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Subsidy: Lift ban on fuel supply to border communities – Senate tells FG



The Senate has directed the Comptroller General of the Nigerian Customs Service, (NCS), and the National Security Adviser, (NSA), to lift the subsisting restriction order placed on the supply of petroleum products to border communities.

It argued that fuel subsidy removal by the federal government has substantially put paid to the smuggling of the products and therefore should be allowed to circulate freely without restrictions.

The Red Chamber urged the Offices of the Comptroller General and NSA to intensify preventive and enforcement measures to combat smuggling of all kinds in the country.

The resolutions followed the consideration of a motion to that effect by Senator Solomon Adeola (APC Ogun West) on Tuesday at the plenary.

Senator Adeola, while leading the debate on the motion, informed his colleagues that the federal government had on November 6, 2019, through the Comptroller General of Customs directed that “no petroleum products are permitted to be discharged in any filling station within a radius of 20 kilometres to the border” of Nigeria.

He noted that the directive was to checkmate the smuggling of Nigerian petroleum products, mostly premium motor spirit, PMS, to the neighbouring countries where there was a thriving market for petrol because of subsidy that was still on the product until May 29, 2023, when President Bola Tinubu announced its removal in his inaugural speech.

“This policy had brought untold hardship and major losses to businesses of the residents and indigenes of the affected border communities, which later made the Nigerian Customs relax the policy slightly by giving license to two or three petrol stations in each of the local government areas that border these neighbouring countries.

“But that remedy was just a drop of water in an ocean scarcity of petrol considering the mass population of the people affected in these border towns and communities,” he stressed.

The lawmaker said the suspension order has affected the people living in border communities across Yewaland in Ogun State, particularly in Idiroko axis where he disclosed only five licensed independent petroleum marketers are allowed to dispense the commodity to over 500,000 residents with over 150 dispersed towns and villages.

Senator Adeola argued that “since there is no more subsidy on petroleum products as proclaimed by the President, there is no justification for the restriction order because the price of petrol across the international border has also gone up in line with the new price regime across Nigeria.”

All the senators who contributed to the motion lamented the “untold hardships” being faced by the people living in border communities over restrictions on fuel as well as fertilizer, especially in the Northern part of the country.

The Senate, in its further resolution, mandated its Committees on Customs and Excise, and National Security and Intelligence, when constituted, to ensure compliance and report back in four weeks for further legislative action

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CDS marks Sallah celebration with troops in Delta



By Matthew Denis

The Chief of Defence Staff (CDS), General Christopher Gwabin Musa paid a working visit to the troops of Operation Delta Safe, where he had sallah lunch with them.

The visit is part of the CDS operational tour to boost the morale of troops for effective and maximum results.

Brigadier General, Tukur Gusau, the Director Defence Information (DDI) made this known in a press statement shortly after General Musa spoke during his visit, extended his warmest greetings and best wishes to all Muslim personnel and their families on the joyous occasion of Eid-Kabir.

He prayed for the day to bring happiness, peace, and prosperity. He added that “as we gather here today, on this auspicious occasion of Sallah, I am deeply honored to stand before you, the brave soldiers who serve tirelessly to protect our nation’s interests in the Niger Delta region.

The CDS maintained that the troops’ unwavering vigilance and act of professionalism in combating threats posed by criminal elements, oil thieves, and other security challenges are commendable.

He also said he is proud of each one of them for their steadfastness and resilience in the face of adversity.

“Your commitment, sacrifice, and dedication do not go unnoticed, especially on such a significant day of celebration.

“Operation Delta Safe plays a crucial role in safeguarding our national assets, ensuring stability in the region, and promoting economic activities vital to our nation’s growth.

“your efforts contribute significantly to the overall security architecture of our country, and your sacrifices are deeply appreciated by the government and the people of Nigeria.

The Defence Chief concluded that as we celebrate Sallah together, let us reflect on the values of unity, peace, and tolerance that this festive season represents.

“These are values that resonate with our mission here in the Niger Delta. Let us continue to work together as a cohesive force, respecting each other’s differences and upholding the integrity of our operations.

“I also want to acknowledge the families of our dear personnel who support us from afar.

“Your unwavering support and understanding enable us to carry out our duties effectively. We are grateful for your sacrifice and commitment to our collective cause.

Earlier in his wellcome address, the Joint Task Force (JTF) Commander, Real Admiral JU Okeke said he is honoured to well come the CDS to the luncheon with troops of JTF South South Operation DELTA SAFE.

He sincerely appreciated General Musa for his Magnanimous presence.

He added that the event was organized in line with the CDS philosophy and passionate attachment to troops deployed in various theatre of operation.

Real Admiral Okeke further said that the gesture showcases the Defence Chief deep concern for the welfare and morale of personnel which he said, are critical to their fighting spirit.

The Commander JTF also added that his troops in synergy with other security agencies, community leaders and other stake holders have been involved in both kinetic and non- kinetic activities which has considerably brought peace.

He concluded that they conducted raids in criminal hideouts and recovered several weapons.

Presence at the event are some DHQ Departmental Chiefs, GOC 6 Division, land component commander, Major General JH Abdussallam, FOC NAVTRAC, Real Admiral IM Albara and some traditional rulers.

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Dangote Refinery to save Nigeria billions in foreign exchange, boost energy sector



By Opeyemi Abdulsalam

In a landmark development, the Major Energy Marketers Association of Nigeria (MEMAN) has hailed the Dangote Refinery as a game-changer in Nigeria’s energy landscape, poised to save the country a staggering amount of foreign exchange spent on importing petroleum products.

With a daily consumption of 50 million liters, Nigeria currently spends $4.4 billion annually on petrol importation.

According to MEMAN Executive Secretary, Clement Isong, the refinery will not only save forex but also generate more value through other products like fertilizer.

He emphasized that refining crude oil yields more value, with a barrel worth $100 generating $2,500 when refined.

Isong noted that the refinery’s impact extends beyond saving forex, as it will create more value addition through other products like fertilizer from the plant.

The Dangote Group President, Aliko Dangote, had earlier vowed to end importation of petrol when his 650,000 barrel per day plant starts refining the product this month.

This move is expected to significantly reduce Nigeria’s reliance on foreign petroleum products and boost the country’s energy self-sufficiency.

Industry experts like Dr. Billy Harry, National President of PETROAN, expressed readiness to ensure smooth distribution of products from the refinery to depots and retail outlets.

He noted that the necessary logistics, including ports, barges, and transport infrastructure, are already in place.

Harry emphasized that the workforce, including Petroleum Tanker Drivers (PTD) of the Nigerian Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG), is available and ready to work closely with PETROAN to ensure a seamless transition.

The stoppage of petrol importation is expected to save Nigeria $2.4 billion annually, making the Dangote Refinery a significant milestone in the country’s energy sector.

This development is also expected to boost Nigeria’s economy, create jobs, and stimulate growth in the energy industry.

In his analysis, Isong noted that a barrel of crude oil costs about $100 but it could yield $2500 per barrel when refined.

He lamented the shortage of feedstock for the refineries, stressing increased domestic crude oil supply to the local plants would culminate in export of products for more dollars.

Isong regretted that nothing has really changed in terms of logistics because the market has since been decentralized, explaining that it is designed in a manner that it distributes products by vessels around the coastal areas and by road network to the North.

The Presidential Initiative on Compressed Natural Gas (PCNGi) Coordinator, Regulations, Compliance, and Facilitation, Engr. Zayyan Tambari, had earlier stated that Nigeria spends $4.4 billion on PMS importation annually.

The commencement of petrol refining in the Dangote Refinery is expected to significantly reduce this expenditure, boosting Nigeria’s foreign exchange reserves and stimulating economic growth.

Overall, the Dangote Refinery is poised to revolutionize Nigeria’s energy sector, saving the country billions of dollars in foreign exchange, creating jobs, and stimulating economic growth.

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AIICO Insurance affirms dedication to community health



AIICO Insurance Plc has reaffirmed its commitment to fostering a healthy community and potentially saving lives.
As part of this commitment, the company’s employees donated blood to the Lagos State Blood Bank in celebration of World Blood Donor Day.

The initiative was conducted in partnership with the Lagos State Government via the Lagos State Blood Transfusion Service.

The Corporate Responsibility and Sustainability Manager at AIICO Insurance, Mrs. Abimbola Shobanjo , emphasized the company’s ongoing dedication to the health and wellbeing of Nigerians.
She highlighted that the employees who donated blood were driven by a sense of patriotism and compassion, aiming to assist those in need of life-saving blood transfusions.

AIICO Insurance has earlier received the prestigious “Community Blood Drive Initiative” Award from the Lagos State Blood Transfusion Service, acknowledging its significant contributions and impact of the LSBTC mandate to ensuring a sufficient and high-quality blood supply in Lagos State.

The award letter from the Executive Secretary of LSBTS, Dr. B.I. Oshikomaya, praised AIICO’s exceptional commitment, partnership, and support through its donations and corporate social responsibility efforts.

She asserted that, “World Blood Donor Day serves as a powerful reminder of the life-saving impact a single blood donation can have. We are proud of our employees who stepped forward today to answer the call and contribute to this vital cause.”

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