We’ll Continue To Protect Nigeria’s Oil Assets – President Buhari

Muhammadu-Buhari-London-Anti-Corruption-SummitPresident Muhammadu Buhari has restated the determination of his administration to continue to protect the country’s oil assets and installations.

Speaking at a meeting on Tuesday with the Director of Global Upstream of Shell Oil Company at the State House, Abuja, President Buhari said he will leave a legacy of improved infrastructure, particularly in the power sector, and also ensure better security in the Niger Delta.

“It is only by doing this that investor morale and confidence will return, and the economy will be positioned on the path of growth,” He said.

According to a statement by the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, President Buhari commended Shell for their faith in the economy and staying power.

The president also gave assurances on some issues of concern raised by the company especially the protracted issue of cash calls.

The minister of Budget and Planning, Udoma Udo Udoma, some weeks ago, revealed that the Federal Government has not been able to fund its counterpart Joint Ventures Companies, JVCs, and cash calls totaling $6 billion for several months due to revenue shortfalls.

The President assured other oil firms that the Federal Executive Council will soon consider a proposal for the easing of unpaid arrears owed by the government.

President Buhari said the security of oil infrastructure will continue to be priority of his administration which will include the dialogue with the stakeholder-communities in the Niger Delta.

He, however, urged oil companies to take more responsibility in the protection of oil installations to complement the efforts of Nigerian Navy in the region.

The Shell director, Andrew Brown, revealed that the company has resumed oil exportation through the Forcados terminal following its restoration.

He also commended the anti-corruption stance of President Buhari’s administration as well as the efforts to streamline and stabilize the economy for long term projects.

Saraki Promises Quick Passage Of Petroleum Industry Bill

Bukola-Saraki-Nigeria-Senate-President-on-senate-rule-forgerySenate President Bukola Saraki has assured Nigerians that the passage of the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) would be accelerated once the Senate resumes from it recess.

Dr. Saraki was speaking while on a condolence visit to the Kwara State Governor, Abdulfatah Ahmed, over the death of his mother-in-law.

He disclosed that he has been making progress on the passage of the bill, especially on the need to bring stability to the Niger Delta region.

He emphasised the need to dialogue with the militants to prevent further attacks on oil installations, saying the effect is being felt by all Nigerians.

Dr. Saraki also touched on issues ranging from salaries of workers and teachers in the local governments across the country to revamping the nation’s economy.

The Senate President stated that teachers in the local governments should be accorded priority in the payment of salaries, wondering how structures could be built without caring for the teachers who impart knowledge.

He added that the National Assembly would monitor and ensure that the executive arm of government declares all revenue accruing to the country.

Proceeding to a private university under construction in Ilorin, the Kwara State capital in north-central Nigeria, Senator Saraki urged the citizens to be patient with the All Progressives Congress (APC)-led government.

He said that the Federal Government has the ability to bring lasting solutions to the numerous problems confronting the country.

Herdsmen: Stan-Labo Proposes Technology To Tighten Porous Borders

hassan-stan-labo-borders-herdsmenA retired Army officer, Colonel Hassan Stan-Labo, has advised the Federal Government to improve the security condition of Nigerian borders through technology.

Stan-Labo made the recommendation on Monday as one of the ways to solve the lingering herdsmen crisis in the country.

“I know we cannot man the borders but I think with technology, we can to an extent, police our borders effectively to such a point that if some of these herdsmen are crossing, air surveillance department can immediately move in,” he said on Sunrise Daily.

The retired military officer asked the Minister of Interior to step up approaches towards improving the borders’ condition, so as to prevent illegal immigration into the country.

He also expressed shock at the Niger Delta Avengers’ refusal to dialogue with the government over the attacks on oil installations in Nigeria’s south-south.

“We heard this talk of ‘we are not going to be part of the talks’. I was thinking this is an opportunity for you (the militants) to come lay your grievances on the table and talk face to face with government over what your problems are.

“What else do they want us to do, what else do they want Nigeria to do?” Stan-Labo asked.

Air Force, Navy Train Personnel On Special Operations

Air Force, NavyTroops of the Nigerian Air Force and that of the Navy have undergone training on regiment special operations and special boat service at the Regiment Training Centre Kaduna.

The training follows the re-emergence of militancy in Nigeria’s Niger Delta region that has resulted in attacks on oil installations and the Boko Haram insurgency in the northeast.

In his address on Friday, the Air Officer Commanding Airforce Training Command, Kaduna, Air Vice Marshal Abiodun Balogun, said that the current upsurge in security challenges confronting Nigeria called for innovative and pragmatic approach of the military and other sister agencies to combat the situation.

He is confident that participants have been subjected to rigorous training that had prepared them for deployment for special operations such as rescuing of hijacked vessels on the high sea, protecting oil installations and conducting search and rescue operations whenever the need arises.

The exercise was aimed at improving the capacity of the soldiers to carry out special operations as required by emerging national security imperatives.

Part of the training include helicopter rappel which requires the graduating students to have a minimum of five jumps from a super puma helicopter, tower rappelling, ground school orientation among other courses.

Embrace Dialogue, Environment Minister Urges Niger Delta Avengers

Niger Delta Avengers, DialogueThe Minister of Environment Aisha Mohammed has urged the Niger Delta Avengers and other militant groups in the region to stop blowing up oil installations and embrace the path of dialogue with the federal government.

According to the Minister, the act of blowing up oil installations is not only criminal but its impact on the environment cannot be quantified.

“Today, over 60% of the pollution in the Niger Delta are third party breaks. It is criminal.

“This is not being done by people coming from the outside, this is being done by people doing this to themselves.

“This is not a short term wound, this is a very deep wound because when you open up oil to your environment, it takes decades to get that back.

“So its not just a question of what you do to the economy in the short term. If the economy fixes itself with the diversification, what have you done to your land? Young people need to understand.

“Please come to the table and dialogue, because the alternative that you have chosen is a wrong path for you, your future and your environment,” she said.

The Minister added that the current administration values the rule of law and would not condone criminality as it remained unacceptable for the militants to “go around risking other people’s lives”.