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Fulani Herdsmen: Niger Delta Elders Reject Ruga Settlement

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Niger Delta elders

The Pan Niger Delta Forum (PANDEF) has rejected the plan to establish settlements for herdsmen across the country.

Alfred Mulade, PANDEF’s national secretary, made this known in a statement.

The group accused the federal government of making the “disturbing decision unilaterally”.

It also alleged that the federal government is disrespecting the rule of law, saying the power to allocate lands was vested in governors.

PANDEF called on governors of states in the region to reject the idea, saying “it is capable of undermining the prevailing relative peace and security in the region.”

“Without any equivocation, PANDEF strongly condemns the programme and hereby states that there is no land anywhere in the Niger Delta Region for the establishment of such settlements for herdsmen, “the statement read.

“It is quite disturbing that in a democracy, the Federal Government would unilaterally decide the establishment of Ruga settlements or cattle colonies.

“It is necessary to note that the Land Use Act, enacted in 1978 to regulate land tenure and administration systems, and to ensure effective and equitable utilization of land and land resources in the country, vests all urban land within a state in the state governor, and all non-urban land in the local governments in which they are found.

“This disrespect to the Rule of Law with impunity and authoritarianism neither fits into the practice of Democracy nor supports Mr President’s recent recommendation of True Federalism for Nigeria.

“In fact, along with the re-submission of the Inland Waterways Bill and the approval of a Radio frequency for the establishment of Radio stations for herdsmen by the Federal Government, there is only one inescapable conclusion, and that is, Nigeria is towing a catastrophic destiny.”

The group also called on the federal government to do away with the plan or be ready to meet with resistance.

Governors of Taraba and Benue as well as their counterparts in the south-east have all kicked against the establishment of settlements for herdsmen.

The federal government said the initiative is meant to resolve the farmers-herders crisis.

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Niger Delta

Nigeria’s Imported Petrol Dirtier Than Niger Delta Refined Fuel

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A new report published by Stakeholder Democracy Network (SDN), an international resource watchdog group, says refined petroleum products imported into Nigeria contain more pollutants than those refined by black market operators in the Niger Delta.

The organisation said it carried out laboratory analysis of fuel samples collected from 45 government-licensed filling stations and unofficial (46) fuel selling points in Lagos, Rivers and Bayelsa.

The report was titled Dirty Fuel: An analysis of official and unofficial petroleum products in the Niger Delta.

The official samples from Lagos were said to have been collected from filling stations close to the port on the assumption that it would be “most likely to be a true representation of imported refined products”.

Laboratory results were reported to have shown that the average official diesel sample contained 204 times more fuel sulphur than the European Union fuel standards and the petrol contained 43 times more sulphur.

However, unofficial diesel samples contained 152 times more fuel sulphur than the EU standard and the black market petrol contained 40 times more sulphur than the EU standard.

In the case of kerosine, official samples were reported to have higher standards than unofficial samples.

However, the demand for kerosine from unofficial refiners was attributed to the household use of the commodity.

Consumers were reported to have shown a tolerance for lower kerosine when official sources run out of the product.

“Our research suggests that Nigeria is having dirty fuel dumped on it that cannot be sold to other countries with higher and better-implemented standards,” the UK Guardian quoted Florence Kayemba, SDN programme manager, to have said.

“The situation is so bad that the average diesel sampled are of an even lower quality than that produced by artisanal refining camps in the creeks of the Niger Delta.”

The resultant effect of this is that vehicles have a higher risk of having fuel injector damage, poor engine performance and higher pollutant emissions that increase the rate of environmental pollution.

The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation has been the major importer of petrol after the federal government said it would no longer pay importers to subsidise petrol.

Seeing as the landing cost of petrol was higher than the recommended retail price, the NNPC began to absorb the difference as under-recovery.

However, the federal government is now taking steps to fully deregulate the sector saying the price of petrol will be adjusted monthly to reflect market realities.

Nigeria has to import refined petroleum products because the refineries have been non-functional for an extended period.

An October 2019 investigation by TheCable detailed the activities of oil thieves from the diversion of crude oil from the nation’s pipelines to their illegal refineries with the knowledge of security operatives.

 

Source: TheCable

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Niger Delta

Port Harcourt Hosts 2019 ‘Bole’ Festival

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Port Harcourt Bole and fish

Besides negative narratives of Port Harcourt, the Rivers capital, being ravaged by cult gangs who are making living difficult for many, there are other things to cheer about in the oil city.

For instance, a first time visitor to Port Harcourt, you cannot miss the allure of the roasted plantain popularly known as “Bole” and complemented by specially prepared irresistible pepper sauce at different street corners of the city.

This popular delicacy is now the subject of an annual festival called Bole Food festival which started in 2016.

For this year, the organizers have announced programmes for the 2019 edition themed ‘Our taste, Our Culture’, a one-day event aimed at celebrating the rich heritage of the Niger Delta through food with emphasis on the various creative ways people prepare roasted plantain known as ‘Bole’.

“We expect another successful and fun-filled event that will also set the standard in highlighting the importance of celebrating our culture and local cuisine,” Bole food festival convener, Iwuh Chinonso said.

According to him, “Bole Festival has grown in prestige and attendance over the years and is currently able to compete with food festivals anywhere in the country.”

“This year we want the event to represent that growth creatively and in terms of market appeal as a brand while maintaining the casual fun atmosphere that has endeared us to the people,” Chinonso said.

The event had only 300 people in attendance in 2016 and had over 8,000 people and over 80 food vendors in attendance in 2018.

The festival is usually marked by side attractions such as music performances, comedy, food competitions, indoors and outdoor games with prizes to be won and gaming activities for kids.

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FG Will Do More To Develop Niger Delta – Osinbajo

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yemi osinbajo

The federal government has assured it will do more to enhance the physical development of the oil- bearing communities in the Niger Delta in the next four years.

Giving the assurance on Friday during a courtesy call at the Obotobo, Burutu council area, palace of the Ebenanaowei of Ogulagha Kingdom, HRM, Captain Joseph Timiyan I, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo (SAN), lamented the inadequacy of the performances the development agencies created to fill gaps in the region.

The Vice President, who was in Delta state to perform some official assignments including the 20.29 KM Obotobo 1- Obotobo 11 – Sokebolou – Yokri Road in Ogulagha Kingdom, Burutu council area and the Main Axial Road in Okerenkoko, Gbaramatu Kingdom in Warri South-West council area, said the federal government would sit with the state government to determine area’s in need of development.

Osinbajo lamented the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) has not been able to meet the expectations of the people of the region, a situation which he said would necessitate a meeting with the state governments to fashion out means of really impacting the people.

“The NDDC in many respect has not met the expectations of the oil producing states; a lot of money is invested in NDDC and the Ministry of the Niger Delta because the real reason they were created is to speed up the development of oil-rich communities. We will sit with the Delta State Governor to look at specific areas to develop in the creeks,” he said.

Meanwhile, while commissioning the road in Ogulagha Kingdom, Osinbajo said: “I want to commend Governor Okowa for his achievements in a neighbourhood and area that has not had this type of road.

“We commend him also on several other initiatives in this kingdom in particular, because this has been a very peaceful community and its a host to several of our oil and gas assets.

“So, its really is a special pleasure to commission these roads and also thank His Royal Highness,(Elder, Capt)Joseph Timiyan, who has maintained the peace in this neighborhood and who has shown true leadership by the way he has conducted the affairs of this area”, he said.

Delta State Governor, Dr Ifeanyi Okowa, disclosed that the Vice President was invited to commission the projects because he visited the creeks in the pursuit of peace and the enabling environment for oil and gas production.

“it is not just the length of the road that makes this project unique; it is that the road is located right beside the Atlantic Ocean with all the human, material, ecological and financial implications that this difficult terrain presents; we did not know we could get this length of road in the creek until the King drew our attention to it.

“I am happy about the progress we have made so far; this has greatly helped to ensure peace in the State, which bodes well for uninterrupted oil production and the health of the national economy; we are continuing to use various structures and initiatives to ensure that the peace we have enjoyed in the last three years is sustained,” the governor said.

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