Shell Plc said it has suspended its plans to sell its onshore oil assets in Nigeria, responding to a Supreme Court suit over oil leak appeal filed by a community in Bayelsa State.
The oil major had announced its plans of divestment in May 2021. It was subsequently sued by the people of Aghoro I in Ekeremor Local Government Area in Bayelsa over the May 17, 2018 oil leak from the oil firm’s Trans Ramos Pipeline.
The Supreme Court on June 16 ordered Shell to maintain the status quo until October, a ruling that will stop Shell from selling its assets in Nigeria until a dispute over a lower court decision to award a Niger Delta community N700 billion in compensation over the spill is resolved.
At the time, the spokesperson of the oil giant said the court ruling did on affect the planned sale of onshore assets in Nigeria.
“The Supreme Court ruling on 16 June was with respect to the contempt proceedings and not related to (the) onshore portfolio review,” Reuters quoted him as saying.
In a new turn of event on Thursday, the company in a statement by Chairman of Companies and Managing Director of SPDC, Osagie Okunbor, said it will not progress the divestment of its interest in SPDC until the outcome of SPDC’s appeal.
“The following is a statement by Osagie Okunbor, Managing Director of SPDC and Chairman of Shell Companies in Nigeria on recent media reporting on the Supreme Court of Nigeria Torchi proceedings:
“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 reporting regarding the 16 June 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.”
The Shell Group has confirmed separately that it will not progress the divestment of its interest in SPDC until the outcome of SPDC’s appeal.
Subsidy Investigations: FIRS Tells Reps Her Role
The Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) has said its role is purely the collection of revenue for the government and not keeping records of how the monies are expended.
This explanation is in response to queries by the Special Adhoc Committee on Petroleum Subsidy Regime tasked to investigate petroleum products subsidy in Nigeria.
At the committee sitting, the Executive Chairman, FIRS, Muhammad Nami, who was represented by the FIRS Coordinating Director, Compliance Support Group, Dr. Dick Irri, explained that the role of the Service as provided by its Establishing Act was confined to the assessment of taxpayers, collection of taxes, accounting for and enforcement of taxes that were due to the government of the Federation.
“The Service’s statutory functions remains that of assessment, collection, accounting, and enforcement of payment of taxes that are due to the Government of the Federation and any of its agencies;” he explained, “taxes collected by the FIRS are usually shared amongst the three tiers of the government in line with the constitution of the country and FIRS does not maintain records of what the funds are used for by the three tiers of government. The Service also does not have the power to ask for such records.”
Earlier, Nami had stated the request by the Committee for information on Subsidy payments and releases were not tax-related and thus were not within the statutory powers of the Service to respond to.
The Special Adhoc Committee had written to the FIRS requesting information on Subsidy Payment releases from the Consolidated Revenue Account, Subsidy claims, and lodgment of FOREX into the Consolidated Revenue Account by the NNPC, among others.
“The Service holds the Adhoc Committee on Petroleum Products subsidy Regime and other Committees of the National Assembly in high esteem and will always give necessary support to ensure the success of their oversight functions;
“All the tax-related information requested on your letter dated 1st July 2022 has been duly submitted;
“All the 16 items listed on your letter dated 5th August 2022 are not tax-related and also are not part of the responsibilities of the Service,” the FIRS Executive Chairman explained.
Apologising for his inability to appear in person, the Executive Chairman stated that his absence was due to other official national engagements outside the Federal Capital Territory.
The Special Ad-Hoc Committee on Petroleum Products Subsidy Regime, chaired by Hon. (Arc) Ibrahim Al-Mustapha Aliyu was constituted in June 2022 with a mandate to investigate the Petroleum Products Subsidy Regime covering the periods from 2013-2021.
BREAKING: Lagos Govt Extends Okada Ban To More LGAs
The Lagos State Government has extended the ban on commercial motorcycles,l (okada) to four more Local Government Areas and five Local Council Development Areas.
The Commissioner for Transport, Dr Frederic Oladeinde, confirmed this on Thursday.
According to Oladeinde, the decision was taken after a review of the earlier ban on commercial motorcycles operation in six local councils.
The additional councils where the total Okada ban is pronounced include Kosofe Local Government, Oshodi-Isolo Local Government, Shomolu Local Government, and Mushin Local Government.
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Others are Ikosi-Isherri LCDA, Agboyi-Ketu LCDA, Isolo LCDA, Bariga LCDA, and Odi-Olowo LCDA.
Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu has ordered full enforcement from September 1, 2022.
We Are Being Raped By Herdsmen In Our Community – Rivers Women
Some women from Evekwu community in Emohua Local Government Area of Rivers State, on Wednesday, staged a protest to the Rumuji Police Division to demand urgent intervention over the activities of herdsmen.
The women, who carried placards with different inscriptions, had first marched to the Rumuji Police Station before returning to the palace of the paramount ruler to complain about how “cows have destroyed their crops” leaving them and their families with “hunger”.
The community’s woman leader, Joy Obisike called on the local government chairman, Governor Nyesom Wike and President Muhammadu Buhari, as well as security agencies, to prevail on the herdsmen to “steer clear” from their farmland.
The women threatened to deploy other means that will ensure their safety and that of their crops.
Another woman leader in Evekwu community, Salome Amakanwo alleged that their lives were being “threatened on a daily basis” by the herdsmen who “use guns and dangerous weapons” and that their woman were being “raped at gunpoint”.
She said the revenue from the crops is what they use to train their children in school.
The protesters called for urgent intervention by government at all levels and security agencies to save them from looming hunger and crisis.
A police personnel at the Rumuji Police Station, who addressed the protesters, advised them to take their complaints to the local government council secretariat for urgent intervention.
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