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Reps Speaker, Abbas, Chides NNPC Ltd over Abysmal Performance

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By Ubong Ukpong, Abuja

Speaker of the House of Representatives Rt. Hon. Abbas Tajudeen, on Thursday, chided the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPC) Limited over noticeable abysmal performances, asking the company to be creative for optimal performance.

The Speaker said by being creative, it would help the country to avoid more wasteful years of non-performing public assets in the oil sector.

The Speaker stated this when he received the management of the NNPCL, who paid him a courtesy visit to his office in Abuja.

Speaker Abbas, while commending the NNPCL for taking full advantage of the Petroleum Industry Act to maximise its commercial potentials, decried the state of Nigeria’s refineries such as the one in Kaduna, which he said had been moribund for over 20 years, even though the staff were maintained, paid and promoted.

He described the situation as inefficiency and waste of human resources that needed to be addressed.

“I am from Kaduna, and the Kaduna refinery has been moribund for more than 20 years. I know of people working there who have been idle all these years receiving salaries and promotions. This is inefficiency of a worrisome proportion. The company needs to seek creative ways to repurpose staff strength in such facilities to areas where they can remain productive even in the absence of crude oil at the refineries,” the Speaker said.

Speaker Abbas called for measures to turn around the losses suffered by the economy, owing to the non-productive state of the refineries, by privatising them for better management and productivity.

The Speaker congratulated the company for redirecting gains of subsidy removal to other productive areas of enhancement that are now adding value to the system as shown by the quantum leap being reported in its revenue profile as presented by the Chief Executive.

He said the 10th House, and by extension the National Assembly would fully be behind the company in its fight against oil theft, disclosing that the House has taken the lead in creating a Special Committee on Oil Theft and Pipeline Vandalism, which was inaugurated on Wednesday.

Speaker Abbas, who received the NNPC management in the company of the Minority Whip of the House, Hon. Ali Isa, and the chairmen of relevant committees in the oil and gas sector, assured the company of the willingness of the House to always partner with it in repositioning the nation’s economy.

Earlier, the Group Chief Executive Officer (GCEO) of NNPC Limited, Mr. Mele Kyari, highlighted the areas of improvement in the company using the instrument of the Petroleum Industry Act.

The company’s chief, who reiterated that the entity has fully gone commercial with the new law, added that it was hitherto operating at a loss, recording a negative of N803 billion in 2018.

Mr Kyari, however, informed the Speaker and the House that the changes that happened in the company after the PIA have led to the realisation of N674 billion in profits after tax in 2021 and over N2 trillion in income in 2022.

NEWS

Tinubu Mourns Ex-Minister, Ogbonnaya Onu

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President Bola Tinubu has extended his deepest condolences to the Onu family over the passing of Chief Ogbonnaya Onu, a former Minister of Science and Technology in the Buhari administration.

Chief Onu passed away on Thursday at the age of 72.

“The President mourns a luminous star in Nigeria’s political firmament.

The first civilian governor of Abia State; former minister of Science, Technology and Innovation, a principal draughtsman in the founding of the All Progressives Congress (APC), and a valiant partner in the victory of the party in the 2015 elections.
 

“Most importantly, the President celebrates the life of an accomplished scholar, first-class engineer; a man of proven integrity; defiant to indiscipline, but ever yielding to the highest standards of rectitude,” a statement by Chief Ajuri Ngelale, Presidential spokesman quoted the President to have said.

The statement said Tinubu affirmed that the late Onu epitomized Nigeria in concord; in wholeness, as the late statesman believed in and defended Nigeria’s unity, advocated peace, and promoted fellowship across the Niger.

The President also condoled with the friends and associates of Chief Onu, Ebonyi and Abia State Governments, and all Nigerians grieving this gaping loss.

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Business News

Geregu Power Earns N50.4bn From Electricity Sales, Capacity Charges 

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By Tony Obiechina, Abuja 

Geregu Power Plc has generated N50.4bn on electricity sales and capacity charges to Nigerians in the first quarter of 2024.

The power company which is the first listed power company of the Nigerian Exchange Ltd disclosed the performance in its Q1, 2024 financial statement.

The company grew its Q1 revenue by 225 per cent from N14.

2bn in 2023 to N50.
4bn in 2023.

A breakdown reveals that Geregu Power sold energy worth N31bn and received N19bn as revenue from capacity charge.

Recall that the power company posted an annual revenue of N82.9bn in the full year of 2023 but it has covered half of the amount in Q1.

The revenue was above the company’s forecast for Q1 2024 when it projected its revenue to rise to N31.24bn.

Geregu Power recorded a profit before tax of N21.9bn up from the N5.3bn recorded in Q1 of last year, reflecting 307.8 per cent growth.

During the period underreview, the company saw its profit after tax rose by 307.3 per cent to N14.46bn from N3.54bn recorded in Q1 of last year. In the full year 2023, the company made N16.1bn net profit.

The net profit was above the company projection of N5.5bn. 

Geregu Power took an income tax charge of N7.43bn, up from the N1.8bn in Q1 2023. The tax charges were higher than the N2.7bn projected for Q1 2024.

The company also spent N21.5bn on the cost of sales involving gas supply and transportation, up from the N6.6bn spent on gas supply and transportation in Q1 2023.

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Foreign News

U.S. not Expecting to be Drawn into War but Predicts Attack by Iran Against Israel

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The United States expects an attack by Iran against Israel but one that would not be big enough to draw Washington into war, a U.S. official said late on Thursday.

The White House said earlier that Washington did not want conflict to spread in the Middle East and the U.S. had told Iran it was not involved in an air strike against a top Iranian military commander in Damascus.

The White House added it warned Iran to not use that attack as a pretext to escalate further in the region.

Suspected Israeli warplanes bombed Iran’s embassy in Damascus on Monday in a strike for which Iran has vowed revenge and in which a top Iranian general and six other Iranian military officers were killed, ratcheting up tension in a region already strained by the Gaza war.

Iranian sources told Reuters that Tehran has signalled to Washington that it will respond to Israel’s attack on its Syrian embassy in a way that aims to avoid major escalation and it will not act hastily, as Tehran presses demands including a Gaza truce.

The United States has been on high alert about possible retaliatory strikes from Iran and U.S. envoys have been working to lower tensions.

Palestinian Islamist group Hamas attacked Israel on Oct. 7, killing 1,200, according to Israeli tallies.

Israel’s military assault on Hamas-governed Gaza has since killed more than 33,000 people according to the local health ministry, displaced nearly all of Gaza’s 2.3 million population, caused a humanitarian crisis, and led to genocide allegations that Israel denies.

Iran-backed groups have declared support for Palestinians, waging attacks from Lebanon, Yemen, and Iraq.

Tehran has avoided direct confrontation with Israel or the United States, while declaring support for its allies. (Reuters/NAN)

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