- No Petrol in Our Depots Despite NNPC’s Promises – DAPPMA
As fuel queues grew shorter at some filling stations in Lagos on Tuesday, oil marketers under the aegis of the Depot and Petroleum Products Marketers Association said they did not have Premium Motor Spirit in their tanks.
DAPPMA said its members had not received petrol in their depots despite the recent announcement by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation that it had started offloading products in depots across the country.
Many filling stations, particularly those run by independent oil marketers in Lagos and Abuja, were closed on Tuesday, while queues of motorists and other petrol seekers persisted in front of the few stations that dispensed the product in the Federal Capital Territory and other near-by states.
The Executive Secretary, DAPPMA, Mr. Olufemi Adewole, said in a statement, “While we cannot confirm or dispute the NNPC’s claims of having sufficient product stock, we can confirm that the products are not in our tanks and as such cannot be distributed. If the products are offshore, then surely, they cannot be considered to be available to Nigerians.”
Adewole stated that DAPPMA members were ready to undertake 24-hour loading and truck-out if petrol was provided to them by the Petroleum Products Marketing Company.
“The NNPC imports and distributes through DAPPMA, Major Oil Marketers Association of Nigeria and Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria. Our members pay the PPMC/NNPC in advance for petroleum products, and fully paid up PMS orders that have neither been programmed nor loaded are in excess of 500,000 metric tonnes, about 800 million litres as of today, and enough to meet the nation’s needs for 19 days at a daily estimated consumption of 35 million litres,” he said.
Adewole further stated that the unending fuel crisis was due to the challenges in the Direct Sales, Direct Purchase scheme, rising price of crude in the international market and the high interest rates charged by Deposit Money Banks on loans obtained by marketers.
He said, “We all know that we presently run a fixed price regime of N145 per litre for PMS without any recourse to subsidy claims. However, we also have no control on the international price of crude oil.
“We understand that the NNPC meets this demand largely through its DSDP framework. However, due to price challenges on the DSDP platform, some participants in the scheme failed to meet their supply quota of refined petroleum products, especially PMS, to the NNPC. This is the main reason for this scarcity.”
According to him, anytime the NNPC assumes the role of sole importer, there are issues of distribution, because marketers own 80 per cent of the functional receptive facilities and retail outlets in the country.
“Sadly, some people have blamed marketers for hoarding fuel. Unfortunately, this is so far from the truth. Hoarding of fuel is regarded as an economic sabotage and we assure all Nigerians that our members are not involved in such illicit acts,” Adewole added.
According to a top official of a Lagos-based oil marketing company, who spoke to one of our correspondents on condition of anonymity, 80 per cent of the petrol being imported by the NNPC were going to the major marketers, while the rest go to depots with which the NNPC had throughput arrangement and others.
The National Operations Controller, IPMAN, Mr. Mike Osatuyi, said there was improvement in loading at the NNPC depot in Ejigbo, Lagos, adding, “But the NNPC needs to collaborate with the private depots that have facilities to use and can push out the product to members of IPMAN. So, it has to sell the product to private depots it has throughput agreement with.
“We are not saying the NNPC does not have the product. But it has to get to where they can discharge it and load it to our members. You know there was no banking activity in the last four days, and our members pay before loading unlike majors that can get the product on credit. But I believe from tomorrow (Wednesday) when banks resume, there will be more payments into the NNPC system and there will be more loading.”
When contacted to react to the claim by DAPPMA that its members had no PMS in their various depots, the Group General Manager, Group Public Affairs Division, NNPC, Mr. Ndu Ughamadu, said, “We are verifying the authenticity of that claim because we have been supplying them with products. Even as of yesterday (Monday), we supplied products to the depots.
“However, they (DAPPMA) should complement the efforts of the NNPC. We have been supplying DAPPMA and MOMAN with products. We are replenishing their stock.”
Meanwhile, some motorists, said as they queued for petrol in different filling stations in Abuja, said they were fed up with government and its agencies with respect to the fuel crisis that has dragged on for about a month.
Odunayo Toyosi, a motorist who spoke at the Forte Oil filling station opposite the Trancorp Hilton, Abuja, said, “All government agencies and officials that are responsible for this untold suffering on Nigerians should be ashamed of themselves right now. They have failed woefully!”
Another motorist at the NNPC mega station on the Kubwa-Zuba Expressway, Gideon Etuk, said, “We’ve never witnessed petrol scarcity that dragged like the one we are going through right now. The NNPC and other government officials who usually come out to speak on this matter should please keep quiet because they are obviously clueless right now.”
ICPC Says Nigeria Loses $10bn to Illicit Financial Flows
The Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) says Nigeria accounts for 20 per cent or 10 billion dollars (N3.8 trillion) of the estimated 50 billion dollars that Africa loses to Illicit Financial Flows (IFFs).
Chairman of ICPC, Prof. Bolaji Owasanoye, said this during a virtual meeting to review a report on IFFs in relation to tax, Mrs Azuka Ogugua, spokesperson for ICPC, said in a statement released in Abuja on Friday.
The ICPC Chairman said, “the African Union Illicit Financial Flow Report estimated that Africa is losing nearly 50 billion dollars through profit shifting by multinational corporations and about 20 per cent of this figure is from Nigeria alone.”
The ICPC boss explained that taxes played “very strategic role in the nation’s political economy.”
He said the objective of the meeting was to improve on the awareness on IFFs, especially in the areas of taxation.
The ICPC boss added that the meeting would give participants the opportunity to openly discuss how to effectively use the instrumentality of taxation to curb IFFs through risk-based approach.
“Risk-based approach, that is: monitoring and audit; due process in tax collection; structured tax amnesty framework skewed in public interest; data privacy; timely resolution of audits and payment of tax refunds and intelligence sharing among revenue generating, regulatory and law enforcement agencies,” he said.
Owasanoye also stated that for the contemporary tax man to remain relevant, he must build his capacity in areas of technology management, solution architects and an astute relationship manager.
The Executive Chairman of Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) Mr Muhammad Nani, expressed concerns that IFFs posed a serious threat to the Nigerian economy as the act robbed the nation of resources that were needed for development.
Nani declared that tackling IFFs would expand the country’s tax base and improve revenue generation, which was required for development.
He consequently pushed for policy reforms that would make it difficult for “capital flights” from occurring so that the country would be placed on the path of growth.
Other discussants at the event identified weak regulatory framework, opacity of financial system and lack of capacity amongst others as some of the factors that fuelled IFFs.
The discussants emphasised the need for capacity building of relevant stakeholders as one of the ways to stamp out illicit financial flows.
They commended ICPC for leveraging its corruption prevention mandate to open a new vista in IFFs discourse in Nigeria. (NAN)
African Development Bank, Egypt Signs Agreements Worth €109 Million to Transform Sewage Coverage in Rural Areas
The African Development Bank Group has signed financing agreements of €109 million with the Government of Egypt to improve sanitation infrastructure and services for rural communities in Luxor Governorate in Egypt’s Upper Nile region.
The financing consists of a €108 million loan from the Bank, and a grant of €1 million from the Rural Water Supply and Sanitation Initiative (RWSSI) – an Africa-wide initiative hosted by the African Development Bank.
The funding, provided in a challenging global context, will help meet the Egyptian government’s financing requirements in the light of the COVID-19 pandemic, and support a sound water and sanitation infrastructure base, a key enabler for the country’s inclusive development.
The Integrated Rural Sanitation in Upper Egypt-Luxor (IRSUE-Luxor) project is set to boost sewage coverage in the region from 6% to 55%, improving the quality of life of citizens, including women and children, who are most affected by poor sanitation.
“Promoting efficient, equitable and sustainable economic development through integrated water resources management is a priority for the Government of Egypt. The IRSUE-Luxor initiative unlocks the socio-economic development potential for inclusive and green growth,” said Rania Al-Mashat, Minister of International Cooperation, who signed the agreements on behalf of the Egyptian government.
About 22,000 households (240,000 inhabitants) will benefit from on-site and off-site facilities, through an integrated system of sewerage networks, sludge treatment and wastewater treatment plants.
IRSUE-Luxor contributes to the National Rural Sanitation Program established by the Ministry of Housing, Utilities and Urban Communities, which aims to expand nationwide access to sanitation services from 34% currently to 60% in 2030.
The project also complements the national Haya Karima (Decent Life) initiative that aims to help rural communities across Egypt access essential infrastructure services to improve their living conditions and livelihoods.
Furthermore, the project includes a staff training component to strengthen performance within the Luxor Water and Wastewater Company.
“This intervention is not just about infrastructure development. An essential part of the project is supporting ongoing sector reforms,” said Malinne Blomberg, the Bank’s Deputy Director General for North Africa.
One of several initiatives supported by the African Development Bank in Egypt to optimize the use of the country’s water resources, IRSUE-Luxor will enable about 30,000 cubic meters of treated wastewater per day to be discharged into drainage and irrigation canals and re-used to enhance agricultural output.
The initiative is in line with the Bank’s water sector policy, which promotes efficient, equitable and sustainable development through integrated water resources management. In addition, the operation supports tariff regulation to achieve full cost recovery, which is one of the basic principles of the Bank’s water sector policy.
The partnership between Egypt and the African Development Bank Group dates back more than half a century. More than 100 operations have been deployed, mobilizing more than $6 billion across multiple strategic sectors.
Manufacturing Firms Borrowed N570bn from Banks in 2020 – CBN
Manufacturing firms borrowed a total of N570bn from Nigerian banks last year amid the economic fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Banks’ credit to the manufacturing sector rose to N3.19tn as of December 2020 from N2.62tn at the end of 2019, according to the sectoral analysis of banks’ credit by the Central Bank of Nigeria.
The sector received the second biggest share of the credit from the banks after the oil and gas sector, which got N5.18tn as of December.
“The manufacturing sector, which is the engine of sustainable growth, is still struggling with the debilitating impact of the pandemic and is yet to recuperate,” the Director-General, Manufacturers Association of Nigeria, Mr Segun Ajayi-Kadir, said in January.
MAN, in a January report, revealed that most manufacturers said commercial banks’ lending rates were discouraging productivity in the sector.
The report said 71 per cent of Chief Executive Officers interviewed “disagreed that the rate at which commercial banks lend to manufacturers encourages productivity in the sector.”
It said the cost of borrowing in the country remained at double digits even amidst the reforms meant to culminate in lower rates to engender the country’s economic recovery process.
The report said, “Special single digit loans offered by development banks are still hard to leverage as conditionalities to assess the loans through commercial banks are often overwhelming and laden with additional charges that will eventually make the interest rate double digit.
“Seven per cent of respondents were, however, of the opinion that the rate at which commercial banks lend to manufacturers encourages productivity in the sector while the remaining 22 per cent were not sure of the impact of the rate of lending on productivity in the manufacturing sector.”
The report showed that 64 per cent of respondent disagreed that the size of commercial bank loan to manufacturing sector had encouraged manufacturing productivity.
It said the very high presence of the government in the money market, particularly through the sale of treasury bills, had been crowding out the private sector from the market.
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