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Fuel Supply Threatened as Oil Workers Join Strike

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NLC President, Comrade Ayuba Wabba
  • Fuel Supply Threatened as Oil Workers Join Strike

The supply and distribution of petroleum products across the country are under threat as the Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers and the Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Association have joined the strike ordered by the Nigeria Labour Congress.

The NLC on Wednesday directed all its members and affiliate unions to commence a nationwide strike on Thursday, following the failure of a meeting with the Minister of Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige, in Abuja on Wednesday, to produce the expected outcome.

The NLC President, Ayuba Wabba, said the industrial action would commence due to the refusal of the Federal Government to reconvene the meeting of the Tripartite National Minimum Wage Committee to enable it to conclude its work.

A NUPENG spokesperson, Mr Adamson Momoh, told one of our correspondents on Thursday, “We are part of the United Labour Congress; so, any decision that they take, we will abide by it.”

The National Public Relations Officer, PENGASSAN, Mr Fortune Obi, said the association had been directed to join the ongoing strike.

He stated, “PENGASSAN is an affiliate of the Trade Union Congress; so, the directive is that we should join the strike, and after the Central Working Committee meeting, the CWC has issued the same directive as the TUC to our members.

“We will manage the protest technically; there is nowhere in the world where you will abruptly stop oil production. It is a process. So, even if our members are joining, which is to respect the directive from our principals, it is something that must be done systematically.

“We have our members in different departments and areas; some are in essential duties area, and they will continue to deliver their duties.”

A spokesman for the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation was quoted by Reuters as saying that he had seen no evidence that the strike by the organised labour had had any impact on oil operations.

Meanwhile, the organised labour on Thursday faulted the Federal Government’s proposal to reconvene the minimum wage negotiation committee next week, saying that the tripartite panel had concluded its assignment, but that government had refused to come up with its own minimum wage figure.

Speaking in Lagos for the organised labour, Amaechi Asugwuni of the National Union of Civil Engineering Construction, Furniture and Wood Workers said embarking on the seven-day warning strike was to enforce the position of the national executive councils of all the organs and labour centres in the country.

He stated, “It is so disheartening that the Federal Government that is the convener of the tripartite national committee, up to this moment, has failed to come up with its figure. Whether they like it or not, they must come up with a new figure, and it must be brought to the table of the tripartite committee.

“We will get to the end of the matter, which is for us to engage the government in a struggle and ensure that a new minimum wage is declared. The last review of the minimum wage in Nigeria was in 2011 and by law, it is supposed to be reviewed every five years.

“That really tells you how patient we can be, but it appears the government is taking us for a fool. That is why we have decided on the need to get down and lock down the economy of this nation, if that is what it takes before the government can get it right.”

The President, Association of Senior Staff of Banks, Insurance and Financial Institutions, Mrs Oyinkan Olasanoye, said, “The minimum wage issue did not just begin today, so it is very disappointing that the government has unnecessarily delayed its implementation.

“We are too humane enough to allow the committee to wait till now. The issue of minimum wage is to allow Nigerians to pay bills. It is when we have power to purchase and pay bills without issues that the productivity and Gross Domestic Product of the economy will receive a boost. We will not be tired; we will keep on struggling until we get there.”

CEO/Founder Investors King Ltd, a foreign exchange research analyst, contributing author on New York-based Talk Markets and Investing.com, with over a decade experience in the global financial markets.

Economy

Nigerians to Pay N417.09bn in 4 Months for Electricity Consumption

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power project

Electricity Consumers to Pay N419.09bn in 4 Months

Following the recent increase in electricity tariffs, the 11 distribution companies in the country are allowed to collect a total of N417.09bn from their customers from September to December.

The Discos had early this month announced what they called ‘new service reflective tariff’, which took effect from September 1, with the tariffs being charged residential consumers receiving a minimum of 12 hours of power supply rising by over 70 per cent.

The amounts recoverable by the Discos through the allowed end-user tariffs range from 61 per cent to 90 per cent of the total revenue required, according to the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission.

The tariff shortfall, which is the difference between the Discos’ revenue requirement and the amounts they are allowed to recover from their customers by the regulator, will be funded by the Federal Government.

The media had reported that the Federal Government would fund a tariff shortfall of N104.5bn that will be recorded by the Discos in the four-month period, according to the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission.

Ikeja Disco is allowed to recover N66.52bn (90 per cent of its total revenue requirement) from September to December, a NERC document showed.

Eko Disco is allowed to recover N48.46bn (86 per cent); Kano Disco, N34.13bn (84 per cent); Abuja Disco, N49.16bn (83 per cent); and Enugu Disco, N38.81bn (82 per cent).

The amounts recoverable by Kaduna Disco is N35.22bn (82 per cent: Ibadan Disco, N54.61bn (78 per cent); Benin Disco, N34.94bn (74 per cent); and Yola Disco, N13.34bn (71 per cent).

Port Harcourt and Jos Discos are allowed to recover N23.63bn (68 per cent) and N18.27bn (61 per cent) respectively.

NERC said the Power Sector Recovery Plan provided for a gradual transition to cost-reflective tariffs with safeguards for the less privileged in the society, adding that full cost-reflective tariffs would be charged by July 2021.

“The Federal Government, under the PSRP Financing Plan, has committed to fund the revenue gap arising from the difference between cost-reflective tariffs determined by the commission and the actual end-user tariffs during the transition to cost-reflective tariffs,” it added.

According to the commission, all the Discos are obligated to settle their market invoices in full as adjusted and netted off by applicable tariff shortfall approved by the commission.

It said the Discos would be liable to relevant penalties/sanctions for failure to meet the minimum remittance requirement in any payment cycle in accordance with the terms of its respective contracts with the Nigerian Bulk Electricity Trading and the Market Operator, an arm of the Transmission Company of Nigeria.

The Discos only collect an estimated 24 per cent of the tariff revenue, while the balance goes to the TCN, generation companies and other industry stakeholders, according to the Association of Nigerian Electricity Distributors.

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Economy

Nigeria Emerges 13th Rice Producer Globally, 1st in Africa

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rice

Nigeria is the 13th Rice Producer Globally and 1st in Africa

Following the series of adjustments made by the federal government to stimulate local production of rice and curb the large inflow of foreign-produced rice, Nigeria has emerged 13th largest rice producer in the world and number one in Africa just two years after President Buhari moved against the importation of rice.

The Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Muhammed Sabo Nanono, disclosed this at the commissioning of the Agribusiness Incubation Centre of Federal University Dutse, Jigawa State.

In a statement issued by Ahmed Aminu, the Technical Assistant to Nanono, the minister said the nation has managed to transition from a net importer of the commodity to a sizeable producer that is gradually moving towards self-sufficiency in rice production.

Nanono said president Buhari has consistently pursued agricultural revolution to ensure that Nigeria attains food security and wealth creation from within.

The Minister said “the rice production drive as championed by President Muhammadu Buhari administration has triggered off massive industrialisation with the springing up of countless rice milling facilities across the country generating tremendous job opportunities down the rice value chain as well as creating sizeable wealth for many.

Sabo Nanono further stated that Kano State alone has 14 integrated rice mills with the capacity to produce between 180 and 400 metric tonnes per day. He added that another 32 integrated mills also abound in Kano with a combined production capacity of another 100 to 120 metric tonnes per day.

Thousands of rice milling clusters can also be found all over the federation, especially in the northern part, which adds up towards the attainment of tangible self-sufficiency in the staple food item as would enable Nigeria to sell rice to our neighbours in the not too distant future.

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Economy

FG Establishes New Crime Agency, Proceeds of Crime Recovery and Management Agency

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President Muhammadu Buhari

Proceeds of Crime Recovery and Management Agency Established by Government

The Federal Government has approved the creation of a new crime agency called “The Proceeds of Crime Recovery and Management Agency” to better manage the loots recovered from financial criminals by the growing list of anti-graft agencies established by the government.

The new agency was approved on Wednesday at the Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari.

The president said the new agency seeks to move the fight against corruption to the next level as there is no agency of government that “can give you off-head the number of landed assets, number of immovable assets, the amount in cash that are recovered by the federal government by way of interim forfeiture overweigh of a final forfeigture.”

“So, it is indeed overtime a kind of arrangement that is not uniform and consistent.”

He added: “Next level of transparency, next level of accountability in essence, will have in place an agency of government that is exclusively responsible for anything proceeds of crime.

“A one-stop shop arrangement by which all the assests that are recovered arising from crimes that are indeed vested in the federal government, you have a one-stop arrangenet where you can have an information. As it is for example, the Federal Ministry of Justice is only in a position to account and giving comprehensive account of what
recoveries were made by the ministry.

“But any recovery made by the police, DSS, the Ministry of Justice is not in a position to know. So, for the purpose of decision making and policy, the federal government is not in a position to have a wholistic appreciation.

“So, by the bill that is now presented for the consideration of the council, we’ll have a law that establishes an agency, and secondly, an agency.

“And as you rightly know, Mr President has sanctioned ever since he came on board, that there should be a budget line, a budget item for recovered assets.

“So, if you have a budget item for recovered assets, this agency will now be in a position to provide information to the Federal Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning on demand as to what amount is available for budget purposes, thereby establishing the desired transparency, the desired accountability which has not been available before now.

“So, it is about a memo that seeks to establish a legal framework, that seeks to establish institutional framework, that seeks to further take the fight against corruption to the next level by way of establishing transparency, accountability and making the possibility of forfeiture a proceeds of crime easy through the sanctioning of non-conviction based forfeiture among others.”

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