The Ondo State government, on Wednesday, cautioned bitumen producing communities against committing any act of violence capable of destroying the benefit of bitumen exploitation.
The Nigeria News Agency reports that the bitumen producing communities include Orisunmibare/Ilubinrun Camp, Ufara-Moraye (Araromi Obu), Ilubinrun/Ajayi Camp, Mile 2 Camp, Ogunmakin/Odomode Camp, Mulekangbo Camp and Agbabu.
Prof. Bayonle Ademodi, the state Commissioner for Regional Integration and Special Duties, gave the advice during an interactive session with bitumen host communities in Odigbo, Odigbo Local Government area of the state.
Ademodi assured the traditional rulers of the host communities that their views and opinions would be adequately captured and considered as the bitumen development process moved forward.
He added that it was in the interest of the communities to give maximum support to government and investors, who would bring in their funds to invest.
According to him, the state governor, Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, is highly committed to peaceful exploitation of bitumen, saying that the cooperation of the host communities is of top priority.
“The present administration has been working relentlessly to ensure that bitumen is produced in the state and Mr Governor is intent on providing an enabling environment for every genuine investor to do their business in a very congenial atmosphere.
“Please join the efforts of the governor in all ramifications for the successful development of the bitumen resources,” he said.
The commissioner noted that government had been talking to the licensed bitumen companies operating in the state to play by the rules.
“The companies should ensure that provisions of the Nigerian Minerals and Mining Act, 2007, which provide for strict adherence to Community Development Agreement (CDA) and proper conduct of Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA), are observed to the letter.
“The state government has taken it upon itself to ensure that people at the community level are not short-changed and made to suffer.
“At the ministry’s last meeting with the licensed bitumen companies on Oct. 16, the five local government chairmen within the bitumen belt of Ondo State were present.
“And I am pleased to inform you that the Chairman of Odigbo Local Government, Hon. Margaret Akinsuroju, was one of the five chairmen present and her contributions were far-reaching,” he said.
Ademodi recalled that similar interactive sessions had been successfully carried out in Irele and Okitipupa local councils to avoid unhealthy community/investors relationship.
The commissioner promised that their contributions would be critically assessed and factored into the bitumen development policy of the state.
He, however, said that nobody would give money to anybody, but that there would be opportunities for job and good infrastructure.
“There must be patience and cooperation, because there may be environmental challenges in the course of exploitation of the bitumen,” the commissioner said.
Similarly, Mr Ebenezer Ogunsanmi, the Permanent Secretary of the ministry, said that the meeting was to know the host communities’ roles in ensuring peace and tranquillity in the exploration and exploitation of bitumen in the areas.
Ogunsanmi noted that development of bitumen would create employment opportunities for indigenous youths and provide good infrastructure to the communities by the bitumen investors.
He enjoined the communities not to create the impression that the state was not safe for investment.
Oba Rufus Akinrinmade, the Orunja of Odigbo kingdom, tasked the communities to shun sentiment and speculations, which were inimical to the exploitation exercise.
He urged them to be patient and allow peace to reign, as no investors would come to crisis-prone areas, adding all would benefit from the gains of the bitumen.
Mrs Margaret Akinsuroju, the Caretaker Chairman of Odigbo Local Government, said bitumen exploitation was a welcome development, urging the communities to be united and cooperate with the bitumen companies.
Mr Rashidi Giwa, a community leader from Olokuta and Mr Babatunde Oni, a graduate of mining geology, asked for equitable distribution of gains and benefits by the bitumen companies and the government.
According to them, cheating often orchestrates violence in any society.
Mr Kayode Zaccheaus, a youth representative from Odigbo council area, asked the bitumen companies and the government to give youths their dues and have listening ears, even as he pledged their cooperation and support.
Edited by Abdullahi Mohammed and (NAN)‘Wale Sadeeq
Competition and Consumer Protection Commission meets stakeholders in Lagos
The Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (FCCPC) on Thursday held an engagement forum with stakeholders in Lagos on the implementation of the Federal Competition and Consumer Act.
The Nigeria News Agency reports that the Federal Competition and Consumer Act was enacted on Jan. 30, 2019 to eradicate monopolised market hindering economic growth.
The Act affords consumers variety of options available in the enforcement of these rights, while consumers have the liberty to choose the most suitable option to enforce their rights, among other points.
Speaking at the forum, Director-General of FCCPC, Mr Babatunde Irukera, said that a robust competition consumer legislation would deepen fairness among consumers and service providers.
“What this Act does is to regulate the marketplace for fairness among all players both between small and small, big and big, as well as small and big businesses,” he said.
Irukera said that the stakeholders forum was to create a stronger bond between all players so as to develop standards and codes of conduct for associations that would be beneficial to government, economy and all others involved.
“There are clear and statutory roles for collaborating with professional associations on how to regulate the entire market from consumer protection stand point.
“The partnership with the associations will certainly provide an important platform for educating their members about their responsibility, their policy direction and the focus of the commission and it will provide the context to the commission making regulations and adopting policies.
“We need to work together to develop standards and code of conducts for the association that will benefit consumers, associations, providers, producers, government and as well as the economy,” he said.
The D-G suggested that associations should have policies within their associations that would be helpful in the regulations.
He urged the public to contact the commission via telephone as well as its various social media platforms whenever a customer felt cheated or shortchanged.
Mr Wale Smart, Deputy Director, Nigerian Employers Consultative Association (NECA), said that the association would continue to explore ways to partner with FCCPC to improve consumer satisfaction in order to improve the market.
Mr Adediji Ajayi, Registrar, Chartered Institute of Stockbrokers, said that similar regulatory bodies were needed in all sections of the stock market.
Other sectors represented at the forum were the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN), Nigerian Institute of Public Relations (NIPR), Chartered Institute of Personnel Management (CIPM), Amnesty International, among others.
NAN reports that other stakeholders present at the interactive session also suggested that FCCPC should organise quarterly engagements for partnership opportunities, robust education and awareness of the activities of FCCPC.
Edited by: Wale Ojetimi
Warri safe, good business destination, says Transport coy
Mrs Oluseyi Oluyede, Managing Director, Niger–Benue Transport Company (NBTC) Limited, has described Warri as a good business destination and safe for living, advising those companies that left for insecurity reasons to return.
Oluyede gave the advice on Friday in Warri shortly after her inauguration as the new managing director of the company.
The Nigeria News Agency reports that NBTC renders professional services for ship repair and maintenance, ship building, vessels, Chartered and Marine Logistics among others.
Oluyede said that NBTC had been operating peacefully in Warri for the past 60 years.
“Warri is a safe place for doing business, that is while we are still here for the past 60 years. We want those who have left to know that Warri is safe for business.
“NBTC has always been synonymous with Delta; so we are not going anywhere. Warri is a very significant area in terms of servicing the oil and gas industry.
“NBTC is here and will continue to be here to project the good side of the Niger Delta region,” she said.
Oluyede said that the company would utilise graduates of the Maritime University to address its workforce challenges.
According to her, in the past, we have dearth of manpower to man our vessels and this has resulted to people going out to Philippines and other countries to look for workers.
“With the establishment of the Maritime University, it will help to create the workforce that will be employed to handle these machineries and by implication reduce the unemployment rate,” she said.
The managing director that the company was also focussing on fabrication to expand its tentacle in line with the global changes in the oil and gas industry.
“I have been given a task to make sure this company that is 60 years old continues to exist and get the golden Seal of 100 years.
“My challenge, therefore, is to make sure this company keeps floating, making profits and keep legacy of the company that has been handed over to me,” she said.
Also speaking, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of NBTC, Mr Moses Taiga, urged staff of the company to give the managing director maximum support to enable her to excel in her new appointment.
Taiga said that the company has a robust relationship with the host community (Ovwian) in Udu Local Government Area of Delta.
“We have a training programme for youths of this community which has been going on for a long time.
“We are also planning to collaborate with the Delta Government to train more youths,” he said.
Edited by: Olagoke Olatoye
Oil prices climb to highest in 3 months on renewed U.S.-China trade deal hopes
Oil prices extended gains on Friday, scaling three-month highs as the U.S. and China moved closer to a resolution to the 18-month trade war between the world’s two biggest economies that has raised questions about global demand for crude.
Brent futures LCOc1 climbed 47 cents, or 0.7 per cent, to 64.67 dollars a barrel by 0730 GMT, its highest since Sept. 23.
West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude CLc1 was up 34 cents or 0.6 per cent, to 59.52 dollars a barrel, the highest since Sept. 16.
“Risk appetite ran wild after Trump signalled that he made a deal with China and that will only be positive for global demand forecasts for crude,” said Edward Moya, Senior Market analyst at OANDA.
A slump in the U.S. dollar against the backdrop of a strong pound also helped to boost commodity prices, said Margaret Yang, a market analyst at CMC Markets.
Mirroring investor optimism, Asian share markets jumped to multi-month highs on Friday after Wall Street surged to record highs on Thursday.
“If we see even further progress with the U.S.-China trade war, we could see global GDP rise by half a percentage point in 2020 and that would do wonders for crude demand forecasts,” said Moya.
While a trade deal that would end uncertainty could provide a shot in the arm for oil demand in the near term, concerns continue to hover about the demand profile amid ample supplies going forward.
“Lingering doubts about demand will cap the upside on prices,” said ANZ Bank in a note on Friday.
In the meantime, the White House has agreed to suspend some tariffs on Chinese goods and reduce others in return for Beijing’s pledge to hike purchases of U.S. farm products in 2020, sources said on Thursday.
However, the White House didn’t release any official statement, raising questions about whether the terms had been agreed by both sides.
Looking further ahead, an International Energy Agency report on Thursday pointed to future pressure on oil prices, predicting a sharp rise in global inventories in spite of an agreement by the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and its allies to deepen output cuts.
That contrasts with OPEC’s own research, which forecasts a small deficit in the market next year due to Saudi Arabia’s supply restraint even before the latest cut agreement takes effect.
Elsewhere, Norway’s oil output in November hit a 32-month high at 1.71 million barrels per day, the Norwegian Petroleum Directorate said on Thursday.
“While the current (U.S.-China) trade deal will most probably limit demand devastation, it might not be enough to counter an oversupplied market in early 2020, hence the possible reason we are not seeing a massive bounce in oil prices now,” said Stephen Innes, a market strategist at AxiTrader.
Edited by: Abdullahi Mohammed/Ijeoma Popoola
TCN, states collaborate to expand transmission networks
The Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN), says it is collaborating with state governments on Right of Way (RoW) to expand transmission networks.
Mr Usman Mohammed, the Managing Director of TCN said this at the 3rd Quarter 2019 media briefing in Abuja.
Right of Way is the right to make a way over a piece of land usually to and from another piece of land.
He said that the collaboration had become necessary, given the difficulties in securing RoW.
“TCN under the current management devised a strategy for collaborating with these states for the expansion of transmission networks of 25 meters on both sides for 330 Kilo Volt (KV) lines and 15 meters on both sides for 132KV lines,’’ he said.
“Under similar arrangement, TCN entered into agreement with Enugu State Government under which the 132KV substation by the Niger Delta Power Holding Company over four years was energised within two months.
“After the stringing of the five Kilo Metres (KM) Transmission line off the New Haven -Oturkpo I32 KV line,’’ he said.
Mohammed said that TCN was also collaborating with several other states on substation construction for improved electricity supply.
He, however, warned Nigerians constructing buildings on the RoW to desist from the act, adding that they were exposing themselves to danger.
Mohammed said that the TCN was currently undergoing significant transformation, making it a pragmatic and innovative company aimed at resolving major challenges in the sector.
The TCN boss said that its expansion drive started with the use of in-house capacity to install transformers and equipment across the country.
He said that TCN had also completed some slow and non-performing contracts.
“These have resulted in the installation of 67 transformers across Nigeria which had contributed to increase in its capacity.
Edited by: Chidinma Agu/Ese E. Ekama
SMEDAM, NIPC harp on matchmaking of SMEs with MNE to boost opportunities
The Chief Executive Officer, Nigerian Investment Promotion Commission (NIPC), Ms Yewande Sadiku, says matchmaking and linkage programmes will enhance opportunities for Small all and Medium Enterprises (SMEs).
Sadiku made the assertion during a two-day training/matchmaking/ of SMEs with Large Local Corporates (LLC) and Multinational Enterprises (MNEs).
The event was organised by NIPC and Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN) in Lagos on Thursday.
Sadiku, who was represented by an Assistant Director of NIPC, Mrs Edit Udofia, said that both SMEDAM and NIPC had been engaging different categories of entrepreneurs on linkage programmes in the last few months.
“The first phase of action plan which was the pilot programme was agreed to focus on agro-industry / agro allied machineries, metal and foundry, plastic and rubber, electrical and industry services, and to be later spread to other sectors.
“After signing Memorandum of Understanding between NIPC and SMEDAN in January 2019, a Joint Technical Committee was inaugurated for the implementation of the work plan.
and the Lagos event is what is happening here today,” Radda said.
A former Chairman, Association of Small and Medium Enterprises, Osun branch, Mr Ali Alabi, commended the efforts of SMEDAN and NIPC in improving the capacities of SMEs.
Alabi said that the programme would enable SMEs markets to be known, adding that it would also improve their productions.
He urged robust networking among SMEs, MNEs and LLCs to enable them to remain in business.
Alabi said that for small businesses to thrive, there should be hand holding from government and big enterprises.
Mr Olarenwaju Oyekanmi, Managing Director of Alagura Farms Ltd., manufacturers of cassava for industries.
hailed SMEDAN and NIPC for organising the programme.
He, however, decried low turnout of big manufacturing companies at the event, and called for fine-tuning to achieve better results.
Edited by: Ijeoma Popoola
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