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Real Reasons Why President Buhari Appointed Dr. Ibe Kachikwu as the GMD of NNPC …. + A-Z Of Him

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The appointment of Kachikwu may not have come to many as a surprise, considering that President Buhari had promised to beam his search light on the NNPC which has a reputation for high level of corruption.

Dr. Emmanuel Ibe Kachikwu, the newly appointed Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), yesterday assumed duty as the Group Managing Director at a brief handover ceremony held at the NNPC Towers, Abuja.  Until his appointment, Kachikwu was the Executive Vice Chairman and General Counsel of Exxon Mobil (Africa).

The new helmsman expressed gratitude to his predecessor, Dr. Joseph T. Dawha, for his hard work in holding the NNPC, while pledging to work assiduously in achieving the president’s growth aspiration for the oil and gas industry.

The appointment of Kachikwu may not have come to many as a surprise, considering that President Muhammadu Buhari had promised to beam his search light on the NNPC, which has a reputation for high level of corruption. President Buhari, prior to his inauguration as the President, had promised to carry out an overhaul of the corporation’s activities, while bringing all culprits to book.

Kachikwu, is taking over the affairs of the troubled NNPC at a time the global oil industry is grappling with low crude oil prices.

How Kachikwu emerged

Daily Sun learnt that three people were pencilled down for the job of NNPC GMD. They are Isa Inua, Deputy Managing Director of the Nigerian Liquefied Natural gas (LNG); Musa Kida of Total Worldwide and Kachikwu.

Sources revealed that although President Buhari found the three nominees qualified and capable of handling the affairs of the NNPC, he apparently picked Kachikwu as the southerner among the three.

Kachikwu is one of the few southerners the Buhari administration has appointed to executive position since May 29. In the last two months, most of the appointments have favoured the North.

Why Joseph Dawha-led management was sacked

The high level of corruption in the NNPC may have led to the sack of the management, especially as it relates to the crude oil swap deal, involving thousands of  barels of crude oil that remained unaccounted for.

An independent investigative analysis submitted to President Muhammadu Buhari, revealed that over $32 billion oil revenue was lost to NNPC’s mismanagement of Domestic Crude Allocation (DCA), opaque revenue retention practices and corruption-ridden oil-for-product swap agreements.

Also, the sack of Dawha and hiring of Kachikwu is in line with Buhari’s plan to bring a breath of fresh air into the NNPC. The president, it was gathered, does not want anybody who was part of the system for fear that the person may have been corrupted.

Moreso, in keeping with his promise of sanitising the sector, the coming on board of Kachikwu, may have been informed by his private sector background, as Buhari wants NNP to run as a business entity, with every sense of responsibility. His ascension to the mantle of leadership of NNPC is expected to turn the fortunes of the troubled NNPC around.

Task before new NNPC GMD

Kachikwu will be confronted with a plethora of problems, the deadliest of which is the oil industry cabal that would ensure that all his reforms are frustrated. Others are pipeline vandals, the ailing refineries, fuel subsidy and  funding of JV operations, among others

Pipeline Vandalism

Pipeline vandalism had reached an alarming magnitude, since the late 1990’s as the NNPC witnessed between 450 and 1,000 cases of vandalism annually. The high rate of vandalism had obstructed the supply and distribution of petroleum products (both crude and refined) during the period in review.

NNPC had consistently said that within the last 10 years,it had spent over N174.57 billion on pipelines repairs from a total of 16,083 pipeline breaks. While majority of about 15,685 representing 97.5 per cent of the total was from acts of vandalism, the balance of about 398 cases or 2.4 per cent was due to ruptures.

NNPC records showed that System 2E/2EX, which conveys products from the Port Harcourt Refinery to Aba-Enugu-Makurdi depots onwards to Yola-Enugu-Auchi, appears to be the haven of pipeline vandalism in the country, particularly the Port Harcourt-Aba/Isiala-Ngwa axis. In all, about 8,105 line breaks were recorded along the system 2E within the period representing about 50.3 per cent of the total. The attacks left the NNPC with a cost of N78.15 billion in product losses and pipeline repairs. On gas, statistics also showed that the incessant attacks on the Trans Forcados Pipeline have put it out of service since May 2009, thus making it impossible to evacuate crude oil/condensate from some Shell-operated facilities. Currently, over 300,000 bpd and 140mscf production have been deferred, with about N11 billion spent on the repair of about 55 points vandalised on the line. NNPC further said it spent over US$42.952million to execute a two-phase repair of 74 damaged points in System 2C-1 – the Escravos Warri Crude Oil Pipelines which started in September 2009, to enable the start-up of the Warri and Kaduna refineries.

Frequent turn around maintenance

The new boss is expected to bring his experience on board to resolve the constant TAM, which had become a pain in the neck for Nigerians, as the corporation keeps making huge budget for TAM, with nothing to show for the huge expenditure as the refineries have failed to deliver petroleum products to Nigerians.

With the announcement by NNPC that Port Harcourt and Warri refineries have successfully restarted production after a nine-month phased rehabilitation programme.

Port Harcourt Refinery has already raised its operational capacity to about 60 per cent of its 210, 000 barrels per day (bpd) capacity, while production at Warri Refinery was projected to hit 80 per cent of installed 125,000 bpd capacity soon.

The Port Harcourt Refinery was projected to boost the nation’s local refining capacity with a product yield of five (5) million litres of petrol per day, while Warri Refinery would contribute about 3.5 million litres of petrol to local refining capacity.The new NNPC boss is expected to look inwards into the activities of the refineries to ensure that the cabal frustrating the effective operations of the refineries are identified and brought to book,so that Nigerians can reap the benefits of the resources expended on it.

Fuel subsidy

Fuel subsidy is an drain pipe for the country and Nigerians have constantly harped on the need for its removal as it is believed that the regime is only profiting a few Nigerians and some corrupt officials in NNPC.

He is expected to bring down the level of the country’s expenditure on subsidy from the current N1.5 trillion more than the combined budgets for Education, Health, Agriculture, Rural Development, Works, Transport, and Lands and Housing put together.

The truth is that the subsidising petrol distorts the market and has resulted in inefficiencies and substantial loss of revenue for the government through corruption. It has contributed to the collapse of our local refineries by making them unprofitable for private investors to invest. The subsidy regime has also been responsible for sporadic fuel shortages at fuel stations as corrupt marketers, after receiving subsidies, have proceeded to sell the subsidised fuel to neighboring countries at higher prices.

Improved funding for JV operations

For several years, NNPC has failed to meet up with its cash call obligations, especially its Joint Venture operations, a situation which is hurting the economy and making it difficult for the country to reap the inherent benefits in the oil and gas sector

Indeed, Exxonmobil affiliates in Nigeria had two weeks ago lamented the inability of government to meet its cash call obligations in their Joint Venture agreements, saying the development is slowing down exploration activities.

The oil giant disclosed this at its 2015 Energy Outlook Series held in Lagos as part of efforts to educate stakeholders on what to expect from the energy market in 2015 and beyond.

Upstream Treasurer, Exxonmobil Africa, Mr.Anibor Kragha, regretted that JV production has gone down by half, adding that funding constraints in the industry remained real.

‘‘You can only drill if you have fiscal policies that work. We are not drilling much and making new discoveries to grow our reserves. We are not resource challenged but funding challenged. All this in a way slows down the pace of progress.

If we don’t have new developments in conventional, there would be significant decline because these fields have natural decline rates. So, because of that, we have to continuously drill. But as we stand now, we have a lot of JV deals with NNPC and they are seriously underfunded,’’ he said.

Downstream challenges

The corporation cannot afford to maintain the status quo of long queues at the Filling Stations since the availability of products at affordable pump prices are ways of measuring the performance of the NNPC by the public.

This, NNPC has failed to achieve, hence the need to address the factors and challenges responsible for the failure. A number of factors hampering the performance of the Corporation primarily is the fact that the Corporation has not been functioning as a commercial entity which accounts for the systemic issues like limited accountability and performance management.

Other internal factors include limited revenue source, high losses along value chain, low refinery capacity utilization and disproportionate administrative and corporate headquarters costs.Some factors that are extraneous to the Corporation as those of delays in customs clearance, high level of volatility in the international crude oil prices, security/unrest in the Niger Delta and the vandalism of pipelines.

The Man, Kachikwu

Dr. Emmanuel Ibe Kachikwu, a native of Onicha- Ugbo in Delta State,attended the University of Nigeria (UNN) Nsukka,graduating in 1978 with distinction, emerging as the best graduate.

ACADEMICS:

•Distinction and best graduate (UNN)

•BL (Law School) First Class best graduate.   Won 7 of available 9 prizes in 1979.

•LLM Harvard Distinction and best graduate 1980, specialization on Energy and Petroleum Law and Investment.

•PHD/SJD Harvard Distinction and best graduate, Specialization on Petroleum and Investment Law Strategies.   Set record time for completing Doctoral Thesis.

•H.Dip.T.L; Georgetown, USA

FSCG (Fellow Society for Corporate Governance)

FCIArb (Fellow Chartered Institute of Arbitration)

FCIPP (Fellow Chartered Institute for Petroleum Policy)

Visiting professorship for; various Universities in the world including Harvard Law

CAREER TRACK:

•Over 30 years in policy making positions  in Petroleum Industry including;

•General Counsel/Legal Adviser Texaco Nigeria and Texaco Overseas Petroleum Co – 10 years (1984 -1994).

•General Counsel/Secretary to Board Mobil Producing Nigeria Unlimited – 2001.

•Executive Director ExxonMobil Group of Companies, (7 in all) – 2003.

•Executive Vice Chairman/General Counsel ExxonMobil Companies in Nigeria And Oversight Counsel ExxonMobil Companies in Africa – since 2009.

KEY ACCOMPLISHMENTS:

•Authored several law books including the best seller – Nigerian Foreign Investment Law and Policy.

•Authored over 20 publications.

•Influenced over $10billion in investment from ExxonMobil Group into Africa including Nigeria.

•Set major policy planks on, Government Relationship, Investment Policy and Corporate Governance for ExxonMobil in Africa.

•Member of many highly influential Policy and Investment Teams for ExxonMobil Corporation.

•Lead Negotiator on Diverse issues for ExxonMobil in Africa including conclusion of Lease Renewal Negotiations for Mobil Producing.

•Solid contacts in Global Energy Sphere with contacts to most CEOs of large Petroleum Corporations, and Secretaries of Energy for key National Country players, developed over 25 years.

•Respected as a leader by Peers in the industry globally.

THE SUN

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Paris-bound bizman arrested with 111 cocaine wraps

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The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency has arrested a 48-year-old businessman, Emmanuel Orjinze, at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja, for ingesting 111 wraps of cocaine.

The suspect, who claimed to be a professional footballer in Europe, was arrested on May 21 during the outward clearance of an Air France flight to Paris, France.

This was made known in a statement signed by the agency’s Director of Media and Advocacy, Femi Babafemi, and shared on the agency’s website on Sunday.

The statement read, “Operatives of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency have arrested a 48-year-old Paris, France-bound businessman, Emmanuel Okechuku Orjinze, for ingesting 111 wraps of cocaine, which he excreted after days of observation in the agency’s custody following his arrest at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja.

“Okechukwu, who also claims he is a professional footballer in Europe, was arrested on Tuesday, May 21, during the outward clearance of Air France flight AF 878 from Abuja to Paris, France.

“After a body scan confirmed he ingested illicit drugs, he was taken into custody where he excreted a total of 111 pellets of cocaine that weighed 1.603 kilograms over three days. The suspect claimed he did business in the maritime sector while still scouting for any European football club to engage him. ”

In the same vein, the NDLEA officers operating at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Ikeja, Lagos hinted that they had dismantled another drug trafficking syndicate at the airport.

This, they said in a statement, followed the arrest of four members of the network and the seizure of a total of 8kg of methamphetamine and 7.60kg of Loud, a synthetic strain of cannabis imported from South Africa.

The statement added that a drug trafficking syndicate was busted at the airport when an official was caught with illicit substances in their backpack and bag.

On May 21, 2024, the NDLEA officers, supported by aviation security, intercepted the official at Terminal 1 and discovered the drugs during a search, blowing the lid off the syndicate.

“A swift follow-up operation at the Ajao Estate area of Lagos led to the arrest of two other members of the syndicate: Chris Nwadozie and Chinedu Nwaosu. Further investigation led to the arrest of another member of the cartel working within the airport system on Saturday, May 25,” the statement added.

In a related development, the agency also arrested a freight agent, Sonubi Abiodun, for attempting to export eight parcels of cocaine concealed in paint buckets to the United Kingdom.

Additionally, the NDLEA operatives arrested suspects producing and distributing skuchies, a mixture of black currant and illicit drugs, in Lagos, and recovered 2,480 litres of the psychoactive substance.

In Cross River State, a suspect, Ogar Emmanuel, was arrested with 2.5kg of cannabis, while 290kg of cannabis was recovered from the warehouse of Usani Ikpi, who is still at large. Additionally, three suspects – Sa’adu Sule, Mukhtar Nura, and Hamza Nura – were arrested in Katsina State with 70kg of cannabis, which originated from Ogun State.

The statement added, “No fewer than five suspects including Ezekiel Munda, 30; and Sule Mustapha, 21, were arrested by the NDLEA operatives on Thursday, May 23, during raids at the Karu Abattoir, Jikwoyi and Tora Bora hill area of the FCT, Abuja, where 95.01kg of cannabis and different quantities of opioids were recovered from them.

“In Edo State, operatives arrested a physically challenged notorious drug dealer, Zekere Sufianu, 45, at Auchi town on Wednesday, May 22. At the time of his arrest, he was found with 751 grams of Loud, 178 grams of tramadol, and pills of swinol,” the statement concluded.

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FG suit against 36 govs over LG funds begins

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The Federal Government has approached the Supreme Court with a suit seeking to compel governors of the 36 states of the federation to grant full autonomy to the local governments in their domains.

The suit, marked SC/CV/343/2024, was filed by the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Lateef Fagbemi (SAN), on behalf of the Federal Government.

The Federal Government is urging the apex court to issue “an order prohibiting state governors from unilateral, arbitrary and unlawful dissolution of democratically elected local government leaders for local governments.”

In the suit predicted on 27 grounds, the Federal Government accused the state governors of gross misconduct and abuse of power.

The FG, in the originating summons, prayed the Supreme Court to make an order expressly stating that funds standing to the credit of local governments from the Federation Account should be paid directly to the local governments rather than through the state governments.

The justice minister also prayed for “an order of injunction restraining the governors, their agents and privies from receiving, spending or tampering with funds released from the Federation Account for the benefits of local governments when no democratically elected local government system is put in place in the states.”

The Federal Government further sought “an order stopping governors from constituting caretaker committees to run the affairs of local governments as against the Constitutionally recognised and guaranteed democratically system.”

The originating summons was backed by a 13-paragraph affidavit deposed to by one Kelechi Ohaeri of the Federal Ministry of Justice.

Ohaeri, in the affidavit, averred that the AGF instituted the suit against the governors under the original jurisdiction of the Supreme Court on behalf of the Federal Government.

He said,“The Constitution of Nigeria recognises federal, states and local governments as three tiers of government and the three recognised tiers of government draw funds for their operation and functioning from the Federation Account created by the Constitution.

“By the provisions of the Constitution, there must be a democratically elected local government system and the Constitution has not made provisions for any other systems of governance at the local government level other than a democratically elected local government system.

“In the face of the clear provisions of the Constitution, the governors have failed and refused to put in place a democratically elected local government system even where no state of emergency has been declared to warrant the suspension of democratic institutions in the state.

“The failure of the governors to put democratically elected local government system in place is a deliberate subversion of the 1999 Constitution which they and the President have sworn to uphold.

“All efforts to make the governors comply with the dictates of the 1999 Constitution in terms of putting in place a democratically elected local government system has not yielded any result and to continue to disburse funds from the Federation Account to governors for non-existing democratically elected local government is to undermine the sanctity of the 1999 Constitution.

“In the face of the violations of the 1999 Constitution, the Federal Government is not obligated under Section 162 of the Constitution to pay any state, funds standing to the credit of local governments where no democratically elected local government is in place.”

The AGF, therefore, urged the apex court to invoke sections 1, 4, 5, 7 and 14 of the Constitution to declare that the state governors and state Houses of Assembly are under obligation to ensure a democratic system at the third tier of government in Nigeria and to also invoke the same sections to hold that the governors cannot lawfully dissolve democratically elected local government councils.

Furthermore, he urged to invoke sections 1, 4, 5, 7 and 14 of the Constitution to declare that “the dissolution of democratically elected local government councils by the governors or anyone using the state powers derivable from laws enacted by the state Houses of Assembly or any Executive Order is unlawful, unconstitutional, null and void.”

The apex court has fixed Thursday, May 30 for hearing.

Meanwhile, the Nigerian Union of Local Government Employees hailed the move by the Federal Government, saying it would join the lawsuit as a concerned party.

 

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JUST IN: Tribunal affirms Diri as Bayelsa governor

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The Bayelsa State Governorship Election Petition Tribunal sitting in Abuja, on Monday, upheld the election that produced Governor Douye Diri of Bayelsa State.

A three-man panel led by Justice Adekunle Adeleye dismissed the petition filed by the candidate of the All Progressives Congress, Timipre Sylva, and the party for lacking in merit.

In a unanimous decision, the tribunal held that the petitioners failed to prove any credible evidence to back up any of the allegations they raised against the re-election victory of Diri.

Details shortly…

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