The prosecutor at the ongoing trial hearing into the corruption case involving the purchase of a Nigerian oilfield in 2011 by the Italian oil group and Royal Dutch Shell, Fabio De Pasquale, said officials from Eni sought to convince a witness, a former Eni manager, Armanna, to withdraw some statements he made during investigations into the case. Armanna is both a defendant and a prosecution witness in the corruption trial. Eni has denied any wrongdoing in the trial, which it is accused of buying a Nigerian offshore oilfield licence, Oil Prospecting Licence 245, in the knowledge that most of the $1.3 billion purchase price would be siphoned off to agents and middlemen in corrupt payments. Shell, a partner in the purchase, is also on trial for corruption over the deal, it also denies of any wrongdoing. Armanna, who led Eni’s project to acquire the oilfield, had told investigators that he was informed by a security official for the then Nigerian president that $50 million had been set aside for top Eni management under the deal. Armanna declined to comment to Reuters late on Wednesday on the allegation he was approached to withdraw some of his testimony. He has always denied wrongdoing. In a related development, the Chief Executive, Eni, Claudio Descalzi, has sued a former legal adviser to the company for defamation after excerpts of the lawyer’s written testimony relating to the OPL 245 case were published in several newspapers on Wednesday. Eni described the allegations as completely groundless. 
 
Dangote Cement produces about eight million bags of cement daily, the company’s Group Managing Director, Joseph Makoju, has said. He also said the company has been ranked among top 10 producers of cement in the world. Speaking at the presentation of a new GAC GA3S car to the star winner of the ongoing National Consumer Promotion in Ibadan zone, Makoju said the robotic technology made such production easy. Such has given it the opportunity to ensure 24-hour monitoring of product quality. On a daily basis, the firm dispatches about 40,000 tonnes of cement. Every ton is 20 bags, which by calculation, amounts to the eight million bags, Makoju said. 
 
The Transmission Company of Nigeria said the country’s electricity market is currently in the worst state following its incessant drop since the privatisation of the distribution and generation arms of the sector in 2013. The present state of the power market, according to TCN, is connected to the inability of participants, particularly power distribution companies, to comply with stipulated rules of engagement. The Market Operator, Edmund Eje, told the Punch that the power market was currently seeking sustainability, stability and transparency. The TCN had resolved to enforce the market rules which it had powers to enforce in order to forestall an eventual collapse of the power sector. Eje also noted that the TCN had recently suspended some power distributors for defaulting in the renewal of their security deposits/guarantees, which would have crippled the activities of TCN and the sector if it was not checked. Last week, the FG lifted the suspension of Enugu, Eko and Ikeja power distribution companies and reconnect them to the national grid after the Discos paid the stipulated fines attached to the infractions they committed and fixed the deficiencies in their respective systems.
 
French carmaker Renault and Nigerian conglomerate Coscharis Group have formed a partnership to assemble and distribute Renault vehicles in Nigeria, the companies said on Thursday. According to the deal, the Coscharis Group plant will start assembling Renault Logan and Renault Duster vehicles and will distribute the cars through their sales network throughout Nigeria from October. The CEO, Coscharis Group, Cosmas Maduka said the deal is to further create value as a key player in the automobile industry in Nigeria as the milestone marks another step in the evolution of Coscharis towards remaining timeless in its relevance. Renault is a leading auto company in Africa, holding 18 percent market share. Last year, the firm sold more than 216,000 cars in the continent, with the most volume being moved in Morocco, Algeria, South Africa and Egypt. The automaker is responding to the demands of a new emerging middle class in countries such as Nigeria. According to the senior vice president and chairman of Africa, Middle East and India Pacific region of Renault, Fabrice Cambolive, Nigeria is a strategic country where Groupe Renault will extend its footprint, considering the country’s population of over 200 million.