EFCC To Recover N135bn Intervention Funds From Oil Firms

Mohammed Shosanya

The upper chamber of the National Assembly has threatened to use the anti-graft agencies to recover the N135 billion Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) intervention funds to some firms in the oil and gas sector.

The Senate Committee on Gas Resources probing the whereabout of the money, which made the threat on Thursday, said it will recover the money from defaulting beneficiaries.

The 14 affected companies, appeared before Senate panel to defend the utilisation of the loans they collected.

Members of the panel, who noted that there was no synergy between the Ministry of Petroleum Resources and the CBN on the project, queried the discriminatory disbursement of the funds to the beneficiaries and wondered why some firms collected more than the N10 billion credit limit.

Collecting the records of the beneficiary for immediate investigations, the Chairman of the Committee, Senator Agom Jarigbe, noted that the funds released under the gas expansion and intervention fund were inappropriately accessed.

The lawmaker tasked the committee to ensure that the companies actually expended the funds on what they collected it for.

He said: “The observation of the committee is that there are inconsistencies in the process and the committee may not hesitate to involve the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission to recover the funds.

“Some of the beneficiaries did not follow the guidelines. For instance, the Ministry of Petroleum Resources is not even aware that the funds had been released.

“The guidelines stated clearly without ambiguity that they are supposed to do evaluation at the ministry before the list of the qualified ones would be sent to the CBN for them to access the loans but that was not done properly.

“We have also discovered that some of the companies does not have anything on ground since they got the loan.The committee would investigate all the observations and work on them and let Nigerians know the true position of things.”

The Legal Adviser to one of the beneficiaries, Lee Engineering and Construction Company, Mathew Agbadon, didn’t take the development lightly, noting that the publication made by the committee had put the firm in a negative perspective.

He told the committee that there has been a fundamental misconception out there in the public domain that some people just leverage on the CBN money, stole it and went away.

According to him, “that is far from the truth. The truth of the matter is that as a beneficiary of that scheme, we had business with the commercial bank.

“The discussion was done at the commercial bank level and due diligence was done and our application was approved.

“Based on the application we accessed the facility as an organization.Lee Engineering has been in the oil and gas industry for 32 years with over 4, 000 employees.

“This particular project is one of the outfits of Lee Engineering and it is located Warri, Delta State.

“If the Committee is ready to visit the project today, we are ready for it. It is 90 per cent completed.

“It is billed for commissioning in the first quarter of next year. In fact we are looking forward to President Bola Tinubu to commission the project being the first of its kind in this part of the World.”

The Ministry in 2021 initiated the National Gas Expansion Programme (NGEP) to encourage domestic utilization of gas in the country.

The Director of Gas in the Ministry, Oluremi Komolafe told the Committee that the Ministry was not aware of the disbursement of the fund despite the fact that it partnered with the CBN on the scheme.

She added that 150 applications were received, and that 69 companies were recommended and presently 16 applications are being processed.

Aseyin,Soun To Receive Staff Of Office Dec 14

Mohammed Shosanya

The Oyo State Government has announced the presentation of staff of office and coronation of the new Aseyin of Iseyin, Ọba Sefiu Olawale Oyebola, Adeyeri III, Ajirotutu I and the Soun of Ogbomoso, Ọba Afolabi Ghandi Laoye, Orumogege III.

In a statement signed by the Commissioner for information and civic orientation, Prince Dotun Oyelade, the Aseyin coronation will be on December 14, 2023 while that of Soun will be on December 19, 2023.

The state government has set up a coronation committee headed by the Chief of Staff to the Governor, Otunba Segun Ogunwuyi, including the commissioner for local government and chieftaincy matters, Mr Segun Olayiwola, the commissioner for culture and tourism, Dr. Wasiu Olatunbosun, the commissioner for information and civic orientation, Prince Dotun Oyelade and the Executive Assistant to the Governor on Security, Retired Commissioner of Police Sunday Odukoya as members of the committee.

The committee has been holding meetings with coronation committees from the two palaces over the past few weeks and had undertaken inspections of the venues for the events.

“All is now set for the big events”, the Government representatives said.

“The state government hereby seizes this opportunity to enjoin members of the public to show full support for the success of the events”.

Nigeria Committed To Energy Transition Growth-Alake

Mohammed Shosanya

The Minister of Solid Mineral Development, Dr Dele Alake on Thursday said Nigeria Government is more committed to the growth in energy transition and critical minerals in the country.

Alake,who was represented by Dr AbdulRazaq Garba, Director General, Nigeria Geological Survey Agency (NGSA) disclosed this during the 2023 Nigeria Energy Forum Day 2, held virtually in Lagos.

Nigeria is richly endowed with various mineral types that manifest in multiple occurrences all over the country,he said

“The goal of the present administration is to increase the mining sector’s contribution to National Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

“Nigeria is investor ready. Today, there are local private players and government led programmes that have advanced exploration projects that fit the investment criteria of investors and junior miners.

“There are opportunities in minerals such as lithium, zinc, gold, tin, bitumen, niobium, chromite and other such minerals.

“Some of these minerals are very crucial in the manufacturing of renewable energy elements like the solar panels, batteries, etc. thus positioning Nigeria as a major player in manufacturing and investments in this field.

“We are ready to work with junior miners and investors within a private sector led play.

“We are open to working with industry experts to strengthen our local mining knowledge and policies to bring us up to speed with more advanced mining nations,” he said.

Jordan Lachance, the Political/ Economic Officer, United States Consulate General Lagos, said the shift to renewable energy sources transforms the global energy map.

“These geopolitical trends will impact many interconnected issues, including the demand for critical minerals, the imperative to recycle batteries, the way we power our rapidly expanding economies and the electrification of transport.

‘The United States shows keen interest in Nigeria’s success because in many respects, Nigeria’s success precedes the Africa success, and Africa’s success precedes the world success,” she said.

In her keynote speech, Caroline Emboubou, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of All On, said that ‘Solar energy represents a unique proposition to help Nigeria meet its vast unmet energy needs.

“Nigeria is ideally placed to capitalize on technological improvements in the Renewable Energy sector and fulfil its energy needs through reliable, sustainable, and profitable solutions.’

In his remarks, the Group Chairman, NEF, Dr Daniel Adeuyi, said that following the success, NEF 2023 Day 1, on July 2023, in Lagos, the virtual event had a focus on Energizing Industrialization and Sustainable Growth.

He said that over 250 key stakeholders converged to exchange knowledge, originating investment deals valued at over 40m USD, and promote innovations for maximizing energy transition for growth in the Day1.

“In today’s virtual edition, over 20 key speakers will share practical insights, recommend solutions, and foster capacity building across 4 virtual best-in class-workshops.

“This will be on Powering Industrialization, Methane Abatement by US Consulate General, Energizing Communities by GEF-SGP UNDP and Financing Energy & Power by Sterling Bank.

“NEF2023 Day 2 also features the media screening of a Video Documentary titled The Catch Part 2 – Energizing Coastal Communities, supported by GEF-SGP UNDP, and Jinko Solar.

“The documentary highlights how clean energy solutions are contributing to restoring economic productivity for over 20,000 persons in Sagbokoji Island, Lagos, thereby improving livelihoods of women seafood processors, fishermen and children in coastal communities,” he said.

Engr. Adekunle Makinde, the Co-chair of NEF 2023 commended participants and companies that participated in the 2023 NEF edition.


Makinde said that the best six Young Energy Entrepreneurs across Africa would be awarded cash grant prizes valued at up to N4m in the finals of the Africa Energy Innovation Competition.

Abuja:FCTA Uncovers Illegal Oil Refining        Warehouse

Mohammed Shosanya

Officials of the Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) and security personnel have uncovered an illegal oil refining warehouse in Mabushi, opposite the Mobile filling station on Ahmadu Bello way in Abuja.

Mukhtar Galadima, the Director of the Department of Development Control, FCTA, disclosed that the illegal refining site was discovered during the city cleaning exercise.

Three to four plots designated for commercial purposes were identified as locations where oil and diesel were being adulterated and circulated to other parts of the city.

Galadima stated that the city sanitation task force would examine the legal provisions and make recommendations to the FCT Administration for further actions regarding the plots used for these illicit activities. While no arrests were made, items used in the illegal refining process were impounded.

“During the continuation of our city sanitation exercise in Mabushi opposite Mobile filling station on Ahmadu way, we discovered an illegal refining site where oil and diesel are being adulterated,” said Galadima, emphasizing that consequences would follow for the unauthorized conversion of commercial plots.

He added:”We are going to look at the provision of the law and make necessary recommendations to the FCT Administration”

The administration, according to Galadima,will continue to take stringent measures against activities carried out without government approval, including the revocation of titles.

Deborah Osho, Head of Operations at FCT Directorate of Road Traffic Service (DRTS), collaborating in the operation, revealed that besides the illegal oil refining warehouse, the city management team also discovered widespread conversion of areas in the Nation’s capital into illegal car marts and motor parks. Fifteen vehicles have been impounded since the commencement of the operation two days ago.

Oyo Dep Gov Supervisory Role On Ministries Salutary- GreatTribuneTVNews Publisher

Mohammed Shosanya

Rasheed Komolafe,
Publisher of GREATRIBUNETVNEWS,has described as salutary the new task given to the Deputy Governor of Oyo State,Barrister Bayo Lawal to supervise three key Ministries in the state

He congratulated the number two man in the state,saying he should not rest on his oars to add value to the governance structure in Oyo State.

Governor Seyi Makinde had last week appointed Barrister to oversee three key Ministries and Oyo state Housing Corporation as part of the moves to run them optimally with a view to delivering dividends of democracy to the people.

The deputy governor had already met with the heads of the ministry and drew a roadmap on how best to run the task.

Rasheed Komolafe,in his congratulatory statement, said the deputy governor’s new task was a round peg in a round hole in view of his acumen and uncommon brilliance

According to him,Barrister Lawal has always performed creditably well in private and public service before he was appointed as the number two person in the state.

Recalling,the deputy governor’s mercurial performance when he was the Chairman/CEO of Oyo State Housing Corporation,Komolafe said his legacy in the agency stands tall and has continued to serve as reference point after his exit from the agency.

”Barrister Lawal is a brilliant and successful lawyer.His knowlege and practice of the law,not only prepared him for multiple tasks ahead,which he meticulously executed,but endeared him to people from several divides”,he added.

He expressed optimism that deputy governor will bring to bear his administrative acumen,knowledge, and expertise on the new task given him with a view to ensuring optimal performance.

He lauded Governor Seyi Makinde for giving his deputy the current task,saying the development shows the former belief in the capacity of the latter to deliver effectively.

LAPO MfB Wins DBN Awards

Mohammed Shosanya

LAPO Microfinance Bank Limited, a premium microfinance institution in Africa,has won the Development Bank of Nigeria awards for “Microfinance Bank with the Highest Impact on MSMEs in Nigeria and PFI with the Highest Impact in the South-South, respectively.

Oluremi Akande, the bank’s Director, Marketing & Communications,conveyed this in a press statement made available to Premium News on Thursday.

Akande added: “We are delighted and thank the management of the Development Bank of Nigeria (DBN) for these awards and commend the institution for its contributions to the growth of the Nigerian economy.

“MSMEs play a pivotal role in the growth of our economy, and these awards are in recognition of LAPO MfB’s invaluable contributions and impact on micro, small, and medium-owned enterprises in Nigeria through its provision of easy access to credits in the most sustainable manner.

“The bank remains committed to its vision of social and economic development and will continue to explore meaningful partnerships with institutions such as the Development Bank of Nigeria to provide critical funding interventions to reach more owners of micro, small, and medium enterprises for greater economic prosperity.”

LAPO Microfinance Bank is committed to delivering responsive financial services to members of low-income households and owners of micro, small, and medium enterprises in the most sustainable manner.

Why Nigeria’s Internet Growth Drags-Report

Mohammed Shosanya

An Internet Society report saysNigeria’s Internet penetration is lagging, with only 36% of its 213 million citizens using the Internet, ranking it 18th in Africa. To increase this percentage and reap the benefits of the Internet, including a highly connected economy,

Nigeria must address market-related challenges in order to increase this percentage and reap the benefits of the Internet, including a highly connected economy,the report said

According to the report,the number of companies that provide local access to the Internet, known as Internet Service Providers (ISPs), and companies that connect an ISP to the global Internet, known as Internet transit providers, servicing Nigeria is well below average compared to global standards.

The Internet Society’s Distinguished Technologist, Michuki Mwangi,said the observation points to local barriers that make it difficult to provide resilient and affordable Internet connectivity.

He added:“Nigeria can improve the resilience and usage of its Internet by reviewing its telecommunications-related policies, regulations, and other factors that discourage service providers from investing in the Internet infrastructure that will facilitate better connectivity,”

“Our Pulse Internet Resilience Index highlights that more efforts are needed to improve the infrastructure, performance, security, and market readiness.Improving these areas can have flow-on effects such as decreasing interconnectivity costs, improving performance, and increasing affordability”

Mwangi also notes that the country needs to increase its use of IPv6 to accommodate the future growth of the Internet—something that many populous countries are doing as more of their population starts to use the Internet.

According to the Pulse Country Report, Nigeria’s 1% IPv6 adoption rate ranks 18th in Africa and is the lowest among the top 10 most populous countries worldwide.

IPv6 is the next-generation Internet Protocol (IP) standard intended to replace IPv4, the protocol many Internet services still use today. IPv6 is a well-established protocol that is seeing increased deployment and adoption, particularly in mobile phone markets, as it enables networks to connect more devices and expand their networks without relying on additional resources. Mobile devices generate more than 84% of Internet traffic in Nigeria.

The Internet Society Pulse Country Report highlights governments, technology stakeholders, and industry players need to work together to prioritize competition and open the market to increase Internet resilience.

Oyebanji To Give Business Owners Free CAC Certificates

Mohammed Shosanya

The Ekiti State Governor, Biodun Oyebanji has approved the distribution of free CAC certificates to Nano, Micro Small and Medium Enterprises( NMSMEs and business owners in the state.

The beneficiary business owners are those who enrolled in the free CAC registration scheme under the immediate- past administration of Dr Kayode Fayemi in 2022.

The Ekiti State Commissioner for Trade & Investments, Mrs Omotayo Adeola,who disclosed this, in a statement also hinted that the collection of CAC certificates would commence immediately after the flag-off program at the Ministry of Industry, Trade & Investment.

This follows the partnership between SMEDAN and Sterling bank to provide access to finance through single digit soft loan for NMSMEs between 250,000 to 2 million naira.

The distribution of the free CAC certificates is to enable Ekiti NMSMEs and business owners benefit from the SMEDAN & Sterling bank soft loan to which CAC registration is a compulsory requirement.

The distribution of the CAC documents would commence after the flag-off ceremony which is slated to take place at Conference hall, Governor’s office, Ado Ekiti Monday, 4th of December, 2023.

Gunmen Intercept Ogun Govt Bullion Van,Kills Director Of Finance

Armed robbers, Wednesday, hijacked a mini bullion van belonging to the state government in Kuto area of Abeokuta.

The Director of Finance and Account in the Office of the Governor, Taiwo Oyekanmi, was shot dead in the process while the robbers disappeared with unspecified amount of money belonging to the government.

The Director was said to be leading the bullion van from branches of Fidelity and Sterling Banks in Abeokuta where he had gone to pick up undisclosed amount of money when he was waylaid by the gunmen on the way back to the office.

Sources said the five hooded gunmen, intercepted the home-made bullion van while ascending the overhead bridge at Kuto and opened fire on the accountant.

The bullion van, registered under the number X pilot 13, was said to have been dangerously intercepted by the AK-47 wielding robbers who were said to have come to the scene with a Silver coloured Toyota Corolla without registration.

It was further gathered that the hoodlums wielding sledge hammer broke the bullion van door went away with the government’s money.

Sources said Oyekanmi and other aides who sustained gunshot injuries during the attacks were rushed to the State General Hospital, Ijaye, where the accountant later died.

“These suspects were armed with AK-47 rifles and were traveling in an unregistered silver Toyota Corolla, and suddenly they trapped the Bullion van by double crossing it.

“The armed men first interrogated the driver if they have rifles in the vehicle and specifically inquired about the identity of the Director of Finance.

“In a display of anger, the armed men fired shots at the front door of the vehicle, where the director was seated.

“As a result of the attack, the Director of Finance sustained bullet wounds on his thigh and private part, he was rushed to State Hospital, where he later gave up the ghost,” the source said.

The driver and other occupants of the robbery attack were said to have remained unharmed.

An official of the government disclosed that a police escort attached to the accountant was not part of the team as he had taken a permission to attend to family matters.

The source said the Secretary to the State Government, Tokunbo Talabi, had already visited the late accountant’s residence to commiserate with the family.

The Commissioner of Police, Abiodun Alamutu, confirmed the incident in a telephone interview on Wednesday night.

He said “This afternoon, the accountant, the Director of Finance with driver and one other person left for Fidelity bank to make some withdrawal, they went homemade bullion van.

“They were supposed to have a police escort, but for certain reasons, the person was permitted to travel to attend to some issues, so consequently he was not part of the movement to today.

“According to the story, after making the withdrawal, and on their way back to the office, they were accosted. A vehicle blocked them on top of the bridge, five occupants of the vehicle came down, shot at the director and from their vehicle, they brought out a sledge hammer to force the receptacle where the money was kept open and they left with the money.

“As at that time,there was no information, the police escort was not with the team and they sped off.The driver claimed to have trailed them to a point along conference hotel where he lost contact with them.

“The director that was shut was thereafter taken to Ijaye hospital where he eventually gave up the ghost.”

Alamutu said he had demanded for the CCTV footage from the bank to aid the police investigation.

“For our investigation, I have directed the area commander to get to the bank and request for the CCTV footage which will give us insight into the vehicle in question and possibility of identifying the culprits if they ever ventured to step out of the vehicle or maybe they just maintained their position in the vehicle.

“I have reached out to Lagos and everywhere in the command to block all the exits out of the state while we are trying to identify them because they said they were five and they used hood.”

FG, US Explore Funding For Mining Projects In Nigeria

Mohammed Shosanya

Dr. Oladele Alake, Minister of Solid Minerals Development, and Geoffrey Pratt, United States Assistant Secretary for Energy and Natural Resources, have initiated talks on financing mining projects and infrastructures in Nigeria.

The talk was initiated on the sidelines of the Mines & Money conference in London.

The agreement entails the establishment of a joint team comprising officials from both countries to delve into financing options, extending credit to mining firms, and bolstering infrastructure in the mining sector.

Pratt’s visit to Alake was sequel to a prior meeting with President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, where Tinubu sought U.S. support for Nigeria’s economic revival.

He expressed the U.S.’s interest in becoming Nigeria’s preferred partner in developing the solid minerals sector.

He highlighted the U.S.’s encouragement of direct foreign investment through various institutions and laws and pledged to collaborate with Nigerian counterparts in framing the necessary framework.

Alake welcomed this initiative, stating that the Ministry of Solid Minerals Development has outlined a seven-point agenda as a roadmap to revitalize the sector.

The agenda includes the establishment of the new Solid Minerals Development Company, a revamped security architecture for mine operations’ safety, and extensive data generation to mitigate risks in the sector.

He emphasized that the credit facility and foreign direct investment promised by the U.S. align with the mutual interests of both nations.

He pointed out that minerals like lithium, crucial for clean energy globally and essential for manufacturing electric cars, make this collaboration significant.

Hajiya Fatima Shinkafi, the executive secretary of the Nigerian Solid Minerals Fund, commended the U.S. for its investment in mining infrastructures in Central Africa.

She encouraged a similar partnership with the Fund, reinforcing the collaborative efforts between Nigeria and the United States in advancing the mining sector.