FG Will Sustain Petroleum Products Pricing Template – Kachikwu

Petroleum Products Pricing Template, Ibe KachikwuNigeria’s Minister of State for Petroleum, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu, says the Federal Government will work to maintain the new petroleum products pricing template which pegs the price of petrol between 135 and 145 Naira per litre.

The Minister said that the government is presently unable to consider fixing a new price for petrol without considering some of the market variables that gave rise to the current petroleum pricing template.

He made the remarks in Abuja on the sideline of an event organised by the Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency (PPPRA) as well as the Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (PENGASSAN).

“Obviously as you look at foreign exchange differentiation, it will impact and the worst thing you could do is to go back to the era when we unilaterally fix prices.

“What we’ve also been doing is to watch the prices and make sure that they do not take advantage of the common man, making sure the template is maintained,” Kachikwu told the gathering.

In her remarks, the acting Executive Secretary of PPPRA, Sotonye Iyoyo, explained how the new petroleum products pricing template has stabilised products distribution in Nigeria.

“The appropriate pricing framework policy put in place by the Minister for Petroleum Resources in May 11, 2016 has gone a long way in achieving key deregulatory pre-conditions such as full cost recovery, free entrance and free exit of players.

“Global competitive product pricing policy, limited government intervention and control of pricing (as well as) distribution and creation of the enabling environment attracts private sector capital,” she stated.

On his part, PENGASSAN President, Francis Johnson, expressed satisfaction with the new pricing template.

He, however, appealed to the legislature to quickly pass the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) into law to address other issues in the sector.

“We want to commend and also advise that the National Assembly should see how they can pass this bill (PIB).

“It’s very important that we have that bill because it’s the legal framework and when we also have the bill passed into law, definitely the issue of pipeline vandalism and so many issues embedded in the industry will also be taken care of so that we can know that yes, the industry is moving forward,” he said.

PENGASSAN, NUPENG Suspend Strike

NUPENG, Rivers StateThe Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (PENGASSAN) and Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG) have suspended their strike after a meeting with the Federal Government on Wednesday.

The meeting which ended at 1am was attended by the Minister of Labour and Employment, Dr Chris Ngige, the oil unions and international companies.

They discussed issues on job security, causalisation of workers and improved welfare.

Dr Ngige appealed to the companies not to lay off workers as government is trying to make the environment more conducive for their businesses.

There had been disputes over the implementation of the 2015 Collective Bargaining Agreement between the federal government and the unions, the implementation of the Petroleum Industry Bill and the state under which the oil workers operate, especially the lack of power and bad roads.

The PENGASSAN had last week declared an industrial action over the dispute, while NUPENG postponed its action pending the outcome of this meeting.

 

Labour Union Gives FG Four Days To Revert Petrol Price

civil servantsThe Nigeria Labour Congress has issued the Federal Government a 4-day ultimatum to revert to the old petrol pump price of 86.50 Naira or risk a nationwide protest.

The ultimatum will expire on Tuesday midnight.

After the Nigerian government announced a new price band of 145 Naira per litre on May 11, the labour union kicked against the increase, saying it will resist it.

“Height Of Insensitivity”

It said the unilateral increase in prices of petroleum products “represents the height of insensitivity and impunity”.

The new price band of 145 Naira per litre for Premium Motor Spirit was announced by the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu.

No fuel service station is, however, allowed to sell above the price band, the Minister stressed.

He had explained that the increase had become necessary due to the scarcity that had lingered for months caused by unavailability of the product occasioned by the challenges of getting foreign exchange and low production capacity of the refineries in the oil producing nation.

Dr. Kachikwu had assured Nigerians that in the next six months, competition would force the price down.

However, the labour union said the increase was the least one had expected at this point in time, insisting that the reason for the increase was unacceptable.

Not Removal Of Subsidy

Yemi-Osinbajo
Professor Yemi Osinbajo says Nigeria will produce 70 per cent of its fuel consumption by Q4 of 2018

The unions four-day ultimatum came a day after the Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, further gave reasons for the increase which critics said carried with it ‘hardship’.

He said: “I have read the various observations about the fuel pricing regime and the attendant issues generated. All certainly have strong points.

“The most important issue of course is how to shield the poor from the worst effects of the policy. I will hopefully address that in another note”.

Professor Osinbajo explained that the real issue was not a removal of subsidy, pointing out that with $40 a barrel there was not much of a subsidy to remove.

Petroleum Sector Unions Back Price Hike

Meanwhile, the Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria and Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers, which are part of the labour unions, have supported the new petrol pump price by the Federal Government.

NUPENG

The voiced support formed part of a communique released by the two bodies at the end of a Joint National Executive Council Meeting held on Friday in Calabar, the capital of Cross River State in southern Nigeria.

The communique stated: “The increment was a step in the right direction.

“Government needs to engage with stakeholders to work out a clear direction on how to invest the gains into the economy to cushion the effect of the price”.

PENGASSAN, NUPENG Back Petrol Pump Price Hike

Petrol, NUPENG, PENGASSANThe Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (PENGASSAN) and Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG) have supported the new petrol pump price by the Federal Government.

This formed part of a communique released by the two bodies at the end of a Joint National Executive Council Meeting held on Friday in Calabar, the capital of Cross River State in southern Nigeria.

The communique stated: “The increment was a step in the right direction.

“Government needs to engage with stakeholders to work out a clear direction on how to invest the gains into the economy to cushion the effect of the price”.

It also resolved that the decision of the Federal Government to deregulate the downstream sector of the oil was to encourage investment in refineries, make the product available and drive down the pump price.

“The bodies, therefore, called on the government to intensify efforts in ensuring that, it puts in place machinery to ensure optimal performance of existing refineries,” the statement read.

The President of PENGASSAN, Mr Francis Olabode-Johnson and the President NUPENG, Igwe Achese, were also at the meeting.

The meeting is coming two days after the Federal Government introduced a new price band for Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) also referred to as petrol, pegging the highest price at 145 Naira per litre.

Worst Approach
The new price was set after a meeting of various stakeholders including the labour unions, NUPENG and PENGASSAN, which was presided over by the Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo.

In order to increase and stabilise the supply of the product, the government said any Nigerian entity could now import the product, subject to existing quality specifications and other guidelines issued by regulatory agencies.

However, the Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC) had insisted that the recent hike in the pump price of petrol was unacceptable.

The General Secretary of the NLC, Mr Peter, Ozo-Ezon, who spoke on Sunrise Daily, referred to the announcement of a new petrol pump price band of 135 to 145 Naira as the “worst approach that any government has taken” in the history of Nigeria.

Petrol scarcity had hit the oil-rich nation, lasting for over five months, the worst that the nation had experienced in the last decade.

NNPC Is Not Unbundled But Reorganised – Kachikwu

Ibe-Kachikwu-Minister-Petroleum-in-NigeriaThe Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu, says the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) has not been unbundled.

Addressing reporters after the Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting held on Wednesday, the Minister said the corporation was only being reorganised.

He said NNPC had five business entities – upstream, downstream, refineries, gas and power – with focus on business and that they were there before.

“We did not unbundle NNPC. The NNPC is still a whole, but there are companies that were not having proper stewardship.

“They are run by individuals who report to the Group Managing Director and therefore needed to be looked at,” he said.

Dr. Kachikwu admitted that the engagement, “perhaps has not been good enough”, promising to discuss with stakeholders and resolve the issues.

He said he was concerned that the industry had been shut down, assuring reporters that the issues would be resolved.

Seven Sub-divisions

He had on Tuesday announced the creation of seven sub-divisions which the NNPC would be broken into in the coming days.

Dr. Kachikwu said that the NNPC would not be unbundled into 30 subsidiaries as reported in the media, but will rather be broken into upstream, downstream, refineries, gas and power, ventures, finance and corporate services.

Dr. Kachikwu’s statement is aimed at addressing issues that had started after media reports quoted him to have said that the NNPC would be unbundled.

Kaduna-Refinery-plant-refinery-nnpc
Refineries have been shut down, as unions express displeasure with the purported unbundling of the NNPC

In reaction to the purported statement, the National Union Of Petroleum & Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG) and Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (PENGASSAN) asked their members at various refineries in the nation to down tools.

In compliance, Port Harcourt Refinery and  all NNPC facilities in Rivers State have been shut down.

The unions said there were not just concerned about the purported unbundling process which lacked due process, but other labour matters that needed the attention of the Federal Government.

Also in response to the purported unbundling, the House of Representatives has also mandated a joint committee of the House to prevent the Minister from usurping the powers of the legislature by attempting to unbundle the NNPC without legislative approval.

The motion, sponsored by Honourable Agom Jarigbe, advised President Muhammadu Buhari to send an executive bill to the National Assembly if he intended to unbundle the NNPC or carry out any fundamental reforms in the oil and gas sector.

PPPRA Workers Protest Alleged Imposition Of Executive Secretary

PPPRAOil workers under the aegis of Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (PENGASSAN) have shut down operations of the Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency (PPPRA) in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).

The workers are protesting the alleged imposition of an acting Executive Secretary on the agency.

The Chairman of PENGASSAN, PPPRA Branch, Mr Victor Ononokpono, led the protest staged on Tuesday.

The protest is coming barely a week after the immediate past Executive Secretary of the PPPRA, Farouk Ahmed, was removed by the Presidency and arrival of a senior staff of the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Mrs Eunice Iyoyo, to resume as acting Executive Secretary.

Mr Ahmed had on Thursday, February 18, handed over management of the agency to the most senior official of the organisation and General Manager, Administration, Mr Moses Mbaba, as directed by the office of the Secretary to Government of the Federation.

The protesting oil workers are asking the Federal government to make a pronouncement to resolve the confusion the double nomination has caused, saying their protest would continue until the matter is resolved.

PENGASSAN Opposes IPMAN’s Call For Sale Of Refineries

PEngassanThe Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (PENGASSAN) is opposing the sale of refineries, as suggested by the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN).

PENGASSAN described the call by IPMAN as a fraudulent way of ripping the country of its national assets and sabotaging national interest.

According to PENGASSAN, “Nigerians need to ask the IPMAN leadership why they are calling for the sale of the refineries which are said to now be in good form. Even after the government has shown that the refineries can work and take care of 75% of the nation’s local demand of refined products.”

Pengassan also said, “We are again demanding adequate and regular supply of crude oil to the four refineries, to alleviate the suffering of Nigerians and a reduction or elimination of subsidy payment, considering the plunge in global oil prices.”

Oil Theft: Group Calls For Government’s Urgent Action

PIBThe Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria is seeking the Nigerian government to establish a Special Task Force to monitor Nigeria’s pipelines and guard against oil theft.

The President of the association, Mr Francis Johnson, said that the establishment of such force would ensure sound pipeline integrity and safe transportation of crude.

Mr Johnson raised the issue at the group’s Shell Branch Triennial Delegates Conference in Port Harcourt, the capital of Rivers State.

Nigeria’s loss due to crude oil theft and pipeline vandalism is estimated to be the combined daily production of Ghana, Gabon and Equitorial Guinea.

While decrying the activities of oil thieves, the group also wondered why the Petroleum Industry Bill had not seen the light of day.

According to them, the non-passage of the Petroleum Industry Bill in the National Assembly has adversely affected the level of investment in the oil and gas industry.

Meanwhile, The Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Dr. Ibe Kachikwu, has explained that the PIB , which has been pending before the National Assembly in the last seven years, requires extensive engagements with all stakeholders to iron out all grey areas.

He has also sought military support in pipeline monitoring and said that the NNPC would also deploy drones in the monitoring of the oil-rich nation’s pipelines.

Fuel Scarcity Is Consequence Of Proper Process Negligence – Esele

Peter Esele on Fuel Scarcity Weeks of fuel scarcity gradually affecting the Nigerian economy, with individuals losing man hours at service stations, is a consequence of negligence of proper process, a formal official of the Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (PENGASSAN) said.

Several service stations have closed down, with few selling fuel at very high prices, far more than the 87 Naira official price.

Businesses depending hugely on generating sets as source of electricity are shutting down in the oil-rich nation.

The government says it has paid over 150 billion Naira to marketers of the product but that has not reflected. Markets are insisting that all monies owed must be paid before a new administration takes over by May 29.

Mr Peter Esele who was also the President of the Trade Union Congress (TUC) told Channels Television that the government was owning the marketers over 356 billion Naira out of which it paid only 156 billion Naira. Over 200 billion Naira is still outstanding, an amount that the marketers are demanding for to make petroleum products available.

Giving his opinion about the fuel scarcity, Mr Esele said the marketers’ fears were that they may not be able to collect their outstanding money when the new government comes in.

“The bottom line is that they are businessmen. There is no way there is no under-the-table deal going on in that sector. So they want to get their money before the new administration,” he said.

The former PENGASSAN President stressed that the major problem in the petroleum sector was poor adherence to proper process, saying there are no records of when the ships come in and how many litres were brought in.

“In 2012 the TUC had made a presentation before the Senate on a lot of sharp practices going on in the subsidy regime.

“When things are allowed to go on in a manner that is not good, we wait for the next time. We are talking about this now because there is scarcity. The process leading to this scarcity that we had overlooked is the consequences of the action we are facing right now.

“It is a huge security risk and the productivity in the economy is being affected, with people wasting man-hours at service stations,” he stated.

Mr Esele also identified poor implementation of laws governing activities in the sector as another factor that had contributed to the fuel scarcity.

“Our institutions are weak. Institutions are weak because people are not respecting the laws that set them up.

“They are more of individuals. And the other part is that so many things exchange hands.

“You can’t call the marketers to order when all your products are imported.

“They have monopoly.

“Until we have refineries here, we do not have so much control over what the marketers do,” he explained.

The former TUC President expressed optimism that the incoming government would be able to tackle the issues in the petroleum sector, bringing serenity to the sector he said had so much sharp practices going on.

“One thing about the President-elect (General Muhammadu Buhari) is that there is a universal agreement that he is not corrupt. That gives him a high moral authority to make everybody fall in line with what he wants to do.”

He, however, warned that the whole of 2015 would be a tough year. “The price of crude has come down, workers’ salaries are delayed and 80 per cent revenue for the federation comes from crude oil sales. But if the incoming government could overcome the challenges he will be a hero.

“We must have to adjust to the current reality and the incoming administration should set a goal to stop importation of the product.

“If the process to remove subsidy is right with specific amount removed every year and people are seeing the benefit from the removal, it will go down well.

“The government should give Dangote the support he needs to make sure that his refinery comes up,” he stressed.

Social Commentator Advises Doctors To Find Alternative Way In Meeting Demands

ugoA Social Commentator, Ugo Ugoke believes that doctors can find an alternative way in making the government meet their demands than embarking on a nationwide strike, without affecting the man on the street.

He stated that the government has nothing to lose because they have the resources to fly abroad for treatment unlike the common man who can only afford government hospitals.

“If the health system grinds to a halt the government has absolutely nothing to lose, the health practitioners will somehow get by due to private clinics”

Speaking as a guest on Channels Television’s Saturday’s breakfast programme, Sunrise, Mr. Ugoke stressed that the ongoing strike will affect the common man unlike government officials who can afford international health care services.

He noted that the doctors can call on National Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG) or Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (PENGASSAN) to go on strike on their behalf to enable the doctors remain in the hospital, “if these associations threatening to go on strike on behalf of the doctors, the government would accede to their demands.

PENGASSAN Restrained From Holding Delegates’ Conference

A National Industrial CouPetroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeriart sitting in Lagos has issued an order of interim injunction, restraining the Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (PENGASSAN), from holding its delegate’s conference, pending the determination of a substantive suit before it.

The court made the order, following a suit against PENGASSAN, by two complainants, John Nwanosike and Jonathan Omare, who are members of the Chevron branch of the Association.

In their affirmation, the complainants contend that they were duly elected as delegates to the PENGASSAN conference, adding that their tenure was valid for a term of three years, but the defendants canceled their names as delegates, before the expiration of their tenure, thereby denying them the right to vote and be voted for at the conference.

In a bid to also prevent them from exercising their franchise, the second and third defendants set up a disciplinary committee to try them after they expressed the fear that their rights were been trampled.

According to them, the panel declared them guilty even when there was no evidence against them, as to the commission of any offence. The plaintiffs therefore, sought a declaration that the removal of their names as delegates to the Zonal conference and National Conference was unconstitutional.

They also sought an order, mandating the defendants to include their names, as delegates, and an order of perpetual injunction, restraining them from holding the conference, until the illegality occasioned by their removal was redressed.

Joined defendants are: PENGASSAN, its Chevron Branch, Mr Esanubi Frank and Mr Ayanate Kio.

Justice Kenneth Amadi has adjourned the case to June 30 for hearing of the motion on notice.

Meanwhile, efforts to serve the interim order at the National Secretariat of PENGASSAN at their office in 288 Ikorodu Road, Lagos was frustrated as the workers locked their gate and refused to accept service on the ground that they would not open till Wednesday, June 25 when the conference will be ending.

The delegate’s conference was billed to hold at the International Women Centre, Abuja on 24 June to 25 June.