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DPR, NOSDRA Investigate Alleged Seplat Oil Leaks in Delta Communities

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DPR, NOSDRA Investigate Oil leakage in Delta Communities

The oil industry regulator, the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR), is investigating incidents of oil leaks allegedly linked to Seplat Petroleum operations in two communities in Delta State.

Department of Petroleum Resources

This investigation is being conducted together with the National Oil Spill Detection and Response Agency (NOSDRA), and Delta State Ministry of Environment, with the assistance of the company.

Seplat is a leading indigenous energy company operating in the Niger Delta region.

Recently, a few households in Okpe and Sapele communities in the state complained over the alleged presence of hydrocarbons in their shallow water wells.

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According to Seplat Petroleum, after receiving the protest letters from the two communities, activated its emergency response mechanism to unravel the details about the incident.

The company said the mechanism included the constitution of an investigation team to probe the reported incident and ascertain its authenticity, while proffering solutions.

The team comprised the DPR, NOSDRA, and Delta State Ministry of Environment, which conducted a joint investigation visit to the affected communities, alongside the Seplat emergency response team.

Apart from the investigation team, Seplat said it has continued to take particular interest in the safety and welfare of residents of the two affected communities.

“Seplat has prioritized the safety of the residents of the affected area by providing potable water and secured the water wells from access,” the company said.

“None of the wells has any signs of hydrocarbon in the water. No oil leaks or seepages have been traced back to the Seplat operated facilities,” it added.

The company promised to continue supporting the investigation and provide palliatives to the households in line with its health, safety and environment culture in all areas of its operations.

Apart from carrying out regular checks of other water boreholes in the adjoining vicinity, the company said it has drilled additional test boreholes for the people.

While acknowledging the cooperation of the affected households and communities for their peaceful handling of the issue, the company reassured them of efforts to expedite the investigation to unravel the root cause of the incident.

Seplat said it has built strong partnerships with its vital local communities, promoting trust and confidence amongst its various stakeholders, ultimately resulting in a stable operating environment that facilitates the creation of shared value.

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Economy

NGX key indicators drop further by 0.79% on profit taking

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By Gistflash News

July 29, 2021

Trading at the nation’s bourse extended losing streak on Thursday, with  key market indicators nosediving by 0.79 per cent following profit taking in UACN and Union Bank of Nigeria.

Specifically, the All-Share Index lost 306.21 points or 0.79 per cent to close at 38,484.82 from 38,791.03 recorded on Wednesday.

Accordingly, month-to-date gain moderated to 1.5 per cent, while year-to-date loss increased to 4.4 per cent.

Also, the market capitalisation which opened at N20.210 trillion shed N159 billion to close at N20.051 trillion.

The negative performance was buoyed by investors’ sell-off sentiments in all the major market sectors, excluding the insurance sector that increased by 3.24 per cent.

The market negative performance was driven by price depreciation in large and medium capitalised stocks amongst which were; BUA Cement, UACN, Flour Mills, NASCON Allied Industries and Guaranty Trust Bank Holding Company (GTCO).

An analysis of the price movement table indicated that market sentiment closed negative with breadth 22 stocks laggards in relative to 17 gainers.

Oando led the losers’ chart in percentage terms by 9.70 per cent to close at N4.75 per share.

UACN followed with 8.93 per cent to close at N10.20, while Linkage Assurance lost 7.69 per cent to close at 60k per share.

FTN Cocoa Processors dipped 7.55 per cent to close at 49k, while UPDC shed 5.56 per cent to close at N1.19 per share.

On the other hand, Tripple Gee & Company recorded the highest gain to lead the gainers’ table with 10 per cent to close at 99k per share.

Regency Alliance Insurance trailed with 9.76 per cent to close at 45k, while Consolidated Hallmark Insurance went up by 9.26 per cent to close at 59k per share.

Prestige Assurance rose by 8.89 per cent to close at 49k, while Academy Press gained 8.57 per cent to close at 38k per share.

The total volume of trades rose by 9.5 per cent to 259.97 million units valued at N1.98 billion exchanged in 4,975 deals.

This was in contrast with 237.51 million shares worth N1.88 billion traded in 4,305 deals on Wednesday.

Transactions in the shares of Oando topped the activity chart with 56.25 million shares valued  N288.49 million.

GTCO came second with 15.29 million shares worth N444.93 million, while Jaiz Bank traded 14.89 million shares valued  N9.22 million.

Fidelity Bank traded 14.39 million shares worth N34.24 million, while Wema Bank transacted 12.22 million shares worth N10.08 million.

NAN

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Economy

Forex: Financial expert urges CBN to exercise caution on BDCs ban

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By Gistflash News

July 28, 2021

A Financial Expert, Mr Okechukwu Unegbu, has urged the Central Bank  of Nigeria (CBN) to be cautious of its recent “blanket’’  ban placed  on Bureau de Change (BDC) operators from foreign exchange (forex) trading.

Unegbu, a past President of the Chattered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria (CIBN), made the call in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Wednesday in Abuja.

He said that the ban would create some challenges in the market as commercial banks might not be able to meet the forex demands of importers.

According to Unegbu, commercial banks themselves are not perfect, as some of them also flout forex regulations.

“This punitive measure by the CBN can negatively affect the forex trading market.

“Most businessmen, when they cannot access forex from commercial banks, rush to the BDCs.

“Banks are not perfect, they also bend the rule sometimes, but that of the BDCs became so obvious  due to their large numbers.

“The Naira has been so bastardised and it is good to see that the CBN is acting to remedy the situation,’’ he said.

Unegbu said that athough some of the BDCs were involved in unwholesome practice there were still some BDCs that operated above board.

He said that the move by the apex bank was only a step toward resolving the abuse in the forex market and to reduce pressure on the Naira.

“There had been a lot of misgivings about forex in the country but this blanket ban by the CBN is just a step towards the solution.

“Not all the BDCs are bad, but as it is now CBN has banned both the good and he bad.

“But it is a warning to the Association of Bureaux De Change Operators of Nigeria (ABCON).

“ABCON should find a way to make amends and reign in on some of the operators that abuse the system,’’ he said.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the CBN announced immediate discontinuation of forex to the BDCs.

CBN Governor, Mr Godwin Emefiele, who made the announcement during the banks 280th Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) meeting, said that the BDC operators were involved in rent-seeking behaviour money laundering activities.

Emefiele added that BDCs were to serve the retail end users who needed 5,000 dollars or less, but had defeated their purpose of existence to provide forex to retail user.

He also said that BDCs had instead become wholesale and illegal dealers.

NAN

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Economy

Africa to save $5bn annually through payment, settlement platform- AfCFTA Sec-Gen

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By Gistflash News

July 9, 2021

Africa Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) said that the launch of the Pan-African Payments and Settlements System (PAPSS) would save the continent an estimated five billion dollars annually.

Mr Wamkele Mene, AfCFTA Secretary General, who revealed this at the 2nd edition of the AfCFTA secretariat quarterly press briefing on Friday, said this would be from the accruals from conversions to dollars.

He said that PAPSS, created in collaboration with the African Export-Import Bank (Afriexim bank), would address the currency conversion challenges for participating countries.

PAPSS is a centralised payment and settlement system created to serve the purpose of low cost and risk controlled payment clearing and settlement system under intra-African trade.

He said that six countries had been set up for the pilot scheme, some of which include; Nigeria, Ghana and Sierra Leone.

Mene projected that by the end of 2021, the secretariat would be in a position to reveal the platform availability for all countries to switch.

“There is an objective that one day, Africa would be a monetary union.

“Converting the about 42 currencies in Africa with its attendant cost of over five billion dollars yearly is a whole lot and so we want to reduce and eliminate this for the purpose of trading.

“Local banks would be able to switch to the platform as we are in consultation with the central banks and by the end of the year, we would be in a position to say the platform is available for all African countries that want to switch to it.

“Afriexim bank has invested over one billion dollars and it is a strong signal that the AfCFTA would work.

“If you run a Small and Medium Enterprise (SME) and you have to use a foreign platform for transaction, it is constraining and costly.

“With this system of payments, we would be able to enhance the effectiveness and competitiveness of SME as it addresses the constraints and costs associated with trade,” he said.

Mene also noted that the Rules of Origin mechanism of trade was at 86 per cent completion, even though the secretariat was gearing for 90 per cent completion before application.

Mene also stated that sensitisation and advocacy campaigns on the intricacies of the AfCFTA were a shared responsibility between participating states and the AfCFTA secretariat.

He revealed that an Africa business forum for the whole continent would be hosted later in the year to raise additional awareness.

This, Mene, said would also serve as a complementary step to what the various participating countries’ governments were already doing nationally on sensitisation.

“It is very important that the private sector is aware that there are export opportunities that this market creates and how they can maximally benefit from it.

“In all my visits to various participating countries, I have met with the private sector as a way to inform and incorporate them into what the AfCFTA is about,” he said.

NAN

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