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Petroleum and Gas Workers Embark of MAss Protest In Lagos and Portharcourt….. + How General Electric Owes Arco Workers Millions…

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Workers in the petroleum and gas sector have threatened to embark on an industrial action to protest the abuse of court order and the Nigerian local content law by the Nigeria Agip Oil Company.

 

The workers, under the auspices of the National Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers, NUPENG, and the Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria, made this known in Port Harcourt on Tuesday.

 

In a statement jointly signed by the Port Harcourt Zonal Chairman of NUPENG, Godwin Eruba, and his PENGASSAN counterpart, Azubuike Azubuike, the unions also called for immediate payment of the overhaul allowance of Arco workers, which accumulated between 2007 and 2012 at OB/OB, Ebocha and Kwale gas plants.

 

“NUPENG and PENGASSAN strongly condemn the quit order given to Arco Petroleum (Nigeria) Plc by NAOC to vacate their plants at OB/OB, Ebocha and Kwale with immediate effect to give way for Plantgeria (Nigeria) Limited, to take over the plant,” the statement reads.

 

“The unions hereby make reference to a subsisting Federal High Court injunction barring NAOC from taking any action till October 26, 2015 when the case is to come up for hearing.

 

“The unions hereby draw the attention of both Federal and Rivers State Governments on the plight of Arco workers, whose entitlements of over nine years are at stake, if NAOC management carries out this inhuman order.

 

“Both Unions hereby call on General Electric (GE) to immediately pay the Arco workers their overhaul allowance which was accumulated between 2007 to 2012, at OB/OB, Ebocha and Kwale Gas plants.”

 

The unions noted that during a meeting held at the instance of the Federal Ministry of Labour and Productivity in Abuja, Agip had agreed to pay the accumulated allowances.

 

They also called on Arco to immediately put all machineries in motion to pay their members their accrued nine years terminal entitlements, saying that the workers would not vacate the gas plants until they are paid.

 

“Both unions hereby resolve that if NAOC is not called to order to rescind its decision and follow due process as required by law, which include demobilization, if and when Arco is to leave the contract, the unions will have no option than to embark on a zonal industrial action to address the injustice meted out to our members,” the groups vowed.

 

The two unions also expressed anger over the ordered issued by Agip for Arco to vacate the OB/OB, Ebocha and Kwale plants to pave way for a new contractor, Plantgeria, to take over the maintenance of the facilities.

 

They vowed to take every lawful measure to ensure that the Italian oil firm does not rubbish the Nigerian judiciary and the country’s local content law.

 

The unions called on President Muhammadu Buhari and Governor Nyesom Wike to intervene and ensure that Agip respects the Nigerian law.

 

While they would not be willing to ground the nation’s economy, the unions said they would not hesitate to order their members to down tools if Agip violates the injunction of the court.

 

The Italian oil giant Agip and Arco, a foremost Nigerian oil and gas firm, have been locked in prolonged dispute over the maintenance contract for OB/OB, Ebocha and Kwale gas plants.

 

Arco had dragged Agip, the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, Conoco Philips Petroleum Nigeria Limited, and the National Petroleum Investment Management Services (NAPIMS) to court early in the year, stating that under the Nigeria Content Act, Agip was under obligation to it, in the award maintenance contract of OB/OB, Ebocha and Kwale gas plants.

 

Having successfully maintained the OB/OB, Ebocha and Kwale gas facilities for many years, Arco had averred that it had the prescribed equipment, machines and skilled manpower to execute the contract and further prayed the court to grant it several other declarative and injunctive reliefs.

 

But Justice Akanbi had expressly directed parties to the case to maintain the status quo in the maintenance contract dispute for which he had previously ordered Agip to stay action until motion on notice was determined.

 

He also adjourned the case to October 26, for determination of jurisdiction.

 

But on Tuesday, the Chairman of the Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria, PENGASAN, Arco Chapter, Clinton Amadike, said his colleagues were ordered out of the gas plant in Omoku, Rivers State.

 

Mr. Amadike said Agip, through a Joint Venture Partner, General Electric, gave the order after staff of the indigenous oil company reported for work.

 

“Agip has violated the court order. They have asked our staff to surrender operations to Plantgeria,” the union leader said.

 

“GE is the company that is supervising the contract. Once GE gives orders, Arco obeys. But we are asked to stay out of the process.  We don’t know what will happen tomorrow. We don’t know whether they will allow us into the plant.

 

“Our staff are currently in confinement. We have locked ourselves inside the workshop to prevent any form of harassment either by NAOIC and security operatives at the plant.”

 

But reacting to the development, Mr. Sagay said strongly argued that nobody has the right to disobey the order the court.

 

“Nobody or entity or organisation has the right to disobey the order of a court in Nigeria. A court order is binding until it is vacated by that court that granted it or a superior court,” said the legal luminary.

 

“Unless that happens, the court order is binding and must be respected. Anyone who refuses to carry out that order is guilty of contempt of court.

 

“And from the facts of the matter, if there is no contrary court order from a higher court then obviously Agip is guilty of contempt of court and what it is doing is illegal.’

 

On the recurrent case of disobedience to court orders by some multinationals operating in the country, Mr. Sagay advised interested parties to commit the leaders of the offending companies to jail.

 

He insisted that the managing director of the Italian oil firm should be committed to prison to serve as a deterrent to others.

 

On his part, Mr. Hon said, urged the court to commit the leadership of Agip to prison for disobeying a legitimate order of the court.

 

“If any action has been after the court had issued an injunction, it means Agip is in contempt of court and its leadership should be held responsible. The judicial powers of the Federation are vested in the courts and the rule of law has also been established in the prosecution,” Mr. Hon said.

 

“Nobody is above the law and no organisation should operate in such a way as to be seen to be above the law.

 

“If indeed Agip has flouted the court order, the affected party should urgently take steps to reverse it through restorative injunction. The court has the powers to restore what Agip has caused to be done wrongly.

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Wema Bank Emerges Best Performing Bank in Half year 2022

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Nigeria’s most innovative bank, Wema Bank Plc, has emerged the best performing bank in the first half of year 2022 financial year with a weighted average score of of 2.83 points, beating 12 other bank’s.

 

According to a special report on the Nigerian banking performance in the first half of 2022 prepared by Nairametrics, Wema Bank ranked first in one category, second in three categories and third in one category. Stanbic IBTC and First Bank came second and third respectively..

 

The key metrics considered in the report are total asset growth, loan book growth, profit growth, cost-to-income ratio movement, and return on average equity.

 

The 13’reviewed banks which are listed on the Nigerian Exchange posted a net profit of N1 trillion in 2021 from N887.1 billion recorded in 2020.

 

The 13 reviewed banks are Wema Bank, First Bank of Nigeria, FCMB, GTB, Jaiz Bank, Access Bank, and Stanbic/IBTC. Others are UBA, Sterling Bank, Unity Bank, Union Bank, Zenith Bank, and Fidelity Bank.

 

During the first six months of 2022, the thirteen banks posted an aggregate of N501.1 billion as profit after tax, representing an increase of 13.1% compared to N443.17 billion recorded in the corresponding period of 2021

 

The banks grew their bottom line despite headwinds ravaging the global economy as the energy crisis triggered a significant surge in the operational costs of businesses operating in the country, while some banks were forced to ration their operating hours in a bid to manage the rise in the cost of operation.

 

Wema Bank came first in the category of

Leading bank’s by customer deposits growth . The bank recorded ±30.2 percent customer deposit growth during the review period, followed by Fidelity Bank and Access Bank with +13.1 percent and +12.8 percent respectively.

 

Wema Bank came second in three other categories – total assets growth rate (+13%), loan book growth rate (+19.9%) and profit after tax growth rate {+47.8%}.

 

Stanbic IBTC , the second place winner, ranked first in total asset growth rate and leading bank’s by cost to income ratio growth rate

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Again! FCMB Lands IN Serious Trouble Over False Claim…… As Court Orders Bank To Pay N540m Damages.

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First City Monument Bank (FCMB) is in hot soup as the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) High Court has ordered the bank to pay N540.5 million in damages to Pastor Emmanuel Omale of the Divine Hand of God Prophetic Ministry and his wife, Deborah over false claim that they laundered N573 million for former chairman of the EFCC, Ibrahim Magu.

Delivering judgement in the suit, Yusuf Halilu, the judge, held that the bank breached its “duty of care to the claimants,” the Omales and their church.

The judgment was on the suit marked: FCT/HC/CV2541/2020 filed by Mr. Omale, his wife and the church.

The judge held that the evidence before the court showed that the bank admitted error in its report to the NFIU of entries in the account of Divine Hand of God Prophetic Ministry which was accused of laundering money on Mr. Magu’s behalf.

Mr. Halilu also said the bank claimed that the purported N573 million was wrongly reflected as credit entry in Divine Hand of God Prophetic Ministry’s account by its reporting system, which it recently upgraded.

The judge held that FCMB admitted the error, which brought incalculable damage to the reputation of the claimants both within and outside the Nigeria – depleting their church’s membership.

Mr. Halilu said the claimants provided sufficient evidence to establish case of negligence against FCMB.

Consequently, the judge awarded N200 million as aggravated damages; N140.5 million as specific damages and N200 million as general damages.

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More Troubles For Dangote Cement As Kogi Govt Demands 10 Per Cent Share, Orders Immediate Seal Off

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However, Dangote Cement is facing allegations of sharp practice from Kogi State government, Kogi Assembly as well as Akwa Ibom State.Already, the Kogi State House of Assembly has ordered stoppage to the activities of the company in two Local Governments in the State while investigations continue.

To make the claim possible, Kogi State House of Assembly ordered the management of Dangote Cement company to provide all necessary documents that have to do with the transfer of Obajana Cement Company owned by Kogi state government to Dangote Cement Company.

The House also directed that the documents signed at the establishment of the Company and relevant receipts of dues it claimed to have paid to Kogi State Government available at the next adjourned sitting date.

The speaker of Kogi State House of Assembly, Matthew Kolawole, gave the order after interim reports of the ongoing investigative hearing on Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) which was submitted by the ad hoc committee led by Hon. Isah Tenimu Umar, Member Representing Lokoja I Constituency and deliberated upon at the plenary on Wednesday.

Kolawole said this has become important in view of the claims and counterclaims between the Chairman of Kogi State Internally Generated Revenue Service (KGIRS) and representatives of Dangote Cement as the acting chairman of KGIRS, Salisu Enehe had earlier accused Dangote Cement Plc Obajana of forging its tax receipt during the investigative hearing by the State House of Assembly.

According to the State Revenue Boss, most of the figures the company claimed to have paid are totally incorrect, urging the company to check its record.

He added that despite the billions of Naira that company is making from the state monthly, it has failed to pay taxes that are due to the state and Lokoja Local Government Area.

Nigerians Getting ₦1,593,247 Per Week From ₦99,000 Investment in Amazon
Nigerians Getting ₦1,593,247 Per Week From ₦99,000.

In another development, Following the unrestrained environmental degradation in Ankpa and Olamaboro local government areas, Kogi state House of Assembly on Wednesday, directed the Commissioner of Police and Commandant of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence (NSCDC) to seal off operations of Dangote Plc in the affected areas of the State.

The House gave the order during a public hearing on activities of Dangote Group in the state, especially on the the massive exploitation , environmental degradation and non compensation to the affected owners of the land and without revenue accruing to the state government.

The Speaker, Kogi state House of Assembly, Mathew Kolawole, charged the NSCDC commandant to ensure immediate implementation pending when the ad hoc committee on revenue clarifies some grey areas. Kolawole, who lamented the environmental degradation caused by mining activities on Kogi by the Dangote group and its subsidiaries, accused the multi national business concern of making billions in the state but yet fails to give back to it.

Akwa Ibom is also finding it difficult to collect its entitlement from the Dangote Group. According to reports from the place, the Itu Local Government blocked Dangote premises with their trucks because the company has refused to pay tax for more than two years despite pleas and series of warnings.

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