#NDNewVision: Oil firms to refine 20% of crude output locally, says Kachikwu, as another modular refinery set to be established in Imo

The Federal Government is considering a policy that will compel operators of major oil and gas exploration and production firms to refine 20 per cent of their oil production in-country, the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Dr. Emmanuel Ibe Kachikwu, has said.

According to the Nation, Kachikwu gave the hint at the groundbreaking ceremony of the 5,000 barrels of oil per day (bopd) modular refinery being developed by Waltersmith Refining and Petrochemical Company at Ibigwe field, Ohaji-Egbema Local Government Area of Imo State.

The minister said the Federal Government would soon announce a policy to require operating companies to refine locally at least 20 per cent of the crude oil they produce, with the percentage graduating to 50 per cent in the next five years.

“We have no option or we will consistently stay in the abyss of lack of processing while we export all the raw materials,” he added.

The modular refinery project is being executed with 30 per cent equity financing by the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB) and additional $35 million debt facility from the African Finance Corporation AFC). It is expected to start production in December 2020.

Kachikwu said the Federal Government’s policy on modular refineries is an integral part of the 14-point agenda for reducing militancy in the Niger Delta region. The plan, he noted, is to set up modular refineries in oil producing communities and use them to create jobs and absorb the militants. “We would take some of the good skills sets they have, polish them and put them into the system,” he said

According to him, 10 of the 38 licensed modular refineries had made appreciable progress in the development of their projects and the first one is expected to deliver products between December 2018 and January 2019. “From modular refineries, we will be able to process about 200,000 barrels of crude and put them into the system.”

He said the Federal Government was engendering the establishment of modular refineries through the financing model being managed by the NCDMB and had also granted free custom duty charges and other waivers to enable the investors bring in their equipment.

FG inaugurates community projects in Cross River LGA

In keeping with its commitment to the welfare of the people at the grassroots, the Federal Government has inaugurated a community town hall and a solar-powered water project at Ishibori and Abakpa communities in Ogoja Local Government Area of Cross River State.

Inaugurating the projects on Thursday, the Honourable Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Pastor Usani Uguru Usani said that the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari was committed to rendering services to the society without fear or favour. This was contained in a statement by the Federal Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs.

Speaking at the inauguration, Usani said, “This administration has not come to recompense evil for evil, every government has the responsibility to serve the society and we are doing so without any partisanship; that is why we are spreading projects in every community and various constituencies in the Niger Delta region according to their needs and availability of resources.”

The Minister added that government’s efforts in Ogoja land were not limited to the town hall and a solar-powered borehole being inaugurated alone, but that several other people-oriented projects were being handled by his Ministry, while many on-going internal roads being undertaken by the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) in Ogoja Local Government Area would soon be completed and inaugurated accordingly, for the use of the people.

He called for the support of the people of Ogoja for the President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration which according to the Minister, “Had recorded a number of infrastructures for the people to see.”

The Minister charged the people of Ishibori and Abakpa communities, Ogoja land in general and the entire people of the Niger Delta region to remain law abiding citizens, urging them to make effective use of government’s projects in their localities and also ensure the security of the the facilities, so that government would be encouraged to do more.

Earlier, the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs, Alhaji Aminu Aliyu Bisalla, represented by the Director Community Development and Education in the Ministry, Mrs Lauren Braide, noted that social welfare and community engagements were critical components of the Federal Government’s Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP) and the mandate of the Ministry.

He added that prime attention was given to the provision of community facilities due to their far-reaching impacts on citizens’ participation in governance.

Presenting the goodwill message on behalf of the Ntol Mgbeje Ama III and the people of Ishibori community, the Vice President of Ishibori Development Council (IDC), Chief Ale Ujum expressed the delight of the people in the quick intervention of the Federal Government to make the dream of the community town hall which had lingered for decades, into reality within one year.

“This project has given this community a facelift,” he reiterated.

Fact sheet on the Ogoni Cleanup so far – HYPREP

The HYPREP Coordination Office, under the leadership of Dr. Marvin Dekil, the Project Coordinator, has carried out the following key activities so far:

  1. Sensitization and Awareness Campaign: In view of the readiness of commencement of physical cleanup of Ogoniland, there is a continued sensitization of Ogoni people across the four (4) LGAs on the Cleanup project and against re-pollution of cleanup sites, HYPREP has carried out broad-based initial sensitizations, including:

i. Community Sensitization

We are in constant engagement with local authorities such as Traditional Rulers, Youth Bodies, Women Leaders, Village Heads and Faith-Based Organisations to sensitize them on the project.

Community Leadership Sensitized

  1. Gokana LGA: Bodo, K-Dere, B-Dere, Kpor, Mogho, Bera,

Biara, Gbe

  1. Khana LGA: Kwawa, Buan, Kpean, Tera-ue, Kono, Bangha
  2. Tai LGA: Korokoro, Kpite, Ueken, Gio, Kebara-Kira, Botem,

Bara-Alue

  1. Eleme LGA: Ogale, Alode, Ebubu

ii. HYPREP is in the process of organising Town Hall meetings with all communities at the grassroot level.

 

2. Training of Technical Assistants

HYPREP has trained some Ogoni graduates educated in Environmental Sciences to develop capacity for the Cleanup project.

In May, 2017, a training was organized for the Technical Assistants to equip them with the technical skills for the remediation.

The second training which was on Oil Spill Clean-up and Remediation, also organized by HYPREP in collaboration with NDDC took place on 24th-25th and 28th May, 2018.

 

Workshops

From 18th-20th September, 2017, the United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS) in conjunction with HYPREP Coordination Office organised a three day Workshop for HYPREP Management.

The Project Coordination Office (PCO) and Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) also organized a Joint HYPREP/SPDC Framing Workshop

An Induction Workshop on Project Management was also orgainsed for the HYPREP Management Team on the 24th , 25th and 28th of May, 2018

 

3. FIELD OPERATIONS

i. Demonstration of Remediation Technologies:

The Project Coordination Office (PCO) embarked on demonstration of technologies in some of the oil impacted areas in Ogoniland, namely Bodo, K-Dere, B-Dere, Korokoro, Kwawa, Nsisioken etc where interested companies showcased their remediation technologies at no cost to government. 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.

 

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.A

ii. Delineation of Impacted Sites

Delineation and scoping of selected hydrocarbon impacted sites is on-going.

Twenty-Six (26) sites out of the Sixty-Four (64) investigated sites by UNEP across the four (4) Ogoni Local Government Areas have been earmarked.. This is in line with the recommendations contained in the UNEP fact sheets

The delineation activity is to establish lateral and vertical boundaries of contamination and extent of impact to develop current contamination profile of the sites.

 

4. Commencement of activities towards the implementation of UNEP recommendation on health study

The Project Coordination Office has carried out Medical Outreach Programmes aimed at collecting preliminary data towards the implementation of the UNEP recommendation on Health Study in the four (4) Local Government Areas of Ogoni comprising Tai, Eleme, Khana and Gokana. Medical services were also provided to the communities.

The outreach was carried out from 26th December 2017 to 3rd January 2018 and a follow-up from 14th April – 1st May 2018.

25,139 patients were treated including 365 surgeries.

5. Procurement activities

 The Project Coordination Office has carried out the following procurement activities:

i. Expression of Interest for Remediation of Impacted Sites

Prequalification has been concluded and companies prequalified are listed on our website www.hyprep.gov.ng

Technical and Financial bidding process to commence immediately

Remediation expected to commence by the 4th quarter, 2018 after the completion of all procurement processes

ii. Expression of Interest for Water and Health

Evaluation for the pre-qualification of companies that expressed interest on Water and Health is ongoing

6. Next phase

  •  Continuous Community Engagements/Sensitization
  • Delineation
  • Conclusion of Procurement Processes
  • Construction of new comprehensive water schemes and rehabilitation of existing ones
  • Livelihood Assessment/Implementation Plan
  • Detailed HEALTH Impact Assessment Study
  • Remediation of selected twenty six (26) sites identified in the 1st phase of the Cleanup exercise

 

 

Niger Delta: NDDC Promises More Infrastructure 

The Chairman of the Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC, Victor Ndoma-Egbe says the commission will continue to restore hope to the people of Niger Delta region.
According to AIT online, the NDDC chairman stated this during the inspection of remedial works on the 30 kilometre Okigwe/Akokwa road in Imo state.
The 30-kilometre Okigwe/Akokwa road is a major federal road linking the sister states of Imo and Abia.
Some sections of the road have been major headache for motorists and commuters operating within that axis until the intervention of the NDDC to restore the failed sections
He said the NDDC is committed to the well-being of Niger Deltans, hence the need to implement projects that would change their fortunes
The emergency intervention project was awarded three months ago and seventeen kilometers of asphalt has been carried out.
In the same vein, Vanguard reported that the State Commissioner on the board of Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC, Dr Ogaga Ifowodo,  has assured  that the era of abandonment of projects in the commission was over, adding that the commission had set aside 70 per cent of its annual budget for completion of some  existing projects.
Ifowodo, was quoted while speaking at  the palace of the Ovie of Enhwe, in Isoko South Local Government Area, Delta State,  His Royal Majesty, Anthony Efekodha.
According to the Vanguard, he said the commission decided that 70 percent of its annual budget would go for completion of existing projects while 30 per cent would be for new projects, expressing hope that this measure would ensure the completion of many viable seemingly abandoned projects.

Development and Infrastructure in the Niger-Delta: Fruits of Buhari – Osinbajo’s Stabilizing Interventions

By Chukwudi Enekwechi

Acting President Yemi Osinbajo has become famous among Nigerians for gainfully using the powers of his office to advance the socio-economic agenda of the President Muhammadu Buhari administration. For example in the heat of the Niger Delta crisis when militants resorted to blowing up oil installations, which crippled the country’s economy Professor Osinbajo took up the gauntlet and waded into finding lasting solutions to the problems in the Niger Delta region.

His interventions as manifested in his engagement with the Niger Delta leaders under the umbrella of Pan Niger Delta Forum led to the acceptance of dialogue by the Niger Delta agitators who eventually dropped their arms and saved the country from a total economic collapse and perennial restiveness in the region.

While it clear that some demands of the Pan Niger Delta Forum have not been fully implemented by the federal government, yet we see an obvious commitment on their part to fulfill most of their obligations to the Niger Delta region, and Professor Osinbajo is at the helm of seeing all these come to fruition. His inclination towards the maintenance of peace in the region has helped to stop the incessant interruption in the production and exploration of oil as a result of militancy, thereby improving the country’s economy and development.

In finding solutions to the problems confronting the region he has adopted some pragmatic approach, and the results are visible to all Nigerians. The reopening of Maritime University Okerenkoko in Delta state and establishment of modular refineries resonated well with the people and stakeholders of the region. The setting up of the modular refineries is a practical solution to the degradation of the region’s environment traceable to oil exploration.

Gladly the Buhari/Osinbajo administration is committed to the environmental remediation of the region as exemplified in the start of Ogoni clean-up programme.

The various empowerment programmes of the federal government which are targeted at supporting the youths of the region to lead useful lives have helped to provide the youths with gainful employment. In addition, the impartation of knowledge in various skills to the youths has played an important role in enhancing the productivity of the companies and other public institutions in the region.
The strengthening of the capacity of the Niger Delta Development Commission to deliver maximally on its mandate has raised the tempo of development in the region, especially in the area of infrastructural development and improvement in living standards.

As Nigerians continue to applaud Professor Yemi Osinbajo for his proactive leadership style, especially in the latest sacking of the director general of Department of State Services, Mr. Lawal Daura for acting ultra vires in the security siege at the National Assembly, it is discernible that the duo of Acting President, Professor Osinbajo and President Muhammadu Buhari are determined to bring succour, not only to the people of Niger Delta but to all Nigerians.

His timely intervention in bringing the National Assembly siege to a stop played a significant role in restoring the confidence of Nigerians to the security agencies, and reemphasised that rule of law remains sacrosanct in Nigeria.

Enekwechi is an Abuja based Journalist

#NDNewVision: “Ogoni clean-up funds will not be diverted, FG assures stakeholders

The Federal Government has assured indigenes of Ogoniland in Rivers State that the funds meant for the implementation of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) report, is sacrosanct to the project.

The Minister of State for Environment, Ibrahim Usman Jubril, gave the assurance at the 2nd stakeholders’ meeting on the implementation of the UNEP report on Ogoniland clean-up project by the Federal Ministry of Environment through the Hydrocarbon Pollution Remediation Project (HYPREP), in Port Harcourt, Rivers State capital, on Friday, according to The Nation.

Jubril, who was represented at the event by a head of department in the ministry, Dr. Ishaku Mohammed, insisted that no part of the fund meant for the clean-up of the area would be diverted to any other use, noting that the Ogoni clean-up exercise will serve as a template for the clean-up of the entire Niger Delta region.

He said: “Funding is the area of concern and we have opened an escrow account. We assure that the money for the project is sacrosanct for the project and will not be diverted to other uses. The structure of the process is formidable that no single member or individual can withdraw without going through the due process. We will provide credible feedback as it concerns the clean-up. That is the only way we can appreciate the federal government for having the political will to implement the remediation.”

Corroborating the minister’s remark, the President of KAGOTE, a social cultural organization in Ogoniland, who is also a member of Board of Trustee (HYPREP), Dr. Peter Medee, disclosed that the board has successfully opened an account with a foreign bank, adding that the success would guarantee security of funds for the project.

Medee said, “The Ogoni Trust Fund has been incorporated. Two Ogonis are trustees in the funds. Ogoni can use the fund without interference from the federal government and it is done in such a way that change in administration will not affect the project.

“No part of the funds for the clean-up is missing. We have received the funds from the International Oil Companies (IOCs) led by Shell. The first part of the money has been received and is now in the Ogoni Trust Fund. An Ogoni son is one of the three signatories to the account. We have successfully opened an account with Standard Chartered Bank of London. We are now sure that the fund is secured. The structures for the clean-up are serious.”

Also, the President of Movement for the Survival of Ogoni People, MOSOP and member of the Governing Council, Leborsi Pyagbara, stated that Ogoni people want clean environment.

He said: “We asked a question to stop Ogoni environment from devastation. It is only our collective will and support that will make the project a success. For us, we I’ll continue to raise the alarm. I got news that all the funding for this year for the project has been provided. It is left for us to see how we can put things in place to see that the clean-up is carried out.”

Niger Delta: US Consulate, NDDC Strategize for Sustainable Development

The United States Consulate in Nigeria says it continues to discuss and work with the Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC, to strengthen collaboration on strategies to improve peace and security to facilitate the sustainable development of the Niger Delta region.

Speaking during a courtesy visit to the NDDC management at the Commission’s headquarters in Port Harcourt, the Political and Economic Consul, Mr Osman Tat, who represented the United States Consul General in Lagos, F. John Bray, said one of the primary goals of the US mission was to support Nigeria’s economic development.

The American delegation had earlier held a strategy meeting with the NDDC Managing Director, Mr. Nsima Ekere and the Chairman of the Commission’s Governing Board, Senator Victor Ndoma- Egba (SAN), on plans to drive the regional development process.

The US envoy explained that the meeting with the NDDC leadership was part of the regular consultations undertaken by the US Consulate in Lagos and the Embassy in Abuja. According to him, the Consulate recognised the fact that NDDC had a large number of projects spread across the nine states of the oil-producing region of Nigeria.

Osman Tat observed that it was important to consult with the Board and Management of NDDC in order to get a sense of how the projects were being executed to develop the region

He said: “We have looked at several projects being executed by the NDDC and the ones they intend to undertake in the future.

“We have had a fruitful discussion with the NDDC on projects implementation and we are interested in seeing that the projects and development activities are well executed for the benefit of the people of the Niger Delta.”

Osman Tat affirmed that NDDC was at the nexus of development, adding that its projects cut across different sectors ranging from healthcare to education and infrastructure. He said that the projects were necessary to ensure peace and security in the Niger Delta.

The diplomat stated the interest of the United States in seeing a free, fair, transparent and non-violent election in Nigeria in 2019.

In his remarks, the NDDC Chairman, Senator Ndoma-Egba said that the NDDC was at the heart of the Niger Delta, noting that the Commission had the solemn mandate to develop the region by engaging key stakeholders.

Senator Ndoma-Egba emphasised the need for an enduring peace in the Niger Delta region, stating that security was critical for development and growth.

He said that the NDDC, being an interventionist agency had little or no role to play in partisan politics. “We are only interested in ensuring that there is a peaceful atmosphere in the Niger Delta region. And the only way we can achieve that is by bringing projects and development to the region,” he said.

Niger Delta: Navy destroys 1,000 illegal refineries in creeks

The Nigerian Navy Ship, DELTA, on Wednesday said it had destroyed over 1,000 illegal refineries with swamp buggies in the Delta creeks.

Speaking with newsmen in Warri, the Commander, NNS DELTA, Commodore Ibrahim Dewu, said the illegal refineries were destroyed in the last 29 days in its ongoing raids.

He said the illegal refineries and the equipment were destroyed in Otumara, Ogbegugu, Okpuku creeks and Bennett Island with the aid of swamp buggies, amphibious vehicles used in traversing swamps.

“We decided to apply swamp buggies because they are more environmental friendly and make it difficult for the perpetrators to resuscitate the illicit businesses after crushing their facilities.

“So far the exercise has been successful and we will not rest on our oars until the illicit trade is completely eradicated in our maritime domain,” he said.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) recalls that the navy had in the past relied heavily on the use of fire to destroy illegal refineries.

The commander said the use of swamp buggies would bring a lasting solution to the ongoing economic sabotage.

On Tuesday, the commander led some navy personnel and journalists to Bennett Island in Warri South Local Government Area of the state to monitor the operation.

He told newsmen that the oil thieves had adopted a new method to prevent his men from carrying out the operation.

“The perpetrators in Bennett Island set fire round the illegal refineries to prevent us and the swamp buggy from gaining access.

“However, we were able to find our way into the sites and crushed their equipment despite the thick smoke and rain.

“Since we started clamping down on the illegal refineries with the aid of swamp buggies, the perpetrators have been restless’’, the commander said.

Dewu said the saboteurs were already feeling the impact of the destruction.

“This might have generated the recent campaign for the removal of the Commander, Joint Task Force (JTF), code name “Operation Delta Safe,’’ Rear Adm. Suleiman Apochi, by the people.

“The campaign against JTF is a distraction; we will not be deterred,’’ he said.

He warned the saboteurs to desist from the illicit act or be made to face the full wrath of the law.

For the Records: #7BigWins in Focus – Big win 5 – Niger Delta and security

By Dr. Emmanuel Ibe Kachikwu

*Puts in focus a “blueprint for Niger Delta’s development that can be sustained for posterity”

Let me welcome you to an 8 parts serial podcast that will look critically at the 7 big wins that were instruments of our intervention in the oil industry when we came in and see how we fared in each of those and what we need to do going forward.

All over the world these 7 big wins has been praised as a right model for intervention. But, let us now go neck deep and get a 3D view of what really has happened. In this edition, we are going to focus strictly on the Niger Delta security issues; what we met, what we did, what the future holds for us.

His Excellency, the President was kind enough and gracious enough to appoint me with the twin positions of both the GMD of the NNPC and the Minister of State for Petroleum. Niger Delta was a burning issue at the time. There was key unrest in Niger Delta, a huge amount of militant activities going on. There was reduction in production volumes, so much reduction leading to a consistent loss that led us almost to a cripple in the oil industry. Actually, at the lowest point we were down to about 800,000 barrels. All the infrastructure that we had were compromised; vandalism and militancy compelled the integrity of the infrastructure to disappear.

These sustained attacks continued for over a 10-month period. In February 2016 for example; the Forcados oil export line was breached, leading to very major attacks in other oil and gas assets. In May 2016, the Nembe creek truck line was attacked; in November 2016, series and series of attacks.

What else did we meet? We met the complete absence of a coordinated effort at developing the Niger Delta development model. There was, therefore, a consistent lack of investors’ interest in Niger Delta area, because of what really had happened was that with all the militancy attacks, uncertainties on policies, the lack of coordination in terms of development, everybody basically watched for what the next alarm bell was going to be.

The sheer amount of problems that we inherited in Niger Delta meant that literally if nothing was done, the country was getting crippled; no money for investments, no money for infrastructures, no money to run the budgets. We had to move in very rapidly with the support of His Excellency, the President.

We dealt with three main fundamentals. We decided to deal first with the environment and security issues. What were we going to do about that environment, the issues that had been burning in all the areas of Niger Delta?

The first thing we realized was that the one-on-one engagements, as good as they were, were obviously not leading us to the Promised Land. Of course, I did the whole yeoman’s job of taking a tour on the Niger Delta myself and getting into the creeks, at very great risk to my life and that of a lot of my staff, to engage the militants in their domain. I think the advantage in that was that it brought understanding and we then began a sustained community engagement.

The first thing we did was to work with the leaders of the areas to work towards the setting up of the PANDEF group. We thank all the PANDEF members; leader, Chief Clark and all of them who did fantastic work in trying to put together this Pan-Niger Delta Forum. We worked coordinating with them. So once that was set up, it was easy to have a body that could engage the Federal Government.

Then we dealt with the issue of Ogoni clean-up. The President had made a promise during his campaign that he was going to take this as a burning issue and he did and he inaugurated the Ogoni clean-up process that was launched very ceremoniously and we began the engagements and the financing that will enable us address the Ogoni cleanup. But not only Ogoni needs to be cleaned up, a whole lot of other areas need to be cleaned up. This is basically the beginning map on which we are going to work.

We came up with the Nigerian Gas Flare Commercialization Programme, which was trying to address the exit of flare. The United Nations had set a 2030 deadline; we set a 2020 deadline. We are aggressive about it because we knew that unless the environmental issues in Niger Delta were addressed, no amount of investment would get a buy-in with the people.

With all the sustained engagements that we had, we had series of ceasefires which enabled us to bring back production volumes. In December 2015, we had a 30-day ceasefire agreement. It brought back production rapidly from the all-time low of about 800,000 barrels to about 2.2 million barrels. In June 2016, we had another 60-day ceasefire agreement, which lasted for a while. In April 2017, leading up from the 60-day ceasefire that continued and working with PANDEF and other elements, and with the assistance of the Vice President’s visit; we got to a point where we basically moved our production to an all-time 800,000 barrels volume to volumes in region of 2.2 million barrels.

We looked at infrastructure and not only did we deal with repairing some of the infrastructures that were broken down to enable oil begin to flow again. We came up with the concept of what to do with the illegal refining that was going on in the region. So, we came up with the modular refinery concept. Till date, we have targeted development and approved about 10 of those; two are basically on land now and beginning to construct. Hopefully, within the next one year, we will be able to deliver real results. But we are pushing for the other eight.

The AKK Pipeline that had been abandoned for a very long time was put back. The Federal Executive Council approved this and now engagements are going on to sort out this contract and begin that construction. That AKK pipeline will enable you deliver gas from the South into the North and open up gas delivery to homes, and development in terms of petrochemicals. So it is a huge infrastructure development.

We have been able to go visit some of these modular refineries. We visited the one in Ogbele, in Rivers State; we also have visited the one in Kwale (Delta State). Those are the two that are basically on ground and ready to take off. But there are 8 additional ones that are basically all getting ready for completion for financing and moving on.

But, the area where I think we have done a lot of work is in Capacity Building and Economic Empowerment. The greatest problem of Niger Delta has been that it’s not because money hasn’t gone in. Inter-agency researches have shown that over $40 billion have gone into Niger Delta in a period of, maybe, 15 years.

So what we’ve tried to do, was working under the Office of the Vice President, to try and working in conjunction with the Ministry of Niger Delta, Ministry of Environment, NDDC, NNPC, Oil companies, everybody; we were able to show the sheer amount of money over a period of time that had gone in, and the sheer amount of money that was available still to go in. And that led to a very integrated work that produced a report that enabled us to see what everybody’s budget was and what we needed to do. It ran into trillions.

And so working under an inter-ministerial group put under the Vice President, we’ve now began to build capacity, and build economic empowerment on the grounds of that and making sure that we supervise each of those intervening government agencies to do what they are supposed to do and the oil companies to take up also their responsibilities.

But we have also gone further than that. I have gone ahead to set up State technical committees and gone from state to state to take that whole vision and give it fruition. So, in those states, with the State Governments being the Chairmen of some of those; we have had our own representatives; we’ve had oil companies’ representatives, we’ve had Government Agencies. And the whole idea is to look at the blueprint of what oil is produced in a state, what volumes are available, what opportunities for economic empowerment are there and what are the burning issues in those areas. These technical committees have been launched in three states; in Edo State, in Delta State and in Imo State, and we are looking to complete that whole process.

If we succeed in doing that, for the first time, what you are going to have is a complete blueprint, complete local engagement, complete local intervention and supervision of the Niger Delta development model and that is something that can be sustained for posterity.

So, those interventions have helped; those technical teams have helped. Like I said, we’ve done it in about three states. We are going to continue to push the envelope in other states. Now, obviously in all these have rallied from the initial work done when we first started with all the problems we had, to the Vice President’s visit that was monumentally successful and helpful; to obviously the presidential cloak that has been given to this to make it succeed.

Where do we go from here? A lot of work still needs to be done, let’s not kid ourselves. What we have done is take a very difficult environment and bring some sanity to it.

So today, when we celebrate over 2 million barrels, when we celebrate $75, $77 price in oil, when we celebrate enhanced and increasing reserve size for this country, when we celebrate the highest capital budgets that this country has seen in decades, it is all because we found a way to find sanity in this very, very difficult environment. But we still have a lot of work to do.

Those engagements we talked about with the state technical committees are a key pivot; we must sustain and complete the process. And thereafter, there must be active; and there must, on a month-to-month basis, explore what the opportunities are, and ensure that the local populace are getting those opportunities.

There are regulatory interventions; the Assembly is working hard at PIB, and there’s Host Community Bill they are also doing. All these Bills, when passed, will give legal parameters to some of the interventions that are essential and create a sustained platform for these interventions in the future.

The President is completely committed to the success of this and we are working with the Ministry of Environment to continue the Ogoni clean-up. I have just directed that funds necessary for this must be released with a very short period of time so that this Ogoni clean-up can actually move from the drawing board to actual practical realities. And I’ve called on both NNPC and the oil companies to fund this sufficiently for us to move forward.

We’ve also began a programme to engage the Ogonis where there has been substantial problems, to get the community buy-in; to get the community’s participation. A few weeks ago, we held the Ogoni re-entry meetings. We are going to get into some of those, and not just Ogoni, but a lot of the areas to see how we can get people to believe gain and have faith in the processes that we are rolling out.

We are currently working on a framework for community-based participation in the protection of oil and gas pipelines, and oil and gas assets. How do we get the communities to take ownership of these pipelines, protect them, ensure an efficient delivery without complications and also ensure that in future they get benefits from some of the economic interventions that come out of all of these?

So, a whole lot of work needs to be done. It is almost like you are looking at the bill of rights in some of these areas. How do we develop things that people are entitled to; people execute, communities are involved, constant engagements continue, and the Government’s interest in this continues to ride.

But this where we met security, this is where we met the Niger Delta, this is what we have done in the two and a half, three years that we have been there. But like I said, the work continues.

What we can say is that provided Government continues to focus, provided the oil companies continue to focus on their key social responsibilities in these areas, provided that Government Agencies that are given responsibilities for intervention continue to carry out their jobs, provided communities realize that, at the end of the day, destruction of platforms leads to nothing but confusion and mayhem; but that working together with the Government, we can create an equitable problem-solving mechanism, provided State Governments and security apparatus carry out security intervention for peace in a manner that respects the fundamental human rights of citizens; we actually can take leverage from the total world attention that is looking at the work that we are doing in this area and get Niger Delta to where it should be.

Thank you very much for listening.

Kachikwu is the Honourable Minister of State for Petroleum Resources

(Podcast on May 23, 2018)

Dokubo gives ex-agitators assurance on welfare

The Special Adviser to the President and Coordinator of the Presidential Amnesty Programme (PAP), Charles Quaker Dokubo, recently confirmed prompt payment of monthly stipends as well as provision of other welfare packages for the ex-Niger Delta agitators and their leaders. 

Dokubo who disclosed this in a meeting in Abuja on Saturday with the ex-agitators noted that this was essential for maintaining peace in the region. Daily Trust revealed that the PAP coordinator vowed to breathe in fresh air into the programme to enable its benefits reach out to those it was originally intended for.

Speaking further, the PAP coordinator beckoned on the leaders of ex-agitators not to promote parochial interests, but to work with the Federal Government in the interest of the Niger Delta people by striving to sustain the goals of the Programme.

 “Let us do particular projects in the Niger Delta that will live after us; let us not go into pipeline busting, because these pipelines are located in our region where the environmental impact would be felt. But your complaints on issues of documentation and others will be looked into,” Dokubo said.