- NNPC’s Input to Economy Hampered by Operational Secrecy
The capacity of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) to contribute to Nigeria’s economic development is still being hampered by the level of operational secrecy it practices, the Nigerian Natural Resource Charter (NNRC) has said.
According to the NNRC, when truly assessed, the operational costs of the NNPC which, are deducted at source before payment into the Federation Account have not been transparent.
Speaking at a workshop titled: ‘Assessing petroleum sector wealth: NNPC’s contributions to the economy,’ in Lagos, the Chairman of the Expert Advisory Panel of NNRC, and a former Minister of State for Petroleum, Mr. Odein Ajumogobia stated that when compared with other national oil companies such as Petronas of Malaysia, Sontrach of Algeria and Sonangol of Angola, the contributions of the NNPC to the economic growth of Nigeria was impacted by the lack of transparency in its operations.
Ajumogobia questioned the authenticity of data provided in the country’s oil sector especially of production levels and reserves.
“Nigeria’s economic growth and diversification in order to reduce our dependence on crude oil exports, is still however crucially dependent on the growth and efficiency of the oil and gas sector which is to partially fund and drive the diversification. We literally have to drill our way out of our current economic predicament. Thus NNPC if the existing structure remains, has a critical role to play in furthering a sustainable economic growth trajectory for Nigeria,” said Ajumogobia.
He added: “It is therefore appropriate to inquire into how the corporation’s stated vision of becoming a world-class oil and gas company is to be achieved if it is being undermined by external rather than internal factors of competence and commitment. Can such a vision indeed be achieved if NNPC is not insulated from political interference, as the NLNG incorporated joint venture appears to have been?”
“As the NNRC benchmarking exercise recorded, the observed muddling of the corporations business roles with its non-commercial and auxiliary regulatory roles continues. Further, that ‘commercial decisions and operational activities are still subject to political interference. It is in this context that we can properly question the extent of NNPC’s purposeful contribution to the nation’s economic growth as it is currently structured. Certainly no organisation can optimise its performance in contributing to a 21st century economy if its activities and decisions are not open and transparent,” Ajumogobia explained.
On the consistency and reliability of data in the industry, Ajumogobia stated that Nigeria had for a very long time bandied projected oil production figures that have never been attained.
He said: “In the meantime, is the existing uneconomic process even transparent? Can we rely on the figures we routinely reel out about reserves or about fuel consumption that once went from 30 million litres a day to 45 million litres a day within a period of one year between 2011 and 2012? As we speak another almost $2 billion is claimed to be owed to marketers.
“In its (yet to be excised) role as policy maker and regulator, it has been NNPC’s aspiration for close to 20 years – since the inauguration in 2000 of the Oil and Gas Implementation Committee [OGIC], to grow the country’s crude oil reserves to at least 40 billion barrels and to increase production to 4 million barrels per day (mbpd), in order to sustain the economic contribution of the petroleum sector, as energy demand inevitably increases with population growth. Yet by 1974, Nigeria had already attained production of 2.4mbpd from onshore and shallow water fields exclusively. In contrast, of the just over 2mbpd said to be produced today, close to 1mbpd is from deep offshore fields developed more than twenty years later, highlighting the massive decline in JV production over the years. By way of contrast, Angola doubled its oil production within the last fifteen years – from 750,000bpd in 2004 to a peak of 2mbpd in 2014,” he added.
Air Passengers Drop as Domestic Airlines Resume Operations
Number of Air Passengers Drop as Domestic Airlines Resume Operations
The number of air passengers dropped despite Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu lifting the curfew imposed to address looting and destruction of properties in the state.
The busiest airport in the country, Murtala Mohammed Airport, resumed full operations on Monday, however, passengers are cautious about flying, especially because of the tense situation across the nation.
Some of the officials of the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria as well as those of domestic airlines confirmed that domestic passenger volume had been on a slow start since they commenced full operations.
Okwudili Ezenwa, the spokesperson for Dana Air, said “We are hoping that by next week, everything should have settled down because right now, people are still trying to be sure of their movements.
“Passengers are being cautious before they come out. So, things have not balanced. People are not leaving Lagos as such from the airport now; rather, they are being careful.”
He added, “In locations where no curfew was announced, other places will still have to feed such locations. So since we have curfews here and there, ultimately it affects areas where we don’t have curfew.
“But we hope everything settles down well before next week.”
Similarly, Stanley Olisa, the spokesperson, Air Peace, explained that even though domestic flight operations had resumed, passengers were still wary of flying.
“Yes domestic flights have resumed out of the Lagos airport but it is something that is only picking up gradually,” he said.
333,000 Artisans: FG Commences One-Time Payment of N30,000
FG Begins One-Time Payment of N30,000 to 333,000 Artisans
The Federal Government on Monday said it has commenced a one-time payment of N30,000 to 333,000 artisans under the Micro Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) Survival Fund.
In a statement issued by Laolu Akande, the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Office of the Vice President, disbursements were being done to verified beneficiaries of the Artisan Support Scheme.
The statement read in part, “In the first stream of payments starting today, beneficiaries are being drawn from the FCT, Lagos, Ondo, Kaduna, Borno, Kano, Bauchi, Anambra, Abia, Rivers, Plateau and Delta States. They form the first batch of applications for the scheme submitted between October 1 and October 10.
“The MSMEs Survival Fund scheme is a component of the Nigerian Economic Sustainability Plan, NESP, which was developed by an Economic Sustainability Committee established by President Muhammadu Buhari in March 2020.
“The President asked his deputy, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, SAN, to head the committee which produced and is overseeing the implementation of the plan. “Under the ESP, the Survival Fund is generally designed to among other things, support vulnerable MSMEs in meeting their different obligations and safeguard jobs in the sector.”
Absorb Exited Npower Beneficiaries, N-power Youths Congress Tells FG
Absorb Npower Beneficiaries of Batches A and B, N-power Youths Congress Tells FG
The N-power Youths Congress (NYC) has pleaded with the Federal Government to absorb the 500,000 exited Npower beneficiaries of Batches A and B and pay their outstanding allowances.
The National Coordinator, NYC, Comrade Joseph Enam Maga, stated this in Maiduguri during a press briefing held on Saturday at the NUJ Press Center.
He said thousands of exited beneficiaries are yet to be paid since the month of Match.
He, therefore, called on the Federal Government to offset all the outstanding allowances of Batches A and B and create a permanent job for them.
He said “It is a fact undisputable that thousands of beneficiaries have not been paid since the month of March.
“Promises upon promises have been made on this, but yet no positive result has been recorded. Sometimes I wonder what it takes for the data base manager of Npower to rectify this! Something that can be rectified in a couple of hours has lasted for seven good months now.
“Worst still, this is happening within this period of hunger and starvation because of Pandemic. We call on the minister of humanitarian affairs and disaster management to be human enough to respond to our request and give prompt attention to them.
“We equally wish to bring to the notice of Mr. President that Batch B Beneficiaries have not received their devices as was promised and signed at the commencement of the program.
“It is very sad that up to the disengagement of Batch A and B, nobody has come out openly to tell us what happened to our devices.
The coordinator paused to ask why are Nigerian youths being treated like nobody in their country? What have we done to be neglected like this?
“When the Humanitarian Minister was asked why we were disengaged at this critical time in historical epoch that corona virus is terrorizing the whole world, she responded that we were disengaged because it’s a two years programe that we signed.
“Then comes the question: why did Batch A stayed 4years? And if we signed for two years contract that warranted our disengagement, didn’t we equally signed to be given a device that would help us in our different places of primary assignment and equally increase of knowledge? Please we need answers ma. We need answers.
“We, the 500,000 batches A and B of Npower beneficiaries are calling on our government to respond to our demand. We don’t want to believe that it’s only a state of violence anarchy and doom will make a sane government to listen to her Youth’s grievances.
“Look at the Endsars protest for instance, after many lives have been lost and properties destroyed, our government decided to speak up. Niger delta militants were attended to when they resort to arms.
“The insurgents were given amnesty because of their terrorism. But we the innocent 500,000 graduates have been innocently complaining to our government but they paid deaf ears. We are law abiding citizens and we will continue to be law abiding citizens.
“We want Mr. President to understand that a hungry man is an angry man. We have really endured a lot. We need a quick response to our requests. We can’t be used and dumped like refuse. We refused to be used and dumped”, the National Coordinator added.
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