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Petrol Pump Price Hits N300 Per Litre, Nigerians Groan

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By Punch Reporters

The scarcity of Premium Motor Spirit, popularly called petrol, grew worse across the country on Thursday, as massive queues were witnessed in Abuja, Lagos, Port Harcourt, Calabar, Warri, Nasarawa, Minna, among other places.

Oil marketers stated that the scarcity became worse due to the fact that dealers could hardly access the product from the only two depots that were dispensing the commodity in Lagos State as of Thursday.

The few filling stations, particularly those of independent marketers, that dispensed the commodity on Thursday, sold it at between N250/litre and N300/litre, depending on area of purchase.

Oil marketers told our correspondent that over 1,000 tickets, belonging to marketers which had paid for products, remained unattended to, at the few depots that dispense the commodity in Lagos.

It was gathered that the tickets, which were for over 1,000 tankers, had continued to pile up due to the pressure on the two depots, namely MRS and Pinnacle.

It was also gathered that the cost of petrol could have been increased quietly by the Federal Government, as stations that used to sell the approved price of N179 – N180/litre had raised their prices to between N185 – N190/litre.

Scarcity hits Abuja

The scarcity in Abuja was worse on Thursday, as virtually all retail outlets belonging to independent marketers were shut, while only few stations belonging to the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited and major marketers dispensed PMS.

But the very few outlets that dispensed products were greeted with massive queues of motorists who spent hours waiting to buy petrol.

Commenting on the issue, the Secretary, Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria, Abuja-Suleja, Mohammed Shuaibu, said the concerns in the downstream sector would continue to linger as long as the government remained the sole importer of petrol into Nigeria.

He said, “The Federal Government, through NNPC, is the only one importing this product and it is subsidising it. And they don’t have the facility to store the product.

“Some time ago we complained about this because when they store in private depots, the price is hiked and some of the depots continue to exploit the masses arbitrarily.

“However, as it is now, the government is bringing in products. But the issue now is that virtually all the depots that belong to major marketers in Apapa axis of Lagos are empty. So there is now pressure on MRS and Pinnacle depots where NNPC drop products.”

Shuaibu added, “So, there are over 1,000 tickets of marketers who have paid to have their trucks loaded, but we don’t know what is happening. Today they will tell you that they are upgrading the system, tomorrow you will hear that the system did not capture.”

He said tickets were piling and “you know that it takes much time to transport this product from the South to the North. Some trucks spend one month, especially when they have problems on the road, others spend two to three weeks.”

The IPMAN official called on the Federal Government to do something about this, adding that it must be done fast.

When asked why were other depots in Apapa and in other locations not selling products, Shuaibu stated that pipeline vandalism, depot upgrade and other issues were the reasons.

He said, “Last time we complained that some depots were exploiting us, and the depots argued that the cost of moving products from one end of their facility to another had Increased, as well as other issues. So we can’t tell whether that is another reason why NNPC stopped supplying some of these depots.

“Things were not worse like this before. As I’m talking to you now, some of our tickets have been there for close to a month. I did payment since but I can’t load. And the story is the same across their 21 depots. We can’t load.”

Meanwhile, Shuabu stated that unconfirmed information on the official pump price of PMS that filtered in on Thursday evening was that the government had quietly raised the cost of petrol.

“I cannot confirm it yet, but we are hearing that they have quietly increased the pump price of petrol, because major marketers in Lagos who used to sell at N179 – N180/litre, are now selling at N185 – N190/litre,” he stated.

Also speaking on the issue, the Public Relations Officer, IPMAN, Chief Ukadike Chinedu, said another reason for the scarcity was the changes being done by NNPC in terms of payment for products by marketers.

He said, “NNPC has moved independent marketers from PPMC Marketers Express to the NNPC Retail portal. That NNPC Retail portal is where marketers will be able to buy their products. However, they told us that the portal is in place now.

“Another concern is that they (NNPC) are also having an issue with the remittance, which, according to them, has been resolved. But the impact of these issues will definitely be felt and it will take some time to clear.

“Marketers are calling on NNPC to supply products to some of the depots where independent marketers can access them since most NNPC depots are not functional because of pipeline vandalism.”

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CIBN Appoints UBA CEO, Oliver Alawuba As Chairman

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The Group Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, United Bank for Africa, (UBA) Plc, Oliver Alawuba has been appointed as the Chairman of the Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria (CIBN), the Body of Banks’ CEOs.

The CIBN announced this appointment on its website on Monday, July 8, 2024.

This prestigious appointment underscores Alawuba’s extensive experience and visionary leadership in the banking sector, as well as his unwavering commitment towards advancing the financial industry in Nigeria and across Africa.

In his role as Chairman, Alawuba will be at the forefront of fostering collaboration and driving strategic initiatives among the top executives of banks in Nigeria.

Like he has achieved as the GMD of Africa’s Global Bank, UBA, his leadership is expected to bring innovative solutions and strengthen the collective efforts of the banking community while addressing the dynamic challenges and opportunities within the financial sector.

The CIBN also announced the appointment of Mrs. Miriam Olusanya, the CEO of GTBank, as the Vice Chairman of the Body of Banks’ CEOs. Her appointment, alongside Alawuba’s, signifies a strong and unified leadership team poised to enhance the banking landscape in Nigeria.

UBA extends its heartfelt congratulations to Alawuba and Olusanya on their appointment and the Bank is confident that their combined expertise and visionary leadership will usher in a new era of progress and innovation for the banking industry in Nigeria, and that under their guidance, the Body of Banks’ CEOs will continue to play a pivotal role in shaping policies and strategies that will drive sustainable economic growth and enhance the overall stability of the financial system in Nigeria.

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Nigerian Exchange Suspends Shares of Eight Firms

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NGX Regulation, the regulatory arm of the NGX Group, has suspended trading in the shares of eight companies for default in filing their relevant accounts for 2023.

In a market bulletin on Monday, the Head of the Issuer Regulation Department, Godstime Iwenekhai, said the suspension was effective immediately.

According to the market bulletin, the affected companies include, Unity Bank, C&I Leasing Plc, Guinea Insurance, Lasaco Assurance, Mutual Benefits Assurance, NPF Microfinance Bank, Regency Alliance Insurance, and Secure Electronic Technology Plc.

Iwenekhai said, “Trading in the shares of the eight companies below have been suspended from the facilities of Nigerian Exchange Limited (NGX or The Exchange) effective today, Monday, 8 July 2024 for not filing their Audited Financial Statements for the year ended 31 December 2023.”

As per post-listing requirements, companies on the Exchange are mandated to submit their accounts and other documents within specified time frame.
NGX RegCo said that it acted by Rule 3.1 about the Filing of Accounts and Treatment of Default Filing, (Default Filling Rules), which said, “If an Issuer fails to file the relevant accounts by the expiration of the Cure Period, The Exchange will a) Send to the issuer a Second Filing Deficiency Notification within two business days after the end of the Cure Period

“b) Suspend trading in the issuer’s securities, and c) Notify the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Market within 24 hours of the suspension.”

Based on the rule, the suspension on trading in the shares of the affected companies would be lifted once they comply with the rules.

Insurance companies had experienced delays in filing their 2023 annual report due to the adoption of IFRS 17 standards.

IFRS 17 requires a company to recognise profits as it delivers insurance services (rather than when it receives premiums) and to provide information about insurance contract profits the company expects to recognise in the future.

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Dangote Refinery Can Solve Nigeria’s Forex Problems, Catalyse Economic Development – S&P Global

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International financial analytics corporation, S&P Global, has described the 650,000 barrels per day (bpd) Dangote Oil Refinery and Petrochemicals company as capable of resolving Nigeria’s foreign exchange (forex) issue and its huge pressure on the local Naira currency, while also catalysing the country’s economic development.

S&P Global, headquartered in Manhattan, New York City, disclosed this during an onsite visit to the Dangote Refinery at Ibeju-Lekki, Lagos as part of its sovereign credit ratings assessment of Nigeria. The team from the international rating agency were accompanied by officials from the Federal Ministry of Finance.

S&P noted that the largest single-train refinery complex in the world would bolster Nigeria’s oil sector and, more importantly, also have a positive impact on its growing economy.

Director and Lead Analyst, Sovereign and International Public Finance Ratings, S&P Global Ratings, Ravi Bhatia, who led the delegation to Lagos, said Dangote refinery would transform Nigeria into a net exporter of petroleum products. He added that this transformation is expected to boost revenue generation and alleviate the current pressure on the country’s foreign exchange reserves.

“It is a very impressive facility, able to process 650,000 barrels a day, when in full capacity. It is the largest single-train refinery complex in the world. It came out quite quickly. Nigeria is a big exporter of crude but has issues with importing refined fuels. So, there is a gap in the market where crude can be refined in Nigeria, save money that way, and potentially save some foreign exchange. This will be positive for the economy in the medium term. It looks positive from our assessment,” Bhatia said after an over four-hour tour of the facility.
Also, in a chat with the media, Vice President of Oil and Gas at Dangote Industries Limited (DIL), Devakumar Edwin, who led the team during the tour of the facility, reiterated that by harnessing Africa’s abundant crude oil resources to produce refined products locally, the company aims to catalyse a virtuous cycle of industrial development, job creation, and economic prosperity. He also revealed that, as earlier promised, the company will start the production of premium motor spirit (PMS), this month (July).

Noting that products from the $20 billion facility are of high quality and meet international standards, Edwin said it can meet 100 per cent of Nigeria’s demand for petrol, diesel, kerosene, and aviation Jet, with surpluses available for export.

The S&P team commended the President of Dangote Industries Limited, Aliko Dangote, for integrating advanced technologies and quality control measures, including a state-of-the-art Central Control Unit ensuring smooth automation of operations.

Other members of the team of the international rating agency include the Associate Director, Sovereign Ratings, Maxmillian McGraw; Director, Corporate Ratings, Omegu Collocott; Senior Analyst, Bank Ratings, Charlotte Masvongo, and Director, Financial Services, Samira Mensah.
Currently operating at 350,000 barrels per day capacity, Edwin said the refinery is slated to scale up to at least 500,000 barrels per day capacity by July/August, commencing the refining of petrol and ultra-low sulphur diesel.

He noted that the refinery, designed to process a wide range of crudes including various African and Middle Eastern crudes, as well as US Light Oil, conforms to Euro V specifications. In addition, it is designed to comply with US EPA, European Union (EU) emission norms, the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) emission/effluent norms, and the African Refiners and Distribution Association (ARDA) standards.

While noting that most refineries were built by foreign companies, he said it is a thing of pride that a Nigerian company designed and built the world’s largest single-train refinery complex while acting directly as its own Engineering, Procurement, and Construction (EPC) contractor. The refinery also incorporates a self-sufficient marine facility capable of handling the world’s largest vessels.

“The refinery can produce the best quality products in the world, Euro V grade. It is one of the energy-efficient refineries and it is highly environmentally friendly. It is sophisticated with a high level of automation. The largest single train refinery in the world is 100 per cent designed, engineered, and constructed by a Nigerian company as EPC contractor,” he said.

Nigeria, one of the world’s leading oil-producing countries, exports all its crude oil for refining and subsequently imports refined products due to a lack of operational refineries. It is estimated that Nigeria imports at least 50 million litres of petrol per day to meet domestic demand.

According to data from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) in its Foreign Trade Statistics for the Fourth Quarter of 2023, Nigeria spent approximately N12 trillion on the importation of petroleum products in 2023, including premium motor spirit (PMS), commonly known as petrol. This figure marks an 18.68% increase compared to the N10 trillion spent on fuel imports in 2022.

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