The Federal Government has announced the arrest of 210 suspects in its efforts to combat crude oil theft in the Niger Delta.
Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, gave the figure in Port Harcourt after undertaking an aerial assessment of some hotspots along the Right of Way of the Trans-Niger Pipeline.
The Tide’s source reports that the minister, accompanied by some journalists in the surveillance, also covered the Nembe Creek Trunk Line leading up to the Bonny Oil and Gas Terminal that has been under force majeure since March 2022.
Briefing newsmen after the 90 minutes-aerial survey, the minister also disclosed that the continued efforts by security agencies had led to the confiscation of 20.2 million litres of Automotive Gas Oil (AGO), diesel.
According to the minister, over 461,000 litres of Premium Motor Spirit (Petrol), 843,000 litres of Dual Purpose Kerosene DPK, and 383,000 barrels of crude oil were confiscated.
He said an additional 365 illegal refining sites were destroyed, with about 1,054 refining ovens, 1,210 metal storage tanks, 838 dugout pits, and 346 reservoirs also destroyed.
Mohammed said the activities of vandals and economic saboteurs had severely impacted Nigeria’s crude oil and natural gas production.
“Since the post-covid pandemic recovery of Crude Oil Prices, Nigeria has been unable to meet its OPEC Production quota, hurting the Nigerian Economy.
“Due to the nefarious activities of vandals, Nigeria has been losing out on producing approximately 700,000 Barrels of oil daily.
“This volume is split between crude stolen and production deferment (shut-ins) due to legitimate fear of losing substantial volumes in transit.
“Terminal receipts have persistently declined, leading to decisions such as the force majure declared at the Bonny Oil and Gas Terminal in March 2022,’’ he said.
To check the activities of the saboteurs, the minister said the NNPC Ltd had set up a new security architecture to serve as a solid response to detect, deter, and respond to the activities of vandals.
He said the security architecture leveraged collaboration between the Upstream operators, Industry Regulators, Government Security Agencies (GSA), and Private Security Contractors (PSC).
The minister said, in line with the approval by President Muhammadu Buhari, Private Security Contractors (PSCs) with the required capability were contracted.
He said the PSCs who are to provide community surveillance within the oil-producing regions were identified and engaged after comprehensive vetting by the DSS and EFCC.
They are also to provide local intelligence on all illegal crude ventures happening within the region and security surveillance services for safe and seamless operations along the nation’s pipeline networks.
The Minister added that NNPC Ltd.’s Command and Control Centre was set up for round-the-clock monitoring of petroleum operations and activities within the Nigerian Exclusive Economic Zone.
According to him, all vessel movements within the Nigerian Exclusive Economic Zone as well as all Ship-to-ship activities within the same zone are monitored.
The Command and Centre, according the minister has also launched various online tools to enable public participation in the fight against crude theft.
The tools included, Whistle Blowing Portal, for patriotic Nigerians to report illegal activities and Crude Sales Document Validation Portal, to validate all crude sales documents.
He said the centre also has Incidence Reporting and Management Application and developing a Vessels Reporting Application.
Mohammed reiterated that the federal government is determined to put an end to the crude oil losses.
The source reports that the team conveyed on the aerial surveillance in two Sikorsky S76D Choppers witnessed first-hand a number of illegal refineries destroyed by military.
It also reports that in the course of the surveillance, the team also saw first-hand, high level of damage to the environment, as a result of the activities of the economic saboteurs.
Wike Confers One Of Rivers’ Highest Awards On Bishop Evo Diocese
Rivers State Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike, has conferred one of the highest awards in the state on the Bishop of Diocese of Evo, Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion), the Rt. Rev. Innocent Ordu, JP.
The award, Distinguished Service Star of Rivers State (DSSRS), is the second highest distinction in the Rivers State Order of Service Awards and is conferred on individuals in recognition of their exceptional service in any field of human endeavour for the progress of the state.
The award ceremony, which took place last Saturday at the Government House, Port Harcourt, was attended by people from all walks of life.
Wike said the honour was to show gratitude publicly to indigenes and friends of Rivers State who stood out in their various endeavours.
Rt Rev. Ordu of Evo Diocese has, in the past 13 years as a Bishop, distinguished himself as a true shepherd who has dedicated his life to the service of God and humanity.
This year alone, the Diocese of Evo has hosted the Standing Committee of the Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion) as well as the Joint Council of Knights, which in a way showcased the safety of Rivers State and the hospitality of the Rivers people.
In just 13 years, Bishop Ordu, through exemplary and visionary leadership, has taken the diocese to new heights in the league of notable dioceses in the Church of Nigeria.
At the last all-Nigeria Divine Commonwealth Conference (DIVCCON) of the church, held in Abuja last month, Evo Diocese came first in terms of having the highest number of registered attendees at the event.
The entire faithful of the Diocese of Evo congratulate and felicitate with his lordship, the Rt. Rev. Ordu, on this well deserved honour bestowed on him by the Governor of Rivers State, Chief Wike.
Don Makes Case For Vocational Education
A professor of Industrial Chemistry, Rivers State University (RSU), Professor Isaac Dokubo, has called for more budgetary allocations to vocational education in the country.
Prof. Dokubo said this at the 82nd Inaugural Lecture of the university in Port Harcourt.
The lecture, titled “Man and Vocation: The Inseparable Twins, The Vocationalist and Construction Cost Analyst Perspective”, Dokubo said Federal Government should increase budgetary allocation to vocational education in line with UNESCO recommendations of 26 percent of annual budget.
He expressed regret that Nigeria’s budgetary allocation for education for the last six years was less than 10 percent, stressing that the country will continue to grapple with the problem of industrial development if the vocational sector is continously neglected.
The university don also called for private sector involvement in vocational educational education.
He commended the Rivers State University for setting up the Department for Technical Education and urged other universities to follow suit.
Accordimg to him, Nigeria’s industrial development lies with vocational education.
Speaking, Vice Chancellor of the University, Professor Nlerum Okogbule, said the university has taken far reaching steps towards improving vocational educational in the institution.
By: John Bibor
Students Laud Wike Over Appointment Of IAUOE Registrar
Students of Ignatius Ajuru University of Education (IAUOE), Rumuolumini, have hailed the Rivers State Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike, over the appointment of Donald Okogba as the Acting Registrar of the university.
Some of the students who spoke with The Tide at the university campus, said the appointment was divinely made.
A student of the Faculty of Humanity who gave his name as Ikechi Amadi, said Okogba had done so much for the school and deserved a reward from the system.
She noted that Okogba left indelible imprints in all the areas he had previously headed in the institution, saying such should be the hallmark of a public servant.
Another student, Charles Igwe, who described Governor Wike as a goal-getter, said his decision to appoint Okogba was the best for the institution.
Igwe expressed optimism that the appointment would not only spur the new Registrar to action, but would also make him to right some wrongs in the institution.
Describing the Acting Registrar as a no nonsense man, he called on both the staff and students of the university to give him thier support to enable him succeed.
A staff who pleaded anonymity recalled how the new acting Registrar performed excellently when he served in his previous assignment as Director of the Senate House.
“Some appointments may be viewed as political, but to me, this Mr. Okogba’s own is just on merit. He has been too professional in all tasks given to him in the school”, he said.
By: King Onunwor
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