* Stakeholders urge FG, others to intervene urgentlyBy Ogba Collins, WarriThe Nigerian Government is losing an estimated crude oil production of over 420, 000, Four Hundred and Twenty Thousand Barrels Per Day and over 50 million Dollars since the two unions. NUPENGASSAN of Pan Ocean workers embarked on an industrial action against management of Pan Ocean over non payment of salaries, pension remittances, welfare of workers among others.Investigations revealed that Pan Ocean workers had issued several industrial action notices to the Top Management of the company in pursuance to their demands but to no avail until they shutdown OML 98, OML 147 fields as well as the major gas plant line supplying Egbin Power plant last December 2020 which compelled NNPC, DPR, Pan Ocean Top Management for meetings and it was resolved and they were assured of meeting up their demands by federal government.Further investigations revealed that Chairman of Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association, PENGASSAN, Pan Ocean branch, Comrade Rex Aibangbee, NUPENG Branch Chairman, Comrade Aboy Udi, PENGASSAN as well as NUPENG National PRO, Comrade Cogent Ojobor and PENGASSAN, Warri Zonal Council Vice Chairman, Comrade Prince Audu Peter Oshiokhamele with NUPENGASSAN National President, Williams Eniredonana Akporehe and PENGASSAN National President comrade, Comrade Osifo Festus both unanimously declared and gave Pan Ocean and federal government as well as relevant agencies 48 hours starting from December 7, 2020 to meet up the demands of the workers or they shutdown their operations they reiterated that the two union presidents had directed that they shutdown operations if NNPC, NAPIMS, Ministry of Petroleum doesn’t resolve the issue amicably by paying the workers what’s due them.Accordingly, federal government in their joint meeting held with both NUPENGASSAN and their National leaders agreed however that the NNPC will pay the workers 60 percent, while Pan Ocean take care of their top management after it was reviewed.The federal government agreed outright payment of 100 percent in order for easy takeover of the assets by NPDC.Presently, Pan Ocean has refused signing memorandum of Understanding with federal government through the NNPC, its subsidiaries and staff of Pan Ocean in order to mandate release of fund to pay and settle the workers industrial unrest which has led to loss of almost 500 thousands barrels of crude oil per day; and almost loss of about 900 million cubic feet of gas production occasioned due to shutting down of the various production well facilities.Stakeholders in the oil and gas sectors are urging the federal government and the top management to urgently intervene in order to save the economy from such huge loss and possible economic collapse if the industrial unrest continues.They stressed the need for government to prevail on Pan Ocean Top Management to settle the issue promptly in order to encourage peaceful and industrial harmony among workers and Pan Ocean management.
Abia State Governor, Dr Okezie Ikpeazu has been commended for his political will and successful partnership with foreign Investors who have come to invest in the state.
The CEO Zoros Energy Ltd – investors in the Obeaku Deep Seaport – Eze Ikenna Nwaigwe who gave the commendation when he led other members of his team to the Deep Seaport on an inspection tour said their visit followed the completion of all the necessary documentations with the NNPC, Federal Ministries of Transportation and Petroleum in which Governor Okezie Ikpeazu’s administration has demonstrated great commitment.
According to Eze Nwaigwe, the Zoros Deep Seaport will start with the reclamation of the area and dredging of about 30 meters deep from Obeaku to Ikot – Abasi Port and an establishment of a Mega City Project comprising of 10,000 housing units in its first phase, refineries, free trade zone, industrial layout, gas plant for steady power supply, shopping malls, hospital and police station all of which the team of Marine Engineers alongside other experts are working out.
On his part, the project facilitator, Elder Godwin Nnah expressed the level of support and interest Governor Ikpeazu administration has committed to the project. He also commended the traditional ruler of Obeaku, Eze Ikeagwuchi Ekeke for his cooperation noting that the security condition of Abia and its industrial status are part of the comparative advantages foreigners look out for and which have been attracting them to the state.
He further noted the employment opportunities and better standard of living Abia populace will enjoy when the Zoros Deep Seaport project is fully realized and encouraged the donor community to sustain their support.
In their words, the Traditional Ruler of Obeaku, Eze Ikeagwuchi Ekeke and a prominent son of the area, Mr Ejike Okere said the community gave out 2,000 hectares of land for the project emphasising that the site is between 7 and 8km to the Imo River and has about 23 nautical miles to the Atlantic Ocean which will make the shipping business easier for Abians.
The Traditional Ruler, Eze Ikeagwuchi Ekeke led the team on the ferry tour to the borders of Rivers and Akwa Ibom States.
Governor Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta has congratulated Niger Delta activist and ex-militant leader, Chief Government Ekpemupolo as he clocks 50 years.
Okowa, in a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr Olisa Ifeajika, on Monday in Asaba, said that Ekpemupolo popularly known as Tompolo, was an illustrious son of Niger Delta, who had contributed immensely to the peace and development of the region.
He said that Ekpemupolo’s crave for the development of Niger Delta compelled him to embrace the Presidential Amnesty offered by the Federal Government to armed agitators in the region in 2009, thereby ending the near-intractable militancy in the area.
He remarked that ‘’Tompolo’’ contributed hugely to the restoration and sustenance of peace in Delta, recalling that his swift intervention in one of those “tough times’’ helped to nip in the bud, a dangerously brewing crisis in the state and the region.
The governor urged him to continue to do good, as it was fulfilling and rewarding to be benevolent, “especially now that you have attained the golden age’’.
“On behalf of my family, the government and people of Delta, I felicitate with an illustrious son of the Niger Delta, High Chief Government Oweizide Ekpemupolo on the occasion of his 50th birth anniversary.
“Tompolo, as he is fondly called, is an embodiment of peace and has contributed greatly to the peace and development of the oil rich Niger Delta, and has continued to partner governments in the maintenance of peace in the region. We are grateful to him for his support.
“As he celebrates his golden jubilee, it is my prayer and that of the people of Delta that God will continue to bless him with good health and wisdom to continue in his services to humanity,” he stated.
Photos from Tompolo’s 50th birthday celebration:
The Ologbotsere of Warri, Chief Ayirimi Emami, has dismissed the unveiling of Prince Tsola Emiko Monday April 5, as successor to the Olu of Warri, Ogiame Ikenwoli, insisting the revered Warri Monarch has not joined his ancestors.
Chief Emami, spoke in reaction to the announcement by the Iyatsere of Warri, Chief Johnson Atserunleghe at Ode – Itsekiri in Warri South Local Government Area, where Chief Atserunleghe declared that Prince Tsola Emiko is the successor to Ogiame Ikenwoli, the Olu of Warri.
He declared: ” The Olu has not joined his ancestors. As far as I am concerned, whatever was done today at Ode – Itsekiri was kangaroo in search of power. The person that has the right to pronounce the transition of the Olu of Warri, whenever that happens, is the Ologbotsere, which i am till this moment by the grace of God. I must add that the 1979 edict has not been amended to give any other person the right to pronounce the passage of the Olu of Warri, apart from the Ologbotsere “.
Several people were said to be missing on Tuesday morning and houses set ablaze in a renewed boundary hostility between the people of Ikot Offing in Odukpani Local Government Area of Cross River State and Oku Iboku, in Itu Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom State.
The two communities have been at each other’s jocular over control of a piece of land for the past 30 years, leading to loss of lives and property at both ends.
“Earlier today, the assailants came loaded in two 75 horsepower speedboats, they engaged in a 25-minute gun battle with the military at the checkpoint.
“The calibre of weapons used by these assailants forced the people to flee for their dear lives, although the military officers were also equipped with machine guns,” a source said.
The state Police Public Relations Officer, Odiko Macdon, who confirmed the attack, said the Commissioner of Police, Andrew Amiengheme, has mandated the Divisional Police Officer in Itu Division, Celestine Ude, to carry out an assessment of the situation and report back to him.
Macdon, who confirmed that some houses were torched, said until the DPO gives first-hand information, the command would not be able to say what actually transpired.
He said, “We have received a preliminary report about the renewed crisis, no lives reported lost. We are still awaiting a more discreet situational report because the CP, has ordered the DPO of Itu LGA division to proceed and give him first-hand information about the crisis.
“For now, the situation there is under control, there is no cause for alarm. It’s only when the DPO comes back that we can get comprehensive report. I hear that some houses were ransacked and some shops were burnt, but we are yet to get more information about what really transpired”.
Governor Godwin Obaseki of Edo State, Tuesday, commissioned the multi-million naira Ovwor-Effurun-Otor Bridge, Ughelli South Local Government Area, built by the Delta State government.
Indigenes of both communities who were excited by the completion of the project were on the ground to entertain Obaseki, Governor Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta State and other dignitaries who graced the occasion.
Commissioning the bridge, Obaseki who had earlier inaugurated the rehabilitated 34 kilometres Otu-Jeremi-Okwagbe Road, the interlocking of Ughelli South Secretariat and access road to the council’s staff quarters, expressed satisfaction with the quality of work done on the project.
Describing Okowa as an unusual politician who was not known to make promises he had no intention of fulfilling, he said “He is not only building physical bridges, he is building community, social and economic bridges.
“With the kind of leadership he is providing, we are very encouraged in Edo State. See the number of projects he has been embarking on in the last six years.
“Those who are criticizing Niger Delta governors on what they are doing with 13 per cent derivation should come to Delta State, should come to Ughelli South.”
Congratulating Governor Okowa, the Ovwor and Effurun-Otor communities on the completion of the project, he said “that the contractor “Is an indigene of this place is very impressive. It shows that we have the people and capacity to do quality jobs”.
In his remarks, Governor Okowa expressed delight that “what we started a few years ago has brought joy to our people”, assuring that his administration had no intention of abandoning any project it has embarked on.
While promising that his administration would deliver on the Ovwor hospital by next year, he reiterated the commitment of his administration to continue to execute projects that would impact positively the social and economic lives of the people.
On his part, the Orovworere of Effurun Otor kingdom, HRM Johnson Duku Il, thanked Okowa for resolving “the age-long infrastructural deficit” the communities, noting that “Executing people-oriented projects has become a way of life of Governor Okowa”.
Earlier, Chairman of Ughelli South, Dr Richard Kofi, described the project as a legacy project that has connected the two communities and other communities in the council area.
Chatting with newsmen on the sidelines of the Commissioning, the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Obakpor J U Construction Company, Olorogun J U Oguma thanked Governor Ifeanyi Okowa for giving them the opportunity to express their technical know-how in the building of roads, bridges and other infrastructures in the State.
Oguma said the completion and Commissioning of the bridge have opened up Ovwor-Olomu and Effurun-Otor, adding that it was a boost to the socio-economic lives of the people.
There is mayhem currently going on in Ugbo village Arochukwu as marauders from Ikpanja community of Akwa Ibom have attacked the village.
According to reports reaching our newsroom, three people were shot and killed this afternoon and their bodies taken away by the killers.
Villagers, according to eye witnesses have been sacked to neighbouring villages.
“Violence have escalated in Ugbo, as I am talking to you now. One of the people killed is called Obasi, from Nde Chima compound. Many other people have been shot and seriously injured. They are burning houses too. They are claiming that the lands of our ancestors across Iyi Ivara river belong to them”.
Another source who spoke to Jungle Journalist Media Ltd said the trouble with Ikpanja community has been on for so many years now. Only recently, they started blocking farmers and fishermen from Arochukwu from using the farmlands.
“They rape our women and girls, and steal our farm produce. We have gone for peace talks with them all to no avail. The latest ịs a fall out of recent skirmishes between our people and them.
” We need urgent intervention from the Abia State Government and the federal Government. Our lives are no longer safe. Our homes have been attacked. We now live in fear and can no more go home”, he cried.
An SOS message from Ugbo Welfare Union, Enugu branch read “There is an ongoing attack on Ugbo village by the people of Ikpanja, Akwa Ibom state. The attack has been on since Friday 11th March. Many persons have been shot and three have died. Ugbo has been deserted and the tension is very high. We need police and military intervention. Efforts to get security haven’t yielded any fruits yet.”
Governor Okezie Ikpeazu has expressed concern that despite the long years of oil exploration in the state, there has been no tangible impact of it in the lives of oil producing communities in the state.
Governor Ikpeazu who stated this when he received in audience a delegation of the Senate and House of Representatives Joint Committee on Petroleum Industry Bill led by Senator Albert Bassey at Government House, Umuahia, said that Abia should benefit more from the Petroleum Industry Bill when passed into Law.
He said that Abia oil producing communities have remained peaceful more than any other oil producing Community in Nigeria, emphasising that the peaceful disposition of Abians should serve as a model for the compensation of oil producing communities. He thanked members of the committee for their untiring efforts towards passing into law a Bill that will protect the interest of the oil host communities.
Governor Ikpeazu regretted that petroleum exploration and production companies who do business in the state do not pay taxes in Abia rather reside within neighbouring states and pay their taxes there.
The state Chief Executive expressed the hope that the visit will mark a new beginning for oil host communities as well as nip in the bud issues of agitation arising from various oil producing communities.
He called on relevant government agencies to expedite action in exploring the entire value chain of crude oil as such will generate more revenue for the country.
As it concerns Abia, the Governor said, “Despite the fact that they (oil companies) have received unfettered cooperation from the oil bearing communities in Abia State, you will not notice one signboard of any company anywhere. They don’t live here, they don’t pay taxes here.
“They come, dropped in Coaster buses led by heavily armed soldiers from Port Harcourt everyday and they leave after work by 4pm leaving the communities to their fate.
“Oil communities in Abia State remain very calm and if there’s a State that’s supposed to benefit from what you have come to do, it is Abia. And I recommended at some point that the Abia example should become the focus based on which other host communities should learn.
“But that cannot be taken for granted or weakness…”.
Speaking earlier, leader of the delegation, Senator Albert Bassey Akpan said that the delegation is divided into five committees covering various NDDC states, and that his committee covering Abia and Imo states were in the state to get the inputs of oil producing communities to the Petroleum Industry Bill undergoing consideration at the National Assembly.
Senator Akpan noted that when passed into law, the Bill will create a Trust Fund for the oil host communities without government interference, pointing out that the Bill also places responsibility on the oil host communities to protect the assets in their localities in order to create the necessary balance and stability .
While also noting that the Bill will address the hostilities within the communities, the Senators commended Governor Okezie Ikpeazu for his giant strides in all spheres of the state economy.
The Senator representing Abia South, Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe, Senator Ifeanyi Uba among other members of the National Assembly were part of the delegation.
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) have appointed Prince Lawrence Ezeh as chairman of its Screening Committee, for South South chapter.
According to a letter signed by the National Organising Secretary of the Party, Colonel Austin Akobundu, the National Working Committee of the party appointed Ezeh, alongside other members to serve in the Screening Committee to screen all aspirants from the South South for its upcoming zonal Congresses.
Other members of the Committee (NWC) include
Barr Austin Mbaka (Secretary),
Prince Ukpong Akpabio (Member), Banigo Boma Edward (Member), Hon Chima Ekeleme Ikeije (Member).
The screening exercise is scheduled to hold on Wednesday, March 03, 2021 at the Zonal Headquarters of the Party, in Port Harcourt, Rivers State.
According to the letter, “they are expected to be guided strictly by the PDP
Constitution (2017 as amended), the PDP Electoral Guidelines for the conduct of Ward, LGA, State, Zonal Congresses and the Electoral Act, 2010 as amended.”
Social Crusader and Political Activist, Chief Patrick Osagie Eholor has asked Governor Godwin Obaseki to resign from government as part of measures to ensure that a transparent and unbiased prove is achieved in the Benin Storm Water Project Probe.
Eholor said that as the Special Adviser to Oshiomhole on Economy, Governor Obaseki was part and parcel of the corruption that took place during the water storm project and must not try to exonerate himself.
Eholor while reacting to the decision of Governor Godwin Obaseki to probe the Benin Storm Water Project said he was ashamed of the level of corruption ravaging government driven institutions.
He said the corruption in the public sector is not limited to the Benin Storm Water Poject but to every other government projects in Nigeria with all institution of governance comprising the executive, legislative and judiciary arms of government as pepetrators of the massive corrupt practices affecting the nation.
His words: “The Benin Storm Water Poject misappropriation is a typical and recurrent culture in governance we are used to all over the country.
“The abuse of power and privilege by public office holders on the treasury and commonwealth of those that entrusted them with their future.
“They use all manner of decoy to perpetuate this act of wickedness and insensitivity to the welfare and progressive growth of the masses. The count of these type of scenarios nationwide is alarming in proportion.
“Public funds are depleted by looting with no value addition to the quality of life of the people, but rather subject them to untold hardship and penury.
“The call for the head of those who masterminded this shameful act cannot be overemphasized. To muster courage to defraud the good people of Edo is quite sad. The precedent of deceit and cover up in governance in this country must be rooted out and the players banished from participation in government.
“We as a people cannot let this endure. If we don’t speak up and act, we are mortgaging our future and the survival of our great country. Let those responsible be apprehended and be brought to public shame to serve as a deterrent. Good spirited activists should raise their voices high and loud. Enough is enough.”
“I Challenge Governor Godwin Obaseki to begin the probe but with on the condition that he resigns as he was a part and parcel of the Approval and Evaluation of the project, more so all the commissioners and SSG, even himself as Special Adviser and Chairman of Economic Team be subpoenaed as witnesses. Lets see who is probing who, even the first N25billion bond obtained from the stock market was facilitated by Afrinvest.
“Tell the world how much you and the HCF collected as facilitators fee. The major consultant to Edo State Government from 2016 has been Afrinvest. Tell Edo people and Nigerians how much Afrinvest has made from taxpayers money from Edo State.
“Godwin Obaseki, please keep Edo safe and clean better or as you inherited it from your boss (predecessor) who is now your enemy. May God heal Edo State from deceit!”, he said.