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Crude oil ownership: Niger Delta monarchs, civil society groups drag NASS to court



Some monarchs and civil society groups in the Niger Delta have dragged the National Assembly to the Federal High Court in Abuja, seeking a restraining order in the continued use of the 1999 constitution in the operations and exploration of the crude oil in the region.

The monarchs and civil society groups who alleged rights violations, urged the Federal High Court to direct and mandate the use of 1963 constitution in the adjudication and operations of crude oil in the oil rich Niger Delta area.

The suit which filed on January 10, 2022, by the Peoples Confederal Constituents Assembly Of Nigeria (PECCAN) before the Federal High Court, Abuja with Suit No. FHC/ABJ/CS/18/2022 and a motion restraining the defendants – President of the National Assembly, Clerk of the National Assembly and the Chairman Senate Committee on Constitution Amendment, from further engaging and using amendment of the 1999 constitution in the present democratic setting.

The monarchs and civil society groups described the 1999 constitution as instrument to oppress, dominate recolonise, abuse and seize up the applicants minorities rights of ethnic nationalities in Nigeria to own and use their properties and natural resources as protected and enshrined on the agreed terms as enshrined in the referral foundational and existing 1963 republican constitution and Nigeria’s ground norm.

According to a statement and affidavit deposed by the General Secretary of PECCAN, the umbrella body of the Niger Delta and Civil Society, Chief Wombu Bolus in SUIT NO. FHC/ABJ/CS/ / 2022 listed as applicants to the suit to include: King Oziwe Amba Albert (Regent King of Diobu Kingdom, Delta Nigeria), Chief Wombo Bulus, Karim Sekanobi, Chief James Onyi Kokomi, Danjuma Modu (For themselves and Representing the Peoples Confederal Constituents Assembly of Nigeria (PECCAN), Center for Probity and Democratic Studies, while the President of the Senate and National Assembly of Nigeria, Clerk of the National Assembly, the Chairman Senate Committee on Constitution Amendment were listed as the respondents

Among other things, the group sought, “A declaration that the respondents continued use operation and continuing amendments of the purpose expired military decreed transitional constitution, No.24 of 1999 without re-adopting, reverting and restoring to the existing people made 1963 Republican Constitution at the military transfer of power to civilian democratic rule since 1999, creates a constitutional vacuum and force majeure violation the applicants minorities rights to belong united country and be governed by the agreed terms of the union of Nigeria as contained in referral 1963 republican constitution and applicants fundamental rights to own and use their natural resources on their native land/region as protected under the African charter on human and people right, UN charter and International covenant on civil and political right to which the federation Nigeria is a member signatories.

“A declaration that the respondents continued use operation and further amendments of the military decreed transitional constitution of No. 24 of 1999 otherwise called General Abusalami Abubakar constitution to supplant the existing 1963 republican constitution and ground norm bearing and reflecting in whole the agreed foundational terms/structure of the Nigeria union including incorporated willinski’s commission minorities fears report of 1957 preceding 1960 Independence is unconstitutional, illegal and constitutes a violation of the applicants protected fundamental rights not to be dominated and recolonised using respondents continued amendment of the purpose expired military decreed transitional constitution as cover.

“A declaration that the respondents continued amendment of the military decreed transitional constitution of Decree No. 29 of 1999 long after transfer of power, to use as cover and instrument to perpetuate the present military unitary styled oppressive and suppression rule constitute a flagrant violation of the applicants protected fundamental rights of existent and to be governed by agreed terms and will of the peoples made constitution and not to be oppressed or dominated by the majority ethnic groups in an independent democratic sovereign Nigeria including forceful seizure and naturalisation of the applicant’s prosperities, wealth and Natural resources of oil wells and mines, contravenes the enshrined provisions of Articles 20, 21 and 22 of the African charters on Human and peoples right Articles 15 and 17 of the United Nation charter on universal Declaration of Human rights, International covenant on civil and political rights, binding on Nigeria as a signatory member state.”

Among others, the Niger Delta communities argued that the continued use of the phrase, “we the people” without the applicants’ ethnic nationalities, consent approval or “Yes” referendum on record, constituted a ploy to cover up, deceive and engage in using the military oppressive decrees/laws to recolonise and trample on the minorities’ rights in the foundational existing peoples’ made 1963 Republican constitution as provided and guaranteed under Articles 1,4,1,2,24,&26 of the African charter on Human and peoples’ rights and the United Nation Universal Declaration of Human rights to which Nigeria subscribed and is signatory to.


COP28: NMDPRA x-rays Nigeria’s decabonisation journey, targets $575bn investment opportunities



The Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority (NMDPRA) says the NMDPRA Industry Sustainability Initiative (NISI) will create over 575 billion dollars in capital investment opportunities for Nigeria, through decarbonisation of operations.

The NMDPRA, while hosting a session on “Nigeria’s Pathway to Energy Sustainability and NMDPRA’s Role” at the UN Climate Change Conference 2023 (COP28) in Dubai, UAE, x-rayed Nigeria’s journey towards reducing carbon emission and achieving Net Zero by 2060.

Speaking at the event, Dr Mustapha Lamorde, Authority’s Executive Director, Health, Safety, Environment and Community (HSEC), said investment would be created through infrastructure and technological development, green economy improvement, stakeholder management and human capital development.

Larmode, in a statement said NISI which was created in line with the Global Sustainability Development Goals (SDGs 3, 7, 8, 9, 11, 13, 16, 17) was geared towards achieving Nigeria’s 2060 Net Zero commitment in the midstream and downstream petroleum industry.

He gave a breakdown of the investment opportunities as highlighted sector by sector – $272 billion in power, $127 billion in infrastructure, $96 billion in oil and gas processing optimisation, $80 billion in industry and $2.8 billion in clean cooking.

Larmode said that achieving the target required strong government commitment and collaboration with the private sector using technological innovation.

Mr Anibor Kragha, Executive Secretary, African Refiners and Distributors Association (ARA), said the NMDPRA and the Nigerian Government should harness funding opportunities for Gas projects from international financiers dealing with agriculture.

This, Kragha said was necessary because of the key role being played by gas in the sector.

He urged the NMDPRA as the regulator of the Midstream and Downstream industry, to develop a decade-by-decade plan to decarbonise the mid/downstream with bankable projects that would elicit finance from foreign donor agencies.

He also emphasised the importance of developing and including young people in the decarbonisation drive, as they were expected to play a major role in implementing the initiatives in the future.

Mr Mansur Alkali, Authority’s Executive Director, Midstream and Downstream Gas Infrastructure Fund (MDGIF), explained that the MDGIF which was set-up in pursuant of section 52 of the Petroleum Industry Act, was pivotal towards accelerating investments along gas value chain.

Akali said that the MDGIF was neither a grant nor a loan, but rather an investment initiative designed to de-risk investments through partnerships with private sector players to build the necessary infrastructure to harness the country’s vast gas resources.

Similarly, Mr Abel Nsa, Senior Technical Adviser on Transition Energy to the Minister of State, Petroleum Resources (Gas), Mr Ekperipe Ekpo, said the Host Community Development Framework as inaugurated by the commission for upstream operations amongst other benefits would ensure oil and gas assets were adequately protected.

Nsa also said that the framework would ensure uninterrupted production and supply of petroleum product which were critical to midstream operations.

He added that the Decade of Gas initiative of the government would also guarantee availability of Gas for domestic utility.

According to him, discussions are currently ongoing with upstream gas producers to deliver on the mandate.

In the end, all the panelists agreed that Nigeria’s future lies in increasing its cleaner energy capacity and attracting the right global and domestic finance to critical energy projects.

The session was moderated by Mr Atebe Jerome, Technical Advisor on Health, Safety, Environment and Community, to the Authority Chief Executive. 

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FG to deploy 100 electric buses



President Bola Tinubu has said Nigeria is taking a significant step towards a sustainable and eco-friendly future by introducing a pioneering initiative to deploy a fleet of 100 electric buses.

The President spoke at a high-level meeting with stakeholders and investors on the Nigeria Carbon Market and Electric Buses Rollout Programme on Saturday in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, on the margins of the COP28 climate summit.

President Tinubu explained that the strategic initiative is aimed at significantly reducing Nigeria’s carbon footprint and modernizing the country’s transportation systems as part of a larger effort to position Nigeria and Africa as the pioneering frontier of green manufacturing and industrialization with a focus on natural gas as a transition fuel alongside other renewable energy sources.

To spearhead this transformative plan, the President announced the appointment of the Executive Chairman of the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), Mr. Zacch Adedeji, and the Director-General of the National Council on Climate Change (NCCC), Mr. Dahiru Salisu, to co-chair the Nigeria Carbon Market Activation Plan.

”This initiative stands as a testament to our dedication to environmental stewardship as clearly exemplified through our collaboration with the Africa Carbon Market Initiative. Our visionary plan is a strategic guidepost, directing Nigeria towards becoming an investment-friendly destination for carbon market investments.

”We recognize the imperative of fostering an environment that not only attracts investment but also upholds standardized and sustainable industrial practices. As a manifestation of our forward-thinking approach, we are actively looking to implement robust, enabling policies and frameworks that will serve as the catalyst for the burgeoning growth of the carbon market within our national borders.

”In further driving my commitment, I have recently approved an Inter-governmental Committee on Carbon Markets to be chaired by the Executive Chairman of the Federal Inland Revenue Service and the Director-General of the National Council on Climate Change to drive this visionary plan,” the President stated.

The President assured prospective investors that this initiative transcends being a mere pilot project.

”It is a concrete manifestation of our unwavering dedication to a carbon-neutral future. I assure you; this is only the commencement of our ambitious plans, with many more impactful initiatives on the horizon,” he said.

President Tinubu, while acknowledging the pressing need for a comprehensive global collaboration on climate-related challenges, called on global partners to join hands in accelerating collective efforts towards a net-zero future.

”As we unveil our initiatives, I challenge other nations to emulate our strides in mapping out their sustainable futures with a clear understanding that Africa is a beacon of innovative solutions to climate-related challenges.

”In this pursuit, we acknowledge the pressing need for comprehensive global collaboration, and we reiterate our commitment to being an active participant in international efforts.

”Nigeria’s plans for a greener and cleaner economy can serve as an inspirational narrative for nations worldwide. Our comprehensive approach, rooted in visionary leadership and pragmatic action supported by our technical partners, is poised to become a blueprint for countries aspiring to also develop and catalyze their markets for sustainable growth,” the President concluded.

In his remarks, FIRS Chairman, Mr. Zacch Adedeji acknowledged the visionary leadership of President Tinubu as the guiding force behind Nigeria’s commitment to harnessing its vast carbon potential.

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FG committed to implementing CNG Keke policy – NOA



The Director-General of National Orientation Agency (NOA), Malam Lanre Isa-Onilu, on Friday restated the Federal Government’s commitment to implementing Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) Keke (tricycle) policy.

Isa-Onilu, who said this on Friday at a news conference in Abuja, said that the policy was part of government’s efforts to alleviate the current economic hardship facing the citizens.

Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) is a feasible gaseous fuel that is relatively very cheap, environmentally friendly, safe to handle and has abundant available energy.

The director-general added that the policy also geared towards cutting  transportation cost, to ameliorate the suffering of citizens.

According to him, the CNG will offer opportunity to local farmers to move their crops at affordable cost from their farms to the market.

“CNG will reduce fuel dependency and scarcity within the country by a wide margin, as well as strengthen uniformity of national transit system.

“Government will deploy 10,000 CNG filling stations across the country, while private marketers are also in the process of adding CNG points to their business,” NOA boss said.

According to him, the Federal Government is committed in providing Nigerians with affordable energy options. The use of CNG stands as a testament to this commitment.

“CNG offers cost savings for consumers, businesses, and government operations in ensuring that energy remains accessible to all.

“As part  of our environmental stewardship, the adoption of CNG aligns with the government’s goal to create a cleaner and  healthier nation.

“By choosing CNG over traditional petrol, we reduce harmful emissions such as carbon dioxide (CO2) nitrogen oxides (NOx) and particulate matter,  in contributing to improve air quality and smaller carbon footprint.”

The director-general said that government recognised the importance of utilising domestic resources to enhance energy security, by  the promotion of the use of CNG, sourced locally.

This, he added, would reduce dependence on imported petroleum products, as well as supporting national economic resilience.

He restated the agency’s commitment in leveraging on the cost cutting benefits of this CNG Keke, to ensure that its community orientation mobilisation officers reach out to communities with government messages.

According to him, the agency has partnered with the Ecomead company to enlighten Nigerians on the Compressed Natural Gas(CNG) Keke tricycle policy.

Also speaking, Chief Executive Officer, Ecomead Company, Mr Kayode Zubaim, commended NOA for embarking on government’s CNG campaign programme to ensure Nigerians were updated with the policy.

According to him, the provision of CNG  is apt and will  help to cushion the effect of fuel subsidy removal on Nigerians.

He added that the decision of President Bola Tinubu made Ecomead to wear a thinking cap, to contribute its quarter to the nation’s development.

“After carrying out series of research, we are able to come up with a brand that will use both CNG and patrol.

“But the truth is that it is manufactured to use CNG with the capacity of five kilogramme that rider can manage for minimum of one week.

“CNG is environmental friendly and such will help to reduce Nigerians problems,  especially those in the rural communities and communities transport system.

“With NOA partnering with us, we can get across to all part of the country in making sure Nigerians know about CNG Keke ,” he said.

He added  that the issue  of transportation would drastically reduce with the intervention  of CNG  when Nigerians made use to the product .

Mr Shamrat Sharna, Regional Manager, Simba TVS, said  CNG looked new to Nigeria, but the product has been used all over in India.

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