- We’ve Imported $5.8bn Worth of Petrol, Says NNPC
The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation on Tuesday said it had imported 9.8 million metric tonnes of Premium Motor Spirit, popularly known as petrol, worth $5.8bn to combat the fuel crisis that resurfaced late last year.
The Group Managing Director, NNPC, Maikanti Baru, disclosed this at a public hearing organised by the Senate Committee on Public Accounts at the National Assembly Complex in Abuja.
But despite Baru’s claim, the queues for petrol in the Federal Capital Territory and neighbouring states grew longer on Tuesday.
In a presentation by the GMD, who was represented by the Chief Operating Officer, Finance and Accounts, Abdulrazaq Isiaka, the oil firm stated that it carried out the massive importation in fulfilment of its statutory role as supplier of last resort to ensure that Nigerians would not suffer as a result of product unavailability.
Baru was quoted in a statement issued by the spokesperson of the NNPC, Ndu Ughamadu, as saying that the provision of 9.8 million metric tonnes of petrol had helped a great deal in ameliorating the suffering of Nigerians.
He said the corporation’s intervention became necessary following the inability of the major and independent marketers to import the product because of the high landing cost, which made cost recovery and profitability difficult owing to the regulated price regime.
The GMD, however, pointed out that cross-border smuggling due to price disparity between Nigeria and neighbouring countries, where a litre of petrol was selling above N350 per litre as well as logistics in trucking products to different locations across the country, remained serious challenges in the quest for no queue situation in the country.
The Chairman, Senate Committee on Public Accounts, Senator Matthew Uroghide, noted that the public hearing was part of the committee’s duty to find lasting solutions to the problem of fuel scarcity in order to make life easy for all Nigerians.
Meanwhile, the National Bureau of Statistics on Tuesday released the Petroleum Products Importation Report for 2017, with the country said to have imported 17.31 billion litres of Premium Motor Spirit or petrol in the period.
The bureau stated in the report that was made available to our correspondent in Abuja that 4.28 billion litres of Automotive Gas Oil, 340.33 million litres of household kerosene, 592.73 million litres of Aviation Turbine Kerosene and 15.61 million litres of Low Pour Fuel Oil were imported into the country in 2017.
The report stated that the months of July and August recorded the highest volumes of PMS imported into the country at 1.88 billion litres, while the highest volume of AGO and household kerosene were imported in March and April 2017, respectively.
The report read in part, “The petroleum products’ importation statistics for 2017 reflected that 17.31 billion litres of Premium Motor Spirit, 4.28 billion litres of Automotive Gas Oil, 340.33 million litres of household kerosene, 592.73 million litres of Aviation Turbine Kerosene and 15.61 million litres of Low Pour Fuel Oil were imported into the country in 2017.
“State-wide distribution of truck-out volume for 2017 showed that 18.36 billion litres of Premium Motor Spirit, 4.75 billion litres of Automotive Gas Oil, 944.39 million litres of household kerosene, 554.61 million litres of Aviation Turbine Kerosene and 127.42 million litres of Low Pour Fuel Oil were distributed nationwide during the period under review.”
The NBS had in the PMS price watch released last week stated that on the average, Nigerians paid the sum of N190.9 per litre to buy petrol in January.
This, is about N46 per litre higher than the official pump price of the product.
FG to Restrict Citizens of Certain Countries from Entering Nigeria
FG Plans to Ban Citizens of Certain Nations from Entering Nigeria
The Federal Government on Monday announced that it would ban citizens of certain countries with high rates of COVID-19 from entering the country to better protect the nation from the ravaging pandemic.
Hadi Sirika, the Minister of Aviation, disclosed this in Abuja during the briefing of the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19.
According to him, this was why the federal government had not reopened commercial international flights into and out of the country.
He said, “On the question about when we are beginning international travels, certainly you are very aware that so many countries had placed ban on countries that we cannot go even from Nigeria.
“Also Nigeria, of course, will place ban on other countries that cannot come in here, because everyone is trying to keep safe.”
He added, “These and many other reasons will make us to be cautious, to study some more and to liaise with all the stakeholders and decide when we will open for international flights.”
The minister said while airline operators are pushing for full operation both locally and internationally, safety remains government priority when making such decisions.
Sirika said, “In aviation, we want to open like yesterday because we are losing money; we are bleeding. But we must stay alive first before we are able to make money.”
He added domestic flight operations at the nation’s airports were being staggered to avoid crowding and better enforce safety rules.
Energy Firms Owe Banks N5.59 Trillion -CBN
Energy Companies Owe Nigerian Banks N5.59 Trillion -CBN
The Central Bank of Nigeria has said energy firms owed banks N5.59 trillion as of May 2020.
The amount, according to the sectoral analysis of banks’ credit, represents 30 percent of the N18.63 trillion loans advanced to the private sector during the period under review.
A break down of the report shows that oil and gas firms increased their debt by N300 billion from N4.58 trillion in December 2019 to N4.88 trillion. While the power companies owed N705.93 billion, up from N671.45 billion filed in December 2019.
Accordingly, oil companies that are operating in the downstream, natural gas and crude oil refining subsectors owed combined N3.59 trillion as of May, up from N3.42 trillion in five months ago. While those in the upstream and services subsectors owed N1.29 trillion.
Power generation firms and independent power producers increased their total debt to N385.05bn in May from N373.22bn in December, while transmission and distribution firms owed banks N320.87bn as of May as they borrowed N22.64bn in the first five months of this year.
NNPC Spends N101.65bn on Petrol Subsidy in Q1 2020
FG Spends Petrol N101.65bn on Petrol Subsidy in the First Quarter
The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) said it spent N101.65 billion on petrol subsidy in the first three months of the year.
In its latest Monthly Financial and Operations report released for the month of March, the corporation described the spending as under-recovery.
A break down of the report shows N43.31 billion was spent in January while N20.68 billion and N37.66 billion were spent in February and March respectively.
The amount was spent before the Federal Government halted subsidy in April when global oil prices plunged due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Speaking on subsidy, the former President, Association of National Accountants of Nigeria, Dr Sam Nzekwe, said “There is no need for subsidy again because they are using it to make unnecessary demands and this is the corruption that we are talking about. They are also using it to finance corruption too.
“The money that they would have used for other sectors or even send to FAAC is being used for subsidy and we cannot actually quantify its impact on the masses; rather, it is used to enrich a very few.”
Nzekwe urged the PPPRA to ensure subsidy does not return and encouraged the government to liberalise the downstream oil sector in order to allow other marketers to participate in fuel importation.
He said, “The NNPC should not be the only one importing petrol. The downstream sector must not continue like this. Other players should be allowed to play in the space too. The sector should be fully liberalised.
“And it is because the NNPC is the only one importing and almost running everything that makes it simple for it to say whatever it wanted as expenses on subsidy or under-recovery. This should not continue.”
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