According to an online news report, NEITI HAS ASKED THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT OF Nigeria to recover $22bn, N316bn from NNPC. The Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative on Tuesday called on the Federal Government to urgently recover the over $21.778bn and N316bn unremitted funds meant for the federation but allegedly held up by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation and its subsidiaries. It stated that if recovered, the funds could be used to finance the country’s Economic Recovery and Growth Plan, adding that a summary of its independent reports of the extractive industry showed that outstanding remittances meant for the Federation Account running into several billions of dollars were sitting at the national oil firm. In a policy brief, which focused on unremitted funds, economic recovery and oil sector reform, NEITI said the recovery of the unremitted funds was more than enough to jump-start the economy. “It is not right for government agencies to withhold funds meant for everybody, no matter the excuse they provide,” the Executive Secretary of NEITI, Mr. Waziri Adio, said during a briefing at the agency’s office in Abuja.

Agriculture: China offers Nigeria $4.5bn credit – The Zamfara State Governor, Alhaji Abdulaziz Yari, on Tuesday said the Chinese government had offered to open a credit line of $4.5bn for Nigeria to improve agriculture in the country. Yari disclosed this to State House correspondents after he and the Minister of Agriculture, Chief Audu Ogbeh, briefed President Muhammadu Buhari on the development at the Presidential Villa, Abuja. The governor said following Buhari’s visit to China, Nigerian officials engaged the Chinese government, who showed willingness to support. He said, “They are giving us a credit line of $4.5bn, which will cover the machineries and infrastructure that is rural earth dams, irrigation and the loan has a 20-year repayment term with five years’ moratorium. “Initially, we started negotiations to drop the counterpart funding of 25 per cent, but understanding the economy of Nigeria, we negotiated to give a counterpart funding of 10 per cent, which we believe Nigeria can do and we are targeting the Natural Resources Fund for the counterpart funding.

Reps threaten transportation ministry with zero allocation – The House of Representatives on Tuesday said the Ministry of Transportation would get zero allocation in the 2017 budget if it failed to provide clear explanation and figures on how it spent the funds appropriated to it in the 2016 fiscal year. According to the lawmakers, the ministry has not spent the over N243bn that it has so far received for the implementation of some of its 2016 budget items. They stated this at the headquarters of the ministry in Abuja during an oversight visit. The visiting lawmakers were members of the Joint House of Representatives Committees on Aviation, Land Transport, Maritime, Safety and Administration, as well as Ports, Harbours and Waterways. The Chairman, House Committee on Maritime, Safety and Administration, Mohammed Bago, told journalists after an extensive session with the ministry officials, led by the minister, Rotimi Ameachi, that the lawmakers were not in any way satisfied with the presentation and documents made available by the ministry.

$100m guarantee: UK Supreme Court grants NNPC reprieve – The Supreme Court of the United Kingdom, in a unanimous judgment, has granted a reprieve to the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation over a $100m bank guarantee in a case involving the corporation and a service company, IPCO (Nigeria) Limited. The reprieve, according to a statement by the corporation on Tuesday, was the latest in the protracted dispute arising from the contract between the NNPC and IPCO for the construction of the Bonny Export Terminal project in Port Harcourt, Rivers State. IPCO had referred its claims to arbitration in Nigeria and obtained an arbitral award of $154m in 2004, with annual interest running at 14 per cent, leaving the NNPC with no option than to challenge the award at the Federal High Court in Lagos. The Group Managing Director, NNPC, Dr. Maikanti Baru, said he was delighted about the new development, commending the efforts of the legal team that secured judgment in favour of the corporation.

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