Worried over the continuous delay in the clean-up of Ogoni environment, the Movement for the Survival of the Ogoni People (MOSOP) has called on world leaders and all men of conscience to intervene in the situation.
MOSOP is specifically seeking for pressure to be put on Nigerian Government and Shell Petroleum Development Company and its joint venture partners, to immediately commence the holistic implementation of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) report on the Ogoni environment to avert an impending genocide.
In a statement in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, yesterday, by its spokesman, Mr Fegalo Nsuke, MOSOP noted that there was rise in reports of deaths in the area due to exposure to oil spill.
Nsuke said: “Between March 2 and 17, 2018, Bodo community in Gokana Local Government Area alone buried 33 persons while 29 persons died in K-Dere also in Gokana council. Similar reports are coming from other Ogoni villages.
“MOSOP wants to use this opportunity to alert the world of what is clearly a Shell/state-sponsored genocide in Ogoniland. We are concerned that Shell and the government of Nigeria are doing little or nothing about the restoration of Ogoniland and the immediate provision of water for the people even as communities record increasing death rates.
“MOSOP flays this inhuman attitude of the Nigerian government and Shell, and urge the world not to allow this happen in the 21st century.
“We take exception to the fact that just recently in December, 2017, the Nigerian government approved $1billion to purchase arms to kill humans in the fight against insurgents, the same government that has failed to provide an agreed sum of $200million annually for five years to save the lives of over 1million people in Ogoniland.”
However, The Tide investigations show that the SPDC management had, last year, released $10million to the Hydrocarbon Pollution and Restoration Project (HYPRP), the Federal Government agency driving the clean-up of Ogoniland, as part of its contribution to the implementation of the UNEP report.
It revealed that SPDC had built an integrated water facility in Ogale, Eleme; and has been implementing emergency water supply initiative for communities in Ogoni since the release of the report in August, 2011, and complied with UNEP recommendations by conducting the clean-up and remediation of 15 identified spill sites in the report.
It has also concluded assets inventory, and plans a comprehensive decommissioning programme for its facilities in Ogoniland.
Apart from the campaign against illegal oil bunkering and pipeline vandalism in communities in Ogoniland, the company is said to have been implementing a number of empowerment programmes for Ogoni youth through its LiveWIRE Scheme, while also awarding scholarships to many secondary school and university undergraduate students from the area.
Meanwhile, The Federal Government, yesterday, stated that until all the components of the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB), are passed by the National Assembly and assented to by the Presidency, no new licensing rounds for oil wells would be conducted.
Speaking in Abuja, at the Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI), symposium on the PIB, Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Dr Ibe Kachikwu, disclosed that the Federal Government would only award new licenses for oil production under new legislations.
Kachikwu, who was represented by his Senior Technical Adviser on Efficiency, Mr. Johnson Awoyomi, emphasized the need for transparency and clear policy direction in the Nigerian petroleum industry.
He said, “Finally, it is a national priority to have certainty and clarity over the operations of the petroleum industry as it will foster more licensing rounds, enhance revenues and increased economic activities.
“New acreages will be awarded for exploration and production under new laws and terms, especially offshore which is likely to account for much of the growth in the nation’s reserves.
“For too long, we have waited for this moment with bated breath and sheer excitement, knowing that the bill will disentangle us from the manacles of inefficiency, low investment drive and opacity.”
Kachikwu said stakeholders must relish the urgency of the current stage at which the various petroleum bills are, stating that all hands should be on deck to making sure the bill achieves what it is meant to achieve.
“Getting to the yes on the PIGB is a great milestone, I am so glad we have begun heeding the clarion’s call,” he noted.
The minister lamented that the aggregation of laws which had governed the Nigerian oil and gas sector over the years had become archaic and no longer competitive and needs to be reviewed and harmonized into a comprehensive law.
He said, “After a critical study of the myriad of challenges on ground, we observed that crucial to the fixing of these problems lies in the question of the governance of the industry, and effort from the legal wing which could play a critical role in presenting a robust, effective governance and institutional framework for the management and regulation of petroleum resources in Nigeria.
“The role of the government needs to be better clarified by refocusing the mandate of the policy, regulatory and commercial institutions to ensure better sector governance, transparency of regulations and operations, accountability of the institutions and removal of opaqueness around the industry.”
Also speaking, Executive Secretary of NEITI, Mr. Waziri Adio, however, stated that passage and assent to the bill do not signify the end of the sector’s challenges, noting that the most crucial part aspect is the implementation of bill when it eventually becomes law.
He said, “But we will be deluded to think the job is done. It is not. Succumbing to such a temptation will be wrong-headed and misdirected. And here we are not just talking about the need to finally pass the PIGB and transmit it to the President for assent. And not even about ensuring that the other three bills are passed and signed. It is more about ensuring effective implementation of the resultant laws in ways that will reposition and transform our oil and gas sector to become a real blessing, and not this needless curse, for our people.
“Our expectation is that we will address many of the questions that have been asked, including those yet to be asked, or at least set us thinking seriously about these questions. Some of these include: what transitional arrangements are being contemplated? What is the plan for the fiscal, host community and administrative bills?
Akeredolu will be remembered for truth, justice – Aiyedatiwa
Gov. Lucky Aiyedatiwa of Ondo State on Wednesday said the late former Governor of the state, Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, would be remembered for his good deeds, especially standing for truth and justice.
Aiyedatiwa stated this during a special court session held in honour of the late former governor at the Ondo State High Court in Akure.
He explained that the former governor used his knowledge, ebullience and capacities to defend the human peaceful existence.
Aiyedatiwa added that the deceased deeds during his life time were greatly impactful.
According to him, the deceased was after justice and rule of law.
Aiyedatiwa said that late Akeredolu was always not pleased when justice was not served.
He described the honour bestowed on the late governor as a well deserved because his life evolved around the legal profession.
“He was an achiever with success stories. He stood firm and was committed to truth and justice,” he said.
Also speaking, the Chief Judge (CJ) of the state, Justice Olusegun Odusola, said that late Akeredolu remained celebrated in death more than being alive considering a reference to his achievements and attainment in life.
Odusola said that the late governor was a courageous fighter, who faced the serious security challenges in the state with ingenious courage that had become a national model.
He stated that it was more-worthy that the late governor did not interfere with judicial activities, even when it did not favour his desires.
According to him, late Akeredolu was a man that lived with his words.
“In my last encounter with him at a time when his health was obviously failing, Arakunrin still reiterated his desire to construct a judiciary complex that will be the envy of other states in the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
“He also spoke about judges’ welfare and I wondered how a man in such a condition could still love the judiciary so much as to remember the little promises he made,” he said.
The CJ said that late Akeredolu was an outstanding legal icon and a political colossus, a man who was an exemplar of indefatigable courage, principled resistance with honesty and self-respect.
He stated that late Akeredolu would continue to be a good reference point in humanity.
In his remarks, the President of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Mr Yakubu Maikyau, described the late governor as a man with keen passion to help humanity and secure peace.
Maikyau added that the deceased was a person of humility known for truth and justice, and asked the deceased family to take solace in the good deeds of the late governor.
Dignitaries present include Gov. Abdulrasak Abdulrahman of Kwara; Ondo State Deputy Gov, Olayide Adelami; Chief Olusola Oke, SAN; and APC Chairman in Ondo State, Mr Ade Adetimehin.
Others are human rights lawyer, Mr Kayode Ajulo; Ambassador Sola Iji, Speaker Ondo State House of Assembly; and former Inspector of Police, Mr Sunday Ehindero.
Gunmen Kill Police Inspector In Rivers
The Rivers State Police Command said an Inspector was killed by gunmen who ambushed and attacked its men on a stop and search duty at the Eliozu Flyover in Obio/Akpo Local Government Area of the state on Wednesday night.
The spokesperson of the command, Grace Iringe-Koko, disclosed this in a statement issued yesterday.
Iringe-Koko said the gunmen who were spotted in a carton-colored Sienna bus with fully tinted glasses drove in from the Rumuodumaya axis, near Port Harcourt where they launched the offensive which claimed the officer’s life.
She, however, said the team rose to the occasion and returned fire and neutralised one of the miscreants who wore masks, but that other gang members escaped by the whisker.
The statement reads, “We are deeply saddened to announce a heinous incident that occurred on 21st February 2024, involving an attack on policemen attached to Operation Sting of the Rivers State Police Command.
“At approximately 2145hrs, while conducting routine stop-and-search at Eliozu flyover, the officers were ambushed by unidentified hoodlums operating in a carton-colored Sienna bus, with fully tinted glasses.
“The registration number of the vehicle remains unknown at this time.
“The assailants drove in from the Rumuodumaya axis, and opened fire on the police team, resulting in the tragic loss of one Inspector who valiantly gave his life in the line of duty.
“Undeterred, the police team responded with bravery, engaging the attackers and managing to neutralise one of them with a mask on his face, while the others managed to escape, potentially sustaining gunshot wounds.
“The command has launched a thorough investigation into this despicable act and has already identified the group responsible.
“Rest assured, we will relentlessly pursue these criminals and bring them to justice. No amount of intimidation will hinder our officers’ unwavering commitment to safeguarding the lives and property of the citizens.”
While noting that such acts of aggression against security forces detrimentally impact the safety and security of our entire society, she stressed that the command remains resolute in its duty to maintain peace and protect the well-being of the populace.
“The Commissioner of Police, Olatunji Disu, reiterates unequivocally that those who perpetrate violence against policemen or any citizen will face the full weight of the law.
“We urge all law-abiding citizens to continue with their daily activities without panic, as we are determined to uphold our mandate of preserving lives and property in the face of such challenges.
“We extend our deepest condolences to the family and colleagues of the fallen inspector, and we assure them that his sacrifice will not be in vain. Our resolve to serve and protect remains unwavering as we stand together against those who seek to disrupt the peace and harmony of our society”, she said.
Recall that last year, a former Divisional Police Officer of Ahoada Division, Bako Angbashim, was ambushed and killed by a cult gang.
Since the death of the cop, the command has been on his trail, with constant land and air bombardments in the various hideouts of the Iceland cult leader, even as some of his lieutenants were gunned down previously.
However, on Monday, Grace Iringe-Koko, said intelligence reports revealed that the wanted cult kingpin was killed in a recent joint security raid in the Idu-Ekpeye community, Ahoada East Local Government Area of the State.
Nigeria’s GDP Grew By 3.46% In Q4 2023 -NBS
Nigeria’s Gross Domestic Product grew by 3.46 per cent year-on-year in real terms in the fourth quarter of 2023, the National Bureau of Statistics has disclosed.
In its ‘Nigerian Gross Domestic Product Report (Q4, 2023),’ released yesterday, the NBS said the growth rate is lower than the 3.52 per cent recorded in the fourth quarter of 2022 and higher than the third quarter of 2023 growth of 2.54 per cent
It added that the service industry was responsible for the growth in the quarter.
Both the IMF and World Bank expected Nigeria’s economy to grow by 2.9 per cent in 2023.
The report read, “Nigeria’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) grew by 3.46 per cent (year-on-year) in real terms in the fourth quarter of 2023.
“This growth rate is lower than the 3.52 per cent recorded in the fourth quarter of 2022 and higher than the third quarter of 2023 growth of 2.54 per cent.
“The performance of the GDP in the fourth quarter of 2023 was driven mainly by the Services sector, which recorded a growth of 3.98 per cent and contributed 56.55 per cent to the aggregate GDP.”
In terms of share of the GDP, industry, and the services sectors contributed more to the aggregate GDP in the fourth quarter of 2023 compared to the fourth quarter of 2022.
“The agriculture sector grew by 2.10 per cent, from the growth of 2.05 per cent recorded in the fourth quarter of 2022. The growth of the industry sector was 3.86 per cent, an improvement from -0.94 per cent recorded in the fourth quarter of 2022. In terms of share of the GDP, industry, and the services sectors contributed more to the aggregate GDP in the fourth quarter of 2023 compared to the fourth quarter of 2022. On an annual basis, GDP grew by 2.74 per cent in 2023 relative to 3.10 per cent in 2022,” the report added.
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