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PIB: Fuel subsidy stays for now, says petroleum minister

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  • Sylva to speak on subsidy, NNPC unbundling today

Minister of State for Petroleum Resources Timipre Sylva has said fuel subsidy will not be removed for now following the signing of the Petroleum Industry Bill into law by President Muhammadu Buhari on Monday.

The minister’s Special Adviser on Media, Malam Garba Muhammad, stated this in a message to The Nation’s enquiry.

“We’ll engage you (reporters) on this at the appropriate time,” he added.

The minister had earlier said once the bill became a law, subsidy would give way.

But The PUNCH reports that the government’s official position on fuel subsidy would be made known today by the minister at a press conference on the petroleum industry law and the unbundling of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation.

It also hints that the signing of the PIB into law could raise the cost of petrol to as high as N300 per litre from the current N162-N165 per litre upon the implementation of the law if market forces were allowed to determine the price as stipulated in the new law.

Secretary-General of the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), Dr. Mohammad Barkindo, said the new law would assist Nigeria attain four million barrels production per day.

Barkindo, in a congratulatory letter to the President, added the law “will  help harness Nigeria’s potential to achieve its programme of raising oil production to 4mb/d and oil reserves to 40 billion barrels, while also drawing on the country’s vast natural gas reserves to provide clean and efficient energy.”

A part of the message read, “I wish to extend my congratulations to you on signing into law the PIB, which marks a significant milestone for Nigeria’s oil industry and an historic achievement for your Presidency.

“With the stroke of a pen, you have inaugurated a new era for the industry following years of legislative efforts to strengthen the legal, regulatory, fiscal and governance framework of the petroleum sector.

“Mr. President, your signature on the PIB caps many years of important deliberations and detailed legislative work.

“I am confident the law marks the beginning of a new era of growth and prosperity that will be beneficial to the petroleum industry and ultimately to the Nigerian people.”

The Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN) also commended the President for signing the bill.

Its National Vice President Alhaji Abubakar Maigandi added that the new law would lead to the appreciation of the naira and lessen forex challenge in the industry.

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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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