PPPRA Says No Plan To Increase Petrol Price

PPPRA Says No Plan To Increase Petrol PriceThe Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency (PPPRA) has reaffirmed that the Federal Government has no plan to increase the price of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS), also known as petrol.

The General Manager Operations of PPPRA, Mr Olasupo Agbaje, made the declaration on Monday while addressing reporters in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital.

Mr Agbaje said the agency has also commenced the payment of the new bridging allowance to tanker drivers, as approved by the government recently.

The clarification comes barely a week after the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) said it has no plan to increase the pump price of petrol.

The Corporation, in a statement, stated that the recent increase in bridging allowance to transporters will not affect the prevailing petrol price of 145 Naira per litre.

The NNPC reiterated its commitment to sustaining the existing cordial relationship between the Corporation and the leadership of the downstream industry unions and other stakeholders.

NNPC Says No Hike In Petrol Pump Price

NNPC Says No Hike In Petrol Pump PriceThe Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) has assured Nigerians that it has no plan to increase the pump price of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS), also known as petrol.

In a statement issued on Wednesday by the NNPC spokesman, Ndu Ughamadu, the Corporation explained that the recent increase in bridging allowance to transporters from 6.20 Naira to 7.20 Naira per litre will not affect the prevailing petrol price of 145 Naira per litre.

According to the statement, the clarification was made in Abuja by the NNPC Chief Operating Officer (COO) in charge of Downstream Operations, Mr Henry Ikem Obih.

“Rebalancing Of The Margins”

Mr Obih said there was no plan by government or any of its agencies to review the pump price of petrol above 145 Naira per litre, adding that the rise in the bridging cost was achieved after an adjustment was made in the “lightering expenses” from Four Naira to Three Naira per litre, and the difference transferred to compensate for the cost of bridging within the same template.

The bridging allowance refers to the cost element built into the products pricing template to ensure a uniform price of petrol across the country, while lightering expenses involve charges for moving products to depot area from mother vessels by light vessels, due to the inability of the former to berth in shallow water depth.

“What happened, in simple language, is a rebalancing of the margins allowed and approved for stakeholders. So what the Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency (PPPRA) did was to take One Naira from lightering expenses and add same to the bridging allowance, that is how we arrived at 7.20 Naira. Therefore, PMS remains at the ceiling of 145 Naira per litre, he said.

“No Risk Of Shortage”

On the availability of product supply, the COO said as at Wednesday, Nigeria has 1.3 billion litres of petrol which translates to an inventory of 36 days.

“What this means is that even if we stop importation or refining of petrol right now, we have enough products in the country to provide for the needs of every Nigerian for a period of 36 days,” he said.

Obih noted that the supply availability was bolstered with the production of petrol from the three refineries located in Port Harcourt, Warri and Kaduna.

“There is absolutely no risk of shortage in supply as we also continue to import, to support the production from the refineries. We have informed the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) to enforce the prevailing 145 Naira per litre price regime, and to also ensure that every service station that has fuel is selling to the public,” he said.

The COO reiterated the readiness of the NNPC management under the leadership of its Group Managing Director, Dr. Maikanti Baru, to sustain the existing cordial relationship between the Corporation and the leadership of the downstream industry unions and other stakeholders.

He said the DPR, which is the regulatory arm of the industry, had been alerted to sanction fuel station owners who engage in hoarding, or charge consumers in excess of the approved pump price of petrol.

Dr. Baru had announced the review of the bridging allowance on Monday at a mediation meeting between the Petroleum Tanker Drivers (PTD) and the Nigerian Association of Road Transport Owners (NARTO),

The announcement consequently led to the suspension of an industrial action embarked upon by members of the National Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG).

NNPC Says More Petroleum Products Being Expected

nnpcThe Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) has said that four cargoes of about 4 million litres of petroleum products is being expected in the country within the next few days.

The spokesman of the Agency, Garba Mohammed, gave the assurance on Friday.

According to him, this will address the gap in supply that has led to the current fuel scarcity being experienced by Nigerians.

He said that the NNPC is working round the clock to find immediate and lasting solutions to the problems in the sector.

The National President of the National Union Of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG), Mr Igwe Achese, had earlier said that he was hopeful that before the end of April, the petrol scarcity witnessed across Nigeria would end.

He said that the union had, at a meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari on Wednesday, advised the government to put in necessary policies that would adequately regulate the prices of petroleum products.

Mr Achese told Channels Television in a telephone interview that the stakeholders at the meeting agreed to work together in making sure that product distribution is not hindered.

The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) had on Thursday said that the explanation on the fuel scarcity situation provided by the Minister of State for Petroleum was misunderstood.

In a statement by its Group General Manager, Group Public Affairs Division, Garba Deen Muhammed, the NNPC assured Nigerians that the fuel shortages will be over in a matter of weeks, not months and that the fuel shortage would improve sufficiently to make the long queues disappear, correcting “the erroneous impression created that fuel shortage will linger for two months”.

NUPENG, PENGASSAN Reverse Strike Decision

The Trade Unions in the oil and gas sector would not be embarking on the industrial action, in protest of the Federal Government’s plan to sell the country’s refineries.

The leadership of the Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association PENGASSAN and NUPENG reached this decision after a 5-hour close door meeting with the Ministers of Petroleum and Labour.

Reading the communiques after the meeting, the Minister of Labour, Mister Emeka Wogu, said that Government would not sell the nation’s refineries.

In his reaction, the President of PENGASSAN, Babatunde Ogun told Channels Television that the agreement would serve as evidence to Nigerians that they (unions) are not trouble makers if the government decides to go back on its promise. He expressed confidence that the Federal Government can effectively manage the refineries if it makes the required investments and decisions.

“If government cannot keep to agreement, it means that government is not really serious…. If you are supposed to do something and you don’t do it for almost 10 to 14 years, then you cannot say government cannot run it (refineries),” he said, adding that “if they have challenges about funds, we can always look for funds.

Also, President of NUPENG, Igwe Achese said the “materials for the turn-around maintenance of the Port Harcourt refineries are on ground already and that’s why we are confident that in this first quarter, the Port Harcourt refinery turn-around maintenance will be concluded and then we can be thinking of the next one.”

FG Denies Plan To Sell Refineries

The reported approval by Nigerian President, Goodluck Jonathan, for the sale of the nation’s four refineries has been denied by the Presidency.

The Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Dr. Reuben Abati, told journalists at the Presidential Villa that President Goodluck Jonathan has not given and does not plan to give approval to that effect.

The oil and gas workers unions had threatened to embark on a nationwide industrial action following the announcement that the four refineries had been slated for privatisation in 2014 by the Bureau for Public Enterprises, BPE.

Mr. Abati, however, dismissed the threat by the oil and gas workers, insisting that if the reason for the proposed strike is the issue of the refineries, then the action would not take place.

An attempt to sell the refineries was first made during the administration of former president, Olusegun Obasanjo, but the decision was reversed by his successor, the late President Umaru Yar’adua.

Also, a presidential committee set up by President Goodluck Jonathan in the wake of the corruption scandal in the oil and gas industry had recommended the sale of the refineries as a way to avoid the wastage of government funds.

There had been news that the President has approved the constitution of a steering committee chaired by the Minister of Petroleum Resources with 13 members including the Coordinating Minister of the Economy, Minister of Power, Minister of Labour and Minister of National Planning, to oversee the privatisation process.

The national bodies of the Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (PENGASSAN), and the Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas workers, (NUPENG) had announced plans by their associations to commence an industrial action in the first week of January 2014, if the Federal Government failed to rescind its alleged decision to privatise the refineries.

They claimed that the planned privatisation was an attempt to hand over the nation’s refineries to cronies of the Federal Government.

PENGASSAN-NUPENG Threaten To Begin Strike

The National President of the Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association (PENGASSAN), Babatunde Oguns has announced plans by the association to commence an industrial action in the first week of January.

The association has expressed its seriousness to carry out this threat if the Federal Government fails to rescind its decision to privatise the nation’s refineries.

Addressing members of the association at the headquarters of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, in Abuja, Mr Oguns, flanked by the Deputy President of the National Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas workers, said that the planned privatization is an attempt to hand over the nation’s refineries to cronies of the Federal Government.

He said that an indefinite strike will be declared in the first week of January 2014, to press home their demand on the Federal Government not to sell the nation’s refineries in the name of privatization.

“If between now and 24th of this month (December), government does not retract that every statement that has been made has been put on hold while further engagement is made, and everything we have to do is hinged on PIB (Petroleum Industry Bill) by first week of January, be rest assured that PENGASSAN and NUPENG will go on indefinite strike.”

He further said: “You cannot sell something without a model, without Nigerians knowing exactly what you are doing…the nature in which they do business in the oil and gas industry is fraught with secrecy. There must be a retraction first and it’s what they will make public, so Nigerians will know that it is on hold.”

 

We’re not going on strike for oil marketers but for workers – NUPENG

The president of  the National Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG), Achese Igwe has argued that the industrial action threatened by the union is not for the payment of oil subsidies to fraudulent oil marketers but to secure the payment of  salaries to workers in the sector.

Mr. Igwe was on Channels Television’s breakfast show, Sunrise Daily, to explain the reasons for the impending strike which has already grounded the Federal Capital Territory, leaving the residents to resort to black market for fuel.

The Minister of Finance, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, recently alleged that the oil workers union was working in connivance with the oil marketers to blackmail the federal government over the payment of fuel subsidy.

The union leader however accused the federal government of non-compliance to earlier agreements with the union which included agreement on subsidy payments, repair of bad roads across the country plied by oil distributing trucks and refinery maintenance.

According to Mr Igwe, some of the workers in the sector are currently being owed salaries for over three months.

Reacting to the planned strike by NUPENG, the spokesman for the Civil Liberty Organsation, Abah Ejembi speaking from Channels Television’s Abuja studio, urged the union not to put the lives of over 160 million Nigerians at risk with the struggle for their union members,  that number about 15,000 by compelling the federal government to pay the subsidy claims that are shrouded in fraud.

Mr. Abah Ejembi claimed that NUPENG is fighting the battle for their ‘bosses’-the oil marketers who are entangled in allegations of fraudulent claims in the management of the nation’s fuel subsidy regime with the Ministry of Finance.

SUNRISE DAILY PART 1

SUNRISE DAILY PART 2

SUNRISE DAILY PART 3

SUNRISE DAILY PART 4

SUNRISE DAILY PART 5

N42.666 billion paid to oil marketers in 4months-Finance Ministry

The federal government has again restated its claim that indicted oil marketers are behind the industrial action being embarked by the National Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas workers, (NUPENG).

The union has stopped the delivery of petrol to the FCT in protest over the alleged non-payment of subsidy claims causing severe fuel shortages in the nation’s capital.

But the Federal Ministry of Finance in a statement on Friday stated that the federal government has already paid out the sum of N42.666 billion in subsidy claims between the months of April – August this year to ‘genuine oil marketers.’

The statement which sought to apprise Nigerians on key developments in the management of fuel subsidy payments, claimed that “marketers with legitimate and unencumbered claims have been paid and will continue to be paid.”

Giving a breakdown of the payment made so far, the statement revealed that:

-Between April and May 2012, Batches D/12 and E/12 involving 14 oil marketers with a claim of N17 billion were fully settled.

– In addition, since early July 2012, N25.6 billion worth of claims have been fully settled.

– In all, between April – August this year, in respect of 2012 PMS claims, N42.666 billion have been paid to 31 oil marketers.

Affirming that the fuel scarcity in Abuja is a ploy by the indicted marketers to provoke Nigerians against the government, the Ministry of Finance alleged that “it is clear that those behind the strikes are marketers being investigated for possible fraud.”

“These elements have now resorted to hiding behind the unions to unnecessarily antagonize government and create hardship for Nigerians” the statement adds.

Companies under investigation for fuel subsidy fraud

The statement further revealed the names of 20 companies that are currently under-going investigation based on their indictment by the Presidential Committee on Fuel Subsidy Payments led by Mr Aigboje Aig-Imoukhuede.

According to the Ministry, the companies are been investigated “based on evidence that they may have engaged in fraudulent activities under the fuel subsidy regime.”

The report of the committee recommended that the oil marketers must refund various amounts to the national treasury.

1. ALMINNUR RESOURCES LTD

2. BRILLA ENERGY LED

3. CAADES OIL AND GAS LTD

4. CAPITAL OIL AND GAS INDUSTRY LTD

5. CONNOIL PLC

6. DOWNSTREAM ENERGY SOURCE LTD

7. ETERNA PLC

8. EURAAFRIC OIL AND GAS LTD

9. LUMEN SKIES LTD

10. MAJOPE INVESTMENT LTD

11. MATRIX ENERGY LTD

12. MENON OIL AND GAS LTD

13. MOB INTERNATIONAL SERVICES

14. M.R.S OIL AND GAS LTD

15. NASAMAN OIL SERVICES LTD

16. NATACEL PETROLEUM LTD

17. OCEAN ENERGY TRADING AND SERVICES

18. PINNACLE CONTRACTORS LTD

19. SIFAX OIL AND GAS COMPANY

20. TONIQUE OIL SERVICES LTD

Less indictment

The Finance Ministry also noted that there are other oil marketing companies with less severe cases to answer, adding that “these (companies) are in discussion with government for a quick resolution of their issues.”

Explaining the terms under which funds owed these companies will  be sorted out, the statement said, that oil marketers under investigation for possible refunds to the government, will have their 2012 outstanding claims “netted out against their expected refunds to government and those with a positive net balance, i.e outstanding claims greater than expected refunds will be processed and paid.”

“For marketers with a negative balance with government, i.e they owe government more in refunds than government owes them, the Aig-imoukhuede committee will accelerate review of their documents after the Sallah break so that their claims can be processed and settled, if cleared, without further delay.”

“For others that may not be in the above categories but who have other issues or claims, their claims will also be attended to with the same despatch.”

In conclusion the Ministry of Finance vowed to investigation the alleged role of the oil marketers in the on-going crisis stating that “we want to make it clear that Government will fully investigate their activities and if found guilty, bring them to book and recover all public funds fraudulently obtained, in the guise of fuel subsidy claims.”

“No degree of blackmail will stop the Government from doing its work. Government will, therefore, pursue justice and ensure that those who are found guilty are appropriately sanctioned” it concluded.