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  •  AUPCTRE appeals to Buhari to inaugurate NDDC board
    AUPCTRE appeals to Buhari to inaugurate NDDC board
     AUPCTRE appeals to Buhari to inaugurate NDDC board
    AUPCTRE appeals to Buhari to inaugurate NDDC board
    General news2 days ago

    AUPCTRE appeals to Buhari to inaugurate NDDC board

    The Amalgamated Union of Public Corporations, Civil Service Technical and Recreational Services Employees (AUPCTRE), has appealed to President Muhammadu Buhari to inaugurate the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) board, for real development.

    The General-Secretary of AUPCTRE, Mr Sikiru Wahid, made the appeal in a statement on Sunday in Abuja.

    Wahid noted that  the call had become imperative to save the commission from destruction.

    The union also appealed to the National Assembly (NASS), President of the Senate, Speaker of the House of Representatives and the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Umana Umana, to take urgent steps to ensure NDDC delivered on its mandate.

    “As critical stakeholders in the Niger Delta Development Commission and of the regional development efforts, after taking a critical review and appraisal of all the happenings within and around the NDDC, since January, 2019, have resolved as follows: “That we as staff of the NDDC collectively, under the umbrella of AUPCTRE, cannot fold our hands while different political actors from the region through their actions or inactions undermine the enabling Act of the NDDC, and so threaten the corporate existence of the commission.

    “That as a union, we say to all political heavy weights from the Niger Delta region, that enough of putting personal interest over and above the development of the region for which the vehicle of the Niger Delta Development Commission was set up,” Wahid said.

    According to him, the positions of the NDDC’s Managing Executive Officer, Nsima Ekere and its Chairman, Sen. Victor Ndoma Egba, should have been filled when they resigned their appointments to contest elections in their respective states.

    He said their positions should have been filled in accordance with Section 5, Paragraph 3, of the act establishing the commission, since January 2019 when they left.

    “The paragraph which states inter alia that: ”Where a vacancy occurs in the membership of the board, it shall be filled by the appointment of a successor to hold office for the remainder of the term of his predecessor.

    “The successor shall represent the same interest and shall be appointed by the President, Commander–in–Chief of the Armed Forces, subject to the confirmation of the Senate, in consultation with the House of Representatives.

    ” “However, political gladiators from the region for whatever reason, ill advised the president to dissolve the board of the commission, and in its place, appointed an Interim Management Committee.

    ” Wahid said the commission as it stands did not fully represent all the NDDC states, a situation that had culminated into anger and lack of support by the aggrieved persons towards successive interim management committees.

    He noted that instead of focusing on driving development of the commission, these committees either fight back or focus on pacifying the aggrieved stakeholders thereby faulting the forensic audit being carried out on the NDDC’s activities.

    “And since that January 2019, therefore, it has been one interim administration or the other.

    We as members of staff and as a union are saying enough of all these.

    Let the right thing be done.

    “A forensic audit meant to take between three to six months to complete, but eventually took almost two years to complete, has been undertaken.

    “At the moment, auditors from the office of the Auditor General for the Federation have been in the NDDC for about two months auditing the books of the commission, including personnel staff files,” he said.

    The union also kicked against what it described as unending audits that were clearly hampering the development of the region through the NDDC.

    Wahid assured that the union and staff of the commission would partner with the President and the minister of Niger Delta Affairs, to ensure that the right things were done to move NDDC forward.

    He said: “Let the Board of the NDDC be inaugurated, with the same ease as it has been done for other commissions, agencies and parastatals of government across the federation.

    “As a union, we hereby state unequivocally that we are not against a personnel audit of the commission, just as we were not against the forensic audit.

    “We are against a personnel staff audit where assumption of duty forms of the Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs is given to staff of the NDDC to fill as if they are fresh employees of government.

    ” AUPCTRE also reiterated that it was against doing anything that contravened the NDDC Act, 2000 as amended, while demanding for a general meeting with the minister on the way forward, at NDDC headquarters in Port Harcourt.


    NewsSourceCredit: NAN

  •  Leadership failure causes poverty insurgency others Omo Agege
    Leadership failure causes poverty, insurgency, others – Omo-Agege
     Leadership failure causes poverty insurgency others Omo Agege
    Leadership failure causes poverty, insurgency, others – Omo-Agege
    General news2 days ago

    Leadership failure causes poverty, insurgency, others – Omo-Agege

    The Deputy Senate President, Sen. Ovie Omo-Agege, has attributed the prevailing poverty, political instability, insurgence and collapse of government institutions to leadership failure.

    Omo-Agege made the observation on Saturday at the 5th Annual Leadership Ceremony of the Value Rebirth-Centre-LSD Leadership School, in Delta.

    The senator, who was represented by Mr Mathew Omonade, said he believed in unity and urged people to enthrone sound ethical leadership rooted in respect, honesty, service, equity, justice and community service.

    Omo-Agege, the All Progressives Congress (APC) Governorship flagbearer in Delta, noted that over the years, poor leadership had frustrated the achievement of the  country’s enormous economic and political potentials.

    “But all is not lost because State and nation-building all over the world have been and remain a permanent work in progress.

    “As we move towards leadership selection in 2023, the leaders we need now should posses knowledge, sound Judgment and commitment to specific causes and ideals,” he said.

    The senator representing Delta Central Senatorial District, said that the country needed leaders with good moral conduct and ethical responsibility to attend to demands, needs and problems of Nigerians.

    Omo-Agege, however, noted that genuine leadership also needed honest, courageous and credible followership less vulnerable to manipulation, adding that followership was an indispensible aspect of leadership.

    He said the stability and progress of the country required the deployment of deliberate commitment by citizens and those entrusted with leadership to advance the national agenda, regardless of challenges.

    Also, Mr Monday Osasah, Executive Director, African Centre for Leadership, Strategy and Development (CENTRE LSD), said the leadership school was a flagship programme of the Leadership Institute, adding that it started in 2009.He said the idea was borne out of the realisation that leadership was a major challenge, especially in Africa.

    Osasah said the Centre LSD Leadership School was designed for people who wanted to become leaders and be equipped with leadership skills for the transformation of organisation and society.

    “Aside the Leadership School in Abuja, the Centre is running similar school in Warri, Benin-City, Port Harcourt, Abakaliki and Jos in Plateau State.

    “This Delta annex of the school is run in collaboration with Value Rebirth and Empowerment Initiative (VREI),” he said.

    Earlier, Pastor Edewor Egedegbe, Executive Director, VREI, said the centre was graduating 101 students.

    He said it had now graduated 359 students since inception in 2017, adding that 200 students had been admitted for it’s 20222023 Leadership Academic Session.

    Speaking on the theme of the lecture, the guest lecturer, Mr Johnson Ikube said that Nigerians must acknowledge that there were challenges confronting the nation.

    Ikube urged people to vote for competency and not popularity in the 2023 general elections.

    He advocated for the decentralisation of government, noting that the system would function better under a decentrised arrangement.

    “Leaders should move from the government of business to the government of governance.

    There is poverty in the land.

    Mankind must put an end to the war or war will put an end to mankind.

    “We have gotten to a level where human life has become meaningless, not only in Nigeria but in the entire world,” he said.

    Ikube expressed worries over the wrong use of social media, saying that it had heightened insecurity in the society.

    He said that Nigerians must unite and restore the glory of the country, stressing that, “this is our country, we must keep hope alive and join hands together to bring it back to the good old days.


    NewsSourceCredit: NAN

  •  Education NDDC reopens portal for suspended scholarship programme
    Education: NDDC reopens portal for suspended scholarship programme
     Education NDDC reopens portal for suspended scholarship programme
    Education: NDDC reopens portal for suspended scholarship programme
    General news3 days ago

    Education: NDDC reopens portal for suspended scholarship programme

    The Niger Development Commission (NDDC) on Friday said it had resumed the suspended scholarship scheme as part of efforts to eradicate poverty in the Niger Delta region.  

    Mr Udengs Eradiri, Special Adviser on Youths to the Interim Administrator, NDDC, Dr Efiong Akwa, who announced the development, said that it was part of NDDC’s commemoration of the International Youth Day.   Eradiri, who made the disclosure in a statement titled; “Message of Hope on International Youth Day 2022”, said the ongoing Niger Delta Talent Hunt would discover and empower talented youths in the region.  

    He listed other empowerment activities as grassroots football competition and agricultural trainings, which were designed to engage the youths.  

    He appealed to the youths to shun all forms of violence ahead of the 2023 general elections.  

    He said: “The pain we feel today is our strength for tomorrow as we navigate through difficult times in our beloved land.

    Let’s all rise against primordial sentiments and continue to work hard in a peaceful manner to better our country.   

    “Our region, the Niger Delta, is so blessed with natural resources, professionals and talented vibrant youths who are pushing through by the day to build the Niger Delta of our dreams.  

    “Today, I make bold to say that at the Niger Delta Development Commission, we are doing a lot to eradicate poverty from the land. 

    “Recently, the portal for the scholarship programme has been opened, and the ongoing Niger Delta Talent Hunt will discover many talents from the region; the Grassroot football competition, agricultural training and other laudable projects that will position us in the path of greatness.   

    “I also seize this chance to plead that we shun violence during the forthcoming elections, but rather participate in the process that will bring about the much desired leadership that will further improve the existing infrastructures and developmental goals.

    “Let us prove to the world that we are a people who God has blessed and are willing to set a legacy for future generations.

    ” (
    NewsSourceCredit: NAN

  •  Delta Govt seals gas plant over student s death
    Delta Govt seals gas plant over student’s death
     Delta Govt seals gas plant over student s death
    Delta Govt seals gas plant over student’s death
    General news4 days ago

    Delta Govt seals gas plant over student’s death

    The Delta Government on Friday sealed a gas plant over outbreak of seizure leading to the death of a student in a closed-by school.

    The gas plant closure followed the report of an emergency committee, comprising representatives of the Ministry of Basic and Secondary Education, officials of the Ministry of Health and the management of Mary Mount College.

    It was recalled that on July 16, 10 students of Mary Mount College, near Handeskia Gas Plant in Boji-Boji, Agbor, were suspected to have showed signs of strange ailments and seizure due to gas emission.

    One of the affected students died few weeks after her parents took her to the hospital.

    Mr Godspower Asiuwhu, the state Commissioner for Environment, warned the gas company that stiffer sanctions would be meted on it, if the seal was broken.

    “The activities of the company has posed ecological and health threat to students of Mary Mount College, Agbor, situated in the environs.

    “The management of Handeskia Oil and Gas should desist from causing havoc to residents of the host community,” Asiuwhu said.

    The commissioner frowned at the unruly behaviour of staff of the gas company, saying that the state government would not condone any attempt by the company to unseal the premises.

    According to him, a task force will be set up to monitor activities of the gas company after it had been sealed to ensure they did not return back to business.

    Also, Mr Victor Ebonka, the Chairman, Ika North East Local Government Area, said the council had earlier sealed the gas company twice, adding that they later went back to unseal the premises.

    “Since the activities carried out by the company were endangering the lives of residents, there is every need to seal the gas company and put a stop to all their activities,” Ebonka said.


    NewsSourceCredit: NAN

  •  FG to train 10 000 Ogoni youths on alternative livelihoods
    FG to train 10,000 Ogoni youths on alternative livelihoods 
     FG to train 10 000 Ogoni youths on alternative livelihoods
    FG to train 10,000 Ogoni youths on alternative livelihoods 
    Environment4 days ago

    FG to train 10,000 Ogoni youths on alternative livelihoods 

    The Federal Government has increased the number of Ogoni youths  benefiting from its various livelihood Programmes from 5,000 to 10,000. The Minister of Environment, Mohammed Abdullahi, announced this on Thursday during an anti-bunkering re-pollution sensitisation workshop and award of certificates ceremony in Saakpenwa, Tai Local Government Area of Rivers.

    Represented by Prof. Philips Shekwolo, Director of Technical Services, Hydrocarbon Pollution Remediation Project (HYPREP), Abdulahi said the beneficiaries would be trained on various professional skills in oil, gas and maritime sector.

    “So, the livelihoods programme is for all Ogoni youths, including those who are engaged in illegal oil bunkering activities.

    “The ministry has increased the number of beneficiaries for this Programme from 5,000 to 10,000, and increased the areas of training.

    “The additional training are seafaring, aviation and oil and gas.

    We included these so that Ogoni youths can be employed in the oil and gas, maritime and aviation sectors,” he said.

    Abdullahi said the Federal Government was fully committed to ending the sufferings of the Ogoni people faced by decades of oil spillage that polluted both their underground water and farmlands.

    He said the commitment of the government to the clean-up led to HYPREP setting up a Community Representative Advisory Council, to seek an end to illegal bunkering in Ogoniland.

    “So, it is not enough to clean up Ogoniland, but to also ensure that the area once cleaned remains cleaned.

    “We should do this not just for ourselves but for other generations yet unborn,” he said.

    Abdullahi later awarded certificates to 1,000 Ogoni community workers trained in basic remediation techniques in health, safety and environment.

    The minister said the Federal Government was also planning to train more indigent Ogoni youths in shoreline remediation, to boost their competences in the industry.

    In his keynote address, Prof. Ben Naanen, urged youths in the area against re-polluting Ogoniland through activities in illegal bunkering and pipeline vandalism.

    “Investigations have shown that the two entities responsible for oil theft in the Niger Delta are oil multinationals and artisanal refiners.

    “We must stop illegal refining of crude oil because it destroys both our environment and sources of livelihoods.

    “The illegal bunkers said it is hunger and joblessness that pushed them into illegal oil bunkering.

    So, this training will ensure that they will no longer engage in oil theft,” Naanen said.


    NewsSourceCredit: NAN

  •  COVID 19 Akwa Ibom leads as NCDC confirms 517 new cases
    COVID-19: Akwa Ibom leads as NCDC confirms 517 new cases
     COVID 19 Akwa Ibom leads as NCDC confirms 517 new cases
    COVID-19: Akwa Ibom leads as NCDC confirms 517 new cases
    General news4 days ago

    COVID-19: Akwa Ibom leads as NCDC confirms 517 new cases

    Akwa Ibom is driving Nigeria’s latest COVID-19 surge as the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) confirms 517 additional infections between Aug. 6 and Aug.11, 2022. The NCDC made this known via its official website on Thursday.

    It said that out of the 517 additional infections recorded, Akwa Ibom reported 293 cases, while Lagos state recorded 101. The News Agency of Nigeria reports that this is the highest case count in the month of August.

    It overturned the previous record of 496 infections reported between July 28 and Aug. 1; and 412 infections reported between Aug. 2 and Aug. 5. The NCDC said that the 517 cases, which were recorded in 13 states and the Federal Capital Territory, have raised the total number of infections to 262,402. According to it, the FCT has 13 cases of the virus, Ekiti has 11, Delta and Kano reports nine each, Bayelsa has seven and Kaduna records six cases.

    Others include Oyo- five, Abia- three, Kwara- two, Nasarawa -two and Plateau- two while five states – Cross River, Ogun, Osun, Ondo, and Sokoto reported zero cases.

    The agency, however, said that 525 persons had been discharged in the last five days after recovering from the virus, thus bringing the total number of discharged persons to 256,006. It said that the death toll from the COVID-19 disease in the country stayed at 3,147 with no additional deaths reported on Thursday.

    The NCDC stated that the report included a backlog of 258 cases in Akwa Ibom from July 3. It added that the states of  Cross River, Ogun, Osun, Ondo, and Sokoto recorded zeros case.

    It urged Nigerians to take practical steps to prevent the spread of COVID-19. “Let us all take responsibility to prevent the spread of the disease and limit the risk of infection among all ages.

    “Get vaccinated, wear a mask, wash your hands frequently, coughb or sneeze into your elbow and report when sick,” it said.

    NAN reports that the National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA) says no fewer than  28,120,290 of total eligible persons targeted for COVID-19 vaccination in the country are fully vaccinated.

    The NPHCDA said that about 11,848,002 of the total eligible persons targeted for COVID-19 vaccination, were partially vaccinated.

    Meanwhile, In the last five days, Yobe state moved up the ladder from 20th position to 18th and currently at 14 percent coverage of full vaccination.

    The NPHCDA said that Enugu state was the best performing state in the South-East Zone based on fully vaccinated performance, having reached 17 per cent coverage. 

    .


    NewsSourceCredit: NAN

  •  Troops apprehend 10 pipeline vandals 2 high profile sea pirates
    Troops apprehend 10 pipeline vandals, 2 high profile sea pirates
     Troops apprehend 10 pipeline vandals 2 high profile sea pirates
    Troops apprehend 10 pipeline vandals, 2 high profile sea pirates
    Defence/Security5 days ago

    Troops apprehend 10 pipeline vandals, 2 high profile sea pirates

    Troops apprehend 10 pipeline vandals, 2 high profile sea pirates Troops apprehend 10 pipeline vandals, 2 high profile sea pirates Vandals By Sumaila Ogbaje Abuja, Aug. 11, 2023 Troops of Operation Delta Safe have in the last two weeks apprehended 10 suspected pipeline vandals and two high profile sea pirates in the Niger Delta.

    The Director, Defence Media Operations, Maj.-Gen. Bernard Onyeuko, made this known at a bi-weekly news briefing of the Defence Headquarters, on Thursday in Abuja.

    Onyeuko gave the names of the arrested sea pirates as Fagha Golden (aka) Fine Boy and Victor Elkanah (aka) Victor Padi. He said Fine Boy was apprehended at Nonwa village in Tai Local Government Area of Rivers, while Padi was captured at Pharzy Spring Diagnostic and Wellness Hospital in One-Eleme Local Government Area of the state.

    According to him, the suspects are notorious for series of armed attacks on oil vessels, kidnapping of expatriates and illegal oil bunkering in Rivers.

    “The large quantity of crude and Automotive Gas Oil (AGO) and the number of arrested crude oil thieves shows the unrelenting efforts by the troops.

    “Troops have sustained offensive posture to deny criminals the much needed space for their illegal operation in Bayelsa, Delta and Rivers states.

    “In the process several illegal oil refining sites were discovered and destroyed.

    “These include 37 illegal refineries, 68 dugout pits, 188 storage tanks, 33 wooden boats, 16 pumping machines, one generator, one vehicle, 175 cooking ovens and 23 rounds of 7.62mm ammunition.

    “Also, recovered was 3.7 million litres of crude oil and 2.01 million litres of AGO,” he said.


    NewsSourceCredit: NAN

  •  Stakeholder applauds Buhari s directive on audit of HYPREP s accounts
    Stakeholder applauds Buhari’s directive on audit of HYPREP’s accounts
     Stakeholder applauds Buhari s directive on audit of HYPREP s accounts
    Stakeholder applauds Buhari’s directive on audit of HYPREP’s accounts
    Environment5 days ago

    Stakeholder applauds Buhari’s directive on audit of HYPREP’s accounts

    Environmental Rights of the Earth Nigeria on Wednesday applauded directive of President Muhammadu Buhari on audit of accounts of Hydrocarbon Pollution Remedial Project (HYPREP).

    Uyi Ojo, the Executive Director of the foremost environmental Civil Organisation, gave the applause at the official presentation of United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) assessment report and HYPREP’s performance scorecard to newsmen and members of its affiliates in Benin.

    The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the HYPREP is an agency charged with the cleanup of Ogoniland and the Niger Delta states since its inception in 2016. Uyi urged the president never to allow the directive to go the way of a similar one ordered into the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC).

    This audit, he said, was currently in a long-drawn-out process on the work of the commission.

    The executive director noted that apart from the accounts, an audit of the cleanup and remediation work carried out under the project should also be conducted by an independent body.

    According to him, if the Nigerian government, the Ogoni people and partners are going to request the international community to support the continuation of the project, there must be transparency and accountability in the way the initial $1billion fund was utilised.

    “The payment of $1 billion was for cleanup and remediation in the first five years in a cleanup that will last 25-30 years.

    “The agreement between the Federal Government and Shell Petroleum Development on one hand, and the Ogoni community on the other hand, was for the contributing stakeholders to pay $200 million yearly for the initial five years.

    “But for four years after the project was launched, only $360 million has been paid as confirmed by the NNPC during a public hearing at the House of Representatives in Abuja in 2020. “There is no update on whether further transfers had been made for 2021 and 2022,’’ he said.

    The boss also urged stakeholders to remain vigilant to ensure that the directive did not become counterproductive and an unwelcome distraction from the remediation and restoration work that should take place in Ogoniland.

    chief also commended the appointment of Ferdinand Giadom, as the new Coordinator of HYPREP, describing it as a round peg in a round hole.

    The new coordinator, he noted, was an integral part of the UNEP team that conducted the Ogoni environmental assessment study.

    He called on the new coordinator to deliver HYPREP from the brink of disaster, rekindle the hope of the people of Ogoniland and the Niger Delta people that had allegedly been dashed by the previous coordinators.

    Ojo expressed regret that since 1993, over 4,000 Ogoni patriots had paid the supreme sacrifice, with several others becoming internally displaced or refugees in exile.


    NewsSourceCredit: NAN

  •  Betsey Obaseki women soccer tourney stakes N14m for grabs at 2nd edition
    Betsey Obaseki women soccer tourney stakes N14m for grabs at 2nd edition
     Betsey Obaseki women soccer tourney stakes N14m for grabs at 2nd edition
    Betsey Obaseki women soccer tourney stakes N14m for grabs at 2nd edition
    General news6 days ago

    Betsey Obaseki women soccer tourney stakes N14m for grabs at 2nd edition

    The Board of Trustees (BoT) of the second edition of the Betsey Obaseki Women Football Tournament on Wednesday announced a “sumptuous” cash prize of N5 million for winners.The BoT’s Vice Chairman and Deputy Governor of Edo, Mr Philip Shaibu, announced the cash prize at a news conference on Wednesday in Benin.Shaibu said the invitional event had been scheduled to hold between Sept. 7 and 17 in Benin.He said the tournament would feature 10 clubs in the Nigerian Women Football League (NWFL) Premiership and two other local clubs in the state.The 10 premier league clubs include Bayelsa Queens, Edo Queens, Nasarawa Amazons, Delta Queens, Confluence Queens and Osun Babes.Others are Rivers Angels, Sunshine Queens, Naija Ratels and Royals Queens, while Fortress Ladies FC and Brave Heart FC will join as local best to make a list of 12 teams.The BoT  which announced the cash prize for the winners, said the winner would pocket N3 million while second and third runners up would go home with N1.5 million and N750,000 respectively.Shaibu added, however, that other participating teams would get N500,000 each as a consolation prize.According to Shaibu, matches will hold across four centres namely, Samuel Ogbemudia Stadium, University of Benin Sports Complex and two state-owned mini stadia at the School of Health Technology and Western Boys Secondary School, both in Benin.The deputy governor explained that while the draw for the competition had been scheduled for Aug. 24, the 36 states governors’ wives were expected to grace the closing ceremony.He said the event had come to stay as a pre-season event for women professional football clubs in the country, with the organiser of the league assenting to it.“This year’s event is going to be interesting.The theme for the 2021 event was used to promote girl child education; this year’s theme will be to campaign against illicit drugs and human trafficking.“The implication is that the event has come to stay in Nigeria.Thanks to the state governor’s wife, Mrs Obaseki, for keeping touch to make it an annual and pre-season event for women football premiership.“We also thank the state Sports Commission for accommodating it in its calendar despite being driven by the private sector.“To institutionalise it, we now have a Board of Trustees for the tournament, in which the First Lady (governor’s wife) is the chairman and I am the vice-chairman; this is to ensure that the event outlives this government,” he said.The deputy governor, who was assisted at the briefing by other members of the board, said the outstanding performances of Nigerian women at the Commonwealth Games had justified the renewed investment in women sporting events.NewsSourceCredit: NAN

  •  International energy companies in Angola and Nigeria illustrate the importance of creating enabling environments by NJ Ayuk
    International energy companies in Angola and Nigeria illustrate the importance of creating enabling environments (by NJ Ayuk)
     International energy companies in Angola and Nigeria illustrate the importance of creating enabling environments by NJ Ayuk
    International energy companies in Angola and Nigeria illustrate the importance of creating enabling environments (by NJ Ayuk)
    Africa6 days ago

    International energy companies in Angola and Nigeria illustrate the importance of creating enabling environments (by NJ Ayuk)

    By NJ Ayuk, CEO of the African Chamber of Energy.

    Last fall, I wrote (https://bit.ly/3zPqScP) about the importance of African governments doing everything they can to encourage international oil companies (IOCs) to continue operating in their countries.

    COIs play an important role in supporting economic growth, job creation, skills development and knowledge sharing.

    Currently, two IOCs in particular, Azule Energy in Angola and Shell Petroleum Development Corporation of Nigeria (SPDC), show tremendous promise in delivering those long-term benefits.

    Azule Energy, a newly formed independent joint venture of BP and Eni's Angolan businesses, is now a big player in the oil and gas industry.

    SPDC, the operator of a joint venture agreement between the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Shell, Total Exploration and Production Nigeria Limited and Agip Oil Company of Nigeria, is the largest Shell company in Nigeria.

    The potential of the two companies to impact African economies is so significant that the African Chamber of Energy features them both in its recently released State of African Energy Q2 2022 report.

    Azule Energy and SPDC are not the only IOCs contributing to economic growth on our continent, but they are excellent examples of the long-term impact international companies can have and the need to create an enabling environment for them.

    I strongly encourage government leaders in Angola, Nigeria and other oil and gas producing states to continue to take practical steps, from creating favorable tax policies to protecting company assets from theft and vandalism, to encourage ongoing activity of the IOC.

    A new era in Angola The joint venture between the Angolan companies of the British oil major BP and the Italian multinational Eni, completed in early August, is great news in every way.

    Azule Energy is now the largest independently owned oil and gas producer in Angola and, according to our report, is expected to be the second largest producer in the country overall, behind only state-owned Sonangol.

    Our report projects that Azule will produce approximately 22% of Angola's oil and gas production through 2025, surpassing even industry giants such as Chevron and TotalEnergies.

    How much product are we talking about?

    Azule is projected to produce 250,000 net barrels of oil equivalent per day (boe/d) from Angola's upstream sector by 2027, according to BP and Eni. Not only that, but the company has BP and Eni stakes in 16 exploration licences, suggesting a long-term presence in Angola.

    Azule will also have an important role to play in the growth of the Angolan natural gas industry, as a participant in the New Gas Consortium (NGC).

    This joint venture was created by BP, Eni, Chevron affiliate Cabinda Gulf Oil Company Limited (CABGOC), TotalEnergies and Sonangol in late 2019 to explore for and produce gas in Angola and drive economic growth there.

    One of the initial projects of the consortium will be the development of the Quiluma and Maboqueiro gas fields, the first non-associated gas development project in Angola.

    The consortium partners announced a final investment decision in the fields earlier this summer.

    With first gas scheduled for 2026, the fields are expected to produce a combined total of about 4 billion cubic meters (bcm) of gas a year at their peak.

    The project will also supply gas to the Angola LNG (liquefied natural gas) plant.

    Azule Energy's ongoing activity will have a tremendous impact on the people and businesses of Angola.

    Only the new joint venture's natural gas activities will help meet domestic needs, starting with new gas-to-energy programs that will help deliver reliable electricity to more Angolans.

    The gas can also be used as a feedstock for petrochemical plants, leading to further economic growth and diversification, and can help meet the international community's pressing need for natural gas, which has increased since Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

    An example for Africa The leaders of the Angolan government have played an important role in making all this possible.

    For example, under the leadership of Diamantino Pedro Azevedo, the Ministry of Petroleum Mineral Resources has made it a priority to promote exploration and production activities.

    One route the ministry has taken has been to divest Sonangol, the national oil company, of non-core assets.

    That move gave Sonangol the funds it needed to focus on its upstream, midstream and downstream businesses as an operator.

    Angola also introduced licensing rounds several years ago.

    In February 2022, ANPG's third bidding round resulted in proposals from TotalEnergies, Equinor and Eni. As the energy chamber noted at the time, the introduction of the licensing rounds, along with tax reforms, including halving tax royalties and income tax requirements for marginal discoveries, have produced a rebound.

    in international activity in Angola.

    And it created the kind of environment that will foster a healthy and long-lasting working relationship with Azule Energy.

    SPDC's continued role in Nigeria In Nigeria, meanwhile, with over 4 billion boe of potential reserve and the ability to sustain production at over 300,000 boe/d through 2035, SPDC remains very important to the national economy.

    .

    The company's current portfolio, according to estimates in our report, is worth at least $2 billion.

    SPDC, which made its first discovery in Nigeria in 1956, has been the subject of controversy, mainly due to oil spills in the Niger Delta region.

    But the company's presence in Nigeria has also had a positive impact on lives and communities.

    In 2019, for example, the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB) recognized Shell as the country's most impactful IOC for local content initiatives.

    The company is not only known for supporting local vendors and suppliers, but also makes it a priority to employ local people.

    It recently estimated that 96% of its local workforce (currently a total of about 2,500 people) is made up of Nigerians, and 66% are from the Niger Delta.

    The chamber is also optimistic about SPDC's plans to help transform Nigeria into a natural gas hub.

    SPDC Country Head/Corporate Relations Director Igo Weli said Shell companies are working with the Nigerian federal government to build a network of gas plants and pipelines that could boost industrial and commercial development and strengthen exports of liquefied natural gas to meet world demand.

    “In Bayelsa State, Shell Nigeria Gas has signed an agreement with the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB) to provide gas infrastructure to the NCDMB industrial gas park in Polaku,” Weli said.

    "NCDMB estimates that the park could generate more than 30,000 local employment opportunities."

    Then there are the company's educational and skill-building initiatives.

    The NNPC/Shell Cradle-to-Career scholarship is one example.

    Since 2010, 708 young people from the impoverished Niger Delta, where much of SPDC's assets are located, have benefited from the scholarship.

    The program covers the full cost of tuition, room and board, books, clothing, toiletries, health insurance, and visitor care for each recipient for all six years of high school.

    And over the past five years, 184 participants transitioned into SPDC's college scholarship program.

    Recently, Nigeria has seen a growing number of its IOCs divest Nigerian assets: more than 25 oil production licenses in the Niger Delta basin over the last 11 years.

    Shell, in fact, also planned to sell its onshore assets in Nigeria, to help it meet emission reduction targets.

    However, the company put those plans on hold in June to comply with a Nigerian Supreme Court ruling, which said the company would have to wait until SPDC's appeal in a 2019 oil spill case before selling Nigerian assets.

    This would be a good time for government leaders to do everything they can to make staying in Nigeria more attractive to Shell after the court case is over.

    One way they could do this would be to help the company significantly reduce the vandalism and oil thefts that affect its operations.

    As recently as this summer, the company said it had lost more than $1 billion in revenue from crude theft and property vandalism in Imo, Rivers, Abia and Bayelsa states in recent months.

    This is an issue that should concern both the government and Shell, Weli said, because thefts are directly responsible for the majority of SPDC's oil spills.

    “If more than 90% (of) the spills are caused by people with axes, saws and even explosive weapons, then you are creating a problem that will consume the budget that you would have used for education, health, etc,” he said.

    .

    "If you break pipes and pipes leak and it's very expensive to clean up, and the government had to clean up to make the environment safe for us, then you're funneling needed resources to other things."

    I realize that solving the socioeconomic challenges that contribute to these crimes, including unemployment and fuel shortages, is not an easy task.

    Still, Nigeria's leadership should do all it can to help SPDC keep its assets safe in the short term so that the opportunities the company is creating can strengthen local communities in the long term.

    Well worth the time and resources Large international companies like SPDC and Azule Energy have an impact on both national governments and small communities.

    They add to the country's coffers and help young adults develop the skills needed for a prosperous and rewarding future.

    The African Chamber of Energy looks optimistically at both companies and we look forward to seeing more like them across the continent.

    However, making that happen will largely depend on African governments.

    By creating operator-friendly policies and working cooperatively to help COIs address challenges, our leaders can help ensure far-reaching benefits for their countries and their people.