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Reps Probe Customs Over Auctioned Petroleum Products 

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The Ad Hoc Committee on the Volume of Fuel Consumed Daily in Nigeria of the House of Representatives has asked the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) to provide details of the Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) seized and auctioned by the agency.
This followed request by the Comptroller-General of the NSC, Col. Hameed Ali (rtd.), for a court order to enable the Service auction other petroleum products except petrol during an appearance before the Committee.
Responding to questions on imported petroleum products being smuggled to neighboring countries, Ali, who was represented at the appearance by the Deputy Comptroller General (Enforcement, Investigation and Inspection), Etim Edorhe, said the NCS was doing its best towards achieving its mandate.
“Customs is not folding its hands, we are doing our work. The borders are there, we have the joint border patrol in place.
“Yes, we are daily intercepting these items as they attempt to move out. Some of them in tankers, some of them in drums, then in jerry cans. And some of these smugglers have this ingenuity of having petroleum products in polymer bags that you would not know.
“But daily, we seize them. We are always ahead of whatever method they adopt. I just told you, I took record of what happened in 2021, which I am going to give to you.
“In 2021, a total of 2,278,297 litres and with a duty paid value to the tune of N501,514,178,692.50 was intercepted”, he stated.
The NCS boss, however, explained that the seized petroleum products do not require a court injunction before being auctioned.
“When you intercept inflammable products, you don’t keep them because of the possibility of fire around the premises. So, such items are auctioned and the money paid into the Federation Account”, he said.
In his contribution, a member of the Committee, Uzoma Nkem-Abonta, said the lawmakers should probe the seizures and auctions, “so we can satisfy the public that these things were properly managed.”
Speaking, Chairman of the Committee, Abdulkadir Abdullahi, in his ruling, said, “The product seized, the auctions, the payments and the auctioneers and those who bought (the auctioned petroleum products) should be made available to us.

“We don’t want to leave any stone unturned so that we can look at these things critically and positively. He came with the list of the seized products but he didn’t give us an orderly. So, I ask that he gives it to us so we can also cross-check. He may wish to tender that”.

In his respy, the Customs boss promised to provide the requested details from 2015 to 2021, for which he was given seven days.

“Give us the full details of the products seized, auctioned, the auctioneers, the volume, the value ad any other related matter to this application”,  Abdullahi directed.

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Oil & Energy

Oil theft: Panic As Kpofire Explosion Rocks PH

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A mini-van conveying suspected illegally refined Automotive Gasoline Oil, popularly known as diesel, caught fire on Tuesday along Woji Road, GRA Phase 2, Port Harcourt.
The incident, which occurred near a popular shopping centre, Market Square, inside the new Port Harcourt GRA, caused heavy traffic jam in the area as the Police cordoned off a section of the road.
Eyewitnesses told our correspondent that the fire explosion which occured around 4pm on Tuesday, began when a part of the the mini-van laden with AGO concealed in sacks, burst into flames after spilling some of its contents.
The fire also affected a refuse disposal truck, an electric pole, and other nearby properties, as motorists scampered for safety.
An eyewitness identified as Imoh said the fire was eventually put out through efforts of the fire service operatives and some passersby, while Mobile Policemen were at the scene to prevent people from scooping unburnt products from the van.
According to him, “We were all here, when it started. The driver was struggling with something, I think a spark. There were sacks of diesel inside.
“The next thing the driver came down and ran away. Immediately there was a large sound and it was fire. Then the fire caught this waste truck here,” the eyewitness explained.
Meanwhile, efforts to get security agencies in the state to comment on the development proved abortive, as the Public Relations Officer of NSCDC, Ayodeji Olufemi, said he would get back to us but never did, while the Police Public Relations Officer, Grace Koko, did not take her calls nor replied to text messages sent to her phone.

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MOSOP Appeals For Prompt Action Over Fresh Oil Spill 

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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, 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

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Blame Yourself, Not Marketers, For Fuel Price Hike, IPMAN Tells FG

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The Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN) has berated the Federal Government for blaming marketers on the hike in the pump price of premium motor spirits, accusing the government of lying to the public.
Recall that Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Chief Timipre Sylva, had said that any increase in the price of petrol has been at the instance of petroleum marketers, insisting the government has not removed fuel subsidy, and was unaware of filling stations selling PMS above N165.
Speaking at a stakeholders’ consultation forum on regulations organised by the Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority, Sylva said the government was still paying subsidies on petrol, adding that marketers should be blamed for increase in fuel pump price.
Reacting on the development, marketers under the aegis of IPMAN said the Federal Government was not telling Nigerians the truth.
IPMAN Chairman in Rivers State, Dr Joseph Obele, said PPMC, a subsidiary of NNPC Ltd, was the sole importer of petroleum products into the country, and was only distributing to private depots and tankfarms with no plans for government depots.
Obele said marketers were currently buying one at N169 per litre at the depot, saying that marketers were retailing products strictly based on the buying rate from the government.
He warned the government against lying to the citizens but to fix the nation’s four refineries to operate at optimal capacity, saying that Nigerians would buy products at less than N100 per litre, if the refineries are working.
“The Minister is not telling Nigerians the truth. For instance, we have 19 tankfarms in Rivers State. Only three is selling for PPMC, which is government. The three tank farms doesn’t have right of importation.
“The sole importer of petroleum products in Nigeria is PPMC. PPMC imports and distribute to tank farms or private Depots across the states in Nigeria. They have refused to allocate any to Government owned depots, hence Government owned depots are without activities.
“The reason is because, they can’t adjust price at government owned depots. They will mandate private depots to sell for them claiming they are not aware of the increment by private depots. If they are sincere, they should send the vessels to government-owned depots and not private depots.
“Marketers are buying N169 per liter as at yesterday from the private tank farms, those depots are selling PPMC product which is government imported products.
“The recent increment on the price of PMS is government strategy to reduce the huge burden of imported landing cost of PMS which is far above the approved template by the government.

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