The Federal Government says it expects more modular refinery operators who obtained licence to begin operations soon.
Mr Ahmad Shakur, Acting Director in the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR), made this known while inspecting a modular refinery – the Niger Delta Petroleum Resources (NDPR) – facilities on Friday in Ahoada, Rivers.
Shakur said the Federal Government was passionate about the success of modular refineries in the nation’s oil and gas industry.
“To this end, we are expecting more modular refineries to take off soon.
“Many of them had been given licence to operate, and so with what is happening in NDPR it will put pressure on those given license to begin operation,” he said.
Shakur disclosed that NDPR was the first marginal operator, first to acquire licence for modular refinery and the first to commence production.
“The refinery started production with 1,000 barrels of oil per day (bpd) and it is currently producing 6,000 bpd.
“NDPR intends to move production further to 11,000 bpd which will add a lot of value and backward integration in the oil and gas industry.
“We intend to make the firm a reference point for other marginal operators to follow,” he said.
The director said in spite of the recent protest by some community members demanding participation in the refinery, NDPR had so far maintained good relationship with its host community.
Addressing staff at the DPR office in Port Harcourt, Shakur said the department had recently improved surveillance to curb illicit activities by some petroleum marketers.
“We intend to keep the tempo going all through the year until we reduce the unwholesome practice to the barest minimum.
“I can assure that those who commit acts of infractions against the extant rule in the petroleum industry will be brought to book,” he said.
Nigeria News Agency reports that the department had in the last few months sealed off over 33 filling stations in Port Harcourt caught under-dispensing, over-dispensing and operating without valid licence, among other crimes.
Global IT hails Buhari for appointing Abdullahi as new NITDA DG
Bakare, in the letter, applauded the appointment of the 39 year-old Abdullahi, describing him as a “digital guru and industry key player”, with potential to surpass his predecessors’ achievements.
He said: “Abdullahi, for a couple of years, has shown and proven to be a world class professional who will use his wide network to take NITDA to the next level, in line with the president’s vision.
“He will also ensure that the agency is more efficient and effective in its role as the clearing house for all IT projects and infrastructural development in the country.”
Bakare, while congratulating Abdullahi on his appointment, which it described as well-deserved, charged him to leave above board and justify the confidence reposed in him by the president.
NAN reports that the new NITDA boss was born on Feb. 21, 1980 in Hadejia, Jigawa State.
He is a graduate of Computer Science from the Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University, Bauchi and Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT-Sloan), with 15 years experience in IT operations, business transformation and solution architecture in both the private and public sectors.
He attended leadership and management courses at Harvard University, USA, University of Cambridge, UK and IMD Business School in Switzerland.
The new NITDA boss is the first Cisco Certified Internetwork Expert (CCIE) in Nigeria’s public sector and certified project manager as well as solution architect.
He worked at Galaxy Backbone as Network Engineer, IP Network Field Engineer, Senior Network & Lead, IP Operations Team, and Senior Solution Architect & Lead, Technical Solution Design Team from 2004 to 2013.
In 2014, he joined the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) as a Technology Architect, where he dedicated his time to developing Technology Architecture Repository that gives total view of the bank’s IT infrastructure and easy decision on new IT investment.
Abdullahi was part of the team that executed software license rationalisation, which has increased cost savings for the bank in license annual subscriptions.
As a technology architect at the apex bank, he produced seven Solution Architectures for critical IT initiatives that helped in achieving cashless policy in Nigeria.
The new NITDA boss also overhauled the agency’s IT clearance process and encouraged shared services among agencies which helped the federal government saved over N16 billion from IT projects.
Abdullahi is a member of both the British Computer Society (BCS) and Nigeria Computer Society (NCS), and he is a recipient of 100 Leading Telecom and ICT Personalities award in Nigeria.
Edited by Olabisi Akinbode and ‘Wale Sadeeq
Plant trees to mark special events: DG advises Nigerians
The Director-General of the Nigerian Conservation Foundation (NCF), Dr Muhtari Aminu-Kano, on Wednesday in Lagos appealed to Nigerians to cultivate the habit of planting trees to commemorate special anniversaries in their lives.
Aminu-Kano made the appeal during the planting of 30 trees at the NCF Family Park in Lekki located within its premises by IBTC Bank to commemorate its 30th anniversary.
He added that it would also help to restore the nation’s depleted forest cover.
He said that Nigeria had lost 94 per cent of her forest cover and all hands must be on deck to reverse the trend through sustained planting of trees.
He commended the bank and appealed to other Nigerians, corporate organisations and the three tiers of government to emulate the gesture to restore the nation’s forest cover.
“This is something I will recommend to every Nigerian; to plant trees to commemorate special events in their lives because trees are long lasting and you remember that event whenever you see such trees.
“If you have an occasion to commemorate whether marriage, the birth of a child, jubilees, any birthday or landmark event, plant trees.
“I commend what the bank is doing and they have promised to replicate the planting in the six geo political zones of the country.
“I hope the public, companies and governments can do more to take to this habit of planting trees in hundreds,’’ he said.
Aminu-Kano said that NCF as part of its Green Recovery Nigeria initiative would continue to plant trees even in some forests that need regeneration.
“We can never get tired of planting trees. Even in a forest, there are places where you will need natural enrichment due to natural processes that some trees go through and die. And sometimes there is the need to assist the forest to recover,’’ he said.
He lamented how flooding had been affecting some trees in the Lekki Conservation Centre due to eastward ocean current causing erosion.
He said that this had continued to threaten the existence of the entire NCF.
He appealed to the Federal Government to support the Lagos State Government in combating the problem by building more groins.
He lamented the sharp drop in the nation’s forest cover to less than six per cent and called for sustained efforts by stakeholders to save the nation’s environment.
“We think that it is pitiful that the amount of land in Nigeria that is forested has moved from 40 per cent in the 1960s to arguably below six per cent.
“And the international standard which Nigeria signed up to is that a country should aim to have a minimum of 25 per cent of its area covered in forest; so we have a long way to go.
“And we have to plant as many trees as possible; we are doing an exercise now with government and other stakeholders to identify which are the right trees that should go to the right places, in the right numbers, at the right time.
“We are losing 350,000 hectares of forests every year in Nigeria and we need to catch up by planting enough to not just replace the ones we are losing but pick up and try to hit that target of 25 per cent,” he said.
The Nigeria News Agency reports that two species of trees: the African mahogany and Ijebu Mahogany were planted.
Mr Adeyemo Olayomade, NCF’s Conservation Assistant, explained that the two species were chosen because both were hard wood of the same family, ever green and medicinal.
NAN reports that IBTC Bank was established in 1989.
#Revolutionow: 9 northern groups pull out of planned protest
Nine groups out of the 15 that formed the Joint Northern Action Front to partispate in a planned revolutionow protest in some northern states on Aug. 22, have pulled out.
The Secretary of the groups, Tanko Mustapha made the declaration in a joint press statement issued on Wednesday in Kaduna.
“We are pleased to announce today that these nine groups have resolved to pull its members out of tomorrow’s planned protests called by the Joint Northern Action Front which we were part of,” he said.
Mustapha said their withdrawal from the protests was based on some considerations.
“We have reviewed the planned protests by critically looking into the nature, salient intentions and most importantly the likely negative consequences on the North in particular and democracy in generall.
“We discovered that the main intention of the protests is far from checking government excesses that are of national concerns, but rather to further the hidden agenda of some people.
“Our concern is that the nature of the protests may very likely not be peaceful and it will not only be unproductive but may have negative consequences on the north and our democracy as well.
“We weighed all the possibilities against the background of its dangerous consequenses in countries like Libya and Yemen who embarked on such moves blindly.
“After candidly weighing the pros and cons, we arrived at the conclusion that the exercise is ill informed, in bad taste, counterproductive, self-serving as well as an ill wind that will not blow anybody any good.
“Despite the lapses in governance in all aspects, especially in security, economy, and infrastructure, we wish to align with the patriotic position of the apex conglomerate of groups in the north, the CNG, that every issue can be discussed and resolved in a civilized manner and never by violence.
“We today, therefore, declare a complete pullout from participation in the organization and call on the protesters and all people of the north to disregard the calls,” he said.
Mustapha called on the government to as a matter of urgency, address all the observed lapses and misgovernance to avoid uprisings.
Edited by Chidi Opara/Maharazu Ahmed
Nigerian robbed, murdered in South Africa
As Nigeria and South Africa seek ways to end the xenophobic attacks on Nigerians in that country, the Nigeria Union South Africa (NUSA) on Wednesday announced the gruesome murder of another Nigerian.
The union’s President, Adetola Olubajo, said on Wednesday that the victim, 46-year-old Obinna Stanley Ayanele, hailed from Uruala, Ideato North Local Government Area (LGA) of Imo.
He said Ayanele was murdered in cold blood by some criminals in his shop in Krugersdorp, Johannesburg, on Tuesday evening with the intension of robbing him of his money and wares.
“With deep sorrow in our hearts, the Nigeria Union South Africa (NUSA) regrets to announce the gruesome murder of another Nigerian, the late Stanley Ayanele from Uruala, Ideato North LGA, Imo, aged 46.
“Until his death, he was a small scale business owner, a stockist of petty goods.
“Ayanele was accosted by some criminals at his shop in Krugersdorp, Johaneeburg in the evening of Aug. 20, 2019 with the intention of robbing him of his money and wares.
“In the process he was murdered in cold blood,’’ Olubajo said in a statement made available to the Nigeria News Agency .
He said that according to a witness, three unknown men held him at gun point and robbed him of his valuables, including cash.
“He was brutally stabbed severally, and they smashed his head with a hammer thereby leaving him in pool of his blood to bleed to death,’’ Olubajo quoted the witness as saying.
He added that the murderers were at the verge of carting away the late Obinna’s wares in the shop when community members contacted the South Africa Police Service (SAPS), Krugersdorp Cluster Station.
Olubajo said the SAPS crime team later arrested two of the criminals while the third one escaped. A manhunt was immediately constituted.
He noted that the murder weapons were confiscated by the police and the remains of the deceased deposited at a government mortuary.
The union’s president said that a case of murder was immediately opened by the Nigeria Union Ward at the police station and the suspects were charged to court today (Wednesday Aug. 21).
He said NUSA urged Nigerians in Krugersdorp to remain calm, law abiding since the matter had been charged to court, adding that the officer investigating the case had also promised to leave no stone unturned until justice was done.
“We commend the South Africa Police for their swift response,” Olubajo said.
NAN reports that the murder of Ayanele came eight days after a meeting of the heads of Nigeria’s two missions in South Africa with the South Africa Police Minister Bheki Cele and top police officials in Pretoria on Aug. 14, seeking ways to ensure peaceful co-existence between nationals of both countries.
Bala was accompanied by the Consul-General, Godwin Adama, to the meeting.
(Editing by Peter Ejiofor)
NOA, UNICEF to partner religious leaders to end female circumcision in Imo
Mr Victus Ekeocha, The NOA Director in Imo, made the pledge in Izombe, Oguta, on Wednesday at a one-day “Advocay Dialogue with Religious Leaders for FGM Abandonement in Oguta Local Government area of Imo.”
Ekocha said that UNICEF, through the World Health Organistaion (WHO), had discovered that female circumscision was not beneficial to the girl child, but rather was fraught with many disadvantages.
He said the sensitization programme was aimed at seeking collaboration of religious leaders in the fight to curb FGM.
He said the religious leaders had the respect and acceptance of thier church people as such their preachings on the harmful effect of FGM would go along way in depeening the awareness.
The NOA official said that NOA, in collaboration with UNICEF, had since 2015 been creating awareness on the dangers of FGM and the need to abandon the practice by people in variuos communities of the state.
Ekeocha said efforts were being made to ensue that communities in the state abandon “such harmful cultural practices”, adding that awareness was being created in the nine local government areas of Imo since 2015 to stop the FGM practice.
The UNICEF Child Protection Officer, Mr Victor Atuchukwu, also said that research hasd shown that FGM had no benefit to the girl-child and women and could not make a female child promiscous as was erronously believed.
He commended the religioius leaders for coming out enmasse to attend the programme, which he said, would go along way in making the people of Oguta have more understanding of the ills associated with FGM.
Mr Ben Mbakwem , UNICEF FGM Consultant in Imo and Ebonyi states, said that the sensitisation and advocay programme was to accelerate efforts toward reduction of FGM, thus fulfilling the rights of girls and women.
He said it was also to realise the goals on Social and Gender Norms Transformation by 2021 and the elimination of female genital mutilation by 2030.
Mbakwem identified the complications of FGM to include intensive pain, excessive bleeding, uninary incontinence, difficulties during menseruation and delivery.
Earlier, Dr (Mrs) Oby Azubuike, the Director, Ministry of Gender Affairs in the state, said the main objective of the programme was to provide an opportunity for religious leaders to dailogue about FGM and its harmful effects on girls and women in their congregation.
She said it was equally to strengthen the capacity of religious leaders to enable them take on effective role in the campaign to eliminate FGM and to demystify the misperception and misinterpretation that the practice of FGM is a religious requirement.
Azubuike said the programme was also meant to sensitise church members that FGM is not a religious requirement as well as enable them reach a concensus to denounce the practice.
The religious leaders, who attended the programme, promised to partner the National NOA and UNICEF to end the FGM in the state.
Apostle David Dibua, the Chairman of Oguta Chapter of Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria (PFN), who spoke onbehalf of the clerics, described the sensitisation as a welcome development and worthwhile.
He said religious leaders had come to the understanding that FGM is harmful to the girl child, adding that the Bible never recommended its practice.
“God in his wisdom did not include women in his commandments on male circumscision so I wonder why the tradition has involved women,” he said.
Dibua promised, on behalf of the traditional rulers, to sensitise church members through the different groups and arms of the church as the practise had led to divorce and problems in most homes.
NAN reports that religious leaders from different denominations including the Catholics, Anglicans and Penticoastals attended the meeting.
Edited by Tajudeen Atitebi