P.M. NEWS Nigeria » Electricity, Oil and Gas http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com First with Nigeria News - Nigerian leading evening Newspaper - Thu, 15 Jan 2015 17:32:47 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.1 FG to inaugurate over 1 million prepayment meters http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2015/01/15/fg-to-inaugurate-over-1-million-prepayment-meters/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2015/01/15/fg-to-inaugurate-over-1-million-prepayment-meters/#comments Thu, 15 Jan 2015 17:31:10 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=226390 Minister of Power, Prof Chinedu Nebo

Minister of Power, Prof Chinedu Nebo

The Minister of Power, Prof. Chinedu Nebo, on Thursday in Abuja said that the Federal Government would soon inaugurate over one million prepayment electricity meters to reduce the metering gap nationwide.

Nebo said this at a town hall meeting with stakeholders, organised by the ministry.

He said that the intervention was to help electricity distribution companies, in which government had 40 per cent share, to reduce the metering gap.

“Government still owns 40 per cent of the DISCOs. This is why it is still giving out its own counterpart funding,” he said.

Nebo said that a mechanism was being worked out for the equitable distribution of the products to the companies.

“We still believe that every consumer should be metered; the only way to stop over billing is to provide meters to consumers,” he said.

He said that the availability of the prepayment meters was critical to the abolition of estimated billing by distribution companies.

On pipelines vandalism, he said that plans were underway by government to digitise the pipelines to forestall vandalism.

He said there was the need for a legislation to provide stiffer penalties to punish pipeline vandals.

The minister said that the country had the highest rate of electricity theft worldwide.

Nebo said that the Federal Government was collaborating with security agencies to protect pipelines across the country.

“Sabotage incidents have constrained gas supply plants and held generation at less than 4,500 mega watts,” he said.

Nebo said that in spite of the challenges, there had been improvements in power supply in the country.

“It is a shame for some people to go about saying that government has not done anything in the sector,” he said.

He said that the current administration inherited a dilapidated power sector.

Nebo said that under the gas master plan, all power plants had been connected to the 450 kilometre gas pipelines constructed by the Federal Government.

Earlier, the Permanent Secretary in the ministry, Dr Godknows Igali, said that the meeting was aimed at getting feedback from consumers and other stakeholders.

He said that prior to the privitisation of the sector, most Nigerians were skeptical about its success.

In attendance at the meeting were distribution and generation companies, non-governmental organisations and some individual stakeholders.

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FG to construct 75MW gas turbines to boost refinery operations http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2015/01/15/fg-to-construct-75mw-gas-turbines-to-boost-refinery-operations/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2015/01/15/fg-to-construct-75mw-gas-turbines-to-boost-refinery-operations/#comments Thu, 15 Jan 2015 17:22:03 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=226388 Kaduna Refining and Petrochemical Company Limited

Kaduna Refining and Petrochemical Company Limited

The Federal Government said it planned to construct three 25 megawatts gas turbines at Port Harcourt Refining Company Limited (PHRC) to improve production.

This is contained in a statement made available to Newsmen by NNPC’s Group General Manager, Group Public Affairs Division, Mr Ohi Alegbe on Thursday in Abuja.

According to the statement, the gas turbines will be installed and operated by an independent power producer, to boost productivity through uninterrupted power supply at the refinery.

It stated that the turbines to be installed had the capacity to generate 72 megawatts of power, exceeding the amount of megawatts required by PHRC.

“The arrangement with the independent power producers is aimed at ensuring steady power supply to the refinery.

“With the installation, PHRC would focus majorly on the core mandate of refining petroleum products for members of the public.

“In addition, over 60 per cent of the Turn Around Maintenance materials have been delivered to Port Harcourt, Kaduna and Warri Refineries. And installation of equipment and parts is in progress,” it stated

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FG Finds 13 Options To Oil Revenue http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2015/01/14/fg-finds-13-options-to-oil-revenue/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2015/01/14/fg-finds-13-options-to-oil-revenue/#comments Wed, 14 Jan 2015 11:00:49 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=226193 Following the recent fall in global oil prices and the setback it portends for the country’s economy, the federal government is said to have marked out 13 National Strategic Export Products meant as alternatives to petroleum products to cushion the effect of dwindling oil revenue.

Olusegun Aganga, Minister of Trade and Investments, disclosed this during an unscheduled inspection and meeting with the Executive Director of Nigerian Exports Promotion Council (NEPC), Olusegun Awolowo and members of the management team in Abuja.

Aganga emphasised that the initiative is geared by the need for government to revive the dwindling national economy with emphasis on rapid growth of the non-oil sector for exports.

The 13 National Strategic Export Products (NSEP) high marked according to Aganga are in three categories; agro industrial —palm oil, cocoa, cashew, sugar and rice); mining related —cement, iron ore/metals, auto parts/cars, aluminium and oil and gas industrial products —petroleum products, fertilizer/urea, petrochemical and methanol.

The Executive Director of NEPC was also said to have made a very strong case for the inclusion of cashew in the list. Thus increased the number of products high marked from the intial 12 products to 13.

Aganga charged NEPC to deploy its capacity for kick-starting the diversification of the country’s economy in line with the government’s agenda.

Aganga said he chose NEPC and SMEDAN for his first visit in the New Year because of their potential and strategic importance for diversification of the economy, job creation, poverty alleviation and inclusive growth.

“In doing this, we must recognize our neighbours’ developmental needs, support them and collaborate with them in areas of their comparative advantage. For you to have sustainable relationship there must be symbiosis in relationship. The new strategic focus is not just agriculture but rather commodities based industrialization. This will help our economy to diversify quickly. Such strategy will help build an industrial sector that can diversify our economy in just few years.

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NNPC urges Nigerians to fight pipeline vandalism http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2015/01/13/nnpc-urges-nigerians-to-fight-pipeline-vandalism/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2015/01/13/nnpc-urges-nigerians-to-fight-pipeline-vandalism/#comments Tue, 13 Jan 2015 17:32:36 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=226140 vandalised-pipeline

The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) has called on Nigerians, especially those living in communities close to pipelines, to see them as their own and protect them.

This was contained in a statement issued on Tuesday in Abuja by the Group General Manager, Group Public Affairs Department, Mr Ohi Alegbe.

It said the corporation made the plea at the flag-off of a two-day Anti-Pipeline Vandalism Campaign in Idimu, Alimosho Local Government Area, Lagos State.

It said the campaign was organised to sensitise the host communities to the need to join in the war against pipeline vandalism.

It said the campaign included a roadshow, through the communities adjoining the pipeline right of way in the area, up to the Ejigbo Depot and the major pipeline vandalism flashpoints of Ijeododo and Arepo.

It called on residents to be vigilant and report all suspicious movements around the pipeline to the corporation or security agencies.

It explained that the oil that was spilled into the environment when vandals and oil thieves hacked into pipelines “destroys aquatic life, pollutes the ground water and renders water from boreholes unsafe for consumption”.

It added that it contaminated the soil and made it unfit to support any meaningful agricultural activity; and ultimately reduced the quality of life of the people living around such places.

It said the traditional ruler of Idimuland, Oba Azeez Olugoke II, called on all residents of the community to shun criminal activities, especially oil theft and pipeline vandalism.

The traditional ruler said that as a policy, the community would not protect anyone caught perpetrating such acts.

The Oba promised to take the message to the people and help mobilise the community to help tackle pipeline vandalism.

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Petrol, diesel prices: APC urges PDP stop stealing from Nigerians http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2015/01/13/petrol-diesel-prices-apc-urges-pdp-stop-stealing-from-nigerians/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2015/01/13/petrol-diesel-prices-apc-urges-pdp-stop-stealing-from-nigerians/#comments Tue, 13 Jan 2015 11:08:03 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=226071 A Petrol station in Nigeria: Nigerians now pay more for petrol, diesel than they should pay

A Petrol station in Nigeria: Nigerians now pay more for petrol, diesel than they should pay

The All Progressives Congress has asked the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) led Federal Government to allow Nigerians enjoy the relief that has come to consumers of petroleum products globally.

A statement from the Directorate of Media and Publicity of the APC presidential campaign said it was disturbing that in spite of the fall in the global price of crude oil, Nigerians still buy petroleum products at pump prices as if the global price of crude oil had remained at $100 (USD) per barrel.

This, according to the party, amounts to stealing from the people.

The statement reads:

“The current attempt by the government to deregulate the prices of some petroleum products has been completely compromised to satisfy few money bags to the detriment of the Nigerian people and the economy.

“The price of diesel which has been deregulated since 2009 still sells at the pump price of N150 and N170 per litre, the same pump price when the international benchmark per barrel of crude was over $100. Now that the international benchmark has dropped to $47.5 (USD) per barrel as at Monday, we ask: where is the deregulation and the relief which it ought to bring to local consumers of diesel?

“For the Nigerian consumers, unfortunately the collapse of crude oil price since October 2014 has not translated into any change in diesel, kerosene and PMS prices across the country.

“We challenge the federal government to reconcile the information on the website of the Petroleum Products Pricing and Regulatory Agency, indicating the maximum open market price of diesel pay per litre in December 2014 as being at N111.6 and the fact that the price has come down to less than $50 (USD) as at Monday.

“We want to posit that that the maximum indicative benchmark open consumers of diesel should pay is at a margin below N100 per litre. Therefore, Nigerians are being short-changed by about N50 to N70 on every litre of diesel sold by government.

“The implication of this is that with average consumption of about 12 to 15 million litres, Nigerians are currently extorted of amounts between N600 Million to N1 Billion daily due to corruption-induced poor regulatory oversight of the Ministry of Petroleum Resources. No wonder some few industry players are smiling to the banks and buying private jets while small scale industrialists who buy diesel on daily basis for power generation and transportation find it difficult to break-even with their businesses.

“Similarly on Kerosene, information available on the website of the PPPRA puts the Open Market Price at N114.71 per litre although the market price is anything above N150 per litre when the global price for a barrel of crude oil was $65 (USD). Now that international price of crude is at $47.5 (USD) per barrel, why are Nigerians still buying kerosene per litre at the same price? Why are Nigerians not benefitting from the global shortfall in the prices of crude by having a cut in the pump prices of petroleum products?

“We are aware that there are examples in other African countries where governments have cut the pump prices of petroleum products to reflect the changes in the global oil market. Countries like South Africa, Zambia, Tanzania and Kenya have announced cuts in pump prices of petroleum products, why can’t the Nigerian government do same?

“Given the failure of government to do the right thing by announcing a cut in the pump prices of these products, we are compelled to draw the conclusion that the federal government is short-changing Nigerians ostensibly to fund the campaign of the PDP presidential candidate.

“The APC Presidential Campaign challenges the federal government to make explanations on why Nigerians cannot benefit pricing reliefs on petroleum products as occasioned by the fall in the global price of crude oil. Anything should of this is a fraud and Nigerians should take note.

“As for PMS (petrol) the only product the government agrees as regulated at N97 per litre, the irony is that it does not even cost much as in the United States, a country that was importing oil from Nigeria until recently.

“Moreover, even the current budget is still heavy on subsidy with an allocation of N458.68 billion, a scheme that has become a conduit pipe over the years for which the children of ruling party leaders have been beneficiaries.”

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OPEC cannot protect oil price, says UAE http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2015/01/13/opec-cannot-protect-oil-price-says-uaeopec-cannot-protect-oil-price/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2015/01/13/opec-cannot-protect-oil-price-says-uaeopec-cannot-protect-oil-price/#comments Tue, 13 Jan 2015 08:11:10 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=226049 Diezani Alison-Madueke, OPEC President

Diezani Alison-Madueke, OPEC President

OPEC cannot protect world oil prices which have plunged since June, the United Arab Emirates said on Tuesday, adding that rising North American shale oil output needed to be curbed.

World prices have been falling since June but the pace of the slide accelerated in November when the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) decided to maintain its production unchanged at 30 million barrels per day.

Analysts say that richer OPEC members like the UAE have been ready to accept the price fall in the hope that it will force higher-cost shale producers out of the market.

“We cannot continue to be protecting a certain price,” UAE Energy Minister Suhail al-Mazrouei said.

“We have seen the oversupply, coming primarily from shale oil, and that needed to be corrected,” he told participants in the Gulf Intelligence UAE Energy Forum in Abu Dhabi.

Oil prices continued their slide towards six-year lows in Asian trade on Tuesday after Brent crude closed below $50 a barrel the previous day for the first time since April 2009.

The fall came after Wall Street investment titan Goldman Sachs slashed its price outlook, adding to anxiety about global oversupply, weak demand and soft growth in the key Chinese and European markets.

Brent crude for February delivery fell $1.33 to $46.10 a barrel — around its lowest point since April 2009.

US benchmark West Texas Intermediate shed $1.13 cents to $44.94 — its weakest level since March 2009.

Mazrouei said the UAE remains “concerned” about balance in the oil markets but “cannot under any circumstances be the only party responsible,” in reference to rising output from non-OPEC members.

Oil producers outside the cartel should be rational in increasing output, he said, insisting that current prices are not sustainable.

“We are telling the market and other producers to be rational, to be like OPEC and look at growth in the market,” Mazrouei said.

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Report: Gas tanker runs aground off Nigeria http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2015/01/12/report-gas-tanker-runs-aground-off-nigeria/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2015/01/12/report-gas-tanker-runs-aground-off-nigeria/#comments Mon, 12 Jan 2015 11:02:08 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=225945 Magellan Spirit: runs aground off Nigeria

Magellan Spirit: runs aground off Nigeria

A liquefied natural gas (LNG) tanker has run aground off Nigeria after taking on a cargo at the country’s Bonny Island export plant, two trading sources have told Reuters.

The 165,000-cubic-metre-capacity Magellan Spirit tanker, owned by Teekay LNG Partners, ran aground trying to leave the port bound for South Korea, traders said.

Teekay could not be reached for immediate comment.

A trader said that the tanker is not expected to disrupt inbound or outbound tanker traffic from Bonny Island as it was not blocking the shipping channel.

But it remains to be seen how the cargo’s owner, trading house Vitol [VITOLV.UL], will be affected. Traders said that Vitol might have to seek a replacement cargo on the open market.

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Crude oil prices down further http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2015/01/12/crude-oil-prices-down-further/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2015/01/12/crude-oil-prices-down-further/#comments Mon, 12 Jan 2015 08:51:09 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=225924 Diezani Alison-Madueke, Nigeria  Petroleum Minister and OPEC President

Diezani Alison-Madueke, Nigeria
Petroleum Minister and OPEC President

Oil prices tumbled again Monday, while most Asian stock markets also retreated after a sell-off in New York at the end of last week in response to data showing weak US wage growth.

The news on wages, which overshadowed another forecast-beating rise in job creation, pushed the dollar down against the euro because it complicates the Federal Reserve’s plans to raise interest rates.

Sydney fell 0.78 percent, or 42.9 points, to close at 5,422.7 and Seoul closed 0.19 percent lower, or 3.75 points, at 1,920.95.

Shanghai — which has surged more than 50 percent over the past year — slipped 1.71 percent, or 56.09 points, to 3,229.32.

However, Hong Kong edged up 0.45 percent, or 106.51 points, to 24,026.46 thanks to a surge in market heavyweight Cheung Kong Holdings after it unveiled a multi-million-dollar restructuring plan last week.

Tokyo was closed for a public holiday.

Weak demand and a supply glut sent crude to new five-and-a-half-year lows, with analysts tipping further losses this week.

The US benchmark, West Texas Intermediate for February delivery, lost $1.06 to $47.30 a barrel, while Brent was down $1.32 to $48.79.

Singapore’s United Overseas Bank said in a commentary: “Oil prices continued to tumble and headed for a seventh straight weekly loss as key producers show no sign of cutting output in the face of a supply glut.”

Crude prices have lost more than half their value since the middle of last year, with weakness in key markets China and the eurozone adding to the supply and demand crisis.

Wall Street provided a negative lead for stock markets after figures showed US wages grew 1.7 percent year-on-year in December, barely keeping up with inflation and indicating consumer spending power remained low.

The Dow slipped 0.95 percent Friday, the S&P 500 fell 0.84 percent and the Nasdaq lost 0.68 percent.

– Euro up against dollar –

Traders latched on to the data, ignoring the fact that unemployment fell to 5.6 percent, the lowest level in six and a half years, while 252,000 new posts were created in December to cap the best year for job creation since 1999.

“Despite the robust US jobs data, markets chose to focus on the weak wages growth and the likelihood that it will keep the Fed Reserve ‘patient’ about any rate hike,” United Overseas Bank said.

Economists took the report as allowing the Fed to delay raising interest rates. This dented speculation of an increase in April and made the dollar less attractive to investors.

“This tug of war between deflation and expectations of the first rate hike in many years by the US Fed is likely to result in intense volatility,” Nader Naeimi at AMP Capital Investors in Sydney, told Bloomberg TV.

In Asian trade the dollar bought 118.48 yen compared with 118.46 yen on Friday in New York.

The euro fetched $1.1846 against $1.1842, while it was also at 140.22 yen compared with 140.29 yen.

Gold cost $1,226.49 an ounce, compared with $1,211.42 on Friday.

In other markets:

— Taipei fell 0.40 percent, or 37.28 points, to 9,178.3.

Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co eased 1.49 percent to Tw$132.0, while Hon Hai Precision Industry was 0.92 percent lower at Tw$85.7.

— Wellington rose 0.45 percent, or 24.96 points, to 5,609.80.

Contact Energy was up 1.73 percent at NZ$6.47 and Spark rose 0.32 percent to NZ$3.16.

— Manila closed 0.60 percent lower, giving up 44.36 points to end at 7,358.36.

Ayala Land fell 2.86 percent to 34 pesos while Metropolitan Bank and Trust slipped 0.56 percent to 88 pesos.

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2015: Nigerians will determine our action in the oil sector – APC http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2015/01/09/2015-nigerians-will-determine-our-action-in-the-oil-sector-apc/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2015/01/09/2015-nigerians-will-determine-our-action-in-the-oil-sector-apc/#comments Fri, 09 Jan 2015 05:19:17 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=225616 Lai Mohammed

Lai Mohammed

The All Progressives Congress (APC) has stated that Nigerians will be allowed to determine the decision its government will make in the oil and gas sector.

APC spokesman, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, said that if the party is elected into the presidency, it would ensure the full participation of Nigerians in discussions concerning the oil and gas sector.

This, he said, the party would do, using the National Assembly platform. According to him, the corruption in the oil sector is retarding its progress, adding that, the party will unbundle the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC).

He noted that if given the mandate, APC would establish an Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority to supervise its activities.

According to him, the planned unbundling of the corporation will help to checkmate corruption, ensure transparency and the accountability in the oil sector and particularly in the NNPC.

“Within the first 12 months of our stay in office, we will ensure the passage of the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) law and unbundle the NNPC and the petroleum industry.

“When we get to government, we will get the original copy of the PIB and present it to the National Assemble for passage.

“If within four years in office, if we do not implement this, give us a red card,” he said.

Mohammed added that the party would establish modern oil refineries to increase the flow of oil and gas product to domestic consumers.

He also promised that his party would use market mechanism to shift gas supply toward domestic production and introduce strong local content institutions.

On public administration, the APC spokesman said the party would evolve a code of conduct that would reward hard working personnel and punish unserious ones.

He further said that to address issues of corruption among political office holders, the APC would end immunity clause concerning all serving political officers and let those with corrupt tendency face prosecution.

The APC image maker added that the party would tackle all forms of discrimination against women and establish Women and Gender Ministry to handle women affairs

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PIB will address ‘perceived’ anomalies in oil sector, says PDP http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2015/01/09/pib-will-address-perceived-anomalies-in-oil-sector-says-pdp/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2015/01/09/pib-will-address-perceived-anomalies-in-oil-sector-says-pdp/#comments Fri, 09 Jan 2015 05:08:34 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=225612 Alhaji Adamu Mu'azu: national chairman of PDP

Alhaji Adamu Mu’azu: national chairman of PDP

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has said that the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB), when passed by the National Assembly and assented to by the president, would address perceived anomalies in the oil sector.

Dr Kachi Ononuju, a chieftain of the party, stated this at the Nigerian Political Parties Debate on Thursday in Abuja, organised by the Centre for Democratic Development (CDD), Abuja.

Ononuju said that for the country‘s petroleum sector to get it right, it must be privatised, adding that the PDP-led government would ensure that.

He, however, stressed that the passage of the bill was being stalled because of emotions based on regional sentiments.

“My party‘s intention is to work to break that emotional logjam and give Nigerians a free hand to operate the sector.”

He added that the PDP would ensure a workable PIB that would be beneficial to Nigerians and bring the best to the country.

He, however, stressed that unless the oil sector was left to private individuals to manage, the perceived corruption in the sector would persist.

NAN reports that the debate, which was the second in the series, was focused on the Nigerian natural resources and its management.

The chieftain added that PDP as a party would continue to reform the civil service by checking corrupt practices.

He said that though the Federal Government still had some challenges in oil and gas sector, it was working hard to reduce cost of governance and budgetary allocation at all levels of governance.

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Nigeria in deep financial trouble, Brent oil falls under $50 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2015/01/07/nigeria-in-deep-financial-trouble-brent-oil-falls-under-50/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2015/01/07/nigeria-in-deep-financial-trouble-brent-oil-falls-under-50/#comments Wed, 07 Jan 2015 09:39:53 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=225354 *Oil may even slide to $40 in coming weeks, say analysts

File: Okonjo-Iweala presenting  the budget to National Assembly: she may need to rejig the budget again

File: Okonjo-Iweala presenting the budget to National Assembly: she may need to rejig the budget again

Nigeria may be in for a terrible financial quagmire as the price of Brent oil drops below $50, for the first time since 2009.

Nigeria had based its N4.3 trillion budget for 2015 on an oil price of $65, but the projection appears to have exploded into smoke. The budget, which allocates 91 per cent of projected expenditure on recurrent expenses may need a rejigging and a drastic cutback on the money to be spent on public officials and National Assembly.

The Nigerian budget for this year had been twice reviewed. Analysts said Dr.Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala and her team may need the big scissors all over again.

The new price regime was triggered by OPEC’s production stance, oversupply, weak demand and the strong dollar.

In morning London deals, Brent North Sea crude for delivery in February dived to a 5.5-year low at $49.81 a barrel. New York crude had already slumped under $50 on Monday.

“The move below $50 shows how momentum is everything here,” CMC Markets analyst Michael Hewson told AFP.

“With no sign that OPEC will do anything about over-production, it seems likely that we could well see further declines towards $40 in the coming weeks — particularly given that demand shows no signs of picking up.

“Weak growth and weak demand in China and Europe are likely to continue to be the main drivers as the battle for market share intensifies. We’ll probably still see sharp swings in the interim but the direction of travel seems clear, unless OPEC acts.”

Crude futures had tumbled Tuesday to fresh multi-year lows in another stormy day for global financial markets, as OPEC kingpin Saudi Arabia blamed weak global economic growth and said it will stick to its guns on production policy.

On Monday, Saudi Arabia reportedly cut its European and US export prices in order to maintain market share.

Oil has lost more than half its value since June owing to a global supply glut and slowing growth in major world economies that has hurt demand.

Losses accelerated in November after the 12-nation Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) cartel decided not to cut output in response to lower prices and oversupply.

OPEC opted to keep its oil output ceiling at 30 million barrels per day (mbpd) despite ample global supplies.

Analysts said the move was aimed at stifling competition from new market players with higher costs — in particular US shale oil producers.

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Oil Spillage: Shell to pay Bodo community £55m compensation http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2015/01/07/oil-spillage-shell-to-pay-bodo-community-55m-compensation/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2015/01/07/oil-spillage-shell-to-pay-bodo-community-55m-compensation/#comments Wed, 07 Jan 2015 08:15:38 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=225348 aerial view of creeks and vegetation devastated by oil spills in Bodo, Ogoniland

aerial view of creeks and vegetation devastated by oil spills in Bodo, Ogoniland

Six years after two oil spills destroyed thousands of livelihoods in the Bodo area, of Ogoniland in Nigeria’s Rivers State, legal action in the United Kingdom has driven Shell to make an out-of-court settlement of £55m to compensate the affected community.

The £55m will be split: £35m will go to 15,600 individuals and £20m for the community.

Amnesty International and the Centre for Environment, Human Rights and Development said today that the decision of Shell to pay the long-overdue compensation, represents an important victory for the victims of corporate negligence.

“While the pay-out is a long awaited victory for the thousands of people who lost their livelihoods in Bodo, it shouldn’t have taken six years to get anything close to fair compensation,” said Audrey Gaughran, Director of Global Issues at Amnesty International.

“In effect, Shell knew that Bodo was an accident waiting to happen. It took no effective action to stop it, then it made false claims about the amount of oil that had been spilt. If Shell had not been forced to disclose this information as part of the UK legal action, the people of Bodo would have been completely swindled.”

The wait has taken its toll on Bodo residents, many of whom had their fishing and farming livelihoods destroyed in the spill. Throughout this time they have had to live with the ongoing pollution and, without compensation, many have faced grinding poverty.

Shell Nigeria MD, Mutiu Sunmonu

Shell Nigeria MD, Mutiu Sunmonu

“The compensation is a step towards justice for the people of Bodo, but justice will be fully achieved when Shell properly cleans up the heavily polluted creeks and swamps so that those who rely on fishing and farming for their income can begin to rebuild their livelihoods,” said Styvn Obodoekwe, Director of Programmes of the Centre for Environment, Human Rights and Development (CEHRD).

“I am very happy that Shell has finally taken responsibility for its action,” says Pastor Christian Kpandei, a Bodo fish farmer, whose fish farm was destroyed by the oil spill. “I’d like to thank the lawyers for compelling Shell to make this unprecedented move.”

Shell has always accepted that the two 2008 Bodo oil spills were the fault of failures on the company’s pipeline at Bodo, but publically – and repeatedly – claimed that the volume of oil spilt was approximately 4,000 barrels for both spills combined, even though the spills went on for weeks.

In 2012 Amnesty International, using an independent assessment of video footage of the first oil spill, calculated that the total amount of oil split exceeded 100,000 barrels for this spill alone.

During the legal action in the UK, Shell had to finally admit that its figures were wrong and it had underestimated the amount of oil spilt in both of the Bodo cases. However Shell has still not confirmed how much oil was actually spilt.

During the legal process Shell was also forced to reveal that it had been aware, at least since 2002, that most of its oil pipelines were old, and some sections contained “major risk and hazard”. In a 2002 document Shell stated that outright replacement of pipelines was necessary because of extensive corrosion.

As far as Amnesty International and CEHRD are aware Shell took no action despite having this information years before the Bodo leaks. An internal Shell email from 2009 revealed that Shell knew it was exposed over spills in Ogoniland – where Bodo is situated; the email stated “the pipelines in Ogoniland have not been maintained properly or integrity assessed for over 15 years”.

Two oil spills occurred at Bodo in the Niger Delta in 2008, the first in August and the second in December.

In 2011, the people of Bodo, represented by UK law firm Leigh Day, began court proceedings in the UK against the Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria.

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Nigerians paying N17 more for petrol http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2015/01/07/nigerians-paying-n17-more-for-petrol/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2015/01/07/nigerians-paying-n17-more-for-petrol/#comments Wed, 07 Jan 2015 07:10:29 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=225333 A Fuel queue in Lagos: Nigerians are paying more than they should be paying at the pump

A Fuel queue in Lagos: Nigerians are paying more than they should be paying at the pump

Nigerians are paying N17 extra on petrol per litre, with crude oil selling below $52 a barrel at the international market, Daily Trust has reported.

The current N97/litre of petrol on the template of the Petroleum Product Pricing Regulatory Agency (PPPRA) were calculated based on the $69/barrel.

According to Daily Trust, the cost per litre of Premium Motor Sprit (PMS), otherwise known as petrol, should cost N80.1k when all the expenses are factored in, despite the additional expenses attached to importation of refined fuel.

The price of Brent crude oil fell for a fourth straight day to $51.12 per barrel yesterday, its lowest level since March 2009.

According to Daily Trust findings, the PMS produced by our local refineries should cost N54.6 per litre with current crude price. But only one of the three refineries is producing skeletally.

At the moment about 90 per cent of the PMS consumed is imported from Europe and Asia.

Minister of Finance, Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, said in her budget speech that “preliminary estimates show that the break-even crude oil price at which the landed cost of PMS will equal our current pump price of N97 per litre so that there will no longer be subsidy is about US$60 pb”.

“It is only when crude oil price (Bonny Light) falls below this level that the pump price of PMS (which includes N15.49 per litre distribution and Petroleum Equalization Fund cost) can begin to come down.

The break- even price of crude oil would have been higher were it not for the N15.49 per litre distribution margin,” she said.

Yesterday, PMNEWS also reported that Nigerians are paying more than Americans for both petrol and diesel.

*Reported by Daily Trust

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Nigerians now pay more than Americans for petrol, diesel http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2015/01/06/nigerians-now-pay-more-than-americans-for-petrol-diesel/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2015/01/06/nigerians-now-pay-more-than-americans-for-petrol-diesel/#comments Tue, 06 Jan 2015 07:58:53 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=225205 Bayo Onanuga

A Petrol station in Nigeria: Nigerians now pay more for petrol, diesel than Americans

A Petrol station in Nigeria: Nigerians now pay more for petrol, diesel than Americans

Nigerians are now paying more money than Americans in real terms for petrol and diesel, bye-products of the crude oil for which Nigeria is Africa’s leading producer.

As oil prices tumbled close to $50 after the New Year, US consumers have reaped the benefit in lower prices for gasoline and diesel , according to the latest statistics by US Energy Information Administration.

As at 5 January, pump price for petrol fell to $1.974 and $1.993 in US Midwest and Gulf Coast states. The national average was $2.214. In naira terms, petrol is now being sold in the Midwest at N363 per gallon, compared to N388 in Nigeria. In the US Gulf Coast areas, petrol is now N366 per gallon, compared to Nigeria’s N388. The American gallon is an equivalent of Nigeria’s four litres.(N388 is equal to N97x4litres).

Americans are also paying between N60 and N50 less than Nigerians for diesel. Pump price for diesel in the Gulf Coast fell to $3.045 on 5 January. And it was $3.102 in the Midwest. The US average was $3.137. The Naira equivalent for the Gulf Coast buyer is N560 for four litres as against the N620 that a Nigerian pays for a similar volume at N155 per litre. In the Midwest of the USA, the American consumer pays N570 for four litres. In Nigeria, the consumer pays N620.

The US consumer began enjoying pump price relief since 29 December, with petrol prices falling to $2.088 in the Midwest and $2.073 in the Gulf Coast. At the exchange rate of N184, these figures translate into N384 and N381. All the calculations here have been based on N184 to a dollar.http://www.eia.gov/petroleum/gasdiesel/

By now, Nigerian officials cannot justifiably claim any kobo of subsidy on petrol, but Nigeria’s co-ordinating minister of the economy said on television Monday night that a 90 kobo subsidy remains on the petrol consumed in the country.

Analysts said Dr. Ngozi Okonjo Iweala was pushing this phantom subsidy to justify funding for Sure-P, since there is no more subsidy money saved to be invested in this fund.

Last December, as Nigeria watched with alarm, the southward move of oil prices, Okonjo-Iweala had said government will not reduce the pump price of fuel despite the clear implication the falling oil prices should have on the local pump price.

She said government would not review the price until the revenue crisis occasioned by the dwindling oil rates is over.

As quoted by news reports, Mrs. Okonjo-Iweala said in Abuja that the decision to review fuel price either upwards or downwards would only be taken after the current crisis in global oil prices has been settled.

The minister, however, said the government would await expert advice from the Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency, PPPRA, which is updating the fuel pricing template, to help proffer the best way to address the issue.

The PPPRA is the government agency responsible for monitoring and regulating the price of petroleum products in the country.

“With declining crude oil prices by about 49 percent, soon there will no longer be subsidy in petroleum products as usual,” the minister said.

“But, government is not going to take a decision till after the current volatility in crude oil prices has stabilised.”

The minister said the Nigerian government does not want to reduce fuel price today “only for crude oil price to rise tomorrow and we have to adjust the pump price again”. When she spoke, oil prices were around $60. They are now in the $50 region.

When will there be a respite for the long suffering Nigerian people?

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Oil prices fall further in Asia, Nigeria badly affected http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2015/01/05/oil-prices-fall-further-in-asia-nigeria-badly-affected/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2015/01/05/oil-prices-fall-further-in-asia-nigeria-badly-affected/#comments Mon, 05 Jan 2015 04:25:13 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=225058 Nigeria will need to review its budget estimate yet again for this year, as oil prices continue to go downwards.

The N4.3trillion budget had been twice reviewed and benchmark price of oil set at $65. But oil prices have fallen below $60 since.

The latest from Asia is that the prices are even getting worse.

According to the AFP, Oil prices fell in Asia Monday as dealers await fresh leads from top crude consumer the United States, while analysts warned there were likely still further losses to come.

West Texas Intermediate, the US benchmark, eased 93 cents to $51.76 while Brent crude for February fell 75 cents to $55.67 in morning trade.

Singapore’s United Overseas Bank said in a commentary a key US employment report on Friday and the release of the latest meeting minutes from the US Federal Reserve on Wednesday “will dominate the market’s attention” this week.

Investors will pore over both releases for fresh clues on when the US central bank will raise interest rates, the Singapore lender said.

Daniel Ang, investment analyst at Phillip Futures in Singapore said crude prices are expected “to continue to be on its bearish trend”.

“After what seemed to be profit-taking at the end of the year, oil bears have returned from their holidays and are back for more,” he said.

“As we continue to take a bullish stand for the US economy, we expect the dollar to strengthen, thus putting further downward pressure on oil prices.”

Crude has lost nearly half its value since June owing to a global supply glut, as well as slowing growth in China and emerging market economies, a recession in Japan and a near-stall in the eurozone.

The OPEC oil-producing cartel in November said it would maintain output levels despite ample global supplies, in part due to cheaper oil extracted from North American shale rock.

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Boko Haram responsible for Borno blackout – FG http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2015/01/04/boko-haram-responsible-for-borno-blackout-fg/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2015/01/04/boko-haram-responsible-for-borno-blackout-fg/#comments Sun, 04 Jan 2015 17:11:46 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=225010 Alhaji Mohammed Wakil, Minister of State for Power

Alhaji Mohammed Wakil, Minister of State for Power

The Minister of State for Power, Alhaji Mohammed Wakil, on Sunday blamed the prolonged power outage in Borno on sabotage and insurgency.

Wakil made the announcement in a statement signed by his Special Assistant on Media Mr Olawale Rasheed in Maiduguri.

The statement said that government had made several attempts at restoring the power supply, which was cut off in June 2014 after a suspected terror attack on the Damboa Power Sub-station.

“The Federal Ministry of Power has repeatedly moved to reconnect Maiduguri to national grid but insurgency and sabotage have so far delayed the realisation of that goal.

“In the last seven months when the power lines and sub-station at Damboa were attacked, the ministry through the Transmission Company of Nigeria made at least seven attempts to rectify the problem but on each occasion the officials were attacked.”

The statement said that two other attempts to restore power were successfully accomplished with parts of Maiduguri enjoying electricity supply.

It, however, noted that the power supply was short-lived as the lines were again vandalised less than five hours after.

The statement said that the development prompted the ministry of power to seek assistance from the military on reconnection.

It said further that Wakil in a meeting with military chiefs requested for special security cover which was granted and this led to the latest attempt by the ministry to reconnect the state.

The statement quoted the minister as saying that “it was widely reported that the insurgents again attempted to attack the TCN staff but were ambushed by a military team.

“In that brave defense of the power officials, the military lost an officer and two soldiers with seventy five insurgents killed and many others sustaining injuries.”

It said that the power lines covered a large area, making it difficult to police. “It should be put on record that power lines run several kilometers across the state.

“It is practically impossible to physically police the lines from Damboa to Maiduguri which is also widely known as an insurgency belt.

“It was due to the bravery of our officials and the military that the Damboa Sub-station has been repaired but the power lines remain susceptible to vandalism.

“The ministry is thus using this medium to alert the public that sabotage and insurgency are two evils, stalling the restoration of power to the state.”

The statement expressed shock that the blackout had been politicised by some individuals trying to score cheap political points.

“There is strong evidence suggesting that some disgruntled forces are deliberately vandalising power lines as a weapon of blackmail against the Federal Government.

“The blackout crisis has thus become politicised with those dark forces deriving joy in stopping power supply to Borno in other to score cheap political points.”

The statement noted that to embark on systematic destruction of power lines and other utilities for political end was uncharitable and an action that should be condemned by all and sundry.

It said the protection of public utilities in Borno or elsewhere should not become instrument of politics as the welfare of our people was at stake.

The statement said the ministry would not relent in its efforts to reconnect the state and defeat insurgency and sabotage.

It commended the people of Borno for their understanding, assuring them that efforts were being made to restore power in the state.

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Improve local refineries, PENGASSAN tells FG http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2015/01/04/improve-local-refineries-pengassan-tells-fg/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2015/01/04/improve-local-refineries-pengassan-tells-fg/#comments Sun, 04 Jan 2015 14:13:08 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=225000 Kaduna Refining and Petrochemical Company Limited

Kaduna Refining and Petrochemical Company Limited

The Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (PENGASSAN), on Sunday urged the Federal Government to demonstrate commitment to stimulating local refining of crude oil in 2015.

The General Secretary of the union, Mr Bayo Olowoshile told NAN in Lagos that only domestic refining would end crises in the oil and gas sector.

“The key focus of the government in 2015 should be to stimulate local refining of petroleum, white products and petrochemical products.

“Domestic gas production for energy, industry, agricultural and automotive purposes should be given ultimate attention in the New Year,” Olowoshile said.

The PENGASSAN scribe said that the government should cut the rate of importation of products by 50 per cent.

“Job creation and manpower utilisation should also be a priority of the government at such time like this when crime rate has increased.

“Many of our present challenges are tied to unemployment and government’s inability to channel the youthful strength of our young people into productive activities,” he said.

Olowoshile said that a slice in importations of products would not only stabilise the economy but also create millions of job to unemployed youths in the country.

He said that importation of finished products into the country was a ‘canker worm’ that had left many Nigerians jobless.

According to him, government should boost local capacity development and curb idleness in the country.

Olowoshile urged government to halt capital flights in the New Year to save enough money for infrastructure and socio-economic development of the nation.

The oil workers’ leader urged the government to do everything possible toward ensuring restoration of national peace and tranquility.

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Nigeria hit as oil trade near five-year low http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/12/30/nigeria-hit-as-oil-trade-near-five-year-low/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/12/30/nigeria-hit-as-oil-trade-near-five-year-low/#comments Tue, 30 Dec 2014 07:15:03 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=224467 Diezani Alison-Madueke, Nigeria  Petroleum Minister and OPEC President

Diezani Alison-Madueke, Nigeria
Petroleum Minister and OPEC President

Almost half of Nigeria’s cargoes due to be exported in January are still available, Reuters has reported, even as oil prices reach the $50s trough, ten dollars below Nigeria’s benchmark price.

The backlog has pushed Nigerian oil differentials versus Brent to their lowest since at least 2009 BFO-QUA at 65 cents a barrel, down 80 percent since May, said Reuters. And it is also creating a discount frenzy between African and Gulf oil producers to Asian buyers

Asia has become a hotspot for a price war between African and Gulf oil producers who, hobbled by bulging global supplies and waning demand, are offering steep discounts to defend their market share in the world’s top net crude buying region.

The competition is welcome news for Asian buyers. If oil stays near $60 per barrel, import costs for the world’s No.2 oil consumer, China, would drop to under $125 billion a year, versus $222 billion in 2013 when crude averaged $110.

But for producers it means more competition, and African sellers like Nigeria and Angola, faced with precarious finances due to plummeting oil prices, are struggling to make inroads into Asia, a Middle Eastern stronghold.

“There is competition between West African and Middle East suppliers for the Asian markets, but the Middle East suppliers have the cost advantage,” said Philip Andrews-Speed, head of Energy Security Division at the National University of Singapore. The city-state is a major oil trading hub in Asia.

Low operating costs in Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and the Emirates already allow these countries to offer hefty discounts.

Now, a more than 50 percent jump in freight rates between West Africa and China since September is adding to the relative advantage of Middle Eastern grades, which require shorter shipping distances to Asia.

This has been a big setback for West African producers.

West African exports got a brief boost in August when Brent’s premium to Middle East crude DUB-EFS-1M narrowed to less than $2 per barrel from almost $5 in June. But with Middle Eastern producers now offering even more competitive prices, the advantage has faded.

“A year ago, a $2 premium would have been attractive, but in today’s environment it’s different,” a trader dealing with West African crude said.

Meanwhile, oil prices traded near five-year lows in thin year-end trade Tuesday, as analysts predicted further bearishness in the market owing to rising United States production despite a global supply glut.

West Texas Intermediate for February delivery fell 49 cents to $53.12 while Brent crude for February lost 55 cents to $57.33 in afternoon trade.

WTI closed down $1.12 to $53.61 in New York while Brent fell 57 cents in London to $57.88. Both contracts last traded at those levels in May 2009.

“We are seeing light volumes in Asian trading… oil prices have once again touched new lows over longer term concerns about US production levels,” Michael McCarthy, chief market strategist at CMC Markets in Sydney, told AFP.

“Bullishness is contained, and I think we will be seeing a consolidation pattern as we head to the close of the year,” he added.

Oil has shed about half its value since June, attributed to slowing growth in China and emerging-market economies, a recession in Japan and a near-stall in the eurozone.

On top of that, the OPEC oil-producing cartel last month said it would maintain output levels despite ample global supplies, in part due to cheaper oil extracted from North American shale rock.

Analysts said traders were also girding for more downward pressure stirred up by the impact of a brewing Greek political crisis, expected poor numbers on China’s industrial sector, and another possible increase in US stockpiles.

The US Energy Information Administration will on Wednesday release stockpiles data for the week to December 26.

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Libya begs Italy for help on oil tank fire http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/12/28/libya-begs-italy-for-help-on-oil-tank-fire/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/12/28/libya-begs-italy-for-help-on-oil-tank-fire/#comments Sun, 28 Dec 2014 09:36:15 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=224258 Libya has called on Italy to send firefighters to prevent a fire spreading out of control at Es Sider, the country’s biggest oil port, officials said on Saturday.

A rocket hit an oil storage tank last week at the port in the east of the country during clashes between forces allied to Libya’s competing governments.

Ali al-Hassi, spokesman for a security force allied to the internationally-recognised government, said the fire had spread to a total of five oil tanks.

Libya: smoke and fire billow from an oil depot. AFP

Libya: smoke and fire billow from an oil depot. AFP

“We are trying to extinguish it but our capacities are limited,” he said.

The North African country is struggling with fighting on several fronts as brigades of former rebels who battled side by side to oust Muammar Gaddafi in 2011 now compete for political power and a share of oil revenues.

Libya has had two parallel governments since August when a group called Libya Dawn seized Tripoli, forcing the internationally recognised administration headed by Abdullah al-Thinni out of the capital.

Es Sider and its adjacent Ras Lanuf oil terminal have been closed since a force allied to a rival government in Tripoli tried to take them two weeks ago. This has affected exports of an estimated 300,000 barrels of oil a day.

Issa al-Oraiby, chairman of the energy committee in the Thinni government’s House of Representatives, said lawmakers had asked Italy to help with firefighters.

“Italy expressed its willingness to assist in extinguishing the fire at the Es Sider oil tanks but only under the condition that fighting stopped,” he said. Italy is one of the few European countries which still has an embassy in Libya.

The fighting between rival groups in the country has reduced Libya’s crude output to 352,000 barrels a day, Libya’s National Oil Company said on Thursday. Es Sider and Ras Lanuf ports had been processing an estimated 300,000 bpd until their closure.

Es Sider is fed from fields run by Waha Oil Co, a joint-venture of NOC with U.S. companies Hess, Marathon and ConocoPhillips.

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$30bn not missing from Excess Crude Accounts, Okonjo blasts Oshiomhole http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/12/27/30bn-not-missing-from-excess-crude-accounts-okonjo-blasts-oshiomhole/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/12/27/30bn-not-missing-from-excess-crude-accounts-okonjo-blasts-oshiomhole/#comments Sat, 27 Dec 2014 15:15:53 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=224195 •Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Finance Minister

•Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Finance Minister

The Minister of Finance, Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala says 30 billion dollars is not missing from the Excess Crude Account as speculated by Governor Adams Oshiomhole of Edo.

This is according to a statement issued on Saturday in Abuja by Mr Paul Nwabuikwu, the spokesperson to the minister.

“The widely published comment by Governor Adams Oshiomhole alleging that 30 billion dollars is missing from the Excess Crude Account is shocking and totally untrue.

“The comments reflect, once again, the unfortunate tendency of some political players to politicise the management of the economy on the basis of half-truths and sundry distortions.

“This is not good for the country,” the statement read.

It stated that Oshiomhole’s comments gave the impression that the Federal Government doles out whatever it wished to the states from the Federation Account.

“But anyone who is familiar with the Federation Accounts Allocation Committee (FAAC) process knows that this is simply not true.

“The meetings are held every month and Commissioners of Finance and other officials represent their states and agreements are reached on issues including the distribution of proceeds from the Account.

“There is no 30 billion dollars missing from the Excess Crude Account as alleged by Governor Oshiomhole,” it added.

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