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Gov Sanwo-Olu Thanks Dangote, Excited Over Refinery, Fertilizer Progress, Impact

Gbemileke Ajayi

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Lagos State governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, has commended the Dangote Group for situating the biggest investment in the country in Lagos State, and for the positive development which the Dangote Oil Refinery and Dangote Fertiliser Complex would bring to Lagos and the Nigerian economy.

President of the Dangote Group, Aliko Dangote, on his part thanked the governor for his support and for making Lagos a haven for investors and said the Dangote Group would do its best to make the Epe axis a hub of industrialization through job creation and other economic empowerment activities.

The governor, during a facility tour of the Dangote Oil Refinery, Petrochemical Complex, Fertiliser Plant, and Subsea Gas Pipeline Projects at Ibeju-Lekki weekend, said the refinery and fertilizer projects would meet the yearnings of Nigerians, and also bring exciting times ahead for the government.

Sanwo-Olu was received by the President/CE Dangote Industries Limited, Aliko Dangote; Group Executive Director, Strategy, Capital Projects & Portfolio Development, Dangote Industries Limited, Devakumar Edwin, and the Chief Operations Officer, Dangote Oil Refinery Company, Giuseppe Surace, who guided him and his top officials around the vast complex.

The governor, who said he was impressed with the progress of the projects, noted that Dangote had taken into account gender inclusion and secured the future of the youths in the host communities, in Lagos and Nigeria in general. On his part, he pledged to complement the efforts of the Group and boost infrastructure with adequate road networks.

He further thanked Dangote for his investments and stated that the Lagos state government would create an enabling environment to foster a symbiotic relationship.

To allay the fears of Nigerians, Sanwo-Olu said “for all those who are doubting, the Dangote refinery is activated, the fertilizer plant is activated, and these investments will rejuvenate the entire Ibeju-Lekki-Epe trade corridor.”  The governor said, “This is an exciting time for government; fuel shortage will be a thing of the past with the Dangote Refinery.”

He further stated that due to the level of development already seen regarding the refinery and petrochemical plant projects, MDAs of the Lagos state government will be relocating offices to the Lekki corridor, jobs are already being created by the Dangote Refinery and Fertiliser complex, and government can see all these and has to encourage it. “The state government will also ensure that the master plan for the free trade zone is followed”, he added.

Dangote, on his part, noted that even before being commissioned, the Dangote Refinery and Fertiliser projects have created around 20,000 jobs for Nigerians, with the aim to do more.

He said the Dangote Industries Limited appreciates its host communities across the group and would boost the fishing industry in the Lekki area by providing boats and jobs within the projects to boost local income. He noted that the Group has met and exceeded the expectations of the local community.

He added that in a bid to boost local infrastructure and complement the efforts of government, the Group would begin road construction and rehabilitation in May even before any formal agreement is signed, with the support of the Executive Order, ‘Road Infrastructure Development and Refurbishment Investment Tax Credit Scheme Order 2019 No. 007 of 2019’.

Among the officials who accompanied the governor was the Commissioner for Commerce, Industry & Cooperatives, Dr. (Mrs.) Lola Akande; Special Adviser to the Governor on Commerce & Industry, Mr. Oladele Ajayi, Commissioner for the Environment and Water Resources, Mr. Tunji Bello, and the Chairman, Lekki Free Zone Development Company, Mr. Abiodun Dabir

BIG STORY

BREAKING: Ex-Minister Aisha Al-Hassan ‘Mama Taraba’ Is Dead

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Aisha Jummai Al-Hassan, popularly known as Mama Taraba is dead.

She died at 61.

Alhassan reportedly died from an unknown illness.

She was a member of the All Progressives Congress (APC) before defecting to the United Democratic Party (UDP) in September 2018.

She decamped after resigning from the Buhari administration.

Details Later…

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Oil License: Reps Issue 14 Days Ultimatum To NNPC, Threatens To Summon Buhari

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The House of Representatives Committee on Petroleum (Upstream) has given the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) 14 days ultimatum to appear before it. Should the NNPC fail to appear, the committee said, it will summon the Minister of Petroleum, President Muhammadu Buhari.

According to Premium Times, The committee is investigating the revocation and reversal order on the operating licenses of OML 123, 124, 126, and 137.

The oil assets have been the subject of dispute between Chinese-owned oil companies and the federal government. The dispute led to the revocation and restoration of the mining licenses by the Buhari administration.

On Thursday, NNPC, Addax Petroleum Exploration Nigeria Ltd, Kaztech Engineering Ltd, and Salvic Petroleum Resources Ltd all failed to appear before the committee. However, the Minister of Petroleum (State), Timipriye Sylva, and the Director of Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR), Sarki Auwalu, appeared before the committee.

Myrki Adar (APC, Sokoto), the chairman of the committee, issued the ultimatum and expressed readiness to summon the president if the Group Managing Director of the NNPC, Mele Kyari, should fail to appear before the panel.

He disclosed that the NNPC sent a letter to the committee that the matter was at the Supreme Court. However, Mr Sylva disputed the claim that the matter was in court.

While issuing the ultimatum, Mr Adar said the panel will not hesitate to summon the president, since he is the petroleum minister.

“Our message to all those that fail to appear before us as invited namely the NNPC, Addax petroleum company limited, Kaztech engineering ltd and Salvic petroleum resources limited.

“We are giving them two weeks from today. We would reschedule this meeting from now to two weeks to appear before this committee and continue our business.

“Unless they want us to invite President Muhammadu Buhari as minister of petroleum. If they do not come, we will not hesitate. Buhari is a minister. He appointed himself, approved by the parliament and he is doing his job. We would invite him. And I know as a law-abiding president he would come. If he comes, Nigerians should know that it is the failure of the NNPC to come that led him to appear before us.”

Background

On April 6, the DPR revoked four oil assets belonging to Addax, now owned by Sinopec, a Chinese state oil company.

A presidential panel headed by a former senator, Magnus Abe, had accused the oil company of “economic wastages.”

The DPR revoked the four Oil Mining Leases (OMLs) citing the inability of the firm to comply with agreed terms.

The assets were re-awarded to two indigenous companies; Kaztec Engineering Limited/Salvic Petroleum Resources Limited (KEL/Salvic) Consortium.

Less than two weeks later, the federal government in a statement by the spokesperson to the President, Garba Shehu, restored the mining right of OMLs 123, 124, 126, and 137 to the NNPC which has a Production Sharing Contract with Addax Petroleum; thus reversing its operations back to Addax.

Aborted motion
Last week, a motion to investigate the matter was listed on the Order Paper of the House.

The motion was in the name of Nicholas Ossai (PDP, Delta). However, the Speaker, Femi Gbajabiamila, asked the motion to be stepped down.

The motion was stepped down and not considered by the House.

Minister Speaks

On Thursday, Mr Sylva said the NNPC wrote a counter-memo against his memo on the Addax assets. He added that he is yet to recognize the restoration order issued by NNPC.

“I wrote a memo to Mr President and it was approved, and NNPC wrote another memo against my memo.

“Having said that, the issue at hand is that no law was breached at all as far as Addax affairs are concerned. I am also not aware of any matter at the Supreme Court on this particular matter. I have just consulted the director of the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) who also told me that he is not aware.

“The matter of Addax was not commenced by me, this asset has been sub-optimally managed from the beginning of the acquisition to this moment, it has not been optimally operated.

“When Sinopec group acquired this asset from Addax, production was 130,000 barrel per day, as at today, we struggle to produce 35,000 barrel per day, from this asset, because there are no new investments, and the asset has progressively declined. We believe that with the requisite investment, we would have probably taken the asset to beyond 130,000 barrels per day.

“Obviously, there was an issue of mismanagement of the asset. Now, in the wisdom of the attorney general of the federation, he wrote to the president to say that this asset has not been properly managed. The letter was forwarded to me by Mr President for me to review,” he said.

He added that “NNPC is not in a position to withdraw a revocation or advise the withdrawal or revocation.”

President Buhari is the substantive minister for petroleum and has been since 2015. However, back in December 2020, the Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, had said that the National Assembly cannot summon the President.

 

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Probe Begins Monday As FG Suspends NPA Managing Director, Bala-Usman

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The President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), has suspended the Managing Director of the Nigerian Ports Authority, Hadiza Bala-Usman, sources familiar with the development said on Thursday.

It was learnt that a panel of inquiry had been constituted to look into the matter that prompted her suspension, as well as other concerns. The panel begins its work on Monday.

It was, however, not clear what necessitated the suspension of the NPA boss, who was only reappointed in January this year by Buhari.

Senior staff members of the Federal Ministry of Transportation, the parent ministry of the authority, confirmed the development but insisted that there was no official statement on the matter yet.

The spokesperson of the ministry, Eric Ojiekwe, could not be reached for comments on the development, as he did not answer calls when contacted on Thursday night.

Bala-Usman was first appointed as the managing director of the NPA in 2016 and was reappointed in January this year for another five years.

On Wednesday, the suspended NPA boss led her organization to sign a Memorandum of Understanding with the National Bureau of Statistics and the Nigerian Ports Authority to commence the production of statistical information and data analytics on port-related activities..

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