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By YUSUF BABALOLA, Lagos The nation’s shipping sector is currently experiencing cash crunch as a result of the harsh economic situation in the country, LEADERSHIP has learnt. This has led to liquidation of indigenous shipping companies and the taking over of businesses and properties belonging to  ship owners’ by financial institutions. Ship owners are said to be owing banks huge non-performing loans to the tune of N5 billion accrued from ship purchases and financing. LEADERSHIP investigationsalso showed that current fluctuations in the global oil market, lack of patronage, unavailability of forex and non-implementation of the Cabotage Act, among others contributed to the liquidation challenges faced by Ship owners in the sector. This paper had reported that indigenous ship owners were selling off their properties in choice areas of Lagos, Abuja and Port Harcourt to repay huge debts they owe banks. It was also gathered that, while ship owners operating in the downstream oil and gas...

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A familiar tremor of uncertainty is fluttering in the country over the implementation of the report of the three-man panel set up by President Muhammadu Buhari to probe suspended secretary to the government of the federation (SGF), Babachir Lawal and director-general of the National Intelligence Agency (NIA), Ayo Oke. With the president out of the country for medical check up in London, there is growing concern over who will receive and implement the report, since chairman of the probe panel, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, is now acting president. The contention is that the chairman of the probe panel who is now acting president may likely not be in a position to receive and implement his own report. Besides, it was not clear whether the probe committee actually submitted the report yesterday as it promised last week. The senior special assistant to the Vice president on media and publicity, Laolu Akande, had said last...
Royal Dutch oil giant, Shell, said it has resumed oil production at its 225,000 barrels per day (bpd) Bonga Floating Production Storage and Offloading (FPSO) field in Nigeria’s deep-waters. According to the company, the repair of Bonga will ensure sustained production and reduce unscheduled production deferments. This was disclosed in the company’s first quarter 2017 financial results. The report revealed that Shell netted an income of 2.2 billion dollars and was expecting to generate $10 billion in cash flow from the delivery of some of its new projects by 2018. Shell is also involved in a new deep-water project known as the 13.5 billion dollars Zabazaba Deepwater project located in Oil Prospecting Lease (OPL) 245. The net profit, it said, doubled in the first three months of 2017, as rebounding oil prices and refining gains helped boost its revenue. According to the report, Shell generated a cash flow of $9.5 billion in the quarter,...
There were indications yesterday that the 2017 budget may not be laid today before the Senate plenary. LEADERSHIP learnt that it was not even  listed among items in the Senate order paper for today as at 8:00pm last night when the order paper was already prepared. Laying of the 2017 Budget was conspicuously missing from the order paper, indicating that the budget presentation may have been postponed. Besides, the federal government yesterday met with the leadership of the Senate and House of Representatives  to evolve budgetary allocation measures to  settle unpaid salaries, owed allowances and pension arrears of workers in the country. It became evidently clear that the budget would not be passed today when the meeting turned out to be  inconclusive and was consequently adjourned to 4:00pm today to reach a definite outcome. The minister of Finance, Kemi Adeosun; his Labour and Employment counterpart, Chris Ngige; the director general of Budget Office, Ben...
The federal government has described a statement credited to a faction of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) criticising the process that led to the release of the 82 Chibok Girls over the weekend as indecent, inhuman and ill-timed. In a statement issued in Abuja yesterday, the minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, said it is patently insensitive for any individual or organisation to “seek to douse, on the altar of politics, the universal joy that has greeted the release of the 82 girls - the highest number so far freed since their unfortunate abduction under the watch of the PDP over three years ago.” As deduced from the statement, the minister said that it was more clear that the PDP,whose incompetence and cluelessness precipitated the Chibok girls crisis in the first instance, is not wishing and praying for it to end with the safe return of the abducted girls. ‘’In...
Borno State governor ,Kashim Shettima yesterday  paid a thank-you visit to President Muhammadu Buhari at the Presidential Villa over the release of the 82 Chibok girls over the weekend. He noted that the Federal Government under the gallant leadership of the President Buhari surprised the people of Borno State with a very precious gift and that gift was securing the release of 21 promising daughters of Borno who were amongst the 276 schoolgirls violently abducted by the Boko Haram insurgents at Government Secondary School, Chibok on the 14th of April, 2014. Shettima told the Acting President, Yemi Osinbajo who represented the President that in October, last year, the release of those 21 girls brought them  overwhelming joy, adding however that  rather than coming to Villa to show gratitude, they opted to be grateful in silence. He observed that two days ago, the entire world was electrified by a record breaking negotiation which...
There was jubilation across the country yesterday, as President Muhammadu Buhari received the 82 released Chibok schoolgirls at the Presidential Villa, Abuja. On arrival in Abuja, the girls  were received at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport by Abba Kyari, the chief of staff to the president. Announcing their arrival at about 11am yesterday, the special adviser to the president on media and publicity, Femi Adesina, tweeted on his twitter handle: “82 Chibok girls now in Abuja. Received on behalf of the President at the airport by Chief of Staff, Alhaji Abba Kyari. Congrats Nigeria”. The girls were immediately taken to undergo medical check-up at the Department of State Services (DSS) clinic in Aso Rock. The girls arrived the presidential villa at about 7:05pm in two white Marcopolo buses accompanied by security officials and Minister of Women Affairs, Hajiya Aisha Alhassan. The buses had window blinds which shielded the girls from the prying eyes of...
The nation’s drive towards self-sufficiency in sugar production will soon be attained as Dangote conglomerate concludes plans to establish a $450 million Sugar refinery plant in Niger State The managing director of Dangote Sugar Refinery Company, Engineer Abdullahi Sule disclosed this to newsmen in Minna, the Niger State capital after a brief meeting with the State governor, Alhaji Abubakar Sani Bello in his office. Sule who led a team of experts from Dangote group to the meeting in Government House, Minna said the meeting was to brief the governor on the progress made so far on the proposed Sugar and Rice schemes to be sited in the state by the group. According to Sule, sites for both the sugarcane plantation and the refinery have been identified while the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between Niger State government, the community hosting the schemes and the group is being perfected. “For the Sugar, we have...
Due to the moribund state of the three existing paper mills in the country, Nigeria loses over N400 billion annually to importation of paper products, LEADERSHIP checks have revealed. It was gathered that despite the much touted privatisation process of previous administrations, the three paper mills are not functional. They are Nigeria Paper Mill (NPM) Limited located in Jebba, Kwara State; Nigerian Newsprint Manufacturing Company (NNMC) Ltd. in Oku-Iboku, Akwa Ibom State and Nigerian National Paper Manufacturing Company (NNPMC) Ltd., Iwopin, in Ogun State. Managing Director/CEO of NNPMC, Ebun Braithwaite, who spoke with LEADERSHIP on phone, however, assured that the company is tackling the challenges head-on. She said she was confident that with reversal at the company, activities which would impact positively on the host community and indeed the state will commence fully. She noted that the problem of Iwopin Pulp and Paper Company has to be looked at within the larger context of...