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Economy

Petrol smuggling: FG using device to track trucks, smugglers

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Petrol smuggling: FG using device to track trucks, smugglers
Petrol smuggling: FG using device to track trucks, smugglers

Minister-of-State-for-Petroleum-Chief-Timipre-Sylva.

… As Sylva says ‘We must deregulate to move Nigerian economy forward’***

The Federal Government says it has facilitated the use of a tracking device to track every truck loading petroleum product from any of its depots as part of efforts to nip smuggling in the bud and arrest culprits.

Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Chief Timipre Sylva, said this at a forum organised by the newsmen to gauge the achievements recorded in the oil and gas sector in the last two years.

Sylva noted that a lot had been achieved in the industry but that the activities of smugglers had continued to overshadow the successes especially as it concerned fuel subsidy and the quantity of petroleum products consumed in the country.

“This is one big question that we try to answer ourselves because when we look at the number of load-outs from our depots every day, we know that we don’t have that level of consumption of petroleum products in Nigeria,” he said.

According to Sylva, time has come for the government to track products that go out from its depots to ensure they deliver straight to designated filling stations in the country.

He said the era of smuggling products across the country’s borders was over as it negatively contributed to the high number of litres of petroleum products said to be consumed in the country on a daily basis.

“We have been able to put a tracking system to track the trucks that load from the depots, so that we are sure that when they load products from the depots, they take it straight to the filling stations.

”When you say that Nigerians are consuming 60 million litres, and you look at the number of cars on the Nigerian roads, you will know that those 60 million litres cannot be possibly consumed in Nigeria.

“But we have a situation where our price for products here are cheaper than the price across the border; sometimes the price across the border is double or even more than double our own price here.

“So, it’s an opportunity for profit, and some people will want to take our product and sell it across the border to make extra money.

“That is what has been happening and it’s really distorting our own system here because if you say you are going to be subsidising the product, the subsidy is meant to be subsidising for Nigerians not those outside Nigeria.

Also read: 21 ships discharge petroleum products, others at Lagos ports

“But the way it is now, we seem to be subsidising the whole of Africa, and how can we sustain such a move; that is why the subsidy amount is going up every day,” Sylva said.

He also said that security agents, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and the Nigerian Customs Service (NCS) would swing into action to ensure the smugglers were apprehended and brought to justice.

“We know that our consumption data is inflated, not by us but because of the leakages which we are trying to control.

“If you have a structure as it is today, and the incentive the smugglers get is too high, it makes them not to stop unless the government is ruthless, and that is why we are involving security agencies.

“This month maybe they will smuggle to Niger Republic and next month somebody will discover a route to Chad and another person is smuggling to Cameroon and Benin Republic, while some could go as far as Togo or Ghana.

“And this is why our perceived consumption figure is going up every day and if we continue to do that and keep our petrol price low, it will be difficult for us to progress.

“In some communities, we have a situation where someone’s farmland is in Cameroon and their home is in Nigeria, so how do you stop that person from not crossing the border,” Sylva added.

The petroleum minister further said that apart from tracking device systems, other technological solutions would be applied to get the problem solved in the shortest time possible.

In the meantime, Chief Timipre Sylva, the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, has reiterated the need to deregulate the downstream sector through market-driven pricing of products to boost the country’s economy.

Sylva made this known when he featured at the newsmen forum on Sunday in Abuja.

“I will say that my stand on fuel subsidy and deregulation is well known. I strongly believe that for this country to move forward, for our economy to make the progress it desires, we need to have a market-driven pricing of products.

“A situation where you produce something at a certain cost and you have to sell it at a lower cost to people because you are taking some of that burden off the people is not the best.

“It is a very desirable thing but it is also not too sustainable because what happens is that you produce it for N10, you sell it for N5; tomorrow, you produce it again at N10, you add N5 from somewhere, produce it again at N10 and sell it for another N5.

“So, the losses increase and compound on a daily basis and those accumulated losses have brought us to where we are,’’ he said.

According to him, people’s view that if the refineries are working, importation of product will stop is not the real issue on ground.

Sylva said that subsidy was part of the things that made the refineries to stop operating in the country.

“Part of the reasons why the refineries were not working is subsidy because a refinery that is producing something at a certain cost and selling at a loss, how can it sustain itself.

“Over the years, the refineries couldn’t sustain themselves and all of them died. So, if you do not deregulate, you will find out that even the refineries, if you fix them today, they cannot be commercially operated because the refineries need maintenance and they need to run.

“If you are producing something and they are selling at a certain subsidised price, it cannot work that is why you see that the sector is not growing at all,’’ he noted.

The minister said that Dangote Group for example, sited its refinery near the sea to aid exports and to enable it make more money for sustainability.

“If he sells within Nigeria in this subsidised environment, he will not breakeven. So, that is the way it is and we must look at it because, I know that a lot of Nigerians think that we must carry on like this but in the end, I think it is better for us to deregulate,” he said.

He described as unfortunate people’s perception about subsidy, making the common man on the street to begin to fight government “but the subsidy never favours them”.

“It is actually in the interest of the common Nigerian to ensure that some people do not just profiteer on them, which is what has been happening.

“You must have heard of all the subsidy scams few years ago, people were making billions on these same subsidies.

“And when you say you want to take it out, the common man is the one on the street but at the end of the day is it the common man that is benefiting? I don’t think they are the biggest beneficiaries,’’ he said.

According to Sylva, all the fuels that are connected to the common man have been deregulated.

“Kerosene, which the common man uses to cook in a stove and used in the village to burn the fire wood is deregulated. The diesel that is used to move the trucks that move food from farm to market is deregulated; but petrol which is the preferred fuel for big people is the fuel that have defied deregulation.

“But at the end of the day, I believe that it is better for us because if we are able to deregulate, then we can save money.

“First, you can imagine the savings we will make as far as Foreign Exchange (FOREX) is concerned and of cause, it will bring down the pressure on FOREX.

“People will be able to access FOREX for imports, government will not be the one providing foreign exchange for the importation,” he said.

According to him, since the government will no longer be subsidising, all that money that will be gained, which is over a trillion naira yearly, instead of being burnt in cars, will now be used for development.

“You can imagine how much money the federal and state governments will have at their disposal if there is deregulation,’’ the minister said.

 

Economy

Unstable Economy: UK Firm Presents Solutions To Nigerian Business Leaders

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SOAN Inaugurates New Leadership, Boosting Hopes Of Crushable Inflation

Nigerian business leaders are to benefit from the programme of United Kingdom-based leadership development organisation TEXEM UK on how to win despite the exodus of staff, very high inflation and turbulent operating landscape.

TEXEM’s Director of Special Projects, Caroline Lucas, said on the organisation’s website, www.texem.co.uk, that the programme with the theme “Strategies for Sustainable Organisational Success” is slated for April 24 and April 25 in Lagos.

According to Lucas, in today’s volatile and disruptive business landscape, organisations face numerous strategic challenges.

“TEXEM’s programme, “Strategies for Sustainable Organisational Success,” offers tailored solutions to address these pressing issues.

“Senior leaders grappling with skyrocketing costs, high currency risks, and disruptive technologies require practical insights and tools to navigate uncertainty effectively.

“This programme provides actionable strategies for sustainable success amidst turbulent times,” she said.

Lucas asserts that exceptional crisis management skills are essential in the face of staff exodus and geopolitical disruptions.

“TEXEM equips participants with the necessary leadership capabilities to lead through crises, ensuring organisational excellence even amidst adversity.

“Innovation becomes imperative in turbulent waters.

“TEXEM’s programme fosters a culture of innovation and provides guidance on harnessing adversity as a catalyst for profitable growth,” she said.

According to her, participants will learn to turn challenges into opportunities, driving sustained profitability.

Lucas said resilience and effective risk management are crucial in today’s volatile landscape.

She said through interactive sessions and case studies, TEXEM helps senior leaders develop unshakable qualities, enabling them to navigate uncertainty and confidently mitigate risks.

“Optimizing resource utilisation is paramount amidst soaring costs.

“TEXEM offers insights on managing resources efficiently, ensuring optimal impact even amidst cost pressures. Decisive problem-solving is paramount.

“TEXEM enhances participants’ decision-making capabilities through peer learning and observation practice, empowering them to make better decisions that drive organisational success,” Lucas said.

She said that beyond the curriculum, networking opportunities with industry peers enrich the learning experience, abound.

“Professional exchange provides valuable insights into different approaches to overcoming challenges, enhancing overall learning and impact.

“TEXEM’s programme aims to develop leadership strategies for optimum performance in an era of uncertainty.

“By helping participants understand how to manage and deploy resources more efficiently, it equips them with the skills needed to thrive in turbulent times,” Lucas said.

Saying that adversity is the mother of innovation, she added that TEXEM empowers individuals and organisations to thrive in volatile times, fostering innovation and sustained profitability.

“At the end of the programme, participants can expect to develop leadership skills for better decision-making and possess survival skills to navigate crises effectively.

“Through its comprehensive approach and proven methodology, TEXEM ensures participants unlock their potential, foster innovation, and drive sustained profitability in today’s challenging environment,” Lucas said.

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Economy

Sanwo-Olu Urges Use of Innovative Technologies in Solving Challenges

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Sanwo-Olu Urges Use of Innovative Technologies in Solving Challenges

Gov. Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos State has called for the use of innovative technologies in resolving the economic and social challenges of the country.

Sanwo-Olu said this on Wednesday during the pioneer graduation of the Lateef Jakande Leadership Academy (LJLA) at Konga Place in Lekki.

He said that the new platform of globalisation and Internet of things must be significantly employed to resolve new challenges encountered in the course of improving the living standards of citizens.

30 students, 15 men and 15 women, between 18 and 35 years, graduated from the academy after a one-year course and mentorship in leadership.

The Lagos Leadership Summit (LLS) is a pivotal platform dedicated to empowering Nigeria’s young professionals with the skills and insights essential for success in various leadership roles.

With a focus on leadership excellence, ethical governance, and youth inclusion in governance, the summit offers a unique opportunity for participants to engage with renowned leaders and industry experts.

” You have to be able to innovate for us, you are here as leaders of not tomorrow but today. Proffer solutions that the government can use as a tool, to solve the challenges that we are facing today but more importantly to solve global issues.

“And that is why we started the Lateef Jakande Leadership Academy. For us as a government, we felt how well can we honour a man than for us in public sector to set up a cream of new leaders.

“So we set up this school that has the first set, the one-year fellowship, who indeed have not only shown us that we took the right step, they have been outstanding individuals,” the governor said.

The guest speaker and former governor of Lagos State, Babatunde Fashola, noted that it was important for followers to trust their leaders for a successful outcome.

“The people need to trust the government, they must know the capability of their leaders so that when issues beyond human expectations happen, the followers can show empathy to the plight of their leaders.

” I have always been an advocate that believes that the process is as important as the result, the end shouldn’t justify the means, the process is crucial, it serves as a blueprint for others coming behind,” he said.

Similarly, Dr Obafemi Hamzat, Deputy Governor, who spoke on “Leadership And Community Engagement”, stated that to achieve effective leadership in Nigeria, there was the need to navigate complex political, economic and social landscapes.

Hamzat urged the citizens to be involved in governance while stressing the need for collaborations with private stakeholders and the public sector.

According to him, community engagement with government at all levels is pivotal to the nation’s development.

In her address, Mrs Ayisat Agbaje-Okunade, LIJA’s Executive Secretary, noted that the challenges faced required leaders who are not only capable but compassionate, visionary, and adaptable.

According to her, leadership must transcend rhetoric and manifest tangible outcomes.

“We need leaders who inspire confidence, foster unity, and drive transformation.”

Agbaje-Okunade urged the participants to embrace the responsibility that comes with leadership and pave the way for a generation of new leaders.

The keynote speaker, Mr Abubakar Suleiman, Chief Executive Officer, Sterling Bank, said that leadership is about leading people on a new purposeful journey.

Suleiman said being a strategic thinker and a transformational leader was what makes leadership different from management, adding that the future is being crafted in leadership.

“In essence, as a leader, you must be able to lead people to the future hence, you must be convincing for people to be bold to follow you, able to trust and believe in you.

“For one to be a leader, the people must be able to believe and trust you to take them to the future where you have never been to,” he said.

Also speaking, Mr Tunbosun Alake, Commissioner, Innovation, Science and Technology, stressed that leadership had nothing to do with being young or old but having good values and character.

The commissioner advised the participants to pursue excellence in their various career paths to succeed in life.

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Economy

Eid-el-Fitr: Tinubu Urges Sacrifice, Integrity For National Rebirth

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Eid-el-Fitr: Tinubu urges sacrifice, integrity for national rebirth

 President Bola Tinubu has urged Nigerians to continue to make sacrifices and exhibit integrity for national development.

Tinubu said this after observing the Eid-el-Fitr prayer at the Eid Ground at Dodon Barracks on Wednesday in Lagos.

The President also called on Nigerians to continue to have faith in his government and remain patriotic citizens.

Tinubu said that the Renewed Hope Agenda of his administration, aimed at bringing prosperity to Nigerians, was being diligently implemented.

Encouraging Muslims to extend the values of sacrifice and resilience beyond the fasting period, Tinubu emphasised the need for Nigerians to prioritise the exhibition of love for their country.

‘’The resilience and sacrifice that we have shown and made during these months should be preserved.

“Be a kind and cheerful giver. We must love our country more than any other country because this is the only one we have.

‘’We must continue to protect the integrity of our government and leadership. The Renewed Hope Agenda is alive, well and fine, and Nigerians should continue to be very hopeful. Without hope, there is no salvation.

“Without hope, there is no development. Without hope, there is no life. Eid Mubarak,’’ the President said at the end of the prayers led by the Chief Imam of Lagos State, Sheikh Sulaiman Abou-Nolla.

Earlier in his sermon, the Chief Imam urged Nigerians to shun all acts of violence, ensure peaceful co-existence, and continue to have faith in the country.

He asked those in leadership positions to remain faithful to their oaths of office and work towards alleviating the suffering of the less privileged.

‘‘Let us not forget our brothers and sisters in Gaza and other areas of conflict,’’ the Chief Imam said.

He offered prayers of God’s guidance, wisdom, and protection for the President and the Lagos State government, as well as for peace and stability in the country.

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