$26bn Fraud Allegations: Party Seeks Kachikwu’s Resignation, NNPC GMD’s Suspension

Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Dr Ibe Kachikwu, and NNPC Group Managing Director, Dr Maikanti Baru

More reactions have continued to trail the recent letter written by the Minister of State for Petroleum Dr Ibe Kackiwku to President Muhammadu Buhari.

Kackiwku in the letter alleged that the Group Managing Director of the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Maikanti Baru awarded contracts amounting to $26 billion without following due process.

The national secretary of the Action Democratic Party (ADP), James Okoroma speaking in Abuja, called on the Kackiwku to resign his appointment due to the alleged rot in a parastatal under his supervision.

The party is also calling on President Buhari to suspend Baru for alleged violation of the public procurement act, 2007.

READ ALSO: Kachikwu Keeps Mum After Meeting With Buhari

The National Secretary of the party, James Okoroma said, “In view of the seriousness of the allegations made by the Minister and the dangers they pose to the economy and image of our nation, we demand the image suspension of the NNPC GMD to enable investigations to commence.

“The Minister of State for Petroleum, Dr Ibe Kackiwku should come out bold and resign his appointment having become a stranger in president Buhari’s cabinet.”

The group also called for the reversal of the all the decisions taken so far by the NNPC GMD which the group claimed are in breach of the public procurement act.

OPEC Loses $1trn To Oil Decline In Two Years

OPECThe Secretary General of the Organization Of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), Mr Mohammed Barkindo, says member countries have lost one trillion dollars worth of oil revenue to the fall in global oil prices between 2014 and 2016.

The OPEC scribe, added that these losses were in terms of deferred and outright cancellations of projects across its entire value chain.

Barkindo, who revealed this during a visit to the Minister of State for Petroleum, Doctor Ibe Kachikwu, commended his measures to solve Nigeria’s longstanding challenges with joint venture cash-call obligations.

Kachikwu Expresses Hope For A Better 2017

Ibe Kachikwu Expresses Hope For A Better 2017The Minister of State for Petroleum, Dr Ibe Kachikwu has urged Nigerians to face the challenges posed by recession and make the best of it in 2017, observing that the recession has brought out the ingenuity in Nigerians to look within.

According to the Minister who spoke at a musical event which took place at his residence at Onicha-Ugbo, Aniocha North Local Government Area of Delta State as part of celebration for the yuletide, “we must make sense out of our situation”.

“Everywhere I go, opportunities abound, the difficulties of today, should challenge us for a better tomorrow,” he said, observing that God has endowed Nigeria with a lot of gifts that should be tapped to make the country greater in 2017.

He emphasised, “God gave us energy to energise the environment; He gave us a beautiful environment and gave us food in abundance if we can use our hands to work on the soil.”

Dr Kachikwu contined, “As much as we may hate what is happening in the country, let the pains of today not frustrate you; let the challenges of today make you better for tomorrow because, in one year’s time, it will go well. We will create a Nigeria we all will be proud of.”

Delta State Governor, Ifeanyi Okowa, was among dignitaries that graced the ‘Night of Soulful Music’ organised by the Minister of State for Petroleum, Dr Ibe Kachikwu.

In a brief sermon at the event which was spiced up by renowned gospel musicians, Rev. Fr. Peter Mobuogwu of the Catholic Diocese of Issele-Uku disclosed that Christmas is about celebrating the love of God.

He sued for peace among Nigerians, asserting, “what we desire now is the peace that comes with Christmas, we are celebrating the great love of God and there is hope that life will continue after now because, God stooped down to take the form of man for our sake”.

NNPC, IOC Sign Cash-Call Exit Agreement

NNPC, IOC, Cash-Call AgreementThe Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) and International Oil Companies (IOC) have signed an agreement to exit the Joint Venture Cash-Call Arrangement.

This brings to an end, the NNPC’s counterpart funding for 60% equity shareholding it owns in various oil and gas fields in international and indigenous oil firms.

The agreement was signed on Thursday in Abuja between the national oil company and Shell Petroleum, Nigeria Agip Oil, Total, Chevron and Exxon Mobil.

It is coming barely 24 hours after President Muhammadu Buhari announced that the Federal Government would cut provisions for the Joint Venture Cash-Calls, starting from January 2017.

The Minister of State for Petroleum, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu, noted that a governance process would be set up with immediate effect, to manage a new funding mechanism that would provide for cost recovery.

The NNPC Group Managing Director, Maikanti Baru, on his part, explained that the exit has set the stage for a review of the cash-call agreement.

He added that it has also created an opportunity for the adoption of a more sustainable funding arrangement with international oil companies’ joint venture operations.

Cash-calls is a counterpart funding the NNPC pays annually for the 60% equity shareholding it owns in various oil and gas fields operated by IOC and indigenous oil firms.

In 2016, underfunding for cash-calls amounted to $2.5 billion, bringing the national oil firm’s total cash-call arrears over the years to $8.5 billion.

FG Will Sustain Petroleum Products Pricing Template – Kachikwu

Petroleum Products Pricing Template, Ibe KachikwuNigeria’s Minister of State for Petroleum, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu, says the Federal Government will work to maintain the new petroleum products pricing template which pegs the price of petrol between 135 and 145 Naira per litre.

The Minister said that the government is presently unable to consider fixing a new price for petrol without considering some of the market variables that gave rise to the current petroleum pricing template.

He made the remarks in Abuja on the sideline of an event organised by the Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency (PPPRA) as well as the Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (PENGASSAN).

“Obviously as you look at foreign exchange differentiation, it will impact and the worst thing you could do is to go back to the era when we unilaterally fix prices.

“What we’ve also been doing is to watch the prices and make sure that they do not take advantage of the common man, making sure the template is maintained,” Kachikwu told the gathering.

In her remarks, the acting Executive Secretary of PPPRA, Sotonye Iyoyo, explained how the new petroleum products pricing template has stabilised products distribution in Nigeria.

“The appropriate pricing framework policy put in place by the Minister for Petroleum Resources in May 11, 2016 has gone a long way in achieving key deregulatory pre-conditions such as full cost recovery, free entrance and free exit of players.

“Global competitive product pricing policy, limited government intervention and control of pricing (as well as) distribution and creation of the enabling environment attracts private sector capital,” she stated.

On his part, PENGASSAN President, Francis Johnson, expressed satisfaction with the new pricing template.

He, however, appealed to the legislature to quickly pass the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) into law to address other issues in the sector.

“We want to commend and also advise that the National Assembly should see how they can pass this bill (PIB).

“It’s very important that we have that bill because it’s the legal framework and when we also have the bill passed into law, definitely the issue of pipeline vandalism and so many issues embedded in the industry will also be taken care of so that we can know that yes, the industry is moving forward,” he said.

Nigeria’s Economy Should Be Built To Adapt To Current Trends – Osinbajo

Yemi Osinbajo on NigeriaNigeria’s Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo, says there is need to ensure that the economy of the nation is built to adapt to the physical, social and technological trends of the present generation.

Professor Osinbajo made the statement on Friday during a two-day economic and investment summit in Delta State, south-south Nigeria.

He further stressed the need for Nigerian leaders to build relationships based on trust with the citizenry.

“Truth on the part of a leader, plays a critical role in the development and prosperity of Nigeria,” he stated.

The summit was organised by the Delta State government, as part of the activities to mark the 25th anniversary since Delta State was created.

Speaking to delegates at the event, the Delta State Governor, Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa, emphasised the need to build a strong, robust and resilient economy.

Present at the summit are the Minister of State for Petroleum, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu, the Minister of Finance, Mrs Kemi Adeosun and a former Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Professor Charles Soludo among others.

FG Promises To End Scarcity Of Aviation Fuel Soon

AviationThe Federal Government has assured air travelers that the scarcity of Jet A1 otherwise known as aviation fuel will soon be a thing of the past as efforts are being made to reduce the cancellation and rescheduling of flights due to the scarcity of the product.

Minister of State for Aviation, Mr Hadi Sirika, who disclosed this in Abuja while inspecting facilities at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport also announced federal government’s plans to concession the management of some airports through Public Private Partnership in order to upgrade the airports.

The Minister of State for Petroleum, Mr Ibe Kachukwu, also assured aviation industry practitioners and air travelers that the hardship being experienced as a result of scarcity of aviation is being addressed.

Military To Remain In Niger Delta Waterways

Nigerian NavyThe Nigerian government says military deployment on the waterways in the Niger Delta will continue to man Federal Government’s installations in the oil rich region.

This is one of the resolutions reached at meeting the Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, held on Tuesday with state governors from the Niger Delta area, service chiefs and the Minister of State for the Niger Delta to try to find solution to problems in the region.

Briefing reporters at the end of the meeting, the Delta State Governor, Senator Ifeanyi Okowa, reiterated the need for the state governors to share intelligence with security chiefs.

“We have taken a lot of decisions which we think will help us to mitigate what is going on currently in the states particularly in Delta and Bayelsa,” Governor Okowa said.

The Delta State Governor further stated that it was decided that military presence in the region should be de-escalated, though it was agreed that the forces should be kept to provide security and presence while government begins immediate engagement process with the communities in the affected areas.

Asked what the fate of the amnesty programme was, Governor Okowa noted that the Presidential Adviser on the Amnesty Programme briefed the meeting and stated that the programme was actually still on-going.

“We have a Special Adviser in charge of Amnesty and he is doing a lot of work,” he added.

He also highlighted the need to remain proactive, believing that a collaboration between the Federal and State governments would help to tackle the issues in the Niger Delta.

At the over four hours meeting, the blowing up of pipelines and vandalism of oil installations by those who many have described as criminals topped talks.

They were said to have adequately been briefed by the service chiefs on the situation in the area.

Some of the decisions taken include a synergy between the Federal and State governments, a collaboration they hope would end the crisis in the region.

The latest attacks in the Niger Delta region by a group that calls itself ‘the Niger Delta Avengers’ raise question as to what has happened to the amnesty programme and what the youths in the region have done with it.

The Minister of State for Petroleum, Dr Ibe kachikwu, had in a recent meeting appealed to the youths to sheath their swords while some of the governors in the region reminded them that investment could only thrive in a peaceful atmosphere.

Youths in the Niger Delta region may well sheath their swords and watch the Federal Government fulfil its commitment to finding a lasting solution to the problems facing the Niger Delta oil producing states.

Nigerian Army Parades Suspected Niger Delta Avengers Militants

Nigerian Army, Niger Delta Avengers, Niger DeltaThe Nigerian Army has arrested 10 suspected militants and pipeline vandals in the Niger Delta region.

The Commander, 4 Brigade, Nigerian Army, Benin City, Brigadier General Farouk Yahaya, while addressing newsmen before parading the suspects, said that they were arrested during a cordon and search exercise conducted in Oporozoa community and its environs in Delta State.

He affirmed that the arrested suspects may have links with the Niger Delta Avengers militant group as guns, ammunition and other equipment were recovered from them.

Brigadier General Yahaya maintained that the operation was conducted professionally in line with the code of conduct and rules of engagement of the Nigerian Army.

The Army also reaffirmed its commitment to tackling pipeline vandalism in the Niger Delta region.

Niger Delta Avengers Blow Up NNPC Pipeline

Niger Delta Avengers. NNPC Barely 24 hours after the Niger Delta Avengers blew up Chevron’s Escravos pipeline, the militants say that they have blown up a pipeline belonging to the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC).

The group said in its Twitter feed on Friday that it blew up the NNPC gas and crude trunk line close to Warri in Delta State, Nigeria’s Niger Delta region.

The spokesman for the Ijaw Youth Council, Mr Eric Omare, said that another crude pipeline was attacked on Thursday night near Batan Oil field in Warri.

He added that there were two simultaneous attacks on the PPMC and NNPC pipelines.

The NNPC is yet to confirm this incident.

The attack is coming as the Minister of State for Petroleum, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu, said that government needs to improve its amnesty programme for militants in the Niger Delta to address neglect by the government and international oil companies.

Tinubu Asks Labour To Suspend Strike

tinubuThe national leader of the ruling party in Nigeria, the All Progressives Congress (APC), is asking Nigerian workers protesting against the recent increase in the price of petrol to suspend the strike in the overall interest of the nation.

Senator Bola Tinubu made the appeal in Abuja on Friday at‎ a meeting with officials of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC).

He told the union that the increasing impoverishment of Nigerians necessitated the increase in the pump price of petrol.

Dialogue With Two Groups

The APC leader further appealed to the officials of the NLC, leading the protest, to return to the negotiating table with the government in order to resolve the issue.

The call for the suspension of the strike was also supported by the Governor of Osun State, Rauf Aregbesola and the Senator representing Kaduna North in the National Assembly, Suleiman Hunkuyi.

Without making any commitment, the President of the NLC, Ayuba Wabba,  criticised the approach of the government to the situation, saying the “government is insincere in its dialogue with two groups over the pump price increase of petrol”.

It is three days now that the leadership of the NLC pulled workers into the streets to protest against the recent increase in the price of petrol.

The Federal Government had on May 11 increased the price of Premium Motor Spirit, also referred to as petrol, from 86 Naira, 50 kobo to 145 Naira.

After the increase was announced by the Minister of State for Petroleum, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu, the labour union said it would resist the increase, describing it as ‘insensitive’.

The government said its decision to increase petrol price would end the worst petrol scarcity that the oil-rich nation had experienced in over a decade.

Dr. Kachikwu said the increase would further lighten the difficulty in getting foreign exchange needed for importation of petrol at a period the nation’s refineries were producing below capacity.

Despite these reasons, the NLC insisted that the government should revert to the old price.

After two days of negotiations, the NLC embarked on strike, but the division in the union’s leadership has made light the impact of the strike.

Reps Call For Full Implementation Of Budget

House of Representatives, BudgetThe House of Representatives says it will continue to support the executive’s deregulation initiative in the interest of the Nigerian economy and posterity.

The House said that the decision was taken on Wednesday after consultation with major players in the economy and based on the understanding and support shown by majority of Nigerians.

It appealed to the executive to ensure the full and speedy implementation of the Appropriation Act 2016, as it is in the act that the palliatives that would calm the current situation.

The lawmakers also urged the organised labour to continue to show
understanding of the situation while dialoguing in Nigeria’s interest.

This is one of the recommendations adopted by the House after considering the interim report of the Ad-hoc Committee on the Deregulation of the Petroleum Sector, which was set up after the meeting with the Minister of State for Petroleum, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu.