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No More Petrol Subsidy, Says NNPC Govs Back FG’s Action

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Leveraging on the low price of crude oil and petroleum products, the Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Mr Mele Kyari, yesterday, announced that the era of subsidizing the pump price of petrol was over.
He made the disclosure on the official Twitter handle of the NNPC after he appeared in a television interview.
Kyari said: “As at today, subsidy/under-recovery is zero. Going forward, there’ll be no resort to either subsidy or under-recovery of any nature. NNPC will just be another player in the market space. But we’ll be there for the country to sustain security of supply, at the cost of the market”.
As crude oil price slumped in the international market due to the rampaging COVID-19 pandemic, the Federal Government responded by reducing the pump price of petrol from N145/litre to N125/litre in March.
It further reduced the price to N123.50/litre on April 1, after monitoring developments in the international oil market.
On the possibility of suffering another round of petrol scarcity, he said; “Today, we have a very robust products supply and distribution mechanism; from the loading depots up to fuel stations nationwide.
“We also have very good understanding with our strategic partners: the governors, marketers, depot owners, PTD, etc. There are no issues whatsoever.”
On the current developments in the international market, the NNPC GMD said: “The key issue in crude oil business is market fundamentals of demand/supply. I believe COVID-19 will subside and countries will come back to life. I don’t see oil price going below the $20 we saw last week. I’m certain, all things being equal, oil price will bounce back”.
He pointed out that the desire of the national oil company was to grow Nigeria’s production to 3 million barrels per day.
“As at yesterday, our production has, for the first time in many years, risen to 2.3mbpd. We believe this will grow and the contribution of local companies in this regard will be meaningful.”
On gas, the NNPC boss said there were ongoing plans to aggressively expand the domestic gas footprint with the delivery of the Escravos-Lagos Pipeline System (ELPS) II to double capacity from 1.1billion standard cubic feet of gas (BSCF) to 2.2BSCF and the OB3 gas pipeline to connect East and the West.
The NNPC, he revealed, would commence the construction of the Ajaokuta-Kaduna-Kano gas pipeline in the second quarter of 2020 to serve as an enabler to further boost the economic activities of the country.
Reacting to the news, governors of the 36 states in Nigeria have backed the Federal Government’s implementation of the petrol price modulation mechanism to eliminate petrol subsidy “permanently” in the country.
This decision was contained in a communique released in the early hours of yesterday by members of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF) after a meeting last Sunday to deliberate on the COVID-19 pandemic in the country.
The communiqe, signed by Governor Kayode Fayemi of Ekiti State, who is also the NGF chairman, also supported the unification of exchange rates into a single, market-determined window and the use of the market-determined exchange rate to calculate all revenues due to the federation.
The implementation of the new petrol price modulation mechanism means Nigerians will pay for petrol in line with the product’s prevailing price in the global market.
The Federal Government had announced a further reduction in petrol’s pump price to N123.50 per litre on April 1, 2020.
That was the second time it would be reducing the pump price of petrol in two weeks.
It had announced a reduction in the pump price on 18th March, 2020 from N145 to N125 following the fall in the price of crude oil in the international market.
At that time, the price of Nigeria’s Brent Crude was below $25 but it is now up to 33.24 as at today.
A statement by the Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency (PPPRA)’s Executive Secretary, Abdulkadir Saidu in Abuja had said: “PPPRA, in line with the government approval for a monthly review of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) pump price, hereby announces Guiding PMS pump price of N123.50 per Litre.
“The Guiding price which becomes effective 1st April, 2020, shall apply at all retail outlets nationwide for the month of April, 2020.
“PPPRA and other relevant regulatory Agencies shall continue to monitor compliance to extant regulations for a sustainable downstream petroleum sector. Members of the Public and all Oil Marketing Companies are to be guided accordingly.”
Fayemi also briefed State governors on ongoing coordination with the World Bank to mobilise support for states to mitigate the economic and social cost of the COVID-19 pandemic.
He said the ongoing plans include accelerated disbursement of existing and new financing for states under the State Fiscal, Transparency, Accountability and Sustainability (SFTAS) Programme-for-Results, and mitigation and recovery support for expenditures to protect livelihoods, support local economic activity and recovery over the next 18 months to two years.
The forum thanked the Private Sector Coalition Against COVID-19 (CACOVID), set up by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), for their pledge to support states increase their capacity to mitigate the spread of the virus and care for confirmed cases through the construction of isolation centres and the distribution of personal protective equipment to states.
Members underscored the need for CACOVID to work directly with the States in the distribution of palliatives.
The forum lauded the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Mr Boss Mustapha, and his team for the commitment in leading a national response to the COVID-19 pandemic after a briefing from him on the activities of the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 which he chairs.
Members also stressed the need for stronger collaboration with states because they are best positioned to administer palliatives to mitigate the impact of the crisis, including the distribution of food and essential materials to households to help them cope with the expected loss of income and livelihoods.
The governors renewed the importance of cancelling all deductions and deferring or restructuring all commercial debt service payments on federal government and CBN-owned debts.

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PROBE: EFCC Should Stop Media Trial – Rivers State Government

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The Rivers State Government says its attention has been drawn to a fresh wave of media trial by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) against the officials of the state.

According  to a statement issued by the state Commissioner for information and Communications, Pastor Paulinus Nsirim, “the latest attempt contained in today’s edition( May 24,2020)of The Nation Newspaper alleged that the State Government has refused to release top officials for interrogation in connection to the withdrawal of N118 billion in cash between 2015 and 2018.

 

“We have repeatedly said that the State Government will not release its officials to the EFCC for investigations until the commission approaches the Court  to set aside Subsisting orders of perpetual  injunction granted by various courts of competent jurisdiction restraining the EFCC from investigating or inquiring into the financial transactions of the Rivers  State Government including its ministries, departments and  agencies.

 

“In view of these  Subsisting judgments, it would amount  to an act of brazen  illegality for the EFCC to  insist  on  interrogating  any official OF the Rivers State Government.
For the avoidance of doubt, no official of the Rivers State Government would appear before the EFCC until the subsisting judgments in favour of the Rivers State Government are set aside on appeal.

“Resorting to the Media can only be described as cheap blackmail and witch-hunt to turn away public attention from the development strides in the State.

“This media trial that they engage in all the time will not take the place of our extant laws no matter how hard they try.

“The EFCC should stop playing to the gallery and pursue its war against corruption within the ambits of the law.

 

“Rivers State Government is committed to the Rule of Law and cannot be intimidated by the EFCC.

“Those who want to use the EFCC to promote their political agenda in the State will fail because we know their antics.

“Targeting Rivers State for this occasional media trial should be seen by the public for what it is, “political witch-hunt,” the statement said.

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Rivers Records 27 New Coronavirus Cases …Manager Of Prodest Hotel Among The New Cases

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Rivers State has recorded 27 new positive coronavirus  cases.

A statement signed by the Rivers state Ministry of Information and Communications, Pastor Paulinus Nsirim, disclosed that the Manager of Prodest Hotel, Eleme is among the new positive cases.

According to the statement, the latest development validates the State Government’s proactive approach towards the fight against COVID-19.

Recall that Prodest Hotel was demolished two weeks ago because the owners violated Executive Order 7 which banned the operation of hotels.

The COVID-19 Taskforce members from the Local Government who went to enforce the Executive Order were brutalized and dehumanised leading to the death of one of them.

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RIWAMA Sole Administrator Congratulates Hon (Mrs) Justice Suzzette Eberechi Nyesom-Wike On Her Birthday

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As the wife of Rivers State Governor, Hon. (Mrs) Justice Suzzette Eberechi Nyesom-Wike celebrates her birthday anniversary on Sunday, the Sole Administrator, Rivers State Waste Management Agency, RIWAMA, Bro. Felix Obuah has felicitated with the First Lady, describing her as a rare gift to the State, Nigeria and the world at large.
Bro. Obuah in a congratulatory message also described Hon. (Mrs) Justice Suzzette Nyesom-Wike as a simple, loving, caring and trustworthy mother who has remained a pillar of strength to her husband in the task of administering the State.
He lauded the Governor’s wife for her steadfastness and being a role model for women, noting that her wonderful virtues are worthy of emulation.
While stressing that behind a successful man, there is a good wife, the RIWAMA Sole Administrator added that the blessed companionship of the First Lady and her husband has contributed in no small measure in navigating the ship of Rivers State into a glorious era.
His words: “As you mark your birthday today, I bring you best wishes and good tidings from my beloved wife and family, as well as workers of the Rivers Waste Management Agency, RIWAMA, who are appreciative of all that you are doing to advance the cause and dignity of Rivers people”.
Bro. Obuah prayed that the birthday would bring to the Governor’s wife, an extra share of everything that would make her the happiest in life.
The RIWAMA Sole Administrator further prayed God to grant the Rivers First Lady long and prosperous life for the overall benefit of the State and to the glory of God.
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