The Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPCL) has announced that it has discovered over 4,800 illegal connections on oil pipelines in the country.
The Group Chief Executive Officer of NNPCL, Mele Kyari disclosed this while appearing before the Senate Committee on Appropriations on Friday, December 8.
“We have over 4,800 illegal connections on our pipelines. That means in some lines, within 100 kilometres of pipelines, you have as much as 300 insertions.
“Therefore, even when you produce the oil, you cannot deliver them at the required pressure and therefore the volume will also be less.”
According to the NNPCL boss, people troop in from other parts of the country to insert illegal connections on pipelines in the oil-producing Niger Delta region of Nigeria.
US President Joe Biden's son, Hunter Biden was indicted Thursday on nine charges including three felonies in part for allegedly dodging more than $1 million in taxes while living a hard-partying, “extravagant” life over four years.
The three felonies levelled against President Biden’s 53-year-old son — who faces a maximum penalty of 17 years in prison if convicted on all counts include one count of tax evasion for his 2018 personal taxes and two counts of filing a false return for his 2018 personal taxes and on a corporate income tax return for his company Owasco, PC.
He has also been hit with six misdemeanor counts of failure to pay and failure to file charges for the 2016, 2017, 2018 and 2019 tax years
“The Defendant engaged in a four-year scheme to not pay at least $1.4 million in self-assessed federal taxes he owed for tax years 2016 through 2019,” special counsel David Weiss wrote in the 56-page indictment out of the Central District of California.
“In furtherance of that scheme,” Weiss noted that Hunter “subverted the payroll and tax withholding process of his own company, Owasco, PC by withdrawing millions from Owasco, PC” and “spent millions of dollars on an extravagant lifestyle rather than paying his tax bills.”
Hunter spent his cash on “drugs, escorts and girlfriends, luxury hotels and rental properties, exotic cars, clothing, and other items of a personal nature, in short, everything but his taxes,” according to the indictment.
Weiss highlighted that Biden used a business line of credit to make more than $27,000 in payments to a porn site, “which in total accounted for one fifth of all of the business line of credit expenditures.”
The porn payments were among nearly $189,000 the first son spent on “adult entertainment” while not paying taxes, according to Weiss, including a $10,000 payment for a sex club membership that he expensed as a “golf club membership.”
He also claimed a false deduction for “consulting” that was “in truth and in fact” payments to “various women who were either romantically involved with or otherwise performing personal services” for Biden.
More than $680,000 went to these women while Biden wasn’t paying taxes.
“When he did finally file his 2018 returns, [Hunter] included false business deductions in order to evade assessment of taxes to reduce the substantial tax liabilities he faced as of February 2020,” the special counsel added.
Judge Mark Scarsi, an appointee of former President Donald Trump, has been assigned the case.
The scandal-scarred first son is already facing three felony counts related to false statements he made when purchasing a firearm. Weiss brought those charges against him in September, after a June plea deal fell apart in a Delaware courtroom.
Hunter has pleaded not guilty to all charges. He faces a maximum of 25 years in prison in the gun case.
IRS whistleblower Gary Shapley claims Biden avoided paying taxes on $8.3 million in income he received between 2014 and 2019, a period during which he sat on the board of the Ukrainian gas company Burisma Holdings and the Chinese private equity fund BHR Partners.
During the plea hearing, prosecutors noted to US District Judge Maryellen Noreika that the agreement did not preclude bringing charges against Biden later for other alleged crimes — such as possible violations of the Foreign Agents Registration Act.
Survivors of Sunday night bombing of Tudun Biri in Igabi local government area of Kaduna State have continued to lament how they lost their loved ones as a result of the bomb dropped by the Army during a Maulud celebration by the villagers.
Some of them told LEADERSHIP Weekend in tears that the trauma the incident has caused them is unimaginable, saying they have become widows, widowers and orphans all of a sudden.
A particular woman who could not even remember her name but later confirmed by her neighbour to be known as Hajia Hajaratu lost all her five children in the incident while some others lost their spouses, children and relatives.
A resident, Umar Yunusa, said his wife and two children were killed by the bomb and now he is left to carter alone for his last daughter.
“When we heard the sound of the bomb, we thought it was the sound of a loudspeaker when the first bomb dropped. Everywhere we turned, the ground was littered with flesh.
“I no longer have a wife and I lost two children. I also lost three of my siblings. There is no family that has not lost someone. We also lost visitors,” he said weeping.
According to him, a certain Bara’atu Abdullahi came to visit her mother and decided to join the Maulud adding that although she survived the bomb, she sustained injuries, but others around her were not so fortunate.
Another resident, Jemila Ahmed said two of her children died while she sustained injuries for which she was receiving treatment. She maintained that the situation is still like a dream to her.
“I was standing when I heard a loud sound. I fell and became unconscious because my two legs were badly affected and my two children, Mohammed (7-year-old) and Abubakar (5-year-old) were killed by the bomb who could only be identified through their clothes as the bombs dismembered them beyond recognition. I only identified them through their clothes,” she said in tears.
“Some were dismembered; hands and legs were cut off; some had burst stomachs,” she added.
She disclosed that one of her children was lucky but also sustained injury and they were both receiving treatments at the Barau Dikko Teaching Hospital where most of the survivors were rushed to.
A 60-year-old survivor, Suleiman Umar lamented how they could be mistaken for bandits, stressing that the villagers gathered to commemorate the Maulud celebration, stressing that “we are not bandits but residents of Tudun Biri celebrating Maulud when we were attacked.”
He however said, “Bandits do come to our village but we always report strange faces to our district head. We don’t fraternise with them at all. There was a time we discovered one informant in our village. We disowned him and handed him over to the Army. We have nothing to do with bandits.
“I was eating that night when we were bombed. Many people died. We can hardly identify our children; some with burst bellies. They bombed us twice. After the first round of bombs, they came back to bomb us again.
“I ran into a deep forest where I slept till daybreak. We covered the dead with leaves. We separated the males from the females and covered them with leaves.”
For 35-year-old Zainab Alhassan, no fewer than 32 of her family members lost their lives. Some were stampeded running for their lives when they thought it was a bandit attack, adding that how she survived, even though with injuries, is still a surprise to her.
She said, “We are celebrating Maulud when the air strike occurred, killing many people. We never saw the jet that dropped the bomb. It was those who came from afar that saw the aircraft that dropped the bomb.
“We were only in a celebration mode. We thought those that attacked us were bandits. I do not know how I escaped. We lost 32 people in our family. There is another family that lost about 15 people to the attack too. Many people died. Even those that are rescuing people were also killed by the second bomb.
“About 82 corpses were counted and yesterday night, another victim died. There are families that don’t even know where members of their families are now. They are missing.”
The death toll from the drone air strike, which the authorities said was done in error, is at present put at over 100 with no fewer than 70 injured persons still receiving treatment.
President Bola Tinubu has expressed optimism on the prospect of increased investments from Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria (SPDC), saying his administration was ready to remove bottlenecks to attract investments.
He emphasised Nigeria’s long-term relationship with the company, which discovered the first commercial oil field at Oloibiri in the Niger Delta in 1956.
Receiving the management of Shell Group led by its Global Integrated Gas and Upstream Director, Ms. Zoe Yujnovich, the president in a statement by presidential spokesman, Ajuri Ngelale, said his administration would continue to ensure the security and viability of existing and new investments in the country.
“We have made progress since our last meeting. I will continue to support and encourage you on this path. There is no doubt that there is a significant focus on investment in and around the continent. I am spearheading Nigeria’s global march for new investments at home.
“In view of our long-term relationship that has been established over the years, we want you to do more, and we are ready to encourage you in every way possible.
“We are very focused on resolving all investment-related issues. There is no bottleneck that is too difficult for us to remove in our determined march toward making Nigeria the African haven for large-scale investment in all key sectors. We need each other,” the president told the delegation.
In her remarks on behalf of the Shell Group, Ms. Yujnovich expressed Shell’s commitment to maintain its legacy of investments in Nigeria, particularly as the company refocuses its investment to key into new and existing opportunities in the deepwater and gas sectors.
She outlined the company’s dedication to the development of the gas value chain in the country, including a substantial commitment of $1 billion over the next five to 10 years aimed at unlocking gas resources for domestic use and the Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas (NLNG) project.
Ms. Yujnovich announced an imminent $5 billion investment opportunity in the Bonga North project off the shores of Nigeria, located in the deep water.
She expressed Shell’s eagerness to proceed with this investment and outlined several prospective investments that Shell Group is eyeing in Nigeria over the short to medium term. She commended the collaboration her team has experienced with the minister of state for Petroleum Resources (Oil), Sen. Heineken Lokpobiri and the special sdviser to the president on energy, Olu Verheijen, while acknowledging their roles in achieving significant progress in actualising the potential of these projects as well as others.
“Mr. President, I want to be successful in my role, and I cannot be successful in my role unless I can find a way to bring more new investments to Nigeria.
“I have made commitments to our investors that we will continue to invest in gas and oil. In Nigeria, I see all the conditions to continue to make this partnership stronger. In the deep water, we have an imminent investment opportunity in Bonga North. This is $5 billion. I am really keen to make that investment as soon as possible. We want to continue and build a pipeline of new investments in Nigeria,” she said.
When an actor, Bolanle Ninolowo, aka Nino B, posted a video of him walking hand-in-hand with an actress, Damilola Adegbite, during the week, he set tongues wagging as many insinuated that the duo might be in a relationship. That was particularly because the recently separated actor had posted a video of the both of them in a gym recently. Undoubtedly, both actors, who have had failed marriages, still turn heads with their stunning looks and captivating personality, and are very much sought after by members of the opposite sex. Saturday Beats takes a look at other entertainers in this category
There is no doubt that Bolanle Ninolowo, aka Nino B, is one of the male actors that many female fans find attractive. During the week, the recently separated actor posted a video of himself and actress, Damilola Adegbite, and added the caption, “That hateful energy— too pricey! Love don’t cost a thang”. This led to speculation among fans that the duo are now in a relationship.
Recall that Ninolowo recently got separated from Bunmi, his wife of 19 years. Announcing the end of the marriage, he had written on Instagram, “Finally, I accept the reality of the end to a road! My wife and I have decided to go our separate ways and headed for an irreconcilable marriage dissolution.
“Please respect our privacy and pray for us during this process as we heal and move on with our independent lives, while jointly taking care of what we love most— our children! God bless all.”
The couple had two kids before their separation.
An actress, Damilola Adegbite, got married to a Ghanaian actor, Chris Attoh, in 2015. She got engaged to Atto after they met on the set of the soap opera, ‘Tinsel’, in 2014. Their marriage later ended in 2017.
Adegbite had given an indication that all was not well with their union when she stopped using Attoh’s surname and deleted all photos of him from her social media account.
Adegbite, who finally opened up about the marriage crash in an interview with media personality, Jude Chinowo in 2021, noted that she had no regrets. She said, “Love is not enough. When you meet somebody and want to spend the rest of your life with them, love is just one of the qualities you need but it’s not everything. The only regard that I would have for him right now is that he’s the father of my son and of course, the past experiences. Because like I said to you before, I don’t regret anything. Everything that happened was for a reason.”
However, it is not in doubt, that the actress has not had a shortage of admirers, with some fans even stating their desires to date her.
Funke Akindele is one woman who is loved by many, especially as she has set exemplary standards in the film industry through her numerous achievements.
She got married to a songwriter, rapper and director, Abdulrasheed Bello, aka JJC Skillz, in May 2016. The couple later welcomed twin boys in December 2018. However, their marriage hit the rocks in June 2022.
Informing fans that they had separated, JJC Skillz wrote on Instagram, “Dear friends and family, I need to let you know that Funke and I have separated. While it lasted, we shared a lot of things and have created two beautiful children. The last two years have been extremely difficult for us. I know I have tried my best to fix things but I believe it is beyond repair now.”
Meanwhile, that was the actress’ second marriage. Her first marriage had ended in a similar manner when her then-husband, Kehinde Oloyede, announced the separation between himself and the actress via a Facebook post in 2013, after about a year of marriage, citing irreconcilable differences.
The actress has obviously moved on and has continued to break new grounds in her film and political careers. Many would also give an arm and a leg to be in a relationship with her.
A popular actress and TV host, Osas Ighodaro, does not hesitate to flaunt her sexy body and eloquence, especially when on the red carpet, and this has won her the admiration of many fans.
Ighodaro got married to a fellow actor, Gbenro Ajibade, in July 2015 and their wedding was attended by many celebrities. Unfortunately, the marriage barely lasted four years, as the duo went their separate ways in 2019. Since then, the actress has continued to put in much energy in her career.
Actress, Tonto Dikeh, met her ex-husband, Olakunle Churchill, in 2014 at Escape Nightclub, Lagos. Dikeh became pregnant six months after they started dating and they got married in August 2015 in her hometown in Rumukani, Rumukwuta, Rivers State. In 2016, they had a son together but unfortunately divorced the following year.
Though the marriage ended controversially, Tonto Dikeh did not let that affect her looks. The actress has remained the dream girl of many male fans, and she was in another well-publicised relationship with a socialite, Prince Kpokpogri, which crashed in controversial circumstances in 2022.
Kate Henshaw is 52 years old but her looks belie her age as she has done a great job of keeping herself fit despite her age. Henshaw cares deeply for herself and this has made her attractive to many fans.
Henshaw tied the knot with her British husband, Roderick Nuttal, in 1999 and they welcomed a daughter the following year. However, the couple got divorced in 2011.
Actress, Yvonne Jegede, got married to her ex-husband, Kunle Fawole, aka Abounce, in February 2017. The couple welcomed a son in November of the same year. Jegede and Fawole later went their separate ways two years after in 2019.
In an interview with actress Mercy Johnson in 2022, Jegede noted that even though the burden of being a single parent was a heavy one to carry, she was grateful for the experience regardless.
Tiwatope Savage got married to entertainment executive, Tunji Balogun, popularly known as Tee Billz, in November 2013 at the Ark Event Centre, Lekki, Lagos. However, their marriage crashed in April 2016 amid accusations of infidelity from both parties. The couple had a child together.
Despite their differences, Tee Billz has hailed Savage for being a super mum to their son, Jamal. He wrote on social media, “When I see what other men go through, I can’t help but count my blessings. Forever grateful to Mama J for making my relationship so full of love. Even when I can’t afford, she still presents me as a superman to my twin (Jamal). Being a single mum is a heck of a job. Grateful and Blessed. Highly appreciative, Titi.”
Similarly, many fans admire the popular singer for her beauty, charisma and style.
A media personality, Toke Makinwa, married her ex-husband, Maje Ayida, in January 2014 after they had dated for eight years. However, in 2015, she separated from Ayida after discovering that he had impregnated his ex-girlfriend. Their marriage was officially dissolved by a Lagos High Court on October 5, 2017, on the grounds that Ayida committed adultery. Not long after the divorce, Makinwa published a book titled, ‘On Becoming’, where she detailed her experiences in the marriage.
Meanwhile, Tokstarr, as she is fondly called by friends and fans, has earned the admiration of male and female fans alike, who are drawn to her flashy lifestyle. She also has a figure that makes outfits look good on her.
Iniobong Edo, aka Ini Edo, is no doubt a talented actress. The screen goddess got married to Philip Ehiagwina in 2008. However, the marriage ended after six years.
Years later, Edo had her first child through surrogacy in 2021.
She had also described her time being married as wasteful, adding that she regretted the decision. In an interview with a media personality, Chude Jidenowo, in 2023, she said, “Yes, I regretted getting married because it wasn’t the right time, but if the right person comes, I’ll do it again and if it doesn’t, then I’m good.”
Many female fans undoubtedly have their eyes on actor and model, Ikechukwu Ogbonna. Despite his failed marriage, the actor has said that he is still open to giving matrimony another shot. In an earlier interview with The PUNCH, the actor had said, “For me, the doors are still very open but, probably in life you know you tend to look out for certain things and qualities in a woman because you don’t want to have a divorce twice. I am going to get married again but it’s going to be with someone with particular characteristics and personality that I can hold on to if the worst comes to worst”.
IK Ogbonna got married to Sonia Morales in 2015 but the duo went their separate ways in 2019.
Adamawa State Governor Ahmadu Umaru Fintiri has presented a N225.8bn budget estimate for 2024 to the House of Assembly for consideration and approval.
Dubbed the ‘Budget of Reengineering’, the estimate includes N111.3bn (49.3 per cent) for recurrent, and N114.5bn (50.7 per cent) for capital expenditure.
The proposed budget is higher than the N214.2bn of 2023, which according to the governor, is based on current economic indicators such as an oil production benchmark of 1.78 million barrels per day, oil price benchmark of $77.96/barrel, an exchange rate of N750/$, national GDP growth rate of 3.75 per cent and national inflation rate of 21.5 per cent.
Fintiri revealed that the budget includes N68.047bn from statutory allocation, N47.7bn from the share of Value Added Tax, N1bn from the ecological fund, N16bn for exchange rate difference, N6.6bn from non-oil revenue, N2.2bn from other FAAC transfers, N22.2bn from internally generated revenue, N4.9bn from aids and grants, and N57.1bn from capital receipts.
The Ministry of Works and Energy Development will receive N25.5bn; Ministry of Education and Human Capital Development, N15.6bn; Ministry of Health and Human Services, N6.3bn; Ministry of Finance, N6.066bn; Ministry of Housing and Urban Development, N4.9bn; and the Ministry of Youth and Sports Development, N4.6bn.
The governor stated that the state would continue to maintain the International Public Sector Accounting Standards (IPSAS) programme, which is fully implemented in the state.
He directed all ministries, departments and agencies to include the classification code and vote of charge balance on their memos when requesting fund release to enable financial experts to accurately track releases.
Fintiri also stated that the state government would continue to train and equip civil servants with skills to improve their desk functions and enhance service delivery in the state.
Fintiri emphasised that the state would explore untapped sources of revenue to enhance revenue generation.
He added that his administration would prioritise key areas to improve the state’s fortune while carrying out its duties in all social and economic spheres with due diligence.
The Speaker of the Assembly, Mr Bathiya Wesley, pledged that the House would act promptly to ensure the timely approval of the budget for the overall development of the state.
Broadcasting company Multichoice has jacked up the prices of its offerings in Nigeria days after announcing a $72m loss in its financial statement for the third quarter of the year.
Checks on the company’s reviewed price list showed a 20 per cent per cent hike in the company’s packages across the board.
With the latest price hike, the DStv Premium package increased by 20.4 per cent from N24,500 to N29,500. Similarly, the DStv Compact+ has gone up by 19.2 per cent from N16,600 to N19,800 while the Compact package increased by 19 per cent, from N10,500 to N12,500.
The Comfam package moved up by 19.2 per cent from N6,200 to N7,400. The latest hike made it the second time the company would implement an upward review of prices within a six-month period.
In May, Multichoice had jacked up the prices of its offerings. During this round of price hikes, the DStv Premium package increased by 16.7 per cent (N3,500) from N21,000 to N24,500.
Similarly, the DStv Compact+ package had gone up by 16.5 per cent (N2,350) from N14,250 to N16,600. The DStv Compact package also rose by 16.7 per cent from N9,000 to N10,500. The DStv Confam package, previously priced at N5,300, went up by 17 per cent to N6,200.
Confirming the latest hike, a spokesperson in the company who preferred to speak anonymously blamed the harsh business environment for the hike.
According to the source, the company had to grapple with the devastating consequences of the continued devaluation of the naira, alongside a vast array of challenges including taxation, logistics, among others.
The source said, “Yes. We have increased our rates. We buy content in dollars but earn in naira. If we take off a channel or stop acquiring content that our customers are used to, we will be slammed.
“We buy diesel. We pay taxes. Even before this year, with the dollar and fuel subsidy removal. We pay billions in licensing fees. We operate several offices. We have to pay staff.”
The latest hike comes after Multichoice reported a third consecutive semi-annual loss, attributing its financial challenges to foreign exchange difficulties in Nigeria and persistent power outages in South Africa.
No fewer than five fake hospitals have been shut down by the Ebonyi State government while three fake drug distributors were arrested.
Governor Francis Nwifuru disclosed this on the floor of the House of Assembly as he presented the 2024 budget estimate, christened: “Budget of Innovation and Success,” to the legislature.
He said 107 medical quacks in the state have singed undertaking with a task-force on medical quackery in the state never to indulge in the unwholesome practice again.
Nwifuru said he was committed to upgrading the 13 general hospitals across the state to change its health status and provide access to healthcare services for rural dwellers
He said: “A total of 107 medical quacks have signed undertaking with the task-force on medical quackery never to indulge in quackery in Ebonyi State.
“The total of five quack centres have been shut down. The quack centres that have been shut down are: Eleri Hospital Afikpo, Party Hospital Ugbodo, Homeopathic Specialist Hospital Igbeagu, St. Patrick Hospital Iboko, and Alexander Hospital Umuezeoka.
“There’s also apprehension of three major distributors of fake drugs in the state and collaboration with the requisite agencies such as National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control.
“Imagine a state where every citizen regardless of their locations has access to world class health services.
“Our ongoing efforts to upgrade all the 13 general hospitals across the state are not just infrastructure enhancement. They are pathways to healing and hopes.”
A popular actress, Mercy Aigbe, has recalled that she almost left the industry over sexual harassment.
In an interview with ‘Your Views’, a talk show on TVC, she said, “I once met a producer in Surulere, and I expressed to him how much I would love to act. He told me he had an upcoming film, and invited me to his office for an audition. I passed three stages of the audition. After the last audition, I was given a minor role. I told him that was not the character I was auditioning for, and he replied that the director said he did not know me, and that was why he said I should be close to him (the producer).
“He had been making passes at me before then, but he did not come out clean to me until that day. He then stood up and tried to touch me. I was very upset, and I told him he could not do that to me, because I had earned the role. That was a huge insult to my person, and I thought if that was what it took to be an actress, I did not want to be an actress anymore. I tore the script and eventually left. On my way home, I cried because I had left a well-paying job to join Nollywood, and I was already a single mother at the time.”
She added that though she had other challenges in the industry, she made her way to the top through consistency.
PZ Cussons has published the list of its shareholders with unclaimed dividends, with about 61,628 shareholders featured on this list.
According to a corporate filing on the NGX website, the company noted that the list was published on its website instead of in newspapers due to the sheer number of shareholders with unclaimed dividends.
Affected members are strongly urged to engage with the registrars, First Registrars & Investor Services Limited.
They are requested to ensure their records are current and to inform the Registrars of any updated information, notably their bank account details for dividend disbursements.
What you should know
In August this year at the 2nd Capital Market Committee briefing, the Director General of the Securities and Exchange Commission, Lamido Yuguda, noted that unclaimed dividends in Nigeria were in the region of N190 billion.
He also noted that the SEC was working with NIBSS to make some upgrades to the electronic dividend portal.
- “We are working very hard to ensure we reduce the number of unclaimed dividends and this is why we are upgrading the e-dividend portal with NIBSS to restore investors’ dividends and reduce unclaimed dividends and we reiterate that every person, who has come to the capital market and invested money, should be able to get his dividends as and when due.”
At the same meeting, Dayo Obisan, the Executive Commissioner of Operations at the SEC lamented that despite efforts to get investors to input correct bank details and information and claim their dividends, some kept inputting wrong details.
In January 2023, PZ Cussons Nigeria Plc paid out about N4 billion in dividends to its shareholders, with dividends set at N1.01/share.
PZ Cussons Nigeria Plc has also been in the news recently due to its announced plans to delist from the NGX and go private.
Majority shareholder, PZ Cusson (Holding) Limited had announced a N23 per share buyout price for the minority shareholders, however, this is yet to be approved by the shareholders.
This was after the initial buyout price of N21/share was rejected by shareholders.