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$2.8 BILLION AKK PIPELINE PROJECT: BUHARI STRIKES AGAIN!

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By Femi Adesina

Something good is already happening. Something marvelous is in store, as Federal Government kickstarts the $2.8 billion Ajaokuta-Kaduna-Kano (AKK) National Gas Pipeline Project next Tuesday. It’s another humongous signature milestone by President Muhammadu Buhari, which will leave his footprints inexorably on the sands of time.

Roads. Bridges. Rail. Airports. Social Investment. And many others. Buhari is doing great things, which will pedestal him in the pantheon of great Nigerian leaders. And now, he has struck again. He is kicking off the AKK pipeline project, which will carry gas between the southern and northern parts of the country. The project will eventually extend to North Africa.

The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) initially announced tenders for the project in July 2013. A project proposal was submitted to the Infrastructure Concession Regulatory Commission in June 2017, and the Federal Executive Council granted approval in December 2017. I tell you, this President Buhari has the heart of a lion.

If the intention was to continue to run the NNPC as an automated teller machine (ATM), as we have seen before in this country, will such staggering project ever be approved, not to talk of taking off? And some people are still asking for Change, when it is right before their very eyes.

The 614 kilometers-long national gas pipeline is Phase One of the Trans-Nigeria Gas Pipeline (TNGP) project, to be done on build and transfer public-private-partnership. It will transport 3,500 million metric standard cubic feet per day of dehydrated gas from several gas gathering projects located in southern Nigeria.

The project will be in three phases. Phase One is 200 kilometers-long, between Ajaokuta and Abuja, at a projected cost of $855 million.

Phase Two is 193 kilometers-long, between Abuja and Kaduna, to cost an estimated $835 million, while Phase Three is 221 kilometers-long, between Kaduna and Kano, at an approximate cost of $1.2 billion.
The project will eventually reach North Africa in subsequent phases.

What will AKK pipeline project do for Nigeria? Great and wonderful things. It will create steady and guaranteed gas supply network between the North and South, and will enhance power generation capacity. The industrial sector will be strengthened, local usage of gas will be promoted and increased, and the country’s revenue generation boosted through export of natural gas.

Nigeria is ranked the 7th most endowed natural gas country in the world. She sits on about 180 trillion cubic feet of natural gas deposits, which can be utilized as gas to power, gas to petrochemicals, liquefied natural gas (LNG), liquefied petroleum gas (LPG), compressed natural gas (CNG), among others.

Over the years, Nigeria has exploited its oil resources more, to the detriment of gas, which incidentally fetches more revenue, but is also more expensive to prospect.
One big advantage the average Nigerian can look forward to is the evolvement of compressed natural gas (CNG), which is still at pilot stage in the country.

While presenting his performance report to the Federal Executive Council recently, Minister of State for Petroleum, Timipre Sylva, spoke extensively about CNG, and what it can do for Nigeria as an alternative to petrol.
He listed the challenges of the oil and gas sector to include; under-recovery, crude theft, insecurity, high cost of production, very low LPG penetration, refineries shutdown, long contracting cycle, among others.

Sylva stressed that the oil and gas sector remains critical to the Nigerian economy, even as we strive to diversify. He identified CNG and LPG penetration as priority.
Said the Minister: “The switch to CNG will help reduce the burden of petrol subsidy on the finances of the country, and government should encourage Nigerians to use CNG as fuel for transportation.”

CNG began as a pilot project in the country in 2006, but target for conversion workshops was not met till 2015. About 4,000 vehicles run on CNG in Benin, Edo State, and it’s about 50% cheaper than petrol.
Vehicles running on CNG, statistics show, save about N1,143 daily, compared with petrol. This amounts to over N30, 000 monthly. The cost of converting the car can thus be recovered within six months.

Gas is cleaner energy, cheaper than petrol, and more friendly to the environment. Global warming will, therefore, be slowed down.

More than 175,000 vehicles run on CNG in America today, and 23 million worldwide. Nigeria will join the number, and boost productivity.

The Buhari signature projects will remain landmarks in Nigeria. Help me count them: Roads, rail, bridges, airports, agriculture, AKK… and may more.

Surely, we will always remember this President for good.

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BREAKINGNEWS: LAGOS APC LAWMAKER, TUNDE BRAIMOH, IS DEAD

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ACCORDING TO A CLOSE MEMBER OF THE FAMILY , BRAIMOH DIED EARLY HOURS OF FRIDAY.

HE WAS TWO TIMES CHAIRMAN OF KOSOFE LGC AND CURRENTLY SERVING HIS SECOND TIME IN THE LAGOS HOUSE OF ASSEMBLY.

UNTIL HIS DEMISE, BRAIMOH, WHO IS A LAWYER, HEADED COMMITTEE ON INFORMATION, SECURITY AND STRATEGY IN THE HOUSE OF ASSEMBLY.

IT WOULD BE RECALLED THAT, THE FORMER SENATOR, BAYO OSINOWO, WHO DIED RECENTLY WAS ALSO FROM KOSOFE LGA.

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NDDC N40b Probe: No Kobo Is Missing, Misapplied by the IMC…..Ojougboh

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THE Acting Executive Director, Projects, Interim Management Committee, IMC of the Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC, Dr. Cairo Ojougboh has said that no single Kobo has been misapplied by the Committee since it came on board.

Speaking in Abuja Thursday when he appeared before the Senator Olubunmi Adetunmbi ( APC, Ekiti North) led Ad-hoc Committee probing  into alleged financial recklessness to the tune of N40 billion by the IMC, Ojougboh said that since the interim management came on board, it has not awarded any contract, except the recent one of the Coronavirus, COVID-19  Pandemic where Palliatives were given to people.

Ojougboh  who is presently addressing the Committee has accused both the Chairman, Senate Committee on Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Peter Nwaoboshi and his House of Representatives counterpart as the problem of the interventionist agency.

According to him, if they remain as chairmen of the Committees, Niger Delta region will never develop.

Meanwhile, the Accountant General of the Federation, Ahmed Idris has told the Ad- hoc Committee that a total of N281 billion has so far been released to the NDDC from 2016 to May this year.

Giving a breakdown, he said that in 2016, N41billion was released; in 2017, N64 billion was released; in 2018, a total of N71 billion was released; in 2019, N71 billion was released and from January to May this year, N34 billion was released.

Recall that the Senate is probing alleged financial recklessness to the tune of N40 billion by the Interim Management Committee, IMC, of the Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC.

Against this backdrop, the Senate had set up six-man Ad-hoc Committee to carry out a holistic investigation into all issues relating to but not limited to the alleged misapplication and misappropriation of the sum of N40billion by the commission.

The Committee, which had four weeks to report back at plenary, was asked to look into all procurement and financial transactions of the commission in this fiscal year (2020) and any other matter that is not in accordance with the provision of the NDDC Establishment Act, 2000 or any other extant law.

In a related development, the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Godswill Akpabio has assured the National Assembly of his utmost cooperation in the ongoing probe of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC).

Recall once again that the Senate is probing alleged financial recklessness to the tune of N40 billion by the Interim Management Committee, IMC, of the Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC.

Against this backdrop, the Senate had set up a six-man Ad-hoc Committee to carry out a holistic investigation into all issues relating to but not limited to the alleged misapplication and misappropriation of the sum of N40billion by the commission.

Appearing before the Senate ad-hoc Committee on Thursday,  the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs, Mr. Olusade Adesola who stood in for the Minister  regretted the absence of the Minister due to circumstances beyond his control.

Mr Adesola assured the Committee that the Minister held the Panel in high repute and would appear on any other date that the Committee would extend an invitation to him.

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22 YEARS AFTER: WE JUST CANNOT FORGET MKO

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July 7 marks the 22nd anniversary of the murder of Chief MKO Abiola, the man popularly elected by Nigerians as president on June 12, 1993.
Abiola was eliminated after spending over four years in incarceration just because of his blunt refusal to compromise his principled belief that a mandate freely and enthusiastically given by over 14 million Nigerians cannot be overturned by military fiat.
Abiola displayed uncommon courage, unparalled dignity, and unusual candour in his staunch defence of the mandate given him by change-seeking Nigerians who, after trooping out to massively vote for him in 1993, had also engaged all the illegal regimes that held sway while the legal president languished in jail.
Twenty-two years after his elimination, Abiola still stands taller than all his adversaries and murderers.
He represents what Nigeria is capable of being but which we were denied because of the machinations of a greedy cabal fearful of the real CHANGE that Abiola not only promised but also typified.
All the troubles of Nigeria, which Abiola’s victory was meant to abolish, are the very shenanigans threatening the corporate existence of this country today.
A country that gleefully elected a Muslim/Muslim ticket, would not hear of such today as it has become badly fractured along regional and religious divides.
Today, we remember MKO in the midst of insurgency ruins, Chibok and Dapchi abductions among many others too numerous to mention, with people daily burying their dead in the innumerable harvests of death.
Abiola’s memory challenges us to end these and many other acts of terror that not only dehumanize us but also depreciate our human capital stock in the comity of nations.
We therefore enjoin Nigerians to continue to insist on the following demands from their rulers:
i. The posthumous recognition of Abiola as President of Nigeria and for his portrait to be displayed amongst those of past Nigerian presidents and heads of State.
ii. A judicial commission of enquiry to unravel how the high treason of the murder of MKO Abiola was carried out while he was in the custody of the Nigerian State.
iii. Restructuring of Nigeria, which has become the only exercise that can stall and reverse the fragmentation of the country.
We therefore also call on Nigerians, irrespective of creed, race, religious inclination or affiliation, to re-dedicate themselves to the ideals of the struggle for genuine democracy birthed by credible elections.
Entrenching the true spirit of June 12, which is free and fair elections, is the best way to immortalize MKO.
 In conclusion, we salute the memory of MKO Abiola, whose election was clean, free and fair and was so adjudged by local and international observers.
As we salute the memory of MKO Abiola, we call for an end to political manipulations that have hallmarked most elections before and after that of June 12, 1993.
In the same way, we call for the restoration of MKO’s political agenda to emancipate the downtrodden and long-suffering Nigerian masses as the true objective of real democracy and true measure of national Independence.

 

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