Tag Archives: 2019

We’ve say our bye to Ogoni land, and we will never return – SHELL

The Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria Limited (SPDC) said it has spent a total of N17 billion on the Global Memorandum of Understanding (GMoU) clusters in Rivers State, giving communities a highly-valued opportunity to decide and implement projects as well as programmes that have a lasting impact on people’s lives.

Shell has also reiterated its exit from Ogoni since 1993, stressing that it would not return to the area again either for exploration, or production.

This was disclosed by the General Manager, External Relations, SPDC, Igo Weli, at the presentation of the 2019 edition of the ‘Shell Nigeria Briefing Notes’ in Port Harcourt.

Weli disclosed that, since the GMoU concept took off in 2006, the funding had enabled the 19 clusters in the state to embark on projects covering health, education, water and power supply improvement, sanitation and infrastructure development.

“Shell has no intention to return to Ogoni again for any exploration and production. We are not taking a drop of oil in Ogoniland. If you hear there is a spill in Ogoni, it does not mean that there is any operation in the area. We have not produced oil in Ogoni since 1993.

He stated: “Under the terms of the GMoU, SPDC and its joint venture partners provide five-year funding for communities to implement development projects of their choice, which are managed by Cluster Development Boards under the guidance of mentoring NGOs.

“Currently, there are 39 active GMoU clusters in Rivers, Delta, Bayelsa and Abia states and since inception in 2006 a total of $239 million (N44.36 billion) has been disbursed to these clusters to fund development projects.

“The success of the GMoU initiative has proved what could be achieved when government, international oil companies, communities and NGOs worked together for the common good,” he said.

“Shell in Nigeria Briefing Notes is an annual publication detailing the activities of the business interests of the global energy giant in Nigeria covering SPDC, Shell Nigeria Exploration and Production Company, and Shell Nigeria Gas.”

On another level of social investment in Rivers, Weli listed the Community Health Insurance Scheme (CHIS), which was established in 2010 in partnership with state governments, as an SPDC JV flagship project that delivers affordable integrated health care to beneficiaries.

“Clients in the scheme pay N10,000 per annum which covers about 95% of the people’s primary and secondary health care needs including child birth, seizure disorders, diabetic and ophthalmic care at the Obio Cottage Hospital. Ten other hospitals in Rivers State also enjoyed robust health intervention scheme by SPDC JV.”

In education, he cited the establishment of the first centre of excellence in Marine Engineering and Offshore Technology at Rivers State University in Port Harcourt established in 2017, which runs an 18-month Master’s and Diploma programmes in Marine Engineering, Naval Architecture, as well as Offshore and Subsea Engineering. This, was in addition to the many SPDC JV scholarship schemes which date back to the 1950s”.

“Supporting Ogoni youths in sustainable alternative livelihoods is in line with one of the recommendations of the 2011 United Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP) report for the restoration of the Ogoni environment.

“In 2018, 100 Ogoni youths from communities near the Trans Nigeria Pipeline participated in training with 80 top-performing trainees receiving business start-up funding totalling more than $90,000 (N27.27 million).”

On the general development of the Niger Delta, Weli noted that between inception of the Niger Delta Development Commission in 2002 and the end of 2018, Shell companies alone contributed N375.16 billion to the commission for the purpose of facilitating the rapid, even and sustainable development of the region, into an area that is economically prosperous, socially-stable, ecologically-regenerative and politically-peaceful.

He said: “We’re proud of our extensive social investment footprints in Rivers State, which in some cases, even stretch beyond the SPDC joint venture.”

He noted that the responsibility for the development of communities, societies or states resides primarily with government and community stakeholders themselves.
“It stands to reason, therefore, that abdicating that responsibility for development to the private sector either fully or substantially is, in my assessment, one of the key issues militating against sustainable development not just of Rivers State but of the Niger Delta”.

‘I want to make Sugar Mummy a positive term’ – Teni

A popular Nigerian singer has recently been recognized by international publishing house Vogue Magazine, after getting featured in an article where she speaks about her latest music single.

The talented singer Teniola Apata, popularly known by her stage name Teni, was filled with excitement as she shared the news of her Vogue feature with fans and followers on social media.

In the article, the much loved songstress talked to Vogue’s fashion news director, Chioma Nnadi, about her latest music single, Sugar Mummy; a song which has been a favourite listening choice for lovers of her kind of music.

Teni revealed that the song was inspired by the need to change people’s perception, particularly Nigerians, about who a sugar mummy is.

Many people often use the term to describe rich older woman who are romantically involved with young men, who they often attract with their wealthy status. But for the Uyo Meyo crooner, she expressed that she wants females described with the term to be seen as strong women who look good and are proud to be different.

“I want to make Sugar Mummy a positive term. She is a woman with swag, who looks good, who is proud to be different.” she said.

Speaking on her sense of style, the singing star divulged that she does not want to conform to the stereotype that women have to be feminine. She expressed that no one should get to choose how she lives her life.

Teni said: “There’s an assumption that women have to look a certain way to be feminine, but I don’t want to conform to that stereotype. My thing is this: You don’t get to decide how I choose to live my life. I’m being me, respect that.”

On how she has been able to use her influence to help, Teni recounted an incident with one of her Instagram followers who was on the verge of taking her life.

“This girl was on the verge of taking her life, so I immediately got her number and reached out to her. She explained that watching my funny Instagram videos had kept her going. It was in that moment that I realized how powerful my influence can be. If I can be a source of hope and joy to somebody, then I’m doing something right.” she said .

‘End banditry on Kaduna-Abuja road’, El-Rufai begs NAF

Kaduna State Governor, Mallam Nasir el – Rufai , has appealed to the Chief of Air Staff to deploy special troops to tackle kidnapping along Kaduna -Abuja highway and in Kajuru Local Government Area of the state .

He stated this while inaugurating the detachment of the 271 Nigerian Air Force in Birnin Gwari , in Kaduna State.

The 271 NAF detachment is the brain child of the Chief of Air Staff , Air Marshal Sadiq Abubakar , designed to combat insecurity in the area.

El – Rufai also lauded the Emir of Birnin Gwari, Alhaji Jibril Zubairu Maigwari II , for donating part of his land for the Air Force base.

He added that President Muhammadu Buhari was committed to total defeat of all forms of terrorism in the country.

The governor said , “ The establishment of the 271 NAF Detachment Birnin Gwari is therefore timely , as it will further boost the ongoing Operation Diran Mikiya, Operation Sharan Daji and play a very crucial role in restoring and maintaining the peace in all affected areas.

“ While we recognise the efforts of the Nigerian Air Force , we also want to appeal to the Chief of Air Staff to approve the deployment of NAF Special Forces to the Abuja- Kaduna road to participate in the new Joint security operations aimed at confronting the prevalence of banditry and kidnapping that has bedeviled the road for the last two years.”

“ All the insecurity menace will soon be over . The present All Progresives Congress is focused on ensuring that Nigerians are proud of their country.

“ The prevalence of terrorism, banditry and kidnapping has increased in recent times . And we are grateful that the Armed Forces of Nigeria , particularly the NAF, is boosting security operations and developing even more effective strategies to end this menace.

Earlier in his address , the CAS said the NAF was committed to safeguarding the territorial integrity of the country.

He said , “ The NAF is committed to seeing that the territorial integrity of our dear country is preserved as this is the only country we can call our own . It is our desire , therefore , to ensure that the menace of terrorism , kidnapping , cattle rustling and banditry are curtailed, if not completely eradicated.

“ The inauguration of 271 NAF Detachment Birnin Gwari is a testimony of the NAF commitment to the fight against insurgency and banditry in Nigeria . ”

Nigerian murders fellow Nigerian in South Africa

A Nigerian, Tony Elochukwu, has been killed by an unidentified gunman in South Africa.

His death brings to three the number of Nigerians killed within three days (April 6-9) in that country, according to Ben Okoli, president of Nigerian Citizens Association in South Africa (NICASA).

Okoli in a letter sent to Godwin Adams, consular general, Nigerian Consulate in Johannesburg decried the death and continued killings of Nigerians in the country, adding that people are worried and scared since none of the suspects has been arrested or charged.

“We received yet again the sad news of the death of another Nigerian in Witbank Mpumalanga province. Mr. Tony Elochukwu from Nnobi Anambra State was shot twice in the head by an unidentified Nigerian gunman on April 24 at around 2:45 pm,” he said.

Okoli alleged that a lone Nigerian man walked to some others at a restaurant and inquired from them where to get some weed to smoke.

He said those standing, however, told him that they did not know where since they do not smoke but the man pulled out his gun and shot Elochukwu on the head, then sped off in a car parked down the street.
He added that a case of murder had been opened at the police station by Obeji Chukwuma, NICASA chairman, in Mpumalanga area of the country.

“This looks like another case of Nigerians killing themselves. This ugly trend of Nigerians killed by fellow Nigerians is on the increase and is disturbing to our community,” he said.

“NICASA is deeply worried over the death and continued killings of our citizens in South Africa.

“People are worried and scared, since none of the perpetrators had been arrested or charged over it.”

He appealed to the consulate to put pressure on the South African police to pursue cases of killings of any Nigerian with seriousness.

“The South African police must stop attempting to encourage this killings by lack of investigation and prosecution with aim of bringing to justice every criminal involved in these heinous crimes,” he said.
Adams also condemned the killings but said they do not fit into xenophobic attacks.

“It is clear that as much as any form of criminality and xenophobic attacks against foreigners, including Nigerians in South Africa is condemnable, the killings do not fit into xenophobic attacks,” he said.

“The cases are the stabbing of a Nigerian, Mr. Bonny Iwuola, in Turfontain in Johannesburg on April 6 at about 23:30 hours in front of his house, by unknown assailants, and more of crime related murder.

“Another Nigerian, Gozien Christian, from Agbor in Delta State, was stabbed to death by three unknown assailants. No arrest has been made but cases were opened and police are investigating the murders.

“The third case of murder which happened on the night of April 8 at Sunnyside in Pretoria happened at the usual place of cult-related murders by Nigerian cult groups.

“This particular case had more connection with business-related disagreement that turned sour.

“Investigations are on but eye witness accounts indicated that he was killed and his new Mercedes car-2019 model was snatched and driven away. All these cases do not appear to be xenophobic.

“They are part of the usual crime-related killings in South Africa. Police statistics in South Africa indicate that over 18,000

Soyinka: My generation has failed Nigerians

Nobel laureate , Prof . Wole Soyinka, says his generation has failed the country.
Speaking on Hard Talk , a BBC programme, the professor said the dreams people of his generation had about the country had not materialized.

This was gathered in a programme anchored by Zeinab Badawi. She had asked the literary scholar , “ Has your generation of older Nigerians failed the people?”

The professor responded , “ Yes , I believe so . I compare today with dreams and aspirations we had when we all rushed home after studies abroad . We considered ourselves the renaissance people that were going to lift the continent to world standards , competitors anywhere . It hasn’t happened . ”

Asked to comment about the 2019 presidential election, he said , “The 2019 election is one of the most depressing elections we ’ ve been through . Talking for myself , it wasn ’ t possible for me to make a choice for the simple reason that both candidates ( President Muhammadu Buhari and Atiku Abubakar ) had histories – one immediate , one past – which made one look for alternatives . ”

He explained why he was soft on Buhari in 2015 when he referred to the president as a born again Democrat.

Soyinka said Buhari did not win the 2015 election because the people were endeared to him but for the fact that Nigerians could not continue with former President Goodluck Jonathan in office .

“ General Buhari didn’t really win the first election , he won by default . It was impossible to continue with Jonathan (back in 2015 ).

“ As it happened , yes , I did use that expression ‘ born again democrat . ’ When somebody competes in an election three, four times and persists , he must believe in democracy … the circumstances in Nigeria , the fact that Nigerians have shown the military what a huge failure they were makes it possible for one to identify the possibility of exceptions when they seem to behave like democrats.

“ But in any case , I kept emphasising that Nigerians had a very difficult choice and as I said , it was between the devil and the deep blue sea . ”

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