Waltersmith Refinery, NCDMB Have Improved  Nigeria’s Domestic Refining Capacity-Minister

     Mohammed Shosanya
The Minister of State for Petroleum (Oil), Senator Heineken Lokpobiri, has commended Waltersmith Group and the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB) for supporting the Federal Government’s agenda of improving domestic refining capacity.
He spoke on Tuesday during a facility tour of Waltersmith Petroman Oil Limited, Ibigwe, Ohaji-Egbema Local Government Area of Imo State, where he also expressed his satisfaction toward the company and NCDMB for taking the bull by the horn to commence local refining of crude and partially meeting the demand of the local.
He said:“The quickest way to fix our energy challenge in the country should be through modular refineries, while we await the total rehabilitation of the big refineries.” The 5,000-barrel per stream day Waltersmith Petroman, which has been a stable source of diesel, kerosene, naphta, and high fuel oil to the domestic market since its commissioning in 2020, was for him a proof of how beneficial such smaller processing plants could be”.
Lokpobiri  was quoted in a statement as expressing  his commendation on the Board for taking up equity in Waltersmith Refinery which quickly facilitated the completion of the modular refinery.
Commending Waltersmith Group, the Minister charged companies  who have been given the license for modular refineries and marginal field licenses  to take cues from Waltersmith  and make deliberate investments.
He said:“If you have a marginal field, an allocation, it is a paper given to you, it doesn’t add value to you or to Nigeria, unless you take it to the next level by making the requisite investment and then adding the value that is expected.”
“What I am seeing is that out of the numerous marginal fields that were allocated, only Waltersmith and a few of them have been successfully driven,” he stated.
 He recalled  that he had warned  at the recent Nigeria Economic Summit Group (NESG) event in Abuja that marginal field allocations without the requisite investments stand the risk of being cancelled.
Explaining the imperative of such a line of action, he said, “It is important that we make this point so that we can retrieve some of those fields to the basket,” so as to reallocate such assets to those able and prepared to develop and exploit them to the benefit of the industry and the nation.
He disclosed that he had obtained presidential approval to conduct a fresh round of bidding, which would take place soon, promising that “marginal fields would [henceforth] be prioritised in terms of their location to those who have modular refineries, so that they will be able to produce.”
Lauding the remarkable success story of Waltersmith, whose Management has announced plans for further expansion, he said, “I can assure you that this Government will do whatever we can to support you so that you can continue to grow.”
 He also commended the  Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB), whose direct involvement through equity participation, greatly facilitated the take-off and operations of the refinery.
In his remarks, the Executive Secretary of NCDMB, Engr. Simbi Kesiye Wabote, said the decision of the Board to participate as equity holder in Waltersmith was informed by its sense of mission and the impressive organisational arrangement within the company.
According to him, NCDMB had no hesitation to partner with Waltersmith, “given the very clear corporate governance that is required and exists within the company,” adding that “part of our mandate is to enhance development and we see ourselves as catalysts for the industrialisation of Nigeria.”
“At NCDMB, we are proud of what we have achieved here [at Waltersmith],” he declared.
The President and Group Chief Executive Officer of Waltersmith Petroman Oil Limited, Mr. Abdulrasaq Isa, said part of the expansion plans of the company is to raise the capacity of the processing plant from the present 5,000 to 40,000 barrels per stream day, and to be able to produce two million tonnes of petroleum products per annum.
The refinery has hitherto supplied a total of 600 million litres of petroleum products into the Nigerian market since its commissioning in 2020.
NUPRC Threatens To Wield Sticks On Producers Frustrating Gas Flare Commerciisation Programme

Mohammed Shosanya
The Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission (NUPRC),has read the riot act to producers in the oil and gas industry that it will not hesitate to apply necessary measures to erring/deviant producers/operators whose activities constitute a hindrance to the effective implementation of the Nigerian Gas Flare Commercialisation Programme (NGFCP), the country’s climate action plan.
Its Chief Executive (CCE), Engr Gbenga Komolafe,who gave the warning at an Executive Session with the producers underscored the pivotal role of producers in the successful implementation of the NGFCP.
He insisted that the Commission would go as far as applying necessary measures against erring/deviant producers/operators to the extent of the ultimate consequence of revocation of licenses or leases.
A statement by Mrs Laide Shonola, the Head, Public Affairs and Communication,quoted  Engr Komolafe,as saying that the Commission will activate the necessary provisions of the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA) 2021 and enabling regulations such as the Gas Flaring, Venting and Methane Emissions (Prevention of Waste and Pollution) Regulations 2023 to ensure faithful implementation of the programme.
He recalled that that at the inaugural session of the Producers Forum earlier in the year the significance of the NGFCP to achieve the elimination of the unwholesome practice of and wasteful of gas flaring with its attendant deleterious social, health and environmental impacts was underscored.
“Moreover, as a nation, the NGFCP represents one of our key climate actions to combat emissions and support Nigeria’s transition endeavors. The imperatives of the Programme have taken on added significance with the recent pronouncements of Mr. President at global fora and the international attention that the Programme has attracted. Nigeria cannot afford to fail! We cannot fail!” Engr. Komolafe said.
The Commission has so far issued relevant letters of award to Forty-Two (42) individual companies for all Forty-Nine (49) Flare sites on offer. These flare sites represent locations that are within the operating areas of fifteen (15) companies present at this engagement.
He noted that whereas the Commission has received some encouraging feedback on support by some producers, many awardees have decried the lack of engagement by producers contrary to the spirit of the programme and the Commission’s letter to them in respect of the programme.
“Consequently, this Executive Session has been convened to keep us abreast of the critical stage we are in the NGFCP and inform us of the need to progress the project implementation with the urgency required and proceed with the onboarding of the awardees,” the CCE stated while indicating that the meeting was to provide an avenue for producers to share their inputs, comments, concerns, and recommendations to enrich the NGFCP.
According to the statement,the Commission identified key issues in the programme and addressed them during the meeting.
They include the issuance last year of “Cease and Desist” letters to Producers to refrain from developing flare gas utilisation projects and frustrating the flare profile earmarked for the NGFCP. It warned that the Commission will not entertain any ploy to frustrate awardees, the efforts of the Commission or the Nigerian Government for that matter.
“Another issue was Commercial Agreements between the Producer/Awardee which the Commission expects to be at an advanced stage based on the issued template. It again warned that it would not condone any roadblocks that would compromise the timely delivery of the projects. Every approach must therefore be pursued between producers/awardees to execute the agreements within the set timeline.
“Other issues include access to flare site and additional data/site-specific information, reduction in volumes of flare profile and potential benefits to producers, stressing that irrespective of the challenges the success of the NGFCP will be a win-win for all”
On the reduction in volumes of flare profile, he said the Commission was surprised to receive feedback from awardees on claims by some producers that the forecasted gas volumes may not be available, only a few months after flare volumes had been forecasted by respective teams of operators.
He warned that the Commission will not accept any ploy to dissuade the awardees from embarking on their project development pointing out that it might be forced to activate the relevant provisions of the PIA and Regulations to address willful misrepresentation of information and data.
Other challenges so far registered by Awardees include: Assurance of flare gas supply; Access to land and community support; Delayed execution of agreements due to extended due diligence process and Unwillingness to sign connection agreement with awardees.
He pointed out that “the global pressure on oil and gas to combat emissions and decarbonise amidst climate and environmental activism should represent an added reason to leverage the NGFCP as a quick-win solution to address flaring.
In addition, I wish to draw your attention to the benefits accruable to Producers for the smooth implementation of the Programme.”
My Staff Involved In Ticket Racketeering, NRC Boss Admits

   Mohammed Shosanya
The Managing Director of the Nigerian Railway Corporation (NRC), Mr. Fidet Okhiria, Wednesday confirmed ticket racketeering by members of staff in the corporation.
According to him,the members of staff involved in the ticket racketeering have been sacked, while some with fewer offenses have been demoted.
He disclosed this before the House Committee on Finance while appearing at the 2024–2026 Medium-Term Expenditure Framework and Fiscal Strategy Paper (MTEF/FSP) interactive session in Abuja.
The Chairman of the House Committee Hon. James Faleke, had posed a question to the MD, saying, “Social media clips show how your staffers are engaging in ticket racketeering.”
Okhiria said, “This is true, and the solution to that is e-ticketing, and the government has approved that.
He said the corporation was working with the security agencies to arrest the menace.
He added that many of the staff involved in the dastard act had been sacked, and some had been demoted depending on the offense they committed.
The office of the Accountant General for the Federation said the NRC had only remitted N345 million in revenue for 2023, adding that the remittances covered January to September.
Faleke, however, expressed worry about the revenue generated, adding that “our concern is that if we expect so much revenue from NRC and we aren’t getting it, then there is a problem.”
“I think we should take the decision that the railway should self-fund and take care of their costs and remit to the government the surplus,” he said.
FG Will Stop Leakages In Solid Minerals Sector-Alake

Mohammed Shosanya
The Federal Government has expressed commitment to eliminating leakages in the solid minerals sector, aiming for a 50% contribution to the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
Dr Oladele Alake, Minister for Solid Minerals Development,disclosed this during his familiarisation tour of the Mining Cadastre Office (MCO),an agency of the Ministry.
He, emphasized the need to review fees, plug loopholes, and enhance revenue for poverty alleviation and economic growth under the Renewed Hope Agenda of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu.
He affirmed swift decisions to achieve revenue goals, considering the solid minerals sector as the next oil.
 He commended the Mining Cadastre Office for its contributions and urged staff to surpass government targets.
The Minister acknowledged the significance of the Nigeria Geophysical Survey Agency in national development.
During his visit to the Council of Nigerian Mining Engineers and Geoscientists, Dr. Alake highlighted its critical role in ensuring quality control in the extractive industry. The Minister assured constant support to the agencies visited in addressing challenges.
According to him:” We will take firm decisions in record time, plug all leakages and loopholes to enhance revenue, reviewing of all fees paid by operators and businessmen  with alacrity, that will cut across all the Agencies of the Ministry”.
Speaking further on the pressing need for removing all leakages and loopholes impeding revenue growth,  Dr Alake asserted that the Ministry is posed to meet its target projection of  making the solid Minerals sector achieve it’s target of 50%  contribution to the gross domestic product of the country. The solid Minerals sector, he restated,  is the next oil.
Commending the enviable contribution of the Mining Cadastre Office in the overall achievements of the Ministry,  Dr Alake admonished it’s staff not only to brace up in maintaining the success achieved, but strive to achieve and surpass Federal Government’s target.
The Director General of the Mining Cadastre Office ( MCO), Engr. Simon Nkom briefed the Minister on its activities and programmes achievements and challenges; citing the need to upgrade it’s e-MCO+ to the new system for efficiency in administrative management of Cadastre applications.
Reps Seek Construction Of Pedestrian Bridges Along Lagos-Ibadan Expressway

Mohammed Shosanya


The House of Representatives on Wednesday, implored the federal government to construct pedestrian bridges at strategic places on the Lagos-Ibadan expressway.


The resolution was sequel to a motion moved by the representative of Oluyole Federal Constituency, Tolulope Akande-Sadipe during plenary.


She said this is in response to the critical safety concerns posed by the absence of pedestrian bridges along the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway, Hon. Tolulope Akande-Sadipe.


She urged the Federal Ministry of Works to prioritize the construction of pedestrian bridges in strategic locations along this vital route.


The motion highlighted the unprecedented growth of Ibadan, Oyo State, which is now the third-largest city globally according to United Nations data.


She said: “The Lagos-Ibadan Expressway, traversing highly populated sections of the city, has become an essential corridor for daily activities”.


“However, the absence of pedestrian bridges has undervalued the safety of both pedestrians and drivers. Alarming rates of fatal accidents are recorded daily as people attempt to cross the highway to access schools, homes, workplaces, and markets”.


Expressing concern, Hon. Akande-Sadipe emphasized that despite ongoing advocacy and the safety implications involved, pedestrian bridges have been neglected during the construction of the Lagos-Ibadan expressway. The highway has sadly transformed into what she terms a ‘Death Trap.’


The motion recognized the importance of constructing pedestrian bridges at specific locations, including the Technical University, Toll Gate in Ibadan, Félele, Sóka, Sanyo, Bólúwaji, Academy, Eléruku, and several others along the expressway.


Akande-Sadipe said the bridges are crucial to saving lives, reducing the sufferings of commuters, especially school children, and maintaining the economic viability of these highly populated areas.


She urgently called on the Federal Ministry of Works to allocate funds for the construction of pedestrian bridges in the mentioned locations in the 2024 budget estimates.


She mandated the Committee on Works and Appropriation to ensure strict compliance with this imperative safety measure.

Rivers: Police Nab Three Officers Over Landlord’s Murder

     Mohammed Shosanya
Sequel to the protest that rocked Woji community in Obio Akpor Local Government Area of Rivers State on Monday by some angry youths following the killing their kin identified as Nyebuchi Eke, a landlord, three Police officers accused of being involved in the crime have been arrested.
The arrested officers were said to have arrested the deceased from his residence following an altercation he had with his tenant whose name is yet to be ascertained.
After late Eke threw his tenant’s personal belongings outside a rented apartment in Woji community on Saturday, the tenant was said to have invited his brother, a policeman to arrest his landlord.
Although it is still unclear what caused the landlord’s death, it is speculated that it may have been as a result of torture that followed his arrest.
It took the efforts and pressure of the community monarchs to prevail on the said policemen to reveal the whereabouts of the landlord, where it was recovered from an uncompleted building in Chokocho in Etche Local Government Area of the state.
In an attempt to quell the protests, the state Commissioner of Police, Olatunji Disu, visited the community on Tuesday, assuring that justice was going to be served in the matter.
Addressing the widow of the slain landlord as well as the youths, the CP said, “Justice will be served. Those involved have been arrested and investigations are ongoing. I assure her [Eke’s widow] justice will be served.
“As for the youths, the elders have spoken. Let us give peace a chance. This is what the IGP has been talking about, partnering with the community and stakeholders.
“That has made it easy for us to solve this issue at hand. The elders and traditional rulers came out and assisted the police in dousing the tension.”
Wife of the deceased landlord on her part pleaded that justice be done in the matter.
“My husband was killed by a Policeman. I need justice! My children are now fatherless and I have no helper anymore. Sir, give me justice!” she pleaded.
Meanwhile, the elder brother of the deceased, a former Chairman of Obio-Akpor LGA, Solomon Eke, told journalists that three Police officers allegedly involved in the crime had be arrested.
“The tenant went to his brother, who is a Policeman, not even incidenting it properly at the Woji Police Division. He just went to his brother to ask him to help him deal with his landlord.
“The police just went there and started manhandling him with the help of the tenant and that led to his death. We have seen the injuries on his body. The DPO of Woji wasn’t aware that this act had been done by the men of her division, but the three policemen have been arrested and they’re in detention. The complainant is also in detention.”
Theft:Nigeria Recovers 1.7m bpd Of Crude Oil-Kyari

Mohammed Shosanya
The Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation Limited (NNPCL), Mele Kyari,Wednesday, disclosed that Nigeria has recovered up to 1.7 million barrels of crude oil following increases monitoring and supervision of the facilities by independent pipeline security companies, and the military.
Speaking during a courtesy visit to the leadership of the Senate in Abuja, the NNPCL GMD said in the last 5-6 months government security agencies and private security companies have done things differently, and it has yielded results.”
He underscored that the oil regulator aims at meeting its targeted contribution to the budget, as he stressed that “with all the ongoing activities and engagements, with the support of Mr President around how to contain the issues of infractions on our pipelines, the actions of vandals which we have been getting the support of the Senate to make sure that something is done about itll to bring it to the bearest minimum; so that oil pipelines are restored, so that we can continue to increase production, and the confidence of investors so that no one would produce oil when he is not sure of producing oil for the future market.”
He assured the leadership of the Senate that the NNPCL would restart the Port Harcourt refinery in December, followed by the Warri refinery to start in the first quarter of 2024.
He added that these would be complimented by small scale refineries, as he underscored that the Corporation has recorded a N274 million profit in 2021, a growth from 2018.
 Kyari maintained that the NNPCL may post profit in excess of N2 trillion in 2023; adding that in 2024 Nigeria will be a net exporter of petroleum products.
He assured the Senate that in three months  the country will bid farewell tk fuel queues.
He said that the passage of the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA) has ensured that “energy supply is stable, creating cheaper energy” for Nigerians .
He disclosed that the Corporation has “robust supply plants from now until next year; we have always planned for three months. And I guarantee you your Excellency that we will not see any shortages in our country.”
“You may see a number of scattered reports that of filling stations that people will call it queues. They are not.”
He also revealed that the oil giant occupies over 30 percent of the downstream sector in the oil and gas business, adding that the Corporation will “optimally provide” petroleum to consumers.
On his part, the Senate President, Godswill Akpabio, tasked the management of the NNPCL to seek ways of deepening the consumption of locally produced petroleum products.
He also called for the establishment of modular refineries, as well as the renovation of existing ones “to create a multiplier effect which will include creation of jobs for our teeming youths, and more security for the country.”
He also explained efforts by the Upper Chamber of the National Assembly to end oil theft and pipeline vandalisation which, according to him, was costing the nation revenue losses.
The Senate President further disclosed that the Red Chamber would partner with the NNPCL in creating legislations that would smoothen ease of business for stakeholders in the oil and gas sector.
Commending the Corporation for ensuring an end to the fuel subsidy regime, the Senate President called for capacity building for legislatures to ensure proper legislative input in the sector.
Addressing the delegation from the oil giant, Senator Akpabio said, “Nigerians want to hear good news and you came with a very good news. And this is good news.”
He expressed satisfaction at the resolution of the deficit in the account of the Corporation, he said that the Senate is “a people focused Senate” that is set to bring benefits to Nigerians.
EKEDC Boss,Others Launch Women In Sustainable Economy Initiative

    Mohammed Shosanya
 Dr. Tinuade Sanda, the MD/CEO of Eko Electricity Distribution Company (EKEDC) was recently  invited as a participant at the launch of the Women in the Sustainable Economy (WISE) initiative in the United States.
The event marked a pivotal moment in the intersection of women’s empowerment and the drive towards a more sustainable and equitable economy,a statement said.
The Women in the Sustainable Economy (WISE) Initiative was launched by Vice President of the United States, Kamala Harris, as part of the Biden-Harris administration’s efforts to advance the 2023 Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) theme of “Creating a Resilient and Sustainable Future for All”.
The WISE Initiative aims to support women’s economic empowerment globally by increasing access to employment, training, leadership roles, and financial resources in the industries that are critical to the future and the future of the planet. The program seeks to empower women across various sectors to actively participate and lead in sustainable development.
According to the statement,Dr. Tinuade Sanda’s participation at the WISE launch displays recognition for contributions made by women in the sustainability sector. Programs like WISE have the potential to have a lasting impact on how we approach sustainable development going forward, with women leading the way in positive change.
Dr. Tinuade Sanda is the founder of EmHERging, a mentorship platform that connects aspiring female leaders with accomplished businesswomen across various sectors of the global economy. The platform aims to equip mentees with the wherewithal to excel in their chosen fields and break through the barriers of gender bias.
The United States Vice President announced more than $900 million in commitments by governments, private sector companies, foundations, and civil society to bolster women’s economic participation in sectors such as clean energy, fisheries, recycling, forest management, and environmental conservation.
Sen.Folarin Commends NCDMB For Training 500 Youths On Solar Installation

Mohammed Shosanya

Senator Teslim Kolawole Folarin, the former Chairman of the Local Content Committee in the 9th Senate has commended the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB) for training 500 youths in Oyo State on solar power installation and maintenance.
The training programme was organized as part of the Board’s youth empowerment and human capacity-building initiatives.
The training was conducted at Ibadan, the Oyo state capital, and it lasted for six months.
Folarin, who represented Oyo Central Senatorial District gave the commendation on Tuesday when he participated in the close-out ceremony of the training held at Ibadan,a statement said.
He commended the Executive Secretary of NCDMB, Engr. Simbi Kesiye Wabote for his dedication to growing Local Content and building capacity for youths of the country, noting that “If we have about 10 Simbi’s in Nigeria, our country will be a better place”.
He implored the Board to continually engage the youths with more training and contract opportunities in the oil and gas industry.
In his keynote address at the event, the Director, Planning, Research and Statistics at the NCDMB, Alhalji Abdulmalik Halilu hinted that the Board initiated the programme to create employment opportunities in the country, generate wealth and empower the youths to contribute meaningfully to the economy of the nation.
He observed that technology, skill acquisition in trades and agriculture are some of the high-impact economic sectors.
He harped that solar power installation and maintenance training provided an alternative source of power at homes and offices to support the national power grid in addition to providing job opportunities for the youths.
He further disclosed that as part of the end-to-end planning for the programme, the Board has concluded arrangements to register cooperative societies for the group as well as provide shops where they would practice their trades.
According to him, “the trainees will commence business as registration of cooperatives and the provision of shops in groups for the graduates has been done. This empowerment programme was aimed at providing lifelong support to youths.
He implored Nigerian youths to take advantage of the Nigerian Oil and Gas Industry Joint Qualification System (NOGICJQS), adding that the platform is used to select participants for human capacity-building interventions and employment opportunities whenever they are available.
Speaking,the General Manager of the Corporate Communication and Zonal Coordination Division, Mrs. Angela Okoro gave an overview of the Board’s objectives and mandates stating that the Board has trained over 16,000 semi-skilled and skilled youths across the country, in furtherance of its Human Capital Development initiatives.
Reps Approve N7.8 trn Borrowing Plan For 2024

 Mohammed Shosanya
The  House of Representatives,Tuesday approved the 2024-2026 Medium Term Expenditure Framework and Fiscal Strategy Paper (MTEF/FSP), which includes a borrowing plan of N7.8 trillion for 2024.
The House further set benchmark oil prices of $73.96, $73.76, and $69.90 per barrel,for 2024,2025 and 2026
The House also set daily crude oil production levels of 1.78 Mbps, 1.80 Mbps, and 1.81 Mbps.
The executive  proposed exchange rate for the period 2024–2026 was N700, N665.61, and N669.79 to USD$1, and these rates were likewise agreed by the lower house.
The Inflation rates of 21.40% in 2024, 20.30% in 2025, and 18.60% in 2026 were proposed by Reps Members, which also suggested GDP growth rates of 3.76%, 4.22%, and 4.78%, respectively
And the key parameters for 2024
The MTEF/FSP document’s parameters for 2024 were maintained as follows:
Federal Government recommended spending N26 trillion, with N16.9 trillion in retained revenue.
N9 trillion budget deficit
N7.8 trillion in new borrowings N1.3 trillion for statutory transfers N8.2 trillion debt service cost N243.6 billion in the sinking fund N1.27 trillion in pension, gratuity, and retiree benefits, Total recurrent (non-debt) of N10.2 trillion; personnel costs (MDAs) of N4.49 trillion; capital expenditure (exclusive of transfers) of N5.9 trillion.