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NLC: We’ll resist fresh fuel price hike without fixing refineries

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The Nigeria Labour Congress says it will not accept any fresh increase in the pump price of fuel without the Federal Government fixing the refineries.
It said this was part of the issues listed that should be addressed before the Nigerians National Petroleum Corporation could adjust the price of Premium Motor Spirit, popularly called petrol.
This would ensure a cut-down on the importation of refined petroleum products by the NNPC into Nigeria.
The Deputy President, NLC, Joe Ajaero, told PUNCH correspondent on Tuesday that labour unions made this clear to the Federal Government during the last meeting on the petrol price matter.
Ajaero disclosed this while reacting to statements by NNPC that the corporation would only adjust petrol price after the Federal Government had concluded negotiations with labour.
The NNPC’s spokesperson, Kennie Obateru, had stated on Monday that the price of petrol was not going to be adjusted despite the fluctuations in global crude oil prices until the Federal Government, labour and other stakeholders agree on pricing issues.
In an interview with our correspondent, Obateru said, “The Federal Government is engaging labour and other stakeholders to agree on modalities and what would be in the best interest of all Nigerians.
“NNPC would not do anything to frustrate this by adjusting its ex-depot price until an amicable agreement is reached.”
But when contacted and asked what was delaying the meeting between labour and government on the petrol price matter, Ajaero replied that the organised labour had made its position known on the matter.
He said, “After our last meeting with them, which was both on electricity tariff and petrol price, we were clear about it and we said go and do some of the stated items and that the refineries must work.
“That is the situation. So if they are talking of endless meeting and that they are meeting with us in view of increasing the pump price of petroleum products when the refineries are not working, then it won’t work.”
He added, “We were clear about it. You must have listened to the president of the congress that we can’t drive the sector based on imports. We are not going to base the pump price of petroleum products on imports. Our refineries must work.
“So ask yourself, have they done that? So what is the essence of saying continuously that we are meeting when our position is clear to them?”
The NLC official argued that the government was still consulting with its stakeholders, stressing that the issues had yet to be resolved.
Ajaero said, “They are still consulting their stakeholders because they said they were going to consult those who sent them. We are also consulting those who sent us.
“So we have not reconvened and until we reconvene, those issues are not yet resolved.”
When told that the refineries would not be ready in more than a year, Ajaero insisted that fixing the facilities was a key requirement before adjusting petrol price.
He said, “They have to fix it because when you repair the refineries, Nigerians will work there and you will get some other products from there.
“And then all those costs such as cargo cost, landing cost; all of them will disappear and we will be good for it. Those are the issues and that is the only way it will pay us.
“We can’t get a product here and we spend much money to go and refine it and bring it back and sell it to the owners.”
Last month, the Federal Executive Council approved the plan by the Ministry of Petroleum Resources to rehabilitate the Port Harcourt Refinery with $1.5bn.
The Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Chief Timipre Sylva, stated at the time that it would take 18 months to complete the first phase of rehabilitation to make the facility produce at 90 per cent capacity.
– The PUNCH

Aviation

Rains: NiMet warns of severe turbulence, flight cancellations

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The Director-General, Nigeria Meteorological Agency (NiMet), Prof. Mansur Matazu, has said airlines will encounter severe turbulence, flight delays and cancellations during rainfall.
He therefore called on pilots and airline managements to adhere to the weather forecast as the likely severe turbulence could cause discomfort, injury to passengers, instability and even loss of control for small aircraft.
Matazu was quoted in a statement on Friday as saying, “Heavy rains could also lead to skidding of aeroplanes due to surface wetness and impaired horizontal visibility.
“Thunderstorms could also lead to accidents, incidents, flight delays, flight cancellation, death, damage among others.
“Windshear could lead to accidents, incidents, aircraft nosedive, discomfort, aircraft lost control and death.”
The NiMet boss urged airline operators to take weather forecast seriously, stating the turbulence usually would cause poor visibility.
He also called on passengers to be patient with the airlines as flight delays, flight cancellations and flight diversion will be experienced within this period.

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Navy arrests 10 vandals with smuggled 210,000 litres of diesel

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Operatives of the Nigerian Navy Ship (NNS) Beecroft have arrested 10 suspected vandals with 210,000 litre of stolen diesel.
The suspects were alleged to have attempted to smuggle the products concealed in water tanks to neighbouring Benin Republic through a wooden boat when they were intercepted around the Lagos anchorage.
A statement released on Friday by Base Information Officer, Sub-Lieutenant Veronica Effiong, said the suspects with the seized products had been handed over to the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps, after preliminary investigations.
She said, “The vandals and seized products were on Tuesday, June 15, handed over to the Lagos Command of the NSCDC for further investigation and prosecution.
“The Commander NNS BEECROFT Commodore Bashir Mohammed reiterated the NNS BEECROFT`s commitment to the protection of critical national infrastructure and the eradication of all illegal activities in its area of responsibility in line with the Chief of the Naval Staff`s mission statement and strategic directive of 2021-5.
“As partners for a safe maritime environment, members of the public especially our host communities are enjoined to kindly furnish the base with credible information to assist in curbing the activities of criminal elements and economic saboteurs.”

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Buhari challenges MTN on quality service, data rate

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President Muhammadu Buhari has asked the MTN Group to offer quality service to its Nigerian subscribers at cheaper rates.
He stated this when he received in audience members of the board of MTN Group, led by its President and Chief Executive Officer, Ralph Mupita, at the State House, Abuja, on Friday.
Buhari said, “I congratulate you on your appointment as the Group President of MTN. I wish you all the best.
“Nigeria is your most lucrative market in Africa, Asia and the Middle East as well as the source of a third of the income of the entire MTN Group. As such, we urge you to offer top-of-the-range and affordable services to Nigerians.
“As we seek to make broadband widely available and affordable, we urge MTN to continue to support our efforts by expanding high-quality connectivity to Nigerians in un-served and under-served areas.”
The President also called on MTN to support the implementation of the National Policy for the Promotion of Indigenous Content in the telecommunications sector.
He said, “I recently unveiled and launched the National Policy for the Promotion of Indigenous Content in the Nigerian telecommunications sector.
“I call on MTN to support the implementation of this policy and, train and engage more Nigerians in your company.”
He assured his visitors that his administration was doing everything possible to make Nigeria investor-friendly by addressing identified challenges.

He said, “We have identified and addressed the key challenges that affected the growth of the digital economy sector. I am happy to note that the right of way charges have now been pegged at a maximum of N145/linear metre.
“I have given directives for the protection of critical national infrastructure and this has addressed the issue of vandalism of such infrastructure.”

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