Monday, May 25, 2015

Breaking News : Oil Marketers Call Off Strike

The major oil marketers association of Nigeria (MOMAN) has reached an agreement with the federal government to begin lifting of petroleum products across the country “in six hours”.

According to Magnus Abe, chairman of the senate committee on petroleum resources, the resolution was reached after a meeting of MOMAN and the committee with‎ Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, minister of finance and coordinating minister for the economy; Joseph Dawha, group managing director of the Nigeria national petroleum corporation (NNPC) and major stakeholders in the oil and gas sector.

Also, the Nigeria union of petroleum and natural gas workers (NUPENG) and the petroleum and natural gas senior staff association (PENGASSAN) have suspended their industrial actions.


First Bank Nigeria Also announces early closure

The bank released this statement this afternoon...

Photos from nollywood actor John Okafor (Mr Ibu's) white wedding

Nollywood actor John Okafor officially tied the knot with his wife, Stella Maris Okafor.They were married traditionally but never had a church wedding.They have a daughter together and lost their son earlier.

Congrats to the couple!!!

See more pics below

Okonjo-iweala Exposes What 'Salary Owing' States Got From Excess Crude Account

Keeping to her promise to disclose what the states got from the Excess Crude Account, the Minister of Finance Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala-Iweala Sunday said the 36 states of the federation, received a total of N2.92 trillion from the account between 2011 and 2014.

A statement from the Federal Ministry of Finance released Sunday night said the it had become necessary to make the figures public following recent accusations by the Rivers state governor on behalf of state governors.

The statement from the federal ministry of Finance noted that the “figures show that they (states) received N966.6 billion in 2011, N816.3 billion in 2012, N859.4 billion in 2013 and N282.8 in 2014.

The low figure for 2014 reflects the steep decline in revenues due to the impact of the crash in global oil prices which began in the middle of the year.

Akwa Ibom got the highest with (N265 billion), Rivers (N230.4 billion), Delta (N216.7 billion), Bayelsa (N176.3 billion), Kano (N106.5 billion) and Lagos (N82.9 billion) respectively got these amounts from the ECA.

Kwara (N52.8 billion), Enugu (N51.6 billion), Gombe (N47.7 billion), Nassarawa (N46.9 billion), Ekiti (N46.8 billion) and Ebonyi (N44.3 billion) received the least amounts in that order.

The statement added that “the summary of the inflows and outflows from the Account shows that the opening balance was $4.56 billion in 2011 and reached a peak the following year at $8.7 billion before declining to $2.3 billion in 2013. The balance as at May 2015 is $2.07 billion.”

The fluctuation in the ECA the statement explained “reflects the sharing of the proceeds usually requested by state governors as well as the practice of Augmentation which involves additional sharing from the ECA when available funds are not adequate to meet revenue projections.”

The ministry noted that Subsidy and SURE-P payments are also made from the Excess Crude Account while the Federal Government’s share from the ECA during the period was N3.29 trillion.


Gov. Sule Lamido Leaves Nigeria, Hands Over To SSG Leaving N2billion Debt

The outgoing governor of Jigawa State, Alhaji Sule Lamido has handed over to the Secretary to the State Government, Alhaji Abdu Babura, after a news conference at the end of the council meeting. He left the state last week Thursday for Abuja-Lagos en route Saudi-Arabia.At the news conference, Lamido said that a debt profile of the state obtained from the joint sitting of the two transition committees was N14 billion.

He said the federal government owes the state N12 billion from the airport project executed by state government with the understanding and commitment of the federal government to reimburse the state while N2 billion is the actual debt of the state.

Lamido also told newsmen that there were rollover projects worth N90 billion for which the state government had awarded contracts but had not made any payment to the contractors, adding that it was left for the incoming administration to continue or stop the projects. Following his handing-over, Lamido also told journalists that all political appointees would be in their offices till the midnight of May 28.

- Citypeople

See what is causing the Serious fuel scarcity in Nigeria [Must Read]

Before we label the oil marketers evil for withholding fuel from the reach of Nigerians, it is imperative to have a proper perspective and background of why the subsidy payment has to be made and why the marketers are hellbent on receiving their money before making available petrol products.

In the international market, regardless of what the actual price for PMS is, it will be sold at N97 in the country, while the government pays the balance to marketers- this balance is the subsidy payment.

The Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency, created a template to calculate on a daily basis the landed price of regulated products, which formed the basis of subsidy claims made by participants under the Petroleum Support Fund.

While Nigerians wallow in bleak darkness, caused by epileptic electricity and a chronic fuel scarcity, the major players in the centre of the debacle are the Minister of Finance and Coordinating Minister for the Economy, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala and the Major Oil Marketers Association of Nigeria (MOMAN).

A disagreement over the payment of ‘exchange rate differentials’ is responsible for their inability to arrive at an accord, settle the payments and lift fuel for Nigerians and ease the pain of the masses.
Okonjo-Iweala has vehemently vowed not to pay oil marketers their subsidy claims, accusing them of presenting fraudulent claims with various exchange rates.
The marketers, importers and storage companies insist that the federal government was owing them more than N200 billion in subsidy payments.
The Executive Secretary, MOMAN, Thomas Olawore, recently told Bloomberg that members of the body which include Total SA, Oando Plc, Forte Oil Plc and Exxon Mobil Corp’s local unit, are owed about 40 per cent of the N200 billion.

However, Okonjo-Iweala, insists that a few weeks ago, the marketers were paid N154 billion as part of their subsidy claims, only for them to return with a request of N159 billion for exchange rate differentials from their outstanding N200 billion claim.
She said they reached an agreement to lift fuel after the first payment, but the marketers reneged on their deal.

“Marketers were asking for N159 billion for exchange rate differentials from the outstanding N200 billion. There has been so much fraud and scam so I have refused to sign for that money but have agreed that a committee be set up involving the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to verify marketers’ claims.

Marketers just want to make Nigerians suffer. I will not pay the N159 billion without verification, Nigerians should not allow themselves to be blackmailed. I will not pay the N159 billion without verification, Nigerians should not allow themselves to be blackmailed.”

“The marketers wanted me (Minister) to sign the claim for the payment of N159 billion and I said no, because Nigerian​s​ don’t ​know ​what is exchange rate differential. We had to call those agencies responsible to verify those claims in view of the fact that there has been so much fraud and manipulations in the claims by oil marketers​. We have to be very careful, so that Nigerians would not accuse us of giving away their money for something that was not real.”

“It is the demonstration of the highest sense of bad faith that after we had an agreement during the meeting and they said everything had been settled, only for the marketers to turn around the very next day to say a complete opposite thing​.​ They next day they shut down all the filling stations, except few of them who opened to sell. What does that tell you?

My conclusion is that the marketers just want Nigerians to suffer. Anyone who thinks that this whole thing has to do with the money being owed is not being truthful.

If it was so, the marketers would have waited for the verification to be completed. It is wrong to shut down their stations and depots a day after reaching an agreement with government just to make a lot money from the black market. Nigerians should not be blackmailed. Nigerians should not allow themselves to be blackmailed by the oil marketers.”

Owing to the complexity and gravity of their demand, she said it was agreed that a commitee should be set up to verify the claims before payment was made.

The committee is headed by the Executive Secretary of the Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency (PPPRA), Farouk Ahmed, with the Director General of the Debt Management Office (DMO), Abraham Nwankwo, as well as two Directors-General from the Ministry as members.

While all these ensues, the Senate has invited the Finance Minister/Coordinating Minister for the Economy, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, and her counterpart in the Petroleum Resources Ministry, Dieziani Allison-Madueke, to appear before the joint senate committees probing the current fuel crisis.
Up until now, the ministers have allegedly evaded the service of the senate summons when the documents were taken to their offices.

The joint committees on Petroleum Resources (Upstream and Downstream), had on Friday, invited the two ministers, alongside the Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation; Managing Director of the Pipelines and Petroleum Marketing Company; Director of the Department of Petroleum Resources; Managing Director of Petroleum Products Pricing and Regulatory Agency; for a meeting slated for Monday.

A member of the joint senate committee had on Friday revealed the following to Punch Newspaper:
“With the refusal of the ministry officials to collect the letters, the meeting scheduled for Monday is now uncertain.”

“All our efforts to deliver letters from the Senate to the Finance Minister, the Petroleum Minister, GMD of NNPC and the MD of DPR were unsuccessful largely due to the ongoing strike in the oil and gas industry as staff locked up their premises. At the Ministry of Finance, our staff was told that the minister was not around and they vehemently refused to collect any mail from us. The same thing happened at the petroleum resources.”

As it stands, unless the Ministers, one of whom has travelled out of Nigeria, attend the joint hearing on Monday, the Senate cannot ascertain the full picture of the true state of things and therefore, cannot really act on the matter.

Unless the federal government pays the outstanding subsidy payment to the marketers, they will not be able to receive letters of credit from the banks, so as to lift fuel.

Unless the committee set up by Okonjo-Iweala completes its verification of the oil marketers’ demand of exchange rate differentials, a resolution cannot be arrived at, and consequently, fuel will continue to be scarce to the Nigerian masses.

As it stands, one party (between the banks, marketers, federal government) has to shift ground for the scarcity to stop, else there won’t be a resolution for the next  few days and darkness in the land will persist.

Still Hot At 51!! Check Out The Hot Legs On actress Clarion Chukwurah

She look so hot and cute...At 51? Wow!!! See another pic below...............

Alleged N5bn Bribe: INEC Boss Says his Life is in Danger

According to Vanguard, it was an unusual and tensions-soaked meeting at the Akwa-Ibom State secretariat of the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, along Udo Udoma Avenue, Uyo last Thursday and the agenda of the meeting was ‘Threat To Life’.

The Akwa-Ibom State Resident Electoral Commissioner-REC, Barrister Austin Okojie had summoned the staff including security operatives and Youth Corps members attached to the 
commission to inform them of how he had been rattled by repeated anonymous telephone calls all of which, he said, conveyed death sentences on him by a one of the security staff. The said staff was demanding his share of the Five Billion Naira (N5BN) the REC  allegedly received from Governor Godswill Akpabio on behalf of the staff of the commission. The INEC boss was being told to be fair to others and let them have a piece of the cake or face horrendous consequences.

As human, Okojie, the state INEC boss, said he was engulfed with fear such that he lost his composure even though he did not know the character behind the treacherous intermittent midnight calls and even when he was speechless each time the calls came; the person aggravated his fears by sending text messages.

At this point, the REC told the staff at the meeting that he finally decided to call the Department of State Service (DSS) both in Akwa-Ibom and Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) to complain of the danger to his life and also the lives of his family members with whom he had been subjected to trauma through those midnight calls and text messages. He said that he was advised by the DSS to forward the text messages for forensic tests. He said:

“I don’t know whether this person knows exactly what N5 Billion looks like in volume! I will collapse if I see that kind of money. Besides, I don’t think I can finish that kind of money in my life time. If I should be in possession of N5BN, I wouldn’t be sitting here today, I would have travelled out of this country with my family and settled there to enjoy the money. 
But it is pathetic the way people speculate and spread false information in this state. I was barely five days in this state when some sponsored local newspapers published on their front pages that Governor Akpabio received me into the state with N5 billion and 2,000 bags of rice. 
I want you to know that I have not received any gratification or the so called N5billion directly or indirectly on your behalf from anybody. I am also not indebted to any of you because all your allowances, claims and entitlements have been paid up to date”.
He lamented that following the threats which were often issued at nights, he was no longer feeling safe and comfortable in the state and may be tempted to travel home to report his experience to his people in Edo State.
“Indeed, I am worried and utterly disturbed by those threats because I have never seen or met the person threatening me even though he claims to be a staff of this commission.
“I am now living in total fear of the unknown, discomfort and danger to my life and members of my family because I can no longer move about freely as any other loyal and law-abiding citizen of this country. I now live in utter fear of the unknown. 
I am so worried that my life and those of members of my family could be made this miserable by someone I am not even indebted to and never discussed with or negotiated any business with officially and unofficially as all the allowances and claims due every staff had since been paid”, Okojie lamented.
He therefore used the platform to solicit the cooperation of the security agencies in the state to investigate the character behind the threats to his life for possible prosecution as according to him, if such perfidious characters were allowed to walk the streets of the state free, many innocent lives would be rendered uncomfortable and endangered.
Some of the text messages read:

“Oga Okojie, it is a fool like you that says in your hearts and being, there is no God, because you are corrupt and have done abominable works n in you doeth no good (Psalm 14:1). U must reward all the staff of the INEC, AKS based on the money sent to them by the state Governor. You want to embezzle it for the sake of buy’n your cocaine. I am going to open your dirty can to all the anti-graft agencies. 
Bet me, soon you will go in for it. For the Holy Bible says whatever a man soweth that is what he shall reap. You sow to corruption and greed, your reward is death. Idiot, imbecile, ino, barawo, ikong ekpo. God will punish you 100 times including all ur households and the incoming and the unborn generations, except you share that money to all the staff”.
When asked to react to the agenda of the meeting, none of the INEC staff numbering over 300 including security operatives and Youth Corps members attached to the commission, could immediately comment on the issue and it appeared that they were worried by the ugly development and were in sympathy with the REC for the psychological trauma he was subjected to by the threats to his life and members of his family.

However, two members of the staff summoned the courage to speak. One said:

“Honourable Commissioner, we are very sorry for what you have passed through due to those threats. The name of the staff mentioned is of the security department of this commission where I am the head. We have never discussed any such issue collectively as staff of the security department and we did not mandate him to do anything on our behalf. But as our father, we plead that you forgive him because we know that the purpose of this meeting is to enable us reason together.
“If the punishment you intend to mete out to him is too heavy, it is the innocent members of his family or his dependants who will suffer. Please, let his punishment be light for him to be able to bear. Continue to be a father to him believing that he would turn a new leaf”, the staff pleaded. The same plea was made by the same speaker even as he berated the said staff for misconduct.
Coincidentally, the alleged perfidious messages and calls threatening the life of the REC and members of his family, were tracked by the Department of State Service (DSS) in conjunction with the Mobile Phone Providers and the name of the staff was identified. He is a security staff with the commission. Even when he had allegedly destroyed the SIM card after executing his malicious project, the text messages were said to have been used to identify the source, location and the image of the person.

Following this revelation, the DSS was said to have swung into action and got the suspect apprehended.

Director-General (D-G), Department of State Service, Akwa-Ibom State, Mr. Toma Minti said the suspect, Asuquo David has confessed to his deeds and has been handed over to the police accordingly.

But the Akwa-Ibom State Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), Mrs. Cordelia Nwawe did not respond to phone calls for comment on the issue. 

REVEALED: Nigeria Loses Another N4.25trn Oil Money

As the issues of the missing $20bn oil money is yet to be solved, fresh facts from the nation’s oil and gas sector have indicated that a whopping N4.2tr ($25bn) may have been lost from oil terminals due to lack of metering facilities in all oil terminals in the country.

LEADERSHIP investigations has revealed that operational losses since 2012 when the minister of trade and investment, Olusegun Aganga, moved to review the procedures for the issuance of export permits in the oil and gas sector amounted to $7.5bn (N1.5tr) annually, aside the over N400bn that a Senate panel reported that year.

According to insiders, when Aganga raised issues on the lopsided arrangement where the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) would direct his ministry to issue import and export permits, the resistance from the agency and the Ministry of Petroleum Resources was “unimaginable”.

“The minister of petroleum resources thought it was targeted at her and joined forces with the DPR to ensure the Commodities and Products Directorate and the Ministry of Trade were stopped from carrying out their statutory duty,” a source said.

The source added that when in the second quarter of 2012 a security document was designed to measure the transactions in the oil wells and flow stations, it was discovered that the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) officials forged documents to cart away 93 million barrels of oils.

Average crude oil prices in 2012 were at historically high levels for the second year in a row. Brent crude oil averaged $111.67 per barrel, slightly above the 2011 average of $111.26. West Texas Intermediate oil averaged $94.05 per barrel in 2012, down slightly from $94.88 in 2011

The Ministry of Trade has the mandate of ensuring all trade transactions in the economy are legal, accurate and fair. The Weigh and Measurement Act (2004) also empowers it to ensure that every trade transaction is scientific, legal and measurable.

Aganga, in a memorandum to President Goodluck Jonathan on August 26, 2011, entitled “Memorandum on Weight and Measurement (Legal Metrology) Service Fee Order 2010 as provided in Measures Act cap 467 LFN 1990 (now Cap W3 LFN, 2004),” proposed that the lack of legal metrology in the nation’s oil terminals was making the country lose a minimum of N30bn annually because “it does not have the equipment and personnel to discharge these functions.” He, therefore, sought to outsource the operations.

The minister justified this by saying, “It requires no government funds. It would earn revenue for government and it conforms to international best practices and the WTO (World Trade Organisation’s) requirements.”

In his approval, Jonathan wrote: “HM, T &I, approved but brief FEC” on the same day (August 26, 2011).

Consequently, a company was engaged but our sources said “though the intention was noble and the president did his bit, from 1999 when Obasanjo (President Olusegun) gave approval for metering of oil terminals, it didn’t take off until Jonathan enforced it.”

However, it did not work.
“The operators, DPR, NNPC and the oil majors, ensured that only sighting continued instead of the on-line monitoring system that the company emplaced. The company was chased away after two weeks and up until now, it is the old ways that has persisted.

“At the beginning, it was discovered that Nigeria was losing $5.35bn due to non-metering of oil wells and inaccurate ship-to-shore differences while loading and off-loading of vessels. Data currently supplied by government-appointed pre-shipment inspection agents cannot be relied upon for proper reconciliation of oil revenues from oil and gas.

“Several billions is lost annually to round-tripping and fictitious claims by oil marketers due to poor measuring equipment,” the report from the inspectors said.

NNPC Refuse To Speak
When contacted, the group general manager, Group Public Affairs of the NNPC, Ohi Alegbe, said he was unable to respond to the inquiry by press time.

His text message to the enquiry simple read: "I’m sorry; I am unable to respond to your inquiries now."

Fuel scarcity: GT Bank to close all nationwide branches at 1pm today

Due to the prevailing fuel scarcity in the country,GT Bank is also closing all its branches at 1pm today...

This is Serious!!!

President Goodluck Jonathan urges Nigerians to pray for Buhari

President Goodluck Jonathan has appealed to Nigerians to pray more for the President-elect, Buhari and the incoming government to ensure they succeed and not make costly mistakes that might have adverse effect on Nigeria. He made the appeal while speaking at the Thanksgiving and Inauguration service which held yesterday in Abuja.

"I thank you for the support and I will call on you to pray for us who are leaving, because probably today is the last day I will speak to you here as the President of Nigeria. But you should even pray more for the incoming government because we are now trying to manage our private businesses while they are coming to manage the whole country.

So they require more prayers because I can make a mistake and it will affect me, but if they make a mistake, it will affect the whole nation. So I call on all of you and all religious bodies to pray for the incoming government to succeed because all what we want as a nation, both Nigerians at home and abroad, is for good government, prosperity, unity and peace.

We cannot achieve that without the help of God. I am quite pleased today we are here not to celebrate disintegration of this country, but we are celebrating the unity of this country. We are here not for service for mass burial, but we are here having service to inaugurate the new incoming government. This being possible because of men and women like you who have been here praying for the country. God has designed everything” he said.

OMG!!! 50 killed as gunmen attack host communities of IDP camps in Benue

No fewer than 50 people were killed yesterday May 24th after armed men believed to be members of Fulani militia stormed Logo local government area of Benue State where some Internally Displaced Persons are being kept. The men reportedly shot and killed at will.

According to reports, the armed men destroyed churches, cars, houses, market places during their attack which lasted for about an hour. Iorza, Faga, Per and Ukura Villages in the local government area where the IDPs are taking refuge after fleeing their villages following attacks, were affected.

Spokesman of the Benue State Police Command, ASP Austin Ezeani while confirming the incident said he could not ascertain the number of casualties.

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