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Thursday, June 13, 2019

Crude theft: Shell loses 11,000 bopd in 2018 - NaijaAgroNet

The Shell Nigeria has lost some 11,000 barrels of oil per day in 2018 alone, reports NaijaAgroNet.

Just as they called for stakeholders’ concerted efforts to curb the incessant vandalism of crude oil-bearing pipelines, highlighting the danger of continuous sabotage to people and environment. 

The General Manager, External Relations of The Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC), Mr. Igo Weli, said such efforts to curb pipeline sabotage will save lives, secure communities and protect the environment.

Weli spoke in Lagos on Thursday at a Media Workshop on Pipelines Right of Way Encroachment and Vandalism. 

“Shell is concerned the repeated sabotage of recently repaired pipelines exposes the environment and people to renewed and worsening pollution. Oil theft is focused on short term fiscal benefits, ignoring the long-term effects of environmental degradation.”

“Since 2017, sabotage spill rate has risen steeply and crude oil theft from SPDC JV’s pipeline network averaged 11, 000 barrels per day in 2018, an increase of about 20% over previous year. The number of sabotage-related spills increased in 2018 to 111 compared to 62 in 2017 and, since 2012, SPDC has removed more than 1,160 illegal theft points,” he said.

Also speaking at the workshop, Shell’s General Manager, Safety and Environment, Chidube Nnene-Anochie, said irrespective of the cause, SPDC cleans and remediates areas impacted by spills from its facilities.”

According to Nnene-Anochie, “SPDC implements work programmes to appraise condition of, maintain and replace key sections of pipelines and flowlines. In 2018, for example, we installed 70 kilometres of pipelines and 188 kilometres of flowlines. Over the last seven years, SPDC has replacedapproximately 1,300 kilometres distance of flow lines and pipelines.”

She said, “In line with industry regulations, SPDC only pays compensation if the spill is operational.”

Towards the UNEP Report-guided Ogoni Clean Up, Weli said, “SPDC actively supports the clean-up process along with other stakeholders. SPDC remains fully committed to providing its share of $900 million (N283.73 billion) over five years to the Ogoni Trust Fund as stipulated in the Hydrocarbon Pollution Remediation Project (HYPREP) gazette and the agreed governance framework.”

“The SPDC JV has completed its first-year contribution of $180 million (N54.54 billion). Early 2017, the SPDC JV made available $10 million to help set up HYPREP office and in July 2018, joint venture deposited additional $170 million (N51.52 billion) into an escrow account to fund HYPREP’s activities.”

The company said it is also collaborating with communities to effectively patrol pipelines’ rights-of-way through direct surveillance and GMoU surveillance, proactively engaging government security agencies to prevent crude theft and vandalism and carrying out awareness campaigns to educate community members, surveillance contractors and general public of the requirements of the 1990 Pipeline Act which prohibits any third-party activities 100ft from existing oil and gas right-of-way.

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Pic: L-R: Encroachment Management Lead, The Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria Limited (SPDC), Ucheoma Amechi; External Relation Manager, Shell Nigeria Gas, Babatunde Olaleke; SPDC’s General Manager, External Relations, Igo Weli; Compliance Monitoring Lead, Temitope Ajibade; and Right-of-Way and Encroachment Lead, Okojie John, at a media workshop on Pipeline Right of Way held in Lagos…

Wednesday, June 5, 2019

GSMA dangles agro value chain fund - NaijaAgroNet


The GSMA Innovation Fund for Digitisation of Agricultural Value Chains has open for entries, reports NaijaAgroNet.

The fund, 
NaijaAgroNet gathered aims to scale digital solutions for the agricultural last mile and improve smallholders’ financial inclusion, livelihood and climate resilience.

The priorities of the fund is for enterprise services targeted at organisations (e.g. agribusiness, cooperatives, etc.) procuring from smallholders with the focus on those living on less than USD 2 per day.

Up to eight grants of £220,000 each are being made available to support projects of 24 months duration. In addition, the GSMA will provide in-kind support and consultancy to assist the development of business plans, and service implementation through market research, user-centric design, business intelligence, user-testing with agribusiness staff and smallholders.

Also NaijaAgroNet gathered that grants are available across two categories of application, namely Mobile Money Driven Category and Data Driven Category.

Applications for funding across both categories, 
NaijaAgroNet gathered are assessed through a two-stage application process.

"Concept Note: The first step will be to submit a Concept Note, which outlines the project objectives, lists proposed partners, demonstrates the consortium’s capacity to deliver the project and explains how the project fits within wider strategy of the business owner.

"Business Plan: A short-list of applicants whose Concepts Notes meet the objectives and eligibility requirements of the Fund will be invited to develop a Business Plan which will further outline the strategy for implementing and scaling the service; provide a budget projection with an indication of how the grant is to be spent, and a workplan for the 24 month implementation period.

All eligible applicants at Concept Note stage, irrespective of whether they ultimately receive grant under this Innovation Fund, will be invited to join the GSMA AgriTech Priority Learning Partners Initiative, where they will gain access to a number of knowledge sharing resources and events, including webinars on the topic of enterprise solutions for the last mile.

NaijaAgroNet gathered that submission of Concept Note applications by 31 July 2019 is ideal.

Isaac Oyimah/Editor

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Tuesday, June 4, 2019

Enugu massacre: Tragedy of Internal migration - NaijaAgroNet

In this piece, REMMY NWEKE, revisits the Enugu massacre of 2016 and called for justice for the victims forced into internal migration by Fulani herdsmen despite clues based on technological evidence, over three years after.
Dateline is April 25, 2019. Obulum is a four-year old boy literally discovered after his mother, a widow and two sisters were killed during recent attacks by the Fulani herdsmen in his community in South Eastern part of Nigeria. He could be one of the 541,000 newly displaced as at December 2018, according to the Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre, reports NaijaAgroNet.

As he continued to wander about, members of the security agencies and international aid organisation picked him and sent to the nearby camp for the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs), thus began his internal migration journey.

With the UNICEF's support, 272,316 IDPs including 121,135 children under the age of 5 were reached with integrated primary health care (PHC) services in health facilities in IDP camps and host communities in the three northeast states of Borno, Adamawa and Yobe. This figure is out of the 4.5 million children in need of humanitarian assistance according to Humanitarian Response Plan (HRP July 2018), whereas 7.7 million people were in need within same period.

What’s Internal Migration:
Internal migration, according to experts at open source encyclopedia, Wikipedia, is human migration within one geopolitical entity, usually a nation-state. Internal migration ordinarily could be travel for education and for economic improvement or because of a natural disaster or civil disturbance, which often is the case in Nigeria.

NaijaAgroNet gathered that Internal displacement affects some 25 million people worldwide, thus increasingly recognized as one of the most tragic phenomena of the contemporary world, with attendant traumatic experiences arising from violent conflicts, gross violations of human rights and related causes in which discrimination features significantly; displacement nearly always generates conditions of severe hardship and suffering for the affected populations.

“It breaks up families, cuts social and cultural ties, terminates dependable employment relationships, disrupts educational opportunities, denies access to such vital necessities as food, shelter and medicine, and exposes innocent persons to such acts of violence as attacks on camps, disappearances and rape,” the UN Guiding Principles highlighted, pointing out that whether clustered in camps, escape into the countryside to hide from potential sources of persecution and violence or submerge into the community of the equally poor and dispossessed, the internally displaced are among the most vulnerable populations, desperately in need of protection and assistance.

Obulum, may pass for an internal migrant child from Nimbo, a border town in Uzo-Uwani area of Enugu State in the Nigeria’s South East; where some seven villages- Ekwuru, Nimbo-Ngwoko, Ugwuijoro, Ebor, Enugu-Nimbo, Umuome and Ugwuachara were invaded, and scores massacred by over 500 armed Fulani herdsmen, who are rated the fourth deadliest terror group in the world, in the early hours of April 25, 2016.
NaijaAgroNet gathered that Uzo-Uwani has boundaries with the Southern States of Ebonyi and Anambra, and Central States of Benue and Kogi, where these attacks have increased lately till date.

For Enugu State governor, Chief Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi, the Nimbo terrorism happened due to inability of security agencies to successfully act on the counter intelligence report about herdsmen grouping at neighbouring Odolu in Kogi State in preparation for attack.

Igbo social cultural organisation, Ohanaeze Ndigbo led by Dr Nnia Nwodo, expressed dismay over the seemingly security lapses which led to the terror attack and likelihood of another attack. They asked the government to carry out thorough investigation to bring those responsible to justice and forestall further occurrences. Declaring “Imeobi views with grave concern and unequivocally condemns the recent slaughter by Fulani herdsmen of our defenseless kith and kin in Nimbo, Uzo-Uwani Local Government Area of Enugu State.

The herdsmen, 
NaijaAgroNet reportedly gathered, were bent on occupying a portion of the farming community's land for cattle grazing plotted the attack, and went on to notify the natives about their invasion on April 23, 2016, two days before. This intelligence was promptly reported to security agencies who met but definitely did nothing. However, at about 5.15 am on April 25, 2016, the armed herdsmen numbering over 500 struck killing 40 people. The following day, April 26, 2016, six more bodies were recovered and 14 victims were lying critically ill at Royal Cross Hospital, Nsukka, Nsukka District General Hospital and Bishop Shanahan Hospital, Nsukka.

During the raid, a church, known as Christ Holy Church International, (AKA Odozi-Obodo), at Onu-Eke and 11 houses were burnt by the marauders, resulting in displaced natives fleeing to neighboring communities of Nkpologu and Uvuru, (Uvuru-Agada) even as indigenes of those communities also fled to Nsukka in fear of further attacks.

Invasion of Ukpabi-Nimbo community, known as ‘Enugu Massacre’ by Fulani herdsmen followed similar massacre of hundreds of natives in another farming community, Agatu, Benue State by the same herdsmen, a few weeks before.

There was invasion of neighbouring Abbi, another Uzo Uwani community, by some 30-masked Fulani herdsmen leaving about 19 persons missing and seven houses and motocycles raised.

Still on dateline, April 25, 2016:
Elsewhere on this day, April 25, 2016, in the United States, the known world super power, deployed some 250 more U.S. troops to Syria, and launched cyberattacks on the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, also known as the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS).

In Israel, the youngest Palestinian prisoner aged 12, Ms Dima al-Wawi was freed after pleading guilty on attempted manslaughter after approaching an Israeli West Bank settlement with a knife in February of same year. The fact remains she was a victim of the war between Israel and Palestine for some 52 years as the time of filing this report.

EU Intervention:
So, it was not out of place that the European Union (EU) recently pledged to support Nigeria to stem the tide of irregular migration, as affirmed by the Media Officer, EU Mission in Nigeria, Mr Modestus Chukwulaka, who informed NaijaAgroNet in Enugu, capital of Enugu State recently that EU would also work for the integration of returning migrants. Stressing that the union would through political dialogue and development cooperation with the government deal with drivers of irregular migration. Disclosing that the collaboration would equally unravel the long-term and structural root causes and forced displacement of migrants, especially collaborating with the International Organization for Migration (IOM).

In view to facilitating sustainable reintegration of returning migrants, he said, in April 2017, the EU through its Emergency Trust Fund for Africa (EUTF) launched the Joint Initiative for Migrant Protection and Reintegration in Africa (JIMPRA) with IOM. Noting for instance that within the framework of the joint initiative, 12, 974 stranded Nigerian migrants have been assisted to return to their home country, including 1,158 in 2019. Emphasising that the initiative, wholly funded by EU aims at improving migrant protection, voluntary return and reintegration. It is being implemented by the IOM in collaboration with Nigerian government.

He further said, JIMPRA was anchored on the principles of saving lives, protecting and assisting migrants along migration routes by way of employing actions that are rights-based and protection-focused to ensure the dignity and safety of the assisted people in line with international standards.

“The initiative ensures that the migration process is safer, more informed and better governed for both migrants and their communities of origin,” he said, pointing out that saving and protecting the lives of migrants and refugees, breaking the business model of smugglers and traffickers and providing legal pathways were at the heart of EU’s policy. NaijaAgroNet reports that the Head, EU delegation in Nigeria and Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), Mr Ketil Karlsen assured on resolution of EU to address the root causes of irregular migration, insisting that migration ought to happen out of aspiration, not desperation. Insisting, EU works in all areas of migration in Nigeria, including migration management, labour migration, irregular migration, return and reintegration, mobility and international protection.

UN Guiding Principle on Internal Migration:
The international community, NaijaAgroNet gathered, has become gradually aware of the plight of the internally displaced, thereby taken steps to address their needs via provision of the United Nations (UN) Guiding Principles on Internal Displacement.

Thus paving way for a compilation of human rights and humanitarian law relevant to internally displaced persons, since 1993, at the instance of the Commission on Human Rights, prior Representative of the Secretary-General on internally displaced persons, Francis M. Deng, who prepared the first study on existing law and provided broad protection for the rights of internally displaced persons, in spite of obvious gray areas and gaps.

In Nigeria, for instance, this guideline has been translated into at least some four languages in Nigeria, including Igbo, Hausa, Yoruba and Fulfude outside the English language out of the 53 global languages for ease of understanding.

Accordingly, the Representative of focused the activities of his mandate on developing appropriate normative and institutional frameworks for the protection and assistance of the internally displaced, undertaking country missions in an ongoing dialogue with Governments and others concerned, and promoting a systemic international response to the plight of internally displaced populations, despite lack of capacity in discharging the responsibility. On the other hand, it is fair to say that the international community is more inclined than prepared, both normatively and institutionally, to respond effectively to the phenomenon of internal displacement.

Working in close collaboration in 1996 with a team of international legal experts, the Representative prepared a Compilation and Analysis of Legal Norms relevant to the needs and rights of the internally displaced and to the corresponding duties and obligations of States and the international community for protection and assistance.

NaijaAgroNet noted that the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) has since developed a manual, based on the Compilation and Analysis, for the practical use of its staff, especially in field operations. As there are indications that other organizations and agencies emulated UNHCR.

As the anniversary has come and gone unannounced, with the only known report of any investigations over the April 25, 2016 attack on Uzo-Uwani communities, was the five-man arrest reportedly made on May 2016, barely a month after by the operatives of the Inspector General of Police (IGP’s) Intelligence Response Team (IRT) viz: Mohammed Zurai, Ciroma Musa, Sale Adamu, Suleiman Laute and Haruna Laute, and recovered one Gionee L88 mobile phone with a memory card containing the video recording of the massacre in the community.

As such no one has conclusively been brought to book yet and no seeming justice for the Nimbo victims like Obulum, who is now eight years, even as there are rumours that even the five suspects arrested since 2016 that nothing is heard of them again afterwards.

It’s hoped that EU pledge has come to fruition, but will the IDPs get the help earnestly needed to have a change of life, including the likes of Obulum, without misappropriation of the aids.

Maybe, domestication of the UN Guiding Principles on IDPs across 36 states of Nigeria will be a plus to understanding the enormity of conflict and internally displaced persons in our midst. While security agencies must take intelligence seriously and work with requisite information.

Above all, IDPs deserve better life like every one of us. After all, who knows tomorrow?

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*The Fulani herdsmen arrested by Police on Enugu Massacre - Mohammed Zurai, Ciroma Musa, Sale Adamu, Suleiman Laute and Haruna Laute. Courtesy Punch.

Sunday, May 26, 2019

Zenith Bank shines with greenhouse feat - NaijaAgroNet


The Zenith Bank Plc has been presented with a Certificate for Greenhouse Gas Auditing by V4 Advisors after a successful completion of the Bank’s Greenhouse Gas Audit for the 2018 Financial Year, reports NaijaAgroNet.

The presentation of the certificate and the report of the Auditors, NaijaAgroNet gathered was done by V4 Advisors at the Zenith Bank Head Office on May 21, 2019.

The Executive Director, Dr. Temitope Fasoranti, who received the certificate on behalf of the Bank said the Bank started this effort with the 2016 Financial Year and has carried out three greenhouse gas audits to date.  He explained that the Bank understands the relationship between greenhouse gas emission and climate change and appreciates the role it is expected to play towards combating the menace of climate change.

Also speaking on the milestone, the Country Manager Lynsey Elston highlighted that Zenith Bank is the first Nigerian bank to consecutively report the carbon emissions of their Head Office in Lagos using a certified tool which is built on the internationally recognized “GHG Protocol”. She commended the bank for proving its commitment to United Nations Global Compact (UNGC) Goal 13, Climate Action, in addition to complying with Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) Standards"..  In response to her, the Executive Director said the initiative has significantly helped the bank reduce its overall carbon footprints and drive energy efficiency.

V4 Advisors is a UAE-based provider of advisory and consulting solutions on climate change and greenhouse gas emissions. The firm’s calculation and reporting tool has been reviewed by the World Resources Institute (WRI) for conformance with the GHG Protocol Corporate Standard.

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Thursday, May 16, 2019

Mozambique, ARC sign MoU to mitigate drought, floods - NaijaAgroNet

The African Risk Capacity (ARC) Agency and the Government of Mozambique have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to provide mid to long-term solutions against the recurrent episodes of drought, floods, and tropical cyclones in the country, reports NaijaAgroNet.

The MoU serves as “a framework to facilitate cooperation and collaboration between the ARC Agency and the Government, and to define the terms and conditions under which the Government and the ARC Agency will work together to address the impact of Extreme Climate Events on Mozambique, including through support provided by the ARC Agency for Mozambique, training of Government officials and other efforts in support of Mozambique objectives.”

Mozambique, which is emerging from two tropical cyclones, is vulnerable to climate change because of its location and geography which expose large areas of the country to tropical cyclones, droughts (every three to four years) and river/coastal storm surge flooding. This vulnerability is heightened by the country’s 2,470 km of coastline and socioeconomic fragility which puts infrastructure, coastal agriculture, key ecosystems and fisheries at risk.

Speaking about the signing of the MoU, the United Nations Assistant Secretary-General and Director-General of ARC, Mohamed Beavogui indicated that the aim is to work with the Government of Mozambique to understand its own risk profile vis-à-vis the various perils facing the country and develop customised response plans.

“ARC is a Development Insurance Mechanism which links risk profiling, contingency planning and a payout. “Although insurance will never cover all the risks associated with a peril in each country, the ARC approach allows for the risks to be managed in a way that multiplies the benefits from limited resources available to Government. Therefore, helping to save more lives and livelihoods at the early stage of a disaster…before the arrival of humanitarian assistance…,” ASG Beavogui stated.

“The Government of the Mozambique appreciates the onset of formal collaboration with the African Risk Capacity” said HE Adriano Afonso Maleiane, Mozambique’s Minister of Economy and Finance. “We expect that the MoU will initial a well-coordinated take-off of activities towards strengthening the capacities of our climate management authority officials as well as other personnel to better understand our risk profile and provide quicker responses in the event of natural disasters,” he concluded.

Under the MoU, the Government of Mozambique and the ARC Agency will work together through the Program to prepare for the potential participation of the Government as an ARC Ltd member. At the end of the Program, the Government will decide whether to participate in ARC Ltd and its level of participation.

Government involvement in the Program does not commit it to participate in ARC Ltd but rather support an informed decision-making process on climate risk insurance.

ARC is working with other development partners including the African Development Bank as well as the World Bank towards a premium financing support to Mozambique when it decides to take the sovereign disaster risk insurance coverage. 

Isaac Oyimah/Editor

Pix; UN-ASG / Director-General African Risk Capacity, Mohamed Beavogui and HE Adriano Afonso Maleiane, Mozambique’s Minister of Economy and Finance during one of the discussions leading to the signing of the MoU

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Wednesday, May 15, 2019

Merck Foundation mets Kenyan First Lady to underscore healthcare capacity - NaijaAgroNet

Merck Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Merck KGaA Germany underscored their commitment to build healthcare capacity in Kenya during a high level meeting held at the State House between The First Lady of Kenya, H.E. Madam Margaret Kenyatta and Dr. Rasha Kelej, CEO of Merck Foundation, reports NaijaAgroNet.

The First Lady of Kenya, had emphasized, it was an honor to meet and hold talks with the Chief Executive Officer of Merck Foundation, Dr. Rasha Kelej. 

"I am looking forward to partnering in the training of more oncologists and experts in diabetes and infertility management, as well as in @BeyondZeroKenya” she said.

Dr. Rasha Kelej, CEO of Merck Foundation and President, Merck More Than a Mother explained, “I am proud and elated to meet Her Excellency The First Lady of Kenya, to discuss Merck Foundation’s commitment to improve the health and wellbeing of people of Kenya by improving access to quality and equitable healthcare in the country by training more doctors in the fields of Fertility, Cancer and Diabetes care through nationwide programs. Also, to work closely to break the stigma of infertility in Kenya and other African countries.”

Uj. N. Dominic/Editor

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Tuesday, May 14, 2019

Fayemi commissions Gossy Water plant - NaijaAgroNet

NaijaAgroNet: The Ekiti State Governor, Dr Kayode Fayemi, has commissioned Gossy Water Production plant, signalling the commencement of full scale production of the popular table water brand, a year after the parent company was liquidated, reports NaijaAgroNet.

The entire Ikogosi was tuned into a carnival, Tuesday, as both the young and the old trooped to the major streets as early as 6.00am singing and dancing in celebration of the return of the company.

Governor Fayemi who led other dignitaries to commission the plant, said it was regrettable that the Gossy Water Company which could have been generating revenues for the State went moribund due to lack of conducive environment for ease of doing business in Ekiti State after he left office in 2014.

The Governor recalled that the bottling company was established as a joint business venture under Otunba Adeniyi Adebayo, the first civilian Governor of the State and the investment “made waves in the market thereby boosting the IGR of the State and creating job opportunities for the citizens”.

He described the revitalisation of the company as another milestone in the state government’s determined efforts to revive moribund projects in Ekiti State.

“I am particularly excited about this development because of its expected multiplier effects on the economic lives of the people and governance in the State. I therefore congratulate Ekiti kete, home and abroad, for the restoration of this company which is an offshoot of one of our most prominent tourist attractions, the Ikogosi Warm Springs”, he said.

While lamenting the neglect of the tourism corridors of Ekiti State by the last administration, the governor said Ikogosi resort has now become “a ghost of its former self and hardly enjoys patronage because of its state of dilapidation”.

Dr Fayemi, however, assured that his administration would soon revive the warm spring resort, through private sector investment, and restore it to its pride of place as a first class tourist destination in Africa, with

While promising that his government would ensure an enabling environment for businesses to thrive, the governor said his administration has mapped out strategic plans towards the resuscitation of other abandoned and moribund investments in the State.

The governor commended one of the leaders of Ekiti socio-cultural group, Ugbimo Ure Ekiti, Sir Remi Omotoso for playing a key role in ensuring that the Gossy Water Company returns and called on other Ekiti indigenes to support government in moving the State forward.

In his speech, the Board Chairman of Gossy Warm Spring, Mr Wole Adeyegbe expressed the readiness of the company to run the Gossy brand profitably and extending the brand to related food and beverage segment.

Adeyegbe added that the company has employed Ekiti indigenes, adding that it is planning to have at least 300 of its direct and indirect staff from the State.

Earlier, the Group Managing Director of Fountain Holdings Ltd, Mr Seyi Ayeleso thanked Governor Fayemi for working with Benin Electricity Distribution Company to restore power to Ikogosi Ekiti and its two neighbouring communities; saying that this would help forestall a re-occurrence of power challenge which was part of the reasons for its liquidation by its owner company, UAC.

Isaac Oyimah/Editor

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Pix: L-R: Production Engineer, Gossy water, Engr Ayodeji Ojo; Ekiti State Governor; Dr. Kayode Fayemi and former Managing Director oodua Investment Company, Sir Remi Omotoso; inspecting production process, during the commissioning of Gossy water production plant in Ikogosi-Ekiti…on Tuesday

Monday, May 13, 2019

Shell targets equivalent of 2,400MW electricity from new gas supply project - NaijaAgroNet

The ongoing Assa North/Ohaji South gas development project in Imo State, southeast Nigeria will produce 600 million standard cubic feet of gas per day, energy equivalent of about 2400 Megawatts which is enough to provide uninterrupted electricity to about 2.4 million homes, Managing Director, The Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria Limited (SPDC) and Country Chair, Shell Companies in Nigeria, Osagie Okunbor said on Monday, reports NaijaAgroNet.

Okunbor spoke at the media launch of the 2019 edition of the Shell in Nigeria Briefing Notes, an annual publication detailing the activities of the business interests of the global energy giant in Nigeria covering SPDC, Shell Nigeria Exploration and Production Company (SNEPCo), Shell Nigeria Gas and the Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas.

SPDC took the final investment decision on the Assa North/Ohaji South project last December giving a major momentum to the domestic gas aspiration of the Federal Government for increased power generation and industrialisation.

Giving a breakdown of the gas production, Okunbor said 300 million standard cubic feet of gas per day would be processed at a new gas processing plant owned by the SPDC Joint Venture while the remaining 300 million will go to a proposed gas processing plant by SEPLAT Petroleum.

Okunbor said, “The project would be a major game-changer in Nigeria’s quest for energy sufficiency and economic growth as we look to grow the domestic gas market.” He added that the SPDC and its joint venture partners – NNPC, Total and Agip – would continue to explore other areas of support for the expansion of domestic gas supply and continue to make investments under the right conditions.

The Assa North/Ohaji South Gas Development Project ranks top among the Federal Government’s Seven Critical Gas Development Projects aimed at accelerating Nigeria’s aspiration for energy sufficiency and diverse industrial growth.

Explaining the company’s gas development strategy, SPDC’s General Manager External Relations, Igo Weli, said Shell was transforming to a gas-oriented business and currently accounts for about 10 percent of Nigeria’s domestic gas most of which is used for power generation.

SPDC and SNEPCo continue to contribute tremendously to the Nigerian economy. They paid N515.14 billion to the Federal Government in 2018 in taxes, royalties and levies while contracts worth N393.94 billion were awarded to Nigerian companies in the same year.

These contributions, according the 2019 Shell in Nigeria Briefing Notes, are aside the N39.58 billion paid to the Niger Delta Development Commission and another N44.36 billion disbursed for various community-driven projects in the Niger Delta under the SPDC JV Global Memorandum of Understanding.

Shell Companies in Nigeria also made direct spending of N17.03 billion on social investment projects making Nigeria the largest concentration of social investment spending in the Shell Group.

Those who attended the Briefing Notes launch included the SNEPCo’s Managing Director, Bayo Ojulari; SNG’s MD, Ed Ubong and the SPDC’s General Manager External Relations, Igo Weli.

Uboshe Uboshe/Editor

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Erelu Fayemi laments 60% of out-of-School children in Nigeria are females - NaijaAgroNet

NaijaAgroNet: The Wife of Ekiti State Governor, Erelu Bisi Fayemi, has bemoaned the increasing number of out of school children in the country, saying that 60 per cebnt of out of school children in Nigeria have been found to be females, reports NaijaAgroNet.

The Ekiti State first Lady said available statistics indicated that the girl child accounted for over six million out of the 10.5 million that lack access to formal education in the country. She outlined this as one of the major impediments to the progress and leadership of Nigerian Women.

Stressing that presently, women representation at the National Assembly and other levels of government is almost non-existential, she, however, predicted that with the gradual conscious efforts being made to sensitize women, there would be a better representation in future elections.

Erelu Fayemi stated this on Thursday while delivering the 5th Distinguished lecture of the University of Medical Sciences, Ondo, titled: 'Clapping With One Hand: Female Education, Leadership and the Quest for National Development'.

In her lecture, the First Lady noted that the atrocities committed by terrorist groups such as Boko Haram have had a devastating effect on millions of citizens, particularly women and children. This, according to her has disrupted the education of many children, with a dire implication on their future and in turn the future of the country.

She added that despite their successes and achievements, millions of women and girls still suffer from the feminization of poverty, lack of access to basic resources, diseases, violent conflict and the complex use of culture, religion and tradition to render the female gender voiceless in the society.

According to Erelu Fayemi, "the gains of women are often eroded when faced with a combination of the following obstacles: Patriarchal Power and Privilege; violent conflict and displacement; lack of political will; religious and cultural conservatism; and ideological differences.

"Inaccessible political machineries and godfather's syndrome; lack of financial investment required for political office; violence and intimidation; Cultural and attitudinal barriers are major factors that are limiting women and reducing their capacities to rise to the top", she said.

"Patriarchy is a system of male authority which legitimizes the oppression of women through political, social, economic, legal cultural, religious and military institutions.

"Men's access to, and control over resources and rewards within the private and public sphere derives its legitimacy from the patriarchal ideology of male dominance," She explained further.

The First lady added: " If you look at the configuration of the National Assembly since 2011, women representation has always been very bad and this has not given women ample opportunity to participate in setting legal framework that regulates governance. It was better in 2011, dropped in 2015, but became worse in 2019" she said, stressing that these factors should not discourage the women from demanding for their rights.

The Ekiti First Lady further said "Crimes against women are on the increase, gender violence, rape, trafficking, sexual exploitation, discrimination and kidnapping, amongst others. All these issues make the atmosphere very unsafe for women".

Erelu Fayemi called for holistic implementation and enforcement of relevant laws that tend to tame gender inequality and promote women's interest to enhance their relevance in all sectors.

She further advised women "to seek conceptual clarity on gender and feminism, to research use of legislative and policy framework, build a platform to make political demands, encourage inter-generational organising, engage in resource mobilisation, make educational institution safe for female gender, prepare for leadership and build a legacy that can attract public respect.

"These are the different ways that we can reset the agenda and as a society clap with both hands," she noted.

Present at the event were the representative of the Governor of Ondo State, Special Adviser, Education, Dr Wumi Ilawole and Olori Olayinka Kiladejo, Wife of the Osemawe of Ondo.

Uj. N. Dominic/Editor

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North-East: 894 children released from armed group says UNICEF - NaijaAgroNet

A total of 894 children, including 106 girls, were released from the ranks of the Civilian Joint Task Force (CJTF) in Maiduguri, north-east Nigeria today, as part of its commitment to end and prevent the recruitment and use of children, reports NaijaAgroNet.

The CJTF is a local militia that helps the Nigerian security forces in the fight against insurgency in north-east Nigeria. It was formed in 2013, with the aim of protecting communities from attack.

“Any commitment for children that is matched with action is a step in the right direction for the protection of children’s rights and must be recognised and encouraged,” said Mohamed Fall, Representative of UNICEF in Nigeria and the Co-chair of United Nations Country Task Force on Monitoring and Reporting on Grave Child Rights Violations (CTFMR).

“Children of north-east Nigeria have borne the brunt of this conflict. They have been used by armed groups in combatant and non-combatant roles and witnessed death, killing and violence. This participation in the conflict has had serious implications for their physical and emotional well-being." 

Since September 2017, when the CJTF signed an action plan committing to put measures in place to end and prevent recruitment and use of children, 1,727 children and young people have been released. Since then, there has been no new recruitment of children by the CJTF.

The children and young people released today will benefit from reintegration programmes to help them return to civilian life, seize new opportunities for their own development, and contribute to bringing lasting peace in Nigeria, as productive citizens of their country. Without this support, many of the children released from armed groups struggle to fit into civilian life, as most are not educated and have no vocational skills.

In the ongoing armed conflict in north-east Nigeria, more than 3,500 children were recruited and used by non-state armed groups between 2013 and 2017. Others have been abducted, maimed, raped and killed.

“We cannot give up the fight for the children, as long as children are still affected by the fighting. We will continue until there is no child left in the ranks of all armed groups in Nigeria,” said Fall.

UNICEF continues to work closely with state authorities and partners to support the implementation of reintegration programmes for all children released from armed groups, as well as others affected by the ongoing conflict. The gender and age-appropriate community-based reintegration support interventions include an initial assessment of their well-being, psychosocial support, education, vocational training, informal apprenticeships, and opportunities to improve livelihoods

At least 9,800 people formerly associated with armed groups, as well as vulnerable children in communities, have accessed such services between 2017 and 2018.

Uboshe Uboshe/Editor
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