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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

Auto

$1bn investment recorded in auto industry – Minister

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The Federal Government has recorded more than one billion dollars’ worth of investments in the automotive industry. Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Otunba Adeniyi Adebayo, said this in Abuja on Tuesday when he featured at the 20th edition of President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration scorecard series organsied by the Federal Ministry of Information and Culture.

“Over one billion dollars in investment has been recorded in the automotive sector and we are ready to move on to the next phase for the automotive industry,” the minister said.

He said the review of the National Automotive Industry Development Plan (NAIDP) was almost completed, adding that the plan was going through validation process.

Adebayo restated the ministry’s commitment toward enabling business environment to attract and retain investments.

According to him, the ministry and the Nigerian Investment Promotion Council (NIPC) are committed to attracting and protecting investments that genuinely benefit Nigeria and its citizens.

He said that the revised Bilateral Investment Treaty (BIT) would boost investment.

“Nigeria has successfully revised its model Bilateral Investment Treaty (BIT) to include a specific provision for investment facilitation, which institutionalizes the principle of assisting investors in completing their investments.

“We are proud to offer Nigeria’s first investment policy to the Federal Executive Council (FEC) for approval.

“This strategic statement, which will outline our priorities, aims, commitments, and expectations, is a turning point for the Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade, and Investment and Nigeria as an investment destination,” he said.

Adebayo, who said that Nigeria had Investment Promotion and Protection Agreements (IPPAs) with Singapore, Morocco, and Saudi Arabia to attract and retain investments, said the ministry was developing more.

“We have IPPAs with Singapore, Morocco, and Saudi Arabia to attract and retain investments. The president ratified both accords on Sept. 16, 2022 and we are developing more IPPAs,” he said.

Adebayo said the ministry also distributed 5,571 acceptance certificates worth N7.7 trillion to 2,665,800 firms.

“The acceptance certificates allow businesses claim tax reduction when computing Company Income Tax.

“We also issued more than 130 Production Day Certificates, a crucial Pioneer Status Incentive step,’’ the minister said.

To further accelerate industrialisation, Adebayo said that the ministry was expediting the establishment of Special Economic Zones (SEZs) across the country.

According to him, the special economic zones will increase infrastructure availability and provide fiscal incentives for value addition.

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Pay customers with N100, N50, CBN orders commercial banks

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The Central Bank Of Nigeria has directed all commercial banks to pay customers over the counter in N100, N50, N20, N10, and N5 notes, regardless of the amount withdrawn.

Bankers Committee issued the directives to all commercial banks in the country on Monday, and announced the discontinuation of old notes payment of N1000, N500 and N200 across the counters.

It also urged people to use their alternative channels for transactions, while those insisting on new naira notes were advised to use Automated Teller Machine (ATMs).

The directives came on Monday, following a meeting of the bankers committee in Lagos.

The CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele, in a statement on Sunday extended the deadline for old naira notes from January 31 to February 10, 2023.

Emefiele also noted that he obtained permission from President Muhmammadu Buhari to effect the extension.

According to him, the extension, ‘a seven-day grace period’ was as a result of measures put in place to ease the scarcity.

The decision is coming after CBN had previously insisted that it would not extend the deadline.

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Famous 4×4 Grenadier coming to Nigeria, courtesy Coscharis Motors

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Coscharis Motors has announced its readiness to introduce the popular rugged off-road vehicle, Grenadier, to the Nigerian auto market.

This follows the naming of the auto company by INEOS Automotive as its official retail partner in Nigeria.

Nigeria is the sixth market in Sub-Sahara Africa to join the brand after South Africa, Kenya, Tanzania, Namibia and Botswana.

A statement on Monday by Abiona Babarinde, the auto firm’s General Manager, Marketing and Corporate Communications, said, “The first Grenadier demonstrator vehicles are expected to arrive in Nigeria in early 2023 with customer deliveries expected to commence within the first quarter.

“All after-sales servicing will be conducted at a dedicated workshop also located in Lagos.”

Commenting on this partnership, the President/CEO of Coscharis Group, Dr Cosmas Maduka, said, “We are proud that INEOS Automotive has appointed Coscharis Motors to represent its brand in Nigeria. “This milestone marks another step in the evolution of our company. With our history and experience of the Nigerian market, we know that the INEOS Grenadier is going to be a serious player in the off-road segment.

“We have no doubt that the Grenadier has what it takes to handle Africa’s tough terrain and that it is the perfect option to meet the specific demands of those who need a capable, refined, and reliable off-road vehicle in the region. We look forward to the first customer test drives and hearing public feedback, because this vehicle is definitely going to stir things up in Nigeria.”

The statement quoted Tim Abbott, INEOS Automotive’s Head of Region South Africa and Sub-Sahara Africa, as saying, “We are carefully selecting our partners across the SSA region, to find people who know their local market and customers, and also understand our brand.

“Coscharis Motors shares our belief that the INEOS Grenadier is the perfect vehicle not only for Nigeria, but for the continent. Our shared passion for off-roading, along with their excellent reputation in the automotive industry, makes it the perfect partnership for Grenadier in Nigeria.”

Coscharis says the Grenadier has been developed to be refined on the road and extraordinarily capable off-road.

“The Grenadier is powered by a choice of two straight-six, 3.0-litre BMW engines. Both the BMW B57 diesel and B58 petrol powertrains have a proven track record, regularly appearing in top ten world’s best engine lists since 2016. They have been used in everything from sports cars to SUVs.

“The two power units bring BMW’s sophistication and refinement to the Grenadier, but they have been enhanced by INEOS Automotive’s engineering team. As well as providing powerful acceleration on tarmac, they also deliver peak torque at low revs – sustaining it through the rev range – for optimal off-road performance,” it states.

It also notes that the carefully calibrated characteristics help the driver to confidently manage the vehicle’s momentum and grip without stressing the engine, ensuring full control when tackling tricky terrain.

It adds, “The refined turbo petrol engine produces 286PS (210kW) and 450Nm (332 lb ft) of torque, while the twin-turbo diesel generates 249PS (183kW) and 550Nm (406 lb ft), for even greater pulling power. Start/stop is built-in, increasing range and preserving air quality when the vehicle is stationary.

“While it is every inch a rugged 4X4, it ticks all the right boxes on the road, too. The chassis combines a five-link suspension setup with Brembo brakes and Bridgestone tyres, meaning the Grenadier is composed, well- mannered and fun to drive no matter what the terrain.”

The firm also reveals that by the end of this year, INEOS Automotive plans to have a network of more than 200 sales and service sites for the Grenadier spanning over 50 countries, including established dealer groups, 4X4 specialists and agricultural equipment dealers.

 

 

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