P.M. NEWS Nigeria » Electricity, Oil and Gas http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com First with Nigeria News - Nigerian leading evening Newspaper - Wed, 01 Apr 2015 13:23:01 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.1.1 Pipeline security contract will benefit communities – Kuku http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2015/03/27/pipeline-security-contract-will-benefit-communities-kuku/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2015/03/27/pipeline-security-contract-will-benefit-communities-kuku/#comments Fri, 27 Mar 2015 16:48:37 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=234448 Kingsley Kuku, Special Adviser to President Jonathan on Niger Delta and Chairman, Presidential Amnesty Committee

Kingsley Kuku, Special Adviser to President Jonathan on Niger Delta and Chairman, Presidential Amnesty Committee

The Special Adviser to the President on Niger Delta, Mr Kingsley Kuku, has said that the award of pipeline security contracts in the Niger Delta is a dream come.

Kuku told NAN in Abuja on Friday that the contract would benefit oil bearing states.

He said the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) contract would enhance community participation and human capacity development if properly handled by the companies.

The presidential aide said the controversy trailing the contract and the protest by some former agitators in Bayelsa was false.

He said for a long time he had advocated such a project to benefit oil-bearing communities in the Niger Delta.

“The communities cannot bear the effect of oil exploration activities and vandalism of pipelines and not benefit from securing their communities and environment.

“This is a step in the right direction by the NNPC as it will foster peace and security in the region,” he said.

Kuku said that the contract awarded to two firms in Bayelsa was in order, and advised those against it to cooperate with the state government to ensure its success.

He also reasoned that former leaders of the agitation in the region deserved the contract as they play a key role in ensuring the protection of the oil and gas facilities.

He, however, said the insinuation by Bayelsa Government that the former militant leaders mismanaged the amnesty programme to shortchange their followers was wrong,

According to him, the programme is managed by the Federal Government through the Office of the Special Adviser to President on Niger Delta.

“This is a programme that has positively impacted on Bayelsa and other states in the region.

“It is domicile in my office as Mr. President’s adviser on Niger Delta and it is not managed by former leaders of the agitation.

“Beneficiaries receive their monthly stipends and other allowances directly through their individual bank accounts and not through their former leaders,” Kuku said.

He urged the former leaders as key stakeholders in the programme and in the region to pursue peace at all times and avoid any act that would bring them in conflict with the law.

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Sanction erring fuel marketers, Diezani directs DPR, PPPRA http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2015/03/25/sanction-erring-fuel-marketers-diezani-directs-dpr-pppra/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2015/03/25/sanction-erring-fuel-marketers-diezani-directs-dpr-pppra/#comments Wed, 25 Mar 2015 15:58:59 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=234223 Diezani Alison-Madueke, Petroleum Minister

Diezani Alison-Madueke, Petroleum Minister

The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) has called on the public to shun panic buying and stock-piling of petrol, especially during the general elections.

This was contained in a statement by Mr Ohi Alegbe, Group General Manager, Group Public Affairs Department, NNPC, Abuja.

It stated that the Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs Diezani Alison-Madueke, had directed the regulatory agencies in the ministry to sanction any marketer found hoarding, diverting or selling products above regulated prices.

The agencies, it said, were Department of Petroleum Resources and the Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency.

The statement stated that the corporation had enough stock of the product to keep the country wet for two months.

It put the current stock of premium motor spirit (petrol) in its depots across the country at 1.9 billion litres.

It also appealed to petroleum tanker drivers, who had stopped hauling fuel from depots in the coastal states to the Northern part of the country, to return.

It explained that some drivers had expressed anxiety of being caught in unfounded fears of post-election violence.

It, however, stated that the corporation was working closely with security agencies to provide maximum security.

It also cautioned marketers to desist from capitalising on the situation to hoard and divert petroleum products, thereby subjecting Nigerians to unnecessary hardships.

The corporation urged members of the public to discountenance rumours or insinuations of petrol scarcity.

It stated that all issues relating to the importation of fuel by marketers had been resolved.

It stressed that the Petroleum Pipelines and Marketing Company (PPMC) had released a huge volume of petrol into the market.

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Power Sector: Opposition has no alternative – Minister http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2015/03/20/power-sector-opposition-has-no-alternative-minister/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2015/03/20/power-sector-opposition-has-no-alternative-minister/#comments Fri, 20 Mar 2015 17:29:46 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=233769 Alhaji Mohammed Wakil, Minister of State for Power

Alhaji Mohammed Wakil, Minister of State for Power

The Minister of State for Power, Hon. Muhammad Wakil has declared that the opposition has no credible alternative to the ongoing successful reform in the power sector.

Hon. Wakil stated this during the signing of Memoranda of Understanding (MoU) between his Ministry and two consortiums – Huawei Technologies of China and Bravos/Power China in his office in Abuja.

On privatisation of the power sector, the Minister said Nigeria is now a model to copy as the Ghanaian Minister of Power, Mr. Kwabena Donkor was in Nigeria last week to tap from the success achieved in Nigerian power privatisation exercise.

The Minister described the opposition plan on power sector as just a mere repetition of several policies of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), government which has already been implemented, while others are ongoing.

Wakil said he read the opposition plan for the sector and has no hesitation to affirm that PDP government has successfully privatised the power sector with much focus on renewable energy like solar, wind, coal, small and medium hydro-power plants, stressing that emphasis would be placed on renewable energy to avoid incidences of gas pipeline vandalism which had over the years disrupted delivery of gas to thermal plants.

Wakil also noted that the Ministry is presently training over 7,400 young entrepreneurs through the National Power Sector Apprenticeship Scheme (NAPSAS) on joint volters, fitters, sub-station operators and young engineers, to provide able and sufficient workmen for the sector’s power plants, promised to assist the consortium in acquiring the necessary licences.

Earlier, the Vice-President, Huawei Technologies, Richard Cao stated that the MoU was the outcome of the Minister’s earlier visit to China to woo investors into the Nigerian power industry.

Cao further revealed that his company has the capacity to provide solar power 24/7 to rural communities in Nigeria, adding that his company will continue to partner with government in ensuring the provision of uninterrupted power supply to the country.

In his response, the Vice-Chairman of Bravos Energy – the Group’s local partner, Lawson Osagie stated that renewable energy holds the answer to energy deficit; he thereby reiterated the consortium’s willingness to providing clean energy to Nigerians.

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Knocks For Jonathan After 50% Electricity Tariff Reduction http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2015/03/18/knocks-for-jonathan-after-50-electricity-tariff-reduction/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2015/03/18/knocks-for-jonathan-after-50-electricity-tariff-reduction/#comments Wed, 18 Mar 2015 20:40:22 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=233568 Jethro Ibileke/Benin

President Goodluck Jonathan of Nigeria

President Goodluck Jonathan of Nigeria

President Goodluck Jonathan’s announcement of 50 per cent reduction of electricity tariff has elicited knocks and negative criticism for him, rather than kudos, with the Organized Private Sector (OPS) and Civil society organizations in Edo state describing it as politically motivated and geared towards winning the forthcoming elections.

Those who reacted to the tariff reduction said it will not have economic benefits on the lives of the Nigeria masses. They contended that the major challenge of electricity consumers besides inadequate power supply, was the contentious issue of N750 monthly fixed charges imposed on consumers by the electricity distribution companies.

President of Benin Chamber of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (BENCCIMA), Andy Edobor, while commenting on the issue, said the federal government came up with the 50 per cent reduction of tariff on electricity when it was obvious that they will lose the presidential elections.

“The federal government’s action is political and it now dawned on the government that they will lose the general elections that is why they are now doing everything possible to woo Nigerians.

“For businessmen, it is a welcome development and for the masses it is of no use without regular power supply as well as not extended to the fixed charges.

“Private charges for investors cost between N100, 000 to N200, 000 and their electricity consumption monthly is not more than N20,000. And I want to ask what is the rationale for the exorbitant payment for electricity when they did not consume up to that amount?,” Edobor asked.

The BENCCIMA President however added that after due consultation, the body will come for a press conference to let the federal government know that the electricity rate and lack of power supply is really crippling industries in the country.

Also commenting on the tariff reduction, the state chairman of the National Association of Small Scale Industrialists (NASS), Noma Iguisi, said the association was at loss as to what categories of the charges the 50 per cent reduction of the electricity tariff affected.

He said the national leadership of the body has been discussing with the federal government on the need to reduce the N14 per unit of electricity tariff and scrap the N31 per unit that is also charged.

Iguisi said the body would not make any commendation statement not until the federal government make full clarification of the tariff rate of between N14 and N31.

Also reacting, Tony Abolo, a Media Consultant said both the N87 per litre of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) announced recently by the Government and the 50 percent reduction of tariff of electricity were all gimmicks by President Jonathan to woo electorate to their favour.

According to him, the Greek offers to Nigerians were tactics of the 60s and 80s, adding “that Nigerians are today more enlightened and informed to make their own independent decisions.”

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Qatar to spend $200bn despite oil price drop http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2015/03/15/qatar-to-spend-200bn-despite-oil-price-drop/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2015/03/15/qatar-to-spend-200bn-despite-oil-price-drop/#comments Sun, 15 Mar 2015 13:15:39 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=233311 Sheikh Abdullah bin Nasser bin Khalifa Al-Thani

Sheikh Abdullah bin Nasser bin Khalifa Al-Thani

Qatar will stick to its $200-billion (190 billion-euro) infrastructure spending splurge, the energy-rich Gulf state’s premier vowed on Sunday, despite the fall in global oil prices.

Sheikh Abdullah bin Nasser bin Khalifa Al-Thani told business leaders at a Doha finance conference that the kingdom would maintain its plans to spend heavily on development projects in the runup to the football World Cup in 2022.

“We reiterate our commitment to investment infrastructure, health and education,” he said.

Qatar is spending on approved major projects such as developing the country’s railway network and building a new port.

Regional business intelligence specialist MEED has predicted that Qatar will see $30 billion worth of new infrastructure projects through 2015 alone.

The prime minister’s message echoed comments by Qatar’s finance minister, Ali Shareef al-Emadi, who said the country would keep up heavy spending on infrastructure despite fears over the global economy.

Qatar announced that its population had jumped in February to a record 2.33 million, on the back of an influx of foreign workers moving to the country.

Sheikh Abdullah, who is also interior minister, predicted Qatar’s economy would grow by seven percent in 2015, suggesting the population increase was likely to continue.

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Yobe Power company slashes electricity bills by 50% http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2015/03/09/yobe-power-company-slashes-electricity-bills-by-50/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2015/03/09/yobe-power-company-slashes-electricity-bills-by-50/#comments Mon, 09 Mar 2015 11:28:53 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=232618 Transformers

An official of the Yola Electricity Distribution Company, Mr Hanawa Rufus, said on Monday that the company slashed the bills of customers by 50 per cent in February.

Rufus, who is the Taraba Area Head of the company made the announcement while speaking with newsmen in Jalingo.

He said that slashing of the bills implied that customers would be charged half of what they paid in January.

The area head said the cut in charges was prompted by low supply of electricity to customers.

Rufus said that the three-week blackout in February was due to low supply of power to the company.

The official said that Taraba State, needing about 110 megawatts monthly, only received between 30 to 40 megawatts.

He said that Jalingo, needing 20 megawatts had two to three megawatts during the period.

On prepaid meters, the area manager said that the company had distributed over 1,000 meters to customers since July 2014.

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Crude oil price likely to stabilise at $50-60 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2015/03/08/crude-oil-price-likely-to-stabilise-at-50-60/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2015/03/08/crude-oil-price-likely-to-stabilise-at-50-60/#comments Sun, 08 Mar 2015 11:14:01 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=232547 Ali al-Omair, Kuwati Oil Minister

Ali al-Omair, Kuwati Oil Minister

World crude prices are expected to gain this year or at least stabilise at between $50 and $60 a barrel, Kuwaiti Oil Minister Ali al-Omair was quoted as saying.

“Forecasts for the oil price this year indicate that it will gain or at least stabilise between $50 and $60 a barrel,” the official KUNA news agency quoted Omair as saying late on Saturday in Bahrain.

The minister said prices are currently supported by conflict in Iraq and Libya and by a drop in sand oil and shale oil output.

But that is counterbalanced by slow global economic growth, which is dampening demand, Omair said.

World prices dropped at close on Friday as the dollar rose sharply, making dollar-priced crude more expensive for buyers using weaker foreign currencies.

West Texas Intermediate for delivery in April slid $1.15 to $49.61 on the New York Mercantile Exchange, ending near its week-ago level.

Brent North Sea crude for April, the international benchmark, dropped 75 cents to $59.73 a barrel in London.

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Seplat gives 90% of contracts to local contractors – Avuru http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2015/03/07/seplat-gives-90-of-contracts-to-local-contractors-avuru/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2015/03/07/seplat-gives-90-of-contracts-to-local-contractors-avuru/#comments Sat, 07 Mar 2015 11:50:30 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=232449 Austin Avuru, SEPLAT CEO

Austin Avuru, SEPLAT CEO

Austin Avuru, CEO of Seplat Petroleum Development Company has described Nigerian independents as major players and significant revenue contributors to the Nigerian economy as well as local content champions, noting that, Seplat gives 90 per cent of its contract to local contractors.

Avuru made the disclosure on March 4 at a roundtable discussion convened at the instance of the Executive Secretary, National Content Development and Management Board (NCDMB) Dr Ernest Nwapa, who hosted the CEO’s of indigenous oil and gas companies to a roundtable discussion to deliberate on the impact of the local content act on the Oil and gas sector, indigenous operators and the Nigerian economy.

Nwapa said the session was to enable participants take a critical look at the impact of the implementation of the local content act and discuss the issues/challenges faced by the indigenous operators.

In his presentation, Avuru who is a Fellow of the National Association of Petroleum Explorationists (NAPE) said Seplat like many other Nigerian independents is in full compliance with the Local Content Act. Reeling out figures to support his claim, Avuru said 90% of contract spend by Seplat went to local contracts, with contractors in their host communities netting $4om.

“Our top 50 contractors for 2014, accounted for $460 million of spend and only 6 of them where foreign companies.”

Avuru said this was set to increase across board as Nigerian independents come into their own and he presented fresh figures to buttress his claim.

According to him, IOC divestments have given birth to 7 indigenous independents which now have a combined production capacity of about 275kbd0 and 650mmscfd of gas into the domestic market which is nearly half of the gas delivery. He explained that these indigenous independents are deepening the Nigerian financial sectors with debts of about $5bn owed Nigerian Banks.

Avuru projected that by the end of 2018 indigenous companies would be responsible for at least 1bcf of gas per day. He also projected that by 2020, domestic refining capacity would be about 1MMBOPD.

“We are looking forward to a period, say by 2020 when domestic, integrated oil and gas business will account for 25% oil production, 40% domestic gas supply and 1mmbopd refining capacity,” Avuru predicted.

The Seplat CEO predicated his optimism on “Dangote’s refinery project as well as the possible sale of the countries refineries to private companies.”

Speaking further Austin Avuru advocated for the setting up of a “national export pipeline as the current export pipelines are owned by IOCs.”

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Power generation drops by 1.5gigawatts as Nigeria loses N2.5bn http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2015/03/06/power-generation-drops-by-1-5gigawatts-as-nigeria-loses-n2-5bn/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2015/03/06/power-generation-drops-by-1-5gigawatts-as-nigeria-loses-n2-5bn/#comments Fri, 06 Mar 2015 17:02:51 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=232375 The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) on Friday said that the country’s power supply would drop by 1.5 gigawatts due to Monday’s destruction of gas pipeline in Gbaramatu, Warri in Delta.

The Managing Director, Nigerian Gas Company, Mr Dafe Sejebor made this known to newsmen after a tour of the vadalised facilities in Inikorogha, Ubefan and Balan in Gbaramotu Delta.

The managing director who was represented by the Executive Director Services, Mr Joseph Olisa, said the nation would lose N2.5 billion within 21 days that the gas supply would be restored.

He explained that whenever there was destruction on pipelines it affected production and stopped supply of gas thereby leading to loss of revenue.

“When these pipelines are tampered with the gas volumes that are supposed to be sent to the power plants are lost.

“Whenever it happens we lose up to 1.5 gigawatts to the national grid.

“That is colossal in terms of cost volume of almost 200 million standard cubic feet of gas being lost per day,” he said.

Dafe Sejebor

While expressing regrets over the spate of vandalism on gas pipelines in the recent times, the managing director described the act as economic sabotage.

According to him, the recent vandalism which is on the Escravos Lagos Pipeline System (ELPS) is core to the nation’s power supply.

He said the pipeline was the heart beat or the core of pipelines that took gas to the western part of the country.

“The truth is that we have been having vandalism but the spate at which it is happening now is alarming.

“In the past few weeks we have really had it so bad that it is impacting negatively on power generation in the country.

“The core fuel to most of the power plant in this country is NGC gas, so if we cannot take power to the power plant generation suffers,” he said.

He said the bleed being experienced in the generation and availability of power in the country was due to activities of vandals.

He, therefore, called on the host communities and other stakeholders to help the government in stemming the spate of vandalism in their areas.

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Resolve issues with oil marketers, Jonathan tells Okonjo http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2015/03/04/resolve-issues-with-oil-marketers-jonathan-tells-okonjo/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2015/03/04/resolve-issues-with-oil-marketers-jonathan-tells-okonjo/#comments Wed, 04 Mar 2015 21:11:08 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=232103 President Goodluck Jonathan

President Goodluck Jonathan

President Goodluck Jonathan, on Wednesday, ordered the supply of adequate petroleum products to filling stations nationwide.

Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, the Minister of Finance and Coordinating Minister of the Economy, said this when she briefed State House correspondents on the outcome of the weekly Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting.

The meeting was presided over by President Goodluck Jonathan.

“The second issue really is about fuel marketers and fuel marketing situation, the scarcity and the lines and queue being experienced in the country.

“We discussed that at the Federal Executive Council (meeting), because Mr President wanted a quick action to improve the situation as fast as possible.

“So, after the briefing and discussion on both the financial and the physical sides, what emanate is that this situation we hope it will soon be resolved.

“Because, both on the financial side, action has been taken and is being implemented both through the Ministry of Finance and the Governor of the Central Bank.”

According to her, the Federal Government in December paid N320.6 billion to settle the claims of marketers, while the outstanding balance of N185 billion will soon be paid to them as Sovereign Wealth notes.

This, the minister said, was to cover the amount that had been issued to the affected marketers.

Okonjo-Iweala also revealed that the council approved N326 million for the provision of temporary office building for the Investment and Securities Tribunal (IST).

According to her, the property is located at Plot 1072 Cadastral Zone b10, Dakibiyu District, Airport Road, Abuja.

She said that the approval was informed by the fact that the tribunal had over the years been grappling with the challenge of regular payment of rent on its office accommodation as well as threats of eviction from the rented office accommodation.

“The procurement will be funded from a grant of N410, 004,829.81 by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to the Tribunal, based on a request by the Minister of State for Finance for the office building, pool vehicles for judges and other operational purposes.

“After deliberations, council approved the contract to procure temporary office building located at Plot 1072 Cadastral Zone b10, Dakibiyu District, Airport Road, Abuja for the Investments and Securities Tribunal (IST).

“This is in favour of Messrs El-Davido Properties and Engineering Services Limited in the sum of N326,095,875 inclusive of VAT with a delivery period of three weeks.”

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GE completes installation of mobile gas turbines for Port Harcourt refinery http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2015/03/04/ge-completes-installation-of-mobile-gas-turbines-for-port-harcourt-refinery/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2015/03/04/ge-completes-installation-of-mobile-gas-turbines-for-port-harcourt-refinery/#comments Wed, 04 Mar 2015 13:18:58 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=232024 With more industrial facilities using distributed power technologies to ensure a reliable energy supply and increase productivity, General Electric (NYSE: GE) has completed the supply and installation of three 25-megawatt (MW), trailer-mounted, TM2500+ aeroderivative gas turbines to generate uninterrupted power at the refinery. The supply was made through Genesis Electricity Limited, an independent power producer.

The installation of the mobile gas turbines will ensure that Nigeria’s largest oil refinery has the power it needs to overcome grid outages and return to full capacity for refining. Before now outages have reduced the refinery’s output to 30 percent of its total maximum capacity of 210,000 barrels per day.

To help address these issues, Genesis Electricity Limited, signed a 20-year power purchase agreement with NNPC in November 2013 for the installation of GE’s TM2500+ units at refinery. The TM2500+ gas turbines will provide both the base load and backup power to support refinery operations. The agreement also includes the future modernization of Nigeria’s other two refineries.

GE acted as a catalyst for the project, taking it to financial closure by working with all stakeholders and partners to structure the project’s equity. This is the first-ever non-recourse project financing for power plants in Nigeria.

Akinwole Omoboriowo, CEO GE Limited

Akinwole Omoboriowo, CEO GE Limited

“We are excited to work with GE to deploy their proven TM2500+ gas turbine technology and help Nigeria successfully return the Port Harcourt refinery to full service as quickly as possible,” said Akinwole Omoboriowo, CEO of Genesis Electricity Limited. “This project was not only important in getting the refinery back into full operation, but also to support Nigeria’s long-term economic interests by achieving optimum refining capacity.”

Our TM2500+ technology’s high-power density and compact footprint make it the perfect solution to address Port Harcourt Refining Company’s fast ramp-up, on-site power requirements while also ensuring the refinery’s long-term viability,” said George Njenga, GE’s Distributed Power Leader for sub Saharan Africa.

On his part, the President and CEO of GE Nigeria Dr Lazarus Angbazo GE said GE is training local engineers to operate and manage the refinery’s TM2500+ units. He said GE also has an in-country service and maintenance workshop to service the units. Apart from reflecting GE’s long term commitment to Nigeria, Dr Angbazo said these efforts are in line with local content requirements in Nigeria

GE’s TM2500+ gas turbine is capable of providing ISO-rated 31 MW of fast and reliable on-site generating capacity. The system can be used to provide utilities with a “baseload bridge” to support permanent power installations; backup power to support natural disaster relief efforts; or for plant shutdowns or equipment maintenance. The fuel-flexible system can use either natural gas or liquid-distillate.

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Nigeria to pay N185bn to end fuel scarcity – Okonjo-Iweala http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2015/03/04/nigeria-to-pay-n185bn-to-end-fuel-scarcity-okonjo-iweala/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2015/03/04/nigeria-to-pay-n185bn-to-end-fuel-scarcity-okonjo-iweala/#comments Wed, 04 Mar 2015 08:01:03 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=232011 •Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Finance Minister

•Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Finance Minister

As the Nigerian Minister of Finance and Coordinating Minister for the Economy, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, prepares to meet with oil marketers in the country on Wednesday over the lingering scarcity of fuel in the country, she has also promised that the government would meet the demands of the oil marketers.

The government, according to her, would meet the costs incurred by the marketers, their fees and interest as well as Foreign Exchange (forex) differentials.

Nigerians have groaned for days now with filling stations shutting down because of scarcity of petroleum products while very long queues are experienced in the few filling stations dispensing the products.

Many Nigerians depend on premium motor spirit, popularly called petrol, and diesel to power their generators which has been the main source of power, as the country further groans over power supply and, in some cases, neck-breaking electricity bills.

Okonjo-Iweala said the government put in place strategies to cushion the effect of the fuel scarcity and address the demands of the oil marketers.

“We have taken the following steps: we’ve reached an agreement with the marketers’ union on the N185 billion balance of their payment. As part of this agreement, we are paying not only the costs they’ve incurred and their fees but also interest and forex differentials,” she explained.

The Debt Management Office (DMO), she said, is to issue Sovereign Debt Notes (SDNs) to cover N100 billion out of the N185 billion agreed upon as balance for the next payments.

FILE PHOTO: Motorists queue to buy fuel in Lagos

FILE PHOTO: Motorists queue to buy fuel in Lagos

She further said that the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) had also given approvals for the banks to issue letters of credit.

She said the government was very concerned about the fuel queues which have appeared in Lagos, Abuja and other parts of the country and that “the Petroleum ministry and NNPC have worked very hard to reduce them to the barest minimum. We sympathise with Nigerians whose lives are being disrupted by the queues and assure them that we are working hard to end them as quickly as possible.”

Femi Fani-Kayode, the spokesman of the Peoples Democratic Party Presidential Campaign Organisation, PDPPCO, had accused the opposition All Progressives Congress, APC, of being responsible for the fuel scarcity, but the APC had listed several reasons further saying it was shameful that the government could point accusing fingers to others for its failures.

Okonjo-Iweala also said the scarcity was due to factors including disruption of pipelines and logistical issues and that these are being attended to urgently.

“It is clear that while the union and most members have been cooperative, some of their members are not. Some of these people have even refused to open Letters of Credit (LCs) to facilitate their payments.
“We salute the union and the members who are working hard to end this unfortunate situation. As for those who are working in the other direction, Nigerians should ask them what their motives are,” she said.

“The Petroleum ministry and NNPC are taking strong action to improve supplies in this election season.
“I’ve been speaking with Major Oil Marketers Association of Nigeria (MOMAN) and they’ve assured me that they are working hard to increase supplies and more are on the way,” she said adding that 40 million litres was being distributed in Lagos since Tuesday with 86 trucks already in Lagos and another 86 trucks heading for Abuja.

“Other parts of the country are also included in the plans. So the situation should improve soon.
“We paid the marketers a total of N320.8 billion from the Excess Crude Account (ECA) in two installments last December.

“This underscores the fact that we are taking payment of marketers very seriously indeed.
“We’ve been in constant touch and talking with the marketers and a week ago we reached an agreement with them on their core concerns, which we have addressed,” she said.

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NUPENG urges NNPC to increase supply to Apapa http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2015/03/04/nupeng-urges-nnpc-to-increase-supply-to-apapa/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2015/03/04/nupeng-urges-nnpc-to-increase-supply-to-apapa/#comments Wed, 04 Mar 2015 07:43:16 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=232000 The Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG) on Tuesday appealed to Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) to increase the supply of petroleum products to its depot in Apapa.

Tokunbo Korodo, the Chairman, South-West Chapter of the union, told NAN in Lagos that the product was hardly available at the NNPC Apapa depot.

“Our members are eager to collect the product from the depot but there is hardly any product at the Apapa depot.

“Even some private depots that have the product are selling at more than the stipulated price.

“It is of no use for our members to be coming to the depot on daily basis without loading the product,” he said.

Korodo said that there were issues on ground for the union to go on strike but because of the coming general elections and the present scarcity, they decided to suspend the idea.

Tokunbo Korodo

Tokunbo Korodo

“We have labour issues with Chevron Company, Total Oil and even the Federal Government but we decided to wait and see the end of this scarcity.

“Let it be known that our tanker drivers are not on strike, we are ready to go the extra mile to end this scarcity.

“We appeal to the Ministry of Finance to resolve whatever they have with oil marketers so that importations of products will commerce.

“The NNPC cannot supply the product all alone,” he said.

Meanwhile, long queue of vehicle at most Lagos petrol filling stations persisted on Tuesday as motorists rushed to buy the available product.

NAN reports also that more filling stations along Ikorodu road, Oshodi-Apapa expressway and Orile area of Lagos were on Tuesday opened to motorists.

At Cele Bus stop along Oshodi Apapa expressway, motorists were seen queuing as early as 6 a.m. at petrol stations that open for sales at 8:00 a.m.

Kole Badmus, a resident of Ilasamaja area of Lagos, appealed to marketers to reconsider their earlier position and commence the importation of refined petrol.

Badmus said that the appeal became imperative following the suffering of Nigerians across the nation and the exigencies of the rescheduled general elections.

NAN recalls that the NNPC had on March 2, introduced fresh measures to halt what it described as artificial petrol scarcity noticeable in some parts of the country.

NNPC had earlier announced plans to import more than one billion litres of refined petrol in March to address short fall in national supply.

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Fuel Scarcity: DPR to punish stations hoarding petrol http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2015/03/04/fuel-scarcity-dpr-to-punish-stations-hoarding-petrol/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2015/03/04/fuel-scarcity-dpr-to-punish-stations-hoarding-petrol/#comments Wed, 04 Mar 2015 00:24:48 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=231969 FILE PHOTO: Motorists queue to buy fuel in Lagos

FILE PHOTO: Motorists queue to buy fuel in Lagos

The Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) on Tuesday threatened to clamped down indefinitely any petrol filling station engaged in hoarding.

Mrs Chioma Njoku, Operations’ Controller for Lagos Zone of the agency, made the assertion in an interview with NAN in Lagos.

Njoku said that the agency’s surveillance teams would clamp down on filling stations hoarding petrol or selling above the approved rate of N87 per liter.

According to her, the department has been inundated with complaints from the public on the arbitrarily fixing of petrol prices above the government approved rate.

She said such actions of the marketers negated the rules of engagement, stressing that DPR would sanction any outlet that indulged in illegal acts.

Njoku also charged marketers of petroleum products in Lagos to ensure that the products supply and distribution to the public met the recommended specifications.

She said that DPR had sanctioned some erring marketers caught hoarding petrol and engaging in other sharp practices.

“We have embarked on a monitoring exercise across Lagos since Monday in view of the current scarcity and discovered that some marketers were capitalising on the situation to make huge illegal profits.

“While some filling stations were under-dispensing, others were found hoarding products.

“We have compelled some of the marketers to begin selling of products immediately and sealed those that failed to comply,” she said.

Nkoju said the DPR would have sanctioned many more stations that were caught with sharp practices but decided to warn them due to the situation at hand.

She said also that the current scarcity was artificial and that the DPR would continue to ensure compliance at the filling stations and depots across the country.

“A lot of filling stations is hoarding petrol. We know we have enough petrol at the depots to go round but we found that some are hoarding.

“This exercise will continue till normalcy returns to the system and the DPR is ready to sanction more marketers and seal more depots that are found wanting,” she said.

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Naira devaluation responsible for fuel scarcity – PPPRA http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2015/03/03/naira-devaluation-responsible-for-fuel-scarcity-pppra/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2015/03/03/naira-devaluation-responsible-for-fuel-scarcity-pppra/#comments Tue, 03 Mar 2015 18:30:34 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=231942 Cars queue up at Total Filling Station along Secretariat road, Ikeja.  Photo: Idowu Ogunleye

Cars queue up at Total Filling Station along Secretariat road, Ikeja. Photo: Idowu Ogunleye

The Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency (PPPRA) on Tuesday blamed the current scarcity of petrol in the country on the devaluation of the naira.

It said this had led to delay in payment to oil marketers involved in the importation of petroleum products.

Executive Secretary of the agency, Farouk Ahmed, made this known in Abuja while fielding questions from the Senate Committee on Petroleum Downstream during the agency’s defence of its 2015 budget.

Ahmed, however, assured that the scarcity would abate at the weekend.

According to him, the scarcity of petrol is being experience across the country because of delay in payment to marketers.

He said that the devaluation of the Naira was responsible for inability of the marketers to access fund from their bankers. “The recent event was actually as a result of issues we had with the commercial banks where they were unable to open credits for our marketers, especially PMS marketers.

“The delay made it difficult for the cargoes that were earlier programmed to arrive at the scheduled time.

“This delay was further complicated by the devaluation in the Naira.

“There were two devaluations, one was when the Naira exchanged at one dollar to N168, and similarly the Central Bank further devalued the Naira to N199 to a dollar.

“This caused a lot of confusion in the sector where the marketers and their bankers were not sure of the actual delivery cost,” he said.

“We at PPPRA reviewed our template to reflect the new exchange rate as advised by Central Bank.

“After that was done, there was a bit of calm, however, those delays that were experienced in the first devaluation in November is what is manifesting now,” he Ahmed added.

He, however, said that the Ministry of Finance, the PPPRA and the Debt Management Office (DMO) had been working closely to ensure that the outstanding cargoes were cleared.

He disclosed that the DMO had approved the payment of some of the outstanding amount to the marketers. “Within this week or by the weekend, things will normalize; there is no cause for alarm,” he said.

Reacting to allegations that some oil marketers in the rural areas were selling petrol higher than N87 per litre, Ahmed said that the Department of
Petroleum Resources (DPR) was working hard to apprehend such offenders.

He said that the DPR has continued to revoke licenses of defaulters or have their stations sealed to serve as a deterrent.

Meanwhile, the committee considered and cleared the budget appropriation for the PPPRA and the Ecological Fund Office.

The two agencies were the only ones present out of no fewer than seven scheduled to appear before the committee on Tuesday.

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Senate summons NNPC to defend budget http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2015/03/03/senate-summons-nnpc-to-defend-budget/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2015/03/03/senate-summons-nnpc-to-defend-budget/#comments Tue, 03 Mar 2015 17:31:05 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=231938 Senate President David Mark

Senate President David Mark

Senate Committee on Petroleum Downstream has summoned the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) to appear before it on Thursday to defend its 2015 budget.

Also directed to appear with the corporation for the same purpose were its departments, companies and agencies for the same purpose.

Chairman of the committee, Sen. Magnus Abe, gave the order on Tuesday when the corporation failed to appear before the committee for a scheduled defence of its 2015 budget.

Abe, who expressed displeasure over NNPC’s behaviour, directed the Clerk of the committee to repeat the invitation to it and its departments.

He said that the committee would not tolerate further absenteeism for budget defence by any ministry, department or agency.

He recalled that NNPC had ignored earlier failed to honour the first invitation to it by the committee. “We invited NNPC to attend this session to brief us on budget; the corporation did not have the decency to acknowledge the letter.

“I am directing the clerk to re-issue another invitation to NNPC, to all the refineries, Department for Petroleum Resources (DPR) and Pipelines and Products Marketing Company (PPMC).

“All of them must come individually and they must all bring their budget performance for last year and their budget for this year.

“Every year, we go through this whole problem of dancing around with NNPC because NNPC will never agree to voluntarily bring its budget up for discussion before this committee,” he said.

He decried that it had been the usual practice of the corporation to be elusive whenever it came to budget defence, in spite of a unanimous agreement on the issue, reached in 2014.

“The committee will under no circumstances tolerate this kind of disrespect from NNPC; the Constitution is very clear and we all have our constitutional roles and responsibilities.

“Nobody in this country is above the Constitution; so, there should be a very strong warning to NNPC never to repeat this kind of behaviour to this committee,” he warned.

A member of the committee, Sen. Danjuma Goje (APC-Gombe Central), also deplored the absence of the NNPC and other agencies under the Ministry of Petroleum Resources.

He said that the absence of the corporation at this time when some states of the federation were experiencing fuel scarcity was disheartening.

Goje added that the committee was legally empowered to monitor the activities and budget performance of the NNPC, and as such should not be disobeyed.

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We are handicapped to import petrol – Major Marketers http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2015/03/03/we-are-handicapped-to-import-petrol-major-marketers/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2015/03/03/we-are-handicapped-to-import-petrol-major-marketers/#comments Tue, 03 Mar 2015 11:25:07 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=231877 The Major Oil Marketers Association of Nigeria (MOMAN) says its members are handicapped to import refined petro products following the Federal Government’s non-payment of outstanding subsidy claims.

Olawore Obafemi, Executive Secretary, MOMAN, disclosed this in a telephone interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Monday in Lagos.

Obafemi said that the lingering fuel scarcity was caused by the inability of marketers to import petrol into the country since February.

He said that the federal government had failed to pay the marketers the outstanding on the current foreign exchange rate with interest.

According to him, MOMAN members’ funds incapacitation and their inability to access new loans from banks had made it difficult to import refined petrol.

“We are sure that once government pays marketers we will start importing.

“We have been appealing to government to pay us our subsidy claims in other to avert this kind of situation but they never did, so, you can see the situation we have found ourselves in.

Obafemi Olawore

Obafemi Olawore

“We will start importing once government pays our foreign exchange, interest rate differential on subsidy,” he said.

Obafemi said that federal government has promised to pay foreign exchange and interest rate differentiate this week, adding that government has also promised to discuss with banks toward extending further credits to marketers.

“Bank has promised to open letters of credits for us once federal government discuss with them on the credit note.

“CBN has also shown interest in given us form `M’ to stand as approval letter on foreign exchange,” he added.

The secretary however warned its members to desist from selling petrol above pump price and hoarding of products, stressing marketers caught in such unwholesome acts will be punished.

Meawhile, NAN reports that the petrol scarcity has enveloped Lagos, as motorists’ queues in most of the filling stations to buy the product.

Some of the operators said that queues were reinforced by the depletion of volume of petrol in most depots in Lagos.

Some of the station’s managers said that oil marketers are no longer importing petrol because of outstanding debts owed by the Federal government under the Petroleum Support Fund.

Oando station Manager in Maryland who preferred to remain anonymous said that the depot operators were rationing stock.

He said his depot received about 33,000 litres of petrol on March 1, 2015 and was not sure of replenishing the stock due to the high demand.

“I cannot say exactly what is happening but from the depots we observe they are managing the available stock, the manager said.

NAN also reports that some of the stations along Ikorodu road, Lagos Island, Ikeja and its environs remained closed.

However, the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) in statement at the weekend reassured the nation and said that 688 million liters of petrol would be injected into market within 48 hours to ease supply nationwide.

NNPC spokesman, Mr Ohi Alegbe, urged members of the public to desist from panic buying and hoarding of petroleum products.

Alegbe said that they were working with downstream industry stakeholders to eliminate the noticeable artificially induced fuel queues in some fuel stations.

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$12bn gas fund loot, fraud responsible for fuel scarcity – APC http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2015/03/03/12bn-gas-fund-loot-fraud-responsible-for-fuel-scarcity-apc/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2015/03/03/12bn-gas-fund-loot-fraud-responsible-for-fuel-scarcity-apc/#comments Tue, 03 Mar 2015 08:17:48 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=231854 Lai Mohammed, APC National Publicity Secretary

Lai Mohammed, APC National Publicity Secretary

The All Progressives Congress (APC) has said the real causes of the debilitating fuel scarcity across the country is the looting of the $12 billion domestic gas fund under President Goodluck Jonathan’s watch, as well as the administration’s failure to pay fuel subsidy and the cost of interests on bank loans to oil marketers, thus making it impossible for them to begin another round of importation of refined petroleum products.

In a statement issued in Dubai on Tuesday by its National Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, the party said the PDP and the Jonathan administration decided to divert attention from those problems by accusing the opposition of being responsible for the scarcity – a most laughable and irresponsible statement by a sitting government that is always so eager to blame everyone but itself for the nation’s woes.

It recalled that the self-styled Coordinating Minister of the Economy and Finance Minister Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala had, in February, promised to pay all subsidies owed to the marketers then in the sum of N264 billion, along with the accrued interest.

APC said, however, that the failure to meet this obligation has made it impossible for the oil marketers, who are being owed heavily, to finance another round of products importation.

“The truth is that this profligate government has run Nigeria aground, and the oil sector, whether upstream or downstream, has particularly suffered hugely. The quantity of petroleum products that was imported has almost been fully consumed, without fresh products being brought in to augment supplies that have now fallen well below re-order level

“The implication is that in addition to worsening power supply, crumbling prices of oil at the international market, weakening naira and unprecedented corruption, Nigerians – who routinely provide their own electricity to power their homes and business, now have to face another round of government-imposed hardship with the ongoing fuel scarcity,” the party said.

It said the fuel crisis would not have reached the stage it is in now had the $12 billion domestic gas project fund not been looted under President Jonathan’s watch. This is because, with the project being executed, many vehicles, cooking stoves and generators would have been converted to use gas to reduce the importation of PMS, diesel and kerosene, and gas would have been available to fire the gas turbines at power stations while more power would have been delivered to the national grid.

APC accused President Jonathan of sabotaging the domestic gas project started by the late President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua, with the $12 billion cash call provisions for gas development for domestic power generation looted under his (President Jonathan) watch.

“Late President Yar’Adua made the first allocation of $1.5 billion for this project in 2009. The amount was not spent at the time of his death in 2010. However, direct outlays through annual cash calls continued to be credited to the project account so much so that by December 2014, $12 billion had been accumulated in the same account.

“Had this project been successfully implemented as envisaged, had the funds made available for the project not been looted by the rapacious cabal that is holding Nigeria by the jugular, power generation would have improved with uninterrupted gas supply to power the turbines at power station, while the domestic consumption of PMS, diesel and kerosene would have reduced, with an increasing number of vehicles, cooking stoves and power generators being converted to use gas instead of PMS, diesel or kerosene,” the party said.

It also slammed the Jonathan administration for its inability or unwillingness or both to secure power installations from contrived

“For a federal government that is in control of one million people under arms (military, police, civil defence corps, etc), and one that has spent in excess of 4 trillion Naira on security, there is no justifiable reason why power installations could not be secured against sabotage,” APC said.

The party said the real saboteurs and indeed those who have pushed Nigeria to another sorry state of fuel scarcity are those who have stolen the money earmarked for gas gathering, processing and transportation for domestic power production, and Nigerians know who and where those people are.

It said Nigerians must be wondering whether those who accused the APC of being behind the fuel shortage have their heads properly screwed to their bodies, because the accusation marks a new low in the sad saga of the Jonathan administration.

“They (Nigerians) must be wondering when the APC took over the running of the NNPC, when the APC took charge of subsidy payment and why the opposition should become the easy scapegoat of an ineffectual, clueless, incompetent, visionless and thieving government. Absurdity has no other meaning,” APC said.

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Petrol scarcity: NNPC set to import 1billion litres in March http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2015/03/03/petrol-scarcity-nnpc-set-to-import-1billion-litres-in-march/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2015/03/03/petrol-scarcity-nnpc-set-to-import-1billion-litres-in-march/#comments Tue, 03 Mar 2015 05:35:01 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=231844 Queue at a filling station

Queue at a filling station

The Management of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) on Monday began fresh measures to halt what it described as artificially induced petrol scarcity noticeable in some parts of the country.

To this end, the corporation said it planned to import more than one billion litres of petrol in March to address short fall in supply.

NAN reports that the Group Managing Director (GMD), NNPC Dr Joseph Dawha, in conjunction with the Chief Executive Officers of the NNPC subsidiaries, began detailed monitoring of fuel stations in Abuja.

Others in the exercise are the Executive Secretary of the Petroleum Products Pricing and Regulatory Agency (PPPRA), Mr Farouk Ahmed, and the Managing Director of Pipeline Products Marketing Company (PPMC), Mr Haruna Momoh,

Also in the team was the Director of Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR), Mr George Osahon.

Dawha said the exercise was to checkmate hoarding and panic buying of petrol, particularly in Abuja, Lagos and its environs.

The GMD said there was enough petrol in the nation’s stock to take care of the need of motorists.

He said as the supplier of last resort, the corporation was doing everything within its mandate to alleviate the avoidable hardship caused by the situation.

The Executive Secretary, PPPRA, said the problem was more of artificial because there were enough products.

“ The problem we have is not really with the supply because there is enough supply .

“The PPMC has almost more than 800,000 metric tones that will be arriving in the month of March which is over a billion litres in terms of our daily consumption.

“Other marketers are also bringing in their cargo so by the end of the week, hopefully, everything will be clear.

“I think we should just encourage the people to desist from panic buying; things are going to be very okay,” Ahmed said.

The Managing Director of PPMC said the corporation had more than enough of the products in the stock for the entire nation.

Momoh explained that there was a good build up till April and with this build up, “we are very confident that we will not have any problem in terms of supply.

“There are challenges with distributions; we will continue to handle those challenges and we try everything possible to make it seamless, smooth and as stable as possible beyond April,” he said.

He said the agency was putting in measures place to address other challenges beyond April.

He said that the other challenges which other marketers, who happened to be the other half in the chains of supply, would be addressed by the PPPRA.

The Director of DPR said the agency had measures to address hoarding and hiking of pump price above official price.

Osahon said the agency would collaborate with the security agencies to force marketers to sell products at the regulated price.

“We are going to get the law enforcement agencies to force them to sell and at the regulated price.

“We are doing that at several filling stations around the country; we are doing that to support PPMC and PPPRA and make sure that these things ease off as soon as possible,” he said.

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Fuel Scarcity Worsens In Lagos http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2015/03/02/fuel-scarcity-worsens-in-lagos/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2015/03/02/fuel-scarcity-worsens-in-lagos/#comments Mon, 02 Mar 2015 13:15:49 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=231792 Kazeem Ugbodaga & Jamiu Yisa

Fuel scarcity has worsened in Lagos, southwest Nigeria, with long queues observed in filling stations across the state.

As at Monday morning, many filling stations were not dispensing  Petrol Motor Spirit, PMS, to motorists as they were shut.

There were long queues in the few stations selling petrol.

P.M.NEWS reliably gathered that most of the filling stations have resorted to hoarding the product, thereby creating artificial scarcity.

Some of the filling stations, like Adonai in Ogba is selling PMS at N100 per litres while the attendants at stations that sell at N87 collect at least N100 or N200 from motorists before they could dispense the product.

In Abule Egba, filling stations like NNPC (Ekoro Road), Oando, Smart Petroleum, Oando on Abattoir Road, NNPC on Abattoir, Petroleum Manager and Total on Abattoir Road were shut.

Cars queue up at Total Filling Station, this morning  along Sectariat road, Ikeja.  Photo: Idowu Ogunleye.

Cars queue up at Total Filling Station, this morning along Sectariat road, Ikeja. Photo: Idowu Ogunleye.

Also, Mobil Filling Station on Agindingbi, Funmec on Acme Road were not dispensing the product to consumers, while stations such as Total in Abule Egba, SO filling station, ASCON Oil on Akilo Road and few others were selling, but there were queues at the filling stations.

The situation cuts across every part of the Lagos metropolis as several filling stations were shut, with some hoarding the product.

The situation is likely to get worse by the day.

Lagosians have lamented the scarcity. Some motorists who spoke with our correspondents at some major bus stops in the state this morning, said that they went through hell trying to get fuel over the weekend.

Few corporate workers who equally spoke with P.M.NEWS said they had to abandon their vehicles at home throughout the weekend, hoping to conserve the little fuel they had for their journey to their various offices during the week.

They called on the Federal Government to intervene urgently and bring the situation under control before it escalates.

A motorist, Alani Tewogbola, regretted that the scarcity has led to a hike in pump price of fuel in the state, adding that some of the filing stations where the product is available sell between N110 and N115 against government’s pump price of N87.

“The operators have cashed in on the scarcity to alter the meter reading. The quantity of product they dispense per litre is less than what it ought to be. Apart from the alteration, the quality of the product is questionable too. The situation has led to hike in fares for inter-city and intra-city transport services,” he said.

It was gathered that some oil marketers were no longer interested in importing the product due to rising exchange rate of the dollar to the naira, while the delayed subsidy payments and rising interests on loans from banks are reasons for the scarcity.

Tokunbo Korodo, Chairman, Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers, NUPENG, Lagos Zone, stated that there was inadequate fuel in the depots to serve filling stations across the metropolis.

According to him, if there were enough to go round, tanker drivers would move products to the areas of need, saying that Nigerians should not be surprised that this was happening now, describing it as unfortunate.

However, Group General Manager, Group Public Affairs Division, Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, Mr. Ohi Alegbe said the Federal Government had brought fresh 680 million litres of petrol to improve the product supply base, saying that the scarcity would soon disappear.

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