Connect with us

Government

FG, States’ Revenue to Dip Further as NNPC Seeks to Use Royalties, Taxes to Fund JVs

Published

on

NNPC

In a move certain to raise eyebrows reminiscent of the outcry over the proposal on the sale of the country’s strategic oil and gas assets, the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) has said that it is working on new modalities that would allow it to fund its joint venture (JV) cash call obligations in the future, as well as pay off the arrears on the JVs from oil and gas royalties and taxes.

It said under the planned model, such payments would be deducted through a first line charge, implying that this will leave less funds to the three tiers of government to share.

It disclosed this yesterday in a statement from its Group General Manager, Public Affairs, Mallam Garuba Deen Muhammad in Abuja.

NNPC quoted its Group Managing Director (GMD), Dr. Maikanti Baru, as speaking on the new modalities at a one-day working visit to the National Petroleum Investment Management Services (NAPIMS), a corporate service unit (CSU) of the NNPC responsible for the management of the federal government’s oil and gas portfolios in the upstream sector.

Baru said that the current JV payment structure requires an urgent review, noting that the new model being proposed by the NNPC would enable it plough back its profits and grow the oil and gas business in the upstream for the benefit of all stakeholders.

According to the statement, he urged the management and staff of NAPIMS to carry out their assignments with professional integrity by benchmarking their operations with global best practices.

He also disclosed that the 12-key business focus areas of the NNPC under his watch were targeted at rejuvenating the entire business operations of the corporation to enable it deliver on its core mandate to all its stakeholders.

He described NAPIMS as a strategic CSU and asked for maximum support from its staff to enable NNPC meet its set goals in the short, medium and long-term.

The statement also said the Group General Manager of NAPIMS, Mr. Dafe Sajebor, who was represented by the General Manager, Production Sharing Contract, Mr. James Jock, in his remarks, assured Baru that NAPIMS would work towards the efficient management of all JVs and production sharing contracts, even in the face of dwindling crude oil prices and incessant pipeline vandalism.

Baru, in a separate meeting, also promised to reposition the National Engineering and Technical Company (NETCO) into the engineering, procurement and construction company of choice.

He made this commitment during the maiden town hall meeting with the management and staff of NETCO at its headquarters in Lagos.

He said NETCO, as a strategic business unit (SBU), had over the years delivered profits to NNPC. He assured his audience that NETCO would continue to play the pivotal role of providing in-house professional engineering services to all the autonomous business units (ABUs) of the corporation and other clients.

The Managing Director of NETCO, Siky Aliyu, noted in the statement that NETCO was challenged by low patronage by some ABUs of NNPC and the international oil companies (IOCs).

Aliyu however said the company was determined to harness all opportunities in the oil and gas project portfolios in order to keep reporting a positive bottom-line.

CEO/Founder Investors King Ltd, a foreign exchange research analyst, contributing author on New York-based Talk Markets and Investing.com, with over a decade experience in the global financial markets.

Government

COVID-19 Vaccine: African Export-Import Bank (Afrexim) to Purchase 270 Million Doses for Nigeria, Other African Nations

Published

on

African Export-Import Bank (Afrexim) Approves $2 Billion for the Purchase of 270 million Doses for African Nations

African Export-Import Bank (Afrexim) said it has approved $2 billion for the purchase of 270 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines for African nations, including Nigeria.

Prof. Benedict Oramah, the President of the Bank, disclosed this at a virtual Africa Soft Power Series held on Tuesday.

He, however, stated that the lender is looking to raise more funds for the COVID-19 vaccines’ acquisition.

He said: “The African Union knows that unless you put the virus away, your economy can’t come back. If Africa didn’t do anything, it would become a COVID-19 continent when other parts of the world have already moved on.
“Recall that it took seven years during the heat of HIV for them to come to Africa after 12 million people had died.

“With the assistance of the AU, we were able to get 270 million vaccines and financing need of about $2 billion. Afreximbank then went ahead to secure the $2 billion. But that money for the 270 million doses could only add 15 per cent to the 20 per cent that Covax was bringing.

He added that this is not the time to wait for handouts or free vaccines as other countries will naturally sort themselves out before African nations.

Continue Reading

Government

China Calls for Better China-U.S. Relations

Published

on

China Calls for China-U.S. Relations

Senior Chinese diplomat Wang Yi said on Monday the United States and China could work together on issues like climate change and the coronavirus pandemic if they repaired their damaged bilateral relationship.

Wang, a Chinese state councillor and foreign minister, said Beijing stood ready to reopen constructive dialogue with Washington after relations between the two countries sank to their lowest in decades under former president Donald Trump.

Wang called on Washington to remove tariffs on Chinese goods and abandon what he said was an irrational suppression of the Chinese tech sector, steps he said would create the “necessary conditions” for cooperation.

Before Wang spoke at a forum sponsored by the foreign ministry, officials played footage of the “ping-pong diplomacy” of 1972 when an exchange of table tennis players cleared the way for then U.S. President Richard Nixon to visit China.

Wang, a Chinese state councillor and foreign minister, said Beijing stood ready to reopen constructive dialogue with Washington after relations between the two countries sank to their lowest in decades under former president Donald Trump.

Wang called on Washington to remove tariffs on Chinese goods and abandon what he said was an irrational suppression of the Chinese tech sector, steps he said would create the “necessary conditions” for cooperation.

Before Wang spoke at a forum sponsored by the foreign ministry, officials played footage of the “ping-pong diplomacy” of 1972 when an exchange of table tennis players cleared the way for then U.S. President Richard Nixon to visit China.

Wang urged Washington to respect China’s core interests, stop “smearing” the ruling Communist Party, stop interfering in Beijing’s internal affairs and stop “conniving” with separatist forces for Taiwan’s independence.

“Over the past few years, the United States basically cut off bilateral dialogue at all levels,” Wang said in prepared remarks translated into English.

“We stand ready to have candid communication with the U.S. side, and engage in dialogues aimed at solving problems.”

Wang pointed to a recent call between Chinese President Xi Jinping and U.S. President Joe Biden as a positive step.

Washington and Beijing have clashed on multiple fronts including trade, accusations of human rights crimes against the Uighur Muslim minorities in the Xinjiang region and Beijing’s territorial claims in the resources-rich South China Sea.

The Biden administration has, however, signalled it will maintain pressure on Beijing. Biden has voiced concern about Beijing’s “coercive and unfair” trade practices and endorsed of a Trump administration determination that China has committed genocide in Xinjiang.

Continue Reading

Government

U.S. Supreme Court Allows Release of Trump Tax Returns

Published

on

President Trump Signs Executive Order In Oval Office Of The White House

U.S. Supreme Court Allows Release of Trump Tax Returns

The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday paved the way for a New York City prosecutor to obtain former President Donald Trump’s tax returns and other financial records as part of a criminal investigation, a blow to his quest to conceal details of his finances.

The justices without comment rebuffed Trump’s request to put on hold an Oct. 7 lower court ruling directing the former Republican president’s longtime accounting firm, Mazars USA, to comply with a subpoena to turn over the materials to a grand jury convened by Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance, a Democrat.

“The work continues,” Vance said in a statement issued after the court’s action.

Vance had previously said in a letter to Trump’s lawyers that his office would be free to immediately enforce the subpoena if the justices rejected Trump’s request.

A lawyer for Trump did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The Supreme Court, which has a 6-3 conservative majority included three Trump appointees, had already ruled once in the dispute, last July rejecting Trump’s broad argument that he was immune from criminal probes as a sitting president.

Unlike all other recent U.S. presidents, Trump refused during his four years in office to make his tax returns public. The data could provide details on his wealth and the activities of his family real-estate company, the Trump Organization.

Trump, who left office on Jan. 20 after being defeated in his Nov. 3 re-election bid by Democrat Joe Biden, continues to face an array of legal issues concerning his personal and business conduct.

Vance issued a subpoena to Mazars in August 2019 seeking Trump’s corporate and personal tax returns from 2011 to 2018. Trump’s lawyers sued to block the subpoena, arguing that as a sitting president, Trump had absolute immunity from state criminal investigations.

The Supreme Court in its July ruling rejected those arguments but said Trump could raise other objections to the subpoena. Trump’s lawyers then argued before lower courts that the subpoena was overly broad and amounted to political harassment, but U.S. District Judge Victor Marrero in August and the New York-based 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in October rejected those claims.

Vance’s investigation, which began more than two years ago, had focused on hush money payments that the president’s former lawyer and fixer Michael Cohen made before the 2016 election to two women – adult-film actress Stormy Daniels and former Playboy model Karen McDougal – who said they had sexual encounters with Trump.

In recent court filings, Vance has suggested that the probe is now broader and could focus on potential bank, tax and insurance fraud, as well as falsification of business records.

In separate litigation, the Democratic-led U.S. House of Representatives was seeking to subpoena similar records. The Supreme Court in July sent that matter back to lower courts for further review.

Continue Reading

Trending