NETCO Records 137% Increase In Operating Profit

Mohammed Shosanya
The NNPC Engineering and Technical Company (NETCO), a subsidiary of the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPC Ltd), has  recorded 137 per cent increase in operating profits for the year 2023.
The Chairman of the company’s Board of Directors and Executive Vice President, Downstream, NNPC Limited, Mr. Adedapo Segun, at the Company’s 34th Annual General Meeting held in Lagos, on Friday, a statement has said.
Olufemi Soneye,Chief Corporate Communications Officer,NNPC Ltd,quoted the Board Chairman as explaining that NETCO recorded a 101 per cent revenue increase in the year 2023, reflecting a turnaround in operating results, which rose by 137 per cent reversing the previous year’s deficit.
He also noted that there was a 145 per cent surge in the company’s gross profit compared to the previous year.
Speaking at the AGM,the Managing Director of NETCO, Dr. Tonye Alagba, said the company is focused on growing its business portfolio in 2024 and beyond.
“To achieve this, the company is working strategically to expand its service offerings within the oil and gas industry in 2024, invest in the development of human and other resources, reduce direct and overhead resources and minimise risks”, Alagba stated.
The NETCO helmsman further stated that the company aims to increase its market share by at least five per cent through participation in mainstream EPC projects, stressing that the company will bid for a minimum of 32 Tenders with a target of securing at least 15 contracts.
He listed other targets to include: a 21-day invoicing cycle; a minimum of 85 per cent debt collection efficiency; a minimum customer satisfaction rate of 71 per cent; acquisition of critical assets such as fabrication yards and offshore logistics support base; and development of exclusive collaborations with key technical partners like KBR and Petrofac, amongst others.
CGC Adeniyi Tasks Officers On Propagation Of Values

Mohammed Shosanya
The Comptroller General of Customs (CGC), Adewale Adeniyi, has charged newly promoted Course 1 ASC II 2024 officers who have completed their training to propagate the values and principles of the service.
He gave the charge at the Passing Out Parade (POP) ceremony, held at the Customs Training College, Ikeja, on Monday,a statement said.
CGC Adeniyi,who was represented by DCG Suleiman Bomai in charge of the Training and Doctrine Command (TRADOC), stated that event was borne out of the effort to change the narrative of the Nigeria Customs Service.
He said, “Today, we acknowledge not just your successful completion of training but also your readiness to take up new responsibilities that are crucial to the mission and vision of the service.
“As you step into your new role, you will be entrusted with greater responsibilities that play a vital role in our national security, economic growth and protection of our borders.”
He advised the new promoted officers to propagate the values and principles of the esteemed organisation and be excellent role models for their peers and subordinates.
He expressed gratitude to the Commandant Customs Training College Ikeja, Rural Border Patrol Operations, tactical teams, trainers, mentors and all those who contributed to the program’s success, stating, “Your dedication and hard work in imparting knowledge and skills to our officers are commendable.”
The Commandant of the training college, DC Haniel Hadison, stated that the training started on 5 May 2024 for 348 officers. “During the program, the officers were taught Customs Service administration, rules of engagement, import and export procedures, classification, valuation, community engagement, tactical decision making, and time management, among others,” he added.
He appreciated the CGC and his management team, whose aspiration has been to build a well-trained, efficient, and very effective system for service personnel to meet global standards and competitiveness.


Collaboration Key To Safeguard Nigeria’s Maritime Domain-Comptroller Dim

Mohammed Shosanya
The Customs Area Controller, Eastern Marine Command, Comptroller Chika Dim, has emphasized the need for collaboration within the maritime sector to fortify marine security operations in the South-South region of Nigeria.
The CAC,who embarked on an official working visit recently,visited some maritime outstations, including Onne, Akwa Ibom, and Calabar, with stops at key strategic points along the way.
According to a press statement signed by the command Public Relations Officer, Chief Superintendent of Customs, Emmanuel Tangwa, on 3 June 2024, the primary objective of Comptroller Dim’s visit was to strengthen collaboration amongst agencies and evaluate the operational readiness of the Nigeria Customs Service in safeguarding the maritime domain.
“This endeavour shows the commitment of the Eastern Marine Command to ensuring effective operations and enhancing partnerships within its Area of Responsibility (AOR),” the statement reads.
At the Onne Outstation, where the tour kicked off,  Comptroller Dim engaged officers in discussions regarding their pivotal role in maritime security.
During the meeting, he inspected the condition of their gunboat, emphasising the necessity for proper maintenance to optimise performance. “We’ve invested significantly in these assets, and we must uphold the highest standards of care,” he observed.
He stopped at the Onne Area II Command, where Comptroller Mohammed Babandede warmly received him. Both discussed ways to enhance collaboration between the two commands.
In a meeting at the Nigerian Navy Forward Operating Base in Ibaka, Comptroller Dim met with Captain Uche Aneke to explore avenues for deepening collaboration in the maritime domain.
He commended the efforts of the commanding officer and his team in maintaining security, as well as stressed the need for continuous partnership to ensure a safe and efficient maritime environment.
The tour ended with a visit to Comptroller Chukwudi Ogbonna of Akwa Ibom FTZ Calabar Command, where discussions centred on enhancing the presence and operations of the Eastern Marine Command in the Calabar area.
There,he inspected the Calabar EMC Jetty and revealed areas for improvement to optimise regional customs operations.
Customs,Army Stop Smuggling Gang Attack In Lagos

    Mohammed Shosanya
The Nigeria Customs Service,Federal Operations Unit, Zone A (FOU A), has confirmed an attack by smugglers on its personnel and the Nigerian Army while carrying out Anti-Smuggling operations.
According to a press statement signed by the Unit’s Public Relations Officer, SC Theophilus Duniya, on Tuesday, the incident occurred on Sunday, 2 June 2024 at 3am.
The statement reads, “A joint patrol team comprising FOU A personnel and some soldiers intercepted a boat carrying smuggled rice and vehicles by the waterside in Badagry, Lagos State. While evacuating the goods, a group of men, led by an individual armed with dangerous weapons and, attacked the team, injuring Customs Officers and a
“The personnel acting in self-defence maimed the leader of the gang to prevent him from inflicting more injuries on the personnel and was evacuated for immediate medical attention”.
Commending the officers for their bravery and professional conduct, the Comptroller of FOU A, Kola Oladeji, urged parents and community leaders to discourage their wards from engaging in criminal activities.
He added:”The Comptroller of FOU A, Kola Oladeji, commended the Army and Customs personnel for their bravery and professional conduct in the face of a dangerous attack”.
He reiterated the unit’s commitment to combating smuggling. He urged parents and community leaders to discourage their wards from engaging in criminal activities that could put their well-being and other citizens at risk.
Imo Inaugurates Electricity Regulatory Commission,Secures $200m Funding For Power Projects

Mohammed Shosanya
Governor Hope Uzodinma has inaugurated  Imo State Electricity Regulatory Commission(ISERC).
Engr. Sam Nwire, former Special Adviser to the Governor on Power,is the Chairman Imo State Electricity, Regulatory Commission (ISERC),while Barrister Chinemerem  Ugochukwu Nnawuihe is the Secretary.
Other inaugurated members of the  Commission are: Engr. Bede Opara, Engr. Celestine Onwuharaonye, Hon. Lady Chidinma Oparaocha, Mr. Nnamdi Okwuosa,  Barr. (Mrs.) Ogechi Ogu and Barr. (Mrs) Adaobi Aniche.
At the inauguration took place at the Executive Chambers , Government House Imo State,the Governor implored  the commission’s members  to commit  their wealth of experience to deliver on the mandate given to them.
Governor Uzodimma informed that if the State must have a robust and sustainable economy,it must get its power priority right.
He recalled that moving power generation and distribution from the exclusive list of the 1999 Constitution as amended to the concurrent list has given the states the opportunity to source for their power  generation, distribution and transmission.
 Imo State is taking advantage of the alteration in the Constitution to source for her own power and to effectively accomplish the dream, there will be need for audit of Imo state’s assets in the old power company,he said.
He explained that the appointment of professional into the Imo State Electricity Regulatory Commission was to ensure that they liaise with the Federal, State and Local Governments to ensure that the above target  is realised.
He added:”The State Electricity Regulatory Commission is made up of men and women with vast experience in the power sector who can always interface and achieve results without disappointing the expectations of the government.”
He disclosed that has his administration has secured $200million technical and financial support from private partners which will be injected into the Imo power projects.
He disclosed that  all the financial involvement  of the projects will be executed by the partners with Imo contributing no dime.
Expressing his confidence on the power projects,the Governor said that Imo State will soon experience 24 hours power supply in all the Local Government Areas, with the Orashi Electricity Company Limited fully activated to light up Imo next January.
He charged members of the Electricity company Commission to work very hard to ensure they do not disappoint the government and people of Imo State,  assuring that the government will give them all the necessary support and  provide enabling environment they need to succeed.
He further urged the commission’s members to persuade the Federal Government to give back to Imo State her assets in the original power sector to enable them supply power to Imo State.
Speaking,Engr Nwire thanked the Governor for finding them worthy for the appointments,promising that his team will not fail the state.
Strike: FG Mum Over Reversal Of Electricity Tariff Hike

Mohammed Shosanya
The Federal Government has maintained silence over electricity tariff hike and agitation by organised labour for the reversal of same.
The reversal of the tariff was one of the demands of organised labour,which led to almost two-days nationwide industrial action.
At the National Executive Council Meeting of the Nigeria Labour Congress, NLC, and Trade Union Congress, TUC held in Abuja on Tuesday,the organised labour expressed disappointment over government’s silence and lack of concrete action regarding the reversal of the electricity tariff hike and the abolition of the apartheid classification of electricity consumers into Bands.
“The NEC reaffirms that these issues are critical to alleviating the financial burden on Nigerian workers and the general populace. The electricity tariff hike and discriminatory Band classification remain unacceptable and must be addressed alongside the wage increase”,labour said in a communique issued at the end of the meeting.
According to the communique, the NEC-in-Session acknowledges the personal offer by the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria; Bola Ahmed Tinubu to commit to a higher National Minimum Wage above the N60,000 (Sixty thousand Naira) on offer.
The NEC-in-session also frowned at the refusal of the federal government to go beyond the N60,000 (Sixty thousand Naira) at the ongoing national minimum wage negotiation exercise which compelled our withdrawal.
On the agreement with the federal government,the NEC-in-session affirms that the federal government has agreed that their offer of N60,000 (Sixty thousand Naira) was not sufficient and has therefore shown commitment to making better wage offer to Nigerian workers and reaching agreement on the same within one week.
The NEC-in session relaxed for one week the indefinite nationwide strike action  from Tuesday to allow the Federal Government commit to a concrete and acceptable National Minimum Wage; take definitive steps to reverse the electricity tariff hike back to N66/kwh and abolish the discriminatory classification of electricity consumers into Bands.
The communique said:”The NLC and TUC National Leadership are mandated to continue to maintain open channels of communication with the Federal Government to negotiate and secure favourable outcomes for Nigerian workers and people.
“All affiliate unions and State Councils are therefore directed to Relax the indefinite nationwide strike and return to their respective workplaces immediately.
” The NEC-in-Session expresses profound gratitude to Nigerian workers and the general public for their unwavering support and solidarity in this critical struggle for improved living and working conditions.
“The NLC and TUC remain committed to pursuing all necessary actions to protect the rights and welfare of all Nigerian people and workers as we urge all to await further directives while the negotiation continues”.
CNL Steps Up Support For Environmental Restoration,Cleaner Energy

Mohammed Shosanya

Chevron Nigeria Limited,operator of the joint venture between the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited and CNL,has identified with global action on preservation of the environment.

The company said the action aligns with its commitment to protecting the environment while providing affordable, reliable, and ever-cleaner energy that enables human progress.

The global oil company expressed the commitment in a statement to mark this year’s World Environment Day.

The focus for this year is on land restoration, desertification and drought resilience under the slogan “Our land. Our future. We are #GenerationRestoration.


Accordong to the statement,CNL’s operations are conducted with sound environmental management practices in compliance with all applicable laws and regulatory requirements, stakeholder expectations and best industry practices.

This commitment to environmental stewardship,the company said,is a key part of CNL’s Operational excellence integral to project planning and assets life cycle management.

The company places the highest priority on the safety of the people and the environment in its areas of operation.


Jim Swartz, CNL’s Chairman and Managing Director (“CMD”), explains that the theme for the year is consistent with the company’s values and environmental principles anchored on considering the environment in decision making, minimizing environment footprint, operating responsibly, and stewarding our sites.

“We take proactive measures to prevent negative environmental impacts when we do every task or plan projects. We identify and manage risks to the environment and reduce potential environmental impacts throughout the life of our assets.”

Jim speaks further on the company’s focus on environmental stewardship,

“We protect the environment through responsible design, development, operations and improve the integrity and reliability of our systems. We work to decommission, remediate and reclaim applicable sites, following environmental procedures and best practices.”


He also affirms CNL’ s dedication to achieving world class environmental excellence through its risk management process.

“We apply our Environment Risk Management process to identify, assess, mitigate, and manage environmental, community health, and social risks related to our operations”, he said.

He added:”We also conduct regular environmental monitoring of the biodiversity in our onshore, offshore, and deep-water areas, including vegetation, wildlife, fishery, and marine mammals. We use a risk-based approach to manage water and biodiversity risks throughout the lifecycle of our assets and business.”


Esimaje Brikinn, General Manager, Policy, Government and Public Affairs said the company also partners with local communities in its areas of operation to raise awareness and cooperation in implementing environmental sustainability actions.

According to him,CNL’s waste management philosophy covers the entire life cycle of waste and ensures that all the wastes generated from its operations are managed responsibly from cradle to grave, applying its third-party Waste Stewardship process as applicable.

Esimaje cites the company’s mangrove restoration program to demonstrate its dedication to environmental stewardship and proactive approach to addressing the challenges of ecosystem restoration in the Niger Delta.

He said: “As part of our restoration efforts, we successfully restored approximately 18 hectares of land at different sites in our Western Area of operations which suffered fire incidents due to third party interference. The mangrove restoration also enabled CNL to impact the community positively through training of community women on identification of viable mangrove propagules, raising them in the nursery for transplanting of thousands of mangrove seedlings.”

CNL, he added,continues to demonstrate its commitment to environmental stewardship through its lower carbon strategy, focused on lowering the carbon intensity of its operations by implementing methane detection and reduction capabilities. This has enabled CNL to reduce routine gas flaring by over 97% in its operations in the past 10 years, showing its environmental responsibility.

As a corporate member of the Nigerian Environmental Society, CNL promotes the engagement and commitment to environmental protection actions in Nigeria.

In 1992, the company, in partnership with the Nigerian Conservation Foundation (“NCF”), established the Lekki Conservation Centre, as a center of excellence in environmental research and education, which is also reserved as a sanctuary for the rich flora and fauna of the Lekki Peninsula.

Other initiatives include its support for the yearly postgraduate research grants for two PhD students in environment and conservation, instituted by the NCF; the annual S.L. Edu Memorial Lecture to promote environmental management awareness, and partnership with the Lagos State Government and NCF to sponsor the annual Walk for Nature event to create awareness for nature conservation and environmental issues.

According to Esimaje, “CNL’s efforts in environmental stewardship have continued to be recognized and applauded in the Nigerian oil and gas industry. CNL has a long history of working in collaboration with regulators and relevant stakeholders to identify and protect biodiversity in its areas of operation.”

As the world focuses on restoring land, preventing desertification, and coping with drought, CNL remains focused on its environment strategy “to further our ability to help protect and enhance biodiversity, manage waste generation and circularity, reduce air emissions, manage water resources and manage asset retirement requirements,” says Jim Swartz.

CBAAC,Digit A Forge Digital Alliance To Promote African Art

    Mohammed Shosanya
The Centre for Black and African Arts and Civilization (CBAAC) and Digit A, have explored digital alliance to promote African art.
Mr Oswald Osaretin Guobadia , the Managing Partner at Digit A, last Tuesday visited the CBAAC Head Office in Lagos where he was received by the Director -General, Hon. Aisha Adamu Augie.
According to a statement,the visit aimed to explore potential collaborative and partnership opportunities between the two organizations, particularly in promoting African arts, culture and the creative economy through the digitalization of CBAAC’s extensive collection of African Culture Artifacts, Artworks and historical materials from FESTAC ’77.
Both parties were enthusiastic about this intending partnership aiming to enhance the creative economy sector through access to information and cultural arts material just by a click on the internet,the statement said.
It added:”By combining CBAAC’s cultural expertise and Digit A’s technological capabilities, the two organizations are poised to effectively promote and preserve the rich diversity of African arts, culture and the creative economy through the use of computerized technology”
Earlier,the Ministry of Commerce of the People’s Republic of China, in collaboration with Beijing International Chinese College (BICC), organised a seminar for cultural officials from Belt and Road countries.
The statement explained that the aim of the seminar was to promote cultural exchange and cooperation among participating countries, along the Belt and Road initiatives.
The Director-General of the Centre for Black and African Arts and Civilization (CBAAC) Hon. Aisha Adamu Augie; Mr James Sule, the Permanent Secretary of the Federal Ministry of Art, Culture and the Creative Economy; Haj. Zainab Ali Biu of the Federal Ministry of Arts Culture and Creative Economy and Cultural Officials from over 10 countries participated in the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI),attended the event.
Heritage Bank: What You Didn’t Know

Many Nigerians were caught unawares by yesterday’s revocation of the license of Heritage Bank by the CBN, but among many industry operators, it was widely known that the bank has been severely distressed in the last five years.
 Under Godwin Emefiele, the CBN did not have the appetite to close down a bank, and so Heritage was under life support for a long time, relying mostly on borrowing from the CBN and the interbank market to support its businesses.
But Yemi Cardoso is taking the apex bank in a different direction.He’s trimming the workforce, streamlining functions and divesting it from noncore regulatory duties.
 Heritage has therefore become the first bank since the 2005 consolidation to be allowed to crash. There have been a few sick ones since then – notably Intercontinental and Diamond – but they were not liquidated. They were purchased by a healthier one. So, why was Heritage not purchased by one of the stronger banks?
According to CBN’s Revocation Order signed by Cardoso,dated June 3 and seen by this writer, Heritage Bank contravened Section 12 (1) of the Banks and Other Financial Institutions Act (BOFIA) 2020 in five different ways: It has insufficient assets to meet its liabilities; conducted its business in an unsound manner; failed to comply with specific obligations imposed upon it under BOFIA, 2020 and the Central Bank of Nigeria Act as well as rules, regulation, guidelines and directives made under both Acts; is critically undercapitalized with a capital adequacy ratio below the prudential minimum applicable to its license category; and its financial performance and condition constitute a threat to financial stability.
 Based on Heritage Bank’s 2021 audited (but qualified) Statement of Accounts and Annual Report, its net interest income (that is interest income less interest expense) was in the negative. Net interest income measures the profitability of a bank and is a major source of income for a bank.
 It is the difference between what a bank earns as interest on loans and what the bank pays out to depositors as interest on their deposits. Heritage was paying out more to its depositors (mostly interbank lenders and CBN) than what it was earning on loans.
This is largely because the bank’s non-performing loan (NPL) ratio was as high as 81.2 per cent. In other words, Heritage had too much bad loans in its books and so was not earning enough interest income. Out of every N100 it gave out as a loan, N81.2 was bad and unrecoverable. This is a recipe for disaster for any bank.
In addition, the bank’s operating expenses were also higher than its interest income, and so for the 2021 financial year, the bank recorded a loss of N82.928 billion and an accumulated loss of N459 billion. It is the largest loss recorded by any bank in this country in the last 30 years. Heritage Bank’s shareholders’ funds were -N230 billion (Negative N230 billion).
 At 81.2 per cent NPL,accumulated losses of N459 billion and Negative Shareholders’ funds of N230 billion, Heritage was a dead bank in the world of the living. There was nothing to do to revive it. Just imagine putting a cadaver in a shop and claiming that it is the shopkeeper!
You can now understand why no other bank was willing to buy Heritage. A distressed bank is bought for the value it would add to the purchaser despite its ill health.
It could be the large branch network; size of customer base or its retail franchise with considerable savings and current account balances. Diamond Bank was distressed when Access Bank bought it in 2014, but it was an attractive investment because it had a lot of retail customers which Access didn’t have then.
 Intercontinental was very distressed too (I wrote a lengthy article on this in February), but Access went into it because it had a wide branch network which Access didn’t have then. And so, because of these two acquisitions, Access automatically became the nation’s biggest bank by assets and customer base.
Heritage had nothing to offer any potential buyer apart from its long and complicated history which might have been its Achilles heel. It was founded in the 1970s as Société Générale Bank (SGBN), a subsidiary of a French Bank, by the late Kwara politician, Dr. Abubarkar Olusola Saraki. He was the leader of the Senate in the Second Republic under the NPN, and his son, Bukola Saraki, a medical doctor like the father, was Kwara State governor in 2003 and senate President in 2015.
In 2006,the CBN closed down SGBN after the Soludo consolidation for failure to meet the N25 billion minimum capital requirement. But SGBN successfully challenged the closure in court.
 In December 2012,the CBN reissued SGBN promoters a regional banking license and with new new owners, the bank was rebranded as Heritage Banking Company Ltd. It opened for business under the new name in March 2013. Heritage was eager to grow inorganically, and so it acquired Enterprise Bank, a distressed bank formerly known as Afribank, from AMCON (Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria) in 2015 for N56.1 billion.
 A rebranded distressed bank buying another rebranded distressed bank! The Holy Book says ‘‘when the foundation is weak, what can the righteous do?’’ (Psalms 11:3).
Now,the NDIC has its job cut out for it. It should move quickly to take possession of whatever remains of Heritage, liquidate it and pay off the insured depositors. There are a few lessons to learn from this, and we shall explore it in the next article.
One Die, 30 Trapped In Niger Mine Accident

Mohammed Shosanya
One person has been confirmed dead, six others seriously injured when a mine collapsed in Galkogo village, Shiroro Local Government Area of Niger state.
Besides,thirty others including the Manager of the mine are still trapped in the collapsed mine.
The Director-General of the Niger State Emergency Management Agency (NSEMA),Alhaji Abdullahi Baba Arah confirmed the incident on Tuesday.
Arah said the Mine belongs to, “African Minirals and Logistics Limited”.
Attributing the collapse to ”Persistent rainfall impacts that softened the soil”, Arah said the rescuers who rushed to the scene had to run for dear lives because the soil kept melting and falling inside due to its softness caused by rainfall.
Though an excavator had been sent to the area to assist in the rescue operation the area is inaccessible because of the nature of the environment and the area is one of the strong holds of armed bandits.
The NSEMA Director-General has also confirmed that armed banditry is causing serious setbacks to rescue of the trapped miners.
He further explained that ”persistent banditry activities in some Shiroro and Mashegu local government communities in the last four days.
According to him, “Adogo Mallam village was attacked on Sunday, leading to the kidnap of six persons”.
“We also had reports of another incident on Monday  at Tunga Kawo community, located about three kilometres away from Erena village Shiroro Local Government, over 20 persons were kidnapped with hundreds of cows rustled when bandits attacked the community”.