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Engaging With The People And Their Needs Remain Our Major Goal, Says Osinbajo

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Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo has said for those fortunate enough to be elected to lead the people, engaging with them is not only an important concern but an aspiration.

He said this during a farewell courtesy call at the Presidential Villa by the outgoing United Nations Resident Coordinator in Nigeria, Mr Edward Kallon.

Before that, members of a presidential defence reform committee had interacted on Wednesday with the vice-president, briefing him on the progress so far made by the Committee which has now reached the implementation stage in the reform process.

The Committee including its Chairman, retired Major-General A.J Kazir, who led the delegation is composed of several former military chiefs, including retired Lt. Generals C.I Obiakor, L.O Adeosun, A.F.K Akale, retired Major-Generals L.P Ngubane, A.T Jibrin, S. Wali, retired Brigadier-Generals J.N Temlong, retired Rear Admiral J.A Ajani, and Group Captain S.G Shehu, among others.

In his meeting with the outgoing UN top official in Nigeria, Osinbajo stated that “constant engagement on issues of justice, peace, security, and social contract cannot be let to fall through the cracks, these are critical issues.

“You cannot avoid engaging with the people (there is need to engage) in such a way that you are trusted, and on an ongoing basis, people (should) see that you are committed enough to their concerns.

“People must feel that government is committed to their welfare, security and especially on issues of healthcare and education of their children. So, a social compact is crucial. As a matter of fact, it is both a current concern and aspiration for those of us who have been fortunate to be elected into positions in government and in the politics of our country.”

The UN Resident Coordinator had raised with the VP the issue of the importance of a social contract between the people and their government while recounting his experience during his more than five years stay in Nigeria, adding that maintaining peace and security is crucial.

Osinbajo also commended the support and partnership of development partners, particularly under the auspices of the United Nations system, coordinated by Mr Kallon over the years, noting that “we certainly enjoyed the work that you did as UN Resident Coordinator for Nigeria for the past few years”.

Recalling some of the efforts of Mr Kallon, Osinbajo said “practically, on every occasion where we have had to look at serious issues, you have been available which I think is very important.

“We found that you were very hands-on, you were everywhere, you attended major meetings that we have had and you were all over the country.

“Your being available and ready to engage is really commendable and very helpful for us as a government. It also gave you a clear insight to what the issues are and it made your presentations to the UN system clearer and more nuanced.”

On his part, Mr Kallon thanked the President and the Vice President for the support he enjoyed during his tenure as Coordinator of the UN in Nigeria, especially in addressing some of the concerns around humanitarian assistance.

He praised Nigeria’s COVID-19 response dubbing it a miracle, and commended the leadership of the economic recovery initiative, noting that “I am really impressed with your leadership in addressing the impact of COVID-19 in Nigeria.”

Mr Kallon said Nigeria’s efforts remain a model as to how a well-coordinated national response can deliver positive results and urged government to explore opportunities in the country as well as creatively manage the risks therein.

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NUPRC Reiterates Commitment To Tackle Oil Spills

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The Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission (NUPRC) has reiterated its commitment to tackle oil spills in the Nigerian oil and gas sector in fulfillment of its regulatory mandate as enshrined in the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA) 2021, Petroleum Act and the Petroleum (Drilling and Production) Regulations and subsidiary legislations.

This assurance has become necessary following concerns trailing the oil spill incident of November 3, 2021 which occurred at the Santa Barbara Well 1 operated by AITEO Eastern Exploration and Production Company in Bassambiri, Nembe Local Government Area of Bayelsa State.

The Commission will continue to monitor the site situation and guide the operator until the spill and its attendant problems are completely addressed. This includes but is not limited to implementing all effective physical and engineering solutions to the incident, managing the safety of the response providers and people in the neighbouring communities and educating the general public on the site situation periodically.

In specific terms, the Commission will ensure that the pressure from the well is stopped to put an end to the oil release, the already released oil is appropriately contained and skimmed off as it is being released, a joint investigation visit (JIV) is conducted as soon as it is safe to do so, cleanup and restorative actions are done immediately after the spill is stopped and compensation paid to affected communities timeously and in accordance with the law.

We appreciate the concerns raised in different quarters following the incident and wish to inform the general public and our stakeholders that the Commission has taken all necessary steps alongside the relevant stakeholders to ensure that the situation does not degenerate further. Remediation actions are already on-going to ensure that the spill is contained and the situation is brought under effective control.

It was confirmed that upon receiving the report of the incident, the operator, AITEO mobilized immediately for preliminary assessment of site conditions and based on the specific site requirements, positioned containment booms to isolate the spill source and prevent oil from spreading further; while also cordoning off the area to prevent injuries to people and fire from any possible ignition source.

It also called in Boots and Coots, a well disaster management company, from the US, to cap the pressure and stop further spill. Clean Nigeria Associates (CNA) was also engaged to contain and recover the oil as well as manage and protect the immediate environment. The company has continually updated the NUPRC on site conditions and their action steps.

On receipt of reports of the incident by the Commission, our field operations team were promptly mobilised and are currently on ground for regulatory oversight assessment to determine probable cause(s) and to ensure all response actions are the most appropriate and effective to return normalcy in the shortest possible time.

Apart from checking to confirm that the company is carrying out the necessary response measures to contain the situation, the Commission has made its officials available to participate in containment procedures that are considered safe by the experts at this moment. Initial spill report has been received and appropriately reviewed and documented while updates are received diligently.

When the incident occurred, the Honourable Minister of State for Petroleum Resources and the Commission’s Chief Executive visited communities around the spill site to brief them of safety measures already put in place as well as assure them of the commitment of the Commission to sort out the situation in the shortest possible time. Relevant and verified information about the development are also being released routinely to the public to avoid misinformation.

In line with our statutory responsibility, operations at the site is under the supervision of the Commission and efforts are on-going to contain the spill, stop the flow, control and clean-up the spill. Currently the situation has been brought under control while follow-up activities have commenced and progressing as planned.

Our preliminary investigations have revealed that there were no fatalities in the incident. However crude oil and gas were seen gushing out from valves close to the top of the wellhead at high pressure but without any associated fire. The water surrounding the wellhead was polluted with oil. The affected well had been previously shut-in and therefore not producing at the time of incident.

While the incident is to be treated with care and the location approached with caution by only those authorized to do so, the Commission wishes to reiterate that there is no cause for panic. This is because on a routine basis and under the supervision of relevant teams from the Commission, all petroleum companies are mandated to conduct drill exercises to adequately prepare for all eventualities.

Under this arrangement, such companies are required to document all necessary response actions in their Oil Spill Contingency Plan which is routinely and painstakingly reviewed by the Commission; and which is to be activated for response in emergency situations. Details of the regulatory requirements are contained in the PIA 2021 and further enunciated in the EGASPIN 2018. These form the basis of our strategic focus to achieve zero incidences going forward.

As part of our strategic plan for incident management, the operators have been mandated to activate Environmental Management Plans (EMP) which includes Environmental Compliance Monitoring (ECM) among other response actions. At the end of the clean-up exercise, the Commission will supervise all the operators to conduct Post Impact Assessment (PIA) studies to determine the far-reaching effects of the spills, with a view to restoring all impacted environment as near as possible to their pristine state.

The general public and all stakeholders are hereby assured that the Commission is taking every necessary action to ensure that the spills and associated incidents have the least impact on the affected communities and the environment.

SIGNED
Engr. Gbenga Komolafe
Commission’s Chief Executive

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My Brain Will Die If…, Singer, Adele Explains Why She Doesn’t Watch “Real Housewives”

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British music star, Adele has explained why she doesn’t watch “Real Housewives”.

Sharing her reason while getting her makeup done on the YouTube channel NikkieTutorials on Thursday December 2, the singer stated that she feels her brain will die and she doesn’t know any of the reality show stars.

Adele said; “I know a lot of people love it, but I can’t. My brain will die, I can’t.

“I don’t know who any of them are, so I don’t feel like I can start from the beginning when it’s been on for so long.”

When Host Nikkie de Jager assured Adele that the shows are binge-worthy, she rejected it saying;

“I’m not going to lie, it doesn’t work for me.”

The singer further revealed that she gave “The Real Housewives of New Jersey” a shot, but the arguments were a tad too intense for her liking.

Adele said; “One time I did watch one episode of ‘The Real Housewives of New Jersey’ when they were all like literally killing each other, but it was too much, I was like I can’t, I can’t watch. I rather watch a wildlife program.”

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Good To Be Working With Sancho, Says Man United Interim Coach, Rangnick

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New Manchester United interim boss Ralf Rangnick has revealed he tried to sign Jadon Sancho for RB Leipzig.

He said all his efforts to sign the player when he was 17-year-old failed.

Rangnick addressed the press on Friday after he took over the reins of leadership from Michael Carrick at Old Trafford.

The German said he and his team had held talks with Sancho in a bid to bring him to RB Leipzig but the England team snubbed them and joined rivals Borussia Dortmund instead in 2017.

“Jadon Sancho I knew from the Bundesliga. As a matter of fact, I met him when he was 17 in London.

“We were at the time trying to convince him to come to Leipzig and he decided a couple of months later to go to Dortmund which was not a wrong step from his perspective.”

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