From Uche Usim, Abuja
Following sustained attacks and vandalism of national oil assets, the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) is planning to set up a security advisory council to tackle the perennial challenge threatening the economy of the country. The Nigerian Petroleum Development Company, (NPDC), a subsidiary of the NNPC, said it lost N1.5 trillion due to attacks on its facilities in 2016.
Speaking in Abuja, the Group Managing Director, NNPC, Dr. Maikanti Baru, said there was need to evolve new measures to halt pipeline vandalism, which hurts the nation in no small measure. Baru stated that the security advisory council would involve stakeholders, including security agencies, Niger Delta leaders and IOCs, to address all security and host community agitations. “We want to passionately appeal to those behind indiscriminate acts of infrastructure vandalism to put an end forthwith to these despicable acts, which are a great threat to the economy, the eco-system and energy security of the country,” Baru said. He explained that, since coming on board, he has ensured that the NNPC was run as a FACTI corporation (focused, accountable, competitive and transparent organisation conducting its business with integrity).
By his account, the corporation’s monthly operational and financial reports were always in the public sphere for all to see, and it was this new wave of openness and transparency that has earned the NNPC rave reviews and accolades among Nigerians. “With the consistent release of our monthly financial and operational reports, the Nigerian Extractive Industries and Transparency Initiative (NEITI) recently commended us for embracing openness, subjecting our activities to greater public scrutiny and providing real-time information about the state of the nation’s oil and gas sector,” Baru said. He explained that through the 12 Business Focus Areas the NNPC has started the implementation of policies to place the organisation on the path of growth and profitability.
FFS : Abuja records 5 fire outbreaks during Yuletide, says FFS
From Magnus Eze, Abuja
The Controller-General of Federal Fire Service (FFS), Mr. Joseph Anebi, yesterday, said the number of fire outbreaks recorded in Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory, reduced drastically during the last Yuletide. Anebi, who spoke through the Public Relations Officer, Mr. Elechi Collins, explained that while three incidents were recorded in Asokoro and Wuse during Christmas, two occurred in the new year. He could not immediately provide the statistics for previous years.
Elechi described the incidents as minor, stating that no life were lost He attributed the decline in fire outbreaks to the level of advocacy and awareness created by the Policy Regulatory and Enforcement Unit of the FFS, adding that it would be stepped up this year “to ensure that individuals, corporate bodies and MDAs observe the national fire service code.” Elechi further stated that two bush burning fires, which almost engulfed adjourning property in Wuse on Wednesday, were quickly contained before any harm could be done. He blamed the obsolete Fire Service Act of 1963 for frustrating the full enforcement of the fire code and appealed to the National Assembly to fast-track the on-going review of the Act. The FFS spokesman also expressed the gratitude of the entire management and staff of the service to President Muhammadu Buhari on the approval of N4.6bn for procurement of fire-fighting equipment by the Federal Executive Council.
NAICOM : Insurers tasked on local content policy
From Basil Obasi, Abuja
The National Insurance Commission (NAICOM) has threatened to sanction insurance operators that contravene the local content policy by ceding businesses offshore without fully utilising local capacity. “It has been observed that insurance practitioners now fail, neglect or refuse to consider and fully utilize relevant in-country capacities of insurance/reinsurance institutions such as pools, reinsurers and other approved local/recognized insurance capacities prior to applying for approval to cede certain proportion of some risks offshore,” a report by NAICOM said. NAICOM in 2010 released the oil and gas insurance guidelines and clarified conditions for taking any business abroad while stipulating that operators must comply with the local content policy.
One of the conditions is that any organisation or person wishing to take any business abroad must first feed the local insurers with such business after which it must obtain NAICOM’s approval to take the excess abroad. The insurance industry’s regulatory agency maintained that in some situations where the pools, insurers or reinsurers are offered participation, the institutions offered minimal proportion below their capacity or informally restricted and/or compelled to accept lower than their respective capacities for the purpose of justifying cession of the risks offshore.