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FG Launches NUCOP To Crash Crude Production Cost, Boost Competitiveness

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Efforts to achieve the $10/barrel crude production target deepened, yesterday, as the Federal Government officially launched the Nigerian Upstream Cost Optimisation Programme (NUCOP).

Speaking at the launch, the Minister of State, Petroleum Resources, Chief Timipre Sylva, said that the aim of the new initiative was to boost industry collaboration and process enhancement.

According to him, of all the nine priority areas given to the ministry as its operational mandate, reduction of crude oil extraction cost remains pivotal.

He said that the ministry has since identified some initiatives to tackle the challenges stacking against lower production cost, adding that the cost in Nigeria was exceptionally high compared to other oil-producing nations like Iran and Saudi Arabia.

Sylva added that high cost would rob the country its desire to attract investments and remain globally competitive.

He added that capital expenditure, operational cost, policy-related elements, weak collaboration, capacity and capability issues, facility reliability, single sourcing syndrome, high magnitude of crude loss, multiplicity of tariff, among others, are issues that need to be urgently tackled.

“Members of the NUCOP are officials of the Petroleum Ministry, DPR, NCDMB, PETAN, NNPC, among others”, he said.

“They’ve found short and medium-term solutions. Average total cost is now below $30/barrel for JV contract and less than $20 for PSC. We need to do more. Engagement should reach a consensus on cost reduction.

“We are making a case for shared services. Our target is 3mpd daily production and 40 billion barrels reserves”.

Sylva assured the gathering that the executive arm of government was on the same page with the legislature to pass the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) this year.

“We want to position Nigeria as the best designation for investment in the hydrocarbon sector. The benefits of NUCOP are many. It includes; reducing the contracting cycle to three months or less, prompting efficiency, profitability and competitiveness. Its success is dependent on collaboration of stakeholders”, he added.

In his remarks, the Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Mr Mele Kyari, said Nigeria must pull down production cost, describing it as a self interest pursuit.

“There’s a global energy transition. Less cost-efficient companies cannot survive today. $50/barrel production cost cannot survive. There are issues around synergy that we’ve not achieved.

“There are issues of security. Many companies are hiring their own armies and we can’t continue like that. Issues of taxes and others have to be addressed. Our practices must change so that service providers can deliver.

“So, we can achieve economic growth and our partners can derive benefits. It’s not CSR but pure business. We must have the best of fiscal environment and policies so that cost of operation can come down and our target is at least $10/barrel.

“If we do these, tax benefits will increase and profit margin will increase. This is a task that must be done. This partnership will help the country. Crude has hit the $60 and it comes with a product price increase. We are trying to keep the country wet. We are engaging with labour. No provision for subsidy in the budget”, the NNPC boss explained.

In his remarks, the Chairman, Senate Committee, Upstream, Albert Bassey Akpan, said there was a need to take a second look at production cost for Nigeria to remain competitive.

“We must pay attention to the passage of PIB and pass it before the end of 2021. We need to look at tax structure and security issues. There is need for relevant stakeholders to harmonize their logistics structure”, he said

Also commenting, the Executive Secretary of the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB), Mr Simbi Wabote, said that the discussion on cost reduction was long overdue.

He assured of the board’s support and collaboration towards achieving the target.

“Cost reduction comes with some pain and what’s important is how the business will survive to sustain jobs. Local content is a panacea for cost reduction. There is massive cost savings when Nigerians run the business unlike when expatriates flood the business”, he noted.

For the President of the Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (PENGASSAN), Comrade Festus Usifo, he urged the gathering to look at expatriates’ costs as many of them are earning fat pay doing jobs capable Nigerians should handle.

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FG Seeks NGOs’ Support Against Terrorism, Banditry

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The Federal Government has called on  Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) operating in Nigeria to support its efforts in the fight against terrorism, banditry and all forms of criminality.
The Minister of State for Budget and National Planning, Mr Clem Agba, made the call at the unveiling of an NGO, ‘Sure for Your Rescue and Resettlement Initiative (SURE4U’ in Abuja.
SURE4U was established by the former Comptroller-General of Immigration Service, Mr Muhammad Babandede, to promote social justice, gender equality, protection and integration of vulnerable children and returnees into the society.
Agba urged NGOs to support government efforts by ensuring that they did not engage in activities that undermines Nigeria’s sovereignty and national security.
He also urged NGOs to support government in addressing the plights of the vulnerable in Nigeria.
“The problem of providing for the vulnerable people in our society is at the heart of President Muhammadu Buhari administration’s commitment to lifting 100 million Nigerians out of poverty in ten years.
“There is the overwhelming need to accord the vulnerable a priority so as to enable them contribute meaningfully to the socio-cultural and socio-economic development of Nigeria.
“Consequently, the National Development Plan 2021 to 2025 takes into consideration the plight of the Almajiri children and other vulnerable Nigerians and adequate room has been made to ensure their inclusion in the implementation of the plan.
“It is hoped that NGOs will complement the efforts of government in this regards. Some of their invited contributions includes human capital development and technical assistance.
“Development of Small Scale farmers; Research, monitoring and evaluation; Enlightenment Campaigns; Advocacy for the poor; and conflict resolution/peace building,’’ he said.
The Minister said Babandede’s experience at NAPTIP and NIS would be brought to bear in the running of the new organisation, with multi-tasked vision on the vulnerable children in the society.He added that SURE4U would be involved in Migration issues including provision of adequate and hospitable reception to Nigerians deported back home, mainly to assuage their frustrations due to forced displacement.
According to him, the menace of Trafficking in Persons (TIP) as one of the world’s most despicable human phenomenon.
“Girl-child education and inmates incarcerated because of minor offences requiring settlement of small judicial fines are also amongst the noble precepts of the NGO.
“The experience garnered by the founder while at NAPTIP and Immigration Service would certainly come in handy in meeting the organisation’s objectives.
‘SURE4U holds a huge promise for its intended objectives in Nigerian, especially the less privileged in the society,’ he said.
Agba said it was more interesting to see such an organisation founded and headed by a credible personality who had served the government and still ready to serve the country through non-governmental activities.
He added that undertaking an NGO activities in terms of funding and other logistics was never an easy task, adding that many NGOs found it difficult to garner sufficient and continuous funding for their work.
Also speaking, the Federal Commissioner, National Commission for Refugees, Migrants and Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs), Mrs Imaan Sulaiman-Ibrahim, said SURE 4U has similar mandates with her agency hence the need for the support.
She added that the almajiri programme was a serious problem in the country that needed an urgent attention.
“Almajiri programme is a strong form of internal human trafficking because it has departed from it original reason why it was being initiated.
“It comes with a lot of abuse and there is no reason why we should condone it.
“While I was the Director-General of NAPTIP, on a daily basis, with the help of the security agencies, we intercepted two to three trucks of children being transported across the country.
“So, definitely, it calls for collective effort to address the issue of almajiri in the country, “ she said.
On his part, SURE4U Board of Trustees (BOT) Chairman, Sen. Usman Kibiya commended the Federal Government in tackling issues such as the number of out of school children and child trafficking.He called on the government for more effort at educating the girl-child saying that policies on the vulnerable in the society should be redesigned to carter for their needs.
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CAC  Partners NIMC On Effective Service Delivery

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The Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) says it is partnering with the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) as part of its reform initiatives for effective service delivery.
The Registrar-General of CAC, Alhaji Garba Abubakar, said this in a statement issued by CAC’s Head of Media Unit, Mr Rasheed Mahe, in Abuja.
The Registrar-General spoke at the just-concluded management retreat held in Kano with the theme: “Corporate Affairs Commission: Consolidating on the Gains of Digital Transformation”.
According to him, the commission’s partnership with NIMC has reached an advanced stage.
Abubakar said when implemented, the CAC might only require NIN enrolment numbers and not signatures to process registration applications as were obtainable in other jurisdictions.
He said that the commission was blessed with highly talented, committed and skilled personnel who worked outside office hours to approve applications from customers.
Abubakar further said training and re-training of its members of staff in all sectors of its operations would continue to receive priority attention in a bid to achieve its mandates.
He continued that the commission would train 700 members of staff by the end of the year as against the 583 trained in 2021.
Abubakar stated that more staff of the Commission would be empowered with working tools, adding that some of the tools would be provided by the World Bank.
He said the work tools would enable them grant registration approvals even outside of working hours.
Abubakar enjoined staff to re-dedicate themselves to duty, especially those handling approvals to exercise caution in order to guard against avoidable errors.
Speaking on the new insolvency framework in pursuant to CAMA, 2020, the CAC boss enjoined legal practitioners to explore the enormous potential provided by the new legal arrangement.
In her vote of thanks, the Director, Customer Service, Mrs Ifeoma Isaac, lauded the reform initiatives being championed by the Registrar-General.
The statement quoted Chairman of the Retreat Planning Committee, Duke Ukaga, as making a presentation on “Update on the Implementation of the 2021 Management Retreat’’.
The Tide’s source reports that the two-day event featured presentations of diverse topics.
They include the Current Innovations on the Companies Registration Portal (CRP), Ease of Doing Business: The Rwandan Experience, the Revised Operations Checklist and an Introduction to the Insolvency Regulations, among others.
The source reports that a 31-point Communiqué was issued at the end of the two-day retreat.

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FCTA Sponsors Cancer Patient’s Treatment, Hands Case To Family

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The Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) Social Development Secretariat (SDS) has handed over 23-year old Miss Beatrice Adah, a cancer patient, to her family after sponsoring her surgery at the National Hospital, Abuja.
Its Acting-Director, Social Welfare Services Department, Alhaji Sani Amar, disclosed this to The Tide’s source in Abuja.
Amar said before the intervention of FCTA Department, the cancer patient was being used by some men to make money on the streets of Abuja.
He said when the department apprehended them, they claimed that they had earlier taken the patient to the National Hospital but couldn’t afford the medical bill, adding that, that was why they resorted to begging.
Amar said they took the patient to the National Hospital to verify the  claim and the Surgeon asked them to make a deposit of N500,000.
He said the young men had already realised millions of naira through begging on behalf of the patient.
“In fact, we discovered that one of the young men had bought a plot of land in one of the local communities from Abuja natives, out of the money they realised through begging.
“The second one had also purchased a land and even built a structure, all with the money they gathered through begging in the name of looking for money to pay her medical bill.
“In fact, our investigation revealed that the patient was in their custody from July 2020 until when we intercepted them about two months ago.
“And by the grace of Almighty Allah, the surgery was carried out successfully,” he said.
Amar revealed that when the department took Beatrice to the hospital, a good Samaritan appeared and contributed N350,000, while FCTA completed the money and made the deposit for the treatment.
“As time goes by, from the money the two young men realised through begging, we made them to vomit N500,000, which we added to the initial deposit of N500,000 for the treatment.
“Subsequently, FCT Administration through the SDS, also added N300,000. In fact from the beginning to the end of the treatment we spent about N1.6 million put together.
“Like I said earlier, the donor contributed N350,000, the FCTA contributed N600,000 and we collected N550,000 from the young men,” he said.
Amar said that based on the investigation conducted by the department, the young men, who claimed to be doing “a Godly job” were fond of exploiting patients with such condition (abnormal growth).

 

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