Log in Register

Login to your account

Username *
Password *
Remember Me

Create an account

Fields marked with an asterisk (*) are required.
Name *
Username *
Password *
Verify password *
Email *
Verify email *
D'sylla Antigravitie

D'sylla Antigravitie

D'sylla Antigravitie




I spoke to a very good old friend of mine tonight and she asked me how work had been. By the time I finished explaining to her I had not been at work for over a week now ­­­­­­­ (first due to the Eid public holiday, then the extended holiday) because of the current PENGASSAN strike, it  struck a nerve deep inside that I had to write a simple article on what this strike was all about.


There are quite a number of things PENGASSAN is trying to draw attention to with this strike; the key ones I would like to touch on are cash calls, NNPC’s historical arrears & the PIB. But how do you understand these issues, without having a sneak peek into the mechanics of the oil & gas business? I will help you break all the elements down in simple ABC...




*The oil & gas business is a very risky & uncertain one. A company may blow over $30mln in months to explore an area & drill a single well only to discover it contains just water! Ooops! No oil. No gas. Yikes!


*Just imagine a single company having over 10 such exploration campaigns in a period. Over time, the company will be dead & buried!


*So, if the risks & uncertainty are so high, then why are there very many successful oil & gas companies all over the world swimming in billions of dollars? Well, the returns from one successful find can more than pay for the losses from over four dead-end campaign! Pure & simple.


*So, it’s a “high risk – high return” business. And it’s too risky to go it alone. If you go alone & hit a huge iceberg, you are gone like the Titanic. So, to survive, companies form joint ventures in order to share the risks & returns...


Before I forget, there is one key thing you need to keep in mind always...


*In every JV, the partners are divided into the operator & the non-operating partners. The operator manages (or simply “operates”) the JV on behalf of all the JV partners.




*In a simple JV arrangement like many of the ones we have in the upstream industry in Nigeria, there are usually 3-4 different JV partners.


* The JV partners were in the past mainly international oil companies (IOCs) like EXXONMOBIL, AGIP, SHELL, & TOTAL; working closely with the NNPC (it represents the Federal Government’s interests). These days, however, there are loads of indigenous oil companies like SEPLAT, Shoreline Resources & ENERGIA participating actively in this highly lucrative play/game.


*The NNPC is a constant feature in many, if not ALL, of the JVs in Nigeria. The NNPC is represented in these JVs by one of its subsidiaries, the National Petroleum Investment Management Services (NAPIMS).


*The NNPC usually has the lion share (50% - 60%) stake in each JV.


*As a general rule for oil (NOT gas), each partner comes to scoop its own share of the total oil production from the JV & goes to sell it directly in the international market. Thus, the JV doesn’t actually sell oil directly, so, it doesn’t generate revenue of its own per se. This is, however, very simplified; & let’s keep it so. The story changes with gas (especially domestic gas) & the new adjustments to the primary JV arrangements (e.g. the use of alternative funding).


*So, if all the partners just take their share of the oil & go sell directly in the international market, how then does the JV get the funds the operator needs to fund its operations? That’s where the miracle of cash calls comes in...




*Cash calls are the monthly monetary contributions made by all partners in a joint venture (JV) to ensure the smooth, day-to-day running of the JV.


*The operator “calls” on all the partners (including itself) to make cash available to it to run the JV in order to continue to produce the hydrocarbons they all share from.


*Remember: all partners get their share of physical oil. They go sell the oil individually. In return, they share all the costs of operating the JV. Thus, they pay for the costs through contributing cash calls.


*The operator usually asks for the cash 2 months in advance of when the cash will be needed to pay the JV’s bills.




*Having understood the basics, now imagine that your company is the operator of a JV where the NNPC has a 50% stake. Let’s assume that the monthly cash needed to fund this JV is $60mln. Thus, your company expects $30mln (50% x $60mln) monthly from the NNPC.


*Now, imagine that every month, the NNPC only pays $20mln out of the $30mln. Clearly, there is a gap of $10mln monthly. In a year, the under-funding is $120mln.


*Worse still, the $20mln even comes in 1-2 months late. Your company either  ends up paying vendors late or borrows. The costs here can be both financial & reputational.


*Now, imagine this has been happening in the past 5-10 years. Now, the funding gap (what NNPC is owing your company) is now in billions of dollars.


*Finally, imagine that in all those 5-10 years, the NNPC took exactly 50% of the total oil production! There is God ooo!


*Sadly, this is the exact reality for many of the operators (especially the IOCs) in today’s upstream business in Nigeria...





I sincerely hope you are already getting the gist. It may all seem disjointed & scattered all over, but do not worry. I will quickly help you connect all the scattered pieces without further ado, so you can clearly see the epicentre of this ongoing PENGASSAN struggle:


*When the going was good & the oil price was still high, many of the operators were more than happy to continue to directly pay for or cover the under-funding from the NNPC. Business was booming; cashflows were heavy; they could even borrow from banks or their parent companies with ease. After all, as long as the hydrocarbons hadn’t dried up, there were better days ahead; the NNPC would come good over time. Or so they thought...


*...then came the tsunami of global over-supply of crude that resulted in prices hitting rock bottom. The cash reserves dried up quicker than they were built. The parent companies all of a sudden became risk averse & started asking for outstanding loans to be repaid; no more new loans. Banks globally are reeling in bad debts from past oil & gas loans. Suddenly, the bubble has burst!


*Now, with this persistent under-funding problem, the following have been the implications for the operators:


-reduced or zero exploration. This is dangerous for Nigeria. If you deplete oil & gas reserves faster than you are replacing them, you are already reducing your future production capacity in advance. It’s like when Jonathan’s government was blowing away our external reserves when the boom was on. We are seeing the direct consequences now!


-reduced or zero new projects. This is similar to the exploration one above. The main difference however is that, unlike in exploration where you are still gambling into the unknown world of searching for new reserves, here you are leaving known or already discovered reserves in the ground below. What is in the ground doesn’t generate cash until you bring it out. You can’t bring it out unless you drill & complete wells, construct flowlines & facilities to channel the hydrocarbons into vessels that will transport them to the market.


-reduced/zero exploration and reduced/zero new projects mean one thing: retrenchment! Now, this is where PENGASSAN is hurt terribly; it’s a serious haemorrhage in the industry right now, my friends. PENGASSAN is the Petroleum & Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (like you don’t already know!). PENGASSAN is bleeding as it has been losing & will continue to lose its members to incessant redundancy exercises that the oil & gas companies have been forced to implement in order to stay afloat. It’s bad already that the global oil price is low. It’s even worse when your majority partner is not paying their share of the cash needed to run the business, yet it shares in the benefits in FULL.


What about PIB? How can I forget the elephant in the room? A lot has been written on this. For the purpose of this current PENGASSAN struggle, the PIB has practically the same implications as the cash calls conundrum above. It is creating a huge cloud of uncertainty across the industry. IOCs are playing the “wait-and-see” game. Nobody wants to invest much in new exploration or in heavy capital investments. You just don’t know what a new PIB can throw up. No no, it is way too risky. New oil & gas investors are not eager to even put a toe in the water. Banks are scared to the nerve to advance new or additional loans to oil & gas companies. The direct result of all these? Again, a shrinking business; & that’s bad news for PENGASSAN as it will continue to bleed by losing more of its members to retrenchment.


Now, I really hope my very good friend (Ayibadeinyefa) will appreciate the different dimensions to this ongoing strike & why I am awake at 2am typing this article. In summary, PENGASSAN is fighting specifically for the future of its members, and generally for the future of our dear country, Nigeria...


By Isaac Audu-Usman





An old soul resurrected!


The best of the BREXIT Moments in Pictures



 See the shocked faces that woke up to this historic moment!



lvn facebook



My answer is an emphatic NO! How can we possibly be dead when we just got started? Wink wink…


Let me use this opportunity to say a very Happy New Year to you, albeit belated. I must confess I have been quite impressed with & grateful for the outpouring of interest & concern from readers, friends & distant people from all walks of life who keep sending mails & messages asking if we are still here. I am proud to announce that we actually didn’t go anywhere; we are still here.


You see, when money doesn’t actually drive your passion for something, it’s difficult for it to just die off like a French rose. LeVitateNaija is part & parcel of my very DNA & I long every single day to get back to the business of doing what I love to do the most: impacting lives. Till date, not a Kobo has come in as revenue from this vision. Not a single Kobo. Yet, I have spent millions of Naira on this site so far to keep the vision going (site development, content development, salaries of staff, allowances of members, hosting, adverts, logistics, sponsorships, support infrastructure, etc.). At a point, the monthly bill for maintaining the site was approximately N250, 000! Incredible you may be whispering to yourself. Well, what if I told you that we once had a staff on the LVN payroll at N150,000 per month, would you quickly believe the gist?


Anyway, I am going to assure you all of one thing: as long as I still take in oxygen, LVN will live on. And my hope is that LVN will inspire a lot of young people who will keep this fire burning long after I must have left the surface of the earth. That’s the goal of LVN; to impact lives positively & create a virtual community of people who will provide a support system for the collective good of all.


So, LVN is NOT dead! We simply went on hibernation. Sadly, the hibernation took longer than I had planned. Everything happened so quickly that I had to make some frantic decisions at short notice. A key member of the team was going to be unavailable at some point & we couldn’t fill the position quickly enough to manage the potential shocks. Plus I also wanted to make out time to rethink the whole LVN strategy as I thought we were gradually drifting away from our main vision. We spent too much time reporting bland news & couldn’t really develop the sort of unique content I had had in mind when I set out on this journey. Then, I got so busy at work that I just couldn’t come back to reboot the site until now…


I am glad to see us come back gradually. As I type this, I am still glued to my desk at work at 8.54pm on a Friday night. But hey, I just had this hunch that sent hot adrenaline pumping through my veins & I quickly realised there was something out there I had been missing. LVN & its readers/followers of course! Incredibly, it has taken me less than 12mins to type out this note! It’s unbelievable how much one can do in a very short period of time when the fire is burning right under one’s belly. LVN will be back, peeps. My heart tells me that strongly. We will not come back with a BIG BANG; but we will slowly get back to the business of striking some chord of positive impact in your lives.


Thanks indeed for your support this far. There will be no LVN without you. Thank you.


Isaac Audu-Usman

 Founder & Owner, LeVitateNaija



From selling tobacco at bus parks to drinking oil & smoking gas at one of the world's biggest oil & gas giants!


Humans love catharsis – that situation which draws pity and fear from you. Pity, for the sad experience, and fear, because somewhere deep down you’re terrified that the same thing may happen to you or a loved one. Far above this love for catharsis, is a dislike for tragedy. Almost everyone loves a good story – the kind of story that leaves your heart bursting with happiness even though it might have started on a sad note. Such a story falls neatly in the ‘from grass to grace’ category. But even grasses may be a luxury in some desperate times when the earth around you boils and vegetations cannot thrive. It can be likened to the scorch of the sun, unrelenting in the sky and no matter where you turn to for shelter, the excruciating bites of the heat follow. Then, suddenly you’re transported onto a calm scenery, where a cool breeze caresses your skin and the wet, titillating scent of nature is inhaled with your every breath. Imagine for a moment, the exhilarating feeling! That was the exact feeling for Collins Ezeocha!


Collins Ezeocha grew up in the rustic setting of old Maroko, where shanties sat on each other’s shoulders and became a floating abyss when the waters overran the banks and flowed freely through the streets. The demolition of the Maroko area in 1990 led to the relocation of his family to Ajegunle. Collins speaks reminiscently of that period: “Our house was not far from the present location of Eti-Osa Local Govt. I have jokingly referred to my background as poor with a lot of ‘shukushuku’ (thorns).” He fondly remembers playing football and rolling tyres, wearing only his underpants with other kids on the streets and the delights of the banal such as drinking garri with fried pork. There was a sense of communal living – a type of togetherness absent in today’s ‘gated’ lifestyle especially among the elites. The Ezeochas were not wealthy, but they were happy.


Then, the vicissitudes of life kicked in and just like the highly famous demand curve in Economics, which is dependent on some near-irrefutable laws, there was indeed a downward-shaped slope. Worse still, the actual situation became more like a scatter-graph. Collins relates:

“My mother died on the 9th of January, 1995. It was a great loss that had a huge impact on my life. It slowed down my academic pursuit; it changed the course of my academic journey. My mother was a petty trader but her income by far surpassed that of my dad. She was determined to give us the best with her limited resources. I recall having at least two textbooks for each of my science subjects. But after her death, this all changed. I had to live with my uncle and my kid brother went to live with our cousin.”



During this trying time after his mother’s death, an incident remains etched in his memory. After a stern warning from his Biology teacher in high school who had threatened fire and brimstone if he missed a practical class, Collins had had to trek from Pako Aguda to Broad Street, Lagos! His uncle had forgotten to drop his transport fare. For a child who grew up under the sheltered wings of his mother, it was very difficult for Collins to beg or ask people for favours. So, he had braced himself and trekked that long distance. He recalls that emotional experience: “I got to school and started crying. My Vice Principal helped to rally around to get some money for me to return home.”




That strenuous trek was to set the pace for varying challenges he had to face headlong as the years trudged by slowly. After Collins finished his secondary school education, he couldn’t proceed for further studies immediately because first, he had to survive. He took to teaching (mainly home coaching) Physics, Chemistry and Maths. He went to the homes of the elites and the middle class – he noticed the quality of life they had; beautiful homes and lovely children provided with luxury & comfort. This observation sometimes left him depressed as he returned to his space of almost nothing but over time, it motivated him to strive harder to make the most of his situation. He was ready to try his hands on anything just to succeed and he recollects vividly: “Let me quickly add that I also stayed with a friend that was selling tobacco and I did sell tobacco (taba) at Maroko bus stop for almost a year.”


While it’s all too common to find young people in need being under immense pressure to crack up & simply find shortcuts out of any undesirable hole, Collins remained resolute & gritty. His humble and disciplined upbringing helped him remain focused, against all odds. Collins says:

“I didn't have to look for quick fixes or corrupt practices. As I said earlier, ‘mo ta taba ati ogogoro’ (I sold tobacco and gin) at Maroko Bus Stop. And there were times when my employer had to introduce me as a graduate to some of the families whose children I taught just to make them feel more comfortable with me. They would look at me with suspicion but after the teaching, they would be so impressed that I often got some additional goodwill compensation. Aside those cases, I can't remember getting involved in any corrupt shortcuts.”


For a period of two years, Collins worked hard to eke out a living. Then, there came a rare opportunity for him to advance with his biggest aspiration – to get an education. The vice principal of the secondary school he attended had introduced him to some old students for their assistance. However, these persons were only interested in assisting him if  & only if he accepted to study medicine in the university. Given the duration of a medical course and his peculiar circumstances, it didn't quite cut the mustard for him; he would possibly not survive such a marathon without firm financial assurances. Instinctively, he knew he was cut out for just one specific area: Engineering. His main reason for this choice was his strong numerical ability and love for the “core” science subjects. He did not have any guidance or mentoring on this and took the decision solely based on his academic prowess in subjects such as physics & mathematics. Collins had heard that the Yaba College of Technology (YABATECH) was an institution which promoted practical & applied knowledge; and this provided further impetus & a firm assurance of self-empowerment even without the prospect of a paid job after his studies. In no time, his tertiary education adventure kicked off at YABATECH. “The entrance form fee was paid for by my immediate senior at Methodist Boys High School whom I ran into on Marina road. Mohammed Usman, if you get to read this, I say thank you.”


A year passed by and while in a mechanical workshop with more than 100 students gathered around a Lathe machine and with him barely able to see the practical instructions being shown, Collins decided to leave the workshop for the library. On the pages of a book, he learnt what was being taught in the practical class and in the examination, he scored 86 (the highest mark) without any practical or operational knowledge. Collins realised it was time to do something bizarre – “My worst fears stared me in the face. The practical knowledge I had sought was not what I was getting. I took a decision to leave engineering and embark on another course in the university. I bought a GCE form and registered for a few social-science subjects. I also bought a JAMB form to apply to study accounting at the prestigious University of Lagos. It was a tough decision and I didn't discuss it with anyone. I didn't know as of that time that engineering in Nigeria was driven mainly by the industry you eventually got employed into.”


Collins like a diligent farmer did not abandon his tilled crops close to the harvest. He chose to complete his National Diploma in Engineering while he also prepared for his new exploration into the social-science world. Collins recounts proudly: “I left YABATECH as the best engineering student at ND level and months later, got admitted into the University of Lagos on merit to study accounting. Again, the fear of not being able to defend my certificate (practical wise) came into my mind. However, I was determined to give it my best efforts.”




As an Akokite (a UNILAG student), the struggle was unrelenting. Everything on campus was expensive as the general belief, especially among  commodity vendors, was that only rich folks attended UNILAG. This was before private universities took that award away. Would you blame them? Everything on campus supported & cemented that belief; there were rich students, the Yahoo boys & the aristo-babes in Moremi & Fagunwa. So, many folks were either from rich homes or were doing something, albeit illegit, to maintain a lifestyle garnished with luxury.  So, surviving on campus while aiming to top a class filled with some of the most intelligent students out there (many of them with already well-established social-science foundation) with no much financial assistance from anybody was quite daunting. 


To survive, Collins continued with teaching but this time around, within the university environment in Akoka. I was taking Distance Learning Institute (DLI) students, LASU part-time students and private students. I was also on a number of scholarships that no doubt were life-savers.” When he was asked about the strategies he used in maintaining excellence in his studies, this was his inspiring response: “Start with the end in mind. The drive for me was to make a First Class ab initio. The strategy was simple – STUDY, STUDY and STUDY. I tried in most cases to be ahead of the class – I solved lots of questions and went the extra mile. Prioritise your time. Yes, catch some fun but let your primary objective be to leave the school with the best you can.” Indeed, Ejiks (as he was fondly called by his classmates & admirers) became a hot property on campus in no time as his reputation as one of the academic giants in UNILAG soared tremendously. The name of the engineer-turned-accountant phenomenon rang a bell in Newest Hall, Marierie, King Jaja, MTH, Amina, Faculty of Business Admin, even all the way to the Faculty of Engineering where the top dogs there were too glad that he had  swiftly made that switch while entering UNILAG (one less competitor!). At the end of the very first semester of his first year, he was already on First-Class. This, he maintained till the very end; blasting a few records along the way.


Ejiks is, indeed, one of a kind. This was someone who did sciences all through his days in high school. He went to YABATECH & beat everyone to pick up the top award in Engineering. He woke up, had a whim & decided to "cross-carpet" to the other side. After a year or two, he was  not only ahead of the pack in his new field, he was teaching people who had done those same subjects all their lives. He had a singular belief which he held onto: he believed if he attained success in his academics, he would be on a path to success in life. “Absolutely, it makes life’s journey easy especially if you are not leaving straight to run your company. Getting good grades gives you an invite to most job tests. It makes it easier for someone to want to refer you. It is an immediate assessment of your capability without trying you out. It bridges the gap between an elite and a rural guy. In my case, God granted me favour by blessing the work of my hand. Do your bit and let God do the rest.”


Now, to the pressing question on most minds – how did that boy who once sold tobacco at bus parks end up in an IOC (international oil company)? Collins Ezeocha’s response: “Na God! I applied to the IOC via Naijahotjobs during my NYSC in Minna. I was lucky to be among the few that were eventually employed after the rigorous employment process.” According to Collins, his strategy for sustaining excellence and uniqueness in his workplace is simple: “Try to be the best at what you do. Go the extra mile, have a self-propelling drive/passion for excellence. Let your work speak for you and then leave the rest to God.”




It is noteworthy that after all the rigours this young man has passed through, he has retained a boisterous spirit, one which radiates through his lively responses. If Collins Ezeocha had a chance to rewrite his life’s history, what are the things he would change and those he would prefer remained the same? Maybe I should start with hoping I was born into an elite or middle class home (hahahaha). On a more serious note, I think my life actually revolved this way because of my background. I would prefer the discipline, godly instructions from my parents, strong value system, drive for excellence and self-starter traits remained the same.”


For the struggling youths and entry-level staff entering the corporate world in Nigeria, he had this advice: “Be focused. Let the end guide your behaviour, inculcate a penchant for excellence, create an enviable brand for yourself. Ask yourself what you would want to be remembered for. Lastly, don’t lose hope. My God who did it for me, will do much more for you.”


Collins Ezeocha is happily married to his beautiful wife, Diana, whom he met at UNILAG and they are blessed with two beautiful daughters & a lovely son.








Developed Exclusively for LeVitateNaija by: Ife Watson & Isaac Audu-Usman





kano govt


The Kano State Governor, Dr Abdullahi Ganduje, at the official opening of the ongoing 36th Kano International Trade Fair in Kano on Sunday, disclosed the state's readiness to partner will any foreign corporation willing to invest in the state.


Ganduje was represented at the event by the state's commissioner for Commerce, Alhaji Rabiu Bako.


By: Temitope Bamidele



The Association of Licensed Telecommunications Operators of Nigeria (ALTON), on Sunday, called on the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) to intervene on the issue of the unsolicited Short Messaging Service (SMS), tasking the Commission to swiftly put an end to it.

This was disclosed by the Chairman of the association, Mr Gbenga Adebayo, in a statement.

The statement read in part: “There are many ways through which the issue of unsolicited text messages flow; one of such is through the internet, which is an open platform that is not regulated.

“This is because once those who send those messages have access to your phone number, they can go on the internet portal and pump messages to you.

“The other is those who are providing value added services, who are called the secondary operators and they work and ride on the platforms of the service providers, to deliver their services.

“It is easy to regulate them because you can sign to a code of conduct, you can sign to a code of performance, you can sign to a code of satisfaction.

“The Value Added Providers are the major culprits on this issue of unsolicited messages and they need to have very strict regulatory supervision, without which it might be difficult to regulate their platform."


By: Temitope Bamidele



The Edo State Governor, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, in an interview  said his successor as governor of the state would come from the platform of the All Progressives Congress (APC).


Oshimhole added that his successor must be competent in managerial skill in order for the state to experience more growth and development than it has during his tenure.


Oshiomhole said: "Today the Edo man has regained confidence, there is no question now that the state is capable of developing and that we can do something about the problem of infrastructure, flooding, restoring integrity to public schools and restoring integrity to public health care system.


“The problem we are having in Edo today is that PDP cannot show you one clean road with street light, with drainage that they did that is still there. The only thing you can see are the ones Ogbemudia did. If the PDP had laid some foundations we would have gone far today, we started from minus and minus to zero.


“But the next governor is going to build on plus plus plus. And I am confident that the next governor will come from APC because the PDP has neither the messenger nor can they have a credible message.”


By: Temitope Bamidele

cbn gov


The Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Mr. Godwin Emefiele, on Friday disclosed that Nigeria was losing N256bln ($1.3bn) in foreign exchange inflows each month due to the global decline in the price of crude oil.

Emefiele said that this had consequently resulted in a 2bln naira reduction in the Federal Government allocation to state governments.

Emefiele who spoke at the annual Bankers’ Dinner organised by the Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria, said: “Given the sharp fall in oil prices, federation allocation to states has dropped by an average of about N2bln for each month.

“Similarly, average inflows of foreign exchange into the CBN have fallen to by about $1.3bn per month; this has led to a sharp decline in our forex reserves from as high as $37bln as at June 2014, to $30bln."

Emefiele added : “Nigeria cannot continue on this path of importing everything and anything. Indeed, it is both unacceptable and unsustainable and that was the reason we decided at the central bank to prohibit items we can produce here from accessing forex from the central bank."

“The last time we had oil prices at $50 per barrel for an extended period of time was in 2005 and our total import bill for that year was only N148bln. Yet, in the first nine months of this year, our total import bill has already risen to N917bn, and by logical extension, it is heading towards N1.2tn by the end of the year.

“The CBN will in due course embark on a national campaign called PAVE which stands for: Produce Locally, Add Value and Export. We definitely cannot survive as a people by importing everything and anything.’’


By: Temitope  Bamidele

  •  Start 
  •  Prev 
  •  1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8 
  •  Next 
  •  End 
Page 1 of 8

Like us on Facebook

Members Login & Logout

Newsletter Subscription

Enter your email address below to subscribe to our Newsletter.