Apparently scandalised by the acute petrol scarcity, which marred the Yuletide celebrations, the Federal Government is set to review the $6 billion Direct Sale-Direct Purchase (DSDP) contracts of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC).
The objective is to blacklist some oil traders whose failure to meet their petrol supply obligations plunged the country into the fuel crisis.
Speaking to newsmen on the fuel crisis in an interview, the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu stated that some of the oil traders failed to deliver petrol to NNPC due to either lack of capacity to deliver or for profiteering reasons.
According to him, the failure of the companies to meet their contractual obligations caused the fuel crisis, which was aggravated by the high cost of crude oil in the international market.
The minister stated that in order to avert future fuel crises, the federal government would explore support mechanisms, by way of tax relief to boost the capacity of marketers to import petrol on their own.
Kachikwu said the federal government would review the list of the beneficiaries of the DSDP contracts to ensure that those companies that breached their contractual agreements would not benefit from the contracts.
Kachikwu said: “I think the immediate cause of this (fuel crisis) is the increase in the price of crude, and then a lot of deliveries at obviously a loss that NNPC is doing just to keep the nation going – also not the fault of NNPC.”
“That is what caused it. So we need to do better planning obviously in terms of foreseeing this and trying to provide for this. And there were a lot of people who took the DSDP programme to deliver products that failed in their deadlines – some for profiteering reasons, some for just sheer lack of capacity.
“So, we need to look at that list again and see who performed this year and who breached the contracts and make sure that those who did not perform are not back on that list again as we go forward,” Kachikwu explained.
Kachikwu said the long-term solution to the perennial crisis would be to encourage private marketers to import petrol on their own without relying on NNPC.
“I would like to see marketers being able to bring in their own products on their own and not NNPC bringing products for them. I would like to see NNPC bring its own products.”
“If there is a support mechanism, we have to find a way – either through tax relief or whatever it is to try and address that issue so that everybody has the capacity to do business.
“That is one of the things I will be developing and try to see my principal (President Buhari) obviously in the coming days to address the long-term problems.
“Final one is that the refineries should work. All these will fall into insignificance if the refineries are up and running. And we are working hard to begin the refinery repairs.
“We are almost at the end of the recommendations that will go to Mr. President,” Kachikwu added.
He stated that the federal government would develop a model that would allow NNPC and the marketers to import their own products.
“At the end of the day, that is the solution. And I will have to sit down with the Group Managing Director of NNPC and obviously get approval of Mr. President and put together structures that will enable us to address this, so that people take responsibility and answer to liabilities.
“If you say you are going to bring a cargo and we depend on you, we are going to add a penalty on it if you fail to perform. We are going to be doing that, going forward,” Kachikwu noted.
Speaking to journalists while monitoring the fuel situation in Lagos on Christmas Day, Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo also attributed the scarcity to the failure of some companies to deliver petrol to NNPC.
“I think that going by what we have seen, there is what is called winter deliveries. Towards the end of the year, the premium goes up – the cost of fuel goes up in many parts of the world for those who are importing.
“Obviously, that gave rise to problems for those who were bringing in products. We had one or two short deliveries by the importers and that accounted for some of the problems,” he said.
“I think that over time – in fact, if you look at the past few months, NNPC has been importing and they have been doing a very good job because we didn’t have a shortage in October and we did not have a shortage in November; it is only in December that we had a disruption,” Osinbajo added.
Last April, NNPC signed about $6 billion in deals with local and international traders to exchange about 330,000 barrels per day (bpd) of crude oil for imported petrol.
Our correspondent gathered that the oil traders engaged by NNPC were meant to import petrol into the country after shipping crude oil to international refiners.
It was, however, learnt that in the months of November and December, some of the companies converted their DSDP contracts into diesel, as they could not bring back petrol owing to the high cost of the product in the international market.
The implication was a flooded domestic market with diesel, which is also imported by other private marketers as a deregulated product, while petrol, which other marketers lacked the capacity to import and had been relying on NNPC for supply, became scarce.
Tai APC Collapses As Hundreds Return To PDP …Say They Were Blinded By Fake Promises
Over 500 former members of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Tai Local Government Area have returned to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
The returnees led by the first PDP Chairman of the area, Hon Peter Gwezia, announced their return to the PDP, last Saturday, during the GDI’s sensitisation programme for the collection of Permanent Voters’ Cards (PVC) at the Council Secretariat, Saakpenwa.
Speaking on behalf of the rest of the returnees while renouncing membership of the APC, Hon Peter Gwezia, said he and other APC members decided to leave the party due to failure of leadership.
While promising to work for the success of the PDP in the 2023 election, Gwezia said the APC lacked ideas, and was like a vehicle without engine, could not take them to their desired destination, hence their decision to leave the party.
In his remarks, Deputy Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party, Hon Chukwuemeka Aaron, who received the returnees on behalf of the Chairman, PDP Rivers State, Amb Desmond Akawor, assured them of equal treatment, saying there are no new members in the party.
“I want to welcome you all and to say that in PDP and GDI where you are today, no person is new. We all have equal status, we all have equal rights. Some of the people that were with you there doing the jamboree that came back today, they are commissioners; they have gone to the National Assembly, become chairmen of councils.
“So, having seen what our leader, Chief Nyesom Wike has done in Rivers State, and in Tai, and what your chairman of council is doing in Tai, they have come back to take their rightful position. We want to thank all of you, and to say that the party chairman and the chairman of council will integrate you into the activities of GDI”.
Also speaking, GDI President-General, Chief Bright Amaewhule, said the performance of the present administration in the state was enough testimony for any Rivers son or daughter to reckon that PDP was the only party which had their interest at heart.
Amaewhule said that of the candidates lined up for the governorship seat in the state, only the PDP Governorship candidate, Sir Siminialayi Fubara, was competent and qualified to give the state good governance from day one.
He, therefore, challenged eligible voters who have not collected their PVCs to do so as soon as possible, and prepare to cast their votes for the right party which was a master of good governance and quality projects’ delivery in the state come 2023.
The returnees, alongside GDI members from the 10 wards of Tai, including youths, women and students groups, later engaged in a wild gyration, turning the entire arena into dance frenzy.
The event also featured solidarity speeches from stakeholders among them former and current National and State Assembly members, former and serving council chairmen, former commissioners, party stalwarts, and captains of industry, among others.
By: Nelson Chukwudi
MOSOP Tasks SPDC On Fresh Oil Spill
Factional President of the Movement for the Survival of Ogoni People (MOSOP), Mr. Fegalo Nsuke, has called on Shell Petroleum Development Company (Shell) Joint Venture (JV), the oil and gas multinational company, to take full responsibility and appropriate action to curb a fresh oil spill in Bodo Community in Gokana Local Government Area of Rivers State.
Nsuke, who noted that the spill was first noticed in the community early last week, blamed Shell for the spill and urged the Dutch multinational to alleviate its impact on the community, curtail its spread and commence proper remediation and compensation in accordance with global best practices.
The MOSOP leader noted that the oil spills from the Trans Niger Pipeline operated by the Shell JV, suddenly erupted within the residential area of the community, alleging that it must have been caused by equipment failure.
He observed that although the cause of the spills, which was occurring 11years after the release of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) reports, was yet to be ascertained, the spills have affected residential areas and community dwellers have been asked by the MOSOP to evacuate the area, to avoid causality in case of a fire.
“This massive spill is occurring 11 years after the UNEP released a damning report exposing Shell’s devastation of the Ogoni environment.
“We have communicated with community leaders to cooperate with investigations and ensure that every detail about this spill is communicated to our secretariat as soon as possible”, he said.On his part, Executive Director, Youths and Environmental Advocacy Centre (YEAC), Fyneface Dumnamene Fyneface, said, “the cause of the crude oil spill which occurred inside the community where people live is not yet known at this time.”
By: Tonye Nria-Dappa
Nigeria’s Freedom Of Expression Attracting Global Attention, Buhari Claims
The President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), on Sunday, said it was instructive that Nigeria was attracting positive international attention as a country that promoted media freedom and freedom of expression.
He said this was premised on the government’s understanding of the important roles that information literacy and media education played in sustainable development.
According to a statement signed by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, Buhari said this while pledging his “full support” for three major international events scheduled to hold in Nigeria in October and November 2022.
They include: the 2022 United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation’s Global Media, Information Literacy Week in Abuja, in October, the first Global Conference on Cultural Tourism and Creative Industry in Lagos, as well as the second Global Association of Literary Festivals Conference, Abeokuta, in November.
In the statement titled ‘President Buhari pledges support as Nigeria hosts major cultural, tourism and literary events,’ he said the global events were opportunities to showcase the nation’s rich heritage in culture, arts, tourism and entertainment as well as advancements on media freedom.
Earlier, the Minister of Information ad Culture, Lai Mohammed, said that hosting the 2022 UNESCO Global Media, Information Literacy Week, would help to address the rising spate of fake news, misinformation and hate speech.
Expressing his delight to welcome international visitors to Nigeria, Buhari urged citizens to leverage the events to exhibit the values “that make us a unique, friendly and peace-loving people.”
The statement read in part, “Welcoming the decision by the UNESCO’s World Tourism Organisation and the Global Association of Literary Festivals to grant Nigeria the right to host these separate historic events, the President assures all relevant stakeholders and participants of the warmth and hospitality of the people of Nigeria.
“On the MIL Week, Buhari notes that it is instructive that Nigeria is attracting positive international attention as a country that promotes media freedom and freedom of expression, recognising the important roles information literacy and media education play in sustainable development.
“On the first Global Conference on Cultural Tourism and Creative Industry, the President says the rapid growth of Nigeria’s film, fashion, music, and the Information and Communications Technology sector, and the increase in international appeal and acceptance would continue to spur government to devote more resources to the sector.”
Among other initiatives, Buhari noted that the Creative Industry Financing Initiative, established by his administration and managed by the Central Bank of Nigeria in collaboration with the Bankers’ Committee, had provided single-digit financing to many young Nigerians in the fields of fashion, film, music and information technology.
He noted that the $100 million re-development of the National Theatre, Lagos, into a world-class creative park is also ongoing, following the handover of the facility to the CBN and the Bankers Committee.
The President, therefore, expressed confidence that the literary world would find many good things to celebrate about Nigeria when they meet in the historic city of Abeokuta, homeland and birthplace of one of Nigeria’s finest literary icons and Nobel Laureate, Professor Wole Soyinka.
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