P.M. NEWS Nigeria » Electricity, Oil and Gas http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com First with Nigeria News - Nigerian leading evening Newspaper - Sat, 18 Oct 2014 14:07:28 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.0 Chiefs, elders, shutdown multi-national Total/E&P http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/10/16/chiefs-elders-shutdown-multi-national-totalep/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/10/16/chiefs-elders-shutdown-multi-national-totalep/#comments Thu, 16 Oct 2014 11:24:22 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=216244 Okafor Ofiebor/Port Harcourt

Total Oil Well Barricaded With Fetish Substances In Ama Community Ogbidi Land Photo: 247ureports.com

Total Oil Well Barricaded With Fetish Substances In Ama Community Ogbidi Land
Photo: 247ureports.com

Angry Chiefs, youths and women of Umu-Ebe in Ama community of Ogba/Egbema/Ndoni local government area in Rivers state have shutdown the operations of Total/E&P by barricading all roads leading to the entrance of the company since last night protesting against neglect of their community by the company.

The paramount ruler of Umu-Ebe in Ama community, Chief Innocent Ogada accused the company of neglect, poor community relations, lack of employment and the non-recognition of contractors from Umu-Ebe since 1991 when the company started its operations in the community.

He vowed that the protest would be sustained until the company signs a Memorandum of Understanding, MOU, with them.

Another Total Oil Well Barricaded With Fetish Substances In Ama Community Ogbidi Land Photo: 247ureports.com

Another Total Oil Well Barricaded With Fetish Substances In Ama Community Ogbidi Land
Photo: 247ureports.com

Speaking in same vein, the youth leader of the community, Newman Ogada lamented that youths of the areas have resorted to cult related activities and gangsterism due to unemployment and lack of patronage by the multinational company.

He wondered why the company continued to take the families that own the land they operate upon for granted for about 23 years without regards to their welfare and MOU.

As at the time of the report, they had not made an official reaction to closure of their operations in the area.

There were indications that the official position of the company would be made later.

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Nigeria’s budget in danger as crude oil prices crash http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/10/15/nigerias-budget-in-danger-as-crude-oil-prices-crash/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/10/15/nigerias-budget-in-danger-as-crude-oil-prices-crash/#comments Wed, 15 Oct 2014 12:08:07 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=216092 Nigeria’s financial outlay for 2014 and outlook for 2015 move near crisis point today as oil prices continue to slide southwards.

In the year’s budget, Nigeria set its benchmark price at $77.5, but as today, the nation’s light Brent oil was selling for $83.37 a barrel,its lowest level in four years. West Texas Intermediate contract dropped to $80.37, a point last seen more than two years ago.

(L): Nigeria's Minister of Petroleum resources Diezani Alison Maude at Vienna

(L): Nigeria’s Minister of Petroleum resources Diezani Alison Maude at Vienna

The sliding prices holds implications for Nigeria’s large spending appetite: it means that a little window is now left to scoop surplus for the Excess Crude Account, used as a buffer at times of oil price shocks or declining income. And if the slide continues, it has serious implications next year, an election year.

In later deals, Brent North Sea crude for delivery in November stood at $84.06 a barrel, down 98 cents compared with Tuesday’s close.

US benchmark West Texas Intermediate (WTI) for November was down $1.16 at $80.68.

“For as long as OPEC makes no move to tackle this threat of a massive oversupply by reducing production, prices are likely to continue to fall,” said Commerzbank analyst Carsten Fritsch.

Currently, members of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, such as kingpin Saudi Arabia, are in fact slashing the prices they charge customers for their crude in order to gain market share.

The International Energy Agency on Tuesday said it expects demand to have risen by just 700,000 barrels per day to 92.4 million barrels per day this year, 200,000 fewer than its previous growth forecast.

Market-watchers have blamed the slump in demand on weak growth in China, the world’s biggest energy consumer, and the eurozone, which some analysts have warned is flirting with recession.

Adding to the pain is an oversupply of the black gold caused by strong US production of shale gas and a return of Libyan oil on to the market after facilities that were closed due to civil unrest resumed operations.

“At some point, dwindling oil prices should be a positive for businesses but global headwinds, which include an Ebola outbreak and signs of slowing growth in China and Europe, have the upper hand for now,” said Desmond Chua, market analyst at CMC Markets in Singapore.

DBS Bank of Singapore pointed to concerns over weak growth in Europe’s core economies France, Germany and Italy.

“We’re not talking about Portugal and Greece anymore. It’s the big guys that are shrinking,” it said, adding that “the eurozone is on the cusp of its third recession in five years”.

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Malabu Oil Scandal: Ezekwezili Urges Nigerians To Demand Investigation http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/10/13/malabu-oil-scandal-ezekwezili-urges-nigerians-to-demand-investigation/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/10/13/malabu-oil-scandal-ezekwezili-urges-nigerians-to-demand-investigation/#comments Mon, 13 Oct 2014 22:29:32 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=215880 Funsho Arogundade

L-R: Mr. Emeka Edward Keazo, Dr. Oby Ezekwesili and Prof. Sophie Oluwole during the Fela Debates titled: "The Amalgamation Of The Peoples Of The Niger Area", held at the NECA House Auditorium in Lagos Photo: Osodi Emmanuel

L-R: Mr. Emeka Edward Keazo, Dr. Oby Ezekwesili and Prof. Sophie Oluwole during the Fela Debates titled: “The Amalgamation Of The Peoples Of The Niger Area”, held at the NECA House Auditorium in Lagos
Photo: Osodi Emmanuel

Dr. Obiageli Ezekwezili, former Minister of Education, has urged Nigerians to demand a conclusive investigation into what transpired in the recent monumental $1.1 billion Malabu oil scandal indicting some Nigeria officials following the federal government’s inaction.

Speaking with P.M.NEWS in Lagos at the sixth edition of The Fela Debates, a symposium kick-starting the 2014 edition of the annual Felabration, the former World Bank Vice President said the recent happenings in the country ($15million illegal arms deal and the Malabu Oil saga) indicate a growing trend of impunity and the solution to this problem is for the citizens to demand for a sustainable solution.

“Recent happenings in Nigeria show clearly that we have very serious governance issues. We (citizens) need to demand for accountability, transparency and conclusive investigation of things that happen, and then ask government to tell us what remediation would be taking place thereafter,” Ezekwesili said.

According to her, Nigerians need to understand the power of eternal vigilance as that is the price they will need to pay for liberty, democracy and good governance.

“When a society suffers from this kind of systemic or what people call endemic corruption, what needs to be done is for the citizens to not just rely on government to supply solutions. Citizens should consistently and persistently demand in a sustained way that solutions be found, or else this impunity will continue,” she added.

Speaking earlier in her remark as the Chairman/moderator of the symposium, Ezekwesili commended the organising committee of Felabration for believing in the area of thought of bringing people together to have a civic debate, since such nourishes democracy.

She said this year’s debate theme: “The Amalgamation Of The Peoples Of The Niger Area”, which focuses on the Centennial anniversary of the coming together of Northern and Southern Nigeria, was an important topic and quite auspicious to continuously mark the hundred years of our amalgamation as a country.

Ezekwesili

The #BringBackOurGirls campaigner noted that Nigeria is not an artificial creation and the amalgamation was not a coincidence but an act ordained by God. “With all my education, I still have a strong belief in God. I believe that God created human beings and He creates nations of people…But that does not in anyway take away the fact that human agents was part of the process of making this happened.

“It was the mercantile drive of the British that led to the combination of the Southern and the Northern protectorates plus the colony of Lagos as trade outpost. They needed to bring us together under manageable construct to enable them continue their exploitation of our commodities that they needed for their development,” she affirmed.

Ezekwesili, a co-founder of Transparency International, expressed regret that we have not developed as a nation while pointing out that Nigeria’s multi-ethnicity nature must not be used as a reason for her failure.

The former minister however suggested that a society where equality of opportunities abound and everybody is allowed to be what they can be should be developed.

Also speaking at the symposium, Professor Sophie Oluwole, a retired Professor of African Philosophy and CEO, Centre For African Culture and Development, pointed out that the fusion of Nigeria by the British colonialists was never to unite the country but a profit-oriented motives.

The cerebral don emphasized that colonialism has not really helped Nigeria but rather entrenched rape of democracy and intellectualism, as well as engendered male chauvinism. She pointed out that the problem facing Nigeria is the inability to manage her abundance resources and the pervasive corruption.

Oluwole said since justice is the universal language, Nigeria will continue to grope in those challenges until issue of social justice and equality are addressed.

Emeka Edward Keazor, a lawyer and one of the symposium’ speakers, also took the audience into the history before and after the amalgamation. He gave a psycho-analytical submission and concluded that the fusion has not encouraged the nationhood in Nigeria.

“We are still suffering from mental slavery and the only solution is to fix the link that brought us to where we are now,” Keazor said.

Felabration is an annual week-long festival of music and arts commemorating the life and times of Nigeria’s foremost musical icon, late Fela Anikulapo Kuti.

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Bayelsa Court Bars British Lawyer From Oil Spill Suit http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/10/12/bayelsa-court-bars-british-lawyer-from-oil-spill-suit/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/10/12/bayelsa-court-bars-british-lawyer-from-oil-spill-suit/#comments Sun, 12 Oct 2014 16:10:20 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=215681 Henry Ojelu

Justice E.G. Omokuro of a Bayelsa State High Court, Sagbama Division, has restrained a British lawyer, Mr Martyn Day, from representing 7,400 residents of Bodo Community of Rivers state in an oil spill compensation suit filed against the Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria Limited.

The judge gave the order while ruling on a Motion Exparte brought before the court against the Briton by a Nigerian lawyer, Mr Affinih Peter Egbegi and his law firm, A.P Egbegi and Co.

Delivering the ruling, the judge said:”An interim injunction is further granted restraining the defendant (Day) whether by himself or otherwise from interfering with 7,400 clients of the claimant resident in Bodo Community of Nigeria who had donated and executed irrevocable power of attorney on the claimant (Egbegi) to represent their interest in respect of losses suffered as a result of 24 Trans-Niger Operational Spills in 2008, pending the determination of the Motion on Notice filed in the suit.”

Omokuro also granted the claimant leave to serve the Writ of Summons, Statement of Claims, Written Statement and all other court processes on Day at his London address.

Lawyer Martyn Day

Lawyer Martyn Day

The judge also ordered that the said court processes could be served on the defendant through DHL Courier or any other expected mail delivery outfit in Nigeria and that such service upon proof shall be deemed good service.

He consequently fixed the hearing of the Motion on Notice on October 29, and directed that both parties in the suit are to make their respective appearances.

In his statement of claims, Egbegi asked the court for a declaration that the power of attorney vested in him by his 7,400 clients in the community is irrevocable.

Egbegi also asked for” a declaration that the defendant, not being a legal practitioner within the meaning and provision of the Legal Practitioners Act Cap L11, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 2004, is not entitled to receive clients anywhere in Nigeria or purport to act for them in any matter at all in Nigeria.”

He asked the court to declare all actions hitherto taken by the defendant on behalf of the claimant’s 7,400 clients as null and void.

The claimant further asked for a declaration that the defendant and his agents are liable for prosecution under the provisions of the Legal Practitioners Act and the Immigration Act.

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$1.1bn Oil Scandal: Jonathan tell us what you know, says APC http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/10/12/1-1bn-oil-scandal-jonathan-tell-us-what-you-know-says-apc/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/10/12/1-1bn-oil-scandal-jonathan-tell-us-what-you-know-says-apc/#comments Sun, 12 Oct 2014 12:41:56 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=215651 President Goodluck Jonathan of Nigeria

President Goodluck Jonathan of Nigeria

The All Progressives Congress (APC) has challenged President Goodluck Jonathan to urgently speak out and take action on the monumental Malabu oil scandal that is rocking his administration and again putting Nigeria under the global searchlight as a corrupt nation.

In a statement issued in Lagos on Sunday by its National Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, the party said President Jonathan must end his silence on the matter since half of the 1.1 billion US dollars paid to Malabu Oil and gas for oil field OPL 245 by two oil majors was allegedly used to bribe Nigerian officials, who in turn used the proceeds to buy private jets and armoured limousines.

It said that since the deal to pay Malabu the huge funds was brokered and passionately defended by the Jonathan administration, it stands to reason that officials of the same administration will know one or two things, and perhaps are part and parcel, of the whole scandal.

“The only way to know for sure is if there is an independent investigation of the allegation, which has been published by the international media after Italian prosecutors intensified their probe into the deal. This is where President Jonathan comes in: He must allow an unfettered probe of this scandal that has again put Nigeria in bad light. Whatever happens, however, the names of those who received the bribes will soon be known, thanks to the determination of the UK and Italy to show that no one who violates their laws will go scot-free.

Alhaji Lai Mohammed, APC, National Publicity Secretary

Alhaji Lai Mohammed, APC, National Publicity
Secretary

“Just like the Halliburton and Siemens bribery scandals that were also exposed from abroad, this Malabu scandal has again damaged Nigeria’s standing in the comity of nations. While US, France, Italy and Germany have jailed officials and imposed fines on the foreign firms that gave bribes to Nigerian officials in the Halliburton and Siemens scandals, none of those who received the bribes here in Nigeria has been touched. The Malabu scandal must not go the same way,” the statement said.

The party said Nigeria has never had it as bad, in terms of runaway corruption that has cost the nation billions of dollars in money that would have gone into national development, as it is having under the prodigiously-corrupt Jonathan Administration.

“There is no better way to say this. The Jonathan administration is swimming in corruption and the President has contumaciously allowed it to fester because his government is feeding fat on the proceeds of graft. He has even tried to use semantics to cover up the extent of sleaze, saying stealing is not corruption,” it said.

APC said apart from the Malabu, Halliburton and Siemens scandals, the Jonathan administration has done nothing to tell Nigerians what happened to the 20 billion dollars in diverted oil money; the multi-billion naira fuel subsidy fraud for which no single persons has been brought to justice; opaque crude oil swaps at the expense of encouraging domestic refinery; payment of billions of naira in kerosene subsidy without appropriation and the gargantuan police pension fraud.

“Under your watch, Mr. President, there is massive looting of the commonwealth by the same people being paid by taxpayers to ensure a judicious utilization of the scarce national resources. There is a growing culture of impunity because no one is punished for the looting. Now you have another chance to turn things around for the better.

“The Malabu scandal provides such a chance. All those who collected millions of dollars in bribes in the illegal transaction must be identified and brought to justice immediately. We must not always allow foreign countries to be the ones exposing corrupt Nigerian officials. Our government must act like a responsible government by demonstrating it will not allow violation of its laws or encourage corruption,” the party said.

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Invest in Nigeria, Jonathan urges Private Investors http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/10/11/invest-in-nigeria-jonathan-urges-private-investors/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/10/11/invest-in-nigeria-jonathan-urges-private-investors/#comments Sat, 11 Oct 2014 16:33:15 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=215546 Jethro Ibileke/Benin

President Goodluck Jonathan has said that the Power Roadmap of the country has set out the key foundational issues needed to be addressed so as to remove the obstacles to private sector investment, and enable the sector’s growth.

The President who made the remark on Friday in Benin, Edo state capital during the foundation laying ceremony of the Azura West Africa Limited and Edo State Government initiated Independent Power Plant, called on private sector entrepreneurs to come and invest in Nigeria and drive the country’s economy to speedier growth.

“I am pleased to join you today on this history making occasion as we witness the ground-breaking of the Azura Edo Power Project.

“This initiative is a major milestone in our power sector reforms programme and we are happy to associate with Azura as this model of private sector investment in new generation capacity represents the next logical step in our vision for uninterrupted access to power for our people.‎

“This project is a first in many ways. It is the first fully financed private sector power plant to get to this final stage, under the new framework facilitated by our reform instituted agencies,”‎ said Jonathan.

He promised to continuously improve “the framework and enabling environment based on sound policy formulation, access to long-term low interest finance, and transparent and consistent regulatory guidelines” necessary to assist private investors.

The President remarked that his government was committed to irreversibly repositioning the Nigerian power sector as a pivot for the attainment of the nation’s developmental targets, but added that such a framework can only be robust when the private sector works in partnership with the public sector.

President Goodluck Jonathan of Nigeria

President Goodluck Jonathan of Nigeria

The ground breaking ceremony marked the beginning of construction work for the project which is expected to be ready in 2017.

On the President’s entourage were the Minister of Power, Professor Chinedu Nebo; the Minister of Works, Architect Mike Onolememen; the Minister of Petroleum, Mrs. Deziani Allison-Madueke.

Others were the Minister State for Finance, Alhaji Bashir Yuguda; the Minister of State for Power, Mr. Wakil Mohammed; the Chairman of Senate Committee of Power, Senator Philip Aduda; the Chairman of House Committee on Power, Hon. Patrick Ikhariale; and the Senior Special Adviser on Media and Public Affairs to the President, Mr. Reuben Abati.

Governor Oshiomhole, who received President Jonathan at the Airport after which they both flew in the President’s helicopter to the venue of the ceremony, commended President Jonathan for creating an enabling environment for the initiation of the project in his speech.

He said, “The financing and support of the Azura Power Project is the most potent voice of confidence on the power reform programme of the Federal Government’s Transformation Agenda,” and further expressed fact that he won’t be in office in 2017 as Governor when it is completed but he will be around to participate in the commissioning.

The Azura-Edo project is the first of a new wave of project-financed greenfield IPPs currently being developed in Nigeria. The financing of the project draws equity and debt from a consortium of local and international financiers.

It also incorporates an additional investment by Seplat Petroleum Development Company Plc in new gas processing facilities at its Oben Gas Plant, which, as part of Seplat’s joint venture with the Nigerian Petroleum Development Company (NPDC), will supply the Azura-Edo IPP with fuel gas requirements estimated at about 100 million cubit gas per day.

The Azura-Edo IPP project comprises an initial 450 mega watt open cycle gas turbine power station; a short transmission line connecting the power plant to a local substation and a short underground gas pipeline connecting the power plant to the country’s main gas-supply. Completion of the phases is expected to generate 1,500 mega watt of electricity.

The plant’s location on the outskirts of Benin City is said to be ideal because of its close proximity to Nigeria’s biggest gas distribution pipeline, a situation that makes gas feedstock easily available with unique accessibility to the country’s high voltage transmission network for smooth evacuation and distribution of power.

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Zimbabwe signs $1.5bn power deal with China http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/10/10/zimbabwe-signs-1-5bn-power-deal-with-china/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/10/10/zimbabwe-signs-1-5bn-power-deal-with-china/#comments Fri, 10 Oct 2014 13:22:26 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=215355 President Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe

President Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe

Energy-starved Zimbabwe signed a $1.5 billion (1.2-billion-euro) deal with China’s Sinohydro on Friday for a project to boost power generation at the Hwange coal-fired power station.

Energy minister Dzikamayi Mavhaire said the addition of two new units at Hwange “will be a huge step in resolving the current power deficit and ease load-shedding.”

“Everyone should see the light — not in the metaphorical sense but in real sense,” he said.

Mavhaire said the project at Hwange in northwestern Zimbabwe would take 42 months to complete at a cost of $1.174 billion, with the remainder going to administrative costs.

On completion the project will add 600 megawatts (MW) to the national grid, expanding current generating capacity by 50 percent.

China’s Export-Import Bank will provide a loan for the project, 80 percent of it at concessionary rates and 20 percent at commercial rates.

Sinohydro was awarded the tender last year after another Chinese company failed to complete the contract.

The tender had initially been awarded to China Machinery and Engineering Company (CMEC).

Sinohydro’s vice-president for Africa, Wang Xinhuai, pledged to “execute the contract strictly and deliver the project with high quality.”

Zimbabwe suffers frequent power shortages. This causes the power utility to resort to load-shedding, cutting supplies to some parts of the country for about eight hours.

The Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Authority has tightened the rationing in recent weeks as it battles serious shortages, forcing some parts of the country to go without electricity for up to 18 hours per day.

Frequent breakdowns of Zimbabwe’s ageing power stations mean the country suffers perennial power-shortages.

The country produces an average of 1,200 megawatts against a peak demand of 2,200 MW and relies on imports to supplement its production.

Last month Zimbabwe launched a $533-million project with Sinohydro to scale up electricity generation at another of its major plants, the Kariba hydroelectric power station.

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NUPENG Strike: Rivers residents, commuters groan over fuel scarcity http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/10/09/nupeng-strike-rivers-residents-commuters-groan-over-fuel-scarcity/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/10/09/nupeng-strike-rivers-residents-commuters-groan-over-fuel-scarcity/#comments Thu, 09 Oct 2014 11:09:42 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=215230 Okafor Ofiebor/Port Harcourt

Heavy duty truck that fell due to a bad portion of Eleme-Onne road

Heavy duty truck that fell due to a bad portion of Eleme-Onne road

Commuters and business owners are now going through tough times in Port Harcourt, Rivers state capital, following the industrial action embarked upon by the National Union of Petroleum and Natural gas (NUPENG), Petroleum Tanker Divers (PTD) Port Harcourt Unit.

The union commenced its strike Thursday last week in protest against the deplorable condition of the Port Harcourt Eleme-Onne federal road that is the only access road to the refineries and petrol tank farms near the state
capital.

A make over of the road was done by Federal Road Maintenance Agency, FERMA, last year when the wife of the president, Mrs Patience Jonathan, buried her step mother in Okrika, her hometown, to allow easy passage for important dignitaries who attended the burial ceremony.

Tanker drivers blocked the refinery, depots and private tank farms in the state, making it impossible for dealers to buy from them.

The strike however has caused artificial scarcity and long queues in the few filling stations that have the products.

PM News which was at various petrol stations as early as 5:30 a.m. today found out that a litre of DPK now goes for N140 while a litre of petrol goes for N120 as against the usual N97.

Calamity: Another truck gives way on Eleme-Onne Ogoni road

Calamity: Another truck gives way on Eleme-Onne Ogoni road

Some drivers who spoke to our correspondent on their frustrations lamented that the products are not available at filling stations, noting that, the few stations selling petrol have long queues.

Cletus Nwato said the stations have begun to hoard the products preferring to sell to the black markets for higher profit.

Meanwhile, a tanker driver, Molekwu Obinna, recounted how a colleague lost 33,000 liters of fuel valued at N3.9 million on the road when his tanker fell and the products spilled off.

“On daily basis, our trucks get damaged”, he said, adding that, on more than one occasion, both products and vehicle go in flames as a result of the bad road”.

The Chairman of NUPENG, Port Harcourt, Godwin Eruba, said that the situation would remain as long as the Eleme-Onne road remains in such poor condition.

He said that the strike is also for the safety of both the tanker drivers and other road users because when a loaded tanker falls it spills it highly inflammable content causes losing of lives and property.

It would be recalled that the union, a fortnight ago, threatened to declare industrial action if Federal Government does not fix the bad road.

In a similar view, the youths of Eleme, in Eleme Local Government Area of Rivers state also threatened few days ago that they would block entrance of the federal government owned Oil and Gas free zone.

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NNPC warns contractors, others against scam contract proposals http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/10/06/nnpc-warns-contractors-others-against-scam-contract-proposals/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/10/06/nnpc-warns-contractors-others-against-scam-contract-proposals/#comments Mon, 06 Oct 2014 19:40:20 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=214934 Diezani Alison-Madueke, Petroleum Minister

Diezani Alison-Madueke, Petroleum Minister

The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) has cautioned contractors and other stakeholders in the oil and gas industry against falling victims to phantom contracts proposal by fraudsters.

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

The statement alerted the public on alleged circulation of fake letters of authorisation by one Messrs Lavi International Corp, purportedly from the NNPC, to buy or sell Nigerian crude oil.

It called on members of the public to be wary of persons with fraudulent intents circulating letters authorising the lifting of Bonny Light crude oil from Nigeria.

It said that NNPC never authorised the said company neither was the firm one of its crude oil off-takers for the 2014-2015 Term Contract Period.

According to the statement, the corporation has not allocated any crude oil volume as speculated in the fake letter of authorisation.

It further noted that the list of local and international companies duly approved as NNPC’s crude oil off-takers for the 2014-2015 Term Contract Period had been widely publicised.

It called on member of the public to avail themselves of such information to avoid being duped by unscrupulous elements.

“Meanwhile, we are working closely with relevant security agencies to track and bring to book all those behind these nefarious activities,” it stated.

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Crude oil: 40 Nigerian cargoes await buyers http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/10/06/crude-oil-40-nigerian-cargoes-await-buyers/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/10/06/crude-oil-40-nigerian-cargoes-await-buyers/#comments Mon, 06 Oct 2014 15:54:29 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=214911 crude oil barrels

crude oil barrels

Around 40 Nigerian crude oil cargoes were still available out of 63 loading in November, traders said on Monday, according to Reuters.

The news agency however reported that Nigerian crude differentials stabilised on Monday, although some traders said the market could come under further downward pressure given the limited
demand.

For Angolan grades, around 10 cargoes out of 49 were not yet sold.

“Most Atlantic-based physical crude diffs have stabilized or improved of late, particularly WAF,” analysts at Morgan Stanley said in a report.

One physical trader said he still expected Nigerian differentials to weaken from current levels, citing slow demand for November cargoes so far.

NIGERIA

* Qua Iboe: On offer for November at around dated Brent plus $2.00, traders said. Traders said it was likely to trade closer to $1.50 above dated Brent, in line with indications on Friday.

* End-user buying has been limited. A few cargoes have been sold to trading firms or into Asian buying tenders.

* Agbami, Akpo: Cargoes were sold out or almost sold out for
November loading.

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IPMAN acquires 1,000 hectares for N495bn refineries http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/10/06/ipman-acquires-1000-hectares-for-n495bn-refineries/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/10/06/ipman-acquires-1000-hectares-for-n495bn-refineries/#comments Mon, 06 Oct 2014 14:52:03 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=214892 Diezani Alison-Madueke, Petroleum Minister

Diezani Alison-Madueke, Petroleum Minister

The Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN) on Monday announced its commitment to provide leadership in establishing private refineries.

Mr Chinedu Okoronkwo, IPMAN National President, told NAN in Lagos that the association had acquired more than 1,000 hectares in Kogi and Bayelsa for the proposed three billion Dollars (N495 billion) refineries.

NAN recalls that IPMAN had earlier in July concluded a business deal with some international investors to build two refineries worth about three billion Dollars at Itobe, Kogi, and Abbe in Bayelsa.

The foreign investors had conducted feasibility studies on the project in August.

Okoronkwo said that the Federal Government had through the Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs Diezain Alison-Madueke, welcomed the investor’s initiative to commence work on the two refineries.

He urged the Ministry of Power to support the IPMAN refinery initiative by providing the sites access to the national grid.

He said when completed in 24 months, the refineries would initially produce about 200,000 barrels of petrol per day.

Okoronkwo said that IPMAN’s aim was to contribute in the management of existing national capital flight that characterised the oil and gas sector following the absence of a functional refinery.

“The cost of taking crude and bringing it back as refined products will be reduced. We want government to give us the necessary licences and enabling environment to operate,” he said.

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Jonathan to flag off $1bn Azura-Edo power plant http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/10/05/jonathan-to-flag-off-1bn-azura-edo-power-plant/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/10/05/jonathan-to-flag-off-1bn-azura-edo-power-plant/#comments Sun, 05 Oct 2014 15:16:50 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=214765 President Goodluck Jonathan

President Goodluck Jonathan

President Goodluck Jonathan is billed to lay the foundation stone of the $1 billion Azura-Edo 1,000 megawatts gas-powered Independent Power Plant on Friday, 10 October in Benin.

The first phase of the project, which was conceptualized in 2010 and jointly incubated by the Edo State Government under Comrade Adams Eric Oshiomhole and Amaya Capital, the key promoters of Azura Power West Africa Ltd, is 450-500 mega watts to be scaled up to 1,000 megawatts in the second phase.

The Azura project is the first Nigerian power project to benefit from the World Bank’s “Partial Risk Guarantee” structure which was specifically created to meet the developing needs of emerging markets globally.

The Azura-Edo IPP is expected to create the template for the successful development of IPPs in Nigeria and Edo State is playing a pioneering role in determining the future of Nigeria’s power sector.

Chief Press Secretary to Governor Adams Oshiomhole, Mr Peter Okhiria said the Azura-Edo IPP will provide over 4,000 direct and indirect jobs for the people of the state from the construction to the post-construction period of the project.

According to him, “the Azura-Edo Power Project is a clear demonstration of the confidence of the international community in the economy of Edo State. It is an indication that Edo State is investor-friendly as the Government under Comrade Adams Oshiomhole has put in place the necessary infrastructure to attract investors to the state”.

According to Okhiria, “this is another project conceptualized by the Edo State Government under the Public Private Partnership Programme to unlock the industrial potentials in the State and make the state the nation’s energy hub”.

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West African Power Industry Award ceremony holds November http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/10/03/west-african-power-industry-award-ceremony-holds-november/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/10/03/west-african-power-industry-award-ceremony-holds-november/#comments Fri, 03 Oct 2014 06:38:13 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=214409 West Africa’s leading utility and energy professionals and projects are to be honoured at the annual West African Power Industry Convention (WAPIC) which will take place in Lagos, Nigeria from 18-19 November.

Irene Ochem, WAPIC’s programme director

Irene Ochem, WAPIC’s programme director

The West African Power Industry Awards are designed to celebrate the West African triumphs and successes of the industry during the last year and the industry will be able to nominate candidates in seven award categories, ranging from Lifetime Achievement Award to Outstanding Woman in Power. The winners will be honoured at a five-star gala event during WAPIC.

Irene Ochem, WAPIC’s programme director said the awards will reward those who have positively impacted the sector. “To celebrate the success and the loyalty of our event participants during the past 11 years, we are proud to launch the awards, recognising excellence within the power sector and rewarding companies and individuals who have made a significant contribution to the industry.”

Global business leader, financier, entrepreneur, investment guru and philanthropist Tony Elumelu will lead a high-level list of power experts who will address this year’s WAPIC. During the 11th edition of this long running conference and expo, WAPIC will once again gather government, utilities, consultants and investors to discuss the challenges of local markets, capacity building and investment.

The awards evening, attended by some 500 leading executives from across the power, renewable energy, finance and investment spheres, is considered a long overdue addition to what is the leading utility gathering of its kind in the region.

For Ochem utility experts and professionals deserves to be recognised. “These are exciting and often pioneering times for the utility industry and we feel honoured to be able to recognise utilities, utility leaders, companies and individuals who are making an enormous difference in the development of the energy landscape in West Africa”.

She noted that “this is the West African utility industry celebrating its heroes and success stories. It is for the industry and by the industry. We invite all power professionals in the region to send us their nominations and we look forward to sharing their triumphs with their peers. Together we will highlight those companies and executives who have been responsible for pioneering new frontiers, pushing boundaries, for inspiring others and for achieving growth for West Africa.”

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Italy probes $533mn bribe to Nigerian officials, politicians http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/10/02/italy-probes-533mn-bribe-to-nigerian-officials-politicians/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/10/02/italy-probes-533mn-bribe-to-nigerian-officials-politicians/#comments Thu, 02 Oct 2014 06:18:13 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=214291 EFCC: refused to respond to questions sent by Reuters asking about the investigation by Italian prosecutors

EFCC: refused to respond to questions sent by Reuters asking about the investigation by Italian prosecutors

On a day that Nigeria marked its 54th independence anniversary, Italian prosecutors were busy combing the books of state-backed firm Eni SpA over allegations that it bribed Nigerian officials an d politicians in the course of buying of a Nigerian oil block three years ago.

The prosecutors allege that at least half of the $1.1 billion paid was used to bribe local politicians, intermediaries and others, according to official documents and a person close to the investigation.

The Milan prosecutors have placed the Italian oil company, its former chief executive Paolo Scaroni and current CEO Claudio Descalzi under investigation for alleged international corruption surrounding the deal for the OPL 245 offshore oil field concession.

Eni and both managers, neither of whom have been charged, have denied any wrongdoing.

Calling on their UK counterpart to assist in freezing suspect assets, Italian prosecutors said in a letter to the UK’s Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) seen by Reuters that at least $533 million was paid to Nigerian officials and intermediaries who helped secure the sale.

The case has been a setback for the government of Prime Minister Matteo Renzi, because Italy’s 39-year old leader hand-picked company veteran Descalzi to run Eni as part of a recent management overhaul at the country’s state-controlled companies. Renzi has publicly supported Descalzi and said no conclusions should be drawn before the investigation is completed.

Eni and Royal Dutch Shell, which is not under investigation, bought the rights to the OPL 245 offshore oil licence block from the Nigerian government in 2011.

Matteo Renzi, Italy Prime Minister

Matteo Renzi, Italy Prime Minister

Production from the deepwater oil field is expected to begin in 2016 with the field estimated to hold up to 9.23 billion barrels of crude, equivalent to nearly a quarter of the country’s total proven reserves, according to industry figures.

An aide to Renzi told Reuters the case involving Eni, which is Italy’s biggest company by market capitalisation and the state’s biggest asset, was “not a big cause for concern at the moment.”

As part of their investigation, the Italian prosecutors in May asked the UK’s CPS to freeze $85 million in assets related to a Nigerian company, Malabu Oil & Gas, that prosecutors say was involved in the sale, according to a copy of the official request sent by the Milan investigators and seen by Reuters.

Late Sani Abacha: a tyrant as kleptocrat who shut out the middle class

Late Sani Abacha: a tyrant as kleptocrat who shut out the middle class

OWNERSHIP DISPUTE

The OPL 245 block licence has long been the subject of dispute. It was first awarded a decade ago by military dictator Sani Abacha to Malabu Oil & Gas for a publicly-stated $20 million.

After the death of Abacha, a new Nigerian government annulled the deal. Malabu’s licence was reinstated in 2006.

Reuters was not able to locate Malabu for comment, and it is unclear whether the company still exists.

Nigeria’s Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, a government agency, did not reply to questions sent by Reuters asking about the investigation by Italian prosecutors.

Shell, which is not under investigation in any case, released a statement saying: “Shell companies have acted at all times in accordance with both Nigerian law and the terms of the OPL 245 resolution agreement with.”

Reported by Reuters

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DPR sanctions 20 oil marketers in for sharp practices http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/10/01/dpr-sanctions-20-oil-marketers-in-for-sharp-practices/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/10/01/dpr-sanctions-20-oil-marketers-in-for-sharp-practices/#comments Wed, 01 Oct 2014 20:50:37 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=214260 Austin Olorunshola, DPR Director

Austin Olorunshola, DPR Director

The Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) said it had sanctioned 20 petroleum marketers in Abuja in the last one week for engaging in sharp practices.

The DPR Head of Public Relations Unit, Abuja zone, Mr Seidu Mohammed, made this known at a centenary and Independence Day party organised by the department in Abuja.

Mohammed said the marketers were sanctioned for offences ranging from under dispensing, selling above pump price, hoarding and diversion of petroleum products.

He said the marketers were engaged on unwholesome act during and after the recent strike by oil workers.

The spokesman said that during the strike which lasted for five days things went bad and marketers capitalised on the situation to exploit the commuters by manipulating their pumps.

“When you manipulate the pumps, automatically you are either selling above the pump price or under-dispensing by selling at what looks like the correct price. It is unacceptable,” he said.

While warning against diversion and under-dispensing of petroleum products to consumers at the filling stations, he said that DPR’s surveillance teams had been deployed around the city to check the menace.

Mohammed assured petroleum products consumers that oil marketers would not exploit them, saying DPR would ensure that oil users get value for their money at all times.

“We have constituted four teams to comb the nook and crannies of Abuja. We are assuring you that within this week, especially during the festival there is no way we will allow any marketer to defraud the motorists.

“Our staff go out for surveillance every day, including public holidays and weekend, to make sure that marketers sell products to motorist according to the rule and ensure that motorists have value for their money,” he said.

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EFCC witness denies threat to life http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/09/30/efcc-witness-denies-threat-to-life/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/09/30/efcc-witness-denies-threat-to-life/#comments Tue, 30 Sep 2014 15:52:22 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=214086 Henry Ojelu

EFCC operatives on duty

EFCC operatives on duty

A prosecution witness in a N1.1 billion fuel subsidy fraud trial, Mr Kehinde Akinmolayo today denied that his life was under threat as alleged by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

Akinmolayo, a former Terminal Manager of Lister Jetty, Apapa, was on Monday summoned by Justice Lateefat Okunnu of an Ikeja High Court to testify in the trial of the two oil marketers and a banker.

The marketers, Opeyemi Ajuyah and Abdullahi Alao as well as their firms, Majope Investment Ltd. and Axenergy Ltd. are being prosecuted alongside a staff of Sterling Bank Plc, Olanrewaju Olalusi.

On Monday, the EFCC counsel, Mr Rotimi Oyedepo, had claimed that the witness was afraid to appear before the court as his life was being threatened.

However, today, Akinmolayo, under cross-examination by the defence lawyers, Mr Olarenwaju Ajanaku and Mr Aderemi Oguntoye, denied that he was threatened.

“I have not been attacked but I am conscious of my security,” he added.

He further told the court that he supervised the said transaction between Jan. 20 and Jan. 22, 2011.

“The vessel, MT Brave came to our jetty and we attended to it.

“We discharged 4,264 metric tonnes into the tank farm and the balance was taken away,” he said.

Akinmolayo also stated that none of the documents relating to the said transaction were signed by him because he only played a supervisory role.

He said Alao was the finance director of Lister Jetty at the time of the transaction, adding that he was not sacked as alleged by Oguntoye.

Responding, both lawyers accused Akinmolayo of being economical with the truth and that he had been induced to lie against the defendants.

The EFCC alleged that the marketers had discharged 4,264 metric tonnes of Premium Motor Spirits but had collected subsidy payment for 15,000 metric tonnes from the Federal Government of Nigeria.

The matter was adjourned till November 10, 2014 for continuation of trial.

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Oil Subsidy Trial: Court Summons EFCC Witness http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/09/29/oil-subsidy-trial-court-summons-efcc-witness/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/09/29/oil-subsidy-trial-court-summons-efcc-witness/#comments Mon, 29 Sep 2014 13:24:32 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=213876 By Henry Ojelu

EFCC operatives on duty

EFCC operatives on duty

A Lagos High Court Judge, Justice Lateefat Okunnu today issued a witness summon against a witness of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, Engineer Kehinde Akinmoloya in the ongoing trial of an oil marketer, Opeyemi Ajuyah over allegations of fuel subsidy fraud.

Ajuyah and her company, Majope Investment are standing trial alongside another oil marketer, Abdullahi Alao and his company Axe Energy Nigeria Limited and Olanrewaju Olalusi, a staff of Sterling Bank Plc over an alleged N1.1 billion fuel subsidy fraud.

At the resumed hearing of the matter today, EFCC prosecuting counsel, Mr Rotimi Oyedepo told the court that Engr. Akimolayan, who is a principal witness in the trial, has refused to honour invitations to give evidence in the matter.

Oyedepo claimed that the witness had alleged that some persons were after his life and only recently attempted to gain entrance into his residential building.

He said that despite several assurances, the witness has remained adamant on not showing up before the court to given evidence in the case.

Oyedepo prayed the court to issue a witness summon against the witness before the next adjourned date of the trial.

Justice Okunnu subsequently granted the request and directed the court register to issue a summon against the witness.

Earlier in the trial, an EFCC witness, Mr Effa Okim was re-examined on his initial testimony before the court.

Okim, had on May 27 testified that the defendants had claimed that they imported 15,000 metric tonnes of PMS and thereafter collected subsidy payment.

Okim, an EFCC investigative officer said it was later discovered that the ship, MT Brave, only discharged 4,264 metric tonnes at the Lister Jetty in Apapa.

According to him, the remaining product was diverted to an unknown destination which eventually implicated the company in the subsidy fraud.

However, cross-examining Okim, Ajuyah’s counsel, Mr Olarenwaju Ajanaku, argued that the EFCC failed to do a thorough investigation of the transaction.

Mr Aderemi Oguntoye, counsel to the 3rd and 4th defendant in the matter, today however requested and was granted permission to cross examine the witness based on some new document which he tendered before the court.

During the cross examination, Okim insisted that the said document were authentic and formed part of witness statement taken during the course of his investigation.

The matter was adjourned till tomorrow for further trial.

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Canada’s Encana agrees to buy Texas oil for $7.1 bn http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/09/29/canadas-encana-agrees-to-buy-texas-oil-for-7-1-bn/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/09/29/canadas-encana-agrees-to-buy-texas-oil-for-7-1-bn/#comments Mon, 29 Sep 2014 12:24:59 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=213858 Encana chief Doug Suttles

Encana chief Doug Suttles

Canadian energy company Encana on Monday said it has agreed to buy Texas’s Athlon Energy for $7.1 billion, in a bid boost the Calgary-based natural gas producer’s shift into oil.

Encana would pay $5.93 billion in cash for the US company, as well as assume $1.15 billion of Athlon’s debt, according to a statement.

The proposed price, $58.50 a share, is 25 percent higher than Athlon’s Friday closing price on the New York Stock Exchange of $46.73.

Athlon currently produces 30,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day in the Permian basin, a key oil-producing region in western Texas.

After the takeover, Encana hopes to meet its target of generating up to 75 percent of operating cash flow from liquids production, including oil and natural gas liquids, next year instead of 2017.

Encana started as a natural gas producer but it has been shifting its priorities toward oil as the North American gas market has become saturated with the boom in shale gas.

“This transformative acquisition further accelerates our strategy and provides us with a prime position in what is widely acknowledged as one of North America’s top oil plays,” says Encana chief Doug Suttles.

The company said it sees potential for another 5,000 oil wells in the Permian basin, which could produce up the three billion barrels of oil equivalent.

According to the terms of the agreement, shareholders will have 20 trading days in October to decide whether to sell their shares to Encana at the deal price, and the acquisition should be completed by the end of the year.

Encana also said Athlon executives and the structures linked to Apollo investment fund have already pledged to sell their shares, which represent a total of 35.8 percent of the company.

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Governors of NDDC states to tackle poor funding of the commission http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/09/28/governors-of-nddc-states-to-tackle-poor-funding-of-the-commission/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/09/28/governors-of-nddc-states-to-tackle-poor-funding-of-the-commission/#comments Sun, 28 Sep 2014 17:45:55 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=213797 Jethro Ibileke/Asaba

Emmanuel Uduaghan, Governor of Delta State and NDDC Chairman

Emmanuel Uduaghan, Governor of Delta State and NDDC Chairman

The Advisory Council Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) has resolved to urgently address the funding challenges facing the commission so as to reposition it for better service delivery the people of the region.

The Advisory Council which comprised of governors of the nine Niger Delta States of Delta, Edo, Rivers, Cross River, Akwa Ibom, Bayelsa, Ondo, Imo and Abia has Dr. Emmanuel Uduaghan of Delta State as its chairman.

The Council which met Saturday night at the New Government House, Asaba, also decried the attitude of some oil majors who defaulted on their funding obligations to the commission thus stalling the commission’s activities.

The Governor of Ondo State, Dr. Olusegun Mimiko who briefed the press after the meeting said that the meeting has provided the Council an opportunity to look into the funding challenges, programmes and budget of the Commission.

He stated that the Advisory Council also looked at ways to leverage the outstanding funds from some of the oil majors who have defaulted on their funding obligations to the commission.

“We got a briefing from the Chairman of the Commission on the funding challenges facing the commission and we are ready to see how we can assist in resolving some of these challenges and how we can (recover) some of the outstanding funds from the oil majors,” Mimiko stated.

Mimiko explained that the Advisory Council also looked at the projects undertaken by the Commission and urged the NDDC Board to place emphasis on legacy projects that would create jobs for the people of the Niger Delta region and sustain the economy of the region beyond oil.‎

The Chairman of the Board, Mr. Dan Bassey Abia in an interview said that the meeting has provided an opportunity to resolve the problems facing the commission stressing that “we have started a new NDDC, things are getting better”.

Besides Mimiko, others in attendance are Governors Theodore Orji of Abia, Seriake Dickson of Bayelsa, Liyel Imoke of Cross Rivers, the host Governor, Dr Emmanuel Uduaghan and the Secretary to the Imo State Government who represented governor, Owele Rochas Okorocha.

Also in attendance are members of the Board and management of the NDDC.

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Boko Haram dims hopes of crude oil exploration in the north http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/09/28/boko-haram-dims-hopes-of-crude-oil-exploration-in-the-north/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/09/28/boko-haram-dims-hopes-of-crude-oil-exploration-in-the-north/#comments Sun, 28 Sep 2014 05:57:59 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=213748 Governor Kashim Shettima of Borno State

Governor Kashim Shettima of Borno State

Social and economic development has long been touted as the way to revive the fortunes of Nigeria’s impoverished north and prevent legions of disaffected young men turning to radical Islam.

But Boko Haram violence has scuppered progress, particularly from one potentially lucrative source of revenue — the oil found under the Lake Chad Basin in the country’s far northeast.

Nigeria struck black gold in the Kukawa area of Borno state in 2012, with estimates that 100 billion cubic metres of deposits lie beneath the lake and its arid hinterland.

The discovery raised hopes not just because of its potential to transform the region economically but to also help boost Nigeria’s oil reserves by three billion barrels to 40 billion barrels.

But the former head of the state-run Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Andrew Yakubu, said in March that plans to start production had been put on hold because of the conflict.

Geologists, engineers and other technical staff quit while the country’s main oil unions warned workers to stay away, putting paid to extraction and further exploration.

“We have advised our members to avoid the northeast because we don’t want them to be killed by the lawless group,” said Babatunde Oke of the white-collar oil workers union PENGASSAN.

A senior NNPC official said efforts were ongoing to make the region safe for oil workers, against a backdrop of militant gains of towns and villages across the states of Yobe, Borno and Adamawa.

Boko Haram Gunmen

Boko Haram Gunmen

“For now, the plan is on hold because of the Boko Haram unrest,” he told AFP.

“But the GMD (group managing director) Joseph Dawha is in talks with (the) Nigeria airforce to ensure safe exploration in the Chad Basin.”

Five years of relentless violence in northeast Nigeria has claimed thousands of lives and made hundreds of thousands of others homeless.

The former governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Lamido Sanusi, now the Emir of Kano, said this month that investment in the north was key to preventing radicalisation.

For Mustapha Ibrahim, a political scientist at Yobe State University, oil in particular could help reduce poverty, unemployment and lack of education which fuel radical recruitment.

“We need to address this social malaise to effectively tackle Boko Haram and this can be achieved with the judicious use of money from oil in the Chad Basin when oil production finally starts,” he said.

“The oil money will facilitate job and employment generation, mass education opportunities and other social and economic programmes which will in the long run do away with the factors responsible for the Boko Haram violence raging now.”

Boko Haram wants to carve out a hardline Islamic state in Nigeria but there have been no serious suggestions that its insurgency is driven by oil.

“There is no evidence that Boko Haram or their associates are motivated by a desire for control of oil,” said Andrew Noakes, coordinator of the Nigeria Security Network of analysts.

“The insurgency is driven primarily by ideological, religious, and socio-economic grievances rather than pursuit of financial gain.”

Nevertheless, in the maelstrom of rumours that is Nigerian politics, there have been claims that some northern leaders have been fuelling the rebellion for personal economic gain.

One theory is that no oil extraction can be carried out as long as there is instability in Nigeria’s northeast, giving neighbouring Chad free rein to pump out crude from the shared basins in the region from its side of the border.

If and when the conflict ends, analysts say it will be vital to learn from the mistakes made in the Niger Delta region, where most of the country’s oil is currently produced.

The Delta has been wracked by violence while decades of corruption and mismanagement have done little to improve the lives of ordinary people, despite the billions the industry produces.

“Everything must be done to avoid the resource curse,” said Debo Adeniran, from the Coalition Against Corrupt Leaders, a pressure group. “Oil should be a blessing rather than a curse.”

Only good governance and accountability will bring the insurgency to an end, according to Ibrahim, warning that the stakes are high for Africa’s biggest oil producer.

“If that is not done Boko Haram may never end,” he said.

“The present crop may be defeated now but in a few years another disgruntled group may rise under different cover because the factors that breed such criminal groups are still with us”.

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