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Business News

Another major scandal rocks Nigeria’s oil industry

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The United Kingdom’s Serious Fraud Office (SFO) has charged two former executives of Afren Plc for $400 million alleged fraud that led to the collapse of the oil company. The two erstwhile executives, Oman Shahenshah and Shahid Ullah are also accused of  allegedly receiving $45 million in bribes from two oil companies Oriental Energy Resources limited and Amni International. Investigations by the SFO began in June 2015.

Afren sacked the duo, after an independent investigation by KPMG and law firm Wilkie Farr and Gallagher showed evidence of gross misconduct. Several other employees also allegedly received bribes and are facing disciplinary action.

History seems to be repeating itself 

Scandals like this seem to be a recurring event in the Nigerian oil and gas industry. The Malabu scandal remains unresolved and has resulted in legal proceedings being pursued around the world. Immediate past Minister of Petroleum resources Dieziani Allison Madueke is also facing corruption charges.  Even more unfortunate, is that legal proceedings are being pursued by UK authorities and no form of investigation appears to have been conducted by Nigerian regulators.  Several Nigerians indicted in the Halliburton scandal have also not been brought to justice.

Why corruption is prevalent in the Nigerian oil industry

Crude oil revenues are a major source of government income. Government individuals particularly the President, and Minister of Petroleum resources wield enormous influence. While the government has sought to reform the sector through the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB), passage of the bills by the National Assembly has been slow.

Afren Plc, founded in 2005 was an international oil exploration company with a focus on Africa. The company had an Initial Public Offering (IPO) and was subsequently listed on the London Stock Exchange in the same year. In July 2015, the company ran into financial difficulties and went into administration. Afren was delisted from the LSE in August 2015.

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Onome Ohwovoriole has a degree in Economics and Statistics from the University of Benin and prior to joining Nairametrics in December 2016 as Lead Analyst had stints in Publishing, Automobile Services, Entertainment and Leadership Training.He covers companies in the Nigerian corporate space, especially those listed on the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE).He also has a keen interest in new frontiers like Cryptocurrencies and Fintech. In his spare time, he loves to read books on finance, fiction as well as keep up with happenings in the world of international diplomacy.You can contact him via [email protected]

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Business

FG explains why Lagos-Ibadan rail line was not linked to the sea

The government in its explanation said that the delay was due to disruption by trucks going in and out of the port complex.

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FG needs $656 million to complete Lagos-Ibadan railway project – Amaechi, Nigeria loses N150 billion annually to shipping tariffs, Ibadan to Kano rail construction

The Federal Government has stated why the China Civil Engineering Construction Company (CCECC) Nigeria Limited could not link the final part of the Lagos-Ibadan rail line to the sea.

The government in its explanation said that it was due to disruption by trucks going in and out of the port complex.

According to a press statement signed by the Director, Press and Public Relations of the Federal Ministry of Transportation, Eric Ojiekwe, this disclosure was made by the Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, while on a routine tour of the Lagos-Ibadan rail line project on Saturday, April 10, 2021.

The Minister pointed out that the original blueprint for the Lagos-Ibadan rail line project was not adhered to by CCECC Nigeria Limited and TEAM consortium and therefore warned that the master plan of the soon to commence Ibadan-Kano rail line project should not be changed.

The statement from the ministry partly reads, “The Nigerian Government has restated its commitment to connect the whole country by rail with the soon to commence Ibadan-Kano Standard Gauge Rail project.”

Amaechi forewarned that the master plan of the soon to commence project should not be changed as the original blueprint for the Lagos-Ibadan wasn’t adhered to by Messrs CCECC Nigeria and TEAM consortium. The Minister who rode the train from Ebute-Meta to the 8.72 km Apapa Port Spur line, informed the media that the inability of Messrs CCECC Nigeria to link the final part of the rail line down to the sea is rather due to disruption by trucks going in and out of the port complex.’’

The Minister had noted that the Federal Government has paid its share of the counterpart funding of the Ibadan-Kano rail line project and is waiting for China-Exim bank to ratify its side of the agreement for the project to commence.

He also advised the Nigerian Railway Corporation (NRC) to acquire more land around the train stations and the rail tracks for future development adding that this will be near impossible to do in the future as whatever space available now would have been taken over by businesses attracted to the rail line.

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In case you missed it

It can be recalled that full commercial train services commenced on the Lagos-Ibadan rail line after train operations commenced on December 7, 2020, with only Lagos, Ibadan and Abeokuta residents enjoying the train services.

This is because other minor and major stations along that route were yet to be completed.

 

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Manufacturing

Industrial Index loses -12.39 points, as BUA and Lafarge Cement shares top losers list

The NSE Industrials index lost 12.39 index points in the first trading week in the month of April.

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Manufacturing: Activity levels pick up albeit readings still below water

The Nigerian Stock Exchange Industrial Index at the close of trading activities for the first week in the month of April closed on a bearish note, following a 0.66% decrease in the shares of BUA CEMENT and Lafarge.

At the close of trading activities on the Nigerian Stock Exchange on the 9th of April 2021, the industrial index depreciated by 55.01 index points, to close lower at 1,928.18 index points for the week.

When compared to the overall performance of the market, the NSE Industrial index underperformed, noting that the NSE All-Share Index and Market Capitalization depreciated by 0.66% to close the week at 38,866.39 and N20.3350 trillion respectively.

READ: COVID-19, VAT, FX scarcity adversely impacted our operations in 2020 – Nigerian Breweries boss says

What you should know

The NSE Industrial Index was designed to provide an investable benchmark to capture the performance of the Industrial Sector. It comprises the most capitalized and liquid companies in the industrial sector and is based on the market capitalization methodology.

The index tracks the performance of ten industrial companies on the Nigerian Stock Exchange which includes Dangote, BUA, and Lafarge Cement.

The overall performance of the companies for the week was bearish, as the index closed on a negative note driven by the decrease in the share price of BUA Cement and Lafarge.

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MEYER (19.51) was the only gainer for the week, while BUACEMENT (-1.09%) and LAFARGE WAPCO (-3.00%) were the only losers for the week.

GAINER

  • MEYER up by19.51% to close at N0.49.

LOSER

  • WAPCO down by -3.00% to close at N21.00.
  • BUACEMENT down by -1.09% to close at N72.70.

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