The Shell Petroleum Development Company has received another order from the Nigerian Senate to respect its earlier resolution that mandated it to pay ₦6.9 billion to some oil producing communities in the Niger Delta region. The new order followed a protest by the communities over the refusal of SPDC to comply with the resolutions of the Senate. A firm, Bekele Jones and Associates, had sent a petition complaining about the non-payment of the accumulated rentals and expired leases. The firm specifically said that the non-payment of the outstanding rentals is for the Port Harcourt Oloibiri pipeline, the Oloibiri field, and the entire Utapate /Akwa Ibom fields. The Senate leadership, through the office of the Clerk to the National Assembly, conveyed its position to the oil firm upon receipt. The letter, signed by the Clerk to the National Assembly, Mohammed Sani-Omolori, was addressed separately to the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha, and MD, SPDC. The Senate resolved that the firm should pay a uniform rate of ₦600,000 per hectare of land as rent per annum for all loss of use of surface rights from 2014 and also directed the multinational company to “cancel all long term leases of 99 years already imposed on landowners and comply with the provisions of the Oil Pipeline Act which stipulates a term of 20 years only.”
The team handling the Bakassi Deep Seaport project, Feedback Infrastructure Services, have said that the port is expected to be the second trade port in Nigeria, after the Apapa port. FIS made the claim during the presentation of the second Outline Business Case before the Cross River state governor, Ben Ayade, and members of the State’s Executive Council. The 20-metre port project stands a chance of attracting high net worth individuals for investment and funding, the governor said, quoting the Managing Director of FIS, Nnachi Onuoha. Ayade then named China Harbour as a core investor in the project. The firm did the geophysical survey, and provided the baseline data for the actual location of the port. The Bakassi Deep Seaport is expected to balance the distortion in economic equilibrium in Nigeria.
As of 31 December, 2018, Nigeria’s total debt stood at ₦24.39 trillion, a ₦2.66 trillion or 12.25 percent increase from 2017’s ₦21.725 trillion. A breakdown of the debt profile given by the DMO showed that external debt and the domestic component stood at ₦7.76 trillion and ₦16.61 trillion respectively. According to the DMO’s Director General, Patience Oniha, the debt figure comprised those owed by federal, state governments and the FCT. The debt owned by the FG accounted for 78 percent of the figure, while states and the FCT accounted for 22 percent. The FG had an external debt stock of ₦6.4 trillion while the domestic component stood at ₦17.11 trillion. A further breakdown shows that the FG’s domestic debt stock comprised ₦331.12 billion Promissory Notes issued to oil marketing companies and state governments in December 2018. Oniha added that the states and the FCT have external debt of ₦1.25 trillion and ₦3.85 trillion domestic debts, or a total of ₦5.15 trillion.
The FG has ordered the suspension of all mining activities in Zamfara state following a protest against killings in the state. It also ordered all foreigners engaged in the mining activities to leave the state within 48 hours. The Acting Inspector-General of Police, Muhammed Adamu, explained that the order was part of measures to check banditry in the state. According to Adamu, the suspension followed an “intelligence report that has clearly established a strong and glaring nexus between the activities of armed bandits and illicit miners -with both mutually re-enforcing each other.’’ Consequently, any mining operator who engages in mining activities in the affected locations henceforth will have his licence revoked.