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Allow us fix refineries, oil marketers tell FG

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Oil marketers have expressed willingness and capacity to fix Nigeria’s dysfunctional refineries and get the facilities running in the shortest possible time.

Operators of retail outlets in the downstream sector of the oil industry called on the Federal Government to allow oil marketers run some of the country’s ailing refineries.

It was gathered that oil marketers under the aegis of Petroleum Products Retail Outlets Owners Association of Nigeria had contacted financial and technical partners on what would be required to effectively run the refineries.

Nigeria’s refineries in Kaduna, Port Harcourt and Warri have been dormant in terms of crude oil refining for several years despite huge expenses incurred on the facilities by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation.

On November 23, The PUNCH exclusively reported that a total of N81.41bn was expended on the refineries between January and August this year but the facilities refined no drop of crude oil through this period.

To address this, oil marketers told our correspondent in Abuja that they had capacity to get the refineries working and were speaking with technical and financial partners on this.

“The government should call on oil marketers to come and take one or two of the refineries, seek financial and technical partners and make the refineries work,” the President, PETROAN, Billy Gillis-Harry, said.

He added, “We don’t have to predicate our petroleum product prices on international indices. We have four refineries and a few modular refineries that are already on stream now.

“So there should be a way of domesticating our prices, which should be by making sure that we have crude oil available for these refineries to refine and sell domestically first.

“Get PETROAN to run one or two of the refineries because we have the capacity to make sure our refineries work.

“We are offering to partner the government and NNPC to run the refineries on acceptable business strategies and profit sharing processes.”

He said all retail outlet owners in the downstream sector across the country had always wanted the refineries to work and that was what dealers were now asking for.

Gillis-Harry said, “We should be given Warri and Port Harcourt refineries and partner government in reviving them, refine crude oil and control our prices, which we can do.”

He said oil marketers were also capable of buying the facilities if the government so desired.

“If they give them to us to buy we are more than happy to look for resources because we are already talking to technical and financial partners across the globe with the aim of making our country’s economy work,” the PETROAN president stated.

Gillis-Harry described refineries as major contributors to economic stability.

“This is because every litre of fuel you buy has the United States dollar on it and we don’t run our economy on dollar, rather it is run on naira,” he said.

He added, “So by introducing a foreign currency at all times, it depletes the resources that should stabilise and grow our economy.

“This is why PETROAN is proposing to the government to give us the refineries to run and we will run them efficiently.”

On whether the recent reduction in petrol price by N5 per litre would warrant the re-introduction of subsidy, Gillis-Harry stated that it would not.

He argued that petrol subsidy had gone and would remain so, adding that it would be detrimental to the economy if the government should bring back subsidy on refined petroleum products.

-The Punch

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Don’t link your SIM card with another person’s NIN, NCC warns

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The Nigerian Communications Commission has warned telecom consumers not allow their National Identification Number to be linked to another person’s Subscriber Identity Module (SIM) card no matter how close the person is to them.

The commission gave the warning during its third Telecom Consumer Town Hall on Radio (TCTHR) programme on Human Rights Radio 101.1FM in Abuja.

The event was hosted on the platform: “NCC Digital Signature on Radio”, a statement by the NCC stated on Tuesday.

The NCC Digital Signature on Radio is the flagship radio programme of the commission created to educate the general public on the mandate of the commission and for sharing salient, consumer-centric and up-to-date information on how the NCC is delivering on this mandate.

Speaking during the radio programme, focused on: “The Benefits of NIN-SIM Integration”, NCC’s Director, Consumer Affairs Bureau, Efosa Idehen, said, “On no account should a telecom consumer, however, circumstanced, allow another person to register a SIM with their NIN.”

Idehen said compliance with the advice would protect the true owner of the NIN from liabilities or negative consequences arising from the use of another person’s SIM.

He said, “If the person whose SIM is linked to your line uses his own SIM to commit a crime or any form of atrocity, it is easy to be traced to you, and then you will be dealt with because the SIM is linked to your NIN.”

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Lagos threatens to suspend NURTW, RTEAN over clashes

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The Lagos State Government has threatened to suspend operations of transport unions in the Mile 2 area of the state should they continue to clash.

Three people reportedly died during a bloody clash last week on the Mile 2 and Amuwo Odofin axis between the Road Transport Employers Association of Nigeria and the National Union of Road Transport Workers, Amuwo division.

Responding to the violence, the Lagos State Government on Tuesday brokered peace between the warring factions in Alausa, Ikeja, Lagos.

Special Adviser to the Governor on Transportation, Oluwatoyin Fayinka, stated that the state government would deal with the case after the police had concluded their investigation and presented the report of the crisis.

He noted that multiple levies on truckers by the unions around the axis had been the cause the dispute.

Fayinka warned the unions to beware of infiltrators as this would soil their reputation and lead to an abrupt end of the activities by the state government as the safety of lives and properties is first and sacrosanct.

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Port congestion: Relocate overtime cargos, Customs urges NPA

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The Nigeria Customs Service has advised the Nigerian Ports Authority to move all overtime cargos from the terminal to reduce congestion.

This advice was given bythe Apapa Area Command of the NCS, noting that the transfer of overtime cargos from the ports to the government warehouse in Ikorodu was the responsibility of the NPA.

Cargos are classified as overtime when they stay in the ports for 28 days without the importer or clearing agent coming up to clear them.

Managing Director of the NPA, Muhammed Bello-Koko, had recently said there were over 5,000 overtime containers across the nation’s seaports taking up space for new imports.

Bello- Koko, who spoke during an interactive session organized by the House of Representatives Committee on Customs, had asked the Service to auction the overtime containers to decongest the nation’s seaports.

The NCS Controller of Apapa, Yusuf Malanta, who spoke when he received executive members of the Shipping Correspondents Association of Nigeria in his office, said it required a lot in terms of logistics and financial commitment to move overtime cargos from the port to the government warehouse in Ikorodu.

According to him, there were currently about 500 overtime containers, including import and export, at the Apapa port, and that it would cost an average of N600,000 to move each of the containers from the port to Ikorodu – a cost which he said the command was not ready to bear.

The customs boss explained that there were also laid-down procedures for the disposal of overtime cargoes that must be followed before they are auctioned, to avoid litigation.

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