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BUA Kicks as Obaseki Orders Arrest of Two Workers

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BUA Sugar
  • BUA Kicks as Obaseki Orders Arrest of Two Workers

Two workers of BUA International Limited were arrested on Wednesday on the order of Edo State Governor, Godwin Obaseki, for allegedly flouting a stop-work order issued by the Federal Government over the disputed Obu mine in Okpella.

The suspects were arrested when the governor and some heads of security agencies visited the site in Etsako East Local Government Area of the state.

It was learnt that some explosives used for mining operations on the site were also confiscated and moved to the Army Brigade Command on the order of the commander.

The Obu mine has been a subject of disagreement between BUA and the Dangote Group, with both parties claiming ownership before the matter was taken to court.

The Federal Ministry of Mines and Steel Development and the Edo State Government had also ordered the shutdown of the mine pending the determination of the court case on the issue.

But the governor, who was accompanied by the Commander of the 4th Brigade, Nigerian Army, Brig.-Gen. Ibrahim Garba; Commissioner of Police, Babatunde Kokumo; and men of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps and the Department of State Security, said the continuous operation on the site was a disregard for constituted authority.

According to him, the state government is more interested in the security of lives and property, adding that while there was the need for investors to make profits from their investment, “no money is worth any life.”

Obaseki, in a statement by his Special Adviser on Media and Communication, Crusoe Osagia, said, “There is a dispute over the ownership of this mine. The dispute is in court. There was a specific instruction from the Minister of Mines and Steel Development asking that work should stop pending the outcome of the matter before the court.

“I addressed a section of the Okpella community, who came to me to express concerns about the growing tension in the community because of the dispute. At that point, I issued instructions that the work should stop in line with the Federal Government’s directive and the case in court.

“I said that the status quo (should) be maintained until the determination of the case in court. I think that is the simple common sense thing to do. There is a quarrel and all parties should maintain peace and the status quo.”

The governor also accused the management of BUA of claiming that the state government had no authority and right to enforce a Federal Government directive.

He added, “What they are saying in essence is that government does not matter. That sort of utterance and position is very dangerous for our country, for a company that needs government to treat us with such disdain.

“With this, things will degenerate into anarchy. How can they operate in such an environment? We do not care who owns what; but human life is more expensive than whatever money anybody can make.”

The governor also explained that the visit to the site was to assure the people of the area that the government was on top of the situation to ensure peace in the community.

Also speaking, the Okuokphellagbe of Okpella, Alhaji Andrew Dirisu, maintained that the community was open to a peaceful resolution of the crisis.

Dirisu, who spoke when he received the governor at his palace, said, “There is no way we will not welcome people to invest. But what we want is for everyone to take what they get and no one should take from another.

“For now, as you have given your order, who are we to dispute it? I thank you for calling for peace in this matter.”

Meanwhile, BUA described the action of the governor as “a gestapo-style forceful shutdown of that mine despite a subsisting court pronouncement that the mine be allowed to operate.”

It said in a statement, “Upon reaching that mining site and not meeting any personnel or equipment, two BUA Cement employees were invited to the mining site to receive the governor. We later learnt that these employees were arrested upon arrival on the orders of the governor and taken away for no just reason.

“As it stands, we do not know why they were arrested but have requested our lawyers to secure their unconditional release immediately as these employees are innocent and have no knowledge of why they were being arrested.

“Now that one of our mining sites has been forcefully closed down by the governor without regard to the court’s pronouncement on maintaining the status quo at that particular site (and without any formal communication from the Edo State Government), BUA as a responsible corporate entity has instructed its lawyers to report back to the courts on this latest developments and pursue all legal channels to enforce its rights.”

BUA added, “Whilst the governor based the legitimacy of his actions on a purported stop-work order from the Ministry of Mines, BUA wishes to reiterate that there is a pronouncement of the Federal High Court sitting in Benin on December 5, 2017 that declared the stop-work order issued by the ministry as a contravention of the court’s directives to maintain the status quo and thus deemed it illegal. The same court also threatened to arrest the minister, who is the first defendant in the case, if the stop word order continues to be pursued.

“We once again ask all parties to await the conclusion of the judicial process as this matter is already before a court of competent jurisdiction.”

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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Tony Elumelu Acquires Shell, Total, ENI Stakes in OML 17

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Tony Elumelu Acquires Shell, Total, ENI Stakes in OML 17

Tony Elumelu owned Heir Holdings Limited and its related company Transnational Corporation of Nigeria Plc on Friday announced it has completed the purchase of 45 percent stake in Oil Mining Lease (OML 17) through TNOG Oil and Gas Limited.

The acquisition includes all assets of Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria Limited (30 Percent), Total E&P Nigeria Ltd (10 percent) and ENI (five percent) — in the lease.

It was further stated that TNOG Oil and Gas Limited will also have the sole right to operate OML 17.

The field presently has a production capacity of 27,000 barrels per day. Also, there are estimated 2P reserves (proven and probable) of 1.2 billion barrels and an additional one billion barrels in possible reserves — all of oil equivalent.

A consortium of global and regional banks and investors provided a financing component of $1.1 billion for the largest oil and gas financing in Africa in over a decade.

In a statement released on Friday, Shell said the completion was after all the necessary approvals have were received from authorities.

“A total of $453m was paid at completion with the balance to be paid over an agreed period. SPDC will retain its interest in the Port Harcourt Industrial and Residential Areas, which fall within the lease area,” the SPDC said.

Speaking after the completion of the deal, Elumelu said “We have a very clear vision: creating Africa’s first integrated energy multinational, a global quality business, uniquely focused on Africa and Africa’s energy needs. The acquisition of such a high-quality asset, with significant potential for further growth, is a strong statement of our confidence in Nigeria, the Nigerian oil and gas sector and a tribute to the extremely high-quality management team that we have assembled.

“As a Nigerian, and more particularly an indigene of the Niger Delta region, I understand well our responsibilities that come with stewardship of the asset, our engagement with communities and the strategic importance of the oil and gas sector in Nigeria. We see significant benefits from integrating our production, with our ability to power Nigeria, through Transcorp, and deliver value across the energy value chain.

“I would like to thank Shell, Total and ENI, for the professionalism of the process, the Federal Government of Nigeria, the Ministry of Petroleum Resources, and the NNPC for the confidence they have placed in us.”

Tony Elumelu is the Chairman of Heirs Holdings Limited, Transcorp and United Bank for Africa Plc.

Also, read Transcorp Plc Acquires FGN’s 100% Equity in Afam Power for N105 Billion

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Exporters Say CBN Pre-export Requirements is Frustrating Export of Goods

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Institute of Chartered Shipbrokers

Exporters Say CBN Pre-export Requirements is Frustrating Export of Goods

Exporters have said the recently introduced pre-export requirements by the Central Bank of Nigeria is creating unnecessary bottlenecks for exporters and the movement of goods out of the country.

Exporters, who spoke under the aegis of the Network of Practicing Non-oil Exporters of Nigeria (NPNEN), said the electronic Nigeria Export Proceed Form now required by financial institutions from exporters had come with so many challenges.

Ahmed Rabiu, the President, NPNEN, explained that the new policy had several requirements that often led to delays and loss of income on the part of exporters.

He said, “We acknowledge the CBN’s desire to ensure that all exports out of Nigeria are documented in order to ensure that the proceeds of such exports are repatriated.

“However, the reality on the field shows that the process is causing undue delays and consequently, encouraging corruption.

According to them, in the new pre-export requirements, the Central Bank of Nigeria wants an export transaction to be initiated through eNXP processing on the trade monitoring system.

After which exporters are expected to have a pre-shipment inspection agent, the Nigeria Customs Service and other designated government agencies carry out their pre-export inspections.

The exporters said the pre-shipment inspection agent was expected to issue a clean Certificate of Inspection while Customs would issue the Single Good Declaration. All these they said takes time and delay goods from leaving the country on time.

Pointing to a recent report, they said about N868 billion worth of goods bound for export were stuck at the ports due to the new policy.

Speaking further Rabiu said, “For example, for the PIA to issue the CCI, the exporter is required to upload a certificate of origin as one of the supporting documents for the eNXP.

“The PIA is also required to upload the CCI to the TRMS(M) and until this is done, the Customs service will not issue the Single Good Declaration.”

He added, “After issuing the SGD, the customs is further required to upload it into the TRMS before the goods are allowed to be gated into the port and loaded on the vessel by the shipping line.

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Ardova Plc in Talks to Acquire Enyo Retail and Supply Limited

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Ardova Plc in Talks to Acquire Enyo Retail and Supply Limited

Ardova Plc, Nigeria’s leading integrated energy company, has commenced discussions to acquire Enyo Retail and Supply Limited.

According to the statement issued and signed by Oladehinde Nelson-Cole, Ag. Company Secretary/General Counsel, Ardova Plc, Enyo is one of the newest and fastest-growing retail and supply companies in the downstream sector.

It stated, “This announcement is pursuant to the acceptance in principle of AP’s offer and acquisition framework by the shareholders of Enyo, it is subject to the successful completion of a due diligence exercise and the receipt of all required regulatory approvals.”

“This announcement is pursuant to the acceptance in principle of AP’s offer and acquisition framework by the shareholders of Enyo, it is subject to the successful completion of a due diligence exercise and the receipt of all required regulatory approvals.

Speaking on the yet to be completed deal, Mr. Olumide Adeosun, CEO, Ardova Plc, said upon completion, Ardova will retain the Enyo branded stations which will operate side by side with the Ardova brand while simultaneously leveraging on the strengths of Ardova and its group companies.

He added that the two companies are determined to conclude the deal by the end of Q1 2021.

Enyo presently operates over 90 stations across the nation and attends to over 100,000 retail customers on a daily basis.

Ardova Plc and Enyo Retail & Supply Limited promised to furnish stakeholders with more information on the progress of the deal.

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