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Senate Laments $120m Annual Revenue Loss To Fuel Shipment

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The Senate, yesterday, expressed worry over the alleged loss of $120million annually to patronage of foreign firms in the shipment of petroleum products into the country.

The alleged loss was disclosed to the lawmakers during a meeting between the Senate Committee on Local Content, the Management of NNPC and Ship Owners Association of Nigeria (OAN) in the National Assembly Complex.

The Senate committee, therefore, directed the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), to initiate the processes of boosting the capacities of indigenous shipping firms and engaging them instead of foreign firms in the shipping of petroleum products.

The Chairman of the committee and former Senate Leader, Senator Teslim Folarin, at the meeting, also stressed the need to help build capacities among indigenous shipping.

He said: “It is very important we patronise Indigenous shipping companies.

“The whole essence of this investigative hearing is not to trade blames. We understand that they don’t have enough vessels; they don’t have capacity and capacity cannot come from heaven. The GMD here has capacity to help build capacity. It is very important that we patronize indigenous shipping companies.”

The Senate committee also decried the flagrant disregard to the Local Content Act, which stipulated, among others, that local firms be encouraged in the conduct of businesses of any public company business.

A member of the committee, Senator Solomon Adeola (APC Lagos West), who is also the chairman of the Senate Committee on Finance, noted that the preference of foreign shipping    had left negative effects on the nation’s economy.

Adeola countered the submissions that Nigerians do not own vessels that could be patronised.

The Group Managing Director of the NNPC, Mele Kyari, who had informed the committee earlier that there was no indigenous vessel to patronise, assured the Senate that the agency would work to support the local companies, saying “we will engage our partners.”

Earlier in a presentation to the committee, the SOAN, led by its President, Dr. Mkgeorge Onyung, explained that the provisions of Nigerian coastal and local content laws with regards to the shipping of petroleum products in the downstream sector of the oil industry was being breached in favour of foreign vessels, a situation, he said, had encouraged massive capital flight.

“In the 2019/2020 DSDP disposition, contract valued at $9billion was undertaken. Freight expenditure on Import Tankers was approximately $60million monthly or $720million annually. This involved the average monthly importation of 2.4 billion litres (1.8 million metric tons) of gasoline in foreign-owned tankers of 35,000 to 90,000DWT capacity (approximately 40 ship loads monthly).

“Between January and August, 2020, 320 foreign tankers arrived Lagos offshore with imported PMS. This 100 per cent foreign-dominated supply chain activity creates no in-country value for the Nigerian maritime industry with no multiplier-effect on other sectors of the economy. “Foreign fleet is chartered by NIDAS Marine, NNPC subsidiary, via foreign ship brokers namely Clarksons, E.A. Gibson, Brassington, Braemer and Affinity,” Onyung stressed.

He told the committee that foreign ship owners account for 95 per cent of freight spending associated with this downstream activity which is repatriated overseas as capital flight to the detriment of the local economy.

 

By: Nneka Amaechi-Nnadi, Abuja

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FG Sets Up To Recover Illegally Refined Crude Oil

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In a bid to block revenue leakages, the Federal Government, yesterday, inaugurated an Inter-Ministerial Committee to tackle illegal refining of crude oil in the Niger Delta region of the country.
Members of the committee, who took their oath at the office of the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mr Abubakar Malami, SAN, were drawn from the Ministry of Defence, the Nigerian Army, the Navy, Defence Headquarters, the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC), the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), as well as from the Federal Ministry of Justice, the Ministry of Environment, the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR), and the National Oil Spill Detection and Response Agency (NOSDRA).
The Solicitor-General of the Federation (SGF), and Permanent Secretary of the Federal Ministry of Justice, Mr Umar Mohammed, who represented the AGF at the event, said the major mandate of the committee, was “the recovery of illegally refined petroleum products (crude oil) in the dug-up pits found around the creeks of the Niger Delta”.
According to the SGF, “In line with the policy of the current administration on security and economy, as well as the preservation of the environment from negative hazards.
“The office of the Honourable Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, in collaboration with all stakeholders, have put in place a mechanism for effective and efficient management of illegally refined products recovered from dug-up pits found around the creeks of the Niger Delta.
“This mechanism was agreed by the relevant stakeholders and submitted to the Attorney-General of the Federation, who considered and approved the establishment of the Inter-Ministerial Committee for the purpose of implementing the Mechanism known as Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) For the Recovery of Illegally Refined Petroleum Products (Crude Oil) in the Dug-Up Pit found around the creeks of the Niger Delta”.
The SGF said the Federal Ministry of Justice would coordinate the process and the Secretariat of the Inter-Ministerial Committee.
“The responsibility of the Inter-Ministerial Committee is to detect, report, evacuate, assess and ensure transparent disposal of the product with due consideration to the environment.
“The Inter-Ministerial Committee shall be guided by the SOP, developed for the project.
“The content of the SOP is drawn from the provision of the Asset Tracing, Recovery and Management Regulations 2019.
“It is my hope that the proceeds from this exercise will be a source of additional revenue for the country”, the SGF added.

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FRSC Threatens Sanction Against Fleet Operators Over Speed Limit

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The Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) says it will sanction any fleet operator found sabotaging the implementation of the Speed Limit Device.
Corps Marshal Boboye Oyeyemi said this during the 2021 annual safety managers retreat yesterday in Abuja.
The retreat aimed at sensitising safety managers on the implementation of the Road Transport Safety Standardisation Scheme to attain best practices in fleet operations.
The theme of the retreat is: “Assessment of Speed Limit Device Implementation in Nigeria: Prospects and Challenges”.
Oyeyemi, represented by Deputy Corps Marshal, Motor Vehicle operations, Mr Hyginus Foumsuk, said that the corps would also sanction Speed Limit Device vendors identified for complicity.
The corps marshal expressed concern on the spate of road accidents and needless loss of lives, especially involving fleet operators.
“These, according to many experts investigations, could have been avoided if the concerned safety managers had been responsive in their duties,” he said.
Oyeyemi said that recent findings by the corps have also revealed a low level of compliance on the installation of Speed Limit Device and associated sharp practices among some fleet operators.
He noted that these practices included tampering with Speed Limit Device and connivance with vendors to deceive enforcement operatives.
This, he said, was with compliance certificates without actual installation of the device, calibration above the approved speed limits and others.
According to him, these shall no longer be tolerated as the corps will not hesitate to sanction violators henceforth.
Oyeyemi urged relevant stakeholders to address the decline on the proper vehicle maintenance as well as implementation of the passenger manifest by fleet operators and the drivers’ recruitment policy.
“We all know the essence of the passenger manifest and the significance of its proper implementation. You are therefore urged to take these issues seriously in the interest of safety.
“Passenger manifest is considered pivotal, thus its enforcement should continue along other traffic offences to compel the needed compliance. It is therefore pertinent that strict adherence to the existing policies be sustained,” he said.
“There is need for fleet operators to introduce improved practices to ensure the safety and comfort of their passengers in compliance with traffic regulations.
The Director-General, Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission, Mr Babatunde Irukera, commended the efforts of the corps on road safety.
Irukera noted that injury and fatality on the road were caused by speed, describing speed as a catalyst, aggravator and mitigator.
He urged motorists to take cognisance look into installing Speed Limit Device to avoid road traffic crashes and save lives and property.
He, however, assured FRSC of the commission’s support to punish violators, saying that excessive speed attracts a penalty.

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Sokoto Assembly Approves 2021 Virement Request Of N155m

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The  Sokoto State House of Assembly yesterday approved Governor Aminu Tambuwal’s  request of N155 million virement warrant on some capital projects  in 2021 approved budget.
This approval  followed the consideration of a letter by the state governor presented at the plenary by the Speaker, Alhaji Aminu Achida.
Alhaji Bello Ambarura, the All Progressives Congress (APC) leader in  the assembly, had  moved a motion asking  the lawmakers to consider the request at its plenary session.
Ambarura said that the request was necessitated by the present administration’s commitment to addressing  a number of developmental projects.

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