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UTM Solicits NCDMB’s Equity Investment, Approvals for Floating LNG Project

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From Mike Tayese, Yenagoa

UTM Offshore Limited, promoters of Nigeria’s First Floating Liquefied Natural Gas (FLNG) facility has requested the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB) to invest equity in the project and to accelerate key approvals that would fast-track the project’s development.

The request was made on Wednesday at the Nigerian Content Tower in Yenagoa, Bayelsa State when the Executive Secretary of NCDMB, Engr.

Felix Omatsola Ogbe hosted the management of UTM Offshore Limited led by the Group Managing Director, Mr. Julius Rone.

The target completion date of the FLNG project is 2028 and it hopes to contribute about 450,000 tonnes of liquified petroleum gas (LPG), otherwise known as cooking gas per annum to the domestic market.

This will assuage Nigeria’s average demand of about 1.5 million tonnes of LPG per annum and reduce the dependence on the importation of LPG.

Giving a brief on the company, the Group Managing Director stated that UTM is a 100 percent indigenous company, and the floating LNG project will optimise Nigeria’s stranded gas offshore, enhance energy transition, promote domestic consumption of cooking gas, and aid technology transfer, among other benefits.

He invited the NCDMB to take equity in the project, hinting that the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPCL) and the Delta State Government were already partners on the project given its importance to Nigeria’s energy security. Describing the FLNG as another confirmation of the capability of Nigerians to develop projects of world-class standards.

He announced that roadshows were being planned for Uyo and Abuja in April 2024, to showcase the Nigerian Content opportunities in the project and to engender increased participation of Nigerian oil and gas services companies.

The UTM Offshore boss thanked the Board’s Management for facilitating the project’s progress, just as he solicited greater synergy with his company on all aspects of Nigerian Content implementation and overall development of the project.

Providing further details, the Technical Manager of the FLNG, Engr. George Amara stated that the project’s target total production is 2.72 million tonnes per annum (MTPA), with LNG accounting for 1.81 MTPA, LPG taking up 0.45 MTPA, and condensate making up 0.25 MTPA.

He commended NCDMB for approving key stages of the development, including Pre-Front-End Engineering Design (Pre-FEED), the Pre-FEED Nigerian Content Development (NCD) Plan, and the Front-End-Engineering Design (FEED) NCD Plan.

Other accomplishments include the Engineering Procurement Construction NCD Plan, the training of three indigenous engineers for Pre-FEED Nigerian Content Development, and the engagement of 13 Nigerian engineers for the FEED NCD scope as well the engagement of Nigerian engineering firms for different aspects of the project.

He affirmed that UTM FLNG would utilise Nigerian fabrication yards for in-country activities, adding that an inspection of prospective yards in Lagos and Calabar had been completed.

He hinted that the project was going into the Engineering, Procurement, Construction, Installation & Commissioning (EPCIC) stage, which is very critical, hence the need to update the NCDMB and request speedy approval for the EPC NCD Plan.

In his response, the Executive Secretary, NCDMB, Engr. Felix Omatsola Ogbe, expressed delight with the progress recorded on the UTM FLNG and assured that the Board will provide all the required approvals.

He urged the company’s Management to “be proactive. Let us know whatever challenge or obstacles that you encounter” assuring that the Board would do all that is within its powers to assist the company and others showing resourcefulness.

On the request for equity investment, the Executive Secretary promised to consider the application with the Board’s management and to escalate the proposal to the Board’s Governing Council for further consideration.

He also promised that the Board would participate in the Nigerian Content roadshow, to explore opportunities for other Nigerian firms on the FLNG project.

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Kano APC Suspends National Chairman, Ganduje Over Alleged Corruption

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The National Chairman of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), Dr Abdullahi Umar Ganduje has been suspended as a member of his ward in Kano. Reports says that the Executive members of Ganduje Ward In Dawakin-Tofa Local Government Area of Kano state announced the suspension of Ganduje over alleged corruption on Monday.

Addressing newsmen in the state capital, the legal adviser of the Ganduje Ward, Haladu Gwanjo said the former Kano state governor is alleged to have committed gross misappropriation of public funds during his time as governor of the state.
According to him, the members decided to suspend the national chairman’s membership after a vote of no confidence was passed on him due to his inability to clear his name from various allegations of corruption against him, which range from the circulated dollar videos where he was allegedly collecting bribe from contractors.
He said the suspension takes effect from today 15 April.A viral video had captured Ganduje allegedly receiving bundles of dollar notes as a bribe from a man said to be a contractor and stuffing them in the pockets of his flowing gown.The video, which garnered widespread attention in 2017, has been the subject of intense scrutiny.Ganduje had denied the content of the video when it first surfaced and maintained his innocence but years after, the New Nigeria People’s Party (NNPP)’s administration of Governor Abba Yusuf revisited the case, vowing the prosecute the ex-governor.The Kano High Court would arraign Ganduje on Wednesday, April 17, 2024 on charges bordering on allegations of bribery, diversion, and misappropriation of funds, including the purported acceptance of $413,000 and N1.38bn in bribes.The Kano State Attorney General and Commissioner of Justice, Haruna Dederi, had said Ganduje would be arraigned alongside his wife and six others.The Yusuf administration, which initiated the criminal suit against the eight respondents, had declared its readiness to present 15 witnesses to testify before Justice Usman Na’aba of State High Court.

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Q1:PTML Customs Rakes N66.9b, Surpasses 2023 Revenue

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The Port Terminal Multiservices Ltd. (PTML) Command of Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) has recorded N66.9 billion revenue in the first quarter of the year.

The Customs Area Controller (CAC), PTML Command, Comptroller, Saidu Yusuf, said this at a news conference in Lagos on Monday.

He said that the figure, which was N22.

19 billion higher than the N44.
72 billion recorded same period in 2023, represented 49.
6 per cent increase.

Yusuf described the increase in the revenue collection as a laudable feat.

According to him, the command is committed towards trade facilitation and supports the government’s drive on ease of doing business.

The comptroller thanked the Comptroller-General of Customs, Bashir Adeniyi, for initiating strategies to achieve faster cargo clearance.

He reiterated that PTML command, under his watch, aimed to surpass its record of three hour cargo clearance for compliant traders.

“The launching of Time Release Study (TRS), which is ongoing and other deliberate efforts by the Comptroller General, had contributed to the expansion of terminal space and promoted ease of doing business in PTML.

“PTML command has potentials to achieve two hour cargo clearance and surpass it’s existing three hours record if port users compliance level is improved upon.

“PTML is one of the safest and most secure environments for RoRo(Roll On Roll Off) and general cargoes,” Yusuf said.

He advised importer and their agents to take advantage of the incentives available for compliant traders such as fast track, advance ruling and possible migration to the Authorised Economic Operator (AEO) status.

He reminded port users in PTML of the robust and time conscious dispute resolution mechanism, which had contributed immensely to the revenue collection, trade facilitation and anti smuggling functions of the command.

Yusuf commended the various government and private sector stakeholders for their cooperation and support toward the realisation of the overnment goal of revenue collection and prevention of unlawful activities.

He also expressed optimism that the command would surpass it’s annual target for the year.

He described the importation of vehicles meant for Nigerian roads into nneighbouringcountries with the ntent to smuggle them through unapproved roads into Nigeria as unpatriotic and act of economic sabotage.

The PTLM customs boss said that the command had the capacity for seamless and efficient processing of such automobile cargoes.

The CAC enjoined officers of the command to maximally deploy available technology and rededicate themselves to the job to achieve more revenue for the second quoter.

He reminded the port users of the increased in anti-smuggling vigilance to uncover concealment such as under declaration and smuggling of prohibited items.

Yusuf said that any discovered infraction would lead to full evoking of the Nigeria Customs Service Act (NCSA), where there were spelt out penalties. (NAN)

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EFCC Arraigns 5 for Illegal Crude Oil Deal

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The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), on Monday, charged five defendants before a Federal High Court in Lagos, over an illegal deal in petroleum products.
The defendants are: Mt Vinnalaris (a vessel), Azeez Abubakar, Wisdom Borborley, Samuel Akpan and Freedom Otuagoma
They appeared before Justice Chukwujekwu Aneke on two counts bordering on unlawful deal in petroleum products.


After the charge was read to them, they pleaded guilty.

Following their plea, the prosecutor, Mr R.A. Abdurasheed, informed the court that the prosecution had filed the plea bargain agreement with the defendants, before the court.
Consequently, the court adjourned the case until April 25, for adoption of plea bargain agreement.

The court, however, ordered that the defendants remain in custody of the prosecution till then.
In the charge, the defendants were said to have committed the offence sometime in 2023, while on the Nigerian maritime domain.
They were alleged to have dealt in 515.8 litres of crude oil without lawful authority.
The offence contravenes the provisions of Section 1(17) and 3(6) of the Miscellaneous Offences Act, Cap M17 Law of the Federation 2004. (NAN)

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