DIEZANI Alison-Madueke, minister of petroleum resources and chairperson of the Board of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, has called on operators and service providers in the oil and gas industry to cooperate with the Nigerian Nuclear Regulatory Authority, NNRA, in its mandate to ensure effective monitoring of nuclear application in the industry.
Alison-Madueke made the call while delivering a keynote address at the technical meeting on Regulating Nuclear Application in the Oil and Gas Sector- Challenges and Stakeholders’ Expectations, organized by the NNRA in Abuja recently. She noted that as the biggest importer of radio-active materials in the country, petroleum industry operators must conform to basic safety and security standards.
The minister also explained that nuclear applications in the petroleum industry in Nigeria were not new, with some practitioners having about half a century of experience. She said some companies have close to 200 radioactive sources in some instances noting that these sources were high-risk sources and might cause serious concern if control over them was lost or inadequate.
“It was for concerns such as these that, amongst others, led to the promulgation of the Nuclear Safety and Radiation Protection Act in 1995 at the behest of the International Atomic Energy Agency, IAEA, and the subsequent establishment of the Nigerian Nuclear Regulatory Authority, NNRA, in 2001. Since its inception, the NNRA has been supervised by the Ministry of Petroleum Resources.”
While commending the NNRA for organising the technical session, the minister noted that the regulatory authority was responsible for nuclear safety and radiological protection. The body is also saddled with the mandate of ensuring the protection of life and the environment from the harmful effects of ionizing radiation.
“The need for the NNRA to safely regulate nuclear applications by bringing them effectively under control cannot be overemphasized. This shall also ensure the safety and health of the personnel involved with their usage, as well as the safety of other members of the public.’’ She said.
Alison-Madueke remarked that since its inception, the NNRA had taken steps to put in place a proper regulatory framework, within the context of its enabling Act, to effectively fulfil its major regulatory functions. She said that this had been achieved through a system of registration, licensing and inspection of practices involving ionizing radiation and the overall enforcement of compliance with the provisions of the Act.
She listed the safety and specific regulatory guidelines achieved by the NNRA to include: Nigerian Basic Ionizing Radiation Regulations 2003, Nigerian Safety and Security of Radioactive Sources Regulations, 2006, Nigerian Transportation of Radioactive Sources Regulations, 2006, Nigeria Radiation Safety in Industrial Radiography Regulations 2006, Nigeria Radioactive Waste Management Regulations 2006, Nigerian Radiation Safety in Nuclear Well Logging Regulations, 2008 and Nigerian Naturally Occurring Radioactive Materials Regulations, 2008.
No Payment Deadline for DISCOs
THE Bureau of Public Enterprises, BPE, has said it will not extend the deadline for the payment of the outstanding 75 percent of the bid prices for 15 successor companies of the Power Holding Company of Nigeria, PHCN, by the preferred bidders. Chigbo Anichebe, BPE, head of public communications, said if the preferred bidders selected by the National Council on Privatisation failed to pay on August 21, they would lose the bids, while the reserved bidders would be invited to take over the assets.
According to him, the BPE does not have the power to extend the payment deadline as it is being clamoured by some of the preferred bidders. He explained that only the National Council on Privatisation, NCP, was vested with the power to extend the payment deadline. “The BPE does not have the power to extend the deadline. It is the National Council on Privatisation headed by Vice-President Namandi Sambo that has the power to do that. This means that the council will have to meet on Wednesday to extend the deadline; but as I speak, I am not aware that such a meeting has been called,” he said.
All the preferred bidders for the PHCN successor companies had met the March 21, deadline for the payment of the mandatory 25 per cent of the offer value of their bids and paid a total sum of $559,445,573.96 to the BPE.
The BPE received $31m from 4Power Consortium for the Port Harcourt Distribution Company; $31.5m from Interstate Electrics Limited for the Enugu Distribution Company; and $27,913,633.50 from North-South Power Company for the Shiroro Power Plc. Earlier, the Vigeo Consortium had paid $32.25m for the Benin Distribution Company; Transcorp/Woodrock Consortium paid $75m for Ughelli Power Plc; and CMEC/EUAFRIC Energy JV paid $50,249,965 for Sapele Power Plc.
Also, the Kann Consortium paid $41m for the Abuja Distribution Company; Aura Energy paid $20,464,968.15 for the Jos Distribution Company; Mainstream Energy Limited paid $59,467,500 for Kainji Power Plc; and Sahelian Power SPV paid $34.25m for the Kano Distribution Company.
Other bidders are Amperion Power Company Limited, which paid $33m for Geregu Power Plc; Integrated Energy Distribution and Marketing Company which paid $42.25m and $14.75m for the Ibadan and Yola Distribution Companies, respectively; NEDC/KEPCO paid $32.75m for the Ikeja Distribution Company; and West Power & Gas, which paid $33.75m for the Eko Distribution Company.
How Nigeria Can Stop Oil Theft
THE Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, and multinational oil companies operating in Nigeria’s oil and gas industry, have been urged to bury the pipelines deeply underground, to make them inaccessible to oil thieves and vandals.
Stakeholders at the recent community-focused conference on ‘Oil Theft and Illegal Oil Bunkering’, organised by the office of the Special Adviser to the President on Niger Delta, suggested that encasing the pipelines in depths would curb incessant crude oil theft and pipeline vandalism in Nigeria.
In a communiqué issued at the end of the event, the stakeholders also recommended that the headquarters of oil companies be moved to the Niger Delta, Nigeria’s oil producing region. They also urged the oil companies to institute a more transparent oil loading regime and “stop forthwith the loading of plus five per cent on every vessel”, which provides lifters the opportunity to exceed their approved allocations.
According to the stakeholders, increased collaboration between the international community and the federal government was necessary in combating oil theft and illegal oil bunkering in the Niger Delta and the Gulf of Guinea. They also called on the international community to commence oil finger printing to curtail stolen crude from the demand side. Participants also resolved that defeating oil theft and illegal bunkering would require enhanced intelligence gathering system with advance electronic and community input.
The conference was held against the backdrop of incessant theft and illegal bunkering of crude oil in the Niger Delta. The socio-economic impact of the menace, the gathering observed, include environmental degradation, loss of economic activities for communities, loss of revenue to the government resulting in inadequate funding for development initiatives, increased criminality in the region, lack of security due to illegal activities and infiltration of international collaborators, and bad image for the country.
Kingsley Kuku, special adviser to the President on Niger Delta, who was the convener, reiterated the commitment of President Goodluck Jonathan to defeat oil theft and restore sanity in the sector, adding “only zero tolerance is good enough. No effort is too little and none too big to be spared in this regard.”
Foreign Loans to Tackle Power Transmission Problems
THE federal government has announced the allocation of $450 million for the improvement of gas infrastructure across the country. Chinedu Nebo, minister of power, said that the idea was aimed at addressing the gas supply problems, which have led to a sharp reduction in power generation in the country.
He said that the federal government had sourced for additional $1.47billion from the World Bank, African Development Bank, French Development Bank and the Chinese EXIM Bank for the improvement of the electricity transmission infrastructure. “Nigeria has enough gas; more than enough; but there are things that have to be put in place and part of these includes the right pricing for domestic gas. Government is also trying to address gas infrastructural challenges. The first segment is the East-West axis. Government is putting in billions of naira to address that. The next is the South-North, South-South and the North axis. So, there is a gas master plan and soon, the issue of gas will be settled,” he said.
On transmission, he said once the federal government effectively put the funds allocated for the TCN to use, the country would be able to transmit 10,000 megawatts of electricity. “We might come up with 10,000MW and might be able to transmit all. That is why a huge sum of what is being realised as proceeds of the sale of the NIPP plants, about $1.6bn, have been set aside to finance transmission. In addition, the World Bank is funding (the transmission system) with $800m; the French Development Bank is funding with another $170m to aid transmission. When you look at this, we will say there is a huge investment going on for transmission. We hope with these, we will be able to produce the 10,000MW and at the same time wheel it out for full distribution. I forgot to mention the $500m we got from the Chinese EXIM Bank, still for transmission.”
Compiled by Vincent Nzemeke and Anayo Ezugwu
— Sep. 2, 2013 @ 01:00 GMT