We’ve generated over $45M from Delta ports – NPA

The Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) Delta Ports, says it generated over $45.2 million within January and June 2019, a significant increase attributed to the improved security in the area.

This was disclosed at a stakeholders’ forum presided over by chairman of the NPA board of directors, Mr. Emmanuel Adesoye, at the New Port, Warri in Delta State, the Nation reports.

In a briefing document made available to journalists, the ports authorities stated that the rise in revenue when compared to 2018’s $35.39 million, a 28% increase, is also due to the dredging of the Escravos channel.

According to the statement, $2,904,377 debt was recovered within the same period, leaving the total revenue collected at the sum of $48,150,644.17.

Speaking to journalists, the NPA chairman, Adesoye, whose visit was to assess the progress made by the port since November 2016, denied awareness of the sales of some of Delta Ports terminals.

The brief had reported five out of the six terminals of Delta Ports to have been conceded at different dates to respective operators for a duration of 15 years for one, and 25 years each for the others.

According to the chairman on sales of some terminals, “that was something we just found out today. It is something that was contemplated, I think maybe there was an error. I don’t think it is an issue that I want to talk about without knowing the full facts.

However, he noted that the major challenge raised during the forum is the dredging of the channel within the port to allow bigger vessels go in, but declined to give a time frame for the needed development to take place, explaining that some technicalities may cause a prolongation.

Expressing satisfaction that there has been no recorded security breach around the Warri environment in the past two years, he charged all stakeholders, including the leadership of the host communities to continue to work with security agencies to keep the peace.

“The major challenge is the issue of dredging the channels, the inner ports in the terminal here which management has already taken action. In fact, they have called for the construction of these channels, so there is no cause for alarms. The reason I can’t give a time frame is you have the procurement cycle, sometimes you cannot determine it with any degree of accuracy.

“My marching word is for them to continue to cooperate as they are doing. I am very impressed about the security situation here in Warri which is incredibly fantastic. I am really pleased because the last time we came the leadership of this community did say that they are going to make sure that there is no vandalism, no issues of security concerns raised in this place. They’ve lived true to their words and I am really impressed.

“And that is why you can see the degree of improvement that has happened here. The number of ships that are coming have increased significantly and revenues have gone up.”

On his part, the Delta Port manager, Mr. Simeon Okeke, stressed that the administration of President Muhammad Buhari is committed to “improving the rating of Nigeria with respect to the global index on the ease of doing business.”

Emphasising the importance attached to Delta Ports by the board, he mentioned achievements thus far to include remedial dredging of the Escravos channel, replacement of critical buoys, repossession of trailer park/ ejection of illegal occupant, illumination of the entire port and rehabilitation of port facilities, among others.

“Documentation and payment processes have been improved by the executive management through e-payment, e-SEN and Revenue Invoicing Management Systems (RIMS). Delta Ports Warri is fully on board as regards the implementation of these processes and this has improved our service delivery,” Okeke added.

Niger Delta: Buratai assures oil companies of safe environment

The Chief of Army Staff, Lt.-Gen. Tukur Buratai, has reiterated the Nigerian Army’s commitment to ensuring safe and secure environment for oil companies to operate in the country.

Gen. Buratai gave the assurance when the Managing Director of Total Nigeria Plc, Mr. Mike Sangster, led the management team to visit him in Abuja on Monday, the Nation reported.

According to him, the Army would continue to collaborate with and support the oil companies to ensure smooth operations in the country, especially in the Niger Delta.

He said: “We know that your work is key to our economy and development, and we will do everything possible to ensure that lives and property of all the oil companies in the Niger Delta are protected. We are working on our updated strategy to ensure that we provide the needed security.

“We will continue to support each other to provide an enabling environment for you to operate, not only in Port Harcourt, but any part of the country. The partnership which we have established, we will ensure that we make it work stronger.”

The COAS also praised Total for its support through its Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) projects in terms of interventions in the barracks in Port Harcourt. He noted that the Army had maintained a long standing relationship with the company, saying such interventions had greatly imparted the troops’ morale in uplifting the standard of living with adequate accommodation.

Sangster said the purpose was to introduce himself and appreciate the support and cooperation of the Army to Total’s business operations in Nigeria. Sangster hailed Gen. Buratai for the feat the Army had achieved in its fight against insurgency and other forms of insecurity in the country.

He added that he also came to extend the company’s goodwill to the soldiers who daily risk their lives for the security of Nigerians and the country’s territorial integrity. “Our hearts are with the families of the soldiers who have paid the supreme price in the line of duty,” he added.

The Total boss pledged that the company would sustain the cordial relationship it had maintained with the army, noting that in spite of the security challenges in the country, Total’s downstream sector had 576 service stations across Nigeria.

ENI announces major gas, condensate discovery onshore Niger Delta

Italian oil giant, Eni, has announced the discovery of significant gas and condensate find in its Obiafu-Obrikom oil fields in oil mining lease (OML61) onshore Niger Delta region.

According to a statement on Tuesday by the International Oil Company (IOC), “Eni, through its affiliate NAOC (Eni 20%, operator, NNPC 60%, Oando 20%) has made a significant gas and condensate find in the deeper sequences of the Obiafu-Obrikom fields, in OML61, onshore Niger Delta.”

“The Obiafu-41 Deep well has reached a total depth of 4.374 m encountering an important gas and condensate accumulation within the deltaic sequence of Oligocene age comprising more than 130m of high quality hydrocarbon-bearing sands. The find amounts to about 1 trillion cubic feet of gas and 60 million barrels of associated condensate in the deep drilled sequences. The discovery has further potential that will be assessed with the next appraisal campaign.

“The well can deliver in excess of 100 million standard cubic feet/day of gas and 3,000 barrels/day of associated condensates, and will be immediately put on-stream to increase NAOC’s gas production.”

It further stated that the discovery is part of a drilling campaign planned by NAOC JV and aimed at exploring near-field and deep pool opportunities as immediate time to market opportunities.

“Eni has been present in Nigeria since 1962, with operated and non-operated production, development and exploration activities on a total of 30,049 square kilometers in the onshore and offshore areas of the Niger Delta. In 2018, Eni’s equity hydrocarbon production amounted to 100,000 boe/day,” the statement added.

President Buhari approves new NDDC board

President Muhammadu Buhari has approved a 16-man new board of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), with Dr. Pius Odubu from Edo State as the chairman.

However, according to a statement signed by the Permanent Secretary (General Services Office), Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Olusegun Adekunle, on behalf of the SGF, the appointment is subject to the confirmation of the Senate.

It would be recalled that Prof. Nelson Brambaifa was the Acting MD of the NDDC.

The statement read: “President Muhammadu Buhari, has, subject to Senate confirmation, approved the composition of the Board of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) made up of the following persons:

S/N        Position                Name    State

1              Chairman            Dr. Pius Odubu  Edo

2              Managing Director          Bernard O. Okumagba   Delta

3              Executive Director Projects         Engr. Otobong Ndem     Akwa Ibom

4              Executive Director Finance & Admin.      Maxwell Okoh   Bayelsa

5              Delta Rep            Prophet Jones Erue         Delta

6              Edo Rep              Chief Victor Ekhatar        Edo

7              Rivers Rep          Dr. Joy Yimebe Nunieh  Rivers

8             Abia Rep             Nwogu Nwogu  Abia

9             Bayelsa Rep        Theodore A. Allison         Bayelsa

10           Akwa Ibom Rep Victor Antai        Akwa Ibom

11           Cross River Rep Maurice Effiwatt              Cross River

12           Ondo Rep            Olugbenga Elema             Ondo

13           Imo Rep               Hon. Uchegbu Chidiebere Kyrian               Imo

14           Northwest Rep Aisha Murtala Muhammed          Kano

15           Northeast Rep   Ardo Zubairu      Adamawa

16           Southwest Rep Engr. Badmus Mutalib    Lagos

“The interim management headed by Prof. Nelson Brambaifa has been directed to hand-over to the most senior Director in the Commission.

“The Chairman and members of the newly composed Governing Board are by this release invited to the Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation on Monday, 2nd September, 2019 at 2.00 p.m for proper documentation and briefing. They are to come along with their updated CVs and valid identification.”

Opinion: “Amnesty programme: Dokubo’s magic wand”

By Murphy Ganagana

A disarming smile is his trademark, a veritable asset that neutralizes the temperature of an environment he finds himself. For Prof. Charles Dokubo, coordinator of the Presidential Amnesty Programme, carrying a light heart creates a pleasant atmosphere for productivity to flourish and breed a fertile ground for fresh initiatives to actualize his vision for the Niger Delta.

Several years before his appointment by President Muhammadu Buhari in March 2018, Dokubo had been quietly working behind the scene on finding a solution to the Niger Delta debacle, as he shared the pains of his kith and kin in Nigeria’s oil-rich region occasioned by environmental degradation, economic deprivation and abject poverty.

His expertise in dealing with regional and international conflict situations and resolution placed him on a vantage position in President Buhari’s determination to chart a new course for the Niger Delta region, and the privilege of being appointed coordinator of the Amnesty Programme provided him an opportunity to breathe a new lease of life into a people dying in installments of neglect and suffocation.

Dokubo is unwavering in actualizing President Buhari’s developmental vision for the Niger Delta with human capacity building as the focal point, using the instrumentality of the Amnesty Programme as a vehicle to achieve the objective. And he has cautiously steered the wheel on full throttle, recording landmark achievements in a year and five months.

Within a short period, he was able to not only complete, equip and activate the Oil and Gas Vocational Training Centre at Agadagba-Obon, Ondo State, but also commissioned the Basic Skills Vocational Training Centre at Boro Town, Bayelsa State. The Power and Energy Vocational Training Centre located at Bomadi, Delta State, is almost set to come on stream while work is ongoing at the Agricultural Vocational Training Centre in Gelegele, Edo State, where he performed the foundation laying ceremony on Friday, February 15.

Also dear to Dokubo’s heart in his effort to fast-track training of beneficiaries of the Amnesty Programme, is the Maritime Vocational Training Centre at Oboama, Rivers State. This is apart from the establishment of a liaison office for the Presidential Amnesty Programme in Port Harcourt, the state capital, as a pilot project in his plan to locate liaison offices across all states in the Niger Delta to ease interface with beneficiaries of the programme.

In the next few weeks, 100 beneficiaries of the Programme will resume training at the Oil and Gas Training Centre at Agadagba-Obon, just as six others who had been trained in aviation and obtained their commercial pilot licenses are scheduled to undergo further training in Florida, USA, for their type-rating.

Under Dokubo’s watch, 1, 601 beneficiaries have completed training in various skills out of 4, 014 allocated to specialized training vendors, while 1,271 already trained beneficiaries have been given empowerment packs in their respective trade areas to enable them start business. The empowered beneficiaries are among 4,269 scheduled for engagement on completion of their training in various vocational skills.

While those trained acquired skills in fish and poultry farming; Greenhouse farming; tailoring and fashion design, mechanized rice farming and agribusiness; transformer repair/maintenance; pig farming, automobile, aquaculture and snail farming; shoe making/leather works, and ICT, among others, the empowered beneficiaries were on building materials, fish farming, poultry, welding, pig farming, plastic technology, electronic stores, cassava farming, commodity shop, and feed sales. The aggressive empowerment drive for beneficiaries drawn from all states in the Niger Delta is the result of efforts by Dokubo towards ensuring that already trained beneficiaries were fully engaged to fast-track development and deepen peace in the region.

Unfortunately, his uncommon leadership style and amazing achievements propelled by a commitment towards rewriting the sad narrative of the Niger Delta is discomforting for some self-acclaimed leaders of the region who had fed fat on the Amnesty Programme, and he has been at the receiving end of poisonous missiles aimed at dislocating him.

To be sure, Dokubo’s detractors are unrelenting in their efforts at throwing a spanner in the works for his effrontery in arresting the smooth flow of a food basket they had deliberately bled to swell their pockets. That sinister objective explains some fake news, fairy tales and vicious attacks on the person of Dokubo and the Amnesty Programme, with intent to blur his vision for the Niger Delta, break his spirit, and make him recoil into his shell. They’ve failed woefully.

Dokubo’s passion for development of the Niger Delta is fired by affinity to a common history and destiny, and his burning desire to make positive change cannot be extinguished. His magic wand used in turning around the Amnesty Programme and deepening peace in the hitherto restive region has earned him resounding applause and overwhelming support from the leaders of Niger Delta ex-agitators, royal fathers, community leaders and stakeholders.

It is heartwarming that even as his enemies who are blind to the reality on ground are resolute in their evil machinations, well-meaning Niger Deltans appreciate and have supported him in good conscience. The message is that Dokubo’s presence at the Amnesty Programme is divine, and those bent on pulling him down should not test the will of God. Dokubo is simply doing his bit in oiling the wheel of peace, security and development in the Niger Delta region and by extension, Nigeria. He needs to be encouraged.

Ganagana is Special Assistant (Media) to the Coordinator, Presidential Amnesty Programme

How we’ll develop the Niger Delta- Akpabio

The newly appointed Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Godswill Akpabio and Minister of State, Mr. Festus Keyamo have resumed with the pledge to develop and positively change the narratives of the Niger Delta, in line with the Buhari administration’s Niger Delta New Vision.

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

At a reception organised by the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry, Mrs. Didi Walson-Jack and management staff in Abuja on Wednesday, the Ministers said they were prepared to leave huge footprints of success stories in the ministry with developmental projects that would address the needs of the people.

Akpabio said the issues of capacity building, inadequate infrastructure, poverty alleviation, youth restiveness, entrepreneurship, environmental degradation, amongst others, will be tackled head-on.

According to newspaper reports, Akpabio pledged to work harmoniously with the Minister of State to ensure that they lived up to the expectations of the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari.

Akpabio added that he loved leaving marks anywhere he worked and called on staff and management of the Ministry to ‘put all hands on deck to ensure that our developmental efforts yield fruits’.

He said, “I love leaving marks wherever I visit, it is a great privilege on our part being selected to work with you, to see how we can turn around the fortunes of the Niger Delta region.

“Of course you know why this ministry was set up, specifically that region would have been like a golden egg, but has been neglected for long. If not because we’re just coming for the first time, I would have asked for your achievements so far, especially in the areas of construction of bridges, employment and others.

“Being a Niger Delta person, I will ensure that things are better for further and effective development of the region. So, the president is looking forward to commissioning a lot of projects in the Niger Delta region. I believe the Niger Delta region and its people, they are looking forward to the alleviation of poverty in their lives and transformation of infrastructure.”

In the same vein, Keyamo pledged to give his best in appreciation of the confidence repose in him by President Buhari.

NNPC, NOSDRA pledge collaboration to stem oil spills

The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) and the National Oil Spill Detection and Response Agency (NOSDRA) have expressed their willingness to work closer aimed at mitigating the incidences of oil spills across the country.

Group Managing Director of the NNPC, Mallam Mele Kyari, made this known when he received the Director General of NOSDRA, Mr. Idris Musa, along with his management team at the NNPC Towers in Abuja on Wednesday.

Kyari stated that as a National Oil Company, the NNPC pipelines, flow stations and assets spread across the country were jointly owned by the Federation.

He maintained that the Corporation produces crude oil to maintain a balance sheet for the nation, noting that the NNPC had taken several steps to deploy technology to stem incidences of oil spill.

“We have taken a number of steps to stem oil spill by deploying technology in order to make sure that whenever there is an oil spill incidence, it is contained almost immediately. We contain the incidences of oil theft, pipeline vandalism and acts of saboteurs and we intend to bring it to the barest minimum,” Kyari said.

He noted that the NNPC operated both crude oil and petroleum products pipelines adding that the Corporation was collaborating with all its partners to curb incidences of oil spill in all areas of its operations.

The NNPC helmsman said the Corporation would also forge closer ties with NOSDRA to proactively forestall oil spill in areas that are prone to incessant incidences.

Earlier, the Director General of NOSDRA, Mr. Musa, said the Agency was prepared to partner the NNPC in mitigating oil spill in all areas of its oerations stressing that the partnership would ensure a good operating environment for the operators and the inhabitants.

He added that breaking of petroleum products pipelines did not provide food, water and good environment for the people rather the malaise bleeds the national purse of revenues that would have being used to provide developmental infrastructure for the various tiers of government.

Ogoni Clean-up on track, Nigerians should support HYPREP – Bassey

Environmental Rights Activist, Nnimmo Bassey, has called on Ogonis and all Nigerians to support the Hydrocarbon Pollution Remediation Project (HYPREP) in the on-going clean-up of Ogoniland.

Bassey made the call when he led a delegation of members of Oil Watch Africa from 15 African countries to HYPREP on an assessment visit to some remediation sites in Ogoniland.

Receiving the team, the Project Coordinator of HYPREP, Dr. Marvin Dekil who explained the processes adopted by HYPREP in the clean-up, informed the team that the clean-up project commenced eight years after the report was submitted to the Federal Government of Nigeria by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP).

In a statement by HYPREP, Dekil was quoted as saying that the time between the date of submission in 2011 and 2016 when the clean-up was officially flagged off by President Buhari necessitated the review and modification of some of the strategies recommended in the report.

The Project Coordinator said the review and modification of some of the strategies does not mean that HYPREP has deviated from the recommendations in the UNEP Report as all such modifications are done with the input of UNEP.

While inspecting one of the remediation sites, Bassey expressed satisfaction with the works HYPREP is doing and confirmed that remediation has commenced in Ogoniland.

He expressed disappointment that despite the several activities going on at various sites across Ogoniland, people are still saying the clean-up has not commenced. Bassey said he appreciates the anxiety of the people who expect to see the work move at a very fast pace but pointed out that the clean-up project is a highly technical and complex work that requires expertise, experience and a lot of preparation.

Speaking to HYPREP staff, Nnimmo Bassey said members of the Oil Watch Africa are in Port Harcourt for a conference on the impact of oil on the continent, adding that it was important for the team to visit Ogoniland to see the work that HYPREP is doing and to see the state of the cleanup efforts.

The environmental rights activist said the visit was also to enable members from other African countries learn about the consequences of pollution and how difficult it is to restore the environment after pollution has occurred. Bassey said keeping the environment clean was everybody’s business as hydrocarbon pollution affects both the environment and humans and urged all stakeholders to ensure that Ogoniland remains clean after the clean-up.

He dispelled speculations that HYPREP funds are being mismanaged, explaining that the structure set up for the management of finances and for appropriating funds for HYPREP project is very well set up.

Bassey who is also a member of the HYPREP Board of Trustees (BoT) stated that people of integrity with very stringent control over finances are on the board of the Project, adding that the funds for the Project is held by the Ogoni Trust Fund with community people and other stakeholders as signatories to the account and not a kobo goes out without due process.

“HYPREP office does not determine which fund is released and which fund is being used. The strict nature of the control and the milestone set by HYPREP and the whole organizational structure, the BOT, GC, PCO, is such that any fund to be released must be matched by clear set goals and what it is going to be used for,” Bassey said.

He said ‘the clean-up is an excellent avenue to get youths employed to multiply skills that can be extended to other Niger Delta communities by the time the remediation project is expanded. This is an incubation lab. We must do all we can to ensure that this is a success that the environment is restored’. He encouraged youths to take advantage of the employment and training opportunities that the Project offers.

He emphasized that Ogoni clean-up is a signature project and that everyone involved in the delivery of this project desires to leave a legacy. Bassey called on everyone who doubts the commencement of the clean-up to visit the remediation sites across Ogoniland to see things for themselves and urged everyone to be patient with HYPREP since remediation is on course.

Samsung seek training partnership with Amnesty Programme

Samsung Heavy Industries-Mega Construction and Integration, (SHI-MCI) Nigeria, are seeking a partnership with the Presidential Amnesty Programme to train beneficiaries on fabrication and heavy industrial welding.

This was stated recently when the Training Managers of Samsung paid a visit to the Special Adviser to the President on Niger Delta and Coordinator Presidential Amnesty Programme, Prof. Charles Dokubo.

They were in the office to make a presentation of Samsung Heavy Industries welding training center. At the center they train people on fabrication and heavy industrial welding. At the end of the training, grandaunts would be issued certificate of Training Completion and International Welder Certificate. This will qualify them to work with any organization as professional welders at local and international level.

Mr. Ikechukwu Ugbaja, the Human Resource Manager and Leader of the delegates stated that they want to partner with the office through their capacity building, empowerment and employment programme.

Mr. Ugbaja further stated that the training usually last for a period of 10 months, and the training is in 3 phases. The Phase 1 is on Flux Cored Arc Welding and will last for 3months; the 2nd phase which is on Shield Metal Arc Welding usually last for 4months while phase 3 which is on Gas Tungsten Arc Welding is for a period of 3 months. At each stage the trainees will have international certification which will enable them work anywhere in the world.

Responding, the Special Adviser, to the President on Niger Delta and Coordinator Presidential Amnesty Programme, Prof. Charles Dokubo, said he was happy to receive them. He stated that their visit is timely as the Amnesty Programme is in its re-integration stage. He assured them that the office is ready to partner with Samsung Heavy Industries provided they would train, empower and employ those being trained.

Prof. Dokubo noted that he is more concerned with empowering and employment of the youths after the training. He said that by so doing we will be assured of lasting peace in the Niger Delta.

He further added that the office is going to send some staff to visit the company for on the spot assessment of their facilities.

The visitors thanked the Management of the office of the Special Adviser to the President on Niger Delta and Coordinator Presidential Amnesty Programme. They assured them that the impact of the collaboration will go beyond Nigeria.

The graduates would be internationally certified to work anywhere in the world. First School Leaving Certificate is the basic qualification needed to get enrolled in the training.