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Bizmen, Motorists Lament Diesel Price Hike

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Some small scale operators
and commercial motorists plying Lagos roads on Sunday lamented over the increasing price of diesel which now stands at N200 per litre in most of the filling stations in Lagos.
They told our correspondent in an interview that the increasing price had affected the profit margin of their businesses, thereby making them to run at a loss.
Mr Thompson Alo, General Manager, HTS Photo Laboratory, Agege said that the company spent N200, 000 monthly to buy diesel to power their generator.
Alo said that before, they used to spend just N100, 000 to buy the product because electricity supply was regular and the product was just at N130 per litre.
“With the price of diesel now at N200 per litre, the company is not making any profit, we had to send away two of our staff, last month.
“In June, the company made a profit of just N5, 000 for the entire month, we cannot afford to pay the salaries of workers.
“If diesel is N130 per litre, we will be saving N70 from each litre from the 1000 litres buy in a month, this is over N70,000,’’ he said.
Alo appealed to the Federal Government to wade into this problem and help in the importation of the product, adding that the cabal in the diesel business was making a lot of profit.
The general manager said that with the current world crude oil price that was less than 50 dollars, the product should not be more than N100 per litre.
Managing Director, Blue Sky Frozen Foods, Ijora Mrs Josephine Okoro, lamented the pain she was going through to sustain her business.
“Our business is finished without regular supply of public electricity, but now that there is no supply from the electricity distribution company, I rely on diesel to fuel my generator.
“This is really affecting our business because one cannot just increase the price because of the power challenges we are facing.
“All the profit now goes to buying diesel. I just keep coming to the shop because I don’t want the business to collapse.
“It is no longer business as usual now because all profit now goes into the purchase of diesel,” she said.
Okoro said she was spending close to N80, 000 monthly to keep her cold room alive.
Also, some commercial motorists in Lagos said that the increasing diesel price was affecting their take home.
Mr Morufu Salami, a commercial bus driver that plies the Sango/Oshodi axis said that the driving business was no longer as rosy as before.
Salami said he spent N8, 000 on diesel daily, only to discover that at the end of the day, there was nothing to take home.
“Apart from buying N8, 000 diesel, motor touts will collect almost N4, 800 daily, apart from Police settlement, then I will deliver N10, 000 to the owner.
“What is left will be shared by the conductor and myself. But recently, we are being left with little or nothing after the day’s work.
“The price of diesel is on the high side: from N130 in May to N200 in June. This is too much, our government should save us from the hardship.
“Drivers cannot boast of saving N2, 000 a day now, as everything is on the high side. Government should come to our rescue,” he said.
Another commercial bus driver, Mr George Okorie, said that he always checked filling stations along Abule-Egba/Iyana-Ipaja road to see those selling diesel below N200 per litre.
“The increasing price of diesel has taught me to check the prices of diesel on display before buying.
“I always buy my diesel at Danco filling station along Iyana-Ipaja because it is cheaper there.
“They sell diesel for N183 per litre and their petrol is N140 per litre.

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Crude Hits Seven-Year High On Recovery Hope … Equity Rally Runs Out

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Crude oil hit a more than seven-year high yesterday on optimism that the global recovery will ramp up demand.
However, concerns about the end of long-running central bank support and rising Treasury yields saw most equity markets reverse early gains.
After an almost uninterrupted rally from the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic, world markets are showing signs of levelling out as global finance chiefs shift from economy-boosting largesse to measures aimed at reining in inflation.
Still, there is an expectation that equities will enjoy further gains this year as countries reopen and people grow more confident about travel, especially as studies suggest the more prevalent Omicron coronavirus variant appears to be milder and as vaccines are rolled out.
Analysts are also watching the corporate earnings season that is underway, with hopes that firms can match their stellar performances last year.
But while Asian markets started the day brightly after Monday’s travails, traders returned to selling, with US Treasury yields surging on expectations the Federal Reserve will have to unveil several interest rate hikes to tackle a worrying spike in inflation. Wall Street was closed Monday.
Tokyo, Hong Kong, Sydney, Seoul, Singapore, Taipei, Mumbai, Bangkok and Jakarta all fell.
There were gains in Shanghai in hopes of fresh economy-boosting measures, while Wellington and Manila also edged up.
London, Paris and Frankfurt all fell at the open.
But oil built on its early promise, with Brent climbing to $88.13 a barrel and WTI hitting $85.74, both levels not seen since October 2014.
The gains came thanks to demand optimism as the world reopens and concerns about Omicron ease. The loosening of travel restrictions in several countries has seen jet fuel costs soar.
Hopes for more monetary easing by major consumer, China, to reinforce its stuttering economy were also seen as key support for the oil market.

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NPA, MWUN, Others Synergise On Labour

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President General of Maritime Workers Union of Nigeria (MWUN), Comrade Adewale Adeyanju, has reaffirmed commitment to ensuring smooth working relationship with  management, Tin Can Island Port Complex (TCIPC) of the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) on labour related issues.
Adeyanju, who made the commitment during a working visit to the Port Manager, TCIPC, Mr. Buba Jubril, in Lagos, noted that the union will continue to promote industrial peace and harmony in the  operational activities at seaports.
Noting that synergy among all the maritime stakeholders was key for port efficiency, he hinted that the union has changed the narrative from being tagged as hooligans to a more responsible and civil Institution in the maritime industry.
Earlier, the Port Manager, TCIPC, Buba Jubril, thanked the  PG of MWUN for the systematic approach on labour related issues at the port level
Disclosing that the PG has been instrumental to the existing peace in port operations, Jubril assured on the existing synergy the port authority and all the unions.
Jubril further said that “ Myself and the President General MWUN has come a long in the industry.
“I have known him (PG) for over 33years and that will tell you that he is my friend and friend to management of the Nigeria port authority”, he said.

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Osinbajo Wants More Stakeholders’ Involvement In Blue Economy … Inaugurates Committee

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Vice President Yemi Osinbajo has sought for wider participation of relevant stakeholders in the blue economy project to deepen participation and benefits of Nigerians from the country’s marine resources.
Making the call at the  inaugural meeting of an Expanded Committee on Sustainable Blue Economy in Nigeria at the Presidential Villa yesterday, the Vice President said “a viable blue economy project will offer vista of opportunities not only for littoral states where there are bodies of waters, but for the entire country”.
He identified areas to be exploited to include ports, terminals, fishing, training, environment, tourism, power,oil and gas.
While identifying possible challenges of sustainability, the VP urged all the ministries, departments and agencies to strengthen their collaborations in an atmosphere of inter ministerial working groups and advised all members to attend the meetings faithfully for maximum results.
Osinbajo , who formally inaugurated the expanded committee, identified the need for a legal framework that will be more robust than other international maritime conventions on blue economy, which Nigeria has been signatory to.
He said the scope and participation of the committee will be further improved upon to accommodate more members from government agencies and relevant private sector stakeholders
“There is no doubt that the blue economy is a new frontier for economic development and a means of diversifying the economy through the use of resources from oceans, seas, rivers and lakes for the well being of the people.
“It also provides positive contribution to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals(SDGs) 2052 Africa Integrated Maritime Strategy (2052AIM) and the UN 2030 agenda
“This concept for economic diversification is promoted by the international community and provides friendly means of livelihood in line with this administration’s agenda on job creation’, he said.
He continued that “the ocean economy as an emerging economic frontier applies to ocean-based industry activities and the assets, goods and services of marine ecosystems.
“Countries have to define the scope of their blue economy based on their priorities. For example, in Bangladesh, the ocean economy consists of the following broad and growing economic sectors; living resources, minerals, energy, transport, trade, tourism and recreation, carbon sequestration and coastal protection.
“These industries and ecosystem services do not develop in isolation, but rather interact as an economic ecosystem”, the VP said.
Earlier in his remark,Transportation Minister, Rotimi Amaechi said the blue economy is capable of improving government revenue, create employments and grow the gross domestic product of Nigeria.
Amaechi, who was represented by the Permanent Secretary of the ministry, Dr Magdalene Ajani, also expressed optimism in the benefits derivable from a well exploited marine environment
Speaking at the event,  Dr. Paul Adalikwu, Secretary General of Maritime Organisation of West and Central Africa (MOWCA) lauded the initiative of the expansion while recommending inclusion of financial institutions such as the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and African Development Bank (AfDB), as well as key financial institutions that will contribute meaningfully to realizing Nigeria’s Blue Economy objective.
In addition to  maritime agencies such as the Nigeria Ports Authority, Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, and Maritime Academy of Nigeria, the expanded committee also include ten state governors.
They the Governors of Rivers, Lagos, Delta, Akwa Ibom, Borno, Ogun, Ondo, Cross River, Bayelsa and Edo States.
Other members are Ministers of Foreign Affairs, Power, Finance, Environment, Trade and Investment, Agriculture and Water Resources , Chief of Naval Staff, Comptroller General of Customs, Lake Chad Basin Commission, Nigeria Economic Summit Group, etc.

By: Nkpemenyie Mcdominic, Lagos

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