Buhari Remains Minister Of Petroleum

President Muhammadu Buhari; National Leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Bola Tinubu, Adams Oshiomhole during after the swearing-in of the Ministers on Wednesday, August 21.

 

President Muhammadu Buhari has retained his position as the Minister of Petroleum Resources.

Buhari made this disclosure while assigning portfolios to the new Ministers after they took the oath of office on Wednesday.

READ ALSO: Mamman Becomes Minister Of Power, Fashola To Handle Works And Housing

The President announced Timipre Sylva (Bayelsa State) as the Minister of State, Petroleum and noted that “under the President”.

Other ministers who retained their portfolio include:

Adamu Adamu (Education)

Geoffrey Onyeama (Foreign Affairs)

Hadi Sirika (Aviation)

Abubakar Malami (Justice)

Lai Mohammed (Information)

Rotimi Amaechi (Transport)

Ogbonnaya Onu (Science and Technology)

*Babatunde Fashola’s ministry was split into two. He is now the Minister for Works and Housing.

Click here for the full list of the Ministers.

Court Orders Forfeiture Of Diezani’s Properties Worth $4.760million

Court To Hear Diezani's Application To Be Joined As Defendant
File photo: Diezani Alison-Madueke

A Federal High Court Sitting in Lagos, has ordered the temporary forfeiture of two penthouses valued at $4.760million and linked to the former Minister of Petroleum, Diezani Alison-Madueke.

Justice Mojisola Olatoregun, ordered that the two properties: Penthouse 21 building 5, Block C, 11th floor (Bella Vista Estate) Banana Island, Ikoyi, and Penthouse 22, Block B (Admiralty Estate) also in Ikoyi, Lagos, be forfeited to the Federal Government pending the conclusion of EFCC’s investigation into the ownership of the properties which it reasonably believes were procured with proceeds of crime.

The EFCC in an Ex parte application brought for the forfeiture of the properties lists Diezani Alison-Madueke, Donald Amagbo, Schillenburg LLC, and Sequoyah Property Limited, as respondents.

More details shortly…

Alleged Diezani Bribe: INEC Director Pleads Guilty To Receipt

Alleged Diezani Bribe: INEC Director,Christian Nwosu Pleads Guilty To ReceiptA Director of Administration at the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Christian Nwosu, on Wednesday pleaded guilty to a charge of receiving 30 million Naira for the purpose of manipulating the outcome of the 2015 general elections.

He allegedly received the sum out of a total of 264.88 million Naira purportedly used by the former Minister of Petroleum, Diezani Allison-Madueke, to bribe some officers of the electoral body ahead of the conduct of the elections.

The EFCC Prosecutor, Rotimi Oyedepo, told the court that the money is a small fraction of a larger sum of $115 million, which the former Petroleum Minister allegedly diverted.

The INEC Director has given useful information to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

He also surrendered the title document of a landed property he acquired with the funds for 25 million Naira in Delta State, with another five million Naira already recovered from his account.

After reviewing the facts, Justice Mohammed Idris of the Federal High Court, Lagos, subsequently found him guilty of the offence and convicted him.

The judge, however, deferred his sentence till Friday, April 7.

EFCC Urges Final Forfeiture Of Funds Allegedly Diverted By Allison-Madueke

Diezani Allison-Madueke, EFCC, Court, Diverted Funds, Dauda LawalThe Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has told a Federal High Court in Lagos State that an Executive Director of First Bank Plc, Mr Dauda Lawal, allegedly laundered funds on behalf of former Minister of Petroleum, Mrs Diezani Allison-Madueke.

The counsel representing the EFCC, Mr Rotimi Oyedepo, made the revelation on Tuesday while responding to a counter affidavit by the bank official.

Mr Lawal is seeking to discharge an interim forfeiture order of the sum of 9.08 billion naira.

About three weeks ago, Justice Muslim Hassan issued an interim order of forfeiture of the sum of $153 million to the Federal Government, following an ‘exparte application’ filed by the EFCC.

The EFCC linked the funds to Mrs Allison-Madueke.

The court had also issued 14 days to any interested party to appear and prove the legitimacy of the monies, failing which the funds would be permanently forfeited to the government.

At the resumed hearing of the case on Tuesday, Mr Charles Adeogun-Phillips announced appearance for Mr Lawal who is joined as respondent in the suit.

In his arguments before the court, Mr Adeogun-Phillips challenged the forfeiture order and urged the court to issue an order, directing a refund of the sum of 9.08 billion naira to his client, on the grounds that same was obtained by coercion.

He argued that his client admitted having received the sum of $25 million in clear dispensation of his duties, but was purportedly coerced by the commission to further admit receiving a total of $65 million.

The 9.08 billion naira represents the naira equivalent of the difference of $40 million which Mr Lawal said he was also made to give up after being coerced.

EFCC Counsel, Mr Oyedepo, however, challenged the claims and insisted that the First Bank boss allegedly conspired with some other persons to launder funds on behalf of Mrs Allison-Madueke.

He urged the court to order a final forfeiture of the $153 million and the 9.08 billion naira already surrendered by the respondent, to the government.

After listening to all the lawyers, Justice Hassan fixed the February 16 for judgment.

Nigerian Government Responds To Call For Petrol Price Increase

Nigerian government on petrol price and increase demandThe Nigerian government says it will not increase the pump price of petrol despite a demand that it should consider the removal of the price cap.

This is coming as a reaction to a request made by the forum of former Group Managing Directors of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) on Sunday.

They had called for the removal of the price cap of 145 Naira per litre, which was set in May by the Minister of Petroleum, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu, insisting that it was not harmonious with the liberalisation policy of the Federal Government.

A statement by the NNPC’S spokesman, Mr Garba Mohammed, said the 145 Naira per litre price cap did not go well together with the liberalisation policy when factors such as the foreign exchange rate, crude cost and Nigerian Ports Authority charges remain uncapped.

The price cap had been set when the dollar exchange rate at the parallel market was less than 300 Naira, with the government saying the decision was to ensure that marketers do not sell petrol at their desired price.

Giving the government’s position on the request for price review, the acting Executive Secretary the Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency (PPPRA), Sotonye Iyoyo, said that the agency would not accept the advice.

Mrs Iyoyo pointed out that the proposal was the personal opinion of the former Group Managing Directors of the NNPC.

“I am not aware that the government is planning any fuel price increase. We are in a liberalised market already,” she insisted.

On his part, the spokesman for the NNPC, Garba Mohammed, also described the advice, saying it was just an “opinion”.

The former Group Managing Directors of the NNPC  also expressed concern over the declining production level of crude oil in Nigeria and its consequences on the environment and the nation’s revenue.

They fear that if the current situation is left unchecked, it could lead to the crippling of the NNPC and the nation’s oil and gas sector.

Nigeria’s crude oil production had dipped by 700,000 barrels per day (bpd) to 1.56 million bpd in the last few months due to attacks on oil installations in the Niger Delta region.

A group that calls itself the Niger Delta Avengers has claimed responsibility for most of the attacks.

It had, however, few weeks ago, said it had agreed to a ceasefire and was ready for negotiations with the Federal Government.

Babangida Says His Oil And Gas Vision Will Continue To Flourish

Ibrahim-Babangida-Niger-Oil-and-GasThe former Head of State, General Ibrahim Babangida (Rtd), says that his vision in the oil and gas industry will continue to flourish.

General Babangida says this is because his administration considered petroleum very important during his tenure.

He made the statement on Tuesday when he received the Controller of the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) in Niger State, Engineer Abdullahi Jankara, at his residence in Minna.

“I appreciate the evolution of history of petroleum in the country because I consider it very important during our tenure.

“We discussed a lot with my Minister of Petroleum, Professor Jibrin Aminu and our vision is still working and will continue to flourish,” he said.

The former military President appreciated the visit of the DPR boss and commended the efforts put in place in oil and gas sector.

He assured the DPR of maximum support and assistance from the people of Niger State who he said are known for peace and for Nigeria’s development.

The Babangida-led administration established the only petrochemical industry in Nigeria situated in Eleme, Port Harcourt which Nigeria relies on till date.

Mr Jankara, in his remarks, applauded the machinery put in place by the former military President’s administration.

He described the former Head of State as a visionary leader, adding that it was his vision for the establishment of the two deports in the state that led to the citing of DPR in Niger State.

The DPR official also visited the palace of the Emir of Minna, HRM Umar Faruk Bahago, to seek his royal blessings.

He said that those involved in the distribution of petroleum have begun to appreciate the work of DPR in the state unlike when they were unaware of the benefits of licensing their business.

HRH Bahago also appreciated the foresight of General Babangida and that of the present administration for their vision at every level to succeed. He assured the DPR of his support.

NNPC Says Petrol Is Enough To Go Round

FUEL-SUBSIDY-FRAUD-IN-NIGERIA-2The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) says it has added 688 million litres of petrol in the market, dousing fears raised by scarcity witnessed in some states.

The corporation’s spokesman, Mr Ohi Alegbe, in a statement, said there was no need for panic buying which he said might be the reason for the recent artificial fuel scarcity.

“The Corporation is working with all downstream industry stakeholders to eliminate the noticeable artificially induced fuel queues in some fuel stations,” the statement read.

He assured Nigerians that the NNPC had enough products to go round for use across the country and advised against panic buying and hoarding of petroleum products.

Residents in some states in Nigeria are facing hard times getting petrol, which they highly rely on to power electricity generating sets for businesses and for home use.

Earlier on friday, residents of Ekiti State in western Nigeria called for an end to the artificial fuel scarcity gradually beginning to take its toll on business activities in the state.

The ongoing artificial fuel scarcity is gradually going round the 36 states of the federation, with Ekiti State witnessing long queues of motorists trying to purchase fuel.

The Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria in Ekiti State told reporters on Friday that nothing could be done ‘until the depot price is reduced’.

Court Places Clause On Lawmakers’ Investigation Of Diezani

PowerA Federal High Court in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital city, has set aside the letter of invitation issued by the House of Representatives to the Minister of Petroleum, Mrs Diezani Allison-Madueke, to appear before the House to account for the 10 billion Naira allegedly spent by her on a private aircraft charter .

The court voided the invitation by the House on the ground that condition precedent in line with section 88 of the constitution were bridged by the lawmakers

The condition were that the House has to publish in the National Assembly journal and the gazette of the Federal Government the resolution directing the probe of the minister.

Justice Ahmed Mohammed, in the judgment, held that until the conditions precedent are followed ,the National Assembly cannot issue summon on any public officer for the purpose of investigation.

However, the court ruled that in the instant case, the permission of the President was not needed before the Minister could appear before the House, because the allegation against the Minister was on unofficial use of public fund to charter private aircraft .

The court, however, advised the minister or any public officer to always honour invitations once the conditions precedence are followed because the National Assembly has power to summon any public officer.

Allison-Madueke Speaks On Oil Pump Price, Her OPEC Role

Alison-MaduekeThe newly elected President of the Organization Of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), Mrs Diezani Allison-Madueke, has said that her greatest challenge as the OPEC President would be to stabilize the dwindling oil prices.

In an interview with state house correspondent after making her first appearance in the Federal Executive Council, following her new position, Mrs Allison-Madueke described the times as very challenging for the OPEC.

She said that Nigeria was not the only country that has introduced measures to cushion the effect, citing other oil producing countries like Venezuela, Iran and even Russia.

According to her, she would be monitoring the situation at close range. She called for extra ordinary meetings of the organization to fashion out strategies to tackle the situation.

In what looks like an answer to critics of her new position, Mrs Allison-Madueke gave credit to President Goodluck Jonathan who in the first place deemed it fit to appoint a woman as the Petroleum Minister of Nigeria which subsequently led to the new OPEC position.

Reps Summon Petroleum Minister, NNPC GMD

Petroleum MinisterThe Joint Committee of the House Of Representatives On Petroleum has summoned the Minister of Petroleum, Diezani Alison-Madueke and the Group Managing Director of the NNPC, Dr. Joseph Dawah, over the ongoing strike by oil workers in the country.

The committee took this decision after their planned meeting on the matter could not hold as those invited failed to turn up.

While the Petroleum Minister gave no reasons for her absence, the GMD, NNPC, sent a letter to the committee that the matter was an “internal” matter and that they were working towards a resolution.

The House resolved to invite the two officials for another meeting in the coming week, after a debate on the matter.

 

Clergies Blame Government For Oil Theft In Niger delta

John Onaiyekan Bishop
Bishop John Onaiyekan urged the government to act fast and check the oil theft affecting the Niger delta adversely

The Catholic Bishops in Nigeria have blamed government agencies and oil companies for the massive crude oil theft and poverty in the Niger Delta region.

Speaking at a meeting of stakeholders on Tuesday held in Abuja , the nation’s capital, the presiding Bishop, John Onaiyekan, criticised the government for not doing enough to reduce crude oil stolen daily which was estimated at 150, 000 barrels per day.

The Nigerian Navy recently confirmed that the nation loses about 20 billion dollars to crude oil theft annually.

Various local and international organisations have echoed this report, prompting the presidency to promise an end to the situation that has depleted the revenue generated from crude oil exploration.

Bishops, who have frequently visited these communities over years, said that government’s efforts appear fragile as activities like illegal refining had continued unabated.

The Archbishop of Abuja, Bishop Onaiyekan cited reasons behind the growing oil theft and spillage in the community while a Special Adviser to Bayelsa State Governor, Nemo Samaima, said the scars of the activities were unmistakable and had continued to threaten the livelihood of millions of people in the region.

In his reaction, the Group General Manager, Public Affairs Division, Mr Ohi Alegbe, said the issue had remained on the front burner of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation’s operation and that the Minister of Petroleum was working assiduously with a security committee to combat crude oil theft.

Question however continues as to whether or not these interventions by the government are yielding the desired impact on the people, whose farmland and source of livelihood are destroyed by illegal mining activities.

 

FG Approves Third Quarter Fuel Import Allocation

Minister of Petroleum, Diezani Alison-Madueke
Minister of Petroleum, Diezani Alison-Madueke

The Federal Government on Saturday announced that it has approved the third quarter fuel import allocation to allow oil marketers bring in the petroleum products into Nigeria.‬

The approval and release of the import allocation was done by the Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs. Diezani Allison-Madueke.

In a statement issued by the spokesperson, Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency, Mr. Lanre Oladele, said the approval was in line with the Federal Government’s plans in the downstream oil and gas sector to sustain petroleum products availability at PPPRA-regulated price.

He said the decision was to show to all Nigerians that the Federal Government was committed to its promise of ensuring sustained products availability across the country, and at government approved-price.

The PPPRA said apart from facilitating an improved national PMS supply situation and stock buildup, which is now put at 35-days sufficiency (Land – 19 and Marine – 16), the latest directive by the Minister was also to enable marketers make adequate preparations towards products sourcing and importation.

An oil marketer, while commenting on the development, said the approval came at the right time. He said, “The early release will allow us enough time to put our acts together for the purpose of importation.

In all honesty, we all had thought that a similar early release of the Q2 (second quarter) allocation was politically-motivated in order to placate frayed nerves, given the uproar that greeted the late release of Q1 allocation.” The PPPRA management appealed to all oil marketers to reciprocate government’s gestures, by commencing the process of products purchase on time, in order to forestall any form of future shortages.

It promised to ensure prompt processing of documents for all imported products duly brought into the country