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Thursday, September 12, 2019

Health: Oloibiri attracts PPP for Nigeria - NaijaAgroNet

NaijaAgroNet:
The first phase of the Oloibiri Health Programme (OHP) was recently inaugurated and comprises of the remodelled General Hospital, Kolo; Water Treatment Plant; Hybrid Solar Powered System; Medical Laboratory Equipment at the College of Health Technology, Otuogidi and the Dental Chair at the Demonstration Clinic, Otuogidi (one of the 14 OHP network of facilities). Over 17,000 people and 20 Communities have benefited from the programme over the last three years, in addition to training of 117 facility and community health workers and business mentorship to 100 entrepreneurs. In 2015, GE Healthcare and Shell Companies in Nigeria (Shell) signed an MOU to establish the comprehensive healthcare project in Ogbia Local Government Area (LGA), Bayelsa State.
“The OHP is an expansive initiative being implemented in three phases. As part of the first Phase, the General Hospital Kolo will serve as a referral hub providing 24 hours service with linkages to five Health-for-Life Centres and 13 Ward Health Centres. The second phase projects consists of Oloibiri Health-for-Life Centre, a Ward Health Centre, and a Knowledge Management and Research Centre to be completed by the end of October 2019.The third phase will be the establishment of the pilot Ogbia Community Health Insurance Scheme that will anchor the sustainability of the OHP and will deliver healthcare services using a network of facilities. This is expected to start in December 2019.” Said Mr. Osagie Okunbor, Managing Director, the Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria Limited (SPDC) and Country Chair, Shell Companies in Nigeria.

The OHP is a transformational health intervention programme championed by Shell as part of its Social Investment Programme, and in commemoration of the centenary celebrations of Nigeria delivered by GE Healthcare from February 2015 to August 2019. Other key programme partners include Bayelsa State Government/ Ministry of Health, Ogbia Local Government Area, Federal University Otuoke, and World Bank/International Finance Corporation.

“Strengthening healthcare systems at the primary and secondary levels is key in accelerating Nigeria’s vision for Universal Health Coverage,” said Eyong Ebai, General Manager, GE Healthcare West, Central & French Sub-Sahara Africa. “The OHP is an excellent example of the impact collaborations in the healthcare sector can attain, in driving sustainable healthcare solutions and access to quality and affordable healthcare for all across the country.” Mr. Ebai added that with over 40 years of operation in Nigeria, GE Healthcare was focused on partnering with public and private health providers to support the country’s sustainable healthcare development.

The OHP through targeted efforts seeks to strengthen the existing health system, promote world class service delivery and uptake, establish a learning and operations research institute, and enhance social determinants of health within communities. The programme has taken a more holistic and unique approach by addressing challenges across the entire health system in a given population, with a wider scope including infrastructure upgrade, capacity building and training, availability of drugs, health insurance, strengthening data and overall health information management. It also has an explicit focus on social determinants of health which are outside the health system but have huge impact on the health of individuals and communities such as employment, water, sanitation and hygiene, electricity among others.

“In the next decades, economic growth in nations will be driven by the extent of human capital accumulation. This is why I am particularly proud of the launch of this programme, because it prepares the people of Ogbia LGA for the challenges of the next century. Human capital development cannot become a reality if the people lack basic healthcare needs, education, skills and capabilities” Said Dr. Olumide Okunola, Senior Health Specialist at the World Bank/International Finance Corporation.

He added that Oloibiri, which was where Nigeria first discovered oil in commercial quantity over six decades ago, has made another first in the country by attaining Universal Health Coverage (UHC).

The Permanent Secretary Bayelsa State Ministry of Health, Dr Inodu Apoku KSC said, “The OHP is a good example of how as a state we are fast-tracking achievement of UHC through collaborations with private, development and other stakeholders as part of our Bayelsa State Strategic Health Development Plan. This will help ensure our citizenry have access to comprehensive, appropriate, affordable quality essential health care through revitalization of Primary Health Care.”

The attainment of UHC for both Nigeria and Africa at large requires continuous innovation of health systems at both primary and secondary healthcare levels. The success of the OHP in particular demonstrates the critical role of the private sector as a source of funding for universal access to a guaranteed package of health services at an affordable price and for provision of services which is used to leverage public financing. Health for all is possible through deliberate public and private collaborations in scalable initiatives such as the OHP, geared towards improving the quality of life for the citizens. 
Isaac Oyimah/Editor

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Monday, September 9, 2019

Shell decries crude theft, vandalism in Niger Delta - NaijaAgroNet

NaijaAgroNet:

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With a daily loss of about 10,000 barrels of oil from its pipelines to crude oil theft, The Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria Limited (SPDC) has cried out for help from government, communities and other stakeholders to stem the incessant attack on oil assets in the Niger Delta.

“These are critical national assets with 55 percent government interest and they produce the crude oil that accounts for over 90% of Nigeria’s foreign exchange and the bulk of government revenue. Hurting these assets means hurting the nation’s revenue, the economy of the states, the health of the people and the environment,” SPDC’s General Manager External Relations, Igo Weli, said on Monday at a media workshop on Pipelines Right of Way Encroachment and Vandalism held in Port Harcourt, Rivers State capital city where the company has its headquarters.

“Crude oil theft on the pipeline network resulted in a loss of around 11,000 barrels of oil a day in 2018, which is more than the approximate 9,000 bbl/d in 2017, Weli said, adding that since 2012, SPDC had removed more than 1,160 illegal theft points on its joint venture pipelines in the Niger Delta.

In its June 2019 monthly report, Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation which controls Nigeria’s 55 percent interest in the SPDC JV said there was a 77% rise in oil pipeline vandalism and that 106 pipeline breaches were recorded in June, up from 60 in May.

Weli said SPDC was concerned about the lives and safety of those involved in pipeline vandalism and crude theft just as the company was concerned about the environment. “As a responsible organisation, we put safety first and have constantly made this appeal to those involved in crude theft in the Niger Delta to stop destroying their land and heritage from the spill and pollution arising from their activities.”

He described crude oil theft and artisanal refining of stolen crude as criminal acts “that are not only against the law but are also capable of mortgaging the future of the community.”

Also speaking SPDC’s General Manager, Safety and Environment, Chidube Nnene-Anochie, noted that illegal refining and third-party interference with pipelines were the main sources of pollution in the Niger Delta. According to Nnene-Anochie, in 2018 alone, “third party interference caused close to 90% of the number of spills of more than 100 kilograms from SPDC JV pipelines.”

Represented by SPDC’s Compliance Monitoring Lead, Temitope Ajibade, Nnene-Anochie said no spill was acceptable to the company. “A key priority for Shell companies in Nigeria remains to achieve the goal of no spills from our operations. No spill is acceptable, and we work hard to prevent them. However, SPDC cleans and remediates areas impacted by spills from its facilities irrespective of the cause.”

On the measures taken by the company to stem crude theft, she explained SPDC had enhanced its community-based pipeline surveillance while promoting alternative livelihoods through Shell’s flagship youth entrepreneurship programme, Shell LiveWIRE. “Between 2003 when Shell LiveWIRE was launched in Nigeria and now, the programme has trained 7,072 Niger Delta youths in enterprise development and provided business start-up grants to 3,817.

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L--R: Senior Research Adviser, Social Performance and Social Investment, The Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria Limited, Kenneth Nweke; Compliance Monitoring Lead, Temitope Ajibade; External Relations Manager, Alice Ajeh; General Manager, External Relations, Igo Weli; Encroachment Management Lead, Ucheoma Amechi; and Right of Way Lead, John Okojie, at a media workshop on pipeline vandalism and encroachment in Port Harcourt …on Monday

African Green Revolution Forum 2019: AfDB, partners relaunch platform - NaijaAgroNet

The African Development Bank, the Rockefeller Foundation and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation have relaunched a platform to assist African agriculture ministers and other key stakeholders to promote strong growth in agricultural production and value addition in their countries, reports NaijaAgroNet.

The partners launched the new Leadership for Agriculture (L4AG) Forum on 2nd September 2019, during the African Green Revolution Forum (AGRF).

Ghana’s Minister of Food and Agriculture Dr. Owusu Afriyie Akoto, who delivered the keynote address told attendees the platform was an important tool for learning lessons from each other, “but most importantly, to help move us to a more dynamic agriculture.”

“Countries spend so much money on food subsidy programs and would like to see better yields. At the end of the day, we would like to have a clear program to address agriculture efficiently and sustainably,” said Dr. Martin Fregene, African Development Bank Director for Agriculture and Agro-Industry.

“Agriculture has to be private sector led, and it is expected to reach $1 trillion dollars…therefore the government should reduce investment risks and improve management of policy environment to ensure that agriculture thrives,” Fregene added.

This year’s AGRF brought together more than 2,000 policy, decision makers and technocrats from Africa’s agricultural sector.

The L4AG Forum is a unique platform for public and private sector leaders to interact learn from each other and strategize on how to overcome challenges hampering agricultural and economic growth on the continent.

The new L4AG will seek commitment on solutions. As such, future forums will be tailor-made to directly respond to demand by countries – focusing on what countries are really struggling with to implement effectively and get desired results.

During a series of presentations and roundtable discussions, participants shared experiences challenges and opportunities in various ICT-led agricultural subsidy distribution programs as well as lessons learned in implementing programs proven to increase crop yields, farm productivity and incomes for farmers.

Nick Austin, Director of Agricultural Development with the Global Development Program at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation said the organization is committed to supporting governments create an enabling environment to develop broad-based agricultural plans, despite the challenges posed by planning and monitoring.

He said: “The needs and priority of countries can vary but we can learn from one another and avoid mistakes of the past. We need to seek insights, find solutions, understand what works, looking for a module for success and avoid the usual pitfalls.”

Isaac Oyimah/Editor

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Tuesday, September 3, 2019

Time to Make Energy Work for Africa - NaijaAgroNet

It is long past time that we made energy work for Africa. It is past time that Africa’s natural resources benefited Africans; that every African had access to electricity; and that the wealth created by oil and gas would lead to the sustainable development of African economies.

Certainly, much needs to be done to make these dreams a reality, and the continent’s top leaders in the energy industry will gather in Cape Town on October 9-11 in Africa Oil & Power 2019 to drive the conversation forward and #MakeEnergyWork.

Thankfully, success stories and opportunities abound.

The incredible story of Senegal, for example, stands as a roadmap on creating a transparent government; building the needed infrastructure to support future development; creating an attractive regulatory framework to bring in much-needed FID and new investment; and for using the oil and gas sector to spur new growth.

The country, led by H.E. Macky Sall, the President of the Republic of Senegal, has seen tremendous growth in the last decade, consistently ranking in the top ten fastest-growing economies in the world. Government reforms, led by Sall, have improved Senegal’s image both domestically and abroad, encouraging a string of new investment in oil and gas, electricity, roads, fisheries and tourism.

The outlook for the country’s oil and gas sector, led by Sall, is bullish, with two of the world’s most-watched projects -- SNE oilfield and the Great Tortue/Ahmeyim gas project -- moving forward. Both are expected to start producing export revenues in the early 2020s.

H.E. Sall, winner of the prestigious “Africa Oil Man of the Year” award during the 2019 Africa Oil & Power conference, has certainly provided Africans with a strong example of leadership and cooperation. We are honored to recognize and support H.E. Sall’s achievements and continued efforts at 
Africa Oil & Power.

At Atlas-Oranto, we are proud to be leading pioneers in the sustainable development of Africa’s energy sector, ensuring growth in countries like South Sudan, where we are honored to operate Block B3; in Equatorial Guinea where we operate Block I and in Nigeria, where we operate OML109. In total, Atlas-Oranto is active in 11 countries in Africa and we are committed to working with the governments and communities of these countries to ensure our operations meet the highest standards of energy development. In Equatorial Guinea, for example, we are currently investing $350 million into the country’s gas monetization and backfill project.

At Atlas-Oranto -- Africa’s largest privately-held, Africa-focused exploration and production group -- we have faith in Africans, and we invest heavily in frontier markets so that the continent as a whole can continue to grow. We know first-hand what it takes to get new investments off the ground and how to grow small-to-medium enterprises. It takes boots on the ground, as well as understanding and coordination with our brothers and sisters around the world.

Indeed, with new investment opportunities on the horizon and a new drive to cooperate across borders, now is the time to spur this sustainable growth in Africa with energy as the catalyst.

At Africa Oil & Power 2019, many of these opportunities will be featured, including the ongoing licensing rounds in Equatorial Guinea and Angola; the launch of the South Sudan licensing round; and more.

For three days, over 1,200 of Africa’s foremost thought leaders, industry experts, private sector executives and government officials will gather together to discuss the incredible role of technology in Africa’s energy sector; the rise of renewables; the incredible upstream opportunities from South Africa to Senegal and the need for cooperation.

*By Prince Arthur Eze/Editor

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