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Airports concession will not cost jobs – FG

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Minister of Aviation Hadi Sirika
Minister of Aviation Hadi Sirika
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The Federal Government has allayed the fears of the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) workers of any lay-offs as plans to concession four major international airports in the country get underway.

Aviation minister Hadi Sirika gave the assurance at a virtual meeting with aviation stakeholders in Lagos on Wednesday on the concession update of the airports.

Sirika said that the concession would instead allow for more hands to be engaged as most of the airports were under staffed.

The airports billed for concession are: the Mallam Aminu Kano International Airport, Kano state and the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos state.

Others are the Port Harcourt International Airport, River and the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja.

The minister informed the stakeholders that the country’s asset would not be sold off but given out on concession in order to modernise the airports.

He added that this would allow the airports to be operated in a way to create more jobs as well as generate more revenue for the country.

“We will not sell the assets that belong to over 200 million Nigerians and the future generation of this country.

“We are not going to sell because those that were sold were lost. So, we in government believe that we should hold those assets for the Nigerian people in trust.

“We must make those assets better to provide the services that are needed. So, we said, rather than sell outrightly, we will concession.

“In other words, we would give it up to someone who would operate them and make them better.

“We will then get more money, the people will enjoy better services, the industry grows and after a certain time, the airports will come back to us,” he said.

The minister further explained that the airport terminal buildings to be given out on concession would generate their revenues from non-aeronautical resources.

He said that all other facilities at the airports and existing concessions, outside the airport terminals, would still be managed by FAAN.

He added that the concessionaire would sign service level agreements for runway, taxiway, security and air traffic Management with FAAN and NAMA to ensure that the airport operated efficiently.

The minister also said that the concessionaire would provide the investment required to upgrade the existing terminals.

He added that they would also take over the maintenance of new terminals over a period of time, based on the financial assessment of each transaction.

Sirika said that existing concessions within the terminals, however, would be inherited by the concessionaire and allowed to run their course before any review.

The minister said that tariffs would be regulated in accordance with the procedures set out in the concession agreement.

He explained that the Passenger Service and Security Charges would be paid directly to FAAN by IATA and shared by the concessionaires and FAAN.

He pointed out that the airport authority would be required to provide manpower, through AVSEC, for the security of both the airside and landside.

The concessionaire would similarly be expected to provide and maintain landside equipment which would allow FAAN continue to provide and maintain airside security equipment, the minister said.

Sirika noted that airports in the country were currently operating in a sub-optimal environment and needed improvements that would be provided through the participation of the private sector.

He said that private sector participation would have impact especially in infrastructure investments, runway maintenance, navigation aids as well as investment in terminal facilities.

He added that with the increasing population, a private operator of the four main airports would run them based on international standards and expand the facilities, in accordance with traffic demands at each of the airports. (NAN)

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Business & Economy

Senate To Probe CBN’s Anchor Borrowers, Ways And Means

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Nigerian Senate
Nigerian Senate
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The Senate on Tuesday, resolved to further investigate N10trn Anchor Borrowers’ Programme by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), as well as accountability in the Ways and Means loans by the Apex Bank.

The Red Chamber said the move was to plug loopholes in future development finance activities of the CBN.

The Senate resolved to set up an ad hoc committee to investigate the details of the Ways and Means, including the various intervention programmes such as the Anchor Borrowers’ Programme, monies given to state governments, manufacturers, aviation, banks, excess funding in the power sector, amongst others which raised the current debt profile of the country.

This was part of resolutions of the Senate after a debate over the report of the National Assembly Joint Committees on Banking, Insurance and other Financial Institutions (BIOFI), Finance, National Planning, Agriculture and Appropriation on the state of the economy.

On the compliance and transparency of economic actions, the Senate equally resolved that the CBN ensured compliance with the provisions of the Act in respect of Ways and Means and accountability through timely submission of its budget, financial statements and report of its activities to the President and National Assembly as stipulated in the Act.

In an extensive debate, Senator Adamu Aliero argued that some state governors, including some retired ones in the Senate, were beneficiaries of N18bn as shock absorbers under the Ways and Means since 2015.

Some lawmakers suggested that a special committee be set up to scrutinize the N30trn intervention disbursements (some of which were grants) and ways to mop them up.

Deputy Senate President Barau Jibrin also explained that the intervention monies were expended outside appropriation without the knowledge of the parliament and noted that lawmakers have a right to interrogate the expenditure.

Senator Victor Umeh, however, deferred, as he enquired to know how the money was spent before approval by the Senate. The issue of whether or not to investigate the matter raised another furore in the Red Chamber.

Senate President Godswill Akpabio thereafter maintained that owing to the current economic situation, it has become expedient to thoroughly examine the Ways and Means funds.

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Oil marketers get approval to sell Dangote fuel

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Aliko Dangote
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The seven major oil marketers in Nigeria have registered with the Dangote Petroleum Refinery for the lifting and distribution of refined petroleum products produced by the $20bn plant.

Dealers under the aegis of the Major Oil Marketers Association of Nigeria confirmed on Sunday that with the registration, they would commence the distribution of fuel produced from the facility once the commercial terms are sorted.

This came as the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria also revealed that they would meet with the management of the Dangote refinery this week to discuss terms of product loading.

Similarly, the Petroleum Products Retail Outlets Owners Association of Nigeria stated that PETROAN had been engaging the management of the multi-billion dollar refinery for the supply of products from the facility.

As IPMAN and PETROAN engage the refinery, major marketers who are members of MOMAN have already registered with the plant and are set to start buying products.

The seven major marketers include 11 Plc, Conoil Plc, Ardova Plc, MRS Oil Nigeria Plc, OVH Energy Marketing Limited, Total Nigeria Plc and NNPC Retail.

Last Friday, the Dangote Petroleum Refinery announced the commencement of production of Automotive Gas Oil, also known as diesel, and JetA1 or aviation fuel.

The President of the Dangote Group, Aliko Dangote, had in a statement issued by the firm, thanked President Bola Tinubu for his support, encouragement, and thoughtful advice towards the actualisation of the project.

He also thanked the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited, Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission, Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority, and Nigerians for their support and belief in the historic project.

“We have started the production of diesel and aviation fuel, and the products will be in the market within this month once we receive regulatory approvals. This is a big day for Nigeria. We are delighted to have reached this significant milestone.

“This is an important achievement for our country as it demonstrates our ability to develop and deliver large capital projects. This is a game changer for our country, and I am very fulfilled with the actualisation of this project,” Dangote stated.

The refinery, located in Lagos, has so far received six million barrels of crude oil at its two SPMs located 25km from the shore. The first crude delivery was done on December 12, 2023, and the 6th cargo was delivered on January 8, 2024.

The refinery can load 2,900 trucks a day at its truck-loading gantries. The products from the refinery will conform to Euro V specifications, according to the firm.

“The refinery design complies with the World Bank, US EPA, European emission norms, and Department of Petroleum Resources emission/effluent norms, employing state-of-the-art technology,” the company stated.

The Dangote Petroleum Refinery and Petrochemical Project, a subsidiary of Dangote Industries Limited, is a 650,000 barrels per day crude oil refinery, located in Dangote Industries Free Zone, Ibeju-Lekki, Lagos, Nigeria.

The Dangote Petroleum Refinery is an industrial plant that transforms crude oil into various usable petroleum products such as diesel, gasoline, jet fuel, and kerosene.

Dangote Petroleum Refinery with a capacity to refine 650,000 barrels of crude oil per day covers an area of approximately 2,635 hectares in the Lekki Free Trade Zone in Lagos.

When contacted and asked whether major oil marketers would be involved in the lifting of refined products from the Dangote refinery, or whether the facility would distribute the fuel itself, the Executive Secretary/Chief Executive Officer, MOMAN, Clement Isong, replied, “I confirm that we (major marketers) have met with him (Dangote).

According to Isong, all MOMAN members have registered with Dangote Petroleum Refinery to become marketers of its products

Punch

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Senate Gives Kyari, NUPRC Boss 24 Hours To Appear For Budget Defense

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Mele Kyari
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The Chairman of the Senate Appropriation Committee, Senator Adeola Olamilekan, on Wednesday, directed the Group Chief Executive Officer of the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPCL), Mele Kyari, to appear before the committee in 24 hours.

Olamilekan, who asked Kyari to appear in company of the Executive Secretary of the Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission (NUPRC), warned that failure to appear undermines the legislature and sabotages the process.

They are required to present the list of all individual companies operating with OML licenses in Nigeria as well as total production output approved on a daily basis.

The lawmaker expressed concerns that some of the revenues required to drive the 2024 budget was attributed to the NNPCL, which according to him, was owned by the Federal Government and responsible to it, and by extension the three arms of government.

The NNPCL, had earlier shunned for a second time, summons by the Senate to appear before its committee probing over N11trn expenditure on turn around maintenance of refineries in the country between 2010 and 2023.

The absence of Kyari, whose entity is at the centre of the investigation, stalled efforts by the Senate panel to make progress on the matter.

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