Nigeria is moving rapidly towards disintegration – Guy Ikokwu

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Guy Ikokwu, a Second Republic politician and a member of the Ime-Obi (inner caucus) of the apex Igbo socio-cultural group, Ohanaeze Ndigbo, in this interview with ZEBULON AGOMUO, Editor, expressed worries over the worsening insecurity in the country, the 2019 general election, among other issues of national interest. Excerpts:

How would you react to the current state of the nation, in terms of the wave of insecurity?

Well, the nation is very divisive at the moment; and the nation is not secured; insecurity in the nation pervades the whole country from north to the south. There are so many killings in all parts of Nigeria as has never been seen before in the history of this country; apart from the civil war. There is monumental corruption in Nigeria unheard of before and you know, corruption was one of the indices that brought about the first military coup of the Yorubas and the Igbos. It was not an Igbo coup; it was Nigerian coup of young Majors.

And it has not abated for 50 years; and the Nigerian nation has deteriorated so much that we have become a laughing stock of all nations. For the first time, we have become the poverty headquarters of the whole world. We have overtaken India. And for the first time, with the level of insecurity that we have; we can no longer pretend about the killings, the kidnappings and the herdsmen who have now been militarised. Never before in the history of Nigeria have herdsmen who keep goats, pigs and cattle or sheep become militarised and begin to kill at random. These are matters which our children cannot understand; because Nigeria has now gone down to the lowest ebb of educational qualifications. But without good education no nation … Read More...

Nigeria-Saudi energy cooperation: Beyond paparazzi

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Following talks between Saudi energy officials and Ibe Kachikwu, Nigeria’s minister of state for petroleum resources, there is a plan to draft a memorandum of understanding on an oil and gas partnership that could lead to the construction of a new refinery and investments in liquefied natural gas.

Kachikwu visited Riyadh recently where he met with his counterpart Khalid al-Falih and also held meetings with Amin Nasser, Saudi Aramco CEO.

An early draft of a memorandum of understanding for the two OPEC countries would be ready in the first week of May.

“Areas of interest will cover the existing refinery revamp, building of a brand new refinery, LNG investments and product supply trading in crude and refined products,” Nigeria’s ministry of petroleum resources said in a statement.

The statement added that Khalid Al-Falih, Saudi energy minister, had reiterated the possibility of establishing an independent refinery in Nigeria, considering it the best hub from which to reach other African countries.

But this is not the first time talks about Nigeria-Saudi energy cooperation is being mooted.

As recent as 2016, the issue of energy cooperation between Nigeria and Saudi made headlines at a bilateral meeting in Riyadh when King Salman Bin Abdul-Aziz hosted President Muhammadu Buhari. The mantra resonated in November 2018 when Al-Falih visited Nigeria.

On both occasions, the cooperation did not go beyond media headlines. However, there is a marker this time; Nigeria’s petroleum ministry promised a draft MoU would be ready by first week of May. Beyond that, other timelines were not stated. No figures or volume of investment has been touted.

Saudi Aramco is expanding its downstream operations such as refining and petrochemicals production as part of its drive to become the world’s largest integrated energy firm. Saudi Arabia is on a drive … Read More...