Nigeria: Fresh Oil Spill in Bayelsa Community

Posted on : Monday , 17th November 2014

Knowing where you are going is the first step to getting there' - Ken Blanchard

To many Nigerians, Diezani Alison Madueke's name may not have been found in the list of Nigeria's high-ranking political gladiators before assuming her present position as the nation's Minister of Petroleum Resources about three years ago.
As has been observed in transformational rebirth of many nations, there comes a time when a reformer emerges and embarks on a trail blazing endeavours that changed the course of their national history and restore hoped to the people.
This happened in English history with the coming of Oliver Cromwell, in French history with the emergence of Napoleon Bonaparte, in American history with the leadership of the inimitable President George Washington, and only recently with the African experience in the Madiba, Nelson Mandela who, until he passed on recently, represented a leader and torch bearer in his people's search for political identity in a land of their infant birth and nurture.
Even when the minister may not have qualified to be ranked among these leaders of global political clout, the Minister has over the past three years of her leadership at the most sensitive ministry in the country demonstrated one attribute that separates great leaders from the crowd - patriotism.
Despite the daily obfuscating and sensationalised lamentations by the minister's political opponents in order to distract her from pursuing the transformational agenda in the industry, one thing that cannot be denied is that Mrs. Alison-Madueke symbolises an epitome of courage and who, like athletes who are never bothered about sidelines distractions to win their races, never lost sight of the forthrightness of her initiatives.
A cursory appraisal of her anti-corruption stance showed that the minister did not only agree with millions of Nigerians that the age-long sleaze in the fuel subsidy scheme but also championed the audit of the industry. This led to the arrest and prosecution of fuel importers who were defrauding Nigerians under the subsidy regime and today; billions of naira are being saved into government coffers from the initiative on a monthly basis.
Secondly, one other achievement that cannot be removed from the minister's scorecard of remarkable strides is the ending of the maddening short-changing of the country by fuel scarcity racketeers, who for selfish reasons never engaged in unconscionable diversion of fuels and never allowed the downstream sub-sector of the industry to experience industrial peace.
In line with the present administration's efforts to give meaning to the perennial clamour by industry experts and investors for encouragement of indigenous players' participation in the upstream sector of the hydro carbon resources sector, Alison-Madueke, has remained relentless in ensuring the implementation of the Nigerian Content Development Act 2010 over the past three years.
For instance, through her efforts, the Federal Government recently awarded oil lifting contracts to 73 oil operating companies just as hundreds of others are engaged in instrumentation and other tools manufacturing and supplies to the International Oil Companies, IOCs, in furtherance of the local content development policy.
The Niger Delta Production Company, NDPC, which is a subsidiary of the NNPC, has through improved investments in core technological and human capital assets increased production to
200,000 barrels a day under her leadership and local operators have ramped up production to about 800,000 barrels per day.
By far the most instructive proof of the minister's patriotic commitment to enthroning discipline in the industry is the current moves aimed at the passage of the Petroleum Industry Bill, PIB, which industry analysts believe holds the key to holistically transforming the industry and enable Nigeria get improved dividends from exploration and production operations in the sector.
Even when the National Assembly is yet to finalize its deliberations on the Bill, the Minister has not only demonstrated her desire to see to the timely passage of the Bill but has also begun necessary moves to ensure increasing global investments in the sector, a step which is expected to provide an operational platform for the implementation of the PIB when passed into law.





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