With Deregulation Nigeria’s Refineries Can Function Optimally – Petroleum Minister

 

Nigeria’s Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Timipre Sylva on Tuesday said he believes the nation’s refineries have the capability to function optimally due to the deregulation of the oil sector.

Sylva disclosed this in an interview on Channels Television breakfast programme, Sunrise Daily. He spoke concerning the agreement reached by the Federal Government and organised labour which recently suspended their planned strike action.

The decision to suspend the strike followed an agreement reached between both parties that the strike will be put on hold for a period of two weeks if the government hold up its end of the deal.

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Sylva in the interview revealed that although the organised Labour gave the Federal government a timeline of two weeks, the functionality of the refineries can not be achieved within two weeks.

He explained how the agreement was reached.

“I don’t think Labour is expecting to see all the refineries fixed in two weeks. Labour is quite realistic. What we told them was that we understand that fixing of our refineries has been a big problem. When we look at it from the historical perspective, the non-functioning of the refineries was because there was subsidy.

“These refineries could not function optimally and commercially. But with deregulation now, we believe that the refineries can now function optimally.

“We believe that this policy (subsidy) direction will help the functioning of the refineries, as well,” the Minister said.

He explained that the Federal Government gave the labour a clear timeline for fixing the refineries and an agreement was reached.

The Minister assured that “By end of next year, the Port Harcourt refinery will be ready 50%. By 2022 the Port Harcourt refinery rehabilitation will be complete.”

He also assured that processes are on for fixing Warri refinery to ensure it functions optimally as well.

Ex-Depot Price For Petrol Increased To N151 – Reports

Report Any Station Selling Petrol Above N145, NNPC Tells Nigerians
A file photo of a nozzle pump.

 

The ex-depot price of Premium Motor Spirit, otherwise known as petrol has increased from N138.62 to N151.56 in September, according to reports by several news organisations.

Wednesday’s reports cited an internal memo from the Pipelines and Product Marketing Company (PPMC).

The PPMC, a subsidiary of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) on Wednesday informed the depot’s owners and other stakeholders in the petroleum marketing business of the increase in price through a memo signed by the Lead Sales, Ibadan Depot, Mr Abalaka.

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The ex-depot price is the price at which the depot owners sell the commodity to retail outlets across the country

According to the memo, the new product price adjustment will take effect from September 2, 2020. It did not state the Expected Open Market Price of the commodity.

The PPMC and the Petroleum Pricing Product Regulatory Agency (PPPRA) have not confirmed or denied the reports.

Sources within both agencies maintain that the memo did not necessarily amount to an increase in price.

Also, a source in the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association (IPMAN) said they are yet to get the official directive from the government agency, and they have not directed its members to adjust their retail pump price to reflect an increase.

The source added that it was monitoring trends and will make the necessary adjustment following advice by the PPRA.

The PPMC has since March this year, provided a guiding template through the ex-depot price of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS).

This followed the announcement by the Federal Government earlier in the same month that the downstream sector had been deregulated and fuel subsidy removed.

That policy shift essentially made way for a monthly price band in accordance with market forces.

Lecturers At Federal Polytechnic Ado Ekiti Declare Indefinite Strike

The unions want the rector investigated
The unions want the rector investigated

Academic and non academic labour unions at the Federal Polytechnic, Ado Ekiti have declared an indefinite strike over non-remittance of cooperative deductions and other grievances by the school management.

The unions during a peaceful protest in Ado Ekiti, the state capital, also demanded for the immediate removal of the rector, Dr Taiwo Akande.

Some of the issues raised by the unions include the irregulation demotion of staff from CONTISS 12 and below against a government circular; deduction of pension from contract and casual workers and the non-remittance of staff contributions of the cooperative society among others.

Fed Poly Ado 2The unions also alleged that the rector of the institution is corrupt and called on the anti-graft agencies to investigate the administration of the institution.

The rector while reacting to the allegations says the actions of the unions against her was uncalled for.

Organized Private Sector Supports Deregulation

private sector, deregulationThe Director-General of the Lagos Chamber Of Commerce and Industry, Mr Muda Yusuf, has thrown his weight behind the liberalization of the petroleum downstream sector.

In a statement released on Thursday, Mr Yusuf, explained that the deregulation of the sector will reduce importation of petroleum products and ease the pressure on the foreign exchange market as well as foreign reserves.

In the meantime, the Nigerian Association of Chambers of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture have also commended the federal government for finally taking the bold step to remove subsidy on petrol.

The President of the chamber, Bassey Edem, expressed optimism that this will put an end to the fuel scarcity being experienced in the country, while reducing the pressure on foreign reserve as a result of huge demand for petrol import.

 

FG Has No Power To Deregulate, Must Fix Petrol Prices, Court Rules

The Federal Government has no powers to deregulate the downstream petroleum sector and must always fix the price of petroleum products sold across Nigeria, a Federal High Court in Abuja has ruled.

Justice M. Bello on Tuesday gave the ruling in the case of Bamidele Aturu versus Minister of Petroleum Resources and the Attorney General of the Federation.

The judge granted the six reliefs sought by Mr Aturu including the sixth which is “AN ORDER directing the Defendants to fix and publish regularly prices of petroleum products forthwith.”

A statement emailed to Channels Television by Mr Aturu said “the court declared the policy of deregulation as unconstitutional, illegal, null and void.”

The statement reads, “The Court agreed with all our arguments and granted all our reliefs in the following specific terms:

“1. A DECLARATION that the policy decision of the Defendants to deregulate the downstream sector of the petroleum industry by not fixing the prices at which petroleum products may be sold in Nigeria is unlawful, illegal, null, void and of no effect whatsoever being in vicious violation of the mandatory provision of section 6 of the Petroleum Act, cap P.10, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004.

“2. A DECLARATION that the policy decision of the Defendants to deregulate the downstream sector of the petroleum industry by not fixing the prices at which petroleum products may be sold in Nigeria is unlawful, illegal, null, void and of no effect whatsoever being in flagrant violation of the mandatory provision of section 4 of the Price Control Act, cap P28, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004.

“3. A DECLARATION that the policy decision of the Defendants to deregulate the downstream sector of the petroleum industry by not fixing the prices at which petroleum products may be sold in Nigeria is unlawful, illegal, null, void and of no effect whatsoever being in conflict with Section 16(1)(b) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 which provides that the Government shall control the national economy in such manner as to secure the maximum welfare, freedom and happiness of every citizen on the basis of social justice and equality of status and opportunity.

“4. A DECLARATION that that the policy decision of the Defendants to deregulate the downstream sector of the petroleum industry by not fixing the prices at which petroleum products may be sold in Nigeria has the effect of making the freedom of movement guaranteed in section 41 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 illusory for the Plaintiff and the generality of Nigerians and is therefore illegal, unconscionable and unconstitutional and of no effect whatsoever.

“5. AN ORDER restraining the Defendants their agents, privies, collaborators and whosoever and howsoever from deregulating the downstream sector of the petroleum industry or from failing to fix the prices of petroleum products as mandatorily required by the Petroleum Act and the Price Control Act.

“6. AN ORDER directing the Defendants to fix and publish regularly prices of petroleum products forthwith.”

FEC Meeting Update:F.G. says Deregulation has come to stay

The Federal Government is not backing down on the removal of subsidy on Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) otherwise called petrol.

Following an emergency Federal Executive Council Meeting yesterday, government asked the Nigeria Labour Congress not to inflict further pains on Nigerians by calling them out for protests.

The Council says it will expedite action on the renovation and rehabilitation of the Nigerian railways and in the next week distribute 1,600 diesel engine buses to all the major cities in the country to mitigate the impact of the policy on fuel subsidy removal.