- FG May Stepdown N120bn Bodo-Bonny Road Project Over Compensation Troubles
The federal government thursday said it might be forced to step down the 34-kilometre long Bodo-Bonny road project over lack of cooperation from its communities in the Niger Delta.
Speaking at a meeting with prominent traditional rulers of the region, Julius Berger, Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas (NLNG), as well as the Council of Elders from Ataba, and Gokana, among others, at the ministry, the Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Mr. Babatunde Fashola, issued such warning to the communities and asked them to get their houses in order within a week or risk having the project suspended.
The road project which has been hampered from going on for a long time on account of funding constraints, is expected to help address the twin challenges of poverty and unemployment, as well as improve the lives of people of the region, especially those from Bonny, Ogoni, Okrika, Eleme, Andoni, and other communities in the Niger Delta when completed.
The NLNG opted to fund its construction by picking up about 50 per cent of its construction cost. However, compensation rows have reportedly cropped up to stop it from going ahead as planned.
But Fashola, stated in the meeting which had leaders of the communities such as HRM Festus Bagia who was represented by the Chairman of Gokana Council of Chief, Mene Michael Tekure, Chairman Jumbo Group of Houses, Prof. Jasper Jumbo and Clan Head of Ataba, Sir. Benson Egwemre, among others that the communities would have to unit to see the project sail through.
He said otherwise, he might be forced to petition President Muhammadu Buhari, over the issue and withdraw the government’s N60 billion share of the contracting sum for other federal projects in another part of the country.
The minister explained that the Bonny-Bodo road project enjoyed a good funding, with the NLNG providing N60 billion, and the government another N60 billion. He noted that the contractor had also received mobilisation fee for the project, yet it is being stalled by the communities’ lack of cooperation.
Fashola who was worried over unwavering position of the elders that the project will not be implemented except they were carried along and an additional route constructed in Ataba, stated: “We might tell NLNG to take its money back.”
He added: “You must work this peace. Today is Thursday, since you said you know the permanent secretary, I will leave you with him. All I want is a peace accord and an invitation to Julius Berger, not later than Wednesday 28 otherwise I will write a report to Mr. President that it doesn’t seem that this project is ready to go but we can move the money to another project.
“Whether it is Ataba, Ogoni or Gokana own this project. The people you call militants are not spirit. They take their cue from how you react. You are leaders there. If you go back home today and say it is over, the militants too will calm down. They don’t do anything without alerting the leaders.
“For us, we can’t keep the money down. The contractor has received his money but now he can’t work. There are projects where contractors are waiting for money, they don’t have it. That is a contradiction that will not last long,” he explained.
The minister continued: “So, I will leave you. You know where we stand. We have an idea of where you stand. For me, it is a compromise that owes the project. NLNG will not be there forever. It took time to even beg them to release this money. So, if you don’t take ownership of the project and put it to use, we might as well tell them, take your money back the project is not ready.
“When there is peace, we will come back but we need to have a position before the end of this week. There must be an MoU of compromise, assuring us that there will be peace in that place, agreed to by you, give it to us and invite the contractor to come back.
“Suggest to the contractor anything you want him to do. You can’t take-over how they organise their business. They are not bringing imported labour into your land. If your people want to supply diesel and sand, make the case for them, let them chose but don’t impose on them. They must be able to screen those they will admit to work with them and those who don’t meet that standard must seat,” he added.
Notwithstanding, the community leaders in their response agreed to meet with the contractor but requested for an extra week away from the one week given by Fashola to re-converge.
Oil Prices News: Oil Gains Following Drops in US Crude Inventories
Oil Prices Gain Following Drops in US Crude Inventories and OPEC High Compliance Level
Global oil prices extended their 2 percent gains on Thursday after data showed U.S crude oil inventories declined last week.
The price of Brent crude oil, against which Nigerian oil is measured, gained 0.2 percent or 7 cents to $43.39 a barrel as at 12:10 pm Nigerian time. While the U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude appreciated by 8 cent or 0.2 percent to $41.12 barrels.
Oil prices extended their three days gain after the American Petroleum Institute said the U.S crude inventories declined by 5.4 million barrels in the week ended October 9.
The report released after the market closed on Wednesday revealed that distillate stockpiles, which include diesel and heating oil, declined by 3.9 million barrels. Those stated drawdowns almost double analysts’ projections for the week.
“Much of the fall is due to the effects of Hurricane Delta shuttering U.S. production in the Gulf of Mexico, and as such, will be a transitory effect,” said Jeffrey Halley, senior market analyst, Asia Pacific at OANDA.
“Therefore, I am not getting too excited that a turn of direction is upon markets, although both contracts are approaching important technical resistance regions.”
Also, the report that the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and its allies, referred to as OPEC+ attained 102 percent compliance level with their oil production cuts agreements bolstered global oil outlook. Suggesting that demands for the commodity are likely not growing and could drag down prices in few weeks, especially when one factor in the reopening of Libya’s Sharara oil field, workers returning to operation in Norway and the Gulf of Mexico.
Oil Prices Gain on Tuesday Despite Expected Surge in Global Oil Supplies
Oil Prices Rise Despite Expected Surge in Global Oil Supplies
Oil prices gained on Tuesday despite Libya opening Sharara oil field for production, labour in Norway reaching an agreement with oil firms to return back to work and oil workers in the U.S returning to the Gulf of Mexico region after the Hurrican Delta.
Brent crude oil, against which Nigerian oil price is measured, gained 1.77 percent to $42.46 per barrel as at 11:15 am Nigerian time on Tuesday.
While the US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil gained 2 percent to close at $40.22 per barrel.
The improvement in prices was after oil prices plunged as much as 3 percent on Monday following a resolution reached by Libyan rebels and government to commence oil production at the nation’s largest oil field, Sharara Oil Field.
This coupled with labour agreement with oil firms in Norway was expected to boost global oil supplies and eventually weighed on prices and disrupt OPEC+ production cuts strategy.
However, prices surged after Nancy Pelosi said she would commence talks on $1.8 trillion stimulus package following President Trump’s return to the White House after he was rushed to hospital following a positive COVID-19 test.
Joe Biden Win Could Boost Oil Prices, Says Goldman Sachs
Oil Prices to Surge Once Joe Biden Wins -Goldman Sachs
Goldman Sachs, one of the world’s largest investment banks, has said Joe Biden win could boost global oil prices despite weak global economic outlook and COVID-19 negative impacts on the world’s growth.
The investment bank, however, remains bullish on both oil and gas prices regardless of the election outcome in November.
The bank sees oil and gas demand rising enough in 2021 to supersede election results but explained that Biden win could bolster prices by making production more expensive and more regulated for producers in the U.S.
In a note written by the bank’s commodities team on Sunday, it said “We do not expect the upcoming U.S. elections to derail our bullish forecasts for oil and gas prices, with a Blue Wave likely to be in fact a positive catalyst.”
“Headwinds to U.S. oil and gas production would rise further under a Joe Biden administration, even if the candidate has struck a centrist tone.”
Goldman Sachs explained that if incumbent, Trump, is re-elected with pro-oil and gas policies in place that “its impact would likely remain modest at best,” Goldman’s analysts wrote, “given the more powerful shift in investor focus to incorporate ESG metrics and the associated corporate capex re-allocation away from fossil fuels.”
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