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Move Against Wharf Landing Fees May Suffer Setback

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  • Move Against Wharf Landing Fees May Suffer Setback

The move by the Federal Government asking the Supreme Court to declare the Lagos State Wharf Landing Fees Law No. 5 of 2009 unconstitutional, and order the state to refund all the monies collected through the law may suffer setback.

This is because some of the council authorities around the ports have threatened to start the collection of the money, if the move by the state government fails.

The Wharf Landing Law was passed in 2009 when Babatunde Fashola, now the Minister for Power, Works and Housing, was the governor.

The law imposes levies, from N1,000 to N3,000, on consignments transported from Lagos sea ports to local government areas of the state.

Some residents of the local governments around Lagos sea ports, it was gathered, have written a letter to the Chairman, Lagos State Wharf Landing Fees Collecting Authority, Mr Joe Igbokwe, to assist them in collecting the money or allow officials of the local governments to do it.

Some of the residents and motorists operating in Apapa, Amuwo-Odofin, Ajeromi-Ifelodun, Surulere, Apapa-Igamu Local Council Development Area (LCDA) and environs said they would support any move by the state and local governments to attract development and restore the past glories of their areas.

They gave kudos to the state government for filling the pot-holes with broken bricks as a palliative measure pending the comprehensive rehabilitation of the roads in Apapa and Tincan Island.

One of the residents and chairman of the group, Mr Solomon Jayeola, said they would support the local government authorities in collecting the money if the court rules in favour of the petitioner.

It was gathered that associations at petroleum depots collect a huge amount of money from their members.

Findings revealed that the Petrol Tankers Drivers (PTD) collects N10,000; oil and gas suppliers collect N2,000; Engine Oil and Lubricants (ELD), Petroleum Station Workers (PSW) and Independent Marketers Branch (IMB) collect N2,000 and N1,000.

Also, the National Association of Road Transport Owners (NARTO), Marine Survey (MS) and Surface Tank Kerosene Distributors (SUTAKED) collect N2,500, N5,000 and N3,000.

“As residents of this area, we do not think N1,000 for a 40ft container and N500 for 20ft container is too much for the owners to pay to the government.

“Also, car drivers are asked to pay N300 while SUVs are to pay N500. But we have observed that car drivers are not willing and that is why we will support our local government in collecting the levies because it is a source of revenue generation for them as entrenched in the Constitution,” Jayeola said.

A motorist, Francis Solomon, also said Lagosians must support the state government in collecting the fees, and urged those affected to see it as part of their Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR)

“We want Lagosians to understand that the local governments around the ports are in dire need of the money during this period of recession. The local governments need your support and encouragement to look inwards to make life more comfortable for the residents.

“There is need for me to also draw the attention of the public to the inappropriateness of the solicitors to the AGF in this matter at the Supreme Court. The law firm is a counsel to Hermonfield Limited, a sub-contractor of the collecting agent appointed by the state government to collect wharf landing fees.”

Solomon alleged that the genuiness of the law firm was suspect as the case appeared to have been filed after the failure of an attempt to foist the sub-contractor on the state government.

Contacted, Igbokwe said the agency had issued 240 invoices to various companies and got only 81 responses in terms of payments.

The figure, he said, represents 34 per cent. He called on those concerned to pay up so that the rule of engagement will not degenerate to coercion.

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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NNPC Plans Divestment Pathway For Joint Ventures Partnership

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The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) has said it would outline policies to guide its joint venture partners (JVC) that wish to divest from joint ventures or the Nigerian oil and gas industry.

NNPC Group Managing Director, Mele Kyari on Monday said that Nigeria, as a key player in global energy security, was addressing its challenges, mainly fiscal, security and cost competitiveness, to stimulate investments in the oil and gas industry.

Kyari, who spoke in Lagos while delivering an address at the opening ceremony of the Nigeria Annual International Conference and Exhibition said, “NNPC, as a national oil company, is leading multiple initiatives to address this and other issues.

“As we celebrate the passage of the PIB, we have moved our focus to improve security architecture through collaboration with major stakeholders.”

According to him, the Nigerian Upstream Cost Optimisation Programme is working with operators and service contractors to challenge the cost of operations and increase profitability and growth in the industry.

“On the other hand, we are seeing a wave of divestment by oil majors operating in Nigeria. NNPC as a national oil company cannot stop partners from divesting their interest, even though it creates challenges for us in ensuring that we get the right and competent investors to take a position and add value to the assets.

“The NNPC will ensure that Nigeria’s national strategic interest is safeguarded by developing a comprehensive divestment policy that will provide clear guidelines and criteria for divestment of partners’ interest,” Kyari said.

He said the corporation would make clear distinctions between divestment of shares and operatorship agreements under various joint operating agreements while leveraging its rights of pre-emption and evaluating the operational competence and tract records of new partners.

Kyari said in order to sustain a prosperous business environment, particular attention would be paid to abandonment and relinquishment costs, severance of operator staff, third party contract liabilities, competency of the buyer, and post purchased technical, operational and financial capabilities.

He said the NNPC would declare its first dividend to Nigerians as it prepares to release its 2020 financial statements in the third quarter of this year.

The local unit of the Royal Dutch Shell had in May said that its onshore oil portfolio in Nigeria was ‘no longer compatible with its strategic ambitions.

“We have reduced the total number of licenses in onshore Nigeria by half. But unfortunately, our remaining onshore operations continue to be subject to sabotage and theft,” Chief Executive Officer, Ben van Beurden, told investors at the company’s AGM.

Early this year, Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria Limited, Total E&P Nigeria Limited and Nigerian Agip Oil Company Limited concluded the sale of their combined 45 percent interest in Oil Mining Lease 17 and related assets in the Eastern Niger Delta to TNOG Oil and Gas Limited.

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Petrol Subsidy Likely to Gulp N2T This Year –Rainoil GMD

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Nigeria may end up spending N2 trillion on petrol subsidy this year if the current situation persists, the Group Managing Director, Rainoil Limited, Dr Gabriel Ogbechie, has said.

Ogbechie said this on Sunday at the Nigeria History Series of the Centre for Values in Leadership, themed ‘Indigenous participation in the downstream oil and gas sector’ moderated by Prof. Pat Utomi.

While lamenting the lack of deregulation in the downstream sector, he said the government was spending about N8m daily on petrol subsidy.

He described the sector as highly regulated, saying, “I wonder if there is any other sector of the economy that is as regulated as the downstream.”

He said, “The biggest elephant in the room today as far as the downstream is concerned is the failure, so to speak, of the government to deregulate the downstream – fixing the price at which petroleum products are sold, I believe, is very seriously harmful to this economy.”

According to him, the landing cost of the petrol imported into the country is about N300 per litre, based on the current naira-dollar exchange rate.

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Sirius Petroleum and Baker Hughes Collaborate on OML 65 Drilling in Nigeria

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Sirius Petroleum, the Africa-focused oil and gas production and development company, has signed a memorandum of understanding with Baker Hughes. The MoU names Baker Hughes as the approved service provider for Phase 1 of the Approved Work Program (AWP) of the OML 65 permit, a large onshore block in the western Niger Delta, Nigeria. Baker Hughes will provide a range of drilling and related services at a mutually agreed upon pricing structure to deliver the initial nine-well program.

Sirius has signed various legal agreements with COPDC, a Nigerian joint venture, to implement this program. COPDC has signed a Financial and Technical Services Agreement (FTSA) with the Nigerian Petroleum Development Company (NPDC) for the development and production of petroleum reserves and resources on OML 65. The FTSA includes an AWP which provides for development in three phases of the block. and Sirius has entered into an agreement with the joint venture to provide financing and technical services for the execution of the PTA.

The joint venture will initially focus on the redevelopment of the Abura field, involving the drilling and completion of up to nine development wells, intended to produce the remaining 2P reserves of 16.2 Mbbl, as certified by Gaffney Cline and Associates (GCA) in a CPR dated June 2021.

Commenting, Toks Azeez, Sales & Commercial Executive of Baker Hughes, said: “We are extremely happy to have been selected for this project with Sirius and their JV partners. This project represents an important step towards providing our world-class integrated well-service solutions in one of the most prolific fields in the Niger Delta. Baker Hughes’ technological efficiency and execution excellence will help Sirius improve its profitability and competitiveness in the energy market.”

Bobo Kuti, CEO of Sirius, commented: “We are delighted to have secured the services of one of the world’s leading energy technology companies to work with our joint venture team to deliver the approved work program on the block. OML 65. We look forward to building a long and mutually beneficial partnership with Baker Hughes.”

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