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Presidential Panel Demands N684bn Oil Block Renewal Fee From Mobil

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exxonmobil
  • 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.”

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 long experience in the global financial market.

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Brent Crude Oil Maintains $43 Per Barrel Despite Surge in US Inventories

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Brent Crude Oil Sustains Upsurge Despite Rising US Inventories

Brent crude oil, against which Nigerian oil is priced, sustained its upsurge at $43 per barrel on Wednesday during the London trading session despite a report showing a build-up in the U.S. crude inventories in the week ended July 3, 2020.

Brent crude oil

According to the U.S Energy Information Administration (EIA) report released on Tuesday, crude oil production in the U.S is expected to decline by just 70,000 barrels per day from the 670,000 bpd previously predicted to 600,000 bpd.

While this was below the projected decline, it also points to a build-up in U.S stockpiles and suggested that oil production from the world’s largest economy may not decline as previously projected in 2020.

“The EIA’s forecast of a lower decline in U.S. output was partially offset by its outlook for firm demand recovery, which limited losses in oil markets,” Hiroyuki Kikukawa, general manager of research at Nissan Securities said.

“Still, expectations that the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and allies would taper oil output cuts from August and softer U.S. equities added to pressure,” he said.

The EIA projected that global oil demand will recover through the end of 2021 as demand was predicted to hit 101.1 million barrels per day in the fourth quarter of the year.

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Illegal Withdrawals: Rep To Investigate NNPC, NLNG Over $1.05bn

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Rep To Investigate NNPC, NLNG Over Illegal Withdrawal of $1.05bn from NLNG Account

The Nigerian House of Representatives has concluded plans to investigate illegal withdrawal of $1.05 billion from the account of the Nigerian Liquefied Natural Gas Limited (NLNG) by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC).

The decision followed the adoption of a motion titled ‘Need to Investigate the Illegal Withdrawals from the NLNG Dividends Account by the Management of NNPC’ moved by the Minority Leader, Ndudi Elumelu, on Tuesday.

The House adopted the motion and mandated its Committee on Public Accounts to “invite the management of the NNPC as well as that of the NLNG, to conduct a thorough investigation on activities that have taken place on the dividends account and report back to the House in four weeks.”

Elumelu said, “The House is aware that the dividends from the NLNG are supposed to be paid into the Consolidated Revenue Funds account of the Federal Government and to be shared amongst the three tiers of government.

“The House is worried that the NNPC, which represents the government of Nigeria on the board of the NLNG, had unilaterally, without the required consultations with states and the mandatory appropriation from the National Assembly, illegally tampered with the funds at the NLNG dividends account to the tune of $1.05bn, thereby violating the nation’s appropriation law.

“The House is disturbed that there was no transparency in this extra-budgetary spending, as only the Group Managing Director and the corporation’s Chief Financial Officer had the knowledge of how the $1.05bn was spent.

“The House is concerned that there are no records showing the audit and recovery of accrued funds from the NLNG by the Office of the Auditor-General of the Federation, hence the need for a thorough investigation of the activities on the NLNG dividends account.”

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FG Gives Radio, Tv Stations Debt Relief, Writes Off 60 Percent Debt

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FG Reduces Tv, Radio Stations Licence Fee by 30%, Writes Off 60% Debt

The Federal Government has reduced the existing licence fee paid by all open terrestrial radio and television stations by 30 percent.

The Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, disclosed this at a press conference in Abuja on Monday.

He said the Federal Government has also decided to write off 60 percent of the N7 billion loan owed the government by television and radio stations.

He explained that the N7 billion is the total outstanding from television and radio stations on the renewal of their operating licences.

Mohammed, however, said for any station to benefit from the 60 percent debt relief, such a station must be ready and willing to pay the remaining 40 percent within the next three months.

According to him, the debt relief offer would open on July 10th and close on the 6th of October.

Mohammed said, “According to the NBC, many Nigerian radio and television stations remain indebted to the Federal Government to the tune of N7bn.

“Also, many of the stations are faced with the reality that their licences will not be renewed, in view of their indebtedness.

“Against this background, the management of the NBC has therefore recommended, and the Federal Government has accepted, the following measures to revamp the broadcast industry and to help reposition it for the challenges of business, post-COVID-19:

“(a) 60 per cent debt forgiveness for all debtor broadcast stations in the country; (b) the criterion for enjoying the debt forgiveness is for debtor stations to pay 40 per cent of their existing debt within the next three months.

“(c) Any station that is unable to pay the balance of 40 per cent indebtedness within the three-month window shall forfeit the opportunity to enjoy the stated debt forgiveness.

“(d) The existing license fee is further discounted by 30 per cent for all open terrestrial radio and television services effective July 10, 2020.

“(e) The debt forgiveness shall apply to functional licensed terrestrial radio and television stations only. (f) The debt forgiveness and discount shall not apply to pay TV service operators in Nigeria.”

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