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Shell faces Dutch prosecution over Nigeria license

Netherlands’ Public Prosecutor’s office has informed Royal Dutch Shell Plc of its intention to prosecute the oil company over a license in Nigeria, which has resulted into series of prosecution in two other countries.

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Shell Nigeria Exploration and Production Company, SNEPCo, Bonga, Oilfield, Bidders, Royal Dutch Shell Plc, Malabu oil, Dutch prosecutors, Italy London court

Netherlands’ Public Prosecutor’s office has informed Royal Dutch Shell Plc of its intention to prosecute the oil company over a license in Nigeria, which has resulted into series of prosecution in two other countries.

Royal Dutch Shell Plc made the disclosure of the trial public on Friday. The case by the Dutch Public Prosecutor’s Office is related to the 2011 settlement of disputes over Oil Prospecting License 245 in the Gulf of Guinea.

“We have been informed by the Dutch Public Prosecutor’s Office that they are nearing the conclusion of their investigation and are preparing to prosecute,” The Hague-based Shell said Friday.

Though, Shell and Eni have previously denied any wrongdoing in the OPL 245 case. They have said they paid into a legitimate government account to settle legal claims related to the block.

The license with a trail of trials

Shell has been dogged by legal action from the transaction for years, with prosecutors in Italy alleging that the 2011 deal was tainted by corruption. This is a separate criminal trial in Milan.

It was alleged that at least part of a $1.1 billion payment Shell and partner Eni SpA made to settle charges around the license was converted into bribes. The trial in Milan started in June last year, with the court already procuring two guilty verdicts against defendants opting for “fast-track” proceedings.

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Nigeria is also suing the oil companies in London.

Italy case claim

In the case filed by Italian prosecutors, the main claim is that the companies improperly settled long-standing disputes over the OPL 245 license. The permit had originally been awarded in 1998 by Nigeria’s military dictator, Sani Abacha, to Malabu Oil & Gas Ltd., a Lagos-based company connected to then-Petroleum Minister Dan Etete. Under successive governments, the license was canceled, awarded to Shell, and then awarded to Malabu again before the 2011 deal.

The Milan prosecutors allege that Shell and Eni paid almost $1.1 billion into an escrow account for the Nigerian government, from which about $800 million was later transferred to Malabu to be distributed as payoffs.

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Effect of trials on Shell’s shares

With the risk of financial penalties for Shell resulting from additional trial, Shell’s B shares in London rose slightly at the start of trading on Friday, as the news didn’t worry investors. But note that additional trial will bring the details of Shell’s work in Nigeria into focus for its shareholder base in the Netherlands.

It was learnt that Shareholders with tight environmental, social and governance restrictions are likely to be well aware of the scrutiny over Shell’s Nigeria activities.

Meanwhile, an analyst at Jefferies LLC, Jason Gammel said the investing community is not concerned as such topic doesn’t come up during discussion with investors.

“There is a small segment of the investing community that is concerned with it, but for the most part when I meet with investors it doesn’t come up,” said Jason Gammel, an analyst at Jefferies LLC. This license already “doesn’t generate any profit.”

According to a Bloomberg report, Gammel said he doesn’t include the OPL 245 license when considering Shell’s future cash flows, and investors are more concerned with things that can affect near-term profit. The company could face fines in multiple jurisdictions, but those are likely to be easily absorbed by Shell’s large size.

Olalekan is a certified media practitioner from the Nigerian Institute of Journalism (NIJ). In the era of media convergence, Olalekan is a valuable asset, with ability to curate and broadcast news. His zeal to write was developed out of passion to shape people’s thought and opinion; serving as a guideline for their daily lives. Contact for tips: [email protected]

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Corporate Press Releases

Baba Bajaj: Runs faster, lasts longer, covers 5500 kms on tough Nigerian roads

The rally took up the challenge of proving how credible the product and also engaged the stories of the riders.

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For the first time ever, Nigeria experienced its own keke rally that kicked off on 7th August from the Stallion Auto Keke – Ijesha Showroom for Bajaj Kekes. The Stallion Bajaj Keke Rally has now completed a tough terrain of 5594 kms through 27 cities and 18 states in the West, East and North Central in less than 41 days. It consisted of a team of 5 experienced riders and the Stallion Bajaj officials and security agents. Collectively the convoy covered more than 26000 Kms without any product issues.

Managing Director for the business, Mr. Manish Rohtagi stated that “The Keke Rally really boasts on how the New Baba Bajaj is tough, strong, reliable, and well equipped for the Nigerian roads. Having covered almost more than 5000 kms the Kekes did not face any performance or maintenance challenges. It kept its brand promise of “Runs Faster, Lasts Longer” through every rider who was a part of this rally.”

 

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The rally was flagged off from Lagos and covered states like Ogun, Oyo, Kwara, Kogi, Benue, Enugu, Ebonyi, Cross River, Akwa Ibom, Abia, Rivers, Anambra, Delta, Edo, Ondo, Ekiti, Osun, to prove the durability of  Bajaj Keke. It even spread the message of urging people of Nigeria to be responsible in maintaining hygiene to curb the spread of Corona Virus. The Stallion Bajaj Keke Rally visited celebrated cultural and historic sites in each state highlighting and sharing the Nigerian culture of host communities. The journey to these sites brought forth the stories around it to encourage connecting the youth to their rich heritage.

The vision from this rally was not only to take up the challenge of proving how credible the product is but also engaging in the stories of these riders that will go on to make the brand what it is. The alliance of Stallion and Bajaj will continue to improve lives by going an extra mile providing rider-training facilities, scholarship programmes, mechanic empowerment programmes, ease in financing, ease of spare part availability and differentiated customer service through its existing footprints within the auto industry.

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Bajaj Auto Ltd. is a world leader in the intra city vehicle space. Loved in 70 countries the brand stands for integrity, dedication, resourcefulness, and determination to succeed and empower. It is a well-known brand for its durability, speed and manuverability and is the pioneer brand of tricycles in Nigeria loved by millions. It’s a keke for the people engineered for a smooth journey and better livelihood.

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Business

After 22 years, NBS is set to commence National Business Sample Census

The National Business Sample Census is expected to commence on October 12 2020, and end on December 12 2020.

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Dr Yemi Kale, National Bureau of Statistics, NBS, Federation Account Allocation Committee, FAAC

The National Bureau of Statistics, with the support of the World Bank, has commenced the process of implementing the 2020 National Business Sample Census (NBSC) in Nigeria. This is exactly two decades and two years after the last business census of establishments in the country.

This disclosure was stated in a circular signed by Ichedi, Sunday Joel, Head, Public Affairs & International Relations Unit, which was released by the Statistician-General of the Federation this morning.

The Survey which is coming after a similar one conducted twenty-two years ago (1997/98) is necessary, especially now that the current government is re-structuring the economy for faster growth through support to Small, Medium and large-scale enterprises, in order to increase their productivity.

The National Business Sample Census is expected to last two months from October 12 to December 12.

The main objectives of NBSC includes:

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• To compile, frame, and develop instruments and concepts, establish standards and methodology for industrial and business surveys in Nigeria.
• To serve as a benchmark for updates of subsequent commercial and industrial sector statistics.
• To develop a national directory of commercial and industrial business establishments, with all their associated social and economic characteristics
• To provide the country with comprehensive and detailed information about the structure of the Nigerian economy.

The Census will cover all the thirty-six (36) states of the Federation and FCT, with establishments in all economic sectors involved in the exercise.

For the avoidance of doubt, the establishments to be covered should have a fixed structure and location, a separate shop with a different entrance, and enclosed from dwelling place (in the case of residential areas), shops should have locks and keys for a market setting. While kiosks and shops under the umbrella are not to be listed during the census.

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All commercial and industrial businesses in each LGA will be identified and listed by the state. Name, location address, postal address, phone number, email address, year of commencement, number of activities engaged in, main type of activity, and others are questions that will be asked.

NBS enumerators with customized T-Shirts and Face Caps will visit your establishment, at any date within the stipulated period, to collect necessary information for the census. Please oblige them with the information, as your cooperation is germane towards the successful execution of the census exercise.

However, the Bureau wishes to assure you that any information given will be kept in absolute confidentiality, and will not be divulged to a third party.

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Economy & Politics

Lagos revisits Ehingbeti Economic Summit, to hold first virtual edition

The Commissioner for Economic Planning and Budget said the State will again host the Ehingbeti Summit.

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Lagos, Sanwo-Olu, Businesses that must remain closed after May 4

Lagos State government has decided to resuscitate its annual Ehingbeti Summit after it held the last one in 2014.

The 2020 edition, which is to hold virtually between November 10-12, is themed ‘For greater Lagos: Setting the tone for the next decade.’

This was disclosed by the Commissioner for Economic Planning and Budget, Samuel Egube on Sunday during an interactive session with journalists, which was attended by Nairametrics.

Egube explained that most of the developments recorded in the states over the years were from ideas and recommendations gathered from the previous editions of the summit.

According to him, the summit, which is a collaboration between the state and private sector operators, has seen the government implement 109 out of 119 resolutions suggested to the state government in past editions.

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He said, “The rail line projects, the Lekki toll gate, among others are ideas generated from the economic summit. The summit has a rich history and is firmly established as a credible forum for stimulating economic growth for Lagos state. It is our belief that you cannot lead a place like Lagos with one mind you have to bring together all the minds. The first one was hosted in 2000 making this the 20th year since the first summit was held. The first three editions were deliberately diagnostic but by the fourth one, we had started to create a blueprint and have started to implement it from the early decisions that had been made.”

He added that the good thing about the summit is that the government is responsible for the decisions taken and that they are obliged to report back to the next Ehingbeti what it has done with the decision taken and if there are challenges.

We highlight what those challenges were and take other decisions on how to repair those challenges. To some it appears the ambitions are too high, because how do you put the private sector in the lead and collaborate in that manner. They have wondered whether the government can be trusted to follow through with this idea of collaboration, but the performance shows that yes, we follow through,” he stated.

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According to him, with the summit, what the Lagos state government is trying to do is stimulate contribution from the private sector, get them interested in the governance of the state and lead the way in terms of the outcomes.

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