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NEITI Alleges Oil Worth $42bn Stolen in 10 Years

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Crude oil and refined products worth $41.9bn were stolen from Nigeria in the last 10 years, the Nigeria Extractive Industries Initiative has said.

NEITI also urged the government to embrace oil fingerprinting technology, comprehensive metering infrastructure of all facilities and other creative strategies to combat the growing menace of theft of Nigeria’s crude oil and refined petroleum products.

It said these in a policy brief released in Abuja on Wednesday.

A breakdown by the organisation showed that the nation lost $38.5bn on crude theft alone, $1.56bn on domestic crude and another $1.8bn on refined petroleum products between 2009 and 2018.

NEITI expressed concerns that in the face of current dwindling revenues, paying priority attention to curb oil theft in the country’s oil and gas industry had become both necessary and urgent to expand revenue generation.

The report further disclosed that Nigeria lost an average of $11m daily, which translated to $349m in a month and about $4.2bn annually to crude and product losses arising from stealing, process lapses and pipeline vandalism.

It said, “While figures from government put the loss at between 150,000 and 250,000 barrels per day, data from private studies estimated the figure to be between 200,000 and 400,000bpd.

“This implies that Nigeria may be losing up to a fifth of its daily crude oil production to oil thieves and pipeline vandals.”

On comparative analysis of the size and implication of the losses to the country’s current dwindling revenue profile, NEITI renewed its appeal to the government to curb oil theft to reduce budget deficits and external borrowing.

The transparency agency stated that the value of crude oil and allied products so far lost was equal to the size of Nigeria’s entire foreign reserves.

“Stemming this haemorrhage and leakages should be an urgent priority for Nigeria at a time of dwindling revenues and increasing needs,” the report stated.

According to the NEITI report, what the country lost in 20 months in fiscal terms was enough to finance the proposed budget deficit for 2020.

It said that what the nation lost in 15 months would be enough to cover total the proposed borrowing or increased capital budget by 100 per cent.

NEITI added “In terms of volume, 138.000 barrels of crude oil was lost every day for the past 10 years, representing seven per cent of average production of two million bpd.

“Nigeria lost more than 505 million barrels of crude oil and 4.2 billion litres of petroleum products between 2009 and 2018.

“What is stolen, spilled or shut-in represents lost revenue, which ultimately translates to services that government cannot provide for citizens already in dire need of critical public goods.”

The report further identified other effects of oil theft to the nation to include pipeline vandalism, criminal sabotage and illegal refineries in oil producing communities.

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Lawan: NASS Will Approve Any Request from Buhari

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The President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan, on Thursday said any request from President Muhammadu Buhari would make Nigeria a better place, and such would be acted on “expeditiously.”

Lawan spoke when the Chairman, Presidential Advisory Committee Against Corruption, Itse Sagay visited him in his office on Thursday.

Sagay had called for the timely passage of the Special Criminal Court and other similar bills, saying such would  help the anti-corruption war and ensure that the fight was successfully won with speed and energy.

He also appealed to the Senate to consider the confirmation of the acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Ibrahim Magu.

Responding, Lawan said, “This is a new Senate. Going by our rules and I believe that goes for the House of Reps too, any issue that was not concluded in the last National Assembly, will have to start all over again.

“So, as far as we are concerned, those bills will have to come again and start to go through the process from the very beginning.

“We are ready. In fact, we are in a haste if those bills are ready for us to start working on them.”

Lawan said there was no request before the Senate for the confirmation of the acting chairman of the EFCC.

“I want to assure you that any request that comes from Mr President is a request that will make Nigeria a better place in terms of appointments or legislation.

“When such request comes, the Senate will act expeditiously to ensure that we play our part in the confirmation or passing of legislation appropriately.”

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Buhari Hails Jonathan @ 62, Says His Humility, Patriotism Will Continue to Resonate

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President Muhammadu Buhari has praised former President Goodluck Jonathan’s humility and patriotism, saying that the qualities will continue to resonate.

This is contained in a message to congratulate his predecessor, who has turned 62.

The message, signed by his media aide, Mr Femi Adesina, reads, “President Muhammadu Buhari felicitates former President Goodluck Jonathan on his 62nd birthday, joining the nation in praying for longer life, good health and more strength to keep serving the nation.

“President Buhari rejoices with family, friends and political associates of the former president, lauding him for good counsels to leaders within and outside Nigeria since he left office, sharing his experience of serving at different levels of governance.

“President Buhari believes the former President’s legacy of humility and patriotism will continue to resonate, inspiring generations to come on the sacrifices made for the stability of democracy and promotion of sustainable development.

“The President wishes the former President and his family more years of joyful celebrations.”

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Tottenham Hotspur: Pochettino Out, Jose Mourinho In

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Jose Mourinho was on Wednesday appointed Tottenham’s new manager to replace the sacked Mauricio Pochettino, with the club languishing 14th in the Premier League.

The Portuguese former Chelsea, Real Madrid and Manchester United manager signed a contract until the end of the 2022/23 season, the north London club said in a statement.

Pochettino, 47, transformed Spurs’ fortunes after arriving from Southampton in 2014 and although he failed to win a trophy he took the club to the Champions League final for the first time in their history just six months ago.

But the Argentine was sacked on Tuesday, with Tottenham struggling in the league after picking up just three wins from their opening 12 games.

This season they were knocked out of the League Cup by fourth-tier Colchester United and suffered an embarrassing 7-2 defeat at home to Bayern Munich in the Champions League.

“I am excited to be joining a club with such a great heritage and such passionate supporters,” said Mourinho, who has won domestic titles in a record four different countries.

“The quality in both the squad and the academy excites me. Working with these players is what has attracted me.”

Spurs Chairman Daniel Levy said: “In Jose we have one of the most successful managers in football. He has a wealth of experience, can inspire teams and is a great tactician.

“He has won honours at every club he has coached. We believe he will bring energy and belief to the dressing room.”

Spurs hailed their new boss, saying in their statement: “Jose is one of the world’s most accomplished managers having won 25 senior trophies.”

He won Champions League titles with Porto and Inter Milan.

The 56-year-old Portuguese won three Premier League titles over two spells in charge of Chelsea and returned to England to manage Manchester United in 2016.

Mourinho was sacked last December following a poor run of results and has been out of work since, most recently working as a TV pundit.

His first match in charge will be the London derby away to West Ham on Saturday.

(AFP)

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