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Petrol price may rise again as FG considers 21.3% freight increase

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The Federal Government may again raise the pump price of petrol soon as it discusses 21.3 per cent increase in freight rate with fuel transporters.

Specifically, the FG is discussing with the organised labour on how to raise the freight rate of petrol from N7.51 per litre to N9.11 per litre.

The freight rate is a component of the total cost of petrol under the template of the Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency (PPPRA).

And the freight rate increase will expectedly affect the total calculation, unless there is an equivalent reduction in other cost elements.

Executive Secretary, Petroleum Equalisation (Management) Board (PEF), Alhaji Ahmed Bobboi , made this known at the 21st Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the National Association of Road Transport Owners (NARTO) held in Niger State.

He said the agency was waiting for the Federal Government approval before it would begin the implementation of the new freight rate of N9.11 per litre.

He added that the Federal Government was expecting the labour unions to  revert to it on the agreement it had taken from the joint committee set by the government on the hike in the price of petrol and electricity.

The Group Managing Director, Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Mele Kyari, said upon the conclusion of the deliberations labour, the Federal Government would announce the effective date in line with the pricing template.

“The Executive Secretary of PEF made a statement that there is ongoing engagement between the Federal Government and the labour, and at the end of that process, government will make adequate pronouncement as to the effective date of that figure as contained in the pricing template,” Kyari, who was represented by the corporation’s chief financial officer, Umar Ajiya, said.

Kyari commended the association for its operations despite the daunting challenges in the country.

“We are not unaware of the conditions of our roads, the insecurity, the highways, and also a number extortions do take place along these highways,” he said.

He urged the association to ensure that its trucks and drivers comply with safety standards put in place by the regulator towards ensuring hitch-free operation at the depots and on the highway.

Kyari noted that the NNPC would continue to make payment to PEF for deductions of dues due to NARTO members as and when due.

National President, National Association of Road Transport Owners (NARTO), Alhaji Yusuf Othman, urged the government to implement the new N9.11 freight rate to enable the transport owners to improve their services and increase the wages of their staff including the truck drivers.

Railway

Police still on trail of Warri-Itakpe rail track vandals – NRC

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• Says vandals risk life imprisonment
Vandals of a section of the newly inaugurated Warri-Itakpe rail track have not been arrested, contrary to an earlier report, the Nigerian Railway Corporation has said.
Coordinator of the new rail line operation, Abdulganniyu Saani, an engineer, who stated this, also dismissed the viral video of the arrest of five suspects with a vehicle load of rail track sleepers, saying it was an old clip of an incident around Jos, Plateau State taken some years back.
He also said the latest cutting of Warri-Itakpe track material was not on the main lane but an extra lane, which had not disrupted the running of freight and passenger trains.
Saani spoke in an interview with NewsTrends on the telephone, warning that vandals would be treated as manslaughter suspects with a maximum penalty of life imprisonment upon conviction because their activities could lead to fatal railway accidents.
He also said that a number of traps had been laid for the arrest of the vandals still on the run and other hoodlums that might be contemplating of vandalizing or stealing railway materials.
“The police in Kogi State where the incident had happened are on the red alert. They are working with other security agencies to apprehend the vandals and anybody who dares tamper with railway materials.
Details later…

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Aviation workers threaten one-week shutdown of Kaduna airport from Sunday

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Aviation workers have threatened to withdraw their services at the Kaduna airport from Sunday, May 16 to Friday, May 21.
The workers in a statement on Saturday said their action was in support of the Kaduna State chapter of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) over “anti-labour practices perpetrated against public servants in Kaduna State”
The statement was jointly signed by Ocheme Aba, general secretary of the National Union Of Air Transport Employees (NUATE); Rasaq Saidu, general secretary of the Association Of Nigeria Aviation Professionals (ANANP); and Umoh Ofonime, deputy general secretary of the National Association Of Aircraft Pilots And Engineers (NAAPE).
NLC had said that over 20,000 state workers had not received their April salaries, adding that due process was not followed in the recent disengagement of over 4,000 workers from the local government service, state universal basic education board and primary healthcare agency.
The statement read in part, “As you are all aware, the Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC) has declared strike action against the Kaduna State Government over numerous anti-labour practices perpetrated against the public servants of Kaduna state.
“Our unions, being affiliates of the NLC, are part of the decision and are in support of the action against the Kaduna State Government In this regard, our participation on the planned shutdown of Kaduna State is hereby affirmed.
“Accordingly, all aviation workers at the Kaduna Airport are hereby directed to withdraw all services at the airport with effect from midnight of Sunday the 16th of May 2021 to midnight of Friday the 21st of May 2021.
“The effect shall be the total grounding of operations of the Airport within the stipulated period. By this notice, members of the public are advised to make alternative travel plans within the period.”

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Remittances to Nigeria drop by 28% – World Bank

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Remittance inflow to Nigeria dropped by 28 per cent in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the World Bank has said.
The bank added that remittance flows fell for sub-Saharan Africa by 12.5 per cent, according to its Migration and Development Brief 33 Phase 11 entitled: “COVID-19 Crisis Through a Migration Lens’’ published on Thursday.
The report said the decline in remittance flows to Nigeria was largely responsible for the fall in remittance flows to sub-Saharan Africa.
“The decline in flows to sub-Saharan Africa was almost entirely due to a 28 per cent decline in remittance flows to Nigeria.
“Excluding flows to Nigeria, remittances to sub-Saharan Africa increased by 2.3 per cent, demonstrating resilience,’’ the report stated.
According to the report, the relatively strong performance of remittance flows during the COVID-19 crisis has also highlighted the importance of timely availability of data.
It stated that given its growing significance as a source of external financing for low and middle-income countries, there was need for better collection of data on remittances.
It emphasised that there was need for better collection of data on remittances, in terms of frequency, timely reporting, and granularity by corridor and channel.
With global growth expected to rebound further in 2021 and 2022, remittance flows to low and middle- income countries are expected to increase by 2.6 per cent to $553bn in 2021 and by 2.2 per cent to $565bn in 2022.
The report stated that global average cost of sending $200 remained high at 6.5 per cent in the fourth quarter of 2020, more than double the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) target of three per cent.
It stated that sub-Saharan Africa continued to have the highest average cost (8.2 per cent) adding that supporting the remittance infrastructure and keeping remittances flowing includes efforts to lower fees.
The true size of remittances, which includes formal and informal flows, is believed to be larger than officially reported data, though the extent of the impact of COVID-19 on informal flows is unclear.
“As COVID-19 still devastates families around the world, remittances continue to provide a critical lifeline for the poor and vulnerable,” said Michal Rutkowski, Global Director of the Social Protection and Jobs Global Practice at the World Bank.
“Supportive policy responses, together with national social protection systems, should continue to be inclusive of all communities, including migrants,” he said.

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