NUPRC Confirms Seplat Rig Mishap

The Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission (NUPRC) on Tuesday said Seplat Energy Plc has formally notified it of the incident involving a drilling rig during its operation at a swamp location in Delta State.

According to a statement made available to journalists in Abuja by the management of NUPRC, out of the 96 personnel on board as the time of incident, 92 have been rescued, one confirmed dead and three are yet to be accounted for.

“The Depthwize Majestic Rig was contracted by Seplat Energy Plc to drill Ovhor-21 well at a swamp location in Delta State. The rig completed the drilling of Gbetiokun-11 for NEPL and demobilized on Wednesday, 9th August 2023.

“Thereafter, the rig commenced Rig-Move from Gbetiokun-11 well location to the planned Ovhor – 21 well location. Unfortunately, the rig capsized while on transit and was partially submerged at about 5.00am on Tuesday 15th August, 2023.

“Information from our Warri Regional Office confirmed that Search and rescue operations of Personnel on Board (POB) the rig has commenced and it’s on-going. Seplat Energy has also submitted Incident Notification Form 41 to the Commission as statutorily required and commenced preliminary and detailed investigation on the incident.

“Of the ninety-six (96) personnel on board as the time of incident, ninety-two (92) have been rescued, one (1) confirmed dead and three (3) yet to be accounted for.

“However, Divers have been mobilized to the incident location for search and rescue operations, while the rescued personnel are currently receiving medical attention at the company’s hospital.

“The Commission will continue to update the public on the detailed outcome of the investigations as more information becomes available” reads the statement in parts.

Tinubu Releases Ministerial Portfolios, Names Wike FCT Minister

President Bola Ahmed Tinubu has released the list of portfolio for his ministerial appointees.

The portfolios as released by the presidency on Wednesday is as follows:

Minister of Education goes to Yusuf Sununu, FCT, Nyesom Wike, Defence Mohammed Badaru, Housing and Urban Development, Ahmed Dangiwa, Labour and Employment, Simon Lalong among others.

No date has been fixed yet for the inuaguration but that a ministerial retreat would commence very soon.

Men of the Nigerian Navy NNS Pathfinder, Port Harcourt, Rivers State, have arrested a Marine Vessel, MV Cecilia, laden with about 350,000 liters of petroleum products suspected to be diesel.

Commander, Operation Delta Safe, OPDS, Real Admiral Olusegun Ferrera,who announced this on Wednesday,displayed the vessel to journalists in Port Harcourt

Ferrera, who was represented by the maritime component commander of the joint taskforce for south south of the operation Delta Safe, Navy Commodore Adedokun Siyanbade, displayed the vessel to journalists in Port Harcourt on Wednesday.

He said the vessel which has not been put in use for two years was converted to a storage tank for illegal refined products.

He said as part of the efforts at optimizing and ensuring that the mandate of the OPDS are actualised, the Commander Joint Taskforce south south of OPDS directed the NNS Pathfinder to conduct a convert operation in the area.

He said they got intelligence that illegality ws going on within the area, adding that the operation which was conducted on 15th of August , 2023, led to the arrest of MV Cecilia.

He also said:” I’m here on behalf of the Commander Joint Taskforce Operation Delta Safe , Real Admiral Olusegun Ferrera. We are here this morning to show you arrest of a vessel that was involved illegalities in this general area.

“As part of the efforts at optimizing and ensuring that the mandate of the OPDS are actualised the Commander Joint Taskforce South south of OPDS directed the NNS Pathfinder base on credible intelligence to conduct a convert operation in this area and the intelligence was based on the fact of illegality going on within this area”

“The operation was conducted yesterday, 15th of August , 2023 and the operation lead to the arrest of MV Cecilia with a vessel that ought to be a service vessel but has been converted to storage tank of illegally refined products suspected to be AGO. The vessel has the capacity all together including the fuel and water capacity of about 350,000 litres.

“The water tanks has been converted as a storage tank for this illegal products and the vessel has not been to sea for the past two years. It was expected to be under maintenance but it’s being used for a different purpose where by people from illegal refinery sites bring their products to this place to discharge whereby other people also come here to purchase the product”

“So, the vessel has been arrested and necessary procedures will be taken in line with extant regulation biding operation Delta Safe operation and I am also to inform you that in Rivers State on Monday two tankers were also arrested the tankers were laden with 30,000 liters of products suspected to be crude oil were also arrested by Joint sector 3 of Operation Delta Safe including land component and water component

“They were caught siphoning crude oil from a dug out pit in Obio general area of Rivers State. So, for this vessel and those tankers as well necessary actions will be taken in line with extant regulation.”

He said the suspects as well as the vessel and products will be handed over to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) foe prosecution.

NNPC Gets $3bn Emergency Crude Repayment Loan As FG Moves To Sell  Stakes In 19 Entities

The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) Limited has gotten a $3 billion emergency crude repayment loan to support the naira and stabilise the foreign exchange market.

The company got the crude-for-cash funding from the African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) headquarters in Cairo, Egypt.

“The NNPC Ltd. and Afrexim Bank have jointly signed a commitment letter and Termsheet for an emergency $3 billion crude oil repayment loan,” NNPC said in a statement on Wednesday.

It added:“The signing, which took place today at the bank’s headquarters in Cairo, Egypt, will provide some immediate disbursement that will enable the NNPC Ltd. to support the Federal Government in its ongoing fiscal and monetary policy reforms aimed at stabilizing the exchange rate market.”.

The company said the loan will save Nigeria from approaching the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for loans, and bring respite to the local currency, which had depreciated significantly against the dollar over the past week.

Meanwhile,the federal government hinted that it sell stakes in about 20 state-run companies to raise funds and improve governance in the entities.

The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation is among the firms the government may sell a stake in,the chief executive officer at the Ministry of Finance Incorporated, Armstrong Takang,was quoted as saying this in a report by Bloomberg.

He stated that the agency is considering options including strategic sales and initial public offerings and aims to implement the plan within 18 months.

He noted that some of the entities need the private sector to take controlling shares and the major consideration for the government is to create value rather than retain control.

He said, “It is better for us to own 49 per cent of a high-performing entity than 90% of an entity that is underperforming.”

Nigeria’s Energy Crisis Opportunity For Electric Vehicles To Deepen Relevance-Olaosebikan

Mohammed Shosanya

Nigerians will begin to see electric vehicles as the most sustainable, cost-effective solution to their mobility problems on account of the current energy crisis and rising fuel price in the country,Mosope Olaosebikan, Chief Executive Officer of Possible EVS,has said

Possible EVS,an African automotive start up company.

Olaosebikan disclosed this in a statement to announce the planned unveiling of first Nigeria’s ultra-fast public electric vehicle charging station in Abuja.

According to him,the launch of the charging stations is an important milestone in the company’s effort to decarbonize the transportation sector and encourage the widespread adoption of electric vehicles in Nigeria.

The new electric vehicle charging station,would serve as a convenient, fast-charging point for electric buses, taxis, and private vehicles, helping to drive sustainable mobility and promote the widespread adoption of electric vehicles in the country,according to a statement from the firm.

According to the statement, “The opening of this facility means that, for the first time in Nigeria, electric car owners have a publicly available fast-charging station where they can just drive in, plug their vehicles, and have it fully charged in just 20 to 30 minutes.”

He said:”The global Electric Vehicle(EV) market has seen tremendous growth over the last decade, from 120,000 cars sold in 2012 to about 6.6 million in 2021.

“By making EV charging convenient and available for public use, Possible EVS is paving the way for the eventual proliferation of EVs while also setting itself as a leader in the burgeoning green transport industry in Africa.

“Nigeria has a population growth forecast of 2.5% every year, the fastest among the world’s ten largest countries, and a rich variety of renewable energy sources like solar and wind, making the country one of the biggest and most favorable EV markets in Africa.

“With a deadline of 2060 to replace all ICE vehicles with full and hybrid electric cars, the country faces a huge challenge to provide the infrastructure needed to aid this transition.”

The statement further disclosed that the Charging Hub, located at 7 Hombori Street, Adetokunbo Ademola Crescent, Abuja, is the first public charging station in Nigeria.

The firm also noted that the ultra-fast charging facility, which is heralded as a tipping point in the proliferation of EVs in Nigeria, would be completely free for the next six months, offering all EV owners a convenient, fast-charging solution for their vehicles.

According to the Chief Executive Officer of Possible EVS, “My team and I are very excited about this project. This is our first charging station, and we have decided to make it free for everyone for the next six months.

“There are many more to come. In fact, we plan to have 10,000 stations deployed in public places and highways across the country within the next five years, allowing EV owners to recharge their lithium-ion battery as they travel.

“The station has four superchargers, each able to deliver up to 350 kW of power, enough to replenish your car with about 100 miles (160 km) of range in under 30 minutes, depending on the specific range capability of your EV. In addition to that, it EV charging truck available on demand.

“The facility also houses the Discovery Museum (Nigeria’s first digital museum), four experiential dining, a VR gaming Centre, and an immersive escape room.

“EV drivers can lounge and keep busy in any of these spaces while their cars charge.This is a milestone in our journey to 100% renewable energy in the transport sector,” Mosope said.

“It will greatly boost the confidence of many Nigerians in owning an EV, knowing that they have a convenient, ultra-fast, publicly available charging station to support them and make their lives easier,” the CEO added.

Oyo Moves To Partner IITA On Food Security

Mohammed Shosanya

Oyo state governor,Seyi Makinde,has expressed intent of his administration to collaborate with the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) to ensure food security in the state.

He disclosed while receiving the Director-General of the IITA and CGIAR Regional Director, Continental Africa, Dr. Simeon Ehui and his team at the Courtesy Room of the Governor’s Office.

Appreciating the Institute for its collaborative efforts with the state since he took office in 2019, Makinde said he would partner with the Institute to address the challenges of food insecurity and that by so doing, the state would have solved the poverty problem by a half.

He maintained that his government is determined to tackle the challenge of food insecurity, saying: “As a country, we are going through challenges right now, in the economy, they have removed the lid on the exchange rates, and also PMS subsidy has been removed, so these have brought in quite a bit of hardship on the people.

“If you also look into the needs of the people, they say that if you take care of hunger then, poverty has been solved, so you cannot toy with the issue of food security. This means that leaders at this particular time in this country have to work three times as hard for anyone to even notice that they are doing something.

“With the IITA, if we focus on taking care of hunger through food security in our state, then we would have been able to solve half of the challenges ahead of us.

“So, I want to pledge that, even though it is a new DG, as a state we will continue to work together to tackle food security within our state and within the country and the continent. So, we will continue to partner with you,” the governor said.

He said he was looking forward to further profitable partnerships with the Institute, even as he added that the government would continue with the Start Them Early Programme (STEP), which trains secondary school students in Oyo state on agribusiness practices.

He said: “On behalf of the people of Oyo State, I welcome you back to your home and to your state. I like the idea that you have been here at IITA as a young researcher and now you are back as the DG after going around the world.

“What that means to us is that you have brought back all the knowledge you must have acquired and also you have the opportunity to do those things that, as a young researcher you had thought if I have this opportunity I can do this. Now, the opportunity is here so you have to file those things out.

“Personally also, let me use this opportunity to say thank you to the team at IITA.

“When we came in about four years ago, we sat down, of course I asked Dr Debo Akande, we have around Ibadan here almost six or seven research institutes, we have IITA, we have Forestry Research Institute, we have National Cereals Institute, Cocoa Research Institute, NIHORT, so I said what are we getting as a state from these research institutes? How have they benefitted us as a state?

“That interaction actually gave birth to STEP programme and it has been very successful and I am glad that the state government collaborated with IITA to focus on those youngsters.

“I would like to say that the programme will continue and now, we plan to extend it to other parts of the state. So, we will continue the programme.”

In his remarks,the IITA boss and CGIAR Regional Director, Continental Africa, Dr. Ehui, said the Institute is ready to work with the state government to improve the food security system in the state.

He said the food system in Africa is being challenged due to climate change,and assured the state of more support from the Institute, as it partners with it to deliver on their mandates.