FG Receives Repentant Niger Delta Militants 

Niger DeltaThe Federal Government will be receiving about 7,000 repentant militants in Akwa Ibom State on Saturday, January 23, 2016.

The Special Adviser to the President on Niger Delta and Co-ordinator of the Amnesty Program, Retired Brigadier-General Paul Boroh said that the repentant militants declared their interest to disarm and join the Niger Delta Amnesty programme.

He was speaking to journalists after an inter-agency meeting to discuss the recent attack on pipelines in the Niger Delta.

General Boroh added that the ex-agitators have also declared their willingness to be involved in plans to ensure the security of pipelines and oil facilities in the region.

The Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Pastor Usani Ugure, had earlier hosted an inter-agency meeting, where strategies on how to counter the attacks on oil facilities were discussed.

Warri Pipeline Explosion

Facilities belonging to the Nigeria Gas Company, Chevron Nigeria Limited and Nigeria National Petroleum Company, NNPC were blown up by suspected militants on Friday, January 15 in Warri South-West Local Government Area of Delta State.

This has forced the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, to announce the operational shutdown of the Port Harcourt and Kaduna Refineries owing to crude supply challenges arising from the attacks on vital crude oil pipelines.

Both the Nigerian Army and the Navy have described the attack as sabotage and terrorism which will not be tolerated.

The JTF Commander of Operation Pulo Shield in the Niger Delta, Major-General Alani Okunola, said that the task force had mobilised men to apprehend those who attacked the oil facilities.

He also warned community leaders that they would be held responsible for any attack on the country’s oil and gas facilities in their domains.

The Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Ibok-Ete Ibas, while condemning the act, promised that no efforts would be spared in securing the lives and property of the citizens.

He also proposed the establishment of special courts and tribunals to tackle crimes in the maritime sector.

 

Lawmakers Investigate Fresh Hostilities In Niger Delta

gas pipeline vandalism in Niger DeltaThe House of Representatives Committee on Defence is to investigate the immediate causes of fresh hostilities in the Niger delta region of Nigeria.

The decision was taken on Thursday after lawmakers deliberated on a motion moved by Honourable Julius Pondi, regarding the recent destruction of petroleum facilities in the Niger delta.

Nigeria Gas Company’s pipeline connected to Chevron Nigeria Limited’s facility at Escravos in Delta State was attacked last week and its impact is beginning to reflect on other sectors of the Nigerian economy.

The House of Representatives is also urging the military high command to search for the perpetrators and also protect the innocent citizens in the area.

After the attack, the Ministry Power, Works and Housing said it would impact negatively on the Olorunsogo NIPP plant, with 600 megawatts capacity and other Power Plants.

Counting Losses

In a statement by the spokesman for the Minister, Hakeem Bello, the Ministry said that “the sabotaged gas pipeline, which contributes to the Escravos Lagos Pipeline System (ELPS) has led to a loss of 160 million standard cubic feet per day of gas”.

Pipeline-vandalism
Military personnel at the site of one of the attacks in Delta State

Giving a breakdown of the effect of the attack, the Ministry said: “At a cost of $2.50 per thousand scf, this loss means about $400,000 loss to the country on a daily basis (N78,800,000 daily) in gas volume.

“This is in addition to losses to be incurred daily from affected Power generation ($1,988,223 or N391,680,000 daily). The total daily loss to the country is therefore estimated at N470,479,931.

“Repairs of the damaged pipeline is estimated as costing ($609,137 or N120,000.000)”.

The Ministry further stated that the real sector of the economy had also been counting its losses, as some cement companies around Olorunsogo like Ewekoro and Ibese were also affected.

In comments related to the attack, the Chief of Naval Staff said that the recent vandalism in Warri, Delta State was sabotage and terrorism and would not be tolerated by the Navy.

Vice Admiral Ibok-Ete Ibas made the statement on Wednesday at a lecture with participants of Course 24 of the National Defence College in Abuja, who came from various security agencies in Nigeria.

He said that a close inspection of the explosion revealed that the intention of the saboteurs was not to steal crude oil but to damage the oil facilities which infringes on a primary mandate of the Navy and would be taken seriously.

The attack had also affected petroleum product supplies, as the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) on Wednesday announced the operational shutdown of the Port Harcourt and Kaduna Refineries owing to crude supply challenges arising from recent attacks on vital crude oil pipelines.

A statement by the Group General Manager, Group Public Affairs Division of the NNPC, Ohi Alegbe, said that the plants were shut simultaneously on Sunday after the Bonny – Okrika crude supply line to the Port Harcourt Refinery and the Escravos-Warri crude supply line to the Kaduna Refinery suffered breaches.

The NNPC stated that before the closure, the Port Harcourt Refinery was recording a daily PMS yield of over 4.1 million litres while Kaduna Refinery was posting a daily petrol production of about 1.3 million litres.

The investigation into the attack would possibly reveal the individuals or group behind the attack that has affected the nation’s already insufficient power supply, reduced the daily supply of petroleum product, with fears that the nation will go back to a period of petrol scarcity.

Defence Minister Arrives Warri To Inspect Pipeline Explosion Site

pipeline explosionThe Minister of Defence, Brigadier-General Mansur Dan-Ali (Rtd) has arrived at the Osubi Airport in Warri, Delta State for an on-the-spot assessment of oil facilities which exploded a few days ago.

On arrival, he moved to the 3 Battalion, Nigerian Army barracks for the guard of honour and a brief interaction with the troop.

On hand to receive the Minister was the Chief of Defence Staff, Gen. Abayomi Olonisakin; the Commander, Operation Pulo Shield, Major General Alani Gafar Okunola; Brigade Sector 1 Commander, Brigadier General Fanola Yahaya and the Flag Officer Commanding, Central Naval Command, Rear Admiral A.O Sulaiman.

Representing the State Governor was the Secretary to the State Government, Ovie Agas, amongst other high ranking military officers and top government functionaries.

The JTF Commander of Operation Pulo Shield in the Niger Delta, Major-General Alani Okunola, had earlier inspected the site of the pipeline explosion.

He said that the task force was closing in on those responsible for blowing up oil pipeline and other facilities belonging to some oil companies and the Nigeria National Petroleum Company, NNPC.

He described the Friday attack in Warri South-West local government area of Delta State as economic sabotage which the military would not tolerate.

Warri Pipeline Explosion: Army Vows To Arrest Perpetrators

PipelineThe military says it has begun the deployment of troops in Delta State to apprehend those who attacked oil facilities in the state recently.

The Joint Task Force (JTF) described the Friday attack in Warri South-West local government area of Delta State as economic sabotage.

The JTF Commander of Operation Pulo Shield in the Niger Delta, Major-General Alani Okunola, said that the task force is closing in on those blowing up oil pipelines belonging to the Nigeria Gas Company, Chevron Nigeria Limited and Nigeria National Petroleum Company, NNPC.

While inspecting the site of the pipeline explosion, Major-General Okunola also warned community leaders that they would be held responsible for any attack on the country’s oil and gas facilities in their domains.

“There is no way we will fold our hands and allow the criminals to get away with it.

“It is a massive sabotage and critical to national assets; we must fish out those responsible for it.”

He described the act as not only criminal but capable of undermining the national security of Nigeria, adding that the pipeline vandals were able to carry out the act only because there were no men of the JTF on ground in the area.

The JTF boss visited the explosion site in company of the Brigade Commander, Farouk Yahaya and the Commander, 3 Battalion, Igwe Omoke.

Other top ranking officers of the Police, Navy, Nigerian Security and Civil Defense Corps (NSCDC) and Air Force were part of the inspection team.

 

Johnson-Sirleaf warns of grave security situation along Liberia and Cote d’Ivoire border

The President of Liberia, Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf has warned that the unstable security situation along the country’s border with neighbouring Cote d’Ivoire was “grave” and could threaten regional security if not handled through concerted regional action.

During a brief visit to the ECOWAS Commission on Friday, on the margin of a visit to Nigeria, Mrs Johnson-Sirleaf affirmed that it was in response to the gravity of the situation that the country has reinforced security along the border but warned of the possibility that the situation could overwhelm the country’s nascent security services with implications for both countries.

Apparently referring to roaming bands of armed elements that have recently attacked neighbouring Cote d’Ivoire from Liberia, the President suggested that “ECOWAS pay attention to the situation to ensure it does not escalate,” during a meeting with the Vice President of the Commission, Dr Toga Gayewea McIntosh and Commissioners who were around to receive the visitor.

She said the region was confronted with the twin problems of security and humanitarian disaster in the area and praised the management and staff of ECOWAS for their service to the Community.

The president noted however that because of the paucity of development in the region, the Community needed to be more aggressive in its strategy for exploring available services to mobilize resources to develop the region’s infrastructure. This, she said, would help stimulate intra-Community trade and the economies of Member States.

The ECOWAS Vice President and the management used the opportunity to brief Mrs Johnson-Sirleaf on regional programmes being implemented for Liberia including a $2.5 million study to integrate the country into the West African Gas Pipeline Project under which gas from Nigeria is transported through a 450-kilometre pipeline to help meet the energy needs of neighbouring countries. The first phase of the programme covers Benin, Togo and Nigeria.

Another study is also being undertaken to explore the possibility of integrating Liberia into the West Africa Power Pool Project which enables Member States to undertake energy trading, thereby promoting the efficient utilization of the region’s energy endowments.

A third infrastructure project being proposed for the country would link it with Dakar as part of the Trans Africa highway project.

Vice President McIntosh had, while welcoming the Liberian president, on behalf of President Kadre Desire Ouedraogo, briefed the visitor of the efforts being made by the new management to revitalize the organization in line with the mandate of regional leaders in order to make it more responsive to the needs of the citizens and the dynamics of the international economic environment.