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Buhari Promises To Make NNPC World’s Biggest, Most Capitalised Oil Company In Africa

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President Muhammadu Buhari yesterday stated that the target of his administration was to make the newly rechristened Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC) Limited the biggest and most capitalized oil company on the African continent.

Speaking at the Nigeria International Energy Summit (NIES), formerly called the Nigeria International Petroleum Summit (NIPS), the president noted that has now become a limited liability company, the National Oil Company (NOC) would soon become a profit-making organization.

At the event tagged: “Revitalising The Industry: Future Fuels and Energy Transition”, Buhari listed the successful award of 57 marginal fields, passage of the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA) as well as the declaration of the “Decade of Gas” as major milestones of his government.

The president who was represented by the Minister of State, Petroleum Resources, Mr. Timipre Sylva, described the feats as record-breaking, recalling that both the marginal fields bid round and the PIA surmounted over two-decade challenges in the doldrums.

He stated that the conclusion of the marginal fields bid round remained a big deal, even when the world was moving away from fossil fuels because it gives Nigeria the opportunity to speed up its fossil fuel exploitation and make good use of the resources, rather than abandon them.

He added: “Crude oil prices are on the rise again after turning negative in April 2020. It is a great opportunity for us as a country. With the PIA in place, there should be no excuses. The enabling investment environment which has been the bane of the industry has been taken care of by provisions in the PIA.

“There is now a level of certainty for the regulatory, administrative and fiscal framework and the legitimate grievances of host communities most impacted by activities of the industry has been addressed by the Act.

“To demonstrate our seriousness, this administration did not waste time with the implementation of PIA. We moved quickly and scrapped the existing agencies and replaced them with new ones.

“We have inaugurated their new chief executives too. We also ensured the incorporation of the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPCL) under the Companies and Allied Matters Act (CAMA).

“The NNPCL is a limited liability company now and our target is to make it the biggest, the most capitalized, and the most profitable company in the whole of Africa.”

Given the country’s potential of about 600 trillion cubic feet, he stated that natural gas has the enormous potential to diversify and grow Nigeria’s economy.

The president also unveiled Nigeria’s energy transition and net-zero emission scheme with the announcement of the country’s $50 million investment in clean energy which included a plan to inject 20 million gas cylinders into the market.

He reiterated Nigeria’s commitment to the global net-zero emission target.

Buhari, however, regretted Africa’s poor situation in energy access and use, stating that the continent was bedeviled with energy poverty. Stressing that there was no need to panic, he stated that Nigeria was already building blocks that will ensure seamless energy transition as the country joins in the race for net-zero carbon emission.

In his remarks, the Group Managing Director of the NNPC, Mallam Mele Kyari said the International Oil Companies (IOCs) that divest from Nigeria’s upstream sector must address issues of abandonment and decommissioning of oil assets.

Kyari told participants at the summit that while the country understands the right of companies to freely divest, it was, however, critical to ensure that the right thing is done so as to avoid disruption.

He said issues and obligations related to abandonment and decommissioning must be fully addressed and discharged in line with global best practices, regulations, conventions, and laws.

“The companies that are divesting, they are leaving our country literally and that’s the way to put it. But they are not leaving because opportunities are not here, these companies are shifting their portfolios where they can add value and not just that, but where they can add to the journey of net carbon zero-emission.

“We understand this very perfectly. But also, we cannot fail to realize that this country must benefit from the realities of today.

“We will work with our partners. We understand the necessity for their investments, we do know that there are issues. We understand that this must take place, but also it must be done in such a way that we are able to deal with issues around abandonment and decommissioning.

“We will also make sure that whatever arrangement that is put in place, will show that we are also alive to the energy transition journey that we have embarked on,” he said.

The NNPC boss acknowledged the need for cleaner energy globally but said that the African continent must shape its narrative to reflect on its realities, including the high level of energy poverty.

He explained that the NNPC was adopting various strategies towards the attainment of a carbon-neutral economy while ensuring that the industry remains viable.

In his remarks as the minister, Sylva stated that with the PIA in place, expectations were high for the future of the Nigerian oil and gas industry.

“The PIA has indeed given the industry more clarity and certainty. The industry is poised to attract the huge investment needed to reposition the sector,” he said.

He emphasized that although Nigeria cannot afford to be left behind in the energy transition race, it had resolved to deploy gas as a transition product to achieve cleaner fuels.

He averred that for countries that are endowed with natural resources but still energy poor, the transition must not be at the expense of affordable and reliable energy for people, cities, and industries.

Secretary-General of the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), Dr. Sanusi Barkindo, who joined virtually, said the PIA would bring about the necessary reforms designed to strengthen institutions, as well as help, attract the much-needed investment.

He argued that conversation around the energy transition, must not be overtaken by emotional outbursts, but by rational discussions based on facts, hard data, and science.

“Our industry is at an inflection point and has never before faced so many challenges across multiple fronts in its long history. Put simply, we are under siege.

“The oil industry is under attack in the courts. Currently, there are over 700 litigation cases against oil companies worldwide.

“Environmental NGOs, investors, and even some corporate boards are pressuring oil companies and governments to pursue aggressive policies and initiatives that could, in the end, be more disruptive than productive for the global energy industry,” he stated.

He explained that Africa was still relatively unexplored, with approximately 125 billion barrels of proven oil reserves and 16 trillion standard cubic meters of natural gas.

“It would be a tragedy of unimaginable proportions if, despite billions of dollars being poured into investments for these resources, this went to waste as stranded assets,” he maintained.

Executive Secretary, Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB), Simbi Wabote, noted that during the pandemic, the board was able to add 17 new operators into the oil and gas industry due to the country’s insistence on homegrown solutions.

Also, the Chief Executive, Nigerian Midstream & Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority (NMDPRA), Farouk Ahmed, stated that while geopolitical risks and the energy transition continue to destabilize oil prices, it is in the interest of Nigeria to scale up sustainable investment in the fossil fuel sector, considering the role oil and gas will continue to play in the global energy mix.

In his contribution, the head of the Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Agency (NUPRC) Mr. Gbenga Komolafe, said the energy transition regime has posed a challenge and opportunity for Nigeria to reposition its energy focus and regulatory policies towards the development of clean and renewable energy.

Komolafe said the country must take advantage of the rising oil price caused by the ongoing tension between Russia and Ukraine.

The oil price is currently trading above $100 per barrel since it hit $105 last week, the highest since 2014.

“The Russian-Ukrainian crisis has caused an upward spring of oil price above $100 per barrel. This presents an opportunity for Nigeria to maximize business,” he said.

Komolafe also said the commission would ensure more compliance to the rules guiding operations in the upstream petroleum sector by denying oil firms approvals for applications for fund hunting unless they present a record of their achievements.

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NDLEA Nabs 60-Yr-Old Grandma, Pregnant Woman, Others Over Illegal Drug [PHOTOS]

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Two women, a 60-year-old grandmother, and a pregnant woman were among those arrested during interdiction operations by operatives of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) across five states and the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja in the past week, during which 5,527.15 kilograms of methamphetamine and cannabis sativa, as well as 132,090 tablets of tramadol and 2,000 bottles of codeine were recovered.

A statement on Sunday by the spokesman of the anti-narcotics agency, Femi Babafemi said the grandma, Mrs. Ibinosun Esther was arrested in Ibadan, Oyo state in a follow-up operation following the seizure of 5.5 kilograms Loud variant of cannabis imported into the country from South Africa.

According to Babafemi, the grandma claimed the consignment, was sent to her by her daughter and concealed in two giant Speakers as part of a consolidated cargo that arrived at the NAHCO import shed of the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Ikeja Lagos on board an Air Peace Airline flight.

In a related development, NDLEA operatives also on Saturday 26th November intercepted 1.4 kilograms of methamphetamine concealed inside custard tins packed among cosmetics and foodstuffs going to Brazil via Doha on a Qatar Airways flight.

Babafemi said a cargo agent, Salako Omolara who brought the bag containing the illicit drug to the airport, and an intending passenger to Brazil, Anyanwu Christian who was to travel with the consignment were promptly arrested.

He said another attempt by a freight agent, Adebisi Aina to export 3,000 tablets of tramadol concealed in motor spare parts to Banjul, Gambia through the NAHCO export shed was equally thwarted by operatives who seized the consignment and arrested her on Monday 28th November, while a follow-up operation to Ebute-Meta area of Lagos the following day, Tuesday 29th November led to the arrest of the alleged actual owner, Afam Chibuke, who is a spare parts seller.

He noted that this was followed by the seizure of 100,000 tablets of Royal brand of Tramadol 200mg with a gross weight of 68.9 kilograms imported from Karachi, Pakistan on Ethiopian Airlines at the SAHCO import shed.

He disclosed that in Abuja, operatives stormed the warehouse of a notorious drug lord and an ex-convict, Ibrahim Momoh, alias ‘Ibrahim Bendel’ who escaped from prison custody to return to his criminal trade and recovered 81 jumbo bags of cannabis weighing 1,278 kilograms

He said though Though the fleeing drug dealer is still at large and is wanted by the agency, his warehouse keeper, 55-year-old Ghanaian, Richard Forson was arrested.

He noted that Ibrahim Momoh was first arrested on 27th November 2014 with the same substance weighing 385.1 kilograms He subsequently prosecuted, convicted, and sentenced to seven and a half years in prison on 22nd April 2020 but escaped from jail after three months.

He also disclosed that no fewer than 2,000 bottles of codeine-based syrup were seized in a commercial bus by operatives on Friday 2nd December along Lokoja – Abuja expressway.

In Rivers state, operatives on Saturday arrested a 29-year-old pregnant woman, Kate Ibinabo with 34.4 kilograms  cannabis sativa in Okrika area of the state.

He said the Chairman/Chief Executive of NDLEA, Brig. Gen. Buba Marwa (Retd), has however directed that she be granted administrative bail pending when she’s delivered of her baby and thereafter return for her prosecution because at the time of her arrest, she’s in her ninth month of pregnancy.

In Ondo state, 241 bags of the psychoactive substance with a gross weight of 3,133 kilogrammes were recovered from a building at Ilale Cashew, Ehinogbe, Owo, last Tuesday; and at least, 507.9 kilogrammes of cannabis were also seized during a raid at the hideout of a fleeing drug dealer in Mushin area of Lagos last Thursday.

In Cross River, 53 jumbo bags of cannabis sativa weighing 567.05 kilogrammes were seized from three suspects: Bassey Boniface, 38; Effiong Akiba, 30 and Ngbong Raymond, 45 at Mpara junction, Odukpani local government area last Thursday while conveying the consignment in a bus marked CKK 74 AA.

Babafemi said operatives equally arrested another suspect, Ali Mohammed along Potiskum- Damaturu road after they found 29,090 tablets of tramadol in his personal Honda car marked ABC 914 RW coming from Gombe to Damaturu, Yobe state.

Meanwhile, while commending the officers and men of the MMIA, Rivers, Ondo, Lagos, Cross River and Yobe commands of the agency for the arrests and seizures, Marwa charged them and their counterparts across other formations to continue to step up their offensives against drug cartels.

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13% Derivation: I Owe No One Apology For Commending Buhari — Wike

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The executive governor of Rivers State, Nyesom Wike, says he does not owe anyone an apology for commending President Muhammadu Buhari for approving the payment of funds owed to states in the Niger Delta since 1999.

Wike spoke on Saturday during the 2022 Rivers state honours and awards ceremony, in Port Harcourt, the state capital.

On November 18, the Rivers governor had announced that the Buhari-led government paid his state and other Niger Delta states funds owed from the 13 percent derivation fund.

Wike said the funds paid by the federal government have significantly aided his infrastructural strides in the state.

Wike’s comments elicited varied reactions as Nigerians called on other state governors who had received the fund to account for it.

On Friday, the presidency also said nine oil-producing states received a total of N625.43 billion as 13 percent oil derivation, subsidy and SURE-P refunds from the federation account between 2021 and 2022.

The states that benefitted from the derivation refunds include Abia, Akwa-Ibom, Bayelsa, Cross River, Delta, Edo, Imo, Ondo and Rivers.

Wike said he is currently battling “problem” because he appreciated Buhari for approving the refund to the nine oil-producing states.

“Instead of human beings to say they appreciate you, they become envious that why were you appreciated. Because I said Buhari thank you, I’m having problem today,” he said.

“I’m not a fan of Buhari. I told the honourable attorney-general but when a man has done well say he has done well in that area. On the other area, he has not done well, you equally say so.

“I have no apology to anybody. Today, Wike did this and that projects. Look if Buhari did not release the money, from 1999, which my party did not even release, I won’t have done what I did.

“I don’t give a damn to anybody. I don’t care. I got the money. I’m not a fan of Buhari. He has not done well in so many areas but with this payment of money, he did well.

“My friends and party members may not be happy. Make una no vex oo. This one, Buhari did well. He gave me money and I used it to do something for people in Rivers state. The other ones will talk about their own later.”

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2023: Peter Obi Finally Releases Manifesto, Promises To Move Nigeria From “Consuming To Producing”, Others

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Peter Obi, the presidential candidate of the Labour Party (LP), has unveiled his manifesto.

Obi unveiled the 72-page manifesto via his Twitter handle on Sunday.

The manifesto is titled “It’s POssible: Our Pact with Nigerians”.

In the manifesto, the former Anambra governor listed seven priorities his administration would concentrate on if elected president in 2023.

Over the past few days, Obi had come under criticism in some quarters, especially among members of the All Progressives Congress (APC), for not having a manifesto.

In October, the LP presidential distanced himself from a manifesto attributed to him.

Obi had said he would personally release the LP manifesto to the public when it is ready.

In the manifesto released on Sunday, the former Anambra governor promised to move Nigeria from a consumption economy to a production-centred economy.

The LP presidential candidate said he would end banditry and insurgency if elected president.

“Restructure the polity through effective legal and institutional reforms to entrench the rule of law, aggressively fight corruption, reduce cost of governance, and establish an honest and efficient civil service,” the manifesto reads.

“Leapfrog Nigeria into the 4th Industrial Revolution (4IR) through the application of scientific and technological innovations to create a digital economy.

“Build expansive and world-class infrastructure for efficient powers supply, rail, road and air transportation, and pipeline network, through integrated public-private partnerships, and entrepreneurial public sector governance.

“Enhance the human capital of Nigerian youths for productivity and global competitiveness through investment in world-class scholarship and research, quality healthcare, and entrepreneurship education.

“Conduct an afro-centric diplomacy that protects the rights of Nigerian citizens abroad and advances the economic interests of Nigerians and Nigerian businesses in a changing world.”

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