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Presidency speaks on leaked list of Buhari’s ministers’ portfolio

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The Presidency has reacted to a list making the rounds of ‘Ministers-Designate and assigned portfolio’ by President Muhammadu Buhari.

Buhari had last Tuesday sent a list of potential ministers to the Senate for screening.

The lawmakers postponed their annual vacation to conduct the screening within five days.

All the 43 ministerial nominees sent to the Red Chamber have now been confirmed.

Buhari’s Special Assistant on New media, Bashir Ahmaad, on his Twitter page, urged Nigerians to disregard any list of ministers’ portfolio making the rounds on social media.

According to him, the list will be officially announced by President Buhari during inauguration.

Ahmad on his Twitter page wrote: “So someone makes a list of Ministers-Designate and assigned portfolio for them. The assigned list is now trending on WhatsApp as usual.

“DISREGARD any list please Nigerians. Portfolio will be announced by Mr. President after their inauguration as Ministers of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.”

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Economy

Illegal JVs in Oil Industry: Agbakoba Threatens to Sue FG

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A former President of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Olisa Agbakoba (SAN), has threatened to drag the Federal Government to court to determine the constitutionality of continuing outsourcing of oil and gas management to International Oil Companies (IOCs) through Joint Ventures (JVs) and Production Sharing Contracts (PSCs).

Agbakoba also called for a complete overhaul of Nigeria’s oil and gas sector, insisting that the current system has ‘completely failed’ and is responsible for poverty and hunger across the country.

The human rights lawyers, who stated this at a press conference in Lagos, argued that the current Contract Oil model directly contradicts Sections 16 and 44(3) of the Nigerian Constitution.

He maintained that the law mandates the government to manage Nigeria’s natural resources in a manner that secures the maximum welfare, freedom, and happiness of every citizen and that the current arrangement, which primarily benefits IOCs, falls far short of this constitutional requirement.

Agbakoba also stated that it is a fundamental principle of administrative law that statutory bodies, including the government, can not delegate their core functions without express legal authorisation. Without such express authority, the current arrangements may be ultra vires and potentially void.

The lawyer said, “These responsibilities, fundamental to the nation’s sovereignty and economic well-being, may be inherently governmental and thus incapable of being lawfully delegated to private entities. Furthermore, it is dubious whether the federal government has the authority to delegate the inherent rights of Nigerians to their natural resources to third parties.

“While the federal government is reluctant to consider shared or joint ownership with state governments, who represent Nigerians more directly, it sees no issue in delegating, outsourcing, and sharing joint ownership with IOCs. This inconsistency raises questions about the government’s interpretation and application of its constitutional mandate.

“We will approach the court to declare that the PIA, the current legal framework for the continued outsourcing or unlawful delegation of the management of Nigeria’s oil and gas to IOCs, is unconstitutional.

“The dominance of IOCs in the sector has historically limited opportunities for developing local content and building domestic capacity in the oil and gas industry,” he said.

Agbakoba also said that the current system of JVs and PSCs, which was initially justified by a lack of funds, now appears to violate the inherent rights of Nigerians over their natural resources.

He stated that if the country adopts a “Development Oil” approach, it can reclaim control over its vital oil and gas sector and transform it into a powerful engine for national development.

The senior lawyer insisted that this paradigm shift requires bold policy changes, including securitising oil reserves through a Sovereign Oil Fund, allowing Nigeria to finance its oil and gas operations.

He said, “The current exit of IOCs presents both a challenge and an opportunity for new Nigerian actors in the oil and gas sector. In collaboration with the federal government, these actors must rise to the occasion and build a new strategy for oil and gas exploration based on development oil principles.

“By aligning the oil and gas sector with broader national interests and constitutional obligations, Nigeria can create a more diversified, resilient, and prosperous economy that truly benefits all its citizens. This approach not only promises economic growth but also reaffirms Nigeria’s sovereignty over its natural resources, ensuring that they are managed for the welfare and security of all Nigerians, as mandated by the constitution,” Agbakoba stated.

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Dangote Refinery Reaffirms Commitment to Supply Petrol This July

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The Vice President of Oil and Gas at Dangote Industries Limited, Devakumar Edwin, has reiterated that the Dangote oil refinery will supply petrol in July as promised.

Edwin said this when he took officials of the S&P Global on a tour of the facility over the weekend.

According to Edwin, the company aims to catalyse a virtuous cycle of industrial development, job creation, and economic prosperity by harnessing Africa’s abundant crude oil resources to produce refined products locally.

He also revealed that “as earlier promised, the company will start the production of Premium Motor Spirit this month.”

While claiming that the products from the facility are of high quality and that they meet international standards, Edwin said it could meet 100 per cent of Nigeria’s demand for petrol, diesel, kerosene, and aviation fuel, with surpluses available for export.

Meanwhile, S&P Global said the Dangote refinery is capable of resolving Nigeria’s foreign exchange challenges by putting an end to fuel importation, which mounts huge pressure on the local Naira currency.

Our correspondent learnt that S&P Global visited the Dangote Refinery at Ibeju-Lekki, Lagos as part of its sovereign credit ratings assessment of Nigeria.

The team from the international rating agency was accompanied by officials from the Federal Ministry of Finance.

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Naira Depreciates Further, Sells at N1,517/$

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The Naira, on Monday, continued its depreciation against the US dollar in the foreign exchange market.

Data from the parallel market section and FMDQ showed further depreciation against the dollar on Monday.

At the parallel market, a Bureau De Change operator in Wuse Zone 4, Mistila Dayyabu, said that the Naira was sold as high as N1,517 per dollar on Monday morning.

“On Monday morning, the dollar was sold at N1,517 per dollar. However, on hearing the information about the coming of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) operatives, we started selling at N1,500 this evening, ” he said.

The figure increased from the N1, 450 per dollar it traded at the weekend.

Similarly, at the official market, FMDQ data showed that they dipped to N1478.11 per dollar on Monday from N1466.31 last Friday.

This represents an N11.8 drop from the N1466.31 recorded last Friday.

Earlier, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Governor, Olayemi Cardoso, said the apex bank’s Monetary Policy Committee will do everything to bring down soaring Nigeria’s inflation, which stood at 33.22 per cent in March 2024.

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