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Fuel Prices Soar Above Approved Bands in Nigeria, Hitting Consumers Hard

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petrol

Filling stations in Nigeria, particularly those run by independent marketers, are dispensing Premium Motor Spirit (PMS), commonly known as petrol, at prices exceeding the government’s approved price bands.

Some petrol stations in the North have been seen charging as much as N685 per litre, above the government-stipulated rate.

In July, the pump price of petrol was raised from a range of N537 to N550 per litre to N617 per litre at filling stations operated by the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPCL) in Abuja and many Northern states.

In other regions, prices increased from between N488 and N500 per litre to about N580 per litre in Lagos and the South-West, and N515 per litre to about N600 per litre in the South-South.

Independent oil marketers have confirmed that shifts in the NNPCL station prices indicate a government-approved increase in petrol prices.

This is because the NNPCL, being the primary petrol importer, reflects any price adjustments approved by the Federal Government.

The NNPCL is currently the sole petrol importer into Nigeria, as other marketers have ceased importing due to challenges in accessing U.S. dollars needed for fuel imports.

Despite the government’s official price bands, some dealers have been charging as much as N685 per litre, particularly in Northern states such as Sokoto and Taraba.

In Abuja, independent dealers have raised their pump prices to as high as N630 per litre, while black market traders are selling petrol for approximately N850 per litre.

The discrepancies in petrol pricing have created challenges for consumers and raised concerns about the impact on the cost of living in Nigeria.

The recent removal of fuel subsidies has contributed to the fluctuation in petrol prices, making it more expensive for the average Nigerian.

Independent dealers have pointed to the high cost of diesel as a factor in the higher petrol prices. The cost of diesel is a critical component in transporting petrol, and the rising diesel prices have contributed to the overall increase in petrol prices.

The Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority, the regulator of the downstream oil sector, has not provided a formal explanation for these developments, leaving many Nigerians concerned about the rising fuel prices and their economic impact.

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Economy

NLNG Boosts Cooking Gas Production to 1.5 Million Metric Tonnes Annually

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cooking gas cylinder

Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas Limited (NLNG) has announced a significant milestone in its operations, boosting its annual production of liquefied petroleum gas (LPG), commonly known as cooking gas, to over 1.5 million metric tonnes.

This surge in production underscores NLNG’s commitment to meeting the rising demand for clean cooking energy in Nigeria.

The entirety of NLNG’s 1.5 million tonnes production is now being sold domestically within Nigeria.

Moreover, the company has initiated a landmark shift by starting to supply LPG in naira, moving away from the traditional practice of trading in United States dollars.

This move aligns with calls from stakeholders in the oil and power sectors advocating for naira transactions, especially amidst the challenges posed by currency fluctuations.

During a panel session at the 7th Nigeria International Energy Summit in Abuja, NLNG’s General Manager of Finance, Fatima Adanan, highlighted the company’s dedication to enhancing LPG penetration across the country.

Adanan emphasized NLNG’s vision to make Nigeria a better place by promoting the use of cleaner energy sources like gas.

While NLNG’s production surge is commendable, Adanan acknowledged that Nigeria’s LPG requirements surpass the current output, necessitating imports to bridge the gap.

However, NLNG remains committed to expanding its production capacity to meet the nation’s energy needs and drive increased adoption of LPG as a cleaner cooking fuel.

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Economy

CBN Raises Benchmark Interest Rate by 400 Basis Points to 22.75%

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Dr. Olayemi Michael Cardoso

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has raised the benchmark interest rate by 400 basis points to a record 22.75%.

The decision made by the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) comes amidst rising inflationary pressures and growing uncertainty in Africa’s largest economy.

Nigeria’s inflation rate rose to 29.90% in January 2024, the highest in over two decades while the nation’s unemployment rate quickened to 5% in the third quarter of 2023. Suggesting that the rising costs have continued to drag on both new job creation and the existing ones.

This coupled with a series of policy adjustments implemented by President Bola Ahmed Tinubu has plunged economic productivity and eroded consumer spending as citizens grapple with high fuel prices, electricity tariffs, a record-high foreign exchange rate, and insecurities.

Therefore, it is surprising that the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) led by the CBN will further increase borrowing costs by 400 basis points at a time when job creation is paramount.

While the economy reportedly grew by 3.46% in the fourth quarter (Q4) of 2023 on the back of robust performance of the services sector, this growth is yet to crystalise as businesses and citizens have taken to the street protest against the harsh economic situation.

Economic experts have started questioning the data from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) given its lack of correlation between the data and economic reality.

 

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Economy

President Tinubu Unveils Geometric Power Plant in Aba After 20-Year Wait

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Geometric Power Plant

After two decades of anticipation, President Bola Tinubu, through his representative Vice President Kashim Shettima, inaugurated the long-awaited Geometric Power Plant in Aba, a significant milestone in the city’s quest for reliable electricity supply.

The event, which also saw the commissioning of three rehabilitated roads by Abia State Governor Alex Otti, symbolizes the culmination of years of perseverance and determination to transform Aba’s power landscape.

Addressing the audience, Vice President Shettima hailed the project as a testament to the power of visionary leadership and unwavering commitment to progress.

He said the Geometric Power Plant exemplifies the transformative impact of strategic infrastructure investments on local communities.

Governor Otti echoed similar sentiments, emphasizing the importance of the power project in positioning Aba as a hub for national and international business ventures.

He commended the efforts of Geometric Power Limited while urging them to uphold transparency and avoid exploiting consumers.

The inauguration of the Geometric Power Plant comes amidst growing concerns over Nigeria’s power infrastructure and the need for sustainable solutions to address electricity shortages.

The project, with a capacity of 188MW, holds promise for significant improvements in power supply across Abia State, benefitting nine out of seventeen local government areas.

The Managing Director of Geometric Power Limited, Ben Caven, underscored the scale of investment involved, totaling $800 million.

He highlighted the comprehensive nature of the project, which includes the installation of new power substations and a 27km natural gas pipeline, signaling a comprehensive approach to enhancing Aba’s energy infrastructure.

In conclusion, the inauguration of the Geometric Power Plant represents a transformative moment for Aba, offering renewed hope for economic growth and prosperity powered by reliable electricity supply.

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