Wednesday, February 21, 2024
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NIMASA Sensitizes Coastal Communities On Danger Of Marine Pollution

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Director General, NIMASA, Ziakede Patrick Akpobolokemi

The Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) has once again held a sensitization programme for some communities located along the nation’s waterways on the need to collaborate with the agency in protecting the nation’s waterways from marine pollution and imbibe cleaner, peaceful and safe ecosystem.

Speaking at a one day workshop on community sensitization organized by a non-profit making organisation, the Center for Creative Arts Education (CREATE)  in conjunction with NIMASA, in Port Harcourt, Rivers state, recently, the Director General, NIMASA,  Ziakede Patrick Akpobolokemi identified solid waste dumping, municipal waste discharge especially from industrialized cities, agricultural toxic waste, oil spills and discharge into the ocean as some the sources of marine pollution in the country.

Akpobolokemi, who was represented at the workshop by Assistant Director, Marine Environmental Management Department, NIMASA, Dr. Mrs. Felicia Chinwe Mogo, while delivering a paper titled: Peace, Safety and Security in the context of Sustainable Environment also enumerated on some consequences of coastal pollution. According to him, these include decomposition of organic matter causing anoxic conditions, creation of micro climate and mutations, loss of biodiversity/depletion, damage of biodiversity, general loss of aesthetic, economic, cultural, social, political values of the ocean, water hyacinth invasion among others.

Akpobolokemi also commended the awareness programme, which was the grand finale of a one year sensitization tour round the various coastal communities in the country by the two organisations. He further called for collaborations among individuals, states and regions in the country in order to demonstrate the political will to move on in protecting the nation’s waterways. “Whether it is to organize clean-up campaigns, art exhibits, tree-planting drives, social media campaigns and different contests — every action counts. When multiplied by a global chorus, our individual voices and actions become exponential in their impact,” he said.
Speaking with journalists at the sideline of the programme, Mrs. Hilda Dokubo, the Chief Executive Officer, CREATE said the awareness programme as started making positive impact among the communities as a result of the knowledge and information that have been shared with the people on the issue of marine pollution.

She said, ”we have been able to successfully bridge the gap between the people and the agency. We have also succeeded in waking up that consciousness that whatever we do with the waters will come back to us because 90 percent of whatever we get in this country come from the waterways. ”The waterways are yours, don’t empty wrong things into it just because the name is water, such things might block the water. If you find unnecessary things going on in the water, make report. The environment is you.”

Also speaking at the workshop, the Area Manager of National Inland Waterways Authority, NIWA, Port Harcourt, Mr. Abdullahi Dabai, said that inland waterways, which covers up to 28 states of the federation and crises-crosses the entire nation, is the best way economic development of Nigeria can be sustained.

He therefore urged Nigerians to collaborate with the government on how to harness the potential in it and ensure peaceful, safe and secure environment

Stakeholders Task Nigerian Government On Legal Backing For Shippers’ Council

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Stakeholders, including legal experts, have called on President Goodluck Jonathan and the Minister of Transport, Senator Idris Umar, to pursue the issue of legal backing for the Nigerian Shippers’ Council (NSC) as an important instrument for it to carry on as ports economic regulator.

The stakeholders identified the passage of the Ports & Harbours and the National Transport Commission (NTC) Bills as important for the ports industry, as well as to aid the NSC which was recently appointed as an interim ports regulator for one year.

President of the Nigerian Maritime Law Association, Mr. Louis Mbanefo (SAN), who identified the need for legal backing for the Council as a Regulator said it should have been the first thing, adding that government should start the process with speed to enable the Council succeed in its assignment.

Similarly, Mr Chidi Ilogu (SAN), a maritime lawyer, who noted that the NSC can operate as a Regulator with its current law, however, added that the need for urgent passage of the necessary bills for the regulator to operate cannot be over-emphasised.

Another maritime lawyer and former Director General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Mrs. Mfon Usoro, who identified funding as a critical factor for the agency to succeed also added that government, should address the issue of legal backing for the regulator

According to her, the regulator needs to be armed with powers of the law to execute its statutory functions. She called on the President and the Transport Minister to pursue the passage of the bills as soon as possible so that the Council can succeed in its functions.

Chairman of the Board of the NSC, Lt Gen. Salihu Ibrahim (GCON) and the Executive Secretary, Mr Hassan Bello, had during the meeting with stakeholders assured that the Council will not disappoint operators, including providers and consumers of shipping services in the discharge of its duties.

Nigerians Clamour For Increase Use Of LPG

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Fuel Crisis May Worsen as Price hit N165 per Litre at Depots
Fuel Crisis May Worsen as Price hit N165 per Litre at Depots

By Pita Ochai

Nigeria remain the largest producer of Liquefied Petroleum Gas, LPG, in Sub-Sahara Africa, but its consumption of the product still remain the lowest in the region.

According to Prince Haruna Momoh, the Managing Director of Pipelines and Products Marketing Company, PPMC, consumption figure of 1.8 kg per capita, compared to the West African regional average of 3.5kg. He said that the country consumed a paltry 30 per cent or 250,000 tonnes, out of the whopping 850,000 tonnes of Liquefied Petroleum Gas, LPG, reserved for domestic use last year. This disclosure was made by Haruna during the just concluded NALPGAM Inaugural Conference held in Sheraton Hotel Lagos, titled “Stimulating Consumption of LPG in Nigeria.”

According to Haruna, the figure of 1.8 kg per capita placed Nigeria among the lowest LPG consuming nations in Africa. “There is an urgent need to reverse this trend and join the rest of the world in maximizing the benefits of this abundant resource,” he stated.

Most stakeholders believe that billions of revenue could be saved by Nigeria if the populace embraced LPG, rather than relying on wood and kerosene for cooking. Also the resources spent on kerosene subsidy, could be put into more productive areas, such as infrastructure development, education, health and agriculture for the welfare of citizens if Nigerians use more of LPG.

But some problems, including high cost of cylinders and accessory start up kits, low public awareness, poor infrastructure, kerosene subsidy and a lack of investment in the value-chain had continued to make many Nigerians not to embrace LPG.

Nkechi Obi, the Executive vice-chair of Techno Oil Ltd,, while presenting her paper titled ‘Enhancing Liquefied Petroleum Gas Growth in the Nigerian Market’ during the inaugural NALGAM conference, argued that the way out was for government to engage a graduated removal of kerosene subsidy over a period of five years to compel Nigerians to use LPG. She suggested that government should discount equivalent of 20 percent of the value of the kerosene subsidy for every year and channel same to LPG support. She lamented that subsidizing the consumption of kerosene was increasingly becoming harmful to Nigeria’s economy.

According to her, the savings on the subsidy could be spent on the acquisition of gas cylinders to promote utilisation of LPG. “For sustainability, government should invite entrepreneurs to invest in the LPG infrastructural development the same way fuel depot infrastructural development was executed assuring investors return on investments. With all sincerity, government subsidizing kerosene is not sustainable and it is also not healthy because the world has moved on and Nigeria also has to move.

She was of the opinion that government should install an agreed programme that would ensure that the subsidy removal would not create more problems nor hurt the citizenry unduly,” he said.

United Hydrocarbon Announces Successful Drilling In Chad

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United Hydrocarbon International Corp has announced the successful results of drilling two wells on its Production Sharing Contract area in the Doba Basin, located in southern Chad.

The ‘Belanga North-1’ exploration well was drilled to a total depth of 1,392 meters and encountered three oil-bearing sand intervals; two in the targeted Upper Cretaceous ‘YO’ sands with a combined thickness of 16.5 meters (net), and a previously untested 5-meter (net) sand in a shallower horizon. A 14.5 meter section of the ‘YO’ sand was perforated and flow tested. At the end of a 15-hour cleanup and flow test period with an 18% pressure drawdown, the final flow rate was 680 barrels of oil per day with no water. Oil was also recovered from the previously untested 5-meter thick sand with a wireline testing tool. Subject to further analysis, the oil recovered during the flow tests appears to be similar in quality to the oil in nearby fields that have been in commercial production since 2004.

The Company also drilled a well at ‘Belanga 1A’ to further delineate the oil discovery at Belanga 1, originally drilled in the 1970’s by a previous operator. The well encountered a 9-meter oil zone in the ‘YO’ sand, approximately 50% thicker than the oil zone in the original discovery well. Crude oil was produced to surface before the flow test was terminated due to a mechanical problem. The Company plans to conduct a long-term flow test at a later date.

‘We are very encouraged by the significant discovery results of our 2014 drilling program in the DOC and DOD blocks in southern Chad,’ commented Ned Goodman, Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer.

‘There is substantial additional evaluation work ahead of us to prove the ultimate value of the overall drilling program. Extensive 3D seismic survey and development wells are needed to confirm the commercial viability of the Belanga discovery, as well as substantial drilling to prove the viability of the potential magnitude of the Lake Chad area.’

In connection with the Belanga discovery, the independent members of the Company’s board of directors have agreed to grant a $10 million discovery bonus to Dundee Corporation in recognition of the contribution made by the Dundee Group and its senior officers and directors, towards the success of the Belanga discovery, especially including its extensive risky financial support during a time that the Company was unable to secure alternative financing. Dundee has agreed to accept 20 million shares of the Company in lieu of paying cash for this discovery bonus and for Dundee’s assistance.

In addition, and in order to simplify the capital structure of the Company, the board of directors has removed the necessity of the Company’s shares trading above certain specified values in order for those holders of Performance Warrants to exercise their warrants. This will allow holders of the warrants to purchase shares of the Company at the exercise price of the warrant at their discretion.

Nigerian Govt. Restates Commitment To Development Of Maritime Sector

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Cabotage Law Compliance: NIMASA to Penalise Operators of Unregistered Vessels

By Pita Ochai

The Federal Government has reiterated its commitment to the development of the maritime industry.

Idris Umar, the Minister of Transport, while speaking at the 12th Intermodal Africa Exhibition and Conference held in Lagos, said that the present administration remains committed to strengthening the nation’s maritime industry even as it aims to ensure that the nation’s intermodal transport system becomes one of the best in the world.

“Maritime Sector remains a key sector of the economy, whose enormous potential deserves continuous harnessing in order to meet the expectation of government and the citizenry. Over the last two years, Nigeria has been carrying out a number of reform measures aimed at enhancing the operational efficiency in the various ports.

Umar said that the 24 hours operation achieved in the Lagos Ports where more than 60 percent of port activities take place is clear evidence that the government is set to improve the maritime sector and make it the best in the country.

According to him, for the long term, the Federal Government is making concerted efforts towards ensuring the development of Deep Sea Ports in the country. This is the ultimate solution to the current port congestion as the cargo handling are presently beyond their designed capacities.

The desire to improve the maritime sector led to the approval of the development of the Lekki deep seaport in Lagos to handle bigger vessels, and also create employment.

“The Port is to be developed under Public Private Partnership, (PPP) initiative. Other proposed deep seaports are Ibaka deep seaport in Akwa Ibom State; Badagary deep seaport in Lagos; Olokola deep seaport in Ogun and Ondo States; Ogidigbe, near Escravos in Delta State which is expected to be the hub for gas revolution initiative of the federal government and Agge deep seaoort in Bayelsa State. The process for the realisation of these ports is at various stages,” he said.

Umar also said that government remains committed to the resuscitation of the Calabar port access channel. “As you are aware, government had earlier approved the establishment of Calabar Channel Management Company, a joint venture between the Nigerian Ports Authority and Messrs. Niger Global Limited in order to guarantee the sustainability of the Calabar Channel.

This Joint Venture arrangement is similar to the ongoing Lagos and Bonny Channel Management Companies that are effectively maintaining and managing the channels,” he said.

The Transport Minister assured participants of the conference government’s focus on providing enabling environment for massive private sector investments in deepening and developing the maritime sector.

The conference which witnessed the participation from 22 countries spread across four continents aims at improving intermodal and cross border logistics across Africa.

Mallam Habibu Abdullahi, the managing director of NPA, while speaking at the event, urged local investors to use the forum to strategise and network. The intermodal conference, according to him, is holding in Nigeria for the first time.

Abdullahi said Nigeria’s port concession exercise carried out in 2006 has been hugely successful, boosting operation and development of the nation’s seaports.