Nigeria, Africa’s biggest crude exporter, is left with 36.89 billion barrels in its crude oil reserves, 110 million barrels deficit from the reserves strenght one year ago.
The Director, Department of Petroleun Resources (DPR), Auwalu Sarki, who in a virtual meeting of the DPR managment and oil and gas editors on Wednesday, gave this official data of reserves as at first of January, 2020, maintained that this same reserves had 37 billion barrels in them as at the first of January, 2019.
What Nigeria lost in crude reserves, Sarki said, it gained in natural gas reserves with 203.16 trillion cubic feet of gas as at January 1, 2020, compared to 210 trillion cubic feet of gas in reserves as at January 1, 2019.
Giving a breakdown of the reserves volume, the DPR Director said that the crude oil in the reserves stood at 31.418 billion barrels while the volume of condensate in the reserves was 5.476 billion barrels.
He attributed the fall in the reserves to the dearth of discovery in 2019.
The volume in our reserves as at January 1, 2020 is 36.89 billion barrels. In our gas reserves at this same period, we have 203.16 trillion cubic feet of gas. But as at January 1, 2019, we have 37 billion barrels in our oil reserves while at this same period what we had i our gas reserves was 201 trncf. This fall in oil reserves is attributed to the fact that we never had discovery in 2019 and that is why we are putting a lot of strategies in place to increase the reserves,” he said while fielding a question from newsmen.
Stating that the DPR is the Regulatory agency responsible for the opportunities in the sector, Sarki maintained that there should be a focus the opportunities that the agencies create.
“We are not a regulator per se but an opportunity house, which guarantee investments as well as enbles participation of Nigerian and non-Nigerian companies in the industry,” he said, maintaining that having “put these together, we call DPR and opportunity house.”
Parts of DPR responsibilities, he continued, is “Upstream operations monitoring and regulations, downstream operations monitoring and regulations, and service providers monitoring and regulation.”
He added that COVID-19 has altered the 800mmscuf gas commercialisation deals.
“We are the first in the World with the success rate. In fact the World Bank, when it saw what we are doing, approached us and signified readiness to partner with us with other stakeholders.
“What is holding the programme is COVID-19 becuae with it there is no physical assesment of the lease (fields). Without the assesment the process is halted,” he declared.
The Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria, IPMAN, has said it can sell petroleum product at N123.5 per litre and not N121.5 new PPMC pump price.
IPMAN who reacted to the new price modulation announced by the Petroleum Pricing Regulatory Agency, PPPRA, says the agency has advised them to either sell at the new pump price or adjust to what will make Nigerians happy.
And as such, they accordingly instructed their marketers to comply with the advice of the government and adjust to N123.5 per liter pending the Deport Petroleum Marketers Association’s action on the new pump price.
This information was contained in a press release by IPMAN chairman, Kano chapter, Alhaji Bashir Danmallam in Kano.
Alhaji Bashir asked all marketers in his jurisdiction to comply with the new price modulation advice by making sure no one sells above the approved ceiling of 123.50 Naira per liter.
He further assured the public of a steady supply and distribution of petroleum products at all times and in all circumstances.
The All Progressives Congress (APC) has so far realised N135 million from the sale of expression of interest and nomination forms to six Edo governorship aspirants participating in the party’s primaries slated for June 22.
The party placed N22.5 million fee on governorship aspirants form in Edo and Ondo states.
The APC National Organising Secretary, Mr Emma Ibediro, had on May 20 issued the timetable for the party’s primaries in the two states.
According to him, this includes N2.5 million for Expression of Interest Form and N20 million for the Nomination Form.
“The sale of forms to Edo governorship aspirants will begin from May 20 to June 2, while the submission ends on June 3,” Ibediro said.
The party’s national organising scribe also released the list of Edo governorship aspirants who have so far purchased and submitted the forms.
He listed the aspirants as Governor Godwin Obaseki, Mr Osagie Ize-Iyamu, Mr Osaro Obaz, Dr Pius Odubu, Mr Matthew Iduoriyekemwe and Mr Chris Ogiemwonyi.
The Lagos State Deputy Governor, Dr. Obafemi Hamzat, said the construction of Fourth Mainland Bridge will start in the first quarter of 2021.
Hamzat said this while discussing Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu/Dr Obafemi Hamzat’s administration in the last one year on an online show tagged: ”Covinspiration” on Tuesday.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the show was moderated by Dayo Israel, a UN Special Representative and British Council Global Change-maker.
Hamzat noted that the 4th Mainland bridge was central to the present administration as the State was aggressively pursuing various infrastructural renewal programme to make life abundant for the residents.
The deputy governor said the bridge was an important programme for the administration, saying that its completion would help break traffic gridlock and ease transportation in the state.
He said: “The project is key for our administration and we flagged the construction of regional roads within VGC two days ago, the project has been awarded to Hi-Tech Company.
“First Quarter of next year (2021), we will be able to start. Early next year, construction will start on the 4th Mainland Bridge. Regional Road is to be done for the survival of the Fourth Mainland Bridge to help us break away traffic from the Lekki-Epe Expressway. Regional road will increase the viability of the 4th Mainland Bridge.”
According to him, there is hope that by November or December, plans will have been concluded for work to begin.
According to him, 32 Consortium put in interest in the bid and the government had been able to reduce them to nine.
He described the project as huge, which would involve a lot of money, adding that the government was looking for partnerships with private organisations.
Hamzat, who noted that the government had been funding aggressively road infrastructure, said that the Lagos -Badagry Expressway would unlock the tourism potential in Badagry.
He assured that the administration will continue to grow better, especially in terms of infrastructure while also dealing with deficits.
Speaking on the management of traffic in the state, the deputy governor said that the administration had been able to reduce traffic lockjam by 15 per cent to 20 per cent.
“In order to expand roads and give room for free vehicular movements, we have been able to remove some of the roundabouts which include Allen Roundabout, Ikotun Roundabout, Lekki, Abraham Adesanya Roundabouts are all gone.
“We are fixing major roads and reducing traffic congestion and making sure that drainages are cleared,” he said.
Hamzat said that the government was commited to mass transportation, saying that Oshodi-Abule Egba BRT corridor would soon commence for mass movement along the corridor.
According to him, the government is also “funding aggressively” the Blue Line Rail for mass movement of people.
He said that 600 buses procured by the government had been cleared at the port, saying that the government was also procuring small buses for its ‘Last Mile’ transport programme.
Hamzat said that the government was working to have the buses manufactured in the state to create employment for the residents.
On water transportation, Hamzat said that the government had procured ferries to move people along the waterways.
The deputy governor said that the Okada ban had not only reduced Okada-related accidents from about 21 monthly to one, but had also reduced crime rates in the state.
“Before the ban, on the average of 21 lives were lost monthly due to Okada accident but after the ban it has reduced drastically to one.
“Crime has also reduced in the state, the NDLEA (The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency) report says that narcotics are transported through the use of Okada as a means of transportation.
“There was need to ban Okada, especially at this period with the outbreak of COVID-19. There is no way one can maintain social distancing on Okada,” he said.
The deputy governor emphasised the need for data for efficient planning and delivery in the state, saying that data gathering would allow transparency, planning and efficient record keeping.
“It (data) is the new currency for us and it drives all that we are doing. We should be able to have a database in order to manage the citizens better. Data would help for proper planning and documentation purposes.
“For example in education, there is the need to check the number of population in each area in order to plan accordingly. It makes the system run faster and more efficiently.
“Data is key, that is why we are pushing LASRRA (Lagos State Residents Registration Agency) to get information about our citizens. It is also necessary for us to have a robust data governance and protection,” he said.
With the widespread incidence of COVID-19 in the country and its impact on healthcare delivery, the practice of telemedicine is being advocated as one of the quickest and effective means of accessing primary healthcare by the majority of Nigerians.
This position was canvassed by Mr. Adil Shaikh, the Chief Technology Officer of MeCure, at a recently held Webinar on “Managing Health care Business During and Post COVID-19 era” put together by Polaris Bank.
Mr. Shaikh believes that telemedicine offers a game-changing solution to our already overstretched medical services delivery in the country if properly explored and harnessed concertedly by stakeholders, including financial institutions.
With respect to expanding coverage, improved and timely access to primary health care services, it was explained that Telemedicine provides patients the opportunity to access online consultation, prescription and delivery of prescribed drugs from certified pharmacies across Nigeria.
Mr. Shaikh noted however that telemedicine comes with challenges especially for providers of medical services who wish to explore the initiative; ranging from technology infrastructure, user education & general awareness and connectivity issues on the part of the consumer.
He further identified three major areas financial institutions could assist to bridge the gaps. Financial institutions could leverage reach as a result of their large customer base to generate awareness; innovate on digital payments and partner with health institutions.
The objective of the webinar among other things was to deepen conversation on healthcare business in Nigeria and explore the huge potentials in the health sector.
The virtual engagement attracted participation from all over the world with about 5,000 participants across virtual platforms and social media handles comprising, individuals and business owners from different sectors of the economy but majorly from the healthcare value chain.
Polaris Bank is a future-determining Bank committed to the delivery of industry-defining products, and services, across all the sectors of the Nigerian economy.
The Police Command in Niger State, on Tuesday, said it had invited Mohammed Jibril Imam, All Progressives Congress (APC) Chairman in the state, over alleged financial misappropriation.
According to the Commissioner, Adamu Usman, the APC official is specifically accused of misusing party finances “since he assumed office in 2015”.
Usman said in Minna that a petition against the APC official had accused him of misusing funds realised from the sale of Expression of Interest forms to members that contested elective positions.
He said that the petitioners accused the party chief of spending the funds “unilaterally and without due process”.
According to him, the petition was written by some members of the executive council of the party who also accused the official of abuse of office.
“We are investigating the matter and shall get to the root of it. We want to find out if there is any substance in the claims of the petitioners.
“The Nigeria Police Force has the responsibility to investigate any form of criminal complaint from any citizen of the state. That is what we are doing.
“We are handling the matter professionally to ensure that justice is done to all sides,” he said.
Efforts to speak with the affected party official did not yield fruits as he was said to be “in deep discussions” with personnel of the Criminal Investigation Division (CID).
A model scouts, Otunba Benjamin Ese, has accused a popular Nigerian hip-hop artist, Oladapo Daniel Oyebanjo, generally known as D’Banj, of rape, declaring that the singer lacked all moral standings to preach against rape.
Ese, a talent manager, declared that D’Bang alleged raped his friend in 2018.
He made the allegation after the singer showed support by calling for justice for rape victims via his Instagram page.
The talent manager asked D’Banj to take down the post, tagged him a rapist and took to his Instagram page to narrate how the singer allegedly raped his friend at a hotel in Lagos.
He wrote: “How you have the courage to post about rape is what baffles me. Quick story time—On the 30th of December 2018 at Eko Atlantic an event called splash off which was an all white party, franklin your manager then invited my friend to the party,On getting there Dbanj sighted her and sent few people to talk to her but she refused.
“My friend left the party and went to glee hotel in VI where she was lodged by her friend franklin cos my friend couldn’t go back to the mainland that day. My friend got a call from Oyinda who at that time was dating Dbanjs friend, telling my friend the amount of money dbanj was ready to spend on her if he agrees, but my friend turned down the offer because she wasn’t interested.
“Dbanj drove all the way from Eko hotel where he was lodged and came down to glee hotel in Victoria island at midnight 2:40am and collected the spare key from the receptionist, obviously it’s dbanj a fucking celebrity rapist, he would be given a spare key, got into my friends room and forcefully threatened he would walk her out of the room naked, Kept his fingers in her Vagina and repeatedly raped her.
“My friend was crying and dbanj turned deaf ears how wicked and heartless!!! And immediately he did that Dbanj left. So you still have the right to post on Rape it’s been two years my friend has been traumatized over this. And as at yesterday she threatened to commit suicide, she’s so livid and mad seeing a rapist like you post this.
“Take this post down and stop clouting, stop being a preacher of Rape cos you’re a rapist. I know I don’t have the power to push this but all Rapist will die a miserable deaths! #wearetired”
It happened on two occasion in 2015 and early 2016. The first was when he sat with some youthful friends, most of whom he often relates with to gauge the pulse of the majority. The venue was Agege, his base. In that meeting, Mudashiru Obasa, the speaker of the Lagos State House of Assembly, muttered the need for a collective security outfit with a will and goal to support the Nigeria Police Force (NPF), especially in the South Western part of the country.
Obasa understood what he meant. This was at a time there were hush discussions about threats from bandits, alleged herdsmen and kidnappers. Ikorodu was gradually emerging a notorious zone for criminals trying to test their whits. Was Obasa right? Was he wrong? The two questions rested in the hearts of those he was speaking with.
Few weeks later, Obasa again, with few lawmakers, some aides, and friends, during a non-formal discussion, herped on the need for a zonal security outfit. According to him, since the call for state and community policing had constantly hit the brickwall, it would make sense to have an organisation that is considered closest to the grassroots. There was the argument that the police, as much as they try, may not find it easy enough routing crime from every nook and crany of a state.
This is predicated on the fact that there is a central authority in Abuja, many kilometres away from states and this tends to challenge timely interventions in the case of emergencies. For example, a police unit would sometimes have to reach out to the commissioner, who, in turn, follows the chain of command in the case of any emergency till it gets to the Inspector-General. The response then follows same chain till it gets to the unit. The effect of this can only be left to imagination.
Again, his idea remained fallow, maybe to others. Later developments showed that the speaker never discarded the thought. The State Neighbourhood Safety Agency, which also controls the activities of the Vigilante Corps in the state, is the result of that thought.
Single-handedly sponsored by the speaker, the bill, which later became a law establishing the agency, sought for a more refined way of tackling crime, through effective surveillance and proactive actions. Has the Neighbourhood Watch helped the state, which wants to pride itself as a mega city in the near future? The answer is a ‘yes’.
One of its first test happened shortly after it was created. Badoo, the dreaded cult-like body that had a particularly strange way of killing their victims, evolved. It was mainly in Ikorodu. The criminals had suddenly mastered the act of nocturnal practices that left sorrows, anguish, tears and blood behind their trail. They hit at night while their unsuspecting victims slept. In some cases, they killed men, at other times, the women could not escape their attack. On a particular occasion, they reportedly killed a man, his wife and child. It was a pathetic situation that needed to be urgently curbed.
The police, under the supervision of Edgal Imohimi as commissioner, was having sleepless nights. Communities affected were in disarray, those not yet hit could not live in peace. Local vigilance groups were set up. Then, Neighbourhood Watch drafted its men to support the police. It only took a little more time, the cult group was run over, its leaders were arrested and peace returned to Ikorodu.
Since the Establishment of the Neighbourhood Watch, the organisation has assisted in quelling tensions, supported the state’s traffic management agency in resolving traffic issues, liaised with law enforcement agencies and carried out emergency activities. Above all, it has pulled out some residents from unemployment. It has also continued to enjoy accolades.
One cannot say, for sure, whether Obasa later sold the idea to any of the governors in the South West. However, one can confidently say the establishment of the Neighbourhood Watch was the ‘forunner’ for the creation of Amotekun almost four years after.
Amotekun is currently enjoying the support of a majority of the South West people and residents. Taking the shape of the Neighbourhood Watch, it will help to unite the region beyond political considerations. It would not only boost the zone’s economy, since businesses thrive in a peaceful environment, but ensure that the people of the area live happily and sleep with their eyes closed.
-Lucky Oserah, an analyst and social affairs commentator, writes from Lagos.
The Olabisi Onabanjo University (OOU), Ago-Iwoye, Ogun State, on Tuesday, said it had produced a herbal syrup for the prevention, treatment and management of coronavirus.
The Vice-Chancellor of the university, Prof. Ganiyu Olatunde, made the disclosure at a press briefing, held at Ago-Iwoye.
Olatunde said that the product, tagged “OOU-Anjo Anti- COVID-19 herbal syrup”, was developed by a team of researchers from the institution, in partnership with Anjola Herbal Company Limited.
The vice chancellor added that three other products, namely automated hand sanitiser dispenser, personal hand sanitiser and face masks, were also produced by the institution.
He explained that samples of the herbal syrup had been submitted to the National Agency for Food and Drugs Administration and Control (NAFDAC) for approval.
Olatunde assured that the syrup would be released to the Nigerian market as soon as an approval was granted by NAFDAC.
He said that the syrup and the other products were part of the institution’s achievements in the areas of teaching, research and community development during the lockdown.
“Our university is one of the core institutions that engage in research into the COVID-19 pandemic. And in partnership with Anjola Herbal Company Limited, which is one of our partners in herbal medicine, we have been able to produce an anti-COVID-19 herbal syrup.
“I can assure you that it went through all the necessary protocols that you can have in trying to produce herbal syrup.
“Since the era of Ebola, our health centre and the Department of Chemistry have been involved in the production of hand sanitiser.
“We also have some sections of the university that engage in the production of face masks and face shields, which are being requested for by a number of organisations across the country,” he said.
Dr Joseph Ashudi, the acting Director, Research, Linkages and Advancement of the institution, described the syrup as anti-bacteria, anti-viral, anti-inflammatory and anti- coagulant.
Ashidi, one of the researchers, said that the product was formulated based on results of post-mortem researches conducted on those who died of COVID-19 infection.
He, however, explained that the research team had no access to COVID-19 patients for laboratory test with the syrup.
“They said we cannot have access to COVID-19 patients because of the nature of that disease. We then relied on postmortem reports that we carried out and we came up with many symptoms,” he said.
As part of its efforts to fight COVID-19 in Nigeria, the private sector Coalition Against COVID-19 (CACOVID), has joined forces with traditional rulers and community leaders in Nigeria, with the aim of driving education and awareness about the COVID-19 global pandemic deep into the local communities.
Oba Saheed Ademola Elegushi (Kusenla III), The Elegushi of Ikate Kingdom and Oba Kabiru Adewale Shotobi, The Ayangburen of Ikorodu are among the traditional rulers who have recently supported CACOVID’s community sensitization efforts in Lagos State. Due to the influence, position of power and high regard accorded to these traditional rulers by their communities, CACOVID recognizes their role as instrumental in mobilizing and inspiring positive actions among the people, which will ultimately curb the spread of the virus.
Shedding more light on this initiative, Mr. Amaechi Okobi, a member of the CACOVID operational committee and Group Head, Corporate Communications, Access Bank Nigeria, revealed that “this move is part of CACOVID’s efforts to limit the community spread of COVID-19 in Nigeria. Community spread has been identified as the major means by which COVID-19 spreads, if we must reduce this trend and flatten the curve, we must sensitize and educate the communities. To achieve this, our best route is through the traditional rulers and community leaders, mainly because of the deep connection and influence these leaders have on their communities. CACOVID is committed to its goal of eradicating COVID-19 from Nigeria, and we are ready to do that by every means possible”.
On the part of the traditional rulers, they expressed optimism that the efforts of CACOVID will pay off in the fight against the virus. They also commended the Coalition for their work and assured their endorsement, full participation, and support in the eradication of COVID-19 from their various communities and kingdoms.
The traditional rulers and community leaders, as part of their efforts towards curbing the spread of the virus demonstrated personal hygiene practices such as proper hand washing, and went on to further educate community chiefs on social distancing and other guidelines for limiting the spread of COVID-19. They will also help in the distribution of CACOVID relief items in their communities to help cushion the effects of the lockdown and restriction on movement.
The Coalition Against COVID-19 (CACOVID) is partnering with the Federal Government, the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO), created with the sole aim and vision of eradicating COVID-19 from Nigeria.
This Coalition is tasked with pulling resources across industries to provide technical and operational support while also providing funding and building advocacy through aggressive awareness drives. This will be achieved by collaborating with the Government to boost private and public healthcare facilities ability to respond to the crisis by providing funds to set up several testing, isolation and treatment centers in all geo-political zones of Nigeria; aggressively increasing general public awareness, education and buy-in to prevent panic and resulting chaos.