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NNPC kick-starts 7 critical gas projects to support 15GW power generation

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A major stride in the attainment of national energy sufficiency was achieved in Lagos on Mobday with the commencement of technical framing workshop and subsequent project signing ceremony of the seven Critical Gas Development Projects (7CGDP) to deliver about 3.4 billion standard cubic feet of gas per day (bscfd) to bridge the foreseen medium term supply gap by 2020 on an accelerated basis.

The 7CGDP is an integral leg of the gas development strategy designed by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) to leverage the full potential of gas to meet the target of generating at least 15 gigawatts (GW) of electricity by 2020.

In a presentation at the event, Group Managing Director of the Corporation, Dr. Maikanti Baru enthused that the projects would not only bridge the projected shortfall in supply upon completion, but would also signal the beginning of the process of closing demand-supply gap in the domestic gas market.

He said NNPC had engaged two World Class Project Management Consultants namely Delta Afrik/Worley Parson & Crestech/Penspen who will work with NPDC and NNPC JVPartners and other stakeholders to achieve set project deliverables. He listed some of the responsibilities of the project consultants to include: working with NNPC and partners to revalidate and carry out relevant technical studies to proposed development plans, provide financial advisory services for project funding/financing strategy and appraise the fiscal requirements for viability and advice on interventions that may be required.

The PMT are also expected to study and recommend fast-track tendering process for fielddevelopment and project implementation, establish realistic cost benchmark(s) for identified projects and develop project schedules and cost estimates for the respective projects among others.

Dr. Baru explained that in addition to the above, the NNPC Project Management groups would strengthen oversight function on the seven (7) critical gas development projects by ensuring prompt decision making and timely approvals in line with international best practices. The NNPC GMD said the Corporation was working closely with other agencies like the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) and the Nigerian Content Monitoring and Development Board (NCMDB), among others, to ensure timely approvals for the project and also ensure that lease renewals requests related to these projects were supported for renewals by relevant agency.

Osagie Okunboe, Managing Director of Shell Petroleum Development Company(SPDC) which is handling three out of the seven projects, pledged the commitment of the company to the successful execution of the 7CGDP, noting that Shell was fully aligned with Nigeria’s gas strategy and aspirations.

Highpoint of the event was the formal execution of agreement for the development of the 6.4 trillion cubic feet unitized gas fields (Samabri-Bisseni, Akri-Oguta, Ubie-Oshi fields by NNPC/Shell and NAOC JV.

The 7CGDP include: development of the 4.3 trillion cubic feet (TCF) Assa North/OhajiSouth field; development of the 6.4 TCF Unitized Gas fields (Samabri-Biseni, Akri-Oguta, Ubie-Oshi and Afuo-Ogbainbri); and the development of 7TCF NPDC’s OML 26,30 &42.Others include: development of 2.2 TCF Shell Petroleum Development Company(SPDC) JV Gas Supply to Brass Fertilizer Company; cluster development of 5 TCF OML13 to support the expansion of Seven Energy Uquo Gas Plant; and the cluster development of 10 TCF Okpokunou/Tuomo West (OML 35& 62).

Meanwhile, the NNPC on Monday provided insight into the fire incident which ravaged parts of the PPMC Depot in Minna, Niger State. Speaking to journalists on the sidelines of the 7CGDP launch in Lagos, the GMD said the fire incident which started late Saturday night after the collapse of the floating roof of one of the Petrol storage tanks had since been brought under control.

He thanked members of the neighbouring communities, the security agencies and emergency services for their support and prompt response.

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THE NATION

Online Publishers Association of Nigeria set for 3rd New Media Conference

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As Nigeria enters the election season, the Online Publishers Association of Nigeria (OPAN) is pleased to announce its 3rd Annual New Media Conference, which will hold at the Sandralia Hotel, Abuja, Nigeria, on Wednesday, January 16, 2019.

The theme of the conference is: Free Press and Objective Reporting in the 2019 Election year.

In a statement made available to the media on Wednesday, and signed by its President, Mr. Austyn Ogannah, OPAN stated that the one-day conference will provide an interactive platform for New Media practitioners – publishers, bloggers and social media influencers, to engage with government and state institutions on issues bothering on Legal and Regulatory Frameworks for Reporting Elections, Ethics and Professionalism in Reporting Elections in Nigeria and the independence and media literacy of the judicial system.

Other issues to be explored according the OPAN President, are Conflict Sensitiveness and Hate Speech, the Dangers of Fake News in a multi-ethnic society in an Election Year, Digitally reporting election results, the Social media and INEC rules, among other topics.

Mr. Ogannah said key government personnel from the presidency, legislature, judiciary, as well as representatives of civil society groups, business sector, political parties, diplomatic community, foreign and local press and stakeholders are scheduled to participate at the conference.

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NITDA calls for input to Nigeria ICT Innovation and Entrepreneurship Vision

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NITDA DG, Dr. Isa Pantami

The National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) has called for input from Nigerians, stakeholders to the Nigeria ICT Innovation and Entrepreneurship Vision (NIIEV).

In a statement made available to newsmen on Tuesday by Mrs. Hadiza Umar, Head, Corporate Affairs and External Relations of NITDA said that as part of the agency’s rulemaking process, the document has been subjected to internal reviews by some key Government agencies where insightful feedback and updates were received.

The agency further disclosed that in an effort to enrich the document and in line with the agency’s policy of participatory regulation, industry stakeholders and the general public are invited to review the document through either of the following (i) on the consultation tool at https://niiev.ictinnovation.gov.ng (ii) via www.nitda.gov.ng and click important notice (iii) via facebook chatbot at http://m.me/ngrinnovation or simply send an email to info@ictinnovation.gov.ng.

While reiterating on his vision to promote ICT in Nigeria, NITDA said the portal for the review are open from 13th November 2018 to 27th November, 2018.

The statement reads further:

“NITDA, under the current leadership of Dr. Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami, hosted the maiden edition of the ICT Innovation and Entrepreneurship stakeholders meeting on the 31st October 2017. The statement further disclosed that the objective of the meeting was to collectively identify the challenges of stakeholders and identify strategies to address them for a thriving technology ecosystem. Several representatives from Government, Hubs, banks, investor networks, academia, media and technology entrepreneurs were in attendance.

“Furthermore, President Muhammadu Buhari at e-Nigeria 2017, charged NITDA to develop policies and strategies that will change Nigeria’s narrative from being a tech-consuming to a tech-producing country. To unlock our national potential, NITDA proposes a number of urgent measures to connect, educate and enable digital innovation. This birthed the Nigeria ICT Innovation and Entrepreneurship Vision (NIIEV). The NIIEV comprise of policy recommendations and incentives on the key components for building a tech ecosystem and are categorised into 3 themes:

(1)    Digital Infrastructure

(2)    Education Reform, skills Development and R&D; and

(3)    Supporting the Ecosystem for Innovative Entrepreneurship.

 

“NITDA through its subsidiary, the Office for ICT Innovation and Entrepreneurship (OIIE) has worked directly with entrepreneurs, hubs and hub networks to review the best practices across Africa and around the world to support digital transformation in Nigeria.

NITDA is a Federal Government Agency established in April 2001 to implement the Nigerian Information Technology policy and coordinate general IT development and regulation in the country. Specifically, Sections 6(h & i) of the Act mandate NITDA to create incentives to promote the use of information technology in all spheres of life in Nigeria including the development of guidelines for setting up of information technology systems and knowledge parks as well as introduce appropriate regulatory policies and incentives to encourage private sector investment in the information technology industry.

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THE NATION

How ex-Katsina governor blew N5.7bn on politics -Ex-aide

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A witness told the Federal High Court in Katsina Tuesday of how about N5.7 billion Subsidy Reinvestment and Empowerment Programme (SURE-P) funds went down the drain.

Nasiru Ingawa, Special Adviser to former Katsina State Governor Ibrahim Shema on SURE-P, said at the Federal High Court in Katsina that Shema directed him to spend the cash on politics.

The former special adviser testified at the resumed hearing of a fraud case against Shema.

Shema is standing trial before the court on a 26- count charge bordering on fraud, in contravention of Section 15(2d) of the Money Laundering Prohibition Act, 2011, as amended.

The offences are punishable under Section 15 (3) of the Act.

Ingawa told the court that he was the Special Adviser to Shema on SURE-P from June, 2014 to May, 2015.

“I remember him (Shema) telling me that we were going to use the funds for politics and that we would extract our savings from there,’’ he said.

He said that the duo wrote memos for certain programmes and used half of the money; the remaining half went into savings.

Ingawa also said that the department made direct purchases from which a certain percentage would go into savings.

He added that sometimes, they wrote memos for programmes not implemented at all.

“The tradition is that I had to sit down and discuss with him on any programme; if he agreed, he would instruct me on exactly how much the savings should be from that programme,’’ he said.

The witness testified that, sometimes, he gave the funds to Shema directly; other times, he (Shema) instructed him who to give.

“All money from SURE-P account were withdrawn in cash, with the exception of few programmes which the withdrawal was done with cheques,’’ Ingawa said.

After the evidence, the prosecution counsel, Mr O. I. Uket, applied for adjournment, which the defence counsel did not object to.

Justice Hadiza Rabiu Shagari adjourned the hearing till January 14, next year when the trial will continue.

The former governor was arraigned on a 26-count charge bordering on alleged money laundering of N5.7 billion SURE-P funds on July 17.

The trial started de novo (afresh) following the transfer of the trial judge Justice Babagana Ashigar. He was replaced by Justice Shagari.

When the charges were read to him, Shema pleaded not guilty to all the 26 counts.

Defense counsel Mr A.T Kehinde, (SAN), moved an application for his client to continue to enjoy the bail earlier granted to him. Prosecution counsel Jibrin Okutepa, (SAN) did not object to the bail application of the defendant. He informed the court that the Administration of Criminal Justice Act provided that an accused already granted bail could continue to enjoy the terms of the previous bail conditions. The previous bail conditions, the court directed the defendant to deposit his international passport in the court registry. Justice Shagari granted the former governor bail on the conditions previously provided by the court and adjourned the case till yesterday for trial.

The Subsidy Reinvestment and Empowerment Programme (SURE-P) was established by the Goodluck Jonathan administration to re-invest the savings from fuel subsidy removal on critical infrastructure and social safety net programmes with direct impact on citizens.

The scheme was established in January 2012 when the government announced the removal of subsidy on Petroleum Motor Spirit (PMS).

Its core objectives being to provide employments for unemployed graduates through internship programmes and create a database of unemployed youths and reduce social vulnerability through the mechanism of the policy.

Shema is also standing trial before Katsina State High Court for alleged diversion of about N11 billion state funds during his tenure following a petition by the state government to the EFCC.

Shema is being tried in the second case alongside three others – former Commissioner for Local Government Affairs, Sani Makana, ex- Katsina ALGON Chairman Lawal Dankaba and former Permanent Secretary Ministry for Local Governments Lawal Rufai.

They are facing 24 count charges of alleged misappropriation of about N11bn of local government funds.

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