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Senate confirms 6 NERC commissioners, drops Chairman-nominee

Six nominees for the board of the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) have been confirmed as commissioners.

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National Assembly approves Federal Government’s plan to borrow $11 billion in 2021, Senate urges FG to diversify from crude oil to natural gas production , Senate seeks textile importation ban , Senate receives six aviation sector bills from Buhari , PenCom: Constitute a board, NASS and pension operators tell FG, Nigeria’s total debt now N33trn —Senate, Senate confirms appointment of board members for NDIC, law reform commission, Senate to confirm reappointment of Danbatta as NCC boss, Senate investigates claims of NELMCO, AEDC over govt asset, Senate Investigate Banks over customers exploitation and high fees, 2021 Budget: Senate sets motion for budget defense, commences 2020 review, #EndSARS: States affected by hoodlums should get 1% VAT - Senate

The Nigerian Senate has confirmed the nomination of six members for the board of the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) as commissioners.

The legislators also dropped, Prof. Akintunde Akinwande, the nominee for the Chairman position due to his absence from the screening.

This was disclosed by the senate committee on Power, Steel Development and Metallurgy on Tuesday.

The confirmed nominees are Sanusi Garba (North-West) as vice-chairman; with Nathan Rogers Shatti (North-East), Moses Arigu (North-Central), Dafe Akpedeye (South-South), Frank Okafor (South-East) and Musiliu Oseni (South-West).

The committee recommended that President Muhammadu Buhari present another nominee to replace Akinwande.

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What you should know

President Buhari had asked the Senate to confirm Sanusi Garba as Executive Chairman of the Nigeria Electricity Regulatory Commission.

He also sought the Senate nod for the confirmation of Dr Musiliu Oseni as vice chairman; and Aisha Mahmud as commissioner.

The request was contained in a letter dated 15th October, 2020, and read on the floor during plenary by the Senate President, Ahmad Lawan.

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Abiola has spent about 14 years in journalism. His career has covered some top local print media like TELL Magazine, Broad Street Journal, The Point Newspaper.The Bloomberg MEI alumni has interviewed some of the most influential figures of the IMF, G-20 Summit, Pre-G20 Central Bank Governors and Finance Ministers, Critical Communication World Conference.The multiple award winner is variously trained in business and markets journalism at Lagos Business School, and Pan-Atlantic University. You may contact him via email - [email protected]

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Business

Malabu Oil Scandal: Prosecutors demand JPMorgan documents

U.S bank, JPMorgan has been ordered by a court to present documents of a transaction regarding the $1.3 billion Malabu oil field sale.

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Oil, DPR, FG announces commencement of bids for marginal oilfields despite court injunction

Prosecutors at the Milan Court holding a trial for the $1.3 billion Malabu oil field sale have demanded that U.S bank JPMorgan present documents of a transaction as part of the corruption case regarding the sale of the oilfield.

This was revealed in a report by Reuters, as the court case over the sale of the oil field continues. Prosecutors claim that nearly $1.1 billion was stolen by Nigerian politicians and middlemen, with former oil minister, Dan Etete, keeping half.

Prosecutors demanded that the Milan court accept emails sent by UK authorities, coming from a separate case launched by the Nigerian government against the bank for its role in the controversial deal.

READ: FG’s plan for N350 billion revenue from oil field licensing suffers setback

The emails include a transaction between Nigerian Attorney General Mohammed Adoke Bello and JPMorgan using the address of a company owned by another Nigerian named Aliyu Abubakar. Prosecutors allege that he paid $500 million in cash as part of a bribe.

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Both men have also been charged for corruption relating to the deal, with both pleading not guilty.

READ: FG seizes Dan Etete’s luxury private jet linked to Malabu oil deal

The second email includes two JPMorgan executives expressing views on whether to transfer $1.1 billion to accounts related to Nigerian banks. The Milan prosecutors said the emails were valid, stating that a Swiss and Lebanese bank had also expressed doubts over the transaction.

The Milan court said it would make a decision over the emails on the 3rd of February. The verdict of the court case is expected to be announced in March 2020.

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READ: Shell faces Dutch prosecution over Nigeria license

What you should know 

  • Nairametrics reported that Dan Etete, former Nigerian Minister of Petroleum, said that the $1.3 billion sales of Malabu oil field to Shell and Eni in 2021 was legally perfect, with zero traces of corruption in the deal.
  • Royal Dutch Shell announced that it would write down its investment in the controversial Malabu OPL 245 offshore field in Nigeria.
  • Malcolm Brinded, an ex-Upstream Chief of Shell Petroleum, told international prosecutors that the sum of $1.3 billion paid by Shell and Eni in 2011 to acquire OPL 245 offshore field was lawful, and he had no reason to think it was illegal.
  • A lawsuit filed by the Nigerian government against US bank JPMorgan Chase, claiming over $1.7 billion for its role in a disputed 2011 Malabu oil deal, will proceed to trial. The six-week trial in London is expected to commence on the first available date after November 1 2021, meaning that proceedings may not begin until 2022.

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Energy

First cargo of Nigeria’s newest crude grade, Ayala, to arrive Europe

The first export cargo of Nigeria’s newest crude grade, Anyala, is reported to be on its way to Northwest Europe.

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Oil tanker volumes dropped by 18.6% Year-Over-Year in July - Lloyd’s List Intelligence, First cargo of Nigeria’s newest crude grade, Ayala, to arrive Europe

The first export cargo of Nigeria’s newest crude grade, Anyala, is reported to be on its way to Northwest Europe.

According to a report from S&P Global Platts, while quoting trading and shipping sources, the cargo is likely to travel from Fos-sur-Mer to the Cressier refinery in Switzerland through the SPSE pipeline.

It reported that Data Intelligence firm, Kpler, said the Aframax Minerva Clara loaded a 700,000 barrel stem of Anyala crude from the Abigail-Joseph floating production, storage, and offloading vessel on January 10 with the tanker on its way to the Fos-sur-Mer terminal, located at France’s Mediterranean port of Marseille.

The report also said that trading house Vitol had chartered this tanker, as it has a stake in indigenous producer FIRST E&P, which is the operator of the Anyala West oil fields, located in the shallow waters of the Niger Delta.

This is as a market source said the cargo is likely to travel from Fos-sur-Mer to the 68,000 b/d Cressier refinery in Switzerland, which is operated by Varo Energy, through the SPSE pipeline.

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Varo Energy is a joint venture between Vitol, private equity fund, the Carlyle Group, and private investment fund Reggeborgh.

What you should know

  • The new crude is from Nigeria’s shallow-water Anyala West oil fields in the Niger Delta, which struck first oil in November. Anyala is the country’s newest oil development since the start-up of the giant Egina field in late-2018.
  • Anyala has been labeled a medium sweet crude grade, similar in quality to Nigeria’s flagship crude Bonny Light and when refined, Anyala will produce a high yield of middle distillates, making it attractive to both simple and complex refineries.
  • It is also reported that a second cargo will load in March, with some Asian refiners already showing buying interest.

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Energy

Price Watch: Consumers paid more for diesel and less for petrol in December

The December 2020 NBS report shows that consumers paid more for diesel and less for petrol than they did in November 2020.

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Updated: Petrol pump price increased to N151.56 per litre

The Price Watch report released by Nigeria Bureau of Statistics (NBS) for the month of December 2020 revealed that consumers paid more for Diesel (Automotive Gas Oil) and less for Petrol (Premium Motor Spirit), compared to that of November 2020.

The average price paid by consumers for diesel increased by 0.28%, from N223.74 in November 2020 to N224.37 in December 2020, while the average price paid by consumers for petrol decreased by 0.94% from N167.27 in November 2020 to N165.70 in December 2020.

Key highlights of the report

Diesel

  • Consumers in Taraba (N266.00), Adamawa (N262.50) and Zamfara (N257.50) paid the highest average price for Diesel.
  • While consumers in Kwara (N195.00), Gombe (N197.50) and Osun (N201.09) paid the lowest average price for Diesel.
  • Overall, consumers in North West (N240.57), North East (N238.88) and North Central (N226.37) paid the highest average price for Diesel, while consumers in South West (N209.27), South East (N209.35) and South South (N216.25) paid the lowest average price.

Petrol

  • Consumers in Abia (N176.19), Kwara (N172.43) and Kebbi (N169.92) paid the highest average price for petrol.
  • While consumers in Kaduna (N155.00), Katsina (N160.25) and Bauchi (N162.57) paid the lowest average price for petrol.
  • Overall, consumers in South East (N168.04), North Central (N166.94) and South South (N166.53) paid the highest average price for petrol, while consumers in North West (N163.79), North East (N164.47) and South West (N164.92) paid the lowest average price.

Since a lot of manufacturing companies rely heavily on diesel to power their machinery and equipment, the increase would have added to their cost of operations, culminating in consumers paying more for goods and services.

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Also, one would have expected that the reduced price of fuel in December 2020 would lead to lower transport fares for commuters during the festive season, but that was not the case.

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