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We’ve increased petrol pump price, says NNPCL

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We’ve increased petrol pump price, says NNPCL

The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation Limited (NNPCL) says it has increased the pump price of petrol.

This is coming despite the public outcry against sudden removal of fuel subsidy.

Already, retail managers of the NNPCL outlets have been instructed to implement the review from May 31, 2023.

Garba Deen Muhammad, Chief Corporate Communications Officer, NNPC Ltd, confirmed this in a statement on Wednesday.

The statement read  “NNPC Limited wishes to inform our esteemed customers that we have adjusted our pump prices of PMS across our retail outlets, in line with current market realities.

“As we strive to provide you with the quality service for which we are known, it is pertinent to note that prices will continue to fluctuate to reflect market dynamics.

“We assure you that NNPC Limited is committed to ensuring a ceaseless supply of products.

“The company sincerely regrets any inconvenience this development may have caused. We greatly appreciate your continued patronage, support, and understanding during this time of change and growth.”

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Nigerians woke to reports of upward review of fuel price from N197 to above N500 per litre.

According to a widely circulated list, a new table of retail prices had been adopted for different geopolitical zones of the country.

Retail managers of NNPCL outlets were instructed to implement the review from May 31, 2023.

“DEAR ALL. Following management approval of the upward review of NNPC PMS pump price as in below table for Mega/Standard/Leased Stations, Please find below schedules for the RMSs and Wayne to handle.

“Please implement meter change as approved effective today 31st May 2023. Wayne is to attend to all locations as relates to their area of coverage in our network,” an earlier statement read.

According to the new price schedule, petrol will sell at N557 per litre in Maiduguri, Borno State, and Damaturu, Yobe, while it will sell for N550 per litre in the rest of the North East zone.

Birnin Kebbi will buy petrol at N545 to lead prices in the Northwest zone. The average price in the North Central zone will be N537 per litre, except in Illorin, where it will sell for N515 per litre. Consumers in the South East will buy at an average of N520 per litre.

Apart from Uyo and Yenegoa where petrol will now sell at N515 per litre, the rest of the South South zone will get the product at N511 per litre.

President Bola Tinubu announced that fuel subsidy was gone, and shortly after, fuel queues returned to stations across the country.

Business

Naira in major fall, exchanges N1,000 to dollar at black market

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Naira in major fall, exchanges N1,000 to dollar at black market

The foreign exchange crisis in the country worsened on Thursday as a dollar exchanged for over N1,000 at the parallel market, Daily Trust reports.

Survey at popular black markets in Lagos indicated that a dollar exchanged for between N1,000 and N1,050 in the early hours of Thursday, before settling for N990 in the evening, indicating a difference of N252 from the Investors & Exporters FX window, where the naira closed at N738.

The gap between the official and parallel market has steadily widened, since the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) announced unification of all segments of the foreign exchange markets in June.

However, despite the unification policy, the parallel market has continued to witness patronage due to the scarcity of the greenback at the official market, according to operators.

Naira crashes to N970 at black market

“There is scarcity at the market,” said Ismail Muhammed, one of the operators at Allen Roundabout.

“We are now buying dollars for N990 but earlier in the day, it was sold for N1, 000. Some people exchanged it for N1, 050,” he said.

Another operator, Abdullahi Olugbede, said that the surge was caused by the scarcity as most licensed Bureau De Change Operators do not have dollars to trade with.

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“When there is scarcity, the dollar will go up against the naira but we are not happy. We should pray that it will come down because this is not good,” he said.

Implications are negative — Experts

Experts have warned that the implications of the depreciation of the naira in the black market are negative as it will adversely affect the economy.

Professor of Accounting and Financial Development at Lead City University, Ibadan, Godwin Oyedokun, said it will make it difficult to do business in Nigeria because of the relevance of exchange rate in the economy.

“I am not currently in the country. Let me cite an example, I wanted to buy a can of coke today in Jordan. I could buy the same can of coke for $2 that is almost N2, 000 if a dollar exchanges for N990 in Nigeria as you said. This is just because the strength of our currency is very weak.

“The implication is that goods that Nigerians should get from abroad, let’s say if dollar to naira is 1/1, Nigerians will now spend as high as 990 minus 1; that is, goods worth N300,000 will now be worth times 990 of it. So, it makes it so difficult to do business. Every sector of the economy will adjust to this and will make the price of commodities become costly,” he said.

The tax and forensic expert, however, said, the pressure on the naira will reduce if the government implements the right policies and also boost local production so that Nigeria can also earn more foreign exchange.

“The only way to address this is to have the right policies in place which the current government is doing and have things that we can also export to earn foreign exchange. The finance minister and the new CBN governor will need to think about how the fiscal and monetary policies can work together effectively so that we can have a country of our own. It will interest you that Jordan’s currency, Jordanian Dinar, is higher than the dollar, it is about $1.41. If we get the policies right, the pressure on the naira will reduce,” he said.

Economist and former Director General of the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI), Dr Muda Yusuf, said that among others, it will have an effect on inflation as the economy is very sensitive to exchange rate movement.

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“The implications are very negative to put it mildly because it shows there are some fundamental challenges that we still need to deal with that are driving the exchange rate. We need to further interrogate how deep the parallel market is and what percentage of economic activities are being funded by the parallel market.

“We need that research, we need that data because each time we talk about the exchange rate, people don’t even talk about the official rate anymore, we just talk about the parallel market,” he said.

Citing the likely effects on the different sectors of the economy, he said, “Diesel price has gone up, gas price is likely to go up. The PMS is under pressure and should have gone up if not for the fact that the president said that NNPC should hold on, otherwise petrol price should have jumped to over N800 by now.”

Dr Muda, who is also the Chief Executive Officer, Centre for the Promotion of Private Enterprise (CPPE), said that some extraneous variables including money laundering might be responsible for the pressure on the naira.

“I think there are some extraneous variables that have not been captured in our analysis because this speculative assault on the naira is not looking ordinary anymore. I am beginning to worry that perhaps, there are quite a number of illicit funds that are putting this pressure on the Naira because how many manufacturers can continue to buy dollars at this rate? And yet it keeps going up and people are buying it. How many people with genuine income or resources can do that? It is possible there are factors around money laundering, possibly people have loads of naira they are seeking to convert to dollars,” he said.

While noting that the current pressures have defied the forecasts of many economists when the unification policy was introduced, he counselled the government against jettisoning the policy.

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“The government can’t afford to be chasing the parallel rate at this time because the situation will become worse. It means they have to move the official rate from N700+ to N800 or N850. The situation now is not responding to the kind of forecast that many of us predicted. This is not the kind of impact we thought convergence will have because on the face of it, convergence normally encourages more inflows and should normally reduce demand,” he said.

Financial analyst, Abiola Rasaq, who said that the backlog of demand in the system continues to put pressure on the naira, however, said the positive outlook for oil price will likely strengthen the country’s currency against the dollar.

“The market is still somewhat speculative, especially as autonomous supply of FX is still weak whilst demand remains relatively elevated. More so, the backlog of demand in the system continues to put pressure on price. Interestingly, we are close to the end of the seasonal Q3 demand cycle, thus the naira should have some respite. Even as FX supply may remain relatively weak, moderation in demand should help calm the pressure and provide relative stability to the naira in the rest of the ember months, especially if some of the efforts of the government towards improving oil export comes to fruition.

“Notably, the positive outlook for oil price is also supportive of stronger naira in the months ahead, especially if oil export is complemented with steady rise in non-oil exports,” he said.

President Bola Tinubu recently nominated a banking executive and former civil servant, Olayemi Cardoso to serve as the new governor of CBN.

Tinubu also approved the nomination of Emem Nnana Usoro, Muhammad Sani Abdullahi Dattijo, Philip Ikeazor and Bala Bello as deputy governors of the apex bank, for a term of five years at the first instance, pending their confirmation by the Nigerian Senate.

It is unclear if the former CBN governor, Godwin Emefiele, who was suspended and has been in detention since June, has resigned.

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We’ll start refining with Nigerian crude in few weeks, says Dangote

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We’ll start refining with Nigerian crude in few weeks, says Dangote

President of the Dangote Group, Aliko Dangote, says his recently launched high capacity refinery will commence refining operations in a few weeks with crude oil from Nigeria.

He said this on Wednesday, adding that it had received a firm commitment from the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPCL) for the regular supply.

This was in reaction to a report that the 650,000 barrels per day (bpd) capacity refinery was denied crude oil by the NNPC and has to resort to crude import.

The clarification follows misconceptions drawn from a recent interview granted to S&P Global Commodity Insights, by the company’s Group Executive Director, Devakumar Edwin.

The $19.5bn facility is considered be the world’s largest single-train refinery.

Dangote said, “Being a shareholder and a responsive partner, it is an aberration to assume that the NNPC will in anyway do anything to truncate or delay the commencement of operations of our refinery.

“We will start refining with our Nigeria crude.

“We deeply appreciate our partnership with the NNPC and its subsidiaries, under the leadership of Group Chief Executive Officer, (GCEO) NNPC Ltd., Mr. Mele Kyari” Dangote concluded.”

Dangote, through the ultra-modern facility, plans to make Nigeria self-sufficient in refined petroleum products and stop the huge volume of fuel import by Africa’s largest oil producer.

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Railway

CCECC promises to deliver Abuja light train in eight months – Shettima

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CCECC promises to deliver Abuja light train in eight months – Shettima

Abuja light rail project will be ready in the next eight months, contractor handling the project, China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation, has promised.

Vice-President Kashim Shettima got the commitment from the company during a meeting with the CCECC Chairman, Mr Jason Zhang, in Abuja.

Senior Special Assistant to the VP on Media and Communications, Stanley Nkwocha, disclosed this on Wednesday, in a statement titled, ‘CCECC commits to delivering Abuja Light Rail project in 8 months.’

Nkwocha said, “Vice President Kashim Shettima extracted this commitment from the management of CCECC when its Chairman, Mr Jason Zhang, led some members of his management team on a courtesy call at the Presidential Villa.”

Shettima described CCECC as part of Nigeria’s history, saying the Chinese construction giant has played a pivotal role in developing Nigeria’s landmark projects, adding that their commitment to the development of Nigeria and Africa is commendable.

He said, “You have been in this country for 42 years. We have to commend you for all the beautiful initiatives and support over the years.

“We share a lot in common with the people of China, just as you have been with us through thick and thin.

“You have the financial firepower and the willingness to support Nigeria and other African countries without interfering in our local politics. This we appreciate a lot.”

He assured the corporation that the Bola Tinubu administration would sustain the existing relationship with the company and the people of China.

He said the Abuja rail project, like others, remains dear to the President and Nigerians.

Speaking earlier, the Managing Director of CCECC, David Waig, reiterated the company’s commitment towards delivering the project within the stipulated period.

According to him, the CCECC will go above board and leave no stone unturned in ensuring the delivery of the Abuja light rail line come May 2024.

However, he called on the Federal Capital Territory Administration to engage an operational company that would quickly see the smooth takeoff of the rail project.

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