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Apapa Gridlock: Council, NPA, Others Endorse Prosecution of Traffic Violators



  • Apapa Gridlock: Council, NPA, Others Endorse Prosecution of Traffic Violators

The Apapa Local Government Area, Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) and other stakeholders Tuesday agreed that owners of articulated vehicles that violated Lagos Road Traffic Law, 2012, should be prosecuted.

The stakeholders, including the Road Transport Employers Association of Nigeria (RTEAN), Residents’ Association of Government Reserve Areas, banks and law enforcement agencies, agreed to a 24-hour monitoring and enforcement of one-lane policy as a measure to ease gridlock in Apapa.

These positions were held yesterday at a stakeholders’ meeting which the Chairman of Apapa council, Mr. Owolabi Adele, addressed on the need to end diverse challenges which the stakeholders said had been undermining socio-economic activities in Apapa and its environs.

After exhaustive deliberation at the meeting that lasted almost three hours, the stakeholders agreed that for sanity, law and order to return to Apapa and its environs, owners of articulated vehicles parked indiscriminately in the area should be prosecuted.”

Also, the stakeholders agreed to a 24-hour enforcement and monitoring initiative of one-lane policy, which the Apapa council unfolded to reduce the hardship the residents and owners of businesses daily undergo in Apapa and its environs.

Earlier at the meeting, the council chairman proposed a 24-hour monitoring and enforcement initiative of one-lane policy which he argued would stem the hardship the people “are experiencing in Apapa’s gridlocks on a daily basis.”

Adele, therefore, lamented that the traffic situation had crippled the socio-economic activities in the town, noting that it would deploy enforcement teams “on strategic areas to ease the flow of traffic in and out of Apapa.

“Our presence here marks a turning point in our collective attempt to resolve permanently and move forward in our onerous task. As it has been repeatedly re-echoed, the damage done to our economy and the suffering of our people as a result of the traffic menace cannot be over-emphasised.”

He assured stakeholders that the council would begin repairing all roads, calling for intensive training for all tanker drivers to stem overloading and reckless driving that have resulted in avoidable road accidents.

Also at the meeting, the NPA General Manager, Mr. Biodun Gbadamosi, blamed the worrisome situation in Apapa on non-adherence to its original master plan and years of neglect by successive governments in the country.

He, however, commended the Apapa council for the stakeholders’ meeting to brainstorm on way forward and suggested inter-modal transport system that will reduce pressure on the road as the way out.

Gbadamosi noted that several meetings had been held on how to provide a long term solution to the traffic in Apapa for the return of socio-economic activities to the area as since Managing Director of NPA, Ms. Hadiza Bala-Usman, assumed office, nothing much had been achieved.

On behalf of Apapa GRA Residents Association, Brigadier-General Ayo Vaughan suggested the erection of barriers on Liverpool Road to regulate the use of the road by the articulated vehicles while also calling for action to end the menace of commercial motorcyclists and bus drivers in the area.

Vaughan regretted that lack of measures “to check the manner commercial motorcycle operators and bus drivers operate in Apapa and environs had made security in the area porous and inimical to residents and businesses there.”

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

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Egbin Decries N388B NBET Debt, Idle Capacity



Egbin-Power-Plant - Investors King

Egbin Power Plc, the biggest power station in Nigeria, has said it is owed N388bn by the Nigerian Bulk Electricity Trading Plc for electricity generated and fed into the national grid.

The company disclosed this on Tuesday during an oversight visit by the Senate Committee on Privatisation, led by its Chairman, Senator Theodore Orji, to the power station, located in Ikorodu, Lagos.

The government-owned NBET buys electricity in bulk from generation companies through Power Purchase Agreements and sells it to the distribution companies, which then supply it to the consumers.

The Group Managing Director, Sahara Power Group, Mr. Kola Adesina, told the lawmakers that the total amount owed to Egbin by NBET included money for actual energy wheeled out, interest for late payments and available capacity payments.

Egbin is one of the operating entities of Sahara Power Group, which is an affiliate of Sahara Group. The plant has an installed capacity of 1,320MW consisting of six turbines of 220 megawatts each.

The company said from 2020 till date, the plant had been unable to utilize 175MW of its available capacity due to gas and transmission constraints.

Adesina said, “At the time when we took over this asset, we were generating averagely 400MW of electricity; today, we are averaging about 800MW. At a point in time, we went as high as 1,100MW. Invariably, this is an asset of strategic importance to Nigeria.

“The plant needs to be nurtured and maintained. If you don’t give this plant gas, there won’t be electricity. Gas is not within our control.

“Our availability is limited to the regularity of gas that we receive. The more irregular the gas supply, the less likely there will be electricity.”

He noted that if the power generated at the station was not evacuated by the Transmission Company of Nigeria, it would be useless.

Adesina said, “Unfortunately, as of today, technology has not allowed the power of this size to be stored; so, we can’t keep it anywhere.

“So, invariably, we will have to switch off the plant, and when we switch off the plant, we have to pay our workers irrespective of whether there is gas or transmission.

“Sadly, the plant is aging. So, this plant requires more nurturing and maintenance for it to remain readily available for Nigerians.

“Now, where you have exchange rate move from N157/$1 during acquisition in 2013 to N502-N505/$1 in 2021, and the revenue profile is not in any way commensurate to that significant change, then we have a very serious problem.”

He said at the meeting of the Association of Power Generation Companies on Monday, members raised concern about the debts owed to them.

He added, “All the owners were there, and the concern that was expressed was that this money that is being owed, when are we going to get paid?

“The longer it takes us to be paid, the more detrimental to the health and wellbeing our machines and more importantly, to our staff.”

Adesina lamented that the country’s power generation had been hovering around 4,000MW in recent years.

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Crude Oil

Oil Rises on U.S. Fuel Drawdowns Despite Surging Coronavirus Cases



U.S. Crude Oil - Investors King

Oil prices climbed on Wednesday after industry data showed U.S. crude and product inventories fell more sharply than expected last week, reinforcing expectations that demand will outstrip supply growth even amid a surge in Covid-19 cases.

U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures rose 48 cents, or 0.7%, to $72.13 a barrel, reversing Tuesday’s 0.4% decline.

Brent crude futures rose 34 cents, or 0.5%, to $74.82 a barrel, after shedding 2 cents on Tuesday in the first decline in six days.

Data from the American Petroleum Institute industry group showed U.S. crude stocks fell by 4.7 million barrels for the week ended July 23, gasoline inventories dropped by 6.2 million barrels and distillate stocks were down 1.9 million barrels, according to two market sources, who spoke on condition of anonymity.

That compared with analysts’ expectations for a 2.9 million fall in crude stocks, following a surprise rise in crude inventories the previous week in what was the first increase since May.

Traders are awaiting data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) on Wednesday to confirm the drop in stocks.

“Most energy traders were unfazed by last week’s build, so expectations should be high for the EIA crude oil inventory data to confirm inventories resumed their declining trend,” OANDA analyst Edward Moya said in a research note.

On gasoline stocks, analysts had expected a 900,000 barrel decline drop in the week to July 23.

“The U.S. is still in peak driving season and everyone is trying to make the most of this summer,” Moya said.

Fuel demand expectations are undented by soaring cases of the highly infectious delta variant of the coronavirus in the United States, where the seven-day average for new cases has risen to 57,126. That is about a quarter of the pandemic peak.

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Crude Oil

Oil Price Rises To $74.70 Despite Delta Variant



Oil prices - Investors King

Oil price inched higher on Tuesday despite the fast spreading COVID-19 Delta variant. Brent crude oil, against which Nigerian oil is priced gained, $0.20 or 0.27 percent to $74.70 per barrel on Tuesday at 12:05 am Nigerian time.

Delta variant is spreading in China, the world’s largest importer of crude oil, forcing crude oil investors to start cutting down on their oil demand projections.

The Delta variant is still spreading and China has started to clamp down on teapots, so their import growth would not be that much,” said Avtar Sandu, a senior commodities manager at Singapore’s Phillips Futures, referring to independent refiners.

Strong U.S. demand and expectations of tight supplies have helped crude oil to recover from a 7 percent slump recorded last Monday to mark their first gains in two to three weeks last week.

Global oil markets are expected to remain in deficit despite a decision by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and allies, collectively known as OPEC+, to raise production through the rest of the year.

There is seemingly a battle within the energy complex between the prevailing supply deficit engineered by OPEC+ and the threat of the COVID-19 Delta variant in regions with low vaccination rates,” said StoneX analyst Kevin Solomon.

The slow take-up of vaccinations will continue to limit some upside in oil demand in those regions, and there will be intermittent spells in the recovery in the coming months.

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