DAPPMAN Extends Ultimatum, Suspends Planned Shutdown Of Oil Depots

   

Oil marketers under the aegis Depot and Petroleum Products Marketers Association of Nigeria (DAPPMAN) has extended its ultimatum and suspended the planned shutdown of depots across the country.

DAPPMAN in a statement signed on Monday by its executive secretary, Olufemi Adewole, said it decided to extend it earlier seven-day ultimatum with another five days to give the Federal Government more time to look into the issue and settle the outstanding debts of N800 billion.

The group said this decision was necessary following the intervention of well-meaning Nigerians.

“However, following the intervention of well-meaning Nigerians including the National Assembly as represented by the Senate Committee of Petroleum Downstream and constructive engagement of the Federal Government team by the labour unions most affected by the disengagement of our personnel, namely, PENGASSAN, NUPENG NARTO, and the PTD, DAPPMAN has resolved to recall its disengaged personnel for five-days to give the FG’s team the opportunity to conclude its process of paying marketers the full outstanding of N800 billion with the first trench being the amount already approved by the Federal Executive Council (FEC),” the statement read.

The association added that the decision was also made to avoid unnecessary hardship for Nigerians during this yuletide season. It therefore asked all its depots to commence operations immediately and await further directive.

“The association has acted in good faith to avoid unnecessary hardship which could befall Nigerians during the yuletide season and we hope that government would make good its promise to see that these issues are resolved by Friday, December 14, 2018 as promised.”

Oil marketers, comprising Major Oil Marketers Association of Nigeria (MOMAN), Depot and Petroleum Products Marketers Association (DAPPMA) and Independent Petroleum Products Importers (IPPIs), had earlier given the Federal Government a seven-day ultimatum to settle outstanding debts totaling N800billion.

The group said failure to meet the deadline would also force its members to disengage workers from depots and shut down depots across the country.

The Senate Committee on Petroleum Downstream in response however called on the oil marketers to as a matter of national interest rescind their seven-day ultimatum and allow the Federal Government a little more time to look into their demands.

FG, Petroleum Marketers ‘Reach Agreement’ On Unpaid Claims

 

The Federal Government says it has reached an agreement with petroleum marketers on the settlement of their outstanding claims.

Consequently, it gave the assurance that operations at all depots and sales will continue until further notice.

According to a statement by Mr Paul Ella Abechi, the Special Adviser to the Minister of Finance on Media and Communications, both parties reached the agreement during a meeting held at the finance ministry’s headquarters in Abuja.

The statement did not, however, disclose details of the agreement, which comes days after the oil marketers gave the government a seven-day ultimatum to settle all outstanding debts owed them.

The marketers warned that failure to pay up will force them to disengage their workers and lead to a shutdown of all oil depots in the country.

However, the finance ministry is now confident activities at the depots will continue after Thursday’s meeting which was attended by its officials as well as senior government officials from the Debt Management Office (DMO), the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), the Budget Office of the Federation, the Office of the Accountant-General of the Federation and the Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency (PPPRA).

Representatives of the marketers at the meeting included Depot and Petroleum Products Marketers Association (DAPPMA), Major Oil Marketers Association of Nigeria (MOMAN) and Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN).

“The discussions showed that the Government has considered the concerns and is reviewing the initial process approved by the Government for the settlement,” the statement read in part.

Earlier on Thursday, the Senate called on oil marketers to as a matter of national interest withdraw their seven-day ultimatum and allow the Federal Government a little more time to look into their demands.

READ ALSO: Senate Asks Marketers To Rescind Decision On Oil Depots Shutdown

In their ultimatum, the oil marketers demanded the payment of outstanding subsidy debts. This included foreign exchange differentials and interest rate component, owed to them.

According to them, the move became necessary because they were in a serious crisis as banks had started taking over their assets due to outstanding debts and they were having difficulties paying workers.

Senate Asks Oil Marketers To Rescind Decision On Oil Depots Shutdown

FRSC, Petroleum Tankers

The Senate has called on oil marketers to as a matter of national interest rescind their seven-day ultimatum and allow the Federal Government a little more time to look into their demands.

The oil marketers had earlier given a seven-day ultimatum from November 27 to the Debt Management Office (DMO) to not only pay outstanding subsidy debts but adhere to an agreement reached with Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, failure of which the marketers have threatened to shut down their facilities nationwide.

The seven-day ultimatum issued by the oil marketers to the Federal Government is for the payment of all outstanding subsidy debts, including foreign exchange differentials and interest rate component, owed to them.

READ ALSO: Minimum Wage: Reps Ask Buhari To Transmit Report Of Tripartite Committee To NASS

The Chairman of the Senate Committee on Petroleum Downstream, Kabiru Marafa, who raised the matter during Thursday’s plenary session said the action by the marketers if not well checked may result in artificial fuel scarcity during the festive season and through the election period.

The Senate also asked the Federal Government to direct all the concerned agencies to immediately pay the subsidy arrears as approved by Federal Executive Council (FEC) and passed by the National Assembly.

Oil marketers on Monday, December 3, gave the Federal Government a seven-day ultimatum, to settle outstanding debts totalling N800billion.

The marketers, comprising Major Oil Marketers Association of Nigeria (MOMAN), Depot and Petroleum Products Marketers Association (DAPPMA) and Independent Petroleum Products Importers (IPPIs), said failure to meet the deadline would also force its members to disengage workers from depots and shut down depots across the country.

Oil Marketers Threaten To Shut Down Depots Over Unpaid Subsidy

Oil marketers have given the Federal Government a seven-day ultimatum, to settle outstanding debts totalling N800billion.

The marketers, comprising Major Oil Marketers Association of Nigeria (MOMAN), Depot and Petroleum Products Marketers Association (DAPPMA) and Independent Petroleum Products Importers (IPPIs), said failure to meet the deadline would also force its members to disengage workers from depots and shut down depots across the country.

READ ALSO: Okorocha Suspends Imo Accountant General Over Non-Payment Of Workers’ Salaries

The marketers said they have resolved to stop operations at the depots if the Federal Government does not take the necessary steps to pay the outstanding debt within seven days.

A letter containing the ultimatum has been served to the relevant government bodies such as the Debt Management Office (DMO), the Minister of Finance, the Chairman, Senate Committee on Petroleum (Downstream), the Department of State Services (DSS) and the Minister of State, Petroleum Resources.

Patrick Etim, Legal Adviser to IPPI said marketers have no choice than to ask their workers to stay at home over unpaid salary arrears due to huge subsidy debts owed by the government.

“The only way to salvage the situation is for government to pay the oil marketers the outstanding debts through cash option instead of (the) promissory note being proposed.

“As I speak, nothing has been done several months after assurances received by (the) government saying it would pay off the outstanding debts.

“The oil marketers have requested that forex differential and interest component of government’s indebtedness to marketers be calculated up to December 2018 and be paid within next seven days from the date of the letter sent to the government,’’ he said.

NNPC Asks Oil Marketers To Make Life Easy For Nigerians

NNPC Asks Oil Marketers To Make Life Easy For Nigerians
File photo: Maikanti Baru

 

The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) has called on petroleum products marketers to make life easy for Nigerians.

NNPC Group Managing Director, Dr Maikanti Baru, who said this on Wednesday in Abuja, asked the marketers to stick to the N145 per litre approved pump price for petrol.

He gave the charge while presenting a commendation letter to the Managing Director of BOVAS and Company Ltd, for consistently selling petrol at the regulated price.

Baru noted that NNPC was fully convinced that it was possible for oil marketers to sell petrol at the approved price and still make a decent profit, urging other marketers to emulate BOVAS.

According to him, the Corporation decided to recognise the company and its Managing Director, Mrs Victoria Samson, for helping the government to make life easy for the people.

“It is on record that you have consistently demonstrated not only your ability to supply products to the market, but also to do so within the government-controlled price of N145 per litre,” the GMD said in a statement by the NNPC spokesman, Mr Ndu Ughamadu.

“You are even matching the NNPC Retail price by selling at N143 per litre; that is quite commendable. By doing what she does, Mrs Samson has been making life much easier for Nigerians; that is why we gave her a Commendation Letter as well as a plaque to recognise her efforts,” he added.

The NNPC boss further assured the company of the corporation’s support with necessary interventions to ensure effective supply of petroleum products in its areas of operation.

In her response, Mrs Samson informed Baru that her filling stations nationwide have maintained the N145 regulated price for petrol, even during the periods of supply shortage.

“Without a doubt, this gesture will spur me to further do my best and continue to supply products at affordable prices for the benefit of all Nigerians,” an elated Samson said.

She added that the company would continue to work with the NNPC and relevant agencies, not only to sell petroleum products at approved prices without diversion but also to resolve the current fuel crisis.

N789.6m Fraud: Court Sentences Two Oil Marketers To Eight Years Imprisonment

EFCC Warns Nigerians Against 'Fake Officials' Executing Search Warrants
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A State High Court sitting in Ikeja, Lagos, has convicted and sentenced two oil marketers – George Ogbonna and Emmanuel Morah to eight years imprisonment.

They were convicted on a 26-count amended charge bordering on conspiracy, obtaining by false pretence and forgery to the tune of N789.6million.

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) Acting Head, Media and Publicity, Samin Amaddin, in a statement on Tuesday said the convicts were prosecuted alongside one Adamu Maula, by the anti-graft agency.

They were reported to have imported 10, 862 metric tonnes of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS), for which they were paid the sum of money by the Petroleum Support Fund (PSF).

“However, the investigation revealed that the documents used by the defendants were forged,” he said.

Counsels to the defendants, in separate no-case submissions, had urged the court to dismiss the charge against their clients for lack of merit.

However, in the course of the trial, the prosecution counsel, Rotimi Jacobs, SAN, presented 11 witnesses, including Abdulrasheed Bawa, an investigator with the EFCC, and tendered documents in evidence.

In his judgment on January 26, Justice Latifat Okunnu found Ogbonna and Morah guilty and sentenced them to eight years imprisonment each.

The judge ordered the convicts to return the money they fraudulently collected to the Federal Government.

Maula and his company, Downstream Energy Sources Limited, were, however, discharged and acquitted by the court.

In his reaction to the judgment, Jacobs thanked the court for allowing justice to prevail during the course of the trial.

Fuel Scarcity: FG Meets With Major Oil Marketers

The Federal Government on Tuesday met with major oil marketers in the country in Nigeria’s capital, Abuja.

Tuesday’s meeting, which comes at a time Nigerians are still counting the costs of the fuel crisis which disrupted the plans of millions for the Yuletide, was held inside the Presidential Villa.

Those in attendance include the Chief of Staff to the President, Abba Kyari; Minister of State for Petroleum, Ibe Kachikwu; Group Managing Director of the NNPC, Maikanti Baru, the PENGASSAN Leadership, and the Director-General of Department of State Services, among others.

A day earlier, in his New Year address, President Muhammadu Buhari told Nigerians he is determined to get to the root of the fuel scarcity in the country and prevent those behind it from inflicting hardship on Nigerians again.

 

New Year Address: Buhari Should Not Be Lamenting About Oil Marketers – Ezekwesili

Former Minister of Education, Obiageli Ezekwesili in reaction to President Muhammadu Buhari’s New Year message on Tuesday said the President should not lament about oil marketers but rather own up to the failure of the Petroleum sector.

President Buhari in his New Year message on Monday said he is determined to get to the root of the fuel scarcity in the country and prevent those behind it from inflicting hardship on Nigerians. He accused some citizens of choosing the festive period to inflict severe hardship on Nigerians by creating unnecessary fuel scarcity.

READ ALSO: Buhari’s New Year Message Depressing, Full Of False Claims, Says PDP

Ezekwesili while speaking as a guest on Channels Television Breakfast Programme, Sunrise Daily said President Buhari as the head of the Petroleum sector should give room for discussion about reviewing the sector which according to her is no longer an economic sector but a sector replete with political control.

“I come from the premise that the President shouldn’t be lamenting about oil marketers. What is a failure of the governance of the petroleum sector that creates the basis for any conversation about anyone seeking to engage in economic activities in that sector supposedly manipulating.

“What we need in the petroleum sector (which is by the way led by the President) is a conversation on whether the structure of that sector is what we should have. Is that sector an economic sector in the way that it operates? I think that is a sector that is now replete with a lot of political control and that subverting the economics of that sector,” she said.

Ezekwesili said further that the seat of presidency will be made less attractive if a complete overhaul is carried out in the Petroleum sector saying, “I believe that if we do a full deregulation and full liberation, I am telling you the presidency will not be that attractive anymore.”

Speaking on the reduplication and errors in the recent board and agencies appointment by President Buhari, Ezekwesili who is also the former vice president of World bank said some of the agencies need to be shut down as they serves as huge burden on the nation.

“If I look at the list of parastatals and agencies, a mind that understands that having such huge size of public sector weighing down on the possibilities of this country is a no no. One will simply say, if we shut down those bodies that they have appointed people into, what would we miss? That kind of a thought process that says assuming many of those funny parastatals were shut down, what would we miss?”

She also criticised the politics that come into play in agencies appointment stressing that such action is a disservice.

“To begin to think of parastatals and agencies as a means of reward for political activities? That’s a disservice to the poor,” Ezekwesili said.

EFCC Recovers N328.9bn From Nine Oil Marketers

Alleged Diezani Bribe: N15m Recovered So Far From INEC Officials, Says Witness
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The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) says it has recovered the sum of N328.9bn from nine major oil marketers across the country.

The recovery is reported to be in response to a petition against the leadership of the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) and its subsidiary, Pipelines and Product Marketing Company (PPMC), which alleged that N40bn had been diverted by the major oil marketers in connivance with the leadership of both organisations.

A statement from the anti-graft agency on Wednesday said that investigations by EFCC operatives revealed that from 2010 to 2016, the oil marketers were owing the Federal Government of Nigeria N91.5bn.

“So far, a sum of N328,988,296,990.62 (three hundred and twenty-eight billion, nine hundred eighty-eight million, two hundred and ninety-six thousand, nine hundred and ninety naira, sixty-two kobo) has been recovered from the major oil marketers.

“The outstanding debt now stands at N20,765,919,869.48 (twenty billion, seven hundred and sixty-five million, nine hundred and nineteen thousand, eight hundred sixty-nine naira, forty-eight kobo),” the statement read.

The commission alleged that further investigation also revealed that the oil marketers had continued to obtain petroleum products from the government without proper payment, in violation of the NNPC/PPMC credit facility regulations.

The affected companies include NNPC retails, Conoil Plc, Total Plc, OVH Energy Plc, Oando Plc, Forte Oil and Gas Plc, Mobil Plc, MRS Oil Plc, and NIPCO Oil Plc.

Fuel Scarcity: Drivers Protest In Ekiti, Give Oil Marketers Ultimatum

Transport unions in Ekiti State on Wednesday protested in the state capital, Ado-Ekiti, accusing oil dealers of being sponsored by the opposition.

The unions gave the oil dealers 24 hours to return to call off the strike or face the
wrath of the Ekiti populace, which they said had been badly affected by the halt of fuel supply to the state.

The protest comes one day after angry youths damaged filling stations in protest against the lingering strike declared by oil marketers in the state.

Fuel marketers in the state had since Monday last week stopped selling fuel to motorists in compliance with the directives of the leadership of the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN), National Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas (NUPENG)and Petrol Tanker Drivers (PTD), which ordered their members in Ekiti to stop bringing the product to the state.

The marketers had embarked on the indefinite strike over what they described as open victimszation of members by Governor Ayodele Fayose.

However, the drivers and artisans, who marched from Fajuyi area via Ojumose to Old garage, claimed that they were the worst hit by the strike.

They were led by the Chairmen of the National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW), Mr Clement Adekola, and his counterpart in Lorry and Pick-up Transport Association of Nigeria, Com Adekunle
Atowoju.

Adekola said, “We are for peace in Ekiti and the only way to sustain peace is for all of us to work with the government of the day. Let the oil marketers dialogue with government and if they can’t do it alone,
they should contact other unions for speedy arbitration.

“The drivers and artisans are badly affected. Even most worrisome was the way the police had been maltreating our members who used to buy fuel from Ondo, Osun and Kogi States. They stopped them at checkpoints and dehumanised them, this must not continue.”

He said the transport unions would continue to protest until the marketers suspend their strike.

“We suspect that they have been bought over by opposition to destabilise Fayose’s government. We believe that their resolve not to sell fuel during General Adeyinka Adebayo’s burial was purely political,” Adekola said.

“They are not politicians and if they are interested in contesting the election, let them wait till 2018 when the governor’s tenure will elapse.”

Atowoju, who also accused the marketers of being spurred on by the opposition, said the issue in contention was flimsy.

He said, “All over the world, there are rules and regulations guiding where fuel stations are located. The last fire incident at Strive Energy Petrol station in Ijigbo in Ado Ekiti destroyed multi-million properties and no compensations were given to the victims. Must this continue?

“There are problems of economic recession, unemployment and general disillusionment in Nigeria and our oil marketers should not aggravate our sufferings here in Ekiti.”

Oil Marketers Call For Full Deregulation Of Downstream Sector

Downstream Sector, MOMAN, Oil MarketersThe Major Oil Marketers Association of Nigeria (MOMAN) has called on the Federal Government to fully deregulate the downstream sector.

The Executive Secretary of the association, Mr Obafemi Olawore, who made the appeal, stated that total deregulation was a way of ending the persistent fuel scarcity in Nigeria.

Mr Olawore noted that the government’s inability to pay the over one billion dollars owed its members nationwide was impacting negatively on MOMAN’s operations.

He called on the government to pay the debt and also provide adequate foreign exchange to enable members of the association commence importation of products.

Fuel Scarcity Hits Ibadan, Oyo State

fuel scarcityMotorists are groaning as queues reappeared in fueling stations across Ibadan the Oyo State capital.

The situation has started creating panic among residents.

Going round some major roads within Ibadan, Channels TV discovered that only a handful of petrol stations were selling petrol while majority were not selling.

Both the independent and major marketers appeared to be affected as most were not selling.

Some motorists are suspecting that some filling stations are possibly hoarding the products as no explanation has been given for the non-availability of the product.

Some of the station managers who spoke to Channels TV denied this allegation and told our correspondent that they were not dispensing fuel because they did not have product to sell.

However, managers of some of the few stations selling claimed that they had no idea why there should be any form of fuel scarcity.

These few stations sold at the official pump price but there were fears that they might not be doing so for long if the fuel scarcity continues.

Efforts to get the NNPC or the leadership of IPMAN for comments were unsuccessful.