EFCC Uncovers $1.3 Billion Transferred From NNPC Account On Jonathan’s Order

In the never ending battle against corruption, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) detectives have uncovered another withdrawal of $1.3 billion made by former Petroleum minister, Mrs. Diezani Alison-Madueke on the directive of ex-President Goodluck Jonathan.

The money which was removed from the accounts of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) was neither authorized by the National Assembly nor the Federal Executive Council (FEC).

Former Coordinating Minister for the Economy and Minister of Finance, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, is also believed to be unaware of the deductions.

Diezani Alison-Madueke is reported to have only relied on a memo from ex-President Goodluck Jonathan without recourse to the board of the NNPC.

A former Group Executive Director, Finance and Accounts of NNPC, Mr. Bernard Otti, has been quizzed by the EFCC over the money.

Otti is said to have also made available to the EFCC some documents, including approvals to withdraw the $1.3 billion by Mrs Alison-Madueke.

In two other instances, Jonathan wrote on two other requests mandating the former minister to take part of the cash from either NNPC Security Vote Account or from the “Gas Fund”.

According to reports, the cash was to fight kidnapping and other security threats in the Niger Delta, according to The Nation.

 

NNPC To Nigerians: Days Of Fuel Scarcity Are Over

The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation on Tuesday assured Nigerians that there would no longer be fuel scarcity in the country.

The Group Managing Director of the corporation, Dr Maikanti Baru, said this in Abuja at the 2018/2019 crude oil term contract bid opening.

According to him, the opening of bids is an indication of President Muhammadu Buhari’s drive for transparency and accountability in the conduct of government business.

He condemned the recent fuel shortage, which lasted a month, describing the corporation’s downstream counterparts as ‘unpatriotic’.

Baru warned those that would be selected after the bid against indulging in sharp practices.

“I am happy that this problem has been dealt with and the few pockets of non-compliance have been tackled.

“It was unfortunate that due to the behaviour of a few bad eggs, the Christmas was a pain. We hope you will never be part of this incident and we also hope this type of thing never happens in the future.

“NNPC is determined that this year there will be no fuel shortage. Definitely, we have seen the last of it,’’ Baru said.

He said NNPC’s focus was to enhance production volume while ensuring that the “best value is realised through competitive marketing of our crude grades to international refineries and graders’’.

“In line with this aspiration, NNPC is collaborating with key stakeholders to improve the overall security of our production sites, crude export lines and other critical oil and gas infrastructure’’.

He urged the bidders not to patronise fraudsters who promise off-takers selection assistance.

Speaking with newsmen shortly after the bid ceremony, Baru said the evaluation would take three to four weeks, adding that 16 per cent of the crude was going to North America.

Also speaking, the Group General Manager, Crude Oil Marketing Division, Mr Mele Kyari, said “there would be no lobbying in lifting programmes’’.

“It is fully automated. The customer knows where and when they get their lifting and this is unparalleled.’’

Kyari said part of the procedure was that the companies selected must have a net worth of about $250m, turnover of $500m, letter of credit and years of experience.

254 companies are bidding for the off-take of Nigerian crude grades as against 224 in 2017.

This round is the third call for bids under the present administration. (NAN)

NNPC To Commence Immediate Assessment Of Damaged Escravos Pipeline

The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) has said it will commence immediate assessment of the damaged Escarvos-Lagos Pipeline (ELP).

The pipeline was damaged by fire on Tuesday and it has led to loss of over 3200 megawatts (MW) power generation to Nigerians.

In a statement by the spokesman of NNPC, Ndu Ughamadu on Wednesday, the Group Managing Director of NNPC Dr Maikanti Baru, ordered an immediate assessment of the damage.

The damaged gas pipeline supplies gas from Escravos region of the Niger Delta area to Lagos.

The pipeline also supplies gas to power plants in the South West, in addition to feeding the West Africa Gas Pipeline System.

The incineration of the ELP, which was built in 1989, was suspected to have been caused by a bush fire January 2, 2018 at Abakila, in Ondo State.

NNPC firemen were drafted to the scene and were able to contain the fire from the leak point of the pipeline incident. However, the fire could not be extinguished due to the high pressure of the line.

To put off the fire, the line would require being isolated and depressurized, which might lead to a complete shutdown of the pipeline segment for repair works to be carried out.

The exercise will affect gas supply to customers in Ondo, Ogun and Lagos State with subsequent shutdown of the following power plants with a combined generating capacity of 1,143MW: Egbin, Lagos, Olorunshogo, PEL Olorunshogo, Ogun, Paras Power Plant, Ogun and Omotosho plant, Ondo State.

However, the Ministry of Power in a statement said the fire incident required a shutdown of the pipeline supplying gas to Egbin, 1,320MW; Olorunsogo NIPP, 676MW; Olorunsogo, 338MW; Omotosho NIPP, 450MW; Omotosho, 338 MW; and Paras, 60MW on Tuesday.

It said the sudden loss of generation due to interruption in gas supply from these stations caused the national transmission grid to trip off around 8:20pm on Tuesday.

Ajah Area Of Lagos Sells Jet Fuel As Petrol And Kerosene

It has been discovered that a part of Lagos, Ajah, can be said to be sitting on a keg of gun powder ready to explode, except necessary actions are taken. This is owing to activities of pipeline vandals at Richfield community in the estate, where pipeline which supplies Jet A1 aviation fuel to the international and local airports pass through.

By the way, Jet fuel is a type of aviation fuel designed for use in aircraft and it is powered by gas-turbine engines. It is colorless to straw-colored in appearance. Jet A1 fuel which is produced to a standardized international specification, is the most commonly used for commercial aviation.

However,investigation revealed that the siphoned product was then sold to unsuspecting Lagosians as fuel for their vehicles and kerosine for stoves. It is difficult to differentiate the product from petrol used for car because of its colourless appearance. Activities of these vandals increased this yuletide season following the perennial fuel scarcity . Vanguard gathered that during this period, trucks were usually brought into the community at night, where it was loaded inside jerricans, for onward sale within and outside the area, including the south west region of the country.

Police swoop on the vandals Acting on a tip off, teams of policemen led by the Area Commander ‘D’ Mushin, Assistant Commissioner of Police, ACP, Olasoji, accompanied by the Divisional Police Officer in-charge of Ajao estate division, Mr Abdul Adejoh and the Area ‘D ‘command’s Duty Officer, Superintendent of Police, SP, Timothy Falowo, a swooped on the vandals while they were siphoning the product from a broken pipe. On sighting the policemen, they took to their heels abandoning some jerricans filled with the siphoned product.

They also left the leaking portion of the pipe open in their confused state. The suspects In the process, six of them; four women and two men were arrested and some of those arrested were discovered to be residents of the area. Startling discoveries During the invasion, it was discovered that some vandals built shanties right on the access way of the pipe, apparently to ease the siphoning process. When a search was conducted round the apartment, some jerricans and other containers loaded with the Jet A1 product were recovered.

Although it was also discovered that the portion where the Jet A1 pipeline passed through was fenced round by the Landlord Association to prevent spread of fire in the event of any likely outbreak but the fence only served as a shield to these vandals who some times hid under the cover of darkness to perpetrate their sinister motive. Also, inside the bush where the shady act was carried out, there were several jerricans and footpaths which lead to the expressway, through which the vandals escaped. The operation which began at about 1pm, lasted six hours.

Some of the residents applauded the effort of the Police, adding that such illegality had been ongoing for long. According to one of the residents, Sheu Abubakar , “ I have been living in this area for over 10 years. I only became aware of vandals’ illegality last month. When I approached one of the community leaders, he told me that they had to erect a high fence to secure the area where the aviation fuel passed through from residential area. I was also made to understand that these vandals came there at night to siphon the product. This move by the Police is laudable but they should not just end there, there should be continuous surveillance around the area. The danger of their activities is that if they sell the product as kerosine , it could cause explosion. Some fire outbreaks witnessed in the country were caused by this product.” Mother of three among suspects Another resident who spoke on the condition of anonymity said : “One of those arrested was well known to me. She is a mother of three and has been into this illegal trade for long. We only got to know about her activities two months ago and when we questioned her, she said she usually sold a litre between N150 and N170 as kerosine. But she said that she had never gone close to where the product was being siphoned. She said that the real vandals usually gave her some litres for free.” Spokesman for the Lagos State Police Command, Superintendent of Police Chike Oti, who confirmed the arrest, gave identities of the suspects as : Ada Jesus Favour, John Eke , Ofem Jovita, Tony Andrew , Ikaite Godwin and Nnena Ekemezie. Oti said : “Based on intelligence available to the Commissioner of Police, Lagos State Police Command, Mr Imohimi Edgal, he directed the Area Commander ‘D’ and the DPO Ajao to launch an operation against the vandals at Richfield. Six persons were subsequently arrested during the raid with the recovery of some jerricans filled with the siphoned product. The suspects were charged to court last Wednesday while officials of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation,NNPC were contacted to seal the broken portion which they have done.”

NNPC Suspends Sale Of Petrol After Car Explosion

The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation on Wednesday announced the temporary suspension of products dispensing activities at its station along Lagos Road in Port Harcourt due to a fire incident near the station.

It said the fire was as a result of a car explosion that occurred outside the station after petrol was dispensed into an in-built locally fabricated tank designed to siphon fuel.

Though the fire did not affect the station, the corporation noted that it was imperative to suspend operations in order to enable security agencies to clear the resultant traffic situation at the scene.

The national oil firm also stated that a combined team of its officials and those of the Department of Petroleum Resources, led by the Group Managing Director, NNPC, Maikanti Baru, heightened the tempo of unscheduled visits to fuel stations suspected to be involved in underhand dealings across the Federal Capital Territory.

 

We Can No Longer Import, Sell Fuel At N145/Litre — Marketers

Reports are rife that private oil marketers are calling for government intervention to enable them to access foreign exchange at a special rate for the importation of Premium Motor Spirit (petrol).

Private marketers who stopped fuel importation last year due to shortage of foreign exchange and increase in crude prices, said had made the current forex rates makes it unprofitable to import petrol and sell same at N145 per litre.

The Punch reports that “The National Operations Controller, Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria, Mr. Mike Osatuyi, said, “The problem is that the importation (of petrol) is being handled almost 100 per cent by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation as private importers have backed out because the increase in crude price has made the landing cost enter subsidy.

“When the crude price hit $59 per barrel, we could not sell petrol again at N145 per litre if we were importing on our own. It is only the government (NNPC) that is importing and can warehouse the subsidy.

“Right now, the landing cost of the PMS is N154. If you are importing at N305 to the dollar, by the time you add bank charges, it comes to N307 to the dollar. If you apply that to the current crude price, the landing cost is N154-N155. By the time you add all the margins, the pump price is about N160-N167.

“Before private importers can resume importation, the exchange rate to a dollar must be N250 and we can sell at the price of N145 per litre.

“Landing cost of the PMS today has increased. By the time we land the product based on the international crude oil prices, petrol should be selling for between N165 and N170 per litre. But government is saying we should sell at N145. So, if there is no subsidy, we have to depend on the NNPC to give us the product,” he said.

DPR Fines Oil Marketers N30.5m For Diverting 129,000lts

Mr Mohammed Saidu, Head Public Affairs Unit of the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) says petroleum marketers diverted 129,000 liters of petrol from Abuja on Friday.

Saidu, who revealed this to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) after monitoring the stations, added that some of the erring filling stations had been given a total fine of more than N30.5 million.

According to him, more intelligence units are liaising with the public to get information for on-the-spot checks since the scarcity began.

Saidu said the products were diverted without the knowledge of security agents, who have no mechanism to check amount off loaded at filling stations.

”We now have an intelligence measure that ensures that even if one litre of petrol is diverted, the station is penalised. We have a way of tracing it.

”Through this means, we were able to get to Bulasawa, that remote area behind the National Assembly, and they diverted 13,000 litres and they have been issued a letter to pay N3.575 million to the TSA within one week before they will continue their business.

”Whatever products that were there, we allowed them to sell them off on the spot so we don’t compound the issue of scarcity.

”We also got to Oando on Olusegun Obasanjo Way, they also diverted 11,000 litres which means out of the three compartments of the 33,000 that was consigned to them, they took away one compartment.

”They have been issued a letter to pay about N12 million into the TSA.

”We got another station that diverted 15,000 litres and they have been written to pay N15 million to the TSA.

”We got to one station – Toniset, along the Zuba Junction. They applied for formal renovation, they are doing renovation and we were surprised they were given two full load trucks of products without any place to dispense the product.

”We had to trace the two trucks to PPMC to ask how they allocated products to a station that is under construction,” Saidu explained.

He further eplained that the truck diverted from Bulasawa, was traced to one of its stations on Kaduna Road.

”The remaining 33,000 litres as far as we are concerned was not allocated to that station, so it has to pay the N3.5 million fine.

”The essence of making it N275 per litre is because they lifted the products at the depot at about N133 per litre, and so we double it, meaning, in addition to losing the product indirectly to the government, you are also charged additionally and this is to serve as a deterrent and many marketers are getting jittery.

”If the PPMC consign products to only stations that have physical presence, we are sure the scarcity will end,” he said.

He said the department had visited about 360 stations in Abuja, out of which 157 were found to be selling.

”Those few that we found that had products that were not selling, we stationed our staff there to make sure they sell, and they are about 20 stations,” Saidu said.

The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) had earlier blamed the current petroleum scarcity in the country on marketers of the product.

The Group Managing Director of the company, Dr Maikanti Baru, had repeatedly assured Nigerians that the queues would disappear by Saturday as it had a 25-day sufficiency.

NAN

Fuel Scarcity: NNPC Has Doubled Supply Across The Country – Baru

In a bit to arrest the biting fuel supply across the country, the Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Dr Maikanti Baru, has reassured Nigerians of the Corporation’s commitment to end the scarcity.

Baru stated that the corporation has doubled the daily supply of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS), otherwise called petrol, from daily 700 trucks (about 27million – 30million) litres per day supply to 80million litres per day since the current hiccup in the supply chain was noticed a few days back.

Dr. Baru, disclosed this shortly before the signing ceremony of a memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the Corporation and the Benue State Government on the Agasha-Guma Bio-fuels Projects, in Abuja, on Thursday.

The GMD attributed the hiccups in the supply of PMS to rumours about purported planned increase in the price of petrol.

He stated that some marketers, in their quest to cash in on the situation, suddenly started hoarding products.

“But we swiftly swung into action by doubling our supply nationwide. At the time the rumour started, we had about 30 day sufficiency. The normal daily supply to the nation is 700 trucks, equaling about 27-30m litres per day.

He further informed Nigerians that the NNPC has enough products sufficiency that will last up to 30 days.
Dr. Baru said that at least a billion litre petrol laden cargoes were heading to Nigeria shores at the end of December which he noted would return the Country to a 30-day-plus sufficiency.

Dr. Baru, who expressed joy at PENGASSAN’s call-off of its planned strike, called on motorists not to engage in panic buying as the Corporation has more than enough products for domestic consumption.

Assuring that the fuel situation would soon fizzle out this week, Baru also warned marketers against hoarding, stressing that any filling station found wanting in this regard would lose its entire products to motorists.

He commended NNPC’s sister agencies, the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) and Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency (PPPRA), for their support in helping NNPC tackle the menace of hoarding by filling stations.

NNPC Plans Three Power Plants To Generate 4,600MW In Abuja, Kaduna, Kano

The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation says it is planning to construct three power plants to generate about 4,600 megawatts in the northern part of the country.

The power plants, to be located in Abuja, Kaduna and Kano, would rely on gas supplies from the proposed Ajaokuta-Abuja-Kaduna-Kano, AKK, Gas Pipeline project.

The tender for the award of contract for the pipeline was two weeks ago presented to the Executive Council of the Federation, FEC, for approval.

The Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Ibe Kachikwu, who made the presentation to FEC, had said the pipeline would allow holistic movement of gas from the southern corridors to the northern hinterlands for increased gas utilization and power generation.

“We presently have trapped power, trapped gas, all in the southern corridors that is going nowhere because of lack of infrastructure,” he said.

Mr. Kachikwu said about 364 million cubic meters of additional gas produced through the
Niger Delta would be fed into the AKK pipeline through the Odidi Pipeline Project from Warri and the Southern marshlands of the region.

On Tuesday, NNPC’s Group Managing Director, Maikanti Baru, told the Niger State Governor, Abubakar Bello, who was on a visit to NNPC in Abuja, that the power plant projects would be in partnership with private investors.

“As part of the drive to establish power plants to augment the power supply to the country, the Federal Executive Council, FEC, recently approved the AKK Gas Pipeline project to be financed through public-private partnership, PPP,” Mr. Baru said.

“The project comes with other auxiliary ones, including power generation plants in Abuja, Kaduna and Kano, with 1,350 MW, 900 MW and 2,350 MW capacity respectively,” he added.

The GMD said the NNPC, in partnership with private investors, would also build fertilizer plants in some parts of the country, one of which would be located at Izzon, Niger State.

Mr. Baru told the governor that in line with the presidential mandate on oil exploration in all the frontier basins in the country, NNPC was focused on continuing its exploration programme in the Bida Basin.

“We have contracted the geological mapping of the Bida Basin to Ibrahim Babangida University, Lapai and the job would be completed in three months,” the NNPC boss stated.

“Once the geological mapping is completed, the NNPC’s Integrated Data Services Limited, IDSL, would be engaged to carry out the other aspects of the seismic activities, to be completed by July 2018,” he said.

Mr. Baru said apart from going into more detailed 2D seismic data acquisition in the Bida Basin by August 2018, the corporation would follow up with an Environmental Impact Assessment, EIA, exercise, to establish the baseline, which would signify the need or otherwise for the deployment of 3D acquisition facilities.

To decongest the country’s highways, the GMD said the NNPC would encourage private investors to build tanker parking facilities around Minna Depot, Suleja Depot, Tegina, Mokwa, among others, and charge the users of the facility appropriately.

Mr. Baru explained that talks were currently ongoing with the Federal Ministry of Works, Power and Housing to re-introduce weight bridges on the highways to check loading by tankers above the recommended 46,000 tons gross weight.

On its part, he said the NNPC had already directed all its petroleum products depots nationwide to stop loading tankers with loading capacity above 40,000 litres.

Responding, Governor Bello said his team was at NNPC to get first-hand information on its plans on oil exploration in the Bida Basin and to also solicit the corporation’s support for finding alternative parking space for tankers along the highways and communities in the state.

Paris Club Refund Crisis Stalls Payment Of Salaries, NNPC Blamed

Distressed states may not be able to pay their workers from the Paris Club refund before Christmas as originally planned as the refund had been stalled by a Consultant over unpaid fees.

The consultant has filed a suit against the states at Federal High Court Abuja for reneging in payment of the consultancy fee for services rendered in recovering Paris Club refund.

The 36 state governors were supposed to pay the consultant five per cent consultancy fee.

Further withdrawals from the Paris Club refund by the states government may have been stalled due to the court case.

A highly placed source at the Presidency, told NAN on Friday night that the consultant rendered services in relation to the sharing of the fund.

The source said before this new court case, efforts were in top gear to release the balance of the Paris Club refunds to states to pay workers’ salaries all over the country before Christmas.

“The payment of the Paris Club refunds is at the final stages. It will be paid to enable the workers enjoy the Christmas and New Year festive seasons,” the source said.

President Muhammadu Buhari last month directed all state governors to utilise the balance of 50 per cent Paris Club refund to settle unpaid salaries owed workers before Christmas.

To remove any hitches, he directed the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Ministry of Finance, and the Budget Office of the Federation to work out how the outstanding fund would be paid before the end of 2017.

The payment began in December 2016 with the release of about N522.74 billion to all 36 states as first tranche of the Paris Club refund.
The federal government later in July 2017, released N243.8 billion as second tranche.

The funds were released following protests by states against over deductions for external debt service between 1995 and 2002.

Meanwhile, the Federation Account Allocation Committee (FAAC) meeting scheduled for Friday was put off till Saturday because stakeholders had not received the component statement from NNPC.

One of the state Commissioners for Finance, who pleaded anonymity, told NAN that for the second time, the NNPC is late in remitting funds into the Federation Account.

“NNPC is the major cause of all these things. It has not brought in money just like last month.
“Last month, the state governors insisted that the NNPC must bring in money before it later brought out N30 billion from Excess Crude Account (ECA) before the last FAAC could hold.

”Again this month, the CBN and Revenue Mobilization Allocation and Fiscal Commission (RMAFC) said they have not received component statement from NNPC.

”’This indicates that NNPC had not paid money into the Federation Account. Without that money we have to wait till tomorrow for FAAC meeting to hold.

“If the component statement is sent from NNPC, it will take about six hours before the stakeholders can go through it” the commissioner said.

NAN

NNPC Discovers 144 Trucks Of Hoarded Petrol

A monitoring team comprising of security agents and officials of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) have discovered 144 trucks of petrol not streamed by some marketers in Kano.

The NNPC Group General Manager, Public Affairs Division, Ndu Ughamadu, made this known in a statement in Abuja on Friday.

Ughamadu said “Sequel to the discovery, resurfaced trucks have been sent to discharge their products at designated locations.

”Of the 144 trucks discovered, 26 were for Katsina, while 118 trucks were to discharge their products in Kano and its environs.

”NNPC warns marketers across the country to desist from acts that may heighten supply gaps noticeable in some remaining parts of the country.

“Security agencies have been detailed to go on the trail of any marketer who may be hoarding products.”