ITC’s Tekki Fii Project in The Gambia – targeting job creation for young people – comes to a close; focus now shifts to promoting sustainable tourism and creative industries.
After five years of unlocking employment and entrepreneurship opportunities for thousands of young Gambians, the International Trade Centre’s (ITC) Tekki Fii (Make it in The Gambia) Project comes to an end.
At its closing ceremony on 18 November 2022 in Banjul, ITC Deputy Executive Director Dorothy Tembo said: “The Tekki Fii Programme is a formidable example of collaboration.
The results were possible thanks to 40 partnerships with national implementing partners.
They range from training institutions to business support organizations, regulators, private sector associations and businesses, all working together for the same objective under the leadership and support of our government counterparts.” Under ITC’s Youth Empowerment Project (2017-2022), Tekki Fii created business and skill-building opportunities for young Gambians in a variety of sectors, especially in rural areas.
It was an initiative of the Government of The Gambia supported by the European Union (EU).
With the goal to leave no one behind and prevent irregular migration by creating quality jobs at home, the project helped create over 9,500 jobs, trained almost 7,500 youth and gave almost 1,000 youth access to finance, disbursing over GMD 100 million ($1,600,000), among other achievements.
These results were achieved with the help of implementing partners GIZ (the German Agency for International Cooperation), Instituto Marquês de Valle Flôr from Portugal, and the Belgian Development Agency, Enabel.
At the closing ceremony, the President of the Republic of The Gambia, H.E. Adama Barrow, said: “We have made important gains since 2017, and the results achieved under the Tekki Fii Project are a clear manifestation of this.
I am inspired by the stories and results we have heard today.
It gives us renewed hope and perspective and strengthens our belief in the potential of our youth – and in our country, The Gambia.” Launching a new National Employment Policy At the event, President Barrow used the opportunity to launch the country’s New National Employment Policy and Action Plan 2022-2026.
The policy will pursue various strategies to tackle the country’s youth unemployment challenges, using the private sector as the engine of growth.
It will: Enhance employable skills and competencies by linking education and skills development to labour market needs.
Promote entrepreneurship and access to finance for youth, women and persons with disabilities.
Accelerate the growth of small businesses and support formalization.
Integrate employment issues in macroeconomic policies and investment strategies.
Improve data and coordination among sectors and institutions, including the Labour Market and Migration Information System.
The Policy targets the creation of 150,000 jobs by 2026.
Focusing on tourism, creative industries The Youth Empowerment Project, funded by the European Union Emergency Trust Fund for Africa, is set to continue supporting Gambian youth.
Under the new EU Multi-Annual Indicative Programme, the EU, Gambian government and ITC are working on a successor programme.
The goal is to generate green growth and sustainable jobs in The Gambia’s tourism sector and creative industries, with a focus on small business competitiveness, inclusiveness and sustainability.
Activities will contribute to diversifying tourism offerings and focusing on sustainable and inclusive products, such as nature-based, river-based, adventure, cultural or community-based tourism.
The Ministry of Tourism and Culture (MOTC) and the Ministry of Trade, Industry, Regional Integration and Employment (MOTIE) will work with ITC to create jobs in these sectors, particularly for women and youth, and continue to address the root causes of irregular migration and offer support to returning migrants.
Mrs Christy Kanu,founder, Paradise Investment Network Cooperative(PINCOOP), on Sunday advocated equal opporunities for real estate investors,irrespective of status or income level.
Kanu made the call in Lagos during the inauguration of Paradise Investment Network Cooperative (PINCOOP), a real estate cooperative society.
Kanu, who is also General Managing Director of Paradise International Holdings, said PINCOOP would impact lives as it was set to change the narrative in the real estate sector.
She said the inauguration was borne out of her inability to invest in developed properties at choice areas, years back, as that was almost impossible to afford for a low income earner.
"It's like a situation whereby the rich gets richer and the poor gets just the crumbs, because I had my money and I went into the real estate market and I found out that I couldn't invest in some developed property in prime locations.
"I was just left with properties in the outskirts of the city, but i wanted to own a property through which I could generate cash flow, through which I could at least get rental returns yearly, "But it was not possible because the rates were very high.
I wanted developed property that would give good rental income and capital appreciation.
It was almost impossible and I thought that wasn't fair.
"The cost was high because of inflation and rising cost of building materials.
So basically, I thought about it and I said no, this market does not offer a level playground for the all networks.
The GMD added that she wondered how medium and low-income earners would be able to benefit from real estate investment with high prices of properties.
According to her, one needs huge capital to own a property in Nigeria, especially in Lagos and some other major cities.
She said she conceived the idea of the cooperative society and co-ownership of properties to enable the ordinary man i benefit from the real estate sector.
"I want a situation whereby both the rich and the poor benefit equally based on their share in a property without a situation where only the rich get richer and the poor gets the crumbs.
"I just want a situation whereby the market is fair and leveled.
So we're just basically disrupting the real estate market place so that everybody will get their own share of interest regardless of your income.
Mrs Kanu said with a minimum of N50,000 ,low income earners like the market woman , could key into the cooperative, to invest and co-own property in prime locations.
"We are looking at bringing out different real estate products for co-ownership, bringing properties that would bring high yoeld to the co-owner or co-investors as we call them.
"Most property in Nigeria has a 99 years lifeline, so you earn rental income for life.
So what we are fostering is to ensure that everybody will be able to partake in this real estate co-ownership platform.
The real estate boss assured investors that it was not an investment scam as assets could be verified including documents backing the existence of PINCOOP.
Mr Azeez Sadiq and Mrs Olorunkemi Salau, both Community Development Officers at Eti Osa Local Government,presented present PINCOOP with certificate of registration and recognition at the inauguration.
Mr Sadiq said the certificate was to recognise the operation of PINCOOP within Eti-Osa Local Government, and most importantly in Lagos State.
The National Institute for Policy and Strategic Studies (NIPS) is collaborating with the Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC) Ltd. to position the Nigerian Oil and Gas industry for growth and development.
Prof. Ayo Omotayo, the Director-General, NIPSS, when he led a delegation from the institute on a courtesy visit to the Group Managing Director of NNPC, Mr Mele Kyari, in Abuja on Friday.
Omotayo said that the collaboration would birth the enactment of strategic policies to better position the Nigerian oil and gas industry for growth and development He said that NIPSS would also collaborate in the area of infrastructural development and capacity building for NNPC as the transformational process in the oil and gas industry proceed.
“We have a very fruitful discussion with the GMD, NNPC is transforming and we believe that NIPSS being the foremost think-thank in Nigeria should engage with NNPC to ensure that the transformational process in the oil and gas is valid.
” He said that the NIPSS which is under the direct control of the presidency had looked at the Nigeria oil and gas industry, adding that it could only take a man with courage like President Muhammadu Buhari to carry out such reform.
According to him, if you take a look at the Petroleum Industry Acts (PIA), you will discovered that it’s only someone who has a lot of courage like Buhari that can carry out such a big reform.
“And, we have discussed with NNPC that we should find ways and means of ensuring that the legacies of Buhari in the oil and gas industry is documented for posterity.
“So, we are going to collaborate in the area of infrastructural development and capacity building for NNPC as the transformational process in the oil and gas industry proceed.
Speaking earlier, Gen. Lucky Irabor, the Chief of Defence Staff and the Chairman Board of Governors NIPS, said that the NIPSS would play an important role in term of protecting facilities and impacting knowledge in the sector.
“We are here in partnership with various establishment notably the NNPC, because NIPS is the foremost think thank on strategy and policy matters in Nigeria.
NIPSS remained an institute that build capacity of leaders and building leaders to formulate policies that was central to the country’s development as a nation.
Irabor said that from that context, NIPSS would be involved not only by helping in manpower development of corporation such as NNPC but equally in areas where those establishments could be of support also to NIPS.
“So, if NIPSS is providing the manpower development and of course it stands to reason that whatever happen between the oil and gas space NIPSS is also contributing in that regards.
Kyari on his part said that the NNPC was transforming, adding that it needed to build capacity for leadership.
He further said that it had already benefited from the NIPSS through a number of participants that had gone through the institute.
According to him, NNPC has seen the qualities that have been added to their capacities and their abilities and we will continue to leverage on that opportunities.
He said that, more than anything the NNPC would continue to partner with the institute in manners that could increase their capacities intern of infrastructure.
He added that most importantly, the NNPC was pleased to hear that the NIPSS would honour the President, adding that honour was most important for NNPC than even NIPSS.
This, according to him, is because the President has done great for us for the oil and gas industry by putting in place the PIA.
He said that the PIA had opened up investments and created capacities in the industry, adding that it would please the company to join in honouring the president.
In many parts of rural Gambia, women farmers often start their days before dawn to ensure they have enough water to irrigate their gardens and for cooking, cleaning and bathing at home.
“Some of us would wake up as early as 3:00 a.m. to 4:00 a.m. just to get water. The hyenas attacked us on three different occasions,” said Salla Bah, a vegetable farmer in the Central River Region in northern Gambia. “We had to endure all these challenges to be able to water our crops and find time for housework.”
Like most residents of her village, Salla relies on one of the three deep wells in her village. It can never be too early, and arriving at the wrong time could cost you an entire morning and the day's wages. Vegetable farms are vital sources of income, allowing community members to support their households with food and income.
In collaboration with the Gambian Ministry of Agriculture, FAO launched an initiative in 2013 funded by the European Union and the Global Environment Facility (GEF) to provide wells for water-deprived community gardens. However, these are not ordinary wells; they are equipped with solar-powered pumps that fill reservoirs equipped with filtration systems, providing clean water for irrigation and, critically, for domestic and livestock use.
FAO has implemented 34 solar-powered water systems to irrigate community gardens and provide water points for livestock in villages across The Gambia. This is creating a greener future for more than 6,600 community members, 90% of whom are women. There are another ten solar-powered water systems for livestock that are under advanced construction in the northern part of the Gambia River, where there is serious land degradation and deforestation.
“Before the installation of the solar systems and wells, we always had problems with the water. Now that is a thing of the past,” said Foday Jadama, a farmer from the community. "Now we have plenty of water to grow whatever we want."
Support for mitigation and adaptation to climate change
With the effects of climate change ever present, access to water is increasingly critical to the survival of communities in the arid rural areas of The Gambia. “In addition to the economic benefits, this project is also very important when it comes to climate change,” said Dodou Trawally, the GEF country coordinator in The Gambia.
“Managing the effects of climate change is about two things,” he continued. “It's about mitigation and adaptation. This solar energy system addresses both, hence its importance and significance for The Gambia.”
With off-grid systems irrigating the land, farmers like Salla and Foday are leading the charge in climate adaptation, setting an example of how green solutions can be a building block in climate action.
Ownership equals sustainability
Local communities take pride in these solar power systems. They have a sense of ownership and are partners in developing and maintaining the systems. Community members also contribute a small monthly amount to financially support the system, a provision implemented through the community bylaws.
“I am responsible for the care and maintenance of the solar panels,” said Jalamang Touray proudly. "With the help of two women, we clean the solar panels every Friday."
While other men predominantly farm millet or cowpeas, Jalamang works in the garden with the women and youth. Together they care for the five-hectare orchard financed by the GEF. Jalamang received training on how to repair basic faults in the system, clean the solar panels regularly, and monitor the flow of water to the upper galvanized water storage tank.
By involving community members in the conception, planning, implementation and maintenance of the project facilities, the people of the Kuwonkuba village and 33 other communities across the country have developed self-reliant and resilient livelihoods. They can support themselves and their children and experience a level of comfort that they have never known before. Now, most women who previously earned no more than USD 18 (GMD 1,000) in each four-month farming period earn around USD 143 (GMD 7,800).
“The system has allowed us to take care of our children and health financially, pay school fees and take care of other needs,” says Awa Mbenga, from the village of Jamali Ganyado, standing in front of her garden with a smile. "Since we got the water with solar energy, we have time to stay at home, eat and drink tea before going to the gardens."
With innovative solutions such as solar-powered irrigation, FAO and its partners are supporting the transformation towards efficient, inclusive, resilient and sustainable agri-food systems. These innovations are helping to provide viable livelihoods for Africa's most vulnerable communities, helping communities become more resilient to climate impacts and, now more than ever, capable of better production.
Mr Muhammad Saleh-Hassan, Chairman, Skymark Energy and Power Ltd, has urged oil marketers and other stakeholders in the energy sector, to cooperate with the Federal Government and end fuel scarcity in Nigeria.
The energy stakeholder, who made the call in Abuja on Sunday, stressed that oil marketers had a major role to play in ending recurring fuel scarcity in the country.
Saleh-Hassan noted that the energy crisis appeared to have defied government’s efforts, and urged oil marketers to be patriotic and support government by shunning sharp practices and putting the people’s interests above high profit-making targets.
”In this circumstance that we have found ourselves, the marketers and other stakeholders should be patriotic by supporting government in the interest of the masses.
“A critical situation like this is not a time that we should be thinking of our personal interests and gains. We should also think of the interests of the nation and the people.
“This is because you rely on the people to do your business. So, they too need your support to be able to afford the services you are rendering to them.
“You also rely on government for regulations to also do your business. That is why you should also support government.
Saleh-Hassan said it was morally wrong for oil markers, as critical stakeholders in the oil and gas sector, to be unpatriotic by aiding and abetting energy crisis through sharp practices which caused fuel scarcity,
“You are not supposed to take advantage of the situation by insisting that you want to add transport cost, or make more money by hoarding your products, sending it to the black market or diverting it to other destinations, where you think that you can make more gains.
“I, therefore, call on the marketers, particularly the Independent Petroleum Marketers’ Association of Nigeria (IPMAN), the Major Oil Marketers’ Association of Nigeria (MOMAN), the Petroleum and Natural Gas Association of Nigeria (PENGASSAN) among others, to support government in finding a lasting solution in the interest of the masses,” he said.
Commenting on media reports that, in spite of the N4 trillion fuel subsidy made available by government, yet there were empty fuel depots, persistent fuel scarcity and unstable prices, he stressed that fuel subsidy had not failed.
According to the Skymark Energy and Power Ltd boss, sharp practices in the industry is responsible for sabotaging the integrity of subsidy.
He said that it was patriotism, and not fuel subsidy removal, that would solve the fuel scarcity problem, adding that removing subsidy would hit the economy badly.
“If you remove subsidy it will hit the economy and aggravate the ailing economy and the masses will suffer seriously. There will be severe problems in the economic sector of the country. In fact, it would worsen the current inflation. Essential commodities in particular would not be affordable.
“President Buhari’s decision not to remove fuel subsidy is a kind and commendable gesture to the masses. As a leader I think he is in the right direction. If patriotism is applied, you can be sure that the subsidy will work.
Responding to a question on why fuel depots were empty, in spite of the subsisting subsidy, he said, “the claim in the media circle that depots are empty is not true. Depots are not empty. If depots are empty, where are the independent marketers getting the product they are giving to the black marketers?
“After all, if NNPC imports the products, it gives it directly to the marketers to sell to people at stations at N165 per litre. Is a black marketer an independent marketer? Where do they get the fuel that they sell to people in gallons?
Saleh-Hassan said that it was necessary for government to take more proactive measures to decisively address the fuel scarcity situation.
“The law has to work. We have to go back to the military era when petroleum products used to be escorted by security operatives from depots to the expected destinations to stop independent marketers from diverting them.
“At the point of discharging and distribution, all the trailers should be escorted by security agents to ensure that the products are delivered appropriately to the fuel stations.
“The police clamp down on fuel hawkers who were selling fuel in jerrycans in some parts of Abuja recently was a good move and I commend the IGP for that. This should continue until we see the end of the fuel crisis,” he said.
Saleh-Hassan also called on Nigerians to be patient, adding that the crisis would soon be over as it was not peculiar to Nigeria,saying, “efforts are already being made by the Federal Government to reposition the oil sector.”
He said, “The ongoing Russia-Ukraine war has triggered economic woes across the globe and this is already trickling down on the energy sector in different countries in the world and Nigeria is no exception.
“Globally, refineries are not working. Even in America. About two, three weeks ago, there was fuel scarcity in London.
“Prices of refined products in the UK and U.S. are not stable. In the U.S.,a gallon of fuel s almost hitting eight dollars. In the UK, to fill a car tank now is about 100 pounds.
“But in Nigeria, the official price is still N165 per litre. So, Mele Kyari, the NNPC GMD,, is doing very well and should be commended,” he
The National Industrial Court in Abuja has ordered Access Bank Plc to remove a former employee, Sarah Longe, a debtor from its list of debtors.
The order as directed by Justice Polycarp Hamman also stated that the claimant’s name should be withdrawn as debtor in the Credit Bureau Department within 30 days.
The court further declared the listing and subsequent sending of Longe’s details to the Credit Bureau Department as a debtor, as unlawful and unjustifiable.
Hamman delivering the judgment held that the claimant was not indebted in any way to the bank, either during her employment from 2014 to 2016 nor after the termination of her employment.
The court in addition awarded the sum of N2 million as general damages in favour of the claimant.
From facts, the claimant had submitted that her employment as a Banking Executive Trainee, was abruptly terminated for no reason by the defunct Diamond Bank in 2016, before it was acquired by Access Bank.
She averred that she subsequently received debit alerts stating that she was indebted to the bank in the sum of N203,639 which accrued from unearned rent among others.
She further submitted that she was denied another employment because of the bad credit report authored and written by the defendant which was sent to all the financial institutions in Nigeria.
Longe also said that she lost several opportunities in her career advancement due to the embargo placed on her person and profile by the defendant.
In defence, the defendant averred that since the allegations of the claimant occurred before they acquired Diamond Bank, that the suit had commenced four years after the claimant was disengaged.
The defendant also argued there was no reasonable cause of action against its GMD, whom the claimant joined as a defendant in the suit.
The bank further averred that the alleged bad credit report to the Credit Bureau Department cannot in law bar the claimant from future employment in a financial institution.
The defendant in closing its case urged the court to dismiss the case in its entirety as the claimant was not entitled to any of the claims in the suit.
In reply, the claimant maintained that the defendant was responsible and liable for the trauma and financial difficulties she suffered by virtue of the credit report it authored.
The claimant also said that the instant suit disclosed a reasonable cause of action against the GMD.
She therefore urged the court to grant the reliefs she sought.
The court on its part after evaluating the submissions of both parties, dismissed the defendant’s objection about its jurisdiction and affirmed the jurisdiction of the court.
The court also held that suit failed to disclose any reasonable cause of action against the GMD of the bank.
The court held that the claimant having utilised the allowances paid to her as upfront before the termination of her appointment in May 2016, was not indebted to the bank.
The court further stressed that the bank had failed to show the court whether, by law, practice in the banking sector or even the agreement between the parties allowances paid upfront to employees at the beginning of the year are to be refunded if the employee’s appointment is terminated within the same year.
The court however, stated that the claimant claim for loss of earning and career advancement were unproved and same was refused by the court. ( NAN)
Activities for the week at the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPC Ltd), started with a cheering news that President Muhammadu Buhari will unveil the new NNPC on July 18.
This was disclosed within the week by the Group Managing Executive Officer of NNPC, Malam Mele Kyari, at the opening ceremony of the 8th African Petroleum Congress and Exhibition (CAPE VIII) which held in Luanda, Angola.
Kyari said the unveiling was in furtherance of the implementation of Section 53(1) of the Petroleum Industry Act which provides for the establishment of a new corporate entity known as NNPC Ltd.
Delivering a goodwill message at the conference, the GMD highlighted the revolution currently taking place in the Nigerian oil and gas industry through the implementation of the PIA.
He called on the industry leaders and other participants at the conference to join him and the NNPC family for the unveiling of the new NNPC.
He said the CAPE VIII was coming at a time when the world stood between the challenge of energy security and the necessity for energy transition in the context of energy justice.
Kyari stressed that there was need for all stakeholders to find amicable solutions to the challenges facing the sector.
The Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPC Ltd.) started its activities for the week with the good news that Vanguard Newspapers nominated the company’s Group Managing Director (GMD) Malam Mele Kyari, for its 2021 Man of the Year Award.
The Chairman Editorial Board of Vanguard Newspapers, Ochereome Nnanna, disclosed this when he led other members of the company’s management team to present the letter of nomination to the GMD.
Nnanna said that the selection of the Vanguard Man of the Year award was usually a very competitive and difficult process because of the stringent criteria deployed to arrive at the choice of the beneficiary of the award.
He noted that as a result of this painstaking process, there were years in the past when the organiser could not find anyone fit for this category of award.
The GMD appreciated the newspaper for nominating him for the award, adding that the award was coming at a time when the NNPC was undergoing huge transformation in line with the provisions of the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA).
Kyari said there was an urgent need to focus on gas investment, adding that as the economy was currently facing a challenging time, such investment would help to guarantee energy security for the country.
The GMD explained that the NNPC has been transparently managed, adding that it remained the only company in the world that publishes its monthly financial report.
In a related development, the Management of Leadership Newspapers has also named Kyari as the CEO of the Year 2021.
The notice of the nomination was conveyed to the NNPC helmsman by the Editor-in-Chief of Leadership Newspapers, Mr Azu Ishiekwene, during a visit to the NNPC Towers.
Responding, Kyari said it was a privilege to be recognised by a reputable media organisation like Leadership. Sylva and Kyari
Meanwhile, the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Chief Timipre Sylvia, has been nominated by the Leadership Newspapers as its 2021 Public Service Person of the Year Award.
The Management of the newspaper led by the Vice Chairman of the Leadership Group, Mr Mike Okpere, made this known during a visit to present the letter of nomination to the Minister.
Speaking at the event, Okpere said that the award was in recognition of Sylva’s determination and resilience in pushing for the passage and signing into Law of the PIA and its aggressive implementation for the betterment of the oil and gas industry and the nation.
Receiving the notification letter, the Minister described the award as an incentive that would spur him and the ministry to do more to continually improve the operational environment of the oil and gas industry and ultimately boost the nation’s economy.
Sylva expressed gratitude to Leadership Newspapers for recognising the modest contributions made by him and other members of the ministry.
“I really thank you for the award and I accept it because for me it’s an endorsement of some of the humble contributions we’ve made.
“Coming from a very reputable Nigerian newspaper like Leadership deems it fit to give me an award makes me feel that at least my little efforts are being recognised.
“The efforts I made I did not expect anyone to notice them but when such efforts are noticed by an organisation such as yours, it gives us reason to be glad and it is an incentive for us to do more”.
Also in the week, the Ministry of Petroleum Resources unveiled plans for the 6th edition of the Nigeria International Energy Summit (NIES 2023).
It informed that the annual Conference themed “Global Perspectives for a Sustainable Energy Future” would hold in Abuja between April 16 and April 20.
The Ministry explained that the theme of the summit was informed by the speed of change projected in the fossil fuels segment as the world pursues the energy transition agenda.
According to the Event Consultant and Managing Director of Brevity Anderson, Mr James Shindi, “NIES 2023 will put on the front burner overarching global energy trends and perspectives.
This, Shindi said would ensure that policy makers and other players in the sector can easily understand latest developments and the best roadmap to drive the energy transition”.
In an online media Broadcast, Sylva said “NIES 2023 was primed to be a show-stopper as it would be the valedictory edition of this administration.
“The event will provide the platform for the administration to present its scorecard in the energy sector and also provide the opportunity to offer a roadmap for the next administration.
“It is therefore an epoch and a must-attend event for all the stakeholders in the industry.
“As a tradition, NIES 2023 will feature the highest level of attendance by top decision makers, industry leaders and all stakeholders from both the public and private sectors from across Africa and the global energy community.
“There will be a special dinner and other networking events with attendee ministers from other oil producing countries and heads of government delegation from other countries.
“With the full backing of the Federal Government of Nigeria, NIES has over the years witnessed the highest level of attendance by top decision makers, industry leaders and all stakeholders from both the public and private sectors.
“NIES has grown from year to year and remains the definitive platform, not just for Nigeria, but also for Africa to engage the global energy community,” Shindi said.
NIES is a federal government of Nigeria’s official energy industry event with the Federal Ministry of Petroleum Resources and all its parastatals including the NNPC and Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB).
Others are Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission (NURPC), Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority (NMDPRA), Petroleum Technology Development Fund (PTDF) and Petroleum Training Institute (PTI) as joint hosts.
Still in the week under review, the House of Representatives commended the National Petroleum Investment Management Services (NAPIMS), a subsidiary of the NNPC Ltd., for the prompt provision of information on its assets and liabilities.
The House of Representatives Ad-hoc Committee on Inventory, Assets, Liabilities and Joint Ventures of the NNPC gave the commendation during its oversight visit to NAPIMS.
The visit was part of its task of verifying NNPC’s assets and liabilities with a view to determining which of the assets that would be transferred to the new NNPC Ltd. as stipulated in the PIA.
Explaining the rationale behind the establishment of the Committee, the Chairman of the Committee, Rep. Uju Kingsley Chima, said the leadership of the House of Representatives believed that there was need for the assets of the old NNPC.
And that all its subsidiaries must be effectively verified for proper documentation prior to their transfer to the NNPC Ltd., to ensure the take-off of the new company on a sound footing.
The lawmaker expressed satisfaction with the presentations made by NAPIMS officials regarding its assets, liabilities and challenges, stressing that it would cumulatively help the committee to make appropriate recommendations to the during plenary.
He also said that the Committee would create time to visit the locations of some of the assets to assess their true state before preparing its report.
Earlier, members of the Management Team of NAPIMS took turns to make presentations to the Committee on the various aspects of the agency’s operations as well its existing assets and liabilities.
In her vote of thanks, the General Manager, External Relations, NNPC, Mrs Iyabode Ayobami-Ojo, expressed delight at the sustained support NNPC enjoyed from the legislature, especially at this period of its transition from Corporation to limited liability company following the passage of the PIA.
In another development, the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) commiserated with the people and government of Imo State, over last weekend’s fire which was reported to have consumed no fewer than 100 people at a site of an illegal refinery.
Many victims were burnt beyond recognition during the incident which occurred after an illegal refinery exploded at Abaezi forest in the Ohaji-Egbema Local Government Area of the state.
In a letter to the Governor of Imo State, Sen. Hope Uzodinma, OPEC’s Secretary General, Dr Sanusi Barkindo, decried the scale of destruction caused by the incident, saying that the oil producers’ organisation, received the sad news with deep shock.
Barkindo stressed that the loss of lives at the site was difficult to accept.
He commiserated with the “heroic” people of Imo state over the deaths and injuries suffered by those impacted by the blast.
“It was with deep shock and sadness that I received the news of the tragic loss of lives following a fire at an illegal oil refining depot close to the border with Rivers State.
“On behalf of OPEC, I would like to extend our deepest sympathies to you and the people of Imo State at this difficult time.
“Loss of life on this scale is very difficult to comprehend and our thoughts and prayers go to the families and friends of those afflicted by this tragedy, as well as those recovering from their injuries.
“We stand shoulder-to-shoulder with all who grieve at this difficult time. We will also pray for the safety of the emergency response teams. May the Almighty give the bereaved the fortitude to bear this unbearable loss.
“Please accept, Your Excellency, the renewed assurances of my highest consideration and esteem,” Barkindo said.
While offering his condolences to the families of the victims earlier, President Muhammadu Buhari demanded that those responsible for the explosions must be arrested and brought to justice.
The President also ordered security forces to intensify efforts to shut the illegal refineries.
It is noted that in recent times, the NNPC Ltd, Malam Mele Kyari had been advocating the support of the authorities, security agencies, host communities, Nigerian Parliament and all stakeholders to curb the menace of crude oil theft, proliferation of illegal plants where stolen crude oil are refined and pipeline vandalism that is causing the Nigerian nation huge revenue losses.
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The House of Representatives Ad hoc Committee investigating the state of refineries in Nigeria has issued a 7-day ultimatum to the Minister of State for Petroleum to appear before the committee or risk the wrath of the law.
The Chairman of the committee, Rep. Ganiyu Abiodun (APC-Lagos state) issued the ultimatum at a press conference on Thursday in Abuja.
Also to appear before the committee is the Group Managing Director (GMD) of Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) and the General Managers of the refineries in Port Harcourt, Warri and Kaduna.
Abiodun said the committee was forced to issue the ultimatum following failure of the officials to honour three invitations earlier sent to them.
“We are compelled to hold this press conference because of the continued refusal and flagrant disregard of the GMD of the NNPC, the minister of state for petroleum resources and the general managers of Port Harcourt, Warri and Kaduna refineries to the invitations to appear before the committee.
“We consider this continued refusal and negligence to appear before the committee as disrespect to the Leadership of the National Assembly of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
“The committee is worried that the Port Harcourt Refining Company (PHRC), Warri Refinery and Petrochemicals Company (WRPC) and Kaduna Refinery and Petrochemicals Company (KRPC) had all been operating at gross losses since 2010 before they were finally shut down in 2019.
“This committee has the mandate of the house of representatives and the constitutional responsibility to demand accountability from those in positions of managing our resources.
“It is worrisome that the GMD of the NNPC, the ninister of state for petroleum resources and the general managers of Port Harcourt, Warri and Kaduna refineries have refused on three invitations to appear before the committee to account for the billions of dollars spent on the rehabilitation of the refineries over the years.
“As chairman of this honourable committee, I hereby summon the GMD of the NNPC, the mnister of state for petroleum resources and the general managers of Port Harcourt, Warri and Kaduna refineries to appear before the committee on Thursday, April 28, 2022 to avoid legal, constitutional and parliamentary measures to be taken against them in order to compel them to appear,” he said.
The rep said the committee was aware that the NNPC recently awarded contracts for rehabilitation of refineries in the following sums: WRPC 900 million dollars, PHRC 1.5 billion dollars and KRPC 1.3 billion dollars.
He recalled that the committee was constituted to determine actual cost of rehabilitating the refineries and what was needed to bring them back to maximum refining capacity.
According to him, the committee is mandated to determine the true state of the refineries, ascertain the actual cost of rehabilitating and what is needed for the refineries to function at maximum capacity.
He said the committee relied on relevant laws and pursuant to the provisions of Sections 62, 88, and 89 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended).
The rep said the committee requested the GMD of the NNPC to provide a status report on the nation’s refineries and the actual cost of rehabilitating the refineries from 2012 to date.
“The committee specifically requested the GMD to provide the following; an appraisal of the current state of refineries in the Country: Port Harcourt Refining Company (PHRC); Warri Refining and Petrochemical Company Limited (WRPC) and Kaduna Refining and Petrochemical Company Limited (KRPC) from year 2012 to date.
“Copies of annual budgets on rehabilitation by the refineries: PHRC, WRPC and KRPC from 2012 to date and a list of releases for rehabilitation of refineries from 2012 to date.
“List of all contracts awarded for rehabilitation of refineries and award letters issued to service providers and contractors and the Actual Cost of Projects (Contracts) and Review (if any) stated in Naira.
“Work Completion Certificates issued on rehabilitation projects carried out on refineries, evidence of payments made for all such contracts awarded from year 2012 to date.
“List of service providers and contractors that handled the rehabilitation of refineries and any other relevant information to assist the Committee in the course of this assignment,”he said.
The lawmaker said that as members of the national assembly and representatives of the people, they had the constitutional duty to name and demand from those responsible.
He said that legislators needed to know the problems besetting the refineries in order to proffer solutions for a sustainable future and for the benefit of all Nigerians.
Source Credit: NAN
Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPC Ltd.) kicked off the week's activities with a tour of the Port Harcourt refinery to determine the level of rehabilitation underway at the plant.
The Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Chief Timipre Sylva, and members of the NNPC Ltd. Board of Directors who were also on the tour expressed their satisfaction with the progress of work on the Rivers State refinery site.
Sylva, who was elated at the level of progress on the project, said he was particularly impressed with the keen sense of time management exhibited by the team.
He said that the Federal Government was interested in the early delivery of the project to achieve energy security in Nigeria.
Speaking on behalf of Board members, NNPC Board Chairman Senator Margery Chuba-Okadigbo noted that the rehabilitation was aimed at increasing refining capacity in the country and reducing costs.
Chuba-Okadigbo said the rehabilitation also indicates the company's intention to exit from importing petroleum products and challenges related to foreign exchange issues, adding that she was impressed with the work done so far.Senator Margery Chuba-Okadigbo
For his part, Group Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of NNPC Ltd., Malam Mele Kyari, explained that the project was uniquely designed with efficiency and sustainable maintenance culture in mind to enable the refinery to generate funds.
He assured that the entire process was well thought out and will allow the company to introduce a new business model for the operation of the refinery.
Earlier in his technical report to the visiting team, PHRC's Director General, Mr. Ahmed Dikko, stated that the company was determined to fulfill the mandate.
He acknowledged the support of the NNPC leadership, its Board, the National Assembly and other stakeholders in achieving the current milestones.
Dikko emphasized that the progress made thus far could not have been possible without their cooperation and timely approvals.
The project manager, speaking on behalf of the contractor in charge of the rehabilitation, Tecnimont SpA, Mr. Davide Broggini, said that they would deliver the project in record time.
The visit included a tour of areas one, two and three of the refinery that housed some important plants, including the vacuum and crude distillation units.
Other plants visited were the naphtha hydrotreating unit, the kero hydrotreating and catalytic reforming units, the gas and fluid catalytic cracking unit, and the merox and gas treatment units.
The PHRC, which comprises old and new refineries with a combined refining capacity of 210,000 bpsd, is expected to begin partial operation beginning in the first quarter of 2023,000 barrels per day of current on the market.
The refinery would become fully operational once the rehabilitation project, scheduled for the last quarter of 2024, is completed.
Meanwhile, the House of Representatives said it was committed to ensuring that the new NNPC Ltd. got off the ground on a solid footing without any impediments from the old NNPC.
This was said of the Ad-hoc Committee of Representatives established to investigate the inventory, assets, liabilities and joint ventures of the former NNPC during a monitoring visit.
The visit went to the NNPC Border Exploration Services Division and the Port Harcourt Refining Company (PHRC) recently.
Speaking during the visit, the Committee's chairman, Rep. Uju Chima, said the exercise was not an investigation but a measure intended to help the new NNPC Ltd. get off the ground on a solid footing.
He explained that the duty of the Committee was to know the assets of the former NNPC and ensure that those that should be transferred to the new entity, as provided for in the Petroleum Industry Law (PIA), were duly documented.
“We are only here to help you determine those assets to ensure that valuable assets that are supposed to be transferred or reverted to NNPC Ltd. are not left behind while also helping you determine the value of those assets.” .
He said that the exercise focused not only on assets but also on liabilities.
The chairman of the committee demanded information on the total value of the PHRC houses, the assets, the monetary value of the liabilities and the total amount spent so far on the rehabilitation of the plants.
Chima urged the NNPC to keep up the pace to ensure that the goal of completing the rehabilitation is not lost.
In his response, PHRC Director General Ahmed Dikko praised the National Assembly, especially the House of Representatives, for their support of PHRC.
He said the committee's visit showed support, not only for PHRC, but also for NNPC Ltd.
"We hope that this support will translate into the overall success of the rehabilitation for the benefit of Nigerians in light of the current energy crisis."Port Harcourt Refinery
Dikko assured the committee that the work would be delivered on time and to specification, emphasizing that efforts were already at an advanced stage to introduce an Operations and Maintenance model to ensure the upkeep of the refinery.
Earlier, on a similar visit to the NNPC Border Exploration Services Division in Abuja, the Committee sought to learn about the activities of the Division and its assets and liabilities.
The Chairman of the Committee said that they were interested in the sustainability mechanisms that the Border Exploration Services Division had put in place for the transition.
Group General Manager, Border Exploration Services Division, Mr. Abdullahi Bomai, explained to legislators the operations of the division and explained that the division was in the business of implementing high standard technology for seismic data collection.
It said seismic data collected in the course of the division's operations was part of NNPC's assets.
On the division's liabilities, Bomai said technology needed to be upgraded to allow it to expand its capacity and expressed hope that the provision of 30 percent of the exploration fund in the PIA could help address the challenge.
The Ad-hoc committee at the end of the visit expressed confidence in NNPC's ability to implement a successful transition to a limited liability company.
Also in the week, the NNPC said it would deliver the Ajaokuta-Kaduna-Kano (AKK) Pipeline Project on time with first gas to be delivered in the first quarter of 2023.
Speaking at the project site in Abaji, Abuja, during a tour of the project, NNPC Group Managing Director/Executive Director Malam Mele Kyari said efforts were being made to ensure the project was completed on time.
He said that a critical result of the AKK project was the injection of more than eight billion standard cubic feet (scf) of gas injected into the domestic pipeline to revive dying industries.
Kyari said it would also open up economic opportunities for the country.
He described the AKK pipeline as a flagship project and hinted that it was time for Nigeria to tap into its gas reserves in Africa to develop its economy.
"There is no country that has access to this volume of gas that it has not developed."
In her remarks, NNPC board chair Senator Margery Chuba-Okadigbo expressed optimism that the project could deliver its first quarter of 2023 gas based on the scale of work done so far.
He noted that the country could take advantage of the situation between Russia and Ukraine to provide a solution to the global gas supply challenge.NNPC GMD, Mele Kyari (in denim shirt), Chairman of the Board Senator Margery Okadigbo (center), other NNPC and Oilserv Ltd. officials, during an inspection visit to the AKK pipeline project in Abaji
On the feasibility of achieving the 2023 target, the president of Oilserv, the project's Engineering, Procurement and Construction (EPC) contractor, Mr. Emeka Okwuosa, confirmed his company's readiness to deliver the project on time.
He said that NNPC's interventions in various periods of challenge helped bring the work to the current appreciable level.
It also ensured that the project managers and teams were more than competent to deliver the project in record time.
Also speaking at the KP 171 welding site during the tour, Oilserv General Manager, Mr. Chigozie Obi, and AKK Project General Manager, NNPC, Mr. Barwa Muhammed, explained that in addition to the deployment of modern technologies that guarantee durability, the project had great economic effects for the nation.
Construction of the 614 km AKK pipeline project started simultaneously in the Buhari states of Kogi and Kaduna in 2020 to encourage gas utilization and serve as a springboard for the nation's industrialization.
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Source Credit: NAN