P.M. NEWS Nigeria » Electricity, Oil and Gas http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com First with Nigeria News - Nigerian leading evening Newspaper - Tue, 18 Nov 2014 07:27:02 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.0 World’s first oil well still bubbling crude oil http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/11/17/worlds-first-oil-well-still-bubbling-crude-oil/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/11/17/worlds-first-oil-well-still-bubbling-crude-oil/#comments Mon, 17 Nov 2014 03:47:05 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=219886 by Stanislaw Waszak/AFP

A reconstruction of the hand operated driling rig from 1862 in the Ignacy Lukasiewicz Museum

A reconstruction of the hand operated driling rig from 1862 in the Ignacy Lukasiewicz Museum

The smell of money hangs thick in the air as black crude oil bubbles up from what is billed as the world’s oldest oil well, but this is not Texas or Saudi Arabia.

The sleepy village of Bobrka in southern Poland lays claim to the planet’s first oil well and rig, one that is still pumping up enough black gold to be profitable.

It was dug and built by hand in 1860 under the watchful gaze of Polish pharmacist and inventor Ignacy Lukasiewicz, a humble man who pioneered the now ubiquitous use of petroleum by creating the kerosene lamp.

Thanks to him, “Bobrka became the birthplace of the world’s oil industry”, says Barbara Olejarz, who runs a local museum devoted to the origins of the sector and whose last name by coincidence means “oilman” in Polish.

“It all began there,” she tells AFP while pointing a finger at an obelisk built by Lukasiewicz and his circle to mark the launch of the oil field in 1854 and the founding of the world’s first oil company.

Despite giving birth to the sector, it turned out that Poland did not have much oil.

It now produces around 20,000 barrels a day, or 7.3 million per year, worth some $584 million (466 million euros) at current prices — a trickle by global standards. Refined locally, Polish crude covers just four to five percent of domestic demand, according to oil and gas expert Andrzej Szczesniak.

The five remaining wells at the Bobkra museum pump out a combined 423 barrels of crude per year, which is also locally refined and consumed.

And though he pioneered the oil industry, few outside the country know about Lukasiewicz, due in part to his own humility.

A figure of Ignacy Lukasiewicz in his laboratory in the Ignacy Lukasiewicz Museum of Petroleum Industry

A figure of Ignacy Lukasiewicz in his laboratory in the Ignacy Lukasiewicz Museum of Petroleum Industry

“His modesty worked against him. He remained less known than other Polish scientists: Copernicus or Marie Sklodowska-Curie,” says Olejarz.

“He didn’t want to be the talk of the town, he didn’t like to stand out, he did everything during his lifetime so that he’d be forgotten and his wish has been fulfilled.”

– Kerosene –

Born in 1822 in the southern village of Zaduszniki — then part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire — Lukasiewicz acquired a pharmacist’s diploma and an interest in the petroleum found in the eastern Carpathian Mountains.

He ran experiment after experiment, sometimes triggering an accidental fire or explosion, before succeeding at refining crude oil and inventing the first kerosene lamp.

In 1853, he used it to light up the hospital in nearby Lviv, now part of Ukraine, and the following year he lit the world’s first kerosene lamp on a street in Gorlice.

Next up came the need to learn how to extract fuel from the ground in high volumes.

View of pipes at the Ignacy Lukasiewicz Museum of Petroleum Industry in Bobrka

View of pipes at the Ignacy Lukasiewicz Museum of Petroleum Industry in Bobrka

“In Bobrka, the first drillers were actually well-diggers who dug holes with pickaxes, shovels and hammers. The work was hard and dangerous,” says Olejarz, citing hazards including cave-ins, flooding and gas leaks.

She spoke in front of the wooden tripod that surrounds the Franek well, which is equipped with a cable pulley for pulling up buckets of oil.

– A Rockefeller –

By 1874, the Austro-Hungarian Empire had identified 111 wells and drilling sites in Bobrka. The deepest well went down 150 metres (490 feet).

The wells would be extended later thanks to new drilling technology, much of which was developed in the United States.

“Some say that one of the Rockefellers either came here himself or sent his associates to seek advice on how to obtain kerosene from crude oil,” says Olejarz, referring to the wealthy US family behind the company that became energy giant ExxonMobil.

“And Lukasiewicz told them everything.”

When the Rockefellers asked how much they owed him for the advice, he was said to have replied that it was free because he was working for the good of humanity — not for money.

“He was particularly modest, the archetypal nice guy, someone with passion,” says Joanna Kubit, principal of the petrochemical technical high school in the nearby town of Krosno.

“His idea was that the oil industry should above all serve to improve life in this poor province of Galicia,” the name of the region when it was an impoverished part of the Austro-Hungarian empire.

Sure enough, she says, the life of the region’s residents changed with the income generated by the sector and the considerable sums their wealthiest resident spent on public utility projects.

Lukasiewicz set up vocational schools, social insurance and municipal credit bureaus across the region. He also financed university scholarships, churches, convents and monasteries.

“It was said at the time that every road in Galicia was paved with Lukasiewicz’s money.

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OPEC to keep production ceiling at summit http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/11/16/opec-to-keep-production-ceiling-at-summit/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/11/16/opec-to-keep-production-ceiling-at-summit/#comments Sun, 16 Nov 2014 14:52:06 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=219837 OPEC

OPEC

OPEC will keep its production ceiling steady at its “toughest ever” meeting this month, a former adviser to oil kingpin Saudi Arabia said as global crude prices hit a four-year low.

The 12-nation OPEC cartel, including the world’s biggest crude producer Saudi Arabia, will meet on November 27 in Vienna.

Mohammed Suroor al-Sabban, who until last year was chief adviser to the kingdom’s petroleum ministry, said the cartel’s talks will be “the toughest OPEC meeting ever as some OPEC ministers had not anticipated prices would drop to this level, and so quickly.”

He said he expected OPEC members to stick with the current output ceiling.

“In my personal opinion, the next meeting will confirm the current production ceiling… at 30 million barrels a day and OPEC will adhere to that in the coming period,” he told businessmen in the Saudi Red Sea city of Jeddah late Saturday.

OPEC nations currently produce around 600,000 barrels of oil a day over the output ceiling.

In early November, Riyadh sent global oil prices tumbling when it cut its price for crude on the US market while raising it for Asia, the country’s major outlet.

Analysts said that the kingdom wanted to strengthen its market share in the United States against a flood of oil being extracted there from shale rock, which had helped to create a global supply glut and lowered prices.

Oil rebounded slightly on Friday, with the US benchmark West Texas Intermediate for December delivery rising to $75.82 a barrel. Brent North Sea crude for delivery in January advanced to $79.41 in London.

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12 ships laden with petroleum products arrive in Lagos http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/11/15/12-ships-laden-with-petroleum-products-arrive-in-lagos/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/11/15/12-ships-laden-with-petroleum-products-arrive-in-lagos/#comments Sat, 15 Nov 2014 08:57:16 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=219759 Nigerian Ports Authority

Nigerian Ports Authority

The Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) said 12 ships laden with petroleum products had arrived in Lagos ports.

NPA stated this in its daily publication, Shipping Position, which was made available to newsmen in Lagos on Friday.

According to the document, eight of the 12 ships will discharge 262, 907 tonnes of petrol.

It said the four other ships contained base oil, diesel and kerosene.

The document said that 11 ships had also arrived with rice, buckwheat, containers and bulk fertiliser.

It added that 54 ships are expected at the ports from Nov. 14 to Dec. 3.

According to the document, 12 other ships are expected to sail into the ports with petroleum products, two of which contain bulk gas.

It said that 18 of the expected ships will arrive in the ports with containers, while 13 others would sail in with food items such as rice in bags, crude palm oil and bulk sugar.

The document said that nine ships will sail in with general cargoes, while two other ships will sail in with used vehicles.

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Slump In Oil Prices: A Progressive Way Out, By Bola Tinubu http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/11/14/slump-in-oil-prices-a-progressive-way-out-by-bola-tinubu/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/11/14/slump-in-oil-prices-a-progressive-way-out-by-bola-tinubu/#comments Fri, 14 Nov 2014 08:09:57 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=219612 Opinion

Awash in the great tide of politics, we must not forget why politics can be a noble endeavor. It leads to governance when done correctly and governance can reform a nation and improve the lot of the people. In the hands of the ignorant and the mean, governance cast abundant misfortune upon a nation and upon the welfare of its citizens.

This commentary concerns governance and policy more than it does politics. I offer it to generate debate on an important economic issue. No matter who is in power, we must do whatever is in our capacity to steer the nation away from economic woe. The people have suffered too much hardship already. Neither side of the political divide should seek to purchase transient advantage at the high price of dousing the people in greater economic calamity. Thus, I suggest this progressive position on how best to shape economic policy during this period of falling oil prices. I state this hoping those in charge will take pertinent advice from any quarter. My prayer is that they are not so stubborn as to adhere to a strategy that will deepen the economic misery of our people even when better policy measures are proffered.

I confess to writing this also for a reason essentially political but non-confrontational. It accentuates the distinction between the conservative Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and the progressive All Progressives Congress (APC). The nation faces momentous elections when next year turns to its second month. The choice is a stark one; but many people do not believe as such. The differences are vast especially regarding economic policy. On the one side, the PDP champions a conservative, elitist economic model based on the theory that wealth money must first go to the already rich and well-heeled who shall determine how small a fraction of it will trickle-down to the rest of society.

On the progressive side, we believe government can fillip economic growth and development in such a way that brings the fairness of prosperity to all of society. We don’t seek to penalize those who already have but we will do our utmost to remove from the clutch of poverty the bulk of our people. We seek to turn the hungry suffering of our poor and working classes into a dignified livelihood that provides a dignified existence for all.

Global oil prices have fallen from over 100 dollars a barrel to approximately 80 dollars per barrel. This slide has caused a corresponding drop in government’s dollar revenues. With this, the federal government claims it has less money at its disposal and the paucity of dollars necessitates austerity measures. Most people accept this position as gospel; debate about its correctness has been nil. Yet, the stakes are much too high to assume this subjective position as an economic certitude or uncritically accept its propriety. What they proclaim as policy is not based on any unassailable economic principle. It is statement of economic bias that beckons to the wealthy while auguring unnecessary hardship for most Nigerians.

Look at jobless and poverty levels as well as the diminished status of our middle class. After viewing these statistics, most objective economists would conclude Nigeria is mired in a long-term, secular depression. Forget the rosy GDP numbers. They signify a great economic and financial segregation between those who have and others who have not. If we continue with the policy preferences of the current administration, the haves shall become the “have–mores” and the “have-nots” shall become the “have even less.”

The vast majority of the claimed GDP growth has fallen into the laps of those already enjoying obvious luxury. The rest of the people are left to gaze at the enormity of the income and wealth chasm separating them from the cabal orchestrating the discordant political economy. While a small group flourishes, the rest of the nation subsidizes their economic bounty. A tight confederacy rides an economic skyrocket while the bulk of the people languish in the swamp. For one group, the economy is effervescent. For the other, it is catatonic. Nigeria is one nation with two economies.

For this government to speak of austerity is to further enrich the affluent while casting the average Nigerian into greater hardship and deeper socio-economic depression. As with the Euro zone the past five years since the global financial crisis, austerity has not solved the dire economic weakness of the nations that employed this sickening remedy. All austerity has done is tighten the grip of the wealthy on the economy while weakening the position of the middle class and the poor.

Asiwaju Bola Tinubu

Asiwaju Bola Tinubu

Austerity weakens aggregate demand, deflating an economy already fatigued and against the ropes. Those with hefty portfolios, profit as the value of their holdings appreciates by the very dynamics of deflation. Those who don’t have, find money even dearer to come by. Jobs and commerce disappear. Debt climbs. Deflation turns a noble but poor household into a committee of beggars and street urchins. The austerity that the current Administration offers is an insensitive, myopic policy that lends primacy of favor to meaningless accounting figures instead of to the material wellbeing of the people. Austerity undermines our economic pillars and breaks the spirit of the people. Austerity is the merchant of pessimism and hopeless futility. If you desire a nation of thralls, by all means continue this bleak path. If we want a nation of prosperity and economic justice, a different course is our due.

Listen carefully to the position of the Jonathan Administration as articulated by the finance minister and you shall collide into the barricades of illogic and its weighty consequences. The claim is that government is low on funds because the lower price of oil means fewer dollars are being collected from oil sales. This sounds logical but for one fundamental point. The dollar intake is basically irrelevant to determining the amount of naira the government commands and places into the political economy. This fundamental point reveals the government’s position to be the antiquated relic of a past era. It is the way of the gold standard which ceased to exist over forty years ago. As such, government’s stance is based more on superstition than on the actual functioning of modern economy with a sovereign fiat currency of its own.

The last I looked, Nigeria operates a Naira-based economy not a dollar-based one. There is no legal or moral restriction strictly limiting the amount of Naira in the system to match the amount of dollars collected via oil sales. More importantly, there is no economic justification for the close linkage implied by the government. If we take its position at face value, the Jonathan Administration is advocating that we effectively place the Naira and thus our fiscal policy on a “dollar standard.” The world jettisoned the gold standard in 1971 because it proved unworkable, reducing the policy space in which governments could pursue fiscal programs promoting full employment and social welfare. We should likewise reject this government’s imposition of a dollar standard on our nation’s fiscal operations.

Under the gold standard, a national government took pains not to incur budgetary deficits that exceeded the dimensions of its gold reserves. This was because the currency had no value by itself. Its value was based on the convention that the currency was backed by the nation’s gold holdings. Those governments that ran deficits had to pay those debts in gold. Given that gold supplies were always and everywhere finite and exhaustible, a nation had to keep its deficits within the confines of its ability to pay debts in gold. Because of this straitjacketing effect, nations would abandon the gold standard during harsh economic times in order to give them the fiscal freedom to rejuvenate their economies. This was the case during the Great Depression with the major economic powers. This should be the case with Nigeria today since the bulk of our people live in conditions redolent of the Great Depression or any other depression for that matter.

Our government persists that it must limit fiscal outlays to the amount of dollars the nation holds. Similar to the operation of the discarded gold standard, following this path is to strap ourselves to austerity and the chronic deflation of austerity produces. Worse, it serves to enthrall the fiscal policy of our sovereign nation to the monetary policy of another country. That nation plies monetary policy to serve its interests and not the economic interests of Nigeria. I am baffled why this government would give such power over the fate of our economic wellbeing to another nation that does not incorporate our interests into its decisional processes. This government makes our nation the economic servant of another so that government may turn about to make the Nigerian people its economic servant. While there is a certain logic to this dynamic, it is a perverse and debilitating one.

Because we operate a sovereign fiat currency the federal government issues at its sole discretion, the federal government can never be rendered insolvent in Naira. This means it can run Naira fiscal deficits indefinitely. The only outer bound is to ensure the fiscal expansion does not incur damaging inflation rates. There is no logical reason to peg the flow of Naira into the economy to the flow of dollars received. The correct perspective is not to mechanistically restrict Naira expenditure to dollar intake. This would be tantamount to those crippled with economic blinders forcefully leading those who can see we are heading for disaster. It points to deflation, recession and worse. The better methodology is to ascertain, then achieve, the level of Naira expenditure needed to expand the economy and create jobs without causing inflation to rise to dangerous levels. This is how broadly-shared prosperity is generated in a sustainable manner.

In this way, the nation’s economic engineers should focus primarily on allocating value and opportunity to our underutilized labor force and our idle, yet potentially productive capital in a way that promotes wealth creation and expansion of aggregate demand. It is this sustainment of aggregate demand that empowers the nation to rescue itself from the whirlpool of economic contraction. This avenue is more benign than the one the federal administration now advocates. Their way calls for us to forget growth and for government to preoccupy itself with allocating economic misery among those segments of the population too poor and weak to contest the immiserating actions of government against them.

In the face of recessionary headwinds, government should run countercyclical fiscal policy by using its Naira sovereignty to fund fiscal deficits. The deficit is not simply for the sake of running a deficit; the funds cannot be spent on nonproductive matters. It must be used to fuel infrastructural and other projects that not only employ great numbers of people but enhance the overall productivity of the economy. The funds must be used to backstop state governments in a nonpartisan manner so that each state government may continue to pay salaries and pursue projects essential to that state’s economic critical path.

To accomplish this, the federal government needs to reverse the inimical “dollarization” of the national economy in two ways. First and most importantly, it must abandon the outdated peg of fiscal policy and expenditures to the dollar intake. The one actually has no correspondent nexus to the other. Any commanding connection we give it is an artifice not an economic necessity. Related to this, we must reverse a trend that has gained momentum under this government. Among government-aligned elites, the fad has been to conduct domestic business transactions in dollars. Policy must “nairasize” the economy by requiring all domestic transactions occur in our legal tender. As this is done, the government’s infinite ability to issue Naira will come to outweigh the limitations inherent in the overuse of the finite supply of another nation’s currency for transactions wholly internal to our domestic economy.

Inflation is the major risk of running budget deficits to spur growth. We can contain inflation to acceptable levels by ensuring additional government expenditures are for items that can be supplied domestically, particularly labor. Naira paid to poor and working class people mostly circulates in the domestic economy, spurring additional local commerce and production. This is because their consumption patterns do not approach the level of import expenditures associated with their wealthier compatriots. Related to this, we must decrease our level of superfluous imports.

These measures will place downward pressure on the Naira. Devaluation will not be destructive but it will be noticeable. For most nations, such devaluation would be welcomed as it would make export industries more competitive, thus creating jobs and export earnings in the process. However, this will not be the case initially for us because of the moribund state of our industrial sector. Here, government would need to initiate crash programs aimed at enhancing those domestic industries perched on the borderline of international competitiveness.

In the end, the policy I propose is not without risks, inflation being the chief concern. Yet, if wisely prosecuted, the rewards of job creation and economic growth allocated among the bulk of the populace outweigh the inflationary risk. More to the point, the policy now pursued bears no risks at all. It is certain to toss the average man’s economy into a stagnation that will resemble the onset of a major recession. Saving the people from this unnecessary plight is sufficient imperative to eschew the policies of old and embrace the progressive course.

I offer this advice, this warning, because the people have suffered enough hardship. I offer this advice in the slim hope those in power will ignore the messenger and objectively weight the quality and humane nature of the message. If so, they will spare the people the grief visited upon a vulnerable people when their government blindly imposes last century’s policies in a modern setting inappropriate to the old strictures. Regardless of our partisan affiliations, let us consecrate this land by dedicating ourselves to the betterment of the poor, weak, and needy members of our national family. Let this moment not pass like so many others where we have demanded that the most vulnerable among us bear the greatest weight of the national burden. Let us give them the hope, change and dignity they deserve and human decency demands. This is how we make the nation great. When I speak of a common sense revolution, this is what I mean.

Written By Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, former Lagos State Governor and National Leader of the All Progressives Congress

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Court Papers  Expose Shell’s False Claims On Nigeria Oil Spills http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/11/13/court-papers-expose-shells-false-claims-on-nigeria-oil-spills/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/11/13/court-papers-expose-shells-false-claims-on-nigeria-oil-spills/#comments Thu, 13 Nov 2014 13:22:36 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=219568 Court documents revealed by Amnesty International today expose the fact that Shell has repeatedly made false claims about the size and impact of two major oil spills at Bodo in Nigeria in an attempt to minimize its compensation payments. The documents also show that Shell has known for years that its pipelines in the Niger Delta were old and faulty.

The potential repercussions are that hundreds of thousands of people may have been denied or underpaid compensation based on similar underestimates of other spills.

The irrefutable evidence that Shell underestimated the Bodo spills emerged in a UK legal action brought by 15,000 people whose livelihoods were devastated by oil pollution in 2008. The court action has forced Shell to finally admit the company has underplayed the true magnitude of at least two spills and the extent of damage caused.

“Amnesty International firmly believes Shell knew the Bodo data were wrong. If it did not it was scandalously negligent – we repeatedly gave them evidence showing they had dramatically underestimated the spills,” said Audrey Gaughran, Director for Global Issues at Amnesty International.

“Shell has refused to engage with us and only now that they find themselves in a UK court have they been forced to come clean.”

Shell’s joint investigation report for the first oil spill in the Bodo area of the Niger Delta claims only 1,640 barrels of oil were spilt in total. However, based on an independent assessment published by US firm Accufacts Inc., Amnesty International calculated the total amount of oil spilt exceeded 100,000 barrels. Shell denied this and repeatedly defended its far lower figure.

In the court documents Shell admits its figure is wrong in both this case and a second spill, also in 2008, in the same area. The admission throws Shell’s assessment of hundreds of other Nigeria spills into doubt, as all spill investigations are conducted in the same manner.

“For years Shell has dictated the assessment of volume spilled and damage caused in spill investigation reports, now these reports aren’t worth the paper they’re written on,”said Audrey Gaughran.

“These spill investigation reports have cheated whole communities out of proper compensation.”

The reports, known as “Joint Investigation Visit” reports, decide whether a community gets any compensation and the amount they receive.  They also determine the extent of the clean-up required.

The people of Bodo have been able to take legal action in the UK. However, the vast majority of the hundreds of thousands of people in the Niger Delta who suffer oil spills from Shell’s operations will never have this opportunity to challenge the oil giant.

“Pollution from Shell’s operations has wrecked people’s homes, farms and fishing waters – their ability to send their children to school and put food on the table,” said Audrey Gaughran.

Shell’s admission makes clear the Joint Investigation Visit forms – which record the cause of the spills in addition to the volume and impact – cannot be used as credible sources of information.

“Shell will no doubt continue to defend its abysmal record in Nigeria by more misdirection, blaming spills on oil thieves. But the basis for these claims are the Joint Investigation Visit forms – which Shell must now admit are entirely unreliable,” said Audrey Gaughran.

The court documents also show for the first time that Shell knew for years that its oil pipelines were in very poor condition and likely to leak. The court papers include an internal memo by Shell based on a 2002 study that states “the remaining life of most of the [Shell] Oil Trunklines is more or less non-existent or short, while some sections contain major risk and hazard”.

In another internal document dated 10 December 2009 a Shell employee warns: “[the company] is corporately exposed as the pipelines in Ogoniland have not been maintained properly or integrity assessed for over 15 years”.

“It’s outrageous that Shell has continued to blame the vast majority of its spills on saboteurs while knowing full well how bad a state its pipelines were in,” said Audrey Gaughran.

“After these revelations, the company stands completely discredited.”

Shell has consistently maintained that for the first Bodo spill only 1,640 barrels of oil were spilt and for the second only 2,503 (approx. 4,000 barrels for both). This is based on what was recorded in the Joint Investigation Visit reports.  Amnesty International has repeatedly challenged Shell’s figures and supplied the company with photographic, satellite and video evidence showing that the data on the JIV reports for Bodo were incorrect.

Shell, however, has continued to defend its figures. For example in a letter to the UK Financial Times in March 2012 the Managing Director of Shell Nigeria “admitted liability for two spills of about 4,000 barrels in total, caused by operational failures”.

Responding specifically to evidence published by Amnesty International in 2012 which showed the first Bodo spill was under-estimated, Shell told the UK Guardian newspaper: “[The JIV] process … was employed with the two spills in question, and we stand by the findings [of 1,640 barrels].”

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Fayose laments poor power supply to Ekiti http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/11/12/fayose-laments-poor-power-supply-to-ekiti/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/11/12/fayose-laments-poor-power-supply-to-ekiti/#comments Wed, 12 Nov 2014 21:43:21 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=219488 Governor Ayodele Fayose

Governor Ayodele Fayose

Governor Ayo Fayose of Ekiti State on Wednesday in Abuja said that protracted poor power supply to the state was militating against the economic and social growth of the state.

Fayose made the call during a courtesy visit on the Chairman of Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC), Dr Sam Amadi.

He, therefore, appealed to the commission to liaise with Benin Electricity Distribution Company (BEDC) whose operations cover the state to help in restoring power supply to the state.

Fayose said that most parts of the state had been in blackout for over 10 months. “Ekiti has been in blackout since I came in as governor. All that I want is a solution to the blackout that has persisted in the state,” he said.

According to him, some communities in the state have protested the continued blackout by destroying property and beating up workers of the electricity distribution company.

“Members of the communities have to block highways preventing people from going about their businesses but following my intervention they re-opened the roads,” he said.

Fayose said that as soon as he gets back to the state, he would redeem the pledge of N5 million he made to settle part of electricity bills owed by the communities.

He urged the commission to do everything within its powers to ensure that power was restored in the affected communities as soon as possible.

“If we leave the matter hanging, it may portend danger because there have been protests by the communities in recent times,” he said.

Responding, Amadi said that the blackout in parts of Ekiti state was as a result of hitches in the transmission process, adding that the commission was working out solutions to address the challenge.

“The case of Ekiti is as a result of failure in transmission,” he said.

He said that service providers had the obligation to provide consumers with quality service while the consumers on their part had the obligation to pay their bills promptly.

Amadi said that the commission would not encourage indiscriminate disconnection of consumers from power by distribution companies.

He assured Fayose that the commission would meet with the management of the BEDC to proffer solution to the problem.

An official of the BEDC, who spoke to NAN on condition of anonymity, said that repair work on the transmission line to Ekiti state was in progress.

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Oil prices linger amid OPEC output cut speculation http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/11/11/oil-prices-linger-amid-opec-output-cut-speculation/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/11/11/oil-prices-linger-amid-opec-output-cut-speculation/#comments Tue, 11 Nov 2014 21:08:51 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=219362 OPEC

OPEC

Oil prices traded mixed Tuesday as the market gauged the outlook for an OPEC oil production cut amid abundant global supplies.

The benchmark US futures contract, West Texas Intermediate (WTI) for December, rose 54 cents to close at $77.94 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

Brent North Sea for December shed 67 cents, settling at $81.67 a barrel in London, its lowest close since mid-October 2010.

Volumes were modest in New York as some traders were absent on the Veterans Day holiday.

Traders kept a close eye on OPEC members’ comments ahead of the cartel’s next meeting in Vienna on November 27, with dissent evident in the 12-nation group on the need for a production cutback.

“I hope that (oil) prices will not reach a level where they harm (the) national economy,” Kuwaiti Oil Minister Ali al-Omair told the official KUNA news agency on Tuesday. Oil income makes up around 94 percent of the country’s public revenues.

Omair attributed the slide in oil prices to oversupply and a weak global economy.

He said OPEC would discuss oil prices and “take appropriate decisions that serve the economic interests of its members” when they meet at the end of the month.

WTI had tumbled $1.25 in New York on Monday after he downplayed the likelihood of the 12-nation Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries cutting output.

A top Kuwaiti industry official said Tuesday that Kuwait plans more than $40 billion of investment to significantly increase its capacity to produce oil and gas

The Gulf nation aims to raise the amount of crude oil it can pump by one-quarter, to 4.0 million barrels per day, by 2020, the head of planning at state-owned Kuwait Oil Co., Mohammad Abduljalil, told the Al-Jarida newspaper.

OPEC, which pumps about a third of global crude, now produces nearly 31 million barrels per day, around one million barrels more than its official ceiling.

“Doubts regarding OPEC production policy continue to weigh on market sentiment with recent comments from OPEC officials providing little support,” said Tim Evans of Citi Futures.

The US Department of Energy’s closely watched weekly report on oil inventories, normally released on Wednesdays, will be published Thursday due to the Veterans Day holiday.

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Nigerian power sector to bag WAPIC award http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/11/10/nigerian-power-sector-to-bag-wapic-award/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/11/10/nigerian-power-sector-to-bag-wapic-award/#comments Mon, 10 Nov 2014 20:09:11 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=219246 Minister of Power, Prof Chinedu Nebo

Minister of Power, Prof Chinedu Nebo

The West African Power Industry Convention (WAPIC) on Monday announced the nomination of Ughelli Power, Geometric Power and Clarke Energy for award for their key roles in the Nigeria’s power sector.

Known as West African Power Industry Awards, WAPIC said in a statement in Abuja that the award ceremony, which would be the first by the convention, would hold on 18 November in Lagos.

The statement by WAPIC’s Communications Manager, Ms Annemarie Roodbol, said that seven award categories, including Lifetime Achievement Award, Power Transaction of the Year and Outstanding Woman, would feature at the event.

It explained that the award was to celebrate “the heroes and success stories of the West African utility industry”.

“Together we are highlighting those companies and executives who have been responsible for pioneering new frontiers, pushing boundaries, for inspiring others and for achieving growth for West Africa,” it said.

The statement said that Lifetime Achievement Award would be won by an individual for his/her outstanding contribution to and impact on the West African power industry.

According to it, those shortlisted in this category are Dr Sam Amadi, Executive Chairman, Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) and Gov. Babatunde Fashola of Lagos State.

Also on the list is former Minister of Power and currently, the Chief Executive Officer, Geometric Power Limited, Prof. Bert Nnaji.

It also said that the Managing Director, Geometric Power Limited, Mrs Agatha Nnaji and Minister of Finance, Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, were nominated for Outstanding Woman in Power award.

Also nominated in that category, according to the statement, is the General Manager, Ikeja Distribution Company, Mr Olubukola Osiberu.

It said that the event would be attended by leading executives from power, renewable energy, finance, and investment sectors.

“The WAPIC is organized by Spintelligent, a leading Cape Town-based trade exhibition and conference organiser and the African Office of Clarion Events Limited based in UK,” it explained.

Other categories are:

Best Rural Electrification Project

– Alternative Energy Inc, Liberia
– NewEnergy, Nigeria
– Solar Light Company, Ghana

Best Renewable Energy Project

– Ginphed, Nigeria
– O.T. Otis Engineering, Nigeria
– Quintas, Nigeria
– TopStep, Nigeria

Power Transaction of the Year

– Azura-Edo IPP (Siemens), Nigeria
– Clarke Energy, Nigeria
– Ughelli Power Plc, Nigeria

Excellence in Power Transmission or Distribution

– ABB, Nigeria
– O.T. Otis Engineering, Nigeria
– West African Power Pool, Benin

Excellence in Power Generation

– Clarke Energy, Nigeria
– Seven Energy, Nigeria
– Wärtsilä, Nigeria

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Cairn Energy says locates more oil off Senegal http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/11/10/cairn-energy-says-locates-more-oil-off-senegal/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/11/10/cairn-energy-says-locates-more-oil-off-senegal/#comments Mon, 10 Nov 2014 11:29:43 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=219214 Cairn Energy chief executive Simon Thomson

Cairn Energy chief executive Simon Thomson

Cairn Energy has unearthed another oil find off the coast of Senegal, the British energy explorer announced on Monday.

It comes after Cairn had last month said it made its first oil find in a field off the coast of Senegal, prompting the west African country to say that it aimed to begin pumping its own oil in about five years’ time.

The market meanwhile welcomed the latest discovery, pushing shares in Cairn up more than 9.0 per cent in early London trading.

Cairn Energy chief executive Simon Thomson described the latest find as “significant” for the company and Senegal.

The new discovery was made at Cairn’s SNE-1 well, situated about 100 kilometres (60 miles) off the country’s coast.

Cairn’s share price surged 9.21 percent to stand at 172.45 pence in London deals.

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Jonathan inaugurates power sector apprenticeship scheme http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/11/06/jonathan-inaugurates-power-sector-apprenticeship-scheme/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/11/06/jonathan-inaugurates-power-sector-apprenticeship-scheme/#comments Thu, 06 Nov 2014 16:44:24 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=218750 President Goodluck Jonathan

President Goodluck Jonathan

President Goodlick Jonathan on Thursday in Abuja inaugurated the National Power Apprenticeship Scheme (NAPSAS), urging participants in the scheme to maximise the opportunities it presents.

Jonathan was represented at the event by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Sen. Anyim Pius Anyim.
He said the scheme was a vital aspect of his administration’s drive to provide meaningful employment opportunities for Nigerian youths.

“It will provide the enabling environment for the development of skills required to underpin the growth of the power sector,” he said.

According to him, the scheme marks a major step forward in the realisation of the country’s vision for improved employment opportunities for the nation’s young people.

Jonathan said his administration was committed to the country’s economic growth in its position as the largest economy in Africa.

He said that since the inauguration of the power sector road map in 2010, the sector had witnessed major developments, including the privitisation of generation and distribution assets.

The president said that investment in development of human capital in the power sector had suffered setbacks for many years prior to the reform.

“For almost 20 years, the former NEPA or PHCN did not recruit new staff, including engineers, artisans, technicians and craftsmen.

“I believe that this scheme will provide skilled manpower that the distribution, generation and transmission companies can build on to underpin their growth programmes being awaited by Nigerians.

“Let me reiterate that the provision of safe and reliable electricity to every Nigerian is one of the cardinal objectives of the transformation agenda of my administration.”

He said that to achieve this objective, the ministry of power was actively pursuing private investment in the new power generation project.

The 7, 400 participants are drawn from the 36 states of the federation and the FCT to participate in the six months programme in four batches.

The Federal Government will sponsor 3, 700 while State Governments and the FCT will provide additional 3,700 trainees.
The NAPSAS was initiated by the Federal Ministry of Power to bridge the gap in the low-end skill cadre in the power sector.

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Power Supply:  Jonathan Has Failed Nigeria —Fashola http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/11/03/power-supply-jonathan-has-failed-nigeria-fashola/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/11/03/power-supply-jonathan-has-failed-nigeria-fashola/#comments Mon, 03 Nov 2014 13:21:10 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=218315 Lagos State Governor, Babatunde Fashola says the President Goodluck Jonathan-led Federal Government has no excuse for failing to provide electricity for Nigerians, calling for votes against the government.

The governor spoke while commissioning the 8.8MW Independent Power Project, IPP, recently, saying it was despicable that the Jonathan government had failed to deliver on its promise to provide the nation with electricity, which he said was not difficult to achieve.

“There is a danger that very soon, we will miss the lesson we have learnt over the years. This is because if a government makes a public commitment, the government must fulfil that promise. Electricity was not discovered yesterday, it is over 100 years old and no excuses will be acceptable from the federal government for not providing electricity.

“We are the only nation that has oil and gas and no electricity to its citizens. Angola and Gabon don’t have the kind of oil we have. There are many countries that do not produce oil and they enjoy electricity. Very soon we will make a choice on the next set of leaders and this will be done through the ballot papers,” he said.

•The Mainland Independent Power Project. Inset: Governor Fashola, (middle) cutting the ribbon to commission the Plant. With him are other top government officials.

•The Mainland Independent Power Project. Inset: Governor Fashola, (middle) cutting the ribbon to commission the Plant. With him are other top government officials.

Fashola stated that “when we made a promise that we will deliver IPP before the end of this year, we delivered it. We have no excuse to say that we can’t deliver. If the National Assembly wakes up tomorrow and said states should generate electricity, Lagos will do it comfortably. Let no one tell us that there is no gas, there is gas overseas.”

The governor said very soon, election would come, warning Lagosians not to cast their votes for people who could not deliver on their promises.

He said electricity has no tribe or religion, but just development.

The governor stated that the Mainland IPP was a collaborative effort between the Ministries of Works and Infrastructure and Energy, stressing that people in these ministries were both Muslims and Christians.

“Do not let anyone deceive you that this candidate or that candidate is not a Muslim or Christian, don’t vote for him. Religion will not bring electricity or food. Only good men and women will do so,” he said.

The governor also stressed the need for energy conservation, saying that people must be ready to pay for the electricity they consumed.

He said that from the last Ehingbeti, the government knew that it had to solve the state’s energy problem.

“Don’t be deceived by anybody that it cannot be done,” he said.

Also on the coming election, Fashola stated that whatever choice is made by the people during the poll would have its consequences, stressing that providing power for the populace should not take more than four years.

“Their best is not good enough, only the best is good for this country and the All Progressives Congress is the key. Lagos is the 5th largest economy and is not a place for beginners, but those who have the experience,” he said.

General Manager, Lagos State Electricity Board, Mrs. Damilola Ogunbiyi, said that for the state to address its power challenge, it would need 200,000 energy technicians with maximum age of 45 years old, saying this number is needed urgently, as the state’s population increases daily.

She explained that this was the reason the state government established the energy academy. “This will assist the government to provide the needed technicians within the next 15 years,” adding that the state government had created an application to assist residents to know the number of energy they consumed and what they waste as well as how they could prevent waste.

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NUPENG, PENGASSAN gives FG 14 days ultimatum http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/11/01/nupeng-pengassan-gives-fg-14-days-ultimatum/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/11/01/nupeng-pengassan-gives-fg-14-days-ultimatum/#comments Sat, 01 Nov 2014 06:03:34 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=218126 NUPENG

Two industrial unions in the oil and gas sector on Friday gave the Federal Government a 14-day ultimatum to intervene in the issue of victimisation of some of their colleagues by multinational oil firms and other pressing issues.

The President of NUPENG, Achese Igwe, and his PENGASSAN counterpart, Francis Johnson, gave the ultimatum midway into a joint National Executive Council meeting of the two unions in Abuja on Friday.

Johnson, while addressing newsmen, said the unions had to give the ultimatum to withdraw their services in the oil sector to call government’s attention to pressing issues in the oil sector.

He said this was after exhausting all efforts to solve the issues through dialogue.

He added that the issues include the transfer and sacking of national officers of NUPENG and PENGASSAN by Total and MOBIL, casualisation of workers, violation of workers right to unionisation at the Export Free Zone in Rivers.

He said others are pipeline vandalism and oil theft, the non-passage of the Petroleum Industry Bill, the growing state of terrorism and kidnapping, non-payment of terminal benefit of workers whose appointments have been terminated and appointment inconsistencies in the NNPC.

The president of NUPENG also explained that the unions were left with no better option than to give the ultimatum to go on strike after engaging the General Managing Director of NNPC, Dr Joseph Dawha.

Igwe said the unions had met with the Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs Deziani Alison-Maduekwe, the State Security Service, and the management of the affected oil firms.

He added that the leadership of the unions had pleaded with them to reverse the sacking and transfer of the union leaders in their companies but without success.

Igwe also called on the National Assembly to give accelerated hearing to the Petroleum Industry Bill to ensure its passage into law as the current law establishing the NNPC had become obsolete.

He advised the Federal Government to treat the issue of dilapidated roads to the petroleum facilities with urgency.

He also urged the Federal Government to provide necessary facilities to upgrade the Petroleum Training Institute, Effurun, Delta, in consonance with its approved status as petroleum university.

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Glo Xchange ready for take off, recruits over 2000 agents http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/10/30/glo-xchange-ready-for-take-off-recruits-over-2000-agents/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/10/30/glo-xchange-ready-for-take-off-recruits-over-2000-agents/#comments Thu, 30 Oct 2014 09:45:03 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=217903 Globacom’s State Manager, Ekiti, Mr.Tunji Omoworare Managing Director ( 3rd Right) with – Left to Right, CEO of  M5 Direct Ltd, Mr. Tope Olaigbe; Managing Director, Card Mega Systems Ltd, Mr. Ope Adefolaju and Managing Director of Divinelinks Ltd., Mr. Bukola Adewuyi at the  Mobile Money orientation event on Saturday in Ado-Ekiti. The event was courtesy of Globacom and partner Mobile Money operators

Globacom’s State Manager, Ekiti, Mr.Tunji Omoworare Managing Director ( 3rd Right) with – Left to Right, CEO of M5 Direct Ltd, Mr. Tope Olaigbe; Managing Director, Card Mega Systems Ltd, Mr. Ope Adefolaju and Managing Director of Divinelinks Ltd., Mr. Bukola Adewuyi at the Mobile Money orientation event on Saturday in Ado-Ekiti. The event was courtesy of Globacom and partner Mobile Money operators

The last training sessions for prospective Glo Xchange agents was held over the weekend and it was well attended by enthusiastic prospective agents who thronged the town hall meetings in Sokoto, Katsina, Ekiti and Ebonyi states.

As Globacom rounded off the town hall trainings it also recruited of over two thousand small scale traders and operators of Small and Medium Scale Enterprises (SMEs) as last mile agents of the mobile money services .

The town hall meetings featured capacity building lectures, how to function as Glo Xchange mobile money agents as well as mode of operation and how the agents can start the business in their locality.

A cross section of participants commended the Glo Xchange network designed to bring mobile money services to end users, especially unbanked Nigerians, describing it as a veritable platform to tackle unemployment.

Olaigbe Temitope of M5 Direct Limited who spoke from the Ado-Ekiti centre of the town hall meetings said that the project was good for Nigeria’s cashless policy as it would make business transaction much easier while Ogunsakin Ganiyu of Lemissco Communications Iyin road, Basiri, Ado-Ekiti opined that the Glo Xchange scheme would simplify money transfer.

In Sokoto, Alhaji Abdul Malik of Sokoto South Local Government Area said: “with Glo Xchange the issue of filling bank tellers and travelling several kilometres’ to banks from our various villages will become a thing of the past.”

Mallam Yusuf Maidama of Tangaza Local Government Area, Sokoto enthused, “My old parents in the village will no longer worry about how to get money from banks which are located far away. I also will not have to join long queues to send money to my suppliers to buy my wares”.

At the Grace Court Hotel, Abakaliki, Ebonyi State, Akwa Okorie from Ishiagu said: “Glo Xchange will help make monetary transaction easier, especially in rural areas” while Aja Godspower from Afikpo concurred that it will ease the problems associated with unavailability of financial institutions in the rural areas”.‎

In her testimony, Ezeugo Jennifer from Nkaleke in Abakaliki said it is the most thoughtful financial and business platform innovation of 2014. “This will not only simplify financial transactions but will also go a long way to make business transactions much easier,” she enthused.

The Glo Xchange mobile money has the unique advantage of servicing the about 140 million unbanked Nigerians who may however be part of the 129million telephone subscribers in the country.

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Shell posts mixed third-quarter earnings http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/10/30/shell-posts-mixed-third-quarter-earnings/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/10/30/shell-posts-mixed-third-quarter-earnings/#comments Thu, 30 Oct 2014 08:51:18 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=217894 Shell

Royal Dutch Shell posted mixed third-quarter earnings on Thursday, as it weathered sliding oil prices but was buoyed by improved capital efficiency and strong project delivery.

Net profits, or earnings after taxation, dropped five per cent to $4.46 billion (3.55 billion euros) in the three months to September, compared with the same part of 2013, the Anglo-Dutch oil giant said in a results statement.

However, key profit on a current cost of supplies basis — which strips out changes to the value of its oil and gas inventories — surged 24 percent to $5.27 billion in the third quarter.

The London-listed energy major also ramped up its quarterly shareholder dividend to 47 cents a share, from 45 cents.

Shell added it was on course to return a total of $30 billion to shareholders via dividends and buybacks in 2014 and 2015.

“The recent decline in oil prices is part of the volatility in our industry,” said chief executive Ben van Beurden.

“It underlines the importance of our drive to get a tighter grip on performance management, keep a tight hold on costs and spending, and improve the balance between growth and returns.

“Our results today show that we are delivering on the three priorities I set out at the start of 2014 — better financial performance, enhanced capital efficiency and continued strong project delivery.”

The company also announced the appointment of Charles Holliday as its new chairman. He will take over from Jorma Ollila next year.

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Jonathan approves appointment of NNPC Deputy GMD http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/10/28/jonathan-approves-appointment-of-nnpc-deputy-gmd/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/10/28/jonathan-approves-appointment-of-nnpc-deputy-gmd/#comments Tue, 28 Oct 2014 17:17:53 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=217721 President Goodluck Jonathan

President Goodluck Jonathan

President Goodluck Jonathan has approved the creation of a new office of Deputy Group Managing Director in the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC).

This was disclosed in a statement issued on Tuesday in Abuja by the Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Dr Reuben Abati.

The statement said that the creation of the new office was in furtherance of ongoing efforts to transform the corporation into a commercially-driven entity.

“Consequently, Jonathan has also approved the appointment of Mr Bernard Otti, as the new Deputy Group Managing Director/Group Executive Director (Finance and Accounts) of the NNPC,” the statement said.

Otti, who is the current Group Executive Director (Finance and Accounts) of the corporation, hails from Anambra.

According to the statement, he has held senior positions in some of the largest financial institutions in Nigeria and internationally.

He has also served on the boards of numerous public and private institutions.

“The new office of Deputy Group Managing Director is expected to strengthen the corporate governance structure of the NNPC.

“It will also help ensure value for money and that return on investment increasingly becomes key factors in
all operational decisions,” the statement read.

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43 ships expected in Lagos with vehicles, petroleum products http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/10/28/43-ships-expected-in-lagos-with-vehicles-petroleum-products/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/10/28/43-ships-expected-in-lagos-with-vehicles-petroleum-products/#comments Tue, 28 Oct 2014 13:23:25 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=217692 Nigerian Ports Authority

Nigerian Ports Authority

Forty-three ships laden with various commodities are expected to arrive Lagos ports between Oct. 28 and Nov. 27, the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) said on Tuesday in Lagos.

The NPA said this in its daily publication, “Shipping Position”, made available to NAN.

It said 17 of the expected ships would arrive with containers, while 14 others would sail in with food items.

“Six ships will sail in with rice; three will arrive with bulk wheat; two with frozen fish; while other ships will bring in crude palm oil, bulk malt, bulk sugar,” the NPA said.

According to the publication, general cargo would come in five ships, while three ships would sail in with vehicles.

The NPA said that of the expected ships, four would arrive with petrol, kerosine, base oil and bulk coal

It, however, said that 11 ships laden with petroleum products had arrive Lagos, waiting to berth.

According to the NPA, the ships sailed into the ports with petrol, kerosine and bulk gas.

It said that 12 other ships had arrived the ports with food items and containers.

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Senate to adopt $78 oil benchmark for 2015 fiscal year http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/10/28/senate-to-adopt-78-oil-benchmark-for-2015-fiscal-year/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/10/28/senate-to-adopt-78-oil-benchmark-for-2015-fiscal-year/#comments Tue, 28 Oct 2014 05:51:32 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=217656 In the file: Senate Chamber during a plenary session

In the file: Senate Chamber during a plenary session

The Senate is set to adopt the proposed $78 as the country’s oil price benchmark for 2015 fiscal year. The discosure was made on Tuesday at the joint meeting on 2015-2017 Medium Term Expenditure Framework organised by Senate Joint Committees in Abuja.

The Committees are Finance, National Planning, Economic Affairs and Poverty Alleviation. Senator Ahmed Makarfi, Chairman Senate Committee on Finance, who presided said the process would be concluded before a final decision was taken.

According to him, the various committees do not have any major objections on the proposed figure.

NAN reports that the Federal Government in the 2015-2017 Medium Term Expenditure Framework and Fiscal Strategy Paper proposed the figure for 2015.

The document had reminded the Committees members on the need to take cognisance of the global supply-demand balance that was edging out the recent spikes in oil price.

According to the paper, there is increasing supply arising from exploitation of sale oil and gas and Iranian sanctions suspension leading to global surplus crude oil production capacity.

It said the import of the development was an indicator that the high oil price recorded in recent past would not be long-lived.

“Against this backdrop and need to rebuild our fiscal buffers, we approached the estimation of our benchmark price with caution,” the document said.

On revenue collection, Makarfi said the committees were delighted with the effort been made by both the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) and the Nigerian Customs Service (NCS) so far.

He, however, said the two most important organs of revenue collection must increase their targets with a view to attract more funds to the federation account.

“It is not enough to set an achievement target, we are of the opinion that the agencies could bring more than they are remitting now,” Ahmed said.

NAN reports that the NCS has already met its set target for 2014 by remitting N713 billion since September.

Sen. Joshua Dariye (PDP-Plateau), a member of one of the Committees, said heads of strategic establishments should make financial projections they could handle within their tenures.

He said strong measures must be taken to block leakages in revenue collections.

However, Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, who led the team to the hearing, said modalities were been put in place to encourage transparency in the system.

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Revenue Allocation: Amaechi accuses Okonjo-Iweala, FG of massive corruption http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/10/24/revenue-allocation-amaechi-accuses-okonjo-iweala-fg-of-massive-corruption/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/10/24/revenue-allocation-amaechi-accuses-okonjo-iweala-fg-of-massive-corruption/#comments Fri, 24 Oct 2014 10:41:51 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=217246 Okafor Ofiebor/Port Harcourt

Governor Rotimi Amaechi of Rivers State

Governor Rotimi Amaechi of Rivers State

Rivers state governor, Chibuike Amaechi, has accused the federal government of massive corruption and inability to draw the line of difference between funds meant for the public and those for private pockets.

He said the federal government through Mrs Ngozi Okonji-Iweala, Minister of Finance and Coordinator of the Economy has claimed that the country is not broke, yet it cannot allocate to the state governments their allocations, to help them complete projects they are executing.

Governor Amaechi said: “How else can you know if you are broke when you cannot meet you financial obligations? The governors are saying if you are not broke as you claim, why not pay us our money. They have not been able to separate between money for private pocket and the Nigerian pocket”.

He said that perhaps because Okonji-Iweala is an economist she knows the best term to use to describe the terrible situation the country has found itself to the extent it cannot fund its projects.

Amaechi spoke on the sidelines of tomorrow’s mega rally at the new Adokiye Amaesiamaka Stadium at Igwurutali that is expected to attract over 60,000 people to mark the seven-year anniversary of the Supreme Court judgment that enabled him reclaim his mandate in 2007.

The highlights of the occasion is that it would afford the governor the opportunity to give the report of his stewardship for the past seven years as governor.

General Mohammdu Buhari rtd, Atiku Abubakar, Governor Rochas Okorocha, Nda-Isaiah, founder and publisher of Leadership Newspapers and other important dignitaries are expected to grace the occasion.

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Power Nigeria Exhibition To Open In Lagos http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/10/23/power-nigeria-exhibition-to-open-in-lagos/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/10/23/power-nigeria-exhibition-to-open-in-lagos/#comments Thu, 23 Oct 2014 18:52:48 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=217196 Power Nigeria, one of Nigeria’s leading power exhibitions dedicated to the burgeoning African power industry, opens in Lagos on 28 October.

The exhibition takes place following the Federal Government’s announcement that the country requires consistent investment in the power sector to ensure generation capacity of 135,000 megawatts (mw) is met by 2030.

An increase in power generation would bolster Nigeria’s vast economic potential, and move it further in line with its economic Vision 2020, as well as attain the level of economic height and prosperity of countries like Brazil.

Taking place from 28-30 October at the Eko Hotel on Victoria Island, Power Nigeria will serve as a comprehensive platform for international exhibitors to showcase their latest technological developments in the power generation, transmission and distribution, lighting, renewable, nuclear and water sectors.

Skipper, a leading name in the field of power generation, transmission and distribution, will be showcasing its capabilities at Power Nigeria, and will display some of its smart products such as energy management solutions, package substation and energy efficient transformers.

Mr. Pankaj Sachdeva, Joint Group President and Group Director, Skipper Transmission and Distribution said; “Power Nigeria is sure to provide a healthy and professional platform for us to interact with our end users and decision makers and to offer them differentiated solutions to improve their operational efficiencies.”

Dr Sam Amadi, Chairman, Nigeria Electricity Regulatory Commission

Dr Sam Amadi, Chairman, Nigeria Electricity Regulatory Commission

The conference will feature renowned experts from the West African power industry discussing the latest developments in the energy sector.

Delivering the keynote address will be Dr. Sam Amadi, Chairman & CEO, Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission, who will be talking about current regulations in the country’s energy sector, what should be expected and how these regulations will impact business moving forward.

A set of panel discussions will also take place during the two-day conference starting with ‘Boosting capacity & reliability: What needs to happen to attain 2020 goals?’. This question will be discussed by R. I. Odiah, Chairman of Infrastructure Committee, Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN); CEO, Bennett Industries Ltd, Prince Raymone Okuo, COO, Devon Petrogas and P.O. Oluseyi, Lecturer, Department of Electrical/Electronic Engineering, University of Lagos. The session will examine what are the realistic goals are leading up to 2020, and are there energy consumers that should take precedence in the race to supply energy.

Anita Mathews, Director of Informa Energy Group, organisers of Power Nigeria, thinks the free-to-attend conference is a vital platform for the industry to deliberate, discuss and eventually achieve their goals moving in to the next half decade.

“The conference provides the perfect platform for visitors to hear first-hand not only what the industry has planned in coming years, but what possible obstacles could stand in the way, and talk about solutions to overcome them.

“The Nigerian power sector has a clear vision of where it wants to be by the year 2020, and investment plays a key factor in reaching these goals. Power Nigeria provides the platform for stakeholders to take this forward,” Mathews said.

Power Nigeria is partnered with the Energy Institute, Nigeria Branch and is supported by the Nigerian Electricity Regulation Commission and Nigerian Bulk Electricity Trading Plc.

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Reps probe delay of N3.7trn refinery projects http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/10/22/reps-probe-delay-of-n3-7trn-refinery-projects/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/10/22/reps-probe-delay-of-n3-7trn-refinery-projects/#comments Wed, 22 Oct 2014 17:48:23 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=217089 Speaker of the House of Representatives, Aminu Tambuwal

Speaker of the House of Representatives, Aminu Tambuwal

The House of Representatives on Wednesday mandated its Committee on Petroleum Resources (Downstream) to investigate the delay in the commencement of the N3.7 trillion green field refinery within two weeks.

This was sequel to Rep. Abbas Tajudeen’s (APC-Kaduna) motion on the “need for explanation of the failure to construct the N3.7 trillion green field refineries at Lagos, Bayelsa and Kogi states, four years after the award of the contract”.

Tajudeen observed that “no tangible work has been executed at any of the three project sites with just a year to the end of the period projected for completion of the refineries.

“The Minister of Petroleum Resources (Mrs. Diezani Alison-Madueke) had assured the public of the commitment of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) to pursue the projects as soon as the white paper on the report of the 22-member task force was released.”

According to him, there is no evidence of any plan to construct a refinery at the Lekki (Lagos) site soon, in spite of a favourable recommendation by the task force for the Lagos refinery.

He alleged that the revelations by Alison-Madueke raised issues that needed clarification as to the reason for the delay in the commencement of the projects and subsequent reduction in the scope.

NAN reports that the Federal Government signed an agreement on May 13, 2010 with the China State Construction Engineering Corporation (CSCEC) for the construction of green field refinery projects in the states.

The period of completion of the N3.7 trillion projects is five years.

Based on the terms, 80 per cent of the cost is to be funded with a loan provided by the China Export Credit Insurance Corporation (CECIC), while the NNPC is to provide 20 per cent of the funding as equity contribution.

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