Monday, April 27, 2015

This Week in Nigeria: Oil Production Bounces Back After Floods

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Offshore Nigerian oil rigs at dusk. Photograph by Terry Whalebone.

This Week: News

Oil production bounces back after floods

Nigeria’s oil industry looks set to recover from the recent floods by December. Flooding reduced the country’s oil output by one fifth and led Royal Dutch Shell to close two of the Nigeria's major crude oil streams, but Nigeria is expected to be shipping 2.12 million barrels per day by the end of the year – the highest for 6 months.

Russian arms vessel continues detention

Last week witnessed the seizure of a Russian ship along with its 15 crew members off the coast of Nigeria. The vessel, belonging to Moscow-based security firm Moran, was reportedly intercepted by naval patrol boats and was carrying 14 AK-47 rifles and 22 Benelli MR1 rifles with thousands of rounds of ammunition. Director-general of the Moran Group, Alexey Badikov, said the vessel had authorisation to carry arms but the Lagos Naval Command spokesman, Lieutenant Commander Jerry Omodara, said there was no proof that they had permission to enter Nigerian waters.

Taraba state governor in hospital after plane crash

Taraba state governor Danbaba Suntai narrowly escaped death after the plane he was flying crashed in Yola, Adamawa state. Suntai, who graduated as a pilot from the Aviation College in Zaria last year, was piloting the government-owned aircraft when it crashed around 7.45pm, near a Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) depot. Suntai is currently recuperating at the National Hospital where he has been visited by President Goodluck Jonathan. Also on board were his aide-de-camp and chief security officer alongside three others who are all in stable condition.

Church attack in Kaduna leaves seven dead and dozens injured

Seven were killed and dozens more injured in a suicide bombing at a church in Kaduna, northern Nigeria, during Sunday mass. The city has been the scene of violence in recent months and this latest attack has been blamed on the Islamic sect Boko Haram. Unconfirmed reports estimate that two or more people may have been killed in reprisal attacks.

Federal Inland Revenue exceed annual target

The Federal Inland Revenue Service says it surpassed its estimated annual revenue target just 9 months into the year. By September, the agency had collected N3.81 trillion ($24 billion), overtaking the provisional N3.6 trillion ($22 billion) budget estimate.

This Week: Politics

Football-loving Nigerians were glued to their seats last Wednesday as the draw took place for the group stages of the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations, to be hosted by South Africa. In the 2012 edition of the tournament, Nigeria failed to qualify after underestimating their opponents Guinea and undergoing a generally sloppy qualification process. It was the first time in 30 years Nigeria was not by part of the Africa Cup of Nations. The decision to move the tournament to odd years instead of even has meant Nigeria has only had to wait a year to make up for last year’s failures.

The final round of qualifiers saw the Super Eagles trounce Liberia 8-2 on aggregate. Nigeria had not won by such a margin in 20 years and has raised hopes that the Eagles are once again super. Coach Stephen Keshi seems to have instilled the main elements of discipline and drive that had been lacking in previous years and has been harnessing a mix of local league and foreign based players, making team selection one of the most competitive in recent memory. Nigeria’s group for the tournament will consist of Burkina Faso, reigning champions Zambia and Ethiopia, which is playing in the cup for the first time in 30 years. I have grown to dislike the claim ‘there are no longer minnows in African football’. It is an excuse to lose. If their potential is fully harnessed, the current crop of players – supported by their coaching staff and government – can surely touch the sky (figuratively) and the trophy (literally).

The Lagos state government last week carried through plans to ban the commercial motorcycle popularly known as Okada. Okadas have become an integral part of Africa's fastest growing city and are used by thousands of commuters each day to weave through the traffic jams for which Lagos is notorious. The government believe banning the vehicle will reduce road accidents and fatalities and help tackle crime. Two years ago, Abuja similarly banned the vehicle.

Protests against the measure in Lagos have come from far and wide with many complaining that Okadas are a cost-effective and essential alternative to extortionate cabs and overcrowded commercial buses. Furthermore, the industries that support the construction of Okadas will surely suffer from the ban. The various road projects currently under construction and the bus transit system are still far away from completion and one must ask if this was the right time to put a stop to Okadas.

Writers of the week:

”Perplexed...Perplexed”: On Mob Justice in Nigeria’ by Teju Cole looks at the perils of mob behaviour with special focus on the gruesome murder of four students at the University of Port Harcourt earlier this month. The writer delves into the historical nature of mob activity whilst analysing the roots of such actions. The article relives the drama of October 5 in which four students were set upon and killed by local villagers in a host community after they were accused of theft. The article tries to piece together the reasons behind such actions.

Emergency on external affairs’ welfare’ by Tunde Thompson is written in the form of a cry for help regarding Nigeria's foreign policy. The writer details the importance of Nigeria on the African continent whilst bemoaning the draconian style in which the country still treats its foreign policy obligations. The country’s underfunded and at times inactive foreign embassies are discussed alongside the desperate need for funding in relation to Nigeria's foreign missions in order to preserve and advance Nigeria's power beyond its shores.

Organisation of the week:

Tenstrings Music Institute is a premier music training institution with study centres in Ikeja, Lekki, Surulere, Festac, and Port Harcourt. Tenstrings offers several professional music services which include Voice training, Music Video Editing, Sound Engineering and Music Production, Music Business Studies and the Theory of Music. Genre of teachings includes Hippop, Reggae, R&B, Gospel, Jazz, Rock, Highlife, Afrobeat and more.

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