Agencies Shun House Probe Of Undeclared Crude Oil Exports

Agencies Shun House Probe Of Undeclared Crude Oil ExportsTwelve government agencies on Monday failed to appear before the House of Representatives Ad Hoc Committee probing the alleged undeclared crude oil and liquefied natural gas exports to global destinations.

Those that failed to appear before the lawmakers who summoned 15 agencies include: The Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation, Nigeria Customs Service and Nigerian Ports Authority.

The Chairman of the House Committee, Honourable Adbulrazak Namdas, who seemed unhappy with the development, tasked government agencies to play their part in the fight against corruption.

“Reports have it that over 57 million barrels of Nigerian crude oil were illegally exported and sold in the USA between January 2011 and December 2014.

“The estimated revenue loss by the Government of Nigeria is around $12 million at an exchange rate of 196 Naira to a dollar; this translates to over two trillion Naira,” Honourable Namdas said.

The Minority Whip of the House, Honourable Yakubu Barde, who declared the event open, said the allegations and others have left a shadow on Nigeria’s development.

“The specter of oil theft and associated crimes in the industry in Nigeria is unending and has remained an albatross on the national development needs till date.

“The problem of oil subsidy and the ‘ripping off’ of Nigeria and Nigerians may be assuming the crimes of yesteryears.

The Committee was forced to adjourn its sitting till Tuesday, April 11.

Ondo: Akeredolu Inaugurates Committees For Proper Administration

Committees, Ondo, Rotimi AkeredoluOndo State Governor-elect, Mr Rotimi Akeredolu, has inaugurated a 158-member Strategic Development and Policy Implementation Committee (SDPIC) to develop a blueprint that would guide his administration’s activities.

Mr Akeredolu also set up a transition, as well as inauguration ceremonies committees ahead of the taking over of the administration of the state on February 24, 2017.

Inaugurating the committees in Akure, the incoming governor explained that the major responsibility of the SDPIC was to develop a detailed sectoral policy and programme document which would be called ‘A Blueprint to Progress in Ondo State (2017 – 2021)’.

He was optimistic that members of the committees were men and women that have distinguished themselves as the very best in their fields of endeavours.

The Governor-elect noted that the vision and mission of his administration was to lead a patriotic, highly inspired and competent team to rescue the ship of the state.

He added that by God’s grace, he intended to help rebuild the state’s economy, resuscitate damaged infrastructure, as well as restore hope and return Ondo State to a free and prosperous land.

Mr Akeredolu also revealed that he has invited some of the very best hands within the state and beyond to help develop the state.

He said the SDPIC is expected to submit its report by February 14, 2017 while the transition and inauguration ceremonies committees would submit theirs as and when due.

The SDPIC is chaired by a former Group Managing Director of the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Mr Funso Kupolokun.

Mr Kupolokun assured the incoming governor that that the committee would deliver a solid blueprint for the government.

He stressed that the state needed a new thinking to generate revenue in a substantial manner on its own and ensure sustainable development, while it does not depend on the monthly allocation from the Federal Government.

Amnesty Programme: Niger Delta Stakeholders Propose States’ Partnership

House of Representatives, Amnesty Programme, Niger DeltaIndigenes and stakeholders in Nigeria’s Niger Delta have proposed a restructuring of the Presidential Amnesty Programme to include state governments as partners.

The proposal was put forward on Tuesday at a public hearing organised by the House of Representatives on a bill seeking to give legal backing to the amnesty programme.

Traditional rulers, state and federal government officials witnessed the public hearing on the bill titled ‘The Presidential Programme on Rehabilitation and Reintegration’.

The House Committee Chairman on Niger Delta Affairs, Representative Ayi Ekpeyong, hinted that the bill also sought the conclusion of the programme in an orderly manner with a proper exit date.

On his part, the House Deputy Minority Leader, Chukwuka Onyema, highlighted the importance of the bill.

The General Manager of Upstream at the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Pollie Okoronkwo and a representative of the Delta State Government, Pascal Adigwe, identified the different parts of the bill they want amended.

In its response, the committee promised to consider all the positions presented towards contributing to the peace process and development of the Niger Delta region.

New NNPC GMD, Maikanti Baru Visits DSS

NNPC, GMD, DSS, Maikanti BaruThe Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Dr. Maikanti K. Baru on Friday paid a courtesy visit to the Director General of the Department of State Services, DSS, Mallam Lawal Daura at the headquarters of the Service in Abuja.

During the visit, Dr. Baru thanked the DSS for its key role in helping the Corporation secure the nation’s critical oil and gas assets through the years.

He also sought for greater support and collaboration between the Corporation and the DSS.

While responding, the DSS DG, Mallam Daura gave the assurance that the DSS would continue to provide the much needed security services to enable NNPC achieve its mandate.

He emphasized that securing NNPC facilities is a national duty and therefore an obligation to the DSS.

The newly appointed GMD took over the affairs of the NNPC on July 8 when the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources and former NNPC GMD, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu officially handed over to him.

Dr Baru has since highlighted his 11-point agenda which includes his priority to improve revenue accruing from the oil and gas sector.

This followed President Muhammadu Buhari’s approval of the composition of the Board of the NNPC, as provided for under Section 1(2) of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation Act of 1997, as amended.

FG To Adopt New Approach To Resolve Niger Delta Crisis

Kachikwu, Niger DeltaA fresh approach to resolve the Niger Delta crisis is being planned by the federal government going by the statement of the Minister of State for Petroleum, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu.

The Minister told journalists on the sideline of the just concluded roadshow in China that the government is planning a three-stage approach to ensure permanent solution to militancy in the Niger Delta.

Dr Kachikwu said that the new approach will include militants, traditional rulers and a permanent Niger Delta Peace Committee, which is expected to bring about long term solution to agitations in the region.

Besides, he says government is planning the use of modern technology to lay oil pipelines so that vandals cannot have easy access to them in the region.

The Minister was in China in June 2016 to seek investment for the repair and expansion of infrastructure in the nation’s oil industry.

Over 50 billion dollars memorandum of understanding for investment in the oil industry was signed. One of the agreements is with China’s leading oil company, Sinopec.

The Minister and his officials also signed an agreement with China’s largest securities and assets management company, Cinda Group.

The company specializes in providing financial lifelines for big companies in the country.

The roadshow for investment in the oil sector is also scheduled for India and gulf countries.

Kachikwu Hands Over To Maikanti Baru As New NNPC GMD

Maikanti-Baru-Ibe-Kachikwu-NNPCThe Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu, has officially handed over to the newly appointed Group Managing Director of the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Dr. Maikanti Kacalla Baru.

The hand-over ceremony took place on Friday in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital.

Dr. Kachikwu spoke on key areas that his predecessor must focus on to achieve development in Nigeria’s oil and gas sector.

Some of the areas emphasised include maintaining the deregulation policy, ensuring petroleum product availability and prompt audit of NNPC’s financial report.

The Minister said that he wants the new helmsman to remain apolitical and seek ways to meet the developmental gap in the petroleum sector.

He listed some of his achievements in the past 11 months such as the 270 million Naira profit made by the NNPC.

Giving his speech, Dr. Baru highlighted his 11-point agenda which includes his priority to improve revenue accruing from the oil and gas sector.

The event is coming on the heels of President Muhammadu Buhari’s approval of the composition of the Board of the NNPC, as provided for under Section 1(2) of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation Act of 1997, as amended.

President Buhari urged the new board to ensure the successful delivery of the mandate of the NNPC, “and serve the nation by upholding the public trust placed on them in managing this critical national asset.”

Kachikwu Warns Chinese Businessmen Against Fraudulent Oil Deals In NIgeria

KachikwuThe Minister of State for Petroleum, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu, says the era of discretionary sale of crude oil by the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) is now a thing of history.

Dr Kachikwu warned Chinese businessmen seeking clarifications at the Nigerian Embassy in Beijing about offers for sale of crude oil from Nigeria, that such offers are scam.

The Minister spoke at a reception organized by officials of the Nigerian Embassy in Beijing.

The forum provided an opportunity for officials of the embassy to seek clarification about the sale of crude oil in Nigeria following enquiries from Chinese businessmen who got fraudulent offers from Nigeria

He explained that only 11 companies were approved to lift crude oil from Nigeria following an open bid process and that the next bids will hold in April 2017.

He said that the use of discretion in the sale of crude oil by previous administrations led to corruption in country’s oil industry.

The Minister said that Nigeria is also investigating reported discovery of Nigeria’s stolen oil in China and appealed to Chinese businessmen who buy stolen oil to stop the practice because it encourages vandalism and militancy in Nigeria.

The meeting was one of the activities on the NNPC roadshow in China to seek investment for the repair and expansion of infrastructure in the nation’s oil industry.

Over 50 billion dollars memorandum of understanding for investment in the oil industry has been signed. One of the agreements is with China’s leading oil company, Sinopec

The Minister and his officials also signed an agreement with China’s largest securities and assets management company, Cinda Group

The company specializes in providing financial lifelines for big companies in the country

The roadshow for investment in the oil sector is also scheduled for India and gulf countries.

NNPC Holds Road Show In Beijing To Attract Investments

NNPC hold roadshow in China to attract investmentsThe Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) has begun a road show in the Chinese capital city of Beijing to attract investments into the nation’s oil and gas industry.

At the event on Tuesday, the Minister for Petroleum, Dr Ibe Kachikwu, described Nigeria as a reservoir of natural resources waiting to be tapped.

The Minister urged the Chinese investors to join their counterparts who have invested in Nigeria and were doing well in various sectors of the economy.

Liberal Policies

Dr Kachikwu stated that Nigeria was a preferred investor’s destination because of its liberal policies and quick returns on investments.

The Minister also signed an agreement worth $30 million.

A top official of the NNPC, Anibor Kragha, who presented the areas of investments to the businessmen, described Nigeria’s oil company as the biggest investment in the African continent looking for partners that will be part of Nigeria’s oil and gas revolution.

Kragba assured the businessmen of a friendly environment and quick returns on investments in Nigeria’s oil industry.

Also at the roadshow, an indigenous investor in the industry, Dr Bryant Orjiakor, lent his voice to the attraction in the nation’s oil and gas industry.

According to Orjiakor, Nigeria’s oil and gas industry was a major platform on which the country aim to expand its economy.

He identified Nigeria’s population as an advantage for quick yields on investments.

Nigeria is targeting about $15 billion foreign investments from China and the Gulf States to replace and expand its ageing infrastructure in the oil industry.

The NNPC also targets $50 million investment from its roadshows and its major target of investors are in China, India and the Gulf Countries.

Buhari Assures Oil Companies Of Enhanced Security In Niger Delta

Muhammadu Buhari, Oil Companies, Niger DeltaPresident Muhammadu Buhari has assured oil companies operating in the Nigeria’s Niger Delta that the government is taking all necessary actions to protect strategic assets in the region from vandals and criminals.

President Buhari gave the assurance on Friday in Abuja at a meeting with the Global Director (Upstream) of the Royal Dutch Shell Group, Mr Andrew Brown.

He told the oil giant that he had directed the Chief of Naval Staff to re-organise and strengthen the military Joint Task Force (JTF) in the Niger Delta, to deal effectively with the resurgence of militancy and the sabotage of oil installations.

The President said that the operations of the JTF were also being enhanced with increased support and cooperation from the United States and Europe in the areas of training, intelligence, equipment and logistics.

“We have to be very serious with the situation in the Niger Delta because it threatens the national economy.

“I assure you that everything possible will be done to protect personnel and oil assets in the region,” he said in a statement by his spokesman, Garba Shehu.

Electricity Generation

President Buhari urged aggrieved persons, militants and communities in the Niger Delta to drop their confrontational stance and work with those who had been charged by the Federal Government to review the Amnesty Programme initiated by the Yar’Adua Administration for the benefit of all parties.

He praised the resilience and staying power of Shell in Nigeria, despite the operational challenges of the environment.

President Buhari urged the company to do its best to end gas-flaring in southern Nigeria as soon as possible and produce more gas for electricity generation to support manufacturing and job creation.

Mr Brown had appealed for an urgent solution to rising crime and militancy in the Niger Delta, just as the Shell executive dispelled speculations that the company was pulling out of Nigeria.

He said that contrary to such speculations, Shell was currently in discussions with the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) on new joint oil and gas projects.

Meanwhile, there is a report that a gas pipeline in the Niger Delta region operated by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) was attacked on Thursday.

The attacked occurred late at night, according to a spokesman for a local community group and a witness.

Nigeria Should Avoid Running Into Energy Crisis – Petroleum Engineer

PetroleumA Petroleum Engineer, Bala Zaka, has called on the various stakeholders in the oil sector to avoid putting Nigeria into energy crisis.

The energy expert made the appeal on Thursday while giving his thoughts on re-organising the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) and also reacting to the unbundling saga in the oil sector on Sunrise Daily.

Mr Zaka expressed concern that Nigeria is approaching its energy crossroad, which he said could lead to a security threat to the nation.

“I will just want to advise that from the way things are going, we are heading towards an energy crossroad and we must not allow ourselves to get to that point. If we ever allow that and we run into energy crisis, that means we are likely to have security threat because in situations like this, you are likely to see lawlessness,” he said.

The petroleum engineer raised the alarm that if the crisis in the oil sector is not swiftly addressed, the country is prone to a state of risk that could lead to economic harm.

Speaking on policy pronouncement, he observed that there had been a disjoint in terms of communication between the petroleum ministry and the National Assembly.

“As far as I am concerned as a technocrat; unbundling, restructuring (and) internal cleansing are all technical semantics. The basic thing is this, the concept has not changed but you can redesign, realign and tweak the model,” the expert said.

Zaka recommended that the NNPC model needed to be looked into, stressing that both the Petroleum Ministry and National Assembly were basically fighting for the same course.

Energy Economist Hails Unbundling Of NNPC

NnachiAn energy economist, Mr Onuoha Nnachi, has hailed the decision of the Minister of State for Petroleum, Mr Ibe Kachikwu, to unbundle the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC).

After the unbundling, Mr Nnachi said “we are going to have four or five areas and within those areas, you will have subsidiaries,” adding that “it is not the number of the subsidiaries you have, but the functionality of hose subsidiaries,” he said.

Mr Nnachi said many policies were talked about during the Society of Petroleum Engineering Conference.

He further noted that bringing professionals and experts would bring about “a better understanding from what we are expecting to come out of it”.

Speaking on the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB), Mr Nnachi said that Mr Kachikwu was only implementing one aspect of the bill.

“Any law that is made in any country has its legal and administrative part. The legal part is still intact but Kachikwu is going ahead to implement the administrative part, which does not in any way contravene the law at any point.

“I believe that the PIB we have is too cumbersome to deal with”, maintaining that “each of these sectors – upstream, midstream and downstream – should be treated independently not holistically,” he said.

He insisted that it would take a long time before the PIB would be passed because it would take seven Senate Committees to sit and deliberate before a conclusion on the Bill is reached.

Mr Kachikwu had during the Society of Society of Petroleum Engineering Conference announced that the NNPC would be unbundled into 30 competitive revenue generating subsidiaries

The conference focused on global oil price and the use of technological advancements in hydrocarbon exploration and exploitation.

Dr Kachikwu told the petroleum industry experts that an overhaul of the foremost government oil firm, NNPC, was imminent to ensure the return of profitability and stability in the sector.

In what the Minister said would be a major overhaul of the system, the positions of Group Executive and Managing Directors, as existed in the NNPC, would be replaced by Chief Executive Officers who would head each of the companies.

He said that the move, which would be concluded within the next seven days, would reposition the corporation to bring in huge profits which had been impossible to achieve in the past 15 years.

However, other experts at the lecture noted that for Nigeria to be able to get over its financially challenging times occasioned by the instability in the oil market, advanced technology in the sector was a must to reduce costs and maximise profit.

The experts said that several sub-sector practices must be ratified and enhanced, including joint venture structures, gas exploration, oil production and refining chain among others.

PPPRA Workers Protest Alleged Imposition Of Executive Secretary

PPPRAOil workers under the aegis of Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (PENGASSAN) have shut down operations of the Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency (PPPRA) in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).

The workers are protesting the alleged imposition of an acting Executive Secretary on the agency.

The Chairman of PENGASSAN, PPPRA Branch, Mr Victor Ononokpono, led the protest staged on Tuesday.

The protest is coming barely a week after the immediate past Executive Secretary of the PPPRA, Farouk Ahmed, was removed by the Presidency and arrival of a senior staff of the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Mrs Eunice Iyoyo, to resume as acting Executive Secretary.

Mr Ahmed had on Thursday, February 18, handed over management of the agency to the most senior official of the organisation and General Manager, Administration, Mr Moses Mbaba, as directed by the office of the Secretary to Government of the Federation.

The protesting oil workers are asking the Federal government to make a pronouncement to resolve the confusion the double nomination has caused, saying their protest would continue until the matter is resolved.