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NNPC TO SHUT DOWN REFINERIES – BARU

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The Group Managing Director of Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Dr Maikanti Baru, has said that the nation’s three refineries would be shut down briefly for an overhaul for optimal performance.

Baru stated this in Abuja on Wednesday on the sidelines of the inaugural Nigerian Pipeline Security Conference and Exhibition, organised by the Pipeline Association of Nigeria (PLAN).

According to Baru, the comprehensive rehabilitation is aimed at bringing the refineries in Warri, Kaduna and Port Harcourt back to their nameplate production capacities.

The NNPC boss expressed optimism that the refineries would return as new facilities after the overhaul ahead of Nigeria’s plan to stop the importation of petroleum products by 2019.

“As you know, it has been the perception of the public that the repairs of the refineries are never done thoroughly; so this time, our intention is to shut down the refineries when we are ready.

“We will then fully bring them back to what they should be as new refineries. Obviously, it is going to be a complex procedure; and as such, we have to breakdown the various work packages to ensure that all the various workforce have sufficient focus,’’ Baru said.

He explained that the eight committees on the refineries’ rehabilitation that were inaugurated comprised top management officials that would be having a day-to-day look at the work streams.

“We intend to focus on the repairs of the refineries with all that it takes to ensure that by the time we are done by 2019, these refineries will be as good as new,’’ he said.

In an address at the event, Baru said the incessant breakages of critical crude oil pipelines such as the Trans Niger Pipeline (TNP) and Forcados, had contributed to the recession the country experienced.

He said in 2016, the TNP and Forcados collectively recorded breaks on their various segments, which resulted in about 700,000 barrels per day (bpd) of oil production.

“In 2016, the Trans Niger Pipeline (TNP) with a capacity of 150,000 bpd was breached 39 times. Year-To-Date 2017, we have recorded 27 breaching incidents on the TNP.

“For the Trans Forcados Pipeline (TFP) with a capacity of 300,000 bpd, we recorded 17 breaches in 2016 while Year-To-Date 2017, we have recorded at least 15 breaching incidents on the TFP.

“On the average in 2016, about 700,000 barrels of oil per day were deferred due to pipeline vandalism,” he explained.

He further said towards the end of first and second quarter of 2016, the attacks on pipeline reached the highest point when the two major crude oil export pipelines of Forcados Oil Terminal (FOT) and Qua Iboe Terminal (QIT) were lost due to sabotage.

“Nigerian daily production during the period went down as low as 1.3 million barrels from 2.2 million barrels targeted during the same period.

“Similarly, because of the inter relationship between the crude pipeline and condensate evacuation from the gas plants, power generation in the country also dropped significantly as the gas plants had to shut down, thereby resulting in shortages in gas supply to power.

“At present, huge amount of money is spent on protecting these pipelines which significantly add to the cost of production.

“The foregoing summarises the effect of pipeline vandalism and therefore underscores the importance of protecting our pipeline system and treating them as national assets.

“The huge capital investment made in the pipeline network across the country should trigger more resolute determination to finding lasting solutions to the perennial challenges threatening the future of pipeline infrastructure in the country,” Baru said.

Earlier, a statement from Mr Ndu Ughamadu, the NNPC Group General Manager, Group Public Affairs Division, said the corporation was working in line with President Muhammadu Buhari’s mandate to rehabilitate the three refineries.

Ughamadu said that more than 28 Expressions of Interest (EoIs) had been received so far by the corporation from private funding sources for the refineries’ rehabilitation project, adding it was expecting more EoIs by the end of the year.

Ughamadu quoted Baru as saying: “We want to show everyone that we can fully run the refineries. You must all work together to operate them at 100 per cent capacity as this was the only way to ensure profitability.

“We can fix the refineries but without the right people to operate them, they would go back to where they were or even worse.’’

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Awosika Replaces Belo-Olusoga as Access Bank Chairman

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Mrs Ajoritsedere Awosika has been announced as the new Chairman of Access Bank Plc. She will replace the present occupier of the position, Mrs Mosun Belo-Olusoga, who is expected to retire in January 2020.

A statement issued by the lender explained that Mrs Belo-Olusoga will retire from the post on January 8, 2020 on completion of her maximum 12-year term limit allowed by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN)’s Code of Corporate Governance for Banks and Discount Houses.

In the statement, Access Bank said Mrs Belo-Olusoga, who became the Chairman of the board in July 2015, confirmed that she has no disagreement with the board and there are no issues relating to her retirement that need to be brought to the attention of the shareholders of the company or the regulatory authorities.

‘The board of directors of Access Bank Plc is pleased to announce that its Chairman, Mrs Mosun Belo-Olusoga, will be retiring in January 2020.

“This follows her completion of the maximum 12-year term limit allowed by the Central Bank of Nigeria’s Code of Corporate Governance for Banks and Discount Houses. Mrs Belo-Olusoga became the Chairman of the Board in July 2015.

“Mrs Belo-Olusoga has confirmed that she has no disagreement with the Board and there are no issues relating to her retirement that need to be brought to the attention of the shareholders of the Company or the regulatory authorities,” a part of the notice read.

It also thanked Mrs Belo-Olusoga for her contributions to the bank’s transformational growth, wishing her successor, Mrs Awosika, success in her new appointment.

The lender said the appointment of Mrs Awosika as its new Chairman was in line with its robust leadership succession plan so as to lead the company to its the next phase of transformation into becoming Africa’s Gateway to the World.

Mrs Awosika joined the board in April 2013 as an Independent Non-Executive Director and has been the Chairman and Vice Chairman of the Board Credit and Finance Committee and the Board Audit Committee respectively in addition to membership of other Board Committees.

She is an accomplished administrator with over three decades experience in public sector governance. She was at various times, the Permanent Secretary in the Federal Ministries of Internal Affairs, Science & Technology and Power.

Mrs Awosika is a fellow of the Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria (PSN) and the West African Postgraduate College of Pharmacy. She holds a Doctorate degree in Pharmaceutical Technology from the University of Bradford, United Kingdom.

She is the Chairman of Chams Plc and Josephine Consulting Limited and a Non-Executive Director of Capital Express Assurance Ltd.

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Seplat Picks CFO Brown to Replace Avuru as CEO

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The Chief Financial Officer (CFO) of Seplat Petroleum Development Company Plc, Mr Roger Brown, will from August 1, 2020, be the new Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the energy firm.

A statement from the company said Mr Brown will take charge of day-to-day activities of Seplat upon the retirement of the present CEO, Mr Austin Avuru, who steps down on July 31, 2020,

For a decade, Mr Avuru piloted affairs of the company, making it a strong organisation, with the deployment of agile systems, processes and stakeholder relationships that allowed the firm to grow rapidly from  a gross production of 22,700 boepd as at December 2010 to peaks of 111,368 boepd gross production as at December 2018 through major drilling campaigns and major new Oil and Gas plants development.

The acquisition of 40 percent of OML 53, post company’s IPO of 2014, created an opportunity in partnership with NNPC, to spawn a mid-stream subsidiary, ANOH Gas Processing Company Ltd currently progressing what will ultimately be a 300MMscf/d of Gas, 22,500bdp of condensate and 1,200boepd of LPG processing company.

Seplat said it could not have achieved all these without Mr Avuru’s leadership skills, personal dedication and hard work, at the head of the company.

“The board of Seplat is grateful to Mr Avuru for these accomplishments and is looking forward to his continued service at the board level,” the statement said.

The energy company said looking forward, it plans to position itself for a next phase growth ambition which would see the expansion of its footprint in terms of energy business activities, a plan to pursue offshore assets as well as opportunity driven entry into different geographies.

The company said it believes that such a corporate transition would require a different kind of organisational structure, people skills set and mentality to compete well in the expanded space, noting that in view of this, it would be reviewing its current organisational and systems structure.

It said to lead the aspiration, it had to settle for Mr Brown to succeed Mr Avuru as CEO so as to lead the restructuring during the transition period between now and final exit date of the present leader.

Mr Brown joined Seplat in 2013 as the CFO and played a key role in the successful dual listing of the company in 2014. Since he joined the firm, he has played significant roles in various asset acquisitions by the company.

Prior to joining Seplat, Mr Brown was an advisor to the company since 2010 while he was the Managing Director and head of EMEA Oil and Gas at Standard Bank Group.

During his time at the bank, he was instrumental in providing advice and deploying capital across the African continent in the oil/gas, power/infrastructure and the renewable energy sectors.

“Mr Brown brings to the CEO role, a deep knowledge of the company in his 6 years as the CFO and a member of the board. He has strong financial, commercial and M&A experience as well as proven people skills which will be an asset as the company embarks on the next phase of its growth plan,” the statement stated.

“While we thank Mr Avuru for a meritorious service, we welcome Mr Brown and wish him every success in his upcoming new role,” the company concluded.

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El-Rufai backs border closure, says ‘some countries closed their borders for centuries, decades’

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Governor Nasir El-Rufai of Kaduna State has backed Federal Government’s closure of land borders.

According to him, it is unfair for smaller countries to be sabotaging a big country like Nigeria.

El-Rufai who was a special guest at the graduation of Senior Course Three of the Nigeria Customs Command and Staff College, Gwagwalada, Abuja on Friday said the step taken was commendable.

He explained that Nigeria like any other country like to trade with other countries but added that there must be fairness.

The governor noted that closure of the borders should be sustained until there were established deals that covered every country.

“The partial closure of borders is highly commendable. Nigeria is the largest country in West Africa and the continent and it is clear that our neighbours are using our openness and brotherhood to trade, to exploit us.

“I fully support and subscribe to the closure of borders and we should sustain it for as long as possible.

“We need to do this for our country to have a fair deal and for our manufacturers to be protected.

“All those talking about free trade or preaching about it today closed their borders for centuries and decades ago.

“Nigeria must grow its own internal capacity, we will not do so if we allow our neighbours to use the porosity of our borders to sabotage our economy,’’ he explained.

El-Rufai, however, commended the physical development at the Customs Command College in Gwagwalada.

He lauded the effort of the current Customs boss for his reform agenda.

“I am impressed with what I have seen on ground in terms of physical development as well as the content”.

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