Oil & Gas

AKK gas pipeline project contract not inflated -NNPC

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The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) said the Ajaokuta-Kaduna-Kano (AKK) Gas Pipeline Project was not inflated to the tune of 1.527 billion dollars, as alleged in an online media outfit.


The corporation disclosed this in a statement signed by its spokesman, Dr Kennie Obateru, in Abuja on Monday.

He described the accusation as false, baseless and unfounded.

Obateru noted that the NNPC was considering instituting legal actions against the medium and her collaborators.

He added that the corporation brought the accusation to the attention of the Bureau for Public Procurement (BPP) which rejected the speculative analysis of the online medium as false and not portraying the true position of the BPP’s report on the subject.

“This is clearly a concocted analysis aimed at attacking the character of the Group Managing Director (GMD) of NNPC, Malam Mele Kyari, and the integrity of the Bureau of Public Procurements (BPP).

“Kyari did not become the GMD until July 2019 and he is being mentioned in a process that took place in 2017 by the account of the publication.

“This is rather unfortunate and malicious, considering that a further cut of 300 million dollars of the contract value was achieved under the Mele Kyari-led NNPC management, leading to the recognition by the Federal Executive Council as an unprecedented action,” he said.

He explained that BPP, following a detailed review and analysis of the procurement bid, confirmed that the unit costs for line pipes adopted by the NNPC for the project were reasonable when compared with current market prices for 40”, 36”, 20” and 14” steel pipes.

He added that it was on that basis that BPP confirmed and granted certificate of no objection dated Aug. 11, 2017.

The spokesman further said that the AKK project underwent a transparent and open competitive tender process that resulted in the emergence of the most competitive bidders.

“Approval of all relevant authorities were obtained after an intense scrutiny by the various agencies. This is a deliberate attempt to mislead the Nigerian public with baseless information,” he said

He said the AKK pipeline project was one of the key landmark projects that have had transparent processes from inception to date, with the entire evaluation exercise carried out by NNPC and Infrastructure Concession Regulatory Commission (ICRC).

He cited the various stringent due process reviews and scrutiny, internally and externally, which the AKK pipeline project was subjected to include:

“Conduct of project bankability study, at project’s conception in 2013, undertaken by Standard Chartered Bank to confirm appetite for attracting financing from international community.

‘Execution of project feasibility and Front End Engineering Design (FEED) by a reputable international company, ILF of Germany, in 2014.

“The details developed at this phase had enough engineering design details to enable a competitive class of estimate to be submitted by the contractors.

“Advertisement of the project in both local and foreign print media in 2013, after completion of the FEED study by ILF in 2015, the prequalified bidders were issued tender documents,” he said.

Other processes, he said, was competitive tendering and evaluation of the bids by both NNPC and transaction advisers, Alpine and also by a team from ICRC

Also, extensive review of the project design and the final cost in 2017 by the BPP, culminating in the issuance of a Certificate of No Objection in August 2017.

“Receipt of due process certificates for the project, including Original Business Case and Final Business Case from ICRC and Local Content Compliance Certificate from Nigerian Content Development and Management Board (NCDMB) before presenting to the Federal Executive Council (FEC) for approval in December 2017.

“Renegotiation of the contract when financing was not to be provided by the contractors following a stalemate due to the inability of the company awarded the contract to progress financing in 2019, leading to further cut of 300 million dollars of the contract value, among others,” added.

He called on all well-meaning Nigerians to give the Kyari NNPC led management the credit it deserved, even as it encouraged them to follow the execution of the project.

This, he said was being undertaken in a transparent and aggressive manner in line with Transparency, Accountability, Performance Excellence Agenda of the Corporation.

Edited By: Chioma Ugboma/Ismail Abdulaziz
Source: NAN

https://nnn.ng/akk-gas-pipeline-project-contract-not-inflated-nnpc/

COVID-19

NCDC records 97 new COVID-19 infections, total cases now 57, 242

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The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) has recorded  97 new coronavirus (COVID-19) infections in the country, bringing the total confirmed cases to 57, 242 nationwide.


The NCDC disclosed this on its official twitter handle on Sunday .

It added that three persons died of COVID-19 complications while 138 patients, who recovered at various isolation centres across the country the same day, were discharged.

Based on the figures released, Lagos state recorded the highest number of infections with 46 new cases.

The data released also indicated that Kwara recorded 12 new infections, Rivers 11, and Adamawa 4.

Others were Niger – 4, Ogun – 4, Osun – 4, Ekiti – 3, Imo – 3, Kaduna – 3, Plateau – 2, and Federal Capital Territory (FCT) – 1.

According to the NCDC, the 36 states and FCT have now recorded at least one confirmed case of the virus.

“Till date, 57, 242 cases have been confirmed, 48, 569 cases have been discharged, and 1,098 deaths have been recorded in 36 states and the FCT,” the centre said.

NCDC stated that a multi-sectoral national emergency operations centre (EOC), activated at Level 3, has continued  to coordinate the national response activities across the country.

Edited By: Kamal Tayo Oropo/Emmanuel Yashim
Source: NAN

https://nnn.ng/ncdc-records-97-new-covid-19-infections-total-cases-now-57-242/
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General news

Buhari holds closed-door meeting with Ghanaian president at Aso Villa

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President Muhammadu Buhari on Sunday night met behind closed doors with President Nana Akufo-Addo of Ghana at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.


Bashir Ahmad, the President’s Personal Assistant on New Media, confirmed this on his Twitter handle.

The presidential aide, who could not elaborate on the agenda of the meeting between the two leaders, however, posted pictures in which the Nigerian leader could be seen escorting his guest after the meeting.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the closure of shops owned by Nigerian traders in Ghana had  heightened tensions between the two countries, a situation which led the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama to summon Ghana’s Charge d Affaires to Nigeria, Ms Iva Denoo for discussions.

Onyeama had also met with representatives of Nigerian traders in Ghana, led by Jasper Emenike, the National President of Progressive Ambassadors of Nigeria (PAN), and the organisation’s National Director,  Ruth Ango over the matter.

The Speaker, House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, had also visited Ghana on Sept. 2 with a view to seeing how the issues at stake could be resolved amicably.

According to the speaker, the closure of the Nigerian shops in Ghana contravenes the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) protocol on free movement of citizens of member states, and trade liberalisation scheme.

NAN reports that the ECOWAS Trade Liberalisation Scheme (ETLS) adopted in 1979 with an agreement on agricultural, artisanal handicrafts, and unprocessed products, and extended to industrial products in 1990, is the main framework for trade and market integration in ECOWAS as it addresses protocols on the free movement of goods, persons, and transportation.

The scheme’s main pursuit of consolidating the free trade area is guided by the National Approval Committee that informs the member states.

Similarly, Article (3) of the Revised Treaty of ECOWAS on trade and market integration stipulates the removal of trade barriers and harmonisation of trade policies for the establishment of a Free Trade Area, a Customs Union, a Common Market and an eventual culmination in to a Monetary and Economic Union in West Africa.

NAN further reports that the Ghanaian government had proposed a meeting between the two leaders prior to the one they held behind closed doors on Sunday.

SYC/

Edited By: Emmanuel Yashim
Source: NAN

https://nnn.ng/buhari-holds-closed-door-meeting-with-ghanaian-president-at-aso-villa/
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Sport

Nasarawa state to host teqball championship in November, official says

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Ndudi Edede, Secretary-General of Nigerian Teqball Federation (NTF), says Nasarawa state will host the first edition of the National Teqball Challengers Series scheduled to kick off on Nov. 7.


Edede disclosed this to newsmen in Abuja on Sunday after a meeting between the federation’s national and state officials.

He urged Nasarawa state officials to step up preparations for the series.

”Nasarawa state will serve as a litmus test for the series in view of the fact that the 2020 series will be the maiden series in the country since the commencement of the sport in Nigeria.”

Edede said the first phase of the event would be held on Nov. 7 and Nov. 8 and would provide an opportunity for youths to learn something new.

He added that the second phase of the event would then hold on Nov. 10 and Nov. 11 also in Lafia.

“We had Nasarawa state and the FCT bidding for the hosting rights, and now we are certain that this event will take place in Lafia.

“The national challengers series is a qualifier for the Teqball World Cup slated for Europe towards the late part of this year. So, I am sure Lafia will be a good host,” Edede said.

Speaking also, Promise Uwaeme, NTF’s Director of Competition, said the event in Lafia would be streamed live internationally.

He added that athletes from various states of the country would compete in the singles and doubles events of the competition’s  male and female categories

Uwaeme added that winners in various categories would represent Nigeria at the international level.

“Teqball is an interesting game and you have to be skillful to play teqball. It is played on a curved table with a regular certified ball. You can play with all parts of the body apart from the hands.

“Then the championship will help our players to get world ranking,” he said.

David Allu, The Nasarawa State Chairman of NTF, expressed happiness with the hosting rights given to the state.

He assured the national officials of a strong synergy between the state’s Ministry of Youths and Sports and the NTF, saying this would ensure the events were a huge success.

“We are quite excited that we will be the first state to host this Challengers Series in the country and we will put in our best to collaborate with the state Ministry of Sports to see that we get a befitting venue and get all the arrangements to host this tournament done.”

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that teqball is a ball sport played on a curved table, combining elements of football and table tennis.

Back and forth, the players hit a football with any part of the body except arms and hands.

Teqball can be played between two players as a singles game, or between four players as a doubles game.

The game is represented at an international level by the International Federation of Teqball (FITEQ).

OB/

(
Edited By: Olawale Alabi)
Source: NAN

 

https://nnn.ng/nasarawa-state-to-host-teqball-championship-in-november-official-says/
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Defence/Security

Ebonyi bus accident: FRSC, Police confirm 3 more bodies retrieved from river

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The Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) in Ebonyi has confirmed the recovery of three more corpses from the Akeze-Ukwu River after a Mercedes 608-model bus plunged into the river on Sept.18.


The News Agency of Nigeria , recalls that the bus conveying members of a Church who attended their pastor’s burial was returning to Enugu when the accident occurred.

The bus driver was said to have lost control of the vehicle while trying to overtake an articulated vehicle on the bridge.

Mrs Stella Uchegbu, the FRSC Sector Commander in Ebonyi, told NAN on Sunday evening that the retrieved corpses were deposited at the Mater Misericordae hospital Afikpo.

Uchegbu said that the corps sent its personnel to the hospital, where some rescued victims were being treated, to interact with doctors on the true reports concerning the ‘unfortunate’ incident.

“We have been getting conflicting reports on the casualties so we sent our personnel to the hospital to interact with the doctors handling the cases.

“We were able to ascertain that seven persons were actually rescued from the river on the day of the incident instead of five earlier reported.

“One person was confirmed dead, two persons are presently on admission, two have been officially discharged while two opted to return home having sustained no injuries from the incident,” she said.

Ughegbu said that with the 14 corpses retrieved from the river on the second day of the rescue operations and the three other corpses retrieved on Sunday, the total number of retrieval is 24.

According to her, the total number of dead victims is now 18.

Also, the Ebonyi command of the Nigerian Police Force confirmed in a stateement the retrieval of three more corpses on Sunday, adding that a retired police officer was among the deceased persons.

The statement signed by DSP Loveth Odah, the Police Public Relations Officer, said that “the lifeless body of retired CSP Livinus Mbah was among the retrieved corpses.

“Efforts are still on to recover the remaining 10 persons,” it stated.

Edited By: Dianabasi Effiong/Donald Ugwu
Source: NAN

https://nnn.ng/ebonyi-bus-accident-frsc-police-confirm-3-more-bodies-retrieved-from-river/
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