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$1.3 billion Malabu oil field sale was perfect – Dan Etete

Nigeria’s former Petroleum Minister has said that the sale of the $1.3 billion Malabu oil field to Shell and Eni in 2021 was legally perfect.

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

Dan Etete, former Nigerian Minister of Petroleum has 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.

He disclosed this on Wednesday through his lawyer, Antonio Secci, in a Milan Court, investigating the cases of bribery and corruption related to the deal, as reported by Reuters.

READ: Why Nigeria is suing Royal Dutch Shell and ENI for $1.1bn

In Wednesday’s hearing, Dan Etete’s lawyers called for the former Nigerian Minister to be acquitted of corruption charges related to the deal.

Reuters disclosed that 13 other people are involved in the corruption case including CEO of Eni, Claudio Descalzi.

READ: Court adjourns trial of Shell, Eni officials over bribery allegation in Nigeria

The accused pleaded non-guilty and said that the proceeds of the deal were paid into accounts owned by the Nigerian Government.

The ex-Shell executives also accused in the case will have a hearing on the 9th of December.

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READ: P&ID dispute: $200 million guarantee to FG judgment shows FG’s commitment to tackle corruption-  Malami

What you should know 

Multinational oil companies, Eni and Shell, paid $1.3 billion in 2011 to acquire OPL 245 offshore field.

The payment was to a company called Malabu, which was owned by Nigeria’s former Oil Minister, Dan Etete.

However, Italian prosecutors claim that most of the payments were kickbacks to Nigerian government officials. Italian prosecutors also claim that nearly $1.1 billion was stolen by Nigerian politicians and middlemen, with Dan Etete keeping half.

READ: $85 Million Malabu oil money has been refunded to FG

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Nigeria’s Minister of Justice, Justice Abubakar Malami, reported in July that the Dutch and Swiss governments were expected to send the sum of $200 million from the OPL 245 Malabu Oil deal to Nigeria.

Multinational Petroleum oil and gas giant, Royal Dutch Shell, announced that it would write down its investment in the controversial Malabu OPL 245 offshore field in Nigeria.

READ: Italian Court jails Nigerian, one other over Malabu oil deal

in June, the Federal Government tracked down and grounded a luxury private jet, owned by the country’s former Petroleum Minister, Dan Etete, over his alleged involvement in the $1.1 billion Malabu oil scam. The luxury private jet was alleged to have been purchased with proceeds from that oil deal.

Nairametrics reported that the Federal Government, on Wednesday, September 9, 2020, asked a court in Milan to order Royal Dutch Shell and Eni to pay the sum of $1.092 billion as an immediate advance payment for damages in the Malabu oil scandal.

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Business

Lagos eases restrictions on social, event centres, sets new occupancy limit

The state government has pegged the occupancy limit for event centres in Lagos to 500 people while social events can now have 200 people at a time.

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The Lagos state government has further eased restrictions on social and event centres in the state. This follows due consultations and deliberations between the Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanow-Olu, and relevant stakeholders and MDAs.

The state government has pegged the occupancy limit for event centres in Lagos to 500 people while social events can now have 200 people at a time.

This disclosure is contained in a statement by the Lagos State Commissioner for Tourism, Arts and Culture, Uzamat Yusuff, and the Director-General of the Lagos State Safety Commission, Mr Lanre Mojola, on Friday, April 9, 2021.

The statement noted that safety marshals will be deployed to any social event with over 200 people and event centre exceeding the 500 limits.

The statement partly reads, “All event centres must hold a valid license of The Lagos State Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture prior to operating as an event centre in the State.

“All event centres must be duly registered and verified on The Lagos State Safety Commission website www.lasgsafetyreg.com prior to holding any event.

An Event Safety Clearance must be obtained from the Lagos State Safety Commission through the website www.lasgsafetyreg.com for any proposed event or exhibition.

Safety Marshals shall be deployed by an accredited event safety consultant from Lagos State Safety Commission for every social event with attendance exceeding over 200 people.

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Occupancy limit at any event must not exceed 50% of the maximum design capacity of the hall, wherein Occupancy Limit stickers provided by the Lagos State Safety Commission must be boldly posted at the entrance of the event hall.

Maximum allowable capacity for event centres irrespective of the occupancy limit is 500 people. Deep cleaning must be carried out before and after every event. Physical distancing shall be maintained between seated guests and a maximum number of seated guests should be 6 (six) people on a table of 10 persons.

Event duration should not exceed a maximum period of 6-hours. All guests and service providers at the facility must wear a nose mask and make use of hand sanitisers All guests and service providers must endeavour to wash their hands before entering the venue or in the alternative use hand sanitisers. Temperature checks must be taken at all entry points into a facility.

Guests and service providers with temperature (above 37.5) are to be politely turned back and referred to paramedics or the emergency response team on the ground. Hand sanitizers must be positioned at the entry points and different spots within the hall.

All event centres must endeavour to display standard COVID-19 safety signs. The signs must be bold and installed at conspicuous locations. Event centre owners/ planners/vendors would be responsible for any breach of protocols by their staff.

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In case you missed it

  • It can be recalled that in July 2020, the Lagos State Government had issued fresh guidelines on the reopening of event and social centres following their shutdown as part of measures to contain the spread of the coronavirus pandemic.
  • The state government insisted that the owners of such facilities must register with the government pending further directives.

 

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Business

FG to commence construction of 4 new rail projects across the country

The listed rail line projects include Ibadan-Kano, Port Harcourt-Maiduguri, Kano-Maradi and Lagos-Calabar rail lines.

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Rotimi Amaechi, Minister of Transport, Nigerian railway contract with CCECC and CRRC, China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation, Chinese Railway Rolling stock Corporation

The Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, has said that the Federal Government is about to commence 4 new rail line projects in various parts of the country.

The listed rail line projects include Ibadan-Kano, Port Harcourt-Maiduguri, Kano-Maradi and Lagos-Calabar rail lines.

This disclosure was made by Amaechi while speaking at the annual ministerial press briefing on programmes, projects and activities of the Federal Ministry of Transportation and its agencies on Friday in Abuja.

READ: FG to fully launch E-ticketing platform for NRC next week

What the Minister of Transportation is saying

Although the Minister announced that the Federal Government was about to start the rail lines project, he was not specific on the exact dates the projects would start.

Amaechi, in his statement, said, “We have awarded the following contracts and we are about to start and we have even tried to solve the financial problems. This is because we have the problem of having to hire consulting engineers.

READ: $2 billion Kano-Maradi rail would be completed in 36 months – FG

“The ones we are about to start include Ibadan to Kano, we are waiting for funds from China. We are about to start Port Harcourt to Maiduguri, we are waiting for the cabinet to approve consulting shares. We are also to start the Kano-Maradi and Lagos to Calabar.

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“But one thing that is unique about these contracts is that the president early enough directed that all rail lines must stagnate at the seaports.

“That is why there may be a bit of adjustment in the pricing of Kano-Maradi because we have to adjust it to link up to Kano-Lagos so that it can terminate at Lagos seaport.’’

The Minister pointed out that the 185.5km Lagos-Ibadan double standard gauge line with extension to Apapa seaport was nearing completion, while the 186km Abuja-Kaduna and 302km Warri-Itakpe standard gauge lines had been completed and were functional.

READ: FG urges contractors to complete Ebute Meta–Apapa seaports railway extension by January 2021

What this means

  • The various rail line projects are part of the ambitious plan by the Federal Government to create a nationwide rail network that is intended to help in the country’s diversification efforts, away from crude oil.
  • Some of these rail projects will also help to decongest the Apapa ports in Lagos and serve as a route for the import and export of goods in the West African sub-region.

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