Shell Sells Some Oil fields In Nigeria

Shell_SaleRoyal Dutch Shell has sold some of four oil fields up for grabs in Nigeria, it said on Wednesday, as the oil and gas company pushes ahead with global asset sales to cut costs, Reuters News Agency is reporting.

Shell last year put up for sale its 30 percent shares in four oil blocks in the Niger Delta — Oil Mining Licence (OML) 18, 24, 25, 29 — as well as a key pipeline, the Nembe Creek Trunk Line.

“We have signed sales & purchase agreements for some of the Oil Mining Leases, but not all that we are seeking to divest,” a Shell spokesman said.

No details were available on the value of the deals signed, nor when the full process will be completed.

France’s Total and Italy’s Eni are also set to raise revenue from the sale of their 10 percent and 5 percent shares in the assets. The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) owns the remaining 55 percent.

The Financial Times on Wednesday reported that Shell is close to selling the assets for about $5 billion to domestic buyers.

In March, Reuters reported that Nigerian firms Taleveras and Aiteo made the highest bid of $2.85 billion for the biggest of the four oil fields, OML 29.

Shell, along with many other oil majors, is undergoing a broad process of asset sales across the world in an effort to cut costs and boost profits.

Other companies, including Total, Eni, Chevron and ConocoPhillips have sought to pull out of the oil-rich West African country which has been plagued by oil theft.

Earthfile: Alternative Electricity Generation In Nigeria

Power Sector - LanternNigerians complain about crazy electricity bills, how difficult it is to get the prepaid meters, and even lack of electricity or light as it is called here.

Most people know that the problem in the power sector is great, but several calls have been made for Nigeria to look for alternative sources in its electricity generation.

The options are our focus on this edition of Earthfile.

Power Sector: Vice President Promises More Private Sector Investment

Vice President Namadi Sambo has reaffirmed Government’s commitment towards creating an enabling environment that would encourage private sector investment into the power sector.

In a press release signed by the Head, Public Communications at the Bureau of Public Enterprise, BPE, Chigbo Anichebe, the Vice President, who is also the Chairman of the National Council on Privatization (NCP), said that the challenges facing the electricity sector in Nigeria were enormous.

He however maintained that President Goodluck Jonathan’s administration is committed and determined to keep “its promise of taking Nigeria out of its perennial darkness within the shortest possible period”.

While commending the roles of the NCP, the Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE) and other key stakeholders for the actualization of the handover, the Vice President reminded the new owners to keep to the agreed covenants.

According to him, Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC)  and the BPE would  continually monitor the operations of the successor companies, with a view to sanctioning  any core investor that does not deliver on  the performance agreement that was executed with the government.

Fayemi Signs 5 Bills Into Law

The Ekiti State Governor, Dr. Kayode Fayemi has signed into law, 5 bills recently passed by the State House of Assembly.

The Governor is confident that the bills would ensure equal justice for all citizens and residents of Ekiti State.

The Speaker of Ekiti State House of Assembly, Dr Adewale Omirin, on his part said that the Ekiti State House of Assembly was the most productive House so far in the country, considering the fact that the House has passed into law, 64 bills in just 3 years.

Muslim Cleric Describes Yobe School Killing As Barbaric And Ungodly

The President of Ahmadiyya Muslim Jummat in Nigeria, Dr Mashhud Fashola has described the killing of 29 students at the Federal Government College Buni Yadi in Yobe State by members of the Boko Haram sect as barbaric and ungodly.

Dr Fashola who was speaking at a meeting organized in Abuja appealed for religious tolerance amongst all religious groups in the country.

While attributing the spate of insecurity in some parts of the country to lack of proper sensitization of followers by religious leaders, he asked the Federal Government to also tackle issues of unemployment.

“The hearts of all human beings should bleed with these killings. Just think about yourself, suppose (it was) your own child, (when) you see women running helter skelter searching for their children. It is barbaric, it has nothing to do with religion and it has nothing to do with civilization.

“Many things have their causes, both immediate and deeper causes, and I feel that what religion has taught us to prevent this kind of thing is enlightenment of the people. A major enlightenment is that spirit of justice; we should educate all religious people that there is freedom of worship, freedom of belief.

“Where there have been people who are fanatics or extremists, who are teaching people that they have rights to impose their own faith on others, you have no such right,” he preached.

Yobe Killing: Association Calls For Closure Of Unity Schools In North-East

In the wake of the attack on school children in Yobe State during the week, the Unity Schools Old Students Association has called for the immediate closure of all the eight federal unity colleges in the three states under emergency rule.

The association also wants the students in various colleges transferred to other unity colleges in other parts of the country for them to continue with their studies.

This call was made at an emergency town hall meeting in Lagos, where the President of King’s College Old Boys’ Association, KCOB Mr. Hakeem Bello-Osagie, and Chairman National Human Rights Commission Prof. Chidi Odinkalu, urged the Federal Government to immediately deploy sufficient security personnel to secure all schools and children in the North-East.

Cheering News From South-Sudan As Boko Haram Strikes In Nigeria

While all the crisis and controversies around the continent of Africa continues, it’s been a rather bloody week in Nigeria, just when the country was celebrating 100 years of its existence.

The Boko Haram sect struck again, and 29 students in Yobe State, Nigeria were killed by members of the sect.

The insurgents reportedly arrived at the college at about 3:00am in 11 Hilux vans when the pupils were already asleep on Tuesday, February 26.

They were said to have set locked hostels on fire, before shooting and slitting the throats of those who tried to climb out of the windows. Some were burnt alive.

There has, however, been a case of conflicting death toll. While the Yobe State Police Commissioner, Mr. Sanusi Rufai said that Boko Haram members killed 29 of the students, an official at the specialist hospital Damaturu, Bala Ajiya, told Reuters by telephone that the death toll had actually risen to 59.

In other parts of Africa, South Sudan is in grave danger of being jeopardized based on incessant brutal attacks on medical facilities, especially because both patients and staff are being targeted.

Hundreds of thousands of people have been effectively denied lifesaving assistance, as fighting between the government and rebels since mid-December has displaced about 860,000 people in total. We take a look at the town of Malakal, which has literally become a shadow of itself.

We also take a look at Uganda after it chose to take the moral route and signed an anti-gay bill into law despite warnings from Washington. The law, which toughens penalties for gay people does have some consequences though and that includes jeopardizing foreign aid, with many critics, particularly in the west, but we focus on how Ugandans feel about it.

Updates From Egypt

An Egyptian court has sentenced 26 people to death for founding a “terror group” with the aim of attacking ships using the Suez Canal. The men were also accused of manufacturing missiles and explosives.

The sentencing came after the new Prime Minister Designate, Ibrahim Mahlab, vowed he would “crush terrorism in all the corners of the country”.

Mr Mahlab has been put in charge of forming a new government following the surprise resignation of Interim Prime Minister, Hazem Beblawi and his cabinet.

Also in Egypt, it’s been a year since a hot air balloon caught fire and plummeted to the ground on February 26, 2013 and a special ceremony was put together in the Egyptian city of Luxor to remember the 19 people killed.

The ultimatum given by an alleged terrorist group called Ansar Al Maqdes, which warned all foreign tourists to leave Egypt, has not been taken for granted by the Egyptian government. It opted to beef up security while some of the tourists remained defiant in the face of terror.

Meanwhile, despite the terrible state of things in South Sudan, there is some positive news. Children who have gone through a difficult period in the last few months after fighting broke out in their homes have been brought together by the United Nations.

This was done to re-establish contact between the children and their parents so as to bring them back together.

Jonathan Commissions Nigeria-Turkish Hospital

The Federal Government says it is committed to the provision of improved healthcare for all Nigerians, and to make this work, it has constituted a high level committee of experts to develop a modern healthcare infrastructure.

President Jonathan said this on Thursday while commissioning the Nigeria-Turkish Nizamiye Hospital in the Federal Capital Territory.

The President, who was also the Special Guest of Honour, told the hospital management that the commissioning was a land mark event, in line with his determination to ensure access to quality and affordable health care for the citizens.

He praised the management of the 80-bed private hospital for the noble project, which he said represents a significant investment in the Nigerian health sector.

A tour of the 80-bed hospital revealed that it was equipped with modern facilities that would cover medical areas like radiology, urology, paediatrics, cardiology, pharmacy and neurosurgery, to mention a few.

The Medical Director of the hospital, Dr Mustafa Ahsen and the Turkish Ambassador to Nigeria, Dr Mustafa Pulat, both said that the hospital was built to deepen relations between Turkey and Nigeria, away from business into health matters, adding that like any other private hospital, the Nigeria-Turkish Nizamiye Hospital was affordable to all.

The Minister of the FCT, Bala Mohammed and the Minister of Health, Onyebuchi Chukwu, speaking separately, both emphasised the need to continue to partner with the private sector to arrest capital flights abroad for medical needs.

The Nigeria Turkish Nizamiye Hospital has been referred to as one of the best structures adorning the landscape of the Life Camp area of the Federal Capital Territory, and its commissioning attracted very prominent citizens from all walks of life, especially members of the diplomatic community.

38 Boko Haram Terrorists Killed In Borno By Security Forces

38 suspected members of the radical Boko Haram sect have been killed by troops of  7 Division of the Nigerian Army, in the early hours of today (Thursday) as they planned to attack Damboa town of Borno state.

A statement issued in Maiduguri by the spokesman of the division, Col. Mohammed Dole, said that the troops working on information responded timely, killing 38 of the insurgents.

The statement further revealed that one soldier was killed while two others sustained injuries.

“During their regular robust patrols of their Area of Responsibility (AOR), the troops of 195 Battalion in Damboa successfully repelled planned Boko Haram Terrorists’ attack on residents and military camp. In the early hours (0100 hours) of Thursday, 9 January 2014, the insurgents attempted to launch an attack on Damboa to cause havoc and mayhem, but due to the timely information and gallantry displayed by the troops, the attack was repelled and inflicted heavy casualty on the terrorists.

The statement also revealed that “some of the insurgents fled with various degrees of injuries.

“Three (3) vehicles, one Sienna LE, (AE 844 DKW) laden with cylinders and Improvised Explosive Devices, one 911 truck (SA 575 BBU) loaded with 200 bags of food stuff and one Mitsubishi canter truck (XD 441 GG) were recovered” the statement adds.

It also disclosed that “large cache of assorted arms of high caliber weapons and ammunition comprising of General Purpose Machine Guns (GPMG), Light Machine Guns (LMG) and two AK 47 rifles were seized”.

The statement said a combined ground troops and Nigerian Air Force aircraft are tactically pursuing the fleeing terrorists in the general area of Damboa and surrounding villages.

The Command appealed to the public to avail the troops with useful information for tracking the fleeing insurgents.


The BEAM: Youth Is Not A Prerequisite For Success- Anthony Kila

A professor of strategy and development at the Centre for International Advanced and Professional Studies (CIAPS), Lagos, Anthony Kila on this special edition of the programme disagrees that passing the baton of leadership of Nigeria to youths will ensure success.

Kila, who is also a member of the faculty of CIAPS and director of studies at the European Centre for Advanced and Professional Studies (ECAPS), Cambridge, however  expressed optimism that the youths will step up to the plate and save Nigeria from the present stage it is.

He attributes this to the high level of information dissemination tools available.

Our online correspondent, Victor Mathias further spoke to other Nigerians on how they feel Nigerian youths can come into the leadership picture and take the country from where it is to where it ought to be.