The shares of Nigerian-based oil company, Lekoil Limited, has been suspended from trading at the London Stock Exchange’s ‘AIM’. This came after the company revealed problems with an early January loan from the Qatari Investment Authority (QIA).
The QIA, Qatar’s sovereign wealth investment fund, has stakes in numerous FTSE-listed mining ventures, including owning 3.3% of Yorkshire polyhalite mine operator Sirius Minerals (LSE:SXX).
Nairametrics had earlier reported that Lekoil Limited secured $184 million funding to finance the drilling and all initial development plans on the Ogo field within Oil Prospecting Lease, OPL 310. The company, which operates in Nigeria and other West African countries, had announced that the credit facility was provided by QIA.
So, what happened? Recent development has shown that the origin of the loan is questionable after the Qatar investors questioned the validity of the funds, which Lekoil had secured after being reportedly introduced to QIA by consultant firm, Seawave Invest Limited.
Lekoil was said to have paid $600,000 to Seawave Invest Limited for initiating the introduction to individuals supposedly QIA representatives and securing the financial deal from the Qatar investment company. However, after the loan announcement, representatives of QIA approached Lekoil to clarify the loan approval.
Drastic action taken: The oil company released a statement informing its shareholders and the public today, Monday, about the recent development. According to the statement seen by Nairametrics, Lekoil Limited requested to have its shares on LSE AIM suspended as the company moves to unravel and solve the issue.
The statement read, “Lekoil’s advisers were approached yesterday by representatives of the Qatari Investment Authority (the “QIA”) questioning the validity of the loan agreement announced on 2 January 2020 (the “Facility Agreement”).
“Lekoil is urgently seeking to establish, alongside its legal counsel and Nominated Adviser, the full facts of this matter, and pending this clarification, the Company has requested that its ordinary shares be suspended from trading on AIM with immediate effect, and this took place at 7.37 a.m. today.
“Lekoil confirms that its financial exposure associated with the Facility Agreement currently stands at approximately US$600,000, being the amounts paid in good faith as an initial arrangement fee to Seawave Invest Limited. The firm did that in its capacity as introducer to those purporting to be the QIA and lead adviser to the Company in relation to the Facility Agreement, and associated legal fees. There have been no monies paid to the presumed counterparty.”
Just in: Fuel scarcity looms as NUPENG directs Tanker drivers to withdraw services in Lagos
This was disclosed in a press statement by NUPENG on Friday, August 7, 2020.
The scarcity of petroleum products appears to be looming in Lagos as the leadership of Nigerian Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG) has directed its members to withdraw its services in Lagos with effect from Monday, August 10, 2020.
This is due to the failure of government authorities to address the various issues that have been causing serious pains and harrowing experience on the petroleum tanker drivers in the state for several months now.
This was disclosed in a press statement by NUPENG on Friday, August 7, 2020.
NUPENG LEADERSHIP DIRECTS WITHDRAWAL OF SERVICES BY PETROLEUM TANKER DRIVERS IN LAGOS STATE WITH EFFECT FROM MONDAY, AUGUST 10, 2020
Read more:https://t.co/TV5sFoBOcO@followlasg#Lagos pic.twitter.com/tAuOpsMc3a
— NIGERIA UNION OF PETROLEUM AND NATURAL GAS WORKERS (@officialNUPENG9) August 7, 2020
President Buhari signs amended Companies Allied Matters bill
The President’s action on the document repealed and replaced the extant Companies and Allied Matters Act, 1990.
President Muhammadu Buhari has assented to the Companies and Allied Matters Bill 2020, which was recently passed by the National Assembly.
This was disclosed in a statement signed by a media aide of President Buhari, Femi Adesina and shared by the Personal Assistant to the President, Bashir Ahmad, via his Twitter handle.
According to the statement, the President’s action on the document repealed and replaced the extant Companies and Allied Matters Act, 1990, and introduced several corporate legal innovations geared toward enhancing ease of doing business in the country.
— Bashir Ahmad (@BashirAhmaad) August 7, 2020
Key innovations in the new Act:
* Filing fee reductions and other reforms to make it easier and cheaper for small and medium-sized enterprises to register and reform their businesses in Nigeria;
* Allowing corporate promoters of companies to establish private companies with a single member or shareholder, and creating limited liability partnerships and limited partnerships to give investors and business people alternative forms of carrying out their business in an efficient and flexible way;
* Innovating processes and procedures to ease the operations of companies, such as introducing Statements of Compliance; replacing “authorised share capital” with minimum share capital to reduce costs of incorporating companies; and providing for electronic filing, electronic share transfers, e-meetings as well as remote general meetings for private companies in response to the disruptions to close contact physical meetings due to the COVID-19 pandemic;
* Requiring the disclosure of persons with significant control of companies in a register of beneficial owners to enhance corporate accountability and transparency; and
* Enhancing the minority shareholder protection and engagement; introducing enhanced business rescue reforms for insolvent companies; and permitting the merger of Incorporated Trustees for associations that share similar aims and objectives.
NNPC signs agreement with CNOOC, SAPETRO to end OML 130 disputes
The agreement is expected to help resolve disputes stemming from Oil Mining Lease (OML).
The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), said it has signed a Head of terms (HoT) agreement with China National Offshore Oil Corporation(CNOOC) and an indigenous oil production firm —South Atlantic Petroleum (SAPETRO).
A statement that was issued by the state-owned oil company via Twitter, yesterday, noted that this is part of the efforts that have been undertaken towards resolving all the disputes stemming from Oil Mining Lease (OML) 130 Production Sharing Contract.
Today,@NNPCgroup signed a Head of Terms (HoT)with its partners CNOOC & SAPETRO,signifying a major milestone towards the resolution of all disputes related to Oil Mining Lease (OML)130 Production Sharing Contract.OML 130 consists of producing fields such as Akpo & Egina pic.twitter.com/VnLga9qmm9
— NNPC Group (@NNPCgroup) August 6, 2020
Nairametrics understands that the agreement, which is temporary, could also be instrumental towards resolving similar disputes between the NNPC and other oil companies. The NNPC had previously accused some of these oil firms of under-declaring crude exports for three years between 2011 and 2013.
Specifically, the NNPC alleged that the likes of Shell, Total, Chevron, and Eni under-reported crude oil exports in their oil fields to the tune of 57 million barrels. The NNPC even sought repayments valued at $12.7 billion from the oil companies, according to a suit filed before the Federal High Court in Lagos. The companies denied the accusations.
The new agreement is now expected to help resolve such disputes. Even the NNPC’s Group Managing Director, Mele Kyari. was quoted to have said the agreement is “a major milestone toward the resolution of all disputes.”