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Strike inevitable as oil marketers demand payments before Friday

Nigerians to struggle for fuel during yuletide

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The Depot and Petroleum Products Marketers Association of Nigeria (DAPMAN) has directed all its members to shut down operations at midnight of Sunday, December 9, 2018, until the Federal Government pays all the outstanding debt which it owed the marketers.

DAPMAN embarked on the strike action in less than 24 hours after the Federal Government announced that it would pay N236 billion to oil marketers as the first tranche of the outstanding subsidy claims that it owed members of the depot owners as well as those of the Major Oil Marketers Association of Nigeria (MOMAM).

Responding to an enquiry on whether the association would still proceed on strike despite the government’s latest promise, the Executive Secretary, DAPPMAN, Olufemi Adewole, replied, “Yes, we are proceeding, since we didn’t get the Federal Government’s assurances of receiving the funds which would help pay December salaries.”

Adewole said the association took a bold step to stop the financial haemorrhage of its members by the painful disengagement of its loyal workforce after over three years of engaging the Federal Government in the efforts to secure the payment of all subsidy-induced debts owed marketers.

The association’s spokesperson stated that till date, the efforts “have not yielded the desired results.”

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Adewole maintained that DAPPMA duly notified the Federal Government through the Federal Ministry of Finance and the Debt Management Office, and directly informed the presidency of its of financial constraints and the challenge of paying staff salaries beyond November 30, 2018, except its members received help via the payment of all outstanding debts which include subsidy, interest and foreign exchange differentials with summation calculated up to December 31, 2018.

Nairametrics had reported that should the Federal Government fail to settle outstanding debts totalling N800 billion, there may be a fuel scarcity during the festive season as oil marketers have unanimously issued a seven-day ultimatum to the President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration.

The oil marketers, comprising MOMAN, DPPMA and Independent Petroleum Products Importers (IPPI), said failure to meet the deadline would force its members to disengage workers from depots across the country.

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Reacting to the strike warning, the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), has asked the general public to disregard the threat of fuel scarcity by Nigerian oil marketers.

While making known that it was already engaging the marketers and other agencies of government to address the demands of the oil dealers, the NNPC clarified that Nigeria will not encounter a scarcity of Premium Motor Spirit, popularly known as petrol.

The corporation maintained that there was no need to panic as it had sufficient stock of petrol to keep the country wet.

More so, the NNPC has fast-tracked agreements with bulk purchase Marketers in the country, a statement released in Abuja by the corporation’s Group General Manager, Group Public Affairs, Mr. Ndu Ughamadu, said.

Quoting the NNPC Chief Operation Officer (COO), Downstream, Engr. Henry Ikem Obih, Ughamadu stated that all NNPC depots, Petroleum Products Marketing Company (PPMC) throughput partner depots, the Major Marketers depots and depots of DAPMAN members who signed the Bulk Purchase Agreement (BPA), with PPMC as well as NNPC Retail stations, MOMAN and Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN) filling stations, will continue to operate at maximum levels to ensure uninterrupted distribution of petroleum products nationwide.

The statement has it that Engr. Obih urged motorists not to engage in panic buying of petroleum products during the festive season, adding that the government had agreed to settle the first tranche of the verified claims of the Oil Marketers subsidy claims in line with the approval of Federal Executive Council (FEC) and National Assembly (NASS) by Friday, 14 December 2018.

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Famuyiwa Damilare is a trained journalist. He holds a Higher National Diploma (HND) in Mass Communication at the prestigious Nigerian Institute of Journalism (NIJ). Damilare is an innovative and transformational leader with broad-based expertise in journalism and media practice at large. He has explored his proven ability in the areas of reporting, curating and generating contents, creatively establishing social media engagements, and mobile editing of videos. It is safe to say he’s a multimedia journalist.

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Energy

Electricity tariff increase is suspended for 2 weeks

The FG and the Nigerien Labour Unions have agreed to suspend the electricity tariff increase for a period of two weeks.

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Minister of Labour, Ngige, says labour demand will force government to sack workers

The Federal Government and the Nigerien Labour Unions have agreed to suspend the electricity tariff increase for a period of two weeks. This was part of the agreement reached between Labour and the Government as they deliberated to avert a nationwide strike that would have grounded an already deteriorating economy.

While the strike was over two major issues, an increase in electricity charges and fuel price respectively, the decision to call off the strike was based on the suspension of the electricity bills. The following terms of reference underpinned the agreement between Labour and the Government.

Terms of reference for suspension of electricity increase for 2 weeks.

Terms of reference “The Terms of Reference (ToR) are as follows: To examine the justification for the new policy on cost-reflective Electricity Tariff adjustments. “

  • Both parties are to examine the justification for the new policy on cost-reflective tariff adjustment
  • To look at the different Electricity Distribution Company (DISCOs) and their different electricity tariff vis-à-vis NERC order and mandate.
  • Examine and advise government on the issues that have hindered the deployment of the six million meters.
  • To look into the NERC Act under review with a view to expanding its representation to include organized labour.
  • The Technical sub-committee is to submit its report within two weeks.
  • During the two weeks, the DISCOs shall suspend the application of the cost-reflective electricity tariff adjustments. “The meeting also resolved that the following issues of concern to Labour should be treated as stand alone items:
  • The 40% stake of government in the DISCO and the stake of workers to be reflected in the composition of the DISCOs Boards.
  • An all-inclusive and independent review of the power sector operations as provided in the privatization MOU to be undertaken before the end of the year 2020, with Labour represented.
  • That going forward, the moribund National Labour Advisory Council, NLAC, be inaugurated before the end of the year 2020 to institutionalize the process of tripartism and socio dialogue on socio-economic and major labour matters to forestall crisis.

What this means: The decision reached between the government and labour means the service reflective tariff regime which started on September 1 2020 is effectively suspended. Customers are therefore no longer required to pay the service reflective tariffs and will revert to the previous MYTO tariffs of 2015.

  • By looking at the “different Electricity Distribution Company (DISCOs) and their different electricity tariff vis-à-vis NERC order and mandate” it appears labour might be looking to recalibrating the tariffs for some Discos.
  • According to documents on the tariff order published by the NERC, some Discos have tariffs for residential customers that are as high as N62/kWh while it’s just under N54 for others.
  • Labour could also get involved in determining the veracity of the tariff bands that determines which customers pay what as electricity tariffs.

 

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Business

Just-in: NLC, TUC suspend nationwide strike

Hike in electricity tariff to be suspended for 2 weeks, while new pump price of petrol remain unchanged.

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Ayuba Wabba, Why the FG should reverse 6% tenancy, lease stamp duty - NLC

The Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC) and the Trade Union Congress (TUC) have suspended the planned nationwide strike and protest that was to commence on Monday, September 28, 2020, over the recent hike in electricity tariff and petrol pump price.

This follows the agreement reached between the Federal Government and the organized labour during the meeting held by both parties which started on Sunday night and dragged on till the early hours of Monday morning.

The disclosure was made by the Minister of State for Labour and Employment, Festus Keyamo, through a tweet post on his twitter handle.

In the agreement between the Federal Government and organized labour, the hike in electricity tariff is to be suspended for a period of 2 weeks, while the new pump price of petrol is to remain unchanged.

According to the agreement, which was seen by Nairametrics, both parties agreed to set up a technical committee on Electricity Tariff reforms, comprising Ministries, Agencies, Departments, NLC and TUC, which will work for a duration of 2 weeks with effect from Monday, September 28, 2020, to examine the justification of the new policy in view of the need for the validation of the basis for the new cost-reflective tariff.

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This is due to the conflicting field reports which appear different from the data presented to justify the new policy by NERC, metering deployment, challenges, timelines for massive rollout.

The technical committee is to be headed by the Minister of State for Labour and Labour, Festus Keyamo.

Other members of the committee include the Minister of State Power, Godwin Jedy-Agba, Executive Chairman, National Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC), James Momoh, Special Assistant to the President on Infrastructure, Ahmad Zakari as the Secretary.

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Also in the committee are Onoho’Omhen Ebhohimhen, Joe Ajaero (NLC), Chris Okonkwo (TUC) and a representative of electricity distribution companies.

The terms of reference for the technical committee include;

  • To examine the justification for the new policy on cost-reflective electricity tariff adjustments.
  • To look at the different Electricity Distribution Companies (DISCOs) and their different electricity vis-à-vis NERC order and mandate.
  • Examine and advice government on the issues that have hindered the deployment of the 6 million meters.
  • To look into the NERC act under review with a view to expanding its representation to include organized labour.

 

 

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Coronavirus

COVID-19 Update in Nigeria

On the 27th of September 2020, 126 new confirmed cases and 2 deaths were recorded in Nigeria

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The spread of novel Corona Virus Disease (COVID-19) in Nigeria continues to record increases as the latest statistics provided by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control reveal Nigeria now has 58,324 confirmed cases.

On the 27th of September 2020, 126 new confirmed cases and 2 deaths were recorded in Nigeria, having carried out a total daily test of 3,011 samples across the country.

To date, 58,324 cases have been confirmed, 49,794 cases have been discharged and 1,108 deaths have been recorded in 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory. A total of 505,556  tests have been carried out as of September 27th, 2020 compared to 502,545 tests a day earlier.

COVID-19 Case Updates- 27th September 2020,

  • Total Number of Cases – 58,324
  • Total Number Discharged – 49,794
  • Total Deaths – 1,108
  • Total Tests Carried out – 505,556

According to the NCDC, the 126 new cases were reported from 12 states- FCT (30), Lagos (24), Rivers (23), Ogun (13), Katsina (9), Plateau (9), Ondo (6), Kaduna (4), Kwara (4), Imo (2), Bauchi (1), Edo (1).

Meanwhile, the latest numbers bring Lagos state total confirmed cases to 19,239, followed by Abuja (5,674), Plateau (3,388), Oyo (3,254), Edo (2,624), Kaduna (2,397), Rivers (2,347), Ogun (1,836), Delta (1,802), Kano (1,737), Ondo (1,631), Enugu (1,289), Ebonyi (1,040), Kwara (1,032), Abia (891), Gombe (864). Katsina (857), Osun (827),  Borno (741), and Bauchi (698).

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Imo State has recorded 568 cases, Benue (481), Nasarawa (449), Bayelsa (398),  Jigawa (325), Ekiti (321), Akwa Ibom (288), Niger (259), Adamawa (237), Anambra (234), Sokoto (162), Taraba (95), Kebbi (93), Cross River (87), Zamfara (78), Yobe (76), while Kogi state has recorded 5 cases only.

READ ALSO: COVID-19: Western diplomats warn of disease explosion, poor handling by government

Lock Down and Curfew

In a move to combat the spread of the pandemic disease, President Muhammadu Buhari directed the cessation of all movements in Lagos and the FCT for an initial period of 14 days, which took effect from 11 pm on Monday, 30th March 2020.

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The movement restriction, which was extended by another two-weeks period, has been partially put on hold with some businesses commencing operations from May 4. On April 27th, 2020, Nigeria’s President, Muhammadu Buhari declared an overnight curfew from 8 pm to 6 am across the country, as part of new measures to contain the spread of the COVID-19. This comes along with the phased and gradual easing of lockdown measures in FCT, Lagos, and Ogun States, which took effect from Saturday, 2nd May 2020, at 9 am.

On Monday, 29th June 2020 the federal government extended the second phase of the eased lockdown by 4 weeks and approved interstate movement outside curfew hours with effect from July 1, 2020. Also, on Monday 27th July 2020, the federal government extended the second phase of eased lockdown by an additional one week.

On Thursday, 6th August 2020 the federal government through the secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF) and Chairman of the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19 announced the extension of the second phase of eased lockdown by another four (4) weeks.

READ ALSO: Bill Gates says Trump’s WHO funding suspension is dangerous

 

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