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Firm Seeks Criminal Case against Shell, CEO over Nigeria Deal



A Dutch law firm has asked the public prosecutor in the Netherlands to file a case against Royal Dutch Shell, its CEO and former executives of over what it says were criminal actions relating to a 2011 oilfield purchase in Nigeria.


The Dutch authorities are already investigating the oilfield deal, alongside Italian prosecutors, who want to take Shell and Italy’s Eni to trial over alleged corruption on the same oilfield.


Shell and Eni have denied any wrongdoing. Shell said on Tuesday it did not believe there was any basis to prosecute the company or any current or former employee.


Prakken d‘Oliveira, a law firm specializing in human rights cases, filed its request in September on behalf of Global Witness and other clients, asking the prosecutor to charge Shell, as well as Chief Executive Ben van Beurden, former CEO Peter Voser and former Chief Financial Officer Simon Henry.


Voser and Henry did not respond to requests for comment.


Barbara van Straaten, a lawyer at Prakken d‘Oliveira, said the request would push the Dutch prosecutor’s office to say if they intended to move forward with criminal charges.


Campaign group Global Witness has published several reports on the 2011 deal in which Shell and Eni secured the oil prospecting license (OPL) 245.


Global Witness and others say much of the $1.3 billion in payments for the block did not go to the state but instead went to Dan Etete, a former Nigerian oil minister who was convicted of money laundering in France in 2007, and to Malabu Oil and Gas, a firm that previously held the rights.


Shell said earlier this year it knew the Nigerian government would compensate Malabu using some of the money but the transaction was fully legal.


An Italian judge is expected to decide on Dec. 20 whether to try Eni and Shell for alleged corruption in the deal.


Milan prosecutors have asked for the two firms, as well as some past and present managers from the companies, including Eni’s current CEO Claudio Descalzi, to be indicted.


A Dutch anti-fraud team raided Shell’s headquarters in The Hague in 2016 as part of its investigation.





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CLI hosts environmentalists to restate commitment to healthier, safer Lagos



Mrs. Tolagbe Martins, Managing Director of SWM Solutions (middle); Chioma Ukonu, Co-founder/COO of RecyclePoints (left) and Olawale Adebiyi, CEO of Wecyclers (right) at the Breakfast Meeting organized by Cleaner Lagos Initiative  (CLI) to familiarize environmentalists with the waste management agenda of Lagos State Government, held on Tuesday in Ikeja, Lagos.

As part of efforts to further explain and familiarize stakeholders with the plans and technicalities outlined by the Lagos State Government to effectively manage solid waste in the state, private enterprises and environmentalists who promote recycling were recently hosted to a breakfast session by the Cleaner Lagos Initiative (CLI).


The interactive forum which held at Ikeja, provided an opportunity for CLI to shed light on several issues that were misunderstood by many Lagosians, while it also enabled the stakeholders to understand the practical approach as well as factors they could contribute to the success of the initiative.


Managing Director of SWM Solutions, Mrs. Tolagbe Martins, who made a presentation at the forum explained in detail, the roles played by the Lagos State Waste Management Authority (LAWMA), newly established agency; Public Utility Monitoring Assurance Unit (PUMAU) and that of Visionscape, the Waste Collection Operator assigned by the state to collect residential waste.


Mrs Martins explained that LAWMA had been repositioned to focus majorly on regulation of Waste Collection Operators, while PUMAU would coordinate the billing, revenue collection and enforcement of the Public Utility Levy (PUL), a rate charged by government from each property/house for collection and disposal of their waste. This rate is expected to replace the monthly bill charged by PSP operators, now referred to as Waste Collection Operators (WCOs).


Speaking further, she addressed the issue of marine waste, which is also a major concern of the state government, stating that it had been integrated into the long-term plan.


“The Cleaner Lagos Initiative is mainly funded by the Trust Fund through the PUL collected, so the cooperation and support of Lagosians and residents in the state will go a long way to help the state government in achieving a healthier and safer environment for all,” she added.


Among the stakeholders present at the session were Olawale Adebiyi, CEO of Wecyclers; Chioma Ukonu, Cofounder/COO, Recycle Points; Felix Abayomi, Founder/CEO, Wildlife Conservation and Protection Initiative; Olayinka Jones, Development Consultant, Community Conservation & Development Initiative (CCDI).


In response to queries by the stakeholders on the immediate action of the government in dealing with heaps of waste dotting different parts of Lagos, Mrs. Martins explained that Visionscape has been carrying out regular deep clean activities across the state in a bid to drastically reduce waste in black spot areas that were dumped indiscriminately around the city, while also ensuring that the waste bins located in areas of the state are promptly emptied.





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Synlab Acquires Majority Stake in Nigeria’s PathCare



Synlab, Europe’s largest lab operator has bought a majority stake in Nigerian diagnostic company, PathCare Nigeria to try to tap into an underserved market for medical tests in Africa’s most populous country, it said Friday.


Nigerian lab operators, providing standard blood and urine tests as well as other medical and veterinary diagnostic services, have been attracting foreign interest to consolidate a sector dominated by family-owned businesses.


Synlab, owned by private equity firm Cinven, did not say how much it paid or the size of its stake in a company which it said was the largest private pathology laboratory firm in Nigeria.


“Nigeria has a population of about 186 million, but a large proportion of the population does not yet have access to modern medical diagnostics,” said Thomas Degott, regional head of Synlab emerging markets.


The German lab chain — which operates in more than 30 countries mainly in Europe — has previously said it was looking at selective acquisitions in its current and in new markets.


PathCare Nigeria operates six laboratories and 21 blood collection points across Nigeria and is engaged in a public-private partnership with the leading public hospital in Lagos.


Richard Ajayi, PathCare director, said the company bought back a 26 percent stake held by PathCare South Africa, its former parent company this year before the Synlab deal.


PathCare partnered with Synlab to accelerate growth in Nigeria, Ajayi told Reuters, adding that the local company will be rebranded over the next six months.


“PathCare Nigeria’s customers will benefit from an enhanced test portfolio drawing from the breadth and depth of Synlab’s international expertise,” he said in a statement.

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SPDC JV’s Afam VI Power Plant Secures Licence for another 10 Years



Nigeria Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) has renewed the power generation licence for Afam VI Power Plant, a 650MW-capacity facility that has delivered over 24.16 million Megawatt-hour (MWh) of electricity into the Nigerian grid between inception in 2008 and 2016.


Afam VI is owned by The Shell Petroleum Development Company Joint Venture (SPDC JV) and located in Okoloma in Oyigbo Local Government area of Rivers State.


Presenting the renewed licence to the leadership of SPDC at the Commission’s office in Abuja on Tuesday, Mr. Dafe Akpeneye, commissioner, Legal, Licensing and Compliance, described SPDC JV as a committed partner in the Nigerian power sector adding that the company’s belief in the sector and its resolve to help it develop were remarkable.


“We hope for greater efficiency and improved operations from Afam VI in the next 10-year phase of your operations just as we look forward to working together to resolve some of the challenging issues in the power sector,” he said.


Receiving the licence, Dr. Philip Mshelbila, general manager, Gas of SPDC, described the Afam VI as a model worthy of emulation by government and other players in the power sector. “Here’s a power plant with a dedicated gas plant operating with high uptime generating clean and efficient power from the combined cycle of three gas and one steam turbines.”


He lamented the challenges of debt, power evacuation and off-take which he said prevented the plant from delivering optimally at 15 percent of the total national grid-connected electricity.


Afam VI uses combined cycle gas turbine technology that burns 40 percent less gas than plants using older open cycle technologies. This also contributes significantly to the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions. In 2016, Afam VI power plant supplied approximately 12% of the nation’s grid-electricity.


Built with the most efficient technology in the industry and utilising waste heat energy from the gas turbine exhaust, the plant generates an additional 200MW from the steam turbine without consuming any additional gas, thereby considerably reducing its carbon footprint.


As a Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) project under the United Nations Executive Board for Climate Change, Afam VI Power Plant eliminates over 500,000 tons of CO2 emissions per year, while also maintaining excellent safety standards.


The operations at Afam VI have generated subcontract opportunities and employment for over 150 staff from the 16 host communities.


It also provided hands-on and offshore training for 15 youths in Electrical, Mechanical and Instrumentation engineering on Combined Cycle Power Plant operations and maintenance. All the trainees are already employed in the Nigerian power industry. Arrangements have been concluded for the training of another 15 community youths.


The power plant also won SPDC the Best Company in Climate Action Award in the 2016 edition of Sustainability, Enterprise, Responsibility Awards for Corporate Social Responsibility (SERAs–CSR), an annual event to celebrate organisations that invest resources to improve the socioeconomic living conditions of people in Nigeria and Africa.



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