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Nigeria lost 4.5trn oil barrels to theft in 4 years — Minister

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Dr Mohammad Abubakar, Minister of Environment, on Monday, disclosed that Nigeria recorded 4,919 oil spills between 2015 to March 2021 and lost 4.5 trillion barrels of oil to theft in four years.

Abubakar disclosed this at a Town Hall meeting in Abuja, organised by the Ministry of Information and Culture, on protecting oil and gas infrastructure.

“According to the National Oil Spill Detection Agency (NOSDRA) data, the total number of oil spills recorded from 2015 to March 2021 is 4,919, the number of oil spills cost by collation is 308.

“The operational maintenance is 106, while sabotage is 3,628 and yet to be determined 70, giving the total number of oil spills on the environment to 235,206 barrels of oil. This is very colossal to the environment.

“Nigeria also lost approximately 4.75 trillion on oil activities in the four years between 2015 and 2018, as estimated by the Nigeria Natural Resources Charter.

“Several statistics have emphasised Nigeria as the most notorious country in the world for oil spills, loosing roughly 400,000 barrels per day.

“The second country is followed by Mexico that has reported only 5,000 to 10,000 barrel only per day, thus a difference of about 3, 900 per cent.

“Now the environmental effect, which is the major concern of the ministry of environment, is in the loss of revenue.

“Attack on oil facilities has become the innovation that replaced agitations in the Niger Delta region against perceived poor governance and neglect of the area.

“The impacts of vandalism of oil facilities have not only caused pollution of the environment, but had consequences on the local people, the national economy and security,’’ he said.

Abubakar added that the activities that come with oil exploration and exploitation had similarly caused alterations to the environment and some of its effects had either been reduced or prevented.

The minister added that adequate mitigation measures had been taken, including enforcement of relevant laws, regulations and guidelines, such as the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) Act.

He said the EIA process ensured that measures were put in place to assist in the reduction of the negative effects and enhancement of the positive effects on the ecology, health and social wellbeing of communities in project areas.

“It is in the light of this fact that over 1,300 oil and gas projects in Nigeria have been subjected to EIA process under the supervision of the ministry’’.

Abubakar further added that the ministry held periodic interactive sessions with oil and gas operators, focused on the continued degradation of the environment, fatalities and loss of revenue, attributable to the regular and incessant vandalism of oil facilities, particularly pipelines.

The minister stressed that the effects of the destruction of oil and gas facilities had caused huge economic losses from pipelines to plant shut downs, as well as loss of biodiversity, habitat and ecological damage.

In addition, the destruction had also caused degradation of soil quality, which drastically reduces soil fertility, thereby, affecting crop yields and food security.

“Also, increase in air pollution and the attendant climate change issues, public health impacts on affected communities, social impacts and loss of livelihood, supremacy among militants, casualties, among others,’’ he said.

Oil pipeline vandalism over the years had been one of the major factors contributing significantly to environmental degradation in the Niger Delta region, which accounts for about 70 to 80 per cent of our oil and gas sector that drives the economy, the minister noted.

He added that the country’s oil and gas production accounts for a great deal of upstream and downstream industrial activities and production frontiers were increasingly moving into deep sea operations.

Similarly, the oil sector accounts for over 90 per cent of Nigeria’s total foreign exchange earnings with the bulk of it coming from the numerous producing fields, located on the land, swamp and offshore environment of the Niger Delta region, Abubakar also noted.

He, therefore, recommended increasing awareness creation on the negative consequences of vandalism of oil facilities and other illegal activities.

Such awareness should also be accompanied by increased sustainable community development programmes for host oil communities, to include skills acquisition, provision of infrastructure and basic amenities, among others, by oil companies and relevant government agencies, Abubakar said.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Osinbajo: How Nigeria can banish poverty with $450bn AfCFTA insurance market

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The Nigerian insurance industry can tap into over $450 billion (N185 trillion) available at African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) potential trade market to take millions of people out of poverty, Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo has said.

He shared this at the closing ceremony of the 47th African Insurance Organisation Conference and Annual General Assembly, urging the operators to come up with homegrown international insurance groups.

He said, “The free trade agreement presents a major opportunity for African countries. By some estimates, if we get it right, we can bring several millions out of extreme poverty and raise the incomes of 68 million others who live on less than $5.50 per day. There are potential income gains of up to $450bn, and just cutting red tape and simplifying customs procedures alone could drive up to $250bn of that sum.”

The vice president applauded the operators for putting the country in the spotlight and charged them to work towards having homegrown international insurance conglomerates.

He urged the insurance companies on the African continent to leverage AfCFTA to increase productivity, adding that every smart economic grouping, whether government or business, must be thinking, planning and strategising for these new times.

He added, “Services can be set up faster than manufacturing plants. Nigerian financial services companies, especially banks, are already in many African countries, the likes of Zenith, Access and UBA. How about insurance companies? We should now be looking at developing homegrown international African insurance conglomerates. The time is now.”

The Commissioner of Insurance, Pension and Provident Funds, Insurance and Pensions Commission, Zimbabwe, Grace Muradzikwa, said traditional insurance companies must adapt to emerging realities in developing insurance products and selling them if they must remain in business.

She opined that insurance innovation was critical at this time because just 3.5 per cent of the African population was insured and that Africa was lagging behind other emerging markets.

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Photos: Motorists face nightmare on Ilorin-Jebba highway

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Lagos target 22-hour daily power supply, plans free prepaid meters

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The Lagos State Government has signed a Memorandum of Agreement with Ikeja Electric and Sahara Power Group to supply uninterrupted power for at least 22 hours daily to residents of the state.

Another leg of the agreement is the distribution of free prepaid meters to low-income areas, with the pilot phase of 20,000 meters to be distributed in the Alimosho Local Government Area of the state.

The state Commissioner for Energy and Mineral Resources, Mr Olalere Odusote, said at the signing of the agreement that the project would increase power supply to at least 22 hours daily as well as solve the problem of metering and infrastructure deficit.

He said implementation will commence immediately, stating that the Lagos State government has identified a number of feeders that can provide power in 20,000 low-income areas with plans to replicate the initiative across the state.

“The 20,000 meters have been procured by the state government and would be distributed free to low-income areas in Alimosho Local Government Area as the pilot phase.”

The Managing Director of Ikeja Electricity Distribution Company, Folake Soetan, expressed the firm’s readiness to support the state in ensuring uninterrupted power supply to residents.

The Managing Director of Sahara Power Group, Anthony Youdeowei, said his company would be transparent in its dealings with the government and Ikeja Electric to provide power for Lagosians.

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