Alleged Money Laundering: Court Grants Yakubu Bail

Alleged Money Laundering: Court Grants Former NNPC GMD, Andrew Yakubu Bail EFCCA former Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (GMD NNPC), Mr Andrew Yakubu, has been granted bail in the sum of 300 million Naira.

Mr Yakubu is facing a six-count charge of money laundering preferred against him by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

The charges were all in relation to the money allegedly recovered from his house in Kaduna State on February 3.

Following his arraignment on March 16, Justice Ahmed Mohammed of the Federal High Court in Abuja had ordered that the former NNPC boss be remanded in Kuje Prison.

Ruling on the defendant’s bail application, Justice Mohammed observed that he has no reason to believe that Mr Yakubu would jump bail.

He then proceeded to grant him bail for 300 million Naira with two sureties in like sum.

The judge said the sureties must own properties which must worth the bail sum within the Federal Capital Territory.

He, however, refused to grant the prayer of the defence counsel for an order to release the accused person’s international passport, which was said to be in the EFCC custody.

Justice Mohammed ordered Mr Yakubu to remain in prison pending when the defendant would meet the bail conditions.

He also adjourned until May 9 for the commencement of trial.

NNPC Is Not Unbundled But Reorganised – Kachikwu

Ibe-Kachikwu-Minister-Petroleum-in-NigeriaThe Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu, says the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) has not been unbundled.

Addressing reporters after the Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting held on Wednesday, the Minister said the corporation was only being reorganised.

He said NNPC had five business entities – upstream, downstream, refineries, gas and power – with focus on business and that they were there before.

“We did not unbundle NNPC. The NNPC is still a whole, but there are companies that were not having proper stewardship.

“They are run by individuals who report to the Group Managing Director and therefore needed to be looked at,” he said.

Dr. Kachikwu admitted that the engagement, “perhaps has not been good enough”, promising to discuss with stakeholders and resolve the issues.

He said he was concerned that the industry had been shut down, assuring reporters that the issues would be resolved.

Seven Sub-divisions

He had on Tuesday announced the creation of seven sub-divisions which the NNPC would be broken into in the coming days.

Dr. Kachikwu said that the NNPC would not be unbundled into 30 subsidiaries as reported in the media, but will rather be broken into upstream, downstream, refineries, gas and power, ventures, finance and corporate services.

Dr. Kachikwu’s statement is aimed at addressing issues that had started after media reports quoted him to have said that the NNPC would be unbundled.

Kaduna-Refinery-plant-refinery-nnpc
Refineries have been shut down, as unions express displeasure with the purported unbundling of the NNPC

In reaction to the purported statement, the National Union Of Petroleum & Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG) and Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (PENGASSAN) asked their members at various refineries in the nation to down tools.

In compliance, Port Harcourt Refinery and  all NNPC facilities in Rivers State have been shut down.

The unions said there were not just concerned about the purported unbundling process which lacked due process, but other labour matters that needed the attention of the Federal Government.

Also in response to the purported unbundling, the House of Representatives has also mandated a joint committee of the House to prevent the Minister from usurping the powers of the legislature by attempting to unbundle the NNPC without legislative approval.

The motion, sponsored by Honourable Agom Jarigbe, advised President Muhammadu Buhari to send an executive bill to the National Assembly if he intended to unbundle the NNPC or carry out any fundamental reforms in the oil and gas sector.

Fuel Queues Reappear In Ogun, Edo

fuel There are growing concerns among residents and motorists in Ogun and Edo state following the return of fuel queues in most petrol stations.

In Abeokuta, long queues of vehicles were sighted at the capital city with motorist struggling for the product at the service points.

There were also people with jerry cans hoping to get the product either as use in their vehicles or generators to power their homes.

Some stations remained deserted as a result of non-availability of the product.

It was the same situation in Benin City where long queues have also been seen around the city.

Some of the motorists complained of difficulty in getting petrol, asking the federal government to intervene in order to bring the situation under control.

The NNPC had given assurances that it has enough supply and had warned buyers against panic buying.

Residents have, however, appealed to the authority concerned to do the needful in bringing the situation under control for the good of the residents

Stop Panic Buying, NNPC Urges Nigerians

NNPCThe Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) has urged Nigerians to stop the panic buying of petrol across the country.

Most filling stations in Abuja and other parts of the country have been inundated with cars forming long queues in an attempt to get petrol.

However, in a statement signed by the Spokesman of the NNPC, Mr Ohi Alegbe, the NNPC said that there is adequate product to last the country for 23 days.

The statement put the quantity of petrol stock at over 927 million litres.

The statement further warned marketers not to engage in products hoarding and diversion as the monitoring committee from the Pipeline and Products Marketing Company (PPMC) is empowered to sanction anyone engaging in sharp practices.

The NNPC had on Monday said that there was no iota of truth in the news making the rounds that the organisation had reduced the pump price of fuel.

The Group General Manager of NNPC, Ohi Aligbe told Channels Television on Monday that stories about the pump price being reduced has gone viral on the internet, but maintained that pump price of petrol remains 87 naira per litre.

NNPC Denies Slashing Petrol Pump Price

NNPC The NNPC says there is no iota of truth in the news making the rounds that the organisation has reduced the pump price of fuel.

The Group General Manager of NNPC, Ohi Aligbe told Channels Television on Monday that stories about the pump price being reduced has gone viral on the internet, but maintained that pump price of petrol remains 87 naira per litre.

He called the rumour the handiwork of detractors, saying that the management is not contemplating price reduction as at now.

Nigerian Refineries Producing At 30 Per Cent, Says NNPC Boss

Emmanuel-Ibe-Kachikwu-nnpcThe Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Dr. Ibe Kachikwu, has said that NNPC would have sold all the refineries, but for the intervention of the President.

He told journalists in Lagos that the refineries are mostly producing at 30 per cent capacity, whereas he would have wished they were producing at a minimum capacity of 60 per cent.

The NNPC boss lamented the fact that the refineries had obsolete equipment as a result of their age, but added that his vision of making the corporation run like a company is refocusing the refineries.

Mr. Kachikwu also told journalists on Friday that as from Saturday, the Nigerian Army would begin to monitor the nation’s pipelines, beginning with the one in Arepo, Ogun State.

He further warned Nigerians against vandalising pipelines, saying it is the collective wealth of the nation.

Warri Refinery Gets 90-Day Ultimatum To Resume Full Production

Emmanuel-Ibe-Kachikwu-warriThe Group Managing Director (GMD) of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Dr. Emmanuel Ibe Kachikwu has given the management of Warri Refineries and Petrochemicals 90 days to resume full production.

The GMD told Journalists on Thursday after a facility tour of Warri refinery that the establishment must produce 125,000 barrels of crude oil per day, on or before 60 days from now.

The GMD explained that he is ready to provide the management with the facilities to work, but they must fast-track the production process.

According to him, “whatever you need to do to get your refinery back on track, please do it now because this is the time”.

“It’s a 90 days fast-track programme. And whatever you need me to do to make that happen, let me know,” Kachikwu said.

The Warri refinery was commissioned in 1978.

The NNPC boss had earlier expressed optimism that fuel importation will reduce, with the commencement of production at the Port Harcourt refinery

Fuel Importation To Reduce As Port Harcourt, Warri Refineries Begin Operation

Refinery-KadunaThe Group Managing Director (GMD) of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Dr. Ibe Kachikwu, is optimistic that fuel importation will reduce, with the commencement of production at the Port Harcourt refinery.

He said that the Port Harcourt refinery was producing five million litres of petrol every day and that the refinery in Warri, Delta State, would begin production soon.

The NNPC boss made the revelation to reporters on Wednesday during a visit to the Port Harcourt refinery in Alesa Eleme, in Rivers State.

Fuel Importation Reduction

According to Mr Kachikwu, the production rate signifies that fuel importation will reduce significantly from now on.

He also said that before the end of the week, the Warri refinery will also resume production.

The GMD explained that the target of the NNPC was to ensure that all states’ refineries would begin to refine petroleum products, with operation at full capacity.

“All the refineries put together could supply 20 million litres of petrol on daily basis,” he said.

He also hinted that “when all the pipelines across Nigeria are fixed, the Nigerian Air Force will be engaged to provide aerial survey of the pipelines.

The GMD then told Journalists that a major plan was on the way to unbundle the pipelines and products marketing into three different companies that would focus primarily on maintenance of the pipelines and all the 23 depots across the country.

APC Kicks Against Removal Of Petroleum Corporation’s Boss

apcThe Kaduna State chapter of the opposition All Progressives Congress (APC) in Nigeria has frowned at President Goodluck Jonathan over what it described as the ‘unceremonious removal’ of the Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Mr Andrew Yakubu.

Mr Yakubu was unexpectedly shacked on August 1.

The political party, under the umbrella of APC Justice Forum, said it viewed the removal of the former Group Managing Director as the height of betrayal of the people of Kaduna State, especially, the Southern Kaduna Senatorial District that stood firmly behind the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) since 1999.

‘Party Of Godfatherism’

The Secretary of the Forum, Mr Mohammed Soba, in a statement in Kaduna on Sunday, said the party was aware of a planned rally for President Jonathan which was slated for last Saturday without the involvement of the Vice President Namadi Sambo and the Kaduna State Governor, Mukhtar Yero, noting that the removal of the ex-NNPC boss had further exposed the PDP as a ‘party of godfatherism’.

The statement further read: “The unceremonious removal of Yakubu has exposed the contradictions within the PDP political family in which godfatherism and negative political backstabbing have taken the centre stage against equity, fairness and sense of political decency”.

Mr Sabo, however, stated that no reason was adduced for Yakubu’s removal because none could be justified in view of the fact that Yakubu had one more year for his tenure to expire either by reason of reaching the mandatory 60 years of age or putting in 35 years in service.

He further said that the Kaduna APC chapter’s Justice Forum therefore condemned the premature removal of the son of Kaduna State, Mr Yakubu, which portrays the PDP as unjust and insensitive to the political solidarity and patronage it enjoys from the good people of Southern Kaduna.

Disciplined Economy Will Revamp Nigeria’s Automobile Industry

The Nigerian government has been advised to maintain a disciplined economy as a key element in revamping the manufacturing sector.

The sector is currently contributing 3.98 per cent to the GDP, a percentage that analysts said was too low, against an expected 40 per cent.

In a bid to boost the sector’s GDP, the Nigerian government, few weeks ago, announced plans to increase the tariff on imported cars by January 2014, a strategy that the Acting Director General, Manufacturing Association of Nigeria, Mr Rasheed Adegbenro, described as healthy for the growth of the manufacturing sector and the Nigerian economy.

“The posture of the current government is encouraging. The latest automotive policy is a good one because automobile import has topped Nigeria’s import bills, a sad note for economic planning and management,” Mr Adegbenro pointed out.

Mr Adegbenro and the Group Managing Director, Dunlop Nigeria Plc, Mr Mohammed Yinusa, were analysts on Tuesday’s Business Morning, a programme of Channels Television.

Analysing the possible impact the proposed increase in import duties will have on the economy, Mr Adegbero said that the policy would bring the expected improvement in the manufacturing sector.

“When the domestic assembling plant becomes operational and desired volume is achieved, the linkage industries to the auto sector are so enormous and the effect is that they would push up industrial production by as much as 40 per cent. This will create jobs.

“If the auto plants are able to produce the required volume, other industries producing the components required for production of a car, which are over 2,000, would benefit from the production,” he said.

Mr Yinusa stressed the need for the government to address the power issue and ensure that power is constant, as it was a backbone to such assembling.

The Nigerian government had said that the cost price of the expected vehicles would be 1.2 million Naira, a development critics said could lead to use of inferior materials in the production of the vehicles.

But Mr Yinusa dismissed the criticism saying that the law of demand and supply and competition would compel the manufacturing companies to ensure that the materials used would be of standard.

“The law of demand and supply will control the price. When competition sets in, the consumer laughs last. Share competition will push the price down,” he said.

Mr Adegbenro also emphasised that the quality of the vehicle would not be compromised, since the sector was driven by volume.

Both men, however, emphasised the need for the government to ensure that things would be done right, as laxity in the implementation of the policy would ruin the effort.

With the plan in place, the Nigerian government is looking to thread a new future that will bring the country back to an era where manufacturing will grow for the benefit of the entire economy.

The strategy is part of the government’s policies aimed at creating an enabling environment for investment in car manufacturing and provide jobs for the unemployed youths.

Car assembling in Nigeria dates back to 1959, when the UAC established a plant, through one of its departments, Niger Motors, to produce Bedford trucks using semi-knocked down kits.