N13bn Cash: EFCC Raids Ikoyi Flats Of Mu’azu, Others

As part of investigations into the 13 billion Naira found at a flat in Osborne Towers, Ikoyi, Lagos state, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has searched apartments of the immediate past Governor of Anambra State, Peter Obi; and a former Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Adamu Mu’azu.

Other prominent persons, living in the building, include a former Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Mrs Esther Nnamdi-Ogbue, and C.E.O of Ebony Life Television, Mo’ Abudu.

The media aide to Mr Obi, Mr Valentine Obienyem, confirmed this in a statement on Tuesday, noting that all the apartments in the building were searched by the commission.

Sources within the EFCC also confirmed that all the flats were searched including the unoccupied ones.

The anti-graft agency, had on Wednesday last week, busted the apartment, where it recovered huge sums of money in Dollars, Pounds and in Naira. (43 million Dollars, 23 million Naira and another 27,000 Pounds)

The huge discovery is coming days after the EFCC operatives also announced the recovery of some cash at a Bureau de Change operator in Balogun Market, Lagos, following the Federal Government’s new Whistle-Blowing policy.

Meanwhile, reactions have continued to trail the ownership of the recovered funds.

A legal practitioner, Mr Isaac Anumudu, speaking on Channels Television’s breakfast show, Sunrise daily, called on the EFCC to reveal the identities of the owners of all the moneys being discovered by the Commission.

Another Legal Practitioner, Femi Falana (SAN), also reacting to the matter, noted that with the increasing cases of cash hauls, Nigeria is being exposed to unprecedented ridicule before the committee of nations.

Fuel Theft: Senate Asks NNPC To Go Beyond Sacking Officials

Senate Approves Electronic Voting For ElectionsThe Senate has commended the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) for responding to the motion moved during a plenary session by the Chairman, Committee on Petroleum Downstream Sector, Senator Kabiru Marafa, on the theft of petroleum products kept in the farm tanks of two oil companies and urged the corporation to take more radical measures to avoid a recurrence.

In a statement by its spokesman, Senator Aliyu Sabi Abdullahi, the legislative chamber advised that the NNPC should go beyond the sacking and redeployment of a few officials and rather, initiate a comprehensive restructuring of its operations which presently allow officials and other firms to appropriate national resources for their personal use, thereby contributing to the suffering of the people.

“The Senate is appalled that NNPC is not contemplating on doing something about the involvement of officials of the Petroleum Products Marketing Company (PPMC) which actually played key roles in the missing products case.

“It is instructive that NNPC did not do anything on the case until the matter was raised on the floor of the Senate and the press picked the matter up from the motion. The unauthorised sale of 132 million litres of fuel kept in the storage tanks of MRS and Capital Oil designated as strategic reserves is a grave occurrence. This probably is not the first time it is happening and NNPC must review its operations. It should in fact carry out a shake up in the PPMC”, Abdullahi stated.

Following the Senate’s debate of the motion on the theft of the fuel, the NNPC sacked two senior officials and redeployed a few others. Its spokesman, Ndu Ughamadu said the sack and deployment were in line with the on-going reforms the corporation initiated to cleanse it of corruption.

The NNPC lost 130 million litres through a breach in its throughput transactions with MRS and Capital Oil. However, MRS had returned the product it sold from the stock but Capital Oil is yet to refund the 82 million litres it sold. The Missing fuel sold by Capital Oil is valued at 11 billion Naira.

While Capital Oil insisted that NNPC owed it on past business transactions, the corporation vowed to recover the products, investigate the breach and set up new modalities to guide its engagements of throughput partners.

PPPRA Says No Plan To Increase Petrol Price

PPPRA Says No Plan To Increase Petrol PriceThe Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency (PPPRA) has reaffirmed that the Federal Government has no plan to increase the price of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS), also known as petrol.

The General Manager Operations of PPPRA, Mr Olasupo Agbaje, made the declaration on Monday while addressing reporters in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital.

Mr Agbaje said the agency has also commenced the payment of the new bridging allowance to tanker drivers, as approved by the government recently.

The clarification comes barely a week after the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) said it has no plan to increase the pump price of petrol.

The Corporation, in a statement, stated that the recent increase in bridging allowance to transporters will not affect the prevailing petrol price of 145 Naira per litre.

The NNPC reiterated its commitment to sustaining the existing cordial relationship between the Corporation and the leadership of the downstream industry unions and other stakeholders.

NNPC Says No Hike In Petrol Pump Price

NNPC Says No Hike In Petrol Pump PriceThe Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) has assured Nigerians that it has no plan to increase the pump price of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS), also known as petrol.

In a statement issued on Wednesday by the NNPC spokesman, Ndu Ughamadu, the Corporation explained that the recent increase in bridging allowance to transporters from 6.20 Naira to 7.20 Naira per litre will not affect the prevailing petrol price of 145 Naira per litre.

According to the statement, the clarification was made in Abuja by the NNPC Chief Operating Officer (COO) in charge of Downstream Operations, Mr Henry Ikem Obih.

“Rebalancing Of The Margins”

Mr Obih said there was no plan by government or any of its agencies to review the pump price of petrol above 145 Naira per litre, adding that the rise in the bridging cost was achieved after an adjustment was made in the “lightering expenses” from Four Naira to Three Naira per litre, and the difference transferred to compensate for the cost of bridging within the same template.

The bridging allowance refers to the cost element built into the products pricing template to ensure a uniform price of petrol across the country, while lightering expenses involve charges for moving products to depot area from mother vessels by light vessels, due to the inability of the former to berth in shallow water depth.

“What happened, in simple language, is a rebalancing of the margins allowed and approved for stakeholders. So what the Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency (PPPRA) did was to take One Naira from lightering expenses and add same to the bridging allowance, that is how we arrived at 7.20 Naira. Therefore, PMS remains at the ceiling of 145 Naira per litre, he said.

“No Risk Of Shortage”

On the availability of product supply, the COO said as at Wednesday, Nigeria has 1.3 billion litres of petrol which translates to an inventory of 36 days.

“What this means is that even if we stop importation or refining of petrol right now, we have enough products in the country to provide for the needs of every Nigerian for a period of 36 days,” he said.

Obih noted that the supply availability was bolstered with the production of petrol from the three refineries located in Port Harcourt, Warri and Kaduna.

“There is absolutely no risk of shortage in supply as we also continue to import, to support the production from the refineries. We have informed the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) to enforce the prevailing 145 Naira per litre price regime, and to also ensure that every service station that has fuel is selling to the public,” he said.

The COO reiterated the readiness of the NNPC management under the leadership of its Group Managing Director, Dr. Maikanti Baru, to sustain the existing cordial relationship between the Corporation and the leadership of the downstream industry unions and other stakeholders.

He said the DPR, which is the regulatory arm of the industry, had been alerted to sanction fuel station owners who engage in hoarding, or charge consumers in excess of the approved pump price of petrol.

Dr. Baru had announced the review of the bridging allowance on Monday at a mediation meeting between the Petroleum Tanker Drivers (PTD) and the Nigerian Association of Road Transport Owners (NARTO),

The announcement consequently led to the suspension of an industrial action embarked upon by members of the National Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG).

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.

Court Orders Forfeiture Of Yakubu’s $9.8m To FG

Andrew Yakubu, EFCC, Court, NNPCA Federal High Court in Kano has ordered the forfeiture of the sum of $9,772,000 and £74,000 recovered from a former Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Mr Andrew Yakubu, to the Federal Government.

The order was sequel to an ex parte application by the Economic Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), seeking an interim forfeiture of the recovered money to the Federal Government.

A statement issued on Tuesday by the EFCC Head of Media and Publicity, Mr Wilson Uwujaren, disclosed that the ex parte application was moved by the counsel for the applicant, Salihu Sani.

In her ruling, Justice Zainab Abubakar held that “the sum of $9,772,000 (Nine Million, Seven Hundred and Seventy Two Thousand United States Dollars) and £74,000 (Seventy Four Thousand Pound Sterling), which are now in the custody of the applicant (EFCC), are in the interim forfeited to the Federal Government of Nigeria”.

The EFCC said that some its operatives on February 3, 2017, stormed a building belonging to the former NNPC boss and recovered a staggering sum of $9,772,000 and £74,000 stashed in a huge fire proof safe.

The commission added that Mr Yakubu reported to its Kano Zonal Office on February 8, 2017 where he admitted being the owner of both the house and the money recovered.

The EFCC said “Yakubu is still in custody assisting the investigation”.

Petrol Now Sells For N150 Per Litre In Benin City

Petrol Now Sells For N150 Per Litre In Benin CitySome independent petroleum marketers in Edo state are now selling petrol for 150 naira per litre instead of the regulated price of 145 naira.

Motorists, as well as petroleum marketers, who spoke to Channels Television in Benin City, the Edo state capital, lamented the increase in the price saying it has brought more hardship on the people.

Meanwhile, some fuel stations in the state did not have products for sale. Some who had the product were selling above the approved price of 145 Naira a litre.

A fuel marketer, Valentine Aisuen, said: “PMS is not readily available in most of the depots and apart from that, the price at which we are buying it is high because of the limited product that is available.

“We are buying at 145, we haulage for three naira and it gets here at 148 and we now sell for 150.”

The marketers who were seen selling at the recommended price said it would not be for long before they join the fray as they were not making profit from their sales.

“If you check our pump price now we still remain at 145 naira per litre, our meter reading is accurate.

“We are keeping that to make sure we remain with our customer but we are going to do it for the time being, pending when the union will come up with their report for us to shut down because the cost of buying now, I don’t think anybody is making profit if you cannot sell above 145 naira per litre.”

Unstable Power

Some motorists also lamented the hardship the increase in price has brought to the people.

A driver told Channels TV: “Passengers complain, drivers too are complaining because things are difficult. We heard they have increased it to 200 naira; this morning some people bought for 150, some others for 200.

“Selling above that 150 is really biting us and things are not moving well. Supposing things are moving on and the power is stable then we can cope. But the power is not stable and the energy we are getting which is the fuel is very high, so it’s biting everyone one of us; we are feeling it real bad.”

Attempts to ascertain the cause of the scarcity at the Benin depot of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) was met with stiff resistance by the chief security officer who denied the news crew access to key officers of the depot.

“I am working under instruction, don’t provoke me this afternoon; I beg you in the name of God don’t provoke me,” he warned.

Although the head of the Department Of Petroleum Resources (DPR) was not on seat, another official who wished not to be named said that the scarcity was due to power outage at the Warri refinery which has now been addressed.

He promised that the situation would normalize soon.

Oil Licences: House Orders CBN, DPR, NNPC To Produce Records Of Payments

House, CBN, DPR, NNPC, Oil LicensesThe House of Representatives has given the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) one week to produce records of payments of application fees, signature bonuses and other fees paid by oil companies.

The decision followed a meeting between the House ad-hoc Committee on Oil Prospecting Licenses and Oil Mining Leases and representatives of the different agencies who had been invited to give details of the transactions.

Also present at the hearing on Monday were officials from the Office of the Accountant General of the Federation and some oil companies.

The committee also heard from the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) on its role in such transactions involving oil companies.

The Chairman of the committee, Representative Gideon Gwani, said they have not received records of accounts where the fees for the oil prospecting licenses and the oil mining leases were lodged.

He stated that the committee was determined to resolve what he said had become a lingering problem in the petroleum sector.

The CBN Deputy Governor in charge of Operations, Mr Adebayo Adelabu, who sought to put things in perspective, explained what was being done to provide the needed records.

NNPC Targets 60% Local Refining Capacity For 2017

NNPCThe Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), says it is targeting a refining capacity of 60 % in 2017, to reduce the importation of petroleum products into the country.

The group Managing Director of the corporation, Dr Maikanti Baru, explained that NNPC is keen on ending product importation in a few years and that concrete plans are on ground to achieve that.

In his words, “we are putting together various programmes to ensure that we achieve at least 60 per cent local refining by the end of this year.

“It is the procedure or methodology that we are changing a little bit, we are focusing on the process licensors to come and audit our processes and they have already started auditing most of our process units in the various refineries.”

Dr. Baru also appealed to residents not to vandalise pipelines, which has become a big challenge to the growth of the oil and gas sector.

A group that calls itself the Niger Delta Avengers, had claimed responsibility for serious attacks on oil installations.

Again recently, the group declared “Operations Walls of Jericho and Hurricane Joshua“, signifying an intention to resume attacks on oil facilities in Nigeria’s southern region.

Made In Nigeria

With the crash in oil prices, in a country that has solely relied on oil as a major source of revenue, the Federal Government of Nigeria has since begun to look for alternative sources of revenue generation.

Areas such as agriculture and manufacturing, have proven to be the most viable means of reviving the nation’s economy, from what has been described as the worst recession in Nigeria’s history.

In the light of this development, Nigeria’s Senate President, Dr Bukola Saraki, recently flagged off a Made-in-Nigeria challenge, aimed at encouraging local manufacturers and entrepreneurs in the country.

NNPC Awards 2017 Crude Term Contracts To 39 Companies

NNPC, Crude Term ContractsThe Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) has awarded 1.31 million barrels per day (BPD) of crude oil to 39 companies as part of its 2017 crude term contracts.

A statement by the Group Managing Director at the Public Affairs Division, Ndu Ughamadu, revealed the companies were selected for the term contracts after a transparent bid by 224 companies in December 2016.

The companies are 18 Nigerian owned companies, three foreign state owned companies, 11 international trading houses, five foreign refineries and trading arms of the NNPC group.

The statement said each of the contracts were for 32,000bpd apart from Duke Oil Limited, an oil trading arm of the NNPC which would be for 90,000bpd.

It also disclosed that the contract, which was announced by the Group General Manager of the Crude Oil Marketing Division of the corporation, Mr Mele Kyari, would run for one year, with effect from the January 1, 2017 for consecutive 12 circles of crude oil allocation.

The breakdown of the term contract winners are; Nigerian companies: Oando, Sahara Energy Resources Limited, MRS Oil and Gas, A.A. Rano Nigeria Limited, Bono, Masters Energy, Eterna Oil and Gas, Cavalva Energy, Hyde Energy, Britania-U, North West Petroleum, Optima Energy, AMG Petroenergy, Arkleen Oil and Gas Limited, Shoreline Limited, Emo Oil, Setana Oil and Prudent Energy.

International trading companies: Trafigura, Enoc, BP Trading, Total Trading, UCL Petro Energy, Mocoh Trading, Trevier Petroleum, Heritage Oil, Levene Energy, Glencore as well as Litasco Supply and Trading.

NNPC trading companies: Calson/Hyson and Duke Oil Incorporated.

Refiners: Hindustan Refinery, Varo Energy, Sonara Refinery, Bharat Petroleum and CEPSA.

Government to government: Indian Oil Corporation (India – IOC), Sinopec (China) and Sacoil (South Africa).

Police Hunt For Cop Who Killed Malaysia Returnee In Imo

Abia Police Launch Strategies For Festive SeasonThe Imo State Police Command has commenced manhunt for the Police Inspector, Mr Michael Edem, who allegedly shot and killed one Mr Friday Nduka in cold blood, two days to his wedding.

The victim, a Malaysia returnee, was killed in the company of his wife to be at a fuel station belonging the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) filling station after a scuffle with one of the pump attendants who he accused of allegedly stealing his phone from his car dashboard.

Eyewitness said that after the fight, the victim had entered into his car and was driving out of the petrol station when the inspector, who was attached to the mega station, came out from one of the offices and flagged him down and walked up to him and shot him severally on the chest at close range before escaping from the scene.

The State Police spokesman, Mr Andrew Enwerem, a Deputy Superintendent of Police, told the Nation that the Inspector, who escaped from the scene after committing the dastardly act, was yet to turn himself in.

He said that the Commissioner of Police, Mr Taiwo Lakanu, had directed that he should be fished out to face the law.

“The Policeman, who shot and killed the victim has not reported or turned himself in. We are making efforts to apprehend him. We have gone to his home but he is nowhere to be found. But we are not going to leave any stone unturned in making sure that he is arrested and brought to book,” Mr Enwerem stated.

He, however, disclosed that the salary and other entitlements of the fleeing culprit had been stopped by the Commissioner of Police, who he said had assured the victim’s immediate family of justice.

“If he doesn’t turn himself in he will be declared a deserter but we are assuring the family that we are saddened by the action of the officer and we are certainly not going to sweep it under the carpet.

“The Command wishes to assure the general public that it will do everything humanly possible to ensure that justice is done and quickly too,” he told promised.

Meanwhile, reactions have continued to trail the gruesome murder of the 28-year-old, from Egbuoma in Ogutal Council Area of the State.

The Southeast Chairman of the Campaign for Democracy (CD) Dede Uzor A Uzor, who described the action of the Policeman as reckless, called on the Inspector General of Police to direct that the culprit be fished out without delay to face the law to serve as a deterrent to others.

NNPC Adopts Strategies To Enhance Productivity

Maikanti Baru, NNPCThe Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) says it has adopted strategies to ensure operational profitability through the renegotiation of all existing contracts.

A statement issued by the corporation disclosed that the contract renegotiation has in gains of between 5% and 30% discounts so far.

The Group Managing Director of NNPC, Dr. Maikanti Baru, expressed delight in the completion of negotiations with NNPC joint venture partners towards the resolution of cash call funding challenges through payments of arrears owed the partners.

Dr. Baru explained that the feat was achieved by developing a clear payment plan as well as the pursuit of an alternative funding strategy.

He noted that arrears of up to December 2015 have been fully reconciled, with repayments plan also agreed upon.