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Economy on edge as militants blow up Shell/Agip gas pipelines

Attack on Shell/Agip facilities triggers fear of renewed Niger Delta militant activities.

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Economy on edge as militants blow up Shell/Agip gas pipelines

Oil facilities owned by Shell/Agip were attacked on Wednesday by unidentified people in a sign that militant activities may have resumed again in the oil-rich Niger Delta region of Nigeria.

Several explosions were heard in the facilities located at the Ikarama community in Yenagoa Bayelsa forcing Shell to shut down the facility. Nigeria faces a precarious economic crunch that cannot afford to be worsened by militant on oil facilities.

READ: Buhari flags off $2.8 billion gas pipeline project, biggest in Nigeria’s history

What they are saying

According to media reports tracked by Nairametrics, a spokesperson from Shell, Michael Adande, confirmed the explosions admitting that the facility was shut down to minimize the impact.

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“We have report of an interference on our pipeline about one kilometer from Ikarama Community in Bayelsa State. We immediately shut-in the line and we have informed the regulatory agencies and stakeholders. A joint investigation team led by government officials will determine the cause of the interference,”

READ: NNPC, only Nigerian company to cut losses by N800 billion in one financial year – GMD

Residents of the Ikarama community where the facility is located complained that they were currently battling with air pollution as a result of the incident. This was disclosed by a youth leader of the community, Ben Warder, in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria.

He said, “The incident resulted in air pollution from the gas pipeline and crude leak which members of the affected communities are battling to cope with.”

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READ: Rwanda set to launch first-of-its-kind Green City worth $4.5 billion

On how the explosion happened on Monday, Warder explained that the residents heard several sounds from the explosions that rocked the oil fields.

He said, “The site is not far from Ikarama, we heard sounds from the blast and it sounded like dynamites and it was not safe to go near. So, when the situation became quiet we had to trace what happened and it turned out that Shell’s gas pipeline and Agip’s crude lines were destroyed.”

READ: NDDC working on new master plan for Niger-Delta Region – Akpabio

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He lamented that citizens, for several years, have had to cope with years of oil pipeline vandalism in Nigeria’s Niger Delta and that is one of the major challenges oil companies operating in the region.

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Why this matters

The National Bureau of Statistics just confirmed Nigeria fell into a second recession in less than 5 years as the impact of Covid-19 and fall in oil prices took a toll on the economy.

  • The last time Nigeria fell into a recession, the economy was ravaged by a fall in oil prices but made worse by attacks on oil facilities by Niger Delta Militants. Oil production fell drastically during the pipeline bombings hurting Nigeria’s foreign exchange inflows.
  • At the height of the bombings, the exchange rate crashed to over N500/$1 at the black market.
  • The protracted series of attacks forced the government to negotiate a peace deal with militants helping Nigeria’s oil production to climb back to 1.8 mbpd.
  • If this is a sign of another spate of militant activities, then Nigeria could be set for an even worse economic crunch that could severely hurt the policies of the government.
  • Attacks on oil pipelines could hurt Nigeria’s oil production and foreign exchange earnings further denting Nigeria’s external reserves.

READ: Oil prices drop on fears for soft fuel demand

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Bottom Line

If this bombing continues, then the exchange rate could crash further at the black market and might even force another round of devaluation.

Explore Data on the Nairametrics Research Website

Abiola has spent about 14 years in journalism. His career has covered some top local print media like TELL Magazine, Broad Street Journal, The Point Newspaper.The Bloomberg MEI alumni has interviewed some of the most influential figures of the IMF, G-20 Summit, Pre-G20 Central Bank Governors and Finance Ministers, Critical Communication World Conference.The multiple award winner is variously trained in business and markets journalism at Lagos Business School, and Pan-Atlantic University. You may contact him via email - [email protected]

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53,460 3G and 4G Base Transceiver Stations (BTS) deployed in Nigeria – Prof. Danbatta

The 3G and 4G base transceiver stations deployed in Nigeria in the last 5 years increased from 30,000 to 53,460.

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Buhari reappoints Danbatta as NCC Vice Chairman/CEO

A total of 53,460 third-generation (3G) and fourth-generation (4G) base transceiver stations (BTS) have been deployed in Nigeria in the last five years.

This was disclosed by the Executive Vice Chairman of Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Prof. Umar Danbatta at a briefing session for the new Permanent Secretary of the Federal Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy, Engr. Festus Yusuf Daudu.

According to Danbatta, the effective regulatory regime put in place by his leadership has created the desired impetus for the increased deployment of infrastructure by various telecoms operators, which in turn, has helped to improve the broadband penetration and other related service delivery in the telecoms industry.

The BTS, fibre optic cables and other related infrastructure are central to the provision of improved service experience for Nigerians by their respective telecoms service providers.

“The licensed Infrastructure Companies (InfraCos) are also expected to add 38,296km to optic fibre cables when they commence full operations.

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What they are saying

According to Prof Danbatta:

  • The Commission will continue to put in its best in the discharge of its mandates, especially in facilitating the deployment of broadband, which is central to diversifying the Nigerian economy and national development”
  • “Also, it is our belief that the communications industry, under the leadership of the Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy, will experience more quantum leaps and retain its current leadership role in the telecommunications space”

In his reaction and comment, the new Perm Sec, Engr. Festus Yusuf Daudu said:

  • “I want to thank NCC for its contribution to the Nigerian economy so far. I am not exaggerating about the achievements of NCC, in terms of contribution to GDP and how NCC’s effective regulatory role has been helping the economy in so many ways

What you should know

  • The BTS system is part of a GSM network that is responsible for the reception and transmission of radio signals from mobile phones.
  • A Base Transceiver Station is a general description of equipment consisting of the telecommunication technology and the air interface of the mobile network (GSM, UMTS etc.).
  • The deployment of the 3G and 4G base transceiver stations (BTS) increased from 30,000 to 53,460, in the last 5 years
  • While the Fibre Optic Transmission cables expanded from 47,000km to 54,725km
  • As at November, 2020, active telephony subscribers stood at 208 million with tele-density standing at 108.92%
  • Active Internet subscriptions of 154.9 million were achieved with broadband penetration rate of 45.07%
  • The number of subscriptions to DND service hit over 30 million as the service empowers Nigerians to be able to protect themselves from the menace of unsolicited text messages and calls.

Why this matters

Having more Base Transceiver Stations (BTS) is quite imperative for driving an improved broadband/telecoms service delivery to Nigerian subscribers.

The poor services currently experienced by many telephony subscribers, especially in areas not sufficiently covered by Base stations, will now be a thing of the past as even subscribers in the remotest rural areas can conveniently receive and make calls and as well as enjoy other subscription services, without hitches.

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Steps to take to get your NIN

Getting your national identification number is free and would not take you a lot of time if you follow the right steps.

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You cannot fully claim to be a citizen of a country if you don’t have a means of identification. There are several means of identification for Nigerians like the international passport, voter’s card, or driver’s license. Still, the most recognized and widely accepted means of identification is the National Identity Card which carries a unique number.

Your national identification number is required for almost anything you do in Nigeria these days, including opening a bank account and get a sim card. Getting your national identification number is free and would not take you a lot of time if you follow the right steps. There are three types of enrolment processes:

READ: NIN Registration: NIMC adopts booking system for enrolment from December 30

1. Self Service:

In this case, you walk into an enrollment centre and apply by yourself. All you have to do is feel an enrollment form, submit it to the officer available and do your biometrics, after which your NIN would be given to you.

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2. Assisted Service:

For the assisted service, you walk in and get assistance from a support officer who helps you fill your form correctly and make sure your application is submitted. This service is mostly for people that can neither read nor write. It makes the process easier for them and helps to avoid time wastage.

READ: FG directs the suspension of NIMC staff involved in extortion of NIN applicants

3. Mobile Service:

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You also have the option of walking into a mobile enrollment centre in your neighbourhood, and either do a self or assisted service. Check online for the mobile enrollment centres close to you.

To get your unique national identification number, there are some steps you have to take. They include;

Step 1: Walk into the nearest NIMC enrolment centre with the required documents (any means of identification and your BVN if you have one). Make sure you have not enrolled before, if you have, go along with your old national identification number.

READ: FG extends deadline for Telcos to block SIMs without NIN to February 2021

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Step 2: Get and fill the enrollment form providing all the required information.

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Step 3: Submit the filled form to the enrollment officer, who then inputs your details into the online enrollment application.

Step 4: Verify and confirm the enrolment data on the system to avoid mistakes.

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READ: Beware of fake NIN app, NIMC warns Nigerians

Step 5: Capture your headshot photo, fingerprints and signature

Step 6: Give the enrolment officer your supporting documents to scan

Step 7: Your enrolment is acknowledged, and two slips are generated for you. The first slip should be a transaction slip and the second slip should be a NIN slip indicating completion of enrolment.

READ: FG commences NIN enrollment for foreign diplomats

The federal government recently made it mandatory for all Nigerians to link their NIN with their sim, so it is essential for you to get your NIN if you don’t have one. Getting your NIN should not be difficult if you have the required documents and follow the steps stated above.

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FG commences NIN enrollment for foreign diplomats

The NIMC has announced that it has started the enrolment of NIN for foreign diplomats in Nigeria.

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FG invalidates SIM integration using BVN generated NIN, applicants must visit NIMC offices

The National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) announced that it has started the enrolment of NIN for foreign diplomats in Nigeria.

This was disclosed by the NIMC in a statement on Friday.

“The Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Isa Ali Ibrahim (Pantami) in his bid to ensure seamless enrolment of all diplomats in the country for the purpose of the ongoing NIN-SIM linkage and other need, directed the setting up of the enrolment center at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Abuja,” the agency said.

READ: Beware of fake NIN app, NIMC warns Nigerians

The enrolment of diplomats started on Monday, 18th January 2021.

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NIMC assured Nigerians that it would ensure the enrolment of all Nigerians and legal residents into the National Identity Database.

READ: FG invalidates SIM integration using BVN generated NIN, applicants must visit NIMC offices

What you should know: Nairametrics reported earlier that the Federal Government on Sunday announced the mandatory National Identity Number (NIN) enrolment for foreign diplomats in the country.

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