For promoting peace and providing a congenial environment for business to thrive in 2009, the Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) last Friday, rewarded some host communities in Rivers State with prizes for winning the maiden edition of the Community Role Model Peace Project in Port Harcourt.
The communities are those within Shell Land-1 East areas of operations, which form Port Harcourt-1 and 2, as well as Ogoni, and bring together secondary schools in Bori, Ogale, Igbo-Etche, Igwuruta, Rumuokurusi, Odagwa, Elelenwo, Umuechem, Egwi, Olakwor, in Obio/Akpor, Ikwerre, Etche, Eleme, and Khana local governments, among others.
The event brought together eight secondary schools, which vied for honours and glory with the projection of the core values of peace in essay and quiz competitions on the topics: “Effects of Pipeline Vandalism on the Environment”, and “Illegal Bunkering: Effects on the Environment and Economy”, as well as a community football competition.
At the end of the keenly contested essay competition, Gladys Echi of Elelenwo community came out tops, and was rewarded with N400,000.00 cash, a laptop computer and certificate, among others.
Captain Nwigwe of Igbo-Etche community clinched the second position, just as Chukwudi Okoronkwo took the third place, both rewarded with mouthwatering prizes and certificates.
In the quiz competition, Government Secondary School, Ogale, Eleme, swept through the lot to grab the first position with 14points, a cash reward of N20,000.00, among other prizes.
Community Boys Secondary School, Elelenwo won the second position with 13points while Birabi Memorial Grammar School, Bori, garnered the third position with 12points, and were also rewarded with valuable prizes.
However, in the football competition between PH-1 and PH-2, comprising a selection of talented football players from the participating secondary schools, PH-1 defeated PH-2 by 2-1 to lift the gold trophy and a cash reward of N300,000.00.
Speaking at the football prize presentation ceremony, Shell’s General Manager, Onshore Assets/Asset Manager, Swamp East, Woji Weli, thanked the participating schools from the local communities for promoting peaceful business environment in their areas in 2009, and charged the communities to continue to exhibit high level of hospitality and friendship in order to facilitate the sustainable development of their areas.
Making his presentation to winners of the essay competition, Manager, Government and Community Relations, SPDC, Theo Wellington, said the project was designed to recognize bright youths in the company’s host communities, and hoped that the participating youths will serve as role models by helping others in the communities to channel their minds, energy, time and resources to worthwhile activities that benefit the Niger Delta in particular and Nigeria in general.
He challenged the youths to be more creative and innovative in their career pursuits, and work assiduously towards the promotion of peace and development in their communities, as according to him, once peace is achieved in the rural communities, development and economic growth would be accomplished in the affected communities, local governments and state, and by extension, Nigeria.
In his speech, the Operations Manager, SPDC Land-1 East, Chuks Ikeobi, noted that majority of oil spills in the Niger Delta are the result of sabotage caused when thieves drill into pipelines or open up wellheads to steal oil and natural gas liquids, adding that on the average, these two causes account for more than 70 per cent of all oil spilled from Shell facilities in the Niger Delta over the last five years.
The operations manager assured that for whatever reasons may be adduced for misdirecting meaningful energies into the sabotage of the nation’s strategic economic livewire, as well as delaying the clean-up process by the emergency response teams, Shell was committed to improving its performance in all fronts, reduce the number of spills under its control, while striving to maintain oil production so as to sustain the nation’s economic growth and development.
“Whatever the cause”, Ikeobi said, “SPDC is committed to stopping and containing all spills, recovering and cleaning up as much oil as it can and restoring sites in compliance with regulations”, adding that Shell has “researched and adopted a technique for restoring land sites impacted by oil spills that we believe to be effective for the soil and climate conditions in the equatorial heat of the Niger Delta”.
He tasked host communities to continue to support and cooperate with the company in order to fast-track the development of the Niger Delta region by promoting the core values of peace and non-violence in their day-to-day activities, assuring that Shell would remain their advocate and partner.
Shell’s Assets Manager, Land – East, Mrs Chidube Nnene-Anochie, presented the Community Peace and quiz prizes to winners of the competition.
Highlights of the event were the presentation of Community Peace plaques, cash ranging from N5,000.00 to N400,000.00, certificates, trophies, LCD television sets, laptop computers, among other prizes to winners and other participating schools, teachers and students.
Prosecute Culprits In N14bn Hidden PHCN Fund, Stakeholders Call
Stakeholders have called for the prosecution of culprits fingered in the N14 billion hidden fund of defunct Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN) in banks.
Human rights activist and president, One Nigeria Empowerment Initiative Inc (ONEII), Comrade Onwumere, while speaking with newsmen, urged Federal Government to prosecute the people responsible for keeping such amount in banks at the detriment of improving the sector.
Onwumere noted that proper investment of such money could go a long way to bring the expected turnaround in the industry.
He described the act as criminal against the improvement of the energy sector in the country.
According to him, proper and regular supply of electricity would help reduce crime rates because many who were pushed into criminal activities following their inability to find useful means to earn decent living would channel their strengths into good lucrative jobs or businesses.
Similarly, Comrade Najeem Abubakar described the people who hide such money as anti-progress.
“Hiding any money meant for development of public facilities is wrong, as such they should be dealt with because they are enemies of the state.
“Nigeria is never a lawless country. The officers that hid such billions of Naira in the bank are criminals, they should be prosecuted and brought to book because it is and infringement on the people’s right by stealing their tax money, money which ought to be used for the general public.
“Availability of electricity at regular bases will help to create more jobs for the people. All those who are forced to take part in crimes or go into okada riding because of idleness can take into barbing saloon, tailoring or other means of making money when there will be improved electricity,” he stated.
In the same vein, he advised government to utilise the money to improve electricity supply to the country and provide more prepaid meters for consumers.
He also called on EFCC to investigate the corrupt act in order to fish out those behind the act to serve as a deterrent.
US Plans To Reduce Gasoline Prices
The Biden Administration is considering tapping the Strategic Petroleum Reserve as a potential tool to bring down the gasoline prices
Selling millions of barrels from the SPR may do precious little to impact the price of gasoline directly
·If the Administration were to opt for an SPR sale to increase the availability of crude, it could likely release up to 60 million barrels of crude oil
·The Biden Administration is considering tapping the Strategic Petroleum Reserve as a potential tool to bring down the gasoline prices in America that have hit a seven-year high this year.
However, selling millions of barrels from the SPR may do precious little to impact the price of gasoline directly, traders and analysts say.
A sale from the SPR could be one of “tools in the arsenal”—as U.S. President Joe Biden said this weekend – which the Administration could use to relieve the burden on households who have been paying in recent months the highest prices at the pump since 2014.
Yet, the U.S. may be able to release up to a tenth of the current stockpile in the SPR, traders have told Bloomberg. That wouldn’t be enough to bring down gasoline prices as much as the Administration possibly hopes, they warn.
Moreover, most of a potential sale could consist of sour crude grades, which currently are not the favorite of refiners because they need more natural gas—whose prices are much higher now—to process those sour grades into fuels.
SPR Release On The Table After OPEC+ Snub
“The SPR is certainly on the table as an option. The president will have more to say about that,” U.S. Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm said on Friday when asked what America can do now to reduce gasoline prices.
President Biden is considering a release from the SPR as a possible move to reduce gasoline prices in the United States, after OPEC+ ignored on Thursday calls for putting extra barrels on the market, Secretary Granholm told Bloomberg last Friday.
The President could announce measures to address high gasoline prices as soon as this week, Granholm told MSNBC in an interview on Monday.
“Hopefully there will be an announcement or so this week,” Granholm told MSNBC, referring to the President’s possible moves.
“He’s certainly looking at what options he has in the limited range of tools a president might have to address the cost of gasoline at the pump, because it is a global market,” the energy secretary added.
Gasoline Prices Highest Since September 2014
Meanwhile, U.S. gasoline prices continued to climb despite the end of driving season two months ago.
In the week to November 8, “The price at the pump continued its slow climb, rising two cents on the week, with the national average for a gallon of gas hitting $3.42,” AAA said on Monday. That’s the highest since September 2014.
“The latest decision by OPEC and its oil-producing allies to maintain their planned gradual increase in output will not help lessen supply constraints, so any relief will most likely have to come from the demand side,” according to AAA.
Shorter days with the end of the daylight saving time could decrease demand for gasoline in coming weeks, AAA spokesperson Andrew Gross said.
SPR Sale Will Likely Be Up To Three Days Of U.S. Petroleum Consumption
If the Administration were to opt for an SPR sale to increase the availability of crude, it could likely release up to 60 million barrels of crude oil, after accounting for mandatory sales pre-approved by Congress and the minimum volumes needed at the storage sites, a source at one of the world’s top oil trading houses told Bloomberg on condition of anonymity.
As of November 5, the SPR held 609.4 million barrels of crude oil, of which 252.5 million sweet crude and 356.9 million sour crude.
A release of up to 60 million barrels in theory would cover around three days worth of total U.S. petroleum consumption, which was 20.5 million barrels per day (bpd) in the pre-pandemic 2019, per EIA data.
According to analysts, an SPR sale wouldn’t do much to reduce prices at the pump and relieve the burden on households amid inflationary pressure for all other goods.
“Other Tools In The Arsenal”
President Biden hinted during the weekend of “other tools in the arsenal” to tame rallying gasoline prices.
“There are other tools in the arsenal that we have to deal — and I’m dealing with other countries; at an appropriate time, I will talk about it — that we can get more energy in the — in the pipeline, figuratively and literally speaking,” President Biden said, referring to the oil market after OPEC+ snubbed the U.S. Administration’s call for extra supply.
On Monday, eleven Democratic Senators wrote a letter to President Biden “to express our support for your efforts to help families and businesses across the nation who are struggling to cope with soaring gasoline prices.”
“Continued U.S. exports and overseas supply collusion could be devastating to many in our states, contributing to higher bills for American families and businesses,” the Senators, including Elizabeth Warren, said.
“In light of these pressing concerns, we ask that you consider all tools available at your disposal to lower U.S. gasoline prices. This includes a release from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve and a ban on crude oil exports. We hope you will consider these tools and others to make gasoline more affordable for all Americans,” the Senators wrote.
Faced with the highest gasoline prices in seven years and one of the worst fears of every American president—high prices at the pump, the U.S. Administration with the long-term clean energy agenda is now scrambling to provide immediate relief to people’s gasoline and energy bills.
FG Increases Prices Of Electricity Meters
The Federal Government has raised the cost of both single-phase and three-phase electricity meters.
In a circular dated November 11, 2021, issued by the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission, NERC, price of a single-phase meter has been increased from the current cost of N44,896.17 to a revised price of N58,661.69.
It also increased the price of a three-phase meter from the current cost of N82,855.19 to a revised rate of N109,684.36.
The memo with reference number NERC/REG/MAP/GEN/751/2, entitled ‘Review of the unit price of end-use meters under the Meter Asset Provider and National Mass Metering Regulations’; managing directors, all electricity distribution companies and all meter asset providers are to effect the increment from November 15, 2021.
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