Written by Godfrey AKON

Kachikwu forecasts rise in demand for OPEC crude in 2016

The Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu, has predicted a rise in demand for OPEC crude in 2016 by 1.2 million barrels per day to average 30.8 million barrels per day, leading to a more balanced market.

A statement by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, said Kachikwu spoke in Viena Austria while addressing ministers at the 168th Ordinary Meeting of the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries, OPEC.

According to him, a balanced and stable market would be of crucial importance in the years ahead to ensure continued investment in the industry as it gears up to meet the world’s burgeoning energy needs.

Speaking on the meeting, he said it was centred on enhancing market stability which would benefit all stakeholders and contributes to global economic growth stressing that this can be achieved only through the concerted effort of all stakeholders.

He disclosed that world oil demand in 2015 grew by 1.5 million barrels per day from 1 million barrels per day in 2014.

“Next year, we foresee growth of 1.3 million barrels per day to average 94.1 million barrels per day, with most of this growth coming from non-OECD countries.

“Dialogue and collaboration with consumers, non-OPEC producers, oil companies and investors are essential in reaching our common goal of a more orderly oil market.

“In 2015, we have seen positive examples between OPEC and Non-OPEC countries and the Asian Ministerial Energy Roundtable held in Qatar in November.

“OPEC has also held bilateral dialogues with Russia and China this year, and later this month the OPEC-India Energy Dialogue would have its first meeting,” Kachikwu stated.

He expressed OPEC’s commitment to protect the environment and support sustainable development as OPEC and its member countries are taking part in climate change negotiations in Paris with the goal of full, effective and sustained implementation of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.


Ndokwa chiefs exonerate Delta deputy speaker over royalty diversion

By Ambrose IMOBHIO, Asaba

Traditional rulers in Ndokwa Nation have exonerated the Deputy Speaker Delta of the Delta State House of Assembly, Hon Friday Osanebi, over allegations of his diverting oil royalty.

Osanebi has been accused by the Coalition of Ndokwa Youths of diverting royalties from oil companies operating in Ndokwa Nation.

But the traditional council through the Obi Akpati II JP Inawai of Onya Kingdom has warned the youths to refrain from their ignoble act.

The youths had alleged that the Deputy Speaker has been collecting N20 million meant for youth security from oil companies quarterly

But the Deputy Speaker reacting through his press secretary Hon. Oyibosochukwu Nwabueze denied all the allegations as it was the figment of their imagination.

He stated that the security fund was not managed by the Deputy Speaker but by the Community Development Committee of Oil Bearing Communities.

Obi Akpati II called on the youths to verify their accusations before going to press as Osanebi has demonstrated commitment to the development of the constituency.


$2.1bn arms deal: NLC wants stiffer punishment for those involved

By Chuks NZEH

The Nigeria Labour Congress, NLC, has proposed stiffer punishment for all those found wanting in the $2.1 billion arms deal.

National President of NLC, Comrade Ayuba Wabba, while speaking recently on the development, said labour and civil society groups would sponsor a private bill to propose stiffer punishment on all corruption related offences in the country.

According to Wabba, "we believe with prescription of more stringent punishment for corruption cases, few will dare to go to the extent. We need no telling that massive corruption in the system is responsible for our lack of development and our present economic woes.

"Rising cases of alienation, civil disobedience, crime and insurgency are directly traceable to wanton cases of corruption in high places which did not only create avoidable disease, ignorance and poverty, but have totally incapacitated our people.

"Labour and civil society groups, with other progressive in the National Assembly are going to sponsor a private bill for capital punishment for corrupt cases.”

On why the called for capital punishment for corrupt cases is necessary, the NLC president said because looters are also killers since most often they diverted money meant for either drugs in the hospitals, or other essentials.

Comrade Wabba also said all those who have stolen from the treasury be made to return such stolen wealth and be made to face the wrath of the law.

He however urged President Muhammadu Buhari to also extend the investigation to the private sector as well as the power sector to unravel billions of dollars spent on the sector without commiserate results.


Nigeria spent N17.5 trillion on generators in 5 years - Onyekpere

By Ijeoma UKONU

Worried by the current state of the country's power generation, the Centre for Social Justice has revealed that Nigeria spent a princely N17.5 trillion on generators in 5 years which equals N3.5 trillion annually.

Addressing journalists at a roundtable discussion, the Lead Director of CSJ, Barr. Eze Onyekpere, said the report, 'Green Budget- A Policy Brief For Sustainable Energy In Nigeria,' shows that about 550 ministries, departments and agencies have stand-by generator sets with fuelling cost allocated by the Federal government amounting to N815million

Stating further, he said "the N815 million is meant for the purchase of fuel and lubricants for cars and generators in the presidency, office of the secretary to the government of the federation and parastatals under them in the 2015 budget.

He however added that 95 million out of 170 million Nigerians have no access to the grid electricity while the remaining 75 million people connected to the grid face substantial power interruptions.

According to the survey, a report published by the World Health Organization, 30 percent of Nigerians use kerosene which predisposes them to danger as breathing kerosene fumes is the equivalent to smoking 2 packets of cigarettes a day and two-third of adult females with lung cancer are in developing nations are non-smokers but cooking mothers.

Indoor air pollution by kerosene fumes kills 1.5 million people per year.

According to Onyekpere, "power and energy are relevant in dictating the rate of economic productivity, reduce poverty and employment generation. The decision on the source of energy adopted also dictates the pace of environment improvements or degradation."


Benue govt constitutes committee to fast track teachers’ bailout

By Scholastica Joseph

Following outcry over the late payment of bailout to workers in Benue, especially teachers and local government staff, the state government has constituted an eight-man committee to fast track the payments.

Commissioner for Information and Orientation, Hon. Ageh Odeh, who disclosed this in Makurdi, last week, said the committee will work with the ICT department and committees at the state Bureau for Local Government to sort out issues causing the delays.

He told journalists that speculations that bailout monies have been diverted was false explaining that the problem is rather technical than moral.

The commissioner stated that besides paucity of network "The problem is that most local government staff had abandoned their accounts for a long time, they did not do BVM also and the accounts are dormant. So, when we post money to their accounts, the money bounces back. This committee will sort out these issues", he added.

The commissioner, who spoke in company of the Senior Special Assistant, SSA to Governor Samuel Ortom on Media, Mr Terver Akase, also disclosed the state Executive Council approved the renovation of Judges quarters’ in Otukpo local government, House of Assembly quarters in Makurdi.


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