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FG, govs meet Thursday on petrol, electricity prices



The Federal Government will Thursday meet with state governors and the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation on the issue of right pricing for petrol in the country.

Minister of Labour and Employment, Sen. Chris Ngige, disclosed this while speaking with newsmen at the end of a meeting between the Federal Government and the labour in Abuja.

The meeting was to dissuade labour unions from embarking on industrial action over the increase in the prices of petrol and electricity.

Ngige said that the meeting with organised labour was peaceful and productive.

He said, “As for the issue of the price of PMS, it is a work in progress. The governors are to discuss this on Thursday at the National Economic Council and hopefully there will be a way out of the situation.”

He also said that both sides have resolved to allow more time in order to look into ways of tinkering with the template for fixing domestic fuel price.

The minister said on the issue of electricity tariff that the report was well received by both sides and the committee was asked to continue further work on grey areas.

He said that the meeting with organised labour was adjourned till April, after the Easter celebration.

The Federal Government had in November 2020 raised the depot price of petrol from N147.67 to N155.17 per litre, enforcing marketers to sell between N165 and N173 per litre.

President of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Mr Ayuba Wabba, said they were able to point out areas of the report on petrol pricing that labour was not in agreement with.

He also said that labour maintained that it was not comfortable with the import pricing method that was adopted by the country.

The NLC leader said, “This means that we import 100 per cent of all the PMS used in the country, whereas we have refineries.

“The reports were presented and we pointed out areas that we are not comfortable with and also made some  suggestions which will form the basis of decisions on the matter.”



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Petrol: NNPC rules out ex-depot price increase as Abuja fuel queue spreads



There are fears over scarcity of petrol in Abuja and other cities as fuel queue that surfaced last week in the Federal Capital Territory has continued to spread.

A number of filling stations did not open for business on Sunday as they claimed to have run out of the product.

The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, however, says there are no plans to increase the ex-depot price of petrol in the next one month.

The ex-depot price is fixed by the Petroleum Products Marketing Company (PPMC), a subsidiary of the NNPC — it’s the price at which depot owners sell the product to retailers.

In a statement issued on Sunday, Kennie Obateru, group general manager of the NNPC public affairs division, disclosed the corporation’s decision not to increase the ex-depot price.

He also urged marketers not to increase price or hoard petroleum products, as the country has enough in its stock to last for more than 40 days.

“Contrary to speculations of imminent increase in the price of Premium Motor Spirit (petrol) in the country, the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) has ruled out any increment in the ex-depot price of petrol in March, 2021,” the statement said.

“The NNPC also cautioned petroleum products marketers not to engage in arbitrary price increase or hoarding of petrol in order not to create artificial scarcity and unnecessary hardship for Nigerians.

“The corporation stated that it has enough stock of petrol to keep the nation well supplied for over 40 days and urged motorists to avoid panic buying.

“It further called on relevant regulatory authorities to step up monitoring of the activities of marketers with a view to sanctioning those involved in products hoarding or arbitrary increase of pump price.”

Obateru added that the decision was taken “in order not to jeopardise ongoing engagements with organised labour and other stakeholders on an acceptable framework that will not expose the ordinary Nigerian to any hardship”.

In February, the NNPC had also allayed fears over the possible increase in the price of petrol, amid concerns on the rising price of crude oil on the global market.

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FG demolishes illegal structures on Apapa-Oshodi expressway



By Dada Jackson

The Federal Ministry of Works and Housing has demolished illegal structures on the Right of Way, (RoW) around Toyota Bus Stop, near the popular Ladipo auto part market on the Apapa-Oshodi expressway, Lagos

Briefing journalists at the demolition site, the Federal Controller of Works, Lagos, Olukayode Popoola, said the demolition exercise became inevitable, considering the fact that the traders were given enough notice by the ministry to vacate the place but failed to do so.

He said, “The traders were given an initial two weeks’ notice to vacate the corridor but they ignored it. Afterwards, they were given another two weeks but still the illegal occupants turned a deaf ear. After the expiration of the final notice, the ministry had no option but to apply he full force of the law.”

According to him, only the Minister of Works and Housing has the statutory right to grant anybody to occupy the Right of Way, adding that none of the traders along the corridor was granted the ROW.

Popoola said that the items confiscated by the task force could only be retrieved by the traders after they must have signed an undertaking never to encroach on the Right of Way again.

The controller said that it would not be ‘business as usual’, adding the reclaimed RoW would be beautified to further make Lagos a place of pride.

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Dangote trains young engineers to manage oil refinery



Dangote Oil Refinery is preparing young Nigerian graduates to manage its 650,000 barrels per day single train refinery when it becomes operational in 2022.

Already, the company has trained several Nigerian engineers in some of the world’s biggest refineries in India and other parts of the world to enable them to gain first-hand experience on how to manage such a big refinery.

President of the Dangote Group, Aliko Dangote, announced this at the weekend during the tour of Dangote Refinery in Lagos State by Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Governor Godwin Emefiele.

The industrialist affirmed that the country is blessed with great talents that can run the big refinery, if given the necessary encouragement.

According to him, the outbreak of COVID-19 in 2020, which forced many expatriates out of the construction site, made it possible for the company to identify great talents within Nigeria.

Dangote said, “One thing that gladdens my heart is the abundance of young Nigerians we have trained to take over the operation of the Dangote Refinery. These young Nigerians are the ones that are going to run the refinery when it becomes operational.

“We want a situation whereby the operation of the refinery will be the sole responsibility of Nigerian graduates. We can start the process by bringing in team leaders to keep giving them that training they require to run a world-class refinery.

“However, we will ensure that Nigerian engineers, welders and others are the ones running the refinery. We have created that capacity, human capacity, equipment capacity and every other thing to ensure the successful operation of the refinery by Nigerian engineers.”

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