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Fuel Consumption Hits 80million Litres Daily, Subsidy Skyrockets

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The consumption of Premium Motor Spirit, popularly called petrol, has risen to about 80 million litres daily, pushing up subsidy on the commodity to an estimated N484bn monthly, going by latest figures from the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited.

An analysis of PMS weekly evacuation/dispatch data from March 4 – 10, 2023, obtained from NNPCL on Wednesday, indicated that a total of 558.83 million litres of petrol was evacuated during the period, translating to an average daily consumption of 79.83 million litres.

Around mid-last month, the Group Chief Executive, NNPCL, Mele Kyari, said about 66 million litres of petrol was pumped daily into the market by the oil firm, as the company was spending about N202 on every litre of PMS consumed across the country.

“Today, by law and the provisions of the Appropriation Act, there is a subsidy on the supply of petroleum products, particularly PMS imports into our country. In current data terms, three days ago, the landing cost was around N315/litre.

“Our customers are here; we are transferring to each of them at N113/litre. That means there is a difference of close to N202 for every litre of PMS we import into this country. In computation, N202 multiplied by 66.5 million litres, multiplied by 30 will give you over N400bn of subsidy every month,” the GCEO had stated.

Since January till date, the cost of crude oil has revolved around $83/barrel, while the official exchange rate has been about N460/$. Crude oil price and foreign exchange rate are the major determinants of refined petroleum products’ cost, according to operators.

Going by NNPCL’s latest fuel consumption figure of 79.83 million litres daily, and a subsidy of about N202/litre, it implies that the oil company would be spending an estimated N483.8bn to subsidise the commodity monthly.

NNPCL is the sole importer of petrol into Nigeria and has maintained this for several years. Other marketers of the commodity stopped its imports due to the difficulty in accessing foreign exchange required for PMS purchase.

NNPCL, however, has been lamenting the huge burden of PMS subsidy, as Kyari pointed out in February that this had been a drain on the cash-flow of the national oil firm.

He explained that the continuous funding of petrol subsidy by NNPCL had been ongoing without refunds from the Federal Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning, despite the fact that subsidy had been budgeted for in the Appropriation Act.

“But there is a budget provision for it (subsidy). Our country has decided to do this. So, we are happy to deliver this, but it is also a drain on our cash flow, and I must emphasize this.

“For as we continue to support this, you will agree with me that it will be extremely challenging for us to continue to fund this from the cash flow of the company when you do not get refunds from the Ministry of Finance,” Kyari had stated in Abuja.

Fuel subsidy is a topical issue in Nigeria. Many experts, local and international institutions have called for a halt in petrol subsidy. However, labour unions had kicked against an outright subsidy halt, on the grounds that the Federal Government must fix Nigeria’s refineries first.

Analysts at Centre for the Promotion of Private Enterprise recently explained that Nigeria would save about N10tn annually by the elimination of subsidies on PMS and foreign exchange.

They said the country would save about N7tn annually by halting subsidy on petrol, while an estimated N3tn would be unlocked when the Central Bank of Nigeria eventually halts subsidy on foreign exchange.

“Elimination of fuel subsidy to save an estimated N7tn annually. Elimination of foreign exchange subsidy to unlock a minimum of N3tn revenue annually from the sale of CBN forex to the official foreign exchange window,” the centre stated.

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BREAKING: President Tinubu Appoints Kemi Nanna Nandap As Immigration Comptroller-General

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Nigeria’s President, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, has approved the appointment of Kemi Nanna Nandap as the comptroller-general (CG) of the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS), effective from March 1.

Ajuri Ngelale, presidential spokesperson, in a statement on Wednesday, said Nandap will take over from Caroline Wura-Ola Adepoju, whose term in office will expire on February 29.

Before she was appointed as the CG, Nandap was the deputy comptroller-general in charge of the migration directorate of the service.

“The President anticipates that the new Comptroller-General will deepen the ongoing reforms in the service and create a robust mechanism for efficient and dedicated service delivery to Nigerians, as well as strengthen the nation’s security through proactive and effective border security and migration management,” the statement reads.

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FG Will Allow Massive Importation Of Cement If Prices Do Not Reduce Nationwide — Housing Minister Dangiwa Threatens Dangote, BUA, Others

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A day after the Nigerian government and major cement manufacturers in the country agreed to bring down the price of the product, Ahmed Dangiwa, the Minister of Housing and Urban Development, threatened the manufacturers that the government would allow massive importation of cement if the price was not reduced across the country.

Ahmed Dangiwa issued the threat on Tuesday in Abuja at a meeting with Cement and Building Materials Manufacturers.

It was gathered that major cement manufacturers in Nigeria, Dangote, BUA and Lafarge, at a separate meeting on Monday, agreed that the price of a bag of cement will not exceed between N7,000 and N8,000.

The resolution was reached following a meeting between the Minister of Works, David Umahi, the Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Doris Uzoka-Anite as well as representatives of BUA Cement, Dangote Cement, Lafarge and Cement Producers Association on Monday.

The price of a bag of cement, used for construction across Nigeria, has increased to about N13,000 in many parts of the country amidst a cost-of-living crisis that has led to spikes in the prices of goods and services across the country.

While Nigerians wait to see if Monday’s agreement with the cement manufacturers will be implemented, the government on Tuesday warned that it might open the borders for cement importation if manufacturers of the product fail to bring down the prices.

Mr Dangiwa expressed concerns that in the past couple of months, the country had witnessed an alarming increase in the prices of cement and other building materials.

“Clearly, this is a crisis for housing delivery. An increase in essential building materials means an increase in the prices of houses,” the minister said.

“We are not the only country facing these challenges, many countries are facing the same type of challenges that we’re facing, some even worse than that.

“But, as patriotic citizens, we have to rally round the country when there is crisis, to ensure that we do our best to save the situation,” he said.

Mr Dangiwa said the cement manufacturers are enjoying the benefits of government policies.

“The government stopped importation of cement in other to empower you to produce more and sell cheaper,” he said.

“Otherwise the government can open the borders for mass importation of cement, the price will crash, but you will have no business to do.”

He said the reasons given by cement manufacturers for the price increase – the high cost of gas and manufacturing equipment – were not enough for such astronomical pricing.

While cement manufacturers can control the prices they sell the product, wholesalers and retailers often, arguably based on their operational costs, sell at prices of their choosing.

Mr Dangiwa, however, said the government wants the manufacturers to compel the wholesalers and retailers to sell at fixed prices.

He expressed his displeasure at the position of the Cement Manufacturer Association of Nigeria (CEMAN) that the association “does not interfere with the pricing of cement.”

He said the association should not just fold its arms when things were going wrong.

“One person cannot be selling at N3500 per bag and another selling at N7000 per bag and you cannot call them to order,” he said.

“The association is expected to monitor price control, otherwise the association has no need to exist.”

Earlier, the Executive Secretary of CEMAN, Salako James, said the housing policy of the administration of President Bola Tinubu was laudable and every responsible Nigerian has to key into it.

He, however, identified some areas of concern and appealed to the government to look into them to tackle the issue of cement pricing.

Mr Salako identified the challenges of gas supply to heavy users like the cement industry and urged the government to create a window whereby gas will be bought with Naira instead of dollars.

He also complained about the distribution channel, stressing that there was a great difference between the price from the manufacturers and the market price.

He, therefore called for government intervention to help stabilise the situation and bring sanity to the economy.

At the end of the meeting, the minister directed that a committee should be constituted to review the situation and come out with implementable resolutions that would benefit the common Nigerian.

The three major cement producers, Dangote Plc, BUA Plc and Lafarge Plc were represented as well as other industry stakeholders.

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Labour Party’s National Chairman Julius Abure Arrested In Edo [VIDEO]

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Julius Abure, the National Chairman of the Labour Party, has been arrested by security operatives in Edo State.

Abure, on Wednesday, was arrested a few days before the party’s primary election in Edo State.

It was gathered that he was arrested by operatives of the Zone 5 police headquarters in Benin, Edo State.

A crowd had gathered at the entrance, with only police officers and a few VIPs allowed inside.

It was gathered that his arrest was the result of a petition forwarded to the Zone from the office of the Inspector General of Police in Abuja.

Abure was captured in viral videos and pictures being forcibly handled by police officers, while his supporters from the LP party tried to intervene to stop his arrest.

Confirming the incident, the Police Public Relations Officer of the Zone, Tijani Momoh, said, “There is a standing order for now that nobody should come in.

“Yes, the Labour Party National Chairman is here and it has to do with a petition that was referred to this office from the Inspector General of Police.

“It was referred to Zone 5 from the IG’s office, he is with us but I cannot give the contents of the petition right now.”

When asked if he was being detained or just to take his statement, Momoh said, “I don’t know for now.”

Abure has been having running battles with some members of the party in the state over allegations of substituting candidates in the 2023 general election without the consent of the affected aspirants, an allegation he has denied.

It was also gathered that the arrest may be connected to the factional crisis rocking the party as a factional national youth leader was recently brutalised by some suspected members of the party.

Abure has also come under fire for allegedly mishandling party funds.

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