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Fuel Scarcity: NUPENG, Tanker Drivers Call Off Strike in Rivers



The Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers and Petrol Tanker Drivers have suspended their strike in Rivers State.

This came after a meeting convened by state Commissioner of Police, Friday Eboka, and attended by the unions and other stakeholders.

Also at the meeting was the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Energy and Natural Resources.

This was contained in a communique signed by Chinda Ejims, who represented the PTD and the representative of the Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority. 

Other signatories were chairmen of Emuhua, Ikwerre and Etche Local Government Areas of the state respectively.

The PTD-NUPENG had complained of harassment, extortion and impounding of members’ trucks by operatives, including Police, EFCC, Army and taskforce operating in the three LGAs.

 The communique reads,”The Commissioner of Police, Rivers State Command, directed the Deputy Commissioner of Police, Department of Operations to set up a task force headed by an officer not below the rank of Superintendent of Police, to embark on the arrest of all illegal taskforces operating under the guise of the respective Local Government Areas.

“The Commissioner of Police, Rivers State Command, appealed to the Executive Chairmen of the various Local Government Areas to apply human face in enforcing the provisions of the Rivers State Traffic Law.”

Going forward, PTD-NUPENG were advised to educate their members on the need to report any mechanical breakdown of their trucks to the nearest Police Station in the event that the repairs may exceed the six hours provided for by the law.

“That the PTD-NUPENG to appoint a member of the Union into the State taskforce on illegal bunkering activities so as to ensure timely and transparent of sample products suspected to be from illegal bunkering activities.

“The Commissioner of Police, Rivers State has directed that all trucks with clean bill of health from the report of Nigeria Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority should be released on Friday, unconditionally while owners of Product that failed the test will be prosecuted at the end of investigation.

“The Commissioner of Police, Rivers State Command stated that the resolution of the stakeholders meeting will be communicated to her sister security agencies (EFCC and Nigeria Army) not represented at the meeting.

“That the Commissioner of Police has promised to intervene on the issue of the truck impounded by IGP taskforce on illegal bunkering to ensure justice prevails.

“The PTD-NUPENG has promised to suspend their strike action Thursday, September 15, 2022, after the necessary consultation on the outcome of the meeting.”

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Fuel Scarcity: FG Raises 14-Man Panel for Solution




The Federal Government is meeting with operators in the midstream and downstream oil sector as part of measures towards developing strategic stock for Premium Motor Spirit, popularly called petrol, in key locations across the country.

It said the national strategic stocks would help in addressing the recurring fuel scarcity in Nigeria, as it also announced the constitution of a 14-man committee to find a lasting solution to the disruptions in the supply and distribution of petroleum products.

The Federal Ministry of Petroleum Resources stated that President Muhammadu Buhari, had approved the  constitution of a 14-man Steering Committee on Petroleum Products Supply and Distribution Management, which he would personally chair.

The ministry said the move was to find lasting solution to the disruptions in the supply and distribution of petroleum products across the country.

It said the committee had the Minister of State for Petroleum Resource, Chief Timipre Sylva, as Alternate Chairman, as the team would ensure transparent and efficient supply and distribution of petroleum products.

“Other terms of reference are to ensure national strategic stock management, visibility on the NNPC Limited refineries rehabilitation programme and ensure end-to-end tracking of petroleum products, especial PMS, to ascertain daily national consumption and eliminate smuggling,” the FMPR stated in a statement.

To ensure sanity in the supply and distribution across the value chain, Sylva directed the NMDPRA to ensure strict compliance with the government approved ex-depot and retail prices for PMS.

The ministry stated that other members of the committee include the Minister of Finance; Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Petroleum Resources; National Economic Adviser to the President; and Director-General, Department of State Services.

Others include the Comptroller-General, Nigerian Customs Service; Chairman, Economic and Financial Crimes Commission; and Commandant-General, Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps.

The Chief Executive, NMDPRA; Governor, Central Bank of Nigeria; Group Chief Executive Officer, NNPC Limited; Special Advisor (Special Duties) to the HMSPR; were also listed as members of the committee, while the Technical Advisor (Midstream) to the HMSPR would serve as secretary.

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CBN Raises Interest Rate to 17.5%




The Monetary Policy Committee of the Central Bank of Nigeria has voted to increase the benchmark interest rate by 100 basis points to 17.5 per cent.

The CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele, disclosed this while reading the communiqué of the first MPC meeting of the year on Tuesday.

This is the fifth time the CBN would increase the interest rate despite advice from manufacturers and some key stakeholders.

The CBN said previous increases were beginning to yield results with the slight drop in the inflation rate recorded in December 2022.

However, the CBN stressed that there was a need to keep tightening its fiscal policy.

The CBN keeps the asymmetric corridor at +100/-700 basis points around the MPR.

The CBN also retained the CRR at 32.5 per cent while the liquidity ratio was kept at 30 per cent.

The apex bank had increased the MPR from 11.5 per cent earlier last year to 16.5 per cent across four consecutive rate hikes in 2022.

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Old Naira Notes: No going Back on January 31 Deadline, CBN Insists




The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has declared that it will not extend the January 31 deadline for N1,000, N500 and N200 notes to cease being legal tender despite pressure from Nigerians on the need for an extension of the deadline.

The apex bank also warned commercial banks in the country to desist from dispensing the old naira currency through their Automated Teller Machines (ATMs) or face sanction from the bank.

Addressing traders at the Katsina Central Market Thursday on the need to change their old currency, the CBN Director of Currency Operations, Ahmed Bello Umar, said there is no plan to extend the deadline.

The old notes are expected to be out of circulation by January 31 yet there is scarcity of the new notes as banks keep dispensing old notes to their customers across the country.

But Umar explained that the apex bank has enough new naira currency which have since been distributed across commercial banks for onward disbursement to their respective customers through ATMs.

He added that the management of the CBN has directed that from Friday last week, “all ATMs must carry only new notes. If the banks don’t have the new notes they should not load the old notes”.

He said: “The January 31 deadline is fast approaching and the CBN has no plan to extend the deadline. So, all those who have the old notes should please take them to their banks so that they will be exchanged or credited to their accounts.

“We are going round towns and cities in Nigeria to ensure that all the ATMs are loaded with new notes. And there is relaxation on the policy, they can dispense any of the notes either N1,000, N500 or N200 notes.

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