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OPEC’ll Maintain Steady Flow Of Energy Supplies-Barkindo

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The Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) says it would remain fully focused on maintaining a steady flow of energy supplies to consumers.The OPEC Secretary-General, Dr Mohammad Barkindo, said this, yesterday, at the ongoing Nigeria Energy Forum (CERA Week 2022 Agenda) in Houston, Texas.
The forum is tagged: “Oil and Gas Investments: The Future of Fossil Fuels Amid the Quest for Decarbonisation”.
Barkindo, in a keynote address, which was made available to newsmen in Abuja, said that OPEC would remain focused on energy supplies in spite of Russia-Ukraine crisis and COVID-19 pandemic which had adverse effects on the energy markets globally.
“Over the past ten days or so, we have seen escalating geopolitical tensions, which are still unfolding and having adverse effects on energy markets across the world, resulting in heightened levels of volatility.
“The tensions have spooked investors and rattled commodity markets. We recognise this and are following developments very closely.
“Our hope in this crisis is that all parties involved can reach positive outcomes that will be acceptable to all,” he said.
Barkindo noted that the COVID-19 pandemic taught OPEC the value of taking a prudent approach to oil supply and demand developments.
According to him, this should be done with the flexibility to adapt strategies as and when needed, ultimately for well-being of global community.
In terms of the market outlook for 2022, the secretary-general said there was evidently some optimism, but it was also cognisant that uncertainties remained and was further complicated by geopolitical developments and exceptional market volatility.
According to him, optimism is being driven by the vaccine rollout, although this needs to filter through to more developing countries, improving mobility, and the continuing economic recovery.
“Uncertainties relate to COVID-19 developments, although at present we see the impact of the Omicron variant on the oil market to be relatively mild and short-lived.“Additionally, the geopolitical challenges already mentioned global supply chain issues, potential effects of rising inflation, consequent rise in interest rates, and knock on-impacts from challenges in gas, coal, electricity sectors, need to be closely monitored,” he said.
Speaking on the theme of the session, he said the unpredictability and volatility brought on by the pandemic had intensified discussions related to climate change and the energy transition.
This, Barkindo said, was clear at 2021 COP26 meeting in Glasgow, Scotland.
He listed a number of positive outcomes such as the U.S. returning to the head of the multilateral table, all parties commitment to the implementation and full operationalisation of the Paris Agreement, and the announcement of the Glasgow Climate Pact.
This, he said was all encouraging, given the pressing need to reduce global emissions, alleviate energy poverty, counter the impacts of the pandemic, and find a sustainable way forward leaving no country, industry, or peoples behind.
Additionally, he said that it was witnessing investors, environmental lobbyists and some corporate boards pressuring oil and gas companies and governments to pursue increasingly radical policies and initiatives that could be more disruptive, than productive for global energy industry.
“There have recently been calls for investments in new oil and gas projects to be discontinued, particularly in the context of discussions around net-zero targets. This is again wrong.
“We understand the move of many developed nations to set net-zero emissions targets. A number of developing nations have too. In fact, some OPEC Member Countries, including Nigeria, have made political pledges on net zero.
“However, it is important to appreciate the massive challenges for developing countries to reach net zero emissions, many of which are acutely focused on priorities such as energy access, living wages, and supplying basic necessities.
“We need to continually keep in mind that access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy, is a right for all, not a privilege of the few, and is enshrined by the UN in Sustainable Development Goal Seven,” he noted.
According to him, the unfortunate reality for developing countries is that a staggering 759million people worldwide did not have access to electricity in 2019, with about 79per cent of them located in Africa.
Moreover, he said there were roughly 2.6billion people or 34per cent of the global population who did not have access to clean cooking fuels and technologies.
This, he said included a massive 70per cent of Africans, exposing them to high levels of household air pollution.
He further disclosed that from the perspective of Nigeria alone, in 2019, only 55per cent of the population had access to electricity and only 13per cent had access to clean cooking.
He recalled that in the energy poverty debate that Africa was still relatively unexplored in terms of oil and gas.
According to him, this is in spite being bestowed with approximately 125billion barrels of proven oil reserves and 16trillion standard cubic metres of natural gas.

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LG Boss Lauds Mrs. Wike On Women’s Mentorship

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The Chairman of Bonny Local Government Area, Rivers State, Hon. Anengi Barasua has said that the mentorship roled played by Mrs. Suzzuest Nyesom Wike has enriched women in the State in all ramifications.
She said Justice Nyesom Wike’s display of humility and support for women was worthy for emulation.
Barasua, said this while fielding questions from journalists, at the weekend, in her office in Bonny, saying support given to the governor was enormous.
” Justice Suzzuest Wike, is a virtuous mother and role model to women, particularly in Rivers State. The women are proud of her. Her humility and inspiration she has given to women is commendable” Barasua said.
The local government chairperson urged women in authority to always emulate Mrs Wike, as she support her husband to succeed in his administration.
” I want to say an old time adage that says behind every successful man there is a woman. We have seen a real mother that has so much interest in women empowerment and deveploment.
I urge every woman in her position to emulate her and be submissive to your husbands. I also use this opportunity to felicitate with her on her birthday and wish her God protection and good health” she stated.
In another deveploment, Bonny Chairman has also congratulated all women elected in the just concluded PDP delegate and primary elections describing it as most peaceful.
She reiterated her commitment to the administration of Governor Nyesom Wike for given women more opportunity to participate in the democratic process.
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Nigeria’s GDP Grew By 3.11% In Q1 2022, NBS Affirms

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The National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) has said that Nigeria’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) grew by 3.11per cent in the first quarter of 2022.
The NBS made this known via its Nigerian Gross Domestic Product Report Q1 2022 released, last Monday.
According to the report, Nigeria’s GDP grew by 3.11per cent year-on-year in real terms in the first quarter of 2022.
The NBS noted that the development showed a sustained positive growth for six consecutive quarters since the recession witnessed in 2020 when negative growth rates were recorded in quarter two and three of 2020.
It added that the first quarter 2022 growth rate further represents an improvement in economic performance.
The NBS stated: “The observed trend since Q4 of 2020 is an indication of a gradual economic stability.
“The Q1 of 2022 growth rate was higher than the 0.51per cent growth rate recorded in Q1 of 2021 by 2.60per cent points and lower than 3.98per cent recorded in Q4 of 2021 by 0.88per cent points.
“Nevertheless, quarter-on-quarter, real GDP grew at -14.66per cent in Q1 of 2022, compared to Q4 of 2021, reflecting a lower economic activity than the preceding quarter.
“In the period under review, aggregate GDP stood at about N45.317million in nominal terms.
“This performance is higher when compared to the first quarter of 2021 which recorded aggregate GDP of about N40.014million, indicating a year-on-year nominal growth rate of 13.25per cent.
“The nominal GDP growth rate in Q1 2022 was higher relative to the 12.25per cent growth recorded in Q1 2021, and higher compared to the 13.11per cent growth recorded in the preceding quarter,” the report read.

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RSG Launches RIV-CARES Programme …World Bank Rates Rivers High

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The Rivers State Government has launched the state COVID-19 Action Recovery and Economic Stimulus (RIV-CARES) Programme.
The state Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike performed the launching at the NBA Secretariat in Port Harcourt, yesterday.
Speaking through his Deputy, Dr. Ipalibo Harry Banigo, the governor said the programme was to mitigate the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the poor and vulnerable households and support micro and small-scale enterprises as a means of stimulating economic growth post-COVID.
According to the State Chief Executive, “the state government had signed in for the programme, made provisions in the 2022 Budget for Result Areas and signed Funds Release Policy, which is an assurance to the World Bank that funds shall be released for the implementation of the programme”.
Wike said the launching of the RIV-CARES Programme would create awareness for the people of the state and engender expression of interest by beneficiary households, communities and operators of micro and small businesses (SMEs).
The governor, who encouraged the Rivers people to take advantage of the opportunities provided by RIV-CARES to enhance their means of livelihood and reduce the spate of poverty in the communities, commended the World Bank and the Federal CARES for their support to the state.
In her remarks, the Permanent Secretary of the state Ministry of Budget and Economic Planning, Mrs. Titilola Kuna Cline, said in a bid to check the negative effects of COVID-19 pandemic on livelihoods, food security and micro and small businesses, the World Bank in partnership with the Federal Government of Nigeria and the state governments, introduced the Nigeria COVID-19 Action Recovery and Economic Stimulus (NG-CARES) Programme.
She said the state scaled through rigorous preparatory stages and qualified to participate in the programme whose objective was “to expand access to livelihood support and food security services, and grants for poor and vulnerable households and firms”.
According to her, the stages include, signing of subsidiary loan agreement and fund release policy by the government.
Others include the establishment of the RIV-CARES Steering Committee, establishment of State- CARES Coordination Unit domiciled in the Ministry of Budget and Economic Planning and preparation of work plan.
“The NG-CARES, after domestication of programme implementation manual now known as RIV-CARES programme has the State Coordination Unit (SCU) saddled with coordinating implementation of RIV-CARES programme in the state and reporting to Federal-CARES supporting unit and the World Bank in Abuja.
“It is also a bridge between the delivery platforms and the State-CARES Steering Committee and for delivery platform under three Results Areas (RA1-3).
Cline listed the three areas to include cash transfer unit, labour intensive public works and community-driven development social (CDD-S) Plus.
The rest are, FADAMA and Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs).
Also speaking, the representative of the World Bank, Mr. Aso Vakporaye, said the programme must succeed in order to kick out poverty from the state in view of the fact that failure to kick out poverty would make life difficult for the entire citizenry.
He, therefore, thanked the governor for making it possible for Rivers State to participate in the programme.
Similarly, the World Bank and the Federal Government have rated Rivers State high in the implementation of the COVID-19 Action Recovery and Economic Stimulus scheme by the state government.
Representative of the World Bank Task Team Leader, Mr.Aso Vakporaye said this, yesterday, in Port Harcourt at the official flag offand implementation of the Rivers State COVID-19 Action Recovery and Economic Stimulus (RIV-CARES) Programme in the state.
Vakporaye, who is also the chairman of the Federal Government’sFederal-CARES Technician Committee,confirmed that Rivers State has met the requirements for the implementation of the programme.
He said alot still remains to be done,adding that the state needs to release more money for the implementation of the programme.
Also speaking, theTechnical Head of State CARESCoordinating Unitand Secretary,RIV-CARESSteering Committee,Mrs Imaonyeni Ephraim, said the programme would improve the livelihood of the poor and vulnerable people in the state.
She said the programme, which runs for two years,was open to many beneficiaries.
The flag off was performed by the state Deputy Governor,Dr.Ipalibo Harry Banigo, onbehalf of Governor Nyesom Wike.

By: John Bibor

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