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Fuel price hike looms: NNPC admits N145/litre no longer sustainable

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  • As Melaye urges Buhari to sack Adeosun, Emefiele, Udoma

Former and present Group Managing Directors of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) have expressed fears that the current pump price of N145 per litre is no longer feasible.

They said the amount does not correspond with the price-determining components of the commodity and the fluctuations of the foreign exchange rate. They stated this after a one-day meeting they held with the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu, in Abuja.

The NNPC in its statement said, “They (the GMDs) noted that the petrol price of N145/litre is not congruent with the liberalisation policy especially with the foreign exchange rate and other price determining components such as crude cost, Nigerian Ports Authority charges, etc remaining uncapped.”

The declaration of the NNPC present and past bosses confirmed an earlier report in which oil marketers revealed that the actual or real cost of petrol was N151.87 when all the pricing components are adequately captured.

The marketers had stated that they were struggling to maintain petrol price at N145 per litre because of the stiff competition in the downstream oil sector, but stressed that the practice was not sustainable.

The GMDs, however, commended the NNPC for resolving the fuel supply crisis and urged the corporation to come up with measures that will ensure sustenance of seamless supply of petroleum products nationwide.

According to the corporation, the GMDs expressed concerns about the declining crude oil production level and its consequences on the environment and the nation’s revenue. They further agreed that if the current situation remains unchecked, it could lead to the crippling of the corporation and the nation’s oil and gas sector which is the mainstay of the Nigerian economy.

In the meantime, a member of the Senate representing Kogi-West Senatorial District, Senator Dino Melaye, on Sunday called on President Muhammadu Buhari to take drastic measures on the ailing economic, including the immediate removal of the Minister of Finance, Kemi Adeosun; Minister of Budget and National Planning, Senator Udo Udoma; and the Governor of the Central bank of Nigeria, Mr. Godwin Emefiele.

In a statement in Abuja, Melaye said the President must shake up his cabinet, and accused some members of cabinet as lacking the capacity to deliver on the mandates of their ministries and agencies.

He said Adeosun, Udoma and Emefiele should be axed for the economy to be effectively rebooted to deliver on the change agenda of the present administration.

Melaye said, “At the moment, it must be crystal clear to all discerning minds that the President’s widely-acclaimed magical body language has lost its presumed aura and efficacy. His no-nonsense demeanor is equally neither instilling fear nor commanding respect and loyalty from among his cabinet members.

“It is therefore obvious that the time for barking is over; now is the time to bite and boot out all those who have demonstrated, in the past several months, a crass lack of capacity to effectively carry out the functions of their office.”

The All Progressives Congress senator, who is the Chairman, Senate Committee on the Federal Capital Territory, also condemned Buhari’s economic team led by Vice President Yemi Osibanjo, saying that “their decisions will not be and has never been respected by the economic managers and the bureaucracy in Nigeria.”

Melaye urged the President to, instead, constitute an ‘Emergency Ad Hoc Economic Team’ made up of all former ministers of finance, ex-ministers of budget and national planning, ex-CBN governors as well as members drawn from the academia with “deep knowledge of developmental economics to drive the economic revival programme.”

He said, “The President must immediately transit from mere rhetoric to drastic but positive action to save the economy and Nigeria from total collapse. The hunger in the land is real, pervasive, widespread and debilitating for the poor masses.

“As I walk the streets of my constituency these days, I constantly harbour a foreboding that I could be stoned by my angry constituents for the failure of Mr. President to fulfill his campaign promises and expectations to Nigerians.

“Nigeria is tottering on a dangerous precipice, sliding perilously to a certain catastrophe if the current economic malaise is not halted immediately.”

Punch with additional report from Upshot

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WAIVER CESSATION: Igbokwe urges NIMASA to evolve stronger collaboration with Ships owners

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…Stresses the need for timely disbursement of N44.6billion CVFF***

Highly revered Nigerian Maritime Lawyer, and Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), Mike Igbokwe has urged the Nigeria Maritime Administration and safety Agency (NIMASA) to partner with ship owners and relevant association in the industry to evolving a more vibrant merchant shipping and cabotage trade regime.

Igbokwe gave the counsel during his paper presentation at the just concluded two-day stakeholders’ meeting on Cabotage waiver restrictions, organized by NIMASA.

“NIMASA and shipowners should develop merchant shipping including cabotage trade. A good start is to partner with the relevant associations in this field, such as the Nigeria Indigenous Shipowners Association (NISA), Shipowners Association of Nigeria (SOAN), Oil Trade Group & Maritime Trade Group of the Nigerian Association of Chambers of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (NACCIMA).

“A cursory look at their vision, mission and objectives, show that they are willing to improve the maritime sector, not just for their members but for stakeholders in the maritime economy and the country”.

Adding that it is of utmost importance for NIMASA to have a through briefing and regular consultation with ships owners, in other to have insight on the challenges facing the ship owners.

“It is of utmost importance for NIMASA to have a thorough briefing and regular consultations with shipowners, to receive insight on the challenges they face, and how the Agency can assist in solving them and encouraging them to invest and participate in the maritime sector, for its development. 

“NIMASA should see them as partners in progress because, if they do not invest in buying ships and registering them in Nigeria, there would be no Nigerian-owned ships in its Register and NIMASA would be unable to discharge its main objective.

The Maritime lawyer also urged NIMASA  to disburse the Cabotage Vessel Financing Fund (CVFF)that currently stands at about N44.6 billion.

“Lest it be forgotten, what is on the lips of almost every shipowner, is the need to disburse the Cabotage Vessel Financing Fund (the CVFF’), which was established by the Coastal and Inland Shipping Act, 2003. It was established to promote the development of indigenous ship acquisition capacity, by providing financial assistance to Nigerian citizens and shipping companies wholly owned by Nigerian operating in the domestic coastal shipping, to purchase and maintain vessels and build shipping capacity. 

“Research shows that this fund has grown to about N44.6billion; and that due to its non-disbursement, financial institutions have repossessed some vessels, resulting in a 43% reduction of the number of operational indigenous shipping companies in Nigeria, in the past few years. 

“Without beating around the bush, to promote indigenous maritime development, prompt action must be taken by NIMASA to commence the disbursement of this Fund to qualified shipowners pursuant to the extant Cabotage Vessel Financing Fund (“CVFF”) Regulations.

Mike Igbokwe (SAN)

“Indeed, as part of its statutory functions, NIMASA is to enforce and administer the provisions of the Cabotage Act 2003 and develop and implement policies and programmes which will facilitate the growth of local capacity in ownership, manning and construction of ships and other maritime infrastructure. Disbursing the CVFF is one of the ways NIMASA can fulfill this mandate.

“To assist in this task, there must be collaboration between NIMASA, financial institutions, the Minister of Transportation, as contained in the CVFF Regulations that are yet to be implemented”, the legal guru highlighted further. 

He urged the agency to create the right environment for its stakeholders to build on and engender the needed capacities to fill the gaps; and ensure that steps are being taken to solve the challenges being faced by stakeholders.

“Lastly, which is the main reason why we are all here, cessation of ministerial waivers on some cabotage requirements, which I believe is worth applause in favour of NIMASA. 

“This is because it appears that the readiness to obtain/grant waivers had made some of the vessels and their owners engaged in cabotage trade, to become complacent and indifferent in quickly ensuring that they updated their capacities, so as not to require the waivers. 

“The cessation of waivers is a way of forcing the relevant stakeholders of the maritime sector, to find workable solutions within, for maritime development and fill the gaps in the local capacities in 100% Nigerian crewing, ship ownership, and ship building, that had necessitated the existence of the waivers since about 15 years ago, when the Cabotage Act came into being. 

“However, NIMASA must ensure that the right environment is provided for its stakeholders to build and possess the needed capacities to fill the gaps; and ensure that steps are being taken to solve the challenges being faced by stakeholders. Or better still, that they are solved within the next 5 years of its intention to stop granting waivers”, he further explained. 

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Breaking News: The Funeral Rites of Matriarch C. Ogbeifun is Live

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The Burial Ceremony of Engr. Greg Ogbeifun’s mother is live. Watch on the website: www.maritimefirstnewspaper.com and on Youtube: Maritimefirst Newspaper.

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Wind Farm Vessel Collision Leaves 15 Injured

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…As Valles Steamship Orders 112,000 dwt Tanker from South Korea***

A wind farm supply vessel and a cargo ship collided in the Baltic Sea on Tuesday leaving 15 injured.

The Cyprus-flagged 80-meter general cargo ship Raba collided with Denmark-flagged 31-meter wind farm supply vessel World Bora near Rügen Island, about three nautical miles off the coast of Hamburg. 

Many of those injured were service engineers on the wind farm vessel, and 10 were seriously hurt. 

They were headed to Iberdrola’s 350MW Wikinger wind farm. Nine of the people on board the World Bora were employees of Siemens Gamesa, two were employees of Iberdrola and four were crew.

The cause of the incident is not yet known, and no pollution has been reported.

After the collision, the two ships were able to proceed to Rügen under their own power, and the injured were then taken to hospital. 

Lifeboat crews from the German Maritime Search and Rescue Service tended to them prior to their transport to hospital via ambulance and helicopter.

“Iberdrola wishes to thank the rescue services for their diligence and professionalism,” the company said in a statement.

In the meantime, the Hong Kong-based shipowner Valles Steamship has ordered a new 112,000 dwt crude oil tanker from South Korea’s Sumitomo Heavy Industries Marine & Engineering.

Sumitomo is to deliver the Aframax to Valles Steamship by the end of 2020, according to data provided by Asiasis.

The newbuild Aframax will join seven other Aframaxes in Valles Steamship’s fleet. Other ships operated by the company include Panamax bulkers and medium and long range product tankers.

The company’s most-recently delivered unit is the 114,426 dwt Aframax tanker Seagalaxy. The naming and delivery of the tanker took place in February 2019, at Namura Shipbuilding’s yard in Japan.

Maritime Executive with additional report from World Maritime News

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