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     Exploration: Were in business to improve upstream activities  Matrix Energy
    By Emmanuella Anokam

    The Matrix Energy Exploration and Production Company Ltd., says it will replicate its positive performance in the downstream sector of the petroleum industry in its operations upstream.

    Mr Abdulkabir Aliu, the Group Managing Director of the company made this known to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Wednesday in Abuja.

    NAN reports that Matrix Energy is one of the 161 successful indigenous oil companies that received the Petroleum Prospecting Licences (PPLs) from the Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission (NUPRC).

    The NUPRC on Tuesday unveiled its maiden Petroleum Prospecting Licences (PPLs) and presented PPLs to the 2020 Marginal Fields Awardees as part of the implementation of Petroleum Industry Act (PIA), 2021.

    The licenses, which were issued at the end of the 2020 Marginal Oil Field Bid Round was part of governments policy to encourage more involvement and participation of Nigerians in the exploitation and development of the countrys oil and gas resources.

    Matrix Energy, along with its partners were awarded two licenses to explore and develop the Atamba oil field located in Oil Mining Lease (OML) 42 and Igbomotoru oil field in OML 33 in the Niger Delta region.

    Aliu expressed optimism that the company being one of the leading downstream companies, with a network of petroleum products retail outlets nationwide would deploy its downstream experience to add value to current upstream operations.

    He said the company was determined to take full advantage of the opportunities the award would offer to the betterment of the countrys economy.

    He said with Matrix Energy as one of the companies that was privileged to be awarded two of the licenses to operate in the upstream, it would do its best to bring value to the assets as soon as possible to spur economic growth.

    We are aware that the upstream industry is more challenging. But we are also aware that there are a lot of opportunities to contribute to the growth and development of the industry, in particular and the country in general.

    As an oil producing country, it is best for the operators to ensure they take advantage of the current rising price of crude oil at the international market by ensuring the country meets its production quota at all times.

    For us in Matrix Energy Group, we will do our best to ensure we contribute significantly to the national oil and gas output and reserve aspirations as well as the overall betterment of the country, Aliu said.

    The CEO expressed satisfaction with the outcome of the entire bid process right from its beginning in 2020, saying the latest exercise was much better than what happened in 2003 and showed the high level of interest among investors.

    On Signature Bonus, he said the decision by the government to select companies that not only have the financial capacity, but also those that have distinguished themselves with their technical capacities in their respective industries, made all the difference.

    He said the presentation of the company with the prospecting license marked the beginning of the journey to first oil.

    With three years given to the licensees to complete exploration work on the prospecting side of the license before going to mining and development, we will do our best to ensure we bring value to the license as soon as possible, he said.

    Speaking on challenges, he said having gone through the first stage of completing the bid process and collecting the operating license, its focus would shift to the field to deploy its expertise and competences to get to first oil.

    Aliu, while acknowledging the challenges operators face in the Niger Delta region, he said it would rely on the companys wealth of experience garnered since 2010 as a downstream player in the region to surmount challenges.

    He said the readiness of the NUPRC to support the operators in resolving any challenges they may encounter, also boost the confidence of the company, especially in handling challenges ahead. (NAN)(

    Edited by Grace Yussuf

    Source: NAN News

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     Magistrates absence stalls defamation trial of ex-FRIN staff member
    By Suleiman Shehu

    Trial in a case of alleged breach of public peace, conspiracy and defamation against Mr Abraham Joseph, a former member of staff of Forestry Research Institute of Nigeria (FRIN), was on Wednesday stalled due to the absence of the trial magistrate, Mrs S. Adeshina.

    The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Joseph was on May 24 arraigned on a three-count charge of breach of public peace, conspiracy and defamation.

    The defendant had earlier pleaded not guilty and was granted bail in the sum of N100,000 with one surety in like sum.

    The court also directed that the surety should be a blood relation of the defendant.

    The case was then adjourned till June 29 for trial.

    However, at the resumption of proceedings on Wednesday, the Senior Magistrate was not available for the trial, while counsel in the matter picked Aug.18 for the continuation of trial.

    It would be recalled that the Prosecuting Counsel, Mr Sikiru Ibrahim, had informed the court that the defendant and others at large conspired with Sahara Reporters, an online medium, to publish a defamatory message against Prof. Adepoju Olusola, the Director-General of FRIN.

    Ibrahim said that the publication was intended to tarnish the reputation of Olusola and cause breach of public peace, knowing it to be false.

    He said that the incident happened on June 29, 2021 at about 2.00 p.m.

    The prosecutor said that the offence contravened Section 517, Section 375 and 249 (d) of the Criminal Code Cap 38 Vo.II, Laws of Oyo State of Nigeria, 2000.

    Section 249 (d) of the Criminal Code Cap 38 Vo.II Laws, Oyo State of Nigeria 2000 states:

    Every person who, in any public place, conducts himself in a manner likely to cause a breach of the peace, shall be deemed idle and disorderly persons and may be arrested without warrant, and are guilty of a simple offence and liable to imprisonment for one month.

    Section 517 says:
    Any person who conspires with another to commit any offence which is not a felony, or to do any act in any part of the world, which if done in Nigeria would be an offence but not a felony, and which is an offence under the laws in force in the place where it is proposed to be done, is guilty of a misdemeanor and is liable to imprisonment for two years.

    Section 375 of the Criminal Code Act states that any person who publishes any defamatory matter is guilty of a misdemeanor and is liable to imprisonment for one year.

    Edited by Olagoke Olatoye

    Source: NAN News

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     Ireland APC pays tributes to Tinubu, pledges support
    Sen. Bola Tinubu

    The Ireland Chapter of the All Progressives Congress (APC) has paid tributes to the partys presidential candidate, Bola Tinubu, saying his emergence as flag bearer is a testament to his unwavering efforts to enthrone democracy in the country.

    The Ireland chapter of the party stated this in a felicitation letter made available to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Wednesday in Abuja.

    The letter was jointly signed by the chapters Chairman, Hammed Adefioye and General Secretary, Sunday Oyedeji.

    Your victory at the primary election is a testament to the years of unwavering efforts toward the enthronement of democracy in our dear country which you are an harbinger since the Fourth Republic.

    As APC has entrusted you with the mandate to lead our party to the next general election as our presidential candidate, we are resolute that you have what it takes to deliver the presidency for APC and all other elective posts across Nigeria and for all our candidates.

    APC Ireland Chapter stands ready to be part of the electioneering campaign both in person and materially as we approach full blown campaign for the election come 2023, the letter said.

    The group also congratulated President Muhammadu Buhari and the partys stakeholders for a successful convention, adding that it would soon visit Tinubu on a courtesy call ahead of the campaigns. (NAN)

    Edited by Julius Toba-Jegede

    Source: NAN News

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     Call to arm in Zamfara: Group supports militarys position against move

    By Sumaila Ogbaje

    Unity Advocacy Group (UAG), a non-partisan group has urged Nigerians to support the Nigerian Armys position that it is not right for citizens to carry arms for self defence.

    The Convener of UAG, Mr Ifeanyi Aigbedion made the call in a statement on Wednesday in Abuja.

    The Zamfara state government had in a statement issued by the Commissioner for Information, Ibrahim Dosara, on Saturday directed residents to arm themselves against bandits.

    The directive was, however, faulted by the Chief of Defence Staff (CDS), Gen. Lucky Irabor on Monday.

    According to Irabor, the call is not right as the armed forces and other security agencies are combat ready to handle the security challenges.

    Aigbedion said the CDS and the military were very much aware of the dangerous consequences of allowing citizens to bear arms.

    He said that allowing citizens to carry arms would also affect the success of the 2023 general elections, saying politicians would use the opportunity to arm thugs.

    According to him, people may not be aware of the dangers associated with allowing the citizens to bear arms.

    The armed forces of Nigeria are privileged to have all information and we should allow them sort out the security challenges.

    Allowing people to start carrying arms may likely deepen the security challenges and take it to uncontrollable levels.

    The Nigerian military has so far shown capacity in dealing with the security challenges. Politicians should not be allowed to compound the situation, he said.

    Aigbedion also agreed with the position of some lawyers in the country who described the directive by Zamfara state government as unlawful. (NAN) (

    Source: NAN News

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     Nigerian pilgrim dies in Saudi Arabia
    By Ismail Abdulaziz

    A Nigerian pilgrim, Hajiya Aisha Ahmad, has died of illness in Saudi Arabia on Wednesday.

    Aisha Ahmed, from Keffi Local Government Area of Nasarawa state, died after a brief illness according to Alhaji Idris Al-Makura, Executive Secretary, Nasarawa State Muslim Pilgrim Welfare Board.

    Al-Makura told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Wednesday in Makkah, Saudi Arabia that the deceased had no record of ailment before departing from Nigeria.

    The deceased had no medical history as at the time of departure to the Holy Land and we are together in Madinah. The pilgrim took ill two days ago.

    She was first taken to the National Hajj Commissions Hospital in Makkah and later transferred to the King Abdulaziz Hospital where she passed on. The family was duly informed of the death.

    We sent the family a video recording of the process of her death confirmation, to the funeral rites and finally, the burial, he said.

    Bala Ango, young brother of the deceased, told NAN that her demised is a great loss to the family, adding that she would be greatly missed by all.

    He said she lived a life worthy of emulation by the younger generation.

    Ango described her as an embodiment of piety, adding that she was always promoting the ideals of Islam at home and within the neighborhood.(NAN)

    Edited by Alli Hakeem

    Source: NAN News

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     Marginal fields: NUPRC awards licences to 161 coys
    By Emmanuella Anokam

    The Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission (NUPRC) has awarded Petroleum Prospecting Licences (PPLs) to 161 successful 2020 marginal fields awardees.

    The commission also officially unveiled the Host Communities Development Regulations and model Petroleum Prospecting Licences (PPLs).

    Chief Timipre Sylva, the Minister of State Petroleum Resources, at the unveiling and licences presentation on Tuesday in Abuja said the maiden presentation of the PPL was part of the implementation of Petroleum Industry Act (PIA), 2021.

    The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the successful companies include Ardova Plc, Matrix Energy Ltd., Sun Trust Oil Company Limited, Deep Offshore Integrated Service Ltd., Island Energy Ltd. and Sigmund Oil Field Ltd.

    Others are Shafa Exploration and Production Company Ltd., Emadeb Energy Ltd., Zigma Ltd., Inland Basin Ltd. and Petraco Oil Ltd., among others.

    NAN also reports that 57 fields presented in the 2020 bid round met the criteria and were subsequently offered for bidding.

    Out of the 665 entities that expressed interest in the exercise,161 emerged as potential awardees while out of the 57 fields, 41 were fully paid for.

    Also, 37 fields were issued with the PPL having satisfied all conditions for award.

    The minister commended the management and staff of the NUPRC for ensuring the successful completion of the process, which began in 2020.

    He described it as a giant milestone for the administration.

    The implementation of the PIA 2021 is in top gear. Consequently, the new awardees should note that their assets will be fully governed by the provisions of the PIA 2021.

    As you develop your assets with the special purpose vehicles (SPVs), ensure that good oilfield practice is employed, environmental considerations and community stakeholders management are not neglected.

    It is my strong belief that the awardees would take advantage of the current attractive oil prices to bring these fields into full production within a short period to increase production, grow reserves and reduce cost of production.

    The onboarding of new oil and gas players in the petroleum sector is part of this governments policy to encourage more indigenous participation in our petroleum operations, he said.

    Sylva said the development would boost activities in the oil and gas sector.

    He added that it would boost production output and create additional employment opportunities for Nigerians

    Mr Gbenga Komolafe, Commission Chief Executive (CCE) NUPRC, recalled that one of the major tasks inherited by the commission, upon its inauguration in 2021 was the need to conclude the 2020 Marginal Field Bid Round.

    He said the exercise was faced with several constraints which included the COVID-19 interruption, partial payment of Signature Bonuses by some awardees, and the unwillingness of co-awardees to work together in forming SPVs for field development.

    He said the marginal fields award initiative began in 1999 and was borne out of the need to entrench the indigenisation policy of government in the upstream sector and build local content capacity.

    He recalled that since its inception, a total of 30 fields had been awarded with 17 currently producing.

    He said that the 2020 Marginal Field Bid Round exercise in respect of which PPLs were being issued had attracted government revenue of about N200 million and seven million dollars, respectively.

    He said it was significant to note that the passage of the PIA brought an end to the era of Marginal Field awards.

    Section 94 (9) of the Act states that no new Marginal Field shall be declared under this Act.

    Accordingly, the minister shall now award PPL on undeveloped fields following an open, fair, transparent, competitive, and non-discriminatory bidding process in line with Sections 73 and 74 of the Act, he quoted.

    Komolafe said the impact of the upswing in the crude oil price was not reflecting in the nations revenue earnings due to disruptions in our national oil production owing to sabotage, theft, and other operational challenges.

    He urged the potential companies to take advantage of the current market realities and quickly bring their fields to production.

    Speaking on the unveiled Host Communities Development Regulations, he said it was significant for the commencement of implementation of the provisions of Section 235 of the PIA, for attraction of dividends to the host communities. (NAN) (

    Edited by Chinyere Joel-Nwokeoma

    Source: NAN News

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     Lagos govt to unveil 30-year devt. plan  Sanwo-Olu
    By Florence Onuegbu

    Gov. Babajide Sanwo-Olu says the government will soon unveil a 30-year development plan, toward accelerating sustainable economic growth.

    Sanwo-Olu made this known during the Lagos Chambers of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) private sector interractive meeting with the Governor on Tuesday in Lagos.

    He said that the 30-year plan was in pursuit of physical development, social growth and economic prosperity.

    According to him, the Lagos State Development Plan 2052 will be officially unveiled at the forthcoming ninth Economic Summit of the state, popularly known as Ehingbeti.

    He said that the 30-year plan was developed with clear objectives from four strategic dimensions, aimed at positioning the state to achieve its vision.

    Sanwo-Olu said that each of the four dimensions of the development plan would be achieved through over 400 policy initiatives that would be implemented throughout the period.

    The Lagos State Development Plan 2052 has been developed with a set of clear objectives across four strategic dimensions, which are to position Lagos on the track to achieving its vision.

    The dimensions to this plan are to keep a thriving economy that will make Lagos a robust, healthy and growing economy with adequate jobs and strategic investments to sustain growth.

    We are building a human-centric city in which every Lagosian will have access to affordable and world-class education, healthcare and social services.

    There will be deliberate effort to keep modernising our infrastructure, by providing reliable and sufficient infrastructure that meet the needs of a 21st century city.

    The plan will also bring about sustenance of effective governance. Lagos will have a supportive and enabling environment that creates opportunities for all Lagosians.

    This is a huge task that must be achieved between now and the nearest possible future, he said.

    The governor said that the plan would not be realised when the private sector the drivers of the states economy is not carried along in the implementation of the identified policy phases.

    He thanked the business community for supporting the state government in dealing with arising issues in the challenging period of COVID-19 pandemic pushback.

    According to him, more social burden could have trailed the pandemic have the private sector not considered the governments entreaty that prevent mass retrenchment of workers.

    Sanwo-Olu the state government would continue to improve on the ease of doing business in Lagos.

    He said that in the last one year, Lagos had recorded massive influx of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) to the tune of million in the technology sector.

    The governor said that the state had attracted global tech brands such as Equinox, Google, and Microsoft, among others.

    He expressed hope that the meeting with the Organised Private Sector would lead to creation of new pathways, that would facilitate a more robust relationship with the sector.

    LCCI President, Dr Michael Olawale-Cole, said that the meeting with Sanwo-Olu indicated the Chambers continued faith his administration for a better business environment.

    Olawale-Cole said that Lagos had continued to be the investment haven for FDIs coming to the country, as the state alone accounted for 71 per cent of the ,573 billion foreign investment Nigeria recorded in the first quarter of 2022.

    He said that policy direction was critical for a thriving and supportive business environment in any economy, as the quality of the policy was a key consideration for local and foreign investment decisions.

    According to him, with an improved business environment, Lagos can attract more capital inflows from Nigerians in the Diaspora, as a more sustainable funding for the provision of required infrastructure.

    He said that enormity of needs in Lagos required the cooperation of both the public and private sector.

    The LCCI boss announced that Lagos would be the official chief host of the International Tech and Telecommunication (ICTEL) Expo coming up in August.

    The LCCI Deputy President, Mr Knut Ulvmoen, said that Sanwo-Olu took his most important decision to come out and meet with the investors.

    The Norwegian, who has lived in Lagos for 36 years, said that he had witnessed the city transformed before his eyes into a blossoming economy.

    The Lagos narrative is a story in progress. The city is now cleaner than it used to be. I implore the government to focus more on education and make it accessible to the teeming young people. This is what will sustain the city in the long term.

    Government leaders should demand more than donations from the international community; they must come and create jobs, Ulvmoen said. (NAN)(

    Edited by Chinyere Joel-Nwokeoma

    Source: NAN News

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     Migrants are increasing within Nigerian borders  ILO
    By Joan Nwagwu

    The International Labour Organisation (ILO) says outgoing and incoming migrants are increasing within the Nigerian borders.

    The ILO Senior Technical Specialist on Workers Activities, Abuja Office, Inviolata Chinyangarara, made this known at a two-day consultative workshop on Tuesday in Abuja.

    The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the workshop was organised to define a roadmap for the development of a Trade Union Labour Migration Policy.

    According to Chinyangarara, counting labour migration trends figures is a challenge because migration can be regular or irregular.

    Some coming in are counted because they come through regular process, airports and other ports of entries but the majority that are vulnerable that in precarious situation are those that are coming through irregular means.

    But ILO statistics also show that they the trends are increasing, that is outgoing and income migrants, particularly within the Nigerian borders, she said.

    She said that labour migration were triggered by social, political and economic issues such as climate induces on labour migration, disasters, pandemics and other crisis, trigger people to move.

    According to her, our statistics also shows that largely in Africa, people are moving for economic reasons, particularly the young men and women.

    When they find that there are no jobs, no prospects for livelihood, they are pushed to move to other countries where they can find greener pastures for employment or enterprise development, she said.

    She however noted that the sectors highly hit by migration include health and construction sectors, cross borders traders and domestic service sectors are highly mobile.

    She said that there was brain-drain of highly skilled medical personnel, others, leaving the shores African countries to get better jobs in neighbouring countries.

    That is why the ILO has come up with a global International Standards that is protecting and promoting the rights domestic workers, that is Convention 189,she said.

    Chinyangarara said that ILO was collaborating with the tripartite constituency in Nigeria on issues of decent work and particularly on labour migration governance, to ensure the promotion of rights of migrants, among others.

    According to her, this is to brainstorm around a roadmap for the developing a Trade Union Labour Migration Policy, understand that in 2014, the Ministry of Labour spearheaded the process to develop the policy.

    So, leveraging on that the trade unions are also going to brainstorm on this workshop some of this national frameworks including global frameworks such as the agenda 2030 for sustainable development.

    We are also going to look at the ECOWAS Protocol on Movement of Goods and Persons, we also going to look at relevant ILO International Labour Standards.

    It is some of these documents that would then inspire the content in the process for developing the Trade Union Labour Migration Policy.

    We are going to look at what is going to change in the process of the review and what are the new antics that COVID-19 pandemic, others has brought to bear, she said.

    Chinyangarara said that the Trade Union Labour Migration Policy was one way that the trade unions would contribute to the implementation of the national Labour Migration Policy.

    She said that a Trade Union Labour Migration Policy is a partway for trade unions to contributes to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) that were targeting labour migration.

    She said that the Labour Migrations Policy had become imperative as migration had become a major challenge in Africa for young men and women as they travelled through irregular processes.

    After this workshop, we are hoping to come up with a process that will then define the milestones for Labour Migrations Policy.

    We hope to come up with a steering committee that will be made up from NLC, TUC that will then define if they want to do development of Labour Migration Policy.

    That is through consulting or on their own in-housing knowledge expertise to develop this process, she said.

    NLC Migration Officer James Eustace said the workshop was first of its kind to design a roadmap policy on Trade Union Labour Migration.

    Eustace said that there were two policies that were already frameworks for migration governance in Nigeria, which include the National Policy on Labour Migration adopted by the Federal Executive Council in 2014 and the National Migration Policy adopted in 2015.

    This are all state actors policies, but for us it is a clear fact migration is merely driven by employment and labour migrants, forming the bulk of migrants.

    Therefore it is very critical and necessary for trade unions to have a framework that guides trade unions activities in migration governance, hence the decision to hold the workshop, he said.(NAN)

    Edited by Grace Yussuf

    Source: NAN News

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     NAICOM cancels registration certificates of 2 Insurance coys
    By Ginika Okoye

    The National Insurance Commission (NAICOM), has cancelled certificates of registration of Standard Alliance Insurance Plc, RIC 091 and Niger Insurance Plc, RIC 029 with effect from June 21.

    This is contained in a statement issued by Mr Rasaaq Salami, Head, Corporate Communications and Market Development of NAICOM in Abuja on Tuesday.

    Salami said the Commission had appointed Sanya, Ogunkuade Esq of Plot 217, Upper Grace Plaza, Utako, Abuja as the liquidator for Niger Insurance Plc.

    According to him, the Commission has also appointed Kehinde Aina, Esq, of Aina Blankson LP, 5/7, Ademola Street, Ikoyi, Lagos as the liquidator for Standard Alliance Insurance Plc.

    He advised all stakeholders to forward their enquiries to the respective receiver/liquidator for each company for their necessary action.

    Salami assured all stakeholders of the Commissions readiness to ensure their safety and the protection of their investments. (NAN)(

    Edited by Ese E. Eniola Williams

    Source: NAN News

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     NOUN appoints new Registrar, Bursar, Librarian
    By Gami Tadanyigbe

    The Governing Council of the National Open University of Nigeria (NOUN) has approved the appointment of a new Registrar, Bursar and Librarian for a single term of five years.

    Director, Media and Publicity of the university, Ibrahim Sheme, stated in Abuja on Tuesday that Mr Oladipo Ajayi was appointed as Registrar; Mr Nasir Marafa as Bursar and Dr Angela Ebele Okpala as Librarian.

    He added that the outgoing Registrar, Mr Felix Edoka, issued appointment letters to the trio on June 27 after approval by the universitys Governing Council at its 69th meeting, held on June 23.

    The registrars appointment takes effect from Sept. 5; the bursars takes effect from Sept. 17, while that of the librarian took effect from June 23. (NAN)(

    Edited by Alli Hakeem

    Source: NAN News

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