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Ex-PENGASSAN Chief Faults Association For Announcing Fuel Price Hike

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Aformer President of the Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (PENGASSAN) has faulted the Petroleum Retail Outlets Owners Association of Nigeria (PETROAN) for announcing an increase in the pump price of gasoline.
Mr Peter Esele told a correspondent in Benin last Saturday that PETROAN had no right to increase petrol pump price unilaterally.
On February 8, the President of PETROAN, Dr Billy Gillis-Harry announced an increase in the retail price of fuel from N160 to N178 per litre.
Findings by The Tide correspondent showed that  although filling stations in Benin had adjusted their prices upwards, none is selling for as high as N178 as announced by Billy Gillis.
Some filling stations are however, selling for between N165 to N168 as against the previous prices of N159 to N161 per litre.
At the NNPC Mega Station fuel price has been adjusted from N159 to N165.
Similarly, at Conoil and Buvel Oil filling stations, prices have been adjusted from N161 to N168, respectively.
According to Esele, PETROAN has no right to increase fuel pump price, a responsibility he said, that is solely vested on the Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency.
The unionist argues that what the association has done by announcing the price hike is to draw attention to the challenges they are currently facing in the downstream.
“They are pained over what they are expected to pay at the depot.
“So increasing the price is one of the ways to draw attention to their plight. The measure is to bring pressure on government to look into their plight.
“It is, however, their right to do so.”
The former Trade Union Congress president said that what the action of PETROAN showed was that the Federal Government had not yet enforced what it wanted to do with the earlier N5 reduction in the pump price of fuel.
Esele said that going by current dynamics in the oil sector, it had become clear that the downstream was not yet fully deregulated.
“I don’t think we are fully deregulated because I think government is still paying subsidies.
“There is still subsidy payment being made somewhere and if you say it’s fully deregulated, if landing cost is at N180 and you are selling at N160 or N168, who then is paying the difference?”
Esele advised government to embark on awareness campaigns to educate citizens, especially the ordinary man on the impact of the rising cost of crude oil prices.
“It’s something that we expect the ministry of information to talk about.
bringing out the economic aspects of it and letting people know that this is where we are and this is where we are going.
“On the other side, the government also has to reach out to the people to let them know what it is doing to cushion the effects of fuel price increases.
“So if the prices are going up and the people have to go through some pains, government also has to find a way to mitigate whatever pains the people are going through.
“That is the politics of deregulation.”

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Eradiri Faults NDDC Leadership Structure Wants Agric As Top Priority

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The Special Adviser to the Sole Administrator of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) on Youths, Udens Eradiri, has faulted the leadership structure of the commission, saying it has not helped the cause of the Niger Delta in the last 25 years.
Describing the leadership structure of the NDDC as faulty, he said that the faulty leadership structure was the reason why President Muhammadu Buhari ordered for a forensic audit in the commission.
Eradiri who is the former president of the Ijaw Youths Council (IYC)
disclosed this while speaking to aviation correspondents, last Friday, shortly on arrival at the Port Harcourt International Airport, Omagwa, from Abuja. 
He said the outcome of the forensic audit would be used to do a wholistic reorganisation of the organogram of the commission.
According to him, the wholistic review of the organogram of the NDDC will help in putting the leadership structure in order, and enable things to function properly.
“The leadership structure of NDDC in the past years had been faulty, and that was why the President said there should be forensic audit, which would be used to do a wholistic review of the organogram of NDDC, so that it can function properly.
“The new board is coming soon, but the whole process will pass through the National Assembly to be cleared”, Eradiri said.
On the achievement of the present NDDC management, the special adviser said that the Effiong Akwa led administration had recorded some landmark achievements compared to the last 25 years. 
He said that the present interim management within two years completed and commissioned the headquarters of the NDDC, which had been left for over 25 years.
He also said that the completion of the East-West road project had intensified under the present management, adding that NDDC has also supported states on sanitation through donation of trucks.
Eradiri, however, admitted that the present interim management had not taken a firm stand on agricultural development even though it has been working with the Central Bank of Nigeria on the Anchor Borrowers Scheme.
“I believe that the only tool to use and get ourselves out of the quagmire we find ourselves is agriculture, and I think that the NDDC can design its own scheme on how to grow agriculture as a deliberate policy.
“This will bring change that will grow the region’s economy. We must talk about agricultural processing, and we can put palm oil into sachet, and even students can be buying them,” he said.

By: Corlins Walter

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Nigeria Lost N851bn To Oil Theft, Sabotage   – NEITI

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Nigeria lost N851.84bn ($2.78bn) to oil theft and pipeline sabotage in 2019, the Nigerian Extractive Industry Transparency Initiative (NEITI)   has said.
NEITI said this in its latest oil and gas industry audit report.
NEITI stated that it arrived at the estimate after using an average price of $65.61 per barrel and an average exchange rate of N306.42/$ .
It, however, noted that there was a significant reduction of 21 per cent from the previous year, where 53.28 million barrels were lost.
Losses such as these are recorded by companies whose crude volumes are carried through pipelines easily compromised by saboteurs.
The report also stated that some oil terminals recorded no production. These included Aja operated by Bayelsa Oil, whose license was revoked by the government.
Others were Asaramatoru and Oyo managed by Prime and Allied/CAMAC who were reportedly inactive for the year.
Nigeria earned a total of N10.49tn ($34.22bn) from crude oil and gas sales. This was a marginal 4.88 per cent increase from 2018 revenues of N9.99tn ($32.63bn).
The total crude oil production recorded was 735.24 million barrels, a 4.87per cent increase from 701.10 million barrels reported in 2018.
A total of N2.145tn ($7.011bn) was the domestic sales proceeds in 2019 from 107.24 million barrels of crude oil. This was 0.36 per cent lower than the domestic crude sales of 107.63 million barrels in 2018.

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Residents Task New Council Chairmen On Dev, Agric Policies

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Some residents in the 23 local government areas of Rivers State have urged the newly sworn-in council chairmen in the state to come up with good agricultural and developmental policies that will transform the grassroots.
They also urged the council boss to take pragmatic steps and actions towards tackling security challenges to encourage business activities thrive in their domains. 
Some of the residents who spoke with The Tide at the weekend, noted that the local government administration in the state had not faired well in terms of real development in recent times, and urged the new council helmsmen to change the narratives. 
A resident of Emohua Local Government Area, Mr Charles Amadi, noted that no real development had taken place in the area, lamenting the dearth of companies and small scale industries in the area.
He, therefore, called on the new chairman, Dr. Chidi Lyoid, not to solely depend on the monthly allocation, but to go all out to attract small scale companies to the area so as to create employment opportunities as well as generate revenue for the council.
He also urged the new chairman to invest in agriculture, especially farming and fishing.
On his part, Mr Ebenezer Otamiri who lives in Etche, urged the Etche council boss, Obinna Ayanwu, to consolidate on the achievements recorded in his first tenure, especially by building more markets for the people, as well as initiate good agricultural policy to drive the economy of the area.
He also urged the council boss to tackle the issue of electricity and security in the area, saying electricity and security are key to the development of the area. 
In his own charge, Mr Mene Geoffrey Dekaa who hails from Bori in Khana Local Government Area of the state, called on his new council chairman, Bariere Thomas, to show capacity and competence in the area of security.
He noted that the issue of security has left native imprint in the development of the area, saying many investors have left Bori, the headquarters of the council, for other places.
“Because of security challenges, many people have left Bori to build houses and invest in Nonwa- Tai, and Eleme.
“Areas like Kono-Boweeh communities are no go areas, as people there can hardly sleep. So if the chairman can work with government recognised traditional rulers and security agents, security issues will be tackled, and people’s confidence will be restored, and business activities will move on”, he said.

By: Residents Task New Council Chairmen On Dev, Agric Policies

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