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FG Moves To End Fuel Scarcity, Raises 14-Man Panel Chaired By President Buhari

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In its quest to put an end to the ongoing fuel scarcity, the federal government, on Tuesday, approved the constitution of a 14-man committee on petroleum products supply and distribution management, which will be personally chaired by President Muhammadu Buhari.

This is contained in a statement signed by Horatius Egua, Senior Ad­viser (Media & Communications) to Minister of State for Petroleum Re­sources, and made available to jour­nalists in Abuja on Tuesday.

It noted that the steering committee, which has the minister, Chief Timipre Sylva as Alternate Chairman is expected to among other things ensure transparent and efficient supply and distribution of petroleum products across the country.

Other terms of reference, the statement said, are to ensure national strategic stock management, visibility on the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPC), refineries rehabilitation program, and end-to-end tracking of petroleum products, especially petrol, to ascertain daily national consumption and eliminate smuggling.

To further ensure sanity in the supply and distribution across the value chain, Sylva said that he had directed the Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority (NMDPRA) to ensure strict compliance with the government-approved ex-depot and retail prices of petrol.

The minister further directed the NMDPRA to ensure that NNPC limited, which is the supplier of last resort, meets the domestic supply obligation of petrol and other petroleum products in the country.

The statement stated that the interest of the ordinary Nigerian should be protected from price exploitation on other deregulated products such as diesel, kerosene, and gas.

“The federal government will not allow misguided elements to bring untold hardship upon the citizenry and attempt to discredit government’s efforts in consolidating the gains made thus far in the oil and gas sector of the economy,” Sylva noted.

Other members of the committee are the Minister of Finance, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Petroleum Resources, National Economic Adviser to the President, Director-General, Department of State Services (DSS), Comptroller-General, Nigerian Customs Service (NCS), Chairman, Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), and Commandant-General, Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC).

Others that made up the steering committee are the Authority Chief Executive, (NMDPRA), Governor, Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Group Chief Executive Officer, NNPC Limited, Special Adviser (Special Duties) to Sylva, while the Technical Advisor (Midstream) to the HMSPR will serve as Secretary.

Meanwhile, Sylva has said that the unprecedented and sustained Declaration of Cooperation (DoC) with 10 non-Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) oil-producing countries remains an unparalleled feat in the history of the oil industry.

The DoC saved the oil industry from total collapse due to the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as helped in the recovery of the global economy following the devastating pandemic, Sylva stated.

The minister spoke when Equatorial Guinea’s Minister of Mines and Hydrocarbons, Gabriel Mbaga Obiang Lima, visited him in Abuja.

Sylva explained that it is now widely acknowledged that, had OPEC not existed over the past 60 years, the global oil market would have been in perpetual chaos.

“Many countries would not have been able to develop their oil industry due to stiff competition. The collaboration between OPEC member countries enabled the participation of all players, whatever the level of production. This underpins the importance of OPEC membership.

“It is remarkable that the current 13 members of OPEC – accounting for about 80 percent of the global proven crude oil reserves, 38 percent of production, and 48 percent of exports – include seven African countries – Algeria, Angola, Congo, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Libya, and Nigeria.

“ It is likewise remarkable that Africa is producing the 4th President of OPEC Conference in consecutive years. This is a demonstration of Africa’s capability to lead and direct global affairs, and to take its rightful place among the comity of nations on global issues,” Sylva stated.

Sylva also alluded to a pertinent challenge that currently threatens the oil and gas industry in Africa.

“This has to do with dwindling investments. With the fastest-growing population in the world and an unimaginable prevalent energy poverty level across the continent, Africa’s energy needs will continue to grow in leaps and bounds over the foreseeable future.

“It is estimated that about 640 million Africans have no access to electricity, while about 900 million Africans have no access to clean cooking fuels. While taking cognizance of the current global drive towards renewable energy, Africa will undoubtedly need to continue to utilize its abundant oil and gas resources for the continent to be delivered from the shackles of perpetual energy poverty and stunted economic growth.

“Africa has an enormous proven crude oil reserve of over 125 billion barrels and over 630 trillion cu foot (TCF) of natural gas reserve. Investments required in the medium term to sustain oil and gas production in the continent was recently estimated at an average of about $40 billion annually,” the minister said.

Sylva implored the minister from Equatorial Guinea to use the opportunity of his presidency tenure to promote the cause of Africa and attract more investments into the oil and gas industry in the continent.

“ I am of the opinion that local content should be at the driver’s seat for investments in Africa’s oil and gas industry, for the continent to witness sustainable development. In this context, the ongoing move to establish an African Energy Bank is a right move in the right direction.

“Nigeria will continue to lend full support to the efforts of both OPEC in its quest to balance and stabilize the energy market for the benefit of all, as well as strengthening our shared values and protecting our common interest,” the minister added.

BIG STORY

UBA Takes Centre Stage At 2024 ECOWAS Mining Forum In Cotonou, Benin As Elumelu Gives Keynote Address

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Africa’s Global Bank, United Bank for Africa (UBA) Plc, has been announced as the official sponsor of the 4th edition of the ECOWAS Mining and Petroleum Forum (ECOMOF 2024) scheduled to take place at the Palais des Congrès in Cotonou, Benin from February 22 to February 24, 2024.

The regional event is expected to see a large gathering of key players and stakeholders in the mining and petroleum sectors of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and as the financial institution of choice, with presence in 20 African countries and active involvement in major continental development projects, UBA is the preferred partner for the event, underlining the bank’s commitment to the growth of mining and Petroleum industry in the sub-region but to the whole not African economic development.

UBA Group Chairman, Tony Elumelu, would give the keynote address during the opening ceremony of this all-important event.

Elumelu who doubles as Chairman of Transcorp Group, with extensive interests in energy and power, will be speaking on the theme: “Geo-extractive Resources and Technologies: what pooling strategies for Value Creation in West Africa”

His speech is expected to highlight UBA’s increasing effort to support and develop the African continent through strategic investments in the key sectors of mining and petroleum.

Under the esteemed leadership of the President of the Republic of Benin, His Excellency, Patrice Talon, and the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and current President of ECOWAS, His Excellency Mr. Bola Tinubu, UBA Group will at the forum aim to restate its commitment towards supporting economic and social development across the continent.

The focus of ECOMOF 2024 underscores the significance of transforming the mining and oil sectors into economic pillars by formulating attractive policies for investors, essential for the sectors’ substantial contribution to the Gross Domestic Products (GDP) of ECOWAS member states.

The Transnational Corporation Group (Transcorp Plc) – a diversified conglomerate with strategic investments in various sectors, including power and energy – will also actively participate in the forum.

Key officials from UBA Group and Transcorp Plc, including the Chief Executive Officer UBA Africa, Abiola Bawuah; UBA’s Group Head, Corporate and Energy Bank, Ebele Ogbue, and President/ Chief Executive Officer, Transcorp Group, Owen Omogiafo will be actively involved in discussions and panels on the sidelines of the event.

Anticipated to attract over 2,000 participants from diverse sectors, including representatives from mining and oil industries, government officials, international and national investors, industry experts, ECOWAS delegates, and international organizations, ECOMOF 2024 promises to be a significant platform for collaborative dialogue and partnership building.

United Bank for Africa is one of the largest employers in the financial sector on the African continent, with 25,000 employees’ group wide and serving over 35 million customers globally. Operating in 20 African countries and in the United Kingdom, the United States of America, France and the United Arab Emirates, UBA provides retail, commercial and institutional banking services, leading financial inclusion and implementing cutting edge technology.

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JUST IN: FG Working To Reduce Rising Food Prices Inherited From Past Government — Finance Minister Wale Edun

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Wale Edun, Nigeria’s Minister of Finance and Coordinating Minister of the Economy, said that President Bola Tinubu’s administration inherited a surge in food and general commodity prices from the previous government.

He, however emphasized the government’s commitment to reducing food prices and tackling the nation’s high inflation rate.

Speaking at the Public Wealth Management Conference in Abuja on Tuesday, February 20, the finance minister acknowledged the hardships faced by Nigerians and outlined measures taken to alleviate their suffering.

He revealed that, as part of these interventions, the government has released 42,000 metric tons of grains, with an additional 60,000 metric tons scheduled for release soon.

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JUST IN: State Police Bill Passes Second Reading At House Of Representatives

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A bill proposing the establishment state police has passed second reading at the house of representatives.

Sponsored by Benjamin Kalu, deputy speaker of the house, and 14 others, the bill proposes to transfer the term “police” in the 1999 constitution from the exclusive legislative list to the concurrent legislative list.

The bill, which comprises 18 clauses, seeks to amend sections 34, 35, 39, 42, 84, 89, 129 153, 197, 214, 215 and 216 of the constitution.

 

More to come…

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