The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) and the United States Trade and Development Agency (USTDA) have concluded arrangement to sign a 1.16 million dollar grant as part funding for the NNPC-Abuja Independent Power Project (IPP).
The Corporation disclosed this in a statement by Mr Samson Makoji, Acting Spokesman for NNPC, in Abuja on Thursday.
He said that the arrangement was the outcome of a business meeting between the Management of NNPC and the USTDA at the NNPC Towers.
Makoji noted that both parties agreed to close out the deal on Dec. 1, adding that the IPP was modelled to generate 1,350 megawatts of electricity to alleviate the power challenge in the country.
The Group Managing Director of the NNPC, Malam Mele Kyari, said that the plan by the corporation to build the 1,350mw power plant in Abuja was part of the national strategy to monetize the abundant natural gas resources in the country.
He added that the USDTA grant was to complement the ongoing feed project in order to make the Abuja IPP initiative more bankable for strategic investors’ participation.
“As a state-owned oil company and enabler organisation, we know that our investment in the Abuja 1,350mw IPP will increase energy supply level with great impact on the nation’s economy.
“Therefore, the USTDA grant is timely to make it a bankable project that would attract foreign direct investment into the country,” he said.
The GMD assured the U.S. team that every money given as grant to the corporation would be fully utilised and accounted for.
“This company is focused on making our systems and processes transparent and accountable and that is why we are engaging world-class institutions with a good track record in the execution of our projects,” the GMD explained.
He called on the USTDA to look beyond feasibility studies to the actual delivery of the project, stressing that the power plant project has a lot of viable investment opportunities.
In her remark, the Country Manager, Power Africa and the leader of the USTDA delegation, Jullian Foerster, stated that her organisation was determined to work with the corporation to sign off on the grant not later than Dec.1.
She said that USTDA was open to other business opportunities in the coming year, 2020, noting that NNPC’s strategic role as a key player in the oil and gas industry made the U.S. Agency to “jump at the opportunity to work on this deal” of providing support in the form of a grant.
On Thursday in Abuja, Nigeria, the Republic of Benin and Niger, have established a joint border patrol team comprising the Police, Customs, Immigration of the tripartite countries to recommend a date for the reopening of the borders.
The three countries agreed in a resolution at the end of the Tripartite Anti-Smuggling Committee Meeting of Nigeria, Benin and Niger.
Nigeria’s Foreign Affairs Minister, Geoffrey Onyeama, while reading the communiqué at the end of the meeting said the meeting took note of all concerns raised and agreed to establish a monitoring and evaluating committee of the three countries.
Onyeama said that the committee will comprise of Ministers of Finance, Trade, Foreign Affairs, Customs, Immigration and National Security Adviser.
He said that the Committee is with a mandate to ensure actions that would facilitate and enhance the suppression of smuggled goods and other related matters.
“The meeting agreed that the monitoring and evaluation committee will ensure the full implementation of the adopted mandate of the Joint Anti-Smuggling Human Trafficking Committee.
“Nigeria, Benin also agreed on the establishment of trade facilitation committee among the three countries, comprising of Ministers of Finance and Trade.
“To promote intra-regional trade among the three countries, as well as put in place, sanctions against smuggling of goods.
“The governments agreed to ensure persons from the three countries to enter/exit each other’s state with valid ECOWAS recognised travel documents through recognised controlled posts.
“Establishment of Joint Border Patrol Team comprising the Police, Customs, Immigration of the three countries.
“The team is to hold its first meeting in Abuja from Nov. 25 to Nov. 27, 2019.
“The patrol team is to agree on the modality to carry out its operation and recommend a date for the opening of the borders,” Onyeama said.
On the anti-smuggling issues, Onyeama earlier said the meeting deliberated on the myriad of challenges faced by the three countries.
Onyeama added that more importantly, the meeting dwelt on the areas of smuggling of goods and services that were not approved under the Protocols on ECOWAS Trade Liberalization Scheme.
He said that the meeting also proffered to address issues as regards Free Movement of Persons without valid ECOWAS travel documents, as well as a plethora of illegal warehouses along the border corridors.
“In this regard, the meeting acknowledged smuggling of goods, as well as human trafficking as a collective violation of ECOWAS Protocols on ETLS and Free Movement.
“That pose severe economic and security threats to intra-regional trade and free movement,” Onyeama also said.
Onyeama said that Niger and Benin Republic, however, appealed for the reopening of the land borders.
Responding to the attack of Nigerian traders in Ghana, Onyeama said that the Nigerian High Commission was engaging with the Ghanaian government and the leadership of the Nigerian traders in Accra.
Onyeama said that there was however no threat to the physical safety of Nigerian traders in Ghana, adding that the tripartite meeting has agreed on modalities for the way forward.
The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) Nigeria delegation says it trained 30 surgeons from 20 states in the country on the management of weapon wounded patients.
The Head of ICRC Delegation in Nigeria, Mr Eloi Fillion, made this known in a statement by ICRC Public Relations Officer, Aliyu Dawobe, on Thursday in Abuja.
Dawobe quoted Fillion as saying “the training took place in Abuja between Nov. 12 and Nov. 14 in collaboration with the Federal Ministry of Health.”
Fillion also said that the trained surgeons were the ones working in areas affected by armed conflict and violence.
He added that they were trained to enable them to provide life-saving surgical care to weapon wounded patients in difficult environments with limited equipment and resources.
He explained that the surgeons were also trained on lifesaving techniques to manage injuries from explosions, abdominal and thoracic injuries, as well as fractures from other weapons.
Fillion noted that the training was of paramount importance, as many people in areas affected by conflict and violence hardly had access to basic health services.
He said, “repeated attacks against health-care personnel and facilities make the situation even more dramatic.”
He pointed out that international humanitarian law and the principles of medical ethics stated that all wounded people had the right to medical care “and the ICRC works to promote these principles.”
According to him, the ICRC in partnership with Federal Ministry of Health has been organising surgical seminars in Nigeria since 2012 and has so far trained over 400 surgeons, nurses and anaesthetists.
He said the ICRC surgical team in Maiduguri had in 2019 operated on 1,700.
In addition, he said, no fewer than 260,000 persons received healthcare services in 20 primary healthcare centres supported by the ICRC.
“Together with the Nigerian Red Cross, the organisation provided first aid training to over 1,500 people in 19 states of Nigeria.”
The ICRC, established in 1863, works worldwide to ensure humanitarian protection and assistance for people affected by conflict and armed violence.
ICRC has been working in Nigeria for more than 30 years, operating in 20 states to alleviate the sufferings of people affected by conflicts and armed violence.