P&ID Deal: Court Grants Grace Taiga N10m Bail

 

The Federal Capital Territory High court has granted bail to a former Director of Legal Affairs at the Nigerian Petroleum Ministry, Mrs Grace Taiga, who was arraigned for her alleged involvement in the controversial Process and Industrial Development (P&ID) contract with Nigeria.

In a ruling on Wednesday, Justice Olukayode Adeniyi said the prosecution failed woefully in providing reasons why the defendant should not be granted bail.
She was, therefore, granted bail in the sum of N10Million and two sureties in like sum.

According to the court, the sureties must be resident in Abuja and must be public servants not below directorate cadre.

They must also deposit their affidavit of means before the court.

Read Also: Court Orders Release Of Sowore From DSS Custody

Meanwhile, Justice Adeniyi ruled that there would be no order for Mrs Taiga to submit her International Passport because of her health condition. Nonetheless, she was ordered not to leave the country without first informing the court and her sureties.

Mrs Taiga had been accused of facilitating the controversial contract and securing gratification to the tune of over $20, 000 while she served at the ministry in 2010.

The contract reached between Nigeria and P&ID an Irish multinational firm had resulted in a $9.6 billion judgement debt against Nigeria by a court in the UK.

NDDC Projects: Contractors To Face Prosecution After 30 Days Ultimatum

NDDC Gives Contractors 30 Days to Return to SiteThe Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) has given contractors handling its projects 30 days to return to site and complete the projects or face prosecution.

The Managing Director of NDDC, Mr Nsima Ekere, stated this following an Inter-Ministerial meeting in Abuja chaired by Nigeria’s Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo.

The meeting, which took place over the weekend, had in attendance Ministers of the Federal Ministry of Petroleum Resources, Environment, Niger Delta, Information and Culture, as well as the Presidential Amnesty Office.

It reviewed the 20-Point Agenda of the Petroleum Ministry with regards to the Niger Delta, as well as the Amnesty Programme and the 16-point demand of the Pan Niger Delta Forum.

Mr Ekere said “a list of such contractors is being compiled in all the nine NDDC states and defaulters would be prosecuted”.

He stressed the need to fast-track the ongoing audit of projects awarded in the Niger Delta region, in line with government directives.

“It is important for our contractors to realise that it can’t be business as usual. President Muhammadu Buhari is determined to change how government business is conducted and everyone must wake up to that reality.

Workable Plan

“But beyond that is the fact that we owe the Niger Delta region and our people the duty to implement and complete these projects, in order to facilitate sustainable regional development.

“This is a necessary process to ensure that things are done properly, how they ought to be done and when they ought to be done. It is important to consolidate the agenda with that of the Ministry of Petroleum Resources, as well as the blueprint of the State Governments, the Amnesty Office and the NDDC Master Plan, in order to roll them into one workable plan.

“We are all going to initiate quick-win projects that will give a sense of involvement to government’s approach to handling issues that will impact the people. We will organise frequent town hall meetings with all stakeholders and collaborate in building sustainable economic models for the communities of the Niger Delta,” Ekere said.

The NDDC boss also emphasised the need for the Commission to work with the Ministry of Environment and NOSREA, to facilitate the clean-up exercise in affected areas of oil spill, work on a time frame and encourage IOCs to provide more power to their host communities beyond working with Electricity Distribution Companies.

“Satellite mapping will be used to identify polluted areas in the Niger Delta and a comprehensive plan of action adopted to ensure regional clean-up. This is important because we must ensure that we safeguard our environment and give our people the opportunity and enabling environment to pursue our predominant traditional livelihoods.

“Agriculture and aquaculture are key to facilitating sustainable development in the region, particularly as we seek alternate productive socio-economic activities beyond oil and gas,” he said.

 

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.

Poor Power Supply Is Due To Vandalised Gas Pipeline – Power Minister

minister of powerNigeria’s Minister of Power, Professor Chinedu Nebo says the poor power supply experienced across the country is as a result of  vandalised gas pipeline, a development that cuts off gas supplies.

The minister said it took more than 7 months to fix the Escravos-Lagos pipeline that was destroyed. “It took such a long time because as you begin to fix, pressurize and test, you find out there are more leakages

“The leakages continue, so it took many cycles of fixing and testing and while that was going on there was no gas coming from those lines, but now we are back on.

“For the past weeks we have been averaging 4,1000 megawatts and that has not happened in a long time, so things are really looking up,” he noted.

On Channels Television’s Saturday breakfast programme, Sunrise, The Minister said that for the first time in a long time, there had been so much synergy between the Ministry of Power and Ministry of Petroleum Resources to address the issue of gas supply.

He explained that when the NIPP projects were conceived, it was to help increase power supply but it was later discovered that there was no gas supplies to these projects. “The NIPP project is being addressed right now and efforts are being made to ensure that by the end of the year there will be gas to all the plants”.

The Minister further stated that there is gas in the east and that the government was making efforts to connect the east and west. According to him the challenge is that there is no connecting axis, a situation that the Ministry of Petroleum Resources is working hard to provide a tie in.

The Minister, however, assured Nigerians that there would be improved power supply, stating that by the end of the year, expected gas supply will come on board.

“We have an assurance from the Petroleum Resources that gas will be available to get us vastly improved power supply,” he added.

Contrary to complaints by Nigerians of poor power supply that the entire country is still experiencing six months after the privatisation of the Power Holding Company of Nigeria, Professor Nebo said that there had been an improvement in power supply, explaining that previously, the nation was barely doing 3,5000 megawatts but the past couple of weeks has seen an increase to above 4000 megawatts.

Crude Oil Sale: Federal Government Says $49.8bn Not Missing

The Federal Government has said that the $49.8 billion which was accruable from crude oil sales from January 2012 to July 2013 is not missing after all.

This declaration came after a 2-day reconciliation meeting between the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Ministries of Finance, Petroleum Resources and other agencies.

At a joint press briefing by the Ministry of Finance, Petroleum Ministry and the CBN, Minister of Finance and coordinating Minister for the Economy, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, declared that the missing $49.8 billion has been accounted for.

She said that “the bulk of the $49.8billion has been accounted for and that is what the reconciliation exercise is about, so it is very clear that this is not missing”.

The declaration is said to have followed evidence provided by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, (NNPC), which indicated that the alarm raised by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) over the “missing” $49.8 billion may have been a ruse.

Nigeria’s oil output to increase by 180,000 bpd – Petroleum Minister

Diezani Alison-Madueke

Africa’s largest oil-producer is set to produce even more black gold a Reuters report stated.

Nigeria, which is currently producing some 2.5 million barrels per day (bpd) of combined crude oil and condensate will soon increase its output by 180,000 bpd, petroleum minister Mrs. Diezani Alison-Madueke said.

According to the petroleum minister oil refineries utilisation capacity is set to increase to 90 percent in the next two years after maintenance is carried out by the original construction companies, Reuters reported.

Petroleum ministry defend huge increase in 2012 budget

The National Assembly joint committee on Gas and Petroleum Resources has criticized the recurrent expenditure of the ministry of petroleum and its parastatals.

Petroleum ministry defend huge increase in 2012 budget

Lawmakers on the joint committee expressed displeasure over the appropriation of about 85 percent of the ministry’s budget to recurrent expenditure at the expense of its capital budget.

The minister of petroleum resources Mrs. Diezani Allison-Madueke led heads of parastatals under her ministry to a sitting of the joint committee to defend the ministry’s budget.

Of particular mention was the budgetary proposal of the department of petroleum resources, DPR, which would spend N30.399 billion out of its entire N35 billion budget in 2012 to service its recurrent expenditure.

The budget did not go down well with committee member Sen. Gbenga Ashafa who queried why N30 billion would be spent on a workforce of less than 1,500.

However, Petroleum minister explained that the agency would be recruiting massively in 2012, explaining the huge increase in budget.