No Accurate Data For Nigeria’s Oil Theft – Shell
Nigeria, world seventh largest oil producing nation, is yet to have an accurate data for number of oil theft after half a century exploration, which commenced at Oloibiri in 1956.
Although, staggering figures by foreign agencies quoted over $40 billion as annual financial losses to the economic sabotage, oil giant, Royal Dutch Shell whose partnership made the first crude discovery in the country said: “How much oil is stolen (in Nigeria) is difficult to estimate and varies according to sources”.
The agency saddled with the responsibility to keep statistics, the National Extractives Industries Transparency Initiatives (NEITI), had earlier owned up that there are still many areas of leakages in the Nigeria’s multi-billion dollars oil and gas industry but Shell said at the weekend that, only 2008, “there were 87 incidents of crude oil theft (known locally as illegal bunkering) from just the SPDC facilities. Incidents of malicious damage and pipe-line theft increased by 48 per cent”.
Authorities, the company said in its May 2009 edition of its in-house statement, “arrested a total of 82 people, and seized 43 tankers, 17 vehicles and 11 barges”, insisting that these “almost certainly represents a small fraction of the true scale of the problem”.
It continued in a statement entitled, “The operating environment” that in early 2006, “a series of attacks forced SPDC to shut down all operations in the western delta. As a result of this and other attacks, Nigeria has lost around in quarter of its oil production”.
NEITI had blamed the bad record keeping in the country’s oil business on regulators maintaining that differences still exist in lifted volumes of crude between the terminal operators and the companies making the lifting.
Chairman of the National Stakeholders Working Group (NSWG), of NEITI, Prof. Assisi Asobie, stated this at the flag-off of a public debate on the report submitted by its consultants, the Hart Group, to it.
Noting that the amounts involved in some of these areas of ‘possible loss’ were very significant, Asobie put the possible shortfall in the payments of royalty and petroleum profit tax resulting from anomaly in the interpretation and application of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) clauses and the clause of the relevant laws at US$242.9 million and US $309.9 million respectively.
He had stressed that the “companies estimated that the NNPC owed the Federation Account the sum of N654 billion; NNPC claims it owed N651.583 billion, but added that the sum of N222. 387 billion was being withheld as part of subsidy payments due to it from the federal government”.
Infrastructure Deficit, Insecurity, Limit Maritime Contribution To GDP – Expert
A Maritime stake holder, and Chairman of Sifax Group, Taiwo Afolabi, has attributed maritime industry’s minimal contribution to Nigeria’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) to infrastructure deficit, insecurity on the nation’s waterways, low level of technology adoption, and deployment in the sector.
Afolabi made this known at the 5th Taiwo Afolabi Annual Maritime (TAAM) conference organised by the Maritime Forum of the faculty of law, University of Lagos.
Afolabi noted that other hindrances are foreign exchange bottleneck and inconsistent policies.
“These have limited the ability of the sector to contribute significantly to the country’s Gross Domestic Product GDP.
“If well harnessed, the maritime industry has the potential to become a major revenue earner for the country, particularly with the declining oil revenue.
“The lessons of the last few years as a nation should not be lost on us. The non-oil sector is increasingly becoming the mainstay of the country’s economy. We have funded our national budget in the last few years majorly without proceeds from oil but from other sectors.
“The days of our over reliance on oil is behind us now and it’s about time we focused on transitioning from an oil-dependent economy to non-oil reliance.
“The maritime sector, I can say without any fear of contradiction, will play a crucial role in this economic transitioning if more attention is committed to the industry.
“Judging by the potentials of the industry, we are of the opinion and belief that Nigeria’s maritime industry can rank among the best in the world.
“It will only take careful planning, progressive policies, generous funding, enabling environment, friendly economic policies, manpower development and massive infrastructural development”, he noted.
Loans Repayment Default: DMO Exonerates Nigeria
The Debt Management Office (DMO) has refuted the claim by the Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) that Nigeria has defaulted in repaying its Chinese loans.
SERAP had in an earlier statement hailed the judgement that ordered the present regime led by President Muhammadu Buhari to account for how it spent $460 million obtained from China to fund the Abuja Closed-Circuit Television project which later was not implemented.
The NGO also quoted a report in its statement saying “Nigeria has failed to repay loans for which penalties stand at N41.31bn”.
But DMO in its refuttal said the statement is ‘false’ as Nigeria has not defaulted in its loan repayment.
It said, “Nigeria is fully committed to housing its debt obligations and has not defaulted on any of its debt service obligations”, DMO said on Monday.
SERAP had sued the Federal Government following a 2019 disclosure by the Minister of Finance, Zainab Ahmed that “Nigeria was servicing the loan”, adding that she had “no explanations on the status of the project”.
She reportedly said, “We are servicing the loan. I have no information on the status of the CCTV project”.
Giving his judgement, Justice Nwite agreed with SERAP that “there is a reasonable cause of action against the government. Accounting for the spending of the $460 million Chinese loan is in the interest of the public. It will be inimical for the court to refuse SERAP’s application for judicial review of the government’s action”.
The presiding justice also said the Minister of Finance is in charge of the finance of the country and “cannot by any stretch of imagination be oblivious of the amount of money paid to the contractors for the Abuja CCTV contract and the money meant for the construction of the headquarters of the Code of Conduct Bureau (CCB)”, SERAP said.
CBN Names Four Firms To Print Cheques
Nigeria’s apex banking institution, Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), has named four local firms for the printing of cheques, excluding the Nigeria Security Printing and Minting Company (NPSMC) PLC.
The list of the approved firms for the printing of cheques was contained in a circular issued by CBN.
The circular, which was signed by the Director of Banking Services, Sam Okojere, said the approved firms include Superflux International Limited, Tripple Gee and Company, Yaliam Press Limited, and Marvelous Mike Press.
“The re-accreditation of Cheques Printers and Cheque Personalisers is in line with the relevant qualification criteria”, CBN stated.
The circular also revealed that seven banks were approved as personalisers of cheques: they are Zenith Bank Plc, Ecobank Plc, First Bank Ltd, Stanbic IBTC Bank Plc, Keystone Bank Ltd, Providus Bank Ltd and Wema Bank Plc.
It further disclosed that all accredited printers and personalisers had been duly notified and certificates issued.
The Nigeria Security Printing and Minting Company Plc is the sole printer of N200, N500, and N1000 new notes.
Nigeria Security Printing and Minting Company Plc and Euphoria Group Limited were accredited and approved on Thursday, 04 December 2014, in a letter REF: BPS/DIR/GEN/CIR/02/033.
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