Saturday, 18 November 2017
Business and Economy

Business and Economy (725)

• Lawmakers to begin investigation
• 15,000 jobs at risk as dispute lingers
• Maritime workers seek early resolution

The House of Representatives yesterday ordered an immediate reversal of the termination of the contract between Integrated Logistics Services (INTELS) Nigeria Limited and the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA).

Adopting a motion sponsored by Diri Duoye under matters of public importance during the plenary session presided over by Speaker Yakubu Dogara, the House resolved to raise an ad-hoc committee to ascertain if due process was followed before the termination of the contract.

The House thereby directed the authorities to maintain the status quo ante pending when the committee would turn in its report in two weeks. While leading the debate on the issue, Douye (PDP: Yenagoa: Bayelsa), remarked that there was the need to ascertain whether the termination of the contract was not in breach of the law.

Claiming that INTELS had already invested $900 million in facilities in the Apapa, Warri, and Port Harcourt terminals, he stated that no fewer than 7,000 Nigerians and their dependents could be affected if the termination of the contract was allowed to stand.

INTELS, believed to be mainly owned by former Vice President Atiku Abubakar, is responsible for the provision of logistics and facilities in the maritime sector of the country based on the boats pilotage monitoring and supervision agreement whereby the company collects revenue on behalf of the NPA.

Other lawmakers spoke on the issue. Hassan Saleh (Benue, PDP) said it was saddening that an indigenous firm was being treated in such a disdainful manner. He wondered why the authorities refused to renegotiate the contract with the company before terminating it.

Samuel Arabo (PDP, Kaduna) said it beat his imagination for the authorities to revoke a contract of over 17 years, alleging that there was more to the decision than met the eye.

However, Olurotimi Agunsoye (APC, Lagos) and Ali Madaki (APC, Kano) spoke in support of the decision by NPA to terminate the contract.

Madaki, who cited constitutional provisions, argued that the government had the power to terminate any contractual relationship between any of its agencies and any firm over issues relating to the payment of money into the consolidated revenue fund.

Before Dogara called for a voice vote which favoured the motion, he urged the lower chamber to ensure that the law was not breached by either the government or INTELS on the issue at stake.

And worried about the jobs that would be lost, the Maritime Workers’ Union of Nigeria (MWUN) appealed to the Federal Government and INTELS to amicably resolve the misunderstanding that led to the cancellation of the contract.

The President-General of MWUN, Adewale Adeyanju, in a statement yesterday said the cancellation of the contract would send wrong signals to the international community and scare away investors.

“The Federal Government should avoid anything that will send wrong signals to investors that Nigeria’s environment is not safe and conducive for business.

“Most of these employees are Nigerians with families and responsibilities. We are therefore, worried that if this issue is not resolved amicably, their jobs could be on the line. The socio-economic implications of most of them losing their jobs in a volatile area like Rivers State can be better imagined than experienced,” he said.

“As organised labour, our utmost concern is the job security and welfare of our members in INTELS Nigeria Limited,” he said.

About 15,000 workers that are directly in the service of the INTELS have expressed the fear of losing their jobs to the disagreement. There are about 35,000 others who are indirectly engaged by contractors, agents and vendors that provide support services for the company.

Some of the employees who spoke to The Guardian, expressed disappointment that the government was cancelling a contract it willingly signed years back when the contract duration had not elapsed.

Another employee, who identified herself simply as Chichi, said the assurance given by the Managing Director of NPA, Hadiza Bala-Usman, was not enough guarantee for the security of jobs.

“Who knows the new contractor and what policies he or she would bring to bear? We have had similar experiences in the past. It does not work that way. You will begin to hear different stories by the time we get to that point and that is why the labour union has always resisted this transition thing. It doesn’t work here in Nigeria. It’s a deceit, “ she said.

NPA had relied on legal advice from the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) and Minister of Justice, Mallam Abubakar Malami, to terminate the contract.

To ensure the safety of ships’ passage within Nigeria’s seaports, the NPA, through INTELS as its agent, provides pilotage services to guide ships into and out of the ports.

Bala-Usman had alleged that INTELS refused to comply with the Treasury Single Account (TSA) policy of the Federal Government, insisting on deducting its money from source.

She also said that the workers who were likely to lose their jobs as a result of the termination of the contract would be absorbed by the new company that would emerge.

But INTELS’ Spokesperson, Bolaji Akinola, alleged that the management of NPA deliberately frustrated attempts to address the issues raised by the introduction of the TSA in the execution of its pilotage agency agreement.

Akinola said: “The issues arose because the pilotage agency agreement, signed in 2010, did not envisage the TSA, and as such did not factor it into its implementation.”

The company said it borrowed $1.4 billion (N428.4 billion) from banks to execute the agreement with the understanding that the debt would be offset from money realised from the pilotage services paid directly to the banks.

Akinola said meetings, letters and proposals on how to resolve the TSA imbroglio were rebuffed by the NPA managing director. “Deliberate stumbling blocks were placed on the path of resolving the issues and this is indicative of a sinister motive,” he said.

Posted On Thursday, 19 October 2017 12:15 Written by

President Muhammadu Buhari on Tuesday regretted that despite the various interventions by the Federal Government there are still complaints and agitations by workers over unpaid salaries and allowances in states.

He wondered how the unpaid workers had been managing to meet their needs.

Buhari made his position known while addressing a delegation of the Nigerian Governors Forum led by the forum’s chairman, Abdulaziz Yari.

Yari had led Governor Emmanuel Udom of Akwa Ibom representing South South; Atiku Bagudu of Kebbi, representing  North West; Abdulfatah Ahmed of Kwara, representing North Central; deputy governor of Ebonyi, Dr. Eric  Igwe representing South East; Mohammed Abubakar of Bauchi, representing North East; and Rotimi Akeredolu of Ondo, representing South West to a meeting with the President at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

The various interventions the current administration had extended to states included bailout, Paris Club refund and budget support.

Some governors were alleged to have diverted the bailouts.

The President told the governors that the plight of workers in the states need urgent attention as many could barely survive.

“How can anyone go to bed and sleep soundly when workers have not been paid their salaries for months.

“I actually wonder how the workers feed their families, pay their rents and even pay school fees for their children,” he said.

The President told the governors that two out of the three-pronged focus of the ruling All Progressives Congress to secure the country and fight corruption had received some commendable reviews by the people, noting that the challenge in payment of salaries in states had taken a toll on the people.

“God has been merciful in hearing the prayers of his servants so the rainy season has been good, you can ask the Kebbi State governor on this, and our enormous food importation bill has gone down,” he said.

Buhari said the Federal Government and state executives would need to work closer together to ameliorate the situation of workers across the country.

The President said he had instructed all government agencies to comply with the Treasury Single Account in order to ensure more transparency and prudence in accounting for the revenues of the government and the sharing of entitlements with states.

The statement quoted Yari as saying that  the various interventions by the Federal Government, which include the bailouts, were judiciously utilised by the states.

He stressed that the governors inherited backlog of unpaid salaries and huge debts portfolios on assumption of office.

Posted On Tuesday, 17 October 2017 17:00 Written by

Former international footballer George Weah and Liberia’s Vice President Joseph Boakai will face a runoff for the presidency on November 7, the national election commission announced Sunday.

With tallies in from 95.6 percent of polling stations, Weah took 39.0 percent of the votes and Boakai 29.1 percent, both well short of the 50 percent barrier required to win outright from the first round of voting held on Tuesday.

National Elections Commission chairman Jerome Korkoya told journalists that 1,550,923 votes had been counted and turnout was at 74.52 percent.

Three other candidates took a significant share of votes with veteran opposition leader Charles Brumskine at 9.8 percent, former Coca-Cola Executive Alexander Cummings at 7.1 percent and former warlord turned preacher Prince Johnson at 7.0 percent.

These candidates will now decide which runoff contender they will direct their supporters to follow, holding significant sway over the final results.

Posted On Sunday, 15 October 2017 22:08 Written by

Manchester City maintained their blistering start to the season as the Premier League leaders demolished Stoke 7-2, while champions Chelsea crashed to a shock 2-1 defeat at lowly Crystal Palace on Saturday.

With second placed Manchester United settling for a drab stalemate at Anfield earlier in the day, it was their Manchester rivals who provided the thrills as City moved two points clear at the top.

Pep Guardiola’s free-scoring side struck three times in the first 27 minutes at Eastlands, securing their sixth successive league win in swashbuckling style.

City took the lead through Gabriel Jesus in the 17th minute and Raheem Sterling doubled the advantage two minutes later with a tap-in that capped a flowing move.

David Silva got City’s third with a simple finish after another incisive raid in the 27th minute.

Stoke’s Mame Biram Diouf reduced the deficit with a deflected effort in the 44th minute and City’s defence was breached for just the fourth time in the league this season when Kyle Walker scored an own goal two minutes after the interval.

But Jesus’s second goal in the 55th minute restored order and his compatriot Fernandinho put the result beyond doubt five minutes later.

City reached six goals in a game for the second time this season as Leroy Sane netted in the 62nd minute.

Bernando Silva’s first City strike, in the 78th minute, made it 24 goals in his team’s last five league games.

Bottom of the table Palace had lost their opening seven league games without scoring a goal, the worst start to a season in English top-flight history.

But stunningly it was Chelsea who were the victims as they finally ended that goal drought at Selhurst Park.

Palace took the lead in the 11th minute when Yohan Cabaye’s effort was deflected in for an own goal by Chelsea defender Cesar Azpilicueta.

Tiemoue Bakayoko equalised for Chelsea seven minutes later as the France midfielder headed his first Premier League goal from a Cesc Fabregas corner.

However, Chelsea were already without injured duo Alvaro Morata and N’Golo Kante and they suffered another setback when Victor Moses limped off in the first half.

There was even worse to come for Chelsea as Wilfried Zaha restored Palace’s lead with a fine curling strike in first half stoppage-time.

Infuriated
Fabregas hit the crossbar but Chelsea were unable to avoid a second successive league defeat after their damaging 1-0 loss to Manchester City before the international break.

Antonio Conte’s fouth placed side, beaten three times this term, are now nine points behind City.

At Anfield, Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp was left infuriated by United boss Jose Mourinho’s ultra-cautious game-plan.

Mourinho’s team had just six touches in Liverpool’s penalty area as United goalkeeper David De Gea made a superb save from Joel Matip to maintain the visitors’ unbeaten start to the season.

Klopp’s spluttering side have only one win in eight games in all competitions.

“I think Man United came here for the point and they got it,” Klopp moaned.

“I’m sure if we played like this, you could not do this at Liverpool. Obviously for Man United it is OK.”

Inevitably, Mourinho had no regrets, saying: “Their midfield today was stronger than my midfield. I had (Ander) Herrera and (Nemanja) Matic and nobody on the bench to make it different.

“The second half was a bit of chess, but my opponent didn’t open the door for me to win the game.”

Tottenham finally won for the first time at Wembley in the Premier League with a 1-0 victory over Bournemouth.

Mauricio Pochettino’s side had failed to win their first three league games since moving into Wembley while White Hart Lane is redeveloped, but Christian Eriksen’s deft 47th minute finish ended that frustrating streak.

Chris Wood’s 85th minute equaliser rescued Burnley in their 1-1 draw against 10-man West Ham at Turf Moor.

Michail Antonio gave West Ham the lead in the 19th minute, but Hammers striker Andy Carroll was sent off after catching Mee with an elbow less than two minutes after being booked for the same offence.

Swansea climbed out of the relegation zone as Tammy Abraham’s brace sealed a 2-0 win against Huddersfield.

Abraham put Swansea in front three minutes before half-time at the Liberty Stadium and the on-loan Chelsea forward struck again with his fifth goal of the season in the 48th minute.

Posted On Saturday, 14 October 2017 21:14 Written by

Liverpool were held to a frustrating draw despite dominating Manchester United at Anfield and have now won just once in eight games.

The Reds were on top for long periods and peppered the United goal with 19 shots, but a combination of outstanding goalkeeping by David de Gea and poor finishing denied them a decisive moment.

The most noteworthy incident of an uneventful first half was De Gea denying Joel Matip from close range with a brilliant reflex save with his outstretched left boot, before Mohamed Salah fired the rebound wide.

United offered very little quality in attack although Simon Mignolet had to smartly parry Romelu Lukaku's fierce attempt before the interval.

Liverpool dominated even more after half-time but Emre Can wasted their best chance when he volleyed over the bar from eight yards after being picked out by the impressive Joe Gomez's precise cross.

The point was enough to take United - with nine clean sheets in their past 10 league games - to the top of the table, one point ahead of Manchester City, who host Stoke City at 15:00 BST.

History repeats itself

It's almost a year to the day Liverpool and United played out a goalless and drab stalemate in the same stadium, with the hosts subdued by a vintage Jose Mourinho masterclass in defensive organisation and discipline.

Twelve months on, this game was only marginally better despite Liverpool taking the match to United after the break.

A year ago, United were grateful for two fine second-half saves from goalkeeper De Gea to dent Can and Philippe Coutinho.

This time the Spaniard produced a magnificent save with his foot to keep out Matip from close range on his way to his 18th Premier League clean sheet of 2017.

This was only Liverpool's third clean sheet in 13 games this season but Mourinho will have been the happier manager at the final whistle.

The visitors had just 38% of possession - a 3% improvement on their last visit - yet they produced a dogged defensive display to stop Liverpool from scoring for only the second time this season in the Premier League.

 

Posted On Saturday, 14 October 2017 13:32 Written by

Partial results from Liberia's presidential election show former football star George Weah has taken an early lead.

Figures from the National Elections Commission (NEC) put Mr Weah ahead in 11 out of 15 counties, although most votes have yet to be counted.

His main rival, incumbent Vice-President Joseph Boakai, leads in one county and is second in most others.

A candidate needs more than 50% of the votes for outright victory.

If no-one achieves that, a second round will be held in November.

The election is to choose a successor to Ellen Johnson Sirleaf - Africa's first elected female president and a Nobel Peace laureate.

As the results came in, the manager of Arsenal Football Club, Arsene Wenger, was apparently duped by false reports that Mr Weah had won.

Arsene WengerImage copyrightGETTY Arsene Wenger coached George Weah in the 1990s when he was in charge of French club Monaco

"I would like to congratulate one of my former players, who became president of Liberia," Mr Wenger told reporters.

"It's not often you have a former player who becomes president of a country. So well done, Georgie."

NEC Chairman Jerome Korkoya hit out at false reports and said his officials were doing their best to get accurate official results out as quickly as possible.

"This commission has not declared any winner," he stressed.

International election observers said they had not identified any major problems with Tuesday's voting.

However, parties supporting three of the 20 candidates have alleged irregularities and said they would contest the result, Reuters reported.

Joseph Boakai at a polling station in Monrovia on October 10, 2017Image copyrightAFP
Vice-President Joseph Boakai says the Liberian people want to see more development

Ms Sirleaf, 78, who is stepping down at the end of two terms, hailed the election as a success.

"We believe that all Liberians are ready for this process. I thank them for participating in this process," she said.


Meet the frontrunners

George Weah, 51:

  • Former Fifa World Footballer of the Year
  • Arsene Wenger, now at Arsenal, was Weah's coach at Monaco in 1990s
  • Has the political backing of jailed warlord and former President Charles Taylor
  • Taylor's ex-wife, Jewel Howard Taylor, is his running mate.

Joseph Boakai, 73:

  • Nicknamed "Sleepy Joe"
  • Denies it is because he is often caught napping at public events, says it is because he is a dreamer
  • Vice-President under Ellen Johnson Sirleaf since 2005
  • Has distanced himself from her record, saying "a lot more needs to be achieved".

Liberia, which was founded by freed US slaves in the 19th Century, has not had a smooth transfer of power in 73 years.

Ms Sirleaf took office in 2006, after her predecessor, Charles Taylor, was forced out of office by rebels in 2003, ending a long civil war.

Taylor is currently serving a 50-year prison sentence in the UK for war crimes related to the conflict in neighbouring Sierra Leone.

Mr Weah, 51, has chosen Taylor's ex-wife Jewel Howard Taylor as his running mate.

 
Posted On Saturday, 14 October 2017 01:32 Written by

Liberia on Thursday awaited the delayed announcement of the outcome of presidential elections as international observers called for the results to be released promptly to avoid stoking tension.

Political parties have expressed concern over polling-day hitches on Tuesday, with one calling for a halt to the ballot count.

Footballing superstar George Weah and incumbent Vice-President Joseph Boakai are expected to top the first round of voting, according to analysts, though former Coca-Cola executive Alexander Cummings is considered to have eaten into their support with an innovative campaign strategy.

If no candidate wins 50 percent of the presidential vote, a run-off between the top two contenders will be held on November 7 — an outcome deemed a near certainty.

The chairman of the Liberty Party, whose candidate Charles Brumskine is also seen as a serious contender, on Thursday urged the “NEC to immediately halt further announcements of election results.”

In a statement sent to AFP, he claimed the irregularities were “deeply troubling”.

“If NEC does not cooperate with our request, we will take the appropriate legal action,” the party’s chairman, Ben Sanvee, said.

The National Elections Commission (NEC) is expected will hold a press conference at 5pm (1700 GMT) with the first official results.

Turnout for Liberia’s first democratic transfer of power in seven decades was exceptionally high, the NEC has suggested.

Given the delays, the European Union observer mission urged the NEC to be as open to possible about the details of the final results.

“In order for the final result to be credible the Liberian authorities will have to show the greatest transparency regarding the handling of the result for the polling stations until the validation,” the chief observer of the EU’s Election Observation Mission, Maria Arena, told journalists in Monrovia.

She also called on the authorities to ensure that “potential complaints are handled with the utmost impartiality” in a tense environment.

The Carter Center, an NGO founded by former US president Jimmy Carter, said “prompt release of results” would help in “building confidence among the electorate and preventing confusion and tension.”

Posted On Thursday, 12 October 2017 20:06 Written by

An employment tribunal in the UK has been hearing how Ghana's Osei Tutu II, the Ashanti king, handed $462,000 (£350,000) in cash to a bank worker to deposit in his account, the UK's Telegraph newspaper reports.

The monarch gave a bag containing notes of almost £200,000 and $200,000 in August last year to Mark Arthur.

The deposit at the Ghana International Bank in London triggered a money-laundering alert and cost Mr Arthur his job.

Mr Arthur, a dual citizen of UK and Ghana, says that his dismissal was unfair.

He said that the money transfer had been approved by Joseph Mensah, the bank's chief executive, the report says.

His lawyers say that his handling of the deposit was in line with way the bank previously handled Osei Tutu II’s bank account.

The king, who once worked in the UK, is estimated to be Africa’s 10th richest monarch, with valuable gold mine and cocoa plantations, and remains one of the most influential traditional figures in Ghana, the report says.

The tribunal continues.

Posted On Wednesday, 11 October 2017 22:31 Written by

Watford’s Isaac Success downed two bottles of Baileys and repeatedly failed to score with the hookers

A PREMIER League ace and Nigerian international Isaac Success paid four hookers £2,000 for a hotel romp — but failed to score with any of them after drinking two bottles of Baileys. Watford’s Isaac Success, 21, was arrested after angrily demanding his money back.

He was arrested by the UK police for allegedly assaulting four sex workers in a Hertfordshire hotel.

Watford’s Isaac Success, 21, was arrested after angrily demanding his money back.

 Alexis Domerge was one of the escorts paid by footballer Isaac Success
Alexis Domerge was one of the escorts paid by footballer Isaac Success

Escort Alexis Domerge said the Watford star boasted of his prowess in the bedroom after paying the women £2,000 for a hotel romp.

But the 21-year-old, who has found the net only once in 19 Watford appearances, drank two bottle of Baileys — and then repeatedly failed to score with the hookers.

When the women decided to blow the whistle on Success’s lacklustre performance after 90 minutes, he angrily demanded his money back.

He was arrested in the hotel lobby after cops were called.

 Michaela Carter says the 21-year-old Success came across as shy and awkward
Michaela Carter says the 21-year-old Success came across as shy and awkward
 The Watford star became angry and demanded his money back after the girls called time on the romp
The Watford star became angry and demanded his money back after the girls called time on the romp

Alexis, 24, said: “He accused us of ripping him off and asked for his money to be returned.

“It was terrifying. He had paid four of us £500 each to party with him and we all got naked as soon as the money came through on our phone bank accounts.

“He was drinking Baileys straight from the bottle.

“He must have chugged at least two. I pulled off his shorts and got down to it with three other girls doing everything you could imagine.

 Michaela says she massaged the footballer for ninety minutes
Michaela says she massaged the footballer for ninety minutes
 Alexis says Success downed two bottles of Baileys
Alexis says Success downed two bottles of Baileys

“But he was getting frustrated. What do you expect if you drink two bottles of Baileys liqueur straight from the bottle?”

Fellow escort Michaela Carter, 30, said: “He had a nice body and all four of us massaged him for a full hour and a half — as long as a football match.

“He had been boasting to us all night about how much he earned and how much fun we were going to have.

“But it’s fair to say that Mr Success did not live up to his name during our night together.

“He seemed really keen on Baileys — swigging the stuff out of the bottle. It made me cringe because it’s so sickly sweet.

“He seemed a bit shy and awkward, probably because he’s only 21. After a bit of chat Alexis took charge and said it was time to get down to business.

 Success was arrested in the hotel lobby after cops were called
Success was arrested in the hotel lobby after cops were called
 Alexis says the Prem star became frustrated but blamed his performance on the booze
Alexis says the Prem star became frustrated but blamed his performance on the booze
 Alexis says the four escorts all got naked as soon as the money came through on their bank accounts
Alexis says the four escorts all got naked as soon as the money came through on their bank accounts

“She laughed and told him, ‘We want your money before the honey’.

“So he transferred £2,000 straight to one of the girls which was divided between the four of us.

“The partying started as soon as the money came into our accounts and we all stripped off.

“All five of us were squirming around on the bed but after a while we realised the Baileys had taken its toll.

“Eventually, I told him I couldn’t stay any longer and we couldn’t give him extra time. That’s when things started to get nasty.

“There was a lot of screaming which must have woken the entire hotel.

“At that point the police were called. We were all making a terrible racket.

“I ended up with a slight cut on my face and a bruise on my arm during the chaos.

“I don’t know how it happened. During the row I also stumbled backwards and broke the heels of my £600 Louboutin shoes. It meant I was already £100 down.”

 Michaela claims the footballer boasted about his high earnings
Michaela claims the footballer boasted about his high earnings
 Things turned nasty when the girs told Success they couldnt give him extra time
Things turned nasty when the girs told Success they couldnt give him extra time

Nigerian international Success, who earns £30,000 a week, booked the four girls after spending the night at a lap-dancing club in London’s West End.

In the early hours they were texted the details of the luxury Sopwell House hotel, Herts, where Success had hired a first-floor suite.

Michaela said: “We met him and a couple of his mates in reception but they left, leaving just Isaac and the four of us.

“We went up to his room. It was a nice room and I could tell he had lots of money because there were designer clothes in there and Christian Louboutin trainers which can cost £800 a pair.

“He offered us drinks then started boasting about how rich he was.

“He said, ‘You won’t believe how much I earn in 90 minutes’.”

Alexis, from Brooklyn, New York, said: “I was actually quite turned on by his body. He’s beautifully toned.

“Eventually, Michaela and one of the other girls broke it to him that they couldn’t stay any longer.

“But he then accused us of ripping him off and demanded his money back.

“Several police cars arrived really quickly and about five officers came in and cuffed his hands behind his back and took him outside.

“Success admitted that he had paid us for sex.

“But he also claimed we’d cheated him out of the cash, without mentioning the reason why he didn’t have sex.

“All this commotion was more than the hotel management could take and they ordered us out of the hotel — including him.

 The footballer paid the girls £500 each for sex in his suite at Sopwell House hotel
 
The footballer paid the girls £500 each for sex in his suite at Sopwell House hotel
 Isaac booked the four escort girls after spending the night at a lap-dancing club in West London
Isaac booked the four escort girls after spending the night at a lap-dancing club in West London

“It’s a really nice place and I guess this isn’t the sort of behaviour they tolerate.”

The hookers said Success later called his bank and had the payments to them stopped.

Alexis said: “We couldn’t believe it when he accused us of cheating him and got the bank to get him his money back.

“We made a deal and it wasn’t our fault he didn’t have a good time. His behaviour was off the scale.”

Success signed for Watford from Spanish side Granada for £12.5million last July — then a record fee for the Hertfordshire club. He has struggled to make the starting line-up since.

He sat out Watford’s 2-0 away win at Southampton on September 9 but went out on the town in London the following day before hooking up with the girls.

Alexis and Michaela and another 34-year-old escort were recruited by a fourth hooker, a friend of Success’s.

A Hertfordshire Police spokesman said: “Police are investigating an allegation of assault reported to have occurred at 6.30am at Sopwell House in St Albans on Monday September 11.

“A 21-year-old man was arrested and de-arrested and inquiries are ongoing.”

A representative for the player said: “We strongly refute all allegations against Isaac and will vigorously fight to clear his name.”

Posted On Tuesday, 10 October 2017 22:10 Written by

The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) on Monday dismissed as untrue claims by the Minister of State for Petroleum, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu, that he was never involved in the award of major crude oil contracts in the country.

NNPC said in a statement the minister was expressly consulted by its Group Managing Director (GMD), Dr. Maikanti Baru,  and his recommendations taken into consideration in the crude oil contracting process.

It also described Kachikwu’s instance that major contracts were never reviewed or discussed with him as “mostly unfortunate.”

NNPC stressed that all it required to award a contract in the oil and gas sector was the approval of the Tenders Board and not the minister’s endorsement.

The state oil company’s response followed the report of alleged lack of adherence to due process in the award of contracts by Kachikwu in his August 30 letter to President Muhammadu Buhari.

The minister had claimed that several major contracts were never reviewed or discussed with him and the NNPC Board.

The President had since ordered Baru and the entire management team of the Corporation to respond expeditiously to the allegations.

The statement reads: “It is important to note from the outset that the law and the rules do not require a review or discussion with the Minister of State or the NNPC Board on contractual matters. What is required is the processing and approval of contracts by the NNPC Tenders Board, the President in his executive capacity or as Minister of Petroleum, or the Federal Executive Council (FEC), as the case may be. There are therefore situations where all that is required is the approval of the NNPC Tenders Board, while in other cases, based on the threshold, the award must be submitted for presidential approval. Likewise, in some instances it is FEC approval that is required.

“It should be noted that for both the Crude Term Contract and the Direct Sale and Direct Purchase (DSDP) agreements, there are no specific values attached to each transaction to warrant the values of $10billion and $5billion respectively placed on them in the claim of Dr. Kachikwu. It is therefore inappropriate to attach arbitrary values to the shortlists with the aim of classifying the transactions as contracts above NNPC Tenders Board limit. They are merely the shortlisting of prospective off-takers of crude oil and suppliers of petroleum products under agreed terms. These transactions were not required to be presented as contracts to the Board of NNPC and, of course, the monetary value of any crude oil eventually lifted by any of the companies goes straight into the federation account and not to the company.

“Furthermore, contrary to the assertion of Dr. Kachikwu that he was never involved in the 2017/2018 contracting process for the Crude Oil Term Contracts, Dr. Kachikwu was in fact expressly consulted by the GMD and his recommendations were taken into account in following through the laid down procedure. Thus, for him to turn around and claim that ‘these major contracts were never reviewed or discussed with me’ is most unfortunate to say the least.”

Posted On Monday, 09 October 2017 16:41 Written by
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