The North is poor, this much no one disputes, and the poverty has bred millions of destitutes, who have become instant and easy recruits for Boko-Haram. However, the question is: Who impoverished the North? I want to posit that the Core North through their aristocrats and ex-military rulers rake an enormous income from oil money (from the Niger Delta) individually, much more than any Individual/group of individuals from the South, and collectively more than 10 times the entire Niger Delta business men in the oil and gas industry put together.
In this disquisition, I have attempted to show that the North controls an estimated 75% of crude oil and gas produced by indigenous companies. They have well conquered an area through General IBB, Abacha and Abdulsalami. However, the loots never get back home.
In this first part, I will attempt to describe the very uneven nature of the distribution of the nation’s wealth among the Northern aristocratic families and their military generals who for decades looted Nigeria. They did so blatantly, and while Nigeria was weeping about oil windfall loot and others, Nigerians would wail if they know how much of the nation’s resources these folks allocated to themselves and their business fronts before they stepped aside.
Let us therefore begin. To the state of origin of Boko Haram: Borno State. Enter Cavendish Petroleum, the operators of OML 110 – with good yielding OBE field. This oil block was awarded to Alhaji Mai Deribe – the Borno patriarch, who even in death will remain the richest man dead or alive in the history of Borno state- by General Sani Abacha on the 8th of July, 1996.
OML 110 has a proven oil reserve in excess of 500 million barrels (More than the entire 300milliom barrels reserve of Sudan). Yet with the capacity to produce about 120,000 barrels of crude oil daily from its OBE 4 and OBE 5 wells. At current production levels, the Mai Deribes net circa N4billion monthly in crude oil sales (Using oil price estimates of $100 p/b).
Mai Deribe’s mansion, in allegedly poor Maiduguri is one of the most lavish mansions anywhere on earth; it used to be a tourist attraction, before Boko Haram’s tourism deterrent activities – I will then shift to the centre of the Fulani aristocratic hegemony in the North – Kano. Here. Enter the Fulani Prince Nasiru Ado Bayero, Mallam (Prince) Sanusi Lamido Sanusi’s cousin. He is a Key shareholder and director in Seplat/Platform petroleum operators of the Asuokpu/Umutu Marginal Field with a capacity of 300,000 barrels monthly and A 30mmfcsd gas plant capable of feeding 100MT of LPG. The Ado Bayeros, Yar’Aduas and Atiku Abubakar are Nigerian holders of Intels. It runs a private port that has grounded three Federal ports in the South. Intels is discussed later.
Enter South Atlantic Petroleum Limited (SAPETRO). South Atlantic Petroleum (SAPETRO) is a Nigerian Oil Exploration and Production Company that was created in 1995 by General T. Y. Danjuma (also Chairma of ENI Nigeria). General Sani Abacha awarded the Oil Prospecting License (OPL) 246 to SAPETRO in February 1998.
The block covers a total area of 2,590km2 (1,000 sq. miles). SAPETRO partnered with Total Upstream Nigeria Ltd (TUPNI) and Brasoil Oil Services Company Nigeria Ltd (Petrobras) to start prospecting on OPL246. Akpo, a condensate field was discovered in April 2000 with the drilling of the first exploration well (Akpo 1) on the block. Other discoveries made on OPL 246 include the Egina Main, Egina South, Preowei and Kuro (Kuro was suspended as a dry gas/minor oil discovery).
In June 2006, General TY Danjuma divested part of its contractor rights and obligations to China National Offshore Oil Corporation (CNOOC) for $1 billion (N160bn). Akpo exports about 230,000 barrels of condensate daily. OPEC does not regulate condensate export, so SAPETRO/TOTAL exports as much as possible each day. Egina exports about 75,000 barrels of oil daily.
Therefore, Akpo and Egina fields export just over 300,000 barrels of oil/condensate daily (three times what the country Ghana exports). SAPETRO (TY Danjuma) get’s 25% of this. Now, note I have not talked about the gas component – it is about 2.5 trillion cubic feet. The money SAPETRO nets each month is more than the monthly statutory allocation to any Nigerian state and more than the oil revenue of Ghana. Do your math.
Enter AMNI (or is it AMIN?) International Petroleum Development Company. AMNI owns two oil blocks – OML 112 and OML 117. In the production-sharing contract, AMNI gets 60% for owning the oil block and Total gets 40% for providing technical advice. OML 112 was awarded on the 12/02/1998 while all Gen. Abdulsalami Abubakar awarded OML 117 04/08/1999. Operations started on both blocks 0n 26/02/2006. The licenses are due to expire 11/02/2018 and 05/08/2019 respectively. (Now you see why the next election is important.).
Afren Energy, a company substantially controlled by Rilwanu Lukman, operates the Okoro and Setu fields in OML 112. The Okoro and Setu oil fields have about 50 million barrels in reserve and currently produce/exports just a little below 20,000 barrels per day. The chairman of AMNI International Petroleum and Development Company is Alhaji (Colonel) Sani Bello a Fulani from Kontagora, Niger State. Lest I forget, Alhaji Bello’s son – Abu, is married to General Abdusalami Abubakar’s eldest daughter.
Enter Oriental Energy Resources Limited, a company owned by Alhaji Mohammed Indimi, a close friend of General Ibrahim Babangida. In addition, worthy of note is that General IBB’s first son is married to Alhaji Mohammed Indimi’s daughter – Yakolo Indimi-Babangida, who also serves as a director in the company. Alhaji Indimi hails from Niger State.
Oriental Energy Resources Limited runs three oil blocks: OML 115, the Okwok field and the Ebok field. OML 115 and Okwo are OML PSC, while Ebok is an OML JV. All of them crown offshore oil blocks.
OML 115 on its own is 228 sq Km. On OML115 Oriental Energy Resources Limited has 60 per cent while Equity Energy Resources AS, which Alhjai Aliko Dangote’s oil and gas investment vehicle has 40 per cent (Aliko Dangote is from Kano). On Okwok, Addax has 40% and on the Ebok field, Oriental Energy Resources shares with none: its 100%. AMNI produces twice as much as Cavendish Petroleum.
Enter Express Petroleum and Gas Limited floated by Alhaji Aminu Dantata, solely for fronting for winning oil block(s) even though he and the company are in no way qualified for the award. General Abacha awarded him OML 108 on the 1st of November 1995. CAMAC Houston, a company owned by Kase Lawal bought 2.5% of Express Petroleum’s 60% holdings. Sheba E&P Limited an IBB tributary company owns the other 40% on OML 108. SEPCOL operates the Ukpokiti offshore field in Shallow water Nigeria, which was acquired from ConocoPhillips in May 2004.
Enter Shebah Exploration And Production Limited (SEPCOL). It is the operator of the Oil Mining License 108 offshore Nigeria. Head office is in Lagos, but ‘head quartered’ in Minna.
Enter Consolidated Oil. Conoil Producing Limited is an integrated upstream oil and gas company. They are the operator of six blocks in the Niger Delta as well as 25% Equity holder in the Joint Development Zone (JDZ) Block 4. Corporate Head office is in Lagos, but its ‘Headquarters’ is in Minna, Niger State.
Conoil signed a technical operator agreement with Continental Oil and Gas Limited (CONOG) to provide 100% funding and technical service agreement to operate blocks OML 59 on a 40% (Conoil) / 60% (CONOG) basis. Conoil entered into a Production Sharing Contract with the NNPC by virtue of an agreement executed on 17th October 2008.
Conoil’s has overall potential hydrocarbon resources of over 1.0 Billion Barrels of Oil and 7.0 Trillion Cubic Feet of Gas. General Ibrahim Babangida (IBB owns a substantial interest in conoil held in blind trust [same arrangement in Glo] ) awarded the first oil block to Conoil in 1991. The company produces about 100,000 barrels per day.
Enter Rilwanu Lukman, another Fulani multimillionaire with fronted controlling holdings in Afren, the operators of AMNI oil blocks and with key interest in the NNPC/Vitol trading deal, Vitol is a London based oil trading company. Vitol lifts 350,000 barrels of crude oil daily from Nigeria.
Enter Intels and the Yar’Adua , Ado Bayero family and Alhaji Abubakar Atiku. The Oil and Gas Free Zone and Oil Services Centres, as well as Support Bases, are operated from government-owned facilities, leased to Intels under long-term agreements. Intels runs a ‘private port’, a venture that has systematically killed the Calabar, Warri and Port Harcourt ports. There are over one hundred major companies operating at the Intel facility in Port Harcourt. The company makes more money in profit than the government of Rivers, Bayelsa and Delta states put together. I shall give details and figures in the part two of this disquisition.
Finally, for the Part I of this disquisition, I introduce you to Northeast Petroleum. The name is as clear as the message it sends. I do not need to write so much about Northeast Petroleum registered as NorEast. Northeast Petroleum Nigeria Limited is the holder of OPL215 license, covering an area 0f 2,564 square kilometres in water depths between 200 to 1600 metres. NorEast is the parent company of Rayflosh Petroleum was awarded the blocks OPLs 276 & 283 closing thereupon a Joint Venture Agreement with Centrica Resources Nigeria Limited and CCC Oil and Gas.
Not surprising, NorthEast Petroleum is owned by another Fulani businessman from the North East, Alhaji Saleh Mohammed Jambo. The license was awarded to him by General Ibrahim Badamosi Babangida in 1991 and then renewed in 2004. So far $50Million has been spent on the very promising Okpoi-1 and Egere -1 exploratory well.
In the Part II, we shall finish the discussion. We will table other North Eastern billionaires who make more money than their states of origin from Niger Delta oil blocks.
Sadly, National Bureau of Statistics reports from 2010 show Niger State as the poorest state in the Federation, and the North East the poorest region. With these figures from the National Bureau of Statistics, I rest my case.