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NCDMB tasks OGTAN on categorization, employment



The new leadership of the Oil and Gas Trainers Association of Nigeria (OGTAN) have been challenged to take the association to greater heights through thecategorization of members’ capabilities and identification of niche areas in the oil and gas industry with high employment opportunities.

The Executive Secretary Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB), Engr. Simbi Kesiye Wabote gave the charge recently when he received the new executive of OGTAN led by the President, Chief Mazi Sam Azoka Onyechi at the Board’s headquarters in Yenagoa, Bayelsa State.

He acknowledged that the oil industry trainers’ body recorded significant achievements under the outgone President, Dr Mayowa Afe and challenged the new leadership on continuous improvements andnew goals.

According to him, one of the focus areas is the categorization of members according to their capacities and certifications. He said the exercise was a precondition before the Board would consider making it mandatory for companies that seek to offer training services in the oil and gas industry to belong to OGTAN.

On the identification of job demand areas, the Executive Secretary said: “OGTAN should conduct gap analysis in the industry and come up with the niche areas. It is your competitive advantage. We want information on those types of trainings where there is 60 percent assurance of jobs in the oil and gas industry.”

He explained that NCDMB’s strategy for capacity building is hinged on the 60-20-20 principle, whereby 60 percent of training programmes and budget is dedicated to skills sets that guarantee employment in the oil industry; 20 percent for the improvement of the skills of persons already employed, and 20 percent to soft skills and other general areas.

Earlier in his comments, the new OGTAN President explained that the purpose of the visit was to introduce the new executive of the association to the NCDMB management. He stated that OGTAN has embarked on strategic transformation anchored on categorization, certification, compliance, collaboration, competence, curriculum, and cost competitiveness.

He said the plan of the group is to promote the trainings of Nigerians in strategic areas that have huge employment opportunities.

“There are low hanging fruits that can mop up many unemployed Nigerians. They can acquire AP certifications and other relevant certifications and work anywhere in the world.”

He added that, “There are opportunities that exist in the oil and gas industry which are not being harnessed. We want to partner NCDMB to train Nigerians on those areas. We can help Nigerian graduates and even nongraduates acquirethose skills and international certifications that would enable them work anywhere in this world.

“We intend to bring those opportunities to the limelight and emphasize that skill is a global currency. There are certain certifications, even short courses that one can take within one to three months and get certified internationally.”


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Investigation underway on Ogboinbiri-Tebidada pipeline leak – Agip



The Nigeria Agip Oil Company (NAOC) says investigation has begun on a leak from its Ogboinbiri-Tebidada pipeline in  Bayelsa.

The company made the disclosure in a  statement by its parent firm, the Eni Group, and made available to newsmen in Yenagoa on Friday.

It said that although the oil spill had been traced to a ruptured pipe, a joint investigation visit to the incident site was necessary to ascertain the cause.

“Joint investigation visits with representatives of the authorities and the communities are ongoing to ascertain the facts and to agree on the way forward,” the company stated.

The people of Olugboboro community in Southern Ijaw Local Government Area of Bayelsa have already written to the state government to intervene on the matter.

The community had appealed to the state government to support the residents with relief materials to cushion the impact of the spill.

According to community sources, the spill which occured about two months ago along Ogboinbiri/Tebitada pipeline, has affected their sources of livelihood.

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IPMAN urges NNPC to increase fuel allocation to reduce queues



The Independent Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN) has urged the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) to increase fuel allocation to its members to reduce queues in filling stations.

IPMAN National Vice President, Alhaji Hammed Fasola, said in an interview with the newsmen in Ibadan on Friday that the fuel scarcity was due to low allocation.

According to him, if members of IPMAN get the product directly from NNPC, the price per litre will be affordable for Nigerians and the queues will reduce.

He says its members sell petrol at a higher price from other major marketers or depot owners because they get the product exorbitantly from third parties.

According to him, the association has presented its position on PMS allocation to NNPC, calling on it to allocate as much as 50 per cent as it used to be in the past.

“It is not that we don’t get at all, we are getting a little, and when you compare our number in this sector; our members own 80 per cent of the filling stations.

“In the past, it was not like this.

“We had a share of 50 per cent but recently, things have changed, and we are trying to talk to the authorities, especially the NNPC that they have to correct that abnormality.

“We are still trying to address the issue. This is why the independent marketers are selling at a higher price, which is not good for our image,” Fasola said.

He stated that its members were being pushed to private depot owners “And we don’t find it palatable.

“We go there sometimes, and they will sell at N720 per litre, and in their own stations, they are selling N620 or N650 per litre; you can see the disparity and the public will not understand.

“This is why we are trying to educate the people that we are not shrewd businesspeople who want to milk Nigerians.

“Some filling stations have closed for business because they can’t cope – this is the situation we found ourselves in; until the government corrects it and everybody is on the same level.

“We are appealing to NNPC to correct this, so we can get our product directly as we used to do; that will be good for everybody,” he said.

On the purported increase in PMS pump price by some Nigerians, Fasola said its association had not received any information to that effect.

“We should take it as fake news,” he said.

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FG offers free CNG conversion for commercial vehicles



The Federal Government, on Thursday, declared that the conversion of petrol and diesel-powered commercial vehicles to run on Compressed Natural Gas is going to be free of charge.

It declared this in Abuja after signing agreements with various companies involved in the conversion of petrol and diesel-powered vehicles to operate on CNG.

It said commercial transporters under their different unions including the Road Transport Employers Association of Nigeria, National Union of Road Transport Workers, and Nigerian Association of Road Transport Owners, among others, would benefit from this.

The Programme Director/Chief Executive, Presidential Compressed Natural Gas Initiative, Michael Oluwagbemi, disclosed this to journalists after the government agency signed agreements with various companies in Abuja.

He said, “Today we’ve just signed with five partners with us here in the Federal Capital Territory that are participating in the Conversion Incentive Programme.

“The programme is tackling the barrier to Nigerian commercial transport operators to convert from PMS (petrol) to gas. Most of them have said that the cost of conversion is expensive, and so what we are doing here today is basically to respond to that concern.

“What is the government doing about it? First and foremost, for commercial operators that are unionised, I’m talking about the members of RTEAN, NARTO, and NURTW, through their unions they can benefit 100 per cent discount. That is, they will get the kits for free and installation will also be done for them for free.

“And this is going to be done through these certified conversion workshops that we are beginning to identify. We’ve identified about 123 of them, five of them are here with us today that we are going to be working with here in Abuja. As we expand across the country we will be activating more of them,” Oluwagbemi stated.

He said the second group of commercial transporters were the ride-share operators.

“So if you are a vehicle rider that is operating under Uber, Bolt, Lag-Ride, Move, etc, you will be able to also benefit from this programme. Today we have Bolt here with us that is signing and we hope to add the others very soon. Lag-Ride has already signed up and we are going to send the agreement next week.

“They will be able to benefit from a 50 per cent write-off on the equipment and then they will get installation for free. So that means the government will pay for these conversion workshops to install the equipment you will get at 50 per cent off.

“And because of the arrangement we have with these companies, you’ll be able to also get to pay little by little. So you’re not paying any money upfront on day one,” Oluwagbemi stated.

The P-CNGI director said through the implementation of this programme, Nigerians would start paying less for transportation.

He said, “We have over 20,000 kits that are immediately going to be available in the next three months through this programme. We will be distributing them across the states that have some CNG capacity or the other. The states are about 25 in number.

“This will ensure that the citizens within these states, the unions and ride-share operators would-be participants of the 20,000 potential kits that will be made available under this programme. The 20,000 kits were made available under the palliative initiative that was budgeted for last year.

“But the National Assembly has made additional funding available this year, and we will be rolling out additional kits once the necessary acquisition of materials is made available to us by the third or fourth quarter of this year.”

On the agreement that was signed in Abuja, he said, “It (agreement) is saying that in return for giving you these kits, you will also pass on the savings to ordinary Nigerians. So we will begin to have some impact in terms of transportation.”

Asked to state how the government would monitor the conversion centres, Oluwagbemi said, “We have a very strong monitoring mechanism around conversion as well as the enforcement of reduced pricing for Nigerians. The Nigerian gas vehicle monitoring system ensures that they are properly converted and then we can track them.

“Secondly, within the framework of the agreement we are signing with them, we’ve agreed on some significant pass-on of those savings that they will be realising. As they realise the savings, they are under obligation to report to us and make sure that the savings are passed on to ordinary Nigerians so that we do not defeat the purpose of the palliative.”

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