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NiDCOM, IOM Parley On Better Diaspora Relations

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NiDCOM, IOM Parley On Better Diaspora Relations

Olushola Okunlade Writes

Stakeholders in the Diaspora matters have described reinforced networking and synergy among all as critical for the promotion of diaspora relations for national building.

This was one of the highlights at the fourth Summit of the Standing Committee on Diaspora Matters and the State Diaspora Focal Point Officers (SDFPOs), organised by the Nigerians in Diaspora Commission (NiDCOM), and the International Organization for Migration (IOM) in
Abuja.

In his opening remarks, the representative of the Chief of Mission for the IOM, Mr. Victor Lutenco, stressed the need for robust development between Nigeria and the Nigerians in the Diaspora.

Lutenco added that mechanisms or platforms for Nigerians abroad to invest in the nation’s economy should be made available while adding that the Government should ensure adequate welfare for the Diasporas and ensure their participation in the electoral process.

He commended the Nigerian government for creating a strategy and structure to look inwards at converting the brain-drain phenomenon to brain gain and brain circulation for national development.

NiDCOM, IOM Parley On Better Diaspora Relations
Mr. Victor Lutenco, Rep IOM Chief of Mission (M), Engr. Dr. Sule Yakubu Bassi, Rep. Hon. Abike Dabiri-Erewa, Chairman/CEO NiDCOM (1st person, Left), with other stakeholders and participants at the 4th Standing Committee on Diaspora Matters Meeting in Abuja
NiDCOM, IOM Parley On Better Diaspora Relations
A cross section of participants at the 4th Standing Committee on Diaspora Matters Meeting in Abuja

Speaking via Zoom from Seoul, South Korea, Hon (Dr.) Abike Dabiri-Erewa, the Chairman/CEO, NiDCOM said that with more service delivery towards galvanising the relationship between Nigeria and its Diaspora, the Commission needs to be strengthened, in terms of functionality and as independently as possible.

In 2019, the Southern Swamp Associated Gas Solutions project was commissioned, and the SPDC JV is planning to reduce associated gas flaring further through its Forcados Yokri gas-gathering project, of which large parts are set to be completed in 2022. Despite such efforts to reduce continuous flaring, unfortunately flaring intensity (the amount of gas flared for every tonne of oil and gas produced) at both SPDC- and SNEPCo-operated facilities increased in 2021 owing to short-term operational issues. Flaring from SPDC-operated facilities increased by around 5% in 2021 compared with 2020. The increase was primarily because of the extended outage of the gas compression system in SPDC’s shallow-water operations. The system was restored and became operational from January 2022. Flaring at SNEPCo-operated facilities rose by around 160% in 2021 compared with 2020. This was mainly because of an increase in flaring on the Bonga floating production, storage and offloading (FPSO) vessel. Repairs to a flex-joint on the Bonga FPSO’s gas export riser in the second quarter took longer than expected, in part because of weather conditions. While repairs were under way, the FPSO continued to produce oil and therefore flaring was necessary for safety reasons. The repairs were safely concluded in July 2021. Although flaring intensity levels rose in 2021, SPDC and SNEPCo over the last 10 years have almost halved the combined amount of hydrocarbons they flare from 1.5 million tonnes in 2012 to 0.8 million tonnes in 2021. This reduction is the result of a strict flaring reduction management process and both SPDC and SNEPCo will continue to work in close collaboration with joint-venture partners and the government to make progress towards ending routine flaring of associated gas. NIGERIA LNG EXPANSION UNDERWAY Global demand for LNG continues to grow as the world increasingly seeks reliable supplies of lowercarbon energy. Shell’s investment in Nigeria’s gas infrastructure for export is expected to help 6 This is according to a data provided by global research and consultancy business Wood Mackenzie. the country benefit further from revenues. Shell Gas B.V. and its partners took a final investment decision in 2020 on a new LNG processing unit – known as Train 7 -- at NLNG. The expansion is expected to create around 12,000 jobs for Nigerians during construction and stimulate growth of the local oil and gas service sector, with 55% of engineering and procurement of goods and services being sourced in-country. Train 7 is expected to ensure Nigeria’s continued place as a global player in a lower-carbon energy source. Once operational, Train 7 will add around 8 million tonnes per annum of capacity to the Bonny Island LNG facility, taking the total production to around 30 million tonnes per annum. In 2021, NLNG began awarding procurement and construction contracts. Early works started at the site. The first phase of the worker village is expected to be ready for occupancy in 2022 and the new material offloading facility ready for use by the end of 2022. NLNG’s Train 7 is expected to come onstream in the middle of the 2020s. KEY LICENCE RENEWED FOR DEEP-WATER SNEPCo has interests in four deep-water blocks in the Gulf of Guinea, two of which it operates. Today, nearly one-third of Nigeria’s deep-water oil and gas production comes from the Bonga and the nonoperated Erha fields.6 Since production began in 2005, Bonga alone has produced more than 950 million barrels of oil with the 2021 average oil production per day at 105,000 barrels. The Bonga FPSO vessel has a total production capacity of 225,000 barrels of oil per day and 150 standard cubic feet of gas export per day. In 2021, the availability of the FPSO vessel increased to 80% from 70% in 2020. In addition to Bonga, SNEPCo’s exploration activities have led to several significant discoveries of oil and gas over the last two decades, including the Bolia and Doro fields (Shell interest 55%). Nigeria Briefing Notes Helping to power Nigeria’s economy 13 In the right investment climate, SNEPCo believes that there are opportunities to expand. In 2021 the OML 118 (Bonga) production sharing contract was renewed and the lease extended for 20 years. Bonga North and Bonga South West Aparo (BSWA) oil fields are two such potential opportunities. Bonga North is a proposed tie-back project to the existing Bonga FPSO with Phase 1 comprising 14 wells. BSWA is a development of a new FPSO with Phase 1 comprising 23 wells. SUPPORTING RENEWABLE ENERGY STARTUPS Millions of Nigerians are excluded from the country’s power grid and Shell Companies in Nigeria have established and provided substantial funding for a not-for-profit, impact-investing company called All On. Operating as an independent company, All On works to bring reliable electricity – often from renewable energy sources -- to off-grid urban and rural customers. This support aims to build a solid pipeline of viable businesses that can create the scale required to address Nigeria’s access to energy gap. In December 2019, SPDC and SNEPCo made a significant additional 10-year financing commitment of $160 million in All On, bringing the total commitment to $200 million. By the end of 2021, All On had provided investment capital to over 40 renewable energy start-ups in its portfolio – an increase of more than 30% from 2020. One such company is Infibranches Technologies Limited, to which All On has committed $2 million, which is expected to enable the indigenous technology company to expand sales of solar home systems via its more than 13,000 agent banking partners across Nigeria. With the support of the Rockefeller Foundation, the All On Hub was established in 2020 to provide nonfinancial support and build the capabilities of off-grid energy entrepreneurs. In 2021, the hub supported 81 ventures – nearly double the 41 supported in 2020. Also in 2021, All On, Odyssey Energy Solutions and the Global Energy Alliance for People and Planet launched a $10 million equipment financing facility as part of the DART pilot programme in Nigeria. 7 Hydraulic flying leads support the delivery of hydraulic fluid and/or chemicals between subsea equipment. 8 Subsea trees are an assembly of valves and other components used to monitor and control the production of a subsea well. DART will combine demand pooling, aggregated purchasing of solar equipment, and access to affordable finance to unlock economies of scale for solar companies, achieve cost savings for end-users, and accelerate the growth of the renewable energy sector in Nigeria and beyond. DEVELOPING LOCAL CONTENT AND SKILLS Shell Companies in Nigeria contribute to the growth of Nigerian businesses that can provide technical and support services to the industry. This includes the manufacture of tools and technical kits, the operation of helicopter flights in the Niger Delta, and strategic partnerships between foreign and local companies to stimulate technology transfer and capacity development. While there are government-required programmes in some areas, such as the Nigerian and Community Content Strategy embedded in the Assa North/Ohaji South gas development project, Shell Companies in Nigeria deliberately seek to contract local businesses wherever possible. In 2021, Shell Companies in Nigeria awarded $800 million worth of contracts to Nigerian-registered companies. Of these, 92% were companies with at least 51% Nigerian ownership. SNEPCo has awarded major engineering and construction contracts to companies that are indigenous, have local staff, or possess domestic capabilities in the country. At present, the manufacture and rebuild of hydraulic flying leads7 (HFLs) is being carried out in-country by wholly indigenous companies. Pressure Controls Systems Nigeria Limited, another Nigerian company, continues to refurbish old subsea trees.8 Sometimes, a lack of access to capital hinders Nigerian companies from competing for and executing contracts effectively. Shell Companies in Nigeria have provided access to nearly $1.6 billion in loans to 901 Nigerian vendors under the Shell Contractor Support Fund since 2012. These loans help improve their tendering opportunities.

Dabiri-Erewa seized the opportunity to reiterate the need not to give up on Diaspora voting, as other African countries are fast adopting diaspora voting in their respective electoral process.

The NiDCOM Boss said that the Diasporas need to work together to boost and grow the nation, from the grassroots level at various state levels, to the federal level in Nigeria.

She thanked the IOM for their endless support in the affairs of migration and the diaspora in Nigeria.

The meeting also had progress reports and discussions from State Diaspora Focal Point Officers and other stakeholders present at the event.

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“More Nigerians In The Diaspora Should Be Awarded” – Dabiri-Erewa

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Hon. Dr Kafayat Abike Dabiri-Erewa OON receiving the blessings of the prayers being offered by Imam Dr Musa Olaofe of Ansar-ud-deen Society of Nigeria Abuja.

Olushola Okunlade Writes

The newly decorated national honouree, Hon. (Dr.) Abike Dabiri-Erewa OON, Chairman/CEO of the Nigerians in Diaspora Commission (NiDCOM),  has called on more national recognition to deserving Nigerians in the Diaspora to fast-track national growth and development.

Mrs. Dabiri-Erewa stated this in Abuja on the occasion of her 60th birthday celebration and conferment of a National Medal of Honour, OON.

The Chairman of NiDCOM expressed her joy that two Nigerians in the Diaspora made the honours list.

She maintained that such a gesture is a welcome idea that will encourage Nigerians abroad to invest more in their homeland.

Dabiri-Erewa (OON), thanked President Muhammadu Buhari and said that being named one of the awardees is a collective achievement of the Commission as well as her many years of the previous service as a media practitioner

In 2019, the Southern Swamp Associated Gas Solutions project was commissioned, and the SPDC JV is planning to reduce associated gas flaring further through its Forcados Yokri gas-gathering project, of which large parts are set to be completed in 2022. Despite such efforts to reduce continuous flaring, unfortunately flaring intensity (the amount of gas flared for every tonne of oil and gas produced) at both SPDC- and SNEPCo-operated facilities increased in 2021 owing to short-term operational issues. Flaring from SPDC-operated facilities increased by around 5% in 2021 compared with 2020. The increase was primarily because of the extended outage of the gas compression system in SPDC’s shallow-water operations. The system was restored and became operational from January 2022. Flaring at SNEPCo-operated facilities rose by around 160% in 2021 compared with 2020. This was mainly because of an increase in flaring on the Bonga floating production, storage and offloading (FPSO) vessel. Repairs to a flex-joint on the Bonga FPSO’s gas export riser in the second quarter took longer than expected, in part because of weather conditions. While repairs were under way, the FPSO continued to produce oil and therefore flaring was necessary for safety reasons. The repairs were safely concluded in July 2021. Although flaring intensity levels rose in 2021, SPDC and SNEPCo over the last 10 years have almost halved the combined amount of hydrocarbons they flare from 1.5 million tonnes in 2012 to 0.8 million tonnes in 2021. This reduction is the result of a strict flaring reduction management process and both SPDC and SNEPCo will continue to work in close collaboration with joint-venture partners and the government to make progress towards ending routine flaring of associated gas. NIGERIA LNG EXPANSION UNDERWAY Global demand for LNG continues to grow as the world increasingly seeks reliable supplies of lowercarbon energy. Shell’s investment in Nigeria’s gas infrastructure for export is expected to help 6 This is according to a data provided by global research and consultancy business Wood Mackenzie. the country benefit further from revenues. Shell Gas B.V. and its partners took a final investment decision in 2020 on a new LNG processing unit – known as Train 7 -- at NLNG. The expansion is expected to create around 12,000 jobs for Nigerians during construction and stimulate growth of the local oil and gas service sector, with 55% of engineering and procurement of goods and services being sourced in-country. Train 7 is expected to ensure Nigeria’s continued place as a global player in a lower-carbon energy source. Once operational, Train 7 will add around 8 million tonnes per annum of capacity to the Bonny Island LNG facility, taking the total production to around 30 million tonnes per annum. In 2021, NLNG began awarding procurement and construction contracts. Early works started at the site. The first phase of the worker village is expected to be ready for occupancy in 2022 and the new material offloading facility ready for use by the end of 2022. NLNG’s Train 7 is expected to come onstream in the middle of the 2020s. KEY LICENCE RENEWED FOR DEEP-WATER SNEPCo has interests in four deep-water blocks in the Gulf of Guinea, two of which it operates. Today, nearly one-third of Nigeria’s deep-water oil and gas production comes from the Bonga and the nonoperated Erha fields.6 Since production began in 2005, Bonga alone has produced more than 950 million barrels of oil with the 2021 average oil production per day at 105,000 barrels. The Bonga FPSO vessel has a total production capacity of 225,000 barrels of oil per day and 150 standard cubic feet of gas export per day. In 2021, the availability of the FPSO vessel increased to 80% from 70% in 2020. In addition to Bonga, SNEPCo’s exploration activities have led to several significant discoveries of oil and gas over the last two decades, including the Bolia and Doro fields (Shell interest 55%). Nigeria Briefing Notes Helping to power Nigeria’s economy 13 In the right investment climate, SNEPCo believes that there are opportunities to expand. In 2021 the OML 118 (Bonga) production sharing contract was renewed and the lease extended for 20 years. Bonga North and Bonga South West Aparo (BSWA) oil fields are two such potential opportunities. Bonga North is a proposed tie-back project to the existing Bonga FPSO with Phase 1 comprising 14 wells. BSWA is a development of a new FPSO with Phase 1 comprising 23 wells. SUPPORTING RENEWABLE ENERGY STARTUPS Millions of Nigerians are excluded from the country’s power grid and Shell Companies in Nigeria have established and provided substantial funding for a not-for-profit, impact-investing company called All On. Operating as an independent company, All On works to bring reliable electricity – often from renewable energy sources -- to off-grid urban and rural customers. This support aims to build a solid pipeline of viable businesses that can create the scale required to address Nigeria’s access to energy gap. In December 2019, SPDC and SNEPCo made a significant additional 10-year financing commitment of $160 million in All On, bringing the total commitment to $200 million. By the end of 2021, All On had provided investment capital to over 40 renewable energy start-ups in its portfolio – an increase of more than 30% from 2020. One such company is Infibranches Technologies Limited, to which All On has committed $2 million, which is expected to enable the indigenous technology company to expand sales of solar home systems via its more than 13,000 agent banking partners across Nigeria. With the support of the Rockefeller Foundation, the All On Hub was established in 2020 to provide nonfinancial support and build the capabilities of off-grid energy entrepreneurs. In 2021, the hub supported 81 ventures – nearly double the 41 supported in 2020. Also in 2021, All On, Odyssey Energy Solutions and the Global Energy Alliance for People and Planet launched a $10 million equipment financing facility as part of the DART pilot programme in Nigeria. 7 Hydraulic flying leads support the delivery of hydraulic fluid and/or chemicals between subsea equipment. 8 Subsea trees are an assembly of valves and other components used to monitor and control the production of a subsea well. DART will combine demand pooling, aggregated purchasing of solar equipment, and access to affordable finance to unlock economies of scale for solar companies, achieve cost savings for end-users, and accelerate the growth of the renewable energy sector in Nigeria and beyond. DEVELOPING LOCAL CONTENT AND SKILLS Shell Companies in Nigeria contribute to the growth of Nigerian businesses that can provide technical and support services to the industry. This includes the manufacture of tools and technical kits, the operation of helicopter flights in the Niger Delta, and strategic partnerships between foreign and local companies to stimulate technology transfer and capacity development. While there are government-required programmes in some areas, such as the Nigerian and Community Content Strategy embedded in the Assa North/Ohaji South gas development project, Shell Companies in Nigeria deliberately seek to contract local businesses wherever possible. In 2021, Shell Companies in Nigeria awarded $800 million worth of contracts to Nigerian-registered companies. Of these, 92% were companies with at least 51% Nigerian ownership. SNEPCo has awarded major engineering and construction contracts to companies that are indigenous, have local staff, or possess domestic capabilities in the country. At present, the manufacture and rebuild of hydraulic flying leads7 (HFLs) is being carried out in-country by wholly indigenous companies. Pressure Controls Systems Nigeria Limited, another Nigerian company, continues to refurbish old subsea trees.8 Sometimes, a lack of access to capital hinders Nigerian companies from competing for and executing contracts effectively. Shell Companies in Nigeria have provided access to nearly $1.6 billion in loans to 901 Nigerian vendors under the Shell Contractor Support Fund since 2012. These loans help improve their tendering opportunities.

She equally expressed her gratitude to her family and friends who have been her strongest support systems through the years.

Meanwhile, in celebration of the Day of the Girl-child, the NiDCOM  Boss upheld her promise to support the girl-child through her Foundation.

According to her, empowering the girl-child in society will create self-sufficiency among young girls and women, bringing about a positive and impactful movement for nation-building, especially for Nigeria.

Hon. (Dr.) Abike Dabiri-Erewa is among the 500 recipients of the National Honours Award, under the category of “Officer of the Order of the Niger, (OON)”, awarded by President Muhammadu Buhari in Abuja.

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Migration In Africa: IOM Team Lead Hails NiDCOM For Capacity Building

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IOM Team Lead Hails NiDCOM For Capacity Building

Olushola Okunlade Writes

Ms. Daphné Bouteillet-Paquet, the IOM Belgium, Project Lead for The Migration of African Talents through Capacity building and Hiring (MATCH) has commended the Nigerians in Diaspora Commission, (NIDCOM), for the supportive, positive, and corrective feedback to help evaluate the outcome of the Project.

Bouteillet-Paquet, who led a delegation of IOM Belgium staff, stated this during a review meeting with the Chairman/CEO Nigerians in Diaspora Commission, Hon. (Dr) Abike Dabiri-Erewa in Abuja.

She stated that the MATCH project is a 36- month initiative which kicked off on the 31st of January, 2020, and is funded by the European Union (EU) aimed at providing highly skilled talents to private sector companies whose needs for qualified staff cannot be satisfied by the offer available on the EU labour market.

IOM Team Lead Hails NiDCOM For Capacity Building
IOM Team Lead Hails NiDCOM For Capacity Building

The Project Lead added that this has enabled young graduates from Nigeria and Senegal to work for companies in four EU member states.

She noted that as applicants register on MATCH, companies from Belgium, Italy, The Netherlands, and Luxembourg will be supported with the sourcing and recruiting of African talents from Senegal and Nigeria.

The scheme, according to her,  is aimed at upscaling young migrants’ skills and increasing their employability, while addressing EU labour market shortages and contributing, in the longer term, to the development of Nigeria and Senegal.

Bouteillet-Paquet stressed that the project has implemented complementary activities such as skills development, capacity building, and knowledge sharing between the participating EU and African countries.

The IOM Belgium Project lead expressed the importance to have proper evaluation and feedback to help in the next project, as the first project will be ending in December 2022.

Receiving the delegation, (Dr) Abike Dabiri-Erewa, Chairman/CEO, of Nigerians in Diaspora Commission, (NiDCOM), says pre-departure seminars and capacity-building training should be held for applicants of the MATCH project.

Represented by the Secretary to the Commission, Engr. Dr. Sule Yakubu Bassi, stated this during the review meeting.

Bassi equally stressed that the recruiting of Nigerian talents should not be a one-way street, but must be beneficial to the country of origin and a bilateral labour agreement should be created.

He, however, suggested that a Memorandum of Understanding be drafted for the approval of the parties concerned.

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Dabiri-Erewa Applauds Diasporas Contributions To Nigerian Economy As Diaspora Remittances Increases

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Dabiri-Erewa applauds diasporas contributions to the Nigerian economy as diaspora remittances increases

Olushola Okunlade Writes

Hon. Abike Dabiri-Erewa, Chairman/CEO, of Nigerians in Diaspora Commission (NIDCOM) has commended Nigerians in the Diaspora on the rise of remittances in the first quarter of the year, by 20.3 per cent, representing the seventh consecutive quarterly increase in diaspora remittances since last quarter in 2020.

In a statement by the Commission’s Head of Media and Public Relations, Abdur-Rahman Balogun,  Dabiri-Erewa said that increase in remittances by Nigerians abroad which has played a significant role in the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP), has a great impact on the socio-economic growth of the country

She said, “As the world recovers from the global pandemic and confronts instability of many kinds, we want to honor the efforts of all those who continue to support their loved ones despite the challenging circumstances.”

According to the NIDCOM boss, the recent figures released by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) showed an increase in remittances in quarter one of 2022 to $5.16 billion from $ 4.29 billion same period in 2021.

Also, the ‘Naira 4 Dollar Scheme’ created by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) in 2021, attracted $2.4 billion in diaspora remittances within eight months, surpassing the figure reported in 2021.

She said NiDCOM will continue to push for more engagement with our diaspora who are an indisputable economic factor and are becoming an investment factor in the country, noting that many Nigerians abroad are investing in agriculture, real estate, health, education, and ICT, amongst others.

Dabiri-Erewa implored all stakeholders to continue engagement for Diaspora Voting with the National Assembly to amend relevant sections of the law to enable INEC to do the needful.

She assured Nigerians abroad that details of the Nigerians Diaspora Investment Trust Fund (NDITF) will soon be unveiled as a platform for structured diaspora investments, just as Diaspora mortgage and housing facilities are some of the programs being introduced by NIDCOM for the welfare of the citizens abroad.

Similarly, 33 states now have State Diaspora Focal Point Officers with Abia setting up Abia Diaspora Agency, while Edo and Enugu are almost set with their own agencies just as Ondo and Anambra states have Commissioners.

She also described the Diasporans as a valuable asset worth more than the billions of naira they sent home as remittances as they are contributing immensely to national development through training and capacity development.

Stressing that no nation can develop without its diaspora, she emphasized the need for Nigerians at home and in the diaspora to work together.

It is expected that by the end of the 2022 financial year, the remittances from Nigerians in the Diaspora from official sources would have increased from its current $22 billion to about $25 billion.

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