The return of large scale Oil and Gas & ramifications of Angola’s growing downstream sector

By Favour Nnabugwu 



International oil companies (IOCs) are driving multiple exploration and production projects including Kaombo North, the Eastern and Western hubs at Block 15/06 operated by Eni Angola.

The IOC as well as CLOV Phase 2 and Dalia Phase 3 at Block 17 operated by TotalEnergies.

And earlier this year, Angola surpassed Nigeria as the top oil-producing country in Africa. In April, Angola produced 1.06 million barrels per day (bpd) of crude oil, while Nigeria and Algeria both produced 0.999 million bpd.

While the outlook for Angola’s upstream industry is more than optimistic, the country’s downstream sector still has some way to go. Currently, Angola’s sole operational refinery is the Luanda Refinery, which has only been able to meet 20% of the country’s demand for refined products.

As a result of this lack of infrastructure, Angola spends over USD1.7 billion annually on oil imports despite vast petroleum reserves totaling approximately 9 billion barrels of oil and 11 trillion cubic feet of natural gas.

But even here, the outlook is promising. Angolan President João Lourenço and Minister of Mineral Resources, Oil, and Gas, Diamantino Azevedo have made strengthening the country’s oil and gas refining capacity a priority.

Their objectives are to meet domestic energy demand, reduce oil imports, and maximize the monetization of energy resources for regional and global markets.

These efforts got off to a strong start in 2022, when Angola expanded the Luanda Refinery in cooperation with Italian oil major, Eni, increasing the plant’s daily production to 1,200 metric tonnes per day.

In addition, several new facilities, namely the Cabinda, Soyo, and Lobito refineries, are in the works

Phase 1 of the Cabinda refinery — a 30,000 bpd crude unit that produces diesel, heavy fuel, jet fuel, and naphtha — is expected to be operational in mid-2024. Cabinda’s capacity will double to 60,000 bpd when the final phase of construction is completed.

As recently as this month, Africa Finance Corporation and African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) announced a USD335 million credit facility for the project, which will cover the first phase of construction. The refinery is being developed by the UK’s Gemcorp Holding Limited (GHL) in partnership with Angola’s national oil company, Sonangol.
The Soyo refinery project is scheduled to be completed in 2025. Angola’s Ministry of Mineral Resources and Petroleum has awarded the tender for the construction of the 100,000-bpd refinery in Soyo to U.S.-based Quanten Consortium Angola LLC. The consortium will design, build, own, and operate the deep-conversion refinery. In addition to the refinery, Quanten will develop a tank farm, marine terminal, and infrastructure there.

Furthermore, a 200,000-bpd refinery in Lobito province is being developed, with services provided by Japanese conglomerate JGC Holdings. Sonangol has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with China National Chemical Engineering (CNCEC) for the construction of this refinery. The MoU aims to secure financing for the project and may lead to a contract for construction by the Chinese company. The refinery, expected to be operational by 2026, will have a capacity of producing up to 200,000 bpd.

In 2022, Minister Azevedo said that building refineries and modernizing the existing one would allow Angola to sustain its energy supply and reduce the steep costs associated with energy imports. He and President Lourenço have continued to move the country closer to realizing those benefits — and several others.

Scaling up its refining capacity will enable Angola to maximize the monetization of its energy resources. With new projects like Eni’s Ndungu Early Production Project and TotalEnergies’ CLOV floating production, storage, and offloading unit, Angola aims to trade ready-to-use fuels with Europe, reducing Europe’s reliance on Russian resources.

Further, downstream activities such as marketing and distribution will set the stage for job creation and business opportunities, from running service stations to supplying lubricant oils.

Also important, Angola will be better positioned to meet regional energy demands. As more refineries come online, Angola can utilize such cross-border trade systems as the Central African Pipeline System and the Angola-Zambia pipeline to deliver refined products to other African countries

Driving growth in Angola’s downstream sector is only one example of the steps Angola’s government has taken in recent years to strengthen the country’s energy industry.

To attract investment and further encourage production, the Angolan government has implemented extensive reforms, including simplifying control mechanisms, offering fiscal incentives for the development of marginal oil fields, establishing regulations for well abandonment and decommissioning, and enacting the country’s first natural gas law.

The African Energy Chamber sees the efforts by President Lourenço and Minister Azevedo as major wins for Angola that will help ensure ongoing foreign investment, energy security, and economic growth.

Seplat Energy denies allegations against CEO, Board.     



he Nanaging Director of Seolat Energy, Nr Roger Thompson Brown


By Favour Nnabugwu



Seplat Energy Plc has denied the allegations against its Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Mr. Roger Brown and Board of Directors of the company as true, malicious and misleading

There were earlier publications citing the content of the allegations against the energy company’s embattled CEO, however, privileged information from a reliable document shows that the company has good reasons that make the allegations not malicious or racist acts.

Seplat Energy Plc was on March 9 served with court processes and ex-parte Interim Order of the Hon Justice C. J. Aneke of the Federal High Court, Lagos, Nigeria, restraining the Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Roger Brown from participating in the running of the Company for a period of 7 days.

For instance, Seplat rebutted the allegation that its CEO, on resumption of office in 2020, embarked on a forced resignation and sacking of Nigerian staff based on discriminatory policies.

“There was no mass sack or forced retirement, as claimed. The individuals listed in furtherance of this allegation were 8 in number and they left the Company between 2020 and 2022. The exits resulted from a) an Organisational restructure approved by the Board and communicated to staff on 12th October 2020, and b) such individual’s willing resignation/early retirement,” the document reads.

Also, on allegation that the CEO deployed intimidation and passive aggression on the Director Corporate Services and the SLT to enforce a 3-point manipulative ranking scheme against Nigerian staff, the company said:

“The 3-point appraisal system was developed by HR in response to staff suggestions for a review of the performance ranking system. On the part of management, the review was to ensure that rewards were tied closely to results such that those who were assessed with a higher performance would be eligible to receive a higher bonus payment.

The 3-point system resulted from an extensive internal review of our performance appraisal processes, with due consideration to the continuous staff complaints about issues which they observed/experienced in the former 5-point system”.

According to the document, “The prior practice was a 5-point scale of Exceptional (score 81-87), Very Good (score 75-80), Good (66-74), Average (60-65) and Poor (score of 59 & below). A review was required due to the following challenges with the 5-point scale:

“Prolonged periods spent in assigning different marks to identified level of performance, in order to achieve a 75percent average. The objective was to make the assessment process more efficient and arrive at a timely outcome and make timely bonus payouts to staff.

Imbalanced performance assessment and outcome for staff working within the same performance/job group level.

“The objective was to ensure that staff on the same performance level receive the same percentage bonus and individual performance review.

Subjectivity in the appraisal process. The objective was to encourage managers to make holistic decisions about employee performance levels based on quality, timeline, exhibition of Seplat Values”.

It further noted that in addition to resolving the above challenges, “a revised appraisal process would eliminate the manner in which the 5-point system limited promotion opportunities primarily due to the 75percent cut-off mark required for promotion.”

“The review of performance appraisal process was led by the Company’s HR department. At the end of the review process, two (2) options were presented to the Senior Leadership Team (SLT) for consideration. The SLT is comprised of the senior leaders of the Company and is the highest decision-making body of the Company after Board members.

“The options considered by the SLT included (i) a 3-point scale of Outstanding, Strong and Average ratings, or (ii) a modified 5-point scale of Exceptional, Very Strong, Strong, Average and Poor ratings.

“Following the HR presentation, the SLT members extensively debated on the merits and demerits of each option and thereafter unanimously voted for the Company to adopt a 3-point performance rating scale, as being the most appropriate in helping to differentiate staff performance levels.

“The 3-point scale is such that employees assessed by their line manager with the designated rating were awarded the corresponding bonus payment – “Outstanding” rating: 125percent performance bonus, “Strong” rating: 100percent performance bonus, “Average” rating: nil bonus. This 3-point scale was in furtherance of the Company’s target to reward optimal performance levels and incentivize staff to deliver on the Company’s Scorecard and commitment to its investors, the market and other stakeholders,” the document stated.

According to Seplat, “The 3-point scale of Outstanding/Strong/Average mirrors what is obtainable in the market. Most companies in the market in which Seplat operates uses variants of this methodology.

“The Director Corporate Services (who leads the HR department) and the SLT were never intimidated and did not experience any passive aggression in the run up to, during or after the appraisal system review exercise.

“It is instructive to highlight that for the 2021 performance year, for which staff performance appraisals occurred in 2022, only 5% of the entire employee population (i.e., 24 staff) were assessed on the “Average” rating pool. Out of these 24 staff, eight (8) employees had previously received a “Poor” rating and were in a performance improvement programme, using the old 5-point appraisal practice. It is also instructive to highlight that an expat employee was amongst the employees assessed on the “Average” rating pool, which debunks the falsehood that the “Average” rating was meant only for Nigerian staff.”

Seplat Energy, by this explanation seemed to have made selection of an appraisal system based on a tested assessment of what would encourage performance in the organization.

On allegation that the “Average” performance rating applies to Nigerian staff only, Seplat Energy Plc said it is untrue, malicious and misleading.

According to the company, “The workings of the 3-point rating system have been outlined above, to demonstrate a legitimate business interest and management action. We have also shown that the 3-point scheme is not discriminatory.

“Despite the relatively low number of expatriate employees in the Company, an expatriate employee was amongst the 5 percent  of the employee population (that is 24 persons) who were assessed on “Average”.

“The Company has 515 employees under a regular and direct contract of employment. 24 out of the 515-employee population (that is 5percent) are non-nationals. It is a legitimate, objective and balanced outcome to have one (1) non-national employee in the bucket of “Average” rating (that is, 1 out of 24). This correlates to 4percent when compared to the overall employee population distribution spread.”

“In the same year, a higher number of employees were rated as ‘Outstanding’. That is, 91 employees (representing 17percent of the employee population) were rated as ‘Outstanding’. 5 out of these 91 employees (that is, 5percent) were non-nationals. The above is indicative of an objective and balance outcome without any targeted diversity skew against any nationality.”

Also on the alleged discriminatory imposition of a 60-year retirement age for Nigerian staff, which is not enforced for Foreign staff, Seplat said,  “The Company strictly complies with the retirement age requirements of the Country/jurisdiction in which each Employee is engaged to work. Employees working in Nigeria, both local and expatriate retire at the age of 60 in line with Nigerian law.

“It is instructive to note that the maximum retirement age in the UK private sector is 65 years. This is the applicable labour practice for employees in the London and Aberdeen offices”.

Also in rebutting the alleged under-performance of certain foreign Employees and/or whose retirement was blocked by the CEO, the company said: “There are clear and irrefutable records that show the complete falsehood of the underperformance alleged against certain employees who were singled out in the Petition in this area. As highlighted above, the employee in question has not attained the UK maximum retirement age and was not in the bucket of “Average” performance rating.”

Also, Seplat said the allegation is not true that the Board directed the termination of a named employee based in London, but blocked by the CEO. Additionally, named employee frustrated a GM in HR to resign.

It said, “The named employee is currently on contract in the Company’s London office. There are clear and irrefutable records, and it is also common knowledge, that the referenced GM in HR resigned from her position in Seplat to join another E & P company.”

While responding to the allegation that the London Office is a fraudulent scheme and it was discriminatory for the CEO to handover the running of the London Office to Alasdair Mackenzie instead of Emeka Onwuka (his successor), Seplat said it’s untrue, malicious and misleading.

It said in the document that, “Seplat London is a small office (currently 11 staff) that was set up after the Company’s public listing to lead activities concerning Seplat’s listing on the London Stock Exchange and enable Seplat to access key financial, legal and other support services as required. It is instructive to note that London is one of the leading financial hubs in the world and the Seplat London office operates as the financial center for managing the group’s equity, debt and liquidity.

“All London staff have various functional reporting lines to the Lagos office. Since its inception, the London office has been managed by the most senior staff member based in the UK. Roger Brown carried out these duties when he was CFO and based in London, before he became CEO and moved to Lagos. Although Emeka Onwuka succeeded Roger Brown as CFO, he is based in Lagos.

“The most senior staff member based in the UK is Alasdair Mackenzie, Director Strategy, Planning & Business Development, who is also a member of the Senior Leadership Team. Alasdair Mackenzie therefore manages the UK offices from an administrative perspective.”

On the alleged Relocation of Seplat Technology/Subsurface Office to Aberdeen in discrimination of Nigerian staff and their development, the company said: “Seplat acquired the Aberdeen office in 2019 from Eland Oil & Gas Plc, who ran its OML40 operations from Aberdeen. Post-acquisition, Seplat has downsized the Aberdeen office (currently 16 staff) and expanded its purpose by extending Aberdeen’s focused exploration, business development and training services to the wider organisation.”

“Existing activities were not “moved” from Lagos to Aberdeen. The Aberdeen office operates as an addition to Seplat’s increasing resource-base, and is an expansion of Seplat’s UK-residential staff development programme which piloted by the London office. Presently, staff are actively seconded from Nigeria to the Aberdeen and London offices,” Seplat said in the document.

Seplat also rebutted the allegation that the CEO supported the Technical Director’s refusal to report to the COO in compliance with Board directive.

“The Board-approved management organigram shows that the Technical Director (TD) reported directly to the CEO, during pre-July 2022 before resumption of the COO and post-July 2022, following resumption of the COO.”

On the alleged bullying of a Nigerian employee by an expatriate SLT member, Seplat said it is untrue, misleading and malicious.

According to the energy company, “There was some operational divergence between the two employees concerning work processes, which is not unusual for two employees in a reporting relationship. HR mediated a workable forward plan for both employees. No formal bullying or harassment case was lodged by either party.

From the foregoing, it is not therefore surprising that the Seplat Board believes that these allegations are a spurious and vindictive reaction to the enforcement of corporate governance standards in the Company and its support for Mr. Brown who has earned an unblemished record of service and leadership in the Company.

The energy company has continued to maintain its operational excellence and act in line with the best corporate governance standards and it is confident that this matter will be brought to an expedient and successful end.

The Board of Seplat Energy had on March 8, 2023 unanimously passed a vote of confidence in Mr. Brown, who continues to discharge his duties and responsibilities as CEO from the SEPLAT UK office.

PTI to become Regional Centre of Excellence for Petroleum training

By Favour Nnabugwu




EFFURUN – THE Petroleum Training Institute, Effurun, Delta State will soon be named the Regional Centre of Excellence for training for African Petroleum Producers’ Organization (APPO) 

A powerful delegation of APPO leaders visited the institution for facility assessment.

APPO is the association of all the African Countries that produce Petroleum collaborating to better harness the natural resources.

According to Dr. Henry Adimula, PTI Principal the intentions of APPO to establish Regional Centre of Excellence is to develop capacity of Africans in the oil and gas business.

Adimula who is optimistic of the breakthrough said, “They are visiting the institution to assess facilities they will use as Regional Centre of Excellence for training, and PTI based on our track records, the history of our past achievement is being considered.

“If found suitable which I believe, then we will be designated as a Regional Centre of Excellence and those kind of training can be domiciled here.

“So the advantages of that is enormous because it will make this place an International centre where people from all over African continent and other parts of the world would come and to get their trainings.” He said.

On his part, Dr. Taher Najah, Director, Research Division APPO who lead the team expressed satisfaction with the achievements of PTI.

Najah emphasized that their mission is to see capacity and capability of the institution with a view to making it a Regional Centre.

According to him, “We are here to see the capacity and capability as we want to establish Regional Centre of Excellence for training.

“We have many options of how we are going about establishing these centres. First of all, the general scope is collaboration amongst our members on training.

“This is the whole idea, so we are looking at what capacity exist and how they can train our people.”

Najah lead Mrs. Temilola George, Head of Hydrocarbon Studies/Data Unit; Mr. Tchananti Tiattl, Head of Capacity Development, Mr. Serge Kohemun, Downstream Industry Analyst and Mr. Isa Muazu, Consultant for the tour of the vast facilities in the institution.


NNPCL total assets rise to N16.27trn

By Favour Nnabugwu
Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited, NNPCL, total assets grew from N15.86 trillion in 2020 to N16.27 trillion in 2022
The company’s profit after tax of N674 billion for the 2021 financial year, a growth of 134.8 percent compared to N287 billion declared in 2020 while total liabilities fell by 8.3 percent to N13.46 in 2021 from N14.68 trillion in 2020.
NNPCL’s shareholders fund grew to N2.81 trillion representing 144 percent from the previous year.
Before turning profitable in 2020, NNPC had recorded losses of N803 billion in 2018 and N1.7 billion in 2019.
Speaking to newsmen in Abuja, NNPCL Group CEO, Mele Kyari said the growth in profit was driven by its upstream operation and its businesses in gas and power.
Kyari explained that the “performance would have been greater if the operations in the year under review were free from incessant vandalism, crude oil and product theft among other”.
He noted that despite “our challenging operating environment, we strongly believe that NNPC has the potential to sustainable deliver better value to its esteemed share holders”.
On what will happen to the profit, he declared: “Dividend is always governed by the dividend policy of every company. In this case, the shareholders is the country that includes 200 million Nigerians represented by the Ministry of Petroleum Incorporated and the Ministry of Finance Incorporated in the case of NNPC Limited but for the Corporation.
The Federation will decide what to do with this and currently there is a huge data between the obligations of the NNPCL and that of the Corporation. We are sorting this out and it will be the decision of the shareholders to decide to either retain part of it or all of it”.
On oil theft and vandalism, Mr. Kyari disclosed that all major oil trunk lines have been shut down due to the activities of oil thieves and pipeline vandals.
“Today our production is around 1.23 million barrels per day. We have a proven production capacity of 2.49mbpd. But since Covid abated and the acts of vandals returned, we saw this gradual decline in our production of to the point of the 1.2mbpd.
“That means we can easily produce 2.49mbpd but we can do it because of acts of vandals. Now it doesn’t mean that the difference between 2.49m and 1.23m is stolen. As we speak, all our major trunk lines are shutdown, which means we are not flowing crude oil in these lines. We could do it and it doesn’t mean crude is stolen. When the lines are running, you can lose substantial part of that volume up to 200,000 barrels.
“In actual losses today, our budget level plan is to produce at 1.8mbpd and if you are doing 1.23m it means you are losing the difference between 1.23m and 1.8m which is around 600,000 barrels per day. This is an opportunity lost, not stolen”, he added.
Nigeria’s oil reserve rises by 0.37% to 37.04bn barrels

By Favour Nnabugwu



The Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission, NUPRC, has said hat Nigeria’s oil reserve grew by 0.37 percent in the past one year to hit 37.046 billion barrels from 36.910 billion barrels .

The Commission’s Chief Executive, Engr. Gbenga Komolafe told journalists in Abuja today that natural gas reserves also grew by 1.01 percent to 208.62 trillion cubic feet from 206.53TCF reported a year ago.

Engr. Komolafe explained that the latest reserve figures were based on reports filed by 61 operating companies as at January 1, 2022.

With Nigeria unable to boost oil production despite high prices at the international market, he explained that the commission would tackle all factors militating against efficient and effective exploration and production operations in the country.

According to him: “The Commission recognizes that the formulation of all-inclusive strategies to increase crude oil and gas reserves (from 37 billion barrels and 208.62 TCF) requires thorough consideration of all factors militating against efficient and effective exploration and production operations, and identification of low hanging fruits or opportunities.

“We have therefore become more deliberate and swifter in implementing strategic actions and initiatives aimed at increasing our crude oil and gas reserves and production.  The Commission has initiated a massive campaign dedicated to the identification of oil and gas wells producing below capacity, through:

“Inventorisation of shut-in wells and analysis of the inventory to map the reasons for shut-in and devise measures for quick reopening;
Using well and reservoir surveillance activities in identifying poorly performing wells and work over candidates for quick intervention;
Embracing and adopting new technologies and advanced recovery techniques for unlocking some identified stranded oil and gas resources.

“The conflict between Russia and Ukraine and the attendant disruptions to the global gas demand-supply chain has provided Nigeria with a unique opportunity to fill this gap through the implementation of several natural gas developmental initiatives.

“As the Federal Government has declared the years 2021 – 2030 to be the Decade of Gas, the Commission is taking steps to expand and develop the Nation’s huge gas resources through enhanced gas exploration, development and utilization schemes which will lead to gas reserves growth, increased gas production, maturation of domestic and export gas market, as well as gas flare elimination.

“The Commission is currently engaging all lessees on their Natural Gas Flare Elimination and Monetisation Plan to ensure compliance with Section 108 of the PIA and boost supply to the rapidly growing gas market.

“Furthermore, in the face of the global energy transition and the need for cleaner sources of energy, gas is being positioned as our immediate transition fuel to lower the Nation’s carbon emission footprint in line with our climate change commitment.

“Additionally, we are encouraging investors to leverage on the generous gas fiscal incentives in the PIA such as zero hydrocarbon tax, reduced royalty rates, tax consolidation provisions amongst others to take Final Investment Decisions on their proposed upstream projects”.
Questioned on when the Host Community Fund provided for the Petroleum Industry Act 2021 would commence, Engr. Komolafe said guidelines for the operationalisation of the Fund would be ready in June.

“We have had several stakeholders forum on new guidelines for the PIA and they were well attended. This I want to believe is on the basis of the fact that the issue of host community is a very good interest to all those members of oil producing states. As a matter of fact, the stakeholders meeting was well attended but specifically the implementation of the host community will begin in full swing once the regulation becomes operational.

“I actually gave a timeline as to when that will become operational, I gave the status of where we are as a commission in trying to finalise the regulation because it’s the regulation that will give meaning to the intent of the law. It will give a guide on how the host community will be formed and will be implemented. So, we believe, again, maybe like I said, before the end of the month of June, the regulations guiding the condition of the host community would be fully replaced and the implementation of the host community would be in full swing”.

NNPC’s revenue hits N894.6bn, records N141.96bn surplus

By Favour Nnabugwu

The Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC) Limited revenue for the month of June, 2021 stood at N894.64 billion, a 9.04 percent drop from the May figure.

Despite the drop however, the Corporation returned to trading surplus of N141.96 billion following trading deficits recorded in May.

A statement by NNPC’s Group General Manager Group Public Affairs Division, Mr. Garba Deen Muhammad explained that data was contained in the June 2021 figures of the NNPC Monthly Financial and Operations Report (MFOR).

The Corporation yesterday reported a deficit of N37.46Billion in May 2021.

“A trading surplus or trading deficit is derived after deduction of the expenditure profile from the revenue for the period under review”, the Corporation explained.

It added that “In June 2021, NNPC Group operating revenue as compared to May 2021, decreased by 9.07 percent or N89.27 billion to stand at N894.64 billion. Similarly, expenditure for the month decreased by 29.32 percent or N299.44 billion to stand at N721.93 billion.

“Thus, in the period under review, expenditure as a proportion of revenue was 0.81 percent, compared to the figure in May which stood at 1.04 percent.

“The report also noted that the increase in trading surplus was due mainly to the increased sales of crude oil and gas by the Nigerian Petroleum Development Company (NPDC), an Upstream subsidiary of the NNPC, and the increased gas sales and depreciation postings by the Nigerian Gas Company (NGC).

“The positive outlook was further bolstered by the performance of Duke Oil and the Nigerian Gas Marketing Company (NGMC) which also added to the improved bottom line.

“Trading surplus or trading deficit is  derived after deduction  of the  expenditure
profile from the revenue for the period under review”.

NNPC also disclosed a total of 1.63 billion litres of Premium Motor Spirit (petrol) was distributed across the country, translating to 54.50mn litres/day were supplied in June 2021.

Also, the report indicated  47 pipeline points were vandalized representing 26.56 percent decrease from the 64 points recorded in May 2021. Port Harcourt Area accounted for 43 percent, while Mosimi and Kaduna Areas accounted for 51 percent and 6 percent respectively of the vandalized points.

“In the gas sector, a total of 223.77billion cubic feet (bcf) of natural gas was produced in the month of June 2021 translating to an average daily production of 7,459.88million standard cubic feet per day (mmscfd).

“For the period of June 2020 to June 2021, a total of 2,890.11bcf of gas was produced representing an average daily production of 7,321.36mmscfd during the period.

“Period-to-date production from Joint Ventures (JVs), Production Sharing Contracts (PSCs) and NPDC contributed 59.84%, 20.26% and 19.90% respectively to the total national gas production”, it added.

FG Urged to declare Power Supply as Matter of National Emergency


By admin


Chairman, Association of Licensed Telecom Operators of Nigeria, Mr. Gbenga Adebayo, has urged the federal government to declare the power supply as a matter of national emergency in order to save nation’s businesses from collapse.

He also appealed to the government to ensure protection of all telecommunications infrastructures in the country so as to boost its operational service delivery.

Adebayo who is also the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of a privately owned radio station, Royal FM, 95.1 Ilorin, Kwara State, stated this yesterday on the occasion of the 10th year anniversary of the establishment of the radio station.

According to him, the epileptic power supply in the country has become a threat to the growth of the businesses in the country.

Adebayo who said that this ugly development has hindered many businesses to grow especially in the operational duties of radio stations added that, “On many occasions we have been running our radio station on diesel and this is not economical at the end of the day.”

He noted that, “In my radio station, I have five generators that I have been using and these consumed a lot of diesel when the power supply was not available for service.

“Out of the 10 years, for the last six years we have been running generator permanently.

“And this is not good for growth at all because the money being committed to the buying of diesel can be used to invest in another business that can still be useful for the masses.

“It is also worrisome now that, no employment opportunities in public service again and the private investors that are employing people should be encouraged by making sure all the necessary needs that can improve their businesses must be provided.”

While calling on the federal government to declare power supply as a national emergency, Adebayo said that the development would go a long way to stabilise the business activities and improve the economic growth of the nation.

Adebayo who used the occasion to laud the support of the workers of the Royal FM, Ilorin, for their commitment and unalloyed support for the growth of the radio station noted that their support has pushed the radio station into a national pedestal.

He also commended the listeners for their advices and ideas which according to him have continued to serve a tonic towards the development of the station

Adebayo, however, called on the government to protect the telecom infrastructures located across the nation so as to avoid being vandalised by men of the underworld.

He pointed out that the development would also assist the Telecom providers to serve the people of the country and also boost the economic activities of the society.

Again, IMF urges FG to remove petrol, electricity subsidies

By Favour Nnabugwu



The International Monetary Fund (IMF), yesterday, acknowledged efforts by the Federal Government to fast-track growth but warned that the “reemergence of fuel subsidies and slow progress in revenue mobilisation” exposes the country’s fiscal outlook to significant risks.

The observations were contained in a statement on preliminary findings by IMF staff at the end of an official staff visit (otherwise described as mission) to its member countries to monitor economic development.

The institution noted that the views expressed in the statement did not necessarily represent the position of the IMF’s Executive Board, saying another report would be prepared by the staff for the Executive Board’s “discussion and decision.”

The statement also observed that the continued dependence on administrative measures to address lingering foreign exchange (FX) shortages has a negative impact on confidence building.

The IMF, World Bank and other international institutions had previously called for broad reform of the FX market to achieve market-led and more dynamic operations.

In yesterday’s statement, IMF reiterated that there was a need for the urgent FX market, fiscal, trade and governance reforms to rescue the economy from muted recovery.

“Without urgent fiscal and exchange rate reforms, the medium-term outlook faces sub-par growth. There are significant downside risks to the near-term outlook arising from the uncertain course of the pandemic and the domestic security situation.

“In the medium term, there are upside risks from faster-than-expected reaching of the Dangote refinery’s production capacity along with the effective implementation of the 2021 Petroleum Industry Act in terms of higher manufacturing production and investment in the oil sector; major reforms in the fiscal, exchange rate, trade and governance are needed to alter the long-running lacklustre growth path.

“On the immediate front, fiscal and external imbalances require removal of regressive fuel and electricity subsidies, tax administration reforms and installing a fully unified market-clearing exchange rate. Over the medium term, moving away from inward-looking policies through trade, monetary and foreign exchange reforms, enhancing public trust through governance and fiscal transparency reforms and improving welfare through job creation and agricultural reforms are priorities.”

The Fund noted that the fiscal deficit could worsen in the near term and remain elevated over the medium term. According to the statement, the fiscal deficit is projected to widen in 2021 to 6.3 per cent of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) despite the bullish oil prices.

IMF also called for aggressive tax reform to boost revenues, saying: “Nigeria will have to adopt tax rates compared to its peers in the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) to raise revenues to levels targeted in the 2021-25 National Development Plan.”

The institution, however, commended the country’s “pro-active approach” in managing the COVID-19 crisis. The efforts, it admitted, has contained the infection and fatality rate.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has been well managed but there is a lasting imprint on the vulnerable. Like much of the rest of Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA), Nigeria underwent a third wave of the pandemic in August 2021. The authorities’ proactive actions, including a robust infection tracking system and a national strategy for vaccine procurement and rollout, have helped keep infection rates and fatalities lower than in many other countries,” it added.

Five died from industrial gas explosion in Mushin

By Favour Nnabugwu


Five people have allegefly died from the industrial gas cylinders explosion tragedy that struck yesterday at Papa Ajao in Mushin Local Council of Lagos State,

The deceased are three male adults, a woman and a male teenager. Eye witnesses said the incident occurred when the cylinders stocked at No 33/35, Ojekunle Street in  Papa Ajao area of  Mushin were being refilled  from a cylinder when it ignited fire from a woman frying buns close to the cylinders.

The National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA),  Lagos State Fire Service, Police Disaster Management Unit and Lagos State Emergency Management Agency  (LASEMA), immediately responded to the distress call and were able to contain the fire within an hour

According to a source, four of the victims died on the spot, while the teenager was pulled out of the scene but died on the way to the hospital.

The explosion also affected three houses opposite the scene, which LASEMA) officials said would undergo integrity test to determine their fitness for habitation.

Speaking on the incident,  the Managing Director of LASEMA, Oluwafemi Oke-Osanyintolu said: “At 7:50 a.m, we received a distressed call and we activated all our  emergency responses. With a combined effort, we were able to put out the fire within an hour.

“After the rigorous effort to put off the fire, we were able to pull out ten persons and five of them had already died, while five others survived, the survivors were treated on the spot and were released immediately

“We are going to constitute a panel to look into this holistically so that such incident will not occur again. I appeal to Lagosians to abide by the rules and regulations . “ However, we sympathise with families of those who lost their lives and I can assure you that we will secure life and property in the area.”

Also, South West Coordinator of NEMA,  Ibrahim Farinloye said the authority’s investigation showed that the shop was earlier sealed because the side of the street was dedicated as a mechanic village, which was not accessible to other users.

Farinloye said after some time, the seal and lock were removed before the incident occurred. Narrating the incident, the Public Relations Officer, ASPADA Union, Ojekunle, John Ikemefuna, said: “I was in my shop when the incident happened. It happened during refilling of gas from one cylinder to another. The owner of the gas plant is my friend. The woman is a very known person because we normally buy buns from her every morning.”

Also, the chairman  of Mushin Local Council , Emmanuel Bamigboye , who arrived the scene by 12:26 p.m, promised to set up a committee to investigate the incident.

He said: “This is an unexpected occurrence and it is very unfortunate. A lot of things have been destroyed here, but we are going to investigate. We are going to set up a committee to investigate the incident

FG signs fuel transportation, storage deal with Niger Republic

The Federal Government has signed a Memorandum of Understanding, MoU, with the Republic of Niger for the transportation and storage of petroleum products

Group General Manager/Special Adviser on Media to the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Garba Deen Muhammad in a statement in Abuja yesterday, said the MoU was reached following bilateral agreements between President Muhammadu Buhari and President Mahamadou Issoufou of Niger.

According to Muhammad, talks had been on-going between the two countries for over four months – through the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation and Niger Republic’s National Oil Company, Societe Nigerienne De Petrole (SONIDEP), on petroleum products transportation and storage.

He explained that Niger Republics Soraz Refinery in Zinder, some 260 kilometers from the Nigerian border, has an installed refining capacity of 20,000 barrels per day, the country’s total domestic requirement is about 5,000 barrels per day, BPD, thus leaving a huge surplus of about 15,000 bpd, mostly for export.

Muhammad, stated that the MoU was signed by the GMD NNPC, Mallam Mele Kyari and the Director General of SONIDEP, Mr. Alio Toune under the supervision of the two countries’ Ministers of State for Petroleum, Çhief Timipre Sylva and Mr. Foumakoye Gado, respectively with the Secretary General of the African Petroleum Producers Organisation (APPO), Dr. Omar Farouk Ibrahim in attendance.

Speaking shortly after the MoU signing, Sylva expressed delight over the development, describing it as another huge step in developing trade relations between both countries.

He said: “This is a major step forward. Niger Republic has some excess products which needs to be evacuated. Nigeria has the market for these products. Therefore, this is going to be a win-win relation for both countries. My hope is that this is going to be the beginning of deepening trade relations between Niger Republic and Nigeria.”

Also commenting on the development, Secretary General of African Petroleum Producers Organisation (APPO), Dr. Omar Farouk Ibrahim said he could not be happier with what he witnessed in terms of co-operation and collaboration between the two APPO member countries in the area of hydrocarbons.“

I want to commend the Federal Republic of Nigeria and the Republic of Niger and their leadership for this milestone, he added.

The Group Managing Director of the NNPC, Mallam Mele Kyari in his remarks, said the two countries have had long engagements in the last four to five months with a view to restoring the importation of petroleum products (excess production) from Niger into Nigeria.

He said:“With this development, we hope to have a long-lasting and sustainable commercial framework to having a pipeline from the Soraz Refinery in Zinder (Niger) into the most proximate Nigerian city so that we can develop a depot”

“We are happy that we have reached that conclusion and our two ministers have endorsed this framework. We are also working on detailed MoU between our two companies so that we can continue the execution process immediately.”

Kyari further noted that being the most experienced of the two oil companies, the NNPC would support SONIDEP in terms of training and capacity building.