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Fuel scarcity bites harder, marketers blame NNPCL

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As the petrol scarcity across the country continues to linger, oil marketers have accused the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited of politicising the supply process and making vain promises.

The oil marketers under the aegis of the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria claimed they had get fuel, despite the assurances from the Managing Director of the NNPCL Retail, Hubb Stocksman, in December that they would receive direct product supply at the government-regulated price of N148/litre from this month.

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“We have yet to see any product supply. Well, the man (Stockman) has been in Nigeria for some time now and is probably beating us to our game. He’s playing politics and we don’t see the situation abating soonest,” the Chairman of Satellite Depot, IPMAN, Akin Akinrinade, told The PUNCH.

The IPMAN official said this as fuel queues worsened on Wednesday.

Akinrinade added that marketers as of last Friday bought products from the depots at between N235-N240 per litre, saying there was no way they would sell products below N270/litre even within the Lagos metropolis.

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On what could be the lasting solution to fuel scarcity, he advised the Federal Government to revive the refineries to enable local production.

“The lasting solution is for the refineries to start functioning and we begin local refining,” he said.

Also speaking, the National Operations Controller of IPMAN, Mike Osatuyi, told The PUNCH that the removal of fuel subsidy and deregulation was the key to resolving the fuel scarcity menace.

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“The permanent solution is to deregulate and remove subsidies. Allow the market to be a free market, where marketers other than the NNPC will be able to bring in products. Since the government said the subsidy would be removed in June, let’s wait and see, but until then, we have to manage,” he told The PUNCH over the phone.

The Chairman of the Major Oil Marketers Association of Nigeria, Olumide Adeosun, also said the deregulation of the downstream sector would eradicate fuel scarcity.

“Having subsidised PMS for so long, Nigerian institutions now have a diminished capacity to deal with the current local energy crisis.
A disruption in any part of the supply chain causes ripple effects and results in queues at stations. As a country, we must begin the process of price deregulation to reduce this inefficient subsidy,” he said.

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According to him, if the country wishes to implement a subsidy, it must be in areas targeted to help those it should help such as in agriculture and transportation to reduce food inflation and generate more jobs for Nigerians.

He said, “We must find a way to liberalise supply. We must bring transparency and competition into supply to ensure steadier, more efficient supply at optimum prices.

Imported products must compete with locally refined products to find a meeting point between the need for local refining and competitively low but cost-recovered prices for Nigerians for sustainability.

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“The exploration, production, refining of crude oil and the distribution of refined products is an international business with ebbs and flows and has specific models, guidelines, rules, and norms designed to protect and sustain consumers of this type of energy and populations impacted by its supply chain.

The government and the industry in Nigeria must demonstrably apply this accepted health, safety, environmental protection, and quality norms to be seen to care for its local populations. To cut corners would be irresponsible, unaccountable, and unsustainable.”

Long fuel queues were still seen across Lagos on Wednesday. Some motorists were seen queuing up for N170 per litre of fuel at stations belonging to MOMAN members, but stations belonging to IPMAN members rarely had customers, as those who could afford products sold for N250/litre and above, were seen freely driving in and out of their (IPMAN) stations.

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Findings showed that while MOMAN members get fuel directly from NNPCL at a government-deregulated price of N148/litre, IPMAN members patronise private depots where prices are determined by market indices.

The Executive Secretary for the Depot and Petroleum Products Marketers Association of Nigeria, Olufemi Adewole, had told The PUNCH that just like the NNPCL, its members were on a “recover all” regime, adding that its members faced high costs of renting vessels, illegal fees, lack of forex at Central Bank of Nigeria’s official rate among others, as reasons behind increasing prices of products.

The spokesperson for NNPCL, Garba Deen, could not be reached on his official line for his comment on the lingering fuel crises.

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NNPC defends subsidy

Meanwhile, the Group Chief Executive Officer of the Nigerian National Petroleum Company, Mele Kyari, on Wednesday said the oil firm was comfortable with the policy of the Federal Government on the subsidy of Premium Motor Spirit, popularly called petrol, despite the trillions of naira being spent subsidising the commodity.

He also announced that Nigeria’s crude oil and condensates production climbed to as high as 1.52 million barrels per day towards the end of December 2022.

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JUST IN: IMF ask CBN to extend Feb 10 deadline for old naira notes

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By Francesca Iwambe

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has advised the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to extend the February 10 deadline for the use of old naira notes if the difficulties in getting new notes persist.

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According to the IMF, the call become necessary as the development had led to the disruptions to trade and payments due to the shortage of new noted in the bank.

The call was contained in a statement made available to journalists on Wednesday.

“In light of hardships caused by disruptions to trade and payments due to the shortage of new bank notes available to the public, in spite of measures introduced by the CBN to mitigate the challenges in the banknote swap process, the IMF encourages the CBN to consider extending the deadline, should problems persist in the next few days leading up to the February 10, 2023 deadline,” the statement reads.

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BREAKING: Supreme Court suspends February 10 deadline for naira swap

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By Francesca Iwambe, Abuja

The Supreme Court of Nigeria has restrained the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and Federal Government from ending the legal tender statuses of old N200, N500 and N1000 banknotes on February 10, 2023.

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The apex court made the order following the suit filed by three State governments challenging the Naira swap policy.

Recall that governments of Kaduna, Zamfara and Kogi States had approached the Supreme Court seeking an order to stop the policy.

Naijablitznews.com will bring you more details shortly

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CBN captures more Communities as currency swap is continuous in Taraba

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Emmanuel Awari-Jalingo

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), on Friday extend her currency swap exercise to more Communities of Yorro, Ardo-Kola and Ibi local government areas of Taraba state.

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The Director Financial System Strategy, Central Bank of Nigeria, Ibrahim Hassan who disclosed this to our correspondent in Jalingo said, the development was in continuation of the CBN initiative targeted at ensuring that all rural dwellers in Taraba have their old naira notes swapped to new ones or deposited in banks before the extended CBN deadline for currency swap.

Hassan noted that the currency Swap Initiative was to help save communities who do not have access to bank, swap their old naira notes to the new notes.

“Just as we have been doing to ensure that people in the rural Communities of Taraba who do not have access to Bank have their old naira notes swap to new ones. CBN delegation have been drafted to more Communities of Yorro, Ardo-Kola and Ibi local to ensure success of the initiative.

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“CBN delegation for Yorro is led by Mr Jackson Imandi, the Deputy Director, the one Ardo-Kola is led by Mr. Kazeem Olatinmu while the one in Ibi local government is been led by the CBN Head of Banking Services in Taraba State, Hayatu Yahaya Shehu to ensure the villagers gain advantage of the Ten days extension for the currency swap” Hassan explained.

When contacted, the chief of Mumuye in Yorro local government, Ado Adamu Manang, that of Ibi, Abubakar Salihu Danbaw and some beneficiary of the exercise in Ardo-Kola local government, Mohammed Musa, Hafsatu Babangida and Isa Mahmud, commended the central Bank of Nigeria for the exercise as it was the best for villagers and promised to help create massive awareness for people to swap their old naira notes to the new ones.

According to them, businesses were already collapsing as people were no longer accepting the old naira notes even before the extended window.

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