Fuel Crisis To End As Kaduna Refinery Recommences Production

Refinery-KadunaThe Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) said the refinery in Kaduna will commence production before next week and will ease the biting fuel crisis across the country.

During a monitoring tour of fuel stations in the federal capital,
the Head of Corporate Affairs of the Corporation, Garba Deen, said over 240 trucks of petrol were delivered in Abuja on Tuesday.

He added that more vessels are being discharged in Lagos for supply across the country.

He said the situation is improving and the queues are expected to disappear by the end of the week, adding that efforts must be made to deter diversion and hoarding to sustain any gains made to quell the situation.

Unbundling: Senate Absolves NNPC GMD, Kachikwu, Of Illegality

Ibe-Kachikwu-Minister-Petroleum-in-NigeriaThe Senate Committees on Petroleum Downstream and Gas have absolved the Group Managing Director of the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Dr Ibe Kachikwu, of any wrong doing in his recent restructuring of the state oil company.

The Committees gave Mister Kachikwu a clean bill at a meeting in Abuja on Thursday.

They, however, queried him for not consulting with stakeholders in the sector and the National Assembly before announcing the restructuring of the oil corporation.

Mr Kachikwu had announced the creation of seven operational units in the NNPC.

Dr Kachikwu said that five of the seven operational units would be strictly business-driven in line with global best practices.

However, following that pronouncement, oil workers shut down the operations of the NNPC nationwide causing uneasiness and discontent in the oil and gas sector.

Dr Kachikwu denied ‘unbundling’ the NNPC, maintaining that the oil company was only ‘reorganised’.

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

He announced the creation of seven sub divisions, debunking reports that NNPC will be unbundled into 30 subsidiaries.

Dr. Kachikwu said the NNPC will be broken into upstream, downstream, refineries, gas and power, ventures, finance and corporate services.

He said on Wednesday that five of the units would be focused purely on business ventures and profit making while two would handle service delivery.

The Petroleum Minister said that the objections raised by the Oil and Gas Union over lack of consultation, is not necessary as the process is still in the initial stage and consultations would begin when the break-down commences.

He said that seven names of top management staff of the corporation have been penned down to serve as Chief Executive Officers of the seven divisions, most of whom are currently administrative heads of departments in the Corporation.

The Committees advised the NNPC Group Managing Director to continue to consult with industry stakeholders going forward, to avoid pitfalls in the restructuring exercise in the future.

FAAC Distributes N370 Billion To FG, States And LGs

Kemi-AdeosunA total of N370 billion has been distributed to the federal, state and local governments for the month of January.

Addressing journalists after the monthly Federation Accounts Allocation Committee (FAAC) meeting in Abuja, the Minister of Finance, Mrs Kemi Adeosun, said gross statutory revenue received for the January stood at two N290billion.

While attributing a shortfall of N24 billion drop in revenue to shut down and maintenance repairs at major oil terminals, she said a total of N2 billion owed the Federal Government was refunded by the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC).


PPPRA Explains Reasons Behind Petrol Scarcity

Fuel ScarcityThe Executive Secretary, Petroleum Product Pricing Regulatory Agency (PPPRA), Mr Farouk Ahmed, on Tuesday blamed the petrol scarcity in some Nigerian states on the inability of petroleum marketers to get letters of credit from commercial banks to enable them import fuel.

He also blamed two rounds of Naira devaluation carried out by the Central Bank of Nigeria.

“The recent events have to do with delay in the arrival of cargoes. Non-arrival of cargoes made it difficult for Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) to be delivered. What actually complicated it was the devaluation of naira – two times. The first one that took place on November 28, 2014 when Naira was devalued from 155 Naira to 168 Naira to $1. The second one that took place on February 18 brought the exchange rate to 199 Naira to $1.

“These two developments brought a lot of confusion into the oil sector. Marketers were not sure of the actual delivery cost. We had to draw a new template as advised by the CBN. The delay we have now is caused by the November devaluation. But the reality is that the policy is clear now,” he said.

The PPPRA Executive Secretary made the explanation at a budget defense session in the Senate in response to questions from lawmakers on the long queues at petrol stations across Nigeria.

Mr Ahmed, however, said the Federal Government was taking steps to remedy the situation and promised that the agency would come down hard on petroleum marketers who increase the price of fuel above 87 per litre Nigeria.

“The Minister of Finance, PPPRA and other agencies are working closely to ensure that outstanding bills are paid. And that one had been done now. On Monday, we got an approval from the Budget Office for payment of all outstanding bills. We have adjusted the template now. We have to put the exchange rate at the interbank rate. Now, we have a direction,” he maintained.

While defending the budget of the PPPRA, the Executive Secretary said the total budget of the agency for 2015 is 7.798 billion Naira with 63 Naira million for capital expenditure, 48 million Naira for overhead and 7.7 million Naira for personnel.

The Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) was scheduled to defend its budget before the Senate Committee on Downstream but the organization did not show up for the session.

The Committee Chairman, Senator Magnus Abe asked the Clerk to issue another invitation to the NNPC, the heads of the three refineries and the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) to appear before the committee unfailingly on March 5.

Court Restrains House From Summoning Allison-Madueke Till July 7

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

A Federal High Court sitting in Abuja has ordered the House of Representatives to refrain from inviting the Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs Diezani Allison-Madueke to appear before it for the purpose of investigation or probe until the third of July when the court is expected to hear the substantive suit filed by the minister.

At the resumed hearing of the suit, Justice Ahmed Mohammed made the order following complaints by Lawyer to the Minister, Mr Etigwe Uwa that the House of Representatives has invited the Minister to appear before its Public Accounts Committee between the June 25 to 27 despite the suit pending at a court of law.

The Minister and the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) had approached the Federal High Court in Abuja for an interlocutory injunction to stop the Senate and the House of Representatives from summoning them for the purposes of giving evidence or producing any documents which relate to the official records pending the determination of the substantive suit.

In an application filled by the plaintiff’s counsel, Etigwe Uwa, the Minister is asking the court for an order to maintain status quo pending the final determination of the matter on allegation of N10 billion allegedly spent on the charter of air crafts.

They contended that the Senate and House of Representatives could not investigate criminal matters not pending in the court of law.

Lawyer Tells NASS To Suspend Petroleum Minister’s Probe

A legal practitioner, Mr Jiti Ogunye has urged the House of Representatives to put a hold on its probe on the Minister of Petroleum Resources, Diezani Allison-Madueke, who has been answering questions over the alleged expenses of ten million naira on private jets.vlcsnap-2014-05-24-13h29m35s41

Mr Ogunye argued that “when you submit a matter to adjudication, the law says that you must allow the court to determine the matter first before you take any step” insisting that this is so because our democracy is guided by the principles of separation of powers.

He said in as much as “Judges cannot take over the functions of legislators, legislators cannot also take over the function of the judicial arm of government”.

Also speaking during Sunrise, Mr Igho Akaeregha, agreed that the probe be halted by the House until it is decided by the court. He noted that “once a case is in court, it becomes compelling for all the parties to wait for the outcome of what the court will say” .

Mrs. Diezani Alison-Madueke, on Thursday, instituted a fresh legal action against the two chambers of the National Assembly, challenging their powers to probe allegations that she spent N10 billion on chartered private jets.

The Minister filed the suit on a day the House Committee on Public Accounts invited  her, the Group Managing Director of Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Andrew Yakubu, and Federal Airports Authority (FAAN) to appear before it on June 15 to explain their roles in the alleged N10 billion jet scam.

Sanusi’s Suspension: APC Accuses Jonathan Of Destroying Nigerian Institutions

The All Progressives Congress (APC) has said Thursday’s suspension of Malam Sanusi Lamido Sanusi as Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) by President Goodluck Jonathan is patently illegal, poorly thought-out and in bad taste, noting that it will definitely have negative consequences for the nation’s economy.

In a statement issued in Lagos on Thursday by its Interim National Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, the party also said the action is the clearest indication yet that President Jonathan, whose body language does not abhor corruption, is willing to silence any whistle-blower, no matter his or her status.

”As the country wallows in unprecedented corruption under the rudderless and corruption-hugging Jonathan Administration, the President may have finally decided to send a strong signal to all
Nigerians that it will not tolerate any exposure of corruption under any circumstance. What better way to do this than to silence the man who has exposed the alleged missing $20 billion in the NNPC accounts?” it queried.

APC said that Sanusi’s suspension has also shown clearly that President Jonathan as a leader does not care if he destroys national institutions on the altar of personal ego and political expediency.

”First it was the judiciary which came under his sledge hammer, when he suspended then President of the Court of Appeal, Justice Ayo Salami, just to satisfy the hawks in his party. Then it is the turn of the National Assembly, the Police and now the financial sector. President Jonathan should not destroy our institutions before he bows out of office next year. These institutions are older than him and will definitely outlive him,” APC warned.

The party said while Section 11 (f) of the CBN Act 2007 empowers the President to remove the CBN Governor, the section is clear that he can only do so if he has the support of two-thirds majority of the Senate.

”Nowhere in the Act is it said that the President can suspend the CBN Governor, as he has done in another of his serial rape of the country’s laws,” it said, adding that the reasons given by the presidency for Sanusi’s suspension are as puerile as they are unprecedented, and amount to calling the dog a bad name just to hang it.

The party said the questions that arise, based on those ridiculous reasons, are: ”Why has it taken almost five years of Sanusi’s tenure for the President to realize the irregularities of CBN under Sanusi? Why is the President acting on questionable allegations against Sanusi at a time the CBN Governor has opened the can of worms in the NNPC? Why has a President, who has always treated glaring corruption allegations against his political appointees with so much levity, now so quick to move against a CBN Governor who has never been accused, let alone indicted of corruption?

APC expressed serious concerns at the implication of Sanusi’s suspension for the nation’s economy, especially on the value of the naira; local and international investments; the stock market; inflation and the overall health of the economy.

”Coming at a time when the economy was already under pressure due to internal and external factors and is in need of significant investments in several sectors, such as power and manufacturing to maintain its economic growth rates, the uncertainty caused by the suspension will leave both local and international investors questioning the economic direction of the country and therefore their investment approach to Nigeria.

”At best, new investments will be delayed until investors consider that economic and political stability has been restored, and at worst, which is more likely, both new and existing investors will pull back.

”The Nigerian Stock Exchange that was already witnessing a withdrawal of portfolio investors, due to the US tapering exercise, is likely to be exacerbated as more investors, local and international, exit the market, further putting downward pressure on the country’s exchange rate at a time the CBN is already having difficulty defending the currency. In fact, the devaluation of the national currency looms.

”All these factors will also drive higher inflation rates with its attendant economic, social and political costs. No one can say for certain exactly how costly this action will be for the nation but there are no doubts it will be high,” the party said.

It called on Nigerians to stay strong in their determination to fight the canker worm of corruption, even as the government of the day makes clear it will not hesitate to punish whistle-blowers and reward corrupt persons.

”If anyone in this country is still doubting that the Jonathan administration lacks the wherewithal to fight corruption, operate under the rule of law and take Nigeria to greater heights, that person should now clear the doubt. This administration has clearly reached the end of its tethers and should be voted out next year to pave theway for a party that is willing and able to rescue Nigeria,” APC said.

Absence Of Minister, NNPC Officials Stall Kerosine Subsidy Probe

A public hearing into the supply, distribution and subsidy payments of kerosine from 2010 to 2013 by the House of Representatives has been postponed due to the absence of the Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs. Diezani Alison-Madueke, and officials of the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) and the Pipelines and Products Marketing Company (PPMC).

The Chairman of the House Committee on Petroleum Resources (Down Stream), Dakuku Peterside said the exercise could not go on because, the ministry and NNPC were central to the kerosine subsidy regime and their absence made it difficult to continue the investigation.

The government agencies had written to the committee asking for more time to gather the data.

Expressing the displeasure of the committee, the chairman said the lawmakers are determined not to fail Nigerians as they work to uncover the secrecy surrounding the kerosine subsidy.

The announcement by the Chairman of the committee, Rep. Dakuku Peterside, for the postponement came after a long wait by stakeholders who were seated before 10 a.m.

Peterside said that the committee was compelled to postpone the hearing due to the absence of officials of the three agencies which were critical stakeholders in the investigation.

“It is not in the character of the seventh National Assembly to waste people’s time.

“On behalf of the committee, I want to apologise to you, we are going to be compelled by circumstances to put off this hearing to Feb. 18.

“We owe you a duty to carry out the investigation, we will not let you down, we want to apologise once more, we will move on with the hearing on Feb. 18.

He explained that several invitation letters were written to the agencies and ministry about the hearing, but they did not respond till the day of the hearing.

The letters partly reads: “I wish to inform you that the Honourable Minister together with the top management of the ministry and its agencies will be participating in the International Summit on Power Financing starting today, 10th February, 2014.

“As a result, we regret to inform you of our inability to honour your invitation. We are also currently engaged with the Senate Committee on Finance and it is not clear when their hearing will end.’’

NNPC in a letter signed by its General Manager, National Assembly Liaison, Mr M.B Bamanga, and dated Feb. 7 gave the same excuse.

“I am further directed to appeal to the Chairman to allow NNPC and its subsidiary sufficient time to collate the required documents and reschedule an alternate date for the appearance of our organisation at the hearing, please,’’ the letter reads.



House To Probe NNPC Crude Oil Sales, Remmittance

The House Of Representatives has mandated an adhoc committee  to investigate and verify the actual volume of crude oil sales by the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) from January till date.

This, the House says is in a bid to get to the root of an alleged non-remittance of $13 billion by the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation,

The resolution followed a debate on a motion by Rep. Haruna Manu (PDP, Taraba) on the need to make the government agency render account on how much it realised from the sale of crude this year.

Manu said that whereas, NNPC claimed to have remitted $20 billion to the federation as crude oil sales from January to August; it only remitted seven billion dollars to government.

He said a document before him showed that the corporation generated 29 billion dollars between the periods under review and remitted only seven billion dollars to the Federation Account.

“All returns accruing to the NNPC from crude oil sales and such transactions in the oil sector are supposed to be remitted to the Federation Account in accordance with Section 162 (1) of the constitution,’’ he said.

Section 162 (1) states that the federation shall maintain a special account to be called ‘the federation account.

NNPC Dismisses Accusation Of Under-Hand Dealings By Swiss-Based Organization

The Management of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC has denounced  the recent report by Swiss -based NGO (The Berne Declaration) which accused the Corporation of collusion with some local and international oil traders to execute unfair industry practices.

In a chat with Journalists in Abuja, the Acting Group General Manager, Group Public Affairs Division of the Corporation, Tumini Green, stated that the publication is not only bogus but strewn with inaccurate and poorly researched data, which defies common sense and verifiable evidence on ground in Nigeria.

“For instance, how can anybody who claims to be a close observer of the Nigeria oil and gas industry say that the process leading to the award of Term Contract for lifting of Nigeria’s crude is shrouded in mystery, when it is common knowledge that the call for tender for this contract is periodically published by almost all the newspapers in Nigeria via paid advert placements by the NNPC,” Green quipped.

The NNPC Spokesperson explained that in practice, the Corporation sells Nigerian Government equity crude oil to Lifters/Traders engaged on Annual Term Contract basis. She stated that at present there are about 50 such term contracts.

“No company has a monopoly or exclusive right to lift any quantity of Nigerian crude oil. The process of selection of Traders/lifters is competitive and transparent. Traders lift crude oil according to the terms of Contractual agreements applicable to all traders, among others on (Free on Board) FOB basis and proceeds paid directly into designated Central Bank of Nigeria Crude oil sales accounts,’’ She said.

On the allegation that Nigeria’s crude is sold to some companies at special discounted rate, Green countered

“Nigeria Crude Oil is sold at published Official Selling Price (OSP) which is not only bench-marked against the internationally recognized pricing institution, Platts daily publications, but also fixed after a critical analysis of market fundamentals and price determinants at global level. OSP differentials are crude stream determined and cannot favour an individual or group of traders as being insinuated,’’ the NNPC explained.

Green thanked the Nigerian media for their sustained show of support for the growth of the oil and gas industry while appealing to them to always resist the temptation of endorsing foreign media reports about the industry as gospel truth.

Senate Orders NNPC To Provide Details Of Petroleum Distribution In Two Weeks

 The Senate Committee on Petroleum (Downstream) has issued a two-week ultimatum to the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) to provide it with details of petroleum products distribution.

The committee also directed the NNPC Group Managing Director, Andrew Yakubu, to supply it with details of excess crude swap and the number of aircrafts in NNPC’s fleet.

The Chairman of the Committee, Senator Magnus Abe, issued the ultimatum on Thursday in Abuja following the failure of the Managing Director, Warri Refinery and Petrochemical Ltd, Mr Paul Obelle, to appear before it.

Obelle failed to honour an invitation to appear before the committee to explain the circumstances surrounding the fire that engulfed the petroleum plant on October 22.

Abe decried the attitude of government officials who allegedly showed disdain to lawmakers by failing to honour invitations to provide details of the operations of public organisations.

He, however, noted that the information required was important, saying that the NNPC needed more time to collate the documents for the convenience of the committee.

“There are also issues to do with the implementation of the NNPC budget. We have also written to them to furnish us with all the details of the budget implementation as the year progresses.

“I would like to seize this opportunity to ask them and very seriously, call on NNPC and indeed, call on all government agencies that cooperating with the legislature is important for the stability of our democracy.

“So, I will plead with NNPC, to very quickly, within the next one week, assemble all the documents that we have asked for.

“This is more so particularly documents relating to the distribution of petroleum products and the crude-swap arrangement.

“So, we will give them time to collate their documents and also within two weeks, they should collate their documents within and outside Nigeria.