The Government of Oyo State and the Shell Nigeria Gas have signed a Memorandum of Understanding, which will see the company extend its gas pipeline infrastructure to the state.
Speaking shortly after signing the MoU, Governor Seyi Makinde stated that the partnership was an indication that the policies and programmes put in place by his administration to expand the economy of the state are beginning to yield positive fruits.
He explained that the project is timely and that it will aid the industrialisation drive embarked upon by the government, adding that the Gas Pipeline Infrastructure Project will be run on a Build, Operate and Transfer basis for 15 years.
The SNG’s Managing Director, Ed Ubong, who signed for the company, said the development will aid the industrialisation effort of the state amid the ongoing efforts by the Governor Seyi Makinde administration to expand its economy.
Ubong, who maintained that the partnership with Oyo State is an opportunity to further promote gas as a more reliable, cleaner and cost-effective alternative to liquid fuels in the state, said “gas is the key to boosting industrialisation.”
The event took place at the Exco Chamber of the Governor’s Office, Agodi, Ibadan.
A statement by the Chief Press Secretary to Governor Makinde, Mr. Taiwo Adisa, quoted the governor as saying that the state is open for business and has always tried to do things in a transparent manner.
The governor said: “Oyo State is open for business and we try to transact our business transparently. We allow our decisions and actions to be driven by logic and data. So, we know for a fact that Shell Nigeria Gas coming here to extend the gas infrastructure to Oyo State is a decision that should have been taken a long time ago. I personally participated in the West Africa Gas Pipeline Project, and if it is good for Ghana, it should be better for Oyo State.
“Of course, this is a challenging period for us as a country and also for Oyo State, as the COVID-19 pandemic is still very much around. We are also faced with an economic meltdown. Is this a period to undertake a big project? I will say yes, because the pandemic is going to go away and there will be post COVID-19 activities. I think the timing is appropriate and I thank the management of Shell Nigerian Gas for being bullish about the economic potential of Oyo State.”
The governor added that the project will fast-track ongoing efforts of the state government to industrialise and expand the economy, saying “most of our industries generate power using diesel. So, we believe if we convert them to gas, Oyo State would have become part of the states that are helping the country to monetise its gas resources.
“We have what will make it possible here. We have the Independent Power Plant, IPP, which we are already looking at. If we have gas here, things will just flow seamlessly. People used to think that Oyo State is too far away from the centre of industrialisation in Nigeria, talking about Lagos. But things are rapid. We have the rail line. We also have an Airport in Ibadan that we are trying to upgrade and the Lagos-Ibadan Express road construction, which is ongoing. Though it is not finished yet, it is better than what it used to be. So, all of these coming together mean that Oyo State can take on a whole lot of activities, be it industrial or others and we can assist Lagos and Ogun states.
“I am glad that SNG is willing to be our partner on this journey. I have sat down with a former governor of this state. They have had this project in the pipeline for quite a while. The state was going to set aside funds to execute the project before now but it did not see the light of the day because something funny happened.
“Now, we are being creative in project delivery structure. So, what we are looking at now is to build, own, operate and transfer. I am sure SNG will look for the money to build the gas infrastructure. SNG will own and operate it for 15 years and it will later be transferred to Oyo State.
“Truth is, we have to be creative if, as a government, we don’t have the resources, yet we have to bring development and industrialisation to our state. We are glad that SNG has confidence in us and we will do everything, within the spirit of the MoU that has just been signed, to deliver on our own part.”
Also speaking, the state’s Commissioner for Energy and Mineral Resources, Barr. Seun Ashamu, said: “The negotiation and signing of this MoU with Shell Nigeria Gas is an effort to increase the economic potentials of the state through the availability of gas and this will assist us to attract big businesses and will aid in industrial development and also securing our state.
“An international company like Shell coming to Oyo State shows the ease of doing business, the investment potentials of the state, and the type of administration that the governor is running.”
He added that as part of the achievements of the Governor Makinde administration, the SNG will assist the state government to develop its gas masterplan, which is intended to cover the state and be driven by demand, while the state will also benefit from a percentage of growth revenue from the gas sales.
In his speech, the SNG MD promised that the company will carry Oyo State Government along in terms of employment and skill development, adding that the project will create employment for the citizenry, create more means of livelihood and also increase the Internally Generated Revenue, IGR, of the state as a result of industrialisation.
He said: “I am proud that SNG is here. The vision of the governor is to see how we can rapidly industrialise the state and with a clear vision and support, we will get that done. We will do all we need to do to ensure we can realise the terms of this MoU.”
Oyo: Makinde Mother’s Burial Holds December
Body of Chief (Mrs.) Abigail Makinde, the mother of Oyo state governor, Engr. Seyi Makinde will be interred in the first week of December.
Governor Makinde disclosed this yesterday while playing host to a delegation from the Deji of Akure, Oba Aladetoyinbo Aladelusi Ogunlade Odundun II, which was in Ibadan, the state capital to commiserate with him on the death of his mother.
The governor said he was very delighted with the visit, urging Akure people, the kingdom where his mother was born, to actively participate in her funeral.
Makinde, who described them as one of the most upright, bold and honest people in Yoruba land and the nation at large, also added that his late mother was a role model whose dedication to work, uprightness, boldness and honesty were the traits of Akure people.
A statement by Mr. Taiwo Adisa, the Chief Press Secretary to Governor Makinde, quoted the governor as saying “when you see an average Akure man or woman, you see courage and see people who are true to their words.”
While delivering the condolence message from the Deji of Akure, the leader of the delegation, who is the Asae of Akure Kingdom, Senior High Chief Sola Adegbonmire, described the governor’s mother as a worthy daughter of Akure Kingdom.
He stressed that the Omoregie family, where Madam Abigail Omojolagbe Makinde hailed from, is a family of exceptional and wonderful people in Akureland.
Oba Aladetoyinbo further described the death of Madam Makinde as a painful loss not only to the Makinde family but also to the entire Akure Kingdom.
He then prayed that God would grant the family the fortitude to bear the irreparable loss.
‘My mother was an epitome of love, humility’ – Gov. Makinde mourns
The Oyo state governor, Engr Seyi Makinde, has described his late mother, Chief (Mrs.) Abigail Omojolagbe Makinde, as an epitome of love and humility, despite being a disciplinarian.
The governor stated this on Friday while receiving the National Working Committee (NWC) of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) led by the National Chairman, Prince Uche Sencondus, on a condolence visit to his house at Ikolaba GRA, Ibadan.
According to a statement signed by the Chief Press Secretary to Governor Makinde, Mr. Taiwo Adisa, the governor expressed gratitude to the PDP NWC, noting that the fact that the leadership of the party made it to Ibadan barely 24 hours after Mama’s demise showed the love they have for him.
The statement also noted that apart from the PDP NWC entourage, the Aare Musulumi of Yorubaland, Edo, and Delta States, Alhaji Daud Akinola, Chief Imam of Ibadanland, Sheikh AbdulGaniyy Abubakri Agbotomokekere, the Grand Mufti of Ibadanland, Sheikh Abdul Fatai Alaga, and other Muslim leaders also paid condolence visits to the governor.
Similarly, the Oyo State Judiciary led by the Chief Justice of the state, Justice Muntar Abimbola, and the General Officer Commanding, 2 Div, Nigerian Army, Ibadan, Major General Anthony Omozoje, were also at the Makinde residence to condole with the governor.
Speaking while receiving the PDP entourage, which included the National Organising Secretary, Col. Austin Akobundu (retd); Deputy National Secretary; National Financial Secretary, Alhaji Abdullahi MaiBasira; National Woman Leader, Hajia Mariya Waziri; National Publicity Secretary, Mr. Kola Ologbondiyan, as well a leader of the PDP from Osun State, Hon. Soji Adagunodo, Governor Makinde said the family remains grateful to God for the life Mama lived.
He said: “I want to thank you most sincerely for this condolence visit. I want to say, on behalf of myself, my wife, immediate family, and extended family, we are very grateful and appreciative of this visit. This happened yesterday morning and you are here this morning. It shows that you truly love me. So, I want to say thank you.
“Actually, we were preparing for my mummy’s 81st birthday, which would have been on the November 7, exactly three weeks from yesterday. But who are we to question God?
“We are grateful to God for the life she lived. To us, she was an epitome of love, humility. She was tough. If you see that trait in some of us, it came from her. And we also thank God that it was not like we were carrying her from one hospital to the other. She died peacefully in her sleep. So, we thank God for what He has done.”
Governor Makinde, who also took the opportunity to appreciate the PDP NWC for the confidence it had in him to lead the Ondo State governorship campaign, said what the outcome of the election meant was that the party would have to go back to the drawing board, adding that the campaign council will submit a report as soon as practicable.
“I will also like to use this opportunity to thank the National Working Committee of our great party for the opportunity you gave to us to lead the campaign in Ondo State. We can’t question God for the outcome of that election. What it means is that we have to go back to the drawing board. We will be submitting a report of those areas where we fell short, to the NWC as soon as practicable.
“I really want to use this opportunity to thank all of you who were there in Akure for the love of our party and for the support that you gave to our candidate in Ondo State.
“Once again, my Chairman, I am appreciative of this visit and I thank you and all the members of the NWC of our party.”
Earlier, the PDP national chairman said that the visit was to condole with the governor and the family for the loss of their mother.
He said: “A time like this is the time you know those who care and those who are with you. Unfortunately, we have two situations on our hands. We lost the chairman of the party in Zamfara. Obviously, we divided ourselves; the Deputy National Chairman of the party left for Zamfara yesterday morning for the burial of our late chairman of the party. And I and the rest of us in the National Working Committee leadership decided yesterday to come to Ibadan today.
“We are here by the grace of God to console you and the rest of the members of your family. We have no other way to do it than to join you in prayers.
“It is a very painful experience that you have to go through, sometimes alone. I know what it is because I have experienced it. It is only God that can fill the vacuum in your heart because the care of a mother is quite different from that of a father.
“So, on behalf of the leadership of our party, we are here to console you on this condolence visit. The Lord will strengthen you. And because you are one of our best and doing good works for the people of Oyo State and at this time that you are giving out your best, suddenly, God who gives has taken your beloved mother.
“We are here to share the pain and sorrow with you and to let you know we will continue in prayers during this period, even as we prepare for the funeral. After the funeral, we will continue to pray for you, your immediate and larger family. It is important for us to do so, having worked with you and having seen you as a man who is compassionate and cares for others.
“Today, we are here with you and we pray that God will energise you at this period and stretch His right hand of righteousness to touch every one of the members of the family to bear this great loss.
“Therefore, as members of the National Working Committee, we pray that God will keep you now and thereafter to make you continue to do the good work for the people of Oyo State
Nigeria: Group drums support for #ENDSARS
Benchmark Group of Nigeria on Friday declared its support for the ongoing peaceful #EndSARS protests, as Nigerians speak up against police brutality.
Akanbi Bukola, founder of the group in a chat with Mega Icon Magazine said it is imperative to identify with Nigerians as protests continue around the country to end police brutality and the abuse of power by the institution established to protect its citizenry.
She noted that aside corruption and oppression from the hands of some elements of the Nigeria Police Force, “this time around, Nigerians, irrespective of faith, ethnic or political biases, must come together to eradicate police brutality once and for all in the society”.
According to her, for many Nigerians, the police has failed to fulfill its mandate of providing public security as enshrined in the constitution, adding that officers are now viewed more as predators than protectors.
Akanbi lamented further that Nigerians struggling to make ends meet are accosted on a daily basis by these officers who demand bribes and commit abuses against them as a means of extorting money.
“Those who fail to pay are usually threatened with arrest and physical harm, by those expected to protect them”, she said.
Akanbi, however called for the overall reform of the country’s police force.
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