N13bn Cash: EFCC Raids Ikoyi Flats Of Mu’azu, Others

As part of investigations into the 13 billion Naira found at a flat in Osborne Towers, Ikoyi, Lagos state, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has searched apartments of the immediate past Governor of Anambra State, Peter Obi; and a former Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Adamu Mu’azu.

Other prominent persons, living in the building, include a former Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Mrs Esther Nnamdi-Ogbue, and C.E.O of Ebony Life Television, Mo’ Abudu.

The media aide to Mr Obi, Mr Valentine Obienyem, confirmed this in a statement on Tuesday, noting that all the apartments in the building were searched by the commission.

Sources within the EFCC also confirmed that all the flats were searched including the unoccupied ones.

The anti-graft agency, had on Wednesday last week, busted the apartment, where it recovered huge sums of money in Dollars, Pounds and in Naira. (43 million Dollars, 23 million Naira and another 27,000 Pounds)

The huge discovery is coming days after the EFCC operatives also announced the recovery of some cash at a Bureau de Change operator in Balogun Market, Lagos, following the Federal Government’s new Whistle-Blowing policy.

Meanwhile, reactions have continued to trail the ownership of the recovered funds.

A legal practitioner, Mr Isaac Anumudu, speaking on Channels Television’s breakfast show, Sunrise daily, called on the EFCC to reveal the identities of the owners of all the moneys being discovered by the Commission.

Another Legal Practitioner, Femi Falana (SAN), also reacting to the matter, noted that with the increasing cases of cash hauls, Nigeria is being exposed to unprecedented ridicule before the committee of nations.

Fuel Scarcity Spreads to Kaduna, Other States

fuel scarcityThe ease of getting petrol by motorists and other residents in Kaduna has become more difficult as long queues resurfaced in the state capital and other parts of the state.

Channels TV correspondent who monitored the situation within the state capital, reported that long queues have taken over the few filling stations in the city, selling the petrol as motorists besiege the outlets to get the product for their respective uses.

Motorists and commercial tricycle operators were seen struggling to get into the station as only two out of the ten pumps were dispensing product to customers.

As at the time of filing this report, black marketers have resurfaced along major roads and streets, selling petrol above the official pump price. A gallon of petrol sold at N120 per litre as against the N86 per litre.

Residents expressed fears that the situation could worsen and affect socio-economic activities if nothing is done by government to address the situation.

Virtually all filling stations in the state capital have not been dispensing the product since the start of last week due to the drop in supply to the state.

Abeokuta, Ogun State

In Abeokuta, the Ogun State capital, the situation remains the same for a week running.

Over 80% of fuel stations in the state capital still remain without fuel, a development which has left people stranded at filling stations most times for a product that is non existent

Some residents who thronged fuel stations in the metropolis as early as possible have resulted into finding comfort in their vehicles to take some nap while waiting for a time when the product would be made available

As a result of the short supply of the product, there are reports of the product being sold illegally above the official pump price.

‘Drastic Drop’ In Activities At Depots Responsible For Scarcity – NUPENG

NUPENGThe Lagos Zonal Chairman of the Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG), Mr Tokunbo Korodo, on Monday attributed the return of fuel scarcity to the ‘drastic drop’ in the loading activities in the loading depot.

He noted that most of the depots have been loading well for the past one week adding that “some are even rationing”.

Speaking via a telephone on Sunrise Daily, Mr Korodo, said that when the depots run by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) are not loading well, “it gives room to the independent marketers we have at Apapa to be selling above the pump price

Mr Korodo said the unavailability of the Premium Motor Spirit is responsible for the rationing by depots across the country.

“The PPMC headquarters is supposed to pump to Ejigbo and also to Ibadan and other axis of Region 2B but they are not pumping because they don’t have enough stock.

“And if they don’t have enough stock, there depots will also be operating at a dormant capacity”, he added.

He further noted that only the PPMC can tell Nigerians what is responsible for the shortage of the product, adding that “with the way things are going, we need urgency to curtail this spread.”

“The problem is the marketers, dealers are now coming to Lagos to pick and they are ready to buy (the product) above the pump price”, he said.

No Need To Panic

The Pipelines and Products Marketing Company has asked the Nigerian populace to calm down as petroleum products will be available in the fuel stations soon.

The MD of PPMC, Esther Nnamdi-Ogbue, said that about four vessels containing 30,000 tonnes of PMS arrived in the country on Sunday and the agency is doing all it can to ensure that the product is distributed efficiently.

Queues returned to the fuel stations in the last week and many motorists have been complaining about the seeming worsening situation in fuel supply.

PPMC Says Fuel Will Soon Be Available

fuelThe Pipelines and Products Marketing Company has asked the Nigerian populace to calm down as petroleum products will be available in the fuel stations soon.

The MD of PPMC, Esther Nnamdi-Ogbue said that about four vessels containing 30,000 tonnes of PMS arrived in the country on Sunday and the agency is doing all it can to ensure that the product is distributed efficiently.

Queues returned to the fuel stations in the last week and many motorists have been complaining about the seeming worsening situation in fuel supply.

PPMC To Prosecute Pipeline Vandals, Commence Truck Tracking

PPMC on Pipeline VandalsThe Managing Director of the Pipeline and Products Marketing Company (PPMC), Mrs Esther Nnamdi-Ogbue, has warned that any oil pipeline vandal caught, will be prosecuted with their assets destroyed to serve as deterrence.

Mrs Nnamdi-Ogbue, who spoke to reporters when some pipeline vandals were apprehended on Christmas day, said that the pipelines are the only effective way to distribute petroleum products nationwide and must be allowed to function.

The Minister of State for Petroleum, Ibe Kachikwu, said that Nigeria cannot give in to the point where vandals and saboteurs become more powerful than the government.

“Oil pipelines in Nigeria serve two purposes: to distribute crude oil to the country’s three refineries for processing and to distribute refined petroleum products across the country for easy supply to consumers.

“Frequent pipeline vandalism has made these two functions ineffective for several years,” he said.

Tracking Petrol Distribution Trucks

Mr Kachikwu said that sabotage cannot be totally foreclosed given the technological know-how required to break the pipe and siphon oil.

“The target of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) and PPMC is to repair the pipelines routes from Lagos to Port-Harcourt.

“This will make it possible to pump fuel all the way through Lagos-Ibadan and Ilorin to relieve the coastal cities and bridge the north and from Port-Harcourt through Makurdi and up to Yola”, he said.

While these are on, the PPMC boss said that real time tracking of petrol distribution trucks will commence fully by January 2016 which will totally eliminate diversion of petroleum products and the resultant scarcity of petrol.

Government Will Import 26 Cargoes Of Fuel For Christmas – PPMC Boss

Government Will Import 26 Cargoes Of Fuel For Christmas – Nnamdi-OgbueThe Managing Director of Pipeline & Product Marketing Company (PPMC) says the government plans to import 26 cargoes of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) which equates to about a billion litres.

Speaking on Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily, Mrs Esther Nnamdi-Ogbue said that “we are doing that for the yuletide period so that all Nigerians would have the assurance that fuel would be available when they drive into any filling station”.

Talking about the issue of middlemen in contributing to the major lock jam, the PPMC MD said that “we have talked to the marketers and we heard unofficially that they have to buy products at higher rate than depot prices.

“We have gone to the security agents because if you don’t have evidence, you can’t build up the case.

“We are also working in the depots to see how to gather evidence so that we can prosecute one or two people. We have a fixed depot price which is N77.66 Kobo PMS and if they sell above that, it means they are distorting the economy which is an economy crime”, she explained.

Mrs Nnamdi-Ogbue, while stating the futuristic strategies the PPMC had put in place to avoid a recurrence, said that “what we have done and what we are doing is to have strategic reserves in the country on ground.

“What we had in time past are products in marine storage and to get them on ground has always been a challenge, but what we are doing right now is having strategic depots and storage across the country. When we have issues such as this, we are able to massively intervene immediately”, she said.

Apologies To Nigerians

In response to the question on what she has found out while moving around the country, the PPMC MD said that “I arrived at Lagos yesterday, we went round all our depots where we received products and we saw that loading was going on.

“We made spot checks at filling stations and saw that products came in late as a result of gridlock in Apapa.

“We also noticed that some people bought fuel in jerrycans while others were on the queues.

“For that, I have to apologies to Nigerians for having to go through the hardship they are going through right now and to let them know that PPMC is doing every thing within its power to make sure these queues disappear by the weekend”, she explained.

Giving her opinion on the cause of the fuel scarcity, Mrs Nnamdi-Ogbue said that it is multiple.

“We have the pipeline, which is the more efficient way of transporting products being vandalised.

“PPMC is supposed to take care of about 48 per cent by Petroleum Product Pricing Regulatory Agency (PPPRA) allocation, but we have to step up to make sure we serve the country 100 per cent”, she explained.