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‘We Need Meters For Daily Oil Output Accounting’

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A National Assembly member,  Senator Stella Oduah, has urged Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), to put adequate metering system in place, to enable Nigerians to know the country’s exact daily oil production.
Oduah, who is the Vice Chairman, Senate Committee on Women Affairs, told newsmen in Abuja that a metering facility that also ensure leakages in the petroleum industry were blocked.
She expressed displeasure over NNPC’s inability to procure the device to adequately keep inventory of oil production in the country, many decades after it commenced.
According to her, it is shameful that several decades after oil was discovered in the country, it has yet to get a proper metering system.
The lawmaker said, “given the fact that crude is the mainstay of the economy, it is important to get adequate metering system to ensure accountability.
“I think it is a problem we should be ashamed to be discussing because in my view, they are problems that NNPC with all sense of sincerity, can easily resolve.
“I was employed in NNPC in 1983 and I was a member of a committee for commercialisation and reconstruction of NNPC at that time.
“The major issue we discussed, investigated and came up with solution to, was on how to ensure that we have adequate measurement of crude by having metering system in all the terminals.
“But, why is that still an issue to be discussed several years after?
“How do you not put in equipment that will give you accurate measurement of your product and this is the product that forms the basis of our budgeting?
“This is the crux of everything we do in this nation and every year, for the past 30 years and more, we are still talking about measurement as an issue.
“Even if we want to mirror it against any of the oil producing nation like U.S., UAE and others, it is just a simple problem,” she said.
Oduah said, “NNPC should be sincere to tell us why they are reluctant, and if not for interest, why will you not want to have proper measuring equipment on your terminals.
“How much are the equipment? For me, it is upsetting.”
She explained that the equipment would enable Nigerians to know the flow of crude, “the quantity being exported, from which pipeline, where it is being loaded to and the volume loaded”.
She added that the equipment would help to determine the back-up stock as well as challenges to be attended to, including the switching off of pipelines in the event of vandalism.
The legislator said that everything about tracking daily oil production could be done in NNPC offices by its officials, but that “they have to put in the equipment, they have to have the ICT.
“You cannot blindly stay there and wait for the operators to give you feedback. We do not know what we have because the NNPC and the DPR do not know.”
On whether passage and assent to the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) will tackle the problem, she said that it would go a long way in finding lasting solution not only to the metering problem, but for other challenges.
On the role of the National Assembly in ensuring that the right equipment are put in place, Oduah said that several reports that, emanated from the assembly on the matter, indicted the NNPC.
She, however, assured that the 8th Senate would not rest on its oars in making sure that the right thing was done.
She called on the Federal Government to put the refineries in proper shape for adequate production of finished products in the country.
The lawmaker said that Nigeria had all it took to do turnaround maintenance for the refineries while getting value for money rather than exporting crude at cheap rate and importing finished product at exorbitant price.
“We do not get value for money. Nobody does what we do. If we put money together and do turnaround maintenance for the refineries, it will help all of us, and that is what we ought to do.
“The NNPC knows that what they are doing is wrong. We have equipment, we have an experienced workforce. In the 80s and 90s, the refineries were working.
“If one refinery is shut down, the others will be working, but now nobody thinks about rehabilitating those refineries.
“What are you going to do with all those experiences that these people have acquired? We were told then, that we had the best refinery technicians, the best refinery engineers,” she said.
On calls by some experts for establishment of modern refineries with better capacities, Oduah said while that was necessary, old ones should be put to use while plans were on for the new ones.

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Oil & Energy

‘NNPC Spent N15b To Reconstruct Lagos-Badagry Expressway’

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The Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPC Ltd.) has disbursed N15 billion for the reconstruction of the Lagos Badagry Expressway under the Federal Government Road Infrastructure Tax Credit (RITC) Scheme.
The N15 billion represents a 100 per cent payment of the funding of the Lagos-Badagry Road rehabilitation under the tax credit funding of the NNPC Ltd.
Group Chief Executive, NNPC, Mr Mele Kyari, made this known when he led NNPC’s management team with some top government officials to inspect the ongoing rehabilitation and expansion of Lagos-Badagry Expressway (Agbara Junction-Nigeria/Benin Border).
The road under rehabilitation is being funded by the NNPC Ltd. under the Federal Road Infrastructure Development and Refurbishment Investment Tax Credit Scheme.
The execution of the scheme is being carried out in collaboration with the Federal Ministry of Works and Housing as the supervisor and Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) for NNPC’s tax obligations deductions.
This is in response to address the plight faced by petroleum products marketers in transportation which affects nationwide distribution.
Kyari said the fund disbursed was part of the N621.24 billion earmarked for the reconstruction of 21 roads nationwide under the scheme.
He expressed satisfaction over the stage of the road development.
“We are covering 1,804.6mkm across the country and taking another set of over a trillion naira investment on infrastructure in Nigeria, believing that with the tax credit system which Mr President has put in place, very soon there will be massive change.
“NNPC as the enabler will consider from its cash flow and fund whatever FIRS and Ministry of works approve for the company”, he said.
The Minister of Works and Housing, Mr Babatunde Fashola, represented by the Director, Highways, Roads and Rehabilitation of the Ministry, Mr Folorunsho Esan, said the intervention of the NNPC sped up the reconstruction of the expressway.
Esan said the project was 40 per cent completed.
“In the next 12 months we should be able to deliver this project because the drainages are in place, just for earth works and pavement works, it cannot take us more than 12 months,” he said.
Speaking on the gridlock being caused by the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway project, he said the contractor would clear all impediments and move out of site by December 15 to make the highway free for Yuletide.

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Oil & Energy

Oil Marketers Urge Buhari To Crash Diesel Price

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Petroleum marketers under the platform of Natural Oil and Gas Suppliers Association of Nigeria (NOGASA) rose from their 2nd National Executive Council (NEC) meeting last week, within a plea to President Muhammadu Buhari to direct the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to make dollars available at official rate to oil marketers.
This, they said, will enable them import diesel, end petrol scarcity, and ultimately save the Nigerian economy from sinking, saying that dollar support should be available till Dangote Refinery comes on stream later in the year.
The association, among others, urged the National Assembly to immediately enact a Bill for the establishment of Energy Bank for easy transaction in petroleum products in the sector.
National President of the Association, Mr Benneth Korie, who briefed the media after the NEC meeting in Abuja, noted that the bulk of the operational challenge peppering marketers and depot owners spring from expensive diesel which hovers around N850/litre.
While thanking President Muhammadu Buhari for approving a higher bridging cost payment to transporters, Korie said the operators’ challenges were far from over as oil marketers and depot owners spend about N20 million weekly on diesel to power their operations, thus eroding their profits.
The association urges the National Assembly to review the policy of taxation as it affects petroleum products supply and distribution chain.

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Oil & Energy

Senate To Honour Brave Petrol Tanker Driver 

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The Senate has resolved to honour Ejiro Otarigho, the brave tanker driver who drove a burning tanker from danger zone to avert a tragic fire incident in Agbarho, Delta State.
The Senate has also recommended Ejiro to President Muhammadu Buhari for National Honours.
This followed a motion moved by the Deputy President of the Senate, Senator Ovie Omo-Agege, and co-sponsored by Senator James Manager and Senator Peter Nwaoboshi, at plenary.
It would be recalled that in a rare act of bravery, Ejiro had last week driven a burning tanker from danger zone to avert what could have been a tragic fire incident in Agbarho, Delta State.
The incident happened last Friday when Ejiro drove the burning truck for 25 minutes from a densely populated area to Agbarho River where the tanker was completely razed in the inferno. The act was captured by onlookers and had gone viral.
Rising under Order 45 and 52 of the Senate Standing Order 2021 (as amended), Senator Omo-Agege stressed that but for Ejiro’s courage, a major fire disaster which would have claimed several lives and property could have happened in his senatorial district.
The Delta Central lawmaker noted that Ejiro’s “extraordinary display of courage, reflex application of special driving skills, and huge risk to his own life, prevented a huge national tragedy and catastrophe by driving a burning tanker loaded with inflammable petroleum products from residential areas to safety so that thousands of our people may not die in an inferno that would also have consumed so much property in Agbarho, Delta State on Friday, June 10, 2022”.
The driver’s audacious act of heroism, he stressed, has saved the nation from national tragedy and mourning.
Accordingly, the Senate resolved to “invite Mr. Ejiro Otarigho to the Chamber of the Senate for public commendation by the President of the Senate, Senator Ibrahim Lawan.
“Recommend Mr. Ejiro Otarigho to His Excellency, President Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR, President and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Nigeria, for a befitting National Honour as Mr. President may deem fit for his extraordinary act of bravery, courage and skill that prevented the loss of human lives and property on a massive scale”.
President of the Senate, Senator Ahmad Lawan, who presided over plenary, hailed the driver for risking his life to drive the burning truck out of residential area to save lives.

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