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Ex-Neimeth CEO Wants Oil Sector Deregulation 

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A former Chief Executive Officer of Neimeth Pharmaceutical, Sam Ohuabunwa, has faulted President Muhammadu Buhari  over his failure to deregulate the oil and gas sector.
In a statement he signed, a copy of which was made available to The Tide source, he claimed that the Federal Government has been paying lip service to the issue of oil sector deregulation.
The former President of the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN) said, “It is deceitful and disingenuous for this government to announce that payment of subsidy will end in June when they would have ended their regime.
“Why wait? Why make such a deceitful proposition? Who will enforce the plan, Buhari/Oil Minister, or the new President?” he queried.
According to him, it was clear that the cap on the pump price of petrol had been removed, adding that all over Nigeria, for a few months now, the price of petrol has varied from one filling station to the other.
“As of 6th of January, prices ranged from a minimum of N240 per litre in Benin, N340 in Kaduna, N360 in Umuahia, N400 per litre in Owerri to N500 per litre in Port Harcourt.
“No filling station is selling at the so-called controlled price, except in some filling stations in Abuja and Lagos. And nobody is enforcing any price as used to happen in the past. So, it is clear we have deregulated. That Is fine!
“I think the Government should own up and announce this policy officially”, he said.
He urged the government to come clean and level up with the citizens instead of deceiving Nigerians.
“By announcing the deregulation now, which is already a fiat accompli, Nigerians will attain the following benefits:
“First, official deregulation will mean that many more companies and oil marketers can import fuel under the supervision of the regulatory agency, thus immediately easing the scarcity and ending the double jeopardy of many motorists and road users.
“For months now, many motorists spend hours and, in some cases, days and nights trying to buy the product at inflated prices. They lose many productive hours searching for petrol and when they find it, they pay exorbitant prices.
“Those who buy from hawkers run the risk of buying adulterated fuel, which destroys car engines, in addition to the indignity of buying petrol from hawkers.”
Ohuabunwa argued that those who travelled in commercial vehicles during the season faced a lot of challenges.
“Many were stranded at motor parks as they found that their budget could not meet the daily changing fares!
“Secondly and most important, official deregulation now will obviate the need for more subsidy payment and, at least, we can save the N3.5 trillion budgeted for the first six months of this year by this outgoing government.”
The statement added, “N3.5 trillion can do so much for our infrastructure, especially when it is noted that only N5.9 trillion is the entire capital budget in a N22 trillion budget for 2023. It can build several roads and bridges across the country or transform our entire educational and healthcare system.
“Thirdly, it will disabuse the minds of some Nigerians who speculate that this N3.5 trillion has been put in the budget for other purposes including election funding and sendoff and parting gifts for the government officials and politicians of the party in power.
“This set of Nigerians can see that government has ‘surreptitiously’ deregulated while still retaining subsidy payments. And they ask for what purpose? Hence the speculation.”
He also frowned at the monopoly of the NNPC in fuel importation, despite removing the price cap after paying a subsidy.
“The current situation is deeply damaging the Nigerian economy, increasing poverty and misery for many Nigerians while creating a lot of opportunities for arbitrage and corruption for NNPC and government officials.
“President Buhari should bite this bullet and save Nigerians from multiple jeopardies, which they are facing right now. It is true that we have lost the battle against corruption, but we must not watch helplessly as poor Nigerians are openly ‘raped’ and ravaged by the ‘oil curse’,” he stated.

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Western Marine Command Intensifies Anti-Smuggling Operations … Intercepts N8.75m Worth PMS

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For officers and men of the Western Marine Command of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), the battle is not over until smuggling is over.
In the wake of Wednesday May, 8, 2024, the ever vigilant officers, acting on a tip-off, intercepted 177 sacks and 61 kegs of 25 litres containing petroleum products, valued at about N8.750,000million.
The items were intercepted along Isalu Creek, Badagry Waterway en-route Benin Republic.
While briefing newsmen, the Command’s Customs Area Controller, Comptroller Paul Bamisaiye, said: “This seizure is most economically significant to the Command at this period of scarcity of Petroleum Products, especially Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) in our cities, and shows the anticipatory posture in our response to economic saboteurs.
“At about 2:330hrs on Wednesday 8th May 2024, while on joint patrol by teams in the Command, credible intelligence was received of the movement of 2 boats laden with what was suspected to be petroleum products concealed in sacks. Upon receipt of the information, the team moved into Isalu creeks, Badagry waterway.
“On sighting the approach of the Officers, the smugglers took to their heels through the shore of the Creek. The loaded boats were then towed to the station at Badagry where preliminary examination was conducted and transferred to Western Marine Command Headquarters, Ibafon, Apapa, Lagos.
“Careful examination at the Command Headquarters revealed that the arrest was found to contain One Hundred and Seventy Seven (177) Sacks and Sixty One (61) Kegs of 25 Litres Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) containing Twelve Thousand Five Hundred (12,500) Liters with a total Duty Paid Value standing at Eight Million Seven Hundred and Fifty Thousand Naira (N8,750,000) only”.
Bamisaiye noted that the action of the smugglers is a contravention of Section 245 & 254 of the Nigeria Customs Service Act 2023 which the service, through Western Marine Command, is responsible for enforcing.
“The Command, under the leadership of Compt. PK Bamisaiye, is poised more than ever to rid the waterways of all acts of smuggling and economy sabotage for the benefit of the growth of economy of Nigeria”, he said
Bamisaiye said so far, no suspect was arrested in the Command’s anti-smuggling operations.

Nkpemenyie Mcdominic, Lagos

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Illegal PMS Trading Booms In Lagos

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Petroleum products  being sought by motorists have disappeared from virtually all filling stations within Lagos and its environs, but are now booming in business in retail outlets.
Investigations by our correspondent revealed that while the product could not be got at some of the petrol service stations, activities are in top gear in the local retail outlets where the price has gone beyond the reach of users.
It was also gathered that in some filling stations supplied with the products, preference are often given to retail outlet operators by petrol attendants against the consuming public.
A source, directly involved in the business, said some petrol dealers are cashing on the irregular supply to divert the products to retail outlets where they could easily make their gains.
It was also gathered that some sales representatives in the service of major oil marketing firms indulged in the diversion exercise because of their personal interest.
At the retail outlets a liter goes for N950,00 against the normal N760,to N800 at some stations.

Nkpemenyie Mcdominic, Lagos

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Customs Board Appoints Five DCGs, Eight ACGs

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The Nigeria Customs Service Board (NCSB) has confirmed the appointment of five Deputy Comptroller-Generals (DCGs) and eight Assistant Comptrollers-General (ACGs) of Customs during its 59th regular meeting.
The meeting, chaired by the Honorable Minister of Finance and Coordinating Minister for the Economy, Mr. Wale Edun, was held at the Nigeria Customs Service Headquarters in Abuja last Tuesday.
National Public Relations Officer of the Service, Chief Superintendent of Customs, Abdullahi Maiwada, who disclosed this in a statement yesterday, gave details of the confirmed appointments as: O.O. Peters (DCG /Commander, Training and Doctrine Command (rtd); B.M. Jibo (DCG Enforcement Inspection & Investigation); and B.U. Nwanfor (DCG Excise, Free Trade Zone & Industrial Incentives).
Others are: S.A. Bomia (DCG, Commander Training and Doctrine Command); and C.K. Niagwan (DCG, Tariff & Trade).
The Assistant Comptrollers General (ACGs) are: B. Imam (ACG Board); A.A.S. Oloyede (ACG, Trade & Tariff); S.K. Dangaldima (ACG/Zonal Coordinator, Zone ‘B’); A. Abdul Azeez (ACG/Zonal Coordinator, Zone ‘D’); S.A. Yusuf (ACG, Human Resource Development); N.P. Umoh (ACG, Training and Doctrine Command); C.O. Obih (ACG/Zonal Coordinator, Zone ‘C’); and S. Chiroma (ACG, Strategic Research and Policy).
The new appointments, according to the statement, were made to fill the vacancies created by some senior officers who recently retired from the Service, noting that the principles of federal character, seniority and merit guided the appointments approved by the board.
“These appointments are a testament to the officers’ exemplary services and dedication to the Nigeria Customs Service. The NCSB remains committed to providing strategic leadership to ensure effective and efficient service delivery for optimum performance”, he said.
While thanking the retired members of the management for their meritorious services, the Comptroller General of Customs, Bashir Adewale Adeniyi, congratulated the newly confirmed officers and charged them to redouble their efforts to ensure the service attains greater heights in its mandates of revenue generation, suppression of smuggling, and trade facilitation amongst others.

Nkpemenyie Mcdominic, Lagos

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