International Oil Companies (IOCs) operating in Nigeria have expressed their frustration on the rising spate of crude oil theft and pipeline vandalism in the country.
They expressed their displeasure during a panel session held at the 2022 Nigeria Oil and Gas Conference with the theme, “The Future of Nigeria’s Energy Sector in the PIA Era.”
Those that spoke are the Managing Director of TotalEnergies E&P Nigeria Limited, Mr. Mike Sangster;Managing Director of Shell Nigeria Limited, Mr. Osagie Okunbor; Managing Director of Chevron Nigeria Limited and Chairman of the Oil Producers Trade Section (OPTS), Mr. Rick Kennedy; the Executive Director at ExxonMobil Nigeria, Mr. Oladotun Isiaka.
They said that within a three months period covering January 1 and March 31 this year, Nigeria lost a whopping amount of $1billion revenue to crude oil theft.
The $1billion, when converted to the Naira using the official exchange rate of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), translates to about N416billion.
The theft of crude oil has been frustrating the efforts of the government in attracting fresh investments into the oil and gas industry through the implementation of the Petroleum Industry Act.
Three months ago, the Minister of Petroleum Resources, Chief Timipre Sylva; the Chief of Defence Staff, Lucky Irabor; and the Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Ltd, Mele Kyari; visited the Niger Delta for an on-the-spot assessment of the damage done by vandals.
Shortly after the visit, a military operation followed immediately to smoke vandals out of the creeks.
Currently, the Nigerian Navy is carrying out serious military operations in the Niger Delta to ensure that oil and gas assets are protected.
The theft of crude oil has been having a negative effect on the revenue of the Federal Government, which has denied the country the much-needed fund to boost economic development.
Apart from revenue loss, the issue of oil theft is currently threatening not just the NNPC’s quest for energy security for the country; it was also having a debilitating effect on Nigeria’s foreign exchange earnings.
Nigeria relies on crude oil revenue for over 90per cent of its foreign exchange earnings.
Speaking on the development, Okunbor warned that the development was a threat to the country’s economy.
The Shell MD said the high level of oil losses caused by crude theft had resulted to Nigeria’s daily oil production declining from 1.8million barrels per day in the last three years to just a little over 1million bpd.
He said two of the most important oil pipelines in the country are currently shut down with hundreds of thousands of barrels a day shut-in.
He said, “If there’s one thing we need to take away from this conference, it’s how we can put our heads together: industry, government, regulators, communities, security agencies as to how we can deal with this culture.
“We need to address it. If we don’t address it, we can do all the new oil development issues that will continue to occur. But what is really going to move the needle for us in terms of bridging this gap of hundreds of thousands of barrels a day is solving the evacuation problem.
“So, our OML 53 and 57 marginal field licensees, depending on how quickly they can bring production on stream, those who are on land, swamps and shallow water, evacuation is going to be an issue. So, it’s an existential issue for us.
“In three to five years, we were brought down from 1.8million barrels a day to a little over 1million barrels a day and frankly, most of that comes out of deep water.”
In his submission at the event, Chevron’s Rick Kennedy, said time has come for all the stakeholders in the oil and gas industry to address the issue of oil theft.
He said, “There is the need for an unprecedented level of collaboration and partnership across industry, with the regulators with the ministry, and with NNPC.
“And I think that will do us well going forward as we all take on the challenges ahead of us, including the high crude theft that we are going through. Let’s just carry on that collaborative mind-set and ensure we address these challenges.”
Tai APC Collapses As Hundreds Return To PDP …Say They Were Blinded By Fake Promises
Over 500 former members of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Tai Local Government Area have returned to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
The returnees led by the first PDP Chairman of the area, Hon Peter Gwezia, announced their return to the PDP, last Saturday, during the GDI’s sensitisation programme for the collection of Permanent Voters’ Cards (PVC) at the Council Secretariat, Saakpenwa.
Speaking on behalf of the rest of the returnees while renouncing membership of the APC, Hon Peter Gwezia, said he and other APC members decided to leave the party due to failure of leadership.
While promising to work for the success of the PDP in the 2023 election, Gwezia said the APC lacked ideas, and was like a vehicle without engine, could not take them to their desired destination, hence their decision to leave the party.
In his remarks, Deputy Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party, Hon Chukwuemeka Aaron, who received the returnees on behalf of the Chairman, PDP Rivers State, Amb Desmond Akawor, assured them of equal treatment, saying there are no new members in the party.
“I want to welcome you all and to say that in PDP and GDI where you are today, no person is new. We all have equal status, we all have equal rights. Some of the people that were with you there doing the jamboree that came back today, they are commissioners; they have gone to the National Assembly, become chairmen of councils.
“So, having seen what our leader, Chief Nyesom Wike has done in Rivers State, and in Tai, and what your chairman of council is doing in Tai, they have come back to take their rightful position. We want to thank all of you, and to say that the party chairman and the chairman of council will integrate you into the activities of GDI”.
Also speaking, GDI President-General, Chief Bright Amaewhule, said the performance of the present administration in the state was enough testimony for any Rivers son or daughter to reckon that PDP was the only party which had their interest at heart.
Amaewhule said that of the candidates lined up for the governorship seat in the state, only the PDP Governorship candidate, Sir Siminialayi Fubara, was competent and qualified to give the state good governance from day one.
He, therefore, challenged eligible voters who have not collected their PVCs to do so as soon as possible, and prepare to cast their votes for the right party which was a master of good governance and quality projects’ delivery in the state come 2023.
The returnees, alongside GDI members from the 10 wards of Tai, including youths, women and students groups, later engaged in a wild gyration, turning the entire arena into dance frenzy.
The event also featured solidarity speeches from stakeholders among them former and current National and State Assembly members, former and serving council chairmen, former commissioners, party stalwarts, and captains of industry, among others.
By: Nelson Chukwudi
MOSOP Tasks SPDC On Fresh Oil Spill
Factional President of the Movement for the Survival of Ogoni People (MOSOP), Mr. Fegalo Nsuke, has called on Shell Petroleum Development Company (Shell) Joint Venture (JV), the oil and gas multinational company, to take full responsibility and appropriate action to curb a fresh oil spill in Bodo Community in Gokana Local Government Area of Rivers State.
Nsuke, who noted that the spill was first noticed in the community early last week, blamed Shell for the spill and urged the Dutch multinational to alleviate its impact on the community, curtail its spread and commence proper remediation and compensation in accordance with global best practices.
The MOSOP leader noted that the oil spills from the Trans Niger Pipeline operated by the Shell JV, suddenly erupted within the residential area of the community, alleging that it must have been caused by equipment failure.
He observed that although the cause of the spills, which was occurring 11years after the release of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) reports, was yet to be ascertained, the spills have affected residential areas and community dwellers have been asked by the MOSOP to evacuate the area, to avoid causality in case of a fire.
“This massive spill is occurring 11 years after the UNEP released a damning report exposing Shell’s devastation of the Ogoni environment.
“We have communicated with community leaders to cooperate with investigations and ensure that every detail about this spill is communicated to our secretariat as soon as possible”, he said.On his part, Executive Director, Youths and Environmental Advocacy Centre (YEAC), Fyneface Dumnamene Fyneface, said, “the cause of the crude oil spill which occurred inside the community where people live is not yet known at this time.”
By: Tonye Nria-Dappa
Nigeria’s Freedom Of Expression Attracting Global Attention, Buhari Claims
The President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), on Sunday, said it was instructive that Nigeria was attracting positive international attention as a country that promoted media freedom and freedom of expression.
He said this was premised on the government’s understanding of the important roles that information literacy and media education played in sustainable development.
According to a statement signed by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, Buhari said this while pledging his “full support” for three major international events scheduled to hold in Nigeria in October and November 2022.
They include: the 2022 United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation’s Global Media, Information Literacy Week in Abuja, in October, the first Global Conference on Cultural Tourism and Creative Industry in Lagos, as well as the second Global Association of Literary Festivals Conference, Abeokuta, in November.
In the statement titled ‘President Buhari pledges support as Nigeria hosts major cultural, tourism and literary events,’ he said the global events were opportunities to showcase the nation’s rich heritage in culture, arts, tourism and entertainment as well as advancements on media freedom.
Earlier, the Minister of Information ad Culture, Lai Mohammed, said that hosting the 2022 UNESCO Global Media, Information Literacy Week, would help to address the rising spate of fake news, misinformation and hate speech.
Expressing his delight to welcome international visitors to Nigeria, Buhari urged citizens to leverage the events to exhibit the values “that make us a unique, friendly and peace-loving people.”
The statement read in part, “Welcoming the decision by the UNESCO’s World Tourism Organisation and the Global Association of Literary Festivals to grant Nigeria the right to host these separate historic events, the President assures all relevant stakeholders and participants of the warmth and hospitality of the people of Nigeria.
“On the MIL Week, Buhari notes that it is instructive that Nigeria is attracting positive international attention as a country that promotes media freedom and freedom of expression, recognising the important roles information literacy and media education play in sustainable development.
“On the first Global Conference on Cultural Tourism and Creative Industry, the President says the rapid growth of Nigeria’s film, fashion, music, and the Information and Communications Technology sector, and the increase in international appeal and acceptance would continue to spur government to devote more resources to the sector.”
Among other initiatives, Buhari noted that the Creative Industry Financing Initiative, established by his administration and managed by the Central Bank of Nigeria in collaboration with the Bankers’ Committee, had provided single-digit financing to many young Nigerians in the fields of fashion, film, music and information technology.
He noted that the $100 million re-development of the National Theatre, Lagos, into a world-class creative park is also ongoing, following the handover of the facility to the CBN and the Bankers Committee.
The President, therefore, expressed confidence that the literary world would find many good things to celebrate about Nigeria when they meet in the historic city of Abeokuta, homeland and birthplace of one of Nigeria’s finest literary icons and Nobel Laureate, Professor Wole Soyinka.
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