Oil & Gas

Sylva tasks firms, IOCs on community development



The Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Chief Timipre Sylva has called on local and International Oil Companies (IOCs) to give back to the communities where they operate for economic growth.

Sylva gave the charge at the Grand finale of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) 2019 Science Quiz competition in Abuja on Thursday.

He said that the need for corporate organisations to give back to society was imperative to guarantee smooth operations.

The minister of state urged them to emulate what the NNPC was doing under its Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), especially with development of intellectuals.

“I am honoured to be part of what is happening here today, it is a world class initiative because it will help to shape the intellectuals of the youth, help them to interact and have sense of nationalism.

“What is happening here today will be remembered by these children with nostalgia in future.

“We commend NNPC for this giant stride and call on other agencies to emulate this initiative to give back to the community.

“Oil and gas companies are duty bound to give back to the communities where exploration is carried out to bring relief to the people,” he said.

The Group Managing Director of NNPC, Malam Mele Kyari said that the corporation as an enabler company would continue to contribute to ensure a greater Nigeria.

He said that the competition was one aspect of the corporation’s effort to support nation building.

“Building a successful nation has to deal with talent management and as a corporation, we try to recognise them young and help them to development it well.

“NNPC will continue to use its CSR to develop intellects, develop talents, and build schools as an enabler,” he said.

He noted that for Nigeria to secure its place in global space, it requires sound intellectual capacity.

“This is why we are interested in the kids,” he added.

He urged the participants to put in their best and make their schools, parents, community and the country at large proud.

Also speaking, President of Dangote Group, Alhaji Aliko Dangote said that the importance of education could not be over emphasised in nation building.

He said that since the inception of the competition in 2000, the NNPC had helped to found next generation of scientists in the country.

According to him, emerging economies like Nigeria need scientists that can think out of the box to solve problems.

“I encourage you to put in your best, at this stage, you all are already winners.

“I encourage you not to be inspired alone by the intellectuals you will meet today but always remember that the future belongs to you,” he said.

Edited by Shittu Obassa/Ese E. Ekama (NAN)



COVID-19: Rural dwellers ignorant of pandemic — Community leader




A Community leader in Anambra, Chief James Uyamadu, says most rural dwellers in Anambra have yet to come to terms with the reality of COVID-19 spread in the state.

Uyamadu said this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria , on Sunday in Igbakwu, Ayamelum Local Government Area of Anambra.

NAN reports that Ayamelum is an agrarian clan in Anambra and predominantly rural.

The community leader said that the state Task Force committee on COVID-19 needed to step up its enforcement measures jointly with communities if the virus must be contained within the state.

“This time should not be business as usual because we have got a challenge in our hands, which if we fail to face squarely may wipe out the people of the state.

“There is need for government to keep a close eye on the activities of the COVID-19 task force team, so that they are made to be on their beats for greater results,” he said.

Uyamadu said that a high level of ignorance of the reality of the deadly virus among rural dwellers existed adding that vigorous sensitisation needed to be given to them through various channels.

“It is a feat that needs to be tackled fast before the wild spread of the virus gets into the communities of the state and wipe out the residents.

“The churches, kindred meetings, age grade meetings, among other channels are required to be engaged well for a high positive result to be achieved,” he said.

Uyamadu said that ignorance of the existence of the virus among the people especially the rulers dwellers would remain a major factor responsible for community transmission if not checked.

“As a catechist in Saint Mary’s Catholic Church, Igbakwu, I have had various encounters with people and with my interactions with them, majority of the rural dwellers believe that Coronavirus does not exist.

“Across the state, common belief of the people is that the issue of the Coronavirus does not exist.

“To them, it is a scam and a platform for siphoning the nation’s wealth by the government,” he said.

“Government should help matters and operate in a very open manner as well as create awareness against stigmatisation and explain how the virus moves.

“This is important so that people who contract it will not be seen as evil persons,” he said.

He said that the traditional ruler of the community, in his efforts to support government on the fight against the virus, had continued to use local town criers to inform the people about their parts in the fight.

Uyamadu urged religious leaders to dwell more on informing the people about the existence of the virus in the state and the need for them to observe the precautionary measures to avoid the spread in the communities.

“The relaxed measures do not imply non existence of the virus. This must be drummed into the ears of the people in the manner they would understand,” he said.

Uyamadu also said that the community leaders should educate the people on the COVID-19 law and advise them to strictly observe the rules and regulations put in place by the governments.

He said observation of social distancing, hand washing with soap and running water, use of sanitisers, as well as the use of face masks should be well talked about.

He urged religious leaders to keep a service at a time which should last for only one hour while burial rites performers should keep to the 30 persons per gathering rule.

Uyamadu said that more stringent measures needed to be applied for huge success to be achieved in the fight against COVID-19.

Edited By: Donald Ugwu (NAN)

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General news

OMS  engages 820 youth for pipeline surveillance in Delta — Community leaders



The Host Community Leaders to the  Ocean Marine Solution (OMS) Ltd., on Friday said the company had engaged engagedno fewer than 820 persons on the surveillance of the Trans Forcados Pipeline (TFP).

The leaders said this in a statement made available to newsmen in Warri.

The Statement was jointly signed by leaders of some of the communities, including Mr Ete Omatsuli (Ubeji), Mr Jonah Akpofure (Oteri-Ughelli) and Mr Ben Esi (Uviamuge-Agbarho) among others.

The leaders said that the development had entrenched peace in the riverine communities, adding that the public should disregard the misleading publications by some “faceless organisations” in the social media against the company.

TFP is owned by Shell and it runs across communities in Ughelli North, Ughelli South, Okpe, Uvwie, Warri South, Warri South-West and terminates at the Forcados River Manifold in Burutu Local Government Area.

“All the undersigned Presidents-General, leaders of the TFP and host Communities have been drawn to a misleading publications by some faceless organisations in the social media over the management of the TFP surveillance job by OMS.

“We make bold to affirm that the reports are based on selfish interest and designed to cause disaffection and crisis in the peaceful riverine communities in Delta.

“For the avoidance of doubt, OMS has engaged about 820 persons on surveillance of TFP through the duly elected Community Presidents General, youth leaders and elders in the host Communities,” the leaders said.

They said that the enabling environment enjoyed by the company had transcended into increased production.

The leaders commended the Chairman of OMS, Mr Hosa Okunbo, for the good work and urged the Federal Government and other relevant stakeholders to support the company. 

Edited By: Chidinma Agu/Donald Ugwu (NAN)

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General news

Disability Community wants 5% employment in Kaduna state



The Disability Community and relevant stakeholders have advocated for five per cent allocation of employment and social protection interventions to persons with disability in Kaduna State.

They made the demand in a communiqué issued in Kaduna on Friday, at the end of a virtual stakeholder’s engagement with the theme, “Covid-19: Strengthening Social Inclusion and Protection for Persons with Disabilities”.

The meeting was organised, by the Disability Community and the Coalition of Associations for Leadership, Peace, Empowerment and Development (CALPED), in collaboration with other partners.

The communique was signed by Mr Suleiman Abdullazeez, Chairman, Disability Community, Kaduna State, Mr Rilwanu Mohammed, Chairman, Physically Challenged Association.

Other signatories were Risikat Mohammed, Executive Director, Women with Disability Self Reliance Foundation and Mr Yusuf Goje, Head, Leadership, Governance and Advocacy, CALPED.

The stakeholders expressed worries that the issues of disability community were still being addressed as charity by the society instead of a right.

They also pointed out that political, economic, and social discrimination against disability community had continued unabated in spite of the existing laws and policies put in place to discourage discrimination.

The stakeholders also observed that the disability community was not adequately carried along, especially in the planning and formulation of government policies.

According to them, people with disability are only consulted during town-hall meetings, which hinder them from taking ownership of government plans and programmes affecting them.

“Also, releases and cash-backing of budgetary allocation for line items concerning the disability community is grossly inadequate.”

They called on the state government and the state assembly to prioritise issues of persons with disability in the ongoing review of the 2020 budget and ensure timely releases of allocated funds.

They pledged to initiate an advocacy campaign to ensure adequate stakeholders’ engagement to accelerate the passage of the Kaduna State Disability Rights Bill into law.

“If enacted, we will strengthen multi-stakeholder synergy and collaboration to ensure full implementation and regular review of the law.

“We will equally collaborate with media organisations to introduce specialised programmes to specifically advocate for issues affecting the disability community.

“We have also resolved to initiate a network made up of disability community, civil society organisations, media and development partners, to advocate for quality service delivery to the disability community,” they said.

The stakeholder commended the state government for the support so far to persons with disability, particularly the ongoing efforts to mainstream the disability community into the governance process.

They also lauded the newly introduced scholarship scheme for the disability community and ongoing efforts to generate a database of all persons living with disability in the state.

Edited By: Cecilia Odey/Maharazu Ahmed (NAN) 

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Firms in Malawi await green light for cannabis agriculture



Firms and individuals in Malawi are still waiting for the implementation of the Cannabis Regulation Act after the country passed a bill in February legalising cannabis for medical and industrial use.

Ingrow Limited, a company that grows and processes industrial cannabis has expressed optimism that the crop can do well in Malawi.

It added that if the act will be implemented, Malawians growing it can benefit from the crop.

Ingrow Limited director, Nerbert Nyirenda told a local newspaper in the country that the act has to be gazetted and the responsible minister should gazette both the effective date of the Act and regulations to operationalise the act.

The passing of the bill brought a lot of debate from religious leaders and anti-smoking activists.

Furthermore, it is believed that the majority could not differentiate the industrial hemp from the illegal Indian hemp.

Meanwhile, the government through the Ministry of Agriculture has said that the ministry is developing guidelines and regulations to facilitate the implementation of the new law.

For years, Malawi has been depending on tobacco as a main source of revenue and foreign currency in the country, however, due to the global anti-tobacco campaigns, the crop has been on the decline.

Economic experts have so far opted for the implementation of the Act citing that cannabis is economically viable because of its vast list of by-products in comparison with other commercial crops grown in Malawi.

Edited By: Emmanuel Yashim (NAN)

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