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OPEC Hails Sylva’s Appointment as Minister of State, Petroleum

The Secretary General of the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), Mr Mohammad Barkindo, has congratulated  Mr Timipre Sylva on his appointment as Nigeria’s Minister of State for Petroleum Resources.

Barkindo disclosed this in a statement issued on Wednesday.

He described  the newly-appointed minister is a veteran of the oil industry in Nigeria, where he served as adviser to former Petroleum Minister, His Royal Highness, Dr Edmond Dakouru.

“He will bring his rich experience to bear on his new and heavy responsibilities.

“OPEC looks forward to working with him to advance the implementation of the historic Declaration of Cooperation and Charter of Cooperation,” he said.

It will be recalled that Slyva contributed profoundly to the institution of the Amnesty programme in the Niger Delta region which, over time, has led to restoration of peace in the oil producing areas of Nigeria.

News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Sylva from Bayelsa State was born July 7, 1964.

He holds a Bachelor’s degree in English Language and Linguistics from the University of Port Harcourt in 1986.

He began his working career with National Minority Business Council as Executive Secretary before his foray into politics and subsequent election into Rivers State House of Assembly in 1991.

He was elected Governor of Bayelsa in 2007.

Before his nomination as Minister he was Chairman, Governing Board of Oil and Gas Free Zone Authority.(NAN)

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Dangote Industries Ltd. Confirms Minor Fire Outbreak at its Refinery

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Dangote Industries Ltd. has confirmed a minor fire incident at its Effluent Treatment Plant (ETP) in Lagos on Wednesday and which was swiftly contained.

The Group Head of Corporate Communications at Dangote Group, Anthony Chiejina, disclosed this in a statement in Lagos.

Chiejina said: “There is no cause for alarm as the refinery is operating and there is no recorded injury or harm to any of our staff on duty.

He said that emergency services responded on time to contain the incident.

Although initial reports said no injuries were sustained.

According to him, the cause of the fire is currently unknown, and investigations are underway to determine the extent of the damage and the cause of the incident.

The Dangote Refinery is a massive project with a projected refining capacity of 650,000 barrels per day.

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NSCDC Uncovers Illegal Bunkering Sites in Rivers Cemeteries

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The Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps has busted illegal crude oil refining sites at cemeteries in Abalama and Oproama Communities in Asari-Toru Local Government Area of Rivers State.

The security outfit said the feat was achieved by its Marine Anti-vandal Squad after a four hour operational tour on water across the two coastal communities.

Speaking to newsmen after the operation, the NSCDC spokesman, Rivers State Command, Superintendent Olufemi Ayodele, said its operatives successfully uncovered the illegal bunkering sites through credible and sustained intelligence.

Ayodele recalled that the NSCDC Commandant General, Dr Ahmed Abubakar Audi, gave a marching order to all formations in the Niger Delta to step up intelligence and operational efficiency in the fight against oil theft and illegal oil bunkering activities.

He expressed worry about how the miscreants devised a new means of converting cemeteries to illegal bunkering sites, saying they had already loaded several illegally refined crude and refined Automotive Gas Oil also known as diesel was sighted in boats by the riverside.

The state NSCDC image maker however said on sighting its operatives the hoodlums took to their heels though they were giving a hot chase, pointing out that men of the Marine Anti-Vandal Squad are on their trail to ensure they are arrested and prosecuted.

He stated, “Acting on this directive the Rivers State Commandant of the NSCDC, Basil Igwebueze, deployed the Marine Anti-vandal Squad to the crime scene where several boats filled with crude oil and refined Automotive Gas Oil were sighted.

‘This is the Abalama community and behind us is the Oproama community as well where Cemeteries were converted to illegal bunkering sites; Upon our arrival, the suspects took to their heels knowing the squad had superior firepower.

‘The NSCDC as an environmentally friendly agency condemns outright all acts of environmental pollution, degradation of aquatic life and economic sabotage.

“We have contacted some good people in the two communities and they are cooperating with us so that the perpetrators would be apprehended in due course. However, the quantities in litres of the locally refined AGO cannot be ascertained.”

He added, “Consequently, the NSCDC Rivers State Command helmsman has further issued a stern warning against the activities of vandals and illegal bunkers in the state affirming that the fight against oil theft is a relentless war and suspects arrested with their sponsors would be made to face the full wrath of the law.”

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Energy and Power

Oil, Electricity Workers’ Unions Mobilise for Planned Strike

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The Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG) has directed its members to comply with the directive of the two labour centres to begin an indefinite nationwide strike on Monday.

Its General Secretary, Mr Afolabi Olawale, in a statement on Saturday, said the union was committed to ensuring total compliance with the directive.

Recall that the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and Trade Union Congress of Nigeria (TUC) declared an indefinite nationwide strike to begin on Monday, to express their grievances over the proposed new minimum wage.

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In a joint statement signed by NLC President, Mr Joe Ajaero and TUC President, Mr Festus Osifo, the centres declared the strike over the tripartite committee’s inability to agree on a new minimum wage and the hike in electricity tariff.

Afolabi said the union was concerned and disturbed with the insensitive attitude of the federal government “to the very critical issue of negotiating a new minimum wage for Nigerian workers”.

“This is in view of the various socio- economic policies of this administration that have impoverished the working people of this country.

“Leaders of our great union at all levels, from the units, zones and branches, should immediately put all processes in place to ensure total compliance with this directive.”

Also, the National Union of Electricity Employees (NUEE) said it was mobilising its members to embark on the strike following the directive of NLC and TUC.

The Acting. General Secretary, Mr Dominic Igwebike, gave the directive to the members in a statement.

Igwebike said that along with the reasons of inconclusive negotiations on the minimum wage and electricity tariff hike, apartheid categorisation of Nigeria electricity consumers into bands was another, to embark on the strike.

“Given the above, all national, state, and chapter executives are requested to start the mobilisation of our members in total compliance with this directive to ensure the government does the right thing as stated above.

“The withdrawal of services becomes effective on Sunday 2nd June by 12.00 midnight, “ the union leader said. (NAN)

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