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Marketers Seek N165 Petrol Price, FG Says No

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Petroleum product marketers have demanded an upward review in the pump price of the Premium Motor Spirit (also known as petrol).

This, they said, would make importation of the product profitable.

They said the free fall of the naira against the dollar had made it unprofitable for them to import petrol and sell at the current rate of N145 per litre.

But the Federal Government said there was no immediate plan to raise the pricce of petrol.

This is coming nearly four months after the government increased petrol prices from N86 and N86.5 per litre to between N135 and N145 per litre.

Some marketers had early last month said Nigerians should prepare for another increase in petrol prices due to the continued scarcity of foreign exchange to finance the importation of the product.

According to a source close to the Major Oil Marketers Association of Nigeria, N165 is the pump price that will cover the cost of forex required for fuel importation.

The Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency had, in its template based on 30 days’ moving average Platts posted price for April 23 – May 23, 2016, put the landing cost and total cost of petrol at N122.03 and N140.40 per litre, respectively.

The costs of the product and freight, which are the elements mostly affected by the exchange rate, were put at $534 per metric tonne of petrol or N111.30 per litre, using an exchange rate of N280/dollar.

Using an exchange rate of N314.20/dollar at the interbank market on Monday, according to FMDQ OTC Securities Exchange, the cost of product plus freight was N125.12 and the total cost of petrol stood at N151.93 per litre.

With an exchange rate of N350/dollar, the cost of the product plus freight stood at N139.37; while the total cost amounted to N167.15 per litre.

The naira plunged to all-time low of 420/dollar on the black market last month.

An official of one of the marketers’ associations, who spoke on condition of anonymity to one of our correspondents, said, “Let the government do the needful. We have already said it before that the price is not sustainable. When they fixed that price, dollar was N280 – N285; now the dollar is almost N400 and they want us to bring in products and sell at N145. It is not possible.

“But right now, most of us are getting the product from the NNPC; that is why you still see that there is product everywhere. It is an indirect case of subsidy. It means the government is subsidising it through the NNPC and we are buying at local price. Had it been that we were the ones that sourced the foreign exchange, we can’t sell it at N145.”

The Head of Energy Research, Ecobank Capital, Mr. Dolapo Oni, noted that the current template was adopted when the dollar was about N315 in the parallel market and the naira had not been floated then.

He said then the CBN was still selling at about N220 or so and marketers were augmenting what they got from the CBN with the parallel market supply, adding, “Thus, a range of N275 to N295 was used to arrive at the template price range of N135 to N145.

“The official market is N310 this (Monday) morning while the parallel market is N422. This gives a range of between N151 and N200. I think they’ll probably adopt a range of N330 to N370 (per dollar) so we have a fuel price range of N160 to N170.

Oni added, “The best solution, in my view, however, will be to take the last plunge and just remove cap on prices. It is probably the best in this market. Let competition regulate prices.”

Another source, who is an official of one of the marketing companies in Lagos, said, “The position of the marketers is that if the guaranteed exchange rate of N285 to a dollar will not be met, selling at that N145 is not profitable. And that is the more reason most of the chief executives or finance directors are still going cap in hand to the NNPC to facilitate the forex they promised through international oil companies instead of going to the black market.

“With the current situation in the country, I don’t see the government increasing the pump price of petrol, although it is not profitable to marketers. It would have been very easy if forex is available to marketers at N285/dollar.”

On marketers’ reliance on the NNPC for petrol, the source said, “The advantage in depending on the NNPC product is that the price they give you is better and you are not subjected to any issue of forex. And it is not as difficult as before when you had to queue for a long time because the NNPC has the product.”

Officials from the Federal Ministry of Petroleum Resources and the PPPRA stated that it was difficult for marketers to buy forex at over N350/dollar and still sell the PMS at N145 per litre.

“There must be some form of subsidy somewhere, either from where they are getting the product or from the major importer of the PMS into Nigeria, because you cannot buy a dollar at N350 and still sell petrol at N145 if you want to remain in business,” a PPPRA official, who spoke to one of our correspondents in confidence, said.

But the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu, and the Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, Dr. Maikanti Baru, said there was no immediate plan to increase the pump price of petrol.

Some former NNPC GMDs had last week said that due to the dollar scarcity and the falling naira, it would be unrealistic to expect the petrol price to remain the same.

However, Kachikwu and Baru, who met with President Muhammadu Buhari at the Presidential Villa, Abuja on Monday, said there would be no increase in the price of petrol.

Baru, when approached by reporters, declined to speak at length, referring journalists to the PPPRA.

Asked if there would be a review of the price, he said, “There is nothing like that.”

When Kachikwu was approached for comment, he revealed that there was no memo before the Federal Government asking for a review of the price.

Ex-NNPC GMDs had made the suggestion of fuel hike at a one-day meeting called by Baru, where they argued that the ýcurrent price cap of N145 per litre is not in line with the liberalisation policy especially with the foreign exchange rate and other price determining components such as crude cost, Nigerian Ports Authority charges, among others, remaining uncapped.

In a related development, the Chairman, Senate Committee on Media and Public Affairs, Senator Sabi Abdullahi, on Monday asked Nigerians to hold former GMDs of the NNPC responsible for the non-functional state of the country’s refineries and the non-profitability of the NNPC.

Sabi, who stated that he was not making his submission as the spokesman for the Senate but as the Senator representing Niger-North Senatorial District, in a chat with journalists in his office, said he was very disappointed with the recent comments credited to the ex-GMDs on fuel price.

He said, “As we have all known, refineries that we have in Nigeria have not been functional because if they had been functional and if that institution had been up and doing in tandem with its peers in other countries that have similar resources, for crying out loud, all of these former GMDs, can they be said to be free of blame on how we got here? Can they?

The Senator lamented that the refineries had failed to perform maximally under the military rule and the 16 years of Peoples Democratic Party’s administration.

Abdullahi said, “I think on this note, let me make it very clear that all of them that are speaking, they do not have the moral standpoint to even advise us on what to do because they had a hand in it (the problem) and I cannot see how you can solve a problem under the same condition that created it.”

Is the CEO/Founder of Investors King Limited. A proven foreign exchange research analyst and a published author on Yahoo Finance, Nasdaq, Entrepreneur.com, Investorplace, and many more. He has over two decades of experience in global financial markets.

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FG Installs And Commissions N8 Billion Cargo Scanners at Lagos Port

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The federal government has finally put the N8 billion non-intrusive inspection (NII) equipment, also known as cargo scanners, at the Apapa Port complex after receiving widespread condemnation and criticism for continuing 100% cargo examination despite the purchase of cargo scanners.

The Nigerian Customs Service (NCS) officers are suspected of sabotaging the scanners, which have been abandoned at the country’s seaports for more than a year. Yesterday, the scanners were officially launched by Mrs. Zainab Ahmed, minister of finance, budget, and national planning.

Speaking at the commissioning of the three new scanners, Ahmed thanked the Federal Executive Council (FEC) for approving the purchase, installation, and training of 120 service officers as well as the approval of the scanners.

However, she asserted that the project would undoubtedly help the NCS carry out its mandates, in keeping with the Administration led by President Muhammadu Buhari‘s top priorities of eradicating poverty and fostering favorable macroeconomic conditions for long-term growth and development.

She asserts that the scanner has the ability to find illegal imports concealed in cargoes and that it allows for the scanning of more cargoes while achieving the desired efficiency and effectiveness in the cargo examination procedures.

“The commissioning of these three non-intrusive scanners is in line with efforts to expedite Customs operations and achieve its mandate of ease of doing business, trade facilitation and preventing port congestion.”

“These three scanners will help increase revenue for government and improve national security. It will also help enhance the remote audit trail of goods within the port system,” she said.

She implored the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), port terminal operators and all stakeholders in the port to cooperate with NCS to take full advantage of the scanners, saying the equipment have the capacity to process up to 500 containers in a day.

Earlier, the Comptroller General Customs, Col. Hameed Ali (Rtd), explained that the scanners commissioned were an intervention pending the start of the Customs modernisation project, which will deploy 135 scanners.

Ali stated that by 2023, scanners would be installed throughout Nigeria as part of the current administration’s reform strategy.

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Nigeria, China to Collaborate on Movie Production

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The Chinese Ambassador to Nigeria, Cui Jinachun, has called for a collaboration between the Nigerian movie industry and China film industry.

The Chinese Ambassador who made the statement at the opening of the Fourth Asian Film Festival and movie screening in Abuja noted that such would promote harmony, peace and unity between both countries. 

According to the ambassador, Nigeria is important to Africa and the Nollywood movie industry had taken the lead with a huge potential of driving a movie partnership between Africa and Asia. 

Investors King understands that this is not the first time both countries will call for such collaboration. 

Envoys from both countries have hinted at a possible collaboration in that regard. 

In July 2022, the Nigerian Consul General in China, H. E. Chimezie Okeoma Ogu sought a partnership between the Federal Government of Nigeria and the government of the People’s Republic of China in the areas of film production. 

Chimezie positioned that such collaboration will not only enhance the relationship, it will also give room to knowledge transfer and provision of hi-tech resolution equipment in the African entertainment industry. 

The Consular added that Nigeria stands to benefit a lot from the partnership noting that the movie industry in Nigeria is rated as the third-largest globally, accounting for five percent of Nigeria’s Gross Domestic Product, (GDP). 

Similarly, speaking during the opening of the Fourth Asian Film Festival and movie screening yesterday, the Chinese Ambassador also reiterated the benefits of the partnership. 

“You know in Asia we have 47 countries, in the African continent we have 54 countries, so we can work together to produce films for the harmony of the people, society and the nations,” he said. 

Speaking further, he added that Nigeria can take the lead owing to the large nature of the Nollywood industry. 

“Nigeria particularly leads in producing in the film industry, so I think this kind of factor will give a big push and big momentum to develop Nollywood” he concluded. 

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SPAR Nigeria Begins Black Friday Sales

SPAR to begin Black Friday sales on Friday, November 25, 2022

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SPAR Market, Nigeria’s leading supermarket and department store, has announced that its annual Black Friday Sales will begin on Friday, November 25, 2022. 

The company said in a statement that it expects this to be one of its biggest Black Friday events ever, thanks to the appointment of Nollywood actress Toyin Abraham as its Black Friday ambassador.

“This year, SPAR offers massive offers up to 70% off in electronics, home appliances, mobile phones, computers, wines and spirits, groceries, clothing, watches, furniture, and more,” it said.

“Spar market has also organised several engaging games for their customers to win amazing prizes at all their stores nationwide.”

The SPAR license for Nigeria was granted to the Artee Group, a leading retail operator in Lagos, in 2009.  SPAR’s presence in Nigeria has grown steadily over the years. The partner assessed the market potential and developed the brand through a combination of new build and conversion stores, establishing brand recognition among shoppers and local entrepreneurs capable of supplying local products to this organized retail network.

SPAR is the world’s largest voluntary food retail chain. The company began with a single Dutch store in 1932 and has since expanded to over 13,600 locations in 48 countries across four continents.  SPAR’s growth has been supported by a set of values that have guided the organization since its inception 90 years ago. At the heart of these core values is the commitment of SPAR independent entrepreneurs to collaborate in all areas of wholesale and retail to ensure we serve our local communities with passion while being authentic in everything we do.

The story of SPAR in its early years is the story of its founder, Adriaan van Well, an innovative Dutch wholesaler with a clear vision for SPAR’s future. He was inspired by a simple yet powerful philosophy based on the concept of voluntary retailing: independent wholesalers and retailers can achieve more by working together than by working alone. SPAR’s philosophy today is based on the vision of benefiting from collaboration by pooling resources and scale.

Investors King will keep you updated on future Black Friday sales. 

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