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Oil in North: Buhari Makes History Tomorrow

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 By Aliyu U Tilde

Providence

Providence has always joined Bauchi and Gombe Emirates. The first was the Sokoto Caliphates when the two Emirates were founded by two disciples of Danfodio—Yakubun Bauchi and Buba Yero respectively. There were some clashes then between the two over where their boundary would be. Finally, in 1817, embarrassed by a border fighting which resulted in deaths, Sultan Muhammad Bello ruled and it was agreed that the Kolmani river would henceforth be their boundary, wrote Johnston in the Fulani Empire of Sokoto. Case closed. Sokoto ta yanke hukunci.

So when the first oil well was discovered and arguments started between Bauchi and Gombe States over who owns the site, I said to myself, “Here we go again… Za a fama mana tsohon tabon.” As God of mercy would have it, the wealth underground cuts well into both. Bello can continue to sleep in his grave.

Then British rule brought the two together under the Northern region, then in one province—Bauchi Province. Then Gowon lumped them into the former Northeastern State. They remained so until they were separated in 1996 by Abacha. Today, they are joined again through oil and gas by Buhari in the same Kolmani valley where their ancestors quarreled 207 years ago. I think we better accept that providence has decreed that the two will remain together as brothers forever.

History

History will be made tomorrow as His Excellency, President Muhammadu Buhari, performs the ground-breaking ceremony of commercial oil drilling in the North at Kolmani OPL 801 and 810 located in Bauchi and Gombe States.

It is history because for the first time a President has actualized a nearly 50 years dream of exploring oil in the northern part of the country. This would have been achieved many years ago if previous administration after Abacha had shown serious interest in the venture. However, the venture was abandoned in 2000 and we sadly watched the withdrawal of heavy exploration equipment claiming that the contract of exploration has finished.

The exploration would return years later but Boko Haram insurgency made it impossible to complete, with the killing of some University of Maiduguri staff who were working on the project. Finally, the jinx is broken with the impetus of the last three years in the border lands between Bauchi and Gombe. The up to a billion barrels of oil deposits earlier discovered is ripe for exploitation—or say, drinking. The President will be here tomorrow to declare the dinner ready. He is most welcome.

It is history because it is a beginning for an era of abundant wealth for the nation. If not politically restrained, frontier exploration in the North will yield many more sites, especially with the acquisition of more 3D-seismic data and the provision of 30% funding under the new Petroleum Industry Act, 2021. Discoveries in the Chad and Bida basins are already known. They will soon reach the level of the upper Gongola. This is not to mention the discoveries of other expensive mineral like gold in the Northwest and lithium in the Northcentral, Ekiti and Cross River states.

 

Then it is history also because the parasite that has been feeding the nation will gain additional value: Cash. Many fear that the parasite with its number, food, land mass, mineral deposits and now oil may no longer enjoy the status of disdain that it previously enjoyed from others. It may grow horns and become assertive. Wealth comes with independence and a good measure of arrogance too. This has been the fear that might have stalled the exploration some years back.

Danger

The next president can still frustrate things if he wishes. As a politician, the belief that the wealthier that every region becomes the better for the country may not hold because in political permutation, 1 + 1 does not always add up to 2; it could yield 0. A review titled Secrecy, Doubts Trail One Billion Barrels Oil Discovery In North, which appeared in TheGuardian on 21 November 2021, clearly shows the line of thinking that is typical of anything North in some quarters. All the southern scholars who were quoted in the article were not celebrating the one-billion-barrel discovery in Kolmani. They were lamenting and doubting, as would some comments below this post. Such dangerous pessimists can overturn everything given a complicit President.

Given the long distance from the coast, transportation of the oil and gas from the North is crucial. The infrastructure could demand extensive piping to the ports or linking with the Trans-Saharan pipeline to Europe. But Nigeria is also a huge market. It can be processed here with a refinery built in suitable proximity to the fields. These are decisions that can only be politically supported by a sufficiently committed President. The choice that the nation makes in 2023 may be crucial.

Whatever it is, President Buhari has delivered on this. Making Kolmani a reality will go down as one of his major achievements. Just before the last election, on 2 February 2019, while inaugurating the Kolmani drilling site, he said, “Today’s event is not only a success story but a landmark of promise kept to the Nigerian people.” With the commissioning ceremony tomorrow, he will be living his 1984 dream. Mun gode.

Tribute

Let us pay tribute to an old friend and classmate who was important to the actualization of this dream. As the Group Managing Director of the NNPC then, Dr. Maikanti Baru, promised the President at the 2019 occasion that “NNPC will leave no stone unturned in executing your directive… We will sustain the intensity of the ongoing oil and gas exploration in the inland basins for our nation.”

Dr. Baru kept his promise. It is sad to note that the commissioning of Kolmani sites tomorrow will be done without him. May his soul rest in peace.

Plea

Finally, the nation would definitely like the President to emphasize to his successor the importance of keeping the tempo of oil and other mineral explorations in the country. Every additional wealth regardless of where it is coming from foretells a better future for our children if managed well. And with elections increasingly becoming transparent, governance will definitely improve and our children will come to enjoy the riches of this great nation as we once did in the 1970s.

Welcome Mr. President.

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THANKSGIVING, PRAISES AS AS EVANG MILLING BOWS OUT AFTER 21 AS PREACHER CHURCH OF CHRIST KARU-JIKWOYI

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It was a moment of joy , Thanksgiving and excitement as members of the Church of Christ, Karu-Jikwoyi Congregation Celebrates Evangelist Milling Chukwumaeze who bows out after twenty-one years as minister of the congregation.

The New Preacher of the congregation, Evangelist Innocent Agu led other members to present a three million naira bank check in appreciation for the good work done by the exiting Preacher.

Speaking during the event tagged , ” Celebration of Service” Evangelist Obakemi Moses of the Church of Christ, Nyanya congregation Charged Preachers of the Lord’s Church to be Passionate about their works at all times. He reminded them that God has called them out to dedicate themselves to his service. He lauded the Church of Christ Karu-Jikwoyi for celebrating Evangelist Milling Chukwumaeze.

Evangelist Obakemi tasked the Churches to always be focus on its goals as stated in the holy scriptures.

In welcome remarks, the host Evangelist, Innocent Agu thanked his predecessor for diligently servicing the congregation in the past twenty-one years. He noted that the Church will continue to respect and love the outgoing Preacher. He gave a historic explanation of how Evangelist Milling Chukwumaeze became a member of the Lord’s Church while praising his dedication all these years.

In their Goodwill messages, Evangelist Imoh Atakpa of the Church of Christ, Kubwa and his Kagini Counterpart Evangelist Uche Onyeike tasked members of the Lord’s Church to take proper care of their Evangelists if they hope to get the best of them. They lauded Evangelist Milling Chukwumaeze for his commitment to duty, especially in the Television Evangelism activities of the Churches of Christ in Abuja and its Environs.

In his response, Evangelist Milling Chukwumaeze thanked the Church of Christ Karu-Jikwoyi for giving him the opportunity to serve in God’s vineyard and supported him throughout the last two decades on the saddle. He said though age was not on his side he was not willing to quit, but the congregation decided otherwise. Evangelist Chukwumaeze enjoined the members to be heavenly minded at all times while running the Christian race with purity and steadfastness. He prayed for the congregation to do better under his successor while enjoining everyone to support him physically and spiritually.

Highpoint of the event was the cutting of the celebration cake and general presentation of gifts by members.

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Rev Yakubu dispels Yomi’s claims of NCPC suspension of pilgrimage

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….says exercise ongoing, challenges Adamawa CAN chairman on corruption allegations

The Executive Secretary of the Nigeria Christian Pilgrims Commission, Reverend Yakubu Pam, on Saturday debunked claims that the NCPC has suspended the 2022 pilgrimage.

Pam also challenged the Chairman of the Adamawa State chapter of the Christian Association of Nigeria, Bishop Steven Dami Manzo over the corruption allegations he levelled against him.

NCPC Board Chairman, Rev Yomi Kasali had recently announced the suspension of all activities related to this year’s pilgrimage to Jerusalem while Bishop Manzo had accused the NCPC executive secretary of financial misappropriation.

Reacting during a news programme on TVC on Saturday evening, the NCPC boss said as the chief accounting officer of the commission, nobody had suspended the 2022 pilgrimage.

He said there was no time that the NCPC management or Board held any meeting to take a decision to suspend this year’s pilgrimage, which had already commenced and was still ongoing.

Pam clarified that due to some logistics problems encountered in the course of the pilgrimage, the Board of the Commission met in November and resolved that the commission would not continue with the airlifting of the pilgrims from the states that had paid to Israel for the November-December exercise.

He added that discontinuing the airlifting of intending pilgrims does not amount to and should not be misconstrued as a suspension of the entire pilgrimage activities.

Pam further stated that suspending pilgrimage was a cumbersome process which the Commission could not unilaterally take a decision on as its supervisory body must inform the President through the office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation and the National Assembly.

He added that the Commission’s customers, which are the state governments that have paid and the private tour operators could also drag NCPC to court if it decided to take any decision to suspend the pilgrimage.

Pam said, “Because of the logistics problems we faced, we said we should not continue with airlifting, not suspending pilgrimage activities. Suspension means that everything is locked down.

“Before you make a statement on anything suspension, you must write our supervisory body and tell them that we’re suspending activities. You’ll also have to, which is through the office of the SGF, to inform Mr President that everything in the commission is suspended. You must also write the National Assembly and our customers because they have the right to take us to court as a lot of them have paid us to travel.

“But when we say airlifting is suspended, it means other activities are going on and what are other activities? Today, we have over 12 states that have already paid to travel and we’re conducting what we call screening to make sure we have those who are certified to travel, by health, and those that we feel may not abscond. This is what is going on and is part of the pilgrimage activities and just within three weeks or two weeks ago, we have more than four states that have already paid.

“And we have private sector tour organisations which registered with us and they have the licence to carry people to Israel and bring them back but through us because we also screen them and we are in charge of the visas. Until we write the authorities and Government of Israel to give them visas, they will not have visas. And right now as I’m talking, we have over a hundred of them in Israel. So, if there is suspension of pilgrimage activities, why are people in Israel? Why are people in Jordan?”

Pam also said there was no controversy about the N1.5millon paid by intending pilgrims, adding that the commission held a meeting with its private customers and the states in September where the fee was agreed upon.

“As I said, about 12 states have already paid. We start with that first before you go into procurement and then you award the contract to the contractors that will carry the people by the airlines and then the ground handlers who are there in Israel,” he said.

On the corruption allegations leveled against him by the Adamawa State CAN chairman, the NCPC boss said anyone with any proof of graft against should present his evidence to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission and the Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, which is the supervisory body rather than making wild and unfounded allegations in the media.

“I’m here as the chief accounting officer of the commission to say that there is no suspension of pilgrimage anywhere. If somebody mentions corruption at NCPC, there is a way you can bring it up – bring evidence of the money and whatever it is, there is EFCC or you can take it to those who supervise us. You can come to the media level corruption allegations,” Pam said.

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WAYSS2022: U.S Secretary Envoy on Trade, Patricia Yakubu to deliver keynote address

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The U.S Secretary Envoy on Trade Amb. Patricia Yakubu has been announced as the keynote speaker at the West African Youths and Students Summit (WAYSS2022) scheduled to hold in Niamey of Niger 🇳🇪 Republic. In a release by the Secretary-General, Amb Mohammed Ahmed Marafa, the theme of the summit is ‘Empowering the West African Young Population for Sustainable Development’

The summit is the flagship annual event of the West African Youth Congress that brings together young people on the subregion and diaspora to deliberate on the crucial issues affecting the common future of young people. WAYC convenes the largest youths and students gathering on the subregion under the banner of West Africa Youths & Students Summit (WAYSS).

The Summit will commence on December 15, 2022 and among some prominent speakers are Head of UN Human Rights Commission Niger 🇳🇪 Republic, Amb. Dr. Omer Kebiwou KALAMEU, Ambassador of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan to Niger Republic, His Excellency M. Ahmed Ali Sirohey, and CEO Hon. Ikechukwu Ezeugwu Foundation of Nigeria.

Others are Ambassador of Nigeria to Niger Republic, Minister of Youth and Sports of The Gambia, Hon. Bakary Y. Badji, The Minister of Youth and Sports of Niger Republic Sekou Doro Adamou, Dr. Samuel C. Avemaria Utulu of the American University of Nigeria and Hon. Mohammed Mayas a seasoned politician and Academician among others.

Highpoints of the summit will include Panel and Interactive sessions.

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