- Fuel price hike looms as crude oil hits $94
- FG, Labour meet today after over planned indefinite strike
- We won’t fly outside Africa – Ibom Air
- Meter deployment would resume soon -Ikeja Electricity Distribution Company
- 12.5kg Cooking gas might hit N18,000 by December – Gas retailers
Across Nigeria’s 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory, these are the five top Nigerian news stories you shouldn’t miss.
Fuel price hike looms as crude oil hits $94
With the price of crude oil rising and the naira depreciating alarmingly against the US dollar, oil marketers on Sunday predicted an impending hike in the price of petrol across the entire country.
Additionally, it was learned that the Federal Government’s covert fuel subsidy programme should be gradually increased due to the sudden increase in crude oil prices to approximately $94 per barrel and the ongoing FX crisis.
Dealers in the downstream oil business clarified that more than 80% of PMS costs were related to the price of crude oil and the dollar’s exchange rate.
The price per barrel of Brent crude, the benchmark for the world’s oil, reached a record high of $94 on Sunday, 2023. Oil prices had been at $82/barrel at the beginning of the year, falling to $70/barrel in June, and then rising beyond $92/barrel in the last week.
Additionally, it was reported this week that as forex scarcity increased, the value of the naira dropped to N950/dollar.
According to the report, the naira depreciated further against the US dollar on Wednesday after closing at 950/$ on the parallel market the day before.
Operators asserted on Sunday that the government was enacting quasi-subsidies, despite the Federal Government and its Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited having insisted that petrol subsidies had stopped with the liberalisation of the downstream oil sector.
They added that the price of petrol was expected to rise in light of the most recent increase in the price of crude oil, emphasising that if the government is set on keeping the commodity at N617 a litre, the PMS subsidy has been quietly reinstated.
The marketers confirmed that although crude oil traded at about $82/barrel in July, when the price of petrol was increased to N617/litre, the parallel market’s exchange rate was not as high as N950/$.
The Nigerian Association of Road Transport Owners echoed the worries expressed by marketers, stating that it was difficult for them to comply with NARTO’s demands to raise the cost of petrol transport due to the petrol price cap.
“So in this price deregulation regime, once the dollar increases, automatically it means that the cost of importing petroleum products will also increase. And the cost of every other related service will rise,” the National Public Relations Officer, Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria, Chief Chinedu Ukadike, stated.
“So the fuel we are buying today at N617 or N596 depending on where you buy it and based on the nearness to depots, is actually below what the price should really be, going by the rise in dollar and crude oil price.” he added.
FG, Labour meet today after over planned indefinite strike
The Federal government of Nigeria has made public its plans to meet with the leadership of the Nigerian Labour Congress on Monday, 18th September 2023 after the latter warned of a looming indefinite strike.
In a statement on Sunday, Olajide Oshundun, the Ministry of Labour and Employment’s Director of Information, revealed the details of the two parties’ meeting.
It said, “The Nigerian Labour Congress has once again been summoned by Minister of Labour and Employment, Simon Lalong, to a meeting regarding its planned indefinite strike.
“The minister said it was crucial that the unions meet with the government to resolve all outstanding issues to prevent further disruption to the economy. He gave the Department of Trade Union Services and Industrial Relations instructions to call a meeting with the leadership of the Nigeria Labour Congress for Monday, September 18, 2023”.
“According to the Minister”, he continued, “the administration of President Bola Tinubu will always engage organised labour and respond to its concerns after due consultation and negotiations in order to guarantee industrial harmony, which is critical to the attainment of the Renewed Hope Agenda.”
The NLC as confirmed by sources have acknowledged the call for a meeting and responded in the affirmative.
“We will be in attendance tomorrow to listen to what the Federal Government has to say,” the source said.
It has been reported that the call for meeting by the Federal Government has come after the NLC called off its two-day warning strike after shunning a previous meeting for talks with the FG.
We won’t fly outside Africa – Ibom Air declares
Despite plans to increase their fleet of aircraft, the Akwa Ibom state government, management of renowned Nigerian airline, Ibom Air, has declared that operations would be limited to African countries.
This statement came as they plan to increase their fleet of 8 aircrafts to 40 within the next 20 years.
The airline which operates within five states including Lagos, Abuja, Uyo, Calabar and Enugu has made public its plans to build a world class African regional airline, Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul, MRO, facility to compete with major airlines on a global scale.
Speaking at the just concluded Aviation Africa Summit in Abuja, Ibom Air Chief Operating Officer, COO, Mr. George Uriesi, stated “From inception we have mapped out a strategy by jettisoning intercontinental operations to compete with the likes of British Airways, Air France-KLM, Delta, United Airlines, and Emirates.
“We have no ambition to go outside Africa. We want to see Ibom Air be a world-class African regional airline.
“We have built credibility. In 2021, the burgeoning strength of the Ibom Air brand based on wide acceptance in the market created a serious capacity crunch in Half-year 2021. It became apparent that an increase to meet demand had become necessary.”
“We approach Airbus. The response from Airbus was fantastic. We eventually settled for A220. We tested the aircraft and we were delighted that the A220 was very well received. The A220 changed the face of our operation.”
“We contended with the negative reputation some previous aircraft lease transactions had earned for Nigerian airlines with violation of the Cape Town Convention agreement to which Nigeria through the NCAA is a signatory. We contended with the Forex scarcity situation. Airbus gets our financial report half a year or monthly. Our vision will be to grow our fleet size from about 8 currently to 40 in the next 20 years.” he said.
Meter deployment would resume soon -Ikeja Electric
Electricity distribution companies are set to resume the distribution of prepaid meters through the Meter Assets Provider (MAP) programme.
This announcement was made by Morenikeji Amosun, the Head of the Metering Team for Ikeja Electric during a virtual stakeholders’ forum
During the meeting, he stated that a set of new meters have been imported by the programme and would be deployed sooner than later.
“We can assure you that MAPs has brought in new meters and customers will start getting their meters in the coming week and beyond,” he said. “But the focus would first be on those that had ordered about two/three months ago at old prices. For those that had paid old prices, no additional payment would be required from them before they get their meters. But new orders would carry the new prices.”
He added that this move will improve meter access for electricity consumers nationwide.
12.5kg Cooking gas might hit N18,000 by December – to gas retailers
Gas retailers nationwide have warned that the price of 12.5kg cooking gas may increase to N18,000 by December if the Federal Government does not check the activities of the terminal owners.
On Sunday The President, Nigerian Association of Liquefied Petroleum Gas Marketers, Olatunbosun Oladapo, said in a statement that the price of Liquefied Petroleum Gas also known as cooking gas has “gone astronomically high at terminals as a result of a sudden increment from between N9-N10m per 20 metric tons to N14m per 20 metric tons.
“There is a ridiculous hike in gas prices going on right now, and I am afraid that if the Federal Government does not step in to checkmate the activities of these terminal owners, prices could reach as high as N18m per metric ton by December. This means that a 12.5kg could go as high as N18,000.”
According to him, terminal owners were “hiding under the guise of high foreign exchange to increase prices to further increase the suffering of the masses.”
He reiterated that the increment was done on a whim without justification as the Nigerian Liquefied Natural Gas Limited still supplied the market.
“The increase in price that would take effect is not the fault of retailers. It is the fault of NLNG and terminal owners. Even NNPCL is hiding under the guise that they are now privatised to increase prices. As of last week, 1kg was N800 at the terminal, now it is N1,200, and could reach N1,500 by December if care is not taken.”
On the side of the terminal owners, they blame the increase on the high and rising price of forex and the hike in the price of crude oil.
Ayomitide Adeyinka is a content writer, crypto journalist and editor with a Bsc in Political Science. He is also an egalitarian.