Fuel scarcity may worsen as marketers threaten strike - AfrobadooTV
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Fuel scarcity may worsen as marketers threaten strike

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Oil marketers have yet to receive a response from the Federal Government as regards the outstanding payment of bridging claims incurred by dealers for the transportation of petroleum products across the country and might go ahead with their proposed strike after the Sallah break.

Members of the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria stated on Friday that they had prepared a communiqué to be issued, detailing their demands again, adding that failure of the government to meet the demands would result in the “mother of all queues.”

Also, marketers under the aegis of the Natural Oil and Gas Suppliers Association called on the Central Bank of Nigeria to make the United States dollar accessible for the imports of petroleum products, as this would help reduce the costs of the commodities, particularly diesel.

 

This came as the scarcity of Premium Motor Spirit, popularly called petrol, worsened in Abuja and neighbouring Nasarawa and Niger states, as more filling stations shut their gates to customers, citing a lack of products to dispense.

Oil marketers under the aegis of the Abuja-Suleja IPMAN said on Friday that the government had failed to substantially clear the bridging claims for the transportation of petrol being owed marketers and that Nigerians should brace up for lengthier queues soon.

About a week ago, oil marketers warned that Nigeria could witness “the mother of all queues” soon if the Federal Government fails to pay the 12 months bridging claims being owed operators in the downstream oil sector.

They had also denied being paid N74bn by the Federal Government as bridging claims for the transportation of petroleum products.

The Federal Government through its Nigeria Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority had earlier said it paid N74bn as bridging claims to oil marketers for the transportation of petroleum products across the country in seven months.

But the Secretary, Abuja-Suleja IPMAN, Mohammed Shuaibu, whose unit covers Abuja, Kogi, Niger and parts of Nasarawa and Kaduna, stated that though some members had confirmed the receipt of payments, a host of others had yet to receive theirs.

Speaking to our correspondent on Friday on the matter, Shuaibu said, “We’ve reached out to them (government) but no response. We shall give them our resolutions as contained on our communiqué and if nothing happens then the strike will take effect after the break.

“The strike will lead to the mother of all queues because depots in the North and other parts of the country are ready to join us in solidarity. Nigerians should know that the situation is beyond us right now.

“This is because many of our members are going out of business because of the over N50bn bridging claims that have not been paid to marketers. This is not right and something has to be done.”

He said IPMAN would present the resolutions reached by its members to the Federal Government through the NMDPRA by Tuesday before the proposed strike would begin.

He added, “When we return from the break we will commence the necessary action for we have put in place everything we need to do.”

Asked precisely whether this would happen at the end of the Sallah break on Tuesday, the IPMAN official replied, “Yes!”

On whether the government had not called marketers to a meeting since the threat to go on strike was issued about a week ago, Shuaibu said, “We met once, as I told you during our previous conversation.

“When we return by Monday or Tuesday we are going to give them our communiqué from the last meeting we held. If they obey, fine. If they don’t, no problem, whatever happens, is not our making.”

Probed further to disclose some of the resolutions contained the communiqué, he replied, “By the time I give him (NMDPRA boss) you will know because we’ve not concluded (work on) it. However, it is still in respect of our outstanding claims. That means the strike will go on if nothing concrete happens.”

On how the lack of foreign exchange was impacting negatively on petroleum products’ supply, the President, NOGASA, Bennet Korie, explained that the continued purchase of dollar from black marketers by importers had contributed to the dysfunctional state of the sector.

He said, “The high cost of diesel currently is as a result of marketers’ inability to access the dollar. So there is a need for government’s assistance now. We request for emergency dollar intervention to enable depot owners in Nigeria to import diesel for at least a period of five months to bring down the price of diesel.

“Diesel is fully deregulated and so marketers need dollars to import it and this is affecting the price. Diesel importers are getting the dollar from black marketers and if this continues diesel price will further increase.”

Korie added, “If you go to the depots of some marketers they don’t have products because of lack of dollars to import diesel and that is why there is scarcity. But if we have up to 30 depots importing diesel then the price will definitely come down.”

Although the official rate of the dollar by the Central Bank of Nigeria is about N416, the black market rate is currently over N600 and this has made it tough for diesel importers to import the commodity, as they lack access to the dollar from CBN.

Also, since diesel is deregulated, other marketers alongside the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited are involved in its importation, while Nigerian refineries are still dormant in terms of crude oil refining.

Commenting further on the need to clear the unpaid bridging claims, Korie appreciated the government for making effort in settling the debt but noted that the FG had not done enough.

He told selected journalists in Abuja that though the government recently increased the freight rate for transporting petroleum products, the rise in the cost of diesel had made the freight rate increase insignificant.

He said, “We thank the government for the freight rate increase, but the problem we have is this, if you increase the bridging cost, don’t forget that those selling the products run their businesses on diesel.

“So, even though you increase the products’ transportation cost, what about the administrative cost? The price of petrol, for example, has remained the same, but the cost of bringing it to the depot is borne by the marketer.

“And you know that the vessel that will bring the product to the depot now charges more. What they charged you last year is not what they charge you today. When you bring the fuel to your filling station, what you used in running your station last year is not the same now.”

The NOGASA president added, “So no matter how much you increase the bridging claim, the running cost is a problem. The profit margin is also important in the business and that is why we say the major way out is to solve the problem of diesel.

“Now this is not just for filling stations. It affects every sector of the economy. If you go to our banks now you will find out that some of the banks close around 2pm or 3pm. When you ask them why, they will tell you it is because there is no diesel.

“For filling stations, if you run your generators from 6am to 6pm to pump products to customers you will burn close to 100 litres of diesel. Now how much fuel are you selling to cover this cost? So bridging claim is for transporting products but it is not enough.”

Korie had earlier told our correspondent that many filling stations were out of operation due to the hike in diesel price.

This was confirmed in Abuja on Friday, as a number of filling stations were shut down due to lack of products, while the few ones that dispensed fuel had long queues.

Retail outlets such as Gegu Oil, Eterna and Oando located at the Dutse end of the Kubwa-Zuba Road were closed, as well as many others in Abuja and its environs on Friday and this had dragged on for a long time.

Korie had explained that marketers were paid bridging claims because of the long distances through which their trucks transport products across, but noted that the current high cost of diesel had made things tough.

“Now, not just that, the roads are bad and the maintenance of trucks is becoming too high for marketers. If you go round now you will see that 75 per cent of filling stations in Nigeria have gone out of business,” he stated.

He added, “There is no diesel to take fuel to their stations. All of them are going down. And it is not that the fuel is not there, but the cost of bringing it to the stations is too high.”

The face-off between marketers and the downstream regulator on the payment of bridging claims had lingered, particularly since the hike in diesel price, being the commodity used to power trucks that transport petroleum products.

Also reacting to the issue, the President, Petroleum Products Retail Outlets owners Association of Nigeria, Billy Gillis-Harry, said it was high time the government intervened in the current crisis in the downstream oil sector to avert a crash in the industry.

“The concerns in the downstream oil sector are enormous and this begs for real intervention by government to forestall further deterioration in the industry,” he stated.

The PETROAN president added, “We have said it again and again that full deregulation of the downstream oil business is the way to go to get us out of this quagmire. Also, it is important we have our refineries running.

“We are ready to partner government, especially in getting the refineries working, because once we start in-country refining of crude oil, it will go a long way in addressing these energy crises confronting us currently as a nation.”

The spokesperson for the NMDPRA, Kimchi Apollo, told our correspondent that bridging claims were being paid by the authorities.

He insisted that N74bn was paid to marketers by the agency and efforts were ongoing to address the concerns by marketers.

“We cannot, as a government agency, release data that does not exist,” Apollo stated.

Late last month, the Federal Government, through the NMDPRA, said it paid N74bn as bridging claims to oil marketers for the transportation of petroleum products across the country in seven months.

It disclosed this while reacting to allegations made by IPMAN, Suleja branch, that the scarcity of petroleum products was due to the non-payment of bridging claims.

The NMDPRA stated that it had earlier held a meeting with marketers on the issue of bridging claims and that payments were being made.

“The authority’s chief executive had at a meeting held on May 17, 2022 with IPMAN, discussed bridging payment extensively and the processes were explained and agreed upon by IPMAN,” the agency had stated in a statement.

The downstream regulator said it had assured IPMAN of NMDPRA’s willingness to continue making payments of outstanding claims to promote seamless operations.

“Pursuant to the meeting, the NMDPRA went ahead to make an additional payment of N10bn in June and sought for an upward review of the freight rate which was approved by President Muhammadu Buhari and is currently being implemented,” it stated.

The NMDPRA added, “The authority wishes to reiterate that bridging payment is an ongoing process which is carried out after due verification exercise by the authority and marketers.

“So far, the authority paid N71,233,712,991 bridging claims and another N2,736,179,950.84 freight differentials to marketers as at June 6, 2022.”

Providing the breakdown of payments made to marketers, the agency stated that the Major Oil Marketers Association of Nigeria received N9,958,777,487.24; IPMAN members were paid N42,301,923,616.96; while NNPC retail outlets got N6,661,459,118.61.

It said members of Depot and Petroleum Products Marketers Association of Nigeria were paid N12,303,195,651.57, adding that the payments translated to a total of N73,969,892,941.84.

“It is disheartening that despite these payments and increase of N10 bridging cost, which was approved by President Muhammadu Buhari two weeks ago, IPMAN could turn around to accuse the NMDPRA of insensitivity,” the agency stated.

It, however, noted that the NMDPRA remained committed to ensuring safe, efficient and effective conduct of midstream and downstream petroleum operations.

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Chi Chi BBNaija Accused Of Trying To Kill A Friend In Cyprus

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Chi Chi BBNaija

Chi Chi BBNaija Accused Of Trying To Kill A Friend In Cyprus

Few hours after we saw the unveiling of the final #BBNaija Season 7 Housemates in a star-studded Live Launch Show, a lady identified as Brownie took to social media to call out Chi chi who is one of the BBNaija Level up housemate. She narrated how she took Chi Chi in while she was going through difficult times but she tried to end her life by poisoning her food.

She took to her Whatsapp status to pour her mind out, with a picture of Chi Chi, she wrote;

“Mumu nah biggi you go give poison this time around, idiot fool nearly took my life in Cyprus after helping her she cripped into my life bastard next she gave me poison with groundnut soup she then ran to Nigeria thinking i will die, wicked mf”  She captioned it ” this life shaaa nah fvck she go use scatter that house, killer”

She went ahead to share videos of them together, she tagged and captioned;

“This idiot was my best friend, my sister everything but she wanted to take my life to the extent of poisoning me, i helped this girl pay rent buy food she reached out to me from instagram that she wants to kill herself that she is suffering i took her in helped her stupid life even when she was using my house as hotel to bring Turkish men and fvck them idiot i hate you with my life”  then she captioned “fucking fool you connived with my girl and burn my passport God don catch you”

She continued;

“If you all know my baby girl ivy, before i and Ivy reconnected this year i had tried all ways to reach out to her no way, only to get  strange inbox in my IG late May… that she was rescued from trying to commit suicide in Cyprus…Her ed duped her, sold her shop and items in Abuja did away with the money while stalking her with acid in Cyprus… Ivy went to report in Cyprus police department only for them to turn the tables, her sexual video last were leaked, to crown it all her best friend was acting all caring one of the days she was still going for court cases only to cajole and console her into eating a specially made groundnut soup.”

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Ada Ameh: The Johnsons’ cast, crew mourn ‘Emu’

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The news of the death of veteran Nollywood actress, Ada Ameh, shocked fans and colleagues when it was made public on Monday.

Ameh, who was popular for her role as Emu in Africa Magic family drama, The Johnsons, died on Sunday night.

Members of The Johnsons cast and crew have also joined the plethora of fans who mourned the late actress.

Actor Charles Inojie, who played Mr Johnson and Emu’s husband in the family drama shared a picture of the actress on his Instagram page.

 

He wrote, “It has taken a while to authenticate this sad news before going public under advisement from Ada’s manager who was on his way to Warri to secure physical confirmation of the horrible news that hit us all this morning.

“He has just called in from Warri and sadly he has confirmed our worst fears. Our beloved Emuakpor Johnson is no more!

“It is with deep sense of loss, total submission to the will of God, that Native Media Tv, cast and crew of @theofficialthejohnsons painfully announce the passing of our dear sister, friend, colleague and Matriarch of The Johnsons clan Ada Obande Ameh (aka Emuakpor Johnson).

“To all our teeming fans around the world, we have truly lost a rare and vibrant gem, but celebrate the life of an icon who daily put smiles on every face and spreads love in every home.

“Together, we join our voices with yours to offer prayers on behalf of the family. May God grant them the fortitude to bear this irreplaceable loss.

“ADA, you will be missed but your memory will live on in our hearts forever. We love you.”

Actress Seun Osigbesan, who once played Jennifer and Emu’s daughter in the comedy series, also penned a touching tribute for the late actress

She wrote, “My maama. It’s been extremely hard for me all day. Never ever thought I would be making an ‘RIP’ post of you maama.

“Tears wouldn’t even allow me type as I am completely devastated and broken.
My maama, It’s so hard to even think or imagine you’re no more, not talking of embracing its reality. This news of your demise is a sharp pain in the chest. It is as though a missile just exploded in a city.

“I kept saying and repeating these words to myself as I wept, ‘it is well’, Never will you be forgotten my maama. NEVER!!! RIP maama.”

A post on Africa Magic official Instagram page also paid a glowing tribute to the actress.

“Farewell to a gem, Ada Ameh. Your passion brought so many smiles and love to families beyond measure. You will be missed. From all of us@ Africa Magic, “the post read.

It continued, “A rare gem has left our presence on earth, but she will forever be in our hearts. ADA AMEH, you brought so much light, love and laughter to our screens and homes.

“Your ever bubbly nature will be forever missed but never forgotten. Rest well. We will all miss you. #AdaAmeh #GoneButNotForgotten.”

In October 2020, Ada Ameh lost her only daughter, Aladi Godgift, who was over 30 years old.

The actress had, in recent times, opened up about her battle with grief, depression, and mental issues.

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Why we must remain united – Sanwo-Olu

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The Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, has urged citizens not to lose sight of the unifying element of the Ojude Oba celebration in Ogun State which brought together people of all faiths, tribes, and languages.

The governor made this call on Monday, during his address at the grand finale of the 2022 edition of the annual Ojude Oba festival held at Oba Sikiru Adetona’s golden jubilee centre, in Ijebu Ode, Ogun State.

Sanwo-Olu explained that the people of Lagos and Ogun States share a long historical and cultural bond which led him to establish the Lagos-Ogun Joint Development Commission with Governor Dapo Abiodun, to collaborate on key areas of mutual benefit and development, and accelerate socio-economic growth for their communities.

He said, “It is noteworthy that the Ojude Oba Festival has while staying true to its Islamic roots, also expanded to become a unifying symbol and occasion for people of all faiths, tribes, and tongues; as well as a global celebration of Ijebu heritage and culture.

“We must never lose sight of this unifying element, at a time when the forces of division seem to be working so actively to undermine all that we cherish as a people. Celebrations like Ojude Oba remind us that evil will never triumph over good. As a proud son of Lagos, it is personally very pleasing to be in this colourful ceremony among my Ijebu brothers and sisters.

“We the peoples of Lagos and Ogun share a long historical and cultural bond, shaped by the same forces and experiences, nourished by the same waterways, and living up to the same Omoluabi standards and ideals.

“This was what spurred my brother Governor, Prince Dr Dapo Abiodun and I to, in 2021, establish the Lagos-Ogun Joint Development Commission, to collaborate on key areas of mutual benefit and development, and accelerate socio-economic growth for all our communities and our people.

“The road network linking Ijebu-Ode, Epe and Lekki is yet another concrete manifestation of our collaboration – Ogun State has completed their own stretch, while we will complete our own end this year, opening up new commercial and logistics opportunities in that axis, and positively impacting the lives of our people, many of whose daily lives cross our joint borders.”

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