Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria Ltd (SPDC), yesterday, said it had suspended plans to sell its onshore oil assets in Nigeria, in compliance with a Supreme Court ruling, which said it had to wait for the outcome of an appeal over a 2019 oil spill. Managing Director of SPDC and Chairman of Shell Companies in Nigeria, Osagie Okunbor, in a statement, said: “The Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria Ltd (SPDC) complies with the law, including any court orders, and respects the judiciary and its role in upholding the rule of law.
“Recent media reports regarding the June 16 Supreme Court proceedings does not accurately reflect SPDC’s response to the order. SPDC will continue to comply with the Supreme Court’s order to maintain the status quo. We have a strong belief in the merits of our case, which we are vigorously defending.”
In a separate statement, the London-based company said: “Shell welcomes the Nigerian Supreme Court’s decision to hear the appeal of Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria Ltd in this case. Until the outcome of SPDC’s appeal, Shell will not progress the divestment of its interest in SPDC.”
MEANWHILE, Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN) and Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority (NMDPRA) have returned to the trenches over an alleged payment of N74 billion in transport claims.
While the management of NMDPRA declared it had remitted the huge sum into the coffers of independent marketers, IPMAN is threatening legal action unless the downstream authority substantiates its claim.
The management of NMDPRA had, on Wednesday, July 29, 2022, declared it paid N74 billion to IPMAN in the past seven months.
In a counter reaction, Chairman of IPMAN (Northern chapter), Alhaji Bashir Danmalam, debunked NMDPRA’s claims, insisting IPMAN has not received such amount of money as branded.
Danmalam, who disclosed IPMAN’s stand while addressing journalists in Kano, said the marketers would be left with no option but to seek redress.
He challenged the management of NMDPRA to come up with the names of all the marketers paid, adding: “I’m surprised to hear the story on payment of the N74 billion claims by the chief executive of the agency, Faruk Ahmed Maishanu. Either he was misinformed or he does not know what is happening in the place.
“Who and who were paid the money? I know some of the marketers who are being owed N10 billion each. So, for him to say that the agency paid N74 billion to marketers is not true. We can only agree with the said payment if the money was paid to ghost marketers or if it was part of the rejected waybill.”
THIS came as the House of Representatives asked the Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC) to establish more depots across the country and regulate the operations of private depot owners.
It noted that if more fuel depots were established, fuel scarcity would be curbed, while more employment opportunities would be created, thus improving the country’s economy.
A member, Kingsley Uju, in a motion, titled: ‘Need to establish more petrol depots in Nigeria’, stated during plenary, yesterday, that there are insufficient depots in the country.
According to the lawmaker, an estimated 100 million litres of bad petrol imported into the country has caused fuel scarcity with the consequent effect of adulteration of the product by black market vendors.
In another development, civil rights advocacy group, Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA) faulted the alleged diversion of $7 billion petrol subsidy under the current administration.
In a statement, National Coordinator, Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko, urged civil society organisations and rights activists to drag the government to court.
He said: “The claim of the House of Representatives on diversion of petrol subsidy to the tune of $7 billion, if substantiated, is another proof that the government of President Buhari is infested with corrupt people who pretend to be saints.”