For its pioneering role in the introduction and implementation of local content development initiative, aimed at building indigenous capacity and capability in the oil and gas industry, the more than 50-member strong indigenous companies providing technical services in the upstream and downstream sectors of the oil and gas industry, Petroleum Technology Association of Nigeria (PETAN), has rated Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria (SPDC), with an award as the best in local content development among all major international oil companies (IOCs) in Nigeria.
The award, which was presented to Shell at the just concluded Offshore Technology Conference (OTC), the world’s leading melting point for exhibition of cutting-edge innovations and expertise in oil and gas industry, in Houston, Texas, United States, by PETAN Chairman, Shawley Coker, is coming just few days after President Goodluck Jonathan signed the Nigerian Oil and Gas Content Development Bill into law, late last month, at the State House, Abuja.
A large contingent of PETAN members, and Nigerian government delegation led by Petroleum Minister, Mrs Deziani Allison-Madueke, were at the OTC to showcase their inventions, innovative skills and expertise in the critical oil and gas industry, and to also learn from global leaders in both upstream and downstream sectors of the industry that would continue to drive world economy and politics for decades to come.
Presenting the award to Shell, Coker said PETAN was excited at the commitment and driving force SPDC has brought to bear in the tacit implementation of the Federal Government’s policy on Nigerian content development and its contributions towards the passage of the bill by the National Assembly.
The PETAN chairman, commended SPDC for the “visible steps” taken so far to encourage the participation of indigenous companies in the highly technical and capital intensive oil and gas industry, and appealed to other IOCs to take a cue from SPDC and improve their stakes in local content development as a veritable means of fast-tracking the involvement of Nigerians in the industry’s lucrative playing field.
Announcing receipt of the unanticipated award on behalf of SPDC before some 40 senior journalists at the 2010 Bureau Editors/News Editors’ Forum in Port Harcourt, last Wednesday, General Manager, Nigerian Content Development, Simbi Wabote, said, Shell was “happy at the recognition, and will continue with efforts to empower more Nigerian companies, especially those based in the Niger Delta, to render key services in the oil and gas industry”.
Wabote noted that he was not surprised at the award following SPDC’s startling performance in the implementation of local content in critical areas of its operations, leading to the award of contracts to indigenous contractors valued at more than $1billion in 2008, adding that despite slow down in the global economy in 2009, SPDC also awarded contracts to indigenous contractors to the tune of more than $718million.
Focusing on the 2009 figure, the Shell NCD general manager stressed that, “of this, some 52 per cent of the contract value, representing $373million, went to companies based in the Niger Delta”.
According to Wabote, Shell is “committed to developing Nigerian content by partnering with local community contractors to gradually build their capacity”, adding that the major industry player believes that “by supporting both established and new contractors in the Niger Delta, they will grow to play leading roles in the provision of goods and services in the oil and gas industry”.
He listed areas where Shell has excelled in developing indigenous capacity and capability of Niger Delta contractors to include marine logistics, surveillance, civil construction, flowline construction, information technology, and dredging, emphasizing that the focus now was to support community contractors to build additional capacity in engineering, fabrication, materials procurement, supply of steel plates and sections, wells and drilling services as well as inspection and testing.
The Tide recalls that SPDC’s community content initiative is designed to promote the use of human, material resources and services from local communities in the Niger Delta, without compromising quality, health, safety and environmental standards, in order to stimulate the development of the region in particular and Nigeria in general.
Oil Marketers Urge Buhari To Crash Diesel Price
Petroleum marketers under the platform of Natural Oil and Gas Suppliers Association of Nigeria (NOGASA) rose from their 2nd National Executive Council (NEC) meeting last week, within a plea to President Muhammadu Buhari to direct the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to make dollars available at official rate to oil marketers.
This, they said, will enable them import diesel, end petrol scarcity, and ultimately save the Nigerian economy from sinking, saying that dollar support should be available till Dangote Refinery comes on stream later in the year.
The association, among others, urged the National Assembly to immediately enact a Bill for the establishment of Energy Bank for easy transaction in petroleum products in the sector.
National President of the Association, Mr Benneth Korie, who briefed the media after the NEC meeting in Abuja, noted that the bulk of the operational challenge peppering marketers and depot owners spring from expensive diesel which hovers around N850/litre.
While thanking President Muhammadu Buhari for approving a higher bridging cost payment to transporters, Korie said the operators’ challenges were far from over as oil marketers and depot owners spend about N20 million weekly on diesel to power their operations, thus eroding their profits.
The association urges the National Assembly to review the policy of taxation as it affects petroleum products supply and distribution chain.
Senate To Honour Brave Petrol Tanker Driver
The Senate has resolved to honour Ejiro Otarigho, the brave tanker driver who drove a burning tanker from danger zone to avert a tragic fire incident in Agbarho, Delta State.
The Senate has also recommended Ejiro to President Muhammadu Buhari for National Honours.
This followed a motion moved by the Deputy President of the Senate, Senator Ovie Omo-Agege, and co-sponsored by Senator James Manager and Senator Peter Nwaoboshi, at plenary.
It would be recalled that in a rare act of bravery, Ejiro had last week driven a burning tanker from danger zone to avert what could have been a tragic fire incident in Agbarho, Delta State.
The incident happened last Friday when Ejiro drove the burning truck for 25 minutes from a densely populated area to Agbarho River where the tanker was completely razed in the inferno. The act was captured by onlookers and had gone viral.
Rising under Order 45 and 52 of the Senate Standing Order 2021 (as amended), Senator Omo-Agege stressed that but for Ejiro’s courage, a major fire disaster which would have claimed several lives and property could have happened in his senatorial district.
The Delta Central lawmaker noted that Ejiro’s “extraordinary display of courage, reflex application of special driving skills, and huge risk to his own life, prevented a huge national tragedy and catastrophe by driving a burning tanker loaded with inflammable petroleum products from residential areas to safety so that thousands of our people may not die in an inferno that would also have consumed so much property in Agbarho, Delta State on Friday, June 10, 2022”.
The driver’s audacious act of heroism, he stressed, has saved the nation from national tragedy and mourning.
Accordingly, the Senate resolved to “invite Mr. Ejiro Otarigho to the Chamber of the Senate for public commendation by the President of the Senate, Senator Ibrahim Lawan.
“Recommend Mr. Ejiro Otarigho to His Excellency, President Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR, President and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Nigeria, for a befitting National Honour as Mr. President may deem fit for his extraordinary act of bravery, courage and skill that prevented the loss of human lives and property on a massive scale”.
President of the Senate, Senator Ahmad Lawan, who presided over plenary, hailed the driver for risking his life to drive the burning truck out of residential area to save lives.
Court Adjourns Worker Vs NLNG Matter To Oct
The National Industrial Court sitting in Port Harcourt, on Thursday, adjourned the matter on the defamation of character and unlawful termination of employment between a contract worker, Tambari Michael, and the Nigeria LNG Limited to October 25, 2022.
The judge, Justice Nelson Ogbuanya, said the adjournment was to enable the new counsel to the claimant, Mecha Mecha Kalu, to study the case before continuing.
Recall that the clamnant, Tambari Michael, a former contract staff of NLNG, had approached the court in 2019 to challenge the termination of his appointment by the Supervisor of NLNG’s Logistics, praying the court to declare the termination of his job as illegal and unlawful third party interference.
Michael in the suit number NICN/ PH/43/2019 claimed that displaying his name and image amongst persons accused to have committed criminal offensCes was defamatory, which, according to him, runs contrary to Section 4 of the NLNG Code of Conduct bordering on harassment.
Defendants in the suit are Nigeria LNG Limited, AUGJ Services Nigeria Ltd (the contracting firm) and Abimbola Ibukunle, the company’s Logistics Supervisor when the services of the claimant were terminated.
Other demands stated by the Claimant in the suit are “Damages be awarded to claimant against 1st defendant (Nigeria LNG Limited) and 3rd defendant (Mrs. Abimbola Ibikunle) for defamatory publication made.
“Damages also to be awarded against 1st and 3rd defendants for unlawful interference upon Mr Tambari Michael’s employment with AUGJ Services (2nd defendant).”
When the matter was called in the court on Thursday, counsel to the claimant, Mecha Mecha Kalu, who appeared in court for the first time, informed the court that he had just taken over the matter as counsel and solicitor to the claimant.
Speaking to newsmen after the court session, counsel to the claimant, Mecha Mecha Kalu expressed confidence that his client will get justice in the court but, counsel to the defendant declined comment.
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