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How FG’s New Vision has changed Niger Delta – Iyamu

The proactive approach of the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari has positively changed the narrative in Niger Delta region, the Senior Special Assistant to Vice President on Niger Delta, Edobor Iyamu, has said.

Speaking recently with The Leadership, Iyamu explained that the Niger Delta New Vision, which is a Federal Government partnership with state governments, private sector and the local communities, has helped to give positive narratives about the region.

According to him, the Buhari administration’s New Vision has changed the previous narratives of underdevelopment or  failed projects of the previous administration that has led to underdevelopment in the region.

He recalled that in 2016 during the height of the pipeline vandalisation, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, SAN, embarked on a tour in the region and met with all the relevant stakeholders, youth groups, elders in the region and others groups.

Iyamu said the requests  from the region were taken on board which then “led to the 16-point agenda and of course the federal government response which was the 20 point agenda and that came about what is known as the new vision for the Niger Delta.’’

Speaking on the Presidential Amnesty Programme initiative to train Amnesty beneficiaries on fish farming, Iyamu said: “That is why I said we are doing things differently. Under this project, the partnership is different from what obtained in the past whereby beneficiaries are just trained and nothing happens thereafter.

“With the concept we have today in partnership with Concept Amadeus and Amnesty Office we ensure prerequisite training and engagement so that all the beneficiaries trained are engaged and not only being engaged but, are also going to be given national certificates that they can use anywhere in the world so they don’t have to work in Nigeria only. With the quality of training, they can go to anywhere in the world and get employed, which, in my view is a very good thing. So they are getting the kind of certificate that has an international standard.”

Why we support Buhari govt – Niger Delta ex-agitators

*NDDC to improve procurement process, fund management

A group of ex-Niger Delta agitators has pledged to support the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari.

In a statement recently by the Niger Delta Creek Force, the group congratulated the President on his successful inauguration on May 29, 2019, describing Buhari as a visionary leader with a burning desire to develop the Niger Delta in particular and Nigeria in general.

The NDCF expressed confidence that Buhari would consolidate his achievements and turn things around for the betterment of the Niger Delta during his second term in office, according to the PUNCH.

It called on other previously aggrieved groups in the region to sheathe their swords and rally round the All Progressives Congress-led Federal Government to usher in development which had eluded the region for so long.

Noting that the President had done well in the area of youth empowerment programmes, a development it said had impacted positively on the lives of youths in the region, thereby reducing crime and criminality in the region; the group expressed optimism that the peace and the ongoing development in the region in terms of infrastructural development and human capital development would be sustained and consolidated.

Meanwhile, the Acting Managing Director of the Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC, Prof Nelson Brambaifa, has said the Commission will continue to follow the proper public procurement procedures to ensure that its funds are applied judiciously for development purposes.

Prof. Brambaifa stated this at the opening of a one-week workshop for the Commission’s executive management and directors at the Golden Tulip Hotel in Port Harcourt.

The NDDC Chief Executive Officer said that the Commission’s mandate included delivering services that give full value for money, noting that it was necessary for the management to be prudent in its efforts to drive development in the Niger Delta region.

Prof Brambaifa said that the workshop on the procurement processes would impact positively on the workings of the NDDC as it relates to public procurement and the management of funds for the interventionist agency.

He remarked: “Our goal is clear; we want everyone to be conversant with the procurement process because it is not something that should be left for only procurement officers. The experts have made it simple for us to understand the issues in procurement.

“I have no doubt that someday we will fully integrate the electronic data management into our procurement system. We will adopt the electronic platform to enhance the efficiency and transparency of our processes.”

The NDDC boss said that it was important that the Commission’s staff fully understand the procurement process to ensure that funds meant for development projects and programmes were used judiciously.

The NDDC Director for Procurement, Engr. Theophilus Alagoa, explained that the training was organised to enlighten officers of the Commission to know their roles in the procurement process.

He said further: “We want NDDC staff to wake up to their responsibilities by arming them with knowledge. We noticed that a lot of people don’t know their roles.  In fact, every department in NDDC has the power to procure for itself. The procurement unit is only there to ensure compliance with the Public Procurement Act.”

NDDC to restore electricity to Niger Delta communities

A pilot power project that would restore electricity to Ubima and Isiokpo in Ikwerre Local Government Area of Rivers State would be commissioned before the end of the month, according to the Acting Managing Director of the Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC, Prof. Nelson Brambaifa.

Prof. Brambaifa gave the assurance when he paid a courtesy visit to the Chairman of the Supreme Council of Ikwerre Traditional Rulers, Eze Blessing Wagor, Nye-Nwe Ali Isiokpo in his palace. He was accompanied by the NDDC Acting Executive Director, Finance and Administration, Dr. Chris Amadi, and other directors of the Commission, who were on inspection of projects in Ozuoba, Omagwa, Ubima and Isiopko.

Prof Nelson Brambaifa said that he was shocked to learn that the Ikwere kingdom had been without public power supply for over two years. He described it as “anomalous and absurd,” stating that the situation needed to be corrected urgently, as part of a region wide intervention in communities of the Niger Delta region.

The NDDC boss said that the Commission was determined to face challenges of development, to improve the lives of the people. “We swung into action immediately to address these challenges, because the people of the Niger Delta region deserve better.”

He promised that “the electricity project, which is almost completed, will be commissioned in the next two weeks.

Prof Brambaifa said that the NDDC was using the restoration project for Ubima and Isiokpo as a pilot scheme that would eventually cover all the other distressed areas in the Niger Delta region.

He appealed to the traditional rulers and benefitting communities to ensure that the electricity infrastructure in their areas were protected from vandals and thieves.

In his own remarks, Dr Chris Amadi stated that the communities alerted the NDDC to the deplorable power situation in the area, adding that “for two and half years, the Ikwerre people lived without electricity.”

Dr Amadi stated: “I am happy to announce that work has started in earnest in Ubima and Isiokpo. In fact, the contractor has assured us that the electrification project will be completed before the end of this month.”

The Traditional Prime Minister of Isiokpo, Chief Wobo Amadi, who spoke on behalf of the Nye-Nwe Ali Isiokpo, said that the NDDC had shown that it could be relied upon for development projects. He said the people were particularly impressed by the prompt action of NDDC, saying to Professor Nelson Brambaifa:“You are a man of your words. You have done so much in three months and we are confident that you will do more.”

He expressed delight that their agony from many years without electricity would soon be over and pledged that the communities which are benefitting from the NDDC would guard the projects “jealously and protect them from vandalism.”

The Managing Director of Income Electrix Limited, Mr. Matthew Edevbie, the contractor handling the project, explained that the entire Ikwerre Local Government Area was going to be served by two sources of power; one from Ahoada and the other from Rumuosi sub-stations. He added: “In Ubima, we have installed eight transformers and within the next one week there will be power in the town.

“We are appealing to the communities to safeguard the power infrastructure. The youth leader in Ubima has promised us that our equipment and installations will be protected from being stolen or vandalised.”

He charged the people to realise that the power asset was being provided for their own good and should, therefore, be secured. He urged them to also note that it was important to pay for the power they consume to ensure that the providers were able to sustain the service, adding that electricity supply was like a commodity that should be paid for to guarantee continued service.

He remarked that NDDC had made provision for the supply of some metres to be distributed free to poor consumers in the community.

Niger Delta: FG will continue to support economic development initiatives – VP Osinbajo

Full text of Speech by the Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, SAN, at the launch of Africa Atlantic Gulf Of Guinea Fisheries Limited, an Initiative by the Presidential Amnesty Programme and private sector partners to train 2,500 Nigerians, which held at the State Banquet Hall, Abuja, on Friday, 24th May, 2019

 

*VP’s Speech delivered by the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Niger Delta Matters, Office of the Vice President, Mr Edobor Iyamu

 

I am delighted to be here today to witness the inauguration of a landmark initiative aimed at improving the lives and wellbeing of young Nigerians in the Niger Delta, and contributing to the growth of the Nigerian economy.

In the last four years, our administration has focused on reviving the Nigerian economy and repositioning it for true, inclusive and diversified growth. You will all recall the situation we inherited in 2015, and the economic recession that shortly followed, which led to the development of the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP).

I am delighted to note that two years on, the ERGP has greatly justified its existence. Nigeria emerged from the recession in the second quarter of 2017, and since then has enjoyed eight consecutive quarters of growth. And just last week the Nigerian Bureau of Statistics released data that showed the healthiest first Quarter growth since 2015. Inflation is down, and manufacturing confidence has consistently been on the rise for more than two years. There is still a long journey ahead of us, towards the levels of growth that the ERGP envisions, but we are well on our way, and will not be resting on our oars.

Today’s ceremony is especially gladdening because not only does it advance the goals of the ERGP, it also brings together in one initiative several of our economic development priorities: Ease of Doing Business, Jobs, Young People, the Niger Delta, and Agriculture and Food Security.

Distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen, in 2017, I travelled extensively around the Niger Delta, visiting communities and listening to their stories and their views on what the Federal Government ought to focus on. It became very clear to me that people were seriously counting on our administration to depart from the longstanding pattern of paying lip service to the development agenda for the region. For too long the people of the Niger Delta have had to endure failed promises and neglected aspirations.

The jinx that attended the Ogoni Clean-Up until recently is a very telling example of this. Years after the UNEP Report, there appeared to be little or no political will or determination to implement the recommendations, until the Buhari Administration emerged.

From the start we have left no one in doubt as to our commitment to set the ball rolling. I am delighted that, after two and half years of painstaking preparation and putting in place the proper governance and accountability frameworks, the much-awaited remediation of Ogoniland has finally commenced.

It is, of course, a long term task, and it is important for us as stakeholders to keep this in mind and not expect any overnight successes. It is also important that we continue to join hands to ensure that the progress we are seeing is not slowed or rolled back in any way.

Distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen, this initiative being launched today is a public private partnership bringing together the Presidential Amnesty Programme, on behalf of the Federal Government of Nigeria, and private sector partners, including Concept Amadeus, and a number of Greek technical partners. The project will build 100 fishing trawlers – in Nigeria – and also train about 2,500 young Nigerians from the Niger Delta – beneficiaries of the Presidential Amnesty Programme – in fishing techniques and the fishery value chain generally.

Nigeria is a country blessed with immense agricultural resources and potential. Much of that potential has hitherto remained unexploited, and we are very determined to change this. For this reason, this initiative is very much welcome, as it will significantly scale up our domestic fish production and build capacity and value within the fishing industry. It will also produce substantial savings in foreign exchange, considering how much we currently spend annually on the importation of fish.

I commend the Presidential Amnesty Programme, and the office of the Special Adviser to the President on the Niger Delta, who have worked hard to ensure the successful implementation of this project.

I would also like to express our gratitude to all the technical partners, who conceived and designed the project, and have demonstrated commitment to ensuring that it succeeds and delivers on all of its objectives.

Let me use this opportunity to reiterate the support and commitment of the Federal Government to the success of this project. It is interesting to note that this initiative is actually one of the earliest success stories of our Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP) Focus Labs, which we set up in 2018 to resolve the most urgent bottlenecks hindering the progress of business and investment in Nigeria.

It is our hope not only that this project will expand and cater to thousands more young Nigerians, but also that this partnership becomes a model that can be replicated in other agricultural value chains, across the country.

On that note, I have the honour and privilege of officially launching the Africa Atlantic Gulf of Guinea Fisheries Limited, the Special Purpose Vehicle that will implement this transformative agricultural partnership.

I look forward to hearing about and seeing the success stories and testimonies from this partnership. I thank you for listening.

The Director Corporate Affairs, NDDC, Mr Charles Obi Odili, addressing participants in the Miss Niger Delta Beauty Queens Unity Walk Campaign Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking at the Commission’s headquarters in Port Harcourt

NDDC backs campaign against drug abuse, illicit trafficking

The Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC, has assured that it will continue to support efforts to curb drug abuse in the Niger Delta region.

The NDDC Acting Managing Director, Prof. Nelson Brambaifa, stated this while addressing participants in the Miss Niger Delta Beauty Queens Unity Walk Campaign Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking at the Commission’s headquarters in Port Harcourt.

The NDDC Chief Executive Officer, represented by the Director Corporate Affairs, Mr Charles Obi Odili,  said that the Commission would do all that was necessary to keep the youths away from illicit drugs and harmful practices.

The NDDC Director observed that drug abuse was destroying the family structure and the social fabrics of the society, noting that “when this happens, it imperils the nation and hampers development.”

One of the mandates of NNDC is to executing other works and performing such other functions, which in the option of the Commission are required for the sustainable development of the Niger Delta region and its people

Meanwhile the NDDC Boss advised the youths to keep away from drugs while stressing the need to inculcate the right values to the young ones as a way of curbing drug abuse.

The Special Adviser on Youths to the NDDC boss, Mr Charles Anyanwu, said that the Commission would initiate a programme to effectively address the issue of drug abuse in the Niger Delta region.

He lamented that many youths in the region were abusing drugs and getting involved in nefarious activities, stating that NDDC was ready to collaborate with other concerned stakeholders to fight the battle and win the war on drug abuse and illicit trafficking.

Also speaking at the occasion, Miss Niger Delta Ambassador for Peace and Development, Gina Reginald, said that drug abuse had reached an epidemic proportion, with the rise in drug addiction of young adults.

She said that the Miss Niger Delta Queens and models across the region had to take the campaign to the streets to create awareness. She remarked that street walk was anchored with the theme: Say no to drug abuse and drug kills the beauty in you.

Niger Delta New Vision birthed take-off of Maritime University, development projects in region – Osinbajo

Speech by His Excellency, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, SAN, GCON, Vice President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, at the 1st Matriculation Ceremony of The Nigeria Maritime University, Okerenkoko, Delta State, on Saturday, 6th April, 2019

(Delivered by Mr. Edobor Iyamu, Senior Special Assistant to the President on Economic Matters/Niger Delta, Office of the Vice President)

Protocol

I bring very warm greetings from His Excellency Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, SAN, GCON, on whose behalf I’m standing here before you today.

Hearty congratulations to the management and staff of the Maritime University, Okerenkoko Delta State, on the commemoration of this milestone occasion, the inaugural matriculation ceremony. Congratulations also to all of the matriculating students. As the pioneer set of students of this landmark institution, you are all standing on the threshold of history, and we rejoice with you.

This is a day that we have long awaited and looked forward to, and I am delighted that it has come, and we are here to witness it. A year ago, on the 12th of April 2018, to be precise, this University commenced academic activities, with a total of 370 students spread across 13 undergraduate programmes in three Faculties, namely: Transport, Engineering and Environmental Management.

In addition, there were 85 students admitted into the University’s Basic programme. They sat for the JAMB examinations, and the 59 who were successful were given admission into the University.

This University is one of the strongest demonstrations yet of the total and unflinching commitment of the Buhari Administration to the development and the progress of the Niger Delta. The President is a man of his word, and he has made that clear over and over again with regards to the Niger Delta, in the last four years.

You will recall that he touched on the issue of the Delta in his inauguration Speech on May 29, 2015. It was a measure of his determination to rewrite the story of a neglected region. People had come before him and paid lip service to the issues. You are all witnesses to how the Ogoni Clean-up failed to leave the drawing board.

The seriousness with which we view the Niger Delta informed the series of unprecedented engagements that resulted in the comprehensive development Plan known as the New Vision for the Niger Delta; with the goal of ensuring that the huge resources of the Delta are put to work for the good of the people of the region.

That New Vision has guided us every step of the way, and is what has helped propel the Ogoni Clean Up to fruition, and helped birth this University in which we are gathered today.

Since 2016, when the Buhari Administration flagged off the Clean Up of Ogoni land, we have seen actual implementation and progress. As I speak, 21 companies have been awarded remediation contracts, and 15% of the contract sum released by way of mobilisation fee. Some of the contractors have since commenced work on the affected sites, and others are currently mobilising to site. This award of contracts followed a very open and transparent international procurement process, as well as the laying down of a robust governance and oversight framework for the Clean Up. And while the remediation is ongoing, there are also a lot of efforts aimed at ensuring that affected communities enjoy basic amenities like clean water, and that jobs and training opportunities are extended to them.

Our Modular Refinery Programme is another important cornerstone of the New Vision for the Niger Delta. There are currently four modular refineries at different levels of completion, across the region, as follows:

  • Niger Delta Exploration & Production situated Rivers State
  • Opac Modular Refinery situated here in Delta
  • Ikwe-Onna situated in Akwa-Ibom
  • Walter Smith in Imo State

One of them, the Niger Delta Exploration & Production is a brownfield project that is being expanded by 5,000bpd in the first phase. That expansion is now about 98% completed and will commence test-running from the 16th of April, 2019. The remaining three are greenfield projects and are all scheduled for commissioning this year.

The Amnesty Programme has continued to receive funding and support from the Buhari Administration, because we understand just how important it is for the young people of the region. We will continue to ensure that it delivers on its mandate and responds fully to the needs and yearnings of the beneficiaries.

Permit me to also highlight our Gas Flare Commercialisation Programme, aimed at ensuring that we bring an end to the tragedy that is gas-flaring in the Niger Delta. The impact of this is going to be enormous, not just in terms of health and the environment, but also in terms of economic opportunities. The successful bidders for the gas flare sites will be expected to create economic value from the gas hitherto being flared, and this will create jobs and wealth for citizens and for communities. Adverts for the commercialisation of the flare sites have already gone out and submissions of Expression of Interest are being received.  The next stage will be the shortlisting and award of concessions to the successful bidders.

These and more are examples of how we are walking the talk in the Niger Delta region, which we view not in terms of its past, but in terms of its potential. And this is a potential that is not limited to oil and gas, but is actually focused more on the development of human capital. We are confident that the Niger Delta will sooner than later come to be defined, not by crude oil, but by the quality of its human resource, the abundance of its agriculture, its rich cultural potential, and so on.

We have a vision that the Maritime University will come to be known around the world as a Center of Excellence in Maritime matters, and a repository of expertise and knowledge on the Niger Delta.

For all the matriculating students, and the pioneer staff, you can see why you have a great burden and responsibility on your shoulders. I enjoin you to discharge these with dedication and pride, and to continue to carry yourselves as excellent ambassadors of this University.

Once again, I congratulate you on this auspicious occasion, and I wish you the very best for the future.

God bless the Maritime University, God Bless the Niger Delta, and God Bless the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

Thank you.

 

Editor’s note: The Vice President was represented at the event by Mr. Edobor Iyamu, Senior Special Assistant to the President on Economic Matters/Niger Delta, Office of the Vice President

Niger Delta development: Minister charges NDDC to do more

The Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Pastor Usani Uguru Usani, has charged the new management of the Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC, to do more for the development of the Niger Delta region.

The Minister was speaking at the NDDC headquarters in Port-Harcourt, when he paid a working visit recently to the new management team of the Commission. He was accompanied by his Minister of State, Prof. Claudius Daramola, the ministry’s Permanent Secretary, Alhaji Aminu Aliyu-Bisalla and other directors of the supervising ministry.

The aim of the NDDC is to establish in the Niger Delta region a strong and progressive society in which no one will have any anxiety about basic means of life and work; where poverty and illiteracy no longer exist and diseases are brought under control; and where their educational facilities provide all the children of the Niger Delta Region with best possible opportunities for the development of their potentials.

NDDC sees to the implementation of their mandate by executing relevant projects in the entire region.
Projects are conceptualized, designed and executed based on extensive consultation with locals, input from interested parties and critical analysis by experts. These projects are awarded based on their ability to give maximum impact to the local region and beyond the constraints of allotted budget. NDDC is therefore seen as a good harvest of concrete achievements as evidenced in the array of projects and programs they have embarked upon.

The NDDC has taken giant strides to facilitate the all-round development of the Niger Delta and its people, the Commission said.

Usani stated that the current NDDC management, being an interim one, was expected to do more for the people of the Niger Delta than a regular board. “We expect every functionary and staff of the commission to appreciate this fact and put up the very best efforts in the performance of their duties,” he said.

The Minister noted that, “Brief as this management may be, we are charging you to put in your best. There is a lot that can be achieved, especially as the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari continues for the next four years.”

He emphasised that the policy of the Buhari administration was that there would be nothing like abandoned projects. “That is why you can see many of the projects started 20-30 years ago, especially infrastructure are still being reviewed and executed,” he said.

He also urged the NDDC management and staff to recognise the important and special place they occupy in the development of Niger Delta and in the bigger economic picture of Nigeria.

The Minister said: “It may be too early to assess the performance of the new management team. But it is essential for us to know that the task for the management is a greater burden than it would have been if it has longer time to stay.”

He said that his ministry would continue to supervise the Commission to ensure that it performs maximally “because the performance of NDDC goes a long way to determine the forms of agitation we get from the different segments of members of Niger Delta society. I will be pleased to have a peaceful environment for the period you will be in charge of affairs in the Commission.”

Earlier in his remarks the NDDC Acting Managing Director, Prof. Nelson Brambaifa, said that in the absence of the Commission’s board of directors, the minister takes over as the supervising authority, stating: “It is only fair and wise that he comes once in a while to see how we are faring and to see whether we are following laid down procedures.”

According to him, the new management of the commission was working tirelessly to deliver on its mandate within the shortest possible time.

Prof. Brambaifa said that henceforth, payment to contractors would be made promptly without unnecessary bureaucratic bottlenecks, noting that the Commission had fine-tuned its processes and was now using a more efficient procedure in paying for projects and meeting its financial obligations.

Also speaking, the NDDC Acting Executive Director Finance and Administration, Mr. Chris Amadi, said the Commission was very much aware of the need to fast-track the development of the Niger Delta region and was appropriately taking directives from its supervising ministry.

He said, “We took up payments of contractors who have been owed for years. We made sure that those which fell under 10 million got their payments even in their homes. We are now compiling payments for 20-30million. We have also paid for the water hyacinths and some of the palliatives and interventions which the Commission set out to address the challenges of youth restiveness to ensure peace in the region.”

He said further: “We have paid major contractors to motivate them to go back to site and complete their projects. We have commitments from several of them that projects are on-going and will soon be completed.”

Amadi stated that NDDC had commenced projects inspection, starting with the new headquarters of the commission and would be embarking on major projects’ inspections across the region.

We’re not owing Niger Delta ex-militants Stipends, Allowances – PAP

The Presidential Amnesty Programme (PAP) is up-to-date with payment of stipends, books and in-training allowances to Niger Delta ex-militants.

According to a Pulse Nigeria report, Mr Murphy Ganagana, Special Assistant Media to the Coordinator, PAP, Prof. Charles Dokubo, made this known in Abuja, while responding to claims by some people that the Amnesty office owed.

It could be recalled that the amnesty deal by the Nigerian government for militants in the Niger Delta was aimed at reducing unrest in the oil-rich region.

Late former President Umaru Yar’Adua offered an unconditional pardon and cash payments to rebels who agreed to lay down their arms.

The government targeted up to 10,000 militants who attacked the six Niger Delta states and cost the country a third of its oil production.

Meanwhile the President Muhammadu Buhari led administration assured of its continuity and commitment to the Amnesty programme, through its NIGER NEW VISION initiative.

The New vision has seen to several developments in the Niger Delta area’s which includes the empowerment of ex- militant (establishment of recreational centres, cash payments, scholarship opportunities etc).

At the briefing Ganagana said that the payment of allowances to the beneficiaries have been regular and prompt ever since the present leadership took over the management of the Amnesty programme.

“As we speak today, we are not owing ex-agitators under the Amnesty programme any stipends, in-training or books allowances,. We have paid up-to -date as funds are being released.

“We do also not owe in-training allowances to any scholarship beneficiary of the programme, especially those within the country.

Ganagana further explained that those who were claiming that the amnesty office owed them one year in backlog payments, were illegally deployed to various institutions for training without due process or the consent of the Coordinator.

He said: “in March 2018 shortly after Dokubo resumed office, some Niger Delta people who were not captured in the Amnesty programme database were illegally deployed for training without the Coordinator’s authorisation.”

“There were two categories of group of persons that were illegally deployed by a former official of the Amnesty programme within the period under review.

“Some of them were captured in the database making them bona-fide beneficiaries of the programme while some were not captured.

“But the Coordinator after some considerations decided to pay only the tuition fees of those ones who were not captured and have been given admission in various institutions for training.”

He said that the legal beneficiaries were entitle to tuition fees, books and in training allowances. “So, it is out of place for those who were illegally deployed for training to claim that they are being owed allowances,” he said, adding that the amnesty programme has the mandate to training, reintegrate and empower 30,000 ex-agitators of the Niger Delta region so as to maintain peace in the region.

Niger Delta: “NDDC to fast-track completion of ongoing projects”

*Inspects work on new headquarters

The Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC, has renewed its drive to fast-track the completion of its projects spread across the nine Niger Delta states, especially major projects that will transform the region significantly.

The mandates of the commission (NDDC) include the development of the oil- rich Niger Delta, the formulation of policies and guide lines for the development of the Niger Delta area, and implementation of all measures approved for the development of the Niger Delta region by the Federal Government and the States of the commission.

The NDDC Acting Managing Director, Prof. Nelson Brambaifa, set the tone for the Commission’s plans to drive development efforts while inspecting the new 12-floor permanent headquarters complex of the Commission at the Eastern Bye-Pass in Port Harcourt on Tuesday.

The Commission’s Chief Executive Officer, who inspected work on the new headquarters alongside the Acting Executive Director Projects, Engr. Dr. Samuel Adjogbe, described the project as “fantastic.”

He said: “You know that our first objective is to provide a conducive working environment for people working in NDDC. From what I have seen, my predecessors have done very well but we will improve on what they have done and with all things being equal, by the fourth quarter of this year, we might be able to call all the nine governors to come here and commission this edifice.”

Prof. Brambaifa charged NDDC contractors handling other on-going projects to take a cue from the work going on at the new headquarters, urging that they should take their jobs seriously.

The NDDC boss said that the Commission was anxious to complete the headquarters project to add value to the work of the NDDC towards meeting its mandate, adding that this was in line with the resolve of the new management of the Commission to promptly complete all ongoing projects.

Also speaking, the NDDC Acting Executive Director Projects, Engr. Dr. Samuel Adjogbe, commended the contractors for doing a good job, noting that the quality of work was high and the completion target of the last quarter of this year was achievable.

Gas flaring to end in three years – NGFCP

The new framework – the Nigerian Gas Flare Commercialisation Programme (NGFCP), initiated by the Federal Government to monetise the volume of gas flared in Nigeria’s oil fields is expected to ensure that wasteful practice ceases to exist in the country within three years from when it becomes operational.

A gas flare, alternatively known as a flare stack, is a gas combustion device used in industrial plant’s such as petroleum refineries, chemicals plants, natural gas processing plants as well as  oil or gas production sites having oil wells, offshore oil and gas rigs and landfill.  In industrial plants, flare stacks are primarily used for burning off flammable gas released by pressure relief valves during unplanned over-pressuring of plant equipment.

The policy position of the Federal Government of Nigeria (FGN) is that gas flaring is unacceptable and the FGN has initiated a number of actions to reaffirm its commitment to ending the practice of gas flaring in our oil fields. Specifically, the FGN has ratified the Paris Climate Change Agreement, and is a signatory to the Global Gas Flaring Partnership (GGFR) principles for global flare-out by 2030 whilst committing to a national flare-out target by year 2020.

Furthermore, in recognition that flared gas could be harnessed to stimulate economic growth, drive investments and provide jobs in oil producing communities and indeed for Nigerians through the utilization of widely available innovative technologies, the Federal Executive Council (FEC) has approved the Nigerian Gas Flare Commercialisation Programme (“NGFCP”). This programme was launched by the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources Dr. Ibe Kachikwu   on December 13, 2016.

The NGFCP is designed as the strategy to implement the policy objectives of the FGN for the elimination of gas flares with potentially enormous multiplier and development outcomes for Nigeria. The objective of the NGFCP is to eliminate gas flaring through technically and commercially sustainable gas utilization projects developed by competent third party investors who will be invited to participate in a competitive and transparent bid process. The commercialisation approach has been considered from legal, technical, economic, commercial and developmental standpoints. It is a unique and historic opportunity to attract major investment in economically viable gas flare capture projects whilst permanently addressing a 60 year environmental problem in Nigeria.

The NGFCP will offer flare gas for sale by the Federal Government of Nigeria through a transparent and competitive bidding process. A structure has been devised to provide project bankability for the Flare Gas Buyers, which is essential to the success of the Programme.

According to a THIS DAY report Nigeria would need at least $3.5 billion investments to activate the new market-based initiative it had set up to end the practice of gas flaring at oil fields in the Niger Delta by 2020, Derefaka had disclosed.

Besides its expected environmental impacts on the oil-bearing Niger Delta region, the programme according to its operation’s officer, Mr. Justice Derefaka, was equally estimated to contribute about $1 billion to Nigeria’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP), while providing up to 300,000 direct and indirect jobs as well as unlocking about 600,000 metric tonnes (mt) of Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) to be supplied to six million Nigerian homes.

Providing an update on the progress of the programme upon the March 22 cut-off date for submission of Expression of Interest (EoI) and issuance of Request for Qualification (RfQ) package for its first bid round to be conducted, Derefaka, noted that about 700 bids had so far been harvested, and that the opening of the Statements of Qualification (SOQs) will follow next.

“The NGFCP is designed as the strategy to implement the policy objectives of the federal government for the elimination of gas flares from Nigeria’s oil and gas fields in the near term (2-3 years), with potentially enormous multiplier and development outcomes for Nigeria.

“It is also designed as the contribution of the petroleum sector to Nigeria’s Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDC) under the Paris Agreement (COP21). It is an approach to eliminate gas flaring through technically and commercially sustainable gas utilisation projects developed by competent third party investors who will be invited to participate in a competitive and transparent bid process.

“The commercialisation approach has been considered from legal, technical, economic, commercial and developmental standpoints. And it is a unique and historic opportunity to attract major investment in economically viable gas flare capture projects whilst permanently addressing a 60-year environmental problem in Nigeria,” Derefaka said.

According to him: “Third party investors are to access and utilise flared gas that is currently being sent to flare and convert same into Flare-Gas-to-Market-Products (FG-2-MP) and demonstrate project development experience and proven technology in commercial application.

“The NGFCP is also designed as an important climate change action plan for the nation. And, it is the first market driven program undertaken on this scale globally. Bidders will have flexibility of choosing which flare sites to bid for, the gas price, and the end market or gas product, as well as the technology to be used.”

Continuing, he explained that: “As at today, over 700 investors have registered to download the RfQ package to submit their statements of qualification (SOQs) for participation in the programme.

“In terms of developmental impact, the NGFCP benefits are huge, ranging from an overall inward investment of around US $3 – $3.5 billion; a potential annual revenues/gross domestic product (GDP) impact around $1 billion/annum.

“The NGFCP could also generate approximately 300,000 direct and indirect jobs and unlock and supply around 600,000MT of Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) product to six million homes in Nigeria.”

Consistent with Nigeria’s commitments for reduction of greenhouse gas (GHG) under the Paris Climate Change Agreement, Derefaka, stated that the program would reduce Nigeria’s CO2 emissions by approximately 13 million tons per year, which could further be monetised under an emission credits or carbon sale programme

“The next critical path item, in compliance with the approved programme implementation timeline following the closure of submission of SOQ’s on the Friday, 22nd March, 2019, is the opening ceremony of the SOQs,” he added.