THE Major Oil Marketers Association of Nigeria, MOMAN, has decried the non-payment of an outstanding N250 billion subsidy claims for 2014. Obafemi Olawore, executive secretary, MOMAN, said the outstanding N250 billion claims include accumulated interest and foreign exchange differentials. He urged the federal government to pay the bills and deregulate the downstream sector.
Olawore said that a directive has been given by the association to members to conform to the directive of Diezani Alison-Madueke, minster of petroleum resources, and adjust their pump price from N 97 to N87 per litre. According to him, about 85 percent of its members have adjusted their pump price, adding that others will follow suit.
He said the devaluation of the naira contributed significantly to the increase of the pump price in Nigeria, adding that if the naira had not been devalued, the pump price would have come down as in other countries. Olawore also attributed the high cost of petrol in Nigeria to freight and the state of the refineries.
“We are not against the reduction of pump price to N 87 per litre but government should also increase marketers’ margin of petroleum product. Marketers’ margin has been stagnating since 2007. No Reason was given by the minister for the reduction of the petrol pump price. Only N 4.60 was given as margin to marketers per litre since 2007 which has not changed. The N10 reduction was on depot price not marketers margin. We meant to believe that in line with Section 6 Clause 1 of the Petroleum Act, that it was the sole responsibility of the minister of petroleum to announce that there will be a reduction or increase in the pump price of petroleum,” he said.
Olawore, however, urged the minister to expedite action on the proposed committees to be set up to look into the complaints of the marketers over margin. He said the association had agreed with the Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency, PPPRA, the Department of Petroleum Resources, DPR, marine inspectors, auditors and the federal ministry of finance to take stock of product in their tanks for adequate payment of subsidy claims.
He, however, argued that reduction of the pump price was not the solution but full deregulation. Olawore said the deregulation of the downstream sector of the oil and gas industry would be the only solution to drive investment and create job opportunities in the sector.
Transformation of Egbin Power Station
ELECTRICITY supply in Lagos is expected to witness a substantial improvement following the rehabilitation of a 220MW steam turbine generator at the Egbin power station. The repair is coming eight years after the system had become inoperable.
A statement by Egbin Power Plc, said the rehabilitation had brought the plant back to its installed capacity of 1,320MW. “The rehabilitated and restored Unit ST-06 brings an additional 220MW to the Nigerian national electricity grid and will also bolster power supply to the Lagos metropolis, thereby improving socio-economic activities in the region,” the company said.
It noted that the ST-06, which was first inaugurated in November 1987, suffered a boiler explosion during operation in 2006 due to some water tube phenomenon. “With the unit now generating at full stream, Egbin is currently in the final stages of a bilateral agreement to supply the 220MW to Ikeja Electricity Distribution Plc and Eko Distribution Company, a development that is set to yield about 16 percent additional power supply to Lagos, the nation’s commercial nerve centre.
The transformation of the nation’s largest generation plant commenced following its acquisition by Sahara Power, which worked through a number of Special Purpose Vehicles in collaboration with its technical partners, Korea Electric Corporation.
Mike Uzoigwe, chief executive officer, Egbin Power Plc, was quoted as saying that the rehabilitation of the ST Unit 6 was a major breakthrough, noting that huge resources were deployed in achieving a complete overhaul of the unit. “When we took over Egbin Power Plant in November 2013, there was a sworn declaration to deploy all of our available resources required to transform the plant into a centre of excellence. We are happy that this is being achieved through the expertise of our staff members and KEPCO, and we are delighted to say we are on course towards achieving our objective of being a foremost power generation plant in Africa,” he said.
— Feb. 2, 2015 @ 01:00 GMT