Many motorists in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) have reported persistent fuel shortages in and around the territory.
The motorists, who spoke to the Nigerian News Agency on Monday in Abuja, said the situation that had dragged on for more than four weeks was causing difficulties.
A correspondent, who monitored the situation, reports that many gas stations were not selling the product, while the few stations that were selling had long queues.
it also reports that the shortage is biting hard as many travelers are stranded.
Following the development, some petrol stations had adjusted the pump price per liter of petrol, except for the retail outlets of Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPC Ltd), which sells at N175.
Some gas stations that have the product now sell between N195 and N250.
noted that JENEP, located in Azhata, along Karshi road, NNPCL retail outlet, near GSM village, Zone 1 and NNPCL Zone 4 outlet, were seen selling with long queues.
The situation had caused a traffic jam when officials from the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) were seen controlling the traffic.
The shortage was initially due to roads and bridges in Kogi that made it difficult for trucks to move petroleum products there.
However, the shortage had continued and the Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority (NMDPRA) has yet to comment on the development.
Motorists called on the Federal Government to intervene to end persistent fuel shortages to stop the suffering residents face.
A businessman who simply gave his name as Timothy said he was spending a lot of money patronizing black merchants, adding that the only way he could survive was to increase the goods and services he provided to the public.
“I buy 10 liters of petrol at N3,500 from black vendors as it is not easily available at service stations due to long queues.
“It is unfortunate that no gas station sells below N175. And you can't buy jerry cans to run your generator if you don't drive a car,” he said.
Tobi Emmanuel, a motorist, denounced the pain he had been experiencing for more than four weeks, adding that he spent many productive hours at service stations and made little or no profit.
“Today most stations are not selling along my route which is Nyanyaa so I managed to get to NNPC, Zone 4 is still hopeless due to intimidating queues,” he said.
Another consumer, Ms. Rose Ogbuu, expressed her discontent with the situation, adding that despite the fluctuation in the price of the pump, if fuel was always available, people would not complain.
Public officials and other passengers also denounced the lack of transportation and the fare increase enabled, saying it was demoralizing.
According to them, commercial drivers are now charging N400 for a N250 route due to shortages.
============Edited. eniola williams
Source Credit: NAN
An energy consultant, Ademola Adigun, says fingerprinting Nigerian crude supported with international advocacy will permanently address frequent crude oil theft in the country.
Adigun said this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria on Thursday in Lagos.
According to him, fingerprinting is a process that gives the crude oil a unique identifier from Nigeria.
“Many types of oil exist, we may need to tell one oil from another during a spill.
The chemical composition of oil found in the environment yields important clues about its origin.
“The process of determining where a sample of oil (or hydrocarbon residue) originated is what we call fingerprinting.
“This is the way it is done with diamond in Liberia and other countries.
It makes it difficult to purchase.
“On crude oil theft, the focus should be detailed implementation of the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA) particularly the Host Community sections.
That may also reduce it.
“But a more permanent solution is to consider fingerprinting Nigerian crude supported with international advocacy,’’ he said.
On fuel scarcity, Adigun said that full deregulation of the downstream sector of the petroleum industry remains the best option to resolve frequent scarcity in the country.
He said that full deregulation would automatically eliminate subsidy, adding that subsidy payments was harmful to the economy.
According to him, elimination of subsidy will also allow investment into the critical areas needed by the private sector.
The expert said: “lingering fuel scarcity is a function of price.
Full deregulation will allow for more imports by players other than Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPC).
“The current monopoly of petroleum importation by NNPC is part of the problem.
“Private sector companies have proved reliable to a large extent.
Is it not time we have a real midstream?
“There are no other short-term measures.
NNPC does not have dollars to issue orders for the needs of Nigeria.
“The possible short term measure is to adjust prices and partial removal of subsidy.
Then there is the challenge of the 0.5 per cent charge on products from the value chain in the downstream.
“That should reduce to 0.2 per cent until growth is achieved in that sector.
” Adigun urged the government to ensure the proper implementation of PIA and remove the monopoly power of the NNPC to foster required economy development in the oil and gas sector.
On refinery, Adigun said, “the problems of the refineries go beyond privatisation.
“The refineries will not be profitable in a regulated environment.
“Refinery margins are low.
So, changing the management will not guarantee success.
“And who will be interested in purchasing our refineries now with Dangote coming on stream in the second quarter of 2023?
“What is the point of holding moribund assets”
The protracted dispute on Oil Mining Leases (OMLs) 123124, 126137, operated by Addax Petroleum Nigeria Limited, has finally been laid to rest, paving the way for much-needed investment and growth of the oil blocks.
Mr Garba Muhammad, Chief Corporate Communications Officer, Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPC Ltd) in a statement on Wednesday said the Production Sharing Contract (PSC) for the blocks was initially signed in 1973 between NNPC and Ashland.
Muhammad said the contract was terminated after 25 years but subsequently, NNPC signed another PSC with Addax in 1998 on the blocks and operated through Addax Petroleum for another 24yrs.
He said in 2021, issues around the revocation of the licences were reconsidered.
This, he said made the Nigeria Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission (NUPRC) advised that the assets be returned to the Concessionaires (NNPC Limited) to ensure clean and amicable exit for Addax.
“On Jan. 25, NNPC Limited commenced formal engagements with Addax and NUPRC; followed by series of meetings to ensure a swift close-out of the exit discussions and formalities.
“These discussions eventually paved way for the preparation and signing of a Transfer, Settlement and Exit Agreement (TSEA),” he said.
In his remarks at the close-out and signing ceremony, the NNPC GCEO, Mele Kyari, charged the Transition Management Team to hit the ground running towards restoration and fulfilment of the promise of the Assets.
He promised that readjustment will be swift and efficient, in order to extract optimum value from the assets, and to deliver maximum value to shareholders.
The Minister of Works and Housing, Mr Babatunde Fashola, says the ministry will focus on completing strategic road projects in 2023. Fashola said this during 2023 budget defence at the House of Representatives Committee on Works on Tuesday in Abuja.
The minister said that N198.96 billion was proposed for the ministry and its parastatals to cater for capital, overhead and personnel cost in the 2023 budget.
“With the limited budget, what we want to focus on is the rout A1 to A9; if you look at the map of Nigeria, you will see the A1 to A4, they are the North-South roads.
“A5 to A9 are the East-West roads, many of them are at various stages of contractual implementation, that is what we think we can focus on.
“Our priority is to drive the economy using what we have and we will be focusing on road that can help provide access to ports, major agricultural producing areas, roads that help to distribute fuel so that our energy supply is sustained,” he said.
Fashola said that the ministry would place priority on completing roads that do not have alternative funding like the Ilorin-Kabba-Obajana Road and the Okene-Itobe Road, among others.
While accounting for the 2022 budget performance, Fashola said that N515.95 billion was appropriated to the ministry and its parastatals.
He said that the Works and Housing sectors of the ministry was allocated a Capital budget of N441.10 billion of which 66.54 per cent had so far been released.
“This leaves a balance of N147.59 billion to be release by the Federal Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning,” he said.
For overhead, the minister said that out of the N627 million approved, N365.75 million has so far been released.
He said that the amount represented 58.33 per cent of the budgetary provision with an outstanding N261.25 million.
The minister said that for personnel cost, N10.1 billion was approved for the ministry and it was being implemented through the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System (IPPIS) Fashola said that from January to August, the ministry generated N1.48 billion as Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) which has been remitted to the Consolidated Revenue Account.
The minister said that the Executive Order on Tax Credit signed by President Muhammaddu Buhari in 2019 has started gaining acceptance and was already impacting on the economy.
He said that in 2021, there was some offtake by some of the subsidiaries of the NNPC who were tax liable to government under the Tax Credit Scheme.
Fashola said that the subsidiaries made a commitment of N621 billion across 21 roads of 1804km that were critical to the delivery of petroleum products nationwide.
According to him, the performance is that N196 billion has been issued based on work done and this represents 31 per cent of the total fund.
He said that MTN-Nigeria and the G-Z Industry joined Dangote Group, BUA Group, NNPC Group in the tax credit scheme.
Fashola said that MTN-Nigeria has taken over the Enugu-Onitsha Highway and was committed to completing it using tax credit.
He said G-Z, a company with core interest in cans used for preparation of drinks, agreed to develop the industrial roads which support their business.
The Chairman of the committee, Rep. Kabir Abubakar (APC-Kano) lauded the ministry for completing so many projects in 2022 in collaboration with the private sector.
He said that the initiative was a welcome development as the budget was not enough to address the road infrastructure deficit in the country.
Abubakar said that from 2015 to 2022, a lot of roads have been completed, saying the committee was satisfied with the ministry’s performance.
The lawmaker expressed hope that the next administration would continue in the same spirit to close the road infrastructure gap in the country.
The Nigerian Agip Oil Company (NAOC) and its Joint Venture (JV) partners, on Monday delivered food and essential commodities to some 260 communities impacted by flood in Rivers, Bayelsa, Delta and Imo states.
A delegation of the JV began distribution at the host communities of Gas Plant after meeting with their leaders.
NAOC expressed its empathy with the host communities, saying the gesture was to reinforce the existing collaborative relationship that had existed with the communities since 1962. The company said the mutually beneficial partnership had become more important at the time of the disaster.
The communities of the area, represented by His Royal Highness Louis Iyasira, Prime Minister of Ogba Land, expressed appreciation to the JV for the timely support.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that NAOC JV shareholders are NNPC E&P Limited (NEPL), Eni’s subsidiary NAOC and Oando.
Gov. Inuwa Yahaya of Gombe State on Saturday ordered the contractor constructing the College of Nursing and Midwifery in the state to ensure completion by the end of December.
Yahaya gave the order during an inspection of the project in Wuro-Juli community in Akko Local Government Area of the state.
He said his expectation was for the college to take off by December noting that the project seemed like one that would not be completed before initial deadline given.
“The contractors and the ministries handling this project must work hard enough to catch up with the December target so that the next enrolment of students will take place on this campus,’’ he said.
He expressed satisfaction at the quality of work, noting that it had reached almost 65 per cent completion level.
The governor also ordered the Commissioner for Works, Mr Abubakar Bappah, to assess the physical and environmental works to be done, which should be done alongside the construction and completed by December.
According to him, completion of the diagnostic centre, which is of 150-bed capacity is about 90 per cent to 95 per cent completed.
He stated that NNPC Ltd. had given the assurance that it would equip the diagnostic centre as soon as the building was completed.
He stressed that the school would provide enough facilities for learning, nursing and midwifery.
Earlier, Gov. Yahaya visited the barricaded “Mile 3 Road’’ which he said had claimed no fewer than 11 lives in 2022. He said the barricade was installed to prevent tankers, tippers and trailers which crushed people to death on the road from plying it on regular basis.
Yahaya cautioned residents and traders selling close to the road to vacate the area for their safety, while urging motorists to imbibe good driving culture on the road.
Students of Green Park Academy on Friday won the star prize of N10 million in the 11th edition of Edo, Delta 2022 Seplat Pearl Quiz competition held in Benin.
The News Agency of Nigeria NAN reports that, Green Park Academy Benin scored 89 points to defeat Deeper Life High School, Warri, Delta which scored 48 points.
The Chief Operating Officer, Seplat, Mr Samson Ezugworie, congratulated students from the over 682 schools who took part in the test, out which 130 progressed to the next stage Ezugworie said that the Seplat Pearl quiz had come a long way, and had impacted more than 50,000 students from Edo and Delta.
“Today, the first position will get a project support of N10 million and the three participating students will get a scholarship fund of N100,000 each.
” The second position will get a project support of N5 million and the three participating students will get a scholarship fund of N75,000 each.
“The third position will also get a project support of N3 million and the three participating students will get a scholarship fund of N50,000 each.
“Through this programme on an annual basis, we have continued to engender and drive human capital and structural development across the winning schools.
“Seplat energy has continued to drive excellence and healthy competition among all the schools in Edo and Delta,” he said.
Also speaking, Dr Chioma Nwachuku, the Director of External Affairs and Sustainability of Seplat Energy, said the firm was committed to rekindling academic excellence and healthy competition among schools.
Represented by the Base Manager of Seplat Mr Emmanuel Otokhine, Western Assets, Nwachuku said Seplat had taken it as a task to help improve academic outcome in Edo and Delta.
“We want to create a platform for students from different backgrounds to climb to greater heights while also encouraging the spirit of team work and competitiveness.
“We at Seplat have sustainable values, education is number four on the list, where we ensure inclusiveness and equitable education for all public and private schools,” Nwachuku said.
Earlier, the Managing Director, Western Assets, Ayotunde Olatunde said the quiz competition was a way to build the future leaders of Nigeria.
“As today’s leaders, we have a principal job to create that enabling environment for our students to grow,” he said.
The Managing Director of NNPC Exploration and Production Limited (NEPL), Ali Zarah thanked everyone for contributing to the success of the Pearl quiz.
Represented by Mr Noble Imabibo, Manager, Community Relations, Zarah said the programme seek to stimulate healthy competition among students and reward outstanding performance.
According to him, we pledge our support to ensure that this programme continues to reward the winners as an engagement that education is indeed the key to societal development.
Delta State Governor, Ifeanyi Okowa, who was also represented by the State Permanent Secretary, Augustine Oghoro commended Seplat and NEPL for the initiative.
The Edo Commissioner for Education, Joan Oviawe also commended the companies for the initiative, and urged them to sustain the programme.
About 324 Nigerian employees of Addax Petroleum Development Nigeria have resumed their suspended strike due to the inability of the Federal Government and management of the company to address anti-labour practices.
The workers, under the auspices of the Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (PENGASSAN), confirmed this in a statement in Lagos on Friday.
The workers alleged that the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Ltd. (NNPC) and Addax management had refused to address issues that led to the August strike.
In a letter addressed to the PENGASSAN General Secretary and signed by PENGASSAN Addax Branch Secretary, Mr Ken Olubor, accused the company of engaging in anti-labour practices that endangered their safety and security.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that Addax is owned by China’s Sinopec Group with four Oil Mining Licences, OML 123, 124, 126 and 137. The company is operating the assets in Production Sharing Contract (PSC) with NNPC Ltd. Government withdrew the operating licences of Addax in March 2021 due to the company’s refusal to fully develop the oil wells.
NNPC has since taken over the assets hitherto run by Addax and has resumed lifting all the oil thereof since June. The letter read in part, “SINOPEC has withheld funding her Nigeria operation (Addax Petroleum Development Nigeria) following its ongoing exit, which has created safety and operational challenges for employees and the much-anticipated operational funding from the is yet to be received.
“The safety and security of our members has been compromised.
Addax Izombe facility OML-124 recently suffered an attempted bomb blast incident around staff accommodation area.
“Employees working in the field have recently been exposed to increased security and safety threats as our onshore location continues to come under siege by unknown armed men.
“This situation is evident in the recurring high medical bills recorded by the Company’s Human Resource Department.
” The letter further stated that, “The above notwithstanding, the Addax staff members have continued to work even harder than usual, increasing the OML-123 Asset production from circa 10,000bopd to about 17,000bopd.
“PENGASSAN-Addax Branch has been put in an indeterminate state as SINOPEC-owned Addax Petroleum Development Nigeria Ltd. exits and NNPC Ltd., is slowly assuming responsibility over the operations of the assets.
“It is important to mention that NNPC has been taking all the revenue from the OML-123124 and OML-126137 Assets since June 2022.” According to the workers, Addax has tidied up on its exit, but NNPC has refused to execute the exit agreement for reasons best known to them, adding that while this drama continues to linger, the employees continue to suffer.
The workers alleged that Addax petroleum had failed to provide purpose, growth, recognition, security and advancement to them, all of which were basic requirements.
“As a matter of fact, we no longer pray for improved working conditions but only hope to be alive to reap the benefits of the many years we have put in at Addax Petroleum.
“As the prevailing situation is taking a heavy toll on the health and mental wellbeing of union members,” said the statement.
Other allegations levelled by the workers included irregular payment of salaries and allowances, stoppage of appraisal performance reward and violation of employment working hour terms.
They also accused the management of undue elongation of working hours without compensation, prolonged stagnation and lack of promotion since 2019.
Stakeholders in the education sector have faulted the education budget in the 2023 national budget, saying that it falls short of the recommendation of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO).
They made this known in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria in Abuja.
They argued that without adequate investment in education, other sectors would also suffer.
NAN reports that UNESCO recommends that developing countries should dedicate 15 to 20 per cent of their annual budget to public education.
NAN also reports that in 2021, Heads of State and Government and Ministers of Education from more than 40 countries adopted the Paris Declaration, a global appeal initiated by UNESCO and France to increase investment in education in the aftermath of the COVID-19 crisis.
The Chairman, Private School Owners Association, Prof. Gregory Ibe, told NAN that there was a considerable increase in the 2023 budget for education compared to 2022 budget, adding that more funding was required in the education sector to make the impact required.
” It appears we’re playing deaf ear to the major thing that can save Nigerian education system.
Education budget takes N470 billion out of the total budget for the 2023 fiscal year which is still on the low side.
‘ There’s no amount of money you will put into the university system, polytechnic higher education, secondary school or basic school that will make the impact that is required.
” What I’m saying is that if you want to develop a nation and you fail to develop the children of that nation, then forget it.
You are not getting it right.
” There’s no amount of property you sell that can be equated to you investing in the education of your children.
“So the first thing that the president ought to do is to privatise institutions of high learning the same way that they brought it to NNPC as they fuse private individuals in there,” he said.
Ibe, who is also the Chancellor, Gregory University, Uturu, Abia, said that for education to get its rightful place, 40 per cent of all education institutions must have partnership.
” I’ve been preaching on this matter that in order to stop all these strikes actions, sell 40 per cent of all institutions to private individuals.
” So that the school now will become ownership by selling 60 per cent to private individual and government should hold 40 per cent.
” If this is done, there will be change and there will be quality.
There will be sanity in the system and salaries will be paid,” he said.
The chancellor advised the federal government to provide financial aid to Nigerian youths so that they could have tertiary education by revamping the federal scholarship board.
He suggested N2 million as scholarship to students on annual basis to be given to Nigerian youths payable while spreading it through a number of year.
He said this would have impact on the Nigerian youths especially those in the northern region whose parents could not afford to pay their school fees as a result of poverty.
” This money is given will be payable through revolving money.
60 per cent of northern Nigerian youth are not able to go to school because their parents cannot afford the fee.
” Even with the free education, they are not encouraged to enjoy it.
They cannot even enjoy the free education so they cannot even also pay for school fees.
” So, with this revolving money and financial aid plan, 60 per cent of the Northern Youth will go to school when all of us have opportunity of receiving education and this will translate to the development of the country,” he said.
Also, a Political Analyst, Mr Rotimi Lawrence said that going by UNESCO recommendation, this is figure was far from the ideal of global standards.
Lawrence decried the negative downwards effects of the low budgetary allocation to the education sector by the federal government.
He, therefore, called for a better funding especially for government owned universities so as to avert the seemingly endless strike actions by academic unions.
” Looking at the population of young people with zeal and energy bubbling with visions, the government must have a marshall plan in tackling youth restiveness through a deliberate policy on education particularly vocational training.
” We are also in a global village and there is a paradigm shift from natural resources to human capital.
Therefore, government must increase spending on human capital to fight literacy, out-of-school children syndrome, girl-child education and early child marriage,” he said.
Meanwhile, Mr Jacobs Ogundele, an Auditor commended the federal government for increasing the education saying that it was a right step in the right direction.
Ogundele, who emphasised that the increase will positively impact on the sector, called for more increase in subsequent fiscal year.
” I think the national assembly are still going through it so it is still an appropriation bill but not yet a budget .
” However, it is a slide increment from that of 2022 that is till running.
The university will enjoy better part of it while polytechnic and colleges of education will also have there shares.
” Unity schools and other recurrent activities will also enjoy the remaining.
So, if government can actually release the said amount of N2.05 trillion, I think the sector will do more in the 2023 fiscal year,” he said.
NAN reports that education budget in the 2021 national budget stood at 5.6 per cent.
Compared to the 50 per cent that was promised, this shows that the 5.6 per cent budget in 2021 was however equivalent to 2.8 per cent.
Similarly, in the 2022 national budget, education budget stood at 5.39 per cent of the national budget which is N923.79 billion out of the total budget of N17.13 trillion.
However, for the 2023 budget, N2.05 trillion which is 10 per cent of the entire budget of N20.51 trillion was for education sector, paltry N470 billion is earmarked for tertiary education revitalisation and salary enhancement.
Also N1.23 trillion is the provision for Federal Ministry of Education and its agencies for recurrent and capital expenditure with the other amount voted for UBEC and TETFUND.
President Muhammadu Buhari has expressed delight as he witnessed signing of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between Nigerian National Petroleum Company Ltd and Daewoo Group for the rehabilitation of the Kaduna refinery.
Mr Femi Adesina, the President’s Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, confirmed this development in a statement on Thursday in Abuja.
Adesina said the president was particularly excited as the signing came against the back of ongoing rehabilitation works at Warri refinery by same Daewoo Group of South.
According to the presidential aide, the Warri refinery rehabilitation works, when completed, will at the first instance, deliver fuels production before the first half of 2023. Adesina quoted the Nigerian leader as saying: “Daewoo Group has massive investments in the automobile, maritime and other sectors of our economy.
”I am also aware that Daewoo is currently engaged in the execution of the NLNG train seven project and also constructing sea-going LPG vessels for NNPC and her partners.
” The president said he looked forward to the delivery of ongoing projects, especially at the Warri and Kaduna refineries, and the NLNG Train Seven.
”This no doubt will open many more windows of opportunities for Daewoo and other Korean companies in Nigeria.
“I thank you for your faith in Nigeria,” Buhari told the Korean conglomerate at the end of the significant ceremony on the last day of his visit to the Asian country to attend the First World Bio Summit.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that President Buhari is expected back to Abuja from Seoul, South Korea, on Thursday night.