- Militants Blow up Conoil Facility in Bayelsa
A Niger Delta militant group, known as the Koluama Seven Brothers, has blown up a crude oil pipeline owned by Conoil in Bayelsa State.
The group launched the bomb attack on the pipeline located at Koluama community in the Southern Ijaw Local Government Area of the state late on Friday.
It confirmed on Sunday what it described as “just a warning strike” in an emailed statement.
The little-known militant group, led by one Angel Michael, is threatening a production shutdown as it demands action from Conoil and a traditional ruler, called King Solomon Eddy, on issues such as job creation.
The strike, according to the statement, took place at 12:20 a.m. on January 4 at Conoil’s Angle 2 Field.
The statement read in part, “If Conoil and King Solomon fail to address the issues behind the Memorandum of Understanding, scholarships, job creation for peace and love of the Koluama clan, then we have no other option but to launch a strike to shut down Conoil.”
A youth leader in Koluama community, Henry Omietimi, also confirmed the explosion to one of our correspondents, saying he had been briefed by his deputy, who was a member of local security attached to the area but had yet to ascertain the details.
A source from Conoil, who pleaded anonymity, said the incident had since caused panic among oil workers as they were uncertain of what next to do.
Conoil Producing Limited, a Nigerian independent oil and gas exploration and production company, operates six highly prospective blocks in the Niger Delta and has over 26 years of experience in exploration and production value chain, it said on its website.
The Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps was quoted by Reuters as saying that a blast was heard on Friday around a Conoil pipeline in the Koluama community of Bayelsa, but a patrol check had not revealed any leaks.
Reacting to the incident on Sunday, the Secretary-General of the Ijaw Youth Council, Alfred Kemepado, frowned on the attack on the pipeline.
He said that the destruction of facilities caused more environmental problems for the people.
He said, “The youth should shun any form of violence in their agitation for a better Niger Delta. However, I am of the opinion that the Federal Government should be held responsible for the unending reactions from the region.
“I had expected sincere attention to be given to the people of the region by the President Buhari administration. Instead, even the Niger Delta Development Commission that used to work a bit has been totally politicised under this administration.”
Attacks on pipelines and other facilities in the Niger Delta reached a peak in 2016, cutting the nation’s crude oil production from as much as 2.2 million barrels per day to near 1million bpd – the lowest level seen in at least 30 years.
That, combined with low oil prices, pushed the country into its first recession in 25 years – crude sales make up two-thirds of government revenue and most of its foreign exchange.
A 2009 amnesty deal with militants helped reduce acts of sabotage, but the violence reignited after President Muhammadu Buhari’s cash-strapped government temporarily ended amnesty payments and charged a prominent warlord with graft.
Nigeria emerged from recession in 2017 but growth remains sluggish ahead of general elections in February.
NLNG Boosts Cooking Gas Production to 1.5 Million Metric Tonnes Annually
Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas Limited (NLNG) has announced a significant milestone in its operations, boosting its annual production of liquefied petroleum gas (LPG), commonly known as cooking gas, to over 1.5 million metric tonnes.
This surge in production underscores NLNG’s commitment to meeting the rising demand for clean cooking energy in Nigeria.
The entirety of NLNG’s 1.5 million tonnes production is now being sold domestically within Nigeria.
Moreover, the company has initiated a landmark shift by starting to supply LPG in naira, moving away from the traditional practice of trading in United States dollars.
This move aligns with calls from stakeholders in the oil and power sectors advocating for naira transactions, especially amidst the challenges posed by currency fluctuations.
During a panel session at the 7th Nigeria International Energy Summit in Abuja, NLNG’s General Manager of Finance, Fatima Adanan, highlighted the company’s dedication to enhancing LPG penetration across the country.
Adanan emphasized NLNG’s vision to make Nigeria a better place by promoting the use of cleaner energy sources like gas.
While NLNG’s production surge is commendable, Adanan acknowledged that Nigeria’s LPG requirements surpass the current output, necessitating imports to bridge the gap.
However, NLNG remains committed to expanding its production capacity to meet the nation’s energy needs and drive increased adoption of LPG as a cleaner cooking fuel.
CBN Raises Benchmark Interest Rate by 400 Basis Points to 22.75%
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has raised the benchmark interest rate by 400 basis points to a record 22.75%.
The decision made by the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) comes amidst rising inflationary pressures and growing uncertainty in Africa’s largest economy.
Nigeria’s inflation rate rose to 29.90% in January 2024, the highest in over two decades while the nation’s unemployment rate quickened to 5% in the third quarter of 2023. Suggesting that the rising costs have continued to drag on both new job creation and the existing ones.
This coupled with a series of policy adjustments implemented by President Bola Ahmed Tinubu has plunged economic productivity and eroded consumer spending as citizens grapple with high fuel prices, electricity tariffs, a record-high foreign exchange rate, and insecurities.
Therefore, it is surprising that the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) led by the CBN will further increase borrowing costs by 400 basis points at a time when job creation is paramount.
While the economy reportedly grew by 3.46% in the fourth quarter (Q4) of 2023 on the back of robust performance of the services sector, this growth is yet to crystalise as businesses and citizens have taken to the street protest against the harsh economic situation.
Economic experts have started questioning the data from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) given its lack of correlation between the data and economic reality.
President Tinubu Unveils Geometric Power Plant in Aba After 20-Year Wait
After two decades of anticipation, President Bola Tinubu, through his representative Vice President Kashim Shettima, inaugurated the long-awaited Geometric Power Plant in Aba, a significant milestone in the city’s quest for reliable electricity supply.
The event, which also saw the commissioning of three rehabilitated roads by Abia State Governor Alex Otti, symbolizes the culmination of years of perseverance and determination to transform Aba’s power landscape.
Addressing the audience, Vice President Shettima hailed the project as a testament to the power of visionary leadership and unwavering commitment to progress.
He said the Geometric Power Plant exemplifies the transformative impact of strategic infrastructure investments on local communities.
Governor Otti echoed similar sentiments, emphasizing the importance of the power project in positioning Aba as a hub for national and international business ventures.
He commended the efforts of Geometric Power Limited while urging them to uphold transparency and avoid exploiting consumers.
The inauguration of the Geometric Power Plant comes amidst growing concerns over Nigeria’s power infrastructure and the need for sustainable solutions to address electricity shortages.
The project, with a capacity of 188MW, holds promise for significant improvements in power supply across Abia State, benefitting nine out of seventeen local government areas.
The Managing Director of Geometric Power Limited, Ben Caven, underscored the scale of investment involved, totaling $800 million.
He highlighted the comprehensive nature of the project, which includes the installation of new power substations and a 27km natural gas pipeline, signaling a comprehensive approach to enhancing Aba’s energy infrastructure.
In conclusion, the inauguration of the Geometric Power Plant represents a transformative moment for Aba, offering renewed hope for economic growth and prosperity powered by reliable electricity supply.
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