security agencies and industry players”.
The Tide’s source reports that the event attracted officials from the Presidency, National Assembly, traditional rulers from oil communities, security, military and paramilitary, as well as other stakeholders from the oil and gas sector.
Oil & Energy
Iraq Announces Deals To Boost Oil And Gas Output
Iraq has been saying it wants to produce more oil and gas for a while now but turning stated ambitions into reality has taken a while.
This week, the country took a big step towards that reality when it signed a slew of deals with foreign companies as part of plans to boost both crude oil and natural gas production considerably.
Gas production growth appears to be especially important because right now, Iraq is heavily reliant on neighbor Iran for its gas needs, which puts it into a vulnerable position.
The government in Baghdad inked deals with one Emirati company and two Chinese ones, aiming for oil production growth of a quarter of a million barrels daily and additional natural gas output of 800 million cu ft daily.
Iraq is OPEC’s second-largest oil producer, pumping 4.5 million barrels every day. In previous years government officials had said production capacity could grow to 5 million bpd and even 6 million bpd but little has been done to advance these plans.
The reasons for that slow progress include the politically unstable situation in the country, the dynamics of the oil industry that has seen companies prioritize low-cost, fast-return projects after the last two downturns, and predictions of peak oil demand.
Several oil majors, including Exxon, left Iraq altogether in the past few years, citing the uncertain outlook for its oil industry. Yet successive governments did not give up their plans for greater oil production despite the OPEC+ output quotas, and significantly higher natural gas production.
One of the companies that will be helping Iraq advance these plans is UAE-based Crescent Petroleum. The firm signed three long-term contracts for the exploration and development of three oil and gas fields.
Two of these fields—Gilabat-Qumar and Khashim, in the province of Dyala—are expected to begin producing natural gas within 18 months at a rate of 250 million cu ft daily, Crescent Petroleum said. The third field that Crescent Petroleum will explore is in the province of Basra.
The second of Baghdad’s new oil and gas development partners, Chinese United Energy Group inked a deal with the government to develop the Sindbad oil field, also in Basra.
The third company that signed a deal with the Iraqi government was also Chinese, Geo-Jade Petroleum Co. It will develop the Huwaiza oil field and the Naft Khana field, both near the Iranian border, Reuters noted in a report on the news.
All the contracts signed this week have a duration of 20 years and should help boost Iraq’s energy security in the natural gas department, reducing its bill for gas imports from Iran at a time when its economy is struggling to remain operational.
As a result of the deals signed this week, Iraq could suspend natural gas imports in three years, according to Prime Minister Mohammed Al-Sudani. Commenting on the deals, Al-Sudani said gas imports from Iran are costing the Baghdad budget between $5.5 and $6.8 billion a year, Zawya reported.
“We have decided to enter the global gas market and we will push ahead with projects to develop our gas resources and stop gas flaring because shortages in domestic gas supply are the main cause of our electricity supply problems,” Al-Sudani said.
To further these plans, Iraq will also launch tenders for exploration blocks in the northern, western and central parts of the country in the near future, Oil Minister Hayan Abdel-Ghanisaid this week.
Oil output should also grow. According to the IMF, this year, Iraq could produce 4.6 million bpd, up from 4.4 million bpd last year, The National reported. By 2027, oil production could reach 5 million bpd, the IMF also forecast. Perhaps Iraq’s oil and gas ambitions finally have a chance of panning out.
Kennedy reports for Oilprice.com
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