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Reps urges FG to clear oil marketers’ N800bn debt

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Reps urges FG to clear oil marketers’ N800bn debt

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Uche Usim, Abuja

The House of Representatives has advised the Federal Government to pay up the independent oil marketers to avoid shutting oil supplies as they have threatened to. 

This is as the Managing Director of the Petroleum Products Marketing Company Limited (PPMC), Mr. Umar Ajiya, disclosed that the company has returned to profitability with a trading surplus of N32bn between January and November 2018.

The Chairman, House of Representatives’ Committee on Petroleum (Downstream), Joseph Akinlaja, commenting on planned strike by oil marketers  during an oversight visit to the headquarters of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) on Wednesday, said settling the debt will help forestall any crisis in the country, especially during the yuletide.

READ ALSO: Fire guts Benue Govt. House, destroys valuables

He further commended the NNPC on the strategies deployed so far to make petroleum products available to Nigerians throughout the end of year festivities and beyond.

The lawmaker expressed confidence that the elaborate measures put in place by the corporation to avert fuel supply shortage would be successful this year going by the painstaking efforts that went into the planning and execution of the zero-fuel scarcity strategy.

 “We are impressed by the presentation and we are sure there will be no war room here again because of products scarcity, you have done very well and I’m happy that Nigerians are going to travel effortlessly at this period of the year”, Hon. Akinlaja enthused.

Speaking further on the need to support NNPC to sustain petroleum products supply, Hon. Akinlaja said the corporation was overburdened and “because of that, when it runs into hiccups, somebody will say their operations are opaque. Let’s avoid fuel scarcity by supporting NNPC”.

The Committee also expressed satisfaction with the improvement on the integrity of the pipelines and urged NNPC to expedite action on the remaining ones, especially those linking the Ore Depot from Benin City and to the Ibadan Depot.

In his presentation to the Committee, Group Managing Director of NNPC, Dr. Maikanti Baru, reassured Nigerians of the corporation’s preparedness to ensure zero-scarcity of petroleum products during the upcoming festive season and beyond.

The GMD who was represented by NNPC Chief Operating Officer, Downstream, Mr. Henry Ikem Obih, lauded the Committee for its support during the last fuel supply hiccups that occurred in the country from November 2017 to the early part of this year.

READ ALSO: No mass retirement plans – NNPC

He disclosed that adequate measures have been deployed to avert any form of supply challenge, stressing that even if NNPC were to stop importing fuel as from today, there was enough stock of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) in the country to last for 45 days.

 The other downstream subsidiaries that made presentations were NNPC Retail Limited, Nigerian Pipelines and Storage Company (NPSC) and NNPC Shipping.

The PPMC boss also stated that as part of the zero-scarcity strategy, the company has over 170 million litres of PMS in stock at some NNPC depots across the country following their successful rehabilitation along with connecting pipelines to forestall dependence on private sector depots.

The post Reps urges FG to clear oil marketers’ N800bn debt appeared first on The Sun Nigeria.

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CATHOLIC WORLD

Killing of Christians: Buhari lied to Trump – CAN fumes

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Killing of Christians: Buhari lied to Trump - CAN fumes

The Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) has reacted to President Muhammadu Buhari’s revelation of his conversation with United States President, Donald Trump, on the massacre of Christians in Nigeria, saying President Buhari was economical with the truth.

President Buhari had on Tuesday, revealed that at the heat of the bloody clashes between herdsmen and farmers in Nigeria, the United States President, Donald Trump, unequivocally accused him of killing Christians.

Buhari said these in his closing remarks at the two-day ministerial performance review retreat held at the Presidential Villa, Abuja on Tuesday.

At a point, the President digressed from his prepared speech and narrated his encounter with Trump on the bloody clashes.

He said he managed to explain to the American leader that the clashes were not about ethnicity or religion.

He said, “I believe I was about the only African among the less developed countries the President of United States invited.

“When I was in his office, only myself and himself, only God is my witness, he looked at me in the face, and asked, ‘Why are you killing Christians?’

“I wonder, if you were the person, how you will react. I hope what I was feeling inside did not betray my emotion, so I told him that the problem between the cattle rearers and farmers, I know is older than me not to talk of him. I think I am a couple of years older than him.

“With climate change and population growth and the culture of the cattle rearers, if you have 50 cows and they eat grass, any root, to your water point, then they will follow it. It doesn’t matter whose farm it is.

“The First Republic set of leadership was the most responsible leadership we ever had. I asked the Minister of Agriculture to get a gazette of the early 60s which delineated the cattle route where they used meager resources then to put earth dams, wind mills even sanitary department.

“So, any cattle rearers that allowed his cattle to go to somebody’s farm would be arrested, taken before the court. The farmer would be called to submit his bill and if he couldn’t pay, the cattle would be sold, but subsequent leaders, the VVIPs (very important persons) encroached on the cattle routes. They took over the cattle rearing areas.

“So, I tried and explained to him (Trump) that this has got nothing to do with ethnicity or religion. It is a cultural thing.”

However, CAN’s Vice President and Chairman of the association in Kaduna State, John Hayab, was not impressed with Buhari’s submission, saying “Buhari and his government will never stop from amusing us with their tales by moonlight because what is happening in Zamfara, Sokoto, Katsina, Birnin Gwari, Southern Kaduna, Taraba, Plateau and others cannot be described as a cultural thing.

He told Punch correspondent in an interview: “President Buhari’s weak story about his conversation with President Donald Trump further confirms why his government does not care about the killings in our country by calling them cultural things.

“Just this (Tuesday) evening, I received a report from the Kaduna Baptist Conference President about the number of their members that have been killed by bandits in Kaduna State from January 2020 to date to be 105 and our President will call it a cultural thing? All we can say is may God save our Nigeria.”

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NATIONAL NEWS

CAMA: Bishop blasts Christian lawmakers

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CAMA: Bishop blasts Christian lawmakers

The Catholic Bishop of Nsukka, Most Rev. Godfrey Onah, has blamed Christians in the National Assembly (NASS), for the passage of the 2020 Companies and Allied Matters Bill (CAMA), signed into law by President Muhammadu Buhari recently.

Bishop Onah, said in a remark during the Sunday Mass that if Christians in NASS had opposed the bill, it would not have been passed into law.

President Muhammadu Buhari had on Aug. 7, signed the CAMA bill into law, giving provision for religious bodies and charity organizations to be regulated by the registrar of the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC), and a supervising minister.

“The question many Christians have been asking is, where were Christian legislators during the debate of this bill and its passage in the National Assembly?

“Because, if they had opposed this bill on the floor of the house, it would not have been passed and sent to the president for assent.

“I blame Christian legislators for doing nothing and allowing the passage of the 2020 CAMA Act,” he said.

“When I say that Christians are too divided and too selfish, don’t forget that the second in command in this country is a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, a professor of Law and a pastor.”

Onah, however, wondered what the Federal Government wanted to achieve in monitoring how the finances of churches in the country are managed when it contributed no dime to the church, NAN reports.

“Government should focus and monitor its ministries, agencies and other government institutions where it budgets billions of Naira annually and not church offerings.

“Had it been that the government gave allocations to churches and decided to monitor its usage, nobody will question the government,” he said.

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NATIONAL NEWS

Nigerians spit fire over fuel, electricity prices hike

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Increasing Fuel and Electricity Prices

Anger and condemnations, across the country, have continued to trail last week’s take off, of new increases in pump price of petroleum products and electricity tariffs, as directed by Federal Government.

Recall that the Petroleum Products Marketing Company (PPMC) official, D.O. Abalaka announced on Wednesday September 3, on behalf of Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) that the new price of petroleum is now N151.56k per litre instead of N149 – N150 per litre which it was previously.

The new electricity tariff which the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) tagged “Service Reflective Tariff” has also come into effect. It requires consumers to pay N53.87 – N66.422 per kwh of electricity.

Outraged consumers of fuel and electricity have therefore warned government to get ready for collision with the masses if it fails to rescind these new prices.

Those who have expressed outrage over the new prices regimes include, the Organized Labour, Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC), Nigerian main opposition political party, Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Nigeria Employers Consultative Association (NECA) and the Major Marketers Association of Nigeria (MOMAN).

Others are: Petroleum Products Retail Outlets Owners Association of Nigeria, the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN) and the Nigerian Association of Chambers of Commerce (NACCIMA).

The NLC said, “The frequent fuel price increase will no longer be accepted. We will not allow Nigerians fall victim of government ineptitude and negligence to make the country self-sufficient in terms of refining petroleum products at home.”

On its part, the PDP has described the price hike as “callous, cruel and punishing” and demanded an immediate reversal to avert a national crisis.

The All Industrial Global sees the incessant increase as a confirmation that deregulation means just price increase.

“This is unacceptable! Under a pandemic, we should put money in the pockets of citizens to revive collapsed livelihoods and preserve lives.” In its reaction, NECA said it has always urged Federal Government to adopt deregulation policy in the oil and gas downstream sector.

The MOMAN in its statement insists that monthly price variation of fuel was no longer sustainable. It urged PPRA to adopt quarterly price mechanism which would save the market the hassles of price volatility. The statements by IPMAN and NACCIMA also followed along the same line that the hike “…serves only to increase the severity and duration of the looming economic recession.”

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