- Fuel Scarcity May End in Few Days – Major Marketers
The Major Marketers Association of Nigeria confirmed that its members, including Total Nigeria Plc, 11 Plc (formerly Mobil Oil Nigeria Plc), Oando Plc, Conoil Plc, MRS Oil Nigeria Plc and Forte Oil Plc, were receiving the product from the NNPC.
“The NNPC has been giving us product and we have been distributing it; all what we are hoping for is that they should continue at the rate they are giving us,” the Executive Director, MOMAN, Mr. Obafemi Olawore, told our correspondent on the telephone on Wednesday.
Asked if there would be an end to the current fuel scarcity any time soon, he said, “It is gradual. If they keep giving us the product like this, the scarcity should end in a few days’ time.”
On Tuesday, the Depot and Petroleum Products Marketers Association said its members did not have petrol in their tanks despite the recent announcement by the NNPC that it had started offloading products in depots across the country.
When contacted on Wednesday, the Executive Secretary, DAPPMA, Mr. Olufemi Adewole, said, “Two of our depots have received products now and they are loading. Unfortunately, one of them that was supposed to load was turned back. I don’t know why; I am still trying to investigate. But two of them have received product and they are loading.
“We are loading and we are going to keep loading. Our members have promised to do 24 hours until the queues disappear, provided they get the product.”
A top official of a Lagos-based oil marketing company, who spoke to one of our correspondents on condition of anonymity, said a new vessel, named Captain Gregory, arrived in Apapa on Wednesday morning, laden with about 35 million metric tonnes of petrol.
“If supply can be consistent like this, things will get better and people should be able to celebrate New Year without fuel scarcity,” the source said.
Efforts to reach the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria were not successful.
The National Operations Controller, IPMAN, Mr. Mike Osatuyi, on Tuesday told one of our correspondents that members of the association could only get the product from the NNPC after making payments.
“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 would resume, there will be more payments into the NNPC system and there will be more loading,” he had said.
Also on Wednesday, the NNPC attacked DAPPMA over a recent statement that its members had no petrol in their storage tanks despite claims by the national oil firm.
It also stated that DAPPMA members owed it the sum of N26.7bn for products received, adding that the statement credited to the association on the fuel supply situation, especially as regards petrol, was “very unfortunate.”
DAPPMA had stated on Tuesday that its members had no PMS, popularly called petrol, in their various depots and tanks despite claims by the NNPC that it had started loading products in depots across the country.
The Executive Secretary, DAPPMA, Adewole, had said, “While we cannot confirm or dispute 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.”
But the Group General Manager, Group Public Affairs Division, NNPC, Ndu Ughamadu, in a statement on Wednesday, said the corporation had supplied appreciable volume of petrol to members of DAPPMA, MOMAN and IPMAN to solve the challenges being experienced in the supply and distribution of petroleum products across the country.
The oil firm said, “The NNPC regrets that DAPPMA, whose members had taken receipt of products from the Petroleum Products Marketing Company, a subsidiary of the NNPC, and owe the company to the tune of N26.7bn as of December 21, 2017, has the audacity to indict the NNPC unjustifiably.
“The statement by DAPPMA that the current hiccups in the supply of products were due to the inability of the Direct Sale Direct Purchase partners of the NNPC to deliver on their business obligations is unfounded and self-indicting as many of DAPPMA members patronise the same DSDP international counterparts as the corporation.”
The corporation stated that despite the concession by the Federal Government for DAPPMA to obtain foreign exchange at an official rate of N305 to one dollar for the PMS import, members of the association had not been able to do so, leaving the NNPC as the sole supplier of petrol to the Nigerian market.
“The NNPC assures the public that despite the increase it effected in the supply of the PMS in December 2017, it has nonetheless programmed to supply 1.2 billion litres of the white product in January 2018, translating to about 40 million litres of the PMS supply per day. Ordinarily, Nigeria consumes about 700 trucks (about 27 million to 30 million) litres per day,” the oil firm said.
It added that there was no plan to increase the pump price of petrol above N145/litre and that it would continue to maintain the ex-depot price of N133.28/litre, which would guarantee the pump price not exceeding the N145 as capped by the Federal Government.
“All stakeholders are implored to support the efforts of the government to bring a speedy end to the current fuel distribution challenges being experienced in parts of the country as this is not the time to play the blame game,” NNPC said.
This is coming as long queues of motorists persisted in Abuja and neighbouring states of Niger, Nasarawa and Kaduna on Wednesday.
Also, many petrol stations were shut on Wednesday, as fuel attendants at the outlets insisted that they had no product to dispense.
In Ekiti State, independent petroleum marketers reduced fuel price to below N200 per litre.
The development came on the second day of the sale of petrol in the Government’s House dump to the public.
Governor Ayodele Fayose had on Monday directed the sale of the fuel at the dump at the pump price of N145 per litre to members of the public to cushion the effect of the hardship of the fuel scarcity on them during Christmas.
One of our correspondents, who went round the state capital on Wednesday, observed that the sale of the government fuel was still ongoing at the Alade Filling Station, Iyin Ekiti Road.
The Phenrose Oil and Gas station in Irona was selling the product at N180 per litre to motorists, while the Nipco filling station at Adebayo Road and Akinbami filling station in Ureje sold it for N190 per litre.
This was against the price of N400 per litre it was sold for at the black market on Monday.
Also on Wednesday, the Department of Petroleum Resources in Cross River State shut down two fillings stations for selling petrol above the government approved price of N145 per litre.
This came just as independent marketers accused the DPR of failing to address why the product was sold by major depots to them at over N160 ex-depot price as against the government approved N133.28.
The state Controller of the DPR, Mr. Bassey Nkanga, who shut the filling stations during a surveillance in Calabar, said that the stations were violating the government directives.
Nkanga said that it was wrong for oil marketers to increase the pump price when the Federal Government had not done so.
An independent petroleum outlet, Uddy King, was shut for selling the product at N190 per litre, while Uko-Ma was sealed for selling at N205 per litre.
But a Calabar-based certified independent marketer, Mr. Justin Ugbe, said government had refused to address the main issue but had taken solace in shutting filling stations.
Ugbe, who is the Managing Director, Deweb Nigeria Limited, said the DPR was feigning ignorance by sealing filling stations without closing down the depots.
Similarly, the Oyo State joint task force of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps and the DPR on Wednesday sealed five petrol stations in Ibadan for hoarding fuel.
A statement by the Public Relation Officer of the NSCDC, Oyo State Command, Oluwole Olusegun, said that the patrol team also forced a filling station to sell 2,000 litres of the product to the public after being found guilty of selling above the N145 official pump price.
The statement said, “The team sealed five fuel stations for hoarding the product and selling beyond the official pump price. Some of the fuel stations that were today (Wednesday) penalised are KB Petrol in Ashi area of Ibadan, Roylab Petrol in Akobo area, Jasfad Petrol Station also in Akobo and Swort Oil in Ashi area of the city.
“The Oyo State Commandant, John Adewoye, who led another team round the metropolis, said that illegality being perpetrated by the fuel marketers will no longer be tolerated and that anyone caught in the act will face the wrath of the law.”
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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