Buhari backs oil law changes


Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari has said the country will soon pass the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB), various versions of which have been in the offing for more than 10 years.

Oil & Gas

Buhari’s budget riddled with errors puts graft war in doubt


Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari’s 2016 budget proposals are riddled with errors and provisions that may undermine his anti-graft war, civic groups say. In some instances, the same purchase of vehicles, computers and furniture are replicated 24 times, totaling 46.5 billion naira ($234 million), 795 million naira is set aside to update the website of one ministry, while no purpose is assigned to a 10 billion naira provision in the education ministry’s spending plan, according to Oluseun Onigbinde, partner and co-founder of BudgIT, a Nigerian group that campaigns for transparency in public spending.


Nigeria puts burden of rebound on fiscal plan as Naira Peg stays


Nigeria’s government is set to carry the burden of boosting the economy as the central bank signaled it won’t ease currency controls that are hurting businesses. President Muhammadu Buhari is seeking to compensate for plunging oil revenue and the slowest growth in 16 years by boosting spending by a fifth to 6.1 trillion naira ($30.6 billion) this year. With Governor Godwin Emefiele on Tuesday resisting pressure to ease foreign-exchange restrictions and devalue the naira, fiscal stimulus may need to take the lead in sparking a rebound.

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Lagarde endorses Nigeria’s efforts to tackle corruption


The head of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has endorsed Nigeria’s efforts to tackle corruption in the country. Christine Lagarde said the country needed to reduce its reliance on oil as a sharp drop in prices has already taken its toll on the economy.

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Nigeria’s $5.5-billion arms scandal tests Buhari’s war on graft


Revelations that top officials are suspected of pilfering the equivalent of almost the entire annual defense budget would cause shock waves in most countries. Not in Nigeria, where the public sees political power and graft as bedfellows. The novelty this time is that President Muhammadu Buhari immediately ordered the arrest of a former national security adviser, after a government commission found that he and other officials allegedly misappropriated as much as $5.5 billion that was supposed to buy equipment to fight Islamist militant group Boko Haram. “I don’t think Nigerians would be very surprised about somebody stealing $5 billion at all,” Boye Gbadebo, a Nigerian national who works as an Africa analyst at consultancy Ake Partners, said by phone from Johannesburg.

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Former Nigerian oil minister arrested


Nigeria’s former oil minister was arrested in London on Friday, according to reports. Diezani Alison Madueke held the role for five years under the presidency of former leader Goodluck Jonathan. The UK National Crime Agency (NCA) said five people had been arrested across London as part of an investigation into suspected bribery and money laundering offences. It is understood Madueke was granted bail a few hours after being arrested.

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Nigerian President will retain country’s oil portfolio in his new cabinet


Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari said he will hold the country’s oil portfolio in his new cabinet, rather than trust anyone else with the source of most of its revenue. Buhari, who took office earlier this year, has promised to combat corruption and made clear he wants to overhaul the oil sector in Africa’s biggest economy. At an annual meeting of world leaders at the United Nations General Assembly in New York this week Buhari said he intended to remain as the minister of petroleum resources.

Oil & Gas

In hunt for missing billions, Buhari targets Nigeria Oil Company


As oil minister during military rule in the 1970s, Muhammadu Buhari oversaw the birth of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corp. Now, as democratically elected president, he intends to break up the opaque bureaucracy, which manages the oil assets of Africa’s biggest crude producer, to ensure taxpayers get their fair share. History isn’t on his side. “No Nigerian leader, including Buhari himself from the 1980s, has managed to sanitize the oil sector,” said Philippe de Pontet, head of the Africa practice at the Eurasia Group in New York. “Buhari’s challenge is not only to depoliticize NNPC but to disentangle its vested interests and its rogue commercial operations, which won’t be easy.”