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Full Deregulation Of Petrol Price Will Happen Before December —- FG

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Petrol pricing will be fully deregulated before the end of this year, Minister of State (Petroleum) Timipre Sylva said yesterday.

He spoke amid controversy over whether a new price template of N206 per litre from N162 – N163 for March is about to be introduced.

The minister spoke at the University of Ibadan during the opening of the 56th Annual International Conference and Exhibition of the Nigeria Mining and Geoscience Society (NMGS).

Sylva said: “We have been talking about deregulation for decades. Unfortunately, we have not succeeded. We have succeeded in deregulating some products.

“Kerosene has been fully deregulated; diesel has been fully deregulated. But deregulation of PMS (petrol) has continued to elude us. We expect that this year, we will be able to achieve that.

“But, before we do that, we want to apply the principle of tolling the roads. Before you toll a road, you are expected to give an alternative.

“So, what we want to do for Nigerians is to give a credible and cheaper fuel as an alternative before we fully deregulate and we believe we will be able to achieve this later this year.

“And this, of course, is going to be a responsible way of also maintaining our environment.”

There were indications yesterday that the Federal Government, the Nigeria Labour Congress and the Trade Union Congress will meet for talks after the Easter break.

Minister of Labour and Employment, Dr. Chris Ngige, said the government had not tabled any pump price before the Labour, contrary to the claim that the government proposed a pump price of about N202 per litre to N206 per litre, which Labour rejected by insisting on N168 per litre.

It was learnt that the last time the two sides met, it was the Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Mele Kyari, who presented some market indices to Labour.

Kyari was said to have put the landing cost at N202 per litre confirming speculations that the fuel price increase was inevitable.

A labour source said: “We are standing by our position that there is no need for the fuel price increase. But the government and Labour will resume talks immediately after the Easter break.

“We want the pump price to be N168 per litre. We were able to prove our point about three weeks ago when we suggested alternatives to the government team, which was led by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Mr Boss Mustapha.

“We presented some cost-cutting measures to the government which will make N168 per litre realistic. We have rejected N202 or N206 per litre. We are waiting for the resumption of talks after the Easter break.”

Dr. Chris Ngige said last night: “We agreed to resume talks after the Easter break about one month ago when we met.

“We have not given them any figure of the pump price. They are however aware of the landing cost of the Premium Motor Spirit as presented by the NNPC.”

The Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency (PPPRA), at midnight last Thursday, published a new price regime for Premium Motor Spirit.

It said with the new template, fuel was expected to sell at N209.61 and at an upper retail price of N212.61. But it pulled down the new template after an outcry.

BIG STORY

BREAKING: Ex-Minister Aisha Al-Hassan ‘Mama Taraba’ Is Dead

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Aisha Jummai Al-Hassan, popularly known as Mama Taraba is dead.

She died at 61.

Alhassan reportedly died from an unknown illness.

She was a member of the All Progressives Congress (APC) before defecting to the United Democratic Party (UDP) in September 2018.

She decamped after resigning from the Buhari administration.

Details Later…

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Oil License: Reps Issue 14 Days Ultimatum To NNPC, Threatens To Summon Buhari

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The House of Representatives Committee on Petroleum (Upstream) has given the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) 14 days ultimatum to appear before it. Should the NNPC fail to appear, the committee said, it will summon the Minister of Petroleum, President Muhammadu Buhari.

According to Premium Times, The committee is investigating the revocation and reversal order on the operating licenses of OML 123, 124, 126, and 137.

The oil assets have been the subject of dispute between Chinese-owned oil companies and the federal government. The dispute led to the revocation and restoration of the mining licenses by the Buhari administration.

On Thursday, NNPC, Addax Petroleum Exploration Nigeria Ltd, Kaztech Engineering Ltd, and Salvic Petroleum Resources Ltd all failed to appear before the committee. However, the Minister of Petroleum (State), Timipriye Sylva, and the Director of Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR), Sarki Auwalu, appeared before the committee.

Myrki Adar (APC, Sokoto), the chairman of the committee, issued the ultimatum and expressed readiness to summon the president if the Group Managing Director of the NNPC, Mele Kyari, should fail to appear before the panel.

He disclosed that the NNPC sent a letter to the committee that the matter was at the Supreme Court. However, Mr Sylva disputed the claim that the matter was in court.

While issuing the ultimatum, Mr Adar said the panel will not hesitate to summon the president, since he is the petroleum minister.

“Our message to all those that fail to appear before us as invited namely the NNPC, Addax petroleum company limited, Kaztech engineering ltd and Salvic petroleum resources limited.

“We are giving them two weeks from today. We would reschedule this meeting from now to two weeks to appear before this committee and continue our business.

“Unless they want us to invite President Muhammadu Buhari as minister of petroleum. If they do not come, we will not hesitate. Buhari is a minister. He appointed himself, approved by the parliament and he is doing his job. We would invite him. And I know as a law-abiding president he would come. If he comes, Nigerians should know that it is the failure of the NNPC to come that led him to appear before us.”

Background

On April 6, the DPR revoked four oil assets belonging to Addax, now owned by Sinopec, a Chinese state oil company.

A presidential panel headed by a former senator, Magnus Abe, had accused the oil company of “economic wastages.”

The DPR revoked the four Oil Mining Leases (OMLs) citing the inability of the firm to comply with agreed terms.

The assets were re-awarded to two indigenous companies; Kaztec Engineering Limited/Salvic Petroleum Resources Limited (KEL/Salvic) Consortium.

Less than two weeks later, the federal government in a statement by the spokesperson to the President, Garba Shehu, restored the mining right of OMLs 123, 124, 126, and 137 to the NNPC which has a Production Sharing Contract with Addax Petroleum; thus reversing its operations back to Addax.

Aborted motion
Last week, a motion to investigate the matter was listed on the Order Paper of the House.

The motion was in the name of Nicholas Ossai (PDP, Delta). However, the Speaker, Femi Gbajabiamila, asked the motion to be stepped down.

The motion was stepped down and not considered by the House.

Minister Speaks

On Thursday, Mr Sylva said the NNPC wrote a counter-memo against his memo on the Addax assets. He added that he is yet to recognize the restoration order issued by NNPC.

“I wrote a memo to Mr President and it was approved, and NNPC wrote another memo against my memo.

“Having said that, the issue at hand is that no law was breached at all as far as Addax affairs are concerned. I am also not aware of any matter at the Supreme Court on this particular matter. I have just consulted the director of the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) who also told me that he is not aware.

“The matter of Addax was not commenced by me, this asset has been sub-optimally managed from the beginning of the acquisition to this moment, it has not been optimally operated.

“When Sinopec group acquired this asset from Addax, production was 130,000 barrel per day, as at today, we struggle to produce 35,000 barrel per day, from this asset, because there are no new investments, and the asset has progressively declined. We believe that with the requisite investment, we would have probably taken the asset to beyond 130,000 barrels per day.

“Obviously, there was an issue of mismanagement of the asset. Now, in the wisdom of the attorney general of the federation, he wrote to the president to say that this asset has not been properly managed. The letter was forwarded to me by Mr President for me to review,” he said.

He added that “NNPC is not in a position to withdraw a revocation or advise the withdrawal or revocation.”

President Buhari is the substantive minister for petroleum and has been since 2015. However, back in December 2020, the Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, had said that the National Assembly cannot summon the President.

 

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Probe Begins Monday As FG Suspends NPA Managing Director, Bala-Usman

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The President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), has suspended the Managing Director of the Nigerian Ports Authority, Hadiza Bala-Usman, sources familiar with the development said on Thursday.

It was learnt that a panel of inquiry had been constituted to look into the matter that prompted her suspension, as well as other concerns. The panel begins its work on Monday.

It was, however, not clear what necessitated the suspension of the NPA boss, who was only reappointed in January this year by Buhari.

Senior staff members of the Federal Ministry of Transportation, the parent ministry of the authority, confirmed the development but insisted that there was no official statement on the matter yet.

The spokesperson of the ministry, Eric Ojiekwe, could not be reached for comments on the development, as he did not answer calls when contacted on Thursday night.

Bala-Usman was first appointed as the managing director of the NPA in 2016 and was reappointed in January this year for another five years.

On Wednesday, the suspended NPA boss led her organization to sign a Memorandum of Understanding with the National Bureau of Statistics and the Nigerian Ports Authority to commence the production of statistical information and data analytics on port-related activities..

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