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N470m Lost Daily to Gas Pipeline Attacks –FG

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Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Mr Babatunde Fashola

Last weekend’s attack on the Nigeria Gas Company’s pipeline connected to Chevron Nigeria Limited’s facility at Escravos in Delta State is costing the economy a daily loss of N470m and has also resulted in the shutdown of two of the country’s refineries.

According to the Federal Ministry of Power, Works and Housing, the vandalism of the gas pipeline would impact negatively on the Olorunsogo National Integrated Power Project plant, which has capacity for 600 megawatts of electricity, and other power plants across the country.

The Special Adviser on Media to the Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Mr. Hakeem Bello, said in a statement on Wednesday that although security agencies had intensified the search for those behind the attack on the pipeline, their action would slow down the country’s power supply system.

Explaining the financial and economic implications of the action on the Nigerian economy, he said, “The sabotaged gas pipeline, which contributes to the Escravos-Lagos Pipeline System, has led to a loss of 160mmsfcd of gas daily. At a cost of $2.50 per thousand scf, this loss means about $400,000 loss to the country on a daily basis (N78.8m) in gas volume.

“This is in addition to losses to be incurred daily from 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 are estimated to cost $609,137 or N120,000,000.”

According to the ministry, the real sector of the economy has also been counting its losses as some cement companies around Olorunsogo like Ewekoro and Ibese are also affected.

It stated that the latest incident occurred when the Federal Government through the Ministry of Power, Works and Housing and the Ministry of Petroleum Resources along with allied agencies had been making concerted efforts to improve gas supplies to the power plants.

“Such efforts led to previously offline plants like Ihovbor and Sapele coming back online and the subsequent output making up for the loss in power. The pipelines are being actively monitored for further attacks or other unforeseen impacts,” the statement noted.

The ministry added that available records showed that six incidents of vandalism from December 2014 to February 2015, which affected the Trans Forcados Pipeline at Oben, Sapele and Oredo, and the Escravos Lagos Pipeline System CNL led to a loss of 1,100mmscfd.

Industry experts explain that a loss of 200mmscfd is equivalent to a power reduction of 700MW.

Similarly, the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation on Wednesday announced the operational shutdown of the Port Harcourt and Kaduna refineries owing to crude supply challenges arising from the recent attacks on vital crude oil pipelines.

The NNPC, in a statement issued by its Group General Manager, Group Public Affairs Division, Mr. Ohi Alegbe, said 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 petrol yield of over 4.1 million litres, while the Kaduna refinery was posting a daily petrol production of about 1.3 million litres.

The national oil firm also stated that the Warri Refining and Petrochemical Company was on stream and was producing a little above 1.4 million litres of petrol per day.

The NNPC, however, gave an assurance that it had put in place strategies to guarantee unimpeded countrywide availability of petroleum products.

“In response to the unexpected setback, we have activated comprehensive remedial measures to sustain the prevailing stability in the supply and distribution of petroleum products across the country,” it said.

Is the CEO/Founder of Investors King Limited. A proven foreign exchange research analyst and a published author on Yahoo Finance, Businessinsider, Nasdaq, Entrepreneur.com, Investorplace, and many more. He has over two decades of experience in global financial markets.

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EFCC Declares Former Kogi Governor, Yahaya Bello, Wanted Over N80.2 Billion Money Laundering Allegations

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Yahaya Bello

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has escalated its pursuit of justice by declaring former Kogi State Governor, Yahaya Bello, wanted over alleged money laundering amounting to N80.2 billion.

In a first-of-its-kind action, the EFCC announced Bello’s wanted status in connection with the alleged embezzlement of funds during his tenure as governor.

The commission, armed with a 19-count criminal charge, accused Bello and his cohorts of conspiring to launder the hefty sum, which was purportedly diverted from state coffers for personal gain.

The declaration of Bello as a wanted fugitive came after a series of failed attempts by the EFCC to effect his arrest.

Despite an ex-parte order from Justice Emeka Nwite of the Federal High Court, Abuja, mandating the EFCC to apprehend and produce Bello in court for arraignment, the former governor managed to evade capture with the reported assistance of his successor, Governor Usman Ododo.

This latest development shows the challenges faced by law enforcement agencies in holding powerful individuals accountable for their actions.

However, it also demonstrates the unwavering commitment of the EFCC to uphold the rule of law and ensure that justice is served, irrespective of the status or influence of the accused.

In response to the EFCC’s declaration, the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Lateef Fagbemi, issued a stern warning to Bello, stating that fleeing from the law would not resolve the allegations against him.

Fagbemi urged Bello to honor the EFCC’s invitation and cooperate with the investigation process, saying it is important to uphold the rule of law and respect the authority of law enforcement agencies.

The EFCC’s pursuit of Bello underscores the agency’s mandate to combat corruption and financial crimes, sending a strong message that individuals implicated in corrupt practices will be held accountable for their actions.

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Concerns Mount Over Security as National Identity Card Issuance Shifts to Banks

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NIMC enrolment

Amidst the National Identity Management Commission’s (NIMC) recent announcement that the issuance of the proposed new national identity card will be facilitated through applicants’ respective banks, concerns are escalating regarding the security implications of involving financial institutions in the distribution process.

The federal government, in collaboration with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and the Nigeria Inter-bank Settlement System (NIBSS), introduced a new identity card with payment functionality, aimed at streamlining access to social and financial services.

However, the decision to utilize banks as distribution channels has sparked apprehension among industry stakeholders.

Mr. Kayode Adegoke, Head of Corporate Communications at NIMC, clarified that applicants would request the card by providing their National Identification Number (NIN) through various channels, including online portals, NIMC offices, or their respective banks.

Adegoke emphasized that the new National ID Card would serve as a single, multipurpose card, encompassing payment functionality, government services, and travel documentation.

Despite NIMC’s assurances, concerns have been raised regarding the necessity and security implications of introducing a new identity card system when an operational one already exists.

Chief Deolu Ogunbanjo, President of the National Association of Telecoms Subscribers, questioned the rationale behind the new General Multipurpose Card (GMPC), citing NIMC’s existing mandate to issue such cards under Act No. 23 of 2007.

Ogunbanjo highlighted the successful implementation of MobileID by NIMC, which has provided identity verification for over 15 million individuals.

He expressed apprehension about integrating the new ID card with existing MobileID systems and raised concerns about data privacy and unauthorized duplication of ID cards.

Moreover, stakeholders are seeking clarification on the responsibilities for card blocking, replacement, and delivery in case of loss or theft, given the involvement of multiple parties, including banks, in the issuance process.

The shift towards utilizing banks for identity card issuance raises fundamental questions about data security, privacy, and the integrity of the identification process.

With financial institutions playing a pivotal role in distributing sensitive government documents, there are valid concerns about potential vulnerabilities and risks associated with this approach.

As the debate surrounding the security implications of the new national identity card continues to intensify, stakeholders are calling for greater transparency, accountability, and collaboration between government agencies and financial institutions to address these concerns effectively.

The paramount importance of safeguarding citizens’ personal information and ensuring the integrity of the identity verification process cannot be overstated, especially in an era of increasing digital interconnectedness and heightened cybersecurity threats.

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Israeli President Declares Iran’s Actions a ‘Declaration of War’

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Israel Gaza

Israeli President Isaac Herzog has characterized the recent series of attacks from Iran as nothing short of a “declaration of war” against the State of Israel.

This proclamation comes amidst escalating tensions between the two nations, with Iran’s aggressive actions prompting serious concerns within Israel and the international community.

The sequence of events leading to Herzog’s grave assessment began with a barrage of 300 ballistic missiles and drones launched by Iran towards Israel over the weekend.

While the Israeli defense forces managed to intercept a significant portion of these projectiles, the sheer scale of the assault sent shockwaves through the region.

President Herzog’s assertion of war was underscored by Israel’s careful consideration of its response options and ongoing discussions with its global partners.

The gravity of the situation prompted the convening of the G7, where member nations reaffirmed their commitment to Israel’s security, recognizing the severity of Iran’s actions.

However, the United States, a key ally of Israel, took a nuanced stance. President Joe Biden conveyed to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that, given the limited casualties and damage resulting from the attacks, the US would not support retaliatory strikes against Iran.

This position, though strategic, reflects a delicate balancing act in maintaining stability in the volatile Middle East region.

Meanwhile, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and his Iranian counterpart Hossein Amir-Abdollahian cautioned against further escalation, emphasizing the potential for heightened tensions and provocative acts to exacerbate the situation.

In response to the escalating crisis, the Nigerian government issued a call for restraint, urging both Iran and Israel to prioritize peaceful resolution and diplomatic efforts to ease tensions.

This appeal reflects the broader international consensus on the need to prevent further escalation and mitigate the risk of a wider conflict in the Middle East.

As Israel grapples with the implications of Iran’s aggressive actions and weighs its response options, President Herzog reiterated Israel’s commitment to peace while emphasizing the need to defend its people.

Despite calls for restraint from global allies, Israel remains vigilant in safeguarding its security amidst the growing threat posed by Iran’s belligerent behavior.

The coming days are likely to be critical as Israel navigates the complexities of its response while international efforts intensify to defuse the escalating tensions between Iran and Israel.

The specter of war looms large, underscoring the urgency of diplomatic engagement and concerted efforts to prevent further escalation in the region.

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