We’ll campaign for a peaceful, clean Niger Delta – NDDC

The Acting Managing Director of the Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC, Gbene Dr Joi Nunieh, says the Commission will drive a Niger Delta Next Level Re-Orientation Campaign to promote a non-violent and clean Niger Delta region.

Dr Nunieh stated this yesterday during a courtesy visit by a delegation from the Amayanabo of Okochiri, in Okrika Local Government Area of Rivers State, King Ateke Tom, at the NDDC headquarters in Port Harcourt.

According to a statement from the Commission, the NDDC Chief Executive Officer was joined at the event by the Acting Executive Director, Finance and Administration, Chief Ibanga Bassey Etang, the Acting Executive Director, Projects, Dr. Cairo Ojougboh and other directors.

Nunieh said: “We want all Niger delta stakeholders to join hands in the re-orientation for a better environment and a non-violent Niger Delta.  With a clean and peaceful environment, investors will be interested to come to the region.”

She urged all Niger Deltans to support the efforts of the Federal Government to clean up Nigeria’s oil-rich region, assuring that NDDC would encourage the various communities to keep their villages and waterways clean.

The NDDC boss called on all Niger Delta stakeholders to join in the new movement to take the region to the next level, assuring that President Muhammadu Buhari was determined to give the NDDC a new face and a new lease of life.

She noted: “The President stands with us in the quest to turn things around for good in the Niger Delta. That is why he approved the setting up of the Interim Management Committee to ensure that the process of the forensic auditing of the NDDC was carried out properly.”

Nunieh stated that stakeholders in the region no longer had need to visit the NDDC to get things done because according to her, “our work will henceforth speak for us.”

She emphasised: “We want to take development to the rural communities and we want the Community Development Committees, CDCs, to become very active in rural development. Consequently, we have advised the youths that visit the NDDC to go back and wait for us in their communities because the water hyacinth contracts will henceforth be executed by communities through their CDCs.”

Nunieh said that the NDDC was going through a reformation process, which she observed went beyond the forensic auditing. She stated that the days of wastages were over, adding: “We must all put our hands on the deck to save the Niger Delta.”

Earlier in his remarks, the leader of the delegation from the Amayanabo of Okochiri, Comrade Opia Joshua Ojieh, said they came to identify with the Interim Management Committee of the NDDC.

He regretted that the NDDC, which was set up to fast-track the development of the Niger Delta region, had not lived up to the expectations of the people of the region.

Ojieh noted that the Commission was established as a result of the struggles of concerned Niger deltans. He, however, observed: “We are not satisfied with how the NDDC has been run in the past. That is why we support the position of President Buhari in setting up the Interim Management Committee.

“It is unfortunate that having stayed in the creeks for years to fight for the development of the Niger Delta, we are yet to realize our goals because of poor management of our collective resources by the previous administrations in the NDDC.”

Ojieh commended members of the IMC, describing them as men and women of integrity with good track record. He thanked the Federal Government for giving a listening ear to the cries of the Niger Delta people, stating: “We are looking forward to seeing the new face of the Niger Delta.”

Niger Delta Governors are valued partners – NDDC

The Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC, has described the governors of the nine Niger Delta States as critical stakeholders and partners in the development of the Niger Delta region.

The NDDC Director, Corporate Affairs, Mr. Charles Obi Odili, who spoke in an interview at the Commission’s Headquarters in Port Harcourt, noted that the governors of the Niger Delta states were strategic stakeholders and partners in the task of developing the oil-rich region.

According to a statement by the Commission, Odili said the governors play a key role in the process of building an egalitarian and development-oriented Niger Delta, “the kind of Niger Delta that we can all be proud to call our home.”

He said: “The governors form the Advisory Committee which is supposed meet from time to time to look at areas where they can intervene and advise management and board on the way forward.

“So, they are strategic partners in the process of building an egalitarian and a development-oriented Niger Delta region. The Governors of the region are very important and worthy stakeholders in the task of building the region.”

The NDDC Director also underlined the importance of another organ, the Partners for Sustainable Development (PSD) Forum, which he said was very critical to a coordinated response to the development challenges of the Niger Delta. He said that it was an avenue for the governors or their deputies or even representatives of their governments to liaise with the Commission for proper synergy.

Reacting to insinuations that the NDDC was often over-politicized,  Odili noted that the Commission was a political creation and as such could not be entirely divorced from political considerations.

On media reports which gave the impression that governors of Niger Delta states were instigating the probe of the Commission, Odili explained: “I did mention that the governors visited Mr. President and that the President as the father of the nation, reserves the right to look at the various components, because the Federal Government puts in so much money and would like to see what we are getting out of that effort. It is a welcome development that a probe is coming as a lot of things will come to the fore.”

He added: “The NDDC is over-burdened, being just an interventionist agency. Everybody feels some form of entitlement and the Commission cannot take on the entire gamut of regional expectations alone.”

NDDC to partner IFAD in $129m job creation project

The Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC, is partnering with the International Fund for Agricultural Development, IFAD, in a $129.21m Livelihood Improvement Family Enterprises Project in the Niger Delta, LIFE-ND, to create jobs and reduce youth restiveness.

This was declared by the NDDC Acting Managing Director, Dr Akwagaga Lelegima Enyia, when officials of the United Nations, UN, agency, led by the IFAD Country Representative, Ms Nadine Gbossa, paid her a courtesy visit at the Commission’s headquarters in Port Harcourt.

According to a statement from the Commission, Enyia said: “I believe that this partnership between IFAD and the NDDC will enhance the opportunities of our youths and women and also alleviate poverty in the Niger Delta region. The NDDC is willing, ready and prepared to partner with IFAD to increase food productivity and create employment opportunities that will meaningfully engage our youths and women.

“I believe that with this programme, the issue of poverty will be taken care of and our youths and women will be happy to be engaged positively.”

The NDDC boss explained that the LIFE-ND project would address the problem of restiveness among the youths by sustainably enhancing incomes and food security, and creating jobs for young rural people and women in the Niger Delta.

The IFAD Country Representative explained that LIFE-ND programme was designed to get the youths and women to be engaged in productive activities relating to commercial agriculture.

According to her, the project would build on the successes of earlier IFAD-supported projects to develop the supply of skilled youth labour and strengthen the capacity of institutions at the state and community levels to work with private sector actors.

The Country Representative said that creating jobs for youths and women was a priority for IFAD, “which is a specialized agency of the United Nations that is financing rural development projects and developing agricultural programmes that have contributed to increased productivity and incomes in Nigeria.”

Gbossa affirmed: “We are committed to getting the programme started as soon as possible so that we can create opportunities for the youths and women in the Niger Delta region to improve their livelihood and increase their income. We want them to engage in agriculture as business.”

In his brief on the LIFE-ND project, the NDDC Director Agriculture and Fisheries, Mr George Ero, said that as co-financier, the Commission was expected to facilitate the operations of the scheme in the Niger Delta and see to its sustainability.

He noted that the overall goal of the LIFE-ND programme was to realize a transformed rural economy in the Niger Delta from which the rural population can derive prosperity and equal benefit.

Ero said: “The project development objective will enhance income, food security and job creation for rural youths and women through agricultural-enterprise development on a sustainable basis in the Niger Delta region of Nigeria.”

FG, Greece partner to train Niger Delta youths

The Federal government is set to collaborate with Greece on the training of Niger Delta youths and others in shipbuilding, fishing, food sufficiency and employment generation.

The Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Godswill Akpabio, said this when the representative of the Greece government in Nigeria, Concept Amadeus Limited, paid a working visit to the ministry on Tuesday, in Abuja.

His Special Assistant on Media and Communications, Anietie Ekong, quoted Akpabio as saying that the ministry was poised to improve the standard of living of the people of the Niger Delta and Nigeria in general.

The PUNCH reported that the Minister commended the initiative which according to him, would reduce militancy and crises resulting from unemployment in the country.

The minister noted that the partnership would empower the youths in the Niger Delta region, stop the illegal fishing on Nigerian shores and also give Nigerians the opportunity to explore the value chain in the fishing industry.

Akpabio added  that the host communities would  be involved in the whole process to enable them own the project and provide the enabling environment for successful hosting of the dockyard.

He regretted that most areas in the Niger Delta might  not be good for fishing because of oil exploration, adding that the Maritime University in Okerenkoko , Delta State and the Maritime Academy in Oron, Akwa Ibom State could be used as the training ground for the shipbuilding programme.

To ensure that the whole process is domesticated,  Akpabio and the Minister of State for Niger Delta Affairs, Festus Keyamo, set up a five-man committee to work out detailed modalities of the training programme.

Earlier, the Chairman and Chief Executive of Concept Amadeus Limited, Patrick Osabase, the organisation representing the government of  Greece, said that the partnership programme  would create employment for the youths in the Niger Delta region and enhance their potential in the fishing industry.

Ogoni clean-up: UK commends HYPREP on remediation exercise

The British Deputy High Commissioner to Nigeria, Ms. Gill Atkinson says she is elated at the level of work done so far in the ongoing clean-up of Ogoniland in line with the recommendations of the United Nations Environment Programme, UNEP Report on the Ogoni environment.

Gill stated this when she led some officials of the High Commission on a working visit to some sites in Ogoniland being remediated by the Hydrocarbon Pollution Remediation Project, HYPREP. She said, “It is really good to see some strong progress happening here and genuine implementation of the project which has taken time to plan, but as we can see, there is a real productive work going on now.  Congratulations to them for work well done”.

She gave assurance of Britain’s support politically and also offering long term expert support for the project through the Department for International Development (DFID).

The Project Coordinator, HYPREP, Dr. Marvin Barinem Dekil while briefing the British Deputy High Commissoner on the progress of work, reiterated the commitment of the Federal Government to implementing the recommendations in the United Nations Environment Project (UNEP) Report to the letter in the Ogoni clean-up project.

He said HYPREP has carried out several engagements with various stakeholders at the community level to get their buy-in to enable them take ownership of the project.  He added that the sensitization provided a platform for HYPREP to harvest ideas and suggestions from the people which have yielded positive results.

“The project is enjoying full support from the traditional rulers, youth groups and women groups in all the communities that the clean-up is currently taking place”.

He explained that the bio-remediation option adopted by HYPREP for the clean-up is a slow process but the most effective.  He informed the Deputy High Commissioner that a total of 21 contractors are currently at different levels of remediation works on 21 lots across the 4 Local Government Areas of Ogoni.

The HYPREP Coordinator also said that the Project has provided huge employment opportunities for youths of Ogoni while business opportunities have also sprung up as a result of the ripple effect of activities in the communities. He disclosed that HYPREP had gone into partnerships with the Rivers State Ministry of Water Resources to be able to provide water to more communities in Ogoniland; Rivers State Ministry of Health to carry out assessment of all medical facilities in Ogoniland; the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) and the Stakeholder Democracy Network (SDN) to provide training to Ogoni youths under the Sustainable Livelihood Program.

The Deputy High Commissioner and her team were later led by Dr. Dekil to pay a courtesy visit to the King of Eleme Kingdom, Emere Philip Obele in his palace where she was decorated and conferred with the title of Egbere Owa Ekoo, Eko of Eleme (Big woman and friend of Eleme Kingdom).

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.

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.”

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.