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PEF’s ‘Project Aquila’ Excites Stakeholders

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Stakeholders in the nation’s petroleum downstream sector have applauded “Project Aquila”, the new e-business solution, introduced by the Petroleum Equalisation Fund (Management) Board to promote service delivery.

The commendation came from the National Association of Road Transport Owners (NARTO), Major Oil Marketers Association of Nigeria (MOMAN), Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN), NNPC Retail Ltd., and Petroleum Tanker Drivers (PTD).

Their representatives spoke on Friday in Abuja at the Stakeholders’ Forum organised by the PEFMB to sensitise them on the implementation of “Project Aquila”.

They lauded the electronic business solution as a welcome development and performance-enhancing, which had led to the current stability in the supply and distribution of petroleum products nationwide.

Alhaji Lawal Isah, the National Coordinator of NARTO, thanked PEFMB for introducing “Project Aquila”, saying it had enhanced the payment of the national transportation allowance to NARTO members as well as ensured regular payment to members for bridging products.

He also applauded the measures adopted by PEFMB to collect the allowances due to it from other stakeholders, including importers of petroleum products and marketers.

“This has placed you in a better position and enhanced your ability to settle those who lift the products,” Isah said.

He recalled the agency’s repeated appeals to the Federal Government to pay the outstanding debts owed transporters and marketers for over seven years, which yielded fruits with the release of N17.4 billion to PEFMB to off-set the arrears.

Isah described as exemplary, the measures put in place so far by PEFMB’s Executive Secretary, Mrs Adefunke Kasali, to streamline the movement of products, ensure proper documentation and drive the processing of marketers’ claims.

In his remarks, Malam Aminu Abdulkadir, the IPMAN National President, praised PEFMB for maintaining good and regular consultations with stakeholders, saying that “it has helped so much in strengthening relationships and sorting out issues.”

Acting Executive Secretary of MOMAN, Mr Kola Adams, said however, that PEFMB still had some issues with “meeting up on reconciliation of claims with petroleum products marketers, especially the major marketers.’’

Adams expressed the hope that “Project Aquila’’ would assist PEFMB to provide real time, on-line information for faster processes and payment.

Managing Director of the NNPC Retail, Dr Raphael Ajiboye expressed delight with the introduction of the e-solution, which, he added, would be of immense benefit to the petroleum industry’s downstream.

He commended the agency for the cordial relationship between PEFMB and NNPC Retail, which had helped both establishments “to sort out their outstanding issues’’.

Ajiboye also pledged the NNPC Retail’s resolve to support the agency “whenever necessary.’’

A representative of Petroleum Tanker Drivers (PTD) said that his members would first wait for the implementation of the know-how to determine how it would impact on the members’ economy and welfare.

He said the PTD would appreciate “project aquila” if it encouraged regular payment of their claims.

The Tide source quotes Kasali as saying that PEFMB will begin to deploy the project by Dec. 13, with plans to extend the operation fully to cover all the agency’s 40 depots across the country by the first quarter of 2010.

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Oil & Energy

Shell To Appeal Ruling On Carbon Emission Cut Target

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Royal Dutch Shell has confirmed plans to appeal against the Dutch court ruling, calling for it to cut its carbon emissions faster.
Shell’s chief executive, Ben van Beurden, said the company had agreed that “urgent action is needed” to reduce carbon emissions, and vowed to accelerate its progress towards becoming a net zero carbon company, but said that Shell would still appeal against the ruling “because a court judgment, against a single company, is not effective”.
A court in The Hague reached the verdict in May this year after Friends of the Earth and over 17,000 co-plaintiffs successfully argued that Shell had been aware of the dangerous consequences of CO2 emissions for decades, and that its climate targets did not go far enough.
It ruled that Shell has an obligation to cut its carbon emissions by 45 percent by 2030, compared with 2019 levels, under both Dutch law and the European convention on human rights – the right to life and the right to family life – and that the company had known for “a long time” about the damage caused by carbon emissions.
“What is needed is clear, ambitious policies that will drive fundamental change across the whole energy system,” he said. “Climate change is a challenge that requires both urgent action and an approach that is global, collaborative and encourages coordination between all parties,” Beurden added.
Friends of the Earth Netherlands, also known as Milieudefensie had said the appeal would send “the wrong signal” and confirm Shell’s “lack of commitment” to tackling the global climate crisis.
A director at Milieud-efensie, Donald Pols, said the appeal aimed to postpone any action from Shell and warned that “the longer the delay the more serious the climate consequences will be for us all”.
A lawyer for Milieude-fensie, Roger Cox, said: “The judges have passed a well-considered judgment on Shell in the verdict. We are confident that this judgment will be reaffirmed on appeal. The science is clear on the consequences of and solutions to dangerous climate change.”
Shell set out its latest carbon emissions goals earlier this year ahead of a shareholder vote on its plan to become a net zero carbon energy company by 2050. However it also signalled to investors that it would continue to grow its gas business by more than 20 percent in the next few years, despite the urgent need to begin dramatic emissions cuts before the end of the decade.
Although the FTSE 100 group won the support of the majority of its investors it also suffered a significant investor rebellion after a Dutch climate activist group, Follow This, called for the company to set tougher carbon emissions targets and received 30 percent of shareholder votes.
Following court ruling, Van Beurden said in a statement on his LinkedIn page that he was disappointed that Shell was “singled out” by a ruling that “does not help reduce global CO2 emissions”.
He wrote: “Imagine Shell decided to stop selling petrol and diesel today. This would certainly cut Shell’s carbon emissions. But it would not help the world one bit. Demand for fuel would not change. People would fill up their cars and delivery trucks at other service stations.”

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Oil & Energy

DPR Sets Record Straight On Subsidy Removal

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The Department of Petroleum Resources, DPR, has clarified that its Director, Sarki Auwalu, was quoted out of context, following recent reports attributed to him that petrol could be sold for as high as N1000 per litre if subsidy was removed without alternative.
A statement by the department faulted the reports, describing it as a “misinterpretation”.
“DPR wishes to state that the headline of the publication is misleading as the comments of the Director/CEO DPR was clearly taken out of context.
“The director/CEO specifically created a scenario of price instability of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) based on current dollar to naira differentials to the effect that if Nigeria continues to rely on the importation of PMS without creating alternative energy sources like CNG, LNG, AUTOGAS etc, which will provide price buffers for consumers and ultimately crash the price of pms, then the product will be subject to prevailing market forces.
“The director further reemphasised that the strategy for alternative energy sources is a cardinal programme of the government which has led to the declaration of the Decade of Gas (DoG) with the objective to migrate the Nigerian economy to a gas based economy by 2030.
“The Department hereby restates that we will continue to enable businesses and create opportunities through our downstream focus on Quality, Quantity, Integrity and Safety (QQIS)”, the statement said.

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Oando Settles Legal Tussle With SEC

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Oando Plc has entered into a settlement with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in the overriding interest of the shareholders of the company and the capital market after years of legal tussle.
This was contained in a circular posted on SEC’s website on Monday and obtained by Tide source.
According to reports, the commission in 2019 said it found Oando guilty of serious infractions, thereby barring the company’s Chief Executive Officer Mr Wale Tinubu, and its deputy CEO, Mr Mofe Boyo, from the boards of public companies for five years.
SEC also instituted an interim management to appoint new board of directors and management team for Oando.
The circular said the company had reached a settlement with the commission without accepting or denying liability on immediate withdrawal of all legal actions filed by it and all affected directors.
It said the agreement included payment of a monetary sum, and an undertaking by the company to implement corporate governance improvements.
“Part of the terms required the submission by the company of quarterly reports on its compliance with the terms of the Settlement Agreement; the Investments and Securities Act, 2007; the SEC Rules and Regulations; the National Code of Corporate Governance and the SEC Guidelines to the Code of Corporate Governance.
“Pursuant to the powers conferred on the Commission by the Investments and Securities Act 2007, and the Rules and Regulations made pursuant thereto, the commission on July 15, entered into a settlement with Oando Plc (the company).
“The commission in its letter to the company dated May 31, 2019, gave certain directives and imposed sanctions on the company, following investigations conducted pursuant to two petitions filed with the commission in 2017.
“The company and some of its affected directors had challenged the said directives in a series of suits commenced at the Federal High Court,” it said.
The circular said Oando approached the commission for a settlement of the matter, and both parties had agreed to settle in consideration of the impact that a further prolonged period of litigation would have on the company’s shareholders and the value of their investments.
The commission also reiterated its commitment to ensuring the fairness, transparency and integrity of the capital market, while upholding its mandate to protect investors.

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