- Court Orders Shell to Pay $3.6bn Fine to NOSDRA
Justice Mojisola Olatoregun of the Federal High Court in Lagos has ordered Shell Nigeria Exploration and Production Company Limited to pay a fine of $3.6bn to the National Oil Spill Detection and Response Agency acting on behalf the Federal Government.
Justice Olatoregun dismissed the suit filed by Shell before the court challenging the fine awarded against it by the agency.
Shell had sued NOSDRA, challenging its powers to impose levies or fines over oil spills.
It sought the order of the court to declare that NOSDRA could not, in the light of Sections 1, 3, 4, 5 and 6 of the 1999 Constitution, validly exercise any powers under Section 5, 6, 7 and 19 of the NOSDRA Act.
Shell, through its lawyer, Chief Wole Olanipekun (SAN), said the sections’ provisions encroached on the judicial powers vested exclusively in the courts.
He argued that it was the Federal High Court that was vested with the responsibility of determining liability and to assess, impose and direct the payment of any sum as penalty, damages or compensation in connection with an incidence of oil spillage, particularly the Bonga oil spill of December 20, 2011.
Shell urged the court to declare that the decision leading to the imposition of $3,600,191,206 on it by NOSDRA was in breach of its right as enshrined in Sections 36, 43 and 44 of the 1999 Constitution.
It also urged the court to nullify NOSDRA’s powers to impose such levies over oil spills.
Responding, NOSDRA, through its counsel, D. A. Awosika, argued that the cause of action arose on March 25, 2015 when it served Shell with the notice of sanction over the Bonga oil spill.
Awosika argued that Shell was enjoined to exercise its right of litigation if it felt aggrieved by the letters within three months from March 25, 2015 and not beyond.
“The plaintiff waited for more than 13 months to institute this action against the defendant,” he said, adding that Shell’s action was caught by the statute of limitation.
Justice Olatoregun, in her judgment, held that NOSDRA acted in line with its powers and did not violate Shell’s rights in any manner.
The judge also found that Sections 5, 6 and 7 of the NOSDRA Act, which empower it to impose penalties, did not violates the Constitution.
“I found no conflict with the duties conferred on NOSDRA by law and the power of the court to adjudicate in this matter…I find no violation of the 1999 Constitution within these sections,” the judge held.
Justice Olatoregun further held that NOSDRA’s demand letters to Shell were not in conflict with Section 44 of the 1999 Constitution.
The judge said, “The plaintiff had notice and opportunity to fair hearing. The plaintiff ought to have had recourse to the court for the determination of its civil rights and a proper adjudication on the issues if it felt its rights were infringed or about to be infringed.
“I do not find the two letters ultra vires the duties and functions of the defendant.
“I have no reason to set both letters aside as well as the sums ordered, as parties did not make evaluation of the assessed damage an issue for consideration in the questions raised for determination. No evidence upon which an evaluation could be made was also proffered.”
Aliko Dangote Remains Africa’s Richest Man With $12.1 Billion Net Worth -Forbes
Nigerian industrialist, Aliko Dangote, is Africa’s richest person for the tenth year in a row.
In the Forbes Africa latest billionaires list, Dangote’s total net worth stood at $12.1 billion, a $2 billion increment when compared to last year. Thanks to the 30 percent increase in the price of Dangote Cement share.
Nassef Sawiris of Egypt followed Dangote with $8.5 billion net worth with the majority of his investments coming from construction and other investments.
In third place was Nicky Oppenheimer of South Africa with an $8 billion total net worth.
Portland Paints, Chemical and Allied Products Plc Agreed to Merge
Portland Paints and Products Nigeria Plc and Chemical and Allied Products Plc have agreed to merge, according to the latest statement from both companies.
In a statement released through the Nigerian Stock Exchange, the Board of Directors of CAP said we are “pleased to inform you that following discussions and negotiations, the Boards of CAP and Portland Paints have reached an agreement to undertake a merger between both entities (the “Merger” or the “Proposed Merger”).
Accordingly, we “hereby present to you the terms and benefits of the Proposed Merger for your consideration and seek your support and approval to effect the Proposed Merger.
“The Proposed Merger presents a compelling opportunity to create significant value for shareholders of CAP and achieve the company’s strategic growth objectives as a larger company with a broader product portfolio, more corporate owned brands and diversified revenues.
“The resultant entity is also expected to benefit from enhanced distribution capabilities in addition to economies of scale and operational efficiencies.”
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.
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