By Adedapo Adesanya
The Artisan Fishermen Association of Nigeria (ARFAN) has called on President Muhammadu Buhari to intervene in compensation owed its members for the 2011 Bonga oil spill incident.
The association wants the President to compel Shell Nigeria Exploration and Exploration Company (SNEPCo) to pay the compensation fine imposed on it by the National Oil Spill Detection and Response Agency (NOSDRA) for the spill which occurred more than 10 years ago.
The group recalled that the Bonga offshore oil field, operated by SNEPCo, discharged 40,000 barrels of crude oil into the Niger Delta coastline of the Atlantic Ocean in 2011, forcing fishermen in the region to abandon the area.
At its 2022 Review and Agenda Setting meeting in Yenagoa, Bayelsa State, ARFAN decried the delay in getting justice on the impact of the 2011 Bonga spill from SNEPCo facility, lamenting that the incident had crippled the business of thousands of fishermen in the region.
The coordinator of the group, Mr Samuel Ayadi, who read the communique of the meeting urged President Buhari to prevail on SNEPCo to comply with the verdict of the regulators and courts to rekindle the hope of the fishermen and the society.
The communique signed by representatives of the group from the impacted states of Akwa Ibom, Bayelsa, Delta, Ondo and Rivers, urged the Federal Government to give a listening ear to the plight of the impacted people.
Mr Ayadi noted that following the order by the National Oil Spills Detection and Response Agency to fishermen to pull out of fishing to avoid catching contaminated fish, the oil firm refused to show empathy or indemnify their loss.
“This hardship which has led to the untimely death of many of the members of the Association is as a result of the attitude of Shell towards the victims.
“That Shell never empathised with the victims even during the height of the spill impacts.
“Even when it had been determined through a Post Impact Assessment that the spill was as a result of operational failures and an estimated 40,000 barrels of crude oil had been pumped into the waters, operational fields of the fishermen/women.
“That the present Federal Government led by President Muhammadu Buhari has given the Artisan Fishermen Association of Nigeria victims of the Shell Bonga Oil Spill the most listening ears.
“That the struggles for justice and faith in a peaceful and lawful resolution of the issues of the spill coupled with the fatherly disposition of Mr President provided the opportunity for NOSDRA to pronounce fines and awards against Shell to the tune of $3.6 billion.
“That the Parliamentary approval of the fines/awards and the litigations and their outcomes are considered SNEPCO for the benefit of the victims of the spill and all other impacted stakeholders.
“ARFAN is still hopeful that Mr President in his reputed commitment to justice, sympathy for the downtrodden, voiceless and needy, shall disentangle all impediments and cause the implementation of our plea for immediate restitution/compensation,”.
For context, NOSDRA had imposed a fine on SNEPCO for discharging 40,000 barrels of crude into the Atlantic Ocean on December 20, 2011.
The fine comprised $1.8billion as compensation for the damages done to natural resources and consequential loss of income by the affected shoreline communities as well as punitive damage of $1.8billion totalling $3.6 billion.
However, SNEPCo instituted a legal action against NOSDRA challenging the imposition of the $3.6 billion fine on them at the Federal High Court in Lagos, of which the judge, Justice Mojisola Olatoregun on June 20, 2018, dismissed the suit against Shell.
CitiTrust Holdings Sells Commercial Paper for 22%
By Aduragbemi Omiyale
An opportunity has opened for commercial paper investors as CitiTrust Holdings Plc is offering the asset class at a coupon of 22.0 per cent per annum under its N50 billion commercial paper issuance programme.
According to details of the exercise obtained by Business Post, the company, in the financial services sector, is selling the debt instrument in four tenors of 90 days, 120 days, 180 days and 270 days.
The minimum subscription for prospective and potential investors is N5 million and can be purchased through any of the registered stockbrokers.
The 90-day instrument is going for 16.1 per cent, the 120-day paper is being sold for 17.5 per cent, the 180-day note is 19.1 per cent, and the 270-day instrument is going for 22.0 per cent.
The offer commenced on November 23, 2022, and is expected to close on Wednesday, December 7, 2022, with the net proceeds to be used for the company’s general corporate purposes and working capital.
CitiTrust said investors would be paid their interests from the operating cash flows of the organisation, with purchases to be settled via direct debit, electronic funds transfers, NIBBS Instant Payment (NIP), NIBBS Electronic Funds Transfer (NEFT) or Real-Time Gross Settlement (RTGS).
CitiTrust is a leading pan-African financial and investment conglomerate owned by reputable institutional and private investors. The company has a focus on high-end financial products and services for its targeted sectors of the economy, with operations in commercial banking, investment banking, wealth management, pension management, insurance and alternative investment.
The firm is a foremost financial solutions provider and has been an intricate part of the Nigerian economy since 2007. It has grown and evolved over the years into an award-winning market leader in the financial sub-sector of the Nigerian economy, establishing its footprints in 12 African countries: Nigeria, Ghana, Rwanda, Botswana, Liberia, Benin Republic, Malawi, Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Cote d’Ivoire, South Africa and the UK.
In 2019, the organisation upgraded its operations into a reputable financial services provider to align with the strategic vision of its shareholders to build an enduring institution that delivers cross-functional services to its clientele.
The company’s deep knowledge of the market, dexterity, smooth and reliable processes driven largely by technology and the high quality of its personnel puts it on the cutting edge of strategic Importance with its clientele.
No Individual Should Operate Domiciliary Account in Nigeria—Tope Fasua
By Modupe Gbadeyanka
An economist and former presidential candidate of the Abundant Nigeria Renewal Party (ANRP) in the 2019 general elections, Mr Tope Fasua, has kicked against the opening of a domiciliary account in Nigeria for an individual, calling it an abnormality.
Speaking on a Channels Television’s Saturday breakfast show, he said only corporate organisations involved in international trades should be allowed to operate a dorm account.
As individuals who need foreign exchange to transact any business transaction, they should be given a credit card or prepaid card, which would be loaded with the value of Dollars they require instead of giving them cash.
According to him, this would limit the demand for FX and strengthen the Naira in the forex market segments.
Mr Fasua made these submissions while reacting to the decision of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to redesign the N200, N500, and N1,000 notes.
“Personal dorm accounts are mostly unnecessary; only companies that are doing international trade transactions or financial market companies should be able to hold dorm accounts because they have a reason to,” the renowned analyst said on the programme monitored by Business Post.
“When I travelled abroad recently, GTBank loaded by card with Dollars, and when I need to spend where I am going, I just use my card,” he added, stressing that, “If you are an exporter, you have export proceeds coming in, you can have a dorm account.
“If you are an importer and you need to pay your customer once in a while, you can have a dorm account as a company, but if every Tom, Dick and Harry can speculate against their own currency, you will never get it out of crises.”
According to him, “The ease at which people move against their currency in this country is too much; it should not be that easy.”
LIBIZFAIR Will Boost Business Opportunities in Lagos
By Modupe Gbadeyanka
The Chairman of Nigeria in Diaspora Commission (NiDCOM), Mrs Abike Dabiri-Erewa, has disclosed that the Lagos Island Business Fair (LIBIZFAIR) will improve business opportunities in the state and also attract more investments.
The former federal lawmaker said this at the opening ceremony of the fair organised by the Lagos Island Connect, in conjunction with the Lagos State Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Cooperatives.
At the programme held at the Tafawa Balewa Square (TBS), Onikan, Lagos, Mrs Dabiri-Erewa, represented by the Head of the Lagos Annex of the agency, Mr Oladipo Odebowale, commended the state government for the initiative.
She noted that the platform provides a unique opportunity for entrepreneurs to showcase their businesses, saying, “This will boost investment and business opportunities in the state.”
The Commissioner for Commerce, Industry and Cooperatives, Mrs Lola Akande, in her remarks, described the empowerment of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) as critical to the empowerment of youths.
Represented by the Permanent Secretary in the minister, Mrs Adetutu Ososanya, she noted that building the capacity of youth-oriented enterprises, with the goal of providing opportunities for growth, will lead to an increase in prosperity among Lagos Island youths.
“I believe this platform can leverage socio-economic networking and Information Communication & Technology to provide more interactive opportunities for the teeming youth of Lagos Island and its environs from diverse cultural, religious, social and educational backgrounds to grow their businesses and services, as well as the State’s economy,” she said.
The Commissioner explained that the fair aligns with the policy of Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu of creating a conducive environment for businesses to thrive, widening access to the market and encouraging networking and collaboration among entrepreneurs.
Also speaking at the event, the Special Adviser to the governor on Sustainable Development Goals & Investment (SDG&I), Mrs Solape Hammond, stressed that the programme was geared towards supporting businesses to thrive at the local government level.
“The study discovered that the youths of Lagos Island are versatile, technologically enabled, driven and willing to be positively engaged, particularly in personal and communal development.
“Though most of them are faced with different challenges yet, there is an enormous zeal to be gainfully engaged rather than being idle, which could contribute to community nuisance.
“Young people in Lagos Island have a brighter vision for the future, and all stakeholders must join together to support them to deliver it,” the governor’s aide said in her presentation on the Lagos Island Youth Needs Assessment Survey.
The co-founder of the Lagos Island Connect, Mrs Yemisi Ransome-Kuti, while addressing participants, noted that the LIBIZFAIR 2022 was geared towards taking businesses in Lagos Island from a local to a global level by investing in the youths and preventing their massive migration to foreign lands.
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