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AfDB Records $33m in Penalties Against Corrupt Entities

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AfDB
  • AfDB Records $33m in Penalties Against Corrupt Entities

About $33 million presently lodged in the Escrow account of the African Development Bank (AfDB), are from penalties and cash settlements against corrupt entities among the regional member countries.

This amount is part of the estimated $55.25 million to be received from erring institutions under the investigative efforts of AfDB’s Integrity and Anti-Corruption Department (IACD).

Before now, entities found engaged in corrupt activities and other forms of misconduct following IACD investigations voluntarily agreed to enter into settlement agreements with the bank.

Meanwhile, AfDB has taken the fight against corruption and mismanagement of public finances in the continent a step further, with the establishment of a dedicated Fund to facilitate its programmes.
The initiative known as Africa Integrity Fund (AIF), has already received the approval of the regional development institution’s board members, marking its imminent take off.

According to the bank, the move was in response to the challenges facing regional member countries in the fight against corruption and in line with the institution’s priorities.

The Fund, proposed by IACD, will finance programmes, which contribute to the prevention, detection, investigation and sanctioning of corruption among member countries.

It will also support measures that facilitate the repatriation of stolen assets and alleviating the financial drain from illicit outflows among the member countries, thereby strengthening transparency and accountability in the management of public resources.

AfDB President, Akinwumi Adesina, who lauded the development, warned: “We must have zero-tolerance for corruption, be it internal or external. We have to tighten our systems thoroughly.”

He noted that the target beneficiaries of grants under the Fund include law enforcement agencies, public audit institutions, tax authorities and other African governmental bodies, civil society organisations, research and educational institutions.

However, the bank said that AIF will be financed exclusively through the collection of financial penalties derived from settlements of erring entities.

The Director of IACD, Anna Bossman, said: “With the adoption of the AIF, financial penalties resulting from the Bank’s sanctions regime are re-invested into anti-corruption measures. We are confident that the AIF will become a model for others.”

The AIF is an innovative instrument providing the bank with an additional platform to address development priorities in its regional member countries in the area of anti-corruption without tapping into traditional donor funds.

It allows the bank to fulfil its commitment to member countries to support their efforts to improve the performance of anti-corruption agencies in preventing, investigating and sanctioning prohibited practices and to strengthen their governance agenda.

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.

Crude Oil

South Africa’s iGas, PetroSA and Strategic Fuel Fund Merge to Create South African National Petroleum Company

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The South African Department of Mineral Resources and Energy (DMRE) has announced the merger of Central Energy Fund (CEF) subsidiaries iGas, PetroSA and the Strategic Fuel Fund (SFF).

The merger will be effective from 1 April 2021 and the new company will be called the South African National Petroleum Company.

The merger, driven by the pursuit of implementing a new company that has a streamlined operating model via the development of a shared services system and a common information platform, comes a few months after cabinet approval and the confirmation that PetroSA had incurred losses of R20 billion since 2014.

Additional factors which prompted the move included the determination to strengthen PetroSA which had not had a permanent CEO in five years prior to the appointment of CEO Ishmael Poolo last and, had become majorly ungainful since its failure to secure gas for the gas-to-liquids refinery project in Mossel Bay.

While the merger deadline has been set, the portfolio committee expressed reservations to the department’s likelihood of meeting the deadline, considering the existing legislative regime, pending issues raised in the SFF and PetroSA forensic reports, as well as PetroSA’s current insolvency and liquidity challenges, the official press statement on the briefing revealed.

“South Africa’s energy sector is entering a new dawn,” said NJ Ayuk, Executive Chairman of the African Energy Chamber. “With gas discoveries off the coast and the announcement of the REIPPP programme bid window 5 and 6 on the horizon, now is the most opportune time for the merger of the CEF subsidiaries. Of course, it is not an easy task and delays may be anticipated but, this move signals a real change towards a meaningful strategy that will not only be beneficial to the DMRE but to potential investors and local development as well.”

The African Energy Chamber welcomes this move and acknowledges that this is yet another step supporting the country’s determination to restarting the engines of sustainable growth and the transformation of energy policy and infrastructure.

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Crude Oil

Crude Oil Hits $71.34 After Saudi Largest Oil Facilities Were Attacked

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Brent Crude Oil Rises to $71.34 Following Missile Attack on Saudi Largest Oil Facilities

Brent crude, against which Nigerian oil is priced, jumped to $71.34 a barrel on Monday during the Asian trading session following a report that Saudi Arabia’s largest oil facilities were attacked by missiles and drones fired on Sunday by Houthi military in Yemen.

On Monday, the Saudi energy ministry said one of the world’s largest offshore oil loading facilities at Ras Tanura was attacked and a ballistic missile targeted Saudi Aramco facilities.

One of the petroleum tank areas at the Ras Tanura Port in the Eastern Region, one of the largest oil ports in the world, was attacked this morning by a drone, coming from the sea,” the ministry said in a statement released by the official Saudi Press Agency.

It also stated that shrapnel from a ballistic missile dropped near Aramco’s residential compound in Eastern Dhahran.

Such acts of sabotage do not only target the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, but also the security and stability of energy supplies to the world, and therefore, the global economy,” a ministry spokesman said in a statement on state media.

Oil price surged because the market interpreted the occurrence as supply sabotage given Saudi is the largest OPEC producer. A decline in supply is positive for the oil industry.

However, Brent crude oil pulled back to $69.49 per barrel at 12:34 pm Nigerian time because of the $1.9 trillion stimulus packed passed in the U.S.

Market experts are projecting that the stimulus will boost the United States economy and support U.S crude oil producers in the near-term, this they expect to boost crude oil production from share and disrupt OPEC strategy.

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Crude Oil

A Loud Blast Heard in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia’s Largest Crude Oil Production Site

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Loud Blast Heard in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia’s Largest Crude Oil Production Site

Two residents from the eastern city of Dhahran, Saudi Arabia, on Sunday said they heard a loud blast, but they are yet to know the cause, according to a Reuters report.

Saudi’s Eastern province is home to the kingdom’s largest crude oil production and export facilities of Saudi Aramco.

A blast in any of the facilities in that region could hurt global oil supplies and bolster oil prices above $70 per barrel in the first half of the year.

One of the residents said the explosion took place around 8:30 pm Saudi time while the other resident claimed the time was around 8:00 pm.

However, Saudi authorities are yet to confirm or respond to the story.

 

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