Total Energies has joined the league of foreign oil companies exiting the Nigerian oil market, after operating in the market for over 60 years as the French multinational announced plan to sell its minority stake in a Nigerian oil joint venture. In a conference call monitored by Bloomberg, Total Energies’ Chief Executive, Patrick Pouyanne said the company is planning to offload its 10 percent interest in a firm that holds 20 onshore and shallow water permits in the country. “Disruption of local communities are sources of great concerns” in the country, Pouyanne said. This development means Total Energies may join the two foreign oil companies that have sold their assets and discontinued business in Nigeria. The first was UK-based Royal Dutch Shell in July 2021, just one month before the Petroleum Industry Bill was signed into law by President Muhammadu Buhari. Seven months after it was signed, another oil major, US-based ExxonMobil joined Shell to quit the Nigerian oil market, by taking out its investment in Mobil Producing Nigeria Unlimited.

The police in Rivers State have arrested Farah Dagogo, a Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) governorship aspirant in the state on the orders of Governor Nyesom Wike. Mr Dagogo, a federal lawmaker representing Degema/Bonny Federal Constituency. was arrested while appearing for the screening of the PDP governorship aspirants in Port Harcourt, according to a Facebook post from his spokesperson, Ibrahim Lawal. “Mr Dagogo was arrested in the governorship screening hall by some police officers and taken to an unknown location,” he said in the post on Thursday. Governor Wike had declared the lawmaker wanted for allegedly hiring thugs to attack the PDP secretariat in Port Harcourt. Mr Dagogo has denied the allegation, instead accusing Mr Wike of trying to prevent him from appearing before the party’s screening panel this Thursday. The federal lawmaker had promised to report to the state police command after the governorship screening if invited.

Two Emirs and a district head have been removed by the Zamfara state government over allegations of aiding the activities of bandits terrorising communities in the state. The Emirs are the Emir of Zurmi, Abubakar Atiku and the Emir of Dansadau, Hussaini Umar, while the district head is Sulaiman Ibrahim, of Birnin Tsaba. The state information commissioner, Mr Ibrahim Dosara made the announcement at the end of the State Executive Council meeting in Gusau, the state capital. “The council has approved the deposition of Emir of Zurmi, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, and that of Dansadau, Alhaji Hussaini Umar,” he declared. “The council also approved the immediate removal of the District Head of Birnin-Tsaba, Alhaji Sulaiman Ibrahim.” According to the commissioner, the government has also ordered that all land titles issued by the affected traditional leaders be revoked. “The State Executive Council has also directed the state Ministry of Justice to issue an executive order to back up the council’s resolution,” he added. The deposition of the traditional leaders comes 10 months after they were suspended by the state government. It also comes days after the submission of the reports of the committees set up by the state government to investigate the allegations against the affected traditional rulers. “The three impeached royal fathers were earlier suspended by the state government following wide allegations of serious involvement in the act of banditry in the state,” said a statement by Governor Bello Matawalle’s media aide, Zailani Bappa.

Algeria has warned that it would terminate gas supplies to Spain, if the Spanish government sold any Algerian gas to other countries, citing what it said was a Spanish decision to supply gas to Morocco via a pipeline. Algeria has previously said it will stick to its contract with Spain despite withdrawing its ambassador over a dispute between the two countries relating to the Moroccan-held territory of Western Sahara. Meanwhile, Spain’s energy ministry confirmed it planned to ship gas to Morocco but stressed that none of that gas would be of Algerian origin. North African gas supplies to Europe have grown increasingly important this year as the Ukraine crisis has cast doubt on Russian energy exports, and Algeria has agreed to raise its supply to Italy. Algeria wants to take advantage of higher demand for its gas after years of declining energy sales that have eaten into its foreign currency reserves. Ties between old rivals Algeria and Morocco have worsened over the past two years and last year Algeria broke off diplomatic ties with its neighbour. Algeria supports the Polisario Front movement that is seeking independence for Western Sahara, a territory seen by Morocco as its own. Spain, last month said it backed Rabat’s plans to offer the territory, autonomy. Algeria also decided last year not to extend a deal to export gas through a pipeline running through Morocco to Spain that made up nearly all of Morocco’s gas supply. It is supplying Spain through a direct subsea pipeline and by vessel. Morocco now wants to import liquefied natural gas (LNG) from Spain by reversing the flow of the pipeline while it moves to develop its own longer-term LNG import terminals. Algerian Energy Minister Mohamed Arkab was reported to have received an email from his Spanish counterpart notifying him of Spain’s decision to allow a reverse flow of the pipeline.  Last week Algerian President Abdulmadjid Tebboune said “We assure the Spanish friends, the Spanish people that Algeria will never abandon its commitment to supply Spain with gas under any circumstances.”