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BIG STORY

Oando, Aiteo, Seplat, Other Local Oil Companies Collaborate To Fight COVID-19

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As the Federal Government of Nigeria and States government are fighting to contain the impact of the global pandemic COVID-19 oil and gas sector, the largest contributor to the economy has also risen to the occasion in an initiative spearheaded by the NNPC.

In a television programme interview on Monday, April 6 the Group Managing Director of the NNPC, Mallam Mele Kyari, said “The coronavirus pandemic is a global issue; as a country, we are not insulated from it as already seen by the growing number of people affected by the virus.

The first thing that needs to be resolved is the health of our countrymen, this is a difficult time for the country, and no Government on its own can resolve all the issues the pandemic has thrown at us. This industry is one that clearly benefits from the country, we contribute to the growth and development of the country and so we must come together to support the country.”

The GMD spoke to the first leg of the intervention which saw Upstream players commit N11.4bn ($30million) to be collected in kind and handed over to the Presidential Taskforce on COVID-19 to aid both the Federal and State Governments in their fight to contain the spread of the coronavirus.
According to the NNPC boss, 33 Upstream companies made the contributions including indigenous companies such as Oando, Aiteo, Seplat, Shoreline, Amni International Petroleum, Eroton Exploration and Production as well as International Oil Companies like Eni, Total, Shell and Chevron. He went on to explain that the contributions from sector players had grown to N21bn and continues to grow as a result of Downstream and Service players joining the partnership.

These contributions will support three thematic areas; the provision of medical consumables such as face masks and testing kits among others, the deployment of logistics and in-patient support systems such as ventilators and the delivery of temporary isolation medical centres and permanent medical infrastructure for use during this period and after the pandemic. The GMD indicated that 60% of the resources will go towards the third thematic area – the delivery of permanent medical infrastructure across the country, seen as a long term intervention to upgrade the country’s healthcare facilities but with immediate visibility and impact.

Scaling solutions rapidly to address what could potentially become a national crisis requires significant investment, innovation and collaboration.

In this regard the individual indigenous companies have gone one step further to deploy additional initiatives to support the containment of the coronavirus; some with Nigeria’s peculiarities in mind.

The sector has made commendable efforts in the area of medical relief. Seplat Petroleum and Waltersmith, have donated some medical supplies and equipment to the Edo State Government, including masks, temperature guns, motorised sprayers and other personal protective equipment.

OVH Energy (an Oando licensee) and Aiteo have also made contributions to the Government’s efforts by way of the donation of ambulances whilst MRS donated test kits, medical overalls and ambulances. Other companies like Matrix Energy made financial contributions towards the procurement of necessary medical equipment.

Hinged on their belief that no one should be left behind or uninformed about the virus and measures to curtail its spread, Oando recently launched a new programme that enables its employees, also known as the Humans of Oando as well as their families and friends, to support awareness on the pandemic and preventive measures to be adopted by the general public.

To this end, they have recorded and disseminated short video messages of themselves in different Nigerian languages to ensure every Nigerian is educated in a language they can easily understand.

With mobile phone penetration in Nigeria over 85%, the company is actively pushing the videos on mobile platforms to ensure it reaches its intended audience of the masses. Oando has also spread a message of kindness via a video, encouraging people to look into their communities and their direct sphere of influence, and show kindness to those who need it the most, reinforcing their belief that continued small contributions will in the long term create a huge impact.

It is encouraging to see the indigenous oil and gas companies playing such an integral role in all facets of containing the spread of the viruses, from education to actual treatment reinforcing a global phenomenon of collaboration to solve the issues that the pandemic has unexpectedly thrown at all of us.

This was resounded by the GMD when he spoke to the fact that today indigenous companies make a significant part of our production contributions are growing steadily, most evident over the last 10 years via the purchase of divested assets from the IOCs and that the future of the oil and gas sector is in these indigenous companies.

“This is the hallmark of good corporate citizenship which the oil and gas industry is known for. We remain accountable to Nigerians and will continue to provide details of what has been collected, how it’s distributed and where it’s being delivered to.” The GMD added.

BIG STORY

BREAKING: DPO, Seven Other Policemen, One Civilian Killed In Kogi Bank Robbery [PHOTOS & VIDEO]

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Nine persons, made up of eight Policemen and one civilian, were feared killed on Thursday in Isanlu, Kogi State when a gang of armed robbers launched an attack on a first generation bank in the town.

The News Agency of Nigeria gathered that among those killed was the Divisional Police Officer in the town, two policewomen, and five policemen.

NAN sources indicated that while the DPO, the two policewomen, and four policemen were killed at the Police Station, one policeman was killed at the bank’s premises.

The other victim, a male civilian, died when a stray bullet hit him.

The armed robbers were said to have invaded the Police Station at about 1 pm and opened fire on all officers and men on duty.

The source told NAN that the Police Station was completely destroyed by the armed robbers who also set free all detainees in the detention facility.

The robbers later proceeded to the bank where they killed one of the Policemen on duty and carted away money.

An eyewitness, Segun Thomas, told NAN that the robbery operation lasted almost one hour.

Thomas said: “The robbers came in two vehicles – a bus and a car – with which they also escaped from the town.”

NAN learnt that the car, believed to have been snatched from its owner, was later abandoned around Kizito College, Isanlu.

William Aya, spokesman of Kogi State Police Command, confirmed the robbery incident and the invasion of the Police Station, but added that the casualty figure was “still hazy”.

Aya told NAN: “The Commissioner of Police, Mr. Ede Ayuba, has dispatched the Deputy Commissioner of Police in charge of Operation to Isanlu to ascertain the true situation.”

Aya promised to brief the press “as soon as details are available”.

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Nigerian Lawmakers Reject Castration As Punishment For Rapists

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The House of Representatives has voted against a prayer seeking to recommend castration for rapists.

The House, at the plenary on Thursday, considered and adopted a motion on the rising cases of sexual violence in Nigeria.

A member, Mr James Faleke, had recommended that persons found guilty of rape should be castrated.

Just before the prayer was subjected to a voice vote, the Speaker, Femi Gbajabiamila, however, asked what would happen to an older female who rapes a younger male.

The comment generated noise in the chamber, The PUNCH reports.

Putting the prayer to vote, the nays had it.

In honour of victims of sexual violence in Nigeria, the House resolved that members should be dressed in black on the next legislative day.

The House is expected to sit on Tuesday.

Debate on rape and other sexual crimes lasted over two hours during Thursday’s plenary.

Details later…

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BIG STORY

Alleged Rape: Nigeria Police Forward Biodun Fatoyinbo’s Case To Justice Ministry

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The Nigeria Police Force says it has forwarded the alleged rape case of the Senior Pastor of the Commonwealth of Zion Assembly (COZA), Biodun Fatoyinbo, to the Director of Public Prosecution of the Federation at the Federal Ministry of Justice.

The NPF said this in a letter addressed to Lagos-based photographer, Busola Dakolo, who is also the wife of popular musician, Timi Dakolo.

In the letter signed by the Deputy Commissioner of Police in charge of Administration at the Force Criminal Investigation Department, the police said the DPP would study the case file and then give advice.

The letter read in part, “I am directed to inform you that the Force Criminal Investigation Department had concluded its investigation and forwarded the case file to the Director of Public Prosecution of the Federation for legal advice and further necessary action.’’

Mrs Dakolo had last year accused Fatoyinbo of raping her in Ilorin, Kwara State in 1999 while she was still a teenager.

The cleric, however, denied the allegations.

The scandal sparked a series of reactions last year which led to the pastor stepping down for several weeks.

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