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Niger Delta

PANDEF, HOSTCOM, Others Berate Kyari

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Pan Niger Delta Forum (PANDEF); Host Communities of Nigeria (HOSTCOM), and other stakeholders of Niger Delta, recently, disagreed with Group Managing Director of Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Mr Kele Kyari, over his claim that three per cent for Host Communities Trust Fund was higher than 30 per cent for exploration on Frontier Basin in the new Petroleum Industry Act (PIA).
PANDEF’s National Publicity Secretary, Ken Robinson, said: “The statement by Mr Kyari, the Group Managing Director of NNPC, that the three per cent provision for the Host Communities Development Trust in the Petroleum Industry Act is higher than the 30 per cent allocation for Frontier Exploration, is absurd and presumptuous.
According to PANDEF, “How can anyone make such an irrational comparison? It is adding insult to injury, to say the least.
“Oil and gas host communities in Niger Delta bear the brunt of the industry operations. With colossal adverse effects on the region’s hitherto luxurious ecosystem; the indigenous people’s means of livelihood have been grossly degraded, with little, if any, improvement in their standard of living.
“And so, it is awful for anyone to compare, for any reason, the paltry three per cent provision for the Host Communities Trust Fund to the humongous 30 per cent allocation for the nebulous Frontier Exploration Fund. It is baseless and makes no sense.
“Kyari’s expression reflects the uncouth contempt and injustice being carried out against Niger Delta. The nation cannot continue in this trajectory.”
National President, HOSTCOM, Chief Benjamin-Style Tamaranebi, who reacted to the controversy, said: “We keep hearing from Minister of State (Petroleum) and GMD, NNPC, that 30 per cent NNPC profit is lesser than three per cent Host Communities’ operating cost.
“GMD Kyari Mele is entitled to his opinion because we are not privileged to what is happening in the corporation and it is like a cook, who went out to the market to get foodstuff and prepare a meal for guests, the guests only know what was placed before them.
Pere (traditional ruler) of Seimbiri Kingdom in Delta State and former national chairman, Traditional Rulers of Oil Minerals Producing Communities of Nigeria, TROMPCON, Charles Ayemi-Botu, said: “That is arrant nonsense. Kyari should go and tell that to the marines or to Musa. By the way, what is the rationale in making such arrogant statement? No person in his true sense of reason will make such a ridiculous, unguarded and blasphemous statement.
“He should hide his head in shame, for the opportunity in becoming the Group Managing Director of NNPC without knowing the difference between three per cent and 30 per cent. He may best be described as a round peg in a square hole. We are in government of nepotism and winner takes all syndrome.
“Kyari did not expatiate on the details that informed such unguarded, erratic and stupid statement. Host communities are requesting nothing less than 10 per cent allocation to assuage the age long ecological degradation/devastation, environmental hazards, pollution of our only source of livelihood, our ecosystem has been totally destroyed, acid rains as well as the depletion of the ozone layers bring diseases, culminating in infant mortality/premature death, etc.”
An indigene of oil and gas rich, but neglected Oluasiri clan in Nembe LGA of Bayelsa, Iniruo Wills, said: “That is an utterly irrelevant comparison. It is a mechanical attempt at diverting attention from the gross injustice of treating communities as a nuisance factor.
“The real question is how does three per cent of mere operational expenses compare with the 10 per cent equity originally proposed at the beginning of the PIB journey or with the 10 per cent of profits that it was first watered down to by then President Jonathan and oil minister, Diezani Allison-Madueke, before Bukola Saraki’s National Assembly later cannibalised it down to 2.5 per cent of profits, setting the stage for the current crop of executives and legislators to do this final havoc”.
Coordinator, Niger Delta Peace Coalition, Zik Gbemre, said: “The comparison is immaterial, a meaningful distraction. It is extreme corruption for government to fund oil and gas prospecting. That is the reality Kyari would not mention”.
National president, Vanguard for Transparent Leadership and Accountability (VATLAD), Mr Emmanuel Igbini, declared: “From my deep knowledge of the Nigerian upstream petroleum sector, I know that data and figures thrown at Nigerians by the International Oil Companies, IOCs, are not credible at all.”
Minority rights activist, Eric Omare, said: “I do not have the statistics as per the total yearly operational cost of oil operations in Nigeria and the NNPC yearly profit on oil. However, the key point in the GMD’s comment, which is correct is that the criteria for arriving at the Host Communities Trust Fund and the Frontier Areas Fund are not same”.
John Okodi-Iyah, an engineering consultant in Akwa Ibom State, said the NNPC boss was economical with the truth.
“They can deceive some of the people sometime or all the time, but not all the people, all the time,” he said.

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Niger Delta

Community Lauds NDDC, Cleric On Project Execution

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Ayama Community of Gbarain Clan, Yenagoa Local Government Area of Bayelsa State has joined the league of communities which have been lit-up by the solar-powered street light projects of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC).
The community has praised the successful completion of the project, while also thanking the Managing-Director/CEO of the commission, Dr Samuel Ogbuku, and the entire management of the interventionist agency for considering the community amongst many others which have benefitted from the ongoing projects being executed by the commission across the Niger Delta region.
The Tide learnt this, Sunday, while speaking with the Ayama Community leadership during a tour of select communities across Bayelsa State which have been impacted by the NDDC’s “Operation Light Up Niger Delta”.
Speaking with newsmen, the trio of the paramount ruler of the community, HRH Kawari Apina-Owei, his Deputy, HRH Jeremiah Selesai, and Chairman, Community Development Committee (CDC), Comrade Geseye Apina-Owei, commended the NDDC Management for not only awarding the project to the community, but for also awarding it to a contracting firm, Doncont Nig.Ltd, who, according to them, delivered the project timely and within specifications.
Ayama is one of the communities in the twin clans of Gbarain/Ekpetiama oil and gas hub of the Yenagoa Local Government Area of the State.
“Some relief came our way when the NDDC awarded the solar-powered street lights to this community. This is the first time we’re feeling the impact of the leadership and management of the NDDC from inception.
“We thank the Manging-Director/CEO of the NDDC, Dr Samuel Ogbuku, and the entire management of the Commission for remembering our community, Ayama, in the award of this solar light project.
“Before now, we’ve been in total darkness, and so snakes and other dangerous reptiles were roaming at night. We couldn’t move at night before the execution of this solar light project once it’s night in this community, but now from here to Okotiama, Ogboloma we can move at anytime of the night.
“This is the first NDDC project this community is benefitting. As we speak, we don’t have water, no health facility, no good school. We also need internal roads in this community.
“We call on the NDDC management led by Dr Samuel Ogbuku, the hardworking MD/CEO of the NDDC, to reconsider this community on these other infrastructure we don’t have”, the community said.
The trio, who also expressed their appreciation to the Vicar, St. Luke’s Anglican Church, Ayama, Rev. Paul Edidi, described him as God sent, noting that the clergy facilitated the award of the project by the NDDC to the community when they least expected.
“We also want to thank God for the life of Rev. Paul Edidi, who facilitated the award of this project by the NDDC to our community. Rev. Edidi is God sent to our community.
“We thank the contractor, High Chief Osigwe Bayefa, of Doncont Nig.Ltd for the timely execution of this project according to specifications.
“We’ll continue to pray that whenever the NDDC want to award other projects it should consider Doncont Nig. Ltd and High Chief Osigwe Bayefa, the contractor for this solar project for doing a great job”, the community added.
Similarly, in separate interviews, the Chairman, Gbarain/Ekpetiama Rural Development Authority (RDA), Hon.Tolumona Engedefa, the community’s Woman Leader, Mrs Kuro Apina-owei, and the community’s Youth President, Comrade Mieyeseigha Selesai, reiterated the resolve of the community towards continuous cooperation with contractors of the NDDC and others in the future for timely execution of projects in the community.
They emphasized that the seamless execution of the solar-powered project by the contractor was a direct result of the community’s cooperation and readiness to partner for development.
On their part, Rev. Paul Edidi, who the community described as facilitator for the award of the project, and Prof. Benjamin Teibowei, Senior lecturer, Bayelsa State Medical University (BMU), Yenagoa, have described the NDDC management headed by Dr Samuel Ogbuku as a committed institution with willingness to fasttrack the developmental processes of the Niger Delta region.
The duo noted that the award of the project by the NDDC to the community which they alleged do not have any known political or economic heavy weight to lobby a project of that magnitude to, has again demonstrated that the commission under the stewardship of Ogbuku was in for a paradigm shift.
In the same vein, the Operations Manager of the contracting firm, Doncont Nig. Ltd, Mr Pereowei Bayefa, who spoke on behalf of High Chief Osigwe Bayefa, Chairman Board of Trustees, Doncont Nig.Ltd, has said the firm was noted for executing projects within specifications and timelines, thanking the NDDC and the community for the confidence reposed on the firm.

By: Community Lauds NDDC, Cleric On Project Execution

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Niger Delta

No Failed Accreditation Record In UNICAL – Registrar

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The Registrar of University of Calabar, (UniCal), Mr Gabriel Egbe, has said the institution had no record of failed accreditation.
Egbe, in a statement on behalf of the university’s management, was reacting to a warning allegedly made by the Council for the Regulation of Engineering in Nigeria (COREN) in a publication.
He said the alleged warning was over the accreditation of engineering courses in the university.
According to the Registrar, the title of the alleged publication credited to COREN is “Get Properly Accredited or Risk Blacklisting, Engineering Council warns UniCal, Adamawa Varsity”.
The Registrar noted that the publication was untrue and also wondered why COREN should allegedly be credited with such publication.
He stressed that this was more pertinent as COREN was saddled with the responsibility of ensuring professional accreditation of Engineering programmes in Nigerian Universities.
According to him, when COREN’s agitation for professional accreditation last came up, the professional body was duly informed that the National Universities Commission (NUC) must first conduct its accreditation before any professional body.
Egbe said this was in line with the established procedure.
“In November 2023, NUC visited the institution for accreditation of all programmes that were due for the exercise including programmes in the five departments of the faculty of Engineering.
“The result of that exercise is still being awaited. The University has no record of failed accreditation with its engineering programmes as COREN is making people believe.
“It is on the strength of the outcome that COREN will be officially invited by the university to come for its professional accreditation.
“If COREN feels that it cannot wait for the NUC results then it should write to the University like other professional bodies are doing, giving us dates for their visits”, he said.
The Registrar asserted that using the public space to promote a campaign of ill-will and damage to the name of UniCal under the guise of rolling out a recommendation at its 181st Ordinary Council Meeting was not acceptable.
He called for caution from COREN adding that as a professional body they should be more concerned with promoting and nurturing their would-be professionals.

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Niger Delta

Vet Praises Diri, Predecessor On Functional Hospital

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The Principal Veterinary Officer, Bayelsa State Ministry of Agriculture/Medical Director of the state-owned Veterinary Hospital, Yenagoa, Dr Maxwell Philips, has commended the State Governor, Senator Douye Diri, for his desire to continuously improve health infrastructure across the state.
Dr. Philips, who also lauded the Governor’s predecessor, Senator Henry Seriake Dickson, for his foresight in establishing the hospital, described the two leaders as worthy Ambassadors of the Medical and Health profession.
He gave the commendations Tuesday during an interview with newsmen in Yenagoa, the state capital, during an assessment tour of the animal health infrastructure.
According to him, upon the establishment of the facility, through its awareness and sensitization activities, more members of the public, especially owners of pets and farm animals, have become more aware of the importance of animals’ health in connection with their personal health.
The Veterinarian noted that from 2014 to date when the facility was established, the hospital has attended to over 4000 registered patients (animals).
It would be recalled that the Bayelsa State Governor’s predecessor in 2014 built a Veterinary hospital in the Edepie axis of Yenagoa, the state capital.
The animal health Doctor, who also described the facility as the biggest and first state-owned veterinary hospital in the entire South-South zone, warned unsuspecting members of the public against the consumption of meat produced from uninspected and unapproved abattoirs in the state.
According to him, this became necessary because about 90% human diseases were contracted from animals, saying also that humans obtain over 80% of their food stuffs from animals, hence the need to thread with caution in the patronage of abattoir operators.
“Animals serve as pets and foods, so people need to be very careful in their relationships with animals, especially when these animals are sick or bought for consumption.
“In Bayelsa State, there’re currently only two Government approved abattoirs. One is the Bayelsa Palm abattoir, while the other is the Swali ultra-modern market abattoir. We want to advise against meat patronage from uninspected and unapproved abattoirs in the state.
“Veterinary Drs from the state-owned Veterinary hospital visit the Swali and Bayelsa Palm abattoirs on daily basis as early as 6am for inspection of the health statuses of animals and give approval if certified fit for human consumption before they’re butchered for sale around 7am”, he said.
He continued that “it’ll interest you to note that as a direct result of the importance the Government places on establishing this facility, the Bayelsa State College of Health Technology, Otuogidi, during the past one year has been bringing its students of the Department of Public Health for studies on animal health and diseases to this hospital.
“And, currently, the Niger Delta University’s (NDU) Faculty of Pharmacy has also made an arrangement with the management of the hospital in which it would be bringing its students to under study animal pharmacy in this facility.
“So, the effort the Government of the state has put in building this veterinary hospital is yielding very positive result. We thank His Excellency, Senator Douye Diri, Governor of the state, for his commitment and dedication towards ensuring that this hospital remains functional”, he added.

By: Ariwera Ibibo-Howells, Yenagoa

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