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Nigerians resident in Western Cape have praised chairman of Air Peace, Chief Allen Onyema, for the evacuation of over 500 stranded Nigerians following the xenophobic attacks in South Africa.

They said Onyema has demonstrated great patriotism by airlifting Nigerians in the Rainbow Country free of charge.

Such selflessness, according to them, was not only exemplary but also commendable.

In a statement on Thursday, they also praised the chairperson/CEO of Nigerian Diaspora Commission (NIDCOM) under Mrs. Abike Dabiri-Erewa for playing great diplomatic roles in the evacuation exercise.

The statement reads: “We, the Central Executive Committee (CEC) of the NCWC wish to wholeheartedly express our appreciation to Barr Allen Onyema the CEO of Air peace for the charitable gestures to ensure the successful evacuation of Nigerians from South Africa as a result of recent xenophobic attacks.

“We also use this chance to appreciate the Nigerian Consulate under His Excellency, Godwin Adama, the Consular General and the whole member of staff.

“We thank the leadership of the Nigerian Citizens Association South Africa (NICASA), the national body for Nigerians in South Africa.

“Their efforts and contributions as the organization on the ground made the evacuation successful.

“We equally cannot ignore the Nigerian Diaspora Commission(NIDCOM) under Mrs. Abike Dabiri-Erewa who has been doing a lot for Nigerians in the Diaspora in general.

“The NCWC wish to encourage Nigerians to allow the recent attack on Nigerians to rethink about our nationality.

“The actions and activities of Barr. Chief Onyema, the Consulate, NICASA and NIDCOM has illustrated that we can work together for the greatness of our country. Let us join hands together to make positive impact in our society.

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Nigeria has lost 22.6 million barrels at oil to the activities of petroleum pipeline vandalism and stealing of crude oil in the first six months of this year.

The quantity lost is estimated at $1.35 billion (N481.95 billion).

This was disclosed to State House correspondents by Edo State Governor, Godwin Obaseki, at the end of the National Economic Council meeting chaired by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo.

If the loss is not checked, he said that Nigeria will lose $2.7 billion by the end of the year.

To check the trend, he said his committee recommended to the Council the needs to restructure the maintenance and ownership of pipelines in the country.

The recommendations, he said, also included prosecution of criminals and creation of special court to handle the cases.

He said the committee also recommended that NNPC should endeavour to engage the National Intelligence Agency to track countries benefiting from the stolen crude oil.

According to him, the Council resolved that the recommendations should be forwarded to President Muhammadu Buhari, who is the Minister of Petroleum.

Ebonyi State Governor, Dave Umahi disclosed that his committee submitted report to the Council and proposed N100 billion budget for the National Livestock Transformation plan.

While participation by states are voluntary, he said the Federal Government is to contribute 80% of the budget while interested states will provide 20% of the budget the land and other logistics.