“Abraham Lincoln once said, “All that I am or ever hope to be, I owe to my mother.” Ben Carson added, I’m not sure I want to say it quite like that, but my mother, Sonya Carson, was the earliest, strongest, and most impacting force in my life.”
The oil magnet and billionaire chairman of Forte Oil, Femi Otedola did not kiss a mummy or lust to a kiss that should warrant the clobbering he has been garnering from some persons since a picture showing him kissing the mother was made public.
According to a published text where the picture was attached, Otedola said that he would not have been what he has become today if not for the mother’s stoical stance in making sure that he succeeds. So, he kisses the mother out of nonsexual love.
While the oil magnet believed that he cannot pay the mother, Lady Doja Otedola enough, for her unlimited love to him, some persons believe that it is immoral for him to kiss her. In the words of an analyst, “This is immoral, for an adult mother and son to kiss on the lips! Shame!”
Whatever the persons in this line of thought were thinking, kissing is not a bad thing. But like psychologists would say, nothing is bad but the heart makes it so.
For instance, in Mark 7:21-23, NLT, “For from within, out of a person’s heart, come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, greed, wickedness, deceit, lustful desires, envy, slander, pride, and foolishness. All these vile things come from within; they are what defile you.”
Conversely, many great men in the world who became successful out of their mothers’ inspiration, guidance, and so on had done more than a mere kiss to their mothers. For example, Benjamin Solomon Carson Sr., popularly known as Ben Carson, a renowned American neurosurgeon born September 18, 1951, has not stopped praising the mother, Sonya Carson, in his four books: Gifted Hands, Think Big, The Big Picture, Take the Risk).
Yours truly have read three of the books except ‘Take the Risk”. In these books, Ben praises the mother than is expected of any man in love with a woman. And he has been thankful to the mother whom her husband left two children to take care of, for another woman, when Curtis and Ben were but kids.
The mother who merely had a sound education except for cleaning people’s houses for a pay, was not deterred to be encouraging Ben with his low performance in the primary school.
Ben said, “Part of Mother’s strength came from a deep-seated faith in God and perhaps just as much from her innate ability to inspire Curtis and me to know she meant every word she said. We knew we weren’t rich; yet no matter how bad things got for us, we didn’t worry about what we’d have to eat or where we’d live.
“Our growing up without a father put a heavy burden on my mother. She didn’t complain — at least not to us — and she didn’t feel sorry for herself. She tried to carry the whole load, and somehow I understood what she was doing. No matter how many hours she had to be away from us at work, I knew she was doing it for us. That dedication and sacrifice made a profound impression on my life.”
So, Otedola’s kiss on the mother’s lips is acceptable and even expected of such an illustrious son. It is not what those saying it is immoral think. It is the kind of kiss that the bible Jesus exhibited to his disciples, to say the least.
A Kelli Mahoney, an expert on kissing said, “And we kiss our family members as a normal expression of affection. In many cultures and countries, kissing is a common form of greeting among friends. So clearly, kissing is not always a sin. Of course, as everyone understands, these forms of kissing are a different matter than romantic kissing.”
Otedola has every reason to kiss, caress and hug the mother for her positive influence mostly in his life. Some people like him can never forget the un-daunting zest their mothers deposited in them through life. Yes, women are naturally-muscularly feeble but you cannot limit the length their inner strength can go in the cause of raising their children and you cannot limit the level their children could go to reciprocate their love to them.
This could be the reason Abraham Lincoln born February 12, 1809 – April 15, 1865 who was an American statesman and lawyer, and served as the 16th President of the United States from March 1861 until his assassination in April 1865 once said, “All that I am or ever hope to be, I owe to my mother.”
Odimegwu Onwumere is a Poet, Writer and Media Consultant based in Rivers State. Tel: +2348032552855. Email: email@example.com
BEYOND RELIGION AND CULTURE: There is True Light and there is False Light. True Light is good while False Light is dangerous. You may not understand what I’ve written here if you are not who I AM. Many are on the False Light, on the wrong plane, and they pursue courses that soothe their ego, embellishing their ego with something that ignites the global trauma. Many people are modern than they look old, while few are ancient than they look young and are in the modern world. From today, start to cultivate, develop, and awaken, yourself no matter the terms, tradition or means you use. Do not forget to recite your mantras, do your meditation and prayer, rendering karmic selfless services and others. Your Chi (Energy or Holy Spirit) functions in tandem with the force of nature. The things of the spirit are not fanciful ideas. When we satisfy the causes, effects will result. And causes cannot be satisfied or effects result completely. This is the reason we must continue to do good and always hope that tommorrow will be better. The development of self in affinity with the cosmic laws leads to the True Light.
-Odimegwu Onwumere is a Poet, Writer and Media Consultant.
In this report, Odimegwu Onwumere unearths that the utilisation of the local content in the oil and gas sector is still a tall dream since the Nigeria Oil and Gas Industry Content Development Act was enacted in 2010; and $380b dollars or more have been lost in 50 years in the industry, upon the billions of dollars also being pumped in, to sustain the scheme
Stakeholders in the oil and gas sector and the federal government have been gasping for breath to fashion out a lasting plan for the utilisation of the local content in the sector since the Nigeria Oil and Gas Industry Content Development Act was enacted in 2010. This socio-economic term, which is as old as man, has had setbacks in several occasions in the country with companies and the authorities pumping in money into the initiative that is habitually never accomplished. The incessant hope given by opinion leaders pointing out that by making use of local content, about $191 billion could be maintained, while 300,000 new nonstop job opportunities were green in such areas as engineering, sciences, technical services and manufacturing of the oil and gas sector, might have been dashed by the oil companies and Nigerian authorities.
The “exploration, production, manufacturing, fabrication, procurement and allied services sectors of the oil business” which were the canons for the implementation of local content in the oil and gas sector are not being realised with the attendant results they deserve. Most times, while the stakeholders push to accomplish the “value added in local oil industries”, they make loss upon creating proposed chances and heartening indigenous oil companies to vigorously take part in maximizing local content.
Investigation by this writer has revealed that the local content, which was supposed to be a win-win affair, has been laced with controversies by the different stakeholders; hence there is a gap in promoting alliance amid “national oil companies, local companies and international organization.” The local content initiative is still struggling to be all inclusive, because there is drought of enabling environment for business, therefore leading to un-optimized moves to carry out Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) by the companies involved and not insuring utmost earnings for all.
Billions Of Dollars On Local Content
The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), defines local content in the oil and gas company as “The quantum of composite value added or created in the Nigerian economy through the utilization of Nigerian human and material resources for the provision of goods and services to the petroleum industry within acceptable quality, health, safety and environment standards in order to stimulate the development of indigenous capabilities.”
To realise this, experts have said that the government of Nigeria made mammoth venture up to $10 billion USD yearly to achieve 70% local content goal by the end of 2010 in the oil and gas sector. But as spectators have seen, the aim was defeated.
However, just on October 16, 2017, Vice Chairman/ Managing Director of Nigerian Agip Oil Company (NAOC), Mr. Massimo Insulla, while speaking during this year’s Nigerian Content Activities, hosted by Eni in Yenagoa, disclosed that the company spent over $5.4 billion in making sure that the Nigerian content gets to the peak in the last six years.
This is even as Chevron Nigeria Limited (CNL) said it spent $2.5 billion on local content development in Nigeria’s oil and gas sector, “representing 65 per cent of the total Nigerian goods and services expenditures for the year.”
According to Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer of Chevron, John Watson, “We do so through partnerships with national and local governments, national oil companies, Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs), and development agencies.”
Upon Companies Boast Of Expending Billion Dollars
Meanwhile, the Federal Government by August 24, 2017, had geared up to launch $200m (about N61bn at the official exchange rate of N305 to a dollar) local content interference fund. This was apart from its unyielding billions of dollars expended yearly to end local content quagmire by the end of 2010 that never came to light.
According to the Federal Ministry of Petroleum Resources, the novel move was “in pursuant of the Business Environment and Investment Drive Component of the #7BIGWINS, known as a document of the ministry that focuses on the short and medium-term priorities targeted at growing the nation’s oil and gas industry between 2015 and 2019.”
But on the contrary, the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB) might not be certain with its compass’s navigation on the local content. On September 25 2017, in Lagos, the NCDMB said that it was looking up that the Nigerian Content Intervention (NCI) fund would hit $1 billion in the next three years. It could be sensed that the NCDMB was using permutation in carrying out its national duty than it was using betting. This is even as it had said through its Executive Secretary, Engr. Simbi Kesiye Wabote at a public hearing conducted by the Joint Senate Committee on Petroleum Upstream and Gas in Abuja on July 26 2017 that it intended to establish a Local Content Bank of Nigeria.
While the NCDMB might not be certain with accountability of the funds to the tone of trillions of naira dished out for various projects over the years, media reports affirmed, “The bank when set up will focus on establishment of facilities for domiciliation of services with emphasis on the optimal use of local resource inputs.”
Buttressing this, Wabote in December 2016, (during a media dialogue on his plans to make these companies to meet the terms with the Nigeria Oil and Gas Industry Content Development (NOGICD) Act 2010 by making a payment to the Fund) gave an insight that some companies do not remit their one per cent contributions to the Nigerian Content Intervention (NCI) Fund.
Explaining, those who know better said, “The NCI Fund is a pool made available by the NCDMB to meet the funding needs of manufacturers, service providers and other key players in the Nigerian oil and gas industry. It was however, gathered that some upstream companies do not contribute to the NCI Fund at all.”
Meanwhile, this is contrary to a July 27 2017 report, stating, “On the Nigerian Content Development Fund (NCDF), the Executive Secretary reported that international oil companies comply reasonably in remitting one percent of the value of their contracts but some service companies and indigenous operating firms default in their payment.”
$380bn Lost In Oil/Gas Sector Due To Lack Of Local Content
While Nigeria was boasting of the billions of dollars she had expended in boosting local content in the oil and gas sector, by September 2017, while speaking at an oil and gas forum held in Accra, Ghana, Wabote disclosed that a whooping sum of $380b dollars or more have been lost in 50 years in oil and gas industry in the country.
“This capital flight is due to the absence of regulation on local content development in the oil and gas industry,” said the source.
However, Wabote added, saying, “Local content development in Nigeria has brought about the domiciliation and domestication of value addition in the oil sector, culminating in 26 percent in-country value retention compared to the five percent prior to the enactment of the Local Content Act in 2010.”
While this lasted, at the opening of the sixth Practical Nigerian Content Conference, in Abuja, in September 2016, to enlarge implementation of the local content policy to the midstream and downstream of the oil and gas sector, Wabote had explained that “a blueprint would soon be unveiled to attract the needed investment to the sector. And besides the creation of industrial parks for the sector, the NCDMB is also working towards the establishment of three pipe mills across the country.”
100% Local Fabrication Of Modular Refineries
At the same time, Nigeria can be seen is confused on how to go about her local content, whereas in 1962 when Norway’s offshore oil industry took off, the country recorded a huge growth in its Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and by 1965, the Norwegian Petroleum Law was enshrined and by 1972, the local content law was enacted in Article 54 of the Royal Decree of 1972.
According to reports, “The Royal Decree of 1972 mandated that Norwegian government should vigorously pursue the goal of insuring that Norwegian goods and services be given preference in the running of the oil and gas industry, provided they were competitive in terms of price, quality, schedule and service.” But since the 50s oil was explored in Nigeria at Oloibiri, a small community in Ogbia LGA located in Bayelsa State, Nigeria was by August 24, 2017 ‘still’ initiating plans to achieve 100 per cent local fabrication and this is especially of modular refineries in Nigeria.
A discussion with the Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEM), the federal government was also not certain when to achieve a lasting use of local content in the oil and gas sector. Just as it has been pumping billions of dollars in order to realise the local content by the end of 2010, the federal government through the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu was not certain when the deadline for the local fabrication of oil vessels and Floating, Production, Storage and Offloading vessels (FPSO), would berth. This is even as “the Bank of Industry said the newly launched $200 million intervention fund could be used for contract financing and loan refinancing for oil companies.”
According to the media, “Speaking at the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), signing ceremony on the implementation of the $200 million Nigerian Content Intervention Fund (NCIF), between BoI and the Nigerian Content Development Monitoring Board (NCDMB), Kachikwu said Nigeria would not continue to award contracts, but set deadlines on when to localise most of the vessels and projects in the country.”
Senate Uncertain With Local Content Implementation In Oil Industry
While the Malaysian oil industry began in the 1950s and objectives set for Malaysia’s oil and gas policy, which was to “maximise local benefits through the development of local capabilities and industrial base to support the growing onshore and offshore oil and gas industry”, Nigeria was thus far probing the local content implementation in the oil and gas industry in the country by July 18 2017.
The Red Chambers at the National Assembly was afraid that investors were not considering Nigerian companies while investing, hence the senate referred the investors to Nigeria Oil and Gas Industry Content Development Act, which states inter alia: “Investors were mandated to consider Nigerian companies as an important element in their project development and management.”
According to news reports, “The Senate Joint Committee on Petroleum Resources (Upstream) and Gas Resources has commenced investigation into the implementation of local content in the oil and gas industry in the country.
“Opening the session of an investigative hearing on the issue on Tuesday in Abuja, President of the Senate, Bukola Saraki, who was represented by the Leader of the Senate, Sen. Ahmed Lawan, said the National Assembly was concerned with the level of implementation of local content in Nigeria.”
It is expected that the stakeholders in the oil and gas sector will get the local content right this time with Wabote saying recently that NCDMB was presently putting into practice a 10-year tactical roadmap fastened on transporting five pillars of sustainable local content, with an intention of attaining 70 per cent of local content in the next 10 years.
Odimegwu Onwumere is a Poet, Writer and Media Consultant based in Rivers State. Tel: +2348032552855. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
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BEYOND RELIGION AND CULTURE: There is a contemporary music I like so much. Not because of where it is used or how people sing it, but because I hear the music when crooned beyond the mundane. It is, “I can see everything turning around, everything turning around, for my good.” Yes. Everything is turning around for my good. But have you asked yourself why you are so rich or so poor? I’ve come to realise that every situation has both physical and spiritual lessons it is coordinated to teach us. You can understand every situation in your life only when you befriend your intuition and abreast your Inner Radiance. Some persons had, as a result of ignorance, hounded away these nature-given accomplishments in their lives due to what they were taught to believe their Inner Knowing was. They see their Inner Knowing as Demon or Devil. Many are even battling with their Spirit Guides to leave them when they are supposed to welcome them for the revelation of Truth and Greatness. To these persons, they conduct deliverance upon deliverance, yet what has been crying continues to cry. However, some persons come to this world with Great Powers, while some persons appeal for the powers to manifest in their lives. These Guides or Guards are around us and like every other relationship, when you put much effort in knowing and understanding them, they reveal themselves and manifest for your own good. They will then be leading you along the path of life. Whenever you want to voyage into an adventure, they’ll lead you for the oriented results. Some call these Spirit Guides “Guardian Angel”. Whatever! They do not manifest or lead the individual through devotion; there are certain natural things the individual has to do and observe for his or her Spirit Guide(s) to manifest. I will end this discourse here, leaving you with puzzlement and ponder, hoping that everything will turn around for your good.
-Odimegwu Onwumere is a Poet, Writer and Media Consultant. Tel: +2348057778358.
Stephen Luka and Justina Dusu have been locked in a romantic bliss for years. They have always been on top of their affair. Many who have been watching them, felt they were destined for each other. But, that was not to be. The real test of their love affair came when Justina missed her period. That development did not go down well with Stephen. He was not the Romeo watchers thought him to be. He felt terribly bad since Justina broke the news of her pregnancy to him.
Apparently not ready to father a child yet, he pushed for abortion. But unsafe abortion is outlawed in Nigeria. For Elizabeth Dwyer of Women & Girls Hub, a group concerned about the plight of women, “Nigeria’s abortion law is based on the same 1861 Offences Against Persons Act that governs Northern Ireland’s rules.”
Last February, at a Jos High Court, Stephen’s lover-girl who resides at Foron, in Barkin-Ladi Local Government Area of Plateau State, literally shocked the world when she alleged that the lover-boy killed her sister for refusing to undergo an unsafe abortion.
That has been the tragedy of many young women across the country. And according to Dwyer, “Each year, Nigerian women undergo 1.25 million abortions, with nearly all performed clandestinely, resulting in 500,000 health complications.
“Restrictive abortion legislation bans the procedure except when prescribed by a doctor to save a woman’s life – in a country that has such low contraceptive access, only 10 per cent of married women use birth control.”
Over the years, connoisseurs have been claiming that unsafe abortion has become one of the major factors that cause maternal deaths in Nigeria. They have, therefore, been agitating for the individualisation of family planning (FP) services in the country that prides itself as the giant of Africa.
Those who know better say unsafe abortion causes irremediable damage to the women. In Nigeria, many are of the view that it is an act of infringing on women’s reproductive rights since abortion is technically not legal in the country.
In search of a way out of the reproductive gender gap in the country, on August 17, 1991, Campaign Against Unwanted Pregnancy (CAUP) was launched. It is a multi-disciplinary initiative focusing attention on the health problems of women caused by unsafe abortion in Nigeria.
Since then, the political environment in Nigeria has been a complex and volatile one, with strong religious and ethnic tensions and a very conservative public attitude towards abortion. For instance, Post Abortion Care (PAC), a group concerned with women’s reproductive right in the country, says it’s so bad that reproductive rights of women are not respected in the country. Reproductive rights activists have been warning against what they described as ‘’archaic laws’’ on abortion in Nigeria.
Often, health agencies talking about unsafe abortions, are accused of operating measures to promote unwholesome behaviour in the country. The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) was caught up in a hullabaloo of orchestrating promotional abortion movement for young ladies who were liberated from Boko Haram, some two years ago.
It was reported that Nigeria was not support of abortion. Many sensitisation campaigns have been held in this regard, but the authorities have not deemed it wise and right to make abortion a legal issue. In October 2015, media men were trained on “Women’s Sexual Reproductive Health and Rights” for three days in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital city.
Hauwa Shekarau, a lawyer, says the training workshop was aimed at enlightening people on sexual and reproductive health and rights of women. “The abortion law in Nigeria is restrictive and it is only permitted to save the life of the woman if she is in a danger. But those that do not fall under this legal restriction are left to their own devices.
“Also, the cost of carrying out this procedure is high, and those who are not economically empowered resort to quacks, making unsafe abortion the most silent and persistent cause of maternal mortality in Nigeria,’’ she says.
A consultant obstetrician and gynaecologist at the University Teaching Hospital, Gwagwlada, Dr. Godwin Akaba said at a public presentation, “lack of family planning tools is one of the leading causes of maternal mortality, as it results into unintended pregnancy, which could lead to unsafe abortion.
“The magnitude of maternal mortality and morbidity represents perhaps the greater social injustice of our time. Our ability to address these preventable causes of maternal mortality is but a symptom, a tragic symptom of a larger social injustice of discrimination.”
Dr. Ejike Orji of Association for Advancement of Family Planning, (AAFP), sufficed to what Dr. Akaba added, “Unsafe abortion is dangerous with such resultant effects like ‘bleeding, infections and infertility’ in most cases.”
Since September 2015, the UN has bared its stance, saying that Nigeria should rescind her abortion laws because it’s part of setbacks in furthering abortion and sexual rights for adolescents in Africa.
“The UNFPA told Nigeria to take back its reservations on “sexual and reproductive health” and “reproductive rights” in a new UN development agreement,” said a UN report. It is hoped by opinion leaders that the authorities should see abortion beyond the scope of religion, politics and culture.
For them, “advocacy efforts need to address not only visible power, i.e. the making and enforcing of formal laws and regulations, structures, authorities, institutions and the procedures of decision-making, but also how and by whom the agenda is set.
“The latter includes the ways in which powerful people and institutions maintain their influence, by controlling access to decision-making and excluding and devaluing the concerns and representation of less powerful groups.”
Odimegwu Onwumere is a Poet and Writer based in Rivers State. E-mail: email@example.com