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Fuel scarcity’ll end in nine days –Kachikwu …says he won’t resign, apologises to Nigerians

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The Minister of State for Petroleum, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu, appeared before the Senate Committee on Petroleum Resources (Downstream) on Tuesday to give reasons for the acute fuel scarcity across the country and the efforts being made by his ministry to resolve the embarrassing situation.

He regretted the situation and apologised to Nigerians, who he said were really going through difficult moments, and promised that the scarcity would end on or before April 7.

Kachikwu said he would not resign from his position as minister and instead asked those who were threatening to stage a protest in Abuja to save their money because he took the appointment to work for his fatherland.

The minister stated, “I will not resign. I am here to do my job. Those who are planning to stage a protest against me in Abuja should save their fuel money because I have a job to do, and I am committed to doing it well.

“I share the pains of Nigerians. I feel that pain every day. I walk the streets and those who are following my trajectories since I resumed office would see that even on Christmas day, I was at the refineries. On Easter Day, I was in Lagos monitoring fuel distribution at the depots.

“I have given 24/7 attention to the problems in this industry, which are unbelievable. I have continued to work with one sole purpose in mind, which is that every problem will have a solution.”

Kachikwu added, “I do apologise if a comment I make jocularly with my friends in the press about not being a magician offends some Nigerians; it wasn’t meant to be. It is a side jocular issue and I did go ahead to explain what needed to be done. I didn’t intend to create this kind of hyperbole that it did.

“Let me admit that I am not a typically experienced politician. I am a technocrat. Some of the phraseologies that I may use, while being acceptable in the arena in which I play, obviously will not be acceptable in the public political arena. If anybody’s sensitivities were offended by that, I totally apologise.”

He attributed the current petrol scarcity to the refusal by the major oil marketers to import, diversion of the product by marketers, pipeline vandalism, panic buying and non-computerisation of the distribution network to monitor trucks.

The minister lamented that since the payment of N600bn subsidy arrears, which the current administration inherited from the administration of former President Goodluck Jonathan, oil marketers had stopped fuel importation.

The development, he said, had forced the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation to overstretch its capacity, human resources and facilities in order to bridge the gap, but that the corporation lacked the immediate capacity to handle the task.

Kachikwu said, “Let me put the reasons for the scarcity in three categories. First, when we came in August, this country had arrears of unpaid subsidy claims that were in excess of N600bn, which were not paid for over a year.

“Progressively, over a period of eight months, prior to my coming on board, people had been staying away from importation not at a heavy level, but by about 10 to 15 per cent of allocations were not being met.

“There was hope that ultimately, if the subsidy regime continued, they would get paid; so, some people continued to import, but by the time we came in, people had reached a breaking point and most of the companies didn’t have the liquidity even to go to the banks and open letters of credit, and that became a major issue.”

He said it was obvious that having cleared the N600bn subsidy claims, the country could no longer continue with the subsidy regime owing to dwindling oil revenue and the fact that monumental frauds were being uncovered in the system.

As of January 1 this year, the minister stated that the country was no longer paying subsidy, saving a cumulative amount of over N1tn in a one year period.

Kachikwu noted, “The second major issue was that once the N600bn subsidy money was paid, the ability of the marketers to import the product became a challenge, because they could not raise letters of credit, and up to this point, that still remains a major issue.

“So, even if they wanted to import, they needed letters of credit and adequate foreign exchange cover. Some of them were owing arrears of liabilities as a result of the commitment I had made on petroleum importation.”

As part of efforts to ensure a lasting solution to the problem, he stated that the nation was setting up for the first time strategic reserves of about two million tonnes to provide products always.

He said these would be operational as from May and would contain between five and seven cargos of fuel per reserve.

Kachikwu said, “Once we do that, we should be away from the incessant fuel crisis that we have.

We expect that between now and about the 6th to the 7th of April, the fuel queues will disappear, the DSDP will begin and the foreign exchange allocation will see us smoothly through the track.

“The refineries will be working and the volumes they will be producing will be sent to the strategic reserves to address difficult times. In April, we are expected to get 150 per cent of the volumes that will be needed. A lot of that will go to storage tanks. Hopefully, that should sort out the problem.”

He said privatisation of the refineries remained the best solution to end the fuel crisis in the country.

 

Source: The Punch

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Wema Bank Emerges Best Performing Bank in Half year 2022

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Nigeria’s most innovative bank, Wema Bank Plc, has emerged the best performing bank in the first half of year 2022 financial year with a weighted average score of of 2.83 points, beating 12 other bank’s.

 

According to a special report on the Nigerian banking performance in the first half of 2022 prepared by Nairametrics, Wema Bank ranked first in one category, second in three categories and third in one category. Stanbic IBTC and First Bank came second and third respectively..

 

The key metrics considered in the report are total asset growth, loan book growth, profit growth, cost-to-income ratio movement, and return on average equity.

 

The 13’reviewed banks which are listed on the Nigerian Exchange posted a net profit of N1 trillion in 2021 from N887.1 billion recorded in 2020.

 

The 13 reviewed banks are Wema Bank, First Bank of Nigeria, FCMB, GTB, Jaiz Bank, Access Bank, and Stanbic/IBTC. Others are UBA, Sterling Bank, Unity Bank, Union Bank, Zenith Bank, and Fidelity Bank.

 

During the first six months of 2022, the thirteen banks posted an aggregate of N501.1 billion as profit after tax, representing an increase of 13.1% compared to N443.17 billion recorded in the corresponding period of 2021

 

The banks grew their bottom line despite headwinds ravaging the global economy as the energy crisis triggered a significant surge in the operational costs of businesses operating in the country, while some banks were forced to ration their operating hours in a bid to manage the rise in the cost of operation.

 

Wema Bank came first in the category of

Leading bank’s by customer deposits growth . The bank recorded ±30.2 percent customer deposit growth during the review period, followed by Fidelity Bank and Access Bank with +13.1 percent and +12.8 percent respectively.

 

Wema Bank came second in three other categories – total assets growth rate (+13%), loan book growth rate (+19.9%) and profit after tax growth rate {+47.8%}.

 

Stanbic IBTC , the second place winner, ranked first in total asset growth rate and leading bank’s by cost to income ratio growth rate

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Again! FCMB Lands IN Serious Trouble Over False Claim…… As Court Orders Bank To Pay N540m Damages.

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First City Monument Bank (FCMB) is in hot soup as the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) High Court has ordered the bank to pay N540.5 million in damages to Pastor Emmanuel Omale of the Divine Hand of God Prophetic Ministry and his wife, Deborah over false claim that they laundered N573 million for former chairman of the EFCC, Ibrahim Magu.

Delivering judgement in the suit, Yusuf Halilu, the judge, held that the bank breached its “duty of care to the claimants,” the Omales and their church.

The judgment was on the suit marked: FCT/HC/CV2541/2020 filed by Mr. Omale, his wife and the church.

The judge held that the evidence before the court showed that the bank admitted error in its report to the NFIU of entries in the account of Divine Hand of God Prophetic Ministry which was accused of laundering money on Mr. Magu’s behalf.

Mr. Halilu also said the bank claimed that the purported N573 million was wrongly reflected as credit entry in Divine Hand of God Prophetic Ministry’s account by its reporting system, which it recently upgraded.

The judge held that FCMB admitted the error, which brought incalculable damage to the reputation of the claimants both within and outside the Nigeria – depleting their church’s membership.

Mr. Halilu said the claimants provided sufficient evidence to establish case of negligence against FCMB.

Consequently, the judge awarded N200 million as aggravated damages; N140.5 million as specific damages and N200 million as general damages.

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More Troubles For Dangote Cement As Kogi Govt Demands 10 Per Cent Share, Orders Immediate Seal Off

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However, Dangote Cement is facing allegations of sharp practice from Kogi State government, Kogi Assembly as well as Akwa Ibom State.Already, the Kogi State House of Assembly has ordered stoppage to the activities of the company in two Local Governments in the State while investigations continue.

To make the claim possible, Kogi State House of Assembly ordered the management of Dangote Cement company to provide all necessary documents that have to do with the transfer of Obajana Cement Company owned by Kogi state government to Dangote Cement Company.

The House also directed that the documents signed at the establishment of the Company and relevant receipts of dues it claimed to have paid to Kogi State Government available at the next adjourned sitting date.

The speaker of Kogi State House of Assembly, Matthew Kolawole, gave the order after interim reports of the ongoing investigative hearing on Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) which was submitted by the ad hoc committee led by Hon. Isah Tenimu Umar, Member Representing Lokoja I Constituency and deliberated upon at the plenary on Wednesday.

Kolawole said this has become important in view of the claims and counterclaims between the Chairman of Kogi State Internally Generated Revenue Service (KGIRS) and representatives of Dangote Cement as the acting chairman of KGIRS, Salisu Enehe had earlier accused Dangote Cement Plc Obajana of forging its tax receipt during the investigative hearing by the State House of Assembly.

According to the State Revenue Boss, most of the figures the company claimed to have paid are totally incorrect, urging the company to check its record.

He added that despite the billions of Naira that company is making from the state monthly, it has failed to pay taxes that are due to the state and Lokoja Local Government Area.

Nigerians Getting ₦1,593,247 Per Week From ₦99,000 Investment in Amazon
Nigerians Getting ₦1,593,247 Per Week From ₦99,000.

In another development, Following the unrestrained environmental degradation in Ankpa and Olamaboro local government areas, Kogi state House of Assembly on Wednesday, directed the Commissioner of Police and Commandant of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence (NSCDC) to seal off operations of Dangote Plc in the affected areas of the State.

The House gave the order during a public hearing on activities of Dangote Group in the state, especially on the the massive exploitation , environmental degradation and non compensation to the affected owners of the land and without revenue accruing to the state government.

The Speaker, Kogi state House of Assembly, Mathew Kolawole, charged the NSCDC commandant to ensure immediate implementation pending when the ad hoc committee on revenue clarifies some grey areas. Kolawole, who lamented the environmental degradation caused by mining activities on Kogi by the Dangote group and its subsidiaries, accused the multi national business concern of making billions in the state but yet fails to give back to it.

Akwa Ibom is also finding it difficult to collect its entitlement from the Dangote Group. According to reports from the place, the Itu Local Government blocked Dangote premises with their trucks because the company has refused to pay tax for more than two years despite pleas and series of warnings.

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