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Court Orders Shell to Pay $3.6bn Fine to NOSDRA

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Shell
  • 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.”

Is the CEO/Founder of Investors King Limited. A proven foreign exchange research analyst and a published author on Yahoo Finance, Businessinsider, Nasdaq, Entrepreneur.com, Investorplace, and many more. He has over two decades of experience in global financial markets.

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Lafarge Africa Board Proposes N30.60bn Dividend, Lower Than Previous Year

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Lafarge Africa - Investors King

Lafarge Africa’s Board of Directors has recommended a dividend payout of N30.60 billion for the year ended December 2023, a reduction from the previous year’s dividend.

The proposed dividend translates to N1.90 per unit of shares and awaits approval from shareholders at the upcoming Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the company.

In a corporate announcement filed with the Nigerian Exchange Limited, Lafarge Africa disclosed that the proposed dividend is payable from the Pioneer Reserve to shareholders registered as of March 28, 2024.

Despite the lower dividend proposal, Lafarge Africa recorded an increase in revenue to N405 billion, marking an 8.6% rise from the previous year’s N373 billion.

However, the company’s post-tax profit experienced a 4.7% decline, amounting to N51.14 billion, attributed mainly to the devaluation of the naira.

Lolu Alade-Akinyemi, the Chief Executive Officer of Lafarge Africa, expressed confidence in the company’s performance despite economic challenges.

He highlighted the growth in revenue and an improved operating margin, despite pressures from inflation and currency devaluation.

Looking forward, Lafarge Africa remains optimistic about the construction sector’s growth in Nigeria, despite prevailing economic challenges.

The company aims to leverage its market opportunities while maintaining a focus on sustainability and stakeholder value.

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South African Billionaire Christo Wiese Predicts Return of Major Players to Nigeria Despite Recent Exodus

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Christo Wiese

South African billionaire Christo Wiese remains optimistic about Nigeria’s economic prospects, predicting the eventual return of major players despite a recent exodus from the West African nation.

In an interview with Bloomberg TV, Wiese explained that it is impossible to ignore Nigeria’s large and growing population, “how do you ignore an economy like this?”

Wiese, the former chairman of Shoprite Holdings Ltd., acknowledges the challenges faced by businesses in Nigeria, where recent currency woes and policy missteps have contributed to an exodus of international companies.

Procter & Gamble Co. and Shoprite are among the global conglomerates that have announced their departure from Africa’s most populous nation.

However, Wiese sees the recent exits as temporary setbacks rather than a long-term trend. He believes that the allure of Nigeria’s vast consumer market and its economic potential will eventually draw major players back.

Despite the current uncertainty, Wiese remains confident in Nigeria’s future, emphasizing the need for governments to adopt correct policies and for investors to exercise patience.

While acknowledging Nigeria’s single-commodity economy vulnerabilities, Wiese highlights the resilience of the nation’s economy and its potential for growth and development.

He suggests that foreign investors, including South African ones, are adopting a wait-and-see approach, anticipating a time when the economy stabilizes and favorable policies are in place.

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Seplat Energy Names Udoma Udo Udoma as Independent Non-Executive Chairman, Bello Rabiu as Senior Independent Non-Executive Director

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Seplat Energy Plc - Investors King

Seplat Energy, a prominent Nigerian energy company listed on the Nigerian Exchange Limited and the London Stock Exchange, has made significant changes to its board leadership.

In a recent announcement, the company revealed that Udoma Udo Udoma has been appointed as the new Independent Non-Executive Chairman, succeeding Basil Omiyi, who is set to retire on March 31, 2024.

Udoma Udo Udoma, a distinguished lawyer and seasoned board administrator, brings a wealth of experience to Seplat Energy.

He holds degrees from St. Catherine’s College, Oxford, and has had a remarkable career spanning various sectors, including petroleum, energy, and natural resources.

Udoma has served on numerous large-sized company boards, including UAC Nigeria Plc and Union Bank Plc, and held key public sector appointments, such as Chairman of the Corporate Affairs Commission and Minister of Budget & National Planning.

In addition to Udoma’s appointment, Seplat Energy announced the selection of Bello Rabiu as the new Senior Independent Non-Executive Director, effective April 1, 2024.

Rabiu, a seasoned professional with extensive experience in the petroleum industry, holds multiple degrees and has served in various capacities at the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC).

The appointments come as part of Seplat Energy’s commitment to upholding strong corporate governance practices and ensuring a smooth transition of leadership.

Both Udoma Udo Udoma and Bello Rabiu are expected to play pivotal roles in guiding Seplat Energy as it continues to expand its operations and consolidate its position as a leading energy company in Nigeria and beyond.

In a statement, Basil Omiyi, the outgoing Chairman of Seplat Energy, expressed confidence in the newly appointed leaders, emphasizing their capabilities to steer the company towards further growth and success.

The appointments underscore Seplat Energy’s dedication to fostering excellence and innovation in the energy sector while meeting the evolving needs of its stakeholders and contributing to Nigeria’s energy transition efforts.

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