P.M. NEWS Nigeria » Electricity, Oil and Gas http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com First with Nigeria News - Nigerian leading evening Newspaper - Wed, 29 Jul 2015 19:19:13 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.2.3 PH, Warri refineries begin work, to produce 335, 000 barrels daily http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2015/07/29/ph-warri-refineries-begin-work-to-produce-335-000-barrels-daily/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2015/07/29/ph-warri-refineries-begin-work-to-produce-335-000-barrels-daily/#comments Wed, 29 Jul 2015 18:40:28 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=247730 Dr. Joseph Dawha, Managing Director, NNPC

Dr. Joseph Dawha, Managing Director, NNPC

The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), says Port Harcourt and Warri refineries have commenced preliminary production of petroleum products after successful test-runs.

In a statement by the Group General Manager, Group Public Affairs Division of NNPC, Mr Ohi Alegbe, in Abuja on Wednesday the refineries will produce 335, 000 barrels daily.

The statement explained that this followed successful re-streaming after a nine-month phased rehabilitation by in-house engineers and technicians.

It stated that PHRC was ramping up its operation to about 60 per cent of its 210,000 barrels per day name plate capacity.

According to the statement, WRPC production is projected to hit 80 per cent of its installed 125,000 bpd capacity.

It stated that the PHRC was projected to boost the nation’s local refining capacity with a product yield of five million litres of petrol per day.

It added that Warri Refinery would contribute 3.5 million litres of petrol to local refining capacity.

The statement explained that NNPC adopted the phased rehabilitation after the Original Refinery Builders (ORB), who were initially contacted for the project, came up with unfavorable terms.

It explained that a decision was taken in 2011 to rehabilitate all the refineries using the ORB of each of the refineries. “We were impelled to switch strategy after the ORBs declined participation and nominated some partners in their stead who came up with outrageously unfavorable terms,” it stated.

It stressed that the nominated partners, as sole-bidders, came up with humongous price offers after two years of thorough and exhaustive scope of work definition and price negotiations.

It explained that the proxies were also unwilling to provide post rehabilitation performance guarantees. “The phased rehabilitation strategy entailed phased and simultaneous rehabilitation of all refineries using in-house and locally available resources in line with the spirit and letter of the Nigerian Content Law.

“It also involved the use of Original Equipment Manufacturer representatives to effect major equipment overhaul and rehabilitation.”

It stated that the phased rehabilitation, which started in October 2014 after the required funding stream was established, created a 70-per cent reduction in costs.

It said this had helped largely in mitigating the financing challenge of refinery rehabilitation.

It stated that with the successful re-streaming of the PHRC and WRPC, attention had moved to the 110,000 barrels per day Kaduna Refining and Petrochemicals Company (KRPC).

According to the statement, the KRPC is billed to come on stream soon.

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Buhari will split NNPC into two, says Adesina http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2015/07/25/buhari-will-split-nnpc-into-two-says-adesina/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2015/07/25/buhari-will-split-nnpc-into-two-says-adesina/#comments Sat, 25 Jul 2015 18:57:29 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=247296 President Muhammadu Buhari of Nigeria

President Muhammadu Buhari of Nigeria

ABUJA, (Reuters) – Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari plans to split the state oil company into two entities, his spokesman, Femi Adesina said on Saturday.

The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) has been accused of failing to account for billions of dollars in the last few years but it has said that the money was not lost.

Buhari, inaugurated on May 29 after being elected on promises to combat corruption, has made clear he wants to overhaul the oil sector, which provides the government with around 70 per cent of its revenue.

The NNPC currently represents national interests in oil and gas exploration, manages the energy sector and is the industry regulator in Africa’s top crude producer.

“Mr president will soon split the NNPC into two entities. One will be an independent regulator and the other one an investor vehicle,” said spokesman Femi Adesina, who did not a provide a timeframe for the restructuring.

Last month Buhari dissolved the NNPC board and more sackings are expected.

Buhari, who has said he does not intend to appoint a cabinet until September, is widely expected to keep the petroleum portfolio for himself.

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Loading from different tank farms cause for disparity in pump price – NUPENG http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2015/07/25/loading-from-different-tank-farms-cause-for-disparity-in-pump-price-nupeng/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2015/07/25/loading-from-different-tank-farms-cause-for-disparity-in-pump-price-nupeng/#comments Sat, 25 Jul 2015 10:51:54 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=247244 Tokunbo Korodo, South-West Chairman of NUPENG

Tokunbo Korodo, South-West Chairman of NUPENG

The National Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG) on Friday said the disparity in pump price of premium motor spirit (PMS) in Lagos was due to the loading of the product at different tank farms.

Tokunbo Korodo, the South-West Chairman of the union told NAN in Lagos that there were some intermediaries who were adding their own charges to the official price.

The chairman said that Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) had turned to tank farm owners to dispense petroleum products instead of pumping directly to their depots.

“Instead of tackling the problem of vandalism, they turn to tank farm owners for dispensing of petroleum products.

“The tank farm owners were adding their own charges on the product brought to them by NNPC.

“Before now, we have just five tank farms at Apapa but now, because people realised it’s a lucrative business, we have over 50 tank farms.

“Most of them that did not have money to import, they depend on NNPC to supply the products to the depots.

“This has even degenerated into traffic gridlock at Apapa axis because of tankers waiting to collect the products.

“Presently, some private tank farms are selling for N87 without transport expenses.

“How do you expect the filling station to sell the product at the same price?

“Some of the filling stations that are selling at N87 have adjusted their pumps, which is very bad,” he said.

Mr Adekunle Bamigboye, Vice-Chairman, Western Zone, Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN), said members of his asssociation were not getting the product at NNPC depots.

“Average marketers are not getting the product from NNPC depots.

“Out of the five depots in Western zone, four are not loading. Even the one that is loading does not have the product presently.

“If you go out now, hardly can you find any of the major marketers’ filling stations selling the product.

“We are paying extra money to get the product in the private depots.

“Until NNPC starts dispensing the product in their depots, it is very difficult to sell the product at the official price of N87,” he said.

NAN correspondent, who monitored filling stations in Lagos, observed that most of the filling station owned by the major marketers have no product.

It was observed that only one filling station was selling the product between Constain and Ojuelegba axis of the city, while most of the filling stations along Ikorodu Road were under lock and key.

Similarly most of the independent filling station on Oshodi Express Road are selling the product at between N100 and N110 a litre.

Some of the petroleum attendants said that they were following the directives from their managements.

Their managers were not around as at the time NAN visited the stations.

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Poor Electricity Supply Affecting Operations —Intels http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2015/07/24/poor-electricity-supply-affecting-operations-intels/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2015/07/24/poor-electricity-supply-affecting-operations-intels/#comments Fri, 24 Jul 2015 15:35:16 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=247144 The General Manager of Intels Nigeria Ltd., Mr Sascha Kuehl, on Friday said that unsteady power supply was hindering smooth operation of the company.

Kuehl said this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Onne, Rivers State, southern Nigeria.

He said the company had invested more than five billion dollars (N1.15 trillion) in Nigeria and electricity supply was still the major challenge facing its operations.



“We are in Nigeria for the past three decades and heavily invested in oil and gas logistics.

We are one of the 26 concessionaires in Nigeria and we have embarked on huge investments which are to be completed in the next few years,’’ Kuehl said.

The Intels chief said because of the irregular supply of power in the country the company was forced to install 166 generating sets to power its various operations.

He urged the Federal Government to ensure steady power supply in the country to reduce operating costs of businesses

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PPMC yet to access Arepo pipeline explosion line http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2015/07/24/ppmc-yet-to-access-arepo-pipeline-explosion-line/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2015/07/24/ppmc-yet-to-access-arepo-pipeline-explosion-line/#comments Fri, 24 Jul 2015 02:03:13 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=247079 FILE PHOTO: A compromised oil pipeline in the Niger Delta

FILE PHOTO: A compromised oil pipeline in the Niger Delta

The Manager, Corporate Affairs, Pipelines and Products Marketing Company (PPMC), Nasir Imodagbe says officials of the company are yet to reach the scene of the pipeline explosion in Arepo, Ogun state.

Imodagbe disclosed this in a telephone interview with NAN on Wednesday in Lagos. “We are trying to gain access to the area but the fire is going down.

“Once we access the area of vandalised spot, we will commence repairs immediately to ensure the line is re-opened for operation.

“The spot of the explosion is about two kilometres away, making it very difficult to access,” he said.

NAN correspondent gathered that the corporation has immediately shut the major pipeline which supplies imported products from the Atlas cove in Lagos to Mosinmi in Ogun State.

Meanwhile, the Spokesman of National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), Mr Ibrahim Farinloye told NAN on phone that the fire had been put out while the pipeline had been shut down.

“The fire went off yesterday evening, because of measures we took by shutting down the supply on the line and suffocating the supply of fuel to the fire.

“We are still trying to gain access to the place now because of the swampy nature of the place.

“You know the pipe is under water and NNPC officials are now trying to gain access. There is no emergency again, so we have withdrawn from the area since the fire has gone off,” he added.

He said he could not give any figure of causalities following the explosion.

“Nobody has accessed the scene, so nobody can give any figure.

“How can I give figures of what I did not see,” he asked.

NAN reports that the pipeline exploded in the early hours of Wednesday following suspected activities of vandals trying to siphon petroleum products.

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Global oil tanker association orders Buhari, NNPC to lift ban on 113 oil tankers http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2015/07/23/global-oil-tanker-association-orders-buhari-nnpc-to-lift-ban-on-113-oil-tankers/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2015/07/23/global-oil-tanker-association-orders-buhari-nnpc-to-lift-ban-on-113-oil-tankers/#comments Thu, 23 Jul 2015 11:27:18 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=247017 President Muhammadu Buhari of Nigeria

President Muhammadu Buhari of Nigeria

LONDON, (Reuters) – A ban on 113 oil tankers by Nigerian state oil company Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) must be lifted immediately as no grounds have been given for the measure, the global oil tanker industry association said in a letter of protest.

NNPC issued a letter on July 15, citing a directive from President Muhammadu Buhari, which said the vessels, mainly VLCC crude oil tankers, were banned from calling at Nigerian crude oil terminals and also from Nigerian waters with immediate effect.

Industry association INTERTANKO, whose independent members own the majority of the world’s tanker fleet, said in a letter to NNPC, dated July 22, that there were no “evidence or grounds” given for the ban.

“INTERTANKO protests in the strongest possible way that these bans should be lifted with immediate effect until grounds and evidence for the ban have been given to each vessel and vessel owner/operator, and the owner/operator has had an opportunity to respond,” General Counsel Michele White wrote in the letter.

Since taking office in May, Buhari has been working to fulfil a campaign promise to tackle corruption, particularly in the oil industry. He has dissolved the NNPC board and ordered an investigation into a scheme through which the country swaps crude for oil products such as gasoline.

White said separately the list of banned tankers was “not exhaustive and already further tankers are being added”.

“Our current understanding is that these ships may have been targeted due to a failure to provide official outturn figures at their last call and/or commercial differences between load and discharge figures for cargo and free water,” White said in a separate note to members.

“This may also however be part of a general crackdown by President Buhari on corruption in Nigeria’s maritime, oil and gas, financial services and security sectors, including illegal bunkering and fuel sales.”

White said after INTERTANKO had spoken with its members in some cases the ship had not called in Nigeria for several years, or at all.

“In others, the ship has changed ownership since her last call in Nigeria,” White said.

“Members have also advised that some oil majors are attempting to introduce charterparty clauses requiring the owner to warrant that the vessel is not subject to any Nigerian bans or restrictions due to failure to report any outturn figures for prior voyages.”

INTERTANKO said it had advised members to avoid such a provision.

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OPEC Sees Oil Drop As Short-Term, Expects Stronger Demand http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2015/07/22/opec-sees-oil-drop-as-short-term-expects-stronger-demand/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2015/07/22/opec-sees-oil-drop-as-short-term-expects-stronger-demand/#comments Wed, 22 Jul 2015 14:56:22 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=246930 A drop in oil prices this month is likely to be short-term and will not deflect OPEC from its policy of keeping output high to defend market share, delegates from Gulf OPEC members and other nations said.

Reuters reports that falling Chinese stock markets and the Greek debt crisis have raised concern about demand, while the Iranian nuclear deal could lead to higher oil exports from the Islamic Republic. Benchmark Brent crude, trading below $57 a barrel on Wednesday, has fallen more than 10 percent in July.

OPEC, in a major policy shift, decided in November against cutting its production target of 30 million barrels per day (bpd) to prop up prices, seeking instead to defend market share against U.S. shale oil and other competing sources. The group reconfirmed the strategy at a meeting in June.

Kuwait’s oil minister, Ali Saleh al-Omair, was quoted on Tuesday expressing confidence in the outlook, saying producer countries expected stronger global economic growth to boost prices.

And three delegates from members of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries speaking this month said the price drop was unlikely to last and OPEC would not alter strategy, also citing expectations for stronger demand.

“I don’t think so, it is not time for OPEC to change,” said a Gulf OPEC delegate. “Demand will be more than in the first half (of the year) although there is some uncertainty about the economy. The prices will remain around $60.”



A second Gulf delegate said even if prices fell slightly below $50 a barrel, as long as the drop is for a short time it is unlikely OPEC would lower its output ceiling.

“Prices will not stay down forever,” the delegate said.

The OPEC policy shift was led by Saudi Arabia, supported by its Gulf allies, despite calls for supply cuts from Iran and smaller producers concerned about the impact of lower prices on oil revenue. OPEC does not meet again until Dec. 4.

To be sure, some OPEC countries may renew calls for supply cuts following the price drop. Algeria’s energy minister said on July 14 an extraordinary OPEC meeting could be called, and Iran has been lobbying for other OPEC members to curb supply to make way for the hoped-for rise in its exports.

But even OPEC delegates from countries that favour a higher oil price don’t expect the Saudis to change course – at least for now.

“It does seem that the Saudi tactic of beating the U.S. shale oil producers is not being successful,” said an official from an OPEC country outside the Gulf. “But they probably will maintain it.”

While Iran hopes to boost crude exports rapidly once sanctions are lifted, Gulf OPEC delegates do not expect significant volumes before 2016 and are betting higher global demand next year will absorb the extra oil.

A fourth OPEC delegate from a country that usually supports supply curbs agreed with the Gulf delegates that no action from the producer group was needed at present.

“I see it as short-term and expect prices to recover,” the delegate said of the price drop.

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Former Ministers Stole, Sold Crude Oil —Buhari http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2015/07/22/former-ministers-stole-sold-crude-oil-buhari/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2015/07/22/former-ministers-stole-sold-crude-oil-buhari/#comments Wed, 22 Jul 2015 11:02:00 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=246880 President Muhammadu Buhari, on Tuesday, in the United States, vowed that his administration would trace the accounts of individuals who stashed away ill-gotten oil money, freeze and recover the loot and prosecute the culprits.

He said some of the former ministers were selling about one million barrels of stolen crude per day.

Reacting to questions from members of Nigerians In Diaspora Organisation (NIDO) in the United States and Canada at the Nigerian Embassy in Washington DC on the third day of his visit, the President lamented that “Corruption in Nigeria has virtually developed into a culture where honest people are abused.”

President Muhammadu Buhari

President Muhammadu Buhari

According to him, “250,000 barrels per day of Nigerian crude are being stolen and people sell and put the money into individual accounts,” adding that the United States and other developed countries “are helping us to trace such accounts now. We will ask that such accounts be frozen and prosecute the persons. The amount involved is mind-boggling. Some former ministers were selling about one million barrels per day. I assure you that we will trace and repatriate such money and use the documents to prosecute them. A lot of damage has been done to the integrity of Nigeria with individuals and institutions already compromised.”

Citing the example of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), President Buhari said unlike what obtained during his tenure as Federal Commissioner for Petroleum under military regime when the NNPC had only two traceable accounts before paying oil proceeds into the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), “now everybody is doing anyhow.”

The President, who expressed skepticism on the existence of oil subsidy, said if subsidy was removed, transport, housing and food prices would go out of control and the average worker would suffer untold hardship.

While agreeing that the “economy is in an extremely bad shape,” following 16 years of bad government by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) which ran down the oil refineries and had the “treasury in their pockets,” he said the All Progressives Congress (APC)-led administration would fulfill its three-pronged campaign manifesto of providing security, turning around the economy with a major focus on youth employment and fighting corruption.

According to him, agriculture and mining would receive priority attention as faster job-creation avenues for the teeming unemployed youth, adding that some foreign investors had agreed to take advantage of the immense business opportunities in Nigeria.

President Buhari when asked if the Federal Government (FG) would agree to negotiate with the Boko Haram insurgent and terrorist organization to pave way for the release of the abducted Chibok schoolgirls, replied that the FG would only negotiate if genuine and confirmed leaders of the militant sect came forward and convinced the FG of the current conditions of the girls, their location and the sect’s willingness to negotiate.

“Our objective is that we want the girls back, alive and returned to their families and rehabilitated. We are working with neighbouring countries if they will help,” he said.

On when he would form his cabinet, the President, who observed jokingly that the question was chasing him around the world even to the point that at home he had been nicknamed, “Baba Go Slow!”, noted that not even the PDP during all the years it ruled the country ever formed a cabinet within the first four months.

“I am going to go slow and steady,” he assured, as he called for patience to allow the new administration “put some sense into governance and deal with corruption.”

President Buhari promised that his administration would at the right time tap into the enormous talents available amongst members of NIDO especially as consultants while their requests for voting right in 2019, a Diaspora Commission and opening of new consulates in parts of the United States and Canada would be looked into.

The President had earlier met at the same venue with a group of young professionals in the United States and assured them of his government’s resolve to fight corruption, remain steadfast and invest heavily in education which he said was the answer to taking the youth out of poverty and ignorance.

The youth in their huge numbers took turns to express their best wishes for the President and the country.

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PPMC sacks oil marketers http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2015/07/22/ppmc-sacks-oil-marketers/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2015/07/22/ppmc-sacks-oil-marketers/#comments Wed, 22 Jul 2015 05:51:18 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=246830 Port Harcourt Refinery

As part of measures to sanitize the fuel distribution and supply system and eliminate the queues at filling stations across some cities in Nigeria, the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) has warned that henceforth any oil marketer found to be involved in products diversion will have its Bulk Purchase Agreement with its mid-stream subsidiary, the Pipeline and Products Marketing Company (PPMC), revoked.

The warning was issued in the face of persistent tightness of supply being experienced in the country despite huge load-outs from PPMC Depots by both major and independent marketers, a situation that has been traced to diversion.

Meanwhile, PPMC has revoked the lifting license (Bulk Purchase Agreement) of three independent marketers for engaging in products diversion and sundry infractions.

The affected marketers are Funso Alfa, Organizer West Africa, and Rich Oil. PPMC said the sanction on the fuel marketers is with immediate effect.

It warned marketers to desist from products diversion, hoarding, and any other form of sharp practices as it would not hesitate to wield the big stick against any marketer found wanting, adding that it is closely monitoring the market and that the withdrawal of lifting licenses of erring marketers is a continuous exercise.

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Lafarge Africa’s 220mw Power Plant Begins Operations In Oct. http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2015/07/21/lafarge-africas-220mw-power-plant-begins-operations-in-oct/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2015/07/21/lafarge-africas-220mw-power-plant-begins-operations-in-oct/#comments Tue, 21 Jul 2015 13:03:22 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=246789 Lafarge Africa Plc says its newly constructed 220-mega watts power plant at Ewekoro, Ogun State, will commence operation in October.

Roux said the project worth $400 million (N78.8 billion) was executed in partnership with the International Finance Corporation (IFC) and Wartsila.

He said IFC would provide financial and advisory services for the project through InfraVentures, its Global Infrastructure Project Development Fund, while Wartsila would build and manage the power plant.

Roux expressed the hope that the project would enhance 1.4 million households’ access to electricity and help mitigate energy problems of many firms in the country.

LafargeHe said power project remained one of the company’s contributions toward providing an enabling environment for new investments and the nation’s economic growth.

NAN reports that the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) licensed embedded power companies to boost electricity supply in the country.

Embedded power companies are not primarily power generating companies, but they generate extra power from their operations and sell the surplus to the national grid or the distribution companies.

Africa and the Middle East contribute 18 per cent to the company’s turnover in 2014.

Nigeria represents about three-and-half per cent of the company’s turnover from Africa in 2014.

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We regret delays in cleaning Adibawa Oil fields – Shell http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2015/07/20/we-regret-delays-in-cleaning-adibawa-oil-fields-shell/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2015/07/20/we-regret-delays-in-cleaning-adibawa-oil-fields-shell/#comments Mon, 20 Jul 2015 14:48:55 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=246717 Osagie Okunbor, Chairman, Shell Companies in Nigeria and Managing Director of the Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria Limited (SPDC)

Osagie Okunbor, Chairman, Shell Companies in Nigeria and Managing Director of the Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria Limited (SPDC)

The Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria (SPDC) says the delays experienced in the oil spill response at its Adibawa oil fields are regrettable.

SPDC said on Monday that the oil leakage from its oil fields located in Edagberi Community in Rivers was caused by thieves who targeted the Well Head.

A statement from, Mr Joseph Obari, SPDC spokesman attributed the leakage at Adibawa-well-8 in the Eastern Niger Delta, to activities of vandals.

It also alleged that members of its host community were thwarting the efforts of the oil firm to contain the leakage and remediate the polluted environment.

“SPDC received reports of the incident on July 12 and took containment measures, including the construction of dykes, pits and the deployment of booms to prevent further impact on the environment.

“The leakage was stopped on July 15 but attempts to conduct the statutory Joint Investigation Visit (JIV) on July 16 and July 17 to determine the cause and extent of the leakage was unsuccessful.

“The leadership of the Edagbiri Betterland Community prevented the representatives of industry regulatory agencies, the Rivers Ministry of Environment and SPDC from accessing the site for containment and crude oil recovery operations.

“Without the JIV, SPDC cannot carry out needed repairs or proceed to clean up and remediate the site,” the statement stated.

SPDC stated that it was concerned that leaving the contained crude in the environment, created avoidable danger of fire and seepage further into the ground.

The statement quoted, Mr Igo Weli, SPDC’s General Manager, External Relations, as saying that timely access to the spill site was fundamental to an effective spill response.

“The quicker we can recover the exposed crude oil, the safer for the community and all other stakeholders,” Weli stated in the statement.

However, Chief Sunny Ubele, Traditional Ruler of Edagberi Community, told NAN on Monday that the allegation that the community denied SPDC access was false.

Ubele said the community cooperated with officials of the oil firm but expressed reservations when Shell officials attempted to manipulate the Joint Investigation Visit (JIV) procedure.

“It is very untrue that we denied them access, if we did how did they manage to stop the spill, they had fixed a JIV on our meeting day and we told them to fix it for the next day.

“When we got there with them, we found out they went to the site unilaterally and tampered with the evidences that would assist in arriving at conclusions.

“So, we told them that we were excluded from that exercise.

“We pointed out to them that they constituted a JIV without the community and we declined to sign the JIV reports because we were not part of it and the JIV was inconclusive.

“There is no truth in the allegations, today the council of chiefs met and restated that they should commence recovery of crude from the site,” Ubele said.

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GE Technology powers Lekki Free Trade Zone http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2015/07/18/ge-technology-powers-lekki-free-trade-zone/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2015/07/18/ge-technology-powers-lekki-free-trade-zone/#comments Sat, 18 Jul 2015 13:10:51 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=246555 FILE PHOTO: L-R: Lazarus Agbazo, President GE Nigeria, Patricia Obozuwa, Communications Director,  GE Africa and Penny Shone,  Global Communications Director, GE

FILE PHOTO: L-R: Lazarus Agbazo, President GE Nigeria, Patricia Obozuwa, Communications Director, GE Africa and Penny Shone, Global Communications Director, GE

General Electric (NYSE: GE) has announced four of its Waukesha gas Enginators were commissioned at Lekki Free Trade Zone (LFTZ) near Lagos, providing 12 megawatts (MW) of uninterrupted power supply to the first phase of the Lekki development zone.

With three Waukesha 275GL+ and one VHP 7104GSI gas Enginators, the project is the largest of its kind in sub-Saharan Africa using GE’s 275GL+ and VHP Enginator technology.

The engines’ wide fuel flexibility and ability to run on compressed natural gas and propane provides operators with a cost-effective alternative while meeting the zone’s strict environmental guidelines regarding exhaust emissions.

“The future of the Lekki Trade Zone is essential to Nigeria’s growth as West Africa’s economic driver. We cannot accomplish our expansion goals without a reliable source of continuous power, which is why we turned to GE’s Waukesha technology as a solution,” Omodele Doherty, AGM—Business Development of the Lekki Free Trade Zone said.

The Lekki Free Trade Zone covers a total area of 16,500 hectares and is being developed in a joint venture between the Lagos State Government and the Chinese consortium CCECC-Beyond International Investment & Development Co., Ltd (CCECC-Beyond). The Waukesha Enginators were procured from GE and supplied by China Diesel Support Services Ltd (CDSS), a Hong Kong-based authorized distributor of GE’s Waukesha gas engines.

The Lekki Free Trade Zone (Phase I) electrical power requirements at full occupancy is envisaged to expand to an estimated 540 MW gross capacity, as the Free Trade Zone quickly develops into one of the largest free-trade commercial, logistics and manufacturing hubs in West Africa. Development in the LFTZ is supported by investment incentives from the Lagos State government and further growth is expected as the area becomes an increasingly important global distribution center.

“The Lekki Free Trade Zone is a landmark development that will further consolidate Nigeria as a leading investment destination in Africa. We are delighted to provide GE’s proven Waukesha power solutions to this important industrial and commercial hub,” George Njenga, sub-Saharan region leader for GE’s Distributed Power business said.

With over 150 units installed throughout Nigeria, GE’s Waukesha customers receive local expert sales and service support for the lifetime of their equipment from Clarke Energy, the authorized distributor for GE’s Jenbacher and diesel engine product lines, which serves hundreds of commercial and industrial customers with complete power generation solutions.

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APC wants NNPC probed over $1.2 billion withdrawal http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2015/07/15/apc-wants-nnpc-probed-over-1-2-billion-withdrawal/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2015/07/15/apc-wants-nnpc-probed-over-1-2-billion-withdrawal/#comments Wed, 15 Jul 2015 20:23:16 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=246290
Dr. Joseph Dawha, Managing Director, NNPC

Dr. Joseph Dawha, Managing Director, NNPC

The All Progressives Congress (APC) has renewed its call on the Federal Government to probe the whereabouts of the dividends paid to the NNPC by the NLNG, as well as the taxes paid to the FIRS Federation Account prior to the latest payment in June 2015.

In a statement issued in Lagos on Wednesday by its National Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, the party said the call has become more urgent against the backdrop of published reports that the NNPC has withdrawn $1.2 billion from banks so it could place the money with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).

It said the move by the NNPC is a panic reaction to the expose by the party (APC) that over $4 billion dollars are missing in past dividends paid to the NNPC by the NLNG.

”Whereas NLNG’s dividends are paid to NNPC’s account with JP Morgan, from where they are supposed to be paid into the Federation Account in accordance with the law, some unscrupulous officials of the corporation have apparently been moving such funds to local banks so they can collect huge commissions on them.

”Now that the cat has been let out of the bag, they have started moving the funds from the banks to the CBN. We believe what we are seeing now is just a tip of the iceberg, hence the need for the authorities to call the NNPC officials to give accounts of the paid NLNG dividends to date,” APC said.

The party said any delay in calling the officials to account for the dividends may give them enough time to cover their tracks, in addition to the dangers posed to the banks – and by extension the economy – by the sudden withdrawal of such a huge fund from the NNPC accounts with them.

”The top officials officials of the NNPC and others who met on Monday and decided to withdraw the $1.2 billion from the corporation’s account to the CBN must be asked a number of questions, including their motive for the decision and the whereabouts of the commissions paid on such funds,” it said.

APC insisted that despite the attempt to pull the wool over the eyes of Nigerians, the FG must remain undaunted in unraveling what happened to the dividends as well as previous taxes paid by the NLNG, as part of ongoing efforts to plug all financial leakages, ensure the payment into the Federation Account of all relevant funds and stop the looting of the treasury by unscrupulous public officials who have opted to
abuse their office.

”It is not by accident that until the advent of the Buhari Administration that has decided to enthrone transparency in governance, no one has heard anything about NLNG dividends and taxes, while the funds therefrom have not been shared as they should have been. This is not right.

”A situation in which funds meant for all Nigerians are eaten up by a few will no longer be tolerated. Those who are opposed to the efforts by the Buhari Administration to clear the rot left behind by the past government and restore transparency to the system are enemies of Nigeria,” the party said.

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My reforms in oil sector will boost transparency, says Buhari http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2015/07/13/my-reforms-in-oil-sector-will-boost-transparency-says-buhari/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2015/07/13/my-reforms-in-oil-sector-will-boost-transparency-says-buhari/#comments Mon, 13 Jul 2015 19:01:28 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=246055 President Muhammadu Buhari of Nigeria

President Muhammadu Buhari of Nigeria

President Muhammadu Buhari Monday in Abuja assured investors that his administration will implement far-reaching reforms to boost accountability and transparency in Nigeria’s oil and gas industry.

Speaking at a meeting with senior officials of Chevron led by the company’s President for Africa and Latin America, Ali Moshiri, President Buhari declared that his administration was ready to effectively address the myriad of challenges in the sector.

“We understand the situation in the industry and we will do our best to address the challenges affecting exploration, production and distribution of oil products in the country,’’ the President told the delegation.

Acknowledging the merits of the Amnesty Programme initiated by President Umar Yar’Adua to reduce violence in the Niger Delta region, President Buhari said that his administration will build on good aspects of the programme.

The President added that his administration will also implement other measures to enhance security in the Niger Delta and optimize investments in Nigeria’s oil and gas industry.

Mr. Moshiri had urged President Buhari to restore the confidence of international investors in the industry.

He identified improved security in the Niger Delta as key to increased investment in the oil and gas sector in Nigeria.

Mr. Moshiri said that Chevron which has 36.7 per cent interest in the West African Gas Pipeline Company Limited, was keen to support Nigeria’s gas sector and bring more electricity to Nigerian consumers

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OPEC Sees More Balanced Oil Market In 2016 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2015/07/13/opec-sees-more-balanced-oil-market-in-2016/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2015/07/13/opec-sees-more-balanced-oil-market-in-2016/#comments Mon, 13 Jul 2015 15:05:40 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=246020 The oil market should be more balanced next year as China and the developing world use more oil while supply of fuel from North American shale grows more slowly, OPEC said on Monday.

In its monthly report, the 12-member Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries said it expected world oil demand to increase by 1.34 million barrels per day (bpd) in 2016, up from growth of 1.28 million bpd this year, reports Reuters.

World oil demand growth should outpace any increase in oil supply from non-OPEC sources and ultra-light oils such as condensate, increasing consumption of OPEC crude, it said.

“This would imply an improvement towards a more balanced market,” OPEC’s in-house economists said in the report.



OPEC has increased production sharply over the last year as its most powerful member, Saudi Arabia, and other core producers in the Middle East Gulf attempt to build market share, leading to higher inventories worldwide.

OPEC said Saudi Arabia reported that it pumped 10.56 million bpd last month, up 231,000 bpd from May. According to industry data, that would be a record high.

Higher OPEC production has been a major factor behind a collapse in oil prices, which are now around half their levels of a year ago.

Benchmark Brent crude traded around $58.70 a barrel at 1230 GMT on Monday, down from a peak above $115 in June 2014.

Lower prices have squeezed high-cost oil producers and brought a sharp fall in the number of oil exploration rigs in operation, particularly across North America.

OPEC said supply of oil from non-OPEC producers was expected to grow by only 300,000 bpd in 2016, down sharply from growth of 860,000 bpd this year.

U.S. oil output, which has seen rapid increases over the last five years thanks to the development of huge shale resources by “fracking”, is expected to log much more modest supply growth in 2016.

“Total U.S. liquids production is expected to grow by 330,000 bpd, just one third of the growth of 930,000 bpd expected this year,” it said.

That should mean more demand for OPEC oil next year.

OPEC said it expected demand for its own crude to rise by 860,000 bpd in 2016 to 30.07 million bpd. But it cut its estimate of demand for its crude this year by 100,000 bpd to 29.21 million bpd.

The group said it estimated, based on figures from secondary sources, that its own collective crude output rose by 283,000 bpd to 31.38 million bpd in June, led by Iraq, Saudi Arabia and Nigeria.

That is still well ahead of current demand for OPEC oil and should help ensure global inventories continue to build for some time to come.

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Ex-NUATE Boss Blames NNPC For Persistent Fuel Scarcity http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2015/07/13/ex-nuate-boss-blames-nnpc-for-persistent-fuel-scarcity/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2015/07/13/ex-nuate-boss-blames-nnpc-for-persistent-fuel-scarcity/#comments Mon, 13 Jul 2015 11:02:12 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=245964 Kayode Aponmade
The former Chairman of National Union Of Air Transport Employees (NUATE) NAHCO, MMIA, Ikeja chapter, Comrade Sunday Akintunde has blamed the persistent fuel scarcity in the country on the inefficiency of the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC.
He made this known recently during a chat with newsmen in Lagos while commenting on the state of the nation.
Akintunde said the new government must completely overhaul the oil sector and get rid of the cabal from the system before the country can have stable fuel supply.
“In addition to this all our refineries must start working at full capacity and the private sector must be encouraged to establish more refineries for us to consume locally and export the refined products to create more jobs and boost our economy.
Comrade Akintune

Comrade Akintune

“The recent probing of NNPC and federation accounts must be conclusive and all those involved must be brought to book and prosecuted. We should have institutional framework that will strengthen our judicial system on the fight against corruption and re-organization of all our anti-graft agencies to effectively work in line with our constitution and policy drive of the Federal Republic of Nigeria,” he said.
The former APC aspirant to the Lagos State House of Assembly, Agege Constituency 01, also opined that the party’s position on the choice of principal officers of the 8th Senate and House of Representatives will definitely prevail at the end of the day because party supremacy is the solution to the crisis.
  “The issue of winner takes  all should be jettisoned by National Assembly gladiators. It must be win-win situation so that both Senators and Reps will relieve themselves from undue pressure and crisis,” he said.
Akintunde described the bailout by President Muhammadu Buhari as a welcome development because it has saved the nation an unnecessary embarrassment created by the previous PDP government.

Speaking on the recent appointments made by the presidency, Akintunde said: “I have not seen anything wrong in the appointments made by President Buhari so far in my own opinion as a patriotic citizen since we have a lot of appointments that are still coming up that will go round all the 6 geo-political zones.”

According to him, “we need to be patient and patriotic to give our total support to the present administration to succeed in all ramifications. It is not about appointments but our support, contribution and commitment for a new Nigeria. We are supposed to have surpassed the era of personal interest for us to have national interest at heart. In as much all those appointed are duly qualified for the post based on merit, why the noise? Are they not Nigerians?”
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Nigeria’s Electricity Reforms Too Ambitious –Report http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2015/07/10/nigerias-electricity-reforms-too-ambitious-report/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2015/07/10/nigerias-electricity-reforms-too-ambitious-report/#comments Fri, 10 Jul 2015 13:42:46 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=245725 The Nigerian government’s ambitions for improving electricity supplies are “not remotely realistic”, a report by experts advising the presidency says, an early blow to one of President Muhammadu Buhari’s most important reform promises, according to Reuters.

Chronic power shortages are one of the biggest constraints on investment and growth in Africa’s largest economy. Fixing the problem was one of the key battlegrounds during campaigning ahead of a presidential election Buhari won in March.

Buhari, 72, and his opponent Goodluck Jonathan both promised to massively increase power supplies, building on a relatively successful $2.5 billion partial privatisation in 2013.

President Muhammadu Buhari of Nigeria

President Muhammadu Buhari of Nigeria

Buhari’s All Progressives Congress pledged in its manifesto to increase supplies from 3,600 megawatts (MW) currently to 20,000 MW within four years and 50,000 MW within ten years, which would meet the demands of Nigeria’s 170 million people.

However, reaching 20,000 MW by 2020 is “not even remotely realistic” and “setting unrealistic targets dilutes discipline”, according to a 54-page report entitled “The Energy Blueprint” obtained by Reuters.

A spokesman for Buhari said he had not seen the report, which is being produced for the government by power industry experts, but he said the government’s energy policy was still being put together.

Asked whether the government would adopt the targets in the manifesto, Femi Adesina said: “We need to wait until the policy on energy has been unfolded.”

The paper says Nigeria could produce 6,500 MW by 2020, which would mean matching India’s supply growth of 7 percent.

This could rise to 8,500 MW if Nigeria could equal China’s 14 percent electricity output growth.

Even these targets will require quick action on multiple reforms and billions of dollars of investment, it said.

Buhari has inherited a problem that has plagued Nigerian governments for decades and the promises he made for power improvements were more modest than his predecessor.

Despite holding the world’s seventh largest gas reserves, Nigeria produces less than a tenth of the amount of electricity South Africa provides for a population a third of the size.

Solving the problem would likely reduce business costs by up to 40 percent and push growth in Africa’s biggest oil producer well into double-digits, experts say.

There is potential for Nigeria to attract tens of billions of dollars of investment into the power sector given the huge unmet demand from industry and the public, the report says.

Respected companies such as Siemens and Manila Electric have already invested in privatised assets and energy majors including Shell, Exxon Mobil and Italy’s ENI are willing to supply ample gas supplies, if government sets competitive prices.

To attract all the investment required, however, government must free up credit to unlock gas supplies, reduce pipeline sabotage, end political interference in the private sector and install top management teams.

The dilapidated transmission network, connecting power stations to local distributors, will require $2.3 billion a year for a decade to expand grid-access. This can only be achieved by partial or full privatisation, the report says.

The report recommends simplifying the seven ministries with policy-making powers that could impact the power programme, something that appears to fit into Buhari’s broader plans to streamline government and cut costs.

Some $40 billion has gone into several power reform drives in the last 20 years, industry experts say, much of it wasted.

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Jonathan ordered me to withdraw $2bn from ECA to pay fuel subsidy – Okonjo-Iweala http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2015/07/08/jonathan-ordered-me-to-withdraw-2bn-from-eca-to-pay-fuel-subsidy-okonjo-iweala/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2015/07/08/jonathan-ordered-me-to-withdraw-2bn-from-eca-to-pay-fuel-subsidy-okonjo-iweala/#comments Wed, 08 Jul 2015 13:30:27 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=245498 Ayorinde Oluokun/Abuja

Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, former Finance Minister

Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, former Finance Minister

Dr. Ngozi Okonjo Iweala, Nigeria’s former minister of finance said on Tuesday night that the $2 billion she was alleged to have withdrawn from Excess Crude Account without authorisation was used to pay for fuel subsidy on the instruction of former President Goodluck Jonathan.

She however said the issue was discussed at the Federation Accounts Allocation Committee (FAAC), a statutory body which is chaired by the Minister of State for Finance in which all the states are represented.

The former Minister however said FAAC did not approve the withdrawal.
It will be recalled that Nigerian state governors had after the inauguration of the National Economic Council about two weeks ago accused Okonjo-Iweala of spending $2 billion from the ECA, a pool of funds which belonged to the three tiers of government.

Adams Oshiomole, the governor of Edo state told journalists that there has been a depletion in the funds from $4.1 billion as at November 2014 to $2.1 billion, even when there was no authorisation for any withdrawal from the funds known to state chief executives.

The governors had subsequently set up a committee made up of four of their members to investigate the withdrawals.

“Payments made were used for paying for petroleum subsidies for the Nigerian people and were approved by Mr President,” Iweala said in a statement issued by Paul Nwaibuikwu, her media assistant.

“Therefore there is no question of mismanaging any resources here,” she added

Okonjo-Iweala also said FAAC did not approve such expenditures, but “that all these expenditures were discussed at FAAC meetings attended by Finance Commissioners from the 36 states.”

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Buhari advised to overhaul Nigerian oil sector, increase debt http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2015/07/08/buhari-advised-to-overhaul-nigerian-oil-sector-increase-debt/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2015/07/08/buhari-advised-to-overhaul-nigerian-oil-sector-increase-debt/#comments Wed, 08 Jul 2015 09:34:53 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=245433 President Muhammadu Buhari of Nigeria

President Muhammadu Buhari of Nigeria

Advisors to Nigerian President, Muhammadu Buhari have recommended a root and branch overhaul of Africa’s biggest oil industry and increased borrowing to help pay off $20 billion of government arrears, a reform proposal document shows.

Buhari, who won a shock election victory in March, has so far given little indication of his policy agenda as he has focused on his main election pledges of tackling corruption and a six-year insurgency by Islamist sect Boko Haram.

A ‘transition committee’ set up by Buhari in April submitted 800 pages of policy recommendations to the president last month but the details were not made public.

Among its recommendations were slashing the size of the civil service, overhauling the much-criticised state oil company and removing costly petrol and kerosene subsidies, according to an executive summary obtained by Reuters.

Buhari should appoint a “Reform Czar” within the president’s office to oversee changes, the committee suggests.

“Time is of the essence, and expectations are high. The administration must act now,” the report says.

The paper lays bare the dire state of public finances in Nigeria, which has been hammered by a halving of oil prices last year. Nigeria relies on oil exports for 80 percent of government revenues and 90 percent of foreign exchange earnings.

Nigeria has arrears totalling 4.1 trillion naira ($20.6 billion), including 400 billion naira in unpaid salaries, 200 billion in arrears to fuel importers and 1 trillion naira to the oil industry, the paper shows.

The committee recommends paying salary arrears and fuel subsidies immediately to avoid “mass labour unrest”.

The accountant general said on Monday he would share $1.7 billion from the oil savings account between the three tiers of government to cover outstanding arrears, suggesting the committee’s proposals are being implemented.

Paying government arrears should be funded by issuing 600 billion naira in bonds, restructuring existing debt and renegotiating or scrapping some government contracts.

“The incoming government will therefore have very limited resources and a plethora of challenges to address,” it said.

The report stressed the need for an independent central bank and said it would “ensure that only professionals” served on its board. It made no mention of monetary policy.

It recommends cutting costs by slashing the number of government ministries to 19 from 28 and removing “top-heavy appointments” within the presidency.

Part of the streamlining would also include establishing a new ministry of energy to oversee power and oil and gas, a merger that would create a powerful and important portfolio.

Nigerian politics has long been dictated by patronage, making large-scale civil servant cuts potentially unpopular among politicians Buhari relies on for support.

Buhari has yet to announce his cabinet and may not appoint ministers until September.

He has also said he wants to recover funds stolen by former government officials and oil companies.

A 2013 investigation by former central bank Governor Lamido Sanusi found NNPC had failed to pay $20 billion in revenues to government accounts. NNPC denied the charges.

Contracts between NNPC and oil firms and fuel traders should be reviewed, the committee suggested. NNPC works alongside oil majors such as Shell, Exxon, Chevron as well as global oil traders, including Trafigura, Vitol and Glencore.

Buhari dissolved NNPC’s board last month, pledging to purge corruption.

His advisors also said he should pass into law the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB), a complex and wide-ranging piece of legislation that has been delayed for eight years due to wrangling between the oil industry and government.

The committee recommends passing an old version of the PIB, which includes creating incorporated joint ventures between oil majors and NNPC, a policy strongly opposed by foreign oil firms.

Industry experts believe passing the PIB could take months or even years and a more realistic approach would be to break it up into more manageable pieces of legislation.

In 2009, Nigeria’s government agreed an amnesty and stipend payments with former Niger Delta militants, who during the height of their attacks on pipelines cut up to a third of the country’s oil output and moved world oil prices.

The amnesty should be extended for another year, the committee said.

The report proposed a plan for the “reconstruction, rehabilitation and development” of the northeast, which has borne the brunt of Boko Haram violence.

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Excess Crude Account: Like Jonathan, Like Buhari http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2015/07/07/excess-crude-account-like-jonathan-like-buhari/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2015/07/07/excess-crude-account-like-jonathan-like-buhari/#comments Tue, 07 Jul 2015 06:14:32 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=245238 L-R: President Muhammadu Buhari and  Goodluck Jonathan, former president of Nigeria

L-R: President Muhammadu Buhari and Goodluck Jonathan, former president of Nigeria

President Muhammadu Buhari of Nigeria has taken a cue from the immediate past president of the west African country, Goodluck Jonathan, by taking money from the Excess Crude Account (ECA) to share to states in a bid to help ease the financial burden on them.

The bailout by Buhari is timely for the financially-burdened states but negates the reason why the ECA was created in 2004 by former president, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo.

It would be recalled that on Monday that the Federal Government agreed to share about N391bn ($1.7bn) from the Excess Crude Account with state governments following their inability to pay salaries.

“The position is very clear, what we met on ground is what we are going to distribute. What we met on ground is hovering between $1.6bn to $1.7bn, and that is what we are going to distribute among all the three tiers of governments based on the approved formula,” Ahmed Idris, the Accountant General of the Federation said, adding that, FAAC would soon meet to distribute the amount agreed by the states and approved by the NEC meeting last week.

Raymond Omachi, the acting chairman of Fiscal Responsibility Commission (FRC) had frowned at the practice of the federal government to pay subsidy from the ECA or to share to states from the ECA when available funds are not adequate to meet revenue projections.

He said that the ECA was established in 2004 to protect planned budget against shortfalls due to volatile crude oil prices, but that was not how the funds from the account were spent today.

“If the ECA had been properly managed, in accordance with the FRC act, the country will not have been embroiled in the liquidity crisis being presently experienced,” he said.

Omachi said that the FRC Act stated that savings from the ECA should not be accessed until oil price falls below the predetermined level for a period of three consecutive months.

He said that the sum accessed should be limited to the amount that would bring the revenue of government to the level contained in its budget estimates.

Omachi also said that the other acceptable withdrawal from the ECA was to fund capital projects.

He said that over the years, the commission had noticed withdrawal that was contrary to this and had raised alarm severally at the way the ECA was being brazenly depleted.

“In essence, the non-compliance with the relevant sections of the Fiscal Responsibility Act, 2007, is the cause of the financial management problem being experienced by the country in the light of the sliding oil price.

“If the account had been intact, the effect of declining oil price will have been accommodated with the ECA buffer to finance the budget,” he said.

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