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World Environment Day 2023: Chevron Nigeria reiterates commitment to an eco-friendly environment

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©Troy Fields

Kennedy

The world commemorates World Environment Day annually on June 5 to celebrate and promote environmental awareness and sustainability across the globe. Led by the United Nations Environment Programme, UNEP, and held every year since 1974, each edition focuses on raising awareness and mobilizing the world to take positive action to protect nature and our planet.

 

The theme for this year is Solutions to Plastic Pollution under the campaign slogan #BeatPlasticPollution. The theme is focused on creating awareness on the effects of plastic pollution on our ecosystem.

 

Chevron Nigeria Limited, CNL, operator of the joint venture between the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited, NNPCL, and CNL, identifies with this global action to address the impact of plastic pollution as it aligns with our commitment to protecting the environment while providing affordable, reliable, and ever-cleaner energy.

CNL conducts its business in a socially and environmentally sustainable manner, in compliance with all applicable laws and regulatory requirements, stakeholder expectations and best industry practices, and has made environmental stewardship part of its social investment programmes.

The CNL’s Chairman and Managing Director, Rick Kennedy, explains that the company’s approach to sustainability is highlighted by its commitment to protecting the environment, empowering its people, and always getting results the right way. “Environmental protection is a key Operational Excellence focus that is integrated into our project planning and life cycle of our assets. We implement a robust process for management of wastes, including solid wastes like plastics of various densities through reduction, reuse, and recycling options.

 

“We continue to assess and implement reduction of single-use plastic water bottles by providing water dispensers. We have also invested in waste management equipment to shred, crush, and compact for recycling and re-use of waste by third party service providers. These actions have prevented our used plastics from leaking into our immediate natural environment,” he said.

 

According to Rick, CNL’s Operational Excellence Management System delivers industry-leading performance in process safety, personal safety and health, environment, reliability, and efficiency. “Our focus on the environment during decision making lays the foundation for sound environmental management. The company protects the environment through the entire lifecycle from responsible design, development, operations, and asset retirement,” he added.

CNL recognizes the importance of minimizing its environmental footprints by promoting ecosystem restoration. The company continually aims to achieve world class environmental excellence through implementation of its Environment Risk Management process to identify, assess, mitigate against, and manage environmental risks, environmentally related community health risks, and environmentally related social risks.

CNL is advancing its lower carbon strategy by focusing on lowering the carbon intensity of its operations and by implementing methane detection and reduction capabilities. CNL utilizes high tech Optical Gas Imaging, OGI, cameras for detecting fugitive emissions and in the past 10 years has reduced routine gas flaring by over 97% in its operations.

The company, in partnership with the Nigerian Conservation Foundation, NCF, established the Lekki Conservation Centre in 1992. This 78-hectare facility, a center of excellence in environmental research and education, is reserved as a sanctuary for the rich flora and fauna of the Lekki Peninsula.

In 2005, CNL began supporting a yearly postgraduate research scholarship for PhD students in environment and conservation, instituted by the NCF.

Additionally, the company hosts the annual S.L. Edu Memorial Lecture to promote environmental management awareness and partners with the Lagos State Government and NCF to sponsor the annual Walk for Nature event, a programme aimed at creating awareness for nature conservation and sustainable environmental management. The theme of the 2019 edition was “Plastic Pollution, the enemy of our development agenda.”

Esimaje Brikinn, CNL’s General Manager, Policy, Government and Public Affairs notes that CNL recognizes the importance of protecting and conserving biodiversity. “We have a long history of working in collaboration with communities, industry groups, regulators, and conservation groups to identify and protect biodiversity in parts of the world where we operate. For over 60 years, the company has remained an active agent of sustainable development and strong advocate of partnerships in support of the environment. We will continue to partner with stakeholders in raising public awareness to create the transformative environmental change we need to advance to a more sustainable world that Beats plastic pollution for ourselves and for future generations,” he noted.

 

Budget: Nigeria not spending enough compared to Countries of its size, says BudgIT Foundation 

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…Calls for resuscitation of Joint Planning Board

 

Nigeria as a country is actually not spending enough to stimulate economic growth when compared with other countries of its size in terms of population. This is the opinion of the BudgIT Foundation which believe that countries as big as Nigeria are spending more.

 

The Senior Research and Policy Analyst, BudgIT Foundation, Vahyala Kwaga who stated this in a roundtable discuss with members of the Financial and Business Online Publishers, FiBOP in Lagos last week Thursday said that the N28 trillion naira budgeted for the 2024 fiscal year by the Federal Government should have been about N50 trillion to N60 trillion naira if the government was serious.

 

“So, there is a contradiction, on one hand, we are not spending enough and it’s inefficient. On the other hand, we are spending it very poorly. So, there need for a reconciliation on how we spend and how much we even budget for spending”, he said.

 

Explaining that budgets help government to actually know how much it intended to spend,he said, “what this should mean to a layman is the road that you use to go from one state to another to sell your shoes, the money that is spent, the cost of goods that you buy in the market, the security or lack of security that you enjoy, among other things are directly going to be impacted by how much the government spends or does not spend on the budget.

 

“But Nigerians need to understand that budgets are just statements, they are not really worth anything unless the government goes ahead to spend efficiently and effectively.”

 

While recalling that the federal government in the past, had been releasing reports on how well it had carried out its spending for every quarter in what was called the budget implementation report, he however, regretted that such reports were either no longer available or the government decided to be silent on it where it is available.

 

He emphasized that Nigerians had to come to a point where they take the budget seriously and understand that their livelihoods and future, their existence as human beings depends to a very large extent, on how efficient and effective the government spent its money, saying, “it’s not just even about having a budget, is the money even available?”

 

“If you recall the issue of deficit, when the government says we want to spend twenty trillion, but we are only going to earn ten trillion, that means there’s ten trillion naira missing. Where is Government going to get that money from? If it is going to get that money through loans, it means that it is Nigerians through their taxes that will pay for that deficit.

 

“The governors, National Assembly members as well as former Presidents have very large pensions that can even take care of, even if they want to pay tax, very little of that will come from them. But why is it that it is an average Nigerian citizen that will bear the brunt of those debt payments? These are the things that the budget should show. So, in more ways than one, the budget is very crucial and important and Nigerians only need to take it more seriously going forward”, he submitted.

 

Kwaga who opined that it’s politics that influences economic decisions, however, recalled equally that there was a body called the Joint Planning Board where the federal government and state governments come together to plan even as he disclosed that the Board last met in 2021, one year after the Covid 19 pandemic.

 

“So, what is the alignment between what the States are doing with what the federal government is doing? If I as Kaduna State needs and this also speaks to the issue of MSMEs, businesses in my state want to move their goods from point A to point B, but to a very large extent, the roads that they drive on are federal roads, at that Joint Planning Board meeting, I can table this request to the authorities and say, these are my needs. With the fixing of these roads, business will go up by this amount, companies will pay this amount of tax, VAT will bring in this amount and you see the federal government and the state will then be earning more. But there’s no alignment between the federal government and the states.

 

“When you look at the issue of energy, these are political decisions like I said before. The Minister of Power was saying that the reason the national grid has collapsed is because there’s low gas output. Why is there low gas output? Were they just looking at the gas until it finished? No one raised any alarm that gas is about seventy percent now and so on? People were just folding their hands looking and this has direct impact on the cost of doing business. So, if businesses are spending fifty to sixty percent of their operating expenses on diesel, there is no way they are going to make money. The government will not even have anything to tax.

 

“So, you ask yourself, is it government incompetence or is it plain wickedness that prevents them from seeing that they have a direct influence on the very taxes that they want to earn? Not even to talk about improving the livelihood of Nigerians but you as a government wants to collect more taxes, why not make the environment more conducive? But we really do not see that”, he submitted.

 

On debt, the BudgIT Foundation Research and Policy Analyst posited that this administration headed by President Bola Ahmed Tinubu was most likely going to borrow even more adding that “it’s sad to see that the previous National Assembly was basically just rubber stamping a lot of requests for loan facilities by the Buhari administration and with not very professional relationship that we see between the current Senate President and the President of the Federal Republic, it’s likely that it’s business as usual and there will be far more debts incurred in the coming fiscal years.”

 

He continued, “So, it will then really fall on the media and the civil society organizations to ensure that people are educated on this issues and if we can, though I do not have very much optimism in that regard, Nigerians can put pressure on their representatives in the National Assembly to review these loan requests. Perhaps, there can be some reductions. This is a very complex problem because while we are borrowing too much, we also have to remember that we are actually not spending enough.”

‘We are collaborating with NAFDAC to unravel those counterfeiting Cocosamba’

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Bullion Go-Neat Global Ltd, manufacturers of Cocosamba Herbal Mixture has stated that it was collaborating with National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control, NAFDAC, to unravel those behind the counterfeiting of the product.

 

The company gave the reassurance in a statement issued today and signed by its Managing Director, Ambassador Olufemi Ajadi Oguntoyinbo.

 

In the statement, it disabused the insinuation of indifference or complicity by his company, as contained in some online publications concerning the counterfeiting of the product, which remains a premium brand on the Bullion stable.

 

Ajadi said no company worth its name would sit by and watch its highly priced reputation won over the years on the sacrifices of diligence being rubbished by unscrupulous elements in the society.

 

This he said was what informed its proactive reaction to the said rumour and a double check of the company’s quality control measures.

 

“Contrary to the claims made in these reports, our company has been proactive by lodging a formal complaint earlier in 2022 with the Director of the Investigation & Enforcement Directorate at, NAFDAC, in Apapa, Lagos.

 

” This complaint specifically highlighted the counterfeiting of our product, Cocosamba Milk and Chocolate Flavored with Herbal Extract, which carries the legitimate NAFDAC registration number A8-9149L.

 

“It is imperative to clarify that prior to the registration of Cocosamba Milk and Chocolate Flavored with Herbal Extract, our company produced Cocosamba Bitters Alcoholic drinks with NAFDAC No A8-4418L.

“However, due to low market demand, the production of Cocosamba Bitters Alcoholic Drink was discontinued, and it has not been in production since the expiry date of the license”, Ajadi said.

 

 

According to him, Bullion Go-Neat Global Limited remained steadfast in its commitment to upholding best standards in manufacturing processes.

 

“We commend NAFDAC for its pivotal role in ensuring manufacturers comply with statutory laws related to standardization.

 

 

“During our recent end-of-year gathering, Oguntade Samuel Oluseyi, the General Manager of our company, emphasized this commitment.

 

“The Managing Director, Ambassador Olufemi Ajadi Oguntoyinbo, and our entire management team have been shocked by the circulating news and want to assure our stakeholders that all necessary actions are being taken to promptly address this issue.

 

 

“Attached herewith is a copy of the letter previously submitted to NAFDAC, outlining our concerns and seeking their intervention. We encourage the public to await the outcome of the ongoing investigation and appreciate the continued support and understanding of our customers, importers, distributors, and healthcare providers.

 

 

In our commitment to resolving this matter, we are actively collaborating with the Investigation and Enforcement Directorate at NAFDAC to identify individuals responsible for counterfeit products.

 

“We pledge our commitment to reporting and taking legal action against anyone found guilty of this illegal offense”.

 

 

The company said its doors were open for any collaboration or information likely to help arrest the perpetrators of the counterfeiting as part of the bid to rid the society of unwholesome products.

Bullion Go-Neat Global takes concerted action over Counterfeiting of Coco Samba

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Manufacturers of Coco Samba variants, Bullion Go-Neat Global Limited has embarked on concerted action over the counterfeiting of the premium brand.

 

As part of the bid to state the facts as they are, the company stormed the secretariat of the Commerce & Industry Correspondents Association of Nigeria, CICAN, on Tursday providing perspectives to the counterfeiting issue.

 

The team, led by Managing Director/Chief Executive, Olufemi Ajadi Oguntoyinbo, began by bemoaning that the smear campaign had cost the company colossal loses in revenue but however expressed the gratitude that the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control, NAFDAC, was already on top of the matter.

 

Expressing confidence in NAFDAC ability to get to the roots, Ajadi said the company was equally equally using its channels towards unravelling those behind the campaign of calumny, threatening legal action against anyone found culpable.

 

He shared with the correspondents, acknowledged copies of letters sent to the relevant agencies including NAFDAC on tissue of faking of the product, dismissing outright, insinuations of acquisance.

 

In one of the letters addressed to NAFDAC, the company had stated:”We are writing to address recent reports that have surfaced on some online news platforms concerning the counterfeiting of a prime brand on our stable.

 

“This complaint specifically highlighted the counterfeiting of our product, Cocosamba Milk and Chocolate Flavored with Herbal Extract, which carries the legitimate NAFDAC registration number A8-9149L.

 

“What is not however true, is, the insinuation that we have been indifferent to the situation”.

 

“As a company, we have been proactive in addressing the issue by lodging a formal complaint earlier in 2022 with the Director of the Investigation & Enforcement Directorate at the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control, NAFDAC, in Apapa, Lagos”.

 

“The managing director, Olufemi Ajadi Oguntoyinbo and the entire management team have been shocked by the circulating news and want to assure our stakeholders that all necessary actions are being taken to promptly address this issue ”

 

The company also clarified that before registration of Cocosamba Milk and Chocolate Flavored with Herbal it was producing Cocosamba Bitters Alcoholic drinks with NAFDAC No A8-4418L. However, due to low market demand, the production of Cocosamba Bitters Alcoholic Drink was discontinued, and it has not been in production since the expiry date of the license.

 

 

It reiterated its commitment to upholding high standards in its manufacturing processes, adding:

“We commend NAFDAC for its pivotal role in ensuring manufacturers comply with statutory laws related to standardization.

 

 

“Attached herewith is a copy of the letter previously submitted to NAFDAC, outlining our concerns and seeking their intervention. We encourage the public to await the outcome of the ongoing investigation and appreciate the continued support and understanding of our customers, importers, distributors, and healthcare providers”, the company said in the letter.

OML 30: Heritage Energy, NNPC E & P Limited and SNRL Handover Upgraded Igbide Primary Health Care Centre  

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Middle – Adesola Adebawo- General Manager: Government, Joint Venture and External Relations- Heritage Energy Operational Services Ltd at the event.

Heritage Energy Operation Services Limited, HEOSL, and the Joint Venture Partners of OML 30 on Friday 16th February 2024 handed over the Community Primary Health Care Centre Egbo-Igbide, which they recently renovated and upgraded, to the Isoko South Local Government Council.

 

In a very well attended ceremony, the HEOSL General Manager, Government, Joint Venture and External Relations, Adesola Adebawo congratulated the Igbide people and the Primary Health Care Development Agency.

 

According to Adebawo, the day’s event was another demonstration of the Company’s dedication to the well-being and progress of the 112 Host Communities of OML 30 in Delta State.

 

Continuing he said, “the commissioning of the Primary Health Care Facility is particularly special as it is in line with the Sustainable Development Goals, SDG, Goal 3 of the United Nations which states that: “Ensure healthy lives and promote wellbeing of all at all ages”. He added that HEOSL has contributed significantly to health infrastructural development through the renovation projects of both Erhoike Cottage Hospital and now Egbo- Igbide Primary Health Care Centre.

Adebawo speaking at the ceremony.

Adebawo said HEOSL also has robust interventions around education and economic empowerment amongst others. He appreciated the Delta State Government for partnering with the company on this journey to add value to the life of the people in the 112 Host Communities of OML 30 and beyond.

 

The NNPC, Production & Exploration Limited, NEPL, Community Relations Manager, Dahiru Abubakar, represented by Oghenero Omowhara appreciated the Community for strong collaboration with the Operator and expressed NEPL’s  commitment to support such developmental projects that will impact the lives of the Host Communities positively.

 

Similarly, in her goodwill message on the occasion, the General Counsel/ GM ; External Communications, Shoreline Natural Resources Limited, SNRL, Lara Coker, who was represented by Abasiama Umohata expressed deep gratitude to their senior JV Partner, NNPC E&P Limited for the collaboration that has been instrumental in the transformation of OML 30 Assets. According to the General Manager, the OML 30 Assets is precious, inspiring and fostering robust relationship with all Stakeholders and relevant agencies.

 

Earlier on, the President General of Igbide Community, Ugolo Egbaoghene in his welcome speech said the event is a prayer answered, according to him, “the community has suffered some medical challenges which necessitated and gave birth to this intervention supported by the OML 30 JV”.

Right- Felicia Akpojishere- NUPRC, Ugba Ugolo-President-General, Igbide Community during the ceremony.

He continued that, on several occasions pregnant women with minor complications were referred to other Health Centres. When these health challenges were reported to HEOSL in one of the several engagements, they sought the support of the OML 30 JV and they deemed it fit to improve on the standard and medical facilities of the Egbo-Igbide Primary Healthcare Centre.

Highlights of the event was the official commissioning and handling over of the Upgraded Primary Health Centre followed by a tour of the facility.

 

Goodwill messages were also received from the Nigerian Upstream Regulatory Commission, NUPRC, and the Executive Secretary Primary Healthcare Development Agency, Isoko South, Layegue Ogheneruru.

 

Also in attendance were top Management Staff of HEOSL, women and leaders from Igbide community led by the President General while the famous Abame dance troupe of Igbide were on hand to entertain- guests.

 

 

NUPRC not leaving Abuja as erroneously speculated

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By Ibrahim Musa
With clear mandates – ensuring compliance with petroleum laws, regulations and guidelines, monitoring of operations at drilling sites, producing wells, production platforms and flowstations, crude oil export terminals, and all pipelines carrying crude oil, and natural gas, supervising operations being carried out under licenses and leases, monitoring operations to ensure that they are in line with national goals and aspirations – the Nigerian Upstream Regulatory Commission, NUPRC, occupies a very influential position in Nigeria’s oil and gas industry.
The NUPRC also has the mandate to monitor operations to ensure that they are in line with national goals and aspirations, including those relating to Natural Gas Flare elimination & monetization, Domestic Gas Delivery Obligations and Domestic crude oil supply obligations and ensures that Health Safety& Environmental regulations conform to national and international best oil field practice.
The agency further maintains records on upstream petroleum operations, particularly on matters relating to petroleum reserves, production/exports, licenses and leases; advice Government and relevant Government agencies on technical matters and public policies while processing upstream petroleum–related applications for leases, licenses and permits as well as ensure timely and accurate payments of Rents, Royalties and other revenues due to the government from upstream petroleum operations while administering the National Data Repository, NDR.
Consequently, some persons, including politicians and analysts, who are aware of its various roles, have come to perceive the actions of NUPRC more from the realm of politics than economics. They keep a close watch on the activities in the agency and would complain about almost every development that does not fit into their pre-conceived idealism, instead of embracing realism based on purely economic considerations.
Take the latest efforts to move some personnel, especially field officers to Lagos, where many oil and gas companies have offices for example. The truth is that with the implementation of the Petroleum Industry Act, a comprehensive legislation, targeted at achieving restructuring, repositioning, increased productivity and transparency and accountability, the NUPRC inherited many personnel and its current building in Abuja from the defunct Department of Petroleum Resources, DPR. Sadly, many personnel do not have offices but work with their laptops from unsuitable locations, including conference rooms and corridors.
Meanwhile, NUPRC still bears the financial and other costs of taking them frequently to Lagos, Warri and Port Harcourt to carry out their official duties. After due consideration and in line with President Bola Tinubu’s commitment to cut costs, eliminate wastages and enhance service delivery, the Gbenga Komolafe-led NUPRC started consulting with key stakeholders, especially the labour unions. The consultation culminated in the taking of the decision, targeted at reducing pressure on accommodation in Abuja, maximizing the use of the Lagos-based office, reducing operational costs, improving organizational efficiency and enhancing industry growth.
Sadly, the decision has been unduly politicized and misconstrued to mean leaving Abuja. This constitutes a distraction to the NUPRC under the leadership of Engr. Komolafe that means so well for the industry and Nigeria as illustrated in the bold steps taken to make a positive impact in the past few years. Already, NUPRC has developed regulations, giving meaning and intent to the PIA, to ensure that all bottlenecks associated with regulatory processes are eliminated, to entrench seamless upstream petroleum operations. The gazetted regulations include: Petroleum Licensing Round Regulations 2022, Petroleum Royalty Regulations 2022, Conversion and Renewal (Licences and Lease), Nigeria Upstream Petroleum Host Communities Development Regulations 2022, Domestic Gas Delivery Obligations Regulations 2022, Nigeria Upstream Petroleum Measurement Regulations 2023, Production Curtailment and Domestic Crude supply Obligation Regulations, 2023, Frontier Basins Exploration Fund Administration Regulations, 2023, Nigeria Upstream Decommissioning and Abandonment Regulations 2023, Significant Crude Oil and Gas Discovery Regulations, 2023, Gas Flaring, Venting and Methane Emission (Prevention of Waste and Pollution) Regulations, 2023 and Nigeria Upstream Petroleum Unitization Regulations, 2023.
Also, the 14 draft regulations awaiting gazetting include Upstream Petroleum Fees and Rent Regulations, Acreage Management Drilling and Production Regulations, Upstream Environmental Remediation Fund Regulations, Upstream Petroleum Safety Regulations, Upstream Petroleum Environmental Regulations, Upstream Petroleum Measurement Regulations, Advance Cargo Declaration Regulations, Draft Upstream Commercial Operations Regulations, Draft upstream Petroleum Code of Conduct & Compliance Regulations, Draft Upstream Petroleum Development Contract Administration Regulations, Draft Upstream Revocation of licences and Lease Regulations, Draft Upstream Petroleum Assignment of Interest Regulations, Draft Nigerian upstream Petroleum (Administrative Harmonisation) Regulations and Draft Amendment to the Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Host Communities Development Regulations 2022.
The Commission has also held several Stakeholder Engagements on the Commission’s Draft Regulatory Framework for Energy Transition, Decarbonisation and Carbon Monetisation and incorporated the inputs arising from the engagements into the regulatory framework, which will not only govern the activities of the newly established Energy Transition and Carbon Monetisation Division of the Commission but those of the entire industry in considering Energy Transition in oil and gas field development.
Komolafe
Komolafe has attracted many investors expected to boost investment in the nation. The reserves report as of 1st January 2022 put the nation’s oil and condensate reserves status at 37.046 billion barrels, with a life index of 60 years, representing an increase of 0.37% compared to 36.910 billion barrels as of 1st January 2021. On the other hand, the nation’s reserves status stood at 208.62 (trillion cubic feet) TCF with a life index of 80 years, representing an increase of 1.01% compared to 206.53 TCF as of 1st January 2021.
He has taken deliberate steps to drive the Decade of Gas programme declared by the Federal Government through more aggressive development of the Nation’s huge gas resources, enhanced exploration activities, development of utilization schemes leading to gas reserves growth, increased gas production, maturation of domestic and export gas markets, in addition to gas flare elimination and commercialisation through the Nigeria Gas Flare Commercialization Program, NGFCP. Engr. Komolafe has also assisted many companies/projects to hasten development and achieve their first oil production. Some of the fields include: Anyala field, First E&P, Ikike, Total, Efe field, Newcross, Utapate, NEPL, and Akubo Field, SEEPCo.
He contributed immensely to the funding of the Federation’s activities. In the year 2021, the total revenue generated was N2.9 trillion which signified a 44.82 per cent increase in revenue generated as compared to the 2020 figure which stood at N2.0 trillion. On the other hand, the total revenue generated in the year 2022 was N3.781 trillion, indicating an increase of 30.38 per cent.
In 2024, plans are underway to hold the licensing round in line with Section 73 of the nation’s PIA. The Engr. Komolafe-led Commission will optimise the functionality of automation systems by enhancing the efficiency of existing optimising tools and the streamlined deployment of new ones while collaborating with relevant government entities to grow oil and gas production in the best interest of all stakeholders, including investors and Nigeria.
This and other plans are targeted at increasing oil and gas production and extending foreign exchange generation for the government and other stakeholders. As Engr. Komolafe disclosed at the just-concluded Petroleum Technology Association of Nigeria, PETAN, Sub-Saharan Africa International Petroleum Exhibition and Conference in Lagos, that the operations of the agency will continue to be driven by modern technology, improved transparency in hydrocarbon measurement and accounting and collaborative work programme administration with the exploration & production companies.
Indeed, the planned movement of field officers to Lagos should be endorsed and supported by everyone as it promises to not only bring NUPRC much closer to the oil and gas companies and other stakeholders but also position the agency to operate more efficiently while minimizing cost and maximizing returns to the government and nation.
. Ibrahim Musa is a Lagos-based Energy Analyst

NCDMB Parleys Chevron, recommits to fast-track approvals of Oil Industry Projects

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The Executive Secretary Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board, NCDMB, Felix Omatsola Ogbe; Deputy Managing Director, Chevron Nigeria Limited, Cosmas Iwueze and senior management of the NCDMB and Chevron Nigeria after the visit of Chevron officials to the Nigerian Content Tower, Yenagoa, Bayelsa State recently.

 

 

The Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board, NCDMB, has restated its commitment to accelerated approvals of requests and documents submitted to it by operating oil and gas companies. The goal is to ensure speedy development of oil and gas projects and contribute to increased oil production and improved national economy.

 

The Executive Secretary NCDMB, Felix Omatsola Ogbe gave the assurance recently at the Nigerian Content Tower, Yenagoa, Bayelsa State when he received senior officials from Chevron Nigeria Limited led by the Deputy Managing Director, Cosmas Iwueze.

The Executive Secretary conveyed the Board’s willingness to improve on the timelines set by the Service Level Agreement, SLA, instituted by the Board, Nigerian National Petroleum Company Ltd, NNPCL, and international oil companies for shortening the contracting cycle for oil and gas projects.

He reiterated his proposal for the setting up of technical working groups, TWGs, between the representatives of the NCDMB and respective international oil firms. The working groups could meet monthly or quarterly to evaluate the companies’ expectations from the NCDMB on their projects. The intent, he explained is “to resolve contentious issues, close all the gaps and come to an agreement before the official correspondences are received. That will ensure quick turn-around and approvals will be dealt with quickly and that will help to cut downtime.”

Emphasising the need for all oil and gas companies to comply with the provisions of the Nigerian Oil and Gas Industry Content Development, NOGICD Act, the Executive Secretary promised that the Board will accede to cogent urgent requests from companies to avoid delays that could cause costs overruns, impact negatively on oil and gas operations and the economy at large.

He encouraged the companies to see NCDMB as partners in progress, adding: “we want to create the enabling environment that will minimize conflicts with international oil companies, IOCs, and attract investments into the sector. We want to create employment opportunities for our youths and help achieve the economic objectives of President Bola Tinubu. We want to make international oil companies comfortable and reverse the exit of foreign investors because they create jobs, and we need all hands on the deck.”

Ogbe revealed that he had long and successful career with Chevron Nigeria and remarked that the hallmark of the company is teamwork. He noted that NCDMB operates with the same core value, hence the Board is determined to support oil companies to accomplish their operational goals. “We have to make sure that you succeed otherwise we will not be successful,” he added.

The Executive Secretary confirmed that NCDMB under his watch will not emphasise the use of sanctions, rather will seek to dialogue with companies to achieve win-win situations. “We will be flexible regarding your requests, but we all need to have open minds and look at the critical paths that will ensure that we make progress and produce effectively,” he said.

Contributing, the Director, Planning Research and Statistics, NCDMB, Isaac Yalah, commended Chevron Nigeria for supporting the Board’s development of the Nigerian Content Research Centre of Excellence at the Federal University of Technology Akure, FUTA, in Ondo State. He affirmed that the Board will continue to collaborate with Chevron on other projects and would address any issues relating to requests for expatriate quota approvals.

Responding, the Deputy Managing Director of Chevron Nigeria, Cosmos Iwunze commended the Executive Secretary for adopting the mantra of collaboration and pushing to increase crude oil production in Nigeria. He highlighted the importance producing crude oil at competitive costs, noting that the primary aspiration of oil companies and the Federal Government is to ramp up Nigeria’s crude oil production volumes and shore up the revenue accruing to the national coffers.

The Deputy Managing Director emphasised the need to incentivise investments in the oil and gas sector. He explained that international oil and gas companies in Nigeria compete for capital with their sister operations in other oil producing nations. He said: “The capital we need for big oil and gas investments is domiciled with global investors. We need to always present Nigeria as an investor friendly destination where people can come and do business.”

He also confirmed that the company was working on some major projects, relating to deepwater and Escravos gas-to liquids, EGTL, and he looked forward to receiving the Board’s support and collaboration when the projects come for consideration and approvals.

Shell Mangt Visits NCDMB, Plans FID for Bonga, Gas Projects

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Delegation from Shell and NCDMB Management after the visit of the Shell team to the NCDMB liaison office in Abuja last week Wednesday.

 

The leadership of Shell Companies in Nigeria sought the support of the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board, NCDMB, last week Wednesday to achieve accelerated development of three major oil and gas projects notably Bonga North deepwater and HI and HA, which are conventional gas projects.

The Executive Secretary NCDMB, Felix Omatsola Ogbe received the delegation from the international oil company led by the Chairman of Shell Companies in Nigeria, SCIN, Osagie Okunbor, and the Managing Director of Shell Nigeria Exploration and Production Company, SNEPCo,  Elahor Aiboni, at the Board’s liaison office in Abuja.

In his remarks, the Executive Secretary confirmed that NCDMB would sustain its momentum in expeditious consideration and approvals of oil and gas projects, by meeting the timelines set by the Service Level Agreement, SLA, instituted for shortening the contracting cycle for oil and gas projects.

He charged international oil and gas companies in Nigeria to meet the thresholds set by the Nigerian Oil and Gas Industry Content Development, NOGICD, Act in their projects, while being transparent with their project plans submitted to the Board. He advocated that oil and gas projects should be executed with a win-win mindset, whereby NCDMB is able to meet its mandate and create opportunities for local oil service companies to get engaged and employ Nigerians, while the operating companies deliver their projects profitably and timeously.

In his presentation, the Chairman of Shell Companies in Nigeria, SCIN, Osagie Okunbor conveyed the company’s determination to take the Final Investment Decision, FID, on some of the major projects in 2024, which would benefit the Nigerian oil and gas industry and the national economy.

He clarified that the planned divestment by Shell Petroleum Development Company, SPDC, would not affect any contract duly entered by the company, while the major projects in the pipeline, especially the gas projects would be developed under SNEPCo. He added that the divestment was a business realignment and would only affect the shareholding structure of the company, while the operations and staff would remain intact.

Speaking on the new projects, Okunbor indicated that the Bonga North project would be a tie-back project that would unlock about 350 million barrels of oil equivalent and extend the life of Bonga Floating Production Storage and Offloading (FPSO) for another 15 years.

He mentioned that the company had made appreciable progress in the plans for HI and HA projects which would supply 50 percent of the gas required for the successful operation of the Train 7 project currently being developed by the Nigeria Liquified Natural Gas, NLNG, Company.

He underscored the need to develop the gas projects speedily, to avoid delaying the Train 7 operation date. While thanking NCDMB for its support for the company’s various projects, Okunbor requested the Board to fast-track the approvals on the new projects to enable the projects to proceed to full execution. He stated that the economics of the projects were challenging, making it imperative to carefully manage the expenditures for in-country and out-of-country scopes of the project.

The Country Chair also congratulated the Executive Secretary on his appointment and conveyed the enduring support of Shell Companies in Nigeria to the delivery of the Board’s mandate and continued performance as the number one federal agency in the country. He also commended the Executive Secretary for his avowed vision to improve the speed of the Board’s approval processes to enable the development of new oil and gas projects.

In her comments, the Managing Director of SNEPCo,  Elahor Aiboni reiterated the company’s plan to develop the Bonga North project as fast as possible, to increase the country’s crude oil production.

 

Senate Committee, NCDMB Hold Inaugural Meeting, to Collaborate on Local Content Implementation

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The Executive Secretary, Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board, NCDMB,  Felix Omatsola Ogbe with Chairman of the Committee, Natasha Akpoti-Uduagha at the first interactive session between the Senate Committee on Local Content and the leadership of the NCDMB at the Senate Building in Abuja

 

The Senate Committee on Local Content on Wednesday held the first interactive session with the leadership of the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB) at the Senate Building at Abuja and resolved to collaborate and deepen the implementation of local content in the oil and gas industry and linkage sectors.

The Chairman of the Committee, Natasha Akpoti-Uduaghan moderated the meeting and assured that the committee would not antagonize the Board and other entities under its supervision but would collaborate towards effective implementation of the Board’s mandate for the benefit of Nigerians.

She expressed concern over the parlous state of the economy, particularly the alarming level of unemployment which has fuelled an increase in criminality. She emphasised the need to deepen the implementation of the Nigerian Oil and Gas Industry Content Development (NOGICD Act, to create employment opportunities from the activities in the oil industry and catalyse other sectors of the economy.

She requested the Board to submits performance reports on the implementation of the NOGICD Act, specifically on the Board’s third-party investments, capacity building programmes, expatriate quota management and research and development. She also requested the Board to recommend sections of the Nigerian Oil and Gas Industry Content Development, NOGICD, Act that needed to be amended by the National Assembly.

Other questions raised by the committee concerned the status of the Nigerian Content Development Fund, NCDF, and the performance of the Nigerian Content Intervention Fund, NCI Fund.

The Committee Chair criticised the international oil companies, IOCs, in Nigeria for not investing in the petrochemical sub-sector and other associated manufacturing activities, whereas IOCs in other oil producing jurisdictions make such investments and contribute significantly to those economies. She announced that the committee would invite the IOCs and other relevant agencies of Government, with a view to compel the companies to create tangible value in the Nigerian economy beyond the extraction and sale of crude oil. She said: “We need to get them around the table and tell them what we want as a country as against watching them export crude oil only.”

In his comments, the Executive Secretary NCDMB, Felix Omatsola Ogbe thanked the committee for adopting a cooperative approach and assured that the Board would provide all the requested documentations and partner effectively, to achieve the mandate of the committee and that of the Board.

On the Board’s performance, the Executive Secretary stated that the Nigerian Content level for 2022 and 2023 stood at 54 percent and the Board is on course to accomplish the 70 percent target for 2027, as set in the Nigerian Content roadmap.

On international oil companies’ model of operation in Nigeria, the Executive Secretary explained that most oil conglomerates have different arms, which includes the downstream companies which make such investments in the petrochemical and linkage sub-sectors. He however, noted that most operating companies in Nigeria do not have such subsidiaries in the country, hinting that the Board is willing to support indigenous firms that are interested in such ventures.

He added that the Board lacked the mandate to compel the IOCs to change their business model in Nigeria but was collaborating with some oil companies to develop the Nigerian Oil and Gas Parks Scheme (NOGaPs), which is designed to manufacture oil and gas equipment and components as well as other manufacturing and research and technology programmes.

The Director Finance and Personnel Management, NCDMB, Dr. Obinna Ofili provided clarity on the performance of the Nigerian Content Intervention Fund (NCI Fund) and the Nigerian Content Development Fund (NCDF). He explained that the NCI Fund is managed by the Bank of Industry (BoI) on behalf of the Board, and US$300m was deposited with the BOI. He clarified that the NCI Fund is a portion of the NCDF – which is pooled from the 1% percent of every contract awarded in the upstream sector of the Nigerian oil and gas industry, as specified in section 104 of the NOGICD Act.

He also revealed that BoI had loaned out US$330m to 70 qualified oil and gas companies, with the additional $30m accruing from the interests from the loans. He mentioned that another Fund created by the NCDMB is the US$50m domiciled with the Nigerian Export-Import Bank and it is broken into $30m for working capital and capacity building and $20m for Women in Oil and Gas. Ofili indicated that eight firms have accessed the $30m working capital and capacity building fund, while three firms have successfully accessed the Women in oil and gas fund. He said: “We want serious minded women entrepreneurs in the oil and gas industry to step forward and access this fund. That is the only way it can make impact in the economy.”

The Director asserted that the NCI Fund is the most successful fund scheme in the country, basing his assessment on the faithful repairment by the beneficiaries and the growth of the fund.  He mentioned that the Bank of Industry carries out quarterly project monitoring on the loan beneficiaries, while the NCDMB holds an annual monitoring review on the fund scheme and beneficiaries.

On the proposed amendment of the NOGICD Act, the Director Monitoring and Evaluation, Mr. Abdulmalik Halilu explained that concerted efforts were made during the tenure of the 9th National Assembly to review the legislation and the Board developed a compendium on areas that it believed should be amended. He promised that the Board would submit the compendium to the Senate so it could become the reference point for further discussions and considerations.

AfCFTA: NCDMB Advocates Database of Skills, Uniform Standards for Goods, Services

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L-R: Chairman of the Petroleum Technology Association of Nigeria, PETAN. Nicolas Odinuwe; the Director of Corporate Services, NCDMB, Dr. Ama Ikuru and the Director of Monitoring and Evaluation, NCDMB, Abdulmalik Halilu at the Nigerian Local Content AfCFTA Energy Summit organised by the Board on Monday in Lagos.

As plans to implement the African Continental Free Trade Agreement, AfCFTA, continue to unfold, the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board, NCDMB, has advocated the removal of visa restrictions among African nations, the creation of a database of available skills, and the simplification of cross border deployment of labour.

The Executive Secretary of the NCDMB, Felix Omatsola Ogbe made these recommendations in the keynote address he delivered on Monday in Lagos at the Nigerian Local Content AfCFTA Energy Summit organised by the Board in partnership with the Petroleum Technology Association of Nigeria, PETAN.

Represented by the Director of Corporate Services, NCDMB, Ama Ikuru, the Executive Secretary harped on the need to unlock barriers that are inhibiting free intra-Africa trade and advised African leaders to create unified codes and standards for goods and services, reform the services sector, and enhance trade facilitation programmes.

He assured that the NCDMB will continue to partner with stakeholders such as PETAN, the African Petroleum Producers Organisation, APPO, and other continental and regional bodies to position Nigerian oil service providers to take advantage of the big market opportunities that AfCFTA offers.

In his contribution, the Director of Monitoring and Evaluation, NCDMB, Abdulmalik Halilu urged oil-producing countries to specialise in different manufacturing and service areas of the oil and gas industry and develop their competencies to the right specifications, so they can trade among themselves.

Citing an example with the manufacturing of complex equipment where the critical components are produced by different original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) and assembled at a designated factory, Halilu explained that such a model will ensure that each African country develops a competitive advantage and can contribute effectively to the African oil and gas industry.

He mentioned that Nigeria had already completed two Oil and Gas Parks where manufactured components or services can be assembled at competitive costs. He stressed the need for close collaboration among African oil-producing countries as well as between African OEMs to enable the success of AfCFTA. He listed other critical factors as trade liberalisation, uniform standards, measurements, and enforcement tools.

The Secretary General of the African Petroleum Producers Organisation, APPO, Omar Farouk Ibrahim, while making his comments, advocated for synergy among African countries, hinting that no African oil-producing country can provide the financial, technological, and marketing resources that it needs to be self-sufficient. He added that “if resources are pooled together, African countries can go far”.

He advised Nigerian oil and gas companies to be diplomatic when engaging their counterparts from other African countries and to coopt other nationals when planning to operate in foreign jurisdictions.

He said: “You need to have diverse shareholding and include nationals from other countries when you move to other African countries to operate. Do not create the impression that you want to dominate.”

The APPO Scribe announced that the African Energy Bank will start operations in 2024 and would have $5bn capitalization and the 18 member nations of APPO have started paying up their shareholding, which is $83m per country. He affirmed that the African Energy Bank would be a veritable platform to fund oil and gas projects within the continent and mitigate the withdrawal of international financiers because of the clamour for renewable energy.

He also confirmed that APPO was working to establish international research centres of excellence in different regions of the continent, which would cater to the research needs of oil companies operating in Africa and curb their dependence on international research centres for research solutions.

He stated that APPO is working to enhance the market for African oil and gas resources and ensure that crude oil and gas resources that are produced in Africa get consumed within the African continent. This is important because of the threat of energy transition, which is expected to substantially shrink the demand for crude oil and gas resources internationally, he said. Another important and related action is the construction of a continent-wide pipeline system that could convey crude oil, refined products, and gas across different countries of the continent, he said.

Speaking at a panel session at the summit, the Director of Finance and Personnel Development, NCDMB, Obinna Ofili expressed worry over the financing prospects of some key initiatives of the African Continental Free Trade Agreement, AfCFTA. He equally observed that the ongoing geopolitical conflicts were affecting the inflow of international funding into the African oil and gas industry.

He recommended that APPO should develop a financial strategy for its strategic plans and should mobilize funds from different sources, including from international financiers. He also advised other African oil-producing countries to set up a financing programme like the Nigerian Content Intervention Fund, NCI Fund, to support the growth of their local supply chain.

Access Holdings Plc Announces the appointment of Mbolaji Agbede as Acting Group Chief Executive Officer

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Agbede

The Board of Directors of Access Holdings Plc has announced the appointment of Bolaji Agbede as the Acting Group Chief Executive Officer of the Company following the unfortunate demise of its former Group Chief Executive Officer, Herbert Wigwe, on February 9, 2024.

The appointment is subject to the approval of the Central Bank of Nigeria.

Until her recent appointment, Agbede was the Company’s most senior founding Executive Director in charge of Business Support.

She has nearly three decades of professional experience cutting across banking and business consultancy services. Agbede commenced her professional career in 1992 at Guaranty Trust Bank and served in various capacities within the Commercial Banking and Operations functions rising to the position of Manager in 2001. She subsequently served as the Chief Executive Officer of JKG Limited, a business consulting outfit in 2003.

Agbede joined Access Bank Plc in 2003 as an Assistant General Manager and was responsible for managing the Bank’s portfolio of chemical trading companies. She served as the Bank’s Head, Group Human Resources between 2010 and 2022 and was appointed the Company’s founding Executive Director, Business Support in 2022. She has a track record in successful people integration in business combination and culture transformation.

She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Mathematics and Statistics from the University of Lagos (1990) and a Masters of Business Administration Degree from Cranfield University UK in 2002. She is a member of the Chartered Institute of Management UK and the Chartered Institute of Personnel Management of Nigeria.

Agbede has attended several renowned leadership and professional development programmes including the High-Performance Leadership Programme organised by the IMD and the Strategic Talent Management Programme organised the London Business School.

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