Why Nigeria need the proposed Katsina refinery

The fact that the proposed  refinery in Katsina State is a private-sector initiative makes it acceptable under a new thinking that the private sector should be involved in running refineries in Nigeria, especially, against the backdrop that the monopoly of refinery business in Nigeria through the corruptible state-owned NNPC has not worked. According to reports, the $2 billion private sector-driven petroleum refinery sited in Mashi, Katsina State is facilitated by Niger Republic, Nigeria’s neighbour to the north. The refinery, billed for completion in 2021, would have the capacity to produce 150, 000 barrels per day.

The refinery story came to light when Nigeria’s Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu and the Nigerien Minister of Energy, Foumakaye Gado, signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on the construction of the refinery at the Presidential Villa in Abuja.Mixed reactions have, however, trailed the development about the refinery, apparently, due to the ugly experience with Nigeria’s state-owned and operated refineries that have been mismanaged for so many decades.

While some stakeholders in the industry have commended the Federal Government for the initiative, others have expressed worries and dismissed it as a politically motivated project.Some of the concerns being expressed include how much crude oil is available from Niger; what size, complexity and scope is envisaged; what are the economics of the project like; who will own the refinery and what operating model is proposed? But these cloudy issues could be sorted out in good time.

On their part, the Pan Niger Delta Forum (PANDEF) have rejected the refinery on the ground that it could divert government’s attention from the refineries in Port Harcourt and Warri, which are, already neglected and ill-maintained.Some others think that government should have given gusto to the refinery in Kaduna that is performing far below installed capacity instead of embarking on a new one in the same northwest zone.

But Kachikwu has clarified the Katsina refinery as an extension of the refinery in Kaduna with great potentials. That clarification can’t be satisfactory since the Kaduna Refinery is a state-owned and the Katsina’s new one is a joint venture between two sovereign nations. The minister further noted that the new refinery started first from a perspective of Niger Republic wanting to build pipelines from Niger to the Kaduna refinery but was shut down because the asset quality of the crude from Niger was not the same with our own, hence, the decision to target the crude from Niger through a new refinery.

On the question of ownership, a Nigerian investor, Alhaji Ibrahim Zakari pledged to spearhead the takeoff of the refinery. He announced that his company, Blak Oil Energy Refinery had mobilised substantial part of the two billion dollars needed for the construction of the refinery.The funds, he explained, are coming from the USA, Canada, India and the Middle East. According to him, the refinery which would provide over 2, 500 direct employment and another 10, 000 indirect jobs to Nigerians, would take about five years to be completed.

It is heartening that after decades of failure, fresh ideas are coming into the refinery subsector. The Lekki, Lagos refinery under construction being funded by Nigeria’s foremost business tycoon, Aliko Dangote is spearheading the shift from state-owned refinery business that has failed the nation.With the Katsina refinery now in the pipeline, there is reason to believe that in no distant time, the problem of frequent fuel scarcity would be resolved, specifically in the northwest zone.

It is on this note that the promoters of the project are encouraged to pursue it with vigour. Proper feasibility should be carried out to ensure its completion and hitch-free operation.Having multiple refineries run by private concerns is advisable in Nigeria’s corrupt oil industry. The fact that the project is a partnership between Nigeria and Niger Republic sets it aside.

President Muhammadu Buhari, who doubles as Petroleum Resources Minister, sees this cooperation on crude oil export from Niger Republic as a “win-win” affair for both nations. But the concerns of other stakeholders from the other zones and PANDEF should not be dismissed. Specifically, attention should be paid to the countries’ four refineries. Last week, we recommended that the refineries should be sold to private investors. The initiative will not only provide a reliable market for the stranded crude from Niger Republic but also provide petroleum products for Nigeria as it pursues its aspiration to be self sufficient in petroleum products consumption.

In this regard, we need to stress a point that Niger Delta power elite should not just be agonizing over the Katsina refinery. They should be constructive in their strategic plans too. It is not altogether enough for stakeholders in the Niger Delta to lament the neglect of the refineries in the region. The people should be able to help themselves too by planning their own refineries. Whatever happened to the modular refineries dreams in the area!

For instance, why can’t the governors of the South-South join hands to build a refinery given the comparative advantage they have? So, until there are functional refineries that would put a stop to fuel importation, any effort to establish refineries anywhere in the country should be encouraged. Nigerians stand to gain, after all. It should not be forgotten that absence of functional refineries is largely responsible for the gridlock in Lagos as the 36 states and Abuja depend on only the two Lagos Sea Ports in Apapa to convey imported products to all parts of the country.

Despite all the misgivings, we should be broadminded in building an elite consensus that it is time for private companies to operate our refineries for purposes of efficiency and productivity as in other countries. As we noted here last week, that is the only way the scam called TAM (turn-around maintenance) of the old four refineries will be a thing of the past.

Voters registration: Workers defy heavy rains in Edo to complete process

Workers defied the heavy rains on Friday in Benin City, the Edo State capital, to take advantage of the work-free day declared by Governor Obaseki, and register in the Continuous Voter Registration exercise by the INEC.

Some of the workers interviewed, commended the State Government for declaring Friday work-free and explained that they had to take advantage of the opportunity to register and participate in future elections.

Mr. Eboigbe Wellington, who spoke to journalists at the INEC Registration Centre located at Asoro Slope, Ekehuan Road, Benin City, decried the slow pace of work by officials of INEC and called on the federal government to extend the registration deadline to enable more people register.

He also said that the heavy and persistent rainfall in Benin City has discouraged many people from coming out to register as the INEC centres have no place for people to take cover when it rains.

“The heavy rainfall has not helped matters. People have no place to hide when it rains and as you can see, many of us are drenched while looking for where to hide from the rainfall,” Wellington said, and commended the governor for declaring Friday a work-free day.

Mr. John Ohenhen, who was also at the INEC Registration Centre at Asoro Hill, Ekehuan Road, said he was at the centre to collect his voter card having registered in December 2017.

He urged INEC to deploy more officials to make the registration process faster.

The trend in other parts of the state was the same as workers turned out in their numbers to register before the expiration of the deadline by the electoral body.

MKO’s daughter ends 5-years association with APC

Chief MKO Abiola, daughter of late Rinsola Abiola, has dumped the ruling APC, ending her five-year association with the party. Rinsola made her decision known in a letter the party.

Notifying the public of her decision, she tweeted: “In line with provisions of the constitution of the All Progressives Congress (APC), on Monday, I relinquished membership of the party in a letter addressed to my (former) ward chairman.”

Contained in the letter, Rinsola said she had vacated any position she occupies in the party.

The tweet continued: “This has been a five-year journey during which I have met some very exceptional people and learnt very valuable lessons. I wish to state for the record that I have not joined any other party.

“I hope to remain in active politics, however, and factors such as commitment to youth and women inclusion, and internal democracy in its true sense will determine which platform I join next.

“My leader, my brother, my friend @IsmaeelAhmedB, I cannot thank you enough for everything as you’re the reason I’m in politics today. I know you’re not pleased with my decision but I’m certain that you understand.

“To everyone in @APCYouthWing, thank you for the memories. Hopefully, we’ll get to work together in future.”

Meet Nigerian Guy Who Designed Theresa May’s Ankara Jacket

Prime Minister of the United Kingdom Theresa May has introduced Emmy Kasbit, the Nigerian fashion designer who made her ankara jacket.The British PM who visited Nigeria to discuss renewed partnership between the UK and Nigeria donned a beautiful ankara jacket and skirt, earning her plaudits from Nigerians.

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On Thursday, she posted a photo of herself and Okoro Emmanuel owner of Emmy Kasbit on Instagram while revealing him as the designer behind the stunning jacket. May wrote, “I was delighted to meet @emmykasbit who designed the jacket I wore in #Nigeria #UKAfrica #MadeInNigeria.”

It was gathered that Emmy Kasbit was launched in 2014 out of the passion for the begging need to dress unconventional men and women.In 2017, he gained momentum after winning the Fashion Focus Prize at Lagos Fashion Week, $13,900 cash grant and business mentorship from Ijeoma Ogbechie.

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Emmy Kasbit has designed the outfits of several top personalities which includes, Chimamanda Adichie, Yemi Alade, Adekunle Gold, Ebuka Obi-Uchendu, Theresa May among others.

After talks with President Muhammadu Buhari in the nation’s capital Abuja, Mrs May announced the two countries had signed a defence and security partnership which could see the UK train, for the first time, full army units to combat insurgents in the north-east of Nigeria.

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The UK, which has trained 30,000 Nigerian troops since 2015, will also help set up an emergency response mechanism, along the lines of the UK’s Cobra crisis system, to deal with terror attacks while also stepping up efforts to tackle the propaganda spread by Islamic State-Daesh and other militant groups.

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“We are determined to work side by side with Nigeria to help them fight terrorism, reduce conflict and lay the foundations for the future stability and prosperity that will benefit us all,” Mrs May said.

Luis Enrique proving he is a “no nonsense” manager

After releasing his squad list for the upcoming UEFA Nation league matches with notable exclusions of Barcelona Jordi Alba and Atletico Madrid’s Koke, Luis Enrique is showing in his speech that he’s a no nonsense coach stamping all his words everywhere not caring about who it affects.

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“I have nothing to say about players that are absent, there will be more surprises in the future,” he explained in his press-conference.

“I’m only interested in talking about the 24 players called up.

“It’s a special day for those who’ve been called up, of those who aren’t, well there isn’t any specific reason why.”

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Sergio Ramos is expected to remain as La Roja’s captain, and he enjoyed a very close working relationship with Lopetegui, although Luis Enrique hasn’t yet sought out his captain for particular counsel.

“I haven’t spoken to any single player, except for Pique,” he admitted. “It’s just my style, I haven’t considered it necessary and there’s no need to make a revolution.

“He is the captain, the one who has played the most matches, he isn’t just one more player.”

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Luis Enrique’s tactical decisions during his time at the Camp Nou divided opinion significantly, yet the Spaniard has made clear his intentions in his new job.

Luis Enrique

“It will be the same, we shouldn’t compare the Spanish national team with those we compete against,” he confirmed. “I don’t think we’re inferior to anybody. “I’m starting from 4-3-3, it’s the style I like the most, but I’m not closing the door to anything.”

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How Saraki’s ambition almost destroyed APC – Oshiomole

National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole has said that he has been vindicated about his comments that Senate President left the Party because of his personal ambition and not because he had the interest of the nation at heart.

He said that Saraki’s personal ambition almost destroyed the APC, pointing out that it was a good thing that the Senate President has moved on.

Oshiomhole who met with APC leaders from Kwara State said the the declaration of the senate President to contest the presidential ticket on the platform of the People’s Democratic Party has vindicated him and charged APC members in Kwara State to jettison their personal ambitions and work towards ending the reign of Saraki in Kwara politics.

Chief Press Secretary to Oshiomhole, Simon Ebegbulem quote the APC Chairman as saying “when I was saying that all these defections is not about APC but the personal ambition of these people, they took hired writers to say I was being too hard. But Saraki’s declaration has vindicated me.

“Thank God he has moved on because his inordinate ambition was almost destroying our party but he has failed. These are not principled politicians but bread and butter politicians who can go extra miles to pursue their selfish ambition and never think about the well-being of Nigerians.

“As things stands today, APC remains the darling of the Nigeria people. Because PDP was the vomit of yesterday, our people will not chew it back today, not under three and half years. People have not forgotten and people will never forget. In fact what a senior palace chief in Nigeria said, he said this generation of Nigerians will not forgive the PDP in a hurry. Even to say you want to forgive you must do reparation.

“The damage they did to our economy, the damage they did to our electoral process, even the culture of rigging was institutionalized by them. They introduced do or die politics. They are the ones buying weapons for young people to go into thuggery while their own children are schooling abroad. They introduced all these vices”.

He said that reclaiming Kwara state from the grip of Saraki is a task that must be done, and asked APC leaders to ensure they conclude the election of executives from the wards to the state this weekend.

He said “the last time I spoke with the Minister he told me we have accomplished 80 or 85 per cent, that for me is not good enough because we don’t have more time. So this week we must achieve hundred per cent by whatever means. If you can’t do it, we have to help you get it done.

“The two Deputy National chairmen working with the National Organizing Secretary and the North central Vice Chairman constitute a committee to complete whatever is left. It will not exceed Sunday this week.

“I also want to appeal very strongly, that at this hour, we don’t want a situation where because of what is happening in Kwara, people who ordinarily will be quite happy to be a strong pillar of support, everybody want to be a governor, everybody want to be a Senator or in the House of Reps.

“Our party is a party of change and we want to discourage people from putting their personal interest over and above the interest of the people of Kwara state. I am able to say under the leadership of the Minister, he has repeatedly said it that his interest is not for him to contest for the governorship of Kwara state or any elective office. I don’t think it can be more selfless than that.

“I am very impressed with the enthusiasm of the people of Kwara state. They are experiencing a new dawn, a new sense of freedom and a sense of ownership of the APC where we are trying to do bottom up rather than top down.

“Where we have politics of inclusion, no god father, everybody matters. Now I superintend over the liquidation of god fathers in Edo state, now I will not be here and allow and support the emergence of a new god father.

“When we vanquished the god fathers we created a level playing field for equal opportunity to participate and that is what I think we have achieved so far and we need to take full advantage of that to do what need to be done for us to get on with the job of organizing, mobilizing.

“I believe all of us, the APC leadership, we are anxious to come to Kwara state, to interface with the great people of Kwara state, beyond llorin to other major cities in Kwara.

“Let them know and carry the message of change and use the broom to sweep away the past, including the thorn umbrella.  The task of sweeping away the past and rebuilding a new Kwara is a task that must be done.

“That should give you the energy, the incentive and the appropriate spirit to work together so that victory will be ours, not for our own good but for the good of the great people of Kwara state who have been oppressed for such a long long time. Like they say they can be many days for the thief one day for the owner”.

Official: Aston Villa signs Nigerian-born striker on loan

Chelsea have announced the move of their young Nigerian born Tammy Abraham to Aston Villa on loan for the rest of the season.

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Tammy Abraham becomes Aston Villa’s fifth loan signing of a busy summer, joining Everton winger Yannick Bolasie, Manchester United defender Axel Tuanzebe, Atletico Madrid goalkeeper Andre Moreira and Lille forward Anwar El Ghazi in Steve Bruce’s squad.

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His departure also takes the number of players Chelsea currently have out on loan to 37, of which 12 have been sent to Championship clubs.

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“I’m excited for this new chapter,” Abraham told Villa’s website. “Aston Villa are a big club that belongs in the Premier League and I’m here to help them achieve that.

“At this stage of my career, I need games and this is a great place for me to come and showcase my talent. I can’t wait to get started.”

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Abraham scored five goals in 31 Premier League appearances on loan at relegated Swansea City last season and was handed his first senior England caps by Gareth Southgate in friendlies against Germany and Brazil at Wembley in November 2017.

He stayed with Chelsea beyond the Premier League transfer deadline of Aug. 9 in a bid to impress head coach Maurizio Sarri, but was unlikely to be given significant first-team minutes ahead of Alvaro Morata and Olivier Giroud this season.

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“It’s up to him,” Sarri said of Abraham in a news conference on Friday. “I am not able to guarantee to him a spot at the moment, but if he wants to remain, I’m really very happy with him. He’s very young for a striker, and can improve more. I think it’s up to him.”

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Also on Friday, Chelsea loaned 26-year-old defender Michael Hector to Sheffield Wednesday.

Lady jumps from moving vehicle to escape kidnappers/ritualists in Rivers

A young lady identified as Esther, took to her twitter handle yesterday, to narrate how she jumped from a moving vehicle just to save her life from the hands of suspected kidnappers/ritualists in Rivers state. Read her story below;

This is my testimony

This morning I went deliver some documents to one of our client companies in onne Rivers State Every thing went successfully. I even went to the bank to lay some complaints.On my way back to the office, I entered this taxi

First of all they charged cheaper than other taxis but I felt it was cos he was looking for passengers so I entered.Immediately I entered I just felt something was wrong but I couldn’t pin it.It was just the driver and another guy in front.They drove off immediately I entered

Then I looked round, everything looked in the car.the seat was dirty,
The car was too rough for a normal taxi.
Immediately I knew I had been trapped. I placed my hand on the door.

Then the driver asked me where I was going again I told him but he kept saying different things maybe to confuse me. I kept telling him even the other guy in front was helping me to give him d direction.That was when I noticed they were giving themselves signals

My hand was still on the door knob, When we got the flyover at at mile one, they diverted and climbed mile one bridge leading to ikwerre road. Instead of going straight to ABA road. And immediately they increased the speed

I just calmly asked the man “Oga Why did you pass here?” Then he coldly answered
“Because I choose to” Then I knew I was trapped. We were on a bridge so no one will hear even if I scream. We were on full speed.

I had to make a choice.Either I jumped out of this car or I beg this people to let me go.I knew begging them to let me go will be fruitless so I held my bag tightly …. And did the needful without thinking twice And I jumped off.I’d rather die that way than to die in the hands of those beasts

Presidential candidate vows to stay with PDP no matter what..

A presidential aspirant of the PDP, Attahiru Bafarawa on Friday said he would remain in the party even if he failed to clinch the  presidential ticket.

Bafarawa spoke in Bayelsa State, when he visited  ex-President Goodluck Jonathan to seek his advice, support and blessing.

Bafarawa, a former Governor of Sokoto State, expressed confidence that the PDP would wrest power from President Muhammadu Buhari in 2019.

He described himself as a selfless democrat adding that never believed in do-or-die politics but saw politics as a game.

Bafarawa said: “I am here (Bayelsa) because former President Goodluck Jonathan is a democrat of Africa, not only in Nigeria. I believe that anybody who is aspiring for anythng in the political arena in this country must come and seek his advice, his support and his blessing.

“That is why I am here. He is a democrat; he knows what it takes to run the government of this country. He is a peaceful and godly man, so there is no way we can run away from coming to seek his blessing.

“I am a democrat. I see politics as a game. Just like Jonathan, he has not been defeated but because he needs peace of the country he accepted a defeat to allow peace to reign. So, I did not join politics for the sake of personal interest, so that if I lose I will leave the party.

“I have been in politics for the past 40 years and I have been in high positions, so I am not here to make money but I think I am a democrat to serve the people. So, I will remain in PDP because PDP is not a limited liability company like the All Progressives Congress.

“Our common objective is to get President Muhammadu Buhari out of power. Therefore, any serious political party in this country is determined to see that in 2019, Buhari has left office so that we will move our country forward.”

In his remarks, Jonathan said Bafarawa came to brief him about his presidential interest and political developments in the country.

He described Bafarawa as an experienced politician, saying the former governor remained consistent since he joined the PDP Iin 2014.

The former President described the increasing number of presidential aspirants in PDP as a welcome development.


Jonathan said: “Bafarawa is somebody I know very well. He has been involved in politics even before I got involved in politics. And from when I came in as deputy governor to Chief Diepreye Alamieyeseigha, he was the governor of Sokoto State. So we were working with them.

“So, since that time till when he joined PDP in 2014, he did not join PDP because he wanted to be President because I was contesting Presidency. That was when he joined PDP to support me and became a member of the party. So, if today he is interested, he has a lot of experience.

“So, we want the best for the country. Just as he said,  we need this country to grow, especially for the younger ones. I always insist that as leaders, we must plan for our grandchildren; we do not have to plan four ourselves.

“Societies that plan for their grandchildren grow; societies that plan for themselves will crash because you will be in a hurry, but when you are planning for your grandchildren, you take time and do things properly and of course, the society will improve. He is one of those people that plan because he has done it in Sokoto State. He is a nice man.

“A number of people have asked me this question and I say, the more people that are interested, the better for the party. If you have only two aspirants, the division between the two camps will be so bad, not from the candidates themselves, but supporters of the candidates will be exchanging all kinds of bitterness and at the end of the day, one must lose and those people will feel that they do not belong to the system and that they will not be accepted. There will be tendency for them to leave.”

He called for a level-playing field for all aspirants in party primaries, saying “when party candidate emerges through transparent process, there would not be bickering and division in the party”.

Jonathan added: “But when there are more aspirants and the party does what is right, the key thing is level-playing field for every aspirant. When the party makes sure that the field is level for every aspirant and the best person among them emerges, they will all work for the party.

“When there are only two aspirants, they start throwing stones but when there are many, who will you throw the stone at because they are many, you do not even know who will take the day.

“So to me it is better to have many aspirants. As leaders, we are talking. Before the primaries, I believe we will talk to the aspirants to ensure that things are done in a way that everybody will be happy. The key thing is not the aspirants, but during the primary, we must make sure that the ground is level and nobody will leave the party out of anger.”

2019: Atiku sheds tears as he’s gifted PDP’s forms to contest for President

Former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar, fought back tears shortly after obtaining the Expression of Interest and Nomination forms to contest in the presidential primary election of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

According to a report by Vanguard, the Atiku Support Groups (ASG) bought the forms, a total of N12 million, and presented them to him at his Presidential Campaign Office in Abuja on Friday, August 31, 2018.

The former vice president was overwhelmed with emotion when a member of the ASG, Adekemi Adesanya, was describing the terrible state of affairs in the country. The presidential aspirant was pictured wiping his eyes with a white handkerchief to fight back tears.

When it was his turn to talk, Atiku said the fact that he is trusted to provide solutions to Nigeria’s numerous challenges encourages him to work for a better nation.

He said, “The event today is significant and historic because this is the only time in my political career that young men and women in this country have come together without my knowledge or even consent to contribute their own hard-earned money to buy me an Expression of Interest and Nomination Forms.

“You could have seen that one of the ladies who spoke virtually succeeded in getting me to weep. This is because she aptly described the challenges every Nigerian is facing in this country today and she believed honestly and sincerely from the bottom of her heart that I could be an instrument of addressing those challenges.

“So, for such a woman to believe that I have got those leadership qualities and including those of you who have brought out your monies to buy this form, is one of the most serious challenges I have ever faced in my political career.

“And believe me, addressing those challenges‎ is possible because we have brought young men and women, Nigerians who have got the talents, who have got the education, who have got the experience, who have got all what it take to honestly turn this country around.”

Atiku is one in a long list of aspirants contesting for the PDP’s presidential ticket ahead of the 2019 presidential election.

He faces competition in Senate President, Bukola Saraki, Sokoto State governor, Aminu Tambuwal, Gombe State governor, Ibrahim Dankwambo, and former governors, Sule Lamido, Attahiru Bafarawa, Jonah Jang, Ahmed Makarfi, as well as Rabiu Kwankwaso.