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NCS Seizes 57 Vehicles in Kogi, Niger; NEPC seeks Media Support for non-oil Export



Seme: Jibo gets Kudos over Customs' Sustained Onslaught Against Smuggling

Niger/Kogi Area Command of Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) says it has seized 57 assorted vehicles, valued at about N238 million, in different parts of Kogi and Niger states.

The command also said that it collected about N50.8 million as internally-generated revenue (IGR) in September.

Also read: Customs Impounds N200m contraband in Bauchi; Army hands over 98 cannabis parcels to Yobe NDLEA

The Comptroller of Customs in charge of the command, Mr Busayo Kadejo, disclosed this while addressing newsmen in Minna on Wednesday.

He said that the command was putting measures in place to step up security at the border posts to curtail illegal trade and prevent contraband from coming into the country.

The comptroller explained that the command would also carry out 100 per cent physical examination to prevent offensive goods from being smuggled into the country through the borders in the area.

He said that the command also discovered five illegal routes being exploited by smugglers in its area of supervision.

“We have deployed competent officers to manage our border posts to prevent smuggled goods from coming into our country.

“We also seized 21 bales of second-hand clothing, 90 bags of fertilizer, 2,900 liters of PMS (petrol) and 36 bags of foreign rice,” he said.

Kadejo further stated that already, the area command had issued an effective operational order to its field officers at the border posts on how to tackle the menace of smuggling.

He said that the command was also partnering with other security agencies in the state to ensure the arrest and prosecution of smugglers.

The comptroller expressed optimism that the security measures in place would prevent smuggling business in whatever form.

“We have also reached out to traditional rulers, especially those at the border posts to assist our field officers with reliable information on the movement of smugglers.

“We are battle ready to prevent all prohibited items from coming into our area of supervision through well-coordinated security approaches,” he said.

In another development, the Nigerian Export Promotion Council (NEPC) on Wednesday solicited the support of the media to drive the repositioning of the non-oil export sector for improved performance.

The Executive Director/CEO of NEPC, Dr Ezra Yakusak, made the appeal at the media retreat for Commerce and Industry Correspondents of Nigeria (CICAN) in Abuja.

The retreat organised by NEPC is with the theme: “Diversifying the Economy: The Role of NEPC’’.

According to Yakusak, the retreat is being organised to deepen the knowledge and understanding of NEPC’s mandate as an agency responsible for the development and promotion of non-oil export.

“This mandate, as you are aware, is key to realising the economic objectives of the present administration which is targeted at diversifying the economy from a monolithic to a robust economy driven by the non-oil export sector.

“I wish to inform you that the NEPC is poised to build and sustain a mutual-beneficial relationship with our esteemed members of the fourth estate.

“ This is premised on the fact that as conveyors of information, the media has a critical role to play in not just promoting NEPC activities and programmes but also creating awareness on opportunities in the non-oil sector,’’ he said.

Yakusak said that the media has a crucial role to play in sensitising Nigerians on the need to embrace export as Nigeria’s means of survival as a nation.

“I am optimistic that through your incisive and analytical reports on happenings in the sector, NEPC is more than ever before determined to reposition the sector for better performance.

“Indeed, the power of the media cannot be over-emphasised.

“Put differently, the press has the power to inform, educate, entertain, act as a watchdog for society as well as set the agenda for national discourse.

“Therefore, as information and communication professionals, you have a great responsibility to set the agenda for national conversation towards issues that are critical to the well-being of the citizenry.

“And you will agree with me that what matters most presently is the need to promote the “Export4Survival” campaign,’’ Yakusak said.

He urged Nigerians to realise the urgency of engaging in non-oil export trade as a viable means of economic growth and poverty alleviation.

According to him, non-oil export trade has the potential to promote industrial development and boost foreign exchange earnings.

On her part, The Director, of Product Development, NEPC, Mrs Evelyn Obidike, emphasised on value addition on products and services essential in promoting non-oil exports.

“By the time value addition is achieved, not only that we gain premium price but we will be building a chain and in turn create jobs and generate wealth,’’ Obidike said.




Fuel Subsidy Removal: Don Predicts Reduction In Fuel Price



Prof. AbdulGafar Ijaiya of the Department of Economics, University of Ilorin, has expressed optimism at President Bola Tinubu’s inaugural remarks on the removal of fuel subsidies, saying this may reduce prices at the long run.

Ijaiya, who spoke on Monday in Ilorin, observed that with commitment from the Federal Government in revamping existing refineries alongside Dangote refineries, will increase the availability of petroleum products.

The expert who however explained that though such effect may not be felt immediately, noted that the present pump price is about N200, depending on filling stations across the country.

He questioned if the present fuel price at about N200 was as a result of the subsidy removal, adding that if it is not, then fuel may likely increase with about 50 per cent rate after the removal.

“But the thing is that very soon, what has gone wrong with the refineries will be corrected and Dangote refineries will commence by July/August,” he said.

Ijaiya, who teaches in the Faculty of Social Sciences of the university, pointed out that in the beginning there might be an increase in the prices of foods and services.

He however asserted that in a society like Nigeria where people are used to hike in prices, it would not mean much to the citizens.

“By Economics principle, we have adjusted our expenditure profile consumption to particular items. We have moved from consuming luxury and unnecessary items to necessary items.

“This means people go for what is necessary and do away with those that are not,” he said.

Ijaiya affirmed that in the long run, the fuel pump price will adjust downward and there would be more supply of the products.

He further added that when there are more supply of a particular product in the market, it will automatically reduce the price.

“If we have enough supply, with time and there are no other man-made distortion that has to do with our behaviour, I see us buying it between N80 and N100 per litre,” he predicted.

The economist also foresee filling station advertising and competing for sales, saying it will be good for the nation.

He, however, cautioned that “we are in an uncertain world”, but maintained that fuel subsidy removal would be good for the country eventually as only a minority are benefiting from it.

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NNPC Ltd, OML 130 Partners Conclude Lease Renewal Process  



The Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPC Ltd) and the Oil Mining Lease (OML) 130 Partners have closed out the lease renewal process for OML 130 to unlock additional value from the Asset for stakeholders.

The NNPC Limited announced the renewal of the OML 130 Production Sharing Contract (PSC) and conversion of the acreage to a Petroleum Mining Lease (PML), in accordance with the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA) 2021 provisions on Thursday.

During the ceremony which was presided over by the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Petroleum Resources, Amb. Gabriel Aduda, five agreements were executed.

The NNPC Ltd management, in a statement, listed the agreements to include the PSC between NNPC Ltd and its Contractors, China National Offshore Oil Corporation (CNOOC) and South Atlantic Petroleum (SAPETRO) with Total Upstream Nigeria (TUPNI) as the operator.

The agreements include a Heads of Agreement (HoA) Amendment involving NNPC Ltd, TUPNI, SAPETRO, PRIME 130, and CNOOC and a Settlement Repayment Agreement (SRA) Addendum between NNPC and its Contractors (CNOOC and SAPETRO).

Others are Concession Contracts for one Petroleum Prospecting Licence (PPL) and three PMLs and Lease and License Instruments between NNPC, TUPNI, SAPETRO, PRIME 130, and Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission (NUPRC).

The NNPC Ltd said the milestone would pave the way to firm up Final Investment Decision (FID) on the Preowei, amounting to US$2.1 billion.

This will subsequently be followed by Egina South projects lined up by TUPNI and the OML 130 partners to introduce additional volumes to the best-in-class Egina Floating, Production, Storage and Offloading (FPSO) Vessel,’’ the company said.

Stakeholders in attendance at the signing ceremony were the NNPC Ltd Group Chief Executive Officer (GCEO), Malam Mele Kyari, the Chief Upstream Investment Officer (CUIO), and Mr Bala Wunti, Chief Strategy and Sustainability Officer, Oritsemeyiwa Eyesan.

The event also had in attendance the NUPRC Chief Executive, Mr Gbenga Komolafe, Managing Directors of TotalEnergies in Nigeria and CNOOC, Mr. Mike Sangstar, and Mr. Li Chunsheng, among others.

OML 130 is in the deep water Niger Delta, 130 kilometres offshore. The block contains the producing Akpo and Egina fields and the Preowei discovery.

To date, the Akpo field, via the Akpo FPSO, has produced over 646 million barrels of Condensate, while the Egina field, via the Egina FPSO, has produced over 233 million barrels of Crude Oil.

So far, about 1.6 Trillion cubic feet (TcF) of gas has been commercialised from both fields with an outstanding record of non-zero gas flare.

OML 130, currently producing 170,000 barrels per day, is the largest producer in TotalEnergies’ Nigeria portfolio and amongst the most prolific assets in Nigeria.

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PAP Sets Aside N1.5bn To Drive Entrepreneurship For Niger Delta Ex-agitators



The Presidential Amnesty Programme (PAP) has launched a N1.5 billion Cooperative Fund – the PAP Beneficiaries Cooperative Society (PAPCOSOL Ltd.) to give strategic empowerment directly to ex-agitators of the Niger Delta.

Launching the scheme on Wednesday, the Interim Administrator of PAP, retired Maj.-Gen. Barry Ndiomu said the initiative was a novel alternative economic development scheme.

He said the initiative was designed to create a more viable means of sustainable livelihood for ex-agitators with socio-economic development of their communities and making them self-reliant.

“Over the years, various reintegration empowerment programmes have delivered less-fulfilling results. I am confident that this initiative is the most practicable approach to ensuring the sustainable reintegration of ex-agitators.

“The scheme which will be serviced monthly with N500 million was birthed out of the need to encourage ex-agitators who are fast ageing, to explore more sustainable means of livelihood.

“This is better than depending on the monthly N65,000 monthly stipends from the Federal Government.

“The cooperative, which already has offices in Delta, Bayelsa and Rivers, will be closely supervised by the PAP office.

“It would be run by an Advisory Board led by Justice. Francis Tabai, a retired Supreme Court judge, and other seasoned professionals and ex-agitators,’’ Ndiomu said.

Ndiomu noted that beneficiaries would be provided with technical support on their business ideas, and also get access to grants.

Ndiomu with the NPA Managing Director, Mohammed Bello-Koko

He added that the scheme would focus on agricultural value chain, services and manufacturing.

Ndiomu expressed regret that the monthly N65,000 stipends had introduced the culture of dependency and indolence in ex-agitators.

In his remarks, Tabai commended the Interim Administrator for championing the drive to reposition PAP and transform the lives of people of Niger Delta.

He promised to bring his wealth of experience to ensure that the board delivered on its mandate.

Similarly, Hon. Felix Ayah, (PDP-Southern Ijaw Constituency I), lauded Ndiomu for thinking out of the box on the initiative.

Ayah stated that he and other leaders of the region would embrace the new thinking and promised to give the PAP boss maximum support.

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