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Filling stations to sell petrol at N170/ltr as NNPC increases ex-depot price 

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Fuel marketers across Nigeria may increase the pump price of petrol to N170 per litre from today following an increase in the ex-depot price of the product to N155.17 per litre from N147.67 per litre.

The Petroleum Products Marketing Company, a subsidiary of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, gave the indication in its latest memo dated November 11, 2020, confirming that it had jacked up the ex-depot price of petrol with effect from Friday.

The ex-depot price is the price at which the product is sold by the PPMC to marketers at the depots.

In its PMS price proposal for November, the PPMC put the landing cost of petrol at N128.89 per litre, up from N119.77 per litre in September/October.

It said the estimated minimum pump price of the product would increase to N161.36 per litre from N153.86 per litre.

The National Operation Controller, Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria, Mr Mike Osatuyi, in a telephone interview with a Punch correspondent, said the over N7 increase in ex-depot price would translate into an increase in pump prices.

He said, “The implication of the increase in the ex-depot price is that there is going to be an increase in the pump price. We are expecting the pump price to range from N168 to N170 per litre.

“Crude oil price is going up,” he said, noting that the Federal Government has fully deregulated petrol prices.

Following the deregulation of petrol prices in September, marketers across the country adjusted their pump prices to between N158 and N162 per litre to reflect the increase in global oil prices.

Petrol price band had also risen from N121.50–N123.50 per litre in June to N140.80-N143.80 in July and N148-N150 in August.

The new pump price is coming against a threat of fuel scarcity in the country precipitated by the industrial action declared by the Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria on Monday over the inability of the union and the Federal Government to reach an agreement on the government’s Integrated Personnel Payroll Information System.

Although the NNPC had assured the people that it had enough fuel to dispense and that the strike might not affect fuel distribution per se, PENGASSAN threatened to shut down oil and gas facilities nationwide.

The union also accused the FG of failure to pay arrears owed its members in the Nigerian Nuclear Regulatory Authority.

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Nigeria on the path to zero-emission road transport system

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Nigeria must have been sitting on a keg of gun powder with its rising air pollution emanating from gas flaring and vehicle emissions.

A new survey by some university researchers has established a link between poor academics in childhood and air pollution exposure.

Indeed, the Columbia Center for Children’s Environmental Health research result published in the journal of Science Daily says children exposed to elevated levels of air pollution are more likely to have poor inhibitory control during late childhood and poor academic skills in early adolescence, including spelling, reading comprehension and math skills.

The World Health Organisation has also released a report indicating that air pollution is responsible for about seven million annual deaths globally.

Nine out of 10 persons are said to currently breathe air exceeding the WHO guideline limit for pollutants.

Road transport is also said to be a major contributor to greenhouse gases and air pollution, just as flaring of gas, emanating from oil production, is rife with its huge economic losses and incalculable health hazards to Nigerians.

The carbon dioxide, methane and soot released as a result of gas flaring are said to cause health issues such as cancer and lung damage, deformities in children, asthma, bronchitis, pneumonia, neurological and reproductive problems as well as environmental challenges which stall agricultural productivity and aquatic and wildlife lives.

And this has led to social unrest in the Niger Delta oil producing area, escalating to other places as agitators have engaged in violent protests including bombing of oil facilities, kidnapping of oil workers and killings. They complain that their natural environment, farmlands, fishing ponds and other forms of life have been damaged or distorted.

The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation recently confirmed the huge loss resulting from gas flaring, saying the country lost an about N53.26bn in the first two months of this year as a total of 33.04 billion standard cubic feet of natural gas was flared by international oil companies and local players.

The World Bank reports through the Global Gas Flaring Tracker that Nigeria and six other nations (Russia, Iraq, Iran, the United States, Algeria and Venezuela) have been top gas-flarers of the world for nine years.

Even as they produce 40 per cent of the world’s oil each year, it says these countries account for about two-thirds (65 per cent) of global gas flaring.

Although the Federal Government has imposed a fine on oil companies involved in gas flaring and fixed 2025 as the date to end the flaring practice after several changes of past deadlines, experts are of the view the gas flares could be a huge revenue worth billions of dollars if well harnessed.

Experts including John Walke, director of the Clean Air Project, say air pollution not only contributes to climate change but is also exacerbated by it.

“Most air pollution comes from energy use and production…Burning fossil fuels releases gases and chemicals into the air,” says Walke.

Nigeria is said to have some of the worst air pollution in the world, with clouds of choking soot hanging over gridlocked cities, leading to a rise in serious health conditions and damaged vehicles.

Global Alliance on Heath and Pollution in a report ranks Nigeria third in the world for pollution-related deaths and sixth in premature deaths caused by air pollution.

An international resource watchdog group, Stakeholder Democracy Network, in a report, estimates that 114,000 people die prematurely from air pollution each year in Nigeria.

Many people in Lagos, Nigeria’s commercial capital, are said to be breathing polluted air leading to avoidable deaths. Indeed, a recent World Bank report estimated that air pollution caused over 11,200 premature deaths in Lagos, with children accounting for about 60 per cent.

The health cost of air pollution was put at $2.1 billion, which was about 1.3 per cent of Lagos State’s gross domestic product GDP.

This is not surprising considering about 13 million of mostly old cars imported from Europe and Japan on the nation’s roads, and hundreds of thousands of inefficient generators used by households and businesses for electricity emitting thick smokes.

Researchers have found fuel imported from Europe and pumped into filling stations in Nigeria as extremely toxic. They found that such fuel extremely exceeded the EU pollution limits.

“Our research suggests that Nigeria is having dirty fuel dumped on it that cannot be sold to other countries with higher and better implemented standards. The situation is so bad that the average diesels sampled are of even lower quality that that produced by artisanal refining camps in the creeks of the Niger delta,” said Florence Kayemba, SDN programme manager.

The SDN report reinforces allegations made in a 2016 Public Eye investigation and a Dutch government report in 2018, that European refineries and commodity brokers were blending crude oil with benzene and other carcinogenic chemicals to create fuels hundreds of times over European pollution limits for the weakly-regulated African market.

This was said to be causing significant particulate pollution, damage to vehicles, and adverse health effect s for the residents.

The WHO in 2016 adjudged Onitsha as the world’s most polluted city, recording a concentration of PM10s – soot particles – at 594 micrograms per cubic metre; compared with the WHO safe limit of 66.

For instance, the air quality in Port Harcourt, Aba, Onitsha and Kaduna has reached crisis levels of pollution in recent years, with rising cases of asthma, lung, heart and respiratory diseases.

The SDN report says the levels of particulate matter in Port Harcourt and Lagos are 20 per cent worse than Delhi in India, the most polluted capital city in the world, where emergency levels of photochemical smogs are common.

“High levels of pollution and pre-existing respiratory and other health conditions may increase the risk that COVID-19 poses to the health of the population,” said Matthew Halstead of Noctis, which conducted the laboratory research.

The introduction of ECO Bus transport system, powered by flare gas recovered compressed natural gas (CNG), to Nigeria is therefore considered a big relief and blessing as it will not only solve the problem of gas flaring and but provide a better economic alternative to the meagre flaring fines as well as address the air pollution headache.

This must have also informed the decision of the FG to encourage the conversion of petrol engine vehicles to gas engine automobiles.

It recently unveiled plans to deliver one million vehicles converted from petrol to gas-powered by the end of the year.

The Director-General, National Automotive Design and Development Council, Jelani Aliyu, says the Federal Government is excited about the gas-powered vehicles and will do everything possible to ensure the success of the project.

Aliyu, who spoke at the recent opening ceremony of the 15th edition of the annual Lagos Motor Fair organised by the BKG Exhibitions, also said the NADDC was working with major players in the auto industry in Nigeria to fast-track the transition.

He said, “We are excited about the gas-powered vehicles and I’m particularly delighted to see some of them on display at this auto fair.

“We encourage other players to look at the auto gas project as the government is determined to make it work with plan to deliver one million vehicles converted from petrol to gas-powered by the end of the year.”

The ECO Bus project is said to aim at developing world’s cleanest mass transportation systems, tailored towards the respective environment of each city with a focus on flare gas based CNG operation.

It plans to reduce carbon footprints and other GHG per passenger by 80 per cent, overall costs of public transport per passenger by 30 per cent, and accident rate by 80 per cent.

It is considered to have high operational excellence, safety and comfort as well as transparency, creating a reliable business model.

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Gas-powered vehicles will save 60% of fuel cost – OMAA CEO

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The use of natural-gas to power vehicles will lead to 60 per cent savings on cost of fuel, Chief Executive Officer of OMAA, Chinedu Oguegbu, has said.

He urged Nigerians to develop interest in using gas-powered vehicles in order to cut down on carbon emission and save the environment.

Oguegbu stated this at the recent Nigeria Auto Journalists Association’s (NAJA) Annual training and capacity building workshop held in Lagos during his technical presentation of the opportunities in the use of natural gas vehicles.

The theme of this year’s event was ‘Migration to Electric Vehicles and Gas-powered Vehicles; Opportunities and Challenges for Nigeria’.

As one of the training facilitators, Oguegbu said stressed the importance of natural gas in the world, expected to form 26 per cent of the energy mix by 2040.

The boss of OMAA bus manufacturer said, “Government policies and technological advancements have led to the focus on increasing the output of electric vehicles (EVs) and natural gas vehicles (NGVs). Transportation currently accounts for 15 per cent of carbon emissions and vehicles represent a major part of this figure.”

He added, “With Nigeria committing to the Paris Agreement to reduce the rate of climate change globally, there is an increased push by the government to promote more environmentally friendly vehicles: EVs, NGVs and hydrogen.

“The advantages of using natural gas include up to 60 per cent savings in the cost of fuel relative to other options like diesel and petrol, and up to 90 per cent reduction in knocks and carbon emission for a healthier, cleaner and more environmentally friendly fuel alternative.

“Another opportunity lies in the development of export business with other African markets, thanks to the implementation of AfCFTA.”

According to Oguegbu, mass education of the public as well as consistent government policy is also required in order to promote investments in natural gas vehicle assembly and production in Nigeria.

According to him, OMAA is one of the pioneers in this field of local assembly of gas-powered vehicles.

From its facility in Igbo Ukwu, Anambra State, OMAA provides sustainable energy and mobility solutions to address today’s environmental challenges, while empowering people to create rugged solutions that are relevant to their local economy.

The company launched the first local assembled, dual-fuel, natural gas-powered commercial buses in Nigeria earlier this year.

The event was sponsored by the National Automotive Design and Development Council, Toyota Nigeria Limited, Weststar Associates Limited (Mercedes brand), Jet Systems Limited (assemblers of Jet brands of electric vehicles), and Autochek Africa (an online automotive marketing and financing option provider).

Other sponsors are Stallion Motors, CFAO Motors, Coscharis Motors, OMAA, Kojo Motors (owners of Yutong electric buses) and the Federal Roads Safety Commission.

 

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Lagos-Calabar rail construction begins soon as FEC okays $11.2bn

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Construction work is set to commence on the Lagos-Calabar coast rail line, following the Federal Executive Council’s approval of $11.2bn for the project.

Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, stated this after the FEC meeting, presided by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo in Abuja on Wednesday, where contracts worth $15.44bn in the Transportation and Petroleum Resources ministries got the nod.

Besides the Lagos-Calabar coastal line, Mohammed said FEC also approved funding for the Kano-Jibia and Lagos-Maiduguri rail lines.

He said, “The Minister of Transportation (Rotimi Amaechi) has another appointment and he presented two memos and both memos actually have to do with the commitment of the administration to expand and consolidate on the rail projects. The first one actually has to do with the Kano-Jibia rail and then the other one has to do with the Port Harcourt-Maiduguri route.

“Actually, what was approved there today was funding to ensure that work starts immediately on those two routes. Another memo that was approved today was the ratification of the President’s approval for the award of the contract for the Lagos-Calabar coastal standard gauge rail. You’ll remember that this is a very old project, which we inherited. Under the former administration, an approval was given, but was nothing was done, but today, the council has given approval to commence the Lagos-Calabar coastal route.

“This particular route is very important because after the Lagos-Kano route, this Lagos-Calabar coastal route actually will link all the coastal cities in the country.

“The proposed route alignment is to go from Lagos to Sagamu, Sagamu to Ijebu-Ode, Ijebu-Ode to Ore, Ore to Benin City, Benin to Sapele, Sapele to Warri, Warri to Yenagoa, Yenagoa to Port Harcourt, Port Harcourt to Aba, Aba to Uyo, Uyo to Calabar, Calabar to Akamkpa to Ikom, Obudu Ranch, with a branch line from Benin City to Asaba, Onitsha Bridge and then Port Harcourt to Onne Deep Seaport.

“This particular project is very important, especially for our coastal economy. The cost of the project is $11,174,769,721.74 and we have six years to complete this project.”

China and Nigeria in 2016 agreed to the over $11bn contract to build the Lagos-Calabar coastal rail, stretching1,400km but funding had delayed the project.

President Muhammadu Buhari in February this year directed the Ministries of Transportation and Finance to conclude financial arrangements with appropriate co-financiers that would partner the FG for construction of the standard gauge coastal rail.

The President gave the directive at the virtual groundbreaking ceremony for the Kano-Katsina-Jibiya-Maradi rail line.

 

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