• Corporation’s GMD tasks new PPMC board on profitability
• NCDMB to prosecute oil firms for non-compliance with local content policy
• ‘Nigeria to save N43.2 billion yearly as OVH commissions Lagos jetty’
The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) has dispelled fear of possible scarcity of petroleum products as the festive period approaches.
Group Managing Director of the Corporation, Maikanti Baru, who urged the company’s subsidiary, Petroleum Products Marketing Company (PPMC), to re-strategise for profitability, also gave the assurance that there would be a hitch-free supply of petroleum products nationwide during the season.
Baru, who spoke at the inauguration of the board of directors of PPMC yesterday, insisted that the company must ensure steady supply of petroleum products even beyond the festive period.
Besides, Chief Operating Officer (COO), Downstream, and alternate Chairman of the Board, Ikem Obi, who also spoke at the occasion, was optimistic about the country’s downstream sector, stressing that the nation would never return to the era of products scarcity.
Managing Director of the PPMC, Umar Ajiya, said the resuscitation of depots in some parts of the country had contributed to the steady supply of products nationwide.
He assured that the company would be placed on the part of profitability, adding that other petroleum products would equally be made available alongside PMS (petrol).
Meanwhile, the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB) has said that plans are under way to prosecute any oil and gas firm in Nigeria that fails to comply with the provisions of the Nigerian Oil and Gas Industry Content Development (NOGICD) Act 2010.
The Executive Secretary of NCDMB, Simbi Wabote, who spoke yesterday at the seventh Practical Nigerian Content (PNC) in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State, hinted that the board would soon organise a sensitisation workshop on NOGICD for judges to kick-start the prosecution process.
While Wabote stated that the board has begun the systematic expansion of operations to cover midstream and downstream sectors of the oil and gas industry, the Akwa Ibom State governor, Emmanuel Udom, represented by the Secretary to the State Government (SSG), Etekamba Umoren, decried the continued stay away of oil firms from the Niger Delta.
In another development, Nigeria is expected to save about $120 million (N43.2 billion) in demurrage yearly following the commissioning of Oando’s Lagos midstream jetty yesterday.
The jetty, located at the Lagos Apapa Harbour, is expected to alleviate the perennial infrastructural hiccups being experienced in Apapa and eliminate the demurrage charges currently being incurred by petroleum marketers. It will also reduce discharge time from 21 to three days.
Chairman, OVH Energy, Wale Tinubu, said: “The Lagos midstream jetty was conceived as an innovative industry solution to the perennial challenges marketers faced in the importation of petroleum products.”
Kingsley Omose said: “No, these monsters will not shed a tear for the 26 Nigerian girls who died in the Mediterranean Sea fleeing from their misrule. They were our daughters, we offered them no future and now they are dead.”
Also reacting to the incident, the Center for Anti-Corruption and Open Leadership (CACOL), slammed the Federal Government for not providing a conducive environment for development of youths in the country.
The group blamed the government for the harsh economic situation in the country, which they said caused the tragedy, adding that the government at both federal and state levels must tackle the rising rate of unemployment in the country to curb the menace of human trafficking.
CACOL Director, Debo Adeniran, said: “The problems of illegal migration and trafficking are an accumulated issue. We have a high population of children and youths in this country and we are not planning for their future. Workplaces are winding up and no new jobs are springing up. This is why people want to leave and look for the proverbial ‘greener pastures.’”
With the continued silence of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Italian authorities have begun arrangements to bury the dead. According to the BBC, the Police Prefect Malfi, who called this a human tragedy, had appealed to neighbouring towns to ensure dignified burial for the Nigerian women.
Meanwhile, 83 of the 142 Nigerians deported from Libya on Monday were received by the Edo State government. They were received and lodged in a hotel with a view to rehabilitate them by the chairman, task force on trafficking, Prof. (Mrs.) Yinka Omoregbe, who is the Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice in the state.
A 17-year-old girl identified as Blessing Sunday, has narrated how she survived harrowing experience in the desert in her quest to get to Europe. She was among the 147 Nigerians that were deported from Libya and was brought to Edo State yesterday.
She was all tears when she spoke of how her father sold his belongings to raise money to bail her after she was abducted and kept in a cell in Libya. Blessing stated that she dropped out of school in Junior Secondary School to learn hair-dressing before a woman offered to assist her to travel abroad. She said several persons in the three Hilux vans they boarded from Kano to Libya died due to starvation and thirst.
“When we got to Libya, I was kidnapped. They made me go call my father and he sold his property to set me free. I am the last child of the family and we don’t have anything at home now. There was no food or water in the trip. You see people dying. We bought provision and water and I managed my own in order to survive. My father sold all his property to enable me get to the seaside. I didn’t enter boat on the sea.”
Another returnee who gave his name as Micheal Ogbebor and had Plaster of Paris (PoP) on his two hands said he broke his two hands when the ‘White house’ in Suprata they were staying was attacked.
Micheal said he used to wash cars in Lagos from where he raised the sum of N300,000 with which he traveled to Libya.
“I spent eight years to save the N300,000 I used to travel. In Libya, people were always ‘kalabushing’ each other, that is tracking each other’s boat. I have not entered the boat when I was rescued and brought back. I wanted to jump from a storey building when I fell. They came and saw that I was finished so they left me. It was the UN that came and took me to the hospital.”