Fuel Scarcity: NNPC To Import 100m Litres Daily In Feb

The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation made an announcement that it had plan to to import two cargoes of petrol daily for the rest of this month in order to increase supply and totally end the fuel queues that had re-emerged recently all over the country.

It said each of the cargoes would load 50million litres making a total of 100 million litres that would be delivered daily for the rest of February to increase supply and replenish strategic reserves.

“Also, to enhance supply, 45 million litres of petrol were discharged from ships into jetties across the country yesterday (Wednesday),” the corporation said in a statement issued by its Group General Manager, Group Public Affairs Division, Ndu Ughamadu, in Abuja.

It stated that prior to the discharge of 45 million litres, there were 324 million litres of petrol on land and 432 million litres in marine storage, making a total of 756 million litres, enough to last for 22 days at 35 million litres daily consumption rate.

“The jetties that received the 45 million litres shipment include NACJ, Apapa; Bop, Apapa; Techo Jetty, Lagos; Dutchess, Oghara; Vine Jetty, Calabar; Chipet Jetty, Lagos; and ECM Jetty, Calabar,” the statement added.

It further stated that to ensure efficient distribution of the product to depots in the hinterland, the Nigerian Pipeline and Storage Company, a midstream subsidiary of the NNPC, had been mandated to fix relevant pipelines to facilitate seamless pumping, in addition to the trucking arrangement that was in place.

The corporation assured motorists and other users of petrol that with the measures in place, the fuel queues being experienced in many cities would soon be a thing of the past.

Although it assured Nigerians that the queues would disappear, our correspondent observed that the fuel scarcity situation in Abuja and neighbouring states did not improve on Thursday.

Massive queues formed by desperate motorists were still seen at the few petrol stations that dispensed the commodity in the Federal Capital Territory as well as Niger, Nasarawa and Kaduna states.

Many filling stations, especially those operated by independent oil marketers, were shut, as fuel attendants stated that they had no product to sell.

Petrol queues in the listed areas have persisted since the end of the fourth quarter of 2017, and motorists in these locations now factor in the number of hours to spend in filling stations as they struggle to purchase the product.



NNPC Unveil Plans To End Fuel Scarcity

The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) has said it will take delivery of two cargoes of petrol per day for the rest of February to boost supply and eradicate queues.

A statement by the NNPC Spokesman, Ndu Ughamadu, on Thursday stated that two cargoes of 50 million litres each, making a total of 100 million litres, would be brought-in per day in February to replenish strategic reserves.

The statement follows month of severe petrol scarcity across the country.

The government has failed to resolve the crisis despite repeated promise.

“To enhance supply, 45 million litres of petrol was discharged from ships into jetties across the country yesterday.

“Prior to the fresh 45 million litres discharged, we have 324 million litres of petrol on land and 432 million litres in marine storage making a total of 756 million litres,” the NNPC spokesman said.

“These are enough to last for 22 days at 35 million daily consumption rate,’’ he said.

Mr. Ughamadu said the jetties that received the 45 million litres shipments include Nacj, Apapa; Bop, Apapa; Techo Jetty, Lagos; Dutchess, Oghara; Vine Jetty, Calabar; Chipet Jetty, Lagos; and ECM Jetty, Calabar.

“To ensure efficient distribution of the product to depots in the hinterland, the Nigerian Pipeline and Storage Company (NPSC), a midstream subsidiary of the NNPC, has been mandated to fix relevant pipelines to facilitate seamless pumping.

“This is in addition to massive trucking arrangement that is in place,’’ he said.

Ughamadu gave the assurance of the Corporation that with the measures in place, the fuel queues being experienced in some cities would soon be a thing of the past.” (NAN)

NNPC Received N5.1tn As Payment For Subsidy

The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation has stated it received a sum of N5.1tn as subsidy payment for the Premium Motor Spirit (petrol) between 2006 and 2015.

The corporation, which said the payments were approved by the Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency, said the federal government still owed N170.6bn.

The Group Managing Director, NNPC, Maikanti Baru; and the Chief Financial Officer of the corporation, Isiaka Abdulrazak, made this known on Monday in Abuja at an investigative hearing conducted by the Senate Committee on Petroleum (Downstream).

Baru, in his presentation, stated that the CFO would make the main presentation on subsidy payments.

“The NNPC is going to address essentially what it has incurred in terms of subsidy payments between 2006 and 2015, and what was paid to it under the scheme. We have it on record that the NNPC incurred N5.1214tn as subsidy as approved by the regulatory agency, the PPPRA, and it was only paid N4.9508tn. It is still being owed by the Federal Government N170.6bn,” he said.

Abdulrazak assured the panel of “full disclosure and full cooperation and transparency in the spirit of the management of the NNPC.”

He said, “All the NNPC’s subsidy claims and entitlements are duly verified and approved by the PPPRA with relevant certificates issued. The subsidy approved for the NNPC is backed out of the domestic crude cost payable to Federation Account Allocation Committee.

“In summary, the NNPC submits that the amount of N5.1tn was duly approved by the PPPRA as subsidy claims for the corporation. Out of this sum, the NNPC is still owed N170.6bn.

“Consequently, the NNPC seeks the understanding of the distinguished members of the committee on the peculiarity of its operations and its role as a supplier of last resort in the downstream sector of the economy.”

The President of the Senate, Bukola Saraki, in his opening speech, declared the renewed payment of petrol subsidy as illegal, stating that the current administration had claimed to have ended the subsidy regime but had continued to make the payment through the back door.

Saraki’s speech was read by the Majority Leader, Senator Ahmad Lawan.

He said, “The findings of the committee have brought to light the fact that our downstream oil and gas industry needs critical reforms.

“It has exposed, among other things, that in spite of the stoppage of the fuel subsidy regime and the non-appropriation of funds for the scheme due to the fraud and maladministration going on in the scheme, that fuel subsidy payments continue to be made from our commonwealth illegally and without appropriation by the National Assembly to a few quietly in order to dodge scrutiny and avoid exposure.

“This 8th Senate is here to expose every corruption in the system, irrespective of how highly-placed those involved are, and therefore, the reason for this public hearing today.

“This unconstitutional and illegal practice must be addressed and we are not going to rest until it is fully addressed.”

The Senate President stated that it was the duty of the committee to get to the bottom of the issue and proffer long-lasting solutions to “this racketeering in the fuel market that leaves the Nigerian people poorer every year.”

The Chairman, Senate Committee on Petroleum Resources (Downstream), Senator Kabiru Marafa, prevented officials of the Federal Government from explaining the alleged continued payment of subsidy on petrol without appropriation by the National Assembly.

The officials in attendance were from the Ministry of Petroleum Resources, Ministry of Finance, the NNPC, Department of Petroleum Resources, the PPPRA and Nigeria Customs Service, among others.

Some members of the panel asked the officials to state specifically if the subsidy scheme had been reintroduced. They also asked them to explain how the government was maintaining the official pump price of N145 per litre when the landing cost had been confirmed to be N171.

The lawmakers asked for the authority that permitted the government to make the payment.

Those who asked the questions were Senator Bassey Akpan, who is the Chairman of the Committee on Petroleum (Gas); Senator Biodun Olujimi, who is Deputy Minority Whip; and Senator Chukwuka Utazi, who is the Chairman of the Committee on Financial Crimes and Anti-Corruption.

After the lawmakers asked their questions, Marafa said the hearing should be restricted to presentation by the officials as it was not to question them.

“Like I said before, today’s function is yours (the NNPC’s); it is not an interactive session where we will be asking questions for you to respond to. We expect the NNPC to make presentations. We are looking at the volume, what quantity was imported and what quantity was refined. We want a detailed documentation of every vessel that came to this country,” he stated.

The Senate had on January 17, 2018, rejected the interim report by the Marafa-led committee, with several senators criticising it as being silent on the payment of subsidy by the Federal Government without approval by the National Assembly.

Few days before the first hearing on the matter, Marafa had vowed that the Federal Government would be made to account for the payment of the differentials between the landing cost and the pump price of petrol.

Senate Raises Alarm Over NNPC’s Illegal Account

The Senate has raised alarm over an illegal account belonging to the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation.

According to Senator Dino Melaye of APC Kogi West, who raised the alarm through a point of order is being operated by NNPC and some expatriates in the oil industry under the name of a registered company called Brass NLG Limited with the Federal Government controlling the account.

The Senate indicted the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) of allegedly operating a N42. 005 billion illegal account.

According to him, the account which by extant laws is supposed to be domiciled in the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) is domiciled in a Keystone Bank and without Bank Verification Number (BVN).He alleged that periodic withdrawals are being made from the account, the latest of which was $4 million (N220 million), which he said made the account to now have a balance of $137 million (N41.785billion).

Senate President, Bukola Saraki ruled that the substantive motion on the alleged fraud would be deliberated upon today.Also yesterday, the Senate asked the NNPC to carry out immediate forensic audit of the controversial $16.3 billion Egina oil project.

The Senate ad-hoc committee on local content noted that the project being undertaken by Total Upstream Nigeria Limited, which started in 2013 and is almost 90 per cent completed has not been audited in any form since the commencement of the project estimated to produce 200, 000 barrels of oil per day

Chairman of the committee, Senator Solomon Adeola, in his opening remarks, said that the cost of the project was said to have been raised from $6 billion to $16.3 billion.NNPC Chief Operating Officer (Upstream) Bello Rabiu, in his testimony, told the committee that the contract sum for the Egina oil project remained $16.3 billion and not $6 billion.Out of the $16.3 billion, Rabiu said that they have already approved $10 billion for the project.

Meanwhile, state-owned Port Harcourt Refining Company Limited (PHRC), Warri Refining and Petrochemical Company Limited (WRPC) and the Kaduna Refining and Petrochemical Company Limited will soon be funded by private financiers to perform at 90 per cent capacity, Group Managing Director, Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) Maikanti Baru, said yesterday in Abuja.At a meeting with the staff, Baru said the corporation was inching closer to arriving at the choice of financiers for the refineries.

Currently performing far below capacity, the feasibility of private funding of the refineries is expected to improve output and reduce importation of refined crude into the country and boost petroleum products supply as well as distribution in the nation.

There are also possibility of new refining capacities to come on board as two consortia have already indicated interest to co-locate refineries in Warri and Port Harcourt, while two Greenfields are expected later this year in Kano and Kaduna, Baru said.

According to him, agreements on the potential financiers for the refineries are being fine-tuned, following which the endorsement of the NNPC Board would be done this month.He described the procedure for electing the financiers as painstaking, noting, however, that it was necessary to enable a desired closure on the subject.


Additional 50-Fuel-Laden Trucks To Lagos Deployed By NNPC

The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) on Monday implored motorists in Lagos State not to embark on panic buying of petrol because it had increased the truck loaded with fuel to the city/state by 50 trucks


The Corporation’s Group General Manager Mr Ndu Ughamadu, Group Public Affairs Division, spoke to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos that the queues at filling stations will soon vanish due to the new development.


He further advised people against the storage of fuels in their respectives homes as additional 50  trucks has been supplied to lagos.


“About 250 trucks have begun to discharge petrol to Lagos compared to less than 200 trucks allocated to Lagos at the weekend.


“Motorists are advised to avoid hoarding and panic buying of petrol as the NNPC has sufficient product in stock that will last several days,” he said.


Ughamadu attributed the sudden scarcity of petrol being experienced to a slight change in the distribution network in Lagos.


According to him, Lagos is currently being supplied by members of the Major Oil Marketers Association of Nigeria (MOMAN).


The NNPC spokesperson also acknowledged that there was a slight hitch at the Port Harcourt Refinery which he said was caused by power problem.


“The Port Harcourt Refinery is slightly down for now, pending when the problem will be rectified,” he said.


Meanwhile, NAN reports that hawkers had begun to capitalise on the situation to sell petrol to the public at exorbitant prices.


The hawkers had been selling the commodity for between N200 and N300 per litre.


At Fadeyi on Ikorodu Road, a hawker sold a five-litre gallon of petrol for N1,500 instead of the official price of N725.


Also, commercial transport operators had increased their fares by about 50 per cent.


It was observed that a trip to Oshodi from Costain now goes for N150 from its former N100 while Oshodi to Sango Ota in Ogun attracts N300 as against the former N200.

EFCC Uncovers $1.3 Billion Transferred From NNPC Account On Jonathan’s Order

In the never ending battle against corruption, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) detectives have uncovered another withdrawal of $1.3 billion made by former Petroleum minister, Mrs. Diezani Alison-Madueke on the directive of ex-President Goodluck Jonathan.

The money which was removed from the accounts of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) was neither authorized by the National Assembly nor the Federal Executive Council (FEC).

Former Coordinating Minister for the Economy and Minister of Finance, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, is also believed to be unaware of the deductions.

Diezani Alison-Madueke is reported to have only relied on a memo from ex-President Goodluck Jonathan without recourse to the board of the NNPC.

A former Group Executive Director, Finance and Accounts of NNPC, Mr. Bernard Otti, has been quizzed by the EFCC over the money.

Otti is said to have also made available to the EFCC some documents, including approvals to withdraw the $1.3 billion by Mrs Alison-Madueke.

In two other instances, Jonathan wrote on two other requests mandating the former minister to take part of the cash from either NNPC Security Vote Account or from the “Gas Fund”.

According to reports, the cash was to fight kidnapping and other security threats in the Niger Delta, according to The Nation.


NNPC To Nigerians: Days Of Fuel Scarcity Are Over

The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation on Tuesday assured Nigerians that there would no longer be fuel scarcity in the country.

The Group Managing Director of the corporation, Dr Maikanti Baru, said this in Abuja at the 2018/2019 crude oil term contract bid opening.

According to him, the opening of bids is an indication of President Muhammadu Buhari’s drive for transparency and accountability in the conduct of government business.

He condemned the recent fuel shortage, which lasted a month, describing the corporation’s downstream counterparts as ‘unpatriotic’.

Baru warned those that would be selected after the bid against indulging in sharp practices.

“I am happy that this problem has been dealt with and the few pockets of non-compliance have been tackled.

“It was unfortunate that due to the behaviour of a few bad eggs, the Christmas was a pain. We hope you will never be part of this incident and we also hope this type of thing never happens in the future.

“NNPC is determined that this year there will be no fuel shortage. Definitely, we have seen the last of it,’’ Baru said.

He said NNPC’s focus was to enhance production volume while ensuring that the “best value is realised through competitive marketing of our crude grades to international refineries and graders’’.

“In line with this aspiration, NNPC is collaborating with key stakeholders to improve the overall security of our production sites, crude export lines and other critical oil and gas infrastructure’’.

He urged the bidders not to patronise fraudsters who promise off-takers selection assistance.

Speaking with newsmen shortly after the bid ceremony, Baru said the evaluation would take three to four weeks, adding that 16 per cent of the crude was going to North America.

Also speaking, the Group General Manager, Crude Oil Marketing Division, Mr Mele Kyari, said “there would be no lobbying in lifting programmes’’.

“It is fully automated. The customer knows where and when they get their lifting and this is unparalleled.’’

Kyari said part of the procedure was that the companies selected must have a net worth of about $250m, turnover of $500m, letter of credit and years of experience.

254 companies are bidding for the off-take of Nigerian crude grades as against 224 in 2017.

This round is the third call for bids under the present administration. (NAN)

NNPC To Commence Immediate Assessment Of Damaged Escravos Pipeline

The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) has said it will commence immediate assessment of the damaged Escarvos-Lagos Pipeline (ELP).

The pipeline was damaged by fire on Tuesday and it has led to loss of over 3200 megawatts (MW) power generation to Nigerians.

In a statement by the spokesman of NNPC, Ndu Ughamadu on Wednesday, the Group Managing Director of NNPC Dr Maikanti Baru, ordered an immediate assessment of the damage.

The damaged gas pipeline supplies gas from Escravos region of the Niger Delta area to Lagos.

The pipeline also supplies gas to power plants in the South West, in addition to feeding the West Africa Gas Pipeline System.

The incineration of the ELP, which was built in 1989, was suspected to have been caused by a bush fire January 2, 2018 at Abakila, in Ondo State.

NNPC firemen were drafted to the scene and were able to contain the fire from the leak point of the pipeline incident. However, the fire could not be extinguished due to the high pressure of the line.

To put off the fire, the line would require being isolated and depressurized, which might lead to a complete shutdown of the pipeline segment for repair works to be carried out.

The exercise will affect gas supply to customers in Ondo, Ogun and Lagos State with subsequent shutdown of the following power plants with a combined generating capacity of 1,143MW: Egbin, Lagos, Olorunshogo, PEL Olorunshogo, Ogun, Paras Power Plant, Ogun and Omotosho plant, Ondo State.

However, the Ministry of Power in a statement said the fire incident required a shutdown of the pipeline supplying gas to Egbin, 1,320MW; Olorunsogo NIPP, 676MW; Olorunsogo, 338MW; Omotosho NIPP, 450MW; Omotosho, 338 MW; and Paras, 60MW on Tuesday.

It said the sudden loss of generation due to interruption in gas supply from these stations caused the national transmission grid to trip off around 8:20pm on Tuesday.

Ajah Area Of Lagos Sells Jet Fuel As Petrol And Kerosene

It has been discovered that a part of Lagos, Ajah, can be said to be sitting on a keg of gun powder ready to explode, except necessary actions are taken. This is owing to activities of pipeline vandals at Richfield community in the estate, where pipeline which supplies Jet A1 aviation fuel to the international and local airports pass through.

By the way, Jet fuel is a type of aviation fuel designed for use in aircraft and it is powered by gas-turbine engines. It is colorless to straw-colored in appearance. Jet A1 fuel which is produced to a standardized international specification, is the most commonly used for commercial aviation.

However,investigation revealed that the siphoned product was then sold to unsuspecting Lagosians as fuel for their vehicles and kerosine for stoves. It is difficult to differentiate the product from petrol used for car because of its colourless appearance. Activities of these vandals increased this yuletide season following the perennial fuel scarcity . Vanguard gathered that during this period, trucks were usually brought into the community at night, where it was loaded inside jerricans, for onward sale within and outside the area, including the south west region of the country.

Police swoop on the vandals Acting on a tip off, teams of policemen led by the Area Commander ‘D’ Mushin, Assistant Commissioner of Police, ACP, Olasoji, accompanied by the Divisional Police Officer in-charge of Ajao estate division, Mr Abdul Adejoh and the Area ‘D ‘command’s Duty Officer, Superintendent of Police, SP, Timothy Falowo, a swooped on the vandals while they were siphoning the product from a broken pipe. On sighting the policemen, they took to their heels abandoning some jerricans filled with the siphoned product.

They also left the leaking portion of the pipe open in their confused state. The suspects In the process, six of them; four women and two men were arrested and some of those arrested were discovered to be residents of the area. Startling discoveries During the invasion, it was discovered that some vandals built shanties right on the access way of the pipe, apparently to ease the siphoning process. When a search was conducted round the apartment, some jerricans and other containers loaded with the Jet A1 product were recovered.

Although it was also discovered that the portion where the Jet A1 pipeline passed through was fenced round by the Landlord Association to prevent spread of fire in the event of any likely outbreak but the fence only served as a shield to these vandals who some times hid under the cover of darkness to perpetrate their sinister motive. Also, inside the bush where the shady act was carried out, there were several jerricans and footpaths which lead to the expressway, through which the vandals escaped. The operation which began at about 1pm, lasted six hours.

Some of the residents applauded the effort of the Police, adding that such illegality had been ongoing for long. According to one of the residents, Sheu Abubakar , “ I have been living in this area for over 10 years. I only became aware of vandals’ illegality last month. When I approached one of the community leaders, he told me that they had to erect a high fence to secure the area where the aviation fuel passed through from residential area. I was also made to understand that these vandals came there at night to siphon the product. This move by the Police is laudable but they should not just end there, there should be continuous surveillance around the area. The danger of their activities is that if they sell the product as kerosine , it could cause explosion. Some fire outbreaks witnessed in the country were caused by this product.” Mother of three among suspects Another resident who spoke on the condition of anonymity said : “One of those arrested was well known to me. She is a mother of three and has been into this illegal trade for long. We only got to know about her activities two months ago and when we questioned her, she said she usually sold a litre between N150 and N170 as kerosine. But she said that she had never gone close to where the product was being siphoned. She said that the real vandals usually gave her some litres for free.” Spokesman for the Lagos State Police Command, Superintendent of Police Chike Oti, who confirmed the arrest, gave identities of the suspects as : Ada Jesus Favour, John Eke , Ofem Jovita, Tony Andrew , Ikaite Godwin and Nnena Ekemezie. Oti said : “Based on intelligence available to the Commissioner of Police, Lagos State Police Command, Mr Imohimi Edgal, he directed the Area Commander ‘D’ and the DPO Ajao to launch an operation against the vandals at Richfield. Six persons were subsequently arrested during the raid with the recovery of some jerricans filled with the siphoned product. The suspects were charged to court last Wednesday while officials of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation,NNPC were contacted to seal the broken portion which they have done.”

NNPC Suspends Sale Of Petrol After Car Explosion

The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation on Wednesday announced the temporary suspension of products dispensing activities at its station along Lagos Road in Port Harcourt due to a fire incident near the station.

It said the fire was as a result of a car explosion that occurred outside the station after petrol was dispensed into an in-built locally fabricated tank designed to siphon fuel.

Though the fire did not affect the station, the corporation noted that it was imperative to suspend operations in order to enable security agencies to clear the resultant traffic situation at the scene.

The national oil firm also stated that a combined team of its officials and those of the Department of Petroleum Resources, led by the Group Managing Director, NNPC, Maikanti Baru, heightened the tempo of unscheduled visits to fuel stations suspected to be involved in underhand dealings across the Federal Capital Territory.


We Can No Longer Import, Sell Fuel At N145/Litre — Marketers

Reports are rife that private oil marketers are calling for government intervention to enable them to access foreign exchange at a special rate for the importation of Premium Motor Spirit (petrol).

Private marketers who stopped fuel importation last year due to shortage of foreign exchange and increase in crude prices, said had made the current forex rates makes it unprofitable to import petrol and sell same at N145 per litre.

The Punch reports that “The National Operations Controller, Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria, Mr. Mike Osatuyi, said, “The problem is that the importation (of petrol) is being handled almost 100 per cent by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation as private importers have backed out because the increase in crude price has made the landing cost enter subsidy.

“When the crude price hit $59 per barrel, we could not sell petrol again at N145 per litre if we were importing on our own. It is only the government (NNPC) that is importing and can warehouse the subsidy.

“Right now, the landing cost of the PMS is N154. If you are importing at N305 to the dollar, by the time you add bank charges, it comes to N307 to the dollar. If you apply that to the current crude price, the landing cost is N154-N155. By the time you add all the margins, the pump price is about N160-N167.

“Before private importers can resume importation, the exchange rate to a dollar must be N250 and we can sell at the price of N145 per litre.

“Landing cost of the PMS today has increased. By the time we land the product based on the international crude oil prices, petrol should be selling for between N165 and N170 per litre. But government is saying we should sell at N145. So, if there is no subsidy, we have to depend on the NNPC to give us the product,” he said.