Friday, 23 November 2012

Excess Crude Account: FG, States fail to reach settlement

The dispute between the Federal Government and the 36 states of the federation over the management of the revenue accruing to the federation keeps lingering as the states has asked the Supreme Court to go ahead on adjudicating on the suit challenging the operation of the Excess Crude Account (ECA). The states told the court that they had lost confidence in the ability of the Federal Government to reach an out-of-court settlement with them on the dispute and it should proceed with definite hearing of the case.
Chief Adegboyega Awomolo (SAN), who represented the states, told the court that his clients wanted the case decided on merit since the parties had not been able to come up with amicable settlement terms. Awomolo insisted that the matter before the court was a constitutional one and not political. He prayed the court to hear and give a definite pronouncement on the suit, which has been pending since 2008.
Subsequently, the Supreme Court fixed May 9, 2013 for reports of settlement. It also ordered the parties to make sure that all processes were filed before that day.
The 36 states of the federation had sued the Federal Government over plans to transfer $1 billion from the ECA to a new account known as the Sovereign Wealth Fund. But the Federal Government sought to settle the matter out of court. Based on the application, the Supreme Court afforded the parties the opportunity to settle the matter and report back with the report of settlement. This, the parties had failed to achieve.

Thursday, 22 November 2012

June 2013 target for stable electricity

President Goodluck Jonathan in Islamabad, Pakistan assured Nigerians of a stable supply of electricity in major cities by the end of second quarters of next year. Jonathan gave the assurance at an interactive session with the Nigerian community living in the Islamic Republic of Pakistan.
The event hosted by the Nigerian High Commissioner to Pakistan, Dauda Danladi was part of the activities on the sidelines of the Summit of Eight Developing Nations (D-8) being attended by the President in Islamabad.
Responding to questions raised by some of the guests, the President said his administration had overcome the challenges of power generation to a very large extent. He identified the major challenge to be that of evacuation of the generated electricity due to poor infrastructure.

JTF arrests 2 Shell workers for oil theft

Two suspected surveillance workers of the Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) were arrested by soldiers of the Joint Task Force (JTF) in the Niger Delta over oil theft. Maj. Michael Etete, the Spokesman for the 2 Brigade, Nigerian Army, Port Harcourt, disclosed this in a signed statement.
Etete said the workers were arrested for breaking and tapping crude oil from an SPDC pipeline located at Kporgho in Gokana local government area in Rivers.
The Army spokesman said the two suspects had been handed over to the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps, the state command, for prosecution.
Etete called on multinational oil companies operating in the area to monitor its workers so as to aid security agents in its mandate of eliminating illegal oil bunkering in the region.

Wednesday, 21 November 2012

FG Owes NNPC $8.1bn in Subsidy

The Federal Government owes the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) more than $8.1 billion in subsidy payments. The debt is straining the corporation’s ability to import petrol petrol and has added to its financial burden after private companies stopped importing earlier this year.
The NNPC which used to account for 60 per cent of Nigeria’s imports, now accounts for all of them. Premium motor spirit, also known as petrol has remained largely unavailable to users across the country since early this year, following the refusal of major and independent oil marketers to import fuel due to the delay in the payment of their outstanding subsidies.
Despite producing about 2.4 million barrels of crude oil a day, Nigeria imports most of its petrol because its refineries are unable to meet the nation’s demand.

Sunday, 18 November 2012

19 Northern Governors to Meet on PIB

Governors of the 19 northern states have resolved to meet and scrutinize the bill with a view to determining its implications for the region.

Kano State Governor Alhaji Rabiu Kwankwaso who disclosed the planned meeting said the state chief executives were set to deliberate on the bill to know its benefits to the region.

Confirming the controversy trailing the PIB, the governor said he was uncomfortable with the bill as it affects the north given his level of understanding of the nation’s revenue sharing formula. He said “as a former member of Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), former member of National Assembly and a former minister and indeed a serving governor, I have  vast knowledge on what is been shared to all the states”.

Stressing the determination of the political stakeholders in the north to make case for the region, Kwankwaso said “with regard to PIB, we in the north are keenly watching and we will not allow our region to be plunged into yet another uncertain future as we will do all we could to make sure that there is equity that will guarantee a sense of belonging to every citizenry.”