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DPR reopens 8 petroleum depots sealed by LASPPPA

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The Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) on Monday reopened eight petroleum products depots shut down by the Lagos State Physical Planning Permit Authority (LASPPPA) in Ijegun-Egba, Satellite Town area of the state.

Mr Ayorinde Cardoso, Zonal Operations Controller, DPR, Lagos Zone, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos that the sealing of the tank farms could have led to a huge disruption to the supply of petroleum products across the country.

He said the depots affected were
Wosbab Energy Solutions, Emadeb Energy Services Ltd., Mao Petroleum Ltd., Menj Oil Ltd., Oceanpride Energy Services Ltd.,A.A. Rano Nigeria Ltd.,AIPEC Oil and Gas Ltd. and First Royal Oil Ltd.

According to him, Ijegun-Egba has 13 tank farm operators which receive between 35 per cent to 40 per cent of petroleum products coming to Lagos before being transported to other areas.

Cardoso said: “We were told that LASPPPA sealed the depots today (Monday) for not having their planning permits.

“We don’t believe that is the right approach because these people are providing service to the nation and if you disrupt that service there will be fuel scarcity everywhere.

“This is why we are taking proactive action to immediately reopen the tank farms and if LASPPPA have any issue with the operators they should come to us to see how it can be resolved.”

He maintained that the agency lacked the constitutional power to shut the depots because the industry was clearly under the Exclusive List.

Cardoso said: “Oil and gas business is a regulated environment and we know from the 1999 Constitution that oil and gas are matters within the exclusive legislative List.

“The Federal Government of Nigeria through the National Assembly is endowed with exclusive power to execute on any item on the exclusive list.

“And arising from that constitutional power, the National Assembly enacted the Petroleum Act of 1969.

“This act regulates all matters relating to

petroleum such as importation, handling, storage , distribution of petroleum and petroleum products and other flammable oils.

“This act also provides the granting of licence to import, handle, store, sell, distribute any petroleum product in Nigeria.”

He said as a result of this, all persons that engage in the business are licensed by the Minister of Petroleum Resources through DPR.

According to him, the DPR collaborates with other relevant Federal and State Government agencies for requisite permits and approvals before the issuance of the licences.

“So, any issue arising from the licensee you need to call on the licensor who is the federal government; then we will look at the issue and see how we can resolve it,”he said.

Cardoso also emphasised that the revenue collected by DPR on the licences would be shared by the the three tiers of government.

However, a LASPPPA source who spoke to NAN on condition of anonymity, said the agency carried

out a similar exercise in the area in 2020.

“We have also had several stakeholders discussion with the tank farm operators over the issue before taking this action, ” the source added. (NAN)

 

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Business & Economy

ECOWAS Trade Promotion Organisation re-elects Dr. Ezra, as president

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Dr. Ezra Yakusak - MD/CEO NEPC
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Dr. Ezra Yakusak, the Executive Director/CEO of Nigerian Export Promotion Council (NEPC), has been reelected as the President of ECOWAS Trade Promotion Organisations (TPOs) Network in Accra Ghana.

Dr. Yakusat, will serve another One-year tenure and will lead 15 other member ECOWAS countries in driving trade within the sub-region.

His re-election is also in line with Article 11 of the ECOWAS TPO Network. The ECOWAS Trade Promotion Organization is a network of all Trade Promotion Organizations in West Africa established by the decisions of Council of Ministers at the Ordinary Session.

Nigeria became the pioneer president in April 2021. Dr. Yakusat, became the president following the expiration of the tenure of Mr. Awolowo as ED/ CEO of NEPC.

A statement by the council said the re-election of Dr. Ezra was at the end of 2nd Annual General Meeting of the Network held at Alisa hotel, Accra, Ghana from 19th – 20th May, 2022.

He was re-elected along with the vice president, Mr. Ben Guy Mbangue from Cote’ D’ivoire.

The duo constitute the Executive Bureau of the Network and the tenure expires after one year. All members present unanimously re-elected the President and Vice President respectively.

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World Bank projects Nigeria’s Diaspora remittances to increase in 2022

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World Bank has projected Nigeria’s Diaspora remittance inflow to increase to $29bn in 2022 because of higher food prices and the continued adoption of official bank channels.

The bank said, migrants from the country are likely to send more money home to help with the hike in the prices of staples.

A report titled, ‘Migration and Development Brief (May 2022): A War in a Pandemic: Implications of the Ukraine crisis and COVID-19 on the global governance of migration and remittance flows,’ the bank stated that remittance flows to low and middle-income countries are expected to increase by 4.2 per cent to $630bn in 2022.

It said: “With risks weighted to the downside, there are several factors that support a view for continued—though more moderate—7.1 per cent gain inflows to Sub-Saharan Africa in 2022.

“Momentum for the use of official channels in Nigeria should sustain an uptrend in the year, within flows reaching $21bn.

“Though economic activity is likely to ease in the United States and Europe, fundamentals remain positive for continued gains in remittance flows to the remainder of Africa, as the influence of ‘altruistic’ motivations that were demonstrated in Africa and South Asia during the peak pandemic years will likely carry over to the period of sharp increases in staple food prices.”

The global bank further said remittance inflow to Sub-Saharan Africa was $49bn in 2021, with Nigerian contributing $19.2bn to the total inflow, adding that the use of informal channels to transfer money to the region caused a 28 per cent reduction in inflows in 2020.

“In 2022, remittance inflows are projected to grow by 7.1 per cent driven by continued shift to the use of official channels in Nigeria and higher food prices – migrants will likely send more money to home countries that are now suffering extraordinary increases in prices of staples,” the bank said.

The World Bank stated that the Naira-4-Dollar policy, which was an attempt to return remittance to formal channels, of the Central Bank of Nigeria helped boost inflows by 11.2 per cent in 2021, adding that the stabilisation of the naira against the dollar within a range of 410-415 per dollar over the last year also contributed to the pickup in recorded inflows.

It noted that the increased stability of the Naira and increased use of the e-Naira would help boost the nation’s chances of achieving $21bn in remittance for 2022.

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Double trouble for Ahmed Idris: arrested by EFCC, suspended by Minister

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Ahmed Idris - Account General of the Federation
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The Accountant General of the Federation, Ahmed Idris has been directed to proceed on indefinite suspension over alleged laundering of N80 billion.

Idris, was suspended on Wednesday by Zainab Ahmed, the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning.

In a letter dated May 18, 2022, the minister said the suspension “without pay” was to allow for “proper and unhindered investigation” in line with public service rules.

Ahmed Idris, was on Monday arrested by the Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC). over alleged diversion and laundering of N80 billion.

Wilson Uwajaren, Head of Media and Public Information of the EFCC, stated that verified intelligence reports showed that Idris raked off the funds through bogus consultancies and other illegal activities using proxies, family members and close associates.

Uwujaren added that the funds were laundered through real estate investments in Kano and in Abuja.

According to EFCC, Idris was arrested after he failed to honour invitations by the Commission to respond to issues connected to the fraudulent acts.

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