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Fuel Sells at N180/litre As Scarcity Hits Lagos, Abuja, NNPC Cuts Supplies

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Fuel queues hit major cities of Lagos, Abuja and Ogun on Monday, forcing motorists to spend hours at filling stations.

In Lagos and Ogun states, The PUNCH witnessed long queues at several filling stations such as Mobil, Capital, Fatgbems, Enyo, TotalEnergies and NNPC.

Though there were products at these filling stations, which also sold at N165/litre, motorists struggled to get gasoline with which to run their economic lives.

There were also queues in states bordering the FCT, including Nasarawa and Niger.

In the Federal Capital Territory, there were long queues at various filling stations such as the NNPC, Mobil, A.A. Rano, AYA Ashafa, Enyo, among others.

Hundreds of motorists besieged the few filling stations that dispensed petrol at various states, spending hours on queues in a bid to buy PMS.

Oil marketers blamed the development on the drop in supply, stating that the demand for petrol was currently higher than what was being provided by the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited.

NNPC is the sole importer of petrol into Nigeria, shouldering this responsibility for more then four years.

Speaking on the development, the President, Petroleum Products Retail Outlets Owners Association of Nigeria, PETROAN, Billy Gillis-Harry, said, “Lagos is having queues today, Kaduna is almost not having any PMS in its retail outlets.

“So, it is simply a situation of demand overwhelming supply. The supply process is not efficient to be able to meet the demands for products.”

Asked to explain whether there was not enough product, Gillis-Harry replied, “Well, clearly, if there is product, it should be delivered. However, I know the authorities are doing their best to make sure that everyone is monitored and encouraged to sell products at the approved pump price.

“But there are no products in the retail outlets, which is why there will be queues. So, it clearly shows that demand has overwhelmed supply.”

But last Thursday, the Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Regulatory Authority had stated that there were over 32 days sufficiency of petrol by the NNPC.

Also, The PUNCH learnt that the NNPC intentionally cut down supply of products to fuel marketers.

A source familiar with the matter told The PUNCH that marketers, two weeks ago, had a meeting with the marketing arm of the NNPC and the Pipelines and Product Marketing Company, PPMC, where they were quizzed on diversion of petroleum products to neighbouring countries.

According to the source, the supply of products to oil marketers was subsequently reduced due to issues around product diversion.

“We had a meeting with PPMC two weeks ago where we were told that the volume of product we load is too high. So, the NNPC has reduced the volume they give to us,” the source said.

Nigeria consumes an estimated 60 million litres of fuel per day. However, findings showed that by PPMC’s record, marketers loaded as much as 106 million litres per day as of April.

“So, PPMC kept lamenting and asking us where the extra products go. Of course, we all know that they go to neighbouring countries where they are being sold at higher prices. Apart from the fact that diesel price for transporting products is on the high side, fuel is a product highly subsidised by Nigeria, and Nigerians are not allowed to enjoy the benefits,” our source disclosed.

Diesel is a deregulated product. Checks on Monday showed that the product was sold between N780-N820/litre.

“That’s why marketers find it difficult to take products to the North. I don’t know why Lagos is experiencing scarcity. Already, buying and transporting the product to my station is at N170 per litre. So, how much will I sell? That means price has increased itself. If you go to states like Ibadan, Ekiti, Akure, it’s impossible to see the price at N165 because cost of transporting one litre is already N20. So, by the time you take it to states like Ekiti, you already have it at N182,” our source added.

A former chairman, Major Oil Marketers Association of Nigeria and Chairman/CEO, 11 Plc, Tunji Oyebanji, told The PUNCH that the scarcity was temporary.

“As of last week, there were some talks about low stock and suppliers not giving products, but I think it’s a temporary glitch because NNPC told us they have sufficient stock of fuel,” he said.

Fuel sold at N165/ltr in places like Ikorodu, Anthony, Surulere, Ikeja, Festac, Ago and VI in Lagos on Monday, but prices were higher at Isheri and its neighbouring towns.

In a telephone interview with The PUNCH, the National Operations Controller, IPMAN, Mike Osatuyi, said the scarcity was no fault of oil marketers.

Meanwhile, the Secretary of the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria, Akeem Balogun, in a statement on Monday, said that considering the current price, it is impossible for the product to be sold at N180 per litre.

Balogun advised members to sell at a sustainable price within their environment adding that they should ensure that the price is on their pump.

“Distinguish marketers, the Chairman and executives in conjunction with some senior members of our unit, organised a press conference where we explained our predicament with the current price of PMS at private depot. We explained that with the current price, there is no way we can sell less than N180 per litre”

According to him, “On this note, members are hereby advised to sell at a sustainable price within their environment. Just make sure that the price is on your pump. Kindly contact the Secretariat should you have any authority challenging your operations.”

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Economy

Illegal JVs in Oil Industry: Agbakoba Threatens to Sue FG

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A former President of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Olisa Agbakoba (SAN), has threatened to drag the Federal Government to court to determine the constitutionality of continuing outsourcing of oil and gas management to International Oil Companies (IOCs) through Joint Ventures (JVs) and Production Sharing Contracts (PSCs).

Agbakoba also called for a complete overhaul of Nigeria’s oil and gas sector, insisting that the current system has ‘completely failed’ and is responsible for poverty and hunger across the country.

The human rights lawyers, who stated this at a press conference in Lagos, argued that the current Contract Oil model directly contradicts Sections 16 and 44(3) of the Nigerian Constitution.

He maintained that the law mandates the government to manage Nigeria’s natural resources in a manner that secures the maximum welfare, freedom, and happiness of every citizen and that the current arrangement, which primarily benefits IOCs, falls far short of this constitutional requirement.

Agbakoba also stated that it is a fundamental principle of administrative law that statutory bodies, including the government, can not delegate their core functions without express legal authorisation. Without such express authority, the current arrangements may be ultra vires and potentially void.

The lawyer said, “These responsibilities, fundamental to the nation’s sovereignty and economic well-being, may be inherently governmental and thus incapable of being lawfully delegated to private entities. Furthermore, it is dubious whether the federal government has the authority to delegate the inherent rights of Nigerians to their natural resources to third parties.

“While the federal government is reluctant to consider shared or joint ownership with state governments, who represent Nigerians more directly, it sees no issue in delegating, outsourcing, and sharing joint ownership with IOCs. This inconsistency raises questions about the government’s interpretation and application of its constitutional mandate.

“We will approach the court to declare that the PIA, the current legal framework for the continued outsourcing or unlawful delegation of the management of Nigeria’s oil and gas to IOCs, is unconstitutional.

“The dominance of IOCs in the sector has historically limited opportunities for developing local content and building domestic capacity in the oil and gas industry,” he said.

Agbakoba also said that the current system of JVs and PSCs, which was initially justified by a lack of funds, now appears to violate the inherent rights of Nigerians over their natural resources.

He stated that if the country adopts a “Development Oil” approach, it can reclaim control over its vital oil and gas sector and transform it into a powerful engine for national development.

The senior lawyer insisted that this paradigm shift requires bold policy changes, including securitising oil reserves through a Sovereign Oil Fund, allowing Nigeria to finance its oil and gas operations.

He said, “The current exit of IOCs presents both a challenge and an opportunity for new Nigerian actors in the oil and gas sector. In collaboration with the federal government, these actors must rise to the occasion and build a new strategy for oil and gas exploration based on development oil principles.

“By aligning the oil and gas sector with broader national interests and constitutional obligations, Nigeria can create a more diversified, resilient, and prosperous economy that truly benefits all its citizens. This approach not only promises economic growth but also reaffirms Nigeria’s sovereignty over its natural resources, ensuring that they are managed for the welfare and security of all Nigerians, as mandated by the constitution,” Agbakoba stated.

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Dangote Refinery Reaffirms Commitment to Supply Petrol This July

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The Vice President of Oil and Gas at Dangote Industries Limited, Devakumar Edwin, has reiterated that the Dangote oil refinery will supply petrol in July as promised.

Edwin said this when he took officials of the S&P Global on a tour of the facility over the weekend.

According to Edwin, the company aims to catalyse a virtuous cycle of industrial development, job creation, and economic prosperity by harnessing Africa’s abundant crude oil resources to produce refined products locally.

He also revealed that “as earlier promised, the company will start the production of Premium Motor Spirit this month.”

While claiming that the products from the facility are of high quality and that they meet international standards, Edwin said it could meet 100 per cent of Nigeria’s demand for petrol, diesel, kerosene, and aviation fuel, with surpluses available for export.

Meanwhile, S&P Global said the Dangote refinery is capable of resolving Nigeria’s foreign exchange challenges by putting an end to fuel importation, which mounts huge pressure on the local Naira currency.

Our correspondent learnt that S&P Global visited the Dangote Refinery at Ibeju-Lekki, Lagos as part of its sovereign credit ratings assessment of Nigeria.

The team from the international rating agency was accompanied by officials from the Federal Ministry of Finance.

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Economy

Naira Depreciates Further, Sells at N1,517/$

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The Naira, on Monday, continued its depreciation against the US dollar in the foreign exchange market.

Data from the parallel market section and FMDQ showed further depreciation against the dollar on Monday.

At the parallel market, a Bureau De Change operator in Wuse Zone 4, Mistila Dayyabu, said that the Naira was sold as high as N1,517 per dollar on Monday morning.

“On Monday morning, the dollar was sold at N1,517 per dollar. However, on hearing the information about the coming of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) operatives, we started selling at N1,500 this evening, ” he said.

The figure increased from the N1, 450 per dollar it traded at the weekend.

Similarly, at the official market, FMDQ data showed that they dipped to N1478.11 per dollar on Monday from N1466.31 last Friday.

This represents an N11.8 drop from the N1466.31 recorded last Friday.

Earlier, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Governor, Olayemi Cardoso, said the apex bank’s Monetary Policy Committee will do everything to bring down soaring Nigeria’s inflation, which stood at 33.22 per cent in March 2024.

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