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121
Oil & Gas Industry / Nigeria Seeks Massive Investment in Gas Sector
« on: May 18, 2015, 08:21:45 AM »

State owned Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) is seeking massive investment in country’s natural gas sector.

According to a report published earlier this month in The Guardian Nigeria, Ohi Alegbe, the Group General Manager, Group Public Affairs, NNPC said in a statement that the measure was aimed at ameliorating the effect of drop in crude oil prices on the Nigerian economy.

Group Managing Director, NNPC, Joseph Dawha, had stated this earlier at a panel session at the Offshore Technology Conference (OTC) in Houston, Texas, USA.

"The Nigerian gas sector has seen tremendous focus in the last few years. We have grown capacity at a pace of 18-20 percent with supply now at about two billion cubic feet of gas per day in the domestic market from a humble start of about 300 million cubic feet per day a few years ago," Dawha said at the event.

He noted that in spite of the annual investment of millions of dollars in the last four years in gas supply and infrastructure, there was need for significant addition to infrastructure and supply development.

"For example, we have built over 500km gas pipelines and we are building an additional 120km currently; but we need to build many more kilometers of pipelines to connect new markets and gas sources. We need investments in gas processing, micro-Liquified Natural Gas, Compressed Natural Gas as well as upstream Non-Associated Gas (NAG) development. Therein lie the compelling investment opportunities," he said, reported The Guardian Nigeria.

"We can turn the gloom inherent in low price into a breakthrough for gas based industrialisation of Nigeria," Dawha stated

http://www.naturalgasasia.com/nigeria-seeks-massive-investment-in-gas-sector-15572?

122
The Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (PENGASSAN) has called for the repositioning of the Pipelines and Products Marketing Company (PPMC) to end the intractable and inefficiency in the distribution and supply of petroleum products across the country.

According to the group, if the challenges confronting the operations of the PPMC are not resolved, it would be difficult for petroleum products to be available in all parts of the country and at relatively the same prices.
The trade union noted that the PPMC is not only crucial to the distribution of refined petroleum products but also to efficient and effective performance of the refineries as it supplies crude oil, which is the feedstock for refineries’ operations.

PPMC has depots in Port Harcourt, Enugu, Calabar, Aba, Gombe, Yola Ibadan, Ilorin, Makurdi and other major states’ capitals throughout the federation.
PENGASSAN argued that if the PPMC, a subsidiary of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) was repositioned and the pipelines are functioning as supposed to be, there would be more jobs and pressure on Nigerian roads would reduce.

Some of the challenges hampering the effective and efficient operations of the PPMC listed by PENGASSAN include insecurity of pipelines and staff of the company, inadequate funding, ageing equipment, supply of substandard operational equipment, shortage of manpower, irregular capacity building for existing staff of the company and lack of reliable fire trucks and good safety standards.

PENGASSAN noted that the greatest challenge confronting the PPMC is vandalism of pipelines by criminals and economic saboteurs.

Explaining the implications of the challenge, PENGASSAN said: “The negative impacts of the pipeline vandalism on the nation’s economy and the oil and gas industry are enormous. Such include non-functionality of existing refineries, increased operational cost, job losses, reduction in investments in the downstream sub sector and inability to attract new investment, and inadequate supply/availability of refined petroleum products in other parts of the country.

“The efficiency and functionality of the nation’s refineries are continuously frustrated by inadequate crude oil supply which is as a result of vandalisation of pipelines that supply crude to the refineries. The refineries are continuously starved of crude oil supply with possibility of forcing a shut down.

“The inadequate availability and scarcity of refined products across the country can also be attributed to pipeline vandalisation, as distributions of petroleum products which are supposed to run through pipes to various parts of the country are vandalised.

“Both the crude and refined products are piped through the pipeline manage by the PPMC. If the pipelines are effectively policed and secured, there will be regular supply of crude to the refineries and those imported and stored in tank farms to be piped to depots across the country for effective distribution to engender adequate availability of the products.”

The trade union also noted that many of its members were attacked and killed by the vandals in line of duties to fix and repair pipelines broken and damaged by the vandals.

While demanding that the government should evolve the political will to deal with pipeline vandalisation by using modern technology to secure the pipelines, PENGASSAN called for overhauling of the security agencies that are in charge of providing security for the pipelines, as it accused some of the officers of connivance with the vandals.

PENGASSAN bemoaned the inadequate funding of PPMC, adding that most of the company’s equipment are ageing and are in bad shape.

“The equipment are ageing as some of them that have lifespan of 15 years are over 35 years old and are not well maintained. Even when maintenances were to be carried out, we discovered that contractors usually supplied substandard materials for the repair and maintenance.

“Some of the ageing equipment are fire trucks, which are as old as 40 to 45 years. There is need for the government to purchase new fire trucks to combat any fire incident on the pipelines", the group added.

http://www.thisdaylive.com/articles/reposition-ppmc-to-end-fuel-crisis-pengassan-tells-fg/209606/?

123
CRISIS is brewing in the oil industry as staff of the Nigerian Petroleum Development Company, NPDC, in Benin City, Edo State, commenced the shut down of oil facilities in the Niger Delta in protest over the alleged illegal sale of OML 42, one of the company’s priced oil blocs by the Federal Government.

Staff of the company embarked on a three-day warning strike last week, but Vanguard learned that the workers have vowed to continue the strike until the Federal Government reversed the sale of the oil bloc which they alleged was sold to one of the NPDC contractors which, according to them, did not follow due process.

A union member who craved anonymity told Vanguard:  “Our sister companies like the IDSL and NNPC, have all indicated interest to join the strike and the meaning is that tomorrow, there will be total shut down of all oil facilities in the Niger Delta. We have commenced shutting down some since Friday.

“We tried to shut down the OML 42 which they sold but the Federal Government deployed hundreds of soldiers to stop us. So, we left there because we don’t want to expose our members to danger but that will not deter us. Our Managing Director, Mr Anthony Muoneke, is supposed to come back today from Abuja, but we will shut him outside the compound. We have been told that he is coming with soldiers but we shall see if he will kill all of us.

“So, the nation should expect a total shut down of oil facilities as from Tuesday. We will resist any attempt to intimidate us,” the source said.

Reacting to the brewing problem, the former Minister of State (Works), Dr. Chris Ogiemwonyi, also a  former Group Managing Director of NPDC, described the alleged sale of the OML 42 as criminal and threatened to head to court on the issue.

He said: “I tried not to believe that the management of NPDC will be selling their assets, the reason being that when we started NPDC, I remember our first project was Oredo field project. We used that field to acquire expertise, more or less a training ground. So, if what we are hearing is true, then there is a problem. Instead of growing capacity they are now dissipating capacity.”

- See more at: http://www.vanguardngr.com/2015/05/npdc-nnpc-workers-shut-down-oil-facilities-over-alleged-sale-of-oml42/?#sthash.ujcfePa0.dpuf

124
Oil & Gas Industry / Nigeria loses ranking in global NLG market
« on: May 18, 2015, 07:46:08 AM »

Nigeria’s increasingly dwindling revenue earnings from crude oil and derivatives export to the global market appear to be heading for the worse as the country has lost substantial share of its Liquefied Natural Gas, NLG, export share to the global market.

Indeed, Nigeria is believed to have suffered a major decline in its LNG export, dropping three points to account now for about five per cent of the market share, down from the previous eight per cent share it controlled in the market.

The General Manager of the Nigeria Liquified Natural Gas, NLNG, , who gave the hint yesterday, projected that the loss of NLG supply volume may have translated to about $3 billion revenue loss to the country.

“We use to pride ourselves that we supply eight per cent of global LNG, but I think we’ve gone down to about five per cent today.

“And if we manage to do Train 7, which will add additional 8.5 million tons of production, we should be able to, maybe not get back to eight per cent, but at least move up beyond the five per cent where we are today,” he added.

Explaining that the cost of importation had risen by about 30 per cent, the general manager said the fall in the price of Nigeria’s Brent crude warranted a reduction in foreign revenue earnings for the country, stressing that this would affect projects.

Olinma said: “In Nigeria, I haven’t heard of big announcements but clearly it will affect the ability to reach investment decisions for those projects on which we haven’t had investment decisions taken.

“And for Nigeria LNG, as at the end of April, we’ve seen 30 per cent reduction in our revenue. And the reason we are still where we are is that we do have what we call the lag effect on our prices.

“This is because, normally our prices are not based on the Brent of the day, but on an average of six months Brent. So, we still carry over some of the high Brent prices. But even with that we’ve lost 30 per cent of our revenue as at the end of April compared with the 2014 revenue.

“And of course, in terms of revenue, our portfolio generates a revenue of over $10bn on the average. So when you look at the fact that we are losing 30 per cent of that, you will agree that it is quite a lot of reduction in revenue for the country.”

Olinma stated that one way to mitigate this kind of revenue reduction was to increase volume and gain market share.

He, however, regretted that the gas company had lost some of its market share due to stiff competition in the global gas market.

Olinma observed that many countries were making massive investments in the LPG market, adding however that the country’s domestic market has good potentials.

Meanwhile, Nigerians paid slightly higher for goods and services in April as the Consumer Price Index, CPI, which measures the general price level in an economy, rose marginally by 8.7 per cent (year-on-year), representing 0.2 percentage points from the 8.5 per cent rate recorded in the preceding month.

The April index, which is the highest inflation rate recorded for the year so far, was the fifth consecutive month the economy experienced a faster increase on the Headline Index.

According to the CPI’s Statistical News published yesterday by the National Bureau of Statistics, NBS, the faster pace of price increases was the result of advances in most Classification of Individual Consumption by Purpose, COICOP, divisions that yielded the Headline Index, with the exception of slower increases in Recreation and Culture, and Communications Divisions.

The Bureau reported that the faster pace of increases was also observed in the Food and Core sub-indices as obtained during the month under review, the Food Subindex rose by 9.5 per cent, up from 9.4 per cent in March as a result of increases in most of the groups that yielded the index.

It noted, however, that the pace of increases was weighted upon by a slower increase in the Meats, Fish and Dairy groups.

NBS stated:“On a monthon- month basis, food prices slowed in April relative to March, increasing by 0.9 per cent, from 1.0 per cent. Prices slowed in most groups that contributed to the Food index with the exception being the Oils and Fats groups, which increased at a faster pace.

“On a month-on-month basis, the highest price increases were recorded in the Potatoes, Yam and Other Tubers, Oils and Fats and Bread and Cereals groups.

“The average annual rate of change of the Food subindex for the 12-month period ending in April 2015 over the previous 12-month average was 9.5 per cent. The 12-month rate of change has held steady for 11 consecutive months.”

According to the agency, the pace of advances recorded by the “All Items less Farm Produce” or Core subindex, also increased for the fourth consecutive month in April, with the Core Subindex increasing by 7.7 per cent (year-on-year), 0.2 percentage points from 7.5 per cent recorded in March.

Expatiating on the “All Items less Farm Produce” pace, the NBS stated that the pace of increases was strongest in the Clothing and Footwear, Furnishings and Household Equipment Maintenance; and Restaurants and Hotels Divisions.

On a month-on-month basis, the bureau observed that the largest increases were recorded in the Fuels and Lubricants for Personal Transport Equipment, Liquid Fuels and Passenger Transport by Road groups among others, with the average 12-month annual rate of rise of the index recorded at 6.9 per cent for the twomonth period ending in the month under review, unchanged from the 12-month rate recorded in December.

The bureau also reported that on a month-on-month basis, the Headline Index eased marginally in April, increasing by 0.8 per cent; lower from 0.9 per cent in March, adding that prices increased at a slower pace across most COICOP divisions, with the exception of the Transport and Communications Divisions which increased at a slower pace.

When analysed on yearon- year basis, NBS noted that both the Urban and Rural Price Indices recorded marginally higher increases during the month under review as Urban Index increased by 8.7 per cent, from 8.6 per cent in the preceding month, while the Rural Index increased by 8.6 per cent, 0.2 percentage points higher than 8.4 per cent in March.

The agency stated further that on a month-onmonth basis, both the Urban and Rural Indices increased at a slower pace in April, increasing by 0.8 per cent and 0.7 per cent respectively.

Similarly, it pointed out that the percentage change in the average composite CPI for the 12-month period ended April over the average of the CPI for the previous 12-month period was 8.2 per cent, the same rates recorded in March this year.

http://nationalmirroronline.net/new/nigeria-loses-ranking-in-global-nlg-market/?

125
Oil & Gas Industry / We need working Refineries - PENGASSAN
« on: May 16, 2015, 01:54:48 PM »

The Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria has expressed optimism about the state of the country’s refineries and their chances of working at optimal capacity, The Punch reports.

The association said the road to achieving and improving local refining capacity of petroleum products to take care of local demands might not be difficult if the government could put some machinery in place.

Major among these, it noted, was ensuring that the existing four state-owned refineries, the Port Harcourt Refining Company(two refineries), Warri Refining and Petrochemical Company and the Kaduna Refining and Petrochemical Company, functioned at optimal capacity.

The association said unfortunately, the two refineries in Port Harcourt had not been functioning at optimal capacity due to some challenges, which made Nigeria to be missing the full benefits of hydrocarbon resources. Some of these challenges listed by PENGASSAN include refusal by the government to carry out Turn Around Maintenance on the refineries as and when due.

It will be recalled that the government reached an agreement with the union on January 7, 2014 to commence TAM on the PHRC but till date the process is yet to commence.

http://energymixreport.com/pengassan-reiterates-need-for-working-refineries/?

126
Oil & Gas Industry / Lagos Gridlock May Not End Soon - NUPENG
« on: May 16, 2015, 01:53:23 PM »
The harrowing experience of Lagos motorists and commuters, arising from the fuel scarcity and gridlock on roads may not end anytime soon. According to Mr Tokunbo Korodo, the South-West Chairman of the National Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers, the trucks causing the gridlock may not leave the roads soon as directed by the Lagos State Government.

Korodo told newsmen in Lagos on Thursday that only three depots out of over 50 in Lagos had petroleum products to dispense. The development had compelled hundreds of trucks to head for the three depots to lift oil. He said that the development was the key reason for the unprecedented traffic jam that had locked down Lagos in recent days. The Lagos State Commissioner for Transportation, Kayode Opeifa, had on Wednesday chaired a meeting with the stakeholders in the oil industry where the government directed the tankers and trucks to vacate the bridges and roads.

"No tanker should be seen on Eko, Liverpool and Coconut among other bridges. "By Thursday, the tanker owners should make one lane available for motorists to use pending the expiration of the ultimatum for enforcement to begin," the commissioner said. The stakeholders at the meeting are NUPENG, Petroleum Tankers Drivers (PID), National Association of Road Transport Owners (NARTO), Association of Maritime Truck Owners (AMATO) and Independent Petroleum Markers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN),

Residents in Nigeria's economic capital have faced tough times, trying to buy gasoline and their woes have been made worse by a lock-jam on most roads in the city. Korodo named the three depots currently having oil as Capital Oil and Gas Tank Farm, Ibeto Oil and Gas Tank farm and Integrated Oil and Gas Tank Farm, all in the Apapa. He said the gridlock could ease if trucks queuing for oil would load and leave Lagos by weekend. But such scenario is not likely, according to observers.

Korodo suggested that the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation should decentralise loading of petroleum products to ease the pressure on Lagos. According to him, that is the only way Lagos residents can get reprieve from the gridlock, which has forced transport fares and cost of foodstuff up. Meanwhile, many Lagos residents, including women and children resorted to trekking distances to get to their schools, businesses and places of work. Residents of Mushin, Ojuelegba, Surulere and Constain-Apapa areas found it impossible to commute to Lagos Island because of a total lock-down at Costain Roundabout.

Some motorists abandoned their vehicles on roads after finding it impossible to cope with the stress of making their trips. A Civil Servant, Mr Innocent Edewor, residing in Iyana-Ipaja and working in Iganmu lamented that latest fuel scarcity worse than the previous ones, saying "the situation is telling on my meagre income". "It is never easy coping with Lagos traffic but the last one week has been hellish. "I cannot even drop my children in school because first the fuel is not available and secondly the roads are heavily congested by heavy vehicles.

"I have, therefore, decided to let my children stay at home, until the situation gets better. "I pay as much as N350 from Iyana-Ipaja to this place and most of the time I have to trek long distances. If I have my way, this is the time to leave Lagos," the apparently frustrated worker stated. In a related development, traders on Lagos Island are lamenting poor sales because of the inability of people to get to the island.

"Nobody is coming to patronize us at Balogun Market. Which road will they take to come to the market," a shop owner, Mrs Olubunmi Erinle, said. "Our leaders should be proactive to prevent situations like this because everyone is suffering. The hardship is too much," she said.

http://allafrica.com/stories/201505151212.html?viewall=1

127

The joy in the hearts of Abiola Da­ramola and Taiwo Ajayi knew no bounds when they left the shores of Nigeria separately in April this year. They travelled to Kuwait and Saudi Arabia in search of the proverbial green­er pasture.

But little did they know that they had fallen victims of a new method of human trafficking in Africa, particularly in Nigeria. It soon dawned on them that they were sold for N350, 000 each to work as housemaids in Kuwait and Saudi Arabia.

An Ibadan-based travel agency arranged the journey for the duo with a promise of mouthwatering opportunities in oil and gas company, teaching, nursing and other lucra­tive jobs in the two countries. They were taken aback when they got to there and soon discovered that they were to work as house­maids.

But after spending over two weeks in servitude, Abiola and Taiwo were rescued by the Oyo State Police Command. The two ladies were brought back to Nigeria on Thursday May 7, 2015. They were received by men of the command at the Murtala Mo­hammed International Airport in Lagos, be­fore they were taken to Ibadan.

On getting to Ibadan, they were taken di­rectly to the Police Hospital inside the state police command in Eleyele, Ibadan for post trauma counselling and necessary medical attention.

Though the ladies have been re-united with their families, they gave vivid accounts of their ordeals in Kuwait and Saudi Arabia.

Narrating her ordeal, the 28-year-old Abiola Daramaola, who was rescued from Kuwait, said she has a Diploma certificate in Industrial and Labour Relations. According to her, she was told she would be employed to work as a teacher, nurse or with a travel agency before she left Nigeria for Kuwait.

The travel agency, she stated, charged her N150,000 for the journey. But she paid only N80,000 and the agency allowed her to trav­el. But it was on agreement that she would pay the remaining N70,000 after working for two months.

What she met in Kuwait was not what she expected. She was asked to work as house­maid for certain period to get residence per­mit. But the work, she said, was too much for her, saying: “When I got to Kuwait, one travel agent, who introduced himself as Ibrahim, an Ethiopian, received me. He took me to his office, where I dropped my bag.

“He later took me to where I would work. I was to mop a three-story building with the ground floor everyday. I was also told to wash clothes, spread them on the line and iron them when they were dry. I was also told to wash plates. I endured and did the work for some days. But the work was too much for me.

“I would work and exhaust my strength and my employer would not give me food. I only managed to eat the left-over food after my principals and their visitors had eaten. When I was fed up with the work, I told the agent, Ibrahim I could no longer do the job. I said I wanted to return to Nigeria. Why would I come all the way from Nigeria to Kuwait and be doing all these works? It is better I return to Nigeria. I was even enjoy­ing in Nigeria.”

Abiola further explained that Ibrahim was furious when she told him she wanted to return to Nigeria. The request, she said, made him to demand that she must pay him the N350,000, which he bought her with be­fore she would be allowed to go. Thereafter, Abiola said he locked her up.

“He locked me up in a place in his office. He seized my phone and my International Passport. In the place, I met some other la­dies that were already locked up too. They were from Nigeria, Ghana and other coun­tries. I was there crying daily.

“The ladies also told me that they all met what they did not expect in Kuwait. But one of them gave me her phone and I sneaked out to buy recharge card.

“On my way, an elderly man saw me as I was crying and asked me what was wrong. I told him what happened. He pitied me and said I had two options. He said the first op­tion was for me to continue with the house­maid work or take to prostitution to pay Ibrahim his N350,000. But I rejected the two offers.”

After the conversation with the man, she bought the recharge card and called one of her friends in Osogbo, Osun State. She told her what she was going through in Kuwait. The information got to the police.

Also, the same fate befell the second victim, 29-year-old Taiwo Ajayi, who intro­duced herself as a single mother and a hold­er of a Higher National Diploma (HND) certificate in Accounting.

She disclosed that she completed her Na­tional Youth Service Corps (NYSC) in Ni­geria in March 2015 and opted to travel to Saudi Arabia the following month.

According to her, the managing direc­tor of the travel agency did not collect any money from her before she travelled, adding that he’s a pastor in her church in Ibadan, the Oyo State capital.

But she was told she would work in an oil and gas company in Saudi Arabia.

“In Saudi Arabia, I worked as a house­maid. I worked in the house in the night. At about 10p.m, the woman asked me to iron clothes. I told her I could not because the work was too much for me. I begged that I would come back the following day to iron the clothes.

“When I got back there the following day, the woman asked me to clean the whole one storey-building. She did not give me food. At about 2p.m, I told her I wanted to rest, but she said she would not allow me to rest. Then, I said she should take me back to office.

“So, they changed my work from Saudi Arabia to Kuwait ( the two countries share borders). I spent a total of 18 days abroad, working as housemaid, even with my cer­tificate.

“With my experience over there, people that want to travel abroad for work must be sure of what they are going to do there. They should stay in Nigeria if they don’t know the exact thing they would do when they get to the country of their destination.”

The two ladies were grateful to the Oyo State Police Command for rescuing them from slavery.

Besides, the 39-year-old managing di­rector of the travel agency, Victor (surname withheld by us), who arranged the journey for the duo has been arrested and charged to court by the police.

But Victor, who is a former branch ser­vice manager of a commercial bank, said he told Biola and Taiwo that they would work as housemaid in Kuwait and they agreed, adding that he only helped them.

While saying that he founded the agency in 2010, he stated that he was relieved of his job in the commercial bank in 2013 due to a fraud in the branch of the bank he managed, adding that he’s still being investigated by the Economic and Financial Crimes Com­mission (EFCC). The commission, he said, had seized his International Passport.

His agency, he disclosed, had helped no fewer than 480 people to travel abroad for work and education.

Victor further told policemen that he connected with his old friend, Kenny, who is based in Kuwait to get Nigerian travellers through his agency to Kuwait.

The two ladies, he said, were to work for sometime and get residency permits to live and work in Kuwait. But the police insisted that he sold them as housemaids in Kuwait.

The state Commissioner of police, Mr. Mohammed Katsina, said the successful rescue operation was made possible as a result of the beauty in the efficacy of grass­roots intelligence of his Ambush Squad and the cooperation of necessary stakeholders.

He alleged that the travel agent, and his cohorts overseas specialise in luring young ladies seeking greener pasture abroad, under the pretext of assisting in providing job op­portunities.

“On arrival at their destination, the in­nocent ladies are subjected to all forms of degrading and inhuman treatment. Not only this, they are tortured, sexually harassed and even raped.

“These ladies are often illegally kept in a solitary confinement on a daily basis in places, where they had no access to com­munication and where no one could secure their release.

“With the help of our high level, robust intelligence, the newly constituted com­mand’s Anti-Kidnapping Squad was able to burst the seemingly impenetrable network of the syndicate and facilitated the rescue to Nigeria of two of the syndicate’s victims on May 7, 2015,” Katsina said.

The police boss, however, enjoined members of the public to be wary of “crimi­nals who masquerade as true travel agents”, promising: “The command will leave no stone unturned to arrest other members of the syndicate, now at large.”

http://sunnewsonline.com/new/?p=119762

128

Nigeria is the heavenly nation of Africa, where tourists enjoy their stay to its peak. Nigeria is of significant importance in the world because of its extraordinary geographical location, unique cultural architecture; stunning scenery, friendly inhabitants and vigorous nightlife that encourage tourists to visit this nation several times. Nigeria contains some of the most stunning cities of Africa, some of these cities include: Port Harcourt, Kaduna, Benin City, Lagos, Abuja etc. Lagos for instance is the second biggest city in Africa. Getting in Nigeria is not an issue because of its world class international airport known as Martala Muhammad International Airport.

1. Weather conditions

While in this cool country, you can enjoy almost all types of climate conditions like rainfall, humidity, sunshine etc. Nigerian weather is usually hot and humid because of its location, with normal temperature of 30 degrees. The hottest season usually starts sometime in February and ends around May, during this season even the nights are warm with the temperature of about 26 degree Celsius. If you enjoy rainy season then May and June are the ideal months for you for visiting Nigeria.

2. Nigeria is the land of opportunity

Nigeria is essentially a virgin business country with capacity for many fresh business ideas. If you have a great business idea and the capital, you will make a lot of money in this beautiful country. Why? There are more than 160 million individuals and a big informal market of customers. If you are lucky enough to find the right market section and establish a business, your net profit will go through the roof. For example, at the arrival of cell phones in the Nigeria, MTN, a South African Company came into Nigeria as one of the first overseas investors. It is believed that MTN makes a great deal of cash from Nigeria than its home nation, likewise so many other companies.

3. Nigeria Flag

The Nigerian white and Green flag is an eminent national image. The white color symbolizes unity and peace while the green color symbolizes agriculture. Other national images include the Nigerian Coat of Arms, which shows an eagle on a dark shield, trisected by 2 wavy silver bands, and supported on both sides by 2 chargers. The national motto lies beneath the coat of arms: Unity and Faith, Peace and Progress.

4. Nigerian Accent

The Nigerian accent is presently positioned by CNN Global Experiences as the fifth sexiest accent on the planet.

5. Nigerian Food

Nigeria is so great when it comes to things given to them by nature to make food – Oka, Amala, Egbo, Koun, Agbalumo, Orobo (Jumbo Mirinda), Dodo Ikire, Kulikuli, Gbegiri, Ipekere (Plantain chips), Fufu, Abari-maize cake, Ole ( beans cake), Rice, Kpukpuru-Ilaje, Iyan-Pounded Yam, Zobo, Abula, Pomo, Bbaba dudu, Kilishi, Ewedu all known to the wide variety of Nigerian communities but definitely without simple identifiable English equivalents.

6. The concept of family in Nigeria is great

The responsibility, the sense of belonging and the care shared within families is exceptionally great. Family connections are valued and traced as far as second and third cousins. More often than not you will get to hear of my towns’ man being likened to my brother or my sister. Nigerians live a communal lifestyle. In Nigeria, the extended family is part of the immediate family.

7. Nigerians are happy people

Nigerians celebrate every occasion. They have greetings for a new car, a new month, a new wife etc. In Nigeria even your new phone can be a reason to celebrate.

8. Nigerian women

Nigerian ladies are tasteful, beautiful and stand out easily, with their great feeling of design. Agbani Darego, previous Miss World, is a good example of this. Nigeria ladies are conceived fashionistas.

9. Friendliness

Nigerians are exceptionally friendly – to a Nigerian, you do not need to receive an invitation to come visiting as you can visit anybody anytime you want. Be sure to receive warm invitation from total strangers in several parts of the nation for simply showing up at their doorstep. Respecting the elders is very vital in Nigeria. A youngster will always stand up for a senior to sit in a waiting room.

10. Intelligence:

The average Nigerian is naturally intelligent. History is loaded with stories of Nigerians everywhere all over the planet, accomplishing academic feats, one of which is Ibraheem Saheela, who at 15, has actualized the objective of receiving admission to the prominent Harvard University, with the goals of becoming a research scientist, studying the human brain. Nigeria is the first nation in Africa to effectively plan, manufacture and launch a satellite.

http://afternoongossip.com/10-reasons-nigeria-is-the-best-country-on-earth/1/

129
Oil & Gas Industry / Resolving the Fuel Subsidy Logjam
« on: May 12, 2015, 04:46:34 PM »

The protracted fuel crisis in Nigeria is an ominous sign of federal government’s increasing lack of financial capacity to pay subsidy claims, and reasonable grounds for the incoming administration to end the subsidy regime and save the country the embarrassment of perennial fuel shortages. Ejiofor Alike reports

The perennial confrontation between the federal government and the Oil Marketing and Trading (OM &T) companies over the delay in  payment of subsidy claims has led to  scarcity of petroleum products in the country, with its attendant hardships on Nigerians.

Motorists, small entrepreneurs and big businesses have suffered immeasurable loss of man-hours as scarcity of petrol impedes movement of persons and goods across Nigeria, due to frequent failure of government to pay subsidy within the stipulated 45 days provided in the Petroleum Support Fund (PSF) guidelines.

The delay in payment of subsidy leads to accumulation of interest on the fund borrowed by marketers to finance importation of cargoes.

It also creates huge exchange rate differentials at the expense of the marketers due to the rise in exchange rate between the time the cargoes are imported and some months later, when the claims are paid.

Following the various subsidy probes, which revealed sharp practices in the administration of the subsidy scheme, subsidy claims are being subjected to prolonged verification, which delays payment beyond the 45 days stipulated in the PSF guidelines.

After the verification of imported cargoes, the Federal Ministry of Petroleum Resources, through the PPPRA, will forward the verified claims to the Federal Ministry of Finance for payment.

The Federal Ministry of Finance will further subject the claims to further scrutiny before issuing the Sovereign Debt Notes (SDNs) to the marketers, after which the subsidy claims are deemed to have been paid.

Even though the SDNs are supposed to be as good as cash, marketers still find it very difficult to get the real cash payment, each time they present the instruments to the CBN for payment, thus causing further delays of over three or four months.

The long delays prompted the marketers to demand that the federal government should pay all the interest on subsidy claims that remained outstanding beyond the 45 days stipulated in the subsidy guidelines.

With the marketers’ inability to repay bank loans due to the government’s failure to pay the subsidy claims on verified cargoes, the banks also withdraw their credit lines for importation.

This creates a scarcity situation as all the private marketers that usually account for about 60 per cent of imported products will rely on the cargoes imported by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), which are grossly inadequate.

With the NNPC’s inability to bridge the gap created by the withdrawal of marketers from importation, the scarcity becomes protracted.

The confrontation between the marketers and the government over the delay in the payment of subsidy has been more pronounced in recent weeks as the May 29 handover date to the incoming administration of General Muhammadu Buhari approaches.

While government hinges the delay on verification of the claims to avoid subsidy fraud, concerns have been raised that the government is using endless verification to buy time and ensure that the incoming administration inherits the debt.

In recent weeks, the marketers have made spirited efforts to ensure that the outstanding subsidy claims are liquidated by the present administration before the handover date to a new administration.

It is believed that if the incoming government is allowed to inherit the debt, it will lead to a fresh verification, which will further delay payment and cause a more serious fuel crisis.

The weak financial capacity of the government became more pronounced with the post-dated cheques issued to the marketers in February, which cleared only in April.

Government’s inability to pay led to a disagreement between the marketers and the government, thus leading to the current nationwide acute scarcity of petrol, which has lasted for several weeks, with no end in sight.

Conflicting figures

Despite all the painstaking verifications by the government, the two parties have disagreed on government’s actual indebtedness to the importers.
In a bid to find solutions to the current crisis, officials of the Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency (PPPRA), and the Coordinating Minister for the Economy and Minister of Finance, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala recently met with oil marketers, led by the Executive Secretary of the Major Oil Marketers Association of Nigeria (MOMAN), Mr. Obafemi  Olawore.

The Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Mr. Godwin Emefiele led other top officials of the apex bank to the meeting held in Abuja.

But both parties could not agree on the exact amount outstanding after the government had earlier paid N154 billion.

While Okonjo-Iweala said the outstanding figure was N131 billion, the oil marketers put the balance at N200 billion.

Shortly before the meeting between the government and the marketers, Olawore had told journalists that the National Association of Road Transport Owners (NARTO), had suspended its action, following the part-payment of the money owed the association by the marketers.

The current scarcity started when NARTO withdrew their trucks from the roads in protest against the failure of the marketers to pay their transport claims for lifting fuel from the depots to the filling stations

Following the failure of the federal government to pay subsidy claims, the marketers were unable to pay the tanker owners, whose vehicles lift petrol from the depots to filling stations.

Consequently, the truck owners were not able to pay the salaries of tanker drivers.


This development led NARTO to withdraw trucks from the roads, resulting in the ongoing scarcity of petrol.

However, Olawore confirmed that the marketers paid NARTO from the N154 billion subsidy claims paid to the marketers by the federal government.

He said NARTO's N20 billion outstanding claims would be paid by the marketers as soon as government pays the outstanding N200 billion subsidy claims.

Out of the N354.4 billion subsidy claims owed the marketers by the government, Olawore said N154.4 billion had been paid, leaving a balance of N200.2 billion.

But Okonjo-Iweala insisted that it will be difficult to get the exact amount of debt owed the marketers because of what she called the “rolling”nature of the business.

She suggested that the outstanding claims will be paid even after the assumption of office by a new government, saying that government is a continuum.
“The understanding reached with the marketers, is that all the outstanding debts owed will be paid based on claims processed by Petroleum Pricing Products Regulatory Agency (PPPRA).

“This is a rolling business and there is no one definitive figure. Even as we talk today by the time we leave, the Executive Secretary of PPPRA may have cleared some more Sovereign Debt Notes and as we speak, the Executive Secretary of PPPRA has been clearing and certifying payments and that is why it is really not a fixed sum.”

She urged Nigerians not to “get fixated to that particular amount because once they keep supplying fuel to the country, there will always be something to pay and government is a continuum,” apparently suggesting that the incoming administration might inherit part of the debt.

However,  Olawore insisted at the end of the meeting that: “What we are saying is this; there is a figure of N200 billion and there is another figure of N131 billion or so. First, we must get it clear. At what point did we pick that figure”?

“If I am going to calculate, I will end with what I have supplied today but it depends on the figure that the PPPRA has sent to DMO (Debt Management Office) and the DMO has to scrutinise and send it to the Coordinating Minister for the Economy (CME).

“So, my documents have not passed the process. So, that is why there is this disparity,” the MOMAN chief said

The marketers agreed that they have received subsidy of N98 billion in SDNs, interest of N56 billion for delayed payment and N37 billion as foreign exchange differentials , bringing the total payment in 2015 to N191 billion

They, however, maintained that the outstanding balance expected from government as at March 31, 2015 was now N200 billion.

This figure represents the indebtedness to all importers - MOMAN, Depot and Petroleum Products Marketers (DAPPMA) and the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN) as at end of first quarter on March 31, 2015.

As the controversy over the actual indebtedness of the government to the marketers rages, it is increasingly evident that current regime of regulation is not sustainable.

Subsidy payment is a waste of scarce resources, which should be channeled to developmental projects
Apart from the government’s inability to pay, which has led to perennial crisis, there is huge financial risk on marketers as they pay all bank interest charges after being instructed to import product without payment being made,

The recent currency devaluation by the CBN also affected the marketers adversely.

Petroleum scarcity has also affected the economy as a whole especially for businesses that rely on petroleum products

To end the perennial scarcity of products, subsidy should be removed by the incoming administration as it will be a relief to both fuel users and the government, especially at this period that the price of crude oil at the international market is low.

When the federal government deregulated the price of petrol in January 2012, resulting in an increase in the price of the product from N65 to N141, the action was greeted with street protests.

The protests, which were championed by the organised labour and other civil society groups stemmed from concern by the protesters that the high cost of the product would inflict hardships on the masses.

Crude oil prices had averaged $113.81 a barrel during the said month of January 2012, when the action took place and $111.67 a barrel for the entire 2012, thus hiking petrol at over N141 per litre, which led to the mass protests.

But with the current low price of crude oil, removal of subsidy and allowing the market forces of demand and supply to drive the cost will bring the price of petrol to an average of N100 per litre, which is affordable.

Deregulation will no doubt free resources for the provision of social infrastructure, eliminate fraud associated with the management of PSF scheme, boost investments in the downstream and create employment opportunities.

http://www.thisdaylive.com/articles/resolving-the-fuel-subsidy-logjam/209109/?

130

Milhouse Engineering & Construction, Inc., has signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the Federal Republic of Nigeria and its Ministry of Power to create energy from coal to increase the amount of power that Nigeria generates over the next five years. The agreement is the start of a long-term strategy to reduce Nigeria’s reliance on expensive diesel fuel, leading to a better quality of life and an attractive environment for business investment.

It is Milhouse’s plan to mine high-quality coal on 20,000 acres in the Enugu region. It plans to process the coal into usable energy to power 100 embedded mini-plants capable of generating up to 5 megawatts of power each, for a total up to 500 mw of energy by the end of 2018.

The mini-plants strategy is less expensive than building a coal plant from the ground up, which could take three years and cost upwards of $1.5 billion. In Nigeria, which has the largest gross domestic product (GDP) in Africa, an expedited solution is critical to mitigating the potential losses of major foreign companies, jobs and business investments due to exorbitant fuel prices. Diesel costs up to 12 times more than coal-based energy sources. The implementation of coal-fired power generation will free up available diesel fuel for other uses, alleviating the current scarcity problems.

For instance, the estimated energy bill for a 2,000-square-foot home using coal in the U.S. is $300 a month; in Nigeria, using diesel, it is an estimated $1,200 a month.

“By creating a safe, efficient energy source from Nigeria’s valuable stores of high-quality coal, the government can cultivate an environment that is appealing to major corporations and investors, and a growing middle class,” said Wilbur C. Milhouse III, P.E., president and CEO of Milhouse Engineering & Construction. “Our approach will bring relief to hundreds of thousands of Nigerians, and create jobs and contracting opportunities for local businesses.”

Coal is the primary resource used by major power producers in North America and Europe. In the U.S., about 45 percent of the energy is powered by coal. Nigeria, a country with the land mass of Texas and Oklahoma combined, currently produces no power from coal. Nigeria currently produces between 3,000 and 4,000 megawatts of electricity. Whereas in New York, coal is used to produce 20,000 megawatts of electricity.

With coal, the Nigerian people will gain access to economic opportunity and business growth enjoyed by citizens in countries with stabilized power.

“I’d like to thank the Nigerian government and the Ministry of Power for the opportunity to bring this important growth industry and its economic benefits to its citizens,” Wilbur Milhouse said. “Milhouse Engineering & Construction is committed to adding value and to making a difference in improving the quality of life for people around the world.”

http://energymixreport.com/milhouse-engineering-confirms-mou-with-fg-to-generate-power-from-coal/?

131

Nigeria’s dwindling revenue is set to worsen, as international crude oil traders have shunned the country’s export of Bonga crude oil grade for the months of May and June 2015, making it difficult for the country to find buyers for the product and putting the price of the commodity under pressure. According to a report by Platts, the differentials for Nigerian crude grade, Bonga, are sliding due to the accumulated oversupply from the May and June program ahead of the release of the new July program this week.

“On the demand side, Cepsa, Total, ExxonMobil are not buying Bonga at this stage and India’s strategic petroleum reserve alone cannot support the grade,” a trade from Europe stated. Market participants blamed the development on the oversupply of the Bonga crude grade, stating that the action is putting pressure on the already distressed prompt end of the curve primarily traded on a CFR/CIF (Cost & Freight/ Cost Insurance & Freight) basis.

One of the traders told Platts that May overhang affected grades like Bonga and Forcados, adding that the whole June Bonga program is open and unsold. However, other market players said that Bonga might find some support because of the Forcados force majeure and the fall in freight rates. Another trader told Platts that, “Forcados is losing its shine on the back of the force majeure. Sometimes you see switching between Bonga and Forcados, but the latter has been so lethargic and with so much length that the current delay has barely dented any sentiment.”

One other trader also stated that if the oversupply of Bonga continues, further along the curve, then the grade could move closer to flat to Dated Brent once the new Nigerian program is released. Industry participants told Platts that a late May Bonga CFR cargo was sold at Dated Brent plus $2.00 per barrel, while the freight rate for the WAF-UKC Suezmax route was around Worldscale 75, while Vitol offered a 950,000-barrel cargo of Bonga at Dated Brent plus $4.30 per barrel for arrival into Rotterdam on May 25-31.

Platts said offers heard for May Free On Board (FOB) basis parcels were at Dated Brent plus $1.00 per barrel and for June loaders at Dated Brent plus $1.50 per barrel. Additionally, a trader said, “Best interest I am hearing for second-half June Bonga cargoes from relaxed refiners were in the Dated plus $0.30-$0.40 per barrel range.” Nigeria’s revenue profile nosedived, when Shell, a couple of days declared force majeure on exports of Nigeria’s Forcados crude oil stream following a series of leaks in the Trans Forcados pipeline that brings the oil to the export terminal.

Reuters had also noted that several cargoes of Forcados for May loading were still on offer, with around 189,000 barrels per day (bpd) scheduled for export in six cargoes, noting that the June export programme, with a total of 158,000 bpd, had not yet started trading. According to Reuters, an overhang of light sweet crudes in the Atlantic Basin has depressed differentials to dated Brent and limited the impact of recent supply disruptions on some West African crude oil grades

http://www.vanguardngr.com/2015/05/revenue-woes-heighten-as-traders-shun-nigerias-crude/?

132

Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC), Seplat Petroleum Development Company and four other  Nigerian companies comprising Shoreline Resources Limited, Neconde, First Hydrocarbon Nigeria (FHN) and Nigerian Petroleum Development Company (NPDC), a subsidiary of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) have shut down some oilfields located in the western Niger Delta, THISDAY learnt at the weekend.

This development, it was learnt, followed the vandalism of the Trans Forcados Pipeline (TFP), which conveys crude oil produced by these companies from the producing fields to the Forcados Export Terminal.

Vandals had earlier damaged the pipeline, resulting to the shutdown of crude oil production by these companies from late December 2014 to the first week of January 2015, before they struck again in the first week of March and more recently, the last week of April to the first week of May.

“Once Trans Forcados is down, all of us suffer. In 2014 we budgeted 35 days of outage but we ended up suffering 75 days of outage. In the first 30 days of this year, we have already suffered 15 days of outage. So, the Trans Forcados remains a huge problem for all of us, producers in the western Niger Delta, who deliver crude to Forcados. When it is down, everybody suffers; we have production outage and therefore, for the period, there is no production for the country,” CEO of Seplat, Mr. Austin Avuru had told THISDAY.

Shell had earlier declared force majeure on Forcados crude oil stream, effectively disrupting the export of 189,000 barrels per day, following what it described as “series of leaks” in the Trans Forcados Pipeline.

THISDAY also gathered that Seplat Petroleum has shut down oilfields located in its three operated acreages in the Western Niger Delta.

It was learnt that the company shut down its flowstations at Oben in OML 4, Amukpe in OML 38 and Sapele in OML 41, because of a leak caused by sabotage on the Odidi axis of the pipeline.

Shoreline Resources, Neconde, and First Hydrocarbon Nigeria were also said to have shut down OML 30, 42 and 26, respectively.

OML 42 is also made up of Odidi, Ajuju and Jones Creek fields, which were vandalised during the militancy years, resulting in the sale of the 45 per cent stake to Neconde by Shell, Total and Eni.

Investigation also revealed that NPDC also shut down about 100,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day, and also reported 592.91million standard cubic feet per day of gas production at the weekend representing, a shortfall of about 110mmscf/d due to the vandalism
Though marginal field producers such as Pillar Oil, Midwestern Oil & Gas, Platform Petroleum and Energia also convey their crude through the affected pipeline, it was gathered that these three companies have another alternative routes through the pipelines operated by the Nigerian Agip Oil Company (NAOC) to carry their crude oil to Brass Export Terminal.

The closure of the Trans-Forcados oil pipeline earlier this year due to sabotage led to a drop in power generation by 1,500 megawatts.

The pipeline is a crude oil facility, but gas fields that supply gas to power stations had to be shut down because the liquid condensate they produce together with gas is normally evacuated through the pipeline.

http://www.thisdaylive.com/articles/shell-seplat-four-others-shut-down-producing-fields-over-vandalism/209116/?

133
Oil & Gas Industry / There Isn't Enough Petrol to Lift - NUPENG
« on: May 11, 2015, 10:20:00 AM »

Despite last week's claims by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) that it has 1.2 billion litres of petrol in stock, the Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG), on Sunday evening there are no products for its members to load from the various depots.

The union therefore called on Nigerians to direct their questions on the lingering fuel queues in the country to the Federal Government agency, such as the NNPC and the Major marketers in the country, rather than NUPENG whose major work is to lift and supply petroleum products to end users.

In a telephone interview with Daily Independent, General Secretary of NUPENG, Comrade Isaac Aberare, urged Nigerians to "hold government and its agency- the NNPC and major markers responsible for the perennial fuel scarcity in the country. Our tankers are on a long queue at the depots waiting in vain to lift fuel, but there is none".

"We are also worried like every other Nigerians why there is no fuel for us to lift and distribute to the end users', he added.

Daily Independent reports that throughout last week and up to Sunday night, there is a long queue of petroleum product tankers, which has taken over the busy Oshodi Apapa road, waiting to lift fuel. The queue has gone from Apapa beyond Mile 2 and towards Sanyo bus stop.

Attempts to get the reactions of Femi Olawore, executive secretary of the Major Oil Marketers Association of Nigeria (MOMAN), proved abortive, as calls to his mobile telephone were unanswered on Sunday even.

Olawore had recently assured that members of MOMAN would resume fuel importation, since the N156 billion paid to them as subsidy was already being accessed by members.

As of Sunday evening, the product was selling at N160/litre in some outlets in Ibadan, the Oyo State capital, as against the official price of N87 per litre. Besides motorists, other workers dependent on petrol were caught in the desperate search for the product. Some observers believe that the scarcity and its hardship could take the shine off the coming celebrations. In some quarters, it is speculated that the fuel situation may linger till June.

The NNPC and its downstream subsidiary, the Pipelines and Products Marketing Company (PPMC) said the 1.2 billion litres of petrol can take the country for 31 days at the 40 million per day consumption across the country.

Managing Director of PPMC, Prince Haruna Momoh, who spoke in Abuja, also said 21 additional vessels laden with petroleum products are offshore Lagos waiting to berth. He said the NNPC had made adequate arrangements to ensure energy sufficiency in the country and reassured motorists that the noticeable queues at the filling stations would thin out in the days ahead.

In what may mean that both the NNPC and MOMAN are being economical with the true situation, investigation by Daily Independent shows that there is yet no end in sight as fuel is not being imported by the major marketers to augment the supply from the NNPC.

An industry source, who spoke with one of our correspondents on condition of anonymity, said depots in the country are operating at below 25 per cent capacity, signifying that the product cannot meet demand.

"If there is fuel in the country it is from the operations of the depots that you will know. By now you would have seen that many filling stations would have gotten the product; but the reverse is the case. No depot is doing up to 25 per cent installed capacity. The scarcity may linger till June," he said.

On insinuation that the marketers may not be willing to import fuel based on fears that the in-coming government may not be well disposed to subsidy payment, he said the argument might not be unfounded.

Marketers would not want to import petroleum products now since the policy thrust of the incoming government as regards subsidy payment is not known, he added.

International newswire, Reuters, had on Saturday warned of worsening fuel shortages in the country as international traders and local marketers back out of imports over fears that the cash-strapped new government will halt costly subsidy payments.

It noted that scarcity of the product is even more acute in rural communities.

"We have exhausted our stocks. We thought government and marketers have resolved their issues but supply is very slow in coming," Stanley Yakubu, a worker at the Forte Oil filling station in Maitama, Abuja, told Reuters.

The report quoted traders as saying new bookings for imports of fuel into the country have trickled, pointing to statements by critics that subsidies are not only inefficient, but open to abuse by corrupt operators.

It quoted Ecobank Research has saying that imports that have arrived so far this year total at least N300 billion, a bill that would come due after incoming President Muhammadu Buhari's May 29 inauguration.

http://allafrica.com/stories/201505110582.html?viewall=1

134
Oil & Gas Industry / Nigeria And Zero Gas Flaring Treaty
« on: May 09, 2015, 10:15:43 AM »
Nigeria’s absence at a recent global forum on the Zero Gas Flaring Treaty has raised questions about its commitment to the cause of eradicating the associated environmental hazards. The initiative, which enjoys endorsement by a complement of nine countries, ten multinational oil companies (MNOCs) and six development agencies, was convened under the auspices of the Office of the United Nations secretary-general, Ban Ki Moon. The participating countries and companies cumulatively account for over 30 per cent of flared gas around the world.

Questions around the country’s absence draw from several grounds, including the following: gas flaring remains an enduring problem for Nigeria, against which it had launched several initiatives with limited success. Nigeria’s perennial fight against gas flaring features a complement of measures including fines for companies that engage in this unwholesome, wasteful and hazardous practice. Under its Gas Master Plan the country has also established, at significant cost, facilities that are intended to capture the flared gas and channel it towards better utilisation in the market. The unjustifiable continuation of the practice in the country is therefore believed to be driven by a conspiracy traceable to a combination of the reluctance of the offending oil companies and the regulatory weaknesses of the relevant government agencies.

It is in this context that the absence of Nigeria at such a forum, which was intended to fashion out some mitigation of the problem, at least on a multilateral level, qualifies as irregular. This is more poignant given that Nigeria’s oil minister, Diezani Allison Madueke, is the current president of the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and is expected to be a potent driving force in the campaign against gas flaring. She was, therefore, expected to be at the forum in two capacities; namely as Nigeria’s representative and as the leader of the OPEC. Nigeria’s absence at the forum also enjoys a close connection with the aftermath of the recent general elections in Nigeria, at which the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) lost to the opposition All Progressives Congress (APC) and is still reeling from the shock of the loss. The outcome of the elections spawned a series of uncomplimentary responses from several government functionaries, including outright abdication of statutory responsibilities by public officers, including Nigeria’s oil minister, Allison Madueke.

Since the electoral misfortune of the PDP, several sectors of the nation’s economy, including the vital oil sector, have witnessed a tacit absence of supervision, a situation that has both local and international implications.

For instance, at the local level, there is an unending fuel crisis that has paralysed the country, while the international scene has seen a series of failures by it to participate actively in multilateral engagements. The absence at the Zero Gas Flaring Treaty forum is only one of such. The situation only adds to the scope of remediation the incoming APC administration will have to address in order to move the country forward.

http://leadership.ng/opinions/431923/nigeria-and-zero-gas-flaring-treaty?

135

The National Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG) on Thursday appealed to Lagosians to bear with it over gridlocks caused by petrol tanker drivers in Apapa axis, Lagos. Mr Tokunbo Korodo, the South-West Chairman of the union, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos that the untold hardship was not a fault of the union members.

“Most of the tankers responsible for the traffic jam came from the northern part of the country to load petroleum products in Lagos. “It is unfortunate that the tankers came as planned but they brought traffic gridlock to the Apapa axis. “They were programmed to get the products here (Lagos), but when they got here most of the depots owned by Independent marketers refused to load the tankers.

“The Independent marketers are aggrieved they were not carried along with the major oil marketers on the recent subsidy payment by the Federal Government. “Now that the tanker drivers are here, it is difficult to return to the north without the product because it will not make an economic sense. “For them to go back to their stations (empty) is economic loss; so they will continue to wait till they get the products.

“This is coupled with an early morning accident along Ikorodu Road. “The union is working with the officials of Lagos State traffic unit to manage the situation,” he said. He said the gridlock would ease immediately majority of the tankers load and leave Lagos. Korodo reiterated that the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) should decentralize the loading of petroleum products to reduce traffic gridlocks on Lagos roads.

He said that only three depots out of over 50 available currently had petroleum products, adding that this was mainly responsible for the traffic jam. Korodo said that the three depots were Capital Oil and Gas Tank Farm, Ibeto Oil and Gas Tank farm and Integrated Oil and Gas Tank Farm, all in the Apapa area.

- See more at: http://www.vanguardngr.com/2015/05/nupeng-appeals-to-lagosians-over-gridlocks-in-apapa-environs/?#sthash.Z4oBZzUE.dpuf

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