Despite abundance of gas in Nigeria, 71.35 per cent of the Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) also known as cooking gas, consumed in the country in the month of August, 2020, were imported, data obtained from the Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency (PPPRA) has revealed.
This was in sharp contrast to claims by the Federal Government that it was striving to promote increased utilization of Nigeria’s huge gas resources, put at about 203.16 trillion cubic feet, in a bid to cushion the effect of rising PMS prices, preserve the environment, improve power supply and also conserve Nigeria’s foreign exchange reserves.
According to the PPPRA report of LPG supplied in August, 2020, a total of 123,554.329 metric tonnes (MT) of LPG in vacuum (VAC) was supplied in Nigeria in the month under review, by six companies, out of which 88,157.108 MT (VAC) of LPG were imported, while 35,397.221 MT(VAC) were sourced locally.
The volume of cooking gas imported into the country in August, 2020, by four companies, represented a rise of 44.44 per cent, compared to 61,035.814 MT (VAC) imported in July, 2020, and also represented an increase of 7.71 per cent compared to 81,848.585 MT (VAC) imported in August, 2019.
On the other hand, the volume of LPG sourced locally for consumption was 52.84 per cent lower than the 75,062.834 MT (VAC) of LPG sourced locally in July, 2020.
However, the total number of cooking gas supplied in August, 2020, was 9.22 per cent lower than the 136,098.648 MT(VAC) of LPG imported in July, 2020 and 50.96 per cent higher than the 81,848.585 MT (VAC) supplied in August, 2019.
Specifically, in July, 2020, a total of 136,098.648 MT (VAC) of LPG was supplied, with 61,035.814 MT (VAC) of LPG imported, while 75,062.834 MT (VAC) was sourced locally; while in August, 2020, 100 per cent of the 81,848.585 MT(VAC) of LPG supplied were imported into the country.
Algasco LPG Services Limited, a subsidiary of Vitol, was the highest importer of the commodity into the country in August, 2020, with 43,888 MT (VAC) of LPG, representing 48.78 per cent of the total import and 35.52 per cent of total LPG supplied in the period under review.
Other importers of the commodity into the country are: Matrix Energy, 19,770 MT (VAC); Prudent Energy and Services Limited, 9,568 MT (VAC) of LPG; and NIPCO, 10,893 MT (VAC) of LPG.
On the other hand, of the 35,397.221 MT (VAC) of LPG sources locally in August, the Nigerian Liquefied Natural Gas (NLNG) supplied 3,634.401 MT (VAC); NIPCO supplied 9,383.680 MT (VAC); Algasco, 4,107.667 MT (VAC) and Stockgap Fuels Limited, 9,058.139 MT (VAC).
The products were discharged at Lister Jetty, Apapa; Matrix Jetty, Warri; Prudent Energy Jetty, Oghara; Bulk Oil Plant, Apapa; North Oil Jetty and Stockgap Jetty, Port Harcourt.
The fact that Nigeria continues to import cooking gas leaves much to be desired, especially when viewed against the huge gas resources in the country and the launch of the National Gas Expansion Programme (NGEP) which seeks to increase gas utilization in Nigeria, through the auto-gas scheme and LPG programme.
The import of cooking gas is reminiscent of development with PMS, where despite having abundance of crude oil, the country continues to import PMS, spending a huge portion of its foreign exchange on the importation and also spending huge amount of money to subsidise the product, among others.
Specifically, Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Chief Timipre Sylva, had stated that the implementation of the NGEP would deepen gas usage in the country and would be executed alongside the Nigeria Gas Flare Commercialisation Programme (NGFCP), and the National Gas Transportation Network Code (NGTNC).
Also, Technical Adviser, Downstream to the Petroleum Minister, Dr Abner Ishaku, had stated that the promotion of gas as replacement fuel will also save the nation the much-needed foreign exchange expended on imported fuels.
He had noted that using gas as auto-gas would provide alternatives to Premium Motor Spirit, Automotive Gas Oil and Dual Purpose Kerosene for Nigerians.
Declare Buhari’s Seat Vacant, Owuru Urges Court
The candidate of the Hope Democratic Party (HDP) in the last presidential election, Chief Ambrose Owuru, has approached the Federal High Court in Abuja, asking it to declare the seat of President Muhammadu Buhari vacant.
Owuru, who was among the four petitioners that went to tribunal to challenge Buhari’s re-election, in his fresh suit, sought for an order to restrain the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), from “undertaking or planning any other election into the office of the President”, in 2023.
The Plaintiff, in his suit marked FHC/ABJ/CS/480/2021, maintained that Buhari is “an unlawful President that is illegally occupying the Presidential seat”.
It would be recalled that Owuru and his party, HDP, had in an earlier appeal they litigated up to the Supreme Court, insisted that the Justice Mohammed Garba-led Presidential Election Petition Tribunal, erroneously dismissed a petition they lodged against the return of Buhari of the All Progressives Congress (APC), as winner of the presidential election that held on February 23, 2019.
They specifically prayed the apex court to sack Buhari on the premise that he emerged through an illegal process.
According to the Appellants, INEC, failed to follow condition precedents stipulated in the Electoral Act, when it unduly postponed the presidential election that was originally fixed for February 16.
The HDP claimed that its candidate, Owuru, secured over 50million votes in a referendum that was conducted by both electorates and observer networks that were dissatisfied with the unilateral postponement of the presidential election by INEC.
However, in a unanimous decision, a five-man panel of Justices of the Supreme Court led by Justice Mary Odili, struck out the appeal for constituting “a gross abuse of the judicial process”.
Meantime, in the fresh suit, Owuru and his party argued that their suit against Buhari at the Supreme Court was inconclusive.
The Plaintiffs argued that the case was fixed outside the 60 days period that was allowed by the law.
Owuru asked the court to declare him the authentic winner of the last presidential poll, as well as, to issue an order for his immediate inauguration to take over from Buhari.
He prayed the court to declare that he is entitled to serve out a tenure of 4 years after his formal inauguration.
More so, the HDP presidential candidate, aside from asking for Buhari’s immediate removal from office, equally prayed the court to compel him to refund all salaries, allowances and emoluments he collected while he unlawfully stayed in office as President.
Owuru also asked the court to give an order that salaries, allowances and emoluments be paid to him from May 29, 2019, when he ought to have been sworn in, till date.
The Plaintiff further applied for, “An order of interlocutory injunction restraining the Respondents by themselves and acting through their agents, servants, privies and or proxies howsoever from any further organizing, undertaking or planning of any other election into the office of the President of Nigeria or any such other Presidential Election interfering, harassing and or disturbing the Applicant adjudged acquired right as unopposed and unchallenged winner of the original scheduled and held the February 16 Presidential Election thereof until the 1st Applicant unserved constitutional four years term of office is served pending the hearing and determination of the substantive suit by this honourable court”.
Cited as 1st to 3rd Respondents in the matter were Buhari, the Attorney General of the Federation, and INEC.
Meanwhile, no date has been fixed for the matter to be heard.
World Bank Report Exposes Buhari’s Lies, PDP Affirms
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) said the report by World Bank that 7 million Nigerians have been pushed into poverty in the last year, has clinically belied the integrity posturing of President Muhammadu Buhari and the All Progressives Congress (APC).
The opposition party said the World Bank report came in the face of the recent claims by President Buhari that his administration has lifted over 10 million Nigerians out of poverty in the last two years.
The PDP asserted that the report by the World Bank has further vindicated its position that President Buhari runs an uncoordinated and clueless administration that thrives on lies, false performance claims, deceit, and perfidious propaganda.
The statement added that, “Nigerians can now clearly see why the APC and President Buhari’s handlers are always in a frenzy to attack our party and other well-meaning Nigerians whenever we point to the poor handling of the economy and on the need for President Buhari to always be factual on pertinent issues of governance in our country.
“Unfortunately, it indeed appears that Mr. President enjoys living in denial while watching millions of Nigerians go down in abject poverty, excruciating hunger, and starvation as our country now ranks 98th out of 107 in Global Hunger Index under his watch.
“Otherwise, why would Mr. President claim that his administration has lifted over 10.5 million Nigerians out of poverty while official figures even from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) show worsening poverty rate with 142.2% growth in food inflation and over 82.9 million Nigerians being unable to afford their daily meals due to the failure of the administration to take practical steps to grow and protect the food sector?
“Under President Buhari, Nigerians are now subjected to the worst form of poverty and hardship, with collapsed purchasing power, occasioned by a voodoo economy management that has wrecked our productive sectors and pummeled our naira from the about N167 to a US dollar in 2015 to the current over N500 per dollar.
“It is unfortunate that Mr. President will choose to always bandy fictitious figures and false performance claims, when he has, in a space of six years, destroyed our national productivity and reduced our country to a beggarly nation, a laughing stock and object of pity among the comity of nations.
“The PDP invites Nigerians to note President Buhari and APC’s similar false performance claims in other critical sectors, including power, transportation, road infrastructure, health, education, agriculture, security, aviation among others, where the Buhari administration has been bandying fictitious figures with no tangible project to point at.
“Our party counsels President Buhari, his handlers as well as their party, the APC, to note that Nigerians have seen through their deceitful clams.
“The PDP, once again, urges Mr. President to end his false performance claims and get more competent hands to manage the economy before every Nigerian is turned into a street beggar.”
Amnesty Kicks As FG Pushes Social Media Regulation
Amnesty International has strongly opposed the call by the Nigerian Government to regulate the use of social media and online broadcasters.
It would be recalled that the Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, had urged the House of Representatives to include regulation of Twitter in the National Broadcasting Commission Act.
The minister made the call at the public hearing on a bill to amend the NBC Act organised by the House Committee on Information.
“I will want to add, that specifically, internet broadcasting and all online media should be included in this because we have responsibility to monitor content— including Twitter,” he said.
Reacting, Amnesty International, in a tweet via its Twitter account, yesterday, kicked against the motion.
It noted that when social media is regulated, authorities can arbitrarily have powers to shut down the internet and limit access to social media.
It further noted that criticizing the government will be made punishable with penalties of up to three years in prison.
“When social media is regulated, authorities can arbitrarily have powers to shut down the Internet and limit access to social media.
“Criticizing the government will be made punishable with penalties of up to three years in prison.
“Regulating social media in Nigeria could be easily abused to punish critics of government policies and actions, and anyone who asks difficult questions could find themselves liable for ‘diminishing public confidence in the government.’
“Seeking a law to prohibit abusive, threatening and insulting behaviour is open to very wide interpretation. This section would pose a threat to critical opinion, satire, public dialogue and political commentary,” the statement added.
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