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No plans to increase price of Petrol, says Sylva

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THE Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Chief Timipre Sylva, says the Federal Government has no plans to increase the pump price of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) also known as petrol in June.

Sylva said this in a statement in Abuja on Friday.

“Once again, it has become necessary to assure Nigerians that despite the huge burden of under-recovery, the Federal Government is not in a hurry to increase the price of Premium Motor Spirit (Petrol) to reflect current market realities.

“The current price of petrol will be retained in the month of June until the ongoing engagement with organised labour is concluded.

“This clarification becomes necessary in the light of recent reports regarding the resolution of the Nigeria Governors Forum to increase the pump price of petrol,” he said.

He further urged marketers not to engage in misconduct and urged the public not to engage in panic buying of products.

“I would like to strongly urge petroleum products marketers not to engage in any activity that could jeopardise the seamless supply and distribution system in place.

“I also urge members of the public to avoid panic buying because the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) has enough stock of petroleum products to keep the nation wet,” he said.

It will be recalled that the Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF) on May 20 at its virtual meeting considered the report of a committee headed by Kaduna State Governor, Mallam Nasir el-Rufai.

The Forum accepted the committee’s recommendation that backs full deregulation of petrol, and suggested that the pump price of the product should hover around N385 per litre.

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JUST IN: Old naira: IMF asks FG, CBN to extend February 10 deadline

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The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has called for the extension of the February 10 deadline to phase out the old naira notes.

The International monetary body made the call just after the Supreme Court had restrained the Federal Government and Central Bank of Nigeria(CBN) from enforcing the deadline.

The IMF, in a statement in Abuja on Wednesday by Laraba Bonet, said the plea was on the hardship Nigerians were exposed to over the issue.

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It said: “in light of hardships caused by disruptions to trade and payments due to the shortage of new bank notes available to the public, in spite of measures introduced by the CBN to mitigate the challenges in the banknote swap process, the IMF encourages the CBN to consider extending the deadline should problems persist  in the next few days leading up to the February 10, 2023 deadline”.

The IMF is the first international financial organisation to openly call for extension of the deadline for the deposit of old Naira notes.

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Cash crunch: Protesters defy police in Abeokuta, make bonfires on major roads

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Residents of Abeokuta, Ogun State, took to the streets on Tuesday protesting the scarcity of cash and the attendant pains.

Major streets affected by the protests are Aladesanmi, Fajol and Somorin in Obantoko area of Abeokuta as the protesters made bonfires and chanted anti-CBN songs
The Sapon branch of First Bank was also vandalised and the protesters tried to set it ablaze.
Ogun Police spokesman, Abimbola Oyeyemi, confirmed the protest, saying police officers were on the ground to monitor the situation and prevent the destruction of property and loss of lives.
He said some group of boys were involved in the crisis.
The police later came to disperse the protesters but they regrouped as soon as the operatives withdrew from the scene.
The situation affected vehicular movement as motorists and pedestrians ran in different directions to avert being caught up in the chaotic situation.

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Court frees Diezani associate Omokore of $1.6bn fraud

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An Abuja federal high court on Tuesday discharged and acquitted Jide Omokore, chairman of Atlantic Energy Drilling Concepts Nigeria Limited, of $1.6bn fraud allegations.

Omokore, an associate of former Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs Diezani Alison-Madueke, was arraigned by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) with Victor Briggs, Abiye Membere, and David Mbanefo on a 15-count charge on July 4, 2016.

They were accused of fraudulently diverting the $1.6bn said to be part of proceeds of sales of petroleum products belonging to the Federal Government.

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