NNPC Pipeline: Kyari debunks reported explosion, says it’s mere rupture

Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Mallam Mele Kyari, has disclaimed reports of explosion on the Abura Crude Trunk line operated by the Corporation.

The line, situated at Otu-Jeremi town in Ughelli, Delta State, which is operated by the Nigerian Petroleum Development Company (NPDC), NNPC’s Upstream subsidiary, was reported to have gone up in flames yesterday by a section of the media.

But speaking shortly after teeing off the 2019 NNPC Upstream Golf Tournament in Benin City on Saturday, Mele Kyari described the incident as a mere rupture on one of the Corporation’s pipelines which would be fixed within three days.

“It was not an explosion. It was a rupture on one of our pipelines. Our team of engineers have since moved to site. In three days, we should be able to fix it. We have since contained the spill coming out of that pipeline. There was no fire anywhere on the pipeline. So there is no cause for alarm,” Mele Kyari stated.

The GMD, who assured that the incident would have no any impact on the nation’s power supply, also called on host communities within the area to disregard the rumours and go about their normal activities.

On the Upstream Golf Tournament, he said the Benin Golf Club very important for the NNPC because it availed the staff of the various operations of the Corporation in Benin City the opportunity to work and maintain a healthy lifestyle through the game of golf.

“Our operations require the support of all stakeholders to succeed. We see our relationship with the Benin Golf Club as very crucial in helping us achieve our key targets of growing production, increasing the nation’s reserves and ensuring a lasting peace in the Niger Delta,” the GMD maintained.

Earlier in his remarks, the Captain of the Benin Golf Club, Prince Aghatise Erediauwa said NNPC had an age-long relationship with the Club which was in line with its Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) policy.

“We are very honoured to have the GMD coming down here to tee off this year’s tournament even though he has very tight schedule. We are very pleased and we hope this relationship continues for years to come,” the Captain added.

Over 200 golfers from the country were expected to participate at this year’s tournament, which also saw the commissioning of some projects executed by the NNPC at the Benin Golf Course.

SGF tasks newly graduated 328 EFCC Cadets on corruption fight

The Secretary to the Government of the Federation, SGF, Boss Mustapha, has charged the 328 Detective Superintendent Course Eight Cadets of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, that passed out from the Nigerian Defence Academy, NDA, on August 31, 2019 to ensure that they take the fight against corruption to the next level.

“I urge you to see your graduation not as a jamboree, but as a call for service delivery to eradicate corruption in Nigeria, in line with the mandate of the EFCC,” he said.

Representing President Muhammadu Buhari as the Reviewing Officer at the Passing-Out-Parade, POP, which held at the NDA Parade Ground, Ribadu Campus, Kaduna, Mustapha, who expressed delight by “the conscientious decision of these young men and women to help our beloved nation to tackle corruption”, stressed that corruption was “a malignant cancer that has blighted our development efforts over the years”.

He said: “I am thrilled by the prospects which you bring to the corruption fight and my charge to you today, is to live by the values of discipline, integrity, selflessness, patriotism  and professionalism, which the NDA and the EFCC are known for.”

He noted that the administration of President Buhari has an unalloyed political will to fight corruption to a standstill in Nigeria and has put in place measures to ensure victory.

He urged the young men and women to make their 12 months of training, which began on August 13, 2018 to count by “sacrificing your youth to fight corruption”.

Talking about a corrupt-free Nigeria, he said, might be like a wildest dream, “however, with a mixture of political will that the Buhari administration has shown and the courage of the EFCC under Ibrahim Magu it is possible to have a society where the corrupt are reduced to endangered species”.

He said: “We are counting on you to apply all you have learnt during the training and it is my hope the you will dedicate your life to protecting the commonwealth of this great country from those who have eroded the nation’s resources and denied the majority of Nigerians the benefit that should come to them.”

According to him, the POP “fitted perfectly with the next agenda of President Buhari, which has made significant progress with the implementation of the Treasury Single Account, TSA, which has helped block leakages, and the Whistle-Blower Policy to facilitate the recovery of stolen funds”.

“The priority going forward is to consolidate on the gains of the past years, and therefore need you as anti-corruption combatants to the next level,” he said.

He gave assurance that the administration of President Buhari “will create the right environment for anti-graft agencies to carry out their mandate without hindrance” and reiterated the president’s promise not to interfere in the activities of the EFCC and other anti-graft agencies. 

“Wherever you find corruption go ahead and do your job, the way you have been taught,” he said.

“My government will continue to support the EFCC,” he said, adding that with the commissioning of the EFCC Head Office Complex last year, with the assurance that “more will be done to motivate and insulate the officers from corruption influencers”.

He used the opportunity to call on all Nigerians to support the fight against corruption, stressing the corruption fight “calls for total vigilance”.

The parade, which was the climax of the series of trainings, including military drills, physical fitness training, first aid, along with EFCC trainings in Legal Studies, General Studies, Financial Studies, and Operations Studies, witnessed march-past in slow time and quick time to the delight of dignitaries. 

For this year’s POP, five awards were up for grabs and they went to: N. Ingawa, who won the Presidential Award for Best Overall Student; J.S. Ogbonkwu, who won the Chief of Defence Staff Award as 2nd Best Cadet; A. Gabdo, who won the EFCC Chairman’s Award and emerged 3rd Best Cadet; W.I. Imam, who won the NDA Commandant’s best overall cadet in military subjects; and A. Usman, who won the EFCC Chairman’s Award for Command and Leadership. 

Nasir El-Rufai, governor of Kaduna State, and chief host, who was among dignitaries who graced the epoch-making event gave cash prizes of N250,000 to all the awardees.

Ibrahim Magu, acting EFCC Chairman and host of the event noted that the anti-corruption agency will remain resolute in championing the agenda of President Buhari to eradicate corruption in Nigeria. 

Agenda for the new Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, By Jide Ojo

To many discerning observers of Nigeria’s humanitarian crisis, it is heartwarming that President Muhammadu Buhari deemed it fit to create a Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, headed by Hajia Sadiya Umar-Farouq.  This is a brand new ministry which is meant to provide solutions to the plight of millions of Internally Displaced Persons(IDPs)  as well as coordinate humanitarian affairs and social development in the country.

Truth be told, having a ministry in charge of the aforementioned areas is long overdue. The country, in the last 10 years, has been in the throes of insurgency in the North-East, especially in Borno, Adamawa and Yobe states. This insurgency has created a lot of social dislocation and millions of IDPs. According to an August 2019 report from Médecins Sans Frontières, (Doctors without Borders), “It is estimated that about 35,000 people have been killed since 2009, 1.8 million people are internally displaced, and 7.1 million people are in need of humanitarian assistance across the northeastern states of Borno, Adamawa and Yobe. Around 230,000 people have fled to the neighbouring countries of Niger, Chad and Cameroon”.

This is not much different from the report from the United Nations Office for the Coordination for Humanitarian Affairs better known as OCHA which says that, “As of 2019, 1.8 million Nigerians have fled from their homes and are internally displaced, the majority in Borno State – the epicentre of the crisis. 80 per cent of internally displaced people are women and children, and one in four is under the age of five.”

Prior to the advent of the Boko Haram insurgency in 2009, Nigeria had witnessed a lot of IDP cases in the Bakassi area of Cross River State as well as due to sectarian crises and natural disasters across the country. Even now, banditry in the North-West, especially in Zamfara, Katsina, Sokoto and Kaduna states has led to the creation of hundreds of thousands of the IDPs. The situation is similar to what is happening in the North-Central region of the country, especially in Plateau, Benue and Nasarawa states where several thousands of people have been displaced as a result of herders/ farmers’ clashes.

According to the Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre report, “In 2018, 541,000 new displacements were recorded in Nigeria, 200,000 of which took place in the Middle Belt region and the rest as a result of the Boko Haram insurgency in the North-East. About 2.2 million people remained displaced due to these conflicts as of the end of the year. Flooding affected 80 per cent of the country last year and triggered most of the 613,000 new displacements recorded.”

What all these statistics revealed is that having a ministry to take care of disaster management and humanitarian affairs is very desirable. There is so much work to be done for the pioneer minister. Luckily, Farouq has prior experience in managing these issues as a former Federal Commissioner of the National Commission for Refugees, Migrants and Internally Displaced Persons, a post she held from September 26, 2016 to July 2019 when she was nominated as a minister.

I am of the considered opinion that being from Zamfara State, one of the states in the jugular of banditry, she already knows what it means to have humanitarian needs. Thus, she should be able to do all in her power to ameliorate the sufferings of the IDPs.

My agenda for her is to see to the full implementation of the African Union Convention for the Protection and Assistance of Internally Displaced Persons in Africa otherwise known as the Kampala Convention. This convention came into being in 2009. According to a February 2018 report from HelpAge International,” By adopting the Convention, the AU member states took a vital step to strengthen the protection of the rights of some of the most vulnerable people on the continent. The Kampala Convention puts in place an African legal framework to prevent internal displacement, to protect and assist people during displacement, and to provide durable solutions for displaced people. It came into force in December 2012”.

It is shameful that the country does not have a robust national policy on the IDPs as the Federal Government only in January this year pledged to adopt a national policy on internal displacement. This is long overdue. A national policy on the IDPs will articulate a proper response on rights and privileges of this vulnerable group while in the camp as well as process of resettlement.

I also expect that with the advent of this new ministry, there will be better coordination of humanitarian services in Nigeria. Right now, hundreds of national and international Non-Governmental Organisations are working to provide relief services to victims of insurgency and natural disasters across the country. However, their efforts are not well-coordinated while some of them have been accused of corrupt practices.  I should expect that all the local and international humanitarian agencies will be registered by this ministry for proper monitoring and evaluation of their activities.

I do also hope that the safety and security of organisations providing humanitarian services across the country will be enhanced with the coming into existence of the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development. Recall that a total of 37 aid workers have been killed in Nigerian’s volatile northeast region since the crisis there began a decade ago. That is according to the United Nations on Tuesday, August 20, 2019. Scores of other aid workers have also been abducted while providing humanitarian services. Six of them working with an international humanitarian group were reportedly abducted on July 18 by Boko Haram insurgents in Borno State.

The minister owes the country a blueprint or road map on national disaster management. Incidentally, the country does not have one yet, to the best of my knowledge. It will therefore be important to draft one with the technical assistance from  international partners. When done, it should be religiously implemented.

Hopefully, with the coming into existence of this vital ministry, the National Emergency Management Agency, Victims Support Fund, National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons and other agencies that will be under the supervision of the ministry will perform better. Now that social development has been carved out of the Ministry of Women Affairs, it is my prayer that issues regarding Persons with Disabilities hitherto being handled by Ministry of Women Affairs will receive a prime attention in the new ministry. One sure way to start for the minister is to see to full implementation of the Disability Act signed into law on January 23, 2019 by President Muhammadu Buhari. One of the key highlights of that Act is the establishment of a National Disability Commission. This should be set up without further delay.

The immediate challenge the new ministry may face is that of funding since it is new and was not budgeted for in the 2019 Appropriation Act. However, it is my hope that it will be well-funded in the 2020 budget currently being prepared for submission to National Assembly next month or thereabout. I charge the minister to prudently manage the resources of the ministry and curb the sharp practices allegedly being perpetrated by government officials involved in disaster management and humanitarian services.

Follow me on Twitter @jideojong

Kyari assures host communities of sustained partnership

The Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Mallam Mele Kyari, has assured host communities of oil and gas installations of sustained and symbiotic engagement with the national oil company in such a way as to entrench mutually beneficial partnership with the industry.

NNPC GMD made the pledge in response to a message of goodwill on his appointment by the Host Communities of Oil Installations in the Niger Delta, during a recent visit to the NNPC Towers, Abuja, led by its Leader, Comrade Atuake Solomon and Organizing Secretary, Dr. Peter Ikeagwu.

A press release by the Group General Manager, Group Public Affairs Division of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Mr. Ndu Ughamadu, stated that the NNPC GMD and the Corporation would expand the prevailing cordial relationship with its various host communities to achieve set goals and targets in this regard.   

 He emphasized that the new NNPC Management under the leadership of Mallam Mele Kyari is evolving a relationship where members of host communities would consolidate their roles as stakeholders cum participants in NNPC’s business of superintending over the nation’s vast hydrocarbon resources.

The NNPC spokesman called on host communities of oil and gas infrastructure across the country to see themselves in that light while treating their guests and operators of such facilities as partners whose only interest is to bring development and prosperity to their domain.

Matawalle receives Ruga master plan, directs immediate implementation

 Gov. Bello Matawalle of Zamfara has ordered for the immediate commencement of construction work on the new Ruga settlements in the state.

Matawalle issued the directive on Saturday in Gusau after receiving the new Ruga master plan from the project consultant, Mr Emmanuel Ozigi.

“This project which is going to be located in the three senatorial districts of the state will be fully and jointly funded by the state government and the 14 local government councils of the state.

“It is also aimed at showcasing to the world that the peace process embarked by this administration is working.

“It is also to show the appreciation of the state government to the Fulanis and its commitment to meeting the yearnings of the Fulanis.

“The Ruga project will not only be beneficial to the Fulanis but all citizens of the state as the derivable benefits are enormous and a way of boosting the economy of the state and its citizens,” he explained.

The governor said that already, the required funds for the scheme had already been earmarked and set aside.

Matawalle revealed that after the pilot scheme which would commence on Tuesday, the Federal Government would come up with its own Ruga settlement programme in the state.

He reiterated his earlier directive on contractors to source for all their materials and manpower locally “so that wealth can go round.”

Earlier, the project consultant who presented the master plan, said the project would include access roads, landscaping, grazing reserves, primary and secondary schools.

Others are Islamiyya schools, Mosques, hospitals, veterinaries, abattoir, social centers, dams and cemeteries.

He said that derivable benefits of the project would also involve empowerment through shops and markets, milk, hides and skin production for export, police station and banks. (NAN)