- Overloaded Heavy Duty Vehicle Owners to Pay N10m Fine – FG
Owners of overloaded heavy duty vehicles that ply federal highways will start paying fines ranging from N1m to N10m, the Federal Government has announced.
It stated this in an official gazette dated February 6, 2018, entitled: ‘Federal Highways (Control of Dimensions, Weights and Axle Load of Heavy Duty Goods Transport Vehicles) Regulations, 2018’.
The gazette, which was put together by the Federal Ministry of Power, Works and Housing, and obtained in Abuja on Monday, outlined several regulations to be enforced in the roads transport sector across the country.
The FMPWH stated that the objective of the regulations was to set standards and establish procedures for the control of dimensions, weight and axle load of heavy duty goods transport vehicles plying federal highways and to impose sanctions for non-compliance with those standards.
For instance, one of the regulations states that a vehicle operator who violates the dimension standards resulting wholly from the vehicle load is liable to a fine of N10m payable at the temporary area or fixed control post.
Another states that a vehicle operator who overloads a vehicle beyond the regulated total laden weight of the vehicle or assembly of vehicles on a federal highways (after five per cent allowance on total laden weight for margin of error has been taken account of) commits an offence and is liable to a fine of N10m payable at the temporary area or fixed control post.
“A vehicle operator who fails to comply with the standards relating to the weight or size for the transportation of hydrocarbons, explosives and other dangerous goods, commits an offence and is liable to a fine of N10m,” another regulation in the gazette, which was officially made public in Abuja on Monday, stated.
Speaking on why it was important to have rules against overloading of heavy duty vehicles, the Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, stated that compliance with the regulations would not only increase the lifespan of the roads, but would open a massive door of opportunities in the sector.
Fashola noted that treaty obligations now existed within the West African sub-region that regulated the amount of load any goods’ vehicle could put on an axle and by extension on the road in order to do business within ECOWAS and beyond.
He said, “I must thank you Mr. President for finally signing the instruments of ratification as soon as it was brought to his attention after many years of delay prior to his tenure. Our compliance with these regulations will open a massive door of opportunity and prosperity of cross-border trade to Nigerians engaged in the transport business.
“All over the world, one common thread of prosperous societies is their level of compliance with laws and regulations. In those societies, you will see trucks carrying specified tonnage of cargo, because it protects the road and allows for it to be used again and again.”
He added, “Therefore, while the temptation to overload and carry more with one truck, against regulation and good practice may be appealing, it is ultimately a barrier to prosperity. Such practices may provide cheap and perhaps corrupt riches and income, but they do more damage to the roads from which the cheap income is made.
“Our ministry is convinced that voluntary compliance by stakeholders takes us further and nearer to the prosperity that is beckoning; and this is why we convened our meeting before the process of enforcement commences.”
Oil Prices Slide as U.S. Crude Stockpiles Surge, Heightening Demand Concerns
Oil prices declined on Thursday as concerns over demand intensified due to a larger-than-anticipated build in U.S. crude stockpiles.
Brent crude oil, against which Nigerian oil is priced, dropped by 0.5% to $83.25 a barrel while U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude oil fell by 0.3% to $78.28 a barrel.
The Energy Information Administration’s report revealed a substantial increase in U.S. crude oil stockpiles by 4.2 million barrels to 447.2 million barrels for the week ending February 23rd.
This surge surpassed analysts’ expectations and marked the fifth consecutive week of rising inventories.
While gasoline and distillate inventories witnessed a decline, concerns regarding a sluggish economy and reduced oil demand in the U.S. were amplified.
Satoru Yoshida, a commodity analyst with Rakuten Securities, highlighted that the significant stockpiles have heightened investor worries.
Moreover, the anticipation of delayed U.S. interest rate cuts further weighed on market sentiment, potentially undermining oil demand.
Traders have adjusted their expectations for rate cuts, with an easing cycle predicted to commence in June rather than March as previously anticipated.
Market participants await the U.S. personal consumption expenditures price index for insights into inflation trends, while the possibility of an extension of voluntary oil output cuts from OPEC+ looms over price dynamics, amid lingering uncertainty in the demand outlook and geopolitical tensions in the Middle East.
Crude Oil Shortage Threatens Dangote, Government Refineries, Minister Raises Alarm
The Minister of State for Petroleum Resources (Oil), Heineken Lokpobiri, has sounded a clarion call over a looming crude oil shortage that threatens the operations of the newly inaugurated Dangote Petrochemical Refinery and government-owned refineries in Nigeria.
Addressing stakeholders at the seventh edition of the Nigeria International Energy Summit in Abuja, Minister Lokpobiri expressed concerns that unless deliberate efforts are made to increase investments and crude oil production, these refineries may struggle to obtain enough feedstock for petroleum product manufacturing.
The Dangote refinery, a colossal project spearheaded by Dangote Industries Limited, has a daily requirement of up to 650,000 barrels of crude oil, while government-owned refineries could need approximately 400,000 barrels.
However, the current pace of crude oil production and investment in Nigeria falls short of meeting these demands.
Minister Lokpobiri highlighted the need to ramp up production and attract investments in the upstream sector to ensure adequate feedstock supply for the refineries.
He emphasized the importance of efficiently utilizing Nigeria’s abundant oil and gas reserves to enhance domestic energy security and economic prosperity.
Furthermore, the minister underscored the significance of investing in energy infrastructure and transitioning towards more environmentally friendly practices to address Nigeria’s energy needs effectively.
The alarm raised by Minister Lokpobiri underscores the urgency for strategic interventions and collaborative efforts to mitigate the impending crude oil shortage and secure the future of Nigeria’s refining industry amidst evolving global energy dynamics.
NNPCL Pledges End to Nigeria’s Energy Scarcity Within a Decade
The Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPCL) has announced a bold initiative aimed at ending Nigeria’s persistent energy scarcity within the next decade.
Mele Kyari, the Group Chief Executive Officer of NNPCL, revealed this ambitious plan during the opening ceremony of the seventh Nigerian International Energy Summit in Abuja.
Kyari’s announcement comes as a beacon of hope for millions of Nigerians grappling with chronic power shortages and energy deficiencies.
In his statement, Kyari expressed confidence that all issues related to energy scarcity in the country would be resolved within the next 10 years.
Assuring stakeholders of NNPCL’s unwavering commitment, Kyari emphasized the company’s dedication to collaborating with partners to bridge the energy deficit gap and foster prosperity for all Nigerians.
He highlighted NNPCL’s pivotal role as a key partner to oil-producing companies in Nigeria, facilitating the divestment of international oil companies from onshore and shallow water assets in the country.
Furthermore, Kyari underscored NNPCL’s statutory mandate as the enabler of national energy security, emphasizing the importance of sustainable production from divested assets to ensure energy security for Nigerians.
In addition to addressing domestic energy challenges, NNPCL is also exploring avenues for sustainable energy investment across Africa.
Kyari revealed the company’s intention to invest in the proposed African Energy Bank, aiming to secure funding for energy projects on the continent and guarantee regional energy security.
The event, attended by prominent stakeholders including government officials and representatives from international organizations, marks a significant step towards reshaping Nigeria’s energy landscape and fostering economic development through improved energy access.
As NNPCL charts its course towards energy abundance, Nigerians remain cautiously optimistic about the prospects of a brighter energy future.
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