#NDNewVision: Shipments for 2 modular refineries arriving, ready for installation in Delta, Rivers states

In furtherance of the Buhari administration’s commitment to develop the Niger Delta in line with its New Vision for the region, set of modular refinery package shipment has since arrived Nigeria.

 After undergoing clearance at customs, would be installed in Delta State; while another set, which is expected to arrive the country in April this year, would be installed in Rivers State.

The operation of the modular refineries would include the involvement of communities where they are located. The proposed model for the establishment of modular refineries would ensure that communities benefit directly from the refineries which would help create jobs and engage youths in the region.

It would be recalled that in December last year, the Inter-Ministerial Committee received a report that 38 licensed privately financed greenfield and mini-modular refineries investors have so far indicated interests in the establishment of refineries in the region, with at least ten (10) of the licensed refineries investors at an advanced stage of development.

In the same vein, the NDDC reported at the recent meeting of the Niger Delta Inter-Ministerial Committee its progress in the implementation of its projects in the region. In 2017, a total of 372 projects covering roads, bridges, electricity, water, amongst others, were completed by the commission.

The Commission also noted that it was working with all related parties, including AMCON, to ensure the establishment of Amakpe modular refinery to be installed in Eket, Akwa Ibom State. The refinery has a capacity of producing 6,000 barrels per day.

 The NDDC has also established Job Placement centres which is expected to engage about 208,000 youths in the Niger Delta. To help reduce unemployment and youth restiveness in the region, the NDDC centre would match existing vacancies with available skills within the region.

On the progress of Ogoni clean-up, the Hydrocarbon Pollution Remediation Project (HYPREP) under the Ministry of Environment, is set to commence the procurement process for contracting experts for the remediation and clean-up of impacted sites. This process is open to competent national and international companies involved in environment, water and livelihood projects.

In the same vein, the final draft of the Strategic Implementation Work Plan (SIWP), which provides a framework for the development of the Niger Delta, was also submitted to the committee.

The Federal Government’s Niger Delta New Vision designed to “develop a new and prosperous Niger Delta through the forthright partnerships between the Federal Government, State Governments, Private Sector and Local Communities”.

#NDNewVision: NDDC, Ondo State Begin N19B Coastal Road

The Ondo State Government and the Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC, have jointly flagged off the construction of the N19.2 billion Araromi-Akodo/Ibeju-Lekki Road, connecting Ondo and Lagos states.

Speaking at the ceremony to mark the commencement of work on the 50-kilometre road at the Araromi Seaside, Ilaje Local Government Area of Ondo State, the Governor, Mr. Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, SAN, described the event as “epoch-making and indescribable.”

He declared: “This is the project for us. To link our state almost seamlessly to Lagos is the big deal. It has been our vision and we thank God that it is now being realised.”

Akeredolu, expressed optimism that the project would be delivered before the expiration of the tenure of the current NDDC Board, thanking the Commissio for partnering with his administration to provide good governance to the people.

In his remarks, the Chairman of the NDDC Governing Board, Senator Victor Ndoma-Egba SAN, stressed that the Commission was focusing on projects that would truly integrate the Niger Delta region. He, therefore, urged all the governors in the region to emulate their Ondo State counterpart in collaborating with the NDDC.

He said that people should discard the notion that NDDC projects were hardly completed; assuring that the Ondo regional road project would be executed faithfully. He also assured that the Omotosho-Okitipupa electrification project would be completed soon.

In his speech at the occasion, the NDDC Managing Director, Mr Nsima Ekere, recalled that the Commission had on Tuesday, April 4, 2017, signed a Memorandum of Understanding, with the Ondo State Government, to build the 50.918km road.

He noted that the project was very important because it would open up new frontiers, for growth, prosperity and regional integration.

He said: “The Araromi-Akodo/Ibeju-Lekki Road will connect the agricultural-rich communities of Araromi seaside – Igbo Erelu, Eba, Awodikora, Elefon, Ode-Omi, Imedu, Igboguna, Akodo in Ondo State with Ise in Ibeju – Lekki area of Lagos States.  It is the first part of the very important coastal road project which the Federal Government has conceived to link our coastal towns with a strategic road network.  On completion, it will cut travel time between Ondo State and Lagos to less than one hour, and facilitate easy evacuation of agricultural produce from these communities.”

Ekere explained that the main alignment from Irokun to Ise was 36.035km, with seven different spurs totaling 14.883 kilometres. He observed that because of the difficult terrain, it would cost a total of ₦19, 274, 195, 882.70 at an average cost of ₦378, 534, 032.81/km.

The NDDC Chief Executive Officer praised the Ondo State Governor for collaborating on the project and signing the MOU within six weeks of assuming office.  “He brought a sense of urgency for collaborative development of our Niger Delta Region to the table,” he said.

“Today’s occasion celebrates the limitless possibilities for growth and development when state governments and partners in the region team up with the NDDC for the common good. It is also a pointer to the new direction of the Commission. In our 17 years, NDDC has undertaken landmark, ground-breaking projects that have truly broken new grounds for growth and prosperity. We have built a lot of road, bridges, jetties, schools, hostels, health facilities, etc. These have met the immediate need for the transformation of our states and communities and primed us to shift gear.”

Ekere said that under the current NDDC Board, more attention would be focused on projects that would engender sustainable and comprehensive regional economic and social integration of the Niger Delta.

He added: “Very shortly, the Commission will conclude and execute similar partnership projects with Edo and Delta State Governments for the construction of the Benin-Abraka Road and Omadino-Okerenkoko-Escravos Road. We are also looking to partner with the Federal Ministry of Power, Works and Housing, for the construction of the Abak-East-West Road.”

Ekere re-stated the resolve of the NDDC to engage with all the nine Niger Delta Governors as the Commission was not in competition with any state. “We are looking at the big picture and our role is to resolve the developmental challenges of the region and support the development ambitions of the states by working together as partners.” he said.

Meet the new coordinator, Presidential Amnesty Programme, Prof. Charles Quaker Dokubo

The Presidential Amnesty Programme of the Buhari administration has recorded successes in maintaining peace, security and stability in the Niger Delta region.

 The Amnesty Programme remains one of the cardinal points of the Buhari­­ administration’s Niger Delta New Vision to bring succour to the people of Niger Delta and eliminate youth’s restiveness. The programme has continued to engage ex-militants and youths from the impacted communities in formal education, vocational skills acquisition and empowerment schemes.

On Tuesday, Professor Charles Quaker Dokubo was appointed by President Muhammadu Buhari as the new coordinator of the Amnesty Programme. Prof. Dokubo replaces Brig. Gen. Paul Boroh (rtd).

Boroh, who also doubled as the Senior Adviser to the President on Niger Delta, was sacked by President Buhari on Tuesday. This was confirmed in a statement signed by President Buhari’s Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina.

 Here are some facts about the new Coordinator of the Presidential Amnesty Programme; Prof. Charles Dokubo.

 1. Prof Dokubo specializes in nuclear proliferation, conflict resolution and other areas related to strategic analysis.

 2. He was born in Abonnema, Akuku-Toru Local Government of Rivers state on the 23rd of March, 1952. He had his early years in Abonnema where he acquired his primary and secondary education.

3. He then proceeded to the United Kingdom, to obtain his ‘A’ Levels from Huddersfield Technical College in West Yorkshire.

4. Prof. Dokubo also studied at the University of Teeside at Middlesbrough, UK, where he was awarded with a B. A. (Hons) in Modern History and Politics.

5. He holds a Master’s Degree in Peace Studies and a PhD in Strategic Studies from the University of Bradford, United Kingdom, where he also lectured before returning to Nigeria in 1993.

6. Prof. Dokubo was a member of the technical assistant team of the Economic Community of West Africa (ECOWAS) to the 1997 elections in Liberia, where he supervised voters’ registration.

7. He has been a member of several inter-ministerial committees in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and helped in the policy making process on AFRICOM and the Gulf of Guinea.

8. Prof. Dokubo has authored and edited several scholarly books and journal articles including; the Nigerian Air Force in a Changing Security Environment (2008). His recent publication is the Defence Policy of Nigeria: Capability and Contest.

9. Prior to his appointment as the new coordinator of the Amnesty Programme, Prof. Dokubo was Director of Research and Studies at the Nigerian Institute of International Affairs where he has worked since August, 1994.

 

 

 

Niger Delta New Vision: First batch students resume lectures in Maritime University next month

The Nigerian Maritime University, Okerenkoko, Delta State, is now set to commence the admission of students into the university for the 2017/2018 academic year, and start lectures next month.

This was one of the highlights of the meeting of the Niger Delta Inter-Ministerial Committee on Friday, called to assess progress on the implementation of the Buhari administration’s New Vision for Niger Delta.

The meeting at the Presidential Villa, Abuja which was chaired by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, SAN, also received reports of ongoing development projects being implemented in the region.

A total of 196 students have so far been accepted into the University to commence their academic programmes, while 76 applications still pending. Lectures are expected to fully commence later in April.

In furtherance of this administration’s commitment to develop the Niger Delta in line with its New Vision for the region,  President Muhammadu Buhari had approved an increase in the take-off grant allocated to the University from the N2bn earlier announced to N5bn. This sum was included in the 2018 budget presented to the National Assembly in November 2017.

Similarly, an additional N1B was approved by the President to support essential infrastructure works and staff recruitment in the University in November 2017.

The Delta State government has also donated two 500KVA generators to the University.

The Maritime University was recently granted approval in January by the National Universities Commission (NUC) to commence undergraduate degree programmes effective from the 2017/2018 academic session.

The Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB) had listed the University in its Central Admissions Processing System in January 24, 2018, while interviews for academic staff positions were conducted between 1st and 2nd of March, 2018.

The NUC had approved that academic activities commence in three faculties namely; Transport, Engineering and Environmental Management, with a combined total of 13 departments with various specializations – from Marine Engineering, Marine Economics to Climate Change, Fisheries and Aquaculture.

It would be recalled that, following the commencement of operations in 2017, the university had, in November 2017, invited job applications for academic staff with advert placement in major national dailies.

Ogoni Clean-up: HYPREP gives progress report

Within the last nine months, the Project Coordination Office (PCO) of the Hydrocarbon Pollution Remediation Project (HYPREP) has recorded some remarkable achievements. In a statement, the team gave a breakdown of its activities.

Training

We have trained some graduates from Ogoni who studied Environmental Sciences. The training was to build their capacity for the remediation work.

Provision of Potable Water

On assumption of office in March 2017, the PCO, under the leadership of the Project Coordinator, Dr. Marvin Dekil set up a Committee to identify existing water facilities in Ogoni, whether functional or non-functional with the aim of revamping and enlarging them to meet the water needs of the people. Based on the Committee’s report, the PCO advertised four (4) activities; vis rehabilitation of existing water facilities, construction of new water facilities in areas polluted but without source of potable water. The procurement process is ongoing.

Preliminary Data Collection towards implementation of UNEP Recommendation on Health Impact Study

In Line with the UNEP recommendation on the Health Impact Study, HYPREP carried out a Medical Outreach programme aimed at collecting preliminary data towards implementing the recommendation.

The Project Coordination Office on 26th December, 2017 officially flagged off the Ogoni Health Outreach programme in Bori, Khana LGA. The outreach lasted till 3rd January, 2018. Several  ailments ranging from minor sicknesses to major surgeries, were treated in the course of the preliminary data collection.

The expectations from the communities and their response to the programme was very high and encouraging. In all, a total number of 5,815 patients were attended to and 65 surgical cases treated.

 Community Sensitization

We did not limit our sensitization to the mass media. We have gone to the impacted communities and carried out initial sensitization of the Ogoni leaders, women and youths representatives. So far, we have visited Bodo, K-Dere, B-Dere, Kpor, Ogale, Ebubu, Korokoro, Ueken, Kpean and Buan and other communities where about 3,500 people have been sensitized.

Demonstration of Remediation Technologies: The Project Coordination Office (PCO) embarked on demonstration of technologies in some of the oil impacted areas in Ogoniland. This was in compliance with the UNEP recommendations on the type of remediation technologies that isn’t suitable in Ogoniland. HYPREP invited companies to showcase their new remediation technologies which was at no cost to Government or HYPREP. During the process, HYPREP carried out sampling activities at some selected polluted sites across the four (4) LGAs of Ogoniland listed below, for the demonstration of remediation technologies by interested companies:

i. Khana        –           Kwawa Community

ii. Gokana     –           Bodo, K-Dere and B-Dere Communities

iii. Tai                   –           Korokoro Community

iv. Eleme             –           Ogale Community

Seven (7) companies have completed their demonstration works on sizeable delineated work areas at five (5) sites, three (3) have recently been deployed while more are scheduled for mobilization to other allocated sites. A total of 201 samples (163 soil and 38 water) have been collected and analysed from eleven (11) sites in this exercise across the four (4) L.G.As

Soil and water samples were collected and analysed using different technology to determine the most suitable technologies that will be applied in the Cleanup exercise.

The reason for carrying out the demonstration of remediation technologies is to find the most suitable technology for the Ogoni environment as recommended in the UNEP report and competence of the companies. HYPREP will not approve the use of Remediation Enhanced Natural Attenuation (RENA) which will cause harm to the environment.

Other Activities carried out

The Project Coordination Office had received some international institutions within this period that have pledged their support to the success of the project. Foreign Government Development Agencies such as DFiD, EU Delagation to Nigeria/ECOWAS, USTDA, the United Nations System (UNEP, UNOPS, UNITAR) are in collaboration with HYPREP to develop and implement a comprehensive remediation of the environment and restoration of livelihood strategy in Ogoniland.

 

To contain re-pollution is pivotal to the success of the Ogoni Clean-up project and that necessitated our meetings with ex-artisanal refiners to educate them on the dangers of their activities to health, the environment and the economy. The ex-refiners are to come up with areas they would be trained to acquire alternative skills so that they do not continue with illegal refining.

#NDNewVision: We are making progress in the Niger Delta – Vice President Osinbajo

President Muhammadu Buhari administration would continue to make efforts towards the development of the Niger Delta region through its New Vision, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, SAN, has said.

The VP said this during an interview he granted a group of journalists and social media practitioners in Lagos State, over the weekend.

The Federal Government’s Niger Delta New Vision is designed to “develop a new and prosperous Niger Delta through the forthright partnerships between the Federal Government, State Governments, Private Sector and Local Communities.”

The New Vision for the Niger Delta was birthed following the President’s meeting with Niger Delta leaders under the aegis of Pan-Niger Delta Forum, PANDEF, in November 2016. On behalf of the President, Vice President Osinbajo, undertook a tour of the oil producing communities.

Giving an update on the progress of the FG’s Niger Delta New Vision, the VP noted that the take-off of the Maritime University, modular refineries and the Ogoni clean- up efforts were indicators of the Buhari administration’s commitment to develop the region.

The Vice President also said the administration was continuing it engagement with all the groups in the Niger Delta to ensure continued peace and stability in the oil-rich region.

Below are the excerpts of the interview:

Q: Crude oil as the main driver of the economy, and FG dialogue with groups in the Niger Delta region.

Vice President: First of all, the dialogue started in 2016 and it continues. We began to dialogue with all the groups in the Niger Delta and we hold very regular meetings with PANDEF, which is the umbrella body. We also hold regular meetings with many of the groups in the Niger Delta and they are all actively involved with us.

I don’t know whether you are familiar with the Maritime University. The Maritime University has taken off, you know. Only a few days ago, the announcement was made that they are eligible for JAMB (the University was recently granted approval by the National Universities Commission (NUC) to commence undergraduate degree programmes effective from the 2017/2018 academic session). Interviews are taking place for the Maritime University, forms have been provided and we are talking to all of the principal parties in that zone who are interested in the work the Maritime University is doing. Many people are involved in that process. That is the kind of thing we are talking about to provide the kind of facility to help people in the Niger Delta, especially in Maritime University.

Also, look at modular refineries, 38 licensed modular refineries investors have indicated interests (10 of the licensed refineries are at an advanced stage of development). One, of course, has started in Bayelsa; another is being shipped in at the moment. There are about three or four different engagements with modular refineries operators. So we are putting that together, and one of the critical things with modular refineries is that we are trying to ensure that, first of all, it is private-sector driven. Government has to provide the licenses, but also there is community involvement; communities also have a stake in the modular refineries. So we are doing that as well. We are working very hard on that.

Q: Alleged claims that PANDEF leader said FG isn’t doing anything in the region.

Vice President: I don’t know when Chief Clark made that statement. I think that, by and large, all of what I’m saying is being done.  It is obvious for everyone to see. I’ve no real problem demonstrating this, but as a matter of fact, if you look on our website, on the all of the Niger Delta issues, we have almost a blow-by-blow account of what we are doing, including the Ogoni clean up.

I think there is a lot going on. You can’t address all of the problems at once. We have provided plenty of information. We have Inter-ministerial meetings where the different stakeholders meet constantly with leaders of the Niger Delta. I think you can imagine development is something that no one can be completely satisfied with at any point in time; that’s why it’s called development.

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‘Modular refineries will stop illegal refining in Niger Delta’ – Ekere

The Buhari administration’s modular refineries scheme would stop illegal refining of crude oil in the Niger Delta.

 

The Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), Mr. Nsima Ekere, said this on Saturday.

 

Ekere, who spoke to THISDAY in Owerri, where he was awarded an Honorary Doctorate Degree award from the Federal University of Technology, Owerri, stated that modular refinery is one of the key projects under the Federal Government’s New Vision for the Niger Delta.

Nsima Ekere, MD of NDDC

The NDDDC boss said, “The idea was to try and carry the interests of the respective local communities in the project. You see the idea of modular refinery; first of all, we want to stop illegal refining because of the attendant security and environmental issues that they bring. But if you stop it, don’t forget those people doing those illegal refining do not have the technical and financial capacity to get involved in the modular refining. That is where NDDC steps in so that the interest of the local community can be carried along.”

 

“We have come up with all kinds of things like setting up cooperatives so that they will be part and parcel of what is going on. That is ongoing. One refinery that is to benefit from this collaboration almost immediately would be a modular refinery that was being fabricated by some private people, AMCON bought it over and so we are now talking in fact, NNPC, AMCON, NDDC and the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB). The four of us are collaborating, trying to get that refinery in Akwa Ibom State up and running as soon as possible. So yes, it is ongoing; it is work in progress.”

 

The NDDC boss further said that that his message to the stakeholders has always been that it is better to think of sustainable economic model that can empower the people.

FG orders speedy completion of N40bn, 8-lane PH-Aba highway

The Federal Government has directed the contractor handling the construction and rehabilitation works on the N40billion Port Harcourt – Aba highway project to fast track and ensure quick completion of the project.

The multibillion naira Federal project is being handled by China Civil Engineering and Construction Company (CCECC), which has assured that January 2020 delivery date is feasible.

According to the Nation, the project supervisor, Mr. Idongesit Ebotakpan, during an inspection of the project site in Port Harcourt at the weekend, revealed that the Federal Government gave the marching order and directed that the job should be top quality.

He explained that the project, which is expected to have a 50-year life-span, would meet the best standard, stressing, “nobody is joking with the quality of job on the road.”

Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Mr Babatunde Fashola

He revealed that the Minister of Works, Mr Babatunde Fashola, while awarding the contract, was specific that the quality of job done on the road must be world standard.

“This is a dual carriage road; the distance is from Eleme Junction to Aba that is the exact length of the project. The first contract was about N34 billion, but there were some important issues arising along the way like the issue of not taking care of road drainage after construction, so that called for a re-design of the project and the current design which is expected to consume N40 billion will take care of those setbacks.

“We have changed the whole design of the road and the present design has four lanes on both sides (taking it) to eight lanes on completion, that is where we are now.

“So rehabilitation work will be from Imo bridge down to Aba, what we are doing here will also be replicated at Aba axis with four lanes making it eight lanes at the end”

The Aba/ Port Harcourt road is a very strategic road to the nation’s economy as it links Aba and other industrial heartland of the East with Port Harcourt, the nation’s oil hub.