To celebrate the Eid-El-Fitri, the Federal Government has declared Monday June 26th and Tuesday June 27th as public holiday.
Minister of Interior, Abdulrahman Dambazau, made the declaration on Thursday in Abuja on behalf of the Federal Government.
He urged Muslim faithful and Nigerians in general to use the occasion
of the celebration for sober reflection and pray for peace, unity and
progress of the nation.
Etisalat No Longer Under Investigation, Paid 42% Of Original Loan
Embattled mobile telephone operator, Etisalat Nigeria, on Thursday
denied a news report that the company was being investigated by the
anti-graft agency, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC,
following a petition by the consortium of banks requesting the Federal
Government to look into how the funds from the syndicated loans were
In a statement signed by Ibrahim Dikko
VP, Regulatory & Corporate Affairs, Etisalat Nigeria and made
available to P.M.EXPRESS stated that the telco has consistently and
conscientiously met up with its payment obligations with about 42 per
cent (about $504 million) of the original loan package of $1.2 billion
(about N377.4 billion) from a consortium of Nigerian banks, which is at
the core of the current crisis it is facing, has since been repaid.
attention of Etisalat Nigeria has been drawn to media reports that the
management of Etisalat Nigeria is being investigated by the Economic and
Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), following a petition to “the
Federal Government asking that Etisalat be investigated” on how the
funds from the syndicated loans were utilized, Etisalat wishes to
categorically affirm for the avoidance of doubt that the reports are
patently false and most unfortunate considering the damage such
misleading information can have not only on our business, but indeed on
the telecommunications industry and the country as a whole,” Dikko
According to him, “As at today, we can categorically
state that the outstanding loan sum to the consortium stands at $227
million and N113 billion, a total of about $574 million if the naira
portion is converted to US Dollars. This in essence means almost half of
the original loan of $1.2 billion, has been repaid. Etisalat continued
to service the loan up until February 2017, when discussions with the
banks regarding the repayment restructuring commenced.
interrogation of the rigorous process for securing a syndicated loan
from a consortium of reputable banks would have exposed the truth to the
original writer of this story and other media channels who have
subsequently re-circulated the falsehood without interrogation or
verification. Concerned parties have access to our books and do not
require an investigation into how the loan sum was utilized.
stated that all of the infrastructure investment and services for which
the loan was secured, were paid through the telco’s banks and they are
In 2013, Etisalat Nigeria had obtained the $1.2
billion syndicated loan, a medium-term seven-year facility, from a
consortium of 13 Nigerian banks, including Access Bank, Zenith Bank Plc,
Guaranty Trust Bank Plc, First Bank Limited, Fidelity Bank Plc, First
City Monument Bank (FCMB), Stanbic IBTC, Ecobank, United Bank for Africa
(UBA) Plc and Union Bank of Nigeria Plc.
The loan, which
involved a foreign-backed guaranteed bond, was to help the
telecommunication firm finance a major network rehabilitation, upgrade
and expansion of its operational base in Nigeria, and improving the
quality of service on its network.
However, the economic downturn
of 2015 and sharp devaluations of the naira, according to the company,
negatively impacted on the dollar-denominated loan by driving up the
loan value, thus prompting Etisalat to request a loan restructuring from
the consortium of banks.
The company’s alleged failure to meet
agreed debt servicing obligations with the 13 banks since 2016 was said
to have triggered a major crisis, culminated in the withdrawal of its
major shareholder, Emirates Telecommunications Group Company from the
company last week.
The United Arab Emirates company announced to
the Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange in Abu Dhabi on Tuesday that it had
decided to request Emerging Markets Telecommunications Services, EMTS
Holding BV, a special purpose vehicle established in Netherlands, to
transfer the entire 70 per cent of its shareholding in Etisalat Nigeria
to United Capital Trustees Limited, the legal trustees of the banks
effective June 15, 2017.
Etisalat Nigeria is currently left in
the hands of EMTS promoted by the former Chairman of United Bank for
Africa (UBA), Hakeem Belo-Osagie
Senate Working On A Bill That Will Check The Incessant Increase In House Rents
The Senate is working on a bill that will check the incessant increase
in house rents in Abuja and other parts of Nigeria, the Senate
Committee Chairman on Federal Capital Territory, Senator Dino Melaye,
He stated that the ‘Rent Edit’ bill would protect tenants and landlords
even as he promised that lawmakers would ensure the passage of the bill
before the end of the 8th Senate.
Melaye disclosed this in a statement issued by the Director of
Information at the housing arm of the Federal Ministry of Power, Works
and Housing, Mrs Eno Olotu, in Abuja, yesterday.
Governor Nyesom Wike sacks one of his commissioners
Rivers state governor, Nyesom Wike, this morning sacked the commissioner
for Works in the state, Bathuel Harrison (pictured in jacket).
In a statement released by his Special Assistant on Electronic Media,
Simeon Nwakaudu, Wike said the sack is with immediate effect. He ordered
Harrison to hand over to the permanent secretary in the ministry.
No reason was given for the termination of the commissioner’s
Indonesia to build a refinery in Nigeria
The Federal Government’s plan to attract investment in modular
refineries as part of efforts to boost local refining capacity, gained
momentum yesterday with an Indonesian firm, PT Intim Perkasa Nigeria
Ltd, a subsidiary of PT Intim Perkasa, Indonesia, indicating interest to
build a refinery in Nigeria.
Mr. Adi Hartadi, the Head of Investor Relations of PTPP (Persero) Tbk,
partners to PT Intim Perkasa Nigeria Ltd, who disclosed this in Abuja
during a business meeting with the Group Managing Director of the
Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Dr. Maikanti Baru,
stated that the proposed refinery would be located in Akwa Ibom State.
The refinery, a modular one, will have refining capacity for 10,000
barrels per stream day. Hartadi stated that their company has more than
50 years of experience in construction and engineering and it was
desirous of diversifying into downstream operations in Nigeria.
Responding, the NNPC Group Managing Director, Maikanti Baru, who was
represented by the Chief Operating Officer (COO), Refineries and
Petrochemicals, Engr. Anigbor Kragha, stated that NNPC placed high
premium on investment in the nation’s refining sector.
The GMD stated that the Corporation had a Greenfield Refinery Department
that specialized in new refinery projects and also provided
professional support to potential investors in modular refinery in the
country in line with the Federal Government policy on modular
He explained that the country’s three refineries with a combined
capacity of 445,000bpd could not function optimally over the years due
to lack of investment, adding that NNPC would give necessary support to
the Indonesian Company interest in the downstream sector.
“On our end, we have embarked on ambitious plan to fast-track programmes
to restore our capacity utilization from 30 per cent to a minimum of 90
per cent in the next 24 months. To do that, we are working on securing
financing from third parties, not just funding, but also technical
expertise to help us increase our performance to world class levels that
they should be,” Baru stated.
He explained that given Nigeria’s expected population, by 2025, more
than 40 million litres of petrol would be required for local
consumption, adding that the combined capacity of the nation’s 3
refineries would only be able to satisfy just above 50 per cent of the
projected local demand. He expressed optimism that with this kind of
investment coming steadily, Nigeria could serve as a regional hub of
refined petroleum products for West Africa and beyond.
He called on the investors to be mindful of clean fuel policy across
African countries and ensure that they produce fuels that meet
specification with regards to sulphur content.
Earlier, Dwiyatna Widinugraha, Third Secretary for Economic Affairs,
Indonesian Embassy in Nigeria and the leader of the Indonesian
delegation, stated that the visit was a follow-up to the earlier visit
by the Indonesian envoy to NNPC, the bilateral meeting between the
Indonesian Trade Minister with his Nigerian counterpart as well as the
visit of Indonesian Prime Minister to Nigeria.
It would be recalled that the Indonesian Ambassador to Nigeria, Mr.
Harry Purwanto, had recently expressed interest in purchasing more crude
oil from Nigeria during a courtesy call to the NNPC GMD, Maikanti Baru.