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Nigeria’s gas production rose by 20.23 per cent in 2015 – NEITI

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The Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI) on Friday said Nigeria’s gas production rose by 20.23 per cent in 2015.

NEITI said this in Abuja in its audit-covered operations in the country’s oil and gas industry for the period of 2015.

According to the report, the country’s gas production rose by 20.23 per cent from 2,593,090 million standard cubic feet (mmscf) in 2014 to 3,250, 667 mmscf in 2015.
This, it stated, was supported by the combined effect of increased gas utilisation and decline in gas flaring.

“NNPC’s liftings were split almost evenly between federation export and domestic crude allocation, which accounted for 159.4 million barrels and 153.9 million barrels, respectively.
“However, only 8.7 million barrels or 5.6 per cent of crude oil allocated for domestic consumption went to the refineries in 2015 on account of the state of the refineries,’’ the reports stated.

However, the report equally said that the status of a $16.8 billion dividend paid by the Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas Limited (NLNG) to the NNPC for the federation over 16 years was still unknown.

The organisation asked the corporation to clarify the alleged mix-up.

“In 2015, the NLNG paid $1.07 billion as dividend, interest and loan repayment to NNPC, broken down as follows: $1.04 billion as dividends, $3.1 million as interests, and $29.1 million as loan repayment.

“This brings to a total of $16.8 billion NLNG’s payments to NNPC for the period 2000 to 2015. The payments are for the loan grant to NLNG and for the 49 per cent stake that the government holds in the company.

“While NNPC has always confirmed receipt of the payments, it has never shown evidence of remittance to either the federal government or to the Federation Account,’’ the report read in part.

NNPC maintains that it has authorisation from the presidency to hold the dividends in trust and utilise as directed by the government.

NEITI recommended that NNPC should provide documentary evidence of the authorisation to hold the money in trust and to give account of the expenditure from 2000 and the status of the $16.8 billion collected in 16 years.

On crude oil theft and product losses, NEITI said the volume of crude oil declared loss to theft by 13 operators in 2015 was 27.1 million barrels, valued at $1.4 billion.

It said a subsidiary of the NNPC, the Pipeline and Product Marketing Company (PPMC), also declared loss of crude worth $25 million, to bring the total declared losses to $1.45 billion.

“This brings the established loss to theft from 2011 to 2015 to a total of 113.1 million barrels valued at $11 billion.

“Also, PPMC declared losing products worth N56.4 billion, broken down as follows: N52 billion for losses on petrol, N3.8 billion for losses on diesel, and N123 million for losses on kerosene.

“Deferred production on account of sabotage or repairs came to 57 million barrels,” it stated.

It reported that Nigeria recorded a net loss of $723 million from getting refined products through Offshore Processing Arrangement (OPA) during the period.

The report said despite its disbandment in November 2015 for being uneconomical, there was an outstanding liability of $498 million by companies contracted under OPA from under-delivery of imported products.

Based on its claims of inefficiencies in the OPA, NEITI recommended that the Direct Sale Direct Purchase (DSDP) arrangement which replaced it should be closely monitored to ensure the country was not losing from its application.

It said the Nigerian Petroleum Development Company (NPDC) was still owing the country the balance of $1.7 billion from its takeover of eight Oil Mining Leases (OMLs) from the Shell JV between 2010 and 2011.

According to NEITI, the report which is its eighth edition, was approved for release by its National Stakeholders Working Group chaired by the Minister for Mines and Steel Development, Dr Kayode Fayemi.

It said a Nigerian accounting and audit firm, Haruna Yahaya & Co., selected for the job had submitted the report.

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Photos of Arnold Schwarzenegger involved in car crash

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Hollywood actor, Arnold Schwarzenegger has been involved in a car accident, his spokesman has confirmed.

The four-vehicle crash, which occurred on Friday afternoon, January 21 in Los Angeles left one person with injuries, Los Angeles Police said.

Photos from the scene published by TMZ show a large SUV on top of at least two vehicles at an intersection in Brentwood while the ‘Terminator’ actor can be seen standing nearby.

Police said that no arrest has been made and ruled out the involvement of drugs and alcohol.

Officers did not identify those involved but the actor and former California governor’s spokesman confirmed to the Los Angeles Times that he was driving the SUV when the incident occurred.

A report by police, seen by CBS Los Angeles, said that the SUV driver was “near the intersection of Sunset Boulevard and Allenford Avenue, when a collision occurred with a red Prius making a u-turn as he continued through a ‘red arrow’ signal to turn left.”

It added that the SUV rolled on top of the Prius and ended up hitting two other vehicles.

One person was taken to hospital by ambulance, but the injuries are not thought to be life threatening.

Schwarzenegger’s spokesman said that the actor was uninjured and had spoken with emergency services and the injured person.

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Governors have no business with removal of fuel subsidy, says Fayemi

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Kayode Fayemi, chairman of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum, stated on Thursday that state governors had no say in whether or not to keep the fuel subsidy.

During a news conference following a meeting of the Governors, Mr Fayemi made the remark.

The group “concluded to engage the leadership of the Nigeria Labour Congress and the Trade Union Congress on how best to address this issue without causing any dissension but with a view to recovering the Nigerian economy for the Nigerian people,” according to the Ekiti State Governor.

However, he argued that the decision wasn’t one for the Governors to make.

“For us at the forum, it is a matter that is a going concern. We don’t have a definite issue on it because it is left to the Petroleum Industry Act. It is not for us. NNPC is now a private company and the company should decide what it wants to do with the price of its products. It shouldn’t really be the business of Governors.

“It is not up to sub-nationals to decide on what happens to PMS pricing. It is an entirely exclusive responsibility of the Federal Government.

“However, we are critical stakeholders and we are members of the National Economic Council, so we contribute to debates in the Council.”

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Fuel subsidy removal will cause more hardship for Nigerians, says Abdulsalami

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Former Head of State, General Abdulsalami Abubakar (rtd.) has warned that the proposed fuel subsidy removal will cause further harm to Nigerians.

Abdulsalami spoke on Thursday at the 19th Daily Trust Summit in Abuja, pointing out that the country is already facing challenges on multiple fronts.

The Buhari administration has made public its plan to stop the payment of fuel subsidy by June 2022.

However, many stakeholders, including the Nigeria Labour Congress, NLC, feel the move is insensitive and wrongly timed as the citizens are already going through untold hardship.

“Unemployment or underemployment remain at record levels,” General Abdulsalami said, adding “and over 80 million Nigerians are still caught up in needless poverty.

“All of these tend to have negative effects on security.

“In fact, Nigeria now faces a food security crisis that is compounded by the COVID-19 global pandemic and the banditry in many States in Northern Nigeria.

“All of these have disrupted the fragile value chains across the country, and negatively impacted the ability of Nigerians to produce, process and distribute food.

“The result is a continued rise in the prices of food items, beyond the reach of many Nigerian families.

“On top of all these, fuel prices are expected to rise significantly in the coming months as announced last November by the NNPC.

“We all know when this happens, as the government has planned, it will push many millions deeper into poverty.”

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