FG, firm sign $100m concession agreement for Warri Port Terminal

Spurred by the desire to boost efficiency in port management, the Federal Government and Ocean & Cargo Terminal Services Limited, on Tuesday, signed a concession agreement for Terminal B of Warri Old Port.

This is sequel to the National Council on Privatisation’s approval of the technical and commercial bid of $100.78m submitted by Ocean & Cargo Terminal Services Limited on June 18, 2018.

Mr Alex Okoh, Director-General of the Bureau of Public Enterprises, noted that the objective of the Federal Government in port concessioning, was to achieve efficiency in the country’s port management, with the ultimate aim of improved service delivery.

The BPE boss who signed the document on the government’s behalf also observed that the process was geared towards the modernisation of port facilities, while achieving reduction in the cost of shipping and clearing goods, an arrangement that would relieve the government of the encumbrances of financing the sector.

Okoh said, “In fact, the concession of the seaports in Nigeria represents one of the success stories of the privatisation and commercialisation programme in Nigeria.

“The concessionaire is expected to focus on these objectives as they perform their business. The government expects nothing less than strict adherence to the terms of the concession agreement from the concessionaire.”

“Consequently, the pursuit of your business objectives must be tailored in a way that will also assist in the realisation of these objectives,” he told the concessionaire.

Dr. Taiwo Afolabi, chairman, Ocean and Cargo Terminal Services, however, expressed his happiness as he signed on behalf of his company, the PUNCH reports.

Ms. Hadiza Bala Usman, Managing Director, Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), who was present during the ceremony also expressed delight at the conclusion of the concession of the terminal, noting that the concession of the port ‘is an important milestone in the economic development of the country.’

This crucial development once again reiterates the federal government’s unwavering commitment to the development of the Niger-delta, a region, which president Buhari’s administration has accorded great importance and initiated many critical projects.

Osinbajo explains Buhari’s ‘new vision’ for Niger Delta

Acting President Yemi Osinbajo has reiterated that the Muhammadu Buhari administration means well for the people of the Niger Delta and that it was determined to do things differently in the region.

Mr. Osinbajo made the remarks, Tuesday, at Abuja when he received a delegation from Bayelsa State which met with him over a $3.6 billion Brass Fertilizer & Petro-Chemical Company in the state.

The delegation, which included the executives of the company, was led by the Bayelsa Governor Seriake Dickson.

The company is expected to start production soon.

Mr. Osinbajo said President Buhari’s new vision for the troubled region involved an active and effective collaboration between the government, the private sector and the communities, Laolu Akande, a spokesperson for the acting president said in a statement.

The new approach, Mr. Osinbajo said, would ensure that “we finish whatever we start.”

The statement said the acting president lamented that only 12 per cent completion rate was recorded in several of the projects undertaken by the Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC, in the past years. The rest, he said, were abandoned.

“Sometimes projects are designed not to succeed, but just for some people to make money,” Mr. Osinbajo was quoted as saying.

 

Mr. Osinbajo commended Governor Dickson and the collaboration that led to the establishment of the Brass Fertilizer & Petro-Chemical Company.

“This is what we describe as the new vision: a partnership between the Federal Government, the States, the communities and the private sector. This is the new way of thinking that is emerging,” he said.

The Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Ibe Kachikwu, who was present at the meeting, described the company as “a game changer” in the region and said that there was a need to encourage the company.

Mr. Osinbajo has been touring the Niger Delta region lately in an effort to build trust between the federal government and the poor and restive oil-producing communities.

Called from: Premium Times

FEC Approves $11bn For Construction of Lagos-Calabar Coastal Rail

The Federal Executive Council (FEC) has approved $11.174 billion for the construction of a standard-gauge coastal railway from Lagos to Calabar, which is expected to link all Nigeria’s coastal cities by rail in six years.

Speaking to newsmen at the end of the weekly FEC meeting presided over by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo at the State House, Abuja, Minister of Information and Culture Lai Mohammed, said the meeting approved the memo for the ratification of the president’s approval for the award of the contract for the Lagos-Calabar coastal standard-gauge railway.

The information minister said, “This is a very old project, which we inherited. Under the former administration, an approval was given, but nothing was done, but today, the council has given approval to commence the Lagos-Calabar coastal route.”

According to him, the rail project is important to the nation’s coastal economy, which is why $11.174 billion is earmarked for it with a completion period of six years.

His words: “This particular route is very important because after the Lagos-Kano route, this Lagos-Calabar coastal route, actually will link all the coastal cities in the country.

“The proposed route alignment is to go from Lagos to Shagamu, Shagamu to Ijebu-Ode, Ijebu-Ode to Ore, Ore to Benin City, Benin to Sapele, Sapele to Warri, Warri to Yenagoa, Yenagoa to Port Harcourt, Port Harcourt to Aba, Aba to Uyo, Uyo to Calabar, Calabar to Akamkpa to Ikom, to Obudu Ranch, with a branch line from Benin City to Asaba, Onitsha Bridge and then Port Harcourt to Onne Deep Seaport.”

The minister also stressed that the commitment of the present administration to expanding and consolidating on the rail projects across the country informed FEC’s approval of the funds for work to commence immediately on the Kano-Jibia rail and the Port Harcourt-Maiduguri route.

In the same vein, the council approved the acquisition of 20 per cent minority stake by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) in Dangote Petroleum and petrochemical refinery in the sum of $2.76 billion. This was as hope for the restoration of the country’s four refineries in less than eight years from now was raised yesterday.

Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Chief Timipre Sylva, disclosed these at the end of the monthly FEC meeting in Abuja. Sylva also announced the federal government’s approval of $1.484 billion for the rehabilitation of both Warri and Kaduna refineries.

Waltersmith Refinery, Partners to build Industrial Park in Imo

Waltersmith Petroleum and Refinery Company, a modular refinery in Ohaji/Egbema community in Imo State, has said it is working with partners to build an industrial park in the state.

This was stated by the Chief Executive Officer of the refinery, Mr Chikezie Nwosu, at the closing ceremony of a technical skills acquisition programme for some graduates. He said the project is being undertaken with support from the United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO) and the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA).

Nwosu said the Industrial Park will attract petrochemical, pharmaceutical, research and other light manufacturing companies that feed off the hydrocarbon value chain.

He said, “The industrial park is being developed with the support of the United Nation Industrial Development Organization and United Nations Economic Commission for Africa as part of Nigeria’s country program with the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment.”

Niger Delta: Why Amnesty Office redesigned scholarship scheme to focus on STEM

The Office of the Presidential Amnesty Programme (PAP) has redesigned its scholarship scheme to focus on Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics, not only to align the manpower needs of the Niger Delta to present realities,, but also because the region must field its best to compete with other ethnic nationalities in the country.

The Interim Administrator of the Presidential Amnesty Programme, Col. Milland Dikio (retd.), who stated this recently when he visited the Ijaw National Congress headquarters in Yenagoa, Bayelsa State, said  he was stunned by the discovery of huge misapplication of human and material resources upon his assumption office.

According to him, a quality education-driven survey he carried out on the types of schools that beneficiaries of the PAP’s scholarship scheme were sent to in the past led to the discovery of the anomaly.

The PAP boss, who noted that the humanities were also important, said, “When I came on board, I saw quite a lot of misapplication of human and material resources and so, we started asking the question: Are we getting the best for our people?

“For example, when we carried out a survey of the universities we sent our beneficiaries to, only two came within the first 100. So, if the likes of our heroes like Isaac Boro went to the best schools in Nigeria, how come we are paying good money to send our children to poor schools?”

Dikio further said the PAP master’s degree scholarship scheme would be focused on raising people, who possessed the skills to belong to “the boardroom” and participate effectively in decision-making.

The PAP Boss and his team was welcomed by the INC President, Prof Benjamin Okaba, who said Dikio had provided a paradigm shift through his style and disposition.

House of Reps pass Petroleum Industry Bill

The House of Representatives has just passed the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB).

This comes after the House Committee of the Whole, on Thursday, considered the report of the Ad hoc Committee on PIB and passed the bill. The report was laid on Wednesday by the Chairman of the Ad hoc Committee, Mohammed Monguno (APC, Borno).

The current version of the PIB is titled, “A Bill for an Act to Provide Legal, Governance, Regulatory and Fiscal Framework for the Nigerian Petroleum Industry, the Development of Host Community and for Related Matters.”

Among others, the various provisions in the bill seek to scrap the Petroleum Equalisation Fund and the Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency with a view to replacing them with a new agency to be known as the Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Regulatory Authority, which would be saddled with the responsibility of carrying out technical and commercial regulation of the midstream and upstream petroleum operations in the industry.

ICYMI: Ogoni Cleanup: 17 contaminated sites certified cleaned – Minister

The Federal Government had on Wednesday disclosed that 17 contaminated sites have been cleaned up and certified clean on the Ogoni Clean-up exercise.

It also said that six water projects in the area have been awarded, while 400 Ogoni women have graduated in various small businesses in agriculture, aquaculture, poultry, among others.

The Minister of Environment, Mohammed Mahmoud made the disclosure while responding to a question from the State House Correspondents to give an update of Ogoni clean up.

According to Mahmud, “Just yesterday (Tuesday) we passed the budget of the Ogoni Clean-up otherwise known as HYPREP – Hydrocarbon Pollution Remediation Project. It has gotten a lot of boost.

“We have a brand new Governing Council. We have a brand new board of trustees and we are Increasing the participation of union ordinarily they are technical support.

“And now we want to involve them even further by making them like some kind of project management consultant. And also we are looking at bringing in more indigenous people that will be part of this process, because what we realise is for any project to succeed, you must have the buy-in of the community.

“And so far, so good, I can tell you that project has moved forward, we have about 17 contaminated sites that have been cleaned up and certified, clean. And then just recently also, we awarded contracts for six water project, this water project should have been awarded earlier from the very beginning of the project. But we awarded the contract at about over N6 billion. Again, we’re working towards additional eight water projects that will be coming very soon. In fact, we just got the approval to advertise for that and also to go into the complex side.”

The minister added that the government was still working on the simple side of the project while that of the complex side will be coming soon, adding that it will include remediation of the soil and the groundwater.

“So the project is moving fast, we are catching up the little time we have lost in the last couple of years, especially because of the COVID also, but so far, so good,” he said

Mahmud further explained that, “There’s also a component of livelihood. And we have just graduated 400 Ogoni women in various small businesses like agriculture, aquaculture, poultry, and all that.

“And also youths that have been trained, as welders and plumbers, we have just also distributed 5000 need assessment forms for people to indicate their interest what they want to do so that they can be trained, and be given some kind of lovely, which is a major component of the clean up.”

In the same vein, the minister reiterated government’s commitment to end gas flaring in the country come 2030.

“This is something that other countries have done and Nigeria is looking at various ways this can be achieved. It’s still being worked on and this is part of the 2050 gas neutrality.”

The Federal Government had in May said it will this month award licences under the Nigerian Gas Flare Commercialization Programme (NGFCP) to qualified bidders as part of efforts to end gas flaring in the country and expand her gas footprint.

The Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) had last year December said 45 out of 178 gas flaring sites in the country were identified for award to successful bidders.

Photos: OPAC Modular Refinery, Kwale, Delta

In line with the Buhari administration’s New Vision for the Niger Delta, the establishment of modular refineries in the region is already underway in the oil-rich region.

The Niger Delta New Vision is hinged on the commitment of President Muhammadu Buhari administration to develop the region and ensure that the people of the region benefit maximally from the wealth of their land. The New Vision speaks to a progressive partnership among the federal government, state government, private sector and  local communities.

“One of the nagging issues we were confronted with during my tour (of the Niger Delta) was how to deal with the proliferation of artisanal refinery and its attendant negative environmental impact. Our solution was to promote the establishment of modular refineries,” Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, SAN, said recently.

Following the approval of for the establishment of private-sector-led Modular Refineries across the Niger Delta region by the Federal Government, several modular refineries have now been now completed or undergoing construction.

Below are recent photos of OPAC Modular Refinery in Kwale, Delta State, which will be set for operations soon.

Why FG is intensifying Peace Efforts in Niger Delta – Amnesty Boss, Dikio

With the visit of the Interim Administrator of the Presidential Amnesty Programme (PAP), Col. Milland Dikio (retd), to Gbaramatu, Delta State, last Monday as part of his ‘back to the region tour’, the Federal Government is ramping up peace efforts in the Niger Delta.

The Interim Administrator, Col Dikio, had visited the Pere of Gbaramatu, His Royal Majesty Ogboro Gbaraun II Aketekpe, and other key stakeholders of the kingdom in the company of the Speaker of the Bayelsa State House of Assembly, Rt.Hon. Abraham Ingobere and top officials of the Presidential Amnesty Programme.

Dikio reiterated the Federal Government’s commitment to the sustenance of peace in the region during his visit, adding that the PAP under his leadership recognizes the pivotal role of the traditional institutions and the need to partner effectively with them in peace building and mitigating violence within their domain.

“My visit today to your kingdom is in continuation of my tour to the region. I am here today to underscore the importance of the traditional institution to peace building and the mitigation of conflicts. We want to partner with the traditional institution to ensure the sustenance of peace in our region,” he said.

In his response, the Pere of Gbaranmatu Kingdom, Oboro Gbaraun II, lauded the Interim Administrator for the visit, while assuring him of the support of his kingdom to PAP to deliver on its mandate of securing peace and development within the kingdom.

The Monarch sought the support of the PAP’s helmsman to help improve the lot of the people of Gbaranmatu Kingdom through the provision of skill acquisition, employment and any other opportunities.

The monarch lamented that his kingdom had suffered terribly over the years from what he described as “failed and empty promises” from the Federal Government.

He stressed that the unfulfilled promises have made Gbaranmatu to become synonymous with crises arising from youth restiveness.

He said: “ Traditional rulers are the people that can help to maintain the peace of the region but if help is not forthcoming or promises are not fulfilled by the government, there is nothing they as traditional rulers can do to stop the people from reacting negatively which may lead to the disruption of peace in the region.”

He implored Dikio as a son of the of Niger-Delta whose track record as an accomplished military officer, a first class administrator with a reputation for integrity to ensure that the PAP is able to achieve its mandate in the region.

Niger Delta: Akpabio calls for improved funding of NDDC

The Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Sen. Godswill Akpabio, has called for improved funding for the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) to enhance the infrastructural development of the region. Akpabio made the call in his keynote address during the NDDC strategic capacity building workshop on Friday in Uyo.

He said the funding system was poor because budgetary provisions for the commission were staggered and did not come as and when due. The minister who called for an amendment of the laws establishing the agency should the need arise, added that he was determined to leave the commission better than he met it.

“The commission is broke because the funding system is poor. We must leave the NDDC better than we found it even if it means that the lawmakers have to tinker with the law. “The current funding patterns and budgeting processes must embrace good governance to achieve the best we can, while asking for more funds to carry out more sustainable projects and programmes,” Akpabio said.

The minister said corruption, weak political and institutional governance, transparency and lack of proper consultation and engagement with the communities and state governments among others, were challenges confronting the commission. “Corruption is one of the greatest problems of the Nigerian society and it also finds its ugly and devastating effects in all sectors of the polity, including the NDDC.

“The level of corruption engulfed all the sectors including government, parastatals, ministries, government officials and community leaders even the youth leaders and the NDDC is not left out. “Weak political and institutional governance in the Niger Delta has led to the misuse of public resources, poor service delivery and poor enforcement of the law. “The consequence has been the lingering restiveness, breakdown of trust, abuse and misuse of power between officials and the communities, embezzlement and attendant violence,” he said.

In his welcome address, the Interim Administrator/Chief Executive Officer of the NDDC, Mr Effiong Akwa, said the retreat was in furtherance of consultation with its stakeholders for speedy development of the region. Akwa said that the NDDC was done with its unsavoury past, stressing that continuous consultation and collaboration for effective development were the focus of the commission. He urged all stakeholders and the Niger Delta to join hands for the benefit of the people.

Ogoni CleanUp: FG flag-off of water projects in Ogoniland

As part of the key emergency measures recommended by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) in the Cleanup of Ogoniland, the Federal Government has flagged off key water projects in Ogoniland to provide potable water to the impacted communities.

The ongoing cleanup efforts is being undertaken by the Hydrocarbon Pollution Remediation Project (HYPREP), under the Federal Ministry of Environment.

Recall, that HYPREP had carried out a survey of drinking water sources across the four Local Government Areas of Ogoniland. A total of 600 water samples was collected and analysed from 47 impacted communities across the four (4) LGAs – Eleme, Gokana, Tai and Khana.

HYPREP also commenced the process for the construction of new comprehensive water schemes and rehabilitation of existing ones in these communities.

The event, which was well attended by leaders from the host communities, representatives from UNEP, Shell Nigeria and other stakeholders in the Niger Delta region, is a milestone in the ongoing cleanup of Ogoniland.

At the flag-off of the water projects in Ogoni, the Officer Overseeing the Project Coordinating Office (PCO), HYPREP, Prof. Phillip Shekwolo, called on Ogoni people to support the laudable agenda of the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari to ensure the cleanup of Ogoniland.

Shekwolo also commended the efforts of the Minister of Environment, Dr. Mohammad Mahmood, in accelerating the contract approval process.

Recall that the Minister had paid a courtesy visit to the Palace of HRH Barile Y. Deebom, Mene Ken-Khana Kingdom last week, where he stated that eight additional water projects will soon commence in Ogoni. The Minister also launched the 5,000 NEEDS Assessment forms for the livelihood programme.

Why FG approved $1.5bn for Port Harcourt Refinery rehabilitation

Facts have emerged why the Federal Government approved $1.5 Billion for the rehabilitation of the Port Harcourt Refinery in Rivers State.

The 38th virtual meeting of the Federal Executive Council (FEC), presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari had approved the sum for the rehabilitation of the Refinery said to be the largest refining company in the country.

According to the SUN, the Minister of State for Petroleum, Timipre Sylva, said the rehabilitation will be done in three phases of 18, 24 and 44 months.

He said the contract was awarded to an Italian company, Tecnimont spa, who are experts in refinery maintenance.

He said the funding has three components from Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) Internally Generated Revenue (IGR), budgetary allocations provisions and Afreximbank.

Sylva who addressed State House Correspondents alongside his colleagues, Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, Health, Dr Osagie Ehanire and Budget and National Planning, Clement Agba, assured that local content is fully involved in the job.

He said: “The Ministry of Petroleum Resources presented a memo on the rehabilitation of Port Harcourt refinery for the sum of 1.5 billion, and it was approved by council today.

“So we are happy to announce that the rehabilitation of productivity refinery will commence in three phases. The first phase is to be completed in 18 months, which will take the refinery to a production of 90 percent of its nameplate capacity.

“The second phase is to be completed in 24 months and the final stage will be completed in 44 months and contract was approved. And I believe that this is good news for Nigeria.”

Speaking more on the contractor, the minister said: “The contractor that was approved by Council today is Messrs. Tecnimont spa, of Italy, it’s an Italian EPC company that won the bid and that was approved by Council.”

On the question about operations and maintenance, Sylva said: “That has been a big problem for our refineries, as we all know, that was also exhaustively discussed in Council and the agreement is that we are going to put a professional Operations and Maintenance company to manage the refinery when it has been rehabilitated.

“In any case, it is actually one of the conditions presented by the lenders, because the lenders say they can only give us the money if we have a professional operations and maintenance company, and that already is embedded in our discussions with the lenders and we cannot go back on that.”

On whether the funds for the rehabilitation of the refinery was available, the minister said: “I want to answer that the funds are all in place and work will commence forthwith.”

On when the other refineries in the country will be rehabilitated, he said: “Discussions are ongoing. We want to take one at a time and I want to assure you that before the lifetime of this administration expires, work on all the refineries would have at least commenced.”

On why the government did not go back to  the original builders of the refinery, Sylva said: “The first action was to go to the original refinery builders, but you all know, like I do, that if you have a Toyota car, and your Toyota car develops problem, you don’t have to go to the builders of the Toyota to fix it. Usually there are people in the business of building Toyota cars, there are also people in the business of maintaining Toyota cars.

“So, we found out from the original refinery builders that they are not in the business of rehabilitating refineries, they are in the business of building refineries. So they actually pointed us to a rehabilitation company that we’re dealing with now.”

Asked who the lenders of the funds were, the minister said: “There are various components to the funding: there is funding from NNPC internally generated revenue, there is funding from the budget and there is also a debt funding. For the lenders, we are dealing with AFREXIM bank and they are very committed to us, we have actually concluded discussions with AFREXIM.”

On the issue of local participation in the rehabilitation of the refinery, Sylva said: “As you know, there is a local content law. The Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB) is fully part of the contracting process and has safeguarded the interest, adequately of our local contractors, so our local people will be fully involved with the Tecnimont spa.”

On if the rehabilitation of the refinery was as a result of Labour unions demand that deregulation of petroleum price should come after refineries rehabilitation, he said: “First, I am not aware of any such agreement that deregulation should only take place after the refineries have been fixed, that was at no time part of our agreement. But of course, this government, from the very beginning, has been in the process of fixing and rehabilitating this refinery, so, it is not because of our discussion with Labour, but it is actually the desire of the administration to ensure that our refineries work and that is the process that has bore fruit today.”

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