A truck ferrying Automotive Gas Oil, also known as diesel, has crashed in the Apapa area of Lagos State after its brakes failed in transit.
The incident was confirmed by the Director-General of the Lagos State Emergency Management Agency (LASEMA), Dr Olufemi Oke-Osanyintolu in a statement on Thursday.
According to the agency, no deaths or injuries were recorded in the incident.
“Distress calls were received at 12.05 am concerning the above incident and upon arrival at the above-mentioned scene, it was confirmed that a truck with an unknown registration number loaded with AGO had fallen due to suspected brake failure,” the LASEMA statement said.
“This resulted in the obstruction of free vehicular activities along the corridor.
“A multi-stakeholder team comprising Agency responders, LRU Firefighters, Lagos State Fire Service, LASTMA, LSNC, and the Nigerian Police worked together to evacuate the impediment off the road.
“The Agency heavy-duty equipment (Super metro) was used for Recovery, while the area has been blanketed to prevent any secondary incident. The operation concluded with no loss of life or injury.”
Apapa, which is host to some of the largest ports in the country, is notorious for its truck accidents despite several interventions by State and Federal governments to find lasting solutions to its poor road network.
German car giant Volkswagen reported soaring profits on Thursday for the third quarter free of massive payouts for diesel emissions cheating but the results were still weighed down by new pollution tests.
Net profit at the Wolfsburg-based group more than doubled year-on-year between July and September, to 2.76 billion euros ($3.14 billion) — but still fell short of analysts’ expectations.
In the third quarter of 2017, the bottom line was slashed to 1.07 billion euros by one-off costs of 2.6 billion euros, as a US recall of cars with diesel engines configured to cheat regulatory emissions tests proved more complicated than expected.
Volkswagen remains mired in legal woes over the “dieselgate” scandal first revealed in 2015, with open investigations against former executives, and investors and car owners beating a path to court to claim damages.
But it was the new emissions tests known as WLTP — introduced after the trickery affecting 11 million vehicles worldwide was uncovered — that weighed on this year’s third quarter.
While revenues at VW grew 0.9 percent year-on-year to 55.2 billion euros, operating, or underlying profit before special items fell 18.6 percent, to 3.51 billion.
The group highlighted operating profit over the first nine months was “on par” with last year’s figure, saying that “strong development in the first half of the year and during the summer months was able to compensate for September’s decline in deliveries, which was mainly caused by the WLTP transition.”
Other carmakers have also complained of a bottleneck caused by the new tests, which are designed to better reflect cars’ output of harmful gases like nitrogen oxides (NOx) in real on-road driving conditions.
Looking ahead to the full year, VW confirmed its forecast of unit sales slightly higher than in 2017, with revenues “intended to grow by as much as five percent” compared with the 230.7 billion euros booked last year.
Judges are to rule Thursday on whether German cities can ban old diesel cars to reduce air pollution, with potentially dramatic consequences for a key industry and transport policy in Europe’s largest economy.
Even if it finds in favour of anti-pollution plaintiffs after deliberations start at 1000 GMT, the Federal Administrative Court in Leipzig will not order any vehicles off the road.
But it could open the way for cities to do so in zones whose air is particularly contaminated by diesel exhausts.
Since Volkswagen admitted in 2015 to installing software to fool regulatory emissions tests in millions of cars worldwide — the so-called “dieselgate” scandal — nitrogen oxide (NOx) and fine particle emissions from diesel motors have been the top priority for German environmentalists.
And the nation’s automakers have been eyeing the courts nervously, as bans could affect 9.4 million vehicles not meeting the latest Euro 6 standards.
State governments in Baden-Wuerttemberg capital Stuttgart and North Rhine-Westphalia capital Duesseldorf have appealed the case to the highest court after losing in lower tribunals.
“If we lose, we’ll be in deep trouble,” Baden-Wuerttemberg state premier Winfried Kretschmann told news agency DPA Tuesday.
– Clean air by Christmas? –
A court decision for bans would “allow people in German cities to breathe clean air by the end of the year,” said Juergen Resch, head of NGO Deutsche Umwelthilfe (DUH), which brought the original case.
Germany and other air quality sinners like France or Italy have for years been in the European Commission’s sights for possible legal action over contaminated air.
Fine particle pollution and NOx contribute to as many as 400,000 premature deaths from respiratory and cardiovascular disease per year in the European Union.
Some 70 cities in Germany suffered from average annual nitrogen dioxide levels above EU thresholds last year, with Munich, Stuttgart and Cologne the worst offenders.
To fend off bans and protect the Keystone auto industry with its 800,000 jobs, Berlin has offered a cascade of initiatives, including a billion-euro ($1.2 billion) fund — partly paid for by carmakers — for cities to upgrade public transport and buy electric vehicles.
Ministers even suggested to the European Commission they could offer free public transport to cut down on urban car use, although without a detailed plan or budget.
The Leipzig court could on Thursday signal an end to such piecemeal measures by allowing diesel bans in principle.
State leaders insist the federal government would then be on the hook to help them avoid bans if possible or to help enforce them if necessary.
– Carmakers slam on brakes –
Such nationwide action could include the introduction of a so-called “blue badge” to identify the least polluting vehicles — so far firmly rejected by Berlin.
Meanwhile, DUH chief Resch suggests that “a decision in favour of driving bans would greatly speed up modernisation” of Germany’s diesel fleet.
Car companies have resisted hardware refits of older diesels to slash emissions, instead offering updates to engine control software and trade-in programmes for newer, less polluting models.
New catalytic converters “would not be much more effective” and “would take a lot of time” to install, Audi chief executive Rupert Stadler told business daily Handelsblatt Wednesday.
A refit would cost at least 7.6 billion euros, a study by analysts at Evercore bank cited by Handelsblatt found.
Nevertheless, even car diehards the German Automobile Association (ADAC) came out in favour of the measure Tuesday in a study of their own.
Diesel’s bad image and the prospect of bans have already pushed sales of the German-invented motors into a deep slump, from 48 percent of new cars sold in 2015 to 39 percent last year.
Such reputational damage has pressured carmakers into stepping up plans to introduce more electric models in coming years.
But after repeated delays from industry and government, Thursday’s case “could be the one that changes the country, its mobility and its industry” for good, daily Sueddeutsche Zeitung summed up.
The Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) has impounded 100 tankers of 1000 litres of automated gas oil, popularly known as diesel in Rivers State.
NSCDC Commandant in the state, Mohammed Haruna, said some trucks, buses and cars were intercepted alongside 33 suspected oil thieves in the state.
“The Anti-Vandal Team of the NSCDC has arrested 33 suspects, eight trucks, three vehicles, three buses and 100 tanks of 1000 litres of AGO in the state,” he said.
Haruna, who led reporters around the seized tankers on Thursday, said no form of pressure from any quarter would deter the prosecution and subsequent conviction of suspected oil thieves.
He also hinted that at least 71 convictions have been secured in about 12 months, stressing that the fight against oil theft was one that requires the corporate effort of all Nigerians.
“We will continue to go after those who continue to steal and waste the nation’s resources and we are carrying out investigations, prosecuting and securing convictions for suspected vandals.
“Yesterday (Wednesday), we took some to court, today we will do the same. In about 12 to 18 months we have secured about 71 convictions. We are making sure that offenders are brought to book. Our advice is that they stop these activities or we will get them,” the commandant warned.
The Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) says the recent improvement in supplies of Automotive Gas Oil (AGO) popularly known as diesel has forced the market price to fall from N300 per litre to about N160 naira per litre across major cities in Nigeria.
The Corporation stated this in a statement signed on Sunday by its Group General Manager, Public Affairs Division, Mr Ndu Ugamadu.
“It would be recalled that the price of AGO crashed by about 42% nationwide, a huge downslide over the last six months, following key strategic interventions by the NNPC. In the first quarter 2017, retail prices of AGO, which is one of the deregulated products, shot up to an all-time high of N300 per litre in major demand centres across the country. The unpleasant situation placed a huge burden on truck drivers who use the product as fuel for their vehicles and the nation’s manufacturing sector which requires it to run its operations, as well as on the masses who need it for household power generation. NNPC’s interventions included sustained improvement in the supply of the product and remodelling of the product distribution channels to address sufficiency issues across the country,” the statement read.
Another intervention by the NNPC to ensure a reception and availability of the products was strategic engagements with major stakeholders in the petroleum sector.
It said it has also taken steps to resuscitate some of its critical pipelines and depots for enhanced distribution of diesel across the country.
“Another area of intervention that has enhanced supply and distribution of diesel is the corporation’s robust engagement with critical downstream stakeholders such as Major Oil Marketers Association of Nigeria (MOMAN), Nigerian Association of Road Transport Owners (NARTO), Petroleum Tanker Drivers (PTD) as well as Independent Petroleum Marketers, leading to the resolution of salient issues. The corporation has also taken huge steps to resuscitate some of its critical pipelines and depots such as the Atlas Cove – Mosimi Depot Pipeline, Port-Harcourt Refinery – Aba Depot Pipeline, Kaduna – Kano Pipeline and the Kano Depot, which have enhanced efficiency in the distribution of AGO. Efforts are also ongoing to revamp and re-commission other critical pipelines and depots across the country,” the Corporation added.
The NNPC further disclosed that it has achieved the expansion of the Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) Foreign Exchange Intervention Scheme to accommodate diesel and aviation fuel, following consistent positive engagement with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).
The Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) has intercepted about 54 drums of Automotive Gas Oil popularly known as diesel in Badagry area of Lagos.
The NSCDC State Commandant, Tajudeen Balogun told reporters that five suspects were also arrested in the early hours of Wednesday during the operation.
“Our men have been monitoring that route on the high sea and that is how they (the suspects) were apprehended. Gberefu village is one of the villages located very close to the high sea and we were able to arrest these five suspects with about 54 drums filled with AGO,” he said.
Mr Balogun revealed that the NSCDC operatives also recovered about 16 empty drums, a pumping machine and three boats from the suspects.
He said a preliminary investigation showed that the suspects could not explain the source of the product.
The NSCDC State Commandant, however, noted that further investigation would be conducted to unmask those behind the illegal deal.
A diesel fuel tanker has crashed and burst into flames at the Ladipo end of the Oshodi-Apapa expressway in Lagos State, South-West Nigeria.
The burning tanker has been spewing thick plumes of black smoke into the air in the area.
A roadside mechanic who witnessed the accident told Channels Television that a school bus filled with children narrowly escaped the explosion.
Another witness said the tanker driver was driving at a very high speed when he lost control and veered off the road, hitting a culvert with the vehicle said to be carrying about 3,000 litres of diesel and burst into flames on impact.
Fire trucks of the Lagos Fire Service reportedly arrived early on the scene, but exhausted their supply of water without putting out the fire.
It took the arrival of a second fire truck to extinguish the flames.
The incident, which occurred on Monday, is said to have caused a massive gridlock on both sides of the expressway.
The Managing Director of Port Harcourt Refinery Company (PHRC), Dr. Bafred Enjugu, has given reasons for the scarcity of kerosene in Nigeria, which has translated into high cost of the household product.
A litre of the product costs as much as 400 Naira at some retail centres, which have become the viable source of the product since most fuel stations do not have the product to sell to consumers.
Giving a breakdown of the output from the refinery per day, Dr. Enjugu said about 800 truckloads of kerosene leave the refinery on a daily basis, a figure that shows a drop in the production capacity.
Addressing reporters on Wednesday, he said that about 1,200 trucks load of kerosene were loaded daily in 2016.
He, however, lamented that production challenges had forced the refinery to drop capacity to 800 trucks.
The PHRC boss blamed the scarcity of kerosene on market forces which he said determine the price and availability of the product.
He noted that the refinery was operating at 60% capacity, adding that the plants at the refinery were fully on stream and were producing kerosene, petrol and diesel.
Forces Beyond Refineries
Dr. Enjugu further revealed that the refining complex comprised of both old and new plants, stressing that the old refinery has the capacity to process 60,000 barrels of crude per day while that of the new refinery processes about 150,000 barrels of crude per day.
He hinted that the company was getting ready to start the production of aviation fuel, stating that the challenges facing the aviation industry would be tackled when production comes on full stream.
“The capacity utilisation of the refinery is at 60%. Last year (2016), about 1,200 trucks load of kerosene leave the refinery every day (but) now it has come down to 800 trucks.
“There are market forces that are beyond the refineries. Kerosene issue is a by-product of market forces.
“We have a goldmine that can churn out about 1.3 trillion Naira annually if we are in full operation.
“We are looking at 100.5 capacity refinery; we intend to upgrade our facilities,” he said.
There’s been another fuel tanker explosion in the Idimu area of Lagos State.
Reports say a tanker fully loaded with automotive gas oil otherwise known as diesel exploded around Idimu at about 12:30am today (Saturday).
The National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) spokesman, Ibrahim Farinloye has confirmed that officials of the agency and the Federal and State Fire Services have converged in the area to manage the situation.
The accident came four days after a similar one occurred in Iyana Ipaja.
Edo State Governor, Adams Oshiomhole, has accused the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) led Federal Government of defrauding Nigerians of kerosene price as N150 per litre, instead of N50.
Oshiomhole said this in Benin while addressing defectors from the opposition party, PDP.
The Governor stated that the Federal Government had deprived the masses of enjoying the benefits of the natural resources bestowed on the country by God through shady subsidies on crude oil.
This, he said, has been the case for 16 years since PDP assumed power.
Oshiomole added, “The man who has a shop must close by 6pm. If he operates beyond 6pm, he must put on a generator set and buy petrol or diesel.
“From Otuoke to Benin City, Lagos, Ekpoma, Iyahmo and Sokoto, kerosene is now between the price of N150 and N160 per litre. For every N150 you spend in buying kerosene, the PDP steals N100 because in the books of NNPC, they have it in record that kerosene is N50 per litre.”
The State Governor commended the quality of the defectors whom he described as knowledgeable.
He further said, “Today is not just the fact of the huge number in this hall but it is also about the quality of the brains that have now joined us.
“In a world that is knowledge-driven, it is only the party that can parade the best brains that can drive the sustainable change that Nigeria is currently battling with in order to bail our country from its present political quagmire.”
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on Tuesday arraigned five suspects before a Federal High Court sitting in Ikoyi, Lagos, on four counts including conspiracy to store one hundred and eighty five( 185) Metric Tons of automotive gas oil, (also called diesel) without appropriate license.
The suspects: Captain Odeghe Andrew, Engineer Ebinum Alex, Jelili Lateef (still at large), Sunday Buluku (still at large) and Monday Osasuwa (still at large) were arraigned before Justice James Tsoho.
One of the charge reads: “That you Captain Odeghe Andrew, Engineer Ebinum Alex, Jelili Lateef, Sunday Bukulu, Monday Osasuwa, on or about 31st May, 2012 at Lagos within the jurisdiction of the Federal High Court, being the Master-in-Command and crew of the vessel MT. Floris conspired to store aboard the said vessel One Hundred and Eighty Five (185) Metric Tons of automotive gas oil without appropriate license under section 1 of the Petroleum Act, Cap. P9 Laws of the federation of Nigeria, 2004 and thereby committed an offences punishable under section 6 of the Petroleum Act, Cap. P9, Laws of the federation of Nigeria, 2004”.
When the charges were read to them, the suspects pleaded not guilty. Prosecution counsel, Ben Ubi, informed the court that the EFCC was ready to proceed to trial. However, the defence counsel, Victor Opare, informed the court that he had filed an application for bail and prayed the court to hear the application. The judge obliged.
He argued that the offence for which his clients were docked is bail able and urged the court to consider the plight of one of the accused persons, Captain Andrew who has some health issues, in granting them bail. This claim of ill health was contested by Mr Ubi who demanded proofs from the defence.
Justice Tsoho, after listening to their arguments, admitted the accused persons to bail in the sum of N200 million and one surety in like sum. The surety must be a resident of Lagos and have a property in the metropolis. He must also be ready to provide original documents of the property and the title verified by the EFCC. In addition, the surety must provide evidence of three years tax payments.
Justice Tsoho adjourned the case to January 22, 2013 and ordered that the accused persons be remanded in Ikoyi prison.