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FG Accuses Shell of Crude Oil Theft

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  • FG Accused Shell of Crude Oil Theft
  • FG Demands $406 million

The federal government is demanding $406.75 million at the minimum from the Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) and its surrogate Shell Western Supply & Trading Limited for alleged crude oil theft.

The amount, according to court papers in Lagos, represents the shortfall of the money paid by the multinational oil firm in the account of the Nigerian government with Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), for crude oil lifted in 2013 and 2014, reported the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) yesterday.

The federal government’s legal team led by Professor Fabian Ajogwu accused the Anglo-Dutch oil multinational of not declaring or under-declaring crude oil shipments during the period, following a forensic analysis of bills of lading and shipping documents.

Ajogwu, armed with sworn affidavits of three U.S.-based professionals, claimed that Shell cheated Nigeria of the revenue.

The three professionals employed by the federal government are: Professor David Olowokere, a U.S. citizen who is the lead analyst at Loumos Group LLC, a technology and oil and gas auditing firm based in U.S.; and Mr. Jerome Stanley, a counsel in the law firm of Henchy & Hackenberg, a law firm based in U.S. and head of the legal team engaged by Loumo Group LLC.

The third professional is Mr. Micheal Kanko a citizen of the U.S. and resident of the state of Arizona, who is the founder and current chief executive of Trade Data services Company.

The experts were able to track the global movements of the country’s hydrocarbons, including crude oil and gas, with the main purpose of identifying the companies engaged in the practices that led to missing revenues from crude oil and gas export sales to different parts of the world.

In reconciling the export records from Nigeria, with the import records at ports in the United States of America, the experts found mind-boggling discrepancies.

The Nigerian government averred, for instance, that on the 6th of January 2013, the defendants lifted crude oil using the vessel AUTHENTIC and shipped same to BP Oil Supply of 28301 Ferry Road, Warrenville, Illinois, USA at the port of Chester, Pennsylvania, United States of America.

The shipment had the bill of lading number ALMYSVDM161212A3. This particular shipment, the experts unearthed, was not declared to the relevant authorities in Nigeria, resulting in a shortfall of 660,712 barrels of crude oil in the value of $72,678,320 as revenue to the Government of Nigeria.

On the 3rd of January 2013, Shell and its surrogate company lifted crude oil that resulted in a shortfall of 979,031 barrels in the value of $107,693,410.

On the 14th of December 2014, Shell also lifted crude oil using the vessel EAGLE TUSCON and shipped same to Shell Deer Park of 5900 Texas 225, Deer Park, TX77536, USA at the port of Houston, Texas, United States of America, with bill of lading number AETK0909US14.

The shipment was not declared to the relevant authorities, resulting in a shortfall of 499,048 barrels of crude oil in the value of $54,895,280 as revenue to the Nigerian Government.

Shell, with its allied company, was also alleged at three different times to have shipped crude on board EAGLE TUSCON, EAGLE SEVILLE and OVERSEAS EVERGLADES that resulted in a shortfall of 3,697,737 barrels of crude oil, bringing the total value of the shortfall to $406,751,070.

Last January, the federal government, through its legal representative wrote a letter to the defendants drawing their attention to the discrepancies.
It asked them to clarify the discrepancies with documentation as a prelude to the repayment of the revenue and debt they now owe the government.

To date, the federal government has not received any payment from the defendants, pursuant to the said letter, nor the requested documents.

The federal government averred that it had suffered huge and enormous financial losses as a result of the defendants’ under-declaration of the value of the crude oil they lifted and exported to the U.S.

It is now seeking a court order compelling the two companies to pay into the Federal Government of Nigeria account with the CBN, the sum of USD 406,751,070, being the total value of the missing revenue from the shortfall/undeclared/under-declared crude oil shipments of the country, made by the companies to U.S.

The government is also demanding interest payment at 21 per cent per annum on the sum of $406,751,070 until the entire sum is liquidated.

Shell, in addition, is being asked to pay general exemplary damages in the sum of $406,751,070 and the cost of instituting the legal action.

The presiding judge, Mojisola Olatoregun Isola has adjourned till October 20, 2016 for mention of the case.

Nigeria has also sued Chevron, Total and Agip asking for a total of $12.7 billion for alleged non-declaration of some 57 million barrels of crude shipped to the U.S. between 2011 and 2014.

The oil firms are among up to 15 oil majors targeted by the Nigerian government for the recovery of $17 billion in deprived revenue.

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.

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Are There Better Ways to Help Consumers Tackle Social and Environmental Problems?

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Consumers - Investors King

Techniques used by online microfinance platforms to spur user involvement could be useful in helping organisations to persuade people to behave in ways that benefit both society and environment.

Microfinance platforms have popularised the idea that ordinary people can become bankers to the poor. Communities of lenders get together every day to crowdfund microloans to disadvantaged micro-entrepreneurs by investing small sums of around only 25 dollars.

A new study digs into the universe of these microloan platforms to investigate how they manage to attract investors and perpetuate their enthusiasm for responding to social problems such as poverty.

Researchers from the Universities of Birmingham and Southern Denmark have identified two major ways through which platforms maintain and potentiate lending. Their findings are published in the Journal of Consumer Research.

Firstly, the platforms assemble resources that function as an ‘apparatus of affirmation’ – providing first-hand evidence of impact that help consumers imagine the benefits of their actions, thereby creating a sense of empowerment.

Secondly, the platforms translate complex and distant social problems, such as poverty, into personal encounters between lenders and borrowers – creating a sense of connection and familiarity via photographs, stories and loan updates. This set of techniques is theorised as the ‘apparatus of relatability’.

Co-author Dr Pilar Rojas-Gaviria, Lecturer in Marketing at the University of Birmingham, comments: “Organisations such as microlending platforms, which strive to mobilise responsible consumers, face two key challenges – overcoming the powerlessness felt when facing daunting problems, and removing a sense of disconnection from ‘faraway’ problems.

“Supplementing the power of ideas and knowledge with personal stories that inspire hope and aspiration, affinity and connection are powerful techniques that could be useful in inspiring consumers to more actively participate in efforts to tackle social and environmental problems, such as climate change.”

Through storytelling, imagery, platform design and communication, the researchers note that online microlending platforms nurture a feeling that genuine change is possible through affordable actions. They also develop a sense of affinity and empathy among potential investors with aspiring micro-entrepreneurs, particularly those from Low-and Middle-income Countries (LMIC).

For example, the platforms publish loan requests to showcase individual borrowers with first names, photographs, and short biographies. This personalised strategy effectively frames microlending as a virtual encounter with a borrower and their story of micro-entrepreneurship. Celebrities, such as actor Natalie Portman, have over the past years helped the microfinance industry to promote microloans as an act of hope that empowers resourceful poor in their efforts to escape poverty.

Co-author Domen Bajde, from the University of Southern Denmark comments: “The advent of online microlending has expanded the pool of potential investors to anyone with internet access and $25 to spare.

“After learning that lenders were more interested in ’emotional returns’ rather than financial profit from their loans, platforms began to dramatise microlending as an act of aspirational hope and affinity toward the entrepreneurial poor.”

The research is also significant for charitable giving, noting that donors are more likely to contribute when they see their donations as a way of empowering the disadvantaged and when donations are experienced as impactful investments.

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Tunde Hassan-Odukale is FBN Holdings Largest Shareholder, Not Femi Otedola, FBN Holdings Clarifies

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Tunde Hassan Odukale - Investors King

In response to the questions asked by the Nigerian Exchange Limited (NGX), FBN Holdings has said Mr. Tunde Hassan-Odukale, a Director of First Bank of Nigeria Limited is FBN Holdings Plc’s largest shareholder and not billionaire Femi Otedola.

In a statement signed by Seye Kosoko, Company Secretary, FBN Holdings Plc and released via the Nigerian Exchange Limited on Wednesday, Mr. Tunde Hassan-Odukale directly holds 26,231,887 shares or 0.07 percent.

However, his indirect holdings stood at 1,897,280,212 shares or 5.29 percent of FBN Holdings’ total issued shares.

Breaking down Mr. Tunde Hassan-Odukale indirect holdings, the director holds 755,959,459 or 2.11 percent shares through Leadway Assurance Company Ltd.

Another 486,605,478 shares or 1.36 percent via ZPC/Leadway Assurance Prem & Inv Coll Acct. He acquired 0.04 percent or 13,229,148 shares through Haskal Holdings Ltd. Mr. Hassan-Odukale also purchased 1,004,528 shares through Leadway Capital & Trust Ltd.

He then bought 112,552 shares through LAC Investments Ltd; 112,237 through Leadway Properties & Investment Ltd; 211,290,798 or 0.59 percent via Leadway Holdings (Holdco); 53,771,413 or 0.15 percent through OHO Investment and finally acquired 375,194,599 or 1.05 percent through Leadway Pensure PFA.

Therefore, Mr. Tunde Hassan-Odukale direct and indirect holdings in FBN Holdings Plc stood at 26,231,887 or 0.07 percent and 1,897,280,212 or 5.29 percent, respectively. In totality (Direct and Indirect), he holds 1,923,512,099 or 5.36 percent shares in FBN Holdings.

This is more than the 10,000,000 or 0.03 percent shares directly owned by Mr. Olufemi Peter Otedola and another 1,808,551,625 or 5.04 percent he acquired via Calvados Global Services Limited. Mr. Otedola total stake’s in FBN Holdings now stood at 1,818,551,625 or 5.07 percent. Making him the second-largest shareholder in the company.

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Tesla’s Valuation Crosses $1 Trillion Mark After Hertz Orders 100,000 Vehicles

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Tesla Model 3 - Investors King

Price of Tesla stock rose by $115.18 or 12.66 percent on Monday after Hertz, an American car rental company based in Estero, Florida, ordered 100,000 Tesla electric vehicles in a deal worth $4.2 billion.

Four months after surviving bankruptcy, Hertz Global Holdings Inc. is strategically moving away from fuel cars to electrify its rental-car fleet.

According to Hertz, customers will be able to order Tesla Model 3 at airports and other locations in major U.S. markets and some cities in Europe starting from early November.

The announcement bolstered Tesla’s market value above $1.03 trillion before it moderated to $1.01 trillion at the close of business on Monday.

Tesla’s valuation has risen at an unusual pace since the COVID-19 outbreak. The company’s valuation jumped from $100 billion to $1 trillion in less than two years, according to data available on Dow Jones. It took Amazon, Apple and others more years to attain the same status. To put it in perspective, it took Amazon more than eight years to move from a $100 billion valuation company to $1 trillion.

Despite analysts saying Tesla is extremely overvalued and a series of price adjustments post-COVID-19 are predicted, Tesla Inc and Elon Musk, the company’s CEO and Co-founder, seem not to be slowing down.

Musk’s Tesla holdings, including vested and unvested options, were valued at around $297 billion as of Monday, October 25, 2021, according to corporate-governance data company Equilar Inc. Elon Musk’s holdings in Tesla is more than the valuation of Toyota Motor Corp., the second-largest automaker by market capitalization.

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