Oil marketers have ap-pealed to the Federal Government to effect quick payment of its outstanding N800 billion subsidy debts.
The marketers, under the aegis of Major Oil Marketers Association of Nigeria (MOMAN) and Depot and Petroleum Products Marketers Association (DAPPMA), made the appeal in a joint interactive session with journalists in Lagos.
They urged government agencies saddled with the settlement of the payment to expedite action to save marketers from closing shop as interest on loans mounted.
The Senate Committee on Petroleum (Downstream) had in its October 31 resolution directed the Ministry of Finance and the Debt Management Office (DMO) to meet with oil marketers and other stakeholders on grey areas and report back within one week.
Executive Secretary of MOMAN, Mr Clement Isong, said that the unpaid debts had negatively impacted on their working capital leading to their inability to pay their banks and service providers.
He urged government agencies concerned to address the bureaucratic bottlenecks causing the delay in the payment process, adding that the delay had resulted in degrading oil and gas downstream subsector and hampered marketers’ business operation.
MOMAN is a downstream oil and gas group made up of six major marketers including Mobil, Conoil, OVH Energy, Forte Oil, MRS Oil and Total Nigeria Plc.
The MOMAN scribe re-assured government of their readiness to ensure availability of petroleum products across the country during and after the yuletide period, adding that marketers were fully ready to work with government on effective products distribution.
According to him, the major challenge the Nigerian downstream petroleum sector is facing is the non-payment of the long outstanding fuel subsidy to oil marketers.
“We appreciate the efforts of the National Assembly and the Federal Executive Council in approving payment, but the non-payment creates a significantly negative impact on the operational efficiency of the downstream sector of the oil industry, thereby placing a severe strain on its efforts to continually invest in infrastructure and raise industry standards.
“We hope that the debts will be paid in full to the oil marketers as soon as possible,” he said.
Isong disclosed that the debt owed MOMAN members alone stood at over N130.7 billion as at August 2018.
Similarly, Executive Secretary, Deport and Petroleum Products Marketers of Nigeria, Olufemi Adewole, said that the processes highlighted for payment by the government were inimical to the operations of their businesses.
Adewole said: “The processes they have highlighted is killing our businesses. Immediately the banks read in the media that the National Assembly had approved, they went to court, got injunction and seized our assets.”
Adewole said that 60 per cent of marketers have been forced out of business as banks have taken over their depots, assets and properties, due to their inability to pay back monies borrowed to import fuel.
He said many marketers were forced out of business, while others are struggling to survive due to government’s inability to settle the subsidy arrears, saying the development is threatening investment in the downstream subsector.
The DAPPMAN scribe stressed that while the Federal Government had earmarked money to clear the debts, the marketers were yet to be paid.
“The debt has had very adverse effects on our operations. I am aware of two depots that have been forcibly taken over by banks, because they got injunctions from the courts.
“They did so the moment they heard that the National Assembly approved payment of the debt to marketers. Unfortunately, as at today the money was yet to get into our accounts,” he said.
Adewole pointed out that the other challenge was that many of the marketers had laid off more than 90 per cent of their staff because of financial constraints.
He, however, said that government had promised that part of the money would come as promissory note and cash, saying the information gathered was that the government may pay only in promissory note.
“It means you have to go back and discount this promissory note in the bank. This means we are losing because the money has been delayed and this adds to the interest to be charged on our accounts.
However, the Debt Management Office (DMO) had, on October 31, said it has commenced the accelerated implementation of settlement of government arrears through promisory notes to oil marketers.
The DMO made this known in a statement issued in Abuja when it met with the Senate Committee on Downstream Petroleum Sector to discuss the issue of the outstanding payments to oil marketers.
According to the statement, the implementation is in line with the process approved by the Federal Executive Council (FEC).
Solar Firm Targets 30m Nigerians By 2030
Greenlight Planet, a global leader in solar home energy products, has delivered clean energy access to more than two million individuals in Nigeria.
On a mission to power, the lives of the underserved, Greenlight Planet began distributing its Sun King solar home energy products in the country in 2011. The company has focused on rapid innovation of its product offerings and distribution strategy ever since.
Speaking on Greenlight Planet in Nigeria, Global Business Leader, Sun King EasyBuy, Mr DhavalRadia, said, “Over the last 7 years, we have sold more than 500,000 life-changing Sun King solar solutions in Nigeria through strategic distribution partnerships and our own pay-as-you-go distribution channel.
Customers have been quick to recognise that an investment in Sun King products pays for itself over time, with several customers experiencing dramatic improvements in household savings, increased productivity for their small businesses and additional study–time for their children.”
He added that the quality and reliability of Sun King solar home systems has helped the organisation build a loyal customer base over time. “While we are humbled by the warm acceptance of our products so far, for us this is just the beginning to reaching the 101 million individuals still living without basic access to electricity in Nigeria. To ensure that our products are affordable for even the most cash-constrained households, we launched our ‘EasyBuy’ pay-as-you-go distribution channel in early 20173 .
According to him, Sun King products enabled with EasyBuy (PAYG technology) now allow potential users with limited access to financing to pay for their Sun King products in small instalments over time. “With twenty-four flagship Sun King stores across 23 active states, and a large network of nearly 1,200 local sales agents (“Sun King Energy Officers”), the Sun King EasyBuy door-to-door sales channel is accelerating Greenlight Planet’s growth in Nigeria while also boosting employment opportunities within local communities”, he said.
He said that the organisation’s vision was to establish a world-class distribution and energy financing eco-system for the vast off-grid populations of rural Nigeria. “With our rigorous efforts and continued innovation, our goal is to power 30 million lives by 2030 in Nigeria.
FG To Achieve 40% Switch From Fuel, Other Products
The Federal Government is targeting to achieve a 40 per cent energy switch from the consumption of Premium Motor Spirit (petrol), Dual Purpose Kerosene (kerosene) and Automotive Gas Oil (diesel), to the use of Liquefied Petroleum Gas.
According to the government, efforts are currently intensified to promote the wider use of LPG in households, power generation, auto-gas and industrial applications.
The government disclosed this through the Federal Ministry of Petroleum Resources in a document obtained by our correspondent in Abuja on Friday on the achievements of the FMPR between 2016 and 2018.
Providing explanation on its LPG penetration programme, the ministry stated that the Federal Government initiated the LPG Expansion Programme in order to effectively drive the switch to LPG consumption across the country.
It said, “The LPG Penetration Framework is designed to reduce the national energy consumption of PMS, DPK, AGO by achieving a 40 per cent fuel switch to LPG in 10 years.
“The programme will also promote the wider use of LPG in households, power generation, auto-gas and industrial applications towards the attainment of five million metric tonnes domestic utilisation and creation of an estimated 500,000 job opportunities nationwide in five years.”
The FMPR noted that overall, improvements in the standard and quality of living in rural communities were also expected for the programme.
It said the LPG Penetration Programme along with the Nigeria Gas Flare Commercialisation Programme were components of Nigeria’s intended nationally designed contributions under the Paris agreement for reducing annual greenhouse gas emissions by the year 2020.
On the NGFCP, the government stated that the programme was a key component of the Nigerian Gas Policy which had the aim of reducing the environmental and social impact caused by flaring of natural gas, protect the environment, prevent waste of natural resources, and create social and economic benefits from gas flare capture.
“The design of the key programme transaction, commercial framework and documentation have been completed. When fully implemented it will improve gas supply for power generation, industrial use and LPG penetration in the economy,” the FMPR said.
In November, say that the Federal Government was targeting a revenue of $1bn annually and a total of 300,000 direct and indirect jobs from the commercialisation of flared gas.
The government said flared gas could be harnessed to stimulate economic growth, drive investments and provide jobs in oil producing communities and indeed for Nigerians through the utilisation of widely available innovative technologies.
In the NGFCP document obtained by our correspondent in Abuja, the NGFCP Programme Manager at the FMPR, Justice Derefaka, stated that the Federal Executive Council approved the NGFCP as the mechanism for implementing Nigeria’s commitment to eliminate routine gas flaring.
The government stated that the recently gazetted Flare Gas (Prevention of Waste and Pollution) Regulations 2018 was the legal basis for the implementation of the NGFCP and the payment regime (penalties) for gas flaring.
It stated that the regulation adopted the polluter pays principle, similar to a carbon tax, adding that “results of work done to trigger up to 85 projects that will utilise flared gas, generate approximately 300,000 direct and indirect jobs and annual revenue generation/Gross Domestic Product impact estimated at $1bn/annum are also highlighted.”
The NGFCP is developed by the FMPR, Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, Department of Petroleum Resources and the implementation team of the NGFCP comprising of adviser teams from the World Bank and USAID under the leadership of a ministerial steering committee that reports to the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources.
EEDC To Deal With Buyers Stolen Electrical Installations
The Enugu Electricity Distribution Company (EEDC), says it will redouble efforts to deal decisively with buyers of stolen and vandalised electrical installations in 2019.
The company’s Head of Communications, Mr Emeka Ezeh, said yesterday in Enugu that EEDC would step up its efforts in apprehending buyers of vandalised electrical installations.
According to him, it is believed that the buyers are the ones who motivate vandals to continue indulging in such nefarious act.
“If there is no one buying the items, there won’t be that motivation for the vandals to engage in this act,’’ he said.
EEDC spokesman, who recalled that two buyers were jailed in 2017, expressed the hope that after due process of the law, those apprehended in 2018 would also serve their terms in prison.
“We will not relent in this struggle and we hope that this will serve as deterrent to many others that are engaging in such criminal activities of buying stolen or vandalised EEDC property,’’ Ezeh said.
He said that it was worrisome that while EEDC had been striving to improve on its service delivery, some individuals were engaging in illegitimate activities to frustrate both the company and its customers.
“This singular act costs EEDC a lot financially, and ends up subjecting our customers to a lot of inconveniences,’’ he said.
He, however, solicited the cooperation and support of the various vigilante groups and state security agencies to apprehend and prosecute the vandals accordingly.
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