- Presidential Panel Demands N684bn Oil Block Renewal Fee From Mobil
The Special Presidential Investigation Panel for the Recovery of Public Property says an oil giant, Mobil Producing Nigeria Unlimited (ExxonMobil), is indebted to the Federal Government to the tune of $1.6bn.
The money translates to about N684bn at N360 to $1 exchange rate.
According to the panel, which is led by Mr Okoi Obono-Obla, the money represents the balance of the renewal fee of $2.5bn (N900bn) for three oil blocks, Oil Mining Leases 67, 68 and 70, which the company has allegedly refused to pay since 2009.
In an interview on Sunday, Obono-Obla said the firm had yet to honour its last year’s demand for the payment.
The panel’s chairman, who said the investigation into the indebtedness was ignited by a petition by human rights lawyer, Mr Femi Falana (SAN), told our correspondent that the SPIP was planning to report the company to the United States of American government. He stated, “The petition against Mobil was filed before the panel by one of Nigeria’s illustrious lawyers, Femi Falana, SAN.
“USA has a law known as Foreign Corrupt Practices Act 1977 which prohibits American companies doing business abroad from indulging in corrupt practices; the panel shall lodge a complaint against Mobil to the USA government.
“USA will open a criminal investigation against Mobil for economic sabotage against the Federal Government of Nigeria.”
Falana confirmed to our correspondent on Sunday that he petitioned the panel to investigate the alleged payment of only $600m (N216bn) out of payable fee of $2.5bn (N900bn) for the renewal of the three oil blocks since 2009.
The obtained panel’s June 13, 2018 letter addressed to Mobil’s Managing Director at Mobil House, Victoria Island, Lagos, giving the company three weeks to pay the alleged outstanding balance of $1.9bn to the Federation Account.
The letter with reference number SPIP/MPN/2018.VOL.1/1 and signed by Obono-Obla read in part, “In 2009, Mobil Producing, instead of liquidating the $2.5bn, elected to pay only $600m into the Federation Account.
“By this letter, you are required within three weeks of the receipt of this letter to show cause why Mobil Producing should not be subjected to a criminal investigation by your failure to pay the outstanding balance of $1.9bn into the Federation Account thereby contributing to the economic adversity of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.”
But ExxonMobil has denied the alleged indebtedness in its reply dated July 5, 2018, and addressed to the SPIP chairman.
The letter with reference number MPN-LAW-FMJ-OBO-0718-0059 and signed by the company’s Executive Director and General Counsel, Sadiq Adamu, stated that the OML 67, 68 and 70 were renewed in 2009 in full compliance with the provision of the leases, the Petroleum Act, other applicable laws and the renewal terms.
Although the letter did not disclose the actual amount the company paid for the renewal, it asked the investigating panel to confirm its claim that all the company’s renewal obligation was fully paid from the Department of Petroleum Resources, the Ministry of Petroleum Resources, the Ministry of Finance and the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation.
The letter read in part, “We refer to your letter dated June 13, 2018, with reference number SPIP/MPN/2018.VOL.1/1 seeking the payment of $1.9bn owed the Federal Government by Mobil Producing Nigeria due to the renewal of its Oil Mining Leases in 2009.
“Your letter, unfortunately, did not provide a basis for the alleged claim.
“The Oil Mining Leases 67, 68 and 70 renewed in 2009 referenced in your letter were renewed in full compliance with the provision of the leases, the Petroleum Act, other applicable laws and the renewal terms agreed between the Federal Government of Nigeria and MPN.”
The Kenya Private Sector Alliance (KEPSA) and The Canada-Africa Chamber of Business Announce Major Memorandum of Understanding (MoU)
The Kenya Private Sector Alliance and The Canada-Africa Chamber of Business are proud to announce collaboration to promote, support and facilitate bilateral trade and investment opportunities from Canada into Kenya.
The first engagement will be a virtual trade mission to Kenya from Canada in May.
The 3-year agreement MoU was signed today during the Second Session of the Binational Commission meeting between the Governments of Kenya and Canada – and is subject to ongoing renewal.
“This MoU will solidify the existing trade relations between Kenya and Canada and establish strong bonds between the two countries that will go a long way to boost private sector trade and investment. The MOU will also enable us to exchange business information with CACB which is critical especially to our members who wish to expand their coverage to international market,” explained Ms. Carole Kariuki Karuga, KEPSA CEO.
The Kenya Private Sector Alliance is the apex body of private sector in Kenya.
The Canada-Africa Chamber of Business is a 27-years old organization committed to accelerating trade, business and investment between Canada and Africa.
‘Nairobi is a vital gateway not just to Kenya and the region, but the continent’s economies of the future in Africa,’ noted Garreth Bloor, President of The Canada-Africa Chamber of Business.
‘KEPSA is world leader in the private sector, showcasing excellence on the global stage. This MoU is a great honour for The Canada-Africa Chamber of Business, our leadership, and all our members across Canada,’ says Deepak Dave, the organization’s long-standing representative in Nairobi and Chief Risk Officer at the African Trade Insurance Agency.
‘The joint intended results of the co-operation agreement between CACB and KEPSA seeks to increase two-way trade and investment between Canada and Kenya in all sectors – while laying the foundations to explore trade missions to Kenya by The Canada-Africa Chamber of Business and to Canada by KEPSA,’ said Sebastian Spio-Garbrah, Chair of The Canada-Africa Chamber of Business.
Guided by this MOU, CACB and KEPSA will work together towards on a case-by-case basis exploring events together, exchange of business information and reciprocity members of the Kenya Private Sector Alliance to enjoy the privileges of membership afforded to CACB members, and to ensure KEPSA members are well-positioned in the Canadian market for investment and trade in all sectors and that CACB members are well-positioned in the Kenyan market for investment and trade in all sectors.
“As KEPSA, we remain committed to establishing progressive business and trade partnerships with Canada and other similar minded parties for a mutual benefit of our members as well as those of our CACB counterparts,” said Ms. Carole Kariuki Karuga, KEPSA CEO.
India, Spain, the Netherlands, USA, Nigeria’s Major Export Markets -NBS
India, Spain and the Netherland top Nigeria’s export markets in the final quarter of 2020, according to the latest data from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS).
The Commodity Price Indices and Terms of Trade Q4 2020 report showed that the United States and China trailed the three.
However, the NBS revealed Nigeria exports mainly crude oil and natural gas during the period under review.
It, “The major export and import market of Nigeria in Q4 2020 were India, Spain, the Netherlands, United States and China.
“The major export to these countries were crude petroleum and natural gas. The major imports from the countries were motor spirits, used vehicles, motorcycles and antibiotics.”
The bureau stated that the all-commodity group import index increased by 0.13 per cent between October and December 2020.
“This was driven mainly by an increase in the prices of base metals and articles of base metals (one per cent), boilers, machinery and appliances; parts thereof (1.03 per cent), and products of the chemical and allied industries (0.75 per cent),” it stated.
The NBS, however, noted that the index was negatively affected by animal and vegetable fats and oils and other cleavage products.
Onyeama: Qatar To Invest $5bn In Nigeria’s Economy
The oil-rich state of Qatar is to invest a total of $5 billion in Nigeria’s economy, the Foreign Affairs Minister, Godfrey Onyeama, has disclosed.
Onyeama, who spoke Sunday at a send forth dinner in honour of Nigeria’s Ambassador-designate to the State of Qatar, who is also the outgoing Director of Protocol (DOP) at the State House, Ambassador Yakubu Ahmed, also stated that recent career ambassadorial appointments made by the gederal government was based on merit, experience and professionalism.
The minister further said there had been discussions with Qatar on partnership with Nigeria’s Sovereign Wealth Fund (SWF), for significant investments in the region of $5 billion in the Nigerian economy.
According to him, ‘‘Qatar is a weighty and strategic country and very strategic in that part of the world and we are putting our best feet forward to advance the interest of our country economically and in other areas.”
He recalled that President Muhammadu Buhari had visited the State of Qatar in 2016 and the Emir of Qatar, Tamim Bin Hammad Al-Thani, reciprocated with a State visit in 2019.
Onyeama also explained that only trusted hands with a track record of diligence, experience and professionalism in the Foreign Service were recently appointed career ambassadors by the federal government.
The minister said the appointment of Ahmed and other career ambassadors were predicated on posting dedicated and keen Foreign Service practitioners to serve as image makers of the country.
He said: ‘‘Ambassador Yakubu Ahmed is a dedicated professional with a penchant for rigour and detail. He is very capable and one of the best in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. He is personable, affable, extremely friendly, dispassionate and objective.
‘‘He is going to head a very important mission, a very important country, reckoned to be one of the richest countries in the world, per capita, and there’s a lot we will be doing with the State of Qatar.”
Also speaking, the Deputy Chief of Staff, Adeola Rahman Ipaye, described the honoree as a ‘‘perfect gentleman, very even-natured and always well turned out’’.
Ipaye said he had no doubt that the newly appointed ambassador would serve the country well in Qatar, adding that: ‘‘We are further encouraged that when he completes this assignment, he would return to serve Nigeria in a higher capacity.’’
In his remarks, the Permanent Secretary, State House, Tijjani Umar, while congratulating the outgoing DOP on his appointment, lauded Ahmed for excellent service to the State House and the nation.
‘‘He served this institution and the nation with the deepest sense of responsibility and it is very important that we establish a tradition where the system appreciates those who have served it well and those who will continue to serve it well,’’ he said.
Umar urged the new envoy to keep very fond memories of his time at the Presidential Villa, assuring him of the prayers and goodwill of all the staff.
Responding, Ahmed thanked President Buhari for the great honour and privilege of making him his principal representative in Doha, Qatar.
The Ambassador-designate pledged to deplore his energy and skill to the promotion of the existing cordial relationship between Nigeria and Qatar, particularly in the areas of economic, political, cultural and consular affairs as well as other key areas.
Ahmed, who joined Nigeria’s Foreign Service in 1993, said during his years in public service he had learnt that ‘‘patriotism, selfless service, diligence, determination and perseverance will always result in the achievement of the desired objective’’.
According to him, these virtues would be his ‘‘watchword’’ in the pursuit of Nigeria’s foreign policy objectives and the attainment of national interests.
The Ambassador-designate singled out for appreciation the Chief of Staff to the President, Prof. Ibrahim Gambari, and the state Chief of Protocol, Ambassador Lawal Kazaure, saying he had learnt a lot working under their mentorship.
He expressed gratitude to the Minister of Foreign Affairs and the Permanent Secretary, State House for giving him the opportunity of a memorable work experience in the State House.
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