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Economy

Stranded Vessel: Cooking Gas Price Hits N5,000

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Gas Exports Drop as Shell Declares Force Majeure

Cooking Gas Price Hits N5,000

The inability of a vessel carrying Liquefied Petroleum Gas, popularly known as cooking gas, to berth and discharge in Lagos has caused the price of the product to soar to N5,000 per 12.5kg.

The price of the product had jumped to N4,500 per 12.5kg last week from between N3,200 and N4,000, even as the scarcity of kerosene, used by many Nigerians for cooking, continues to bite.

Our correspondent gathered on Tuesday that Gaz Providence, which is the only vessel delivering LPG in the domestic market, had been stranded on Lagos waters for over 10 days due to lack of berthing space at the North Oil Jetty in Apapa.

The vessel could not berth because another vessel discharging aviation fuel had yet to leave the berthing space, as it had not been able to offload the remaining 1,000 metric tonnes of the product for three days.

The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation has three jetties, namely: Petroleum Wharf, BOP and North Oil Jetty, used by vessels to discharge petroleum products at Apapa.

Our correspondent gathered that only the NOJ had facilities to discharge cooking gas, apart from a private jetty owned by Navgas, also in Lagos.

Checks by our correspondent showed that the price of a 12.5kg cylinder of cooking gas had increased to N5,000 as a result of the logistic challenge, which had lingered for years.

The President, Nigerian Association of Liquefied Petroleum Gas Marketers and Managing Director, Second Coming Gas Limited, Mr. Basil Ogbuanu, confirmed to our correspondent that the stranded vessel came in with about 10,000 metric tonnes of cooking gas.

He said, “But it has not been able to discharge because there is no space for it to berth. I assure Nigerians that as soon as that vessel berths, the price will return to N4,000. Whatever the price is today, above N4,000 is artificial.

“The only company that has a private jetty to receive gas is Navgas, and that is why they are receiving as I am speaking to you. The vessels that are discharging in Navgas now are imported.”

The National Chairman, Liquefied Petroleum Gas Retailers, a branch of the Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers, Mr. Chika Umudu, decried the continued arbitrary increment in the prices of LPG and supply shortages.

He said in a statement on Tuesday that the crisis, which began around July 2016, had intensified and undermined the expected development of the LPG sector in the country.

Umudu said, “As a result, Nigerians, especially the low-income earners who are beginning to adapt to LPG, have been subjected to hardship since December last year.”

The situation has just worsened this year, forcing many users to abandon their cylinders and opt for other sources such as firewood and kerosene.

“The price of 12.5kg of the product has risen from N3,500 in early December 2016 to N5,000 within Lagos State and neighbouring communities of Ogun State and parts of Oyo State. Within the same period in other parts of the country, the price has risen from between N4,000 and N4,500 to between N5,500 and N6,500.”

Ogbuanu also said dealers across the country had been at the receiving end of the crisis and were almost out of business as they struggled to cover their rising cost price.

The LPGAR president said, “LPG retailers have to contend with end users who often accuse them of being responsible for the price increment. Unknown to most of the end users, our members are the worst hit as they have been reduced to the status of mere agents toiling day and night to make LPG available to Nigerians with little or no profits.

“Our union has since the middle of last year decried what it views as the manipulation of the sector by few privileged individuals in Nigeria. Now, the supply is not adequate and the pricing system is determined by the privileged few who have succeeded in hijacking the system.”

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.

Economy

FG Launches E-ticketing Platform to Deepen Train Usage and Convenience

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FG Launches E-ticketing Platform to Deepen Train Usage and Convenience

In a bid to improve the usage and enhance the convenience of train transport in Nigeria, the Federal Government on Thursday announced the launching of the Electronic Ticketing platform for the Kaduna-Abuja rail services.

The N900 million E-ticketing platform was introduced by the Minister of Transportation, Chibuike R. Amaechi, and the Nigerian Railway Corporation.

Amaechi said the new platform would improve efficiency, promote accountability, reduce leakage and enhance economic growth, as well as save time.

The E-ticketing platform was a Public-Private Partnership project done in conjunction with Secure ID Solutions, who provide and would manage the system for 10 years in an effort to recoup its investment before the Nigerian Railway Corporation take charge.

Kofo Akinkugbe, the Chief Executive Officer, Secure ID Solutions, said as the new E-platform issued 25,000 tickets after a successful pilot test on Thursday.

Potential Travelers can book via three ways:

1. Mobile app
2. Website
3. POS or Cash at the station

A validator would be used to scan the ticket barcode to ascertain its authenticity before boarding.

Amaechi further announced that self-service ticket vending machines at various train stations would be introduced soon.

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Economy

Nigeria’s Excess Crude Account (ECA) Balance Now $72.4 Million

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Zainab Ahmed Finance Minister

Nigeria’s Excess Crude Account (ECA) Balance Now $72.4 Million

The Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed, on Thursday said Nigeria’s Excess Crude Account (ECA) stood at $72,411,197.80 as of January 20th, 2021.

The minister disclosed this at the first National Economic Council (NEC) meeting of the year presided over by Yemi Osinbajo, Vice President and had in attendance State Governors, Federal Capital Territory Minister, Central Bank Governor and other senior government officials.

Ahmed said “Excess Crude Account (ECA), balance as at 20th January, 2021, $72,411,197.80; Stabilization Account, balance as at 19th January, 2021, N28,800,711,295.37; Natural Resources Development Fund Account, balance as at 19th January 2021, N95, 830,729,470.82.”

The minister also said President Muhammadu Buhari has approved N6.45 billion for the setting up of gas plants in 39 locations nationwide in an effort to increase COVID-19 treatment.

What is Excess Crude Account (ECA)

Excess Crude Account (ECA) is an account used to save the disparity in the market price of crude oil and budgeted price of crude oil as stipulated in the Federal Government Appropriation Bill.

Key Takeaways of Excess Crude Account (ECA)

  • Excess Crude Account (ECA) was established in 2004 by the Federal Government to stabilize Nigeria’s economy and smooth out the effect of crude oil fluctuation on Africa’s largest economy.
  • The ECA rose to its highest of $20 billion in November 2008 during the global oil boom when prices were above $100 per barrel.
  • Controversy, allegations of corruption, and uncertain performance have trailed the ECA since creation.
  • The balance plunged from $20 billion in 2008 to $72.4 million in January 2021.

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Economy

AfCFTA: Nigeria Customs Service Requested For Detailed Role In The Free Trade Agreement

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Container Shipping

AfCFTA: Nigeria Customs Service Requested For Detailed Role In The Free Trade Agreement

Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) requested for a proper and detailed role expected to be carried out in the implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) agreement.

The NCS said detailed explanations of roles and responsibilities of all parties involved in the free trade agreement should be spelled out to avoid overlapping of duties and to achieve a seamless implementation of AfCFTA.

Mr. Joseph Attah the Public Relations Officer, on behalf of the Comptroller-General of the NCS, Col Hameed Ali (Rtd.), issued a statement to address the call for a detailed role of the Customs.

“Our functions are highly automated and primarily systems-driven, hence the need to methodically harvest and integrate all data associated with AfCFTA into our system for easy deployment, access, and use by the trading public.

“We, therefore, await the National Action Committee (NAC) on the list of duties and charges waived for liberalised goods under AfCFTA. The list of the 90 percent liberalised national trade offers (NTOs); list of the 70 percent non-liberalised exclusive goods at the regional level; and list of the 3 percent non-liberalised sensitive goods.

“The appointment of a competent authority responsible for issuing and authenticating certificates of origin and registering enterprises and products within the region.” He said.

In the statement, NCS pledges commitment to the success of the trade pact and also identifies the transformational impact the free trade agreement would have on businesses in Nigeria and the Africa continent at large.

“Also, it is pertinent to inform the public about steps which must be taken to enable its smooth and full implementation,” He added

NCS recommended that the member-country of the free trade agreement should have a representative in the continental chamber, this is to ensure transparency and build the confidence of the members in the system.

“This, in our view, should be complementary to the activities of the various chambers of commerce of each country in the region. While awaiting clear directives concerning tariffs for all goods covered by this agreement, we want to assure the public of our preparedness to fully deploy our services at the shortest notice.

“Our desire is to imbue trust in the system while guaranteeing the economic safety and wellbeing of businesses within the country,”  NCS noted.

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