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DPR Clamps Down On NNPC Mega Station

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The Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) has clamped down on a petrol station affiliated to Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) for selling fuel at N181 per litre and under-dispensing the product.
The station, a serial offender, will be shut for four months, a period within which a decisive action will have been thought out to deter it from further abusing the system.
The DPR Zonal Operations Controller for Abuja, Mr Abba Misau, the petrol station located on Kashim Ibrahim Way in Wuse 2 District of Abuja, had also been under-dispensing petrol to customers.
He said DPR had to seal the station for continuously abusing regulations on the sale of petrol in Nigeria.
Misau said DPR had sealed the station four times, with the most recent being last week for unwholesome activities, yet the station continued to cheat on unsuspecting customers.
Misau noted that from the discoveries made, the station sells two litres short of every 10 litres they sell to customers, meaning that for every 10 litres bought and paid for by a customer, they actually get eight litres from the station.
“We have sealed this station four times and the last time it was sealed before being closed again today was just last week and we opened it on Friday. Now they went back to what they do.
“We figured out that what they normally do is that during the day, they ratify the pumps and when they are sure that we (DPR) have closed from work, they will set the pumps to under-dispense.
“This time, it is the worst under-dispensing that I have ever seen in my career here, because they are cheating the public.
“They under-dispense two litres on every 10 litres that they sell to the public, which translates to selling one litre of PMS at N18
“We cannot just close our eyes and allow them to continue this illicit act.’’
Speaking on the penalties the DPR would impose on the station this time, Misau said: “We have sealed this station severally and put a penalty which they paid and are comfortable with paying, but always transfer the penalty to the public.
“We can’t allow them to continue doing that and so this time around we are going to apply a maximum sanction, which means that the station will remain sealed for the next four months, after which we can now take a decision on them.’
He appealed to the NNPC to ensure that products were made available at the government-controlled price.
“I want to appeal to NNPC, it should not allow a businessman that does not have conscience to continue using its logo to cheat the public.
“The NNPC needs to look into this issue and see how it can solve this problem.
“Whether we tell the NNPC directly or not, the fact is that we treat all marketers equally. So, if we have to go and tell NNPC, it means we are not being honest to the other marketers.
“Whoever we find wanting, we just apply the needed sanction on the person but right now, we are appealing to the NNPC,’’ Misau said.

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CBN Kicks As MTN Begins Charges For USSD Transactions, Today

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The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has opposed plans by the telecommunication service provider, the MTN, to charge their subscribers for Unstructured Supplementary Service Data access to banking services from today.
The Governor of CBN, Mr. Godwin Emefiele, gave the bank’s position at a news briefing by the Nigerian delegation to the just-concluded World Bank/International Monetary Fund Annual Meetings, in Washington, yesterday.
The Tide reports that MTN, in an SMS message to its subscribers, had said the decision was on the request of the banks and would take effect from October 21 (today).
“Yello, as requested by your bank, from October 21, we will start charging you directly for USSD access to banking services.
“Please, contact your bank for more info,’’ the message said.
Responding to a question seeking his reaction to the announcement, the CBN governor said the bank would not allow that to happen.
“About five, four months ago, I held a meeting with some telecom companies as well as the leading banks in Nigeria at Central Bank, Lagos.
“At that time, we came to a conclusion that the use of USSD is a sunk cost.
“What we mean by a sunk cost is that it is not an additional cost on the infrastructure of the telecom company.
“But the telecom companies disagreed with us. They said it was an additional investment on infrastructure and for that reason, they needed to impose it.
“I have told the banks that we will not allow this to happen.
“The banks are the people who give this business to the telecom companies and I leave the banks and the telecom companies to engage.
“I have told the banks that they have to move their business, move their traffic to a telecom company that is ready to provide it at the lowest possible, if not zero cost.
“And that is where we stand, and we must achieve it,’’ he said.
The Tide reports that the transactions to be affected by the charges include intra- and inter-bank money transfers, through USSD, among others.

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OML 53: NDPR, Omerelu Community Sign GMoU

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The Niger Delta Petroleum Resources (NDPR), operators of the Oil Mining Licence (OML) 53, and Omerelu Community in Ikwerre Local Government Area of Rivers State, have signed the Global Memorandum of Understanding (GMoU).
After back and forth deliberations which began in May 2019, the two parties finally signed the document which was read to the hearing of all stakeholders, last Friday, by representative of the Permanent Secretary, Rivers State Ministry of Justice (Mrs.) Florence Fiberesima,
Representative of the state government, and Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Chieftaincy and Local Government Affairs, Mr Felix Odungweru, who expressed happiness shortly after the ceremony, stated that the signing of the GMoU would enhance the economy of federal, state and local governments, due to the peaceful coexistence that would emanate from the official pact between NDPR and the Omerelu community.
According to him, “it portends that the economy of the state, federal and local governments would be enhanced, where there is peace, there is a working understanding.”
Odungweru noted that with the signing of the GMoU, the company would not shy away from its Corporate Social Responsibilities (CSRs), saying “in executing it’s Corporate Social responsibilities, the company goes into a GMoU with host community where all issues are straightened and stretched out”.
He said further that the pact was a “demand driven action, triggered by the community, which process started in May 2019 and concluded in October”.
On his part, the representative of the Board of Trustees, NDPR, Chief Enyindah Chukwu, expressed optimism that the GMoU would bring growth for both the community and the company operating in the community, in this case NDPR.
Chief Chukwu said, “if they play by the rules, the company would have a conducive environment to operate in as well as peace”, adding that the host community would benefit from the presence of the company operating in the area.
He explained that the GMoU was renewable every three years from the date of signing.
Also speaking, the paramount ruler of Omerelu, Eze Ben Ugoh, the Eluwa 8th of Omerelu, expressed appreciation to God and the company for the pact and expressed optimism that the community would benefit in terms of employment, development and empowerment.

 

Tonye Nria-Dappa

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Nigeria To Get $3bn World Bank Loan For Power

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The Minister of Finance, Mrs. Zainab Ahmed, has said that the Federal Government’s request for a World Bank loan to finance the power sector is on the verge of being granted.
Ahmed stated this yesterday at a media briefing on the activities of the Nigerian delegation to the just-concluded annual meetings of the World Bank/International Monetary Fund Annual Meetings in Washington.
“We put a request for financing of the power sector at a range of $1.5bn to $4bn.
“At the end of the day, it looks like we will be looking at a funding size of $3bn that will be provided in four tranches of $750m each.
“Our plan is that the team will be able to go to the World Bank for the approval of the first tranche in April 2020,’’ she said.
The minister explained that the loan would be used to plug funding gaps and tariff differentials, which she said private investors in the sector had always complained about.
She said a portion of the money would go into the transmission segment of the electricity value chain.
If the government is able to expand the facility to four billion dollars, the additional one billion would be used for the distribution segment, she said.
“It will help us to exit the subsidy that is now inherent in the power sector.
“It is supposed to be to reform the sector and to restore the distribution business side of the sector especially to put it on a stronger footing.
“This is to ensure that they are freed up enough to be able to go out and raise financing to invest in expanding the distribution networks,’’ she said.
Ahmed stated further that the financing would also cover the gap between the current tariff and the actual cost of generating electricity.
“It will also enhance our ability to pay previous obligations in the sector that have crystallised so that investors in the sector can go on with expanding investments in the sector.
“The distribution sector will be at the backend when the other reforms have been carried out.
“It will be a loan to the distribution companies because they are owned by the private sector,” the minister said.

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