Rivers varsity to Agip: convert flared gas to electricity

Rivers State University (RSU) has begged the Nigerian Agip Oil Company (NAOC) to convert gas flared in its facility close to the university to electricity that will serve the institution.

The Vice-Chancellor, RSU, Prof. Nlerum Okogbule, and the Dean, Faculty of Engineering of the university, Prof. Chris Ahiakwo, made the appeal yesterday during the 2020 edition of the Faculty of Engineering Award ceremony, in Port Harcourt.

Ahiakwo, who hailed NAOC, and Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC), especially, one of the awardees and Shell’s General Manager, External Relations, Mr. Igo Weli, on their developmental strides in the university, said that the gas flared could be an efficient source of electricity.

He also urged NAOC to connect the university to its gas turbine to give the institution a sense of belonging.

Also speaking, the Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Nlerum Okogbule, reinforced the plea for electricity.

He said: “As our good neighbours and developer of manpower. We request that our university be connected to your gas turbine for effective and efficient supply.

“It is good to have this partnership between the academic and the corporate bodies. This is what we need to strengthen development.

“As good neighbours and based on the principle of good neighbourhood, we expect that Agip will extend the good hand of fellowship and grant this request.

“Instead of those gas waisting in you premises, please, they should use it to give us light. If we have 24 hours light we are sure that security, and teaching and learning will improve.”

Speaking on behalf of all the awardees, the General Manager, External Relations, SPDC, Weli, said the country had the manpower capacity to drive technology and development but lamented lack of enabling environment.

Weli, who commended the university for recognising the input of corporate bodies in the academics, urged the institution to continually strive for excellence.

He said: “I am impressed listening to the citations here. It is quite impressive. It is fun. I think our problem is not human capacity. We have it. All we need is anabling environment to thrive.

“People need to stop to connect the choices we made when we block companies’ gates, kidnapped, first, expatriates, then any oil workers, now just about anybody, to the decisions of companies to either pack out of Rivers States to Lagos or Ghana; or to increase their high security fences in the remaining companies?

“Have we connected the decision of Nigeria’s Aliko Dangote’s to build his much valued refinery in Lagos and not in the Niger Delta – the project’s natural habitat – to the decisions we have taken to burst pipelines, steal crude from pipelines both to sell and to refine illegally, with the safety implications on our health?

“Have we connected the high cost of producing oil here to the reduced revenues that our country is getting which in turn is making it difficult for government to provide the necessary social infrastructures for every Nigerian? The black soot, the kidnapping, the palpable fear.”

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