- 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.”
More Stimulus is Welcomed – But What’s Needed is Smarter Stimulus
Stock markets are cautiously upbeat that a stimulus package can be agreed in the U.S. before the November 3 election – but even if it does happen, it’s likely to be a “short-lived sticking plaster” that masks the major long-term issue: unemployment.
This is the warning from Nigel Green, CEO and founder of deVere Group, one of the world’s largest independent financial advisory and fintech organizations.
It comes as House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Secretary Steven Mnuchin spoke again on Tuesday – the deadline imposed by the Speaker – as the two sides try and strike a deal over another significant fiscal stimulus package ahead of the election.
Earlier this month, Republican senators slammed a $1.8 trillion offer made by the Trump administration to the Democrats as too big, an offer Ms Pelosi dismissed as “insufficient.”
Discussions are due to continue on Wednesday upon the Secretary’s return to Washington.
Nigel Green warns: “No doubt, a breakthrough of the deadlock that would allow for more stimulus would provide a lifeline to millions and millions of Americans.
“U.S. and global markets are, generally, cautiously optimistic that a deal can be agreed by the two sides.
“There’s a sentiment that something will have to materialize – and this is fueling markets.
“However, the window of opportunity is closing and it is not yet a done deal.
“If talks collapse, the markets will inevitably be disappointed and there’s likely to be a short-lived sell-off.”
He continues: “Even if Pelosi and Mnuchin can get another massive stimulus package agreed, and U.S. and global markets rise, this is likely to serve only as a sticking plaster.
“A market rally is going to be difficult to be sustained due to the enormous uncertainty created by other factors including the presidential election, a possible looming constitutional crisis in the world’s largest economy, and the growing Covid-19 infections in America and other major economies.”
The deVere CEO goes on to add: “Getting over the political impasse would help boost the economy and deliver much-needed money to Americans, but the major, lasting issue triggered by the pandemic remains: mass unemployment, which will hit demand, growth and investment.
“As such, a swift rebound for the U.S. economy is doubtful as unemployment claims continue to rise.
“That V-shaped recovery talked about by so many? That will be impossible with so many millions facing long-term unemployment.”
Whilst it is certainly positive that unemployment has fallen from 15% in the U.S. to 11% in recent weeks, it should be remembered that this is still at the same rate of the 2008 crash.
In addition, a second wave of soaring unemployment could hit imminently as some support measures wind-down and business’ and households’ savings and resources have been already run-down.
Mr Green concludes: “Near-term support for sure, but a long-term strategy – a multi-year vision – for growth and investment is essential.
“What’s needed is not just more stimulus, but smarter stimulus.”
The Highest Corporation Taxes Around the World and the Main Drivers Behind them
Taxes Pay by Corporation Around the World and the Main Drivers Behind them
While corporation tax rates are influenced by the country’s definition, there’s clearly a pattern with developing countries and emerging economies paying higher rates to sustain the country.
The top five richest countries in the world’s corporation tax are relatively varied, with Luxemburg standing at 27.08%, Norway at 22%, Iceland at 20%, Switzerland at 18% and Ireland at 12.5%. It would appear that some countries’ cultures factor into how much tax they pay. For example, Scandinavian countries are proud to pay higher taxes to contribute to social welfare.
On average, Africa has the highest corporation tax rate throughout the world’s continents at 28.45% and South America, the second highest with an average rate of 27.63%. However, Europe stands at the lowest rate of 20.27%. Does this contradict the claim that developed countries pay higher tax?
OECD explained that corporation tax plays a key part in government revenue. This is particularly true in developing countries, despite the global trend of falling rates since the 1980s. Let’s take a closer look at two continents, South America and Africa, paying the highest corporation tax rates in the world.
South America has most countries in highest corporation tax top 10
According to data analysed, Brazil and Venezuela have the highest corporation tax at 34%, followed closely by Colombia at 33%, and Argentina at 30%, making South America the continent with the most countries in the top 10 who pay the highest corporation tax.
It is unclear whether South America, as an emerging continent, is charging higher taxes in order to raise government revenue or to benefit from businesses that are looking to expand internationally and enter new markets. According to research, South America is becoming a popular choice for business to enter, with strong trade links and an advantageous geographic location. Indeed, South America is a large continent where some countries are business friendly and others are harder to penetrate.
Africa: the continent with the highest average corporation tax
Being the poorest continent in the world, Africa unsurprisingly has the highest average corporation tax at 28.45%. With the highest in this data being Zambia at 35% and the lowest being Libya and Madagascar at 20%, South Africa stands roughly in the middle at 28%, slightly above average for Africa overall. Does this mean that South Africa is the safest bet for business?
South Africa is one of Africa’s largest economies, with 54 diverse countries in terms of political stability, development, growth, and population. As South Africa has been a relatively slow growth area over the years, corporation tax dropped from 34.55% in 2012 to the current rate — but was this effective? GDP in South Africa has fluctuated quite dramatically since the 1960s. Business favours countries with political stability, which is something South Africa doesn’t currently have. Furthermore, South Africa’s government debt to GDP sits roughly in the middle of the continent’s countries — is this influencing their corporate tax rate?
|Puerto Rico||North America||37.5|
|Sri Lanka||Asia Pacific||28|
|New Zealand||Asia Pacific||28|
|South Korea||Asia Pacific||25|
|United States||North America||21|
|Saudi Arabia||Middle East||20|
|Hong Kong||Asia Pacific||16.5|
Lucy Desai is a content writer at QuickBooks, a global company offering the world’s leading accountancy software.
Nigeria’s Crude Oil Production Declined to 1.31mbpd in September
Nigeria’s Crude Oil Output Declined from 1.37mbpd in August to 1.31mbpd in September
The Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) reported that Nigeria’s crude oil production declined by 58,000 barrels per day in the Month of September when compared to the nation’s oil production of August.
In its latest oil market report, the cartel said Nigeria produced 1.37 million barrels per day in the month of August but that number declined by 58,000 to 1.31 million barrels per day in September. Bringing the total decline for the 30 days of september to 1.74 million barrels.
On oil price movement in September, the organisation said prices settled lower in the month under review after four consecutive months of gains.
OPEC Reference Basket declined by 8.1 percent or $3.65 in September to $41.54 per barrel, while it moderated to $40.62 per barrel from the year-to-date.
Commenting on the recent changed in Nigeria’s monetary policy rate, the oil cartel said “the recent cut is a part of the policy to continue supporting the economy that plunged 6.1 per cent in the second quarter hit by the global pandemic.
“Nevertheless, Nigeria’s annual inflation rate surged to the highest rate since March 2018 in August 2020, as it rose to 13.22 per cent year-on-year from 12.82 per in in July.”
Oil prices sustained bullish trend on Thursday after data showed U.S oil inventories declined last week.
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