- Fuel Queues Return to Lagos Amid Supply Hiccups
After more than a year of relief from fuel scarcity in the country, filling stations in some parts of Lagos experienced queues on Monday, while some refused to sell Premium Motor Spirit, popularly known as petrol, to motorists.
The pockets of fuel queues in Lagos emerged few days after the Independent Petroleum Markers Association of Nigeria, Lagos State chapter, accused the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation of under-supplying its members with petrol.
IPMAN had said last week that its members in Lagos and parts of Ogun State might be forced to shut their filling stations by December 11 if the situation persisted.
A source, who is an executive of a Lagos-based oil marketing company, told our correspondent, “This is the second week in which supply has not been very robust.
“The rationing started the previous week. The NNPC has been the major supplier and there have been distribution dislocations since the Apapa jetty got burnt, making it difficult for major oil marketers to get products; they have to be doing throughput with other companies, because they can’t receive products through that line until the repair is completed.”
Noting that demand for petrol had increased due to the approaching Yuletide, he said depot prices had gone up.
“So many depots are selling above the recommended price of N133 per litre; it is averaging between N140 and N142.5. When you know you have 10 million litres and you know people make payment of about 20 million litres on a daily basis, automatically you will begin to ration and in the process of rationing, there will be so many hidden charges,” the official stated.
The Group Managing Director, NNPC, Dr. Maikanti Baru, while reacting to the allegation by IPMAN last Thursday at the inauguration of the NNPC mega station in Sagamu, had noted that the corporation was importing about 100 per cent of the petroleum products in the country, saying there were sufficient products.
He said, “We distribute at the ex-depot price of N133 per litre; so there is no reason why anybody should sell above N145 per litre. So if some people are playing around, I will leave it for the relevant regulatory authorities, the DPR and the PPPRA to take care of. As for IPMAN, I want to advise that this is not the route to go.
“They know what it means to go on strike; to deprive people of products will be the saddest thing that will happen because I have sufficient products and I am selling within the PPPRA price template.”
IPMAN had particularly complained of shortage of product supplied to the Ejigbo satellite depot, which, it said was serving more than 900 filling stations in Lagos.
The association alleged that the NNPC was not only under-supplying its members with the PMS, but was also frustrating them by reneging on the bulk purchase agreement it signed with its members to supply the product to them at N133.28k per litre.
It said with the under-supply from the NNPC, its members were being forced to approach the Depot and Petroleum Marketers Association, which was allegedly buying at N117 per litre from the NNPC and reselling to IPMAN members at N141 per litre.
It added that at that rate, it had become unrealistic for them to continue to sell to the end users at the regulated price of N145 and still expect to break even in business.
Meanwhile, the NNPC on Monday stated that there was no plan to increase the prices of petroleum products both at the ex-depot level and the pumps ahead of the forthcoming Yuletide.
It insisted that the ex-depot price of N133.38 per litre and the pump price of N143/N145 per litre of Premium Motor Spirit, popularly known as petrol, had not changed, adding that it had enough stock to ensure seamless supply and distribution of products across the country.
The corporation urged motorists and other users of petroleum products to disregard rumours of an impending fuel price hike on some online news platforms.
The NNPC said it had the full commitment of all downstream stakeholders, including petroleum marketers and industry unions, to cooperate in achieving zero fuel scarcity this season and beyond.
It added that motorists should not engage in panic buying or indulge in the dangerous practice of stocking petroleum products in jerry cans at home.
The corporation said its downstream subsidiary firms, Petroleum Products Marketing Company and the NNPC Retail Limited, were fully set to ensure that motorists enjoy uninterrupted access to petrol throughout the season across the country.
Fuel Scarcity: NUPENG to Commence Strike on Monday
Lagosians Should Brace for Fuel Scarcity as NUPENG Embarks on Strike
Nigerians should brace for fuel scarcity as the national leadership of the Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas (NUPENG) directed all petroleum tanker drivers to withdraw their services from Lagos State starting from Monday, 10 August 2020.
In a statement released by NUPENG on Friday, the union said the directive followed the failure of various authorities in Lagos State to address three major issues that had impacted the operations of petroleum tanker drivers in the state for several months.
The statement signed by the National President, Williams Akporeha and the General Secretary, Olawale Afolabi, NUPENG and titled title ‘NUPENG leadership directs withdrawal of services by petroleum tanker drivers in Lagos State with effect from Monday, August 10, 2020,’ noted that members of the union are frustrated and pained by the barrage of challenges faced while carrying out their activities in Lagos State.
NUPENG said, “The entire rank and file members of the union are deeply pained, frustrated and agonised by the barrage of these challenges being consistently faced by petroleum tanker drivers in Lagos State and are left with no other option but to direct the withdrawal of their services in Lagos State until the Lagos State Government and other relevant stakeholders address these critical challenges.
“It is sad and disheartening to note here that we had made several appeals and reports to the Lagos State Government and the Presidential Task Force for the decongestion of Apapa on these challenges but all to no avail.”
NUPENG listed the major challenges faced by petroleum tanker drivers in Lagos State as extortion and harassment by various security agents and, area boys’ (miscreants).
“This menace must stop and the leadership of these security operatives in Lagos State must go all out to call their men to order with immediate effect.”
The Union added that it is sad that the security agents who were expected to ensure the free flow of traffic and protection of road users were the same people using their uniforms and arms to intimidate, harass and extort money from petroleum drivers in Lagos State.
Therefore, it said it had embarked on an indefinite strike to force the Lagos State Government to address the situation.
NLC Gives Airlines Two Weeks to Reverse Mass Lay-offs
NLC Goes After Bristow, Air Peace, Demands Reversal of Mass Lay-offs
The Nigeria Labour Congress on Friday rejected the recent sack of 100 Pilots by Air Peace, 70 Pilots by Bristow Helicopters and staff of the National Union of Air Transport union working with Turkish Air.
In a statement released by the Union, Mr. Ayuba Wabba, the President, NLC, described the action of the companies as “insensitive, callous and unjust”.
Earlier in the week, Air Peace, Nigeria’s largest carrier announced it would be letting go of 70 pilots as it struggles to curb the impact of COVID-19 on its finances.
This was followed by Bristow Helicopters’ announcement that it would be letting go of 100 Pilots and Engineers as it can no longer support them due to its decline in its financial position.
While the companies have blamed COVID-19 and lack of government support for their decision to cut costs to remain afloat, experts believed the decision was as a result of recent union activities of the affected staff.
Bristow staff had embarked on strike on Monday after talks between the Nigerian Association of Air Pilots and Engineers (NAAPE) and the management of the company broke down despite giving them three days strike warning.
Wabba said no worker should be sacked or penalised for participating in union activities.
He said, “The unilateral sack of executive members of the National Union of Air Transport Employees working with Turkish Airline is particularly distressing.
“These workers were sacked for fighting for the rights of Nigerian workers in Turkish Air.
“This is very reprehensible. We wish to remind Turkish Air that unionised workers cannot be punished or sacked for participating in trade union activities.
“This action is aimed at frustrating unionisation in Turkish Air and to enslave Nigerians working with Turkish Air.”
Wabba emphasised that the Union would not stop advocating for the dismissed workers. The President of NLC, therefore, called on the management of Turkish Air, Air Peace and Bristow Helicopters to reinstate all workers within two weeks.
He warned that failure to comply with the Union demand would be met with mas action across Nigeria’s workforce.
He said, “We call on the management of Turkish Air, Air Peace and Bristow Helicopters to reinstate all the sacked workers within two weeks.”
Brent Crude Oil Pulls Back to $44 Per Barrel
Brent Drops from $46 Per Barrel to $44 on Friday
Brent crude oil, against which Nigerian oil is measured, pulled back on Friday morning during the New York trading session to $44 per barrel.
The commodity rose on Tuesday on hopes that the United States is working on a new economic stimulus package and signs that the world’s largest economy is making progress with COVID-19.
“Crude prices turned positive on stimulus hopes and after another positive round of economic data showed manufacturing recovery continued in June,” said Edward Moya, senior market analyst at OANDA.
Brent crude oil rose as high as $46.21 per barrel on Wednesday before pulling back to $44.47 per barrel on Friday amid concerns that the second wave of COVID-19 would eventually weigh on the demand for the commodity and disrupt whatever plans OPEC and allies have to curtail further decline in oil prices.
However, experts think the new US stimulus would bolster market outlook and increase global oil demand with demand in consumer goods.
“Hopes are still running high for another round of fiscal stimulus,” said Stephen Brennock of oil broker PVM. “Failure to extend aid would deal a massive blow to the recovering U.S. economy and the fragile oil demand outlook.”
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