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Alison-Madueke, Shell in $380Bn “Shady” Oil Deal-Reps

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House of Representatives, Thursday accused Mrs. Diezani Alison-Madueke, minister of Petroleum Resources; Shell Petroleum Development Company Limited; and officials of the Nigerian Petroleum Development Corporation (NPDC) of “secret and arbitrary farm-out” of oil mining leases.

The House has also asked its ad-hoc committee to investigate the alleged shady oil deal which it put at some $380 billion.

According to the House, the deal include; oil mining leases 4, 26, 30, 34, 38, 41 and 42 to two firms, Atlantic Energy Drilling Concept Limited and Septa Energy Limited, without  due process.

The legislators alleged deliberate exclusion of indigenous operators from exercising their rights of first refusal before selections were made, adding that the exercise was carried out in violation of sections 3 ( 1), (2) and 5 of the Nigerian Oil and Gas industry content Act N0 2 of 2010.

They said the federal government would have earned $800 million in upfront payments instead of the $50 million it received, if there had be an open competitive bidding in accordance with the Public Procurement Act.

Mr. Victor Ogene, member of the House from Anambra State, who raised the issue under matters of urgent public importance, recalled that the deal was the reason protesters from oil producing communities in Delta State marched on the National Assembly on April 25, 2013.

Ogene alleged that Alison-Madueke, SPDC and NPDC officials worked in collaboration with the firms to farm out the marginal oil fields.

“A colossal sum of $380 billion or N59 trillion and $15.72 trillion worth of gas assets were alleged to be at stake in the shady deal.” He added

According to him, “This is an action, which obviated the need for an open and competitive bidding in favour of Atlantic Energy Drilling Concept Ltd, which neither tendered nor bided for the (oil) blocks allocated to it,”

He noted that the entire deal became possible through a mischievous process of hinging the transaction on the ‘Strategic Alliance Agreement’ an action which was deliberately designed to circumvent due process and transparency in contravention of Section 3 of the Nigerian Extractive Industry Transparent Initiative, NEITI, Act 2005, the Public Procurement Act and the Nigerian Oil and Gas Industry Content Act (No 2) 2010.

The House did not debate the motion before endorsing it for investigation.

In passing the motion, the House urged stakeholders, authorities or bodies to cooperate and assist the committee in it investigation and findings.

Mr. Emeka Ihedioha, deputy speaker of the House, who presided over Thursday’s sitting, observed that debating it could make lawmakers to pass judgments ahead of the investigation.

“We have to guard against debating this motion so that comments are not made that will prejudice the outcome of the investigation,” Ihedioha said.

The investigation will be conducted within four weeks.

 


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NCC Threatens Illegal Users of GSM Boosters with Arrest, Prosecution

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Nigerian Communication Commission (NCC) has warned telecom consumers to desist from using illegal GSM boosters.

NCC Threatens Illegal Users of GSM Boosters with Arrest, Prosecution

The commission also said that anyone caught using a GSM booster without obtaining approval of a duly licensed network operator will face arrest and prosecution.

GSM boosters are devices that transmit and receive telecommunications signals and can therefore interfere with other radio frequency equipment.

Ikechukwu Adinde, director, public affairs, NCC, said in a notice published on NCC website, that only licensed network operators are allowed to use GSM boosters.

The booster, also known as amplifier or repeater is made up of three main elements – exterior antenna, amplifier, and interior antenna.

They form a wireless system to boost cellular reception

“Members of the public should note that, willful interference with any wireless telegraphy is an offence under Section 16 of the Telegraphy Act, 2004,”it said

The agency said it will not condone any flagrant breach of this law.

It has also enforced measures to prosecute offenders.

Accordingly, monitoring mechanisms have been put in place and anyone caught using a GSM booster without obtaining approval of a duly licensed network operator will face arrest and prosecution.

“Any member of the public with useful information regarding the illegal use of GSM Boosters should contact the Commission on 09-4617000/7351 or send an email to [email protected],” the notice said.

“Individuals desirous of using GSM Boosters should note that they can only do so in conjunction with licensed network operators,” it added.

 

 


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Tizeti Selects Nokia to Provide LTE Fixed Wireless Access Solution for High-Speed internet Services in Nigeria

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Tizeti announced that it selected Nokia’s Fastmile Long Term Evolution (LTE) technology to enable usprovide superior internet services to over 1 Million subscribers in Port Harcourt, Edo and Ogun in Nigeria.

Tizeti Selects Nokia to Provide LTE Fixed Wireless Access Solution for High-Speed internet Services in Nigeria

Tizeti will deploy Nokia’s AirScale Base Station TDD-LTE and FastmileFixed Wireless Access (FWA) gatewaysto deliver premium internet and Virtual Private Network (VPN) services to Residential, Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs).

The solution will also enable Tizeti’sto deliver a more robust, high-speedinternet service to subscribers and the flexibility to seamlessly evolve to 5G Fixed Wireless Access when needed.

Nokia’s FWA solution enables Tizeti to fast-track broadband access and provide a best-in-class broadband experience to its subscribers.

Nokia’sAirScale Base Stations ensure high-quality connectivity and coverage and enablesTizeti to evolve the network in line with customer demand.

Nokia’sFastmilegateways connect wirelessly to the existing network to createa fastbroadband connection and enhanced Wi-Fi experience in the home.

The Nokia Network Services Platform will help Tizeti to simplify operations and quickly respond to changing market demands.

Kendall Ananyi, Tizeti, said:“We are committed to providing the best-in-class network experience to our subscribers. We are confident that Nokia’s proven technology and expertise will help us differentiate our services based on quality. This a crucial project for us as it introduces LTE in our networks and allows us to bring new and innovative services to our subscribers.”

Eniola Balogun, Nokia, said:“We are thrilled to work with Tizeti on the initiative to upgrade their network to bring the latest products and services to its subscribers. Nokia Fastmile will help Tizeti to cost-effectively enhance the customer experience.

The project will also enable them to delight their subscribers by providing more reliable data services.

On the other hand, Tizeti will benefit by adding new revenue streams.”

 

 


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Risk Assets Push Higher on Vaccine Hopes; Eyes on the Fed

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By Hussein Sayed, Chief Market Strategist at FXTM,

After two consecutive weeks of back-to-back declines, global stocks kicked off Monday with solid gains amid a surge in M&A activity and positive signs towards vaccine developments. Currency markets were little changed ahead of a busy week of monetary policy announcements, while Oil and Gold ticked slightly higher.

The two big deals announced over the weekend were Softbank’s plan to sell chipmaker ARM to Nvidia for more than $40 billion and Gilead Sciences to acquire Immunomedics for a price tag of $21 billion. Meanwhile, on the vaccine front, AstraZeneca resumed its phase-3 trial on Covid-19 after being suspended last week following a neurological illness developed in one participant, and Pfizer announced that its vaccine could be distributed before year-end if found safe and effective.

 

Central Banks will take centre stage this week with the Federal Reserve, Bank of England and Bank of Japan all due to announce policy decisions. Out of the three meetings, the Fed is likely to be the most watched following its historic shift towards average inflation targeting. The big question remains how will the FOMC put this policy into action?

 

From what we know now, the Fed is set up to keep interest rates near zero for a long time, possibly for several years. Given the new framework, any spike in inflation won’t translate into immediate rate hikes as the Fed wants to compensate for the lost years when they have failed to hit the target. The dot plot will be the key guide for investors and traders alike. If inflation projections remain at 2% or below for the foreseeable future, this will solidify market expectations for a low rate environment for many years to come. That said, Jay Powell would still have to explain in more detail how the new framework will be translated into policy action.

 

In June’s economic projections, the Fed anticipated unemployment would be at 9.3% by year-end, but, in August, unemployment was well below that forecast at 8.4%. Many other economic data surprised to the upside during the June – August period in a clear sign that most economists were overly pessimistic towards the strength of the recovery. However, there is still a considerable amount of uncertainty given the latest surge in Covid-19 cases worldwide and the US, especially as we get closer into the winter season. A second wave will undoubtedly put the recovery at risk in the final quarter of the year and it will be interesting to see the Fed’s view on that issue.

 

As for the market selloff over the past two weeks, the Fed isn’t likely to show any signs of concern. In fact, policymakers should be satisfied with the pullback as the risk of a bubble in several assets has been growing due to the Fed’s extremely accommodative policies. Unless we see another 10 -15% drop, do not expect the Fed to intervene.


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