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Petroleum Ministry to lose $8 billion

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The Federal Government is at risk of losing over $8bn to litigants over disputed “contractual and statutory obligations” by the.

In a particular suit before the London Court of International Arbitration, litigants are making claims of $8bn.

In a bid to escape payment of the liability, forensic and legal experts were hired to defend the ministry.

“English lawyers were engaged in this regard,” a 2017 budget document the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu, submitted to the House of Representatives stated.

“The ministry is facing judgment debts situations and litigation resulting from contractual and statutory obligations at home and abroad.

“Notable among the cases is the matter before the London Court of  International Arbitration, with claims US8bn against Nigeria.

“Due to its significance, the Honourable Attorney-General of the Federation appointed forensic and legal experts to defend the ministry,” the document added.

Already, it proposed to spend N400m this year on “legal services and litigation” that are ongoing.

The document Kachikwu submitted to the House had a total figure of N69.5bn, representing the budget proposals of the Petroleum Ministry and its parastatals.

it was observed that the Department of Petroleum Resources alone took the highest share of N33.7bn.

Out of this figure, the DPR will spend N32.1bn on salaries alone, but will execute only N1.8bn capital projects.

Besides the huge personnel cost, another N534.4m will cover overhead spending.

The Petroleum Products Price Regulatory Agency took the next highest allocation of N9.1bn, with N7.7bn going on salaries.

The main ministry was allocated a total of N2.8bn and will spend N1.8bn on capital projects and pay N730m on salaries.

A summary of the proposals submitted by the minister showed that out of the total 2017 budget of N69.5bn, the sum of N61.2bn was earmarked for salaries in the ministry and its agencies, while the total provision for capital projects was N7bn.

( Punch Nigeria )

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We Deliberately Shut Down Refineries – NNPC GMD

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We Deliberately Shut Down Refineries – NNPC GMD

NNPC boss, Mele Kyari

The Group Managing Director of Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Mele Kyari, has expressed that the corporation deliberately shut down the nation’s refineries because they became unsustainable.

The GMD disclosed this when he appeared before the House of Representatives Committee on Petroleum Upstream in Abuja.

He pointed out that the NNPC was unable to supply crude oil to the refineries, adding that the Excravos pipeline is the only one the NNPC managed to sustain through the contracting process.

He went on to express that it is practically impossible to run pipelines at their optimum capacity.

Also ReadBREAKING: NNPC Raises Petrol Depot Price, Marketers To Sell At N168-N170/Litre

“For instance, to run Kaduna and Warri refinery, you need to deliver 170,000 barrel of oil per day so that both will operate at 70 percent capacity,” he said.

Kyari said that at the moment, it only had over 5,000 kilometers of pipelines with 13 fuel depots, which according to him must be protected to forestall the activities of vandals.

“And I can tell you today that except the Atlas cove to Ibadan line and also the Portharcourt to Aba line, none of these pipelines is serviced.

“We cannot flow product into these lines, the cheap one is to say they are aged but the real reason is that the level of activities of vandals on these lines is gross, monumental, and profound.

“At every point within a month we fix 80 vandal points, the option is to shut them down and the result of having one depot is what we have seen in Lagos,” he said.

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Lai Mohammed Denies Announcing N5m Hate Speech Fine

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Minister Of Information, Lai Mohammed, Denies Announcing N5m Hate Speech Fine

Lai Mohammed

Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed has denied that he announced the increment of the speech fine from N500,000 to N5 million.

He made this known in a counter-affidavit in response to a suit filed against him at a federal high court in Lagos.

Recall that some months ago, the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) announced an amendment to the broadcasting code, where the increment of the new fine was announced.

Recall that weeks after the announcement, NBC fined Nigeria Info FM for alleged hate speech after interviewing Obadiah Mailafia, former deputy governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), who alleged that a northern governor is one of the leaders of Boko Haram.

However, Human Rights lawyer, Inibehe Effiong proceeded to the court to challenge the fine.

Also Read: BREAKING: NBC Fines Radio Station N5m For Hate Speech

However, in the affidavit deposed by Sunday Ojobo, an official of the Information ministry, the minister said he never announced the increase of the hate speech fine.

“Paragraph 19 is denied. The 2nd defendant (Mohammed) did not announce an increment in any fine for hate speech from N500,000 to N5,000,000 or any other because there is a governmental body or institution mandated to regulate and enforce the Nigerian Broadcasting Code,” an affidavit deposed to by a Litigation Secretary at the Federal Ministry of Information and Culture, Sunday Ojobo, reads.

The minister further stated that the constitution allows for human rights to be suspended for the sake of national interest.

He wrote, “The constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria provides for derogation from fundamental rights in the interest of public safety, public order and for the purpose of protecting the rights and freedom of other persons.”

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‘Nothing To Forgive:’ Soyinka Speaks About Relationship With Gowon

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‘Nothing To Forgive:’ Soyinka Speaks About Relationship With Gowon

Nobel Laureate Wole Soyinka

Nobel Laureate, Wole Soyinka has commented on his relationship with former Head of State Yakubu Gowon.

Soyinka was in August 1967 arrested and placed in solitary confinement just as the Civil War started under Gowon’s regime.

Speaking about their relationship, Soyinka explained that there is no bad blood between him and Gowon and he does not think there is anything to forgive him (Gowon) about.

“We communicate whenever possible, he came for my birthday in Abeokuta here. And when he started to apologise – he made a public apology – I said, ‘There is no need for it,’” the playwright who was detained by the Gowon government for two years, in the wake of the Nigerian Civil War, told Channels Television.

Also Read: Gowon: AfDB President Adesina Warns Against Misinformation

Soyinka also revealed that General Gowon had on various occasions made efforts to meet him so they could talk.

He added; “He even asked the former ambassador to locate me so that anytime he was passing – I was in Europe and America then – so we could meet and talk. And I said, ‘any time’ but there is really nothing much to talk about.”

The playwright further disclosed that they later met at a conference and they talked about the Nigerian Civil War.

He said; “We hit it on very well and we joked. The ice was broken and since then, we have been friends.”

“The war, for me, is over.’ The ones I find difficult to forgive are those who lied against me. I don’t like liars; I just cannot stand liars.”

The former Head of State has been in the news in recent days over allegations that he embezzled half of the money in the Central Bank of Nigeria during his regime.

 

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