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Lawyers raise alarm over alleged illegal lifting of crude oil at Ugo Ocha export terminal in OML 42

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Abuja—A group of lawyers in Abuja have petitioned the Senate Ad-Hoc Committee over alleged illegal oil lifting from the Ugo Ocha export terminal at OML 42 by a company known as NECONDE Energy Limited (NECONDE).

They declared that an average of one million barrels of Nigeria’s crude oil is taken away monthly without accurate measurement due to the absence of meters at this export terminal.

OML 42 lies in the swamps of the western Niger Delta, having a total of four flow stations with a combined production capacity of around 30,000 barrels of oil per day.

The Lawyers, through O. F. Emmanuel & Co., alleged that since the Ugo Ocha export terminal was established in 2017 (about five years ago), the company, NECONDE has intentionally frustrated every effort by the Federal Government to install a metering system also known as LACT Unit at the UGO Ocha terminal.

According to the petition, the company has continued to operate the terminal in full violation of the Federal Government’s requirement for accurate custody transfer measurement at all export terminals.

The Lawyers, in the petition signed by the Principal Partner, Oluwatosin F. Emmanuel Esq, alleged that as of the time of the petition, there are no meters at the Ugo Ocha export terminal to accurately determine the volumes of Nigeria’s crude oil sold to foreign buyers.

They stated that an enormous amount of revenue to the tune of $15,000,000.00 (Fifteen Million US Dollars) per month – accruable to the Federal government of Nigeria could potentially be lost due to the absence of a functional measurement system for exported crude oil volumes at this terminal.

The legal practitioners averred that the government through its Upstream regulator, NUPRC recently placed a ban on all crude oil exports from the Ugo Ocha terminal (effectively making Ugo Ocha an illegal export route), but the company, NECONDE continues to violate the subsisting government ban and illegally exports Nigeria’s crude oil from this banned terminal.

They further revealed that at the time of submitting their petition on the 21st of September, 2022, a foreign tanker “MT COPPER SPIRIT” was at the Ugo Ocha terminal preparing to load Nigeria’s crude oil for export without measurement.

Copies of the government’s ban on crude oil exports from the Ugo Ocha terminal were attached to the petition by the lawyers and made available at the Senate’s Investigative Hearing on “Oil Lifting, Theft and the Impact on Petroleum Production and Oil Revenues” which held at the National Assembly Abuja on 21st of September 2022.

They asked the Senate ad-hoc committee to come to the aid of Nigeria and Nigerians by ensuring that the ban on exports from the Ugo Ocha terminal is enforced and the company, NECONDE is compelled to install a 1.25 million barrels per day LACT Unit (metering system) which has already been manufactured, paid for and approved by the government regulator (NUPRC) for the Ugo Ocha terminal.

The lawyers prayed the Senate ad-hoc committee to, amongst other things, – (1) direct the Nigerian Navy to arrest and detain the vessel “MT COPPER SPIRIT” which is currently lifting oil at the Ugo Ocha terminal.

They also urged the ad-hoc committee to direct the NMDPRA and NUPRC to cancel all barging permits granted to NECONDE and NPDC until a LACT Unit is installed and commissioned at the Ugo Ocha terminal as directed by NUPRC

The lawyers prayed the ad-hoc committee to direct the Nigeria Ports Authority (NPA) to prohibit the movement of crude oil barges and tankers to and from the Ugo Ocha terminal.

They wondered why and how the government of Nigeria is allowing this illegal lifting of its crude oil resources at OML 42 to continue unabated while complaining to the world that crude oil theft is crippling the nation’s fragile economy.

Business

If elected president, I will name, shame oil thieves—Atiku to business leaders

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Lagos—The 2023 presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Atiku Abubakar has threatened to name and shame oil thieves in the country if elected Nigeria’s President in 2023.

Channels TV reports that Atiku made this known on Saturday when he interacted with the Business Dialogue Stakeholders Forum at Eko Hotel in Lagos.

Atiku also said he would confiscate all oil blocs allocated to some Nigerians who have failed to make them operational.

“If you are not going to develop oil blocs given to you, we will take it away and give it to those who will develop it.

“We will also assemble the names of those involved in oil theft, publish same and prosecute them,” Atiku told the stakeholders.

He reiterated his commitment to privatizing the refineries in Kaduna, Port Harcourt and Warri.

Atiku was at the event with his running mate and Delta State Governor, Ifeanyi Okowa.

Both Governors Udom Emmanuel and Aminu Waziri Tambuwal of Akwa Ibom and Sokoto states; who are the Chairman and Director General of the Atiku/Okowa presidential campaign team, urged the stakeholders to support Atiku for a better Nigeria.

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Only 250 psychiatrists left in Nigeria, says association

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Enugu—Taiwo Obindo, president of the association of psychiatrists in Nigeria, says the current psychiatrist-to-patient ratio in Nigeria is one to one million.

According to TheCable, Obindo Spoke on Thursday on the sidelines of the ongoing 53rd annual general and scientific meeting of psychiatrists in Enugu.

He said two-thirds of certified personnel leave the country annually.

According to him, this has led to the poor ratio and has made accessibility and deliverability of psychiatric care relatively difficult in the country.

“The standard is that one psychiatric doctor should take care of 10,000 patients. But today, we have one psychiatric doctor to more than one million Nigerians,” NAN quoted him as saying.

“As we speak now, we have less than 250 certified psychiatric doctors throughout the country, and more are leaving by the day.”

Obindo called for the passage of the national mental health bill as amended to ensure proper administration of mental health treatment, adequate funding, and remuneration of professionals.

“Mental healthcare should be incorporated into the primary healthcare system to cater to primary and secondary institutions treating mental health disorders in localities,” he said.

“Presently, the little budget meant for mental health treatment goes to tertiary medical institutions only. Mental health should be fully taken care of at primary healthcare centres.

“Percolating mental healthcare to primary healthcare institutions will save Nigerians transportation, feeding and accommodation costs, and the stress of conveying mentally-ill persons to urban centres where psychiatric hospitals could be found.”

Speaking further, Obindo said Nigerians facing insecurity and forced displacements have continued to face psychological and psychiatric trauma and disorders.

He said the government should ensure that such people recover from the shock they have witnessed.

“It is important that governments and other support groups give them special attention to meet their current challenging emotional, psychological, and psychiatric needs so as not to fall into deeper depression or societal withdrawal,” he added.

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FG reintroduces history in basic education curriculum

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Abuja—The Federal Government has announced the reintroduction of history as a stand-alone subject in the basic education curriculum 13 years after it was abolished, according to the Tribune.

The government noted that 3,700 History teachers have been shortlisted for the first round of training for enhanced teaching of the subject.

Minister of Education, Adamu Adamu while speaking at the flag-off ceremony of the reintroduction of the teaching of history and training of history teachers at basic education level on Thursday in Abuja, lamented that national cohesion was being threatened with the country retreating into primordial sentiments.

He said this is because of the lack of knowledge of the evolution of Nigeria following the removal of History from the basic education curriculum.

Adamu was represented by the Minister of State for Education, Goodluck Nanah Opiah at the event attended by Sultan of Sokoto, His Eminence, Muhammadu Sa’ad Abubakar and other key stakeholders in the education sector.

History was removed from primary and secondary education curriculums from the 2009/2010 academic session.

Adamu ordered the reintroduction of the subject in 2019 following widespread condemnation.

Adamu said: “History used to be one of the foundational subjects taught in our classroom but for some inexplicable reasons, the stream of teaching and learning was abolished.

“As a result, history was subsequently expunged from the list of subject combinations our students could offer in both external and internal examinations compared to the subjects that were made compulsory at basic and secondary levels in Nigeria.

“This single act no doubt relegated and eroded the knowledge and information that learners could otherwise have been exposed to. It was a monumental mistake and have already started seeing its negative consequences

“The loss created by the absence of this subject has led to a fall in moral values, erosion of civic values, and disconnect from the past.

“More worrisome was the neglect of the teaching of this subject at basic and post basic levels of education which invariably eroded the knowledge of the evolution of Nigeria as a country.

“The immediate implication of this was that we lost ideas even of our recent past, and we scarcely saw ourselves as one nation and gradually began retreating into our primordial sentiments.”

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