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Terminal Operators, Others Owe NPA N30b

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NEPC
  • Terminal Operators, Others Owe NPA N30b

Terminal operators are owing the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) over N30 billion.

NPA’s Managing Director Ms Hadiza Bala Usman, sources said, was furious when she learnt that four terminal operators and two firms at Onne Port were owing the agency  $7,931,247 and N9,458, 785,726.

The debt excludes  what the Nigerian  National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) and other terminal operators are owing the agency.

Ms. Usman has directed NPA’s  accounts section to recover the debt so as to boost the nation’s revenue profile.

During her visit to Onne, the NPA boss said agreements signed with the  operators and others would be reviewed, stressing that her administration would plug all loopholes to ensure transparency and accountability.

She directed all firms  to collect their receipts after transactions, saying NPA would pay revenue generated to the Federal Government through the  Single Treasury Account (STA).

Ms Usman also directed that a competitive tariff and pricing regime be introduced at all sea ports, saying NPA would ensure that operators complied with the agreements they had with the government.

She urged the debtors to pay up, or face sanction, saying she was not happy with the neglect of the quay apron by some operators.

Ms Usman accused some of the operators of violating the concession agreement they signed with the government at Onne Port, threatening to take action if one of them fails to fix the collapsed Berth 8 section of the terminal.

A senior Federal Ministry of Finance (FMoF) official said that the debts of three concessionaires on lease and throughput fees amounted to  $1,56 million.

NPA, the official said, would double its revenue next year if  operators complied with the agreement they signed.

Many of the companies, including some operators, it was learnt, were contesting the NPA’s right to charge Value Added Tax (VAT) on services provided by the authority.

Investigation revealed that the  amount withheld as VAT by the protesters is N705.8 million.

NPA, it was learnt, is insisting  on collecting the VAT because  the Federal Inland Revenue Service may ask it to pay the tax, if the it fails to collect the money.

Some of the challenges militating against revenue generation which Ms. Usman has taken steps to address, include:

  • the need to have a modern signal/control tower;
  • an efficient signal station to monitor ship and other activities in the ports;
  • going to court over NNPC and other terminal operators’ debts
  • provision of pilotage services by the NPA;
  • addressing Information Communication Technology ( ICT) challenges to improve service delivery through automation, hardware and speedy network;
  • provision of marine craft and operational vehicles;
  • removal of abandoned service boats, barges and canoes on the waterways/channel and
  • the provision of transit accommodation for pilots embarking and disembarking from vessels in Bonny Town .

CEO/Founder Investors King Ltd, a foreign exchange research analyst, contributing author on New York-based Talk Markets and Investing.com, with over a decade experience in the global financial markets.

Business

Businesses Groan as Price of Diesel Rises to N250 Per Litre

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Petrol Importation

Businesses Groan as Price of Diesel Rises to N250 Per Litre

Businesses have started feeling the negative impact of the rising price of Automotive Gas Oil, known as diesel.

A single litre now goes for N250 in some parts of Lagos, with businesses taking a beating on the back of rising energy costs.

Our correspondent observed that some filling stations in Lagos had increased the price of the product to N250 per litre, while many others sold it at between N220-N245.

Northwest Petroleum along the Oshodi-Apapa road increased the pump price of diesel to N250 per litre; AP (Ardova Plc), along Airport road, Ikeja, N248; and Oando, along Acme Road, N240.

The National Bureau of Statistics, in its AGO price report on Tuesday, said the average price paid by consumers for diesel increased by 0.22 per cent to N224.86 per litre in January 2021 from to N224.37 in December 2020.

It said states with the highest average price of diesel were Adamawa (N268.33), Zamfara (N262.78) and Kebbi (N257.50).

“States with the lowest average price of diesel were Osun (N194.60), Anambra (N195.83) and Enugu (N198.24),” the NBS added.

Crude oil price accounts for a large chunk of the final cost of petroleum products, and the deregulation of the downstream oil sector by the Federal Government means that the pump prices of the products will reflect changes in the international oil market.

The international oil benchmark, Brent crude, has risen by more than 25 per cent this year from the $51.22 per barrel at which it closed last year. It rose to $65.25 per barrel as of 6:30pm Nigerian time on Tuesday.

Diesel is mostly used by businesses to power their generators amid a lack of reliable power supply from the national grid.

The President, Association of Small Business Owners of Nigeria, Mr Femi Egbesola, lamented that the recent increase in the price of diesel was taking a heavy toll on businesses, especially Small and Medium Enterprises.

“The cost of diesel and raw material is giving us a nightmare. The price of diesel has been skyrocketing in a way that creates fear in particularly manufacturers,” he told our correspondent on Tuesday.

According to him, it is difficult for businesses to factor all the increase in diesel price in their final product prices.

Egbesola said, “That is why a lot of companies are downsizing and are making sure that they only produce products that they are so sure will sell in the market.

“Many companies have reduced their product lines significantly just to be able to cope. And that is not good for us because by the time this goes on, unemployment will increase. I believe government should be able to do something about this.”

He said although the downstream petroleum sector had been deregulated, there should be checks and balances.

Egbesola said many small businesses’ savings had been eroded already because ‘we keep spending our savings to make sure we don’t close shop’.

He said, “If things continue this way, there is no way we are not going to close shop. We are still struggling with the recent increase in electricity tariff.

“Many small businesses still depend so much on diesel generators because there is no alternative power supply. It is only the big players that have the facilities to use gas. And we cannot use solar installation because it is very expensive.”

Nigeria, Africa’s largest oil producer, relies largely on importation for petrol and other refined products as its refineries have remained in a state of disrepair for many years.

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Appointments

United Capital Appoints Latunji Head, Marketing/Corporate Communications

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United-capital

United Capital Appoints Latunji Head, Marketing/Corporate Communications

United Capital Plc has been appointed, Tolu Latunji as its Head, Marketing & Corporate Communications.

In the new role, he is expected to drive a strategic communications, marketing and brand management programme for the investment banking group.

Latunji is a communication and marketing expert with 12 years’ experience in products development, marketing, brand & franchise building, effective management and communication of strategic objectives whilst ensuring adequate visibility for both organisation and product/service offerings through product, content and brand initiatives.

“With a 360 degree knowledge of communications and marketing, which includes but not limited to – brand management and initiatives, corporate affairs, internal and external affairs, product and brand marketing, event management and experiential marketing, cluster/segment marketing, Tolu has served at various capacities on government constituted sub-committees on financial inclusion,” a statement explained.

Prior to joining United Capital Plc, he was the Managing Partner of Ten & Square Media Co., a bespoke creative ideation and brand/crisis management firm, based in Lagos, Dakar and London.

Latunji was recently the Strategic Communications lead at FMDQ Securities Exchange, Nigeria’s first integrated financial market infrastructure (FMI), where he had the responsibility of effectively positioning the group, together with its subsidiaries, as the most sophisticated and technologically driven securities exchange in Africa.

Prior to that, he worked in Guaranty Trust Bank for nine years with roles in brand management & monitoring, events and experiential marketing, products and content marketing and user experience.

He led the marketing team to the successful development and launch of various retail, SME and corporate products. He was also instrumental in curating and developing the bank’s social footprints. Outside the corporate environment, Tolu engages in various humanitarian activities with food banks and empowerment programmes. He holds a B.Sc. Economics from University of Lagos.

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Business

Firm to Train 100 Nigerians in Solar Installation

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300MW Solar energy

Firm to Train 100 Nigerians in Solar Installation

A learning institute, GreCo Academy is seeking to train 100 Nigerians on solar installation in Nigeria.

The trainees are expected to undergo a 90- day intensive vocational training after which successful candidates will be rewarded with a three-month paid internship with a renowned Renewable Energy Company in Nigeria, according to a statement by the firm.

The training will consist of 80 days virtual engagement and 10 days physical engagement.

This initiative, according to the firm is aimed at giving the trained candidates hands-on practical experience in their journey to becoming professional solar installers in the country.

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