Delta To Construct  30,000bpd Modular Refineries

The Delta State Government on Monday has stated that it would start  the construction of three modular refineries with total capacity to retain crude oil of 30,000 barrels per day before the year ending.

It also said that it had met with the Department of Petroleum Resources on the matter and was expecting a definite approval  from the oil sector regulator in order to begin work as soon as possible.

Mofe Pirah, the commissioner for oil and gas  who made this known at the ongoing Nigerian International Petroleum Summit in Abuja, however, bemoans the tough processes of getting approvals for setting up refineries in Nigeria.

He said, “Delta State already has three modular refineries waiting to take off now. One in Sapele, one in the Kwale axis, and one in Ukpai. They are 10,000 barrels each. They are yet to come on stream because of the rigours associated with getting approvals from the DPR, as well as getting funding, among others.

“Some of the refineries have got certificates; for others, we have acquired the sites and engineering work is in progress. The construction of the refineries will commence this year.”

Pirah stated that the state government was working tirelessly in addressing the challenges in the Niger Delta, adding that various engagements with oil-producing communities had restored the country’s crude oil output and increased the revenue base.

He said, “In 2016, it was rough and tough in the Niger Delta, particularly in Delta State, but we have been able to calm it down seriously. Since the first quarter of last year till today, I’m sure you would have read minimal news about vandalism and crude oil theft. And you will equally agree that Nigeria’s crude oil production has moved up tremendously.

“You can also see what comes into the Federation Account from oil and gas sales since the first quarter of last year has been going up compared to what happened in 2016. The Delta State Government is going round all the communities to ensure peace.”

He added, “I should let you know that Heritage Oil has started production and the company is the owner of OML 30. When that oil well was abandoned, they were producing 30,000 barrels per day, but as I speak with you, Heritage is producing about 75,000 barrels per day and they have a lot of drilling activity coming up from the second quarter of this year.

“They have chosen to invest in Delta State, in gas and oil. Also, Seplat and Neconde are doing well; a lot of the oil companies are doing well. This is because we have told the communities that if they have any issue, they should come to the government. We have desks set up to resolve matters before they escalate.”

Delta State Government Appeals To Niger Delta Avengers

The Deputy Governor of Delta State and Chairman, Delta State Advocacy Committee Against Vandalism of Oil and Gas Facilities, Barr. Kingsley Burutu Otuaro has appealed to the Niger Delta Avengers against threats for new attacks.

This is coming days after the Avengers hinted on their intention to attack critical oil assets in resumed programme tagged “operation red economy” aimed at bringing Nigeria’s oil production and export capacity and hence its largely oil-based economy to ground zero.

But the Otuaro-led Advocacy Committee with Dr. Chris Ekiyor as Secretary, has extended invitation to the NDA, urging the militant body to formally lodge their grievances to Governor’s office Annexe, Warri or to the Deputy Governor’s Office, Government House, Asaba for subsequent engagement.

Addressing newsmen in Warri, following Avenger’s fresh threat, Otuaro said: “As agitators, we must be mindful not to cancel out the modest gains already made through the dialogue process with the Federal Government which is still on course. Days back, the House of Representatives passed the Nigerian Maritime University, Okerenkoko, Bill to law as the Senate did last year. The Petroleum Industry Governance Bill (PIGB) was also just passed. These are few pointers among others of better things to come”, Otuaro said.

“The Delta State Advocacy Committee Against Vandalism of Oil and Gas Facilities which I chair, just concluded a 2-day Conference on securing oil installations in Delta State. Conference drew attendance from oil companies, government bodies and communities from both Itsekiri and Ijaw Kingdoms in the riverside areas of the state. To underscore the importance of the conference, the Country Chair/Managing Director of Shell Petroleum Company (SPDC), Mr. Osagie Okunbor, personally attended and delivered the keynote address”, Otuaro said.

“At a post-conference press briefing in Warri, the Advocacy Committee hinted of arrangements to reach higher platforms to engage authorities of key issues raised at the conference towards resolving same. We have made contacts and gotten responses; I can tell you that there is yet no reason to be pessimistic”, Otuaro added.

“Delta State Government efforts at peace for development of the oil bearing areas is without prejudice to other groups and bodies in commendable nonviolent agitation for the improvement of the Niger Delta region”, Otuaro clarified, adding: “Experience shows that we can achieve more through dialogue than by violence. It is not only the Federal Government that needs the oil revenue to develop the entire nation. We also need revenue that ensures the modest development we can bring about. While we deserve more, we cannot endanger the environment for survival of our generation, let alone future generations”.

 

“Among several issues, Conference resolved that oil bearing communities must be engaged to better protect oil installations. It was agreed that oil installations vandalism was criminal and shooting self and future generations in the foot, having regard to concomittant environmental despoliation and loss of revenue for development of the region”, Otuaro informed.

 

We Will Defeat PDP In Their Own Game – APC Chairman

Ahead of the January 6, 2018 local government election in Delta State, Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Prophet Jones Ode Erue, has disclosed that his party was ready to go to the field to struggle it out with the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in their own game.

He said the party is fully aware that the local government election is been organized by the state “but our party decided that we are coming to beat them in their own game. We are coming out, let them know that we are on ground because every time they talk, they say APC is not on ground”.

He stated that the party don’t believe in politics played in the media, “we don’t believe in the politics of newspapers and the social media, we believe in the politics of going to the grassroot telling your if they like what is happening in the state. We are dying gradually; our children owe monies they cannot pay”.

He noted that the party would challenge any breach of the process, rule and guidelines of the election in court, “look at my lips, I mean it. Anywhere they breach the process, we will challenge it in Court”, assuring party candidates and supporters that the party was working hard towards the polls.

He noted that the process of the election is currently been abused, “DSIEC abused the process. Our lawyers are crossing the Ts and dotting the Is but we want to tell them that we are not running from our shadows, we are going to beat them in this game but the rule and the guidelines must properly be followed”.

Asked if he has faith in the newly constituted Delta State Independent Electoral Commission (DSIEC) led by Mike Ogbodu and if his party would have a very successful local government elections, he said, “We are on ground more than the PDP, we are more popular and more acceptable, we know that the people have finished with the PDP because the hardship is too much”.

He said the three states sharing boundaries with Delta have lesser allocations but are ten times developed than the state, “it saddens one’s mind. PDP knows that they have failed”, saying that the party was coming out to defeat the PDP in their own game.

“The three states that we are in common boundary with, we receive revenue seven times more than them but in terms of development, they are 10 times ahead of us”, he regretted.

His words, “so much has been used for our airport and our airport nobody flies into because the runway is not good. It destroys aircrafts and nobody comes in. we fly to Owerre, Warri, Benin City and use road to come to Asaba and yet the tax payers monies have being over spent on one single project that does not bring result”.

Delta Govt. To Eradicate Quacks, Fake Spare Part Dealers

The Delta Assembly has said it will partner with state executives to eradicate quarks in the automobile industries and substandard spare part dealers in the state.

Mr Efe Ofobruku, the Chairman of House committee on roads, said in Asaba during a public hearing in the Delta House of Assembly with stakeholders in the automotive industry.

The public hearing is on a bill for a law to provide for the Registration of Motor Vehicle Mechanics, Spare Parts Dealers and Licensing of Motor Vehicle Mechanics.

Ofobruku said that the activities of fake mechanics and spare parts dealers in the society had led to road accidents and loss of many lives and property.

The lawmaker said that the proposed law would help identify authentic automobile technicians and provide them with more customers to better grow their business.

The committee chairman, who was elated by the large participation of stakeholders and their quality presentations and submissions, said it was the desire of the state assembly to turn out a law that would be acceptable to all the people of the state.

Ofobruku said that the essence of the public hearing was to seek the views of the people on the proposed law, adding that his committee was expected to put together a report that will input of all key stakeholders.

The chairman, who is representing Uvwie Constituency, called on interested stakeholders yet to submit a memorandum of the proposed law to do so as soon as possible.

Mr Peter Uviejitobor also a member of the committee commended the various groups present at the public hearing for their contributions to the lawmaking process.

Uviejitobor, who is representing Udu constituency in the assembly, noted that the proposed law would bring sanity to the automobile industry.

The Commissioner, Directorate for Transport, Mr Vincent Uduaghan, said the state government was always concerned with the safety of motorists in the state, saying the proposed law would help to reduce cases of motor vehicles accidents on the roads.

Uduaghan noted that many road traffic accidents in recent times were traceable to the activities of untrained mechanics or the use of fake and substandard motor spare parts.

The transport commissioner also observed that some notorious people use unregistered motor mechanics workshops as “safe haven’’ to perpetuate crime.

He said that there were instances where law enforcement agencies traced stolen vehicles to places where they were cannibalised and sold as spare parts.

Uduaghan said that the proposed law would also bring sanity on the roads, eliminate quackery in the automobile industry and restore confidence to vehicle users.
Others, who spoke included officials of Delta State Traffic Management Agency (DESTMA) and the National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW).

They highlighted the importance of the bill and stressed the need to accommodate the interests of all stakeholders in the proposed law.

201 Fake Orphanages Shut Down In Delta

Newsmen have gathered that about 86,000 fake orphanages are reportedly operating within the 25 local government areas of Delta State.The figure was released at the weekend by a group of ‘church ministers’ who alleged that they have in the last two years paid a visit to the various orphanage homes across the state.

 

Leader of the group, Evangelist (Mrs.) Mabel Awoniso, said the conditions of many of the orphanages were an eyesore, adding that many of them operate in shanties, without windows, and toilet facilities. It was gathered that the illegal orphanages operated by faceless groups are registered with fake company names without signboards. In Asaba, Ibusa, Ughelli, Sapele, Okpanam, Issele-Uku, and Ogwashi-Uku communities, tales of human trafficking and alleged sale of babies by the operators are rife.

 

The Commissioner of Police in the state, Mr Zanna Ibrahim, had last week Thursday told newsmen in Asaba that security agents in the state had been having a tough battle with many operators of orphanages in the state, especially in Asaba and Ibusa, where orphanages are operated in the dingy environment and dilapidated buildings.

 

“We have recorded cases of some of these orphanages operating under poor condition. Under such disguise, the operators sell babies to unsuspecting buyers. We have arrested several persons in connection with the act, and we are ready to shut down many of the orphanages,” he said.

 

Last Monday, the police uncovered an illegal orphanage home behind NTA Asaba where over 21 babies were recorded and three out of the babies allegedly sold for N1.3 million. According to the police boss, the operator (name withheld) is currently being detained for investigation. Furthermore, the state government through the Ministry of Women Affairs and Social Development, had raised the alarm over the influx of illegal orphanages and ordered the closure of 201, while 63,000 fake accounts were uncovered on the net with fictitious names, and had raked an estimated sum of N2 billion in the last two years from unsuspecting donors, many of whom are foreigners.

 

Mrs Omashola Williams, Commissioner for Women Affairs and Social Development, confirmed that the state government had
been inundated with the influx of illegal orphanages across the state, adding that steps had been taken to ensure that those involved in the illegalities are brought to book. Noting that the state government had closed down 16 illegal homes in the past, Williams expressed the determination of the state government to put a stop to the illegality.

 

An investigation revealed that operators of these illegal orphanages hoodwink unsuspecting donors with highly placed names of board members and colourful letter-headed papers with photographs of sorrowful orphans, soliciting for financial assistance from politicians, foreigners and corporate bodies with bogus account numbers boldly typed on the letter-heads.

 

The state government had officially recorded 520 registered orphanages last year, until some desperate operators allegedly obtained registration after offering a bribe, a claim the commissioner said is being investigated.

 

Delta: 5000 APC Members, Ex-LG Chairmen Decamp To PDP

Former Chairman of Ughelli North Local Government Council, in Delta State, Chief Friday Akpoyibo, has defected to the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, from the All Progressives Congress, alongside over 5,000 of his followers.

Ifeanyi Okowa, the delta state Governor who received the decampees in Ugono Origin, Ughelli North Local Government Area, assured that the PDP would provide a level playing ground for members of other political parties, especially members of the APC who returned to the PDP.

He said, “You are returning home to your family, a family where there is no discrimination. Those who want to return are free to do so because, working together, I believe we will win in all elections.

“We have every reason to rejoice today. We need to work together for the large population of Ughelli North to translate to actual votes. This is the time for the people of Ughelli North to vote for development, not sentiments.”

Former Chairman of Ughelli North Local Government Council, in Delta State, Chief Friday Akpoyibo, has defected to the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, from the All Progressives Congress, alongside over 5,000 of his followers.

The state governor, Ifeanyi Okowa, who received the decampees in Ugono Origin, Ughelli North Local Government Area, assured that the PDP would provide a level playing ground for members of other political parties, especially members of the APC who returned to the PDP.

He said, “You are returning home to your family, a family where there is no discrimination. Those who want to return are free to do so because, working together, I believe we will win in all elections.

“We have every reason to rejoice today. We need to work together for the large population of Ughelli North to translate to actual votes. This is the time for the people of Ughelli North to vote for development, not sentiments.”

Delta Governor Misuses Paris Club Funds – Retirees

The Delta state Governor Ifeanyi Okowa has been accused by the retirees under the umbrella of the Association of Retired Local Government Staff and Primary School Teachers of the state of the mishandling of the bailout funds released by the state government.

It was revealed that the retirees have taken to the streets bearing placards and banners held a protest during which they slammed Okowa over the non-payment of their entitlements.

While demanding to know how the bailout was spent, they requested the full payment of all benefits owed them from 2013 till date.

This is the second time in one week pensioners in Delta State will be protesting through the streets of Asaba singing the same song and passing the same kind of message.

Their placards gave a clear description of their requests as they converged on the complex of the State House of Assembly to pour out their grievances.

Chairman of the association, Jerry Arioghore, said: “It is appalling to note that soon after assumption of office in May 2015, the state governor Ifeanyi Okowa, through the joint allocation account stopped the 7.5 percent statutory monthly allocation to the Bureau of Local Government Pensions.

“This is a serious infraction on the Delta State Pension Reform Law and all efforts to draw his attention to this fell on deaf ears.”

 

Boat Operator Killed For Refusing To Give Bribe

Boat operators yesterday protested against the killing of a fellow boat operator named Akpobolokaemi Duke, a native of Enekorogha Community in Burutu local council, by Marine Police personnel on October 1, at the Millar Waterside area of Warri, Delta State.

It was gathered that the deceased was coming to Warri to ferry passengers back to the riverine communities when he was allegedly shot by the Marine Police team. According to reports, he was shot for earlier refusing to pay a bribe demanded by the police team patrolling the Warri River. It was learnt that as soon as he was sighted from afar the policemen gave him a hot pursuit with sporadic gunshots, which led to the death of the deceased.

When contacted yesterday, the Delta State police command said it was investigating the incident and would make a pronouncement after a thorough investigation.

Meanwhile, human rights lawyer and national coordinator of the Foundation for Human Rights and Anti-Corruption Crusade (FHRACC), Alaowei Cleric, said the unprovoked murder of the boat operator because he refused to pay a bribe should not go unpunished and urged the Commissioner of Police to bring the policemen involved in the killing to book.

He said: “The unprovoked killing of a law-abiding citizen by the police is unlawful and such act must not go unpunished. The perpetrators of this brutal murder of Akpobolokaemi Duke must be brought to book. We are calling on the Commissioner of Police to immediately investigate the incident and punish the culprits appropriately.

“Let the Police build public confidence by checkmating incidences of extra-judicial killings. Now that the Inspector-General of Police has ordered the dismantling of roadblocks on the roads, we appeal to the police hierarchy to also order immediate withdrawal of the police patrol teams from the creeks since they are becoming a tool of extortion.

“The police have not told us on their side of the story as our team of investigators were not allowed to interrogate them at the Marine Police division. However, in our independent investigation, we discovered that the Marine Police actually has a squad in the river, which specialises in extorting money from transport boats along Warri river. Mr. Akpobolokaemi was one their victims of unlawful extortion in the river. We do not know why they chose to murder him in cold blood.”

PDP Suffers Setback As Alimodu Sheriff Loyalists Dump Party For APC

Supporters of sacked national chairman of Peoples Democratic Party, Ali Modu Sheriff, led by a former National Vice Chairman of the PDP, Dr. Cairo Ojougboh, have dumped the PDP for the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC.

The defecting Sheriff loyalists, in their thousands, said they were “suffocated out of the party through deliberate act of impunity which led to the defeat of the party in 2015”.

The former PDP members were received by top members of the APC led by National Vice Chairman of APC, Mr. Hilliard Eta; Delta State leader of the party, Olorogun O’tega Emerhor; Minister of State for Petroleum, Dr. Ibe Kachukwu; and the state chairman of the party, Prophet Jones Erue, among others in Agbor.

Speaking during the ceremony, PDP’s former National Vice Chairman (South-South), Ojougboh, said since the Supreme Court judgment which ousted the Sheriff faction, the Ahmed Makarfi national leadership have refused to reach out to them, hence their resolve to leave.

His words, “We asked the national body to open up the party after the unfortunate court judgment, the next thing we heard was that they were going to grant us amnesty, as if we are criminals.

“When Raymond Dokpesi was nominated as member of the committee for the non-elective convention, his nomination was rejected because they said they spent money on the court judgment.

“As if that was not enough, during the Anambra State governorship primary election, Jerry Gana was made chairman of a three-man committee to midwife a transparent election, but governors Ayo Fayose of Ekiti State and Nyesom Wike of Rivers State rejected it and came up with another committee that went to Anambra and handed everything to Peter Obi.

“Back here in Delta, we asked the state governor, Ifeanyi Okowa, to remove impunity, but what we continue to see here is a … family government.

“We now said it is time to look for people of like minds, people of progressive ideology to meet with, because I know most of you have ambitions to pursue.

“If we do not make a decision to belong to the progressives, most of you will miss out.”

One Soldier Killed And Several Injured In Delta State

One soldier was killed and several others injured in an attack on military personnel in Nigeria’s oil-rich south, a security source said on Thursday, in the second incident this month in the restive region.

The attack happened in the early hours of Thursday in the Ogbogbagbene community, south-west of the Delta state capital Warri, according to locals.

A source at Nigeria’s Department of State Security intelligence agency said it was not immediately clear whether those responsible were “militants or just hoodlums”.

“But they killed a soldier, injured others and carted away arms and ammunition, as well as a military gunboat,” he said, adding that the injured were being treated in hospital.

There was no immediate response from the military joint task force that handles security in the region when contacted by AFP.

One woman who lives locally said people “heard gunshots by the waterside where the army formation is stationed at about 2:00 am (0100 GMT) this morning, only to realise that the army was under attack”.

Angodi Akpo, who sits on the Burutu local council, said the community was “under siege” because of fears of reprisals.

“Everyone is apprehensive and is locked indoors over the likely action of the military following the attack, as the security operatives are harassing innocent residents in the guise of searching for the culprits,” he added.

Twelve days ago two soldiers were killed at Sapele in Delta state, where there was also a similar attack in May that left four marine police officers dead.

The Niger Delta region, which includes Delta state, is home to Nigeria’s multi-billion-dollar oil and gas industry and has frequently been hit by unrest.

Militants have periodically mounted attacks on oil and gas infrastructure as part of their calls for a fairer share of profits from the sector for local people, most of whom live in dire poverty.

After repeated attacks in 2016 that hit oil production, the government initiated talks with rebels, leading to a fragile truce and promises of improvements in the impoverished region.

“Account For Federal Allocations To Delta State”, Militants Challenge Okowa

A militant group, New Delta Avengers (NDA), has threatened to cripple oil exploration in Delta State if Governor Ifeanyi Okowa fails to account for the federal allocations accrued so far to the state.

The militants accused Okowa of abandoning the oil-bearing communities and withholding votes for the Delta State Oil Producing Area Development Commission (DESOPADEC).

The faceless group, in a statement yesterday by its spokesman, Cpl Olleum Bellum, apologised for aborting its press briefing on Sunday, attributing the development to espionage.

They alleged: “If you see the allocations for states that were released by the Ministry of Finance today (yesterday), you will see that Delta State and Okowa were paid N4,747,930,884.16 billion for February and DESOPADEC is supposed to get half of that money but we know that nothing was paid to the agency.

“The governor has questions to answer. What we asked for is the name and physical location of projects that this government has spread in Ijaw, Isoko, Ndokwa and Urhobo communities. We want to know what he has done for them and the money given.

“Let the governor wake up from his slumber and come to terms with his vicious acts towards our communities. He cannot wish away the truth. He has not done anything to benefit the oil communities from Ndokwa, Koko to Forcados.

“We are saying that he is robbing Peter to pay Paul and we stand by this. Let him release the details of funds that he has given to DESOPADEC. Why is he not publishing the state’s allocations, internally generated revenue (IGR) and other incomes as other states do.”

The group urged the Federal Government to pay the 13 per cent derivation funds directly to the communities for their development.

 

 

Source: The Guardian