The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) and the United States Trade and Development Agency (USTDA) have concluded arrangement to sign a 1.16 million dollar grant as part funding for the NNPC-Abuja Independent Power Project (IPP).
The Corporation disclosed this in a statement by Mr Samson Makoji, Acting Spokesman for NNPC, in Abuja on Thursday.
He said that the arrangement was the outcome of a business meeting between the Management of NNPC and the USTDA at the NNPC Towers.
Makoji noted that both parties agreed to close out the deal on Dec. 1, adding that the IPP was modeled to generate 1,350 megawatts of electricity to alleviate the power challenge in the country.
The Group Managing Director of the NNPC, Malam Mele Kyari, said that the plan by the corporation to build the 1,350mw power plant in Abuja was part of the national strategy to monetize the abundant natural gas resources in the country.
He added that the USDTA grant was to complement the ongoing feed project in order to make the Abuja IPP initiative more bankable for strategic investors’ participation.
“As a state-owned oil company and enabler organisation, we know that our investment in the Abuja 1,350mw IPP will increase energy supply level with great impact on the nation’s economy.
“Therefore, the USTDA grant is timely to make it a bankable project that would attract foreign direct investment into the country,” he said.
The GMD assured the U.S. team that every money given as grant to the corporation would be fully utilised and accounted for.
“This company is focused on making our systems and processes transparent and accountable and that is why we are engaging world class institutions with good track record in execution of our projects,” the GMD explained.
He called on the USTDA to look beyond feasibility studies to actual delivery of the project, stressing that the power plant project has a lot of viable investment opportunities.
In her remark, the Country Manager, Power Africa and the leader of the USTDA delegation, Jullian Foerster, stated that her organisation was determined to work with the corporation to sign off on the grant not later than Dec.1.
She said that USTDA was open to other business opportunities in the coming year, 2020, noting that NNPC’s strategic role as a key player in the oil and gas industry made the U.S. Agency to “jump at the opportunity to work on this deal” of providing support in the form of a grant.
Edited by Ismail Abdulazizhttps://nnn.ng/nnpc-secures-1-16m-us-grant-for-1350mw-abuja-power-plant/
Election: PDP commends INEC, Buhari, Edo people
PDP National Publicity Secretary, Mr Kola Ologbondiyan at a news conference in Abuja on Sunday, urged INEC to extend the process to future elections, especially the forthcoming governorship election in Ondo State.
“Our party also notes the efforts of the INEC under Prof. Yakubu Mahmood in ensuring that Edo election was conducted in a manner that was largely adjudged to be free, fair, transparent and credible.
“Nigerians hope that what we have witnessed in Edo will not be an off-season procedure in the commission. We demand that this credible process applies to all our elections.
“The PDP applauds the use of virtual portal by INEC to upload results directly from the polling unit, the base of our election, which made it impossible for electoral violators to hijack this electoral process.
“We however urge INEC to strengthen its processes, particularly in the area of card readers, to forestall the type of delays witnessed in accreditation of voters in Edo.
“Our party also notes the improvement in the activities of our security agencies compared to past elections. We hope that our security organs will continue in this stead in future elections.
“The Edo election has indeed shown that credible elections are possible in our country if we play by the rules,” he said.
Ologbondiyan commended President Muhammadu Buhari for allowing credible election, imploring him to continue in the spirit of ensuring that the people were allowed to freely choose their leaders at all elections.
He urged the President to continue to toe the line of allowing for electoral uprightness for posterity.
He, however, said that Edo election must serve as a loud lesson to “political godfathers”, that power belongs only to God.
“He confers through the people; and that no matter how an individual strives to lord it over others, the will of God, through the people, will always prevail,” he said.
Ologbondiyan congratulated Gov. Godwin Obaseki, on his reelection and the people of Edo for their choice.
“This victory, as won by the people, is historic and serves as a strong, viable and unambiguous lesson to leaders.
“We rejoice with the Edo people for helping to reset the political culture of our nation by casting their votes, protecting the votes, ensuring that their votes counted and following it, “bumper-to-bumper”, to the final point of declaration,” he said.
Ologbondiyan appreciated the Candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu , whose participation in the election helped to deepen Nigeria democracy and enabled the people to make their choice.
“We invite him, in the spirit of sportsmanship, to congratulate his brother, Obaseki and join him in the onerous task of leadership in the general interest of all Edo people,” he said.
Ologbondiyan also commended traditional institutions, faith-based organisations, youth groups, market women, artisans, community associations, trade unions, traditional leaders and other stakeholders in Edo for standing up for their state during her critical moments.
“Furthermore, the PDP applauds the international community for their keen observation of our electoral processes as well as profiling of those who are bent on undermining our democracy and making free and fair elections appear impossible in Nigeria.
“We urge the international community and all lovers of democracy not to relent in providing necessary advisory to our leaders on the conduct of our elections,” Ologbondiyan said.
Ologbondiyan restated PDP’s support for the actions taken so far by the US and UK in restricting electoral violators from visiting their countries.
“We urge them not to restrain on further sanctions against such individuals for their sinister roles in our elections,” he said.
Ologbondiyan appreciated the Chairman of PDP National Campaign Council and Governor of Rivers, Nyesom Wike, for providing the right leadership that led to the victory in Edo.
He also commended all PDP governors, national assembly caucus, elders, leaders, critical stakeholders and teeming members of the party for their efforts in the election.
“Furthermore, our party thanks the media, the civil society groups and all Nigerians across board, for showing more than a passing interest in ensuring that the wishes of the people of Edo for a credible and transparent election prevailed.
“We do not take your efforts in this regard for granted.
“The PDP assures of a continuous partnership with all critical stakeholders in our collective desire to recreate a nation that will continue to be our pride,” he added.
Edited By: Chioma Ugboma/ Maharazu Ahmed
Niger Govt opens Minna-Bida road to articulated vehicles
Gov. Sani Bello of Niger has directed the reopening of the Minna-Bida road to articulated vehicles, to ease transportation of goods and services.
He gave the directives at a news conference, after a meeting chaired by the Chief of Staff to the President, the Inspector-General of Police, Director-General of Department of State Service, the Group Managing Director of NNPC and the Minister of Works.
Bello explained that the meeting was to discuss issues arising from the closure of the Minna-Bida road and the state-owned roads.
He said he made a presentation on the deplorable state of the roads in the state, which was unanimously acknowledged to be due to articulated vehicles carrying excessive loads of liquid and dry cargoes.
Bello noted that such action had led to the destruction of the roads and caused hardship on other roads users.
The governor disclosed that as a way forward, the following agreements had been reached:
”That no articulated vehicle carrying petroleum products of more than 45,000 litres or 35 tons of dry cargo will be allowed to ply the roads.
”That there was need for special intervention for remedial works to be executed on Federal roads to serve as alternative routes, for trucks to move their products.
”That the State Government would require support from the Federal Government to carry out remedial work on Farin-Doki-Minna-Bida road, for easy movement.
”The Ministry of Works said there were ongoing road repairs by the Federal Government and reiterated its commitment to completing the project,” he said.
The governor, however, said that he had directed the relevant agencies to temporarily open the closed state roads to ease the hardship of motorists and other road users.
He appealed to the people of the state to be patient with the decision of reopening the roads, adding that the Federal Government’s intervention would be effected soon.
Edited By: Chinyere Nwachukwu/Donald Ugwu
NNPC shortlists 78 companies for pipelines rehabilitation bidding
The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) has shortlisted 78 companies to bid for the rehabilitation of oil pipelines and deport infrastructure across the country.
The News Agency of Nigeria recalls that over 300 companies applied through the official portal published in the national dailies on Aug. 7 and only 78 companies met the expiration time of noon on Sept. 18.
The Group Managing Director of NNPC, Malam Mele Kyari, at the virtual public bid opening for the rehabilitation of the NNPC group downstream critical pipelines and associated depots/terminal infrastructure on Friday in Abuja, said the corporation was committed to transparency.
Kyari said that the process of selection of companies would be transparent and those who would win the bid would undergo a process of Build, Operate and Transfer (BOT) system.
He said that President Muhammadu Buhari had mandated the corporation to ensure transparency and accountability in all its operations.
He said that this would help the NNPC to deliver its services to all stakeholders efficiently, especially to the ordinary Nigerians, adding that the management of the corporation had aligned to the order.
The GMD said that it was unfortunate that the oil pipelines deteriorated over the years with activities of hoodlums and vandals, forcing its to be underutilised. .
He assured that the technology that would not be compromised by vandals would be deployed by the selected companies for the rehabilitation.
“You know that this project requires huge finances that is why we are adopting BOT, pipelines globally are managed by the private sector. What we are doing today is in line with global best practices.
“The NNPC is challenged because of resources constraints; today, we do not have all the resources required to reform this asset which has become so vulnerable and have lost their values and integrity over the time.
“Some of them are as old as 40 years, they are due for replacement and when you want to do replacement of this scale, we do need a lot of resources, which we don’t have.
“We have decided that we will bring in private partners who will rehabilitate the pipelines, they will fund it, they will operate it with us and ultimately, they will recover their investment from tariff on the pipelines.
“As soon as they recover their costs, earn their margins, they will hand over to the country, that is what we want to do,” he said.
Kyari said that the selected companies would have maximum of two years to deliver on the project, adding that by first quarter of 2021, the names of selected companies would be announced.
In his remarks, Mr Musa Lawal, the representative of the NNPC downstream, said that the corporation operated about 5,120km pipelines across the country.
He said that most of the companies had been inactive due to vandalism and activities of hoodlums on the lines, adding that it had also led to crude oil and revenue loss to the country.
He assured that the process of selection would be transparent as stakeholders were invited as observers to monitor the process.
“We have Infrastructure Concession Regulations Commission (ICRC), Nigeria Extractive Industry Transparency Initiatives (NEITI), Bureau of Public Enterprise (BPE), among others as our observers,” he said.
“This means that things can be done better in the country, we are happy with the show of interest in PPP, ICRC that will ensure that this project is carried out in a credible manner for Nigeria to see its benefits,” he said.
Edited By: Chioma Ugboma/Grace Yussuf
Visa Ban: Kogi government writes United States
The Kogi State Government has petitioned the United States on its visa restrictions for unnamed individuals responsible for undermining the Nigerian democratic process or for organising election-related violence.
The state government letter, /25/, dated Sept. 16, signed by Mrs Folashade Ayoade, the Secretary to the Government of Kogi State, was addressed to the United States Ambassador to Nigeria.
Ayoade’s acknowledged copy of the letter received by the Embassy on Sept. 17, was made available to newsmen in Abuja on Friday, saying the letter was directed by the state governor, Alhaji Yahaya Bello.
The United States government had issued notice of visa restrictions to unnamed individuals responsible for undermining the Nigerian democratic process or for organising election-related violence.
The United States government said the visa restriction covered from the 2019 general elections in Nigeria through the off-cycle Nov. 2019 gubernatorial elections in Kogi and Bayelsa states to the upcoming governorship elections in Edo and Ondo.
The United States Department of State emphasised that the fresh actions announced were specific to certain individuals and not directed at the Nigerian people.
It stated that the decision reflected the Department of State’s commitment to working with the Nigerian government to realise its expressed commitment to end corruption and strengthen democracy, accountability and respect for human rights.
However, Ayoade in the letter said: “Please note that for the purposes of this protest letter, we are only interested in the citations to the extent that they are referable to Kogi State and her citizens.
“For the most part, we concede that elections in Nigeria are complex affairs which will continue to require improvements for the foreseeable future.
“The 2019 Kogi State Gubernatorial Election was also not without its challenges.
“However, it is also crystal clear from critical and composite analyses of the records (official, media, observers, etc) of the Nov. 16, 2019 polls that regrettable incidents were limited to a few polling units.’’
The Kogi government, however, said that the overwhelmingly larger portions of the ballot were free, fair and credible.
“Further, and in line with Nigerian law, the few political parties and individuals who alleged widespread electoral malpractice had free rein to contest the outcome in court.
“They vigorously litigated their claims over a gruelling nine-month period, through a three-step hierarchy of courts, to the inescapable conclusion at the Supreme Court of Nigeria that the said elections satisfactorily complied with the Nigerian Constitution and the Electoral Act.”
Ayoade said the concern of Kogi government was not the prerogative of the United States to impose entry restrictions on anyone, for any or no reason.
She said that United States government’s concern was the misinformation which the timing and the mention of the Kogi election had created in the state, especially on the second term mandate freely bestowed on Bello by the people of the state.
“For instance, a United States-based blog, saharareporters.com, has made inflammatory publications in which it named Bello of Kogi State, among others, as a definite recipient of your visa restriction.
“Although you have named no names, accuracy is of no moment to them, just base political expediency, and they quote unnamed United States State Department sources to give credibility to what is otherwise unproven.”
Ayoade added that other players in the Kogi political space, including candidates and officials of opposition political parties which lost the elections and at the court now hold on to the United States reference to Kogi election.
This, according to her, had made the government’s usual post-election duty of reconciliation harder.
She concluded that Kogi government believed that the US with her commanding heights and much longer experience as the bastion of democracy in the world, ought to accord greater empathy and more civility to nascent democracies.
Edited By: Abiemwense Moru/Donald Ugwu