P.M. NEWS Nigeria » Electricity, Oil and Gas http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com First with Nigeria News - Nigerian leading evening Newspaper - Mon, 27 Apr 2015 14:44:53 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.2 NNPC: I’ll probe missing $20 billion- Buhari http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2015/04/26/nnpc-ill-probe-missing-20-billion-buhari/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2015/04/26/nnpc-ill-probe-missing-20-billion-buhari/#comments Sun, 26 Apr 2015 20:52:50 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=237584 General Muhammadu Buhari

General Muhammadu Buhari

Efforts of President Goodluck Jonathan administration to close the curtain on allegations of unremitted $20billion into the national coffers by the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC seem to have hit the rocks as General Muhammadu Buhari, Nigeria’s President-elect said he will initiate a fresh probe into the issue when he assumes office.

Malam Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, the former Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria who is now the Emir of Kano had in a petition to the presidency late 2013 alleged that the NNPC failed to remit the funds into the national coffers.

But he was sacked soon after the allegations became public.

The Federal Government later appointed PriceWaterHouseCoopers to conduct a forensic audit into NNPC accounts following outrage generated by the issue, including a probe of allegation by the National Assembly.

A report by the auditors released just before the last general elections however indicated that the amount the NNPC has failed to remit to the national treasury was $1.4 billion.

Diezani Allison Madueke, Minister of Petroleum told journalists last Wednesday that the NNPC has already started paying the missing $1.4 billion into the national treasury.

But General Buhari told a delegation from Adamawa State led by the state’s governor-elect, Bindow Jibrilla on Sunday that he will investigate the allegations of missing fund despite information that some persons already started returning money to government coffers

“His royal highness, the Emir of Kano, Sanusi Lamido Sanusi was removed from the Central bank because he said that about $20 billion was missing. Instead of the government to investigate the matter, they refused. Instead they sacked him. As God will have it, he is now the Emir of Kano and that is exactly what he wants to be.

“He has already written all the detailed report on it. The incoming government will not ignore it, even though we have promised to draw a line, but $20 billion is too big to ignore. This is Nigerian money and it must be investigated,” said Buhari.

The President elect also told the Adamawa State delegation that he is going to take issues of security, youth unemployment, and corruption as priority of his administration.

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Reps kick back, says only N145bn provision was made for subsidy http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2015/04/24/reps-kick-back-says-only-n145bn-provision-was-made-for-subsidy/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2015/04/24/reps-kick-back-says-only-n145bn-provision-was-made-for-subsidy/#comments Fri, 24 Apr 2015 15:45:19 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=237354 Aminu Tambuwal, Speaker, House of Representatives

Aminu Tambuwal, Speaker, House of Representatives

Contrary to the speculation that fuel subsidy has been removed from the 2015 Appropriation Bill, the House of Representatives has clarified that, indeed, it made provision for the subsidy welfare scheme .

In a statement issued yesterday by Hon. Afam Ogene (APC, Anambra), deputy chairman, Media &Public Affairs Committee, the House noted that a total of N145 billion subsidy component were embedded in the 2015 Budget which it passed on Thursday, April 23, 2015. These, he said, were made up of N100 billion for subsidy on Premium Motor Spirit ( PMS), and N45billion for kerosene .

According to Hon. Ogene, the seeming confusion arose out of the fact that both components are contained in the revenue framework upon which the 2015 budget proposals were built.

Hon. Ogene: “When the Executive presented the 2015 budget proposals, it made provisions for N100 billion for petrol , and another N45 billion subsidy on kerosene . Both items, alongside some others, are contained in the revenue framework upon which the 2015 Appropriation Bill was predicated.”

Having now passed the 2015 budget proposals, the Deputy House Spokesman said, ” the revenue framework wherein the subsidy quotient is located, would now be sent alongside , as part of the attachments accompanying the passed Appropriation Bill, to the Executive, for presidential assent.”

It needs restating, Hon. Ogene said, “that though the subsidy components were not included in the consideration of the budget proposals for Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs), which the House dealt with last Thursday, the revenue framework upon which the entire budget proposals were predicated upon was jointly worked upon by officials of the Executive branch of the government and the House Committee on Finance – and provisions outlined for fuel subsidy as earlier pointed out.”

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Crude Oil Crash: Nigeria may lose $10bn in 2015 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2015/04/23/crude-oil-crash-nigeria-may-lose-10bn-in-2015/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2015/04/23/crude-oil-crash-nigeria-may-lose-10bn-in-2015/#comments Thu, 23 Apr 2015 22:51:52 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=237256 Mrs Elizabeth Proust

Mrs Elizabeth Proust

Nigeria’s oil and gas revenue will drop by 10 billion dollars in 2015, if crude oil price average 53 dollars per barrel compared to 77.5 dollars in 2014, the Oil Producer Trade Section (OPTS) has warned.

Mrs Elizabeth Proust, Chairman OPTS and Managing Director of Total Upstream companies in Nigeria, gave the warning on Thursday in Abuja at the 2015 Oloibiri Lecture Series and Energy Forum.

NAN reports that OPTS is a private sector group comprising indigenous and international companies that operate 96 per cent of the total oil and gas production in Nigeria.

Proust spoke on a theme, “Global oil price dynamics: impact and strategic solution for Nigeria.”

She said the low oil price witnessed globally was having adverse impact on revenue of both producers and host government.

“Unfortunately Nigeria is not immune to this revenue squeeze.

“We estimate that if crude oil price average $53 per barrel, compared to $77.5 in 2014, Nigeria’s oil and gas revenue will decline by $10 billion this year or a gut wrenching 30 per cent.

“Total allocation to state governments was N620 billion in the last quarter of 2014, as the oil price was sliding 15 per cent lower than in the same quarter of 2013

“This is resulting in the slowing or cancelling of many infrastructure projects that Nigeria desperately needs,” Proust said.

She, however, said that in response to this challenge, businesses were adding more rigour to cost optimisation programme to boost the bottom line.

She said most of the cost drivers in the industry were relatively inelastic in the short term of one to two years due to existing commitments.

“This means that there is a time lag between movements in crude oil prices and costs. Thus, we cannot expect near-term costs relief.

“Additionally in Nigeria, long contract approval times and other bureaucracy further slow any gains from cost adjustments to low crude oil prices,” she said.

Proust said low crude oil prices had significantly reduced the level of investable funds, at a time when competition for investments is sharpening.

She said the solutions should include unlocking industry potential, redoubling efforts to improve capacity and efficiency of existing facilities and prioritise projects and investment.

Proust pledged OPTS mission to assist investors and the government to fully harness the hydrocarbon resources of Nigeria for the benefit of all stakeholders.

Dr Timothy Okon, the Group Coordinator, Corporate Strategy and Planning of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), called for diversification of nation’s economy to resolve the challenge of low oil price.

Okon said there was need for the government to create conducive business environment for investors to bring in revenue to the state.

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I’ve done my best for Nigeria – Alison-Madueke http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2015/04/23/ive-done-my-best-for-nigeria-alison-madueke/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2015/04/23/ive-done-my-best-for-nigeria-alison-madueke/#comments Thu, 23 Apr 2015 06:47:59 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=237129 Diezani Alison-Madueke, Petroleum Minister

Diezani Alison-Madueke, Petroleum Minister

Diezani Alison-Madueke, minister of petroleum resources, says she has done her best for Nigeria and have attained many firsts in the history of oil and gas in the country.

She noted that having performed optimally there is no need for her to seek any soft-landing from the incoming administration because she has not committed any crime. She also said the report that she has sought, but refused asylum outside the country was false. She said though she had stepped on big toes during her tenure, she would rather not go anywhere.

Alison-Madueke made the comments to journalists on Wednesday.

“I have not sought such assistance because I am not aware that I have been indicted of any crime that I will need a soft landing. Over the last four years, I have been severally and unfortunately accused and labelled in so many malicious and vindictive ways. I have explained these things and pushed back robustly on these accusations and I have even gone to court on many of them. Yet they keep being regurgitated.

“I think it is unfortunate, particularly when we are moving into a transition period and looking forward to an incoming government which is coming to take over where we have ended. For everything that has a beginning there is an end and that is not a surprise. What is the surprise is the sort of malevolence bothering on personal malicious libel to my person during this period of time.

“I do believe that I have done the best for Nigeria in this job and I have attained many firsts in the history of oil and gas especially in the reforms that we have done. In this period of time, I have stepped on many big toes, particularly the toes of the cabals that were in the industry when we came in.

“I have said severally that we will open up the industry to all Nigerians, and we have, but that is not to the pleasure of certain cabals. And I have been continuously maligned because of this. We have taken millions and in fact billions of dollars out of the hands of multinationals and their subcontractors and put them in the hands of Nigerians through the Nigerian Content. Hundreds of thousands of Nigerians have come into the oil and gas industry because of our reforms.

“Quite frankly, I think as unprecedented as it is, it does not please everybody and that cannot be helped but let us remember the unprecedented reforms that have happened in the oil industry during our time, such as major gas reforms, the Petroleum Industry Bill, which has been completely revised, reformed and put into the hands of members of the National Assembly where it has languished for two years.”

She also spoke on the alleged missing funds from the coffers of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) as well as allegations of wasteful spending by her. According to her, some of the allegations were made because of the reforms contained in the PIB. She said:

“In that bill are all the reforms needed to tear NNPC apart, make it a National Oil company, an equity share company through transparency, accountability and responsibility and reduce corruption in the industry. We did all theses and we put them in place to reduce corruption, so for me to be tagged with various tags of corruption, $10 million jet purchases, who buys jet for $10 million dollars for goodness sake?

“And $20 billion missing money for which PWC had done a report and the $1.48 billion which is not missing, which is actually money transferred by the NNPC to NPDC which is a subsidiary and NPDC has actually started making payments under my directives. I have said during our time that there are gaps in the NNPC and I said that openly.

“But I can also say that at no time in Nigerian history in the oil and gas has the NNPC been as open and audited as it is today. It has been positioned to go forward in the industry. It is true that the revenue profile is not sustainable. But we have done our best and the Nigerian oil and gas sector is today in a better shape than it has ever been in terms of achievements that we have recorded.

“So let me state it clearly for the records that Nigeria is my country and I am not going anywhere. I love my country and I do think that I have done the best for my country and I would also like to point these malicious, malevolence, vindictive libels need to stop.

“We have done enough for this industry, we cannot please everybody. Yes, we have stepped on toes but we did that in the best interest of Nigeria and we have opened up the oil and gas industry to all Nigerians, thousands of Nigerians have benefitted from our reforms in the system.”

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Politics Of Fuel Stares at Buhari http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2015/04/20/politics-of-fuel-stares-at-buhari/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2015/04/20/politics-of-fuel-stares-at-buhari/#comments Mon, 20 Apr 2015 21:10:01 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=236909 General Muhammadu Buhari

General Muhammadu Buhari

The politics of fuel ignited the downfall of President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan. The politics of fuel will ultimately ignite the success or failure of the second coming of General Muhammadu Buhari (rtd).

Perhaps the defeat of Jonathan in the March 28, 2015 presidential election has continued to appear like a weird dream, especially to those familiar with his goodwill, but the murky images become clear once the politics of fuel pops up. The burning issue inflamed when Jonathan tinkered with a national oil subsidy program in the spring of 2012. The fear of increase in pump prices sparked public outcry and mass protests. This situation not only paralyzed the economy, it also helped to expose massive corruption in the subsidy scheme. Even worse, it effortlessly ruptured the balloon of public trust initially inflated by a cocktail of constant promises and the myth of a legendary luck. The president later restored some aspects of the subsidy quite alright, but the damage was already done.

Although Jonathan has become its major casualty, the fuel problem actually predated his presidency. Celebrated as one of the leading producers of crude oil in the global market, Nigeria accounts for about 2 million barrels per day, most of which is exported to foreign countries. The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) allocates the balance to its consortium of four refineries with a combined name plate capacity of 445, 000 barrels per day. The perpetual problem is that these local refineries have hardly exceeded 20 percent of their capacity for over two decades. This failure is commonly attributed to lack of maintenance. Yet, whenever the refinery plants are repaired, which is often, they are known to ironically break down as soon as the expatriate engineers board flights back to their native lands. This seemingly act of sabotage has led to deficit in supply as well as overdependence on importation of refined products. According to NNPC, “In order to meet the deficit in supply, Nigeria currently spends between $12 and $15 billion annually” through imports. This mire has continued to stoke a severe drain on the national economy and untold hardship on the masses.

President Jonathan made efforts to address the problem through both public and private sectors. Among them is an agreement entered into by his government in 2010 with China State Construction Engineering Corporation to build three new refineries and petrochemical complex “under a $28.5 billion provisional deal.” Named Greenfield Refineries, the project was expected to “add some 750,000 barrels per day capacity to Nigeria ’s refining infrastructure and position NNPC to engage profitably in the international trading of refined petroleum products.” The then Managing Director of NNPC, Andrew Yakubu, would make world news in 2013 at the Offshore Technology Conference in Houston when he revealed that the budget for the Greenfield initiative was revised to $51.8 billion but with its capacity downsized to 400,000 barrels per day. Nigeria ’s Trade Ministry was not left behind. The ministry signed a $4.5 billion Memorandum of Understanding with US-based Vulcan Petroleum in 2012 to set up six new modular units, capable of refining 180,000 barrels of crude per day. The turn-key for two of those plants was slated within one year from the time of the initiative in 2012.

Regrettably, apart from the good news flared upon official announcement, these projects have remained a pigment of a venal imagination. The common excuse is that NNPC could not source out the funds to build refineries. Yet, the oil giant has been pumping out an average of over $7 billion in fuel subsidy per annum, a bulk of which is siphoned to private bank accounts through crude political cronyism.

In line with its deregulation policy, the Federal Government had granted refining licenses to the private sector but this program has not seen the desired success. Potential investors, including the banks, fear that a combination of government bureaucracy and the prevalent fuel subsidy scheme would make it virtually impossible to recoup costs without tending to market-determined prices. While some investors defied the odds and embarked on building private refineries, none of the plants has come on stream.

One of the earliest private projects is the $660 million Orient Petroleum Refinery (OPR) in Anambra State . Being constructed by a US-based firm, the OPR has an original plan to produce 55,000 barrels of refined products per day. Though this refinery was declared open by President Jonathan in the wake of the 2012 fuel crisis, any thought of production has been a vain hope. The true position is that the project is undercapitalized and different efforts for the desired federal assistance fell on the deaf ears. The most ambitious of these private initiatives yet is the Dangote Oil Refinery and Petrochemicals estimated to cost $9 billion. The oil facility has a completion date of 2018, and billed to refine about 500,000 barrels of oil per day. Engineers India Ltd is contracted to provide procurement, engineering, and construction management of the refinery.

A review of the above projects, both public and private, reveals mind-bugling disparities in cost schedules. Interestingly, it also shows that, similar to Nigeria ’s existing refineries, the contracts for the proposed plants were signed with foreign companies. The later pointer is loaded and serves an important purpose later in the analysis.

The fuel subsidy crisis of 2012 provoked another key undertaking by President Jonathan. He commissioned the National Refineries Special Task Force (NRSTF) with laudable objectives, including finding lasting solution for Nigeria ’s epileptic refineries. This task force produced instructive recommendations, one of which reads in part: “the Federal Government should relinquish control of the operation and management of the three Nigerian refineries by divesting a majority of its 100% equity to competent, resourceful and experienced refining private partner(s) in accordance with the Public (Privatisation and Commercialisation) Enterprises Act 1991.”

Politically, the above NRSTF recommendation is very deductive, striking all the right cords. Publicly, the languages are politically correct, especially with respect to the extant local content laws. But practically, the report enveloped a theme it did not want the general public to know. The bitter truth is that, in view of the fact that Nigerians have not been effective in operating or managing the state refineries, the Presidential Task Force actually sought for the expatriates over local groups. Besides, it does not take a rocket scientist to discern that some unscrupulous elements within the refineries connive with fuel importers or backhand beneficiaries of the fuel subsidies to keep the oil plants perpetually comatose.

By all indications, the endemic fuel problem has never been the inability to identify solutions or craft profound policies with attendant analysis. It is the lack of the political will to implement existing policies in clear and accountable manner. The objective fact is that effective implementation has been resisted because it is seen as a proxy attack on crony capitalism. Simply put, Muhammadu Buhari has his work cut out for him. The president-elect should resist the temptations of the politics of fuel staring at Nigeria ’s future. It is time to capitalize on various strategic policy recommendations already in place but direly waiting for prudent implementation. This sense of urgency has become necessary considering that a prospect for the actualization of the P5+1 nuclear agreement with Iran and consequent re-entry of the Arab country into the oil market will further plunge oil prices. In short, Nigeria can no longer afford a palpable level of fuel subsidy under the current economic outlook, and must explore immediate solutions.

A way forward is to swiftly sweep off political henchmen who have posed as middlemen in the fuel importation scheme. Of course, there are many refineries around the world that have been yearning for direct contract with the Nigerian government at far more cost-efficient options. I recall making this very recommendation to the Ministry of Petroleum Resources in 2011 but was rebuffed. The reason then, but now pyrrhic, was that “private importation of refined products promotes broader indigenous involvement than entering into direct agreement with foreign entities.”

The second recommendation is to cede the management of the existing four refineries for a period of two years to competent expatriate firms as inferred by NRSTF report. Ceding the management will help in three critical ways. The most compelling is that the two-year period will offer the opportunity to retrain the workers and sanitize the entire maintenance culture within the refinery towards efficient delivery. Very expediently, it will minimize the chances of refinery agents colluding with oil marketers to perfect backhand practices induced by the subsidy scheme. Furthermore, such approach has the potential to assuage the concerns of past bidders under Turn Around Maintenance (TAM) of NNPC—who were unwilling to guarantee repairs because of a suspicion of sabotage within Nigerian refineries. Besides, with an anti-corruption democracy soon to be in place, it is expected that the original builders of the refineries (who had declined to participate in the past) will now show interest. A competent refinery management team can build on the snail progress under TAM to boost production within 6 months of undertaking.

The third recommendation is to deploy without further delay new wholly state-owned easy-to-install modular refineries. Similar to the modular initiative of 2012 by the Trade Ministry, the refineries should be spread to strategic parts of the country. The difference is that this current proposal calls for eight refineries; and, importantly, the contracts should be awarded to eight different companies. Further, the location template should be the existing national crude pipeline-depots network. Ideal cities are Calabar, Enugu , Lagos , Ibadan , Suleja, Kano , Gusau, Jos, and Maiduiguri.

Fourth, Nigeria should consider proven modern pipeline monitoring systems to gradually disengage militants from guarding the nation’s pipelines. The pipeline to national economy cannot be at the mercy of a cabal, whose only claim to authority is a history of conspiracy, blackmail, and using innocent youths to sabotage strategic national interests.

Fifth, the government should adopt a cautious approach to deregulation and local content laws in the downstream sector. While such bold initiatives remain a potent ingredient for national development, implementation without decisive change in Nigeria ’s current socio-economic culture is an exercise in futility and a threat to national security. The point is that the new government should first strive to create the enabling environment by adopting, among other measures, the recommendations enumerated above. In the same token, there is the need to lessen bureaucratic bottlenecks and offer the desired assistance as well as incentives to private refinery projects already in progress. Effective implementation will not only accelerate the engine of deregulation and the attainment of efficient local workforce in the downstream sector, it will also engender sufficient supply of petroleum products and a fair and stable price regime.

Finally, given that Nigeria cannot at the moment boast of trusted, “competent and experienced” local firms to build and efficiently manage her refineries, and in view of the fact that expatriates come in different shades, the incoming government must also exercise caution in selecting contractors to vital projects. Nigeria must desist from the prevailing pattern of engaging firms from dubious cultures who grandstand as experts but in true sense are worse than the natives themselves.

By Dr. SKC Ogbonnia, Chairman, First Texas Energy Corporation.

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I am not seeking asylum, says Alison-Madueke http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2015/04/15/i-am-not-seeking-asylum-says-alison-madueke/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2015/04/15/i-am-not-seeking-asylum-says-alison-madueke/#comments Wed, 15 Apr 2015 08:30:34 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=236219 Diezani Alison-Madueke, Petroleum Minister

Diezani Alison-Madueke, Petroleum Minister

Diezani Alison-Madueke, Nigeria’s Petroleum Minister has said she is not seeking asylum in any country of the world. She made the statement after online reports claimed she was seeking asylum in six countries.

Madueke, who squashed the claims last night spoke through Ohi Alegbe, Group Public Affairs General Manager of Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC.

Alegbe stated that Alison-Madueke went on a short vacation outside Nigeria and would soon resume full duties as Petroleum Minister.

“I want to say that the Minister of Petroleum has never contemplated going on asylum in any part of the world and has never applied for any,” the statement said of Diezani who also doubles as OPEC president.

“The minister has only gone for a short vacation abroad and will soon return to Nigeria, having no reason to leave her job and country for any other place.”

“Given her reputation, it comes as no surprise to learn that six countries have already refused to grant her asylum to live in their countries as she now wishes to leave Nigeria at the earliest possible opportunity,” it said.

According to the report by Business Council for Africa, Alison-Madueke’s departure from Nigeria is likely to be followed by several other PDP elders, party members and supporters as well as some former government officials, as General Muhammadu Buhari’s anti-corruption drive will be far-reaching.

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6 countries turn down Alison-Madueke’s asylum request http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2015/04/14/6-countries-turn-down-alison-maduekes-asylum-request/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2015/04/14/6-countries-turn-down-alison-maduekes-asylum-request/#comments Tue, 14 Apr 2015 17:13:15 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=236187 Diezani Alison-Madueke, Petroleum Minister

Diezani Alison-Madueke, Petroleum Minister

No fewer than six countries have already refused to grant an asylum request by the Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs Diezani Alison-Madueke, the Business Council for Africa (BCA) said in its just-released monthly report, noting that about US$ 1 trillion is the latest estimated figure of the looting of the Nigerian treasury between 1960 and 2005 alone.

The report, dated March 2015, focused extensively on Nigeria’s general elections. It said the notorious Minister, whose impunity is known to have been closely-protected by President Goodluck Jonathan, will be coming under the microscope for the first time in her Ministerial career.

“Given her reputation, it comes as no surprise to learn that 6 countries have already refused to grant her asylum to live in their countries as she now wishes to leave Nigeria at the earliest possible opportunity,” it said.

BCA recalled President-elect Muhammadu Buhari lamenting that the rest of the world looks at Nigeria as the home of corruption, one where stealing is not corruption but a way of life, and that his administration will pursue all public offices and individuals who are believed to be guilty of corruption.

It observed that despite an earlier promise, it is now understood that Buhari’s anti-corruption fishing net will include Ministers currently serving under President Goodluck Jonathan. Alison-Madueke’s departure from Nigeria is likely to be followed by several other PDP elders, party members and supporters as well as some former Government officials, as Buhari’s anti-corruption drive will be far-reaching.

“It will be very interesting to learn in the coming months exactly how far back in Nigeria’s history his administration will go in the pursuance of those who have robbed Nigeria of US$ 1 trillion, which is the latest estimated figure of theft from the Nigerian treasury between the period 1960-2005. Given that President Jonathan’s administration is considered the most corrupt of any of its predecessors, that figure is going to be considerably magnified, but whether the new President will wish to pursue former Heads of State is a matter of interest and considerable debate to Nigerian observers. It is this subject that is primarily responsible for Buhari’s success in winning the election as well as his campaign promises to eradicate Boko Haram, revive the economy and rebuild Nigeria to make its position as the number one country in Africa.

While BCA agreed that the March/April 2015 were “the most credible elections in Nigeria’s history”, it said they could not be called the most incorruptible.

On the contrary, it referred to them as the worst because of the amount of money that the PDP so freely and openly spent on trying to secure the re-election of Mr. Jonathan.

“The stories and reports from throughout the 36 States of the amount of money distributed by the PDP to elders, rulers, church leaders, unions and youth leaders amongst others in an endeavour to favour the voters towards the PDP has backfired badly,” the report said.

BCA said that if the 2011 elections were considered bad, the 2015 elections will undoubtedly go down as the most corrupt in Nigeria’s history, certainly since 1999, as the amount of money being distributed as bribes primarily by the PDP so very openly would readily confirm.

It reported that since November when campaigning began, President Jonathan and General Buhari during their travels made no fewer than 109 promises of what they intend to achieve if given the mandate in the presidential election.

“President Jonathan’s campaign continued to hinge on his party’s Transformation Agenda and the achievements of his Government in the last 4 years, particularly in the agricultural sector, job creation and the empowerment of women,” the report said. In that regard, it credited Jonathan as having achieved a great deal during his tenure.

It said it was however Jonathan’s failures – rampant corruption, insecurity, inability to eliminate the Boko Haram insurgency, failure in such sectors as the economy, and power in particular, and the overall feeling that he was ruled rather than led – that have cost him his re-election bid.

The report also stated that in the 2015 elections, up to 250 Nigerians lost their lives, describing that deplorable record as speaking volumes for the control achieved by the Police at the campaign rallies by the two main candidates.

It described the cost of the campaigns of the two main parties as “simply staggering”, noting that by the first week of March, Buhari had spent some N332.58 billion as compared to the expenditure of President Jonathan which amounted to N1.05 trillion.

“This is without taking into account the cost of other expenses for such items as campaign rallies, where the PDP has spent N1.06 billion against Muhammadu Buhari’s APC’s N595.08 million, and clearly demonstrates the desperate lengths that the PDP have gone to in order to try and secure the re-election of President Jonathan.”

Culled From SaharaReporters

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Pipeline security contract will benefit communities – Kuku http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2015/03/27/pipeline-security-contract-will-benefit-communities-kuku/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2015/03/27/pipeline-security-contract-will-benefit-communities-kuku/#comments Fri, 27 Mar 2015 16:48:37 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=234448 Kingsley Kuku, Special Adviser to President Jonathan on Niger Delta and Chairman, Presidential Amnesty Committee

Kingsley Kuku, Special Adviser to President Jonathan on Niger Delta and Chairman, Presidential Amnesty Committee

The Special Adviser to the President on Niger Delta, Mr Kingsley Kuku, has said that the award of pipeline security contracts in the Niger Delta is a dream come.

Kuku told NAN in Abuja on Friday that the contract would benefit oil bearing states.

He said the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) contract would enhance community participation and human capacity development if properly handled by the companies.

The presidential aide said the controversy trailing the contract and the protest by some former agitators in Bayelsa was false.

He said for a long time he had advocated such a project to benefit oil-bearing communities in the Niger Delta.

“The communities cannot bear the effect of oil exploration activities and vandalism of pipelines and not benefit from securing their communities and environment.

“This is a step in the right direction by the NNPC as it will foster peace and security in the region,” he said.

Kuku said that the contract awarded to two firms in Bayelsa was in order, and advised those against it to cooperate with the state government to ensure its success.

He also reasoned that former leaders of the agitation in the region deserved the contract as they play a key role in ensuring the protection of the oil and gas facilities.

He, however, said the insinuation by Bayelsa Government that the former militant leaders mismanaged the amnesty programme to shortchange their followers was wrong,

According to him, the programme is managed by the Federal Government through the Office of the Special Adviser to President on Niger Delta.

“This is a programme that has positively impacted on Bayelsa and other states in the region.

“It is domicile in my office as Mr. President’s adviser on Niger Delta and it is not managed by former leaders of the agitation.

“Beneficiaries receive their monthly stipends and other allowances directly through their individual bank accounts and not through their former leaders,” Kuku said.

He urged the former leaders as key stakeholders in the programme and in the region to pursue peace at all times and avoid any act that would bring them in conflict with the law.

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Sanction erring fuel marketers, Diezani directs DPR, PPPRA http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2015/03/25/sanction-erring-fuel-marketers-diezani-directs-dpr-pppra/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2015/03/25/sanction-erring-fuel-marketers-diezani-directs-dpr-pppra/#comments Wed, 25 Mar 2015 15:58:59 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=234223 Diezani Alison-Madueke, Petroleum Minister

Diezani Alison-Madueke, Petroleum Minister

The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) has called on the public to shun panic buying and stock-piling of petrol, especially during the general elections.

This was contained in a statement by Mr Ohi Alegbe, Group General Manager, Group Public Affairs Department, NNPC, Abuja.

It stated that the Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs Diezani Alison-Madueke, had directed the regulatory agencies in the ministry to sanction any marketer found hoarding, diverting or selling products above regulated prices.

The agencies, it said, were Department of Petroleum Resources and the Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency.

The statement stated that the corporation had enough stock of the product to keep the country wet for two months.

It put the current stock of premium motor spirit (petrol) in its depots across the country at 1.9 billion litres.

It also appealed to petroleum tanker drivers, who had stopped hauling fuel from depots in the coastal states to the Northern part of the country, to return.

It explained that some drivers had expressed anxiety of being caught in unfounded fears of post-election violence.

It, however, stated that the corporation was working closely with security agencies to provide maximum security.

It also cautioned marketers to desist from capitalising on the situation to hoard and divert petroleum products, thereby subjecting Nigerians to unnecessary hardships.

The corporation urged members of the public to discountenance rumours or insinuations of petrol scarcity.

It stated that all issues relating to the importation of fuel by marketers had been resolved.

It stressed that the Petroleum Pipelines and Marketing Company (PPMC) had released a huge volume of petrol into the market.

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Power Sector: Opposition has no alternative – Minister http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2015/03/20/power-sector-opposition-has-no-alternative-minister/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2015/03/20/power-sector-opposition-has-no-alternative-minister/#comments Fri, 20 Mar 2015 17:29:46 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=233769 Alhaji Mohammed Wakil, Minister of State for Power

Alhaji Mohammed Wakil, Minister of State for Power

The Minister of State for Power, Hon. Muhammad Wakil has declared that the opposition has no credible alternative to the ongoing successful reform in the power sector.

Hon. Wakil stated this during the signing of Memoranda of Understanding (MoU) between his Ministry and two consortiums – Huawei Technologies of China and Bravos/Power China in his office in Abuja.

On privatisation of the power sector, the Minister said Nigeria is now a model to copy as the Ghanaian Minister of Power, Mr. Kwabena Donkor was in Nigeria last week to tap from the success achieved in Nigerian power privatisation exercise.

The Minister described the opposition plan on power sector as just a mere repetition of several policies of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), government which has already been implemented, while others are ongoing.

Wakil said he read the opposition plan for the sector and has no hesitation to affirm that PDP government has successfully privatised the power sector with much focus on renewable energy like solar, wind, coal, small and medium hydro-power plants, stressing that emphasis would be placed on renewable energy to avoid incidences of gas pipeline vandalism which had over the years disrupted delivery of gas to thermal plants.

Wakil also noted that the Ministry is presently training over 7,400 young entrepreneurs through the National Power Sector Apprenticeship Scheme (NAPSAS) on joint volters, fitters, sub-station operators and young engineers, to provide able and sufficient workmen for the sector’s power plants, promised to assist the consortium in acquiring the necessary licences.

Earlier, the Vice-President, Huawei Technologies, Richard Cao stated that the MoU was the outcome of the Minister’s earlier visit to China to woo investors into the Nigerian power industry.

Cao further revealed that his company has the capacity to provide solar power 24/7 to rural communities in Nigeria, adding that his company will continue to partner with government in ensuring the provision of uninterrupted power supply to the country.

In his response, the Vice-Chairman of Bravos Energy – the Group’s local partner, Lawson Osagie stated that renewable energy holds the answer to energy deficit; he thereby reiterated the consortium’s willingness to providing clean energy to Nigerians.

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Knocks For Jonathan After 50% Electricity Tariff Reduction http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2015/03/18/knocks-for-jonathan-after-50-electricity-tariff-reduction/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2015/03/18/knocks-for-jonathan-after-50-electricity-tariff-reduction/#comments Wed, 18 Mar 2015 20:40:22 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=233568 Jethro Ibileke/Benin

President Goodluck Jonathan of Nigeria

President Goodluck Jonathan of Nigeria

President Goodluck Jonathan’s announcement of 50 per cent reduction of electricity tariff has elicited knocks and negative criticism for him, rather than kudos, with the Organized Private Sector (OPS) and Civil society organizations in Edo state describing it as politically motivated and geared towards winning the forthcoming elections.

Those who reacted to the tariff reduction said it will not have economic benefits on the lives of the Nigeria masses. They contended that the major challenge of electricity consumers besides inadequate power supply, was the contentious issue of N750 monthly fixed charges imposed on consumers by the electricity distribution companies.

President of Benin Chamber of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (BENCCIMA), Andy Edobor, while commenting on the issue, said the federal government came up with the 50 per cent reduction of tariff on electricity when it was obvious that they will lose the presidential elections.

“The federal government’s action is political and it now dawned on the government that they will lose the general elections that is why they are now doing everything possible to woo Nigerians.

“For businessmen, it is a welcome development and for the masses it is of no use without regular power supply as well as not extended to the fixed charges.

“Private charges for investors cost between N100, 000 to N200, 000 and their electricity consumption monthly is not more than N20,000. And I want to ask what is the rationale for the exorbitant payment for electricity when they did not consume up to that amount?,” Edobor asked.

The BENCCIMA President however added that after due consultation, the body will come for a press conference to let the federal government know that the electricity rate and lack of power supply is really crippling industries in the country.

Also commenting on the tariff reduction, the state chairman of the National Association of Small Scale Industrialists (NASS), Noma Iguisi, said the association was at loss as to what categories of the charges the 50 per cent reduction of the electricity tariff affected.

He said the national leadership of the body has been discussing with the federal government on the need to reduce the N14 per unit of electricity tariff and scrap the N31 per unit that is also charged.

Iguisi said the body would not make any commendation statement not until the federal government make full clarification of the tariff rate of between N14 and N31.

Also reacting, Tony Abolo, a Media Consultant said both the N87 per litre of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) announced recently by the Government and the 50 percent reduction of tariff of electricity were all gimmicks by President Jonathan to woo electorate to their favour.

According to him, the Greek offers to Nigerians were tactics of the 60s and 80s, adding “that Nigerians are today more enlightened and informed to make their own independent decisions.”

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Qatar to spend $200bn despite oil price drop http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2015/03/15/qatar-to-spend-200bn-despite-oil-price-drop/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2015/03/15/qatar-to-spend-200bn-despite-oil-price-drop/#comments Sun, 15 Mar 2015 13:15:39 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=233311 Sheikh Abdullah bin Nasser bin Khalifa Al-Thani

Sheikh Abdullah bin Nasser bin Khalifa Al-Thani

Qatar will stick to its $200-billion (190 billion-euro) infrastructure spending splurge, the energy-rich Gulf state’s premier vowed on Sunday, despite the fall in global oil prices.

Sheikh Abdullah bin Nasser bin Khalifa Al-Thani told business leaders at a Doha finance conference that the kingdom would maintain its plans to spend heavily on development projects in the runup to the football World Cup in 2022.

“We reiterate our commitment to investment infrastructure, health and education,” he said.

Qatar is spending on approved major projects such as developing the country’s railway network and building a new port.

Regional business intelligence specialist MEED has predicted that Qatar will see $30 billion worth of new infrastructure projects through 2015 alone.

The prime minister’s message echoed comments by Qatar’s finance minister, Ali Shareef al-Emadi, who said the country would keep up heavy spending on infrastructure despite fears over the global economy.

Qatar announced that its population had jumped in February to a record 2.33 million, on the back of an influx of foreign workers moving to the country.

Sheikh Abdullah, who is also interior minister, predicted Qatar’s economy would grow by seven percent in 2015, suggesting the population increase was likely to continue.

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Yobe Power company slashes electricity bills by 50% http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2015/03/09/yobe-power-company-slashes-electricity-bills-by-50/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2015/03/09/yobe-power-company-slashes-electricity-bills-by-50/#comments Mon, 09 Mar 2015 11:28:53 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=232618 Transformers

An official of the Yola Electricity Distribution Company, Mr Hanawa Rufus, said on Monday that the company slashed the bills of customers by 50 per cent in February.

Rufus, who is the Taraba Area Head of the company made the announcement while speaking with newsmen in Jalingo.

He said that slashing of the bills implied that customers would be charged half of what they paid in January.

The area head said the cut in charges was prompted by low supply of electricity to customers.

Rufus said that the three-week blackout in February was due to low supply of power to the company.

The official said that Taraba State, needing about 110 megawatts monthly, only received between 30 to 40 megawatts.

He said that Jalingo, needing 20 megawatts had two to three megawatts during the period.

On prepaid meters, the area manager said that the company had distributed over 1,000 meters to customers since July 2014.

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Crude oil price likely to stabilise at $50-60 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2015/03/08/crude-oil-price-likely-to-stabilise-at-50-60/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2015/03/08/crude-oil-price-likely-to-stabilise-at-50-60/#comments Sun, 08 Mar 2015 11:14:01 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=232547 Ali al-Omair, Kuwati Oil Minister

Ali al-Omair, Kuwati Oil Minister

World crude prices are expected to gain this year or at least stabilise at between $50 and $60 a barrel, Kuwaiti Oil Minister Ali al-Omair was quoted as saying.

“Forecasts for the oil price this year indicate that it will gain or at least stabilise between $50 and $60 a barrel,” the official KUNA news agency quoted Omair as saying late on Saturday in Bahrain.

The minister said prices are currently supported by conflict in Iraq and Libya and by a drop in sand oil and shale oil output.

But that is counterbalanced by slow global economic growth, which is dampening demand, Omair said.

World prices dropped at close on Friday as the dollar rose sharply, making dollar-priced crude more expensive for buyers using weaker foreign currencies.

West Texas Intermediate for delivery in April slid $1.15 to $49.61 on the New York Mercantile Exchange, ending near its week-ago level.

Brent North Sea crude for April, the international benchmark, dropped 75 cents to $59.73 a barrel in London.

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Seplat gives 90% of contracts to local contractors – Avuru http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2015/03/07/seplat-gives-90-of-contracts-to-local-contractors-avuru/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2015/03/07/seplat-gives-90-of-contracts-to-local-contractors-avuru/#comments Sat, 07 Mar 2015 11:50:30 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=232449 Austin Avuru, SEPLAT CEO

Austin Avuru, SEPLAT CEO

Austin Avuru, CEO of Seplat Petroleum Development Company has described Nigerian independents as major players and significant revenue contributors to the Nigerian economy as well as local content champions, noting that, Seplat gives 90 per cent of its contract to local contractors.

Avuru made the disclosure on March 4 at a roundtable discussion convened at the instance of the Executive Secretary, National Content Development and Management Board (NCDMB) Dr Ernest Nwapa, who hosted the CEO’s of indigenous oil and gas companies to a roundtable discussion to deliberate on the impact of the local content act on the Oil and gas sector, indigenous operators and the Nigerian economy.

Nwapa said the session was to enable participants take a critical look at the impact of the implementation of the local content act and discuss the issues/challenges faced by the indigenous operators.

In his presentation, Avuru who is a Fellow of the National Association of Petroleum Explorationists (NAPE) said Seplat like many other Nigerian independents is in full compliance with the Local Content Act. Reeling out figures to support his claim, Avuru said 90% of contract spend by Seplat went to local contracts, with contractors in their host communities netting $4om.

“Our top 50 contractors for 2014, accounted for $460 million of spend and only 6 of them where foreign companies.”

Avuru said this was set to increase across board as Nigerian independents come into their own and he presented fresh figures to buttress his claim.

According to him, IOC divestments have given birth to 7 indigenous independents which now have a combined production capacity of about 275kbd0 and 650mmscfd of gas into the domestic market which is nearly half of the gas delivery. He explained that these indigenous independents are deepening the Nigerian financial sectors with debts of about $5bn owed Nigerian Banks.

Avuru projected that by the end of 2018 indigenous companies would be responsible for at least 1bcf of gas per day. He also projected that by 2020, domestic refining capacity would be about 1MMBOPD.

“We are looking forward to a period, say by 2020 when domestic, integrated oil and gas business will account for 25% oil production, 40% domestic gas supply and 1mmbopd refining capacity,” Avuru predicted.

The Seplat CEO predicated his optimism on “Dangote’s refinery project as well as the possible sale of the countries refineries to private companies.”

Speaking further Austin Avuru advocated for the setting up of a “national export pipeline as the current export pipelines are owned by IOCs.”

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Power generation drops by 1.5gigawatts as Nigeria loses N2.5bn http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2015/03/06/power-generation-drops-by-1-5gigawatts-as-nigeria-loses-n2-5bn/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2015/03/06/power-generation-drops-by-1-5gigawatts-as-nigeria-loses-n2-5bn/#comments Fri, 06 Mar 2015 17:02:51 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=232375 The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) on Friday said that the country’s power supply would drop by 1.5 gigawatts due to Monday’s destruction of gas pipeline in Gbaramatu, Warri in Delta.

The Managing Director, Nigerian Gas Company, Mr Dafe Sejebor made this known to newsmen after a tour of the vadalised facilities in Inikorogha, Ubefan and Balan in Gbaramotu Delta.

The managing director who was represented by the Executive Director Services, Mr Joseph Olisa, said the nation would lose N2.5 billion within 21 days that the gas supply would be restored.

He explained that whenever there was destruction on pipelines it affected production and stopped supply of gas thereby leading to loss of revenue.

“When these pipelines are tampered with the gas volumes that are supposed to be sent to the power plants are lost.

“Whenever it happens we lose up to 1.5 gigawatts to the national grid.

“That is colossal in terms of cost volume of almost 200 million standard cubic feet of gas being lost per day,” he said.

Dafe Sejebor

While expressing regrets over the spate of vandalism on gas pipelines in the recent times, the managing director described the act as economic sabotage.

According to him, the recent vandalism which is on the Escravos Lagos Pipeline System (ELPS) is core to the nation’s power supply.

He said the pipeline was the heart beat or the core of pipelines that took gas to the western part of the country.

“The truth is that we have been having vandalism but the spate at which it is happening now is alarming.

“In the past few weeks we have really had it so bad that it is impacting negatively on power generation in the country.

“The core fuel to most of the power plant in this country is NGC gas, so if we cannot take power to the power plant generation suffers,” he said.

He said the bleed being experienced in the generation and availability of power in the country was due to activities of vandals.

He, therefore, called on the host communities and other stakeholders to help the government in stemming the spate of vandalism in their areas.

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Resolve issues with oil marketers, Jonathan tells Okonjo http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2015/03/04/resolve-issues-with-oil-marketers-jonathan-tells-okonjo/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2015/03/04/resolve-issues-with-oil-marketers-jonathan-tells-okonjo/#comments Wed, 04 Mar 2015 21:11:08 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=232103 President Goodluck Jonathan

President Goodluck Jonathan

President Goodluck Jonathan, on Wednesday, ordered the supply of adequate petroleum products to filling stations nationwide.

Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, the Minister of Finance and Coordinating Minister of the Economy, said this when she briefed State House correspondents on the outcome of the weekly Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting.

The meeting was presided over by President Goodluck Jonathan.

“The second issue really is about fuel marketers and fuel marketing situation, the scarcity and the lines and queue being experienced in the country.

“We discussed that at the Federal Executive Council (meeting), because Mr President wanted a quick action to improve the situation as fast as possible.

“So, after the briefing and discussion on both the financial and the physical sides, what emanate is that this situation we hope it will soon be resolved.

“Because, both on the financial side, action has been taken and is being implemented both through the Ministry of Finance and the Governor of the Central Bank.”

According to her, the Federal Government in December paid N320.6 billion to settle the claims of marketers, while the outstanding balance of N185 billion will soon be paid to them as Sovereign Wealth notes.

This, the minister said, was to cover the amount that had been issued to the affected marketers.

Okonjo-Iweala also revealed that the council approved N326 million for the provision of temporary office building for the Investment and Securities Tribunal (IST).

According to her, the property is located at Plot 1072 Cadastral Zone b10, Dakibiyu District, Airport Road, Abuja.

She said that the approval was informed by the fact that the tribunal had over the years been grappling with the challenge of regular payment of rent on its office accommodation as well as threats of eviction from the rented office accommodation.

“The procurement will be funded from a grant of N410, 004,829.81 by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to the Tribunal, based on a request by the Minister of State for Finance for the office building, pool vehicles for judges and other operational purposes.

“After deliberations, council approved the contract to procure temporary office building located at Plot 1072 Cadastral Zone b10, Dakibiyu District, Airport Road, Abuja for the Investments and Securities Tribunal (IST).

“This is in favour of Messrs El-Davido Properties and Engineering Services Limited in the sum of N326,095,875 inclusive of VAT with a delivery period of three weeks.”

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GE completes installation of mobile gas turbines for Port Harcourt refinery http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2015/03/04/ge-completes-installation-of-mobile-gas-turbines-for-port-harcourt-refinery/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2015/03/04/ge-completes-installation-of-mobile-gas-turbines-for-port-harcourt-refinery/#comments Wed, 04 Mar 2015 13:18:58 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=232024 With more industrial facilities using distributed power technologies to ensure a reliable energy supply and increase productivity, General Electric (NYSE: GE) has completed the supply and installation of three 25-megawatt (MW), trailer-mounted, TM2500+ aeroderivative gas turbines to generate uninterrupted power at the refinery. The supply was made through Genesis Electricity Limited, an independent power producer.

The installation of the mobile gas turbines will ensure that Nigeria’s largest oil refinery has the power it needs to overcome grid outages and return to full capacity for refining. Before now outages have reduced the refinery’s output to 30 percent of its total maximum capacity of 210,000 barrels per day.

To help address these issues, Genesis Electricity Limited, signed a 20-year power purchase agreement with NNPC in November 2013 for the installation of GE’s TM2500+ units at refinery. The TM2500+ gas turbines will provide both the base load and backup power to support refinery operations. The agreement also includes the future modernization of Nigeria’s other two refineries.

GE acted as a catalyst for the project, taking it to financial closure by working with all stakeholders and partners to structure the project’s equity. This is the first-ever non-recourse project financing for power plants in Nigeria.

Akinwole Omoboriowo, CEO GE Limited

Akinwole Omoboriowo, CEO GE Limited

“We are excited to work with GE to deploy their proven TM2500+ gas turbine technology and help Nigeria successfully return the Port Harcourt refinery to full service as quickly as possible,” said Akinwole Omoboriowo, CEO of Genesis Electricity Limited. “This project was not only important in getting the refinery back into full operation, but also to support Nigeria’s long-term economic interests by achieving optimum refining capacity.”

Our TM2500+ technology’s high-power density and compact footprint make it the perfect solution to address Port Harcourt Refining Company’s fast ramp-up, on-site power requirements while also ensuring the refinery’s long-term viability,” said George Njenga, GE’s Distributed Power Leader for sub Saharan Africa.

On his part, the President and CEO of GE Nigeria Dr Lazarus Angbazo GE said GE is training local engineers to operate and manage the refinery’s TM2500+ units. He said GE also has an in-country service and maintenance workshop to service the units. Apart from reflecting GE’s long term commitment to Nigeria, Dr Angbazo said these efforts are in line with local content requirements in Nigeria

GE’s TM2500+ gas turbine is capable of providing ISO-rated 31 MW of fast and reliable on-site generating capacity. The system can be used to provide utilities with a “baseload bridge” to support permanent power installations; backup power to support natural disaster relief efforts; or for plant shutdowns or equipment maintenance. The fuel-flexible system can use either natural gas or liquid-distillate.

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Nigeria to pay N185bn to end fuel scarcity – Okonjo-Iweala http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2015/03/04/nigeria-to-pay-n185bn-to-end-fuel-scarcity-okonjo-iweala/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2015/03/04/nigeria-to-pay-n185bn-to-end-fuel-scarcity-okonjo-iweala/#comments Wed, 04 Mar 2015 08:01:03 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=232011 •Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Finance Minister

•Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Finance Minister

As the Nigerian Minister of Finance and Coordinating Minister for the Economy, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, prepares to meet with oil marketers in the country on Wednesday over the lingering scarcity of fuel in the country, she has also promised that the government would meet the demands of the oil marketers.

The government, according to her, would meet the costs incurred by the marketers, their fees and interest as well as Foreign Exchange (forex) differentials.

Nigerians have groaned for days now with filling stations shutting down because of scarcity of petroleum products while very long queues are experienced in the few filling stations dispensing the products.

Many Nigerians depend on premium motor spirit, popularly called petrol, and diesel to power their generators which has been the main source of power, as the country further groans over power supply and, in some cases, neck-breaking electricity bills.

Okonjo-Iweala said the government put in place strategies to cushion the effect of the fuel scarcity and address the demands of the oil marketers.

“We have taken the following steps: we’ve reached an agreement with the marketers’ union on the N185 billion balance of their payment. As part of this agreement, we are paying not only the costs they’ve incurred and their fees but also interest and forex differentials,” she explained.

The Debt Management Office (DMO), she said, is to issue Sovereign Debt Notes (SDNs) to cover N100 billion out of the N185 billion agreed upon as balance for the next payments.

FILE PHOTO: Motorists queue to buy fuel in Lagos

FILE PHOTO: Motorists queue to buy fuel in Lagos

She further said that the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) had also given approvals for the banks to issue letters of credit.

She said the government was very concerned about the fuel queues which have appeared in Lagos, Abuja and other parts of the country and that “the Petroleum ministry and NNPC have worked very hard to reduce them to the barest minimum. We sympathise with Nigerians whose lives are being disrupted by the queues and assure them that we are working hard to end them as quickly as possible.”

Femi Fani-Kayode, the spokesman of the Peoples Democratic Party Presidential Campaign Organisation, PDPPCO, had accused the opposition All Progressives Congress, APC, of being responsible for the fuel scarcity, but the APC had listed several reasons further saying it was shameful that the government could point accusing fingers to others for its failures.

Okonjo-Iweala also said the scarcity was due to factors including disruption of pipelines and logistical issues and that these are being attended to urgently.

“It is clear that while the union and most members have been cooperative, some of their members are not. Some of these people have even refused to open Letters of Credit (LCs) to facilitate their payments.
“We salute the union and the members who are working hard to end this unfortunate situation. As for those who are working in the other direction, Nigerians should ask them what their motives are,” she said.

“The Petroleum ministry and NNPC are taking strong action to improve supplies in this election season.
“I’ve been speaking with Major Oil Marketers Association of Nigeria (MOMAN) and they’ve assured me that they are working hard to increase supplies and more are on the way,” she said adding that 40 million litres was being distributed in Lagos since Tuesday with 86 trucks already in Lagos and another 86 trucks heading for Abuja.

“Other parts of the country are also included in the plans. So the situation should improve soon.
“We paid the marketers a total of N320.8 billion from the Excess Crude Account (ECA) in two installments last December.

“This underscores the fact that we are taking payment of marketers very seriously indeed.
“We’ve been in constant touch and talking with the marketers and a week ago we reached an agreement with them on their core concerns, which we have addressed,” she said.

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NUPENG urges NNPC to increase supply to Apapa http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2015/03/04/nupeng-urges-nnpc-to-increase-supply-to-apapa/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2015/03/04/nupeng-urges-nnpc-to-increase-supply-to-apapa/#comments Wed, 04 Mar 2015 07:43:16 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=232000 The Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG) on Tuesday appealed to Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) to increase the supply of petroleum products to its depot in Apapa.

Tokunbo Korodo, the Chairman, South-West Chapter of the union, told NAN in Lagos that the product was hardly available at the NNPC Apapa depot.

“Our members are eager to collect the product from the depot but there is hardly any product at the Apapa depot.

“Even some private depots that have the product are selling at more than the stipulated price.

“It is of no use for our members to be coming to the depot on daily basis without loading the product,” he said.

Korodo said that there were issues on ground for the union to go on strike but because of the coming general elections and the present scarcity, they decided to suspend the idea.

Tokunbo Korodo

Tokunbo Korodo

“We have labour issues with Chevron Company, Total Oil and even the Federal Government but we decided to wait and see the end of this scarcity.

“Let it be known that our tanker drivers are not on strike, we are ready to go the extra mile to end this scarcity.

“We appeal to the Ministry of Finance to resolve whatever they have with oil marketers so that importations of products will commerce.

“The NNPC cannot supply the product all alone,” he said.

Meanwhile, long queue of vehicle at most Lagos petrol filling stations persisted on Tuesday as motorists rushed to buy the available product.

NAN reports also that more filling stations along Ikorodu road, Oshodi-Apapa expressway and Orile area of Lagos were on Tuesday opened to motorists.

At Cele Bus stop along Oshodi Apapa expressway, motorists were seen queuing as early as 6 a.m. at petrol stations that open for sales at 8:00 a.m.

Kole Badmus, a resident of Ilasamaja area of Lagos, appealed to marketers to reconsider their earlier position and commence the importation of refined petrol.

Badmus said that the appeal became imperative following the suffering of Nigerians across the nation and the exigencies of the rescheduled general elections.

NAN recalls that the NNPC had on March 2, introduced fresh measures to halt what it described as artificial petrol scarcity noticeable in some parts of the country.

NNPC had earlier announced plans to import more than one billion litres of refined petrol in March to address short fall in national supply.

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