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Shell Shuts 10% Nigerian Oil Exports

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Royal Dutch Shell is shutting down its huge 200,000 barrels per day (bpd) Bonga oilfield off the Nigerian coast after a leak occurred while loading a tanker on Tuesday, the firm said in a statement.

The Anglo-Dutch oil major said “less than 40,000 barrels of oil” had leaked into the ocean. The flow of oil had now halted”, a spokesman said.

The leak occurred while a tanker was loading oil from Shell’s Bonga facility, about 120 kilometres off the coast of the West African nation, according to the statement.

Shell’s pipelines in Nigeria’s onshore Niger Delta have spilled several times, which the company blames on sabotage attacks and oil theft.

Bonga accounts for around 10 percent of monthly oil flows from Nigeria, Africa’s largest exporter of crude oil, according to Reuters data.

“We are sorry this leak has happened. As soon as we became aware of it, we stopped the flow of oil and mobilised our own resources, as well as industry expertise, to ensure its effects are minimised,” said Shell Nigeria Country Chair, Mutiu Sunmonu.

“It is important to stress that this was not a well control incident of any sort, and to make clear that no one has been injured. Our focus now is on a speedy and effective clean-up,” he added.

BP’s Macondo well ruptured in April last year, causing nearly 5 million barrels of oil to spew into the sea in what was the worst U.S. marine oil spill.

Shell Nigeria Exploration and Production Company is 100 percent owned by the Anglo-Dutch oil major.

A Shell spokesman said the flow of oil had been halted on all three of the platform’s export lines where it is believed that the leak occurred.

An investigation will be launched into the reasons for the leak, he said, without giving a timeframe for the restart of production.

The company had not declared force majeure, a legal clause allowing a company to miss deliveries due to circumstances outside its control, he added.

Shell’s share price fell during the day by more than 1 percent on Wednesday to 2,274 pence by 1405 GMT. Brent oil prices were up 63 cents at $107.36 a barrel by the same time.

Oil traders and analysts said the Bonga closure could be supportive both for Brent oil futures and other Nigerian crude streams, where demand is expected to increase.

“Given the current sensitivity to potential supply disruptions and rising geopolitical tensions it just adds to the uncertainty in 2012… It will limit the downside on Brent should broader market sentiment turn,” said Andrey Kryuchenkov of VTB Capital.

Bonga was due to load around 161,000 bpd on five tankers in January, according to oil loading programmes.

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Stakeholders Meet To Assess Nigeria’s Preparedness For AFCFTA

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Stakeholders are expected to converge in Lagos today to take a look at the Nigeria’s preparedness to maximize the gains of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA). 
The Tide learnt that stakeholders will be converging at the instance of a popular online newspaper, Primetime Reporters, to assess the progress made so far by the Federal Government through the National Action Committee on AfCFTA agreement.
The event which is the Third Annual Lecture and Awards of the online medium has as its theme: “Assessing Nigeria’s Preparedness to Maximize the Gains of AfCFTA.” 
The event will also witness conferment of awards on eight eminent Nigerians who have distinguished themselves in various fields of human endeavours.
The Managing Director/Editor-In-Chief of Primetime Reporters, Mr. Saint Augustine Nwadinamuo, made this known in a statement made available to The Tide in Lagos on Monday.
According to him, the event will hold at the National Institute of International Affairs (NIIA), Kofo Abayomi Street, Victoria Island, Lagos beginning from 10.00am.
Nwadinamuo said that the event would be chaired by a renowned legal practitioner, Barr. Osuala Emmanuel Nwagbara of the Maritime and Commercial Law Partners, Lagos, while the Director General, Lagos Chambers of Commerce and Industry (LCCI), Dr. Muda Yusuf, would be the lead paper presenter.

By: Nkpemenyie Mcdominic, Lagos

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EFCC Nabs 419 Kingpin Over N250m Fraud

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The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), has arrested a leader of a deadly 419 syndicate, Abayomi Kamaldeen Alaka (a.k.a Awise) over an alleged attempt to swindle an innocent Nigerian of N250 million. 
The Tide learnt that the syndicate operates from a shrine at Ashipa Town, near Abeokuta, Ogun State.
According to a statement made available to The Tide in Lagos on Sunday, by the EFCC, Awise’s arrest followed a petition by his victim, Juliet Bright who lost N250m to the fraudster after she was tricked to provide money for sacrifices and invocations to heal her of an ailment.
The statement said Bright was introduced to Alaka by one Akinola Bukola Augustina (a.ka. Iya Osun) whom she met on Facebook in the course of her search for solutions to her health challenge. 
What drew her to Augustina was the latter’s post under the name, Osunbukola Olamitutu Spriritual Healing Centre.
 Once Bright contacted Augustina, the latter promised to heal her if she could pay N16 million. 
The victim paid the money through an Access Bank account belonging to one Mohammed Sani, who later turned out to be a Bureau De Change Operator.
After paying the money without receiving healing, Augustina transferred the victim to other members of the syndicate, notably Awise. 
Bright revealed that she met Awise at his shrine in Ashipa Town and was hypnotized and subsequently transferred various sum through bank accounts and in cash to the suspect and his syndicate members, until she lost N250 million to them.
Despite all the monies collected from her, her health conditions has never improved.

By: Nkpemenyie Mcdominic, Lagos

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Expert Wants Farmers To Grow Plant Produce For Export

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An expert in Quarantine Agriculture, Dr Vincent Ozuru, has advised Nigerian farmers to give more attention to growing plants produce that could be exported.
He said that plant like the hibiscus, popularly known as Zobo is on high demand in some countries around the world, today.
Ozuru who gave the advice while speaking to aviation correspondents at Port Harcourt International Airport, Omagwa, noted that some plants produce, particularly hibiscus, had yielded huge revenue to the Federal Government through export.
According to him, Nigeria exported about 1,983 containers of hibiscus to Mexico alone in 2017 and earned $35 million within nine months of that year.
The agricultural quarantine expert explained that the export of the plant had a setback as a result of storage pest discovered by the Nigeria Agricultural Quarantine Service in some consignments.
“The issue has now been taken care of and the export is resuming again, and all matters have been resolved with the stakeholders across the value chain.
“Mexico is the largest importer of Nigerian hibiscus, and our farmers should brace up to the challenge.
“The good news is that Nigeria has a vast growing belt in hibiscus, and the harvest is available all year round.
“We need to take advantage of this opportunity to earn foreign exchange for ourselves and for the country at large, even with the commitment of the present administration to diversify the economy”, he said.
Ozuru called on Nigerian farmers to show more commitment to the growing of export produce and also endeavor to get ready information on it in order to increase their income.

By: Corlins Walter

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