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We Don’t Have Control Over Cooking Gas Price ― FG

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The federal government on Tuesday said that it has no control over the price of cooking gas because the product is fully deregulated in the country.

The minister of state for petroleum resources, Timipre Sylva, who made the declaration in a chat with correspondents however noted that President Muhammadu Buhari is worried about the hike in the price of cooking gas.

The minister was at the presidential villa, Abuja to introduce to the president the CEO, Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority, NMDPRA,

Engr. Faruk Ahmed and the CEO, Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission NUPRC, Engr. Gbenga Komolafe.

He asserted that gas prices are determined by the global market, even though he indicated that government will everything possible to bring down the price of cooking gas especially during the Yuletide season.

He said, “We must understand that cooking gas is not subsidized. It is already a deregulated commodity. So the price of cooking gas is not determined by the government or by everybody in the industry. In fact, gas prices are determined internationally.

“And you all are aware that in Europe, today, gas prices have gone up. There was even a crisis in Europe relating to gas prices. So the pricing of gas internationally now affects also the price of gas in the country.

“Apart from that, there are some issues around VAT charges on imported gas, and of course, taxes on imported gas, which we are handling. But of course, quite frankly, these taxes on imported gas, you must also juxtapose it side by side with the local producers of gas.

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“So, if you incentivize the importance too much, then you will also kill the local industry. And also, you don’t want to incentivize the local industry at the expense of the imports, because if incentivize the local industry at the expense of the imports, then you will not have enough gas produced within the country.

“So, these are the issues of balancing that the midstream and downstream regulatory authority are handling and I want to assure you that we are quite concerned.

“Mr. President also is very concerned. He is aware that the price of cooking gas is high in the market, and we’re doing everything trying to see how we can bring down the price of gas especially as we approached the Yuletide.”

Sylva also disclosed that the president has directed him to proceed to Nembe, Bayelsa State to investigate the level of damage caused by the recent gas spillage in the area.

The minister stated that he will visit the affected communities on Wednesday to assess the situation.

He said; “And the question which is on the spillage in OML 29, we are quite aware of it. Unfortunately, it has happened. It is also one of the issues I discussed with the president as a minister and he has actually asked us to go and visit the site to assess the situation and report back.

“Definitely, we are quite concerned with what is happening in Nembe and will be going there very soon tomorrow. In fact, to go and look at what is happening and report back.

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“Mr. President is very personally interested and we have discussed it and he said we should go there and come back and report to him because environmental degradation issues are things that we are not going to condone but of course we’ll work with the operators of OML 29 to ensure that this spillage is brought under control as quickly as possible.”

On the resurgence of fuel queues in parts of the country, the minister directed the CEO of the Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority, Ahmed to answer it.

The NMDPRA CEO explained: “You see intermittent queues in some parts, maybe of Abuja and maybe the environs, basically what happened is that some of the depot owners are selling PMS, above the official ex-depot price of N148, they are selling at N156, N157.

“And the reason they adduced is that they are paying for their logistics like shipping in US dollars, they’re paying for NPH, port charges and NIMASA charges in US dollars.

“They have to go to black market to source these US dollars. And that differential between the official and the black market they buy, that is why they added about N9 to N10 to N15 and it depends on whether you are in Lagos, Calabar, Port Harcourt, or Oghara.

Now, we had a meeting the week before last on Tuesday, the 9th, and the NPA was there represented and the DG NIMASA was there as well NNPC, major marketers were all there and we all agreed and resolved that NNPC excess capacity of their shipping their vessels will be chartered to all marketing companies. We will be charging in Naira so that NNPC now will go and source for converting US dollars through the CBN.

“As for the NIMASA and NPA charges, it was all agreed that they will revert to their supervising ministry to get direction on the receipt of these charges in Naira rather than US dollars and I understand the process of that engagement with their supervising ministry has already commenced.

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“Once the NNPC from the 15th of this month, they have already converted to charging Naira instead of dollars for their excess capacity charter to all marketing companies. So, I believe with this, there will be no reason for the depot owners to increase their price beyond the official selling price of N148 naira.

“Now, we have been working tirelessly in the past few years to sensitize our people to start using LPG for example. And they were making an effort to do so. People are now interested in are working towards utilization of LPG, but then the production is not commensurate with the demand.

“And this is why we want to focus on investment in the area. Now, a lot of major oil companies like their IOCs want to invest, but the pricing framework is an issue for them. So, we’re working with the guidance of the Honourable Minister of State for Petroleum Resources to ensure that we put the pricing framework that is attractive enough for the investors but at the same time is simple enough for the consumers, whether it is power, or industrial base, or the commercial sectors.”

 

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AFRICA

Nigeria’s AfriGo to Rival Visa, Mastercard – Central Bank

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The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has launched the Nigerian National Domestic Card Scheme, AfriGo, aimed at creating a more robust payment system that would drive financial inclusion in the country.

CBN governor, Godwin Emefiele, has said that transaction charges on all cards would henceforth be paid in Naira, except for international transactions.

Emefiele said the card, which will function like other international payment cards, is aimed at boosting financial inclusion in the country and reducing dependence on foreign cards. He added that “by this initiative, will therefore be joining countries like China, Russia, Turkey and India which have launched domestic card schemes and harnessed the transformative benefits for their respective payments and financial systems, particularly for the underbanked.”

The national domestic card is expected to rival Visa and Mastercard, the market’s biggest players.

The announcement follows last year’s decision to phase out old higher denomination bank notes. The new notes came into circulation effect on December 15, 2022.

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AFRICA

The Gospel of the “Obi-Datti” Movement

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Nigeria 23:57….. and it came to pass in those days as Peter the son of Obi journeyed from Kaduna unto Kano, a great multitude followed him as he spake unto them saying; behold, I will do a new thing in Northern Nigeria, if thou and thy children shall vote for me, we will prosper thy land and thy seed shall eat the fruits thereof, for what profiteth the North that thou hast great land and thy offspring suffereth hunger and starvation.

 

As he spake these things, the Kadunites and the Kanites marvelled and they spake one to another, what manner of man is this that bringeth hope unto us. The people spread the good news of Peter and his brother Datti and whole city rejoiced at the marvelous things he spake unto them. Many were baptized unto OBIDIENCE and the number of those baptized were Nine hundredth and forty thousand men, with women and children not counted.

 

….. An excerpt from one of the “obedients” that got our attention inhouse. With the elections at hand in Nigeria, it would be advisable for all to get their PVC’s and go vote for their candidate.

 

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AFRICA

Tanzanian opposition leader returns home after years in exile

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Tanzanian opposition leader and former presidential candidate Tundu Lissu returned home from years of exile in Belgium to a cheering crowd on Wednesday, after the government lifted a ban on political rallies.

A former lawmaker and a fierce critic of the government, Lissu initially left the country to seek treatment abroad after he was shot 16 times, mostly in his lower abdomen, in an attack by unknown gunmen in the administrative capital Dodoma in 2017.

President Samia Suluhu Hassan lifted a ban on political rallies this month, more than six years after her predecessor John Magufuli imposed the measure which caused frequent run-ins between opposition leaders and police.

The move was welcomed by the opposition and it prompted Lissu to announce he would end his exile.

He was welcomed by a large gathering of his supporters at the Julius Nyerere International Airport, before making his way by car to a rally in the commercial capital Dar es Salaam.

Exile had been tough, he told the crowd which was waving his CHADEMA party flags, adding he would push for the enactment of a new constitution.

“Without a new constitution it will be difficult to change anything. Without it we won’t have a free and independent electoral commission,” he said.

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The current constitution vested too much power in the executive, he said, adding it was imperative to push for reforms.

“If you are tired of all these high taxes, high inflation of food… let us find a political solution, let us find a new constitution,” Lissu said.

Lissu, who had been arrested eight times in the year leading up to the gun attack he survived, returned to his homeland in 2020 to challenge Magufuli in an election.

However, shortly after the election he fled to the residence of the German ambassador after receiving death threats, and then left the country again.

Under the ban on rallies, which came into force in 2016, elected politicians were allowed to conduct rallies in their constituencies but other political rallies or protests were prohibited.

Magufuli died in March 2021 due to a heart disease that had plagued him for a decade. Upon ascending to the presidency, Hassan undertook some reforms, including lifting a ban on newspapers deemed critical and opening talks with opposition leaders.

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AFRICA

Nigeria: Federal Govt Sets Up 14-Man Committee to Manage Petroleum Products Supply, Distribution

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In a move to find lasting solution to the disruptions in the supply and distribution of petroleum products in the country, President Muhammadu Buhari has approved the constitution of a 14-man Steering Committee on Petroleum Products Supply and Distribution management, which he will personally chair, the ministry of petroleum resources announced yesterday.

The Steering Committee, which has minister of state for Petroleum Resource, Chief Timipre Sylva as alternate chairman is expected to among other things to ensure transparent and efficient supply and distribution of petroleum products across the country.

Other terms of reference are to ensure national strategic stock management, visibility on the NNPC Limited refineries rehabilitation programme and ensure end-end tracking of petroleum products, especial PMS to ascertain daily national consumption and eliminate smuggling.

To further ensure sanity in the supply and distribution across the value chain, Sylva has directed the Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority (NMDPRA) to ensure strict compliance with the government approved ex-depot and retail prices for PMS.

The minister has further directed the NMDPRA to ensure that NNPC Limited, which is the supplier of last resort meets the domestic supply obligation of PMS and other petroleum products in the country.

He further directed that the interests of the ordinary Nigerian is protected from price exploitation on other deregulated products such as AGO and DPK and LPG.

The federal government will not allow misguided elements to bring untold hardship upon the citizenry and attempt to discredit government’s efforts in consolidating the gains made thus far in the oil and gas sector of the economy.

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Other members of the committee are minister of Finance, permanent secretary, Ministry of Petroleum Resources, National Economic Adviser to the President, director-general, Department of State Services (DSS), comptroller-general, Nigerian Customs Service (NCS), chairman, Economic and Financial Crimes Commission Member (EFCC), and commandant-general, Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC)

Others who made up the Steering Committee are Authority chief executive, Nigerian Midstream and Member Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority (NMDPRA), governor, Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), group chief executive officer, NNPC Limited, Special Advisor (Special Duties) to the HMSPR while the Technical Advisor (Midstream) to the HMSPR will serve as Secretary.

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