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Decade of Gas: Wabote advocates annual reporting on implementation

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…Begins to allocate spaces to investors at NOGaPS

As Nigeria navigates the 7th year of implementing the Decade of Gas Programme of the Federal Government, the Executive Secretary of the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB), Engr. Simbi Kesiye Wabote has advocated for action parties to provide annual status reports of the successes, issues, support required, and target completion dates.

He made the recommendation at the just concluded Nigerian International Energy Summit (NIES) held at Abuja where he made separate presentations on Local Content Investment and Sustainable Energy Future and Building Local Content and Capacity for Realization of Nigeria’s Decade of Gas.

He suggested that the status reports would be prepared by agencies, entities and stakeholders that are responsible for the various projects and initiatives identified in the Decade of Gas programme and presentedat the NIES which holds annually at Abuja.

He challenged stakeholders not to get distracted or lose steam in the implementation of the programme even as a new administration is set to assume office on May 29, 2023. While calling for the continuity of the Decade of Gas programmes, he hinted that “it is possible that the incoming government will give the programme a new name but we must not lose focus on the importance of gas to our energy needs and economic development.”

The Executive Secretary also highlighted eightfocus areas the Board is utilizing to drive the realization of the Decade of Gas initiative of the Federal Government. They includeHuman Capacity Development, Construction of Industrial Parks, Public-Private Partnerships and Nigerian Content Intervention Funds. Others are Research and Development, Regulatory Framework, Regional Collaboration, and Enabling Business Environment.

Dwelling on the capacity building programmes required to enhance the training and re-training of capable workforce for the industry, Wabote explained that NCDMB had “delivered close to 14 million manhours of training for acquisition of various skill sets required to explore, develop, operate, and maintain hydrocarbon facilities.”

He listed some of the Board’s Human Capacity Development tools and programmes to include the Expatriate Quota Management System, STEM Education, Technical and Vocational Education Training (TVET), Institutional Strengthening, ICT Centers, and Training Certifications.

He stated that the Board’s capacity-building programmes were impactfuland acknowledged internationally, adding that the survey carried out by African Petroleum ProducersOrganisation (APPO) to assess the standards in training institutions on the African continent rated Nigeria as one of the top countries with credible institutions for training the required manpower for the oil and gas industry.

Giving updates on the construction of oil and gas industrial parks, the Executive Secretary said the Board has commenced issuance of allocation letters to credible investors in readiness for the commencement of operations within the NOGAPS Industrial Parks located in Bayelsa and Cross River states.

He informed that “the NCDMB Gas Hub at Polaku is fully dedicated to domiciliation of gas related enterprises such as Pressure Reduction and Metering Station, CNG mother stations, LPG cylinder manufacturing plant, Gas processing facilities, power plant, and other similar facilities.”

Commenting on the theme of the summit, which is Global Perspectives for a Sustainable Energy Future, Wabote said the challenges of energy transition “has brought to the fore the need for every nation to leverage its own comparative cost advantage by developing the energy resources that it has in relative abundance”adding that “most countries including Nigeria have a mix of these resources, and they must apply local content investments to realise sustainable energy future.”

He described local content development as a philosophy that seeks to encourage the utilization of local resources such as humans, goods, services, oil, gas, wind, hydro, or solar while at the same time promoting in-country domiciliation of value-adding activities.

He further remarked that narratives around energy transition have shifted significantly from Energy swap to Energy mix and this was because of the factual recognition that all forms of energy are important rather than demonising one form of energy against the other, simply because some nations have depleted their reserves of certain energy sources.

He also noted that the European Union had re-classified gas and nuclear energy as Green-energy in 2022, while “coal production and consumption are on the resurgence as discussions are now about how to make it cleaner rather than referring to coal as ‘dirty fuel’.”

Energy

Port-Harcourt refinery may resume operations July – Report

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The National Public Relations Officer, Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN), Chief Ukadike Chinedu has revealed that the refinery may resume operations in July.

Speaking to newsmen on Monday, Ukadike stated that the development would stimulate economic activities reduce the price of petroleum products and ensure adequate supply.

The IPMAN official stated that the work done represented a complete turnaround, not just rehabilitation, emphasising that every effort would be made to meet the July deadline.

Ukadike said, “Yes when we visited the place, the MD told us that the refinery was almost ready and by the end of July, they would start
producing. It has been turned into a new one they changed all the armoured cable to brand new and everything there is almost like a brand-new refinery.”

“The turnaround on maintenance is
very massive and the job is being done day and night. All hands are on
deck to make sure that they meet that target. By ending of July the refinery should be ready.” He said.

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Energy

NDDC inaugurates Edo electricity sub-station

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The Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) has inaugurated the 1×15MVA 33/11KV electricity injection substation it built in Amufi, Ikpoba-Okha Local Government Area in Benin City, Edo State.

Speaking at the commissioning ceremony, the NDDC Managing Director, Dr Samuel Ogbuku, re-stated the Commission’s resolve to fully comply with President Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s directive that all on-going projects were completed and commissioned.

He said: “Today marks the second day in our series of project commissioning. On Saturday, we were in Abia State to commission the 9-kilometer Obehie-Oke-Ikpe Road and flagged off the re-construction of Oke-Ikpe-Akwete-Ohambele Road, phase II.

“Our presence here today is to share the success story of our commissioning of projects and emphasise how the NDDC is a true blessing to the people of the Niger Delta. We have made remarkable progress. Our goal is not to compete with State Governments but to complement their efforts, along with other federal agencies, in driving development in the region.

“We are here to celebrate success, as Mr. President has directed that every stalled project be completed and commissioned for the benefit of the people. By prioritising the completion of such projects, we are making a difference in the lives of our people.”

Ogbuku said that the Commission was committed to improving the living conditions of Niger Deltans, stating: “Our objective is to move the NDDC from a transactional Commission to one that is committed to the sustainable development and transformation of the Niger Delta region.”

The NDDC boss commended the traditional rulers and leaders of the benefiting communities for securing the project site and equipment to protect them from vandals. As a reward for their peaceful disposition and protecting government assets, Ogbuku promised that the NDDC would award a contract for the reconstruction of the dilapidated road leading into Amufi community.

During the ceremony, the Edo State Governor, Godwin Obaseki, who was represented by the Commissioner for Mining and Energy, Hon. Enaholo Ojiefoh, commended the NDDC for complementing the efforts of the state government in rural electrification.

He described the NDDC Managing Director as “Mr. Project of the Niger Delta region.”

“We are going to take it up from here by enhancing the security network to protect all your projects in Edo State. We are very happy today to be part of the commissioning of this project.”

The NDDC Executive Director, Projects, Sir Victor Antai, said that the project would increase productivity in businesses for companies and artisans in the beneficiary communities.

According to him: “The features of the project include; installation of 15MVA, 33/11KV transformer with 33KV 1250A SF6 circuit breaker, switch gear panels, tripping unit and 1km 33KV high tension overhead line.

The representative of Edo South Senatorial District, Senator Neda Imasuen, underscored the fact that light eliminates darkness and opens up communities to development. He expressed delight that his constituents would begin to enjoy better services from the electricity company serving the area.

He stressed: “The transformative power of electricity cannot be overstated; this project will have a multiplier effect on businesses within the community.”

Also speaking, the immediate past Senator representing Edo South in the National Assembly, Senator Mathew Urhoghide, said the impact of electricity projects were enormous, noting that the communities in Ikpoba Okha LGA would begin to reap the benefits of NDDC’s contribution to rural development.

He remarked: “For the people in this community, this project will assist in their development by providing access to electricity, benefiting both the residents and local establishments.”

The Edo State Representative on the NDDC Governing Board, Hon. Patrick Aisowieren, said he was happy that the substation project, which commenced a few years back, had been successfully completed.

He said further: “I urge the community to take ownership of this facility for the greater good of the community and the entire Edo State.

The traditional ruler of Amufi, Ohen Iyi-Ewuara Asenoguan, thanked the NDDC for executing the electricity project and appealed for more infrastructural projects in the area.

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Communities demand accountability  of 3% HCDT from OML54

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Members of OML54 communities have asked Aradel Holdings Plc, to make available the details of the 3percent host community development fund accruable to the community as enshrined in the Petroleum Industry Act, PIA.

The people who made the demand during a town hall meeting with the management of Aradel Holdings Plc, insisted that the host communities ought to know how much has accrued to them from the 3 percent HCDT fund, either quarterly or annually.

Aradel, formerly known as Niger Delta Petroleum Resources Plc, NDPR is the operator of OML54 and Aradel Modular Refinery in Ahoada East and Abua/Odual Local Government Area of Rivers State. The company in the past, has been at loggerheads with its host communities leading to endless protests.

Speaking, the General Secretary of Ogbele community, Comrade Solomon Oyagiri, lamented that Aradell Holdings has not accorded the community its due, despite developmental promises made by its pioneer Managing Director, Aret Adams.

Oyagiri cited the continuous refusal by the company to give details of the 3 percent development fund accrued to it as one of the vexing situations created by the company, and queried the non payment of equitable fees from badges and vessels trucking at the community river bank.

He alleged that the selective justice created to cover the fraud and mismanagement of the host community trust fund was the bane of development, progress and the cause of myriads of litigations to contest injustice and marginalisation by the people and urged the company to align with genuine community representatives.

“A Post Environmental Impact Assessment, as a result of hazardous pollution and accompanying economic deprivation and social benefits to numerous fishermen and women arising from Aradel’s trucking operations on its coastal lines has not been carried out.

“We frowned at the continuous refusal by Aradell Holdings Nigeria Plc to implement the agreement reached with the community after the September 2022 peaceful protest. Even some staff of Aradel have teamed up with some of our community members to thwart the reached agreement.

“Aradel has refused to employ our sons and daughters from the host families into managerial positions; there is lack of total employment, refusal to adhere to the Local Content Act and impoverishment of our people through lack of award of contracts.”

Responding, the Community Relations Manager, Aradel Holdings Plc, Mr Blessing Okpowo, promised to take their demands to the management and assured the people that the community’s maternity home would soon be upgraded to a cottage hospital where healthcare services would be accessible and affordable.

Okpowo urged the people to be united in their demands and affairs, saying, “only unity of purpose can attract the needed development,” and assured the people of a regular interface with the community leadership.

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