N’Delta Forum Supports PH Refinery Rehabilitation
The Niger Delta Nonviolence Agitators Forum (NDNAF) has said that the opposition to the Federal Government’s proposed $1.5bn for the rehabilitation of the Port Harcourt refinery is needless.
The National President of NDNAF, Mr. Wisdom Oniekpar Ikuli, said this on Monday in Abuja at a news conference.
Minister of State Petroleum, Chief Timipre Sylva, said in Abuja after a Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting that President Muhammadu Buhari had approved $1.5bn for the rehabilitation of the refinery, which will be done in three phases of 18, 24 and 44 months.
Ikuli, said that it is better to have the refinery rehabilitated due to the long-run benefit it would accrue to the country.
“The $1.5bn to be spent on the Port Harcourt Refinery is a positive omen. It is sad development that we have this abundant crude oil that are shipped abroad and by the time they come, even the by-products are almost unaffordable for the ordinary Nigerian. But by the time these refineries are working optimally, it would reduce the expenditure, especially in the midst of the harsh economic realities.
“This is a commendable one and with the Timipre Sylva that we know, he is a very careful person and I can assure Nigerians that the refinery would be up and running and we should believe in President Muhammadu Buhari to get things worked out for us,” he said.
This is as the forum leadership passed a vote of confidence on Chief Timipre Sylva for his positive giant strides and innovations in the petroleum sector that are under-reported
He also urged the minister, who was a former Governor of Bayelsa and incumbent state Governor Douye Diri, to shelf party differences of being in the APC and PDP respectively but rather work for the oil sector, the Niger Delta and the nation.
“We urged Chief Timipre Sylva and Governor Douye Diri to close rank and work for the betterment of the people, irrespective of their party differences,” Ikuli said.
He commended the minister for his giant strides and the innovations he has introduced in the petroleum sector that has not only ensured stability of the sector in the midst of global economic challenges caused by the COVID-19 pandemic but has gone further to build trust and confidence among government and critical stakeholders.
He said, “It is also our imposed task to encourage very cordial working relationship between Niger Delta State Governments and the Federal Government.
We have seen the positive impacts of such synergy in the North and South West and we believe it is one of the best ways to develop our richly blessed region.
“This is the first time since the inception of our contemporary democracy in 1999 that we have not heard or seen state governors and ministers from the south-south fighting dirty.
Monarch Tasks Newly Government Recognized Traditional Rulers On Peace, Integrity
The Eze Oha Evo III, His Majesty, King Leslie Nyebuchi Eke, Eze Gbakagbaka, has called on the newly recognised Traditional Rulers by the Governor Nyesom Ezenwo Wike-led administration to ensure that they use their offices to support the peace initiative in the state as created by the Governor.
Eze Eke made the appeal while addressing newsmen in his palace in Woji in Obio/Akpor Local Government Area during the week.
He said as paramount rulers, their major stake was to maintain peace and integrity and not a double standard life.
According to him, Governor Nyesom Wike’s plans to have a peaceful state should be complemented at various levels including the traditional institutions.
The Evo King noted that if all communities in the state are peaceful, the state at large will live harmoniously.
He expressed hope that the upgrade/classification of additional traditional stools across the state was a pointer to the fact that Governor Wike has every sector at heart.
“I hail and thank His Excellency, Chief Nyesom Ezenwo Wike, Mr. Quality Projects, Life Bencher, for the classification/upgrade of traditional stools across the state. Indeed, the Governor is doing well”, he said.
He also called on his new colleagues to see the opportunity as a call to duty wherein, the people’s challenges will supercede their personal interest.
He sued for uprightness among the traditional rulers and their immediate communities, saying that “a house divided against itself cannot stand”.
He prayed that God Almighty would continue to bless and keep them in good health and sound mind as they have attained another height of greatness in life.
The Tide learnt that the Governor’s action was from the strength of Section 13, Subsection 1 of the Rivers State Traditional Rulers Law No. 4 of 2015.
By: King Onunwor
Stakeholders Task Govt On Special Fund For Host Communities
Some stakeholders in the Niger Delta are calling on governments in the region to set aside special percentages from the 13percent derivation fund for the development of oil producing communities.
This was part of a resolution at a town hall meeting organised by Connect Development (CODE), a non- governmental organisation in Port Harcourt.
The stakeholders who were drawn from Akwa Ibom, Rivers and Cross River States, particularly lamented general backwardness of host communities in the region.
They urged the government to set aside certain percentages for the host communities.
Speaking with newsmen, the Akwa Ibom State lead coordinator, Ubong Ekpe, said oil producing communities should not be denied of their fair share of development.
Ekpe said the implementation of the 13 percent derivation which has brought in trillions of Naira has not had any positive impact on the host communities.
He said the town hall meeting was to dialogue with major stakeholders, including host communities, with a view to ensuring that host communities benefit from natural resources from their Land.
Ekpe noted host communities, particularly in Akwa Ibom State, are yet to feel the impact of their resources.
Also speaking, the Cross River State Coordinator, Connecting Development (CODE), Effang Etim, said the meeting will share ideas between the organisation and community leaders , civil societies and government officials to create an action plan.
He said investigation revealed that most host communities in the region are not benefitting from resources being exploited from their areas.
“We had a survey across the State on host communities in which we made some findings that we’ll share to government personnel to enable them see what people in the communities are going through”, he said.
According to him, most host communities lack the basic necessities of life such as health centres, schools water and others.
A cross section of other participants who spoke were unanimous that host communities deserve better living conditions.
By: John Bibor
Community Laments Neglect Despite Hosting 48 Oil Wells
Resident of Joinkrama community in Ahoada West Council of Rivers State have expressed worries over the level of environmental degradation, poverty, and neglect in the area, despite having 48 oil wells, operated by multinational companies.
The community plays host to Adibawa Oilfield, operated by Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria Limited. The community is ravaged by poverty, environmental degradation and neglect, with inaccessible roads, cut off by flood and erosion.
Some residents, who spoke with The Tide source during Community Diagnostic Dialogue on the issues of oil pollution, organised by Health of Mother Earth Foundation (HOMEF), lamented that Orashi River, which serves as their major source of water, is highly polluted with crude.
A member of the community, Azaga Ovie-Oniso Kelvin, said: “Our rivers are highly polluted and the river crosses from one community to another. The roofing sheets are all brownish. What we want is the oil company operating here to mitigate the effects of their operations in the community.
“We have written letters to Shell, Agip and others, including their local contractors but unfortunately, they do not listen. They only listen to violence and because we are peaceful people, they keep taking us for granted,” he said.
Another resident, Mrs. Avigien Ubileoniso Goodwill, said poverty is clearly written on the faces of Joinkrama residents.
“The 2022 flood really dealt with us, our crops were all destroyed and we all were rendered homeless. The oil companies are not helping matters, even the access road is completely broken.
“The oil company should repair our only access road because the road is very important. Our graduates have been reduced to peasant farmers because there is no employment. There are no benefits at all from the oil company, we are still drinking from Orashi River.”
Environmentalist and Director of HOMEF, Dr. Nnimmo Bassey, described Joinkrama as a geographical laboratory for the study of environmental problems, ranging from flood, gas flaring and oil spills.
Business5 days ago
PENGASSAN Committed To Workplace Gender Equality
Sports5 days ago
‘Nigerian Football Suffering From Eight Years Of Neglect’
Crime/Justice3 days ago
Guber Elections: Jubilate But Don’t Cause Disorder, Police Tell Winners In Ebonyi
Sports3 days ago
AFCON 2023: Akpoguma, Ndidi, Others Hit Eagles Camp
online games2 days ago
The Pros and Cons of Betting: A Comprehensive Guide
Politics5 days ago
Alleged Party Name Omission, NNPP Candidate Threatens Suit Against INEC
News5 days ago
Continue To Do Right Thing, Banigo Tells INEC
News5 days ago
Troops Neutralise 60 As Terrorists Attack Collation Centre In Borno