Kaduna Transporters Hike Fares As Petrol Scarcity Bites Harder

KadunaThree days to the Christmas celebration, people travelling to various parts of the country from Kaduna and environs for the festivity are groaning with the increasing scarcity of petrol.

This is due the increase of transport fare by commercial drivers who ironically are also complaining of shortage of passengers as a result of the fuel scarcity and increase in fares.

They have called on the Federal government to urgently address the problem in order to reduce their sufferings.

Most filling stations across the state capital have been locked up due to the scarcity of petrol, while those that opened for business sold the product at over 80% of the normal price.

While black marketers of petrol sell a four litre gallon of petrol as high as 1,000 naira, most of the filling stations sell a litre of the product for 200 naira to struggling and impatient motorists and those buying in jerry cans.

The petrol profiteers ruled as long as men of the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) were away, but when they storm the stations, they force the managers to revert to the approved pump price or in some cases seal them up.

Transport fare from Kaduna to Akwa-Ibom State and some parts of the south east that used to cost about 6,000 naira has risen to 8,000 naira. Commuters have said that the price is likely to rise if nothing is done by the relevant authorities to address the fuel scarcity.

With no end in sight to the scarcity, many families planning to travel to their villages for the Christmas celebration may have to either suspend their trip or pay through their nose due to the hike in transport fare.

With the cheering news that the Kaduna Refinery and Petrochemical Company has resumed production after it was closed  for repairs some months ago, many Nigerians are appealing to the relevant authorities to address all knotty issues that have brought this unending nightmare to the nation.

Kachikwu Orders Special Fuel Supply For Christmas

KachikwuThe Minister of State for Petroleum, Dr Ibe Kachikwu, who is spending time with his constituency in Delta State, has given assurances that from 2016, the country’s oil sector will experience a turn around that will allow the refineries work effectively and then petroleum products will be available to Nigerians at affordable prices.

He said that as a technocrat he would give his best with the opportunity given to him to serve as the Minister of State for Petroleum.

On the current petroleum scarcity, the Minister attributed the situation to panic buying and hoarding, warning all those concerned to demonstrate patriotism.

Meanwhile, Dr Kachikwu has ordered what he called a special petrol supply intervention to ensure a hitch free Christmas and New Year celebration.

This order was given to the Pipeline Products Marketing Company (PPMC) for them to embark on special supply intervention measures to ensure country-wide availability of product ahead of the yuletide and beyond.

The NNPC says that daily fuel trucks which leaves depots to Abuja, Kaduna, Enugu, Kano, Ibadan and Jos has increased significantly.

Accept higher taxes, Alison-Madueke tells oil companies

The Minister of Petroleum Resources, Diezani Alison-Madueke on Tuesday urged foreign oil companies in Nigeria to accept higher government revenues from crude production outlined in a draft Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) being debated in National Assembly.

The Minister of Petroleum Resources, Diezani Alison-Madueke

Speaking at an economic summit in Abuja, Mrs Alison-Madueke said fiscal reforms in the proposed PIB, if passed, would be the most comprehensive in four decades.

She described the increased government takes from oil revenues in the PIB as small and said they were fair, given sustained higher oil prices.

“Nigeria is not alone in the tightening of fiscal terms,” she said. “The goal has always been to find a fair balance between the government and the contractors’ shares.”

President Goodluck Jonathan presented the bill to the National Assembly in August and it is still being discussed.

Oil majors have cried out about proposed tax terms in the bill, with Shell and ExxonMobil saying they would make exploration deep offshore, which is the key to growing Nigeria’s reserves, non-viable.

Nigeria’s tax and royalties regimes are complex and often highly secretive. Little is known about existing terms on offshore contracts, but oil majors say the PIB has worse terms than existing ones.

“The government is not in the business of oil and gas to make a loss for the country. At the same time, the intent is to remain competitive to attract investment,” Mrs Alison-Madueke told delegates at the conference.

She has said after the changes were made in the PIB, Nigeria’s “government take” on offshore projects would be around 73 percent, lower than in rival producers Angola, Norway and Indonesia.

“The PIB has been 12 years in the making. If it was such an easy bill, it would have been hashed out a long time ago,” the Minister said.

“I don’t think any position you take on a bill such as this could be perfect … but I think we did a fairly equitable job.”

The PIB’s comprehensive nature — comprising everything including fiscal terms, reform of the state oil company, penalties for environmental infractions and funds for communities living on oil fields — is partly why it has been so hard to agree on.

In a speech, the head of local operator Seplat Petroleum suggested the fiscal regime be hived off from the rest of the bill and quickly passed, to end uncertainty holding back billions of dollars of investment.

Mrs Alison-Madueke said this had been considered and rejected in the drafting of the bill, which would remain comprehensive.