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Kerosene Scarcity: IPMAN Wants Direct Supply From NNPC

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The Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN) has urged the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) to ensure that kerosene is distributed through its members.

Mr Chinedu Okoronkwo, the Chairman of IPMAN’s Products Allocation Committee, made the call shortly after an inaugural meeting of the committee in Lagos.

Okoronkwo said the meting was to ensure that NNPC’s kerosene allocations to IPMAN were given to genuine members to ensure effective distribution and availability.

“NNPC should allocate IPMAN products strictly to its members to avoid diversion by un-recognised marketers.

“The only time we can checkmate mischievous marketers is when all follow due process,’’ he said.

The chairman said that IPMAN was ready to partner with NNPC in addressing the scarcity of petroleum products.

The Secretary of the committee, Mr Olumide Ogunmade, expressed the hope that the committee would ensure equitable distribution of products to IPMAN members.

“We are not fighting the NNPC but want to set records straight so that our valued members who have invested their money in products will get them.

“If we are given 76 per cent allocation for our members, what we are witnessing today on kerosene won’t have occurred because we are widely spread in term of retail outlets and number,’’ he said.

Ogunmade said the committee desired that all petroleum products allocation by the NNPPC/PPMC should go to genuine marketers for effective distribution and monitoring.

Our correspondent reports that IPMAN on Wednesday set up a 22-man committee to oversee the union’s allocation of products from the NNPC.

The committee was mandated to recommend solutions to the lingering scarcity of kerosene.

Meanwhile, some major and independent marketers have alleged that the NNPC, and Pipelines and Products Marketing Company (PPMC) are under-supplying them kerosene.

Some of the marketers, who spoke with newsmen yesterday in Lagos on condition of anonymity, said the situation had resulted in the artificial scarcity and hike in the price of the commodity.

“The inability of NNPC and PPMC to flood the market with the commodity caused the scarcity, and hike in the price of the commodity,’’ one of them said.

The source said that less than five million litres of kerosene were being distributed to the marketers daily, as against 12 million litres the NNPC claimed were being supplied.

The marketers alleged that 30 of them were being allocated a truck of 33,000 litres daily.

They, however, suggested that they should be given licence to import the commodity as part of efforts to address the lingering scarcity of kerosene.

“We urge the government to put in place appropriate mechanisms to ensure that the product is available throughout the country.

“Importation of kerosene by NNPC alone cannot solve the problem of scarcity; government should give licence to independent marketers to fast-track the importation of the commodity to ease scarcity,’’ a marketer said.

A source in the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR), who preferred anonymity, also advised the NNPC to flood the market with the commodity, and publish daily and monthly allocations to the marketers.

The source said NNPC should increase supply of kerosene to the marketers and other depot owners to ease scarcity as well as reduce the price of the commodity.

Dr Levi Ajunoma, Group General Manager, Public Affairs Division of NNPC, said about 50,000 metric tonnes of kerosene had been allocated to major and independent marketers, as well as depot owners within the last one month.

Our correspondent, however, reports that in spite of this, kerosene still sells at between N120 to N135 per litre in some filling stations.

In spite of announcements by the NNPC that it had distributed sufficient kerosene to oil marketers nationwide, the product has remained scarce and expensive in Asaba.

Our correspondent reports that between June 27 and yesterday, not more than five out of more than 40 petrol filling stations in Asaba had the product for sale to the public.

An investigation showed that the stations that sold the product were only those owned by independent oil marketers.

Not even NNPC Mega station or its grade B type, both in Asaba, had the product for sale.

For instance, out of the more than 15 filing stations on Onitsha high way, only two, King’s Petroleum and Emmy and Sons Oil Ltd, sold the product during the week at exorbitant rates.

Anioma Petroleum and Odims Global Resources Ltd., both oil dealers located on Anwai Road, sold the products too.

No major oil marketer in the city sold kerosene during the period in spite of allegation by Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN) in the state that greater percentage of kerosene allocation went to them (major marketers).

According to IPMAN Chairman in the state, Chief Akpos Edafevwotu, NNPC allocates about 70 per cent of kerosene to its mega station in Asaba and the smaller ones around the cities.

He said the corporation also gave greater share of the remaining 30 per cent to major marketers, leaving little for his association’s members.

Edafevwotu, however, said that kerosene allocation to IPMAN by NNPC during the period of scarcity was raised to 16 trucks daily as against seven previously but noted that the supply was still inadequate.

The situation in Asaba has again boosted black market operation in the sale of the product.

A litre of the product at such market costs between N200 and N240.

One of the operators who pleaded anonymity, told newsmen that the price of a litre at the “illegal” spots depended on the sources of the stock.

Automated Gas Oil (AGO), known as diesel, has also remained scarce in the Delta capital for a long time and has led to high price of the product.

Currently, a litre sells for between N155 and N165 at filling stations.

In a related development, the NNPC (Retail Products Section) is collaborating with the Capital Oil and Gas in a nationwide kerosene distribution in tankers.

The aim is to ease scarcity.

Our correspondent reports that the pilot scheme began on Saturday in Lagos with 200 tankers loaded with the product.

The vehicles are to be taken to all the nooks and crannies of Lagos State for kerosene sales to residents.

Mr Ifeanyi Ubah, the Chief Executive Officer of Capital Oil and Gas, said at the unveiling of the pilot scheme that the idea was to boost NNPC’s efforts to end kerosene scarcity.

Ubah said the distribution would eliminate long queues at NNPC fuel stations.

“Tankers will be stationed at some locations in the city and rural areas to sell to individuals who want to buy kerosene; the best method to address panic buying of kerosene.

“The product will be handled and sold to Nigerians by sub-dealers who must have paid for them through the banks to avoid sharp practices,’’ he said.

Ubah said the method would go a long way in addressing kerosene scarcity.

He said that the schemes would be conducted in Abuja, Kano and Port Harcourt.

Dr Levi Ajuonuma, the Group General Manager, Public Affairs Division in NNPC, said the corporation on Thursday allocated 25,000 metric tonnes of kerosene to major and independent marketers to ease the scarcity.

“Distribution bottlenecks have been our major challenge but we have finally addressed that, and we believe all marketers will ensure the circulation of the product across the country,’’ he said.

Ajuonuma also said that the truck distribution would effectively address the lingering scarcity.

“We implore both regulatory bodies and the media to assist in monitoring the distribution of the product at the official pump price of N50 per litre,’’ he said.

Mr Victor Enilama, the Operations Officer at the Department of Petroleum Resources, urged the NNPC to publish all kerosene allocations to marketers to guide the department in monitoring their sale.

Enilama said the DPR would not seal a fuel station or prosecute its owner when there was no product in the station.

“Kerosene is under-supplied; the NNPC should beef up supply to marketers and depot owners to ensure adequate distribution and sales at the normal pump price,’’ he said.

He urged the corporation to ensure sustainability of the kerosene distribution, warning that if not properly monitored, it would be mismanaged and abused.

Our correspondent reports that kerosene is still sold for between N120 and N135 per litre in some filling stations in Lagos State.

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Customs Accuses Embassies Of Encouraging Smuggling

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Another mode of vehicle smuggling through the land borders hiding under diplomatic cover of embassies has been uncovered by the Nigeria Customs Service at Seme Border in Lagos.
The Customs Area Controller, Seme Border, Comptroller Bello Mohammed Jibo, disclosed this on Tuesday when briefing newsmen on activities of the command between January and September.
Jibo displayed four exotic vehicles with diplomatic number plates that were seized by his men.
He said that the smugglers in an attempt to bring in dutiable vehicles into the country without paying Customs duty hid under the pretence that the vehicle belonged to a diplomat.
Jibo said that upon scrutiny and investigation, the claims that the vehicles belonged to the embassies and that diplomatic officials were traveling in them were discovered to be untrue.
The command, according to him, also intercepted contrabands worth one thousand, two hundred and forty four (1,244) smuggled items with Duty Paid Value (DPV) of eight hundred and eighty six million, four hundred and twenty eight thousand, one hundred and sixty three Naira, forty one kobo (N886, 428, 163.41) only between January and September this year.
The command added that it collected the sum of seven hundred and eighteen million, eight hundred and twenty eight thousand, five hundred and twenty nine Naira, eighty five kobo (N718, 828, 529.85) only as revenue during the period under review.
Within this period, the command also processed and exited exported trade volume of six hundred and thirty five thousand, one hundred and forty nine Naira, twenty three kobo (635, 149.23) metric tonnes, with the Free On board (FOB) value of fifteen billion, five hundred and sixty four million, one hundred and thirty thousand, five hundred and eighteen Naira, nine kobo (N15, 564, 130, 518.09) only, and the NESS value of seventy eight million, two hundred and three thousand, seven hundred and seventy nine naira, eighty one kobo (N78, 203, 779. 81) only.
Under ETLS, the command treated and exited one thousand, three hundred and fourteen (1,314) trucks of goods under the scheme.
Explaining some of the items seized, Jibo said in July 2021, the command made a huge seizure of three thousand, one hundred and eighty six (3,186) parcels of cannabis sativa concealed with sharp sand along Badagry-Seme road.
“Furthermore, in our last press conference, the command handed over two hundred and thirty two (232) parcels of cannabis sativa to National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) Special Command Seme.
“Securing our borders is a collective responsibility; the Nigeria Customs Service ensures inter-agency cooperation and coordination among all the other security agencies at the border”, he said.
The command, however, lamented that the economic policies of the Benin Republic was affecting its revenue drive, saying all goods transiting through Benin are mandated to pay some duties and levies by the government of Benin Republic which is contrary to ECOWAS protocols and international transit agreements.

By: Nkpemenyie Mcdominic, Lagos

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Nigeria Owes N35.5trn, As Local Debt Stands At N21trn

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The nation’s public debt stock stood at N35.465trillion as at June 30, Director-General of the Debt Management Office (DMO), Ms. Patience Oniha, has disclosed.
Total public debt is composed of the domestic and external debt of the Federal Government, the 36 state governments and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).
Nigeria’s total public debt stock was N33.107trillion or $87.239billion, as at March 31, 2021.
This indicated a N2.358trillion rise in the debt stock from the end of the first quarter of the year to the end of the second quarter.
A breakdown of the public debt figure under review indicated that that external debt was N13.711trillion, representing 38.66 per cent.
On the other hand, domestic debt was N21.754trillion, representing 61.34 per cent of the total stock.
The Federal Government accounted for N11.828trillion of the external debt and N17.632trillion of the domestic debt.
States and the FCT’s external debt stood at N1.883trillion, with a domestic debt stock of N4.122trillion.
The breakdown of the external debt showed that the bulk of the debt is owed to multilaterals (World Bank Group and the African Development Bank Group), which accounted for 54.88 per cent.
The next highest category is the commercial debt (Eurobonds and Diaspora bonds) which accounted for 31.88 per cent; while bilateral (China, France, Japan, India and Germany) stood at 12.70 per cent.
Promissory Notes represent 0.54 per cent.
Oniha explained that the nation had several benefits from going to source funds which included showcasing Nigeria in a positive light in the international financial markets where large pools of capital are available.
In addition, she said, “The sovereign Eurobonds serve as a benchmark on the back of which several local banks have issued Eurobonds. Amongst them are Zenith Bank, Access Bank, UBA, FBN, Ecobank Nigeria and Fidelity Bank. This window opened by the sovereign enabled these Nigerian Banks raise Tier-2 Capital to meet regulatory requirements and enhanced their capacity to lend to, and, support local borrowers.
“Issuing Eurobonds has been a potent tool for building up Nigeria’s External Reserves. A healthy level of External Reserves supports the Naira Exchange Rate and Nigeria’s sovereign rating.
“Raising funds externally through Eurobonds to finance budget deficits reduces the level of sovereign borrowing in the domestic markets. The benefits of this are many: mitigates the risk of crowding out the private sector (more funds available at moderate rates for other borrowers in the domestic economy).
“The Eurobonds are also listed in Nigeria’s two securities exchanges: The Nigerian Exchange Limited and FMDQ Securities Exchange Limited. This increases the size of these exchanges and diversity of instruments listed.
“The Eurobonds are actually issued as part of approved Government Borrowing Plans, usually in the FGN’s annual budgets, for financing capital projects thereby reducing the infrastructure gap.”
The D-G explained that the issues of rising debt, high debt service to revenue ratio and utilization of borrowed funds were germane.
She said that members of the public should not lose sight of the facts which necessitated borrowing which included, “Huge Infrastructure Deficit , Recession (twice in the last six years), Consecutive Budget Deficits, Low Revenue Base, compounded by dependence on one source – crude oil which prices crashed and at a point, at the peak of the Covid-19 pandemic had no buyers.”
Oniha stressed that Nigerians must challenge themselves and support the Federal Government on the need to raise revenue.
She noted that the 5 per cent tax as a percentage of the Gross Domestic product (GDP) was too poor for Nigeria and that concerted efforts must be made to increase the nation’s revenue.
The D-G disclosed that work has already started on this, adding the Federal Government debt to the Central Bank of Nigeria which was at about N10trillion at the beginning of the process.
She said, “We are working towards recognizing it, getting the proper approvals to include it in the public debt stock. Where we are is to get the necessary approvals to convert it into a tenured debt.”
On the foreign exchange implications for debt service, especially the fall in the value of the Naira, in recent times, the DMO boss said, “we have initiated actions towards managing that risk.”

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85,265mt Of LPG Supplied In August, PPPRA Claims

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The Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency (PPPRA), yesterday, reported that 85,264.803 metric tonnes (MT) of liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) were supplied nationwide in August.
The Executive Secretary of the agency, Abdulkadir Saidu, made the disclosure in a statement.
A breakdown of the supply report shows that 38,040.457MT was sourced locally by Ever Oil, Stockgap, NIPCO, 11 Plc, Greenville Natural Gas, PNG Gas Ltd, NPDC and Ashtavinayak Hydrocarbon Ltd, while 47,224.346MT was imported by NIPCO, Matrix, Algasco, Techno Oil, Prudent, AA Rano, Stockgap.
Additional analysis of the data on importation in the month of August shows that 21,606.301MT was imported from the USA, while 13,044.266MT was imported from Algeria and 12,573.779MT was brought into the country from Equatorial Guinea.
The volume of LPG supplied in August suggests a decrease of about 21,959.781MT compared to the 107,224.584MT supplied in the month of July.
In addition, 102,787.234MT was also supplied in the month of June.
On the other hand, out of the 38,040.457MT sourced locally, 7,042.058MT was sourced by Ever oil, 9,429.761MT by Stockgap, 7,687.112MT by NIPCO, 4,761.626MT by 11 Plc and 440.380MT by Greenville,Rumuji, Rivers State.
Also, the PNG Gas Ltd in Ebedei, Delta State supplied 651.490MT into the market, while NPDC, Oredo, Benin State provided 1,055.310MT and Ashtavinayak Hydrocarbon Ltd Kwale, Delta State, discharged 6,972.720MT.
Similarly, 11,262.04MT of propane was sourced locally and supplied into the energy market by NPDC and Ashtavinayak Hydrocarbon.
“It is worthy to note that since the declaration of the “Decade of Gas” by President MuhammaduBuhari, and the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Chief Timipre Sylva, the nation has witnessed a significant increase in the volume of LPG produced locally. This is due to the commitment of the Federal Government in promoting gas penetration, to ensure a clean source of energy for cooking, power generation and transportation,”Saidu said.
The Petroleum Industry Act (PIA) as the first law that recognises the oil and gas midstream sector will promote and protect gas-based investments and optimise the nation’s enormous gas potentials while ensuring that Nigeria transit to become a net-zero emission nation.
The PPPRA boss reiterated the agency’s continued support for the Federal Government’s policy to deepen LPG penetration in the country and create a healthy life for Nigerians.

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