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FG Offers 17 New Oil Blocks For Bidding

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The Federal Government, on Tuesday, announced the addition of 17 deep offshore oil blocks to the 2024 Licensing Round for oil fields in Nigeria.

Recall that some deep offshore blocks were recently put on offer for the 2022/23 mini-bid round and other blocks which cut across onshore, continental shelf and deep offshore terrains were also put on offer for the Nigeria 2024 Licencing Round.

Precisely on May 8, the government invited investors to bid for 12 oil blocks and seven deep offshore assets in the 2024 marginal fields bid round.

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Also on June 12, 2024, it was reported that the Federal government had increased the number of oil blocks on offer in the 2024 marginal bid round.

The Chief Executive Officer, Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission, Gbenga Komolafe, disclosed this at the pre-bid conference for the 2024 licencing round in Lagos.

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Providing updates on the 2022/2023 and 2024 licencing rounds, Komolafe, in a statement he signed and issued in Abuja on Tuesday, said 17 deep offshore blocks have been added to the 2024 Licensing Round.

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He said, “In pursuit of the commission’s commitment to derive value from the country’s abundant oil and gas reserves and increase production, the commission has been working assiduously with multi-client companies to undertake more exploratory activities to acquire more data to foster and encourage further investment in the Nigerian upstream sector.

“As a result of additional data acquired in respect of deep offshore blocks, the commission has added 17 deep offshore blocks to the 2024 Licensing Round. Further details on the blocks can be found on the bid portal.”

Komolafe further stated that “by the published guidelines, we had earlier indicated that some of the assets on REoffer should be applied for as clusters, namely: PPL 300-CS & PPL 301-CS, PPL 2000 and PPL 2001. Bidders are hereby advised that they may, at their option, bid for those blocks as clusters or as single units.”

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For clarification, he said bidders should refer to the Frequently Asked Questions Sections of the 2022/23 and 2024 Licensing Round portals, or contact the upstream regulatory agency.

The NUPRC boss also stated that to allow interested investors to take advantage of the expanded opportunities, the 2024 Licencing Round schedule had been amended.

He said, “Registration/submission of pre-qualification documents which was initially scheduled to close on June 25, 2024, has been extended by 10 days and will now close on July 5, 2024.

“Data access/data purchase/evaluation/bid preparation and submission which was initially scheduled to open on July 4, 2024, and close on 29/11/24 will now start on July 8, 2024, and close on 29/11/24 as previously scheduled.

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“All other dates in the published 2024 licencing round schedule remain the same unless otherwise communicated.”

He stated that to vacate entry barriers, the commission had sought and obtained the approval of President Bola Tinubu, who, as petroleum minister, approved attractive fiscal regimes and also minimised entry fees for both licencing rounds by putting a cap on the signature bonus payable for the award of the acreages.

Consequently, it is necessary to ensure that the same bid criteria (in addition to the uniform signature bonus criteria) are applicable for both licencing rounds, to promote transparency and provide a level playing ground for all bidders.

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“Since the criteria for the award of the oil blocks are now much more attractive than they initially were during the 2022/23 Mini Bid Round, it is in the interest of equity and fair play to give all investors the same opportunity to bid for the assets,” Komolafe stated.

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Based on this, he declared that all blocks in the 2022/23 and 2024 Licencing Rounds were now available to all interested investors the websites developed for the exercise by the NUPRC, adding that the 2022/23 Mini Bid Round registration phase had been reopened to new applicants.

“The public is therefore invited to take advantage of this development and attractive entry terms and conditions and participate in the exercise.

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“However, all the pre-qualified applicants published on the 2022/23 Mini Bid Round portal will not be required to go through a new pre-qualification process, as their technical submissions remain valid and eligible even for the 2024 Licencing Round.

“They may, however, wish to re-submit new commercial bids to take advantage of the more attractive criteria applicable to both licencing rounds and revise their bid bonds to adapt to the new bid criteria. They are also free to bid for blocks on offer in the 2024 Licencing Round,” Komolafe stated.

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CAC To Cancel Certificates Of BDCs With Revoked Licences

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The Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) has said it would cancel the certificates of incorporation of Bureaux De Change(BCDs) whose licences have been revoked by the Central Bank of Nigeria( CBN).

The Nation reported in February the CBN revoked the licences of 4,173 Bureau De Change operators over their failure to meet regulatory guidelines.

In a statement by its acting Director, Corporate Communications, Sidi Hakama, CBN explained that the regulatory provisions flouted include nonpayment of all necessary fees within the stipulated period.

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CBN said: “The affected institutions failed to observe at least one of the following regulatory provisions: Payment of all necessary fees, including licence renewal, within the stipulated period in line with the guidelines.

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“Rendition of returns in line with the guidelines; compliance with guidelines, directives, and circulars of the CBN, particularly Anti-Money Laundering, Countering the Financing of Terrorism and Counter-Proliferation Financing regulations.”

However, in line with the above directive by the CBN, the CAC in a notice on its website on Wednesday, said the certificates would be cancelled within three months if the affected companies do not change the names and objects of such companies.

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The general public is hereby informed that following the revocation of the operational licenses of 4,173 Bureau De Change companies by the Central Bank of Nigeria vide a Federal Republic of Nigeria Official Gazette (Vol. 111) No. 37 of February 27, 2024 for noncompliance with Regulatory Standards, the Corporate Affairs Commission in the exercise of its powers under section 8(1)(e) of the Companies and Allied Matters Act, 2020 advises these companies to within three months from the date of this publication, change the names and objects of such companies.

“Failure to change the names and objects within the stipulated time frame shall result in cancellation of certificate of incorporation and dissolution. It is to be noted that it is unlawful for a company whose certificate has been deemed dissolved to carry on business,” the CAC notice reads.

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FG Suspends Taxes On Maize, Wheat, Rice, Others

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The Federal Government has suspended duties, tariffs and taxes on some essential food items imported through land and sea borders.

Minister of Agriculture and Food Security, Abubakar Kyari, announced this at the National Press Centre, Abuja.

Kyari also said the Federal Government has also inaugurated the Renewed Hope National Livestock Transformation Implementation Committee to develop and implement policies that prioritize livestock development and align with the National Livestock Transformation Plan.

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He stated that the listed food items, which include maize, wheat, husked brown rice and cowpeas, will enjoy a 150-day Duty-Free Import Window.

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He added that the move is part of the Presidential Accelerated Stabilization and Advancement Plan, which is aimed at achieving food security and economic stability in the country.

According to him: “The Federal Government has announced a 150-day Duty-Free Import Window for Food Commodities, suspension of duties, tariffs and taxes for the importation of certain food commodities (through land and sea borders). These commodities include maize, husked brown rice, wheat and cowpeas.

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“Under this arrangement, imported food commodities will be subjected to a Recommended Retail Price (RRP).

“I am glad to reiterate that the Government’s position exemplifies standards that would not compromise the safety of the various food items for consumption.

“In addition to the importation by the private sector, the Federal Government will import 250,000MT of wheat and 250,000MT of maize. The imported food commodities in their semi-processed state will target supplies to the small-scale processors and millers across the country.”

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CAC Extends PoS Registration Deadline 

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The Corporate Affairs Commission has announced the approval to extend the mandatory Point of Sales agents, super agents and sole agents registration to September 5th, 2024.

The commission made the announcement in a statement signed by its management and posted on its Facebook page on Saturday, giving a 60-day extension.

It said the extension is to give sufficient time to operators particularly those in remote areas who might have encountered network challenges to so register and continue with their businesses.

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The statement read, “The Corporate Affairs Commission wishes to notify Fintech Operators also known as Point of Sales Operators that the initial deadline of 7th July 2024 given for the registration of sole Agents, Super Agents and Agents has been extended for sixty days beginning from 7th July 2024 to the 5th September 2024.

“This is to give sufficient time to Operators particularly those in remote areas who might have encountered network challenges to so register and continue with their businesses.”

It added operators who continue to disobey after the new deadline will risk losing their businesses and facing prosecution for assisting criminal activities.

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“Operators who fail or refuse to register at the end of the extended deadline run the risk of losing such businesses and prosecution for aiding and abetting criminal activities,” it said.

 

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