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Nigeria records over 6,000 tonnes of oil spillage by saboteurs in 2021 – Shell

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Multinational oil and gas company, Shell Plc has revealed that the volume of crude oil spills caused by sabotage in Nigeria’s oil-rich Delta more than doubled to 3,300 tonnes last year, a level last seen seven years ago in 2016.

Report says the Niger Delta in southern Nigeria is one of the most polluted places on Earth. Decades of spillages from over 50 years of oil operations continue to erode local communities’ health, well-being, and livelihoods. 75% of spills since 2016 are due to theft and sabotage, mostly by militants and organized crime groups.

Most often the oil and gas are delivered safely to domestic and international customers without problem thanks to a dedicated focus on operational excellence, spill prevention and, if necessary, responding quickly to any spill.

However, multinational in its 2021 Nigeria report (Pdf) claimed that the total spilled volume of crude oil is the lowest for at least 10 years.

“Spills from the SPDC JV operations, activities, and assets are now uncommon and, as the operator, SPDC operates to the same technical standards as Shell companies globally. Illegal activities and their legacy continue to require additional work, security, and engagement with local communities”. The Report reads.

Premiumtimesng report says between January 2019 and April 2021, 12 states in Nigeria recorded 881 cases of oil spillage, according to data obtained from NOSDRA, a government-run satellite tracker. “About 77 percent of the spills were said to have occurred in only three oil-producing states: Bayelsa, Delta, and Rivers. The three are among Nigeria’s highest oil producers for that period. However, Nigeria’s second-highest oil-producing state during the period, Akwa Ibom, only witnessed 26 oil spills within that period” The report concludes.

Shell operations in Nigeria have encountered difficulties lately in the Delta caused due to operational incidents, theft and sabotage so much that the company has started moves to divest but that decision has not not been without hurdles.

Last month, a Nigerian court stopped Shell from selling any assets in Nigeria until a decision is reached on the company’s appeal of a nearly $2 billion penalty for an alleged oil spill.

In 2021, Shell agreed to pay a Nigerian community $111.68 million to settle a case over an oil spill that took place more than 50 years ago.

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Farmers lament as wild fire, heat waves cut grain harvest in Tunisia

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Farmers union in Tunisia has forecasted that output will fall well short of government hopes following heat waves and fires that are badly damaging the country’s grain harvest.

Farmers union official Mohamed Rejaibia, pointing to fires that began raging over much of the country last month, said that was no longer possible.

“The grain harvest will not be more than 1.4 million tonnes,” said Rejaibia, a member of the union’s executive office. “Some of it will be lost to fires and some perhaps during collection.”

The North African country has struggled with food importation costs driven higher by the war in Ukraine. That is largely because Ukraine and Russia account for a great amount of the global supply for grains, particularly wheat.

Earlier this month, agriculture minister, Mhamoud Elyess Hamza forecasted the 2022 grain harvest would reach 1.8 million tonnes, that is 10% up from last year’s harvest.

Wild fire has had a devastating effect in Tunisia. According to a statement released by the Tunisian Federation of Insurance Companies (FTUSA), the insurance industry in the country paid fire insurance claims totalling TND25m ($8m) in 2015 and the quantum jumped over the years to TND107m in 2020. That represented an average increase over 30% a year.

Another farmer, Abderraouf Arfaoui, in Krib, revealed that most of his colleagues had to harvest their grains earlier than usual.

“Usually we begin the harvest season in July, but this year we started on June 18… we are afraid of fires. We must watch our land day and night.

“We must harvest without waiting, even if that reduces the quantity and quality of the wheat, and when we finish the harvest we must watch our haystacks, too.”

 According to Thinkhazard, wildfire hazard is classified as high with more than a 50% chance of encountering weather that could support a significant wildfire that is likely to result in both life and property loss in any given year.

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Zimbabwe’s central bank raises key rate to 200%. Will that help its inflation surge?

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Zimbabwe’s economic woes continue as the Southern African country’s central bank said it was raising its key rate to 200 percent.

The decision makes Zimbabwe’s rate the highest in the world as it battles with soaring inflation persist. The rate was last raised to 80% in April from 60%.

The central bank a statement said it had more than doubled the rate in the push to try to contain inflation, which has been further aggravated by the war in Ukraine, expressing “great concern”.

The key rate is the interest rate at which banks can borrow when they fall short of their required reserves. They may borrow from other banks or directly from the Federal Reserve for a very short period of time.

According to thecentral bank governor, John Mangudya,rising inflation has depressed demand and consumer confidence and if left unchecked will wipe out the significant economic gains made over the past two years.

Zimbabwe’s economy is in deep crisis, including a withdrawal of international donors because of unsustainable debt with inflation rate in Zimbabwe averaging 80.42 percent between 2009 and 2022.

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