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Encomiums as Okodu Bows out of NCC

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Mr Durojaiye Anthony Okodu

Nasiru Yusuf

The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has on Friday organized a 

Okodu , also known as “Baba Naira”, as he bowed out of NCC having reached the mandatory retirement age of 60 years and after 28 years of meritorious service.

KANO FOCUS reports that Mr Okodu has been described by colleagues as an unusually calm, friendly, stylish and very considerate staff of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC).

The staff described him as “A man without negative airs, yet he carries himself with the avuncular grace. His physical persona is marked by an exceptional gait that matches his physique.

“A man of naturally tall framing devoid of excessive fat that makes him able to move swiftly and magisterially. Importantly, Okodu’s humility and affable disposition easily endear him to everyone.”

Okudu began his career at the Commission in July 1994, as a cashier on transfer from the erstwhile Ministry of Communications, where he was headhunted by a former director of the Commission, Felicia Onwuegbuchulam. From then on, he had risen through the ranks, before eventually retiring as a Principal Manager, Projects, at NCC.

At the well-attended valedictory session, staff, friends, and well-wishers of Okudu, paid glowing tributes in torrents to the man who can aptly be described as man of the people.

Many were nostalgic and poignant while others were joyous, optimistic and introspective that Okodu would thrive in the next phase of his life.

In her remark, the NCC’s Director, Projects, Iyabode Solanke, who was Okodu’s last supervisor before his retirement, and who was also  Okodu’s Head of Department while they both worked at the Commission’s Department of Financial Services, extolled the retiree for his dedication, as well as his dressing code and excellent work ethics, which she said are worthy of emulation.

Sholanke was represented by a Deputy Director in the department, Philip Eretan, who also attended the valedictory session in his own capacity as a friend of Okodu.

In the same vein, NCC’s Director, Zonal Operations, Amina Shehu, in her goodwill message, stated that in every interaction she had with Okodu, she had observed his stellar qualities, such as empathy, kindness, and gentleness. She added that he was also consistent in everything he did.

For Dr. Ikechukwu Adinde, NCC’s Director, Public Affairs, who also attended the valedictory party, anyone would be easily impressed by Okodu’s level of dedication to duty, which has become a mark of Okodu’s outings and career at the Commission.

Adinde said that Okodu was not merely ever-present whenever he was needed most, he also, every so often, displays emotional intelligence, and never lost his temper no matter the level of provocation.

“I am also impressed by Okodu’s social networking skills which had enabled him to remain connected with every staff,” Adinde emphasised.

The Director, Compliance Monitoring and Enforcement, at the Commission, Ephraim Nwokonneya, profoundly recalled the attributes exhibited by Okodu that are so quite distinctive when he had the opportunity of working with Okodu in the Financial Services Department of the Commission.

Nwokonneya said when he was assigned to the Department of Financial Services of the Commission as a Principal Manager, he had worked closely with Okodu, who characteristically was full of zeal and energy.

He said Okodu was very efficient and easily endeared himself to everyone. Nwokonneya encouraged him to look at retirement as a time of rejuvenation, reflection and prosperity.

A longtime companion and friend of Okodu, who was so evidently elated at Okodu’s befitting retirement, Olatokunbo Oyeleye, a Deputy Director at the New Media and Information Security Department of the Commission, said Okodu made her beginnings at the Commission a wonderful experience.

To Oyeleye, Okodu is more than a colleague, “he is a brother,” she said and proceeded to recall with gratitude when she joined the Commission as a fresh graduate, “Okodu and his wife accommodated me, taking me under their wings”.

This humane side of Okudu was underscored by Hafsat Lawal, Head, Consumer Policy Development and Monitoring, who asserted that Okudu was a mentor and a friend in need.

“He is reliable and dependable, exuding high level of understanding in all matters and he would go out of his way to ensure everyone was comfortable,” Lawal said.

Former staff of the Commission were also not left out of the celebration.

Among them, who attended and poured encomiums on Okodu, are Felicia Onwuegbuchulam, who retired from NCC as Director Consumer Affairs two years ago, and Abubakar Yakubu, a former Director at the Commission who voluntarily retired in 2019.

Onwuegbuchulam, a noted friend and confidant of Okodu who influenced Okodu to join the Commission 28 years ago, said she had no regrets in recommending Okudu to the Management of the Commission at the time.

She said she was gratified that Okodu did not only had a chequered career at the Commission, he also excelled remarkably.

Yakubu, in a goodwill message he sent to the valedictory programme which was read on his behalf, praised Okodu for his dedication to the Commission.

He declared that Okodu was one of the few staff who would work long hours, and would even work at home.

He added that Okodu’s commitment and relentlessness to delivering on his assigned duties were total and spectacular.

Okudu, who spoke at the end of the speeches, thanked the audience and all those who had honoured him with their presence and kind words.

Reflecting on the occasion with philosophical calmness and thanksgiving to God, Okodu said there had to be an end to every beginning but he thanked God for the privilege to witness his retirement day alive.

While expressing delight over all the goodwill messages received, he enjoined the younger staff who would be taking over the baton, to be hardworking.

He also advised that Commission can only thrive if staff remain hardworking in a consistent manner, and are dedicated and loyal to the Commission.

Other contributors at the event included Ajoke Atte, Head, Procurement; Solomon Igbayue, Assistant Director, Policy Competition and Economic Analysis; Emeka Nnama, Senior Manager, Zonal Operations; and Anthony Bassey, Senior Manager, Administration, all staff of the Commission who extolled Okodu’s distinctive virtues and dedication to the aspirations of the Commission. They all wished Okodu a life of grace and bliss in retirement.

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Dangote Refinery imports additional 11m barrels of US crude oil due to domestic supply shortage

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Nasiru Yusuf Ibrahim

 

 

Dangote Petroleum Refinery and Petrochemicals has issued a tender for an additional 11 million barrels of US crude oil over the next six months due to Nigerian crude oil producers’ inability to meet its feedstock requirements.

KANO FOCUS reports that the 650,000 barrels per day refinery has already received 9 million barrels of West Texas Intermediate crude from the US since the beginning of 2024 to offset unreliable domestic supplies. The new tender, closing on July 21, aims to procure two million barrels per month of WTI Midland crude for the world’s largest single-train facility located in Ibeju Lekki, Lagos, for the next six months starting in August.

In a tender reported by Bloomberg, Dangote Refinery purchased five million barrels of West Texas Intermediate (WTI) Midland crude for delivery in the upcoming months of August and September. Additionally, the company initiated a tender process to acquire an additional six million barrels of American crude for September.

This reliance on US crude highlights Nigeria’s challenges in meeting its own refining needs, attributed to issues such as crude theft, aging infrastructure, and underinvestment, which have led to a decline in production. In April, Nigeria’s daily output was only 1.45 million barrels, well below its capacity of 2.6 million barrels per day. The country recorded an estimated 30 million barrels underproduction in the first four months of 2024.

Dangote Refinery, crucial to Nigeria’s goal of becoming a net exporter of petroleum products, has found it necessary to import crude to sustain operations amidst insufficient domestic supply.

President of Dangote Group, Aliko Dangote, stated during the Africa CEO Forum 2024 that the refinery will need to continue importing crude as production scales up and alternative supply contracts are sought.

“It also makes economic sense for us to tender for crude. If we could source 100 percent Nigerian crude, then fine, but we can’t wait,” said Dangote.

Commenting on the challenge with sourcing crude locally, Dangote added, “there is a bit of a problem for us to source the entire volume of crude that we’re looking for domestically because we need different types and mixes. Unless crude production improves – which we pray and hope for – we need to go elsewhere.”

The refinery took in more than 41 million barrels of feedstock in the first half of the year as it completed test runs and gradually increased processing rates, tanker-tracking data show. Of that, about a quarter has been American supply.

According to CAS, the refinery took delivery of 11 WTI cargoes, or 9 million barrels, between February and May, contrasting with around 18 million barrels of Nigerian crude deliveries.

Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC), NNPC has struggled to meet its 300,000 barrels per day obligation to the refinery due to operational constraints.

International financial analytics corporation, S&P Global, recently described the Dangote Petroleum Refinery and Petrochemicals company as capable of resolving Nigeria’s foreign exchange (forex) issue and its huge pressure on the local Naira currency, while also catalysing the country’s economic development.

S&P Global, headquartered in Manhattan, New York City, disclosed this during an onsite visit to the refinery as part of its sovereign credit ratings assessment of Nigeria. The team from the international rating agency were accompanied by officials from the Federal Ministry of Finance.

S&P noted that the refinery would bolster Nigeria’s oil sector and, more importantly, also have a positive impact on its growing economy.

Currently operating at 350,000 barrels per day capacity, Vice President of Oil and Gas at Dangote Industries Limited (DIL), Devakumar Edwin, recently disclosed that the refinery would scale up to at least 500,000 barrels per day capacity by July/August, commencing the refining of petrol and ultra-low sulphur diesel.

He noted that the refinery, designed to process a wide range of crudes including various African and Middle Eastern crudes, as well as US Light Oil, conforms to Euro V specifications. In addition, it is designed to comply with US EPA, European Union (EU) emission norms, the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) emission/effluent norms, and the African Refiners and Distribution Association (ARDA) standards.

While noting that most refineries were built by foreign companies, he said it is a thing of pride that a Nigerian company designed and built the world’s largest single-train refinery complex while acting directly as its own Engineering, Procurement, and Construction (EPC) contractor. The refinery which also incorporates a self-sufficient marine facility capable of handling the world’s largest vessels, can meet 100% of Nigeria’s requirement of all liquid products (Gasoline, Diesel, Kerosene & Aviation Jet) and have surplus of each of these products for export.

 

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UNICEF Commends Governor Yusuf for Education Prioritization in Kano State

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Mukhtar Yahya Usman

In a gesture of appreciation, the United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF) has praised Governor Abba Kabir Yusuf of Kano State for his steadfast commitment to enhancing the education sector within Kano.

During a cordial meeting at the Kano Government House on Thursday, the Country Director, Mrs. Christain Munduate, extolled the enduring partnership between UNICEF and Kano State, advocating for its reinforcement to yield greater mutual benefits and collaborative opportunities.

This was contained in a statement issued by the Governor’s spokesperson Mr. Sanusi Bature Dawakin Tofa and made available to journalists in Kano.

Mrs. Munduate reiterated UNICEF’s unwavering support for the state in both the Health and Education sectors, emphasizing the imperative for Kano State to fulfill its counterpart funding obligations for the Malnutrition project.

In response, Governor Alhaji Abba Kabir Yusuf called for increased support and goodwill from UNICEF and other donor agencies, highlighting Education and Health as pivotal realms necessitating additional assistance due to their fundamental importance in societal progress.

Governor Yusuf pinpointed Malnutrition and poliomyelitis as pressing health concerns, particularly affecting children and other vulnerable demographics.

Detailing the notable achievements in the education sector under his administration, Governor Yusuf underscored his government’s dedication to providing essential infrastructure, educational resources, modern classrooms, teacher training programs, and fostering an enriching environment conducive to learning.

Furthermore, in the realm of healthcare, Governor Yusuf emphasized the state’s endeavors to ensure complimentary medical services for women and children, overhauling of hospitals, and furnishing healthcare facilities with requisite equipment.

Assuring the visiting delegation, Governor Yusuf expressed the State’s commitment to doubling the counterpart funding contribution compared to Jigawa State for combating the pressing issue of Malnutrition.

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NiMet predicts morning thunderstorms in Kano on Friday

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Nasiru Yusuf Ibrahim

The Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NiMet) has predicted morning thunderstorms on Friday over parts of Kano State.

KANO FOCUS reports that NiMet’s weather outlook released on Thursday in Abuja envisaged thunderstorms over parts of Jigawa, Kebbi, Kaduna, Adamawa, Taraba, Gombe and Bauchi States on Sunday.

The agency anticipated thunderstorms over parts of Katsina State, Zamfara, Sokoto State and Kebbi.

The agency urged the public to take adequate precautions as strong winds may precede the rains in areas where thunderstorms are likely to occur.

NiMet advised Airline operators to get updated weather reports and forecasts from NiMet for effective planning in their operations.

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