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Fuel Scarcity Persists, NNPC Admits Supply Hitches



  • Fuel Scarcity Persists, NNPC Admits Supply Hitches

As fuel queues grew longer at the few filling stations that sold the product in Lagos and Ogun states on Thursday, the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation said it noticed the current hiccup in the supply chain a few days ago.

Motorists lamented that they had to spend many hours in queues for Premium Motor Spirit (petrol), while some petrol seekers with jerry cans complained that the product was not being sold to them and that they had to part with extra money to get it at some of the stations.

Commuters were seen at many bus-stops struggling to get vehicles to different destinations, even as transport operators increased the fares by as much as 100 per cent on most routes.

The long queues of desperate motorists at filling stations in parts of Lagos spilled onto the roads and disrupted the flow of traffic, making commuters and motorists to suffer more pain.

It was gathered that many of the private depots in Apapa, Lagos, where most marketers get petroleum products from for distribution to other states, did not have petrol to load.

The National Operations Controller, Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria, Mr. Mike Osatuyi, said although the NNPC had assumed the role of sole importer of petrol into the country, the corporation lacked adequate facilities to discharge and dispense the product without involving the private tank farm owners and marketers.

He said IPMAN members were being given maximum of eight trucks per day at the NNPC depot in Ejigbo, Lagos in the past five days, adding, “The depot has a deficiency of storage. Its tank can only take 60 trucks’ stock, which is not up to half-day loading. So, that is a special problem that has to be addressed. Before, the depot could load up to 120 to 130 trucks in a day.

“If the NNPC says it has enough cargo, let it share it to the depots it has throughput with so that there can be massive distribution of the product across the country. IPMAN is cooperating with the government so that we can get to the end of this issue.”

Efforts to get the comments of the Major Marketers’ Association of Nigeria and the Depot and Petroleum Products Marketers Association were not successful as their spokespersons did not immediately respond to telephone calls.

The Group Managing Director, NNPC, Dr. Maikanti Baru, however, said in a statement on Thursday that the corporation had doubled the daily supply of PMS from 700 trucks (about 27 million to 30 million litres) per day to 80 million litres per day since the hiccup in the supply chain was noticed.

Baru said rumours of a purported increase in the pump price of petrol made some marketers to suddenly start hoarding the product in their quest to cash in on the situation.

“But we swiftly swung into action by doubling our supply nationwide. At the time the rumour started, we had about 30-day sufficiency. The normal daily supply to the nation is 700 trucks, equalling about 27 million to 30 million litres per day.

He added that the NNPC had enough products’ sufficiency that would last up to 30 days, adding that at least cargoes laden with one billion litres of petrol cargoes were heading to Nigerian shores at the end of December, which he said would return the country to a 30-day-plus sufficiency.

Baru said the fuel scarcity would soon fizzle out and warned marketers hoarding the product that they would lose their entire products to motorists if caught.

He commended the NNPC’s sister agencies, the Department of Petroleum Resources and Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency, for their support in helping to tackle the hoarding of PMS by filling stations.

Meanwhile, the Head of Operations, Lagos Zonal Office, DPR, Mr. Musa Tambuwa, on Thursday called on marketers to shun hoarding or face penalties.

“We are going to ensure that Nigerians are not defrauded. If we find any station engaging in sharp practices, be sure that the arm of the law will not hold back at such defaulters.”

The NNPC also announced that it had achieved 98 per cent automation of all transactions involving the supply, marketing and sale of the various grades and blends of the country’s crude oil across the world.

Its Group General Manager, Crude Oil Marketing Division, Mele Kyari, said the automation, which would be concluded in 2018, had enabled the corporation to achieve an end-to-end monitoring of every barrel of crude oil sold in the country.

Commenting on the firm’s ability to monitor crude oil sale, Kyari said, “Today, at the click of a button, we can tell you how much crude oil is sold, at what price, who bought it and where it has gone to, etc.”

He said the projection was to operate a complete paperless crude oil data management regime in line with the ongoing transformation of the processes, which has witnessed reforms since 2015.

Kyari listed the reforms to include the open bid process of customer selection for lifting and purchase of Nigeria’s crude oil grades, emplacement of efficient crude for product import processes, leading to savings of $1bn in one year, as well as the introduction of improved pricing system.

He explained that the reform had led to the harmonisation of Nigeria’s crude oil data and lifting information, providing access to major internationally recognised reporting agencies like Plat and Argus Media to achieve real time reporting of the nation’s crude oil transactions.

He said this development had enabled the country to eliminate the perennial disagreement with its major stakeholder, the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries, on actual production and lifting figures.

Baru, who signed the MoU on bio-fuels project with the Benue State Government, stated that the project would provide employment for the teeming youths in the state.

“I believe that Benue has what it takes to lead the country in the bio-fuels industry. I hope that your state will soon move from the food basket to the fuel basket of the nation,” he said.

In his remarks, the Deputy Governor of Benue State, Benson Abounu, said the state was happy with the signing of the MoU, a development he noted was a watershed in the nation’s quest to find alternative sources of energy.

The Agasha-Guma bio-fuels project aims at developing an integrated sugarcane plantation and fuel-ethanol/sugar/power plant complex in Benue State through a Special Purpose Vehicle.

The NNPC said the project was expected to create one million direct and indirect jobs for Nigerians on completion, and would produce about 84 million litres of ethanol fuel annually, adding that it planned to mobilise to site by the first quarter of 2018.

In Kano, the DPR sanctioned eight filling stations, just as it confirmed improvement in distribution and supply of the product.

At the end of a three-day check of filling stations within the metropolis, the Acting Operations Controller, Kano Field Office, DPR, Mr. Paul Jezhi, said the team inspected not less than 166 filling stations within Kano.

Jhezi added, “You can see for yourselves that queues have disappeared in our filling stations. This is due to our close monitoring of how stations dispense the product. We also supervise their compliance level, with the stipulated price.

“We were being supplied between 20 and 24 trucks of the product daily, but it has now increased to about 40 trucks in order to correct the shortfall.”

The Kwara State Governor, Alhaji Abdulfatah Ahmed, on Thursday warned petroleum marketers in the state against hoarding of fuel and other infractions, saying culprits would be punished.

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

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African Economy Set for Steady Growth: 4% Projected for 2025



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Experts are forecasting a robust growth trajectory of 4% for the continent in 2025.

This optimistic projection was highlighted during the ongoing Afreximbank annual meetings, incorporating the Africaribbean Trade and Investment Forum, held recently in Nassau, The Bahamas.

Yemi Kale, Group Chief Economist and Managing Director of Research and International Cooperation at Afreximbank, presented the 2024 African Trade Report and Economic Outlook, saying the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) is significant in driving economic integration and growth.

The projected growth rate of 4% for 2025 reflects a steady recovery path for Africa, building on the expected 3.5% growth anticipated for 2024.

This positive outlook comes at a crucial time when African economies are navigating challenges posed by global economic dynamics, including inflationary pressures and supply chain disruptions.

Kale underscored the resilience of intra-African trade, which expanded by 3.2% in 2023 despite a 6.3% overall contraction in Africa’s trade volumes.

This resilience is a testament to the AfCFTA’s potential to bolster regional trade ties and reduce dependency on external markets.

The Afreximbank report also delved into macroeconomic environments, trade patterns, and sovereign debt sustainability dynamics, providing policymakers and business leaders with actionable insights to navigate complexities in global markets effectively.

Nomusa Dube-Ncube, Premier of Kwazulu-Natal, highlighted Africa’s modest share of global GDP and manufacturing output, emphasizing the untapped potential within intra-African trade.

She noted that while Africa currently accounts for only 3% of world trade, intra-regional trade is steadily increasing, indicating a growing economic ecosystem within the continent.

Pamela Coke-Hamilton, Executive Director of the International Trade Centre (ITC), echoed the sentiment, advocating for enhanced trade between Africa and the Caribbean.

The ITC projects trade in goods and services between these regions to reach $1 billion by 2028, underscoring the mutually beneficial opportunities for economic expansion.

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Nigeria Sees 95% Surge in Food Imports Despite Emergency on Food Production



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Nigeria’s food import bill has surged to a five-year high in the first quarter of 2024, despite the federal government declaring a state of emergency on food production.

Data from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) reveals a 95.28 percent increase in food imports to N920.54 billion from January to March, compared to N471.39 billion in the same period last year.

This alarming rise comes amid soaring food inflation, which hit a record 40.5 percent in April, reflecting a 15.92 percent year-on-year increase.

The sharp inflation has left many Nigerians struggling to afford a balanced diet, exacerbating the food security crisis in Africa’s most populous nation.

In March, President Bola Ahmed Tinubu emphasized the government’s commitment to self-sufficiency in food production, stating that Nigeria would not rely on imports to stabilize prices.

“We will not allow the importation of food but rather turn the lack in the country into abundance,” Tinubu declared. However, the latest import figures suggest that this goal remains elusive.

The NBS Foreign Trade Statistics report highlights that the value of food imports via maritime, air, and land routes surged 29.4 percent from N711.4 billion in the fourth quarter of 2023.

Major agricultural goods imported included durum wheat from Canada and Lithuania, valued at N130.26 billion and N98.63 billion, respectively. Frozen blue whitings from the Netherlands accounted for N16.67 billion.

Wheat imports alone constituted N519.75 billion of the total food import bill. The average cost of wheat imports, a significant driver of the food import value, increased by 33 percent compared to the previous quarter’s value of N391.01 billion.

The rising importation of wheat reflects its popularity among Nigerian consumers amid skyrocketing prices of close substitutes like garri and rice.

Overall, Nigeria’s total imports for Q1 2024 amounted to N12.64 trillion, representing a 39.65 percent increase from N9.05 trillion in Q4 2023 and a 95.53 percent rise from N6.47 trillion in Q1 2023. Food imports accounted for 7.3 percent of total imports during the period under review.

The bulk of Nigeria’s imports came from Asia, China, Europe, America, and Africa. Mineral fuels topped the import category with N4.44 trillion, representing 35.09 percent of total imports.

Machinery and transport equipment followed with N3.17 trillion, contributing 25.08 percent, and chemicals and related products at N1.79 trillion, making up 14.13 percent of total imports.

Despite the federal government’s initiatives to boost local food production and reduce dependency on imports, the latest data underscores the persistent challenges facing Nigeria’s agricultural sector.

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Ethiopia Boosts Spending by 21%, Eyes IMF Program for Economic Relief



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Ethiopia has announced a 21% increase in its 2025 budget, marking the first budget since defaulting on a Eurobond payment and committing to economic reform discussions with the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

The nation’s Finance Minister, Ahmed Shide, revealed the new budget details to lawmakers on Tuesday, outlining plans to spend 971.2 billion birr ($16.9 billion) in the fiscal year starting July 2024.

The increased budget reflects Ethiopia’s commitment to addressing its economic challenges head-on. Despite the heightened expenditure, the fiscal deficit is projected to remain stable at 2.1% of gross domestic product (GDP), unchanged from the current fiscal year.

Financing the Deficit

Minister Shide outlined a plan to cover the 358.5 billion-birr deficit through a combination of local and foreign borrowing.

The domestic borrowing component will be managed via government treasury bills and medium-term bonds. Shide emphasized that until substantial external donor support is secured, Ethiopia will continue to rely heavily on its domestic markets to finance budget deficits.

“While the government has secured some external financing from the World Bank and the European Union, negotiating an IMF program will be crucial to alleviate pressure on local banks and secure overall debt relief,” said Giulia Filocca, a senior analyst at Standard & Poor’s for sovereign and international public finance ratings.

IMF Program and Economic Reforms

An agreement with the IMF is seen as a pivotal step for Ethiopia. The nation failed to remit a $33 million coupon payment for its $1 billion bond in December 2023, leading to agreements with some creditors, including the Paris Club, to suspend debt repayments.

In exchange, Ethiopia is expected to reach a staff-level agreement with the IMF, which will likely include economic reforms such as devaluing the birr currency.

“Our expectation is that an IMF program will be signed this year, but the timeline remains unclear due to ongoing political developments and challenges over foreign-exchange reforms,” added Filocca.

Budget Highlights

The new budget includes 451.3 billion birr for recurrent spending, 283.2 billion birr for capital expenditure, and 236.7 billion birr allocated for regional subsidies.

The government projects income of 612.7 billion birr, with tax revenue expected to contribute 502 billion birr and non-tax income 61.6 billion birr. Sector budget support is anticipated to bring in 7.3 billion birr, with aid and grants expected to add 41.8 billion birr.

Economic Outlook

Ethiopia’s economy is forecasted to expand by 8.4% in the coming fiscal year, up from an expected 7.9% growth rate in the current period. The budget increase is designed to support this growth trajectory by enhancing public investment and stimulating economic activity.

“Our partnership with the IMF and other international financial institutions will be key to ensuring Ethiopia’s economic resilience and sustainable growth,” Minister Shide concluded. “We are committed to implementing the necessary reforms to secure a brighter economic future for our country.”

As Ethiopia navigates its economic challenges, the government’s proactive approach to increasing spending and engaging with the IMF reflects a strategic effort to restore fiscal stability and drive long-term economic development.

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