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Blame NNPC for rise in fuel smuggling – Customs boss

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Controller General of Nigeria Customs Service, Hameed Ali, says the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation should be blamed for the high rate of smuggling of fuel across Nigerian borders.

He said he had on many occasions proposed to the NNPC to establish petroleum retail outlets in neighbouring countries to curtail smuggling of fuel but corporation ignored the proposal.

Ali spoke on Monday during an interactive session with members of the House of Representatives Committee on Finance on the 2022-2024 Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF) and the Fiscal Strategy Paper (FSP).

The committee said it would use the10-day session to review the MTEF which was submitted to the National Assembly in July.

Responding to concerns raised by a member of the committee, Abdulahi Saidu (APC, Niger) on the increasing daily consumption of PMS in the country, Ali specifically blamed the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) for giving licences to filling stations around the borders.

He argued that the establishment of the retail outlets would help to end the smuggling of PMS across Nigeria’s borders.

He said since the price differential was responsible for the smuggling, the NNPC could sell at similar prices to Nigeria, including transport cost.

“We have also proposed to NNPC, if the price differential is the problem, we have our banks, Zenith Bank, GT Bank, operating in the West coast. What stops us?

“The NNPC or DPR should establish petrol stations in our neighbouring countries, and move these products at the cost that we sell, and sell to these people. We will make money. We have the market and by doing so we will completely diminish the anxiety or the penchant for smuggling.

“Because if a Beninoise will get the fuel at the price we are getting and the cost of transportation, which is the minimum, there is no way he will wait for people to import to him at twice the price.

“We have made this proposal, we have made noise about it, no one seems to listen.”

Ali said there was nothing Customs could do to stop smuggling of fuel outside the country because of the method the smugglers use in carrying out their activities.

“There is hardly anything we can do to stop the smuggling of fuel outside the country because they use the creeks, they use land borders, they use virtually everything possible. We cannot be everywhere; we must begin to think out of the box,” he said.

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SERAP sues Buhari over alleged missing N11tn electricity fund

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President Muhammadu Buhari has been dragged to court by the Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) for allegedly failing probe N11tn electricity fund said to missing.

The money, according to SERAP, was meant to provide regular electricity supply for the country since 1999, and it is suspected to have “been stolen, mismanaged or diverted into private pockets.”

In the suit number FHC/L/CS/1119/2022 filed last week at the Federal High Court, Lagos, SERAP sought for “an order of mandamus to direct and compel President Buhari to investigate how over N11 trillion meant to provide regular electricity supply has been allegedly squandered by governments since 1999.”

This is coming after it was reported that Nigeria’s electricity grid has collapsed at least three times within five months, and 130 times in seven years, plunging many households across the country into darkness.

 

 

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Toyota-Suzuki joint SUV coming in August, Africa listed

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The collaboration between Toyota and Suzuki is set to manifest in concrete terms as Toyota says it will start the production of a new SUV model developed by Suzuki at Toyota Kirloskar Motor Pvt. Ltd from August.

The Suzuki-developed SUV will come with mild and strong hybrid variants – made in India for both brands, multiple sources including motorauthority.com report.

The two companies are said to be planning to export the new model to markets outside India including Africa.

Toyota and Suzuki are promoting mutual supply of vehicles globally, which is one of the collaborations in their business partnership.
The two companies signed a memorandum of understanding for a business alliance in 2017. Since then, the two companies have been bringing together Toyota’s strength in electrification technologies and Suzuki’s strength in technologies for compact vehicles for joint collaboration in production and in the widespread popularization of electrified vehicles.
The powertrains of the new model to be on sale in India will be equipped with mild hybrid developed by Suzuki and strong hybrid developed by Toyota.
By bringing together strengths of both Toyota and Suzuki through the collaboration, the two companies say they will be able to provide a wide variety of vehicle electrification technologies to customers and contribute to the acceleration of electrification and the realization of a carbon-neutral society in India.

While Suzuki leads and understands the India market, Toyota brings hybrid tech to the table.

Maruti Suzuki India Limited and TKM will market the new model in India as Suzuki and Toyota models, respectively.

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Ford to end production of Focus in 2025

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Ford has confirmed that it will stop producing the Focus model in 2025, in a move that threatens the longer-term future of its Saarlouis, Germany plant that only makes that model.

Nigeria may not miss the exit of the Focus as it has not really been as popular as other Ford models such as the Escape, the Edge and Everest.

Ford however said that its plant in Saarlouis would continue to produce the Ford Focus passenger car, while the company is also evaluating options for future site concepts.
In Europe, Ford has emphasised the future role for electrified models – which includes its Cologne plant in Germany being a hub for EV production. It will build a new SUV based on VW’s MEB platform from 2023.
Ford also recently announced that its Valencia, Spain, plant would receive investment for making electric vehicles on a next-generation electric vehicle architecture.

 

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