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$62bn oil revenue: FG’s recovery effort suffers setback

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images 36 $62bn oil revenue: FG’s recovery effort suffers setback

The Federal Government , through the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice , Mr Abubakar Malami ( SAN) , may have beaten a retreat from its fight to recover an estimated $62 bn in accrued revenues from some international oil majors .
Before the withdrawal , the AGF had argued that the revenue accrued because successive administrations neglected key aspects of the Production Sharing Contracts between the Federal Government and the IOCs, bordering mainly on the sharing formula between the government and the IOCs.
Malami recently stated that the expected funds had been earmarked for major ongoing infrastructural projects in the country , including the Lagos -Ibadan Expressway , Kano -Abuja Expressway and the Second Niger -Bridge .
Going by the Central Bank of Nigeria ’s current official exchange rate of N 379 to $ 1 as of Friday , the $ 62 bn at stake amounts to about N 23 . 5 tn .
The Federal Government had alleged that Shell Nigeria Exploration and Production Company Limited, the Nigerian arm of the global IOC , was responsible for $ 13 .5 bn of the total revenues denied Nigeria.
During the week , the correspondences between Malami and Shell that gave insight into the squabble , government ’s recovery efforts and Nigeria’ s about- turn .
Nigeria’ s volte face
On March 13 , 2020 , Malami wrote to Shell and appealed to the oil and gas giant to withdraw its suit and arbitration proceedings instituted against the Federal Government for demanding the company ’s share of the $ 62 bn .
The AGF then asked the oil company to engage with regulatory agencies “ to remedy any possible lapses over the implementation of the Production Sharing Contracts in Nigeria and possible negotiation on terms of payment. ”
Meanwhile, in its reply to the AGF , Shell ’s Managing Director , Bayo Ojulari , in a letter dated May 11 , 2020 and signed by him , received by the AGF ’ s office on May 13 , 2020 , indicated that the dispute was “ created by the Federal Government ’s demand for alleged outstanding revenue from OML 118 ” , but that it “ has now been resolved by the withdrawal of the FGN ’ s demand as effected by your referenced letter. ”
The five – paragraphed letter however glossed over the said negotiation plan without giving it any mention .
How states initiated suit over unremitted funds
Oil – bearing Akwa Ibom, Bayelsa and Rivers states had in 2016 instituted a suit at the Supreme Court against the AGF , contending that the Federal Government had been short – changed of its supposed share of oil revenue under the Production Sharing Contracts for the period between 2003 and 2015 .
According to them , the huge loss suffered by the Federal Government was due to the failure of successive Ministers of Petroleum Resources for over 15 years to kick-start the re -adjustment of the sharing formula ( the PSC ) , which was 60 per cent share of oil profits to the Federal Government and 40 per cent to the oil companies .
The three states argued that this violated the provision of section 16 ( 1 ) of the Deep Offshore and Inland Basin Production Sharing Contracts Act .
The AGF did not oppose the suit as he subsequently entered into an agreement with the three states leading to their filing of terms settlement at the Supreme Court on April 6 , 2018 .
By virtue of the agreement between the three states and the Federal Government , the AGF was to work with the three states to immediately set up a body and the necessary mechanism for recovery of the lost revenue since August 2003 .
A seven -man panel of the apex court led by then Chief Justice of Nigeria , Justice Walter Onnoghen ( retd) , adopted the terms of settlement and delivered it as a consent judgment on October 17 , 2018 .
The apex court in the judgment ordered the Federal Government to immediately commence steps to recover all revenues lost to oil exploration and exploitation companies due to wrong profit sharing formula termed as the Production Sharing Contracts since August 2003 .
The court then ordered the AGF to put mechanism in place within 90 days .
AGF engaged private company to recover revenue shortfall
Following the judgment , Malami engaged Trobell International Nigeria Limited for the purpose of recovering the lost revenue , which they subsequently calculated to be $ 62 bn , including accrued interests for the 15 years period.
Trobell then issued separate letters to the five concerned international oil companies , demanding the payment of their share of the $ 62 bn allegedly owed the Federal Government .
The companies were Shell Nigeria Exploration and Production Company Limited; Equinor Nigeria Energy Company Limited; Esso Exploration and Production Nigeria Limited ; Esso Exploration and Production Nigeria Limited ( Offshore East) and the CNOOC Exploration and Production Nigeria Limited.
For instance , Trobell, in a January 14 , 2019 letter to Shell demanded the payment of a total of $ 13 ,651 , 034, 052 .59 , translating to about N 5 trn.
The five companies , however, filed separate suits at the Lagos and Abuja divisions of the Federal High Court protesting the demand of the sum , which they alleged were unilaterally arrived at by the Federal Government and its agent.
They contended that arbitration proceedings were the appropriate forum to reconcile such disputes regarding the contract entered into by the two parties .
Findings by our correspondent showed that Shell , which instituted its own case in Abuja, earlier this year changed the Olaniwun Ajayi ’s law firm as its counsel in the case and subsequently briefed Adewale Atake ( SAN) to take over the case on its behalf.
Shell drops suit against FG in exchange for AGF ’ s withdrawal letter
Atake , who took over the case by virtue of the notice of change of counsel filed by Ogunmuyiwa Balogun of the Olaniwun Ajayi ’ s law firm on May 18 , 2020 , filed a notice to discontinue the case on the same date .
The court , presided over by Justice Ijeoma Ojukwu of the Federal High Court in Abuja , subsequently struck out the case in her ruling delivered on May 27 , 2020 .
But our correspondent’ s findings showed that the decision by the company to withdraw the suit was informed by Malami ’ s letter dated March 13 , 2020 , which was filed alongside the firm ’ s reply as exhibits , attached to the notice of discontinuance filed by Atake .
Atake ’s notice of discontinuance of the suit cited Malami ’ s March 13 , 2020 letter with reference number HAGF /ARMU/ RMTINL / 2019 as the reason for withdrawing the suit .
The letter by Malami titled , ‘ Demand for payment of additional revenue and interest accruing to the Federal Government of Nigeria pursuant to the Production Sharing Contracts’ was addressed to the Managing Director /Chief Executive Officer of Shell .
The letter referred to an October 3 , 2019 ‘meeting of stakeholders ’ which he said , held “ with a view to resolving issues and arriving at amicable settlement and possible negotiation on terms of payment. ”
Malami backtracks on request for payment
Informing the company of his decision to withdraw the previous demand for payment, Malami stated, “ Please, be informed that the previous demand covered by letters issued by Messrs Trobell International Nigeria Limited seeking the payment of additional revenue and interest accruing to the Federal Government of Nigeria under the Production Sharing Contracts is hereby withdrawn .”
In what appears to be his decision to transfer his previous leading roles in the recovery efforts to the regulatory agencies, the minister added, “ The regulatory ministries , departments and agencies ( including but not limited to Federal Ministry of Petroleum Resources , Federal Inland Revenue Services , Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation , and Department of Petroleum Resources ) will engage your company to remedy any possible lapses over the implementation of the Production Contracts in Nigeria. ”
In the letter, Malami requested a termination of the ongoing litigation at the Federal High Court in Lagos and Abuja and withdrawal of the notices of arbitration arising from this demand in exchange for the withdrawal of the demand letter .
Malami ’ s letter of withdrawal of demand of payment has resolved dispute – Shell
However, the reply by Shell ’s MD , Ojulari , indicated that the suggestion to the company to terminate its suit and withdraw its notice of arbitration proceedings against the Federal Government had been on the table for some time , but the firm did not bulge until it received Malami ’ s March 13 , 2020 letter on May 6 , 2020 .
Taking the letter by Malami as a final resolution of the dispute over recovery of the outstanding revenue , the company did not indicate in its reply dated May 11 , 2020 , any interest to embrace the talks proposed by Malami .
Ojulari in his reply , with reference number SNEPCo LEG – 2020 -001 L , addressed to Malami , stated that the contractor it engaged to handle the dispute with the Federal Government had , on February 6 , 2019 , informed the NNPC of its intention to commence arbitration “ should the dispute created by the Federal Government of Nigeria ’s demand for alleged outstanding revenue from OML 118 not be amicably resolved .”
Ojulari stated that the contractor had only initiated the case at the Federal High Court to seek “ interim measures of protection” pending the determination of the dispute “ by an arbitral tribunal properly constituted pursuant to the terms of OML 118 Production Sharing Contract . ”
He added that its contractor had to serve a notice of arbitration on the NNPC on January 10 , 2019 when no amicable resolution in relation to the dispute was reached .
Indicating that the company only yielded to the request for the withdrawal of the Federal High Court suit and the arbitration notice because of Malami ’ s demand for the withdrawal of the demand for payment, Ojulari stated , “ That dispute has now been resolved by the withdrawal of the FGN ’ s demand as effected by your letter referenced.
“ In reliance on this withdrawal , the contractor will now proceed to withdraw / discontinue the above -mentioned arbitration proceedings and the proceedings that are currently before the FHC ( Federal High Court) . ”
Meanwhile, despite his correspondence with the Shell MD , the AGF on July 28 , 2020 listed the $ 62 bn as part of assets expected to be recovered by the Federal Government .
In the document he read at the media briefing but originally presented at the Federal Executive Council, the minister stated on page 23 of the document that the anticipated $ 62 bn oil revenue would be utilised for the Lagos -Ibadan expressway , Kano -Abuja expressway and the Second Niger – Bridge projects.
Malami reacts
When contacted on Friday to clarify why Malami withdrew the demand for the $ 62 bn from the IOCs while continuing to raise the hope of the public about the prospect of recovering the money for the Federal Government , the media aide to the minister , Dr Umar Gwandu , stated in a terse message sent to our correspondent, “ Please, send your inquiries on IOCs to the Ministry of Petroleum Resources or NNPC . Thank you .”
Gwandu had on July 29 , 2020 in a statement clarifying the minister ’s comment on the $ 62 bn revenue shortfall , stated that the AGF “ has identified and vigorously pursued the recovery of same ( the $ 62 bn ) from the international oil companies ” in the last one year .

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A Brief History of the Late Emir of Zazzau Alh Shehu Idris from 1936 to 2020

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38c2d3371672415fb4cd6b6b60d0a5bd 1600609977891 A Brief History of the Late Emir of Zazzau Alh Shehu Idris from 1936 to 2020

The late Emir of Zazzau His Highness Shehu Idris was born on September 20, 1936 in Zaria.

His father’s name was Malam Idris Auta, better known as Autan Sambo, and his mother’s name was Malama Aminatu Idris.

Malam Idris’ father was Muhammad Sambo who ruled as Sarkin Zazzau from 1879 to 1888, and Sambon’s father was Sarkin Zazzau Abdulkarimi who ruled from 1834 to 1846.

The late Sarkin Zazzau Shehu Idris started his religious studies in Zaria before joining the Elementary School from 1947 to 1950, during which time he lost his father when he was only 12 years old.

In 1950 he joined the Middle School in Zaria where he graduated in 1955 and then transferred to the Katsina Training College.

In 1958, he started teaching at Hurakuyi Primary School, where he taught in several schools in the Zazzau region.

He also served as the King’s Secretary in 1960, during the reign of Sarkin Zazzau Muhammadu Aminu.

In 1965. [9] to 1973 he was appointed Dan Madamin Zaria, and later he was appointed Head of Zaria.

The late Emir of Zazzau Shehu Idris became the Emir of Zazzau in 1975 after the death of the Emir of Zazzau Muhammadu Aminu.

On January 10, 2015, he organized a grand celebration to celebrate his 40th year on the throne, and on February 8, 2020, he celebrated another 45th anniversary on the throne of Zazzau.

In short he was the 18th King of Zazzau since the Jihad of Dan Fodiyo and came from the Katsina royal family, as it is known that there are three royal houses in Zazzau, the Katsina palace and the Mallawa palace and then the Barebari palace.

The emir died at the age of 84 on Sunday, September 20, 2020 at about 11am at the 44 Army Barack Hospital in Kaduna.

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Buhari, ministers in FEC meeting

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images 77 2 Buhari, ministers in FEC meeting

The President , Major General Muhammadu Buhari ( retd .) , ministers and some other top government officials are currently meeting.
They are meeting under the auspices of the Federal Executive Council .
Buhari is presiding over the virtual meeting from the Council Chamber of the Presidential Villa, Abuja .
While some members of the council are with him at the venue , some others are participating in their offices .
Details later …

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Without effective response to COVID-19, UN would have failed —Buhari

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images 74 2 Without effective response to COVID-19, UN would have failed —Buhari

The President , Major General Muhammadu Buhari ( retd . ) , says if the United Nations system cannot mobilise the world to marshal out an effective response to the COVID- 19 pandemic , then the organisation would have failed in its core mission .
Buhari said this late Tuesday while delivering Nigeria ’s National Statement via video -message , on the first day of the 75 th session of the UN General Assembly Debate .
The theme of this year ’ s General Assembly is ” The Future We Want , The United Nations We Need : Reaffirming Our Collective Commitment to Multilateralism – Confronting Coronavirus Through Effective Multilateral Action . ”
Buhari promised that Nigeria will continue to partner with the World Health Organisation and some countries to ensure accelerated development and manufacturing, as well as the uninhibited supply of safe and effective Coronavirus vaccines to all .
He also pledged Nigeria ’ s commitment to working with member states in the spirit of global cooperation and solidarity to promote human health and general well – being.
He said , ” As we reflect on the future we want and the United Nations we need , we must realise that the people of the world not only look up to us : they count on us .
” If the United Nations system cannot mobilise the world to marshal out a truly effective and inclusive response to the coronavirus pandemic , then the United Nations would have failed in the core mission of giving expression, direction and solution to the yearnings of the international community.
” The future we want must guarantee human rights , human dignity , human prospects and prosperity. The principles of ‘Leaving No One Behind and Doing No Harm ’ must be expressed through accountability , strategic growth initiatives and elimination of threats of all kinds. ”
Buhari boasted that his regime had come up with different measures to provide a future of hope for Nigerians. He mentioned the implementation of the Economic Sustainability Plan and the Medium Term National Development for the period 2020- 2025 and 2026 – 2030 as parts of the measures put in place by his regime .
” We expect that these ambitious initiatives will deliver sustainable economic growth and development to Nigeria , ” he said .
Buhari expressed concern that the COVID- 19 pandemic has devastated the world economy , straining the capabilities of the health systems of many countries , including Nigeria .
He said , “ In the aftermath of the Coronavirus outbreak in Nigeria , we prioritised vulnerable groups , including women , children , older persons and the unemployed , in our efforts to provide medical and social assistance to cushion the socio- economic effects of the disease .
” Accordingly , we have expanded our National Social Register , to include an additional one million Nigerians. Our National Social Investment Programme has been the vehicle for reaching out to the poor and vulnerable members of the Nigerian population, as well as providing cover for over 12 million households . ”
The President lauded the efforts of the UN and the WHO in combating the pandemic . He applauded the $2 bn Global Response Plan launched by the UN Secretary- General to fund the coronavirus response in the poorest countries .
The President also commended the Secretary -General ’ s call for a cease – fire in conflict areas to enable humanitarian assistance reach groups vulnerable to Coronavirus.
He said his regime had commenced the disbursement of N 10. 9bn to households on Micro , Small and Medium Enterprises as palliatives as part of measures to reduce poverty.
He added that N 500bn fiscal stimulus package and sustained delivery of humanitarian and social interventions to poor and vulnerable households have been established , while the Central Bank of Nigeria launched a N 3. 5trn stimulus package to boost manufacturing and facilitate import substitution .
He urged the international community to cooperate in addressing the scourge of poverty, particularly in developing countries . The President said Nigeria remained concerned over the illicit trade, transfer and circulation of small arms and light weapons , particularly in Africa. He called on the international community to renew efforts to stem this traffic and promote the Arms Trade Treaty in order to codify accountability in the battle against trans – border crimes, including terrorism and acts of piracy.
He also urged world leaders to redouble efforts to ensure collective security. Buhari described terrorist attacks across the globe as a harsh reality of the challenges the world is facing today.
” In Nigeria , we are still facing violent extremism from the insurgency of Boko Haram and bandits .
” We continue to count on our strong cooperation with UN Counter – Terrorism bodies and neighbouring countries to overcome the terrorists in the Lake Chad Basin and the wider Sahel region.
” We will vigorously sustain the rehabilitation , reconstruction and resettlement of victims of terrorism and insurgency in the North East . The North – East Development Commission has been established for that purpose, ” he said .
On illicit financial flows , the President Buhari declared that the global aspiration to recover from the impact of COVID – 19 will not be fully met without addressing structures that make it more difficult for countries to generate and retain their financial resources .
In this regard , the President again thanked Prof . Muhammad – Bande as well as the immediate past President of the Economic and Social Council , Ambassador Mona Jul , for jointly launching the High – Level Panel on International Financial Accountability , Transparency and Integrity ( FACTI ) for Achieving the 2030 Agenda .
On climate change , the President reiterated Nigeria ’s commitment to the revitalisation of Lake Chad. He said , “ We are convinced that recharging the Lake will improve the living conditions of our people in the area , promote inter – state cooperation, strengthen community resilience and assist in addressing environmental and security challenges threatening the region and its resources .”
Buhari renewed his call for international support for the regional efforts to raise $50 bn required to actualise the initiative.
On education , Buhari announced that Nigeria will be hosting the 4 th International Conference on Safe Schools in 2021. ‘
‘ Quality education for all is the cornerstone of sustainable development .
” I invite you all to Nigeria to participate in the Conference which aims to advocate for the protection of education from attack as we work together towards the future we want , ” he said .

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